Chapter I: The War of Southern Secession, 1861-1862.
With other projects on hiatus, I was inspired to write my own Southern victory TL detailing a Confederate victory in the American Civil War. I chose the same PoD as Turtledove, the infamous Order 191, but things diverge from there. To make certain I wouldn't inadvertently rip off Turtledove's work, I decided to make the butterflies flap their wings hard with the intent of writing something original. The alliance systems you'll be seeing ITTL will be seriously different from the ones we saw IOTL. You will still see people from OTL, but that doesn't mean I'm ignoring the butterfly effect. These historical individuals are obviously different from their OTL counterparts to a greater or lesser degree. Now, without further ado, I present the first installment:

Under the Stainless Banner

Chapter I: The War of Southern Secession, 1861-1862.

The War of Southern Secession had begun on April 12th 1861 with the attack by Confederate forces on the Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina, the first state to secede from the United States of America on December 20th 1860. The “cotton states” of Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas all followed suit in January and February 1861. There were a number of causes for the War of Southern Secession, but the central divisive issue was slavery: the decades long political controversy culminated in the question of whether slavery would be permitted to expand into the western territories, leading to more slave states, or be prevented from doing so, which many believed would place slavery on a course of ultimate extinction. Other reasons that were cited for the secession were liberty and state rights, but these were of secondary importance next to the desire to maintain the institution of slavery.

This discussion had been brought to a head by the election of Abraham Lincoln to the Presidency in 1860. He opposed slavery’s expansion into the western territories. The aforementioned seven southern slave states responded to Lincoln’s victory by seceding from the United States and, in February 1861, forming the Confederacy. The Confederacy seized US forts and other federal assets within their borders. Led by Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy asserted control over about a third of the US population in eleven of the 34 US states that then existed. Four more southern states – Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina – had seceded by May 1861, joining the Confederate States of America.

Initially the Union seemed likely to win the War of Southern Secession as it held the better cards. For one, it had a larger and much more industrialized economy and urbanized society as opposed to the largely rural and agrarian society of the south. Secondly, the Union also had a significantly larger population and therefore a much larger pool of recruits to raise an army with.

Moreover, none of the major powers at this point showed any kind of intention to extend diplomatic recognition to the Confederacy. Slavery had long since been abolished in Great Britain and France while Russian Tsar Alexander II had recently emancipated the serfs. None of the great powers sympathized with the cause that the Confederates were fighting for – i.e. protecting Southern society, of which slavery was an integral part. Besides that, to most European countries the North’s corn exports were more important than the South’s cotton exports.

So it was unsurprising that Union forces made some significant gains in the Western Theatre of the war (though in the Eastern Theatre the war was inconclusive). While the Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg was still holding out, General Ulysses S. Grant, who won victories at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in February 1862. Grant is considered the best Union commander. Union forces gained control of western Kentucky and central Tennessee in March 1862. After the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Island Number Ten, the Confederacy was bisected and the Mississippi River was opened to Union traffic to the southern border of Tennessee. New Orleans, the Confederacy’s greatest seaport and industrial centre, was lost in April that year.

The war would, however, be won in the Eastern Theatre of the war by Confederate commander Robert E. Lee, who had an ambitious plan up his sleeve to invade the north. A messenger of the Confederate States Army nearly let the orders fall into enemy hands, but recovered them before Union soldiers could get them (it is still speculated what would have happened had the Union seen these documents). The Army of Northern Virginia, which numbered about 55.000 men, followed the routes delineated in General Lee’s Special Order 191 as they invaded. Lee caught Major General George B. McClellan, the commander of the Army of the Potomac, completely by surprise and routed his army. They fought again in the Battle of the Susquehanna River and ultimately the Army of the Potomac was destroyed in the Battle of Camp Hill near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on October 1st 1862.

His massive victory over the Army of the Potomac and the capture of McClellan was not only a major boost to the confidence of the Confederacy, but potentially a turning point because Lee was in a position to march on the Union capital of Washington City. Lincoln ordered a rapid withdrawal of Union forces from the Western Theatre to form a New Army of the Potomac, which was to be commanded by Grant to defend the capital.

The South threatened to repeat the burning of Washington of 1814 (referring to the capture of the city by British forces after which they had burned down several government and military buildings). Lee’s army lacked the strength for it, but this was unknown to the Union. People in Washington City panicked as rumours spread that Lee’s army was approaching and would torch the city, forcing Lincoln to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act and use soldiers to restore order. Meanwhile, Confederate troops marched into Kentucky because the US Army left only a screening force as columns of soldiers marched east and also took parts of Missouri.

Though the Union’s military strength wasn’t broken yet and its war industry still intact, the resolve to continue fighting was no longer there as evidenced by Congress voting in favour of seeking an armistice and beginning peace negotiations. Lincoln was opposed to this, but couldn’t go against an overwhelming majority in Congress and a public opinion that was in favour of peace as well by now. He realized all too well that an armistice and peace talks would permanently enshrine the division of America into two states. Lincoln didn’t want to become the President responsible for losing the South and therefore the sixteenth President of the United States took the unprecedented step of resigning from office on October 15th 1862, after which he’d publish his memoirs in 1870 (he died in 1901, aged 92). Vice President Hannibal Hamlin succeeded him as the 17th President of the United States, remaining in office until March 4th 1865 (the office of Vice President remained vacant all this time).

President Hamlin is primarily remembered for the Harrisburg Armistice signed on Monday October 27th 1862, and the peace treaty that subsequently followed. Under the protection of a white flag, Major General Henry Halleck went to Pennsylvania with orders to meet with Lee and confer the Union’s desire for an armistice. They met in the latter’s command tent near Camp Hill and a courier was subsequently dispatched to the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Union and Confederate delegations met in the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg for the formal signing after which both sides laid down their arms. The major importance of this armistice was that it implied de facto recognition of the Confederacy’s independence by the US. The United States of America, which had become independent in 1776, had split in two.
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Watched. Glad to see you writing something, wondering how the Harrisburg terms are going to be laid out, is it implying a further negotiation or a unilateral cessation of the entire war and immediate recognition of Confederate claims in total? Or just status quo ante bellum?
Watched. Glad to see you writing something, wondering how the Harrisburg terms are going to be laid out, is it implying a further negotiation or a unilateral cessation of the entire war and immediate recognition of Confederate claims in total? Or just status quo ante bellum?

Most intresting thing will be status of border states. Would USA get Kentucky ITTL? And can USA keep West Virginia?
Chapter II: Secession Formalized, 1862-1867.
Update time.

Chapter II: Secession Formalized, 1862-1867.

One country after another extended diplomatic recognition to the Confederate States of America. Great Britain was at the helm of the British Empire and was arguably the most powerful country in the world at the time, so it made sense that the rest of Europe would follow once London established relations with Richmond. The four other great powers – Austria-Hungary, France, Prussia and Russia – did the same, followed by the smaller countries of Europe and then other countries in the world. Among them was Brazil, the only other country in the Western world next to the Confederacy where slavery hadn’t been abolished yet.

The British offered to provide a neutral venue for the peace talks in York, Upper Canada, in the First Ontario Parliament Buildings and both sides agreed. By signing The Treaty of York on December 3rd 1862 the United States of America officially recognized the independence of the seceded Southern states, formally known as the Confederate States of America. That was probably by far the treaty’s most important provision. That date, December 3rd, became a national holiday in the Confederate States of America known as Secession Day (they still also observed Independence Day on July 4th).

Besides that, though Union troops still held some slivers of Kentucky territory, the US agreed to transfer the entire state to the South rather than partitioning it (holding onto morsels of a pro-slave state seemed more trouble than it was worth). It joined the Confederacy as its twelfth member state. Missouri had competing governments, as Governor Claiborne F. Jackson had formed a government-in-exile in Arkansas after the Unionist majority in the legislature forced him out, sharpening this divided state. Missouri was formally partitioned, with the Union gaining the lion’s share: its two largest cities, Kansas City and Saint Louis, as well as the capital of Jefferson City all became part of North Missouri. South Missouri was admitted to the Confederacy as its thirteenth state and the town of Springfield became its capital with Jackson as its Governor. The Arizona Territory also fell to the Confederates, who of course permitted slavery there, while West Virginia and the New Mexico Territory were hived off to the Union.

The final order of business that the Treaty of York dealt with was the Indian Territory, which resulted in an independent Native American nation. Tribal leaders managed to set their differences aside for the moment to play the leaders of the USA and the CSA against each other. The Indian chiefs recognized that their only chance for independence was if they stopped their own internecine struggles, including those concerning a pro-US or pro-CS stance. North and South agreed to set the Indian territory aside for the Native Americans, with neither side controlling it.

After the signing of the Treaty of York, the Native American Confederation, often colloquially referred to as the Indian Nation, proclaimed its independence in January 1863. Many pro-Confederate Cherokee, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole Indians fled south, becoming refugees among the Chickasaw and Choctaws. These were referred to as the Five Civilized Tribes because they adopted some attributes of Anglo-American culture such as Christianity, centralized government, literacy, market participation, written constitutions, intermarriage with white Americans and chattel slavery practices, including the purchase of enslaved African Americans, up to a degree.

Each of the five tribes sent a representative to a ruling council that arbitrated disagreements among them and was responsible for certain common policies like foreign relations, defence, trade and currency, initially leaving the tribes largely autonomous in their internal affairs. This ruling pentarchy acquired more power due to its importance in playing the US and the CS against each other to preserve Native American independence.

The end of the War of Southern Secession affected the elections in the United States, starting with the Democrats gaining majorities in both houses of Congress during the 1862 midterms. “Peace Democrats” formed the majority of the Democratic members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Though Hamlin’s party had no majority in Congress, he nonetheless did manage to pass the Emancipation Act during his short Presidency (it lasted seventeen months) and is primarily remembered for that. The Emancipation Act freed the remaining slaves in the United States by abolishing slavery in the states that until then had still permitted it: Delaware, Maryland and North Missouri. These three states, despite their acceptance of slavery, had never joined the Confederacy.

Meanwhile, Hannibal Hamlin was not interested in the Presidency. Therefore former Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson, now in exile as his home state was no longer part of the United States, secured the nomination for the National Union Party (as the Republicans called themselves at the time). It wasn’t seen as a hindrance to his candidacy that he was a southerner because he’d always remained loyal to the Union. He made his continuing loyalty clear by selecting General Ulysses S. Grant as his running mate, the same general who argued politics had stabbed the US Army in the back: he argued that his army, still amassing in eastern Ohio at the time, could’ve protected Washington and would’ve defeated Lee’s army eventually.

Johnson and Grant argued the Union’s victory would’ve been but a matter of time had it not been for the peace doves in Congress, who in their panic hadn’t given Grant’s New Army of the Potomac time to come into play. In time, another two more years at the most according to Grant, the Union’s superiority in numbers as well as industrial capacity and their naval blockade would’ve brought the Confederacy to its knees. As to the Confederacy, Johnson and Grant were decidedly hostile to it and wanted to restart the war at some point.

The Democrats nominated Governor of New York Horatio Seymour as their Presidential candidate and his running mate became Ohio congressman George H. Pendleton and both of them were Peace Democrats, the latter even more so than the former. Seymour and Pendleton argued if Lincoln hadn’t pressed the matter so much, the war that ripped the country apart and cost countless lives would’ve been prevented altogether. They believed the institution of slavery would’ve gone extinct eventually as civilized Christian people would come to view the abolitionist stance to be the morally right one. As far as relations with the Confederacy were concerned, they believed in normalization rather than continued militarization. The 1864 US Presidential Election was a Democratic landslide and Seymour became the next President.

The Seymour Administration would eventually see the ratification of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth and Sixteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment gave citizenship to former slaves living in the US citizenship while the Fifteenth prohibited the federal government and all states remaining within the US from denying or abridging a citizen’s right to vote based “on account of race, colour or previous condition of servitude”. Corresponding corollary legislation would be passed to grant citizenship to slaves managing to escape from Confederate territory. The Sixteenth Amendment finally established that states did not have the right to secede from the Union anymore.

Besides that, the Seymour Presidency was also remembered for the 1867 Alaska Purchase, in which the United States bought Alaska for $7.2 million (about $151 million in modern terms). It was seen as a folly at the time: while seemingly prestigious because the United States now gained an area two-and-a-half times the size of France (something which some saw as a compensation for the loss of the South) many felt the administration had bought an underdeveloped and underpopulated icebox. This scepticism would persist for another three decades until the 1896-’99 Klondike Gold Rush.

In the now independent and internationally recognized Confederate States of America Presidential elections were organized as well. Jefferson F. Davis had officially been inaugurated as President of the Confederate States on February 22nd 1862, after acting as Provisional President for about a year. The Confederate Constitution allowed a President to serve just a single six year term, which meant elections had to take place in 1867.
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Sees Onkel Willie TL...

....Immediate WATCHED...

In the now independent and internationally recognized Confederate States of America Presidential elections were organized as well. Jefferson F. Davis had officially been inaugurated as President of the Confederate States on February 22nd 1862, after acting as Provisional President for about a year. The Confederate Constitution allowed a President to serve just a single six year term, which meant elections had to take place in 1868.

Well, Wait, why?

Even taking into account the extra 10 months as a Provisional President - February 1862-February 1868 would be 6 years. Why not have end election at the end of 1867?
Chapter III: Confederate Elections, the Second Mexican Empire and the Franco-Prussian War, 1867-1877.
The butterflies flap their wings in Mexico and Spain in this next update.

Chapter III: Confederate Elections, the Second Mexican Empire and the Franco-Prussian War, 1867-1877.

Initially organized political parties had deliberately not been formed during the civil war, but after 1862 two main ones arose: the Southern Democrats headed by departing President Davis reorganized into the Democratic Party (Confederate) while its main competitor was the State Rights Party founded by South Carolina Governor Milledge Luke Bonham. The Democratic Party mostly aligned with Davis’s ideas about a strict constructionist understanding of the Constitution concerning slavery and other subjects: he argued that states were sovereign, that the powers of the confederal government were granted by those states, and that protective tariffs ought to remain forbidden as proscribed by the Constitution, making the Democrats proponents of free trade. As a country that had undergone little industrialization and imported machinery and tools from countries that had, they argued protectionism was no more than a “tax on the little man”. Tariffs contributing to provide domestic revenue were an exception to this.

The State Rights Party went further by declaring its opposition to “Presidential or Congressional tyranny”. They wanted to reduce the power of Congress and the President to a handful of areas like foreign policy and defence, effectively turning the Confederacy into a customs union and military alliance of thirteen independent republics. In other words they opposed the “permanent federal character” mentioned in the new country’s Constitution and it follows that they opposed the Presidential “line item veto” (enabling the President to reject certain provisions of a bill, but not the entire piece of legislation). In terms of economic policy the two parties were similar, adhering to laissez-faire classical liberal policies, though the State Rights Party took it further by saying it should be left up to state governments rather than Congress. Their stance on Confederacy-wide tariffs was ambiguous.

Davis believed this would weaken the Confederacy, resulting in it breaking apart, and he argued the US could benefit from that. He argued that the US could manipulate differences between states to break up the country, allowing the North to gradually reabsorb the secessionist South. That was not why so many veterans from the Confederate Army had fought.

What they didn’t oppose the Democrats on was slavery: like their counterparts they believed slavery should continue to exist, that the government should protect the right to own slaves and that slavery required no justification as religion and history sanctioned it and because African Americans were destined for bondage, making slavery a civilizing blessing to them that brough social and economic good to everyone. As far as slavery was concerned there was no distinction between the two parties.

They couldn’t even have done much to slavery in Congress anyhow as the Confederate Constitution, written at the Montgomery Convention in Alabama, specifically protected it. That made the Confederate Constitution different from its US counterpart (large parts of which it quoted ad verbatim, as well as adopting the first twelve amendments). So only an amendment to the Confederate Constitution could change the fate of the slaves and the political will for that didn’t exist. This meant that for the foreseeable future slaves worked the fields of the cotton, tobacco and sugarcane plantations, that the crack of the whip would be heard and that female slaves suffered under the sexual desires of their masters.

The elections held in November 1867 led to the Democratic candidate being elected with a comfortable majority: former Vice President Alexander H. Stephens succeeded Davis and was inaugurated in March 1868. There were thirteen states and 114 Electoral Votes to be won and Stephens won 56.2% of the popular vote, carried eight states, and obtained 70 electoral votes. Bonham won only 42.5% of the vote, carried five states and gained 44 electoral votes.

Elections in the Confederacy were hardly democratic, even by the standards of those days. By then several elections for the Confederate House of Representatives and for the Senate had already taken place. The House was re-elected every two years based on the first-past-the-post system, starting in 1863, and roughly one third of the 26 Senators were up for renewal every two years after a six-year term (Senate elections therefore took place in nine states the same year as the 1867 Presidential elections).

Like those elections, the same disenfranchising restrictions remained in place for the 1867 Confederate States Presidential elections. Slaves, who constituted 39% of the population, couldn’t vote of course and measures like a poll tax and a literacy test also prevented the masses of poorer whites and the handful of free coloured people (numbering less than 1.5% of the total population) from voting. Moreover, none of the thirteen states of the Confederacy at the time had female suffrage. The right to vote, in other words, was de facto largely limited to the pseudo-aristocratic and predominantly white male elite of plantation owning slaveholders that constituted merely 6% of the population.

President Stephens, as the second President of the Confederate States of America, largely continued the policies of his predecessor. Nothing changed about the slave based plantation economy. The country supplied two-thirds of the world's cotton, which was in high demand for textiles, along with tobacco, sugar, and naval stores (such as turpentine). These raw materials were exported to factories in Europe and the Northeast. Planters reinvested their profits in more slaves and fresh land, as cotton and tobacco depleted the soil. There was little manufacturing or mining and poorer whites generally lived from subsistence farming, with 85% of the population living on family farms that produced hogs, cattle and grains next to the cash crops on the plantations.

Only two significant pieces of economic legislation were passed by Congress in Richmond, both concerning the railroad. One was the Railroad Gauge Uniformization Act, which required railroad companies across the country to uniformize to one gauge, the standard gauge of 1435 mm used by most countries in the world, to address the country’s disjointed railway network. The railways complemented the riverine transportation network of the country.

The second bill was the “Railroad Expansion Act” which cut taxes on railroad companies and allowed states to subsidize strategically important bridges and sections of track. The reason was that the railroad network also served the dual purpose of enabling quick transport of troops and equipment to areas under attack, which was important in case the United States ever reignited the War of Southern Secession. To bolster its defences, the Confederacy began construction on a series of modern forts, all linked to the railways. One series of forts was built along the Mississippi River so the US Army would be halted before it could split the Confederacy in two, like it had during the War of Southern Secession (these forts were complemented by a force of heavily armed and armoured river monitors patrolling the country’s rivers). A second belt of forts was built in Kentucky and Virginia, defending the northern border.

Mexico, where a French-sponsored monarchy was struggling to stay in power, would become the first real foreign adventure of the Confederacy. Under the guise of an intervention to collect debts, French Emperor Napoleon III had established the Second Mexican Empire in conjunction with Mexican conservatives, clergy and nobility in 1864. Austrian Archduke Maximilian and his wife Charlotte of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha were installed as Emperor and Empress (Maximilian was the younger brother of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria-Hungary). A son named Maximilian and a second son named Francis were born in in 1868 and 1869 respectively.

The victory of the Confederacy in the War of Southern Secession was a blessing to Napoleon III’s project, as it meant there would be no strong, unified United States threatening to intervene. As a result, the French Army stayed and enforced the rule of the Emperor, who proved to be much more liberal. He upheld the reforms codified in the 1857 Constitution, granted a political amnesty to liberals wishing to join the Empire, decreed freedom of worship against the wishes of the Catholic Church, guaranteed equality before the law, defended Native rights and issued eight volumes of laws covering all aspects of government, including forest management, railroads, roads, canals, postal services, telegraphs, mining, and immigration. The French themselves supported this moderate approach as they wanted a broad support base for the Mexican monarchy, much to the frustration of the conservatives, the nobility and the Church.

Emperor Maximilian I attempted to reign as an enlightened despot, but his liberalism alienated him from his conservative supporters while at the same time he wasn’t liberal enough for Mexican liberals. The Second Mexican Empire subsequently only controlled most of the southern half of the country even with continued French backing and Confederate diplomatic recognition from 1866 onward (the US, on the other hand, continued to solely recognize the republican government).

Everything changed for Emperor Napoleon III and therefore also for the Second Mexican Empire in 1870. Wanting to reassert the dominance of France in continental Europe, Napoleon III wanted to stop the rise of Prussia that threatened this dominance increasingly after the Prussian Victory in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 (the North German Confederation was formed under Prussia’s aegis after that). The French wanted the Saarland and Luxembourg to redress the balance, but Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck refused this. Prussia began to feel a war against France was inevitable.

The direct cause of the war that began in 1870 was the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen to the throne of Spain. Although Spain had long since ceased to be a great power, France feared encirclement and exerted diplomatic pressure to have his Hohenzollern prince withdraw (he belonged to a Catholic branch related to the Protestant dynasty ruling in Berlin). Bismarck refused and thereby goaded the French into a war. France declared war on July 16th 1870 while the coronation of Leopoldo I went ahead.

King Leopoldo I began to spend much of his time learning Spanish as he prepared to travel to Madrid to accept his new crown. In the years to come German experts in legal and state affairs helped to reorganize the state bureaucracy to Prussian levels of efficiency, reducing corruption and increasing state revenue in the process. Spanish civil and legal law would come to resemble Germany’s. Increased government revenue was spent on improving the country’s railroad infrastructure while investments were undertaken in the country’s copper mines and Spain became the second largest producer of this metal, which plays a large role in the electronics industry. The Spanish Army and Navy received instruction from the German military mission to Madrid. All the while Leopoldo I tried to balance the interests and wishes of monarchists, conservatives, liberals, radicals and republicans by being moderately conservatively liberal. He made sure to cultivate positive ties with educated liberal urban elites, conservative aristocratic landed magnates and the Catholic Church alike.

In the meantime, a series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, resulted in the capture of the French Emperor and the decisive defeat of the army of the Second Empire; a Government of National Defence was formed in Paris on September 4th and continued the war for another five months. German forces fought and defeated new French armies in northern France, then besieged Paris for over four months before it fell on January 28th 1871, effectively ending the war. In the waning days of the war, with German victory all but assured, the German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian King Wilhelm I and Chancellor Bismarck in the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles and annexed Alsace-Lorraine afterward, sowing the seeds of revanchism but also encircling France

Emperor Maximilian I was left vulnerable when French troops were withdrawn to fight in Europe, with the last ones leaving after the Third Republic turned out to have no interest in continuing Napoleon III’s plan to establish Mexico as a puppet state. Given the ongoing armed opposition to his rule and the fact that he only controlled half the country, Maximilian required outside assistance and got it from the Confederate States of America. This support came at a price: he sold the provinces of Chihuahua, Sonora, Arizona and California for $4 million to the Confederacy, providing it with a Pacific coast (the Mexican province of Arizona was added to the Arizona Territory). José Fernando Ramírez, acting as the Emperor’s Special Envoy, signed the agreement in Richmond.

After the Mexican Purchase was a done deal, an army of 30.000 battle hardened Confederate veterans crossed the Rio Grande River into Mexico under the command of Major General Custis Lee, the son of the late Robert E. Lee. In addition to this, Maximilian used the $4 million now lining his pockets to improve his army: he bought modern equipment such as Dreyse needle guns from Germany and hired military experts to advise his commanders. One of them was a German Brigadier General who had served into the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars named Count Alfred von Schlieffen.

By 1874, the last vestiges of the republican government had been taken and President Benito Juárez had to be smuggled out of the country by boat to go into exile in the United States. Being quite liberal himself, Maximilian was willing to grant another amnesty to liberals willing to renounce Juárez and defect to the Imperial government that now controlled the entire country, co-opting them as well as moderate conservatives. With his rule now secure, Maximilian continued with liberal reforms such as the granting of suffrage to men over 18 years of age and plans to modernize the country’s infrastructure with more railroads.

Mexico’s most important ally at the moment was the Confederacy and Maximilian therefore didn’t voice any objections to slavery despite being appalled by it, instead seeking to establish friendly relations with other countries. France, with the Second Empire being replaced by the Third Republic, was unresponsive to Mexican attempts to re-establish friendly relations. Alternatives had to be pursued.

As there was a Habsburg on the throne, it was obvious that Mexico’s great power patrons should be Austria-Hungary and its allies from the League of the Three Emperors: Germany and Russia. Russia was a bit reluctant as it was also friendly to the United States, but German Chancellor Bismarck was willing to incorporate Mexico into his foreign policy aimed at keeping France isolated. A pro-German Mexico meant France had to station more forces in the French West Indies and French Guyana. Mexico thusly became part of Bismarck’s carefully woven web to keep France isolated.
Emperor Maximilian I was left vulnerable when French troops were withdrawn to fight in Europe, with the last ones leaving after the Third Republic turned out to have no interest in continuing Napoleon III’s plan to establish Mexico as a puppet state.
This really throws a monkey wrench on the TL-191 scenario. Note that IOTL the French Republicans (and the Orleanists) supported the Union in ACW and when they gained power they reconciled with the US. Reconciliation with the US is extremely likely especially when we have a Mexico-Confederate-Germany web.
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This really throws a monkey wrench on the TL-191 scenario. Note that IOTL the French Republicans (and the Orleanists) supported the Union in ACW and when they gained power they reconciled with the US. Reconciliation with the US is extremely likely especially when we have a Mexico-Confederate-Germany web.
Im more confused why the Germans would support the Confederacy when the Prussians were pro-Union during the Civil War, and also fighting to unify all of the various German kingdoms.
Plus with a German on the Spanish throne, its unlikely they would ally themselves with the Confedercy anyway given that they have effectively surrounded the France, and that France is really effectively pro-COnfederate.

Emperor Maximilian I was left vulnerable when French troops were withdrawn to fight in Europe, with the last ones leaving after the Third Republic turned out to have no interest in continuing Napoleon III’s plan to establish Mexico as a puppet state. Given the ongoing armed opposition to his rule and the fact that he only controlled half the country, Maximilian required outside assistance and got it from the Confederate States of America. This support came at a price: he sold the provinces of Chihuahua, Sonora, Arizona and California for $4 million to the Confederacy, providing it with a Pacific coast (the Mexican province of Arizona was added to the Arizona Territory). José Fernando Ramírez, acting as the Emperor’s Special Envoy, signed the agreement in Richmond.

After the Mexican Purchase was a done deal, an army of 30.000 battle hardened Confederate veterans crossed the Rio Grande River into Mexico under the command of Major General Custis Lee, the son of the late Robert E. Lee. In addition to this, Maximilian used the $4 million now lining his pockets to improve his army: he bought modern equipment such as Dreyse needle guns from Germany and hired military experts to advise his commanders. One of them was a German Brigadier General who had served into the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars named Count Alfred von Schlieffen.

Support or not, selling those provinces is still quite a poisoned chalice, and I realistically can't see the second Empire lasting that long. Its effectively a puppet governemnt...
This really throws a monkey wrench on the TL-191 scenario. Note that IOTL the French Republicans (and the Orleanists) supported the Union in ACW and when they gained power they reconciled with the US. Reconciliation with the US is extremely likely especially when we have a Mexico-Confederate-Germany web.
Plus Britain will also be on the side of the USA in a potential Great War.
Chapter IV: Confederate Expansion, the Russo-Turkish War and the Congress of Berlin, 1877-1881.
Plus with a German on the Spanish throne, its unlikely they would ally themselves with the Confedercy anyway given that they have effectively surrounded the France, and that France is really effectively pro-COnfederate.

The Second Empire was pro-Confederate, but the Third Republic that came after it wouldn't have been IMHO. So, if France is pro-Union, then it makes sense for Germany to warm up to the Confederacy.

Anyhow, I thought I'd post another update today for y'all, so here goes:

Chapter IV: Confederate Expansion, the Russo-Turkish War and the Congress of Berlin, 1877-1881.

In the meantime, the Confederacy pursued expansion into the Caribbean Sea. Richmond saw those waters as its “Mare Nostrum” (Latin for “our sea”). Similar to the now defunct Monroe Doctrine the Confederate Longstreet Doctrine considered foreign interventions in the political affairs of the region as potentially hostile. To bolster its position, the Confederacy’s foreign policy in the Caribbean was assertive to say the least, while critics denounced it as “Confederate imperialism”.

Richmond’s eye soon fell on the island of Cuba, barely 140 kilometres off the southern tip of Florida. The pro-German government under King Leopold I of Spain was cash strapped and offered to sell Cuba to the Confederacy, with which it had friendly relations as well. Both sides haggled until a price of $3 million had been settled and President James Longstreet, who’d been inaugurated in 1874 after winning the 1873 Confederate Presidential Election, signed the agreement in the presence of a Spanish delegation in Jacksonville, Florida in 1878. Slavery had never been abolished in Cuba and so slaves continued to work on the sugarcane plantations of the so-called Cuba Territory, or wound up on slave markets across the sea.

Longstreet had been Secretary of State under President Stephens after retiring from active military service and had thrown his hat into the ring for the Democratic nomination. As Secretary of State he had assigned former President Jefferson F. Davis to the prestigious post of Ambassador to the United Kingdom. In line with the doctrine he’d formulated and which was named after him, he sought to strengthen the Confederacy’s presence in the Caribbean.

A few years later, in 1879, Confederate territory grew further by the Annexation of Santo Domingo, which was initiated by President Longstreet. Former President Stephens headed a delegation that met with Santo Domingo’s President Buenaventura Báez, taking full advantage of the country’s corruption, political instability and history of revolution. Báez had held a plebiscite with the rather improbable result of fourteen people voting against and ten thousand voting in favour of annexation. Báez had been promised the mixed and white majority would be spared from slavery and believed Santo Domingo had a greater chance of survival as a protectorate and could sell more goods to the CS than to European markets. Confederate Congress ratified the annexation treaty, which promised Santo Domingo statehood in the future. Báez remained in power, albeit as Governor of the Santo Domingo Territory rather than President, and received a $500.000 bribe.

The Confederate economy had recovered quickly after the War of Southern Secession, though largely remained a plantation economy based on the export of cotton, tobacco, sugar, peanuts and other crops (the upside of having a less developed agrarian economy was that the Panic of 1873 and the subsequent depression hit less hard). Tax and tariff revenues were sufficient to fund a Confederate counterpart to the US First Transcontinental Railroad, completed in 1869 after six years of construction with President Horatio Seymour ceremonially driving the “Last Spike” into the ground at Promontory Summit, Utah. Under President Stephens the Confederal government purchased large swathes of land in preparation of a westward bound railroad with its point of origin in New Orleans, where it was connected to the country’s national railroad network. Construction had begun in 1875.

The Confederate Transcontinental was completed during the latter days of the Presidency of James Longstreet in 1880. The line began in New Orleans, where it was connected to the country’s railroad network, and ran through Houston, Austin, El Paso and Tucson and then turned south and ran all the way to the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. At the end of the railroad was a hamlet named Cabo San Lucas which had less than one hundred inhabitants. The Confederate admiralty had selected this place as the location for a naval station on the Pacific. Cabo San Lucas subsequently grew from a tiny settlement and had become a town inhabited by 7.000 people by the end of Longstreet’s Presidency in 1880. The Confederate States Navy had a squadron of ironclad warships, frigates and sloops based here around that time. As to the Confederate Army, after the draft had been ended in 1863, it was reintroduced under Longstreet in 1880 after the US had done the same. Confederate men aged 18 to 30 were required to register for eighteen months of military service.

In the United States, the economy had quickly bounced back after the end of the war and President Horatio Seymour had proven popular enough to win re-election, after which Vice President Pendleton duplicated that success by securing the Democratic nomination and the victory in the 1872 US Presidential Elections. By the end of his first term it would mean the White House had been under the control of the Democrats for twelve years. Some would come to believe third terms were cursed.

George H. Pendleton, the 19th President of the United States and the third post-Secession President, is not very well remembered. Having suffered a blow in its national self-confidence, the United States under Seymour and even more so under Pendleton accelerated the incorporation of the Midwest, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest and the West Coast. This meant the accelerated subjugation of previously autonomous tribes like the Cheyenne, Arapaho, Sioux, Comanche, Lakota and Kiowa peoples. Later historians have called the actions of the United States Army as a colonial war and there’s a fierce debate about whether or not US actions can be classified as a genocide. The end result is that many were forced into reservations while others migrated to the Indian Nation. These events didn’t gain widespread attention at the time.

No, the issue that led to the Republicans regaining the White House during the 1876 elections was the state of the economy, as the Panic of 1873 triggered an economic depression in North America and Europe. Former General Ulysses S. Grant had consistently maintained that politicians had cost the Union its victory in the War of Southern Secession and in a jingoist campaign gained enough support to secure the Republican nomination, with the endorsement of former President Abraham Lincoln.

He won the 1876 US Presidential Elections handily and assumed a much more hostile tone towards the Confederacy and increased investment into the now largely demobilized US Army. He blamed part of the severity of the economic crisis, which would linger into 1879, on the loss of the South as he pointed out its economy was less affected (he forgot to mention that that was because the Confederacy’s economy was largely agrarian and much less developed than the industrialized Union). As unemployment reached 25% in some parts of the country, the Grant Administration controversially introduced the Selective Service Act of 1878. This was the first peacetime draft in the country’s existence, requiring all men of age 18 to 26 to register for twelve months of military service. Introduced as a measure against unemployment, the primary motivation was to give the US Army a large pool of reservists to call into active service in the event of war. Grant was re-elected in 1880 and aspired to a third term, but in the autumn of 1884 he was diagnosed with throat cancer and died in July 1885.

In the meantime, a war erupted in 1877 on the other side of the Atlantic as Russia sought to redress the result of the Crimean War over twenty years earlier: though suffering minimal territorial losses, Russia had been forced to destroy its Black Sea Fleet and Sevastopol fortifications, resulting in damaged international prestige and a Russian desire for revenge. The Paris Peace Treaty upheld Ottoman territorial integrity, but Prussia’s defeat of France and the proclamation of the German Empire changed the balance of power. Russia revived its Black Sea Fleet not long thereafter. In the meantime the Ottoman Empire had continued to decline. The financial strain on the treasury forced the Ottoman government to take a series of foreign loans at such steep interest rates that, despite all the fiscal reforms that followed, pushed it into unpayable debts and economic difficulties. This was exacerbated by a refugee crisis when Russia expelled 600.000 Circassians who subsequently sought the protection of the Sultan.

The Balkan Crisis of 1875-1876 brought Europe to the brink of war. Ottoman control over the Balkans weakened, reforms imposed by Europe helped Christians little whilst aggravating Muslims, Austria-Hungary sought to reinvigorate its centuries long policy of expanding at the Porte’s expense, the de facto independent principalities of Serbia and Montenegro sought to expand with Russian encouragement, while the Anatolian heartland of the Ottoman Empire experienced both droughts and floods and subsequent famines. There were uprisings in Albania, Herzegovina and Bulgaria and particularly in the latter case there were atrocities that particularly Russia responded to strongly. Serbia and Montenegro subsequently declared war on the Sublime Porte, despite nominally being principalities under Ottoman suzerainty.

Tsar of Russia Alexander II, assured of benevolent Austro-Hungarian neutrality, intervened in the spring of 1877. Russia was able to send 300.000 men into the Balkans and despite all the troubles plaguing the Russian Army, like obsolete equipment, found ways to win. The Ottoman garrison in the Balkans numbered 200.000 men, but half of those were assigned to fortified garrisons, leaving them with only 100.000 men that were free to engage the Russians. They resorted to a passive defence, leaving the strategic initiative to the Russians whilst make some poor assumptions about Russian intentions (in the meantime, Romania had proclaimed its independence).

In June, Russian troops crossed the Danube and attacked the crossroads town of Plevna, but lacked the troops to take it and was forced to lay siege until December. Serbia declared war and Russia in the meantime captured Stara Planina Mountain and the Shipka Pass, opening up the road for a quick advance through Plovdiv and Adrianople to Constantinople. Despite agreeing to a truce under British pressure on January 31st 1878, the Russian advance on Constantinople only stopped after a British fleet appeared there.

Neither the US nor the Confederacy had any interest in this war, but their military observers had keenly watched how one of the six great powers waged war. Similarly, they had no role in the diplomatic negotiations that followed. Though President Grant had magnanimously proposed mediation to achieve a gentlemanly agreement, he didn’t have the same aura of a senior statesman and the clout that German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had. All six great powers politely declined President Grant’s offer.

From June to July 1878 the Congress of Berlin was held which, besides the victorious Russians, was also attended by delegations from the other five great powers: Great Britain, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary and Italy. The previously signed Treaty of San Stefano had established a radically enlarged Bulgaria, which included the plain between the Danube and the Balkan Mountains, the region of Sofia, Pirot and Vranje in the Morava Valley, Northern Thrace, Western Thrace and virtually all of Macedonia. This carried the potential of Russia establishing naval bases in the Mediterranean Sea and several of the great powers disliked that. That was why the Congress of Berlin was held during which Bismarck tried to balance the interests of Britain, Russia and Austria-Hungary.

During the Congress of Berlin, Bismarck had an epiphany. Russia and Austria-Hungary were both members of the League of the Three Emperors alongside Germany, and of its two allies Russia was the largest and strongest with a gleaming military victory under its belt. Bismarck started to feel that he needed to continue favouring his two allies to ensure the continued diplomatic isolation of France, choosing Russia as his top priority. He offered Russian Chancellor Alexander Gorchakov German support for Greater Bulgaria. He offered the Habsburgs territorial expansion too, setting the stage for a possible division into spheres of influence of the Balkans. Meanwhile, if the Italians began making overtures to France, Bismarck reasoned Rome could be placated easily enough with a sphere of influence in the Balkans too.

That left Great Britain, where Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s pro-Ottoman stance was disliked because of Ottoman atrocities in Bulgaria. Moreover, the mood amongst British elites still leaned towards maintaining the British Empire’s Splendid Isolation as long as the balance of power wasn’t overturned. Bismarck, who played into the idea of preserving the balance of power by cultivating his neutral arbiter image, had managed to glean from Disraeli that the British required a possession in the Eastern Mediterranean to base ships and troops to counterbalance the increased Russian sphere of influence. Besides that, Britain wanted some sort of guarantee that Russian ships wouldn’t be based in the Mediterranean on the coast of this Greater Bulgaria.

Bismarck offered Disraeli Cyprus and an arrangement limiting the access of warships to the Bosporus. The Iron Chancellor knew enough about London’s priorities to cobble together an acceptable compromise, knowing British public opinion balked at the notion of a major continental war against Russia and potentially also Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy if things really escalated

Bismarck even threw Paris a bone by negotiating a French protectorate over the Dodecanese Islands. This wasn’t because he’d become a Francophile overnight, but because he wanted to sow division between France, Britain and Italy over influence in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea by giving the French a strongpoint there. He knew France had ambitions towards Palestine and Egypt just like Britain. Great Britain fell for Bismarck’s charade as its diplomats believed the post-Napoleonic “Concert of Europe” could be re-established after Germany’s ostensibly reconciliatory gesture towards France.

The result of the 1878 Treaty of Berlin was that the Sublime Porte’s European territories were carved up like a Thanksgiving turkey without Sultan Abdul Hamid II so much as being consulted. Five of the six great powers were seemingly satisfied by annexations of territories at the expense of the Ottoman Empire (only Germany saw no territorial changes). Only Eastern Thrace and Thessaloniki remained as Ottoman toeholds on the European continent and as a result it still controlled the Turkish Straits and therefore also Constantinople.

As to the Turkish Straits, the Berlin Convention dictated that warships would have to notify the Ottoman authorities before passage who in turn would notify the parties of the convention. In wartime, if the Ottomans were not involved in the conflict, warships of the nations at war may not pass through the Straits, except when returning to their base. When at war, the Porte could decide on the Straits as it saw fit. The Russian Black Sea Fleet was bottled up in the Black Sea this way. The flipside of the coin was that in the event of war between Russia and a third power it would become a Russian lake as enemy warships would not be permitted to enter.

Bulgaria, though nominally still loyal to the Sultan, was de facto independent and annexed Northern Thrace, Western Thrace and most of Macedonia and thusly became the largest and strongest of the Balkan powers. It more than doubled in size overnight. Being a Russian ally, Bulgaria could act to serve Russia’s agenda in the Mediterranean. Russia itself annexed Batumi and Kars in the Caucasus. Austria-Hungary was allowed to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Sanjak of Novi Pazar in return for agreeing to Greater Bulgaria. This prevented a territorial link between Serbia and its Montenegrin ally. Romania became independent and gained Northern Dobruja, but had to cede Bessarabia to Russia. The final piece of Ottoman territory in Europe west of Thrace was Albania: it became an autonomous principality under nominal Ottoman suzerainty, but it de facto fell under Italian influence. As everybody had gotten a piece of the pie, it seemed this compromise satisfied everyone, but outward appearances were deceiving. The modus vivendi post-Berlin wouldn’t last forever.
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Hi, I would think the cotton eating boll weevil would enter the southern USA and CSA earlier then in otl due to more movement of people. Should be a great idea to to explore if you want.
Hi, I would think the cotton eating boll weevil would enter the southern USA and CSA earlier then in otl due to more movement of people. Should be a great idea to to explore if you want.

This is indeed intresting idea. Even not earlier than in OTL these pests would still appear. That would make huge impact to Confederaty economy and society. Since CSA has very dependent on cotton and high numbers if not majority slaves are working at cotton fields this would shake society deeply.
Chapter V: The End of Slavery and the Shadows of Berlin, 1881-1892.
Update time!

Chapter V: The End of Slavery and the Shadows of Berlin, 1881-1892.

In the United States, Grant didn’t pursue a third term as he was diagnosed with throat cancer a few months before the elections and instead he endorsed his Vice President and former Ohio Governor Rutherford B. Hayes. Thanks to the sympathy vote due to Grant’s illness, Hayes handily won the 1884 US Presidential Elections. Hayes’s administration was influenced by his belief in meritocratic government and in equal treatment without regard to wealth, social standing, or race. He enacted modest civil service reforms based on these beliefs, appointing civil servants based on merit rather than political allegiance. Besides that, Hayes introduced protectionist tariffs favouring American industrialists. Hayes and his wife Lucy were also known for their temperance, banning alcohol from the White House as he was dismayed at drunken behaviour at receptions hosted by ambassadors around Washington. This strengthened his support among Protestant ministers and convinced prohibitionists to vote Republican.

In the 1886, a large number of pietistic Protestants favouring a national ban on alcohol ran for a seat in the House of Representatives or the Senate during the midterm elections held that year. They aimed to heal what they saw as an ill society beset by alcohol-related problems such as alcoholism, family violence, and saloon-based political corruption. These prohibitionists presented it as a battle for public morals and health. They even said the loss of the South was a punishment from God for immorality. Opponents of alcohol bans, the liquor industry in particular, mobilized Roman Catholics as well as Lutherans and this led the Irish, Italians and Germans to overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

The fact that prohibition became such a divisive issue that it really interfered with Hayes’s campaign for re-election. He wasn’t even a prohibitionist himself and would rather have exalted his civil service reforms and defend the tariffs enacted by his administration that prevented foreign imports from outcompeting the production of American businesses, thus ensuring that jobs stayed in America. The opponents of the prohibitionists saw them as finger waving moralists who wanted to shove their beliefs down everybody’s throats and tell people what they could and could not do in their own home.

Though Democratic nominee Grover Cleveland was opposed to high tariffs for unfairly hurting consumers, he tactically switched his campaign to the topic of “liberty” but also “working class rights”. The 1888 US Presidential Election is often seen as the juncture during which the Democrats began to transition from a pro-business to a working class and lower middle class party even though Cleveland himself belonged to the pro-business Bourbon Democrats. He won the 1888 US Presidential Elections and this seemed to confirm the “third term curse” had struck again, this time landing on the Republicans (the curse is widely believed superstition that something bad happened to whichever party hung on to the White House for longer than eight years).

Cleveland was re-elected in 1892, but the following year the Panic of 1893 hit: an economic depression that was to last until 1897. Fears of the “third term curse” was most likely why Cleveland declined to run for another term himself in 1896. William Jennings Bryan became the Democratic nominee and he espoused monetary reform whilst attacking business leaders for laying people off rather than giving up some of their wealth. Religious as he was, Bryan often referred to the biblical story about Jesus casting the usurers from the temple. He presented himself as a pious man as well as a working class champion and his moderately left-wing economic positions were popular among working class and lower middle class votes. He won in 1896 despite the ongoing depression, prompting the Bourbon Democrats to break away and be absorbed by the Republicans. He seemed to break the “third term curse” by narrowly winning in 1900. While the Republicans wept up much of the Midwest and West coast, Northeastern states like Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York among others went Democratic.

In the meantime, in 1879, the third Confederate Presidential Elections had been held as James Longstreet’s six year term was to end the following year. Former General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson” ran as a candidate for the State Rights Party and won, making him the first non-Democratic President of the Confederacy. At this point the Democrats and the State Rights Party were barely distinguishable, with the latter being only slightly more conservative than the former. What they shared in common was that neither was abolitionist, meaning that nothing would change for the slave population no matter who won. Stonewall Jackson was inaugurated in March 1880 and his term (1880-1886) was uneventful. Jackson’s successor Joseph “Fighting Joe” Wheeler was a former Confederate General as well, making him the third War of Southern Secession commander to seek the highest office of the country. He ran as the State Rights Candidate, winning the 1885 Confederate Presidential Election.

It came as a shock to the Wheeler Administration that Brazil abolished slavery nationwide in 1888. It had been a long time coming though: through manumission, the act of freeing slaves by their enslavers, meant that three quarters of the blacks and mulattoes in Brazil were free at this point. By then Brazil had imported an estimated four million slaves, 40% of all slaves shipped to the Americas. A coup d’état ended the Brazilian monarchy, not because of slavery but because of the apathy of Emperor Pedro II and his lack of male heirs. Brazil’s elites didn’t consider a female monarch married to a foreigner acceptable and the country became a republic as a result of a subsequent coup d’état.

Pressure on the Confederate States of America to do the same mounted, less than thirty years after a war fought to preserve the institution of slavery. European diplomacy exerted itself to have slavery abolished in the last Western country where it still existed. These efforts were in turn motivated by a European public opinion increasingly distasteful of maintaining diplomatic relations and continuing to trade with the Confederacy because it upheld slavery and defended it so staunchly.

It got to the point that President Wheeler was informed of rumours that Great Britain was considering withdrawing its ambassador after its repeated anti-slavery statements had fallen on deaf ears. The British Empire was the most powerful and foremost global power, and President Wheeler feared other major powers like Germany and France would follow Britain’s example if it indeed withdrew its diplomatic representation. Therefore, in 1892, Congress in Richmond passed a constitutional amendment to finally abolish slavery, three decades after the end of the War of Southern Secession. The alternative would be becoming a pariah state. If slaves thought there conditions would improve, however, their illusions were shattered quickly.

Beginning during the Wheeler Administration and continuing during the Lee Administration, the so-called “Black Codes” were passed in one Confederate state after the other. Former officer Custis Lee, the son of General Robert E. Lee, won the 1891 Confederate Presidential Elections as a Democrat and became the first post-slavery President. The Black Codes placed restrictions on interracial marriage, concubinage and miscegenation, and restricted the rights of African Americans to own property, conduct business, buy and lease land and move freely through public spaces.

Unemployment, failure to pay a certain tax or noncompliance with other laws were construed as vagrancy, an arrestable offence. The new vagrancy laws created a system that established incentives to arrest black men, as convicts were supplied to local governments and planters as free workers. The planters or other supervisors were responsible for their board and food, and black convicts were kept in miserable conditions. Furthermore, African Americans couldn’t bear arms and couldn’t vote. The severance of the property relationship between former owner and former slave in some ways even worsened the situation for many African Americans. Property owners were disincentivized to ensure the relative health and survival of their workers.

There were plenty of unemployed African Americans in the 1890s after the end of slavery, mainly thanks to an infestation of a new plague that had migrated north from Mexico: the boll weevil, a species of beetle that feeds on cotton buds and flowers. During that decade they spread to all Confederate states and seriously affected the plantation based economy, which relied heavily on cotton. A number of plantation owners solved the issue by switching to different crops like sugarcane and tobacco, but that was just a patch.

Fortunately for the Confederacy, by the 1880s it began experiencing its own industrial revolution. The previously tiny farming village of Elyton [1], Alabama, began growing and annexed more and more of its smaller neighbouring towns. The area had deposits of coal as well as iron ore. It evolved into an industrial and railroad transportation centre with a focus on mining, iron and steel industry, and railroading. Elyton became known as the “the Pittsburgh of the South”. The city grew into a place where cheap African American workers, most of them former slaves, worked in steel mills and blast furnaces alongside poor whites. A smaller but still important industrial area emerged in Virginia, where coal threatened to displace tobacco as the main export product. Some copper mining took place in Kentucky and the Arizona Territory, where a modest electronics industry emerged. Small industrial cores emerged in most states, mostly based on heavy industry and textile industry.

Industrialization led to new kinds of misery in the Confederacy, where trade unions didn’t exist. Poor whites and blacks alike worked twelve to fourteen hour days for six days a week for relatively low pay compared to their cousins in the Union. They lived in large slums where hygiene was poor and creeks and rivers were used as open sewers, resulting outbreaks of cholera among other things. Typhoid epidemics also erupted in these poor working class neighbourhoods. These miserable circumstances led to other vices emerging like alcoholism, child labour and even prostitution as widowed or unmarried women tried to supplement their income that way. This prompted local authorities to strictly segregate sex work, as it was considered undesirable that black men could solicit white prostitutes, resulting in black and white brothels (the opposite, white men soliciting black prostitutes, was not seen as a problem). Of course this only combated a symptom rather than the disease, which was income insecurity. Pay was low, hours were long, the work was physically taxing, working conditions were unsafe and anybody who complained could be fired on the spot.

Under these conditions it should be no surprise that Marxist thought spread: the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and Marx’s three-volume Das Kapital were widely read. His critical theories about society, economics and politics hold that human societies develop through class conflict. In the capitalist mode of production, this manifests itself in the conflict between the bourgeoisie that controls the means of production and the proletariat that enable these means by selling their labour in return for salaries. Employing a critical approach known as historical materialism, Marx predicted that capitalism produced internal tensions like previous socioeconomic systems and that these tensions would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new communist system, a classless society in which the proletariat owned the means of production.

The authorities were scared when spontaneous strikes erupted in Elyton, Richmond, Atlanta, Memphis, Charlotte and several other cities with demands for better pay, less workhours, job security, safe working conditions and the right to unionize in 1891. What was really scary to the rich white elites, still de facto running the Confederacy like an aristocracy, was that white and black workers united. In Atlanta, Georgia, the Governor sent troops to disperse the strikers, but that backfired because now the workers that hadn’t gone on strike yet now did as well. Atlanta was a railroad town and striking workers held up the trains, interfering with important cargo.

It was only now that the Confederate authorities realized that over the past decade of industrialization the frustrations of the downtrodden working class had reached a boiling point while they were trying to eke out an existence. Violence threatened to spread and concessions would be needed to prevent an escalation, which might well become a revolution. To preserve their own power, the old plantation-owning elite and the new industrial tycoons decided to divide the factory workers. The result of the 1891 Confederate General Strike was that whites would be allowed to unionize while African Americans would not be. Additionally, the Child Labour Regulation Act made it illegal for factories to employ children younger than 13 years of age.

In the meantime, alliances in Europe had begun shifting after the Congress of Berlin held in 1878 by Bismarck to reorganize the Balkans in the wake of Russia’s victory over the Ottoman Empire and balance the interests of the European great power. Another goal of Bismarck had been to preserve the League of the Three Emperors by not choosing between Germany’s Russian and Austro-Hungarian allies. To maintain peace in Europe, Bismarck sought to convince other European diplomats that dividing up the Balkans would foster greater stability.

The results were initially hailed as a success for peace in the region, but most of the participants were not satisfied with the outcome. Russia was satisfied that their Greater Bulgaria had come through, but felt it should’ve gotten the Turkish Straits instead of remaining cooped up in the Black Sea. The Ottomans were humiliated and their weakness as “the sick man of Europe” was reaffirmed for all to see. Serbia and Greece had gotten far less than they thought they deserved and were envious of Bulgaria’s massive expansion. The Serbs and Montenegrins were upset about the Austro-Hungarian annexation of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar as this prevented the two countries from bordering each other. Moreover, Serbia was outraged that Austria-Hungary was allowed to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina. These grievances would fester for decades to come.

The most important development resulting from the Congress of Berlin, however, was that Austria-Hungary felt cheated and blamed Bismarck for it. Austria-Hungary’s territorial expansion had been substantial and initially its Foreign Minister Count Gyula Andrássy had been satisfied that Serbia’s South Slavic ambitions had been seriously curtailed. Moreover, Serbia was forced into a subservient pro-Austrian position that it resented: it would need Austro-Hungarian backing it ever wanted to make a move against Bulgaria. That worked just fine as far as Vienna was concerned. Hungarian elites, however, were upset that he had added more Slavs to the Habsburg Empire’s ethnic mix, but he survived a motion in the Hungarian Parliament aimed at impeaching him.

Far more important than that, however, was the fact that Russia through Bulgaria now completely blocked further Austro-Hungarian ambitions to expand toward Salonika. Bismarck explained that the opposite was also true: a strengthened Austria-Hungary blocked Russian expansion towards the Adriatic while the Ottomans still blocked Russian access to the Mediterranean Sea. The situation was balanced from Bismarck’s point of view. Anyhow, the other avenue, expanding to the mouth of the Danube, was also impossible as Romania was friendlier to St. Petersburg than to Vienna. Andrássy felt that Bismarck had tied Germany too closely to Russia, tilting the balance of power in the Balkans too far in Russia’s favour. While Bismarck felt the agreement had been a fair compromise, Andrássy felt that the German Chancellor had tricked him.

The result was that the League of the Three Emperors lapsed, much to Bismarck’s disappointment. His goal was a peaceful Europe, based on the balance of power. Bismarck feared that a hostile combination of Austria, France, and Russia would crush Germany. If two of them were allied, then the third would ally with Germany only if Germany conceded excessive demands. The solution was to ally with two of the three. In 1873 he formed the League of the Three Emperors, an alliance of the Kaisers of Germany and Austria-Hungary and the Tsar. Together they would control Eastern Europe, making sure that restive ethnic groups such as the Poles were kept in control. It aimed at neutralizing the rivalry between Germany’s two neighbours by an agreement over their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans and at isolating Germany’s enemy, France.

By 1885, twelve years after the League’s establishment, it was dissolved as Austria-Hungary abandoned it. The differences between Austria-Hungary and Russia had become irreconcilable and the Germans wouldn’t reopen negotiations. As a result Bismarck’s successful efforts to keep France isolated and maintain German dominance had come to an end.

[1]OTL's Birmingham, Alabama.
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Chapter VI: Shifting Alliances and Imperialist Adventures, 1892-1898.
No replies? I hope a fresh update can change that!

Chapter VI: Shifting Alliances and Imperialist Adventures, 1892-1898.

The Bismarckian system aimed at keeping the peace and maintaining the diplomatic, political and economic dominance of the German Empire collapsed with the dissolution of the League of the Three Emperors. Subsequently new alliances began to emerge. France now saw an opportunity to end its diplomatic isolation as Austria-Hungary was seeking a new ally. Sultan Abdul Hamid II, weakened and left reeling from the war, suspended the constitution and parliament to continue ruling as an absolute monarch and enact reforms as he saw fit. His attempts to modernize the Ottoman Empire, however, required the help of at least one of the great powers given the impossible financial situation of the Sublime Porte. Diplomatic feelers were set out tentatively between Paris, Vienna and Constantinople.

Events in France sped up with the 1893 coup d’état of Georges Ernest Boulanger, a popular politician and former general. An enormously popular public figure during the second decade of the Third Republic, he won multiple elections. His base of support was the working-class districts of Paris and other cities, plus rural traditionalist Catholics and royalists. He promoted an aggressive nationalism, known as revanchism, which opposed Germany and called for the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War to be avenged. This was why he was known as “General Revenge”. He favoured a far-reaching militarization and elaborated on his foreign policy plans simply by saying “any enemy of Germany, can count France among its friends”. Boulangists, monarchists and Bonapartists had secured a plurality during the 1889 French legislative election and a majority in the 1893 election. With the help of elements within the French Army, Boulanger seized power shortly after the elections in September.

This meant the end of the Third Republic after just 23 years. Boulanger became interim-President and took the titles of Chief of State, Admiral-General and Protector of France whilst announcing a new monarchist constitution based on “patriotic and Christian values”. Boulangists, monarchists and Bonapartists drew up a new conservative constitution. It elevated Catholicism to the state religion of France and restored the monarchy by offering the throne to the Orléanist claimant to the throne: Philippe, Count of Paris. A lavish coronation ceremony was held in the Cathedral of Reims during which he was anointed King Philippe VII by the bishop of this diocese (Pope Leo XIII was pleased and didn’t mourn the demise of the Third Republic for very long). The progressive, secular and liberal Third Republic was replaced by a conservative, Catholic and authoritarian monarchy.

Under Chief Boulanger France pursued the opening provided by Austria-Hungary more aggressively, sending a diplomatic delegation headed by Foreign Minister Jules Develle to Vienna to meet with Andrássy and Emperor Franz Josef. They were to negotiate a bilateral mutual Austro-French defence agreement. France had long since felt encircled by Germany and Spain (which now embraced its German King Leopoldo I for his combat of corruption, modernization of state bureaucracy and formation of a modern army with German help). With Russia and Italy now eyeballing Austro-Hungarian lands, the Habsburg Empire felt encircled too and reciprocated the French rapprochement. The old Franco-Austrian Alliance (1754-1792) was revived in 1893 as the Franco-Austrian Entente or Dual Entente.

The two remaining members of the former League of the Three Emperors now became the Dual Alliance, but its third member would join soon: Italy. New German Chancellor Leo von Caprivi sought out Italy as part of a new diplomatic effort to encircle Austria-Hungary and isolate it from any possible help from its new French allies, should war ever come. The Italians, however, also had their own reasons to come to an agreement with Berlin and St. Petersburg. Italy coveted the French territories of Savoy, Nice and Corsica and also wanted the French colony of Tunisia and they also wanted South Tyrol, Dalmatia and the Austrian Littoral (consisting of Gorizia and Gradisca, the Imperial Free City of Trieste and Istria). Given that France and Austria-Hungary together formed an alliance, it made sense for Italy to join the opposite camp if it was to realize all of its long term territorial ambitions.

After exchanges of notes concerning the precise nature of a military alliance were exchanged between Berlin, Rome and St. Petersburg and their foreign ministers had met, Prime Minister Francesco Crispi met Chancellor Caprivi and Russian Prime Minister Count Mikhail Loris-Melikov (the same one who had helped Tsar Alexander II draw up a constitution and establish a consultative Duma elected through male census suffrage). During their meeting in East Prussia they signed the Treaty of Königsberg, thereby creating the Triple Alliance in 1894. This mutual defensive agreement stipulated that any attack on one of the three members constituted an attack against all.

Boulanger was well aware that both demographically and economically the Dual Entente was at a disadvantage vis-à-vis the Triple Alliance and therefore sought to recruit more allies. He started with the Ottoman Empire, still headed by Sultan Abdul Hamid II who was eager to do something about the humiliation the Russians had inflicted upon him almost twenty years prior. Boulanger waived debts that the Sublime Porte still owed France and increased investments to improve the Ottoman infrastructure. The old lingering Franco-Ottoman Alliance dating back to the seventeenth century was revived and the Dual Entente grew into the Triple Entente shortly after the Germans, Russians and Italians signed their alliance. To bolster the Ottomans for a future war, a French military mission arrived in Constantinople.

In the meantime, a war erupted on the other side of the world in Asia that was to shock the world: the Sino-Japanese War. This war demonstrated the effectiveness of the Meiji Restoration: a series of rapid changes that had transformed Japan from an isolationist, pre-industrial, feudal state into an industrialized world power, as opposed to China’s failed attempts at modernizing its military and economy.

The Sino-Japanese War concerned conflicting interests over Korea as it was a traditional Chinese tributary state while Japan increasingly came to see Korea as integral to its national security, referring to it as “a dagger pointed at the heart of Japan”. The casus belli came when China intervened to squash a peasant rebellion without informing Japan, as they the Chinese should have as per the previously established Convention of Tientsin. The war began in July 1894. After more than six months of unbroken successes by Japanese land and naval forces and the loss of the port of Weihaiwei, the Qing government sued for peace in February 1895. This was a shock to the world, as everyone had expected China to win.

In the Treaty of Shimonoseki, China was forced to recognize the independence of Korea and to cede the Liaodong Peninsula, Taiwan, the Penghu Islands and the Senkaku Islands to Japan in perpetuity. Additionally, China was to pay Japan 200 million taels (8.000 tonnes/17.6 million pounds) of silver as war reparations. The Qing government also signed a commercial treaty permitting Japanese ships to operate on the Yangtze River, to operate manufacturing factories in treaty ports and to open four more ports to foreign trade.

Concerned that Japan might one day expand further into the Pacific, Great Britain formalized its rule over the Kingdom Hawaii by coercing Queen Lili’uokalani to sign a treaty of protection. Hawaii had rebuffed both the United States and the Confederacy, who hoped to expand westward into the Pacific, by playing one against the other. The British were not so easily dealt with and they gradually increased their influence through a Resident Minister, culminating in the establishment of a British protectorate in 1896. Given the common British practice of “indirect rule” the monarchy and other indigenous power structures remained in place and remained in control of day-to-day affairs and administration while external affairs, taxation and communication were under British control. Hawaii became a halfway station between Canada, Australia and British possessions in Southeast Asia. A shallow embayment in the island of Oahu became the location of a Royal Navy base named Pearl Harbour.

Tsar Alexander II was alarmed by Japan’s expansionist ambitions vis-à-vis China and consulted his German and Italian allies on an intervention to moderate the Japanese peace terms, which he viewed as excessive. German Chancellor Chlodwig von Hohenlohe and Italian Prime Minister Crispi easily deduced that the “excessive peace terms” concerned Russia less than the potential of Japanese expansion into their sphere of influence. Therefore Germany offered to mediate to assuage Russian concerns by negotiating a formal division into spheres of influence in the region.

The Russo-Japanese Convention was signed in Berlin by the respective ambassadors of both countries in Germany. It detailed that Manchuria was in Russia’s sphere of influence and Korea in Japan’s and that this agreement was unalterable without the consent of both parties. Russia was satisfied and the Japanese leadership was fine with this as they realized a war with the Russians would also involve Germany and Italy. That was a war the Empire of Japan couldn’t win, at least not by itself.

It was at this meeting, during an informal tête-a-tête, that Emperor Wilhelm II met his cousin Tsesarevich Nicholas, who would one day succeed his grandfather Alexander II as Tsar of Russia. They both agreed the foreign policies of Germany and Russia had to be more aggressive towards Great Britain, something the future Tsar was quite willing to concede given Russia’s continued rivalry with the British over the Middle East (the so-called “Great Game”). The two realized Japan had imperialist ambitions of its own that they might be able to put to use. In fact Germany and Russia signed a secret protocol into the Russo-Japanese Convention which said that they wouldn’t oppose a Japanese move on French or British colonial possessions.

Another power engaging in an imperialist adventure was Italy, during which it tested its army that had been reformed with the assistance of a German military mission to something more Prussian. Based on a disputed treaty, the Italians claimed Ethiopia was already a protectorate and in 1895 launched a two-pronged invasion from Italian Eritrea to the east and Italian Somaliland to the south. While the Ethiopians resisted valiantly, after seven months their conventional army had been defeated decisively. Though a protracted guerrilla war continued for several more years, Italy had won and merged Ethiopia wit Eritrea and Somaliland into Italian East Africa. King Umberto II now also assumed the title of Emperor of Ethiopia, which put him on an equal footing with the German Emperor and the Russian Tsar. A new League of Three Emperors had formed.

Americans – both those from the United States and those from the Confederate States of America – watched these new European alliances and imperialist adventures by emerging powers like Japan and Italy from afar. Each had their own sympathies: while the United States favoured Britain and France, the Confederacy favoured Germany and its allies. The reasons were obvious: the Confederates had further expansionist ambitions in the Caribbean that would clash with European interests there, primarily those of the British and French, and it made sense to look toward the German-led alliance that opposed them. As the enemy of the enemy could be a friend, the United States leaned towards the opponents of Germany.

Besides that, the US and their Confederate cousins took different positions on having colonial empires: the US took the moral high ground by opposing imperialism, but the Confederacy found overseas possessions appealing. It justified them by their opinion that the white race should lord over other races as part of a civilizing mission, the so-called “white man’s burden”.