The End of American Civil War
The war lasted two years, and pitted families and friends against each other. The war is one of the bloodiest wars in American history, and only all three Pacific Wars were deadlier. 600,000 people on both sides ended up as casualties, and many rudimentary medical techniques led many people to have amputated body parts. The war was a Union victory, and the Freedman Act was passed, granting all slaves freedom in both the southern United States and Cuba. Cuba was placed under the control of the U.S. Army, and the governor of it was Henry Wager Halleck, a US commander during the war. The Americans were faced with the daunting challenge of reconstructing the Confederate States, which plagued them for nearly two decades.
Reconstruction hindered the advancement of the US from 1860 to 1887. Following his re-election in 1860, John C. Fremont began Reconstruction. Fremont was a Radical Republican, and made Reconstruction harsh toward the southern states. Civilian governments were removed, and along with Cuba, the U.S. Army was put in control. The army then conducted elections where freed slaves could vote while those who held posistions under the Confederacy were denied. Violence broke out in the south between those who supported Reconstruction and those who didn't, which then led to a military campaign by the army. Fremont's successor for president, Schuyler Colfax, and despite opposition, continued these policies. Near the end of Colfax's eight year presidency, the economy fell, and soon the Democrats became in control in the south. The northerners soon became frustrated and tired, and demanded an end. Finally, with the election of Democrat Samuel J. Tilden in 1876, Reconstruction was ended. Civil rights for blacks would be denied in the south until the 1960s.
War and Industrialization
First Pacific War
The First Pacific War was a deadly conflict lasting from 1871 all the way to 1878. The war's name is somewhat misleading, as most of war revolved around the conflict between Japan, the United States, and Canada (the Allies) against China, Russia, and Korea (the Pacific Alliance) in the Korean Peninsula and Manchuria. The Allies initially had the upper hand, and forced the Pacific Alliance all the way back to the city of Harbin in Manchuria. A vicious Pacific counterattack force them all the way off the Korean Peninsula. The Allies then regrouped, and began a bloody, two-year campaign to take back the Korean Peninsula. The Allies made it to around the 38th Parallel before a ceasefire was signed. The Japanese were given the southern half of Korean Peninsula from Korea. The war also caused the creation of the US state of Lakotah. During the war, the Souix tribes rebelled and demanded a state of their own. The US, because they had no troops to fight with because they were in Asia, gave into their commands and Lakotah was created.
Canadian Pacific Railway
The Canadian Pacific Railway became a powerful force in Canada and Winnipeg following its completion in 1883. The railway stretches over 14,000 miles from the eastern Montreal to the western city of Vancouver. The railway allowed products from the west reach the east at a quicker pace and vise-versa. Many people who came from the east traveled to the west on the train to start a new life in the wilderness of the west. Many people also settled in the large cities of Vancouver, Calgary, and Saskatoon. Settlers also started the settlement of Edmonton, which would grow in size as time went on. Winnipeg experienced a second ecomomic and population boom due to its central location. Passing Canadians used the large Winnipeg cities to restock on supplies and other things. The thousands of settlers who moved west are known as Callanders because the railway started at Callander Station.
The Railway had also brought strain on the Native American tribes. Many tribes who had not moved to Winnipeg remained there, and there land was taken from them by the new settlers. Battles broke out, and the Canadian Western Guard was a busy as ever. Prime Minister McDonald of Canada decided to send the Native Americans north on reseverations, and after a few negotiations and skirmishes, the Native Americans reluntantly agreed. This drew the scorn of President Louis Riel, who supported Native American rights. He demanded that the Native Americans be allowed to remain on their homelands. McDonald ignored Riel and continued his plans. Riel then attempted to close Winnipeg to passing Canadians in response. Many of the guards supported the Canadian plans, and allowed the settlers through. When Riel's term ended, the closure ended with success.
War in Europe
Germany, under King Louis Napoleon, the only child of the first king of Germany, embarked the nation on a series of conquests across Europe in an attempt to unite of the former First Reich under German rule. It first signed unification treaties with Saxony and the Northwest German Confederation, adding them to State of Germany rule. Bavaria refused to join with Germany because they had a signed an economical and military alliance with cash-strapped France, in exchange for Alsace-Lorraine. King Louis decided to invade in 1874, beginning the Bavarian War. France entered the war on Bavaria's side, and Poland soon entered the war, on the side of the Bavarians. Things looked bleak for Germany until its ally Austria, who was also in a crusade to take over territory, attacked Poland and southeastern Bavaria. Germany and Austria conquered Munich after days of fighting, forcing Bavaria to surrender. Eastern Bavaria was given to Austria, and, after heated negotiations, the rest of Bavaria and Munich were given to Germany.France and Poland were still fighting against Germany, but with Austria, the fight was easier. Austria and Hungary signed the Vienna Accords, which formed them into the Austria-Hungary Empire, with both sides have equal representation in the government. Along with campaigns with Germany, Austria-Hungary also invaded the Balkans, which set off a counterattack by the Ottoman Empire and Russia, who wanted land in the Balkans. Because of the monarchy, the Republic of Italy aligned themselves with France, and invaded the Kingdom of Italy. The Iberian Union soon began sending supplies to the Republic, which caused a declaration of war from the Kingdom. Europe had been plunged into the Second Great European War in 1876.
The Eastern Front between the Russians and Poles against the Germans was hard fought. Germany could move supplies to the front easier because of its far superior railroads, but the Russians and Poles outnumbered the Germans. A stalemate occured, with the Polish capital of Warsaw split between the two sides. In 1877, the Germans introduced the Krupp II Steel Cannon, which was far superior to the bronze Russian and Polish cannons. The Russians and Poles were pushed back, and Warsaw was captured by the Germans. The Germans pushed all the way to around the OTL Polish-Russian border before stopping to let supply lines catch up. The Germans put down several Polish uprisings. The Russians and Poles knew that once the supply lines caught up Germany could advance farther. They did one final attack. The attack lasted for ten days, but the Germans could not be beat. The Russians and Poles signed for a peace treaty, and the Peace of Berlin was signed, which knocked Russia out of the war and gave all of Poland to Germany.With the war in the eastern front over, Germany could focuse its attention to aiding Austria-Hungary in the Balkans. The Germans and Austrians moved down the Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea, with naval help from the Kingdom of Italy. The Ottomans continued their advance, and took over more peaces of land. By 1879, the Balkans had effectively been split in half. A stalemate arose, and in 1880 a peace treaty was signed, ending the conflict in the Balkans. The German war with France was really unnessecary for the Germans, because they wanted land in central and eastern Europe, was ended in 1881. The seven years of war had ended, destroying the continent.
The era following the two destructive wars was one of the most peaceful in decades. The 1880s contained no wars except for minor skirmishes. The destruction because of the last two wars worried the nations of the world, convincing them to call off wars. The Second Industrial Revolution was at its peak during the era, and many nations, especially Western ones, experienced a large economic boom because of the mass production of railroads and other easier forms of transportation. The European nations expanded their empires in Asia and Africa, and the nations of the New World expanded their influence. In the words of United States President Grover Cleveland, "The world is finally in peace."
League of European Nations
Following the destructive Continental War, the Prime Minister of Great Britain, William Ewart Gladstone, proposed the idea of an organization that would keep peace across Europe. In a conference with other major European leaders, Gladstone proposed the creation of the League of European Nations. The European leaders agreed to the idea, and the League was formed on April 1, 1884. The Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland was constructed to be the headquarters of the organization. Gladstone was the organization's first Secretary-General. The first decade looked bright for the organization, but problems in the early 1900s would bring the organization down.
The European powers, with increasing their power in Europe gone with the fear of large scale wars, began to colonize the world. In Asia, the Germans got a head start, and started settlements in islands of the East Indies, and the second-largest island in the world was soon under the German control, known as New Germany. The Germans continued their march across Indonesia, and by the year 1905 had all of the archipelago under their control. The newly conquered territories were named the "Great Prussian Archipelago". France soon got their act together and invaded Indochina, finishing their conquest in 1894. The newly territories were fittingly named French Indochina. The city of Saigon was named the capital of the colonies. The English soon found their way into Asia, colonizing the Maldive Islands and the island of Ceylon. The British also set up settlements on the eastern coast of India. The colonization in Asia is known as the Race for Asia.The European powers were not done yet. The Scramble for Africa was a period lasting from 1882 to 1914 when the European powers (and America) set up and expanded colonies. The British began, using an alliance with the Kingdom of Italy to defeat Egypt in the Anglo-Egyptian War in 1883, which lasted for seven months and brought Egypt under the control of the British. The British also asserted their control of South Africa, defeating the Zulus and putting down a Boer rebellion. Following more territorial acquisitions, British imperialist Cecil Rhodes announced a telegraph line from Cape Town to Cairo. However, German colonies in East Africa cut across the route, derailing the plan. The Germans also had colonies in Southwestern Africa, and the French had colonies in Northern and Western Africa.
Panic of 1893
Railroads opened up the United States, allowing people to explore new locations and travel easier. However, the railroads over expanded, and built longer than needed. Several railroad companies could not pay their expenses, and some became bankrupt, the most notable being the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. The railroads also led to more mines being opened, and more silver was mined than needed. The proposed Silver Act stated that the government needs to buy a certain amount of silver amount. The 1893 President Election reflected this: the Democrats, with nominee James G. Blaine not supporting the Act, and the Republicans, with nominee Benjamin Harrison supporting to created the Act. With the support of the miners and farmers Harrison won and the Law was created. Because of the Act, many people tried to redeem silver notes for gold, causing most of the gold in reserve to run out. As the economy worsened, people began to make withdrawals from banks, causing destability in banks.
The downturn in America created problems in Europe. Because of the continent being divided in alliances, trade was shut down. This caused foreign investors to attempt to get funds by gold, further crippling the gold supply. In America, the economy was sent spiralling, and several more railroad companies went bankrupt. Unemployment rates shot up.