Plausibility Check of Timeline-191 (aka Southern Victory)

Many of us know Harry Turtledove very well including his 11 novel series Southern Victory or Timeline-191, it's been the subject of various discussions and fanmade creations such as TL-191: Filling the Gaps, TL-191: After the End and Photos from Featherston's Confederacy as well as Cody Franklin and EmperorTigerstar's video series on the subject

Here, we're going to talk about some of the stuff transpires in the series and how plausible any of it could happen in a realistic Confederate victory scenario:

The POD (Point of Divergence):
1. Basically the Confederate messenger of the Army of Northern Virginia (ANV) doesn't accidentally lose Special Order 191 and delivers to Robert E. Lee on time. In OTL, Special Order 191 was of course the instructions by Robert E. Lee himself that were supposed to be given to his commanders for what to do for the eventual invasion of Maryland and it was accidentally discovered by Union soldiers of Army of the Potomac (AOP) on Best Farm (yes that it's actual name) and sent to George B. McClellan who reading it himself said "Here is a paper with which, if I cannot whip Bobby Lee, I will be willing to go home" this of course led to the Battle of South Mountain and Battle of Antietam which were Union victories more or less coupled with the double whammy at Perryville, Kentucky and the Emancipation Proclamation. In TL-191, because Special Order 191 is never lost and remains firmly in Confederate hands there is no Battle of South Mountain and Battle of Antietam let alone even an Emancipation Proclamation instead there is a Battle of Camp Hill which in turn leads to the Army of Northern Virginia destroying the Army of the Potomac and capturing Philadelphia thus leading to the end of the Civil War or War of Secession as it is known in this universe with Britain and France recognizing the Confederate States and establishing diplomatic relations with them.

2. Okay, let's get a few things out of the way: The POD is plausible enough and not having Special Order 191 lost and recovered by the Union could have happened no less. Here is what is said in Special Order 191:
1. The citizens of Fredericktown being unwilling while overrun by members of the army, to open their stores, in order to give them confidence, and to secure the officers and men purchasing supplies for benefit of this command, all officers and men of this army are strictly prohibited from visiting Fredericktown except on business, in which cases they will bear evidence of this in writing from division commanders. The provost-marshal in Fredericktown will see that his guard rigidly enforces that order.
2. Major [Walter H.] Taylor will proceed to Leesburg, Virginia, and arrange for transportation of the sick and those unable to walk to Winchester, securing the transportation of the country for this purpose. The route between this and Culpepper Court-House east of the mountains being unsafe, will no longer be traveled. Those on the way to this army already across the river will move up promptly; all others will proceed to Winchester collectively and under the command of officers, at which point, being the general depot of this army, its movements will be known and instructions given by commanding officer regulating further movements.
3. The army will resume its march tomorrow, taking the Hagerstown road. General [Stonewall] Jackson's command will form the advance, and after passing Middletown, with such portion as he may select, take the route towards Sharpsburg, cross the Potomac at the most convenient point, and by Friday morning take the possession of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, capture such of them as may be at Martinsburg, and intercept such as may attempt to escape from Harpers Ferry.
4. General [James] Longstreet's command will pursue the same road as far as Boonsborough (the 19th century name for Boonsboro, Maryland), where it will halt, with reserve, supply and baggage trains of the army.
5. General [Lafayette] McLaws, with his own division and that of General R.H. Anderson, will follow General Longstreet. On reaching Middletown will take the route to Harpers Ferry, and by Friday morning possess himself of the Maryland Heights and endeavor to capture the enemy at Harpers Ferry and vicinity.
6. General [Lindsay] Walker, with his division, after accomplishing the object in which he is now engaged, will cross the Potomac at Cheek's Ford, ascend the its right bank to Lovettsville, take possession of Loudoun Heights, if practicable by Friday morning, Key's Ford to his left, and the road between the end of the mountain and the Potomac to his right. He will, as far as practicable, cooperate with Generals McLaws and Jackson, and intercept retreat of the enemy.
7. General D.H. Hill's will form the rear guard of the army, pursuing the road taken by the main body. The reserve artillery, ordnance, and supply trains, &c, will precede to General Hill.
8. General [J.E.B.] Stuart will detach a squadron of cavalry to accompany the command of Generals Longstreet, Jackson, and McLaws, and, with the main body of the cavalry, will cover the route of his army, bringing up the stragglers that may have been left behind.
9. The command of Generals Jackson, McLaws and Walker, after accomplishing the objects for which they have been detached, will join the main body of the army at Boonsborough or Hagerstown.
10. Each regiment on the march will habitually carry its axes in its regimental ordnance-wagons, for use of the men at their encampments, to procure wood &c.

By Command of General R.E. Lee
R.H. Chilton, Assistant Adjutant General

The plan for the Army of Northern Virginia in the Maryland Campaign was to have Jackson, McLaws and Walker go to either Boonsborough or Hagerstown after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was captured and going the route through Sharpsburg and Cheek's Ford respectively when they cross the Potomac River, Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg in West Virginia was taken, Taylor had moved from Leesburg to Winchester for supplies and Longstreet, Anderson and McLaws arrive in Maryland Heights.

As far as decisively destroying the Army of the Potomac (AOP) at Camp Hill, Pennsylvania and capturing Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is concerned I see it as very unlikely since no army in the Civil War was outright destroyed entirely with the exception of the Army of Tennessee (AOT) in the Battle of Nashville and even then it was already obvious it was going to be a Union victory by the Army of the Tennessee anyway. The Confederate States had also never really managed to recapture the major cities in the Western Theatre such as Nashville and Memphis in Tennessee or New Orleans in Louisiana not to mention Norfolk in Virginia in the Eastern Theatre and they only managed to capture one United States' capital in the entire war: Frankfort in Kentucky and even then it was for four days before the Battle of Perryville. Confederate armies were also smaller compared to the Union armies in term of population (22 million vs 9 million in 1860). A more likely scenario for a no Lost Order 191 Army of Northern Virginia would be to advance into Pennsylvania and capture a few towns such as Chambersburg, Shippensburg and Carlisle before getting to Camp Hill and fighting the Army of the Potomac there as well as capturing not Philadelphia but instead the state capital of Harrisburg (in OTL there were fears of Confederate invasion so much that the state government of Pennsylvania would mobilize the State Guard and seek potential relocation to another city). Assuming the Army of Northern Virginia does capture Camp Hill and Harrisburg it would demoralize the Union cause so much with a defeat on their soil.
The After Effects:
1. As for Kentucky by the time Special Order-191 had been drafted by the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee himself, the Army of Tennessee (AOT) under Braxton Bragg had captured the town of Richmond (not to be confused with the Confederate capital in Virginia) and were about to take Munfordville, Frankfort (the state capital) and Augusta (no relation to the Georgia city of the same name) in the following weeks of September 1862. So a Confederate victory in Camp Hill and Philadelphia/Harrisburg would embolden them to defeat the Union Army at Perryville and eventually march on Louisville as opposed to OTL's results that resulted in the opposite (the Union holding onto Kentucky for the rest of the conflict).

2. For Britain and France granting official recognition of the Confederacy and putting an end to the Civil War/War of Secession, the former was very much neutral under Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell respectively since while they had trade ties via cotton and shipbuilding they also were economic partners with America via corn, grain and industry as well as finding their cotton in their colonies of India and Egypt so they would seek to mediate in the conflict and not take any sides. As Palmerston said about the United Kingdom recognizing the Confederate States: "We ought to know that their separate independence is a truth and a fact" in other words if they won decisively then foreign recognition would come. After the Second Battle of Bull Run on August 30, 1862, Palmerston told Russell that "The Federals got a complete smashing, and it seems not altogether likely that still greater disasters await them, and that even Washington or Baltimore may fall into the hands of the Confederates. If this should happen, would it not be time for us to consider whether...England and France might not address the contending parties and recommend an arrangement upon the basis of separation?" he also added that if the United States didn't except mediation then they should "acknowledge the independence of the South as an established fact" and "we ought to ourselves to recognize the Southern States as an independent State" and there were also plans to meet in October with Russia about the plan but due to the Battle of Antietam and Battle of Perryville this was put on hold and never reconsidered again. In Timeline-191, Britain and France became allies of the Confederacy only because it abolishes slavery during the Second Mexican War given their hostility towards the institution. If we're looking at Britain and France attitudes towards the Confederacy although they did oppose slavery it was not the issue for them rather it was whether this new nation was viable for independence or not as Palmerston's statement above says it all. France under Napoleon III wanted to recognize the Confederacy because it was tied up fighting rebels in Mexico after it installed a puppet monarchy there but they were unwilling to do so without Britain. Arguably France would be allies of the Confederate States (assuming Napoleon III isn't badly defeated in the Franco-Prussian War) but Britain while friendly towards them would remain neutral given their economic ties with them and the United States respectively and thus a Second Mexican War and the abolishment of slavery in that conflict is unlikely to ever occur.

3. Missouri stays with the United States despite offers from the Confederate States to divide the state in two. This is pretty correct given that Missouri was firmly under American control after the Battle of Island No. 10 on February 28, 1862-April 8, 1862 and even before that the Battle of Springfield in October 25, 1861.

4. The Confederate States acquires Sonora and Chihuahua from Mexico/Second Mexican Empire and Cuba from Spain. Southern filibusters long wanted to expand into Latin America/South America and the Caribbean for new slave states especially people such as William Walker who briefly controlled Lower California, Sonora and Nicaragua for a while from 1856 to 1857 until his eventual execution by firing squad in 1860 and Narciso Lopez who led a failed invasion of Cuba in 1851 with the help of Southerners such as John A. Quitman of Mississippi for instance. A group known as the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC) also sought to annex the entirety of Mexico, Central America (Nicaragua, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador), Cuba, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, various Caribbean islands and portions of Venezuela and Colombia as slave states and part of the Confederacy. However all of this happened when the antebellum South had been part of the United States and was increasingly being dwarfed by the North in terms of population and as for the Confederate States I doubt they would ever actually gain control of Sonora and Chihuahua let alone Cuba since the former two belong to Mexico and handing them over might damage their reputation amongst their own people and the latter as attractive as option as it may be the independence movement there was anti-slavery and aren't interested in joining the Confederacy. However, the Confederate States could spread it's influence across Latin America/South America and the Caribbean by supporting puppet governments and overthrowing existing regimes in conflicts such as the Ten Years War (1868-1878) and the Banana Wars (1898-1934 or earlier depending on how the timeline goes).

5. The abolishment of slavery by the Confederate States in Timeline-191 as mentioned before happens due to Britain and France being disgusted by the institution and refusing to support them in the Second Mexican War unless they get rid of it which they do but we already gone over things that make it incredibly unlikely. If and when the Confederate States actually abolishes the peculiar institution it will be out of pragmatic and economic reasons while the vast majority don't have any qualms about the system when the 1880s rolls around and industry starts to become more prominent they will get rid in order to compete with their rival the United States and they'll have to amend a part of their constitution that forbids doing it. The Panic of 1873 would negatively impact the Confederacy's top trading partners Britain and France and lead to the beginning of the end of antebellum slavery as we know it.

6. James Longstreet is President of the Confederate States (POTCS) during the Second Mexican War. In OTL, he was a fairly popular general during the Civil War having fought in both the Eastern Theatre and Western Theatre respectively from 1861-1865. During Reconstruction, he supported the United States government's policies towards the conquered 11 Southern states and became a member of the Republican Party which led to him commanding a Black militia against the White League during the Battle of Liberty Palace in New Orleans, Louisiana on September 14, 1874 this is what eventually led to him being demonized by a certain ideology you've all heard of (the Lost Cause). Given the status of a post-War of Secession Confederacy and his service in the Army of Northern Virginia with no Gettysburg and Reconstruction, it's not hard to imagine James Longstreet becoming Confederate President and being a beloved figure there.

7. Germany becomes an ally of the United States after the Second Mexican War and remain as such throughout the First Great War and the Second Great War respectively before potentially becoming enemies in an alternate version of the Cold War. While the North/America had a large population of Germans and even ties going back to the Revolutionary War, by the 1880s tensions between the country and Germany were growing thanks to tariffs over pork, beef and wheat in 1881 and the Samoan Crisis in 1887-1889 and opposition to the Monroe Doctrine (which stated that no foreign power can interfere with America's sphere of influence). So America and Germany remain neutral at best, friendly rivals at worst.

8. Blacks in the Timeline-191 Confederate States while free they possess little to no rights in the new nation and they aren't even allowed to have surnames so they go by Greco-Roman names. Black slaves in the United States often tended to share White names like their masters or what they would name them this included surnames so one aspect of the series is unlikely to happen. On the other hand, segregation will be very different in the Confederate States versus it's post-Reconstruction South counterpart for one groups such as the Ku Klux Klan, the White League and the Redshirts and all the lynchings and massacres such as in Colfax, Louisiana will not exist whatsoever since Reconstruction never happens and thus race relations between White Confederates/White Southerners and Black Confederates/Black Southerners will be ironically far less worse than OTL and all the restrictive measures like literacy tests, grandfather clauses and poll taxes may not even exist though that's not to say both races would be equal. Blacks in the Confederacy are also laborers on antebellum era plantations as we see with Anne Colleton and Tom Colleton and this is based off the sharecropping system implemented during and after Reconstruction but even in a Confederate victory it would not exist or at least not to the extent we saw in OTL. Also the series doesn't take much into account the yeoman farmers and poor Whites who will not be happy competing with Blacks in the job market and thus the Confederacy might reluctantly have to side with the former two this could also lead to the latter going to the North in search of a better life similar to the Great Migration and some slaves did escape to the North in the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War. An alternate Black migration to the North will be very different from OTL since for starters they are obviously not citizens of the United States and are fleeing from the Confederate States it would also be a bit less spread out usually concentrated in the Northeast and Old Northwest and to a lesser extent the Southwest as opposed to nearly everywhere and the states near the Mason-Dixon Line or at least adjacent to it will receive an influx of them (i.e. Baltimore, Maryland) so Harlem, New York becomes an Italian/Jewish neighborhood for instance or alternatively cities that already have a pre-existing black population, the communities they build will be poverty stricken and poor ghettos not to mention the hostility from White Americans/White Northerners that aren't interested in having them in their cities aside from a few exceptions.

9. Abraham Lincoln founds the Socialist Party and it becomes a major political force in the Timeline-191 United States throughout the Great Depression and the Second Great War with it's most notable members being Upton Sinclair and Hosea Blackford. In OTL, Abraham Lincoln was good friends with Karl Marx (one of the founders of Communism and Marxism) so it is possible he could have founded another political party but given how he was part of the Republican Party an organization that's now hated in America for losing the War of Secession to the Confederacy he may or may not continue to pursue a political career any longer. The Republican Party remains a minor political party after the Second Mexican War but let's face it they would likely diminish in popularity after the War of Secession and unlikely to get elected again in the Presidency for a while so they will stay the second major party in the United States they may or may not dissolve altogether and be replaced by the Socialist Party or some other party.

10. Baseball is an obscure regional sport mostly played in New England and Football is the national sport of the United States and the Confederate States respectively. OTL begs to differ since baseball was played by both Union and Confederate prisoners throughout the Civil War and that's not getting into the fact football was a sport invented in America specifically the Northeast by Rutgers (New Jersey), Princeton (New Jersey), Harvard (Massachusetts) and Yale (Connecticut). The inverse is in effect with baseball becoming the national sport of America and the Confederacy while football remains popular only in the former.

11. By the time the Great War/First Great War breaks out in 1914 after Franz Ferdinand's assassination, Woodrow Wilson is the President of the Confederate States (POTCS) as a member of the Whig Party and Theodore Roosevelt is the President of the United States (POTUS) as a member of the Democrat Party. Theodore Roosevelt had Southern ancestors from Georgia such as the Bullochs and Stewarts (Daniel, Archibald, James and William) via his mother Martha as much as he had Northern ancestors through the Roosevelts and Schuylers (Philip, Elliott, Cornelius and Corinne) via his father Theodore Sr on the other hand he was very much a New York-born and bred native so the other half of his family might excuse him from facing any opposition to becoming President but even before he wanted to become a politician he had been a writer and naturalist responsible for the book The Naval War in 1812 which was widely praised by many and still read to this very day so it could butterfly his career as American President entirely and someone else could have held this role in 1904-1912 or the inverse happens. If Theodore Roosevelt ever does fight in a major conflict it certainly won't be the Spanish-American War for obvious reasons and his military career with an alternate version of the Rough Riders starts with the Ghost Dance War since a religious movement by that name would emerge to oppose the United States and he would certainly participate in it given that in both OTL and Timeline-191 he moved to the Dakota Territory to hunt for bison and built Elkhorn Ranch there. As for Woodrow Wilson his path to the Presidency in OTL was when he became a Presbyterian Minister in Augusta, Georgia followed by attending school there, moving to Columbia, South Carolina as a member of the First Presbyterian Church there, attended Davidson College in North Carolina, graduated at Princeton University in Trenton, New Jersey where he was also school president there, became a lawyer in Georgia, studied in Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and became Governor of New Jersey despite being from Virginia. Woodrow Wilson in a Confederate victory would be very different for starters he would not be a student and school president of Princeton University not to mention his parents were part of the Presbyterian Church of the Confederate States (PCCS) and he had been a Presbyterian minister as mentioned so he might not even be President or it could more or less go like OTL with the big difference being that he is a prominent alumni at Davidson College in North Carolina and if he does transfer to another college it will be in Georgia specifically Augusta University and when he ever does become Governor it will likely be one of those states he lived in as part of his life.

12. Germany creates the Statue of Remembrance (TL-191's Statue of Liberty) and give it to the United States since they are allies. The Statue of Liberty itself is very much a creation of France and they originally intended to hand it over to Egypt but due to financial problems it was cancelled and so it was changed to instead the United States but it takes a while for financing to put it there specifically New York City, New York. Of course, Germany and America would not be allies as explained above and France assuming if it does lose the Franco-Prussian War might lead to the otherwise pro-Confederate Napoleon III deposed and replaced by the Third Republic which might be neutral or hostile towards the Confederacy. Simply put, the Statue of Liberty or whatever it's called either comes to America or doesn't depending on how things go in France in the 1860s-1870s.

13. George Armstrong Custer and his army wins the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 over the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapho rather than being obliterated by the tribes and goes on to become a major figure in the United States military during the First Great War as well as becoming Governor of Canada up until his death. Custer himself participated in the Civil War as a general in the Army of the Potomac and later became more well-known for his death against the tribes of the Dakota Territory (now North Dakota and South Dakota). Given that the Battle of Little Bighorn would more or less happen even if in a Confederate victory world the results would more or less be the same with Custer's death and all.

14. Alaska remains firmly under the control of Russia thanks to America suffering from a financial recession after the War of Secession ends. After the Seven Days Battles, there had been a panic on Wall Street over the Confederate victory. In so far as the status of Alaska, they certainly were not going to sell it to Britain or it's newly created dominion Canada given their bitter feelings towards them in the Crimean War and they already had friendly relations with the United States so they might wait for another decade or two to sell the territory to them. Thus Alaska may still become part of the United States depending on the circumstances.

15. Hawaii is more or less known as the Sandwich Islands because it joined Britain as a dominion rather than a a state in the United States. In OTL, the island had ties to the British as early as the late 1700s when James Cook met Kamehameha during his expeditions and handed him the Union Jack hence why the state has that symbol as part of its flag and also a brief occupation in 1843 but at the same time the Americans also had interest in the place due to the sugar plantations and imposed tariffs on them as well as some fighting in the Civil War. Since Britain wasn't anymore interested Hawaii anymore after 1843, America could have still taken over the place.

And that's all the the after effects of Southern Victory before World War I analyzed through a realistic lens. Overall, the series is basically "it could happen here" for European politics from the 1900s-1940s transplanted to North America and not all of it is plausible but it can be an entertaining read at times.
 
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The loss of Special Orders 191 had no real effect on the battle, so in of itself it's not a really good PoD. Want a good one? See Osprey Campaign Series, Second Manassas 1862 (Pg 27):

Lee followed and joined his army in Orange near the middle of August. On 19 August, he ordered his commanders to move against Pope and defeat him before McClellan could link up with the Army of Virginia. Longstreet advised a movement to the left in order to strike Pope's right. Lee and Jackson thought it better to turn Pope's left and put the Army of Northern Virginia between the Union troops and Washington. This would cut both Pope's line of supplies and retreat. To accomplish this, Lee directed Longstreet to cross the Rapidan at Raccoon Ford with the right wing of the army. He was to move toward Culpeper Court House, while Jackson, with the left wing, was to cross at Somerville Ford and proceed in the same direction, keeping on Longstreet's left. R.H. Anderson's division and S.D. Lee's battalion of artillery was to follow Jackson, while Stuart, crossing at Morton's Ford, was to reach the Rappahannock by way of Stevensburg. He was directed to destroy the railroad bridge, cut Pope's communications, and operate on Longstreet's right.​
Ever spoiling for a fight, Jackson wanted to attack earlier. Longstreet rebutted that he was not prepared. In addition, Fitz Hugh Lee's Brigade of Stuart's cavalry, the lead brigade on the march from Richmond, had strayed too far to the right, in the direction of Fredericksburg, and was a day late in joining the army, causing another delay. During all this activity Stuart had set out with his small staff in search of Fitz Lee. On the evening of 17 August the group reached Verdiersville. Not finding his cavalry reinforcement waiting there as expected, Stuart dispatched a rider with a message for the troops to hurry to join him. He then had his horse unsaddled while he stripped off his saber belt, hat, and other gear to get a night's sleep in the garden of the Rhodes house.​
Dawn of 18 August broke with the sound of hooves, which Stuart thought must be Fitz Lee. But it was not. Pope had called for a reconnaissance in the area, and Colonel Thorton Broadhead with elements of the 1st Michigan Cavalry along with the 5th New York had obliged. Now the blue-clad troopers were riding towards the slumbering "Beauty" Stuart. The Confederate cavalier jumped on his unsaddled horse and beat a quick retreat, leaving behind his tack, cloak, and sash. Also abandoned was his plumed hat, which he had recently received from a former comrade from his days in the United States Army, Samuel Crawford. After Cedar Mountain, Crawford and Stuart had met during a brief truce and the Confederate cavalryman bet his old friend that the Northern press would declare the clash a Union victory, which it was not. When the action was reported as Stuart predicted, Crawford sent the hat to Stuart in payment of his wager. Although leaving behind many personal items, Stuart managed to vault the fence on his steed and escaped capture.​
His adjutant general, Major Norman R. Fitz Hugh, however, was not that fortunate. He fell into the hands of the Union troops. What was worse, the major had a copy of Lee's order of march, and had no time to dispose of it before capture. These documents were quickly forwarded to Pope, who hastened to evacuate Culpeper and put the Rappahannock between himself and Lee. Lee's original plan now had to be revised.​
The obvious PoD here is Fitz Lee does not take his detour which forced Lee to delay the attack as well as directly resulted in the capture of Major Fitz Hugh. Without this chain of events, General Lee's attack is able to proceed as planned, resulting in the destruction of Pope's army. Now, the destruction of an entire Federal force of 50,000 in of itself is pretty decisive as far as the war goes. IOTL the Anglo-French were prepared to intervene and nearly did so over the historical Second Battle of Manassas despite that being far less decisive than this "Battle of the Rapidan".
 
The “minor” European wars like the Franco-Prussian War, the Austri-Prussian, the Russo-Turkish war etc. will be butterflied or at least affected
 
Point of order, shouldn't this be in the "Alternate History Books and Media" subforum? It's discussion about a published work of AH fiction, not someone's personally-written TL.
 
Also, since British wheat/corn imports were brought up, it needs to be said the British could lose all the grain they imported from the United States.....and they would still be eating the same amount of grain as they did IOTL 1866. The whole idea of "King Corn/Wheat" is contemporary propaganda by the Lincoln Administration.
The British could have found alternative sources of grain, but not at the same price. Despite the shipping costs transatlantic grain was cheaper then grain from Europe. Transatlantic trade between the USA & UK was at a very large scale, and growing. British Capital Investment in the USA were considerable, and growing.

War was unlikely in any event, as the United States was providing Britain with over 40% of its wheat imports during the war years, and suspension would have caused severe disruption to its food supply. Britain imported about 25-30% of its grain ("corn" in British English), and poor crops in 1861 and 1862 in France made Britain even more dependent on shiploads from New York City. Furthermore, British banks and financial institutions in the City of London had financed many projects such as railways in the US. There were fears that war would result in enormous financial losses as investments were lost and loans defaulted on.[22
 
The “minor” European wars like the Franco-Prussian War, the Austri-Prussian, the Russo-Turkish war etc. will be butterflied or at least affected
These were far from minor wars. They caused far reaching effects that changed the course of European, and World History. People think of them as minor because they each lasted less then a year. That doesn't make them minor wars.
 
The British could have found alternative sources of grain, but not at the same price. Despite the shipping costs transatlantic grain was cheaper then grain from Europe. Transatlantic trade between the USA & UK was at a very large scale, and growing. British Capital Investment in the USA were considerable, and growing.

War was unlikely in any event, as the United States was providing Britain with over 40% of its wheat imports during the war years, and suspension would have caused severe disruption to its food supply. Britain imported about 25-30% of its grain ("corn" in British English), and poor crops in 1861 and 1862 in France made Britain even more dependent on shiploads from New York City. Furthermore, British banks and financial institutions in the City of London had financed many projects such as railways in the US. There were fears that war would result in enormous financial losses as investments were lost and loans defaulted on.[22
Even if completely cut off from American grain, Britain would have as much grain as they did in 1866; I know of no large scale disruptions then or the like. At the most you'd get temporary, moderate price increases with no real strategic effect. Indeed, contemporary sources show no real concern on the part of the British for this very reason.
 
Also, since British wheat/corn imports were brought up, it needs to be said the British could lose all the grain they imported from the United States.....and they would still be eating the same amount of grain as they did IOTL 1866. The whole idea of "King Corn/Wheat" is contemporary propaganda by the Lincoln Administration.
No, Britain really did face crop failures, and the USA really was their largest supplier. Even when you're not wholly dependent (or majority dependent), cutting off your biggest supplier has obvious drawbacks.
Even if completely cut off from American grain, Britain would have as much grain as they did in 1866; I know of no large scale disruptions then or the like. At the most you'd get temporary, moderate price increases with no real strategic effect. Indeed, contemporary sources show no real concern on the part of the British for this very reason.
There was no real concern because aside from the Trent affair, there was little in the way of real consideration of going to war on the side of the Confederacy. Gladstone (and sometimes Palmerston) made noises about it, but on the whole the cabinet wanted to avoid it. Even Palmerston largely calmed down once the Trent Affair was resolved, despite his loathing of the USA, at which point it was just Gladstone calling for intervention to prevent a race war while the rest of the cabinet wanted him to shut up about the idea of fighting against the USA.
 
No, Britain really did face crop failures, and the USA really was their largest supplier. Even when you're not wholly dependent (or majority dependent), cutting off your biggest supplier has obvious drawbacks.

There was no real concern because aside from the Trent affair, there was little in the way of real consideration of going to war on the side of the Confederacy. Gladstone (and sometimes Palmerston) made noises about it, but on the whole the cabinet wanted to avoid it. Even Palmerston largely calmed down once the Trent Affair was resolved, despite his loathing of the USA, at which point it was just Gladstone calling for intervention to prevent a race war while the rest of the cabinet wanted him to shut up about the idea of fighting against the USA.
As I said, remove every bit of American grain from British totals and you get the same amount they had in 1866. Was there some great disruption/unrest then that I am not aware of it?

As for British intervention, it was a very real prospect. For some book length treatments, see Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations. To quote from The Blue and the Gray:

The threat of European intervention intensified in the summer of 1862, highlighted by the first pitched debate on the issue in Parliament. The Union’s victory at New Orleans had not quieted the advocates of British and French involvement in the war. Indeed, Russell rejected Adams’s appeals to revoke the belligerent status of the South, as did Napoleon in overriding Dayton’s protests, repeatedly expressing interest in intervention but holding back until England took the lead. Russell infuriated Adams by declaring again that neutrality was “exceedingly advantageous” to the Union.
As well as Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume I: To 1920:



See also the Roebuck Motion and the Issue of British Recognition of the Confederate States of America as well as Pro-Confederate Sympathy in the British Parliament for the matter into 1863.
 
As I said, remove every bit of American grain from British totals and you get the same amount they had in 1866. Was there some great disruption/unrest then that I am not aware of it?

As for British intervention, it was a very real prospect. For some book length treatments, see Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations. To quote from The Blue and the Gray:



As well as Major Problems in American Foreign Relations, Volume I: To 1920:



See also the Roebuck Motion and the Issue of British Recognition of the Confederate States of America as well as Pro-Confederate Sympathy in the British Parliament for the matter into 1863.
And this all sounds to you like the British were all in on forming a coalition of European Powers to force the Union to end the war? You see in this no concern that starting a war with the Union would be a difficult, and costly enterprise? It seems to clearly indicate they don't want to undertake a war with the Union without a large coalition, and they needed to wait till the Spring of 1963. By then the situation had significantly changed, in both Europe, and America. This war never happened because it was a bad idea for everyone. The British Public had no interest in such a costly war, and the French had cold feet. No other European Power had any interest in a war with the Union. You talk about this subject like it would've been just a no cost Fox Hunt for the British. In this case the Foxes had guns to.
 
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And this all sounds to you like the British were all in on forming a coalition of European Powers to force the Union to end the war? You see in this no concern that starting a war with the Union would be a difficult, and costly enterprise? It seems to clearly indicate they don't want to undertake a war with the Union without a large coalition, and they needed to wait till the Spring of 1963. By then the situation had significantly changed, in both Europe, and America. This war never happened because it was a bad idea for everyone. The British Public had no interest in such a costly war, and the French had cold feet. No other European Power had any interest in a war with the Union. You talk about this subject like it would've been just a no cost Fox Hunt for the British. In this case the Foxes had guns to.
Britain thought it necessary to collect a coalition of European powers instead of unilateral recognition, given the failure of the Confederates up until this point to achieve a decisive battlefield success; they had been checked at Antietam, as the source in question notes.
 
7. Germany becomes an ally of the United States after the Second Mexican War and remain as such throughout the First Great War and the Second Great War respectively before potentially becoming enemies in an alternate version of the Cold War. While the North/America had a large population of Germans and even ties going back to the Revolutionary War, by the 1880s tensions between the country and Germany were growing thanks to tariffs over pork, beef and wheat in 1881 and the Samoan Crisis in 1887-1889 and opposition to the Monroe Doctrine (which stated that no foreign power can interfere with America's sphere of influence). So America and Germany remain neutral at best, friendly rivals at worst.
In OTL Britain and the USA had trade disputes in the 19th Century and tensions over Samoa as well. There were also Monroe Doctrine issues with Britain (1895 Venezuela Crisis) in OTL, and Britain using Canada as a base of operations from which to attack the USA would be the mother of all Monroe Doctrine tensions. The USA wasn't happy about Britain extending its blockade to neutral ports, like those of the Netherlands, in World War I. None of that stopped them from becoming allies in the two world wars, and that was when America wanted to stay out. With a USA hungry for vengeance against Britain and France, and the Entente standing against Germany, it seems implausible for them not to ally against common enemies, although a CSA victory is in and of itself pretty implausible.
As I said, remove every bit of American grain from British totals and you get the same amount they had in 1866. Was there some great disruption/unrest then that I am not aware of it?
I mentioned the crop failures. There was no unrest because they were wealthy enough to make up for it in imports, and the USA was by far the largest (although not a majority) supplier. They could do without American grain, but it wasn't practical.
As for British intervention, it was a very real prospect. For some book length treatments, see Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations. To quote from The Blue and the Gray:
The threat of European intervention intensified in the summer of 1862, highlighted by the first pitched debate on the issue in Parliament. The Union’s victory at New Orleans had not quieted the advocates of British and French involvement in the war. Indeed, Russell rejected Adams’s appeals to revoke the belligerent status of the South, as did Napoleon in overriding Dayton’s protests, repeatedly expressing interest in intervention but holding back until England took the lead. Russell infuriated Adams by declaring again that neutrality was “exceedingly advantageous” to the Union.
Aside from the Trent Affair there never was serious consideration about intervening in the war, just because a few MPs said something doesn't mean there were very many of them. The cabinet and parliament as a whole overwhelmingly favored neutrality. The prospect of mediation was floated but it (a) was not talk of declaring war on the USA and (b) died down when the USA rejected it, seeing as it just wouldn't work without a willing USA.

Sorry to burst your CSA-Britwank fantasies. Britain imported cotton from the south, but it also had plenty of trade with the north, including buying food. Even if they intervened, the USA would not cry uncle. Contrary to popular belief McClellan did not run on a promises of peace, recognizing that to do so would be political suicide. He lost anyways, and even winning all of the states where Lincoln's victory margin was <5% would not have come close to putting him in the White House. Also, the copperheads tended to be predominantly Irish immigrants and American-born children of Irish immigrants. Any hint of a British invasion would also destroy any hint of draft riots among that populace. The USA was capable of supplying itself with nitrates (like salt peter) by mining from known deposits and use of nitrogenous waste but they imported nitrates from India and later Chile because it was cheaper. The Royal Navy was the largest of its time, larger than the two next largest combined, but it was not a teleportation system that made any and all British logistical issues magically disappear, nor could it do much to disrupt overland or inland riverine trade. Those logistical issues would mean the USA would have a huge advantage in land war, and as I said the USA would not yield. They saw secession as an existential threat, and for a nation born by breaking away from Britain, British intervention would only intensify that. It would be horrible for the USA (probably with economic damage leaving them unable to afford to buy Alaska in 1867) but it would not be Britain just walking all over the north.

As for French intervention, Napoleon III's expeditionary force was bogged down in Mexico. It would not have annihilated the Army of the Potomac. As for a broad European coalition, that was out because Russia and Prussia made plenty of noises about sympathizing with the Union. CSA victories make for great dystopias but they're not plausible.
 
I mentioned the crop failures. There was no unrest because they were wealthy enough to make up for it in imports, and the USA was by far the largest (although not a majority) supplier. They could do without American grain, but it wasn't practical.
Which again ignores the point they made do with a similar level of consumption in 1866. There was no great disruptions or unrest then that I am aware of.

Aside from the Trent Affair there never was serious consideration about intervening in the war, just because a few MPs said something doesn't mean there were very many of them. The cabinet and parliament as a whole overwhelmingly favored neutrality. The prospect of mediation was floated but it (a) was not talk of declaring war on the USA and (b) died down when the USA rejected it, seeing as it just wouldn't work without a willing USA.
Which is false, as outlined by the posted citations. Indeed, Palmerston as PM was in favor of intervention, as was Lord Russell in charge of foreign affairs. The British intention was to step in after the Confederates had won a strong battlefield victory, upon which their mediation offer would be unlikely to provoke the U.S. from extending the conflict.

Sorry to burst your CSA-Britwank fantasies. Britain imported cotton from the south, but it also had plenty of trade with the north, including buying food. Even if they intervened, the USA would not cry uncle. Contrary to popular belief McClellan did not run on a promises of peace, recognizing that to do so would be political suicide. He lost anyways, and even winning all of the states where Lincoln's victory margin was <5% would not have come close to putting him in the White House. Also, the copperheads tended to be predominantly Irish immigrants and American-born children of Irish immigrants. Any hint of a British invasion would also destroy any hint of draft riots among that populace. The USA was capable of supplying itself with nitrates (like salt peter) by mining from known deposits and use of nitrogenous waste but they imported nitrates from India and later Chile because it was cheaper. The Royal Navy was the largest of its time, larger than the two next largest combined, but it was not a teleportation system that made any and all British logistical issues magically disappear, nor could it do much to disrupt overland or inland riverine trade. Those logistical issues would mean the USA would have a huge advantage in land war, and as I said the USA would not yield. They saw secession as an existential threat, and for a nation born by breaking away from Britain, British intervention would only intensify that. It would be horrible for the USA (probably with economic damage leaving them unable to afford to buy Alaska in 1867) but it would not be Britain just walking all over the north.
A lot to unpack and disprove here, as it seems you're attempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink. First, you're making the claim they could supply themselves with nitrates. Let's see your proof on that regard? Outside of nitrates, how about lead:



On hand in 1861: 1,302,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1862: 23,057,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1862: 18,920,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1863: 48,720,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1863: 31,139,000 lbs
Purchased to 30 June 1864: 12,740,000 lbs
Expended to 30 June 1864: 7,624,000 lbs

Lead imports from Britain by year 1861: 1,679,000 lbs
1862: 28,926,000 lbs
1863 5,777,000 lbs
1864 25,929,000 lbs

From June 30th of 1862 to June 30th of 1863, the Union Army alone expended 31 million pounds of lead; total production during that same space was only 28 million pounds.

Next, as for McClellan and Union resolve, that's not supported at all by the historical record. I'll let James McPherson do my talking for me in his review of Grant and Lee: Victorious American and Vanquished Virginian, The Journal of Southern History, AUGUST 2009, Vol. 75, No. 3 (AUGUST 2009), pp. 814-816:
Culminating a year in which the Army of Northern Virginia suffered almost as many combat casualties as the number of men on its rolls when Lee took command, the losses at Gettysburg "made his ultimate military defeat inevitable" (p. 130). This assertion seems almost to write off the last twenty-one months of the war, during which the heavy casualties endured by the Army of the Potomac from May to July 1864 almost caused the North to throw in the towel. In the end it was William T. Sherman's capture of Atlanta and Philip H. Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign not Lee's shortcomings that reversed this momentum and set the stage for Appomattox.
In 1864 the high casualties of the Overland Campaign pushed the Union to the brink, with Lincoln as late as August expecting himself to lose and McClellan being in favor of an armistice without pre-conditions:

McClellan.PNG


As for Prussia and Russia, they never made such sounds and actually, as outlined in The Blue and the Gray, the Russians in late 1862 were advising the U.S. to seek terms with the Confederacy; neither they nor the Prussians had any interest whatsoever in aiding the Union.

As for French intervention, Napoleon III's expeditionary force was bogged down in Mexico. It would not have annihilated the Army of the Potomac. As for a broad European coalition, that was out because Russia and Prussia made plenty of noises about sympathizing with the Union. CSA victories make for great dystopias but they're not plausible.
Against the combined power of the Anglo-French fleets, the Union has no chance.
 
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I think I read somewhere that the US imported nitrates for munitions from the UK. Would this also be important?
 
I think I read somewhere that the US imported nitrates for munitions from the UK. Would this also be important?
The USA wouldn't run out of nitrates, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't have an effect. There were other sources. Later in the war they imported a lot from Chile. That could be blockaded, either by blockading the Union, which would require the Royal Navy to blockade both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, or by blockading Chile, which would be act of war against Chile but would require fewer ships (Chile did not have good relations with its neighbors so there would be no need to blockade the whole of South America). The USA would then just switch to domestic production: mining deposits in caves in the eastern half of the country and possibly Death Valley in California (note: in OTL gold and silver from Nevada and California helped finance the union war effort). It would also be produced from nitrogenous waste. Switching to domestic supplies would be more expensive, but they would not run out.
Against the combined power of the Anglo-French fleets, the Union has no chance.
Ah the old Britwank cliche that the Royal Navy can do anything and everything. No. It was the most powerful navy of the 19th century, not a fleet of ASB. It did not have the ability to disrupt inland trade.

In short, your assertion that Britain was within a hairs width of devoting the resources of its empire to a war where its stake was tenuous at best, is bad enough, and your assertion that Britain's rivals would not take advantage of that stupidity makes it even worse.

In long:
Blockading the USA post 1850 is not like blockading it when the nation was in its infancy and the population was concentrated on the east coast.. Nor would it be like blockading a European enemy. Europe was basically a peninsula with more peninsulas coming off of it. North America is not. North America also has a lot of natural resources and ample arable land. They could blockade the USA, but why would they want to? That would mean diverting a huge chunk of the Royal Navy from its normal task of acquiring colonies and securing the trade routes between them. Coaling and supplying those ships would be a logistical nightmare; the royal navy would do it, but that would require diverting even more resources. Even if they did that they would just mean no trade across the oceans. The USA was more than capable of trading with itself overland. Cut off lead imports? There were deposits of lead in the USA, known in the 19th century. Ditto for coal and iron. That's even if we ignore the difference between fighting on the high seas vs fighting in shallow coastal waters. There's a reason the song goes "Britannia rule the waves," not "Brittania rule the tides." Britain would only be able to must seaworthy ships. The Union wouldn't be able to beat them in that capacity, so they wouldn't be able to stop the royal navy from implementing a blockade, should Britain devote the considerable resources necessary to do so, but establishing a blockade on the high seas is not the same as breaking a coastal blockade or landing troops. To maintain the blockade and sink troop ships the Union only had to produce ships capable of moving and fighting in rivers, estuaries, and coastal shallows, which takes considerably fewer resources. They might still manage to defeat the shallow water fleet, but it's not the same as the overwhelming advantage they'd have on the high seas, not to mention there would still be the issue of moving those goods inland from the ports with the Union winning on the rivers and tearing up the railroads. The British Admiralty reports explained why British naval commanders considered war with the USA to be a horrible idea. Ditto for the reports of generals stationed in Canada.

I also find it interesting that I was talking about an army and your first response was to talk about a navy. Is the Anglo-French fleet going to sail into Atlanta to stop William Tecumseh Sherman? (hint: Atlanta is inland) How about Gettysburg? (also inland) Shiloh? inland Antietam? inland Appomatox? inland

Russia did indeed make a show of sympathy for the Union. They were pretty bitter about the outcome of the Crimean War, and part of the reason they sold Alaska to the USA in OTL was to keep it from falling into British hands. Prussia was not friendly with France. Napoleon III was already bogged down in Mexico. His forces were not prepared to defeat the Army of the Potomac. He was not going to avoid Mexico and just go to war with the Union. He sympathized with the Confederacy because the USA's Monroe Doctrine was an obstacle to his imperial ambitions in Mexico. Also if he sent even more troops, Prussia would take advantage of that situation to attack France.
 
I would've liked to see a three-way Second Great War. Oh and I agree that Britain suddenly wouldn't become best friends with the CSA and arch-enemies with the USA. I wonder what would plausibly happen when France becomes a Republic in 1870. Furthermore, what are the odds of the CSA and Germany fighting on the same side in the First Great War?
 
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