The Three Amigos (Collaborative TL Between Joe Bonkers, TheMann, and isayyo2)

First of all…yes, the idea for the title came from that 1980s movie with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Everything comes from somewhere.

To give everyone a sense of what we have in mind with this timeline:

I’m a fan of timelines where the world we live in today and tomorrow is a better place than the one we have now. Not a utopia, because I don’t believe utopia is possible in human terms, but just a world where a little bit of better fortune, and a few wiser decisions, yields a better present and future.

TheMann and I have worked on timelines together in the past, so I knew he liked these sort of timelines too, so I recruited him to work with me on this one, and he in turn recruited isayyo, and the three of us have been having a huge amount of fun messaging each other with our ideas for this over the past weeks/months.

So what’s this all about?

There are a lot of timelines out there that make for a better USA and for a better Canada, and sometimes for both. But usually, Mexico has either the same relationship it has in real life – a love-hate, basically subordinate relationship with the USA – or else the USA and Mexico are depicted as active antagonists.

The idea for The Three Amigos was: what if we nurtured (I don’t like the term “wanked”) the United States and Canada…but brought Mexico along as well? Could it be possible to create a scenario where the United States, Canada, and Mexico, all three, enjoyed both great prosperity and close relations, where they dominated the Western Hemisphere for good and not bad, and where they were a beacon to the world not only of freedom but of the possibilities that can happen when nations work together in peace for a better world?

We decided: yes, it is possible. And this timeline is what we came up with.

Welcome to the world of the Three Amigos.

(One quick note: Although the POD is pre-1900, we decided after some discussion to post the TL in the post-1900 forum, as most of the important action takes place in that time frame.)
OOC: From my perspective, I love the idea of developing out Mexico as with its North American brothers from the start. The reason is simple - Mexico shares a land border with the United States and is where it is instead of riding high and free with its North American brothers owing to spending the first 180 years of its OTL existence almost entirely bouncing back and forth between dictators, dictatorial single-party governments or chaos. Canada and the United States, thankfully, had no such problems, and while politics in both countries has dramatically changed with time, one steady reality of both nations is stable governance chosen by the people through democratic processes. What Joe proposed to me when we first talked about this works so well because to make Mexico have the same level of governance is, fundamentally, not that difficult.

If it had happened, would Mexico have the same result? It's entirely possible....and here, it happened. And with the conflicts and the territorial changes that came with it came the Spanish influence on North American culture, and Anglo influence on the Mexican culture that went with it. It all led to an entirely different North America, and indeed an entirely different world.

Want to see what that looks like? Read on, my brothers and sisters....


The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas
May 5, 2014
11:20 AM

It took a lot to get a massive crowd line the streets of a city in Texas, especially on a warm May day. While of course May 5 always held a special meaning for many Texans, Mexicans and indeed in Americans in general, today was much more than any other May 5, for it marked a special anniversary, an anniversary that could hardly be any more important if it tried.

For it meant it had been 150 years since the end of the Texas Republic, the end of the attempt to destroy the United States from within by Spain and France, the end of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and Jefferson Davis' attempts to carve up North America in favor of the slave states. It meant the final end of slavery in the United States and the end of the long threats to Mexico's independence.

It meant the beginnings of the close relationship that had come to exist between the three nations of the North American continent. They came from vastly different beginnings - one had convinced its colonial power to grant it self-government, the other two had had to fight for their freedom, one from Great Britain and the other from Spain. And yet, Texas' actions and those of their European backers and the Mexican General who led an army against his own nation further south had forced the three to come together, and indeed for Washington to ask for - and receive - the help of the same colonial power they had broken away from three quarters of a century before. But despite that, the United States of America, the United Mexican States and the Canadian Federation had all been allies in war, and their success despite the difficulties of it had made the three nations into three brothers, three brothers whose intertwined fates had contributed to a vast portion of the history that had followed in the century and a half that had followed the day Brigadier General Nathan Bedford Forrest had surrendered to General of the Army Robert E. Lee and Governor Sam Houston at this very point, the same point where so many Americans had been killed by Mexicans twenty-eight years before that.

The War had also proven to so many that while the circumstances of one's birth could be vastly different, their abilities weren't decided by those circumstances, but their natural gifts and what they then did with them.

It had been a war defined by its heroes, and those heroes took many forms. Brigadier Thomas Meagher and his never-say-die Irish Brigade and Colonel William O'Rourke and his tactically-brilliant Fighting Irish. Major Patrick Washington and the Savannah Cavalry, the black soldiers who grew such a repute that the Texas Confederates feared their very presence. Captain James Konkaientha and the fearless, hard-fighting Kahnawake and Kanesatake Warriors, who singlehandedly saved thousands of American troops from Bedford Forrest's divisions with their bravery in Nacogdoches. Brigadier Edward Hatch and his racially-mixed 9th, 10th and 11th Cavalry who drove nails into Texas' coffin from the North, leading General Ulysses S. Grant's men into Texas' heartland. Major General Gordon Granger, who turned tens of thousands of men from all walks of life into first-rate soldiers. Colonel Edward Douglas and the Royal Highlanders of Canada, whose troops faced the Texans three times in Little Rock and never budged an inch, earning the nickname "The Iron Guard" in the process, who then burying many of the same troops who had failed to defeat them in Little Rock in Fort Smith a few months later. Major Abraham Tecumseh Hayanemadae, the grandson of Tecumseh, who proved every bit the capable soldier and leader his grandfather had been fifty years before. Generals Mariano Arista and Pedro de Ampustia, who roused Mexico's forces to fight Santa Anna, putting aside their own personal disdain for each other. P.G.T. Beauregard, Albert Sidney Johnston and George McClellan, the "Three Horsemen" Generals who led the American troops sent to Mexico to assist in Santa Anna's destruction. Ambroise-Dydime Lépine, the Metis Canadian who brought his people to the assistance of Ottawa and then personally were responsible for warning Grant, Hatch and Longstreet of Spanish Army actions, with Longstreet saying of him "Dallas wouldn't have been a victory without him". Colonel Anastasio Torrejón, who went from ignomy for defeats against Texas during earlier conflicts to being Beauregard's liason with the Mexicans and ultimately "the greatest right hand man I've ever had." Colonel Brigham Young and the 1st Mormons, whose derisively Texan nickname "God's Failures" didn't last long once they saw combat on the northern front. Brigadier Thomas Jackson, whose troops dogged defenses in multiple places in Arkansas and Louisiana earned his the nickname "Stonewall". Californio Brigadier Andres Pico and the famously-fast 1st California Cavalry, and his Mexican wingman and ally, Colonel Manuel Pineda Munoz.

And above all else was General Robert E. Lee, the Virginian who led the American forces against Texas so ably, and Sam Houston and Stephen Austin, the men who fought for Texas for decades and who ultimately both lived long enough to see their desires become reality, with the famed story of President Lincoln successfully leaning on Congress to get the statehood of Texas approved more quickly out of a desire to allow Austin, who was dying of cancer, to be able to live to see it. Lee, all too aware of his country's unhappy racial history but also well aware of the ability of black and native men, proudly pushed for the idea of men of all colours being considered equals, a former slaveowner who pushed so hard for the rights of all men, and who kept his push for this up through his time as President of the United States after the war, ultimately being one of the greatest statements of all men being equals in American history, him and Lincoln being considered among the greatest Presidents the United States ever had.

By the later times of the war, with the Mexicans and their American allies having destroyed so many of the Santanistas and the Canadians ably assisting Americans in putting Jefferson Davis' Texan slavers on the run, the forces of all three nations fought basically as one, and it showed in the results - Johnston actually commanded Arista's men and multiple Canadian units as well as his own during the Rio Grande Campaign, for example. It didn't matter who was the commander or where the troops came from - if there was a mission, it was done. If Mexicans or Canadians were needed to help Americans, they helped - and vice versa.

And it destroyed the slaveholders. It ended France's desires for an Empire in the Americas, directly led to the end of Spanish Empire, brought nearly the entirety of the Caribbean under American or British - the British territories would all become Canadian in time - rule. It led to Mexico growing into an economic powerhouse, led to men of all races and colours spreading across the Western United States and Canada. Native Americans were no longer a problem for America but rather citizens of America, invited to become a part of the nation as its settlers, railroads and telegraph lines spread west - and many did. Black Americans were now all free to create their own world, and with so many having served with the utmost of honor, racism became absolutely unacceptable for many of all races, a racial liberation that only grew across North America and then eventually the World with time. And with rebuilding came new desires to save so much of was great about the nations, with men like Philip Sheridan, Louis Riel and John Muir becoming responsible for a desire to preserve so much of the natural landscapes of the nation.

And now, 150 years later, was a vast celebration of what had been done by those great men, men who had put North America on its path to being some of the most prosperous places on Earth for all of its inhabitants.

The Masters of Ceremonies, of course, were the leaders of what had been called by General Arista as the "Three Amigos". President Samantha Robinson of the United States, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Peter MacKay of Canada were all enthusiastic supporters of the ceremonies, the planning of which had been going on for months. The residents of San Antonio of course were enthusiastic supporters of the whole idea as well, and it showed in the much-greater-than-usual use of Spanish by local residents (even the many bilingual ones) and even some trying to speak French, which French Canadians in the area appreciated even if inside they couldn't help but laugh at the attempts. The musical, culinary, dress and numerous other traditions of the three nations mixed heavily, and it was not a surprise that many of these had long been part of life in this part of Texas, but today they were even more proudly displayed than normal. Numerous people from Mexico and Canada had come down to be a part of the celebrations as well, including a vast number of veterans of the conflicts the nations had fought in since, from World War II onwards. These veterans in many cases proudly wore the insignia of units that had fought in the Texas War, thus being in many ways direct descendants of those who had crushed slavery, oppression and colonial powers before them - and many of these men proudly spoke that their units emphasized the exploits of the men who had come before them as being something to hold yourself to.

At Randolph Air Force Base east of the city, another of the proud traditions was displayed in the form of the air show set up to help mark the anniversary that had been very well attended by the three nations and others. In addition to them, contingents from many Commonwealth of Nations and Latin American armed forces had flown up to be a part of it. The day before visitors had watched in amazement at a mock assault on the airfield by a complete battalion of Mexican airborne troops in their helicopters, complete with mock dogfighting between American F-22 Raptor and Mexican JAS 39 Gripen fighters. The troops had been invited to bring their vehicles, and many had, but the greatest of demonstrations, and perhaps the most poignant, had nothing to do with the vehicles at all, just the men.

The massive Alamo Boulevard that ran through the heart of downtown San Antonio right to the monument was divided into three sections, with a laneway in the middle meant for the use of light rail vehicles. In the middle of this three-section road marched American soldiers, with Mexican soldiers on their right and Canadians on their left. The soldiers were all dressed in absolutely-immaculate dress uniforms, with each country having chosen to honour their most-decorated current soldiers in the process of doing so. The American contingent included no less than ten holders of the Medal of Honor, every one of them wearing their medal around their neck. Mexico and Canada had had similar thoughts, and Canada had gone one step further in also including soldiers who had their highest medal for bravery not earned in combat. Each soldier wore all of his decorations - which for a few was quite a list - and carried a pistol and a rifle, which was turned out as perfectly as his uniform. And each line was led, right from the front of their lines, by one of their greatest Generals. For America, it was General of the Army Colin Powell, the famed black General of fame in conflicts in the Middle East. For Mexico it was General Francisco Javier Castañeda, whose personal history of bravery was only matched by his capability in leading his own armed forces. For Canada it was General Romeo Dallaire, who bravery in Africa in 1994 had saved hundreds of thousands of lives from slaughter. The three men all knew each other of course - Dallaire had even served under Powell in NATO commands - and all three had the utmost in respect for each other and their people.

And now, each led his men in a ceremony that was broadcasted across North America and much of the world.

For the crowds watching, it was clear that there was a great deal of pride in it. Platforms set up on side streets were lined with veterans, who to a man raised their arms to salute their countrymen as they marched by, while the rest of the crowd watched with great interest and enjoyment, the many flags of the United States, Mexico and Canada all mixing together and being proudly joined by many banners made by spectators, with people's viewpoints being differed but all respectful - more than a few watching chose to be dressed well for it with dress shirts and trousers, though others just wore their normal clothing. Many off-duty or visiting fire and police units stood on top of their vehicles to watch the procession, and the surrounding office and apartment buildings were all also lined with people watching. It was analogous to a massive parade, but nobody dared cross the lines towards the marching soldiers and the San Antonio Police and the Texas Rangers, watching from well out of the way, had no difficulties watching themselves.

The soldiers marched right up to the Alamo, where Presidents Robertson and Pena Nieto and Prime Minister MacKay were waiting for them, standing at alert of course, another soldier holding a flag of their respective nations behind them. The processions stopped in exactly the right place, where the three Generals walked forward a few more feet, to a dignified distance from their respective commanding officer. They stopped in the right spots, and as they did behind them came bellows from a sergeant at the head of each nation's procession, first in English, then in Spanish and finally in French.

"Attention!" The loud bellow quickly saw every single polished combat boot stomp down on the pavement and all the troops come to attention in their lines. With that the crowd also went very quiet indeed, watching.

Powell, Castañeda and Dallaire as one ripped off perfect salutes to their commanders, which were similarly returned by the commanders.

And then a surprise happened.

The choice of who would formally speak of presenting the troops to the commanders had been left up to the Generals, but Powell and Castañeda had insisted that Dallaire, who both considered one of the finest men to ever live, be the one to do the formal speaking. This surprised more than a few in the crowd and television commentators, who expected the publicity-loving Powell to do it himself, but soon everyone understood why. Dallaire stepped forward to the three leaders, speaking directly to them though aware many were watching.

"President Robertson, President Pena Nieto, Prime Minister MacKay, I present to you the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Mexican States and the Canadian Federation, in the city of San Antonio, Texas, in the honour of the great events of this place one hundred and fifty years ago, on the date of the Fifth of May, Eighteen Sixty-Four, and in the great events of all of the times since, across our nations and across our planet." Dallaire's short statement was followed by one more unified stomp of the boot and absolutely-perfect salutes, this time including Powell and Castañeda. Dallaire joined their salutes, which for a second time were returned by Robertson, Pena Nieto and MacKay. The American President answered Dallaire.

"On behalf of the people of the State of Texas and the people of the United States of America, I accept your arrival and that of your troops, General Dallaire." She paused very briefly. "Welcome to the free city of San Antonio, and know that your troops are the proud inheiritants of so many years of honor and courage of so many in the United States, Mexico and Canada, proud traditions that I stand before you today and swear that they will be upheld for many years to come, for they are the shared beliefs of all of our peoples, shared beliefs that reside in the hearts and minds of us all, the beliefs that have brought so much of what is great among us and so much of what history will be written by us all in the times to come." Robertson finished her statement to the loud applause of the crowd watching, though the troops hadn't been dismissed and thus they stayed quiet. Both MacKay and Pena Nieto were among those applauding though.

Just as the President finished speaking a familiar noise was heard - the noise of jet engines, signifying the arrival of supersonic aircraft. The crowd and the leaders looked up as a set of jets flew overhead - a trio of fighter jets, one each of the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, with a three separate trios behind them - one trio of US Air Force F-16Cs in the middle, Royal Canadian Air Force CF-185 Typhoons to the left and Fuerza Aerea Mexicana F-15 Eagles to the right, each trio venting smoke in the colors of their nation - for the Americans it was red, white and blue, the Mexicans red, white and green and the Canadians red and white, with the white in the middle. The fighters drew a titanic roar from the crowd, as did what followed - a trio of helicopters flying side by side, each one flying a massive flag of their respective nations. The helicopters drew a spontaneous salute from the soldiers that the generals and the leaders all very quickly followed, the crowd roaring its approval even louder.

Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
May 5, 2014

"And may we celebrate another 150 years of friendship, prosperity and the best pan dulce and maple syrup the world has to offer." The Mexican Ambassador to Canada finished his speech to a round of applause, his last line resulting in more than a little bit of laughter from the crowd and the VIPs, who true to form had more than a few flags of all three nations being worn as everything from flags worn around the upper torso to the shirts of those attending ceremonies. The Mayor of Toronto and the Premier of Ontario had both gone with just a pin that showed the flags of the three nations, but the ambassador had gone with the loud shirt of the Mexican flag with each arm of the shirt showing the flags of Canada and the United States, which somehow didn't seem horribly tacky on this day. The crowd in front of him boasted more than a few Mexican flags flying from it, joining the red-and-white maple leaf of Canada and the stars and stripes of the United States, and it impressed the ambassador that the English and French of Toronto had been joined in modern times by far more than a little Spanish, and Spanish of the Mexican kind, which included more than a few words and influences brought on by Mexico's vast number of indigenous people - a vast number and proud history shared with Canada, he had come to learn over his time in Canada. It meant a lot to him that that was so, as it meant that the country would be most likely to respect those who sought answers from a past not just of a colonial nature.

For the crowd, indeed Spanish was probably the third-most spoken language in the big city of Toronto in modern times - though Hindi and Chinese would give it a run for its money - and the city in modern times had grown a Latin Quarter, joining up with its ever-so-many ethnic neighborhoods - Chinatown, Little Italy, First Nations City, Navi Mumbai, Greektown, Little Tokyo - and the smaller sections built by dozens of ethnic arrivals from across the world. Even amongst the glass towers filled with the halls of commerce were so many smaller businesses and new arrivals to a nation where entrepreneurship was a way of life, and few residential neighborhoods weren't laced with commercial properties meant for the vast number of shops and stores, restaurants, bars, galleries, cafes, designers and studios that made for a city - indeed a nation - filled with a rich history that nevertheless was still an open book, a book that anyone who had the courage, smarts and perseverance could write their own chapter in.

The crowd reflected that. From all kinds of backgrounds, they together proudly spoke and demonstrated their own backgrounds, but still proudly showed off the flags and cultures of their adopted land even as they created new cultures of their own. Toronto was famous for its street food and seemingly-endless collection of restaurants of every type, but today the same people who operated all of those different places occupied the square with the maple leaf painted onto their faces and emblazoned on their shirts, proudly showing off their love of the adopted homeland. There were symbols that made Canada, things that Canadians shared that very much were a part of the culture that newcomers soon experienced for themselves, and far more often than not came to enjoy. A land that was built by outdoorsmen and with a love for winter sports like hockey had brought into itself lands that many of its residents wouldn't know what a hockey stick was if they were handed one, but the symbols had come to them too. The red jackets of the members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who were the honor guard for the events of today and the proud dress uniforms of the Canadian Armed Forces, the history of both forces being such vast books in their own right - The Philippines, two World Wars, Vietnam, the Middle East and most of all the wars in America, Mexico and Texas that had taken three very disparate nations and forged them into three brothers so united that two would fight all the way to hell for the third. The love of the outdoors meshed so beautifully with the new sports that so many played - rugby, cricket, basketball, football - while the symbols of the past that were in so many minds almost a religion of their own meshed with the new designs of clothing, jewelry, architecture and home designs, the incredible advancement of science and technology and the new languages and skin tones brought by newcomers. The coffee runs that were an indispensable part of Canadian mornings had become the preserve of so many coffee growers in Mexico, Jamaica and Trinidad, while the foods that were a part of Canadian culture - from the famous ones like poutine, Montreal smoked meat, Nanaimo bars, pemmican, smoked salmon and back bacon to much more regional ones like cretons, British Columbia sushi, fish and brewis, Calgary-style ginger beef, Jamaican patties, ackee and saltfish, rotis and cassava - had long since been adapted by the newcomers, though always in a respectful fashion. Likewise, Canadians who went from the famous Caribbean islands behaved in a respectful manner, a habit shared with those who went in the opposite direction.

Wealth hadn't changed any of that. Canadians were regarded as incredibly polite and kind people that, if you got them angry enough, would become the single worst enemies one could make, a view that was for the most part true. Now stewards one of the world's richest nations, a virtual treasure house of natural resources, creators of incredible technologies and possessing a remarkable level of design prowess, they believed in the desire to make the world a better place using those resources, technologies, design prowess and wealth. The people of their nation, now over a third of which were people of colour - over two-fifths if you counted Native Canadians as people of colour, which many did - reflected this, and their commercial capital reflected this "make good the world" philosophy.

Towers of glass built in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s stood shoulder to shoulder with Art Deco, Beaux-Arts and Colonial structures of earlier times, while the city's vast collection of medium-height rows of stores that lined major streets still dominated those streets, though the towers of modern times took up what room was behind them. Despite the wealth of the nation allowing just about anyone who wanted to to drive an automobile, the city operated a vast mass transit system that ran 24 hours a day and was always very well patronized, and the city's apartments virtually always included spare rooms for one to engage in hobbies. The city rarely missed an opportunity to do things the right way - Highways built underground so as to not ruin neighborhoods, a streetcar barn, a quarry complex and a distillery complex turned into arts districts, a coal-fired power plant turned into a movie studio, a collection of low-rise commercial buildings built into the facade of a shopping mall, a beautiful Beaux-Arts municipal office turned into the entrance for the new City Hall, a major hockey arena built over top of Union Station's trainshed, the sign of a famed music store turned into a sign for a major nightclub, streetcars kept on city streets out of a desire to not spend a vast sum of money to little benefit that had turned first into a city hallmark (and then seeing the network of them explode in size in the 1980s, 90s and 2000s), dirt dug out from the building of skyscrapers and apartment towers used to create a collection of pools along the lakefront that were converted into ice rinks in the winter, a baseball stadium built with a retractable roof to allow the weather to not stop games. Shopping malls doubled as transit terminals and were built with extensive interior amenities and towering multistory parking garages, and in later times had numerous office towers and apartment buildings built into them. The city's downtown sported a vast collection of tunnels and bridges between buildings, and these included many of the older buildings too. The city kept a vast collection of industrial complexes which employed armies of workers on the city's outskirts, connected directly to highways so as to keep trucks off of many city streets. Construction projects had fences built around mature trees on the edges of the site so that they wouldn't be wrecked by construction machinery and the city's repair crews including "flying squads" whose job was to quickly get jobs done in short periods of time to reduce the effect on traffic.

The city's residents added to the desires to getting jobs done right. The buildings that lined streets were usually kept clean and well-trimmed, with restaurant patios on many roads taking up what would otherwise be parking spaces - and on some stretches of road, this takeover was entirely deliberate. The city's steep land prices, high demand and huge customer numbers meant in many places the businesses took up every inch of space possible, and they spread out onto rooftop patios and overhangs, into backyards, and out onto streetscapes. Street food vendors took over some parking lots, while parking garages operated by the city and some companies grew the land space available. Laneways and alleyways provided space for smaller residential units that proved invaluable for many newcomers to the city, in addition to smaller residential units built above storefronts. The countless stores selling second-hand clothing meant that those of wealth made it possible for those of lesser means to dress well also, and rare was the office worker who dared to go to work without a suit - though those in more style-oriented and creative industry jobs sometimes got a pass on this. Toronto's vast car scene was driven by its wealth and its excellent mass transit system, which allowed many to do without an every day car, allowing them to put their wealth and enthusiasm into the fun car. The spare rooms meant that people had choices for their choices for hobbies and there was no shortage of stores to fill any possible need for hobby, and in a city the size of Toronto there was little lacking for customers.

While Toronto was very much a work-first kind of city, on this day there was little work to be had, primarily because anyone with a brain knew what May 5 meant, especially what this May 5 meant. The Prime Minister was in San Antonio, and for this day there was special displays and events galore, perhaps this no more shown off than by the massive Canadian Army M1CA Kodiak main battle tank sitting at the center of the Canadian Army display, or by the showoff that had happened earlier in the day, where fighters of the three nations' air forces had flown in formation - a JAS 39 Gripen of the Fuerza Aerea Mexicana and a F-15E Strike Eagle of the United States Air Force had flown on either side of a Royal Canadian Air Force F-22A Raptor over the city of Toronto, showing off to the people of the city. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police were fully turned out for their exhibition, their famous bright-red tunics, oxblood riding boots, Sam Browne belts and campaign hats being a symbol any Canadian - and a vast number of people of the other two nations - would recognize, and their cars out for exhibition included their motorcycle units, specialized pursuit units and special service vehicles.

Outside of the vast party in the city center, there was many that respected the holiday of Cinco De Mayo and what it meant even in Canada. Whether it was enjoyment of Mexican food - and actual Mexican food, as few in Toronto had time for the sorts of garbage the likes of Taco Bell called food at the best of times - or enjoying the sorts of dances and celebrations that came from the most southerly of the Three Amigos (Parts of the Latin Quarter along Eglinton Avenue East were lined with dance studios, whose parties on Cinco De Mayo were famous in Toronto), setting up vast numbers of block parties (another summer tradition in Toronto), practicing their Spanish speaking abilities (more than a few transplants from Mexico or Latin America were only too happy to both chuckle at and then help them with) or for those who felt a need to recognize their faith, travels to the religious institutions.

The massive Anglican Cathedral Of Saint Alban The Martyr, the almost-as-big Temple of the Jewish Faith In Toronto, located a few blocks from each other on Bloor Street, and the towering Roman Catholic Cathedral Of Saint John, which faced towards the incredible Kateri Tekakwitha Park Of the First Nations across Dufferin Street (and had been built with a bridge across the busy street and with the road dug down so as to allow one to go directly from the park to the Cathedral - this is Toronto, after all) were all filled to their capacity today, honoring both their faith and all of those lost in Canada's conflicts from the North American War onward. The words were different but the devotion was the same, and the colors were wildly different across the parishioners of the Christian churches. Likewise, the city's giant cenotaph, located in the sizable oval behind Queens Park (The provincial legislature), held its one of its twice annual ceremonies - the other was November 11 - to honour Canada's war dead. It was another of the many ways if recognizing Canada's past, which for the more modest was often the goal of Cinco De Mayo. The city's countless congregations of Orthodox Christians, Mormons and countless other Christian denominations, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Shintos and numerous other religions all took part in many of the same ceremonies - for many, being Canadian meant that whether their forebears had been involved in Canada's conflicts or not, it was worth respecting the sacrifices of those that had, and whose lives had been sacrificed for the nation that they called home today.
May 5, 2014 fell on a Monday. As always the federal holiday provided for a three-day weekend, but in consideration of the special nature of the 150th anniversary many employers had also given their staffs the Friday before and the Tuesday after as days off, creating a five-day celebration in cities and towns across the continent.

In Portland, Oregon, crowds gathered at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which was the happy result of an earlier unhappy attempt to build a highway along the river. (As it happened, Interstate 5, across the river, hummed quietly with unseen traffic, being buried underground like most freeways that passed through cities. The traffic was only noticeable at the exit ramps as it came through the toll booths. However, many Portlanders arrived downtown for the celebrations on the city's extensive subway system, built in the 1970s, and on the network of free buses that skittered through the downtown area, making transit convenient.)

The park reconnected Portland with the Willamette River and was traditionally the scene of the Cinco de Mayo celebrations, which in addition to celebrating the great events of the 1860s and the happiness and prosperity of the North American nations since then, was also the traditional kickoff to summer. The food stands and performers on the three stages leaned heavily toward Latino culture, in honor of the Mexican ally, but like throughout the continent mixed in all the many cultures that gave North America its color.

A few blocks away at the Cathedral of St. Mary on Burnside Street, Archbishop Alexander Sample was holding the last of the special Masses said over the weekend there and at the other big Catholic churches in town, like St. Michael the Archangel, the Madeleine, and St. Philip Neri. The special Masses of thanksgiving - for the years of peace, racial understanding, and prosperity, giving the faithful the opportunity to perform works of mercy toward others - were a Cinco de Mayo tradition and were always said in English, Spanish and French; to this the Portland-area churches, recognizing the large Asian population in the region, added Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

To this was added a spectacular air show over downtown Portland given by the Oregon Air National Guard and units of the Royal Canadian Air Force based not far away in Vancouver, BC.

On the other side of the continent, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a city of about 325,000, similar celebrations were held at Kirby Park along the Susquehanna River, from which celebrants could see the downtown's preserved historic district skyline as well as the gleaming newer construction further uptown. At St. Nicholas Cathedral, special Masses had been said that weekend there as well, but with the difference that - in honor of the "Ellis Island" immigrant groups that so populated the region - the English, French, and Spanish Masses were augmented by Italian, Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian, and Croatian.
OOC: Better late than never🙃

I do truly look forward to discussing transit, aquaculture, and nuclear energy in this thread with everyone! I feel like all my time spent on this forum has culminated in this grand effort with @TheMann and @Joe Bonkers

Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California
May 5th, 2014
8:30 AM

As the clock struck 0830, a chorus of turbines some 1200 strong made their presence known. Members of 1/1st Marines and 1st Brigade Combat Team (FCS), 40th Infantry Division (CA-ARNG) were adjoined in their makeshift motor pool courtesy of the University of Southern California and City of Los Angeles. Joining them were formations from Russia, Brazil, NATO, the Commonwealth, Iran, and of course our Amigos, Mexico and Canada. This near Division strong pomp and circumstance was in celebration of the Continents most hallowed day, A Day Where Democracy Triumphed. While other parades were concurrently held in San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, and other towns throughout California, Los Angeles had been chosen as this year's star attraction. Los Angeles held the unique experience of being the last major battle of the North American War fought within California. A motley Division formation of Californios Cavalry under Pío Pico and Federal Buffalo Soldiers, Skirmishers of friendly Natives, mixed companies of American Minutemen, and a rebellious crew from a Russian steam frigate were able to eject the Texan Army from the West Coast. Battles like those of Los Angeles, where small combined arms formations defeated large enemies in detail, inspired the Army's Future Combat System, allowing for the new medium-weight Combined Arms Battalion and Brigade Combat Team to outfight and outthink larger formations. 1/40th ID and a task force from their Aviation Brigade were returning home from a 9-month deployment in Central Africa from a UN Peace Keeping op, the first deployment of an FCS-equipped National Guard Brigade Combat Team since the system's initial fielding in 2010. The lead vehicle, an M1209 C2V command track, held the Brigade Commander, Col. Mark Malanka, adorned with an American Flag featuring its latest campaign streamer.

Their route from Memorial Coliseum to Dodger Stadium would travel down Broadway, avoiding the Grand and Main St. Elevated lines, passing by Grand Park with its Californios monument and then a short jaunt onto the famed Sunset Boulevard before turning right to the Stadium complex. Behind the Brigade were 1/1st Marines, members of the local ROTC, Civilian Conservation Corps, Red Cross, and Boy Scouts, with the international guests making up the rear. Overhead was a plethora of aerial displays, with helicopters from the locally based Coast Guard and CA-ARNG 40th Aviation Brigade from Los Alamitos with CH-47s carrying flags of the parade participants. Further above was a flight of five B-52Ks from Castle Air Reserve Station and mock aerial refuelings from TriStar and KC-10 Tankers from the Canadian and Mexican Air Forces. Joining them from offshore was a scarce occasion of F-14Es and Su-33Ms flying alongside one another; two designs once meant to destroy one another now fly side by side for peace. As the Mechanized column made its way up the tree-lined Broadway, the low and medium-rise buildings surrounding the USC Campus began to grow in height. Jutting into the sky were towers of glass, brick, steel, and concrete structures in a dozen different architectural styles to signify their area housings hundreds of thousands and thrice that many jobs. Were it not for the progressive public campaign to build rapid transit lines during the New Deal, these many millions of residents would be clogged in endless gridlock. The momentous Elevated and Subway lines, built-in PWA Moderne style, were constructed upon the body of the Los Angeles Railway and Pacific Electric Railway; these urban and interurban routes were joined by the locally built, tolled Parkway system. These urban achievements would not be possible without the New Deal or Transport America Act, the Transport America Act of particular importance as it significantly boosted rapid transit system funding and nuclear energy to fight the 1956 Oil Crisis.

Nuclear Energy quickly became the star of the Transport America Act of California's recovery from the oil crisis. The USS Nautilus had demonstrated early reactor success in 53, Shippingport, and its Moss Beach clone in 55 and 57, respectively. California's first commercial standardized reactor would be Diablo Canyon #1 in 1967, the first of six reactors producing 1000 MegaWatts (MW) apiece. The standardized, pressurized water design drastically reduced the siting and construction costs of six similar plants in Semitropic, Point Arena, Moss Landing, Point Conception, San Onofre, and Bolsa Island. Bolsa Island was incredibly unique as it was the first commercialized nuclear desalination plant anywhere at its commissioning in 1971. Built on an artificial causeway near Seal Beal, the twin reactors produced 50 million gallons of water a day (MGD) using waste steam and 900MW a piece for a total of 1800MW and 100MGD. While naturally more expensive than local groundwater, the desalinated, or desalted, water could achieve cost parity with imported northern sources from the State Water Project. With an increasingly available energy supply, the heavy industries of SoCal like Kaiser Steel in Fontana as well as US Steel, Alcoa, and Harvey Aluminum in Torrance converted to electric arc furnaces to compete with European and Japanese producers. The success of Bolsa Island ahead of the 1976 drought seemed exceptionally fortuitous as existing coastal reactors had been modified for desalination, first 50MGD and ultimately 250MGD per existing pressurized reactor by the middle 80s. Mexico and the US collaborated extensively on nuclear desalination culminating in the 1978 1 Billion Gallon a Day (BGD) or 3069 acre-feet a day (AF/D) plant at Puerto Penasco, Sea of Cortez, and directly supplementing Colorado River water for agriculture in the delta region. The joint desalting plant set off a second nuclear reactor construction frenzy with similar plants developed for New York, Texas, Florida, Australia, and Israel. The late 70s would then see the commercialization of high-temperature gas cooled and molten salt reactors, multipurpose by design providing industrial heat and electricity. Soon existing oil-fired plants gave way to medium-sized molten salt reactors of which safety level allowed them to live near urban dwellings with Scattergood, Redondo, Alamitos, and Huntington Beach power plants were all converted. The high thermal output allowed for new industrial activities, like decarbonizing oil refining, producing hydrogen on an economic scale, Fischer-Tropsch synth oil, District Heating/Cooling, and storing heat in molten salt "batteries" for peak energy loads. By using nuclear heat and hydrogen, the half dozen oil refineries of LA County could economically utilize every gallon of crude oil to produce "lighter oils" like diesel, kerosene, propane, and gasoline. Once intensive efforts like Hydrocracking of heavy oils could now be done economically and with negligible emissions, which immediately affected air and water pollution of the region.

The last major regional project in the Los Angeles region of the 20th century would be the Long Beach/San Pedro Super Port. It was based on the success of Vancouver's Roberts Bank multipurpose facility for importing and exporting goods. A three-mile-long causeway would be built past the existing breakwater and lighthouse, creating new spots for land reclamation of purpose-built container and bulk terminals. The deepwater section would be perfect for the largest container ships from Japan and the recently friendly Republic of China. At the tip of the causeway was the Southern California "Gateway" Energy Complex consisting of two large gas-cooled reactors providing 900 C process heat, 1BGD of desalted water, and mineral recovery from the desalination brine; as well as a new lighthouse and pilot facility. The causeway would be mainly rail-served, with the capability of hosting Six Million TEUs on over 2000 acres of reclaimed land on a full build-out. This new land allowed existing piers on the San Pedro west shoreline side to redevelop into commercial/residential property. Developments expanding their cruise ship capacity and redeveloping the shuttered Todd Pacific Shipyard into a WWII monument featuring BB-44 California, CAG-135 Los Angeles, DD-775 Willard Keith, and SS Lane Victory docked at the shipyard piers, along with supportive housing for Veterans built on-premise. On Terminal Island, the former USN Reeves Field was redeveloped as an expanded water treatment/recycling plant to match Hyperion's 1 BGD capacity of recycled water, along with an incinerator for any non-organic waste. The 80s would also see a massive aquaculture boom to meet Asia and Africa's growing food demands. Between San Pedro and Catalina Island, many thousand floating ropes and pens growing fish, seaweeds, and shellfish were grown in conjuncture, with processing, canning, or freezing occurring on Terminal Island. On the Long Beachside, Terminal Island would receive a large tank farm to hold an increase of refined petroleum products. At the Los Angeles/Long Beach border, near Heim Bridge, the former oil lands had a large Fischer-Tropsch plant constructed. The plant could use multiple waste streams into synthetic petroleum, such as dewatered wastewater sludge, food scraps, green waste, flare gas from refineries, methane, or even kelp from aquaculture.

This new overabundance of water meant Greater Los Angeles was "drought-proof" by 1990 thanks to desalination and then recycling of the water. Rather than waste out to sea, recycled water from waste water treatment plants would be pumped into reservoirs and near the urban headwaters of major rivers, allowing for percolation back into the aquifer. The Los Angeles Aqueduct was reversed entirely in the 80s, giving the Upper Antelope Valley towns of Lancaster and Palmade 500MGD of recycled water; this new water source provided just over 500,000 acre-feet a year of water to the Antelope Valley. For the first time in many generations, the desert washes turned perennial and flowed into Rosamond dry lake. The desert dry lake was used as an aquifer recharge point to quell the overdraft of groundwater; this usage of filling dry lakes into managed wetlands would be a continued trend for California. The arid loamy lands of North LA County would be a testing ground for high desert land reclamation; nitrogen-fixing trees like Mesquite would surround plots of onions, oats, agave, and alfalfa. New orchards of cherries, peaches, and pistachios would be planted with wide rows of grasses for fowl and sheep pasturing. The closure of the LA Aqueduct quickly restored Owens Lake even faster than experts estimated. Inyo County would see a quick economic recovery, with tourism revolving around the lake and hot spring resorts, as well as agriculture, resuming alfalfa and orchard harvests. Recycled water released near the urban headwaters of the Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and San Gabriel rivers quickly restored perennial flows, enchanting beauty, and habitat simultaneously; as well providing cheaper options for irrigation water, keeping the orchards and farms of the Inland Empire economically competitive. The revitalized farms and urban streams would act as green belts to break up the urban and industrial sprawl emanating from Los Angeles County.

Success in restoring perennial river flows, the Owens Valleys, and the beginning success of reclaiming the High Desert spurred the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of the 90s to draw up new storage and conveyance plans. By the late 80s, the continual decline of the Salton Seas water quality had become a national concern, with its salinity levels now passing seawater concentration. The MWD had settled on building a 1BGD pipeline to the White Water River for the dual purpose of providing more water to the Palm Springs area and stabilizing the Salton Sea. The Coachella/Imperial valley would also develop their geothermal resources for electricity and locally desalinating the Salton Sea. Between the local desalinating, water importation, and increased flows from the Colorado and Gila Rivers, it would be assured that in a 20-year window, the Salton Sea would be a freshwater reservoir in the 8.5 to 9.2 million acre-feet level, about double Lake Shasta, though 1/3 smaller than Tulare Lake. The MWD's most recent project was the 2.5BGD Mandalay/Oxnard energy complex and its twin, the San Diego/Tijuana joint facility. The two facilities, coming online in 2002, were scaled prototypes of the eventual 5BGD plants for the Colorado River and Central Valley. The Joint San Diego/Tijuana plant was mainly to meet existing Urban and Industrial needs, but the Mandalay/Oxnard plant had the majority of its water pumped into Palmdale and heading eastward by the State Water Project East Branch Canal. Though the canal and ATSF Railway have been extended to Twentynine Palms, most water ends up in the Mojave River. While giving life back to the Mojave has not been easy, it has been well worth the effort, with over 1.2 million acre-feet a year of new water available to the Mojave area. Many irrigation systems have been built into the Mojave River, but its flow is still strong enough to reach Baker some 125 miles south into a large wetland; in exceptionally wet years, the river will flow into Death Valley.

This exposition brings us back to today, May 5th, 2014. From his Blue Force Tracker, Col. Mark Malanka could that the last of the 7,000 strong parade group had parked at Dodger Stadium. Already positioned at the parking lot were his Firescout UAVs and Comanche recon-copters from the RSTA squadron and some Blackhawks, Cheyennes, Chinooks, Tarhes, and Mohawks from the division's aviation brigade. The pair of OV-1F's made a spectacular 800ft STOL landing in the parking as a demonstration. Elsewhere celebrations are occurring onboard the BB-44 USS California at the maritime museum, and offshore on CVN-66 USS America's final deployment along side the Russian atomic powered super carrier Moscow and their respect battle groups. Looking out from Chavez Ravine, one could clearly see Long Beach and San Pedro Bay; from every direction was the canopies of the Urban Forest consisting of 100 million trees in the Greater Los Angeles area. To your immediate front is the expansive skyline of Downtown Los Angeles with dozens of skyscrapers. To the left is Los Angeles Union Station, the transit hub of LA county with High-Speed Rail, Amtrak long-distance, regional rail, and the rapid transit, interurban, and streetcar lines. To the right are Hollywood and Beverly Hills, which needs no introduction, and Santa Monica, with its incredible stretch of beach in the distance. Overhead were dozens of civil flights landing every hour at Long Beach, Los Angeles, Burbank, and Santa Ana could be seen; McDonnell Douglas was hard at work in Long Beach producing dozens of its MD-90 series and C-17 transports. Behind is the Great Inland Empire, where the grand rivers of Santa Ana, Los Angeles, and San Gabriel all find their start. One can still find a rural charm here as several thousands of acres of ranches and orchards act as green belt buffers between industry and urban sprawl.

Beyond the LA Basin follows the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route, a double-track electrified right of way between Chicago and Los Angeles through the Southwest. At Cabazon, a billion gallons per day of a recycled and desalinated water mixture flow into the Whitewater River. The importation was intended to stabilize the Salton Sea's decline and support urban growth for Palm Springs, bringing in several dozen thousand acres of agricultural production and refilling the local aquifer; of particular interest are the local vineyards and agave farms for California Wine and Mezcal production. On either side of the Salton Sea were grand resorts and casinos bringing many tourists. At Mexicali, the Southern Pacific interchanges with the Sonora, Gulf, and Pacific to carry passengers and freight further south. Mexicali sat in the middle of one of the most productive agricultural spots on the entire planet, now even more influential thanks to six billion gallons a day of desalinated water bringing in over 1,000,000 new acres of irrigated land for Mexico, California, and Arizona. Not only is the area economically productive, but the Colorado River Delta and Laguna Salada are the largest desert river estuary giving shelters to hundreds of birds and marine species. The Sea of Cortez straddled between Sonora and Baja California is often described as the "World's Aquarium" and is home to most of Mexico's intensive aquaculture systems. Mexico's western aquaculture combines land-based saltwater ponds of grey mullet with whiteleg and brine shrimp, which effluent then feed halophyte crops like salicornia and mangroves fields. Offshore, there are cages full of Red Snapper, Totoaba, Urchins, and Sea Cucumbers, of which effluent flows through rows of kelp and other seaweed which finally reach the shellfish of Abalone, Muscles, Scallops, and Oysters. The onshore use of halophytes and marine use of seaweeds and shellfish mitigate pollution and create additional habitats for the environment. This winning combination of nuclear-powered, carbon-free industry, a deluge of desalinated water and recycled wastewater, reclaiming desert lands into wooded savannahs, and turning to multi-trophic aquaculture to feed tens of millions have allowed the Amigos to transcend past inequality and stagnation.
[OOC: Reading back what we all wrote above, there’s a lot of emphasis on military. Just so that doesn’t skew things: think of May 5, or Cinco de Mayo, in TTL as being sort of the 4th of July, Veterans Day and Memorial Day all rolled into one. So the military parades are a big tradition; and 2014 is a big anniversary. But May 5 is also the traditional kickoff to the summer, and the beginning of summer fun up and down the Americas. May 5, in other words, is about when you start firing up your backyard grill!]

So how did we get here?

General Andrew Jackson strikes such an imposing figure in early American history that more than a few historians have wondered what the world might have been like had he become president of the United States – not an unlikely fate for the hero of the Battle of New Orleans had events turned out differently.

The battle, on January 8, 1815, had been a smashing success for the Americans in the War of 1812. The British, attempting to assault American defenses outside of New Orleans, suffered heavy casualties after Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Mullins, commander of the 44th East Essex Regiment, failed to bring ladders and fascines to allow the British troops to scale the American ramparts. Mullins also apparently lost heart and fled the battle. The commander of the British forces, General Edward Pakenham, fell mortally wounded attempting to rally the British.

The stunning victory, however, was marred by a tragedy. As Jackson, in command of the American forces, was riding out into the battlefield on horseback to view the British retreat, an American sniper accidentally mistook him for an enemy officer. The sniper fired, wounding Jackson in the spine. Jackson survived the wound, but was paralyzed from the waist down. (The British, unaware of Jackson’s wound, withdrew ten days later after an unsuccessful bombardment of Fort St. Philip, and the already-concluded Treaty of Ghent ended the war shortly afterward.)

Over the years to come, Andrew Jackson would be lionized as a true hero of the American republic. But whatever dreams he may have had of entering politics were over; in the world of the 1800s it was virtually impossible for a man in his condition to carry on a political career. He had his opinions, of course, which were widely respected, and from his home at the Hermitage he wrote copious letters to politicians and publications; but his actual involvement in the politics of the 1820s and onward was attenuated the day he received his wound at the Battle of New Orleans.

The politics of the young republic propelled James Monroe of Virginia to the presidency for two terms after the war during the so-called “Era of Good Feelings” (which really just meant that the Federalist Party was disintegrating and new political formations were gathering).

The next real contested presidential race came in 1824. John Quincy Adams was arrayed against Henry Clay – ironically, as it turned out, since both men would later end up on the same side of the political fence – with William Crawford as a spoiler. Crawford’s influence and tally of votes, as it turned out, were minimal; in a close election, Adams narrowly defeated Clay. The Kentucky congressman conceded with good grace, aware that he remained a viable political contender after such a close election.

By 1828, though, Clay was approving enough of Adams’ policies, and concerned enough about his enemies, that instead of running for office himself, he chose to support Adams in his reelection bid against John C. Calhoun of South Carolina. Adams and Clay, drawing closer together, gradually came to be the center of gravity around which the Whig Party, later changing their name to the Republican Party, would form; the opposition party would eventually come to be called the Democratic Party.

In 1832, Henry Clay’s moment finally came, and he was elected to the first of two terms as president. Almost immediately, he began putting into place one of his primary goals, one for which Adams had begun to lay the groundwork during his tenure of office, but one for which Adams, as a Northerner and non-slaveholder, did not have the moral authority to carry out: the compensated emancipation of the slaves.

The Emancipation Act of 1835 was a landmark in American history. It was important as much for its assertion of federal authority – still a new concept in American politics – as for its change to the very fabric of the society of the nation, particularly the Southern states. The act required those states which still had legalized slavery to set up a program of emancipation by which all slaves would be freed by 1845. The federal government would compensate the states, who in turn would compensate the slaveowners for the market value of their slaves as of January 1, 1836.

Passage of the bill had not been easy, of course, as Calhoun and other slaveholders in Congress, and their supporters, fought hard against it; but in the end, the perceived fairness of Clay’s approach, even from the standpoint of the slaveholders – he was, after all, promising to compensate them financially for the freedom of their slaves – prevailed. The question of what would happen to the freed slaves was not yet resolved, but subsequently, as the Clay administration gave way to that of Daniel Webster from 1840 to 1848, the notion of opening parts of the West up to relocated ex-slaves began to take root. This eventually prevailed over other schemes, such as sending ex-slaves “back to Africa,” even though most had been born in the States (the back-to-Africa movement, however, gained enough legs to result in the creation of the nation of Liberia).

Another key question that arose, as the emancipation programs began to take effect, was just what the slaveholders would do with their large lump-sum bounty, in this era before income taxes.

The wiser former slaveholders took their government money and invested it in new industries. They began the industrialization of the South, which took some time to catch up with the Northern states and their head start, but which ultimately resulted in industrial enterprises spread throughout the United States.

Unfortunately, though, many ex-slaveholders simply took the money and remained solely in agriculture, doing nothing to improve their financial picture – they remained locked in the mindset that land equals wealth, a paradigm the Industrial Revolution had begun to overturn. Before long, they had begun to resent the wealth enjoyed by their neighbors who had invested in industrial enterprises – but, in the spirit of blaming others for one’s mistakes, they chose not to change their investment strategies but rather to focus blame on the ex-slaves who remained in the South and on the fact that they had to pay the “damned darkies” for an honest day’s work instead of being able to simply exploit their labor. The resentment of these sour souls grew throughout the 1840s and 1850s; spurred on by an editorial in a Georgia newspaper that urged “fine Southern men” to “hold fast to the great traditions of the South – and yes, those traditions include slavery!”, these factionalists came to be known as “Holdfasts.”

As Webster was succeeded in office by a trio of one-term nonentities – Millard Fillmore, then Franklin Pierce, then James Buchanan – the influence of the Holdfasts, both in the Congress and in the counties and towns of the South, grew. They never constituted a majority, but they became an ever-louder minority.

They would soon find a sympathetic ear, across the then-American border, in the new nation of Texas.
For the new Southern industrialists, it started with railways, running from Savannah, Charleston, New Orleans, Mobile, Norfolk/Newport News, the Outer Shores and Jacksonville, running inland to the towns and cities and plantations and industries. Cotton is still the dominant crop early on, but the industrialists also create mills, allowing exports of manufactured goods.

With the development of the Bessemer process for the production of steel, the presence of iron ore, coal and limestone leads to the development of steel in Birmingham and other areas in central and northern Alabama, making Alabama every bit a state for steel production as Pennsylvania and creating a belt of heavy industry on the south end of the Appalachians across Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee resulting in by 1860 there being a vast number of jobs in industrial fields, bringing people of color - Black and Native American - as well as whites. Over time the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Creek and Choctaw peoples take over a lot of the agriculture, and cotton, while remaining an important crop, is joined by many others - tobacco, tree fruits (particularly peaches, plums and apples), tomatoes, grapes and grains as well as dairy products. Early experiments at canning fruits struggle to make edible foods, but improvements get better results, results that would prove invaluable during the Texas War.

Many of those who sell their slaves and put their money into industries and railroads also sell off much of their lands in the process, breaking up the vast plantations into many smaller farms, a great many of whom are bought by their former slaves. Over time the former slaves make many businesses of their own making textiles, milling grain and making fruit juices, as well as digging into the industrial world themselves. Despite the presence of many bigoted Holdfasts, Atlanta becomes the site of the "Black Wall Street", a designation once disliked by white Atlanta residents but which rapidly changed as the money that came with it also came to Atlanta. Black money was followed by Indian money, creating whole communities, industries and industrial alliances built with Black and Indian money, which brings with it a rising standard of living for those who remained in the South. More than a few other black families moved west, taking over their new homesteads across the new lands across the Western frontier of the United States and joining many whites on the Oregon Trail, bound for places further West, many going as far as California. Many of these black communities faced many of the same racism that the Native Americans in many places, resulting in the black Americans in these areas creating a whole generation of black lawmen, the famed "Buffalo Soldiers" and the "Men of Stone", the latter named for famed black Oklahoman Sheriff William Stone, who was one of the founders of the city of Tulsa in 1848 and served as its Sheriff until his passing in 1882, and who trained countless deputies and other lawmen and was famed for his even-handedness to all races. More than a few of the land grants given to black Americans became famous for their productivity in many new fields, and by the 20th Century many of the homes of these homesteads in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa were famed for their size and ostentatiousness, even compared to the plantations their ancestors had come from.

For the Holdfasts, meanwhile, things weren't always so good, with the cost of working their land having increased dramatically many of them abandoned the production of cotton for other crops. These people regularly gathered among their own people, and among these people disdain for Washington grew, as well as disdain for the new industrialists and the new black businessmen and landowners which rapidly became apparent. Despite their history state authorities across the South, aware of the wealth and infrastructure the new Southern industrialists brought with them, looked down harshly on acts of violence or intimidation by the Holdfasts or their allies, siding with the new industrialists far more often than not and strongly supporting the new Black and Native Americans middle class. The state governments were most of the time the same, assisted by many of these industrialists being proud supporters of their governments. More than a few eventually gave up the fight and sold their lands, often heading for Texas and new homesteads there. In a somewhat ironic turn some of these lands were sold to black and Indian families, trying for a form of what would later be known as blockbusting, but in many cases this ended up backfiring as the vast plantations sold to people of color ended up being the centers of new towns for those of color, particularly as a noticeable baby boom for people of color in the South went on during the years after emancipation.

The South, owing to its new history and its vast new numbers of fabric mills, grew a vast clothing industry, creating the ideal that an ideal Southern man of all income levels was a man who dressed well and properly, despite the higher temperatures of the area's climate. Railroads and major employers were expected to provide proper overalls and work clothing to employees, and being a slob was a sign of a man who didn't take care of himself, which surely meant he couldn't be good at his job or take care of his family. These prejudices meant that dressing properly was a must, but the wealth of the region meant that there was little difficulty for any man to get his proper look. The Holdfasts took this to extremes, but their siege mentality meant they wanted little to do with the modern society of the South. Despite the Holdfasts, however, the world of the South grew much more prosperous in the years after Emancipation, proving a boom to the United States as a whole. The new belt of industrial cities across the South shifted the politics of America in many ways, but in many ways it was a positive as the focus on the Industrial cities of the north shrank as the newcomers got the respect of their own, and with the knowledge of what the future was sure to hold, these cities - Savannah, Atlanta, Birmingham, Montgomery, Columbia, Jackson, Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis - were designed for this future in grand styles, with vast avenues, roadways and parklands, many of these becoming legitimate rivals for style to the Northern cities and even rivalling Washington itself in some cases.

The manufacturing of wagons led to the making of railroad cars and locomotives, as well as machine tools and forges, as well as gunsmithing, which for many Indian Americans became a way of life, the tribes replacing their traditional boys and arrows with rifles for hunting purposes - something else the Holdfasts feared but the rest of the South saw little issue with, primarily as it allowed the Southerners to be exceptionally well armed over time, even as their skills resulted in many migrating further north to show off their skills to the rest of the nation. The forges and metal industries also meant that many of the wealthiest families of the South chose to have ceremonial swords or tomahawks made for them, something that would be seen in the North American War. As the dense railroad map of the North was soon matched across the South, countless railroads began to follow the homesteaders, and by the 1850s the building of multiple transcontinental railroads was well underway, the railroads rapidly spreading to the towns of the Black and Native American homesteaders. Likewise, the admission of Florida into the Union in 1845 resulted in the rails rapidly spreading south, reaching all the way to the new city of Miami in 1856 and allowing the state to become the center of a rapidly-growing industry in tropical agricultural products - citrus fruits, tea and coffee, bananas and sugarcane being among the biggest ones. As with the tribes further north, the Seminoles of Florida took to these tasks with a will, helped by the presence of Lake Okeechobee in the middle of their traditional territory. Miami rapidly became one of the most important ports of the United States as the new ports and rails allowed ships from Latin America to make their way to the United States. As Miami got congested, the other Southern ports - New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston - also became busy, particularly as both agricultural products and manufactured ones became to be going both ways out of the ports.

Mexico lost control of its Alta California regions in 1850, as multiple rounds of rebellions and Mexico's serious problems with political stability in the 1830s results in Juan Bautista Alvardo's attempt at pushing for California's independence in 1836-37. The rebellion fails, but it results in Texas rapidly moving troops west, aiming to take as much territory in the high country as possible. Alvardo's successor, Manuel Micheltorena, is driven from the area by another rebellion in 1845, which leads to the Texans aiming to claim California for themselves. The Californios and the Americans of northern California alike don't like this, and while the Americans take over the Mexican fort of Sonora, claiming independence as the California Republic, while the Californios, fed up with Mexico's perpetual instability, ask for American help. The result in the American annexation of California in 1846, taking over the rest of Alta California as well as Baja California. The move infuriates Mexico, resulting in the final overthrow of Santa Ana from Mexico City in 1846 but creating a major impetus for the transcontinental railways, which by then are in the serious planning stages - and then the California Gold Rush happens in 1848-49, pushing a huge number of Americans to go west along the California Trail, headed for destinations in California's Central Valleys. The transcontinental railways rapidly follow them, reaching Denver, Cheyenne and the Continental Divide by 1853. The Californios moves to show alliances to Washington had the desired effect and their vast land holdings would last for some time to come, allowing them to be the first wealthy landowners of the region. The completion of the Central Overland Route in 1853 and the first Transcontinental Telegraph, which was completed in 1857, became the beginnings of the vast networks across the West between California and the rest of the United States. California formally joined the United States in September 1850, bringing with it the vast, almost-unconquered Baja Peninsula, which as the state rapidly grew during the 19th and 20th Century would bring it along with it.

Halted at the Rio Grande River, the Texans began to see the obvious by 1850 - the annexation of California by the United States meant it was now surrounded a nation on three sides that it regarded as increasingly hostile, and while Washington was more or less content to leave the Texans be for the time being, the Texans' hostility and the problems with the Holdfasts created were an increasing problems for the states of the South and the areas that surrounded it. The Texans' move ultimately pushed the United States to recognize the need for Mexico's political instability to end. Washington's support for Mexico results in a series of moderate Liberal presidents in Mexico - Valentin Gomez Farias, Mariano Arista, Juan Alvarez - until Benito Juarez takes power in 1857. While the Presidents had been rivals, Mexico had pushed for - and gotten - a sizable quantity of investment for the United States, which allowed Arista, Alvarez and finally Juarez to finally stabilize Mexico as well as increase its standard of living. By the 1850s Mexico was making real headway in improving its standards of living and the near-lawlessness on its fringes, and while some in Mexico City demanded the return of Alta California, most recognized Mexico's inability to control and improve it and regarded its annexation by Washington as an acceptable tradeoff for sizable quantities of American help.

But the problems were not over. Washington recognized the societal issues and continuation of slavery in Texas could end up being a major problem for its Southern and Western states.

They would soon learn just how big those problems could be.
Enter Canada

For Canada, the path to independence in a very real sense began with the War of 1812. The war, fought on the Canadians almost entirely by Canadian militias before the arrival of the Royal Navy, resulted in a much stronger Canadian identity, particularly with the development of the Canadas as much stronger united nations. Regardless, these developments also resulted in the development of many civic leaders who had a very notable antipathy to democracy, believing that the Canadas were much better governed by a landed gentry, serving a notable stable leadership as opposed to the "unruly democracy" of the United States. The Anglican Church was shown great favour by the governments as opposed to the Methodist Church (seen as more Americanized), while American actions in the Old Northwest resulted in initial disfavour but ultimately also a sizable movement of numerous native tribes into Canadian territory, particularly into Upper Canada, a reality most disliked by the government of the territory. To counter this the colonial government pushed for greater immigrations into the territories, actions which had limited but visible success.

By 1825, the development of the Reform Movement under William Lyon Mackenzie and his newspaper The Colonial Advocate led to notable opposition to the Family Compact in Upper Canada, and the Chateau Clique in Lower Canada began to face similar opposition, in both cases much of the opposition comes from multiple disadvantaged groups from the primarily British-born elite. The result ultimately was the Rebellions of 1837-38 in both Upper Canada and Lower Canada, both of which ended up becoming considerably violent, particularly in Upper Canada, where many Native Canadian tribes, unhappy with the open racism displayed by the colonial governments, supported the rebellion by members of the Reform Movements, including the notable occupation by the rebels of the provincial capital of Toronto in January 1838. The occupation was short-lived, and while the Lower Canada Rebellion - known to French-Canadians at the time as the Patriots' War - ultimately was defeated, it resulted in the collapse of the Family Compact and the Chateau Clique and the collapse of the existing system of leadership that had been in place in both colonies for a generation. Lord Durham, sent to North America to report of the rebels' grievances, ultimately advocated the merger of the two colonies, but Parliament felt the dramatically-different needs of the two colonies resulted in this not being followed. Despite the desire of London to avoid the establishment of responsible government, this proved to be unavoidable by the colonial authorities, and Upper Canada was granted this right in 1845, followed by Lower Canada the following year. By this time, the British hopes that the French-Canadian population would assimilate into the British culture of Lower Canada had all but evaporated, and the growing desires of the numerous Native American tribes to have a similar place in Canada as the tribes of the Southern United States had in their country were becoming apparent, a reality that had been a problem in the Rebellions.

Over time, there had been a major shift in power influence in the regions as more of the new arrivals and more of the Native Americans alike made their way into Upper Canada, pushing more of the population further to the north and northwest, the Ojibwe being partnered by local prospectors in discovering the vast nickel reserves at Sudbury in 1848, resulting in a rush of prospectors north into Rupert's Land in an attempt to strike it rich themselves. By this time railroads had long since linked Montreal and Toronto to the Atlantic, and they went north and northwest in a hurry in an attempt to keep up with the prospectors. The Council of the Three Fires and the Mohawk Confederacy had by this time pushed for greater influence in their local governments and kept an uneasy peace with the locals, but as the numbers of both sides grew, they pushed further north and northwest as well as growing the municipalities of Upper and Lower Canada.

The hopes from the colonial administrators had been that responsible government would end the problems that had created the Upper Canada Rebellion and the Patriots War, but the arrival of the Clear Grits in Upper Canada and their supporters and brothers in Lower Canada by 1850 dashed that hope entirely. The "Clear Grits" were a split off of the existing Conservative governments of the region, and they had what was for the time a radical government platform, including universal male suffrage, representation by population, democratic institutions, free trade with the United States, abolition of the Clergy Reserves and (perhaps most notably) the integration into the nation of the "civilized tribes", which included the Iroquois Confederacy and the the Council of the Three Fires. The founder of the Clear Grits, George Brown, had the advantage of the establishment of the Globe newspaper, which had a wide readership in Upper Canada. The Clear Grits had little difficulty gaining power in Upper Canada and Lower Canada by 1853, creating tense political standoffs (particularly in Upper Canada) with the colonial administrators, but by 1856 it was clear that the current positions of colonies for the Canadas was increasingly untenable, and the Iroquois Confederacy's signing of friendship with the government of Upper Canada in 1856 pushed matters just about to the breaking point. The "Great Coalition" of 1858, established by John A. MacDonald, Georges-Etienne Cartier, George Brown, William Namida of the Iroquois Confederacy and including many of Canada's leading political figures, led numerous actions in the times soon after, including the Charlottetown Conference (which originally proposed combining Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island as a single province, which ultimately fell through, but did see the three provinces agree to combine with Upper and Lower Canada), which led directly to the Quebec Conference in March 1859. That Conference, which ultimately resulted in the 72 Resolutions, produced a highly-comprehensive system of how Canada would ultimately be governed.

The 72 Resolutions ultimately became the basis for the British North America Act of 1860, which ultimately created the nation of Canada on August 1, 1860. The nation would keep its capital in Ottawa and would have five provinces - Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island - and would have an elected bicameral parliament, initial desires to keep a chosen house pushed aside due to memories of the Family Compact and Chateau Clique. Alexander Galt's financial arrangements were well done, and the Resolutions indeed included the integration into Canada of its native populations, not only the Iroquois Confederacy and the Council of the Three Fires but also those of the Wabanaki Confederacy and the Mi'kmaq of the Atlantic Provinces. This development, done explicitly with the goal of integrating them into Canada, had many of the desired effects, though like the French Canadians, the keeping of their own cultures and traditions would become a source of pride for many of them in the years to come. The Resolutions and their peaceful developments resulted in Queen Victoria being only too happy to support the proposed legislation, and it indeed had little difficulty clearing the House of Commons. John A. MacDonald would become the first Prime Minister of Canada, and in a surprising twist Washington was quite happy to see Canada's independence, even as Washington continued to hold the view that the integration of Canada into the United States was merely a matter of time. The completion of the Intercolonial Railway was initially to be a Canadian priority, but it wouldn't be long before that would change, because of events to the south of them.

But those events would begin to shape Canada as a nation, its relationship with the United States and indeed what its future would look like.

Would it be possible for me to help with some of the rail transport ideas? Plus maybe a bit of pop culture?
Right now we want to get through the history of the Amigos before we allow it to get clogged up with other detail work. The three of us are writing the TL now, so let's refrain from that for the moment.
The North American War was, of course, one of the pivotal moments in the history of the Western Hemisphere, as pivotal as the creation of Canada and the revolutions that won the United States and the Latin American states their independence. Many historians point to this moment as the time when the nations of North America truly came of age, and surely it was the moment when the enduring alliance between the three great North American states was forged.

Many have written fat volumes on the war, so there’s plenty of detail out there. I’m sure most readers here remember watching Ken Burns’ series about the North American War on public television – you know, the one with the sad fiddle music and the camera panning across photographs while actors in voice-over read documents and letters in the voices of those who witnessed the struggle. So we’re going to confine ourselves here to a brief outline, beginning with the origins of the war:

Part of what prompted the war, of course, was the run of ineffectual presidents of the United States in 1850s. But the actual origins of the war lay in the dark ambitions and imaginings of several bad actors – two who dreamed of glory and two who thirsted for vengeance.

From the time Isabella II became Queen of Spain in 1833, she entertained the ambition of restoring Spain to the greatness it had had in her namesake’s day, before two centuries of ruinous wars culminating in the Napoleonic occupation. To do this, she nurtured the idea of recapturing Spain’s Latin American empire, which had been lost to independence movements in the years of weakness following the Napoleonic Wars. True, Spain did not have the resources alone to embark on such a mad adventure. But perhaps she could find a willing ally who could bankroll her enterprise. She approached Napoleon III, who in 1852 had restored the Bonaparte dynasty to power in France. Napoleon III was intrigued; a Spanish empire that was financially beholden to France could help enhance the overseas – not to mention European – power of France. He quietly agreed to fund the Spanish effort.

The main obstacle was the United States, and its Monroe Doctrine, and the possibility of British intervention should that doctrine be violated. But if the United States could be distracted somehow…at this point, circumstances fell into Isabella’s lap.

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, after his exile from Mexico, had established himself in Nicaragua with a group of loyal followers. Gathering an army, he had, earlier in the 1850s, established control over the Central American states through a combination of bribery, promises, cajolery and threats. In 1858, he had put together a “Central American Republic.” Washington, D.C., was wary, as was Mexico City, but neither had an effectual enough government at the time to take any positive action.

Santa Anna, having learned through his own sources (i.e., spies) of Isabella’s quiet ambitions, sent an envoy to her, asking for help and offering a deal: he would allow the use of his Central American Republic as a base for the invasion of Mexico and actively assist in it, after which he would be made Viceroy of Mexico. They were both, of course, cynically using one another: she intended to use Santa Anna as a tool to reestablish Spanish control south of the Rio Grande, and he intended to use Spanish arms to help him crush independent Mexico and jail or execute those who had opposed him and driven him out of the country. But, however they may have intended ultimately to double-cross one another, their plans at the end of the 1850s fell neatly into line.

Toward that end, Santa Anna began sending agents into Mexico to recruit among his many supporters still there, who would form the backbone of his “revolutionary” army, who became known as the Santanistas. The plan was that the Santanistas would launch an uprising, at which point the Central American Republic would appeal to Spain to “restore order.”

The last piece of the puzzle – how to distract, or even enfeeble, the United States – fell into place in Texas.

The influx of unrepentant slavers fleeing the Southern United States after the enactment of mandatory compensated emancipation under the Clay administration had made Texas more and more stubbornly committed to the institution. The more moderate voices in the republic, like Sam Houston, were forced out of power and then out of Texas itself, as the slavocracy made Texas a thoroughly one-party state. Jefferson Davis, a “refugee” from Mississippi, became president of the Texas republic in 1857 as Texan “elections” grew increasingly to be shams and as anti-slavery voices found themselves more and more unwelcome.

The Texan government carried on an open contact and encouragement of the Holdfast movement in the Southern United States, openly encouraging their activities and increasing propensity for acts of violence and urging them on to further resistance, corresponding with Holdfast leaders, providing money and, more and more, arms.

It was Santa Anna who contacted Jefferson Davis to inform him of Isabella’s and his plan, and to see if his goals in U.S. South could be made to work together with their scheme. Davis and the Texan government were most receptive, as it turned out; again, they thought in terms of using their new friends, in this case to “liberate” the American South and reestablish slavery there.

The scheme was now extended: once the Santanistas and Spaniards invaded Mexico, Texas would provoke a border incident with the United States and blame the Americans. Spain, rushing to the “defense” of Texas, would declare war on the United States. Texas would then spur the Holdfasts to foment a full-scale uprising in the Southern states, while Texan troops, with Spanish backing, would invade the South. Davis’ ultimate goal was to get the Holdfasts into a position where they could seize power in the Southern states, secede from the United States, and then form a “Confederacy” with Texas with the Davis clique in charge and slavery restored.

With the United States out of the way, Spain would then reconquer Latin America, make Santa Anna viceroy, and regain the American Southwest west of the Rio Grande. France would be rewarded for their support with trading rights and, perhaps, the opportunity to take pieces of the now-presumably-impotent United States.

All high school students in Canada, the United States and Mexico know the story of how the Buchanan administration and the government in Mexico ignored the warning signs right up until January 28, 1861, when a “spontaneous” revolution broke out in Mexico City. Santa Anna immediately marched north from Guatemala, and a Spanish fleet, within days, arrived off Veracruz – the smooth coordination obvious to everyone except, it seems (amazingly), the Buchanan administration.

The lame-duck administration continued to ignore the warning signs, right up to the morning of February 11, when a prearranged “skirmish” between Texan border troops and American troops manning Fort Smith, Arkansas, turned into a full-fledged fight. Jefferson Davis sent out a message to all the world declaring that the United States had “aggressively” moved against Texas (“not content to trample the right to a cherished way of life in territories directly under the control of Washington, the abolitionist monster now seeks to force its doctrines on friendly neighbors”). Even then, amazingly, Buchanan dithered – until four days later, when on February 15, the Spanish ambassador handed the Secretary of State a declaration of war, just hours before the Spanish fleet began bombarding Fort Sumter at the entrance to the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina – considered a hotbed of Holdfast sentiment.

By the time the newly elected president, Abraham Lincoln, took office on March 4, Holdfast raiders had already seized the city of Atlanta, Georgia, and proclaimed the secession of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas from the United States and the establishment of a “Southern Confederacy,” calling on all “true Southern men” to join them. Texan troops, backed by the Spanish, had entered not only Arkansas and Louisiana but also Oklahoma and California, and the Spanish fleet moved north to continue bombarding U.S. coastal towns. The North American War had begun.
North American War

It took mere days for the Americans to begin massive callups of troops from the states to fight back against the new threats posed from Texas and the Spanish troops that had landed in vast numbers in Mexico, and even as the Mexican government fled Mexico City to regroup and the Spanish landed a whole army in Mexico to fight to take back the colony they had lost 40 years earlier, the United States rapidly roused vast numbers of militia of its own across the country, with the goal of going down to the southwestern frontier to fight back against the invasions of their territory. Held back to a degree by the Holdfasts in the South, the initial fighting was done by the troops of the militias of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, while the troops from the north were rushed into Georgia and South Carolina to fight back against the Holdfasts.

The occupations of Atlanta, Chattannooga and Columbus by Holdfasts ended up being routed early on once troops from the North arrived on the scene, it came at considerable cost, and the slow progress gave the Texans a considerable time to get across the Plains states and towards the Mississippi River. By the summer of 1861, though, the forces were arriving in numbers. In the occupations and in the initial invasions of the plains states came the first serious strategic mistake by the Texans - they were extremely brutal towards the residents of colour in the regions they occupied, in a great many cases destroying property of theirs just for the sake of it and also kidnapping thousands of the black residents, in some cases even selling them back into slavery. Knowledge of the actions of the Texans and of the destruction brought on the Black communities in Holdfast-occupied areas resulted in the massive enlistment of black Americans, forming units of increasingly-big size - by the end of the War, there was nearly three divisions worth of black troops in the Army, though it wasn't long into the War that the United States began to quickly integrate its armed forces as best as possible. It was a similar story for Native Americans - atrocities committed against them didn't cow them, it made them angry, and they sought to take out their anger on those who were attacking them.

It wasn't long before America's unity grew dramatically. Many of the Generals of the Southern states were themselves former slaveowners, which for most - including General Robert E. Lee, the United States' supreme military commander during the War - meant that they had a healthy respect for the abilities of black Americans, and it wouldn't take long at all before it became clear that they were every bit the equal of their white allies. The Native American tribes were similar - in many cases, the tribes themselves were quick to work with each other, and in July 1861, the "Five Civilized Tribes" formed their own organization, the Council Of The Five Tribes, which would co-ordinate their domestic front actions even as the Native American units quickly came under the command of the southern militias. This ended up being a major benefit, as the "Indian Hunters" of these units became some of their most skilled trackers and specialist units. This trend would be mirrored by the tribes of the West, as the Navajo, Zuni and Apache tribes of the West proved just as dangerous to the Texans and their Spanish allies as the tribes frrom the Southeastern United States.

News of the United States' invasion reached London, and the UK's ambassdador to Washington was quick to recommend that the United Kingdom commit to the assistance of the United States war efforts. Britain was unwilling to provide troops, but Lincoln and his diplomats instead spoke of the Royal Navy being the United States' "Assistance from beyond the Seas." Despite Napoleon III seeking to keep London neutral in the conflict, the UK felt that the United States' victory over the Spaniards would give the British far greater opportunities, as well as provide for a much better security situation for Britain's colonies in the Caribbean, which were directly threatened in the event of a Spanish victory. It didn't take long for London to begin co-ordinating with the United States Navy, sending the Royal Navy to provide assistance in naval interceptions of the Spanish. This was much appreciated by Washington - but much was to come.

Within a month of the first deployments of the Royal Navy to the region, Canada's government asked London if they would object to the Canadians joining the conflict on the Americans' side. Surprised at this, London wasn't sure the Canadians could do so effectively but had little objection to them doing so, and so in April 1861, Sir Georges-Etienne Cartier, having sold Canadian Prime Minister Sir John A. MacDonald, arrived in Washington for a summit with Lincoln, his cabinet and Lee, offering Canadian troops to assist the Americans. This was regarded with surprise by Lincoln and Lee, but they approved of it in any case - Lincoln had an easier time accepting it than Lee - but the first Canadian troops arrived in St. Louis, having come via Detroit and Chicago, on June 14, 1861. They were quickly rushed south to Tennessee, expecting the Texans attacks through Arkansas to make it all the war to Memphis and not wanting them to cross the Mississippi. When the attacks by the Texans got bogged down in the Ozarks, the Royal Canadian Regiment was pushed forward to Little Rock, where they would hold off the Texans for over a year and despite the Texans making numerous attempts to destroy them - this dogged defense led to the American General James Longstreet referring to the Canadians and their commander, Colonel Edward Douglas, as "The Iron Guard". It was an eye-opener for all involved - including the Canadians - and their ferocious, brave defense of Arkansas became one of the first events of Canada's long history of military glory, and their success led to greater numbers of Canadians, assisted by the integration into the new units of many Native Canadian units and of Metis and French-Canadian soldiers later on, arriving on the front to support their neighbours to the South.

Mexico was a similar story, as their beleagured forces held on well to the west side of Mexico's high plains in the cities of Guadalajara and Aguascalientes. It wasn't long before the Americans began to take advantage of their logistical capacity to supply better weapons and supplies to the Mexicans, helped by the Texans' inability to sever the transcontinental railroads or their ability to sever the colonial-era royal roads that began to be a supply conduit to the Mexican West, the Texans' and Spanish inability to completely control the area proving crippling to their desires to push the Mexican government into collapse. While they were unable to shove back the Spanish or Santanistas off of the rest of the Altiplano, the aggressors were unable to defeat them, the battle settling down into a bitter stalemate through much of 1861 and 1862. Many of Mexico's politicians took personal command of their troops from the front, and while their tactical successes were mixed their strategic success wasn't, and despite superior numbers the Spanish and Santanistas were simply unable to push over the Mexican government.

Indeed, while the Texan and Spanish initial numerical superiorty and preparedness proved decisive early in the war, it wouldn't be long for the heavy industry of the United States and their esprit de corps began to turn the tables. The Holdfasts did their best to slow the move of supplies across the South, and while they had a number of notable tactical successes, many of the most important installations, such as the steel works of Birmingham and Montgomery in Alabama and the industrial capacities of the Carolinas and Virginia were never seriously threatened, and as the War went on, the ever-improving logistical and transportation situation of the United States began to be supported by new technology - better small arms and artillery, the introduction of indirect-firing mortars, gatling guns and the first steam-powered traction engines, which made life much easier for the transportation of everything needed for the Americans and their allies. Another key development came early in the war came from Lieutenant Eprahim Shay of the United States Army, who came up with the first design of a gear-driven steam locomotive in 1862 - by 1864, the Shay-type locomotive was seeing regular use in many places, and their inability to handle uneven track and pull heavier loads was a major advancement as well. The improvements of the Americans combined with their growing numerical superiority by late 1862 to give them a considerable advantage in the conflict.

Having secured the home front, the Mexican front holding and the Texans and Spanish being unable to take New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Little Rock or Kansas City despite repeated attempts by them to do so allowed the Americans to begin to plan to go on the offensive. The first major offensives came from the North, shoving the Texans away from Kansas, breaking the sieges of Kansas City, Lawrence and Topeka in the fall of 1862, leading to the Americans fully relieving the area in February 1863, allowing the northern front commander, General Ulysses S. Grant, to begin the march that would ultimately end in San Antonio. At the same time, Admiral David Farragut sold Lincoln and Lee on an amphibious assault on the island of Cuba from Florida with the goal of crippling the Spanish bases in the area, with Lee and Farragut agreeing on the military utility of it and Lincoln ultimately choosing that the best way to eliminate the threat would be the integration of Spain's island colonies into the United States. With these goals in mind, the United States Navy, ably assisted by the Royal Navy, fought the Spanish Navy out of the Caribbean in the summer and fall of 1862, while also taking on multiple Spanish attempts to attack American ports and American-flagged ships. Britain's involvement in the conflict escalated as the Spanish, who took the Canadians' involvement as a sign that London was also at war with them, began to actively attack British ships, and in July 1862 shelled the Jamaican city of Kingston, which was being used as a major supply center for the Royal Navy. This attack led to the British planning retaliation, but at Farragut's recommendation the British held themselves to a massive shelling of the Spanish naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba and hit-and-runs on the forts at Havana and San Juan. This smaller response ultimately led to the Spaniards doing exactly what Farragut theorized they would - they deployed major units to Cuba, units which were subsequently absolutely hammered by the invasion units after the United States invaded the island of Cuba in September 1862.

The invasion caught the Spanish completely unawares, and while the Spanish units on the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico fought bravely, the fully in the field Americans could - and did - bring massive numbers down onto the Spanish defenders, resulting in the Spanish Army on the island of the Cuba being almost completely wiped out, which forced Spain to pull units from Mexico to Cuba and Puerto Rico, a move that allowed the long-stalled front in Central Mexico to begin moving once again. Despite the deployments, the Spanish armies on the islands fell in January 1863, placing both of the islands under the control of the United States, and resulting in there being a massive logistical split between the Spaniards and their units in Mexico. This logistical problem was to prove crippling to the Spanish, and would result in 1863 being a year of the Spaniards and Santanistas being on the defensive pretty much everywhere, and the units of the Amigos proved superior in both quantity and quality, creating a massive gap in the abilities of the two sides. Making things worse for the Spanish, the week after the Spanish units in Cuba surrendered, the American-British fleet arrived off of the Canary Islands, shelling the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma and Fuerteventura for five solid days, devastating Spanish facilities on the islands and removing the Spanish Navy from the equation in the North American War.

After the taking of Cuba and Puerto Rico (and at the insistence of Benito Juarez) the Marines were once again deployed, this time invading Panama and Honduras and landing at Veracruz within three days of each other in early March 1863. This invasion was virtually unopposed in Panama but faced tougher opposition in Honduras and Mexico, but it led to the Spanish and Santanistas being pushed badly, resulting in the Mexicans and Americans retaking the Mexican capital on May 5. This high-profile success was just the start of the offensive successes in Mexico, as the massive American deployment to Central America completely rewrote the rules in Mexico. The Marines swept through Costa Rica with little difficulty and Mexican units, often supported by American naval gunfire, were able to clear the Yucatan in the summer of 1863, adding to the Spaniards' logistical difficulties. Spain, desperate for support, pushed for the Latin Americans to help them defeat the Americans. This effort fell on deaf ears, as did Queen Isabella's desperate attempt to have the French get into the conflict with their own troops. It wasn't long before massive American logistical support began to be a major benefit for the Mexicans, and as Pedro de Ampudia headed south through the Central American states he joined up with the United States Marines under Brigadier General John Harris as they came north from Panama and south through Honduras, the actions ultimately leading to the final defeat of the Santanistas in San Miguel, Guatemala, on January 29, 1864. The conditions proved difficult for the Marines, but both sides ended up being highly respected by the other, with De Ampudia being called "A born leader" and Harris and his Marines being called "Proud Heroes of our freedom" by De Ampudia. (Indeed the United States Marine Corps would many years later be the inspiration for the Armada de Mexico's Marineros, who became famous during both World Wars.) The Marines and their Mexican allies was a sign of what was to come for the relationship between Mexico and the United States.

Further north, having seen numbers and technological advancements take hold, the Americans and Canadians under generals James Longstreet, George Meade and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson moved westwards, the former two (as well as now-Brigadier Edward Douglas) destroying a vast portion of the Army of Northern Texas at Texarkana in August 1863, paving the way for Longstreet's Army of Kentucky to lead a push across northern Texas and Oklahoma, hooking up with Grant and Sheridan at Oklahoma City before driving south, crossing the Red River in October 1863, while far to the southeast, despite the best efforts two Spanish divisions and a vast number of Texans, Meade and Jackson and their men crossed back over the Mississippi River and cut a vengeful swath across Louisiana before crossing the Sabine and Neches River the week after Grant, Longstreet and Sheridan entered Texas from the north. Facing defeat on multiple front and having seen their men almost entirely defeated in the West - where Andres Pico, John C. Fremont and Mariano Vallejo had cleaned up, where Vallejo and his men had made it all the way to Ciudad Obregon to hook up with the Mexicans and Pico had completely removed the Santanistas from the Baja Peninsula, ensuring its accession into the United States and into the state of California - the Texans threw everything into the defenses of their homelands, leaving the Spanish on their own in Mexico to fight back against the vengeful Mexicans, who by that point were almost entirely united in their support for fighting against the European invaders and had major American support, with much of the American combat strength in Mexico being assigned to artillery and heavy support roles, an arrangement both sides approved of. How well it would work would be seen at Monterrey, the besieged Mexican city seeing one of the most critical events of the war happen there in September 1863, where the Spanish under General Juan Prim were absolutely crushed by Generals Arista, Beauregard and McClellan and the Mexican-American 1st Grand Army, the Mexicans in particular having absolutely no answer for the Americans' devastating heavy mortarss, artillery fire and supporting gatling guns, as well as the Mexicans' incredible bravery in storming one of their largest cities.

The destruction of much of the Spanish Army in Monterrey was the beginning of the end for both the Spanish and the Santanistas. Santa Anna himself, having only just escaped Mexico City was it was overrrun by the Mexicans and Americans, was forced to flee north through Nuevo Leon into Texas, but the loss of the Spanish units in Monterrey resulted in the Mexicans taking less than a week to make it all the way to Rio Grande River at Reynosa from Monterrey, a distance of some 135 miles. Despite the rapid approach, Beauregard and McClellan, on the advice of Arista, waited until the attacks began further north in order to force the Texans to fight on multiple fronts. This good idea proved highly successful, as the Texans were forced to deploy large numbers of troops to the north and east, which made the crossings of the Rio Grande by the 1st Grand Army a much easier task, as was the heavy use of artillery and mortars by the Americans against Texan positions.

Indeed while the invasion of Texas was sure to be a bloody affair, the Amigos forces took advantage of their huge superiority in logistics and weapons, with battles almost always being begun through heavy uses of mortars and the use of large quantities of artillery fire and gatling gun gunfire. The Texans, with few counters, resorted to hit-and-run attacks behind the lines and pushes for a handful of big battles where the Texans could muster enough numbers to make routs of the Amigos' armed forces. The Texans, having long ago mastered cavalry tactics and rapid movements, fought repeatedly to push the Americans back at closer ranges, where the artillery and gatling gun support was less of a major advantage for them. This had some tactical successes - most famously at Nacogdoches, where Nathan Bedford Forrest's Texas Rangers cavalry units made a daring push against the flanks of Meade's army, forcing a heroic stand by Canadian captain James Konkaientha and his Kahnawake and Kanesatake Warriors (where despite being outnumbered five to one, they held against the Texan cavalry) and a response by Colonel William O'Rourke and the Fighting Irish before Meade's units could redeploy - but in strategic terms the Amigo's superiority was simply too great, and the use of vast quantities of support fire also had the benefit of reducing the casualties on the Amigos' armies, which made the Texans' problems worse.

January 1864 saw Meade, assisted once again by the American and British Navies and a complete division of the Marines (these men led from the front by their Commandant, Brigadier Jacob Zeilin, himself) and a vast quantity of supporting fire, routed Texan forces led by John Bell Hood and William H.T. Walker out of the Houston and Galveston regions, taking from the Texans their last major port. A month later, Sterling Price and Bedford Forrest faced off against Grant, Longstreet, Sheridan and Douglas at Dallas, resulting in the second crippling defeat in a month for the Texans, with Price killed in the battle along with the Texans suffering over 11,000 dead and wounded. These losses were far beyond what the Texas could take, and after the losses at Houston and Dallas troops of the Amigos poured over the border. By mid-March, troops were preparing for a final series of assaults on the Texans' two remaining city of San Antonio. The Texans fought doggedly for it, but ultimately the inevitable happened, and with many of his remaining troops becoming suffering from illness and dysentery, critically low on ammunition and outnumbered by nearly six to one, Bedford Forrest disobeyed orders from Davis to fight to the last and surrendered the remaining Texan and Spanish armed forces to Robert E. Lee and Sam Houston at the Alamo in San Antonio on May 5, 1864, in the presence of numerous others including Mariano Arista, George Meade, Edward Douglas, P.G.T. Beauregard, Stephen F. Austin and David Farragut, with British Colonel Garnet Wolseley representing the British at the formal surrender and acting as an advisor.

The final victory on the battlefield belied a vast task ahead in rebuilding, but the successful military victory all but assured President Lincoln's re-election, and true to form he was comfortably re-elected on November 5, 1864. Stories of the Native American, Black and Mexican troops' bravery and intelligence on the battlefield rewrote much of the racial history of North America. Racism in North America directed in any direction declined precipitously in the years after 1864, and Mexico's "Reconstrucción" was marked by multiple smooth transfers of power from North American War-era leaders and rapid growth of the economies of all three countries involved. American railroads industrialists rapidly moved south, while many Mexicans also moved north. In August 1865, Washington and Ottawa came to a formal agreement marking the boundary between Canada and the United States to the north at the 49th Parallel west of Lake Superior, aside from Vancouver Island which stayed entirely in Canada, and within two years of this Rupert's Land, which had been owned by the Hudson's Bay Company, was surrendered to Canada, with Canada gaining control on July 1, 1867.

America formally annexed Cuba and Puerto Rico into the United States with the Treaty of Amsterdam, signed by the United States, Canada, Mexico, Spain, France and Great Britain on June 11, 1866, formally ended the state of war between the two sides, with Spain allowing the giving over of Cuba and Puerto Rico and forever renouncing any claims to any territory in the Americas. The French also lost their islands in the Americas to Britain, with the British gaining St. Pierre and Miquelon, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, though within a few years these French-speaking islands were working with Canada more than Britain, a sign of what was to come. Spain was raced by civil unrest in the years after the Treaty of Amsterdam, leading to Queen Isabella's overthrow in 1868 and the "La Gloriosa" years in Spain that ended with Alfonso XII's successful coup in 1874. France, similarly, saw major unrest, made that much worse with the Franco-Prussian War, which ends with a resounding defeat for the French and Napoleon III's exile in 1870. The results of these were polar opposites - Spain would remain bitterly anti-Amigos for a long time to come, while the new French Republic that followed the end of Napoleon III's reign went to enormous lengths to improve relations with the Amigos and found themselves gaining considerable economic benefits from it, and the anti-European sentiment that was pervasive in the Amigos after the War faded with time, though it faded the most in the years after the Statue of Liberty was gifted to the United States by France and was built in New York, being formally dedicated on the 100th Anniversary of America's Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1876. This extremely high-profile action was followed two years later by the Mount Royal Monument, erected on the top of Mount Royal in Montreal and formally dedicated on July 1, 1878, and the Plaza de Mexico in Mexico City, which was similarly built with French money and completed in April 1880.
Aftermath Of Victory

The success in the North American War ended up being a watershed moment not just for the Amigos but indeed for the entire world. Having soundly defeated the Spanish, the Monroe Doctrine became much more secure and effective than before as Britain and the Netherlands were the last European powers to have footholds in the Americas. As the Dutch possessions were small and the British were instrumental in helping the Amigos defeat the Spaniards and their Santanista lackeys, it created a geopolitical situation that Washington very much approved of, and one that they sought to keep that way.

But they did it in a way the Europeans didn't at all expect.

Lincoln, heavily influenced by a collection of former slaveowners in his cabinet and the many former slave owners and former slaves who had fought with distinction in the North American War, were able to establish a consensus amongst the American government that it was in their best interests to ensure equality and prosperity across as much of the Americas as humanly possible, knowing that doing so would both create good relations between the Latin Americans and Washington and would make any incursions by the Europeans much less likely if not completely impossible. This consensus would soon make it's way into all portions of the American political spectrum, and it began with the development of the West and Mexico's Reconstruction Era.

While much of the country had been savaged by War, Mexico took to rebuilding with a will, and with an absolute vow to themselves that what happened to them between it's independence in 1821 and the end of the war in 1864 - numerous conflicts, coups, territorial losses and the country's invasion by the Spanish - would never, ever happen again. To this end, much of late 1864 and early 1865 in Mexico City was spent hammering out Mexico's new constitution and establishing a stable political system that still allowed for civil discourse and with democracy in mind. The 1865 Mexican Constitution, which remains in force to this day with suitable amendments, was the end result, as was new elections for the country's Presidency and it's governmental assemblies. These developed and established protocols were put into action later in the year, with the first Mexican post-war elections including all of their new Central American territories happening on September 6, 1865. The elections went very well, and Benito Juarez was re-elected as Mexico's President. From then on, however, Mexican Presidents were only allowed a single six-year term, and Juarez duly stepped down peacefully in 1871. Of course, by that point Mexico was changing just as America was.

While the greater geopolitical questions of the post-war era were sought to be solved in altruistic ways, that was frequently not the case in the ground in Mexico, Texas or the American South. Southern Holdfasts found themselves as social pariahs after the war and more than a few found themselves as targets for vigilantes and vengeance-seekers, even as most state police forces sought to keep such violence to an absolute minimum. Many of these people cleared out of the South out of fear or dissatisfaction with their social status, helping initially to fuel the "True Southern Men", the remnants of the Texan state that refused to accept their annexation into the United States. Terror campaigns by them and by the victims of violence on both sides led to Texas having more than a little difficulty maintaining law and order in the 1860s, and the violence led to the vast majority of the state's former slaves heading to the burgeoning black communities of Oklahoma, Kansas and Arkansas, to the communities of the Southeast or off to California, where many settled in the Imperial Valley, the Los Angeles Basin and some eventually in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Some refusing to give up Holdfasts and Texans moved to South America, establishing communities in Brazil and Argentina despite a somewhat frosty reception from the locals. Despite these population movements as Texas was rebuilt population followed, following the railroads westward and re-establishing the farming and ranching industries so badly damaged by the War. Also moving into Texas to fill the void were Mexican dream-chasers, similar to entrepreneurial Americans headed south to Cuba, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Indeed more than a few cultural cross-polinations would result from these movements, as the people brought with them many aspects of the culture of their old homes and established it in new places. The "Black Homesteads" of the Great Plains saw those who became successful build vast estates that became known for their ostenatatiousness, but these new farmers were in many cases among the first to embrace mechanization and many ways of improving the efficiency of their operations, a story shared with Native American entrepreneurs and co-operatives, of which a great many grew up in the years after the North American War. Over time many of these newly-wealthy men began to move back into Texas, buying up land for themselves, in many cases displacing the less-well-liked "carpetbaggers" who came to the regions following the war. While many of the Texan government's supporters loathed the new authorities and the new social systems they brought with them, many other Texans took to the new realities with enthusiasm, and by 1870 many of these people had made a very good living for themselves, which inspired others to do the same. Despite the growth, Texas would remain as something of a backwater in America until the discovery of petroleum in Beaumont in 1901, which began the massive Texas Oil Boom and re-wrote the state's very fabric.

Cuba and Puerto Rico, America's first Spanish-speaking territories, may well have faced a similar fate had it not been for investors from the North interested in the warm climate of these regions and their own industriousness - both islands had had active nationalist movements long before the War, but after their integration into the United States many elements of their nationhood changed as well. The end result was the creation of the term Latino/Latina American, a term that came to be widely applied to Americans of Spanish-speaking descent, from Spanish-descendants in Florida to Cubans and Puerto Ricans to the Californios, Baja Californians and others of the Western states. While the differences between were considerable the growth in the Spanish culture in the United States came from all of them, starting with the language and religion (the overwhelming majority of the Spanish speakers were Catholics) and lsubsequently moved on the food, clothing, arts and customs, creating a culture all their own in amongst the country they were now a part of.

The completion of the Union Pacific-Central Pacific transcontinental railroad in 1868 brought with a game changer in terms of the building of the nation. The completion of the railroad at a stroke rendered the trails of past times obsolete, and with it came competition as other railroads raced to compete with it. The discovery of valuable ores in the Rockies added to the frantic growth of railroads in the region, resulting in there being five transcontinental routes in the United States by 1880 and the first one across Canada completed in 1881. These railroads led to a vast number of new arrivals in the West and a great many opportunities for those ready there, creating a vast new landscape for settlement and development of its natural resources, and the massive growth of new cities and communities to provide places for the newcomers to live. Relations with the Native Americans varied by region and railroad - the Union Pacific and Rio Grande railroads had far more trouble than the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific did - but the well-established and unified tribes of the region made these organizations into lucrative opportunities for their people, establishing their communities as junction points and railheads for the new lines and developing support systems for the railroads themselves as well as becoming builders and maintainers and acting as security personnel. These actions would go on to create a great many jobs for generations of Native Americans, and led to the Santa Fe and Rio Grande railroads adopting the British practice of regularly naming locomotives in addition to numbering them. It was a similar story for American Mormons - having had their former suspicion of being against their country wiped away by their conduct during the North American War, many of their earlier excesses having long been pushed aside by more recent leaders and with a better reputation among the Native tribes of the West, the Mormons established their own commercial interests and were instrumental in the financing of the Rio Grande's expansion from Salt Lake City to the San Francisco Bay area in the 1870s.

It was in this environment unavoidable that the reconstruction of the South would lead to political arguments, particularly among what to do about the remainder of Texas' government officials. The Trials of 1864 that had seen Jefferson Davis and Santa Anna hanged had been as far as Lincoln and Lee wished to take it - both felt being punitive towards the Texans was just going to sow the seeds of future conflicts - but across the South and the Plains states there was huge disagreements over this, with the vigilantism and persecution of the Holdfasts being only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the South had seen anyone even remotely connected to the Holdfasts long pushed out of political influence, which wasn't always a positive even as the Radical Republicans sweeping of much of the South during and after the War led to troubles in its own right. The Republicans in these cases sought to make the South more like the North in many of its societal attributes, but the effects (particularly in Alabama, Georgia, the Carolinas and Florida went far beyond what had ever been anticipated. The vast steel mills of Birmingham and Montgomery, the countless textile mills and clothing factories of the Carolinas and Georgia, the ports of Savannah, Charleston, Jacksonville, Mobile and Miami and the massive growth in new agricultural outputs led to a gigantic surge in population, shifting the United States' center of economic gravity somewhat South as the formerly-agrarian Southern states rapidly industrialized, and the growing wealth of the nation created the beginnings of a big tourist industry in Florida.

Abraham Lincoln's departure from office led to the Democrats pushing hard for the candidacy of General Lee for President, and while he had initially been less than enthusiastic about the idea - "I serve, not rule", he was well known to have said about the subject - the Democrats did eventually get him to run, finding himself facing off against one of his greatest subordinates - Ulysses S. Grant. The two war hero candidates battled out a close election in 1868, with Lee emerging victorious as a result of great support from both the South and many portions of the West.

Lee would end up being a very good President indeed, hammering home reform of the American civil service, the creation of the Department of Justice and the United States Federal Police, and while they had been rivals on the campaign trail both Lee and Grant had enormous respect for the other and both believed strongly in the removal of corruption, and Lee's picks for anticorruption campaigns were enormously successful, and while the attempt by Jay Gould and his partners to corner the American gold market in 1869 caused the Panic of 1869, but lessons were learned here as Washington, well aware of the country's war debts and the vast sums spent on railroads, did what they could to keep the huge debts for building into a crash, something that was mostly successful.

Lee's greatest works, however, were in the fields of civil rights. Like most North American War Generals, Lee had over time seen racism as being at best foolish and counterproductive to the growth of his country, and while Lincoln had been a stalwart supporter of civil rights legislation Lee took it much further, actively using his new Department of Justice and Federal Police to push back against those seeking to disenfranchise African Americans and seeking enfranchisement of Native Americans on their terms, decisions that led to similar processes of enfranchisement to begin in Canada, following closely with the United States. Ultimately this path would lead to the Treaty of Orillia in Canada in 1920 and the Native North Americans Act of 1924 in the United States, which established the groundwork under which Native North Americans would have their relationships with Washington and Ottawa to this day. In addition to this, the decades after the War would see the immense growth of organizations aimed at advocacy of the interests of Black and Native Americans, which would move to the Latino/Latina Americans in the 1870s and 1880s and eventually to Asian Americans in the 1890s and 1900s. This growth of mainstream American society to bring Americans of colour fully into the nation's society as equals would be a long process that wouldn't really be seen as being completed until after World War II, but even in the 1860s, 1870s and 1880s its effects could clearly be seen, and while the Amigos would not always entirely agree on the best pathways for social cohesion, all three saw the vast benefits of such equality among the various peoples of their nations - a vision of a future that would see two and a half centuries of conflicts in the New World begin to disappear, replaced by shared visions of a better future that would live on long after its creators were gone.

While the Generals of the War had many of their own pursuits, none were more notable than that of General Philip H. Sheridan. An avid outdoorsman and one of the most tactically-gifted Generals of the North American War, after the conflict he pushed for the establishments of national parks and monuments and had the pull with Lee to get many of the places he felt were most beautiful turned into new such national parks, creating the likes of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, Black Hills National Monument in South Dakota, Yosemite National Park in California and Blue Ridge National Park in North Carolina. Sheridan made his point even more clearly in 1877, when after Congress refused to fund the maintenance of the Yellowstone and Yosemite national parks, Sheridan dispatched the United States' 1st Cavalry to take control of both parks and ensure their continued existence. Within a few years, Sheridan had gained helpful allies in the form of famed environmentalist John Muir, Rio Grande Railway builders William Jackson Palmer and Theodore Judah, Southern steel industry magnate Colonel James Sloss, famed Kentucky Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels and Dr, William Benson, one of the founders of the United Negroes Advancement Organization. All of these men had seen many of the great sights of North America - indeed, Palmer founded the Denver and Rio Grande Western in part to bring people to sights like Colorado's famed Royal Gorge - and all were more than a little committed to the development of these parks as tourist attractions of the highest order, and their efforts were indeed more than a little rewarded, resulting in a number of new such parks on both a national and state level, preserving further locations of note and establishing the Grand Canyon, Glacier, Carlsbad Caverns, Zion Canyon, New River Gorge, Mount Rainier, Dry Tortugas, Mammoth Cave, Jardines del Rey and Hot Springs national parks, at the same time as establishing monuments at several famous sites of battle in the United States. Canada and Mexico were quick to follow the United States' example here, with Banff National Park being the first established National Park in Canada (in April 1881) and the Iztaccíhuatl–Popocatépetl National Park being the first in Mexico, established in September 1882.

This move towards environmentalism may have seemed odd in the time of massive settlement of the western half of North America, but in the minds of many in the West it made all the sense in the world - after all, what was the point of such incredible places existing if they were not available for all to see and experience them for themselves? - but over time, what also came out of the development of the region was recognition of the need to preserve many species of fauna that were suffering, the Buffalo and Passenger Pigeon most of all, both suffering from massive population declines in the later years of the 19th Century but were both eventually saved by the changes to policies with regards to the hunting of both and the ability to preserve habitats for both - indeed the vast national parks and preserves were soon famed for the ability to see many of the flora and fauna of North America. Indeed, many later historians and groups have long held the view that the massive growth of the tourist industry in North America and a lot of the massive immigration boom that came to North America between about 1875 and the First World War was in part because of these vast, rugged, beautiful landscapes had to offer them.

By the early 1880s, the scars of the War fifteen years before were indeed fading, helped along by a vast wave of prosperity, seen across all three nations (and many around them as well) and which was aiding and abetting the settling of the West. Mexico by 1880 had long since grown its economy far beyond its pre-War levels, and Mexico was by then also drawing immigrants from Europe as Canada and the United States were, as well as others coming into Mexico from many Spanish-speaking regions of South America. For Canada, the initial five provinces of its Confederation in 1860 had grown with the entry of British Columbia in 1868, Manitoba in 1870 and both Alberta and Saskatchewan in 1877, and would be followed by Newfoundland in 1886. Canada initially heavily favored immigrants from the British Isles, but they were soon to begin following the American example and allowing much greater numbers of arrivals from other places in the world, with France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia being a major source of new arrivals, even as the slow but steady integration into Canada of ever-greater numbers of Native Americans also boosted the population, economy and tax bases. This time, which came to be known as the Gilded Age, saw the massive growth of real wages even as the massive population growth of the Amigos created vast numbers of new skilled and unskilled labor. Improving race relations by 1880 were being actively pushed by many in society's higher echelons, the optimism of the time leading to widespread beliefs that such equality would result in more money, jobs and progress for all races and colors of people. Even as the governments of Presidents Lee, Tilden and Hayes battled back and forth with many of the Robber Barons of the time - and both sides had victories in those fights - prosperity and progress spread to the vast majority of people, making life easier for just about all and also allowing the upper echelons of the Amigos' societies to accumulate wealth on a scale never before seen in history. It was a wild time, and while North America was heavily inward-focused during the two decades after the North American War, it was merely a matter of time before their ambitions spread beyond their homelands.

And in the early 1880s, this would be seen for the first time, but it would not be seen in Europe, but rather in the Philippines....
I take it this Bay Area expansion takes the place of OTL's Western Pacific railroad?
That's correct. Here, Theodore Judah lives much longer, and he hooks up after the North American War with General Palmer, and the result is that the Rio Grande Railroad eventually stretches from Denver to Oakland, and I liked the idea you had of the WP having services through the Central Valleys of California (breaking SP's near-monopoly on the area) and stretches down to Las Vegas and Kingman (and the ATSF) from Reno and Salt Lake City, creating the DRGW Las Vegas (Thistle, UT-Las Vegas, NV) and East Sierras (Reno, NV-Las Vegas, NV) divisions, and becoming later the partner for the Great Northern to get traffic to them through California, while the DRGW also eventually integrates the Tonopah and Tidewater and pushes to Los Angeles, creating the California Division (Beatty, NV-Hesperia, CA) and then having trackage rights across the ATSF from Los Angeles across the Cajon Pass, just up on top of the pass being where the DRGW picks up. This forces the SP to build its Owens Valley and Las Vegas lines much earlier and as standard gauge.

The Theodore Judah influence results in the DRGW being entirely standard gauge and being a much bigger player than OTL. It also results in the Moffat Tunnel open earlier (Here, America's government is much more mindful of effects business has on society, both negative and positive, and its assists in arranging the building of the Moffat Tunnel) and Denver being a much more important rail hub much earlier.
Last edited:
The Theodore Judah influence results in the DRGW being entirely standard gauge and being a much bigger player than OTL. It also results in the Moffat Tunnel open earlier (Here, America's government is much more mindful of effects business has on society, both negative and positive, and its assists in arranging the building of the Moffat Tunnel) and Denver being a much more important rail hub much earlier.
I take it that TTL's famous Narrow Gauge would also become Standard Gauge from the get go?
What was the death toll from this war?

BTW, these posts need threadmarks, IMO...
I never worked out the exact death toll, but I suspect it would be somewhat lower than the American Civil War owing to technological advancement, the shorter length of the conflict and the inability of one side (the Texans/Spaniards/Santanistas) to massively grow back their own armies. I'd say the final death toll would probably be 300,000-400,000 soldiers, as well as civilian casualties.
Last edited:
Yes, and the DRGW focused from the start on longer-haul traffic, so the branches that were built were built as Standard gauge lines and there was a stronger focus on freight traffic earlier on.
I'll admit that even though this butterflies some ideas I had for the 3' 6'' gauge scenario we cooked up before, at least there's some chance of the Durango & Silverton still existing in TTL. Possibly with Rio Grande P-33 Pacifics on the trains.