Cinco de Mayo

“The President is a weak man, too weak for the occasion, and those fool or traitor generals are wasting time and yet more precious blood in indecisive battles and delays."

- Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler, referencing the Battle of Fredericksburg
 
The Cleavage of America
"...it would be an understatement to say that the reactions in Washington and Richmond to the Fifth of January French declaration of diplomatic recognition to the Confederate States were polar opposites. To Jefferson Davis, it was vindication - of his patience and the relentless efforts of his diplomats in Europe to find a sponsor, any sponsor, among the Old World's great powers...

...in Washington, it was nothing short of betrayal. Secretary of State Seward had made clear through his Ministers that recognition of the rebel government would be seen as a formal declaration of war upon the United States; however, with only two months until a Democratic House was seated, the Lincoln Administration was without much recourse; the sitting Congress was reluctant to declare war upon a Great Power in the midst of the rebellion, especially with so many Republicans about to leave Washington in the wake of their election loss. It was well known that to-be Speaker Samuel Cox, though no Copperhead, sought an end to the war, preferably a settlement that would bring the seceding states back into the Union. As such, Emperor Napoleon III's decision to throw in with the Confederacy threw Washington only into further chaos; the autumn of disaster had evolved into a winter of deepest discontent."

- Gerhard Kleinman, The Cleavage of America
 
Diplomatic Recognition of CSA by Mexico
“...His Excellency Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico and Defender of the Catholic Faith in the Americas, does hereby recognize the sovereignty of the Confederate States of America over those territories which they claim, and maintains the United States is engaged in an occupation of those territories... for a Congress in the European fashion to be called, at a neutral location and venue, to determine the resolution of this most bloody conflict between brothers...”

- Mexican Recognition of CSA Independence, January 24th, 1863
 
I'm really hoping Maximilian is allowed to reign and help the people. I honestly think he had the best interests of the Mexican people in mind
 
I'm really hoping Maximilian is allowed to reign and help the people. I honestly think he had the best interests of the Mexican people in mind
My research has suggested that Maximilian was indeed a fairly decent ruler of Mexico - though he is bound to disappoint the conservatives who appointed him, the defeat and death of Benito Juarez essentially removes the biggest threat to Max’s reign.
 
Biography of Lord Palmerston
“...the Declaration of Recognition by first France then Mexico decisively forced Britain’s hand; Lord Palmerston, already long a sympathizer to the Confederacy despite his opposition to the institution of slavery, was angered that Napoleon had leapt ahead of him but saw no advantage in delaying the inevitable. There was also the pressing matter of the Greek throne, after Otto I had been overthrown earlier in the fall; Palmerston needed to quickly end the North American Question so he could return his attention to a potential crisis with Russia over Greece in the East...

Having avoided an earlier war in the Trent Affair and reinforced Canada, the opportunity had presented itself to weaken throughly the Union, which was a longstanding goal of his; Palmerston maneuvered Parliament to join the French. Now, at last, a Great Power hat could threaten the Union’s naval blockade had entered the fray...”

- Biography of Lord Palmerston

Edit: turns out Gladstone was a-okay with intervening in favor of CSA, so his mention is deleted
 
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Team of Rivals: The Cabinet in the War of Southern Independence
“...placing Seward in the unenviable position to having to devise, on the fly, a new doctrine of American foreign policy. The diplomats for the United States had operated for four decades under what Washington believed was a straightforward, outlined by two of her first five Presidents; as suggested by George Washington, the young new republic would go out of its way to avoid even the appearance of involvement in the affairs of Europe. In return, it carried the expectation that affairs in the New World were to be left alone by the Great Powers.

Like so many things American, it was both alruistic Enlightenment idealism - of young independent democracies going their own way, unfettered by the chains of the Old World - with a mix of rank self-interest, as the USA viewed the continent and its neighbors as its own sphere of influence.

It was in this context that the rapid recognition of the breakaway states by France, Mexico and the United Kingdom occurred, and the shockwaves it sent through the young diplomatic establishment. It was a betrayal of the Monroe Doctrine, yes, but also of the USA’s naive belief that if it avoided entanglements across the Atlantic it would be safe. An important lesson was learned as Seward mulled what advice to give President Lincoln - the Great Powers would always play games, and the United States needed to learn how to play as well...”

- Team of Rivals: The Cabinet in the War of Southern Independence
 
Lincoln: A Biography of the 16th President
“...so just six weeks after the last Union victory of the war at Arkansas Post, Lincoln accepted the ceasefire request, aware that the Union could not defeat two Great Powers and their clients at once. In those weeks Lincoln was said to be distraught, to the point of not sleeping and wandering the White House in shock. His dream of limiting and even abolishing slavery was at an end; his project to preserve the Union even at that dream’s expense had failed, at the hand of Europe. His Republican Party was in disarray, with its more Radical elements now nearly as opposed to him as the Democratic House that was soon to be seated...”

- Lincoln: A Biography of the 16th President
 
In a way feels a more realisitc kickstar of TL191, you can add that POD and this and could explain how CSA got their independance. Yeah Lincoln burned all his political capitals now, he is beyond a lame duck, is a zombie till autumn 1864
 
In a way feels a more realisitc kickstar of TL191, you can add that POD and this and could explain how CSA got their independance. Yeah Lincoln burned all his political capitals now, he is beyond a lame duck, is a zombie till autumn 1864
High praise indeed to be compared to TL191 - some ideas from that famous work have inspired me here, though I’m aiming for (IMO) a more realistic depiction of the CSA rather Turtledove’s more plainly allegorical story.

Lincoln is effectively done, yes. I don’t think it would been in his character to resign, though, but I don’t think he’d run for re-election.
 
High praise indeed to be compared to TL191 - some ideas from that famous work have inspired me here, though I’m aiming for (IMO) a more realistic depiction of the CSA rather Turtledove’s more plainly allegorical story.

Lincoln is effectively done, yes. I don’t think it would been in his character to resign, though, but I don’t think he’d run for re-election.
Yeah but in a way feels like that extra ingredients could have worked very well in that TL, explain why Lincoln got surrounded and better admit defeat and leave the south go away.

Lincoln is effectively done, yes. I don’t think it would been in his character to resign, though, but I don’t think he’d run for re-election.
Nah, he knew is loss, better just try reorganized the union before the electoral Ax come...
 
A Military History of the Confederate States: The War of Independence
“...the winning of a six month ceasefire, even with the Union blockade still formally in effect, was a godsend to the Confederacy. Lee’s great gamble in Maryland had paid off in eroding Northern support for the war, as intended, and now the Confederacy held Kentucky as well. As the negotiations in neutral Havana began, the rebels were jubilant, drunk on their anticipated victory. French, Mexican and British flags flew in the streets of Richmond and Charleston; Napoleon III and Maximilian I were toasted in effigy as Lincoln’s was burned.

But the European and Mexican diplomatic intervention, and threat of the military kind, had disguised how close Lee’s gamble had come to being a disaster, how a more aggressive Union general could have crushed him in Maryland or Pennsylvania; while the defensive strategy of attrition had borne fruit, it could all have been for not but for a slight change in Maryland or Kentucky - a lesson that went studiously unlearned by the next two generations of Southern generals...”

- A Military History of the Confederate States: The War of Independence
 
The War of Southern Independence at 100
“...on the one hand, the Union did enjoy overwhelming advantages in materiel, troops and industry, as well as the ability to project power via its Navy; on the other hand, the Confederacy’s objective was merely to not lose, whereas the Union not only had to win, but annihilate the enemy. Lincoln’s great failing was not waging the war this way to begin with, clinging to the hope that with a few Northern wins the rebels would break and negotiate. That option ceased to exist after Fort Sumter.

Instead, it took nearly two years for the Union to ramp up her war machine; she did not institute a national draft, rather leaving the task to state militias of variable reliability; and continuing to task the offenses in the crucial Eastern Theater, where Richmond could be threatened, to inept or timid generals who’s names would become synonymous with failure - McClellan, Burnside, Pope.

Unlike their cousins in the CSA, however, Union generals after the Treaty of Havana would spend years studying how and why they lost, how the logistical advantage was so squandered against an enemy repeatedly caught flat footed. General George Custer’s seminal essays on the war depicted Robert E. Lee as a providentially lucky man and Braxton Bragg as blessed by patience rather than talent; comparatively, south of the Ohio River these men were celebrated as flawless titans, the greatest strategists since Napoleon...”

- The War of Southern Independence at 100 (West Point Academy Press, 1963)
 
Around the World
  • King George I of Greece, a former Danish Prince, is crowned, ending the Greek crisis;
  • The first section of the London Underground is opened;
  • The first homesteads under the Homestead Act are granted in Nebraska, and Kansas Agricultural School becomes the first Land Grant school founded. At the same time, construction of the Transcontinental Railroad begins as Abraham Lincoln signs the Banking Act; all are major non-was domestic priorities for his Republican Party
  • On March 4, Samuel Cox of Ohio is elected Speaker of the House
  • The Colombian Civil War ends; Granadine Federation is dissolved and replaced by the United States of Colombia
 
The Reign of Napoleon III 1848- 1874
“...between his triumphs in Mexico, role in the Unification of Italy and the increasing size of the new French concessions in Cochinchina, the reign of Napoleon III finally had what he desired most - international prestige. And that prestige, according to his confidant (and reputed cousin) Alexandre Walewski, was more valuable than gold, for it gave the frustrated French people their taste once again of being the continent’s utmost power...”

- The Reign of Napoleon III 1848- 1874 (Oxford University Press)
 
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