Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

With Napoleon III I think history is gonna be far more kind to his legacy than our own. He's been mostly successful in his major endeavours, has increased French influence globally to an extent greater than his predecessors and from the looks of things will die peacefully in France leaving the country more prosperous than he found it. Which is more than the first Napoleon could say.

Edit: Though the true test for his legacy will still probably be the Spanish Succession Crisis that's on the horizon.

Certainly he will be seen much more fondly than his wife! His various quixotic adventures from OTL have, for now, mostly paid dividends in both power, economic and strategic clout, and prestige for France. Annexing Luxembourg, a puppet monarch in Mexico, and having snubbed the United States by effectively sponsoring the independence of the Confederacy. That's a long list of things he's succeeded at, and his domestic policy is nothing to sneeze at either!

However, the same political and economic problems that plagued the empire at home will still have consequences down the line, though possibly less fatal for the empire than OTL. Napoleon III may also be safely dead and immune to the consequences...
 
Certainly he will be seen much more fondly than his wife! His various quixotic adventures from OTL have, for now, mostly paid dividends in both power, economic and strategic clout, and prestige for France. Annexing Luxembourg, a puppet monarch in Mexico, and having snubbed the United States by effectively sponsoring the independence of the Confederacy. That's a long list of things he's succeeded at, and his domestic policy is nothing to sneeze at either!

However, the same political and economic problems that plagued the empire at home will still have consequences down the line, though possibly less fatal for the empire than OTL. Napoleon III may also be safely dead and immune to the consequences...
I imagine future French historians will be more critical of him, but it seems the problems of his reign will be his sons problem to deal with. So of times get bad people will probably look back nostalgically.

Like how modern historians are a bit more critical of Bismarks legacy and his role in setting up board for WW1. Problems that wouldn't come to bite Germany until after his death.
 
I imagine future French historians will be more critical of him, but it seems the problems of his reign will be his sons problem to deal with. So of times get bad people will probably look back nostalgically.

Like how modern historians are a bit more critical of Bismarks legacy and his role in setting up board for WW1. Problems that wouldn't come to bite Germany until after his death.

Most of the problems that the successful policies Napoleon III has created with his foreign policy are going to be addressed when he is safely dead and buried. His son and grandson will be the inheritors of anything that goes badly wrong for him. Unfortunately for them!
 
Especially when the confederates start causing chaos in Central America when all the filibusters that are gonna happen and the Union is not gonna care one bit about South America for awhile cause mostly inner growth and trading with Russia and other non France or Britain and are not gonna be Friendly to France for awhile a bit like Britain but less.

So the Atlantic is probably gonna be more defensive focus on there fleets just watching for both Britain and csa while the pacific could see a bigger expansion as it could be seen as a good American pond if they invest in it enough while Hawaii is gonna be hard to get maybe they get help from Russia. Mostly my speculation but I know it's probably gonna happen in the next decades.
 
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Especially when the confederates start causing chaos in Central America when all the filibusters that are gonna happen and the Union is not gonna care one bit about South America for awhile cause mostly inner growth and trading with Russia and other non France or Britain and are not gonna be Friendly to France for awhile a bit like Britain but less.

The United States is effectively cut off from the Caribbean and South America, hence their policy of effectively leaving Mexico to its fate* which will apply to most of the Caribbean. Well, for now. So long as they have the Pacific coast, the interior to conquer/settle and from other places manage the fate of a continent and trade, they are content to let what happens happen. There's now no huge cotton lobby, nor a burgeoning sugar lobby, to contend with for imperial expansion.

Relations with Europe outside of Russia (the more Amerophilic Bismarck being dead) are going to be diplomatically strained for at least a decade with all the Europeans running amok in the Americas.

So the Atlantic is probably gonna be more defensive focus on there fleets just watching for both Britain and csa while the pacific could see a bigger expansion as it could be seen as a good American pond if they invest in it enough while Hawaii is gonna be hard to get maybe they get help from Russia. Mostly my speculation but I know it's probably gonna happen in the next decades.

From a strategic posture the US is currently angling to be as strong as it can in the Atlantic, with the goal of dissuading European (and Confederate) adventurism in their immediate vicinity, but also maintaining a fleet in being to act as a first line of defence.

The Pacific is basically a non entity. The whole of the Pacific Squadron was destroyed in 1863 and rebuilding it will be a long task. Currently the Navy Department is hoping to have a few ships to "show the flag" and prove they are still a player in the region, but otherwise they don't have much going for them. The Pacific is almost bereft of a true American presence.
 
The Pacific is basically a non entity. The whole of the Pacific Squadron was destroyed in 1863 and rebuilding it will be a long task. Currently the Navy Department is hoping to have a few ships to "show the flag" and prove they are still a player in the region, but otherwise they don't have much going for them. The Pacific is almost bereft of a true American presence.
That's what i thought but that's short term longterm that's definitely gonna change when they finally get the westward expansion going and are likely gonna see the pacific as the perfect place to set up shop but again speculation on my part but In my head it makes sense cause Britain is gonna focus on the Atlantic side and Indian Ocean leaving a sizable but noticeably less force in the pacific and russia would be happy having a friend there.
 
That's what i thought but that's short term longterm that's definitely gonna change when they finally get the westward expansion going and are likely gonna see the pacific as the perfect place to set up shop but again speculation on my part but In my head it makes sense cause Britain is gonna focus on the Atlantic side and Indian Ocean leaving a sizable but noticeably less force in the pacific and russia would be happy having a friend there.
Well maybe but its certainly possible that the US does not get either of Alaska or Hawaii and may not get all it did in the Oregon and other western areas either. There is at least a chance US expansion west is slower in this TL and meets more obstacles from Native Americans, nipping over convenient borders. Although potentially that issue could draw the US and CSA together to say crush the Comanche menace its as likely to go the other way though and cause more tension.
 
Especially when the confederates start causing chaos in Central America when all the filibusters that are gonna happen and the Union is not gonna care one bit about South America for awhile cause mostly inner growth and trading with Russia and other non France or Britain and are not gonna be Friendly to France for awhile a bit like Britain but less.

So the Atlantic is probably gonna be more defensive focus on there fleets just watching for both Britain and csa while the pacific could see a bigger expansion as it could be seen as a good American pond if they invest in it enough while Hawaii is gonna be hard to get maybe they get help from Russia. Mostly my speculation but I know it's probably gonna happen in the next decades.
Personally i remain unconvinced the CSA will have all that much power projection whether officially or unofficially. If they do muck about it would be a driver for the possible greater unity of the Central American states, or a European intervention or a clash with Mexico if Mexico can find a European ally or patron this would be especially likely. This could be fed into a British or French desire to build a canal say in Nicaragua.
 
Well maybe but its certainly possible that the US does not get either of Alaska or Hawaii and may not get all it did in the Oregon and other western areas either. There is at least a chance US expansion west is slower in this TL and meets more obstacles from Native Americans, nipping over convenient borders. Although potentially that issue could draw the US and CSA together to say crush the Comanche menace its as likely to go the other way though and cause more tension
Well honestly I see westward expansion as unions chance to breath new spirit and drive into the peoples who's feeling like they're being beaten down by all the powers and have lost the war and are continually being showed no respect. So this is there chance to win on something and government is gonna ride that high and no native Americans will stop them and I see an even more vengeful union to the natives as recompense for Stonemans massacre and war fury in that they will win this war against something to atleast validate themselves that they can win and take back some pride on themselves. And that's something that both black and white would unite over so I don't think it's gonna be a good time for the natives sadly as the transcontinental railway probably will break apart many native lands and likely that the union would pretty gunning that as a national feat to give the nation an upsurge in morale.

And the fact that south is no longer gonna be a place of food so I think westward expansion would hasten more as to curtail confederates ideas of taking more territory rightfully owned by the Union.

Question where's little Phil Sheridan and what's his party hopefully he's with Lincoln not that damned McClellan and if he is I think he's laughing at the situation that the democrats are going through.

And that reminds me with more generals taking democrats cloak with the chaos that's happening are they now regretting it and are maybe trying to change parties trying to swim away from the sinking democrats and distance themselves from the trash fire little mac
 
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Well honestly I see westward expansion as unions chance to breate situation that the democrats are going through.

And that reminds me with more generals taking democrats cloak with the chaos that's happening are they now regretting it and are maybe trying to change parties trying to swim away from the sinking democrats and distance themselves from the trash fire little mac
Its shown, not showed. their and not there and i assume the above is breathe. The US may wish to expand West. but this will mean the provision of resources and the necessity of dealing with contentious issues such as Native Americans using the new borders to launch attacks, the need to keep watch on a border and Southern rival they did not have OTL, and a probably more assertive and probably anti US Canada and a possibly anti US Mexico. All of this would mean a significantly bigger military than OTL and its doubtful that would have an overwhelmingly good impact on a fairly dodgy economy. . .It certainly seems unlikely the US will have much naval power in the Pacific or build a canal in Panama in this tl so expansion will eventually be less than OTL.
 
OTL as they found out, King Cotton had no clothes. Here, he at least wears a loincloth and the politicians and generals will practically be tripping over themselves to discount Britain's contributions to the cause of Southern Independence. Expect them to tell just as mythological tales of bold boys in grey and Southern ships dominating the seas. All conveniently forgetting that those same uniforms and ships would have been impossible to procure without British help.
The Irish might like that spin on things...
 
Its shown, not showed. their and not there and i assume the above is breathe. The US may wish to expand West. but this will mean the provision of resources and the necessity of dealing with contentious issues such as Native Americans using the new borders to launch attacks, the need to keep watch on a border and Southern rival they did not have OTL, and a probably more assertive and probably anti US Canada and a possibly anti US Mexico. All of this would mean a significantly bigger military than OTL and its doubtful that would have an overwhelmingly good impact on a fairly dodgy economy. . .It certainly seems unlikely the US will have much naval power in the Pacific or build a canal in Panama in this tl so expansion will eventually be less than OTL.
Yeah. I agree with this. That the US will focus on the east rather than the west in terms of protection would fuel more secessionist sentiment. I feel that the next unpleasant thing after this Era of Hard Feelings would be after the Great War when the US loses it and even more territory after that. I mean, the Great American War is an event that would have set the US back by at least a generation and they would not be prepared for another war 50 years later. I'm pretty sure after losing the Great War, the US would collapse into east and west as it shows the American experiment has truly failed while the rest is divided between the victorious powers of Britain, Canada, and Mexico. I know that EC states the US will somehow rebound, he didn't state how long. I bet it is only a short while from 1900 - 1916.
 
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Its shown, not showed. their and not there and i assume the above is breathe. The US may wish to expand West. but this will mean the provision of resources and the necessity of dealing with contentious issues such as Native Americans using the new borders to launch attacks, the need to keep watch on a border and Southern rival they did not have OTL, and a probably more assertive and probably anti US Canada and a possibly anti US Mexico. All of this would mean a significantly bigger military than OTL and its doubtful that would have an overwhelmingly good impact on a fairly dodgy economy. . .It certainly seems unlikely the US will have much naval power in the Pacific or build a canal in Panama in this tl so expansion will eventually be less than OTL.
Won’t the presence of a rivals like the Confederacy to the south and Canada to the north just mean there’s even more incentive to solidify claims on the West? Plus, I don’t recall seeing anything saying immigration has fallen off, so there’s still that pressure pushing things.
 
That's what i thought but that's short term longterm that's definitely gonna change when they finally get the westward expansion going and are likely gonna see the pacific as the perfect place to set up shop but again speculation on my part but In my head it makes sense cause Britain is gonna focus on the Atlantic side and Indian Ocean leaving a sizable but noticeably less force in the pacific and russia would be happy having a friend there.

With Russia also pushing into the Pacific, the British are going to be keenly aware of the potential for future American shenanigans in the region. Esquimalt will have even more importance than OTL as Britain seeks to maintain her vast sea dominance which is, circa 1867 in WiF, almost universally unchallenged. The US dreams of one day challenging it, but that day is a long way off.
 
Question where's little Phil Sheridan and what's his party hopefully he's with Lincoln not that damned McClellan and if he is I think he's laughing at the situation that the democrats are going through.

Phil Sheridan is out West killing Natives currently. He is under Hooker's command, and studiously avoiding all mention of politics. He definitely doesn't care for McClellan, but he also doesn't see either the Democrats or Republicans or the Radical Democracy Party offering anything to the country.
 
Chapter 142: The Election of 1867
Chapter 142: The Election of 1867

“Compared now to a mass letter writing campaign, the election of 1867, the first in the post-war Confederacy, was a confused affair. Not the least because almost all the political machinery that had existed prior to the war had supported the former Democratic Party, which was now divided along ideological lines between factions. However, of the two main competing factions, Breckinridge undoubtedly had the more powerful connections from the surviving state apparatus.

As the favored son of Kentucky, all planners simply conceded the state to him in the early days. Toombs focused on the states of the Deep South and Tennessee. He was aware that his star had not risen high in Virginia, if only because of his long invective against General Lee and “Virginia gentlemen” in general, and as a shrewd politician, he knew to play to his strengths. Those strengths lay in the land where the planters still held the most sway in politics, and away from the territories ravaged by the war that Breckinridge had helped in their fight by his admittedly draconian war policies. Toombs also had to distance himself from his 1860 endorsement of Breckinridge, which was well known and trumpeted by the opposition press. Toombs, would say he had fully endorsed the man in 1860, but it was time for “fresh blood” in the Confederate government to steer the new nation.

The vision Toombs had for that new nation was one which fell neatly in line with his pre-war politics. Toombs had backed the writing of the Confederate Constitution, believing in its core tenets. Indeed, he had been a titan of the establishment of the Confederacy in 1861, and very nearly attained the presidency then. He campaigned on a constitutional framework, declaring he would de-fang the Federal government in Richmond, cut the army by half, support the navy, and remove the ‘odious’ pork barrel politics than had infected the Confederacy through the war. In effect, he was trying to steer the Confederacy back to the vision that he and many other founders had had in Montgomery. A small federal government, no national spending save on emergencies, and the states left more or less to do as they please.

Such a project might have been possible in 1861, or perhaps even as late as a war won in 1863, but in the South of 1867, the thought of no spending was anathema to many. Virginia especially had grown rich from the war, with investment in factories, the shipyards at Norfolk, and the federal spending on her roads and other infrastructure, turning her into a “little Pennsylvania” as one Mississippi newspaperman would mock. However, that same spending had made men rich and allowed others to ride political careers to the top. Such spending could be found in Tennessee, Texas, North Carolina and Louisiana. To campaign to abolish it was a direct affront to the purses of many powerful men. However, it suited some ideologues and those nervous that Richmond had too much power compared to the states. Coupled with his aggressive foreign policy, Toombs being an advocate of the acquisition of Cuba, it offered him a platform that powerful factions would accept.

Breckinridge however, leaned into a realist policy. He advocated for federal cooperation with the states to build railroads to connect the Confederacy in its “common defence” as well as a platform to codify a supreme court so that “state’s might address their grievances with one another and the highest office” no doubt alluding to the friction between Davis and the state legislatures. He also advocated a strict fugitive slave code between the states, putting pressure on the Upper South at the insistence of the Lower South which felt that there was a new “conduit” for escaped slaves. He also advocated for a larger army to protect the nation, and more power in federal procurement of funds.

Naturally this was anathema to the most ardent of the old Fire Eaters, and Toombs’s supporters attacked his “Washington attitude” to governance. It was however, popular with emerging little capitalists, states which had suffered more in the invasion, and those who trusted Breckinridge’s judgement on matters thanks to his long military history. That very history was a feather in his cap as unlike Toombs’s embarrassing service record[1] he had a distinguished career, even campaigning for his victories at Elizabethtown and Bardstown where he had done good service against steep odds. Toombs even found some of his old words thrown back at him, having endorsed Breckinridge for president in 1860.

However, both men would observe the decorum of the age, and allow their own foot soldiers to slog it out on the campaign trail, in the papers and at the rallies…” - The Three Good Presidents, Edward Lee, University of Richmond, 1935

“Violence had by no means been rare in pre-war American elections. In fact, fraud, intimidation, murder and mob action had been used in almost every election since 1796 when candidates contested one another to a certain extent. It was by no means unusual then that those supporting Toombs or Breckinridge would engage in similar levels of disorder in support of their chosen candidate.

Brawls, blatant intimidation and old fashioned vote rigging would be a hallmark of the Confederate election of 1867 just as it had been in the United States in 1860, 1864 and would be again in 1868. However, without the party system inside the Confederacy, loyalty to a particular middleman would definite the 1867 electoral cycle. Men would follow local notables, often politicians, plantation owners or military officers, sometimes all three. For instance, the power held by Governor Brown in Georgia meant that across much of the state the word from Milledgeville[2] was law politically. Brown used his considerable influence to rally the state, and partisans in neighboring Alabama and Mississippi to the cause of Toombs.

In neighboring Mississippi however, the battle was far less one sided. Though the governor Benjamin Humphrey’s was an ally of Toombs supporters, he was opposed by an old comrade in arms, John S. Bowen. Bowen had served initially as a member of the Missouri State Guard, before it was driven from that state and into exile. He had then fought under Breckinridge all across the West, up through Bardstown and the Siege of Corinth. He had respected Breckinridge as a leader and member of the War Department, but also owed his permanent commission to Colonel in the post-war army to Breckinridge’s patronage. As such, he campaigned hard for his old commander.

In Vicksburg, a populous and important city in the state and his adopted home, he managed to turn out at least half of the 3,000 eligible voters for his old commander. When challenged by a large crowd of Toombs supporters, he drew his saber and “dared any man, by God, to cast a vote against the Secretary [of War] in this city.” Predictably, a brawl broke out leaving three men dead and at least two dozen wounded. Breckinridge won the city, and the whole of Warren County thanks to his old subordinate. And such scenes would play out across the state.

In Kentucky, the result was as pre-ordained as South Carolina, where the electors simply did what the state legislators bid. Breckinridge was not just a war hero, but a favorite son, and so overwhelmingly won the vote. In the few places where Toombs had real support, roving gangs of men, dubbed “Breckinridge’s Orphans” as many had served in his Orphan Brigade before the incorporation of Kentucky into the Confederacy, would rough up men too vocal in their opposition to Breckinridge. Similar scenes happened in Virginia and Tennessee where the old commander had much respect. In some cases the men became known as “orphan makers” for using extreme violence against staunch Toombs supporters.

However, Toombs’s own supporters were hardly innocent. Mississippi played host to a horde of brawls between men supporting him or Breckinridge, and it was a close run thing whether Breckinridge’s name would appear on the ballot at all in Georgia, while in Alabama the state’s political machinery swung decisively in Toombs’s favor thanks to a combination of anti-Davis feeling, and the liberal greasing of palms by the allies of the Georgia political machine.

While the votes were tallied, many politicians in the Confederacy would see the chaos of the vote of 1867 and conclude that the franchise had been too chaotic, the mob too free with its opinions, and so the wheels would begin to turn…” - The Decline of the Southern Franchise, Eric Foner, 2001

“Despite lofty, and often acerbic rhetoric, Toombs found himself in an uphill battle against Kentucky’s favorite son. He had also indulged overmuch in alcohol on a few occasions when meeting with political allies, and a whiskey fueled bender in Atlanta in October where he “soundly denounced the President, Secretary Breckinridge, and General Lee,” was widely reported in the papers. While besmirching the name of Davis in the South would by this point carry no great harm, and making aspersions on one’s political rivals was considered a matter of course, his efforts to slander Lee, his West Point fellows, and other “Virginia gentlemen” had a particular chilling effect on his support in the upper South, and most especially in the important state of Virginia.

Toombs’s rambling rhetoric of October, widely publicized in even ostensibly friendly papers, would end up decisively costing him the Upper South, independent of his political platform. Breckinridge’s war record, his contrasting choice to remain aloof from campaigning, and the not so subtle support of the sitting president, ensured that he managed to ride a wave of enthusiasm to the presidency. In the final tally he carried the states of Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Arkansas and Texas for a total of 67 electoral votes. Toombs by contrast carried only Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina for 33 electoral votes. It was an overwhelming victory for Breckinridge, and a humiliation for Toombs.

Though Breckinridge won, Toombs would not slink quietly into defeat, and he and his allies began planning for the first new party machine in Confederate history. Toombs himself would arrange things so that he was the most powerful man in the machine politics of the South before the coming of Ben Tillman. Breckinridge had the presidency, but Toombs' reach would prove far longer than any imagined in the halcyon days of December 1867.” - The Three Good Presidents, Edward Lee, University of Richmond, 1935


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1] His one farcical contribution to the war all the way back in Chapter 26

2] the Confederate capital of Georgia during this period, and I see no reason for a change in 1867.
 
Though Breckinridge won, Toombs himself would arrange things so that he was the most powerful man in the machine politics of the South before the coming of Ben Tillman. Breckinridge had the presidency, but Toombs' reach would prove far longer than any imagined in the halcyon days of December 1867.
I see we are getting Pitchfork Ben here too.

Wonder how he will do here compared to Cinco d Mayo...
 
I see we are getting Pitchfork Ben here too.

Wonder how he will do here compared to Cinco d Mayo...

He's just such a character! Though really, he's just going to be taking advantage of an increasingly anti-democratic machine in South Carolina to propel himself to national prominence.

As for his long term fate... worse.
 
With Russia also pushing into the Pacific, the British are going to be keenly aware of the potential for future American shenanigans in the region. Esquimalt will have even more importance than OTL as Britain seeks to maintain her vast sea dominance which is, circa 1867 in WiF, almost universally unchallenged. The US dreams of one day challenging it, but that day is a long way off.
Hhm in the future they're gonna have to contend with an early riser Japan and bounced back China who's hungrily and wrathfully eying Hong Kong and other British territories to take back and wipe the shame of the century of humiliation off there national memory. And Japan Is gonna do what it does and modernize and prepare to flex its muscles.

And you know the saying that the enemy of my enemy is my friend and there could be a situation of us sponsoring industrial modernization to China and Japan to gain more allies in the pacific as too make Britain have more trouble and keep the heat off there back.

And correct me if I'm wrong frederick Townsend ward is still alive right and helping the Qing beat out the Taiping rebels. He's northerner born in Massachusetts. So it help in diplomacy in the future for the Union.
 
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Though Breckinridge won, Toombs would not slink quietly into defeat, and he and his allies began planning for the first new party machine in Confederate history. Toombs himself would arrange things so that he was the most powerful man in the machine politics of the South before the coming of Ben Tillman. Breckinridge had the presidency, but Toombs' reach would prove far longer than any imagined in the halcyon days of December 1867.” - The Three Good Presidents, Edward Lee, University of Richmond, 1935
Gonna have a wild guess he's gonna be Toombs successor and could either be the third good president or more likely the start of the decline of the csa though it won't be noticeable in his presidency. Just a fun bit speculation to throw in.
 
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