The long awaited election in Britain finally took place with the Liberals under Lord Russell sweeping into power. Although the Liberal hold over Houses of Commons was smaller (With only thirty seats) than the previous Conservative majority, it was enough to look at the issue of electoral reform seriously with plans being drawn up to decide on how to tackle it. Two other issues that were dominating the politics of Britain in the post-War period was the social situation in Ireland and the growing harshness of the working conditions of the new factories, both of which, Lord Russell was determined to combat.
The Ireland question in particular was quite contentious as the country was suffering from overpopulation and a gradual lack of food as the agriculture of Ireland was still too inefficient to handle the amount of people living in the country. To that effect, the Liberal Government began subsidising immigration from Ireland to other parts of the Empire. Over the next twenty years nearly two million people would leave Ireland to Canada, South Africa and Australia. The reforms regarding Ireland itself came from how it was to be governed; the idea of Home Rule was regaining popularity amongst Liberals and a British Federacion, much like in the Spanish style. This also gained support from Canada who, having gained some sense of nationalism and pride in the Four Years War, wanted their own Government. It was to be a many fold debate that would last for some time.
On the 17th February 1847, Britain came to a stand still as King Alfred was had his coronation in Westminster Abbey. The coronation itself was quite low key, Alfred being much like his father when it came to spending money, quite frugal. He instead paid for a banquet for the many common people who were attending the celebrations, greatly adding to his popularity. King Alfred was quite an odd sort, the first King of Britain to be born and reign after the French Revolution, he had what could be diagnosed today as ADHD as he his later actions hinted to while King.
Alfred was a fine young man, who was noticeably more liberal than many of his brother monarchs. Charming, pleasant and down to Earth, Alfred was also simple, naïve and quick to anger (Although equally quick to forgive) and highly impulsive. Alfred had also taken a huge interest in the Empire, having heard stories of Canada from his father and the great sub-continent of India from the Duke of Wellington (Something of a father figure for Alfred after the death of William IV). Alfred longed to explore the Empire but the confines of his station in life went against this. Alfred was not one to be outdone however…
Attending his coronation were nobles and officials from all over Europe and beyond with Abraham Lincoln being sent a personal invitation by Alfred while Ambassadors from the Shawnee Nation and New England also attended the event. The coronation marked the start a new phase in British history, that which would be called the Alfredian Period.
In one of the cultural milestones of Native America, the novel Cankpe Opi Waniyetu (Wounded Knee’s Winter) was published too much critical acclaim. Co authored by a Sioux tribesman Tahca Sapa and a Shawnee man Lalawethika, the novel was the first of its kind for Shawnee and Sioux culture, a semi-fictional account of a soldier fighting in the North American Theatre of the Four Year War. The novel was published at a crucial time for Wanci Oyate as the people and the nation itself were at a crossroads, politically and culturally. The divisions between the traditional way of life and the new ideas coming from Canada and the other American countries were becoming more and more pronounced on a daily basis. Cankpe Opi Waniyetu was seen as a response to this, coming from two soldiers who had fought during the Four Year War.
The novel itself was semi-autobiographical with details from both the author’s experiences during the War being used for it. The plot concerned a young Sioux Man, who’d lived a fairly traditional life going off to War with several friends, each one representing traditional virtues of the Sioux people. The novel focused on their travels as they fought the Battles of the War, with the Battle of the borders culminating in the death of the last of the protagonist’s friends. The Battle for the protagonist culminates with him losing his hunting knife, a weapon which he had inherited from his family for generations, forcing him to pick up a rifle dropped by a dead soldier and thus starting his transition to leaving his own way of life and adopting another.
The novel follows the protagonist’s training in the Shawnee Army, losing all of his previous ways of thought as he became part of this new Army. The finale of the novel took place at the Second Battle of Cleveland where, armed with his new rifle, the protagonist fights the enemy and aids in the victory, the final scene of the novel being the end of the battle, when the protagonist walked through the carnage, lamenting the destruction of his traditions and ideals, but realising that it had saved his people. Knowing that there was no choice, the protagonist shouldered his gun once more and returned to his unit, ready to fight once again.
The novel was of huge importance not only in its native lands but also further as the two authors were contacted by a Canadian publisher who felt that the story could spread wider. The novel, when finally printed became a huge success with copies soon reaching Britain which then started to sell the novel. Compared to Don Quixote in terms of literary significance, Cankpe Opi Waniyetu became the first great tragic novel produced by Native American culture and would soon take its place as a literary masterpiece.
The Californian Republic had its first national election on the 21st only to go through the pains of political turmoil as the white settlers clashed with the growing Chinese community on the Western Coast and the Mormons in the Eastern lands were refused to bring forth a candidate of their own. The Constitution of the Californian Republic was very unpopular with many people seeing it as a way to replace the Mexican ruling class with another. The political turmoil increased as Juntism became popular amongst the common people; the simple political philosophy was seen as an answer to their problems. Although weak at first, the Juntist Revolutionary movement was quickly gaining support along the Western Coast and further inland.