In a landmark piece of legislation, the Parliament of Great Britain enacted sweeping social reforms in Ireland. The general living conditions were set to be raised to a higher standard and more efficient farming procedures were to be introduced. A timetable was also set for the Irish Parliament to reconvene, the Catholic Emancipation however set off alarm bells for many Conservatives and the legislation hugely divided Parliament, only passing due to the Liberal majority in the Commons and the influence of the aging Lord Byron in the House of Lords.
The measures introduced were to greatly increase the standard of living for Ireland. And with a clear set process for Irish Home Rule to be set up (The deadline being within five years), more noise started to be made regarding Britain to set up its own version of the Federacion. It indeed seemed to be an able idea although serious reforms were needed to any system akin to the Spanish Federacion. A meeting was taking place at the end of the year with the Federacion nations deciding on the fate of the system itself. The Lord Russell Government decided to hold off any further decisions until that conference was seen to which wasn’t expected for another year at least. The British Empire waited to see what path was going to be taken…
In the Californian Republic, one man arrived in the city of San Francisco with dangerous political ideas. Josiah Norton, a businessman from London who had made a considerable sum of money in speculation on the market during the Four Year War. He had arrived in order to take advantage of the new opportunities that were available in this new country. He soon became frustrated though when he realised the exceedingly poor condition of the Californian economy, soon falling in with the Juntist movement of the city. His extra funds greatly increased the Juntist Movement’s ability to operate in the Californian Republic and Norton’s own personality made him fit in with the real driving force behind the movement, his money and influence soon getting him a very high position in it.
Muhammad Ali, ruler of Egypt for over two decades, died after struggling with senility and a decent degree of paranoia for some time. His son, Ibrahim Pasha inherited a nation which was the strongest in Northern Africa, its borders extending as far west as former Carthage and as far south as Ethiopia. The conquest of the Sudan and the opening up of cotton as a crop greatly expanded Egypt’s wealth and resources, which themselves led to a constant move towards modernisation in the country.
With the death of Muhammad Ali, Pasha was now able to break away from the Ottoman Empire formally, wanting Egypt to be recognised as its own sovereign nation. Negotiations between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire formally allowed Egypt to become a de jure nation as well as a de facto one. The only stipulation really was the Ibrahim Pasa still had to recognise Abdulmecid, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire as the Caliph of Islam and swear an oath that neither he, nor his descendants would attempt to claim the position. Ibrahim was more than happy to accept this deal, wanting to secure the dominions of Egypt before even thinking about rocking the whole Islamic World.
For the Ottoman Empire, the formal independence of Egypt dealt with a lingering issue that had been nothing but a nuisance since the end of the brief Ottoman-Egyptian War in the 1820’s. Abdulmecid himself was happy to be free of Egypt in order to carry on his reforms of the Empire, bringing it into a more modern perspective. Since the rebellion against his father, Mahmud II and the defeat of the reactionary elements, modernisation reforms had been going on for some time, conservative elements only being able to offer token resistance for the most part. Abdulmecid was determined to make the Ottoman Empire a force to be dealt with, especially with collapse of the ancient enemy of Austria. The star of the Ottoman Empire was to ascend once more…
In Havana, Cuba, representatives from Spain, the Central American colonies and Cuba itself met in order to decide on what to do with the ideas behind the Imperial Federacion. The argument was largely to do with what had happened during the Four Year War and since it had been so easy for the South American nations to leave the Federacion, why should it go on? It was clear that reforms were needed in order for the Federacion to even survive which was why the representatives were in Havana.
The main issue threatening the Federacion was the question of whether or not it was worth it to stay together. Although fears regarding Brazil did aid the idea of staying tied to Spain, it wasn’t quite enough to warrant remaining in the Federacion. Much wrangling and convincing would be needed in order for the Central American nations to remain within the Federacion and it would take a large effort on behalf of the Spanish with much compromise and negotiating for all parties. In Britain, the Liberal Government watched with interest as they prepared legislation for electoral reform. If the Federacion was to survive, Britain would take note and act accordingly.