23 April 2010: Updated with my new style. Didn't come out too well.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------THE TWO AMERICAS ALTERNATE HISTORY PROJECT:
Part I: [link]
Part II: You Are Here!
Part III: [link]
Part IV: [link]
Part V: Coming Soon
America Map: [link]
The first decade of the Twentieth Century was by far the most peaceful. Aside from colonial skirmishes in Africa and an increasingly aggressive Japan in the Pacific, all was calm in the world of international politics. All that changed in 1910, when a near-bankrupt Spain asked the United States to intervene on behalf of the Spanish government in a revolt in the Philippines. What was to be a short peace-keeping action quickly became a bloody war that dragged on for two years and ended with an American occupation of the Philippines. The increased American presence in the Pacific was beginning to threaten the interests of the Confederate States, which relied on rice imported from China to feed its population along the Baja coast. When a similar rebellion took place in Cuba in late April, 1912, the CSA did not hesitate to intervene, justifying its actions by stating it was “protecting economic and industrial interests.”
On 7 May 1912 Spain issued an ultimatum to the Confederate States; withdraw all troops from Cuba by the tenth of July or face a war with Spain. Rather than heed Spain’s demands, Confederate President Lucas Beauregard doubled the number of troops stationed in Cuba and established a naval blockade of the entire Caribbean. On 15 July 1912 Spain declared war on the Confederate States of America, and the world fell into a state of utter political chaos. Great Britain declared war on Spain in defense of its Confederate allies, and the United States declared war on both Great Britain and the CSA on the behest of Spain. When British forces occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii in the course of a completely unrelated campaign in the Pacific, Japan declared war on Great Britain (and thereby declared war on the CSA, while already being at war with China). This prompted Russia to declare war on Japan, which prompted the USA to declare war on Russia.
By early November the war had escalated into a global conflict. Two sides had emerged in the conflict: the League of Allied Nations (Japan, United States, Mexico, Brazil, France, Spain) and the Imperial Entente (Great Britain, Confederate States, Portugal, China, Russia), or the Allies and Empires as they came to be known. On the twelfth the CSA formally annexed Cuba; meanwhile the USA was occupying Nassau and Kingston, effectively cutting off British control of the Gulf of Mexico. The two Americas had become locked in a state of continuous trench warfare, with one system of trenches stretching all the way from Virginia to California. And as in the First American War, both Richmond and Washington shelled each other daily and the respective governments fell back to Philadelphia and Montgomery. Though neither the USA or CSA knew it yet, they had just chosen their new capitals; on 28 November 1912 the United States became the first nation to use airships to launch an aerial bombardment of an enemy city. This marked the beginning of an arms race between the USA and CSA for control of the air, including repeated aerial bombings of both Washington and Richmond throughout the rest of the war (the daily artillery bombardments did not stop either).
While North America was divided between North and South, the Pacific was quickly being dominated by the quick-to-act Japanese. Brilliant military leadership saw the occupation of Hawaii and Singapore by the third of March, and the capture of Bijon and Sakhalin from Russia a mere week later. This lightning-paced style of warfare became known as “zenmensonsou,” which is Japanese for “all-out-war.” On the other side of the Pacific, in Mexico, there was not nearly as much success on the part of the Allies. Despite the funding and equipment from Brazil, Mexico still proved to be too weak to hold back an invasion by the CSA; on 27 July 1913 Mexico agreed to an unconditional surrender after Confederate troops captured Mexico City.
As the situation world-wide escalated, the oddly peaceful situation of Europe began to deteriorate. The recently unified Kingdom of Italy began expanding into Austrian territory in the Alps, while Prussia finally created the first unified German state (though German-speaking populations exist in bordering nations). Italy also began to expand into Venice and Croatia, sparking war with the Ottoman Empire. In late 1914 Italy joined the Empires when it requested their aid in its war against the Ottomans. The Russians also joined in the war against the Ottomans, capturing much of the Balkans and Ottoman Poland. Italy, unable to support the main war effort in the Ottoman Empire proper, devoted its resources to defeating an Ottoman-friendly regime in Ethiopia.
The stalemate in North America was finally broken on 30 March 1915 when the first tanks crossed into Missouri. This gave the CSA the advantage on the ground, while the USA remained dominant in the air. The Confederate tanks got within five miles of St. Louis before being destroyed by aerial bombardment. By late May the war was beginning to come to an end for the rest of the world. On the twenty-fifth Japan annexed Australia and British Vietnam (captured from the French in 1913), and on the first of June they began Operation Cherry Blossom, marking the beginning of the Japanese invasion of India with a massive aerial bombardment of Calcutta and occupation of Burma. Despite their best effort, the Japanese were pushed back into Siam and after a second botched invasion at Bodh Gaya in Bihar (commonly known as the Battle of the Bodhi Tree or the Battle of the Buddha) no longer had the resources to expand into British territories in the Pacific.
Prussia joined the Allies when it declared war on Italy on 27 June 1915 after Italy’s annexation of the Belgian Congo (Prussia had agreed to guarantee Belgium’s neutrality in the war). This was a late start, however, as the war was beginning to die down. In late December, 1915 Japan annexed Manchuria, and on the thirty-first agreed to the American-Japanese Alliance, a pact between Japan and the USA to support each other politically, economically, and militarily. By mid 1916 the war had essentially come to an end; Prussia and Italy had made peace, Great Britain sued for peace (granting much of its Pacific possessions to Japan, as well as all of Canada and it’s Caribbean territories to the USA), Russia had sued for peace as civil war threatened to tear it apart (granting Japan Bijon and Sakhalin), Mexico had long since been annexed by the CSA, and France and Spain had both already made agreements with the Empires to end their involvement in the war.
The only two powers that remained at war in late 1916 were the United States and Confederate States. The two Americas had dedicated most of their resources to their campaigns abroad, spending only what was necessary to keep the other at bay while problems elsewhere were dealt with. Now that only one opponent remained on each side, neither the USA nor the CSA had resources left to continue fighting. The Second American war ended just as the first had; with an agreement to mutual surrender and no clear victor. One again the two Americas had dragged the world into war and had gained everything while losing nothing. Or almost nothing; by the war’s end Richmond and Washington had been so thoroughly bombed that not a single brick from either city remained. Where once two great cities had stood now sat vast expanses of scorched and cratered earth. The capitals of the two nations were reestablished in Philadelphia and Montgomery (though later Montgomery burned to the ground and the capital was moved to Havana to reward Cuba for becoming a state), and the difficult task of rebuilding what had been destroyed, as well as reorganization of all that had been gained, began.
In 1919 the Confederate States began a policy of relocation for the “native Mexicans,” forcing them into “Mexican Reserves.” After this policy was implemented, most Mexicans fled to Brazil or Spain, though many fled to France and the United States as well. Those that chose stubbornly to remain found that the Mexican reserves they were forced onto were nothing like the Indian reserves of Georgia and Sequoyah. These places, with their massive concrete walls, barbed-wire fences, and secluded locations were more like concentration camps than towns. The CSA then began to colonize Mexico, dividing smaller population centers amongst reserves while forcing the Mexicans in the larger cities into slums (mostly through economic means, though in some cases violence was necessary). Unrest and rebellion were common, and a no tolerance policy was adopted by the Confederate military in putting down dissent in Mexico.
It was not just the CSA that began colonization of newly conquered territories, but many other nations as well. The Japanese began to emigrate to cities in Korea and Manchukuo (Manchuria), creating a divided society as most Japanese lived (and ruled from) the cities while most of the native population remained in the rural areas of the territories (as they had been for thousands of years). This division was supported by Japanese legislation, which made the cost of living in cities so high that only wealthy, middle-class Japanese citizens could afford to live in them. While this policy worked for Asian countries, it caused only uprisings in Australia, where almost everyone lived in cities due to poor agricultural conditions. This trend continued throughout the 1920’s; Japan passing legislation that reduced violence and dissent in Asian territories but caused only outrage in Australia. Finally in 1928 Japan granted Australia autonomy and ended its policy of colonization (though nearly no Japanese had moved to Australia due to its reputation for ethnic violence).
While Japan began post-war reformations the United States experienced an explosion of political activism by African Americans that would grow into the Civil Rights Movement. And as minorities began fighting for suffrage, the white majority began a mass exodus into the Canadian wilderness. Most of Canada was unsettled or had been abandoned by the people who had lived there after a mass migration of Canadians to Great Britain and various other British territories. The number of farms in the United States increased nearly a thousand fold from 1918 to 1930, and rumors of gold in the Klondike had prospectors travelling in droves to New Russia and the Yukon Territory. With this shift in population from urban to rural areas, American politics also began to change as well. With more rural people came a greater conservative presence in elections, culminating in the 1928 election of Nathanial Dean of the Progressive Party; which ended the twenty-four year “Socialist Dynasty” of the American Presidency.
Italy began to expand its role in world politics after the war, beginning with the colonization of Ethiopia in 1918 and the Italian Congo in 1923. The Italian government began to pass legislation promoting the growth of industry and education within Italy proper in an attempt to begin a process of modernization. This put it at odds with Prussia, which was also beginning to modernize and expand its political influence, and in 1925 the Italo-Prussian War began. By February, 1927, it appeared that Prussia had gained the upper hand and was about to give their coup de grace, but when Italy received the formal support of France in mid-March the tables turned. Though France and Prussia never engaged in combat, French military units and equipment supporting the Italians gave them a tremendous advantage, and in 1929 Prussia sued for peace.
The 1930’s saw incredible growth in the global economy as new trade routes were established between the world’s nations. During this period Russia began reforms under Tsar Alexander IV, establishing a constitutional monarchy and beginning a period of rapid modernization and industrialization. As Russians began trading with the world, it infringed on the dominance the United States had in the wheat market. The two nations began competing to be the breadbasket of the world, but Russia was forced to turn its attention elsewhere in 1936 when rioting in St. Petersburg grew into the Finnish War of Independence. The rebellion soon spilled over into Poland, and in 1941 Russia was forced to cut its losses and recognize the independence of Finland and Poland. During this period the Chinese also began to modernize, and the period from 1930 to 1943 saw an incredible growth in the Chinese economy, becoming second only to the British Empire in terms of GDP.
The Confederate States spent much of the 1930’s and 40’s putting down rebellions in its African colonies, where Communist revolutionaries fueled an independence movement. The United States secretly supported the rebels in their cause, sending money to the revolutionaries to purchase weapons from Spain with. During this period the Confederates released a new weapon; the modern rocket. Launched from the back of trucks, the rocket proved to be an effective weapon during the Italo-Prussian War and after purchasing several hundred initial rockets from Italy in 1921 the CSA began to develop the technology of it further. The USA, recognizing the tremendous military advantage the CSA would have over them with rockets, also began to research advanced rocketry. In response the CSA began testing larger rockets in an attempt to design one capable of attacking anywhere in the USA. The Japanese also got caught up in the rocketry craze, and in 1946 they shocked the world when they launched the Kitsune, the world’s first artificial satellite, into orbit. In response the CSA and USA immediately developed their own space programs, and in 1950 John Willows of the United States became the first man to be launched into space, though he did not survive the trip. This marked the zenith of the Twentieth Century, but the world was about to take a turn down a much darker road.