In Notre Dame Cathedral, Napoleon II married his love, the Polish noblewoman. It was a day of great celebrations throughout Paris and even the French Empire itself. The idea of a continued Napoleonic Dynasty for generations stirred the idea of hope for many that France would continue to bolster its position as Europe’s greatest power. The one part of the Napoleonic Domains which shared no joy in the marriage was the Basque counties where nationalistic sentiment had risen sharply the last year and violent protests had begun to take place.
Spain itself was actually encouraging these rebellious elements by sending its own agents in to stir up trouble against the French Government. Numerous anti-French pamphlets were published throughout this era as a way to keep the region loyal to Spain. Although France was unable to prove anything directly, the tension between the two nations only grew as time passed. Because of the problems that arose with France, Spain turned to Austria and Prussia for help. As both had grievances against France for its stance on the Meiningen Pact, they were only too happy to join with Spain in any stance against France. Although it was an Alliance of opportunity at best, the three countries found some comfort that they had forced their rivals into a two front situation.
The Oregon Territory drove the tension between Britain and America even higher as clashes between settlers began. President Clay gave Britain a firm warning regarding the territory, the US Government saw Oregon as its territory and unless these transgressions stopped. The British in return told the Americans that the Oregon Territory had never been secured by either side; negotiations were still open for its status.
In reality, the British Government was insistent that the Oregon Territory was to be theirs. The conciliatory stance on the border had been enough to greatly aid bringing down the Liverpool Government; Peel was determined not to make the same mistake. Army Units were being sent to North America while the Royal Navy was ordered to reduce its patrols to the Canadian Coast and the British Isles for defence against any assault from Spain. It was clear that the World was gradually slipping into War. Newspapers from Washington to Madrid began to call for vengeance against the insults to their nations by their enemies. It wouldn’t be to long before these calls for blood were heeded.
The first tracks of railroad were finally placed in Russia as the Tsarist Government began to take steps to cement its control over the Eastern provinces. Siberia had fallen under Russian dominance but the transport and communications between St. Petersburg and the East were so bad that something had to be done. Although the train tracks were limited and purely for Government use (Extending only as far as St Petersburg and the immediate areas to Russian communication outposts) the idea was to one day have a line from the Baltic to the Pacific. The large scale expansion to the east had brought forth the idea behind the railway but the actual building of the railway would take many years before the dreams were realised.
On the 28th December, the tensions over the Oregon Territory finally boiled over as a skirmish between British and American settlers led to a committee of British settlers appealing to the British regiment recently placed in the area for aid in securing their claims in the area. As the officer in command had been given orders to help cement British control over the region and fight back against American aggression, he went with his instinct and marched to drive off the encroaching Americans in the area. Within three days, the north-east tip of Oregon was in British military control. But now, the tipping point had been reached and as word leaked back to the centres of power in North America, it was now clear that War was inevitable, 1842 would see the start of a World changing conflict.