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Thread: News from Nowhere - a Confederate History

  1. #1
    President Pro Tempore Jape's Avatar
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    News from Nowhere - a Confederate History

    Hello there, this is to be my first V:2 AAR only its not quite that. Basically this will be more towards the 'Fan Fiction' side of the AAR remit, possibly it should be credited Inspired by a V:2 Game played by Jape. I played the CSA through, not entirely sure about turning it into an AAR as it was one of my first games - as such this AAR will be incredibly light on screenshots and I will focusing on a more Alt History, account - your bog standard History Book AAR, so no talk of POPs and RGOs and the like here I'm afraid, there are several excellent 'gamey' AARs on this board at present and I'm terribly dull when attempting it myself.

    As usual with my gaming, I'm guided by flavour over game mechanics so I take a heavily interventionist role in ironing out wierd AI moves and gloss over in-game events with AltHistory fluff. As such this will be based mainly on my notes taken during play and my imagination to fill in the blanks - you have been warned. Plus I'm Jape, frankly if I make it past update 5 it'll be a Herculean feat. Anyway - first post up soon. In case you're wondering the title comes from an early Alternate History (or rather Future History) written by William Morris in the 1880s. It has no connection to this story I just like quite the name, so there you have it. Enough rambling, on with the show!
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  2. #2
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    News from Nowhere
    I



    "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world".



    Over 60,000 Union troops were trapped during the Siege of Washington


    It was on the bitterly cold morning of 20th January 1863 that Abraham Lincoln received word; Washington had fallen. After three months of protracted siege, the Union’s capital, despite fearsome defences, was forced to surrender due to food and fuel shortages. Added to the fall of Philadelphia the previous November and Nathan Bedford Forrest’s continued march into Ohio, the capital’s loss was the final blow to the Federal war effort. The next day the British ambassador, Lord Lyons, informed the President at his New York residence that Westminster had recognised the Confederate States of America as a sovereign nation, and as such would begin official trade relations with Richmond. This would entail British merchant ships bound from Bermuda under Royal Navy protection arriving in New Orleans by the end of the month; with the Confederate coastline still blockaded by U.S warships the implication was obvious. As Lincoln assembled his Cabinet to discuss the crisis, news arrived that the French had followed suit. After several hours of intense debate, in which the Secretary of State, William Seward led a brutal criticism of the ‘perfidious Europeans’, the reality of a possible escalation of war dawned upon the Union’s government. The next morning Lincoln received Lord Lyons once more and requested British mediation to help end hostilities.


    In Richmond, Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet met the news with stunned surprise. Although Lee’s lightning Pennsylvania Campaign had seen several superior Union armies routed and destroyed, the President and many of his ministers believed that only the fall of New York and the bisection of the North could ensure victory. Meanwhile the continuing blockade made many fear for the nation’s long-term ability to wage war. They had in particular been pessimistic of European intervention due to Britain’s failure to react decisively during the Trent Affair of the previous year. However Prime Minister Lord Palmerston’s pro-Confederate views had then been tempered by John Russell and the ailing Prince Albert. However come 1863, Albert lay dead and Palmerston had seen his ally the Earl of Clarendon replace Russell at the Foreign Office. The fall of Washington have given Palmerston the necessary leverage to pull Parliament behind recognition of the C.S.A, while in Paris, news of British support led the incredibly pro-Confederate Emperor Napoleon III to follow suit.




    The Men of Montreal (l-r): William H. Seward, Lord Lyons, Judah P. Benjamin


    Lord Lyons soon orchestrated an armistice for 1st February but struggled to find a suitable location for negotiations between the two nations, with neither interested in travelling into enemy territory. Eventually it was agreed to host talks in Montreal, with Lyons representing the ailing Clarendon as the mediating power. On 7th February the respective Secretaries of State and their delegations arrived in the snowbound Quebecois city to begin talks. Within the stuffy, overheated chambers of the Hotel de Ville, tensions grew high. Seward loathed to recognise his opposite, Judah P. Benjamin as his equal and fought bitterly against Confederate claims to Maryland, Kentucky and the Arizona Territory. He argued that the two border states refusal to initially secede proved they held no affiliation to Richmond an had only come to have pro-Southern governments through duress and occupation. Meanwhile the situation in the Trans-Mississippi Theatre, stretching from New Orleans into Texas, the Indian Territories and out towards California, was confused to say the least. Meanwhile Benjamin stubbornly resisted acceptance of the ‘rebel’ Unionist government of Virginia, held up in the north-western hill country of the state and by 1863 all but cut off from the United States. Bitter mountain warfare had seen numerous Confederate forces repulsed and Lyons feared partisans on the ground would render any settlement void.


    Another area of contention was the status of Washington D.C. The city held extreme strategic and cultural value to both sides. When it was eventually agreed that Maryland and Unionist Virginia would remain with the North in return for Kentucky and the Arizona Territory, the city’s position on the border became one of contention. Benjamin claimed the city for the Confederacy due to its recent fall to Southern forces, while Seward deemed it the symbolic capital of the Union, something that Richmond had exited and as such had no stake in. Ironically perhaps, the city’s original intent and value, as a centralised federal capital was made worthless by the War of Secession. Lincoln had already drawn up plans for New York City to become an autonomous district in advance of it becoming the new capital of the Union. Meanwhile despite urges in some Confederate circles, Davis and his Cabinet knew moving their government to Washington would be strategically ridiculous, surrounded on three sides by the United States. However the former capital was primarily a town for politicians and civil servants, without its original purpose, it was doomed to shrivel into a mediocre border city. Ultimately its value to both sides was its emotional content. The city that held their respective national hero’s name was a valued prize and neither side wished to relinquish it.


    Talks began to reach an impasse as both sides threatened the other with continued hostilities. While Lee and Forrest had bested the Union on the field, some 200,000 draftees were in-training, ready to bolster the Federal war effort, while the U.S Navy had yet to relinquish its stranglehold of Confederate ports. Benjamin in turn threatened to continue the advance on New York and the Great Lakes. Ultimately it was the silent threat of European intervention, personified by Lord Lyons that pulled Seward away from abandoning talks, while Benjamin was well aware of the blockade’s effect on the South’s export-driven economy. Eventually a compromise was propositioned by the chief French observer to the talks, Count Walewski. He suggested that Washington become a Free City, protected by Britain, France, the United States and the Confederacy, with a neutral power presiding. Benjamin, willing to accept any solution that avoided war conceded, followed, begrudgingly, by Seward. Eventually the Swiss Government would agree to provide Washington with its High Commissioners, beginning with the noted diplomat Johann Conrad Kern in 1864. Finally on 25th February 1863, the United States and Confederate States of America signed the Treaty of Montreal, bringing an official end to the War of Secession.




    Federal Hall Riots, February 1863


    Reaction to the peace treaty varied substantially across the Union and Confederacy. On 1st March, Robert E. Lee led the victorious Army of Northern Virginia through the streets of Richmond, thronged by revellers, flags, music and drink. Similar scenes took place across much of the South. However in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, the victory celebrations were marred by acts of violence against the Unionist “Hill-Billies”, who had been the major source of anti-war discontent within the Confederacy. In Knoxville, the site of open rebellion in 1861, fifty-seven Federal guerrillas were hung on 27th February by local militia, having been lured out of the hills with promises of amnesty. Similar acts took place across Kentucky and Texas albeit on a smaller scale, while notably in Maryland the return of U.S control saw dozens of Confederate collaborators suffer similar fates. Elsewhere in the North, the treaty was met with everything from solemn mourning to jubilation. In New York, Copperhead funded celebrations spiralled into violence as President Lincoln’s Wall Street residence was attacked by drunken gang members, forcing him to flee in secret. In contrast to the Federal Hall Riots, the forces of General William Tecumseh Sherman were treated like victors by the general public on their entrance into Chicago, the General being marked out as one of the few heroes to come out of the Union war effort, thanks to his tenacious defence of Indiana and Illinois against markedly superior forces.


    The after effects of the War were severe on both sides, with losses in material and human life far outweighing initial assumptions. Some 240,000 soldiers and civilians died during less than two years of warfare from combat and disease, while the wounded numbered close to 600,000. Across Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas and Texas thousands more had been made homeless, while countless farms, factories, railways, canals, businesses and towns had been laid waste by the to and fro of vast armies. In the Confederacy the Union blockade had also cause major privation, with the cotton industry, the primary export of the South rotting in the millions of tons on quaysides and docks across the nation, unable to sail. Following Montreal and the return to free trade, the sudden influx of Confederate cotton, alongside wartime alternative imported from Egypt and India, into European markets saw previously high prices sink dramatically as the market became massively saturated. During the embargo and the following price slump, thousands of loans were taken out by farmers ranging from the great landed oligarchs to smallholders in an effort to prop their businesses up until the market stabilised. However for many, particularly small family-run farms, the slump was too long-term to withstand and by early 1865 hundreds of loans were being defaulted on, which in turn led to the mid-sized Mobile State Bank to declare bankruptcy in April of that year, sparking a chain of similar collapses across the Deep South. Although by 1870 Confederate cotton would once again dominate the world market, the Loans Crisis was a clear sign of the grim situation in the years following the war.




  3. #3
    The One and Only BBB BigBadBob's Avatar
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    Oooh! A Confederacy AAR. I will be watching this.
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    Nice. Did you actually give Washington to Switzerland or di you create a new Free City country in game?

    Also, what are your plans in relation to how the Confederacy will develop? Do you intend to keep a slave based agricultural economy or will you liberate the slave just so they can toil under a new capatalistic opression in the factories?

  6. #6
    President Pro Tempore Jape's Avatar
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    BigBadBob: Cheers, good to know.

    Tanzhang (譚張): Haha, well we'll see!

    Tommy4ever: Cheers. For simplicity I handed Washington over to Switzerland, though if I did it again I'd probably mod it as a new country as there are so interesting event ideas surrounding a Free City between the two rival nations. On slavery, well wait and see - its not going to be very cut and dry, or bloodless either.

    I'll get a map up for the first update soon so you know the situation, and hopefully the second update some time later tonight.

  7. #7
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    Jape. I wondered when you'd be back, I should say something about 'how do you have the nerve to come back here?' but I think we passed that point a good few AARs ago.

    The CSA is always interesting as is a Swiss Washington (you know what I mean). I hope this survives long enough for that to be developed, I also like to see how a financially struggling CSA copes with slavery and the abolitionist movements. But I'm not holding my breath.
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    Intresting indeed

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    This is really good. I am interested to see what the Confederacy will do with the Arizona and Indian territories.
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    I really like your history book style of writing.

    How did you set up the game? Did you play the USA up until secession and then switched country?

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    A curious alternative history. I'll keep an eye on this one. Although I must admit that the US Civil War had/has never really been of great interest to me. Where you go from here will be more interesting to me.
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  12. #12
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    News from Nowhere
    II



    “Never be haughty to the humble or humble to the haughty.”



    The Fall of Mexico City



    Although Jefferson Davis would go down in Confederate history as a hero, the founder of his nation, it is difficult to ignore the various crises that took place in the latter years of his Administration. Following the collapse of Mobile State Bank and the beginning of the Cotton Recession, Richmond struggled to rebound from the economic hardships of the war. The nation’s wartime debts were added to in peacetime and Virginia , the state most effected by the conflict in terms of causalities and material damage, was forced to drastically slash budgets in an effort to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile all across the Confederacy, returning soldiers struggled to find work as industry attempted to return to a peace footing. This was perhaps epitomised by the collapse of the Richmond Armoury in October 1865, leaving thousands out of work, many of them recently returned from the Army of Northern Virginia. For those that did find employment, there was still the problem of low wages, which had only fallen further in response to the economic crisis. Dozens of major labour disputes took place across the country in the following years. The most famous of these led to violent clashes between textile workers and police in Charleston, South Carolina on 13th April 1866, leading to several deaths and hundreds of arrests.


    In foreign affairs, despite the Treaty of Montreal, Davis and Lincoln would clash once again, this time over French intervention in Mexico. The Mexican crises had begun with a pan-European expedition into the country in March 1862, in response to President Juarez’s cancellation of the foreign debt. However Britain and Spain quickly realised Napoleon’s colonial intentions and soon withdrew support. Within weeks French forces had forced Juarez and his liberal allies to flee into the northern wilderness, while the Austrian Archduke Maximilian arrived to take the throne of the Second Mexican Empire. The situation greatly alarmed Lincoln as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine however United States’ involvement in the Secession War made any serious intervention impossible. The territorial exchanges of Montreal also later limited Union action as Confederate control of the Arizona Territory left her with only southern California for a land border. Despite this, Congress passed a resolution on 4th April 1863 denouncing the Mexican monarchy. Soon U.S troops were positioned at the narrow frontier, and the funnelling of munitions to Juarez’s Chihuahua stronghold began in earnest.



    Two Mexicos: President Benito Juarez (l) and Emperor Maximilian I (r)



    At the same time the French were looking to Richmond to see their response. Although Davis had little interest in seeing a European dominated Mexico on his southern border, following the U.S Congress’s Mexican Resolution he saw the only alternative would be a Union dominated one. All across the Confederacy there was fear that Lincoln would use his toady Juarez to outflank the country in a second ‘war of revenge’. In Texas in particular there was anger and worry as Republican forces increasingly crossed the Rio Grande, often fleeing Monarchist forces but also to raid Confederate settlements for supplies. By the beginning of 1864, as the United States began considering a blockade to shut off French supplies to Maximilian, the Confederate threw their (clandestine) support behind the Monarchists. Soon weapons and volunteers crossed the border to aid the Emperor’s forces. Although New York was angered to hear rumours of Confederate complicity, it was ultimately a tit-for-tat action. It was on 1st March when news arrived of Juarez’s death that the situation reached breaking point.


    The Mexican President had apparently been executed by members of the French Foreign Legion at his base camp, El Paso del Norte, in the extreme north of the country. It had been chosen for its isolation from the Emperor’s southern heartlands and was believed to be many miles from the nearest enemy forces. However it also lay within view of the Texan border, quickly prompting accusations of Confederate complicity, perhaps even direct involvement. Edward Edmunds, the U.S Ambassador to Richmond passed on strongly worded messages from Federal Hall, threatening to block Confederate exports from entering the United States and even the possibility of troops being used to ‘secure’ Mexico’s northern frontier. President Davis, in discussions with Judah P. Benjamin and General Lee, came to the conclusion that Lincoln lacked the ability or resolve to act on his threats. The 1862 U.S mid-term elections had seen the Republican Party lose their majority, while the general public had little interest in Mexico, more concerned with rebuilding the nation. As such on 6th March, the Confederacy joined France and Austria in recognising Emperor Maximilian as the legitimate ruler of Mexico. It was a clear message to New York and much to Davis’ surprise, was met with action. The next days orders were given for over 15,000 U.S troops to amass on the Arizona-New Mexico border and proposals were put to Congress to quarantine all French and Confederate ships bound for Mexican ports.



    U.S Dragoons in action



    Once more Edmunds presented the President were word from his opposite. If another act of ‘banditry’ emanated from the C.S.A into Mexico, Union soldiers would be forced to occupy the Arizona Territory. Within a week Lt. General Octave Herbert, governor of the province, had amassed 10,000 soldiers and militiamen in response. After several weeks of stand-off, eventually shots were fired. Dubbed somewhat dramatically as the ‘Battle of Apennine Ridge’ by the press, on April 12th a Confederate scouting party accidentally crossed the border in pursuit of Apache Indians. During the Secession War, the Apache had chosen no favourites, attacking both sides in an effort to secure their territory and making use of the new border to avoid pursuit. Arriving on the eponymous outcrop, the party spotted horsemen galloping in their direction and quickly opened fire, suspecting an Indian trap in their panic. A protracted gun battle broke out and soon the Confederates had forced their opponents to retreat. Much to their surprise, they discovered two dead U.S cavalrymen and quickly fled across the border. The Union forces involved had not been so short-sighted and soon word broke of C.S expeditions into New Mexico. Suddenly north of the border the crisis in Mexico was front page news. Despite swift apologies from Herbert and Davis, the attack fit the problem of ’banditry’ Lincoln had outlined in his missives. Richmond feared the possibility of a second war only a little over a year after Montreal.


    It was not to be. When word arrived from Edmunds on 15th April it was a demand for compensation for the families of the dead and the offer of talks to withdraw both nations from the war in Mexico. Ultimately Davis‘ prediction of Union hesitance had been proven right. The death of Juarez had effectively decapitated the Republican cause. General Porfirio Diaz had been seen by many as the President’s successor but on 1st April after secret talks with Mexico City, the General had sworn loyalty to the Emperor. It would later be learned that the talks had been underway long before Juarez’s execution. At the same French forces had secured control of Baja and Chihuahua in a direct effort to cut off U.S supplies into the country. Other reasons have also been speculated for the Union’s decision to step down over Mexico. Most credible perhaps, and a theory put forward by Benjamin, was that Lincoln still believed a return to hostilities would see France and possibly Britain intervene on the Confederacy’s behalf. Similarly the anti-war faction held dominance in both Congress and the Cabinet, with most simply unwilling to fight, either so soon or over the issue of Mexico. By June the Mexican Crisis was deemed to be at all but at an end as Richmond and New York agreed to halt aide to either side and step down their military forces along the Arizona border. Although French forces would in some capacity stay in the country until 1868, Diaz’s defection had ended any hope of Republican victory in the near future. Regardless, the United States would not officially recognise Maximilian and the Empire until the 1880s.



    Backroom dealing at the Republican National Convention, 1864



    The U.S step down ultimately doomed Abraham Lincoln’s re-election prospects. The Republican Party Convention met only weeks after the Battle of Apennine Ridge in Cleveland, with the majority of the delegates determined to find a new contender. In the first ballot Lincoln gained only a third of the vote, coming second to Hannibal Hamlin, his Vice-President and a leading Radical, while the moderate Salmon Chase from Ohio came third. In the following ballots Lincoln’s support slowly collapsed, however Hamlin failed to gain a majority, due to former Secretary of State William Seward, a fellow Radical, stubbornly holding onto 40 delegates. By the fifth ballot the deadlock remained as Chase’s anti-tariff and nativist views put off various sections of the party. Fearful of a Hamlin-Seward ticket sweeping the Convention, conservatives put forward a compromise candidate on the sixth ballot in the form of the little known Senator James R. Doolittle of Wisconsin. He quickly by-passed Chase and Lincoln and following both standing aside, won the Presidential nomination on the seventh ballot, with Nathaniel Banks of Massachusetts agreeing to be his running mate. Hamlin was furious at the result, claiming to have been robbed by the Party bosses and closet Democrats. He refused to support the nomination and walked out of the Convention with 38 fellow delegates. The rebels quickly organised themselves as the Radical-Republican Party and promptly nominated Hamlin for the Presidency at an ad-hoc convention in Boston.


    Meanwhile the Democrats had swiftly nominated the Governor of Ohio, David Tod, a noted entrepreneur and administrator who had gained respect for his efforts during and after the Secession War to rebuild his state. His Copperhead rival, Thomas H. Seymour of Connecticut accepted the Vice-Presidential nomination begrudgingly, his faction uneasy with the formerly pro-Lincoln Tod. Despite this it was the Republicans who were to face internal problems as the campaign wore on. Doolittle believed that the Radicals would fail to make any real impact on the election, due to Hamlin widely being portrayed as being personally motivated, while the Confederacy’s successful secession made the issues of war and slavery moot ones. In June this changed when the Radicals gained the backing of John Fremont, the father of the Republican Party, leading to many supporters defecting to Hamlin’s camp, particularly in California and New England. At the same time, Doolittle struggled to outline a clear programme as he attempted to appeal to both Democrats and Radical rebels, promising to raise punitive tariffs on Confederate goods while also normalising relations being just one example. On the other side Tod attacked the Mexican debacle and promised to build-up the U.S economy and maintain peace through foreign trade deals, citing his experience in international diplomacy. As the election date drew near, Hamlin proved a dark horse, drawing in many die-hard Republicans on issues of Westward expansion, abolition and high tariffs.




    The split in the Republican vote scuppered Doolittle's chances



    Back in Richmond the election of the moderate Tod was greeted with approval, however politics was just as frantic in the C.S.A as her northern counterpart. The stand-off in Arizona, although something of a victory for the Confederacy, deeply upset sections of the Government who deemed Davis too aggressive and irresponsible in his provocations of the Union. Many wondered what would have happened if Lincoln had not backed down. Chief amongst these was Vice-President Alexander Hamilton Stephens. Stephens, a former Whig, had been chosen as Davis’ second in the name of fostering national unity, however the two men deeply disliked each other on both political and personal levels. While Stephens debated passionately behind closed doors against the President, Robert Toombs, his friend, ally and fellow Georgian attacked Davis brutally in the press and Congress. Toombs, a wealthy aristocrat and gifted, if power hungry, career politician had briefly held a Cabinet position at the beginning of the war, however he lacked Stephens’ patience or tact and soon resigned due to disagreements. Most notably Toombs had caught national attention in 1863 by calling on Richmond to liberate Mexico from the French invasion in order to “remove the rot of monarchy from our continent”. Much to Davis’ embarrassment the call was very popular as despite its pragmatism, the President’s Mexican policy was deemed somewhat unsavoury in most circles.


    Although the vocal opposition of Toombs and company was in a minority, as Davis’ term continued his Administration became marred in scandal. In May 1865 the Governor of Tennessee, Isham G. Harris, was gunned down in Knoxville by James Wilson, a diehard Unionist. After being apprehended by police Wilson claimed he had killed the Governor because he was allowing favourites to illegally confiscate property from former Union supporters in the east of the state, ruining his life by seizing his family farm. An investigation discovered the assassin’s claims to be true and numerous politicians and officials were linked to the scheme. Most surprisingly the austere Treasury Secretary, Christopher Memminger, was discovered to have been involved, ignoring financial irregularities in the state to cover Harris and his accomplices. The Wilson Affair was the first major stain to President Davis’ tenure and ensured the end of Memminger’s political career following his resignation in July. The President denied any knowledge of a conspiracy but Stephens was convinced otherwise. In August the Vice-President met with Toombs, Senator John Bell and others to discuss organising a ticket for the next year to oppose Davis’ successor.



    Happier Times: The 1st Confederate Cabinet, March 1861


  13. #13
    President Pro Tempore Jape's Avatar
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    El Pip: Yes I'm a reprobate I know. Good to have you on board Pip. Let Swiss Washington set the tone for odd but interesting events to come. The growing pains of the CSA will be.. messy shall we say.

    morneion: Thanks.

    Alfredian: Well Arizona plays a key role in the newest update. The Indian Territories will be relatively quiet for some time but it will move to the forefront of current affairs around the turn of the 20th century for interesting reasons.

    Commandante: Thank you very much, its basically all I know! I did play the US until secession, with many reloads until the whole Confederacy actually joined in!

    Kaltorak: Curious? Swiss Washington upsetting you? I have to agree, the ACW isn't a major area of interest for me which the reason my AAR starts with its end!

  14. #14
    Any chance of a plebicite to ask the people of Washington to which country they want to be a part of?

  15. #15
    Field Marshal Tommy4ever's Avatar
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    Maximilian is a worry. However he could also become a powerful ally. If you manage to sign a Richmond-Mexico City Axis the balance of power in North America would shift firmly in your favour.

    I'm looking forward to the Confederate election. Hopefully you can rid yourself of what I suspect is an L-F party.

  16. #16
    Very well written, I like the style. I notice that despite the split, the two Republican parties did very well combined

  17. #17
    President Pro Tempore Jape's Avatar
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    Morrell8: Oh god no! For one, there is little of population left, what with the removal of political administrative power to New York and Richmond respectively. Also its independence is designed specifically to avoid figuring out who 'deserves' ownership. The Treaty of Montreal specifically states both parties, as well as Britain and France, will make no efforts to dominate or absorb the Free City of Washington and will defend it from any such action. It is strictly neutral ground and will develop something of a tradition for being the site of various dimplomatic events. That said geopolitics is never that clear cut so expect some headaches along the way!

    Tommy4ever: He is a possibly 'disruptive' figure. For one despite sitting upon a throne of French bayonets he is no subserviant puppet. I think his friendship with Paris will sour as time goes on. Also he is a solid liberal. He constantly petitioned Juarez to become his Prime Minister for instance, being somewhat naive about his militantly republican, nationalist and anti-clerical views. He is interested in Mexico first and foremost and isn't too keen on the 'slaveocrats' of Richmond, never mind the various filibuster expeditions that come out of America into the Caribbean from time to time. However he knows the United States is ready to back any revolt against him so realpolitik may play its part.

    The Democrats are an L-F party, but I wont give anything away about the election, more of that in the next update.

    Sandino: Why thank you, I take 'inspiration' from the fine works of Dr. Gonzo and RossN, I'd suggest anyone who likes good history book AARs go check out their efforts.

    The US Election is very interesting, for one the Democrats will be somewhat worried that despite Lincoln's major loss of face in the Secession and Mexican Crisis they still needed a Republican split to win the election. Also Republicans on both sides will be taking very different lessons from the results. 1868 and 1872 will be important dates in US political history I can assure you.

    Next update will probably be tomorrow, the real world sadly is creeping in. Also I'll be adding footnotes to all previous and future updates to give more scope and I'm fiddling with Photoshop to hopefully offer you maps and what-not of a decent quality.

  18. #18
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    I must confess I find this fascinating, if only for a political scene on which supporting a monarchy is distasteful but slavery is absolutely fine and a bedrock of civilisation. While I can fully understand not being keen on monarchy, I marvel at the mental dexterity required to hold both ideas at the same time.
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  19. #19
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    News from Nowhere
    III



    "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."



    Davis' Dissenters: Alexander Hamilton Stephens (l) & Robert Toombs (r)



    By the beginning of 1866, the political consensus within the Confederacy was beginning to crack. In the 1850s the politics of slavery had dominated the United States and had been a major factor in the collapse of Whigs as a national force. As the northern and southern sections of the party fractured over the issue, its successor struggled to find a new home. In the north liberals had flocked to the new Republican Party, while nativist forces had formed the short-lived Know-Nothing/American Party. In the south things had been complicated as the regional division prompted many to unite with the Democrats in the name of defending southern interests. These independents had by and large slowly joined their allies, lacking an alternative coherent body to otherwise choose. Others however had attempted to form the Constitutional Union Party. Piloted by moderates in Congress, the CUP had attempted to mend the divisions being exacerbated by southern Democrats and their enemies, the Radical Republicans. However in the elections of 1860 they had proved an isolated voice, winning only the border states, while a purely southern Democratic Party and a Republican Party which refused to campaign in slave states set the tone for the rupture that was to ensue. Like many, the CUP had chosen to side with their own states during the Secession, ironically splitting the party much as had happened to their Whig predecessors.


    It was in this atmosphere, with politics based on defending the Peculiar Institution, states’ rights and Southern influence that the Confederacy was effectively established as a one-party state. Southern Constitutional Unionists joined other independents in being the Democrats fellow travellers, and as such the likes of Stephens and Toombs found their way into Jefferson Davis’ Cabinet. Following the euphoria of victory and independence, the differences between the Democrats and their allies became increasingly pronounced. Even during the war, the Vice-President had strongly opposed Davis’ decisions to establish conscription and suspend habeus corpus. Indeed the reason for Toombs’ resignation as State Secretary was over jingoistic demands to annex non-Confederate territory in the United States and seize Mexican Pacific ports. Following Apennine Ridge and the Wilson Affair, the “Southern Compact” as historians have dubbed it, was effectively dead. In December 1865, Stephens offered his resignation to Davis as dozens of Senators and Congressmen likewise left the Democratic caucus to sit as independents. Davis, despite personally disliking his Vice-President requested he stay on, claiming to need his political experience. However Stephens soon realised the President had ulterior motives, as he made the strange offer of backing him as the Democratic candidate come November, a practical impossibility. The somewhat sloppy attempt to decapitate the opposition only insulted Stephens further, and on New Years Day 1866, he stepped down as Vice-President of the Confederate States.



    The Wilson Affair was a major catalyst for Stephens' resignation



    Stephens and Toombs spent the winter and early spring canvassing fellow politicians, as they mustered for a National Convention of “Opponents and Dissenters to the Present Democratic Administration”. In need of a less cumbersome name it was agreed to resurrect the Whig Party, mainly as a means to attract the Old Guard of the movement, who still held considerable wealth and influence in the South. In April, the Convention met in Atlanta, Georgia, the political powerbase of the dissenting duumvirate. It was a messy affair as the delegates, some of them still technically sitting Democrats, attempted to hammer out a coherent programme, while simultaneously electing candidates for November. After several days a broad consensus was reached, calling for friendly relations with the United States, isolation from foreign alliances, industrialisation and protective tariffs. In picking their candidates, the two Georgians soon realised one of them would have to give way to the other, due to being easily the two most prominent opponents of President Davis. After much private discussion, Toombs agreed to back Stephens. It was agreed he was a far less divisive character, as Toombs despite a cult following was seen by many in the general public as a rabble-rouser and a demagogue. In return Stephens promised to appoint him State Secretary once more, in the event of victory. Alongside the Georgian, Senator Robert M.T. Hunter of Virginia, a noted critic of Davis and rebel Democrat, was chosen as his running mate on the first ballot. On 1st May the Whigs and their candidates announced their return to national politics.


    Several days later the Democrats convened in Charleston for their own Convention. There was some rumbling in the ranks regarding the Whigs, particularly over the large number of defections that had taken place in recent months. Rumour had it that General Longstreet was going to back them. Some suggested offering the nomination to President Davis, as despite the Constitution’s limitation of one six-year term, they argued he had been appointed by the provisional government, not elected. Despite Davis’ broad popularity he quickly shot down any suggestions of ‘gerrymandering’ the nation’s laws. As the Convention moved on to decided their candidates, the it proved a far less clean cut affair as in Atlanta. Dozens of Democrats lined up for nomination, hoping to ride on the wave of the Secession and Davis’ success to win an easy victory. Many virtual unknowns beseeched the President for ‘the tap of the finger’, the golden of gift of a retiring incumbent’s support that would become a hallmark of Confederate politics. In the chaos it is believed Davis asked Generals Jackson and Lee if they wished to run for office, however both eschewed politics and remained at their posts.



    The Whig electoral machine stuggled to establish itself from scratch



    Amongst the frontrunners were William Smith, the elderly Governor of Virginia, George Trenholm, the Treasury Secretary and famed wartime blockade runner, and John H. Reagan, the adept Texan administrator noted for establishing the C.S. Postal Service within weeks of secession. Figures who failed to make headway included John C. Breckinridge, the 1860 Southern Democrat candidate, who despite prominence was deemed publicly unpopular, while his poor record as an officer during the Secession further relegated him. Meanwhile the State Secretary, Judah P. Benjamin, was noted by his absence from ballots. It has been suggested his Jewish faith discouraged him from attempting to run, however virtually every serious candidate offered to keep him at the State Department in return for his support, a clear sign of his influence and popularity. As voting continued, Reagan dropped behind the leaders Smith and Trenholm, however a long tail of fringe candidates and favoured sons prevented either attaining a majority. Trenholm soon drew attention with his ’precocious’ brand of politicking, as he attempted to gain support by mocking his opponent’s supposedly feeble nature. By the tenth ballot, Davis stepped in and finally announced support for Smith. The President’s blessing combined with the clout of the Virginia delegates saw Smith cross the necessary threshold on the thirteenth ballot. As attention turned to the Vice-Presidential nomination, Trenholm attempted to gain consolation prize, however his previous jibes ensured Smith’s total opposition. Eventually the former War Secretary and Congressman, James Seddon was nominated.


    Summer campaigning got underway in a relatively sedate fashion. William Smith was inactive, extremely confident of victory, while James Seddon, a sickly man his entire life, was to be bedridden for much of the election. At the same time Stephens was struggling to find financial and media backing, the Whig electoral machine effectively having to be established from scratch in only a matter of months. Things began to heat up in July when Robert Toombs and Robert Jemison, the Senator for Alabama and business magnate, pooled their collective wealth, bankrolling pro-Whig newspapers across the country. As the Confederate public began to read of Democratic corruption and incompetence in the press, Smith and the powerful party bosses reacted. Within weeks a vicious counter-campaign was underway, painting Stephens and his fellows as weak compromisers who had opposed secession. The Charleston Mercury, owned by Democratic stalwart Robert Rhett was perhaps most slanderous, claiming a Stephens presidency would offer up the nation to a vengeful Union, who would install a “negro tyranny” upon the South. Toombs was quick to respond, using his newspaper network to popularise George Trenholm’s ‘Grandpa Smith’ image. Seddon’s protracted illness was seized upon as well, with humorous Whig pamphlets stating “Vote Democratic! Vote Herschel Johnson!”, Johnson being the President pro tempore of the Senate, suggesting Smith and Seddon would pass away before confirmation in March. As November approached both parties wheeled out famous supporters. President Davis spoke on behalf of Smith in Richmond, while confirming the rumours months before, General Longstreet attacked the Administration's aggressive moves in Mexico claiming "only Stephens can provide peace and prosperity". Ultimately the election came down to Virginia's 10 Electoral Votes, with only several thousands ballots deciding the state.






  20. #20
    Colonel Selzro's Avatar
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    Very interesting. I've played a CSA game myself, but never went into such RP depths with it. How did you create that Arizona Territory? Did you edit the save to give the southern provinces to the CSA and the northern ones to the USA? And how did you deal with the slavery situation? In my experience, and that of others who have tried the CSA, all slaves are automatically freed when you switch to the CSA (a bug, no doubt). Did you have to deal with this situation?
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