America - Albion's Orphan - A history of the conquest of Britain - 1760

How scandalous for the Kennedys, I wonder how this separation will affect Joseph Jr and if/when he'll learn about his father's salacious movie productions.

How being reduced to 5% of the population sitting with the Middle Eastern muslims through immigration? Is there still underground Mahdist sentiment brewing?

It would be an incredible act of irony where the destruction of old Britain by France leads to a federation of British kingdoms that's less divisive politically than in OTL.

Most of the Mahdism has been suppressed in Arabia by the new ruling families though some vestiges remain.
 
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It’s looking more and more like a true confederation of British states is in the cards... Provided that Ireland and France don’t intervene in the next couple of decades.

Also, what year is the latest census for? If it’s 1920, then it looks like BNA is losing demographic ground to otl USA.

This is 1920 census. As the slave trade ended half a century earlier than OTL, you see a much lower black population and there is a much lower (than OTL) mid-19th century Catholic and Eastern Orthodox (no famine, the Spanish Empire taking in large numbers of Catholics) immigration rate that was only partially offset by an earlier, much higher, British immigration in the late 18th and early 19th century.

I never ceased to be shocked at the fact that, from the 1770's through the 1840's (the Famine), that there was a very, very low rate of immigration to America, usually about 6000 per year. At various years, the average number of "Native Born" Americans were, in fact, 94-98% of the population. In the later 19th and early 20th century, the number was closer to 80%.
 
Chapter 406
1917

Moscow


Czar Alexander IV would expire at the age of 68, largely a function of his smoking. As he had four sons, and the eldest, 45 year old Prince Michael, was considered quite capable, there seemed to be little concern for the future. However, in one of history's greatest cruelties, the Prince would die the same day of his father after contracting typhoid from contaminated water while visiting an army base in Novgorod.

It would take nearly a full day for the news to be distributed due to damaged telegraph lines.

Much to the concern of the political establishment, Michael had no sons but only three daughters with his Danish Princess Dagmar: Olga (19), Dagmar (who died two years prior at the age of 8) and Ekaterina (1).

Russia had never practiced Salic Law, thus allowing women to rule the nation (as several had over the centuries) but this would be the first since Czarina since the 18th century ruled Russia. Michael had been adamant that his daughter(s) would succeed him and Alexander did not set aside the girls in the succession, though many pointed out that Michael had long expected to have a long reign and Olga would, theoretically be much older (and probably married) by the time that she assumed power. Indeed, if Michael lived long enough to see his grandson's grow up, Olga may have immediately abdicated in favor of an adult son when her time came to reign.

But this was not to be and a nineteen year old girl was placed upon the throne of Russia.

Her uncles included Ivan, Sergei and Alexander. While the prospect of an "evil uncle" usurping the throne had been bandied about, the nature of the three men prevented this.

Ivan was the soldier of the family and utterly devoted to the rightful succession of his niece(s). He was also the favorite of Olga and she would soon place Ivan in command of the Russian Army forces. Devout and loyal, Ivan would spend his life as his niece's greatest supporter. Ivan was the only married uncle and had 4 year old and 2 year old sons and would go on to father two more daughters with his second wife later in life.

Sergei was a sailor and a bit of an adventurer. Sergei had led several expeditions to the Poles and remote areas of Russia. Having little to no taste for government, Sergei was not considered a threat at all to Olga's throne.

Alexander was a drunk and homosexual who was the embarrassment of the family. He had been granted "leave" from the army after reportedly attempting to have sex with several of his staff officers and banished by the late Czar to a mansion outside of St. Petersburg where he was said to host orgies on a nightly basis (including men, women, children and animals) while dressed as Bacchus.

Olga had been well schooled by her father and was a diligent student with a diversity of interests from astronomy to music. While many Russians of all classes would prefer a man on the throne, the new Czarina would instead be most judged on her skin-tone as Olga had been born an albino. Though her mind was quite adept, her pale alabaster skin and almost reddish eyes stood out among others. Indeed, the Czarina often had trouble in harsh daylight and spent most of her life indoors (as was common for ladies of the time anyway).

"Olga the White" was crowned in late 1917 and promptly announced her intention NOT to marry as she'd heard too many snickerings over the years as some wondered how she would find a husband given her "condition". Albinos were often incorrectly considered to be sterile.

But she would be a dedicated monarch and continue the gradual reforms off the past for the first few years of her reign before summoning a constitutional convention among the previously powerless Duma with the intent of strengthening the legislative body.

Over the past century and a half, there had been a near-constant social (abolition of serfdom), legal, economic and technological change ongoing within Russia that had not extended to any major degree to political change. The Czars remained heavily autocratic. Under the consent and direction of Czarina Olga, the would take place from 1918 to 1945 as the Duma was raised to a power compatible to those Parliaments of British North America and France.


The Czarina Olga I (the White) of Russia


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Chapter 407
1917

Zurich


Lev Bronstein had spent the past ten years as an adjunct professor of Mathematics at the University of Bern where he had made fast friends with Albert Einstein. Though not a mathematical genius (he never came close to achieving tenure at Bern), he proved an adequate teacher at the lower levels and his close association with Einstein (who, by now, had the reputation as a preeminent Physicist) would gain him a Professor position at the University of Zurich (where Einstein had done much of his best work) in 1915. For two years, he toiled teaching freshman students calculus without any particular distinction.

However, in 1917, the relatively weak central government of the Swiss Cantons (which had repeatedly attempted to reorganize after losing most of their territory in the previous century to France, Italy, Baden, Wurttemberg and Raetia) was still struggling to organize a committee for the "Winter Olympics" which were technically under control over the King of Greece but all funding and defacto administration was being left to the Cantons. Having suffered so much losses and feeling highly exposed by the powerful nations to the west, east and south (and the northern Germans again forming a coalition), the Swiss Cantons desired to politically make their mark in the new Europe and viewed hosting the Olympics every four years would give them political leverage on the Continent. Thus failing to produce a successful games was considered a diplomatic necessity.

Money was tight and large numbers of specialized event centers had to be identified and built prior to 1924. The government sought organizers and, after two quit in frustration in short order, turned to the Mathematician from the University of Zurich. It proved a lucrative post (three times his professor's stipend) and Bronstein was not even forced to give up his "day job". Thus Bronstein agreed to accept the position and got to work.

As it turned out, the next five years ( there would be a "European Games" staged in 1922 prior to the first Winter Olympics as a dry run), would prove simultaneously exhausting and exciting for the Russian-born Jew. By 1917, Bronstein spoke adequate German and French and could easily communicate with his subordinates. Fortunately, the large-scale arenas were seldom necessary in the Winter Olympiads as they were in the track and field competitions, etc, of the Summer Counterpart.

Bronstein mapped out the downhill and cross-country skiing courses (all, thankfully, cheap to do). Speed skating, "figure" skating and other indoor events would require a stadium but this would be relatively cheap compared to Summer Olympics stadiums.

By 1922, Zurich's European Games went off without a hitch. Being egalitarian, Bronstein ensured that Women's events were almost as numerous as men's. Over 30 countries participated in 30 events. The biggest problem appeared to be inadequate housing for the athletes and press.

This proved to the King of Greece, still the nominal sponsor, that Zurich would make an adequate home for the Winter Olympiad and, in 1924, 54 countries would send representatives to the first Olympic Games.

Bronstein struggled to provide housing in 1922 and made several administrative changes to help by 1924. He supported the production of new hotels in Zurich and surrounding areas. He also encouraged locals to "open their homes" in large numbers to visitors (this would prove a future source of income throughout the Cantons as new homes often were built with "visitors' quarters" to rent out and help pay for the homes). These would evolve into the Swiss "Bed and Breakfast" industry.

Most importantly, Bronstein would form the first "Olympic Village" for the athletes. Relatively cheap to build, hundred of small but comfortable log cabins would be built near major event centers which were cheap and easy to maintain by the government and Olympic Committee.

Hailed as the "Father of the Winter Olympic Games", Bronstein would use the line "Athletes of the World Unite.....IN PEACE" which would go on to be used for the next century. Bronstein would hold this position for the rest of his life.
 
That's certainly a twist of fate, I wonder how the other revolutionaries of the time are doing with the change of circumstance. Maybe a certain Ioseb Jughashvili becomes a priest after all or he becomes a staunch industrialist.

Strange to say it but I hope Trotsky lives well.
 
Chapter 408
1918

Southern Africa (East India Company)


Over the past several years, the citizens of Southern Africa had grated under EIC rule. Even as democracy was starting to flourish throughout the world, the Company saw no reason to offer it within their lands. As so many of the citizens were making money off of Company mines and free land, why should they?

But, eventually, the people of Southern Africa would begin to wonder.....just what THEY needed from the Company?

The mines continued to churn out gold and diamonds but fewer and fewer settlers were transients. Instead, the farmsteads were filling up with long-term residents. These were people who were less and less inclined to obey the dictates of the East India Company, no matter how reasonable or unreasonable they may be.

In 1918, a petty dispute by local sailors would lead to a general strike at the docks would spread through the coastal cities of Freeport and Salm where dockworkers joined the the sailors in protesting local conditions. It had little to nothing to do with overall political in Southern Africa but the dissatisfaction of the working men would spread to miners, ranchers, etc, etc until the port cities were in defacto rebellion. Days later (due to telegraph malfunctions), the interior mining regions would soon rise up as well.

Due to budget cuts, most of the "foreign" soldiers garrisoning Southern Africa had been dismissed and repatriated only to depend more and more upon the local militia.

This would prove to be a bitter mistake.

A Constitutional Convention was held in the interior city of Witswatersrand which formally declared independence of Southern Africa. Among the delegates were an aging Jesse James and Wyatt Earp.

All private property was guaranteed...provided that the proprietor support the new nation. The "Company" Mines, of course...were now national property to be sold off or operated by the government.

The Congo River

After nearly a century of oppression, the native tribes of the Congo belatedly launched yet another rebellion. This was largely put down within a few months but set the stage for greater rebellion, this time by the privileged tribes set up by the East India Company as the "superior race" of the Congo Basin.

Almost immediately after taking complete control, the local tribes created as a "warrior class" of the Congo, determined that they didn't need the East India Company anymore.

Manhattan

The Fusionist Party in 1918 already was fighting among themselves for control over the 1920 Fusionist Party candidate for First Lord (though technically, Parliament would only "recommend" the position to the King...but everyone knew the King would accept Parliament's recommendation). The current First Lord was old and unlikely to stand again. The "Unity" party was less than dynamic as it looked for future leaders (the staid Calvin Coolidge was apparently the front runner, hardly a man to inspire devotion).

The Fusionist Party would be divided among the elites preferring Woodrow Wilson, the boring Governor of New Jersey, the crass Al Smith of Manhattan (who was long accused of cronyism) and the radical Eugene Debs of Miami were considered the frontrunners for the Fusionist platform in 1920.
 
We have a Constitutional Convention, the people relying on militias instead of regulars, and a great deal of self reliance, that definitely sounds familiar.

The Congo looks like it's heading into tragedy even after independence, with fighting along ethnic lines leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I wonder how relations will develop in the coming year between this new state in South Africa, New Canaan, the Cape Colony, whatever the Congo ends up being, and other African tribes in the area.

Will New Canaan be supportive of the South African independence movement or would they see an independent South Africa as a threat?
 
Chapter 409
1919

Beijing


Hu Hanming, a regional governor whose forces were concentrated in the south, would repeatedly clash with Chang Kai Shek, the General largely controlling the northern and southern frontiers of China.

The Emperor had long divided power among several Generals (sometimes, several dozen) in order to maintain his own control over them but had recently allowed these two men a certain amount of leeway in governing given the frontiers.

The Congo River, Eastern Africa

Though it took nearly eight months, the East India Company finally managed to summon a response to the rebellion in Southern Africa and the Congo. However, the French government, in a rare moment of unity, would dispatch an armada to the Congo River.

The past decades had seen the French fleet grow significantly more powerful than the ships-of-the-line of the East India Company. The simple blockade proved more than adequate to halt any East India Company reconquest in the Congo.

Freeport, Southern Africa

The other major spot of rebellion would occur in Southern Africa. Unlike the Congo, which was swiftly turning into a cabal run by the "privileged" tribes raised to ascendancy by the Company, Southern Africa had been largely populated by European stock...with a healthy minority of Asiatics and some native African tribesmen (most had long since been forced northwards) which had largely been assimilated into the dominant culture (most were Africans whose tribal identity had long since been severed).

The Constitutional Convention had been....contentious....to say the least.

There had been a faction which desired to exempt the Asiatics from the franchise....as had been determined for the Africans (for their untrustworthiness). But the impending threat of East India Company invasion was enough for the new nation to realize insulting nearly a quarter of the population to be unwise and the Asiatics soon received no more resistance to full citizenship (assorted mixed breeds were also accepted).

The Convention, in fact, was chaired by Mohandes Gandhi. His elder brother was also on the committee but would expire of a stroke before the final tally was taken.

The militia's responsibilities were expanded into an army in preparation of the invasion yet to come.

But the Convention did receive one bit of good news. Their Jewish neighbors no more wanted the East India Company's hegemony over Africa to continue than Southern Africa. Even the Cape Kingdom was discussing throwing their lot against the Company (mainly due to their desire to expand northwards towards Luanda).

By fall of 1919, the first EIC armada would arrive bearing dozens of Regiments of EIC regulars from the East Indies, many tough veterans of the Javan campaigns.
 
I've binged this timeline over the past few days...and I gotta say.....holy shit. This is one of those timelines that I'd want to live in. God save King Alfred!
 
We have a Constitutional Convention, the people relying on militias instead of regulars, and a great deal of self reliance, that definitely sounds familiar.

The Congo looks like it's heading into tragedy even after independence, with fighting along ethnic lines leading to genocide and ethnic cleansing.

I wonder how relations will develop in the coming year between this new state in South Africa, New Canaan, the Cape Colony, whatever the Congo ends up being, and other African tribes in the area.

Will New Canaan be supportive of the South African independence movement or would they see an independent South Africa as a threat?

I currently have New Canaan as being more supportive at the moment but I wonder if they would find long term that a powerful but predicable East India Company may prove a better neighbor than an aggressive and independent Southern Africa.
 
Chapter 410
1919

Singapura, Malaya, Headquarters of East India Company


The Directors of the East India Company were virtually apoplectic at the events of the past year.

First, the damned French blockaded the Congo, the gateway of hundreds of thousands of square miles of nominal Company control in central Africa. Without the river, millions of laborers toiling upon the palm oil and rubber plantations were cut off from Company rule.

The Company Navy had failed to keep up with the recent developments in technology and dared not wage war with France at sea. The Company's best hope for regaining the Congo was if the French sought to conquer it for themselves. The disease endemic to the region and the expected difficulty of a new power seeking to gain control over such a huge territory would be daunting. Waiting until the French get tired of the Congo seemed the best option.

However, recent reports from Europe hinted that the French had no real intention of conquering the Congo region. Having already voluntarily given up the West African Protectorates, the Government of France would instead claim to operate in the "name of human freedom". For a century, the Company had exploited Africa's lands and peoples. In the Congo, in particular, this legacy was one of brutality. Reports proliferated over the decades among the fashionable Europeans apparently lacking anything better to do and resentment against the Company became common.

Few sympathized with the EIC when France unilaterally determined to prevent further occupation of the Congo even if that meant that the rubber and palm oil industries were hit hard. However, the recent developments in synthetic rubber...along with (ironically) the rapid increase in rubber and palm oil production in Malaya and the East Indies (Company property) meant that the rubber boom was already ending, profits down even as demand was up. Soon, natural rubber would be a niche product, easily forgotten.

But the Company was also dealing with a simultaneous rebellion in Southern Africa, which had long been allowed relative autonomy in many aspects except economic. Eventually, the people of Southern Africa began to openly wonder what THEY needed the Company for.

With astonishing ease, Southern Africa overthrew the local Directors. It took time for the Company to put together an army capable of putting down the rebellion.

In November of 1919, the first 30,000 soldiers alighted upon Southern African soil near Freeport. Though the Africans threatened to defend the landing, they in fact surrendered the city fairly quickly as the Company Navy had more than adequate power to flatten Freeport.

The hastily trained Southern African Army would form inland, 40,000 strong. Another 10,000 New Caananite soldiers would join them.

Manhattan


As expected, First Lord Elihu Root would announce his retirement at the end of his term and would not seek reelection to Parliament the following year. Naturally, this set up a frenzy in early 1920 in preparation for the November of 1920 election.

Italy

The separation of Italy from the Habsburg Empire had been largely both peaceful (after the initial stages) and welcomed by the Italians. However, in the first few years of an independent Italy, the loss of the moderating influence of the Emperor (though his son had been selected as King) would see the nation quickly turn upon itself.

For years, the Habsburgs had ensured equitable distribution of government funds to southern Italy which was poorer and less developed. However, the ascendant political party in Italy hailed for the more developed north. Soon, a disproportionate amount of investment was reaching the industrialized north and the south starved. Emigration from Italy to the Spanish Empire, Spain itself, France, British North America, the Levant and even the Berber Kingdom came disproportionately from the south. Calls for more investment were caustically dismissed as a "waste of resources" as there was considerably more benefit to investing in the north (true).

Moreover, the King of Italy's ministers would pronounce that the southern dialects of Italy were....backwards...and formally select the northern variant as the one intended to be solely taught in schools. This was but one of the condescending acts inflicted upon southern Italy.

Finally, riots broke out in Naples and other southern cities as the dominant southern political party (over 80% of the votes in the south) walked out of Parliament in Rome, vowing to meet in Naples to determine southern Italy's future.

Ironically, large sections of the northern establishment would actually welcome the development. Seeing southern Italy as a sinkhole for money and hardly considering the southerners their equals, many felt it would be better for all concerned to be rid of the others. Also, the dominant northern party knew that it would retain control over the remnant of nation in perpetuity as the southern party had often attempted to forge a coalition with minority northern parties. Once the southerners were gone....

But, of course, this was not a universal opinion in the north. Many Italians were aghast at the idea of splitting the nation so soon after independence over petty political and economic issues. Even as the southerners met in Naples, a fierce debate erupted in Rome over what to do if the south did, indeed, seek to split the nation.
 
The French blockade of the Congo is pretty smart. If you can't take over a region and plunder it's resources, then you may as well make it difficult for anyone else to do it, doing it to "protect the people from exploitation" is icing in the cake and great PR.

It looks like France is going through its decolonization phase early while also keeping a strong presence without having to commit to occupying land.

I wonder how abandoning the moneysink that is colonies and investing in domestic development early will change things for France.

Would a separate South Italy also request a Habsburg monarch or would they go for a Spanish or French monarch to strengthen diplomatic ties?
 
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Italy

The separation of Italy from the Habsburg Empire had been largely both peaceful (after the initial stages) and welcomed by the Italians. However, in the first few years of an independent Italy, the loss of the moderating influence of the Emperor (though his son had been selected as King) would see the nation quickly turn upon itself.

For years, the Habsburgs had ensured equitable distribution of government funds to southern Italy which was poorer and less developed. However, the ascendant political party in Italy hailed for the more developed north. Soon, a disproportionate amount of investment was reaching the industrialized north and the south starved. Emigration from Italy to the Spanish Empire, Spain itself, France, British North America, the Levant and even the Berber Kingdom came disproportionately from the south. Calls for more investment were caustically dismissed as a "waste of resources" as there was considerably more benefit to investing in the north (true).

Moreover, the King of Italy's ministers would pronounce that the southern dialects of Italy were....backwards...and formally select the northern variant as the one intended to be solely taught in schools. This was but one of the condescending acts inflicted upon southern Italy.

Finally, riots broke out in Naples and other southern cities as the dominant southern political party (over 80% of the votes in the south) walked out of Parliament in Rome, vowing to meet in Naples to determine southern Italy's future.

Ironically, large sections of the northern establishment would actually welcome the development. Seeing southern Italy as a sinkhole for money and hardly considering the southerners their equals, many felt it would be better for all concerned to be rid of the others. Also, the dominant northern party knew that it would retain control over the remnant of nation in perpetuity as the southern party had often attempted to forge a coalition with minority northern parties. Once the southerners were gone....

But, of course, this was not a universal opinion in the north. Many Italians were aghast at the idea of splitting the nation so soon after independence over petty political and economic issues. Even as the southerners met in Naples, a fierce debate erupted in Rome over what to do if the south did, indeed, seek to split the nation.
A few comments regarding Italy. The part regarding the "dialects", although we are very far from the POD, does not seem fit. The reason is that Italian as a literaly language had existed for 600 years and had been standardized largely by Pietro Bembo in the XVIth century. Italian was, along with Latin, the official language of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. True, OTL a standard pronunciation was agreed only after the unification, but even there, it was agreed that it had to be a sort of a crossing between Roman and Tuscan pronunciations, and even OTL the Kingdom of Sardinia (Corsica ITTL) was the driving force of the unification. Unification that TTL happened a lot earlier and for what we saw withouth the "piedmontesisazion" of the Peninsula which was more or less (en)forced OTL. Which brings us to the fololwing point: how come the South is so backwards? Mind you, the north being richer is almost a given (I won't elaborate further) but with a unification so different with respect to OTL one would expect ait to be more developed.
 
Chapter 411
1920

Chicago City, Dominion of Chicago


The development of the film industry of East Florida, New Jersey and other Dominions would eventually spawn a secondary industry of animation. These "shorts" would be played before films apparently to "warm up the audience" prior to the feature.

Roy and Walter Disney, with their friend Ub Iwerks, would form the Disney Corporation in Chicago in 1920 to write and illustrate these "cartoons". Usually a few minutes ong in theaters, the platform proved popular. The biggest problem was the great numbers of illustrations necessary. Skilled artists were sought from across British North America and abroad.

Among these was a thirty-one year old postcard artist from Austria named Adolf Hitler. Given his poverty and the realization that painted postcards (a common souvenir for people travelling in Europe for centuries) were becoming passe given the improvements of photography, Hitler would seek greener pastures for his talent in America. Initially accepting a position with Disney only to pay the bills, eventually Hitler would immerse himself in the projects and greatly contribute to the company's success. In 1923, after a period of poor sales, the Company nearly folded only to be saved by several popular cartoons largely created by Hitler.

As a reward, Hitler would be made the 4th partner and the firm's revenues expanded in the mid to late 1920's. The evolution of "talking pictures" greatly aid the industry and, in 1926, the Disney Corporation would elect to move to Ft. Myers, the original birthplace of the film industry and still very close to the Jernigan studios.

It was there that Hitler would meet his friend Joe Kennedy, who owned the most lucrative pornographic studios in the world. The two would spend long weekends with the "actresses" indulging in alcohol, cocaine and morphine.

It was said that, during one of these "weekends", Hitler invented one of his favorite characters in 1928. Earlier that year, Disney and Iwerks invented the cartoon mouse, Mickey. However, Hitler believed that Mickey should have a "nemesis". Thus Hitler invented a vulture with definitive Semitic undertones named "Mordechai" who would serve in dozens of cartoons as Mickey's greedy and abusive employer (along the lines of Ebenezer Scrooge). Disney had no problem with this and happily added to the character to the company's growing stable of cartoons.

Hiring continued apace and the Disney Corporation was, by the 1930's, by far the most successful animator in the world.

Manhattan

With the election of 1920 impending, both major political parties would campaign vigorously for advantage. The Fusionist Party was adamant that they could have won the past two elections had their platform been cohesive and better thought out. Internal politics within the party were discouraged as a unified face was put to the American public.

While Elihu Root, the Unity First Lord, was personally popular, there seemed to be a general consensus of change. For the past two decades, the Unity Party had maintained power by subtly moving towards the center by subsuming certain Fusionist positions like expanded money supply, trust-busting, protection of union, a moderate position between protectionism and free trade, strict control over the banking system, etc.

But two decades of Unity rule was enough time for people to get generally tired of those in power and any blame for the past problems fell entirely upon the Unity faction. It didn't help that the nominal leader of the Party's election group, Calvin Coolidge, proved very much a "hands off" manager while the Fusionists actively worked every political angle to achieve advantage in the polls. Thus, with both parties' official platforms strikingly similar, the Fusionist Party won a majority in Parliament for the first time with a moderately strong 30 member margin (there were several independents which usually voted for one party or the other in Parliament).

By New Year's of 1920, the results had largely been tabulated and accepted by outgoing and retiring Elihu Root. A peaceful transfer of power in the "Party Era" was assured. In the meantime, the assorted leaders of the Fusionist Party prepared to fight for power at the April of 1921 internal Parliamentary vote for "recommending" Ministers to the King.

THAT fight would be even more contentious than the election.
 
In 1923, after a period of poor sales, the Company nearly folded only to be saved by several popular cartoons largely created by Hitler.

It's not traditional art or architecture, but it's great to see that he made headways into the arts and is leaving a lasting impression that doesn't involve genocide.

The two would spend long weekends with the "actresses" indulging in alcohol, cocaine and morphine.

As is tradition. Depending on how laws differ in this timeline, cocaine and opioids might still be legal (or at least not as controlled as in OTL). I wonder different laws, being based on Chicago, as well as Hitler's personal touch would have the studio's cartoons keep some of their "less than family friendly" elements.

However, Hitler believed that Mickey should have a "nemesis". Thus Hitler invented a vulture with definitive Semitic undertones named "Mordechai"

Ah, there it is. You can take the Austrian out of Europe but you can take the anti-semitism out of the Austrian.

It's great to see Ub Iwerks get a mention, how's Fleischer doing?
 
Chapter 412
1920

Republic of Southern Africa


Years before, a French army had been crushed by the EIC forces inland of Freeport. In 1920, this would be repeated by a joint Southern African and New Canaanite army. Demoralized Company forces had suffered for years in Java where the low grade rebellion resulted in a near-constant level of unrest. Several key divisions had been withdrawn from Java to help put down the Southern African revolt.

However, fighting jungle insurgents would do little to prepare the Company forces for a battle on the African prairie. Though the militias of Southern Africa and New Canaan were hardly experienced troops after decades of peace, their familiarity with the terrain would lead to a massive victory 50 miles north of Freeport. Suffering 2500 casualties and 5000 captured, the remnants of the Company army fled southwards to the coast, leaving the interior entirely within possession of the rebels.

1920 ended with Freeport and Salm under Company control....but little else.

The Company would alter strategy to maintaining an economic blockade. However, this would prove less than effective as Southern Africa was already quite self-sufficient in food production while the majority of the exports tended to be gold, gemstones and other easily transportable goods across the border by land.

In hopes of bringing the Southern Africans to heal, the Company would also encourage border tribes, manty having once controlled the region now dominated by Southern Africa, to raid the frontier. This would prove only modestly effective beyond forcing the Southern Africans to deploy greater patrols to the northern border. More importantly the encouragement of "tribal" assaults on farmsteads would outrage the Southern Africans and ensure there remained no semblance of loyalism to the old regime.

Southern Africa would also seek recognition by foreign powers, most notably the Maratha Empire, France and British North America. None would immediately offer assistance though the Dutch Republic and its breakaway Cape Kingdom, both still resentful against the Company (and the Cape Kingdom seeking expansion northwards), would quietly sell arms to the Southern Africans and New Canaanites.

Western Africa

After the collapse of the French West African Protectorates, the vast expanse of West Africa would fall into dispute among native tribes. A dozen border wars would commence, bringing violence to the lands which once had been largely peaceful.

Lost in the collection of local wars was the intent of the former West African Protectorates to conquer the northern regions of the Congo River, only two years ago dominated by the Company. Instead, and more than a little ironically, France had put an end to Company domination over the Congo with the blockade of the Congo River mouth.

Instead, local warlords and tribal confederations would assume control. Exports of rubber and palm oil plummeted in the chaos but the new Kings, Generals and Emperor of the Congo region naturally all hoped to reestablish exports shortly, often using the same brutal and exploitative practices made famous by the East India Company.

Though some rubber and palm oil would reach the mouth of the Congo, the dropping prices would see disappointing profits for the new rulers of the Congo. Eventually, the western traders almost stopped bothering to come to the Congo as the exports became too tenuous and unpredictable. By 1921, most of the French fleet, having suffered somewhat from disease, had returned home leaving only a small flotilla based nearby to keep up the French flag.

Negotiations would soon commence with British North America to allow French ships to dock and be serviced in Sao Tome. While some Americans with an interest in international affairs would be aghast at the idea as allowing a foreign power to use American resources to maintain their navies seemed counterintuitive, the new Foreign Secretary of the Fusionist Regime was willing to talk for he had plans for a glorious new international future and support of the strongest power in Western Europe was mandatory for this dream to come true.
 
Chapter 413
1921

Manhattan


For weeks, the Fusionist Party would caucus behind closed door, fighting among themselves prior to the "official" votes in Parliament itself. For years, the Fusionists had fought to achieve power but the assorted factions had not yet truly managed to agree on anything more than the rather general platform with which they won the election.

Radicals and arch-Unionists favored Eugene Debs.

Woodrow Wilson was considered the most experienced in governance. Among his greatest supporters was William McAdoo, his son in law and a Parliamentarian from Georgia. Wilson was much more of a cold intellectual and rarely gained the favor of the public as Debs or Smith could do. His faction was more "conservative" than the others.

Al Smith would carry dominate New York and Long Islands' Fusionist parties, vital for election, as well as carry the Catholic vote of the northeastern and middle Atlantic Dominions (Pennsylvania and Maryland, in particular). He also was a favorite of black and women voters in the party.

When the new Parliament was seated in April, the Fusionist Party was still not reconciled among themselves. Despite a thirty vote advantage, the lack of a unified direction could, in theory at least, result in a a Unity Party candidate winning the Parliamentary votes.

Making things more complex were the structural changes ongoing throughout the nation. Two issues in particular vexed both parties.

Women had been granted the vote in eleven dominions including New York, Pennsylvania and Chicago. At least a dozen more were expected to vote upon expanding the franchise in the next year or two. Though it was expected that women would just vote according to the wishes of their husband or father though this was already proving to be untrue.

Also, there was a strong temperance movement in the central Dominions and rural areas. Smith led the more Urban faction of the Fusionist Party who opposed the idea of prohibiting alcohol while McAdoo (though not necessarily his father-in-law Wilson) received much support from the Prohibitionists. It was conceivable that one of these factions may choose to support a Unity candidate if they did not get their way.

After the first initial votes went through Parliament, Coolidge naturally led as the Unity Party was united behind him. Debs, Smith and Wilson suddenly saw their "victory" being threatened. In the end, they managed to adjourn for a long weekend and met with the party brokers to seek a compromise. Knowing that party infighting may doom them, the three major leaders of the Fusionists agreed to a compromise:

James Cox would be "recommended" to the King as the new First Lord. A man everyone could get along with, Cox seemed the best bet to balance the factions and egos of his party.

Debs would be made Minister of the Interior and his ally William Lyon Mackenzie King of Mississauga would be given the vital Social Service Minister Position (King was tolerable to both Debs and Smith).

Wilson (who had an interest in foreign affairs) would be made Foreign Minister.

The Exchequer was another matter. Wilson wanted McAdoo for the position but both Debs and Smith utterly refused. Then Wilson recommended Franklin Roosevelt but, again, Roosevelt was hardly a favorite with Debs (who thought the New Yorkers was a rich snob) or Smith (who had feuded for years with Roosevelt).

In the end, Smith would be allowed to select a "capable" candidate if he was considered reasonable.

The decision would prove shocking as Smith chose Francis Perkins, one of only seven female Parliamentarians and one of his biggest supporters both as Governor of New York and later Parliament. Perkins had been elected to one of the Bronx seats in Parliament and Smith, mindful that the female vote may prove vital in 1925 should he seek the position himself, would press his friend to national prominence.

Thus, though the Unity Party had dreamed of "stealing" the next five years of the Executive, this was not to be and the Fusionist Party managed to vote James Cox as the new first Lord (again, nominally, as a "recommendation" though, by 1921, no one really believed that any King would reject such a recommendation).



James Cox

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Woodrow Wilson

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Eugene Debs

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William Lyon Mackenzie King

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Francis Perkins

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Chapter 414
1921

Rome


King Giuseppe of Italy was not a smart man. To be fair, he never claimed to be. Born Joseph of Austria, the son of the Habsburg Emperor (now Emperor of Upper Germany), the dissolution of the Habsburg lands into (sometimes feuding) ethnic Kingdoms, Joseph had been granted the rule of Italy, considered by many the most desirable realm outside of the Habsburg Imperial remnant in southern Germany.

Rechristened "Giuseppe" when taking the throne of Italy as a political expedience, there was some doubt in the early years that the monarchy under a Habsburg King would last long. Some believed that the Italians would either cast the Habsburg aside in preference to another Royal Family (as many desired a full separation from the old order) or even form a Republic.

To the surprise of many, King Giuseppe would prove quite popular both with the common people and the Government as Giuseppe had several traits which facilitated a good relationship:

1. Giuseppe knew very well, despite his lack of intellect, that his throne was insecure and many hadn't desired a Habsburg monarch.

2. He had no real interest in actual governance and happily ceded day to day political affairs to the Ministers in charge. When one Minister became unpopular, he allowed the ruling coalition to replace him without hesitation. Politically, Giuseppe held did not play favorites.

3. While he had no stomach for paperwork, he enjoyed the pomp of royalty. He happily led parades, cut ribbons, patronized charities, granted honors, gave speeches (in perfect though accented Italian) and generally stood upon ceremony whenever requested by the Ministry.

4. Though Giuseppe would enjoy the finer things, he did not make a habit of overspending. He may have liked to have a palace in every major city, the nation in the early years of his reign was not inclined to pay for it. Even with the capital moving from Turin to Rome, the lack of a suitable Roman Palace for the King was notable (most of the old Papal Palaces fell within the Vatican itself). When the government declined to fund a new one, the King accepted this and quietly moved to a large villa in the hills where he hunted (and quietly cavorted with his pretty peasant mistress out of public sight). It would not be until 1921 that the government belatedly realized that the lack of a real Royal Palace in the area of Rome (there were several in Naples, Turin, etc belonging to the King) was more of an embarrassment to the nation than the King and agreed to fund one in the Eternal City itself.

All of these ensured Giuseppe's popularity in the early years of his reign.

However, he remained somewhat of a blockhead and made the first major misstep of his reign in 1921.

Over the past two years, political infighting between major parties, cultural differences between north and south and, in some cases, heavy-handed blundering had led to a state of defacto rebellion in southern Italy.

These grievances included:

1. A formal policy expressly coded into law that only the "Italian" language (heavily and disproportionately influenced by northern dialects) would be the sole language of education in Italy. In truth, "Italian" had always been more of a literary language than a spoken one. While all the "Italian" dialects were based on vulgar Latin, this Italian language was effectively created over the years to unify the educational and governmental system under one tongue. However, even into the 1920's, less than 5% of the peninsula spoke "Italian" in the normal sense. While all could see how all Italians speaking the same tongue held huge benefits, the manner in which this was rolled out proved clumsy.

The greatest aid to cultural unification was deemed to be education. For the first time, by 1918, the majority of Italian children were attending school (at least until the age of 14). Naturally, the less developed and geographically challenged southerners were behind the curve and only recently would see adequate numbers of schools built. However, by this point, the school system had turned from "encouraging" the learning of a common tongue to outright ridiculing the regional languages (of which Neapolitan was considered the most "backward" despite having a powerful history in its own right). Teachers sent from the north would inflict a "shaming" on students who spoke their native tongues (again, more viciously against the southerners, at least in their eyes). Irate parents would pull their children out of school and call upon the dominant southern parties to put a stop to this in Rome.

2. The amount of investment in the southern regions remained far behind per capita than in the north. However, the northerners would point out that the investment was, in fact, on par with the amount of tax money contributed by the southerners.

3. The long-term effects of southern Italian emigration abroad would lead to a long-standing belief that the government in Rome was ignoring them. While over 60% of Italian workers abroad would eventually return from the Spanish Empire, France, etc, the perception was that the northern majority was happy to be rid of southern agitators.

4. Internal migration from south to northern towns would lead to discrimination against these migrants who were viewed as ignorant rubes taking northern jobs and suppressing wages. Higher crime rates would also be blamed upon the southerners. Many northern regions would see official and unofficial hindrances in terms of hiring southerners and renting lodgings, often creating defacto ghettos in northern industrial towns.

These structural problems and more had to a walkout of Southern representatives in Parliament in late 1919. For over a year, the nation was largely split in two as southern leaders met in Naples...and bickered just as bitterly as did the remnant of Parliament in Rome.

Threats were levied throughout 1920 of invasion of the south. However, the fact that a large portion of the small Italian army was composed of southerners would halt any immediate movement....as did the belief that the southerners would be incapable of forming a government and declaring formal independence (which proved relatively accurate as no decisive action had taken place into 1921).

In all this indecision, it was the King that nearly set the peninsula ablaze with a colossally stupid statement.

While publicly meeting with a number of foreign officials, and dozens of foreign reporters, the King would state that, should the southerners declare formal independence, that he would be happy to send his second son (his favorite as it happened) down to Naples to assume the new throne.

Naturally, this ignited a public furor in the north as it implied that the King SUPPORTED splintering the nation.

Similarly, the idea of yet another Habsburg ruler was not welcomed by a large faction in Naples which supported republicanism in the south (the south was considered a hotbed of republican sentiment mainly as a contrast to the pro-Constitutional Monarchy north rather than any southern animosity towards King Giuseppe himself).

Eventually, a tersely worded reprimand by the Prime Minister to the King would result in Giuseppe's hasty clarification that he DID NOT support any splinter of his Kingdom. But the damage was done as the drift caused by disputes between and within Rome and Naples were brought once again into focus.

Hoping to mitigate the harm, King Giuseppe hastened to make amends, this time uncharacteristically acting without Ministrial "advice" and announced he would travel to Naples himself to discuss the problems with HIS subjects. When the Prime Minister object, Giuseppe would finally put his foot down and remind the Prime Minister that HE was King...and would go where he pleased without needing permission from anyone.

As the Prime Minister was only in office as his two predecessors had been ejected from office by Parliamentary votes of no confidence one after the other in 1920 for failing to prevent the current circumstances (which caused, as much as anything else, the political paralysis in Rome), he opted to let King Giuseppe hang himself.

Given the anger in the south, being hanged in Naples seemed a real possibility for the King.
 
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