@Coley You're partially right... but many RRs didn't believe in the death penalty, with Thaddeus Stevens even famously stating that if Jefferson Davis were to be tried facing the death penalty, he would be morally obligated to serve as his defense attorney. In addition, while there will be African-American militias, they won't be federally backed, only community initiatives by returning African-American veterans and other freedmen, for personal defense only. You are correct about the territorial distribution though, I did not skimp there, in fact, some might consider it ASB, but I do believe that the RRs, left to their own devices, would absolutely adore to socially remake the south in the most favorable possible to them with a solid class of freedmen landholders in the South. Also, not to spoil much, but most of the founders of the KKK won't be around ITTL, a few of them were PoWs right before the end of the war, and as such disease will claim them, while Nathaniel Bedford Forrest will perish in battle, meaning the KKK won't be founded, and due to having two generals in charge, the army won't be as dramatically reduced in size, with any terrorist attacks being used as a pretext to keep troops in the South with attacks upon the "carpetbaggers" being much more widely published as stories of wanton Southern aggression and festering disloyalty, meaning that the South will barely have any sympathy directed towards them during Reconstruction.

@SwampTiger Is the change in text size good or would you like me to make it bigger? (Won't budge on the font though, I love Times New Roman too much.)
 
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@Coley You're partially right, many RR didn't believe in the death penalty, with Thaddeus Stevens even famously saying that if Jefferson Davis was to be tried facing the death penalty, he would be morally obliged to serve as his defense attorney. In addition, while there will be African-American militias, they won't be federally backed, only community initiatives by returning African-American veterans and other freedmen, for personal defense only. You are correct about the territorial distribution though, I did not skimp there, in fact, some might consider it ASB, but I do believe that RR left to their own devices would absolutely _adore_ to socially remake the south in the most favorable possible to them with a solid class of freedmen landholders in the South. Also, not to spoil much, but most of the founders of the KKK won't be around ITTL, a few of them were PoWs right before the end of the war, and as such disease will claim them, while Nathaniel Bedford Forrest will perish in battle, meaning the KKK won't be founded, and due to having two generals in charge, the army won't be as dramatically reduced in size, with any terrorist attacks being used as a pretext to keep troops in the South with attacks upon the "carpetbaggers" being much more widely published as stories of wanton Southern aggression and festering disloyalty, meaning that the South will barely have any sympathy directed towards them during Reconstruction.

@SwampTiger Is the change in text size good or would you like me to make it bigger? (Won't budge on the font though, I love Times New Roman too much.)
As I remember it,the Indian and Spanish American wars helped heal the military rift.Indian wars will still happen but wonder what butterflies you'll see with the RR in charge.With Grant in charge early I imagine Emporer Max is out of Mexico a lot faster.And with occupation costs,does Alaska get bought?
 
@Coley That's part of it, yes, ITTL, the Indian Wars are hopefully less destructive to Native Americans, while the Spanish-American War will most likely not happen, or at least won't happen the same as IOTL. Not sure what butterflies are there which is why I'm hoping I can get a bit of help to highlight a general or high-level administrator who viewed the Natives as people rather than just animals sitting on valuable land.

Actually, due to the territorial expansion desires of the administration will overpower the desire of a monarch-less America, and will accept territorial concessions from Mexico in exchange for not having to help fight Maximilian. Alaska is definitely getting bought, except that ITTL, it's part of the contiguous states.
 
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Chapter VII: Presidential Election Night, 1864 and Congressional Elections 1864/1865
Election Night (Tuesday, 8 November 1864): Politically speaking, the election of 1864, was a predetermined affair, the heroic duo of generals rallying the nation towards them and the National Union Party, resulting in a sweeping electoral landslide of 24 states (26 when including the eligible areas of Louisiana and Tennessee which were not granted Electoral College votes) with the Democratic ticket only winning the state of Kentucky. The end result would be an Electoral College landslide of 222 votes (239 with the uneligible states added) out of the 118 votes necessary to win, with the Democratic ticket of George Brinton McClellan and George Hunt Pendleton only receiving the 11 electoral votes of Kentucky.[1]

In the meantime, nationwide results were amazing for the Republican party, with the entire delegation to the House of Representatives on behalf of the state of Ohio (and various other states) being all Republicans, with Moses B. Walker winning a very close race against incumbent Francis Celeste Le Bond. [2] The Republican domination and The Unconditional Unionist and Union Major General Lovell Harrison Rousseau would win Kentucky’s Senatorial seat, alongside John Conover Ten Eyck being reelected to his New Jersey seat, riding the coattails of the National Union victory in said state. Radical Republican Benjamin Franklin Flanders, with help from Butler’s businesses in Louisiana, the freedmen and women's vote would win the Gubernatorial election for that year against independent candidate J. Q. Fellows. Though his election would be in 1866, Elisha Marshall Pease would win the governor’s seat in Texas, after the end of Texas' military government and the creation of its new civilian government which would occur when Hamilton's term ended, signifying the beginning of Pease's rule. [3]

In the struggle for the readmission of Texas, its Constitutional Convention would include three major provisions: the composition and term length of the bicameral legislative chamber of Texas, the term length of the governor (with no limit on reelection), and the guarantee of the freedmen's vote and ability to hold office. [4]

Finally, Virginia's elected Senator would be allowed to be seated, seeing as how John Curtiss Underwood was an abolitionist, though it would be clarified that those any senators accepted form states not having been reincorporated into the Union would not be allowed to break ties, propose bills nor amendments without at least three cosponsors, and would not be assigned any committee seats until their states were officially readmitted. It also allowed the seating of John Andrew Jackson Creswell after the death of Virginia's representative in the senate, Thomas Holliday Hicks.[5]

[1] IOTL, McClellan/Pendleton ticket also won the states of Delaware and New Jersey. Delaware by 3.6% and New Jersey by 5.6% for an additional 10 Electoral College votes, for an OTL total of 21. The better electoral results for the Grant/Butler ticket came from a combination of their war hero status, and the better Union advance throughout the war, helped along by stronger attacks upon both he clear contradiction of McClellan’s position of continuing the war and the Democrat’s defeatist platform of negotiating a conditional peace, which was hurt even more by the state of the war which was clearly leaning heavily in the Union’s favor.

[2} Surprisingly, this is almost identical to OTL as out of 19 congressional districts, only Ohio 5 would remain Democrat. and shows how much 1864 was a Republican year.

[3] All other election results are identical to OTL. In the case of Rousseau, his election would be in 1865. IOTL, Flanders came in third in the 1864 Louisiana gubernatorial election, obtaining 17.22% of the vote to Fellows’ 25.36% and George Michael Decker Hahn’s 57.42% (1,847/2,720/6,158 respectively). ITTL, due to Butler’s business investments in Louisiana, and the higher prominence of the Radical Republicans, the government of Louisiana recognizing how important it would be to have an administration ally in the state's executive seat would wholeheartedly support Benjamin Flanders. ITTL, Hahn is told to sit out the governor's election to give Flanders a chance and would in change be appointed senator from Lousiana in 1865. SeparatelyLousiana's 1864 constitution would be led by Radical Republicans and enter major provisions that would ensure Radical rule in the state: black and female suffrage with equal civil and political rights, equal rights in public transportation, a bill of rights, state-funded public education, the election of 7 Supreme Court justices to 14-year terms, and the prohibition of both poll taxes and black codes. Separately, in Texas, IOTL, incumbent governor Andrew Jackson Hamilton declined to run for a full term after having been appointed by Andrew Johnson. ITTL, while Texas would be militarily conquered after successes in the 1863 campaign to take Southern Texas and the 1864 Red River Campaign that lead to the capture of East Texas by the end of MayAdrew J. Hamilton would become military governor of the state when it was captured on September 1864, with him serving as governor until the transition to a civilian government when the new governor, Elisha M. Pease was sworn in. The democratic candidate James Webb Throckmorton would win the election 80.13% to Pease’s 19,86% (48,631 votes to 12,051 with 6 other votes being write-ins). ITTL, Pease would win through a combination of much harsher voting restrictions against former Confederates, the allowing of freedmen to vote and hold office, and the power of Radical Republican domination at all levels of government due to the successful Constitution of 1866 which was led by the Radical Unionists: Isaiah Addison Paschal, Albert Hamilton Latimer, Robert H. Taylor, and, Edmund Jackson Davis.

[4] IOTL, modern Texas is one of few states to not have gubernatorial term limits and since the Reconstruction era constitution allowed for 4-year terms with at first a two out of three-term limit (8 years out of 12) and then none, it seems more reasonable to avoid such numbers game. In addition, due to Radical Republicans leading the constitution and realizing that part of these will be one of the most crucial requirements to rejoin the Union, the constitution would guarantee the freedmen's vote, with their ability to hold elections being added as a formality.

[5] Virginia elected its own senator for the senate term beginning March 4th, 1865 but was not seated due to Virginia not having been readmitted. ITTL due to the harshness of the remainder of Reconstruction, it was seen as prudent to allow a conciliatory move such as sitting a basically useless senator. John Creswell had a similar problem, but being an abolitionist ITTL just as IOTL, is also seated in the Senate for Virginia even though he wasn't IOTL.
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This update was light on the actual content and heavy on footnotes, for which I highly apologize, but there's a lot of context and moving parts and I'm not skilled enough yet to weave them together in the tapestry of this story, yet feel it highly important to get it out to you all. In the end, there will be some senators moving here and there and some people might have slightly different careers but overall, things will be "back to normal" in some ways by the 1880s when the Union war heroes sadly start to pass away.
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Few small corrections for Texan electoral history which will come on TTLs history textbooks. New governors/terms:
George B. Miller
1847-1849
Whig
(Other Democratic candidates gain more support, splitting the vote and granting it to Miller. His governorship is basically the same as OTLs George Thomas Wood's. (Only difference the Whig's death is not as sad, if just by a little.)

Sam Houston
1857-1861
Know Nothing/Constitutional Union
Senator
1846-1861
(Houston wins his 1857 gubernatorial race and is therefore reelected to his senate seat in 1861 due to his clear popularity, being expelled from the Senate alongside the other southern senators on July 11th,1861. He would also give one of his best speeches ITTL against secession, leading to lower support for the Confederacy through Texas, leading to an easier reconquest in the 1863-1864 campaigns.)

Elisha Marshall Pease
1851-1857/1867-18??
Whig/Republican

Edward Clark
1861-1863
Independent
Later on Confederate Brigadier General

"Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas. ... I protest. ... against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void. " - Sam Houston
 
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For abolitionist generals, there is David Hunter, Ambrose Burnside, Oliver O. Howard, Abner Doubleday, David B. Birney, John C. Robinson, and Francis Barlow. For those who stood up for the African-Americans in the Southern states after the war, they include George H. Thomas, John Pope, and Charles Griffin. For those who were more humane in their treatment of the natives, I could only find two men who could possibly fit that description: John Pope and George Crook, although Crook's treatment could more accurately be described as loyal to his word rather than humane, in the words of Red Cloud of Oglala Sioux, "He, at least, never lied to us. His words gave us hope."

As for a Grant cabinet, I could definitely see Seward, Stanton, Welles, and Speed staying on. Fessenden would likely stay with the cabinet until the nation's finances are in order, like he did IOTL, assuming Grant keeps him, which I could see him doing in honor of Lincoln and due to his popular support in the Senate. For the remaining posts, Grant probably fills them in with men loyal to him, with some men loyal to him IOTL being Henry Wilson, Benjamin Butler, John A. Logan, Zachariah Chandler, Oliver P. Morton, Elihu Washburne, Roscoe Conkling, Hamilton Fish, Benjamin Bristow, and John Rawlins. For his Republican enemies, I see them rising in Charles Sumner, Salmon Chase, Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Schurz, Lyman Trumbull, Horace Greeley, and Schuyler Colfax (who IOTL tried to replace Grant for the 1872 election).
 
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@TheRockofChickamauga Thank you very much, thanks to you, I'm definitely considering things much more closely, though I think Pope might be stuck with shit detail due to much earlier findings of TTLs Schofield Commission, so he might be stuck in the West for a long time. TTLs Indian Wars will also be different in one massive way... most tribes will be moved into Oklahoma, which won't have the same name ITTL, nor will it have its panhandle. Think the state of Sequoyah's Indian tribe allocation with the unassigned area most likely going to the Dakotas.
Not entirely sure about the cabinet, but you're half right about his enemies, Horace Greely will certainly oppose him (not entirely sure about Sumner.Chase, w9uld love context there), but Thaddeus Stevens will most likely remain loyal, and in the case of Schuyler Colfax, it was a miscommunication that made him try and usurp Grant, so I don't think it's set in stone. Butler is Vice-President, and there's still no precedent for a Vice-President holding a cabinet post, even if it is legally permissible to my knowledge, though for fun's sake... what cabinet post would be right for him?
 
For Sumner, his rivalry with Grant was largely a traditional Executive vs Legislative Branch power struggle, similar to the Jackson-Clay rivalry. He also thought Grant challenged his image as one of the undisputed figureheads of the Republican Party. Ultimately, the rivalry would break Sumner's power in the Senate by ousting him from his throne of Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Chase disliked Grant simply because he viewed him as an obstruction to his ultimate goal in life: the presidency.
 
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Chapter VIII: Lincoln's final legislative push/Readmission, Railroads, States, and Territories, Oh my!
This chapter deals with the final legislative pushes from Lincoln which will have heavy counseling from Grant and minor interjections from Butler. This will set a small precedent where the outgoing President is supposed to consult with the incoming administration over its policy goals to ensure the transition of power is as smooth as possible if only applying to same party administrations/those who got along.
In addition, Seward's wet dream is finally come true, due to a better economy, quicker recovery, and the morale boost from not only having two victorious generals in the White House but a quicker end to the war as well, America is feeling her expansionist groove much more than IOTL.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (June 1864, March 4th, 1865): Under the advisement of the soon to be President, new laws and regulations were pushed into Congress for approval by the lame-duck Lincoln administration, flush with the political capital of an outgoing war hero president handing the resin over in an uncontentious nomination and having his party remain in power after the election. The principal article of legislation that would affect the future of the Union would be presented in the readmission plans for the Confederate states. While Lincoln had preferred his already approved ten percent plan, many Radical Republicans wished for much harsher conditions for readmission such as those presented in the Wade-Davis bill. Though Lincoln, in his moderate sensibilities, saw it as too harsh a peace, saw it as only proper to consult with Grant as to the general’s preference for readmission. Grant, a Radical Republican, had seen firsthand how deeply the Planter Aristocracy had planted its harsh roots within the Confederacy and as such, came to the conclusion that the South would never be properly integrated into the Union if the political power of the Confederacy was allowed to continue in any way, shape or form. Helped along with Butler’s views on the necessary harshness to be taken upon the South, Lincoln would sign the Wade-Davis Bill, which would affect all states that had not yet been readmitted into the Union (which at this point was all of them). This legislative procedure would set the tone for the remainder of Lincoln’s presidency: as a caretaker until Grant’s assumption of office, and since Grant would be the one charged with the restoration of the Union, Lincoln would take deference to his policy preferences.

Lincoln, not wishing to intervene too heavily in regards to the reconciliation of the Union after reconstructing the SOuth to eliminate the permeating influence of the planter aristocracy which would fall upon the future administration, Lincoln's administration would focus on two main issues: a Trans-Continental Railroad, and the admission of new states. Up for admission: the Washington, Utah, New Mexico, Idaho, Dakota, and Oklahoma/Indian territories [1], While some argued that the creation of additional territories of such as Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming would help clean up the borders of the Dakota, Idaho, and Utah territories, it was seen as unnecessary and overly complicated (and unnecessary to dilute the Mormon majority in the Utah territory). [2] Alongside the concerns regarding the organization of current territories and the potential admission of new states, there was also the issue regarding the territories held by the indigenous people of the United States, who currently occupied the southern parts of the Dakota territory, alongside the Indian territory which was next to the Oklahoma territory. This would require proper legislation that would allow the federal government to properly deal with the tribes which were currently inhabiting American territory.

One state had been successfully included before Grant’s election, which would be the ascension of Nebraska into the Union. Having successfully created a constitution which was considered acceptable to Congress, would join its fellow states on August 30th, 1864, becoming the 36th state in the Union. [3]

Starting with the Indian/Oklahoma territories, the federal government saw it fit that all tribes that had allied themselves to the Confederacy would have to agree to emancipate all slaves held by the tribes and grant them tribal citizenship if the former slaves wished to remain the tribe. [4] In this case, the tribes were granted that their territory would be combined with that of Oklahoma, which would reflect itself into the territory (and later on the state) of Sequoyah (which, would include the entirety of the aforementioned territories, with the exception of the Oklahoma Panhandle, which would be returned to the state of Texas when it came under military control after the Civil War). This territorial concession would be reflected in the negotiation of the territory of Dakota, where the tribes were offered the unassigned territory within the soon-to-be-former Territory of Oklahoma. The Dakota tribes would see themselves quite heavily pushed into accepting this deal, which was helped along by monetary compensation for their lands.

As such, the state of Washington would be accepted into the Union on January 15th, 1865. Later on, the state of Idaho would be accepted into the Union on February 3rd, 1865. On March 15th, 1864, the former province of Canada and its multiple territories would be created into their own states under the constitutional requirement that Canada, if it so requested, would be immediately admitted as a state, and as such, the Union gained the states of Northern, Eastern, and Western Canada. The state of Dakota would join the Union on June 5th, 1865 as one of President Grant’s first major acts not directly related to the South. Later on, the state of Sequoyah which resulted from the union of the Indian and Oklahoma territories would become a bastion of indigenous representation on April 15th, 1868. The lowly populated area of New Mexico [6] would become its one state on June 7th, 1869. Finally, the territory of Utah would have to wait until May 17th, 1870 to join the Union after railroad investments had increased the population of the territory to an amount where the Mormon population was properly diluted enough to a point where it was no longer a majority and could not exert extreme political pressure upon the entire state. The last state to join the Union within Grant’s first two terms would come from the inclusion of Santo Domingo on February 14th, 1869. [5]


[1] ITTL, many of the laws creating new territories are rescinded by Abraham Lincoln to ensure a proper redrawing of state borders by the incoming Grant administration, with a proper dealing with the indigenous tribes to attempt to relive that headache for the incoming administration, which would come in the form of the Sequoyah territory and later state.
[2] The reason for the creation of OTL's state of Colorado was to have a state with as little Mormons as possible to control the state's silver mines.
[3] IOTL, Congress passed an enabling act to allow Nebraska to create its own state constitution in 1864, but the constitutional convention went nowhere. They succeeded in creating a constitution in 1866, but the admission of the state was pocket vetoed by Andrew Johnson IOTL. In 1877, Congress would resubmit the enabling act but stipulated that they would have to remove the clause which limited voting to “free white males” in the state; vetoed again by Johnson, the veto was overridden by Congress and Nebraska was admitted into the Union March 1st of that year. ITTL, they are able to come to an agreement in regards to the constitution in 1864 (basically the 1867 constitution), without introducing the suffrage limiting clause, meaning that Congress easily approved the state joining the Union, which was signed by Abraham Lincoln, Nebraska becoming a state on August 30th, 1864.
[4] These conditions are from OTL.
[5] The reason for the accelerated acceptance of states is to ensure Republican majorities in the House and especially the Senate. This argument is helped by the fact that unlike IOTL, the Lincoln (and later on Grant)
administrations are not consistently at odds with Congress, leading to greater acquiescence by the Republican Party (which holds great majorities in both chambers) and as such, early admission of these states. Specifically on the Utah point, though there was great distaste on behalf of the federal government towards the polygamous Mormons, the addition of territory (due to a lack of Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, and Colorado territories) is seen as a way to dilute the Mormon population in the state, which is achieved by populations shifts of poor white settlers in the search of mining fortunes, guided along by the railroads which would soon grow to cross the entire nation. ITTL, to make things simpler there are only 9 new states instead of our 12: Dakota, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico, Washington, the highly controversial Sequoyah, and the three Canadas. Northern Canada would comprise of OTL; Yukon, Nunavut, and the Northwestern Territories. Western Canada comprises OTL British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. With Western Canada consisting of Canada (OTL Ontario and Quebec with Saint Pierre and Miquelon added on to it) and the Atlantic Union (OTL Maritimes, Bermuda, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Turks and Caicos Islands).
[6] Arizona is not split off from New Mexico ITTL.
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@TheRockofChickamauga Thank you so much for everything! DOn't know what I would do without you! Truly appreciate everything. But yeah, it seems Chase is gonna die salty ITTL as well. Sumner will most likely retain his spot in that committee since Santo Domingo is definitely getting annexed, meaning he won't be looked upon badly for blocking i=said purchase.
 
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...why would the Russians sell Alaska to the US if the British don't control Canada? The reason they sold Alaska is because they were afraid the British were going to take it after the Crimean War.
 
@TC9078
The acquisition of Canada comes after that of Alaska, I just happened to get a bit ahead of myself. Also, from what I've read is that Alaska was also sold to cover the Tsar's gambling debts, so that, if true, wouldn't change. Also, from what I've read of Alyaska, the colony was not sustainable in the long run and Russia would lose it someday.

I very much appreciate the eagle eye, and thanks for letting me know, keep it up!
 
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...the candidates [for Vice President] soon to be presented at the National Union convention having been given to him, seeing the necessity vetting each candidate personally, and would do so throughout the week.
There is no historical evidence that Lincoln had any influence on the convention's choice for Vice President. He did not attend the convention, nor did he have anyone there as his representative. In any case, at that time and until the 1940s, Presidential nominees did not make Vice Presidential nominations to be automatically ratified by the convention.

Also, it would not be necessary for Lincoln to "vet" anyone; the men proposed were all well known to him.
 
@Anarch King of Dipsodes Thank you for the correction, and I'll definitely take that into consideration for how active I'll have my other candidates be in the near future when it comes time for their own conventions. As stated later on in the TL, Lincoln vets these candidates because he at first, decided to merely select a successor, a Vice-President where he could resign and hand power to them after the peace was signed, and as such felt the need to make sure they were worthy enough successors. Yet, later on, he realizes that he must not run for reelection because the strain of the Presidency is too much for him so he personally attends the convention to make sure Grant is nominated for the Presidency.

Vetting, in this case, meaning that they had the political skill and legitimacy in the public eye, something which Butler, due to military failures IOTL, infamously lacked. Also, for the record, Butler will have a very short retirement although he will live until the OTL year of his death.
 
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Chapter VIII Part II: Lincoln's final legislative push/Readmission, Railroads, States, and Territories, Oh my! Part Deux
This is the second part of the eighth chapter which now fully deals with the Great American Railroad and the great American tradition of homesteading in action which combines political protections and land grants to the freedmen of the South. While the combination of these proposals seems extreme, all of these were at one point in time or another from OTL, merely combined here through the power of a better economy, big business interests, and the combined power of Manifest Destiny and the desire to embrace the frontiersman spirit (also to allow for an escape valve for the poor southern whites that would inevitably wish to leave once plantation land was divided up between the freedmen). Finally, the policy issue we're all here for... Radical Reconstruction! It's finally here folks! The Radical Republican ideal of land distribution will be totally implemented, with the twin goals of both empowering the freedmen and simultaneously breaking the power of the infamous Planter Aristocracy, with many of their lands being split up between the former leaves which worked on those lands, with additional stretches of lands been given to ensure the African-American community had its own relatively homogenous living areas for safety and Republican majorities in the future.
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The Trans-Continental Railroad would be the main catalyst for the creation of new Western states. A policy goal from the now-extinct Whig Party, the idea of constructing a nation-spanning railroad had been seen as a way of both stimulating the railroad companies and the settlement of the Pacific, the Democrats would block all railroad bills, seeing them as economic competitors to the South, Immediately after the Southern Secession, the Northern states would pass multiple bills authorizing the construction of multiple railroads, which would start after hostilities had ended. Ambitious plans would provide for three routes: a Northern, Central, and Southern route. The reason for this extreme amount of construction would be twofold: the stimulation of domestic industries and the construction of railroads which would allow for an escape valve for many of the immigrants and poor whites who would be displaced by the North’s policies in the South. The routes would be as follows [1]:
The Northern route would go through what would have been the territory of Montana, reaching the Oregon territory. Though the route was considered harsh due to the terrain and winter snows, it was considered important to have an economic connection to British Columbia, and alongside a proper supply route to Rogeon and Washington would be created by this route.
The central route, which would be the most famous of the three would comprise a near tracing of the famous Oregon Trail, beginning in what had been the Wyoming territory, and would finish its route in the Californian city of Sacramento. While there had been discussions for having one main terminus for this railroad, it was found that all locations were more than satisfactory, and as such the central route of the Trans-Pacific Railroad would have the cities of St. Joseph, Missouri, Kansas City and Leavenworth, Kansas, Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska as termini of the railroad, helping with issues of logistics, passenger transport, and made for easier supervision of the railroads alongside the economic boons that would be brought to those cities.
Finally, the southern route would go from Texas, all the way to Los Angeles, California, using territory acquired from the 1853 Gadsden Purchase. The railroad would have three main effects: a form of employment for former slaves in eastern Texas and surrounding areas alongside poor whites, the settlement of the New Mexico territory, and the enrichment of the city of Los Angeles. [2]


Alongside the railroad grants, Abraham Lincoln would sign into law the new Homesteading Act of 1865 which would create a release valve for those displaced by the Civil War, with emphasis on the poor, yeoman farmer whites in the Southern states who were the men who would be mostly responsible for the extreme acts of racial violence against the Freedmen of the South, and as such would be encouraged to settle in the West to alleviate tensions between the races. The old planter aristocracy would also settle land in the West, many of their properties being confiscated by the Freedmen’s Bureau during the period of military governance of the South. The main issue was the settlement of the state of Nebraska, which had seen itself with an incredibly low population count and an improper settlement of its lands, which would be rectified in one of the main clauses of the Act, which stipulated that within the state of Nebraska, all homesteaders were able to claim 640 acres of land in the Sandhills, as these lands had poor irrigation. Alongside the generous provisions in regards to Nebraska, arid, desert lands would also be available in 640-acre plots of land, in exchange for the settlers irrigating said land; which would also be combined with 320-acre grants for marginal lands, particularly in the Great Plains, due to their difficulty in cultivating. Following this, the Homestead Act would, for all intents and purposes, renew the Donation Land Claim Act, allowing settlers to acquire 320 or 640-acre land plots in the Oregon territory for free, which when combined with the northern route of the Trans-Continental Railroad, would result in a massive boom for Oregon’s population, leading to the territory’s admission as a state soon thereafter. In adding to the idea of settlement, and the necessity for credit mobility due to the use of the Greenback fiat currency, the credit stipulation of the 1804 Land Act would come into effect, which when combined with the option for smaller land purchases enabled by the 1820 Land Act, and the additional option to have an 8-year payment plan if one prefers over the 4-year plan, would also lead to less adventurous and more economically secure individuals to buy public land situated north and east of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers respectively, would increase the plot sizes of the people already living in the area, as well as allow for new people to settle. Three more clauses would be added to the Act which unlike the previous ones, would apply to any and all homesteaders that met the conditions of such: the Stock-Raising clause, the Timber Culture clause, and the Small Tracts clause. The Stock-Raising clause would provide 640-acre plots in addition to any others, as long as the land was specifically put to use for the raising of livestock. The Timber Culture clause stipulated for an additional 160 acres, as long as 40 of those acres were used for the planting of trees, this deemed necessary due to a combination of the necessity for lumber and to reduce the effect of the wind upon the land, a common problem in the plains. Finally, the Small Tracts clause would allow unlimited claims in 5-acre increments as long as those areas were developed for the purposes of either entertainment, residence, or business. The Act would have lenient requirements such as 3 years of residency and showing that one was a citizen or in the process of becoming one (with accounts made for military service) and for the claimant to be 21 years old in most cases, or 18 years old (if the head of household), alongside the usual stipulations of residing on and improving the land with the exception of the Timber Culture Act). [3]

The creation of the Freedmen’s Bureau would be President Lincoln’s toughest and most impactful law passed in the remainder of his term. Dealing directly with the creation of an agency that would endeavor to protect the newly freed slaves, the Freedmen’s Bureau would be responsible for the resettlement, housing, feeding, education, and provision of legal and voting rights for former slaves all across the Confederacy. An extremely unpopular agency amongst the old Planter Aristocracy and poor whites who saw that they were not benefiting from those programs, and as such (in their minds) relegated to a position below the former chattel. Bowing to the Radical inclinations held by Grant, and vociferously espoused by Butler, Lincoln would, against his better instincts and wishes, give the Bureau mandate to implement the famous promise of “40 Acres and a Mule” order of Major General William Tecumseh Sherman in his Special Field Order No. 15. Dividing up southern plantation land in parcels of up to 40 acres, alongside the provision of a pair of mules, harnesses, a cart, tools, seed, and food supplies. Freedmen would have the land available to them for a 6% (or less) yearly rent, with the option to buy the land after holding it for three years (at full 1860 prices). Alongside the opening-up of three million acres of unsettled land in Florida, Mississippi, and Arkansas, it would ensure the economic independence and freedom and stability so badly needed for the freedmen after the war and their emancipation. Drafted by Lyman Trumbull, Senator from Illinois, the Bureau would be a part of the War Department, would have no expiration date, and the homesteading would be open to all refugees and African-Americans, regardless of whether or not they lived in the ex-confederacy. As such, combined with the settlement of the 10,000 African-American soldiers from Virginia serving in Texas, alongside an additional 50,000 African Americans in the state of Virginia would be granted 500,000 acres of land in the state of Florida as a demonstration of the benefits of the settlement of former Confederate land. Alongside a provision of three million acres of land within the states of Florida, Mississippi, and Arkansas exclusively for freed slaves. An additional 46,398,544.87 acres would be opened up for sale in 80 and 160-acre sized plots in the states of Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, and Louisiana which would be open to both the freed slaves and loyal whites. The Act would, in its formation by Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull would also notably include the following phrase which would grant: “any of the civil rights or immunities belonging to white persons, including the right to.....inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property, and to have full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and estate, including the constitutional right of bearing arms.” which would guarantee civil and legal rights for all freed slaves, with the second notable element a lack of expiration date to the Act, which meant that the law would be in effect until Congress saw fit to nullify it instead of having to renew it constantly. [4]


[1] Context from OTL. ITTL, the building of railroads is seen as even more important to the development of the nation, both as part of the Republican idea of settling the West and as a way to stimulate the economy (alongside the opportunity to create large investments by Butler and other less than scrupulous politicians).
[2] All cities were proposed as potential termini IOTL for their respective routes, which ITTL, they are all selected to be able to build more railroads and create more jobs in their areas.
[3] This updated Homesteading Act is basically just a combination of the Timber Culture Act, the Kinkaid Amendment, the Stock-Raising Homestead Act, and the Small Tracts Ac, followed by a combination and amendment of the 1804 and 1820 Land Acts. Alongside the least restrictive application provisions found for any of the bills being applied to all of them, it would comply with the Republican ideals of Homesteading and settlement of the West, with additional incentives for land ownership in the Ohio area.
[4] This superpowered version of the Freedmen’s Bureau Act would combine the terms of the first and second iterations of the Act. IOTL, Illinois Senator Lyman Trumbull did insert a provision for the Second Freedmen’s Bureau bill to be without an expiration date, and ITTL, he succeeds. Due to Grant and Butler’s Radical Republican leanings, the bill would be more vigorously enforced by them and would hold their approval through their administration.
 
Ladies, gentlemen, and all who lie betwixt! Chapter VIII Part Deux is the final update for the time being which focuses on the internal politics of the United States and will now deal with territorial acquisitions, foreign policy, and the state of the world! Yes, the promised shakeup in Greece is coming soon, so please stay tuned for that!
In addition, I want to thank everyone and anyone who has helped, comment, liked, and/or at the very least liked this timeline in the tiniest of amounts and do hope to keep pumping out good content for at least a little while more!

Also, to avoid any issues right now, the Grant administration will last more than two terms, to clarify my previous comment regarding the cultural shift in regards to term limits. This administration will be in for some ups and downs but will avoid the main issues regarding the end of Reconstruction and inter-party politics at the presidential level (no Compromise of 1876).

If there are any historical figures, events, countries, wars, and/or battles that you feel deserve a deeper look, could be affected by PoDs, or got a bum rap IOTL/overrated, please feel free to inform me with some information surrounding it (preferably with a way to properly integrate it into the story) and I'll do my outright best to include! (I'm a huge believer in redemption and letting people get a fair shake.)
 
Chapter IX: Territorial Acquisitions / How to make 145 million dollars selling frozen tundra
This is the beginning of the international tour for this TL! This update deals with the American acquisition of most of British America. Meaning that, yes, all Canadians ITTL truly are just colder Americans. This negotiation is simultaneous with the purchase of Alaska, but due to how big this change is, I consider it important to get this one out there first to get things rolling.

Also, to those seeing the tags and wondering when and where do Dom Pedro, the Napoleons, and the Italian and German Unifications come in, they're coming real soon. They're probably 3-5 updates away so no worries, it's justifiable clickbait.
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The American Civil War, while highly important, was not great enough to stop the Earth, and as such, the Sun kept shining and the Earth kept spinning and nowhere did sunshine light up the world more than it did the lands held by the British Empire. Successful in their colonization of parts of India, Australia, South African, and current masters of Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, having friendly relations with their Canadian possession.
The British Empire would find itself in great diplomatic stress of the debacle known as the Alabama Claims[1]. The United States, having searched, negotiated, and fought for the neutrality of the great European powers in the issue of the Civil War, saw the construction of five Confederate warships by the British Empire as a grave violation of said neutrality, exacerbated by the particularly effective performance of the CSS Alabama. Led by William H. Seward, the expansionist Secretary of State would see two ways of pursuing the resolution of this diplomatic issue: total extortion of the British Empire (asking for a sum of two billion dollars), or a complete annexation of the Canadian territories[2]. While neither of these conditions would be seriously considered by many; popular opinion agreed that the United States deserved financial or territorial compensation on behalf of the British violation of American neutrality. Those who sought territorial compensation wished annexation of British Columbia, Manitoba, and eastern Labrador in exchange for dropping the economic claims of damages. [3] The British meanwhile, desired the nullification of all American claims and renewal of proper trade relations with the United States. [4] The United States population led by two successful major generals and having suffered heavy, though not crippling losses in the Civil War would find themselves pushed by their legislators and many newspapers, would find themselves with great excitement at the proposition of aggressive posturing, this due to the implicit promise that no matter what, the United States would not go to war over the Canadian territories and as such felt free to bluff and bluster as much as they wished.[5] Grant, alongside Lincoln, saw Manifest Destiny and settlement of the frontier as a way of unifying the nation after the Civil War, and as such, would back up Secretary Seward to the hilt. In the incoming months after the election of 1864 and the near failure of the Canadian Union between the Upper and Lower Canadas, the British would come to see the American position with the help of American offers of money, and the promise of fishing and navigational rights.[6] As such, after months of negotiations, the British would cede all British territories in the Americas to the United States for 137.5 million dollars[7], alongside fishing and navigation permissions, and alongside a Treaty of Friendship between the nations. The news was met with mixed reactions internationally: the United States would see itself be legitimized in the eyes of the world thanks to their massive diplomatic gain, while the British would spin this as a focus on its Asian and African possessions, which would lead to much tighter links between the British and the Japanese to ensure a more local master to the possessions it could not directly control.[8] In the end, the ceding of the New World territories to the Americans would lead to a refocus by the British favoring their Asian, and especially African territories, using the money gained from this trade to fund their colonial interests in the Dark Continent.[9]

Now, to properly understand what the United States had gained for 137.5 million dollars, it would be important to understand the situation the former British colonies faced. Canada, a disparate collection of territories occupying North America, had been considering unification within a federal framework partially based upon the American model, although the union would be framed as a Confederation of Canadian states. The province of Canada made up of the union of Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec) found itself at a near impasse due to the natural conflicts between Ontario and Quebec’s respective Anglo and Francophone cultures. The cultural conflict would also be reflected politically, with the legal framework for the union of the Canadas would provide Ontario with disproportional representation compared to Quebec’s greater population.
The following islands had found themselves plagued by colonial neglect, and as such, would have low populations and underdeveloped economies outside of shipping, trade, and cash crops. These islands in the case of any decline of the British Empire would find themselves dependent on whatever trade the Northern Canadian provinces could provide to them, and as such, would eagerly insist on following their Northern brethren into the Union when they heard the offer of Canadian purchase. While the British Empire had no need to listen to their subjects, it was seen as beneficial to keep up trade relations, and following American guarantees of “mutually beneficial” trade agreements between the United States and the British, the territorial transfer would be granted… for a price. These territories would be conglomerated into the West Indies Federation, to ensure that these Caribbean and American territories would not receive an inordinate amount of Senators and would hold a large enough population to be admitted as a state.


[1] Just as IOTL, the Alabama Claims would rear up to sour US-GB relations due to the British violating neutrality in the American Civil War by allowing the Confederacy to build warships in their naval facilities.

[2] These harsh claims are from OTL, which Seward was, to a certain point at least, was willing to pursue.

[3] These were the moderate American claims from OTL.

[4] These were the British desires IOTL, hoping to just let bygones be bygones.

[5] Butterflies are striking here: the Civil War lasts around three months less due to successes in Virginia, which leads to quicker battles due to some of the quagmires and statements from OTL are avoided or turn into Union victories much earlier; which leads to both lowered casualties on both sides, alongside a smaller national trauma due to the lack of horrific stories of as many massive battles filled with carnage, rather just a regular war. The Republican Party was filled with expansionists, their goals were left unchecked and as such, the US would go forward with a highly expansionist policy for the foreseeable future. This sort of negotiation would set a precedent for a continuation of power between friendly administrations and a slight reduction of the idea of the lame-duck period (only if the outgoing and incoming administrations had very similar goals/got along well). On a separate point, US foreign policy, and most foreign policy in general, relies on the assurance that while leaders could talk a big game during diplomatic negotiations, that reason would rule the day, and as such, cooler heads would prevail and the nations would always edge away from the precipice of war. Due to the lessened perception of the American Civil War, the US population (specifically Northern Expansionist Republicans) felt that they had a certain amount of leeway to bluff and bluster due to the slightly stronger national psyche than IOTL, this is helped by the fact that the United States (up until the World Wars where US-Canada relations were properly formed) had always seen Canada as a natural of the extension of American territory.

[6] The British, whenever negotiating in terms of US-Canada boundaries and when dealing with the issue of Canadian independence, would have as a major concern that the British would be able to keep fishing and navigational access in Canadian waters. In this case, Great Britain was guaranteed certain fishing rights in former Canadian lands, helping them seal the deal.

[7] I calculated the price by tripling Alaska’s future price tag of $5kg2 ($15/kg2), multiplied by Canada’s total landmass of 9,093,507km2 which totals $136,402,605, rounded up to $136,500,000 for ease, with the figure jumping up by $1,000,000 to compensate for the other territories: Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Guyana, Barbados, Jamaica (which would have the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands joined politically), Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Cristopher-Nevis-Anguilla, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.

[8] As in IOTL, GB, and Japan had an alliance of convenience due to their opposition to the Russian Empire. ITTL, due to the British refocus on African and Asian territories, with some investments made in the Oceanic region, would lead to a better understanding of the local situation. While the rulers of Perfidious Albion had managed to conquer the ruling classes of the subcontinent of India but were never able to penetrate the ironclad structure of the Chinese upper strata. While they had helped crush the anti-Western Taiping Rebellion, the Chinese were no more eager to let the British control more of their country, grateful as they were for the help in regards to the continuation of their regime. Here, the colonial office noticed a golden opportunity which no other colonial power, most importantly that of the French, could not take advantage of… the power of the Japanese to assimilate the outer territories of the Chinese and Korean homelands while bending the Chinese ruling classes to their will, which in exchange for favorable trade to Great Britain, would lead to quite a profitable relationship. (Not to tip my hand too much, but ITTL, the Co-Prosperity Sphere will be a much more legitimate idea, which will be started with the explicit help and approval of the British.)

[9] Due to the sale of Canada and other American territories, the British Empire decides to refocus its empire to build up its African and Asian possessions to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to colonialism.
 
Chapter X: Russian-American Relations/ Making Unlikely Friends
The relation between the Russian Empire and the up and coming power of the United States was always a bit complicated, but it was about to get a lot simpler and a lot friendlier after the close of the Civil War. Russia was a large nation, the largest in the entire world, to be specific, and as such, was made up of many disparate peoples spread out over tracts of land so massive that their sheer size would give pause to even the most zealous of Manifest Destiny inspired frontiersmen. Their current emperor, Alexander II was seen as a relatively liberal force who had granted the Finnish a semblance of autonomy and had emancipated the poor serfs of the nation, earning him comparisons to the American President Abraham Lincoln. This political liberalism was offset by the oppressive pattern of Polish and Baltic suppression, which meant that the Poles and the Balts had lost their local assemblies, duchy status, and any semblance of respect from Moscow and the Tsar. These policies of assimilation would be continued to ensure these groups were joined into the Russian nation, its culture, and its language, but these subjects would not face oppression in all aspects of life, following Tsar Alexander's desire for a slowly reforming society.
Alongside the settlement and Russification of Poland and the Baltics, Russia had also embarked on a project to settle the Far East, having abandoned their American possession of Alyaska in all but legal possession, they had tried to sell the possession ever since 1859 and had found great American interest in the said purchase, only interrupted by the Civil War. Henry M. Seward, always desirous of more American territory and seeing the assimilation of Russian America as a necessary part of American domination of the continent, and as such, would do his outright best to acquire said territory. Following this logic, it would be crucial to have a proper northern Pacific port which would ensure an area for both low-scale ship maintenance and light commercial fishing which would take the pressure off the warmer water ports.
Russia, finding a need for the construction of new railroads to connect their European and Far Eastern territories, would find that the private attempts at the construction of infrastructure... lacking, to say the least. As such, the Russian delegate would ensure that the sale of their American possession would ensure investment in the empire, not merely a windfall that would quickly vanish across the imperial budget and the royal family’s expenses. As such, the diplomat would include provisions that would open up the Russian Far East to American railroad investment, in exchange for American expertise, materials, light investment, and help with the industrialization of Russia.
Seeing how the Ob-Yenisei Canal had not met the demand for Trans-Siberian transportation even though it had been a well-used water route since 1844, it was seen as inefficient and would not be able to carry enough shipping within a decade or two. Finding success in the Irkutsk-Chita project by the American entrepreneur Richard Perry which had been finished in 1857, the project would prove the potential in railroads and would increase the Russian entrepreneurial spirit in railroad and manufacturing. These conditions, absolutely acceptable would be quickly accepted by Seward and the American delegation, with many Republicans quickly investing in railroad stocks and companies, ready for the soon incoming windfall that would come from the Trans-Atlantic, and soon to be Trans-Siberian Railroad. As such, the deal would stipulate the transfer of Alaska to the United States in exchange for a payment of 7.65 million dollars. [1]
In the end, the Trans-Siberian railroad would have two routes, a northern and southern, which would follow the following cities:
Northern route: Tyumen, Tobolsk, Tomsk, Yenisyesk, Yakutsk, and would follow the route of the later built Baikal Amur line.
Southern route: Kazakhstan, Barnaul, Abakan, and Mongolia
Later on, these railroads would lead to the construction of a Moscow-Pyongyang, a Kyiv-Vladivostok route, a Baik-Amur, and an Amur-Yakutsk line. [2]
Following the transfer of Russian America, many railroad companies would begin selling materials, sending materials, and hiring local labor (for much cheaper than in America) and would begin the construction of a unified railroad network across Russia beginning in mid-1865, and would begin work on a Trans-Siberian railroad at around the same time, finishing their work in 1872.


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[1] Price is equal to what it was IOTL.
[2] Railroads that were built much later on IOTL, ITTL, due to great investment by Russia alongside ties with American railroad companies would lead to these railroads being constructed by the end of the XVIIIth Century.
 
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Chapter XI: The Balkans and Greece's changes
This update deals with the beginning of the big changes on the world stage. The promised shakeup in Greece is finally here, with the second half coming soon! Later on, we'll see the Balkans be relatively stable for once in a TL.
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Following the temporary settlement of the Balkans situation following the ascension of George I to the Greek throne and the uneasy peace forced upon the Russian Empire following the Crimean War, the Great Powers were hungry to feast upon the corpse upon the Sick Man of Europe: the Ottoman Empire. [1] A realm slowly falling apart at the seams due to the great religious and nationalist conflicts in the region, both from the former European territories of the Empire and the nationalities still held within it.[2] Accompanied with loose control of its Arabian and African holdings, and mired in economic malaise and stagnation due to constant political infighting, the Sick Man of Europe could only hope and pray for the most skilled of doctors to hold even the smallest of chances of reforming and recovering well enough to survive the cutthroat nature of Great Power politics, let alone restoring their past glory. This recovery would come only after truly painful losses in future conflicts and the necessary shakes and heaves following such bitter medicine, its first ingredient being the death of the popular Prince William of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, better known as King George I of Greece. [3]

[1] A sort and quick (and admittedly not very detailed) view of the Balkans situation in Europe.
[2] A quick reminder of what the Ottomans were infamously going through during this time period, being first called The Sick Man of Europe in 1852 by Tsar Nicholas Pavlovich Romanov (Nicholas I) as quoted by Lord John Rusell.
[3] One of the first big changes internationally, the poor Danish prince would be the first step in many in the forging of a stronger (if smaller) Ottoman Empire.

Having made sure to make himself loved by the people of his new realm, the King would go about the streets with minimal protection to ingratiate himself with his subjects by his humility (as humbly as a king could seem to his subjects). While the people had grown to love him, the closeness between the young monarch and his subjects would backfire. Allowing himself to be approached by a small crowd of his subjects, a small boy no more than eight ran across the market square where the king had gathered to meet his people, when the boy, coughing and out of breath, seemingly from this great exertion, hugged his king, who enthusiastically embraced his subject, neither knowing that the young child was carrying the initial stages of tuberculosis. This act of kindness would intertwine both youth’s fates as they succumbed to consumption in the following weeks, the young boy, forgotten by all but his family, the king deeply mourned by his people. [1]
[]1 Admittedly, I’m ignorant of the mechanisms of tuberculosis both in terms of infection and as to how long it takes to kill someone, but this seemed like the best way to kill the young king, as he was much too popular as to be assassinated as he would IOTL… after ruling for nearly 50 years as King of Greece.

The young king would pass away on 30 October 1864, eleven days after his veiled threat of either returning to Denmark or imposing a constitution, leading to the Greek National Assembly approving a constitution quickly due to not wishing their king’s intervention, and later on as respect due to their popular monarch’s death.[1] The Greek National Assembly would be forced to elect a new king, and with not many options left, would have to fall back to the will of the people of Greece: Prince Alfred Ernest Albert. Though the London Conference of 1832 had prohibited the installment of any noble whose house originated from either the Russian, French, or British ruling dynasties, the Greeks had once again made their voices heard, and as such demanded that their king be Prince Alfred. [2] As had been done in 1862, the Greek National Assembly declared him king in absentia immediately after the passing of George I, and massive protests rose up in the streets clamoring for the British noble’s ascension, great part due to his popularity, and due to wishing to be under the protection of the British crown. [3]

[1] IOTL, King George I threatened to take decisive action regarding the impasse of the Greek National Assembly creating the Constitution. The threat was worded vaguely enough where the GNA was unsure whether the king meant that he would return to his native Denmark or take harsh action against them, and as such, wishing to avoid either outcome, would quickly finish and ratify the Greek Constitution.
[2] In 1862, after the expulsion of King Otto I of Greece, the GNA held a vote to determine which noble would be offered the Greek Crown. Prince Alfred received an incredible 230,016 votes out of a total of 241,202 votes cast (a whopping 95.36%!). The closest candidate being Prince Nicholas Maximilianovich de Beaurnhais, Duke of Leuchtenberg with 2,400 votes cast in his favor (a measly 0.99% when rounded up). The only other notable candidates were Tsar Alexander II (1,841 votes), a Republic (93 votes), General Guiseppe Maria Garibaldi (3 votes), and Emperor of the French Napoleon III (2 votes).
 
Chapter XII: Greece and the Great Powers/The Concert of Europe starts its tour
Finally, after all the drama in Greece, this is the behind the scenes in regards to the new Greek monarch. Yes, while this is clearly a France-wank and a slight Russia-buff, Britain will be sure to make the most of all this, specifically when it comes to keeping up the imperialist games in the Far East. Keeping on the subject of the concept of Europe, Greece will find herself with a Russian-backed Balkan state to ensure a semblance of balance in the area, while the Far East will see the Japenese being built up much more than IOTL, much to the detriment of the Chinese, and especially the Koreans.
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As such, the Great Powers would have to come together to determine the rightful fate of the Greek monarchy. Though the three Great Powers did not wish for such a clear imbalance of power to occur (though of course the British were less opposed due to such imbalance being greatly in their favor)[1], Prince Alfred’s mother, Queen Alexandrina Victoria, did not wish to see her son leave her side, mired in a permanent state of grief over the loss of her beloved Prince Consort, Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. [2] The powers of France and Russia, though ameliorated that the British had seemingly lost such great power due to their previous sale of vast swathes of their American territories, were no more keen on allowing a leading member of the British Crown to rule over the Kingdom of Greece as they had been prior to the seeming decline of British power.[3]

When it came to international diplomacy between the Great powers, the Russians were easier to deal with, though their conflicts with the British were too large to ignore, they weren't the generations-long blood-feud that the French had held towards the British. Due to better relations between the empires, the Russians were willing to consider simple colonial exchanges in return for accepting the British proposal. The terms were simple, in exchange for allowing the British prince on the Greek throne, the British would ease off Russian ambitions in Central Asia, the Far East, and especially in regards to any future claims they may hold over the rest of the Balkans. [4] Though both powers would grit their teeth while doing so, the Russians accepted, believing that their expansion in the Far East in regards to Chinese territory and influence over Korea would be accepted, while they could take Afghanistan for their own colonial purposes, with a seemingly strong guarantee of no further Balkan intervention; meanwhile the British agreed, knowing that they could merely prop up the Japanese to check Russian aggression in the Far East while helping the Pakistanis to claim whatever territory they wanted in Afghanistan so that whatever territory Russia could hold would either be worthless or filled with ethnic strife turning the possession into a poisoned chalice of worthless desert mountains while being free to prop up Greece in the Balkans to ensure the Russians and other Slavic groups were held in check. [5]

Meanwhile, the French were a much harder beast to tame as the relations between the British and the French had always been… cold at best, and having another Napoleon on the throne didn’t help such matters, and as such, the British would have to bleed for the French to acquiesce to the monarchical appointment. Seeing how the people of Greece were ready to rise up in arms if their demands for their desired monarch were not met, the British offered the French what they wished to make sure they could hold on to power across the world. [6] As such, the British would repudiate the 1839 Treaty of London which set up an independent Belgium under British-enforced neutrality, and British acquiescence to the planned purchase of Luxembourg from the Dutch by the French, which, while theoretically beneficial to the Dutch on an economic and potentially territorial manner, was just a way for Napoleon III to finally get his hands upon Belgium and Luxembourg without having to face the wrath of the British Empire.[7] A second provision was that the British would cease trying to sabotage the construction of the Suez Canal and would invest in its construction.[8] With a third and final provision being that the British would help finance and supply the French invasion of Mexico.[9] These three points being accepted by the British as a way to at the very least be able to find influence in the changing dynamics of the world (hoping to purchase a controlling amount of shares of the Canal if they are to be forced, and hoping to bribe Maximilian to depart from France after he stabilizes his rule), while the French saw themselves as having been blessed by God as they could now expand across Europe and strengthen their position in Egypt, Napoleon III blissfully willing to enter into conflict with the Belgians even if this would result in a painful period of integration.[10]

All agreements concluded, Queen Victoria would tearfully inform Alfred that fate called him to the Greek throne and that he must obey the call of duty. Though he did not wish to rule the Greeks, Alfred saw he had no other choice and would depart for Greece, reaching its shores a month after the death of George I, on 30 November 1864. Upon his arrival, Alfred would be crowned King of Greece and would swear an oath to the newly written Constitution that same day, marking the beginning of his eventful rule.


[1] The original agreement which had put the now-deposed Otto I and the now-deceased George I upon the Greek throne stipulated that none of the three Great Powers which had signed the treaty could put any member of their royal dynasties upon the throne. As such it would take great efforts to change such provisions.

[2] Prince Alfred had not wanted the throne when it was originally offered to him, independently of his not being eligible by treaty conditions. Queen Victoria was also grateful for this as she did not wish her children to leave her side due to her constant grief over the loss of her beloved husband Albert (after his death, she entered a permanent state of mourning, she would only wear black for the rest of her life). Her obsession with keeping her children by her side even led her to intervene in her youngest daughter’s love life to ensure that any marriage she contracted would not pull her away from the Queen.

[3] While the seeming loss of power and/or prestige will grant any nation some amount of goodwill and/or leeway, installing a direct descendant of the British monarch is a bridge too far.

[4] These were the Russian goals in terms of foreign policy during this era, and the British would grant it, in a backhanded way as always, but on paper, the Russians had won a great diplomatic victory.

[5] The British, even of the backfoot, have always famously been able to spin seemingly diplomatic fiascos to their (at the very least partial) advantage. Looking at the deal with their concessions to the Russians, the Empire would seek to find ways to unofficially go back on this agreement.

[6] The French and British (English before them) had never been known to be particularly friendly before the signing of the Entente Cordiale and their frostiness was quite pronounced whenever a Napoleon was on the throne, meaning that whenever one side held the upper hand, they would be sure to push as far as possible. Positions being reversed, the British would not have hesitated to humiliate the French Emperor.

[7] Napoleon III was famously interested in acquiring the formidable fortress of Luxembourg, which he purchased from the heavily indebted King of the Netherlands IOTL in 1867, but the sale was intercepted before the transfer of territory could be made (sabotaged by German Prince Otto von Bismarck). It is also theorized that Napoleon wanted to conquer Belgium, so with this deal, he would be assured non-interference in his purchase of Luxembourg, and while the Netherlands could theoretically reconquer their former Belgian territories, the country was too weak to do so, leaving Napoleon III as the default beneficiary of Belgium’s newfound status as an international orphan.

[8] During this time period, Britain was enabling Bedouin warriors so as to sabotage the construction of the Suez Canal, something which heavily frustrated the French as they were the only nation to invest in the project. Under this provision, the British would cease the indirect sabotage and would help alleviate the cost of the project by financing, and as such, help speed its construction along, even if that meant the British would partially control the Canal due to their investment.

[9] The big-ticket item from a pride perspective, the French wished to establish a kingdom in Mexico to spread their influence across the world but had come across major setbacks after the other powers which had helped intervene in Mexico backed out after finding out Napoleon III’s true interests after had ostensibly invaded to ensure payment of the debt held by the Mexican government. The British, though unenthusiastic, were not expected to provide much other than supplies and a small force of troops to help out the French Foreign Legion.

[10] Same as with the concessions to the Russians, the British were always looking to work the situation to their advantage even when at first glance they were at a total disadvantage. As they saw it, France would soon have an independent monarch across the ocean which they would be too busy to do anything about as Napoleon would be too occupied choking down the unrest caused by integrating the Belgians into their realm. The French, much as the Russians, were currently blind as to the challenges their diplomatic “coups” would bring them, the glory hound Napoleon suffering from this “victory disease” harder than his Russian counterpart, as Alexander was already, at least in part, familiarized with the great challenges of absorbing and assimilating a hostile culture.
 
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Sorry for the massive delay in posting, been dealing with school, light seasonal depression, and the great wild expanses of Red Dead Redemption 2.

I'm back though and will soon post again on this beautiful site, even if not as regularly!
 
Chapter XIII: Latin America/When Harry met... Harry
This sudden in scenery comes for two very good reasons: as a Hispanic individual, I find it important to recognize the events and occurrences in Latin America and the formerly Spanish owned Caribbean. The other reason is that we're going to meet two very important figures of history within this chapter which will lead to a very unlikely alliance, one which spans two different continents, bridging the Old World's monarchy in the New World, with the New World's democracy in the Old World.

This first part discusses the conflicts present within the continent, with the explanation of how Brazil has been able to capitalize upon said unrest.
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On to the issue of Latin America, the continent had greatly suffered from political instability following internal power struggles between liberals and conservatives/federalists and unionists which had led to massive strife and economic instability. The main issue of the time was faced within the former Brazilian province of Uruguay (formerly the Cisplatine province). The Republic of Uruguay was politically fragmented between two different forces: the liberal Colorados (Reds) and the conservative Blancos (Whites), who were in power as President Anastasio de la Cruz Aguirre was a member of the White Party. Due to the Liberating Crusade led by Colorado leader Venancio Flores Barrios against the rule of Blanco President Bernardo Prudencio Berro (predecessor to Anastasio). While the Colorados were backed by Argentinian forces, the Blancos had the support of Paraguay, and as such, had an advantage over the Colorado forces… until Brazil had intervened. Led by Pedro de Alcântara João Carlos Leopoldo Salvador Bibiano Francisco Xavier de Paula Leocádio Miguel Gabriel Rafael Gonzaga, better known as Dom Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil.
A liberal reformer, he had grown weary of dealing with the struggles of court intrigue, the role of Emperor weighing heavily upon his tired shoulders. While he had never seen war as a way to seek glory, Dom Pedro understood the necessity of helping the Uruguayans solve their conflict as soon as possible to help avoid death and destruction, and it didn't hurt that he preferred the Colorados over the Blancos. Having entered into backroom chats with Paraguayan president Francisco Solano López Carillo to ensure he didn’t intervene on behalf of the Blanco forces to not turn the civil war into an all-out war between Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay. President López agreed to Dom Pedro’s request in exchange for Brazilian investment in Paraguay’s economy, which was readily agreed to as a way of improving relations between both nations. As such, the combined Brazilian and Argentinian forces would bolster the Colorados and would lead to the ouster of President Berros on December 1st, 1864, with the newly appointed President Flores signing an armistice on the same day, with a formal option of annexation being apprehensively accepted by the Uruguayans as their civil war had weakened them too much as to resist the annexation by their former overlords.
Though it pained Dom Pedro to engage in such treachery, it was clear that such drastic action was necessary to bring order to Uruguay. This would require the greatest use of political power by Dom Pedro in decades as it became clear that Uruguay would not accept being part of a Brazilian Empire which still allowed for slavery. Though many hacendados were vehemently opposed to abolition, the potential for acquiring more land would ameliorate some of their concerns and as such would not put up more than moderate opposition to the Emperor’s will. Pushed ahead by his daughter, Princess Imperial of Brazil Isabel Cristina Leopoldina Augusta Micaela Gabriela Rafaela Gonzaga, known as Dona Isabel. She was a supporter of the cause of abolition and would help push the Golden Law as fast as possible through the necessary legislators to ensure its passage. As such, due to their enthusiastic efforts, Dom Pedro and Dona Isabel would grow closer, the Emperor seeing his daughter proving herself more than capable of ruling the country after his inevitable passing. This change would lead to the Emperor finding a second wind to the final years of his reign, as he saw a bright future in a capable and competent heir which would help progress Brazil into the next century. Dona Isabel would relish the added responsibility, always wishing to be considered as a serious successor to her father, and had, seemingly, finally earned his approval, but most of all, had done it while ensuring the emancipation of the myriad of Brazil’s slaves. As such, on January 15th, 1865, while the details of the integration of the former Cisplatine province into the Empire were being ironed out with the Colorados, the abolition of slavery within the Empire of Brazil would be formalized. The Colorados being kept from revolt after having being promised that Uruguay would not be annexed until after the abolition of slavery in Brazil, they would also be given government positions within the province, with Flores being named governor. While the Blancos wished to relaunch their conflict, this time against the Brazilians, the people had lost any taste for war due to the great losses they had endured during their civil war, the Blancos losing what little legitimacy they had left with the people of Uruguay, and as such, could do nothing but seethe as the Colorados occupied the entire government.

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This being the situation on the ground, one Old World revolutionary would come to grow momentarily disillusioned with the Colorado forces, but later on reaching a mutual understanding with Brazil's ruler.
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During the Tripartite War, the Colorado forces were supported not only by international volunteers and troops from Argentina alongside the Army of Brazil but by the Italian Redshirts, led by the indefatigable Sword of Italy, Giuseppe Maria Garibaldi. Having fought for the Colorado faction of the Uruguayan nation, he would lead his men to victory against the Blanco forces, he was vehemently opposed to the Brazilian annexation of the young Uruguayan nation. A freedom fighter by nature, he was entirely opposed to the annexation of smaller countries by larger empires.
Though he would initially refuse a meeting with Dom Pedro II, due to the insistence of the Colorado forces, he would begrudgingly agree to meet with the emperor. An ardent anti-monarchist, Garibaldi was not keen on the Emperor of a realm that seemed content to keep permanent the horrific evils of the institution of chattel slavery. Seeing how the Colorado forces had been granted the government of the soon-to-be state in Brazil, Garibaldi was only slightly relieved that the Brazilian government would respect the agreements it held with his fellow revolutionaries and as such would not be entire with an entirely hostile disposition when first meeting with Dom Pedro, getting to know the Emperor and his military staff relatively well within the coming weeks, with Garibaldi taking away the clear impression that Dom Pedro was a tired man surrounded by opportunistic vultures waiting to overtake the nation once the emperor had grown too weak to resist. These military men, seeing themselves as noble leaders of professional armies would look down upon the Italian and his rag-tag band of volunteers. Garibaldi, always proud of being a leader of volunteers, would not be offended at being insulted for his lack of official rank but would grow to resent the elitism of these generals against his people, who saw them as little more than restless peasants.
Garibaldi would grow to at the very least dislike the tired monarch less than before, admiring the man’s respect for the people of his realm and the honesty he presented in his dealings with Uruguay. The men would bond over one key element: their dislike of the Brazilian monarchy. While Garibaldi disliked the institution due to his anti-monarchist views, but due to the nation’s seeming indifference if not outright encouragement of slavery, while Dom Pedro had grown weary of the throne a long time ago, his desire to abandon the throne only tempered by the need the nation had of his administration to survive the murky waters of independence.
Dom Pedro, seeing the horrors of war during the Tripartite War, could only fret over any potential new violence and as such, was determined to be as lenient as necessary to ensure a peaceful integration of the Cisplatine Province. Having already gained Garibaldi's begrudging respect through his honest dealings with the former Uruguayan rebels, Dom Pedro would cement their friendship by proving how enthusiastic he was in his prosecution of abolition, something which the two men would strongly bond over, with Garibaldi being granted the honor of being invited as the emperor's attaché to the signing ceremony for the Golden Law.
In the end, two weeks after the signing of the Golden Law, Garibaldi would leave Brazil with a new friend in its venerated emperor who promised to assist the Italian revolutionary in the quest for his homeland's freedom. As both men said goodbye, the left each other with important words, Garibaldi reminding the old emperor that it was his duty to remain on the throne as a crucial duty to his people, with the emperor in return, promised Garibaldi as many supplies as the man required to continue on his brave and valiant quest.

As such, Garibaldi would sail to New York to meet with the Americans to rally his people to his cause, a hefty source of volunteers and a steady supply of beef and firewood being guaranteed by his Brazilian friend and benefactor.

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Yes, Dom Pedro and Garibaldi set up a long-distance bromance ITTL. While one would expect the Italian revolutionary and staunch anti-monarchist would be vehemently opposed to the monarch, he would temper such views as he had done with Vittorio Emanuele Maria Alberto Eugenio Ferdinando Tommaso di Savoia (Victor Emanuel II of Sicily) and would compromise and work with the man as he realized the kind of person he was. A kind, dutiful man who had aged beyond his years upon a lonely throne, kept there only by his sense of duty to his people.
 
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