WI: Chilean-American War in 1891

I was pondering, what if the Baltimore Incident of 1891, which sparked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and a hostile Chile, had led to a naval war between both countries? There was a serious war scare at that moment, IIRC, and some of the US military staff advised a preemptive war against Chile.
In case of American victory
-Could this lead to Benjamin Harrison winning re-election?
-What are the effects over the coming Spanish-American War? Would the fight be even further one-sided as a result of a more seasoned US navy?
In case of Chilean victory
-What are the effects on US politics? Who would be most blamed for the defeat? Would William J. Bryan still rise as a star in the political game?
-Could Chile become a secondary naval power, comparable to Japan?
-What happens to Spain's already unstable colonial empire? Would a war with the US over Cuba still happen? And what about the Philippines?
-How does this affect the situation of Hawaii?
 
Last edited:
I doubt that a chilean victory would lead the country to a second-tier power; you still need to fix the economic crash after WWI and 1929; it would boost the country prestige and lead to a major international investement for a while until the germans learn how to produce synthetic nitrates and send the chilean economy to the floor... unless Chile invest more on their other resources and stop to live only of saltpeter.

You still need to stop Argentina, who was a stable and prosperous country by 1900 and a possible US rematch if the loss was humilliating
 
I was pondering, what if the Baltimore Incident of 1891, which sparked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and a hostile Chile, had led to a naval war between both countries? There was a serious war scare at that moment, IIRC, and some of the US military staff advised a preemptive war against Chile.
In case of American victory
-Could this lead to Benjamin Harrison winning re-election?
-What are the effects over the coming Spanish-American War? Would the fight be even further one-sided as a result of a more seasoned US navy?
In case of Chilean victory
-What are the effects on US politics? Who would be most blamed for the defeat? Would William J. Bryan still rise as a star in the political game?
-Could Chile become a secondary naval power, comparable to Japan?
-What happens to Spain's already unstable colonial empire? Would a war with the US over Cuba still happen? And what about the Philippines?
-How does this affect the situation of Hawaii?

As much I will love a good USA kicking by Chile, in 1891 there is null plausibility that Chile will double down USA, Because Chile was getting out of a serious civil war that see the country torn apart with a decimation of the Army and the Navy(victorious) weakened, plus the Advantages that Chile Have only a year before was evaporated during the Civil War.

So in case that the Baltimore incident goes hot, We could see a long and Costly war to the USA, Beacuse they are figthing far from their bases and Chile have advantage of better trained and Seasoned Navy, but one that the USA ultimately will win, as Chile couldn't not easily replenish their loses, and every lost ship is irreplaceable, contrary to the USA that was in a process to Build their strength and Navy, and with a Population (Chile pop 1895 2.695.625 USA pop 1890 62.979.766) that could easily give them more soldiers and Marines.

Benjamin Harrison probably will lose the Election, as even if the war is ultimately win by the USA, The firsts combats will probably favor Chile, and is easily sell the point that Harrison put the USA in a costly war with meager result and doubtful winnings, against a Third rate Country that bloodied the Navy nose and the ultimately victory is only thanks that the USA is so massively bigger than Chile

The effect on the Spanish-American War? well for one probably there will not be one as USA will emerge of the conflict with a so massive and well trained navy, and possible army, that any try from Spain to fight USA will be even more pathetic than in OTL

Shameless plugin to @ScorchedLight and @Paradox-less timeline ASB about this possible war https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/battleship-diplomacy.234023/
 
This makes it significantly more likely we will see a 2nd Mexican-American War by 1910. I doub't we would see a Niagara Falls conference in TTL.


In case of Chilean victory
-What are the effects on US politics? Who would be most blamed for the defeat? Would William J. Bryan still rise as a star in the political game?
-Could Chile become a secondary naval power, comparable to Japan?
-What happens to Spain's already unstable colonial empire? Would a war with the US over Cuba still happen? And what about the Philippines?
-How does this affect the situation of Hawaii?

Not possible that Chile could win. Just how expensive is it going to be for the US. And how many of Chile's neighbors will get involved.
 
Might the US annex Easter Island, both as a naval base for their nascent interest in controlling the Pacific and as an antiquarian curiosity?
 
Might the US annex Easter Island, both as a naval base for their nascent interest in controlling the Pacific and as an antiquarian curiosity?
That they could they could but there is nothing of interest in the Island in 1891,not even a good grassing land or a decent land to make a port, most of the island is surrounded with cliffs and shallow waters ,and It was mostly uninhibited, when Chile incorporated the Island in 1888 the census indicated that there was 101 natives, and about 39 of those were kids
 
Top