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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

trekfan

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Hello all,

Some of you may remember me from my old AARs, which can be found in my signature. In my first one, I showcased the Pop Demand Mod's alternative American Civil War. Playing as the Free States of America, I won my independence from the Union and, after several bloody wars, subjugated the old United States.

I wrote that AAR nearly four years ago, in my freshman year of high school. In that time, I've grown less and less satisfied with the world I crafted and the story I told. So, I'm going to try again.

This AAR is NOT a sequel to the A More Imperfect Union. Rather, it is a standalone work to be judged on its own.

This AAR is NOT a retelling of A More Imperfect Union. I will be taking the independent North in different direction.

This AAR will NOT made in the same format as A More Imperfect Union and Down South in Dixie. Instead, it will be far more text-based, centered on fictitious historical documents, newspaper articles, and anything else I deem fit.

Updates WILL be infrequent. This is for two reasons: the updates will take more time to make, and I will have less time to make them than I did back in 2013.

I am using the HPM Mod, as well as my own personal modifications.

I welcome constructive criticism throughout the entirety of this project.

I hope you all enjoy this project.
 
The Free State Compact

trekfan

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The Free State Compact

Between the States of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.

November 5th, 1866

Article I

This association of states shall be called “The Free American Commonwealth”, henceforth referred to as “the Commonwealth”.

Article II

Section I

The members of the House of Delegates shall be appointed by the legislatures of the Commonwealth’s constituent states. In proportion to their populations, New York shall send 25 representatives to the House of Delegates, Pennsylvania shall send 17, Ohio shall send 14, Indiana shall send 7, Illinois shall send 6, New Jersey shall send 4, Michigan shall send 2, Massachusetts shall send 7, Connecticut shall send 3, Vermont shall send 3, New Hampshire shall send 4, Maine shall send 6, Rhode Island shall send 1, Iowa shall send 1, Minnesota shall send 1, and Wisconsin shall send 1.

Section II

The House of Delegates will have the exclusive power to legislate laws pertaining to the entire Commonwealth, while the individual state governments will have the power to govern only within their borders.

Section III

The House of Delegates will have the power to raise taxes on behalf of the Commonwealth in order to ensure the security of the Commonwealth, as well as to make war against threats to the Commonwealth’s sovereignty. The House of Delegates may take any action deemed necessary and proper to ensure the survival of the Commonwealth.

Section IV

Each delegate shall have one vote in all legislative matters, as well as those regarding the ratification of treaties with foreign powers, including the United States of America. A simple majority is needed to pass a measure. Either a delegate or the President of the Commonwealth may present a measure for consideration. Delegates may abstain from a vote if they wish. If a vote ties, the President will cast a tie-breaking vote. The President may never abstain from such a vote.

Section V

The House of Delegates may conduct business so long as at least sixty percent of the delegates are present.

Section VI

The House of Delegates will meet in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on November 12, 1866, with future meeting times to be determined at the first assembly.

Section VII

Any vacancies in the House of Delegates must be filled by the states as quickly as possible.

Section VIII


Members of the House of Delegates will serve for the entirety of the war with the United States of America, as well as throughout the subsequent Constitutional Convention.


Section IX

The House of Delegates may regulate interstate commerce, so long as such regulation does not unfairly burden any individual state or region.


Article III

Section I

During its first meeting, the House of Delegates shall elect a President of the Commonwealth, in whom the power of the Executive will be placed. This person, once elected, will serve for the entirety of the war with the United States of America, as well as throughout the subsequent Constitutional Convention.

Section II

The House of Delegates may remove the President from office with a vote of no confidence. Such a vote must pass with two-thirds support in the House of Delegates. Should this occur, the House of Delegates shall elect a new President as soon as possible.


Section III

The President must have been a citizen of one of the Commonwealth’s constituent states for at least five years. A delegate to the House may be elected President; however, should this occur he shall resign his seat in the House of Delegates.

Section IV

The President shall be considered the commander-in-chief of the Commonwealth’s armed forces.

Section V

The President shall be considered the chief diplomat of the Commonwealth.

Section VI

The President does not have veto power over legislation passed by the House of Delegates. The President does have veto power over treaties ratified by the House of Delegates.

Article IV

Section I

Seeing as this Compact is a temporary means by which to bind together the aforementioned states, a Constitutional Convention shall be held as soon after the cession of hostilities and the guarantee of the Commonwealth’s independence as is practical, to be determined by the House of Delegates.


Section II

No member of the House of Delegates may also serve as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention. The President of the Commonwealth shall serve as the President of the Constitutional Convention.

Article IV

Each state shall afford full faith and credit to the record, acts, and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other state.


Article V

Section I

Slavery and involuntary servitude are prohibited everywhere in the Commonwealth under every circumstance, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

Section II

Any enslaved person currently within the borders of the Commonwealth is now considered to be free and is under the protection of the Commonwealth, as well as the state in which he finds himself. Any enslaved person who escapes from his master and retreats into the Commonwealth will be considered free, and will be considered to be under the protection of the Commonwealth, as well as the state in which he finds himself.


Article VI

Entrance into the Commonwealth by any other state currently part of the United States of America must be approved by sixty percent of the House of Delegates, as well as the President.

Done at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on November 5th, 1866.
 
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Very intriguing.

So a reverse civil war idea?
 

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Subbed!
 
The Annexation of Texas

trekfan

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The Road to 1866

The Annexation of Texas

The road to the War of Secession is a long and windy one and is subject to much historical debate. At what point did the North’s secession become inevitable? Was it after the House of Representatives undemocratically resolved the Election of 1864, which lead directly to calls for a Constitutional Convention? Was it after the Compromise of 1849, which laid down the foundations of Popular Sovereignty regarding the slavery issue? Was it after the Philadelphia Convention of 1787, which failed to solve the issue at the Union’s inception? Was it after the first slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia all the way back in 1619? Or was it never inevitable, and was instead a very avoidable consequence of inept leadership? Historians have been debating these questions since the War of Secession itself. This summary will briefly examine the some of the key events leading to the war. When one endeavors to discuss the bloodiest conflict in both American and Commonwealth history, one struggles to find exactly where to start. For the purposes of this summary, we will begin thirty years prior to the signing of the Free State Compact.

Our story begins not in the United States, but rather in Mexico. In 1836, Mexico was a nation at war. Immensely regretting the decision to let American settlers into Tejas, Mexico was now combating a rebelling Texan Republic. While hardly a world power, Mexico nonetheless should have been able to handily defeat the Texans and restore order to the wayward province. Yet the rebels prevailed, largely by chance. After the successful (for the Texans) Battle of San Jacinto, a rebel contingent captured Antonio López de Santa Anna, leader of the Mexican forces. Forcing him to sign a treaty ending hostilities, the encounter transformed almost certain defeat into victory. Texas was free to shape its own destiny.

For a few years, at least. Sam Houston, the 1st President of Texas, and his supporters advocated for the annexation of Texas into the United States. Texas had neither the manpower nor the resources to sustain itself as an independent state. Better to be one star among many than to be forever overshadowed by Texas’ larger neighbors. There was once problem: the United States didn’t want them. As Texas would be a slave state, its incorporation would throw off the balance between slave and free in the Senate. In addition, most in Congress, Democrat and Whig, desired to avoid conflict between the United States and Mexico, as did the Van Buren Administration. Texas would need to wait for a political shift in its neighbor for the time being.

That shift would come after the Election of 1844. After two terms in office (having narrowly defeated William Henry Harrison four years before), President Martin Van Buren declined to run for reelection. The election swiftly became a referendum on the annexation of Texas, as the eventual Democratic nominee, James Polk, favored it, while Whig Henry Clay opposed. Since its creation, the Whig party had been steadily gaining more and more support among the American people, only having lost narrowly in 1840.


The Election of 1844 was close, but James Polk eventually won out.
Yet it would not be enough. The idea of Manifest Destiny, the United States’ destiny to expand across the whole of the North American continent, was sweeping the country. His opposition to such expansion helped Polk and the Democrats portray Clay as out of touch to the common man. While hardly a landslide, Polk defeated Clay by a decent electoral margin. On April 4, 1845, only a month after the new President’s inauguration, the United States of America officially annexed the Republic of Texas.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A few notes:

As you can see, this is not a retelling of actual historical events. In our timeline, William Henry Harrison won the election of 1840, and Texas was incorporated in 1846, not 1845. I am writing this based on the events of my game.

For this electoral map, as well as future ones, I am basing the state calls on the eventual winner of the election in game, as well as the state by state breakdowns of ideology and party support found in the population tab.

If you have any questions, I encourage you to ask. If you see any typos and/or other mistakes, I encourage you to let me know.
 
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AvatarOfKhaine

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Subbed!

I've enjoyed both your previous works, but seeing a new type of trekfan AAR and seeing how your craft has evolved is never a bad thing.

Looking forward to the onwards march of the Commonwealth!
 

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I do like this perspective in the first few paragraphs through time.
 
The Mexican-American War

trekfan

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The Road to 1866
The Mexican-American War

While small in population, Texas hosted mighty ambitions. During its stint as a Republic, Texas claimed land far outside of its actual control, from the Rio Grande to as far north as what would become Wyoming. In addition, there was considerable momentum in the Texan legislature to claim lands as distant as California for the fledgling Republic. Of course, Mexico disputed these claims. Just because Mexico had been forced to allow Texan independence did not mean Mexico had to endure whatever humiliation the wayward province sought fit to bestow. That land was Mexican – if Texas wanted it, Texas would have to fight for it.



The Republic of Texas' far flung claims

Image Credit: Daughters of the Republic of Texas
After annexation into the Union, the Republic of Texas’ claims became the State of Texas’ claims, and thus those of the United States. It was precisely this situation the United States had sought to avoid years earlier under the Van Buren Administration. Politics had shifted considerably since then: Polk was President and expansionist fever was sweeping the nation. The United States would span from coast to coast, even if Mexico was in the way.

At this time, it was routine for American patrols to expand their routes into the disputed regions with Mexico. On March 7, 1846, one such patrol encountered a Mexican detachment. The Mexicans, seeing the Americans trespassing on what they believed to be Mexican soil, opened fire, killing one American and wounding another. The return fire killed three Mexicans, after which both sides retreated.

Some historians contend that the skirmish was an accident which played directly into the national mindset at the time. Others believe President Polk himself ordered that patrols be sent into the disputed territory, hoping to provoke a confrontation. Either way, the result was the same: casus belli for war with Mexico. Congress acted swiftly, declaring war on March 18.

The details of the Mexican-American War are unimportant for the purposes of this summary. What is important is that the war would end two years later, in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which turned over the disputed land to Texas (and the United States), as well as California and several other territories which would become parts of Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico (the Gadsden purchase would complete the borders of the final two).


The Mexican Cession of 1848

Image Credit: By Kballen - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Manifest Destiny had finally been achieved, and the nation was ecstatic. Yet, behind the jubilation stirred an impending crisis, and lawmakers braced for what they knew would come next. The issue of slavery could not be ignored in these new lands.

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that America conquering Mexico would be like a man swallowing arsenic, declaring that “Mexico will poison us”. His words would prove to be prophetic.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As you can see, we haven't started the alternate history in earnest yet. Soon though.
 
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Yet more work to do.
 
Compromise of 1849

trekfan

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The Road to 1866
Compromise of 1849

Before the ink had dried on the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the question of slavery’s status in the Mexican Cession was heavily contested. What was the United States to do with these new territories? People were already beginning to settle in them – they could not remain unorganized forever. It seemed that everyone had their own idea about how to organize them, all equally unpalatable to their opponents. For example, the Wilmot Proviso proposed the banning of slavery in the entirety of the Mexican Cession, excluding Texas. On the other end of the spectrum, William Yancey’s Alabama Platform advocated for the expansion of slavery into the entirety of the Mexican Cession. Gridlock gripped Congress, paralyzing the Federal Government.


The Compromise of 1849 was eventually brought about by the efforts of a great many people; however, for the purposes of this summary we will focus on only three: Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky, Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, and President Lewis Cass of the United States (elected in 1848 after President Polk declined to seek reelection, defeating Whig Zachary Taylor and former President Martin Van Buren, running on the newly created Free Soil Party’s ticket). While not alone, these three men successfully used their influence to force five bills through Congress, ending (or at least postponing) the crisis – Clay in his role as “The Great Compromiser”, and Douglas and Cass in their promotion of Popular Sovereignty as a method of deciding slavery’s status in a territory.


The five bills of the Compromise were as follows:


1. The California Territory was organized, and slavery was prohibited in its borders.


2. The Utah and New Mexico Territories was organized, with slavery to be determined by popular sovereignty


3. Texas dropped its land claims outside of its modern state borders, with the extra land to be incorporated into other territories.


4. The slave trade, but not slavery itself, was to be abolished in the District of Columbia on March 1, 1854.


5. The Fugitive Slave Act was strengthened.


No one was happy with this solution. Antislavery and Abolitionist lawmakers opposed strengthening the Fugitive Slave Act and postponing the slave trade’s abolition in D.C. Pro-slavery lawmakers opposed slavery’s prohibition in the California Territory, as well as the eventual abolition of the slave trade in D.C. Only moderates were content with popular sovereignty’s implementation. However, its constituent bills managed to pass because the Compromise was the least objectionable solution to the greatest number of people. In their famous address to Congress in favor of it, Clay, Douglas, and Cass appealed to this very fact, with President Cass passionately arguing that “while this legislation may be imperfect, we must start somewhere, gentlemen, for the betterment of these United States”.


Senator Henry Clay arguing for the Compromise on the Senate floor.

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In the end, each bill received the votes it needed, and the Compromise of 1849 became the law of the land. Yet, as we now know, it would not be enough.


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In OTL, Zachary Taylor defeated Cass, as Van Buren split the Democratic vote in several northern states. In my game, the Democrats won 1848.

In OTL, the Compromise of 1850 made California a free state. In my game, no one wanted to migrate to California, so it didn't have the population of accepted pops to become a state. Hence, California is a free territory here.

In OTL, the D.C. slave trade was banned immediately, not after a period of five years.
 
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stnylan

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Ultimately the compromise that failed, but even so one cannot blame those who attempted it.
 

guillec87

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subbed!
 

antonioneto232

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Subbed ! Maybe it is possible this commonwealth decide to pursue closer ties with the British ? Or we may have a... king possibly ? It is a slim chance but it cloud be done. A king would be a unifier factor to these states.