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The Star Spangled Empire: The Japanese-American War of 1853 and Beyond

So how will the Americans occupy a country with more people than them?
They won't--but I suspect they will take some of the outlying Japanese islands (like the Ryukyu islands) and this will lead to a stronger military overall...

This is one of the most unique TLs I've seen so far; keep it up!!!
 
Subscribed. This is an incredibly interesting premise. Very interested not only to see how this affects US domestic history. For example, does this lead to a boost in popularity for Franklin Pierce, potentially leading to a second term? Or does one of the military leaders during this war rise to become a popular figure and become president in 1857? Either way, the possibility of butterflying away President James Buchanan and the effect that has on the almost-certain-to-still-happen Civil War is exciting. Internationally, I am incredibly curious to see what effect this war (and the presumed US victory) will have on imperialism in the specific. Will this mean Russia stubbornly holding onto Alaska to keep it out of US imperial hands (with a possible Russo-American War down the line)? And does US involvement in Japan mean that the US also gets involved with China's Taiping Rebellion? Either way, a lot of interesting developments that I am excited to read about. Keep up the good work!
 
So how will the Americans occupy a country with more people than them?

The same could be said for every single European nation during the colonization/imperialism post 1492. There were probably ten times as many Indians as Englishmen at any given time. And that was "Just" India. The Belgians (or at least King Leopold at first) occupied and brutalized the Congo despite their being something like twenty times as many Congolese as Belgians. And the "Force Publique" that was effectively the ruling force first in the colony even at it's absolute height only had like 15K men (European officers and NCOs and local lower ranks). The Dutch Managed to run the DEI for decades despite their being many more times locals then Dutchmen.

The same could be said for many other empires. The Mongols practically ruled most of Eurasia despite the "Mongols" being outnumbered probably a dozen to one by the Chinese alone let alone the Central Asian powers, the Indochinese, Arabs, Persians, and every other group they ruled. The Inca ruled like a third of South America despite what we would call the "inca" ethnically being vastly outnumbered by other groups. Some Empires gradually assimilate it's subjects to the point where they consider themselves to be the same or similar to their conquerers. An example would be Rome where the Romans were early on substantially outnumbered by the other Latin states alone not to mention the Gauls, Iberians, Britons, Carthaginians, Pontics, Egyptians, and the like but gradually assimilated their conquests.
 
Of course, the Mongols actually could get places in Eurasia.

In 1853 the US has no infrastructure in the Pacific. They can't possibly land enough troops to occupy a single one of the smaller home islands, let alone the country.

What they can do is get a treaty port- and that'll have fascinating long term effects.
 
Of course, the Mongols actually could get places in Eurasia.

In 1853 the US has no infrastructure in the Pacific. They can't possibly land enough troops to occupy a single one of the smaller home islands, let alone the country.

What they can do is get a treaty port- and that'll have fascinating long term effects.

That's assuming they'll instantly attack. While yes they don't have a rail road to the Pacific or much shipbuilding on the West Coast. But they could spend a year or two building the sort of force needed and then sailing to Japan. It'll be a major undertaking for what was a small navy but given time and support it might be viable.

Though yes a treaty port or something like that seems more likely in the short term. Perhaps first conquer Okinawa and the Ryukyu islands.
 
I'm certainly assuming that a colonial insult on the other side of the world won't persuade Congress to spend massive amounts of money to build a Pacific Fleet for no other purpose than to chastise a foreign power that the United States has no present economic or strategic interests in.
 
This is going to be a naval war only. America had a hard time repressing native indian bandits in the west during this time even when the army was deployed. The small amount of troops that can be deployed to the pacific would be murdered on landing.

Also don't count the Tokugawa cannons out. The US fleet otl was very nervous about them and would have taken a few casualties and lost ships if the Japanese had fired.
 
This is going to be a naval war only. America had a hard time repressing native indian bandits in the west during this time even when the army was deployed. The small amount of troops that can be deployed to the pacific would be murdered on landing.

Also don't count the Tokugawa cannons out. The US fleet otl was very nervous about them and would have taken a few casualties and lost ships if the Japanese had fired.

I mean in similar incidents involving old Tokugawa era guns in several hundred year old fortifications didn't exactly do perfectly against modern Western steam warships.
 
Interesting side-thing:
Yankee Doodle Dandee was used as an American naval song in this time period. IRL it became a hand clapping song for children.
ITTL it might become something bigger.
Well marching through georgia became a song there
 
Subscribed. This is an incredibly interesting premise. Very interested not only to see how this affects US domestic history. For example, does this lead to a boost in popularity for Franklin Pierce, potentially leading to a second term? Or does one of the military leaders during this war rise to become a popular figure and become president in 1857? Either way, the possibility of butterflying away President James Buchanan and the effect that has on the almost-certain-to-still-happen Civil War is exciting. Internationally, I am incredibly curious to see what effect this war (and the presumed US victory) will have on imperialism in the specific. Will this mean Russia stubbornly holding onto Alaska to keep it out of US imperial hands (with a possible Russo-American War down the line)? And does US involvement in Japan mean that the US also gets involved with China's Taiping Rebellion? Either way, a lot of interesting developments that I am excited to read about. Keep up the good work!
Russia will probably still sell them considering they lost a ton of money from from crimea and they saw america is the perfect customer
 
This is going to be a naval war only. America had a hard time repressing native indian bandits in the west during this time even when the army was deployed. The small amount of troops that can be deployed to the pacific would be murdered on landing.

Also don't count the Tokugawa cannons out. The US fleet otl was very nervous about them and would have taken a few casualties and lost ships if the Japanese had fired.
Yeah america isnt britain or france in this time period and their navy sucks again during this time period though i wonder does the tokugawa navy posses a warship that capable in dealing with the american fleet?
 
As it is right now, I find some kind of American conquest of Japan very unlikely. More likely, it is a slog that is concluded after five or six years.
Japan is a moving target for the United States; it certainly won't stand still and wait till the Americans come with superior enough firepower and weaponry and destroy them.
 
They kinda did. The Bombardment of Kagoshima saw 3 warships disabled by the japanese cannons.
Yeah true, but the Japanese still suffered worse and endured greater casualties (and the fortifications were destroyed regardless)

Anyways America isn’t conquering Japan at this stage. Frankly, it would be a interesting bait and hook to see American shortcomings exposed during this and development spring from that in future imperialist endeavors.
 
Yeah true, but the Japanese still suffered worse and endured greater casualties (and the fortifications were destroyed regardless)

Anyways America isn’t conquering Japan at this stage. Frankly, it would be a interesting bait and hook to see American shortcomings exposed during this and development spring from that in future imperialist endeavors.
I agree, that would be an interesting way to go about it.
 
I think this war will have two main effects. The first being to show America that her current fleet and army aren’t up to snuff with the rest of the worlds in size and reach. Which will likely lead to massive overhauls leading up to the civil war. The second is I’m assuming they get some treaty port(s) and some small islands. The Ryukyu’s have already been mentioned. I could see the Japanese portion of Sakhalin being taken too as that was a very low population area. Although that might cause issues with Russia down the line.

Any islands are going to make the US take pacific island colonization much more seriously. Do we might see something like the American trading company of Borneo survive. Many of the small islands in the pacific had yet to be truly claimed so we could see America claiming some themselves.

We might see Liberia become a colony as well since it still is essentially unformed at this point in history and is more a collection of American sponsored settlements.
 
I doubt that Sakhalin or even the Ryukyus would be the goal- your classic treaty port has to be close enough to the actual market that you can use it as a base. Nagasaki, perhaps?
 
I doubt that Sakhalin or even the Ryukyus would be the goal- your classic treaty port has to be close enough to the actual market that you can use it as a base. Nagasaki, perhaps?
That’s likely considering the number of Christians there and they’re the only real trading port with the outside world in Japan. Would that cause issues with the Dutch though since they’ve been there for some time?

I think this war will have two main effects. The first being to show America that her current fleet and army aren’t up to snuff with the rest of the worlds in size and reach. Which will likely lead to massive overhauls leading up to the civil war.
God help the CSA if this fixes the Union’s issues and further ramps up their industrialization. I’m sure the southern states will benefit a bit as well but there’s a big difference in expanding existing industrial areas versus developing new ones.
Any islands are going to make the US take pacific island colonization much more seriously. Do we might see something like the American trading company of Borneo survive. Many of the small islands in the pacific had yet to be truly claimed so we could see America claiming some themselves.
Marianas may be claimed as US territories as well since it’s on the way to Japan.
 
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