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csw View Drop Down
Janissary
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Post Options Post Options   Quote csw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: British Federation
    Posted: 22-Mar-2009 at 02:32
They said Germany couldn't afford to fight another world war. They did it for six years. You'd be shocked at what can be bought if you want it bad enough.
 
As for the Monroe Doctrine, do you REALLY think the American public would support a war against a former ally, and creditor IN THE FRICKIN Roaring Twenties, for what can be construed as internal housecleaning? I think in that era we'd paper over anything less than a full scale Pearl Harbor attack on American assets. Going to war against Britain in that time would be INCREDIBLY dangerous and likely to spark World War II 15 years early. I can't imagine even Coolidge doing it and that guy was a hardass. Only Roosevelt would think of doing it and only with a Congress and public in his pocket. None of those conditions would be met back in the day.
 
This is of course another interesting tangent BUT, in my scenario irrelevant, but the Canadians cave, if forming a new nation can be called such.
 
Penguin, this is ALTERNATE HSITORY, Set IN THE 20s! Britain is still a superpower then, they COULD do something like this. Britain today, you are absolutely correct, but I didn't say now, I said, THEN!


Edited by csw - 22-Mar-2009 at 02:34
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Parnell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2009 at 13:46
Are you writing a book on this? Sounds interesting.
"Neither apathy nor antipathy can ever bring out the truth of history" Eoin Mac Neill.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote csw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2009 at 15:44
Hey Parnell, I love your sig!
 
Here's what I'm trying to do:
I want to make an entire parallel universe where I can set any quasi-historical story I wish.
 
I have, in my head at least, stories about Female Legions, Conquering Byzantine Emperors, the rebirth of the Roman Empire, adventures of a fugitive English privateer captain, Civil War airborne troops, a German general who overthrows Hitler and eventually, a story of the 'Falklands Civil War,' where Margret Thatcher must rally and save the British Federation I have outlined, from centrifugal forces and total dissolvement. But the British Federation is imprtant to the German General story, and thus I want to test the waters there so I know how to procede.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Mar-2009 at 23:44

Originally posted by csw

As for the Monroe Doctrine, do you REALLY think the American public would support a war against a former ally, and creditor IN THE FRICKIN Roaring Twenties

Absolutely.

War Plan Red

In PLAN RED, the Atlantic Strategic War Plan, the strategists theorized that there would be a war with Great Britain. They did this because England was locked in a strategic alliance with Japan, the Anglo-Japanese Alliance of 1902, which was renewed and lasted until the Washington Conference of 1921-22. American planners thought that England’s imperial reach would bring it into conflict with the US.

Another contingency war plan they developed was the RED-ORANGE PLAN, which hypothesized a two-theater war, seeking to win first in the Atlantic, against England, while fighting a holding battle in the Pacific, and then defeating Japan. When World War Two broke out, military and naval planners simply dusted off the old RED-ORANGE PLAN and substituted Germany for England in the Atlantic Theater.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/war-plan-red.htm

War Plan Red was drawn up in the 1920s. Violation of the Monroe Doctrine would absolutely, certainly bring it into effect, former ally or not. The US has had a long habit of turning on former allies. Japan was an American ally in WW1, for instance.

And, do you REALLY think the British public would support a war or police action against Canada, without even a cassus belli, right after WW1? 

Like I say, if you want to have a British Federation of some sort - or at least a Commonwealth that remains a superpower - it could theoretically be done, but not by the methods you're talking about. A more likely scenario is that Britain does not go to war with Germany during WW2 and never accedes to Bretton Woods or the Atlantic Charter - this would probably mean that the US never quite succeeds in becoming a hegemon, and the Commonwealth remains a superpower. 



Edited by edgewaters - 22-Mar-2009 at 23:48
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Post Options Post Options   Quote csw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2009 at 00:43
Well, I should say the the way I envision this...let me put it on power scale, circa that world's 1980:
 
USA (1.00)
Soviet Union (.50)
BF (.45)
 
The Federation is A superpower, but not THE superpower, and IMO, could not have been the primary superpower in any case because of the weakling who acquised to Atelee's 'National Consensus' rot after WWII.
 
I'm well aware of Plan Red, but if I recall correctly we had plans for preemptive strikes against Japan in that era, and it wouldn't be surprising if if we had contingencies to invade China on our lonesome. A plan does not indicate intent. Again, I say that in this era only a Roosevelt would consider war with Britain and ONLY if wholly backed by Congress and the public. This is not very likely at all in the early 20s.
 
As for the Brits: I figure there's two ways to respond to a crisis: one is to give up, the other is to grit teeth and do whatever it takes to overcome. Historically, the Brits quit; and such is their fate. In this alternate world, they grit. So yes, these Brits, framed by the political discourse I imagine would have to happen, are prepared to do ANYTHING necessary to save the Empire. But remember Capone's dictum about getting more with a gun and a kind word than a gun alone. Even the Irish are offered a seat at a round table; this is not subjugation; this is nation building, and there's support for the initiative everywhere, even Canada. Today such a drive would get nowhere, tis true, but back then, I think it could be done.
 
I've had a great deal of trouble with counter factual discussion in the past and I think I figured out why. Most people, it seems like AH for the point of divergence. I couldn't care less. They want the beginning and sometimes the journey. I want the end, and to know the journey to justify the end.
 
What I want is a Federation, more powerful than the nations alone, but still largely beholden to the US in the Cold War, blooming in the Thatcher age, free to forge it's destiny apart from Europe and apart from the US, if should so choose, but it tries to maintain the best of both worlds. An old school Empire that re-imagined itself into a a stable nation-state at the last possible moment, united in King and Country.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2009 at 02:00

You asked what you need to make this plausible. I'm telling you that anyone with knowledge of Commonwealth history will not find this plausible at all, the way you have set it up. Britain is in no position to exert additional control over its colonies in the 1920s, and its not in Britain's interests to do so at that point. There is a very long-term trend at work here, which began with the factors that led to the policy of "responsible government" (google it) in the colonies. They were ungovernable from London without gradually letting out a bit more slack on the leash over time. A kind word and a gun wouldn't stop this even a little bit, they tried that and it failed spectacularly everywhere they attempted it (India, USA, etc). To stop the necessary process of devolving power to the colonies, would have been to lose the colonies even more rapidly. Attempting to rule them by force would have eventually failed - yes, perhaps they could have done the impossible for six years like your example of Germany, but at what cost and to what conceivable benefit? What do they gain? They already have the allegiance of the colonies and their support in most British foreign policy initiatives, including war, so why would they suddenly attack their own best allies? 

And yes, the US would absolutely respond to any armed intervention in Canada. Consent would easily be manufactured by trotting out perfidious Albion, the nasty redcoat, "The British are coming!", and so on. War Plan Red was a very remote possibility in the 1930s and 1950s, but in the 1920s - when it was drawn up - it was based on much more likely potentialities. Chiefly, it was about China, where the US had certain commerce interests. It was principally meant to go into effect should the "Open Door" policy be violated by Britain and Japan. How much more they would respond if the Monroe Doctrine, so much nearer to home and so much more important to American interests, were violated!

To create an alternate history where the Commonwealth remains a relevant power bloc, the way I see it, there are only two plausible options. One, is that instead of adopting "responsible government" in the 1840s and 1850s, Britain creates a federated union and brings the colonies into the British Parliament, with MPs and all. How doable this might be is dubious, as it would meet heavy resistance in the UK itself, and its uncertain how much this would assuage the colonies (Commonwealth citizens can, already, vote or run in UK elections but few of them know or care). 

The other option is not a Federation, but just the old Commonwealth as it existed in the 20s and 30s surviving the war as a major bloc to be reckoned with. This is, I think, quite plausible - but only if Britain does not go to war with Germany in WW2, and ensures that the Sterling Area is preserved by refusing to sign on to Bretton Woods or the Atlantic Charter.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2009 at 11:08
I can't see anything wrong with Edgewaters' analysis, though a couple of other scenarios might be worked out. (And it might be worth mentioning that the French tried bring the coloinies into the home Parliamentary system - it didn't work but then there weren't any French equivalents to the dominions.)
 
But I really don't understand, if csw is going to reject criticisms more or less on the basis 'I can make up any scenario I like, it's my alternative history', why he bothered to ask the questions in the first place.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote csw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2009 at 12:56
OK guys, here's why I keep banging my head against the wall: I don't think my scenario is unreasonable at all, but perhaps I haven't EXPLAINED it well enough and THAT'S the key. Anything is possible, justification is the key.
 
Since I have to go to an interview soon, let's put aside the Federatin concept, and focus on something else that has been hammered here: The Bretton Woods being the death knell of the Empire? Why? Money is power, but money comes from manufacutring and resources, more so in the 1940s, not the ability to lend credit. If you can do the latter, great, but without a foundation in the former, sooner or latter, you're screwed. The idea of the Federation is not to say Britian doesn't decline, it certainly does, but that it has a solid foundation to rise from the ashes if it's leadership can pull head from ass. So I figure, sure, let the us Yanks make the loans, who frickin cares?


Edited by csw - 23-Mar-2009 at 12:57
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Mar-2009 at 14:58
As far as the Atlantic Chater is concerned the important point is not economic but political.
Originally posted by Roosevelt and Churchill

Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
That agreement marks the beginning of the end of the enforced Empire, though it leaves open the possibility of freely chosen Commonwealth membership.
 
For your scenario to be possible, the Atlantic Charter has to go.
 
Bretton Woods is more complicated but the important thing in this connection is that the US dollar is granted equal status with gold in making international payments, a provision which guarantees the supremacy of the US government (for a while anyway) in being able to create money.
 
Again for your Federation to play the part you describe, either Bretton Woods has to go or somehow under it the pound sterling is given equal status with the dollar. Which of course is extremely unlikely. (In any case though, the UK would have had severe problems in maintaining the pound as a reserve currency, just as the US was to at the beginning of the '70s.)
 
With self-determination of peoples and without reserve status, Britain is in not much stronger a position than France or any other country. Economically it has stayed in the top few countries since 1945, and has done even better militarily, despite cutting back its military budgets so considerably. I don't know what different 'leadership' would have achieved.
 
 
 
 
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