King Alfred’s trip through Canada went through with the King becoming more and more popular as his hunting trips for bears were published with various photos being taken and the King gaining a reputation as a kind hearted man when he spared the life of a young cub after shooting the mother, even going so far as to adopt the bear as a pet, having it sent to his Balmoral Estates as a pet with his other animals. This point wasn’t all that well thought through as the bear (Given the name Canada in honour of its home country) promptly went on to kill and eat several of the animals on the King’s estates before its diet was finally worked out.
With his immense popularity in Canada secured, the King now resolved on his visits to Wanci Oyate and New England respectively with him crossing the border onto Sioux territory on the 16th, spending two days travelling with one Tribe as he was escorted towards Sawano Asiski, taking part in a buffalo hunt and personally taking down two of them. His curiosity of everything around him concerning the Tribe and his willingness to learn endeared him to several of the Sioux, seeing it as a refreshing change from the usual condescension or arrogance from most other white people. And the fact he was King of the most powerful Empire in the World was suitably impressive even to the most jaded Sioux.
Arriving in Sawano Asiski on the 22nd, King Alfred subsequently made a speech to the Wanci Parliament, praising the Alliance between the two nations of Britain and Wanci Oyate. The speech was certainly a brilliant move in that it showed no arrogance on Alfred’s behalf, frequently mentioning the Revolutionary effects of the modernisation efforts by Wanci Oyate, praising them for doing so but also praising them for holding onto their traditions and ideals. Saying that the difficulty was immense, Alfred finished by praising Tecumseh, calling him the leader which Wanci Oyate needed, and deserved, defining him as the first of many heroes that Wanci Oyate would no doubt produce.
With the speech over, it was greeted with an ovation from the Tribal Representatives and as a final act before his departure from the nation; King Alfred was allowed to pay his respects to Tecumseh’s final resting place, an act which gathered him even more popularity amongst the Native Tribes who felt that they now had someone they could rely on in Britain. King Alfred left Wanci Oyate on a boat along the Great Lakes with cheering crowds seeing him off, the visit being a spectacular success.
The visit to New England on the other hand was an unmitigated disaster of the highest order. As soon as he arrived in the Republic on the 27th in New York, Alfred made himself enemies by publicly expressing sympathy for the plight of those in New York under the domination of New England, citing the lack of elections there as a great injustice to them. This speech greatly inflamed tempers against the King and it was only through the hope that he would rectify his gaffe in his speech to the New England Senate was the only reason he was allowed to continue.
This itself proved to be a dashed hope as on the 29th, the day of the speech, things got off to a terrible start with King Alfred being almost an hour late, having slept in and unable be roused by the attempts of those who desperately wanted him to awake for some time. When he finally arrived at the Senate, King Alfred tried to make a joke of it all, claiming that they could overlook his timing as they had done for the British forces at the Battle of Roxbury, a joke which went down like a lead balloon. King Alfred’s speech was also a major flop, praising New England’s history but also constantly coming back to the issue of New York and New Jersey, Abraham Lincoln’s friendship and correspondence telling as King Alfred took a view sympathetic to the American standpoint.
The New England Senate soon became more and more hostile to King Alfred and less than an hour after he had started speaking, he was booed and jeered to silence, forced to leave the Senate building with a lack of some dignity. Knowing he was no longer welcome in New England, Alfred quickly accepted an invitation for the US on the behalf of the Secretary of State Abraham Lincoln, unwittingly putting a final seal on the insult as he left New England for their ultimate enemy. The visit was a total disaster for Anglo-Yankee relations and set the seal on the dissolving of the Alliance which had been going downhill since the Treaty of Philadelphia and general British resentment of the actions taken by the New England Army during the Four Year War.
With the New England Republic now in a nadir of relationships with Britain and Canada, it then turned to the other North American nations, in particular, California to balance against the US. Realising the political realities of the nation however, the Juntist Movement was approached and offered instant recognition in the event of them gaining power, by fair means or foul. This was the catalyst needed for the Movement to begin plans to finally seize power. As King Alfred crossed the border to the US, the final stages of the Juntist coup were coming to fruition…
The leadership of the Liberal Party and the person who’d be Prime Minister was finally decided as Sir George Cornewall Lewis succeeded Lord Russell. A well liked and fairly respected man, Lewis entered his Premiership with the determination to see through the election, get the Ireland issue sorted out and find a way to bring in the wayward King as word of his disaster in New England reached Britain via telegraph. Although he was out of the power of any British officials while in the US, Lewis sent orders to Canada to reign in the King as soon as he arrived back on Canadian soil. After doing so, Lewis got down to concentrating on the election which was in the next month.
King Alfred’s visit to the US was one of great curiosity to the Americans, having the King of their eldest enemy to visit them was strange but his now well publicised remarks on the status of New York and New Jersey had lessened the hostility towards the young King. He instantly travelled to Washington DC under the personal invitation of his long term friend Abraham Lincoln and attended a dinner party with Lincoln and various other National Party politicians. The party was quite successful with King Alfred making a fair enough impression on the various politicians.
Although the risk of King Alfred making another mistake like he had in New England guaranteed he wouldn’t be allowed in front of the US Senate, he did go to a state dinner with President Buchanan and various other politicians including an Ambassador from Britain who was in a most awkward position to say the least. He advised the King to return home but was easily rebuffed, Alfred informing the Ambassador that he planned on staying in the US for some months before returning home, wanting to explore North America a little outside of British influence.
The month went by smoothly for Alfred as he wined and dined throughout the US, also interacting with people from the lower social orders (Largely along the lines of “You’re a carpenter? Excellent! Work with wood often?”), and gained a reputation of being a nitwit, albeit a pleasant and charming one but a nitwit just the same. His tour also marked the gradual escalation of violence between the Government and rebel Juntists in California. The Government had realised that a coup was approaching and was cracking down hard on dissent which only played into the Movement’s hands.
With clashing escalating everywhere, the Junists saw their opportunity and took it, with the coup and uprising with the actions of Colonel Ferdinand Manta, a member of the Juntist Movement and had similar influence to what Josiah Norton had within the Movement itself. Using troops loyal to him personally, Ferdinand (A veteran of the Mexican Revolution) seized key Government buildings in the capital and with an uprising of certain sections of the populace. The troops loyal to the Government were soon overwhelmed and many deserted rather than fight against the Revolutionaries.
Strengthened by a recent delivery of New England rifles, the Juntists spread the Revolution beyond the capital and throughout California. As the Movement had spent a large amount of time working on its support amongst the populace and with its support amongst the Chinese immigrants and the neutrality of the Mormons (The two largest minorities in California), the Government of California was soon forced to flee from the country itself, taking refuge in the Republic of Texas. In a few short weeks, all of California was under Juntist control with the nation controlled by three men of the new Juntist Government.
In control of economic affairs was Josiah Norton, a successful British businessman who had become a major driving force and the purse for the Revolution. The man with Military control was Colonel Ferdinand Manta, a soldier in the Mexican Revolution who had been the double agent in the Army who had managed to bring the Army to support the Revolution. The man in control of the social aspects of Government was Eugene Baja, the junior partner of the three who was easily dominated by Manta, a man who had no love for Norton at all, seeing him as a foreigner who taken away his rightful place in the Revolution.
As the month ended and the Juntists secured control of California completely, the realisation that it was surrounded by hostile states came to light. There was Canada to the north that had no love for such tomfoolery, Mexico to the south who had never liked the breakaway states anyway and the US and Texas to the east, neither of whom were fond of the Juntist ideology with Texas in particular being hostile to their larger and more powerful neighbour.
Foreign affairs were only one of the few problems that faced the Californian Juntist Republic as a very poor economy and a hugely divided leadership only promised to further the state’s problems. As Norton delved into giving the economy a boost, Manta looked into expanding the Military for the purpose of creating not only a Juntist nation, but the most powerful nation in North America…
The 1st March saw the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland gain or confirm two Liberal Governments as the people gave a vote of confidence for both the new Government in Ireland and the direction Britain in general was going. Sir Lewis headed the Government which now saw an upswing in the support of Federalism within the Empire as the elections brought in many young, rising Minsters who saw Ireland as only the beginning. Lewis himself was mildly supportive of the measures but was unsure of how to go about them. He was helped in this by the growing reputation of a young yet popular Irish MP, Jeremiah Sutton.
Jeremiah was a notable Liberal Minister whose good nature and warm way of speech made him popular amongst his native Irish in County Wicklow. He started a correspondence with Sir Lewis, constantly urging the Prime Minister to allow for greater Federalism in the Empire with Ireland being the great partner in this relationship. Although still only in his twenties, Sutton was a rising star in the Irish Liberals and some hoped for him to be the Irish Prime Minister someday. Until then, he campaigned for greater Irish social reforms and better rights for workers.
The Federalism issue was not divisive but certainly a rising one with many supporters for it in Ireland, Canada and Australia, only encouraged by King Alfred himself for many people. And when Alfred got himself involved in an issue, he saw it through to the end…
After his controversial tour of four North American nations, King Alfred, with the aid of several American, Sioux and sympathetic Canadian agents, slipped into Oregon from Western America, up through Western Wanci Oyate and to the Oregon coast where a ship was waiting to take him to the Philippines. It was done in complete secrecy and it wasn’t until a week after he sailed that the Canadian Government discovered what had happened, turning Alfred’s popularity up a notch. He was seen in the US as the darling rogue, biting his thumb at the stuffy British and becoming his own man, a true American in fact.
The British Government also enjoyed Alfred’s misadventures, seeing his journey across the Empire as a true thing the King should do and the Liberal Government was spoiling all the fun. Sir Lewis was greatly annoyed by Alfred’s exploits and sent orders to Britain’s Asian colonies to bring the King in as soon as they caught a whiff of him. Something that would be quite difficult as the King now went under a disguise…
To the expectations of everyone, Abraham Lincoln was voted in as President of the United States of America with the promise of restoring New Jersey to the US, greater focus on rising industry and the normalisation of relationships with the US’s neighbours. King Alfred’s visit to the US had in fact greatly aided the warming of relations between Britain and America, something Lincoln was determined to exploit to its fullest.
For the last few years, the process of Industrialisation had started to gain strength in America and Lincoln was determined to use British contacts to aid this, with train tracks springing up all over the country. The rise of industry spread north and west with the south still keeping their slave based economy to a full extent, another issue that was quickly dividing the Republic. Although Lincoln was keen to limit or even see off the trade, the slave owning states still holding too much power in the Senate to do anything.
As Lincoln gradually started to take the reigns of power from Buchanan, King Alfred, disguised as a Canadian explorer arrived in the Philippines, managing to fool British representatives enough to pass by various outposts into the country. With only a small retinue of friends and local guides, Alfred went around the coast of the largest Philippine Island, heading south towards the ports which would lead to Australia…