Lincoln Lives: How a failed assassination changed the course of a Nation and a newly freed people

Chapter 1: Divine Providence
  • Hello All! This is my first attempt at writing an alternate history timeline. I have had this ear worm in my head for months and have decided to finally write it down. I'm not much of a writer but I hope I'll be able to convey the vision I have properly. I have a rough outline between 1865 to 1914, not sure if I will go past that point but we'll see. Thanks to all who read it!

    Chapter 1: Divine Providence​

    April 14, 1865
    Ford's Theatre
    Washington, DC

    "I turned to speak to my fiancé, Clara and saw a man pointing a small pistol at the President. I knew I wouldn't make it in time but jumped up to charge at him anyways, hoping to at least distract him and hope for a miss. Divine Providence intervened, however, as the pistol misfired. The assassin then dropped the pistol and went for a knife. You know the rest, I am just thankful I was able to do my duty and help protect President Lincoln."
    - Henry Rathbone, former Union Officer, Consul to Hannover, and retired member of the US House of Representatives
    Interview on August 6th, 1926

    Henry Rathbone, then Major and later Colonel, gave those remarks in an interview two days before his death, he was survived by his wife and 3 children. He was widely mourned as the hero that saved the President from certain doom. He could not be faulted thinking Divine Providence was involved, for even though the .44 caliber Derringer pistol misfired, it only takes a quick glance at the knife behind its display case in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, to know that Lincoln still could have died that night had Major Rathbone not acted as quickly as he did. John Wilkes Booth, forever infamous for his attempt on Lincoln, would die by a wound when the knife he tried to use was pushed into his stomach while wrestling with the Major for control. He would die of those wounds within the next half hour, quickly bleeding out, though it is stated that Lincoln did call for a doctor to try and save the man.

    Many counterfactuals have been written and discussed, both in print and online, regarding what could have happened to the country if Booth had succeeded, thankfully we never have to know. What is certain, is that while John Wilkes Booth lay dying at Lincoln's feet he began to talk and Lincoln (against Rathbone's objections) leaned close to hear the words of a dying man. Rathbone could only hear bits of what was said, as it was barely above a whisper, but whatever it was Lincoln's already gaunt appearance looked even paler and thinner and his expression turned grim. As Lincoln never wrote or spoke of what was said by Booth, we can only speculate based off of Rathbones later recollection, in which he stated;

    "I could barely hear anything from him (Booth) but I did hear some words, including "our negroes" and the phrase "there will never be peace while they are here". Then the man died spewing one last insult saying, "If only I had succeeded, I would shouting 'Sic semper evello mortem tyrannis', and you would be the one dying."

    Three days later Lincoln would request a joint session of Congress, so that he may speak on his plans regarding reconstruction and what to do with the newly freed negroes. Whatever Booth said, most certainly impacted Lincoln for in the speech he gave on the fifth day after the attempt on his life. Throughout the war he had tried some limited colonization efforts around the Caribbean and even send some freed slaves to Libera, however he decided this was not feasible and stopped the efforts late in the war. He would, however, reverse course and was now against the idea of integrating the former slaves into the society (at least in the Southern US), believing the best course was for as many as possible to either be shipped back to Africa should they desire, or to give them land of their own within the current US borders and he had just the place in mind.

    As part of their recompense for rebellion, Texas would not be readmitted without agreeing to Ratify the 13th amendment and to part with territory from the 35th parallel north on the Texas panhandle, giving it to an expanded Indian Territory that Lincoln proposed would then be split into two territories. The left part becoming the Territory of Oklahoma, that would eventually become home to over Two Million freed slaves. While the right half would become the Territory of Sequoyah, run for and by the Five Civilized Tribes. The debate that exploded afterwards was intense, though with the increased presence of Radical Republicans after the 1864 elections passage was essentially assured as they wanted harsh punishment for the South. The debate would drag on until October.

    Then on Friday, October 13th, the US Congress passed the Slave Reparation Act of 1865. It was a day since the middle ages in Europe seen as bad luck but now, it is celebrated as an unofficial holiday in Black communities across America. While there were definitely detractors, like Frederick Douglass who initially saw this a a way for white America to push the black man out of what he believed was their country, most agreed it was the best of a bad situation. For even in the North during (and preceding the war) racism was rampant and blacks, while having freedom, were not truly treated as equals to whites. The downside to the resolution is it increased partisan resistance in Texas, with the war not officially being declared over until April of 1866. Of course, Texas was actually still officially in insurrection as they had not yet put together a Congressionally approved state government or state Constitution, Texas would be the last Confederate state re-admitted to the Union in 1870. Sadly, President Lincoln would not live to see a truly reunified United States of America, dying in February of 1870, one month before Texas was re-admitted. One major event that ended 1865 on a positive note was the official ratification of the 13th amendment on December 6th, 1865.

    However, that was still several years into the future. In the meantime, while Lincoln and Congress discussed Reconstruction and the resettlement of freed blacks, Lincoln also had a few headaches to deal with on the international front. We will delve into these more in the next chapter, starting with Lincoln's modification of the Monroe Doctrine in how he dealt with the French in Mexico, the British in Honduras (modern day Belize), as well as the problematic filibuster in Nicaragua by William Walker that was, astoundingly, still going on as 1865 was coming to a close. It would only be decades later that the truth behind how he stayed in power could come to light and it would sour US relations with Britain and France for generations.
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    Chapter 2: A European Affair

  • Chapter 2: A European Affair​

    As 1866 dawned upon America, President Lincoln was faced with a dilemma. He had just won a brutal Civil War, leaving untold numbers dead and homeless, both military and civilian. Now, he needed to maintain military support to keep the South in line while beginning Reconstruction and also to help protect slaves on their journey west or on the journey across the seas back to Africa. The Union army had already restored the main east / west lines across the South and are already beginning to slowly transfer freed slaves that have accepted land in Oklahoma via these restored rail connections. Army rations and blankets and other logistics handled by the Military Department of the Southwest under the leadership of Major General Sheridan.

    The situation was compounded by flagrant violations of the Monroe Doctrine by Britain and France, especially France with their presence in Mexico. Lincoln, however, was unsure if the country would stomach a war with two powers just to stop them from meddling in Americas, especially since Britain was showing signs of recovery from the Indian Revolt of 1857 and now seemed impossible to defeat, especially if fighting their navy. He also had to deal with a former US citizen, William Walker, now ruling Nicaragua thanks to support from southern slaveholders. The good news with him though, is with the South defeated, his support had dried up and small revolts were beginning to brew. In this environment Lincoln’s brilliance shown through, or arrogance depending upon your point of view. Either way, it would change the shape of Latin America and the Caribbean forever.

    President Lincoln requested a meeting with ambassadors from Britain and France to discuss the both the situation in Central America, as well as claims the US had against Great Britain for providing arms and ships to the Confederacy. Lincoln had already pushed for a neutral arbitration on the so called “Alabama Claims”, however, he was hopping to negotiate a settlement as the arbitration case might drag on too long. (Note: The OTL case wasn’t settled until 1872 with the UK found liable). His plan, while successful, infuriated many politicians who believe he betrayed the ideals of the Monroe Doctrine. Most Americans, however, only remember the fact that from these negotiations President Lincoln acquired new land, the largest acquisition since the Mexican-American war, and laid the ground work for the building of the future Nicaraguan Canal, still a vital part of the US economy to present day.

    The meetings began in Washington, D.C., with representatives of Britain and France meeting with Lincoln and Secretary Seward. Lincoln, as part of his plan, allowed Emperor Maximilian to send a representative, though he was only allowed to observe, no input was allowed. For several weeks negotiations went on before finally securing an agreement that was approved via response over telegraph from Europe, with permission for their representatives to sign. On February 14th, 1866, the Treaty of Washington was signed, with Senate ratification following quickly on February 16th. The following are some key points that the treaty covered.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain admits assisting the Confederacy and in lieu of a paid settlement, Great Britain agreed to the following.
    • First, they will no longer block the sale of Ruperts land to the United States, allowing the United States to purchase it from the Hudson Bay Company for 2 million Pounds in gold.
    • Second, they agree to furnish a limited number of naval vessels, run by the Royal Navy, to assist with resettlement efforts concerning former slaves, including allowing those that desire to settle in British African colonies like the Gold Coast or South Africa. This is to last for a period of five years from ratification of the Treaty.
    • Third, they agree to recognize Emperor Maximilian as the legitimate ruler of the Mexican Empire.
    • Fourth, they agree to limit all tariffs on trade with the US to no more than ten percent, making the US a favored trade partner
    • Finally, they agree to recognize Nicaragua as a US protectorate.
    The French Empire agreed to the following;
    • French troops that are “policing” Mexico are limited to no more than five thousand total.
    • France also agrees to not land troops in any areas designated as non-French territories, those as of 1865, within the Americas without first getting permission from the United States. Should they not obtain such permission, it will be seen as an act of war and trigger and automatic Declaration of War from the United States.
    • They agree to limit all tariffs on trade with the US to no more than ten percent, making the US a favored trade partner
    • France agrees to recognize Nicaragua as a US protectorate.
    • France also admits to having helped the South with some arms and munitions. They agree to pay 3 million dollars US in gold. (This effectively means France helped buy Ruperts land, with one million gold left to help pay US war debt).
    The United States agreed to the following;
    • Accepts Emperor Maximilian as the legitimate ruler of the Mexican Empire.
    • The US acknowledges the recently founded colony of British Honduras, that was established in 1862, as a legitimate territory and colony of the United Kingdom within Central America.
    • US agrees that any future canal built in Nicaragua will open to all to use except in the event of war between the US and another nation or nations.
    Later historians would speculate on how much tougher Lincoln would have been if he had known the true extent of British and French involvement in the Civil War but they acknowledge that for the information he had at the time, it was a good deal overall.

    While the negotiations had been going on, Lincoln had spent the time getting the US Navy and Army ready to deal with William Walker. Once the treaty was ratified, he ordered the forces depart by March 1st, sending the battle tested IX Corps under General John Parke with orders to arrest and subdue William Walker and brought for trial for violating neutrality act of 1794, as well as establish a military government to establish the US protectorate. The corps was originally set to be disbanded but the changes in resettlement policy and the situation in Nicaragua prompted the President to insist on keeping it active and moving veterans from other soon to be disbanded units into it to return it to full strength . By the time General Parke had arrived with the 36,000 men of the IX Corps and began landings on the Gulf Coast side, William Walker had already been taken captive and then transported to Honduras and killed by firing squad. He is buried in Old Trujillo Cemetery, Trujillo, Colón, Honduras. General Parke was able to take care of the largest rebel groups fairly quickly but had small but determined resistance through out the month of June.

    On July 16th, 1865, he declared the protectorate of Nicaragua secure and under military jurisdiction. Just twelve days later, the 14th amendment of the US Constitution was ratified, ensuring former slaves were recognized as citizens of the United States with all the rights and privileges that entails. Unknown to General Parke, the US Congress passed an amendment to the Slave Reparation Act of 1865, opening up the new protectorate of Nicaragua to resettlement by former slaves and free blacks. On September 22nd, twenty ships of the Royal Navy arrived; Half the ships contained supplies for the IX Corps as well as a 2nd Lt carrying the news about the legislation Congress passed and orders to General Parke from President Lincoln to work with the civilians from the General Land Office that had been dispatched to handle the record keeping of the lands that were being assigned out. This would be just the first in a wave of former slaves that signed up for their piece of land.

    The President also issued an executive order that stated the General Land offices established for the Homestead Act of 1862, provide guidance to the new freed negro land owners to help the learn to understand land ownership, buying and selling crops and basics of taxes. They were to work in tandem with the Freedman's Bureau to assist the former slaves in this regard. Eventually Congress would amend the Slave Reparation Act a third time, this time including language from the Homestead Act that read; “The occupant has to reside on the land for five years, and show evidence of having made improvements. The process has to be complete within seven years.” One further addendum also stated that neither local or state governments could attempt to foreclose on the land until after 10 years AND only after providing guidance on how to avoid foreclosure first. By the time the agreement with Great Britain and its' Royal Navy were up, they had transported over 300,000 former slaves and free blacks to Nicaragua, the US Navy and independent civilian merchants carrying another 300,000 during the same period. One unfortunate note the I would be remiss not to mention is the loss of life by these settlers not used to the tropical environment and its' diseases there that eventually would cost the lives of 1/3 of the settlers. In spite of this tragic loss, the black communities thrived with their new found freedom, private property, and true equal treatment protected under the Military government, first and then the eventual state government, including the right to vote that once organized into a US Territory, the citizens choice to grant universal suffrage, including women, joining the Utah and Wyoming territories as early adopters of allowing women to vote. The Oklahoma territory was inspired by their brethren in Nicaragua and voted for womens' suffrage the following year. (note: per a NY Times article in 1860, the estimated population in the 1860s was just over 300,000 in Nicaragua)

    As 1866 came to a close, President Lincoln fell ill, doctors eventually determined he had suffered a mild heart attack but he would recover after resting over the holidays. Later Medical Anthropologists and Researches have speculated this was a sign of Marfan Syndrome which is known to contribute to Aortic dissection and Aneurism and would ultimately contribute to his early death. Due to his condition, it would not be the last time unfortunately. He would need his rest, for while 1866 was quite eventful, 1867 promised even more activity, including securing his place in history as the President to expand the nation by the most when he secured the purchase of Alaska from Russia, dubbed "Lincoln's Folly" or "Lincoln's Icebox". If only they had known how valuable it would turn out to be. The situation in Mexico would also taken an unexpected turn, but that discussion is for the next chapter.

    Note: Shout out to "Vahktang" for the idea on providing guidance to the former slaves, I found the land offices from the Homestead Act a perfect vehicle for that, as well as taking language from the Act to guide the instructions to the slaves. I used that idea along with another idea from "Darth_Kiryan" on having them work in tandem with the Freedman's Bureau. Thanks to both of you for the ideas! Also, next post will not be only on 1867, the first two just happened to work out that way.
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    Chapter 3: Death of an Empire
  • Chapter 3 – Death of an Empire​

    President Lincoln was greatly concerned with the ongoing Reconstruction efforts in the former Confederacy in the Spring of 1867. While progress was being made, including the final repair of all main railroad lines throughout the south, a group calling itself the Ku Klux Klan had been tormenting negroes across the region. Initially little was done, as the Federal government first needed to secure the south as a whole before targeting these agitators. The one thing in the negroes favor, is the Slave Reparation Act. President Lincoln used the Federal Troops stationed throughout the south to trumpet the law once it passed and to use them to aid former slaves in moving to the Oklahoma (and later Nicaragua) territory. The other thing President Lincoln pushed Congress for was the establishment of a federal chartered college, technically it would be open to all races and genders, but it was really being created to help free blacks get an education. It was originally planned to be housed in Washington, D.C., however, O.O. Howard, a Union general that was currently in charge of the Freedmen’s Bureau, suggested opening it up in the Oklahoma territory. Thus, with Congressional legislation in April 1867, Howard College(now University) was formed in Oklahoma City, the capital of the new territory. It is viewed as the black equivalent of Harvard or Yale, producing well educated men and women to this day. During this time, Frederick Douglas accepted the position as first President of Howard College and relocated to Oklahoma, believing he would be of more use to aiding his newly freed brethren in learning how to live like a free people, knowing they would need help understanding even basic things like earning a wage and paying taxes.

    As for the KKK, their actions ended up causing the former slaves to begin fleeing in droves even faster than Lincoln anticipated after the passage of the Slave Reparation Act. Many southerners, especially the poorest and those without land, were fine with this, seeing the former slaves as a constant reminder of what they lost. The former Plantation owners, however, were furious and eventually started fighting against the Klan because they had driven away all their cheap labor that they had planned to use under a scheme of sharecropping. The KKK, in its haste to torment the now free blacks, had essentially put the final nail in the coffin of the former landed gentry of Southern Plantations, hastening a greater redistribution of wealth. This was due to the fact that the former slave owners of the south were now going to have to pay a larger wage to get hands to work the land for them. In the end, the Klan was undone by the very people they were supposedly representing rather than by Congressional action. The few attempts to cause issues in Oklahoma was beaten back soundly by initially US Army units and then later, Rangers patrolling the borders made up of former black union army veterans that were now providing law and order to the new territory. While there are remnants of the Klan still in existence today, due to the heavy backlash by the landowners that controlled the ante-bellum south, they never grew beyond a regional nuisance in the deep south states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Mostly in Louisiana, as it had the largest black population in the United States outside of Oklahoma and Nicaragua, followed closely by a large group of freedmen in New York City and Philadelphia. In the end, the Klans actions led to the southern land owners and states seeking cheap labor in Europe, leading to large Italian, Irish, and even Eastern European Jewish(though most Jewish immigrants ended up in Northern cities like New York or Chicago) populations in cities like Birmingham(AL), Charlotte(NC), Atlanta(GA), New Orleans(LA) and Richmond(VA) due to the textile and manufacturing plants in those locations, as many immigrants brought to work the fields would leave as soon as they could afford to due to the backbreaking nature of the work. This continued on until immigration was greatly restricted at the dawn of the 20th century, causing many poor whites to slowly gain better wages once the cheap labor dried up. This would lead to an end to most sharecropping by the end of the 1920s.

    One thing Lincoln had been planning on since the Treaty of Washington was to try and find a way isolate the French in Mexico to prevent their influence from extending outside of Mexican borders. What he hadn’t anticipated was how the events in Europe would end up doing the work for him. Just 6 months after signing the treaty, the first chink in the armor of a French Mexico happened with the birth of the North German Confederation on August 18, 1866 with a Treaty of Alliance between several north Germanic states with Prussia. In the Spring of 1867, on April 16th, a formal Constitution was adopted that governed this federation until its dissolution in 1871 upon the formation of the German Empire. This new Confederation greatly worried Napolean III and he began slowly shifting resources away from Mexico back to France in anticipation of a potential conflict after witnessing Prussia defeat Austria in 1866. This greatly hurt Maximilians’ rule in Mexico, as he had not had time to properly secure his position and win over support of the Mexican people. Which is why, after losing too many men and financial support from France, the inevitable rebellion began (or second rebellion in reality), led by Benito Juarez. This follows earlier attempts during 1862 that led to a victory now remembered as Cinco De Mayo, at the Battle of Puebla. With French support it was suppressed, but with their withdrawal, Maximilian could no longer stop open revolution. Thus it was, that Maximilians reign ended with his overthrow and execution by firing squad on June 19th, 1867. Also known as the Birth of the Restored Republic of Mexico under Benito Juarez leadership.

    At this time, the Parliament in Great Britain was torn. A group known as “Little Englanders” were against further expansion of the British empire and were a driving force in allowing the sale of Rupert’s Land to the United States. They also were in favor of allowing British Columbia to be left to it’s own devices due to the distance between London and BC, wanting instead to focus on building up the British Isles proper, especially manufacturing in Manchester and similar places. However, there was enough backlash from the Rupert's Land deal that, along with public support from Queen Victoria, a new term was introduced for British Territories; Dominion. Parliament established the Dominion of Canada with the British North America Act that joined the provinces of Canada (split into Ontario and Quebec), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia into a confederation with self governance. So it was that Canada became the first Dominion in the British Empire on July 1, 1867. While publicly most of parliament applauded this, privately the Little Englanders hoped that this would not expand to British Columbia, as they still felt it a waste of resources trying to govern and protect that territory.

    Just a month later, President Lincoln received a surprise letter from the government in Santo Domingo. Tensions had been growing between Haiti and the only recently newly independent Santo Domingo, having just fought a war with Spain who had annexed them during the American Civil War. The Dominican nation had been greatly weakened during this time and in fact, now had a smaller population than even Nicaragua had prior to US intervention there. The President was unsure of how to proceed, as he didn’t want to have Spain try to come back or for further fighting on the island with Haiti but they were still ingesting Nicaragua and Rupert’s Land, not to mention Secretary Seward had been negotiating with Russia over Alaska, as Russia wanted to jettison the land to pay for debts that it had accrued due to the Crimean war. Lincoln decided to push the issue off to his successor, informing the Santo Domingo government that they should follow up with the next President as they simply could not take up the issue at this time. On August 28th, Secretary Steward finalized the treaty for the purchase of Alaska with Russia, it had been delayed due to the Rupert’s Land acquisition but now it was complete, pending approval by the Senate. While many would mock this purchase, calling it “Lincoln’s Folly” or “Lincoln’s Icebox”, the Senate still approved as many saw it as further proof of their Manifest Destiny over the North American continent. The US would take over the territory officially on January 18th, 1868.

    Meanwhile out west, the Medicine Lodge treaty was concluded on October 21, 1867, signed by Great Plains Indian leaders and it forced them to relocate to the Sequoyah territory with small reservations carved out of the existing territory. Unfortunately, this would not end the Indian Wars.

    As the calendar turned to 1868, Lincoln felt a sense of relief, knowing his time as President was almost up. Several key events, both politically and culturally occurred this year.
    • On February 24th, the first Mardi Gras parade to include floats occurred.
    • On May 30th, the first Memorial Day was observed in the US, it would be that way for a century before changing to the last Monday in May.
    • On June 25th, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana and Georgia are readmitted to the Union.
    • July 25th, the Wyoming Territory is organized
    • July 28th, the 14th amendment to the constitution is ratified, ensuring citizenship for all former slaves as well as guaranteeing Due Process under the law for all citizens, regardless of color.
    • In September, the first volume of “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott is published.
    • October 28th, Thomas Edison applied for his first patent, an Electric Vote Recorder.
    • November 3rd, Ulysses S. Grant is elected the 17th President of the United States in a landslide.

    Probably the most scrutinized of President Lincoln’s last acts, was his decision to issue a blanket pardon on Christmas Day, 1868, for all former Confederate rebels, except for Jefferson Davis. He would end up pardoned a century later. However at this time, Lincoln was not worried about public opinion since his term was almost over. The last great work of his administration was getting the 15th amendment through Congress in February of 1869, leading to a difficult ratification fight. Now as President Grant takes the oath of office, President Lincoln retires to Illinois to plan his world travels. He already hopes to restart his law practice once he returns from his trip. Sadly, that was not to be.

    Notes: A little time jump here getting through 2 years and a couple of months. There will be bigger jump in next chapter, as that will pretty much cover the 1870s as a whole, maybe more.

    And to reiterate, I understand this will likely come off as Ameriwank but that does not mean they are going to suddenly take over all the Americas. They will not be taking Canada nor will they claim any further territory from Mexico on south through Central and South America. Just in case anyone was worried that this just going to turn into Pax Americana. There will still be a Spanish-American war but I have a twist in mind that may confuse some people considering what has happened so far, at least that's my hope. I went into this hoping not to make some cookie cutter TL and plan to try to keep to that.

    As for the story itself, here is a few notes in case you have any questions or complaints about certain things to help explain the logic behind them. Howard University was founded in January 1867, I moved that to April to coincide with the KKK issues being mentioned. As for the KKK, it formed in TN after the war and grew from there before being put down by Enforcement Acts after the 15th amendment was passed in 1870. This was not needed in this TL, thanks to the backlash from southern gentry. For the Jewish immigration, some may question the growth in the south but there were indeed small enclaves in south, Charlotte and Wilmington in NC for example both had small groups of Jewish families pre-civil war, and in fact, the Confederate VP was Jewish. Also, businesses did reach out to Europe for cheap labor post war, both north and south. As for the those in England against expansion see the following Reference for the “Little Englander” group. Sage, Walter N. (1932). "The Critical Period of British Columbia History, 1866-1871". Pacific Historical Review. 1 (4): 424–443.
    Chapter 4: Depression Strikes
  • Chapter 4: Depression Strikes​

    The dawn of the first term of the 17th President, U.S. Grant, sees an economic boom from all of the post-war construction, especially in railroad construction. A boom that would see over 30,000 miles laid between 1868 and 1873. The former slaves and the freed blacks from pre-war north have begun making great strides within the territories of Oklahoma and Nicaragua. The former slaves were slowly learning how to be competent farmers and land owners thanks to assistance from the free blacks that had better education, as well as the efforts from the Freedman’s Bureau. One notable occurrence was the President sending his aide, General Babcock with a letter of introduction on a fact-finding mission to Santo Domingo, regarding their annexation request that first came in under President Lincoln, this would end up with an unlikely result later in the year. The good feelings that the nation had, slowly pushing past the harshness of the recent troubles (aka the Civil War), were highlighted this year when on the 10th of May, 1869, the Transcontinental railroad was completed, the final spike hammered in by President Grant.

    During the spring and summer, things went rather well for the new President and the country as a whole, highlighted by several notable events, below is just a quick summary of a few;
    • April 6th - The American Museum of Natural History founded in New York City. It has since become one of the preeminent museums in the world.
    • May 15th - Led by Susan B. Anthony, a group of women found the National Woman Suffrage Association. This group would eventually help lead to women gaining the right to vote shortly after the 1912 election.
    • June 1st - Had two notable events; first being the founding of the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team and seen as the founding of our nation's pastime, baseball. The second event was the official awarding of Thomas Edison's patent that he applied for the year prior, the Electric Vote Recorder.
    • June 15th - John Wesley Hyatt patents the first plastic, Celluloid, in Albany, New York.

    From here things carried on well until the end of summer when as Autumn began, the nation was faced with the first Black Friday in its history. When on September 24th, the results of a scandal by a group known as the Gold Ring, led to a crash due to their attempts to manipulate the Gold market. For the week after the Black Friday crash, the stock market dropped 20%. A conspiracy, that due to one of the men, Able Corbin, being married to President Grants sister brought down scorn and charges of corruption in the papers against the President. President Grant would take action along with Secretary of Treasury Boutwell, that would help prevent the crisis from worsening and would lead the economy recovery by late 1870. While we will not go into great details regarding this situation, as that would require a book of its own, we can say that the President was cleared of any wrong doing but it would haunt him the rest of his days. This would, unfortunately, only be the first of issues both economic and of the scandalous nature, that would impact Grants Presidency. During this period, there was one distraction, though whether it was welcome or not is unknown. President Grant’s aide, General Babcock, returned in September with a draft Treaty for Annexation for Santo Domingo. This of course was outside of the scope of his mission, none the less, the treaty included the taking on of some debts (ill-timed with the crash) but it did include a lease agreement regarding Samana Bay, which the Navy wanted as a coaling station. Grant pushed forward and ordered the Secretary of State to create an official treaty with the government of Santo Domingo culminating in a treaty that agreed to the following upon ratification;
    • the United States would annex the Dominican Republic, pay $1,500,000 (equivalent to $26,000,000 in 2020) on the Dominican national debt, offer the Dominican Republic the right to U.S. statehood after 10 years, subject to national vote.
    • The U.S. would rent Samaná Bay at $150,000 per annum for 50 years, paid to the Dominican government (both territorial and later State govt).
    • According to Grant's biographer, Jean Edward Smith, President Grant initially erred by not gaining U.S. public support and by keeping the treaty process secret from the U.S. Senate. Fortunately, this would be overcome by one of former President Lincoln’s last acts, when he wrote an open letter that was published in several national newspapers shortly before his death. The treaty would be voted in in March of 1870.

    After this difficult autumn, as the seasons changed and the year was ending there was some positive news in the winter of 1869 and 1870. First, the Wyoming territory followed Nicaragua in the granting of women's suffrage on Dec 10th, 1869. Then a month into the new year, on February 3rd, 1870, the 15th Amendment was officially ratified, ensuring right to vote for those regardless of race, color, or former servitude (i.e., former slaves). Sadly, the euphoria that many Republicans and supporters of the amendment was quickly erased by great sadness when on February 12th, former President Abraham Lincoln died on his birthday, aged 61 years old. He had been in Jerusalem, paying respects and praying at what is known as the “Wailing Wall” or “Western Wall” when he had a heart attack. As mentioned earlier, many now attribute his failing health to Marfan syndrome but also due to his taking of pills to fight depression known as blue mass pills. These pills are known to have had mercury as a primary ingredient and as such, modern doctors believe the former President was slowly poisoning himself. There was a national day of mourning declared once word reached Washington as many grieved for the man who help lead the fight to save the Union. His body first returned to DC, where he would lie in state at the Capitol building for a full week before a train would take him home but first going through over 180 cities and towns, north through NYC and then west to his final resting place in Illinois.

    Prior to Lincoln’s death, as mentioned above, he wrote a letter supporting President Grants annexation treaty. This letter was published just days after his death. Prior to this letter, unofficial tallies showed the Senate deadlocked on the treaty. In the several weeks that followed, utilizing the memory of President Lincoln, several Senators were swayed to vote for the treaty as a way to give one last honor to their former leader. So it was, on Marcy 24th, 1870, the treaty was approved and Santo Domingo became a protectorate of the United States. In reality, it was a territory in all but name and would seek statehood as soon as allowed by the treaty. Several key events happened in this year, let us review just a few.
    • Jan 15th, Standard Oil is incorporated. It would be eventually broken up as a monopoly by future President Roosevelt. It would make John D. Rockefeller one of the richest men in US history.
    • Jan 26th, Virginia officially rejoins the Union.
    • Feb 23rd, Mississippi official rejoins the Union as military oversight ends.
    • Mar 30th, Texas officially rejoins the Union. This also finalizes the territorial changes that had expanded Oklahoma at the cost of the Texas panhandle. Though violence would still exist, many land owners there simply began to sell out to free blacks or government agents, not wanting to stay in a black territory
    • Jun 22nd, the federal Department of Justice is created.
    • Jun 28th, Congress creates the first official federal holidays (New Years, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).
    • Jul 15th, Georgia becomes the last state of the former CSA readmitted to the Union. The CSA is officially recognized as dissolved at this point.

    As the calendar transitioned into 1871, the Union was finally whole again. The economy was finally recovering after the Black Friday crash, and the President had followed Lincoln’s footsteps by expanding the nation again with Santo Domingo. However, the expansion of the US territory was about to take a strange twist.

    Many people have heard and most likely experienced what is called, “Buyer’s Remorse”. However, as 1871 began, Canada and the United Kingdom were experiencing the opposite, “Seller’s Remorse”. While many Canadians were happy with their new Dominion status, many were also upset and losing so much potential land to the US with the sale of Ruperts land. The “Little Englanders” group that had helped facilitate the change had been all but eliminated from political circles in London and now people in power were hoping to make some changes. These changes would lead to one of the most convoluted treaties and land swaps ever recorded. It would also eventually lay the groundwork for a long depression in the UK. First, let us address the Treaty of Ottawa of 1871. The inner workings of the treaty are simply too confusing to discuss at length here, so we will instead offer a simplified overview.

    The treaty was meant to expand the Dominion of Canada and rid the UK of land it deemed not worth the price of ownership and military protection, that being what was known as the Northwestern Territories. Canadian officials convinced the powers that be that the best path forward was to rid themselves of the remaining undeveloped land (not including British Columbia which was still growing) and help Canada expand. This was accomplished by the following agreements in the treaty as follow;
    • Canada would agree to buy all the former Rupert’s Land that the US had acquired east of the 80th West Longitude, almost doubling the size of Canada in one stroke and restoring access to the Hudson Bay and its fisheries. Canada would offer much needed gold, Fifty Thousand in gold in British Pounds.
    • Canada would also include a separate Five Thousand gold purchase for Mansel, Nottingham and Salisbury Islands.
    • The United States would purchase with $500,000 in US Silver, something easily afforded thanks to an abundance of silver in new mines found during the 1860s, all remaining land of the North-West Territory west of Ruperts Land sans British Columbia. This includes all of the Arctic islands and claims between mainland North America and Greenland. The US would settle the claims in the early 20th century as part of a package to acquire the Danish Virgin Islands (aka, the Danish West Indies) but that is for a future discussion.

    While the US Senate had many detractors, who did not want to give up land just acquired, the public in general had no real opinion either way, as they were still dealing with the effects of Reconstruction in the South and an industrial boom in the north. The US had not even begun opening land for settlement yet in the part Canada wanted so in the end, the treaty was approved after President Grant pointed out this would connect all of the US continental holdings from Florida in the Southeast to Alaska in the Northwest. The money offered by Canada would also help with the rebuilding of Chicago after the great fire in October. For many, this treaty led many to question how long before BC would be absorbed by the US but fate would have other ideas for them, helped in no small part by US racism against immigrants who helped build the railroads. The Chinese immigrants who came for work and a better life found little to like about the US. Many would leave writings stating that while they did have more freedom the overt hatred toward them was unbearable and eventually led to the Chinese Massacre of 1871, in which a white mob killed 18 immigrants in Chinatown, Los Angeles. The territory of British Columbia, needing to stave off US influence, offered asylum for the Chinese laborers, offering land claims for those that were willing to relocate. While not entirely popular with the British colonists that lived there, they at least tolerated them and ended up being quite useful in facilitating trade between British Hong Kong and British Columbia.

    As President Grant ramped up his reelection campaign in 1872, the country was moving forward nicely, completely recovered at this point from the Black Friday crash of ‘69. It would be the last good year for the President. After handily defeating Horace Greeley in November, would go in to 1873 on a high note but would soon come down as the Panic of 1873 kicked in. The Panic is attributed to a change of by the new German Empire that started in 1871, where they decided end minting silver coins, right around the time the US was paying the UK for the land obtained in the Treaty of Ottawa. The US eventually responded to the declining value of silver that this move triggered by passing the Coinage Act of 1873 which changed US silver policy and combined with the German Empires change, led to depressed silver prices. The US was now firmly on the Gold Standard and would remain so well into the 20th century, at least officially. This would be coupled with a stock market crash in NYC on September 18th, further exacerbating what would become known as the Long Depression. Many scholars anticipate the depression would have lasted longer than 3 years for the US had it not been for growth of exports from Nicaragua and Santo Domingo, especially tobacco grown by Cuban expats fleeing the 10-year war against Spain, as well as cacao (aka coco/chocolate), and sugar. Taking steps to more quickly open up new lands in the former Ruperts Land and North-West Territory helped immensely as well. There was one bright note for those fans of cultural history, on October 30th, PT Barnum first opened his Circus. Something generations of American children have grown up visiting since its inception.

    Most of the rest of Grants second term was spent fighting the Depression but there were two events of note outside of this. The first was on 10 January 1875, the US approved the Hawaiian reciprocity treaty. The treaty gave favorable trade agreements with US and made Hawai’i a protectorate in all but name. It would of course, later become a state, though the eventual overthrow of the Hawaiian monarch has long stained the history of the US involvement in the islands. The second, and quite frankly more monumental, was on March 31st, 1876, President Grant declared Reconstruction officially over. With the large resettlement of blacks into basically two territories with the remaining population spread-out, largely thanks to the Homestead Act, with NYC and Philadelphia the remaining large settlements. The violence and anti-federal actions in the South had dropped dramatically. Also, on July 4th, 1876, President Grant led national celebrations for the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of the United States.

    It is in this environment that we see the election of 1876 unfold. Samuel Tilden would eventually gain the Democratic nomination and was against the greenbacks being printed (they were called due to their color but they were not backed by gold), thinking that old hard currency on the Gold Standard was the way to restore the economy. However, due to President Grants actions, the economy had noticeably recovered by the time the election and Tilden quit arguing against the greenback publicly, which very likely improved his position in the election with farmers who supported the greenback. Not to mention the Species Resumption Act of 1875, essentially saved Tilden from making such arguments, as the act ordered the Treasury to retire the greenbacks from circulation. So it was, that in light of an improving climate and a desire for change from a Grant Administration that had dealt with several economic challenges and Scandals, Samuel Tilden became the 18th President of the United States, winning a close popular vote at 50.9% but a comfortable Electoral College win 203 to 166 against Rutherford B. Hayes. With 1876 coming to a close, the United States now has the first Democrat elected to the White House since just prior to the Civil War, having finally overcome the Long Depression, a depression that would be battled in Britain and France for another 3 years due in no small part to highly protectionist measures that modern economists have attributed the long crisis to.

    There is a sense of hope returning and the birth of titans in Oil and Steel will lead the way to a Gilded Age never seen before in the United States. In the next chapter, we will discuss the Presidency Samuel Tilden and the growing power of Industrialists in the United States. One hundred years had passed since the nation's founding, we now see the beginnings of the next 100 years that would eventually encompass most of the 20th century, now called the American Century.

    NOTES: First, President Tilden. That's right, first Presidential change! He won the popular vote by the amount listed in the chapter, I simply gave him the electoral victory. It was even more hotly contested than the 2000 election in OTL. Gonna take some time to see how that unfolds and whether he ends up a one termer like Hayes or not. For the Long Depression, it was considered the worst depression and was once called the Great Depression until the 1929 crash, and there was definitely some lost votes for Tilden among farmers he supported the greenback, by having the economy recover sooner and without the violence in Reconstruction south like OTL, I felt like Tilden would have a greater chance of succeeding. The public in US history IRL typically doesn't like one party dominating the White House for too long so I felt 16 years was time enough to bring forth a Democrat.

    As for the Santo Domingo annexation. That is a real event, they really did fear Haiti as mentioned in the last chapter and they actually had less estimated population after their war with Spain than Nicaragua did OTL. This led to their request and the OTL treaty failed with a 28 - 28 tie in the Senate, with many voting against it due to the statehood clause. With Nicaragua being a territory and a growing, successful one at that, it was easier to sway people over, as well as using Lincoln's death. (Gasp! Using a Presidents death to push legislation!? *wink wink LBJ*)

    I also alluded to the silver crash with the US paying Britain in silver for the North-West Territory and Arctic islands. Britain and France's exposure to silver did, in fact, lead to a longer depression for them in OTL to 1878/1879 timeframe. As with anything, I try to keep within the realm of historical possibility. So with this, US expansion is done in continental US (or is it...?). Alaska is now connected to the rest of the US and the UK is going to be very unhappy with Canada for convincing them to sell *cough* Yukon gold rush *cough*. As for the large time jumps, well, there were things to discuss but so much was wrapped up in either the Depression or Scandal that I just didn't want to go into it, so jumped ahead. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with President Tilden. Cheers!
    Chapter 5: Brief Summary of Recent Events
  • As we prepare to enter the Tilden Presidency, we take a moment to take a brief look at some of the changes since the end of the Civil War and how they have started to impact the fortunes of the nation.

    The greatest impact on the nation has, without a doubt, been the mass resettlement and migration of former slaves and those free blacks from the ante-bellum north. While the vast majority did stay within the US states or territories, approximately 10% ended up returning to their ancestral home in Africa, mostly to Liberia or the area known as Gold Coast. For the ones that stayed, over 90% can be found within either the Oklahoma or Nicaragua territories. As of the official end to Reconstruction, Oklahoma had become approximately 96% Black, 3% Native, and the rest a mix of White and other races. The low white percentage is due to the exodus that occurred once the plans to settle blacks there was approved by Congress, especially from the former Texas panhandle. This complete domination of the political and economic landscape would eventually lead to dramatic changes in relations between Oklahoma and the rest of the US, but for now they are simply working to establish a good agrarian foundation with a mix of small industry to support the territory.

    Nicaragua is more of a melting pot than Oklahoma. As mentioned prior, a large number of slaves relocated here but after initial struggles with adapting to the local environment and diseases, the population of free blacks ended up close the pre-protectorate days with near 40% black, 35% Mestizos, 20% Native, with the rest being those who consider themselves "pure" blood descendants of Spanish colonists as well as a growing German population that fled the wars of unification that led to the German Empire. This would increase an already large contingent of German or German descendants within the United States. Santo Domingo was newer and thus had less immigration, but there were those eager to try their hand at growing Cacao, Sugar, and Tobacco. For now, the population consisted of about 60% mixed (of "white" Spanish, African, and Taino ancestry), about 27% White (Spanish Caucasian), 12% African, and the rest mostly Taino or a few other races. Surprisingly, the success of the melding of races and ethnicities in Nicaragua gave hope among government officials for the peaceful integration into the rest of the country. Sadly, there were still areas of black populations in New York City that experienced a backlash after the Civil War, leading to an unofficial "whites only" policy among many businesses, with similar things occurring in Philadelphia, the holder of the other large black population outside of Oklahoma. Oklahoma itself subject to cross border vigilante raids on occasion and though they were mostly beaten back by territorial guards, it was causing increased tension between the territory and those around, only having real peace with the Native tribes in Sequoyah.

    On the economic front, there was an initial boom with all of the Reconstruction of the South post war followed by first, the Black Friday Crash, then the Long Depression. Thankfully the depression has come to an end and now we see the rise of the Steel and Oil Barron's, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller respectively. Those two men would come to dominate the economy in the US and while there was great prosperity that would lead to the time being known as the Gilded Age, soon workers would start to organize and fight back due to poor treatment and lack of labor laws in the quickly industrializing United States. This is also the time when the first ideas of a canal through Nicaragua are being tossed about in Congress. The idea will not get much traction initially but the pull of all the potential income from fees for using the Canal will eventually be enough to bring in Federal funding for the canal that is still in heavy use today, despite fear mongering concerning volcanoes.

    With the south post war deprived of it's cheap labor, it looked abroad and began offering contracts and covering transportation of men and even whole families in exchange for agreeing to a certain number of years on their farms and former plantations. This would eventually lead to Congress passing one of the first labor protection laws in 1871, mandating a minimum wage for those who agree to these contracts to ensure they were not simply used as pseudo-slave labor as well as limiting the max number of years contracted at five. In spite of this, the process lasted until almost 1890 before industrialization allowed for more mechanized approach to farming, reducing the need for so much cheap labor in the fields. It has been estimated that between 1867 and 1890, nearly 2 million people were brought into the country with these contracts, most in the old Confederacy, while a large number also made their way to Nicaragua, California and Santo Domingo. Nearly 10% entered through New Orleans while almost 40% entered through the Ellis Island of the South, officially known as Fort Sumter Immigration Center, after it was converted in 1872 to handle the growing number of migrants entering on these contracts. Thanks to this effort, the South would remain largely agrarian post war, though there were centers of industry that grew up, like Birmingham for it's steel, Charlotte, NC for textile production, or Newport News, VA, for ship building. This would lead to some conflicts as a large number of immigrants were Catholic, in the end most simply didn't concern themselves as the needed the labor, leading to a tentative peace between Protestant and Catholics, with only minor conflicts centered around the largest cities at the time.

    As we prepare to take a closer look at President Tilden's term and the controversy that erupted with Britain and France, we will see how many modern scholars believe Tilden saved the US from a potentially disastrous conflict with the two great powers. The cause? A history student from Yale researching the Walker Filibuster that found damning evidence of British and French interference in the Civil War that may have contributed to it lasting a full year longer than it would have, this would not only nearly cause a war but would also sour relations for generations to come, leading to heavy tariffs on trade with the two while causing the US to give more favorable trade to nations like the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires, thanks in no small part to the growing political clout of German descendants. This will be discussed further in the next chapter.
    Chapter 6: Ghosts of the Past

  • Chapter 6: Ghosts of the Past​

    As President Tilden is inaugurated in March of 1877, he has no idea that a great controversy is brewing. A Yale History student, whom no one ever seems to recall his name, has just published a dissertation on the events leading up to, and through, the Walker Filibuster in what is now the US territory of Nicaragua and the paper unofficially called the European Betrayal. Within a month, diplomatic messages are flying back and forth as some in Congress openly call for war against the two powers. The paper has shown that, without any doubt, not only did French Mexico use its ports to ship out cotton, beef, and tobacco from the CSA and funnel both money and weapons back to them, the UK also helped send arms and supplies from the CSA via Mexico to support Walker directly in his filibuster. This claim helped solve the puzzle on how Walker was able to stay in power so long, it was with the CSA’s help (and their hope) that he stayed in power, planning to join the CSA as a new slave territory once they won their independence, the first step in the Golden Circle that would build a slave empire around the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. There was also included a partial members list of the Knights of the Golden circle, which included two well-known names; John Wilkes Booth attempted assassin of Lincoln, and current outlaw and folk hero Jesse James. The paper went on to suggest that this aid directly led to the lengthening of the war and cost a combined 50,000 to 100,000 extra deaths than may have occurred without their interference. President Tilden knew that only a decade out from the civil war, the US was simply not capable of taking on two powers and only through tense negotiations throughout the summer of 1877 was he able to negotiate a public apology from the two nations as well as a temporary trade deal to provide relief from UK and French tariffs in an attempt to appease the US Congressman. This in the end did work as it took away enough support to prevent a war declaration, but in the years to come, both powers would learn that the US Congress has a very long memory. It was later discovered through a private letter to the British PM, that Tilden had openly expressed hope that this would blow over and that the US could form a strong trade alliance if not future military alliance due to the shared culture and language with the British. Many historians suspect this is what would cost Tilden re-election, as many Americans viewed him as an Anglophile and a puppet, thinking he loved the British too much to properly punish them for their transgression revealed by the European Betrayal.

    While the talks with the British and French were underway, President Tilden was also dealing with the ongoing Indian Wars that had not yet ended and had in fact spiked again with the Dakota Gold Rush of 1875 to 1877 bringing miners in conflict with the natives, leading to the Great Sioux war. Union civil war hero General George Custer would end up being killed in this conflict, dying during the Battle of Little Bighorn in a battle led by Crazy Horse. While the gold rush had caused an economic boom in the Dakota territory, another boom was going on in the Oklahoma and Sequoyah territories as the cattle industry was boom and taking advantage of the railroads to ship their beef nationally and internationally. Trails like the Chisholm trail, the Great Western Trail, and the Shawnee trail help spawn trading posts that would grow into boomtowns all along the way, bringing in great wealth to the two territories. However, in the Oklahoma territory the same wealth was also met with an uptick in violence between majority white and Latino cowboys and the local black majority, eventually leading to an end of the trails that went through Oklahoma by the mid 1880s as the ranchers were tired of the violence claiming good ranch hands and repair bills that had to be paid for busted up saloons and hotels. It would lead to a slight economic downturn that would only go away in the mid 1890s a decade later thanks to black gold but that will be discussed in a later chapter.

    While happy for the growth of the Civilized Tribes in Sequoyah, the Indian Wars showed there was much to be done amongst the like of the Apache, Sioux, and Commanche. Especially since more natives, referred to in the former Ruperts Land as First Peoples, had been acquired with the land purchases since the end of the civil war. President Tilden, using a survey started under President Grant, decided to use the ongoing bloodshed as a way to convince Congress to support a new proposal of his. He proposed the creation of two large, semi-autonomous zones for the Natives (aka, First Peoples) to be created out of the new lands. These lands would be open to ALL natives who did not wish to live under “white man's rule” as they would say. In return for essentially allowing them to live as they see fit, they agree to abide by certain national laws, provide troops when the US declares war, and use US currency when financial transactions occur, as well as allow occasional surveys of the land and wildlife on behalf of the Federal Government. The first territory was called Utqiagvik Reservation, most people simply refer to it as the North Slope Borough, making up most of Northern Alaska and the primary land controlled by the Iñupiat peoples. The second was carved out of land that sits between the two states east of what was then called British Columbia, the states of Mackenzie and Saskatchewan. The Cree Reservation, which is the more populous of the two as it ended up welcoming over 100,000 refugees from the lower United States due to the Indian Wars. This is one of few, well regarded policies of the President and is universally agreed to have helped prevent the same wars from springing up in the new territories. Future oil and gas discoveries within both territories would one day help fund the Reservation governments, allowing for free education and health care to all natives within their borders.

    In July of 1877, a major raid was conducted by agents of the Kingdom of the Mosquito coast, a nation made up of local natives, former slaves of the Spanish colonies and pirates. President Tilden decided it was time to deal with this land and ordered the Army to mount an expedition to finally eradicate the threat. The local garrison of 1,000 was reinforced with 5,000 men in early September and the combined 6,000 marched into the land and easily overwhelmed local resistance, with the remnants of the Kingdom government fleeing to its lands north of Nicaragua and east of Honduras. The land below this would be annexed officially by the US Congress in October and added to the territory of Nicaragua. The British protested, as they had officially recognized the Kingdom, however, the ongoing crisis due to the European Betrayal led to no action being taken by any European power to intervene. 1877 which had started off so well for Tilden would eventually end with what amounts a lame duck Presidency and not even a full year into his term.

    Internationally as 1878 began the world sees Russia at war with the Ottomans and the British. The British ended up gaining control of Cyprus via treaty with the Ottomans and the Congress of Berlin called in June and in July a negotiated peace with the Russians and Ottomans, The Treaty of Berlin makes Serbia, Montenegro and Romania completely independent, confirms the autonomy of Bulgaria, makes Cyprus a British possession, and allows Austria-Hungary to garrison the Bosnia Vilayet. In July a Yellow fever epidemic hits New Orleans. This is the first time it is pointed out a possible connection between mosquitos and disease transmission, though it would be another decade before that was proven. Due to the anger of the response to the European Betrayal, the Republicans would make major gains the midterm elections this year, further hamstringing President Tilden. Despite the fact that he did manage to accomplish some things like the native reservations in Ruperts Land and Alaska, his Presidency would be remembered as the “Do Northing” Presidency, as he was never able to truly move beyond the Anglophile claims. So bad was it, that he was only the second incumbent to not gain his parties nomination in 1880 (first since Franklin Pierce in 1856) as Winfield Scott Hancock, a Union hero, faced off with James Garfield. Garfield would win the Presidency and Tilden’s term would mercifully end in March 1881.

    Notes: Mosquito Kingdom wasnt absorbed until 1894, moved that up a bit because the US would not have allowed any actions like that on the borders of their territory without responding. As for the short chapter, all I can say is I liked changing up the President but really I hate the Gilded Age. Yes, there are critical things that happen in terms of technological innovation but the period as a whole bores me to death. I am seriously thinking of doing a brief summary of the intervening years between 1881 and 1895, simply because I have found no motivation to write anything for these years. A lame reason I know, but its hard to write when you simply have no motivation. Most of the story I have outlined led up a President Tilden and then there was a huge gap before the next part which picks up just before McKinley election. I firmly believe the story will be better at that point in time. No final decision made but highly likely a huge time jump coming.
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    Chapter 7: Decade in Review
  • Chapter 7: Decade in Review

    As we prepare to enter the more tumultuous 1890s, let us take a look back at the 1880s, starting with President Garfield's first term. The first major event was not legislation but rather an assassination attempt that the President survived on September 19th, 1881. The President was hit but it was decided rather than try to remove the bullet that it was safer to leave it in, he would live with it the rest of his days. This further unsettled world leaders as Tsar Alexander II had been killed in March of the same year. Early on legislatively, the President expressed a desire for improved agricultural policies, civil rights, and civil service reform, this ended up in a with his first big policy win in the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act provided for selection of some government employees by competitive exams rather than ties to politicians, and made it illegal to fire or demote some government officials for political reasons. This was mainly targeted to prevent issues seen due to the corruption from appointments that were seen under prior administrations, especially during the civil war. During his first term he also managed to pass through a funding bill that would include aide to the Oklahoma, Santo Domingo and Nicaraguan territories for increased education to minorities, as he was very supportive of education as a key to success for the nation. During his re-election year in 1884, the President hosted a conference in Washington, D.C., regarding the determination of the Prime Meridian to help with finalizing maps and timetables for both sea and land navigation, establishing Greenwich Meridian as zero degrees longitude, this helped immensely with navigation moving forward now that a common longitudinal map could be made for worldwide use.

    During his first term we also see the contradiction in the man, as while he supported improved civil rights for all minorities, but especially blacks, he supported the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, thus allowing the US government to further restrict Chinese immigration for a period of 10 years (initially, though further legislation would change this). His pushes to better protect the black minority did little overall to sway the growing discontent in Oklahoma, it would eventually come to a head in the 1890s. It was during his second term in 1886, however, that one of the most critical pieces of legislation ever passed was pushed through congress in an effort to stem the abuses of the ultra-wealthy like Carnegie and Rockefeller in the Gilded Age, by passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1886. The Sherman Act broadly prohibits the following; 1) anticompetitive agreements and 2) unilateral conduct that monopolizes or attempts to monopolize the relevant market. The Act authorizes the Department of Justice to bring suits to enjoin (i.e. prohibit) conduct violating the Act, and additionally authorizes private parties injured by conduct violating the Act to bring suits for treble damages (i.e. three times as much money in damages as the violation cost them). Over time, the federal courts have developed a body of law under the Sherman Act making certain types of anticompetitive conduct per se illegal, and subjecting other types of conduct to case-by-case analysis regarding whether the conduct unreasonably restrains trade.

    Internationally, the first rumblings of discontent from what was once British Columbia, over the increased focus on Africa leaving less funding and security over the colony. While the Dominion of Canada did try to encourage B.C. to join them, there was a distinct difference in cultures thanks to the growing melting pot of those with English and Chinese heritage mingling due to the Chinese laborers that had fled racist attacks in the US, as well as US pioneers who had gone north to Alaska and the Northwest territory only to come back after finding the environment too harsh for their taste, often referred to as half-backers for only making it halfway back to the US before settling in B.C. The United Kingdom instead focused its efforts on the Anglo-Egyptian war of 1882 and the First Boer war of 1881, not leaving much time or money for a far-flung outpost in a continent dominated by the USA. During this time the volcano Krakatoa exploded in the Dutch East Indies in 1883, killing over 36,000 people. In 1887, over 900,000 Chinese would die due to major flooding along the Yellow river.

    It is also during this time that the fate of Africa was decided by imperial powers of Europe during the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, focused on carving up Africa. President Garfield was appalled and turned down an offer to actively participate, sending Secretary Blaine to simply state any agreement must include honoring the borders of Liberia and it’s neutrality, making the clear the US would look after it’s former colony that was created to house former slaves in the early 1800s. Other than this, he wanted nothing to do with the conference, deriding imperial powers in his private writings, though he seems to have left out the United States own expansion during his lifetime. The French also began construction during the decade on what it hoped would be the Panama Canal, however, they would abandon the project by 1889. Little did they know, the US was using their failure to help their own canal project they had begun planning in Nicaragua, which would begin in earnest during the 1890s.

    On the cultural and scientific front several key events happened.
    • In 1885, Edison first created a moving picture, the birth of the movie industry essentially.
    • During the 1880s, author Robert Louis Stevenson, introduced the world to Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
    • Mark Twain published his American classic, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
    • And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published his first work on a now famous detective, Sherlock Holmes.

    The 1880s would close out with Grover Cleveland winning a close election in 1888 against Secretary of State, James G. Blaine. Cleveland is one of the least remembered President’s, which is remarkable considering he won two terms, though both by razor thin margins. The only thing of note for most Americans would only be found out decades after his death, when it was discovered that he had been quietly supporting secessionist movements in British Columbia as a way to get back that the British for their interference in the US Civil War. A movement that would bear fruit thanks to a European cataclysm that was only a couple of decades away.

    Authors Notes: Struggled with what to do here, as the main part of this TL really kicks off in the mid 1890s so decided use more of a review method. So my apologies for a lackluster 1880s, I simply couldn't find the motivation to flesh out this decade any further.

    As you can see, no assassinated President yet. I wanted to honor President Cleveland with his 2 elections but instead of 2 separate times, he gets it back to back. Lets face it, most Americans don't know there was a President named Grover, they only think of Sesame Street (sorry, had to say it!) What to expect in the 1890s, the first part will be brief but by mid 1890s you get what I think is an unexpected divergence within this new TL (though some of you may pick up on it from clues I left) as well as the next big change internationally from OTL. Not sure when next update is, studying for a required cert exam for work but hopefully can squeeze it out next week as I'm excited to get to the 1890s!
    Chapter 8: Birth of a Nation

  • Chapter 8: Birth of a Nation​

    If you ask an American about important events in 1893, most will easily tell you of the Oklahoma rebellion. Unfortunately, most cannot remember this happened under President Cleveland. As he was starting his second term in 1893, the last cattle drive through Oklahoma was starting. What happened during this drive would forever change the United States and Oklahoma. During a stop just inside the Oklahoma territory, a drunken brawl escalated into outright threats. Several of the cowboys guiding the cattle had families that lost land in the panhandle after the civil war when it was given to Oklahoma for resettlement of slaves. Although the land their families on was bought and not taken, it still left bitter feelings among the cowboys and Texans as a whole. The cowboys tired of throwing punches ended up pulling guns and a small battle erupted. When it was over 5 cowboys were dead, 3 more wounded and 12 black citizens were dead and 8 wounded. The remaining cowboys fled with their cattle back to Texas. The governor of Oklahoma immediately called up territorial militia, while Texas called up its’ Rangers and militia. There was a standoff for 2 weeks before both were ordered to stand down by the President, who sent in full US Marine regiment to the area to restore order and keep the two sides separated. A month later, an independent investigation by a Congressional committee would find the cowboys guilty of starting the fight but none were ever prosecuted and so the deaths of the civilians went unpunished.

    This was the final trigger to push for open rebellion, though for the most part it was bloodless. On Christmas Eve 1893, the territorial legislature held a special session where the passed a resolution ordering their borders officially closed to all the states, with only the territory of Sequoyah being allowed trade. This situation exacerbated a small recession in the territory but the people had grown tired of the aggression and mistreatment by the whites of surrounding states. While race relations had improved throughout most of the country post-war, those next to the solidly black majority Oklahoma, were still very bitter and angry at their presence. The special session also called for a territorial plebiscite the following June, in honor of Juneteenth, it was to be held on June 19th, 1894. There were two choices; push for statehood or independence. This put the President and Congress in a bind as they essentially had open rebellion within the US for the second time in under 50 years but it was only a single territory and frankly, most Americans at the time paid little attention to the territory of former slaves. The President convinced the territorial government to reopen its’ border and follow US laws with the promise to allow the vote to go on as a compromise. He felt that six months was enough time for heads to cool and he was sure the outcome would be statehood; he was wrong. On June 20th, 1894, newspapers across the United States reported 89% had voted for independence. Now all eyes were on Washington, what would the President and Congress do?

    In the end, there was a slight majority in favor of letting them go, especially among southern Democrats, who had a strong dislike of free and equal negroes. The President ended up proposing to Congress a solution. In recent years, oil had been found in the Sequoyah territory causing the Oklahoma territory to begin searching in their land, striking oil in late 1893(AN #1) in Oklahoma City. The President offered to recognize the new nation for essentially what amounted to a payoff(or blackmail, depending on point of view); the new nation would offer 10% of gross revenue from oil sales until January 1st, 1920, basically 25 year plan to buy their independence. In return, Oklahoma would become a free and sovereign nation. Congress narrowly agreed and sent the proposal over to the territorial government. It was voted on and agreed on August 21st, 1894. The official date of the nation's independence would be June 19th, 1895. While many Oklahomans were happy to be free of a nation that despised them, others were unhappy about continued exploitation with the compromise regarding oil sales. Modern historians also look poorly on this but no one can question the positive outcome for black residents of the soon to be Republic of New Africa. In the years to come, they would essentially become the North American version of Switzerland, maintaining neutrality through two world wars and becoming a tax and investment haven for wealthy US citizens. Thanks initially to oil revenue and then eventually banking revenue in the Black Wall Street of Oklahoma City (AN #2), the Republic of New Africa would not only have the highest standard of living among any black majority nation, it would even surpass the US in standard of living per capita in 1978. It eventually became an odd mix of libertarian business ideals mixed with socialist public policies, providing all citizens with national healthcare and education, giving students a choice of trade schools, community colleges or 4 years colleges and universities to attend at no cost to them. While there would be hard times early on, the money earned during war years helped them avoid the worst of the Great Depression in the 1930s, often describe as muddling through, using its wealth to help it survive the Dust Bowl. This is one of the instances where, regardless of how it was achieved, the two nations truly were better off a part and relations in modern times have never been better.

    Unfortunately for the Democrats, while many did not mind losing the territory itself due to its current occupants, many did not like how easily they were let go and the Republicans made them pay in 1896. William McKinley would win the Presidency and the GOP would hold all open Senate seats while picking up 6, including 2 from the new state of Utah (admitted on Jan 4, 1896 as the 45th state), giving them 50 seats. The House would see the GOP improve on their majority, grabbing 270 seats. When the new Congress would open session in March of 1897, the first item was two statehood proposals. While Oklahoma wanted to leave, Santo Domingo and Nicaragua thought it time to join and officially applied for statehood. The new congress seeing how unhappy the citizens were in losing Oklahoma decided, in spite of their concerns with the sizeable minority and catholic populations, to accept them both. The two states were welcomed into the Union on January 6th 1898 for Nicaragua (46th state) and January 7th for Santo Domingo, though Santo Domingo decided to follow the likes of Pennsylvania and Virginia by only calling itself a commonwealth instead of state and it decided to change its name to honor its native people by choosing a name from one of the Taino peoples Cacicazgos(AN #3). So was born the Commonwealth of Maguana, 47th state in the Union. Special elections were held by the new state legislatures soon after and chose 4 new Senators, all Republicans, pushing the GOP advantage to 54 seats in the Senate. The happy times with the new states was not to last as just one month later, a crisis would unfold.

    On February 15th, 1898, the USS Maine exploded in Havana Harbor. There was an immediate outcry and accusations tossed at Spain, many immediately demanding retributions. President McKinley tried negotiating with Spain over the incident, with Spain denying any responsibility and refusing compensation. So, on April 25th the US Congress voted for war with Spain. The support was not unanimous, however, as some were not convinced Spain was guilty and others, like Senators Teller and Platt wanted to amend the declaration with a statement ensuring they would not annex Cuba. This was not due to any altruistic reasons, rather, both men feared Cuban sugar competing with other sugar companies within the US(AN #4). This made no sense to most, as the US already had additional sugar sources in Nicaragua and Maguana and so was easily defeated. The majority wanted both revenge for the Maine but also to protect their interests in the Caribbean. The war would be, to date, the shortest duration in US history (AN #5). Led mostly by the nations militia and volunteers due to the small military the US kept at the time, people like future President Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders would fight as volunteers for the US. The US would end up capturing Santiago, Cuba, by July 17th and Spain would sue for peace within a month. During that month on August 6th, further explosive news rocked the US as a report in the New York times showed the United Kingdom had given funding and supplies to Spain as a way to retaliate for US interference in British Columbia. This greatly heightened tensions and while the UK did not officially confirm this, they did privately offer an apology to the President and ceased all loans and supply shipments to Spain, helping push Spain to end the war on terms favorable to the United States. With news that the US had destroyed the Spanish fleet in the Philippines, Spain finally agreed to an armistice on August 16th. On February 6th, 1899, the Treaty of Paris is ratified by the U.S. Senate. Under the treaty, the U.S. acquires control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Guam and the Northern Marianas (which was to be home to a small Asiatic fleet to protect merchant shipping to the Far East). All of which become territories of the United States. These would be the last land acquisitions that would become US states(AN #6), at least as of the year 2020. The US turned down the chance to buy the Philippines due to the growing Caribbean footprint, as they needed to focus on integrating the new territory there, as well as to begin construction of the Nicaraguan canal. This also helped calm some of the anti-imperialist arguments that have popped up in the Senate recently. Plus, there were concerns voiced privately that the Philippine insurgents were not worth the price when Cuba was much closer and easier to deal with. Spain would end up selling the Philippines to Japan, whom had tried to acquire them 5 years earlier. The German Empire tried to buy it but they had taken the Marianas by force after the US took Guam, they evacuated after the US bought the islands and Spain refused to offer Philippines to them because of that. Guam and the Marianas would become combined into a single territory and would eventually become a state in 1978 with Puerto Rico joining in 2017. Cuba would join during the 1930s as a way to ensure more funding to fight the Great Depression.

    As the century was closing out, the President was assured of re-election, though a new VP was to be chosen as a way to keep him out of the spot light, his name was Teddy Roosevelt, governor of New York and hero of the brief Spanish-American war. This however, was secondary at the moment to a project long in the works and finally starting after the failure of the French to build a canal in Panama. In May 1899, the US completed an in-depth geological and biological survey of Nicaraguan possible canal routes and made a former recommendation to Congress including the approximate price for building at $138 Million in 1899 dollars. The Congress approved by overwhelming majority in both houses and construction would break ground the following March, it would finish in 1911 and would be needed very quickly for a growing US Fleet to utilize. The 1890s had been a chaotic decade but they ended on the high note for the United States as they once again flexed their growing might and assured themselves of US hegemony in North America and soon the Caribbean.

    Authors Notes:
    Before I get to the ANs from the story, just my own perspective on the war. With the larger GOP majority in Congress plus the influence of Nicaragua and Maguana delegations, they were more easily able to get support for the war and defeat the Teller amendment, as many of those who still spoke Spanish as a primary language knew they could exploit Cuba and Puerto Rico fairly easily from a business standpoint as they new the language and culture.

    1 - Oil originally struck here in 1920s.
    2 - In OTL, the Black Wall Street was in Tulsa, but in this TL that is in Sequoyah, simply moved it to Oklahoma City.
    3 - Cacicazgos are basically small communities or chiefdoms, there were 5 on the island of Hispaniola when Columbus arrived.
    4 - This was an actual reason in OTL, both men were trying to protect the US sugar industry. I threw it in here just for a little fun, I know it really doesn’t make sense in this new TL but I wanted to include to bring light to the fact Teller didn’t care about annexing Cuba, he only cared about business interests.
    5 - In OTL there were other conflicts listed as shorter but between butterflying a couple away and the others not being officially declared war, I’m stating this as the shortest US war.
    6 - Emphasis on “states”, there may be more territories and or commonwealths (like OTL Northern Marianas), to be determined... :evilsmile:
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    Chapter 9: Death of a President
  • Chapter 9: Death of a President

    President McKinley was enjoying the start of this second term as President, doing a tour around different parts of the country and basically enjoying the spoils of a successful first term that saw large economic growth and a short but successful war against Spain. It was against this backdrop that tragedy would strike. While visiting The Temple of Music in Buffalo, on September 6th, 1901, the President was greeting visitors when Leon Czolgosz pulled a hidden pistol and shot the President. Initially it appeared that the President would live, so much so that his Vice President left on a trip a few days later. However, the President took a turn for the worst and early on the 14th of September, died. Roosevelt would take the oath of office later that day and begin his return to DC. One of the earliest foreign dignitaries he hosted at the White House was the Ambassador from Oklahoma, Booker T. Washington, who was hoping to strengthen ties between his new nation and old one.

    Under Roosevelt, a large shift was to occur in how the government interacted with big business. It was during McKinley’s last months in office that the company US Steel was formed after JP Morgan bought out Carnegie’s steel operations, making Andrew Carnegie the richest man. Companies like this, Standard Oil, and others would soon be targeted by the Roosevelt administration for trust busting. During the remainder of his first term, several key events happened in the US business world. In 1903, both Ford Motor Company and Harley Davidson were formed. The same year also saw the Wright Brothers launch a successful, first powered manned flight at Kitty Hawk, though some still debate this as the first manned flight even to this day. Teddy would go on to push reforms like Elkins Act, to prevent railroads from rewarding favored companies and restore equal access to, especially to family farmers. His outdoor spirt led him to push for the Reclamation Service to work with the Department of the Interior to help manage water supplies, especially for drinking and farm irrigation out west. The Antiquities act allowed a President to create national monuments and conserve land. He also helped mediate the Coal Strike of 1902, working with the Union to improve pay and working conditions for coal miners. He would also get a policy win with the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 and Meat Inspection Act, both widely accredited to influence of Urban Sinclair's “The Jungle”. The President would win second term in 1904 and push full steam ahead with reforms now that he had what he saw as a mandate from the people.

    However, 1903 nearly saw another war break out as the European powers or Great Britain, Germany, and Italy began blockading Venezuela of non-payment on debt owed. President Roosevelt, still upset over British involvement in the Spanish-American war dispatched a naval squadron with orders to break the blockade. While the ships of the Royal Navy and German High Seas fleet were superior to the ones sent by the Americans, they were hesitant to get into a shooting war. London and Berlin had been notified before the fleet left the US of their intentions and the governments agreed to stand down and instead come to Washington DC, with the US acting as mediator between the aggrieved parties and Venezuela. While a deal was worked out in the end, tensions remained high between the US and the UK. Germany, while not happy with having to stand down to the Americans, eventually got over it since they and Italy had been able to get a fair settlement out of the mediation. This incident, along with the Presidents experience during the recent war, showed him and Congress that some changes were needed to ensure US security and ability to respond to crisis. This ended up with the Militia Act of 1903 that reorganized the militia system into the US National Guard. Initially the act would limit the NG only to US territory but that would be removed in just a few years. The goal was to provide a steady, trained reserve without the cost and burden of a large standing army. It would prove it’s worth within a decade of its founding. The President did end up with a very public diplomatic victory when he helped negotiate the end of the Russo-Japanese war of 1905, it even landed him the Nobel Peace Prize.

    However, Peace was not always on his mind. In just 3 years from the Venezuela Crisis, the launching of a new style of battleship, the HMS Dreadnought, would prompt President Roosevelt to push through Congress a Two Ocean navy act. He used the recent British meddling in the Spanish-American war as well as the Venezuela Crisis of his first term just 3 years earlier to hammer home the need to protect US territories from Guam, to Hawai’i in the Pacific, and Maguana, Puerto Rico, and Cuba in the Caribbean, as well as the east and west coasts of mainland US from possible hostile navies. Though it was clear to all the “hostile” navy that was most feared was the Royal Navy. With what was officially called the Naval Act of 1906, the President secured the largest peace time military expansion bill in US history, creating an Atlantic and Pacific fleet. Highlights include; 2 – Battleships (Dreadnoughts) per year through 1920 for a total of 28, 12 – Battlecruisers, 40 - submarines, 100 destroyers, and numerous other support vessels including some for the newly created US Coast Guard, which was the US Marine Revenue Cutter(AN#1) service prior to this. It was established just prior to the Naval Act being passed. Congress would later pass another Naval Act in 1914 to speed up construction and add further ships due to the outbreak of war in Europe treating naval construction as if it was on a war footing already, by Spring of 1916 there would be 20 completed Battleships and 14 more either under construction or planned, as well as 6 completed Battlecruisers. One major addition though, was doubling of the Destroyers ordered due to the early success seen by U-boats against the UK, to ensure they had adequate protection against submarines in any future conflict.

    As the President’s second term was nearing an end he had a decision to make, run again and break the two term tradition or step way. In the end, he decided to run again as he wanted to ensure his domestic policies and naval buildup did not get sidetracked under another President. While some did initially complain, he successfully framed the race as his true second term, as he simply finished his predecessors' term in 1904. President Roosevelt would win by an even larger margin, proving a third term was possible, the only change being his new running mate Charles Evans Hughes, whom the President viewed as his successor. The man many thought would succeed Roosevelt, William Taft, would end up getting his dream job when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Teddy would have several SCOTUS picks during his time as President and solidified his progressive policies by ensuring likeminded judges were appointed. While President Roosevelt would not have as many notable achievements in his last term as in the first two, he did pass several key pieces of legislation. This includes the income tax via the 16th amendment, which was ratified in 1913, the Federal Reserve Act of 1911 (AN#2), the 17th amendment on Direct Election of Senators, ratified in 1913, and the 18th amendment granting women the right to vote, ratified in 1914(AN#3). Progressives revere Teddy Roosevelt to this day for his pioneering workers rights, restrictions on corporations with trust busting, and protecting the environment. His last trip outside the country as President came when he opened Nicaraguan canal in the summer of 1911. The canal would become a financial boon for both the state and the nation.

    In November 1912, Charles Evans Hughes would win election with Charles Fairbanks as VP. President Hughes would ensure the naval buildup would continue as he believed maintaining peace through preparedness. He would manage to not only get a second Naval Act passed (listed above), at the same time he would get congress to agree to an expansion of the Army, though it was still an all-volunteer force, to 300K men. Years later, that proved to be a stroke of good luck, as they would already have the capacity for building up arms and munitions, especially the new air arm it authorized, as well as the new curious invention; the tank. This proved to be needed sooner than hoped though, as during his run for re-election the Royal Navy blockade of Germany and their seizure of neutral shipping headed to neutral ports finally came to a head. At the end of 1915, President Hughes had warned the UK that if they did not cease interdicting legal, neutral trading vessels, he would start sending the USN as escorts. On May 31st, 1916 just before the GOP convention, the Royal Navy attempted to stop a USN led convoy of merchant ships heading to the Netherlands. The USN ignored RN attempts to stop for boarding causing the RN to fire what was supposed to be warning shots. Whether through error or on purpose, one of the shots hit the USS North Carolina (ACR-12). The USN signaled the merchants to make best speed to port while they turned to face the Royal Navy. In the end, the North Carolina took several more shots and the remaining crew had to abandon ship, sinking just outside Netherlands territorial waters. Several ships on both sides were damaged, including the USS Texas (BB-25), which had been sent along as a show of force. The Texas outgunned the RN vessels that were present but the RN had better marksmanship with their guns and it showed. Both forces eventually disengaged and retreated, with the other USN ships picking up survivors of the North Carolina. The ships would then turn and make for US waters at best possible speed. Fortunately, the navy had included a new tanker ship, designed to help refuel oil fired ships at sea and this allowed the USN vessels to make it back to US waters. Of course, this was more due to the RN not pursuing as they were unsure how to proceed since they technically were not at war, it was a mistake they would come to regret.

    The GOP convention was delayed a week so that the President could address Congress at the Capitol. On June 1st, after an address by President Hughes who outlined not only the incident with the North Carolina but also other grievances against the United Kingdom, the US Congress voted for war against the United Kingdom and her Dominion’s with 80 voting for war in the Senate and 373 in the House, not surprisingly the entire North Carolina delegation voted in favor of war. The United States was going to war but not as a Central Power but what would be called a co-belligerent alongside Germany after they signed an agreement for resupplying naval vessels in their ports. The other Entente powers, including Japan, decided against backing the United Kingdom, as they were concerned with the recent rearmament undertaken by the US and their sheer industrial potential, not to mention the bleeding of almost two years of war. The Great War in Europe had now turned into a true World War, and Canada was about to bear the brunt of US anger in North America, while the Royal Navy would soon find out that the USN and the HSF make a deadly match, described in the Daily Mirror the day the war ended as a “match made in Hell, which is what Cardiff, Newport, and Southampton currently look like...” President Hughes would go on to win a second term in a landslide, as Americans gave their President a war time boost, buoyed by early victories in the war which will be discussed further in the next chapter. The Great War had now become and American War, a three sided affair with far reaching impact still felt to this day.

    1 – Coast Guard originally created in 1915 in OTL.
    2 – Was originally passed in 1913.
    3 – originally passed in 1919.
    Chapter 10: US Joins a Great War

  • Chapter 10: US joins a Great War​

    Prior to the US joining the Great War that had embroiled the world, President Hughes had seen the likelihood of the US being drawn in but was unsure of what side, all he knew is that he was surrounded by potential threats on land and sea. With the foresight of his predecessor having begun a naval buildup, President Hughes now had a far larger ocean-going fleet in anytime in US history, as such, he now had an Atlantic and Pacific fleet. Prior to the Naval Act of 1906, there had only been a small Asiatic Squadron in Guam and a Pacific Squadron at San Francisco. As part of the Naval Act of 1914, the new Pacific Fleet was to have its HQ established at San Diego, CA. The base was due to be completely operational by December 1916 after originally targeted for 1917, construction was sped up thanks to war time urgency after the US joined the war. (AN#1) While the new Naval HQ was being built, the US had already established temporary HQ in San Francisco and the new Pacific Fleet was already created and organized out of the two prior squadrons, along with older ships coming from the Atlantic fleet. This was a change from the original plan where the new ships would be split evenly, the reasoning by President Hughes being that the most pressing threats were in the Atlantic and that in his mind, even the older ships could easily hold their own against anything the ANZAC group or Japanese could throw at them. When war was declared in June 1916, the US Pacific fleet now made up of the prior squadrons as well as 60% of the old main fleet from the Atlantic. The US immediately went to impound ships from the UK and convert for troop transport, the most famous being the Lusitania, the Titanic's sister ship, which had been in port loading up on passengers for a return trip to the UK when war broke out (AN#2). An agreement was also made with the German government to lease ships from Germany stuck in US ports due to the UK blockade, in exchange for supplies up front, with later supplies purchased in hard gold currency. These ships would become very useful in ferrying troops to Caribbean and Pacific battlefields.

    On June 1nd, 1916, the day the official DoW from Congress, the entire National Guard was called up and was federalized, put under the control of the General Pershing, commanding officer of the US Army. This brought an additional 181K men to the 300K strong US Army, which included the new Army Air Service that had nearly 3,000 planes thanks to the Army expansion push started in 1914, a push that also expanded the Marines to nearly 50K strong by this time. The army did not yet have a large supply of armored cars like those showing up in Europe and only a handful of experimental tanks, but those numbers would expand rapidly by summer of 1917, but for now, General Pershing had to organize his forces, with a small force of 20K made up of southern border state national guard units being left to guard against any possible Mexican involvement, though that proved to be unwarranted as a revolution was soon to break out in Mexico and would embroil the nation in civil war for the next decade. However, General Pershing, the President, and Congress were about to get a shock, though welcome one, when on June 3rd, before any US army units could even fully organize on their border, the local governor of British Columbia sent word that they wanted to have peace talks with the US.

    On June 10th, former President Roosevelt was dispatched at President Hughes request to speak with representatives of the territory (it was still listed as such as it so far had resisted joining Canada). They would meet in Seattle to discuss terms. The negotiations were quick, taking only 2 days to work out the details. The BC delegation explained that approximately 50K BC men had enlisted to support the UK but after the brutal first months on the Western Front, 90% were dead and the rest were either missing or crippled. The territory was shocked and angered, feeling like these men were sacrificed for nothing, especially considering how little the UK had paid attention to their territory after the discovery of gold in South Africa, and they no longer supported the United Kingdom, especially since almost 50% of their current population was either American or Asian in origin. Their demands were simple; have the US support their forthcoming declaration of independence and provide a fair-trade deal to help the new nation get off the ground. In return, they would allow US troops to occupy the land for its defense as well as allow the US Navy and her allies to use their ports. Teddy sent word back on the evening of June 11th of the offer and after a brief consultation with Senate leaders, the President sent word to accept it and that they had full faith the Senate would approve of this treaty. So, it was in a joint announcement from Seattle, WA, the US declared a peace treaty with the new Republic of Cascadia, with its interim first President William John Bowser. The Republic of Cascadia was welcomed as a new nation, as it officially declared its independence on the following day, June 13th, 1916. The Senate would ratify the treaty on June 23rd.

    In the meantime, US Army units (federalized Guard units) from nearby states of Washington, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, entered Cascadia for occupation duty. There were also volunteers from Cascadia’s eastern neighbor, the US territory of Mackenzie, named for an explorer who had passed through the area in the 1700s. This territory would, in fact become a state the following year on August 12th, 1917 (the 51st). Some of these units would later be shipped up to Anchorage to help provide defense in Alaska. As a brief side note, the war also helped usher in the new states of Saskatchewan on May 1st 1918 (52nd) and Manitoba on May 2nd, 1918 (53rd). The delay had been a concern over lingering possible loyalties to the United Kingdom but they turned out unfounded especially considering the length of time as US territories, as over a hundred thousand men ended up volunteering from these 3 new states during the course of the war. The last territory, Superior, due to its proximity between Manitoba and Ontario would not see statehood until after the war, when it joined on September 19th, 1919 (54th AN#3). Nearly 60K men from Superior would enlist but all of them would end up staying stateside, serving as part of the occupation force in Canada until the end of hostilities.

    In Europe, the Central Powers, but specifically Germany, were cheering their good luck. The German Imperial Fleet were originally planning to sortie out on May 30th to try and lure out the Royal Navy to try and destroy it piecemeal but were delayed due to weather, then on May 31st before they could sail, they heard about the incident between the US and UK near the Netherlands. In a rare stroke of brilliance and lucidity, the Kaiser immediately ordered the planned naval operation to stop until they could determine the outcome of this engagement. They didn’t have to wait long, as on the next day they were informed about the DoW from the US and quickly negotiated a treaty to allow both sides to use the others ports for resupply and rest, including the part dealing with use of German ships stuck in port to be used as troop transports. Now the German Imperial Navy could wait a bit longer, as the RN would have to decide, keep its main force to block in Germany or sortie out to try and protect its supply line, as Canada provided a substantial amount of food to the UK. The UK was forced to divert a fourth of their main fleet to try and relieve Canada and their Caribbean possessions. This ended up being a mistake, as nearly the entire US Atlantic Fleet would manage to engage this force off the coast of Nova Scotia in late August 1916, dubbed by some as the Battle of the Maritimes. It was the largest naval battle to date, the US would lose 2 of its first-generation Dreadnoughts, 1 Battlecruiser, and 6 destroyers, and suffer damage to several other ships, proving how deadly even a smaller RN force could be. Meanwhile the Royal Navy would lose 80% of their force with most sunk, and 3 captured, with all the remaining ships damaged in some capacity and retreating back to home ports, one of the single largest defeats in the history of the Royal Navy to that point, unfortunately for them it would not get any better as the US would manage to smuggle in via U-boat, a naval attaché to the German Empire and they would plan a joint strike. The US informed the German command that they wanted the plans hand delivered to the Imperial Fleet, as they had discovered on one of the captured RN ships that they had been reading German communications, meaning all Imperial Fleet communications had been compromised. They would use the next 7 months planning the naval campaign and changing their Naval codes, but they would not implement the new codes until after the coming battle, for they believed they old codes could be their Trojan horse.

    Back in the US, they had spent all of June and July mobilizing their military forces, thanking God, they had one less front with the surrender of the now Republic of Cascadia. At the time the navy was preparing for battle off Nova Scotia, the Army had amassed nearly 350K men split between the western side of Ontario within the Superior territory and the eastern part split itself at points in western NY near Buffalo and northern NY near Plattsburgh. The Great Lakes Patrol had been strengthened pre-war and had already eliminated any Canadian and UK naval presence and had already begun bombarding coastal cities around the Great Lakes. The US had planned it’s initial assault to take place with simultaneous attacks heading east from Superior, and west from Buffalo to cut off Ontario from Quebec, with the 3rd thrust coming from Plattsburgh force heading towards Montreal. While the Canadians had received some militia from its Newfoundland and Labrador, most of their manpower was stuck in Europe and the USN made sure they could not get back home. So while the US planned invasion, the Dominions of Canada and Newfoundland were holding a joint meeting and discussing whether to attempt to resist or offer peace, the delegations were split with Newfound wanting peace having lost is only regiment in Europe similar to British Columbia, while Canada wanted to resist.

    The choice would be removed from them, however, when the US finally launched it’s attacks on August 31st. The northern thrust made the most headway initially, capturing the east side of the St. Lawrence all the way up to the outskirts of Montreal within 10 days. The Buffalo front was mainly made of up artillery shelling and strafing from airplanes along the ground, while the Army Corps of Engineers worked to put in place temporary bridges to replace the ones destroyed by Canadian teams immediately after the DoW was received. The push east from Superior initially ran into trouble as trenches had been prepared and even though they had advice from German military advisors that had come over from Europe, they still had to learn on the job as it were and it was a very bloody experience. The difference here for the Americans besides having knowledge brought from the Germans, was the fact that Canada and Newfoundland simply didn’t have the manpower, artillery, or airplanes to put up fight like the Western Front in France. This would lead to a breakout 3 weeks later when a combination of US Cavalry (useless in Europe but room to move here) along with a small contingent of armored cars pushed through just north of Sudbury, a US town just west of the Canadian border. They Canadian regiments had no choice but to begin falling back or risk capture. Ontario was now at risk of being overrun. Canada had initially predicted a landing across from Detroit, but the artillery barrage on Windsor was just a diversion. This along with a surprise attack by 40K National Guardsmen from Maine into Nova Scotia sealed the Dominions fate, without any hope of resupply from Great Britain, they requested an Armistice on October 8th. Peace terms were actually fairly light as President Hughes wanted to rebuild a peaceful friendship and trade but they had to be broken away from England. So it was that Canada agreed to official peace that would include occupation by US forces until the war with Great Britain was over, and no national army post war. They would be allowed a national police force and a limited militia force of no more than 100K and a limited Navy and Coast Guard, with no ships larger than 10K tons. There would be no territorial concessions, however, both Dominions would have to publicly renounce the British Sovereign as head of state and reorganize themselves into new nations or a joint one if they preferred and they were forbidden from entering into any military alliances with any nation, in return the US would guarantee their safety under its military umbrella. Peace was made official on October 16th, 1916. The Canadian Federation would be born post war on July 1st, 1920. It was a parliamentary style government made up of the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Labrador (deciding to split postwar from Newfoundland), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (which absorbed Prince Edward Island).

    In the Pacific during this time, what was available to the Royal Navy and ANZAC forces in the Southeast Pacific, took American Samoa with 1K troops, most from the occupation force in German Samoa and then made plans to raid Hawai’i. Unfortunately for them the new US Pacific fleet had already sortied out with the intent to try and protect Samoa and ran into the British fleet, there was a minor skirmish before the British forces turned and ran finding themselves outnumbered. The USN arrived to find Samoa under ANZAC control. They sent a boat under flag of truce asking them to surrender and return control of the island or face a blockade until US troops arrived. The ANZAC forces refused. However, the US had already been planning to reinforce the area as well as take back German Samoa and had a small convoy on its way with 10K US Marines on it’s way. The Marines would arrive on September 26th and immediately split between two groups with the second heading for German Samoa. On September 28th, the US demanded surrender a 2nd time, this time the forces agreed. The Marines would take up duty defending both German and American Samoa for the remainder of the War, as well as providing a fueling station on the way for future convoys to NZ. The ANZAC forces were sent back to the states to live out the war in POW camps. There would be coastal raids by the Pacific fleet around Oceania for the next several months, until they were called back to prepare the invasion of New Zealand (AN#4).

    The United States would close out 1916 by taking Bermuda in mid-October, occupying the Bahamas on November 1st with only 10 casualties and no deaths on either side. A few days later President Hughes would win a landslide re-election. Jamaica was the toughest to invade, costing the US Marines over 3,000 casualties, over 1k of those KIA, when it was finally captured in early December. No other major land operations would be taken until the summer of 1917. The Navy would send a growing submarine fleet to join the U-boats in targeting British merchant fleets in the Atlantic, while a small raiding force was created out of the Pacific fleet to target British supplies coming from the Malaysia area of operations. President Hughes made the decision to keep the strongest fleet in the Atlantic to use in conjunction with the German Imperial Fleet to take on the Royal Navy next spring but all land forces were to focus on mainly the Pacific, with British Honduras being the lone target in the Caribbean theatre of operations. The US would also use this time to train up the volunteers that had flooded the recruiting offices, by Summer of 1917 nearly 1.3 million men would be in the army, with the Marines hitting nearly 80K. The only question in the American minds, and increasingly in a number of British politicians, was how long before the UK had to make peace?

    Edited; April 20, added the US election results.

    1 – San Diego Naval Base originally started in 1919, completed by 1922, here started in Fall of 1914, completed Winter 1916.
    2 – Lusitania had not sunk yet in this TL and since the US was more hostile, there was no illegal munitions onboard at any time loaded in the US.
    3 – for reference, Canada purchased the area of Ruperts land back from US east of the 80th Degree West Parallel, the land between OTL Manitoba and this New Canadian border at the 80th would become the future state of Superior in this TL.
    4- best numbers I can find are that NZ had around 1 million people at start of WW1, they will put up a tough but brief fight.
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    Chapter 11: The End Draws Near

  • Chapter 11: The End Draws Near​

    As Spring of 1917 dawned, the US forces prepared for their first major offensives on land and sea since the capitulation of Canada. A troop refit and resupply of existing forces had been completed and by March the US Army had ballooned to nearly 1.3 million men from the prewar 300K (plus 180K NG units). Some in the government were thinking they would need to push for a draft as volunteers had slowed to a trickle, however, President Hughes was not keen on sending troops in large numbers to Europe, especially when the threat of the RN persisted, so plans had been worked on all winter for sticking to operations in pushing the British out of the Caribbean while also planning the largest amphibious operation to date, dwarfing the Gallipoli operation attempted by the British in 1915; target New Zealand. This would leave a large number of troops available for defending the continental US but not so much that a draft was needed for operations outside the US. Thanks to the treaty with the Republic of Cascadia, the occupation force had been reduced to only 15K troops, the rest diverted to the planned NZ campaign. In Canada, the occupation force was much higher at 150K men, almost half coming from the territory of Superior alone but this again, freed up men, though the forces from the original Canadian operation were being redeployed for the planned Caribbean campaign was to kick off in March, followed by a major fleet offensive near England with the combined strength of the German Imperial Fleet in a joint operation. The final details had been worked out and the US attaché from the prior year had returned to the US via U-boat in January, all that was left was to initiate the campaign. All of the damage from the fleet action off of Nova Scotia had been repaired and the California had joined the fleet after completing her sea trials. The President also transferred about 25% of the Pacific fleet to the Atlantic ahead of the anticipated naval clash in Europe. This still left enough ships to properly protect the convoy that was being put together for the NZ campaign. The first thing the US did before beginning its major operations the year before was to cut the transatlantic cables to prevent any UK spies from sending information back, now they would see if this worked as well as they hoped as Operation Sugarcane was about to kick off.

    On April 1st, elements of the US 1st Army group left the Pacific coast on route to New Zealand, with a cobbled together force of ships transporting over 80K troops, the first of the 500K strong US 1st Army. On the same day on the US east coast, ships set sail with the US 3rd Army group, around 300K strong and comprised almost entirely of volunteers from Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Maguana. This led to the nickname “The Latin Gang”, as the states had either majority or significant minority of Latin American citizens. Most of the transports were currently in use in the Pacific, but they did reserve enough space to transport about 15K men at a time; first stop, British Honduras. This was deemed sufficient as the US had made a secret pact in the fall of 1916 with Guatemala via the United Fruit Company as a go between. If they would declare war on the UK, they would get British Honduras and the claim post war would be backed by the US. This was an easy win for the US, as Guatemala already had claims on that land anyway, so in their minds they were simply taking back what was theirs. On April 19th, 3 days after the US landed on the coast of British Honduras, Guatemalan forces pushed east from their territory. Resistance was light in the western part of the territory, with the US seeing the brunt of resistance thought it wasn’t much as defense forces were light, with the US and Guatemala declaring the territory fully secured by April 30th. While this was being secured, the US Marines occupied the Cayman Islands, landing over the course of two weeks in May, completing occupation on May 30th, Memorial Day in the US that year. The rest of the US 3rd Army group began boarding transports the 1st week of June, destined for British Guiana. In the meantime, the 2nd US Army group, about 500K strong itself, continued to train stateside as well as provide for defense against and increasingly unstable Mexico that was on the verge of civil war. It’s first action would not occur until almost September if all things went well off the English coast just a couple of months.

    On May 13th, after about 6 weeks of sailing which was only impeded by the speed of troop transports and some weather, the US convoy successfully arrived in NZ waters. It was mostly intact, only losing 1 supply ship and receiving some damage to 3 escort vessels to submarine activity, the convoy having worked better than expected. By this point, Australian and New Zealand forces had begun making their way back home to defend against possible US attack, though the UK was hesitant to release them due to needs on the Western Front. By the time the US arrived, only 30K New Zealanders were within the islands to defend, 20K of those on the North Island. So, on May 14th when the US fleet began bombarding Auckland, though it was mostly shelled around the city in hopes of a quick surrender. The US was able to successfully capture a dock facility through a bold action by a small group of Marines that had used a small craft to sneak in overnight and by morning of the 15th, the USN had a place to unload the troops of the US 1st Army. At the time, Auckland had a population of about 65K people but many had started fleeing the city once the USN appeared, with the city at only 1/3 its normal size by the time troops started disembarking. The commanding officer had given strict orders against looting of any kind and for the most part, local residents were treated well enough that the city would see most of the population return within 2 weeks. There were a few incidents of men trying to force themselves on local women or looting stores, in all 8 men were arrested and 6 shot for their actions, with the other 2 stripped of ranks and set for a dishonorable discharge once and sent back to the states when the convoy left to return home. This helped reinforce the army policy while giving the locals some peace of mind that these troops were not like the Germans who had gone through Belgium in 1914. It took a week to fully unload all men and supplies from the convoys and while this was going on a portion of the fleet went around the island and began shelling Wellington, preparing it for the US army to push south. By the time the convoy had returned stateside to load up more of 1st Army, just in time for the 4th of July holiday, the 80K men from first army had secured nearly 80% of the North Island and had established a siege of Wellington. With the US fleet gone, the small Australian and New Zealand fleets were able to help ship the remaining troops over to the South Island. In all, the NZ forces suffered approximately 3,000 dead and over 8,000 wounded, the remaining 9,000 joined the 10,000 on the South Island for a last resistance. Wellington would surrender on July 10th and the US would declare the entirety of the island secured by the end of July, though technically there was resistance for another 30 days spread out over the island. The NZ forces hoped to put up a stronger stand on the South Island using the mountains enhance their defenses. However, it was Royal Navy action in the English Channel that would be the biggest news of the summer.

    On July 4th, while the US celebrated its Independence Day, the German Imperial fleet sent out a message, informing its navy of a modified version of the plan they were going to use in May of 1916, focusing on meeting the US fleet, anticipated to arrive north of Scapa Flow by July 14th. What the Royal Navy did not know, was that Germany now knew they were intercepting their communications and that unlike the prior year when they RN was planning on trapping the HSF, this time was the RN in trouble. The RN firmly believed it could put 60% of its fleet into taking out the Americans, despite the naval buildup of the last decade, and they were most likely correct in this assumption. However, the USN was not heading to the North Sea, they were heading south. The US arrived on July 12th off the southern coast of Ireland. During its reorganization over the winter, the US created a regiment made up entirely of Irish Americans, this regiment was brought ashore at Garretstown Beach on small craft from the ships offshore during the predawn with a small number of ships as escort while the main fleet continued on towards the Channel. The hope was this Irish Regiment could kindle another uprising, after the harsh treatment of those involved in the Easter Rising the year before had inflamed passions among the Irish and the US hoped to exploit this. The regiment never fired a shot, eventually setting up a command post at the small community of Ballinspittle, County Cork. News spread like wildfire and while many were apprehensive about another uprising, the fact that they were now backed by the support of the US government brought many volunteers to the south, eventually, nearly 25K Irish had come to form up around the US Irish Regiment. The US actually had no plans to engage in a major Irish battle during this period and having the Irish volunteers was enough to give the British Forces in Northern Ireland a pause before attempting to move south. While the US fleet was passing Ireland, it had been spotted by two submarines, one friendly and one not. The RN sub that spotted them immediately left the area to communicate up the chain of command that the US fleet was south of Ireland and not anywhere near the North Sea. The other, was a German U-boat, that surfaced and signaled the US Fleet. They briefly met and the U-boat commander then using new codes, signaled the Imperial Naval command that the US should make the southeast coast of England no later than July 15th, with them having to slow to avoid mines laid by both Germany and Britain in the Channel, but at least knowing where the Germans laid theirs made it a bit easier. Still, the US would lose 2 destroyers and pre-dreadnought battleship to mines, while several others had minor damage, most of this happening in the Straits of Dover. Having been warned about the US approach, the RN sent the southern of its two fleets under Admiral Beatty towards London with hopes of stopping the US fleet there, just what the HSF wanted, making a breakout to try and meet up with the US fleet. At the same time this was going on, another major change was happening with the Royal family, as they had changed their name to Windsor to try and detach themselves from their German roots. It was partially successful as they survived the war, however, the Royal family was never again seen in a favorable light. Eventually, proponents of Republicanism would force an end to the monarch in 1969, when the final British colonies were granted independence and it was deemed that Royals were simply no longer needed in the modern world.

    The northern force would not make it south in time, so now the combined US and German fleets had successfully met up just hours before the southern RN fleet found them in the afternoon of July 15th. Knowing they had to try and stop them or London could be threatened directly. (An#1) What became known as the Battle of Dover was an outright thrashing 60% of Beatty’s fleet would be put out of commission, with 80% of that being sunk outright either due to enemy action or being scuttled. The US lost one dreadnought (USS Wyoming) and one heavily damaged (USS Florida) and 4 destroyers with several other ships damaged, mainly owing to the inexperience of men. The Germans performed better but still had their own losses, 1 battlecruiser sunk, 1 pre-dreadnought sunk, 4 light cruisers sunk, and 5 torpedo-boats sunk, with a dozen other vessels with varying degrees of damage, but all their dreadnoughts mostly intact with only minor damage on two. The vessels with the heaviest damage were sent to Wilhelmshaven for repair and resupply. The following day would see an even larger engagement and the decisive one that naval men of all nations dreamed of. The Battle of Dogger Bank started just after 3pm on July 16th and was even more vicious then the prior days battle and would result in the largest naval battle and loss of men and ships in history, even to this day. German look out U-boats had signaled the path of the fleet and after quick consultation between commanding Admirals of the two fleets, Admiral Sims (US) and Admiral Scheer (Germany), it was determined that the HSF would sail directly towards the RN with the USN attempting a wide arc in attempt to get behind the RN. It only partially worked, as the RN own submarines had spotted the fleets movements and notified the RN command. The USN was not able to completely cut off the RN but they did make an impact, joining the battle 40 minutes after the initial contact. Admiral Jellicoe, while not completely trapped, like Beatty before him knew his options were limited and tried going straight at the HSF hoping to knock them out then turn to the Americans. The savageness of the battle cannot be put into words, it would later be said that this was the German and American Trafalgar in how decisive an engagement it was. By the time the sun had set, the USN and HSF had left two thirds of Jellicoe’s fleet on the bottom of the ocean, of the third that remained over half would be out of commission indefinitely. However, the US and HSF suffered significant losses of their own. The HSF lost 6 dreadnoughts, the USN lost 8 of theirs. Overall, 35% of the USN fleet and 30% of the HSF had been sunk, with major damage to half their remaining fleets, post war it was determined that at least 10% of the USN/HSF damage was in fact friendly fire. The Royal Navy may have lost, but they made the USN and HSF suffer, even today the few survivors that are still alive talk with great admiration for the men of the RN that fought in those two battles. However, this would be the end of the Royal Navy as a major power, the United States and Germany had taken their places at the top and would hold them until the Second Great War, when the former co-belligerents would be on opposite sides but that is for a later chapter. After the Dogger Bank battle, the USN would stop by Wilhelmshaven to resupply the ships that were still capable of making the trip home over the Atlantic, the rest would remain until repaired enough to make the Voyage. Ten days later, the remnants of the US fleet, even with the damage still strong enough to be a serious threat, sailed for home. The HSF agreed to run a diversionary attack towards Scapa Flow to make it seem like they were going to finish off the RN, thus taking much of the focus away from the USN heading west to US ports. Admiral Sims, however, wanted to make sure the British remembered what happens when you mess with the US and proceeded to make quick stops at Southampton, Cardiff, and Newport. Admiral Sims would eventually be reprimanded for his actions against those cities but would be seen as a hero by most Americans for even with the huge loss of lives and ships, the British were no longer a significant threat to US shipping, and that was something to celebrate.

    In the Caribbean theatre, the US 3rd Army had begun landing in British Guiana on July 8th, securing the city of Georgetown and New Amsterdam by July 21st, at which point word of the Naval battles near British Isles had reached the soldiers and more than a few were punished for drunkenness the following day. The US Marines were busy making their own landings, with nearly 3, 000 landing in Trinidad and Tobago taking them easily, the United Kingdom simply didn’t have the manpower to properly secure their Caribbean possessions at this point, with most colonial troops either securing German colonies in Africa or fighting on the Western Front in Europe. Meanwhile, the sea worthy remnants of the HSF were unable to draw out the remnants of the RN and instead decided to make for Petrograd, with the rest of the HSF and USN in Wilhelmshaven being repaired as quickly as possible, with priority given to the USN to just get them sea worthy so they go home and finish repairs there. While in Oceania, the Pacific Fleet had arrived off German New Guinea on August 17th, currently occupied by small force of Australians. This caught the ANZAC forces off guard as it had been expected the return would attempt to invade the South Island in New Zealand, however, the US commanders believed capturing the main cities of the Northern Island were sufficient for now and instead wanted to take back German New Guinea and Australian Papua to use as a logistics base to support an eventual assault on Borneo, Sarawak, and Brunei, with the intent of taking oil and rubber supplies away from the British. The Australians decided to evacuate back to Papua, damaging any port facilities and supplies that they could. This would hamper unloading troops and supplies, with the final unloading of the 80K strong contingent not completing until August 24th, at which point word finally reached them; the United Kingdom had asked for an Armistice with the United States and the German Empire, as well as the rest of the Central Powers.

    EDIT: added Central Powers at the end, can't believe I forgot that ugh.

    Notes: First off, yes, I know the battles probably stretches the imagination but you had two major fleets threatening the home islands. The Germans in OTL had planned to split the RN to try and pick them apart, so I just took that and ran with it, using the British knowledge of German Imperial codes against them. OTL Jutland showed how effective the Germans could be even though the UK claimed victory but had higher loses and the US simply had large numbers of new ships thanks to their recent buildup, I firmly believe that a combined USN/HSF could have dealt the damage that I listed and I stand by that. Also, since the Battle of Jutland hadn't occurred in this TL, they were not aware of changes that needed to be made to improve the ship designs and operations in battle so the heavy losses in OTL Jutland were magnified here.

    Next chapter will be final one, Great War Epilogue.

    1 – Going by the higher success rate of the Germans at OTL Jutland, this battle turns into a route thanks to the combined forces and
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    Chapter 12: War and Peace
  • Chapter 12: War and Peace​

    After hearing of the initial successes of the Battle of Dover and Battle of Dogger Bank, the US government decided it was time to restore communications and began patching cut telegraph cables, planning on laying out new one's post war to prevent a single point of failure (especially from a security perspective). By the time the first cables were confirmed up and working again with their patches in place, the government in London had seen enough. Many were shell-shocked, never having imagined their Royal Navy being thrashed like it was, most certainly not by a German Empire with no real naval heritage. After hearing of further losses in the Caribbean and seeing a growing Irish Revolt nearby, the United Kingdom sent out a request for an Armistice over the newly repaired cables on August 19th. This did not stop the war with the Central Powers for the rest of the Entente but the writing was on the wall, so the rest of the Entente, including the Russian Provisional government all agreed to an Armistice a week later on August 26th, 1917. Prior to a meeting taking pace, the US made it clear it would help Germany negotiate it’s part with the understanding that the US did not want the UK economically destroyed as that would cause economic chaos but they were open to territorial concessions forced on them. As for the United States they would have a separate treaty, though Free Irish delegates would be present as the United States would be honoring its promises to the Irish Regiment and would ensure a united and free Ireland.

    Wanting to emphasize the point about its neutrality being violated, the United States insisted on holding peace talks at the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. While the delegates were setting up shop, all armed forces were ordered to stand down but maintain readiness should hostilities resume and maintain their current locations. This had the effect of helping to relieve the growing hunger crisis in the Central Powers territories as the US and other neutrals were finally able to get significant amounts of food through. On Monday, October 19th, 1917, the conference began between the US, Ireland, Guatemala and the UK with German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman delegates simply as witnesses for this stage of negotiations of what would be the First Treaty of Amsterdam.

    The United States was surprisingly light on the financial aspects, only asking for enough reparations to cover the cost of what the United States had just paid earlier that year to acquire the Danish East Indies, now referred to as the US Virgin Islands. The US talked the Dutch (re: threatened AN#1) into selling at $25 Million in US dollars, so with the peace treaty they essentially walk away with the Virgin Islands without paying a dime.

    Other Key points would include the following;
    • The UK would officially cede British Honduras to Guatemala and renounce all claims to it. The US would also help provide grants to Guatemala as part of coming into the war that was used to help modernize infrastructure and help connect its new land. It's largely credited with stabilizing the country until civil war broke out in the 1960s.
    • The UK would recognize a free and fully united Irish Republic, agreeing to take on any refugees who do not wish to live under Irish Republican rule. (As a side note, more than 1 million North Irish would leave, with nearly 200,000 settling in former German Southwest Africa, now part of the Union of South Africa)
    • The UK would cede all islands in the Caribbean, as well as Bermuda, to the United States. This effectively turned the Caribbean into a US lake.
    • British Guiana would be recognized as a US protectorate, becoming independent in 1933 as Guyana ( a close friend to the US thanks to their support for Independence)
    • UK would cede all islands they claim east of the Solomons in the Pacific to the US. (The Germans would give the US German Samoa as part of debt reduction post war)
    • The UK would recognize the fully independent Republic of Cascadia and independent Canada (later Canadian Confederation) with Newfoundland now a part of Canada.
    • The UK would recognize New Zealand as a United States protectorate (It would be granted full independence after the Second Great War essentially operating as a commonwealth until then but maintains close ties to the US to this day)
    • The UK would recognize a fully independent Australia, with Australia now a republic with the Royals no longer heads of state. Though US occupation would be agreed to for a period of one year in its main cities. Surprisingly, there was not much bitterness between the two nations, and much like New Zealand would remain close friends with the United States. This includes West Australia which seceded in the 1930s. In fact, there was more anger at the UK for the high death rate among ANZAC forces compared to the other UK and Dominion forces.
    • The United Kingdom would hold a plebiscite in India with two options; Dominion status or Independence, no later than 1925. (The US was surprised when in 1924, the vote went 55% for Dominion status. Most believe this is due to the loss of so many territories forcing Great Britain to dramatically improve investment into India and better treatment for its citizens. This also is attributed to keeping India together and avoiding partition when they gained full independence later on)
    • As an interesting side note, due to the growth of automobile usage under US occupation in places like Australia, New Zealand, and Guyana with the US driving on the right side of the road, many former UK possessions now drive on the right like most of the world, while the UK proper and her remaining possessions drive on the left.
    The First Treaty of Amsterdam was signed on October 27th, it would be ratified by the Senate by near unanimous vote. Only 4 voted against and that was because they wanted more reparations. The Republic of Ireland was officially recognized, however, to honor the US help in getting its freedom it chose July 12th, the day the Irish Regiment landed, as its Independence Day. While tensions have eased in the United Kingdom, there is still a strong dislike for America in all the colonies that remained post war, with the exception of India. With many Indian's crediting the US peace treaty with their improved treatment and Dominion status post war before finally going fully independent in 1968.

    The Second Treaty of Amsterdam was a bit harsher but not too terribly considering what the Central Powers originally wanted. Had the US not used its influence to sway the members, it would have been harsher. The US also reminded them they had not technically won on the battlefields in Western Europe yet, so some give and take was needed, though there would be more taking by the Victors. Some key points that the Central Powers, though this does not cover everything as the list would be too long for this chapter;
    • Germany would receive the Belgian Congo but would not annex any parts of Belgium in Europe and fully restore their boundaries, however, Belgium would be prevented from building any major fortifications on its border with Germany.
    • Germany annexed Luxembourg as a Duchy within the empire.
    • Germany would make no claims against France in Europe but France would have to recognize German ownership of Alsace-Lorraine in perpetuity.
    • France would cede the land known as French Equatorial Africa in return they would receive Togoland.
    • Germany allowed Japan to keep all land they took in the Pacific in exchange for the equivalent of $30 million US dollars.
    • Germany would receive Papua from Australia and the rest of the Solomon Islands from the UK. Germany would also receive the Territories of Sarawak, Brunei, and North Borneo.
    • Germany would receive North Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Uganda, and British East Africa, in return they would give up German Southwest Africa to the Union of South Africa. This would allow the creation of German Mittleafrika.
    • Britain would give up land east of Suez to the Ottomans while the Ottomans took control of the Suez.
    • Austria-Hungary would have its annexation of Serbia recognized and would be given Tunisia from France and Libya from Italy, as well as Malta from the UK.
    • Ottomans would also receive British and Italian Somaliland, while Eritrea would become an autonomous protectorate. As well as the Dodecanes from Italy.
    • All Ottoman debt held by the Entente was to be immediately cleared and the Ottoman Debt clearing house closed. The Turkish Petroleum Company would also be nationalized and any shares owned by British or French companies would revert to the Ottomans and no compensation would be granted to the foreign entities. The United Kingdom, France, Russia and Italy would also pay a combined reparation to them equal to approximately $5 billion in US dollars over a 20-year period. The Ottomans managed to complete their reforms that started prewar, thanks to the removal of debt, reparations, and booming oil income. It is now a major first world economy, the became more secular as the 20th century wore on.
    • Germany and Austria-Hungary each would receive the equivalent of $15 billion US dollars from the Entente powers.
    • On the Eastern front, Russia was forced to recognize a reformed and independent Poland, a free Baltic States formed as the United Baltic Duchy, and an independent Ukraine. All except Ukraine were German puppets with German born nobility on the throne.

    Postwar, things were a little slow picking up, but all the powers adjusted to their changes in position, economic standing, and territorial changes and by mid 1920s the global economy was growing. However, there would end up being a brief French civil war between a far-right party that called themselves National Socialists and communists in the French Commune between 1922 and 1923. Eventually, the National Socialists won with the aid of the German Empire, who did not want a communist country on their border. They had already fought off the Red scare in the Russian Civil war with the help of the United States and Japan, as the AH Empire was too weak to be of any help. The Russian Republic was formed but it too ended up splitting, with the Far Eastern part from the Lena River on East having the remnants of supporters for the Tsar moving out there in a mass migration. Tsar Nicholas, who barely escaped execution by the Reds, pledged his support for the Kingdom of Yakut under his brother, now Tsar Michael I. The former Tsar Nicholas, would see his daughter Maria marry Lord Mountbatten and live her days out in the United Kingdom, furthering the bond between the old Russian royalty and English nobility, though this would cause a temporary strain on relations with the Russian Republic. The relations thawed when the Kingdom of Russia adopted the Yakut name, thus preventing in dispute over land rights and possible resumption of hostilities. (And who wants a land war in Asia? Am I right?). Japan did manage to take full control of Sakhalin during this period and agreed to pay the Kingdom of Yakut for it, wanting to stick it to Russia one more time. Russia still holds a formal complaint over that to this day. The Kingdom of Yakut would eventually partner with Japan to invade Manchuria, splitting it between them in 1933, causing a loss of trade with the US for several years before return just before the Second Great War. One interesting note on this, after the Second Great War a plebiscite was held in both controlled parts of Manchuria. The Japanese saw their part turn independent but the northern part known as Northern Manchuria voted to stay as part of the Kingdom of Yakut. This greatly benefited the Kingdom when oil was found in the 1950s, so much so that Russian immigration picked up and boosted the population, it’s now a modest 55 million by global standards, but much higher than it would have been without Northern Manchuria and its oil. It was so economically successful, that the poorly run Southern Manchuria, trying to hold off Chinese encroachment, held a plebiscite in when 66% voted for annexation into the Kingdom of Yakut in 1969. Not long after joining, the Kingdom found oil in Liaohe.

    Austria-Hungary would only last until Hungarian independence when in 1921, when Emperor Charles had announced the creation of the Danubian Federation. There was a brief conflict saw an uprising in Serbia, so Charles agreed to peace with Hungary as long as they renounced all territorial claims outside of Hungary. The Hungarians agreed and then helped Charles put down the Serbian revolt. The Federation would last until the Second Great War when it finally broke into a dozen different pieces.

    Italy would follow France with it's own National Socialist uprising, with an upstart named Benito Mussolini taking power in 1924. Italy and France would end up joining forces once again during the Second Great War.

    In the US, President Hughes would end up leaving his presidency with the highest approval rating of any modern President, only surpassed by Washington and Lincoln in all of US history. His continued support of reforms started by Teddy Roosevelt and couple with a major war victory, received the rare 2nd term, mid-term election boost. The GOP opened up a Veto proof majority in Congress, though they never needed to override the President as he would always try to work with them and would never publicly oppose a bill if it had broad party support. The only real down part of his second term was the death of this VP, Charles Fairbanks, in 1918. This left the 1920 election wide open though Hiram Johnson would end up winning after earning the Presidents endorsement. Leonard Wood was thought to be in the running for VP but he pushed his support to Hiram’s nomination in return for receiving the Secretary of Defense role, which he served in until his death in 1927. Instead, it was the ticket of Hiram Johnson / Frank Lowden, ensuring GOP dominance until 1932 when a major recession hit in the fall of 1929 before turning into what became the Great Depression when protectionist measures started popping up in multiple countries. This would sow the seeds of the next Great War but that, is another story.

    Note: Well, this is the end, I never intended to go past the Great War. Though keep watching the TL, someone has offered to assist in creating a map for me showing the US before war breaks out so I hope to have that in the near future. Thanks to all that have read, my first attempt at a TL, I know it could be better but I feel good about at least getting this earworm done with and written down finally, cheers!

    1 - This is how most view the OTL sale of the virgin islands, the US clearly using a fairly obvious language without an actual threat to get them to sell the islands. Pretty much insinuated by the US govt that sell or we take them.