Wrapped in Flames: The Great American War and Beyond

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.

I certainly can't see the Confederacy building any 80,000 ton battleships anytime soon.
 
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.

Probably not. The new China will have a bit of trouble immediately (Russia squatting on its borders and an ever hungry Japan) alongside other European powers, and the United States being almost no better - to have influence in China they need a base there after all. Japan is another potential, but the US having negligible influence in the Pacific for the foreseeable future, whatever Japan does between the 1870s and 1900 is going to be where she makes her friends.

That Japan, China, Russia and other powers will all have competing ideas for Korea means that tensions are more likely than anything else.

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.

Still alive and married comfortably into the Hong Kong Cohong merchant class - quite interestingly he seemed to love his Chinese bride and was probably more respectful of the local peoples than many of his contemporaries. But he did leave the US as a soldier of fortune and is more wedded to the country which is making him rich. He also is/was a problem for the new dynasty because he has a successful semi-independent following of rich merchants and foreign backers in Hong Kong, meaning he has a bit of an independent power base that makes the new regime in Nanjing uncomfortable. That does make him something of an intermediary between foreigners however.

Whether that necessarily has an advantage to the United States is another question entirely.
 
Does good mean promising the impossible? That's what it's starting to look like.

Depends on the meaning of impossible. A powerful nation capable of expanding its influence throughout the Americas and with an industry to match? Oh no. A comfortably peculiar republic that enriches its leaders, enforces white supremacy, and is reasonably tolerant of the white yeoman? Oh that they can deliver!

Though what happens when those ideas come into conflict with one another I wonder?
 
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.

Something like that. Toombs was one of the more canny partisan politicians of the antebellum South, and grew to have quite a following during the Confederacy. His more intemperate outbursts didn't go over well with more genteel feeling men in the South, but he spoke to the anxieties and feelings of a lot of the more wealthy and powerful men in the South. The same will be true in an independent Confederacy. He's basically going to run a very powerful political machine, something the young Tillman may find advantageous!

I certainly can't see the Confederacy building any 80,000 ton battleships anytime soon.

Oh certainly not!

Though they're definitely a nation to keep on eye on naval wise...
 
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.
OTL the British Alliance with Japan was ended essentially because the US disapproved, it is at least possible here that does not happen and the Anglo Japanese Alliance is even stronger. China and the UK may clash or they may not if they do i expect Britain and Japan will certainly draw closer together and that is a powerful combination, especially if France can also be roped in.. Another factor in all this is if there is less friendship with the US then why would UK investment and immigration potentially not be a lot less, the economic weakness of the US compared to OTL would also suggest less investment by the UK, and possibly France, which may prefer or more stable ITTL Mexico. This would also tend to weaken US competition in .the Pacific and elsewhere. . .
 
OTL the British Alliance with Japan was ended essentially because the US disapproved, it is at least possible here that does not happen and the Anglo Japanese Alliance is even stronger. China and the UK may clash or they may not if they do i expect Britain and Japan will certainly draw closer together and that is a powerful combination, especially if France can also be roped in.. Another factor in all this is if there is less friendship with the US then why would UK investment and immigration potentially not be a lot less, the economic weakness of the US compared to OTL would also suggest less investment by the UK, and possibly France, which may prefer or more stable ITTL Mexico. This would also tend to weaken US competition in .the Pacific and elsewhere. . .
That depends if there is still an Anglo-Japanese Alliance. For all we know, it could be a Russo-Japanese Alliance given the stronger Russian presence in the Pacific and Britain forges an alliance with China instead. The OTL alliance with Japan was formed in 1902 so it is still a long ways off.

As for the US economic weakness, they have internal resources to exploit to somewhat cover those. I suspect in the attempt to have some self-sufficiency, there would be fewer National Parks so US companies can exploit the resources they have. And there is still the Realignment Age which I suspect is the US shifting it's focus to the Pacific as it rebuilds it's position and trades more with Russia. I can definitely see how it can lead to more Western Alienation as the Western states start becoming economically powerful to match the Eastern states, and possibly fuel the secessionist sentiments in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada to form the Pacific Republic. The What If post suggests that the Pacific states leave the US later as the peace treaty wasnt that harsh as that AH book explored a harsher peace that led to the Pacific Republic forming earlier.
 
I can see it, CSS James Hammond, a cottonclad battleship.

Whether the CSA in the future will get in on the dreadnought race in the future is an open question. They are always going to have something of a low level arms race with the USN if only because it is their nearest and most likely competitor.

Unfortunately for the USN circa 1868, they're currently losing to the CSN. That's a source of frustration in Washington!

EDIT: Though my, my, James Hammond apparently died of Mercury poisoning. How do I kill a battleship with that?
 
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Whether the CSA in the future will get in on the dreadnought race in the future is an open question. They are always going to have something of a low level arms race with the USN if only because it is their nearest and most likely competitor.

Unfortunately for the USN circa 1868, they're currently losing to the CSN. That's a source of frustration in Washington!
i think it would more likely be the Richard Hammond or James May and the ship's motto would be "what can possibly go wrong"
 
i think it would more likely be the Richard Hammond or James May and the ship's motto would be "what can possibly go wrong"

Hmm, I'm actually not familiar with James May and how this would apply!

(Though I was thinking more of the CSS Raphael Semmes with the motto 'sink or swim')
 
Hmm, I'm actually not familiar with James May and how this would apply!

(Though I was thinking more of the CSS Raphael Semmes with the motto 'sink or swim')
Its a top gear (British TV series starring Jeremy Clarkson) reference Hammond and May were his co-presenters. They had a habit of testing unlikely vehicles, usually motor vehicles but often boats, and other craft, which would be expected to perform unlikely challenges and at the start of each challenge Jeremy would say what could possibly go wrong and then disaster would inevitably follow.
 
I almost forgot to ask but why is it that Robert Toombs did not like Robert E. Lee that he would attack him in the CS election, likely knowing that it would work against him? He basically shot himself in the foot in his campaign.

And regarding the direction the US Navy will go, I think they will go for a submarine fleet with accompanying auxiliary vessels to support them followed by cruisers and dreadnoughts by the 20th century. An earlier post states the US invests in submarines under Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt and built more advanced ones during the Great War. The reason I believe this is because the US feels they cannot beat Britain or even the CS on the high seas, they will prioritize combat under the seas, essentially forming more advanced hunter killer packs like what Germany did OTL. This also means the US surface fleet will have fewer dreadnoughts and cruisers, being more of a coastal defence force for the Atlantic and Pacific (assuming the US still has a Pacific coastline, which is unlikely given the AH book in the 'What If' post).
 
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I almost forgot to ask but why is it that Robert Toombs did not like Robert E. Lee that he would attack him in the CS election, likely knowing that it would work against him? He basically shot himself in the foot in his campaign.

Pure and simple elitism. The Virginia planter class tended to hold themselves above people from outside Virginia, viewing themselves as in the mold of men like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and thus the real founders of the United States. This earned them Toombs's resentment, and he also hated the military officer class with a passion that stemmed from a similar disdain for the elitism of West Point. Add to that, that a lot of men in the upper ranks of the pre-war army were Virginian, you have a nasty combination.

And regarding the direction the US Navy will go, I think they will go for a submarine fleet with accompanying auxiliary vessels to support them followed by cruisers and dreadnoughts by the 20th century. An earlier post states the US invests in submarines under Navy Secretary Theodore Roosevelt and built more advanced ones during the Great War. The reason I believe this is because the US feels they cannot beat Britain or even the CS on the high seas, they will prioritize combat under the seas, essentially forming more advanced hunter killer packs like what Germany did OTL. This also means the US surface fleet will have fewer dreadnoughts and cruisers, being more of a coastal defence force for the Atlantic and Pacific (assuming the US still has a Pacific coastline, which is unlikely given the AH book in the 'What If' post).

You may be on to something! The late 19th century was a time of lots of naval experimentation! So development will be very interesting to watch.
 
Chapter 143: An Imperial Democracy
Chapter 143: An Imperial Democracy

“The organization of elections for the new Chamber of Deputies, effectively the imperial parliament, had been a dream of Maximilian's ever since he set foot in Mexico. The Emperor did not see himself as some sort of merely enlightened autocrat as did his brother in Vienna, instead he believed that he was to be a British style constitutional monarch. He had the ultimate authority, but it was best for his diverse people to choose representatives to their liking and send them to advise the emperor on policy and vote on issues which were beneath the dignity of an emperor to concern himself with.

At the end of 1866, Maximilian had leapt into the problem of forming a new representative body for his people with aplomb. Though he carved out new districts, many under only nominal imperial authority, he did not seem concerned overmuch with the machinery of election. Much like the referendum on his rule ginned up by the French and their bayonets in 1863, the election of 1867 would be one where imperial bayonets, both European and Mexican, would ensure compliance with the wishes of the ruling class.

In the end, Maximilian had settled on a system where each of the fifty departments of the new empire would send three men to Mexico City, two Deputies to the chamber, and a single senator to the Imperial Senate. The great cities of the empire were projected to send a single deputy and senator each, and in 1867 that meant Mexico City, Puebla, Monterrey, and Veracruz, adding four additional delegates to each chamber. In time he hoped the developing cities of the empire would add their own voice to the national consensus, but as Carlota would also note, it was a system which in time might deftly clip the wings of the powerful hacendados who ruled most of Mexico. Though that was very limited at the time, in the future it would drive an unfortunate divide in Mexican society its makers did not intend…

…coming late to the 1867 election. The old political divides of Conservative and Liberal were still present. However, there was now an odd mixing of both extreme conservatives and moderate liberals that gathered around the new center of power at Chapultepec. Earnest conservatives rubbed shoulders with moderate liberals and Europeans of every stripe begging for the ear of Maximilian or Carlota. This began to blur the lines between traditional party loyalty and the men seeking power suddenly found their old connections woefully out of date. As such, a new party structure began to emerge in the corridors of power in Mexico City.

Led by the former Liberal general José López Uraga[1], now a confidant of the Empress, they formed a working coalition that would become the center of the new Mexican democracy. After the election of 1867 they would grandiosely style themselves the Partido Nacional Popular (People’s National Party, or PNP) which pledged loyalty to the nebulous term “the honor of Mexico” and loyalty to the emperor. With high positions being doled out at the Emperor’s pleasure, and by extension the emerging power of the new nation coming from Chapultepec, it was no surprise that many leaders of both the former liberal and conservative stripe, leapt to proclaim themselves as members of this new party. When Maximilian, seeing it as a genuine popular manifestation of his popularity, gave it his blessing, that solidified its legitimacy in the eyes of emerging power brokers.

From the city to the districts then did power begin to flow. Ambitious landlords and local magnates began to pledge support to this new party, often relinquishing allegiances they had held for decades. As the power of the Liberal Party seemed broken, many Liberals would hold their noses and seek to move into the ranks of the rising power of the nation. This was often done for both personal power and practical reasons. Those who loudly proclaimed their allegiance to the new party were less suspect in the eyes of roving bands of imperialistas. Money was more forthcoming to those who were party members, and agitation by local Indian groups soon saw many regions giving over their votes to men who said they were ‘agents of the emperor’ and undercutting the authority of the old authorities at the knees.

This did not mean, however, that the old power structures were gone. Led by Juan N. Mendez, the Liberal Party still mustered a presence at the national level. With urban and rural strongholds both in Mexico City and the south, the Liberals refused to simply concede the imperial victory. While those most opposed to empire remained fighting in the field, many power brokers unwilling to turn coat and embrace the new order simply stuck to their old party allegiance and determined to rule opposed to the dictates of the empire, even if more than a few found themselves agreeing with certain of Maximilians policies.

Ironically, it would be the old conservatives who suffered most from this change of power. While the most opportunistic had already defected to the PNP, a not inconsiderable number of magnates and powerful hacendados had dug in their heels against Maximilian’s reforms. They were bolstered by the not inconsiderable power of the Catholic hierarchy, still supported by the edicts of Archbishop Labastida, who continued to clash with the emperor. Though a headache for Maximilian on a personal level, at the political level, it was rudderless. Many of the most respected and powerful leaders of the Junta which had been appointed in 1863 were elderly or had passed on. Their younger leaders opportunistically leaping into the camp of the emperor, and many without a unifying force. Men like Miarmon and Almonte[2] were reaping political and military glory, so defying the emperor’s more liberal tendencies were useless to them. Meija was unwaveringly loyal, which left few who might unite them. The only potential leader was presently in Europe observing the maneuvers of the Austrian and Prussian militaries to see what lessons could be imported to Mexico. However, Leonardo Marquez would remain a force to be reckoned with upon his return.

The office of Prime Minister remained in the hands of the capable José María Lacunza whom Maximilian had appointed in late 1864. A good party whip, his main task was working to finance the significant French loans and ensuring legislation to that end passed through the government. Having the confidence of the emperor, and working with Uraga, he was able to placate both French ministers and domestic politicians in that crucial period…

Though the election itself was criticized by many to be a sham, and assuredly outside some regions of imperial control it simply was, it saw a remarkable outpouring of support for the new political apparatus. Whether by force, bribery, or even a sense of hope for change, Mexicans voted where they could. The PNP swept the election in a landslide, putting the Liberals in second place, and any conservative delegates in a distant third. It assured Maximilian of the legitimacy of his reign, while also cementing new alliances in the halls of power. The period between 1867 and 1872 was most likely the peak of unity and uncontested parliamentary power Maximilian would enjoy. It would ironically be the winding down of hostilities in the countryside and the return of exiles from Europe which promised to bring blood to the streets of Mexico City itself…” - Maximilian and Carolta: A New World Dynasty, Margaret Amberson, 2014


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1] For an ardent liberal, who literally lost a leg to the cause of the republic, he switched sides and became a lifelong confidant of Carlota after Mexico. Imagining him as a leader in a new Mexican system doesn’t seem unlikely!

2] Domestic opposition was going to come from the military or landlords of the country, that so many seemed to support the empire was a surprise. Reaping the rewards of power are, for now, likely to keep them loyal to a new political movement.
 
Pure and simple elitism. The Virginia planter class tended to hold themselves above people from outside Virginia, viewing themselves as in the mold of men like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, and thus the real founders of the United States. This earned them Toombs's resentment, and he also hated the military officer class with a passion that stemmed from a similar disdain for the elitism of West Point. Add to that, that a lot of men in the upper ranks of the pre-war army were Virginian, you have a nasty combination.



You may be on to something! The late 19th century was a time of lots of naval experimentation! So development will be very interesting to watch.
Geez. If Toombs can't keep his disdain from showing so openly on a campaign trail, then he doesn't deserve to be President. Although the alternative is equally bad.

And Mexico can't be peaceful for long, can it? I mean, blood on the streets of Mexico City does not bode well for the immediate future.

Also, the naval thing was just a guess so I could be off the mark. I assume the submarines of the Great War would be equivalent to WWI subs which are less advanced than their WWII counterparts so it might not be wide-reaching as OTL wolfpacks.

And after some rudimentary research, I might be off with the dreadnought count for the US as well. In 1914, the UK had 29 dreadnoughts built during peacetime before war happened. The US had 33 battleships on paper when in actuality, 10 are proper dreadnoughts and the rest are obsolete pre-dreadnoughts. Even Germany had more than the US at 19 dreadnoughts. This makes sense as Britain has a global empire while the US does not and would focus on its coast and, to an extent, their Pacific holdings.

So maybe here, the US takes part in a dreadnought race with the other powers and has more than OTL and split on both oceans. Alternatively, the US prioritises battlecruisers as an evolution of Farragut's idea for fast cruisers as raiders that can outpace dreadnoughts. Of course, those fell on the wayside when fast battleships and aircraft carriers start emerging.

Also, you imply that HMS Dreadnought could be different than OTL due to the Great American War and Fisher would learn the lessons from that conflict. So would it be different from OTL?
 
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Geez. If Toombs can't keep his disdain from showing so openly on a campaign trail, then he doesn't deserve to be President. Although the alternative is equally bad.

Yeah, his hard drinking and habit of shooting his mouth off probably cost him the President's seat OTL in 1861. He didn't like Davis for numerous reasons, a small and petty grudge against the man who beat him to the office might have been one of them!

And Mexico can't be peaceful for long, can it? I mean, blood on the streets of Mexico City does not bode well for the immediate future.

The immediate future is actually pretty good. Less war, more central stability, and a weird fusion of centralist and confederalist politics as Maximilian rules from the center, but is pretty chill with the semi autonomous nature of some regions. However, this is sadly Mexico, and some of the worst coup plotters and back stabbers are still running around. Maximilian has yet to fully embrace being firmer with his enemies.

Also, the naval thing was just a guess so I could be off the mark. I assume the submarines of the Great War would be equivalent to WWI subs which are less advanced than their WWII counterparts so it might not be wide-reaching as OTL wolfpacks.

Yeah, the submarines of OTL in WWI were not quite that sophisticated, which means that while deadly, they're not going to be better than their OTL equivalents in the Great War.

And after some rudimentary research, I might be off with the dreadnought count for the US as well. In 1914, the UK had 29 dreadnoughts built during peacetime before war happened. The US had 33 battleships on paper when in actuality, 10 are proper dreadnoughts and the rest are obsolete pre-dreadnoughts. Even Germany had more than the US at 19 dreadnoughts. This makes sense as Britain has a global empire while the US does not and would focus on its coast and, to an extent, their Pacific holdings.

So maybe here, the US takes part in a dreadnought race with the other powers and has more than OTL and split on both oceans. Alternatively, the US prioritises battlecruisers as an evolution of Farragut's idea for fast cruisers as raiders that can outpace dreadnoughts. Of course, those fell on the wayside when fast battleships and aircraft carriers start emerging.

Also, you imply that HMS Dreadnought could be different than OTL due to the Great American War and Fisher would learn the lessons from that conflict. So would it be different from OTL?

A great deal of specifics remain unwritten! But I can do a little spoiler for people of the biggest navies by 1910:

  1. Great Britain
  2. France
  3. Russia
  4. United States
  5. Japan
  6. China
These are the top naval powers, and beneath them would be the navies of Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico as the next biggest contenders overall alongside the CSA. Don't quite know where each will fall on the chart, but they're contenders.
 
Now assuming I can count OTL the Royal Navy had 42 Pre-Dreadnoughts available in 1914.

  • 1 Royal Sovereign (Technically 2, but one was being used as a target, and was scuttled as a Blockship in November*)
  • 9 Majestics
  • 6 Canopus
  • 3 Formidables
  • 5 Londons
  • 6 Duncans
  • 8 King Edward VII
  • 2 Swiftures
  • 2 Lord Nelsons
(*Empress of India was expended as a Gunnery Target in 1913. It is interesting to note that in a Peacetime drill, at under 10,000 yards, at a stationary target, only about a quarter of the rounds fired hit the old Battleship)
 
Now assuming I can count OTL the Royal Navy had 42 Pre-Dreadnoughts available in 1914.

  • 1 Royal Sovereign (Technically 2, but one was being used as a target, and was scuttled as a Blockship in November*)
  • 9 Majestics
  • 6 Canopus
  • 3 Formidables
  • 5 Londons
  • 6 Duncans
  • 8 King Edward VII
  • 2 Swiftures
  • 2 Lord Nelsons
(*Empress of India was expended as a Gunnery Target in 1913. It is interesting to note that in a Peacetime drill, at under 10,000 yards, at a stationary target, only about a quarter of the rounds fired hit the old Battleship)

I would say that 42 Pre-Dreadnoughts is roughly in the ballpark for what the RN of WiF would have. They're going to be looking at a far more multi-polar threat level in both Europe, the Americas, and Asia. Russia snatching a warm water port in the Pacific in 1866 from China is going to have long term effects all over the strategic thinking of Britain. And of course, 1869 is going to have other news making Britain very security conscious as well!

Basically, Britain will be adopting the "Two Power Standard" as a matter of course. However, as of 1867, both the actual power and the significant implications of British power in terms of ship building and industry have been demonstrated against the United States to the extent that no one is over eager to test the limits of British patience on the high seas in the near future.

That is going to be a significant matter of the "Pax Britannica" going forward.
 
As a general aside, the next two chapters may take some time writing. Maybe up to the second week of July as I go on something of a world tour, first by two monarchs doing an actual European tour, and then wrapping up what happened in the rest of the world circa 1867 before we motor on through into 1868 and the US's wild election thereof!
 
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