The Star Spangled Empire: The Japanese-American War of 1853 and Beyond

God help the CSA if this fixes the Union’s issues and further ramps up their industrialization. I’m sure the southern states will benefit a bit as well but there’s a big difference in expanding existing industrial areas versus developing new ones.
I feel like a war in the 1850's would lead the Union to improve its military organization. The Civil War will probably end up being shorter ITTL, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how short it is. If it's too short, abolition might not become a war goal.
 
I wonder too if the US expanding their naval capabilities (as seems inevitable) will affect things in Mexico? IOTL, Benito Juarez and his government offered to sell the US rights to build a canal through Tehuantepec as a way to alleviate Mexican debts to Europe. Seems like the US would be very likely to make that deal here, which would likely butterfly away the Second French Intervention.
 
I doubt that Sakhalin or even the Ryukyus would be the goal- your classic treaty port has to be close enough to the actual market that you can use it as a base. Nagasaki, perhaps?

I agree that the treaty port wouldn’t be on either the Ryukyus or Sakhalin. I imagine those are taken/targeted in the name of punishing the Japanese for killing Perry and “empire”. The Americans are embarrassed so I think they want to be as harsh as they can be come peace time, regardless of the intelligence behind that decision.


I feel like a war in the 1850's would lead the Union to improve its military organization. The Civil War will probably end up being shorter ITTL, which may or may not be a good thing depending on how short it is. If it's too short, abolition might not become a war goal.

Considering how any civil war is likely to have slavery as the main driver behind the split I think that the union would eventually enforce the abolition of slavery. If it’s quicker though we could see a much different different Reconstruction. It could be lighter on the south, but it could also be harsher if Radical Republican can persuade voters that the quick victory shows how easy it would be to reshape the south as they see fit.
 
Also ryuku was independent at this time. And a vassal of China. Unless the US navy wants the Chinese navy on their tails, which during this time was a powerful regional fleet in its own right and up to date with European technological developments, the us will not attack Ryuku.
 
Also ryuku was independent at this time. And a vassal of China. Unless the US navy wants the Chinese navy on their tails, which during this time was a powerful regional fleet in its own right and up to date with European technological developments, the us will not attack Ryuku.
Technically it was a tributary of China and a vassal of Satsuma clan m. So the vassalage might change hands. You are correct in that it was semi independent though, and I don’t imagine that the Americans would take direct control of the islands.
 
Would the US bother becoming half-vassals of the Ryukyu? What would the point be?
Two reasons. One would be so Japan didn’t have it. This war is likely to be about “regaining honor” and showing that losing Perry was a fluke. So embarrassing the Japanese in return is a likely goal.

The second and more important goal is that by being a Chinese Tributary it’s a back door into Chinese markets. The Japanese took advantage of this and I expect that was the reason Perry tried to open up the ryukyu’s earlier in the update. So it would give them a way in and skip their participation in the second opium war entirely. Or it might be in addition too depending on how much eastern imperialism catches on in the US.
 
Last edited:
I feel like we will be seeing a very different civil war. The author mentioned Perry being on the level of General Washington and Lee. I’m assuming Lee fights for the Union in this "Japanese-American War". Could his expieriences in this Japan change what side he takes when the civil war breaks out?
 
I feel like we will be seeing a very different civil war. The author mentioned Perry being on the level of General Washington and Lee. I’m assuming Lee fights for the Union in this "Japanese-American War". Could his expieriences in this Japan change what side he takes when the civil war breaks out?

Depending on when the US actually launches the armada ( Going by the Harriet Lane case in Paraguay it could take a couple years) meaning the civil war and Japanese war could overlap. If Lee's already fighting in Japan he could end up sitting out the ACW.
 
This Japanese War could also do sort of what the Civil War did, according to historian Eric Foner: turn the country from the United States into the United States. It could get some people, including Lee, to ultimately side with country over state in the inevitable sectional crisis to come.
 
Another effect is the fact that military leaders from the Civil War from both sides are very likely to be killed or discredited in this conflict. While I wouldn’t shed a tear if Forrest or Jackson meet their end, it could equally happen to Reynolds or Sherman if they’re present.

To shift focus to Japan though, this is a terrible time for the shogunate. Massive internal strife was brewing and Perry’s arrival OTL ripped it over the boiling point leading to the Boshin War. There could be a unifying factor here but if the US attacks the southern areas, who generally hated the shogunate due to their designation as tozama daimyos, then the government may not be quite as quick to show up in force. It’ll be interesting to see how the author plans to navigate this.

I can’t see the shogunate surviving this, the question becomes will it happen during the war or immediately after?
 
Last edited:
Top