Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Alt History Buff, Jan 8, 2018.
Much appreciated. I've enjoyed writing this one.
Map of America - 1903
President George Hohenzollern would spend the five months prior to his swearing-in avidly following the deteriorating situation in Europe. He was amused that some of the Provincial Party continued to speculate in their partisan papers that the President-elect would immediately declare war on behalf of the Kingdom of Germany....or occasionally on behalf of the Empire of Germany depending on which side they decided was in their best interests to position their political rival. And, of course, he would constantly be derided in the Provincial Press for his aristocratic origins.
However, by 1903, he had been sworn in to an office which bore a term limit. Elections no longer meant much and the indirect result of the Presidential term limit would reduce many attacks on Hohenzollern's background. And, given that it hadn't done much for William Jennings Bryan, the Provincials would focus elsewhere in their opposition. Fortunately for Hohenzollern, he would benefit from two consecutive promising Congressional elections which put his party in control over the Legislature.
In regards to the Asian situation, he would work closely with the incoming Secretary of State, Theodore Roosevelt, perhaps the most aggressive personality he'd ever encountered. As Hohenzollern had spent his life in the Army, this was saying something. He could easily see how the man had gained ascendancy over the previous President despite not even being part of Bland's party. Hohenzollern was intent not to allow this but was equally sure that the battle would be exhausting. He ordered Roosevelt to prepare weekly briefs on all Foreign issues and, in the guise of "supporting" his Secretary of State, would guarantee an hour every week to discuss the matters. Previous Secretary of States, particularly in peacetime, often had a far greater leash but Hohenzollern was intent on keeping the man under control.
Roosevelt initially welcomed this private time as he saw that it was a chance to exert his will over the new President. Soon, however, he realized it was Hohenzollern's mechanism to maintaining his own control. The President was concerned about Roosevelt's ambitions, particularly in the Pacific and with some border disputes in South America.
As the winter turned to spring, the war in Saxony slowly heated up. The early slog through the mud would accomplish nothing for either side.
Throughout the winter, the rest of Europe would grow increasingly nervous about the violence spreading over into their borders. France and her western allies (Ireland, Britain, Flanders, the Dutch Republic, Burgundy, the Rhineland) had formed the League of Armed Neutrality the previous year and offers of membership to Russia, Scandinavia and America had been politely declined...with the potential to revisit the idea as events proceeded. Given that the battle between the Germans would not spread over into the sealanes, these other nations would not see the point of getting involved...with the exception of Russia.
For over a century, the Russians had attempted to maintain a certain distance from European affairs. As it happened, events like the collapse of the Habsburg Empire would benefit Russian greatly. Even the unification of Scandinavia under one crown or the formation of an effective central government in Poland, having been feared as threatening to Russia at one point, actually proved to be to her benefit. Relations remained strong as both Poland and Scandinavia had far more to fear from Russia than Russia did from them.
When the King of Poland's petitions to Russia to help "restore peace" in Europe, it was unlikely that the Pole expected any real help.
Surprisingly, the Czar would receive the emissary with sympathy. The Czar would take the lead in "requesting" an armistice between the warring factions. To his irritation, he was ignored. Immediately, the Czar would summon the Ambassadors from Poland, Britain and France. If the damned Germans couldn't be civilized, then the rest of Europe would take measures to put an end to this.
German Assistant Foreign Secretary Winston Churchill was livid. He'd been dispatched to Poland as the ridiculous threats by the King of Poland's emissaries reached Berlin. Churchill could not believe that the Poles, after their dismal performance in the last war, would dare get involved again with the Kingdom of Germany. Upon arrival, he was shocked at the sight of Russian troops disembarking upon the same train platforms as the German Emissary. If the Poles and Russians wanted to make a point, they had made it. By the end of summer 1903, a hundred and fifty thousand Russian and Polish troops had stumbled towards the largely undefended border of Brandenburg.
Hamburg, Kingdom of Prussia
Russian and Gallic ships arrived off the coast of northern Germany and promptly blockaded the port of Hamburg, through which most of Germany's trade flowed. No shots were fired but no ships were allowed through. Had Churchill remained in his previous post of Ambassador to Great Britain, he would have realized that Britain was no more interested in German unification either. Britain would quietly support this blockade partially due to the ties of the current German monarchy to the old British Royal Family. Churchill's ham-fisted bullying of the British government hadn't helped gain one iota of sympathy for the Kingdom of Germany.
Within weeks, international trade collapsed as the Kingdom of Prussia was cut off on all sides from the rest of the world.
The German Confederation
Though the Gallic monarchy was dedicated to democracy (as would all of the western European countries), the nation was getting increasingly concerned about Pan-German Nationalist sentiment in the petty states of the German Confederation, most of whom thought as little of democracy as the Kingdom of Germany and the Empire of Germany (or the Kingdom of Saxony for that matter). Why would the peasants of Waldeck or Hesse or Lippe show any support for their incompetent and authoritarian Princes when a unified (mostly Protestant) Kingdom of Germany at least offered the chance for glory (if not democracy)?
Being part of a greater power was at least one benefit of unification with the Kingdom of Germany. Gaul was unwilling to allow this and moved forces into several key Confederation states. On the surface, this was intended to "guarantee the sovereignty" of several of the petty princes whom had been forced to put down rebellions. However, the Gallic and Burgundian and Rhinish troops would also serve as a warning to the Kingdom of Prussia that this expansionism was offending all of Europe.
By fall of 1903, over 40,000 Gallic (and allied) troops were in place along the western border of the Kingdom of Prussia, sending a dangerous message. While in place, the sovereigns of these regions would find that they had invited in an occupying army...which immediately began dictating terms of a peace between the potentates and their restive peasant populations. Waldeck, whose Prince was a weak and pliable fool, would be the first to pronounce a new constitution placing power in the hands of the people. Neighboring Principalities would be horrified. Even those whom did not bear any Gallic forces on their soil would face immediate insurrections by suddenly emboldened democratic elements.
The face of Greater Germany was being rewritten.
For nearly two years, the armies of the Kingdom of Germany and Empire of Germany charged back and forth before the city of Dresden, the new automatic rifles, upgraded "Maxims" machine guns (named after the Penobscot-born American inventor, Hiram Maxim) produced in New York and Krupp cannons (purchased from allies in the German Confederation) doing terribly damage to human bodies. By fall, over 250,000 men had fallen in combat, an inconceivable number compared to previous wars on the Continent.
Both Kingdom and Empire were exhausted as was Saxony.
Initially, the Emperor in Austria would hope that the rest of Europe was arriving to ally with him and crush the Hohenzollerns of the north. However, most of Europe desired something of a status quo, thus ensuring that a new, vastly powerful German state did not come into being.
Increasing calls of an armistice would be made from all quarters of Europe.
Alois Heitler had left home at age 14 after years of abuse by his loathsome father (whom was now on his third wife). By 1898, the sixteen year old had landed in Ireland with the aid of friends and managed to secure a position as an apprentice waiter. It was here that the less than talented man managed to strike gold in the name of an orphaned Irish petty heiress (I.e. landowner) whom was under the thumb of her grandfather. Now twenty-one in 1903, both Alois and Matilda were married after it was discovered the slumming woman got pregnant by her penniless Austrian lover. Alois was not a brilliant man and was easily controlled by his wife (whom had learned enough to control their finances).
Presently, Heitler learned that his father's two sons by his third wife were desperate to get out from under him as well. The fourteen year old Adolf and nine year old Edmund both hated and feared Alois Heitler Sr. and Adolf wrote to his brother begging him to send for them. In a rage, the elder man actually agreed to it as he'd given up on Adolf and didn't hold out much hope for Edmund either.
Matilda Heitler was actually looking for some labor on her property (as the endless emigration from Ireland had raised the price of labor) and realized that two young boys would do a great deal of work if properly motivated. Her hopes would be dashed as the stubborn Adolf was as disinterested in agriculture as he was in following his father's footsteps into the petty bureaucracy. He would stalwartly refuse to do much of anything on her property and, in exasperation, would eventually allow (and pay for) the boy to attend the local Dublin School of the Arts just to get rid of him when he turned seventeen.
Adolf would prove an apt pupil and learned English quickly as well as some math and science. No longer under his father's rule, he enjoyed his studies a great deal even when they did not relate directly to art. For years, Adolf had rebelled against his father by deliberately doing poorly in school in hopes that Alois Sr. would allow him to drop out of the technical school intended to train him as a bureaucrat like his father and pursue his dream as an artist. The death of his mother had broken any real ties to his father and the young Adolf jumped at the opportunity to study in Dublin. He would graduate and spend his early twenties on the streets of Dublin, painting cityscapes and selling them for pennies to tourists.
Fortunately for Matilda, young Edmund would prove more than capable of handling the stable duties and would eventually become a noted jockey on the local racing circuit. Indeed, "Heitler Stables", as the plantation become known as it grew to prominence over the coming years, would become famous in eastern Ireland for the quality of horses raised. Of course, it would be Edmund whom actually did all the work as Alois Jr. accomplished little in his life beyond getting the right woman pregnant. Rumor had it that Matilda's last few children born in her late thirties may have been sired by her much, much younger brother-in-law.
Well, that is an interesting choice for an ATL Hitler....
His brother Alois did take a job in Ireland in OTL. He was eventually arrested for petty theft in 1901 and would later return to Germany (only to knock up an Irish woman in Berlin).
In this scenario, I just found Alois an Irish heiress to knock up. From there, it is not a stretch that he would get his half-brothers out of under the thumb of their unpleasant father in Alois Sr.
President George Hohenzollern loathed being President. He had been warned prior to accepting the Centralist nomination but had ignored these well-intentioned people. For decades, he'd watched incompetent politicians run the country and, like most Americans, assumed he could do a better job.
It turned out the job was pretty damned hard and, for once, Hohenzollern felt sympathy for his predecessors.
Dealing with Congress was tiresome. Dealing with the public was exasperating. Hell, dealing with his cabinet was nightmarish.
He cursed his own arrogance which put him in this damned situation. He should never have agreed to run for office. Now he had to deal with annoyances great and small. In the army, he gave orders to those below him and took them from above. That was simple. Now he had to negotiate with hundreds of Congressmen, barter with foreign nations and pander to a fickle electorate.
Over the past months, Hohenzollern had been forced to deal with mundane issues like formally renaming the Moskito Coast as "Costa Caribia". Exactly why this was necessary, he didn't understand. Like Assinisboia, Vancouver and the San Juan Islands, California, Costa Rica and the Leeward Islands, it seemed unlikely that Costa Caribia would achieve province-hood anytime soon due to low population and low levels of development.
Similarly, the islands of Margherita, Trinidad and Tobago would be renamed the "Paria Islands" after the nearby Gulf of Paria. OK, the President didn't give much of a damn about that.
More importantly, the territories of Amazonia, Llanos and Guyana had finally reached the necessary levels of population and development to demand Provincehood. Rubber was the major source of wealth while lesser crops and industries (like coca, chocolate, sugar, timber, fishing, cattle, oil, etc) would help create a more diverse economy.
Hohenzollern was happy to welcome these peoples to their new status. Large-scale immigration to labor in the rubber plantations and other industries would make this an equally diverse region. There was a large Portuguese population, mainly from the remnants of the old Brazil. But Italians, Spanish (mostly from the American Main), Germans, Irish, British, Russians, Aztlanis, Andeans, Ethiopians, Lebanese, Copts, etc would arrive in great numbers and help dilute the overwhelming Spanish and Portuguese influence and eventually allow the "American" (meaning English) culture would dominate more so than along the American Main.
While dealing with renaming and reclassifying Territories, the President received a request from various European nations to help mediate a peace in Germany. Finding nothing in American more interesting, President Hohenzollern would agree.
Map of North America - 1904
President Hohenzollern would be somewhat out of his element in the peace negotiations at the Hague. As a "disinterested party", he had been acceptable to both the Kingdom of Germany and Empire of Germany. The Manhattanite would find this odd as, had history been a bit different, his great, great grandfather would have been King of Prussia. Of course, George Frederick Hohenzollern himself probably would not have been eligible for the throne as his ancestors since Prince Fritz had married commoners and Salic Law still mattered more in the Kingdom of Germany than most locations. At best, George Frederick was just a pretender, so irrelevant to the European scene that half of Germany didn't even acknowledge him as party of the Hohenzollern family.
For the most part, the peace negotiations were a bit of a farce. The Kingdom of Germany had been bogged down in Saxony by the Habsburgs while Russia, Poland and France massed troops at their undefended borders. The coastline of the Kingdom was now under blockade by the French with the tacit support of the League of Armed Neutrality.
It was time to end this nonsense and all of Europe knew it. The obvious solution was a Hohenzollern retreat from Saxony with a peace at the status quo ante bellum. That was what everyone in Europe assumed to be the only logical outcome. There was some talk of reparations but the American President saw no point in humiliating the Protestant German power in such a way. Far better to just make peace and get back to life.
What he was not prepared for was the bombastic personality of the odd northern delegate, Winston Churchill. Churchill was a scion of the aristocratic exodus from Britain after the Revolution more than a century prior. Bitter at the loss of his ancestral home, the Germanized-Briton (whose ancestors tended to marry other British expatriots and, in his father's case, an American heiress) had become a radical monarchist and anti-Catholic.
More importantly, he was an avowed advocate of expansionary war by the Kingdom of Germany, his vitriol so toxic that he even openly spoke of invading the German Confederation just as his sovereign had invaded Saxony. This was the worst man possible to participate in a peace conference. When the senior diplomat fell ill, Churchill became the unlikely leader of the north German delegation and he would take advantage of the platform.
"We shall defend our lands! We shall fight in the streets, in the hills, in the farmsteads! We shall never surrender!"
This latest outburst was in reply to a waiter whom inquired if he wanted another glass of wine. By the end of the first week, even his fellow Kingdom of Germany representatives were mortified...and terrified that the man was blowing the opportunity for an easy peace. Churchill insulted the Habsburg delegates so badly that they walked out of the conference...effectively leaving the prospect of peace dead in their wake. Churchill happily returned to Berlin as if he'd won something.
The rest of Europe was aghast. The Kingdom of Germany was walking away from an easy peace which would leave their borders intact. Very few would feel sympathy for the House of Hohenzollern, including their American cousin whom had departed the peace table in the Hague in abject disgust. George Frederick Hohenzollern had staked his own reputation upon the German peace and now had his efforts slapped away.
As it would happen, the war did not recommence in the spring. Instead, the stubborn Germans would remain in their trenches with only the occasional probe back and forth to break the monotony. With Russian, Polish and French troops upon their other borders, the Kingdom of Germany could not attack further southward. The Empire of Germany would not be capable of attacking northwards.
Isolated and now landlocked, both nations glared upon one another across the battle lines. Almost unprecedented in their numbers, the vast armies of the Germans would dwarf the previous wars in terms of percentage of men in arms. All of Europe looked on in shock at the spectacle of over a million men in arms under the banner of what was considered two secondary powers at best. Even Russia, vastly more populous, had never placed so many men in uniform. Even the vast revolutionary armies of France and Britain had never come close with 15% of the nation, most able-bodied males between 20 and 40, donning uniforms at the same moment.
When President Hohenzollern returned back to America, he received little of the mockery he expected. Most respected him for attempting to end the carnage and for his even-handed negotiation. Most blamed the loudmouth young Assistant Foreign Minister, Winston Churchill.
The same thing struck the President in terms of the military situation as struck all other informed observers. He was shocked SO VERY MANY of the Germans had been mobilized at once. Most former wars seldom saw more than 5% of the population directly involved in the war, often the numbers were even less. During the War for American Independence, probably no more than 2% were in arms at any given moment.
Hohenzollern came to realize the America's procedures for raising troops were archaic to say the least. Hohenzollern would command the war department to prepare a brief to reorganize the reserves into a central forces as well as propose a procedure for a draft...though, of course, any draft must be approved by Congress and even Hohenzollern dared not do so in peacetime. He was more interested in the army KNOWING HOW to raise the men, not actually doing so. Much of the work had been done by the efficient Germans in producing a working model.
Hohenzollern hoped that the procedure would remain theoretical as he did not see any future eventuality of America requiring such a measure. There were no neighbors to threaten the nation. It seemed unlikely that Gallic Quebec, Zacatecas or Aztlan would challenge America's power. And any war involving an island campaign, like a battle with China over Nippon or with Spain over Cuba, would hardly require millions of soldiers.
He certainly could not imagine sending American forces to Europe or Asia in large numbers. Why would he?
No, America's dominant position in North America and powerful perch in South America ensured no sane neighbor could challenge them in the future. Beyond that was hardly America's business.
Hohenzollern, discouraged by his failure in Europe, would return to business. He was happy to see the new Congressmen from Amazonia, Guyana and Llanos seated though the other territories seemed unlikely to meet the standards of population and development demanded for Provincial status any time soon. The most interesting thing going on in the territories was the eternal feud between Chilcotin and Oregon over who, if anyone, gets to annex Vancouver and the San Juan Islands. Like most Presidents before him, Hohenzollern was happy to let the situation roll along without taking sides. For the moment, the population of the Territory was not adequate for Provincial status but the people of Vancouver and the San Juan Islands repeated voted to remain independent as a Territory rather than join one of the neighboring Provinces. The general logic was that the additional Congressional seat probably would not be won by a denizen of the islands but a "mainlander" from whichever Province annexed it. Thus, as Vancouver would not have its own Congressman anyways, why bother merging?
It would be decades before Vancouver and the San Juan Islands reached Provincial status on its own and, until then, the neighboring Provinces would continue to agitate for annexation much to the annoyances of the "Island men".
Other territories would also agitate but fail to reach Provincehood for one reason or another. The Leeward Islands, the Paria Islands, Assiniboia and California lacked the population. Costa Caribia and Costa Rica lacked the infrastructure development.
The miserably hot days of summer would lead to some dismal months in Manhattan for the President. Most of Congress had fled the capital for the summer session, often returning to their home provinces. President Hohenzollern would often visit his home in Georgetown, New Jersey and his family homestead in New York along the Hudson River.
The spring session of Congress had been wasted, in his mind, on petty issues like evicting Chinese from America (not that there were many left) and deciding upon new names for the newly acquired Asian territories.
The islands would be formally go by their ancient Nipponese names:
1. Hokkaido would become the territory of Hokkaido.
2. The larger island to the North would not go by the Chinese name of Kuye or the Russian name of Sakhalin. Instead, the name Karafuto territory would be utilized in official American parlance.
3. The Kuril Islands would become the territory of the Chishima Islands.
4. The Kamchatka Peninsula would become the territory of Kamchatka. North and west of Kamchatka would be four new territories: Kolyma, Shelikhov, Beringia, and Okhotsk.
Naturally, any Chinese names tended to be erased and Nipponese and Russian place names preferred.
Hohenzollern would look at a map and wonder just how the hell America expected to hold onto these territories. Last time he checked, about a quarter of a billion Chinese (or some god awful number) were adjacent. Only the fact that China didn't value these regions allowed the Emperor to walk away. If Hohenzollern encouraged or even allowed American migration to these areas, what would be the inevitable result? 10 or 20 or 50 or 100 years down the road, the Chinese could simply march north and damned if Hohenzollern could think of a way America could stop them. This was perhaps the most idiotic decision America could have made. It ensured China was a perpetual enemy, added huge expense for a forlorn hope of hanging onto it in war and probably wouldn't bring in any form of real revenues.
Damn Theodore Roosevelt for pushing this through. Damn Hohenzollern for conceding the Secretary of State office to such a man. The President was certain America would regret giving that damned cowboy such authority.
View attachment 442332
Map of "American Siberia" - 1904
View attachment 442323
Map of World - 1904
And now I know, why you selected pink for UAP
The world needs to be painted pink!
Despite the continued belligerency of the secondary powers in the middle of Europe, there had been little actual violence since the previous year's campaign. The Kingdom of Germany dared not launch another general assault, not with the Polish, Russian and French troops menacing her borders. Only stubborn pride forced the House of Hohenzollern to accept the inevitable: an armistice sure to result in a retreat from Saxony.
By the winter of 1804/5, the economic collapse of all three nations was virtually complete. The rest of Europe was reaching a point of...exasperation.
War in the middle of Europe disrupted the increasingly vital intra-continental transport network of rail, road, river and canal. East and west, for all intents and purposes, were cut off. People were annoyed. Yet the "allies" of France, Poland and Russia were hardly politically united enough to agree to a joint invasion of the Kingdom of Germany. The threat seemed adequate. But the stubborn Germans continued to insist on annexing at least the portion of Saxony they'd occupied.
Isolated, the situation deteriorated to the point that it was merely a matter of which side would collapse first.
The answer would be known by spring as hunger spread throughout Germany.
By the winter of 1904/05, the Spanish Bourbon control over Tuscany became accomplished fact. Despite the Spanish Bourbon claim through the "rightful heiress" of Tuscany, there was to be no separation politically from the rest of peninsular Italy. Arguably for the first time since the fall of the Roman Empire 1400 years prior, the Italians were united under the same monarch.
The past decades had been a heady time for the Italians. Most of the old feudal customs had been abolished. Italians had freedom of movement, freedom of occupation and the worst of the old draconian legal system had been abolished. Actual attempts were made by the government to modernize industry, not just for the monarchs but intended to provide employment and a better quality of life for the common man. That many of these attempts failed dismally did not detract from the effort.
Infrastructure was built, though some regions, like the south, would find the construction of roads and railways difficult through the mountainous lands and progress was slow.
One area which little progress was made was towards democracy. The King of Spain and his heir ruling Italy (with the Princess of Tuscany) would see no point in this "Protestant ritual" and steadfastly refuse to hand over power to the mob. The "Latin" house of Bourbon was not the spendthrift and incompetent rulers of the past. Instead, they redoubled their efforts towards industrialization.
Like much of Europe, the monarchy of Spain, Portugal and Italy would refuse to relinquish power firmly and honestly believing that the King knew best. Resentment percolated and mixed with the newfound Italian nationalism, a concept which had not existed in countless generations.
Often frustrated by lack of economic opportunity and suppression of democratic feeling, large numbers of Italians (again, the idea of "Italian" was a new concept) would sail west with Sicilians, Sardinians, Corsicans, Spanish and Portuguese to America. Given the Bourbon monarchy's less than ideal relations with much of their former Empire, most emigration was forbidden to these regions. This made travel there more difficult as it added additional expensive stops. Most Italians would opt for the vast and vibrant nation of America.
As an uncommonly large percentage of these migrants were men relative to other European migrants, many never intended to settle America for the long term. They wanted to make some money and return to Italy. Over 30% would eventually return to the mother country, though many more EXPECTED to return but did not do so for various reason ranging from unexpected wealth keeping them in America, failure to make enough for a return trip, making just enough to live but not enough to retire on in Italy or, in some cases, finding new wives in America...when they already had wives waiting in Italy.
The latter became "White Widows" meaning their husbands were not dead but the poor Italian women could not in good conscience marry again. Hundreds of thousands of women were abandoned while their husbands lived new lives in America.
Throughout the 1890's and first five years of the 20th century, there were more Italian immigrants than any other group including British, Irish, French, German and Russian.
By the latter half of the decade, the Germans and Russians slowly overtook the Italians and formed huge communities in the eastern cities of America and in small towns throughout the hinterlands.
The lands of Manicheistan in southeast Asia were perched between those of the Muslim Bengalis and the Buddhist Burmese. Nervous as to the potential aggression of their neighbors, the followers of Mani would dispatch delegations to their only possible supporter, the Emperor of China. Manicheistan (an exonym from the Maratha Empire) was a poor land with harsh geography. The modernizing armies of the Maratha Empire, Bengal, Burma, Siam, etc would easily defeat any Manichean resistance, leaving only the difficult terrain to defend them.
An alliance with China seemed the only answer. The current Emperor purported to support the religion of Mani and this made him their natural protector. By 1905, Manicheistan was an effective protectorate of China, joining Tibet, the Joseon Kingdom and others as a vassal state.
This was a titanic shift in power in the local politics as it brought China directly into the Indian Ocean where it could challenge the Maratha Empire, Russia, Bengal, the United American Provinces and others. Many of these powers already saw China's aggression in Nippon as a sign of things to come. Now it was feared that China would extend its influence over the Viets, Hmong, Siamese, Lao, Khmer, Khmu and Burmese as well, maybe even extending towards the Philippines and the East Indies.
The Maratha Empire, already concerned with the rapid advancement of the Chinese in naval technology, would seek an "understanding" with both the Americans and Russians to ensure that the Indian Ocean would remain "free", meaning free of Chinese domination. In the short term, this was threat was overstated as the Manicheistan coast was hardly riddled with ports suitable to base large fleets and Beijing had no intention of any immediate aggression in the area anyway.
But the fear persisted and grew over the years to come, often evolving into paranoia.
By spring of 1905, the whole of Europe was getting sick of the stubborn German vendetta. Trade between east and west had been severely constrained due situation in Central Europe. However, the Hohenzollern King of Germany refused to make peace with the Habsburg south. While neither side had made much in the way of offensive operations in many months, the stubborn rulers refused to make peace. By 1905, even the House of Hohenzollern had lost any sympathy throughout Europe.
Both parties had become quite isolated and trade had fallen to near nil. Naturally, the economies of both the Kingdom and the Empire of Germany collapsed in short order. It was only a matter which side would blink first. Naturally, it was not the King or the Emperor whom snapped...but the soldiers themselves. A mass mutiny arose among the unpaid Hohenzollern soldiers in northern Saxony whom had been forced to shiver in the trenches for two years. The harsh winter of 1905 had killed thousands of men. Hungry, freezing and outraged, the army rose up in mutiny and over 80,000 men marched northwards towards Berlin.
Delighted with their apparent fortune, the Generals of the Empire of Germany ordered their forces to surge through the breaks in the enemy line. However, the Austrians, Bavarians, Swabians, etc had had quite enough as well. Several high-ranking officers were murdered by their own men and the Hohenzollerns began to realize that their own position was threatened. The Imperial Armies remained stationary.
Witnessing so many of his own forces marching unopposed towards his capital and staring nervously across the border of Poland and the German Confederation towards the Russian, Polish and French armies gazing angrily at his nation, the King of German would opt for discretion and order his army to make a "fighting withdrawal" in hopes of preventing a total coup.
President George Frederick Hohenzollern would receive the summons back to Europe in May in hopes that he may reinvigorate the peace process. Hohenzollern seriously considered rejecting the entreaty after his previous attempt failed under the hostility of both Germanies. But, in the end, he was talked into the attempt by his wife whom justified than any effort towards peace, even a failed one, was worthwhile.
In the meantime, America had its own problems as a series of rail disasters, including one or two due to overworked engineers, would lead to a massive railroad strike that halted over half of the nation's internal transport. The laborers of a half dozen major railroads would unite into a new rail workers union to protest low wages, long hours and dangerous conditions.
The American Labor Act allowed unions to form and protected them from intimidation...but also ensured that the government may intervene should the effect of a labor and management conflict threaten the public good. The President demanded that leaders of both sides submit themselves to arbitration immediately with unspoken threat that the government may take over the railroads itself should a settlement not be reached. Both the owners and the laborers did not desire this one bit. Obviously the profits would be lost for the stockholders while the laborers may lose their jobs to the army (as it was implied).
Hohenzollern himself considered being the arbiter but he had already committed to his work in Europe. He may have preferred the competent Taft but that man was in Asia "advising" the Emperor of Nippon to rebuilt his nation in the modern ideal. That left...the President sighed....Roosevelt.
The Secretary of State felt slighted that the President was invited by the European leaders rather than himself and considered the offer of negotiating with railroads and the union a waste of his abilities. But there was still hope with the negotiations. Roosevelt was a strong personality and would not be pushed around. However, he was soon to be challenged by equally powerful personalities. Both were odd choices to represent the ownership and labor unions of the railroads.
Jose Doroteo Arango Arambula was a Navarran-born Latin peasant whom rallied poor miners into a union in his home province and then was hired by the Railman's Union to negotiate in the west. Only twenty-eight, he bore scars from battles with hired goons. Cornelius Vanderbilt was the inheritor of huge quantities of railroad stock and had become famous for his philanthropy but retained a reputation as a tough opponent in his attempts to expand his own family companies.
Roosevelt would have his work cut out for him.
Aranga in 1911
Map of North America - 1905
View attachment 443856
After weeks of negotiation, the assorted powers bowed to the inevitable and agreed to peace at the status quo ante bellum. As the rest of Europe demanded this, both nations facing potential coups and economic collapse. Eventually, both the Kingdom of Germany and Empire of Germany would agree to retreat from Saxony and allow the King of Saxony to regain control over his nation. This face-saving compromise allowed the Hohenzollerns and Habsburgs to return to their capitals in hopes of saving their thrones (like the Saxon King). More importantly, the peace prevented a foreign occupation of Germany which may have fostered a democratic element (assuming France and Poland would partake in the occupation). Thus, very few reforms were enacted in the next few years, putting off social discontent for the time being.
President Hohenzollern would receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
The Paria Islands
Having reached a population of 150,000 (the new requirement for reaching Provincehood), the Paria Islands (Trinidad, Margarita and Tobago) would seek Provincial Status in 1905 with the intent of joining the brotherhood of Provinces by the following year's election.
Only later would the majority of the island residents learn that "Paria" meant something quite different in the Maratha Empire though Hindus were rather light on the ground in the west.
Congressman Francisco Madero of Extremadura, a political independent courted by both parties before joining the Provincials, would formally submit the bill granting the Paria Islands representation in Congress.
Though Cuba and Puerto Rico remained much more inclined to radical democratic movement than other areas of the Latin Bourbon Empire, this did not mean it was particularly strong. With the 19th century Bourbon reforms, Cuba quietly prospered as trade barriers fell, immigration resumed and the economy improved. Perhaps more important to keeping the peace in the islands was the fact that the King graciously agreed to grant positions in the somewhat farcical Spanish Parliament to locals. No longer "colonies", Cuba, Puerto Rico and the smaller Spanish West Indies would have a say in the entire Empire.
The election of 1905 in Aztlan would go to the young Pino Suarez, whom vowed to follow the path of Benito Juarez and Vincente Guerrero and support democracy. In recent years, the slow pace of economic growth had threatened the young nation. Only the near dissolution of the Atzlan Army had kept would-be generalisimos from seizing power. Some questioned Suarez' right to the Presidency as he was actually born in the Mayan Republic (though his family migrated when he was a young child). Still, no law prescribed that only a native born man was eligible from the top office and the election was considered clean by all.
Seeing the military as a threat to the nation, Suarez would take the next step and virtually dismantle the remnant of the army leaving only a few thousands cavalry and artillery forces within the nation. By 1910, the Aztlan Navy would bear five times the manpower as the army. Local police, rigorously controlled by the central government and Congress, would be left to protect Aztlan from forces without and within.
There’s a typo in the post it supposed to be 1910 not 1810.
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