This timeline grew out of a way to plausibly maintain independence of the Republic of Texas by having France actually give it the loan they were so close to getting OTL. Eventually I decided upon a point of divergence a few years before the defeat of Napoleon where Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, a.k.a. Viscount Castlereagh, is not named leader of the House of Commons on the assassination of Spencer Perceval. Instead another senior Tory was given that position. With Castlereagh able to focus more on his job as Foreign Secretary instead of being forced to waste time supporting unpopular bills in the House of Commons, the man who was the architect of the Congress System and chief rival to Klemens von Metternich of Austria eventually becomes Prime Minister of England instead of committing suicide in 1822. Without distractions and stress, he keeps Britain in a more hands-on mode with respect to continental affairs as well as able to maintain a friendship with Alexander I of Russia that prevents him from getting co-opted into Metternich's way of thinking. Things start off slowly but eventually end up very different than what we know.
I'll intersperse the maps I have made so far along with the timeline write-ups I have concocted.
Europe and the Balance of Power, Part I, 1812-1827
In 1812, Viscount Castlereagh is passed over for the leadership of the House of Commons and it is instead given to Charles Bathurst (and later George Canning). This frees Castlereagh having to support Lord Sidmouth's Six Acts in order to retain his position as Foreign Secretary, and instead of slowly withdrawing after the Aix-la-Chapelle Congress, Castlereagh and the United Kingdom maintain a strong presence in the Concert of Europe. Castlereagh is a decisive, intelligent personality with a strong dislike for absolutism, and the other Great Powers welcome the protocols he authors for the Congress of Vienna and it is him we thank for the modern concept of “balance of power”. In addition, Castlereagh had the ear of Alexander I of Russia, though he and the other leaders were suspicious of his religious zeal, and Austria and Prussia also of his seeming Jacobin sympathies. Klemens von Metternich, Chancellor of the Austrian Empire, oddly initially allies himself with Castlereagh. Even though balance of power means the prevention of another Napoleonic chaos in Europe to both powerful men, their ideas on implementation are very different. Metternich is a strong reactionary, intent upon stifling any republican or nationalistic tendency anywhere, whereas Castlereagh is a staunch anti-interventionist who sees the United Kingdom’s obligation to the Vienna Congress resolutions as supporting the territorial boundaries but not political ones. Castlereagh’s relationship with Alexander, though nominally an absolute monarch like the Austrian Kaiser, did not help him in Metternich’s eyes. This difference of opinion eventually leads to the two becoming more and more at odds at later Congresses, most notably Troppau where Castlereagh is able to convince Alexander to denounce Metternich’s protocols for military intervention in other states.
In 1820, Colonel Rafael del Riego y Nuñez leads a mutiny in Cádiz that turns into national revolution which by March leads to King Ferdinand VII restoring the 1812 constitution under duress. Liberals in Portugal, receiving encouragement by the successes of their political brethren in Spain also start a revolution that brings John VI home from Brazil, where he had fled from the invasions of Bonapartist Spain in 1807. John VI’s plight is not nearly so difficult, as the British Navy, which had been in charge since the wars with Bonapartist Spain, helps John VI stay in power though events require him to send both his wife Carlota and second son, Michael, into exile in 1823. When John dies in 1828 his son Peter, who had declared the Empire of Brazil in 1822 after his father left, is abdicates as King of Portugal in favour of his daughter Maria shortly after taking the crown.
When the unrest in Portugal and Spain spreads to the peninsular parts of both the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, Castlereagh is adamant in his policy of non-intervention. His relationship with Tsar Alexander I since Aix-la-Chapelle and Carlsbad is sufficient to keep Alexander in a more liberal frame of mind and out of Metternich’s orbit. As a result, Metternich’s desire to answer the calls of the two Italian monarchs was stifled. Ferdinand I and Charles Felix have no choice but to accept the constitutions they or they regents had granted to prevent full-scale revolt.
Metternich views this as insupportable, and when Ferdinand VII appeals to him in 1822 for help in restoring his power, Metternich calls for it to be added to the issues to be discussed in Verona that fall.
Austria and Prussia, absolute monarchies, are for intervention in Spain and restoring Ferdinand to absolute status instead of the constitutional monarch he had agreed to become. Castlereagh and the United Kingdom were against any intervention in Spain, as was Alexander, who had remained in Castlereagh’s orbit since Troppau. The French plenipotentiaries, Montmorency and Chateaubriand, go against the directives of Louis XVIII and his Prime Minister Villèle, and push for France to be allowed to intervene in Spain, trying to gain prestige for the Ultra-Royalist faction. They are humiliated, however, when both Castlereagh and Alexander denounce their plans as “trying to resurrect the shade of Napoleon”. Back home, this humiliation leads to political recriminations and the fall of the Villèle ministry and the restoration of Decazes to the post.
The Cadíz Progresista’s hold on power has never been that strong or pervasive, and their continuing attempts at a Bonapartist-like centralization angers various regions that had retained some autonomy from the Habsburg days when the Spanish crowns were all legally separate entities. In 1825 Aragon, Valencia and Catalonia declare independence from the Progresista Cortes in Madrid as the reconstituted Crown of Aragon and elect Ferdinand Karl Joseph of Austria-Este as their new king. The Progresista Cortes attempt take back Aragon, as well as further ham-fisted ventures in centralization, but in a country still devastated by the Peninsular War, this spells the end of the frail liberal coalition. Within six months, the Andalucian, Leonese, Navarrese and Basque regions have also declared independence. As battalions declare for their local governments the military support that a handful of years earlier had allowed the Progresistas to defeat the absolutists dissolves. Two years later the Castilian rump-state is forced to acknowledge the independence of Aragon, Navarre and Leon. Castile is only able to keep hold of Andalusia because of the alliance between moderate liberals and absolutists, leaving Ferdinand VII with greatly reduced powers. To satisfy the absolutist regimes of Austria, Prussia and Russia, Leon is required elect a King and they choose Leopoldo of Salerno, second youngest brother of the newly crowned King Francis I of the Two Sicilies.
Europe and the Balance of Power, Part II, 1827-1847
In April of 1827, Castlereagh is named Prime Minister when Lord Liverpool resigns after having a cerebral haemorrhage. He names George Canning as his successor as Foreign Secretary, due to former experience in the role, however Canning dies a few months later in August, the shortest term ever for any Foreign Secretary in the United Kingdom. By now, pro-Hellenic opinions in Europe has reversed the Great Powers’ opinion on Greek independence which they had formerly rejected. The Ottoman Empire, on ultimatum from Russia, had signed the Akkerman Convention regarding the Danubian Principalities and Servia and withdrew the troops sent there as a result of the Greek Revolution. When the Ottomans reject mediation by the Five Great European Powers, British, French and Russian fleets combine and destroy the Ottoman Egyptian fleet. Further fighting by the Ottomans results in France and the United Kingdom proposing an independent Greek state, to which Russia reluctantly agrees.
When unrest strikes Europe again in August 1830, as the Belgian Walloons rebell against the Dutch, Castlereagh is still Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, but by the time things come to a head in December, the Tories have lost the election and Earl Grey is Prime Minister with Viscount Palmerston as the Foreign Secretary. Palmerston, however, shares many of the same views as Castlereagh with respect to the balance of power. When insurrection breaks out in the Duchy of Parma and the Duchess Marie Louise is forced to flee, her father, Emperor Francis II of Austria, demands to be able to send troops to her aid. In order to secure French acquiescence to the violation of 15 years of non-intervention, Palmerston must agree to allowing the new Belgian Parliament’s choice of king, Louis de Nemours, second son of the newly installed King Louis-Philippe of France. By 1834, however, Castlereagh is Prime Minister once again after Grey is ousted over the Irish question of appropriations and an abortive ministry by Viscount Melbourne.
When Ferdinand VII, formerly King of Spain, now only the King of Castile, dies in 1833, his brother the Infante Carlos takes the throne as Charles V. This adherence to the semi-Salic system established by Philip V of Spain was demanded of the moderate liberals by the absolutists in exchange for retaining the constitution of 1812. Ferdinand’s wife, Maria Christina, tried to convince him to revive the Sanction of Charles IV on his deathbed and she tried to use this to start a rebellion to place her daughter, Isabella on the throne. There were minor skirmishes throughout Castile, instigated by the Izquierdistas though they never amount to anything serious.
In March, 1828, Prince Michael, uncle to the 9 year old Queen Maria II, stages a coup and proclaims himself King Michael I of Portugal. Peter I of Brazil, formerly IV of Portugal and Maria’s father, abdicates his throne in 1830 and returns to Portugal to help his daughter. Unable to get help from the British or French governments due restrictions upon them by the Concert of Europe, Peter raises a private army which trains in the Azores before invading Porto in July 1832 where he remains besieged for a nearly year until he takes Lisbon in July 1833 and succeeds to quash the remaining Miguelites by that fall. As the Belgian war for independence finally winds down, to the detriment of the Netherlands, Duchy of Limburg is created to compensate the German Confederation’s Grand Duchy of Luxembourg it’s loss of half its territory. Limburg is technically independent but is in personal union with the Dutch crown and is governed as an integral part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. At this point, Europe’s attention turns back towards North America with the arrival of Texian diplomats looking for diplomatic recognition and loans for the cash-strapped republic. Sam Houston, former president, entertains nobles across Western Europe, telling his tales of growing up with the Cherokee Nation. Even the petty bourgeoisie and peasantry eagerly await the next installment of his tales as they are serialized across Europe. In 1844 and 1846, respectively, the Republics of Río Grande and Yucatán are recognized by several European states on the coattails of burgeoning trade with Texas and the United States’ slide into tariffs and protectionism and disinterest in the outside world. France under Louis-Philippe, most especially, looks at the nascent democracies of the New World for ways to expand its influence outside of the stifling environment of the Concert of Europe.
In 1835 Texas declares its independence from Mexico and after a short war the two enter an uneasy, unofficial truce punctuated by the occasional skirmish.
By 1839, the Republic of Texas is deep in debt and only getting deeper with a failed attempt a printing paper money to stave off the impending doom. Encouraged by the recognition from France and sick of former President Sam Houston’s “irritating meddling” in affairs of state, President Mirabeau Lamar sends him to Europe with James Hamilton in order to aid James Pinckney Henderson’s work in obtaining the diplomatic recognition all Texians wanted. “At the very least,” Lamar is reported to have said, “it will make it easier to get the charter to move the capital to Waterloo without the current capital’s namesake constantly voicing his objections.” The only problem there was what new name to give it that did not invoke Napoleon’s defeat and offend Europe?
Houston’s natural charisma and oratory skills makes the team successful and gets the young, cash-strapped Republic back on its feet. How could King Louis-Philippe say “non” to the quick-witted and amiable charmer whose tales of life with the Cherokee were being serialized in Le Nationale and the talk in coffee houses across the rest of Europe? That France’s ambitions in Europe were stifled only made the prospect of influence in North America that much more attractive. The fifteen million francs into the Texian coffers is exactly what is needed to relieve the nascent nation of its crushing debt.
Also necessary, many historians later say, were Houston’s newspaper royalties from those serializations, for he came to love French brandies almost as much as the French loved his stories. The incidents were mercifully kept hush-hush by the papers, for none wanted to be embargoed from the immensely popular stories. Who knows what damage would have been done to Texian negotiations had those stories came to public attention?
Alphonse Dubois de Saligny, the French chargé d'affaires whom Houston had sweet-talked into a favourable report when they met in New York City, returns to Texas in 1840 and sets up consuls in Austin, the new capital, and Galveston where the French loan made possible the building of new port facilities. By 1841, French trade, especially cotton, starts to flow through Texas, as well as from French citizens in Mexico moving to Texas to take up the three million acres reserved for their settlement. Many French businessmen move to Galveston to take advantage of the advantageous terms Houston, Henderson and Hamilton had conceded, to be followed by Germans after the Unrest of ‘48. Today the European Quarter of Galveston rivals New Orleans as a tourist destination for those wishing to experience Old World charm in the New World.
Belgium and the Netherlands follow the French with recognition, trade, embassies, and even a Dutch loan. The Hanseatic cities in northern Germany, not to be out-done by the Dutch, also jump at a treaty with Texas as an entry to North American trade in as last grasp at their fading legacy. Texian indigo-dyed cotton becomes a status symbol for the middle class and petty nobility all around the Baltic Sea and Central Europe. Denmark follows suit, a few years later, as a means to an end in its rivalry with Sweden.
Even the British, though they are wary of negative influences on their American and Mexican relations, facilitate trade from the Republic at favourable duties and give approval to a legation in 1844. Diplomatic recognition, however, will have to wait.
Sam Houston’s triumphant return to Texas results in a landslide victory over David Burnet for a second term as president of the Republic. With the economy on the road to a sound financial footing, Sam Houston rebuffs renegade American President John Tyler’s offer to reopen talks for Texian annexation in 1843. Houston had realized this was an unrealistic goal during his first term as president and while there was still a minority who wanted it, his successes in France had made it effectively a non-issue.
In the United States of America, James Polk becomes the dark horse candidate for the Democratic nomination because of Martin van Buren’s anti-slavery stance and picks up votes because of his support of Secretary of State Abel Upshur’s theory that Britain was pressing the Texians for emancipation. While this was enough for Polk to win the Democratic nomination he loses the election on the economic question to Henry Clay who almost manages to equal William Henry Harrison’s win with two-thirds of the states. The shift in trade to new neighbour to the south, though not initially large, worries the public less than a year out of the recession caused by the Panic of 1837. The idea of steady jobs even during recessions thanks to government public works projects to build roads, bridges, canals and railroads is ultimately more attractive to the American electorate than continuing expansion.
Texian independence and success was to have profound consequences in the former Viceroyalty of New Spain.
Numerous other Mexican states revolted in 1835 against Santa Anna's Siete Leyes though only the Texians were successful that time. On January 17, 1840 a meeting was held at the Oreveña Ranch near Laredo, Tamaulipas. A group of notables from the states of Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas advocated a rebellion seeking secession from Mexico and formation of their own federal republic with Laredo as the capital. Pointing to the success of the Texians they were able to convince the state governments to sign on to the cause of independance. The new nation was called the Republic of the Río Grande. The state governments go along with it and appoint Antonio Canales, leader of the notables, as their general over the states' militias. This allows Canales (plus a little Texian combat experience as leavening) to defeat Mexican generals Mariano Arista and Rafael Vasquez and their armies which are composed, in typical Santa Anna fashion, of convicts and forced draftees with a penchant for running away.
The Yucatán, which also had a fractious relationship with the central government, declared independence for a final time in 1846, ironically due to a post-Santa Anna government rejecting the 1843 agreement on Yucatecan autonomy. Texas, going to the main chance, is able to use its established relations in Europe to successfully advocate varyings levels of trade and diplomatic recognition for the Republic of the Río Grande and Republic of Yucatán, primarily convincing the European nations that the volume difficulties plaguing the port of Galveston can be overcome by expansion to Río Grandean and Yucatecan ports of Corpus Christi and Campeche.
Henry Clay’s election as president of the United States was the death knell for the Jacksonian ideal of expansion and a domination of the Presidency by the Whigs until Mallard Fillmore’s handling of the Kansez-Nibraska question.
Clay’s American System had stimulated talks of a transcontinental railroad, especially after the organization of Oregon Territory from the American share of the lands of the Pacific Northwest that had formerly been held in condominium with Great Britain. However, this required enabling acts of organization to facilitate railroad land grants, legislatures to create necessary laws. Of course, this was also necessary as more and more people were illegally settling in the unorganized territory remaining from the Louisiana Purchase.
The California Gold Rush starts, but after almost 15 years of increasing autonomy and home rule, the attempts to impose greater central control in Alta California to drain taxation- and economic-related monies from the gold rush back to the central government prompted Alta California to declare independence. Attempts were made to bring it to heel but were just as toothless and unsuccessful as all the bluster against Texas, Rio Grande and Yucatan was. Since the the Mormon Migration into Mexico had settled on land granted them by Pio de Jesus Pico, Governor of Alta California, Salt Lake City supported Monterey by sending a couple of hundred militiamen to help fight for independence, but the only action they got was helping to chase a disorganized convict army that had already been routed by the Californios back across the Gila River. Nobody yet realized how strained the relationship was to become. Some adventurous Americans, but not many thanks to a solid Whig economy back home, join in with Europeans escaping the Revolutions of 1848 as well as Chileans, Mexicans and Chinese. Most Americans moving west prefered to settle in places like Salem or Portland, and those that chose to emigrate mostly headed north to the Columbia and New Caledonia colonies of Britain. Still, the 150,000 new residents changed Alta California dramatically and set it off on the road to being the successful multicultural nation that today is often referred to as "The Argentina of the North".
In the United States, tensions over the place of slavery in the Union were rising as many Democrats and Whigs in the South wanted the new territories to be organised out west to be given “popular sovereignty”. That is, to decide for themselves whether slavery was to be allowed or not. As most of the territory was north of the Missouri Compromise Line of 36°30’, this angered many. Fillmore’s support for popular sovereignty brought Whig factionalism to the fore that had been pushed into the background since 1844. Having succeeded Clay after his death in office three years into his second term, Fillmore expected to be nominated for his own second term, but the divisions he created resulted in Daniel Webster receiving the most votes after numerous ballots and a push by northern, anti-slavery Whigs against the southern faction’s preference of Fillmore.
Whigs slowly became more and more disaffected over things like the Bleeding Kansez incidents, many joining the Know Nothing movement which made a strong showing in the midterm elections of 1858. During this time, Kansez went through three constitutional conventions before the one was finally provide to the U.S. Congress for approval and pushed through by Daniel Webster with support from a coalition of Whigs, Free Soil Democrats and Republicans. Signing the bill for the creation of the state of Kansez on the 29th of January, 1861, was the last and some say only effective thing Webster was able to do in his fraught and difficult term. The remainder of Kansez Territory is organized in February, adopting the capital city and laws of the extra-legal Washing Territory which had been organised by settlers in western Kansez and southwestern Nibraska because of lack of attention by both territorial governments. Hiram J. Graham, the local delegate to congress, had put forth an unsuccessful bill in 1858 for the organization of a new territory, and this was dusted off, modified and slapped into place as the last successful act of teh coalition before the dissolution of the 36th Congress of the United States.
Many northern Whigs Party joined with some Free Soil Democrats in creating the new Republican Party which also gained seats in the midterms and nominated John C. Frémont for the 1860 presidential election with. The remaining Whigs stick with the Know Nothing movement and form the American Party which selects Fillmore as their candidate. Democratic candidate Stephen Douglas wins the election in 1860 because the similarity in economic platforms causes the Republicans and American Party to split the vote. However, Douglas and the Democrats are forced to absorb some of the Whig economic ideas on internal improvements into their platform though they repudiate the tariffs that were part of the American System.
Over the next four years the American Party and the Know Nothing movement fall apart for basically the same reasons the Whigs did, and when the 1864 Democratic convention falls apart, nominating three candidates (a northern one, a southern one, and a fringe one), Senator William H. Seward wins as the first president from the young, anti-slavery Republican Party in 1864 after gaining the endorsement of prominent Illinois Senator Abraham Lincoln who hopes to convert Seward to the more confrontational wing of the Republican Party. The election is contentious, with Seward’s unabashedly anti-slavery platform alienating what little support the Republican economic platform might have gained them.
In the three months after Seward is proclaimed president-elect, six southern states have successful referendums on secession from the USA and in early February 1864 form the Confederate States of America. The CSA demands that all US Army forts in CSA territory be turned over to them, for which Stephen Douglas starts the process and Seward, unwilling to provoke a military conflict, continues the process after being sworn into office.
In Tennessee, the seventh state to hold a referendum on secession and on the same day the Confederacy is proclaimed, the vote is 51% in favour of remaining. Over the next week riots break out across Tennessee often inflamed by anti-Republican newspaper editorials. Six days after, three people die in a riot clash between unionists and secessionists, portrayed by the Nashville Daily Gazette as a deliberate, planned attack by the unionists and as well as alleging voting and counting fraud by unionist groups. Pro-slavery demonstrations in Kansez, Kentucky and Missouri turn violent when copies of the Nashville Gazette arrive by mail over the next few days. Anonymous circulars from Tennessee start appearing across The South and get reprinted in many newspapers, alleging the Union government of President Seward is behind the riots and attacks on secessionists in Tennessee, Missouri, Kansez and Kentucky.
After months of unrest and five weeks after Seward takes office, Virginia becomes the seventh state to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. The western counties of Virginia, long disconnected from the elites in Richmond, see the outbreak of pro-union riots and a shadow government repudiating Virginia’s secession is set up in Wheeling. Seward, however, refuses to explicitly acknowledge Wheeling, only referring to “the elected and appointed gentlemen from Virginia” in a speech before the House and Senate on the violence and secession.
The day after Arkansas secedes, Tennessee holds a second referendum on secession in early May which succeeds after months of propaganda and violence supposedly perpetrated by unionists against secessionists, or so papers across the South claim, echoed by members of the new Confederate legislatures. Shortly afterwards North Carolina, considered by the Republicans to be a Union supporter in spite of its slave-holder status, declares secession from the Union, citing the violence in Tennessee as clear proof the Union does not recognize states’ rights to make their own decisions on items within their purview.
Eventually the riots die down, only occasionally boiling over, usually in response to to what both governments call “irresponsible reporting” in major newspapers. Relations ate strained but the Confederate government in Richmond knows that it must stay on the good side of France and Britain. After two years worth of the negative effects of of high tariffs on both sides designed to curtail trade plus heavy pressure by Britain and France, both the Confederacy and Union recognize the economic links between them are too deep to sever without causing severe problems. Talks are held in the Ottawa, capital of the newly independent Canada to normalize tariffs and trade as well as a swapping the rebellious counties in western Virginia for the unorganized territory south of Kansez that had been claimed but never effectively controlled by the Confederacy.
During this same period, four of the eight colonies making up British North America agree to come together as a single nation with the assent of the British Crown. Profoundly affected by the violence of the creation of the USA almost a century earlier that caused many British Loyalists to flee north, the four colonies pledge to base their confederation on “law, order and good government” as a direct counterpoint to the convulsions seemingly on the verge of civil war and a potential second wave of immigrants from the south. Britain transfers all of the territories governed by the Hudsons Bay Company to the young nation two years later, and a year after that allows the western colonies of Columbia and New Caledonia to join Canada as well creating the largest nation by land area in the Americas.
Mexico, plagued by continuing instability thanks to the struggle between conservative and liberal facts, refuses to recognize the breakaway republics of Texas, Río Grande, Yucatán and Alta California as anything other than rebellious provinces. However, though internal conflicts make them unable to do much more than talk. Santa Anna, in exile for almost a decade, returns in 1853 when the Conservative factionalistas invite him back and his autocratic style and its aftermath eventually throw the country into civil unrest and rebellion that erupts into actual civil war in 1858. The four Republics unofficially help the losers in the Mexican War of Reform and Leonardo Marquez's guerrilla operations after 1861. In order to stop Marquez and gain some solidity of control, President Benito Juarez agrees to a recognition of the four Republics in early 1862 as a concession to the British, French and Spanish fleets that had arrived off the coast of Veracruz after he suspended payment on debts from the civil war. Juarez is able to consolidate power from the conservatives with the support of French troops that remain behind to assure Mexico continues its debt payments. He continues liberal reforms based on the model of the French Empire until his death in office in 1872, by which time he had managed to almost completely turn things around. With urban Mexicans debating national identity, the rejection of indigenous cultures, a new passion for French culture, the challenge of creating a modern nation by means of industrialization and scientific modernization was under way. Following Juarez's death, his successors were only notable for the 1876 failed attempt at rebellion by a general-turned-minor-politician from Veracruz named Porfírio Díaz who had mistaken the bemoaning over changes in traditional ways and influence of France as a lack of confidence in the continuation of the economic reforms of the so-called "Juarezato" faction of liberals.
With the Republic of the Rio Grande working, did the Sommervell expedition somehow succeed? Did Emperor Norton still occur?
I'm sure that an Anglo-South African businessman made destitute from bad decisions and then gone crazy can still become amusingly popular in 1860s San Francisco, yes. :-)
As for Somervell and the Black Bean Incident, no that specific would not happen as General Adrian Woll's Army would have been fighting the more numerous militias of the more heavily populated Tamaulipas, Coahuila and Nuevo León instead of the much lighter population of Tejano western Texas and probably never make it to San Antonio for there to be a return attack from Texas. However given the attitude of Santa Anna, there might possibly have been a similar incident just with Río Grandean troops striking back after two Mexican invasions.
Remember commenting on this on another site but something just occurred to me. Would the capital of Columbia be as far south as it is rather than on the longer established settlement around Victoria and Vancouver?
Can't remember if I mentioned this before but rather surprised that Steward, who is generally painted as an hard-liner on the slavery issue was so passive in allowing the Confederacy to get away without fighting, especially given the bitter conflict in Tennessee and other places?
Anyway hoping to see more as it looks an interesting TL.
The original Fort Vancouver, which was HBC's administrative centre for the Columbia Department, is where modern, OTL Vancouver, Washington is, across the river for Portland, Oregon.
James Douglas set up Fort Victoria (modern day Victoria, BC on Vancouver Island) was set up in 1843 for a worst case scenario. When that happened in OTL in 1846, that is where HBC administration moved to, and it became the capital of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1849.
The Crown Colony of British Columbia, which before 1871 was just the lower half of modern day mainland B.C., was created in 1858 and New Westminster (southeast of modern OTL Vancouver, BC) was built as its capital at that point, too. The first settlement in what is modern day OTL Vancouver, B.C. did not happen until 1862 in what is now known as Marpole neighbourhood.
To flesh out this bit of my ATL for you:
In OTL, the Colony of Vancouver Island was created in 1849 as a response to the USA creating the Territory of Oregon. In my ATL this becomes instead the creation of the Colony of Columbia from the HBC Columbia District. Since there never was any reason for the HBC administrative centre to move, Fort Vancouver is chosen as the capital of the new colony.
In 1857 the Frasier Gold Rush started with thousands congregating around Yale, B.C. and the OTL British Government responded by creating the mainland only colony of British Columbia out of the remaining bit of the Columbia District above the 49th parallel plus the HBC's New Caledonia District to the north in August 1858. The analogue in my OTL, because the Columbia District was already made into a colony, is for Great Britain to create the Colony of Caledonia from HBC's New Caledonia District. HBC's administrative capital was Fort St. James on the southern shore of Lake Stuart, so I used that as the capital of the new colony, too.
As for Seward, while his was very definitely an uncompromising abolitionist, he was also more of a negotiator and the dove to Lincoln's hawk in modern-day political terminology. My reading of hm is that he would continue the hand-over of US Army forts to the CSA as his predecessor would have started after the first secessions so a Ft. Sumter incident would never happen. He'd almost certainly fail in negotiating reentry to the Union by the Confederates because of his uncompromising abolitionism, but by then it is too late. Peaceful negotiations gives the CSA legitimacy in the eyes of France and Great Britain to allow them to diplomatically recognize the CSA. They wouldn't like each other and not cooperate very well at first, but there wouldn't be a war.
The second america map has two Missouris, one of which ought be arkansas. is that by intent?
Seems there is a US-Missouri and a CSA-Missouri.
That's because DeviantArt doesn't allow for transparent links to an image which gets updated. :-( I actually caught that mistake the same day I posted that image. I've edited my post to show the updated image on DA.
After nearly a decade of relative quiet, 1848 and 1849 are two very chaotic years for Europe.
In January, the island Kingdom of Sicily is wracked by rebellion against Neapolitan control and later that spring declares itself independent of the Kingdom of Naples. King Ferdinand II, initially favoured by the common folk, has become less popular since beginning his reign and is dealing with problems on the peninsula as well. He is forced to grant the Kingdom of Naples a liberal constitution. A force is sent to Sicily and in a bloody war lasting nine months, Frederick II reasserts his control. From then on, both his Kingdoms are the subject of rumour through Europe regarding their mismanagement and poverty which are only given more substance by the stories of repression by the secret police told by the many Sicilian and Neapolitan immigrants to the New World.
Grand Duke Leopold II of Tuscany also declares a new and liberal constitution in February to quell unrest, as does, unexpectedly, Pope Pius IX for the Papal States, and the French overthrow King Louis-Philippe Orléans and proclaim another republic. Even the long-powerful Austrian Foreign Minister Klemens von Metternich resigns his post in March as the Foreign Secretary and flees Vienna because of violent unrest across the Austrian Empire.
King Charles Albert of Sardinia is yet another monarch forced to grant a liberal constitution under duress because of rising pan-Italian nationalism, and those same pressures also push him, with Papal, Neapolitan and Tuscan support into invading the Austrian component kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia and take advantage of its rebellion against the Austrian Habsburgs. Initially successful in forcing the General Joseph Radetzky to retreat, the Papal, Neapolitan and Tuscan troops soon withdraw over fears that Sardinia is using the pan-Italian movement to its own ends. With the loss of those troops, French and British pressure is sufficient to make Charles Albert withdraw from Lombardy-Venetia and sign an armistice with Austria at Curtatone in May. Without that external focus of Italian nationalism to capture his citizens attention, he leaves the new constitution in place.
In Tuscany, however, further developments cause Leopold II to flee to Neapolitan Gaeta in March of 1849, joining Pius IX who had fled there three months previously and republics are declared in both their realms. Unlike Pius IX, Leopold II is generally well liked by his people and soon receives offers to return. First by counter-revolutionaries afraid of and wishing to prevent Austrian intervention, and later to be president of the new republic when it becomes clear that the Austrian forces remaining in Lombardy-Venetia cannot spare the troops after General Radetzky’s departure for Hungary. Pius IX eventually returns to Rome as well, his temporal power severely curtailed outside the Vatican demesnes, but not absent. The Vatican is given two deputies in parliament and finances the Roman Republic’s debt.
North in Denmark where uprisings were also underway and King Frederick VII joins the list of monarchs forced into granting liberal constitutions to their realms. Banking on the anti-interventionist policies the Concert of Europe has displayed, as well as the parallel rebellious distractions across Europe, he included the mostly German duchies of Holstein, Schleswig and Saxe-Lauenburg in the process, giving them separate but subordinate parliaments in union constitution to integrate them more firmly into the Danish realm while still giving the citizens expanded rights. Duke Christian August II of Augustenborg, also taking advantage of the 1848 uprisings, claims the dukedoms of Schleswig, Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg. Because the three are largely populated by Germans and he himself is mostly German (though with links to the Danish Oldenburgs), Christian August tries to get Prussian support for the Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg duchies to leave Denmark and become full members of German Confederation. Christian August is initially able to attract many pro-German sympathisers as well as Prussian help in the form of an army which enters Schleswig in April. However, after several losses to Danish forces Prussian troops are withdrawn from the three duchies. Prussia gives into to all Danish demands and signs the Treaty of Malmö in August of 1848. In the meantime, the petty nobility and bourgeoisie of the three duchies were withdrawing their support from Christian August after learning of the new Danish constitution and their own local parliaments which gave them expanded rights against the upper nobility like Christian August II. As a result he drops his claims to the three duchies in return for being named heir presumptive to Frederick VII who is childless and believed to be infertile. With Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, as relative of the House of Oldenburg, insisting on the indissoluble union of the two dukedoms and the Danish crown, the Congress of London in January, 1849 accepts the Treaty of Malmö and the naming o Christian August II of Augustenborg as heir, but requires Denmark to join the German Zollverein. This is based in part on the precedent from Luxemburg and Limburg ten years previous and is supposedly to offset any economic losses that would arise from the new constitutions of Holstein and Saxe-Lauenburg, being subordinate to the Danish one, only nominally leaving them in the German Confederation. Frederick VII and the rest of the Danish nobility, however, see it as a chance for increased trade and a road to supremacy over their Swedish rivals. Seeing more of the trade from North America, Texian indigo-dyed cotton fabrics become popular among the petty bourgeoisie and lower nobility.
In Austria, Kaiser Ferdinand I has insurrections throughout his empire and in April, 1848 the Hungarian Diet forces him to enact a set of reforms, granting them wide powers. However, even though the Hungarian Prime Minister, Batthyány, is a supporter of Hungary remaining in the Empire, the young Franz Joseph who becomes Kaiser after his uncle and father abdicate in quick succession revokes the new laws in August. As a result, Batthyány declares open revolution in September and hastily gathers an army. The Hungarians are defeated in October at Schwechat when they try to come to the aid of the rebellion in Vienna, but they are able to mostly hold their own inside Hungary to start. Their undoing, though, is two-fold. First, the Kingdom of Hungary is in some ways the Austrian Empire in miniature right down to the mistreated subordinate ethnic groups wanting to rebel, which Austria uses to its advantage. The second, is thanks to the British and French pressures on Sardinia, the Kaiser is able to call General Radetzky and part of his armies back from Italy in August. Because of the difficulties crossing the Alps, Radetzky marches through Trieste, Laibach and Agram and enters Hungary from the south in November, surprising the militarily inexperienced Hungarian head of state Lajos Kossuth who was having problems controlling his generals. By the time Kossuth cedes control to Artúr Görgey in June, 1849, it is too late. Though preventing Hungarian independence, Radetzky’s return is actually a good thing for Hungary in that Austria no longer needed the Russian troops the new Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg was requesting from Tsar Nicholas I who would have been willing to send up to 200,000 troops which would have annihilated the Hungarians. As it is, while Radetzky’s military genius allows the 70,000 troops he brought from Northern Italy to decide things against the otherwise equally matched Austrian and Hungarian armies, Franz Joseph still has to accept many of the April Laws of the previous year when the treaty is signed at Világos in August by Görgey and Radetzky. The Hungarians, as the losers, have to accept the severing of Serbo-Croatian lands from the Lands of the Crown of St. Stephen, continued though lessened imperial taxation and subordination of the now permanent Hungarian Diet to the Imperial one.
The Germanies were not free of strife either with everything from protests to outright armed insurrection breaking out in many of the states.. The Diet of the German Confederation is dissolved and the Frankfurt Parliament is called to creat a unifying constitution for a German Empire. It is populated by deputies from across the German Confederation but from the beginning is rife with the combination of regional politics, Austro-Prussian rivalries and moderate/radical dissension causing serious problems in talks to ostensibly unify the states. The Frankfurt Parliament ultimately fails and the constitution, without an emperor, it produces is only recognized the smaller states but not by Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, Hanover or Saxony.
In Baden, Bavaria’s Rhenish Palatinate exclave and Saxony as a result of the failed Parliament, there are significant armed insurrections in the spring of 1849. While Baden’s and the Rhenish Palatinate’s rebellions are successful, the Saxon one was disorganized, being mostly students, and lacked weapons. In spite of not being able to receive Prussian assistance, the Saxon army was still able to crush the rebellion and continue the constitutional monarchy which had been in place since 1830. Because Austria’s own internal issues were under control, through not resolved, by this time, it stood with great Britain and France against Prussian assistance of local monarchs across the confederation under the guise that these were independent states and the Concert of Europe had a tradition of maintaining the balance of power by preventing such intervention as in Italy and Iberia. In reality, though, this was just another facet of the Austro-Prussian rivalry.
As a result, the new Republic of Baden and the Rheinland Republic are the only significant political changes in Central Europe, though the high emigration to the new countries in North and South America lessening the workforce population did what the Frankfurt Parliament could not - increase the pace of industrialization and economic integration and thus favourable views of unification across Germanized Central Europe.
Not even France is immune to revolution, no matter how liberal King Louis-Philippe was compared to previous French monarchs, and in December the reconstituted French Republic elects Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte as president who is popular thanks to his support for the universal male suffrage now granted.
Even though things are no longer violent, that doesn’t mean Europe itself had calmed down. Nationalist and democratic sympathies, as a result of the republican successes in Baden, France, the Rheinland, Rome and Tuscany, are often displayed in newspapers and heard in coffee houses and taverns across the continent. Many people hope or fear the changes they feel are coming.
futurist: Good luck to you, MN!
Jan 17, 2019 5:10:51 GMT
MinnesotaNationalist: well, that was the most underwhelming jury duty ever. Came in one day, was told to go home, and now I'm told that I'm not needed anymore for this session.
Jan 23, 2019 4:26:12 GMT
ieph: I've been actually thinking of just spending my time here, gradually decreasing my presence in AH.com. But in the meantime, I'm spending my time reviving one of my old WIPs sadly lost to the sands of time (I guess)
Jul 23, 2019 11:24:08 GMT
ieph: In fact, I'm even thinking of reviving my wikibox TL right here.
Jul 23, 2019 20:21:52 GMT
jennysnooper87: If that's the case, would it be okay if I moved the TL from AH.com to this site?
Aug 21, 2019 1:53:59 GMT
railmotive: Checking out this website, seems quite nice.
Oct 23, 2019 22:35:16 GMT