03 May 2016

US Presidential Election 1964

In April 1961 a CIA backed operation to overthrow President Charles de Gaulle's government was successful. General Maurice Challe strengthened ties with the United States and pushed to make France an important member of NATO. In return for French cooperation the US began to send advisers and equipment to Algeria to aid France in its war there. The Soviet Union smuggled weapons to the Algerians and moved some of their own soldiers from the Muslim regions of the USSR to the combat zone. Algeria quickly became an important proxy war between East and West.

President Kennedy was forced to increase the assets sent to Algeria over the next few years. In 1962 Marines and Naval air assets took direct action in the conflict shortly followed by US Army ground forces. This was taking place as the President was also increasing commitments in Vietnam. The American people would not stomach two major foreign wars, so by 1964 the few advisers in Vietnam were withdrawn, leaving that country open for conquest by communist forces. Efforts were then re-doubled in Algeria. Rumblings of a return of the draft angered more Americans.

In 1964 nearly all of Algeria was occupied by Franco-American forces. However the Algerians would not surrender. The press turned on the western allies as atrocities were uncovered. This did not help the reelection campaign of Kennedy. He was able to distance himself from the worst events taking place in Africa, the American people easily placing blame on the French. Russian media focused on blaming the 'Vichy' dictators that controlled France in an attempt to create chaos in France and hopefully have them drop out of NATO.

Barry Goldwater obtained the Republican nomination to run for President. While he was also anti-Soviet he saw the disaster the war in Algeria was. He wanted to withdraw from Algeria and leave it to the French so that America could confront the Russians on other fronts. This alone may have given him victory in November, but his anti-union and anti-New Deal positions frightened too many others.

November 3, 1964 saw an above-average voter turnout. President Kennedy retained his power. Despite his loss, Goldwater continued to try to change the Republican party.

15 January 2016

Friday Flag - CSA

The Confederate States of America was founded in 1861 when seven states broke from the United States. War never developed from the break but several more states joined the CSA after the United States outlawed slavery. While there was no open warfare the USA continually led raids to free slaves in border regions and skirmishes resulted.

As the end of the 19th century approached the CSA became an economic backwater. Larger US entities more likely to establish relations with Mexico than with the Confederates. By 1876 Texas was the first state to leave the CSA.

Texas didn't last long as an independent nation. Mexico, with the USA looking the other way, invaded and annexed the territory. The CSA fought a brief war with Mexico as a result but the United States acted as a mediator.

As the 20th century dawned the CSA got involved in a war with Spain which led to coastal settlements in Florida and South Carolina being bombarded and Spain retaining hold over its colonies. Within a decade Cuba and Puerto Rico would become the Caribbean Commonwealth, a semi-autonomous part of the Spanish Empire.

During the Great War the German Empire sent the Zimmerman Telegraph to the Confederate States trying to bring them into the conflict. In no condition to invade the United States the CSA remained neutral.

Florida eventually left the CSA and joined the Caribbean Commonwealth. Virginia, for years economically outpaced by West Virginia, leaves the CSA and asks for re-admittance to the United States in 1927, bringing the CSA back down to 7 states.

While slavery was on a decline over the decades it wasn't until a Constitutional amendment in 1936 did the CSA officially end slavery. They would remain a economic disaster area for decades with the more powerful USA and Mexico dominating and exploiting their economy.

02 January 2016

2015 In Review

Dang, 2015 was a crazy year for me. On the down side it really hampered my posting schedule. I posted less than I did in the short year of 2013 when I started this blog. Still I plan on keeping things going. Despite the limited new posts in 2015 some were pretty good. Here is a list of the year's top posts.

Top five posts from 2015:
#1: Map of he United States of America circa 1910 - One of my better attempts at creating a nice looking map.
#2: Friday Flag - Liberia
#3: Friday Flag - Triple Monarchy
#4: Money Monday #5 - 100 Mark Note - one of the better alternate currencies I've designed.
#5: Book Review - The Multiversity Guidebook - I really need to do more book and movie reviews.

What's Up for 2016
The big thing for this year will be the GURPS RPG campaign I plan to run in the summer. It will take place entirely in an alternate history. The game will allow me to develop a number of new and interesting nations and explore in detail an interesting new world.

Over the Christmas/New Year period I begin focusing on learning the rules of Crusader Kings 2. I've finally got a dynasty going and might post some details and screenshots as it develops.

There is a large stack of alternate history books I've read that need reviews. I've also got a stack of unread ones that need reading. I'll try to share my thoughts and insights on these books as the year progresses.

01 January 2016

Friday Flag - Seljuk Empire

Happy New Year to everyone! It's Friday, time for a new alternate history flag.

Today I present the flag of the Seljuk Empire. In our timeline the Sultanate of Rum collapsed in the early 14th century eventually leading to the Ottoman Empire being formed.

In this alternate the Seljuq Dynasty (founded in the 10th century) continued to dominate Anatolia. The ongoing conflicts with the Roman Empire (historiographically known as the Byzantine Empire) helped the Seljuk maintain control over the other Turkish lines. They would led the eventual conquest of Constantinople in 1444 allowing them to solidify their own reorganized empire.

As this history continues it the Seljuk Empire would likely develop along similar lines as the OTL Ottoman Empire did. Its survival would depend on the numerous small changes over the centuries leading up to the Great War.

The central symbol on this flag was taken from a file uploaded by Mevlüt Kılıç to Wikipedia. Therefore this image is also covered by the Creative Commons ShareAlike attribution.

Creative Commons License
Seljuk Empire flag by Sean Sherman, based on work of Mevlüt Kılıç is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

31 December 2015

Teddy Roosevelt's Last Stand

July 6, 1917; Carnegie Hall, New York City

Both Theodore Roosevelt (former US President) and Samuel Gompers (president of the American Federation of Labor) were invited by Hamilton Fish to meet a delegation from Kerensky’s government of Russia. During the event Gompers defended the racial violence initiated during the strike in East St. Louis. Black strike breakers and their families were attacked. Over 6,000 blacks were driven from their homes and over 200 were murdered.

Roosevelt was outraged by the savage killing of Americans and called for justice for the slain. Gompers blamed the corporations for bringing in the [African-Americans] to break the strike. The strikers warned the corporation that trouble would follow (which showed some pre-meditation of what was to follow).

The argument between the two became heated as Roosevelt stood and shook his fist in Gompers face. Gompers also stood as the war of words continued.

“I will go to any extreme to bring justice to the laboring man, but when there is murder I will put him down.” Roosevelt was quoted as saying.

The confrontation turned violent as it appeared to the labor supporters in the gallery that Roosevelt struck Gompers. They charged down onto the stage, bringing Roosevelts supporters up in an attempt to stop them.

The ensuing mêlée Mr. Roosevelt received two broken ribs and a broken nose. However his worst injury was suffered when he was pushed off the stage, shattering his hip. His death two days later would lead to riots across the northeast and west coast. The landscape of American politics would be changed for decades to come.

The South would actually become more pro-Labor while the North would push Civil Rights leading to marches and demonstrations in the late 1940s. Regional politics would remain strong weakening party politics.

Many would wonder what would have happened if Theodore Roosevelt had survived to run for President again in 1920.

Hamilton Fish: Memoir of an American Patriot (by Hamilton Fish; ISBN 0-89526-531-1)

The Chicago Daily Tribune Volume LXXVI #162, Saturday, July 7, 1917

Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roosevelt#/media/File:T_Roosevelt.jpg

11 December 2015

Friday Flag - The United Kingdoms of England and France

In 1120 William Adelin survived the wreck of the White Ship. He went on to become King of England continuing the line of the House of Normandy. There would be no succession crisis as William III took the throne in 1135 at the age of 32. England remained stable and William III produced an heir.

War with France in the early 13th century allowed for expansion of England's territory. The Anglo-French War of 1201 to 1212 was waged by King Robert III, and was a decisive English victory. Phillip II of France was killed in 1212 and his son Louis VIII became King of what remained of France.

The Albigensian Crusade allowed the English to complete their domination of France as they crushed the Cathar in the name of the Catholic Church. In 1228 Louis VIII lost his throne as France became part of the Kingdom of England.

In 1235 the flag of of the United Kingdoms of England and France was issued. The United Kingdoms would continue to dominate European and then world politics for centuries.

02 December 2015

Preparing an Alternate History RPG Campaign

Well, NaNoWriMo is over. Didn't hit 50,000 words due to distractions at work and the need to do some more research. I'll be putting that steampunk story on hold as I prepare for a new tabletop RPG campaign for next summer.

At first I was planning to run a science fiction campaign, something like Eclipse Phase. I've been burning out on all the fantasy and D&Dish stuff we've been playing. However, an alternate history timeline I was working on seemed it might be a fun place to adventure especially in a in a gritty version of GURPS with no magic or psionics allowed.

Two of my players are interested, I still have to check with the others. I was working on a timeline where the native tribes of North America ended up being stronger. Having only one divergence point I've been working on the basis of what will hopefully be a mostly plausible scenario.

Given the great divergence that would take place in modern history my outline started getting a little stuck in the late 16th century. That also happened to be a great time for a group of "adventurers" to explore things and get a firsthand look at this world. Hopefully a long enough campaign will allow me to flesh out this world enough to extend its timeline to modern day.

Now that a basic rules system is set and the basic historical outline is being developed I have to now work on maps, technology, and other aspects of the world. Things such as calendars, currencies, and new names for places are going to fill some of the spare moments I'll have between January and April.

I'll post interesting items related to this game's history and setting to this blog as they are developed. I may even post a synopsis for each game session after we play them.

....or maybe the players will get fed up after too many of their characters get killed or maimed in a gritty world with no modern medicine or magical healing available. Might do them some good after our recent overdose of the Pathfinder RPG.
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