They Call it Civilization!

What will follow is my first timeline.

The Point of Departure, if it is not obvious from the first piece I post, shall be made clear in the overview which is to follow that.

I appreciate all comments, be they complements, questions, or constructive criticism.

I will try to update this frequently, assuming people show interest.

I hope you enjoy it.

It is to begin in the next post.
The White House, Washington D.C., USA
June 12, 1896

"Lord Salisbury, it’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance," said a smiling Grover Cleveland, now 59 years of age.

"President Cleveland, the feeling is mutual," replied the British Prime
Minister with a smile and a bow. The courteousness of the two was almost
sickeningly false. They both knew the gravity of the situation, and, though
they certainly held a great respect for one another, neither wanted to give an inch on the issue at hand.

"Mr. Salisbury, I must ask that we skip the formalities and pointless
politicking to get with all haste to the problem."

"Agreed, and the emotion is reciprocated," returned the sharp Englishman, in his thick, East-Midlands accent, though Cleveland, understandably, recognized this as nothing more specific than basic British English.
"Very well then. It seems that this minor dispute over the Venezuelan border with yourF territory, Guyana, has taken more of a diplomatic effort than it should have."

"That is most certainly true. The problem lies not with us, though, nor with the Venezuelans, but with your interference. With all due respect, the United States should keep its nose out of the affairs of other nations, certainly in matters such as this that don’t concern you." Salisbury knew he had to be careful how he phrased that. The United Kingdom, after all, had intervened in the affairs of other nations as often as had the United States. The suppression of the Egyptian revolt years earlier sprang to mind, though, admittedly, it was hardly something they could have ignored given their investment in the Suez Canal.

By the look on Cleveland’s face, how he raised his left eyebrow to a point, showed Salisbury that he had not spoken carefully enough. "My friend, I shall not go down the untactful road which calling you a hypocrite would no-doubt lead me down," he said, knowing that he had still just called Salisbury a hypocrite, but in a much less offensive way (or at least in a way that offended differently). "I shall, however, get back to the topic at hand, and inform you that the United States of America shall not budge on this issue, as doing so would allow you to violate the Monroe Doctrine, one of our most sacred."

Then things began to take a negative turn, "Your ‘Monroe Doctrine’ is a violation of international law, and can not be brashly justified as some sort of defense for the nations of the Western Hemisphere."

"The Americas are no longer open to colonization or expansion into by the European Powers, and the United States, as the strongest nation in said hemisphere, has a duty to defend them from your advances."

"The border is wrong, and we, the British, have been wronged. We do not blame the Venezuelans, but we do seek what is rightfully ours."

"The Americas do not belong to you," grouched Cleveland, who had long since lost the false kindness with which both had begun the meeting.

"No more do they belong to you than to us!," retorted Salisbury.

Cleveland prepared to raise his voice to a near yell, but took a moment to calm down. After a long sigh, he spoke again. "Lord Salisbury, the United States does not intend to stand down on this issue."

"Nor does the United Kingdom, President Cleveland."

"Well then, it seems as if our meeting is over. I sincerely wish that, whatever happens as a result of this, Britain learns that it no longer has any role in this hemisphere, yet that no lasting hate exists between our nations."

Lord Salisbury put his bowler hat, the fashionable head-ware of the day, back onto his dome. "I, too, wish that, my friend. I truly do." With one last smile that denied the seriousness of what had just happened–or had failed to happen–Lord Salisbury left the room, the White House, and, in short order, the city and the country. Talks had failed. Yet more severe options were still, as always, on the table.
Venuzuala-Guyana/U.K border dispute goes in favor of Venuzuala instead of Guyana/U.K?

I'm looking forward to updates for this.
Venuzuala-Guyana/U.K border dispute goes in favor of Venuzuala instead of Guyana/U.K?

I'm looking forward to updates for this.

Yep. Thanks.

It's already been pointed out that this is the Venezuelan border dispute. What year, sometime in the 1880's right? Too bad we didn't go to war then, the USA had a lot to gain.

Yes, it certainly did. You may see in this story exactly what it had to gain.

Going into the year 1896, there seemed no reason why war should erupt between the two English-speaking peoples. Between the nations of the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland there was no enmity, and, it could be argued, there was even a unspoken understanding. Both were economic, political, and military powerhouses. In fact, the similarities between the two nations and peoples make it odd that they would even go to war at all. Yet this war did not begin as a result of public outcry, as did so many conflicts, but due to the bickering between the two governments. During the early months and even years of the war, many people on both sides, therefore, rejected the war and called for its end.

The root cause of the conflict involved the Schomburgk Line, the border between Venezuela and British Guyana which was named after a German explorer who, earlier in the century, created it. When the territories of Guiana (Dutch) and Venezuela (Spanish) were first settled, precise borders were not an issue due to the lack of development in the territory in question. The British had captured Dutch Guiana during the Napoleonic Wars, and officially purchased it in the aftermath. Soon after said wars, Venezuela and the other Spanish territories gained independence, though in this specific case, Venezuela became part of a larger nation known as Gran Colombia. It was not until 1830 that it became a nation of its own, and it was not long afterwards that, as it could now shift its attention to such things, it noticed this line. What was wrong with it was, according to the Venezuelans, it bestowed unto Britain an extra 30,000 square miles of territory that it should not have had, as said territory was part of New Spain per the colonial borders before the Schomburgk line.

For many years the two nations argued over this border, the British agreeing with it and the Venezuelans rejecting it. For the British, who had much larger concerns, it was easy to put off for a long time; but for the Venezuelans, it was an important issue with which they persisted in pestering the British. Eventually, the Venezuelans got the United States involved, yet the British wouldn’t budge. Both nations were rapidly expanding, economically and territorially, and thus, the involvement of the Americans did little to avail the Venezuelans. Yet there came a time, after over 20 years of American involvement, when they could finally dedicate a good part of their attention to this disagreement. The U.S. President, Grover Cleveland, was in charge at the time, and he, possessing in a great degree the qualities which made a great leader, was willing to pursue the Venezuelan cause. The British Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury of the Conservatives, was unwilling to budge on the subject, so, for some time, the argument did not progress either way.

Yet neither leader would let the argument rot and, in the process, make it less likely that their side would gain what it desired. Talks commenced between the governments, who by this point largely ignored Venezuela, even though said nation had a greater right to be involved than either of them, especially the United States. By the year 1896, all talks had failed and the respective leaders were growing impatient. The conflict began to escalate, indeed to a point where, for the unimportance of the matter at hand, it should not have gone. Cleveland was unwilling to give up his belief in the U.S. as the protector of the Americas, and Salisbury, an Imperialist, as unwilling to give an inch on such issues where they might shrink the Empire, even if only by a small amount. Things grew tense, and troops were built up along the borders of the two sides. A last-ditch effort at preserving the peace came in the form of talks between Salisbury and Cleveland at the White House in June of 1896. Needless to say, they failed as well.

Thus, the stage was set for a war that would set in motion all wars to follow, and would determine inevitably the course of the Twentieth Century that would ensue.


Do I sense a U.S. conquers Canada Timeline, or at the very least sides with the Germans during the Great War?:D;)
Conquers Canada, meh. Also Britain's priceless Carribean territories, not to mention all the heavily strategic islands in both major oceans.
I possibly predict a USA/Germany at odds with UK/Japan/Spain/France fighting over Cuba, the Phillipines, Canada, Alsace and Lorraine, Morocco, Hawaii, and Panama. At least that's what I would do.
Or just to make it interesting, somehow get France or Italy to side with the USA in a greater conflict against Britain, then you have an AH WWI that's not a cliche.
But i'm anxious to see what Rex comes up with next.

Edit: Also fighting over the Bahamas and Bermuda!
Last edited:
Kaikan, British Guyana [Disputed Territory]
July 19, 1896

Santiago Martinez was sick of the army. Every day for the past couple of weeks he had had to wade through these accursed swamps that characterized the area of the border his battalion was responsible for guarding. "God-damned British," began his best friend, Vidal, on a rant that characterized his speech patterns, "if they would just stay behind the Essequibo River, where they belong, I could be in my nice, cozy, dry, home right now, eating my wife’s cooking."

While Santiago agreed that Vidal’s house and wife were both very appealing (especially his wife), he disagreed with his friend on the matter at hand. "You’ve got it all wrong, esé, they wouldn’t send us home. Probably to another corner of the Earth to settle a border dispute there." His friend smiled and nodded, acknowledging the point behind the statement rather than the accuracy of it. What do I care about this area anyway, thought Santiago. It’s not like it’s a nice place to live. Of course, he already knew the answer to that. I don’t care, but Venezuela does. That is good enough for me.

Of course, that didn’t mean he enjoyed it. He, too, would much rather have been home in Cumana, where both he and his friend had grown up, with his own wife, a sweetheart if ever there was one. But soldiers didn’t have to enjoy there duty, and he certainly met that requirement.

Suddenly, he realized he had forgotten to scold Vidal. "Oh, and don’t use the name of God in vain," he said, trying to act as if his comment wasn’t as late as it was. As if to enforce what he was saying, he crossed himself. "Santa María, Madre de Dios, ruega por nosotros pecadores, ahora y en la hora de nuestra muerte. Amén."

"A Hail Mary? You need to ease up my friend."

"You relax in your way, I relax in mine. Being in disputed territory as we are, there is good reason to fear that combat is around the corner."

"Santiago, you worry too much. This is the twelfth time–"

"Fourteenth time," interrupted Martinez, knowing already what his compatriot was going to use to back up his argument.

Vidal did not slow down. "–twelfth time that we have gone on patrol in this area. Nothing is going to happen."

"Cut the chatter back there, soldier, this ain’t no time for goofing around!" nagged the mission commander, Lieutenant Vasquez.

That set the men straight. With the reputation Vasquez had for discipline, they would have been fools to continue in their manner. Unfortunately, that left to the men nothing but their surroundings to focus on. This particular swamp, though he had not been through it before, was smaller than those he had experienced in the past. That did not mean it was pleasant. The water was murky, muddy, and thick. Santiago would have been a fool to think they would be allowed to take the easy way around. No, they went straight through. At some points, ankle-high, at some points, knee-high- at some points, waist-high, but always rank in stench and disgusting in feel. Santiago, having gone through a number of swamps like this already, was surprised that he had not yet come down with anything serious. Some of the other men he worked with weren’t so lucky.

After nearly 15 minutes of wading and struggling, the 14 Venezuelan soldiers came out on the other side unharmed, yet thoroughly disgusted. Before anything could be said, they were shouted at from far to their front. "Attention, soldiers of Venezuela!" came the clear, British voice. "You are trespassing on the territory of British Guyana. We will give you this warning once, and only once. You must exit this territory, and go back to your own nation. Any who continue forward will be shot." The orders, clear and easily understood, were still a shock. Nobody had really expected to run into the British. What to do now? Should they turn back, and run away, tails between their legs? Should they advance, and risk a battle? How large was the British force anyway? It was at times like these that he was glad he was only a Sublieutenant, and not the commander. Lieutenant Vasquez would have a tough choice. He did not hesitate.

"Who is this that challenges us?" he challenged.

"Soldiers of the Her Majesty, Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, the rightful owner of this territory," came the reply, without a second wasted in thought.

"This territory belongs, without question, to the Republic of Venezuela. You are the trespassers, and thus, to you, we issue the same demands you gave us." The Lieutenant never sounded so professional as he did there, issuing that challenge to the British and their Empire. Of course, no matter how legitimate the Venezuelan claim to the territory as, the British had effective control of the disputed region.

The British soldier ignored the disputation. "You must exit this territory, and go back to your own nation. Any who continue forward will be shot," he repeated, without any change in his voice.

Vasquez did not intend to give up. "Ready your weapons, men," he whispered. Santiago lifted his M18937mm Mauser to his chest, as did the others in his squad. In unison they advanced.

"You must exit this territory, and go back to your own nation. Any who continue forward will be shot," he reiterated, now noticeably getting nervous. His voice gave away his feelings. After all, the Venezuelans still could not see him. "Continue forward and you will be shot!" The Venezuelans did not stop, but they did begin spreading out and maneuvering about the trees, in case he did, in fact, keep his promise. "I won’t warn you again!" he screamed, nervously trying to stifle a battle hat, though they had just met, was long in the making.

The "violators" were now up to running pace. The silence in those last few moments of peace was eerie. Then it came. The pitter-patter of feet on the ground, the rustling of the British behind the bushes, the nearly inaudible sound of said foes adjusting their positions and taking aim; a trigger was pulled, the gunpowder ignited, a bullet flew out of the tube of each of the enemy’s guns. Then, hell was let loose.

The battle was to be small and short, yet to Santiago and most of the Venezuelans, indeed to most of the British as well, it was their first. The only exception was Vasquez, who had participated in the revolution that brought Joaquín Sinforiano de Jesus Crespo, the current President and head General, into power.

From the target area, no fewer than 8 British soldiers emerged, some from behind trees, some from behind bushes. All cracked off shots immediately, and of those who fired, 5 hit their marks. In a way unlike anything Martinez had ever seen before, men fell to his left and his right. His other childhood friend, a man named Juan, died before his very eyes. As he and the others who weren’t hit ducked behind natural cover that was within 300 meters of their enemies, men like Juan hit the ground face-first. Once there, they could do little more than writhe in pain and await death. Though the number of Britons was little, they were good soldiers, and were able to keep every man on his toes, "on his toes", meaning to afraid to assist his comrades. All except Vasquez, who dashed out of cover to pull up another man, and, under fire, drag him back to safety, though little could be done to help him. Luckily, he was only hit in the leg. The commander was an exemplary soldier. The others, who were new to combat, were cowards, Martinez included. He certainly had an opening to save a friend, yet he didn’t dare risk it.

Those who were able did at least know the procedure. The men popped out of cover when necessary to fire at the British who now, in turn, had to take cover. The numbers were almost even, and, though the level of skill and training was different, the fighting was even. A British soldier collapsed in death, as did another Venezuelan. So it went, that within 10 minutes of the initial exchange, there were no more than 3 Venezuelans and 3 British left. Of those, Santiago was glad to be a member. Looking over, he realized that Vidal was as well, something, for which, he thanked the Saints. Then he noticed the Lieutenant making his move. Over time, he had maneuvered through the thin jungle to come out upon the left of the British position. It was at this moment that he struck! Vidal, who was near Martinez, leapt out of a nearby hiding spot to fire off a shot that hit one of the British square in the chest. The two remaining opponents had hardly finished firing their guns when Vasquez leapt out of the trees and ran at full speed towards the other two, who, by their failure to notice him, had allowed him to get within 100 feet. Santiago, thinking he could help, also jumped from cover and fired, luckily hitting an enemy. Oddly enough, he didn’t feel any different for killing his first man–yet. The last foe, whose death would seal this, the first fight, did not notice the large Venezuelan man running at him, and turned to face him too late. But what is important is that he turned.

The Lieutenant, whose bayonet gleamed in the sun, plunged straight into the heart of that last Briton, at the same time as that nameless man got off a final shot–one that went straight into the pelvis of the commander. Martinez, seeing the last enemy fall, ran out of cover again, this time for good. The feeling of remorse for murder had not yet come over him, but he did not feel well. Walking along the path to the former British nest, he saw dead bodies, mangled in his eyes, but clean compared to what could be done in an actual war. As he walked past a dead Venezuelan soldier, a young body who reeked, of course, of death, and was shot in the side of the head, a bullet that had ripped apart his ear and temple, he leaned over with his hands to his stomach. In one quick motion, he regurgitated his lunch, a movement provoked by the sickening sight of a life cut short.

When he recovered, he stood up as well as he could and ran towards his friend Vidal’s former location. He did not reach it. Seeing that his friend was not there, he proceeded to Vasquez. Already, the brave Lieutenant was standing as well as he could, but Santiago saw that he was wounded. His pain was evident in the look on his face, which was both a smile to commemorate victory, and a grimace of pain with obvious origins.

"Hey, kid, what’s with the look on your face," he asked, "did you just see a ghost?" As this was said, he both chuckled and limped forth. "Urk!"

"Lieutenant, you should sit down or something."

Vasquez gave him a quizzical look. "Sub-lieutenant, I’ve been shot before. This is nothing. I just need to get back to civilization soon. I’m going to head back." He looked around. "Where is Sergeant Vidal?" That was a fine question. Martinez hadn’t bothered to look for him.

"Vidal! Dónde están usted?" he yelled.

"S-Sant-ti-tiago," came the reply, in a low voice. "Over here!" Santiago ran towards the source of the noise as fast as he could. He came upon a horrible sight.

"V-Vid..." he trailed off. "How did this happen?"

"Oh, this? It’s n-nothi-nothing." Even as he talked, he bled out of the two wounds, one in his shoulder, and one in his calf. They came from the two bullets fired by the last two enemies. Santiago was horrified. Before him lay his friend, wounded and dying, and he couldn’t help him, or so he thought at first.

"You’d best carry that man back to the base, or else he’s gonna die," came the unsurprisingly blunt comment by Vasquez, who was already tending to his wounds as well as he could. That was just what he intended to do. As he ran down to lift his companion up and hoist him onto his shoulders, he consoled him.

"Hey, Lieutenant, uh, sir; when this shit gets in the news, what’ll happen to us?" he said on the side.

Vasquez stared into the sky. "What will happen? What will happen?! Boys, enjoy the food at the base, and write to your wives as soon as you can."

"Why sir?"

"Kid, we’re going to war."

There was no more talking on the way back to base.
Last edited:
So its war then. Once more Yankee arrogance and greed plunges the world into conflict. Granted the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Never the less: "Give those Yank upstarts Hell lads!"
May I ask something? Have you planned this, like up to a certain year? Im torn as to whether I should plan TLs up to the present day (ATL of course) or allow for my whims and fancies to determine what happens. Currently WMA is following the latter course. Which course is better? :confused:

I can't really say which is better, but I can tell you what I have done.

I have planned for this to go up to a certain point (which for the sake of the timeline I can not name, but I will say it is a very long ways away). I may write a very short epilogue for what happens to the characters I use and the world as a whole for when I am done, but that is still uncertain.

I will tell you that I am not going up to the present day, because I choose to end mine at a more significant point in the TL, but if the present day is still significant, or if you just want to bring it up to the present (everyone is different) then go ahead.

If you are asking if I have specific plans for all of my characters (Santiago is just the first one), then no. I merely know where I want the world to go, and what I want to happen with some characters. The rest are up for grabs.