In the Land of the Southrons: Confederate Yugoslavia

The date; late summer, 1989. The location; suburban Columbia, South Carolina. The hot Carolina sun beats down heavily on the urban sprawl outside Columbia, the capital of South Carolina. With a population of around 100, 000 it is a fair sized city for the Confederacy, the third largest in the state behind Greenville and Charleston, and around the 25th largest in the CSA. Unlike most cities in the South, however, Columbia’s claim to fame doesn’t lay in oil, minerals or agriculture, but finance. Located in the relative tax haven of the Palmetto State, Columbia is a burgeoning financial hub in North America, dealing with business partners from as far away as the Russian Republic or as close to home as the Empire of Mexico. But it’s primary business is with the United States, the neighbor to the north, and a country which the South had a long and complicated history with.

But in the hustle and bustle of modern Columbia such historical disagreements seemed to be of no concern. Not the War of Secession, not the scare over the Civil War, when the North nearly intervened and re-conquered Dixie, nor even the Cold War with Russia, which was rapidly deescalating anyways. No, the only thing on the minds of the people going back and forth in the sun-drenched strip mall was the latest sale Bonnie Blue Retailers, Florida Jack, or the more exotic (and thus symbols of luxury) Yankee brands were offering. Coming back from her trip a woman opens the trunk to her Birmingham sedan. As she gets in the radio turns on, staticky at first (as was common with Southern auto manufacturers) but quickly turning over to the song. The sweet yet melancholy voice of Allie Sumner and her latest hit I’m a Confederate fills the car. The woman’s mind jumps back to the music video her children watch at home, with all the waving flags and smiles and patriotic fly over shots. To them it was another pop sensation, but to their mother there was something oddly melancholic about it. As if the passion the singer had over being a Confederate wasn’t as legitimate as the government sponsored studio hoped to make it seem. As if the smiling faces that appeared on it were just a fabrication.

A few hundred miles to the south, in Miami, Florida, a Yankee family, clad in typical tourist attire, waltz out of the elevator and into the hotel lobby. The white wash interior and the subtropical flora highlight the fact that they are not in New York any longer but rather the “Sunny South”, the top destination for Northerners like them hoping to escape the crowds of Coney Island or the cold of Dakota. Most of the others in the lobby spoke with an equally harsh, nasally accent as them; you would be hard pressed to find a local in a hotel like this who wasn’t an employee or oil baron of some sort. Compared to the North, relatively few in the South could afford to spend a week at a resort on the Florida coast, though there were plenty of lower-cost options to cater to the Alabamians and Kentuckians who did come down from time to time. Thanks to tourism, primarily from Northerners like this family, Miami, and the Deep South as a whole, has been able to rapidly grow over the past few years, achieving a level of development almost unheard of two generations ago. The hotel owner smiles; his grandfather was a tenant farmer in North Carolina, his father just retired from the Louisiana oil fields, and now, after a brief stunt at the rigs himself, he had managed to strike gold and work his way up at the Hotel Miami, one of the most luxurious in the city (and, thus, the Confederacy).

Change the scene to Morehead, a small coal town in Kentucky, and the opulence and sunshine of the Deep South seems to be as alien to these Confederates as to their Ohio kin across the river. Even though the South still primarily relies on coal to power it’s many new factories and stations, the US, the chief customer for Kentucky bituminous, is now shifting to nuclear and renewables, leaving demand way down. With the slump in coal prices Morehead has fallen on hard times, a brief attempt at founding a local branch of the University of Kentucky failing after the necessary funds could not be raised in time. Perhaps with federal funding it could have gotten off the ground, but the CSA was still mostly alien to that, only amending its constitution to allow federal funding for infrastructure development in the 1930s during the Depression. It remains strongly taboo among most of the Whig Party’s (the dominant party in the South) “beltway” wing, who favor low taxes and special deals to attract foreign companies instead. Although this has led to a wide scale proliferation of manufacturing, oil, finance, and tourism in the last couple of decades, it has also led traditional sectors of the economy to wither on the vine, and with them communities like Morehead.

Fast forward two years to 1991. The suburban strip mall in Columbia now houses a field hospital and machine gun nests instead of bristling shops. The Hotel Miami is bomb cratered and riddled with bullet holes. No tourists can be found within a hundred miles of Florida’s sunny coast; the US and UN evacuated most of the foreigners over a month ago. Morehead remains a war zone, albeit less heavily damaged than other towns. Although it’s geography didn’t count for much before the wars, now it’s position deep in Appalachia means it’s fared a lot better than towns on the edge of Appalachian and Piedmont territory like Lexington.
 
Sound like a metaphorical story I see.

Actually no, I had the idea since before The Most Cruel and Awful Scourge, but now with that TL done I actually started writing this idea out. There are some aspects similar to the other TL though, mainly because I did use Yugoslavia as one of the inspirations for the conduct of the war in The Most Cruel and Awful Scourge.
 

Ficboy

Banned
Actually no, I had the idea since before The Most Cruel and Awful Scourge, but now with that TL done I actually started writing this idea out. There are some aspects similar to the other TL though, mainly because I did use Yugoslavia as one of the inspirations for the conduct of the war in The Most Cruel and Awful Scourge.
I wonder if you are from South Carolina yourself given the references to the state in both of your timelines. Anyway, just threadmark the post and everything will be ready to go.
 
I wonder if you are from South Carolina yourself given the references to the state in both of your timelines. Anyway, just threadmark the post and everything will be ready to go.

No I grew up around Baltimore before moving out to California, but I’ve spent some time in the Carolinas.
 

Ficboy

Banned
No I grew up around Baltimore before moving out to California, but I’ve spent some time in the Carolinas.
So you have ties to a historic city and the state itself to an extent. Baltimore was where the Pratt Street Riots occurred and South Carolina was the hotbed of nullification and secession.
 
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