The inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln took place with the most popular President in recent memory taking the role as leader of the nation. His push of industry, with British and home grown businessman was soon changing the face of the United States themselves, train tracks marring the landscape in the east and north and factories opening in ever major city. It soon became apparent that the industrial might of America had the potential to outmatch most other nations in North America.
With this in mind, New England instantly turned to California to strengthen its Alliance with, having the largest amount of land and resources aside from the US and Canada. New England promised weaponry and training for its Army in return for an Alliance against the US. In return, Eugene Baja got a guarantee from New England to recognise its planned conquest of Texas. Ever since the Juntists had seized power, relations with the Republic of Texas and the Juntist Republic of California had plummeted as Texas eyes the neighbouring nation with supreme suspicion, believing that the Juntist Government wanted to export Revolution to other countries which, in all fairness, it did. Despite the clear protestations of Josiah Norton, the other two Juntist Ministers wished to export the Revolution, seeing it as an opportunity to gain power and influence in North America in the hopes of becoming the dominant nation.
After spending some months in the Philippine Islands, King Alfred got on a ship to Australia, wanting to spend some time in the great last continent. His stay there was much more brief than his tour of North America and the Philippines, although publicly showing great affection for Australia, the King privately asserted it was nothing more than a ‘giant dust bowl’. He was to still gain much from his travels in this region, the culture of the Philippine Natives proving to be the greatest contrast he had yet experienced with European lifestyles.
Alfred’s stay in Australia would be a mere two months compared to the other, longer visits to various other locations of the Empire. One reason that Alfred looked less favourable upon Australia was that it was a distraction from his true objective, India, the jewel of the Empire. Hearing so much regarding the great subcontinent, Alfred was desperate to visit it more than any other British domain. And he would get his wish.
With his visit to Australia over, King Alfred left the colony and embarked upon a ship which would take to India via Siam. King Alfred insisted on stopping off at the Kingdom, wishing to have a glance at the Ally of Britain in South-East Asia. Siam had long done well out of its Alliance with Britain, having started when the Liberal Government several decades earlier had started to force out the opium trade to an extent. With clashes against Burma increasing as the British position in South-East Asia tried to reassert itself, Siam was seen to be a natural Ally in the various Wars against Burma, something Siam took great relish in, taking great portions of their Eastern rival throughout the mid-nineteenth century.
It was during this visit that King Alfred’s disguise was discovered as a British businessman who had once attended a dinner with the King exposed him, addressing the King by his proper title beside a British ship in the port the King stopped off at. New soon spread and it wasn’t long before the British Consulate had rushed out to convince the King to return to Britain but was too late, King Mongkut had heard the news first and had invited Alfred to his Palace as an honoured guest. For the first time, a King of Great Britain would sit down with a fellow King, not of Europe but of Asia.
The meeting of the two Kings (Later to be the subject of the famous painting Their Two Majesties) would have monumental effects for Siam as the older Mongkut greatly impressed Alfred, seeing in the older King the very pinnacle of Asian culture (Aided by Europeans standing of course). Alfred was to stay in Siam for the majority of the year, learning more about Siam and offering Mongkut a private guarantee that he would look very favourable on Siam in the future and do what he could to make sure Britain itself did the same. For Mongkut, it would be a deal from the Heavens.
The official admittance of Cuba and Florida to the Imperial Federacion took place with great pomp and ceremony in both nations. Both had waited a long time for this to take place and with practically all major former colonies of Spain now in the Federacion, the organisation seemed to be at its peak strength with all nations in it contributing and working towards a stronger Spanish speaking World. With the unity of the Federacion never seeming stronger, those who supported Federalism in Britain and the Empire began to speak even louder, calling for reforms. Their voices would not be ignored for much longer.
With the aid of several guides given by King Mongkut himself, Alfred made his way through the dense jungles of Siam towards British held territory in Burma. With Christmas coming and going, Alfred passed through in secrecy, finally reaching his target after his travels. He had finally set foot in India.