The War between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire reached a new height as Ottoman forces attempted a strike deep into Egyptian territory. An Army of 60,000 was sent to strike deep into Egypt and head straight to Cairo and overthrow Muhammad Ali from that point on. High hopes went into the assault, believing that further reinforcements of 50,000 would secure victory over the wayward vassal. This would prove to be a gross underestimation of Egyptian strength as Ali had not been sitting on his hands since he gained control of Egypt.
Ali had a much more advanced Army than its Ottoman counterpart though it was much smaller. Drilled by European officers, carrying the latest in armaments and with knowledge of the latest tactics, the Egyptian Army was a much superior than the Armies Mahmud II was fielding. This was proven on the 13th January when an Ottoman force of 24,000 was flanked and nearly wiped out completely by an Egyptian Army of 17,000. The catastrophic defeat was followed by another Ottoman force of 10,000 being surprised and heavily defeated by the Egyptians on the 21st. The remaining Ottoman forces recoiled and retreated back to the east, colliding with the reinforcements sent from Constantinople.
As the story of the two defeats travelled north to the Sultan, Muhammad began to toy with the idea of striking out of Egypt and into Ottoman territory proper, perhaps claim the title of Sultan himself… but the memory of how the European Powers had stopped Greece from making their claims on too much Ottoman territory made Muhammad realise that toppling the Ottoman Empire wouldn’t really be tolerated by nations such as Britain or France. The alternative instead was building up an African state in the North of the continent, one that could become a powerful player in the Mediterranean Sea and perhaps beyond…
Muhammad set his eyes west to claim the Ottoman territories of the west and build up his strength from there. The plan hit a snag however when it was revealed that Mahmud II was not prepared to lose another War. No matter what, he was determined to hang on to the territory and not be humiliated again. The quandary continued for some time as Mahmud had the political will to win, but not the military might while Muhammad had the military might to win, but not the political will.
For the first time, British officials travelled to the Shawnee Nation on a diplomatic trip. The officials themselves were three Liberal MP’s and four military officers along with various Canadian representatives. The trip itself was designed to take in the culture, efficiency and strength of the Shawnee State and gauge how they would stand as a permanent part of North America. The visitors were unimpressed at first, comparing the rustic settings to the great cities of Britain. This changed however when they saw the Shawnee Army.
Made up of 18,000 of the various Tribes within the Nation, the Army was the pick of the best of all warriors. Trained by British officers originally, the Shawnee had grown their own officer class which had taken the lessons learned from the British and ingrained them with their own military philosophy. An exercise was seen by the British officials that ingrained the idea of a frightening military force. The precision, energy and efficiency of the Shawnee caused one British officer to proclaim “By God, between Heaven and Hell only they can cause fear for a man.”
The cavalry were the true jewel in the crown for the Shawnee Army, with the discipline of a French unit and the destructive capability of a British force; they were truly a force to be reckoned with. The official report sent to Parliament when the officials returned home stated that “As a nation state, the Shawnee face great difficulties and can only be seen as a short term (Ten-Twenty years) investment. Militarily however, the Shawnee could prove to be key in any conflict in North America.”
America itself was suspicious over the visit, believing that it was to hammer out a solid strategy against the American state. At the present, however, the US believed that any Native resistance would be a minor risk and instead focused upon New England and British North America as being the greatest threats. Spain’s Federacion was also proving to be a problem as in accordance with the military agreement in the Federacion, a regiment from the Southern colonies had been sent to protect Florida from attack. Their ranks themselves were bolstered by escaped slaves from the US who were more than eager to fight against the nation which had enslaved them. A wary eye was kept on Florida by most of the US military.
A diplomatic agreement was finally reached between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire as neither wanted to see the War go on for anymore time. The agreement was an odd one where Muhammad Ali promised to recognise that he was subject to Ottoman rule provided the Ottoman Empire would never try to rule Egypt. Ali promised never assert independence from the Ottoman Empire while Mahmud II lived and he was given the authority as Lord of Northern Africa (Largely recognising the fact he controlled that area anyway).
This face saving compromise was agreed to on the 17th and nobody walked away truly happy but it was something they could live with. While Ali focussed upon his plans for Egypt, Mahmud returned to bring together the badly damaged Ottoman Empire. If the last four years had taught Mahmud anything, it was that the cause for reform needed to be pressed beyond what he originally hoped. In order to survive, the Ottoman Empire needed to look to the west and learn some valuable lessons.
After the diplomatic visit from Britain to the Shawnee Nation, Britain itself was greeted with the sight of fifteen Shawnee representatives, curious to see what Britain truly was. The Shawnee were shocked at the sight, sounds and above all, smells, of London. No single city in America had compared to what London put the Shawnee through. The visitors were amazed by everything there was in Britain and more than a little disgusted in must be said.
The visit gained a lot of interest in the press and the city itself. The Shawnee found themselves beset by curious people in every move they made. Various other national diplomats also found excuses to pop in and have a quick word with the Shawnee. The visit itself included a visit of major manufacturing sites in London, a tour of Parliament while also including a diplomatic speech to the MP’s and a showing of the British Army and Naval abilities. The speech went well enough and the viewing of the Military capabilities of the British proved to be impressive to the visitors.
The visit itself was well enough received by all and had an interesting affect on three of the Shawnee. Sowahquothe, Jeskakake and Magotha were all respected minor Shawnee Chiefs who had gazed upon the sight of London and it made something stir inside them. If all that power and wealth could be obtained by a small island like Britain, could it not also be gained by the Shawnee themselves? The three men were determined that they would help Sawano Asiski become the London of North America. When they returned, the three began to push for reform that resembled the British system. Their movement grew slowly at first and with much opposition, but grow it did and later caused a rift between the Shawnee Nation that affected its very fate.
Tensions between America and the Spanish Federacion sparked even higher as an escaped slave made it into Florida while fleeing from a posse. The posse clashed with the border guard who made it clear that as the slave had made it onto Spanish territory; he was free under Spanish law. Unwilling and unable to tackle the border guard head on, the group then returned home and complained to the highest authority. The news circulated throughout America regarding how the Spanish had once more interfered in American affairs. The question began to asked, if the British could be kicked out of America proper, why not the Spanish?
Jackson seized on this idea with some relish. He had recently been mocked as a muddling President with no new ideas. A War with Spain would prove his critics wrong and finally protect the US on its Southern Flank. Or at least, that’s what Jackson believed. Pressure was placed upon Congress to begin a draft for war. Many opposed this, not wanting a bloody war so soon after 1812 and that Jackson was just after a second term. The split of the Democrat-Republicans, which had come so close the last few years, was almost becoming imminent.