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|The Federal Commonwealth of NorthlandTimeline: The Shores of Northland
OTL equivalent: eastern United States, Yucatán, Cuba, Puerto Rico
Northland in 2015. States in dark green, territories in bright green.
|Largest city||New York City|
|Other cities||Philadelphia, Jamestown, New Orleans, Savannah, Orlando, Havana, Cancún, San Juan|
|Official languages||English, Spanish|
|Regional Languages||French, Cajun, German, Maya|
|Ethnic groups||White, Black, Latino, Mestizo, Mayan|
|Demonym||Northlander (EN), Septentricano (ES)|
|-||Vice President||Harris Gellar|
|-||Assembly Speaker||Calvin M. Dall|
|-||Senate Leader||Philip Tascherman|
|-||Southern Revolts||1851 - 1857|
|-||War on Slavery||1870 - 1875|
|-||Total|| 2,567,612.465 km2
991,361 sq mi
|HDI (2014)||0.847 (Very High)|
The Federal Commonwealth of Northland, commonly known as Northland (Spanish: Norteterra, La Septentrion) is a federal republic in eastern North America. Comprised of nineteen states, one territory, and one federal capital district, Northland is an influential regional power and commands significant political, cultural, and financial power in the Western Hemisphere.
With a population of 138 million living on over 2 million sq km of land, Northland is one of the world's most culturally diverse and industrialized nations. Its geographic and ecology diversity gives range to thousands of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, jungles, and other natural features. Urban centers, such as New York City, Jamestown and Savannah, are bastions of culture and international trade, while rural regions of the southeast and west form the country's agricultural, hunting and fishing economies. In the Caribbean, Cuban states and the island of Puerto Rico hold important naval outposts and are markedly strong spots for global tourism. The exclave states of the Yucatán peninsula offer incredible biodiversity, thus leading to an economy centered around wildlife research, biotechnology, medicine, and renewable energy.
Indigenous peoples first came to what is now Northland through Asia, 15,000 years ago. Since then, centuries of cultural and political development occurred under various Native American tribes.
European Arrival and Colonization
Europeans first landed upon the continent in the late fifteenth century, and since then, a long-period of colonization and settlement violently swept away indigenous prevalence in place of western European dominance. The first permanent European settlement in present-day Northland was San Juan, established by Spanish traders in 1521 and still inhabited today. Saint Augustine, a city in East Florida, was founded as a Spanish Mission by Pedro de Aviles in 1565, and is the oldest established and continuously inhabited city on continental Northland.
English and French Settlement
English settlement began in 1585 when English nobleman Walter Raleigh founded the settlement of Roanoke. A few decades later, the outpost of Jamestown was founded in 1607 and gave birth to the colony of Virginia. After years of success in Jamestown, English settlement then expanded south to the Carolinas and Georgia (modern day Jacobina) and to the north with Maryland. Scattered English Puritan colonies were founded in modern-day Quebec, in areas then known as New England. Puritan settlement was very limited in the north, however, as most Puritans settled in Virginia and the Chesapeake after 1630. Massachusetts remained the only major population center north of the Appalachian mountains. In that area, French fur traders and Catholics gradually outnumbered the English Puritans. The Salem Witch Trials in 1692, and the subsequent riots between Catholics and Puritans, caused mass Puritan emigration from New England. In the Seven Years' War (1756 - 1763) New England was handily won by the French and ceded to France after the war, along with Pennsylvania.
Elsewhere, French settlement was mostly prevalent in modern-day western Northland, in states such as Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tanaskee. Other European peoples, such as the Dutch and Swedish, left their imprints as well, especially in the Atlantic seaboard areas. However, by 1700, most Dutch and Swedish settlements were owned by England, who re-arranged them into the colonies of New Coventry and New York.
Independence and Issues of Territory
Modern Northland emerged as the Seven Colonies, which were controlled by England. After the loss of New England in 1763 and the stringent restriction of further settlement, colonists were humiliated, impoverished, and disillusioned with English authority. Hatred of the English was so strong that the colony of Georgia was illegally renamed to Jacobina, after German colonist-rebel Jacob Leisler who lived in the seventeenth century. There are also theories that the colonists renamed the region after King James I.
War and Government
After the enactment of several devastating taxes and a crushed coup, the Seven Colonies revolted in 1768, and all had individually seceded by Spring of 1769. What followed was a six-year war that had spelt devastation for both England and the Colonies, but none-the-less earned Northland its independence.
An elective constitutional-monarchy with a limited centralized government was established in 1776. A parliament was founded with King James I (formerly patriot James Otis, Jr.) presiding over it. However, years of instability caused by governmental incompetence, several tax revolts, and the assassination of James I prompted Northland to adopt a renewed method of governance. In 1790, the Parliamentary Convention greatly re-adjusted the national structure, abolishing the monarchy and instituting a complex legislative and judiciary system, with a capital in Washington, D.C., named after famed military commander and first President, George Washington.
From 1792 to 1795, Northland, under the leadership of President George Washington, waged war on France in the Reclamation War, which aimed to retrieve former New England and Pennsylvania colonies. The war did not achieve its goal and enacted a large cost on Northland, but still allowed for the annexation of Kentucky and Tanaskee. Furthermore, the war caused extreme financial crises in France which soon amounted to a violent period of Revolution that brought down the French monarchy and introduced an unstable republic.
In 1800, this new French Republic was suffering from staggering amounts of public hostility and debt. In hopes of filling the national treasury and lifting some financial burden, the French government sold a small portion of Louisiana to Northland. While not willing to sell the entire Louisiana territory, the French gave Northland the vitally important southern region, which contained the port of New Orleans. Naming this new state Louisiana, Northland then pursued a period of extensive North American trade and commerce, making the new country rich and wealthy, especially after nearly twenty years of violent warfare. The rest of the crumbling Louisiana Territory declared independence from France in 1803 and formed the Ohio Republic. After 1803, French influence was only limited to Tuskegee and Pearl River, as well as Texas, an area formerly owned by Spain but won by the French after their victory in the Seven Years' War.
Political Change, Party Politics, Democratization, and Expansion
The wealth and prosperity of the early nineteenth century was once more diminished by warfare. This time, Ohio declared war on Northland in 1807 following several trade tariffs upon the country. The war, lasting until 1811, was mostly inconclusive but led to greater strife in Ohio and an economic panic in Northland.
The thereafter-named Panic of 1811 consequently produced a large political discourse in Northland. Primarily centered in New York City and Roanoke, the so-called Little Enlightenment led to calls for greater male suffrage, increased democratization, political stability, and diplomatic isolation from the French and Spanish. These calls were successful, when a series of parliamentary reforms in 1815 increased male suffrage and removed various voting fees and requirements. The Government itself was reformed in 1816, with the previously despotic presidency given clear definitions, limitations, and term-limits to only three four-year terms, as well as several reorganizations of parliamentary and senatorial structure, and finally an expansion of the judiciary.
Occurring simultaneously to economic strife was the development of solidified political parties. Even before independence, many factions rose, representing various issues to colonists. However, after independence, many people were polarized by the issue of governmental power. Those who supported James I were named Royalists, while those who supported a Republic, such as Thomas Jefferson, were aptly named Republican. In the nineteenth century, as a clear class distinction began arising, Royalists transitioned into Territorialists, those of the upper class who supported expansion and industrialization. Republicans became a party stocked by the lower-class rural males who recently earned suffrage, and were opposed to industrialization. The Party system remained strong as various factions came and went.
Beginnings of the Suffrage Movement
As more and more men from across the economic spectrum were awarded the right to vote, all Northlander women were barred from that right. In 1819, a large protest was organized in New York City by Sharon Ostberg, an early feminist and Jewish activist, to bring attention to the political repression of women. The protest began on the early hours of March 11, and lasted nearly a whole twenty-four hours, attracting about three hundred women. Mostly of the lower- and working-class, the women used fiery rhetoric, threw bricks through windows, and caused a general disruption in lower Manhattan. Police sporadically broke up the protests as the day went on, and many of their actions were overly violent. Some women, including Ostberg, were hit with batons and punched by officers. By March 13, the Manhattan Suffragettes became national news, and so did their abuse.
However, as much outrage the nation had at seeing women beaten and hurt, there was virtually no talk about universal suffrage in Parliament, and there would not be for another hundred years.
Despite the oppression, several feminists and suffragettes blazed trails in their own times. Pro-slavery activist Joan Bath, while reviled and hated by the North as a barbaric villain, in fact support universal suffrage for all women after the War on Slavery in the 1870s. However, Bath herself supported white women's supremacy over black women, general segregation, and the abolition of the Bills of Autumn (read below).
Just as the Little Enlightenment stressed democracy, it also engendered hostility toward France and Spain. Starting in 1820, the Northland government began supporting Spanish Floridian separatists. Northland, led by President John Marshall, sent weaponry, money, and settlers to both East and West Florida, acts which perturbed Spanish authority so much that the Kingdom of Spain declared war on Northland in 1822, and was joined by France later in the year. Unlike the Ohio War, the Florida Wars were certainly not inconclusive, and carried heavy consequences for all nations involved. After suffering a string of defeats in 1822, and an invasion of Jacobina, Northland forces eventually turned the war to their favor after British support was earned in 1823. After that, Northlander and British forces crusaded through Tuskegee and Pearl River, quickly occupying them while making their way to Florida. West Florida fell easily after the quick siege of Pensacola in August, while East Florida, a strong Spanish bastion, gave the Northlander and British forces quite a fight. Regardless, the East Floridian capital of Orlando fell in May of 1824. After sporadic fighting for a few more weeks, peace was achieved through a series of Treaties in New York City.
The war carried strong symbolic consequences for both Britain and Northland, and healed the previous hostility that existed between the two countries. Northland obtained both Floridas, Tuskegee, and Pearl River, while Britain recovered New England, Quebec, and Pennsylvania. In return for war co-operation, but not wanting to cede all of their war gains, the British government granted Northland parts of New York province and the prized city of Philadelphia. Despite the small cession of lands, most Northlanders had given up on the notion of taking back New England following the failed Reclamation War. New England essentially lost its status as a core Northland region.
Following the war, Northlander political discourse moved farther away from domestic territorial expansion, and more toward the idea of maintaining the current political boundaries while advancing democracy, patriotism, and Northlander cultural independence. A literary movement subsequently began, romanticizing the industrial, urban centers such as Jamestown, Richmond, New York, and Philadelphia, while pointing to the glory and pastoral vitality of rural Northland. The movement, named the Northstar Movement, spawned several great literary classics and created a wholly new political thought in the country. Social distinctions between the rich and the poor were lessened as nearly all stressed civic duty, communal unity, and a more patriotic sense of citizenship.
Texas, Technology and Industrialization
Despite the growing, anti-expansionist movement among the lower class and burgeoning middle class, the government and upper-class still supported expansion. Finding opportunity in French Texas and a newly independent Mexico, the Northland Parliament devised a series of bills aiming to weaken French and Mexican control in the region. A series of settlement bills appealed to settlers who did not care for Northstar liberalism, and by 1826, hundreds of families were settling communities west of Louisiana.
Soon, Northlander settlers were bumping shoulders with French colonists in Texas. Further south, planters and slavers from Jacobina and the Floridas accrued the chagrin of anti-slavery Mexico. By 1835, nearly 10,000 Northlanders lived in French Texas and along the Gulf Coast of Mexico. In 1836, parliament petitioned France to cede Texas to Northland for a price of sixteen million dollars, citing the instability of the colony and how it would excel under Northlander leadership. The French Republic rejected the petition, and several more that followed after. In response, Amos Curtis, elected President in 1830, sent troops into Texas. Supporting the president, parliament issued several hundred patents and commissions to manufacturing companies and a nascent railway industry, offering them easy business and plentiful resources in a frontier such as Texas. The patents caused a technology boom in 1836 and led to a huge push toward greater industrialization in the country. However, rail expansion in rural Texas did not catch on until the 1890s at the earliest.
Industrialization had already started slowly in Northland in colonial days, picking up speed in the 1800s with the advent of steam power. Industrial efforts subsided after the Panic of 1811, and remained a low priority until the 1830s when new technology, railways, and increased demand for coal renewed efforts. As Northland troops occupied French Texas and naval battles raged in the Atlantic, railways were popping up all over the East as manufacturers were given increased impetus and opportunity. This increased opportunity won the war for Northland, but also muddled party politics, as the lower class manufacturers who were traditionally aligned with anti-expansion Republicans were now being courted and aided by pro-war Territorialists. This resulted in a growing pro-industrial wing of the Territorialist party, and gradual flight from the Republicans which would soon spell their demise.
First Mexican-Northlander War
By 1837, French Texas was hastily admitted as state as settlers continued moving to Mexico. Mexico itself was in no state to fight against Northland. A civil war begun in 1834 was still raging across the country after Northland obtained Texas. Issuing a Presidential Decree, Amos Curtis declared that all predominantly Northlander areas in Mexico are thereby considered Northlander property. Once more, the pro-expansion majority of Parliament supported his actions and the next year, in 1838, eastern portions of the region were admitted as the state of Mexico.
Further Development of Political Parties in the mid-Nineteenth Century
As mentioned earlier, party politics were muddled in the 1830s when the working classes began identifying with Territorialists, a party previously associated with expansionist aristocrats. As more and more of the lower and middle classes began partying with Territorialists because of their pro-industrial stance, the Republicans lost support and moved closer to an anti-industrial, pro-slavery, and pro-isolationist platform.
Territorialist and Republican Development
By 1840, Territorialists, popular in the North and some urban areas of the south, diversified their platform by appealing to both pro- and anti-expansionist voters, supporting immigration and industrial development, and taking a clear stance against slavery. Furthermore, in order to earn anti-expansionist support, Territorialists pushed for the notion of "vertical expansion". Vertical expansion was popularized as the idea of expanding society, culture, and democracy through peaceful nation building, as opposed to "horizontal" border expansion. Conversely, Republicans struggled to maintain political relevancy. Originally standing solely against monarchism and George I, Republicans gradually moved toward supporting civic duty and personal liberty. However, as the Territorialists grew stronger, Republicans attempted to compete with them by abandoning aforementioned issues and adopting others in an attempt to draw more voters in. A realignment thus occurred after Republicans went hardline conservative by openly supporting slavery, agrarian interests, and diplomatic isolation. However, a left-leaning, anti-slavery wing of their party remained active, and had accustomed to calling themselves "True Republicans".
The Republican Party could not compete with the Territorialists, and mostly collapsed by the mid-1840s. True Republicans soon began immersing themselves in Northstar political thought, and thusly reformed themselves as the Northstar Party, which advocated industrial limitations and anti-slavery. The rest of the Republicans faded into obscurity until 1849, when they returned as the popular Conservative Party, which took the southern states by storm. Before that time, however, politics was mostly dominated by pro-industrial politics for nearly ten years.
While appearing strong, even the Territorialists began decaying after the Texan and Mexican annexations in the 1830s, as well as the lack of solid opposition in the form of the Republican party. Their entire platform concerned expansion, whether "vertical" or "horizontal" and its alleged benefits to modern society. After the annexation however, with public opinion once more favoring anti-expansion, the popularity of Territorialism declined significantly after 1845. After a strong loss in the mid-term elections of 1848, the Territorial Party was disbanded by John H.V. Fisher, party leader and talented politician whose career was ended by his party's collapse. Many voters and party bigwigs found a niche in the Northstar Party. However, the strong pro-industrial section of the Territorialists straggled on even during the party collapse, leading to the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1847, finding popularity in Virginia and North Carolina, while Northstar found popularity in Maryland, Delmarva, and New Coventry as well as many western states and Mexico. The rest of the states, such as Texas and the south, voted Conservative.
Despite the disbandment of two major parties and established of three new parties, the ideological status of Northland remained much the same. There existed either urban, pro-industrial, anti-slavery mindsets, or agrarian, anti-industrial, pro-slavery mindsets.
Immigration in the Early Nineteenth Century
From the onset of Northlander independence in 1776 to the Cuban War in the 1850s, the country became a beacon for Quebecois, Spanish, and Irish immigration. As the French crown, and later Britain, ran into problems administering their North American colonies after 1800, several residents in Quebec simply packed up and left, finding a home in Kentucky and Tanaskee. These two states already were French-cultured after decades of colonial rule, and provided a welcome home to Quebec migrants.
The Spanish war in the 1820s brought a further wave of French immigrants into Northland, this time from Louisiana. Spanish and Mestizo residents in conquered territories also immigrated to various parts of the country. In Louisiana, the local French culture began mingling with the growing Northlander and Spanish influences, creating a distinct, syncretic culture that is today known as Cajun.
In the 1840s and 1850s, a severe potato blight struck Ireland, an already impoverished component of Great Britain. Finding no relief at home, and no sympathy with their English government, Irish peasants, workers, and farmers left their homes and traveled to Northland. They mainly found vocation and residence in New York City, Washington, Jamestown, and Roanoke. Within years, those cities became centers for immigration, leading to bitterness among the native Anglo-American upper class.
Unlike the relatively decent treatment of French and Spanish migrants, the Irish and Mestizo peoples were treated harshly. Employment discrimination in the north kept the Irish poor, while ethnic hatred and racism thrust Mestizo groups to the fringes of society.
As the issue of expansion was moot after 1850, the question of slavery arose in territories recently annexed.
Role of State Legislatures and Abolitionism
Slavery was legal and prevalent in most of the south, including both Carolinas, both Floridas, Jacobina, Tuskegee, Pearl River, Tanaskee, Kentucky, Texas, and Mexico. It was illegal in Delmarva, Maryland, New Coventry, and after a Northstar resurgence in the late 1840s and a strong cultural push against slavery, Virginia. North Carolina went through instability in 1852 when the Northstar state legislature voted away slavery, but a Conservative majority four years later brought slavery back. Despite the return of slavery in North Carolina, inland counties outright banned the practice.
In general, slavery was a low-priority issue before the 1820s. It was declining in the South, and most northern states had banned it between 1800 and 1811. However, the increasingly prevalent role of industry in the South led to a greater dependence on black slavery. By 1830, nearly 1,567,000 individuals were slaves. By 1850, that number had tripled, as the South became an industrial hotstop. Landowning families, planters, and industrialists benefited greatly from the system, while millions of blacks suffered as human chattel in an incredibly brutal, violent, and torturous system.
Over the course of the nineteenth-century, abolitionism, or the total banning of slavery, seeped into American minds. Initially, most anti-slavery proponents were early Territorialists, and saw slavery as detrimental to white settlers. However, as the repugnancies and horrors of slavery became widely known, a total moral stance against the institution soon developed. Joan Bath's pro-slavery 1831 novel The Necessary Evil was celebrated by southern Republicans and slaveholders, while its brutal honesty and accuracy disgusted and shocked most northern audiences. In response to her book, abolitionist Bernard Page published Tuskegee Rosewood Plantations in 1833, which told the fictional story of a slave family brutalized by their white owners. It sold similarly to Bath's work and fueled the flames of the pro- and anti-slavery issue.
State legislatures felt the turmoil as well. The only new state to ban slavery at the time was Virginia, while all other states in the South virulently defended the institution. Nationally, the issue was just as tense. Beginning in 1829, several Territorialist senators and parliamentarians began proposing industrial slave regulation in the south, while their Republican counterparts blocked nearly every resolution or bill. Similarly, many ferociously debated slavery in Mexico. The Mexican Republic banned slavery when it achieved independence from Spain. In the state of Mexico, most natives wanted to keep slavery out, but Northlander settlers, mostly coming from Jacobina and Florida, wanted slavery to be re-introduced. The state legislature, already wary of Catholic Mexicans, disenfranchised them and proceeded to institute a slave system in 1839.
Under the Presidency of Andrew Penn, elected in 1838 and the first anti-slavery president, several attempts to ban slavery failed miserably, as well as any attempts to regulate it or make the lives of slaves any easier. Penn was killed in 1844 after a bomb went off in the White House, set off by pro-slavery, Jacobinian nationalist Arthur Dabney. After Penn's death, the fight to stop slavery subsided, but only for a short time. It was revived in the 1846 elections when Democratic Presidential candidate Edmund Gilly pioneered a compromise which would establish a Department of Slave Regulation and alleviate the horrors of the system while appeasing southern slavers. Despite the compromise, most Conservatives rejected Gilly's plans. He lost the election, but a wave of anti-slavery sentiment swept over the north, and Edmund Gilly won the election of 1850, thus beginning the First Southern Revolt.
First Southern Revolt
The First Southern Revolt began on January 4, 1851 after Democrat Edmund Gilly won the Presidential election of the previous year. Fearing the institution of slavery would be banned and their lifestyle lost, state legislators from South Carolina and Jacobina declared Gilly's electoral win illegal and threatened secession. Both states raised army levies and defied federal orders. From 1851 to 1853, both states were virtually seceded, and a year of bloody battles and civil war cost about ninety-thousand lives. Charleston was razed by Northlander forces, and both states were placed under military law by the time the conflict ended in the summer of 1853.
The revolt only increased sectional tensions in the country. Southern Conservatives saw the North as brutally oppressing their homeland and god-given rights, while the Democratic and Northstar northerners saw the South as a fortress of barbarism, slavery, and cruelty.
Politically, slave codes were tightened in other southern states, while North Carolina once more attempted to ban slavery in 1855. Succeeding permanently, slavery was abolished in that state, and it only further instilled fear and anger in white landowners in the rest of the south.
Second Southern Revolt
After the abolition of slavery in North Carolina, Gilly managed to win re-election in 1854, and promised to strengthen the cause of abolitionists and follow the lead of states like Virginia and North Carolina. Slowly angered by the martial rule of South Carolina and Jacobina, both Floridas and Texas proscribed abolitionism as an illegal faction, and began tightening slave codes all over their respective states. Several slave revolts broke out in both regions in 1856, and Gilly was once more forced to dispatch federal troops to deal with the issue. The invention of the telegraph, and the prevalence of railways in the south, made the President's job relatively easy, but only so much.
In response to federal troops, the Governors of West Florida, East Florida, and Texas secretly encouraged civilian militias to engage federal troops and crush any slave revolt. The President found out about this, and declared all three states in rebellion. Fearing violent action, the three governors reversed their orders, but hundreds were still killed as militias attacked federal armies. The three governors, James Scott of West Florida, Benjamin Hamilton of East Florida, and Matthew McClare of Texas, were executed on grounds of treason.
Edmund Gilly left office in 1859 as a highly polarized man, having weathered two revolts, being adored by the north, and despised by the south, but not having quite eliminated slavery. Violence in the South gradually increased following the Second Southern Revolt, and culminated in the War of Slavery in the 1870s.
The Cuban War
Following the Second Southern Revolt, southern state legislatures were embroiled with fear and anxiety over the survival of slavery. They also feared federal action and flat out war if they made any brash decisions. Instead, they turned to Cuba, one of the last colonies of Spain in North America. Beginning in 1858, several southern states funding Cuban separatists and nationalists, hoping that the island would revolt and join Northland. A civil war occurred that year, but it was not as quick as southerners would have liked.
In an informal war lasting from 1859 to 1863, Southern states, at times aided by Conservative politicians, fought on ground in Cuba, and at sea against Spanish and allied French vessels. The war was costly, but by the end, Northland had control of Cuba. After pressure from the South and from a Conservative parliamentary bloc, Parliament incorporated the island as a single state, including the capital of Havana. Of course, the island would be a slave haven for Southern Conservatives, but little did they know that the acquisition of Cuba would only energize abolitionists in their fight to get rid of slavery.
Antebellum Social Change
Prior to the War on Slavery, many Northlander citizens turned to social reform and civic activism after witnessing the horrid effects of the Southern Revolts. Although the scope of this activism was limited until after the 1870s, many important figures advocated for significant changes in the country.
Daniel "Dan" Calvin, born in 1799, made his career in the 1810s and 1820s when he toured around the country, promoting the rights of poor farmers and agrarian communities in the west. The Virginia native earned significant popularity among Kentucky and Tanaskee farmers, and his touring led to the creation of the Western Farmers Union. The WFU began small, and was mostly derided by those on the east coast as being unpatriotic and needy. However, after the Florida Wars and the introduction of more agrarian-states, the WFU expanded in scope and popularity. By 1875, it was present in every state, including Cuba.
Several urban reformers arose at this time as well. Famed author Bernard Page, an ardent abolitionist, fiercely campaigned in the 1830s for industrial workers' rights. Advocating a federal minimum wage, lower work hours, and stringent safety protocols, Page became famous from New York all the way down to Jamestown and Raleigh. Also advocating for workers' rights was Anne Schuster, a Trenton-born aristocrat who criticized the industrial upper classes as being exploitative and inhumane.
The works and careers of all of these people enacted serious change on the country's social state. They polarized national politics, pushed the Northstar party to a more liberal, anti-slavery stance, and convinced many state legislatures to pass laws protecting workers and establishing a minimum wage. Furthermore, the infamous Caller Factory Riot in 1851, which involved two hundred New York City workers rioting over low wages and workplace abuse, was violently crushed by the municipal government. The Riot lead to the state of New Coventry inflicting heavy punishments on the city, including an enactment of martial law, and the passage of several radical laws protecting workers. Despite their repeals later in the decade, the works of various workers and advocates led to an irreversible change in what Northlanders thought of industrialization.
The Road to the War on Slavery
Between 1863 and 1870, the nation was consumed by the slavery debate. The majority of states in the country had legalized slavery, while only North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., New Coventry, Maryland, and Delmarva had banned it. The rest of the states, including Texas, Mexico, and Cuba, allowed it.
Gosser's First Campaign
1861 surely represents a pivotal year for the country, for it is when Northstar Maryland Senator Albert Gosser announced his campaign for the presidency. Unlike his predecessor Edmund Gilly, Gosser was an ardent abolitionist, and through speeches around the nation, promised to end the institution and hold each southern state responsible for their subversive actions in 1850s. Challenging Conservative President John Merry Wilson, Gosser only managed to take New Coventry, Maryland, and Virginia. Even though most agreed with Gosser's anti-slavery message, the country was worn out after two revolts and the possibility of a true civil war looming around the corner. Wilson won the 1862 elections upon a platform of peace, continuity, and the slow reform of slavery.
Ideology and Party Effects on WarAs it stood in 1860, The Territorialists and Republicans no longer existed as parties, as both had collapsed due to decadence and over expansion. The Republicans, disbanded in 1844, were split between conservative, pro-slavery, agrarian members and liberal, anti-slavery urban members. The conservative wing of the Republican party formed the spine of the similarly named Conservative party. Liberal Republicans eventually joined either the Northstar party or the Democratic Progressive party.
The Territorialists were also split between two extremes as well. As a whole, all Territorialists supported a liberal, industrial, anti-slavery in some way or another. However, their support of those issues varied greatly. Those who supported limited industrialism and worker's rights joined the Republican-based Northstar party. Those who still clung to pro-industry stances did not join any party, or those who identified themselves as Establishment Territorialists, but founded the Democratic Progressive party themselves.
In 1862, those ideologies clashed in the elections. Although John Merry Wilson won the presidency, many state legislatures in the north swung left. In Delaware, an abolitionist stronghold, the state assembly voted in a super majority of Democrat Progressives, known colloquially as simply Democrats or Progressives, with a further plurality of Northstarists and a petty Conservative minority.
The situation remained volatile in 1866. The North was populated by avid Progressives and Northstarists, and became one of the most left-leaning regions in the country. The south, on the other hand, stretching from South Carolina to Florida to Texas, was an impenetrable Conservative fortress, giving all votes necessary for Wilson to win a third term that year.
However, as soon as the 1866 elections wound down, and a pro-slavery president was to remain in office for a final four years, the whole nation seemed to burn with passion, fear, and vitriol. Several slave revolts from December 1866 to early May 1868, a vast period of time, engulfed the deep south. Beginning with the Savannah Revolt, staged in the largest city in the South, the event sparked a series of violent rebellions that left 4500 slaves dead, brutalized, or executed, and 950 white landowning families similarly butchered. Roanoke, capital of the slave-free state of North Carolina, saw large amounts of civil unrest as well, pitting lower class immigrants, blacks, and the upper echelons of the city against each other.
A brief period of calm occurred in late 1868, when Parliament legalized a series of slave reforms, making it illegal to torture, maim, or murder any slave. The Howell Reforms, as they came to be called, delivered a great victory to parliamentary moderates, yet engendered disappointment and malaise among both Northstarists and Conservatives.
Unfortunately, the reforms were short-lived accomplishments when another surge of violence gripped the south after southern planters began ignoring the law. During the callous summer of 1869, former slave Samuel Pillhaughty traveled around the deep south, accompanied by Northstarists and abolitionists, campaigning for total abolition and immediate slave rebellion. His words worked, and that season, several dozen communities in both Floridas experienced violent uprisings that took the lives of 200 slaves and 89 whites. To make matters worse, Albert Gosser once more announced his intent to run for the 1870 presidential elections. In retaliation, the states of Jacobina, Tuskegee, and East Florida all illegally nullified the Howell Reforms, citing the endangerment of their culture and society. Texas, Mexico, Cuba, and Pearl River soon followed. Parliament, in response, enacted heavy sanctions upon them and fought to impose martial law. President Wilson, an ardent Conservative, vetoed every bill which came upon his desk promoting action against the South. Naturally, Conservatives and pro-slavery advocates adored him.
The War on Slavery
By October of 1870, the country was essentially a war-torn canvas of pro-slavery and anti-slavery advocacy. Two revolts, several dozen slave rebellions, and thousands of dead marked one of the darkest periods of Northlander history. Political theorist and Senator Paula Belanger writes in 2002 that "the twenty-odd year period from 1851 to 1870 was marked by a strange ebb and flow of brutal violence and instability. The War on Slavery had yet to enact its extreme toll on the nation, yet the people of Northland felt a mystic knowledge that something was coming, and they had to do something about it." Indeed, something was in fact coming: War.
The election of 1870 pitted Albert Gosser, Northstar abolitionist, against Conservative firebrand Sherman Amherst, Senator from South Carolina. The campaigning was fierce and shameless, and proved to be one of the costliest of the last fifty years. Gosser wins, and is able to bring a record-breaking amount of Northstarists and Progressives to the polls, greatly outranking Amherst.
The South reacted violently. On November 30, the state legislature of Jacobina voted to raise state militias and declare Gosser's win illegal. Within three weeks, Texas accomplished the same. All other Southern states did not in fact pass damning legislation, but collectively raised 750,000 troops among them, including Cuba and Mexico.
North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delmarva, and New Coventry were the only loyal states to Gosser's Washington. By early 1871, southern troops had invaded and occupied large swaths of North Carolina and Virginia. The situation seemed increasingly dooming as the year went on. A successful southern blockade, initiated in May of 1871 and culminating in a series of naval battles in August, choked the north dry of resources, support, and transportation.
Luck began to change tides in December of 1871 upon the appointment of New York-native Gregory Bohun as master general of northern forces. A talented tactician, brilliant strategist, and one-time archer, Bohun dazzled his forces after utterly destroying a Southern army in February of 1872 at the famed Battle of Banner Elk. That army, led by Tejano commander Marciano Smith-Caller, an equally talented general, was routed and embarrassed by Bohun. Within the season, North Carolina and Virginia were liberated as the southern occupation was driven out in droves. Despite his prowess, Bohun was still met by powerful opposition, and the front lines met little change from 1872 to 1874.
In that time, however, naval warfare was given the spotlight. It was in October 1872 that the Southern blockade was decisively broken, costing the Southern navy nearly 80% of all its ships. The North, keeping its navy mostly intact, then sought to impose a blockade of their own, feeling a thirst for vengeance. By 1873, a strong, resilient blockade lined the Atlantic coast from South Carolina, around the Floridas, and imposing itself on the shores of Cuba and Mexico.
The third and penultimate. phase of the war started in 1874, when the newly-independent nation of Quebec, granted independence of Britain in a peaceful 1860 referendum, was dazzled by Northern ability. The then-Prime Minister of Quebec, Martin Gavin, granted 120,000 troops to the North and declared war on each and every rebellious Southern state.
Now, with two countries and two energized armies armed to the teeth and a blockade strangling them, the South was definitely doomed. The first fatal blow came on March 22, 1874, when the Kentucky state senate convened, banned slavery, renounced all other rebellious states, and firmly surrendered to the North. Tanaskee did the same three weeks later, as Northern forces occupied the state.
As some states surrendered, others remained steadfast in their mission to preserve slavery and their hatred of the North. Jacobinian governor Clarence Lewis fought alongside soldiers as Northern forces powered through the state, enacting a harsh scorched earth policy and burning several hundred slave plantations.
By summer 1874, South Carolina, Jacobina, Tuskegee, and East Florida were all occupied by Northlander forces. Sensing that these states would never surrender, Albert Gosser ordered that those state legislatures be shut down, and military governors be implanted. Gosser's process took a long time, and yielded lukewarm results at best. South Carolinians protested heavily against a military governor, while those in Jacobina actively called for the death of Gosser.
Pearl River, Louisiana, Texas, Mexico, and Cuba remained rebellious by the end of 1874. Thus began the final phase of the war, consisting of two invasions. Albert Gosser ordered Gregory Bohun to invade Pearl River, while the navy of Northland performed an amphibious assault on Cuba. Bohun's invasion proved devastating for Pearl River, causing immense property damage after public buildings and plantations were burnt to the ground. Louisiana encountered similar damage and devastation. Following his march through the two states, Texan and Mexican legislators were convinced to surrender, which they did in February of 1875.
The invasion of Cuba proved another victory for Northlander forces, with troops securing Havana on March 11. After the occupation of Havana, the rest of the state soon followed suit in surrender. The day the last Cuban battallion surrendered, March 29, is commonly seen as the end of the war.
No formal treaty, armistice, or peace agreement was ever drafted or signed, as Albert Gosser saw it as inappropriate to sign documents with an illegal set of rebellious territories. Thus, Gosser kept going with his plan to stock southern states with miltary governors and pro-Northlander legislatures. One of the most daring acts he took was the partition of Cuba into four regions: Three states and a capital district for Havana. Immediately unpopular with Cuban residents, Gosser quelled dissidence with a twenty-month campaign of urban restoration, financial aid, and war reparations toward Cuba.
Immediately following the War on Slavery was a period of long instability in Northland, not only in the war-torn South, but the North as well. Gosser, as President, was harsh on former rebel states. In an executive order dated from November 1875, Gosser writes "these states that so rebelled from the Commonwealth will hereby not be known as states per se, but Military Regions, for an indefinite period of time,". This order allowed him to appoint military governors of each Region, as well as enforce martial law with little opposition. Parliament attacked him relentlessly, but he only placated them so far as to attach a sunset clause on his order, reading that this militarization of the South will "conclude on the first day of 1900". Southerners were upset at the law, and several major revolts occurred in major cities every year until 1878. These revolts, known as the Executive Rebellions, occurred in cities such as Jamestown, Roanoke, Raleigh, and Charleston.
Among the Executive Rebellions entailed numerous counts of violence against former slaves, including a record number of lynchings from 1875 to 1879, where nearly 4900 Black Northlanders were beaten and summarily executed by vitriolic mobs.
Also included were acts of robbery, assault, vandalism, rape, battery, and verbal harrassment. White attackers were given little to no punishment for their crimes, while blacks were likely to be ridiculed and threatened for exposing white offenders. In the North, the press frequently reported on anti-Black crimes and painted the South as a racist, barbaric, and un-Christian place.
The Marcos Killings and McClay Crisis
The most widely reported event was that of the rape and dual homicide Jamilla Marcos and her husband, William. Marcos was initially captured and raped by two white men on August 21, 1877 in Galveston, Texas. The next day, Marcos brought her rape to the attention of town authorities, but was coerced and further humiliated by Sheriff Denis McClay as he claimed that white men have the freedom to do as they wish, promptly turning her out of his office. Two days later, McClay led a posse of his friends to Marcos's home outside of town, where they killed and dismembered her husband, William Marcos, and kidnapped her. They proceeded to rape her, and finally, lynch her in what is today Marcos Park.
The Marcos Killings made it to the national press in under a week, and by the end of the month, newspapers in London and Paris were reporting on the dual murders and lynching. In places like New York City and Philadelphia, angry crowds protested the horrific events. Former abolitionists were transformed into anti-lynching activists, and previously apolitical citizens turned out in record numbers to protest on the steps of city hall in Trenton, New Coventry.
The situation worsened, with Parliament convening on August 26 to decide what to do after riots broke out in most major cities. Northstarists argued that McClay and his three accomplices should be immediately put to death, while Conservatives argued that it should be the military government of Texas to decide. That day, both parties drafted the Letter of Advice on McClay, suggesting that the President, whom the letter was addressed to, sentence McClay to fifteen years in prison, while his accomplices receive five years each. Gosser immediately made it clear he found the letter too forgiving of McClay, and instead drafted his own rough draft on McClay. Gosser argued that McClay does not have the rights of regular Northlander citizens due to both his residing in a Military Region and his service in the rebel military, therefore he cannot sue nor be defended in court. He suggested that he be sentenced to death along with his three accomplices. Conservatives outright rejected Gosser's draft, while Northstarists quietly urged him to moderate his tone. Wanting to not upset Parliament, Gosser wrote another draft on August 30, re-affirming his stance that McClay had no rights due to his rebellious history, but the military courts of Texas should decide he and his accomplice's fates. After days of arguing back and forth, Parliament eventually agreed to Gosser's compromise draft. Gosser then published this draft as an official executive order on September 4.
In accordance to Gosser's executive order, the Military Tribunal of Texas, composed of nine lieutenants, met in Beaumont to decide McClay's fate. McClay and his three accomplices were given the right to defend themselves by the Tribunal, despite Gosser's protest of such actions. From September 6 to September 14, all four men gave passionate pleas, citing the dangers the "white race" faces in the post-war South. All four denied the rape and murder of Jamilla and William Marcos. On September 21, the Tribunal met for the final time to decide the fate of the men, and after heavy deliberation, all nine members convicted all four men on premeditated murder for both Jamilla and William Marcos, as well as the rape of Jamilla Marcos and McClay's obstruction of justice in initially turning away Jamilla Marcos on August 22. All four were sentenced to death by hanging. The conviction was carried out on October 2, in front of a large crowd of spectators in Beaumont, many of which included anti-lynching activists and Northern journalists. McClay's execution made national news and the event was cemented in history as justice in the North, and as tyranny in the South.
The Bills of Autumn and Failed Atlanta Coup of 1880
After the Marcos-McClay Crisis, the South became a virtual tinder box, ready for a stray match to ignite the fires of budding nationalism and anti-Northerner resentment. The such match was lit on October 13, 1879, after Parliament passed several bills at alleviating instability in the South, as well as establishing departments of social and financial aid for former slaves. Most people in the South had initially no issue with the set of bills, now known as the Bills of Autumn, as they layed out several clauses aimed at helping white farmers and lower-class whites eliminate their debt. Plus, the Bills established the existence of the Agency for Planters, which sold land taken from rebel landowners to Southern residents for low cost. This was expected to be taken advantage of primarily by free black men. Plus, the Bills of Autumn also guaranteed the citizenship and right to vote of black Northlanders, as well the "eternal, unwavering ban on the practice and proliferation of slavery".
However, popular opinion was quickly turned against the Bills of Autumn by extremists and radicals, both black and white. Whites argued that the Bills were Northern imperialistic influence attempting to stamp down whites and elevate former slaves to godly positions. On the other hand, black extremists argued that the Bills were just another ruse aimed at subjecting blacks but in a simply different disguise, Both groups advocated for a form of racial nationalism, and for both, eventual separatism. The North was demonized as a malevolent imperialist force, while the public was gradually divided on the issue.
Beginning in December of 1879, former slaveholder George Billings started to preach in Atlanta of the impending death of "Southern Life", especially in the days after the Bills of Autumn were introduced. He soon gained local popularity among bitter, disgraced whites as a speaker of truth. In early 1880, Billings and his allies began using what little wealth they had left to recruit young, naive white males from the sticks and towns surrounding Atlanta. Billings was planning a coup in Atlanta, and in his recovered journal, wrote of the rise of a "New, Vitalized South that did not bend the knee to nigger or nigger-lover." Among his writings were also nonsensical musings on seemingly random topics, such as the fall of Rome, the rise of Charlemagne, and the oppression of ancient Gaelics by Romans. The public revelation of his journal contents in April of 1880 caused many Jacobinian doctors in the budding field of psychology to label Billings as a schizophrenic madman. This pushed Billings over the edge, and in May, assembled a force of ninety two ill-prepared, destitute militia men to march on Atlanta.
The group caused a great commotion in Atlanta, breaking windows, letting horses loose, and accosting both white and black passersby. Blood was split when the group regrouped after splintering and began attacking the state legislature building. Bricks and rocks were initially pelted at windows, before Molotovs were then thrown. The building, with military assemblymen inside, was set ablaze. A number of sixteen men and women were killed in the blaze. Billings was soon captured by Northlander forces and summarily executed. Much of the ninety two men escaped, except for ten. Five of which were deemed to be Billings's co-conspirators, and summarily executed as well.
Recovery and Failure in the 1880s
After Billings's execution, and until 1902, there was relative peace in the South. The Agency of Planters became popular in Jacobina and Tuskegee, giving both poor whites and former slaves a chance at a stable life in agriculture. From 1880 to 1900, these new farmers brought family-owned farms and non-plantation agriculture back to the forefront of Southern life after decades of large scale slavery based in a cotton dominated the region. Rice, corn, wheat, and barley became the top crops in the Deep South as the cotton industry suffered further blows after the War.
However, not all regions of the South were as fortunate as Jacobina and Tuskegee. In areas such as Texas and Pearl River, rural areas remained highly devastated and un-arable, while cities were mostly in ruin. Industrialization was put on indefinite hold in these cities, as investors and capitalists were wary of establishing business in war-torn areas, especially when the population was destitute and largely poverty-stricken. Louisiana and both Floridas were stunted as well, with shrinking economies and civil turmoil being the rule of day for most of the 1880s and early 1890s.
The Election of 1882 and Northstarist Dominance
As Albert Gosser prepared to leave office, Northland went through one of its biggest crises since its founding, and Gosser wanted to preserve peace and stability any way he could. In 1874, he picked war hero Gregory Bohun to be his vice-president, and in 1882, he convinced Bohun himself to run for President. The Northstarists were at the peak of their popularity when Bohun announced his campaign in early 1881, and he took full advantage of this popularity.
Bohun knew that he had the Northern states in his grasp, so he crafted a campaign message designed at promising the lifting post-war poverty. This message resonated with voters in loyal Southern states such as Virginia and North Carolina, but was cooly received in South Carolina. The rest of the South was resentful of the Northstar Party, and in response, they backed Conservative former planter Walter Clune. Clune promised his supporters a heavenly delivery from Northern aggression through the elimination of the Agency of Planters and the segregation of blacks. Many Southerners found his message highly appealing, but enough emancipated blacks and liberal-minded whites were able to outvote the Conservatives in 1882 and help elect Bohun president.
1883 Military Governments Affair
After taking office in 1883, Bohun sought to pursue a dynamic and "unapolgetically" Northstarist agenda. One of his first acts as President was extending the military governments of the former rebel states to 1905 at the latest. He immediately earned the scorn and hatred of the South with his order, and he initially planned to not back down from his veto. However, in 1884 after Democrats and Conservatives won more seats in Parliament, he was forced to retract his order, and issue a new one, affirming the original end date of 1900.
After the initial roadblock in 1884, Bohun then pursued a liberal domestic policy but increasing funding toward railways, industrial efforts, and the Planters Agency.Cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Jamestown benefited from the expansion of railways, and all three cities became the de facto industrial capitals of Northland. In the south, Atlanta, Charleston, Pensacola, and Macon were much slower to catch onto industrialization, but their surrounding rural areas expanded due to the Planters Agency (PA).
Noting the success of the PA in the South, Parliament and Bohun drafted legislation aimed at empowering the Agency as well as creating subsidies for rice and corn farmers and lowering the export rate on such crops. The result was initially sour, with export rates remaining low from 1884 to 1885 and the subsidies seemingly doing nothing. However, toward the end of the decade states like Jacobina and Tuskegee saw a general rise in crop exports from the region, as well as a rise in average income of those farmers selling the crops. Most crops were sent to Virginia and Maryland, where rice and corn were no longer farmed. Corn was already grown in the North, so that region did not become a major center for Southern exports, but rice did due to the cold climate which was not friendly toward rice-growing.
In terms of foreign affairs, Bohun's vice-president Alexander Burghman, and Secretary of State, Ed Delavan, were instrumental in forging a long-lasting alliance with the Republic of Quebec in 1888. A year later, they forged a trade pact and an historic but ultimately ineffective "declaration of good will" with the Ohio Republic, an increasingly unstable realm which had suffered a large military coup in 1873.
The rest of Bohun's Presidency was spent advocating for Northstarist ideals, including the creation of the Industrial Export Commission (IEC), which coordinated agricultural and industrial exports to foreign nations in a much more organized way then previously seen.
Bohun left office in 1891, being succeeded by his second vice-president and winner of the 1890 elections, Emmanuel Gonzales.
Corn and Rice Boom
In fact, the boom in corn and rice was so popular and prevalent that several private agribusinesses were founded around the end of the 1880s and early 1890s. The largest of them was the Southern Export League (SEL), founded by Amery McAleese, Andrew Scottes, and Mary Cavanaugh. All three were immigrants. McAleese and Cavanaugh were born in Ireland and emigrated during the initial onset of the Potato Famine, while Scottes, born Andrej Noscz, was originally from Poland but was forced to leave in his teen years after his parents moved to Northland.
All three SEL founders were also avidly anti-slavery, not because of moral regions, but because they saw slavery as a tool to take jobs away from poor whites and dole them out to blacks. None of them were kind to black Northlanders, and the three specifically ruled that black farmers were not allowed to be members of the SEL.
Apart from the SEL, many poor farmers were able to climb out of poverty as they rode the economic wave caused by the Corn and Rice Boom. However, like any wave, the Boom was destined to eventually crash.
Railways in The West
Kentucky and Tanaskee
As the Deep South experienced an agricultural renaissance, the upper western South, a largely empty, dry region, experienced a rail boom. In 1887, Parliament placed subsidies on several major rail companies and directed them to expand in the west. Within just ten years, plans were laid out and rails laid connecting the small towns of Edmunton, Kentucky to Jamestown and New York City. In Tanaskee, Curtisville was connected to Savannah and Atlanta, bringing the Corn and Rice Boom to the northwest.
Texas and Mexico
Rail growth in Texas and Mexico was a slower process, due to the large size and distant proximity of those states. To make matters more difficult, the Texan state legislature created and subsidized a rail network of their very own in order to counter the influence of the newly established Federal Rail Corporation. Parliament itself had no qualms with Texan actions, with Assembly Speaker Michael Clarence reasoning in 1890 that "Texas is too far, too dusty, and too empty for any rail connection to serve any use."
Regardless, the Texan legislature founded the Rail Company of Texas in 1889 and immediately laid tracks from Beaumont to Galveston in the next year, and from Galveston to San Miguel within five years.
In 1894, the Governor of Mexico, Rodrigo Alvarado, signed a treaty with Texan Governor Max Wallace extending the RCT down into Mexico. By 1910, there was a well-kept, active line connecting Tampico, Monterrey, Galveston, and Beaumont, becoming informally known as the Gulf Line. Despite the apparent success of the Line, Washington still had little interest in the west.
Roots of Texan and Mexican Nationalism
In the years after the War on Slavery, there was resentment in the South, but no such resentment matched the absolute rawness and belligerence that radiated out of Texas and Mexico. After the war, residents and politicians alike condemned the Federal Commonwealth as an alien, foreign realm, completely unrepresentative of the welfare of Texas and Mexico.
In 1878, mere three years after the conclusion of war, Texas and Mexico forged an illegal trade pact with each other, agreeing to trade things such as oil with only each other, and slapping heavy tariffs on universally all other goods. Parliament, which must approve all interstate compacts, immediately declared the Texas Mexico pact, often shortened to the Texico Pact, a violation of the constitution.
The Texan State Legislature disputed the ruling, stating that the definition of "compact" was too broad, and therefore the entire clause requiring Parliamentary approval is entirely moot. Arguing continued back and forth until 1880, when the Texan legislature finally dropped the issue and retracted the trade deal.
Also stoking Texan and Mexican nationalism was the bloody independence war of California, which began its long revolt against Mexico in spurts of violent rebellion starting in 1860. The Republic of California was declared in 1890, and became a pro-independence talking point for many anti-Northlanders in Texas and Mexico, including future Mexican attorney-general Alonso Deguerriano.
The Dawn of the Twentieth Century
On the first day of 1900, North America emerged as a very volatile continent. California had just concluded a very bloody war for independence, and was in the throes of a republican, proto-ascist dictatorship. In contrast, Mexico was recovering from a long-period of revolution caused by the California Revolution, with its economy expanding under Liberal rule. Canada was given nominal independence by the British Empire, while its eastern neighbor Quebec was modernizing under the industrial revolution. Northland itself was torn between a prosperous, progressive North, and a war-torn, military-subjugated South.
Democratic Party Rule from 1899 to 1907 (The 3000 Days)
In 1898, Alphonse Jackson became the first Mestizo President of Northland (Emmanuel Gonzales was white Cuban) and attributed this to the increasing tolerance white Northlanders had, as well as the liberalization of historically disenfranchised Mexicans. He used this rhetoric to make the case for Mexico to remain in Northland, and his message was successful as nationalist grumblings were gradually snuffed out over the course of the early twentieth century. From 1899 to 1907, through a string of Democrat presidents, the period was called the 3000 Days.
Foreign Policy, Annexation of Puerto Rico
However, Jackson was also the first Democrat-Progressive elected to office since Edmund Gilly in 1850. The party had changed much since then. While still remaining mostly liberal, the Democrats took a very hard turn on foreign policy. Instead of advocating for internal development and democratization, Democrats under Jackson advocated for a strong Northlander voice on the global stage, especially in an increasingly unstable Europe."Democracy has found its perfection in Northland, but we must show the world that Democracy can be had by them too, and a strong foreign policy is needed for that." Jackson said in 1897.
He demonstrated this hawkish foreign policy in 1899 by annexing Puerto Rico. Emmanuel Gonzales had funded pro-independence groups earlier in the decade, and began sending Northlander forces in 1894. By 1898, Spain had granted Puerto Rico autonomy, but newly elected Alphonse Jackson had plans to integrate Puerto Rico with Northland. In 1899, he sent the governor of the island an alliance and an offer to join Northland in exchange for greater economic and political freedom. Puerto Rico accepted the Northlander deal, declared full independence from Spain, and joined Northland as a territory in 1899, and as a state in 1912.
From 1900 onward, Northlander diplomats began forging key alliances with western European states such as France and Britain, but also began friendly relations with Austria-Hungary as well through trade deals and informal alliances. Conservatives and Northstarists found common ground in criticizing Democratic actions, reasoning that they are only immersing Northland into the inevitable war that will soon engulf Europe's great powers.
John Blanche's Short Presidency
In 1902, as Alphonse Jackson planned to retire amid tepid popularity and a largely unmemorable presidency outside of the Puerto Rican Annexation, he decided to convince his Vice-President John Blanche to run in his stead. A reluctant, mostly reclusive former Assemblyman from West Florida, John Blanche ultimately agreed to run. His opposition in the Conservative party was an inexperienced two-year Governor from Louisiana, James West, while his Northstarist opponent was the famed Senator from New Coventry, George Abernathy. Abernathy, the likely winner, was stunned when he, in fact, lost to Blanche by a slim margin.
Blanche was inaugurated in early 1903 and immediately pursued a grand presidential package aimed at increasing Democratic-Progressive presence in the newly demilitarized South, as well as pressuring Mexico for concessions and land grants. In January of 1904, he began positioning troops on the Texan-Mexican border, prepared to invade and annex valuable land surrounding the Rio Grande.
However, most of Blanche's dreams were not met, as he was assassinated by a madman in 1904 after delivering a speech in Pensacola, West Florida. He was shot twice in the neck and died several hours later. His assassin, Cavalier Stanley, a radical Mexican activist was sentenced to be hung, but escaped two weeks before his executive. While Stanley was never found until after his death in 1911, his escape became national legend and spawned a headline news story that lasted for close to a year after his dashing flight from prison.
Second Mexican-American War
Miguel Guzman succeeded Blanche, and pursued policies generally similar to his predecessor, including arming the Mexican border. In 1906, under pressure from their own political parties, the Mexican government declared war on Northland in 1906, after arming their borders as well. Guzman responded by ordering the navy to blockade Mexico's Gulf coast, as well as invading the Yucatan. The invasion of the Yucatan was successful, while battles in the Rio Grande region ended in mostly Northlander defeat. Part of this reason was due to several instances of Texan nationalists sabotaging Northlander transport trains in May, June, and July of 1906, as well as several thousand volunteers joining the Mexican government. By the end of the year, it was clear the war was a stalemate in the Rio Grande and only a slight Northlander victory in the Yucatan. The Treaty of Juarez granted Northland a northern portion of the Peninsula, while Northland had to drop all pretense to the Rio Grande valley and rescind all territorial claims from that region.
The War has since been called a pyrrhic victory, as the conflict occurred at a time of economic malaise, and the war expenditures only made it worse. The Corn and Rice Crash of 1902 (read below) exacerbated the problem. Wages stagnated and unemployment rose, with the South being the worst hit. Guzman was handed a decisive loss in 1906 as James West was voted as the first Conservative President in forty-eight years.
Corn and Rice Crash
Towards the turn of the century, states like Virginia and North Carolina began capping rice and corn imports, as they simply had no desire for the good any longer. The states that produced and exported these goods, primarily in the South, were gradually cut off from their top buyers. They had no commercial interests in South America or Europe, and there was already a large Corn and Rice surplus in the South itself. As 1902 dawned, countless warehouses and storage facilities were stocked with rotting foods that had nowhere to go. Economies in Jacobina, Tuskegee, and South Carolina, reliant on the Corn and Rice Boom since the 1880s, began crashing. This in turn led to an economic panic stretching from Miami to New York.
President Guzman attempted to remedy the situation by obtaining more land to cultivate, but the war with Mexico proved disastrous and he was quickly voted out of office. In 1907, at the peak of the recession, James West purchased large chunks of the Yucatan from a recalcitrant, but devastated, Mexico. Immediately he began sending grants to local, indigenous farmers and subsidies many companies and collectives to begin cultivating the land there.
The Sturgeon Purchase, named after West's state secretary Henry Sturgeon, did some good to alleviate the economic stress on the South. After the purchase, many residents in the newly acquired territories were open to buying corn and rice at extremely low prices, which caused a boon in the economies of several Southern states. The boon kept the Southern economies relatively strong as well, as the Yucatan itself did not yield as much rice and corn as West had hoped, yet there was still a benefit in the purchase.
After 1910, the economy dropped again and fears were once more stoked. However, after a few wobbly months, the stock markets in Jamestown and New York began showing an uptick, and the economy stabilized soon after.
Intensification of the Suffrage Movement
After the Democrats made it clear that they believe democracy was perfected in Northland, much ire was produced by feminists and suffragettes in Northland. "How could our President proclaim that democracy is omnipresent in Northland, when millions of women in this very country cannot vote, earn their own money, or file their own taxes?" Said Mary McGermaine, a scholar and influential Virginia politician. While it is true the majority of Northlander women were disenfranchised, McGermaine's quote is slightly inaccurate. Two states by 1900 had legalized universal suffrage. Kentucky in 1880, and McGermaine's very own Virginia in 1891. She made waves by being elected to the State Senate, representing the very liberal Northstarist stronghold of Jamestown.
Outside of McGermaine, other important women protested the Democrats rhetoric as well. Ioannes Palmyris, a Greek journalist visiting Northland, wrote harshly about President Jackson, contrasting his message on total democracy with scenes of segregation in the South, coupled with regular lynchings and beatings of black Northlanders. Marie Deere, a young feminist and anti-Segregationist, echoed Palmyris and herself wrote on the issue. "There is not a democracy more corrupt, more immoral, and more hateful than one which pretends its perfect." She wrote in a newsletter in 1901. "The fantasy of a Perfect Democracy is a coin which is pleasant on one face, and rotting with injustice and subjugation on the opposite face." She wrote further.
From 1900 to 1910, the frequency of feminist messages appearing in major newspapers increased, as did protests and demonstrations. However, World War One put the breaks on any further progress.
World War One
The Beginning of War
As tensions heated up in Europe between the Triple Entente and Central Powers after 1907, Northland was in a precarious position. An alliance existed between Northland and Britain since the 1820s, while relations with France had been strained since the Texas War in the 1840s. By large, Northland maintained a very isolationist foreign policy in terms of relations with Europe, but by the early 1900s Northlander presidents and officials began opening diplomatic channels with Austria-Hungary and Italy. Conversely, the Ohio Republic improved relations with their former colonial master of France.
James West attempted to defuse the situation in the Ohio Republic by reaffirming the alliance between the two states, first established in 1889, including an offer to support Ohio in taking lands from Mexico. However, Ohio, under the reign of military dictator Etienne Colviar, refused West's advances in 1912 and suspended the 1889 alliance that same year. In 1913, Ohio and Mexico entered a highly controversial and publicized military alliance, which France supported and billed as the "American Entente".
In 1914, after Archduke Franz-Ferdinand was assassinated by Serbian nationalists, war began in Europe as various alliances were triggered. France, Britain, and Russia declared war on Imperial Germany and Austria-Hungary. Italy refused to join the Central Powers.
In North America, Northland was shocked by a surprise declaration of war by Mexico on September 2, 1914. No ultimatum, no demands, no warning was given in the preceding months. The next day, after President West frantically begged the Prime Minister of Quebec, Samuel Degaves, for support, Quebec declared war on Mexico. Just as the war in Europe began as various allies declared war on each other and defended their friends, the same occurred across the Atlantic Ocean. After Quebec declared war on Mexico on September 3, the Ohio Republic declared war on Northland later that evening. In honoring the "American Entente", France joined Ohio on September 6, formally sending a declaration of war to Washington, D.C.
The entry of France into the American theater caused a huge crisis in Britain. Allied to Northland since the early nineteenth century but fighting alongside France in what would be the biggest war in history until that point caused a diplomatic upheaval in London. Prime Minister H.H. Asquith cleverly devised a way to denounce French actions without declaring war. On September 11, Asquith and Parliament voided the alliance with France yet ceased to declare war, vowing to continually fight Austria-Hungary and Germany. Secretly however, Britain sent weaponry, food and supplies to Northlander troops.
However, as cunning as Asquith was, the actions of Austria-Hungary complicated the situation even more. In October, after months of deliberation, the Austrian Imperial Council petitioned Northland for a military alliance, which James West accepted only on certain conditions. West stated that Northlander troops would not fight the British, and would only serve to sustain the crumbling Austro-Hungarian realm. In turn, Austria-Hungary in North America would only engage in French, Mexican and Ohioan forces, not the British. It was a confusing, complex deal, but West made it his mission to preserve the alliance with Britain.
Fighting Begins in Northland
Actual fighting in Northland only began in October, after Ohio forces pushed into western Virginia after the Northlander loss in the Battle of Charleston. Further advances made the Northlander people frightened and demoralized as battle after battle was lost to Ohio. Newspapers began printing sensationalized stories of a fascistic Ohio conquering Northland and executing the President. James West then ordered talented General Rodrigo Ayudanez to halt the Ohio encroachment later that month. In a turn of events, Ayudanez and his troops pushed back the Ohio advances back to Charleston, where a year-long siege drained the resources and supplies of the Eastern Ohio Army.
Simultaneously, Ohioan forces lost several key battles near Tanaskee, while troops from Louisiana pushed into the Missouri region and occupied chunks of important land surrounding the Mississippi River. In the East, the very homeland of Ohio itself was on the border of hostile Quebec, itself preparing for a large scale invasion.
Mexico initially fared much better from October to January of 1915. Mexican forces under General Juan-Mario Ortiz swept through the Northlander state of Mexico and took the capital of Monterrey before Christmas. After a series of more defeats and spectacular losses, Ortiz invaded Texas in mid-November, and began his long march on the capital of Beaumont.
At the same time, massive political animosity was generated against President West in response what Democrat-Progressives viewed as a disastrous presidency. "Every battle since October has been a resounding defeat, and we can clearly only blame it on the non-sensical military decisions of James West." said Miguel Guzman, running for a third term in 1914. West fired back, stating that Guzman's war on Mexico in 1906 drained the Northlander military morale as well as its economic prowess. Fortunately for West, he was re-elected in 1914 as Mexican forces surrounded Beaumont, while Ohioan forces were being barely held at bay.
Entry of California and the Turning Point
In January of 1915, after months of pressing on behalf of James West, the military dictator of California, Fernando Jurigasto, declared war on Mexico. Sensing fundamental Mexican weakness, and the promise of valuable land in the Rio Grande, Jurigasto invaded northern Mexico and effectively turned the tide of the war against the Mexican state.
As the winter of 1915 developed, the war was realized to be in clear favor of Northland, Quebec and California, and not in favor of the "American Entente". By May of 1915, Rodrigo Ayudanez successfully invaded the core territories of Ohio and forced their unexpected surrender, while Quebecois forces occupied valuable lands around the Great Lakes. In the south, Monterrey was liberated by Californian and Northlander armies in June, and the remainder of Mexican forces were pushed south of the border in September. On October 23, over a year after fighting began, the Mexican government surrendered to California and Northland, ceding New Mexico and Arizona to California.
Northlander Presence in Europe
Once the wars in North America were ended, President James West made it clear that he was going to honor his alliance with Austria-Hungary. On November 1, he sent an expeditionary force of 14,000 to fight for Austria on their eastern front, while another 2,000 troops were sent to put down nationalistic revolts.
Simultaneously, West and Parliament attempted to arrange a deal between the Austro-Hungarians and Britain, where the two-powers would sign a cease-fire between each other. While initially promising, the British Parliament rejected the deal on November 29, instead calling for Austria-Hungary to surrender and resign from the war. After suffering ethnic uprisings in the Balkans and in Ruthenia, as well as suffering a string of military defeats and an imploded economy, Charles I of Austria declared that the nation was withdrawing from the war. In response to this news, James West was forced to send an additional 6,000 troops to the region in order to fight against Russia, which rejected the Austro-Hungarian withdrawal.
As 1916 dawned, the situation remained chaotic in the West, as the frontlines between Germany and France went from a static border to a torn piece of land shaped on the map by battles won and lost. The war degenerated into a trench war, with high casualties, unbelievable ruin, and filthy conditions for soldiers and refugees alike. However, Germany was quickly losing after the Austro-Hungarian withdrawal. Because of the withdrawal, Parliament declared war on Germany, with some 50,000 troops sent to fight the Imperial Army on the French front.
By Summer, the Imperial Army was losing badly, with several key French successes pushing back against German advances. In Berlin, negotiations for surrender began on July 18, two months before Belgium was effectively liberated by Northlander and French forces.
The German Empire surrendered on December 11, 1916, merely two years after the war began. Their army, although battered, was still fit to fight a war, yet the withdrawal of Austria-Hungary was absolutely devastating to Germany and eliminated any prospect of winning the war.
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles, signed in June of 1917, was in fact composed of several component treaties. The Treaty of Versailles covered Germany, while the Treaty of Zagreb covered the fate of Austria-Hungary.
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was not only a document dealing with post-war Germany, but a platform for a budding rivalry between France and Northland. Northlander Secretary of State, Richard Lorenzo, was present in Paris as the treaty developed, and was a large voice in the negotiations. As the French government proposed full dissolution of Imperial Germany, as well as the disarmament of the Ruhr region, Lorenzo proposed a weak, but intact, constitutional monarchy with a federal government, and a similarly weak, but still standing, armed forces. A bitter rivalry was then born between Northland and France as they vyed for the future of Germany, with Lorenzo's proposal being realized above the French. Thus, the Kingdom of Germany was born, with a parliament modelled on the Northlander parliament.
Treaty of Zagreb
In a similar position as Germany, Austria-Hungary had an operational army, but it too crumbled under the pressure of a two-front war. In 1917, Austro-Hungarian diplomats pushed the concept of a "United States of Greater Austria", where the Empire would be federalized in order to ease the nationalistic and ethnic tensions within. It is true that before the war, nationalist groups demanded autonomy more so than independence. However, as the war progressed, the viability of Austria-Hungary was called into question as eastern groups such as the Ukrainians, Transylvanians and Dalmatians successfully comandeered their portions of the empire and drove them to independence. As of 1917, the Empire was only composed of Austria, Bohemia, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, and Galicia. Bosnia broke off in March of 1917, later joined by eastern Galicia in May.
Once more, rivalry ignited between Lorenzo and Europe, this time the powers of Russia, who wanted a total dissolution of Austria-Hungary in order to satiate their own expansionist goals in the Balkans. Luckily for Lorenzo, a Socialist revolution in Russia allowed him to pursue his own policy in Austria-Hungary.
Without Russian, and later Soviet, interference, Lorenzo successfully pushed for the notion of a federalized Austria-Hungary. As the treaties were signed in the summer of 1917, The Austro-Hungarian Empire ceased to exist, being instead replaced by the United Kingdom of the Germans, Galicians, Magyars, Slovaks, and Croats, better known as the United Kingdom of the Danube.