The year began with the conflict between California and Texas entering a quiet phase as both called up troops to fight against their enemy. Throughout the rest of North America, the reaction was fairly muted but grim. Wanci Oyate was in the midst of political deadlock and paid no heed; Canada kept a wary eye on its border but did little else, not wanting to get involved. The two most involved nations were the US and New England, with New England actively supporting California, sending aid via train through Wanci Oyate in the form of weapons and other supplies. In response, the US offered support to Texas but was instantly rebuffed, the stubbornness of the Texan Government in its belligerence against the US for its abandoning of the rebels during the Texan Rebellion marking its policy.
California enforced its policy of direct Warfare, sending its troops towards the border with Texas, preparing for an all out assault against their foe. The War was well received within the country as many had hoped for some prestige for the Juntist regime and less hostile nations on its borders. Only a few led by Josiah Norton protested against it, believing it would lead to greater hostility towards the Juntist nation and the thought of installing a puppet in Texas (As many were hoping) offended his sense of letting the people decide their own form of Government.
His was the minority opinion however and the War pressed on with forces amassing on the border for the following conflict.
With new elections in Britain and Ireland, the Liberal Governments were given another mandate to lead the people. In particular with various Poor Acts, which had been passed by the Parliaments leading to greater welfare for poor people and established better social conditions. These acts aided the Liberal’s popularity and at the election saw a slight increase in their majority with a stable domestic situation. For now though, the major issue was that of Federalism of the Empire with popular support being behind such a measure. Lord Russell had been brought around to supporting it himself along with many Liberals and surprisingly, some Conservatives who saw anything as strengthening Britain and the Empire as a good thing albeit, not to cost Britain itself any true authority if it could be helped.
With these conditions, the Liberal Government of Great Britain invited representatives of Ireland, Newfoundland, Canada and, after much debate, Madras to London to start talks regarding the establishment of a system similar to the Imperial Federacion. The inclusion of Madras was rather controversial as the role of a native would raise much more questions than it would answer regarding British rule in the colonies. The reason for its inclusion was the fact that since the British Government had taken over control of India itself, the growing work between British Government officials and native Indians had increased greatly and with King Alfred’s own adventures within the sub-continent along with his marriage to an Indian woman, had led to a taste for India within various members of the Liberal Government. Also, as being one of the regions in India with one of the longest standing regions of British influence in India, Madras was seen as the most obvious start to any Indian additions to the new political organisation. It was Madras rather than India itself as having Britain as one block would soon dominate any organisation completely due to the size and population of the country.
The representatives from Madras however were largely British Governors with some Indian representatives in tow. The general idea evolving was that a slow transition would take place where the rule of India would go from British to Indian but with great British influence nonetheless. The meeting in London would go on for some time before a deal was brokered and any sort of move was made for another Imperial Federation.
The Californian-Texan War entered an entirely new phase as Mexico entered on the side of California. King Antonio regarded the War as an opportunity, seeing it as the best chance to regain lost Mexican territory from the Revolution. The Mexican entry was not entirely unexpected but did upgrade Texas’s situation from bad to really bad as a two front War had to be fought with an Army that was relatively green. The same could have been said for the Californian Army but not Mexico’s which marched north against Texas in conjunction with the Californian Army which began to strike east, across its own borders towards Waterloo, the Texan capital. Mexican troops themselves aimed for San Antonio and the heart of Texas independence.
Unable to counter the simultaneous assaults on their borders, the Texan Army pulled back to more defensible positions, the San Antonio River in the south and near fortified positions close to Waterloo for the north. Various skirmishes took place as the Californian and Mexican troops struck at Texas, clashing with local militias but not much else. The screws were tightening on Texas and it would soon be seen just how tight they could become.
After a month of consolidating and marching, Mexican troops struck across the south of Texas, aiming for the San Antonio River and its defenders. The fighting here was bloody as the Texans had dug well in and were able to maintain a strict defence against the Mexican troops whose assault was repulsed three times in as many days along the southern shore of the river. The advantages of defence and short supply lines were reduced however by the larger Mexican Army which was fanning out in a bid to outflank the Texan defenders, with a contingent marching towards the San Pedro Springs. Realising their vulnerability, the Texan Army was forced to divide their forces on this Front to defend the springs which was just what their enemies wanted.
On the 8th of April, having recently received support from the vast amount of artillery which had arrived to reinforce them, the Mexican Army opened an incredible assault on the Texan positions, pounding away on them for over six hours straight. Split in half and having never been under a situation, began to crumble under the pressure. After a week of nothing but repeated artillery bombardments, the Mexican Army made their fourth assault on the Texan defences and after two hours of brutal fighting, broke through the Texan lines and forced the defenders to scatter. With no other forces in the area, the Mexican Army proceeded to march towards San Antonio where the garrison made every effort to build defences against any assault. As the Mexican Army took time to recover before marching north, only setting out at the end of the month, leaving the Texans ample time to prepare themselves for the coming and bloody siege.
Further north, Californian troops clashed with their Texan counterparts at their defences near Waterloo. The Texan position was a good one as repeated failures by Californian soldiers to break through it showed. The slow bleeding white of both forces favoured neither except for California in a very broad sense as they weren’t the ones bleeding on two fronts and they could afford more casualties that the Texans couldn’t. The increasing pressure on Texas was soon being clearly felt and the stark reality of losing the War became more and more recognised. Although surrender was the most hated possibility, it apparently became the only one if Texas wanted to carry on as a free nation in some form or another, little realising that no matter what the terms, Mexico and California weren’t even thinking about an independent Texas after this War.
Mexican forces reached San Antonio at last and began to lay the city to siege. The siege of San Antonio would go on to become famous as the resistance of those inside the city against the Mexicans was near fanatical and the siege lasted for much longer than first expected. Due to this, the Mexican assault was forced to stop while it attempted to gain the surrender of the city, allowing California access further north. The Texan Army, forced to fight to defend Waterloo and attempt to relieve San Antonio, found itself barely able to do one, never mind both.
As the month wore on, the defences west of Waterloo gradually crumbled before the Californian assault, aided by supplies from New England while Texan supplies dwindled to almost nothing as a Mexican blockade of Texan ports managed to reduce trade to a trickle. A last ditch effort was being prepared for in Waterloo, much like San Antonio with the hope of bleeding the enemy white and agreeing to a peace of exhaustion. As the defences were strengthened in Waterloo and extra soldiers called up, California called in its last card, agents within Waterloo itself which were still loyal to the Juntist culture. At a given signal, they were to do anything they could to cause chaos in Waterloo and weaken the defences.
The defences to the west of Waterloo were eventually abandoned as the troops were brought into the capital to bolster the defences and conserve whatever supplies there were. As Californian forces approached the city after they breached what remained of the defences, they split into two Armies, one to besiege Waterloo while the other was to secure Northern Texas completely, the Juntist Government wanting to concede nothing more to Mexico than it already occupied. The siege of Waterloo began towards the end of the month with Californian forces wrapping around the city, waiting for other forces to secure Northern Texas before the actual attempt to take the city could be made proper. It would be a long and bloody wait as the city itself was pounded with artillery daily, much like San Antonio to the south.
After almost two months, the Californian Army had managed to secure Northern Texas completely and sent the remainder to surround Waterloo completely, bringing the final stages of the siege to completion. As the city became completely surrounded, the agitators within the city started to convalesce and plan regarding their move. With the siege hardening and food supplies growing shorter, it wouldn’t take much more for a coup de tat or general rising to take place in order to end the suffering. The strength of the remaining Juntists was growing and the boiling point that was Waterloo threatened to explode like one of the many shells falling upon the city.
At the given signal, a series of bright and enormous fireworks lighting up the night sky, the Juntists within Waterloo rose up and struck at the Army from behind, starting a running brawl along the defences which, combined with an assault against the defences by Californian troops, destroyed whatever hope there was of resistance. The city was overrun and the following day, the 4th September, the Juntist Republic of Texas was proclaimed with all territory north of San Antonio and the River being part of it. For now, all but one place of Texas was firmly in the hands of the conquerors as San Antonio still fiercely resisted despite dwindling supplies and growing Mexican strength around the city. With the rest of Texas taken, it was now evident that this was all that Mexico was getting and it was desperate to get it, although desperation didn’t ease the job as San Antonio kept up its resistance, winter approaching to the discomfort of both sides.
In Britain, the news of a happier kind was heard as it was announced Queen Lavanya was pregnant. The news was a boon to the Indian cause on the Federalism issue as it meant that a future Monarch would one day be half-Indian. Much speculation was abounding as to the future Monarch’s name, British or Indian? Regardless of the debate, bookies throughout the country made a killing on the speculation as thoughts as to what this future Sovereign would be like…