I'd like to propose promoting JCC to admin. He's as active as Jonathan, but unlike Jonathan, he's respectful of the culture of consensus-building we've established here, and also unlike Jonathan, the tasks he sets himself are useful.
Before we confer this on him, let's just take a quick look at the effect of having four active admins would have on our decision-making process. Proposed changes would require a 3-1 majority, or 2-1, 2-0, or 1-0 with the corresponding number of abstentions. 2-2 would result in sticking with the status quo. I think the creation of new admins beyond him should require unanimous consent; one objection to promoting someone else would kill that promotion.
I hate to bother you ML4E, but I want to ask you something. Turtle Fan and I are having an argument of somesorts on the talk page of the Democratic Presidential Tickets Template and I'd like to hear your opinion of it.
Turtle Fan and I have been arguing over weather or not John Breckinridge belongs on the template or not due to him running as a "Southern Democrat" in the 1860 US Presidential Election. TF also suggested that we should probably get your and TR's opinions of this. Please reply back either here or on the talk page A.S.A.P. By the way, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :) JCC the Alternate Historian (talk) 19:30, December 24, 2018 (UTC)
It's not exactly as he describes. He found an old request for an edit by Jonathan that I had rejected, and went ahead and did it. I undid it and explained that, as Jonathan has never been made an admin, mine was the only opinion on the talk page that mattered unless you or TR wanted to wade in--which you're welcome to do, of course--but I assumed that, if you did want to, you would in your own time. Please don't feel obligated to respond if you're not interested.
I saw the discussion but didn't feel qualified to address a US political situation that is 100+ years old since I am a Canadian. However, something similar happened in Canadian Federal politics in the late 80s / early 90s where Albertan hard right politicians formed the Reform Party followed by Quebec separatist MPs leaving the Progressive Conservative caucus under Brian Mulroney to form the Bloc Québécois. Each became independent parties running their own candidates for Parliament so they are different in that way from 1860 US. The BQ became the federal counterpart to the provincial Party Québécois but the Reform Party was an attempt to move the PCs to the right and eventually led to a merger forming the current Conservative Party of Canada. Based on the discussion, it seems that the southern faction was attempting something similar to Reform on the Slave question but the ACW intervened. It seems to me that the southern faction should not be treated as part of the Democratic Party but does need to be acknowledged in some way.
Merry belated Christmas in any case. ML4E (talk) 16:48, December 27, 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that's what was going on. We take Republicans and Democrats for granted these days, but during the Antebellum, though there was usually a two-party system (and God help you if you couldn't get a major party to coalesce around your favorite issue), the parties were seen as temporary alliances: they came together to push for a given position on the key issue of the day (ratification of the Constitution, or assumption of state debt, or establishment of a national bank, or whether to treat Britain as a friend or a foe, or westward expansion, or regulation of slavery in newly acquired territories) and, when that debate had run its course, went their separate ways if they didn't happen to agree on the next big issue as well. The Whigs had done this in the 1850s, and 1860 seemed to be the Democrats' turn. Had the war not intervened, I think Breck's followers would never have returned to the Democratic fold. In fact, from analysis of primary sources, some of them seem to have been deliberately trying to sabotage the Democrats, undermine their ability to oppose the Republicans successfully, and then claim some grievance against the incoming Republican administration that would justify secession.
I can't think of a Canadian analog but, in Westminstrian terms, it might be something like the ERG withdrawing from the Conservative Party after they failed to bring down May at the 1922 Committee earlier this month, and setting themselves up as a hard right party, perhaps absorbing whatever remains of UKIP. If you want an analog of something that actually happened, maybe the moderate Labour MPs who formed the SDP after Michael Foote won the leadership election, to the extent that they thought their alliance with the Liberals had a chance of supplanting Labour as Thatcher's main opposition.
Okay, that sounds more like what happened with the Bloc. Mulroney wooed moderate Quebec separatists to run for the PCs federally with the promise of constitutional reform. When that failed (Meech Lake Accord), Lucien Bouchard led the separatists to caucus as the Bloc Québécois and run as such (but only in Quebec, not nationally) in subsequent federal elections. Bouchard eventually switched to the provincial Party Québécois and became Premier of the province.
From what you say, it sounds like the Southern Democrats (for lack of a better term) were running to subvert the Union to lead the way to succession. Bouchard, I think, was genuinely seeking to amend Confederation to give the provinces more autonomy. When that failed, he created the Bloc and later left for provincial politics and eventually held a second independence referendum (which failed by a whisker).
It all depends on how likely succession looked in the lead-up to the 1860 election. My original comparison to the Reform was based on the idea that it was viewed unlikely until Lincoln became president and then things fell apart. My thought was the Southern Dems were anticipating a failed Republican and/or Democratic admin and would sweep in with their views as an alternative. If, instead, succession looked inevitable, then they are more like the Bloc, greasing the skids for separation / succession.
Not that any of this is really relevant for the template. ML4E (talk) 20:25, December 28, 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, the possibility of secession was very much in the air in the late 50s. How seriously it was taken by those who didn't want it is an open question, but it definitely didn't come out of nowhere post-election.
I had, until a few days ago, a black toolbar at the bottom of my page. Among other things, it had a button that allowed you to see all articles that had a link to the page you were looking at. I found that to be very useful and would like to get that toolbar back. Anyone know how? I have looked though my "Preferences" and can't seem to find it. ML4E (talk) 19:59, September 16, 2018 (UTC)
I have just deleted eight (8) categories that I think are a waste of time. You may view them in the delete log. This is in addition to the Hawaiian and Virginian Cities that TR raised and I agree are not needed. Perhaps some of the cats I deleted have some use but I am too angry to discuss it at this time so I dumped them. Of course that means a whole mess of articles still have the cats but those can be cleaned up later if we are agreed on the deletions. As Turtle Fan mentions in Category talk:Pontifices Maximi of Rome, I think Jonathan needs a time-out of about a week to reflect on his arbitrary and unilateral actions. ML4E (talk) 18:04, April 13, 2018 (UTC)
I'm really loath to take that step, but, as we're running around trying to figure out the purpose of these categories, saying quite clearly that many of these are unnecessary, I think we've warned him on multiple occasions to not do this.
I don't see much choice but for a temporary kick. I think we can give him a chance to plead his case before we make the final call.
I still think it's a good idea. Actually I thought of it years ago, but thought we should be patient as he was bound to get a feel for our culture with time. But as I say, that was years ago. Wading through all his shit on the Recent Changes lists is utterly exhausting, and I feel like all we do any more is spot check him.
I'm all for giving him a chance to explain himself, but given how consistently he's ignored our reiterations of policy before, I'd be surprised if he even bothers.
Very hard to say, I should think. Confederation must have taken a very different path than it did in OTL: They're dealing with a militarily defanged and economically depressed, if even more bitterly Anglophobic, US on their border. They're also dealing with a regime in London that's become more intrusive in North American affairs and thus, presumably, more willing to take an active role in the administration and defense of BNA. With that being the case, I'd imagine Montreal would have a much harder time selling the Maritimes on the idea of circling the wagons.
I'm definitely a novice on Canadian history compared with ML4E, but I read a pretty thorough book on the topic last month (whoops, forgot it's March for a second there) and it's still somewhat fresh in my mind. My takeaway was that it was George Brown who first saw the need for confederation, and that once he pointed it out he won over many of his longtime enemies among the Conservatives, including Macdonald. My impression is that John A was the political genius who shepherded confederation through the many hurdles it faced, even if other, more intellectually rigorous Fathers did the work of shaping it. In TL-191 Brown's case would appear rather weaker since the US would not be able to make good on any idle threats it might make against British North America, so I suspect he'd have a harder time winning Macdonald over to his side; they hated each other before they started pulling together on a common cause. Given that there's less incentive for the Maritimes to surrender such autonomy as they enjoyed under the status quo (at least that was the main tack the anti-Confederation lobbyists took) and that it's also less likely British MPs would lose interest in North America (less likely, hell; they didn't. The scene where Douglass watches the bombardment of Rochester makes it pretty explicitly career that London's backed out of the Rush-Bagot Treaty, for instance), clearly someone who was extremely persuasive aligned with the Fathers at some point or other. And Macdonald's level of persuasiveness is quite rare; I'd go so far as to say that he rivaled Lincoln's mastery of that particular political talent.
If I had to guess, I would say that Brown's initial calls for confederation failed to convince Macdonald, but did win over some of the more nationalistic Conservatives such as Thomas McGee. Those Conservatives joined Reformers in hammering out a framework for Confederation, then the Conservatives took it to Macdonald and convinced him to come on board rather later in the game than he did in OTL; if they'd gathered enough steam, they might twist his arm into it by threatening his leadership of the party. He took point on selling it to the many, many people who had to sign off on it, and in the process gained the political capital to become the new nation's first PM. But since his role was less integral the bloom eventually wore off his rose, and by 1881 Parliament had moved on. My two cents anyway.
Interesting question. Turtle Fan's comments do make sense and postulate history following one direction namely that the US is an embittered but ineffectual continental power. I'm not sure that HT followed that path though.
In GotS he had the US seeking revenge by invading B.N.A. and taking various Canadian cities although being ineffective as a sea power. While this is a different timeline and story, it does illustrate a possible attitude that the US could be perceived as a potentially dangerous threat. Given the concentration of the bulk of the Canadian population being near the US / Canada border, I can see that Canadians and the British viewing the US with alarm even if they didn't take any overt actions.
In addition to the the military vessels on the Great Lakes that TF mentions, there were enough British / Canadian forces to invade Maine and Montana during the Second Mexican War. I always thought that the lancer regiment General Gordon commanded were some sort of Canadian territorial army that was formed rather than the Northwest Mounted Police. If you consider the OTL RCMP Musical Ride, that is based on cavalry tactics and manoeuvres from that time period. I concluded that a more military rather than police force was established and used then.
Who the first PM was is an open question. However, as TF points out Macdonald would be a strong possibility. Given that Turtledove has Robert Borden as PM during the Great War as he was during WW I, its likely he had Macdonald in mind as the first Canadian PM. ML4E (talk) 19:37, March 4, 2014 (UTC)
We've never heard of a US attack on Canada between the War of Secession and the Second Mexican War, nor even the intimation of threats. The latter strikes me as a strong possibility, however, and the former is not something I'd dismiss altogether; if it were a half-assed, desultory invasion, it's conceivable it would not be mentioned by US characters in HFR. We had no Anglo-Canadian POVs in that book, and by the time McGregor and Galtier joined the cast there was a more substantial history of border violence to overshadow anything that may have happened in the mid- to late 60s.
Of course, London retained veto power over confederation, and from my reading it appears Macdonald and the others relied heavily on an alliance with a Parliamentary faction known as Little Englanders. This group felt in general that most of the colonies were no longer turning a profit and should be, to greater or lesser extents, cut loose; and more specifically, that with European crises brought on by such developments as German and Italian unification and Russian and Austrian expansionism, it was foolish to risk becoming bogged down in an American conflict. So the Fathers played not just on British fear of an American war, but on that fear combined with the unwillingness to make North America a priority for the Foreign Office. In TL-191 they'd already committed to North America by interfering in the War of Secession, so despite or perhaps because of fears of US revanchism, they might want to retain tighter control over BNA.
By the way, the Reformers appear to have been fairly pro-US by the standards of the time. I'm wondering if that might mean, in TL-191, Brown sulked in his tent rather than appealing for confederation. Could it have come about purely by Conservative efforts? Another possibility, of course, is that, in selling confederation to Conservatives, Brown took the tack of "See, you had to go and provoke the US by helping the slaveholders, and now thanks to that stupidity, they're gunning for us. We'd better circle the wagons if we're going to have any hope of surviving your bad idea."
I'm two thirds of the way through a book by one of your compatriots about the relationship between the American Civil War and Canadian Confederation. My guess is the author's hoping to cash in on sesquicentennial fever with a book that will interest readers on both sides of the border.
It's not the best historical writing I've ever seen, I'm afraid, but I have found it to be pretty informative. I keep picking up on little errors which give me a bit of pause--he says Robert E Lee was already in command of the defenses of Richmond at the outset of the Peninsula Campaign, for instance, or that Joseph Hooker was new to command when the Pennsylvania Campaign began--but on the other hand those details have only a distant bearing on the heart of the book's subject matter, so I'm willing to overlook them.
One thing which I was surprised to learn, and which might interest TR as well, is that not only did Montreal-based Confederates organize a plot to burn the theaters and hotels of Broadway with Greek Fire in November 1864, but they got a good deal further along with it than did their fictional analogs in the first and by far better season of Copper.
Interesting. I vaguely recall a review of the book in a local newspaper and found it interesting but didn't follow up. As I recall Boyko was inspired to write it after a visit to Gettysburg and discovering Canadians fought (and died) for both sides there. Is the Montreal based plot the one that reputedly involved Booth's conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln? ML4E (talk) 23:53, February 13, 2014 (UTC)
There was a LOT going on in Montreal, so it's hard to say, but a couple of people connected to the assassination blew through there at different points, though never Booth himself. (He was playing one of the theaters on Broadway when the Greek Fire attack happened.) So much monkey business went on in Montreal, with the authorities unable or unwilling to put a stop to it, that it was the single greatest contributing factor to the deterioration in Anglo-American relations in this period, more so than the Trent or the blockade running or the warships built in England or anything else. It led directly to the abrogation of a free trade agreement which knocked the Canadian economy into a recession, and to the remilitarization of the Great Lakes in violation of an 1817 treaty (which the US Navy had already been largely ignoring for some time). According to Boyko, the fallout from these two broken treaties led to a feeling of desperation in Quebec City and the Maritimes which forced a lot of strange bedfellows together. Since the pre-Confederation political system made it ridiculously easy to obstruct important constitutional business, getting all the power brokers pulling together was a must.
There were indeed Canadians in both armies, but their numbers in the Confederate ranks were tiny. Most Canadians in the Union army and navy had already been living in the US for some time before the war started, though some were seduced to come south by offers of large bounties and a handful were taken by force by unscrupulous recruiters. Also, during the Trent affair, London sent nine regiments to reinforce the border of British North America, but it was a miserable posting. Add to that misery the facts that the US Army paid more than the British and that Washington was desperate for professional soldiers in the first year of the war, and a surprisingly large number of British soldiers defected. In one case an entire company was whittled down to zero within a few weeks.
As I said, lots of good info in this book. I just wish it were written more compellingly; reading it feels like something of a slog.
I did intend to work on it but was (and am) busy with family and friends this weekend. Canada Day today and I'll be taking off shortly to watch fireworks. I intend to start tomorrow or Wednesday. ML4E (talk) 23:36, July 1, 2013 (UTC)
I've read them. It was when they first came out as an omnibus, some time ago. I seem to remember it was right before Obama won his first election. My memory of the story details is hazy but I'll do what I can.