In Paris, the famous pro-Napoleonic playwright, Victor Hugo produced a counter leaflet to Frederick Wagner’s Rise and Fall of the Teutonic People, this one from the French perspective. Looking to impress the Empress and the Napoleonic court, Hugo wrote his leaflet as a raise of France and her culture, culminating in the rise of Napoleon, the great champion of French culture against German barbarism. Using much of the terminology used in Wagner’s work, Hugo presented the ‘Latinos’ as being the bringers of culture in all Europe, only to be dragged down by the Teutonic Race who also tried to stop the spread of culture to the Slavic peoples, only for them to overcome this difficulty by creating their own culture, superior to the Germanic one despite the difficulties against it (A nod to the Polish Empress).
The success of Hugo’s pamphlet, The Rise and Rise of the Latino People, was greeted with great sales and reading in France, Italy and Poland. It was also a great joy for the Empress to read and she subsequently made sure her son, Napoleon III read it, wanting him to be a good friend to Poland and Slavs in general. As the War of Tribulation would show, it would be a catastrophic mistake.
The Russian Fleet of twelve ships, sent to punish Japan for its actions, arrived off Hokkaido on its way to Honshu. While there, the ships bombarded several Japanese settlements and sank various fishing boats. With an additional force of 2000 soldiers on board the ships, the Russians were going all out to bring Japan to heel. The Fleet struck at Honshu’s Western Coast, striking along the Province of Yetsiu, landing troops there as the diplomats on the ships demanded to speak to the Head of State in order to gain compensation for the dead sailors of the last year and open up Japan to Russian interests.
Emperor Komei, upon hearing the news of the Russian invasion, refused to deal with them and was insistent on the Shogunate on raising an Army to fight off the foreigners. This turned out to be wishful thinking at best as after a week of waiting, the Russian force levelled the local Daimyo’s Castle with their artillery, killing many inside it. The Shogunate quickly bowed to the overwhelming pressure and sent out a delegation to negotiate with the Russians, much to the ire of many in Japan who, as the negotiations crawled by, saw this as a betrayal of Japan itself. The fact that it was the Tokugawa Shogunate which had gone through with the negotiations over the wishes of the Emperor soon became known by many of the Daimyos and Samurai. A factor which would play badly for the Shogunate when the negotiations were finished some time later.
The preparations for the elections in Ireland were going along smoothly; the conditions of the Franchise for Britain were also being used for Ireland. The role of the Irish Parliament would be that it would take control of domestic affairs for the large part but matters of foreign affairs and the Military rested firmly in London’s hands, a fact which aggravated tempers somewhat. The push for a similar style of international Government as used by the Imperial Federacion was becoming stronger in various places within Britain and other places in the Empire.
This feeling was beginning to be echoed by several within the Liberal Party; in particular, the younger politicians within the Liberal Party began appealing for the Empire to include a greater role of the colonies with Canada being mentioned in particular for its role in the Four Year War. Although support was small at first, the success of the Second Havana Accords had increased the standing that the issue had and its support. The Conservatives were dead set against any measure but they were currently in opposition and the Liberals were riding high on their electoral reform popularity although the crucial aspect of the matter would all depend on how Ireland coped with its term of Government over the next few years.
The Treaty of Fair Accord was signed between Russia and Japan as the guns of the Russian Fleet was still pointed to the Japanese coast. The Treaty forced Japan to open up many of its coastal cities to Russian trade and interests. The Treaty also forced Japan to pay compensation for the dead sailors; the Japanese who’d been killed by the Russians were not mentioned. The Treaty was greeted with elation in Russia which had not seen a major Military expansion like this that had gained so much attention in decades. It was also celebrated as a show of Russian strength against the accursed Asian people.
The Treaty would be one of many as before long, Britain, France and the other powers of Europe and America began establishing similar trade and diplomatic Treaties, each one firing up the discontent within Japan towards the Shogunate which the Daimyos and Imperial Court gleefully exploited. Over the next few years, all of Japan would become a boiling point as the Daimyo and Samurai would further resist the power of the Shogunate, leading to the events which would ultimately divide Japan.
For King Alfred, enough was enough, he had been patient enough (In his own mind) regarding Parliament. They had blocked every one of his wishes to travel the Empire and he had had enough of it. In a plan which he had cooked up with a small group of loyal friends and retainers, Alfred left the confines of Balmoral Estate on the night of the 29th September for Glasgow, travelling all night for Ayr where he subsequently boarded a small, private ship and left the shores of Britain behind him, on course for Canada. In order to gain a good lead on any ships which could have followed, Alfred had one friend stay in his room, pretending to be him with a terrible flu, having his food pushed through the door. It took three days before the deception was discovered and by that time, Alfred had escaped from British waters and was well on his way to Canada.
Although the Liberal Government tried to hush the whole affair up, it soon leaked out from people within the Balmoral Estate that the King had fled and the Conservative Opposition ate it up tremendously, howling down Lord Russell in Parliament. The rising star of the Conservative Party, Algernon Percy, the Duke of Northumberland harshly denounced the Liberal Party for being unable to bring the King under control. Such sentiment was echoed throughout the country and the famous author and political commentator, Benjamin Disraeli penned the famous rhyme:
Lord Russell is grand, our Minister of State.
But when he wants to be rid of our King
He could never seem to wait!
Lord Russell, that man of dignity and means
Hardly ever met the King
Or never at all it seems
The simplistic and rather bad ditty captured the mood of the country as it rose up to mock the Prime Minister for being unable to keep an eye on the King. With the disappearance of the King, it placed Parliament in a constitutionally awkward position as there was no King to give consent to any laws passed. A loophole was exploited in this as Alfred had left a note giving his consent to whatever Parliament passed in his absence. Several were tempted to take this as a way to get rid of the Monarchy but this wasn’t the most politically realistic of issues.
For Lord Russell, he was tired after almost five years in office and King Alfred’s disappearance being the final straw, he decided to step down from his role as Prime Minister as soon as another could be found after a leadership election. Something Russell decided to wait until he could sort out which successor would be best to carry on his own personal ideas of course…
King Alfred arrived in Newfoundland in British North America on the 1st to very choppy weather as he soon travelled further to the interior of the country. Finally resting in Montreal, his presence became wildly known and people flocked to the hotel where he was staying. The King was gracious as he often went out to greet the people, making himself very popular to the local population. His interaction with the local Government made him closely aware of Canadian politics and he privately pledged his support to any move which would give the colony further interaction within the Empire upon his return to Britain provided they left him in peace.
Despite the harsh winter, Alfred started to enjoy the Canadian wilderness, although that did not distract him from his plans of going to the other North American states as well, the first being New England and Wanci Oyate, planned for the start of the next year…