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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

MondoPotato

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The Republic
The story of the Federal Republic of Central America​


When I decided I wanted to try my hand at throwing together an AAR, I asked myself, "Does the forum really need another Central America AAR?" The answer to that question was an emphatic YES.

This is my first AAR, so criticism is greatly appreciated, no matter how negative or positive. I couldn't really decide on a style I wanted to shoot for, but I really enjoy the history book and gameplay styles, so expect a mix of both. I don't speak Spanish, so I'll try to keep any unintentional butchery of the Spanish language to a minimum. This will not be a world conquest, or an exercise in conquest. For the most part, I'll be trying to play "realistically" and keep things within the realm of plausibility... as far as that's possible while playing Victoria II.

I'll be playing HOD 3.01, the country will be Central America (obviously) and because I'm far better at making maps than writing, here's a map to get things started!





Table of Contents

Prologue
Chapter 1 - Religion, Independencia y Union (1820 - 1836)
Chapter 2 - La Centella
Chapter 3 - El Coste de Tabaco
Chapter 4 - La Marcha del Progreso
Chapter 5 - Las Cenizas de tu Enemigo
- Part 1
- Part 2
Intermission: A review of the Presidency of Rafael Carrera - 1836 to 1855
Chapter 6 - El Mejor de los Tiempos, El Peor de los Tiempos
The American Civil War
Chapter 7 - Como una Puerta Se Cierra
Chapter 8 - Otra Puerta se Abre
Chapter 9 - La Conquista del Caribe
Chapter 10 - El Diablo que usted Conoce
Chapter 11 - Un Nuevo Amanecer
The Scramble for Africa
Chapter 12 - Viva La Revolucion
Chapter 13 - El Polvo Se Asiente
Chapter 14 - Buenos Dias, Senor Presidente
Chapter 15 - A La Memoria de Bolivar
Chapter 16 - La Expansion de la Libertad
Chapter 17 - El Diablo gana la Debida
Chapter 18 - El Fin de una Epoca
Chapter 19 - La Gran Guerra
Chapter 20 - La Gran Guerra - Parte Uno
Chapter 20 - La Gran Guerra - Parte Dos
Chapter 21 - Secuelas
Chapter 22 - Conoce al Jefe Nuevo, Al igual que el Antiguo Jefe.
 
Last edited:

Zynnw

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OF COURSE THE ANSWER IS YES. OUR BOISTEROUS ONLINE COMMUNITY IS ONLY BETTER SERVED BY THE RISING TIDE OF THESE TALES OF THE CENTRAL AMERICAN NATION.

...

Ehem. I'll be watching this eagerly, especially as I played along much the same style of game-play for my AAR. Though I suppose yours will likely have screenshots from the game itself. ;) Your map is also very well made.
 

MondoPotato

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August 16th, 1899​

The afternoon sun dripped out of the pale blue sky, splashing against the walls of the decaying white frame of the hacienda. It pooled over the large terrace and spilled over the railings, falling over the courtyard below. The peeling wooden beams groaned in protest of the heat. The once palatial home seemed a frail, broken skeleton of its former glory. It sat creaking atop the lush green hills of Puerto de La Libertad, staring across the pacific like an old general in tattered uniform, his days of glory a distant and faded memory.

President Miguel Vasconcelos stood alone on the terrace, his white-gloved hands gripping tightly on the railing. He inhaled the sweet Pacific air deeply. The rays of the evening sun fell heavy over his shoulders, soaking into his crisp blue coat and falling into puddles around his spotless black boots.

"Señor!" A shrill panicked voice echoed over the terrace from the large french doors to the Presidents personal quarters. A young woman in housekeepers uniform stood leaning out of the room, her hands shaking. "We must leave now!"

"Gracias Annette," Miguel replied coolly, his voice deep and indifferent.

"Leave in the carriages with my wife and children." He paused and turned slightly. "I will ride out with my men."

The woman nodded and scurried back inside. Miguel closed his eyes and took another deep breath.

From under the terrace the sounds of the large bay windows shattering jerked the President from his meditation. The crackling of flame filled his ears. The thick, earthy smell of the dust kicked up in the courtyard filled his nose. Another window shatters. The rush of air sucked into the hacienda by the bursting flames is reminiscent of the last desperate breaths of a dying man.

Miguel opens his eyes and turns his head down, surveying the chaos in the courtyard. Through the thick brown and red clouds of dust and smoke, hundreds of torches flicker and dance. The shouting was deafening.

"Libertad!" the mob cries in unison.

"Muerte al Dictador!"

Another sickening crash, and the sharp splintering of glass reverberates into the aching beams of the hacienda. Miguel loosens his grip on the railing and lowers his right hand, placing it firmly on the butt of his pistol. The engraved silver around the weapon, hot from the August sun, burns his hand. He unclasps the holster strap and closes his eyes again. The din of the mob melts out of his ears and a sense of calm envelopes him, pushing back the smell of the dust and the intense heat of the sun. The fear that clawed at his heart releases its grip.

Miguel shifted his gaze over the pacific as he pulled the pistol from its holster. The ocean was calm and beautiful, glowing pink and orange and sparkling brightly. It shimmered over the western horizon and blended into the blue of the sky stretching the distance from earth to the heavens. The barrel of the pistol was cool against his head.

From the back of the hacienda he could hear the grinding of carriage wheels and the clop of hooves knocking along the the cobble road, rushing away from the flames and the chaos.

"Keep my children safe." Miguel whispered, hoping God could hear his voice over the screams of the mob and the crackle of the flames feasting at the dry timbers of the hacienda. Acrid black clouds of smoke billowed over the terrace, and the red glitter of flames shone from the shattered glass.

"Keep my country safe."

The loud crack of the pistol exploded over the terrace and spilled over the courtyard, flowing over the clamoring crowd like a wave. The mob recoiled and held its breath, struggling to see the scene playing out above them through the smoke and flame.

As the bullet exploded from the barrel and splintered Miguel's skull, he felt only the warmth of the afternoon sun. His legs gave way and his body slowly collapsed to the ground. All he could feel was warmth. A crimson pool ebbed from his wound painting the terrace a bleak, sickly shade of red blackened by ash. For the first moment in years, he felt peace.

As the great black unknown wrapped itself over President Miguel's broken body, the mob below cheered.




This was not the story of the beginning of the republic. Nor was it the story of the end. The blood and flames that surrounded President Miguel Vasconcelos death in August of 1899 was the story of a transition. It was the story of a marked change in the direction of the Federal Republic of Central America, mirrored in the changing world around it. It marked an end to a period of fear and violence that began nearly eighty years earlier in the summer of 1823, when the Republic was born.
 
Last edited:

MondoPotato

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OF COURSE THE ANSWER IS YES. OUR BOISTEROUS ONLINE COMMUNITY IS ONLY BETTER SERVED BY THE RISING TIDE OF THESE TALES OF THE CENTRAL AMERICAN NATION.

...

Ehem. I'll be watching this eagerly, especially as I played along much the same style of game-play for my AAR. Though I suppose yours will likely have screenshots from the game itself. ;) Your map is also very well made.
Thanks! I look forward to reading your AAR progress as well; it's definitely great so far. It'll be curious to see how different/identical the mutual games will progress. Yeah, I'll definitely have a screenshot or two thrown in, once the actual gameplay posts get going!
 

LordTempest

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First piece of criticism: never ever use attachments for your AAR images! Always use the IMG tags, it just looks so much better. ;)
 

Avindian

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First piece of criticism: never ever use attachments for your AAR images! Always use the IMG tags, it just looks so much better. ;)
It's also incredibly wasteful of space -- you don't get much in the way of space here on the forums.
 

MondoPotato

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Authors Note: This post is entirely pre-game history. It's based on the real history (kinda like how Braveheart is a serious historical documentary), but doesn't represent any actual gameplay. It's also obscenely long. If you're not interested in lots of words or the early history of Central America, you can give this a miss and it won't really affect your enjoyment of the rest of the AAR. If you're a fan of verbose introductory text, read on. The first 'real' post of the AAR will be along shortly, by the weekend at the latest.




The history of the republic: 1820-1836​

The fall of the Spanish Empire had a profound effect on the world and shook the Americas to their core. Years of instability and revolution between the colonies and the Spanish Crown in Europe came to a head during the first quarter of the 19th century.

The Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain declared her independence on February 24, 1821. General Agustín de Iturbide proclaimed the Independence of Mexico under the "Plan of Iguala". The plan was comprised of three things: The dominance of Roman Catholicism, Independence from the Spanish Crown, and the constitutional equality of all people, regardless of social or ethnic group, within the state.

To the south in the Spanish Kingdom of Guatemala a political crisis erupted over this declaration. On April 10th, in Guatemala City, Captain General Brigadier Gabino Gainza issued a statement denouncing the 'Plan of Iguala' and pledging the Captaincy General to the Spanish Crown. The people of Central America, mainly the local politicians and landholders, saw the potential value in joining with Mexico. Various leaders within the Kingdom of Guatemala began siding with the Mexican revolutionaries, acknowledging the Plan of Iguala and declaring their own independence.


Gabino Gainza, doing his best Skeletor impersonation

On September 8th of 1821, the people of Chiapas declared their independence. El Salvador followed suit. Within days, most major cities and provinces within the Captaincy General were threatening to join in open rebellion against the crown. Gabino Gainza saw the writing on the wall, and on September 15th, a popular assembly called by the Council of Guatemala City proclaimed the "Acta de Independencia", declaring the official independence of the territories under the Kingdom of Guatemala. Gabino Gainza was named "Poder Supremo", the executive leader of an independent Central American union.

After nearly a year of stabilizing the Central American territories, Captain Gainza sent communications to the Regent of Mexico, Agustín de Iturbide, that the Kingdom was independent and keen on stabilizing relations with its neighbours. Iturbide responded

" ... the current interests of Mexico and Guatemala are so identical and indivisible, that separate or independent nations cannot be erected without risking their existence or security ..."

Iturbide sent this response with the Mexican General Vicente Filisola, who rode into Guatemala with an army. His orders were to ensure the people of the "independent" state maintain "enjoyment of their civil liberty and rights as men living in society". In truth, Mexico sought to join Central America to their growing imperial republic. The Mexican army met with little resistance, and for the remainder of the year, Mexico was in de facto control of Central America.



General Vicente Filisola never had to fire a shot in the conquest of Central America.
His spectacular mutton-chops did all the fighting for him.

In Mexico proper, Agustín had declared himself the first Emperor of Mexico, with full support of the Church. This greatly angered the republican factions in Mexico who fought so hard for independence from the monarchy. Outwardly, they claimed it broke the Plan of Iguala. Internally, however, they feared a loss of republican power to an absolutist monarch. The republicans found support against Iturbide in the Liberal Mexican Congress. Through the newspaper "El Sol", they had a popular public voice to share their opinions against the Emperor. The United States of America sent the republicans support in the form of money and equipment.


The first Emperor of Mexico, wearing his favorite duvet comforter as a cape.

Emperor Agustín wasn't a poor leader, nor was he acting rashly. He believed establishing the empire would act as a deterrent from a planned Spanish invasion, which it did. He assumed the Liberal republicans were not strong enough to stand up forcefully against the conservative power in Mexico, which they weren't. He expected the crowns in Europe would quickly recognize Mexico and resume trade and normal relations. He likely would have been right were it not for the fact that the Kings of Europe saw him as little more than a rebel and a pretender to a false throne. Relations did not normalize, and trade did not resume. Mexico spiraled into bankruptcy, and Iturbide needed to modify policy to ensure he was able to project power over his people, his congress, and keep the looming threat of Spanish invasion at bay.

Iturbide sealed his own fate when, in an attempt to try to maintain his powerful army and lavish lifestyle, he imposed a 40% property tax on the landed elite of Mexico. Opposition groups from all sides of the political spectrum, including the Catholic clergy, joined forces to remove the emperor from power. Valentín Gómez Farías, Gertrudis Bocanegra, and Antonio López de Santa Anna began to work towards ending the regime and reinstating a republican system of government.


The legendary Antonio López de Santa Anna. Ladies, the line forms to the left.

Central America saw their chance to remove the cloud of Mexican hegemony from over their rightfully independent state. In the early days of 1823, authorities throughout the Central American provinces convened to declare the independence of what was the Kingdom of Guatemala as the United Provinces of Central America. No resistance would come from Mexico. By February of the same year, weeks after Central Americas declaration of independence from Mexico, Santa Anna marched his army into Mexico City and forced a meeting with Emperor Agustín where terms of the emperor’s abdication and exile were dictated. On May 11, the once-emperor fled Mexico and entered into exile in Livorno, Italy. Mexico was a republic once again, and Central America's independence was assured.

Vicente Filisola was forced to leave Central America and return to Mexico, which, as an opponent to the Emperor, he was more than happy to do. The new republican leaders of Central America, who primarily represented wealthy land-owning Creoles, quickly drew up a constitution. The first Central American constitution established a federal capital in Guatemala City, basic autonomy of the Central American states, the abolishment of slavery, and the privileges of the Roman Catholic Church. Suffrage was restricted to the landed elite. This first draft of the constitution was remarkable for its balance and moderation between demands of the three major powers in play at the time; The Liberals, the Conservatives, and the Church. Elections were rapidly held in the constituent states of the United Provinces so to establish a federal congress and elect the first provincial presidents.

On the 10th of July, 1823, the strongly liberal slanted congress established the first federal government, led by three men:

Dr. Pedro Molina Mazariegos, a professor at the Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala and leader of the Central American independence party "Los Cacos". He was elected as President of the state of Los Altos.


The love child of James Bond and Humphrey Bogart. The Doctor is IN.

Antonio Cabezas, a liberal lawyer and politician, he was elected as President of the state of Guatemala.


Sadly, his lack of a neck plagued his short lived political career

Juan Diaz, also a liberal, was the elected President of the state of El Salvador.


Juan Diaz, one of the lazier members of the Triumvirate, forgot to get a picture painted on congress photo day.

This Triumvirate rapidly began to push for liberal reform and distance themselves from the Catholic conservative elites. Tensions mounted as Conservative politicians lobbied that congress should represent their party in any interim governments. Cabezas and Mazariegos would leave the triumvirate by October, to be replaced by middle ground leaders Tomas O'Horan and Jose Arriaga. This did little to stabilize the tense politics, and early in 1824 the triumvirate expanded to include two distinct personalities. The Liberal leader and General, Manuel Jose Arce, and the Conservative leader and philosopher, Jose Cecilio del Valle.

Arce and del Valle were polar opposites. Arce lived by the sword. He was an active combatant and leader during the early independence movements against Spain in 1811. A strong opposer of Emperor Iturbide, he commanded troops against the Mexican commander Manuel Arzu. During his studies in philosophy and medicine at the Universidad de San Carlos de Borromeo, he developed strong liberal ideals. A vital, ambitious, military man, Manuel Arce first attempted to lead a liberal revolution in Cuba before returning to his home in San Salvador and entering into Central American politics with the Liberals.


Jose Arce, a man so tough, he did his pants up around his neck.


Jose Cecilio del Valle was a pacifist, philosopher, lawyer and politician. del Valle lived by the pen. Educated at the University of San Carlos, he developed his conservative views under the tutelage of Father Jose Antonio Liendo y Goycochea. It was del Valle who wrote the first Central American declaration of Independence from Spain, and his moderation and wisdom that saw the first constitution written to appease the three political camps. Outspoken against the Mexican annexation in 1822, he was imprisoned under charges of conspiracy until the fall of the Mexican Empire. He was released and given a post as the Foreign Minister of Mexico, which he held for a year before deciding to return home to Central America. Jose Cecilio del Valle was a brilliant, calculating man, and skilled diplomat. He earned his nickname, los sabios (The Wise), through devotion to his political ideals and dedication to always choosing words over weapons.


With a resume like his, del Valle is surely destined for political success.

If the two leaders were able to set aside their differences and work together, del Valle and Arce would have formed a formidable political force in Central America. Combined they had all of the necessary skills for greatness, along with the support of the common people. Instead, their political parties fought bitterly for control of the Federal government, to push their opposing liberal and conservative policies. Arce and del Valle struggled to maintain stability and civility. The divide would grow in bitterness and anger, leading to uprisings among the states within the United Provinces.

The early triumvirates would come to an end with the controversial first federal election. Arce and del Valle were running against each other for the first Presidency of the infant Republic. Where Arce had the support of the landed elite, including strong and powerful friends in the Central American congress, del Valle earned the respect and support of the common people and the Church.

During the voting process, it was clear the popular del Valle would obtain the most votes from the states within the United Provinces. To the people, even among the liberal elites, del Valle was the founder of their republic and deserved the presidency. To the church, del Valle was a friend and an ally who would ensure the Catholics retain their deserved rights in government. The wealthiest land owners, however, feared his conservative views would lead to higher taxation and restriction on free trade. Most importantly, they feared del Valle would offer rights and freedoms to the native central american peoples that they exploited to near slavery conditions in the fruit and coffee plantations of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

Even though del Valle cleanly won the popular vote, the liberal Congress had a different interpretation of the count and forced a second round of voting. During the second vote, astonishingly, Arce was declared the winner by a slim margin. The Liberals across the Republic celebrated their presidential victory. The conservatives were outraged. del Valle urged calm and dignity, and vowed to work with the Liberal president and his Congress. Acre's Presidency, and the first presidency of the state, was stained with doubt and rejection by the people across the country.

Arce himself grew resentful of the election win. He began to question the will of those that placed him in power. He sought compromise with the conservatives, particularly in del Valle. Acre would prove himself a skilled leader in the face of adversity, ending armed uprisings in Nicaragua and San Salvador with little to no bloodshed. He oversaw policies that would give rights back to the church and the people that the liberal congress originally forced him to revoke in their favour. He quickly lost the support of his own liberal government. Mired by controversy and conspiracy, his government collapsed in 1826. With the Federal government’s disintegration, Central America descended into anarchy. Arce was able to achieve some military control of the divided states, but was forced to step down from the presidency. The disgraced Jose Arce would join the side of conservatives in rebellion against the party that placed him in power. The Liberal party chose a new leader to represent them in Francisco Morazán.


If the perfect hair and basketball chin don't convince you, the awesome neck-beard will

Morazán was a self-educated man. He received minimal education as a child growing up in Honduras. He learned to read and write in the local church. He learned politics while working as a clerk for the town Mayor. Showing talent, he was eventually placed under the tutelage of Leon Vasquez, who taught him civil law. He learned to read French, and veraciously digested histories of Europe and biographies of Roman emperors. During the Mexican annexation of Central America, Morazán volunteered in the Honduran resistance militia, where he achieved the rank of Captain. After the fall of the Mexican Empire, Morazán's uncle, Dionisio de Herrera, was elected President of Honduras, and in turn Morazán was named his secretary. He became a staunch supporter of the liberal party.

Morazán's skills in negotiating real and workable compromises and establishing order gained him respect among all sides of the political spectrum. During the civil war, his military victories at La Trinidad, El Gualcho, and Lempa River earned him respect within the army. Morazán was a pivotal piece in ending the civil war and rebuilding a working government for the United Provinces. Both he and the conservative leader del Valle worked together to rebuild the republic from its near ruin.
On the 16th of June, 1830, Morazán was officially and unanimously elected as President of the re-established and re-named Federal Republic of Central America. In his inaugural speech he declared:

"The sovereign people send me, to place myself, in the most dangerous of their destinies. I must obey and fulfill, the solemn oath that I have just rendered. I offer, to uphold the Federal Constitution, which I defended as a soldier and as a citizen."

Morazán sought to re-establish the government based on the ideals of the enlightenment era thinkers. He declared free trade, built schools, and began many infrastructure projects throughout the country. He sponsored immigration programs to inject foreign capital into the state. Where Arce had met with scandal and resistance which forced him to compromise with the conservatives and the Church, Morazán would not. He quickly moved to limit the powers of the Church. He established policies of secularization, removing the dominating Catholic clergy from government. He confiscated Church property, and removed the Church from educational institutions, instead placing a growing class of liberal intelligista in control of Universities and schools. As a show of compromise to the Conservatives, Morazán begged Jose Cecilio del Valle to join him as Vice President.

Unfortunately, del Valle refused to leave his position as leader of the conservatives. To appease his liberal congress, he awarded trade rights and monopolies to the vast plantations in Honduras and Nicaragua. He appointed numerous liberals to the senate, chosen among his supporters and friends from the civil war.

The more Morazán pushed a reform agenda, the more he upset the Church and conservatives. Rebellion spilled out over San Salvador against several federal decrees. Morazán easily put down the rebellion, but realized that if the state were to survive, compromise and constitutional change would be required. Morazán reached out to del Valle again, asking for advice and direction. This time del Valle extended his hand back, and with the two men working together, the situation in Central America stabilized.

What Morazán did not expect, however, was the growing rebel sentiment from the common people and the indigenous Central Americans. Morazán pushed hard to ensure reforms that would grant all classes of people within the country more rights and freedoms, but as they were given more, their anger only grew. It was the shrewd politicking of del Valle that held them at bay through Morazán's first term as president.

In 1834, Morazán's term as President ended. Jose Cecilio del Valle would be his opponent once again. This time, del Valle would not be denied. With popular support on his side and growing resentment to the Liberal government, del Valle won the election in a landslide so marked, not even the Liberal congress could miscount it. Morazán graciously handed over the Presidency and agreed to devote himself to working with del Valle to strengthen and rebuild the fragile foundations of the Republic, with a moderate blend of both Conservative and Liberal views. All of Central America believed that with Morazán and del Valle together, The Republic was destined for a golden age. Peace and prosperity was finally a possibility.

Weeks after winning the election del Valle fell ill. He died while travelling to Guatemala City to receive treatment. Morazán decreed three days of national mourning for his death, and for those three days politics didn't matter in Central America. The republic had lost its father. New elections were called and without any real opposition from the conservatives, Morazán won handedly.

Without del Valle to temper Morazán's liberal agenda and to keep the conservatives civil, tensions began to rise. The conservatives were leaderless but still strong. The Church was growing more resentful and more vicious in their attacks on the government with every passing day. Morazán struggled to continue his path of modernization and reform, but met with roadblocks at every turn.

It was during this desperate first year of Morazán's second presidency that he began to realize why the masses were rejecting his leadership. Exploitation by the creole landowners grew to such levels that the already poor lower classes were forced into massive debt, driving the fragile local economy into complete destitution. Unable to pay rent, the poor were forced into virtual slavery. There was a seat in school for every child, but no parent could afford them. With Morazán's ban on Church run schools in place, even basic levels of education were non-existent to 90% of the population. The well-established Creole horded the valuable produce grown in the country for themselves and sold the rest to traders from Mexico and the United States, causing widespread famine and driving up the cost of basic goods. The angrier the people were at their horrible conditions, the more they turned to the one place they could find refuge. The Church. The Catholics used this opportunity to whip the people into frenzy against the government.

By the time Morazán had realized what he had done, it was too late. He back-peddled on earlier policy and tried to negotiate with the people, offering them wages paid by the state and free education at many schools. He moved the capital from Guatemala to San Salvador where the conservative politicians had established a sizable power base. He forced the retirement of several senators and appointed conservatives in their place. This seemed to abate the anger boiling within the country, and Morazán only hoped he could win back the confidence of the people while the conservatives were still leaderless and without direction. Even still, every citizen, rich or poor, felt the country turn in to a powder keg, stuffed to the seams and ready to explode. All it needed was the slightest spark.

This is when a man named Rafael Carrera emerged from obscurity.

This is where our story begins.

Side Note:
Agustín Iturbide would return to Mexico on the 14th of July 1824 to show support to Mexico and offer aid should rumours of an imminent Spanish invasion come to pass. He was promptly arrested by General Filipe de la Garza and sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad on 19 July 1824, his body abandoned at the parish church of Padilla. After several years of inglorious treatment, his remains were eventually transported to Mexico City, trumpeted as a hero of Mexico and the revolution. His urn is marked by the inscription:

"Agustín de Iturbide, author of the Independence of Mexico. Compatriot, cry for him; passerby, admire him. This monument guards the ashes of a hero. May his soul rest in the bosom of God."

Oh, how time changes all things.
 
Last edited:

LordTempest

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Oh don't worry, compared to some of the obscenely long prologues I've written in AARs past and present, yours was quite brief! Besides, the humourous asides underneath each portrait helped refresh the palate before the next wall o' text.

Well written so far, looking forward to the next update!
 

BBBD316

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Well I just learned more about Central American history in one update than I have in 33 years on the planet.

Thanks for the lesson, I look forward to seeing you hold things together.
 

MondoPotato

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Oh don't worry, compared to some of the obscenely long prologues I've written in AARs past and present, yours was quite brief! Besides, the humourous asides underneath each portrait helped refresh the palate before the next wall o' text.

Well written so far, looking forward to the next update!
Yeah, but those obscenely long prologues of yours are pretty good. So good, you don't even need poorly written jokes to carry it along!

Well I just learned more about Central American history in one update than I have in 33 years on the planet.

Thanks for the lesson, I look forward to seeing you hold things together.
You're welcome. I tried to keep it as close to accurate as possible, while glossing over some bits and filling in the blanks where I either didn't know or felt appropriate in doing so. It's definitely not 100% accurate, but much of it is pretty close. It's a shame that there's so little information readily available out there for what really is an interesting case study in a failed liberal republic that had, unfortunately, a lot of the right leaders, at all the wrong times.
 

MondoPotato

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Mid-October, 1835

The air was thick and wet. It seemed to cling to the outstretched arms of the jungle, its leafy fingers pulling the watery clouds out of the sky and emptying them in buckets over Mataquescuintla. It was the middle of invierno; the rainy season. A young man kicked the mud from off of his boots before leaning his walking stick against the railing of a wooden patio. The patio was placed roughshod in front of a small weather beaten house, that looked as tangled as the jungles that blanketed the rolling hills. He struggled to light a half-smoked cigar, and when the flame finally stayed put, he too leaned heavily into the cracked and peeling railing.

The man, barely twenty, looked much older. Dirt stained his hands moreso than his tattered clothes, and the smoke from the cigar struggled to escape the thick moustache that grew wildly under his nose. He surveyed his farm, watching his pigs play gleefully in the mud.


The rough-cut farms along the hills of Mataquescuintla, Guatemala.

The sloppy schlocking sound of hooves in mud distracted the young man from inhaling the last of his cigar. At the end of the muddy path that led to the road, a group of ten men on horseback sat, nervously gazing into the trees. Three of them carefully guided their horses down the pathway toward his house. One of the men, a familiar face, wore a sharp blue coat studded with gold buttons, a broad red sash was strapped around him. The other two wore simple grey coats with distinctive, twinkling silver buttons.

"Señor Carerra" the man with the red sash spoke bluntly.

"Si" the young man responded, with equal bluntness. "It's good to see you Diego, or I suppose that should be Captain Diego now." the young man smiled coldly and stood straight, picking up his walking stick and eyeing the two grey men at Captain Diego's side.

The Captain smiled broadly. "You would have made general by now, had you not left the army, Rafael. You were a hell of a soldier."

Rafael Carerra spat into the mud and shifted uncomfortably on his feet. "What do you want?" Rafael spoke sharply, hoping to change the subject.

"There's been a surge in rebel activity in the hills here," Captain Diego responded while squinting and gazing along the jungle. "We've setup a small encampment just outside of town... for security."

Rafael said nothing. Captain Diego coughed and adjusted his coat. Drops of rain began darkening his sash.

"The army..." Diego paused briefly and looked at Rafael, who was visibly tensing, "The army is requesting that the farmers and herders around Mataquescuintla provide rations. We need fifty heads of your swine, Senor Carerra." Captain Diego’s gaze barely shifted from the jungles surrounding the farm. He detested his formality with a man that had saved his life countless times during the civil war, but he wanted it to be clear that it wasn't he, but the army speaking.

Rafael snorted and gripped his walking stick hard, as if it was trying to escape the tension and run into the old house behind them.

"I will be rotting in hell before I give my pigs to the sons of Morazán's whores you call an army!" He slammed his walking stick down into the mud and grit his teeth.

"Jesús Cristo Rafael!" Diego retorted, waving his hands back to the two grey men around him who were grabbing their rifles. They paused.

"Jesús Cristo indeed!" Rafael’s anger was boiling over "If Morazán only listened to him instead of the licking the boots of every rich man in Central America, perhaps there would be no need for 'security' in my village!"

Captain Diego sighed, his shoulders hung low. "Please, Rafael, calm down." he spoke dejectedly. "I know why you hate Morazán. I was there, remember. What happened to your father was a tragedy, but Morazán had nothing to do with it."

Rafael spat in the mud again. It was Diego's turn to shift uncomfortably. "Half. Twenty-five heads. Please don't make this difficult."

The rain began thumping down, hitting the men hard. It slopped into the mud, forming large brown puddles. Rafael knew that "Difficult" would mean the soldiers would no longer ask for his pigs, but just take them instead. "Fine" Rafael hastily blurted out from between his teeth. "I'll bring them to your camp tomorrow."
Captain Diego nodded and signaled his men to head back up to the road. "Thank you, Rafael... I'm sorry". The Horses slowly trudged into the muddy path again, shaking off the thick drops of rain that was hurtling from the sky above.

"Oh, one more thing," Diego turned his horse and gazed hesitantly over to Rafael. "You wouldn't know anything about the rebels… these “Nationalista’s”? Their Leaders, whereabouts?" Diego asked, half expecting another lashing.

Rafael snorted and laughed, "Of course not, Captain. I gave up the sword." Rafael dug into his coat pocket, hoping to find another cigar. "All I need now is my farm, my pigs, and my Petrona." He motioned back to the house where the silhouette of a young woman, drawn out by the commotion outside, was peering through the door.

"An honest Christian family man now, eh Rafael." Diego looked towards the woman and bowed slightly. "Muy bonita. I hope she bears you many, many daughters." The two men shared a brief, reluctant laugh, before Captain Diego turned and sloshed up the path. Rafael sighed, looked to his wife, and trudged up to the patio and out of the rain.

In San Salvador, President Francisco Morazán sat at his desk, reading the morning paper


A front page article discussion Spanish aggression. He wasn’t surprised, but so long as they kept their armies on their own continent he also wasn’t worried. The Republic had few friends in the world, and with the ashes still settling on the civil war, very little time to make them. Only the United States had really expressed interest in any positive mutual relationship. Morazán was sure they were only interested in cheap coffee, but whatever it takes to keep the Mexicans from invading, he would have to do.


Politics had always been chaotic in Central America, and now was no different. It would be at least two years until another election, and Morazán, a Liberal, had few friends in the conservative congress. More distressing, a new party had recently emerged. Calling themselves the "Nationalista", this new party was rapidly absorbing prior supporters of both liberal and conservative parties, but as of yet did not have a real leader. A militant branch of the Nationalista’s has been generating unrest throughout Honduras and Nicaragua, but they were still poorly lead and disjoined.


But the president had other difficulties to deal with aside from attempting to negotiate the slippery slopes of politics in the Federal Congress. His nation was nearly bankrupt. The economy was stable, but years of mismanagement and civil war have left the country severely impoverished. They were forced to import even the most basic of life-needs. Luckily, the recent trade contracts for shipping coffee to the United States have started to turn the tide.


Industrialization and modernization would be a difficult road to travel for the Republic, however. A recent census and demographic report shows the startling state of education throughout the Republic.


The state of the military was not much better. The Republic was still using archaic muskets and flintlock rifles. There was no navy to speak of. This would have to change if the Republic was to survive the internal and external threats conspiring against it. The president immediately ordered the construction of a navy, and began planning the necessary infrastructure to build ports on both the east and west coasts of the country. Unfortunately, those plans would have to wait until there was more money available.


It was going to be a difficult two years...

But for the first few months of 1836, at least it was quiet. The President had recently signed a decree, banning the Catholic Temperance Movement from petitioning and organizing within the Republic. In a speech to congress, Morazán declared

“A just, wise citizen does not need the stern judgments of an oppressor in black robes to advise him on the dangers of excess.”

The anger displayed by the Church was quickly drowned out by the drunkenness of the wise citizens.


By July, Reports of uprisings, most lead by militant members of the Nationalista's, were being delivered to President Morazán's desk almost daily. Most were minor riots, but several were showing signs of organized rebellion. The British Carib's from Bluefields were marching in demonstration, and though the local garrison was able to disperse the crowds it would only be a matter of time before a more violent approach would be necessary.


The President had recently sent 3,000 men into Guatemala to eliminate tensions and root out a band of Nationalista bandits. He decided it best to order a decisive strike into their mountain hideouts to end their little rebellion in the otherwise calm state, so he could redirect forces to more pressing matters in Honduras and Nicaragua.



As the year was ending, the first ship of the new Republican Navy was finally christened in a harbour near San Salvador. The mighty frigate "Cartago" was the pride of the Republic.


The "Cartago" during her first shake-down cruise. She wasn't much, but she represented
the entire Republican Navy.


A good friend of the President and a man who once served aboard several Spanish and Mexican naval vessels was chosen to be the first Secretary of the Navy, Admiral, and Captain of the Cartago. Admiral Juan Pablo Corral.



Born in a small village outside of Seville, Spain, Corral migrated with his father to the colonies at a young age. After acquiring his education, he chose to serve aboard colonial frigates as a ships boy until earning his first post on a Spanish Frigate during the Napoleonic wars. After the wars, he returned to the Viceroyalty of Mexico and served as a captain aboard several vessels before being named an Admiral and leading the fledgling Mexican navy during the revolution. During the first empire of Mexico, Corral, a strong supporter of the Republicans, left the Mexican navy and became a pirate, leading his ship in raids against Mexican military and merchant shipping. After the fall of the empire, Corral, tired of Mexican politics, settled in Nicaragua and retired, choosing instead to maintain plantations on dry land. He befriended the then General Morazán and assisted him during the Civil war by leading several small bands of light frigates in coastal raids along conservative strongholds in Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. He was named a Senator in 1835, at the age of 48.



Night was slowly draping over the sky as the orange sun sunk down like a flaming galleon into a swirling ocean of green and blue. It would only be a few more hours and he would be home. Rafael shifted uncomfortably in the saddle. He was thankful it wasn't raining, but the long road from his farm to the fort outside of Mataquescuintla had grown harder on him. This was his seventh trip over the course of the year, and his anger built with every clop of the hooves on the tough dirt road. Every pig delivered was money stolen from him, as far as he was concerned. He watched the fort grow from an outpost of a hundred men, to a fortified village of a thousand soldiers, all growing fat off the sweat from his brow and the blood and tears of the other locals, all being exploited for their “protection”. He shook the angry thoughts from his mind and lit a cigar.

He smiled and looked over the hills and jungles. At least he chose to take the long road home today. Since his wife became pregnant, her moodiness had grown unbearable, and Rafael learned to appreciate the difficulty of the road and the long silence in comparison.

This evening, however, the peace and silence would be broken as a thunder of hooves rolled down from the hills. Men were yelling, women and children clinging desperately to their mothers and fathers, while struggling to hold on to what few possessions they could cary. There were at least 50 men riding out from the farmlands that were cut patchwork throughout the jungle.

"Media vuelta!" the men called out as the horses charged past. Rafael struggled to keep his horse steady. One of the younger men slowed down, his rifle slung over his shoulder.

"Qué está pasando? What’s going on?" Rafael had to shout over the galloping horses.

"The soldiers! They're burning everything!" the young man was gasping for each panicked breath. "They're fighting the Nationalistas camped out in the mountains."

Rafael's stomach sank into his toes before clenching tight and cold. The young farmhand turned to ride towards the town "We're heading to the church. Father Marceson will know what to do."

"Gracias" Rafael barked back before grinding his spurs into the flanks of his horse. He disappeared into the thick cloud of dust billowing up from the road and galloped hard towards the hills.

As he cleared the dust clouds the glowing licks of flame stretched out sporadically from between the branches of the trees. The sound of gunfire echoed through the valleys. Each house he passed on the winding dirt roads was lit aflame, farm animals running in every direction to escape the blazes. The bodies of men and women were strewn along pathways, gunned down mid-flight. Rafael rode up the path, his heart quickening with the beat of the hooves.

He reached his home within the hour. As his exhausted horse struggled to trot down the path, Rafael quickly surveyed the scene. His pens were splintered and broken, the pigs squealing and running through the dusty path. The door to his house was split and swung open. Smoke struggled its way through the thatching of the grass roof, squirting out in thick grey blobs. The dull red glow of fire emanated from through the broken door.
Rafael leapt off of his horse and ran to the house in a single fluid motion. "Petrona!" he screamed as he burst through the doorway.

The house was ransacked. Storage cupboards were split open, sundries spilled over the table and the floor. Flames were spreading out from the fireplace and reaching their long glowing arms over the walls, stretching up to the ceiling. Rafael haphazardly made his way over the mess and through into the back room, his voice cracking and shaken as he shouted his wife’s name.

As he flung himself into the back room, the air sucked itself out of his lungs. Petrona was laying on the floor barely able to gasp for air. Her dark brown hair was matted with blood. Her clothing was torn and soaked red. Blood leapt from wounds on her shoulder and neck. Rafael collapsed to the ground and grabbed his wife. Her eyes faintly flickered as she looked up at him. She struggled to grab his arm, but her hands failed her. Within a moment, her last struggled, choking breath escaped her lips.

Rafael screamed and yelled in a blind fit, tears pouring down his face. He leaned over and held Petrona tightly, silently begging God to bring her back. Begging God to save his child, still clinging to life within her womb. It was then he noticed a twinkling on the ground. Small, distinct silver buttons scattered over the floor wedged into the cracks of the wooden floorboards.

Rafael picked up one of the buttons and squeezed it tightly, the burgundy of Petrona's blood dripping from between his fingers and splashing onto the floor. His jaw tightened, and tear-filled eyes turned red with rage. As smoke began to flood into the back room, Rafael picked up his Petrona’s lifeless body and fled his burning home. Sorrow and rage enveloped him, shuddering into his spine and stretching out like a demon throughout his body. He mounted his horse, still holding tightly to Petrona, and began riding down from the hills into town.

It was the black of night when he reached the Church in Mataquescuintla. The town was silent, tucked in tightly by the dark sky that draped over the houses, nestled nervously into a blanket of fear. Windows were shuttered, and the streets were only occupied by the odd stray cat hunting for its dinner. Rafael climbed down from his horse, cradled Petrona in his arms, and pushed through the large wooden doors.

The crowd of people inside gasped at the sight. Rafael’s clothing was splattered with blood, greyed by the dust of the road. Petrona's arms dangled freely, streams of red still slowly dripping their way down, splashing in small puddles on the ground below. Rafael walked slowly between the rosewood pews, his feet shuffling and his shoulders slumped low. The women he passed were sobbing quietly into handkerchiefs. The men stood beside them stoic and cold, gripping their rifles and feigning indifference, staring out the church's stained glass windows.

He approached the altar where Father Marceson stood and collapsed to his knees, tears once again springing from his eyes. The old priest looked on, his mouth agape. He awkwardly reached a hand out to place on Rafael’s shoulder, but retracted. No simple gesture could absolve the broken man kneeling before him.
Petrona's body slid slowly from Rafael’s arms and on to the hardwood beams of the Church floor. He closed her lifeless eyes, and kissed her cold, bloodstained lips one last time. Rafael struggled to his feet and reached clasped hands out to the priest.

"Forgive me father, for what I am about to do"

Father Marceson said nothing. He placed his hands on Rafael’s and nodded slowly.
The heavy thud of horses began to ring through the streets outside. One of the men observing out the windows yelled "Veinte hombres. They are riding this way."

Rafael turned and marched down the aisle, his body like stone. Emotion drained from his face. He picked up a rifle leaning against a pew and began pouring shot down the muzzle. The horses stopped in front of the Church, the soldiers encircling the front doors and preparing their own rifles. A man in a blue coat dotted with gold buttons, covered shoulder to hip with a broad red sash, dismounted and walked carefully and deliberately to the doors of the church.

"By order of the President and the Congress of the Republic, all men gathered here are to drop their weapons and disperse!" Rafael immediately recognized Captain Diego's voice.

Captain Diego swung open the doors. He stood unarmed, his golden buttons twinkling proudly in the candle light.

"Stand down and disperse, and no trouble will come from it." His strong, calm demeanor gave way when he saw Rafael standing before him. "Please… stand down." He pleaded with the crowd in the church, his voice betraying his fear.

Rafael took one step forward and thrust the barrel of the rifle into Captain Diego's throat. Before the Captain could protest, Rafael pulled the trigger. A cloud of red mixed with gunpowder smoke sprayed over the front doors. The gunshot echoed into the dark empty streets.

Within seconds, gunfire hailed into the stained glass windows from the soldiers outside. The women and children were screaming, scrambling to duck under the pews. The men with the nerve to fight back leapt to the windows and returned fire. Rafael slammed and barred the large front door, barking orders to the farmhands and ranchers that defended the Church. After minutes of chaos, the gunfire ceased, and twenty Republic soldiers lay dead, their horses fleeing from the racket.

Rafael re-opened the doors to the church and marched outside. "I ride for the fort. Any man who seeks vengeance on these un-Godly bastardos for what they've done tonight, ride with me."

He mounted his horse and spurred towards the fort. Only eighteen men followed with him.

By morning, the fort outside of the once peaceful town was in flames, eighteen blood-soaked men riding out. It would be an hour before the Republican regiment would return from their raid into the mountains. As the Republican regiment arrived in Mataquescuintla, they saw the fort in ruins. Every man, Spanish, Creole, Mestizo and Mayan alike, was barricaded along the main road. Their rifles in hand, they stood behind Rafael's Eighteen, waiting for the order to fire.
 
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LordTempest

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Nice overview, especially with all the tasty graphics. The USCA must be the only country in the whole game where the reactionaries are a serious political force. How did you come up with the lower house figures by the way?

Oh, and if you had level one shipyards, wouldn't you be able to build a Man O'War?
 

MondoPotato

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Nice overview, especially with all the tasty graphics. The USCA must be the only country in the whole game where the reactionaries are a serious political force. How did you come up with the lower house figures by the way?

Oh, and if you had level one shipyards, wouldn't you be able to build a Man O'War?
Thanks! I think Central America is the only country where you're about guaranteed to go reactionary right away. It definitely makes for some interesting choices when you get the ability to roll back reforms. I came up with the lower house figures just by taking the percentages of the electoral vote. It's close enough for a first look.

And I'm not sure what you're talking about in regards to the shipyards. Of course the pic says level 0... ;) Seriously though, thanks for catching that. I updated the picture. You can't build Man O'Wars at level 0, but you can at level 1. Central America starts with no level 1 seaports.
 

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December, 1836​

President Morazán slammed his cigar into the marble ashtray. The cigar burst into a cloud of grey ash and sparks.

"How many were lost?" His voice cracked, beleaguered with stress and shock. A tall soldier in captains uniform stood in the centre of the President’s office, struggled to remain composed. "Sev.. Several thousand, Señor."

"Several thousand!" Morazán could barely force the words from his throat. He collapsed heavily into his small wooden chair. "And who leads them?"

The tall captain glanced quickly over a parchment he held in his hands before placing it on the president’s desk. "A peasant farmer, Señor. His name is Rafael Carrera."

Morazán picked up the parchment and stared blankly at the ink scrawled over its surface. "I'll report to congress today," Morazán spoke quietly and contemplatively, "Relay the orders to the remaining divisions. If we've lost Guatemala, the Nationalista's will be quick to act elsewhere."

The situation in Guatemala was rapidly spiraling out of control. Weeks prior to the uprising Mayan natives in the northern plantations were already up in arms over the supposed beating of a young man by a Republic officer. This was followed by the arrest and torture of a priest in Quetzaltenango who was attempting to incite revolt. The raid of the farmlands around Mataquescuintla inspired open rebellion, with stories of "Carreras Eighteen" spreading from Honduras to Costa Rica, the stories growing in grandeur and scale with each retelling. Rafael Carrera was quickly becoming a folk-hero to the poor and oppressed, particularly to the local indigenous communities of native Central Americans.

To compound the stresses President Morazán was dealing with the Bluefields rebellion was escalating from demonstration to sabotage, as hundreds of the local Afro-Caribbean population burnt acres of fields in the banana plantations where they worked.


By the time the President had convened with his Congress the news had already been widely distributed about the now infamous uprising in Mataquescuintla, and the subsequent uprisings that spread throughout the Mayan populations in northern Guatemala. Morazán struggled with the raucous deputies, but words could barely be heard over the yelling. Congress had been ineffectual for months, refusing to answer to any of the Presidents requests, and today they were calling for his head.


The President struggles to keep order in Congress

Within a month, Rafael Carrera had a larger force at his disposal than the Republican army, untrained peasants though they were. All of Guatemala was under his control and much of the Republic was ready and willing to take up arms with him. All that was left for him to do was march on San Salvador.


A map detailing the regions occupied directly by Carrera and other Nationalista forces.
Only El Salvador was under the control of the President.

As the news that Rafael's army was marching spread, the entire Republic held its breath. In San Salvador President Morazán was quick to fortify the city, but even he knew that many of the people here were gleefully waiting for his arrival. The President disbanded congress and would spend the next two weeks making preparations.

When Rafael's army arrived they positioned themselves outside of the city, well outside of the range of Morazán's scattered artillery. A messenger was sent to the barricade delivering a message dictating the terms of President Morazán's surrender, which included the forcing of immediate elections and his arrest as a traitor to the Republic. The notice also called all loyal citizens of the Republic to join Carrera’s army in overthrowing the tyrannical regime. President Morazán refused Carrera's requests.

The battle was brief. As Carrera's forces approached the barricades, the Republican forces stepped aside, and let his forces enter the city. Only a thousand loyalist forces remained around the congress buildings where Morazán was headquartered. Carrera's forces, amid the cheers and hurrah's of the people of San Salvador, attacked the Republican army from all sides, crushing them after less than an hour of fighting. Morazán was captured in the battle.


The peasant armies of Rafael Carrera made short work of the Republican defenders.

By the next week congress was recalled, under the watch of Carrera's army, where Morazán declared he was stepping down from the presidency and calling new elections. Congress accepted his resignation and instead of imprisonment offered him exile. Francisco Morazán left from the port of La Libertad, El Salvador, and embarked on the schooner Izalco accompanied by his closest friends and family. Morazán moved on to David, Panama.


Upcoming elections showed significant support for
the Nationalista's


The Nationalista's begged Rafael Carrera to join them as their presidential nominee. Although initially lenient to accept the role he was eventually convinced. With the announcement of Carrera running for President the unrest throughout Central America was significantly subdued. A small liberal loyalist uprising flared up in San Salvador against Carrera's occupation of the city, but it was quickly driven to the ground.


Felix Rosales made a show of it, but never really stood a chance.

The election was completed by March of 1837, the result a forgone conclusion. Rafael Carrera was inaugurated as the Republics fourth president (Third if you discount del Valle's week) with a sweeping majority.


​Rafael Carrera, illiterate pig herder to President
of the Republic in a few months time

Carrera would be quick to secure his position. His first acts as president were to completely reverse Morazán's secular policy, reinstating Church education and granting the Catholic Clergy a voice in government. Carrera ended many of the free-trade policies, opting instead for a government regulated economy. Surprisingly, he didn't offer many concessions to the indigenous communities that so strongly backed him in his revolt. His action against the liberals was brutal. Carrera's armies were sent to every state in the Republic rooting out known liberal supporters. Many were imprisoned under accusation of treason. Where arrests were not possible the press was used to slander and humiliate, forcing the liberal loyalists to flee or go into hiding. None was more slandered and demonized than Morazán himself. Carrera began a ruthless campaign to change the image of Morazán from a champion of democracy to that of a tyrannical megalomaniac.

Carrera knew that his time as president would be brief if he did not do something to redirect the rampant militantism in the Republic, even if it was currently in his favour. He also needed something to secure his position as President and Commander-in-Chief. He found a cause handed to him in a nearly insignificant blunder by Haitian president Jean Pierre Boyer.


President Boyer, dictator of Hispaniola

After the Haitian revolution, Haiti was forced to pay a huge indemnity to France for the loss of French property. The new state was forced to float massive loans, putting Haiti into severe debt. It would take decades to recover from the financial strain, with Haiti all but losing her valuable monopolies on sugar cane and rum.

While Morazán sought allies for Central America during his first presidency he sent Boyer hundreds of thousands of Central American Reals as debt relief in exchange for cheap tobacco and grains. This treaty ended in 1836, and with it, the cost of tobacco skyrocketed in Central America. A lucrative tobacco smuggling trade had grown throughout the Caribbean, a trade not above the lofty morals of military officers in Central America.


Smugglers from Haiti's tobacco fields unload their illegal cargo in Nicaragua

Days after the election campaign a Honduran smuggler was caught and arrested in Haiti. It was soon discovered he was also a mid-ranking officer of the Republican Navy. Carrera demanded the extradition of the officer, promising he would be dealt with by Central American authorities. Boyer, wanting to make an example of these smugglers and assuming the instability within Central America made them too weak to act, refused. The officer was executed in Port Au Prince days later.

This was all the ammunition Carrera would need to inspire the congress to take action against Haiti. He started all manner of vicious rumour, claiming Haiti was planning a naval strike against the smugglers from Bluefields and Puerto Lempira. He had documents and letters, real or not, dictating the dishonorable treatment of the executed officers remains. Carrera used the incident to unify the anger of congress and the people at a single, common enemy. By June Central America was calling for war.

To the rest of the world the baselessness of the Central American aggression was obvious.


17.5 infamy gain... ouch. Baseless aggression indeed!

But it had the desired effect within the Republic. The feeling of unity and nationalism was growing, even if it was out of fear. In a final move Carrera sent letters to the Dominican leaders within Haiti, offering them freedom from Boyers dictatorship and inclusion as a free state into the Federal Republic. Along with this offer came promises of vast monopolies on the rich tobacco fields across Hispaniola. The Dominican leaders, tired of the Haitian dictator’s control over their lands, readily accepted this proposal. Boyer vocally refused the division of his country. Under the guise of defending democracy and freedom in the Americas The Republic officially declared war on Haiti on June 1st, 1837.


While Carrera and his congress made preparations Haiti was quick to act. Knowing that the Republic would need to send troops by sea, they sent their fleet to blockade the eastern ports of Honduras and Nicaragua. Their main army, a force of six thousand men, was split into raiding parties, seizing the minimally defended ports at Bluefields and Lempira.

Carrera once again took advantage of the situation. In San Salvador, as he prepared to leave with his force of nine thousand men, he declared a state of emergency across the Republic. He proclaimed that due to the internal struggles of liberal militants, the massing of troops along the Mexican and Colombian border, and now an invasion force on Central American soil, the Republic was doomed to fall without the undying support of all free people within the Federation. In the final words of his speech, Carrera said

"When the threat to our people is averted, del Valle’s Constitution will be safe once again, to guide us with its wisdom. Until then, I must humble myself to the people, taking an oath to protect it, and our sovereign land, by the will of God."

Under the thunderous applause of the Nationalista led congress the Constitution was suspended and Carrera was named Commander-in-Chief and Protector of the Republic. A true republic no longer, the Federation was a Dictatorship.


Carrera marched, in direct command of this armies, to end the occupations soon afterwards. In the days it would take to reach Lempira Admiral Corral, who was spared imprisonment and exile by pledging himself to the Nationalista's cause, was dispatched to lift the blockades. His superb skills were more than a match for the poorly led Haitian navy.


The elegant dance of Transport vs. Transport naval combat

Carrera would meet the Haitian commander Fabre Madiou in early July at Bluefields. After several days of minor conflict the Haitian army, well dug in and prepared, was clearly getting the better of Carrera's forces, but with Madiou outnumbered 3 to 1, he knew it was only a matter of time until the tide turned. As the battle entered into its third night, Madiou took the chance to flee north to Lempira under the cover of night. Unfortunately for Madiou the fleeing soldiers were intercepted, and though they did escape Madiou was caught in the crossfire and killed.


After liberating Bluefields, Carrera moved his armies northward to Puerto Lempira and clashed with the remaining Haitian invasion forces, crushing them in a decisive victory. With nowhere to flee the survivors of the Haitian army were captured.

With the coast secured by Admiral Corral and the Haitian invasion force decimated, Carrera and his army boarded transport ships and sailed to Hispaniola.


The battle plan for the invasion of Hispaniola, as envisioned by President Carrera and Admiral Corral

Carrera's army landed and laid siege to Port Au Prince on October 1st, 1837.


Facing little resistance Port Au Prince fell to the Republican army by the end of March, 1838. Following the initial battle plans Carrera divided his forces, sending six thousand men to capture Cap Haitien and a smaller force of three thousand to strike into La Vega and Santo Domingo.


Conquest is much easier when the enemy has no military

Carrera's army faced minimal defenses in Cap Haitien, quickly occupying the outlying villages and forts. In Santo Domingo the Republican forces were welcomed by the people as liberators. It would take over a year of occupation, but with his navy sunk and his army in tatters, Boyer was forced to accept Carrera's terms of peace.


A treaty was signed in Port Au Prince on August 18th, 1839. By the end of the month Carrera had returned to Central America as a conquering hero. Over the next several months governments were established and treaties ratified for acceptance of the two newest republics into the Federation of Central America.


Carrera's establishment In Hispaniola was a stroke of genius. He divided the island into two states, greatly limiting the ability of any dissenters to mobilize a cohesive resistance. By granting vast tobacco monopolies to Dominican aristocrats, he placated and subdued the wealthy Creole population. Under the Hispaniola plantation act of September 1839 nearly all of the agricultural land in Hispaniola was converted for use in tobacco growth, instantly making the Republic a major exporter. It also had the effect of eliminating Hispaniola’s ability to grow enough food for its large population. Hispaniola became wealthy, but entirely dependent on the Federal Republic for grain, fruits, and building materials.

With a cheap source of tobacco and increased trade revenues predicted, militancy in the Republic began to decline. Carrera used this increase in funds to raise wages to the budding Federal bureaucracy, encouraging more of the literate citizenry to work within the government and improve administration. Carrera also increased soldier’s wages and began major recruitment campaigns in Nicaragua, a traditional source of few soldiers but many dissenters.

Carrera's sights then turned south to Colombia. Using similar tactics as employed on Haiti, Carrera demanded Colombia end its hostile occupation of the rightfully free peoples on Panama. Central Americans, he declared, could not sit idly by while their brothers in Panama suffered through an intolerable occupation by a hostile force.

Again, the international community saw this as nothing more than blatant hostile militarism. It would appear that the Republic, with soldiers still yet to return home from one war, would soon be sent to another.


Going over 25 infamy is always a risk, but seeing as Central America literally has nothing to lose,
it's not a bad risk to take.






Intermission / Tutorial time! In this update, I used my national focus to boost soldier pops in Nicaragua. For those reading that are new to the game (i'm assuming people are reading, anyway. It's pretty quiet in here), here’s a brief overview on the use of your National Focus.

 
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spiller68

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im likeing the style of this AAR keep up the good work. ill be watching this
 

MondoPotato

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LordTempest

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  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Pride of Nations
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Deus Vult
  • Darkest Hour
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Cities in Motion
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • East India Company
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Arsenal of Democracy
Be careful about occupied Haiti, in my experience it's often a target for GPs to "liberate" through crises. I'd be wary about Dictatorships as well, they tend to make South American nations less attractive for the immigrants you need to give your small population a big boost. I'll miss the politics and election updates also... :(

Oh, and don't worry about about the lack of comments at this stage. You have a top quality, multi-genre AAR here, and as long as you keep the updates coming people will come eventually. ;)