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The conflict is commonly referred to as simply the Yankee War, since the First Yankee War (1879) is much less well known. "Yankee" is the common term for the population of the United States and the Confederate States. It is also known as the North American War outside North America and as the (Second) Anglo-American War among Americans.
The complex origins of the war resulted from more than a century of conflict between the Americans and the British Empire, but of particular immediate importance was the question as to which nation would control and benefit over North America. From 1775-1779, the United States fought their war for independence from Britannia. The Americans dreamed of expanding to the Pacific but those dreams were smashed during the Napoleonic Wars when New France (fighting with Britannia and Mexico) fought for their independence from the French Empire. Because Britannia was involved, it feather destroyed relations between the U.S. and Britannia. The tension helped begin a short but brutal war on the Canadian border known as the War of 1812, fighting along side the British were Tecumsuh's confederacy which sought British protection from the Americans. The war ended in a stalemate, although Tecumsuh's dreams of a confederacy ended when he was killed during the war. Although the war ended in a stalemate, New England also fought for their independence. (New England later became a province of the British dominion of North-East America). The United States was able to expand to the Mississippi river, the New France border.
Confederate War for Independence
The Confederate War for Independence, widely known in the United States as simply the Civil War as well as other sectional names, was a liberation war fought from 1861 to 1863 to determine the survival of the Union or independence for the Confederacy. Among the 29 states in January 1861, seven Southern slave states individually declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Confederacy, often simply called the South, was not diplomatically recognized by any foreign country until they gained their victory. The states that remained loyal and did not declare secession were known as the Union or the North. The war had its origin in the factious issue of slavery.
In the 1860 presidential election, Republicans, led by Abraham Lincoln, supported banning slavery in all the U.S. territories, something the Southern states viewed as a violation of their constitutional rights and as being part of a plan to eventually abolish slavery. The Republican Party, dominant in the North, secured a majority of the electoral votes, and Lincoln was elected the first Republican president, but before his inauguration, six slave states with cotton-based economies formed the Confederacy. Lincoln's March 4, 1861 inaugural address declared his administration would not initiate civil war. Speaking directly to "the Southern States," he reaffirmed, "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly to interfere with the institution of slavery in the United States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Confederate forces seized numerous federal forts within territory claimed by the Confederacy. Efforts at compromise failed, and both sides prepared for war. The Confederates assumed that European countries were so dependent on "King Cotton" that they would intervene; Britannia (although abolitionist) supported the Confederacy in order to reduce U.S. power. With British support, Confederate general Robert E. Lee was able to invade the North successfully and secured Confederate independence.
First Yankee War
The First Yankee War was a small war fought in 1879 fought between the Confederate States of American and the British Empire. The Confederate States was formed in 1861 and fought a war for independence that lasted until 1863. The Confederate States consisted of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. The young nation dreamed of an empire in Latin America, including conquering Florida (at the time a British colony). The war ended in a stalemate but brought tensions between the British Empire and the Confederate States and United States that eventually led to the Second Yankee War.
1880-1899: Rising Tensions and Spanish-American War
Prior to his service in the Spanish–American War, Theodore Roosevelt had already seen reserve military service from 1882 to 1886 with the New York National Guard. Commissioned on August 1, 1882 as a 2nd Lieutenant with B Company, 8th Regiment, he was promoted to Captain and company commander a year later, and he remained in command until he resigned his commission.
When the United States and Spain declared war against each other in late April 1898, Roosevelt resigned from his civilian leadership job with the Navy on May 6 and formed the First US Volunteer Cavalry Regiment along with Army Colonel Leonard Wood. Referred to by the press as the "Rough Riders", the regiment was one of many temporary units active only for the duration of the war.
After securing modern multiple-round Krag smokeless carbines, Lieutenant Colonel Roosevelt arrived on May 15. The regiment trained for several weeks in San Antonio, Texas, and in his autobiography Roosevelt wrote that his prior National Guard experience had been invaluable, in that it enabled him to immediately begin teaching his men basic soldiering skills. The Rough Riders used some standard issue gear and some of their own design, purchased with gift money. Diversity characterized the regiment, which included Ivy Leaguers, professional and amateur athletes, upscale gentlemen as well as cowboys, frontiersmen, Native Americans, hunters, miners, prospectors, former soldiers, tradesmen, and sheriffs. The Rough Riders were part of the cavalry division commanded by former Confederate general Joseph Wheeler. It was one of three divisions in the V Corps under Lieutenant General William Rufus Shafter. Roosevelt and his men departed Tampa on June 13, landed in Daiquiri, Cuba, on June 23, 1898, and marched to Siboney. Wheeler sent parts of the 1st and 10th Regular Cavalry on the lower road northwest and sent the "Rough Riders" on the parallel road running along a ridge up from the beach. To throw off his infantry rival, Wheeler left one regiment of his Cavalry Division, the 9th, at Siboney so that he could claim that his move north was only a limited reconnaissance if things went wrong. Roosevelt was promoted to colonel and took command of the regiment when Wood was put in command of the brigade.
When he was the President of the board of police commissioners in New York, Theodore Roosevelt, revealed his cowboy belligerence, writing: “Let the fight come if it must. I don’t care whether our seacoast cities are bombarded or not. We would take Canada. If there is a muss, I shall try to have a hand in it myself!…It seems to me that if England were wise, she would fight now. We couldn’t get at Canada until May, and meanwhile, she would play havoc with our coast cities and shipping. Personally, I rather hope that the fight will come soon. The clamor of the peace faction has convinced me that this country needs a war.”
This was nonsense from every angle; the British could probably defend Canada quite well unless the United States reconstituted at least half of the strength of the Grand Army of the Republic, and could reduce to rubble every American city on every ocean coast, from Seattle to San Diego, Galveston to Pensacola, and Jacksonville to Boston, for as long as pleased it. Further, from the British standpoint, it would be insane, as Chamberlain wrote, to get into war with the United States over such a trivial issue. Theodore Roosevelt would soon become one of the great executants of American strategic policy and would be very successful. At this point, he was just a blustering, ill-tempered schoolyard pugilist. It is considered a mystery why America never invaded Canada during the war, debates rage over what the outcome could have been if Canada was invaded.
The Spanish American War instantly made London fear for the British Dominions in North America, the military was sent to the borders of Canada and North-East America. William McKinley, the President of the United States, issued an ultimatum on 9 October 1899, giving the British government 48 hours to withdraw all their troops from the border of the United States, albeit McKinley had ordered Commandos to the North-East American border in early September and the British only had troops in garrison towns far from the border, failing which the U.S., allied to the Confederate States, would declare war on the British government. The British government rejected the United States's ultimatum, resulting in the United States and Confederate States declaring war on Britannia.
The war had three distinct phases. In the first phase, the Americans mounted pre-emptive strikes into British North America, besieging the British garrisons of Bridgeport, Hartford and Providence. The Americans then won a series of tactical victories at Warwick, Newport and Boston.
In the second phase, after the introduction of greatly increased British troop numbers under the command of Lord Roberts, the British launched another offensive in 1900 to relieve the sieges, this time achieving success. After North-East America and Canada were secure, the British were able to invade the United States, and the republic's capital, Philadelphia, was ultimately captured in June 1900.
In the third and final phase, beginning in March 1900, the Americans launched a protracted hard-fought guerrilla war against the British forces, lasting a further two years, during which the Americans raided targets such as British troop columns, telegraph sites, railways and storage depots. In an effort to cut off supplies to the raiders, the British, now under the leadership of Lord Kitchener, responded with a scorched earth policy of destroying American farms and moving civilians into concentration camps.
Some parts of the British press and British government expected the campaign to be over within months, and the protracted war gradually became less popular, especially after revelations about the conditions in the concentration camps (where as many as 26,000 American women and children died of disease and malnutrition). The American forces finally surrendered on Saturday, 31 May 1902, with 54 of the 60 delegates from the United States and Confederate States voting to accept the terms of the peace treaty. This was known as the Treaty of Baltimore, and under its provisions, the United States were absorbed into the British Empire, with the promise of self-government in the future. The Confederate States remained independent but was incredibly weakened from the war.
The war had a lasting effect on the region and on British domestic politics. For Britannia, the Second Yankee War was the longest, the most expensive (£200 million, almost £22 billion as at 2015), and the bloodiest conflict between 1815 and 1914, lasting three months longer and resulting in higher British casualties than the Crimean War (1853–56) (although more soldiers died from disease in the Crimean War).