Dixieland: The Country of Tomorrow, Everyday (yet another Confederate TL)

4. Spain was allowed to maintain its presence in Savannah as a "free trade port", where the Spanish could freely dock ships and garrison troops. In addition, Spanish traders were subject to Spanish law instead of Confederate laws. This port was granted to Spain as a 50-year lease, thus expiring in 1938. However, Spain was forced to pay for the lease, with the proceeds going into the Freedman's Fund. Interestingly, Spanish finances were heavily wrecked by the war, so to pay into the Freedman's Fund...they were forced to borrow from American banks. The Confederates agreed to this because it was catastrophic when the Spanish blockaded Confederate ports - giving the Spanish a port basically ensured that the Confederacy would always have a lifeline in a future conflict. Unless they supposed that war was with Spain again.

With Savannah under some degree of Spanish law - and prohibition the rule in the rest of the Confederacy - I'm assuming it's going to become a sort of Macau-Atlantic City den of vice and free trade for the Confederacy's more alcoholic elites...
Now imagining gang wars over New Orleans’ illegal booze trade between Triads, Irish mobsters, and Black gangsters. By the way, the would be a good nickname for Blacks working in the Crescent City’s criminal underworld?
Chapter 96 - The Filipino Revolution Begins
The Filipino Revolution Begins

The Spanish Empire emerged from the Spanish-Confederate War triumphant, though unfortunately for Spain, as its triumph in the Spanish-Confederate War came after the Congress of Kiev that divided up much of Africa. That being said, the draft map floated at the Congress wasn't final in any sense, and an emboldened Spanish Empire was determined to make its mark on the world. King Guillermo I of Spain was widely popular for directly travelling to Puerto Rico to visit and support wounded Spanish soldiers. The long-standing Prime Minister of Spain, Juan Prim, had died shortly after the Spanish-Confederate War at a ripe old age of 1888, shortly after he was criticized by some for "giving up Cuba." Despite that, he was generally praised for leading Spain to war. Ironically, whereas Cuba was a constant drain on the Spanish treasury due to the rebellion, what they had received in return for Cuba, extraterritoriality in the Confederate port of Savannah and control over the Confederacy's sole colony abroad, North Borneo (which they had always claimed because of their claims on the Sultanate of Sulu), was actually profitable. In particular, the Port of Savannah became a crime-ridden, but very profitable port in the aftermath of the Confederate State's prohibition of alcohol. An incredibly number of wealthy Spaniards turned Puerto Rico and Savannah into common vacation destinations because of the high quality of life they could enjoy with Spanish purchasing power.

Juan Prim was replaced by two dueling, but friendly rivals. First was Emilio Castelar, a moderate Republican who eventually grew to accept the Hohenzollern monarchy in Spain, largely because it wasn't actually a very strong monarchy at all (due to the King's extremely young age). Even more, by law, his regent was originally meant to be his uncle, Carol I...who was too busy being the King of Romania...and had also converted to Eastern Orthodoxy...and was just generally quite unpopular in Spain. By the time the King had reached maturity, the norm in Spain was for the Prime Minister to run the nation, which meant the only thing he could do to slowly regain political power was to engage in public ceremonies (like visiting wounded soldiers). Indeed, King Guillermo was largely focused on ceremonial matters, which enhanced his political powers, but gave him little domestic influence.

Castelar would eventually trade the role of Prime Minister with Jose Lopez Dominguez, the nephew of Francisco Serrano (the famous general who had worked with Juan Prim to overthrow Isabella II in the Glorious Revolution). Dominguez generally had the upper hand in this struggle, being closer with Juan Prim, whereas Castelar was the outsider. Furthermore, Dominguez enjoyed the support of Antonio Canovas del Castillo, who thought both men as too liberal for him (but preferred Dominguez).

The creation of the Confederacy of Cuba, a dominion of the Kingdom of Spain, brought the incredibly bloody Cuban War of Independence to an end, but it outraged others in the Spanish Empire who asked why they couldn't get a similar deal. The Spanish had agreed to reform Puerto Rico into an "overseas province" of Spain with its own legislature as headed by autonomy activist Luis Munoz Rivera, which satisfied most activists there once they also received representation in the Spanish Cortes. The colonies in Equatorial Africa and most of the Pacific islands weren't populous and developed enough to seriously strain the Spanish state or army.

However, one region quickly became a problem spot. The Spanish, having narrowed down their problematic colonies to only one through various unwanted concessions, were not in a mood to let the Philippines go. Most notably, unlike Puerto Rico (which had a mostly European, Spanish-speaking population), the Philippines was largely not European or Spanish-speaking, which caused most liberal Spaniards (who had supported representation for Puerto Rico) to reject such a possibility for the Philippines. The Liberals in particular believed that rural and religious non-Europeans would "vote like reactionary peasants., oriental Carlists." The repeated refusals of a seemingly otherwise reformist liberal Spanish government outraged Filipino intellectuals, who quickly began to organize.

In addition, although the liberal government had reformed the Spanish crminal code to highly discourage capital punishment and internment without trial (moves that went over well in Cuba/Puerto Rico), the Philippines quickly became a place to exile unwanted conservative politicians to, who generally took a very hard line on law and order. Simply to get him as far away from Puerto Rico as possible (where he was disliked), Valeriano Weyler was reassigned to be Governor-General of the Philippines in 1885. During the Spanish-Confederate War, the actually extremely popular Confederate Governor-General of North Borneo, John S. Mosby (who like the Governor-General of the Philippines, was sent there largely so that the rest of the Confederacy's politicians didn't have to deal with), accurately believed that Confederate aid would not be coming to his support anytime soon due to the obvious fact that the Confederacy had no Pacific Coast line - and a ship ride from New Orleans to Borneo was...not going to come anytime soon.

Notably, the Spanish were going to come for him - he knew, especially as the Sultanate of Sulu, a Spanish protectorate, claimed more or less the entire territory of Confederate North Borneo, while only holding the Eastern coastline. Largely because of Mosby's obsessive preparations for a possible Spanish invasion of North Borneo, Confederate troops actually won a successful and total victory when the local Confederate garrison seized the Spanish tip of North Borneo, completely destroying the slightly larger Spanish garrison (4 killed, 11 wounded, ~800 captured), while only having one man wounded after he ate a suspicious plant. Of course, the Spanish garrison in the Philippines was deployed to crush Confederate New Borneo in force. In response to his hopeless fate, Mosby took the entire Confederate garrison, commandeered several civilian ships, and sailed directly to the Philippines. Ironically, his former prisoners were put in charge of North Borneo by virtue of the Confederate garrison leaving (though they stole their weapons and uniforms), which amusingly led to Spanish troops breaking into government compounds they were surprised that they already controlled.

Landing in Zamboanga, the Mosby Army, without any orders from Confederate High Command, declared an independent "Republic of Zamboanga", run "by locals, for locals". Oddly well read about the Philippines, Mosby called on Filipinos to rise up in revenge of the Gomburza - three Catholic priests who were strangled a decade ago by Spanish colonial authorities on suspicions of promoting a mutiny against the Spanish government. Most Filipino intellectuals believed that the meddling Confederate was acting truly bizarrely...but they weren't hostile. Some in the Confederate government believed that they could actually conquer the Philippines on behalf of the CSA, but Mosby had no illusions and thus no qualms on signing a document whereas the Confederate government supposedly warranted in perpetuity sovereignty of the "Republic of Zamboanga - and any sister Republics throughout the Philippines." This inspired Paciano Rival, a former student of one of the strangled Gomburza priests, to officially endorse the Zamboanga Republic. In practice, it was never really a functional government, but rather just hundreds of Confederate and Filipinos fighting a strange guerilla war in Mindanao, with a few exception of a third source of soldiers.

Although the samurai class had never been officially abolished in Japan, in practice, the primacy of samurai in the military and society was steeply declining. The only real privilege afforded to samurai was the right to carry a sword - a right that quickly ended when they weren't given unique rights to wield actually more useful weapons, like firearms. A variety of samurai however - deeply unhappy that their services were no longer required by the Imperial Japanese Army, decided to seek glory abroad. In particular, Toyama Mitsuru, a samurai veteran of the disastrous Sino-Japanese War, founded the Black Ocean Society, a growing underground network of ex-samurai with a distinct agenda of overthrowing "European colonial regimes", namely the British, Spanish, and Qing (their own writings questionably described the Qing as European). Notably, they refused to come to the aid of pro-Qing/British monarchies, such as the Kingdom of Hawaii. Much to their own surprise, the Zamboanga Republic received a steady stream of samurai recruits from the Black Ocean Society and other disaffected Japanese samurai.

Although never defeated in battle, Mosby also wasn't actually ever able to overthrow the Spanish government in the Philippines like he had desired - and a condition of the Spanish-Confederate peace deal was for him to return home with all of his men, which he did (after conveniently leaving behind all of his weapons). Notably, the Japanese operatives did not stop. Governor-General Weyler, triumphant, believed that this was an opportunity to "cleanse" the Philippines of anti-colonial activists for good. As soon as Mosby left the Philippines, Spanish colonial authorities arrested Paciano Rival and summarily had him strangled in the public square as a "lesson" to other activists, much like Spanish authorities had once strangled the Gomburza priests. Weyler chose not to have a trial, because he accurately understood that the Spanish government in Madrid would have likely pardoned him if Weyler attempted to hold an actual trial. What Weyler incorrectly reasoned out - was the actual outcome of this act, which would only fan the flames of revolution...
I really like the idea of a Spanish Empire that still has some juice left in it.

I especially like them being able to utterly humiliate the Confederates.