"What Madness is This?" - An Alternate History

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"What Madness is This?"



An Alternate History

Written by Napoleon53, with chapters written by Zoidberg12, edited and compiled by Zoidberg12 with permission from Napoleon53, cover by Napoleon53 and Ziodberg12

Original/Discussion Thread: https://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=260683

The Presidency of John Adams


The Beginning of the End



General Washington formally announces before the Congress that he will not seek a third term



"What Madness is This? That brother might fight brother, and father might fight son? That countless homes and families be ripped asunder all for the sake of their piece of dirt, or of their political party? Why must we hate each other so?"

-Thomas Jefferson


"The said States hereby severally enter into a firm league of friendship with each other, for their common defense, the security of their liberties, and their mutual and general welfare, binding themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretense whatever. The President of these United States in Congress Assembled, elected for four years at a time by the Members of the Congress Assembled, is to keep these Articles observed and to be chief negotiator of state relations, captain of international diplomacy, and has the right to form alliances, form trade agreements, and go to war upon consent of the Congress here Assembled on this day in the Year of Our Lord, March the First, Seventeen Hundred and Eighty-One, and all future Congresses Assembled, So Help Us God."


-Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union
President Washington's masterful taping-together of the states while following the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union was emblematic of the man's personal strength of character, mental fortitude, and extremely able political skills. Other Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled had preceded him, but none had been given so much power to consolidate the nation's strength. Washington had gotten all of the Thirteen Colonies to agree with the Articles, and had served two terms. When he stepped down after completing the second four-year term, he was visibly aged. He claimed that, while he served to protect the Articles, they simply were a poor excuse for something such a large government should operate on. He also claimed that "the States will walk all over future presidents. I pity the men who get my position. God bless them." The Good General also worried that future presidents might find a way to abuse their power, which was one reason why he stepped down after his second term, hoping to set an example to those who would follow.

The man who was eager to get into Washington's seat of power was none other than one of the men whose political maneuvering had prevented the adoption of a document stronger than the Articles: John Adams. He had very little in common with Washington when he served as his vice president; another of Washington's ideas was to have presidents and vice presidents be from opposing parties or ideologies. Adams, however, wasn't about to pick Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence. Many were avidly campaigning for Jefferson to get the job, but Adams would have none of it. The two men simply did not get along. Washington was accommodating and listened to what Adams had to say. Jefferson, to Adams, was a self-righteous Anti-Federalist and had come close to screaming in Adams' face when the Federalists blocked the request from Washington for a new "Constitution of the States." Adams and his men knew that if the Articles went down, so would they, and their dreams for a strong centralized government would be over.


Alexander Hamilton

So, when Alexander Hamilton was picked by Adams as his vice president, it came as little surprise to most. Hamilton was a quasi-monarchist who had advocated Washington become an American King years before. Loved by some, hated by many, Hamilton was a target for severe political attack, but the Federalists were determined to pull him and Adams over the finish line... by whatever means necessary.

The Federalists outright bribed the Congressmen to get votes. When Jefferson requested that an amendment be made to the Articles allowing "free and fair elections by the people of these States," the Federalists had difficulty taking him seriously. Surely, they thought, putting the right to vote for who would be President in the hands of the uneducated mobs was a pure, terrible, folly, and all manner of crackpots and lunatics could win. Then, oily Hamilton arrived at a new idea. A very, very corrupt one. But it was for "the Good of the Union."


Fraunces Tavern, home of the 1796 Federalist Convention

The idea was to allow the Jeffersonians to go through with amending the Articles. Then, Federalists would stuff the ballots for Adams to keep "those lunatics Jefferson and Madison" from attaining power. Adams and a small group of elite Federalists, including Hamilton, Thomas and Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, and Rufus King, gathered in Fraunces Tavern, in the adopted Federalist capital of New York City, for a mini-convention. In secret, the men discussed their "ingenious" plans over some ale, and layed out the plot. Hamilton took charge, with Adams being reluctant at first, being somewhat honest even if he was power-hungry. A few others resisted as well. Hamilton eventually dragged them to accept it in the name of the "public good." The Federalists were what America needed, he proclaimed, and the Anti-Federalists would bring about the "promiscuity of the States." An ironic line, considering Hamilton himself was the bastard son of two loose persons in the Caribbean colonies. More plans were drawn up to prevent any more Federalists than necessary from learning of the plot.

Strong government was their motto among themselves, even though they knew it would not be popular among the people to phrase it that way. So, they promised whatever the people wanted, knowing it wouldn't matter. Benjamin Franklin finished assisting the Congress draft the amendment that enabled elections and then, loosing his balance and falling down the steps in front of Independence Hall, died two days later.

Adams liked the Old Man as well as anyone, but Franklin had sided with the independents like Washington, and more than not drifted toward the Anti-Federalists. Plus, the last thing Adams and Hamilton needed was for Franklin to use his genius to figure out the ballot-stuffing and giving some wise quip, bringing the entire Federalist Party into the gutter. Yes, Franklin's death was quite convenient for them, no matter how sad.

When it came time for the election, only white males over the age of twenty were allowed to vote. When the votes were being counted at their respective state capitols, the Federalists went to work. Stuffing, erasing, re-writing, and voting multiple times. It was a dark day of cheating, bribery, and outright corruption on an incredible scale. The cheating was accompanied by an unimaginable amount of anti-Jefferson propaganda, accusing the Declaration of Independence author of outright atheism.


Adams and Hamilton knew, though, that if too much of the vote percentage went for them, people would become suspicious. So, they had dispatched orders to make sure it wasn't a ridiculous victory. 60, 65, or 70 percent of the vote would seem believable but strong. Yes, around that number would put the Federalists in the "we have a mandate from The People to accomplish our agenda" zone. Thus, three weeks later, when all was said and done, John Adams became the Seventeenth President of the United States in Congress Assembled, and Hamilton became the Vice President of the same.

List of Presidents of the United States in Congress Assembled:
  • Peyton Randolph (September 5, 1774 - October 22, 1774) Virginia
  • Henry Middleton (October 22, 1774 - October 26, 1774) S. Carolina
  • Peyton Randolph (May 10, 1775 - May 24, 1775) Virginia
  • John Hancock (May 24, 1775 - October 29, 1777) Mass.
  • Henry Laurens (November 1, 1777 - December 9, 1778) S. Carolina
  • John Jay (December 10, 1778 - September 28, 1779) New York
  • Samuel Huntington (September 28, 1779 - July 10, 1781) Connecticut
  • Thomas McKean (July 10, 1781 - November 5, 1781) Delaware
  • John Hanson (November 5, 1781 - November 4, 1782) Maryland
  • Elias Boudinot (November 4, 1782 - November 3, 1783) New Jersey
  • Thomas Mifflin (November 3, 1783 - June 3, 1784) Pennsylvania
  • Richard Henry Lee (November 30, 1784 - November 4, 1785) Virginia
  • John Hancock (November 23, 1785 - June 5, 1786) Massachusetts
  • Nathaniel Gorham (June 6, 1786 - November 3, 1786) Massachusetts
  • Arthur St. Claire (February 2, 1787 - November 4, 1787) Pennsylvania
  • Cyrus Griffin (January 22, 1788 - November 15, 1788) Virginia
  • New Amendment to Articles allows four year terms with no limit on how many times someone may run
  • George Washington (April 30, 1789 - March 4, 1797) Virginia
  • New Amendment to Articles allows election by popular vote
  • John Adams (March 4, 1797 - ) Massachusetts
Jefferson had suspicions, but was not willing to accuse without absolute proof. They had a few squealers who mentioned something about the Federalists running a cheating ring, but when several Democratic-Republicans were also caught with their hands in the cookie jar, Jefferson and Madison conceded defeat and vowed to run the next time. They had no choice but to be quiet about the rumors or else drag their own party down, too.

With Adams and Hamilton in the Presidential Mansion, the Federalists entered their own metaphorical high castle on a hill and started, after a few months, to drift farther and farther away from political reality. Before long, everything was an elected position, and cheating had the Federalists running victory laps all around Philadelphia, the national capital.

And that leads to one of the first acts the Federalist government ordered, that the national capital and capitol be moved to New York City, the heart of the Federalist Party.


John Adams

After a year, beginning around June of 1798, the citizens began to feel openly resentful of Adams and Hamilton's "pseudo-monarchy." Most longed for the days of the apolitical Washington, and his patriotic policies. The Federalists were even starting to take away some basic rights, like when a newspaper editor in South Carolina, Joshamee Worthington, wrote that Adams should be removed from office and that Hamilton was a "pointy-nosed lying bastard-prince," the South Carolina state militia raided his offices and arrested him, holding him for two weeks in a moldy prison until public outcry demanded his release.

Things continued escalating, and the Federalists were thrown into a panic in New York.

The First Term of the Adams Presidency

The Franco-American War
The first international crisis to hit Adams was something that had been going on for a decade in Europe and that Washington had tried to distance himself from as far as possible. The French Revolution had toppled King Louis XVI and beheaded him and his family. Europe was engulfed in war as the French tried to imitate their American cousins across the Atlantic, only they added more blood and much, much more beheading. Guilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, French Hero of the War for Independence, had taken it upon himself to be the George Washington of France. He seemed, however, to go off track fairly soon, and after 1790 and the Feast of the Federation (which was the establishment of the constitutional monarchy), he lost power to much more radical men, like Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre, who turned around and beheaded Louis.


Marquis de Lafayette



Robespierre

After Robespierre's own execution, the Committee of Public Safety which had long governed France lost power, and was succeeded by the less-radical Directory. Less-radical or not, the American public loathed the French Republicans and Washington and Adams' diplomats told them that the war debts that were owed were owed to the French Crown, not to the Directory. France became inflamed, and what followed was known as the RST Affair.

The RST Affair took its name from the letters R, S, and T, which were used instead of the French ambassadors' real names in documents released by Adams' administration. In the documents, the oily and infamous Monsieur Talleyrand, French Foreign Minister, demanded that America stop following the Madison Treaty of 1794, which made Great Britain America's chief trading partner. France was furious over the treaty, and as French and British ships seized trading vessels dealing with their enemies, 300 American ships were captured or sunk and their crews held for ransom or pressed into service. Talleyrand demanded not only money to pay that ransom, but also money to even begin bargaining in the first place. Adams, thinking the same way as the public, was insulted, and refused to kowtow to the Directory.


Maurice de Talleyrand

Adams was willing to accept the imprisonment of the sailors, thanks to Hamilton discussing it with him. Hamilton convinced Adams that the sailors, as neutrals, would remain in prison until the next French government took power and tried to get in the USA's good graces ("and they always do").

However, not agreeing to play Talleyrand's game incensed the Directory even further. On July 4, 1798, off the coast of Florida, the USS Trenton was sunk and the USS Charleston was captured by 12 French Republican Navy warships. The French had killed much of the crews, and among the dead was US Ambassador to France and devout Federalist, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney.


Ambassador C. C. Pinckney

The American public cried out for war, but Adams hesitated. If he declared war, it would likely entail an Anglo-American Alliance, something which made him and many other people uncomfortable, to say the least. Hamilton was not sure what to do, for once, and simply sent the Directory an order to hand over the hostages and the Pinckney Affair would be forgiven.

France refused.

Finally, he and the Congress opened discussions with the British Empire for a possible alliance to punish France. King George III, growing more insane every day, suddenly broke the deal, much to the disdain of his ambassadors. They said if he was sane, he would have agreed, but his insanity did not void his orders. Britain was not going to ally itself to the USA, that was now clear to New York. Adams fumbled day after day as public outcry grew against his bungling of the RST and Pinckney Affairs and his own encroaching on their rights, like his imprisoning of Worthington the newspaperman and several other similar incidents.

Hamilton had a new strategy. If America would be preoccupied fighting off the French, the people would be less inclined to quarrel over "petty politics." Adams retorted by saying the US Army and Navy was almost nonexistent. Hamilton replied simply: "Then make them exist." Adams retorted again, saying that there were no young officers to lead them after they "are made to exist." Hamilton answered that old Revolutionary War officers could be called out of retirement, and that France's star general, Napoleone di Buonaparte, was entrenched in Egypt, surrounded by Lord Nelson's British fleet. Hamilton went on, thinking as he spoke, telling Adams that it was now a perfect time to seize Louisiana from the Spanish, who were allied to France by the Treaty of San Ildefonso. Adams couldn't believe what he was hearing... at first. Then, he brought the elderly Washington out of retirement and told him to prepare to invade Louisiana and told Admiral John Paul Jones to ready the "fleet" to combat the French Republican Navy.

Washington and Jones couldn't believe what they were hearing either.


Admiral John Paul Jones



"Grand Marshal of the Armies by Congress Assembled Mustered" -awkward title given to George Washington, show here as he inspects the troops in Georgia

And so, on January 1, 1799, the US government rang in the New Year by declaring war on the Republic of France and the Kingdom of Spain. The madness had begun.

Thomas Jefferson and his Anti-Federalists said the war was completely and utterly stupid-reprehensibly so-and that Adams had been brainwashed by Hamilton into thinking the tiny USA was a military giant akin to Ancient Rome. As for Hamilton himself, they said he was simply an egotistical incompetent who had lost his mind. Some arrests were made of Jeffersonians for "seditious speech and slander against the President of the United States in Congress Assembled." More outrage followed. Adams just locked himself up in the Presidential Mansion with his advisers and stayed there, far from the public eye. Hamilton continued directing affairs, becoming the real power in the government.

On March 5, the US Army crossed the border into Louisiana, the men eager to fight under the Great Washington, and most expected quick victories. They weren't disappointed when-at what the Americans called the Battle of Alligator Ridge-a "Spanish" force was absolutely dismantled by Washington's "genius." In reality, it had been only a small detachment of scouts, most not even Spanish but Creoles and Indians. Washington marched his men into the mouth of Hell itself at the Battle of Boggy Swamp (March 20), followed by the Battle of Port Richelieu (March 28) (the Battle of Port Richelieu also entailed a minor naval debacle). If the US generals had had any sense, they would have either attempted a landing near New Orleans, which if conquered would have meant the end of Spanish rule, or they could have attacked the sparsely-populated north, which would have eventually resulted in American rule everywhere but New Orleans (which would enable an easy capture of the city at a later date). Instead, as Jefferson put it, it was an unmitigated military disaster, and Washington said they just needed to "show some gumption. If we do that, Louisiana is ours." 2000 American soldiers had been killed. 4000 Louisiana troops had died, mostly militia, and made the formerly friendly, anti-Spanish Francophone population hate the Americans.


The Battle of Boggy Swamp by Alonzo Chappel, 1859

The final nail in the Louisiana Invasion coffin came in December, 1799, when Washington was shot and killed by an Indian scout. An ironic death, considering Indian scouts in the French and Indian War had shot his commander and deliberately spared him at Braddock's Defeat. The nation wept bitterly as their hero's casket was marched home and buried at his plantation, Mount Vernon. The Invasion was over, and massacres of several towns by fuming US soldiers exiting the Spanish colony left the Louisianans bitter and wanting revenge.

Meanwhile, Admiral Jones had proven himself a genius... at avoiding sending the pitiful US Navy to the bottom of the drink. A series of naval retreats and then stopping long enough to fire broadsides had harassed the French and saved American ships.

Hamilton was not happy though. He demanded Jones pick an easy target and attack. The Battle of Port Richelieu had just occurred, and the public needed something to cheer about. Protesting, Jones refused to go on a suicide binge. Hamilton had him removed and replaced with the pitiful Admiral Nathanael Butterworth. Butterworth followed orders... and attacked a French fleet south-west of the English Channel and lost half his ships. The US Navy drifted back to New York harbor beaten and bloodied, and it was announced that it wouldn't be a seaworthy fleet in a year. Adams and Hamilton were horrified.


Butterworth's flagship the USS Woodhouse fires on the French Unicorn off the coast of Brest

The American public was furious with the Adams Administration and open calls for impeachment became commonplace in everyday life. Thomas Jefferson's support reached new heights, and James Madison began referring to Hamilton as "Alexander the Ungreat." Napoleone di Buonaparte had, on October 9, returned to France and shortly after set himself up as dictator of the country, and he was not pleased with the nascent Americans being a pain in Marianne's rear.

The election of 1801 was fast approaching, and the Federalists were going to lose in an unimaginable landslide. But they would win thanks to voting fraud, said Hamilton, just like the first time. This time, though, the citizens were suspicious. If Adams won, they'd know he'd cheated. Adams sank into a deep depression, and just before the campaigning season announced to friends he was dropping out to make room for Hamilton and Rufus King to run. Hamilton panicked, and barely convinced him to stay on board, as Hamilton was so unpopular that if he won by any percentage, the people would know it was fraud.

The madness was about to destroy the country...

"Kill the Bugger!"
-New York mob battle-cry following the fraudulent election of 1801


Willard Crawford leads his militia against the Presidential Mansion
The year of 1801 was a brutal one for the USA. The economy was in the metaphorical toilet, the homeless and jobless numbers exploded, and the French conflict was an undeniable defeat for the country. French and Spanish soldiers were regularly making incursions upon American soil, not on the intent of conquering, for the two European countries had more than enough restless territory on their hands, but to force Adams to agree to a peace. The French were willing to be lenient on the US, as there was no real damage done to them or theirs. The Spanish, still seething over the Louisiana attack, wanted more of a punishment.

The punishment came in the form of economic payments to the Spanish Crown, agreed to at the Second Treaty of Paris, which pushed the US economy further into the blackness of the fiscal abyss. Adams and Hamilton's government was falling apart at the seams, and the civil unrest was already kicking into gear.

The first example of secessionist tendencies came from South Carolina, followed by North Carolina, Georgia, and Vermont. Vermont was made a state in an effort to calm it down, which worked to some degree, but the Southerners kept talking about drawing themselves out of the Imperfect Union, because, they said, every state had the right to do as such. The main leader of the South and North Carolina secessionist movement was Andrew Jackson, a young soldier in the Raleigh Militia. A through-and-through states' right movement supporter, he claimed to have enough clout to pull the two Carolinas out of the USA and form the "Grand Republic of the Carolinas. A possible union with Georgia was also tossed about, making the idea of a "Confederation of the South" popular. Later, Virginia was rumored to be a supporter of pulling out, but it denied it would ever join the "Carolinian rapscallions" in any union. It became a known fact that if Virginia left, it would form its own republic and tear the country apart right down the middle.

Adams felt sick as he saw mobs gather every day in New York City, right outside the Presidential Mansion, and burn him in effigy. Guards blocked all access to his home, but there had been several radicals who had tried to rush the walls. They were met with rifle butts to the face and prison wagons. The tension was so thick it could have been cut with a bayonet.

Then the campaign season started. Sure enough, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison had reformed their tagteam to take Adams and Hamilton down. "This lying scoundrel is nothing but a hermaphroditic tyrant who wants to murder all who oppose him and desecrate our Freedom," said Jefferson's propaganda.

Even Adams' old friend Thomas Paine, now living in France where his new friend Napoleon Bonaparte had offered him a cabinet position, turned against the President of the United States in Congress Assembled, calling him "Louis XVI of North America." "When Adams' Tuileries Palace crumbles about him, he shall see what the people truly think of his Bourgeoisie ideology."


Thomas Paine

For all of 1800, the USA was a defeated, crushed, bankrupt country with no way to pay off its debts. The Articles did not allow enough means to raise money to pay off the national debt. It continued to get worse and worse. Outright civil violence popped up in Boston and Philadelphia as several Federalist government officials were seized and lynched by dockworkers. Soldiers were sent in to arrest the perpetrators, and instead of cooperating, the civilians in both cities rioted, ending in 52 soldiers and 83 civilians killed or crippled. Indians on the frontier were growing increasingly bold, and they suddenly seemed to start exclusively targeting federal government homes and territory, and suspicions were rising that state governments had payed the natives off.

Finally, 1801 had arrived. Hamilton's men did the same thing they had done four years before. But instead of only having to change some votes, they discovered almost all the votes were for Jefferson and Madison. A woefully pitiful amount of Adams/Hamilton votes were cast, comprising about 1 to 2 percent of the entire population, most of them Federalist officials. The voting fraud goons had a devil of a time creating enough fake ballots to pull off the win. They did manage to "reelect" the current administration, though, and the unrest exploded.

Allegations of fraud circulated immediately, followed by people saying it had to be fraud. In Boston, a Federalist election official, Elah McGuffey, was kidnapped and tortured until he told the truth, admitting Adams had cheated his way to power both times.

On May 18, the Congress of the Carolinas was held in Charleston to seek a vote for secession. Overwhelmingly, the individual counties voted to leave the United States, forming the Confederation of the Carolinas, and the delegates from both states then elected Andrew Jackson as Emergency Chancellor. A democratic election would be held as soon as the new nation stabilized and was satisfied the USA would not try to resist them. The frontier territorial disputes between the two states were solved upon union, forming the State of West Carolina, which also joined the Confederation.
Georgia, now cut off in every way from the USA, also formed its own country, the Republic of Georgia. It was quite large, stretching from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. West Florida, which had been a haven for pro-American Louisianans, rebelled against Spain and, with Georgian assistance, formed the West Florida Republic. It took up Georgia's entire coastline on the Gulf of Mexico, but Georgians were allowed to freely come and go into West Florida, making future Georgian annexation almost impossible to avoid.

Finally, an armed militia assaulted the guards at the New York City Presidential Mansion, burning half of it down and causing massive casualties. Willard Crawford, an officer from the Revolution, announced he would lead all rebels willing to fight the next day. Thousands of men showed up and engaged the government bluecoats in New York City itself. Despite an incredible amount of bloodshed and destruction, the rebels seized control of the capital. Adams and Hamilton were captured attempting to flee further north, possibly to British Canada, and were thrown in the Livingston Sugar House, in Manhattan, which had been used to hold 500 prisoners at a time during the War for Independence. Before long, most of the government was locked up in the building, and angry mobs gathered outside every day demanding they be executed.

Things were about to wrap up for the history of the United States, and Adams and Hamilton would betray each other before it was over.

"Hang Hamilton!"

-John Adams, July 4, 1801, New York City Treason Trials
The new "government" of New York City decided they would hold off on a trial until the the country's messes could be sorted out. Hamilton, Adams, Tom Pinckney, Rufus King, and many others rotted in the Livingston Sugar House for several months, eating gut-wrenching gruel and moldy bread and drinking moldy water. However, when Rufus King was let out of the prison for a few minutes to get some air following a breathing attack, a mob rushed the guards, seriously injuring one, and ripped King limb from limb. The gruesome scene was quickly ended by another platoon of guards, but King was well and truly dead.

Virginia seceded almost as soon as the news came of the overthrow. Several extremists had declared their county independent in 1800, and the "1800" on the seal of the Virginia Republic was used only so Virginia could say "we did it first." Uprisings in the Northwest Territory were just barely put down. Virginia helped itself to some of the land, and the "US government" didn't seem too upset about it.

Lynchings reached epidemic proportions. Federalists were seen as traitors to be killed immediately, even if most were innocent and were not aware of the ballot-stuffing plot. Hundreds fled to Canada, to seek refuge in Quebec City, joining many Royalist Americans who had fled there 20 to 30 years earlier.

Finally, the trial was agreed to be held on July 4th. The Federalists in the sugar house knew nothing good was going to come of it.

The blue-coated New York constables came and escorted them out of the jail. Professional soldiers formed a wall around them, making sure no radicals tried to kill them all before the trial. However, many of the citizens seemed willing to let the trial go on as planned, just so they could see Alexander the Ungreat and Octavian Adams answer for their deeds.

The trial was largely a joke. John Jay, the quite moderate judge in charge, tried to be fair, but he couldn't hold against the tide of revenge wanted by the Jeffersonians. The Democratic-Republicans sat in the boxes in the upper floor of the courthouse, cursing and blaspheming the Federalists' names.


John Jay

Adams was marched to Jay first, where he was told to explain himself. He stammered and stuttered something about "love of country" and then, pointing at his Vice President, his voice rising to a falsetto Cockney-Bostonian screech, exclaimed, "Hang Hamilton! Not me! This was all his idea, the disgusting snake! He plotted it out at Fraunces Tavern in '96! He was the puppet-master, controlling and manipulating the party like some sort of evil wretch! Hang him, sir! I have only done what I believe or have been threatened or bullied into doing! I love this country! Hang Hamilton the Traitor!"

The cries that arose from the Federalists' area were furious, and they countered that Adams had been complacent and even helped as much as he could in the scheme. Hamilton, by all accounts, just sort of sat there, his face in his hands. The jury immediately voted to kill Hamilton, and he was dragged out, his body like a rag-doll, to the front of the courthouse. A noose was draped from a branch, and Willard Crawford's drummers sounded the death beats. Hamilton looked at the crowd gathered around him. Then, slowly, he spoke: "I wish I had something to say that would redeem me in the eyes of all of you gathered here today. That you would think of me as a Patriot. That I would go down as a hero to all. But I can't. And I'm beyond caring. You people don't deserve me. You all can go straight to Hell, and take this sorry country with you!" As soon as the words were out, Crawford twirled his sword blade downward as the signal, and Hamilton's neck was snapped instantly. He hanged there limply for a few minutes, and was then cut down and thrown in a ditch.

The other Federalist leaders joined him over the next few hours, each hanging on the same branch. Finally, Adams' turn was up again. After speaking for ten minutes (Jay had allowed him twenty), the restless crowd stormed the courthouse and dragged Adams out. He was shrieking and screaming as tar and feathers were dumped on him, as fists hit him, and finally a radical ran up and stabbed him in the stomach with a dagger. Bleeding profusely from the wound, the noose was tightened around his neck, and the 17th and last President of the United States in Congress Assembled was executed. John Jay and the guards and soldiers barely put up a show of resistance to the mob action, as they knew they might get called "Federalist sympathizers." And thus the 4th of July, Independence Day, became "Liberty Day".
 
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"We the People, of the Republican Union..."
The United States Shatters

Flag representing the union of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, with the central star representing their joint government in Philadelphia


Chesapeake Republic of Maryland


Maryland was swift in seceding and forming its own republic. It was divided in what to call itself, with some wanting it to be named "The Chesapeake Republic." Eventually, the name "Chesapeake Republic of Maryland" became the obvious choice and was adopted. It was much like Virginia in its culture, but due to a more sea-trade-oriented way of life, the large number of Catholics, and the overall nationalistic spirits of many US states, it decided to stay independent of its western neighbor, though they immediately formed a close alliance after the election of Samuel Chase as President. The Maryland militias started doing the same job they had when they were US militias; like many other states, the vast number of volunteers regiments made secession quite easy and caused minimal disturbances. Catholic nations immediately started trading with it. The Vatican States was the first country to recognize Maryland independence, followed by France, Naples, and then the Confederation of the Carolinas.

President Chase and his new government did a good job, considering the circumstances, of making the new country equipped for the future. As long as war was avoided, it would do well. In 1802, a constitution was drawn up that created Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches that aided in the separation of power and prevented any kind of dictatorship or, at the other end of the spectrum, anarchy. It also made clear it was neither a Catholic country nor a theocracy of any kind, and would welcome all kinds of citizens. Maryland served as a worthy example for the other states now on their own, and Andrew Jackson's Confederation of the Carolinas copied its constitution.
Republic of Virginia

Great Seal of the Republic of Virginia; for the first several years, the national flag was simply this seal on a white banner.

Virginia was quick to elect Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as President and Vice President respectively. The two men set out to make sure Virginia was as strong as the "Northern Aggressors" in the Republican Union, and thanks to its tremendous economy supported by slave labor was the second largest economy in North America and was in a better debt situation than any of the others. Virginia also became the first of the seceded states to form a professional military. It was immediately used to try to chase out remaining natives from their lands and to monitor the north. The border with Maryland was extremely casual, and Maryland's Chase got along just splendidly with Jefferson. Virginia's military also formed an alliance with Maryland's militias, agreeing to come to each others' aid if need be. Virginia was home to several naval bases, and it rivaled the Republican Union in fleet strength.

Virginia's House of Burgesses was resurrected, which fit in nicely with the aristocratic attitudes of the land-owning gentry, and was essentially a congress. The constitution they adopted in 1803 was largely the work of Jefferson and Madison, and allowed a very large amount of freedom and limited government power. Many citizens claimed it was "what the USA should have been."
Confederation of the Carolinas

The Confederation of the Carolinas was, under Andrew Jackson, had set out to make sure it would not be picked on. Jackson was detested in Virginia for having earlier to coerce a union, a prospect which offended Madison and Jefferson enough for them to call him a vulture. In a slap-to-the-face move, the people of the Confederation voted to make a "Noble Heraldic Vulture" the national symbol.

The Carolinian constitution was fairly balanced and was largely based on the quite nicely-constructed Maryland Constitution. It did, however, grant the Chancellor (Jackson) rather great "Emergency Powers" in the face of catastrophe (the type and size of such a catastrophe was up to debate). Jackson seized more power all the time, but it was still better than what the Carolinas had had before, and Jackson was popular enough that the people generally went along with it. Jackson didn't seem eager to abuse his power, but he was still a very young man, and he had plenty of time left to turn into a dictator or be corrupted by power.
Green Mountain Republic of Vermont

The Green Mountain Republic of Vermont was formed after the Treason Trials. Even though it considered itself quite New English, it had had enough of the central government messing up, so it decided to form its own libertarian paradise up in the mountains, with an army of all volunteers and a fairly elected "Green Mountain People's Congress of Liberty" (no executive position was established, as the people worried it might become a dictatorship). There were minimal taxes, minimal government expenditure, minimal laws, and almost total anarchy. Hill clans took maximum power for themselves and invented "land rights" as a means with which to extort their neighbors. If one large family lived in a valley, and another family decided to homestead there, the first large family could essentially tax the newcomers to live there. If the new family was of equal size to the "owners," family feuds broke out. If the new family was bigger than the "owners," then, in all likelihood, the "owners" would be murdered. The people lived in fear and terror of lawless neighboring clans murdering them, but at least they didn't have to pay taxes!

Making matters worse was Britain's consistent violation of Vermont's borders. Redcoats ventured in on routine "scavenging tours" in Green Mountain territory, and several illegal logging camps were set up by Canadian citizens. Finally, Vermont's militias mustered and drove out the loggers. King George thought briefly about outright invasion and recapture of the colony, but with the Napoleonic Wars unfolding in Europe, abandoned it, leading to the Vermont citizens thinking they had broken the morale of the British Empire and gave them an insane amount of national prestige, something that would persist from that point on.
West Florida Republic

The West Florida Republic was a puppet of Georgia and was much like Vermont in its outlook. It was a libertarian wonderland controlled by local towns and villages that pushed the limits of freedom into "do as thou wilt" territory. Things got so bad in West Florida that they inadvertently gave birth to a North American icon: the Town Marshal. Wyatt Masterson was a marshal who fought off 50 bandits attempting to sack his village on the Gulf Coast. He became a hero, and Georgia, West Florida's puppetmaster, started a huge system of marshals in its own country, which decreased crime by a huge percentage. Aside from the occasional pirate attack, West Florida remained fairly safe as a nation, since Georgia deterred the Spanish from getting any bright ideas. It never elected a central leader, and instead opted for a National Parliament.
Republic of Georgia

The Republic of Georgia, like Virginia, was run by aristocratic, land-owning, slave-owning, Southern gentry, and would have probably joined Virginia in a union if the Confederation of the Carolinas hadn't been in between. They weren't quite as radically republican as Virginia, but they were decent as far as adherents to that philosophy were concerned. The Republican Constitution was based on Maryland's model, but it had to make adjustments to make it work with their agriculture-based society. A standing national army was to be kept at all times to deter Spain or other enemies from trying anything, and those soldiers often patrolled West Florida, too. The Georgian Navy wasn't huge, but it did well enough to protect what it they needed protected.

Militarist Archibald Bulloch was elected Prime Minister. He was not known as a "bad" man or disrespected, but his militarism signaled a new political force in politics: Ultra-Right-Wing Proto-Totalitarianism supported by the citizens themselves. No cheating occurred. No bribery. No blackmail. The South had elected a militarist free and fairly. He believed in freedom, but he also believed in expansion and the destruction of neighbors. He was the one who made West Florida a satellite nation. His territorial politics brought him into conflict with Andrew Jackson as they both squabbled over who had rights to areas in West Carolina along the Mississippi River.​

America Divided

In the years since the fall of the United States of America, things had changed. Spain, in its war with Britain, had invaded Canadian territory, distracting King George and making him unable to conquer the nascent Green Mountain Republic and giving Napoleon's France a loophole to go on an absolute rampage in Europe, even though this "invasion" amounted to little more than a few skirmishes, skirmishes which were almost all Spanish victories, and a considerable physiological blow for the British.

Napoleon had become the César de la France, the Caesar of France, in 1804, restoring France to a monarchy, and George III finally cracked shortly thereafter. George, overwhelmed with stress, collapsed in his palace, died, and was replaced with his son George IV. George IV was, unfortunately, completely and utterly bonkers. Not just crazy like his father, but absolutely stark raving mad. This was terrible for Britain's wartime morale and the overall leadership of the country. Britain's royal family became a joke internationally, with its own allies mocking it. The Bonaparte family, meanwhile, was doing just fine. Even Prussia came to respect Napoleon more than they did any Englishman, even if they hated his Corsican guts.
Napoleon constructed embassies in all the North American countries except West Florida and Vermont. Virginia and Maryland were quite friendly, but it was Georgia that fell in love with the French emperor. The tightening relationship between the two countries improved Georgia's relationship with Spain, since the Spanish were an ally of France. Georgia began to realize that by joining Napoleon's alliance, if even unofficially, it could possibly become the dominate independent country in North America. Prime Minister Bulloch thought that sounded great. In the few years since the destruction of the US, the various new countries had started to disdain each other far more, and if he could stick it to "the Northern buzzards" (which now included the Confederation of the Carolinas and Virginia to a lesser extent), then it would be an awesome day in his book. So, in 1806, Georgia began patterning itself after France. French uniforms, French music, French food, French everything. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that suited Georgia's right-wing militarists just fine.

Meanwhile, in the Republican Union, a new form of government took power: the Consulate, which patterned itself somewhat after Napoleon's France (before he had been crowned Caesar, of course). Instead of just three consuls, like in France, however, there were two for each state (titled Consuls of the Republic), elected every four years. There was no president, but two consuls each year were elected as Chief Consuls of the Republic. State or Territorial Consuls (one per state) fulfilled the role of governors. At the capital city, the Republican Consuls would meet and discuss national policy in fair and open debates, debates which often turned ugly or hostile.

A new constitution was being written as early as a week after the Treason Trials, but was not completed until 1805, following a grueling "convention" in Philadelphia that lasted over three years. Democratic-Republicans insisted that freedom be guaranteed by the government and pushed for the abolition of slavery. The new party, the Centrist Party, largely made up of politicians from the smaller or less-populous states, demanded a strong government be created that did not base itself within the borders of any existing state. A new capital should be created. They also pushed for a large army to be raised to defend the country from Britain, Spain, and its southern neighbors.

The long-lasting hatred that the North would have for the South was not quite in full swing. The Southerners disdained the north and blamed the horrific failure of the United States on them. The North was more concerned in its own problems and was content for the moment to push their "hillbilly cousins" onto the back burner... for now. Slavery was a rather touchy subject, though, and any suggestions by consuls for closer relationships with the Southern republics were usually shot down by fire-and-brimstone New England abolitionists (or those pretending to be abolitionists to score political points). Many present historians now claim that without slavery-or if the North had had many slaves themselves-the USA might have recovered after the Treason Trials. But the increasingly foreign cultures developing between the former British colonies was largely unavoidable. Given a few decades at most, and the USA would have likely sank into civil war. The withdrawal of the South had come at just the right time to avoid entering that likely self-destructive conflict.

There were some Union citizens, though, that began thinking of the Southern republics as "rightful Union land." The captain of this philosophical ship was Reverend and statesman Aaron Burr II, the middle-aged Consul of New York. He and Willard Crawford served as the first two Chief Consuls, and during that time made his revanchist feelings known. While military force was not taken seriously at this point to force the Southerners back under the North's wing, Burr's way of thinking set the stage for further problems.


Aaron Burr II

List of Consuls of the Republican Union (1801-1805):
  • Willard Crawford - New Hampshire
  • William Whipple - New Hampshire
  • Aaron Burr II - New York
  • George Clinton - New York
  • George Clymer - Pennsylvania
  • William Jackson - Pennsylvania
  • Joseph Bloomfield - New Jersey
  • William Livingstone - New Jersey
  • Gunning Bedford, Jr. - Delaware
  • Richard Basset - Delaware
  • John Samuel Peters - Connecticut
  • Oliver Wolcott, Jr. - Connecticut
  • James Fenner - Rhode Island
  • Nehemiah Knight - Rhode Island
"This is my castle! My donjon! My château! My citadel of Merlin! And you shall not take it from me, damn you!"
-King George IV



The Insane One

The year 1807 was an utter disaster for Britain's efforts against Napoleon. King George IV had become so hopelessly insane that he was frequently beaten into unconsciousness by palace guards. He cooked an entire cat alive in the royal stove after chasing out the chefs and maids from the kitchen. It was an expensive breed belonging to his brother Frederick. It was also William's favorite palace pet. This did not bode well with Fred or Wills. From that point on, they both went into attack mode, constantly begging the government for permission to rip away their crazed brother's crown.

This, of course, did not bode well with Georgy. Not at all. He went into a deep depression, where he locked himself in his room for hours, weeping bitterly. When servants would unlock the door, he'd beat them off with a fireplace poker. Then, he finally lost every trace of sanity on December 21, 1807.

It started like every other terrible day in wartime London, and George had locked himself away again. The servants were told to ignore him, for something big was supposed to happen later in the afternoon.

That big thing was very big. Frederick was to become Regent. Stability would be returned. The Corsican Ogre would be beaten back. The Americans would be kept in check. The British Empire "would return to glory and march onward to future triumphs, the likes of which the world has never seen," said William.

On that day, at 10 AM, ten palace guards, a group of servants, and Frederick and William marched to George's room to evict him and put him in a "safe room," much like the one that had held his father. When they opened the door and delivered the news, George was uncommonly quiet and at peace. He said there would be "no need for a guarded escort."

Frederick smiled sadly and asked, "You'll cooperate, then? That is most admirable of you, my brother. This is not something we wish to have happened, but it's necessary for the Empire."

To which George responded: "No. There will be no need for an escort, because it ends now. This is my castle! My donjon! My château! My citadel of Merlin! And you shall not take it from me, damn you! You're all going to die!"

Present historians say what followed was one of the most gruesome setbacks in English history. George pulled out two flintlock pistols from his large red coat. He then shot Frederick directly in the chest, killing him almost instantly. He fired the other and struck William in the side, sending blood spurting everywhere and William crashing backward over a dresser, giving him a terrible concussion. George then pulled a decorative sword from the wall of the room, raised it to his own neck, and then fell forward, committing suicide.

The guards and servants stood in horror at the bloodbath for a few seconds before going to work trying to revive Frederick. It was no use. He was as dead as George, and the prince's body lay in a pool of his own blood. William, meanwhile, was put on a stretcher and raced to another room where a veritable army of doctors raced to remove the bullet from his lower ribcage. He was losing a lot of blood, and for several hours the entire palace stood on edge, waiting to see if three rightful monarchs would die in one day. Fortunately, William survived.

The British propaganda industry had its work cut out for itself. There was simply no way of getting around what had happened. George IV, King of Great Britain, had murdered one of his own brothers and shot the other before taking his own life. What was there to lie about? What was there to fictionalize for the sake of national morale?

Nothing.

Britain's stock market crumbled and the nation was rocked by a devastating combination of mourning and economic depression. As if that wasn't bad enough, Russia and France signed a formal alliance against Great Britain and launched a worldwide propaganda campaign ridiculing the English aristocracy with zingers like "King George was ill-bred and he was touched in the head. King George filled his brothers with lead, before he cut off his own head. His head! His head! His head!" This rhyme grew so popular that the French Grand Army sang it to the tun of "Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre." It later became even more widespread among the Russians, who sang it to various folk tunes. It eventually made its way to North America, where the southern countries adapted it to the tune of "We are a Band of Brothers", a popular Southern marching song written in 1803 by Carolinian songwriter and Revolutionary War veteran John Smith Brevard.

This is widely considered the turning point in the Napoleonic Wars that sealed France's fate as a world power.

King of All He Surveys


"Power is my Mistress."
-Caesar Napoleon I
French emperor Napoleon was having a delightful time in 1808 and 1809. With Britain in self-inflicted tatters, and his own cult of personality growing daily, nothing seemed to dampen his plans. With its main ally Britain out of the way, Portugal knelt to the Imperial Throne of France under force of arms, a huge defeat for those resisting the Continental System and also a main source of Britain's economic collapse. The Portuguese Confederation was formed. Despite much antagonism between Spain and France since the French Revolution, Napoleon seemed content enough to let the Spaniards have the southern part of the new vassal state to itself. The Corsican's growing empire was becoming a colossus, brow-beating neighbors such as Prussia into submission with the threat of brute force, also known as the Grand Army. Austria was crushed at Wagram in the summer of '09, and the Continental System was imposed on the former Holy Roman Empire. In the fall, Austria was finally defeated and a treaty was signed at Schönbrunn Palace, in Vienna.

In order to understand the expansion of the French Empire during this period, and the later events in the centuries following, we must look at in more depth the power Napoleon wielded at this point.

The Continental System


On the 21st of November, 1806, Napoleon signed the Berlin Decree in response to the British Royal Navy blockading his coast. While at first the strategy did not seem to be working, it really kicked in the following year, upon the George IV Murder-Suicide. The other countries started to regard Britain as something of a joke. Stories, sometimes utterly false, were released by France's propaganda industry that told of the drunken debauchery of the British nobility. Still others claimed King William was illegitimate, or perhaps a homosexual, or even both. Catholic Austria, France's main rival, had never had a good relationship with the British Isles, going back several hundred years. They, too, now looked upon the British government as incapable. The Royal Navy still ruled the Atlantic, but the Mediterranean was nothing short of a French pond. Royal Navy sloops and some other smaller ships patrolled North Africa to some degree, but it was only a token force protecting land the French Emperor was not interested in at the moment.

In 1808, British citizens owned growing reluctance to rally around their throne, a sentiment hugely aided by the Continental System and resulting collapse of the British economy. Some historians say that the entire collapse of the British economy was caused by the Continental System, with Napoleon jumping to take credit. Russia, a reluctant friend of France, was satisfied that Britain was falling, and thus strengthened their alliance to bring about the "Final Defeat of the Lobsterbacks."

When Britain prepared to sing the praises of its own Indian cotton, Georgia kicked in North America. It was protected from Britain by being locked in an area with allied European and neutral American regions. The sale of Napoleon-approved Georgian cotton to Europe was a devastating blow to Britain during a time when it needed more cash to continue the war effort.

This, however, led to another problem. Carolina, still under Andrew Jackson's fist, asked to be a trading partner with France, with cotton and tobacco as the major products. Carolina was the largest non-British tobacco provider in the world, and Europeans were willing to pay Carolina's prices rather than smuggle in British tobacco. In fact, Jackson was asked by Napoleon to deliberately lower his tobacco prices to undercut Britain, even if only for a while, with promises of losses being paid in full by France at a later date, upon the ruination of Britain. What was the problem then?
Britain did not like the "Colonists" hacking into their payday. William finally had had enough, and ordered the Royal Navy to start confiscating American goods and sink American ships. In late 1808, an entire joint Georgian-Carolinan trade fleet was sunk by the Brits. In the first show of collective support since before the Treason Trials, the American countries (with the exception of the Republican Union) pulled together to issue a unanimous declaration of war against Britain for violating their "neutrality." Though it refused to go to war for fear of Canada invading (as well as the general dislike of the Southrons), the RU agreed only to build ships for Napoleon's American allies. The Union struggled along economically while the South prepared to set up a "new era of industry" for itself; this being a pivotal moment in the North-South rivalry.

The exact date of Britain's total economic ruin cannot be pinpointed, but it certainly began around the time of the Berlin Decree, and was close to the end by the time William took the throne. The Napoleonic Wars were not over, and neither was Britain, but the Pound might as well have been minted out of feces by 1810.

The Grand Army
Never, since the days of the Roman Empire, had such a massive, multi-ethnic army won so many victories. Napoleon's personal obsession with all things military led him to christen his forces the Grand Army in 1805. A Roman-style eagle became the symbol which men from over a dozen different major countries and regions would carry to "Glory Eternal" on the battlefields of Europe. Prussians, Russians, Bavarians, Austrians, Americans, Saxons, and even some English were all common sights in the ranks during the height of French power. The Grand Army brought utter destruction to all who opposed it, from Austria to Prussia. Any time a French "ally" got ideas to violate agreements or go to war again, it was the fighting men of the Grand Army that went in to "put them down like dogs."

This tactic, though, was not wildly popular with the citizens of other nations. Rebellions were common, such as those in Prussia in 1809. These rebellions were to be crushed by the Emperor's order by the home country. If they failed, the Grand Army would invade. One means the oily Corsican came up with to keep the populace in check was to conscript or hire as many foreigners as possible, for, as he put it, "A man is much less likely to raise arms against an occupying force when his own brothers and fathers wear the occupiers' uniforms and carry their Imperial Eagles."

Allies
Needless to say, essentially all of Europe was allied to or conquered by Napoleon at this point. The year 1810 was what the Emperor declared "A new dawn. The beginning of an era of peace." Peace after "Britain's total destruction," that is.

Empire of France (areas bowing directly to the French throne):

  • Duchy of Warsaw
  • Kingdom of Italy
  • Kingdom of Holland
  • Kingdom of Etruria (until 1807)
  • Principality of Lucca and Piombino
  • Kingdom of Naples
  • Swiss Confederation
  • Confederation of the Rhine
  • Portuguese Confederation

French Allies:

  • Kingdom of Spain
  • Kingdom of Denmark
  • Kingdom of Sweden
  • Chesapeake Republic of Maryland
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Austrian Empire
  • Republic of Virginia
  • Empire of Russia
  • Confederation of the Carolinas
  • Kingdom of Prussia
  • Qajar Persia
  • Republic of Georgia
  • West Florida Republic
Trade Partners:

  • Republican Union
  • Green Mountain Republic of Vermont


Map of the world in 1807


Territorial Exchange and the Canadian Plot

"God must be--no, God is--a Frenchman."
-Marshal Louis-Gabriel Suchet

Spain, thanks to the prolonged effort against Britain, was desperately clinging to its colonies by 1810, trying to suck every bit of cash out of them it could. Finally, as per Napoleon's suggestion, they sold Florida to Georgia (with whom they had long disputed the borders between Florida, Georgia, and West Florida with) for eight million Georgian Pounds plus a goodly amount of cotton, ammunition, and boots. It was a fair deal, but Spain needed more money to carry on. Thus, it began talks with France for the sale of the (formerly French) Louisiana Territory.

This scared the living daylights out of the American countries, especially the Republican Union. Those countries might have been fine with Napoleon raising Hell in Europe, but the thought of Napoleon the Great in their own backyards was enough to cause insomnia. When France acquired Louisiana for 70,000,000 Francs, the Republican Union immediately raised an army and sent it to the Mississippi River to make sure Napoleon didn't get any big ideas about invading.

Napoleon, though, was not actually interested in invading the American republics. In fact, he liked most of them and saw no need to invade them whatsoever. Disunited, they weren't a threat. No, instead, he was eyeing British Canada, the ultimate prize over which the Seven Years' War was bloodily fought over so many decades before. He immediately drew up plans for a Kingdom of Quebec ruled by one of his officers or siblings, and the rest would likely become part of the French Empire proper. It was an impressive plan, but it still would be tough, if not impossible, to pull off with the Royal Navy causing problems.

That, concluded Napoleon, was the moment his greatest brainchild was born. He suddenly realized that if he announced a total partition of the British Empire, from India to Jamaica, other countries would likely love to get in on the profitable venture regardless of how much they hated his guts. Napoleon was top dog in the European neighborhood, and Britain was now the scrawny, malnourished whelp waiting to get the snot beaten out of it. It was always better to be on the top dog's side than the scrawny whelp's regardless if the scrawny whelp was formerly your best friend.

So, Russia was told that if the Imperial Russian Fleet helped rip through the Royal Navy, it would get to keep not only Alaska and the surrounding area, but would have part of the North American west coast blocked off for its exclusive ownership. The Czar, without having any idea what the offered territory was like, thought this was great, of course, and an English historian later claimed that "Alexander (the Czar) was willing to sell his soul to the devil for a bit of beachfront property in Eskimoland."

When the offer was sent to King Friedrich Wilhelm III promising African and South American territory in exchange for providing infantry and supplies for the invasion of Canada, the Prussian monarch reluctantly accepted, mostly because the French Imperial Army had several of its German regiments in his capital to enforce the Continental System and depose him if he tried anything.


King Friedrich Wilhelm III

Similar requests were sent to all the major countries. As for minor countries; they either were of no real possible use or would just follow along out of fear without actually even being promised anything as reward.

Thus, the plans for the Canadian Invasion were completed by early 1811. In 1812, in the spring, the fleets were to do battle with the Royal Navy in a sea battle for the ages.

Or at least, that was what was supposed to happen...


King William IV

British spies had found out about the Canadian Plot as early as just several weeks after the proposal was sent to Czar Alexander. William had to do something. Anything. He would not allow Britain to lose Canada.

Wills raised a massive army, pushing the Royal Economy even deeper into the darkest pits of the metaphorical outhouse. Thousands of men were shipped to Canada. Thousands of men in Canada itself were formed into militias. William had no way of paying for all this, so he had to believe he would win and keep Canada, and then use the momentum to possibly raid the French coast and perhaps invade Denmark or the French Ionian Islands or some other such place, and then slowly strike back against the Empire. If he did that, chances were Austria would side with him again, and then Prussia. With any luck, Britain, Austria, Prussia, Sweden, and perhaps one or two other won-back allies would defeat the Franco-Spanish-Russian menace in a possible War of the Sixth Coalition.

The truth is, that is probably what would have happened. Invading Canada would be like invading Russia. The freezing temperatures, vast open plains, rugged mountains, and relatively low population made it desirable in the past for sake of furs and colonial one-upsmanship, but it was not a good target for Napoleon. Russia would probably take western Canada anyway, and Britain would likely do nothing in response.

Up-and-coming Arthur Wellesley, thought the plan smelled of "French froggery," and was the only one to voice this opinion to the King, but William was too panicked to listen. The stress was starting to get to him, and he was showing signs of mental illness just like the two Georges before him. He became obsessive over Canada, and it was the biggest mistake he ever made.

The War of 1812 Begins
"Men of France, today we stand on the cusp of total victory! Centuries from now, your grandchildren will say of you that never since the days of Rome, the Millennium Empire, had the world seen such resplendent glory. Glory, gentlemen of France! Glory for you! Glory for me! Glory for France! And Glory Eternal to the Emperor, and to the Eternal Empire! Gloire à César! Vive César Napoléon!"
-Marshal Ney



The Imperial Guard on the Long Road to Tipperary

Napoleon had declared that the War of 1812 would be the climax of his conquering career. This would be the true beginning of the Pax Napoleonica, as his admirers had christened his 1810 promise. Everything begun at that riot a young artillery officer had put down so many years before and all the deaths and lives ruined and all the money spent since would finally pay off. The annihilation of France's immortal foe, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland/British Empire, was supposedly at hand.

Britain, at this stage of the game, was completely and utterly bankrupt. It was running on fumes, and all of Europe knew it. Hardly any European power felt any remorse seeing the broken-down English Royal Family lose power. Spain was particularly smug, satisfied revenge was coming for the Armada's Destruction centuries before. Really, England and its successor-state empire had repeatedly spat in the eyes of Napoleon's rivals in years past. Now, it was coming back to haunt them. Napoleon had long been regarded as a "whelp" and "impish boy-emperor," but the truth was that was how England had been viewed when it started flexing its muscles a century prior.

But Britain had a large army.

Britain's army was so large by this point, many soldiers were buying their own food and wearing homemade uniforms. The various territories and colonies were extremely far-flung, ranging from fairly safe locales such as Southern India to wildly volatile places like Jamaica and the Bahamas, which were barely fighting off repeated Franco-Georgian attacks. The need for manpower was huge. Britain came out with several improved ways of making cloth and ammunition (both of which were immediately stolen), and also started using women and children in factories. Everyone was bracing itself for the Invasion of Canada.

The deployment of so many troops to Canada, and the cost to equip them, was exactly what Napoleon had engineered. The coast of England was still well fortified, of course, as William would never let his guard down so close to his own keep, but Ireland was drastically exposed. In fact, a good percentage of the troops shipped to Canada were shipped from the Emerald Isle. To top it off, Denmark, allied with France, had Iceland, which was a great place to hide French ships on the backside of Britain. Indeed, Napoleon was planning his greatest offensive ever.

The combined Franco-Spanish-Russian Armada was to challenge the Royal Navy to do battle. The plan would not work unless William's ships were defeated then and there. The Armada would then barrage the English coast and feign an assault, with troops in smaller landing boats arriving to attack Truro, Cornwall. Meanwhile, a small fleet from Iceland would attack Scotland's coast, confusing the British as to where to expect the main landing. Had they been tricked, and a bizarre invasion was coming from Scotland? Or was that a diversion, with the Frogs in the English Channel being the real threat? The answer was neither: a huge Imperial pan-European invasion army would land at Cork, Waterford, and areas south of Dublin. The simmering Irish revolutionaries would take up arms once more and assist in the total takeover of Ireland. Joseph Bonaparte would take "power" as the King of Ireland, answering directly to his brother the French Emperor. If necessary, assaults would be launched into Scotland across the Irish Sea. By that point, Wales, which had long had a pro-French underground movement, would be promised independence if it seceded. After all that, England would be forced to accept Napoleon's terms. No fantastic invasion of "the White Cliffs of Dover" would be necessary. It would be a final, brutal extermination of Britain's power. A war of attrition.

On May 1, 1812, the Armada joined up and challenged the Royal Navy, under Nelson's successor Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood. It was another seemingly pro-French "Act of God" that the British had just suffered a terrible storm which had damaged many vessels. Suchet's words about God being French rang true again, claimed the Empire. Over the next grueling two and a half days, dozens of ships sank to the bottom of the ocean in what one historian labeled "Armageddon on the Atlantic." It was the final test of British strength.
Early in the morning of May 3, Collingwood stood on the deck of his flagship the HMS Morpeth surveying the enemy's movements. A Russian frigate, the Nevsky, appeared suddenly alongside the Morpeth, its approach having been hidden by morning mist and battle smoke from guns and the many burning ships. The Russians opened fire with canister shot, and the main boom of the British ship was destroyed. The large log fell directly on Collingwood, breaking his spine (paralyzing him) and removing him from the battle. The Russians kept the barrage up, and then rammed the burning flagship, sinking it. Collingwood was accepted as a prisoner and was removed from the battle to go to a French hospital at Calais.


The Sinking of the HMS Morpeth

Collingwood had had a good chance at winning, but with him gone, and news that King William had supposedly collapsed in London following a mental fit, the morale of the Royal Navy was destroyed, and at noon Commander Hickory Godfrey Hoover surrendered, having witnessed the annihilation of most of the fleet. It was a bloody, hard-won victory, and the French, Russians, and the other allies had suffered huge losses. Russia had lost half their ships. The entire fleet from Italy was sleeping with the fishes. But as soon as the British survivors were escorted back to France and word sent to Paris, the Armada continued on to barrage the English Coast and send fire ships (captured English vessels beyond repair) up the Thames. They might not have a triumphal assault on Buckingham Palace, but they were going to make sure they psychologically traumatized the entire English population.

At that point, a small fleet of Dutch ships landed at Truro, Cornwall, and set up shop. The bizarre landing made the British believe the assault was going to try to break Cornwall away and set it up as a police state. The British soldiers at Cornwall were led by incompetent General Wilbur Whiteham. He so bungled the counter-assault on the city that French Marshal Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, 1st Marquis of Gouvion-Saint-Cyr, said that "God has put a hex on England this day." Saint-Cyr actually requested allowance to press the assault inland, to take all of Cornwall. Instead, he was instructed to await reinforcements.


The pathetic British naval defenses of Truro are destroyed by Saint-Cyr's ships

Up to the north, an uncoordinated battle was being fought by shocked Scottish sailors against the Franco-Danish fleet that had arrived from Iceland. Neither side knew for sure what had happened on the Channel, and they had no idea the British Navy had been defeated, and they fought against only each other. The French and Danes were defeated, but the Scots thoroughly shaken. They immediately called up forces from deeper inside Scotland, which infuriated the British Command when they needed troops to send down to Truro and London. The French laughed gleefully at their enemies hysterical amount of bad luck and poor decisions as the real invasion army hit Cork and Crosshaven.

Then they stopped laughing.


British troops engage Allied troops in Ballycotton
There were not as many British troops in Ireland as there should have been, since so many were in Canada, but the fighting was still intense. Ballycotton and Ardmore were absolute bloodbaths, with thousands dead and wounded. General Arthur Wellesley, a native Irishman, was in command of the Army of Ireland, and he was determined to hold the line. Royal ships at Rosslare Harbor, on the south-eastern corner of Ireland, put up a good fight but were sunk by the French and Russians.


General Arthur Wellesley
The Irish Sea became a huge battlefield. Several marshals, generals, and admirals tried to coordinate the massive assault from a select number of ships. It was almost impossible. Catholic priests were assembling their congregations in France, praying for "God Almighty to smite the British devils."

Wellesley fell back to Killarney with his officer staff and his personal regiments. The rest he spread out, attempting to create an impenetrable wall "from Kenmare to Wicklow." This worked for the time being, but Irish militias were forming in Derry, Donegal, Monaghan, and multiple other locations behind his lines. The Allies were trying to strike rapidly, and when Marshal Ney arrived to take command on land, he made an immediate thrust at Clonmel with several thousand Imperial troops, including some Russian horse regiments that utterly terrified the British.

In late May, just three weeks after the decisive Battle of the Channel, William's generals realized the entire plan all along had been to invade Ireland. They tried to recall some Canadian troops, but it was too late, and several regiments were sunk by an allied American fleet around Nova Scotia. Wellesley had been forced to start fighting on both his front and rear, against the French and Irish respectively. He forced his way into Limerick to set up a new headquarters. London instructed him to make his stand there while Scottish General Thomas Graham tried to fight his way in from Scotland and take Derry from the rebels.


General Thomas Graham, the highest-ranking officer in the Scottish Army

Despite huge losses, the Allied army was confident. Private Jean-Paul Christophe Nicolas Napoleon Sarkozy, in an example of the spirit of the time, wrote in his diary (on a page dated June 18th, 1812) that, "Victory is so close I can almost taste it. All the other men in my regiment say the same. They say Marshal Ney is preparing to take Thurles and Newcastle West, and if he does that, Wellesley will be trapped like the rat he is."

The French, under trigger-happy Ney, were defeated and pushed back on June 25, after Ney attempted that assault. Thomas Graham was not given enough men to use the momentum to take Derry, however, as London insisted on fortifying the national capital and plugging up the Cornwall Front before Saint-Cyr invaded Wales, which was beginning to show a desire for independence.

King William was in the pits of a health crisis, and no one was left to inspire the public to fight on. Defeat started seeming inevitable, until an anonymous songwriter created a tune that circulated morale throughout the country and became a battlefield anthem for the Redcoats.

I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
May this fair dear land we love so well
In dignity and freedom dwell.

Though worlds may change and go awry
While there is still one voice to cry

There'll always be an England
While there's a country lane,
Wherever there's a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.
There'll always be an England
While there's a busy street,
Wherever there's a turning wheel,
A million marching feet.

Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you?
Surely you're proud, shout it aloud,
"Britons, awake!"
The Scots too, we can depend on you.
Freedom remains. These are the chains
No Frog King can break.

There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.

Wellesley handed Ney a dual defeat at the Battles of Cashel and Callan. After that, though, he had no choice but to abandon Limerick and head toward Derry to join Graham on a siege of that rebellious city.

Napoleon was pleased. Everything was going more or less to plan. He still had enough troops to keep his mainland territory in check, and did not really worry about other Europeans attacking since Britain was all but gone.

The thing the emperor did not realize, though, was that British people were among the most stubborn on earth. The French Empire was about to enter a war against the corner newspaper boy and local miller. A resistance movement of sorts had already cropped up among loyalists in southern Ireland, and There Will Always be an England was being sung in the streets of England and Canada. If the British were chased into Scotland, a total war of attrition would be waged. It was about to get really ugly, and a number of future developments would end up having large and unforeseen consequences in the years to come.
 
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War of 1812: Caribbean Theatre
British command in the Caribbean following the destruction of the Royal Navy fell to General Edward Michael Pakenham, who had decided to hold up in the Bahamas to fend off repeated Georgian expeditions launched from Florida to capture the islands. He barely held the line in late 1812 when a force under General Arthur Alexander assaulted Nassau by sea. Grudgingly, Alexander turned back to regroup his forces after a failed beach landing. Thomas Bragg, father of the later famous Braxton Bragg, marched a large Carolinian army down the coast to board the allied Georgian navy for an a new attack.


Edward Pakenham


Arthur Alexander

On the day before Christmas, the Southron forces landed and finally chased Pakenham out. Several thousand British died over the next few days of island hopping. A small Spanish fleet gave chase off the coast of Cuba, forcing Pakenham to flee to Jamaica, the last real British stronghold in the Caribbean. Georgia left a sizable force to occupy the Bahamas and then sailed down with a few Spanish and French ships to lay siege to the island. Abruptly, facing starvation and defeat, Pakenham's rowdy militiamen turned on him and his few actual remaining English soldiers and handed them over to Alexander.

Intensive talks ensued about the island's future, and the new "leader" of Jamaica, Henry Boniface, pleaded for independence and allegiance in return for not having an occupying force ravage the former Redcoat colony. Andrew Jackson stubbornly refused, claiming that Jamaica should be the Carolinas' reward from for undercutting Britain's cotton and tobacco prices before. Georgia squawked over it and negotiations went back and forth. Finally, Napoleon stepped in and said he would grant their independence as a satellite of both Georgia and the Carolinas. Boniface became Minister Prime of Jamaica. A new country was born.


Flag of Jamaica



Minister Prime Henry George Boniface of Jamaica

With the Allies clear of having to occupy Jamaica and with the Bahamas in hand, they were free to declare open season on the rest of the British colonies in the New World. France and Spain had pressing matters in Europe to attend to, so it left Georgia and company to pick from the island buffet.

Andrew Jackson immediately annexed Saint Kitts and Nevis, Barbados, the Virgin Islands, and Antigua and Barbuda. Georgia, still under the fiery 82 year-old Prime Minister Bulloch, resented this and sent Arthur Alexander to snatch up Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as Grenada and the Cayman Islands. They then disputed Saint Lucia with Jackson, but finally let the Carolinas have it in exchange for some new trade rights. Spain at first did not like this, but let it go as they hurried and retook Trinidad and Tobago before "Andy the Island Emperor" could sink his expansionist Southron jaws into it.

Napoleon, at this point in time, finally agreed to follow through on his promise to reward Jackson for his compliance with the undercutting of Britain's prices, and arranged for France and Holland to pull out of the Leeward and Windward Islands, forming the Carolinian Virgin Islands. The Dutch and French citizens on the island cluster weren't wild about this, so Jackson granted them an appearance of independence as the Virgin Islands Confederacy, while they essentially became his personal property and he appointed Thomas Bragg as Governor-General.

Upon Jackson implementing the bizarre form of self-government in the Virgin Islands, the Confederation of the Carolinas' Congress flew into a constitutional crisis. They managed to agree to it for the moment after several emergency meetings, but they were kicking the can down the road for further (much larger) problems.

Virginia got in on the game late, but Vice President Monroe suddenly offered a very large sum of cash and cotton and tobacco to Spain in exchange for Cuba. Spain, in the bowels of bankruptcy, almost agreed, but decided to reject the offer at the last minute because of the excellent tobacco crops grown on the island.
The new "territories" were not referred to as colonies by the new administrators, which helped keep them under control, especially as slaves were brought in again to make sure the islands fulfilled their entire reason for existence: agriculture. Slaves that had been free under British rule were allowed to keep their freedom, though they were in the absolute dregs of society. France had no qualms about slavery's expansion, as Napoleon had re-instituted the system himself in Haiti and Louisiana.

The Caribbean Theatre of War had, with the exception of a few roaming British holdout guerrillas, been ended by mid-1813, in a resounding but bloody Allied victory. Now the war would shift north, to Canada, and the Republican Union...


Map of the world in 1812

War of 1812: The Canadian Theatre
Drummond's Campaign of Terror

"We are Hellhounds sent to escort the Americans to Sheol." - Gordon Drummond, Commander of the British Army of Canada

The amount of British troops in Canada in 1812-13 was incredible. William had fallen hook-line-and-sinker for the trap and had left the British Motherland undermanned, all for the sake of defending glorious Canada from the Frogs and their nonexistent invasion. However, by late 1813, the Corsican Ogre was turning his territory-sensitive Roman schnoz to the snowy remnant and current bastion of British power. He basically threatened the Republican Union government into finally joining the Allies in a formal way and called for troops to help in the invasion of Canada and for military access to move through R.U. lands. The R.U., under Chief Consuls Oliver Wolcott, Jr., and Joseph Bloomfield, was very hesitant to get involved, mainly because it hated to ally with its southern neighbors for anything. When the Chief Consuls received a promise of new territory (the R.U. wanted to expand badly to compete with the South, but had no where to expand in before this), it sealed the deal.
The British commander of the Army of Canada was Gordon Drummond, the first Canadian-born officer to command a British army. He tried to ship troops back to England when news began arriving of the disaster in Europe. Several thousand soldiers died when their transports were sunk by Danish sloops prowling the cold waters of the North Atlantic around Greenland. To top it off, the newly hostile R.U. had made a surprise attack into New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, while a small fleet from Europe barraged the Nova Scotian coast. The troops in Halifax and Fredericton, which formed about 15% of the British Army of Canada, were bottled up on both sides and were taking heavy casualties.

General Philip McDonald planned to bust out at St. John's and then march along the coast until he would come up behind American General Zebulon Pike's forces. After disabling Pike he was to march south, spreading terror and fear in the R.U. and try to burn as much of the country as possible.

Zebulon Pike was beaten, and beaten badly. McDonald requested that Drummond bring up every bit of soldiery Canada had in a full frontal assault on the Republican Union. McDonald stated that, "We are going to lose this war, Commander. We are going to lose no matter what. But damn my eyes if we aren't going to see the Republican Union burn before we're done. I ask you to join me on this attack, and like King Leonidas and the 300, we will march gallantly and with our heads held high to our own glorious demise."

Drummond responded to McDonald's request by saying, "Aye, I will come. We are Hellhounds sent to escort the Americans to Sheol. This is God's Work, McDonald. Kill all you find. Take no prisoners. Decimate them."
The Republican Union called for immediate assistance from the other Allies. France was en route, but not in large enough numbers. Virginia was preparing, as was the Confederation of the Carolinas. But Georgia and West Florida, as well as Spain, seemed extremely slow in giving a darn about the hateful Union's fate, which was, in a way, a fair reaction, considering the R.U.'s attitude to its neighbors. And also in a way, they almost wanted to see the R.U. get taken down a notch. This decision and reluctance to help, though seemingly wise at the time, doomed the world of the future to a horrible fate.

The beginning of the true dystopia was when McDonald plowed through the terrified militias in upper New England. One city after another burned. The British wanted nothing more than revenge and supplies to keep the fight going, not to add conquered territories to the defunct Empire. When Drummond joined in, cruising across the R.U.-Canadian border with no resistance, he had a few brief skirmishes with the Green Mountain Republic of Vermont before its government fled in terror southward. Leaving that small country to rot in its own failure, the Commander of Canada marched down to northern Massachusetts to join forces with McDonald. Together, they overwhelmed Zebulon Pike a second time, when Pike died fighting at Mt. Greylock (January, 1814). Canadian militias were still coming down from Northern New York, pillaging as they went, creating a trident formation of armies aiming to impale New York City. But currently, the Anglo-Canadians were laying to siege to Boston, the cradle of the hated American monsters' independence. The R.U. was collapsing, and the panic of losing everything was very real to most.


Republican Union troops march to their deaths at Mount Greylock
Bloomfield and Wolcott were furious at the seemingly deliberate lack of willpower from their "allies." President Madison of Virginia was finally sending in troops to put the Canadians down, and the Carolinians were marching to the call of battle, but it was clear by this point that the Republican Union would be virtually destroyed by Canada before the Allies came in and helped in full force.

Boston fell late March, without actually falling. Except for some brief scavenging, the Redcoats didn't actually occupy the city. Instead, they elected to burn as much as they could. Then, they packed up an marched to New York City.

Canadian manpower was running rather low at this point. Drummond and McDonald approached New York City in mid April. On April 22, several cannonballs crashed into the outskirts of the huge city. However, Virginia, Maryland, and CoCaro armies were fast approaching from the south, and the wrathful Canadians were forced to give up and retreat west, uniting with the militias that had been burning New York state itself, and together they trudged west, along the New York-Pennsylvania border. Then, in a surprise move, they jutted back southward into Pennsylvania itself. Following a brief campaign, the Canadians were defeated at Clarion, and from then on out Drummond and McDonald were on the retreat. The war was lost in the New World, and just barely continuing (equally hopelessly) in Britain itself. However, over 150,000 Republican Union men, women, and children had been killed during the Canadian Invasion, and a scar was left on North America that would only deepen as time went on, and is considered by many to be the beginning of the so-called "End Times Era." True horror would result from the actions of Gordon Drummond and Philip McDonald... horror beyond their wildest imagination.

PAX NAPOLEONICA


"It has become increasingly clear to this journalist, that the French Caesar thinks he has achieved supreme victory. He has met the enemy, and they are his, at least for now. What may lay down the road is unknown, but the stability of the empire will be difficult to maintain."

-Harold Jenkins Abernathy, Chief Editor of the Maryland Gazette, January 1, 1815

Napoleon declared the war over on Christmas Day, 1814, as he had promised several months before. In Canada, the British had been annihilated at last. McDonald had been captured in northern Quebec and was executed by the R.U. for war crimes, which was a startling event in a time when countries almost always respected rival military leaders and usually let them go or exchanged them if captured. Drummond escaped to an unknown fate, likely in the Great Canadian Frontier, leaving many Union citizens thirsting for revenge and wanting to take it out on Canadian citizens and POWs, which were sometimes executed for "war crimes" in batches of 100 or more.

EUROPE:

Back in Europe, Wellesley had been captured in May, 1814. After that, the war in Britain was effectively over. Ireland declared independence on the same day as Wales: May 16th. Joseph Bonaparte was installed by Napoleon as King of Ireland. Naples and Sicily, of which Joseph was formerly monarch of, went to his 15 year old daughter Zénaïde. His younger daughter, Charlotte, had died in an horrific carriage accident in 1813. Joseph took his only son, 16 year-old Dominique-Antoine Napoleon Bonaparte, with him to be Crown Prince Dominic of Ireland.


King Joseph I, wearing Irish Green


Flag of the Kingdom of Ireland
Wales went for an aristocratic republican system. It was heavily inspired by the government of Virginia, and Braith Nash became the first Prince-President of Wales. Nash had acted as emergency leader since the Welsh independence movement really took off, and was very popular. He desired maximum freedom for his people, and (though he was technically a prince), wanted the government to be very out of the people's way. Sadly, directly following the official declaration of Welsh independence, Nash was shot through the neck by a rifle-toting rooftop assassin. He died instantly. A new leader was elected, and the new fellow was the first leader in Wales to belong to a political party, the radical Plaid Cymru group. His name was Thomas Picton, and his history is fairly mysterious. He supposedly had served in French Revolution on the French side, as an expatriate. He was a quite typical democrat and moderate everyman at that point, allegedly. But then he met Robespierre and he drastically changed his viewpoints, becoming increasingly radical. He had Napoleon's approval when he was elected Prince-President, but afterward he quickly descended into a totalitarian state of mind.

His Excellency, Braith Nash


His Princely Majesty, Thomas Picton, Order of the Red Dragon
Wales and Ireland inspired Scotland to finally proclaim freedom from England in a surprise move. They proclaimed a constitutional republic and elected the 81 year-old Ralph Abercromby, a former general in the British Army of Scotland. He was considered a fervent Scottish nationalist, anti-English, and was by far the most appropriate choice for leader. He was an intimidating figure; he had lost an arm in 1802, and a large sword gash ran along the right side of his head. He actually became known as the "Highland Bear" throughout Europe, because of his stature and his ruthless habit of getting things done, and getting them done quickly.


Ralph Abercromby


Flag of the Republic of Scotland


Scottish troops in their uniforms (old surplus British red uniforms they had dyed gray-blue)

The Republic of Scotland became a fairly happy country, but the area bordering Catholic Ireland was so volatile it had to be permanently staffed with French troops, chiefly at Fort Scotia, a massive seaside castle on the coast of Scotland completed in 1820 that was the definition of intimidation and martial law. Scotland tolerated the French troops there for now, but it would later become problematic.

The Isle of Man was ripped from William, and Napoleon made the island a part of the French Empire and himself Lord of Man. It made an excellent stronghold to keep an eye on Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England. Shortly after, the French Caesar added Guernsey, Jersey, and all parts of the Channel Islands to his domains. He then proclaimed Cornwall to be a military occupation zone and a French dependency. He set up Marquis Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, of Truro Invasion fame, as Governor of Cornwall.
Meanwhile, England was in chaos. Several attempts to overthrow the government had been attempted, chiefly by Arthur Wellesley, who plotted a peaceful overthrow of William during an event known as "The 100 Days," which took place after Wellesley escaped from an Irish prison camp with a few loyal officers. At the last moment, Wellington was defeated in a small skirmish with Williamite troops at a place called Waterley, on the west coast. He was handed over to the French and Irish by obedient William and was then exiled to the Falklands, where he died of arsenic poisoning and stomach cancer five years later.

William was desperately clinging to power as his kingdom had literally fallen apart around him and his inherited mental problems became more and more apparent. He would have to kowtow to France from this point on or be invaded, and if he did kowtow, the people would overthrow him eventually. So, finally, he announced he was abdicating the throne, which would go to his younger brother, Edward, who then became King Edward VII. In 1818, Edward married Marie Louise Viktoria, ex-wife of the late German nobleman Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen. On May 24th, 1819, Princess Victoria of England was born.


King Edward VII

Edward was a moderate man of moderate temperament, rather weak in fact, but he at least seemed to be solid in the brain, and hopes were high Princess Victoria would not turn out to be a screaming banshee of a madwoman later. The Queen Consort was known for worrying for her daughter's health, but publicly stated again and again that Victoria was perfectly sound of mind. The only thing she expressed concern about was who would marry the princess later; with a huge family history of insanity, megalomania, and homicidal psychosis, not many princes and dukes would be wanting to meet Victoria at the altar.
THE AMERICAS:
The French were quick to wrest Francophone Quebec from American influence, and they were also quick to warn the Union to only take areas of Canada approved by Napoleon. Threats of retaliation were issued to the American Consuls, saying that any attempt by American soldiers to occupy Canadian soil would be considered an act of war against France and her associates. This shocking warning worked, and the French government hunkered down to work out the new borders.

In the Republican Union, anti-French demagoguery sounded through the cities and was plastered on newspapers everywhere, as well as coverage of the ongoing hunt for "Drummond the Ogre." They had no clue that Drummond had escaped to British holdings in India (the last remnant of British colonialism) by early 1815. The R.U. proclaimed Christmas Eve to be "Remembrance Day," with festivities such as dressing in nothing but black, eating a minimal amount, going to church, and burning effigies of Drummond at the town squares. Boston proclaimed March 26 a city "holiday," officially called "Siege Day," commemorating the day in 1814 when Canadian forces barraged and burnt 70% of the famous city down.

Burning Drummond's Effigy in Chapelton, Pennsylvania, by Edward Staten (1821, Maryland Gazette)

Boston's growth was forever stunted, as was New York City's and Philadelphia's. After the war in Europe had wrapped up, the workforce, no longer producing guns, bullets, swords, and bayonets, started leaving for the New World. New Spain was largely ignored, as it was too unstable and Spain itself, though on the winning side of the Great Wars, was not considered likely to avoid going bankrupt soon.

France had taken over New Portugal, including all of Brazil, following the 1808 formation of the Portuguese Confederation. It then declared volatile Brazil to be an "independent Brazilian Republic." A new identity was forming in the decade after, a strange mix of Spanish, French, Indian, and Negro culture. It received quite a bit of immigration from France itself by wealthy businessmen seeking to create new plantations (and sometimes unfairly rip farms out of middle-class Portuguese growers). Many Brazilians suddenly found themselves second-class citizens, and much of their wealth was what many would call "redistributed" to Frenchmen by Napoleon's government. Tensions finally boiled over in 1819, when a mob of Brazilians stormed the Brazil government headquarters with torches and farming tools. Swiss mercenaries opened fire with their expensive rifled muskets, massacring the rioters. Napoleon declared martial law, and by 1820, the French were firmly the undisputed masters of New Portugal.

Flag of the Brazilian Republic

Meanwhile, immigrants to the southern North American countries found themselves most of the time in a much fairer position. Georgia, CoCaro, Virginia, and the rest all highly valued hard work, and let most any white man (and much of the time Hispanics) to rise wherever the sweat of their brow would take them. The Caribbean islands were a hotspot of new citizenry. Many of the ships coming from southern Europe would stop to resupply in the Caribbean, and many of the Europeans favored the warm climate and style of living and thought it reminiscent of places like Naples and the Mediterranean coast. Thomas Bragg's Virgin Islands Confederacy experienced a massive population boom. The quasi-independent and very peaceful and agricultural Jamaica also doubled in size at this point, becoming largely Germanic in its heritage.

In Georgia, though it was still considered a Protestant country, Catholic presence was increasing dramatically, largely due to the romance between the country and Catholic France. Spaniards were coming in even from New Spain, and shiploads of Irish and Catholic Scots were arriving daily. Savannah soon had its very own Little Ireland, and the metropolis grew and grew after that point, soon adding Eastern European neighborhoods, German speaking ones, and more than a few Italian areas. Savannah became "rife with Papal vermin infestations" according to R.U. newspapers, and deserved to be "exterminated like Sodom and the Whore of Rome itself." By 1840, Georgia would in fact be a predominantly Catholic country.

Despite the fairly decent treatment in other American countries, many immigrants recognized the most liberal republics were Virginia and Maryland. Virginia, as a largely agricultural country, needed as many immigrants as it could to bolster industry. French scientists and experts had been in Virginia for decades, trying to help their good ally move beyond cotton and tobacco. When mass waves of English, Eastern European, and Austrian families arrived, Newport News became Virginia's economic capital, along with Madisonville, on the Mississippi River.​
Maryland had an almost purely maritime tradition. Whaling, and the general whale oil industry, was predominate, with Maryland having gone so far as having beaten the R.U. to the valuable rights to fish off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, something which incensed the Consuls. It was only fitting that, after several brutal winters and poor harvests in the homelands (1814-18), the famously seafaring Scandinavians began pouring into Maryland with their fishing know-how and many of their own boats, forming a staunch far-right, ultra-Lutheran block of population, which severely outnumbered the formerly predominate Catholic population (though Catholics were never a true majority).

By 1825, the R.U. was lagging behind terribly, but in the coming decades it would form its own metropolis out west, along the Great Lakes, its main source of income. Shicagwa, already in 1825 the capital of the newly declared State of Iowai (in the former Northwest Territory), would begin that same year, through shifty R.U. policies, to develop into a large city. Iowai's government had proposed the idea to the Chief Consuls in 1823, right before statehood, that Shicagwa was in a perfect place to cause maximum profit; iron mines nearby and fishing on Lake Michigan were available, as well as the possibility of textile mills and such. The Consuls then sent agents to Eastern Europe to lure people to Shicagwa with the promises of fame and fortune and certain jobs. Families would save up for years to pull together the money to cross the Atlantic, only to find Shicagwa an impoverished shanty town, where the port bosses built up a reputation for cruelty and the factories were complete sweatshops. The cheap Slavic labor would soon spiral out of hand, with the immigrants becoming slaves in everything but name. And while the slave population in the south was decreasing and "enlightened" plantation masters were supposedly treating blacks with more dignity, the Slavs were treated with utter contempt. When Philadelphia was faced with civil unrest, the R.U. deployed its military to crack down dissent. Huge prison castles were built in the Ohio wilderness, where any nonconformists were sent. The children of the immigrants were slowly drained of Orthodoxy by state-funded Sunday Schools at the factories, and they were taught that the other American countries, Britain, and France were all "fagots fit for the fire." While working in wretched conditions, abusive "Sunday School ministers" would lead the children in cadences. A Georgian traveler named Barnabas P. Jekyll wrote in his diary that "the state of the foreign little ones in the Union sickens me. It is an abomination. This damnable 'Republic' should be burned down."

As the year 1826 approached, it looked as if another year of the Pax Napoleonica would come and go. But something triggered on the Gulf of Mexico was about to plunge New Spain into a Revolution, and back in Asia, decisions would have to be made about the all-important Partition of India, only now possible after a decade of stomping out insurrection. And last but not least, the fate of the Mysterious Orient.


Map of the world on December 25, 1814
 
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THE WORLD CONGRESS OF VIENNA: PART I

Napoleon I arrives at the Congress (1826)
In early 1826, after over a decade since the end of the Great Wars of the Empire and the beginning of the "Pax Napoleonica," Austria's Kaiser Franz I started to protest the way Napoleon had not broken up the British Empire among the Allies and rewarded them in other ways, as had been the promised arrangement and one of the main reasons the other countries fought for Napoleon in the first place (the other being blatant fear of total destruction). Thus, Napoleon, who was seemingly surprised by the anger and proclaimed to have just been busy conquering India from the British and East India Company holdouts and the native Indian warlords, agreed to hold a World Congress, the first of its kind, at Vienna.

The Congress's opening was full of pomp and circumstance. Several days were allotted for the monarchs and leaders to drown themselves in the praise and salutes and bows of the others, all given and received with doubtful sincerity. The following is a list of most of the leaders present (their dignitaries are not counted, which sometimes numbered in the hundreds):

France:
  • Napoleon I, Caesar (also King of Andorra, King of Italy, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Protector of the Free City of Lisbon)​
  • Michel Ney, Prime Minister​
Denmark-Norway:
  • Frederick VI, King​
  • Otto Joachim Moltke, Prime Minister​
England:
  • Edward VII, King (traditional title of King of Hanover given to Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia six years prior to the Congress)​
  • John Wallace, Prime Minister​
Austria:
  • Franz I, Kaiser (also King of Hungary and Bohemia)​
  • Prinz von Metternich, Chancellor​
Prussia and Hanover:
  • Friedrich Wilhelm III, King​
  • Count von Wylich, Chief Minister​
Bavaria:
  • Ludwig I​
Kingdom of Saxony and Grand Duchy of Warsaw:
  • Frederick Augustus I, King, Grand Duke​
Württemberg:
  • Wilhelm, King​
Baden:
  • Karl, Grand Duke​
  • Stéphanie, Consort, Daughter of Napoleon I​
Portuguese Confederation and Etruria:
  • Louis, King (Powerless; ordered directly by Napoleon I)​
Principality of Lucca and Piombino:
  • Elisa Napoleona, Princess​
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (formerly Naples and Sicily):
  • Zénaïde, Queen, Daughter of Joseph Bonaparte​
Kingdom of Holland:
  • Louis I, King, Brother of Napoleon I​
Kingdom of Sweden:
  • Karl XIV, King (Jean Bernadotte, former grand marshal under and bitter rival of Napoleon I; the two openly argued with each other at the Congress until Karl suddenly dropped dead of a heart attack)​
  • Oscar I, King​
Spain:
  • Ferdinand VII​
Ottoman Empire:
  • Benderli Selim Sirri Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier​
Russian Empire:
  • Nicholas I, Czar (also Grand Duke of Finland)​
Republican Union:
  • Charles Goodyear, Representative​
  • Miles Romney, Representative​
Confederation of the Carolinas:
  • Andrew Jackson, Chancellor​
  • John C. Calhoun, Colonel of the Confederation (unique title; essentially Prime Minister)​
Virgin Islands Confederacy:
  • Thomas Bragg, Governor-General (answered directly to Jackson and also brought young son Braxton with him; the Congress had a "profound" effect on the boy)​
Republic of Virginia:
  • Henry Clay, President (also representing the Chesapeake Republic of Maryland)​
  • Daniel Webster, Vice President​
Republic of Georgia:
  • John Hardee, Representative (also representing the West Florida Republic and the Republic of Jamaica)​
Green Mountain Republic of Vermont:
  • Jay Thomas Powell, Chancellor (stormed out after being ridiculed by Ludwig of Bavaria)​

The Canadian Question and Goodyear's Tirade, July 5th-6th, 1826:

The whole reason that North American countries had representatives present was really Canada. The Republican Union had a fiery young businessman named Charles Goodyear as their chief negotiator, who was in turn balanced by the mild and moderate Miles Romney, a Consul of Massachusetts. Goodyear had first become wealthy in the rubber industry, farming the substance in French-occupied Brazil, and then in the growing steam engine business, and then finally a tycoon in a venture with Eli Whitney.


Charles Goodyear
The millionaire ranted for over an hour on July 5th, the first official day, over how the Republican Union had been abandoned by France and its allies and how 50% of Canada should be theirs. Frederick Augustus, of Saxony and Warsaw, and Louis, of the Portuguese Confederation and Etruria, both stood up, along with their entire entourages, and booed him publicly. Goodyear's face "looked red as a hot coal" and he turned and launched a brutal tirade of anti-Polish, anti-Eastern European, anti-Catholic, anti-Portuguese, and anti-Italian slurs, until Henry Clay of Virginia told him to "calm down, you ignorant fool." Incensed, Goodyear stormed out and would not come back till the next day, leaving his job to Romney.

Romney calmly discussed Canada with the other parties concerned, and agreed to drop all other claims to to the French Colony in exchange for Nova Scotia. Goodyear would allegedly slap Romney in the face and call him a gutless coward to his face the next day.​



King Karl of Sweden Dies and Oscar I Speaks, July 7th-9th, 1826
:
One of the most shocking episodes came on the third day of the Congress, on July 7th, when, following a heated exchange with Napoleon I, Karl (Bernadotte) of Sweden dropped dead, stricken by a massive cardiac arrest. The decision as to who would be speak for Sweden had to be made immediately. War was brewing between Sweden and Russia over the Finland Question, and with no leader, the matter might spiral out of control.

The little-known Swedish heir, Oscar I, now an un-crowned king, stood up and shocked everyone in attendance with his excellent speeches and oratory. The fact that he was Napoleon's godson and that he, unlike Karl, loved and respected the French emperor did not hurt his case with many of France's puppets. Frederick Augustus, of Saxony and Warsaw, and Louis, of the Portuguese Confederation and Etruria, stood up, beckoned their entourages to do the same, and "openly wept like babies, as if their very thrones depended on this tearful action." The graying French Caesar nodded approvingly. The matter was then resolved so that Finland became independent and completely neutral. Trade was opened to both Russia and Sweden. If any country violated the treaty, they would have to answer to the European Alliance and the French Empire.​

The Spanish Bankruptcy Question, July 10th-15th:
Certainly one of the most pressing and potentially devastating matters undertaken at Vienna was the growing instability of Spain, its colonial empire, and its economy. Despite the gift of a good 60% of Portugal from France during the Great Wars, it was still a backward, poor country, a mere shadow of its former glory and power.

New Spain had experienced its first real revolt just five months prior to the World Congress, when 50 Spanish troops were killed by a mob of impoverished farmers in Cuba. Spain had responded with brutal and quick action, killing citizens senselessly in what Napoleon I called "a needless massacre." The open revolt that followed was still raging at the time of the Congress, where Spain was told to get its act together on the island and stop murdering the Cubans or suffer dire consequences. Little did those in Vienna know that Cuba had declared independence five days before, or that Virginian and Carolinian ships were currently peacefully blockading Havana to prevent Spanish troops from landing.

In the end, the Congress refused to help Spain if it suffered rebellions, as the nations feared a brutal, prolonged conflict in the jungles and deserts of North and South America helping an elderly empire no one really liked much anymore. It also didn't help that many nations were verging on declaring war with Spain since it wouldn't (and couldn't) pay back huge loans. Austria was the most angry about not being recompensed, and it showed when Prinz von Metternich personally threatened war. Napoleon barely defused the situation, but it was just prolonging the inevitable. Many were suspecting that multiple European countries would support insurrections in New Spain.​

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF VIENNA: PART II

The Partition of India, July 16th-28th, 1826:

After the grueling talks over Spain's looming collapse, the Congress brought up the most touchy subject of the entire meeting, India. Napoleon and Ney declared that they had fought and bled for the conquest of India, but they would be willing to "fairly" divide the spoils with their Allies.

Everyone who was anyone got trading rights with the valuable subcontinent. France had set up its Asian capital in Bombay, and declared the entirety of "Bombay Principality," stretching from the Baluchistan border down to allied Mysore and including Kutch and Kathiawar, to be an official colony of France. The Sikh Empire nearby detested the return of a strong European military presence so near to their country when the French had first sent expeditions in in 1816. The British East India Company, after the collapse of the British Empire, had been essentially abandoned by William and Edward, and they had suffered multiple horrific defeats at the hands of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the fearsome Sikh emperor, after he had tried to expand his borders and faith into Rajputana.

France had favored the Muslims of India for quite some time, and after the East India Company destroyed the Hindu Maratha Confederacy in 1818 (their last real conquest), the Muslims of the remnants of the Mughal Empire agreed to submit to being French clients in exchange for protection against the Sikhs and the destruction of the British holdouts still occupying Mughal territory. Thus, by the time of the World Congress, the Franco-Sikh War was well underway. Napoleon II, the baby-faced, half-Austrian 15 year-old "King of Rome," grandson of Kaiser Franz, had volunteered to serve in Bombay during the beginning of the invasion, and there he began to show he had inherited his father's knack for strategy as he worked on mapping under the supervision of the French generals stationed there. Everyone gathered in Vienna expected the Sikhs to crumble before long, and many also expected that Napoleon II would be proclaimed Prince of Bombay once he came of age in a few years time. At the Congress, Kaiser Franz was proud of his grandson and awarded him the title of Duke of Reichstadt, and a medallion representing his new title was gifted to Napoleon I, for him to present to the King of Rome upon his return.​


Napoleon II
During all these events in India, a French force largely consisting of Irish, German, Dutch, and Italian troops had landed on areas of India's eastern coast, where they were met with open arms by the Sultanate of Mysore, which helped them enforce Napoleon's rule in the south. Further north, Bengal, the makeshift capital of the East India Company, put up some stiff resistance in some areas, but in the end surrendered, most areas doing so by August of 1825. This effectively ended any real form of English rule in Asia for good. At the World Congress of Vienna, Bengal was proclaimed a principality, and Napoleon offered the position of prince to Ferdinand of Austria, Kaiser Franz's son and the future leader of Austria. Once it was made clear to the mentally deficient Ferdinand that he would not actually be living in Bengal, he accepted gladly. Thus, Bengal fell under Austrian domination and essentially became a colonial administration of the Hapsburg Crown.


Ferdinand, Prince of Bengal
Goa, which had been under Portuguese rule for centuries until the East India Company seized it once British-allied Portugal collapsed in 1809, was under Dutch occupation in 1826. At Vienna, Napoleon announced that the Portuguese Confederation was simply not economically capable of managing the far off colony. Instead, it was given to Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and Hanover.

Denmark-Norway, desiring to further its efforts in Africa and because they were no longer making a profit in places like Trankebar, on the south-east coast of India, sold all of its Indian possessions to France. The Danish East India Company thereby permanently closed its doors.

The Mughal Empire was known to be failing in Hyderabad in the face of civil unrest and economic collapse. The French announced they were going in, and the Principality of Hyderabad was declared in Vienna on July 27th, 1826. French Prime Minister Michel Ney was awarded honorary title of Prince; as in Bombay, Napoleon and the French military and navy would make day-to-day decisions involved in the running of the colonies- the princely titles were strictly honorary.

Bhutan had been under fire from every Western power in India for decades, and it finally submitted to being a satellite state of France in 1825. It's independence was "guaranteed" by France at Vienna.​

The Australia and Malay Archipelago Partition, July 29th-August 2nd, 1826:
The Australian Question was raised by Louis Bonaparte of Holland, who had been in a joint occupation with France of the former British colony since the last year of the Great Wars of the Empire. Louis requested official borders be drawn up. France agreed, and the border disputes were promptly put to rest, though several days of negotiations went on over various nearby islands. The Andaman Islands, a British penal colony, were awarded to the Dutch. The Dutch had long desired a monopoly in the Maylay Archipelago, and the local Spanish outposts were almost all abandoned. Thus, Louis requested sovereignty over all of the Archipelago, including New Guinea. This was agreed upon, as Napoleon had more than enough territory to go around at the present and he was satisfied that Holland was a loyal ally and satellite state.

The Finland Independence Question, August 3rd-15th, 1826:
Since it had been agreed to by Russia and Sweden that Finland would be a neutral independent state, the matter of who would lead the frozen northern country lingered until August 3rd, when Napoleon presented the faithful, elderly, French lapdog Frederick Augustus I, King of Saxony and Grand Duke of Warsaw, as a candidate for the new Finnish Crown. Sweden, under the very cooperative Oscar, and Russia, under Napoleon's personal friend the Czar, agreed to this, and the "Fat Saxon" gained yet another hereditary title for himself and his daughter Maria Augusta. Prinz von Metternich called the Saxon monarch "a man with far more titles then he deserves. Three too many, in fact."


Frederick Augustus I, King of Saxony, Grand Duke of Warsaw, Grand Prince of Finland

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF VIENNA: CONCLUSION

Caesar Napoleon I, Age 57 (drawing by a Prussian diplomat at the World Congress)
The first-ever World Congress continued until October 15th, 1826, though many leaders had gone home earlier. Almost all American diplomats, for instance, had left in early August (with the exceptions of Goodyear and Romney), shortly after Virginia had purchased Bermuda (which incensed Goodyear yet again). Goodyear continued to launch angry tirades almost daily, even when the leaders were discussing matters with little to no effect to the entire North American Continent. This scored him major popularity points back home when the young tycoon returned to a hero's welcome. It was, overall, a civil affair, despite Goodyear, the death of Karl of Sweden, and the fact that many countries being represented hated each other beyond reason. Plans were made to convene again in 1832, and Berlin was voted to be the site of the next Congress. Friedrich Wilhelm III left in an extremely good mood and was already jotting down notes on how he would shock the world with a splendorous militaristic circus of an event when his city's time came.

The Congress had taken up a good part of Vienna, with the troops and guards and horses from all over Europe and America needing food, shelter, and drink. The housing for most of the leaders was beyond extravagant, and the more powerful a leader was, the more luxurious and showy it became. The Czar of Russia, for instance, had a "camp" so large, that Austrian citizens said it was like "some sort of exhibition on life in Moscow." Meanwhile, the hotel being rented by the Republican Union was set up by Goodyear to show off the latest technological gimmickry and machines from his and Eli Whitney's workshop. The highlight was Napoleon, who always claimed to be a "scientist at heart," stopping by to see "Goodyear's Vulcanized Rubber" and the latest version of the steam engine. One of Goodyear's aides gifted a small piece of "chicle candy," wrapped in a wax paper to Bonaparte. Unfortunately, Napoleon quickly bit his tongue and broke one of his fragile teeth, and he left the hotel in agony. Rumors flew that Goodyear had deliberately offered the "dirty Frenchman" a stale piece of the sweet, though the Republican Union ambassadors promptly denied this.

Thus, the "Pax Napoleonica" continued. Until the North American and Spanish leaders returned home to find their countries on the brink of all-out war...​


Map of the world in 1826

"Remember the Madison!"
- Virginia President Henry Clay

The R.V.S. James Madison explodes into a gigantic fireball in Havana Harbor on All Hallows' Eve, 1826, killing 296 sailors
When Virginian President Henry Clay and his Vice President Daniel Webster were returning home from the Congress, they were met out at sea by allied Carolinian warships reporting that there was a quickly escalating crisis on and around the Spanish island of Cuba. Spain had been attempting to send in troops after Cuba had declared independence and overthrown much of the local garrison. Spain had already been internationally condemned by France and its allies for atrocities and was also infamous for never repaying loans it owed to a large number of powerful countries; in short, almost everyone wanted to punish Spain. Virginian, Carolinian, and some patrolling French and Georgian vessels had peacefully blockaded the island, and no shots had been fired as King Ferdinand's ships dropped anchor about a half-mile out to sea. The tension was high, however, as the enemy admirals stared each other down through spyglasses and waited to see if the other would try something first.
Webster sailed on home to Virginia to make sure someone was in a position of authority there, but Clay insisted on personally taking charge of the situation and sailed down to Cuba. Just hours after Clay arrived in Havana Harbor, the R.V.S. James Madison, a large, expensive frigate, blew sky-high extremely close to Clay's R.V.S. Newport News. Around 296 sailors lost their lives in the horrific explosion that caused several other ships to catch fire. Immediately, screaming about Spanish treachery, Captain Bartholomew Daniels of the R.V.S. Portsmouth ordered his guns to open up on the Spanish fleet. Clay, who would have preferred to make sure that the explosion was not simply an accident, was red-faced, knowing his country was now at war with Spain. But seconds later, Clay was up on the poop deck, bellowing out "Remember the Madison!" Several thousand "For Old Virginia!" "For Georgia!" "God Bless Carolina!" and "Vive César!" cries came after as the Allied fleet broke formation and went full speed ahead at the shocked Spanish navy. Within minutes, the Spanish admiral and most of his officers were floating face down in the deep blue sea, and many of the Spanish sailors were disheartened and simply surrendering en masse. Clay's men whooped cheers of victory and most of the other nations' ships went after the fleeing Spanish, but the Virginians stayed and landed at the docks. They were met with a huge celebration. The locals began acting like Clay was a god of liberty as they raised him and his men on their shoulders and carried them to the Colonial Administration Office. In front of the building where over two hundred surrendered and starving Spanish troops begging for mercy. The Revolucion in Cuba had succeeded.

The weak Cuban government plead for Virginian protection. Clay agreed to this, and began his voyage back to Virginia to muster the armed forces for the coming war. At Christmas Time, thousands of Virginian troops landed on Cuba and the whole "Cuban nation" began to look a whole lot like a Virginian colony. This was deliberate; Clay had drawn up a plan with Webster to gradually ease the island republic from its independence ("as independence for such a place is not tenable in the long run"), and make it an occupied puppet state. With the exception of Bermuda, Virginia had no colonies or territories, but now they found themselves masters of the Grand Prize of the Gulf.​


Flag of the Republic of Cuba

When the news reached Europe, everyone blamed Spain for the "act of aggression" and breaching the Pax Napoleonica. Ferdinand VII was already a hated figure, and many countries finally wanted to do away with his entire rule and give it to someone more sane and capable, and also do away with his backwards feudalism and Inquisition tactics. Austria in particular was still seething over unpaid Spanish debts, and Kaiser Franz seemed more than happy with the idea of an Allied Invasion to take Madrid and exile Ferdinand. Caesar Napoleon approved of this plan, and in the April of 1827, French troops stationed in Andorra (of which Napoleon was king) brutally crushed the under-prepared Spanish border garrison and trekked southwards further into the impoverished Iberian country. Austrian troops were sent in not long afterward, followed by soldiers from the German Confederation, Prussia, Bavaria, and other Central European countries. Dutch, Irish, and a few Scottish ships sailed to and reinforced the Portuguese Confederation and the Free City of Lisbon. A small Spanish attack at Corunna was was brutally crushed by the Dutch soon after.

Ferdinand's court was flying into a panic. Just a French invasion would have been bad enough, but in the face of a united European assault, it seemed only a matter of time before the eminent and total defeat.​


Spanish militia horsemen clash with Andorran troops


Spanish infantry are scythed down by Napoleon's lancers at Vitoria

Spain's economy went directly down the abyss of no return. Revolts were widespread in New Spain. "Gran Colombia" had just declared independence and was being guarded by the French Navy. Mexico was on the verge of being liberated by French Louisiana and the Republic of Georgia. Spain's side of Haiti was about to crumble. Cuba was lost. The Dutch were moving in on the Philippines, the prized Gateway to the Orient. Gibraltar was being assaulted by Austrian soldiers, ready to capture the Gateway to Africa and the Mediterranean. The Spanish had captured a large portion of the southern part of the Portuguese Confederation, but had to abandon it to return to Madrid to build up defenses there. Louis of the Confederation and Etruria was being told that the pre-1809 borders of Portugal, with the exception of Lisbon (which would remain French), would be restored or even enlarged, a simply terrifying thought to any Spaniard. And the worst thing was that Napoleon seemed to be thinking about a grand unification of the French and Spanish empires, likely in the form of placing himself or a relative, possibly the King of Rome, on the throne. The King of Rome was half-Austrian, and making him monarch of Spain would solidify Southern Europe firmly on the French bloc, maybe even forever.

It was with these thoughts that King Ferdinand retired to his chambers in Madrid on June 8, 1827. That night, he shot himself in the face with the flintlock pistol that always sat in the top drawer of his dresser. The Last King of Spain was dead.

"Viva la México!"


Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Arámburu, "The Mexican Napoleon"

In late 1827, the Mexicans finally overthrew the skeleton crew Spanish army holding the colony down. Ferdinand had been dead for several months, and news had reached New Spain long ago that the young King of Rome was preparing to seize the Spanish Throne. This was the opportune moment for a new independent government to rule in Mexico and join the North American circle of nations. Radicals were moving in from Gran Colombia, and they had already established the "Mexican Republic of Panama" with the expressed purpose of having it being the cornerstone for a new Mexican nation. Georgian and French troops were moving in from New Orleans and establishing camps in Texas. The militarists in Georgia still held high the name of Archibald Bulloch, their first Prime Minister, and the fear was growing that they seemed to be pondering an all-out French-backed invasion to add more territory to their own little "empire." The Mexicans urged Texas to resist peacefully, and it left the Georgians in no position to "give aide" or "militarily assist" the "very independent" Mexico. In other words, Georgia couldn't pull the same trick Virginia had in Cuba. Instead, once the newly forming Mexico City government told the easterners to get out, they had no choice but to do so or look like total aggressors.

The leader of the Mexican revolutionaries was Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Arámburu, better known simply as Iturbide, and he possessed the mind of a genius. He rallied the ad-hoc army he had assembled, acquired uniforms for the elites, and marched them north to the Louisiana border and held a formal ceremony at the departure of the French and Georgian "allies," to send a message they were not welcome to return.

Iturbide then proceeded to systematically purge his government of all who opposed him, which he cheerfully called "starting out on the right foot." The next move after that was to formally absorb Panama into the "Confederated Empire of Mexico." In mid-1828, he sent troops to fight with the Gran Colombians in South America, in an attempt to finally rid the two continents of Spanish rule forever. It would become a bloody affair, lasting till 1831. The Spanish in South America were being reinforced by the fleeing Spanish loyalists in Europe who desperately wanted to continue Bourbon rule in exile, and they made the going much tougher for the liberators. France at first helped in Peru against their common Spanish enemy, striking out from Brazil, but soon after ceased doing so, becoming increasingly wary of Iturbide's intentions.

In late 1828, Iturbide finally made it known that he was now the Emperor, absolute in power, of all Mexico. He proclaimed that his empire stretched from Texas in the east, to Panama in the south, to southern California to the west. France was horrified, and immediately officially annexed more western territory onto Louisiana, hoping to eventually head off the Mexican Napoleon on the route to the Pacific. The land-race would continue until 1840.


Flag of the Confederated Empire of Mexico

Iturbide faced a civil war in Texas in 1830, led by a local militia leader known simply by the commoners as "Santa Anna." Several violent confrontations occurred, with many Santa Anna supporters being killed by government troops. Iturbide "crossed the aisle" in a gesture of "good will and patriotic camaraderie" and offered to give Texas more local authority and jurisdiction, as well as officially renaming the country as "the Confederated Empire of Mexico and Texas." Texas refused, and in a bloody last stand at an abandoned Catholic mission, Santa Anna's largest force was brutally overwhelmed and massacred by Iturbide's forces. The rebel leader barely escaped with his life.

Georgia finally intervened and sent troops into Texas once again, followed by a declaration of war on the Mexican Empire. The modern Georgian army and navy soon humiliated Iturbide, and he grudgingly was forced to accept a peace treaty that guaranteed Texan independence. The frustrated Mexican Napoleon slunk back to Mexico City to sulk, and continue his plans for northwest expansion.

Santa Anna busied himself forming a slave and agriculture based economy, modeled on Georgia's, and made sure to keep his few soldiers on the Mexican border on guard at all times. In 1832, Texas officially adopted a democratic-republican system of government and fairly elected Santa Anna as its first Prime Minister.


Flag of the Democratic-Republic of Texas


President Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna of Texas in full dress uniform

Down in war-torn South America, Peru had declared independence in its capital of Lima. Though a general named Antonio Jose Estevez had tried to initially declare himself prince (as well as an ally of Iturbide), the people rejected and exiled him and drew up a republican system of government, based largely on Virginia. It welcomed Virginian legal advisers to come in and help write the new constitution. The young republic then looked inward and forward to a hopefully peaceful future.


Flag of the Republic of Peru

Chile declared itself independent in 1831, a year after Peru, and based itself on similar ideas and beliefs. However, once a series of Mexican-backed dictators were overthrown in a series of brutal revolts, the smoldering ash-heap of a country lost its independence to Peru, who finally brought in rule of law and stable leadership. The last Mexican troops withdrew as the most recent government was imprisoned, thus ending Iturbide's "Wars of Liberation."

Down in Argentina, the French had taken over in 1828-1829, and all attempts at independence were quashed utterly, ending in the execution by guillotine of rebel leader José de San Martín. The French then made Argentina a colonial administration, and turned it into just another part of the monstrously bloated French Empire.

MEANWHILE, IN SPAIN...

Emperor Napoleon I of Spain (Napoleon II of France), King of Rome, Duke of Reichstadt, Prince of Bombay, House of Bonaparte

Napoleon II turned 16 in 1827, and he received a most splendorous birthday gift from his father: Spain. All of it. Ferdinand was dead, the Bourbons were fleeing the continent, the Inquisition was on its knees, and the Spanish army was so malnourished and abandoned that many of the Bourbon troops were pledging loyalty to Napoleon II (newly arrived in Iberia). It was over for feudalism forever; the European Alliance had ended the ancient Spanish way of life. The pre-1809 borders of Portugal were restored, Spanish colonies everywhere were confiscated for good, and the House of Bourbon was summarily outlawed from ever holding office or rank in the "Empire of Spain."

The consequences of this moment were great in number and power. With an Emperor Napoleon on the throne of both Spain and France, as well as their assorted principalities and titles, and their grandfather/stepfather on the Austrian throne, and their cousins, stepsons, daughters, stepdaughters, and extended family on the thrones of Italy and Ireland, Southern Europe became the playground of the Bonaparte family. Any questions over Austria's alliance with France were ended when news leaked that the ailing Kaiser Franz was supposedly considering skipping over the mentally incompetent and unstable Ferdinand, Prince of Bengal, in favor of his grandson "L'Aiglon" (which, to differentiate Napoleon II from the the I, was Franz's nickname for the new Spanish monarch). French Empress Marie Louise was supposedly the real power behind her increasingly senile Kaiser-father, making a place for her son to be the greatest monarch and leader the world had ever seen. Upon Napoleon I's death, Napoleon II would be Caesar of the French, Emperor of the Spanish, Kaiser of the Austrians, Emperor of India (likely), King of Rome, Duke of Reichstadt, and the master of all the colonies and territories under the power thereof, while dear old water-on-the-brain Prince Ferdinand would get a far off disease-ridden spice colony, just to add insult to injury.


Kaiser Franz I, Age 60 (1828)

Europe was rocked. Prussia flew into a panic. If Austria permanently fell under the Bonapartes, all bets were off. Russia's Czar Nicholas had formed a good friendship with Napoleon II, and treated him like a nephew. Above Prussia was Napoleon's godson, Oscar, sitting on the Swedish throne. Denmark-Norway, very close to Prussia, was leaning more toward neutral on the idea of revisiting the topic of a young Bonaparte once again being in control of the entire Earth's destiny.

Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia wasn't a hateful or vengeful man. Napoleon had treated him well to his face. He just wanted to keep the balance of the Pax Napoleonica in place. Berlin was set to host the next World Congress. All the leaders would be together again. There, the Prussian monarch would offer a deal to Czar Nicholas. The Balance of Europe would be partially returned if Prussia and Russia drew closer together, possibly forming a friendship with the Turks or Danes. If they could do that, there would be a Eurasia divided in two, one side Franco-Spanish-Austrian, the other Prusso-Russo-Turkish. One side Catholic, the other Protestant, Orthodox, and Muslim. Friedrich did not desire war--he prayed against it--but he didn't want to be without oil for his lamp when the master came home to roost. Therefore, he drew up his plans in secret, waiting and hoping the day would never come when he would have to use them.


Map of the world in 1831
 
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THE WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: PRELUDE


The Königin Louise Hall of Glass

Friedrich Wilhelm III had been planning his World Congress since the closing of Vienna's in 1826. Berlin had been in a state of construction since the end of the Great Wars of the Empire, with all gears moving toward making Berlin an industrial and economic powerhouse. "Berlin is not going to be upstaged by Newport News," Friedrich Wilhelm was known to have said with distaste. Factories shot up everywhere, forming giant black pillars of industry, looming over the city like castle turrets. All the roads were paved, specialized cleaning crews trimmed parks, cleaned the streets, and repainted all the public buildings. Huge hotels were erected for the future arrival of the world leaders, staffed by thousands of butlers and servants and cooks. Specialty regiments were formed to guard the buildings and give an air of Prussian ironfistedness.

It was with nothing short of absolute joy that the Prussian king received news that one of his least favorite people had died six months before the start of the Congress. The gluttonous and ancient Frederick Augustus of Saxony, Warsaw, and Finland had passed away of massive heart failure in Dresden. Now, his daughter, Maria Augusta, would be Queen of Saxony, Grand Duchess of Warsaw and Grand Princess of Finland. She was 50 years old, unmarried, and without heir, supposedly because she was considered monstrously ugly. Things were looking grim for the House of Wettin, and the imminent extinction of Saxony's ruling family would likely be brought up at the Congress.

The Prussian ruler had a plan. He would marry Maria. He had been unmarried since the passing of his beloved wife Luise in 1810. Now, he would make sure his son Friedrich Wilhelm IV would be the master of a new Prussian Empire, encompassing Prussia, Saxony, Warsaw, Finland, and their colonies.


Maria Augusta I of Saxony, Warsaw, and Finland

That was the next step in watering the Prussian victory garden: the colonies. Prussia, starting at the World Congress of 1832, would begin a rapid expansion of colonial might. Africa was ripe for the taking. Only a few countries had any holdings there, and they were almost all mere coastal ports and glorified red tape no one lived in. The most substantial claims were in South Africa, by Holland, and in the Gold Coast, by the Danes. Friedrich already had plans drawn up for the new colonies. He would dive in below the equator, avoiding the merciless expanse of the Sahara, and cut right into the jungle areas where many valuable spices, woods, metals, and workers could be found. He was scheduled to have the Congo fully annexed and in maximum profit output by 1870.

Finally, in a massive show of Prussian might, the King would unveil two new "miracle inventions" and one "miracle building" at the Congress. The first invention was the Eisenbahn; the railroad. Truthfully, it wasn't really his country's invention. It was actually the product of a theft from Charles Goodyear's personal design sketchbooks in 1826. Goodyear had come up with the idea for a railroad way back in his childhood, upon hearing of specialty carts used by Virginian miners. Since then, he and the late Eli Whitney had advanced the idea quite some ways. However, since 1826, Prussia's best scientists had been on the job perfecting it, and they were satisfied it was in working order when they rolled out the Eisenbahn Prinz Wilhelm, named in honor of the younger Prince of Prussia, from a factory on the Baltic. It was a mammoth feat laying the rail from Berlin to Potsdam in time for the Congress and making sure it was safe.

Eisenbahn Prinz Wilhelm
The second invention was the Glühbirne; the incandescent light bulb. This was purely a Prussian invention. A scientist named Ludwig Klink spent years pouring over the idea until he had finally created a working prototype. They weren't extremely safe, but the other nations would stand in awe of the little glass balls' two minutes of somewhat flickering light.

The miracle building would be the Königin Louise Hall of Glass, an absolutely amazing mansion-museum that would be the center of organized national exhibitions, giving each attending nation a chance to hang up their flag, sell souvenirs, food, and the like, and promote their nation in general. Much of the building was made of solid glass, including the entire ceiling. After the Congress was over, the Hall would be turned into the Royal Prussian History Museum and Library. It was definitely going to pay for itself.

And thus, Prussia prepared to open its doors to the world, and the King prepared to unify the houses of Hohenzollern and Wettin.

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: THE ARRIVAL


Arrival of the World Leaders in Berlin

The arrival of the sovereigns in Berlin was a huge affair. The Russians had come first, followed by France, Holland, and then all the others. At the Hall of Glass, the nations set up their booths and stalls and put on display there most prized inventions and items.

The Republican Union, which had created the states of Michigania and Chersonesus in 1830 out of the Midwest Territory, was intending to further "impress" the world. This time around they were sending a tag-team of Goodyear and and yet another Massachusetts man, Samuel F. B. Morse, as their representatives. Morse was a very well-known inventor, like Goodyear, and was also extreme in his anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant views. Morse had become Goodyear's business partner upon the death of Eli Whitney in 1828, and together they had been working on the telegram and the railroad. When Goodyear had returned home after the World Congress of Vienna, he was met with a hero's welcome. They carried him through the streets of Boston on their shoulders and bestowed him the National Medallion of Service. The Union had high hopes for Goodyear and Morse in 1832.


Samuel F. B. Morse


Charles Goodyear

Napoleon I was attending in person again, age 63. He had a receding hairline and was suffering from chronic hemorrhoids, stomach pains, and heart palpitations. The stress of pulling himself up by the bootstraps to be the most powerful man since the era of Julius Caesar and Jesus Christ was very evident in his health and appearance. His 21 year old son Napoleon II was coming, both as the Prince Imperial of France and as Emperor of Spain. French Prime Minister Jean Soult, retired Marshal General of France, was accompanying Napoleon I, and Spanish Prime Minister Jacques MacDonald (former iron-fisted emergency dictator of Spain before the rule of Napoleon II) was there to advise young Napoleon II.


Prime Minister Soult


Spanish Prime Minister Jacques MacDonald

The following is a list of most (though not all) leaders and ambassadors present. Red lettering indicates countries not present or in existence at the time of the last World Congress. Vermont refused to send a representative after their Chancellor, Jay Thomas Powell, was ridiculed in 1826 at Vienna, though an official observer was present.

French and Spanish Empires:
  • Napoleon I, Caesar of France, King of Andorra, King of Italy, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Protector of the Free City of Lisbon.
  • Napoleon II, Prince Imperial of France, Emperor of Spain, Duke of Reichstadt, Prince of Bombay
  • Jean Soult, Prime Minister of France
  • Jacques MacDonald, Prime Minister of Spain
Austrian Empire:
  • Franz I, Kaiser of Austria, King of Hungary, and King of Bohemia
  • Prinz Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, Chancellor of Austria
Bavaria:
  • Ludwig I, King of Bavaria
  • Baron Georg von Zentner
England:
  • Edward VII, King of England
  • Hector Horatio Baldwin II, Prime Minister
Denmark-Norway:
  • Frederick VI, King of Denmark-Norway and the Gold Coast
  • Otto Joachim Moltke, Prime Minister of Denmark-Norway
Kingdom of Saxony, Grand Duchy of Warsaw, and Grand Principality of Finland:
  • Maria Augusta I, Queen of Saxony, Grand Duchess of Warsaw, Grand Princess of Finland
Württemberg:
  • Wilhelm, King of Württemberg
Baden:
  • Karl, Grand Duke of Baden
  • Stéphanie, Consort, Daughter of Napoleon I of France
Portuguese Confederation and Etruria:
  • Louis I (Charles Louis I of Etruria), King of the Portuguese Confederation (Powerless; ordered directly by Napoleon I of France)
Principality of Lucca and Piombino:
  • Elisa Napoleona, Princess of Lucca and Piombino, daughter of Caesar Napoleon I's sister Elisa
Kingdom of the Two Sicilies:
  • Zénaïde, Queen of the Two Sicilies, Daughter of Joseph Bonaparte (Joseph I of Ireland)
Kingdom of Ireland:
  • Joseph I, King of Ireland
  • Dominic I, Prince of Ireland
Kingdom of Holland:
  • Louis I, King of Holland, Brother of Napoleon I of France
Kingdom of Sweden:
  • Oscar I, King of Sweden, Godson of Napoleon I of France
Ottoman Empire:
  • Resid Mehmed Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier
Russia:
  • Nicholas I, Czar and Autocrat of all the Russias
Liechtenstein:
  • Johann Josef I, Prince of Liechtenstein
Republican Union:
  • Charles Goodyear, Representative
  • Samuel F. B. Morse, Representative
Confederation of the Carolinas:
  • Andrew Jackson, Chancellor
  • John C. Calhoun, Colonel of the Confederation (unique title; essentially Prime Minister)
Virgin Islands Confederacy:
  • Thomas Bragg, Governor-General (answered directly to Jackson; Bragg's son Braxton, now 15, once again accompanied him)
Republic of Peru:
  • Urbano Pepito Ale Rivera, Chief Minister of Peru
Green Mountain Republic of Vermont:
  • John Winslow, Official Observer
Confederated Empire of Mexico:
  • Vito Alves, Grand Marshal of the Army of Mexico
  • Tancredo Heraclio Solos, General of Chihuahua
  • Modesto Chucho Ramos, Chief of Staff of Emperor Agustín Cosme I
Republic of Virginia:
  • Henry Clay, President (also representing the Chesapeake Republic of Maryland and the de jure Republic of Cuba)
  • Zachary Taylor, Vice President
Republic of Georgia:
  • John Hardee, Representative (also representing the West Florida Republic and the Republic of Jamaica)
Republic of Gran Colombia:
  • Teobaldo Martín Pavia, Representative
Democratic-Republic of Texas:
  • Diego Martinez, Representative, Speaker of the Texan House
Prussia and Hanover:
  • Friedrich Wilhelm III, King of Prussia and Hanover
  • Count von Wylich, Chief Minister
Mexico shocked everyone with their uninvited and universally despised arrival. Almost every other country considered Mexico a nation under a dangerous cult of personality, and unworthy of real recognition (over half the countries present refused to recognize the Mexican Empire as a state, and only three--France, England, and Russia, all with reluctance--recognized Iturbide as a legitimate ruler). Three very high-ranking Mexican military officers practically kicked their way into the Hall of Glass with the company of twenty Mexican Imperial Life Guards, sparking a minor international incident.

The King of Prussia was immediate in his proposal to Maria Augusta of Saxony. She probably knew it was pure politics, but since she was at the end of her line, she likely thought it better that her new stepson Friedrich Wilhelm IV inherit a stable Saxony, Warsaw, and Finland than plunge her kingdom into a succession crisis for want of a Wettin. Maria Augusta was in poor health when the ceremony occurred on July 1st, 1832, in front of the entire Congress. Napoleon I of France saw through it immediately as a power ploy, and almost admired Friedrich Wilhelm III's doggedness on making Prussia great, even to the point of marrying an old hag, but then realized that Prussia was in the midst of trying to expand eastward. Napoleon was determined to not be outdone in Berlin, and he had a few tricks up his sleeve yet to play.

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: PART I

1868 photograph of an original Berlin Congress Glühbirne

Many of the countries at the Congress were very unhappy about Prussia's power-grab. Maria's countries were still hers, but the moment she would drop dead, everyone knew the Hohenzollerns would snatch them up. However, the protests against the Hohenzollern-Wettin unification dulled when Prussia unveiled its much-hyped Glühbirnes, the world's first light bulbs. It was a spectacle for the ages as all the representatives entered a very dim palace ballroom, only to have the entire place light up in a flick of a switch.

Some were scared to death, and immediately left. Their fear was justified, though no one knew it; the bulbs were horrendously unstable, and could have easily torched the entire group of world leaders in an instant. Fate alone prevented a tragedy. The Prussian king spread his arms out to his sides, did a slow spin, and famously stated, "Welcome to the Era of Electricity."

Goodyear and Morse were by far the most electrically-knowledgeable men present beside the Prussian scientists. They took the soon-to-be-forever-famous Ludwig Klink aside and asked him a long series of questions, forever instilling in both, especially Morse, a love of the light bulb. Morse would go back with one bulb, a gift, and would become obsessed with trying to make it last longer than just a couple minutes.

The next event, however, was much less welcomed to the Republican Union representatives. The Eisenbahn Prinz Wilhelm was recognized by Goodyear instantly as his own design from his long-lost pages of his sketchbook. As the train, loaded with civilian passengers, chugged off to Potsdam, the Prussian anthem blaring all along the tracks, Goodyear went off, screaming at Friedrich-Wilhelm with berserk rage. He went on and on about how the Prussian king had stolen one of the most monumental designs in history from him. Friedrich-Wilhelm's only reply was, "I did not. But even if I did, there is no way it could ever be proven."

World history started on a radically different course with those words. Goodyear declared he would develop his own train, and that it would be the best train in the world. He announced he was forming his own company with Morse. Goodyear Rail then became the first private train company in the world (Prussia's was a state project). He also claimed that from then on out, he would outdo every other country's technology. His words would prove prophetic.

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: PART II

"Politics are a necessity; this is true. Politics are unavoidable; this is also true. But I wish politics would go to Hell and leave me the Hell alone."
-Napoleon I to Napoleon II, July 5th, 1832

Those words were uttered behind closed doors after Goodyear's rampage hours before. The French Imperial extended family was staying in the Schloss Steinadler, a new palatial complex built explicitly for the Congress. Napoleon I, Napoleon II, Soult and MacDonald drew up their strategy for the upcoming politicking.

Their strategy was as follows:
  • Prevent Russia from drifting into the Prussian Camp
  • Reaffirm French sovereignty over Canada and the South American holdings
  • Discuss England's current situation
  • Establish new trade routes with the expanding Dutch Malaysian regions and assist in the crushing of Chinese pirates
  • Bring up the topic of the Orient for the first time
  • Push for rights to new African colonies
Preventing Russia from joining the Prussian camp was Napoleon I's primary concern. Friedrich-Wilhelm's own daughter, Charlotte, had become Alexandra Feodorovna, Empress Consort of Nicholas, in 1819. That fact was a huge problem. Charlotte already hated Napoleon I because of bad memories from her childhood, when French troops came in and forced her family to flee as Caesar marched through the Brandenburg Gate. If she influenced Nicholas, very, very unfortunate things would possibly follow. Nicholas acted like an uncle to Napoleon II, but if the Second Caesar showed himself a threat, he might consider action. This would not be allowed if Napoleon I could help it.

With the North American colonies, France was determined to make sure the Republican Union kept its paws off Canada. Caesar had also been growing suspicious of rumors about how the R.U. had considered invading the Green Mountain Republic of Vermont, which was an immensely useful buffer state. The possibility of a preemptive strike and invasion by France was on the table if Vermont didn't accept a future offer of military support and monitoring.

With the South American colonies, France was growing wary of the growing alliance between the Republic of Gran Colombia and the massive Republic of Peru. Brazil and Argentina were stable, but if a conflict ever occurred on the other continents, Colombia and Peru might act and seize large chunks of the two colonies. To remedy this, Napoleon II suggested playing the South Americans off of Mexico, a hated usurper to all its neighbors.

In the Kingdom of England, resentment boiled. Edward was a moderately successful leader, and had managed to salvage what was left of the economy, but having French troops in Cornwall, Scotland, and Mann, as well as in the Welsh dictatorship, on formerly sovereign soil made many English discontent. Violently discontent. Riots had broken out from London all the way up to Scotland. Edward was fearing for his life, and refused to leave the palace for fear of assassination. If terrorized enough for his own well-being, chances were high he would let France do anything it wanted to keep him in power. If it took having members of the Old Guard patrolling Buckingham Palace, Edward would do it.

Edward's daughter was also growing into a pretty young woman. She was almost 14, the age when many European royals were prepared for marriage, and she showed no signs of hereditary mental illness. Napoleon I had considered her likely to marry a duke of some sort and live quietly, but he was thoroughly discouraged by her apparent interest in young Alexander II of Russia. If they were married, their child would be one quarter Prussian, two quarters Russian, and one quarter English, which spelled nothing but the true meaning of the word "holy terror" to the Bonapartes. The very idea that a Russian Czar might, in the future, hold claim to the English throne, was a nightmare for France.


Princess Victoria of England


Alexander II of Russia

Louis, King of Holland and Napoleon I's brother, had attained exclusive rights to the Malay Archipelago during the World Congress of Vienna. In the years since, it had proved a very profitable prize indeed. The islands had a growing Christian population, and the money from all the spices, herbs, and animals was making tiny Holland a force to be reckoned with. Clearly, more trade routes with France would be mutually profitable.

The Orient had been a mysterious place for centuries. Past the Himalayas and the Hindukush laid the massive Chinese Qing Empire, a hugely outdated backwater of almost half a billion people. Further to the north-east was Japan. Napoleon's personal explorers had reported back claiming that Japan was "far too entrenched and stable." They said that there was little to be gained by trying to open them up. The only fruits of the voyages to Japan were the katana swords brought back, which were put on display in the Hall of Glass. China, meanwhile, was considered ripe for the taking. Trade between the Qings and Europeans had been going on since 1793, but the current Emperor, Tao-Kuang, was struggling miserably with the onslaught of opium coming into the country. The Chinese army was a relic of the Renaissance. And the South-East Asian Chinese vassal states were starting to fall under influence from the encroaching Dutch. It was an interesting set of circumstances to Napoleon I.

Finally, the newly-announced Prussian expansion in Africa was a huge blow against France. The more colonies owned by rival countries there were, the more non-French items there were on the international market, jeopardizing Napoleon's dream of world-wide monopoly. Prussia had made it known they had little desire for anything north of the Sahara Desert. Thus, Napoleon II suggested a Spanish invasion of North Africa, through Morocco. Then, Spain would just claim everything down to the South Sahara that wasn't already claimed. This move had the potential to anger the Ottoman Empire, but the Bonapartes considered it worth the risk.

WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: PART III


Friedrich-Wilhelm IV of Prussia and Hanover
As the Congress officially convened to discuss business, Friedrich-Wilhelm III brought the Crown Prince to take over most matters. The prince was 37 years old and hardly handsome or charismatic, but he knew how to get things done and he was determined to poke his counterpart Napoleon II to test the waters of the future.

The Prussian king had already met with Czar Nicholas, offering an alliance, during the time the Bonapartes occupied the Schloss Steinadler. Nicholas was luke-warm to the idea. For one thing, he did not know Friedrich-Wilhelm II enough to know if he was a competent future ally.

When the Prince sauntered out and began brutally laying down the law to the Bonapartes, Nicholas's ears perked up. Everything was a fight from July 6th onward.

Concerning Canada, July 6th, 1832:

The Republican Union representatives, still boiling with rage over the Eisenbahn Affair, were hardly able to keep themselves from cursing Napoleon's name as he talked about total French hegemony in Canada and Louisiana. The Union still held that they had not been fairly compensated during the last Congress, and that Miles Romney's accepting of Nova Scotia in exchange for dropping all claims to Canadian territory was not official or endorsed by the R.U. government. When France refused to give them one inch of soil north, Goodyear pitched a fit, screaming every European racial epithet he knew. He left the building for some minutes, then returned with a look of total calm on his face. Once more, he plead his case, and when France rejected it, he left again. Little did anyone know he was signalling a Union officer outside to start sending word to Philadelphia to annex Vermont. That done, Goodyear ceased to argue the matter and sat there "with that frightening grin on his face."

Matters Concerning South America, July 6th-7th, 1832:

When the time came to discuss South America, Napoleon II rose to speak. He immediately cited abuses of the Peruvians and Colombians at the hands of the Mexicans, and brought up the possibility of alliance. The Mexican representatives, seeing full well what was happening, immediately left in rage. After some hours of discussion, the Spanish Emperor was satisfied that no attack would be coming from South America.

Concerning England, July 7th-10th, 1832:

England was a whole other can of worms. Immediately upon hearing of the possibility of French troops stationed in London, many other national leaders called it an invasion. In particular, Prussia and Denmark-Norway thought it yet more French tyranny. They were shocked when the bald, fat Edward VII rose from his seat and backed up the Bonapartes. After days of intense quarrels and arguments, Napoleon decided to do what he wanted and announced French troops would be sent in to support and protect the English royals. From that point on, France's rivals were secretly supporting the idea of a Second English Civil War to depose "Edward the Puppet."


Edward VII, "The Puppet"

Concerning Malaysia, Indochina, and China, July 12th-September 12th, 1832:

Holland immediately accepted France's offer of new trade routes, and several other countries also got in on the deal, providing a good boost to Europe's economy. Afterward, France and most of the nations present approved of a future Dutch invasion of Indochina to take it from the Qing's vassals. All of Europe was growing tired of paying China's high prices, and a unified effort was agreed to be made to take down the Qing Dynasty and replace it with a pro-Western colonized republic or oligarchy. It was guaranteed by the major powers that no one would attempt to force their own crowns over the Chinese, like the French had done in South America.

Concerning Africa, September 20th-October 8th, 1832:

After the Asian topic, the Congress dragged on. Hundreds of small affairs were settled and discussed. Over all the noise, though, was the looming titanic battle for Africa. Prussia made the first move, finalizing their plans and making them official. France and Spain countered, claiming the Sahara and much of the north-western coast. Friedrich-Wilhelm IV raged, and tried to get Sweden, Russia, and Austria to assist him. Russia spoke up now and then, but the others did not. In the end, a stalemate was reached, but many agreed that for the first time, France had not gotten what it wanted. They surrendered a goodly amount of territory from the quickly sketched boundaries of "French Sahara."

Surprise Announcement, October 20th, 1832:
The Bonapartes were glowering over their defeat in the Africa Matters, and were longing to make it up somehow. Napoleon I pulled out a wild card and announced that not only would his son be Caesar of the French and Emperor of the Spanish, but also Emperor of the "United Empire of Brazil and Argentina." The effect of this, as it was, was not much physically. All it basically was was a change in name from colony to empire. However, it meant that upon Napoleon I's death, Napoleon II would be emperor of four empires (if he indeed inherited the Austrian crown). Napoleon II was getting set up with a massive superiority complex, and everyone knew it.

THE WORLD CONGRESS OF BERLIN: CONCLUSION

The economic effect of the Congress on Prussia was huge. Thousands had converged on the nation to see the event, making up well over the amount of the cost of hosting. As the clean-up commenced as the representatives went home, bankers, builders, carpenters, blacksmiths, and especially prostitutes started to count their fat profits with glee. The Prussian King was pleased with the latest events.

After those events, the world powers agreed that the next World Congress would be held in Paris, in 1838. Many were suspicious that Caesar thought he would be dead by then and it would help shine a spotlight on his successor and keep the world's fear of the Bonaparte family solidly in place. Also agreed upon for 1838 was that the Rheinbund (Confederation of the Rhine) would be represented for the first time (the French had done this in 1826 and 1832). This would later be a big event in European politics.

Months later, in 1833, debate swirled on if the Congresses really accomplished much. At the end of the Congress of Vienna, the Dissolution of Spain occurred. During the final the weeks of the Congress of Berlin, the Republican Union was already working against Vermont, and soon invaded. Both times, war immediately followed a Congress. The world would later worry just what France might try after 1838.

THE GREEN MOUNTAIN WAR
When Goodyear signaled for the attack on Vermont, it was more of a finalization than an order. For months, Union spies had been scoping out the backwoods buffer state, readying for when the Consulate signaled for an invasion. Goodyear and the Union government had been sure that France would not accept their demands, and rather than have a war against the mightiest empire on earth, they decided that a quick, decisive, overwhelming invasion of Vermont would be the best strategy. The annoying buffer state between the Union and Canada was a French puppet, but if the Union Army occupied it before news could get to France, then Napoleon would likely just go along with it.

Thus, the Republican Union flexed its military muscles for the first time. The Southron republics had done it in the Dissolution of Spain, so now the Union would do it in the Subjugation of Vermont. The Consuls prepared everything in advance, and even had men ready to be "military mayors" of all the important Vermont towns.

On October 1st, 1832, 30,000 Union soldiers crossed the border under the command of General James Polk and trampled the Vermont military. By the passing of one month, the entire Green Mountain Republican Army had been defeated, but militias still were holding out and fighting back. The militias adopted a skull-and-crossed-bones flag as the symbol of the resistance and practiced brutal torture and murder against all captured Union soldiers, usually leaving their bodies hanging on trees upside-down or impaled on sharpened logs. Polk reported back to Philadelphia in a message that, "The hill-willies here practice the Black Flag Doctrine very well. They, despite their ignorance on all other matters, know that injecting fear and terror into their enemies is the best way to win a conflict. I dare say that I may instruct my own men to do the same if we aim to finish this affair before the Corsican Ogre pushes his meddling nose into this."

Polk did indeed counter their heinous acts with his own, and the Union soldiers started arresting "hill-willies" (as they had begun to call any citizens of North America north of the R.U. border) at random and then, equally at random, shooting them upon massacres of Union troops. Until January, 1833, it was massacre after massacre. Finally, though, the main resistance leaders were captured and shot and the Green Mountain Republic of Vermont was officially proclaimed an R.U. Military Territory. Any and all groups or organizations pushing for Vermont independence were proclaimed outlaws. The flying of the old green-white-and-blue flag was forbidden, and anyone flying or possessing the skull-and-bones banner in any form was to be executed immediately as an enemy of the Union.


Republican Union scouts massacre captured Vermont Resistance Fighters

By the time news reached Europe, it was too late to do anything aside from France invading the Union, and most everyone knew that that would be preposterous. Caesar did, however, warn the Union that France would immediately retaliate against any violation of Canadian sovereignty.

It was not long before the remnants of the militias ran to cover to reestablish themselves. "Skull-and-Bones" became a huge organization dedicated to fighting the occupation with everything they had. As Polk presided over Vermont as military governor, he had no idea that the group would prove to be a major headache for decades to come. Whenever the questions of statehood were brought up, the region always blew up again, making Vermont technically a dictatorship within the Union itself.

All in all, historians have rated the Union's performance in the invasion fairly well, saying that they had clearly outlined objectives and were determined to fulfill them. However, the loss of life during and even after the conquest was horrible, with some 9,000 Union casualties and 29,000 Vermont casualties by 1850. Many have said that the Union deliberately fudged the numbers of the dead Vermonters and that backwoods massacres might make the number closer to 40,000.

THE RISE OF GOODYEAR AND THE "NEW SLAVERY"

Charles Goodyear (circa 1835)

Needless to say, Charles Goodyear was held up as the ideal "American" by the Union government. His racist, revanchist, xenophobic rantings made sure the scientific genius's portrait was hanging up in public schools around the country, right next to those of Jesus Christ, Julius Caesar, and Elizabeth I (who had recently experienced a new wave of popularity as an "anti-Spaniard Christian leader"). He was for all basic purposes a lunatic-a lunatic idolized by the masses and carried on shoulders into Boston upon his arrival from Berlin. His face was everywhere, and so to was his promise to Friedrich-Wilhelm III that America's industry would never be outdone.

Ever since its formation, the Republican Union had long been falling behind its neighbors in industrial matters. In 1828, the Union had ended slavery forever, largely to just annoy the Southrons and to show how "enlightened" they were. The Southron republics, meanwhile, still used black slaves to work in their increasingly advanced factories. Newport News, widely considered the industrial capital of North America at the time, employed immigrant workers, promoting further immigration, while they used slaves to build the factories to begin with. In the Union, in late 1833, Goodyear finally came to Philadelphia touting his new book, Plans for Rapid and Stable Industrial Growth and the Maximization of Profit. The long-winded tome called for harsh immigrant labor was read widely by government officials, who proclaimed it a work of art. He was brought before an Inter-State Committee to discuss how best to institute these ideas. With his pockets loaded with government money, Goodyear turned to Shicagwa, the growing Iowai port city on Lake Michigan, as his main target.

The way Goodyear abused the workers he hired was, in many ways, much worse than actual slavery. In the South, thanks to a growing movement for eventual abolition, the slaves were recently being treated very well in most places. However, up in locales like the Goodyear Shirt and Blouse Company factories, if a worker was a minute late, he or she could be beaten by company thugs. Any attempts to protest poor working conditions were promptly crushed. Goodyear became the "Caesar of Shicagwa" by 1835.

The crazed industrialist was determined to crush the spirits of his foreign employees utterly. Starting in 1835, he launched wave after wave of new companies, many bearing his name, and moved into a palatial mansion in the Iowai countryside. To protect these new interests, he hired a mercenary army of "private eyes" to keep "law and order" in place. Soon, simple company thugs at places like the Goodyear Shirt and Blouse Company and the Goodyear Tools Company were replaced by black-uniformed, baton-wielding soldiers. Any attempt at forming any sort of labor unions were snuffed out by the mercenaries, and thus was born the "New Slavery" in the Union.

The New Slavery movement arose from the bizarre mentality and outlook of Union citizens on foreigners, especially Catholics or Eastern Europeans. Since the early 1820s, the government had been actively tricking impoverished Europeans into coming to the "Land of Opportunity." The way it worked was that Union agents would sail to Europe and outright lie to the poor people, and instruct them on how to cheaply travel to America. Many of these people, such as the young Serbian Dragomir Crncevic, spent all they had on the trip.

Crncevic's story was later turned into a novel in Virginia and became a best-seller under the title Dragomir's Cabin. The first portion of the book tells how Crncevic's parents and only brother were killed in the Great Wars of the Empire. Then, starving in the midst of the Serbian Famine of 1835, the young man meets an American named Theodore Jones, a traveling medicine and sideshow man and secret recruiting agent working for the Union, who promises him wealth and abundance in "Dear America." Fooled completely and with just enough money to make the trip as a crewman on a Union vessel in the Mediterranean, Dragomir sails to Boston.

Upon his arrival, though, he is met with hatred and slurs, and within two days of being a Union citizen has been mugged twice. Understanding little English, he is hired for menial labor by the new Boston-Shicagwa Rail Company, a new subsidiary of Goodyear Rail aiming to connect the opposite sides of the nation with railroads. He is routinely beaten by Goodyear's mercenaries for sometimes no apparent reason. Finally, after attacking an abusive guard, both of his legs are broken and he's sent to the "Foreigner Prisons" in Pennsylvania's Ohio region. There, at Camp Burr, he recovers from his injuries and is then forced to relocate to Shicagwa, to work on an the expansive construction site for the new town hall. There he joins a strike.

On Christmas Day, 1837, the workers all quit. The mercenaries marched in, carrying muskets and rifles. Goodyear sent his vice-president, Samuel Morse, in to order the workers to stand down. When they refused, Morse unhesitatingly ordered the small army to open fire, beginning the Christmas Day Strike Massacre of 1837. Dozens go down in seconds, and Crncevic is hit in both legs by musket balls. Doctors haphazardly amputate the legs and he is then sent back to Camp Burr. There, for the last several months of his life, he sits in his "cabin" (actually a shack) penning his story. After he managed to get the writing smuggled out, he died of infection from his double amputation.


Christmas Day Strike Massacre of 1837

The tragic biography sold like wildfire in the Southron republics, only beaten in sales by the Bible. Many international clubs and organizations were formed to press for reform in the Union.

The Union responded by decrying the book as "Southron subversive propaganda," and promptly outlawed it. Then, the government turned right around and gave Goodyear the honorary title of "Colonel," reflecting the high esteem in which they held the industrialist. Colonel Goodyear Enterprises was born, and from that point on, Goodyear finally lost whatever remaining bits of morality he had. Brutality was the rule of the day, and absolutely nothing was to get in his way of modernizing the R.U.. Any forms unions might take were outlawed. Goodyear's mercenary forces grew in leaps and bounds, with uniformed thugs present at every factory.


Goodyear mercenaries break up the Goodyear Carriage Company Strike of 1838



Irish Goodyear Enterprise workers in New York City are crushed by the NYPD (1844)
 
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DEATH OF AN ERA

Only known photograph (taken by famed artist Louis Daguerre) ever found of Caesar Napoleon the Great, taken about six months before his 1835 death

"It is with great sadness today that this publication reports the death of the most monumental figure in European Civilization. Yesterday, at his home in Paris, Caesar Napoleon I passed into the arms of the Heavenly Father at the age of 65. Born on August 15th, 1769, to a Corsican family of minor nobility, Caesar, christened at birth as Napoleone di Buonaparte, attended the famed École Militaire in Paris. After serving a short time in the French Royal Navy, Napoleon became more interested in artillery, and from there out, his story is well known by all the world."

-Lyons Gazette, January 5th, 1835

"At his death, he was comforted by his wife, Her Imperial Highness, Caesarina Marie Louise, his son, Emperor Napoleon of Spain, his younger brother Jerome, several of his closest private friends, and his dear friend French Prime Minister Michel Ney. The cause of his death is not yet confirmed, but it is widely assumed that it was a combination of bronchitis, stomach ulcers, and a heart condition."

-Imperial Times (Paris), January 5th, 1835


"The French Ministry of Public Affairs states that, due to his declining condition being well known as of late, other nations already had sent ambassadors to give their best to the Imperial Family during this time of sorrow. England's King Edward was, ironically, the first to send such an emissary."

-Rheinbund Allgemeine Zeitung (Confederation of the Rhine General Newspaper), January 7th, 1835

"The French Embassy in Copenhagen claims Napoleon of Spain, "L'Aiglon," is to take the French Crown next month. There is much excitement amidst the sorrow as to how the 24 year-old Caesar Napoleon II will rule. Speculation is also rampant that the young monarch will form an official union between France and Spain."

-Berlingske Tidende (Berling's Times) (Copenhagen), January 11th, 1835

"Rumors swirl of assassination by poison being the cause of Caesar Napoleon I's death. While these have not been at all substantiated, this version of events allegedly originated with a servant at the Imperial Palace."

-London Times, January 13th, 1835


"Accusations of the Corsican being poisoned has interrupted the planned coronation festivities (scheduled for February 18th), and Napoleon II is apparently taking these theories seriously enough to be fearing for his own life. Security for the coronation has been tripled."

-Berlin Zeitung, January 20th, 1835


As seen in the newspaper excerpts above, there was a witch-hunt going on in Paris in mid-January to stamp out an alleged conspiracy to take the lives of the Imperial Family. The coroners were reporting that Napoleon I had showed symptoms of arsenic poisoning. Questions immediately arose as to who would do such a thing, with many suspecting a member of his inner circle, perhaps a general or marshal wanting to attempt a coup. Servants at the Imperial Palace were thoroughly interrogated, and a few were held as suspects. Chief among them was 31 year-old former Grand Army drummer Wilhelm Lukas Hofmeister, one of Caesar's chief butlers and servants.


Wilhelm Lukas Hofmeister, anarchist assassin of Caesar Napoleon I (Paris Police Sketch, 1835)
On January 21st, Hofmeister, an ethnic Hessian, was arrested by Paris Police. They gutted his small house on the Imperial Palace grounds for evidence and found nothing too incriminating. Just as it looked like he would walk free, a sharp-eyed constable spotted a shovel next to the house had fresh dirt and footprints around it. The officer grabbed the shovel, followed the prints, and discovered recently disturbed earth. He started digging and quickly came up with three bottles of arsenic, several medical books on poison, and a large tome entitled "The Anarchist Way," by Meinrad Beutel, a prominent riot-inciter in the Confederation of the Rhine. By the next day, all known anarchists in Paris had been imprisoned. Ethnic Hessians were also put under surveillance by the secret police. Several dozen suspected anarchists were lynched and murdered across Europe as the news spread. Even in countries rival to France, the murder of a monarch was unsettling.

Hofmeister refused to confess, discuss possible members of a cell, or even talk to authorities, knowing he would be executed anyway. The police swiftly turned to torture, but still, they could not get any information. Jourdain Roux, lead investigator into the plot, wrote in his diary on January 24th, "The Hessian cretin refuses to break. He withstands every measure we use against him. He must break. I must break him. The Empire is not safe until he talks." The next day, following brutal torture, Hofmeister died in custody. But while he was dying, he screamed something deliriously about "rooftops."


Jourdain Roux
Immediately, the Paris Police and the French Army started a massive sweep of all the rooftops in the city.

THE CORONATION OF NAPOLEON II

Caesar Napoleon II in his Study
(by Thomas Sylvestre Lestrange, 1835)

On February 18th, 1835, Napoleon II (Napoleon I of Spain), at age 24, became the youngest most powerful man since Alexander the Great. Despite the assassination plot, he was determined to press onward with the huge planned festivities. While the fears of everyone involved would call for a shorter, quicker event, the coronation would be very public. Napoleon II, dashingly handsome in his blue uniform, made the carriage ride from the Palace to Notre Dame Cathedral amidst a a sea of admirers. Upon getting out in front of the same church his father was crowned at decades before, many held their breath, as if at any time a crazed anarchist might leap out and knife him through the heart. Fortunately, he made it inside without problem. As he received blessings from Pope Gregory XVI at the altar upon which sat his multiple crowns, a man named Tristan Langlais was taking a position in across the street. A private in the army, the assassin hardly looked like an anarchist, and everyone was fully aware he was "standing guard" there, along with several dozen other (perfectly loyal) soldiers.


Pope Gregory XVI
Bear in mind that at this point Napoleon II was merely a womanizer, and as of then had yet to acquire a bride and heir. If Napoleon II died, it would be a catastrophic event, likely with a massive European civil war.

During the next fifty minutes, Napoleon II was crowned with the old crowns of France, Andorra, Italy, as well as the new one of the United Empire of Brazil and Argentina. He was then proclaimed to legally and rightfully be: "His Imperial and Royal Majesty Napoleon II, By the Grace of God and the Constitutions of the Republic, Caesar of the French and Spanish, Emperor of Brazil and Argentina, King of Italy, King of Andorra, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Protector of the Free City of Lisbon, and Duke of Reichstadt." The title of "Prince of Bombay" was proclaimed to be a dauphin-like position for the heirs to the French throne, and as such, would be temporarily unused until a son or daughter had been born.

When the ceremony was over, Caesar Napoleon II walked out the doors of Notre Dame under heavy guard, with tens of thousands screaming his name and singing the national anthems of the various empires and kingdoms involved. Flags fluttered in the winter wind, fists went up and down, trumpets blared, and shouts of "Long Live the Emperor!" were chanted in a dozen languages. As he was about ten paces from his carriage, Private Langlais, hiding his doings from the other guards by standing behind crates on the flat roof of the building across the street, raised his rifled musket to his shoulder, took aim, and squeezed the trigger.

This was a now-or-never moment for European History. If the bullet missed or merely wounded Napoleon II, the new Caesar would likely make it his personal vendetta to destroy anarchism and non-conformism in all its shapes and sizes. If it killed him, Europe would indeed likely be engulfed in anarchy and warring states trying to grab up whatever they could from the decapitated corpse of France. Truly, the fate of mankind might well have been said to be riding on that Single Bullet.

Smack.

Screams.

Shouts.

Gunshots.

People fell.

People fled.

The bullet had lodged itself in the right leg of Napoleon II, sending him flying down the cathedral steps in all his regalia. Guards panicked everywhere, but one lucky officer had seen the puff of gun-barrel smoke and flash over the noise and lights of the coronation crowds. It was Detective Jourdain Roux, the man who had broken Hofmeister. Roux dispatched soldiers to barricade the building across the street, and as Langlais attempted to escape by leaping across to a neighboring rooftop, the Imperial Guardsmen opened fire and riddled him with bullets. The anarchist's corpse came crashing to the cobbled ground three stories below. A note in his pocket revealed he had expected death, and the paper simply said, "I die for Freedom."

Back at the church steps, Napoleon II was alive and well (and cursing loudly and profanely) as his assistants and officers heaved him into his carriage and took off for the Palace. Weeping and screaming citizens were barely able to get out of the way as the Imperial Family's carriage caravan sped at break-neck pace to safety. At this point, security officers and police worried about a widespread "killbox," with gunmen and perhaps even grenadiers waiting to murder everyone in the government. As soon as the Imperial Palace's gates closed behind them and Caesar was rushed to his personal doctors, the whole city was put on lockdown.


Napoleon II makes his escape (1835 London Times illustration)
No one went in or out of Paris for days without written approval by the government. The Imperial Guard and Paris Police did massive sweeps, going house to house, making mass arrests, seizing property, and practicing brutality on those who did not cooperate. Patriotic fervor hadn't been as high since the last coronation, and many militias roamed the streets, looking for anyone affiliated with opposition to the Empire or its leaders. The days after the Coronation Plot, as it came to be called, are widely considered to be the foundation upon which later European totalitarianism was built.

SUCCESSION CRISIS IN AUSTRIA


Kaiser Franz (by Konrad Kröger, 1836)

Following the dramatic events of 1835, Europe was waiting for the next "old-timer" leader to pass away. Franz of Austria was in terrible health at age 67 and was expected to die any time. King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia had suffered a fall from his horse in 1834, and had been in declining condition since, even though he was only 65. His Wettin wife Maria of Saxony was only 53, but suffering hugely from the effects of increasing obesity. Many leaders of the "Napoleonic Generation" were in bad health. It was no surprise when the harsh winter and following spring of 1835-36 finally brought the Grim Reaper to the Royal Houses of Europe.


Frederick VI of the Kingdom of Denmark-Norway
(January 28th, 1768 - November 4th, 1835)

King Frederick VI of Denmark-Norway and the House of Oldenburg was to go down in history as a good monarch. He had been on the winning side of the Great Wars of the Empire, supporting Caesar Napoleon I, despite the fact that he was King George III's nephew. He was actually in good health until the day he died, aged 67, in Copenhagen of unknown causes (though he had been complaining of chest pains). His death didn't cause a news storm like Napoleon I's, but his funeral was attended by a large amount of Europe's leaders. The childless king's throne passed to his cousin, Christian Frederik, who became King Christian VIII.


King Christian VIII of Denmark-Norway


Joseph I of the Kingdom of Ireland
(January 7th, 1768 - January 9th, 1836)

Joseph Bonaparte was a man who would go down as having ridden his entire life on his younger brother's coattails. Without Napoleon, he would have been nothing. Instead, at his death he had been king of two different nations, had a son waiting to be King of Ireland and a daughter on the Sicilian throne. He died of pneumonia two days after his 68th birthday. The funeral was attended by most of the French Imperial government and a few international leaders. His nephew Caesar Napoleon II bestowed many posthumous medals to Joseph's wife Julie at a ceremony in central Dublin. Joseph's only son Dominique (age 38) took the throne two weeks later as Dominic I of Ireland. Dominic was married to a German countess from the Rheinbund by this point, and already had two children, Crown Prince Dominic Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte and Mary Julie Napoleona Bonaparte.


Later photograph (1850s) of King Dominic I of Ireland


Prince-President Thomas Picton of Wales
(August 4th, 1758 - January 28th, 1836)

Picton has been called by some the first modern dictator. When he assumed power in 1814 under the banner of the radical Plaid Cymru party, he quickly took the country downhill fast. He never attended the Congresses or did much diplomacy at all, and instead focused on strengthening his hold on power. When he at last died on January 28th, 1836, at age 77, he was not missed by his people. Plaid Cymru was defeated in the general elections at last and the grandson of assassinated former Prince-President Braith Nash, Wadsworth Nash, became leader. Nash immediately commenced with sweeping reforms and re-strengthened ties with France.


Prince-President Wadsworth Nash of Wales


Prince Johann I of Liechtenstein
(June 26th, 1760 - February 3rd, 1836)

Johann I was the last Holy Roman Prince of Liechtenstein, but he remained loyal to his native Austria until his death death at age 76. Aside from an exciting career in the Wars of the Coalition, his life was unremarkable. One thing he was known for was his disgust at the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and protested the growing friendship between France and Austria. He was buried in the Imperial Crypts of Vienna and was immediately succeeded by his son Aloys II.


Prince Aloys II of Liechtenstein


Franz I of the Austrian Empire
(February 12th, 1768 - March 22nd, 1836)

The death of Franz I on March 22nd, 1836, at age 68, jolted Europe. No one was surprised; they had expected his death due to declining health for over a year. But now that he had passed, it finally soaked in just how monumental his death was. He was the last man to hold the title of Holy Roman Emperor. He was one of the last leaders alive who had opposed Napoleon. And he was the first leader to host a World Congress.

For years, there had been fears among the Austrian court that the severely mentally handicapped Prince Ferdinand would lose his claim to the throne. Normally, this would mean that the next male in the line of succession would automatically receive the crown--in this case, the next male was Archduke Franz Karl.


Archduke Franz Karl

However, what was shocking was the increasing hold French Dowager Caesarina Marie Louise had on Kaiser Franz. He had been prematurely senile for several years, and during that time his daughter pumped all kinds of ideas into him about her son, Napoleon II. Franz had always been fond of "L'Aiglon," but when he started hinting that he might just give the Austrian throne to his grandson, who also happened to be the son of his former mortal Corsican enemy, there began to be talk of a coup d'etat in Vienna. Young Franz Karl was gathering his supporters in both the government and the army in case his father's will said anything that smacked of his Francophile sister's involvement. When Franz finally died, all the world held its breath as the will was opened.

The document formally offered the Imperial Crown of Austria, Hungary, and all associated kingdoms and lands to Napoleon II of the French. Franz Karl raged and left Vienna accompanied by his personal troops. Austria braced itself for civil war.

Napoleon II, accompanied by roughly 90,000 French, Swiss, and Spanish troops, marched into Austria in a terrifying show of force. No one knew what was going to happen when he entered Vienna on April 28th, but he called for Franz Karl and Prinz von Metternich to join him for a "discussion" at the Austrian Imperial Palace. Reluctantly, Franz Karl re-entered the city with his troops and returned to the Palace to talk with his nephew (he was only a few years older than Napoleon II). What went on inside is not known, but at the end, Napoleon had agreed to let Franz Karl take the throne. The conditions of the agreement were announced later.

Main Articles of the Second Treaty of Vienna (1836)

  • That Napoleon II of the Empire of France and its associated governments does henceforth negate all claims to the Crown of Austria.
  • That the Empire of Austria officially become the Empire of Austria-Hungary.
  • That said Empire of Austria-Hungary be ruled by Franz Karl, as Kaiser Franz Karl I, and that it will be in an inseparable, permanent alliance with the French Empire.
  • That the aforementioned Napoleon II and Franz Karl I arrange for a later marriage of their children, an Austrian girl to a French boy, providing for ultimate dynastic union.
  • That future expeditions into China and the Far East be jointly undertaken by the Empires of France and Austria-Hungary.
  • That the Austro-Hungarian Army may never attempt military offenses or declare war without the approval of its ally the Empire of France and vice versa.
These terms, some said, essentially amounted to France taking away Austria's self-rule. But, to the businessman-like Franz Karl, they were acceptable. It was one thing for a born-and-bred Frenchman to take the Austrian crown, he said, but another thing to have a legitimate half-Austrian, half-French heir take it. Thus, a catastrophic civil war was avoided.

The only real "loser" of the treaty was Ferdinand, the original heir to Franz I. Ferdinand was allowed to keep the title of Prince of Bengal, and was, in fact, "promoted" to King of Bengal. Dejected, he refused to ever step foot in India. He and his Sardinian wife stayed in the Vienna Palace for many years before the death of his wife's cousin, the childless King Charles Felix of Sardinia. An invitation to rule was sent, and in 1849, Ferdinand became Ferdinand I, King of Sardinia. Later, he adopted an orphan infant of a minor Italian noble family and named him Crown Prince Ferdinand II. The House of Hapsburg-Savoy was born.


King Ferdinand I of Sardinia
 
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THE GILDED AGE DAWNS

"We are becoming gods. We harness the power of the lightning bolts, we invent horseless leviathans that traverse mountains, and we sail to the far corners of the world, bringing White civilization and religion to those less favored than us. Truly, a Gilded Age has come."
-Union inventor Carl Ferguson

The name "Gilded Age" (commonly called the "Second Renaissance" in Europe) was coined by Carl Ferguson, an inventor who invented very little. However his magazine, Knowledge for All, was widely read throughout North America, so his expression (printed in Issue 228) became very well known.

It is not an easy thing to pinpoint just when the Gilded Age began, and there is still dispute as to if it was part of the so-called Pax Napoleonica. What marked its arrival was the completely unchallenged dominance of White civilization over the so-called "lowly pagans." Really, this dominance had existed since about the 16th century, when the Spanish and Portuguese led the way. The difference in the 1830s and 1840s was that now the Whites knew it and were determined to push it for all it was worth. No longer were Africa and Asia lands of adventures. Rather, They were enormous cakes waiting to be engulfed by greater powers. It was industrialized colonization that truly marked the beginning of the Gilded Age.

EUROPE IN THE GILDED AGE:

France (or rather, the greater Southern European Catholic monarchic meritocracy it had become) was on a technological spree, beginning at the Paris World Congress in 1838. Prussia, with Friedrich Wilhelm III in horrible health but still on the throne, was right behind or tied with them. Prussian railroads were expanding rapidly and, despite numerous horrific train accidents, were wildly successful. Prussia's economy exploded, worrying rival France even further.

But another feature of the Gilded Age was that the major powers did not wage war. As long as they were preoccupied with building colonies and industrializing, empires like France and Prussia had little desire to go spelunking into neighboring countries. The current alliance system had engulfed the entire civilized world and any war would result in almost certain decades of violence. Besides, there wasn't much to fight over. Any attempt to remove the Bonapartes from power now would be laughable. No, any war would involve most of the planet, and with only gunpowder technology to fight it, it could go on indefinitely or even "forever."

Still, not all was well in Europe. The Kingdom of England, still under Edward VII "the Puppet", was slowly picking up its economy and moving into the modern world, but increasing French control was growing irksome for the prideful Englishmen. French troops occupied most cities side-by-side with the Redcoats, and French overseers made sure that England's military elite didn't show any signs of a coup against Edward the Puppet. The most frightening thing about England's situation was a growing presence of Russian spies and infiltrators. Apparently, Alexander II still had the hots for Princess Victoria, and was growing increasingly bold in his desire to marry the future queen. Edward expressed no opinion. When told by Napoleon II to discourage her, he did as instructed. Neither Victoria nor Alexander backed down.

Then, in 1840, Alexander (age 22) finally requested marriage to Victoria (age 21). Napoleon II panicked and considered demanding Edward skip Victoria in the line of the succession, but realized it would incite civil war in Britain. Plus, Victoria was an only child, and passing the position of heir to another relative would look terrible. Frustrated and defeated, Napoleon II agreed to back out of the affair. Alexander married Victoria on December 21st, 1840, in St. Petersburg. Victoria became Viktoriya Alexandrovna, future Queen of England and Empress Consort of the Russian Empire. Ten months later, on October 29th, 1841, Crown Prince Viktor I was born. His parents announced they would train him to speak both Russian and English.


Crown Prince Alexander II and his wife Victoria of England


A five year-old Crown Prince Viktor I in an English sailor uniform

Despite the huge Anglo-Russian powder-keg being primed to blow, the Gilded Age remained peaceful in Europe.

AMERICA IN THE GILDED AGE:

While Europe was peaceful, America was violent. In Europe, the only kinds of people who had it bad in life were anarchists and socialists. In America, and especially the Republican Union, things were vicious. Once again, there were no wars. After the Green Mountain War, an eerie truce had settled between North and South. But in the cities, violence ruled.

In the North, clusters of immigrants deemed inferior by the "Protestant Germanics" sometimes formed huge gangs. Boston, one of the main arrival points for immigrant workers ("New Slaves" as discussed before in earlier chapters), was swarmed with crime. The Boston Police simply could not contain the horde of discontent, hungry Irish and Slavs. On some days, over twenty people were murdered daily. The neighborhood Protestants did the only thing they could think of: they formed their own gangs. Mobs of armed men would occasionally make incursions into the ghettos and randomly assault immigrants. The immigrants fought back and in turn joined the gangs; thus starting an endless cycle. Finally, in 1841, under First and Second Chief Consuls Aaron Burr Payton and Zachary Gibbs, the Union government sent in special military units to put an end to all of the gangs, regardless of ethnicity or faith. It was stunningly successful, and the same thing was done in all major cities. Suddenly, a new branch of government had been created: the Republican Union Military Police (or RUMP as it would later be called). General William J. Worth was appointed the first head of the MPs.


William J. Worth, Chief of the Military Police

Worth was a gradate of the New York City School of Corruption, and though he held the position of Chief from 1842 to his death in 1866, he was a terrible manager and suffered from alcoholism. One of his closest friends was none other than Charles Goodyear, who Worth credited with "guiding him to Jesus" by recommending listening to Bostonian preacher Edward Everett.

Over the years, the Military Police worked hand-in-hand with Goodyear's army of "Company Men" to eliminate threats to the growing de-centralized police state the R.U. was becoming. Using an ordinary census as a cover, RUMP began collecting information on the whereabouts of every single immigrant. This laid the foundation for later surveillance of all immigrants. Even when immigration from Ireland and Eastern Europe began to slow, third-generation Irish- and Slavic-Americans were still classified as "immigrants." The word was said with hatred by almost all. Welcomed arrivals, like Germans and English, were called "new citizens."


Military Policemen of the 1840s-1860s; RUMP officers were long famous for sporting spiked pith helmets

Meanwhile, the new technology being unveiled by Goodyear and his North American rivals was indeed making life easier and more exciting for those not being persecuted. A crude "talkie box" was invented in Atlanta, Republic of Georgia, in 1845, by a group of electricians (a new occupation, or at this point, hobby). It consisted of a 2 foot by 4 foot wooden box, with long cords that went from one house into another. They could only work with the two cords (in other words, they could not be equipped so three or four people could talk to each other). The sound received was very feint. The idea was abandoned by 1850, but it was picked up again in the 1870s. The Prussian light bulb ideas were greatly expanded upon by Samuel Morse (Colonel Goodyear Enterprises Vice President). He was so successful that he said all homes would be equipped with light bulbs by 1880. He was close in this prediction.

The crowning glory of American Invention during the Gilded Age was the product of Newport News, Virginia resident Henry Wilson. For years, he had been obsessed with electromagnetic communication, a study that was all the rage in Europe. After ten years of failure, Wilson erected a series of poles in his neighborhood, all linked with wire. Then, he tested his new machine. The Telegraph had just been perfected. In no time, the inventor and his nephew Jed Wilson developed a code system. The system became known as Wilson Code and it was used when Newport News made the first complete wired transmission between cities in history, on January 5th, 1845. The message to Richmond: "What Hath God Wrought?" The world would never be the same.

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER
THE BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER
PART ONE



On the quiet morning of December 5th, 1839, a child was born in New Rumley, Pennsylvania, to Emanuel Henry Custer and his wife Marie Ward Kirkpatrick. They named the boy George Armstrong Custer, in honor of pastor George Armstrong. They had strong desire to see the boy join the clergy, hence the name. George would go on to other things, however, and forever place himself in the annals of time.

The Custer family traces its roots back to Paulus and Gertrude Küster, two Germans from the Rhineland who fled to North America in 1693. Being part Scottish and part German, George was of the most favored racial group in the Union. Nevertheless, his boyhood was spent in poverty. He had two younger brothers, Thomas and Boston Custer. His two sisters died in childhood. George, Thomas, and Boston were fervent patriots from the beginning of their lives, and their father Emanuel had served in the Green Mountain War. Being poor and having nothing to do other than help his father in the blacksmith shop, George began teaching himself to read at age 8. He could write well by the time he turned 10. His favorite subject, much to his parents pleasure, was religion.

George's later childhood was filled with deep questioning of everything. He slowly, and quietly, became an atheist in 1853. However, at age 17 he attended a traveling revival led by Bostonian minister Edward Everett, the same man who "led William Worth to Jesus." Custer said of this event later that "it was as if a fire shot through me. I realized that Christ died for me and all men, and that by believing in him I would be eternally protected and under his care. I believed! When I held that snake over my head, and the Holy Spirit moved my soul, I knew my atheist days were behind me."

Edward Everett, considered by many as the most important American religious figure of the 19th Century, was a fiery orator. At the New Rumley Revival, he set in motion the events that would lead to the New Order of the 20th Century.

A famous excerpt of the sermon Custer was "brought to Jesus" with:

"All the Jews! All the Pagans! All the Papists! All the Sodomites! And all the Traitors! They all are going to burn forever in the darkest pits of Hell! They will burn forever and ever, eternally tormented for their sins and transgressions. Pray to Jesus for mercy upon us all and for glorious victory against His enemies! Come to Jesus! He will set you free. It is He who will save you! And me! And your neighbor! And your country! If we have faith, Jesus will save us all and save the White Race! All Hail!"

The last bit-"All Hail"-was the new rally cry of the extremist far-right of the Union political and religious spectrum. Beginning around 1848, the Union began adopting Roman Imperial symbols and philosophy. The original leaders of the Revolutionary War against Britain had the Roman and Greek Republics as their role models. Imitating the Roman Empire was seen as imitating a far more successful ancient superpower. As Theodore Burr, the son of Union hero and former consul Aaron Burr, said in 1849: "The time has come for an Empire of the People! We shall have no Caesar or Presidential Overlord. The People shall rule, for in plurality we have security. And we shall build an Empire of Freedom, Justice, and Biblical Virtue. All Hail the People!"


Theodore Burr (Circa 1845)

At that cry, Burr gave a Roman-style chest-thump and salute. The crowd gathered in Philadelphia that day to hear him followed suit by shouting "All Hail!" in unison and thumped their chests and raised their hands. The formal sign of patriotism in the Union was born. Later that year, the Union Army adopted large gold eagle-topped vexilloid banners, named aquilae, or aquilas, in direct imitation of the Roman legions. In 1858, a huge monument to Willard Crawford was erected in Philadelphia Harbor, depicting the "Founding Father" in a Roman toga, wielding the "Blade of Remembrance" in his right hand (symbolizing that America would never forget or forgive the Great Canadian Invasion) and a Fasces in the left, holding it up over his head (symbolizing the Union of States making the whole stronger). This part of the "Gilded Age" in America is regarded as the dawn of Fascism, said term originating from Fasces on the Crawford Statue. The first official Union anthem, The Union Forever, was adopted at this time, and it reflected the militaristic culture of the nation:

Yes we'll rally round the flag, men, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!


The Union forever! Hurrah, men, hurrah!
Down with the Traitors, up with the Star;*
While we rally round the flag, men, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!


We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million Freemen more,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!


We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!
And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a Slave,**
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom!


So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom;
And we'll hurl the Traitor crew from the Land that we love best,***
Shouting the battle cry of Freedom.




Edward Everett
Young Custer was a big fan of this new political movement. He accompanied Everett as an aide on his revival trips, and was present and standing with Everett and Theodore Burr when the Crawford Statue was unveiled. "Autie" Custer was 19 at the time, and his future lay ahead. He served for a time (till 1860) as an evangelist, taking the new craze of snake-handling west to Shicagwa, Iowai, and then to Oshkosh, Michigania. Then, in 1860 he left the ministry to "take up the Sword of Christ" and began his service in the Union military. Thanks to friends in high places, he started out as a sergeant. The wheels of his fateful future began to turn.

* - "Traitors" refers to the Fascist tenet that the Southron republics were rightful Union land who had "betrayed" the United States after Crawford led his coup. The "Star" refers to the central symbol of the Union flag.

** - This lyric refers to the immigrant workers; they are not "slaves," just very "poor" workers.

*** - This lyric incited anti-Union riots in Maryland and Virginia; it actually states that the Union will someday reclaim and/or conquer all of the "United States" and create an "Empire."

THE LIFE OF REVEREND AARON BURR II
THE FOUNDER OF AMERICAN FUNDAMENTALISM


"Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to see you burn."-Rev. Aaron Burr II"

I fear for the nation's future. The mentality of a mob bowing down to their leader is the mentality of men who will do anything for that leader." -John Jay

A future reverend, soldier, and politician, Aaron Burr II was born to the Reverend Aaron Burr and his wife Esther Edwards in Newark, New Jersey, on February 6th, 1756. Reverend Burr I was a Presbyterian minister who helped found Princeton University. Esther was the daughter of famed Calvinist preacher Jonathan Edwards, who also helped found Princeton University.


Jonathan Edwards

At age two, young Aaron suffered the death of his father and mother (in that order) in the space of a year. His maternal grandfather Jonathan Edwards took him in and raised him to be a radical Calvinist and anti-British. Burr was immensely traumatized when Edwards was killed in a carriage accident in 1765; Burr was just 9, and Edwards was 62. Burr was then sent to live with Philip Jonas of Boston, a close friend of the late Edwards and a radical American Patriot. At age 19 in 1775, Aaron Burr II joined the Continental Army as a junior-grade minister and infantryman. He served as a colonel under George Washington during the brutal winter at Valley Forge and was the officer in charge of "the Gulf," an isolated pass commanding approach to the camp. After a series of harrowing attacks by British scouts and sharpshooters which involved Burr nearly getting killed every time, his men started to say he was "blessed by the Lord." Washington himself gave him a personal thanks and multiple awards and medals, and told him, "God has great things planned for you, Colonel Burr."

When the troops began demoralizing that winter, Burr took out his Bible (the copy his grandfather had used during his famous Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God sermon) and proceeded to "deliver such a fiery oratory that we felt thawed from the frostbite," wrote one officer named Benedict Arnold, who later took a bullet for Burr in the head and died.

When the war was over, Burr began showing symptoms of a head injury from being too close when a cannonball hit. A doctor offered him treatment, but he refused, claiming God would heal him. Burr retired from the army and became an ordained minister and later was elected a Member of Congress for New York (1795), and was one of the Hawks who pushed for what became the Franco-American War (1799-1800) which resulted in the death of Washington and ushered in the Collapse of the Old United States.

But it was the period of 1798-1799 that were most important in Burr's life. His head injury is likely the cause of a series of long dreams he had where he "saw John Calvin and his grandfather Jonathan Edwards" in Heaven. "And they and the voice of the Lord said unto me, 'And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.'" Burr experienced an epiphany. He claimed that what he had done at Valley Forge and what the men there had said about him was true; that he was specially chosen by God for a special purpose. Burr wrote in late 1798 to his close friend and Republican Union founder Willard Crawford, "I have formulated plans for a new church. It shall be located in Philadelphia, as close to the Congress as I can, and perhaps near to Articles of Confederation Hall. This way, in betwixt doing the Lord's Work at the pulpit, I shall do the Lord's Work at the Congressional Chambers. These verses read to me in the dream I wrote to you about last time have some special importance I am sure. Wish me well and please pray for my success."


Burr's Fundamentalist Church
Burr's "new church" was actually that and also a new denomination. Branded American Fundamentalism, the church was completed in mid-1799. His ferocious and red-faced rhetoric converted many immediately, and raised the ire of many others. Ignoring claims he was behaving like a cult leader, Burr continued to preach under the Freedom of Denomination Clause of the Articles of Confederation. He ended up converting several other Congressmen, drawing further attention. A newspaper pundit in Boston claimed that:

"The Madman Burr continues to propagate his blasphemy throughout the fair city of Philadelphia. He pretends to be his grandfather, like he's a boy playing soldier, but his sheer lunacy is nothing like the great minister of old, and his falsehoods are not nearly as innocent as a lad playing at muskets. Believe this publication when we say this church is merely a flash in the pan, and his so-called followers are simply there for the entertainment of the spectacle and lunacy that is Colonel Burr."


Burr continued on, and by the time of the creation of the Republican Union, he had actually a sizable amount of followers in his pews. His ultra-patriotism and his friendship with Crawford kept opponents from going after him, and he became the Union's Second Chief Consul and Crawford the First. As Chief Consuls for the next few years (re-elected every year), Crawford and Burr helped shape the entire history of the Union. They are considered the only truly strong Consuls of the 19th Century, as the rest just muddled along and wielded almost no power of any sort and went in and out in two terms at most.

By the time of his retirement from politics, the membership of Burr's church was a whopping amount, with at least 2,000 followers in the Philadelphia area alone. Up in his adopted home state of New York, he had built another church, called the Second Fundamentalist Christian (with the Philadelphia branch being named simply Fundamentalist Christian), and it grew to a huge 8,000 members statewide. In 1820, all of the churches were re-branded as "American Fundamentalist Christian," each with its own number. It then began leaking over into his original home state of New Jersey, where several of his young deacons began orating at Princeton University, greatly upsetting the Calvinist professors there, to the point that they banned preaching by the "Burr Sect" on campus. Many in places that had not experienced a sermon by Burr had no idea what on earth could make it so appealing, but when a series of traveling revivals swept the nation, they found out sure enough. Burr and his deacons started off simple, appealing to the crowds in a friendly, folksy way. Then, they would start haranguing them, spewing hatred about Catholics, Deists, and immigrants. Then would come the appeal to their patriotism, hitting them with the impoverished state of the Union and with the "former glorious United States of America, an Empire that was destroyed by the Papist-sympathizing and traitorous slave-whipping Southrons." By the end of the sermons, people sitting in the pews began weeping, screaming, and flying out of their pews in a seizure-like craze.

A number of the audiences would become so enthralled that, as one witness wrote in a diary, "One middle-aged gentlemen in thick spectacles had been screaming out and crying like a man-possessed in the fifth aisle down. This man had been going blind. Pastor-Colonel Burr simply raised his hand at him, and the man flew out into the aisle like the Lord had grabbed him by his cravat. The Reverend-Colonel struck his palm on the man's head once, and the man again went flying erratically down the aisle like his spirit had been smote from his body. It was amazing. This blind man could see again."

Later claims that the man was an actor were denied by the Fundamentalists.

The people attending became so convinced of his power that when he started the practice of holding snakes in church as a following of what "God" had told him in his dream years before, attendance dropped (as those not fully convinced or just there to watch became frightened), but then attendance sky-rocketed. Crying out that, "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you!" Burr's overpowering showmanship kept his services standing room only.

The many people who rejected Burr said the reason for the seemingly "divine" power was nothing but a crowd effect, where those who believed Burr held the power to "Slay them in the Spirit" were just simply wanting Burr to have that power. John Jay wrote of Burr's Fundamentalists: "This is nothing but boulderdashery and mind-trickery. I have attended these services and not once did I come to the belief that Aaron Burr, of all people, was casting the Lucifer out of anyone. I noticed he never attempted to 'slay' any of my family's spirits or my own, most likely because he knows we aren't a pack of uneducated ignorant fools of the type who are amazed when a trickster pulls a silver eagle out of someone's ear. This madman would never have been Second Chief if it wasn't for Crawford being his personal friend. I dread to see where this sect goes. I swear, if the people of this nation are so willing to believe this low-brow demagogue and follow him in the handling of venomous snakes and the other assorted insane practices, then I fear for the Union's future. The mentality of a mob bowing down to their leader is the mentality of men who will do anything for that leader."

In 1839, Aaron Burr died peacefully in his bed at age 83, but he had trained a large number of ministers to carry on his work.

In 1819, a 25 year-old deacon took charge of a growing Fundamentalist church in Boston, and became by far the most important of these successors, tied only with Burr's son Theodore. His name was Edward Everett, and he was considered the finest orator in Boston. In 1820, several "Irish-Catholics" attacked during a sermon, killing five and burning down 30% of the church. Everett and Burr claimed it proof of the inferiority and murderous tendency of the Irish and Papists, and went about "building the chapel larger and grander than before." It was a huge building, and when Aaron Burr died in 1839, an obelisk was constructed outside called the Burr Monument. Measuring in at
555 feet, it was the tallest stone structure in the entire world. In the church itself, huge rows of stained glass depicted scenes from the lives of Jonathan Edwards and Aaron Burr, especially those of Burr heroically standing upright in a hail of British fire at Valley Forge. One depicted his close friend Benedict Arnold ascending into Heaven.​


The Burr Monument in Autumn by Andrew Gibbs (1869)

In addition to having a colossal Egyptian monument dedicated in his name, Burr's self title of "Reverend-Colonel" was held by every following head of the American Fundamentalist Church. The title "Colonel" was turned into an award similar to the European title of count. Charles Goodyear was the first man to become an American Colonel. He was also a choir boy in the Boston church when he was 10.

Theodore Burr (1783-1867), Aaron's only son, would go on to more politics than preaching, but was, for a short time, "Reverend Colonel Burr II," before the position passed to Everett. Theodore's son Aaron Burr III (1819-1909) would never hold the title, and instead would become a high-ranking government official. Towards the middle of the 19th century, many citizens grew wary of American Fundamentalists overrunning the government offices, and their suspicions of the group's political plots were only strengthened when the Union Army adopted "Onward Christian Soldiers" as their song. "Onward Christian Soldiers" was Aaron Burr's favorite hymn.

Everett revived the practice of traveling revivals and went west himself to the Ohio region of Pennsylvania. It was there, near the small hamlet of New Rumley, that Everett would have the pleasure of converting a blond-haired young man by the name of George Armstrong Custer.

THE COMPANY MEN
COLONEL GOODYEAR ENTERPRISES' PRIVATE ARMY AND THE GROWTH OF THE GOVERNMENTAL-INDUSTRIAL POLICE STATE UNDER COMMANDER A.A. LINCOLN

Colonel Goodyear Enterprises Workplace Security Force (CGEWSF) logo, circa 1880

As discussed in other chapters, Colonel Goodyear had hired private mercenaries going all the way back to the time his "malcontent employees" first protested against his policies, way back in the 1830s. In 1845, the Colonel Goodyear Enterprises Workplace Security Force (or "CGEWSF" as it was later called) had been formed to clean up the thugs' image. All of the security and patrol officers employed by Goodyear's dozens of companies began sporting copper badges branded with the new name, along with crisp black-blue uniforms, batons, and firearms.

In the Colonel Goodyear Industrial Park in Shicagwa, Iowai, the capital of Goodyear's economic empire, the local police department practically disbanded, and many officers joined the CGEWSF, as the private army did a much better job of enforcing the law, albeit brutally. The section of town for the "Workers," the abused immigrants, was under constant monitoring by CGEWSF officers, and they pioneered the use of crowd control during the Shicagwa Riots of 1855, also known as the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, which started when several Irish workers were shot to death by "Company Men" at a pub. All over town, the workers rioted, destroying countless dollars worth of property and burning down the Goodyear Tire Company to the ground. Furious, Goodyear's ever-reliable Vice President Samuel Morse dispatched orders to put the dissidents down "by using any means necessary." He also said in a letter to the local CGEWSF precinct leader, 46 year-old Commander Abraham Aaron Lincoln, "These mobs are to be an example of what happens to Anarchists. Those that disrespect the institutions that feeds and clothes them, and provides a place for them to have their litters of brats, deserve no respect themselves. They disrespect the Colonel, then they disrespect God Almighty. Put them down, Commander. Show them how true Christians treat lawbreakers and strikers."


A depiction of a scene from the riots, printed in the Shicagwa Tribune

Lincoln summoned all available CGEWSF forces, came up with a battle strategy, and marched his army into the ghettos, riding proudly upon his white horse, Ann (named after his wife Ann Rutledge), and wielding a sword. For ninety days, Shicagwa's Goodyear Industrial Park was a battlefield. For ninety days, Lincoln's men fought for building after building, going from house to house and slum to slum, searching "degenerate Rebel scum." Lincoln was determined to use the warfare sandbox he was now in to perfect "crowd control." He studied the effects of fear on the rioters, and discovered that noise was key in intimidation. Midway through the riots, he had several hundred wooden shields, made in Roman scutum style, shipped in from one of Goodyear's woodworking companies. They had special metal sections on the sides which, when hit with a weapon, produced a ferocious-sounding clang.

With crude versions of the "All-Seeing Eye", the CGEWSF logo, painted on the fronts of their new armor and sporting new, much thicker pith helmets instead of kepis, the Company Men were lined up in columns at the first second a crowd of workers looked ready to turn violent. Then, knocking clubs and pistols against the sides as loud as possible, the men with shields would advance slowly, giving the crowd a chance to save themselves. The next step was firing shots in the air and shouting warnings in unison, the most common of which was, "This is an unlawful, unchristian, anarchistic assembly. Please go back to your jobs and homes or we will have to use lethal force." If all that failed, the mob was murdered and horrifically stamped out. Heads cracked as clubs descended and men, women, and children fell as the Company Men with pistols opened fire point-blank. Lincoln soon had the workers once again quivering in fear of Goodyear, and he was christened a national hero and was presented with the prestigious new Order of Patriotic Brethren Medallion. He became known as the "Man who Crushed the Rebels."


Romanticized Statue of Commander A.A. Lincoln that was erected outside Shicagwa City Hall. The inscription on the base reads "Commander Abraham Aaron Lincoln, Hero of the Union, who Defeated the Rebels of 1855."

Two years later, Lincoln rode his glory into positions of high political power. When William J. Worth, the first Chief of the Military Police, passed away in 1866, Commander Lincoln was appointed as his successor. In his famous acceptance speech, now known as "Our Struggle," before the Consuls in Philadelphia, Lincoln's words were the perfect example of how the government and industry were slowly merging into one tyrannical behemoth. The following is an excerpt:

"Now, we are engaged in a Great Struggle: Law, Order, Industry, Freedom, and Christianity against the Rebel scum; Papists and Anarchists who dare to have the nerve, to have the outright hubris, to try and destroy all of which we have worked for and fought for and bled for. This struggle is testing whether this nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that struggle. I want to thank the honorable consulate for this position on the forefront of it. Under my administration, America, our great Union, shall always have law, order, and liberty for all, and those who try to destroy it will always be righteously punished."

One year before, Lincoln had announced his conversion to American Fundamentalist Christianity. Thirty years after Lincoln's death, when the American Fundamentalist Christians announced they were "canonizing patriot-saints in memorial of great achievements, patriotic actions, selflessness for country, and general service to God and Union," A.A. Lincoln became Pt.-St. Lincoln.
 
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The 1838 World Congress: Tragedy in Paris

The Assassination of Kaiser Franz Karl and his Wife (London Times, 1838)

Napoleon II was extremely eager to host the Congress in his Imperial capital. He was prepared to put on the "biggest show on earth" that would "dazzle and shock the world." He would announce a more final union of France and Spain for one thing, and no longer would he be known as the Caesar of France and Emperor of Spain, but as "Caesar of the United Empire of France-Spain," in a similar vein to Franz Karl being Kaiser of Austria-Hungary. He had his fiance, Eugénie, a daughter of a minor Spanish noble, secretly moved to Paris in time to announce his wedding. He would also show off new ironclad warships, improved rifles, and much, much more. As peace seemed to be relatively stable and many nations were happy with the status quo, most of the world looked forward to the event, not knowing a sovereign monarch and his wife were about to be assassinated and forever put an end to the World Congresses.

Meinrad Beutel, an influential Hessian philosopher, was held to blame for the deaths of Franz Karl and his wife Sophia of Bavaria. In 1828, Beutel published the 239-page book The Anarchist Way, which railed against the ever more powerful empires and dictatorships and insisted that all men who desire to be free should fight against tyranny using whatever means necessary.

"There will come a time on this earth when men will cast off their oppressors. These bloated ticks in Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, and Philadelphia will eventually run out of ways to contain every citizens' deep and innate desire to have liberty, and then what will they do? They will either wipe their people out, wipe each other out, or the people will wipe them out. To achieve the last option, we must also assist in the second option. It is the Anarchist Way to pit our swindling, oppressive monarchs and leaders against one another. We must destabilize, so that we can stabilize. We must destroy, so we can create. We shall build a New World Order, an order dominated by personal liberty, freedom of choice, and minimal government."

"No government should have the ability to impress its citizens into military service, like every civilized country today does. No government should have the right to tax its citizens. No government should oppress the civil liberties of its citizens. The freedom-loving man had one chance thus far in history to create an Anarchist Utopia: the old United States. But the United States failed to solidify its freedoms under a constitution, and after good General Washington, the place fell to civil war, violence, slavery, racism, and murder. If all free men join this time, once and for all, and fight for the Anarchist Way, then we shall truly be free. The Ancien Regime of the status quo must crumble. The New World Order must rise."

-
Final Page of The Anarchist Way


Meinrad Beutel

It was with these words flowing through his head that ethnic Dutchman Fons Elbert Spijker entered the Paris Congressional Palace in a crowd of some two thousand civilians during the first day it was open. The Congress had not officially begun, and only a few leaders were present so far. Spijker was a floor-sweep at the Palace had access to most all parts of the structure, so he attracted little attention. Under his coat was a small flintlock pistol and a dagger. He was going to murder Caesar Napoleon II and bring about the collapse the French Empire.


Only known picture of Spijker

The royal families of France-Spain, Austria-Hungary, Russia, and Ireland were attending a military band competition on the night of July 4th, 1838, in the Concert Hall of the Paris Congressional Palace. Spijker had found out who was to be situated in which seats, and was certain his plan would succeed. At 6:33 that evening, Spijker began his ascent up the stairs to Emperor Napoleon's private seats. Seconds later, a guard noticed him and began walking toward him. Panicking, Spijker lost his nerve and bashed through the entrance, took out his pistol and dagger, and... shot Kaiser Franz Karl directly in the back of the head. The whole Concert Hall began shrieking and the guards came running. Furious he had killed the wrong man, Spijker turned to the feinted Kaiserina Sophia and stabbed her through the throat. He then leaped from the balcony, raised the bloody dagger over his head, and shouted proudly, "Sic Semper Tyrannis!" A moment later, a French Imperial Guardsmen shot him in the chest, killing him instantly.

As Franz Karl's brain matter dripped onto the floor and Sophia's body sat almost beheaded, Spijker's last thought was probably of frustration for Napoleon not being in the seat instead. It just so happened that Napoleon had invited the Austro-Hungarian Imperial family to sit with him in his box. Seconds before Spijker arrived, Caesar had stepped out to bring his fiance to meet them. Napoleon reportedly suffered a minor nervous breakdown, knowing the bullet was meant for him. The Congress was cancelled. There would never be another.

The World Congress of Paris: Aftermath

The Hapsburg Imperial Funeral in Vienna
"Today, the United Empire of France and Spain, the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, and all their territories, mourn the sinister murder of Kaiser Franz Karl I, of the Empire of Austria-Hungary, and of his wife, the beautiful Empress Sophia. They were both brave and true friends of our people, who desired peace and stability for all of Europe. We must not allow their dream to shatter. We must not allow the Anarchists to interrupt stability on this continent. Now orphaned, the Austro-Hungarian Imperial children will be henceforth cared for and raised by Caesar Napoleon II of the Imperial Union of Spain and France, and his future empress, Eugénie. These children, Franz Josef, age eight, Maximilian, age six, Karl Ludwig, age five, and Maria Anna, age three, will be full members of the Imperial Family and will receive all the rights and benefits thereof. Caesar Napoleon II now has an heir, Franz Josef, who, if no other, natural-born male child is produced, will ascend the throne of the Imperial Union of France and Spain under the name Caesar Francis Joseph I. The articles of the Second Treaty of Vienna are hereby declared null and void and the governing of the Empire of Austria-Hungary shall, for the duration of the current instability, fall to Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. A Third Treaty of Vienna shall be drawn up later this year to decide matters over the eventual union between France-Spain and Austria-Hungary."

-Official Response of the Franco-Spanish Imperial government to the Franz Karl Assassination, July 5th, 1838

The young children of Franz Karl were indeed legally and officially adopted by the Franco-Spanish Imperial Family the day of their wedding, August 2nd, 1838. Caesar Napoleon II and Caesarina Eugénie were parents. No longer did the House of Bonaparte need to worry about an heir-less collapse. Adopted at such a young age, only Franz Joseph (legally Francis Joseph I, Prince of Bombay and the Heir of Hapsburg) was old enough to have nationalistic thoughts about Austria. The other children were swiftly and intensely "Frenchified." All the children learned to speak French, German, Spanish, some English, and of course Latin. Francis Joseph was reeducated into a solid United Empire supporter by the time he was ten. However, upon the birth of Napoleon III in 1839, he no longer was Prince of Bombay or first in line to the Bonaparte throne.


Caesarina Eugénie of the United Empire of France and Spain


Francis Joseph, age 15 (Konrad Kröger)


Maximilien, Count of Vienna, age 16 (Jean Belloc)


Charles Louis, age 12 (Konrad Kröger)


Marie Anne, age 8 (Jean Belloc)

Directly following the wedding, Napoleon II went to Vienna to negotiate the future of Southern Europe. His puppet, the half-senile Field Marshal Radetzky, was actually being manipulated by Napoleon I's elderly widow, Dowager Caesarina Marie Louise. In what was a surrender of sovereignty, Austria-Hungary essentially became a part of France upon Radetzky's signing of the Third Treaty of Vienna. Upon his coming to the throne, Napoleon III would become sovereign, and would almost certainly make Austria, Hungary, and their territories mere states in a bloated United Empire in Southern Europe. Many Austrians did not like this one bit, but the few instances of actual civil unrest were put down by the Austrian army acting directly on the orders of Radetzky.

Also following the wedding was a massive hunt for Anarchists. All of Europe was on the look-out for them, and Meinrad Beutel above all. He was captured in Naples trying to get on a ship to South America. On December 3rd, 1838, the Anarchist author was arrested for treason against the Confederation of the Rhine, calling for and attempting violent overthrows of sovereign nations, sedition, slander, money-laundering, blackmail, and murder. The Rheinbund tacked on everything it could. He was hanged one month later. The Anarchists had another martyr.

The Balkan Wars

Flag of the Greek Republic

Since the late 18th century, the Ottoman Empire had struggled to keep a lid on its Greek problem. In 1838, it was planned to be brought up at the ill-fated World Congress of Paris, which would have likely helped grant the descendents of Alexander the Great some degree of independence. Now, the year was 1845, and the frustrated and abused Greeks had just about had enough. In 1839, several hundred Greeks had been massacred in Athens during a protest against Sultan Mahmud II's tightening grip. When Sultan Abdul Mejid II came to power the next year and proved himself even more brutal, the Greeks officially started revolting. But in 1845, the big event came: a Greek citizen tried to assassinated the Sultan. Civil War erupted, and it was a bloody, horrid affair. In 1846, General Lavrentios Marinos and his followers stormed Athens, executed the government, and draped the new Greek flag from the top of the Acropolis.

Marinos was dictator from this point on, and he used his power to rally the people. However, patriotism alone would not win a war against an empire. He needed international aid. Thus, he negotiated in secret with the Republican Union, Prussia, and Denmark-Norway to come to his assistance. While normally hostile to all forms of Catholicism and Orthodoxy, the Union saw what sort of headaches would be caused by an independent Greece for the major powers and agreed to supply muskets, rifles, and ammunition against the Turks. Prussia also agreed, and sent a few warships down to protect Athens from attack by sea. Denmark-Norway refused. Marinos didn't even attempt to contact Napoleon II, knowing Greece would end up a French puppet if he did. But that did not stop the neighboring Kingdom of Italy, whose titular King was Napoleon II, from sending over volunteers and supplies as a good-will offering, hoping a future Greek state would warm up to them eventually.


The Liberation of Athens by General Lavrentios Marinos (Jan Koehler, 1878)

From the winter of 1846 to the spring of 1856, Greece pushed out their occupiers and repeatedly fought off Turkish attempts to invade again. The Republican Union Navy even showed up at one point, raiding Turkish trade routes and making a fortune from it while sinking dozens of the Sultan's decrepit, outdated vessels. In 1850, the unrest spilled over into other Turkish vassals. Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Montenegro all revolted and overthrew their Muslim masters. In 1856, the Sultan finally let the nations go their own way. Abdul Mejid was facing a revolution back in Istanbul, and was in no mood to continue throwing his loyal soldiers at the patriotic fronts in the Balkans.

Eventually known as the Balkan Wars, the period of 1846-1856 was one of the biggest events in Europe since the French Empire was founded.

Balkan States at the End of the Balkan Wars
  • Macedonia was quickly absorbed by Marinos' Greek Republic, of which he was near-absolute dictator.
  • In 1856, Romania became an absolute monarchy under the idolized King Simion I. Bulgaria adopted a constitution and a Holy-See approach to elect their first monarch, Tsar Timotei I, from a "College of Generals."
  • Albania followed a similar strategy, which ended with Joakim I being crowned King.
  • Montenegro almost immediately started suffering internal problems as several generals and politicians fought for control, ending in Albania moving in and annexing it.
  • Serbia saw General Ivan Radovan Ateljević overthrow their Republic in 1858, and he made himself king.
Almost all these new countries were a new style of dictatorship, ruled by the military and with little to no free speech or religious freedom. Crude propaganda posters lined the streets, and anyone who questioned the new orders were labeled traitors and Turkish sympathizers.

The Republican Union took advantage of the persecuted groups and told them more stories than ever before about the "Land of Opportunity." Goodyear was about to get more "New Slaves." Seeing this happening, the governments eventually banned Union citizens from entering the Balkans, something which the Union used as "proof" that the dictatorships just wanted to keep their people "in chains." The Union's population rose steadily. More than a few downtrodden Eastern Europeans who barely made it through the Balkan Wars wound up getting shot by A. A. Lincoln during the St. Valentine's Day Massacre of 1855.


Flag of the Empire of Bulgaria


Flag of the Kingdom of Romania


Flag of the Short-Lived Republic of Montenegro


Flag of the Kingdom of Albania


Flag of the United Kingdom of Albania and Montenegro


Flag of the Republic and Kingdom of Serbia



Flag of the short-lived independent Macedonia region

The Birth of the Prussian Empire

Flag of the Prussian Empire

On October 12th, 1850, one of the last leaders alive from the French Wars era, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia and Hannover, died. He was 80 years old, and he had been expected to die over a decade before. That isn't to say he was in good health; he was unable to stand starting around 1840, side-effects of a fall from his horse. He had suffered multiple strokes and one heart attack, the latter of which killed him. Most of Europe's leaders attended the funeral, though they feared another Anarchist attack. In what became known as the Year of Three Kings, he was immediately succeeded by his eldest son Friedrich Wilhelm IV. Soon after, Friedrich Wilhelm IV's stepmother died of a massive heart attack caused by gross obesity. As per the Hohenzollern's and Wettin's agreement, her titles in Saxony, Warsaw, and Finland were passed to her step-son. Unbelievably, the king died before he had officially accepted them. He had caught a severe case of the flu, and died at age 55. At last, after so many family deaths, Prinz Wilhelm, after whom the first railroad was named, accepted the titles, was crowned, and promptly did away them all. No longer were Prussia, Hanover, Warsaw, Finland, or Saxony separate entities. Instead, Wilhelm merged them all and created the Prussian Empire, becoming Kaiser Wilhelm I.


The Coronation of Kaiser Wilhelm I of the Prussian Empire, House of Hohenzollern-Wettin
Napoleon II was very swift in reacting to these events. His first telegrams with Wilhelm concerned the French peacekeepers present in Finland. Wilhelm calmed him and told him they could stay, as "Prussia never dishonors treaties." They did agree to negotiate on an eventual withdraw, though it wouldn't happen till decades later. Napoleon II grudgingly accepted Wilhelm's rule and formally recognized his legitimacy.
 
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The Bonapartes and Hapsburgs Regroup

Flag of the Rheinbund

Napoleon immediately feared any form of Prussian growth, and he wanted to make sure his territories along the Rhine never drifted into the Berlin camp. He had finished forming the union with Austria-Hungary, which would become a part of the United Empire upon the ascension of his son, Napoleon III. Thus, the Confederation of the Rhine, the Rheinbund, was given an increase in power and a stronger government. Instead of directly ruling it himself, he installed his 20 year-old adopted son Francis Joseph as Emperor (Kaiser), though he would have little to no power. Many historians have claimed this prevented Francis Joseph from wanting more power, as he allegedly felt robbed upon the birth of Napoleon III. Soon after, the Rheinbund adopted a flag for the first official time; the government's popularity sky-rocketed and Rheinish pride glowed. The many kingdoms and principalities and such inside the Confederation had to bow down to their overlord. They kept their thrones, but they were increasingly losing real independence in their own affairs. In a similar move, Napoleon II abdicated the throne of Italy and put Francis Joseph's younger brother Maximilien in place. Finally, Charles Louis, the youngest Hapsburg brother, was given the crown of Andorra.

List of Bonaparte - Hapsburg Leaders of the 1840s-1850s:
  • Napoleon II, (born 1811) Caesar of the United Empire of France and Spain, Emperor of the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Protector of the Free City of Lisbon
  • Napoleon III, (born 1839) Prince Imperial of the United Empire of France and Spain, Prince Imperial of the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, Prince Imperial of the Empire of Austria-Hungary, Prince of Bohemia, Duke of Reichstadt, Prince of Bombay
  • Francis Joseph I (Franz Josef I), (born 1830) Emperor/Kaiser of the Confederation of the Rhine
  • Massimiliano I, (born 1832) King of Italy, Count of Vienna
  • Charles Louis I, (born 1833) King of Andorra
  • Zénaïde I, (born 1801 died 1854) Queen of the Two Sicilies
  • Queen Carlotta I, (born 1824) Queen of the Two Sicilies
  • Dominic I, (born 1798) King of Ireland
  • Louis I, (born 1778 died 1846) King of Holland
  • Louis Napoleon I, (born 1808) King of Holland
  • Karl I, (born 1786 died 1858) Grand Duke of Baden (married to Stéphanie, daughter of Napoleon I)
  • Karl Napoleon I, (born 1813) Grand Duke of Baden
  • Elisa Napoleona (born 1806) Princess of Lucca and Piombino

Kaiser Francis Joseph I (Franz Josef I) of the Rheinbund


King Massimiliano I of Italy


King Charles Louis I of Andorra


Queen Zénaïde I of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies


Queen Carlotta I of the Two Sicilies


Dominic I, King of Ireland


Louis I of Holland


Louis Napoleon I of Holland


Grand Duke Karl I of Baden


Grand Duke Karl Napoleon I of Baden


Princess Elisa Napoleona I of Lucca and Piombino
 
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European Leaders of the 1840s-1850s:


Oscar I, King of Sweden
(born 1799)


Christian VIII, King of Denmark-Norway (born 1786 died 1848)


Frederick VII, King of Denmark-Norway (born 1808)



Nicholas I, Czar of Russia (born 1796)


Wilhelm I, Kaiser of Prussia (born 1797)


Ferdinand I, King of Sardinia (born 1793)



Louis I of Portugal, Charles Louis I of Etruria (born 1799)



Edward VII, King of England (born 1767)



General Lavrentios Marinos, Chief Citizen of the Greek Republic (born 1808)


Simion I, King of Romania (born 1800)


Timotei I, Tsar of Bulgaria (born 1799)



Joakim I, King of Albania and Montenegro (born 1810)


Ivan I, King of Serbia (born 1802)

The Race for Africa
Part One (1840-1865)



Without any doubt the Franco-Spanish Empire is the Third Rome. [....] During the Great Wars, France under Caesar Napoleon I proved herself by conquering nation after nation, even when she was against the odds. [....] Now, thirty years after the wars have ended, the Franco-Spanish Empire is poised to dominate the dark continent of Africa. If she could have Europe under her heal, why not the Dark Continent? [....] The young Caesar has many years ahead of him, and may he bring glory to the Empire forever more!"

-Excerpts from the article "The Rise of the Empire Across the Globe" by French writer, novelist and journalist Octave Louis Martel, Imperial Times (Paris), July 19th, 1845

During the Gilded Age, known in Europe as the Second Renaissance, the great powers of Europe, making new breakthroughs in technology, science and general industrialization, were determined more than ever to conquer new lands in Africa, Asia and other "exotic" locales. These European Empires had particularity desired a new dominance over Africa ever since the 1832 World Congress, when it was agreed that the Empires of France and Spain would be given dominance over Saharan Africa, while Prussia, a rising power, would hold dominance over Sub-Saharan Africa. These points were agreed on by all of the major powers of Europe and the Americas, and at the time they seemed fair and forthright.

It reality, these assurances were over-generalized and rather vague. While all of the world powers observed these accords, they were not viewed all that seriously due to the fact that European nations at the time were not entirely capable of colonizing the depths of Africa. This was due to the lack of immunities against diseases, hostile climates, hostile and unknown tribes, etc. All that the leaders and emissaries did at the Congress to formalize these borders was to draw them on a map of Africa. A line was drawn at the 5th Parallel North and at the 10th Parallel South. Above the 5th parallel North was marked “French Africa” in several different languages, while below down to the 10th Parallel South was marked “Prussian Africa”, again in several different languages. The so-called "Prussian Line" stopped at the 10th Parallel South as Portuguese and Dutch colonies were already located below, and as a result, these nations were tacitly given influence over this region of Africa. Meanwhile many a nation, be they a major or minor power, hoped to use these vague assurances to their advantages by slipping in their own African colonies sometime in the future. However, these were the earliest years of the Gilded Age. Colonization would not be fully under way for quite some years to come.

FRANCE-SPAIN AND PRUSSIA, THE ARCH RIVALRY OF THE RACE FOR AFRICA:

The two main powers throughout the Race for Africa were the Franco-Spanish Empire (after 1896 the Tripartite Empire) and the Kingdom of Prussia (after 1850 the Empire of Prussia). In 1832, France had owned quite a bit of land on the coast of North Africa, while Spain owned at least one port. In 1838, when France and Spain officially went into a personal union and became the Franco-Spanish Empire with Napoleon II's marriage to his Spanish consort Eugenie, these African holdings officially became Franco-Spanish colonies. On the other hand, Prussia had made her first ventures into Africa when she received the British port of Lagos during the division of the British Empire at the World Congress of 1826. It was just one small holding at first, but it was a humble beginning to an impressive empire. Said empire would grow just a little more in 1828, after the fall of the Spanish Empire, when Prussia was given the Spanish islands of Bioko and Annobon as a gesture of goodwill from France.

Thus Prussia, as a new power on the world stage, was especially eager to establish a strong foothold in Africa after 1832. During the late 1830's they did just this. On the coast of Western Africa, along the Equatorial region, Prussia founded the colony of Friedrich-Wilhelmsville (OTL's Libreville, Gabon) in 1836. This would be promptly followed by the foundation of Neue Berlin (OTL's Port Gentil, Gabon) in 1837. The Franco-Spanish Empire took notice of this, and most certainly wanted to one-up their new Prussian rivals in Africa. However the Franco-Spanish Empire was already massive, the most massive world wide empire since the time of Genghis Khan, with most of Europe, North America, South America, the Indian Subcontinent and Australia under their control. As a result, Caesar Napoleon II decided to take the colonization of Africa slowly.

Then the year 1838 came and turned Europe's attention away from Africa, albeit temporarily, due to the assassination of the Austrian Emperor and the subsequent crackdown on anarchists. With Austria-Hungary in due time to come into a personal union with France and Spain, the history of European colonialism would be changed forever. In the meantime, France still had colonizing Africa on its agenda. In 1841, two new Franco-Spanish cities were founded in North Africa, just under the Kingdom of Morocco. They were Laâyoune or El Aaiún in Spanish, and Cape Napoleon (OTL's Cape Bojador). These colonies were bilingual, with both French and Spanish as official languages and with colonial officers from both nations in charge of the colonies. Many more future Franco-Spanish colonies would contain an equal influence of French and Spanish culture, with Austrian, Hungarian, Bohemian and Slavic culture coming into the mix after the formation of the Tripartite Empire. All these European cultures would in turn mix with the various native African cultures.


Franco-Spanish Zouave Infantry patrolling Cape Napoleon

Meanwhile, Prussia continued to found more outposts, including Neue Potsdam (OTL's Doula, Cameroon) in 1841, Von Zietensville in 1842 (OTL's Beua, Cameroon), and Stadt von Afrika (OTL's Omboue, Gabon) that same year. It was also during this time that Prussia would begin to have her eyes set on the large and unexplored Congo region. However, the desolate interior of the Congo would not be colonized for years to come due to several deadly diseases which thrived in the jungle, along with the presence of hostile tribes. Still the land was recognized as Prussian, and Prussian-backed expeditions would be carried on and along the Congo River sporadically during the 1840s and 1850s. The most famous of these expeditions was the 1854 expedition by German explorer August Kappler, in which his expedition of 500 men, mostly Prussian but also containing some other European volunteers, successfully traveled up the Congo River and back to Neue Potsdam. Another expedition, this time smaller, was made by Kappler in 1861, which a few months after departing from Neue Potsdam mysteriously disappeared. It was speculated that the party was attacked and killed by hostile natives, though there was never any evidence to say exactly.


August Kappler

One of the most important events in the early days of the Race for Africa came in 1849. With the Ottoman Empire in turmoil and fighting the Balkan Wars, the Franco-Spanish Empire decided it was high time to conquer Algeria, an Ottoman dependency the Dual-Monarchy had long had its eyes on. The invasion began on August 12th, 1849 with multiple troop landings across the Algerian coast targeted at Algiers and Oran, with the Franco-Spanish Empire not even bothering to issue a formal declaration of war. The invasion was commanded by generals from both nations: the French Count de Ghaisnes de Bourmont and the Spanish Duke of Valencia Ramón María Narváez. They both proved themselves excellent commanders during the war, with their use of scorched earth tactics working amazingly well against the Arab defenders. These tactics greatly raised the moral of the Franco-Spanish soldiers, and made quite a name for the two generals back home. These successful tactics, combined with the raising morale, made sure the war was over within three months.


La prise de Constantine (Horace Vernet, 1852)

By the begging of November most of Algeria was overrun by the Franco-Spanish invaders, and the Ottoman provincial ruler Hussein Dey, seeing no way out, surrendered on November 13th, 1849. The Treaty of Oran was signed a day later, and established Algeria as a Franco-Spanish colony. The Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I was not pleased, as he was already on the verge of losing land in the Balkans. Nevertheless, he had no choice but to comply with the treaty, as he had no real way of regaining Algeria anyways. Franco-Spanish settlers would come gradually to Algeria, with Franco-Spanish presence and culture becoming noticeable by the mid-1860's.

Back in Europe, on October 12th, 1850 the Empire of Prussia was born, encompassing not only Prussia, but also Saxony, Poland and Finland. While all this was going on, Europe still had her eyes on Africa. With the foundation of the Prussian Empire, Prussia became even more enthusiastic to colonize more land in Africa, and they made no secret of it. These new countries under Prussian rule would bring new wealth to the country and speed up their colonization of Africa. A new wave of future settlers would also bring to these colonies in the middle of Africa a mix of North German, Polish and Finnish culture. Between both the Tripartite and Prussian Empires, there would be a rich cultural mix between the European and African cultures.

When the 1860's rolled around, it was clear to all that the Franco-Spanish-Prussian rivalry that started in the 1830's was beginning to intensify. This intense rivalry between the two multi-ethnic superpowers would later come to be known simply as "The Great Game"; a term coined by English writer, journalist and politician J.R. Kipling in 1894.

OTHER POWERS:

Aside from France-Spain and Prussia, the Kingdom of Holland was increasingly becoming a rising power in its own right, having colonized most of Indonesia (and claiming the whole region), New Guinea and Eastern Australia. In Africa, the Dutch had one sole possession, the Cape Colony, which expanded rapidly during the late 1830's through to the 1850's. It should also be noted that by the late 1840's, Holland was officially no longer a puppet state of France (though it was still a close friend and ally), and was very much on its own. This new independence from French control allowed the Dutch Empire to grow even more than it already had been. By 1850 the Cape Colony was one of the most prosperous Dutch colonies. The residents of the Cape Colony were an ethnicity known as Afrikaners or Boers, and were the the descendants of Dutch Calvinists, Germans, French Huguenots, Frisians, and minor numbers of other Europeans who settled in the region.

The Boers played a large role in the expansion of the Cape Colony along with the mother country, with several new cities being founded by the Boers, sometimes in cooperation with new Dutch settlers. One of the most prominent Boer leaders was Andries Pretorius, who was instrumental in the expansion of the Cape Colony through the moving of settlers into the frontier and the foundation of new cities. These new cities included a new capital of the colony named Lodewijksville (OTL's Johannesburg), said city named after King Louis I of Holland, Pretoria (named after Pretorius himself), Bloemfontein, New Friesland (OTL's Kimberly), among others. The rather sporadic conflicts with local tribes were either minimal or easily won, and the Cape Colony became so large it was officially reformed into "The Colony of Dutch South Africa" ("De Kolonie van de Hollands Zuid-Afrika" in Dutch) in 1859, with Pretorius as its first governor. While the Boers continued to have close ties with their mother country over the decades, during this time the Boers would begin to develop a new identity and national consciousnesses. By the 1860's, greater calls were being made from the Colonial Parliament in Lodewijskville for some sort of autonomy from the mother country, with some radicals calling for all out independence. Still, most were satisfied with the relationship between master and colony, so things stayed as such in the immediate future. Expansion would continue in the future as well, bringing the Boers into inevitable conflict with other local tribes, in particular the Zulus.


Andries Pretorius, the first Governor of Dutch South Africa


Boer settlers in the interior of Dutch "Zuid-Afrika", circa 1840

In terms of other nations, Portugal, a.k.a. the Portuguese Confederation, had already owned colonies in East and West Africa for centuries, while Denmark had owned the Gold Coast ever since it had been given to her during the division of the British Empire at the 1826 World Congress. Denmark slowly began colonizing the surrounding area, founding the city of New Aarhus in 1848 for example. While France-Spain and Prussia would be the dominant forces in the Race for Africa, a number of other European nations would play a role of their own in due time.


Map of the World in 1856
 
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THE FIRST LOUISIANA REBELLION

"The Abolition of Slavery by the Franco-Spanish Empire undermines our heritage, our culture, and our way of life. As such, it will not be tolerated by the People of Louisiana or it's Government."-Louisiana radical Paul Octave Hébert

In September of 1860, Napoleon II signed the Emancipation Proclamation, finally abolishing slavery within the borders of his empire. Canada, very liberal and still containing a population of Old Republic Federalists and their families, celebrated. The Republican Union, normally a hotbed of anti-French thinking, congratulated Caesar on finally "entering the modern era of enlightenment." In the colony of Louisiana, however, it was a very different story.

The citizens of the massive colony still sported many French and Cajun names, but they were beginning to feel less and less like Frenchmen. Many of them were not even native citizens, but transplants and expatriates from all over. Back in 1840, during the land-race to California, French troops had come to Louisiana to keep Mexican mercenaries and outlaws from damaging Louisiana's trailblazing attempts. The Louisianan citizens were frequently enraged as the Imperial troops forced them to provide lodging and sometimes looted food cellars and pantries. Since that point, the stew of unrest had been simmering. France's high tax increase in 1858 had sparked riots in New Orleans. French troops fired into crowds. After that, things spiraled out of control.

During the Tax Riots of 1858, a local militia officer named Paul Octave Hébert had arrested the French soldiers who had fired on civilians. When Paris announced that he would be charged for treason, more riots broke out. Hébert was subsequently arrested but later freed, and then he promptly set out to form the Knights of the Golden Circle.

The KGC was initially a simply fraternal society aimed at damping the growing Franco-Spanish abolition movement. The KGC received their name from a plan they had drafted to break Louisiana into 12 more manageable Imperial states, similar to a plan being drafted in Canada. They were peaceful and just put up local members as candidates for mayors and the like. When the first telegram about the Emancipation Proclamation arrived, though, things took a totally different direction: their "Grand Master," Hébert agitated for revolution. The KGC even went so far as to seize the capitol in New Orleans and rip down the French tricolor that flew above it. In its place, they hoisted the new KGC flag, featuring a circular constellation of 12 golden stars on a blue background. Then, they declared an "Emergency Congress of Louisiana" to discuss what the next move would be. The French Imperial Fleet of the Caribbean blockaded New Orleans immediately and the French army spread across the region started to march south to confront the rebellion.


Flag of the Knights of the Golden Circle
The Emergency Congress elected Hébert as its first Chancellor. Chancellor Hébert then declared that a vote would be taken to decide if the colony would keep slavery, and that if it did Napoleon II had two months to decide his course of action until the Emergency Congress took a vote on independence.

Paris was enraged. Caesar Napoleon II's first impulse was to send troops in to massacre the Congress and all of the KGC members. His advisers and the Prime Minister, Anselm Brisbois, told him it would only make matters worse. Instead of going to war, Napoleon II, on January 13th, 1861, offered Louisiana a chance to become a kingdom, with the youngest Hapsburg sibling, Maria Anna, in the position of queen. The Emergency Congress rejected this, telegraphing back that "an illusion of independence and play on our patriotism will not trick us into submitting to the ruination of our culture and livelihoods."

On February 11th, 1861, Napoleon offered again the kingdom proposition, but added that he would be willing to compromise and allow for an eventual 10-year draw-down in slavery, where most would be able to keep their slaves until 1871, when the government would pay them for their loss. Louisiana refused, saying their agricultural economy would require much more than payment for the slaves, because the slaves were around only to support their agriculture.

On April 18th, 1861, the Emergency Congress declared the Louisiana Republic and elevated Chancellor Hébert to national leader as President. The day of the revolution had arrived.

France was determined to crush the rebellion quickly, lest they look weak in the eyes of their other colonies or in the eyes of other countries. They turned to a talented local loyalist officer who had fled to Georgia named Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard. They appointed him general of all Imperial troops in Louisiana and tasked him with restoring Imperial rule by the end of the year. In mid-May, he crossed the Pearl River, sailed across Lake Pontchartrain, and besieged New Orleans. Further north, in Tallulah, where President Hébert's residence was, Franco-Spanish and Swiss troops burned his mansion to the ground and then routed several companies of militia. Without foreign help, the Louisiana Republic was crumbling.


General Pierre G. T. Beauregard


French artillery and infantry ford the Pearl River


Depiction of several Louisianan soldiers surrendering to French cuirassiers


Swiss and Austrian token troops meet up with French troops somewhere along the Mississippi before the outbreak of the war
The Republican Union was virtually the only hope for Louisiana, and Philadelphia seriously considered helping them for the sole purpose of kicking sand in France's eyes just because of their long-standing animosity. The Southron countries, Georgia, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Maryland were all slave-owners, but were close allies of Napoleon and would never help a revolt against him, especially since Virginia was tossing around talk of gradual abolition. Thus, the R.U. was really Louisiana's one chance to succeed. However, the Union decided against it, as they considered slavery barbaric and unenlightened. The inevitable defeat of the rebellion was looming.

By October, New Orleans was starving. Beauregard was still besieging it and French ships were continually arriving with reinforcements. The general could have taken it in the mid-Summer, but was trying to "teach the rebels a lesson" and sustain as few losses of his own as possible. Northwards, up to the Canadian border, the revolts were all but crushed.

Local natives had decided that French rule was less to be feared than Louisianan rule, and as such were helping the French. Chief Red Cloud, of the Lakota Sioux, was paid a handsome amount to raid Louisianan supply lines. When the French Army of Canada started coming down from the north, they reinforced the Sioux and then plowed south like a meat-grinder, crushing all rebel forces in their path. Finally, on November 12th, the Army of Canada and Beauregard's forces linked up outside New Orleans. After an deadly initial bombardment, the army stormed the city. They arrested the Emergency Congress, tore down the KGC flag, and raised Napoleon II's personal standard. The leading congressmen were arrested and shot for treason. The First Louisiana Republic was no more, and it had not lasted for even a whole year.

Napoleon II was quite happy with Beauregard's performance, and awarded him the Legion of Honor and appointed him a Marshal of France, the first to come from America. The French emperor thought his problems with Louisiana were solved, but he was very, very wrong. The people were bitter and revanchist, where even some who had not supported independence to begin with now hated the "tyrannical" way France had crushed the revolt. Beauregard was hated above all as a traitor. It was no surprise when news hit Paris that Hébert had been smuggled by his loyal followers out of the colony and into the Republican Union, which refused to hand him over. France fumed, but eventually gave up on arresting him.

For the next several decades, the Bonapartes tried to get Louisiana back on track to being obedient and profitable. But it was not to be. In 1901, forty years after the proclamation of the Louisiana Republic, unrest would rear its ugly head again.
 
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ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER
THE BIOGRAPHY OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER
PART TWO


George Armstrong Custer was, in 1864, the youngest and most eccentric general in the Union Army. Thanks to his personal friendship with both Edward Everett and the Burr Family, he had risen through the ranks in a blatant act of favoritism and corruption. Having had no war to fight since the annexation of Vermont, it should have taken Custer decades to attain the amount of influence he had at age 25. Since most days consisted of nothing but drilling and other mundane, boring tasks, Custer grew weary of his Philadelphia abode and set out to his old evangelist stomping grounds in Shicagwa. Upon arrival in October of 1864, Custer expressed admiration of Goodyear's running of things, and particularly noted the clockwork efficiency of the Colonel Goodyear Enterprises Workplace Security Force. It was this that planted an idea in his head: why not use a similar private army to patrol not just the industrial areas of the city, but the whole city or state?

"Tom, I have come up with a brilliant plan. Come join me in Shicagwa, and bring Boston with you. The Custer boys are about to strike it rich!"
-excerpt from Custer's letter to his brother Thomas, December, 1864

In the spring of 1865, George, Thomas, and Boston started their work. George handed in his resignation for active duty and joined the Army Reserve, and he and his brothers launched Custer's Company, a mercenary force of the most intimidating roughnecks they could dig up. A huge advertising campaign swept through the entire state of Iowai, and the organization's rank swelled to 500 by July, meeting the Company's goal. A new goal of another 500 was set, and by Christmas of 1865, the Custer Brothers were proud commander of 2,000 soldiers. By mid-1870, recruiting campaigns were launched state-wide, from Shicagwa to Indianapolis to Vincennes, and the palatial Custer's Company Headquarters stood on Burr Avenue, the most expensive real estate in town. By that point, over 8000 men belonged to the company, and it was beginning to spill over into neighboring states.

The Company's official mission was to "Secure a Better way of life for the Betters of Society." This term, "Betters of Society," became widespread, meaning generally "White Anglo-Saxon Protestants." The American Standard Dictionary soon created the term "Inferiors of Society" to mean "most foreigners, especially Irish, Slavs, Italians, Polocks, Catholics, Orthodoxers of any type, Amish, Hindoos, Ancestor-Worshipers, and Mohammedans. Of note is the fact that Frenchmen and Germans can be Inferiors if Papist, but those who have accepted true Christianity are generally not considered Inferiors." Curiously, Negroes were not listed as Inferiors. This was due to the Union's staunch Abolitionist heritage and their constant once-upping over the "unenlightened" South. Another group curiously left out was the Jews. Anti-Union pundits said it was because of the many Jewish bankers and businessmen who held sway within the Union economy, including Goodyear Enterprises Economic Affairs Officer (EAO) Benjamin Bernbaum. Both Negro and Jewish citizens were afforded most of the liberties that were deprived of the so-called Inferiors, and their small numbers allowed them to go largely unnoticed in society as a whole. The caste system had truly begun.

Custer's Company took over where the CGEWSF left off. The Union's police force was woefully under-equipped and the Military Police only covered the heavily urbanized centers, and then only mostly in the east. This left the small towns and villages of the Midwest without "firm law enforcement." Custer's Company was paid by these towns to come in and maintain "order" and shove the "Inferiors" into ghettos, and the Company would then use part of that money to pay their "employees." Long wagon trains stretched into the Ohio region, where the infamous "reeducation camps" awaited the Inferiors most unwilling to admit their inferiority and "mind their God-given Places below the Betters of Society."


George Custer eventually bought out his two brothers' shares in the company in 1875, and Thomas and Boston then lived the good life as rich men in the growing city of Oshkosh, Michigania. By 1875, George Custer was one of the wealthiest men in the Union and the most popular, behind only Goodyear. The government began officially sanctioning his activities and at least 500 Custer's Company troops marched in the annual Christmas Eve "Remembrance Day" parades in Philadelphia every year. Eventually, Custer's men were even helping to guard the Canadian border. George was presented with the Order of Patriotic Brethren Medallion for his "gallant service to God, Country, and Future Generations." Children worshiped him, men wanted to be him, and women were known to faint just at the site of him in the room. His trademark long golden locks and pointed mustache, as well as his bravado and charisma, made him an ideal face for the Union. Little did anyone know that about 25 years in the future, he would be far more than just the face of the Union; he would be its first real "enlightened despot."

RUSSIA'S MAD PRINCE

Crown Prince Viktor I, aged 24 (1865)
When England's Victoria had married Russia's Crown Prince Alexander in 1840, things seemed to be going up for the House of Hanover. When, after decades of mockery and torment at the hands of their mentally-deficient kings, Victoria became queen in 1857 upon King Edward's death at age 90, things began to look even better. But behind the scenes, a problem was brewing: Victoria's son Viktor, future King of England and future Czar of Russia. To put it bluntly, Viktor was taking after his great-grandfather George III, only with more psychotic tendencies, like Uncle George IV. He was consistently abusive to his butlers and servants, and repeatedly cursed at English civilians protesting the “damnable monarchy."

Viktor's ego soared in 1865, when his grandfather Nicholas I died at age 69, and he became Crown Prince of Russia at age 24. He was subsequently appointed general in the Russian Imperial Army, and began to suggest attacking neighbors to his father, the new Czar and the much more balanced and fair Alexander II. Viktor's favorite subject was Persia. He insisted that Persia was on a list that Napoleon II was compiling of future targets. Operating on a "make Persia Russian before it goes French" tactic, he urged for an invasion. Whenever Alexander refused, Viktor would go into an almost epileptic fit and rage for hours.

Alexander II tried to keep his son's mental illness from public light and made the Russian people happy by the 1868 Abolition of Serfdom, but Viktor was getting out of hand. Alexander began to make plans to skip Viktor in the line of succession and give the throne to one of his other sons, either Alexander (born 1842), Nicholas (born 1844), or Paul (born 1845). When the day came to make it official, Czar Alexander feared it would push Viktor over the edge.

Back in England, Viktor was consistently giving the people a reason to hate him utterly. Aside from the aforementioned public cursing-out of English citizens, his tyrannical attitude and general rudeness made him a hated figure in his mother's court. In 1868, he was seen with multiple women in his private quarters at night, and when two of them turned up dead the next day, and a third a week later, all the fingers pointed to Viktor.

The English monarchy was teetering on collapse from that point onward. Thanks to Viktor seemingly rejecting every possible marriage that came his way and with constant rumors of his affairs with prostitutes leaking out on an almost daily basis, it was in 1870 that Czar Alexander decided once and for all to strip Viktor of his crown. The day before the announcement was going to be made public; Princes Alexander and Nicholas were killed when a bomb was thrown under their carriage while pulling up to the entrance of the Moscow Opera. The horrific assassination was immediately blamed on "Filthy Anarchists," but those who knew of the Czar's plan to skip Viktor knew Viktor had found out and had had his own brothers murdered.


The Moscow Opera Bombing of 1870: Prince Nicholas (far left, limp) lays dying, while Prince Alexander (center, prone) has already been killed by shrapnel to the head.
These events left the youngest brother, Paul, as the only heir left besides Viktor, and Paul had demonstrated that he was almost mentally retarded (though not quite), and could barely carry on a conversation, let alone manage the Russian Empire. With great sadness, Alexander saw he could do nothing to keep his mad son from inheriting the throne. He loved all of his children very dearly, despite their faults, and the pain of losing two of them plagued him to his grave in 1890. Victoria would join him soon after.


Map of the World in 1875


1878: POPE SIXTUS VI

Lucien Louis Joseph Napoleon, Prince of the Two Sicilies, as Cardinal Bonaparte (circa 1860)

In 1878, Pius IX died after an over thirty-year reign as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church. As the Papal Conclave convened to elect the next Holy Father, Caesar Napoleon II saw the opportunity his family had been looking for since the days of the Great Wars of his father. He saw the chance to put a Bonaparte on the Throne of St. Peter. Napoleon II's cousin, Lucien Louis Joseph Napoleon Bonaparte, son of Zénaïde I, late Queen of the Two Sicilies, and brother of the current queen, Carlotta, was the candidate. With Carlotta already having more than enough children to ensure succession, Lucien held very little power and stood no chance of ever becoming a monarch. When he joined the Catholic Church as a priest in 1858, however, his family saw a purpose for him: they were determined to make Lucien the next pope.

The Papal Conclave convened in the Sistine Chapel on the 18th of February, 1878, and began its process of picking the next pope. Since Pius IX had made the Papal Doctrine of Infallibility official in 1870, the power that was to be wielded by a future pope was terrifying indeed. Even more terrifying, however, were the death threats coming for the Cardinals. They were to pick Lucien or risk losing "everything they owned and their very lives." To top off the intimidation, troops from the Kingdom of Italy and the Two Sicilies were positioned outside of Rome on "routine training exercises." Their position was clear: Lucien would become pope by election or Napoleon II would have his Italian satellite states' troops march in and place his cousin on the throne by force. Something like this had not occurred in centuries. Terrified, on February 20th, 1878, Cardinal Bonaparte was proclaimed to be Pope Sixtus VI. Europe trembled.

In Paris, the streets filled with cheering crowds waving French and Papal flags and crying out that the House of Bonaparte would never be stopped. In Vienna, opinions were mixed. Austria-Hungary knew they would be absorbed into the Franco-Spanish Empire when Napoleon III inherited the throne, but they still felt rivalry, and disliked having a Bonaparte as pope. The Catholics in Eastern Europe felt the strongest about the matter, and though they grudgingly accepted it, many felt the Papacy didn't have as much prestige as it had before. It would be a couple of decades before the controversy (and Sixtus) died.

Of course, the reaction in Protestant nations was much stronger. England called Sixtus another "example of French imperialism and corruption." The Republican Union immediately began calling Sixtus the Anti-Christ, dwelling on the two sixes in his name, calling it the Mark of the Beast (where the third "six" was awkwardly up to conjecture). The American Fundamentalist Christian Church began telling its members to prepare for the Last Judgment and to pray for God to "smite the Bonapartian Imperialist Whore of Babylon." The excitement and fear never died down, and each and every decision Sixtus made was perceived as yet another "sign of the coming Apocalypse."

In actuality, Sixtus wasn't a horrible pope or a horrible person (he had suspicions, but was not aware corruption had given him his position), and he was actually far less biased to the Bonapartes than they had wanted. He didn't abuse his power and died happy in 1909 at the age of 81, reining for exactly the same amount of years, months and days as his predecessor Pius IX, tying the all-time record.

ZENITH OF THE GILDED AGE

The Edward Everett, Colonel Goodyear Enterprises first Airship (1885)

It was the year 1885, and Colonel Charles Goodyear was worried. He knew he was 85 years old, and by the average age most people of the 19th century died at, he knew he was about 25 years overdue to meet the Grim Reaper. He wasn't worried about finances or anything of the sort. No, he was worried about revenge. Since Prussia had stolen his railroad invention decades before (which had ended in Prussia getting credit for the most significant invention in modern history), he had been obsessed with inventing something better and more important than the mighty "Iron Horses." He was going to build airships.


Portrait of Colonel Charles Goodyear (1885)
Colonel Goodyear was one of the most successful businessman and inventors in history, but he hadn't invented much anything new in years. He did, however, buy out inventors he determined had struck upon great ideas. One such inventor was Thomas Alva Edison. He had been one of the technicians who helped Goodyear's right hand man Samuel Morse create more reliable light bulbs, and then the young genius had gone back to his home state of New Jersey in 1878 and formed the Edison Electric Light Company of Newark. Now, Goodyear put Edison and his ruthless tenacity and slave-master mentality to spur Goodyear Enterprises' engineers on in their creation of airships. For seven years, Edison, as the CEO of "Colonel Goodyear Air," worked on all of the huge problems with developing the machines. Then, in 1885, much to the aging Colonel's delight, Edison announced that CGA was building the Edward Everett, the first self-propelled airship in the history of mankind. On Remembrance Day, 1885, in the hills just outside Philadelphia, the Edward Everett was unveiled before a massive crowd of onlookers, including Colonel Goodyear himself and his young, late-in-life son he was grooming to take over after his death.


Photograph of Charles Goodyear II (age 20) at the unveiling of the Edward Everett. The man on the right is Thomas Edison, and the man on the left is Rudolf Diesel, a fellow inventor and the Rheinbund's ambassador to the Union.
The machine had never flown before, and Edison warned it could end in disaster. The pilots all said final farewells to their respective friends and family, and a prayer meeting was held a few minutes before take-off. At precisely 12 noon on Christmas Eve, 1885, the crew of fifteen men made history and flew the Edward Everett over the heart of Philadelphia and then back to the field. The R.U. Army Band struck up "The Union Forever" and the crowd cheered and applauded as their heroes exited the craft. The pilots were lifted on shoulders and marched to the speaking podium, where First Chief Consul James G. Blaine awarded them all Order of Patriotic Brethren Medallions.

Goodyear looked "smugly satisfied" according to most accounts. He knew he had finally accomplished his goal of inventing something better than the railroad.


Photograph of the five lead aviators from the Edward Everett crew (from right to left): Miles Jenkins, Aaron Burr Taylor, Manfred Steiner, Ricky Cole, Harry Abernathy

THE SOUTHRON NATIONS


Campaign poster for Virginian President Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson
During the period between 1850 and 1900, the formerly rivaled Southron republics (Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, West Florida, and the Carolinas) formed closer friendships (though Virginia and Maryland were already allies, as were Georgia and West Florida). Part of the reason for less tension was the death of the Carolinas' antagonistic Chancellor Andrew Jackson, and also the growing diversity of economies. No longer did all the countries depend on cotton and tobacco to stay afloat, thus eliminating brutal competition over those two resources.

THE REPUBLIC OF VIRGINIA:
The Republic of Virginia, for example, excelled at manufacturing, and during just the two terms Robert Edward Lee was president (1860-1868), Newport News doubled in size, becoming the hemisphere's greatest industrial center. In the 1880s, the stoic Christian Thomas Jackson earned the name "Stonewall" for "standing like a stone wall" against slavery. He proclaimed that it was a "medieval" system and was worthless and immoral in the current times. Many immigrant workers from Europe were begging for the jobs that blacks did for free after all.

"It would be folly to continue this free labor system of slavery. It would be better for the sake of future generations to invite these immigrants in and pay them, than to continue using slave labor. These immigrants will strengthen our population and economy to compete with the meddling Yankees, while continued slavery will only make our people fat and lazy, and cause generations of racial hatred once we free the them (and rest assured, it is inevitable and our destiny to free them). I say, Gentlemen of the House, that we must free the Negro. By doing such, we will move into the Modern Industrial Era of greatness our allies in France entered when Napoleon II signed the Emancipation Proclamation."
-Burgess Thomas Jackson in the Virginian House of Burgesses, May 8th, 1882.
Following two years of campaigning, Jackson won out, and on July 4th, 1884, the institution of slavery was declared outlawed by the House of Burgesses. Proper compensation and time for plantations to cooperate and make plans were allotted, but by another two years' passing, most every slave in the state was free. The government still did not like the idea of jobless Negros running around, and many of the former slaves traveled west, where French companies needed manual labor to continue building railroads out to California, where France had finally pushed out Mexican influence through a series of guerrilla campaigns and undeclared wars.

Next for Virginia was its goal of a nation-wide telegraph system. Newport News was the birthplace of the invention, and since 1845, the Newport News Telegraph Company had been trying to get government backing to wire the whole republic. Beginning in 1856, they set out to do just that, and government troops (including a young Stonewall Jackson) guarded them from Indian attack and brigands all the way west until they reached the Mississippi River. Trains came just a year later, and by 1860 it was said that every Virginian was within one mile of a telegraph office and within five of a train track. Eastern Virginia was described by a visiting Danish-Norwegian politician to be "more crowded than Denmark, and in Newport News one would think Copenhagen's streets look empty by comparison."

Politics in Virginia were interesting, as the unusual House of Burgesses system was very pompous, old-fashioned, and "so very Virginian." There were numerous parties, ranging from the limited government-based Jeffersonian Party, the Christian Democrat Party (Protestant, pro-military, anti-Union), and the extremely short-lived Progressive Republican Party, founded by moderate "Christian Socialists."

One last important thing to note about Virginia was the fact the national flag was changed from the simple white banner adopted by the Jeffersonians during the fall of the Old Republic to the much prettier and more colorful "Star-and-Bars." It was one of the first changes Thomas Jackson made upon becoming president in 1888.


Second national flag of the Republic of Virginia (Star-and-Bars)
LIST OF VIRGINIAN PRESIDENTS:
  • Thomas Jefferson (1801-1808)*
  • James Madison (1808-1816)
  • James Monroe (1816-1824)
  • Henry Clay (1824-1832)
  • Samuel Houston (1832-1840)
  • Zachary Taylor (1848-1856)
  • Jefferson Davis (1856-1860)**
  • Robert Edward Lee (1860-1868)
  • Theophilus T. Garrard (1868-1876)
  • John Pope (1884-1888)
  • Thomas Jackson (1888-1892)
  • Joseph E. Johnston (1892-1895)***
  • Caleb Powers (1895-1896)
  • William O'Connell Bradley (1896-1904)
  • Jeffersonian Party
  • Progressive Republican Party
  • Christian Democrat Party
  • Independent
* Jefferson retired from office in 1808 supposedly for health reasons, but rumors said stories of his affairs with slaves were about to come out. He became a political godfather until his death in 1824.
**Davis hated being president, and refused to run for a second term
***Johnston was the oldest Virginian president ever elected, and died before finishing his term. His very young VP Caleb Powers completed the term and did not run for a second.


THE CHESAPEAKE REPUBLIC OF MARYLAND:

Maryland was essentially an extension of Virginia, and it pretty much always had been. Being small, it was a highly-urbanized, naval-centric society. Maryland was considered by its allies as a first line of defense against any possible Republican Union attack, and as such Maryland built up a small but powerful army (the best equipped in North America) and navy and allowed allied troops to maintain positions along the Union border. Maryland worried for years about the ability of the Union navy to sail into Chesapeake Bay and blockade them, and this led to the construction of the massive Citadel of Columbia on the banks of the Potomac, a joint operation with Virginia based in Georgetown, Maryland. The Citadel served as a base for the pooled Southron forces guarding against attack from Pennsylvania and Delaware and protected the vital Chesapeake and Potomac. The every-day operations stretched all the way down to St. Mary's City.


A massive cannon at the Citadel of Columbia (1876)


Marylander "ironclads" patrol the Potomac (1880)
The Maryland economy depended not on agriculture, but fishing, whaling, and trading. By the 1870s, slavery had essentially died, but the Chesapeake Republic followed Virginia's example and officially outlawed it in 1885. Marylander fishing vessels were known to turn up in Asia from time to time, and they were frequently found whaling off the coast of Peru. One whaler, Thomas St. Patrick, turned his experiences into the best-selling novel Mocha Jack, about a Marylander captain named Ishmael who becomes obsessed with killing the legendary titular whale.

Maryland politics were very simple and with such a small country only two real parties existed, the Jeffersonians and the Christian Democrats, both the same as the Virginian parties. Presidents were elected every eight years, and could run twice.
LIST OF MARYLAND PRESIDENTS:
  • Samuel Chase (1801-1809)
  • Oliver Williams (1809-1825)
  • Peter House (1825-1833)
  • James Alan Thompson (1833-1841)
  • Thomas George Pratt (1841-1857)
  • Francis Thomas (1857-1873)
  • Horatio Gates Gibson (1873-1889)
  • Elihu Emory Jackson (1889-1897)
  • Frank Brown (1897-1913)
  • Jeffersonian Party
  • Christian Democrat Party
  • Independent

THE CONFEDERATION OF THE CAROLINAS:

Out of all the Southron nations, the "CoCaro" was the most akin to a dictatorship. Andrew Jackson had ruled with a mighty fist from when the country broke away to when he died in 1850. He had been highly antagonistic and bombastic, and as mentioned before he had been called a "venomous old vulture" by Thomas Jefferson. He disarmed most of the CoCaro Constitution during the War of 1812, when he turned the Virgin Islands into his own private little ranch. The Bragg family put up a semblance of independence as hereditary "Governor-Generals" in the "Virgin Islands Confederacy," but the Jackson family decided everything. While elections in the CoCaro were fair, free, and open, virtually anyone with the name "Jackson" or with the Jackson family's backing would gain widespread popular support. It should be noted, though, that even the Chancellors with dictatorial tendencies meant well. Starting in 1860, Chancellors began recognizing an unofficial rule that they should serve single six year terms.

The economy of the CoCaro was still mainly agricultural, but its large collection of Caribbean islands meant they could grow spices, sugar, and other, more exotic and expensive trade items. Fishing was also a prominent source of income, and "Cokie" ships sometimes sailed all the way to the coasts of Europe in search of rarer fish. Chancellor Nathan Bedford Forrest finally abolished slavery in the Confederation in 1895. Forrest was a part of the moderate Labor Party, which appealed to the common man and was an evolution and break-off of the Jacksonian Party, while the Democratic Party stood for the land-owning gentry and the Jacksonian Party stood for hard-core militarism and ultra-nationalism.

The military of the CoCaro was not extremely large, but it was well-equipped and could immediately triple in size if a war came. The navy was rather lacking and outdated, mostly wooden vessels of the 1812 era, but the few ironclads they had were well-built and as powerful as any. The Carolinas' depended on being able to ship their soldiers north if a war broke out, and the nearby allied Virginian navy agreed to provide warships to fight off Union vessels should the time arise.

LIST OF CAROLINIAN CHANCELLORS:
  • Andrew Jackson (1801-1850)
  • Andrew Jackson II (1850-1860)
  • James Longstreet (1860-1866)
  • William R. Cox (1866-1872)
  • Andrew Johnson (1872-1878)
  • James Johnston Pettigrew (1878-1884)
  • Milledge Bonham (1884-1890)
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest (1890-1896)
  • Wade Hampton III (1896-1902)
  • Democratic Party
  • Jacksonian Party
  • Labor Party
LIST OF GOVERNOR-GENERALS OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS CONFEDERACY:
  • Thomas Bragg (1812-1857)
  • Braxton Bragg (1857-1889)
  • Thomas Christopher Bragg (1889-1917)
  • Jacksonian Party

THE REPUBLIC OF GEORGIA:

The Republic of Georgia was the most agriculturally-based nation in "Columbia" (a term first used to describe the Southron nations as a whole around 1840), and by 1840 was increasingly Catholic. It still had cotton and tobacco as its primary resources, but also owned islands in the Caribbean it received more exotic goods from. Georgia felt the blow from France's cotton plantations in India, and its slavery system took an even harder blow from the increasing mechanization of cotton seed-picking and harvesting. When mechanical harvesters appeared in the 1880s, it was only a matter of time before slavery was abolished. In 1890, Prime Minister John B. Gordon declared the importation of new slaves, as well as the re-selling of current ones, to be illegal. Three years later, slavery was ended.

Georgia and the Carolinas were the two Southron nations which squabbled the most. Thanks to constant feuding over the West Carolina border, several groups of surveyors from both countries almost started a war in 1848 in the so-called Battle of Chattanooga. Eight men were killed following heated disputes about who had the right to call the location their own. In the 1850s, the nations started to repair their relationship.

The Georgian military was extremely strong, and the navy was huge. Traditional warships and fleets of ironclads patrolled the waters off the Atlantic coast, the tip of Florida, the entirety of the Gulf of Mexico, and the Mississippi. Georgia was by far the most interventionist of the Southron "Columbian" nations, having deployed its men and ships unrequested in both the Texas War for Independence and several uprisings in South America. Additionally, the small West Florida Republic found itself annexed into Georgia in 1850, making Georgia the only Southron nation to expand in the century and the only expansion since the Republican Union invaded and took over the Green Mountain Republic.

LIST OF GEORGIAN PRIME MINISTERS:
  • Archibald Bulloch (1801-1813)†
  • George Troup (1813-1817)
  • George R. Gilmer (1817-1825)
  • Charles James McDonald (1825-1833)
  • George Crawford (1833-1841)
  • George Bonaparte Towns (1841-1849)
  • Herschel Vespasian Johnson (1849-1853)
  • George Bonaparte Towns (1853-1861)
  • Earl Van Dorn (1861-1869)
  • William Barksdale (1868-1877)
  • Carnot Posey (1877-1885)
  • Charles Bissette (1885-1889)
  • John Brown Gordon (1889-1897)
  • Johnny O'Reilly (1897-1905)
  • Liberty Party
  • Patriot Party
  • Log Cabin Party
  • Independent
 
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THE MARCH ON PHILADELPHIA

George Armstrong Custer's life was about to come full-circle. Thanks to his company, he was a multimillionaire and was one of the most respected men in the country. Finally, in 1884, he made his intentions known to the world: he was going to run for First Chief Consul in the near future. But this wasn't the typical consulate run that happened dozens of times in the past. No, Custer announced he wanted to do away with the one year terms if he won, and would also draft a new constitution. He claimed it wasn't any expansion of power, but the "next great step for our country to achieve our Manifest Destiny." Instead of one year, the Chief Consuls would rule for six year terms, and could run again however many times they wished. On July 4th, 1885, Custer formed the Manifest Destiny Party.

The Manifest Destiny Party consisted of the most radical, die-hard "patriots" that Custer could find. All members wore little pins or ribbons identifying themselves as such, and branches popped up in all the major cities. The government, while still claiming Custer was a hero, began to secretly plot against him. Aaron Burr III, grandson of AFC church founder Aaron Burr II, desired to become First Chief Consul also, and he was determined to stop Custer at all costs. Burrites fought in the streets against Manifest Destiny Party gangs in huge small arms and hand-to-hand combat battles, while both candidates acted like friends in public. Secretly, they hated each other, and Burr knew Custer was faking his faith in the American Fundamentalist Christian Church. In 1889, Custer began his campaign.

The Manifest Destiny Party campaign was coined "The March on Philadelphia" by Iowai Consul William Jennings Bryan, who was also candidate for Second Chief Consul. Bryan spoke at the Coliseum, the Party's headquarters in Shicagwa, and helped rally widespread public support for Custer in his "Triumph of the Party" speech on March 5th, 1890:

"The Manifest Destiny Party is going to win the greatest success in its history in just a few months. Standing upon this victory-crowned summit, will it turn its face to the rising or the setting sun? I say, ladies and gentlemen, that General Custer shall lead us to a thousand-year Republic upon which the sun will never set!"


The Coliseum


William Jennings Bryan flanked by a Manifest Destiny Party flag
That day, the MDP unveiled their new flag. It was almost exactly like the flag of the Old Republic, but it included stars for every region and state the radicals believed were "rightful Union land." The number of stars varied greatly, and some were downright ridiculous, with the version with the most sporting 50 stars. Maps were another common MDP propaganda tool, showing North America "the way it should have been and will be."

Finally, the election began on December 10th, 1890. The winner would not be announced until December 23rd, the day before Christmas Eve (Remembrance Day). Commander A. A. Lincoln, Chief of the Military Police, was to announce the winner at Independence Hall. When that day came, Burr III and Custer were present to hear the results, with thousands of followers.


Photograph of George Armstrong Custer (far right) with Aaron Burr III (far left) and Chief of Military Police A. A. Lincoln (center) during a meeting at Independence Hall (Remembrance Day, 1890)

Lincoln announced that Aaron Burr III had won by a mere 1% of the vote. Enraged, Custer stormed out, insisting that he was the rightful winner. Riots broke out all across the country and the government was on the verge of collapse as Custer proclaimed himself "Anticonsul." The eccentric general began a literal "March on Philadelphia," and he made it known he was going to overthrow Burr. On New Year's Day, 1891, Custer's "blueshirts" and some employees of his mercenary company arrived outside the capitol building, facing off against Burr's loyalist soldiers. Following a 30-minute gun battle, Custer personally led his men in a storming of the Domed Palace and seized Aaron Burr III and Second Chief Consul Andrew Wilkes. He was removed from power and thrown in prison on a dozen charges. He was convicted of election fraud, bribery, blackmail, and extortion. Oddly, these charges were true for once, and Burr was extremely corrupt. Custer actually had won the election, by 68%.


Blueshirt troops face off against Burrite rioters outside of Philadelphia
Immediately upon Custer taking power, several prominent government officials turned up dead. The most important was Commander Lincoln, who on January 3rd, 1891, was found outside of his house with a gunshot wound to the back of his head. The MDP denied any involvement and said that Lincoln was a great man. Anarchists, the old reliable scapegoat, were blamed instead. The next day, local tavern owner and businessman Hiram Grant, Burr's most ardent supporter in Shicagwa, was found in his residence hanging in his attack in "an apparent suicide."

Custer proclaimed himself First Chief Consul on January 15th, 1891. William Jennings Bryan entered the office of Second Chief Consul the following week after the capital was secured by the R.U. Army and the Burrites had been locked up.

The new constitution was adopted just two months later, with all the changes Custer had promised. One section that was a surprise, however, was the fact that he had integrated his Custer's Company army into the government as the "Office of Racial and Religious Affairs," abbreviated ORRA. He also had the government pass bills purchasing airships from the Goodyear Air & Rail Company. These ships would be flown exclusively by the Office of Racial and Religious Affairs to patrol the Canadian, Louisianan, and Southron borders.

Thousands and thousands of men would now be a part of the ORRA in effort to stamp out "religious heresy, blasphemy, and dangerous cults," as well as doing what Custer's Company had done for years: track down and move Inferiors into ghettos and the "stubborn" Inferiors into the Ohio region's reeducation camps. Beginning in 1892, ORRA's "aerforce" started paroling the Canadian border. "Runners" (those who tried to escape to French Canada) found themselves under attack from the sky. Snipers would stand on platform on the sides of the vessels and fire at the "traitors" down below. Escapes by Inferiors into Canada fell 90% in the time between 1891 and 1893. ORRA was just beginning its campaign of terror, and it would go well into the next century.

The Race for Africa
Part Two (1865-1890)


A French political cartoon from around 1885, commenting on Prussia's (personified by Chancellor Otto Von Bismark) increasingly aggressive and competitive attitude in the Franco-Prussian Great Game, with the rest of Europe looking on.


"I have thought some more since then and I have read carefully the different treaties between the European powers, themselves and the natives, and I have seen that we do not intend to free, but to subjugate the people of Africa. We have gone there to conquer, not to redeem. It should, it seems to me, be our pleasure and duty to make those people free, and let them deal with their own domestic questions in their own way. And so I am an anti-imperialist. I am opposed to having the eagles, be they Franco-Spanish or Prussian, putting their talons on any other land. The same goes for any other European power."

Virginian author, humorist and politician Samuel Clemens in his essay, "The Emperor's Folly", first published December, 1887

THE FRANCO-PRUSSIAN GREAT GAME:
One of the most important sagas of the Race for Africa was the Franco-Spanish-Prussian Great Game, a period of intense colonial rivalry across the world between the two greatest European superpowers, mostly in Africa, but also in Asia and other places as well. The Great Game continued into the late 1860s and 1870s, with things really heating up in the early and mid-1870s. The Franco-Spanish Empire continued to establish more cities and trading posts along the northern coast of Africa, and in 1873 took their expansion one step further. France-Spain embarked on a large-scale military expedition in the Horn of Africa, in an effort to finally have a power-base in the region; conquering many of the northern Somali Emirates as well as the Yemeni islands of Socotra. These colonies would increase France-Spain’s--and later the Tripartite Empire's--trade power in the Indian Ocean. As a side note, the Prussian Empire would not catch up in overall worldwide power to the Franco-Spanish Empire until at least the mid-1890s, when the later became the Tripartite Empire.

Meanwhile, the Prussian Empire was also flexing her muscles on the African continent. With new advancements in medicine and weaponry coming in the late 1860s and early 1870s, Prussia finally felt confident enough to colonize deeper into the Congo. So, with new powers at her disposal, Prussia would keep on pushing into Africa, colonizing the land around the basin of the Congo River by the foundation of new cities, military bases and trading posts. Fighting against restless tribes also occurred, but the odds were all in Prussia's favor due to their more advanced weaponry. By 1875, a great deal of land around the Congo River basin was colonized, with the lion's share of the Prussian Congo being colonized and settled by the mid 1880's. The colony of the Prussian Congo (which included oddly enough some outer regions not a part of the Congo region) would not be fully colonized by the early 1890s. However some problems remained during the over twenty-year colonization process, such as restive tribes continuing to harass the Prussian settlers and adventurers, making colonization a bit more difficult than previously thought, though not by that much in the long run.


Congolese natives attack a Prussian steamship, circa 1880
However, one native African kingdom would continue to be particularly troublesome. This was the Yeke Kingdom in Katangaland, led by their persistent and stubborn founder and ruler named Msiri. When the Prussians and the Yeke first butted heads in 1886, the Prussians were at first at a disadvantage due to a shortage of supplies and manpower. The Yeke kingdom fiercely fought off the sporadic Prussian excursions, brutally massacring any Prussian or European who dared step foot within the Kingdom. The Prussians tended to stay out of Msiri's way for this reason, but all this changed three years later in June of 1889, when a great number of reinforcements of settlers and soldiers arrived to eventually pacify the region. Soon after, a new Prussian army was formed from said reinforcements under the Austrian-born Prussian adventurer Rudolf Carl von Slatin. Within a few month’s time, Slatin’s Colonial Prussian Army, with the help of a some Portuguese volunteers, finally killed Misiri in battle at his capital of Bunyeka. Katangaland was finally open for Prussian settlement. Small areas of the region would also be colonized by the Portuguese Confederation, which sought to connect their colonial holdings in the eastern and western coasts of Africa inland.


Msiri, founder and ruler of the Yeke Kingdom



Carl Rudolf Von Slatin
Prussia also began to colonize some land in south-western Africa beginning in 1874, just above Dutch South Africa. After a sizable number of towns were founded, the colony was dubbed Kaiser Wilhelmsland in 1881, and a new city and capital for the colony was founded. This new city was simply named Port Wilhelmsland (OTL's Walvis Bay), and would become a major commercial hub in the coming years. While this was going on, the Dutch were not pleased that the Prussians were colonizing land seen as in their sphere of influence. Amsterdam and Lodewijksville sent silent protests, but there was little they could do, and eventually came to an agreement with Prussia as to the borders of the the colonies in 1890, relations between the two nations improving greatly as a result.

THE ITALIANS GET THEIR SLICE OF THE AFRICAN CAKE:
The Italian kingdoms were the first of the more minor European nations, in this case Bonapartist Franco-Spanish puppet states, to want and then get a piece of the large African Pie. Specifically, the Kingdom of Italy got theirs in 1867, when, as an act of goodwill and to keep the Kingdom on their side, the Franco-Spanish Empire gave the Kingdom of Italy permission to colonize some small land in north-east Africa, near some of France-Spain's existing outposts. This land was dubbed Italian Senegal in 1870, and while it was the Kingdom of Italy's only colony, it would prove a prestigious one at that due to the large amounts of gold and other valuable trade items the colony contained, making the Kingdom of Italy's coffers overflow. Senegal would be completely colonized and have finalized borders by 1888, all the while proving a worthy investment.

In 1873, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, somewhat jealous of their northern neighbor's new colony, wanted to get in on the game as well. They got just that when the Franco-Spanish Empire, not wanting to see the other of the two major Italian puppet states feeling left out, allowed the Two Sicilies to embark on a military expedition against the Swahili City states, also due to the fact that France-Spain had no interest at all in the region and would much rather have the land in the hands of an ally, than say, a rival or potential enemy (in other words, Prussia). France-Spain would allow the Sicilian military to handle the expedition on their own, with France-Spain also giving a good deal of support in the form of weapons and volunteers. After some brief preparation, the Swahili City states finally came under attack on November 1, 1873. Sicilian soldiers under the command of a rising Nice-born Sicilian general by the name of Giuseppe Garibaldi, with the help of several French and Swiss regiments, attacked a great number of southern Swahili city states. The war was a quick and easy one due in part to the power of surprise the Sicilians had over the African natives, lasting only two months and ending on January 3, 1874. The war, while brief, brought great fame to Garibaldi, who would become known as "l'eroe d'Africa". He would later serve as the Prime Minister of the Two Siciles during the Tripolitanian War, further cementing his status as a hero of the Sicilian Empire.

Meanwhile, of the nations in the region of the southern Swahili states, the Sultanate of Zanzibar was left alone, due to the fact that the Two Sicilies had no particular interest in it at all. It would become one of the few independent nations in Africa, along with the Egyptian Empire, during the Race for Africa.


Giuseppe Garibaldi, "l'eroe d'Africa"



Flag of the Sultanate of Zanzibar

THE DUTCH-ZULU WAR:
While Dutch South Africa continued to expand, conflict inevitably came between the Afrikaner settlers and the Zulus, one of the most influential native African nations in the region. At first, in the mid to late 1870s, conflict only came in the form of skirmishes, but things finally escalated on July 27th, 1880. Accounts of what exactly happened vary, but all that is known is that a tribe of Zulu warriors, perhaps acting without permission, attacked an allegedly defenseless Boer caravan. Who instigated the fight would never be known, but the known news that the Zulu warriors massacred women and children infuriated the government in Lodewijskville. When the Colonial Parliament asked the mother country for permission to "rid the Zulu nation once and for all", the young King Louis II happily went along, eager to expand the Dutch Empire under everyone's noses. The Kingdom of Holland declared war on the Zulu nation on August 2, 1880. While the Zulus under Chief Cetshwayo kaMpande put up a good fight, proving quite a thorn in the Dutch Expeditionary Force's and local Boer armies' sides, they were simply no match for a militarily advanced European army, as was the case with so many colonial wars. The war reached a climax on April 28, 1881, when the Dutch, having occupied most of the Zulu kingdom, reached the final outpost of Zulu resistance and wiped out the last Zulu army in less than an hour. A new town was founded on the site of battle named "New Groningen" (OTL's Durban), and that final confrontation became known as the Battle of New Groningen as a result.


The Zulus attack the Dutch and Boer Armies during the Battle of New Groningen
Cetshwayo and most of his family were imprisoned by the Dutch Army soon afterwards, dying one by one under mysterious circumstances. The Dutch would continue to expand into the heart of Southern Africa during the 1880s, coming into conflict with more tribes and later causing a noticeable tension between the Boers and the subjugated natives, the latter who would eventually find themselves as second class citizens in their own land.

OTHER POWERS:

The Portuguese Confederation's main goal in the Race for Africa was to make the push from the east coast to the west coast of Africa, and to build "a railroad from Luanda to Maputo". After gaining enough resources to do so, they starting doing just that beginning in 1883. Things went well for the most part, with most tribes falling into line quickly, except for the Yeke Kingdom under their ruler Msiri. However, after his kingdom collapsed in 1889 at the hands of the Prussians, the Portuguese continued to expand into small areas of Katangaland, reaching from coast to coast by Christmas of 1889. Now all that remained was for the railroad to be built.

Outside of Portugal, Denmark continued to expand in the Gold Coast region. In 1871 the Danish West Africa Company ("Dansk Vestafrika Kompagni" in Danish) was founded in an effort to gain more profit from the colonies goods, a scheme which indeed did work. The Danish continued to expand the colony of Danish West Africa deeper inland during the 1880s, and even went on to conquer the Nigerian region by 1890.
 
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A NEW GENERATION OF BONAPARTES

Caesar Napoleon III
The period of history in the last quarter of the 19th Century saw the passing of many leaders in Europe. The new "Gilded Age" generation was different than the last in a number of ways. For one, the Gilded Age Generation did not remember the Great Wars of the Empire, and many did not even have any memories of Caesar Napoleon I.

When Napoleon II died at age 85 in 1896 and his son Napoleon III took the the throne, he also inherited the Imperial Crown of Austria-Hungary. The 57 year-old monarch's first real act was to form a union named the Tripartite Empire, consisting of the three nations of France, Spain, and Austria-Hungary. The new Empire dominated the map of the continent, which was a source of discontent in Prussia and Russia. Napoleon III proved quickly, though, that he had absolutely no desire to spark a war, and even declared that as long as he lived, the Pax Napoleonica would be maintained. He had married a Bavarian noblewoman in 1859. Their son Napoleon IV was currently 37, and their two daughters, Marie and Napoleona, were 38 and 39 respectively, and married with children to Italian nobles. Napoleon IV already had a 19 year-old son, Napoleon V, who was married to Elisabet, the daughter of an Austrian count. Napoleon III was not expected to rule long as he was extremely overweight and had suffered a heart attack just two years before being crowned. The only major governmental change Napoleon III made was breaking Quebec off from the rest of Canada and installing his daughter Marie as Queen of Quebec.


Napoleon IV


Napoleon V


Princess Élisabeth


Caesar Napoleon III shortly after his coronation


Queen Marie I of the Kingdom of Quebec
In the Kingdom of Holland, Louis Napoleon I of Holland had died in 1875, leaving his 19 year-old son Louis Napoleon II the throne. Louis Napoleon I had annexed a vast amount of Asian territory during his rule, and Louis Napoleon II carried on the same legacy, invading several Indochinese countries, the Zulu Kingdom in southern Africa and parts of southern mainland China in the next couple decades. Holland had become a great power when no one was even looking, and it enhanced their prestige so much they actually started doing things independently, whether Caesar thought it was good or not. Louis Napoleon II put Holland on the map as a force to be reckoned with.


King Louis Napoleon II of Holland
In Ireland, Joseph Bonaparte's son King Dominic I died at 79 in 1877. His son Dominic II (born 1828) was crowned at age 49. Ireland and the Republic of Scotland still detested each other, and when Napoleon III considered taking troops out of the bastion of Fort Scotia, which helped keep the peace between the Irish and Scots, his cousin Dominic II talked him into leaving them.

In the Confederation of the Rhine, Napoleon III's step-brother Kaiser Franz Joseph (Francis Joseph) I showed no signs of ill-health. Franz Joseph was always working in conjunction with Paris, but every so often he did show a little independent spirit. By the 1890s, the Rheinbund was no longer a minor country, but a legitimate and respected power.


Portrait of the Rheinbund Imperial Family

List of Bonaparte-Hapsburg Leaders of the 1860s-1900:

  • Napoleon II (born 1811 died 1896) Caesar of the United Empire of France and Spain, Emperor of the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Protector of the Free City of Lisbon
  • Napoleon III (born 1839) Caesar of the Tripartite Empire, Emperor of the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, Lord of Mann, Mediator of the Helvetic Confederation, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, and Protector of the Free City of Lisbon
  • Napoleon IV (born 1859) Prince Imperial of the Tripartite Empire, Prince Imperial of the United Empire of Brazil and Rio de la Plata, Prince of Bohemia, Duke of Reichstadt, Prince of Bombay
  • Napoleon V (born 1877) Future Prince Imperial
  • Francis Joseph I (Franz Josef I) (born 1830) Emperor/Kaiser of the Confederation of the Rhine
  • Massimiliano I (born 1832) King of Italy, Count of Vienna
  • Charles Louis I (born 1833) King of Andorra
  • Carlotta I (born 1824 died 1876) Queen of the Two Sicilies
  • Carlo I (born 1847) King of the Two Sicilies
  • Dominic I (born 1798 died 1877) King of Ireland
  • Dominic II (born 1828) King of Ireland
  • Marie I (born 1858) Queen of Quebec
  • Louis Napoleon I (born 1808 died 1875) King of Holland
  • Louis Napoleon II (born 1856) King of Holland
  • Elisa Napoleona I (born 1806 died 1897) Princess of Lucca and Piombino
  • Adriana I (born 1849) Princess of Lucca and Piombino (mother Elisa Napoleona II died at childbirth)

King Carlo I of the Two Sicilies


King Dominic II of Ireland


Princess Adriana I of Lucca and Piombino


Map of the World in 1896

ENGLAND AND RUSSIA

Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill, 8th Duke of Marlborough, President of the English Commonwealth
England in the year 1892 was a frightening place. Czar Alexander II had been succeeded by his son Viktor (in England known as Prince Victor) in 1890, and in 1892 Queen Victoria died at the age of 73. Alexander and Victoria's romance had been highly unusual and unnatural, with each remaining sovereign of their own nations, with their own denominations, and each were the others' consort. Many saw the train wreck their deaths would cause coming from a long ways away, almost as soon as they were married. Now, in 1892, the death of Victoria sent shock-waves through Europe. Viktor, as soon as he had ascended the throne in Russia, had immediately launched a war against Persia and China. He had subjugated the Afghan and Baluchistan regions through brute force and genocide, fighting his way down to the coastline along the Gulf of Oman. He had begun pogroms against Jews that happened in the heart of Moscow. He was being called the Second Ivan the Terrible, and on no conditions were the English going to submit to his rule.

On December 2nd, 1892, two weeks after Victoria's death, the National Republican Congress met in London. At their head was Lord Randolph Churchill. He wasn't charismatic, but he knew how to get things done. He and the other Congress leaders prepared to declare an English Republic, and they sent a request for support to the aging Napoleon II. The Bonapartes had hated and protested the awkward marriage of Russia and England, and they saw that now was the perfect time to annul it completely. France agreed to block Russia from trying to attack once Churchill announced the formation of the new government. On January 24th, 1893, the English monarchy was declared dissolved and dead, and the Republic or Commonwealth of England was declared. Crowds in London cheered and celebrated, saying it was long overdue and should have been done following George IV's fratricidal act decades before.

In Moscow, however, the people were singing a different tune. 51 year-old Czar Viktor was livid, and he swore he would "wipe out traitorous London to the last man, woman, and child." His loyalists in England immediately started opening fire on anti-Russian crowds and tried to storm the Congress.

France, meanwhile, sailed its North Atlantic Fleet into the Kattegat. Sweden was outraged at first, but once it realized its old nemesis Russia was up to something, the Swedish navy put out to sea and joined the peaceful blockade. With no where to go without going to war with France and Sweden, Viktor struggled with what to do. His only route for getting his navy out of the Baltic and over to subjugate England was blocked, and he would almost certainly lose in a war against France and Sweden, plus all the others who would certainly get in on it. For several weeks, the Russian Imperial Navy floated on the water, staring at the other navies (Denmark-Norway had also joined the blockade), waiting to see if the Pax Napoleonica would be broken.


Russian Imperial sailors load a deck gun, in case hostilities commenced (1893)
Rumors had it that Viktor had indeed finally lost his mind completely and that he was going to attack the fleets gathered in the Baltic, essentially opening up the possibility of plunging the entire world into the deadliest conflict in history.

At last, the time ran out for the Mad Czar to do anything. On May 1st, 1893, officers of the Russian Imperial Army marched into the Winter Palace and shot him twenty times in his bedroom. The witnesses said Viktor "was like he was possessed by Satan himself" and was "frothing at the mouth and cursing in three different languages." He allegedly tried to strangle some of the soldiers, even though he was already shot numerous times in the chest, and it took the rest of the bullets to finally finish him. The picture of the bloody room was captured only in a single photograph, and it was printed by the tens of thousands in newspapers all around the world. When a photo was released of Viktor's and one of his generals' bodies lying in a dirty pit awaiting burial, it was even more shocking. The bodies had been stripped of all decoration and put in civilian clothes, making the dead men look like any deceased thugs (as was the purpose of the propaganda).



Russia's military took no time in declaring that they were now launching a full coup and a military junta. The leading officers sent a letter of congratulations and friendliness to Churchill's government, saying that Russia officially recognized the English Commonwealth and that Russia hoped to follow the same path.


Flag of the Commonwealth of England
The junta faced severe problems, however. Chief of these was the large amount of Imperial loyalists who believed it immoral and a rejection of God's will to murder or execute a monarch, no matter the reason. Then some of the loyalists announced they were going to Karelia to declare a counter-revolution centered around Czar Viktor's only child Catherine. She shocked the world, though, by fleeing to Prussia and rejecting all offers of the throne. She said that the monarchy had run its course and had eaten itself alive and did not deserve to exist. Impressed, the junta sought to bring about peace by putting forward an offer to become Russia's first Prime Minister, a mainly ceremonial role that would be hereditary. A yet-to-be-elected President would be the real leader. She accepted, and an uneasy truce began to form in Karelia. Sporadic fighting still continued for years, but the Imperials knew their cause was lost.

Catherine arrived in St. Petersburg on May 1st, 1894, precisely a year after her father's deposing, and officially and legally refuted all claims to monarchical power. She was then sworn in as Prime Minister. Recently-elected President Aleksey Kuropatkin looked on with approval. A disastrous civil war and fracturing had been avoided, and Catherine was proclaimed "Catherine the Liberator," or "Lady Liberty."


Prime Minister Catherine Romanov wearing parade dress, 1900
Later claims that she had ordered the murder of her father were, of course, denied. Of course.


Flag of the Republic of Russia



Seal of the Republic of Russia
Back in England, the Parliament had been done away with in favor of a Congressional system. The English Senate and House of Lords checked the President in what they thought was a well thought-out system. President Churchill's Charter of England, which was supposed to limit government power, would later be abused by his own half-American son, Winston. Winnie had been partially educated at Princeton, Harvard, and the University of Shicagwa in the 1890s during Custer's Rise to Power, and his time in the Union had... an unfortunate effect upon his political and moral thinking...
 
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MARCH 5TH, 1890...

They waved the flag of the Old Republic in an almost crazed manner. Others struck up the chant of "USA! RU! USA! RU! USA!" and "All Hail the Union! All Hail Custer! All Hail the People!" Others just sat quietly, clapping every so often. One thing was true for the men and women gathered at the Coliseum, Shicagwa's largest meeting place: all were overflowing with patriotism. Hundreds upon hundreds of people flocked in to hear Custer and Bryan speak. Some wore normal clothes, others wore the militia uniforms typical among Manifest Destiny Party zealots.

In the crowd was a pointy-faced young man from England. His hair was slicked back, and his long-tailed suit and top hat showed his wealth. His name was Winston Churchill, and he was on an educational trip to the Union. His father was the 8th Duke of Marlborough, and his mother was a native New Yorker. Needless to say, it was his mother who thought it a good idea to send him to America when he turned 16.

It was while studying political philosophy at the University of Shicagwa that his roommate Calvin Coolidge, two years his senior, had told him about Custer's rallies. Up to this time, Churchill was immensely bored by politics, and wanted to be an author and philosopher or perhaps a psychologist. "Cool Cal" was a popular man on campus though, and anything he said was taken as something of value. As a result, Winston donned that suit of his and accompanied Coolidge to the Coliseum. Churchill was awe-struck by the sight that greeted him. Dozens of Manifest Destiny Party guards were singing "Bringing in the Sheaves" and it soon spilled over into the crowd lining up to get inside. When Winston asked what the song meant, Coolidge informed him it was one of General Custer's favorite songs. Adrenaline took over, and Coolidge began singing the song at the top of his lungs. Shocked, Winston found himself going along with the crowd and singing it in his heavily-English accent. When the song had ended, Winston and Coolidge and the rest of the crowd marched inside and took their seats. Coolidge was wearing a red, white, and blue cockade in his bowler hat at this point, and he offered one to Churchill, who put it on the band of his top hat.

William Jennings Bryan took to the podium and began speaking, but only after young MDP militia leader Warren G. Harding had harangued the crowd for twenty minutes, whipping them into a frenzy. Churchill said he was almost trampled at one point by the people surging forward when Harding lifted an actual Old Republic flag from the Revolutionary War over his head.

"This flag flew at Valley Forge! This flew over your great-grandfathers as they fought off Redcoat Tyranny! This flag, by golly, belonged to none other than Aaron Burr II, founder of our faith! This flew over Reverend Burr's regiment when Captain Arnold leaped in front of him, saving the Reverend's life and dying for him! This was touched by American Fundamentalist Christianity's first MARTYR and his BLOOD!" bellowed Harding.


The Valley Forge "Blood-Stained Banner"
"All hail Patriot Comrade Arnold! God Bless Benedict Arnold, Savior of our Reverend!" the crowd screamed.

"All Hail the Blood-Stained Banner!" shrieked Harding as he waved it reverently over his head. "Stained by the blood of patriot comrades who sought to establish AMERICAN FREEDOM AND UNION! Their blood watered the tree of liberty! And they spilled the blood of the Imperialist oppressors! And then, those DAMNED SOUTHRON TRAITORS ripped our UNION APART! When the pseudo-monarchist traitors Adams and Hamilton humiliated our country in front of the entire world with their SIN and the people of the North fought and bled against their loyalist PIGS, what DID the SOUTH DO? They pulled the hell out, THAT'S WHAT! They STABBED US IN THE BACK, THAT'S WHAT! And by golly we aren't going to forget or forgive what those HILLBILLIES did to us. And what did they do when the British TYRANTS came back for MORE in the War of 1812? They left us to DIE, THAT'S WHAT! Our cities burned, our men died, and our women and children starved as the HILLJACK Canucks and arrogant British marched over our sacred, God-given lands and set us back FOR GENERATIONS! And what did our Imperialist, Papist 'allies' in Paris do? What did Old Boney DO? He who promised to come to our aid? HE LEFT US TO ROT, THAT'S WHAT! And now, my Christian brothers and sisters, the Manifest Destiny Party has come. We are the ones who will be strong! We are the ones who will call the shots! Because when YOU vote for Custer and Bryan, YOU vote for AMERICAN SUPREMACY! You vote for AMERICAN FREEDOM! You vote for AMERICAN JUSTICE! You vote for AMERICA'S REVENGE! ALL HAIL THE REPUBLIC! ALL HAIL ALL PATRIOT COMRADES! ALL HAIL THE PEOPLE!" Harding's spittle practically pooled on the podium and he thumped his chest and raised his hand in a Roman Salute. The nearby militia band struck up Yankee Doodle on fifes and drums.

The crowd was going nuts. Churchill and Coolidge could barely even stay on their feet as the crowd surged forward again to salute "Patriot Comrade Harding" as he took his seat behind the podium and cleared the way for William Jennings Bryan.

It was then that Churchill noticed a young boy, about 12 years-old, on the stage, wearing a replica of a cavalry uniform with a spiked pith helmet on his head. Churchill remembered who it was after a few seconds. It was Custer's adopted son Michael Custer. It was a popular story in the Union how Custer had found a newborn baby in a basket near his home, and he had taken him in as "the loving father" he always wanted to be (Custer's wife died in childbirth, and he had never married again to focus on politics). Little did anyone know Custer also had numerous illegitimate children by at least seven different women.

When everything was over and done, Winston's views on politics were dramatically shaken. He no longer considered politics boring, and he was thoroughly convinced the complaints the Manifest Destiny Party had were legitimate and understandable.

"When I heard Harding and William Jennings Bryan's magnificent speeches in Shicagwa, I felt something magic in the air. The Coliseum there was a smashingly exciting place to be! Before I listened to Harding and Bryan, governments bored me completely. But by participating in the rallies all the young men attended at my colleges, something stirred within me. My fate became known to me. I decided to go into Politics."

-Memoirs of Winston Churchill, Oxford Publishing, 1932



THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN WAR
"The Mexies want a fight? Well, by golly, Billy Yank and his Uncle Sam are gonna give it to 'em!"
- R.U. Sec. of War Warren G. Harding


In the winter of 1896, Custer and Bryan were worried about their popularity. The economy had picked up, but the public had been given promises about Union supremacy over their neighbors. Not a single soldier had fired a shot in the term so far. Custer realized what he needed to do: he needed to start a war. Not just any war, though. He could have it easily with the Columbian nations, or the Tripartite Empire, but he would lose. No, he needed a sure victory. He needed a war that would "be over by Christmas." He saw his target on the map immediately: the Confederated Empire of Mexico.

Mexico had, since the 1840s, been in a dire position. Things started to get worse in the late 1850s when France had beaten them decisively in an undeclared war for California. Then, when Emperor de Iturbide had died in 1859, a long series of generals had put themselves on the throne, only to be murdered or exiled in short order. In 1896, Mexico was falling apart. Custer saw it was his time to strike. But he needed an excuse to invade, and he saw exactly what it was going to be.

On January 15th, 1897, Custer sent an offer to the Mexican government to buy Panama for 50 million dollars. Unsurprisingly, Mexico rejected this offer. Custer, who already had the Union Navy on stand-by in the Gulf, then moved the R.U.S. Titania down near the Panamanian coast in the Gulf of Mosquitoes. The Titania was ordered to steam close to the Mexican ironclad squadron and flash a code to exchange news, as was common between international ships in this period, as they were deprived of instant land communication. During the routine event, an explosion went off on the back deck of the Titania. The crew instantly moved into action, opening fire on the outdated ironclads with heavy deck artillery and machine gun turrets. Within twenty minutes, nine ironclads were sinking beneath the waves and eight more were abandoned as the terrified and confused Mexican sailors dived overboard and swam for their lives. The massacre continued as the rest of the Union fleet trapped the rest of the fleeing ironclad squadron and destroyed or captured them all. Next came the pathetic wooden reserve ships that Mexico deployed to defend the town of Colon as a last ditch effort. Fifty Mexican ships were destroyed by the end of the day, effectively eliminating the Mexican navy from the Atlantic Ocean. The source of the explosion on the Titania was blamed on "Mexican Inferior Treachery." In reality, Custer had rigged the whole thing from the start with a small stick of TNT just large enough to create a show (no one had even died in the blast).


The Battle of the Gulf of Mosquito
The Union declared war on Mexico on January 18th, 1897, and it wasted no time in viciously attacking the country. 30,000 soldiers were devoted to storming the two cities Tampico and Cozumel alone, and another 20,000 deployed into Custer's main target: Panama. By end of February, most of the Mexican forces had been driven out of Central America as the new military junta of Mexico tried to gather enough men to defend Mexico City itself. Union general Nelson A. Miles pressed his men forward at an incredible speed and had taken Leon, Teotihuacan, and Pueblo by early April, and had long-range guns firing on Mexico City by June. Union casualties had been minimal, but Mexican deaths (including civilians) numbered somewhere close to 15,000, a staggering number for only a few months.


Union troops land in Panama
One of the main reasons for the heavy casualties was the Union deploying its favorite new toy: the Colt Company "Coffee Grinder" Gun. The Colt Coffee Grinder could fire 500 rounds per minute and was fed ammunition through 250-round canvas belts. When a Mexican horse charge tried to break up a group of Union engineers digging a trench near Pueblo, a Coffee Grinder, hidden in some nearby trees, opened fire, annihilating every man in the 200-man cavalry group.


Colt Company "Coffee Grinder" being manned by Union troops near the Mexican city of Puebla


The Mexican Cavalry lay slaughtered
On July 4th, 1897, General Nelson Miles commenced a full attack on Mexico City. US troops entered the city before noon, and commenced with mass executions of the Mexican government. Every politician who could be found was put to the sword. The Coffee Grinders came in especially handy for this, as they mowed down whole wagon-loads of prisoners. The Mexican people hated the Union, but every attempt during the entire war to fight back or join a resistance movement always ended the same: with dead Mexicans and a Coffee Grinder. The Union had full control of the city by the 8th, when the last group of Mexican soldiers surrendered. Huge detention facilities were set up to throw the most problematic citizens in (though most of these were usually executed) and the surrendered soldiers (who were treated half-way decently).

Custer wasn't stupid, and he knew he could never hold down Catholic, Inferior-filled Mexico, so he drew up plans to set up a new Mexican government. On August 1st, 1897, he allowed a group of Mexican traitors to proclaim a republic in Mexico City. Next he signed the Treaty of San Antonio (in neutral Texas), which ended the war and forced Mexico to surrender all of Central America, which were broken up into the Union Military Districts of Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama, and forced Mexico to pay 20 million dollars in reparations for over the course of the next ten years. The Union government, though, agreed to keep 5,000 soldiers in Mexico City at a permanent "embassy" to defend the Mexican puppet government from any future attempts at revolution.

Back in the Union, the government's popularity exploded. Upon the initial declaration of war, tens of thousands of Philadelphians rallied at Independence Hall and sang songs and waved flags. When the news came of the complete and total victory months later, the whole Union broke out into rallies and celebration. Fireworks were set off non-stop, guns were fired in the air, and huge parades occurred all over the country.

"I felt like my country was actually back on its feet. For the first time since Vermont, the Republican Union has conquered by the sword and laid utter waste to our enemies. The treachery of the Mexican Inferiors in the Gulf of Mosquitoes was justly and righteously punished by First Chief Consul Custer. From that point on, we knew the Manifest Destiny Party was invincible, and here to stay."
Memoirs of a Patriot, Warren G. Harding, 1936

THE PANAMA CANAL

"America shall only know its true destiny when it stretches from sea to sea, engulfing all of the Inferiors on this continent and eliminating Papist Imperialism forever. We will not do this in our lifetimes. But rest assured, dear America, our grandchildren will be able to get on a train or Goodyear airship in New York City and go all the way down to Panama City without ever being touched by a Papist race-mixer."-First Chief Consul Custer, 1900

Beginning in late 1897, just mere months after the capture and annexation of Central America, Custer decided to embark upon one of the most ambitious construction projects ever. He set his engineers on the task of creating the Panama Canal, which would allow the Union Navy to strike easily anywhere in the world and would also increase Union income tenfold. Billions of dollars’ worth of trade goods would go through the Canal, and the Union could cut it off and economically strangle the nations of their choice.

The Mexicans had made an attempt at creating the Canal as a last-ditch effort to save their nation, but it was only about 5% finished. Custer demanded it be finished by the year 1900. His officers told him it was impossible. The First Chief Consul replied, "Nothing is impossible in America."

Blasting commenced on October 1st, 1897. Thousands of trucks loaded with dynamite, gunpowder, TNT, and other explosives began priming the narrow strip of land to blow. The Union was on a schedule, and they spared no expense and worried very little about safety; after all, the overwhelming majority of the workers were Hispanics and Indians local to the area and Irish and Slavs shipped in from Goodyear's factories (Goodyear, almost 100 years old, was very active in pushing for progress on the Canal). Thousands died over the next couple years. The Union tried to keep the exact number under wraps, but it was somewhere around 7,000. The huge daily explosions wreaked havoc on the surrounding environment, and the constant floods had wiped out whole villages. Nevertheless, the White Man marched on.

By late 1898, 65% of the Canal was finished, meaning they were right on schedule. Charles Goodyear II, now 33 years-old, personally came down to manage the project on behalf of the Union government. He was given the newly-created position of Secretary of Industrial and Agricultural Affairs (SIAA), and it gave him free reign as a colonial task-master. Worker deaths rose sharply under his administration, but the construction progress sky-rocketed. By Remembrance Day, 1899, the Panama Canal was deemed safe, secure, and completely usable. Custer, Bryan, and the barely-functioning Goodyear came down in person for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and official opening, when the R.U.S. Titania (the same ship that participated in the false-flag operation against Mexico) would be the first ship to sail through from the Atlantic into the Pacific. The construction would continue for years, building up concrete walls and such. It became Custer's favorite pet project, and he sunk more pork in it every time he could.


Charles Goodyear II, Secretary of Industrial and Agricultural Affairs
The ceremony was massive, and one of the first to be captured on a new invention called the "motion picture camera." The Union press was there in full force, too, taking thousands of photos up and down the canal. All the workers were chased away by police and soldiers days before the ceremony, so the press only got pictures of the Great White Chief standing over his masterpiece with his New Englander cohorts. Warren G. Harding was there, too, railing against the "sluggard Mexies" and their "poor work ethics." Several miles off in the jungle, a huge mass grave held many of the bodies of the dead laborers.

Things at the Canal went into full operation in mid-1900. As the world welcomed a new century, they also "welcomed" a new Great Power to the world stage, the fascist Republican Union.


A Prussian trade ship sails through the Panama Canal, circa 1900

THE R.U. INVASION OF HAWAII AND PACIFICATION OF THE PACIFIC


Manifest Destiny Party Zealots rally outside the Hawaiian royal palace
Since 1895, when the Hawaiian army had overthrown Queen Liliʻuokalani, Hawaii had been in a permanent quagmire of feuding politicians and military officers, but was slowly recovering. France announced it recognized the newly-elected Hawaiian Congress in 1899, but the Republican Union would have none of it.

Colonialism and Imperialism was strictly forbidden by the R.U. Constitution, but annexation and the formation of "military territories and occupation zones" was allowed if it meant "the securing of the nation's borders and destiny." Thus, Custer said his newly-declared war on Hawaii was deemed to be doing both.

In early 1900, the Union shipped 9,000 soldiers and "MDP Zealots" (actually private soldiers serving only Custer) through the Panama Canal, as well as an "aerofleet" comprised of eight heavy assault airships and a squadron of small, 10-man scout "blimps." They wasted no time terrifying Hawaii into submission.

On April 10th, the heavy assault airship Gustavus Adolphus commenced bombardment on Honolulu while marines established a beachhead and built Coffee Grinder nests. Over 400 Hawaiian soldiers and militias were ruthlessly mowed down and several dozen islanders were killed as "collateral damage." The marines pummeled the remaining fragments of the meager Hawaiian army and seized control of the 'lolani Palace, lined up the Congress against the back wall, and then opened fire with a Coffee Grinder, exactly as had been done in Mexico. The former queen and her family were tracked down and brutally murdered by ORRA men armed with swords.


American troops in Hawaii
The ORRA had wasted no time in setting up "offices," and they then started rounding up Catholics (a fairly large amount was in Hawaii due to French influence). While not listed on official records, most of the Catholics were taken out in the jungle and shot, and their bodies dumped in a ravine later known by islanders as "Murder Ridge." Evangelists were sent in to convert the pagan islanders, which worked quite well. By 1902, a majority of "yellow" Hawaiians identified as members of the American Fundamentalist Christian Church. A massive church was built in Honolulu, and the old Catholic buildings were blown to rubble. Charles Goodyear II came and personally oversaw the occupational process, until Hawaii made the jump to from "Occupational Zone" to "Union Territory" in 1904 (the same year that the Central American regions did the same).

The Union celebrated the defeat of the "yellow pagan Inferior monarchy" by setting off fireworks and waving flags, and above all sending "fan-mail" to Custer. The Consul was thrilled with the latest events, and immediately shipped more men to the Pacific to "pacify" it. He declared all the little islands and kingdoms and atolls would be conquered by the Republican Union as part of its "manifest destiny to secure its future." Over the next few years, the Union Navy took one island group after another. One of the most important of these island groups was Polynesia, which had already been claimed by Peru. Secretary of War Warren G. Harding told Peru to "back the Hell down or we'll send you to Hell, by golly." Peru backed down. After that tense stand-off, the Union went on to take all of the South Pacific. Finally, the Dutch government told the Union any further western expansion in the Pacific would mean hostilities with the Dutch and their allies. Thus, the nations created the "Wall of Micronesia," which marked the border between their Pacific empires.

To finalize their authority, the Union conducted huge purges of their new islands, eliminating Catholicism altogether and furthering the AFC faith. In 1904, the same year Hawaii and the Central American regions became Territories, all the non-Hawaiian Pacific islands were declared part of the "Greater American-Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere" in an attempt to make sure they were not seen as "colonies," which they were.

BIRTH OF A MONSTER

The official story was told and printed again and again, memorized by every child in the Union: On Christmas Eve, 1878, a small basket was found on the Custer property in Shicagwa. The lid was covered in snow, and it very well could have been covered completely and forgotten if the snows had blown over it in the wind. It was brutally cold that night, but General Custer, always one for getting a robust breath of fresh air, stepped out on his porch and lit up a cigar. He stood there for a few minutes, just enjoying the smoke while watching some coaches go by on the cobbled street directly outside his fenced front yard. It was then that he noticed the basket.

George walked down the path a few yards and brushed the snow off the little wooden box. When he saw there was an ice-white newborn baby inside, he was shocked, and immediately rushed back inside. A few of his servants took care of it over the next few nights, and by a week later, it was doing fine. Custer was thrilled. His wife had died in childbirth, and so had never had children himself, but he had always wanted to be a father. He saw this as his chance. He named the baby Michael Goodyear Custer, and had Michael legally registered as his son.

Years later, in 1890, a 12 year-old Michael Custer stood on the stage next to his father and other Manifest Destiny Party officials at the Coliseum as Warren G. Harding and William Jennings Bryan delivered their famous speeches. The boy was wearing a spiked pith helmet and holding an Old Republic flag, and roaring out "All Hails!" as loudly and frequently as possible. It was that day that he knew politics were of his liking. As the MDP grew in strength over the years, he became a frequent mascot for the party, and when he was 16 in 1894, he delivered his first speech, calling for all Americans to "rally round the flag and shout the battle cry of freedom". The speech was a smashing success, and he was given a standing ovation.

***​

Christmas, 1895, Shicagwa, Iowai, Republican Union...

Michael Custer rubbed his hands together as he walked down a street in an Inferior slum. Michael was a member of the Military Police, but he usually had soft, safe jobs in an office, since he was the only son of the beloved Union leader George Custer. This time, though, he had demanded to be sent in to a rough neighborhood to "do his bit." Michael wanted a rumble. He was out to crack skulls and beat Inferiors. He clutched his nightstick nervously as he looked out for trouble-makers.

An older man was walking down the same sidewalk, carrying a brown paper bag of groceries. The fellow was about 50 by the looks of him, with a dark beard and wearing a raggedy sports coat and a pair of factory worker overalls. Michael recognized the man. He had seen him before, over a number of years. The MP watched as the old man slipped on some ice and fall to the ground, sending cans of food rolling everywhere. As the man started to get up, Michael put a jackboot on his chest and fingered the nightstick. "Old man, why do I see you so often?" he demanded.

The man just stared at him and shrugged, "I don't know. I get around. You're Custer's kid right?" He had a sharp Slavic accent of the kind Michael detested, and also had a Russian Orthodox cross around his neck.

Custer slapped the man in the face as he was in the process of letting him get up. "I'm not 'Custer's kid'. I am Michael Custer, and you will show me some respect, Slavic maggot! Again, I ask you; Why do you always turn up around me? Are you some sort of Anarchist, waiting to assassinate me, Inferior?" he shook the man and threw him by his collar over into the nearby alley.

"You're the one who is disrespectful, you spoiled little brat!" shouted the man as he got up again.

"What did you say to me?! I'll give you one chance to explain that you said something other than what I thought you just said, maggot, and if you don’t, I will beat you within an inch of your life!"

"I have nothing to explain. I should not have dropped you off at that house as a baby," the Slav declared in an indignant tone.

"You are a crazy old coot," Michael grabbed the man's collar again and raised his nightstick, ready to strike.

"I am your real father, Michael! I was an alcoholic and couldn't afford you anymore. I had no idea I dropped you off in that basket at Custer’s house, of all places. I was half-drunk, so I didn't know any better."

Michael slammed the man to the ground and kicked him the stomach. "You liar! I am a Better of Society, and I ain't no stupid Slav, you piece of Orthodox sh*t!" He kicked him again.

The man spit in his face. "Bah! Yes you are. You even look just like me! You're a Slav all right, Ioseb. Ioseb Jughashvili your name is. And I am your Slavic father, Besarion. Didn't you ever wonder who your real father was? Or are you just that stupid? Maybe next time you beat the daylights out of a Slav, you’ll think of yourself on the receiving end, you scum. Your adopted father was practicing ethnic cleansing in this neighborhood seventeen years ago. He and his men wore white hoods over their heads and cloaks, saying they were the ghosts of Revolutionary War soldiers here to punish Catholics and subversives who were 'polluting the Union.' And they ripped through the ghettos, murdering and randomly shooting and lynching Inferiors like serial killers. He burned down our house. He murdered and raped your mother. Then, he shot her right between the eyes. He shot me and left me to die while he set the house on fire. I only barely escaped, and my legs are still scarred from the burns. You weren't any Baby Jesus miracle child from Heaven left on the Good General's porch like they feed you to give you some sort of Messiah mentality. You were fully one year old when he kidnapped you. Custer covered it all up because he wanted you as a son."

"That is the biggest lie I have ever heard, you stupid, blaspheming Orthodox monkey!" shrieked Michael. "And you can't prove any of it! Why wouldn't my father just adopt a Better, American baby if he wanted a son so badly? Huh? Why, you loathsome heathen?"

Besarion rolled his eyes and his face grew red with rage, and he answered, flailing his hands angrily, "Maybe because he doesn't actually believe in the inferiority of the Slavs? Maybe because he is a lying, godless, homicidal rapist who discovered the one thing to bring a nation together under his boot is the hatred and paranoia they can feel toward their fellow man! And do you really think Custer believes in that Fundamentalist garbage? That kidnapper of yours is a pure monster, the devil himself! He is controlled by Satan!"

"You sick piece of sh*t!" screamed Michael. He drew his pistol from his belt. "You're a subversive Anarchist scum. I'm going to kill you, you lying Slavic bastard! I hope you burn in Hell forever for insulting the name of my father!"

Bang! Bang! Bang!

***
Two hours later, American Fundamentalist Christian Church of Shicagwa...

"... Amen! And now will you all please rise for our final hymn before we return to our homes," the Fundamentalist minister said, closing his Burr Version Bible and picking up his songbook. "We will sing the hymn on page 244."

The organ began playing, filling the Custer family's favorite church with the tune of Bringing in the Sheaves, George Custer's favorite. Then, the large congregation started singing.

"Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows,
Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze;
By and by the harvest, and the labor ended,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves."
Michael Custer looked down from his hymnal to the piece of paper he had in his hand. He had found it in the old Slavic man's house after he had shot him. It was an old, poor quality photograph of Besarion, his wife, and a baby. That baby was the same baby from his childhood pictures with Custer.

"Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master,
Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves."
As Michael looked over at his father George, he thought about it all. It fit together. It had to be true. No! It couldn't!... Or could it?

"When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves."
Michael Custer stretched the hand holding the photograph out over the coal heater at the end of his pew. Slowly, he let go, and the picture fluttered into the flames. The last evidence of Ioseb Jughashvili, the abducted Slavic Inferior child, ever having existed, burned up in seconds.

Michael smiled slightly. It began to soak in. If he was a Slav, he had it made. It was not like Michael believed in a God either (he put on a show of it, but he kept it secret even though he knew Custer didn't care). After all, it was not like he ever knew those real parents of his. If he had stayed with them and Custer never had killed him, he would be an Inferior, starving in the ghetto with that creepy old codger Besarion.

"Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness,
Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve;
Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping,
We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves!"
Ioseb Jughashvili grinned wide. And then he chuckled to himself...

"Good heavens, I am a heartless son of a bitch. I'll make an excellent politician someday, hah!"

The service concluded, and "Michael" accompanied his "father" back to their Shicagwa winter residence...

 
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BREAKING NEWS: May 9th, 1900...
"Oh the humanity! Colonel Charles Goodyear has left this earthly realm!"
-Talkiebox Host Gregory Hightower, Uncle Sam Talkiebox Station

Advertisement celebrating Charles Goodyear's 95th birthday (1895)
"Breaking news!" exclaimed the talkiebox* man, Gregory Hightower, on May the 9th, 1900, at 9:10 AM. "We are receiving a major alert from the government of our good Union. Hold on! Hold on! Oh the humanity! Colonel Charles Goodyear has left this earthly realm! Oh! Bless us all and bless the Goodyear family during this time of agony! Again: Colonel Charles Goodyear, hero to millions of God-fearing Americans, has passed away this morning, May the 9th, 1900! Once more: Colonel Goodyear has been taken from us! Too soon! Even at 100, he still had so much to give of himself for the betterment of our nation! Stay tuned to Uncle Sam's Talkiebox Station for more breaking news as it comes in! 'Uncle Sam's Talkiebox Station, Keeping America Informed!'"

9:30 AM: "We interrupt our scheduled patriotic music for this important and tragic news update. I am your host, Gregory Hightower. FLASH! More news is coming in about the demise of our beloved hero, Colonel Charles Goodyear. The Good Colonel passed away on his private airship today after suffering a fall from 1500 feet. He was sitting on the deck in his wheelchair accompanied by his dapper young son Charles Goodyear II when, as Charles II report to us, 'the Good Colonel's chair suddenly slipped toward the railing and crashed through a weak spot, sending him and the chair rolling off the nose of the ship.' He then plummeted a mile to his death. While it may seem horrifying and ghastly, Charles II comforts the nation by assuring us that the impact was so quick, Goodyear couldn't possibly have felt a thing. Remember this day, children! It is likely that one of you children listening will live to the year 2000, the New Millennium. Remember this day and be a link to the glorious days when Colonel Goodyear was alive and well. Be a link to history!"

11:00 AM: "News flash! We interrupt this talkiebox documentary, The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, to bring you an update on the tragic death of beloved icon and philanthropist, Colonel Charles Goodyear. Charles II has announced he is now in full control of the company and business shall continue as usual. He also says not to mourn his father's passing, but to rejoice that he is now singing patriotic praises with all the Patriots in Heaven. 'My father is bedecked in heavenly red-white-and-blue robes and is sitting near the Throne of God, glorifying Him and asking for Him to smile fondly and bring about the Manifest Destiny of this Union, our earthly homeland's Holy Endeavor.' More breaking news as we have it. Stay tuned to Uncle Sam's Talkiebox Station! All the news that's fit for the Betters of Society to hear!"

2:00 PM: "News alert, listeners! The nation mourns the passing of industrialist and philanthropist Colonel Charles Goodyear, who died this afternoon by falling from his airship in a tragic accident. All flags in the country today were lowered to half-staff to honor his passing. Black drapes and banners were hung from Independence Hall and the new Capitol Building in Philadelphia. All government offices, with the exception of the Offices of Racial and Religious Affairs, police and fire departments, have been closed. Citizens are encouraged to wear black, and to pin on a Foot of Mercury badge as a show of solidarity with the Goodyear Company and Family during this time of unmeasurable sorrow. Charles II has announced he is in intense grief and is 'simply mortified' and will not be able to talk to the 'press or police for at least a month.' Our prayers are with you, Charles II! God bless you!"

On May 12th, Goodyear's gristly remains (or what was left of them) were loaded into a pompously ornate coffin and sent to all of the Union's major cities by airship to make sure "all Americans can set eyes on their hero('s closed coffin) one more time." On May 30th, 1900, Colonel Charles Goodyear, the seemingly immortal, tyrannical, industrialist task-master--and intensely racist and xenophobic politician--was buried outside the Capitol Building, in a site known as Patriots' Rest. He joined the military and political dead that had been buried there for the past 100 years. His monument was ridiculously grand, and 50 Union troops from all branches were placed on permanent honor guard duty.


Goodyear's Tomb at Patriot's Rest, Philadelphia


Goodyear's casket is taken to a hearse after a service at Philadelphia in Aaron Burr's original AFC church


Soldiers and Manifest Destiny Party Members march beside the funeral procession to Patriots' Rest. The new Capitol Building can be seen in the background.


Photographic portrait of Charles Goodyear II as CEO of Colonel Goodyear Enterprises


William McKinley, Vice-President of Colonel Goodyear Enterprises
* Talkiebox is a static-y prototype radio ITTL. Quite audible, but not clear.

THE LOUISIANA PURCHASE

Custer, aged 62 in 1901, had been reelected unopposed in 1897. The election of 1903 was fast approaching, and he knew he had to solidify his popularity once more. "Victories are the opiate of the people," he wrote in his personal diary. He knew he needed to expand again, and he saw a prime target in France's old rebellious colony of Louisiana. In fact, he had seen it as a prime target since he took power in 1891, and had been busy ever since, undermining France or the Tripartite Empire as it was properly called, and promoting Americans to move into and populate Louisiana to win it over.

And in 1901, it came to a head. Rioting had broken out with Americans and pro-Americans massacring Imperial soldiers guarding the New Orleans city hall, and the elderly governor, Pierre G. T. Beauregard, French hero of the First Louisiana Rebellion, was killed in the crossfire. Days later, Louisiana had broken out in full-fledged revolution. And this time, it would end far differently than the first.

Custer immediately mobilized the army and marched them to the Mississippi, ready to cross over at a moment's notice. Then, as Custer himself said later, "I played the greatest bluff in the history of this country." He announced he was going to give support to the rebels, which were mostly Protestant, and that it was time for the "Imperials to leave." He demanded Napoleon III withdraw all troops from Louisiana and peacefully hand over the reins of administration to him. Napoleon III, who had already withdrawn French peacekeepers from Finland that had been there since Napoleon I, was perceived as weak and afraid of war. Napoleon III, since taking the Imperial throne, had tried to secure world peace at whatever cost. Now, he was faced with the tenacious bluster of a warlike Custer, who was threatening to "destroy all French holdings in North America" if his ultimatum was not agreed to.

Finally, after two weeks of intense stand-off and immense bloodshed in the colony, Napoleon III sent his ambassador to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to discuss a possible treaty. In the Treaty of Pittsburgh, France sold the entire colony of Louisiana to the Republican Union for 1 billion dollars and received a promise of much lower taxes when using the Panama Canal. It is noteworthy that Prussia helped force this agreement on France, further kicking Napoleon III in the shins and testing his resolve. The Prussian Empire did not fear the Union at this point, and was far more concerned about France's globe-spanning empire. Upon the signing of the treaty, Napoleon III said in a speech in Paris that "the Empire has secured peace in our time."

On August 1st, 1901, French troops withdrew from Louisiana to Canada, and thousands of Yankees marched across the border in the largest peaceful territorial exchange in at least 100 years. Protestant Louisianans lined the streets of New Orleans as General John Pershing marched his men through the city in triumph, confetti flying through the air and Union and Manifest Destiny Party flags whipping in the wind. Blacks, formerly downtrodden, sang songs likening Custer to a god and called him "Saint George," coming to set them free from the persecution of the largely-Catholic Knights of the Golden Circle, which had led the First Rebellion. Popular songs had lyrics such as "It'll be a hallelujah day, when Billy Yank comes marching South a-way."


Pith-helmeted Union troops march through New Orleans
Immediately, Pershing banned the Knights of the Golden Circle from ever meeting again under the penalty of death. Many Catholic citizens feared persecution, but were told they would be allowed to stay and practice their faith in "French Quarters," which were high-end ghettos. In a rare act of decency, those that did not want to stay did not have to, and the Union gave them free transportation to the Empire's South American and Canadian holdings, or to the ever-growing colony of California. Some also went to the increasingly Catholic Georgia.

Thus, at the expense of a billion dollars, Custer doubled the size of the Republican Union overnight. Custer later mocked Napoleon III as an "idiot weakling" for going along with it. The reaction in the Union was unbelievable, and there were huge parties that didn't stop for over five months as jubilant crowds of citizens cheered Custer's name like roaring thunder. Auld Lang Syne was sung in the streets all across the nation at huge "Annexation Celebrations."

For the first time, the Union had beaten a super-power, and they had done it without firing a shot. Custer's next piece of business to accomplish was the "de-Papistizing" of the new half of the country, and the name of Louisiana was changed to Lewisiana. The region as a whole would be broken up later into numerous new states.


MDP flags are flown outside Pittsburgh to announce the signing of the treaty to the excited crowds


Custer speaks before a crowd of soldiers about to go off to secure Louisiana


Custer speaks before a crowd in Philadelphia (a portrait of Reverend Aaron Burr can be seen in the background, as well as a mural of a Union soldier and the female personification of Lewisiana shaking hands)


Propaganda aimed at the Union's now much more substantial black minority

THE CUSTER YOUTH BRIGADE


Patriot-Comrades, let us tell you the news,
Our heads have been wet with the midnight dew.
We've been down on bended knee,
a-talking to the Man from Galilee.
He spoke to us in a voice so sweet
We thought we heard the marching of the Angels' feet.
He called our name and our hearts stood still
When He said, "Boys, go do My Will!"
-A popular marching song of the Custer Youth Brigade, 1902

In late 1901, Union Secretary of War Warren G. Harding approached Custer and Bryan about the matter of the nation's children. Harding claimed that the nationalized public schools could only do so much to prevent "subversive and unpatriotic thoughts" from entering children's heads. Besides, the schools, like any other, were closed during the summer. During those summers, the Military Police could "barely keep up" with the crimes being committed by "urchins." Harding insisted that "America's children need discipline, no matter what season, no matter what their place in life, no matter their age." The Secretary of War then unveiled his plans for a national "Youth Brigade," as he called it. The plan was for all American children aged 10 to 18 to join together in the spirit of "patriotism and Christian brotherhood and sisterhood" and learn useful skills, develop character, and serve their country. What Harding really meant was a national armed forces branch to indoctrinate the Union's youths so utterly thoroughly, they'd report their own parents if they did something "subversive." Harding claimed, "The relationship between parents and children is important. This will not change. But the relationship between the State and its citizens, including children, is even more important, and it must be strengthened. Just as it is the parents' responsibility to turn our good children, it is the State's responsibility to turn out good citizens."

Custer was skeptical, and feared parents might turn on him, at least a small number. Finally, though, Harding came up with the name "Custer Youth Brigade," knowing a little flattery made Custer accept anything, and the creation of the organization was approved. On July 4th, 1902, the Custer Youth Brigade made its first public appearance, after months of registering and preparing youths. In a huge event in Philadelphia, almost one million members gathered and held the biggest rally in the history of mankind up to that point. It was christened the "Youth Brigade Jamboree."






The rally shocked the world, and thousands of newspaper front pages had headlines like "REPUBLICAN UNION MILITARIZES CHILDREN" plastered across the front. In reality, though, up to that point, the members had not done anything overtly military, though they did all wear uniforms and learn how to shoot. Most activities centered on reading, outdoor skills, and remembering patriotic songs and chants.


Headmaster-Marshal Roosevelt at the Custer Youth Brigade Jamboree
The new "Headmaster-Marshal," the man in charge of the CYB, was a 44 year-old New Yorker named Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt was a young military officer and outdoors enthusiast who had served as a high-ranking Military Police officer in his native New York since the 1880s, and had also written a number of military and history books that had become required reading in all public schools. So, when he took the gilded baton of "Headmaster-Marshal," he already held a high degree of importance with America's children. Roosevelt made his first public appearance as Headmaster-Marshal of the CYB at the Jamboree. He delivered a forty-five-minute speech that was wildly popular, and he swore the CYB would become a "bastion of freedom, order, and equality." The speech made Roosevelt a nationally-popular figure, and he became a new celebrity in world politics.

CHILD SOLDIERS IN THE KOREAN CONFLICT

CYB members celebrate the Union declaration of war on China and wave Manifest Destiny Party flags in the streets of Philadelphia (1903)
Needless to say, it was not long before Harding morphed the Custer Youth Brigade into something else. As Secretary of War, he was the overseer of all the armed forces branches, and the CYB was counted as one, much to the chagrin of Secretary of Education William Howard Taft. Harding was insistent that all CYB members be equipped with free or low-priced firearms, each a pistol and a rifle, and a backpack filled with military-issue items (including cigarettes). Headmaster-Marshal Roosevelt agreed with this request, and Custer finally caved and approved. Though it cost a hefty price to purchase the equipment, the firearms industry boomed, and Colt, the same company famous for the "Coffee Grinder" autoguns, received a government contract to fulfill the order. With millions of members needing to be equipped (it became mandatory to join the CYB two months after the Jamboree), the Union suddenly became the most heavily-armed nation on earth. Special care was taken to keep the guns from the wrong hands, and any Inferiors caught possessing a CYB specially-branded gun (all were branded on the stock) were charged and faced potential death by firing squad.

By early 1903, rising tensions in Asia had the great powers on high alert, and for once, it wasn't against each other, but against the Chinese. The Qing Empire was falling apart at last, and in the face of increasing Dutch and European influence, a fanatic racialist Chinese terrorist organization called the "Great Harmonious Society" had arose. The GHS were dedicated to murdering missionaries and wreaking havoc against Western powers in Asia. Almost all powerful countries, from the Catholic Tripartite Empire to the Protestant/AFC Republican Union, had missionaries in China trying to gain influence and sometimes actually just wanting to help the "backward heathen Chinesers." On February 5th, a period began in north-eastern China called "Bloody February." Over 20,000 GHS terrorists stormed Westerner settlements and burned European ships and cargo. Over 2000 Imperial and Dutch missionaries and their families were captured, raped, and beheaded. Napoleon IV and Louis Napoleon II declared renewed hostilities immediately.

The Republican Union, meanwhile, spoke against the massacres, but only halfheartedly, as they were Catholics. The Republican Union had few interests in China, but in nearby Qing-controlled Korea, something was about to happen that would suck the Union into war. On March 21st, 1903, Korean GHS troops laid siege to the Union embassy and church in Pyongyang. The meager security of 50 marine held out valiantly, taking out 500 GHS men before finally being overrun. They were all viciously slaughtered, including fifteen children. Public outcry was immense, and Custer was livid. The First Consul took to the airwaves on talkieboxes nationwide.

"Today, my fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom, came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly heathen terrorist acts. The victims were in our embassy or in their offices or churches -- secretaries, businessmen and women, military and government workers, and missionaries trying to spread the Good Word. Fathers and mothers. Friends and neighbors. Dozens of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of Yellow savagery. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Immediately following the attack, I implemented our government’s emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our embassy is AMERICAN SOIL. An attack on American soil will be met with ruthlessness, firepower, and no mercy for the heathen Yellow aggressors. Our enemies shall pay. The Fleet of the Pacific has been called into action. Thousands of sailors and marines are on their way to punish our foes. America, our dear Union, has stared down enemies before, and it will do so again. March 21st, 1903; A date which shall forever live in infamy. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. As of this minute, the glorious Republican Union is at war with the decadent Qing Empire. We shall prevail, and punish these transgressions with a high hand of righteousness. Thank you. Good night. God bless the Union. All Hail the People!"
-Custer's Talkiebox Declaration of War on China

The streets of the Union once again filled with flag-waving zealots, rallying against the heathen foe. Harding had telegraphed the declaration of war to the Qing government just two days before. The most eager and radical of the crowds were soldiers and CYB members. Harding and Roosevelt stunned the world by sending over 10,000 male CYB members, aged 15 to 18, over to Korea in the next wave of reinforcements.


CYB boys pose for a photo near Seoul, Christmas, 1903

The Custer Youth Brigade had within the course of a year turned into a second army. Despite mostly doing desk-work and minor duties, the CYB "soldiers" were treated like adults, and exactly 189 would lose their lives fighting against the Koreans. Most of the 189 went down "guns-blazing" in heroic last stands. Several CYB regiments showed extraordinary courage under fire, and 220 in all received the Medal of Courage, the Union's highest military decoration. 500 others received the Purple Heart for wounds. 2000 would receive lesser medals, and all were awarded the yellow-white-and-blue ribbon marking them as veterans of the Sino-American War. Participating at such young ages, it wouldn't be until 2000 that the last CYB veteran of the conflict would pass away (Sergeant-Cadet Leroy Walker, aged 112).
 
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-THE MISSIONARY WAR-
1903 - 1905

Joe Steele raises the Manifest Destiny Party flag over the city walls of Pyongyang. The Union soldiers can be seen carrying Craig-Jordan M1901 rifles.

WEAPONS OF THE WAR:
To understand the Missionary War, one must first understand the soldiers that fought in it, and what they used to fight it.

The weapon of choice for the armies of Northern Europe (Russia, Sweden, Prussia, Denmark-Norway) was actually of English make. The Buckington 1898 Bolt-Action Carbine was manufactured by the millions by famed English company Buckington Arms, with over 3 million in the Russian Republic alone. It was wildly popular with troops, was magazine-fed (five bullets per magazine), and was extremely accurate. In the English-speaking world, the guns were usually simply called "Bucks."

With the Republican Union infantry, the weapon-of-choice was the Craig-Jordan M1901 Bolt-Action Repeating Rifle. It had slightly less range than the Buckington, but was a bit more accurate. It held a 6-round magazine, and was the product of the Craig-Jordan Weapons Company of Pittsburgh. They were manufactured in an unknown quantity, but they were standard-issue to both the Army and the Custer Youth Brigade, putting the number at a rough estimate of about 50 million. The M1901 saw continued use by the Union and other countries up to the 1980s. It was the predecessor to the famous M-1 Grant Rifle of the 1930s.

The Tripartite Empire, Holland, and most of Southern Europe used the Eiffel Arms 1893 Bolt-Action Rifle. It was essentially a tie when compared to the Buckington M98, and was produced in about the same numbers. Imperial companies competed with Buckington in the sale of rifles to the Balkan countries, and it eventually became the standard-issue infantry weapon of Greece and Bulgaria.


Norwegian-issue Buckington M98 Bolt-Action Carbine (with Danish bayonet)


Craig-Jordan M1901 Bolt-Action Repeating Rifle


Eiffel Arms M1893 Bolt-Action Rifle

On the autogun arms race, no one had topped the Union's Colt "Coffee Grinders" in design or functionality. By 1903, the firing mechanism had long been a trigger, and not the old crank, but the nickname stuck, and eventually became the official name. It was given an upgrade and made much more reliable in 1900. Numerous countries licensed the rights to produce Colts, and others just ripped the design and made their own copies.


Two Union soldiers man a M1900 Colt Coffee Grinder in Korea (1904). The gas masks were to protect from tear gas being lobbed in shells at the Sino-Korean forces.
Another invention of the Union's was the chemical weapon. Beginning with the discovery of tear gas in 1893, Goodyear Chemicals experimented with poison gas, eventually coming up with a suitable mixture referred to as "Mustard Gas." The weapon was deployed for the first time near Seoul, in the opening days of the war. The entire enemy garrison in the city died, along with thousands of civilians, from the completely unexpected fumigation. It was essentially genocide, as the Union knew the non-combatants would all suffer slow, painful deaths. Over 50,000 died from the attack and the follow-up infantry and cavalry charge. Seoul was taken over and turned into a largely white, Protestant city by 1910. The name was changed to "Metropolis," as Custer claimed that "American cities can't have heathen names." This became a trend, and in the end every single Korean town was renamed with Anglo-Germanic names. Upon its fall, Pyongyang was christened "New Philadelphia."

Meanwhile, the arms race for airships had been going on since the Edward Everett had made its first successful flight. The Union still had the world's best aeroforce, but Prussia and the Tripartite Empire were catching up. The Union wasted no time in perfecting new designs of airships for the Missionary War ("Sino-American War" as they called it), and a new ship appeared, "The Big Bertha," which could fire massive guns up to hit targets up to 6 miles away. Huge stabilizer propeller engines kicked on in the back when the shell was fired, and it had to be timed perfectly, else the gun fire and the ship become destabilized in the air and miss its target or the engines kick on first and the gun fire, which would wreak havoc on the inner-workings of the vessel (namely, blowing up). The Big Berthas were deployed in Siege of Seoul/Metropolis, and their massive shells were often filled with mustard gas.


"The Siege of Metropolis" (note the Big Berthas in the sky)


Union infantry on parade in New Philadelphia


Pith-helmeted ORRA officers torch a heathen temple

THE LEADERS AND THEIR CAMPAIGNS:
Russia's military reigns were handed over to Prime Minister Catherine Romanov, who proceeded to personally wage a bloody but ultimately victorious war in Mongolia, Manchuria, and Xinjiang/Huijiang, and in the end making them governorates within the Russian Republic. Catherine was appointed Grand Marshal, a move that was simply shocking for the time, making her likely the highest-ranking European, non-royal, female officer since Joan of Arc. It came as no surprise a few years later that Russia became the first country to give voting rights to women. Just a bit after that, it would be the first army to accept female soldiers. Catherine may not have been monarch, but she clearly held sway over the troops, who almost worshiped her. In a series of brilliant moves, she defeated the main Qing force in Manchuria, and she was the first European to lay siege to Peking. At one point, it is known that she thought about attacking and taking Korea from the Orthodox-persecuting Union (around late summer of 1904), but ultimately decided against it. She later detested how the Union's General Pershing refused to help her in the Siege of Peking. By the end of the war, Catherine was known as "the Valkyrie of Europe," and her supposedly "honorary title" of Prime Minister began to make Russia's elected presidents seem like very small men in comparison. She refused, however, to abuse her power and remained a shining example of patriotism. She did however revive the Preobrazhensky Regiment as the "Prime Ministerial Life Guards" and used the old Preobrazhensky March as her own official song. Russian casualties were high in the war, and around 15,000 lost their lives.


Prime Minister Catherine Romanov, Grand Marshal of the Russian Army
Meanwhile, in the south of China, the Dutch and Imperials were scoring massive victories. The Dutch already had excellent footholds in Indochina from which to launch attacks, and supplies were brought to the front much more easily and much faster than the Russians could do. Caesar and Holland's King Louis Napoleon II ground the Qing up mercilessly, and at minimal loss of life in their own armies. Once the Imperials and Dutch figured out their battle strategies, it was only a matter of time before they joined Catherine Romanov at the Siege of Peking. Casualties only numbered about 5,000 for the Imperials and about 8,000 for the Dutch.

Finally, in late 1904, Peking was ready to be attacked. The Russians, Dutch, and Imperials converged and stormed the Qing capital (with several detachments of Pershing's Union forces finally showing up for the party), killing the Imperial family and burning down a large portion of the city. The leaders of the GHS were arrested and beheaded. Catherine Romanov, General Pershing, Lt. General Calvin Coolidge (Churchill's friend), France's Pierre Martini, and Holland's General Peter van der Sloot all met in the Forbidden City and held a huge victory parade (this remained the only time Union troops ever marched as allies with Imperials).


International parade in the Forbidden City

CONCLUSION:
Of all the people who profited from the war, no one profited more than Michael Custer. Using the alias "Joseph Steele" (a secret, twisted in-joke referencing his real, Georgian name), Michael fought as a corporal. He left a colonel. He received fifteen medals in all, including 5 Purple Hearts, 4 Medals of Courage, and several other highly-prized awards for valor and combat prowess. His crowning moment happened in the fall of Pyongyang, when he grabbed a Manifest Destiny flag, sprinted through intense enemy fire, climbed up a steep wall, and planted the flag atop the Pyongyang capitol building. The Koreans' morale broke soon after, leaving Michael standing at the tallest point in the city looking like Leonidas of Sparta. He became so famous for the "Joe Steele" alias that he actually started using it regularly. Everyone knew he was adopted anyway, so it didn't matter if he tried to literally make a name for himself. He had grown a mustache to hide his identity as Joe Steele, and he ended up keeping it as his signature.


Joseph Steele in winter uniform (New Philadelphia, 1905)
Russia ended up with the most conquered territory, but the other countries got the best territory. The Empire and Holland split up the coastline between themselves, while the Union announced Korea was officially a military occupational zone of their nation, clearing the path for later likely statehood. Ethnic Koreans were usually persecuted (although thousands of soldiers secretly were fond of the women, and more than a few illegitimate half-Asian Union citizens were born), and the ethnic architecture buildings were destroyed for the most part to make room for modern, brick-and-mortar buildings. A number of Koreans converted to American Fundamentalist Christianity and found themselves getting better treatment, as the Union knew that they would have to tolerate a few ethnic Koreans, as they would always be a majority to the occupying White minority. A few traditional Korean-style towns remained as "human petting zoos" to gawk at the "funny Yellow folks in their natural habitat."

Joe Steele returned home in 1907, getting home just in time to see Custer go to war a second time with Mexico. Custer was trying to add huge swathes to the Union's territory again...
 
THE RACE FOR AFRICA
Part Three (1890-1920)



Map of Africa: Circa 1925

By the 1890s, most all of Africa had been colonized by European powers, and most previous colonial border disputes between said powers had been resolved. With a variety of different lands subjugated, the more independent nations on the African continent were open season for a number of different European Powers, both major and minor.

THE WARS IN TRIPOLITANIA AND ABYSSINIA

The first of these wars was the Imperial-Abyssinian War. Previously, Abyssinia, also known as the Ethiopian Empire, was a quiet backwater which remained somewhat distant from European influence. This changed in the mid-1880s when the kingdom saw token backing in the forms of military advisers and weapons from the Prussian and Russian Empires. Prussia propped up the African kingdom due to her rivalry with France-Spain (known unofficially by the 1890s as simply "the Empire" due to her large size and imminent expansion via personal union with Austria-Hungary), while Russia felt closely tied to Abyssinia due to their dual Orthodox religious identity. This dual backing caused some tensions between the two empires and the Franco-Spanish Empire, which had her eyes on Abyssinia around that same time. However in the end, the later knew how to take proper advantage of the situation.

In early 1891, a number of minor skirmishes took place between Abyssinian and Franco-Spanish armies in Somalia. "The Empire" used this to their advantage by sending an ultimatum to Abyssinian Emperor Yohannes IV (*), which he promptly refused due to the documents disfavor towards Abyssinia's independent status. France-Spain then declared war on Abyssinia on May 6, 1891. Almost immediately, men from all over France, Spain, and even Austria, Hungary, Bohemia and the Illyrian Provinces, some of them men from the Imperial Foreign Legion, came to fight in this seemingly exotic land. Thus, with a large amount of men and resources at her disposal, the armies of France-Spain won victory after victory, with the Ethiopians only making Pyrrhic successes. Finally, on August 29, 1891, with the men of the Foreign Legion and other infantry and artillery units bombarding the walls of Addis Ababa, the Emperor came to his senses and surrendered. Abyssinia officially became a Franco-Spanish Protectorate on September 3, 1891. It should finally be noted that just two months later, the border between the new colony of Franco-Spanish North-East Africa and the Prussian Congo was finally agreed upon as being the portion of the Nile River under the Khedive of Egypt. This final settlement of the border between the two powers' colonies cooled relations between them for quite some time.

*The Mahdist War never happens ITTL, so Yohannes IV is still Emperor of Ethiopia.


Abyssinian depiction of a battle from the Imperial-Abyssinian War

Next came the Tripolitanian War. Ever since her conquest of the southern Swahili city states the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, under Prime Minister and former colonial war hero Giuseppe Garibaldi, desired to expand her empire further. By this time the colony of Sicilian East Africa had been mostly settled, and now it was time for more. They thought perhaps a slice of the Barbary states from the "sick man of Europe" wouldn't be a bad idea, and France-Spain agreed with this consensus, as they would much rather have the declining Ottoman Empire's puppets in the hands of a friend instead of potential enemy. Not to mention, "The (soon to be officially) Empire" had been in a bitter dispute with the Ottoman Empire as to the status of the remaining Barbary states, Tunis and Tripolitania, and in 1890 promised to the Two Sicilies that they would eventually get some land form the Ottomans. The same promise was made to Sardinia, in an effort to foster better relations with the small, isolationist island kingdom. Two years later, the Empire sent a treaty forcing the Turks to allow them, the Two Sicilies, and Sardinia to jointly occupy Tunis and Tripolitania, with local Ottoman backed rulers still in control. The Turks blatantly refused. This would eventually prove to be a grave mistake.

The Tripolitanian War then officially began on September 24th, 1892. The Two Sicilies and Sardinia immediately landed troops, propped up by Imperial weapons as well as Imperial and international mercenaries, on the shores of Northern Africa. The war began with landings on the ports of Tunis, Medenine, Tripoli, Misratah and Benghazi, all of which were rather impressive victories for the Italians, having caught the Turkish and Arab defenders completely off guard. However after the initial victories, the armies came to a halt as they got farther away from the coast, with the enemy armies resorting to guerrilla warfare (which proved very successful for them due to their superior knowledge of the terrain). With that, a seemingly endless stalemate came about between the Italians and Turks/Arabs.

Despite this, during the first days of the war, an unlikely ally went into secret negotiations with the Empire and Italians about joining the war; the proto-fascist Republic of Greece, a nation whose relations with the Empire had been cordial yet tense to say the least. It is not known exactly what happened during these negotiations, but it was agreed on that Greece, still under the authoritarian and aging Lavrenitos Marinos, would have a piece of the Maghreb pie. So, Greece entered the war on October 19th, 1892, creating a new "Triple Alliance" with Sardinia and the Two Sicilies. While the new Greek reinforcements did manage to help the Italians win a few more battles, the war still remained a stalemate for the most part throughout the end of 1892 and the beginning of 1893. However in the spring of 1893, the Empire agreed to send more reinforcements, which boosted the Alliance's armies and a gradual trend of more successes emerged. By summer, almost every battle against the Ottomans and Arabs was a success once again; the Ottoman army was now badly equipped and with reinforcements from home being too little too late. As if that wasn't enough, one event would soon change everything about the war and bring it to an abrupt and unexpected end.


Italo-Grecian soldiers fire upon Turkish soldiers outside of Jalu; January 23rd, 1893



Sardinian-Sicilian Aeroships bomb Turkish positions in Libyan territory

Throughout the summer of 1893, Sultan Isma'il Pasha of Egypt, an Ottoman puppet, looked on the events just next door very worryingly. If the Italians and Greeks would conquer those territories, what would stop them or the Empire from subjugating Egypt? Then on August 8, 1893, Isma'il Pasha, as well as his advisers and top generals, declared Egypt, "a new nation and empire, completely independent from Ottoman influence". Almost immediately pro-Ottoman loyalists were violently purged, most of them arrested and then executed en masse. Back in Istanbul, Sultan Abdul Hamid II was furious, but there was nothing he could do. Only a month later, Tunis would be completely occupied and Tripolitania was almost completely occupied as well, save for many inland areas which proved difficult for the European soldiers to trek through. With Tunis and Tripolitania occupied by the Triple Alliance and the Ottoman armies exhausted of nearly all their resources and morale, the Sultan was forced to come to the negotiating table. On October 17, 1893, the Treaty of Malta was singed, recognizing Tunis as a Sardinian colony (Sardinian Tunisia), Tripolitania and Fezzan as Sicilian colonies (Sicilian Libya), and Cyrenaica as a Greek colony (Greek Cyrenaica), with the pro-Turkish governments in all these lands being declared defunct. Another important part of the Treaty was the recognition of the "Egyptian Empire" under their new "Sultan-Emperor" Isma'il I. Egypt would later be an important regional power in the Middle East, and a relatively modernized nation by the mid-20th century. Meanwhile, the advent of Greek Cyrenaica would be a particularly violent consequence of the Alliance's victory. Over the next few years, the proto-fascist Greek government aggressively encouraged ethnic Greek settlement into the colony, so that in Marinos' words; "The Greek people can regain the lands of our ancient forefathers and also gain new lands for our people to grow prosperous". During the 1900s and 1910s, the Greek government would actively persecute the native Arabs, with massacres of cities, forced conversions to Greek Orthodoxy and other atrocities not uncommon. By 1940, native Arabs only made up about 45% of the colony's population.


Flag of the Egyptian Empire


Isma'il I, the first Sultan-Emperor of Egypt and Sudan (1893-1895)

THE SUBJUGATION OF MADAGASCAR AND MOROCCO

Throughout the 1890's, Prussia had colonized a number of small islands in the southern Indian Ocean, and had also founded a number of trading posts in the southern part of Madagascar in an effort to increase her influence in the general area. This did not sit well with the Tripartite Empire, who had had cozy relations (particularity mercantile and business relations) with the local Merina Kingdom since the 1880s. The dispute lasted until 1896, when the Merina Monarchy officially became an Imperial protectorate after a compromise was reached between the Merina Queen Ranavalona III and the leaders of the Imperial militias and mercantile traders, where the Merina monarchy would be under French suzerainty in exchange for increased mercantile benefits from the empire. The island was then immediately divided between between the Imperial protected Merina kingdom and Prussia, with Prussia gaining the south of the island.


Queen Ranavalona III of the Merina Monarchy

Meanwhile, another nation falling under Imperial mercantile and business interests was the Kingdom of Morocco, beginning in the early 1890s. These relations continued to grow stronger and stronger over the years, and then trouble arose in 1899 when rebellion broke out against Morocco's young and somewhat pro-European Sultan Abdelaziz. After the massacre of a number of Hungarian merchants in Tinzit on November 19, 1899 by anti-European rebels, the Empire decided the time was right to react. The Empire gave further support to Sultan Abdelaziz and sent a number of Foreign Legion and Zouve units to help put down the rebellions against him. The rebellions were completely over by the summer of 1901, all the while the Empire was negotiating with the Sultan to submit and have Morocco become an Imperial protectorate, with the sultan himself still in power. After some thought, he agreed and on December 30, 1901, Morocco officially became a protectorate of the Tripartite Empire.


Sultan Abdelaziz of Morocco

THE AMERICAN COMMONWEALTH OF LIBERIA, THE KINGDOM OF SOUTH AFRICA, AND MORE

By the early 1900s, one medium sized portion of north western Africa remained oddly contested between the Empire, Italy and Denmark-Norway. After some talks between these three powers, it was agreed that a neutral power should take control of the land, as none of the three could agree on how to divide it properly between themselves. Sweden was one possibility, but none of them wanted to see a Prussian-allied nation gain a foothold in Africa. The Commonwealth of England was yet another, but the Empire was not yet comfortable with the prospect. Meanwhile, Lucca and Piombino, Ireland, Scotland and Wales all quarreled with each other over whether they would have the land or not. In the end, Caesar Napoleon III decided that the nation who would be willing to pay the most for the land could have it. That nation would turn out to be the Republican Union.

On October 24, 1902, some months after hearing about the "African Land Sale", First Chief Consul Custer sent a personal letter to Napoleon III asking for the "unclaimed wilderness" and promising to pay a hefty sum for it (with the money needed mostly gained from the sale of resources from the Union's new possessions in Central America) to all three nations currently contesting it. Napoleon III somewhat reluctantly agreed, and on October 31, 1902, a treaty was signed between diplomats from all four nations in Halifax, in which the Empire and her allies officially recognized the RU's ownership of the aforementioned land. With that, the Republican Union officially joined the Race for Africa. Almost immediately after the treaties signing, settlers, adventurers and military units came pouring in from across the Atlantic. The "American Commonwealth of Liberia" (named as such so it would not be seen as a colony, despite the fact that, no matter what the RU said, it was a colony) was officially established on November 14, 1902 with the founding of the colony's first settlement of "Custersville" (OTL's Monrovia). Custersville also served as the colony's capital, with American general and card-carrying MDP member Leonard Wood as the colonies first governor.


Leonard Wood, Governor of Liberia

As it would turn out, Liberia would be one of the most infamous episodes of the Race for Africa. While inhumane practices such as subjecting the natives to forced labor, harmful indoctrination of western ideals and subjecting natives to appearing in human zoos were not uncommon in most European colonies, the Union's colony of Liberia took it to a whole new level. As a first measure for securing control of the new land, Governor Wood and the rest of the Union's colonial government decided the natives in "Liberia" needed be to shown who their new master was by any means necessary. A slew of military units were deployed into the remote wilderness and stationed in as many tribal villages as possible. Those tribes who obeyed were closely monitored, but left alone otherwise. Those that did not had the whole of their villages burned to the ground, the survivors arrested and sent to makeshift military prisons. Next, Governor Wood decided to protect the new settlers from any possible dangers, and ordered a number of military and militia units to protect as many bands of settlers as his men could find. Finally, Wood decided to control the natives through the word of God. Hundreds of AFC missionaries were sent from the new settlements and from the Union itself to the tribal villages to preach "the American Fundamentalist word of God". A large number of natives did end up converting to the AFC, while those who did not either had their villages turned into human zoos (much like what would be later done in Korea), or were put into new "American Boarding Schools" were "American" ideals were forcefully and violently indoctrinated into the natives.

These schools also served the purpose for justifying the colony's existence in the first place, and as Custer famously said in a speech on New Years Eve of 1902; "The Commonwealth of Liberia serves the purpose of bringing the black African into the fold of Protestant American Civilization. We have many an African-American living in our nation, so why should we not bring some of their distant relatives into our glorious nation?" However, this consensus was far from the truth. Not only were the natives badly mistreated in the "boarding schools" but most natives never experienced the "American Dream", but did menial jobs or forms of hard labor. However, only relatively few native Africans were put into hard labor. Most of the hard labor in the colony was done by Slavic, Irish, Italian, Mexican, Korean and Pacific Islander laborers, deported from their respective homes and imported to a new land to work in grueling, disease-infested work conditions. For those who had previously been laborers, these conditions were far worse then their original jobs in the factories, due to the hot climate, easy spread of diseases and just working in an even more unclean environment in general. They worked in factories, plantations and labor camps which all existed to take advantage of the colonies rich resources. By 1910, the colony was under complete Union control. The Office of Racial and Religious Affairs had a number of stations in different settlements, many young natives joined the Custer Youth Brigade, most all natives abandoned their animist past and joined the AFC, and images and propaganda posters glorifying First Chief Consul Custer (and to a lesser extent Second Chief Consul Bryan) were hung in several places, mostly in settlements, villages and along desolate roads.

Nevertheless, the Union failed to keep the brutality of their practices in Liberia completely under wraps. In fact, these practices would be described in detail in the 1909 novel and anti-imperialist expose The Jungle, written by Finnish author and journalist Aatos Roope Seppänen, who had lived in the colony for a number of years previously. The novel was a big success in Europe, and remained popular amongst the anti-imperialist thinkers and common people alike. Virginian anti-Imperialist author, humorist and politician Samuel Clemens claimed it was "the best novel of the decade". Naturally, it was banned in the Union and was famously lampooned by Charles Goodyear II as "cheap anti-Christian lies and propaganda from an otherwise holy and Protestant nation".


ORRA soldiers camped outside of a native Liberian village, circa 1908



Native Liberians salute an banner of First Chief Consul Custer, circa 1915

In Dutch South Africa, a growing number of Afrikaners continued to call on the mother country for a greater level of autonomy, the number of those wanting so increasing more and more over the years. Finally, Holland's King Louis Napoleon II, as well as several of his advisers, decided the time had finally come to give the Afrikaners some self rule. On September 20th, 1901, Louis Napoleon II announced that in a years time "our brothers in southern Africa will have a self ruling government tied closely to our monarchy and state". As such on May 17th, 1902, the Kingdom of South Africa was declared with Louis Napoleon II as its monarch, while the nation elected its own "self-ruling government" from the capital in Lodewijksville (OTL's Johannesburg). At first however, only the more populated southerly regions of Dutch Southern Africa were a part of the kingdom. The more northerly, less populated land remained a Dutch colony due to the low white and settler population. It would later join the kingdom in 1918 after some more white settlement. Meanwhile, tensions with the natives remained tense, though as long as blacks were de-facto second class citizens, neither Louis Napoleon II nor Andrius Botha, the first Prime Minister of South Africa, had any reason to complain.


Flag of the Kingdom of South Africa

In Portuguese Middle-Africa, the Luanda-Muenda railroad was completed by late-1896 after over six long years of construction, and was officially launched on January 1, 1897. It should be noted that the railroad was the first of its kind on the African continent to span from coast to coast. The Empire and Prussia both attempted to build their own similar "coast to coast" railroads, but in the end, neither of their plans ever got off the ground.

CONCLUSION

By the 1910s and 1920s, all of Africa had been colonized by western powers, and the Race for Africa was officially over. Yet the effects of foreign imperialism would always be felt by the people of Africa, for better or worse. The debate on the effects of Imperialism continued for years to come. Many argued it brought much needed western values to the African people, while others argued that such values were violently and unnecessarily forced on the African people. As Georgian historian and journalist Abraham Johnson said famously in the intro to his 1986 book "The Hearts of Darkness"; "The natives of Africa were mistreated, some more brutally then others, but still, what difference does it make? Almost no westerner had any true respect for the African that went any farther than a paternalistic sense of duty to 'civilize' them to their standards of living. They never viewed them as equal, and that is the most important thing to understand."


Map of the World in 1905
 
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THE FALL OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE


Protests against Sultan Abdul Hamid II in Constantinople (Istanbul), September 4, 1903

By the time of the Gilded Age, the Ottoman Empire, nicknamed the "Sick Man of Europe", was but a shadow of its former self. In truth, the Ottoman Empire had been in a state of continual decline since their loss of the Great Turkish War in the late 17th century, and it was a state of decline that continued well into the 19th century. During the Gilded Age, the Ottoman Empire was a mostly quiet backwater, continually losing territory during the Great Wars of the Empire, the Balkan Wars, and the French Conquest of Algeria. But the loss of territory, and as a direct result prestige, would not end there. The last straw came with the Tripolitanian War, and the consequential loss of the Ottoman puppet states of Tunis and Tripolitania to the Italians and Greeks, as well as the loss of the Khedivate of Egypt, now an independent and rising regional power. This loss of even more territory was beyond humiliating for the Ottomans, and by this point, no European power saw them as a threat or even a force to be reckoned with. Furthermore, after the formation of the Tripartite Empire and consequential tension between the Catholic and Protestant powers of Europe, the Ottomans, the main Muslim power in Europe and Asia, were seen as even more irrelevant.

In Constantinople, the Ottoman establishment was furious at their nations new-found humiliation and desperately wanted to get the Empire out of the downward spiral she found herself in. Many generals were upset at how the Tripolitanian War has handled in terms of tactics and military support. One hand simply didn't know what the other was doing, and the Emperor was also blamed for botching everything up. In mid-1894, a number of prominent Ottoman generals meet in secret on what course of action needed to be taken "to prevent our empire from sinking further into the abyss", as one attendee bluntly put it. Some generals considered an immediate coup against the Ottoman government, but the majority agreed that it was too tense a time in the Empire for such drastic action. At the end of the meeting, a meeting which would not be publicly known until the actual fall of the Ottoman Empire, it was agreed amongst the generals that they should all bide their time, at least for now. However, when the time came that the Empire might sink into further decline, further action would be agreed on from there.

Throughout the 1890s, it seemed there was nothing the Ottoman Empire could do to get fully back on its feet. This sentiment was re-enforced in June of 1895, when a number of protests broke out in Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus, Mosul and other prominent Arab cities in the empire. Most of the protesters were improvised Arab and Christian minorities (in terms of the later, Arab Christians, Armenians, Greeks, Maronites, Assyrians etc.), demanding greater political rights in the Empire for themselves. A number of other protesters included both improvised and middle class Arab nationalists, as well as certain Islamic clerics against the Sultan's authority. While Arab nationalism had existed in some form or another since the 1880s, and was promoted by a number of well known Arab intellectuals, with the further decline of the Ottoman Empire after the Tripolitanain War and the independence of Egypt, the movement gained much more traction. Thus, the riots of 1895-1896 turned out to be a breaking point for the Ottoman Empire. The protests lasted for weeks, and spread to a number of small villages. The Sultan, beside himself, consulted his military advisers, and they informed him just what to do. With that, the anti-Ottoman protests were brutally put down. Entire towns were massacred, be they Arab, Maronite, Armenian or of any other restive group in the Empire. By the spring of 1896, the protests were all but put down, and the rebellion's main instigators were all imprisoned or executed. The Western Powers, especially those in Europe, frowned greatly upon this brutality displayed by the Ottomans. Pope Sixtus VI personally condemned the crack down and stated "if such activities continue, whether under the Sultans orders or not, European powers may have to act on behalf of the faithful, and liberate their homelands from the Turkish oppressors". Many in Europe blamed Sultan Abdul Hamid II for the violence, though it was not all his fault. While he certainly gave into the military, many generals and other officers simply did things on their own terms, ignoring orders given to them by the Sultan. The Sultan himself was furious for this backlash and immediately sacked a number of officers responsible for the massacres. As it would later turn out, these troubles were only the begging of the end.


Sultan Abdul Hamid II

In the years after the protests, many more people in the Empire, not just minorities but now Turks as well, kept on demanding more democratic rights through a number of ways, including protests, peaceful organizations, public meetings and through the press. Minor riots broke out in Anatolia and Mesopotamia in 1898 and again in 1900. Then in the autumn of 1902, after protests in Constantinople calling for a new Ottoman Parliament, things came to a standstill (*). Many reform minded politicians were behind an Ottoman Parliament, but the Sultan himself was against the idea, as he feared an all out disintegration of the Empire as different ethnic groups vied for control. In terms of the military, about half were behind the idea, with the other half of army officers against it. The reformist politicians and reformist military officers meet at a number of conferences from late-1902 to mid-1903 to discuss how to shape a new parliament. Then in July of 1903, at the final conference, it was decided, mostly by the military officers, some of who were former reactionaries who had a change of heart after the 1895-96 protests, that a coup would be launched against the Sultan next time major protests came about.

They would not have to wait long, for on September 4, 1903, more protests broke out in Constantinople demanding an Ottoman Parliament. These protests, somewhat encouraged by the reformist politicians and military leaders, grew and grew until riots broke out across the city. Just as the Military staff loyal to the Ottoman Sultan was ready to put the riots down, the reformist military leaders began to march with the main body of protesters in a direct confrontation of the loyalist officers. With that, the two forces clashed in a surge of violence. Through all the chaos, the loyalists could not make up for the reformists strength in numbers and preparedness, and by the end of the day, the reformists stormed the palace in Constantinople, holding the Sultan and royal family prisoner. They held the palace for days, until Sultan Abdul Hamid II was officially deposed, and was given asylum in Valletta, the capital of French Malta, where he would spend the rest of days until his death in 1916. He was then replaced by his brother, who became Sultan Mehmed V, and was little more than a puppet in the reformists' hands.

*ITTL there had been no previous Ottoman Parliament in 1876.



Medmed V, the last Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

The people of Constantinople celebrated in the streets after Abdul Hamid II's abdication. Meanwhile, people all over the empire looked on these events just as, if not more, joyously. The happiest and most hopeful groups of all where the empires' many ethnic minorities, and quite a few took this opportunity to declare their own independence. The first of these instances was in Mesopotamia, where Nadir Abdulrashid, a prominent Arab nationalist who had spent three years in jail after the 1895-1896 riots, called for a conference to "discuss what course our glorious Arab people should take". When the conference adjourned on September 30, 1903, a new "Arab Republic of Iraq" was declared in Baghdad with Abdulrashid unanimously declared the nations first president. Just weeks later on October 13, the "Free State of Kurdistan" was declared in the city of Diyarbakır by "Grand Leader" Bahman Muhammad, a local regimental leader and influential figure amongst the Kurdish communities of the empire. While originally an Ottoman loyalist, he became introduced to Kurdish nationalism in the mid-1890s, and kept his new-found political views secret until the time could become right. Now was this time, and he declared that "with the Sultan's position weakened, all Kurds in the empire will unite under one banner to gain independence and freedom from our Turkish masters once and for all".


Flag of the Arab Republic of Iraq



Nadir Abdulrashid, first President of the Arab Republic of Iraq


Flag of the Free State of Kurdistan



Bahman Muhammad, first Grand Leader of the Free State of Kurdistan

Meanwhile, back in Constantinople, Ahmed Muhtar Pasha, a former Ottoman general and one of the many key figures of the recent coup, was made the Ottoman Empire's new Grand Vizier on September 12, the previous Grand Vizier being exiled with Abdul Hamid II to Malta. Mehmed V was more than happy to cooperate with him and the new government. As things would turn out a month later, they were all enraged with the recent developments in Mesopotamia and the Kurdish lands. While reformist, they wanted more than anything to keep the empire in one piece, and saw these separatist declarations as only the begging of an end to the empire. Despite this both the Pasha and Sultan were more than wiling to compromise with the Empire's many minorities, and as a result, a number of envoys escorted by a few army battalions were sent to both new government's capitals to try and agree on a compromise. However, when one of the armies arrived in Baghdad on October 21, 1903, they were attacked by Iraqi militia, unknowingly to the Ottomans, without approval from President Abdulrashid. Even so, the Ottoman government become even more enraged, and declared war on the new republics just two days later. The Ottoman Empire immediately began mobilizing to reconquer their seemingly lost land, while attempting to keep news of the new states as far away from as many other Ottoman lands as possible to prevent more separatist nations from arising. Despite this Mubarak Al-Sabah, Sheik of Kuwait, his country completely cut off from the rest of the empire, managed to declare his country independent as the Emirate of Kuwait, on October 26, 1903, with full Iraqi support.


Ahmed Muhtar Pasha, Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire and First Grand Vizier (President) of the Turkish Republic


Flag of the Emirate of Kuwait

Mubarak Al-Sabah, Sheik of and later first Emir of Kuwait

Most European powers were much too preoccupied during this time to have cared about these developments, what with the Missionary War in full swing. They also had little interest in annexing Ottoman land, perhaps with the exception of the competitive Empire of Prussia. However things would change somewhat after an Ottoman army regiment, with full support from the Grand Vizier himself, came in and arrested a pro-Independence assembly of Armenians in the city of Antioch. The attendees were all immediately arrested, and things quickly got out of control when riots broke out in a number of Armenian cities in Anatolia in response to the assemblies forced disbandment. When a local militia officer massacred hundreds of Armenians in and around the city of Adana, the riots of almost a decade before seemed to have repeated themselves. Not to mention, pogroms, perpetrated by ordinary Turks, broke out just days later against not just Armenians, but Pontic Greeks, Maronites and Assyrians as well. The Western Powers condemned these atrocities, but one nation was particularity enraged above all others; the Russian Republic (with the Vatican State as a close second). The Russian Republic, much like the Russian Empire of days past, saw her self as the protector of all Orthodox peoples everywhere, and these massacres and atrocities in the Ottoman Empire would enrage those of many Orthodox ethnicities in the Republic. Despite the fact that the atrocities were beyond the new and increasingly weak governments control, and that Russia was also deeply involved in the Missionary War, Russia wasted no time in declaring war on the Ottoman Empire, doing so on November 6, 1903. The Tenth Russo-Ottoman War had begun (**).

On that same day the Russian Caucasus Army under generals Nikolay Iudovich Ivanov and Alexi Brusilov marched into Ottoman territory with little resistance, the Ottoman soldiers already preparing for war with Kurdistan and Iraq, and as a direct result confused and without any plan of action to counter the Russian invasion. Within just a week of the wars start the Russian Army made it as far as as the city of Trabzon in the Pontic region and the city of Kars near the Free State of Kurdistan. During a lull in the fighting between the Turks and Russians, the Russian Caucasus Army began to rally a number of minorities such as Armenians and Greeks to rise against the Ottoman Empire, and a number of Armenian and Greek army units were established within the Russian Caucasus Army for this very purpose. Armenians and Greeks, as Orthodox peoples, saw the Russians as liberators and were more than happy to fight under their banner. Their units would end up playing a great part in helping the Russian army advance into Anatolia. The Turkish army, while putting up a fierce fight, could simply not compete with the Russian armies strength and manpower, and not to mention Armenian and Greek support. On November 16, after a slew of victories against the Turks, the Russian Republic signed an alliance with Iraq, Kurdistan and Kuwait, and promised international recognition would be procured for them after the Ottoman Empire was "thrown into the ash heap of history", as General Brusilov put it, the quote previously made famous by Catherine Romanov herself earlier that year in response to the Qing dynasty's future status.

**The Russo-Turkish War of 1828-1829 never occurred IITL due to OTL's Greek War of Independence being butterflied away.


Nikolay Ivanov and Alexi Brusilov



An Armenian Unit of the Russian Caucasus Army during the Tenth Russo-Ottoman War

As the war progressed, the Russians continued to have the lions share of the war's victories, with only sporadic victories for the Turks. On November 20, by which time Russia had reached the cities of Bartin and Malatya, the fascist Republic of Greece, under Chief Citizen Stathis Raptis, decided to join in on the fun, and declared war on the Ottoman Empire. That same day a naval invasion commanded by Greek general Adelphos Demetrios, previously the hero of the Greek campaign in Libya, invaded the Dodecanese Islands, and won them within just a day. General Demetrios then invaded Cyprus on November 25, and with support of the local Cypriot Greek population reached the city of Nicosia just three days later. By November 29 the Russian army had halted to prepare for an all out invasion of Anatolia and the Levant, and the Russian navy began shelling Constantinople to force the Ottoman Empire into submission. This, along with an offer of mediation from the Tripartite Empire and Prussia (both not wanting to see Russia gain assess to the Dardanelles), forced the Ottoman government to surrender, and unexpectedly, for Sultan Mehmed V to abdicate the throne and for Ahmed Muhtar Pasha to officially abolish the Ottoman monarchy on December 1, 1903, replacing it with the "Turkish Republic". After 604 years, the Ottoman Empire was no more. This latter act was due in part to the large amount of frustration the Pasha and his colleagues felt in trying to run the government while under the watch of the useless Sultan, the legitimacy the Pasha's regime would have from the people if it disowned the hated monarchy, and the fact that the Ottoman Empire had lost such a large amount of land which could never be regained that it was not much of an Empire anymore anyway. Only the Levant remained under Turkish control, due to the lack of uniform power between the different Assyrian, Maronite, Arab and even Jewish separatist groups.

The Treaty of Antioch, mediated by the Tripartite Empire and Prussian Empire, was singed on January 5, 1904, ending the war. The terms of the treaty were as follows. The Russian Republic received Armenian and Pontic land in the north of Turkey inhabited by the Armenians and Pontic Greeks, the Greek Republic annexed the Dodecanese Islands and Cyprus, the Hejaz region was annexed by the neutral Emirate of Jabal Shammar (a supporter of Arab nationalism and a rising power in the Arabian peninsula), and the new Turkish Republic, as well as the breakaway nations of the Arab Republic of Iraq, Free State of Kurdistan, and Emirate of Kuwait were recognized by all nations present. A population exchange was agreed upon between Turkey and Russia and Greece, as well as between Turkey, Kurdistan, Iraq and Kuwait. In the first of these exchanges, all Armenians living in Turkey would move into Russian Armenia, while all Greeks living in Turkey would move to the Republic of Greece or the Greek Republican colonies of Cyprus or Cyrenacia. In terms of the Pontic Greeks, they had the option of either staying in the Russian annexed Pontus region or moving to Greece proper or their colonies. Most decided to stay, with only 35% of Pontic Greeks deciding to leave for Greece, most settling in the colony of Cyrenacia. Cypriot Turks were allowed to stay in the newly Greek Cyprus, but their rights were heavily restricted by the fascist Greek government. In terms of the latter agreement, all Kurds living in Turkey, Iraq and Kuwait moved to Kurdistan, while all Turks living in the new republics and in Kuwait moved back to Turkey. All of the above population exchanges would be complete by the mid-1920s. Lastly, the Tripartite Empire, Prussia and Russia would, to a degree, watch over the non-Turkish and non-Muslim minorities still in the Levant and prohibit the new Turkish Republic from persecuting them on any ground. The Pasha was already in favor of reconciling with minorities in the former Empire, so had no problem agreeing to this part of the treaty. It is interesting to note Pope Sixtus VI himself, then 76 years old, as well as a number of Orthodox Patriarchs, were present at the signing of the Treaty to make sure the Pasha would comply with this last article of the treaty.

With the war over and the Ottoman Empire a thing of the past, the rest of the decade of the 1900s would be a time of consolidation for the new Turkish Republic. From 1905-1910, new factions arose within the Turkish parliament and political circles of new republic. There was the Liberal-Republican Party (pro-western, reformist, consolidating with minorities), the Conservative-Republican Party (only moderate reforms, more control over minorities), the Royalist Party (restoration of the Sultan, either liberal or conservative), the Islamist Party (devoutly Sunni Islamic, marginalization of minorities, restoration of the Caliphate), the Radical Party (massive reforms, pro-western), the Nationalist Party (fascist, militarist, anti-minority and anti-western) and a number of separatist parties from the Levant region. The most powerful of the factions during this time was the Liberal-Republican Party led by the Republic's Grand Vizier (head of state) Ahmed Muhtar Pasha. The Turkish Republic's Prime Minister was also a Liberal-Republican, but an Islamist candidate would replace him in the 1908 elections, due to a general dissatisfaction with a number of proposed reforms deemed "to radical" by a many in the Turkish society.


Turkish Republican propaganda, circa 1910

These were trying times for the Turkish Republic, yet all was mostly quiet. Politics, though heated were non-violent and minorities lived in the Turkish Levant without fear of persecution and under relative peace. Ahmed Muhtar Pasha made sure things ran smoothly, and a number of noteworthy reforms in the government bureaucracy, city infrastructures, army and navy were passed during his term. When he died in 1915, having been elected over and over again, the young Republic found itself in the midst of a brief political crisis, a crisis which would give rise to a new Turkish state, the Islamic Republic of Turkey.

AUTOCARRIAGES


A Union Policeman strikes a pose in front of his Mercurius Numitor

The year the Missionary War ended, 1905, was like many of the years of the past century. Music had changed little, and fashion was almost identical to the styles Napoleon I would have seen as a young man following the French Revolution. Everyone still rode horses or rode in carriages. That was about to change.

In 1899, Mercurius Motors, one of the leading promoters of horseless carriages, unveiled the Mercurius Numitor at their Pittsburgh factory as an affordable car that the average Betters of Society could afford to buy. The Numitors were mass-produced using Goodyear's "Assembly Line" method, and the car lots cleared quickly as Americans experienced freedom of travel in their "autocarriages" for the first time ever. Custer built new roads, trying to link the East Coast with Shicagwa and the Louisiana regions. It worked like a charm, and by 1908, other companies modeled after Mercurius Motors were manufacturing their own autocarriages in Columbia, though they referred to them as "automobiles." By 1910, 90% of the Union's Betters of Society owned autocarriages, and they were regarded as status symbols. Georgia, always trying to stay on the cutting edge of the latest fads, had the most autos in North America.

NORTH AMERICAN AUTO OWNERSHIP STATS (1910):

  • Union Betters - 90%
  • Union "Middle Caste" - 50%
  • Union Inferiors - 5%

  • Virginian Upper Class - 83%
  • Virginian Middle Class - 62%
  • Virginian Lower Class - 15%

  • CoCaro Upper Class - 87%
  • CoCaro Middle Class - 40%
  • CoCaro Lower Class - 10%

  • Georgian Upper Class - 98%
  • Georgian Middle Class - 77%
  • Georgian Lower Class - 50%

  • Canadians - 50%
  • Quebecois - 80%
  • Californians - 60%

  • Texan Upper Class - 70%
  • Texan Middle Class - 30%
  • Texan Lower Class 5%

  • Mexican Upper Class - 20%
  • Mexican Middle Class - 5%
  • Mexican Lower Class - 1%

THE ROARING 'TEENS

"The Riverboaters"​

Much to the disdain of the old-fashioned Union, though, the rampant auto-ownership in the Columbian countries led to the birth of the Union’s worst nightmare: the Southron Youth Culture. Thanks to the freedom offered to them by their new vehicles, the young men and women of the South began becoming increasingly uninhibited by the older generation's 19th century mentalities. This social movement would change the world.

The foundations of this new youth culture were laid all the way back in the mid-1800s in Georgia. Negro influence on music was huge, and the strong Catholic immigration to Georgia brought in Irish, Italian, Spanish, and of course French influence. But it largely remained localized and the music style was the almost exclusive realm of Mississippi riverboaters, who would sing as they worked on the ferries, barges, and rafts. Finally, though, in 1906, it went mainstream with the number one hit song "Hello My Honey Hello My Baby," which started blasting on the talkieboxes "like the screams of the damned in Hell," said one Union listener who tuned in to Georgia's National Talkiebox Station out of curiosity. Custer listened to it once, and allegedly claimed it made him want to vomit. The Union tried to counter the song's popularity with their own classically-styled hit, "Rise of the Zealots." The Union government banned "Hello My Honey" nationwide, saying it was "voluptuous, rude, lewd, indecent, and inciting of un-Biblical passions. And Southron!" Secretary of Education Howard Taft declared, "Allow this Southron hillbilly music trash into our children's minds, and soon they'll all be fornicating and drinking like crazed animals." After the media frenzy, the Union implemented the "Taft Code," aimed at censoring music and cinema of things deemed "indecent or treasonous."

"Hello My Honey Hello My Baby" was written and sung by an unknown local quartet in Savannah. They would eventually disband. But the true popularity of "riverboat" music would be won by a Virginian band known as “The Riverboaters," who had never been on a riverboat in their lives. The group consisted of John Earnest, Jenny Wig, Jack Monday, Susie Silverman, Gregory Taylor, and Nellie Filmore. Thanks to good quality movies, they were able to influence fashion, as well as music. The men popularized the modern collar with their suits, making the popped Napoleonic "Andy Jackson Collar" disappear in Columbia. They also inspired the wearing of the "fedora" hat. But the men were not the biggest problem for the prudish of society; it was the women. The three girls started out wearing traditional clothing, but by 1915 their dresses were up to the knees and their eyes were coated in make-up, following examples set by Paris. The Union literally broke out in riots when just a few of their own female citizens started wearing them. The Union government banned all dresses cut above the calf and imprisoned those who wore them for "public nudity and inciting riots and violence." The conservative Carolinas attempted a similar move, but in the end their laws were declared unconstitutional.



Stereotype of Southron culture (from a Russian movie circa 1919)
From 1912 on, the subculture exploded, with a whopping 60% of young Southron men and women being a part of it. The men became known as "Dappers," and the girls were called "Boppers." Their lives were characterized by hard partying, hard drinking, "loose morality," and the defiance of social norms. Women were admitted into some Southron bars for the first time, and those that allowed them became nicknamed "honky tonks," a popular euphemism. Eventually, "Honky Tonk" replaced "riverboater" as the name of the youth culture. The "Age of Honky Tonk" had hit the South, and it seemed unstoppable.

New Honky Tonk songs became hits, like CoCaro's "Charleston," Virginia's "Goodbye My Rappahannock Baby," "Piano Roll Blues," and Georgia's "Song of the South." The Riverboaters group remained the most popular until 1920, when they retired following the suspicious death of member Jack Monday, who was found dead in an evident suicide in his country mansion. The Union was attacked with claims they had had him assassinated.
 
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AVIATION

The R.U.S. Warren G. Harding Mobile Aerial Landing Deck ("MALD") circa 1923

Flight had existed since the Edward Everett had first blotted out the sun near Philadelphia, and numerous huge corporations and governments had been attempting to improve airships ever since. Following the untimely, painful deaths of two brothers named Wright in a 1902 experimental flight near Cleveland, Pennsylvania, many lost heart with developing fixed-wing aircraft and instead invested more in airships, such as the hugely life-saving move of filling them with helium instead of the volatile hydrogen. Indeed, by 1903, most were gearing up for a brave new world of torpedo- and cigar-shaped vessels floating about the metropolises of the world.

But on Friday, February 13th, 1903, Romanian engineer Traian Vuia and his French partner Louis Bleriot made the first successful airplane. The men were hailed as heroes the world over, except for in the Republican Union, which claimed it was over-hyped Slavic and French propaganda. Nevertheless, Union scientists immediately started to work on their own versions. The Vuia-Bleriot Aviation Corporation became a huge powerhouse in Europe, manufacturing the planes that eventually became Europe's first biplane aeroforces. They had no trouble selling to all countries, saying that it was all "just good business." They made hundreds of millions off the sales, which went to furthering research and improving the planes.


Traian Vuia's first flight near Bucharest, Romania, 1903


Traian Vuia
Still, the airship "special interest groups" and lobbyists were not happy about the current developments at all. The first few Union companies selling their own airplanes were quickly bought out by Goodyear Air & Rail. But Charles Goodyear II then proposed a novel idea: airships carrying planes for military purposes. He called them "floating hangars, or aerial landing fields of sorts," which would be massive airships with a "flight deck" for planes on the top, essentially a landing field welded on. The first tests failed utterly, but the wealthy-as-God Goodyear kept pouring money into the program. By 1920, the first "Goodyear Mobile Aerial Landing Deck" was sold to the Union army, who christened it the "R.U.S. Warren G. Harding." The power required to keep the Harding stable while biplanes were landing was massive, and huge internal engines connected to fans and exhaust vents poured steam into the air to keep the ship level. It was grossly impractical at first, but by 1923, things were looking up.

Back in Europe, the Tripartite Empire and Prussia were both amazed and terrified of the new invention, and immediately set out to build their own. It wouldn't be until 1928 that the Imperials and Prussians launched their versions, the "L.S.L.T ("Le Service de l'Empire Tripartite") Empereur," and the S.M.S. Reichsadler. By 1940, the mobile aerial landing decks were widespread crowns of European militaries and were owned by almost everyone, with even the Grand Duchy of Baden (one of the smallest countries in mainland Europe, along with Andorra and the Vatican) owning one. Denmark-Norway was the first to use them in combat: in 1934 a revolt in their West African colonies was brutally crushed by the "magnificent men in their flying machines," which was also the name of Southern honky-tonk song that had become oddly and wildly popular with the European aeroforces.


A Danish-Norwegian airman readies a high-powered autogun to fire down on African rebels in the Gold Coast


The crew of the Prussian Reichsadler on exercises over Finland, circa 1929


Wealthy Virginian aristocrats on a round-the-world flight on the airship Globetrotter look out on Nepal
The increasing safety and popularity of airships also hugely impacted the civilian world. In 1920, the Virginian airship company "Air Belle" launched the Columbian Queen, the world's first luxury cruise airship. In 1923, it completed the first round-the-world airship trip, which went from Virginia, to the California coast (including a stop in Saint François, the Californian capital), to Nepal, to Europe, and then back to Virginia. Motion picture cameras accompanied the voyage, bringing back amazing footage of Asian monasteries, huge Bavarian castles, and much, much more. The Columbian Queen was the largest airship ever built, and it featured luxurious (if a bit cramped) cabins, a full dining room, an observation area, a photographic developing room, kitchen, observatory, restrooms, and other accommodations. It was a huge success, and Air Belle then launched its sister ship Globetrotter. Numerous other countries launched airship cruise companies, including Goodyear Air & Rail of the Union, which took its citizens from Philadelphia to the distant Pacific holdings and the state of Korea. Transportation was revolutionized all over the world.

One of the more bizarre usages of airships for tourism was in the western California holdings of the Tripartite Empire. Over the past decades, all the North American countries had shoved the Native American tribes into that desolate expanse and had let them tear each other to ribbons. Eventually, secure border fences were erected to keep all the Indians in. But starting in the early 1920s, Californian airship companies started offering trips to see "the savage redskins kill each other," and then it started to spread into other nations. An enterprising Georgia-born man named William Pinkerton launched his "Bison Bill's Wild West Tours," where (from the safety of the skies) members of civilized society could look down and watch battles and skirmishes break out among the warring tribes. Eventually, "Bison Bill" started hiring Indians to join his show, which traveled back east to Richmond, Charleston, Savannah, and Atlanta "bringing a taste of the Wild West to everyday citizens." It was essentially a human petting zoo, where mock Indian villages would be set up in a circus tent and the Indians would go about their daily business in front of hundreds of strangers. And even later, Bison Bill started having battle reenactments, like a massive recreation of the 1889 Battle of the Great Salt Lake, with real Indians and fake French Foreign Legion soldiers firing blanks at each other for the amusement of the onlookers. This led to the widespread popularity of "Foreign Legion and Indians" toys, games, and films with children across the world. Some humanitarians criticized the "prop-ification" of the Indians, but no one spoke out loudly enough to say the practices of the Wild West shows were inhuman or disrespectful. Eventually, they traveled to Europe, most notably in Paris, where Caesar Napoleon IV himself attended.
 
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