Miranda's Dream. ¡Por una Latino América fuerte!.- A Gran Colombia TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Red_Galiray, Feb 15, 2016.

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  1. Juan Ochoa Member

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    I just realized that line 17 on the chart has numbers associated to it but no name, am I correct to assume that might corresponds to a very particular island in the Caribbean.
     
  2. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Mexico City is probably bigger, but Santafe is a fine capital for a fine Republic of 180 million.

    It's a surprise ;)
     
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  3. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    I was wondering. Since Colombia is way more powerful in this TL, will we see it stake out colonies in Africa and possibly influence in China?
     
  4. jocay Ambiguously Brown

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    I don't think anyone's done a TL where Colombia establishes colonies in Polynesia.
     
  5. damein fisher This bad boy can fit so many maps in it

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    Mainly because Colombia has very few major Pacific Ports. Even with the extra land held by this Gran Colombia, it will still be a primarily Caribbean country.
     
  6. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Africa doesn't seem likely, to be honest. I don't think any New World nation ever expressed interest in colonizing Africa. Influencing China is probable, though :D

    This may be the first one, then ;) Btw, I don't think anyone's ever done a Gran Colombia TL either. Or at least I haven't seen any.

    It's true that Colombia is going to focus on the Caribbean, but it has a powerful ally in Chile, who is more interested in Pacific and more able to colonize it.
     
  7. Colonel flagg Well-Known Member

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    Is Mexico trying to find a European power to protect them ?
     
  8. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    With current colombia policies...i think the last thing they want are more africans..unless they think can pull a spanish speaking liberia...NAH.
     
  9. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    They are currently allied with France.

    Colombians like to see themselves as liberators, not imperialists. Acquiring African colonies would be against this idea, and also put them at odds with Europe. So, yeah, I don't think they'll go for that.
     
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  10. Threadmarks: Chapter 56: The Eagle and the Condor

    Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    The Colombo-American rivalry, which has antecedents in 1810-1830 era, grew in prominence in the 1840’s and came to a head in the 1850’s, where the ambitions of both nations clashed. The main point of contention was the island of Cuba, which both Colombia and the USA saw as theirs to take. But the rivalry had also economic and social causes, and ultimately it came down to a clash between the two countries' visions and ideologies. As the rivalry grew, Colombia came closer to Mexico, which had always had an ambivalent opinion of Colombia. The complex diplomatic relationships between these three countries came to shape the struggle for the Caribbean, and as such deserve to be analysis in depth.

    Colombia’s opinion of the US had changed immensely come the 1840’s. At first, the fledgling Republic saw the United States as a “sister Republic”, an older state founded on the same principles that would thus constitute a natural ally. In fact, Colombians saw the United States as an ally against Mexico, something that would become deeply ironical later. Most Colombians believed that the Mexican Empire was a “remnant of despotism”, and some went as far as characterizing Agustin I’s ascension to the throne as an illegitimate coup. Miranda, who despite his great ambitions always focused on the domestic scene first, was not too keen on Mexico being an Empire. Many diplomats even wished that a Republican revolt could succeed. One did take place – that of Guadalupe Victoria, but it could not gather enough support and failed at the end, forever associating Mexican republicanism with radicalism and federalism. Victoria’s revolt only helped to consolidate Agustin I’s reign, for he now had the support of moderates, conservatives, and the Army. In any case, this did not ender the Empire to Colombia, which continued to see Mexico as a military dictatorship under the guise of a democratic monarchy.

    By contrast, the Colombians admired the US and its institutions. Miranda in particular was a big fan, and it’s no surprise that the Colombian Constitution was modeled after its American counterpart. Admiration for the British was higher, however, and when push came to shove, Miranda often sided with the British over the Americans. Infamously, he retained American volunteers while allowing the British ones to leave and fight in the War of 1814, which deprived the US of experienced soldiers or officers. Nonetheless, and barring some strong disagreements over the Caribbean, Colombo-American relations remained cordial and positive.

    Proof of this is how the Americans often framed the question of recognizing Colombia’s independence in how that would advance the rights of man and the cause of liberty. Of course, the cynical desire to take over Colombian trade or get ahead of the British also played a part. But it’s still worth noting that Americans, including Henry Clay, felt genuine sympathy for the South American nation. Much of the credit must be given to the Colombian agent, Manuel Torres, who worked without rest for the cause of his country. Men such as Madison, Quincy Adams and Clay greatly appreciated him, and he remains the unsung hero of Latin America diplomacy, for it was his efforts that convinced the US to recognize the new Republics (it would not recognize Mexico until later).

    American expressions of friendship were warmly received by Colombians. A Congressman would say of Colombia that “everything from that Republic fills us with admiration. The valor of its armies, the patriotism of the people, their devotion to the cause of independent, entitle them to our profound regard. But above all, their constitution, similar in all its important features to our one, is most flattering to our pride, and most consoling to our hopes.” His words were so appreciated that there were celebrations in the streets of Santafe over them.

    Nonetheless, there were already some people who considered that the US was more of a threat than an ally. Simon Bolivar’s famous quote that “the United States seem to have been destined by Providence to plague the Americas with misery in the name of liberty” proves that some Colombians saw the US’ greater strength with worry. This maybe drove them into the British sphere, despite cries that they were just exchanging the Spanish King for the English one. The Monroe Doctrine especially soured the Colombians, and although Mexico and France were the ones behind most opposition, and also the final cause of its demise, Colombia and Britain also decried it as arrogant.

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    James Monroe

    In any case, relations remained cordial. For the most part, however, both countries did not interfere with each other. Trade was on the rise, but besides that diplomatic relations were limited because Colombia was focused on South America, and the US in North America. But things started to change in the 1840’s, when the sense of nationalism and exceptionalism started to grow within both countries. As both looked towards the Caribbean, a clash became more and more likely.

    Colombia’s mixed feelings towards the US have been interpreted as simple jealousy. The unique combination of smugness and an inferiority complex has been observed in several Latin American countries. In Colombia, this manifested as a continuous belief that Colombia needed to catch up with Europe and the US. This gave birth to such ideas as “blanqueamiento”, but also produced envy towards the US and its powerful economy, large territory, and its appeal to immigrants. Unwilling to face and come to terms with these feelings, Colombians adopted arrogance as a defense mechanism, and started to attack the US for its fallings and proudly declare that they were the true land of the Free.

    The points of contention were many. For one, Colombians accused the United States of being a land of anarchy, where violent mobs ruled the day – a criticism the British also voiced. Many Colombians also accused the Americans of being greedy and soulless, of only “praying at the altar of gold”, and said that Colombian society was better because it encouraged small and tight communities. But by far, the greatest criticism was deserved for the American system of slavery.

    Colombians were not free of that sin, and they recognized it for the most part. However, no great political front had ever opposed emancipation per se, and at most conservatives demanded it to be more gradual. Just one newspaper of importance ever declared it to be positive; the great majority of Colombians, including the big triumvirate of Miranda, Santander, and Bolivar, condemned it. Freedom of womb was passed shortly after the Proclamation of the Republic. Slavery was finally abolished by constitutional amendment in 1834 during the administration of Santander, who passed it with virtually no opposition, though he had to offer generous compensation to owners. Though Colombia can be faulted for simply liberating the slaves without taking steeps to right the systematic inequalities that held them down, its commitment to slave emancipation was clear from the very beginning, and its efforts to improve the condition of the slaves and later give them freedom are undoubtedly noble.

    Colombia and Mexico considered themselves the guardians of freedom because they abolished slavery, and constantly criticized the United States for declaring itself the Land of the Free yet holding millions in bondage. Slavery became a greater topic after the Mexican-American War, which Colombians saw as an imperialistic conflict for the sake of slavery. Horrified at the prospect, Colombians turned against the US and eagerly supported the Mexican Empire, not only rhetorically, but also materially for fairs and associations raised funds for Mexican soldiers, even if the Colombian government refused to allow official volunteers (thousands of Colombians enlisted anyway). Moreover, the war shattered the Colombian conception of the US as a “sister republic”, and instead Colombians, from peones in Cundinamarca farms to merchants in Cartagena and the statesmen of Santafe, started to see it as a direct and imminent threat.

    The war also marked a shift in American opinion. Americans had always focused more on Mexico, and their relations with Colombia were cordial if a little aloof. But with American exceptionalism on the rise, and the popularity of the idea of Manifest Destiny that included a vision of the Americas as the US’ turf, Americans started to form a negative opinion of the Andean nation. Generally, they accused Colombia of being “English lapdogs”, who did the bidding of John Bull. The Oregon Treaty had resulted in greater Anglophobia within the US, and as a result the Americans charged that Colombia was a “pawn in the Great British Game” for defeating them.

    Colombian actions did not calm them. The infamous sinking of the Maryland off the coast of Hispaniola almost caused a war, though we should note that most congressmen actually spoke against the UK, arguing that the incident had been planned by them. In any case, the US ended up simply embargoing Colombia and breaking off diplomatic relations. The fact that the Colombian minister was so hated by the American politicians did not help matter, of course (see below). Bonifaz later managed to patch up relations with the US, but both nations remained antagonistic ever since. Criticism of the US also rose.

    It seems that Colombian aptitudes towards the US went hand in hand with the rise of Colombian liberalism. As liberals pushed for legal equality, universal voting and other reforms, they acquired greater consciousness of racial and social problems elsewhere. The US, naturally, received most of the criticism. Colombians charged that they were “hypocritical man-stealers”, who “held millions in terrible bondage to satisfy their greed”. They used this criticism to elevate themselves, saying that by contrast Colombia “recognized the universal principle of human liberty” and declaring themselves “free of any irrational prejudice.”

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    John Bull, the common representation of the UK.

    Of course, this was but a bare lie. But Colombians could take comfort in the fact that they were at least better than the US when it came to racial relations, and thus ignore their own issues. In fact, in many occasions Colombians used the comparison to the US to deflect criticism at their own social problems. For example, a newspaper from Venezuela chastised a strike of Black laborers by saying that they should feel grateful “that our government recognizes your liberty and rights, whereas other nations uphold slavery as a blessing. To abuse the freedom that our country has given you is treasonable ingratitude.” An Afro-Colombian man from Hispaniola bitterly said that the white elites were always parroting “behave, my Negro children. Mother Colombia knows best. If you don’t, the big bad American will come and enslave you!”

    Colombian criticism, however, was mostly genuine, and it can’t be denied that Colombian minorities had a better lot than American Negroes did. A Black American, a former slave who had emigrated to Colombia, was invited to talk to a meeting celebrating 20 years since the abolition of slavery, and he praised Colombians for being “steadfast and loyal allies of liberty and equality, a people who have manfully stood to proclaim that all men, no matter their color, are truly created equal.” Frederick Douglass was also surprised by the degree of egalitarism and integration he observed, and was gratified by the fact that “Colombians treat me as a man, not as chattel.”

    Liberal politicians also genuinely fought for legal equality, and were known for the respect and dignity they afforded towards minorities. This compared favorably with the anti-slavery men of the US, some of whom were virulently racist and only opposed slavery because it degraded white labor, not because it was morally wrong. Americans observed that even Colombian conservatives treated minorities as people, which is shocking when one takes into account that American conservatives actively denied the basic humanity of African-Americans. Alarcon, for example, despite opposing legal equality completely, had Mestizo and even Indigenous friends, and was sincerely disgusted by slavery, which he categorized as “barbarous”.

    This is not to say that racism did not exist in Colombia, which is something that Colombians now and then like to claim. The same Alarcon considered that Indigenous peoples were “dwarfed imbeciles, who barely know how to grow corn.” Statements like this one shows the ambiguities of Colombian racial aptitudes. The Colombian minister to the US from 1850 to 1852, Oscar Burgos, was frankly disgusted by slavery, which he thought was “a sinful practice, not fit for any civilized people.” Yet, he thought minstrel shows were fine entertainment, and believed in blancamiento as a way to “improve the moral and intellectual attributes of the nation.”

    Even among more progressive men, prejudice was still common. At worst, there were Liberals like Mateo Cevallos (“the most conservative Liberal of the land”), who supported legal equality but doubted that “ignorant Indians and lazy Negroes could leave behind their present stupidity.” But progressives like Noboa or Schwimmer-Hernandez still believed that the economic inequality of minorities was due to their “hate of honest work and earnest effort.” Nonetheless, they always fought for legal equality and tried sincerely to improve the lives of minorities.

    In any case, Americans were right when they accused the Colombians of being hypocrites who didn’t own to their prejudices. Their common counter-argument was that American slaves were protected by “patriarchal and beneficial slavery” while Indians and Pardos suffered terribly. “The evident superiority of the slave system is proved once again,” said a reporter who was appalled by the condition of Black free laborers in Hispaniola, though he played loose with the facts. They also claimed to have a superior democracy, because they did not have requirements for voting or holding office at the Federal level (certain states did place limits, but overall a greater percentage of Americans were enfranchised). They charged that Colombia was nothing but a petty oligarchy under a tight British leash.

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    Frederick Douglass

    Moreover, it seems that Americans started to worry about Colombia as a rival. The Mexican-American war is arguably an American victory; but the truth is, it was also a deep psychological defeat. By shattering the image Americans had of themselves as the undisputed masters of the continent and creating sectional discord, the war had introduced doubt and insecurity into the American psyche. Many Americans started to believe that a shady conspiracy orchestrated by Britain and France was afloat, a conspiracy that would use Mexico and Colombia to destroy them. And although they could not bring themselves to admit it, the Americans were afraid of facing both Latin American nations at the same time. The Colombian diplomatic maneuvers that culminated in the Muñoz-Gomez Treaty of Alliance only increased this worry.

    This helps explain the simply terrible diplomatic relations between Colombia and the US in the 1850’s. Traditionally, Burgos has been blamed for that. The Dominican was very outspoken against slavery, and had a high sense of personal honor. Blunt and rude, he did not endear himself to the Americans, who accused him of being an agitator. When diplomatic relations were finally broken, many Gringos celebrated. This was a great contrast to Manuel Torres, who died in the US while serving as Colombian minister and received a state funeral with military honors and a parade in his honor.

    When relations were normalized and another minister had to be appointed, Bonifaz recommended a “man of moderation” who would not inflame the Americans by speaking against slavery. Bitter recriminations followed, as Senators vowed to “never submit to the demands of slave traders.” Bonifaz’s choice was ultimately approved, but this did not augur well for future relations.

    The next point of contention concerned the island of Hispaniola. Southerners did not focus on it as much as they did on Cuba, but they sometimes included it in their plans for Manifest Destiny. When a New Orleans newspaper made its infamous declaration that their destiny was to rule “over the islands of Cuba, Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico”, Colombians raised a hue and cry. A Hispaniola congressman even went as far as declaring it “an act of war.” A bizarre incident took place when some Americans asserted that colonization of Black Americans in the island would be beneficial because they could bring “American culture and thrift to a desolate area.” Outraged Colombians then argued loudly that their “Negroes are of superior intellect, and are endowed of the responsibility and morality that only free education and labor can give.” When news came that the American filibusterer William Walker had invaded Nicaragua, the Colombians cried that the “Americas are plotting our destruction and subjugation. They mean to enslave us.

    Cuba remained at the forefront. Many Colombians, especially young men, dreaming of “finishing the work of Bolivar” by liberating this last vestige of Spanish oppression. In general, Colombian ambitions grew just like their nationalism and exceptionalism did. By 1860, a diarist said that “the names of Miranda, Santander and Bolivar are sacred” and that every child “knows every heroic moment of the history of the nation, and can recite our laws as easily as the Lord’s Prayer.” Events like Jose Antonio Paez cry of “¡vuelvan caras!” in his battle against Boves; Colonel Rondon being tasked with “saving the fatherland” by Bolivar; or Marshal Sucre’s charge at Tarqui were engraved in the national memory. As a result, Colombians started to see themselves as liberators with a “national mission”, a duty to liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico from the evils of Spanish government and “welcome them into our Republic in condition of equality and dignity.” Some Colombians who opposed imperialism were able to conciliate this by believing that they would be actually performing a “service in favor of humanity.”

    [​IMG]
    Many young Colombians wanted to emulate their glorious forefathers by dying for the cause of liberty.

    This exceptionalism saw Colombia as a unique nation that “appears to have been destined by the author of nature as the centre and empire of the human family.” Believing that Colombia ought by right to “control the Caribbean as fully as the Maracaibo lake”, Colombians set forth in an agenda of imperialism over the Caribbean and other South American countries, which naturally made them clash with the Americans, who had an exceptionalism of their own. Though Colombia was to embroiled in domestic disputes to fully act towards the late 1850’s, the start of a revolution in Cuba and Civil War in the United States in the next decade gave them an opportunity that they could not throw away, and their actions would have great repercussions in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 3:12 PM
  11. Galahad Well-Known Member

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    Wait. So there's going to be a Columbian-American War and then years later, the Civil War is going to start in the US. In the 1870s, nonetheless.
     
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  12. Israel_Dan the Man Well-Known Member

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    Well, in 1870 Gran Columbia has about 20 million people, so they can certainly hold their own against the US.
     
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  13. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    Nicaragua? Wait doesn’t Colombia control the Caribbean coast? How does one American filibuster get to Nicaragua like that? The American Pacific is barely settled.
     
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  14. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    I cant wait until the Alternate 10 years war breaks out in Cuba and pours kerosene on everything.
     
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  15. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    They've a small coastal strip is just right there with British Honduras.... https://i.imgur.com/3mI8PCx.png
     
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  16. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    I hardly see why the British would just let this happen under their watch.
     
  17. DanMcCollum P-WI

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    This exceptionalism saw Colombia as a unique nation that “appears to have been destined by the author of nature as the centre and empire of the human family.”

    Lol, was this a case of breaking the 4th Wall? :p

    Seriously, im adoring this timeline so far, and I'm glad that I picked it up! So, I know you've mentioned that the US Civil War is more of a 'traditional' civil war in that there will be two competing groups each claiming to be the legit government of the United States - I'm kind of excited to see this conflict, though ibsuspect it will be much more muddled and nasty than even OTL's war.

    Odd question: since the US war is gonna get nasty and it may take some years to recover, will we see much of the Eastern and Southern Eurooean immigration that went to the US in OTL go to Columbia instead?

    Also, how is the Church reacting to the immigrants in Columbia? Has it adopted the ethnic parish model that we saw in the US during this time?
     
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  18. Red_Galiray En un pueblito al sur de Estados Unidos.

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    Damn, that was a typo! I meant the end of the 1850's. If there's a Colombo-American War, it will happen after the US civil war, which will take place in the early 1860's at the latest. In fact, it's possible for it to start earlier.

    Taking into account that such a war would be land based, and that the US' last amphibious operations was Veracruz... yeah, the Colombians can certainly fight them off.

    That's the problem. They need to pass through Colombian territory to reach Nicaragua. You can imagine that that didn't amuse the Colombians at all.

    It will not be pretty... I can't wait either!

    Nivek is right. Thanks!

    If you meant why the British would allow the Colombians to have the coast, it's because the Mosquito Coast was a money sink that caused constant conflict because Mexico, the US, Colombia and France all want to control poor Central America, which also wanted independence. By giving it back to Colombia (which claimed it for a long time), Britain secured its alliance with Colombia, a needed move taking into account the Franco-Mexican alliance and American hostility. It also assured that if the US attacks Central America, Colombia will be brought in in Britain's side. And finally, Britain isn't as focused in Central America as in OTL, because public enemy number 1, France, is bigger, stronger and has greater influence in Europe and Asia.

    If you meant why the British would allow Walker to attack Central America, well, the little enterprise doesn't amuse them either, and there will be consequences.

    Thank you! And yeah, it'll probably be messier.

    Latin America as a whole has siphoned a lot of immigrants who would have otherwise gone to the US. The majority of Irish went to Colombia, for example, because nativism is much stronger and much nastier. I think that Southern Italians will still pick La Plata (Argentina), but Eastern Europeans may go to Colombia. It's worth noting that since the 1850 revolutions were more or less successful, many Germans and other revolutions who fled to the US remained in Europe.

    Immigrants as a whole are encouraged or pressured to assimilate into Colombia through marriage with native Colombians or simply adopting the customs. Most settle in cities or buy homesteads near communities that already exist, so ethnic enclaves are not common. The Church receives Catholic immigrants like Spaniards, Italians or Irishmen gladly, but they oppose Protestant immigration as something that weakens the moral of the nation. However, the great majority of European immigrants are Catholic, and Protestants settled mainly in Venezuela, where the Church is weaker. Catholics generally integrate into the wider society instead of forming small communities of their own, and as a result they are assimilated into larger parishes of native Colombians rather than have their own ethnic parishes.

    It's more complicated when it comes to non-European immigration. Levant Christians are mostly Orthodox, and they don't find a good welcome in the Catholic areas of Central and Southern Colombia, and as a result of federal religious laws, they have to express their faith in secret lest it be considered a "disturbance of the public safety". In general, they are strongly encouraged to convert to Catholicism, and although technically the government can't prosecute people for being of a different religion, being the right kind of Christian is necessary if you want to progress socially or economically. The same happens to the small number of Jews who've come to Colombia. The experiences of Indians and Chinese are different, because they've been far more receptible to converting to Catholicism. Since they are likely to work as laborers in city and partage in mestizaje, most have become Catholic by the second generations. If they're segregated from the rest, it's not because of their ethnicity but rather their poverty.
     
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  19. Tursiops Amicus Well-Known Member

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    That means that US in TTL will have much less population than OTL, at least in XX century when population growth decreases.
     
  20. Nivek Resident Videogame Expert

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    Bigger Mexico and Colombia means that too, and as a lot of Mexicans and Dominicans will not be going north later on, other thing is much of modern US Population growth come from inmigrants and teen pregnacies, the former is changed, the later...
     
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