I like this timeline a lot. Despite, the Whigs and Clay being far from my favorite topic you have made the timeline very interesting and entertaining and organic through your amazing writing. It doesn’t feel artificial but like a breathing world that’s just out of reach. I hope your timeline gets a lot of attention due to the great writing and original timeline idea. Just know the praise and attention for this timeline is well deserved IMO.
 
I like this timeline a lot. Despite, the Whigs and Clay being far from my favorite topic you have made the timeline very interesting and entertaining and organic through your amazing writing. It doesn’t feel artificial but like a breathing world that’s just out of reach. I hope your timeline gets a lot of attention due to the great writing and original timeline idea. Just know the praise and attention for this timeline is well deserved IMO.
Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it.
 
Nice start so far, curious to see what'll happen next.

I noted that it was stated that Buchanan expanded the US to its current borders; does that mean no Alaska purchase, no annexation of Hawaii, etc.? Or could it just be referring to the continental US and there'll still be a move towards an overseas expansion or two later on?

Also, do you have a vendetta against Napoleon III or something? That's two TLs in a row where you killed him off early. ;) But in all seriousness, I don't think I've seen the Second Republic last longer in any other TLs, so that should be interesting to follow up on. I assume the rest of the 1848 revolutions still happened as per OTL?
 
Nice start so far, curious to see what'll happen next.

I noted that it was stated that Buchanan expanded the US to its current borders; does that mean no Alaska purchase, no annexation of Hawaii, etc.? Or could it just be referring to the continental US and there'll still be a move towards an overseas expansion or two later on?

Also, do you have a vendetta against Napoleon III or something? That's two TLs in a row where you killed him off early. ;) But in all seriousness, I don't think I've seen the Second Republic last longer in any other TLs, so that should be interesting to follow up on. I assume the rest of the 1848 revolutions still happened as per OTL?
The US won't purchase Alaska, but I'll leave open the possibility of Hawaii :)
I don't have a vendetta against Napoleon III, there are just lots of possibilities for France without him in the picture. I'll circle back to France for sure, especially as the surviving Second Republic has implications for Italy and Russia...
The rest of 1848 went down basically the same with the exception of Italy -- I'll touch on that in a later chapter.
 
The US won't purchase Alaska, but I'll leave open the possibility of Hawaii :)
I don't have a vendetta against Napoleon III, there are just lots of possibilities for France without him in the picture. I'll circle back to France for sure, especially as the surviving Second Republic has implications for Italy and Russia...
The rest of 1848 went down basically the same with the exception of Italy -- I'll touch on that in a later chapter.
Wonder who will? It's not gonna be the British since the Great Game is still going on and Alaska wouldn't be seen as valuable.
 
Great timeline, really enjoying it so far! For such a key figure in this era of American politics, Clay hasn't been explored that much on here.
The US won't purchase Alaska, but I'll leave open the possibility of Hawaii :)
The annexation of Hawai'i was far from assured due to Cleveland's support of Queen Liliuokalani, so it's very possible the kingdom could instead become a British or American protectorate ITTL. As for Alaska, I'm interested to see how a continued Russian presence in North America would go. Personally, I wouldn't rule out Britain annexing the territory at some point even if it's not their first priority. I guess it's even possible for it to stay part of Russia up to the modern day since it's such a peripheral area, although the gold and oil there would spice things up for sure.
I don't have a vendetta against Napoleon III, there are just lots of possibilities for France without him in the picture. I'll circle back to France for sure, especially as the surviving Second Republic has implications for Italy and Russia...
The rest of 1848 went down basically the same with the exception of Italy -- I'll touch on that in a later chapter.
Even though this is a US-centric timeline, it's cool to see how butterflies are already affecting the rest of the world. Looking forward to more!
 
The annexation of Hawai'i was far from assured due to Cleveland's support of Queen Liliuokalani, so it's very possible the kingdom could instead become a British or American protectorate ITTL. As for Alaska, I'm interested to see how a continued Russian presence in North America would go. Personally, I wouldn't rule out Britain annexing the territory at some point even if it's not their first priority. I guess it's even possible for it to stay part of Russia up to the modern day since it's such a peripheral area, although the gold and oil there would spice things up for sure.
Pretty fascinating over with Hawaii. As for Alaska, Russia I think will still try and sell it, but aren't on good relations with the British and I doubt the Brits would show any interet in Alaska. Remember, Alaska was called "Seward's Folly" I think until the discovered the gold and petrol. Though could leave the chance for some odder choices or possibilities for it.
 
I doubt Russia will find many buyers for Alaska ITTL if the US doesn't buy it. If the Russian Revolution happens the Canadians will seize it to prevent it from falling to the Communists. Or if Britain and Russia go to war and the British win, they'll just give it too Canada.

As for Hawaii it depends if the president is an imperialist. If they are then they'd probably seize Hawaii but if not either the British or the Japanese will annex it. The Japanese around this time had a large population there working for the planters. Plus, it's strategically in a good place between California and Asia which'll help them trade with the US. The crops grown there would also bring in a hefty profit and to the imperialist Japanese government at the time it's a good way to expand their empire before the Russo-Japanese war, assuming that happens.
 
I doubt Russia will find many buyers for Alaska ITTL if the US doesn't buy it. If the Russian Revolution happens the Canadians will seize it to prevent it from falling to the Communists. Or if Britain and Russia go to war and the British win, they'll just give it too Canada.

As for Hawaii it depends if the president is an imperialist. If they are then they'd probably seize Hawaii but if not either the British or the Japanese will annex it. The Japanese around this time had a large population there working for the planters. Plus, it's strategically in a good place between California and Asia which'll help them trade with the US. The crops grown there would also bring in a hefty profit and to the imperialist Japanese government at the time it's a good way to expand their empire before the Russo-Japanese war, assuming that happens.
Well, one weird idea I had was Japan gets Alaska as a spoil from the Russo-Japanese War. Japanese are pretty unhappy... until someone discovers gold there and then they change their tune.

Another idea there could be somehow China gets it or something like that. Maybe a Taiping state??

Hawaii may be more caluable to the US so they may try and protectorate there
 
Wonder who will? It's not gonna be the British since the Great Game is still going on and Alaska wouldn't be seen as valuable.
I could see Britain taking it in a war (not saying that's going to happen). Alaska could also end up independent or still part of Russia.
Great timeline, really enjoying it so far! For such a key figure in this era of American politics, Clay hasn't been explored that much on here.

The annexation of Hawai'i was far from assured due to Cleveland's support of Queen Liliuokalani, so it's very possible the kingdom could instead become a British or American protectorate ITTL. As for Alaska, I'm interested to see how a continued Russian presence in North America would go. Personally, I wouldn't rule out Britain annexing the territory at some point even if it's not their first priority. I guess it's even possible for it to stay part of Russia up to the modern day since it's such a peripheral area, although the gold and oil there would spice things up for sure.

Even though this is a US-centric timeline, it's cool to see how butterflies are already affecting the rest of the world. Looking forward to more!
Thanks so much! I'm also a bit surprised there haven't been that many Clay timelines.
Britain and the US could very well end up in an influence battle in Hawaii, which would be very interesting (a couple of the Presidents I have planned out weren't the biggest fans of the British).
As for Alaska, either of those two outcomes are very plausible. I haven't decided what exactly happens to it, but those are two good ideas.
I doubt Russia will find many buyers for Alaska ITTL if the US doesn't buy it. If the Russian Revolution happens the Canadians will seize it to prevent it from falling to the Communists. Or if Britain and Russia go to war and the British win, they'll just give it too Canada.

As for Hawaii it depends if the president is an imperialist. If they are then they'd probably seize Hawaii but if not either the British or the Japanese will annex it. The Japanese around this time had a large population there working for the planters. Plus, it's strategically in a good place between California and Asia which'll help them trade with the US. The crops grown there would also bring in a hefty profit and to the imperialist Japanese government at the time it's a good way to expand their empire before the Russo-Japanese war, assuming that happens.
I definitely envision the US having a lot of influence in Hawaii, but whether it extends to annexation, I haven't decided yet. I could certainly see it end up like one of the central American banana republics, maybe with a Guantanamo Bay-style lease on the port at Pearl Harbor.
 
9. Portents of a Sectional Rift
9. Portents of a Sectional Rift

“…Narciso Lopez’s attempted filibuster in Cuba had received tacit moral support from the Buchanan administration [1], and open support, both moral and material, from prominent southern politicians like John Quitman and Jefferson Davis. Lopez’s defeat and execution by Spanish forces dominated political debate in 1851. Southerners, both Democrat and Whig, praised Lopez as a martyred revolutionary. Many northern Democrats echoed these sentiments, as they too wanted to acquire Cuba. While free-soilers condemned the brutal treatment of the filibusterers by the Spanish, they also attacked the Buchanan administration for giving “tacit support” to Lopez. This, free-soilers held, was proof that Buchanan was not a uniter, but a divider who favored southern interests over national or northern ones.

It was well that President Buchanan was already committed to a single term, as he likely would have been defeated had he stood for reelection. While the south praised him, he became incredibly unpopular in the north. Even his fellow Pennsylvanian Democrat David Wilmot criticized him for his friendliness to the south.”

-From EXPANDING FRONTIERS by John Freeman, published 1989

“Lewis Cass, runner-up for the nomination in 1848, was the frontrunner in 1852 in his third bid for the Presidency. The growing unpopularity of the Buchanan administration meant that many Democrats had decided to wait until 1856 to run. This removed Senator Stephen Douglas, a rising star within the party, as well as Senator Anson Jones of Texas [2] and Secretary of State William Marcy of New York. The only opposition to Cass that emerged was from Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis, who criticized popular sovereignty as too easily exploited by northerners, and the free-soiler Silas Wright of New York.

Davis enjoyed strong southern support, but he was unable to match Cass in the north and west. Even within the south, Cass was popular with the Missouri, Kentucky, and North Carolina delegations. Similarly, Cass was supported by the Hunker faction in New York, which controlled a majority of the state’s delegates at the convention, depriving Wright of a home-state advantage. Cass’s support from railroad interests, westerners and a large minority of north-eastern delegates was therefore enough to give him the nomination on the first ballot.

…For Vice President, the convention delegates, pressured by President Buchanan, decided to nominate William R. King. Buchanan had heavily lobbied the convention in 1848 for King to serve as his running mate but was rebuffed by delegates more concerned with balancing the ticket. Four years later, that impulse gave King the nod.


Presidential vote1Vice-Presidential vote1
L. Cass153William R. King287
J. Davis68
S. Wright54
Other21Other9


The Democrats brushed aside several efforts to elucidate their stance on slavery and indeed, the platform did not even mention popular sovereignty. The party hoped to repeat their winning strategy from 1848 and lay low while the Whigs divided themselves with internal debates. They instead denounced abolitionists and called for “respecting the principles and compromises” of the Constitution [3].”

-From IN THE SHADOW OF JACKSON by Michelle Watts, published 2012

“With President Buchanan and the Democrats largely unpopular in the north, the conditions were ripe for the Whigs to sweep back into power. However, the Whigs were in a state of flux as the old guard that kept the party unified died out and free-soil Whigs grew in influence. 1852 would be the last time that the Whigs could truly be considered the party of men like Clay, Webster, and Crittenden.

The free-soil Whigs struggled to unite behind a single candidate – Senator Seward declined to run, leaving regional favorites to divide the abolitionist delegates. New England delegates favored Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, Seward endorsed Governor Hamilton Fish of New York, and midwestern delegates split between Justice John McLean of Ohio and Governor William F. Johnston of Pennsylvania. Southern Whigs split between former Vice President Millard Fillmore and Senator John J. Crittenden. Fillmore had been more involved than other Vice Presidents – he had helped Clay rally Senate support for the annexation of Texas and the Oregon border settlement. Crittenden, meanwhile, was a longtime ally of Clay and had served in his cabinet as Attorney General.

Fillmore emerged with a commanding lead on the first ballot, which surprised some observers. Crittenden had been a more visible member of the Clay administration than Fillmore, yet the former Attorney General had half as many delegates as the former Vice President. Henry Clay had declined to endorse either man, as he had gotten on well with both and did not want to play favorites. However, Crittenden’s political stock was far more wedded to Clay’s than Fillmore’s was. Clay’s silence therefore hurt Crittenden far more than it did Fillmore.

Crittenden withdrew after the third ballot and endorsed Fillmore after being promised his pick of cabinet posts. The former Vice President quickly consolidated the south on successive ballots, and simply waited out the free-soilers. Fillmore reasoned that enough northern delegates would tire of the infighting between Sumner, Fish, and McLean and defect. He was proved correct, as he won enough mid-Atlantic and midwestern delegates on the 20th ballot to secure the nomination. Seward and the free-soilers were disappointed but resolved that, despite Fillmore’s moderate stance on slavery (and Seward’s rivalry with him), he would be better than Cass or a second Buchanan term. For Vice President, the convention settled on Senator James C. Jones, the powerful Whig boss in Tennessee. Jones was a frequent critic of the free-soilers, but the convention wanted to balance out the northerner Fillmore with a southern running mate.


Presidential vote12341920Vice-Presidential vote1
M. Fillmore102104117128148158James C. Jones173
H. Fish495154615459William F. Johnston71
J. McLean373639494336Charles Sumner38
C. Sumner212927312221
W. Johnston272017231419
J. Crittenden544839000
Other6834153Other14


The Whig platform was similar to the 1848 one in its deliberate vagueness. Once again, no mention of slavery was made whatsoever, with the platform instead calling for “the maintenance of sectional balance.” Fillmore viewed slavery as an evil, but one the federal government couldn’t do anything about. This was reflected in the Whig’s evasiveness on the slavery question.”

- From THE EVOLUTION OF THE WHIGS by James Welter, published 1997

“The campaign discourse in 1852 made 1848 seem like an in-depth discussion of policy. Fillmore and the Whigs entirely avoided mentioning slavery, except to attack the Democrats. They went after Cass with charges of graft and dishonesty. As Lewis Cass was a prominent proponent of popular sovereignty, the Whigs also painted him as a disruptor of sectional balance. Seward campaigned in the north, claiming that Cass would allow southerners to flood into Kansas and vote to allow slavery – “slavery by the ballot-box is no better than slavery at bayonet-point,” he famously declared in Syracuse. In the south, meanwhile, popular sovereignty was painted as a tool of abolitionists to ship northerners out west and have them vote to ban slavery [4].

The vagueness of the Whig platform did not inspire much excitement in the north, but Fillmore’s moderate beliefs were amenable to the south. And when contrasted with the Democrats and Cass, northerners became more accepting, however begrudgingly, of the Whig platform. When Cass attempted to duck the issue and refuse to speak on slavery, he was attacked for hiding his convictions: “we know his inclinations – Senator Cass is a popular sovereignty man! Yet he insists on silence when slavery is mentioned. If he is a true believer in the power of popular sovereignty, surely, he should mention it during the campaign,” Horace Greeley wrote in the New York Tribune.


Millard FillmoreLewis Cass
Electoral Vote187103
Popular Vote1,637,0981,473,822
Percentage50.945.8


The fallout from the annexation of California and the Lopez Filibuster ultimately weighed Cass down. While northerners were lukewarm towards Fillmore, the events of the Buchanan presidency convinced many that the Whigs were the lesser evil. Fillmore did much better than Winfield Scott in the south, winning Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, and North Carolina. Cass’s background in territorial Michigan meant that he did very well in the Midwest and west, winning Indiana and Ohio, both states Scott won in 1848. Aided by northern dissatisfaction with the Democrats and the Whigs’ protectionist policies, Fillmore won back Pennsylvania and his home state of New York.

In the congressional races, the Whigs gained just five seats for a total of 114, three seats shy of a majority. Worse for Fillmore, these gains were all northern abolitionists [5]. The American Party gained strength, mostly southern moderate Whigs. With the President-elect’s oversight, moderate Whigs formed a coalition with the Americans that elevated Edward Stanly of North Carolina to the speakership. In the Senate, the Whigs secured a narrow outright majority, preventing the need for a coalition.

Though the Whigs had remained tenuously united, the task of governance would only exacerbate the party’s growing sectional divide…”

-UNEASY SILENCE: AMERICA IN THE ANTEBELLUM by John Erwin, published 2021

[1] OTL, Lopez’s failed filibuster embarrassed the Fillmore administration, as they were unable to prevent him from sailing to Cuba. ITTL Buchanan, who wanted to acquire Cuba, doesn’t try to stop Lopez from sailing. This creates the (not inaccurate) perception that Buchanan favors the south over the north.
[2] OTL, Jones was never elected to the Senate, which left him bitter over the perceived slight. TTL, he’s more active in securing Texas’s annexation to the United States. This enhances his stature within the state enough to get him elected to the Senate.
[3] Based off provisions from the OTL 1848 Democratic platform.
[4] Once again, northern and southern Whigs campaign separately from each other.
[5] I know I’ve been mentioning the growing strength of abolitionist Whigs, but the next few chapters will see that fully realized.
 
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I definitely envision the US having a lot of influence in Hawaii, but whether it extends to annexation, I haven't decided yet. I could certainly see it end up like one of the central American banana republics, maybe with a Guantanamo Bay-style lease on the port at Pearl Harbor.
That's pretty much where it was before Liliuokalani was overthrown. There was massive American influence in the higher levels of society due to people of American descent holding many important offices (this is why neither Japan nor Britain would annex it; that, and Japan didn't have the power projection to do so until far too late) and owning all of the main businesses producing sugar and other key agricultural products, making it exceptionally dependent on the American market, and it was obvious that Pearl Harbor would be strategically valuable as a naval base, so it was already being leased by the United States Navy. None of this was especially popular among Native Hawaiians (well, the business aspects were not completely unpopular among the upper classes), but the U.S. had an enormous amount of pressure it could bring to bear, particular in the form of tariff rates on Hawaiian sugar (the principal export at the time), so they really couldn't do anything about it. They tried to cultivate links with Britain, through such measures as, for example, bringing in the Anglican Church (as the Church of Hawai'i) and state visits, but Britain never seems to have been especially interested in Hawai'i, so that probably won't go anywhere.

Russia, meanwhile, was very much looking to dump Alaska, as being an overly distant icebox when they had plenty of icebox already, and an icebox which was relatively defenseless against British forces operating from British Columbia. They can't precisely force the U.S. to buy it, but they can certainly make a deal that the U.S. can't refuse. It didn't help that the colony was being run by a not particularly profitable or successful more or less private company, in the vein of a much less successful East India Company, with the great reduction of fur-bearing animals that had taken place since the early 19th century. They started trying to unload it in the mid-1850s IOTL, it's hard to see them holding on to it into the 20th century, and they certainly wouldn't have sold to the British (part of the point of selling it was because the United States was relatively friendly to them and hostile to the British at the time, so they felt that American military forces operating from Alaska would distract the British).
 
That's pretty much where it was before Liliuokalani was overthrown. There was massive American influence in the higher levels of society due to people of American descent holding many important offices (this is why neither Japan nor Britain would annex it; that, and Japan didn't have the power projection to do so until far too late) and owning all of the main businesses producing sugar and other key agricultural products, making it exceptionally dependent on the American market, and it was obvious that Pearl Harbor would be strategically valuable as a naval base, so it was already being leased by the United States Navy. None of this was especially popular among Native Hawaiians (well, the business aspects were not completely unpopular among the upper classes), but the U.S. had an enormous amount of pressure it could bring to bear, particular in the form of tariff rates on Hawaiian sugar (the principal export at the time), so they really couldn't do anything about it. They tried to cultivate links with Britain, through such measures as, for example, bringing in the Anglican Church (as the Church of Hawai'i) and state visits, but Britain never seems to have been especially interested in Hawai'i, so that probably won't go anywhere.

Russia, meanwhile, was very much looking to dump Alaska, as being an overly distant icebox when they had plenty of icebox already, and an icebox which was relatively defenseless against British forces operating from British Columbia. They can't precisely force the U.S. to buy it, but they can certainly make a deal that the U.S. can't refuse. It didn't help that the colony was being run by a not particularly profitable or successful more or less private company, in the vein of a much less successful East India Company, with the great reduction of fur-bearing animals that had taken place since the early 19th century. They started trying to unload it in the mid-1850s IOTL, it's hard to see them holding on to it into the 20th century, and they certainly wouldn't have sold to the British (part of the point of selling it was because the United States was relatively friendly to them and hostile to the British at the time, so they felt that American military forces operating from Alaska would distract the British).
Very interesting, I had no idea Britain wasn't super interested in Hawaii.
For both Alaska and Hawaii, I'm not sure what to do with them yet, but I appreciate your comment and I'll incorporate it when the time comes.
I disagree with that statement. The US constantly pushed for 54 , 40 line, not the 49th.
From what I've read, the US had long pushed for a compromise at the 49th, but the British had refused that compromise. While expansionists might have wanted 54'40, the state department had long tried to get a border at the 49th.
 
10. France and Italy
10. France and Italy

“The assassination of Pellegrino Rossi, the Papal Minister of Justice, sparked mass protests in Rome the following day. Among the demands made by the crowds of demonstrators were democratic reforms, social reforms, and Italian unification. On November 24th, unable to restore order, Pope Pius IX escaped from Rome and fled to Gaeta, in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. He left in charge Archbishop Carlo Emanuele Muzzarelli, who introduced reforms that the Pope then rejected.

…Without governance, the people of Rome took matters into their own hands. Popular assemblies were formed, and a tricolor was flown from the statue of Marcus Aurelius. As the Pope had forbid Catholics from participating in the nascent revolution, the constitutional assembly that was elected to provide a central government in the Pope’s absence was republican in nature. Despite threats of excommunication, turnout was relatively high, and the assembly proclaimed a Republic on February 8th, 1849. After news arrived in Rome of the Sardinians’ decisive loss at Novara, the Assembly appointed a triumvirate of Giuseppe Mazzini, Carlo Armellini, and Aurelio Saffi to lead the Republic.

The triumvirate, revered today along with Garibaldi in the modern Italian Republic, passed several popular reforms. The Pope was invited to return to the Vatican to serve as head of the Catholic Church, sweeping religious freedom granted, the death penalty abolished, the tax burden was lightened, and work programs were implemented to reduce unemployment. However, all was not well in the nascent Republic – the simultaneous increase in spending and cutting of taxes caused a spate of dangerous inflation, and Austria and the Two Sicilies loomed on the borders. Amid this air of tension arrived Giuseppe Garibaldi, who arrived in July with a force of 1,000 and was placed in command of Rome’s defenses.

While President Cavaignac refused to intervene and declared France neutral [1], Austria viewed the Roman Republic as a threat to its operations against Sardinia, and the Two Sicilies was loathe to allow revolutionaries to topple the Pope from power. Thus, both Field Marshal Radetzky and King Ferdinand II prepared to march to Rome and depose the republican triumvirate. Giuseppe Garibaldi rushed with his men to mount a defense as the Austrians pivoted south to restore order in Tuscany. With the Pope openly appealing for Austrian aid, General Franz von Wimpffen advanced on Ferrara and besieged it. After encountering stiff resistance and a rejection of his demand for surrender, he bombarded the city into submission and captured it on May 16th.

Garibaldi left his forces along the border with the Two Sicilies in the hands of his trusted lieutenants and took command of the troops in the north. With Ferrara already in Austrian hands, Garibaldi organized the defense of Bologna. Fighting lasted for two months as Garibaldi fought hard, harassing the Austrian supply chain in daring raids and repelling numerous efforts to take the city [2]. His courage in combat also inspired the people of Bologna to persevere during the Austrian artillery bombardments. The heavy fighting greatly weakened von Wimpffen's army, while Garibaldi launched daring raids that destroyed vital ammunition and provisions. By the middle of July, the Austrians were facing mounting casualties and chronic shortages. The arrival of Roman reinforcements from Ancona spelled further troubles for the besieging army. On August 5th, von Wimpffen broke off the direct siege after Garibaldi led a devastating attack on the Austrian lines. For the remainder of the conflcit, the Austrian army was relegated to artillery bombardments that grew more sporadic with each Roman raid.

…With Hungary still in revolt, the Austrian Empire was in no condition to commit to a full siege of Bologna. Meanwhile, the Two Sicilies was torn between suppressing a revolution on Sicily and invading north, where Garibaldi’s lieutenants were putting up stiff resistance. As the fighting ground to a halt in August, the Austrian army remained encamped around Bologna and the Sicilian armies were unable to break through Roman resistance. Mazzini appealed to the French to end the conflict, as Roman finances were increasingly strained, and casualties were mounting. On September 9th, President Cavaignac offered Rome the protection of the French Republic, and the Roman assembly readily agreed. Cavaignac was loathe to intervene directly, but he hoped to broker a peace that would leave France with greater influence in the Italian peninsula. Foreign Minister de Tocqueville [3] reluctantly agreed to oversee the peace negotiations – he viewed Mazzini and the revolutionaries as little more than terrorists. He was persuaded by the opportunity to expand French influence in Italy, and by the humiliation it would bring France if Austrian troops were to parade through Rome [4].

The Austrians were rather relieved by the news that France wanted to mediate peace – strained finances and an overstretched supply line precluded von Wimpffen from besieging Bologna any longer. The Two Sicilies also welcomed the news, as their army had been sapped by the revolution in Sicily and the failed invasion of the Roman Republic. Thus, an uneasy status quo ante settlement was reached, with the Austrians and Sicilians withdrawing from occupied Roman territory. The Roman assembly invited Pope Pius IX to return to Rome, stripped of his temporal powers. The sullen Pope moved his residence from the Quirinal Palace to the walled-off Vatican City, where he lived in self-imposed exile from the Republic that had deposed him.

The first war of Italian independence had come to an inconclusive conclusion. The Austrians had prevented the tide of revolution from ending their rule in Italy, Sardinia-Piedmont was humiliated, the Two Sicilies had crushed an attempted revolution, and the Grand Duke of Tuscany was restored to his throne. However, central Italy was ruled by a new government driven by the dream of risorgimento – Italian unification. The Roman Republic had survived its greatest challenge, and once it resolved its financial troubles, would become a great headache for Austria and the other old regimes of Italy.”

-From THE GRAND CONSENSUS: EUROPE 1815-1898 by Rebecca Gardner, published 2001

“Even after its revolution in 1848, France remained in a state of turmoil throughout 1849-1851. The narrow Conservative majority [5] had attempted in 1850 to replace universal suffrage with a law limiting the franchise to those with at least a three-year residency and a certain income, effectively disenfranchising most factory workers. Due to intraparty divisions and strong opposition from President Cavaignac, the attempt failed, embarrassing Thiers and the conservatives [6].

While the defeat of the franchise law enhanced Cavaignac’s popularity, it damaged his relations with the legislature. During his 1848 run for President, Cavaignac had been endorsed by Thiers and the Party of Order for his role in suppressing the left-wing June Days uprising. Cavaignac’s increasing alignment with the left had cooled relations between him and Thiers considerably. Now, the Party of Order denounced Cavaignac fully.

…his foreign policy eroded some of his popularity. By first refusing to intervene and restore the Pope’s temporal authority and then extending recognition to the Roman Republic, Cavaignac angered the Ultramontane Catholics. They regarded this move as an affront to not just the Pope’s rule, but all Catholics. In 1852, fueled by the right-wing backlash to Cavaignac’s policy in Italy, the conservatives won a significantly increased majority in the legislature. Prevented from contesting the election by term limits, Cavaignac stood aside for Interior Minister Jules Dufaure. Dufaure would lose the election decisively to the conservative candidate, Adolphe Thiers. Thiers had declined to run in 1848, fearing he would discredit the conservative movement. With the Republicans on the defensive, Thiers decided it was an opportune moment to run. Alexandre Ledru-Rollin also ran as the Democratic Socialists’ candidate. Thiers defeated Dufaure 52%-34%, with Ledru-Rollin winning 10% and minor parties comprising the rest of votes cast. French democracy had survived its initial tests…”

-From THE REPUBLIC: A HISTORY OF MODERN FRANCE by Eric Young, published 2003

[1] The second major divergence in Europe.
[2] The OTL defender of Ancona, Livio Zambeccari, was criticized for being too passive. Here, Garibaldi combines Zambeccari’s skillful repulses of Austrian attacks with Garibaldi’s experience in guerilla warfare.
[3] De Tocqueville was OTL a strong supporter of Cavaignac and was appointed Foreign Minister by Napoleon III. TTL, he’s rewarded for his support of Cavaignac with that same post.
[4] De Tocqueville held similar views OTL, although he certainly didn’t object to Napoleon III’s invasion of Rome.
[5] OTL, the Party of Order won a resounding majority in the 1849 elections, reducing the Republicans from 600 seats to just 75. Turnout also fell from 1848 to 1849, falling from 83% to 68%. TTL, turnout doesn’t drop quite as drastically, and the Republicans lose far fewer seats. It’s not enough to preserve their majority, but it’s a more respectable showing than OTL.
[6] The franchise bill passed IOTL and was used by Napoleon III as a pretext for his 1851 coup. TTL, with a smaller conservative majority and a stronger opposition (the Republicans are the second largest party, not the third largest), the bill fails.
 
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Very interesting, I had no idea Britain wasn't super interested in Hawaii.
I mean, they literally had a rogue captain occupy the islands to annex them in 1843, and their response was...to reprimand him and return control of Hawai'i to Kamehameha III (the then-current monarch). That's pretty indicative, I think. I suppose the reason was a combination of the aforementioned extremely strong presence of American influence in the islands and the fact that the British already controlled a lot of the Pacific and other territories that offered similar resources to Hawai'i (for instance, they could just as well grow sugar in India, Jamaica, or Queensland). So taking over Hawai'i would hurt their relations with the United States, which after the War of 1812 they took some pains to keep at least correct (and after the Civil War generally tried to keep friendly) for no real benefit to themselves.

It should also be noted wrt Alaska that despite later perceptions the annexation was actually fairly popular at the time, though not unopposed. So it's not hard to see an administration that needs a political boost buying it to crow about how it expanded U.S. territory peacefully and cheaply.
 
I mean, they literally had a rogue captain occupy the islands to annex them in 1843, and their response was...to reprimand him and return control of Hawai'i to Kamehameha III (the then-current monarch). That's pretty indicative, I think. I suppose the reason was a combination of the aforementioned extremely strong presence of American influence in the islands and the fact that the British already controlled a lot of the Pacific and other territories that offered similar resources to Hawai'i (for instance, they could just as well grow sugar in India, Jamaica, or Queensland). So taking over Hawai'i would hurt their relations with the United States, which after the War of 1812 they took some pains to keep at least correct (and after the Civil War generally tried to keep friendly) for no real benefit to themselves.

It should also be noted wrt Alaska that despite later perceptions the annexation was actually fairly popular at the time, though not unopposed. So it's not hard to see an administration that needs a political boost buying it to crow about how it expanded U.S. territory peacefully and cheaply.
You raise a good point re:Alaska. Especially given that Seward is president at some point, that actually makes it more likely that the US buys Alaska. I'll work that in once I get to President Seward.
 
The 1852 election wikibox:
Screenshot 2022-02-08 at 08-50-58 1852 The American System.png
 
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