THE BLACK AND THE GRAY
An Alternate History Timeline of the War of Secession
by Robert Perkins
PART TWO--THE GILDED AGE (1865-1898)
March 1, 1865, Austin, Texas: The Texas State Legislature, reacting to widespread anger about the abandonment of Texan claims to territory in the United States Territory of New Mexico, votes to call a Convention to consider the question of secession from the Confederacy. Elections for the Convention will be held on March 30, and the Convention will meet on April 12, 1865 (the fourth anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter) in Austin.
March 2, 1865, Richmond, Virginia: President Jefferson Davis, upon hearing of the action of the Texas Legislature, addresses the Confederate Congress. He declares that the Confederate States of America will not oppose the peaceful secession of Texas from the Confederacy, if that is what it's people choose to do. "I am no Abraham Lincoln," he declares. He does, however, express his opinion that Texas will find more prosperity within the Confederacy than without it, and he asks the people of Texas to consider their action carefully before embarking on such a course. The speech meets with much applause by all members of Congress, Texas delegates included.
March 4, 1865, Washington, D.C.: George Brinton McClellan is sworn in as the seventeenth President of the United States.
March 30, 1865, Texas: Election held for delegates to the Texas Secession Convention. The number of pro-secession and anti-secession delegates elected is fairly even, so the election gives no clear forecast of the final result of the convention.
April 1865: The Confederate States and the United States exchange ambassadors for the first time. Later that month a joint commission is appointed to work out details for the elections to be held in January 1866 to determine the status of the disputed States of Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. It is decided to ask Belgium to serve as the neutral power on the tri-partite election commission in each State, and the King of Belgium agrees to this. Over the next eight months, both sides attempt to woo the people of the disputed states, and there are some accusations on both sides of "dirty tricks," but the Belgians maintain a strict impartiality and in general, the process works very well.
April 12-15, 1865: The Texas Secession Convention meets in Austin. Despite strong speeches in favor of secession by such personages as John Robert Baylor (famous Texas frontiersman, politician and Indian fighter who had served as the only Confederate governor of the Territory of Arizona), the pro-secession faction is unable to gain the necessary 2/3 majority needed to pass the secession ordinance. Texas will remain in the Confederacy, at least for now.
April 14, 1865, Chicago, Illinois: While attending a theatre performance in Chicago, Abraham Lincoln is shot in the back of the head by an embittered ex-Union soldier who blames him for the loss of the war. He dies the next morning, and is buried three days later in Springfield with little ceremony. The incident, taking place as it does in the midst of the Texas Secession drama, never makes the front page of most newspapers, North or South.
May 1865, the Union: The United States Congress passes the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which prohibits the secession of any more States from the Union. The amendment is submitted to the State Legislatures for ratification, where it meets significant resistance. But one by one, over the course of the next year and a half, it will be passed my most States.
May 1865, Richmond, Virginia: At the Confederate White House, President Jefferson Davis holds several meetings with his most trusted Cabinet member, Secretary of State Judah P. Benjamin, to discuss a thorny problem. In order to gain the British and French recognition and intervention which finally ended the war and cemented Confederate independence, the Confederate government, through its envoy Duncan Kenner, had promised to see to it that slavery would be abolished within the Confederacy within a short time after the war. Of course, no firm assurances were given as to the exact date, which is just as well, as the Confederate government itself is powerless, because of the Confederate Constitution, to interfere with slavery at all, except insofar as to prevent importation of slaves from outside the Confederate States. The emancipation of the slaves will have to come from the State legislatures, and it is clear that Jefferson Davis will never be able to persuade most of these to do so, as he has many enemies in the State Capitols of most of the Southern States.
Furthermore, they discuss the next inevitable issue: what to do with the several million emancipated slaves...landless, jobless, and with no legal status...once they have been given their freedom. It is obvious that they will have to be given citizenship at some point, and economic opportunities created for them, or else they must be colonized elsewhere. Neither Davis nor Benjamin is in favor of colonization as a viable option for the Confederacy. There are too many blacks...and they play too important a role in the national economy...for that option to be seriously considered. With regard to the citizenship issue, Davis has always considered that the freed slaves will have to be given citizenship, but that they must receive an education before they will be ready for citizenship (indeed, he managed his own plantation based on this philosophy, educating his slaves and allowing his slaves to manage their own affairs under a system of democratic self-government). Benjamin is in agreement with this as well.
The thorniest issue of all is how to bring the freed slaves into the economy. It is clear that the Confederate government cannot magically produce land for them, or make jobs for them. Benjamin argues that the freedmen should undergo a period of "peonage" during which they will be bound to work on the plantations where they currently reside, with wages, while they are educated and until such time as they have accumulated enough capital to purchase land for themselves, or otherwise establish themselves independently away from the plantation.1 Davis agrees that this will probably be the best way to go.
It is clear that no immediate progress is likely to be made on any of these issues, either, during the remainder of Davis's term as President. Benjamin states his belief that the best route will be to make emancipation and citizenship for the Negro the prime issues of the next Presidential campaign, and to begin work to lay the groundwork for this immediately, and Davis concurs. It is also decided to send Benjamin to speak to the various State legislatures, where he is generally liked and respected, to do what can be done to spur action at the State level. Benjamin's idea for a system of peonage will be well received in most State Legislatures, and most will institute such a system for freedmen over the course of the next year.
1865 onward, The Confederacy: Almost all of the Confederate States adopt the suggestion of Judah P. Benjamin that freed blacks be placed in a system of "peonage," where they are bound to work the plantations of their former masters...for wages or on a share-crop system...while they are educated and until such time as they become financially self-sufficient enough to leave the plantation. In most places, this works as Mr. Benjamin intended...providing a gateway through which freed slaves are made ready for the responsibilities of citizenship. But in some areas...notably Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama, the traditional strongholds of the States Rights Party...the system is abused to create a sort of "slavery without slavery." Plantation owners trap former slaves by getting them in debt, forcing them to continue to work the plantation in order to pay off the debt (similar to the "company stores" in the North by which factory owners kept many of their employees effectively in slavery). Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama also, unlike other Confederate States, do not adopt legislation granting State Citizenship (i.e. the ability to vote in State elections or to run for State offices) to blacks. Blacks in those States have a tough life, with little hope for betterment.
July 1865, The Union: The sweltering summer heat brings simmering resentment over the loss of the war to a boil in several major Northern cities, and riots break out. Blaming the war on the black man and the abolitionist, mobs of white Northerners rampage through the streets, lynching every black and abolitionist they can find. President McClellan, horrified by the atrocities which are taking place in cities across the North, orders the U.S. Army to put down the rioters. In some cases, volunteer regiments side with the rioters against the U.S. Army regulars, and pitched battles break out in several cities such as New York, Chicago, and Detroit.
Eventually, the Regular Army and loyal volunteer regiments put down the riots, but not before almost 10,000 blacks and many hundreds of abolitionists are shot, strung up from lamp-posts, burned alive, or beaten to death across the North. Among those killed are noted abolitionists Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Wendell Phillips, and William Lloyd Garrison. In addition approximately 5,000 rioters and 2,000 soldiers die.2 Shortly afterward, seeing perhaps the proverbial "handwriting on the wall," many blacks flee the North for safer climes, mostly to Canada or to the British colonies in the Caribbean.
Ironically, in this same month, the 13th Amendment, outlawing slavery in the United States, is ratified and becomes law. However, it does not immediately effect slaves in Kentucky, Missouri, and Maryland, which are at this time in disputed status between the Union and Confederacy. In these States, the 13th Amendment is placed in suspension pending the outcome of the elections determining the final status of those States. But it does abolish slavery in Delaware and frees the few remaining slaves in New York and other northern States (those where slavery was "grandfathered out" and a few old slaves still remain).
1865-1866, Mexico: Since 1862, the Emperor Napoleon III of France has been meddling in Mexican affairs, having deposed the elected government of President Benito Juarez and installed the Austrian Archduke Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico. However, Maximilian's throne is a shaky one, and a popular revolt in progress, led by deposed Mexican President Juarez. Maximilian is supported by several thousand French troops who have, so far, kept him on the throne. President Lincoln had, even while the war raged, sent as much support to the Juarista rebels as possible, but of course, with the war going on, was unable to do much. However, with the end of the war, the hands of the United States are freed, and President McClellan makes it known that the United States does not consider the Monroe Doctrine a dead letter, despite the outcome of the war. In June 1865 he moves 50,000 troops to the Mexican border as a show of force. To Napoleon's chagrin, the Confederate States announce their neutrality in this affair, an shortly afterward, Napoleon III withdraws his troops from Mexico. The Emperor Maximilian manages to hang on for almost another year before he is captured and executed in April 1866. President Benito Juarez once again resumes power in Mexico.
1865-1870, the Union: With the "threat" of the Confederacy on its Southern border, the U.S. Congress in April 1865 (strongly influenced by Republican hawks) raises the peacetime strength of the United States Army to 500,000, and institutes a permanent draft to see that the ranks are filled. Furthermore, the Army adopts the Spencer Rifle as its primary combat arm for the infantry, and the Spencer carbine for the cavalry (both of these will be developed as time goes on, and later models will remain the standard U.S. Army weapon until the advent of smokeless powder in the 1880s). The United States also initiates a naval building program to completely replace all of the wooden ships currently on inventory with ironclads. By 1870 the United States Navy is second only to the British Royal Navy in size and power, and the United States and Britain are in a naval arms race.
In pursuance of plans to facilitate the building of a trans-continental railroad and to settle the West, President McClellan orders the U.S. Army to see that the Plains Indians and other tribes in the Western Territories are confined to reservations. The Army, with over ten times the strength it possessed in the OTL and armed with repeating rifles, thus begins a series of Indian Wars which will quickly be concluded within five years. Several powerful tribes, such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Apache, are almost completely exterminated, and most others quickly surrender as a result. A few tribes flee to the Indian Territory, where they are given sanctuary and eventually are absorbed into the population.
1865-1867, the Confederacy: In April 1865, in response to the actions of the U.S. Congress, President Davis declares that the policy of the Confederate States will be one of armed neutrality...the Confederacy will foreswear foreign "entanglements," in emulation of the policy counseled by George Washington, but will maintain a strong defensive force to protect itself from foreign aggression.
At Davis's urging, in May 1865 the Confederate Congress sets the peacetime strength of the Confederate States Army at 350,000 men, and in June 1865 authorizes a peacetime draft, to be used only if there are not enough volunteers available to fill the ranks. Other legislation passed in June 1865 mandates that the Confederate Navy be kept at a strength of at least 2/3 that of the United States, and that the Confederate Ordnance Bureau develop, with the least possible delay, a repeating rifle for the Confederate armies. The same legislation authorizes the purchase of machinery from Britain, France, and other countries for the manufacture of advanced rifles and cartridge ammunition.
Shipyards at Norfolk, Wilmington, Charleston, Mobile and New Orleans are soon producing ironclad warships, and by the end of the year, the Ordnance Bureau has developed a repeating magazine rifle called the Confederate Repeating Rifle, Model 1865. The rifle is a lever action similar in design to the Union Henry rifle, but fires a much more powerful .45/70 cartridge (similar to those used in the OTL U.S. Army's trapdoor Springfield), and has a tubular magazine slung underneath the barrel which holds ten rounds. Factories are set up in Richmond, Atlanta, Selma and Houston, Texas for the manufacture of these rifles and the cartridges for them. Deposits of coal and iron ore are soon discovered in Alabama, and soon Birmingham and other cities are filled with steel mills, all working to capacity. Furthermore, the need for cloth for uniforms leads to intensive development of a textile industry in the South. All of this leads to a marked increase in the industrialization of the South, which as it happens is a god thing, as it will provide jobs which will become the means for many freedmen to be released from peonage and become independent of the plantations.
January 1866: Per the terms of the Treaty of London, elections are held to determine the status of Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri. Maryland and Kentucky vote overwhelmingly to join the Confederacy, while West Virginia opts by a similar margin to remain in the Union. The election in Missouri is very close, but after two recounts, the state is awarded to the Union. Also as per the Treaty, the Federal Government evacuates the District of Columbia by the end of the month and moves to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, pending the selection of a site for a new permanent capital.
1866, The Confederacy: On February 1, 1866, the Confederate Congress votes to move the seat of the Confederate Government from Richmond to Washington. The District of Columbia will be renamed the Confederate District. The first session of the Confederate Congress held in the former United States Capitol Building is held on February 22, 1866, the fourth anniversary of the creation of the Permanent Government of the Confederate States of America.
Meanwhile, the Confederate States are still under the burden of huge war debts incurred during the War of Secession, and the need to maintain a large and well-equipped army and navy in pursuit of the policy of armed neutrality has not made things easier. In March 1866, President Davis selects Judah P. Benjamin, known as "The Brains of the Confederacy," as the new Secretary of the Treasury, and under his guidance, progress begins to be made. Benjamin encourages Confederate industrialization, not only as a means of maintaining the policy of armed neutrality, but because the exportable products made by the new industries will provide badly needed specie which will allow the Confederacy to pay off its war debts. The Confederacy will, in large part because of Benjamin's prodding, become a major exporter of military equipment and warships to many Latin American nations, for example, and Confederate textiles, which have a competitive advantage because of the availability of locally produced cotton, will eventually capture a major share of world markets. By the end of the century, the revenue gained from this foreign trade will enable the Confederacy to pay all of its debts in full.
In May 1866, the State of Virginia (under the strong influence of men like General Robert E. Lee, who despite not being directly involved in politics at this point in his life is, nevertheless, very influential because of his popularity) becomes the first to pass legislation for the abolition of slavery within its borders and becomes the Confederacy's first "Free State." The law calls for a program of compensated emancipation, and has several provisions...1) that no person born after January 1, 1870 shall be a slave; 2) that the immediate families (mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives, and children) of all slaves who served honourably in the armed forces of the Confederate States during the War of Secession shall be immediately freed, with compensation of $250 per slave to be paid to the owners by the State Government; 3) that owners of any slaves remaining in bondage after the families of the Confederacy’s Negro troops are emancipated will be required to pay those slaves a small wage and/or allow those slaves the opportunity to hire themselves out for pay, and once the slave has accumulated the sum of $250, the slave shall be allowed to purchase his/her own freedom. Spurred on by this example, by the end of 1866 Kentucky and Maryland (where anti-slavery feeling was strongly encouraged by the war) will also pass similar legislation.
1866, The Union: In April 1866, the United States Congress votes to adopt Philadelphia as the permanent Capital of the United States. The counties encompassing Philadelphia and the surrounding area are purchased from the State of Pennsylvania by the United States, and designated as the new District of Columbia. Construction soon begins on a new White House and Capitol Building, to be even grander than the ones abandoned with the surrender of Washington. In May 1866, Congress votes to officially remove 13 stars from the flag of the United States representing the states which have seceded to form the Confederacy. In December 1866, the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, banning State secession, is ratified and becomes law.
1866, Utah Territory--Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, declares that only men that practice polygamy can become gods. This puts the Mormon Church squarely in conflict with the United States government, which passed legislation in 1862 banning polygamy. In order to avoid conflict, the Federal government attempts to turn a blind eye to what is going on in Utah, but increasing protests by "Gentiles" living in Utah force the federal government to take an increasingly active stance against Utah polygamy.
1866-1867, the Confederacy: As the time approaches for the first Presidential Election since the country was officially founded in February 1862, two major parties have arisen in the Confederacy...the Liberty Party and the State’s Rights Party. The main differences in the platforms of the two parties center on their views toward emancipation for the remaining slaves in the South and the future status of Negroes within the Confederate States. The Liberty Party, founded by supporters of President Jefferson Davis, favors emancipation at the earliest possible juncture, a program of education for Negroes to "make them ready for citizenship," and the gradual extension of citizenship rights to Negroes as they are "made ready for citizenship" by education. The State’s Rights Party forms around those politicians who have opposed President Davis in the past, led by Vice President Alexander H. Stephens. It’s platform calls for the issue of emancipation to be left to the discretion of the individual State Legislatures, but states that "The Negro is not now, and can never be, the equal of a white man," and demands that citizenship not be extended to Negroes. Furthermore, they want to see a system of racial segregation, similar to the one which exists in most states of the United States, to be enacted by the Confederacy, and declare that their ultimate goal is to "colonize" the Negro population and "return them to their native land in Africa."
1867, The Union: The United States purchases the Alaska Territory from Russia. Some in the North, especially in the Republican Party, begin casting covetous eyes on Canada, which they feel is needed now to unite the new Alaska territory with the rest of the United States.
1867, The Confederacy: In August, the Liberty Party and the State’s Rights Party hold conventions to nominate candidates for President and Vice President. The Liberty Party Convention meets in Richmond and, at the suggestion of President Davis, nominates Robert E. Lee for President and Patrick R. Cleburne for Vice President. Although Lee has been in retirement at Arlington for the past several years and has not engaged in politics, he recognizes the importance of the issues involved in this election and accepts his nomination, as does Cleburne. A few days later, the State’s Rights Party meets in Atlanta, Georgia, where they nominate Alexander H. Stephens for President and Texas Senator Louis T. Wigfall for Vice President.
A very nasty campaign is waged by the State’s Rights Party. Stephens and Wigfall tour the Confederate States, making speeches. Stephens says, in speeches echoing his famous "Cornerstone Speech" of 1861, that "the basic inferiority of the Negro is the bedrock on which our Republic was founded," and accuses the Liberty Party of "subverting the very essence of civilization" through their desire to extend citizenship to Negroes. Wigfall is more crude. The Liberty Party, he says, "want us to live in a world where nigger bucks ogle and grope our fair ladies on the street, and where the servant who curries my horse and shines my boots is my equal! Never, I say! Better we had never left the old Union, than to suffer such a fate under our new Confederacy!"3
Meanwhile, Liberty Party candidates Lee and Cleburne also tour and make speeches reminding the people of the "sacrifices and devotion to duty" shown by the black soldiers who "played so great a role in the achievement of our independence." "Surely," says Lee, "the black man, who shared our danger and gave his life on the battlefield so that the Confederate States might be free, deserves to take his place as a citizen of these Confederate States! Has he not proven himself worthy and loyal? Let it not be said of us that we were willing to shed the black man’s blood to gain our own freedom while denying the same to him. We are Confederates, one and all, black and white, now and forever!"
In November, elections are held in the Confederate States for candidates to take office in February 1868. The Liberty Party candidates, Robert E. Lee and Patrick Cleburne, win in a close election over the State’s Rights Party candidates Stephens and Wigfall. The Liberty Party wins a majority in the House of Representatives, but most State Legislatures return a slight majority of State’s Rights Party members to the Senate.
ROBERT EDWARD LEE
Second President of the Confederate States of America
Pictured shortly before his untimely death in 1870
February 22, 1868, Washington, C.D.: Robert E. Lee is sworn in as the second President of the Confederate States of America. Patrick R. Cleburne is sworn in as Vice President. Lee, in his inaugural address, urges the State Legislatures to enact legislation emancipating the slaves within their States as quickly as possible. "The Constitution of the Confederate States," Lee says, "prohibits the Confederate Congress from enacting any law which denies the right of property in Negro slaves. The power to emancipate the slaves is left to you, the people of the various States, through their State Legislatures. The black man fought and died that we, the people of the Confederate States, might be free. Can we now deny him his own freedom? I earnestly implore the various State Legislatures to speedily extend emancipation to all the remaining slaves within our borders, so that this Confederacy, under God, may have a new birth of freedom which will establish justice among all men of the South."
1868, The Confederacy: Shortly after taking office, President Lee presents to the various State Legislatures a model law for the gradual and compensated emancipation of the slaves. The model law is a virtual carbon copy of the law passed by Virginia in 1866, which has worked very well and provides clear proof of the feasibility of the proposed system. Within six months, the State Legislatures of Tennessee, North Carolina and Arkansas have passed legislation based on this model law, and by the end of 1868, all but two States (South Carolina and Alabama) have done so.
1868, The Union: The Republican and Democratic parties hold their Conventions to nominate candidates for President. The Republicans nominate William Seward for President and Edwin M. Stanton for Vice President, while the Democrats re-nominate President McClellan for President and Clement A. Valladigham for Vice President. The Republicans, feeling the pulse of bitter feeling running through the North, conduct a smear campaign against President McClellan and the Democrats, charging that they are "soft on the Rebels and soft on the niggers." Their platform calls for a hard line against the Confederacy, and for a program of colonization to rid the North of it's "Negro Problem." The Democrats counter that it was the Republican Party, not the black man, who caused the late war by not allowing the Southern States to exercise their right of secession. Furthermore, in his acceptance speech, President McClellan accuses the Republicans of being behind the July 1865 riots, which he calls "an insult to civilization itself." However, recognizing the animosity most Northerners feel toward blacks, McClellan also supports colonization as the best solution for all concerned. The Democratic platform calls for the development of friendly relations with "our sister republic to the South" and for colonization of blacks abroad, either to the Confederacy or to Liberia. So no matter who wins, it appears that in the Union, the black man's days are numbered. In November, in an extremely close election, the Republicans win the Presidency, but the House and Senate both return slight Democratic majorities.
1869, the Union: On March 4, William Seward is sworn in as the 18th President of the United States. However, his elected Vice Presidential running mate Edwin M. Stanton had died on 20 December 1868, so no Vice President is sworn in (according to the 1792 Succession Act, which is in effect at this time, the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate is next in line of succession in case of a vacancy of the Vice Presidential office, so no new Vice President is selected when Stanton dies).
In one of his first acts, President Seward names Benjamin Butler as Ambassador to the Confederacy, a move which quickly chills relations between the two nations. Butler...known as "The Beast" in the South...is still under sentence of death as a war criminal in the Confederacy for his infamous order, while in command at New Orleans, which made Southern ladies who "insulted" Union troops liable to rape by those troops, and the fact that he must now be permitted to enter the Confederacy under diplomatic immunity raises a great uproar in the South. Indeed, President Lee strongly considers refusing admission to the new Union Ambassador, effectively breaking relations with the Union. But in the end he decides that the cause of peace will be better served by "turning the other cheek," and Butler will take up residence at the U.S. Embassy in Washington (under heavy guard) by the end of March 1869.
The new Republican President is soon at odds with the Democratic controlled Congress over proposals to raise the tariff on Confederate goods to 40% and to obtain funding for the re-fortification of the Mississippi River (both in violation of the Treaty of London), and these bills are defeated in Congress. However, one issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree on is the desire to remove the black man from their midst, and before the end of the year the Negro Colonization Act is passed. This legislation strips citizenship from any black who may currently enjoy such status in any Northern State, and mandates that within no more than two years all blacks currently residing in the Union must emigrate elsewhere. A national fund will be set up to facilitate emigration to Liberia for any blacks who wish to select that as their destination. The first charter steamer for Liberia leaves New York in December 1869, carrying 500 blacks. It will be followed by many more. Other blacks begin leaving for Canada ad the Confederacy.
1869 onward, The Union: Beginning with the Seward Administration, the Federal Government has been following a policy, designed to ensure a sound currency, of phasing out the old "Greenbacks" which were issued during the war and in the years immediately afterward, in favor of "hard money." The U.S. is on a gold standard, and as a result, this policy results in a dramatic decline in the amount of money in circulation, which leads to higher interest rates on credit while simultaneously depressing prices nationwide. This causes severe hardship for many people, especially farmers, who must go into debt (and pay higher interest rates for their credit) to purchase seed and equipment, but are receiving less back from the sale of their produce because of plummeting prices. A movement arises, centered primarily in the western farming regions, to allow the free coinage of silver, with the aim of increasing the amount of money in circulation and thus causing decreases in interest rates and inflation of prices. This ill come to be a major issue in elections, especially during the 1880s and 1890s.
1869, The Confederacy: South Carolina and Alabama will, by the end of the year, pass legislation based on President Lee’s model emancipation law. Meanwhile, President Lee has presented model legislation to the State Legislatures calling for the establishment of a system of Negro schools for the purpose of educating the former slaves in preparation for the extension of citizenship to them. This meets with much more opposition than his model emancipation law, and Lee journeys to each of the State Legislatures to make a personal appeal in favor of his proposed legislation. He also introduces legislation into the Confederate Congress to grant Confederate citizenship to any free Negro male over the age of 21 who can demonstrate basic proficiency in reading and writing. This meets strong opposition in the State’s Rights Party-dominated Senate, and Lee holds many tense meetings with Senate leaders trying to break the impasse. As time goes on, the stress of these meetings, as well as the many trips made to individual State Capitols, begins to wear on Lee, and his health is visibly affected.
1870, The Union: Charter steamers are leaving New York and Boston on a regular basis for Liberia, carrying black men, women, and children into exile. Some blacks are fighting the forced deportations, and a few have even taken up arms (those few are quickly put down by Federal troops). Most, however, can see that they are not welcome in the North, and are making plans to emigrate.
1870, The Confederacy: Debate on the future status of the emancipated slaves continues in the Confederacy. The States Rights Party-controlled Senate still refuses to pass President Lee's Negro Citizenship Bill, and the most State Legislatures are still wavering over passage of Lee's model legislation calling for creation of a Negro school system. These debates are made more intense by the arrival of large numbers of refugee blacks, fleeing persecution in the North and in obedience to the Union's Negro Colonization Act.
October 1, 1870, Washington, C.D.: President Lee is walking from the White House to the Capitol Building, as is his habit, in preparation for yet another tense meeting with the Senate leaders who are blocking his Negro citizenship bill. It is unseasonably chilly, and a sudden rainstorm breaks out, soaking the President. Later that evening, after returning home, family members note Lee’s pallid complexion and sunken eyes. As he is headed down a hallway toward his bedroom, Lee collapses. Family members and servants place him in bed, and the doctor is summoned. He has a high fever, and it soon becomes apparent that he has pneumonia. Lee lingers for another nine days, passing through various stages of lucidity and delirium, then passes away quietly on October 10. In one of his final lucid spells before the end, he dictates an Address to the Nation, to be read before the Senate upon his death. The Address calls upon the stubborn Senate leaders to put aside their party animosities and to "take the correct and just course" of extending citizenship to the Negro, "by whose strong right arm we, the people of the Confederate States, have gained our place among the nations of the earth."
October 11, 1870, Washington, C.D.: On what proves to be a watershed date for the Confederacy, Patrick R. Cleburne is sworn in as the third President of the Confederate States. Later that day he reads President Lee’s final Address to the Nation before the Senate. While the address makes no immediate impression on the Senate leaders, the text of the address is soon printed in newspapers across the South, and a nation in mourning resolves to make good the final wish of their fallen leader. Within three months, as a result of mounting popular pressure generated by Lee’s Final Address, the legislatures of several States order their Senate delegations to vote in favor of the proposed citizenship bill. They do so, and shortly afterward, the legislation passes by a narrow margin. Black men are now eligible to vote in Confederate national elections, and may run for seats in the Confederate Congress. By the middle part of the following year, every State Legislature will have passed a version of President Lee’s model legislation calling for the establishment of a Negro school system. While most States will not allow blacks to vote in State elections for nearly another decade, blacks will begin to vote in Confederate national elections beginning in 1873.
1871, Europe: The Franco-Prussian War is a defeat for France. The Emperor Napoleon III is captured at the Battle of Sedan, and is deposed. A new Republic takes power in France. At a ceremony held at the palace of Versailles, the German Empire is declared, with King Wilhelm of Prussia named as the first German Kaiser. As do many nations around the world, both the Union and the Confederacy begin to consider reorganizing their militaries on the "German Model."
December 21, 1871, New York City: The steamer S.S. Daniel Webster leaves port, bound for Liberia. Aboard are 200 blacks, the last blacks to leave the Union. The North is now Negro-free.
1872, The Confederacy: Now that slavery has been ended, or is in the process of being ended, by all the States of the Confederacy, President Cleburne acts to see that it can never arise again in the future. In February 1872, at the urging of President Cleburne, the States of Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky and Arkansas hold conventions which demand that a national Constitutional Convention be held to consider amendments to the Confederate Constitution which ban slavery from any Territories which may be acquired by the Confederacy in the future, and which specify that no State which has outlawed slavery may re-institute it in the future. Accordingly, in April 1872, a Constitutional Convention is called, and after much debate and stalling by State's Rights Party delegates, these amendments are agreed upon by a majority of the States at the Convention (Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia join the four States which originally called the Convention in voting in favor of the amendments, while delegates from South Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas vote against), and are submitted to the States for ratification. By the end of the year these amendments have been ratified by the required two thirds of the State Legislatures (Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana all vote in favor by December 1872) and become law. South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas (all strongholds of the States' Rights Party) never ratify the amendments, but are bound by them nonetheless.
1872, The Union: Once again it is time to nominate candidates for President. The Republicans re-nominate President Seward for President and James A. Garfield for Vice President, while the Democrats nominate Ulysses S. Grant for President and Winfield Scott Hancock for Vice President. Grant, although burdened with the stigma of having surrendered the Army of the Potomac in 1864, still enjoys popularity in the North as "Unconditional Surrender" Grant, the only Union general who ever had a chance of beating the Rebels, and thus mounts a strong challenge to the incumbents. Shortly before the election (10 October 1872) President Seward dies in office, and is succeeded (since there is no Vice President) by the President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, Henry B. Anthony. The Republicans quickly confirm James A. Garfield's nomination as their new candidate for the Presidency, and nominate Anthony for the Vice Presidency. This causes much division within the party, as Anthony's supporters (who are surprisingly man) argue that since he is now President, he should have been granted the Presidential nomination instead of Garfield. With the issue of the future status of blacks settled, the campaign revolves around the issue of what should be the future course of relations with the Southern Confederacy. The Republicans continue to advocate a hard line, while Grant and Hancock advocate a more conciliatory posture. In November, the elections are held, and this time, the Democrats easily win the Presidency and Vice Presidency. Furthermore, Democratic majorities are returned to both houses of Congress.
1873, Texas: Continuing turmoil in Mexico, which has led to repeated raids by various Mexican revolutionary bands into Texas, have led Texas politicians to press for the annexation of the northern provinces of Mexico by the Confederacy. Although President Cleburne does station large Confederate forces on the Texas-Mexico border, he refuses calls for an invasion, and orders them to remain on a strictly defensive posture. There are loud cries in Texas that, once again, Texas interests are being abandoned, and once again, a Secession Convention is called. The Convention meets on July 4 at Austin, and this time, Texas votes to secede from the Confederacy and calls home all the Texas Regiments in the Confederate Army to form the basis of a new army for the re-born Republic of Texas. President Cleburne, following the example of Jefferson Davis, announces that the peaceful secession of Texas will be recognized by the Confederate States, and orders all Confederate military forces withdrawn from Texas. The United States soon follows suit. In September, another raid by Mexican bandits leads newly elected Texas President Edmund J. Davis to ask the Texas Congress for a declaration of war on Mexico. The Texan Army invades Mexico and, in a bloody campaign lasting 9 months, battles it's way to the gates of Mexico City. The United States strongly protests the invasion, but does not intervene...yet. The Confederacy announces its neutrality.
1873, The Confederacy: In November Presidential Elections are held in the Confederacy. President Cleburne decides not to run for a term of his own, and so the Liberty Party selects as its candidates James Longstreet for President and Wade Hampton for Vice President. State’s Rights Party candidates are Robert Barnwell Rhett for President and James Patton Anderson for Vice President (Both Rhett and Anderson had vociferously opposed the Cleburne Memorial when it came out). The Liberty Party ticket carries the election by a wide margin. The election is notable in that it is the first one in which Negro citizens of the Confederate States have voted.
1873, Cuba: For several years the people of Cuba have been in revolt against their Spanish overlords. The Spanish, faced with an elusive guerrilla enemy, have taken harsh measures against the local population, and lurid reports of Spanish atrocities have filled newspapers in both the Union and the Confederacy, creating great support for the rebels in the two American republics. Private groups in both nations secretly send arms and equipment to the rebels. On February 2, 1873, the S.S. Virginia, a Confederate vessel out of Savannah, is captured off Santiago with a load of arms and ammunition for the rebels. In addition, a group of volunteers are on board who are sailing to Cuba to fight on behalf of the rebels, commanded by no less a personage than William Henry Fitzhugh (more popularly known as "Rooney") Lee, retired Major General in the Confederate States Army and son of former Confederate General and President Robert E. Lee. The local Spanish commander, in disobedience to orders from his superiors (who wish to avoid more direct involvement in the situation by either the Union or the Confederacy), has the entire crew, as well as the entire volunteer group, executed by garrote in the public square of Santiago.
When news of this hits newspapers in the Confederacy, including some rather vulgar engravings of the garroting of Rooney Lee, there is an immediate public outcry for war.4 Swept along by the tide of public outrage, President Cleburne asks Congress to declare war on Spain on March 15, which the Congress does on the following day, and The War with Spain begins. The Confederate army quickly mobilizes, and shipping is quickly procured (both native Confederate shipping and ships hired from Union sources).
Escorted by a powerful ironclad fleet, a Confederate Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) of over 200,000 men (about 1/3 of whom are black) under the command of General Nathan Bedford Forrest is soon on the way to Cuba, arriving there on May 20 and landing near Havana. 100,000 Confederate troops soon lay siege to the city, while the other 100,000 commence operations against Spanish forces in the remainder of Cuba. On June 16, the Confederate fleet meets the main Spanish fleet off Havana, and the superior Confederate ironclads send most of it to the bottom of the Caribbean. During the battle, one of the Confederate battleships, the C.S.S. Alabama III, engaged the flagship of the Spanish Fleet , the broadside ironclad battleship Tetuan, in a close-range artillery duel. When a Spanish shell hit the bridge of the Confederate battleship, killing most of the senior officers, young Lieutenant Raphael Semmes, Jr. (son of the "Victor of Bermuda" and Captain of the original C.S.S. Alabama) took command and made front page news by sinking the enemy vessel, despite severe damage to his own ship. His cool, calm demeanor as he uttered the immortal words, "You may fire when ready, Mr. Fahrquar," will go down in naval history, and will one day propel him to the Presidency. When news of the disaster at sea (which ends any hope of additional men and supplies reaching Havana from Spain) reaches the Spanish commander at Havana, the Spaniard realizes the futility of continued resistance and surrenders the city.
Operations in the remainder of the island will take another four months, but all Spanish resistance ends on Halloween, 31 October, 1873. Spain sues for peace shortly thereafter, and a treaty will be signed at Paris on December 1, 1873, ending The War with Spain. The Treaty of Paris cedes control of Cuba and Puerto Rico (which the Confederates demand even though they never landed an invasion force there...Spain, lacking the ability or resources to defend the island, agrees to hand it over) to the Confederate States of America. The hopes of the Cuban revolutionaries that the result of Confederate victory would be independence for Cuba are soon dashed when the Confederate Congress votes to organize Cuba and Puerto Rico as the Confederate Territory of the West Indies. Meanwhile, the Cuban revolutionaries plot continued resistance, and sporadic revolt will simmer in Cuba for years.
1873, The Union: In a ceremony held at Philadelphia, D.C. on March 4, Ulysses S. Grant is sworn in as the 19th President of the United States and Winfield S. Hancock is sworn in as Vice President. When the Confederate-Spanish conflict breaks out, President Grant declares the neutrality of the United States. However, public opinion in the North is heavily anti-Spain, and the Union government allows Northern ship owners and manufacturers to supply the Confederates with transport ships and other war material. Spain files diplomatic protests at this very un-neutral activity, but can take no other action. The whole affair serves to strengthen ties between the Union and Confederacy, and relations between the two nations improve temporarily. Although the Union later protests the annexation of the West Indies by the Confederacy, this is more a formality then a real issue, and it does not serve to measurably chill relations.
1874, Texas: The Texas-Mexican War continues. The Texans, who although heavily outnumbered have a huge advantage in firepower (they are armed with Model 1865 Confederate Repeating Rifles, inherited from the Confederate Army and which they are now producing at an arsenal at Huntsville, while the Mexicans are, for the most part, still armed with muzzle-loading, single shot rife-muskets) defeat several hastily improvised Mexican armies on their route south toward Mexico City. They arrive at the Mexican capital on June 1, and finally defeat the main Mexican Army under General Porfirio Diaz, who is killed in the battle. Rather than risk the ignominy of having his capital occupied for a third time (by the Americans in 1848, the French in 1862, and now the Texans), Mexican President Sebastian Lerdo de Tejada sues for peace the next day.
A ceasefire is agreed to, and negotiations begin at Matamoros on a treaty of peace. The Texans, flush with the euphoria of victory, want to annex all of Mexico, but when this become known, the United States (which has looked with much suspicion at this "Texas brigandage," as they call it) issues an ultimatum and begins to mass troops in New Mexico Territory along the Texas border. After a series of tense negotiations between the Texas and United States governments (mediated by the Confederate Ambassador to Texas, Fitzhugh Lee), Texas backs down. In a treaty signed at Matamoros on July 30, Mexico cedes the States of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, and Sonora to Texas, but remains a sovereign, if much reduced, nation (shortly afterward, President Lerdo de Tejada is overthrown by a military coup, and various Mexican generals will rule the country for the next several decades).
Texas, however, is now a trans-continental power, and begins to construct its own Trans-Continental Railroad (running from Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico to Guaymas, on the Gulf of Cortez).
1874, The Union: Shortly after the signing of the Treaty of Matamoros, U.S. President Grant announces what will become known as the Grant Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine, which holds that the United States considers Mexico a special case of vital interest to the United States, and will not tolerate further military adventurism there by Texas or the Confederacy. Relations between the Union and the Confederacy, which had been improving somewhat since Grant's election, chill considerably, as the Confederates (who took no aggressive action against Mexico) are upset at being included in this declaration.
Fourth President of the Confederate States of America
1874, The Confederacy: On February 22, James Longstreet is sworn in as the fourth President of the Confederate States at Washington, C.D., and Wade Hampton is sworn in as Vice President.
1874 onward, Texas: The acquisition of the northern tier of Mexican territories has created a problem for the Anglo ruling elite in Texas. The population of Texas at this time numbers around 1,500,000...including white, black, and Hispanic Tejano residents. There are almost 900,000 people in the newly acquired territories…virtually all of them Mexicans of mixed race or full-blooded Indian descent. Furthermore, the newly acquired population is all Roman Catholic, while the ruling Anglo elite of Texas is firmly Protestant. When combined with the native Tejano population of Texas itself, people of Mexican descent now probably form, if not a majority, a near majority of population within the Republic of Texas.
The Anglo elite within Texas, naturally desiring to maintain their own power, are therefore in a quandary. They take several actions which will strongly influence the shape of Texas politics, society, and culture over the upcoming century.
First, beginning during the administration of President Throckmorton’s successor, Richard Coke, who took office in March 1880 (the Texas President, like his Confederate counterpart, serves for a single six year term), a series of laws are passed which will, by the end of the 1880s, grant full citizenship to the black population of Texas. Black Texans are seen as natural allies against the “Mexican menace” by virtue of being, almost without exception, English-speaking Protestants who are culturally very similar to their white neighbors.
Second, major campaigns are waged in Europe to encourage immigration by white Protestants from Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries. To a more limited extent, immigration by Eastern Orthodox Greeks, Russians, and other non-Catholic Slavs is also encouraged, on the basis that, like the Protestants, the Orthodox will also be likely to tend to oppose the sharing of power with Catholics. As a result of these efforts, including offers of free land to any immigrant who contracts to make improvements on it and lives on it for at least three years, the white population of the Republic of Texas will nearly double by 1890.
Third, in an attempt to play “divide and conquer” politics among the Hispanic population, the Tejanos of Texas are also granted full citizenship status, as are any persons living in the newly conquered territory who can prove they are of at least ¾ European blood, which serves to exclude from political power the majority of the population of the new Territories who are either full-blooded Indian, or Mestizo.
These measures will be…mostly…effective in maintaining the power of the Anglo elite over Texas for decades to come.
1875, Utah Territory--The L.D.S. Doctrine & Covenants are revised to allow polygamy by adding section 132 and removing section 101 verse 4, prohibiting polygamy. Tensions between Mormon and "Gentile" citizens of Utah are increasing, forcing the federal government to increasingly become involved.
1876, The Union: On July 4, the United States celebrates the centennial of its independence. France sends its congratulations to the U.S. government and publicly promotes awareness of the role played by France in America's War for Independence. Also, a French sculptor, Auguste Bartholdi, has announced that he is creating a monumental Statue of Liberty as a present from France to the United States on the occasion of its 100th Birthday. Taken together, all this serves to create good will between the two nations, and this will continue to grow over the next few years, eventually erasing the memory of France's participation in the "forced settlement" of the War of Secession (France was never held to be as culpable for this by the Union as Britain was anyway...it was, after all, Britain's ambassador who delivered the ultimatum to Lincoln). Also that same summer, the Republicans and Democrats hold their Conventions in preparation for the upcoming Presidential elections. The Democrats renominate President Grant and Vice President Hancock. The Republicans nominate Charles Sumner for President and Benjamin Wade for Vice President. In the November elections, President Grant and Vice President Hancock are re-elected for a second term, the first U.S. President to be re-elected in many years.
March 4, 1877, Philadelphia, D.C.: Ulysses S. Grant is sworn in for his second term as President of the United States, and Winfield S. Hancock takes the oath as Vice President.
1877, The Confederacy: In this year, Virginia becomes the first Confederate State to pass legislation allowing blacks to vote in State elections, and to hold public office at the State level. Over the next few years, most Confederate States will pass similar legislation. The sole exceptions will be Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina.
1877, Utah Territory--Death of Brigham Young. Any hopes that the L.D.S. Church will take a less extreme view on the issue of polygamy are quickly dashed, however. Orson Pratt, the new leader of the church, fully endorses polygamy.
1879, The Confederacy: In November, Presidential Elections are held in the Confederacy. Liberty Party candidates are Wade Hampton for President and Fitzhugh Lee (nephew of General Robert E. Lee) for Vice President. The State’s Rights Party candidates are Robert Mercer Taliaferrro Hunter (former Senator from Virginia who had been ordered by the Virginia Legislature to cast the deciding vote in favor of the black recruitment bill in 1864, which he did while making an eloquent speech against it) for President and William H. T. Walker (former Major General in the Confederate Army who had transmitted the Cleburne Memorial to the War Department in an attempt to have it suppressed) for Vice President. The Liberty Party handily wins the election, buoyed by strong turnout among Negro voters.
1879, Europe: Germany and Austria-Hungary secretly sign a mutual defense treaty, and the Dual Alliance is formed.
1879, Utah Territory--The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a guilty verdict in Utah territorial court against polygamist George Reynolds, Brigham Young's personal secretary. The case was meant as a challenge to federal anti-polygamy laws, but backfired on the Mormon Church.
WADE HAMPTON III
Fifth President of the Confederate States of America
February 22, 1880, Washington, C.D.: Wade Hampton is sworn in as the fifth President of the Confederate States of America, and Fitz Lee is sworn in as Vice President.
1880, The Union: The Republican and Democratic Parties hold their Conventions to nominate candidates for the upcoming Presidential elections. The Democrats nominate Winfield Scott Hancock for President, and Horatio Seymour as Vice President. The Republicans nominate Benjamin Harrison for President, and John Sherman (brother of the late General William T. Sherman) for Vice President. The primary issue in this election is the issue of relations with Britain. Ever since the end of the War of Secession, relations between the United States and Britain have been strained. The United States has been pressing claims...known as the "Alabama Claims"...against the British government for damages to Union commerce caused by ships built for the Confederacy in British yards, and the British have been ignoring them. Furthermore, the naval arms race between the Union and Great Britain, as well as the exodus of blacks from the Union to Canada and the British Caribbean colonies, has not helped relations. Recently there have been some "incidents" between U.S. and British troops on the Canadian border, and the Republican "Hawks" in Congress have been calling for war. The Democrats favor continued peaceful co-existence and diplomatic pressure. The Democrats are heavily favored to win. In November, the elections are held, and in a surprise upset, the Republican ticket of Harrison and Sherman win. Furthermore, the House and Senate elections return Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress.
1880, Utah Territory--John Taylor becomes the fourth Prophet of the Mormon Church. He, like Young and Pratt before him, fully endorses polygamy.
1881, The Union: On March 4, at Philadelphia, D.C., Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as the 20th President of the United States, and John Sherman is sworn in as Vice President. The very next day, President Harrison calls in the British Ambassador and issues an ultimatum...either pay the "Alabama Claims" or face war with the United States. After some diplomatic wrangling, the British reply is negative, and on March 30, President Harrison asks for a Declaration of War against Great Britain. Congress passes the Declaration the next day. The Reparations War begins.
The United States Army quickly mobilizes on the Canadian border, crosses at several points in early April, and in the battles that ensue the U.S. Army's Model 1877 Spencer Repeating Rifles come as a severe shock to the British, who are armed with single-shot Martini-Henry rifles (although repeating rifles had been used by Texas in its war with Mexico and by the Confederacy in its War with Spain, the conservative European powers paid little heed to these wars between what they consider to be "backward minor powers," and all are still, as of 1881, armed with single-shot breech-loaders, although some were in the process of experimenting with repeaters at the time). The United States Navy puts to sea, and in a large battle off Newfoundland, inflicts a defeat on the Royal Navy, preventing the British from reinforcing their heavily outnumbered forces in Canada. By the end of August, Canada has been conquered, and the United States offers peace, considering this new territory fair compensation for the "Alabama Claims." Left with little choice, as the U.S. Navy still controls the north Atlantic, the British agree to negotiate.
Representatives from the U.S. and Great Britain meet in Geneva on September 10, 1881. The main sticking point in negotiations is the status of the almost 100,000 Negroes who have taken refuge in Canada after fleeing either slavery in the South, or more recently, persecution in the Union. The Union doesn't want them, and Great Britain is not keen on taking them in, either, or incurring the expense of transporting them to one of the British colonies. Finally, after much haggling, a compromise is reached. Great Britain will transport all of the Negroes in Canada to the island of Newfoundland. This will be organized as a self-governing homeland for the Negroes, called Nova Africanus. Britain will cede all the rest of Canada, as well as the mainland portion of Newfoundland (i.e. Labrador), to the United States. With compromise reached on this thorny issue, a peace treaty is signed on October 21, 1881, and the Reparations War is over.
Sixth President of the Confederate States of America
1881, The Confederacy: The Confederacy decides to continue its policy of armed neutrality during the Reparations War, but watches the easy conquest of Canada by the Union Army with some alarm, as it is well known that the Republican Party is hostile to close relations between the United States and the Confederacy. In August 1881 the Confederate Congress votes to raise the peacetime strength of the Confederate Army to 400,000, and institutes a system of universal conscription, based on the German Model.
Meanwhile, Cuba has been simmering with rebellion, accompanied by numerous acts of terrorism, since it was annexed by the Confederate States following the War with Spain. So far, the acts of terror have been confined to assaults on Confederate garrisons in Cuba itself. Then, on September 22, President Hampton is riding in a carriage from the White House to the Capitol in Washington, C.D., when he is attacked by a Cuban revolutionary who, with a cry of "death to the oppressors of Cuba," throws a bomb into the carriage. The bomb explodes, and Hampton is killed instantly. The assassin is captured shortly thereafter as he flees the scene. Later that day, Fitzhugh Lee is sworn in as the sixth President of the Confederate States of America. President Lee, in a speech to the stunned nation made at the occasion of the state funeral of President Hampton a few days later, refuses calls for harsher measures against the Cuban revolutionaries, saying, "After all, was it not the harshness of the Spaniards against the Cuban people which, in part, led the Confederate States into the War with Spain in the first place?" Instead, President Lee will seek defuse the situation in Cuba by seeking the admission of Cuba into the Confederacy as a State, thereby granting self-government (as part of the Confederacy) to the Cuban people. Puerto Rico would be established as a separate Territory, eligible for admission into the Confederacy as a State at a future time (when population and other requirements are met).
In November, mid-term Congressional elections are held for seats to become vacant in February 1882. This election is notable in that, for the first time, a black candidate wins election to the Confederate Congress when Booker T. Washington is elected as a Congressman from Virginia. Washington, who had already served a term in the Virginia State Legislature, had gained wide popularity by his efforts to unify white and black in the Confederacy, especially his "work, learn, and grow" campaigns among the newly-freed slaves which promoted hard work, education and good citizenship among freedmen, and he garners both white and black votes in his district.
1881 onward, Europe: The shocking defeat of the vaunted British Army by the upstart U.S. troops demonstrates, with crystal clarity, that single-shot breech-loaders are obsolete. By the end of 1882, all major European armies will be armed with breech-loading magazine rifles. The most popular design is a bolt-action rifle designed by German gun-maker Peter Paul Mauser, and variants of his rifle are adopted by most European nations. When smokeless powder is introduced a few years later, Mauser's design proves to be easily adapted to the new propellant, and this further cements the supremacy of the Mauser design. By the mid-1890s, even the United States, the Confederacy, Oklahoma and Texas will adopt Mauser-variant rifles, replacing their old lever-action designs (however, large stocks of the old rifles will be retained for reserve use).
1882, The Confederacy: News of President Lee's new Cuban policy is well received in Cuba. In meetings with leaders of the Cuban revolutionary movement, Confederate negotiators gradually convince the revolutionaries, who can see that the idea of Statehood within the Confederacy is popular among the Cuban masses, to give up the struggle and to accept the offer of Statehood. After all, the Confederates point out, once it is admitted to the Confederacy as a State, if Cuba feels that the Confederacy is not protecting the rights or interests of the Cuban people, it can secede! In September, near the anniversary of the assassination of President Hampton, President Lee's Statehood for Cuba bill passes the Confederate Congress. The State of the Cuba becomes the 13th Confederate State on October 1, 1882. Puerto Rico is reorganized as a Territory.
1882, Europe: In a treaty signed at Rome, Italy joins the Dual Alliance, creating the Triple Alliance. This coalition is aimed at France and Russia.
1884, The Union: Presidential Elections are held. The Republicans renominate President Harrison and Vice President Sherman, while the Democrats nominate Grover Cleveland for President and William Jennings Bryan for Vice President. One of the prime issues in the campaign is free coinage of silver. Cleveland and Bryan are running on a platform advocating free coinage of silver, while Harrison and Sherman stand behind the gold standard. The Republicans, riding a wave of popularity following the successful Reparations War, win by a landslide in the November elections, winning not only the Presidency but, once again, returning Republican majorities in both houses of Congress. However, this defeat for the free coinage advocates does not end the debate...and it will surface again in future elections.
1885-1886, France: Two developments in arms technology are made in France which will revolutionize warfare. In 1881 the American inventor, Hiram Maxim, had visited the Paris Electrical Exhibition. While he was at the exhibition he met a man who told him: "If you want to make a lot of money, invent something that will enable these Europeans to cut each other's throats with greater facility." Maxim remained in Paris, and over the next few years worked on producing an effective machine-gun. In 1885 he demonstrated the world's first automatic portable machine-gun, capable of a rate of fire of 500 rounds per minute. However, fouling and billowing clouds of smoke from black powder still made the weapon somewhat impractical. A Frenchman named Paul Vieille had been working on this problem, and in 1886 invented "Poudre B," a smokeless powder made from gelatinized nitrocellulose mixed with ether and alcohol, making the Maxim gun practical. Within three years, all major armies of the world will be equipped with Maxim guns and smokeless powder-firing magazine rifles, and production of both will be proceeding across the globe.
1885, The Union: On March 4, 1885 Benjamin Harrison is sworn in as President of the United States at Philadelphia, D.C., and John Sherman is sworn in as Vice President.
1885, The Confederacy: On August 25, 1885, the last slave in the Confederacy, a man named Cincinatus Jones living in Mississippi, purchases his freedom and is manumitted. He had for the past three years held the rather dubious distinction of being the only slave remaining in the Confederacy, but being a severe alcoholic, his own poor spending and saving habits prevented him from purchasing his freedom until now. In November 1885, Presidential Elections are held. The Liberty Party candidates are Fitzhugh Lee (who is eligible to run for his own term as President, having been elected Vice President in the previous election) for President and Joseph Wheeler for Vice President. The State’s Rights Party candidates are Joseph E. Brown (former Governor of Georgia) and States Rights Gist. Once again, heavy turnout by Negro voters gives the Liberty Party a huge victory.
1885 onward, India--The Indian National Congress is founded at Delhi in 1885. This is, at first, an organization devoted to gaining a greater share in government for educated native Indians, and is not opposed to British rule. However, as the British authorities constantly reject the Congress's demands for a more inclusive regime, the Indian National Congress will become more radical, and will begin moving toward a goal of total independence from British rule for India.
February 22, 1886, Washington C.D.: Fitzhugh Lee is sworn in as the President of the Confederate States of America and Joseph Wheeler is sworn in as Vice President.
1886, Utah Territory--LDS President John Taylor is allegedly visited by Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ, who confirmed to him the righteousness of polygamy. Fundamentalists say Taylor asked five men to ensure the practice lives on.
1887, The Confederacy: In each election since the passage of the Negro Citizenship bill, the State's Rights Party has received a smaller and smaller share of the vote. Not only have they been losing the Presidency, but their share of the Confederate Congress (by 1885 less than 10%) and Confederate State offices (by 1885 less than 20%) has declined too. After the long string of electoral defeats and their total loss of the goals they were formed to promote (racial segregation, keeping citizenship rights from freedmen), the State's Rights Party implodes. At a State's Rights Party Conference held in Atlanta in June 1887, a new splinter party, the State Sovereignty Party, is formed. While the State's Rights Party will continue in existence and will continue to focus on anti-Negro platforms, thus fading further into irrelevance, the State Sovereignty Party abandons the anti-Negro effort in favor of true State's Rights issues, such as opposition to universal conscription, that have broader appeal. The State Sovereignty Party will grow quickly (taking not only members from the State's Rights Party, but also from the Liberty Party...many of whose members oppose some of their party's policies, but did not want to associate with the anti-Negro State's Rights Party) and will shortly supplant the State's Rights Party as the second major party in the Confederacy.
1887, Utah Territory--Edmunds-Tucker Act reiterates U.S. ban on polygamy with stiffer penalties, including the disenfranchisement of polygamists. Also in this year, John Taylor dies, and the L.D.S. Church is temporarily without a prophet. Also in this year, John Moses Browning of Ogden, Utah, travels to Georgia (in the Confederacy) as a Mormon Missionary.5 He decides to settle down there and starts a firearms manufacturing company, Browning Firearms, after his mission period ends. Browning is a brilliant designer, and his work is soon noticed by the Confederate military.
1888, The Union: In November, Presidential Elections are held. The Republicans nominate James G. Blaine for President and Chester A. Arthur for Vice President. The Democrats nominate James Baird Weaver for President and William Hayden English for Vice President. The Democrats make the twin issues of free coinage of silver and better relations with the Confederacy the central themes of their campaign. The Republicans campaign for a continuation of their aggressive policies vis-à-vis the Confederacy and for a continuation of the gold standard, which they claim has led to the "Gilded Age" of prosperity and industrial might the country has enjoyed for the past two decades. In a surprise upset, the Democrats win the Presidential contest and control of the House of Representatives, but the Republicans retain control of the Senate.
1888, The Indian Territory: For a number of years there has been a movement for complete independence within the Indian Territory. This resulted in large part because repeated petitions by the Territory for Statehood within the Confederacy have been ignored by the Confederate Congress. In June 1888, a Convention of the Assembled Tribes of the Indian Nations is held at Tahlequah (capital of the Cherokee Nation). This Convention votes to declare the independence of the Indian Territory, which will now be called the Republic of Oklahoma (Oklahoma is a Choctaw word meaning "Home of the Red People"), and demands that all Confederate troops be withdrawn from the territory. President Lee announces that the Confederacy will not oppose this peaceful secession, and he orders Confederate troops withdrawn. The United States and Confederate States both will, shortly afterward, recognize Oklahoma as an independent nation.
1888, Texas: The Republic of Texas refuses to recognize the new Republic of Oklahoma, and now claims that the Indian Territory should rightfully belong to it. In August 1888 President Lawrence Sullivan Ross of Texas begins mobilizing troops on the border with Oklahoma. President Harrison of the Union and President Lee of the Confederacy both respond by issuing ultimatums proclaiming their support for Oklahoma, and demanding that Texas demobilize its troops. Both begin moving troops to the Texas border, and faced with this threat, saner heads prevail in Austin. Texas backs down, but hard feelings will persist in Texas over "The Insult of Oklahoma" that will lead to bitter fruit in the years to come.
1889, The Union: On March 4, 1889 at Philadelphia, D.C., James Baird Weaver is sworn in as the 21st President of the United States, and William Hayden English is sworn in as Vice President. Weaver uses the recent joint action taken by the Union and the Confederacy against Texas as an opening to improve relations between the two nations. Weaver negotiates a Treaty of Non-Aggression and Mutual Force Reduction with the Confederacy which is signed on June 20 and which would cut the size of the Union and Confederate armies by 1/3, as well as de-militarize the border between the Union and the Confederacy. However, the Treaty is defeated by the Republican majority in the Senate. Weaver's bill to introduce free coinage of silver is also defeated. In response to the July 30 announcement of an alliance between Texas and Great Britain, President Weaver opens negotiations with France, with whom a mutual defense treaty is signed on December 1. France and the U.S. become known as the Entente Powers.
1889, The Confederacy: President Lee responds favorably to the overtures made by President Weaver of the United States, and presents the Treaty of Non-Aggression and Mutual Force Reduction to the Confederate Senate. It is ratified by the Confederate Senate, after much debate, on September 1, but because it is contingent on passage by the Senates of both nations, it does not go into effect as it fails in the U.S. Senate. On December 6, 1889, the people of the South mourn as Jefferson Davis, beloved ex-President of the Confederate States, dies at his home in Mississippi. Heads of State from the United States, Oklahoma and Mexico attend the State Funeral, held at Washington, C.D. on December 12. Texas (where Jefferson Davis was never popular, quite aside from the recent "snub" received by Texas over the Oklahoma issue) sends a Deputy Ambassador.
1889, Oklahoma: On January 16, at Tahlequah (which has been selected as the capitol of the Republic of Oklahoma), the Republic of Oklahoma and the United States of America sign a mutual defense treaty, aimed at Texas. The Confederacy, maintaining its policy of neutrality, does not become a signatory, but maintains friendly relations with Oklahoma.
1889, Texas: Seeing the new military alliance between Oklahoma and the United States which is aimed at her, Texas starts casting about for allies. She begins negotiating with Britain, and a mutual defense treaty is signed on July 30 at London, creating the Atlantic Alliance. Texas also begins a major program of military expansion, especially of it's Navy. Spurred on by its need to industrialize to support its growing military, Texas conducts numerous surveys for undiscovered mineral deposits. A large oil field is discovered near Corsicana, Texas, and Texas begins to intensively develop it. Within two years Texas will be a major oil exporter, and immigrants from Europe will be pouring in to work the oilfields, swelling the population tremendously. Texas is developing the potential to be a major military power.
1889, Utah Territory--Wilford Woodruff becomes the fifth Prophet of the Mormon Church.
1889-1898, Texas: Nursing its grudge from the "Insult of Oklahoma," Texas has embarked on a sizable military buildup. Texas, like both the Union and the Confederacy, employs a system of universal conscription based on the German Model, and a decade of large-scale immigration and industrialization fueled by oil export revenues allows it to build a modern and well-equipped army of 300,000 (larger than that of the Confederacy...which was reduced by treaty limits agreed with the United States...but with smaller reserves of trained manpower), and a sizable navy as well. Knowing it can never hope to match the Union or the Confederacy in naval power, Texas has concentrated it's naval spending primarily in new technologies like torpedo boats and submarines, but it does have a small fleet of battleships and cruisers as well, based at Galveston. The Union, the Confederacy, and Oklahoma look on this buildup by a belligerent Texas with alarm.
In addition, since 1890 Texas has been secretly preparing a line of strong fortifications to guard it's northern frontier. This process goes on, largely undetected, in the barren expanses of northern Texas, Chihuahua, and Sonora (those areas contiguous with the United States and Oklahoma). The "Alamo Line," as it is called...which is placed about 20 miles inside the Texas border, so as not to be easily detectable from enemy territory...runs along the southern border of Oklahoma, across the southern base of the Texas panhandle (which the Texans realize cannot be defended since it is surrounded on 3 sides by hostile territory), and then along the southern borders of New Mexico and Arizona.
The Alamo Line is the most sophisticated defense line ever devised up to that time, and is similar in concept to OTL's Maginot Line. It is not a continuous line of fortifications, but an in-depth defense line consisting of a series of independent fortresses, mostly concealed beneath the ground and stoutly constructed of concrete and steel, heavily armed with machine guns and rapid firing artillery. The fortresses are placed so that they have interlocking fields of fire, and the areas between them and in front of them are heavily sown with land mines, barbed wire, man-traps, and other obstacles. The fortresses are designed so they can be held with minimal garrisons, and thus only slightly more than half of Texas's normal standing army (about 190,000 men) is required to fully man the fortresses in the main line of defense. Just in case the enemy somehow manages to get through this in-depth fortress line, fifty miles to the rear of the defense line is a railway, constructed to allow rapid movement of reserve troops and supplies from one front to another. Any invader is going to have a rude shock.
Finally, Texas has also been engaging in secret weapons development, including some nasty items based on by-products of its petroleum industry...flame throwers and poison gas. Flame throwers are very nearly ready for deployment at the time war comes in 1899, poison gas is nearing deployability but will require at least another year of research.
One other technical advance that will have important implications is made by Texas scientists in 1895...the discovery that helium can be separated from the natural gas which is a "waste byproduct" of the Texas oilfields. Texas had been secretly experimenting with rigid airships and blimps filled with hydrogen, which it hoped to use for recon purposes, but the program was hampered by numerous fiery accidents. With helium, Texas is able to develop a viable airship by 1898, which will be very useful in spotting attacking enemy forces in time to rush reserve forces to the area.
1890, the Union: In November, mid-term Congressional elections are held, as well as elections for many State Legislatures. The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives is increased, and enough State Legislatures go Democratic to return a Democratic majority in the Senate.
1890, Utah Territory--As Utah vies for statehood, and recognizing that the political balance of power within Utah itself is shifting as increasing numbers of Mormon polygamists are convicted and disenfranchised under the Edmunds-Tucker Act, LDS Church leader Wilford Woodruff issues a Manifesto suspending the practice of polygamy because it is "contrary to the laws of the land." However, the Woodruff Manifesto is not enforced, and polygamy continues on in Utah without a pause. This is not lost on local federal officials.
1890, Europe: Kaiser Wilhelm II ascends to the throne of the German Empire. He pursues aggressive policies, including a naval buildup (which causes friction with Great Britain), and an effort to gain colonies in Africa and Asia for Germany (which causes friction with both Britain and France). If a conflict erupts between Britain and France at some point, it is uncertain which way Germany will sway.
c. 1890 onward, North America--Movement to prohibit alcohol begins to gain support in the various nations of North America. As early as 1773, lead by the Methodist Church, calls were being made in America to prohibit the production, sale, and use of alcoholic beverages. This "Temperance Movement," as it was called, gradually gained strength throughout the 19th Century. Beginning in the 1890s, various State Legislatures in the United States, the Confederacy, and Texas vote to go "Dry." This further invigorates the Temperance movement, which begins pushing, in all three countries, for amendments to the national constitutions calling for complete alcohol prohibition.
c. 1890 onward, The Confederacy--Various designs by John Browning are adopted by the Confederate military. By the time war breaks out in 1899, the Confederacy has the best light machine guns and automatic pistols in the world. It will also adopt a Browning-designed semi-automatic military rifle...the first to be adopted by any military anywhere in the world...in 1900, just in time to see action in the war.
c. 1890 onward, The Confederacy and Texas: In this year, world demand for cotton, which has up to now been rapidly increasing year by year, stabilizes at a paltry 1.3 percent growth rate, a trend which will continue. This has important consequences for the agricultural segment of the Confederate and Texan economies, which are still, at this point, primarily based on production of cotton for export, mainly by large plantations using free black "peon" labor or, in States where the "peonage" system has been phased out, by white and black tenant farmers (sharecroppers) working for large landowners. Even though other producers (India, Egypt, and Brazil primarily) also have large shares of the market, the Confederacy and Texas still, in combination, at this point hold the biggest share of the world market. Confederate and Texan planters have been ramping up cotton production over the years to keep up with the increasing demand, and now that demand is stabilizing, a cotton glut is developing on the world market. Cotton prices go into a steep decline, Confederate and Texan planters begin to find themselves in dire economic straits, the value of plantation property falls tenfold, and bankrupt planters begin selling out to small farmers. Within a decade, few large plantations are left in either nation.
The demise of the large plantations has another important consequence...it also accelerates the phasing out of the peonage system for free blacks in most States of the Confederacy and in Texas. By 1910, only Mississippi, South Carolina, and Alabama still maintain such a system, and they maintain it for reasons having nothing to do with the initial creation of the system, but instead maintain it out of a desire to keep freed blacks "in their place." Elsewhere, former black peons buy their own small farms, or work as tenant farmers on a "sharecrop" basis for white landowners.
1891, The Confederacy: In November, Presidential Elections are held. Continuing its tradition of nominating the incumbent Vice President for President, the Liberty Party candidates are Joseph Wheeler for President and Custis Lee (son of General Robert E. Lee) for Vice President. This is the first election in which the State Sovereignty Party fields candidates, naming John B. Gordon for President and Raphael Semmes, Jr. for Vice President. States Rights candidates are Lamar Cobb, son of former Confederate General and Senator Howell Cobb, for President, and James Dandridge Hunter, son of former Virginia Senator Robert M. T. Hunter. The State Sovereignty Party makes the issue of universal conscription, which is widely hated among the lower classes (who always seem to be the ones called up while the sons of the wealthy manage to get exemptions) the central one of the campaign. In a surprisingly close election, the Liberty Party narrowly defeats the upstart State Sovereignty Party (the anti-Negro States' Rights Party sinks further into irrelevancy as it finishes a distant third in the race), however.
1891, The Union: President Weaver reintroduces his failed Non-Aggression and Mutual Defense Treaty with the Confederacy, and this time it passes. The treaty between the Union and the Confederacy goes into effect on May 1, and both immediately begin to reduce force levels to treaty limits. Weaver also reintroduces his Free Coinage of Silver bill, and it is passed as well. The results will not turn out as hoped for, unfortunately. While the free coinage act does (at least temporarily) create expansion in the economy as more money is available, it also stimulates inflation, which increases prices for consumers nationwide. Farmers, the main boosters for free coinage, do benefit temporarily from increased prices for their produce and lower interest rates on loans, but it is not long before the inflation of prices on the goods they must buy also catches up with them and they start complaining, too.
Seventh President of the Confederate States of America
1892, The Confederacy: On February 22, at Washington, C.D., Joseph Wheeler is sworn in as the seventh President of the Confederate States of America. Custis Lee is sworn in as Vice President.
1892 onward, The Confederacy and Texas: In 1892, the Mexican boll weevil crosses the Rio Grande near Brownsville, Texas. By 1907 it will have crossed the Mississippi River, and by 1920 it will have infested cotton crops across the entire Confederacy. Cotton crop yields are severely damaged, dropping in excess of 50 percent. Land values plummet once again, and hundreds of thousands of small farmers, like the large planters before them, are forced into bankruptcy. Large numbers will migrate to the cities, where they will find jobs in the expanding industrial sector of both the Confederacy and Texas.
1892, The Union: Presidential Elections are held. The Democrats renominate President Weaver and Vice President English, while the Republicans nominate William McKinley for President and Theodore Roosevelt (who had propelled himself into politics based on his war record in the Reparations War) for Vice President. The economy has been on an inflationary cycle since the passage of the free coinage act two years ago, and people are just about fed up with paying ever-increasing prices. They vote out Weaver by a landslide in the November returns, and the Republicans re-capture the Senate. However, the House of Representatives maintains a Democratic majority, albeit somewhat reduced.
1893, The Union: At Philadelphia, D.C., on March 4, William McKinley is sworn in as the 22nd President of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as Vice President.
1893, Philadelphia, D.C.--Legislation to admit Utah as a State into the Union is introduced into Congress. Due in large part to reports of continued polygamy in Utah, the measure is defeated in Congress. Similar legislation will be introduced every year for the next decade, and always meet the same result. Dissatisfaction among the Mormons of Utah, who feel that they are being persecuted by the federal government, increases with each defeated statehood bill.
1893, South Africa--Mohandas Gandhi arrives in Natal, having accepted a one-year contract from an Indian firm operating in the South African province. Later that year, he is thrown off a train for refusing to give up his first class seat...paid for with a valid first class ticket...to a white man, and is beaten for refusing to ride on the footboard of a stagecoach so as to allow a white passenger to ride inside the coach. These events start Gandhi on the road to political activism in pursuit of civil rights for Indians in South Africa.
1894, Europe: In a treaty signed at St. Petersburg, Russia joins with France and the United States to form the Triple Entente, aimed at Britain (and secondarily, at least for France and Russia, at Germany and Austria-Hungary).
1894, South Africa--Mohandas Gandhi, his 1 year contract expired, prepares to return to India. But he learns that a bill to deny the vote to Indians is being in the Natal Legislative Assembly, and Gandhi decides to stay to help organize the fight against it. Although the bill passes anyway, Gandhi's experience in this matter leads him to form the Natal Indian Congress later that year. Through this organization, he forms the Indian community of South Africa into a heterogeneous political force, inundating government and press alike with statements of Indian grievances and evidence of British discrimination in South Africa.
1895, Europe: In secret negotiations, the Triple Alliance and the Atlantic Alliance conclude a Treaty of Friendship. While not committing either alliance to military support of the other, it is understood that if the interests of both alliances are involved, joint military action may be considered. This pact is kept a strict secret, and never becomes known to the Triple Entente powers.
1895, The Confederacy: After years of electoral defeats and loss of influence at the national and State level, the leaders of the States' Rights Party can see the handwriting on the wall. At a June 22 meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia, the State's Rights Party formally dissolves. What few remaining members it has now drift either toward the Liberty Party or the State Sovereignty Party, mostly to the latter.
1896, The Union: Federal elections are held in November. The Republicans have re-nominated President McKinley and Vice President Roosevelt. The Democrats nominate Adlai Ewing Stevenson for President and William Jennings Bryan for Vice President. The Democrats have a hard time finding issues, as under the current administration the economy is improving again, and President McKinley and Vice President Roosevelt are re-elected.
1896, Alaska--On August 16, Skookum Jim, a Tagish Indian, kills a moose near Rabbit Creek (a tributary of the Klondike River), then goes to the creek for a drink. There he sees many golden flakes in the shallow waters. This marks the beginning of the Klondike Gold Rush, which will last two years and draw many settlers to the U.S. territory of Alaska, which up until now has been known as "McClellan's Icebox," after President George B. McClellan, who pushed the bill authorizing the purchase of the territory through Congress in 1867.
1897, The Confederacy: In November, elections are held. The Liberty Party nominates George Washington Custis Lee for President, and William Montgomery Forrest, son of War of Secession and War with Spain hero, General Nathan Bedford Forrest, for Vice President. The State Sovereignty Party nominates Raphael Semmes, Jr. for President and James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart, Jr. (son of the famous Confederate cavalry leader) for Vice President. Both Semmes and Stuart are heroes of the War with Spain and scions of fathers famous during the War of Secession, they campaign hard, and their platform calling for the end of forced conscription and less interference by the Confederate general government in local affairs carries a lot of appeal for the masses. And after almost 30 years of continuous Liberty Party administrations (over 30 years if you include the administration of Jefferson Davis, who, although never elected under a Liberty Party ticket, was a founder of the Liberty Party), people are actually eager for something different. And so, to the shock of the establishment, Semmes and Stuart win by a landslide. The State Sovereignty Party also captures the House of Representatives, but the Liberty Party maintains control of the Senate.
1897, The Union: At Philadelphia, D.C., President McKinley and Vice President Roosevelt are sworn in for their second term on March 4.
RAPHAEL SEMMES, JR.
Eighth President of the Confederate States of America
1898, The Confederacy: At Washington, C.D., Raphael Semmes, Jr. is sworn in as the eighth President of the Confederacy on February 22, and Jeb Stuart, Jr. is sworn in as Vice President.
1897, South Africa--Mohandas Gandhi, having briefly left South Africa to retrieve his wife and child from India, returns to Natal, where upon his arrival he is almost lynched by a white mob. He refuses to press charges on any member of the mob, stating it was one of his principles not to seek redress for a personal wrong in a court of law.
1898, Africa: Britain and France have been competing for many years as they both expanded their colonial empires throughout the continent. The British are pursuing a scheme for a Capetown to Cairo Railroad, and the French are pursuing a similar scheme to establish a route linking the Atlantic to the Red Sea. Obviously, these routes are going to intersect at some point, and a crisis is going to develop.
To make good their claim the French dispatched (May 1, 1897) Major J. B. Marchand with a small force from Brazzaville, in the face of a British warning. After crossing over 2,000 miles (3,200 km) of almost unexplored wilderness, Marchand reached (July 10, 1898) the village of Fashoda on the Nile in the southern Sudan. Beating off a Mahdist attack, he stopped there to await an expected Franco-Ethiopian expedition from the east. Meanwhile, Lord Kitchener’s Anglo-Egyptian army had defeated (September 2) the Mahdists in the northern Sudan. When he heard of the French activities, Kitchener led forces upriver to Fashoda and, despite Marchand’s presence, claimed (September 19) the town for Egypt. The French government, emboldened by its alliance with the United States and Russia, does not order its mission to withdraw, and an uneasy truce is maintained between the two forces while negotiations drag on back home.
On November 3, a small dispute between rival picket lines leads to shots being fired, the situation escalates, and there is soon a pitched battle between the French and British forces. The French are defeated and forced to surrender. Kitchener puts the pitiful remnants of Marchand's force on a ship at Alexandria and sends them home, and they arrive at Toulon, France, on December 1. When word of the "Outrage of Fashoda" reaches Paris, the public demands revenge for this insult to French Honour, and war fever is in full sway by the end of the year.
1899, Countdown to War: On January 31, after consulting with its allies, France issues an ultimatum on Britain, demanding that it withdraw from the disputed territory in Africa and pay compensation for the "murder" of the French troops under Marchand. Britain, Texas, France, the United States, Oklahoma and Russia begin mobilizing their militaries. The Triple Alliance Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy) do not declare full mobilization yet, but place their militaries on a heightened alert status. On February 28, France's deadline for compliance with it's ultimatum expires without response from Britain, and France declares war. One by one, the interlocking alliances and treaties fall into place, and declarations of war rebound across the globe...
----March 1, The United States and Russia honour their treaty commitments and declare war on Britain. Britain declares war on France, the United States, and Russia.
---- March 2, Texas responds with a declaration of war on the United States, France, and Russia.
----March 3, The United States, France, Russia, and Oklahoma declare war on Texas.
----March 4, Texas declares war on Oklahoma. The Confederacy declares its neutrality, but orders its military to full alert and deploys troops to the Texas border, just in case Texas decides to try to take revenge for the "Insult of Oklahoma."
----March 5, the Triple Alliance Powers go to full mobilization, while feverish negotiations go on between them, the Entente Powers, and the Atlantic Alliance Powers, both of which are trying to persuade the Triple Alliance to come in on their side. Also on that same day, the Dominion of Nova Africanus (realizing that in any war between the U.S. and Britain, it is going to be caught in the middle and crushed) declares it's independence from Britain and it's neutrality in the conflict. The United States, the Confederacy, Oklahoma, France, and Russia will recognize its independence over the next two days. In South Africa, the Boer republics, Orange Free State and Transvaal, which have been receiving arms and equipment from the Entente Powers for some time, see an opportunity to drive the British out of South Africa for good and declare war on Britain.
----March 10, the Atlantic Alliance and the Triple Alliance conclude a deal. Britain promises that upon successful conclusion of the war, it will foreswear any claims to French colonies in Africa and elsewhere (even those she helped to capture), and that all French colonies will be divided up equally between Germany and Italy at the close of the war. In exchange, Germany will cede its colony in East Africa to Britain, which will give the British full control of the proposed route for their coveted Capetown-to-Cairo railroad. Austria is promised significant territory in the Balkans and Poland at Russia's expense. Accordingly, the Triple Alliance declares war on France, Russia, and the United States. The resulting combination of powers is called the Grand Alliance.
The world is about to plunge into years of bloody conflict, the likes of which have never been seen...The Great War.
GO TO PART THREE--THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
RETURN TO CONTENTS
NOTES FOR PART TWO--THE GILDED AGE
1The views of Davis and Benjamin on these issues are per the OTL. Davis did in fact allow the slaves on his plantation to operate under a system of self-government, and educated many of the slaves on his plantation, because he believed the slaves would eventually be freed and that they needed to be prepared for their role as citizens, see Hudson Strode, "Jefferson Davis," COLLIER'S ENCYCLOPEDIA, New York: Macmillan, 1992. And Judah P. Benjamin did argue, as described, in favor of a period of "peonage" very similar to the system discussed here, see William L. Barney, FLAWED VICTORY: A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON THE CIVIL WAR, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1975. Another major factor which would have argued in favor of Davis and other Confederate leaders being amenable to eventual black citizenship is the fact that they loyally served in the Confederate Army during the war. In the OTL, it was this factor, more than anything else, which convinced die-hard white supremacists in the north (including Abraham Lincoln himself, who was on record as stating that he did not believe blacks and whites could ever be equal in the United States, and favored a system of white supremacy...see Thomas DiLorenzo, THE REAL LINCOLN: A NEW LOOK AT ABRAHAM LINCOLN, HIS AGENDA, AND AN UNNECESSARY WAR, New York: Crown Publishing Group, 2002) to support citizenship for the Negro, and there is little reason to think reactions among the Confederate leadership and people would have been different. Also, there are no doubt many who will question the fact that you will not see a system of "Jim Crow" segregation grow up in the South under this timeline. In OTL, "Jim Crow" was a northern invention, and existed in most northern states but not in the South prior to the war. The southern states were imitating the victor when they introduced it into their own law codes during Reconstruction and afterward. In this timeline there is little reason to think anything of the sort would have occurred.
2The 1863 Draft Riots in New York and other northern cities arose in large part out of resentment toward blacks, who were blamed for the war by many in the North. History records that many hundreds of blacks were lynched during these riots. I am speculating that with northern defeat in the war, and with the memory of large-scale desertion by black Union troops to the Confederacy during the final months of the war, blacks would have been seen by the majority of northerners not only as the "cause" of the war, but also as "traitors," and that these anti-black feelings would have very likely triggered even bigger riots shortly after the war.
3During the debates leading to the passage of the Confederate Negro recruitment law in the OTL, Wigfall made some very similar statements.
4In OTL, the United States almost went to war with Spain, in virtually identical circumstances (minus the involvement of a famous personage like Rooney Lee), in 1873. The ship involved in that incident was the Virginius, and Nathan Bedford Forrest actually did volunteer to serve with the United States forces against Spain. His application, made to commanding General William T. Sherman, was favorably received. But war was forestalled, and the sight of "The Wizard of the Saddle" leading U.S. troops against the Spaniards never came to be.
5Happened in OTL. However, in OTL he did not remain and left Georgia when his mission was completed in 1889.
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Copyright 2003-2011 by Robert Paul Perkins. All rights reserved. Last updated on 4 April 2011.