This Guilty Land: A Post-Civil War Timeline

Prologue: How The South Was Won
  • "I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land can never be purged away but with blood. I had, as I now think, vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed, it might be done."
    -John Brown, Abolitionist​



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    Prologue: How The South Was Won

    History diverges in subtle ways. Contrary to popular thought, the actions of a single man rarely alter history significantly. Victory in a single battle, the bravery of a certain soldier, or the loss of a crucial piece of intel are nothing individually. History is dictated by trends, not events. However, when compounded, events create trends.

    As alternate historians, we tend to focus on a single point of divergence. In truth, this is frequently a healthy outlook. The assassination of a notable figure, awell-timed blow, or a policy decision can genuinely create an alien world. Sometimes, however, it’s not enough.

    There are few individual moments which could save the self-proclaimed “Confederate States of America”. Some imagine that a certain battle being won or lost could have completely shifted the course of history. Dr. Turtledove imagines that the delivery of Lee’s Special Order 191 would have led to victory by virtue of pulling in Anglo-French support. I must respectfully disagree. While Turtledove’s chosen point-of-divergence serves its purpose dutifully, it overlooks the general difference in attitude required on the part of the European powers to lead to intervention. While Gladstone and many members of his regime sympathized with the so-called Confederacy, intervention would have been met with overwhelming scrutiny by the British, at this point against the practice of slavery on principle. Thus, Turtledove’s point-of-divergence does not hold up to scrutiny.

    Turtledove likely did not intend for it to. There was no strong alternate history community at the time, and compared to the genuinely fanciful work of his predecessors, Turtledove is rather modest in his demand for the suspension of disbelief.

    In writing this story, I came to realize that no single moment could have guaranteed a confederate victory. Instead of a Point-of-Divergence, an alternative trend would have to be devised.

    Thus, the South of this world did not win its freedom through victory at Gettysburg, nor through the assistance of foreign powers, nor the brilliance of any individual. The South won primarily through luck, as well as a different approach to warfare.

    The primary factor which wins the rebels their desired independence is a decision on their own part. That being, a primarily defensive strategy when it comes to their revolt. The South was a land with a much stronger military culture. This is one reason that the slaveholders’ rebellion is generally thought of as having better generals. With this military culture came a sense of chivalry, one which often led to an offensive strategy. This, along with smug aristocratic confidence led to the Southern leadership making costly attacks against the North.

    Instead, this world’s South used their familiarity with the terrain to their advantage. They would wear down the yankees, making them tired of fighting. Using the land to their advantage, the men of Dixie used Muhammed Ali’s famed strategy of “let them hit you ‘til they’re tuckered out”. While this did bring on a certain degree of scrutiny by their own people (the same people whose communities were serving as the battlegrounds of the war), it did not waver the desire among the Southerners for their independence. The South struggled through this, and supplies ran low, but this alone did not guarantee their victory. In reality, a purely defensive strategy could not have won the South the war. The South had been on the defensive early-on OTL.

    No, it was simply a lack of Northern morale that won the South their freedom ITTL. The North, on their end, had much less passion than they did in OTL. While radical republicans, progressives, and Northern blacks led the charge against the rebels, unrest consumed the Union. As in reality, riots and hate crimes occurred, with a divided populace. This unrest was far worse ITTL, and signaled to Northern leadership that the people did not care enough about continuing the union of the states to continue to fight for it. While areas of the CSA were captured, as well as states in a state of revolt but not actually confederated, did fall under Union control, there was fierce resistance in these areas, and many Northerners were utterly convinced the war was hopeless.

    Cassius Marcellus Clay, the famed “Lion of White Hall”, also did not survive the 1843 attempt on his life as he did in our reality; Clay, whose would-be assassin felt the bite of the Lion in our world, was rather unlucky in this alternative reality. The assassin’s bullet was not deflected by the scabbard of Clay’s blade, and thus the lion fell prey to the hunter. Without Clay, the Union failed to curry Russia’s favor, and there was no counterbalance to the threat of European intervention on the side of the slaveholders. While the British and French empires still refused to intervene, the threat of such an intervention was more present in the mind of the North’s leadership, and reinforced the gusto with which the rebels fought. Without Clay, Lincoln also lacked the pressure to proclaim emancipation, and the document remained unspoken.

    The North was tired of war. Lincoln failed to regain his Presidency, with General McClellan achieving the office. McClellan was more outwardly open to the possibility of peace with Dixie, cynically tapping-into the frustration of the Yankee populace. He had also seen the fervor with which the Southerners fought, and came to believe that the war was hopeless. President McClellan’s administration opened peace negotiations in September of 1865, and thus abandoned the hope of reunification.
    The temporary fate of America was decided in the treaty of Little Rock, where Jefferson Davies’ and McClellan’s appointees determined the future. As in reality, areas of the Confederacy had been captured by the Union. In particular, much of Northern Arkansas and areas of Virginia. These areas had been under military occupation, but the occupation was largely unsuccessful, with many still resisting Union control. In the Peace treaty, the Union was permitted to keep these territories. As well, the South was forced to renounce its claims on these areas, as well as to any other Northern States. Similarly, claims on the Indian territories were renounced. Any black soldiers captured as slaves by the Confederates were to be returned as well. Both sides exchanged prisoners, and recognized the independence of their new neighbor.

    Neither side was pleased with these terms, least of all the South. Yet, they were viewed as the only terms possible. The North feared drawing out the war, while the South feared that the Union would finally crack their shell. Neither side was happy, but the South felt that they had achieved their goals. Surely, the 20th century would be the age of Cotton, when Dixie stood ascendant, the colossus of the New World. Propagandists and patriots dreamed of a Southern Empire, which would encompass the Caribbean, Mexico, Cuba, hell, maybe even Africa! Surely, this was the winter of their content. The Union had brought the Jubilee, and it was insufficient. Jeff Davies did not hang from a rotten apple tree, and surely, John Brown’s soul had stopped marching on. “One Thousand Years of Dixie!” proclaimed the front page of The Whig.
    Surely, this was the beginning of an age of Southern Victory…
     
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    Chapter One: Unrest In The Union
  • Chapter One: Unrest in the Union

    December 1st, 1865
    “George, dear, don’t be like that.” Ellen was behind George, her hands resting on the back of the chair he sat upon. Her husband had just sat down and opened a letter he had received. The letter was from Mr. Pendleton, but Ellen didn’t read anything else written on it. Some formal document, she assumed.

    “Ellen, I’ll be finished in but a moment. I must read this letter from Pendleton.” He never looked away from its contents. Ellen sighed and strolled out of his office. They’d only been living here a few months, and Ellen couldn’t decide whether she missed the old home or not.

    She knew she missed the man her husband used to be. Before all of this, they’d been newlyweds, and hoping they may someday have children. The war changed their lives, as it had the lives of so many others. Even now, with the war over, they still had little time to be together. They hadn’t had a child, hadn’t tried in what felt like an eternity. George’s work had consumed him, and she had a strong sense that this wouldn’t change anytime soon. Maybe once things calmed down, she hoped. She wondered how things were between Pendleton and his wife. Her thoughts were interrupted by George:

    “I’m finished now.” He folded up the letter. “Shall we be off?”

    Ellen smiled. She’d been worried he’d try to avoid going, that he’d feign fatigue or say he felt queer and needed to go straight to bed. Instead, her husband put on his boots, his coat, his hat, and took her hand in hers. For a moment, it was like they were still courting.

    In that moment, George McClellan was the perfect gentleman. None of it mattered, the presidency, the war, none of it. She was his and he was hers.

    Thus, with their bodyguard John Edwards, the President and First Lady headed towards the Ford Theatre, off to see some play neither of them could remember the name of.




    (excerpt from A Political History of the United States, Ronald Finch, Dalhousie University Press, Halifax, Nova Scotia, The Maritime Union (1925))*

    The account of how the United States’ youngest President also became its first to be assassinated is legendary in the nation’s history, as well as beyond its borders. George B. McClellan, hero of many a battle in the war against the South, was also the man to sign the death warrant of the Union as it had existed since 1776. At home, opinions were mixed regarding young McClellan (not even 40 years of age at the time!). Many moderate Republicans and Northern Democrats felt relieved that the General-turned-President had ended the tiresome and unwinnable war. Contrary to this, many of the more radical of Lincoln’s party felt McClellan had betrayed the cause of freedom and cut short the war due either to cowardice, greed, or pure and simple populism. Whatever cause McClellan had for ending the war, it was undeniably a turning point in the nation’s history, as was the young President’s death.

    On the evening of December 1st, 1865, George McClellan and his wife Mary Ellen attended a performance at Ford’s Theatre of The Indian Princess, a musical comedy popular in its own day but nowadays mostly only known for its association with McClellan’s demise.

    As the play ended, McClellan, his wife, and bodyguard John Edwards left and walked to their carriage. They were preparing to exit the premises when the first lady realized she had left her glove inside. McClellan offered to return and get it, but Edwards insisted he do it. With the President and his wife sitting in the carriage, no party involved suspected that anything foul could occur. Edwards went to fetch the glove, while the President and Mary Ellen sat, discussing the performance. Allegedly, McClellan's last words before his death were, “Those were some mighty fine Indian costumes.” McClellan heard a knock on the door of the carriage, and, instinctively and without thinking, opened the door slightly to peek outside, when he was shot directly in the head by the man on the other side.

    The Assassin was a mister William D’arcy (1835-1865). D’arcy hailed from Utica, New York, and was the son of abolitionists inspired by Orange Scott. One of five children, all boys, William had been quieter and more reserved than his boisterous brothers. William had gone off to seminary school, but been expelled for poor grades and occasional fits of rage. D’arcy had been drafted during the war, but was injured in the war and honorably discharged. His injury, a wound to his left arm which left the appendage unreliable, made him unfit for most work. Living rather destitute, his few friends described D’Arcy as having been increasingly frustrated with his surroundings. D’Arcy frequented brothels, where he would allegedly never engage with the women on any physical level but instead recite poetry to them. It is unknown why D’Arcy did this, but it seems to have been one of his few joys in life.

    When the war had ended, D’Arcy had become ill-tempered once more. One of D’Arcy’s few friends was an usher at Ford’s theatre, and had casually mentioned that McClellan would be in attendance at the December 1st performance of The Indian Princess. D’Arcy waited for hours in the bushes with a gun he’d stolen from a friend, undetected and waiting to strike. He was lucky in having arrived at the carriage when he did; D’Arcy had no idea Edwards had reentered the theatre. D’Arcy knocked on the door of the President’s carriage, waited until he could see the pink of McClellan’s skin through the slightly-open door, and shot the President in the face.

    McClellan was dead. D’Arcy was tackled to the ground and held in place until the police arrived. D’Arcy was interrogated extensively, revealing himself to be a genuine madman, his killing seemingly devoid of any complex ideology and motivated primarily by insanity. He was hanged eight days later.

    The lack of a discernible ideological bent to D’Arcy’s act did not prevent those who hated McClellan from declaring him a martyr to their cause. Many hoped that George Pendleton would prove a more admirable President, but the majority had no real faith in the man, and held out hope that someone with a backbone would be elected come the next round.

    *Asterisk denotes that this is a fictional source
    William D'Arcy is a fictional character of my own invention.
     
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    Chapter Two: Sovereign and Independent Character
  • Chapter Two: Sovereign and Independent Character

    (excerpt from Losing The Peace: A History of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1919, Ivan Bornstein, Cambridge University (1937))*

    Winning the Second American Revolution was but the first hurdle for the newborn Confederacy. The nation, forged from the fire of a nation similarly smelted by Britain’s tyranny, stood triumphant over the United States, and was now a rising power in the American continent. Yet, navigating the peace they had won was to be their struggle.

    Soon after their victory, those nations once perceived as potential allies, namely Britain and France, turned on them. Seeking to strangle the newborn in its grave, these powers condemned the continuance of slavery guaranteed in the Confederate constitution. This constitution served to drive a separation between North and South. Mostly, however, these differences were fairly minor. Wording of passages differed, for example, and the Confederacy more strongly asserted both the autonomy of the states and the connection the states had to God. Whereas the people of the United States stated in their constitution that they sought simply to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America", their Southern neighbours added “invoking the favour and guidance of Almighty God”.

    More significantly, however, the Confederate constitution prevented foreigners from voting in elections, altered the means by which states would be admitted, and limited the President to one 6-year term. Two passages in particular stood out as issues, however. Namely, those which pertained to slavery. The document central to Confederate government prohibited any illegalizing of slavery - ensuring slavery’s eternal legality - and allowed for the Confederacy to procure slaves from their Northern neighbor. While the latter would not be overtly problematic at first, the former proved to be an issue.

    With few allies, the Confederacy was in a rough situation. While they could continue for the time-being to trade with Britain, they could never truly ally themselves with the hegemonic Brits due the Empire’s disdain for slavery. Britain was, for their part, unwilling to press the issue in an meaningful way- they wanted trade with the Confederacy and did not wish to aid the United States. Most other nations feared the wrath of Britain and, as such, would not allow themselves to be seen as anything more than business partners with the Confederacy. The Confederacy’s strongest ally was Brazil, though Dom Pedro II was unhappy with the arrangement. Beyond Brazil, however, many other powers viewed the Confederate States as a welcome addition to world politics. France and Austria exploited Confederate nationhood as a means to secure their establishment of the Second Mexican Empire, (covered in more detail in chapter 8).
    Domestically, circumstances seemed, at least on the surface, a bit more certain. Not easy, not even necessarily stable, but certain. The main issues were the rebuilding of property and infrastructure damaged in the war, as well as maintaining cohesion in the new nation. The unyielding defense of the South which had won them the war was not without consequence; many had died in the act of secession, and amends would have to be made. Winning a war is one thing, but convincing the victors that their victory was worthwhile can sometimes be difficult.

    Jefferson Davis, the first President of the CSA, was of little help. A man content to relegate duties to others, who felt as though his job had been completed, Davis had a perhaps overly hands-off approach to governance. With the aforementioned restriction of only one term, Davis and many of his successors had no need to maintain popularity in order to seek reelection. Thus, Davis set the precedent that Confederate Presidents should do little and rely on others for the administration of the nation.

    Of course, this was what the founders of the Confederate States had hoped for. Without a strong centralising figure, the powers of the individual states could not be tampered with. After all, the election of Lincoln, perceived as a strongman, was a major factor in the secession to begin with.
    As such, the Confederate leadership’s ideal President was a man without strong ideals, strong ideology, and shallow enough to seek the Presidency and yet be utterly devoid of a plan beyond that. Davis was not exactly that, but he would do for the time being.
    In the meantime, a massive reconstruction effort was implemented, seeking to rebuild what had been lost to the Yankees. It was also decided that a strong land army was necessary to secure the continued independence of the South. Robert E Lee, as the Commanding General of the Confederate Army, was placed in charge of maintaining the continued defense of the CSA. One reason that this was vital was that illegal raids were still being made by Northerners and Abolitionists. The border would have to be carefully defended.

    There was another matter which would need to be addressed as well: expansion. Many Southerners had long dreamed of Mexican control, whether through annexation or as a client state. This so-called ‘Golden Circle’ was a fantasy, of course, but one which lingered in the minds of many Southerners.

    (excerpt of a speech given by an unknown member of the Knights of the Golden Circle to his fellow members at an 1866 meeting. Recovered by Historian Morris T. Blackwood)*
    "My comrades, who have so valiantly defended our culture and our way of life in the face of Northern aggression, hear my words! I have caught word from amongst you that our order is no longer of use, that our most righteous of duties have been accomplished, and that the time has come for us to lay down our swords, content in knowing that we have licked the damyankees once and for all. I pity thee, of little faith! Do we now rule Mexico? Does our flag now fly proud and unwavering over Havana? Have we created the empire we sought to come together and create, that will win us dominion over God’s creation?

    "Even now, the British, traitors to our race that they be, refuse to allow us our ways. Just as they did in the war! When we sought our freedom, the bastards were content to allow the hordes of Lincoln and McClellan to burn our land, to rape and pillage as they pleased! To take our property and dress it up in uniforms and give it illusions of equality!

    "The French, cowards all of them, will similarly kowtow to Britain. “Yes massa”, the Frenchman says, refusing to aid in the defense of the white man’s destiny for fear of a lashing by Victoria.

    "Without an avenue to diplomacy, we must be vigilant, and expand our borders as we have long dreamed. I say we cannot give up dreams of greatness at the first sign of victory. The Confederacy is a stepping stone on a path towards the Golden Circle. As the papers read on the day of our victory, one thousand years of Dixie!"












    Yes, obviously that speech is a bit dramatic, but these are the guys who decided to call themselves "The Knights of the Golden Circle" IRL. Writing that nonsense made me a little sick to my stomach, to be honest.
     
    Chapter Three: News From Around the World
  • Chapter Three: News From Around the World

    The Other Confederacy​

    Charlottetown, September 7th, 1864
    “Why do you think the Canadians were uninterested?” Edward Barron Chandler asked. The delegates were filing out of the room now, as a recess had been called. Samuel Leonard Tilley sighed. He knew the answer, but the matter left him displeased on the whole.

    “They said,” Tilley began, trying to find the words to best describe the situation, “that with the direction affairs seem to be heading to the south of us, they feel as though ‘manifest destiny’, as you will, is no longer a threat.”

    “I see.” The two men sat for a moment in silence. Then, Chandler’s voice ended the quiet moment. “Do you think it’ll last without them?”

    Tilley was unsure himself. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia seemed keen on uniting, but Prince Edward Island was far from a sure thing. Newfoundland, who hadn’t even sent delegates, could probably be counted out entirely. A union of only two provinces, which looked more and more like the direction things were heading in, did not really accomplish their goal. In order to survive in the new North America of Lincoln and Davis, all of the maritime colonies would be needed.

    Nobody had really expected the Canadians to express interest; they were generally unconcerned with the affairs of their fellow colonies. Yet, their interest may have aided in achieving the desired outcome. Tilley felt the truth come to him, and it was both a relief to uncertainty and a great disappointment.

    “I think we may have been too quick on the proverbial draw, Mr. Chandler. Perhaps in the future we will unite our colonies, but not today.”

    Athirst, but not for Wine​

    Berlin, May 7th, 1866

    This was it. Ferdinand was excited to the point of nearly trembling. The revolver was loaded, and would soon be emptied into the body of the warmonger. The oppressor would fall, Ferdinand knew it. Even if they killed him, even if he did not live to see it, the Empire would fall. Once the people had seen the warmonger dead, they would be filled with a desire for freedom. His stepfather would be proud, he knew. His sister would be too. He had not seen them in so long. Ferdinand made sure to send Mathilde a letter, he felt she was owed an explanation.

    From his hiding place, Ferdinand saw the warmonger coming. He felt the pistol, given to him by Eric, and kept in mind what that man had taught him. Eric, a friend of Ferdinand’s for close to a year now, had fought for the newly-independent Confederate States of America. They’d met at a party, and though their views differed, it was Eric who had taught Ferdinand how best to aim a gun. Ferdinand had been a pacifist, and still was to a certain extent, but now saw the necessity of an act such as this.

    Eric, like Ferdinand, was disgusted by the warmonger, and his abuses of the various states that composed his domain. It had been such flagrant abuses of smaller entities which had led the CSA to secede from the North, Eric emphasized. Without Eric, Ferdinand doubted he’d have planned to kill the tyrant.

    Soon, the warmonger would seek to use the children of Prussia for his own goal, as pawns in his game of deadly chess. That was what Ferdinand was fighting against. The weapon was good, a strong instrument of death. Death would be needed if they were to achieve peace, an irony not lost on Ferdinand. He was not the most religious of men, but Ferdinand still felt himself muttering the Shema under his breath. If this was the day he died, he might as well say it.

    And so, on that day, Ferdinand Cohen-Blind became the man who slew the Minister-President. Bismarck lay dead, and Prussia mourned. Cohen-Blind took his own life soon after. A new day dawned over Europe, and Cohen-Blind was its herald.

    His last words had been simply, “sic semper tyrannis”.

    Outside Circumstances​

    (excerpt from The Revolutions, Jorge Luis Guzman III, University of San Lucas, San Lucas (1975), translated to English)*

    Over 3,000 Confederates took part in the Napoleonic invasion. The US, for its part, was openly hostile to the French intervention but was unable to send any official support to Mexico. Confederate leadership had been focused on rebuilding and defending the nation, and thus would not dedicate armed forces to officially aid the French, but was willing to encourage, unofficially, volunteers.

    Napoleon III was deeply disappointed by this, but was placated somewhat by the CSA’s agreement to lend supplies, weapons, and recognition of France’s legitimacy. This was motivated largely by a desire to anger the United States, who repeatedly denounced French intervention.

    Many Confederate veterans who desired further combat took part, aiding the French in the installation of Maximilian I. President Davis played no small part, urging citizens to take up arms in defense of the new regime. The Knights of the Golden Circle and those in their camp were divided when it came to how best to view the intervention. Some believed that a friendly, European-dominated, right-wing regime in Mexico was a fair arrangement, cheaper and easier than setting up their own control over the nation. Others strongly disagreed, believing that anything less than direct control over Mexico was a betrayal of their cause.

    Regardless, the Confederate government formally recognized the Hapsburg government as the legitimate Mexican ruler. With little in the way of foreign support, and with nations like the Confederacy feeding troops to the Empire, Mexican Republican forces were largely broken by the end of 1867.





    "Eric" is, yet again, a character of my own invention. Bismarck's fate is the result of many proverbial butterflies being crushed under heel.
     
    Chapter 4: New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?
  • New Boss, Same as The Old Boss?
    1644389269372.png
    To say that George H. Pendleton was not the President the United States needed in order to defeat the Confederate States is comparable to saying that a man with alcohol poisoning probably shouldn’t have another beer.

    Pendleton, the 18th President of the nation, was a Democrat and a staunch supporter of white supremacy. Having become President following the assassination of McClellan, Pendleton fought emancipation, and did what he could to prevent Congress from legislating the end of slavery. He was a strong supporter of the rights of individual states, and claimed that his opposition was for the benefit of the state governments. Many were skeptical. McClellan had, by his own account, sought peace with the rebels in order to save lives and prevent further conflict between North and South. Pendleton did not display a sense of pragmatism, but instead one of sympathy. The perception was that Pendleton had supported peace due to being a supporter of secession.

    Pendleton quickly sought to establish positive relations between the two nations that were once one. He met with Confederate officials and discussed a potential agreement, a declaration of friendship. The nations were separated, but there was no need for it to be a messy divorce, was there?

    The President, against the wishes of congress, issued a Presidential Decree ordering demilitarization, hoping that by doing so, the South would follow suit. Former Vice President Hannibal Hamlin wrote in a letter to his brother Elijah that “the president is surely trying to lose us the war all over again!” This sentiment was not uncommon. In late 1866, a group of 35 Confederate veterans attacked Princeton, West Virginia in full uniform and waving the Confederate battle flag, killing three and injuring ten more. This became a major scandal, with President Davis and his administration refusing to investigate, apologize, or otherwise do anything to make amends. Pendleton, for his part, was silent.

    Pendleton seemed to genuinely be of the opinion that the South was justified in seceding, that the federal government had overstepped its boundaries, and that the rights of the Southern states really had been in jeopardy. While some agreed, many US citizens were, regardless of their personal feelings concerning abolition, bitter regarding the loss of the South. To Americans who had lost limbs, friends, loved ones, and/or family in the war of secession, Pendleton was a traitor at best and a secret Confederate at worst.

    Indeed, abolitionists and radical republicans published pamphlets proclaiming Pendleton as a spy, a double agent sent by Richmond to infiltrate the Union and keep it weak. While these allegations are, by most historians’ accounts, completely false, they were not unpopular, and grew more popular during Pendleton’s impeachment trial.

    On January 17th, 1868, the United States House of Representatives officially resolved to impeach Pendleton. The cause of this is the now infamous Pacific Railroad Scandal. During the construction of the Transcontinental Railway, Pendleton’s administration was accused, and later found guilty of, accepting bribes from Collis Potter Huntington, a powerful railway magnate, in return for increased control over the construction of the Central Pacific Railroad. Huntington, with aid from the President and his administration, gained disproportionate power over the railroad’s construction.

    Pendleton had been questioned before congress as to whether he had, in fact, been aware of these bribes having been made. Pendleton denied any involvement, a claim which would later add to the many articles by which he was impeached.
    1644389417687.png
    The trial following Pendleton’s impeachment was one of great intensity and pressure. The defense argued that Pendleton (who, as advised, did not plead his own case), had not known of the bribes. This directly contradicted the testimonies of the anonymous whistleblower, an employee of Huntington’s, as well as those of others in Pendleton’s administration who had corroborated the whistleblower’s claims. According to these individuals, Pendleton had not actively sought bribes, but had allowed and approved of the bribes, and had willingly accepted them.

    Pendleton’s defense also questioned the validity of the members of Pendleton’s administration who had turned on the President when the scandal broke, and who served as witnesses to the alleged bribery.

    Despite all of these arguments, the results of the April 19th vote were 35-17 in favor of conviction. Pendleton was removed from power, though many rejected the decision. Conspiracy theories emerged, and in some cases persist to this day, that Pendleton was either framed, or that the vote was rigged.

    Pendleton, for his part, retired to a quiet life in New Brunswick, becoming a resident of Saint John. This, he shared with Benedict Arnold, a trait which had led many of Pendleton’s detractors and subsequent historians to label the 18th President “America’s Second Judas”.

    Others will quickly remind them that America already had plenty of traitors; an entire nation of them on their Southern border.











    I will try to use photos more often going forward. I think they're rather neat!
     
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    Interlude: Born In The CSA
  • Interlude: Born In The CSA


    Born in the CSA I

    May 24th, 1868. Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America

    It was Sunday, to be exact, which is why Will Lawrence was not working. Will was a laborer at the port. Payment was poor, but Will needed what he could get if he were to survive in the white man’s world.

    You see, Will Lawrence had been a slave only five years earlier.

    On this particular day, Will sat comfortably on a park bench (or as comfortably as a black man could in the United States in the year 1868) with one of his few friends, a Mr. Elroy Foreman. A fellow laborer, Elroy was the only white man Will had ever met who treated him better than dirt. Elroy, a few years older than Will, read the newspaper aloud to Will. Will could not read, having never been taught, and Elroy was not the most compelling speaker, but this was their arrangement, and they liked it well enough.

    “It says here that Colfax is the nominee for the GOP.”

    “I know that. They decided that a number of days ago, remember?”

    “Yes, Willie, I know, but that’s what it says.” With a laugh, Elroy said “I don’t decide what’s in the paper, I just read it.”

    “It must be an old paper, from a few days ago or something” Will said. Elroy checked: it was.

    “Yes, this is Friday’s paper.” After a moment, Elroy asked, “Do you vote?”

    “Elroy, you must remember that I was-”

    “Sorry! Terribly sorry, Willie!” They didn’t talk much about that time, or at least tried not to, but it did come up from time-to-time.

    “To answer your question, no. I don’t see much point. It’s a contest to determine which o’ these white folks will tell us all what to do. I appreciate what the Republicans want to do for folks like me, but I don’t think much of this whole affair.”

    “What affair?”

    “America, Elroy.” There was a moment of silence, and Will couldn’t help but think of his sisters, brothers, cousins, still trapped in bondage. Men like his father, who’d been whipped ‘til his back looked like a mountain range. Women like his sister, concubine to some devilish white man. Did it matter if it was Colfax who won instead of Seymour? Would any man do anything to help the slaves? Lincoln might have tried, but that certainly hadn’t gone as planned.

    “I’ll tell you this much, Willie,” Elroy interjected, interrupting Will’s unpleasant thoughts. “I’m voting for Colfax. Say what you want about the Republicans and Wade and all that, but Schuyler Colfax would never take no bribes from those railway men.”

    Born in the CSA II

    May 28th, 1869. Archer, Florida, Confederate States of America

    They’d changed their names, crossed the seas, and tried their best to fit in. Phineas Hoffman, whose name had been Pinchas in the old world, sat with his wife and Doctor Fleming on the floor of their house. Hoffman was a tailor, and not a particularly good one. His wife was screaming loudly, and pushing their new baby out of her body. Phineas had sent his other children, Daniel and Sarah, to their Uncle’s house for the evening, so that the Hoffmans and Doctor Hilel could peacefully agonize over the birth.

    Phineas and his wife, Rebecca, had travelled from Europe just after the war that tore this land in two. This was, in hindsight, a smart move. Jews in the German states had a target on their backs after that business with Bismarck.[1] They’d had Daniel soon after they arrived, and then Sarah. Phineas wondered what the children would become, how they would react with another member of their family. Daniel was quite quick for his age; he was only five years old, but could already read a little, and would watch birds and other animals around their home for hours at a time.

    As Phineas pondered his children’s fates, his wife was more concerned with their new child, who was emerging from her. Phineas held her hand, and smiled, and told her it would all be alright. Doctor Hilel told her simply to push. Hilel was a clinical man, not one for niceties. Phineas imagined he’d be a good military surgeon, though Phineas had never been in the military himself.

    Eventually, the baby came. It was a heavy little boy, shrieking and pink. Phineas looked down on the babe held tightly in his wife’s arms. He saw himself, as he had in Daniel. After a while, Phineas picked up the boy himself.

    “What a little Shtarker! Just like his papa!”

    It was as such that Joel Hoffman was welcomed into the world.






    [1] Not organized pogroms or anything, but antisemitism certainly did increase in Prussia and friendly nations after Bismarck's death ITTL

    I promise, these 'slice of life' segments are relevant.
     
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    Chapter 5: The Mission At This Moment
  • Chapter 5: The Mission At This Moment

    I write these words to you now, my friends, from the great and illustrious halls of the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, which I am visiting as of now. Just this morning, papers across British North America came bearing news of the successful negotiation of a union between the Maritime Provinces. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island will unite in brotherhood, a nation within Britain’s expansive empire. It was not a declaration of independence as Washington’s ilk signed so many years past. Instead, it is a declaration of dependence; of dependence on one-another, of fraternity and friendship. While I do write these words in part as a congratulation towards these provinces, I also mean to draw attention to the lesson which can be drawn from Maritime Unity.

    Many of us here to the west of Fredericton have not yet seen the tide which comes ever-closer. It is thought that we have no need for our own Union. After all, are we not already protected by the crown? Are we not content as the Province of Canada?

    I would like to draw your attention to the recent border skirmishes by Yankee aggressors, the Fenians, who believed that senseless violence could further their cause. The Bible teaches us that violence is not always the best solution. Think of Matthew 26:52, alongside many of Christ's other teachings. While these attacks by our Southern neighbors were eventually repelled, think of the damage they have wrought. We laugh now at the once-United States’ so-called ‘manifest destiny’, but we have seen how easily their citizens will take up arms to invade our lands and take our nation prisoner. This is a situation in-which turning the other cheek will not suffice. While we may avoid the taking of an eye for an eye, we need to defend our lands as the Israelites of old defended theirs. We must do so as a nation, not simply as a province of Great Britain’s empire.

    Fear not, for I do not call for rebellion. I have no stomach for such things, and would not seek secession as the government of Richmond did nearly a decade ago. No, I propose merely that we have status within this empire similar to that which our Eastern comrades now hold. Quebec and Ontario are united now, and will likely gain an autonomous status eventually. That, however, is not enough. If we are to create a new nation out of British North America, it must be one which grants status and citizenship to all of these lands’ inhabitants.

    In the central and western areas of British North America, many men and women do not live the lives of civility we here take for granted. My upbringing in those lands would likely have been one deprived of agency within the British empire were it not for my opportunities in the Church. The Metis of Manitoba are Frenchmen just as the inhabitants of Quebec are. We share a language with you, and a continent with the English, to say nothing of the Indians, Negroes, and other Europeans also living here.
    It seems to me inevitable that the crown lands of the West will one day join in arms with the inhabitants of Canada. I urge our leaders to consider those of their Christian brethren not blessed with riches, urbanity, or European heritage. If we are to survive and not fall as old Rome did, we must unite all of the godly and righteous men of this land, and not just the privileged few.

    We, the people of this land, have slept for centuries, content to be protected by our kindly mother country. We must awaken and mature into a faithful but strong child. We have inherited a great deal from Britain, and we must cherish that inheritance. If all we have to give is our hearts, let us give it to unity. Let us give it to a Canadian nation, where all men can be equal. Like the fasces, we are stronger together. It may take time, for deeds are not accomplished in an hour, but I hope that we may achieve autonomy and national brotherhood.

    1645601785744.png


    Sincerely, The Lord’s Dutiful Servant, Deacon Louis Riel [1], February 20th, 1870

    (Originally published as an editorial in the Le Canadien [2]. Translated to English by Professor Jean-Louis Lebris de Kérouac of McGill University, 1969.)*






    [1] Riel had been in seminary school in Montreal IOTL, but left after the death of his father.
    [2] This paper was, from what I can tell no longer being published at this time IOTL, and had not been for quite some time. ITTL, it has been revived.
     
    Chapter 6: A Special Relationship
  • Chapter 6: A Special Relationship

    800px-George_Perkins_Marsh.jpg

    January 6, 1871, Florence, The kingdom of Italy

    George Perkins Marsh felt small in the presence of the man with whom he spoke. A proud son of the Republic though he was, even an American feels a strange sense of shrinking when he spoke to a King. The Ambassador had no logical reason to feel this way; he was an accomplished man, and Victor Emmanuel II was merely an aristocratic fop. It didn’t matter: Perkins Marsh was hopelessly in awe.

    “His Excellency the President would be here personally if he could, your majesty,” Marsh spoke cautiously, “but he is unfortunately preoccupied at the moment.” He was fairly certain he was telling the truth, President Colfax felt very strongly about the meeting.

    “I am sure we will meet at some point in the future.” the Italian monarch replied.

    “Indeed, the President wants to assure you that he will visit when he has the chance.” There was currently intense internal strife within the United States government concerning the formal abolition of slavery, with it being feared that the few remaining slave states would attempt to secede. Pendleton's administration had pulled military forces placed in slave states like Maryland out, and Colfax, a fierce abolitionist though he was, thought the optics of sending military troops in to enforce his will may not be desired. Until this strife was over, the President knew he could not leave the United States to visit Italy of all places.

    "That is well and good." The King seemed to be perhaps a little offended by Colfax's absence. Perkins Marsh chalked that up to aristocratic neediness. No one in the American government was thrilled that Italy was a monarchy. Colfax had written to Marsh that he had hoped Italy would become a republic, and was disappointed in their decision to create a monarchy. Everyone wished Garibaldi could have stepped in as President. Of course, Garibaldi was uninterested in political office, and was currently trying to find a war to fight.[1] Everyone also wished the USA had taken him up on his offer to lead Union forces. No use worrying about the past, or what might have been, Marsh thought. The Italians were a constitutional monarchy, and it wasn't like the Union had never befriended a monarchy before.

    "The President most importantly wants me to tell you that he is thrilled with the Unification of Italy, that he hopes this nation becomes a model which others strive towards. After all, it was Rome which inspired so much of our Republic in the New World."
    Ugolini̠-Ritratto_di_Re_Vittorio_Emanuele_II.jpg
    "I am not yet king of Rome." Victor Emanuel was right, the Pope still held the city of Rome, and was supported by the French. [2] An invasion of Rome would likely mean war with France, and France was currently building the strongest army in Europe, or so they claimed. "I am not yet Caesar. But there is always time." The king laughed slightly. "Tell the President that I appreciate his support. Garibaldi has always admired the Americans. At least YOUR Americans, that is."

    "The President hopes that our two nations may be comrades. He tells me, and I'm quoting directly here, that he hopes that this will be 'the start of a beautiful friendship'."



    [1] Bismarck's death did not prevent a war with Austria, but it has prevented the Franco-Prussian war.
    [2] Without the Franco-Prussian war, Italy has not seen a proper opportunity to attack the Papacy.





    Bit of a short one this time. I've been very busy as of late, but I wanted to get something out to assure you guys that This Guilty Land is alive and well.
     
    Chapter 7: Moldering On
  • Chapter 7: Moldering On

    (Selection from An Artistic History of the Modern World by Chadwick Stockwood, 2002, University of Maryland Press)

    American Nihilism
    The decades following the division of the United States is defined by many movements in popular culture and popular understanding of the world. In the historiographic sphere, this period cemented the notion of "The Imperfect Union". In essence, this is the belief that the United States was inherently unstable. The flaws inherent in the USA's foundations began to show earlier than the war of southern independence. Shay's Rebellion, the Burr plot, Nat Turner's rebellion and John Brown's raid were begun to be understood as manifestations of American instability. It was Flint who stated that "the founding fathers of the United States were men desperately trying to make a 4-by-4 square fit in a 2-by-2 box, too lazy to build a bigger box despite having ample wood and tools. They wanted the men and women of this land to coexist, all the while reinforcing the artificial divisions between them." The late 19 and early 20th centuries would later be dubbed America's "little dark age" by Flint. The war and its consequences, as well as the general disunity which followed, created the idea in the mind of many Americans that the American experiment had proved a failure.

    In literary and theatrical circles, the war created a deep and desperate sense of loss and futility in the minds of many Northerners. The works of Ambrose Bierce and Mark Twain demonstrate the sense of disappointment many felt in the aftermath of the loss of the South and the continuance of American chattel slavery. The works by in the disunited states during this era would be categorized by later scholars as the "American Nihilism" genre. One example, often overlooked but of deep and crucial significance to understanding Dark Age America is Moldering On.

    A play by Anglo-American playwright James Isaac, Moldering On is a bizarre play, often considered ahead of it's time. The play consists of three acts which seem largely disconnected, and scholars continue to debate what, if any, connection they have at all.

    The first act centers around John Brown, now a soldier in the army of the lord alongside Spartacus and Nat Turner. Spartacus and Nat try to console a depressed John Brown, who is ashamed that his movement ultimately did nothing. After a solemn meditation on the concepts of slavery, freedom, and resistance, the act ends with a comic song entitled "The Best Reason To Do What We Do", which comes to the conclusion that dying for a hopeless cause is better than living for one.

    The second act centers around an affair between Comstock, a preacher, and Emilia, a married woman. The joke of the story is that Comstock and Emilia's husband are portrayed by the same actor. Ultimately, Comstock gets Emilia pregnant, but since the two men look identical, she doesn't think her husband will notice.

    The third act is a descent into madness focused around a man who slowly divides into two men. This is presented as deeply painful and disturbing for the man, but nobody around him cared that he is dividing. He slowly becomes two men, and the two men battle each other, before realizing that they themselves are dividing. The two breakdown into tears, and the play ends.
    1649294440081.png
    [1]
    Image from a modern production of Moldering On
    The first act is the most often analyzed, and it is occasionally staged on it's own, despite Isaac's explicit instructions that all three acts must be staged together. It was a favorite of many of the nihilist-abolitionists of the late 19th century, and is still widely studied by students across the English speaking world. All three acts are bleak in their own way, but act 1 is the only one in which the bleakness is understandably politicized.

    Isaac's works, including Moldering On, were neglected during his own lifetime, with the only staging of this play known to have been performed during his lifetime was a production he himself directed and which drew only a small crowd and overwhelmingly negative reactions. It was only after Isaac's death that the play was reexamined within the context of American Nihilism and the Little Dark Age.

    It is worth noting that the existential and nihilistic literary and artistic traditions which emerged in Europe’s own interwar period of the 20th century is distinctly different from its American counterpart. This movement is touched on in more detail in chapter 3.




    [1] Actually from an adaptation of Brecht's The Threepenny Opera performed in the UK. Found on this website: http://www.operatoday.com/content/2016/05/the_threepenny_.php
     
    Chapter 8: A Soldier All His Life
  • Chapter 8: A Soldier All His Life

    dale-gallon-lt-general-james-longstreet-civil-war-print-21.jpg

    February 13, 1872, New Orleans, Louisiana, Confederate States of America
    James Longstreet scanned the crowd. From horseback, Longstreet had a relatively good view of the streets of New Orleans. As the parade procession passed down the streets of the city, Longstreet saw hundreds of Confederate citizens engaged in exultation. Longstreet had been asked to attend this new parade (they were calling it Rex, for whatever reason) in order to provide a sense of order to the chaos of Mardi Gras. It was believed that having a war hero, the man who had stood at Lee’s side no-less, would bring a level of southern class to the event. Mardi Gras was a very un-American holiday in the eyes of many. It had its origins in papism, and was viewed as debauched and hedonistic. Longstreet laughed a little about this. The notion that he was supposed to tame the holiday. He, the same James Longstreet who drank whiskey like water some days, who’d been a troubling student at West Point. He was no Southern Paladin, no knight-in-shining armor. And yet they paraded him through the streets as if he were some Russian Duke.

    Like he was Lee. James knew who they wanted him to be, there was no use denying it. These people wanted him to be the old King of Spades, God rest his soul. Lee’d never have done it, of course. The old man really was a gentleman, and not always in the best of ways.

    Still, Longstreet knew he had lucked out. He was beloved, famous enough to be the guest of honor at an event such as this, but needn’t spend his days sprawled over maps of the border, eternally worried at the threat of Yankee aggression. That was for old Tom Jackson [1], and thank the Lord that fellow had something to do. He was a queer fellow, but defense served him. He was a stone wall, after all.

    Longstreet had been considered for the appointment to Commanding General. As far as James could tell, President Lubbock didn’t trust him. He didn’t know why, but he didn’t think much of it. Longstreet had no interest in being Commanding General now. The job had been rough on Lee, and James was content as a New Orleans businessman. Still, he was connected, and he was aware enough to have a pretty good idea of what was coming.

    1650865992540.png

    Francis Lubbock, Second President of the Confederate States of America
    The CSA was not built to last, he reckoned, not as it was now. Longstreet was by no means an abolitionist, but he knew the Confederacy was hemorrhaging good grace with
    the other nations of the Earth over its continuance of the peculiar institution.

    Without a strong federal government, James sensed that the nation would lose cohesion. Time and pressure would erode national cohesion until the CSA was a joke, a purely theoretical body. Longstreet shuttered at the notion that it was the rights of the states that would kill this nation. Divided, the states would fall.

    As he scanned the crowd of faces, Longstreet saw his kin, saw these men and women of Southern heritage, and in that moment he knew fear. Fear that the nation would collapse, that brother would fight brother once again, that secession would be constant.

    In that moment, from atop his high horse, riding through the streets of New Orleans like a Roman hero at a triumph, the once apolitical James Longstreet decided that only he could save this land.


    [1] Tom Fool lives to suck more lemons and refuse to slouch another day.
     
    Chapter 9: Free At Last
  • Chapter 9: Free At Last

    61l70TU7Y3L._AC_SX466_.jpg

    In 1872, Schulyer Colfax, President of the United States, ran for reelection. Colfax had managed to remain a relatively standard, ‘middle-of-the-road’ President, largely keeping affairs as they were. The one prevailing element of Colfax’s term was his fierce opposition to slavery. Like most Americans living in the United States of America, Colfax had come to despise the institution. While the majority of slave-owning states had left the union, a few remained. Slavery was very obviously on its last legs in the union, and yet the federal government had feared passing an official act of emancipation due to the optics of legislation. It was the fear of forced abolition that had caused the South to secede, and the union was desperate to prevent more stars from falling from the flag. Colfax also knew it was probably his best option to get reelected.

    If he could be the man who ended the hideous blot of slavery, then he would forever be remembered as the great emancipator. It would also be a play to populism, which is exactly what he needed.

    api0gujey__37930.jpg

    "This pic goes hard, feel free to screenshot"

    His opponent, you see, was one of the great populists of the era. William “Boss” Tweed [1] was a powerful man within the democratic party, beloved in New York, and a favourite of the growing Irish Catholic immigrant population. While Colfax’s vehement support for Italian Nationalism would likely win him the support of Italian-Americans, he genuinely worried he could lose the election. Tweed was a strongman, a likeable one too, and a man of ruthlessness. It was a very well-known secret, if such a thing can exist, that Tweed was corrupt, but the Republicans still couldn’t use that against him. He was simply that popular. Besides, Lincoln hadn’t always been on the straight-and-narrow himself, and many still looked at the GOP as the cause of the Union’s supposed decline.

    And so, Colfax and his aides made the decision to attempt to pass an emancipation act. In making this a reality, Colfax called in an unexpected man.

    Abraham_Lincoln_O-115_by_Gardner,_1865.jpg

    Just like this TL, Lincoln is still alive and kicking, though he's not up to much at this point.

    While the specifics of their conversation are unknown to anyone save their ghosts, Colfax left Lincoln’s home with full intention of officially ending slavery. In the days leading up to the election, a proposed amendment to end involuntary servitude and slavery within the United States, excluding its use as punishment for crimes.

    Colfax were uncertain if it would pass. By this time, only Kentucky and Missouri still allowed slavery [2], but there was still a sense among certain members of congress that the amendment would be, in some way, an act of cynical populism. They were only partially right, as it was a move the GOP had sought to make long ago, but this was an opportune time.

    The Democrats hated the notion. Many in Tweed’s wing of the party might have supported such an amendment in normal circumstances, but it was obvious that Colfax wanted to be the one to end slavery, thus almost guaranteeing reelection. Tweed himself was very unhappy, as he had sought to be the one to accomplish this himself.

    The question of what future there was in Northern Slavery came when both houses passed the amendment. While it was close, it was an easier-won victory than Colfax had anticipated. Not all of the Democratic party supported Tweed, and some may have sought to avenge some personal vendetta against the man this way. Others were simply so damn tired of slavery that they would vote for it, even knowing its effect on the upcoming election, simply because they didn’t want to have to think about slavery anymore. This in-fighting within the Democratic party would remain a major issue for years to come.

    Whether the amendment is what won Colfax reelection is unclear. The man was relatively popular already, and Tweed was perceived by many, correctly, to be unpleasantly slimy. However it happened, Colfax was the first President to win reelection since Jackson, and the Republican party would finally have a chance to hold power for a long period of time. And so, Schulyer Colfax won reelection and the 13th amendment was passed. It was met with little resistance domestically. The South, smug as they were, laughed, hiding the pain of being a nation suffering already from a slow decline.

    emancipationdaycelebration.0.0.jpg

    The Union has eliminated its hideous blot. The South... not so much.


    [1] The man himself! How could I not include this guy?
    [2] Slavery would still have only existed in very small numbers. A handful of people kept as slaves is still too many. So yes, while this was mostly a stunt to win Colfax reelection, this is still a big deal.
     
    Map of North America in 1872
  • A new chapter should be coming in the very near future, but in the meantime, here's a map of This Guilty Land's North America in 1872.


    TGL1871NA.png
     
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    List of Presidents of the United States of America
  • No.PresidentVice President
    1.​
    George WashingtonJohn Adams
    2.​
    John AdamsThomas Jefferson
    3.​
    Thomas JeffersonAaron Burr
    Thomas JeffersonGeorge Clinton
    4.​
    James MadisonGeorge Clinton
    James Madison
    Elbridge Gerry​
    5.​
    James Monroe​
    Daniel D. Tompkins​
    6.​
    John Quincy Adams​
    John C. Calhoun​
    7.​
    Andrew Jackson​
    John C. Calhoun​
    Andrew Jackson​
    Martin Van Buren​
    8.​
    Martin Van Buren​
    Richard M. Johnson​
    9.​
    William Henry Harrison​
    John Tyler​
    10.​
    John Tyler​
    ............​
    11.​
    James K. Polk​
    George M. Dallas​
    12.​
    Zachary Taylor​
    Millard Fillmore​
    13.​
    Millard Fillmore​
    ............​
    14.​
    Franklin Pierce​
    William R. King​
    15.​
    James Buchanan​
    John C. Breckinridge​
    16.​
    Abraham Lincoln​
    Hannibal Hamlin​
    17.​
    George McClellanGeorge H. Pendleton
    18.​
    George H. Pendleton............
    19.​
    Benjamin Wade............
    20.​
    Schuyler ColfaxHenry Wilson
    Schuyler ColfaxHenry Wilson



    This will be updated as the story continues, so consult the threadmark going forwards.
     
    List of Presidents of the Confederate States of America
  • No.​
    President​
    Vice President​
    1.​
    Jefferson DavisAlexander H. Stephens
    2.​
    Francis LubbockLeonidas Polk
    3.​
    George Washington Custis LeeJames Longstreet
     
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    Chapter 10: Born to be Brothers
  • Chapter 10: Born to be Brothers
    General_James_Longstreet.jpg
    GWCLee.jpg


    1872

    “And that’s your plan, Mr. Longstreet?”

    “Just about. And call me James. Would you like some more whiskey, Mr. Lee?” James Longstreet held out a glass to Custis.

    “No thank you, James.” Lee needed his sobriety if the plan was going to be fully and completely clear to him. Longstreet shrugged and drank the glass himself.

    “You must understand, Custis, that our plan is, strictly-speaking, ‘undemocratic’, and thoroughly contrary to the principles we founded this here nation on.”

    “I am well aware. How could I not be? The idea that we would conspire to circumvent the constitution… and yet, I see the necessity.”

    “I gather you’ve studied your Napoleon, Custis? The first Napoleon, not the other one.” Your daddy didn’t use his reputation to cheat you a way into West Point for you NOT to learn about Napoleon.

    “Yes, I have, though not in quite a few years, I’m afraid.”

    “Well, you see, Napoleon was what France needed. They needed a man who could step in and fire into a fucking crowd of people! They needed someone who could put the fear of God into the chaotic masses! I’m not saying we go ahead and declare ourselves Emperors, Custis. I don’t reckon that would go over too well here. Still, we rebs went too far, I can see now. The President as he exists today is no better than a constitutional monarch, just about at least.”

    “So it’s what? A coup?”

    “Hopefully not, though I have considered it. You know about the Knights of the Golden Circle? Societies like that are the only way anything gets done in Dixie, though you didn’t hear that from me. I’m saying we use some of that subterfuge ourselves, you and me. It’s the only way to save Dixie.”



    1873

    Custis Lee’s campaign was largely unopposed. William Polk Hardeman, a Brigadier-General in the war of secession and a veteran of Texas’ war before that, ran against him, and was of particular interest to Longstreet. Hardeman was briefly the mayor of Austin until resigning to run for President. He was also, as far as Longstreet could tell, a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle. Hardeman wasn’t a man of great charisma or wit, but he was a man with serious military experience.

    William_P._Hardeman.jpg

    William Polk Hardeman
    Longstreet still wasn’t too worried. A campaign by Custis Lee, son of Robert E Lee and an heir to the legacy of George Washington (a good Virginian, even if he was the President of the Union), and Longstreet, General Lee’s “Old War-Horse” was never going to be a failure. As far as he could tell, his only real threat was that the establishment of the CSA would see the Lee/Longstreet ticket as being too popular, and possibly threatening to install strongman politics into their republic.

    It was clear to Longstreet that they would win, and it was pretty-much clear to everyone else too. Thus, when the results reflected these hopes, Longstreet did less celebrating and more planning.

    His and Custis’ plan was simple: Custis would serve as President, with Longstreet as VP for one full term. Longstreet would then run for Vice-President, which was allowed constitutionally. Custis, a willing puppet of Longstreet’s goals, would be simply a figurehead throughout his presidency.

    Longstreet hoped to be able to push the states to amend the constitution, allowing for a centralization of power and perhaps a gradual process of abolition. He doubted this would be possible, and believed that a legitimate military coup would be better. Longstreet had curried favour among the troops, who found Commanding General Tom Jackson to be too bizarre and borderline-incompetent for comfort, and were really loyal to Longstreet. Longstreet would use his time in power to prepare for a takeover, whether it be constitutional or dictatorial.

    This was the only way for the South to be saved. The only way to prevent what Longstreet knew was coming.

    Chaos. Anarchy. Revolution. Longstreet’s nightmares were filled with a million marching John Browns.

    Osawatomie_John_Brown_-_Book_of_the_Royal_blue_(1897)_(14574324948)_(cropped).jpg
     
    Chapter 11: Tragedy and Farce
  • Chapter 11: Tragedy and Farce

    Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historical facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
    -Karl Marx​
    1280px-Napoleon_III_after_Death_-_Illustrated_London_News_Jan_25_1873-2.jpg
    Napoleon III, as heir to the first of his name, probably hoped to have an ionic final word in the matter that was his own life. Napoleon I had said simply “Josephine.” So iconic and yet so simple.

    Napoleon III, on his deathbed, said simply, “oh God, I think it’s here.” Upon the Emperor’s death, caused by a life and career of pain and injury, his son ascended to the throne as Napoleon IV. Louis Napoleon was an adventurer, a man well-liked by pretty-well everyone who knew him. Upon his ascension to the throne, he and Britain’s Queen Victoria decided to cement the alliance between their nations through a marriage of the French Emperor and Princess Beatrice. Beatrice and the newly-crowned Napoleon IV found mutual attraction, and so the marriage was arranged.

    Napoleon IV was only 17 at the time of his ascension, and was by all accounts an energetic, charismatic young man who wished to personally guide his nation. Many in France were nervous to have such a young person leading their nation, but Napoleon IV showed himself as being willing to listen to his advisors and think before he acted. He may have been cocky, but he was willing to temper himself.
    Eugène-Louis-Napoléon,_Prince_Imperial_of_France_(1856-79).jpg

    Napoleon IV
    This same year, Prussia mourned the death of Wilhelm I’s grandson, also named Wilhelm. The young boy had been strange in temperament and deformed of body, and had died after a harsh case of pneumonia. His father Frederick, heir to the Prussian throne, was persuaded by his grieving and health-concerned wife to reduce his smoking. Eventually, Frederick quit altogether, though he missed the habit greatly.
    Kaiser_Wilhelm_II_Gymnasiast_(cropped).jpg

    Prince Wilhelm
    Prussia led the North German Confederation, but it was feared by Prussian officials that the nation may crumble with the death of Wilhelm I. Thus, Frederick dedicated himself to maintaining popularity with the leadership of the other German states in order to preserve loyalty.

    Emperor_Friedrich_III_(cropped)(2).png

    Crown Prince Fredrick of Prussia

    In Iberia, Spain was engaged in the Third Carlist War, a war based not only upon succession but also on matters of regional identity as well as the struggle between liberal and conservative elements. When Amadeo I of Spain, the son of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy, abdicated in February of 1873, a Spanish Republic was established. Taking it upon itself to reform elements of Spain’s nation such as the abolition of slavery, the Republic nevertheless struggled to find an identity. Some wanted a Unitary government, other strongly favoured Federalism.

    In April of that year, only weeks into the Republic’s existence, Francisco Serrano, 1st Duke of la Torre, conspired with other military leaders to overthrow the Republic. Serrano and the military instigated a coup on the 23rd, seizing dictatorial power over the Republic. He hoped to imitate Napoleon III’s rule, though he was not technically a monarch. Serrano and the military sought French aid in the war, but the French were still concerned with maintaining control over Mexico. As such, Serrano’s regime was left to deal with the Carlists themselves, for the time-being at least.

    800px-Nadar's_photo_of_Serrano_(Retouched).jpg

    President Serrano of Spain

    In 1874, Napoleon’s tune changed. He agreed to intervene on the side of the Republic against the Carlists following a series of military victories by Serrano’s regime. Mexico seemed safe at the moment thanks to the treaty of Houston, and Napoleon hoped to establish a friendly regime in France’s own backyard. Plus, France’s massively modernised and reformed military could be put into effect, a show of power and a demonstration of the work Napoleon III had done. By the end of the year, the Carlist forces were defeated and the Republic seemed secure.

    In early May of 1875, Napoleon’s wedding was held. Monarchs from across Europe gathered to watch the marriage of the Emperor and Queen Victoria’s daughter.
    Samuel Clemens, an American newspaper reporter soon to be a notable figure, was in attendance. In his article covering the wedding, he remarked that he was “unsure how that first Napoleon, the man who called himself a child of the revolution, who seemed in-character so opposed to traditionalism and the old families of Europe, would feel in this moment, seeing as his descendant wed a Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. I doubt he’d be proud to see his line stand against progress.”

    Soon after their marriage, now-Empress Beatrice became pregnant with Napoleon’s child. In February of 1876, an heir was born.

    tUkZUP2Dw5rkvzundXMAfT6As_AjZLs4RDE2pGWrNirVWKYxDtG3Fo67e68Tqah0rb0Kbeb9rjhdGWQulXYA4E7JHTMMoLCdXD-lJft1Kd32vQB3wyF-ZsoPtV7DOT-s91yA_piOALW24p49UPju6EExhQCGU-KPtPIXNpfEANp4S4aUJmPbC-TORMOLgw

    Louis-Napoleon, Prince Imperial, Heir to the Bonapartes


    In his cradle slept and smiled

    Thus the child
    Who as Prince of Peace was hailed.
    Thus anigh the mother breast,
    Lulled to rest,
    Child-Napoleon down the lilied river sailed.


    -Emma Lazarus
     
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