Cinco de Mayo

Longtime reader here, I was wondering what the immigration situation is in the USA, the CSA, and Mexico: who is winning the title for 1880’s Melting Pot of Nations?
The USA so far. The CSA has some immigration but not to the extent of it's neighbor. Same with Mexico.
 
Longtime reader here, I was wondering what the immigration situation is in the USA, the CSA, and Mexico: who is winning the title for 1880’s Melting Pot of Nations?
Thanks for reading and commenting! Excellent question. @pathfinder has it correct, more or less: the USA is far and away the destination of choice for European immigrants with her high wage industrial base and considerable land for settlement. Canada’s immigration boom didn’t really happen OTL at this point yet outside of the home islands so I’d say Mexico is second place (well behind TTL US but we’ll ahead of OTL Mexico) and then Canada and then the CSA a distant fourth. I think you’d still see some pockets of immigrants (Italians in New Orleans for instance, though maybe not quite yet), but it’s hard to attract economic immigrants to a place where there is little industry to pay them better than back home (or other countries), all the land is more or less spoken for by the oligarchy to the point that native born whites have a hard time making it, and the labor pool you compete with are literal slaves.
 
Thanks for reading and commenting! Excellent question. @pathfinder has it correct, more or less: the USA is far and away the destination of choice for European immigrants with her high wage industrial base and considerable land for settlement. Canada’s immigration boom didn’t really happen OTL at this point yet outside of the home islands so I’d say Mexico is second place (well behind TTL US but we’ll ahead of OTL Mexico) and then Canada and then the CSA a distant fourth. I think you’d still see some pockets of immigrants (Italians in New Orleans for instance, though maybe not quite yet), but it’s hard to attract economic immigrants to a place where there is little industry to pay them better than back home (or other countries), all the land is more or less spoken for by the oligarchy to the point that native born whites have a hard time making it, and the labor pool you compete with are literal slaves.
For any immigration to the CSA, Southern and Eastern Europeans would be the biggest groups coming here alongside to an extent Asians but not to the extent seen with it's rival the USA.
 
US Election Results 1878
1878 Senate Elections

The erosion of the Republican Party continues, leaving only three members - two from Massachusetts, and Hannibal Hamlin from Maine - in its entire caucus, leaving it as a truly regional Upper New England party. A number of former Republicans are re-elected as Liberals as the collapse of the party in state legislatures is complete, and Liberals and Democrats trade a Senate seat apiece in Colorado and Pennsylvania as new legislatures are convened in each. The dominance of Democrats across much of the West is noticeable, besides the firmly anti-Democratic states of Iowa and Kansas; Liberals are beginning to make inroads elsewhere, though.

CA: John S. Hager (D) Re-Elected
CO: Jerome B. Chaffee (L) Retired; Nathaniel Hill (D) Elected (D Gain) [1]
CT: William Henry Barnum (L) Defeated; Orville Platt (L) Elected
IL: Richard Oglesby (R) Re-Elected as Liberal (L Gain)
IN: Daniel Voorhees (D) Re-Elected
IA: William Allison (L) Re-Elected
KS: John Ingalls (R) Re-Elected as Liberal (L Gain)
MD: George Dennis (D) Retired; James Black Groome (D) Elected
MO: David H. Armstrong (D) Appointed after death of predecessor; re-elected [2]
NV: John P. Jones (D) Re-Elected
NH: Bainbridge Wadleigh (L) Not Renominated; Henry Blair (L) Elected
NY: William Evarts (R) Retired; Wheeler Hazard Peckham (L) Elected (L Gain) [3]
OH: George Pendleton (D) Re-Elected
OH (s): Allen Thurman (D) Appointed to Supreme Court; Thomas Young (L) Appointed, Defeated for Election by George Hoadly (D)
OR: James Nesmith (D) Retired; James H. Slater (D) Elected
PA: Asa Packer (D) Retired; J. Donald Cameron (L) Elected (L Gain) [4]
VT: Justin Morrill (L) Re-Elected
WI: Matthew Carpenter (D) Re-Elected

1878 House Elections

Liberals do well in state legislatures around the country and gain a net of 23 seats in the US House of Representatives, about half each from Democrats and Republicans. The latter party is reduced to single digit members for the 46th Congress. The Democrats only barely keep their majority in Congress, with 143 seats. The improving economy under President Hendricks and continued siphoning of opposition votes with Republicans still fielding candidates across much of the Midwest gives Democrats openings in both Congress and state houses. Samuel Marshall is elected for a record fifth-straight term as Speaker of the House, and his sixth term as Speaker total, in his last Congress as Speaker.

46th Congress of the United States

Senate: 30D-20L-3R-1AM

President of the Senate: Samuel Cox (D)
Senate President pro tempore: Henry Mower Rice of Minnesota (D)

California
1. Newton Booth (A-M) (1875-)
3. John S. Hager (D) (1873-)

Colorado

2. Henry M. Teller (L) (1876-)
3. Nathaniel Hill (D) (1879-)

Connecticut
1. William W. Eaton (D) (1875-)
3. Orville Platt (L) (1879-)

Delaware
1. Thomas Bayard (D) (1869-)
2. Eli Saulsbury (D) (1871-)

Illinois
2. John Logan (L) (1871-)
3. Richard J. Oglesby (L) (1873-)

Indiana
1. Joseph E. McDonald (D) (1875-)
3. Daniel Voorhees (D) (1873-)

Iowa
2. Samuel Kirkwood (L) (1877-)
3. William Allison (L) (1873-)

Kansas
2. David P. Lowe (L) (1877-)
3. John Ingalls (L) (1873-)

Maine
1. Hannibal Hamlin (R) (1869-)
2. James G. Blaine (L) (1877-)

Maryland
1. William Pinkney Whyte (D) (1869-)
3. James Black Groome (D) (1879-)

Massachusetts
1. Henry Dawes (R) (1875-)
2. George Frisbie Hoar (R) (1877-)

Michigan
1. Isaac Christiancy (L) (1875-)
2. Byron G. Stout (D) (1865-)

Minnesota
1. Henry Mower Rice (D) (1858 -)
2. Henry Hastings Sibley (D) (1865-)

Missouri
1. Francis Cockrell (D) (1875-)
3. David H. Armstrong (D) (1877-)

Nebraska
1. Thomas Tipton (L) (1869-)
2. Experience Estabrook (D) (1871-)

Nevada
1. William Sharon (D) (1875-)
3. John P. Jones (D) (1873-)

New Hampshire
2. Aaron Cragin (L) (1865-)
3. Henry Blair (L) (1873-)

New Jersey
1. Theodore Fitz Randolph (D) (1875-)
2. John R. McPherson (D) (1871-)

New Mexico

1. William A. Pile (L) (1875-)
2. Samuel Beach Axtell (D) (1875-)

New York
1. Francis Kernan (D) (1875-)
3. Wheeler Hazard Peckham (L) (1879-)

Ohio
1. George Hoadly (D) (187:cool:
3. George Pendleton (D) (1873-)

Oregon
2. La Fayette Grover (D) (1871-)
3. James H. Slater (D) (1879-)

Pennsylvania
1. Charles Buckalew (D) (1863-)
3. J. Donald Cameron (L) (1879-)

Rhode Island
1. William Sprague (L) (1863-)
2. Henry B. Anthony (L) (1859-)

Vermont
1. George F. Edmunds (L) (1866-)
3. Justin Morrill (L) (1867-)

West Virginia
1. Joseph Sprigg (D) (1869-)
2. Henry Gassaway Davis (D) (1871-)

Wisconsin
1. James Rood Doolittle (D) (1857-)
3. Matthew Carpenter (D) (1873-)

House: 143D-128L-9R

Speaker of the House: Samuel Marshall of Illinois (D)

[1] Hill was a mining engineer active in the silver industry; he would not fit in well with the Liberals, who are fairly dedicated to the gold standard, compared to a much more silver-friendly Democratic Party in the Hendricks era. Thus, he makes more sense as a Democrat. I think I'll have Henry Teller from Colorado switch eventually, too.
[2] Seeing as George Vest served in the Confederate Congress, I doubt he's going to be a US Senator, ever, even with the Rapprochement Era and all
[3] More on this in a bit
[4] I'm figuring the fact that Asa Packer died a few months after this Congress was seated probably means he wasn't in great health
 
Old Bull: Francisco Serrano and Modern Spain
"...the coronation of Friedrich III of Spain marked an occasion important enough for Serrano to travel to Berlin along with Leopold and Martinez-Campos. With Infante Guillermo (who strongly preferred being called Wilhelm, even in his new adoptive land) fostering with his Hohenzollern brethren in Germany and being privately tutored to maintain a connection to his ancestral home, it was also an opportunity for the King to visit his son. The coronation was a grand affair - all the important royalty of Europe was there. Umberto I of Italy came, despite having survived an assassination attempt just a week earlier; Prince Arthur of Great Britain represented his mother along with both Lord Hartington, his Prime Minister, and the Earl of Granville, Britain's canny foreign minister. Tsarevich Alexander came from Russia with Chancellor Gorchakov for his father was too terrified of leaving his country's soil for fear of assassination or a coup after the disastrous Bulgarian War; even Franz Joseph begrudgingly made the trip. Perhaps most importantly, the Young Eagle of France was there with his betrothed, Maria del Pilar, whose presence plainly discomfited Leopold to the point that Spain's king avoided being in the same room as Emperor Napoleon whenever possible.

The coronation feast, however, was the site of one of Spain's most legendary diplomatic mishaps, one which nearly triggered a war (though historians debate to this day how likely a conflict with France really was). Despite being only fourteen, the Infante had been drinking aggressively with Friedrich's sons, Princes Wilhelm and Heinrich [1], and revealed sometime in the evening to Martinez-Campos that the Germans were open to a formal alliance with Spain to contain France's continental and overseas ambitions, particularly now that Russia had revealed its military weakness in the recent conflict. Surrounded by France, Austria and Denmark (which had aggressively reformed its military, implemented mandatory conscription, and bought modern French weaponry in the past decade), and unsure of Italy's reliability, Germany viewed a Spanish partnership as ideal, especially with Spain's army being veteran in conflicts with the Confederacy and with the Carlist uprising. Martinez-Campos, himself having taken to drink to cope with his lame arm [2], later divulged this to a number of persons, almost gleeful and bragging.

The move was a massive diplomatic faux pas, not only due to its setting - at Friedrich's own coronation, thus embarassing a relative of Leopold - but also that the European alliances were, in the more gentlemanly and discreet concert of powers in the 1870s, meant to be confidential, understood to exist quietly rather than overtly. Here then was Spain's most powerful military commander loudly asserting that Spain would be partnering with Germany against France, due to Napoleon's betrothal to the Bourbon pretender's sister (Don Alfonso had, of course, not traveled to Berlin as it would have been a profound insult to Leopold for him to attend). The Berlin Affair, as it came to be known, outraged the French press and effectively killed any chance of an informal alliance with Germany as well, isolating Spain diplomatically. Leopold was humiliated and immediately sacked Martinez-Campos, dispatching him to be Spain's minister to Chile (where only two years later he would redeem himself by helping mediate the War of the Pacific), and revealed the King's direct interference in foreign policy - for though Spain's constitution did not quite depoliticize the monarchy in the way, for instance, Britain's did, Leopold's role was meant to be symbolic and ceremonial, and not carry nearly the same power as other sovereigns. With the King now having circumvented the Foreign Ministry and attempted to create a defensive alliance without consulting his more cautious government, Serrano would return to not only a diplomatic crisis, but a constitutional one as well.

The public, however, seemed to care little - the Berlin Affair never damaged Leopold's standing with contemporary Spaniards who still adored him as the hero who crushed the Carlists, kept the Caribbean provinces in the fold and had delivered a decade of stability to the country that had allowed it a burgeoning industrial revolution, particularly in the area of shipbuilding where it sat globally only behind Britain and France in tonnage produced for both naval and merchant marine craft (by 1885 Spain would have the world's third-largest navy) [3]. However, with the information that Spain was willing to partner with Germany to go to war if necessary to prevent a Bourbon Restoration in Madrid, the Young Eagle and his grizzled advisors Bazaine and MacMahon found themselves in a difficult position - how to navigate this insult without triggering a war with Spain?"



- Old Bull: Francisco Serrano and Modern Spain

[1] Certainly royals know how to party, especially Germans amirite??
[2] Recall he lost use of his left arm in an assassination attempt during the Carlist uprising
[3] The US is still playing catchup, even with the 1869 Naval Act. It was really, really behind on shipbuilding in the 19th century outside of the New England whaling industry, from what I've gleaned
 
ow to navigate this insult without triggering a war with Spain?"
That is the point, was a WIN-WIN for spain even if you try to paint something else, france do nothing ends up looking bad, try to meddle and confirm spanish bluff was with a good purprose, not only that, the reichsrat and tag would even demand to defend a fellow german noble vs france.
 
The Shadow of the Hickory Tree: The Reinvention of the Postbellum Democratic Party
"...the battle-lines of the 1880s were more sharply drawn as it became clear that the Democrats were still unsure what they indeed represented. They were the party of the small farmer, even though farm states like Kansas and Iowa aggressively resisted them; they were the party of the working man, even as Democratic governors still called out state militias to crush labor strikes; they were the party of free silver, even as Northeastern Democrats known as "Bourbons" aligned more with the growing Liberals in support for harder currency. To say nothing of splits on questions such as tariff and appointments policy, where some Democrats yearned for free trade and well-greased patronage machines, while others - in particularly the ever-changing President Hendricks [1] - were sympathetic to arguments that the relatively high tariffs in place protected industry and that "appointments by merit," as championed by the Hoffman wing of the party, would help Democrats defeat Liberals on their main issue, public corruption and expenditures.

Indeed it says much of the brewing civil war within the Democratic Party between her reactionaries, led by the George Pendletons and Thomas Bayards of the world, and her younger, reform-minded members, that one can trace the party's future alignment with the labor movement to the debates of the Hoffman/Hendricks era, where the Old Hickory Party dominated postbellum American politics. It was not unlike, in some ways, the burgeoning debate within Britain's Conservatives on the other side of the Atlantic following their ouster from power in 1878. As the Republican foe collapsed - by 1879 there were only twelve total left in Congress, all from New England, and their presence in state legislatures was similarly diminished as they became little other than another left-wing protest party like the Anti-Monopolists or Greenbackers - the Liberals emerged as a genuine threat to Democratic dominance. The Liberal message was consistent: both Republican and Democratic administrations were corrupt, were machines to distribute patronage, and - as the party shifted away from reformist Tildenism to more muscular, power-seeking Blainism with the emergence of Senator James Gillespie Blaine of Maine [2] as its most prominent public voice - arrayed against the interests of America's hardworking Protestant majority in favor of blacks and socialists (in the case of Republicans) or Irishmen and Catholics in general (in the case of Democrats)..."


- The Shadow of the Hickory Tree: The Reinvention of the Postbellum Democratic Party

[1] Minor retcon - after it was pointed out to me by @LordVorKon that it didn't really make sense, Hendricks ending homesteading didn't happen. Forget that that was written however many posts ago
[2] Blaine, not exactly a stranger to corruption IOTL of course, was also famously and virulently anti-Catholic. I believe this would be much more of a trend in TTL USA, seeing as Reconstruction/Civil War questions are no longer super pertinent in the political discourse and aren't what divide the major parties
 
That is the point, was a WIN-WIN for spain even if you try to paint something else, france do nothing ends up looking bad, try to meddle and confirm spanish bluff was with a good purprose, not only that, the reichsrat and tag would even demand to defend a fellow german noble vs france.
Embarrassing short term, and isolating in the short term, but Spain's position isn't terrible.

Honestly? I still haven't figured out how France deescalates this...
 
Embarrassing short term, and isolating in the short term, but Spain's position isn't terrible.

Honestly? I still haven't figured out how France deescalates this...
The real one is Ignored it, they where the one started the provocation, so just let it down so would die naturally
 
The Land of Plenty: Southern Africa in the 19th Century
"...despite Frere's recall to London, the disastrous Basuto War had only strengthened the Free Republics as well as Zululand and effectively ended the Confederation Scheme forever, and British South Africa was weary and politically polarized. Tensions between Anglo and Afrikaner residents continued to rise, and the government of Saul Solomon [1], while liberal and committed to good native relations, was unable to stave off the broader cultural forces that seemed to demand the Dutch-descended Cape Afrikaners choose between their unique heritage and loyalty to the Empire. While the new Colonial Secretary John Bright cared little for South Africa beyond straightforward objectives passed down from the Prime Minister's office such as "don't start unnecessary, poorly-planned colonial wars or impose schemes upon localities without a plan in place," there was still tension with the Anglo political class in Cape Town that viewed Boers as illiterate barbarians nearly as savage as the Natives, and the Dutch-descended who had lived in South Africa for generations. It was in the aftermath of Frere's stormy tenure as High Commissioner that the attempt to full Anglicize British South Africa and erase Dutch cultural influence began, a universal Afrikaner identity began to emerge, that many of the Cape Afrikaners began to reconsider their disinterest in partnership with the Boer Republics, and that South African society began to polarize..."

- The Land of Plenty: Southern Africa in the 19th Century


[1] Rather than Sprigg, who was generally a disaster

(Someone with knowledge of South African history is more than welcome to correct me on the evolution of Cape Dutch identity vis a vis the Boers. I have some ideas here for the long term, we'll see how they go...)
 
Hartington: Britain's First Modern Prime Minister
"...the first Hartington ministry was among the busiest in British history up to that time, plowing ahead with a robust and in many ways radical programme. Calling back to the contemporary usage of the term "Age of Questions," Lord Hartington himself said proudly as the Reform Act of 1879 passed the House of Commons with wide support "It is time we finally answered those questions we keep being presented." Helping him along the way was infighting among the Tories - it was Sir Stafford Northcote, the former Chancellor, who became the Conservative leader in the Commons. Though hardly the aristocratic anti-progressive of many of his peers, Northcote did not represent the kind of break with the Carnarvon era that the Conservatives perhaps needed, and a young group of "Tory democrats" who supported a number of reforms became influential within the Commons, becoming known as the "Fourth Party." [1] These included Lord Randolph Churchill, John Gorst, Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and, most prominently, Arthur Balfour, the nephew of Lord Salisbury, who though not the leader of the Conservatives in the House of Lords still held sway after his decade-long stewardship of the Foreign Office. Churchill in particular became a loud voice for a new kind of Toryism, of an alliance between the upper and lower classes based on nationalism, paternalism and a political programme not unlike what France's Napoleon IV would call the "national contract." They did not oppose "the mob" enjoying the franchise, indeed they welcomed it, and believed an appeal to the conservative culture of the average Englishman with support for their economic interests would hold both the gauche, noncomformist Liberals at bay as well as the burgeoning socialist movement that truly terrified the Tory aristocracy. For Northcote and the "old gang" that included contemporaries like Michael Hicks Beach, R.A. Cross, and other veterans of the Carnarvon years, this was a potential route back to power - and so thus the Tories, now safely in opposition, helped shape the Reform Act of 1879 and acquiesced to its passage, which was not as smooth in the Lords but passed nonetheless with Granville's fervent whip. The Reform Act brought nearly a million Englishmen into the electorate, in one swoop one of the greatest enfranchising events in world history; it also redistributed the boroughs at long last, granting Britain's booming industrial centers more of a voice.

The Reform Act was the plainest and easiest win for Hartington's cabinet. Its maiden budget, presented by Childers, lowered the infamous Hunt tariffs and also reduced taxes and duties on a variety of commonly purchased goods, to some considerable controversy. Reforms would be made in those early years to the British Army, to the judiciary, and the establishment of a formal Civil Service in Her Majesty's name, thus professionalizing the bureaucracy. In 1880, Hartington would shepherd through the Commons his second great electoral scheme, the Ballot Act, which provided for a secret ballot for the first time in Britain. This earned considerably less Tory support than his previous efforts. [2]

In the first years of his ministry, Hartington also changed the relationship between the Prime Minister and the public. Buffeted by the substantial National Liberal Foundation, he conducted dozens of interviews with the press every month, attended various NLF events around the country, traveling on Britain's robust train network to every corner of the island, and made sure to be photographed repeatedly at such events. As newspaper readership became more and more common in the working and middle classes, Lord Hartington came to be a consistent presence in the public mind in a way previous Prime Ministers had not. No longer was the head of Her Majesty's Government tucked away in Whitehall, confined to the Cabinet room at Downing Street or cloistered within the smoky halls of Westminster. Now he was a face, a name, a voice, who could be accessed and seen by throngs of people - provided, of course, that they supported the Liberal Party through its new and sophisticated for its time organ, the NLF [3]. It was thus that in the closing of the 1870s, the modern Premiership had been born..."

- Hartington: Britain's First Modern Prime Minister


[1] This is as in OTL, where the Tories had to figure out where to go next after their drubbing in 1880 after the Disraeli years. Here, with even less reform over the 1870s sans Dizzy, they really need some soul searching...
[2] Policies lifted largely from Gladstone's first term as PM. We'll get more of his second stint later on in the Hartington years, in future updates
[3] Of course, seeing as Joseph Chamberlain basically built the NLF, this all... redounds, let's say, to his benefit in many ways. Stay tuned...
 
Hendricks: America's 20th President
"...despite Hendricks' private isolationism, the President did little to intervene with his intrepid Secretary of State and so Cox continued in the tradition of Republican Hamilton Fish in setting the stage for the United States to abandon its historical isolationism starting in the 1880s. Cox's primary focus was to deepen and improve relations with the Three Neighbors whom the United States shared land borders with - the Confederate States, Canada, and Mexico. The easiest of the three was, ironically considering two decades of frosty relations, the Confederacy, where the political class was eyeing the fall 1879 elections and the end of the economic and diplomatic malaise of the Isham Harris era. Cox dealt not with Harris's own Secretary of State Wilkinson Call, but rather instead with amiable governors of Southern states, most curiously Alabama's George Houston and Arkansas' James Walker. The defrosting of trans-Ohio River relations was effectively completed by Cox, to the point that the 46th Congress was persuaded to slightly lower the tariff on Confederate goods from 45% to 30%. In a visit to Mexico City, Cox brought with him American investors to see the country's growing factories and large-scale railroad investments, and was hosted privately by Emperor Maximilian himself. In Canada, Cox set the stage for negotiations on fishing rights both in the Bay of Fundy as well as in the Puget Sound, and it was the first sign of a potential receding in Anglophobia within the Democratic Party, only for it all to be dashed by President Hendricks speaking later in 1879 in support of Irish nationalism, which outraged the British government to the point that their minister to Washington was nearly withdrawn..."

- Hendricks: America's 20th President
 
alternatehistory.en
"..."How do we prevent the Spanish Insult from becoming another Spanish Ulcer?"

I think you have your answer right there in a quote allegedly uttered by Nap 4 himself. I've done a fair deal of research into Belle Epoque-era France and I've always come away with the conclusion that as long as the Young Eagle didn't start taking crazy pills, the French government would not have risen to the insult. He may have been only 23 but he'd been Emperor for five years, was very comfortable in his own skin, and had most importantly learned when to listen to Bazaine and when to tell the Iron Marshal when to screw off. This was no long the France of "Le Trois" (primarily since Eugene Rouher was in poor health and only marginally involved in governance at this point), there was a virile and vital Emperor who had his own ideas and ambitions, and starting a war with Spain that could escalate into a general war was not something he had planned. In this sense perhaps the world was fortunate that the Insult occurred in December, and that the French military establishment was (understandably) leery of starting a war in the middle of winter and trying to breach the Pyrenees while they were draped in snow. The months separating the incident and potential mobilization allowed passions to cool even as the French press screamed for war.

There are other reasons a war would have been profoundly unlikely, beyond the fact that the Young Eagle was probably France's most competent sovereign since the Sun King. Spain was uninterested in war as well, and it was they who had caused the fracas with AMC's loose lips (and the future King Carlos Jose's, for that matter). It's worth pointing out that institutional memories of the Peninsular War ran even deeper in Spain than France. A conflict even half that scale would have undone all the progress made since the Glorious Revolution that had driven the Bourbons out and opened the door for the Carlists to come in and be morons again.

Lets say that cooler heads don't prevail, though, and that at the spring thaw France mobilizes. They're essentially isolated from the start - the Iron Triangle was a defensive treaty, and Spain making the mistake of publicly trying to isolate Paris is not an offensive act of war. The Triangle was also clearly designed to surround Germany and Italy in case of future conflict. So France would be entirely on its own. Now, the French Imperial Army of 1879 is not the lackluster and easily overwhelmed force that Nap 3 tried to fight off the Prussians with in 1867. MacMahon's reforms had taken, and the thousands of miles of new railroad track laid in France in the 1870s was designed specifically to allow rapid deployment and logistical support modeled on the Prussian model. That said, a problem - Spain is not conducting an offensive into France, so they are purely on the defensive, and as Spanish history shows, the geography of Iberia is perfect for defensive war or even guerilla actions. Spain's military experienced this firsthand in taking two years to stamp out the Carlists. France's first problem would be running up against the Pyrenees, where Spain is well aware of where the easiest crossing points are, and has spent the last half-decade fortifying them under Prime Minister Serrano's initiative (fear of a Bourbon Restoration had permeated Spanish military and political thinking since Leopold took the throne. They had prepared for this potential conflict specifically). The casualties trying to cross the Pyrenees, even against an inferior military, would make fighting the Germans a decade earlier seem like a walk in the park. Even once France breaches the mountains and the fortresses defending said mountains, they would still have to contend on a rough march to Madrid plagued by a Spain that would certainly fight back irregularly in addition to any divisions deployed to defend the road to the capital. And if Napoleon IV tries to install Don Alfonso de Borbon as King, well, now we have memories of Joseph Bonaparte flooding back. There was a substantial Legitimist faction in Spain, yes - but even Canovas, the head of the Conservative Party in the Cortes, was not suicidal enough to back a King, even a Bourbon one, imposed on Spain by *France*. All that would do would be to further legitimize Leopold in the eyes of the Spanish public, and this was already a King who had driven Dixie from Cuba in spectacular fashion and crushed the Carlists.

France would eventually have to leave Spain once other powers intervene, probably before they've even fully crossed the Pyrenees. Nap 4 could probably find Carlist bands to use as his own irregular catspaws in Iberia but they were scattered and demoralized enough by 1879 that it would take some time to get those glorified bandits whipped into fighting shape again. Germany would be highly unlikely to invade France, but it would at least blow smoke and bluster, enough to get Britain's attention. Even if this alt-Nap 4 was foolish enough to get pressured into war by Bazaine (head of the war faction in government), he would pay attention if both London and Berlin started making noise that it was time to cut out the war. So you're left with him needing a scapegoat - almost certainly Bazaine - and the likelihood of a status quo white peace with apologies and indemnities. This denies France seven years of Bazaine's continued partnership with Nap 4, possibly butterflies the war in China [1], and seriously damages the Emperor's standing with the French public. The Young Eagle may have been very popular in 1879, the year of his wedding, but he was not untouchable, as the Bastille Centenary a decade later would show [2], and there was, as always, a substantial portion of the French street that was strongly revolutionary and republican, and by 1879 in many cases outright socialist. An embarrassing loss probably gives you another May '68 at minimum.

So no, I don't think a war was as likely as some claim. Escalation would have likely lead to arbitration by other Great Powers, as was customary at that time, and there would have certainly been an intervention once France had wasted a few thousand young men on the slopes of the Pyrenees. A Bourbon Restoration after the Battle of Havana was never, ever going to happen. Outside of some cranky Basques and Catalans, Leopold was an enormously popular symbol of the reversal of seventy years of Spanish decline. The Spanish Insult was just that - an insult, and the adults in the room swallowed their pride, apologized, and moved on..."


- Comment by TommyBoy22 on "WI: The Berlin Affair leads to Franco-Spanish War," 8/10/2020, alternatehistory.en

[1] Flash forward
[2] Another flash forward
 
Through the Chapel: The Life of Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of France
"...underrated in the diffusion of tensions between Madrid and Paris in early 1879 was the Dowager Empress's Spanish heritage. The heir to one of Spain's most important peerages, Eugenie conducted silent diplomacy through backchannels with friends from back home, conducted in large part in secrecy as she wintered at her estate in Biarritz. Despite her longstanding friendship with Isabella, Eugenie assured her contacts in Spain that her son had no designs on the Spanish throne or in effecting a Bourbon restoration; indeed, his goal was a peaceful Europe free of war, and his only continental ambition was one his mother shared, that being the restoration of the Pope to Rome from Malta. In this, he had Spain's sympathies - the ultrareactionary Carlists may have lost, but the Spanish bishops leaned ultramontanist and the liberal government in Madrid had never pursued any course of action even a tenth as radical towards the Church as what the confiscatory, aggressive Italian governments had done.

As tempers cooled into the spring, Eugenie devoted herself also to the grand planning of her son's July wedding, to be paired first with a private civil service in the Tuileries followed by a wedding in Notre Dame to be attended by all of Europe's important royalty, thus making France once again the center of European politics. Plans to have Pope Leo XIII himself conduct the marriage fell through, but it was nonetheless one of the grandest - and most expensive - weddings in European royal history. And, of course, Eugenie was at the center of the proceedings, attracting nearly as much attention as her son and the new Empress Maria Pilar..."


- Through the Chapel: The Life of Eugenie de Montijo, Empress of France [1]

[1] Title of source is a reference to what Eugenie de Montijo allegedly said to Napoleon III when he courted her. He asked, "What is the road to your heart, my lady?" and she replied, "Through the chapel, sire." She was a really devout and conservative Catholic, which didn't always benefit her husband's reign
 
Alright... I finally did something smart and outlined what my next 9 (!!) updates are going to be, all in the 1879/1880 wheelhouse. Like I said at the beginning of Part IV, as I work my way through the last two decades of the 1800s I might not be quite as strict with my month/year structure, since we're entering one of the most unusually stable, peaceful and prosperous periods in human history up until that point (well... sort of. Belle Epoque historiography whitewashes a loooooot of nasty stuff), so the updates will probably be a little looser with the storytelling.
 
The Lion of Edinburgh: Prince Arthur, the Empire and the Twilight of the Victorian Age
"...the marriage of the Queen's eldest surviving son to a Prussian princess of a cadet Hohenzollern line, Louise Margaret, took on additional importance with the newly-ensconced Friedrich III on the German throne. Arthur, having represented his mother at the new Kaiser's coronation, had already struck up a friendly rapport with his brother in law, and was severely disappointed that his elder sister, Empress Victoria, did not travel to London for the wedding. His nephew, the Prince Waldemar, had been struck with a dangerous bout of diphtheria, and his mother refused to leave his side [1]. The Queen was quite dismayed that her eldest child would not be returning to London either, thus continuing the pattern where she had avoided visiting Britain for fear of the reactionary German press that despised her during her time as Crown Princess [2]. Arthur entertained the Kaiser at Windsor Castle before the wedding, and sized up his nephews Wilhelm and Heinrich, commenting that the Crown Prince was "a sour young man who did little but demean his mother and seemed profoundly contemptuous of this country;" as for the younger brother, Arthur observed, "already at this young age he is fascinated by the Navy and seemed to be disappointed that I was an Army man, and not an officer of the Royal Navy he plainly admires. Beyond that, this Prince Henry is relaxed in a way his brother is not, casual even." Arthur's wards, the Prince of Wales Albert Victor and his brother George, became chummily acquainted with Heinrich, to Arthur's delight; Wilhelm spent little to no time with either of them, allegedly dismissing them to his father on the journey back to Berlin as "soft children, like all these Englishmen."

Noticeably absent from the wedding was Napoleon IV, in what was seen as a profound snub by the French crown; in diplomatic missives, it was explained that the Emperor was merely focusing on preparations for his own grand wedding and was managing the war scare with Spain. Some of the hard feelings were ironed over during Napoleon's post-wedding European tour with his young bride, when he did indeed visit London and spent a whole week with the Royal Family, though Arthur's mistrust for the "Young Eagle" never quite dissipated..."

- The Lion of Edinburgh: Prince Arthur, the Empire and the Twilight of the Victorian Age


[1] IOTL this sickness takes Waldemar's life, at the age of 11
[2] An OTL fact. The German press detested Victoria (and to a lesser extent her husband), though in a future update we'll explore his reception by the German people under the circumstances of his elevation to the throne
 
An OTL fact. The German press detested Victoria (and to a lesser extent her husband), though in a future update we'll explore his reception by the German people under the circumstances of his elevation to the throne
techically she hated prussia when she come, considered it inferior to london and england respectly, so the hate was mutual.
 
techically she hated prussia when she come, considered it inferior to london and england respectly, so the hate was mutual.
Granted Prussia was sort of an overmilitarized backwater in the late 1850s compared to being the center of the German Empire two decades later, so it's hard to blame her. It wasn't until right around now that Berlin started to really become Berlin
 
Granted Prussia was sort of an overmilitarized backwater in the late 1850s compared to being the center of the German Empire two decades later, so it's hard to blame her. It wasn't until right around now that Berlin started to really become Berlin
Still she should keep her views privates, she didn't and liberals, republicans and socialist got a field day with that, that is why i don't drank the friederich III kool aid, have he be the british plant he was, he would ended up with the hohenzollern overthrowed of prussia and the Wettins or Witelbasch as the new german emperor
 
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