Alternate History

1851-1900 (No Napoleon)

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A list of events from 1851 to 1900 in the No Napoleon timeline.


The Summer after the Springtime

Rebirth of the Americas

Home of the Brave

Within merely half a decade, the United States nearly doubled in size. The success of the Springtime, a revolution that would not happen within the United States itself, was of course the reason for this great success. The United States accepted the Territory of Louisiana as a result of the Louisiana War in 1847, along with the Spanish Florida territories. By the next year, 1848, the independent Dominion of Upper Canada (OTL Ontario) was ceded to the United States, and was given statehood in the United States in 1852. The expansion came with a great sense of unity and nationalism within the States, and the people rejoiced in knowing the principles upon which the nation was built was expanding onto other lands as well. The dream of further expansion was sought by politicians, land owners, and citizens alike.

The dream of expansion in North America, however, would stay just that--a dream. The expansion came at a price; the already-shaky relations with Great Britain, stemming from independence itself, was now at a boiling point. The United States had absorbed one of the most-heavily populated Canadian colony, and left Great Britain with sparsely-populated regions of great size, with very little resources to defend themselves from further expansion. It would take less effort than Louisiana to conquer the territories surely, but with Britain reaching out to the Kingdom of Mexico, which had also suffered financially and politically from the war, to curb any further American expansion in North America, she would have a hard time doing any more expanding. As a result, aside from the newly-carved Quebec, the US found herself politically isolated in North America.

The United States had other ideas in mind, however. If she could not expand her territories through more revolutions and war, she would expand her influence instead. First, with the independence of many North and South American nations, it was agreed among American politicians that they could not have European imperialist states try to get their former colonies back. This concern was not about Spain trying to gain Louisiana and Florida back; it was more about Spain trying to expand her influence in South America (mainly through the Spanish-remaining state of Peru), or Britain with Ontario or Quebec, in order to gain their colonies back. This doctrine, practically the same as the Monroe Doctrine, was introduced in 1855 and was a clear message to all of Europe concerning all territories within the Americas. The United States found herself making political alliances and agreements with all of the new independent Latin American nations in South America.

Similarly, despite Britain and Mexico's political alliance against the United States, the US did not shy away and avoid relations with the Kingdom of Mexico. The aftermath of the revolutions was a heavy war debt, and even the recent discovery of gold was unlikely to cover the costs. As a result, the United States offered Mexico a proposal in 1854 that would both help with the debt, and make Mexico an important player in the west. For decades, ships would have to circumvent the entire South (and sometimes North, with less success) American continent if certain east-coast nations wanted to trade with Asia. America's proposal to Mexico was simple: a joint-project to build a canal cutting through Central America and Lake Nicaragua. The United States would gladly fund the project, and promised great returns for Mexico as a result of the completion and international use of the canal. The Mexican government approved the proposal, and the canal was later completed in 1868.

While the United States enjoyed expanding her influence in the Americas, a certain ideology was being threatened from within for years since the end of the revolutions. Slavery had existed in the Americas ever since the colonization of the Americas began in the 15th and 16th centuries. And while many European nations banned slavery, slavery in the United States was alive and well, being utilized by mainly the southern states for the production of cotton. However, popular opinion mainly in the north against slavery, mainly due to anti-slavery literature, were putting pressure on the government to end the trade. In 1859, the United States government passed the laws that officially ended slavery in every state of the union; however, the southern states were very much against the laws, for which they felt they had no say.

Distrust with the government, and the perceived economic repercussions in a south without slavery, led to several states seceding from the United States in 1860, forming the Confederate States. The secession was considered to be illegitimate by the United States government, and was willing to go to war to ensure that the States remained united. Thus started a series of battles that would be known as the American Civil War, a war between neighbors, that would determine the state of slavery in the only remaining nation in North America where slavery was legal.

The Great North Strong

The Springtime caused major reforms across almost all of Great Britain’s colonies. One of the major changes occurred in the British North American colonies. Prior to the revolutions, each of the Canadian colonies acted as independent entities within the British Empire, each with their own governments independent of the other colonies. The clear threat of America and her expanding power in North America was certainly enough to scare British officials and Canadian citizens into believing that more Canadian territories were to follow the same fate as Louisiana and Upper Canada.


Formation of the Dominion of Canada, 1851

As a result, Canada and Great Britain passed the Dominion of Canadian Act of 1851, which, through popular vote, united the colonies Rupert’s Land, the North-Western Territory, New Caledonia, and the Dependency of Labrador as the Dominion of Canada. The remaining British colonies remained as separate British territories (mostly as there was very little threat, and the benefits of joining Canada were few). Meanwhile, Quebec was enjoying freedom as an independent French colony, with close relations to the United States (and its ancestor, France), and Upper Canada was given statehood in the United States in 1852.

Canadian Confederation (NN)

Territories of the Dominion of Canada, 1851

The Dominion of Canada, while having a fearful beginning, was on its way to being a strong self-sufficient territory. Having been cut off from the access of the St. Lawrence River, Canada found herself relying more and more on the west, including the prairie lands of the Assiniboine, along with the fisheries of New Caledonia. Furthermore, Britain and Canada found it beneficial to open greater trade routes in the Pacific, to allow both Canada and India to export and trade their natural resources easier. This also expanded the role of the British colony of Hawaii as a major port for the trade routes, and also growing the relationship between Hawaii and Canada grew rapidly from there. In addition, it benefited Great Britain to have a greater role in the Pacific, to curb the influence of France, as well as other competing imperial states (including the United States, which gained greater access to the Pacific with the construction of the Panama Canal).

Alaska Purchase (NN)

Original purchase of Alaska proposal, in Russian

By 1860, the threat of great powers growing their influence around the world was enough to force two former political enemies to find peace. Russia and Great Britain were in the midst of a Great Game, a political (and often physical) struggle over influence in Asia. However, with the entrance of France and Persia in the game (and Japan, soon enough), Russia only found it would be beneficial to make peace with her old enemy in order to gain more ground than they did divided. So, in 1861, Russia proposed the sale of Alaska to the government of Canada. Many Russian officials believed the territory would inevitably be taken by the British if full-out war ever came, so it would be beneficial to at least gain monetarily and politically from the land. Britain jumped at the opportunity to buy the territory and make a peace agreement; had the British not bought the land, it would have ultimately been offered to the United States. If that were the case, the United States would have full access to the Pacific Ocean, threatening Britain’s power in the region and further threatening Canada’s independence. In June, Alaska was officially joined to the Dominion of Canada.

The State of South America

A Violent Peace in Europe

The Prussian War

Treaty of Bremen (NN)

Treaty of Bremen, 1849, formally recognized the end of the Holy Roman Empire

In the midst of the chaos in the disintegrating Holy Roman Empire, and despite the uprisings in its own territories, the Kingdom of Prussia (like many of its neighbors) was able to make significant land grabs. In many ways, it was in an attempt to get enough influence to try to curb the dissolution of the Empire, but Prussia did not have the manpower to overwhelm the nearby powers into halting its destruction. In the end, in order to have its land claims recognized, Prussia formally recognized the end of the Empire. But the Prussian King was reluctant to let this dream go away forever.

From the end of the revolutions, the "new" independent German states found themselves forced to ally with surrounding European nations in order to ensure their sovereignty in the already-tense region. For instance, Hanover, Oldenburg, and Mecklenburg found themselves aligned with Great Britain; Wurttemberg, Baden, and Wurzburg had established close relations with France; Hessen-Kassel and Bavaria were aligned with the Habsburgs; and Saxony along with several smaller states were aligned with Prussia. These relations were unfavorable for Prussia, as any offensive war would result in the entrance of the great powers into the war. As a result, Prussian officials would need to prepare years in advance for any large-scale warfare, including war with ; as well, stronger relations and international significant persuasion would need to be made to as many states as possible to convince Germans to join Prussia's cause.

In 1856, Prussia set forth the plan for German unification when it declared war on essentially all the dozens of independent German nations. Prussian officials decided that the way to win the war would be to force as many German states to surrender as quickly as possible, in order to force peace talks among the great powers. Prussia had some advantages; for one, centuries of diplomacy, marriages, purchases, and most recently land grabs, helped to grow the Prussian state to be in charge of several pieces of lands in the midst of other German states. For instance, Prussia was ceded the land of Munster in the Treaty of Frankfurt and was now bordering the Netherlands to the east, and the Electorate of Hanover from both sides; as well, Prussia purchased the principalities of Ansbach and Bayreuth in the late 18th century, which both bordered the Electorate of Bavaria. The armies quickly expanded to invade as many states as possible and have them surrender in a timely manner.

However, the Prussian manpower was not enough to achieve a swift victory, and soon enough, several European nations stepped in to stop Prussia's war of aggression. Austria, which had been a key member of the Holy Roman Empire, somewhat supported a unified German state, but certainly not under the banner of Prussia, and having several key allies in Germany threatened by Prussia's advance, Austria could not help but step in. Similarly, Denmark and Sweden enter the war in order to keep Prussia away from their claimed territories in Central Europe: Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg; and Pomerania, respectively. France, meanwhile, entered the war to protect the Treaty of Frankfurt and the right to self-rule of the German states. Britain, meanwhile, which had been a long-time ally of Prussia, was forced to stay neutral; many parliamentarians believed the creation of a new German state would disrupt the balance of power, akin to France's expansion and threat to the balance of power after the revolution.

more to come

Alliances Changing with the Wind

The Great Game Boils

Opening of Japanese Relations

Chinese Wars

Great Persian War

Rise of the Rising Sun

Threatening the Peace in the Middle East

The Crawl for Africa

Preceded by:
Sectional timeline of the 19th Century
1851 – 1900
Succeeded by:

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