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The Two Americas :: Part I by Parasky The Two Americas :: Part I by Parasky
9 May 2010: Updated with new style.

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THE TWO AMERICAS ALTERNATE HISTORY PROJECT:

Part I: You Are Here!
Part II: [link]
Part III: [link]
Part IV: [link]
Part V: Coming Soon
America Map: [link]

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On 17 September 1862 the American Civil War, having been continuing for a little over a year, reached a major turning point. The Army of Northern Virginia, under the leadership of General Robert E. Lee managed to defeat the Army of the Potomac under the command of George B. McClellan and push them back towards Washington, D.C. Although Lee had to retreat back into Virginia, the victory was enough to convince France and Great Britain to lend their support to the Confederate States. On 26 December 1862 Britain's ambassador to the United States met with President Abraham Lincoln to offer, on behalf of Her Majesty's government, to mediate a peace between the United States of America and Confederate States of America. Lincoln, facing the possibility of war on three fronts with the world's two major military powers, reluctantly agreed and the American Civil War came to an end.

The United States ceded Kentucky, West Virginia, the Indian Territory, and a part of the New Mexico Territory to the Confederacy, and both sides began a brief period of reconstruction. While the remainder of Lincoln's term was not inglorious, with the emancipation of any remaining slaves in the United States and suffrage for African-American males, it was overshadowed by the shame of being unable to preserve the "More Perfect Union." In the newly-born Confederacy President Jefferson Davis wasted no time in securing his nation's continued survival. He established strong ties with Great Britain, which politically isolated the United States from most European powers. Despite trading agreements with Great Britain and France, the Confederate States began to fall into economic crisis; reliance on the cotton trade for income was beginning to greatly harm the Confederacy, which couldn't compete with the cotton produced in India and Argentina, colonies of Great Britain and France respectively. This growth in domestic cotton trade amongst the two nations and their colonies did not just affect trade with the nations themselves, but also with various other European powers which could import British or French textiles at cheaper prices than cotton from the Confederacy. In an attempt to improve the situation, Davis attempted to pass legislation promoting the industrialization of the Confederacy, but it failed. He did, however, succeed in admitting the state of Sequoyah (Oklahoma) to the Confederacy in 1866.

In 1864 Horatio Seymour was elected President of the United States and would be re-elected for a second term in 1868. While not accomplishing much in terms of legislation, with the exception of admitting Nebraska to the Union in 1867 and abolishing the draft, he did greatly reduce the bitterness felt by Americans towards the Confederacy in the aftermath of the war. In 1867 Robert E. Lee was elected President of the Confederate States. The great respect his countrymen held for him allowed him to pass rather controversial legislation enacting a kind of gradual emancipation of slaves with compensation towards the slaveholders. He accomplished this by amending the constitution to allow the federal government to purchase a certain number of slaves per year at high prices, which allowed former slaveholders to establish new businesses, leading to a growth in industrialization. Unfortunately Lee suffered a stroke in 1870 that left him without the ability to speak, and he soon after contracted pneumonia and died. His Vice President, P.G.T. Beauregard, was inaugurated and served the rest of Lee's term. He was not as well known as Lee, nor was he as respected, so when he attempted to grant suffrage to freedmen he was met with serious criticism and opposition. Beauregard did, however, pass legislation allowing the federal government to purchase land to build railroads.

In 1876 a coup occurred in Mexico; Sebastián Lerdo de Tejada, the President of Mexico, was re-elected for a second term. His opponent, Porfirio Díaz, opposed his re-election and, with the support of military officials, overthrew Lerdo's government and installed himself as President. The Confederacy, which refused to recognize the government of Díaz, intervened in 1876. Once Beauregard's term ended, however, a conundrum was reached; the constitution said that a President could only serve a single term, but it said nothing about a Vice President, who later became President, running for a term of his own. In the first case of the Supreme Court of the Confederate States of America, Beauregard v The Confederate States of America, it was ruled that Beauregard was eligible to run for a term of his own. Due to the recent intervention in Mexico, Beauregard was elected for a term of his own. The Mexican-Confederate War lasted from 1876 to 1879, during which time Lerdo was restored to power. Once the war ended, however, Beauregard was hesitant to pull troops out of Northern Mexico. The addition of the occupied territories to the Confederate States would give them access to the Pacific ocean, as well as the ability to construct their own Trans-Continental Railroad. In 1879, near the end of his term, Beauregard formally purchased the occupied territories from Mexico, but had planned to annex them either way.

Peter Cooper of the Progressive Party was elected President of the United States in the controversial election of 1872. The controversy in his election was not his party affiliation --after the war the Republican Party faltered and the Progressive Party rose to be the third main political party of the United States – but his age. At the time of election Cooper was eighty-one years old, the oldest President before or since. Despite his elderly appearance, Cooper propelled the nation forward with the enthusiasm and dedication of a young man; he enacted anti-monopoly and anti-trust laws, outlawed child labor, and made education compulsory. He also established the public school system, minimum wage laws, federal safety guidelines for working conditions in factories, and promoted the industrialization and urbanization of the United States. He did more in two terms than any President before or since.

Change was occurring not just in the United States, but down in Dixieland as well. In 1879 George Davis was elected President of the Confederate States, and with him came a new wave of legislation regarding racial relations in the CSA due to the increased number of Hispanics that came with the Mexican Territory. As well as racial reforms, G. Davis also constructed the "Trans-Confederacy Railroad," and admitted Sonora, Baja, Chihuahua, and Coahuila to the Confederacy throughout 1881. In 1880 the United States elected Winfield Scott Hancock as their President, an upset who won by only a few electoral votes to an new face; Thomas Juniper, a wealthy industrialist. Hancock began what he called a "Crusade on Corruption," purging corrupt officials from the government and replacing them with trusted, though unqualified, friends. This Jacksonian democracy caused more problems than it fixed, and in 1883 it caused an economic panic that would affect the nation for years to come. The big problem came in 1884, when white prospectors searching for gold encroached on Sioux lands in the Black Hills. Tensions between the Sioux and USA reached a critical point when gunfire was briefly exchanged, but the situation was resolved when a series of agreements were reached. The Dakota territory was largely unsettled by Americans, who had began a campaign of settlement along the west coast rather than the vast Great Plains. Therefore it was of no consequence to allow the Sioux to retain semi-autonomous control over the Dakota territory, as well as having prospectors receive a permit to mine in the Black Hills, with explicit permission from both the federal government and Sioux government. The Sioux were to also receive a cut of the profits to fund their semi-autonomous government.

The election of 1885 was a difficult one for the Confederate States. Recent increases of racial violence brought on by tensions between whites and the freedmen now living in city ghettos or shantytowns had prompted the public to turn towards George Gordon and his promise to "Send 'em Back To Africa!" Throughout his term he passed legislation for organizing colonies in West Africa and sending black prisoners and debtors there rather than keep them in the prisons where they took up valuable space and resources. He also oversaw the expansion of the segregation laws from the Mexican states into the rest of the Confederacy to ease racial tensions. Thomas Juniper finally had his day when he was elected United States President in the election of 1884. With growing tensions between the increasingly isolationist United States and the Confederacy and Canada, Juniper set his sights on creating plans for protecting the Union from the Confederacy and invading Canada. The "Juniper Plan" proved to be popular amongst both the military and public, giving them a needed sense of security. Juniper also oversaw the expansion of American trade into the Pacific and Asia, particularly Hawaii and China. Juniper saw a second term in the election of 1888, but aside from a brief war with the Kingdom of Hawaii over trading rights, it was quiet. The Progressive Party was victorious again in the election of 1892 when Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States. He proved himself decisive as he immediately began to push economic, political, and social reforms with great zeal. He also created legislation protecting the pristine nature of places like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. Business was also reformed by Roosevelt, with stricter regulations in place for businesses and laws against profiling and discrimination. Roosevelt would be best known for being a warhawk, as demonstrated by an incident in St. Louis in which rogue Confederate soldiers attempted to create an uprising in Missouri and have it secede to the Confederacy. In the process they managed to burn a large section of the city down and kill almost fifty people, both civilian and national guard.

Hugh Thompson pulled off a stunningly narrow victory, but was elected President of the Confederate States of America in 1891. He would quickly become infamous for his arrogance in responding to the St. Louis Incident by hailing the perpetrators as heroes and refusing extradition to the United States. On 18 July 1895 the United States declared war on the Confederacy and in response Great Britain declared war on the United States. This prompted France, which had moved alliances from the Confederacy to the United States to declare war on Great Britain and the Confederate States. Russia, also allied with the United States, declared war on Great Britain, but remained neutral towards the Confederate States, which it was secretly trading with. President Theodore Roosevelt swiftly enacted the Juniper Plan and invaded Canada, taking hold of key locations in Quebec and Nova Scotia before the Canadians could properly respond. The Americans dug in and defended the position from the Canadians, which were left with no usable ports after the capture of Halifax, and a blockade by the powerful US Navy was keeping help from Britain itself at bay. By establishing fortifications along major rivers that form most borders of the eastern United States and Confederate States, the Americans were able to push Confederate forces out west into the more open and less populated frontier. This tactic bought the United States time by keeping the Confederacy in a stalemate, but the killing blow would have to come from French forces in Mexico cutting off the Confederate Pacific ports and thus cut off British troops that may be dispatched from India. Thompson, surprised by the blitzkrieg response from the Americans, managed to invoke a naval response to France, and even captured French Guiana. The war continued into 1902, having been started by Thompson and finished by Oliver Hunt after the election of 1897.

By the end of the war, neither the USA or CSA had gained an inch of ground from each other but both Great Britain and France had lost substantial territory in the Western Hemisphere. France ceded French Guiana to the Confederate States while Great Britain surrendered New France. The war had secured Roosevelt three consecutive terms, but in 1904 he did not run for re-election, and the biggest surprise in American history occurred; Eugene V. Debs of the Socialist Party of America was elected President of the United States. His election marked the end of the Republican Party as a major political party and the beginning of a new three-party system in American politics. The polls had been dominated by the Democrats, Socialists, and Progressives, but a Democrat nominee split from the party and ran under the Progressive ticket, splitting the vote and allowing Debs to take the lead. From 1904 to 1908 Debs encouraged the growth of Labor Unions, established safety protocols for the food industry, and established federal safety guidelines for working in factories.

Thompson's successor, Oliver Hunt, fought most of the First American War and negotiated peace at the end, but he also granted suffrage to Hispanics, which lead to the election of Thomas Dixon in 1903. Dixon's stance against corruption and crime was what attracted the Hispanics' vote; since the addition of the Mexican states to the Confederacy, crime and corruption had run rampant in the "Wild South," but police were unable to effectively control the situation due to the domestic passport system and criminals escaping to neighboring states. Dixon established a federal police force that could quickly and easily cross state borders and arrest major criminals, as well as abolished the domestic passport system that had troubled Confederate society for many years. Dixon also created industrial safety laws and laws protecting slaves from excessive physical abuse in order to increase industrialization to accommodate for the lack of slaves (gradual emancipation was almost over, only a few thousand slaves remained).

By 1910 both the United States and Confederate States had become major nations on the world stage, and the Twentieth Century was sure to bring many changes to both the world and the two Americas. Many were not good changes, pestilence and war were to become the legacy of the Twentieth Century, and civilization itself would be rocked to its core.

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Inspired by Harry Turtledove's The Great War: American Front. I wanted to do a world with the CSA of my own, and here is the first part. It's one of, if not the, best alternate histories I have done, and I'm quite proud of it.
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:iconbruiser128:
bruiser128 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
Love the level of detail you put into this.

Personally I would like to think that the Confederacy would change it's name to Mexarica if it DID acquire Mexico.
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:iconryanbeolve:
Ryanbeolve Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013   Writer
There are many discrepancies that I need to address, and while this list may include a lot, this is not nearly all of them. So, here you go:
- Argentina not French colony
- cotton was, however, grown in Egypt, also British
- Confederate states would not have 'federal government'. It would be called 'Confederate Government'
- you had established that Horatio Seymour was elected for a second term, and also stated that it was impossible later
- Public schools were first established in the United States in 1870
- you made no mention of the Second French Empire, the unification of Italy, the unification of Germany, the scramble for Africa, or European colonization of East Asia
- In 1892, Teddy Roosevelt would have been 34, thus too young to run for President
- the Franco Russian alliance was signed in 1892, that would have allowed you to draw Russia into the war
- France invading Mexico is illogical, because France would have no point to launch an invasion from
- Why was Russia secretly trading with the CSA?
- New France was parts of Quebec and the Louisiana territory, apparently already under United States control. How can Britain cede that to France.

Now I'm not saying this was a bad timeline, it clearly had a LOT of thought put into it. I'm impressed. I just think, if you properly address the things I've presented, you may find yourself with a better story. Good luck to you.
I would also like to add that there were other major players on the world stage at this time. Austria-Hungary was known for having the largest land army on the face of the earth. After 1870, with the German Unification, the German Empire played a huge part in world affairs, even establishing a navy that rivaled the British Home Fleet. After the Meiji Restoration in the 1860's, Imperial Japan expanded into Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, China, and even defeating Russia in 1904-5.
During all this time, Spain still retained its colonies of the Philippines, Guam, Caroline Islands, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Without the Spanish-American war in 1898, these territories remain in Spanish control. Also, Theodore Roosevelt entered popularity as the man who led a volunteer Regiment during the Spanish American war, that popularity granted him the Governorship of New York, which in turn helped secure his place as President. In 1892, Roosevelt was a police officer.
So, just... be careful when you alter history. It's delicate. I am writing all this because I, too, am writing an alternate history story. I've spent the entire summer making sure that my facts are straight and only just began writing. So, once again, good luck!
Ryan Beolve
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:iconparasky:
Parasky Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Let me respond to your concerns in this deviation and the other one by saying: it's fiction. I can't account for everything, and I'm not going to do years of research just to edit a map in photoshop and put it up on an art site. I was telling a story, not writing a textbook. If the project is so terrible, I might as well take it down. I was never good at alternate history anyways. If you want my advice, stay out of alternate history. All you'll get is people like you (no offense, I'm trying not to sound rude or snippy) who come along and poke holes in all your hard work and make you feel like shit.
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:iconryanbeolve:
Ryanbeolve Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2013   Writer
You know, believe it or not, I've spent the past 2 days struggling with how I handled that.
I know I didn't even do half of a good job critiquing that. Its just... When its anonymous like it is on the internet, you feel less inclined to filter your words.
So, I kinda just spewed all of my thoughts without any concern for your side of this.
I critiqued a lot of your work, and as an alternate historical fiction writer myself, I know that it isn't easy to do what you did.
What I wanted to do was suggest things you clean up to make the story better, but that just isn't what happened.

To be honest, I could pull up a half-dozen of my own timelines that are much like yours, and anyone could poke holes in it like I did, but that is rude and frankly not helpful.
It's a little late to go back now, but I have to say I am extremely impressed with your maps. Thats what I stopped and read for in the first place. Not to mention, if it was garbage, I would not have made the effort to say anything. I'm a harsh critic, but I stopped to read your story because I liked it.
Don't give up because people like me poke holes. Keep it up.
One thing I was impressed with was when I was reading part one, my biggest critique was your neglect to mention the European powers like Prussia, Austria, and Italy. However, in Part two and three, you did just that.
The thing about alternate history is that, it takes a long time to even do a 5 year timeline correctly. With so much going on in the world, it would taken you probably a year and all of your free time to make that timeline "perfect". Nobody does that. Professional screenwriters don't do that; Historians rarely do that.
I'm just a knit picker. So, in conclusion, I apologize if I really made you feel that bad about your story.
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GeneralAlcazar Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2012
Wow. Interesting and suprisingly plausable. You, sir, I applaud.

--

Al Gore "We all know that a leopard cannot change its stripes"
And we call former Vice Prez Dan Quayle an idiot. Well, he was.
"I was recently on a tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn't study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people."
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:iconyamakal-12:
Yamakal-12 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
Ah, the Confeds burned my city. I'm okay with that. NOT! Get em', T.R!
For St. Lou! (Brief explosion of state and city pride)
Interesting to see a Debs presidency...
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:iconirishman318:
Irishman318 Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2011
Wait, wouldn't alliances be the other way around? Britain didn't want to recognize the south and France was pushing for it, but couldn't because of britain.
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