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Volume II




by Paul MacLeod






Farewell to the Chief

As President Albert Beveridge looked over his capital at the end of 1920 from the site of the Lincoln Memorial, he recognised that he may be the last President of the United States. The Cascadians had been bought off by the British taskforce that had landed on their coast, completely ignoring his threats of war and daring him to try. What traitors they had turned out to be! Selling their country for whatever it was Britain had offered them. The former overlords had returned, formally renounced the 1848 treaty and had invited Cascadia to join Canada as a province. They had also signed an alliance with the new Confederate States of America, stating that any invasion of "the newly independent friend of the Empire" would bring a harsh response from she and her allies. There were even rumours of involvement by British agents in the Caribbean states. Undoubtedly, the British and Russians had advanced these socialists since day one to destroy the rise of a great power to threaten them.

In the south, the treacherous Mexico had reached a ceasefire with the Mayans and had begun a strategic relocation of her forces to the borders of Arizona and New Mexico. They were appealing to large numbers of the guest workers that he had imported into the country in the first place. He had offered the Mexicans goodness, and they responded by calling upon foreign agents to "restore the sovereignty and dignity of Mexico by assisting in the return of their territories". While the violence had not yet broken out, it would undoubtedly follow, particularly since the Socialist Party, whose lies had won popular support, had promised "historical restitution of stolen land".

In his own state of Indiana, he had recently visited a meeting where he guessed that nine out of ten attendees were angry. A good two-fifths of his audience had been positively hostile and disrespectful. It had all made one thing very clear. They had bought the propaganda of the socialists. He had been unable to stop the socialists from infecting their hearts and his country. He had not succeeding in winning minds of the people. The traitors had, for the meantime, won and they were tearing apart what it had taken a century and a half to construct. He had not been the successor of Lincoln, but rather, his pale shadow. He turned on the steps to look up at the statue of his hero.

Albert Beveridge had failed to measure the forces which he had tackled, ascribing even now the misfortunes of his country on the work of a malignant faction. Even now, he was convinced that, if he could make it to the American heartland, he could raise an army of the American Legion to restore the supremacy of the Presidency. His own army had betrayed him; these guards with him had treated him well and protected him, but he was more or less under house arrest. The Legion, he believed, would save him and save the United States, but first, he needed to escape.

His wife's secret service protector had planned it all. However, some of the details needed to be corrected. The agent had suggested a normal car. He couldn't travel in a normal car - there would be no room for his staff, for example. They would need at least two cars, maybe more, to store all the baggage. And the cars would have to be comfortable; it would be a long drive.

On 7 January, a delivery cart left the United States Naval Observatory, where the President had been staying while repairs to the White House were underway. Fortunately, unlike the Capitol, it looked as though the building could be saved. He would ensure that it was fully refurnished and majestically appointed once the counter-revolution was complete. He left behind a letter, critical of the treatment he had received and declaring the beginning of the Second American Revolution, to overthrow the established army and its socialist conspirators and restore the nation.

The letter had been a mistake. The President and his entourage were quickly tracked down in Pennsylvania and turned over to local authorities. When he arrived back in Washington D.C., he was advised by General Leonard Wood that he was being relieved of office. He would spend the next nineteen months of his life in prison, before he would agree to go into exile in Paraguay, where he died in 1926. On his death, his wife, Catherine, returned and offered to the new Library of Congress her husband's biography of Abraham Lincoln. Albert Beveridge died believing that he, like his hero, had been cut down in his prime, before his job had been complete.


US Elections

Acting President Alfred Smith stated early on that he would not run for President, but would remain chairman of the new National Unity Party and perhaps seek election at another date. Upon his return to Washington, he did, however, nationalise all radio assets to establish the United Broadcasting Company (UBC), using it as a tool to explain recent events to the American people. He outlined the provisions of the new Constitution agreed to by the Convention in Ottawa, pointing out they greatly reduced the power of the President and made it a much more ceremonial role, while dividing other powers between a Prime Minister and the Attorney General, both of whom would not be elected officials as well. He also explained the reasoning behind referenda in the west and the south to allow the people of the United States to express whether they wished to secede. "It is a new era and a new amnesty - old acts in an old era need not apply if the people do not wish it," he said.

Participating in the public education campaign was Irish Prime Minister John Dillon, who had been on a visit to Canada and had been selected to promote the views of the British Empire in Cascadia. He explained the way in which the new monarchy was different to that of 1776 and the greater power Dominions now held within the Empire as a whole. In early February, he was also able to tell the Cascadian people of a new deal between Canada and Great Britain. The British would be making undisclosed payments to Canada for the next sixty years (rumoured to be $700 million per annum) and in return, Canada had agreed to allow the Yukon and British Columbia to become part of the new Dominion of Cascadia if the Cascadians voted to join the British.

On 14 February, 1921, Cascadia and the Confederate States went to the polls under a US-sponsored referenda, asking them whether they would like to secede from the Union. In the west, 61.9% of the population voted YES, driven by the opportunity to create their own future and the expansion of their new homeland. They also received the support of the British Empire in making a claim on Alaska, but it would take many years of negotiations between Washington and Seattle before the transfer of Alaska would come to fruition. In the south, the vote was a landslide against secession. 77.2% of the population decided to give the Union one more try under the new conditions. The campaign in the South against secession had been largely driven by one of the candidates for Attorney General, a Georgian by the name of Carl Vinson. Vinson had been a youthful Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives, but had been a judge for the last decade and had been appointed to the State Supreme Court. He had considered running for Congress in 1914, but given the potential of the slide against Clark, had decided against that option.

On 21 February, elections were held across the United States, minus the states of Jefferson, Oregon and Washington. The National Unity Party, consisting of the former Democrats and a large percentage of former Republicans, won the election with ease. For the first time in many years, Congress was controlled by a majority party. The NUP won 238 seats, compared to the Socialists on 151 and the New Conservative Party (the rump of the old Republican Party) on 46. In the Senate, which had experienced a double dissolution, their strength was even greater. They won 58 of a total 96 positions.

Justice Vinson of Georgia won the position of the first elected Attorney General of the United States, aged only thirty-eight. He had pledged during his campaign to immediately fill the long vacancy caused by the death of Justice Moody in 1917 and new vacancy caused by the recent departure of Justice McKenna to become the new Chief Justice of Cascadia. He had indicated his intention to appoint the Dean of Columbia University's School of Law, Harlan Fiske Stone of New Hampshire, and the former head of the US Law Society, Frederick William Lehmann of Iowa, and would proceed immediately to have them approved.


The new, and first, Prime Minister of the United States was Nicholas Longworth of Ohio, the son-in-law of the late President Theodore Roosevelt. In charge of domestic policy for the next three years, he had pledged a general reduction in taxes, an amnesty for those involved in the recent furore, increased support for agriculture, pursuit of businesses who continued to use child labor illegally, limited immigration, bans on the use of prison labor, regulations to improve food quality and to ensure all government information was released in Spanish translations for recent arrivals from Mexico.

The 29th President of the United States, now in charge solely of defence and foreign policy, was a former Secretary of Trade under President Clark. 69-year-old Joshua Willis Alexander of Missouri (left), who was guaranteed a six year term under the new Constitution, had pledged to move the United States out of its isolation and to seek to join the nation to the Anglo-Japanese alliance. He promised to recognise the new Republic of Maya, despite Mexican complaints, and to reinitialise the process toward the creation of a united Central America. He also pledged to the restoration of the Roosevelt-Rockefeller Compromise, which had limited the size of US military expansion and to take the United States into the International Trade Federation.

For the Socialists, who had taken one third of the national vote, they met after the election to replace Eugene Debs as leader. The long-time President of the Socialist Labor Party had announced that this would be his last term in Congress. In his place, the party elected Senator Moses Hilkowitz (right) of New York, former chairman of the United Hebrew Trades Union and a director of the American Federation of Labor.



Opus Dei



Pope Gregory XVII was summering in Castel Gandolfo when news came through that the American President had been overthrown. For years, the Church had maintained a steady stance against socialism of all forms, and now a Catholic American had led a revolution that gave the socialists legitimacy. It was time to reinforce the message that, as far as the Vatican was concerned, socialism was not an acceptable option.

However, Cardinal Giacomo della Chiesa, his Secretary of State (left), had advised that the Holy See did not want him issuing just another encyclical condemning socialism. There had been enough of those surely for the Christian world to understand that message loud and clear. What he wanted was a clear indication from the Pope as to what he would prefer that Christians support instead. There had been a general acceptance now, even in the heartland of capitalism, that there was need for a new economic system. If he wanted to be taken seriously, His Holiness would need to promote his own concepts of how the world economy should operate.

It was with this in mind that he sent out Opus Dei, or as it is known in the English, The Labour of God. In this, he stated that education was the primary role to economic development and encouraged priests to establish community-managed technical schools, to promote skills and employment. He also called for a return to the age of the guild in a modern form, workers cooperatives where only the workers could buy shares of ownership, and for cooperation with trade unions only in the establishment of baseline working conditions. In short, he stated that God supported small businesses working in association with each other, and societies working toward mutual benefit, but despises predatory economic activity. For the first time since the 1880's, he also reinforced the Church's position on usury: the loaning of money for interest was declared a mortal sin and access to banking a necessary right that should be provided by governments for their citizens.


Trotsky Stumbles

In late 1920 and early 1921, the Empire of Japan began to investigate a means by which it could improve its access to resources. While the Australians had been good suppliers and debt levels had substantially improved, Prime Minister Hara Takashi was being pressured by the more conservative members of his government to obtain even greater levels of resources to fuel growth. He looked at China and Russia, and quickly came to the conclusion that war with either of these two, while likely to be successful in the short term, would quickly engender the interests of European powers. If Britain decided that it didn't like the idea, then Australia would quickly cut off her resources.

During a visit by Sun Yat-sen of China in early January, the Chinese Premier put to his Japanese counterpart a different solution. China was also seeking to expand, but could not immediately afford to do so. If Japan was willing to finance Chinese expansion into Mongolia, then China would be prepared to commit to paying Japan back its loan in cheap resources once Mongolia could be exploited. After conferral between the two capitals, Tokyo and Beijing struck an alliance on 22 February, 1921. The following day, China invaded Mongolia and conquered the country completed within three weeks.

The outrage in Russia was considerable. However, Chancellor Trotsky already had his hands full. In early February, the Duma had established an inquiry into the misappropriation of state funds by the Government. It was not certain who had been responsible, but as head of the Government, Trotsky was wearing a considerable portion of the blame. In addition, the last harvest had been dismal and the Opposition was having considerable success in attacking the Government over its growing intervention in "non-vital" sectors of the economy. They had clear figures indicating that productivity and profitability in those sectors were down. This had, in turn, exposed fractures in the long-term coalition government. When Trotsky suggested military action, the Opposition suggested that he was driven toward war in order to make the scandal surrounding his leadership disappear.


On 27 February, Trotsky announced to the Russian people that he was stepping down as head of the Socialist International, passing control of the organisation over to French President Jean Jaures. He stated publicly that the Government had become distracted and he would now give the nation his full attention. However, after nine and a half years with Trotsky as leader, the party numbers began to move away and he was eventually faced down by some of his closest colleagues in a late-night office meeting. They offered him the chance to depart gracefully, and, reluctantly, he agreed. Leon Trotsky resigned as Chancellor and a member of the Duma on 17 March, 1921. He was immediately promoted by Tsar Michael II to the rank of Boyar (Marquess) of Crimea and was appointed Ambassador to the Court of St James. His replacement was his Minister of Labour, Alexander Shlyapnikov (right). Trotsky would spend the next six years abroad with his wife Natalia, before returning to settle on the Crimean coast.


An Arabian Kingdom

Just when he thought he had temporarily beaten back the brushfire, Ramsay MacDonald was faced with a new problem.....the Arabs were at it again. On 22 February, 1921, Hussein bin Ali announced from his new palace in Baghdad that, from henceforth, he should be referred to as Hussein I, the Sultan of Arabia. There were no provisions in the agreement of last year that prevented him doing so; however, the British Foreign Office had credited him with having more sense than to deliberately provoke an already delicate situation. Clearly, they had overestimated the situation.

Once again, the envoys were dispatched to try to patch up relations between Beirut and Baghdad. However, this time, the cause of the rift finally became apparent. The money from the sale of the African possessions of the Ottoman Empire in 1909 had finally run out. The Arabs were demanding that the Sublime Porte keep up the subsidies to which they had become adjusted and the Ottoman treasury had not planned for their continuation. Having worked for nearly twenty years to restore the Empire to some semblance of a modern society, they were not about to drive themselves back into the financial peril that had endangered the continuation of the dynasty in the first place. Sultan Mehmed VI was having none of it.

He made quite clear to the British that, if Arabia wanted its independence, it would be granted its independence. However, there were conditions. Arabia had benefited enormously from his family's investments. It had received over 40% of those Tanzimat monies, which, when the costs of the reconstruction of Beirut were removed, was the lion's share of the resources. The Ottoman Empire wanted the money to be treated as a development loan, and for a total of 127 million pounds sterling to be repaid. In addition, the central government had paid for the war which had brought part of Persia into the domain of the new Arabian state. Given that the Persians were finding oil, there was a good chance that the Arabians might at some stage in the future as well. The Ottoman Empire believed that it was entitled to a share of any potential future oil revenues. Under the contract they presented, it stipulated that, of all oil revenues earned by the Arabians in perpetuity, the Ottoman Government was entitled to a 75% share.


The Arabians regarded the demands of their central government as unreasonable, but since their potential military was one half the size, they were forced to the negotiating table rather than conflict. The newly self-appointed Sultan (right) suggested that, as usury was forbidden by Islam, any development loans should not accrue interest. Accordingly, if his people were permitted their freedom, he would agree to pay 92 million pounds sterling if the British and the French were prepared to loan him the money. Considering the number of Jewish people in Britain, MacDonald was under extreme pressure to get this right and he agreed to loan the money to Arabia should it settle all other outstanding issues. The Ottomans agreed to settle for 35 million pounds less than their initial claim, but they wanted a new border. The new border would be drawn through the Beqaa Valley through the Hula Valley, following the Jordan River down to the Dead Sea, then a direct line to the Wadi Arabah and finally to the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Arabs recognised that they were losing access to the Mediterranean, and responded by demanding a guaranteed right of transit, including no tariffs on goods being sent to Ottoman-controlled Mediterranean ports, and a reduction of the 75% in perpetuity claim on future oil resources to a 30% claim, with the Ottoman Empire offering the same conditions. They also insisted that Jerusalem should be separated from the control of any one nation, and should be governed like the Caliphate, under the control of clerics. The Council would eventually consist of Patriarch Damianus of the Orthodox, Chief Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook of the Ashkenazi, Chief Rabbi Jacob Meir of the Shephardic, Archbishop Luigi Balassina of the Latin Patriachy, Patriarch Yegishe Tourian of the Armenians, and Grand Mufti Mohammed Amin Al-Husayni, with each religion having one vote.

The negotiations proceeded non-stop, save for religious observance, for 42 days. On 7 May, 1921, the nation of Arabia was born.



A New Economic Bloc

The wealth of the British had made a substantial impact on the livelihoods of its citizens. While colonies like Nigeria and those along the eastern African coast continued to wait for life-changing aid, the Imperial Grants had raised many of its citizens to first-world standard in only a short period of time.

The flight of American capital had the same effects in its region, beginning with the new trade regulations of President Clark in 1913 and with the trend continuing unabated during the difficult years of the Beveridge Administration. In the period between 1913 and 1921, nearly $105 billion had made its migration into Latin and South America, seeking lower wages and less regulation. By mid-1921, however, the regulations and wages they had sought to escape had become standard across the entire Americas. In Brazil, the economic inflows had caused a steady increase in living standards; however, the flow soon became a torrent, as nearly $26 billion in investment poured into the country. A similar story occurred in Mexico, where the figures were at about $20 billion. A further $10.3 billion made its way into Argentina. Other countries to benefit included Colombia ($8.3 billion), Peru ($7.4 billion), Chile ($6 billion), Venezuela ($5.2 billion) and Uruguay ($1.9 billion).

On 5 March, President Alexander arrived on his first state visit in Caracas, inviting the heads of state and government from across the region for the first Summit of the Americas in a very long time. He even warmly greeted the Cascadian and Canadian Prime Ministers, insisting that this was a time to put aside disagreements. He proposed to establish a Free Trade Zone of the Americas, beating the Europeans at their own efforts to speed up the fall of trade barriers, well ahead of International Trade Federation guidelines. He pledged that, if the other countries were prepared to follow his lead, he would join the increasing numbers also signing up to the ITF.

"America has seen a lost decade in terms of growth," he said, "but it has allowed for the stability and adjustment of Latin and South America in a way which nobody dreamed possible. By ceasing our intervention, our protectionism and our introverted vision, the future will be one where we can grow together." He proposed an immediate 40% cut in tariffs. He further stated that he believed that the central American states had by-passed an enormous opportunity to negotiate as a bloc and encouraged them to once again seek federation, offering all the support of the United States to bring it to fruition.

While there were murmurings regarding access to markets and subsidies, there was the increasingly-powerful influence of the London-based empire, which was coming to be referred to as the Commonwealth Condominium, and the Council of Strasbourg, which was moving far beyond military concerns to envelop the economies of most of western Europe. They would already form substantial blocs of power within the International Trade Federation; it made sense to form one of their own. A general consensus was reached in early April, shortly before the ITF announced that the 1925 deadline for a 20% cut in tariffs would be moved forward at the instigation of the membership and that the cut would be implemented during the coming calendar year, to be followed by a further ten percent cut (to 72% pre-ITF levels) in 1923.


The International Eugenics Conference

They gathered at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on 18 March, 1921. Under the chairmanship of Dr. Harry Laughlin, it discussed measures to prevent the "probable parenting of socially and medically unacceptable offspring". He had been credited by Princeton University and was backed by the Carnegie Institute, and had successfully promoted compulsory sterilisations in twelve states. However, each of the pieces of legislation was weak and the police and health authorities had been most uncooperative. The new Senate was not likely to back any forced sterilisations either.

Thus, it was time for the Eugenics Records Office of the United States and its supporters to try a new tack. America and the world needed two things, they believed. Firstly, there needed to be a way to gain popular support for sterilisations and secondly, they had to promote breeding among those who were "suitable". With a government that was flush with cash, and paying for large scale reconstruction in some of the cities damaged by social violence, the meeting concluded that it should lobby the Government for financial incentives.

The submission to Prime Minister Nicholas Longsworth suggested that, when a person was diagnosed with a hereditary illness, doctors should be required to advise that person of a new government programme. The program would offer payments to doctors for referrals of cases for sterilisation and would pay the individual compensation for their voluntary surrender of their reproductive rights. In addition, people with the right class and education to become outstanding members of society should be encouraged to breed. Most believed that tax credit would perform the necessary functions. However, one of the delegates, a stock trader, made a more radical suggestion.

It was suggested that all persons should be given a reproductive quota of 1.25 children per person. A married couple could produce two children. Any person who was voluntarily sterilised could sell their quota, in one quarter child shares, on the free market to anyone who wished to have more children. Thus, the more successful people would automatically have more children. The number of offspring would be a status symbol, indicating the success of the couple involved, and would ensure that the majority of the future breeding stock was from the "right type of people". Immigrants would never be able to afford to buy extra breeding rights, and neither would certain low class people. Fortunately, the idea was put aside.

Of course, Dr. Laughlin (left) knew how to present this to the Congress. Firstly, it should be a temporary measure until the medical technology could be developed to eradicate these diseases of a hereditary nature. Secondly, selective breeding would lead to a happier society, as it would raise intelligence and education levels, eradicate poverty and crime and lead to a greater national efficiency. Thirdly, it was simply the natural order: the fittest would survive in the end and an eugenics program was just speeding up the natural destiny of the human race by eliminating its weaknesses. Those opposed to the agenda of the Eugenics Office presented a different case: while it must be recognised, they said, that some groups of humans are superior to others, evolution had provided these inferior people. Maybe they served a purpose that was, as yet, not understood and a greater study of evolutionary theory was necessary before radical plans were implemented.

In the end, the Congress overruled the state laws allowing for compulsory sterilisation with their own law that allowed for sterilisation, but with the consent of the patient, and with incentive payments to both the referring doctor and the patient. Similar programs were adopted across the world over the next decade. However, it did nothing to slow global population growth, which passed the 2 billion mark in 1924 and then 2.5 billion in 1946.


The Decline of a King

In the final days of July, 1919, after the Shah of Persia had travelled through Germany on his return from the United States, where he had concluded a historic trade and military agreement with that country, one of his genial hosts, King Ludwig III, fell ill for the final time. It had been a moment which most of Europe had been dreading for quite some time and now, according to his doctors, the King was in terminal decline.

The heir to the throne of Bavaria, King Roberto of Aragon, had already stirred up trouble in April, when he had declared his wish to "reunify the Italian people", specifically the Austrian territories of Venetia, Trento and Trieste. He called for a referendum to determine their future, and quickly found himself under attack from the Italian-born Vice Chancellor of Austria-Hungary, Benito Mussolini. Mussolini declared that, if Roberto was so passionate about reunifying Italians under one rule, he could abdicate and pass his crown over to Emperor Franz Ferdinand. That earned him a laugh or two in the Reichsrat.

The King of Aragon had also antagonised Germany, making clear through his supporter, Prime Minister Gustav Ritter von Kahr of Bavaria, that he intended to separate Bavaria from the German Empire permanently as soon as he became monarch. The Kaiser had made very clear that political separation was not an option that he would tolerate, leaving Chancellor Ebert with very little leeway for negotiations.

The Genoese had already contacted the French. Despite their return to Aragon, they had no desire to get into another war - nor did they want to end up as part of the Aragon or Austrian empires. If the King dragged them into war, they planned to revolt, but they wanted French support and assistance. A similar approach had been made by some of those on the northern Iberian peninsula, who felt the entire dynasty had been a disaster since the day they separated from Spain - and they were ready to give republicanism a go.

On 16 August, the Reichstag in Berlin passed a law that required all members of the Bavarian assembly and all army officers of Bavarian nationality to swear an oath of allegiance in which they recognised the Kaiser as the supreme lord of Bavaria and the king, whoever that may be, as his vassal and servant. While a small number lined up to take the oath, the number of absences from the Assembly and outright refusals gave a clear indication that the separatists had the upper hand. Chancellor Ebert asked for a conference in Berlin with Chancellor Seitz of Austria-Hungary, Chancellor Shlyapnikov of the USSR and President Jaures of France. The time had come to make some decisions.


The members of the Strasbourg Commission discussed the developing crisis in Bavaria, some with intense interest, others with complete detachment. Flanders was opposed to any action at all, not surprising given that Queen Elisabeth was herself part of the Wittelsbach family. However, her husband's government was much more neutral on the issue. President Jean Jaures was keen to assist in dealing with the crisis, arguing that cooperation with the Austrians in a conflict of this nature may just be the key to ensuring their future membership of the Commission.

The minutes of the Commission report that the room was then disrupted by the arrival of a non-member. The 20-year-old man took his seat in the gallery, with his group of attendants, just as Prime Minister Granjo of Portugal politely bowed to the French President and opened his mouth to speak. "The problem that confronts the Commission today is the result of mistakes made years ago - mistakes made before some of us even had the chance to understand the nature of those mistakes. And those mistakes changed the future of this continent and of our peoples. But they are mistakes that we now have the chance to put right."

"During the War of Italy, the countries of Spain, France and Austria all lost the will to fight, much of the disillusionment based on the interferences of a recessive Pope who is long since dead. It is time that we recognise that it was this loss of will that has created the mess that we see today. It tore apart the Spanish people and created a base in the Cisalpine for those who wish to cause damage to the potential for a long era of stability and peace."

"However, mistakes can be corrected. I stand here and pay my respects to His Majesty, the King of Castile, and the true King of Spain, Alfonso, who has just joined us here today and who has offered his nation and his people to the service of the Strasbourg Alliance, to finish the job that was started all those years ago. The agreements are already in place for the partition of the Italian peninsula and have been since 1908. It is time that we fulfilled them. Let Germany deal with the rebels in her south, while her friends take care of her other problems. The philosophy of the Strasbourg Commission is that, through unity, we achieve a stronger whole. We have an obligation to stand by the Germans, and we will do so. And we can be glad at the enlargement of the forces for good, gained through the friendship and good graces of the Castilian and Austrian peoples."

Under the old agreements, the French and Austrian holdings on the north of the Italia peninsula would be expanded. The south of the peninsula and the islands would be returned to Castile. However, the Great Powers had no desire to be bound by agreements that were made over a decade earlier. In particular, the Austrians were quite keen on having the southern Italian peninsula handed over to them. The French disputed that Austria should be allowed to hold territory in the north, if she wanted to take the entire south. At least, Russia and Britain had both declared themselves to have no interest in the matter, thus preventing any chance of a larger conflict.


The lack of agreement was brought to a head on 26 August, 1921, when there was an assassination attempt on the Prime Minister von Kahr of Bavaria (right). Chancellor Ebert declared a state of martial law in the southern kingdom. The army moved in, taking up key positions around the province. The attitude of the Bavarian people was hostile and that level of hostility was demonstrated on 21 September, when a bomb detonated in a Munich barracks. Over six hundred people, mostly soldiers, were killed. The following day, Kaiser Wilhelm III announced that Wittelsbach family had been deposed for conspiracy against their rightful sovereign. Thus began the Bavarian Succession Crisis.

A Royal Intervention

Two planes left behind their home cities. One was flying from the Crimea, from the Imperial Palace there to another imperial palace in Vienna. The other was flying from London and, awaiting it at Strasbourg Airport, would be the limousine driver to take its passenger straight to the Great Hall of the Council. On board the first plane was the Marquess of Crimea, Special Emissary of the Tsar. On board the second, His Imperial Majesty George the Fifth, acting under instructions from His government.

The meeting between the Marquess of Crimea and Emperor Franz Ferdinand was a surprise to the Emperor; the Austrians were steadily upgrading their action in response to the Bavarian situation. Reserves units had been called up, but no general mobilisation had commenced. However, when Trotsky had presented his imperial credentials, the Emperor sat up and took notice. The level of correspondence between the two nations had always been blunt. This one was different. Apparently, the Russians had decided to be their best friends. What they wanted was a diplomatic alliance. Russia would agree to back up Austria's claim to northern and southern Italy, as well as to Bavaria, in the International Court of Justice. In return, the United States of Austria-Hungary would agree not to intervene militarily in any conflict between Germany and Aragon, unless directly and deliberately attacked by one or more parties.

The Tsar was also concerned about the breakdown of the talks over Poland. The Marquess of Crimea was authorised to ask the price which Russia could pay Austria for Galicia. To end this Polish nightmare, somebody was going to have to give way. The Marquess was merely enquiring at what price Russia could purchase Austria's cooperation with its Polish agenda, not in any way challenging the right of Austrian sovereignty. After all, the Polish provinces still had not been incorporated back into states yet. And thus Austria held her guns back, to both her surprise and the surprise of those around her. And closed all right of passage requests from those on the German and Aragonese sides. By closing off this window to the warring parties, it made the French response all the more vital.

Emperor King George V arrived in the Great Hall a few hours after the Vienna meeting. Britain was only an observer at this time; the Emperor King was not entitled to walk on to the floor of the Hall. Yet he did and took the lectern. And delivered the following words:

"It has been said that war is indescribable and unimaginable in our current age. We would like to agree. It is for this purpose that we bring before this council this treaty, the assent of our Government to the terms and conditions of the Strasbourg Commission. We are now one of you, committed to your cause and your ideals.

However, as a member, we need to make some points to this Commission. All members of this Commission are committed to settling disputes by peaceful means. It is Article One of our treaty. We have to refrain from force, the use of force and refrain from behaviour that threatens peace in Europe. Neither side of this conflict have done this. From Aragon, nothing less is expected; she has not joined with us. However, Germany attests to be a nation of peace – and the behaviour of some members in supporting her in her recent decisions has been less than honourable. Germany has not been honourable. She has failed to fulfill Article One of the treaty.

Accordingly, I recommend that both nations submit their dispute to International Court of Justice to arbitrate this argument. Until Germany has agreed to do so, she should be suspended from the membership of the Commission until her behaviour has been corrected. Troops from Germany should not be permitted to pass to Aragon through France. Our Ambassador is placing this position before His Excellency as we speak. It is the duty of the membership to ensure that no government be permitted to violate the law.

Our Ambassador will also pass on a report by our Prime Minister in the capacity of his duty as Deputy Chairman of the Socialist International. The Deputy Chairman has, in his final considerations, advised His Excellency, the President of France, that the Socintern should condemn the action of the Socialist Party in Germany as inappropriate behaviour. He asked us to express a view to the members of this meeting that war is the tool of capitalists, not socialist peoples, and that those of you who are socialists here should oppose Germany’s action in Bavaria.

We move that the Strasbourg Commission dispatch its contingent to maintain civil order in Bavaria, so that the German troops can be removed. If Germany refuses this offer of assistance, she has deliberately broken the terms of her treaty commitments and should be expelled from the Commission forthwith, so that the Commission can consider its next action. It is also recommended that, should that occur, the Commission should investigate offering its protection to the Swiss.


What the Emperor King (left) was essentially suggesting was that Britain could, if the members agreed, assume leadership from the Germans and save them all from war. She was offering them the chance to produce a fundamental shift in the thinking of the Commission members. Long-term, Britain would be a greater long-term prospect than Germany. It had stood up to the United States in North America and succeeded. It was modernising much more quickly than had been expected. Her Empire was already second to none and not going anywhere, and Britain would lead the future.


The French Respond

After over a decade of close cooperation, France was, for the first time in decades, facing an incursion of German troops. They wanted right of passage only, with no interest in conquering French territory. Germany's ambition was to strike northern Italy and northern Iberia and to crush those supporting the resistance movement in Bavaria. On 27 September, five days after the German forces moved into Bavaria and declared martial law, five days after the Germans declared their intention to invade Aragon, French President Jean Jaures announced his support for an attempted resolution before the International Court of Justice. He stated that there was little point having established the structures, if, at the first real test, they were allowed to be bypassed. Until that time, France would not allow German troops to pass.

On 28 September, 1921, France requested and received an injunction from the International Court of Justice, which stated that Germany should withdraw its forces from Bavaria as soon as they could reasonably be replaced by the Alsatian Guard. A demand was sent by the Strasbourg Commission to Berlin, asking their largest member to comply with the injunction. The response was stony silence. The anger was not just focused at France, however. Britain, Russia and Austria all came in for their fair share of abuse within the Stadtschloss. And it was mostly focused on the Kaiser's own government, despite the best efforts of the Socialist Democrats to move funding into the south and mainly due to the debate within the Socialist Democrats themselves. The resulting pressure caused the party to buckle, as members, more concerned about the Socintern's opinion than the Kaiser's wrath, walked out of the Government to form the Free Socialist Party. Chief among them was the Chancellor's former mentor, Rosa Luxemburg. Ebert had lost his majority in the Reichstag.

With the split, the new Reichstag consisted of:

Conservatives: 52 (Count Westarp)

National Liberals: 49 (Gustav Stresemann)

Centre: 48 (Adam Stegerwald)

Left Liberals: 29 (Walter Ruthenau)

Social Democrats: 139 (Friedrich Ebert)

Free Socialists: 117 (Rosa Luxemburg)

and, of course, the sixteen vacancies, caused by the en masse resignation of the Bavarian National Party.

Luxemburg was in no place to mount an opposition, but her actions did force Ebert into a decision. Either he would agree to the position of the Free Socialists and attempt to negotiate a position with the Bavarians, or he would be forced into a ramshackle coalition with those of the centre-right. In the end, the will of the Kaiser won out and Ebert signed a coalition agreement with Stresemann, Stegerwald and Ruthenau. By choosing to ally himself against other Social Democrats, it was inevitable that Luxemburg (right) would have to assume Ebert's place on the Executive Committee of the Socintern and that her party would also assume the right to send delegates. She would later describe Ebert's actions as a "betrayal of the workers".

By 7 October, the attitude of the German Government was clear to all. It would not abide by the principles of the Strasbourg Commission, nor would it proceed to the International Court of Justice. While all potential aggression by the King of Aragon would be prevented indefinitely (he had no land passage to Germany either), Germany was refusing to allow external interference in her internal affairs. Bavaria would remain part of Germany, despite the wishes of the clear majority of the Bavarian population. However, over the years to come, rebel attacks would account for the death of over two thousand people; retribution attacks by loyalists would account for just over a thousand. The activities of German security forces would account for another 350. The majority of these deaths would be civilian. On the diplomatic front, Germany was expelled from the Strasbourg Commission.


Without Her Consent

Queen Auguste Marie of Aragon watched as the oppression of Bavaria began. And she was angry, with the distinct knowledge that the actions of her own husband had driven her homeland to this point. Time and again, she had attempted to warn, cajole, insist. She had been perpetually ignored. However, she was the co-monarch of this realm, and, if her husband felt that he could act without her consultation or consent, so would she. She would ask the Holy Father to grant a divorce.

Her anger had undoubtedly turned against her husband, and she had an enthusiasm for his ruin that was passionate in the extreme. After just two years of marriage, her bitterness at the match was painfully obvious. As a result, she began her own process of reformation.

During three weeks of intense communications with some of her communities on the French border and the President of France himself, she outlined a deal for the future of her country. She confirmed the creation of a new country, the Kingdom of Navarre, and invited Prince Pedro de Alcantara of Orleans-Braganza, the son of the Princess Imperial of Brazil, to assume the throne. In doing so, she provided a further balance on the Iberian peninsula to the overwhelming power of Castile and rid herself of one of the nation's most troublesome minorities, the Basques. Many thought her suggestion that France would agree to contribute part of its own territory to such a state was madness; however, it soon became clear that they would do exactly that. It was not until a few days later that the incentive to do so became clear.

By this time, she declared her intention to defend the Vatican States should they be threatened by her husband in response to her decision to divorce and had obtained the support of the mainly Protestant or anti-clerical states of the Strasbourg Commission. The Alsatian Guard were dispatched to the Vatican States, to stand guard on their border, much as the Swiss Guard did in the capital itself. Nobody had suspected that Roberto had any plans to invade Rome, but the perimeter guard, also established by France, also served as a force by which one could conduct an effective blockade of trade in and out of northern Italy. Of course, this intent was denied, but it began to constrict her husband's authority severely. Even her cousin, Emperor Franz Ferdinand, was sympathetic to her stories and agreed to cooperate.

From early October, the Queen had based herself in Iberia and had, in her company, her sixteen year old adopted son, Prince Albert. She confirmed that her adoption of the Crown Prince Albert as her heir would not be rescinded, despite the divorce, and it was noted, surprisingly, that the young crown prince chose not to go to his father's side during this crisis.
After barely two years of marriage, the only things remaining were Her Majesty's painfully obvious bitterness and anger against her soon-to-be ex-husband, and an equally obvious affection for her "son".

The master blow against her husband came on 18 October. Under the Aragon constitution, she was entitled to appoint a Regent to act upon her behalf in northern Italy, whenever she was required in Iberia. (Her husband, who had disliked the accommodations and people in Iberia, had declined such an option, and had only made one trip in two years to her home.) Using this power, she announced that her choice as Regent was Jean Jaures, President of France, giving Paris effective veto over all actions on the northern peninsula. She also declared her intent to remain permanently in Zaragosa.

With threats began to emerge from Milan, the Queen stated that any attempt by her husband to dethrone or exclude her from sovereignty, or to alter the constitution to increase his power, would be regarded as an attempt to start a civil war. She produced a treaty, signed by herself and President Jaures which promised French intervention in Aragon if there was any attempt to remove or reduce her authority as Queen. The same treaty specified that, if conflict developed, France would be entitled to annex the entire territory of the Cisalpine Kingdom.


The Portuguese Coup

With the Bavarians now in resistance mode, the entire continent, and much of the world was focused on Germany's problems. It made the Socintern very nervous as well. This was the first socialist government that had failed spectacularly - were there similar problems within their own empire that would cause this fracturing? MacDonald had scheduled another Condominium meeting in January/February 1922; they really need to address the question of socialism and determine what went wrong in Germany. MacDonald had already conceded that there were problems; the Irish were demanding a separate Army and the removal of all British naval bases, starting with Berehaven, Queenstown and Lough Swilly.

However, nervous was nothing compared to what the people of Bavaria were feeling. There was an element of their society that was driving itself into violence and there seemed to be nothing they could do about it. Martial law and the state of emergency remained in place. There were troops on every corner. And now another country was going to have a revolt on its streets.

The first incident was a speech by Antonio Maria da Silva, an engineer who had become a prominent member of the Republican Party. He pointed out that the Government had very nearly taken Portugal to war. He was supported by Liberal Party elite, such as Manuel Teixeira Gomes (left). Despite their personal and political disagreements (and they were public knowledge), these two began a campaign to address the grave divides in Portuguese society. There was every chance, they said, that the Republic could fail if it went to war. That the Government was prepared to take the risk was, in their view, surprising. Besides, they had signed up to the Strasbourg Commission in order to end war, not start one. They were calling for a United Democratic Party, a united front to save the revolution. There had been rumours of a military coup and both men were calling for an uprising to liberate the Government.

The citizens took to the streets of Portugal to respond. There were citizen arrests within the confines of the capital, among them Ambassador Sidonio Pais, a renowned Germanophile who had entered Parliament and risen to the rank of Prime Minister. Being a Germanophile when Britain controlled the world markets had become too dangerous to Portugal's future. Portugal needed to seek British assistance and patronage. The removal of elements of the Government on 19 October, 1921 is today known as the Second Portuguese Revolution.

Portuguese historians believe that one of the most successful elements behind the campaign for change had nothing to do with politics. It was the work of some Austrian filmmakers to make the world's first motion picture with sound. Made by Karel Capek and called "R.U.R.", it is set in a utopian and technologically advanced world, with the story set in Portugal. While it is today only a buff film, it was a cultural landmark. It introduced the concept of space radiation to the general public, discussed the emerging scientific idea that energy was both a wave and a particle, and coined a word in the universal language "Robot", the surname of all futuristic artificial intelligences. They were so named because the company who created them was called "Robot", which, in the native language of the writer, meant corvee. In the movie, the robots were fighting for human rights after many years of having been oppressed by the humans. The central demand of the robots is the right to start choosing their own surname.

Its vision of a scientific future, however, touched many societies and one that was quickly obvious was Portugal. What it did was show them how little had been achieved since the Revolution and how much work was required to begin to achieve its hopes. The new Government would lay out a 30-year-plan, primarily driven around Anglo-Portuguese cooperation and alliance.


The Great Powers Conference

The idea of a conference amongst the "Great Powers" had been promoted by the US President Joshua Alexander at the same time as he announced the intention of the Americans to cooperate with the Strasbourg Commission. Thus, the Great Powers were those who supported or were affiliated with the Alsatian-based organisation. He invited the Prime Ministers of Japan and Great Britain, the Chancellor of the USSR and the President of France to attend Philadelphia in mid-November 1921. The reconstruction of the Capitol and the new Executive Mansion had only recently been contracted to architect Bernard Maybeck, famous for his work at the 1915 Pacific International Exhibition and his construction of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, both in San Francisco.

Prime Minister Hara Takashi was unable to attend, due to ill health (he would die on 4 November, before the commencement of the conference). Thus, representing Japan was Prince Saionji Kinmochi (right), the former Prime Minister and also the man who would succeed Takashi upon his death. Ramsay MacDonald gave the excuse of his business in Europe, but promised to visit the United States during his trip to Canada in February, 1922. In the interim, Foreign Secretary Arthur Henderson would represent Great Britain. Chancellor Alexander Shlyapnikov was happy to attend, making his first trip outside Europe since his succession to the Marquess of Crimea, and left Vice Chancellor Alexandra Kollontai to act on his behalf. President Jean Jaures cleared his schedule, keen to see the results of the Second American Revolution in real terms.

Each came with their own issues for the agenda. The US had respected the wishes of the Strasbourg Commission in restricting capital access to Germany. However, President Alexander wanted to be sure that there was a deadline for the lifting of sanctions. As it turned out, only the British wanted to avoid a deadline entirely. The Great Powers agreed that sanctions should be lifted partially on 1 March, 1922 and should be lifted completely when the Germans ended martial law in Bavaria. The President also wanted the International Trade Federation to adopt new regulations that favoured small business. Furthermore, he wished to advise attendees of the new advances towards the much-vaunted but repeatedly unsuccessful federation of Central America. Due to American willingness to deal with, rather than exclude, President Emiliano Zapata of Maya, it appeared as though there was a new impetus for the movement. The American position was that, if Zapata was forced into a larger confederation to protect himself from Mexico, it would also moderate his demands and expectations.

The French President was primarily here to discuss business and the arts. In relation to the former, the French Government had sponsored many of its musicians and soloists to use the new phonograph technology and he had travelled via Canada to promote the sale of French artists to a French-speaking audience. However, in business, he announced that in February, Air France would be the world's first national airline, commercially run but government owned. He wanted to sponsor and control the development of airports, rather than airfields, infrastructure that would provide points of entry and transit the same as naval ports had done. Britain had already agreed to grant the French government the contract to build their first airport - the French wanted to use this expertise to build in New York and Washington as well. They also wished to promote governments to buy a share in the International Airmail Services Company (IASC), a shell company which would oversee the development of airmail links. Russia was very interested and agreed to pay for the establishment of the first link between Vienna and St Petersburg.

Chancellor Shlyapnikov also wanted to advance Russian trade, but he wanted to pressure the Americans to move toward the establishment of a Global Reserve Bank. He also wished to advise the meeting that the borders of the USSR "remain unsettled". In particular, he wanted to advise that he would be seeking to take control of all Polish-speaking territories and was preparing a proposal for Germany and Austria. There were complaints amongst attendees that the proposal outline was in violation of the sanctions agreement. He persisted in his point, but then changed tack and offered to back down if the other states were prepared to sponsor branches of his new personal brainchild and pet project, the Association for Human Progress, a youth organisation for children aged 10 to 15 that created large camping grounds to promote love of the natural environment, promoted excellence in sport to build health and character, and encouraged youth involvement in the fine arts and crafts to maintain cultural legacies in an increasingly international world. The AHP was the beginning of the International Youth Movement of today and a direct competition to the British-based Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, who they eventually absorbed. By 1972, the fiftieth anniversary of its founding, one third of the world's population were either members or former members of the Association for Human Progress.

Prince Saionji Kinmochi, who bore the sympathies of the attendees at Japan's recent loss, provided an update on the collapse of the final significant resistance cells in Mongolia. He also brought into the specially-bound copies of the bestselling book in the world - Tales from the Middle Kingdom. Japanese publishers had purchased the rights to a number of traditional folk tales from Chinese villages, even though most of the signatories were completely uneducated, had failed to understand the language of the contracts and had sold their cultural heritage for a pittance. The Japanese had then translated the stories, added intrigues and side stories to appeal to Western readers and created a cultural phenomenon. Despite this capitalist plunder, Chinese officials were actually pleased as a positive promotion of their country and were offering Japan a seven-year cooperation pact, one which Kinmochi assured the meeting it was intending to pursue.


The major discussion point of the British Government, other than its recent problems with Ireland and support for the Global Reserve Bank proposal, was the increasing role of "functionaries" in the maintenance of a socialist state. The Russians called them "apparatchiks", but the outcome was the same. Foreign Secretary Henderson (left) said that his government was concerned about the creation of an entrenched bureaucratic elite, an oligarchy that would replace the old capitalist oligarchy they were attempting to moderate. Professor Robert Michels, a German import to Britain, had suggested that it was entirely possible that every system created its own oligarchy. He wanted systematic research on the problem to see if could be resolved.

The Great Powers Conference on 12-13 November, 1921, was indicative of a rising level of trust within the international system. It was the first time since Metternich that a signal had been made of a willingness to renegotiate the international architecture. In time to come, it would represent the beginning of increased interdependence and the beginning of the end of the nation-state.


Dillon’s Decline

At the beginning of the year 1922, the Prime Minister of the Dominion of Ireland, Dr John Dillon, had served in the nation's inaugural government for almost a decade and nearly four years as its leader. Since the death of Sir John Redmond, he had struggled to maintain control of the United Ireland Party and to keep the institution which had brought him to prominence united. In turn, the UIP had struggled to maintain legitimacy and support. He had waited as long he could before heading back to a general election, but now there was one on the horizon, in August, and he needed to win back some support from the Labour Party if he was to survive.

On 15 January, he travelled to the southwest coast and the township of Bhearra, the location of one of three British naval bases (the other two were at Loch Suili, Donegal in the northwest and at Cobh, also in Cork but on the southeastern coast). He began to strike the nationalist drum, calling for the Irish to establish their own separate army, rather than remaining part of the Imperial Forces, as had all the other Dominions. Furthermore, he called for the removal of all British bases in Ireland.

The Parliament in Westminster responded almost instantly to the demands. During the establishment of the Dominion, the United Kingdom had allowed the new Government to seize lands belonging to British landlords and had, as a gesture of goodwill, paid compensation on Ireland's behalf to those landlords. The costs to the British budget had exceeded eighty million pounds sterling. It was these costs that had justified British retention of the naval bases. As far as Prime Minister MacDonald was concerned, any consideration of Dr. Dillon's demands would have to include negotiations for the repayment of those expenses.

The nationalist rhetoric escalated, with Dillon (right) claiming that Ireland would never be truly free until the bases had been removed. Opposition Leader William O'Brien went silent on the matter; while there was no guarantee that the position of the Government would be popular outside the more radical nationalists, there was every chance that opposing the measure would drive some of his own supporters into the arms of the UIP. Every time he was confronted with the question of the bases, O'Brien ignored it and instead attacked the Government for its lack of finesse. He stated that, with a Condominium meeting just around the corner, Dillon could have raised the subject in a way that did not deliberately cause an offence to Ireland's nearest neighbour and closest ally. For those who opposed the bases, they read O'Brien as being a supporter of base closures, but unhappy with the method used by Dillon. For those supporting the bases, they interpreted him as being squarely behind working with the British and therefore, keeping the bases.

As a result, the popular appeal of the Prime Minister, despite an initial bump in support, continued its downward slide. On 12 August, the United Ireland Party, the driving force behind Irish independence, was voted out of office in a landslide defeat. The UIP would fall apart in 1923 after its resounding defeat, but by that time, Dillon had already retired from his seat, forcing a by-election which, to his comfort, was taken over by his 21-year-old son, James. Dillon passed away in 1927.


An Envoy to Germany

His Holiness, Pope Gregory XVII, had used his 1921 Christmas Message to call for peace and harmony in the disputed Wittelsbach lands. As the New Year dawned, however, the prospect of ongoing martial law and a continued state of emergency was as strong as ever. Fortunately, the old Italian retained a steely determination to prevent bloodshed and was willing to make sacrifices to achieve that goal.


On 22 January, 1922, the private secretary of the Pontiff left Rome for Munich. His commission was to fill in the details of a draft peace plan and to use the influence of the Roman basilica to convince Catholics to accept terms that the Holy Father believed would be suitable to Berlin. Archbishop Eugenio Pacelli (right) had been a long-time friend of the Holy Father, and many suspected that one day, he would become his successor. Nonetheless, his task at this time was to visit every synod, every parish, every chapel and tutor the priests on the position of the Church in relation to the Bavarian crisis. Catholics were to retain peaceful demonstrations only and to push for a plebiscite as the way to resolve the issue. Priests were ordered to refuse the sacraments to any Catholic suspected of involvement in violent activity.

At the same time, papal legates visited many of the crowned heads and presidents of Europe, determined to wind back the economic sanctions that had been imposed upon Germany. It is unclear how successful Pacelli and his team would have been had it not been for the events of 1 March. On that day, an engineering team working on extensions to the Oder Dam (located just outside Breslau) misjudged the placement of charges designed to clear a rock wall. The ground beneath the dam's superstructure gave way and the edifice crumbled. Gigalitres of water went running down the river valley into the city of Breslau itself, creating a humanitarian and ecological crisis. France, which had itself been suffering from raw material shortages, immediately cancelled trade restrictions. Russia sent in aircraft over the region, dropping supplies to isolated communities. More importantly, it gave the Roman Catholic Church the opportunity to offer to pay for the enormous costs of the clean-up.

There were marginal but measurable decreases in violence in Bavaria over the next five months, especially when the Pope declared the support of the Church for ongoing German sovereignty until a peaceful and orderly plebiscite could be held to determine the will of the Bavarian people. The Kaiser was grateful and was pleased to accept a visit by the Holy Father in June. The two held closed talks on the matter of Bavaria, and the Bavarian people increasingly began to look at the Pontiff over the Cisalpine monarch as the representative of their interests.

On 26 June, Kaiser Wilhelm announced that the direct annexation of Bavaria would be partially held in abeyance until further notice. However, the Rhenish Palatine would be directly incorporated into Prussia. The remainder of Bavaria would be granted a plebiscite in twelve weeks, with the offer of three options. Under terms of an agreement between Rome and Berlin, the plebiscite would not be binding. However, it would provide a fair indication of the thinking of the general populace and highlight where sentiment was strongest, thereby offering solid intelligence on what steps to take next.

The first option was a maintenance of the status quo, with the appointment of a Catholic monarch by the Kaiser to take over the vacant throne of the Wittelsbach family. The second option was that the throne would be abolished and that Bavaria would become an independent and sovereign republic following a constitutional convention and a referendum overseen by Berlin. The third option was that the people would prefer to be under the rule of the Hapsburgs, provided Vienna was prepared to make suitable compensation to Germany for the transfer.


The Birth of a Federation

President Joshua Alexander was glad to be away from Philadelphia. The blizzards that were afflicting the north-eastern United States were debilitating, not only holding up the reconstruction work in Washington D.C., but generally depressing. It was certainly a lot warmer here in San Salvador.

The arrival of the US President in the city was greeted by spectacular celebrations. Masses of people in colourful costumes danced through the street in a carnival atmosphere that took in multiple traditions. Almost spontaneously, Alexander decided to leave his motor vehicle and walk on foot, shaking hands and dancing with a number of the party-makers. On both sides there was a lot to celebrate. The President was here to inaugurate a new era: the birth of the Federated Provinces of Central America.

On 29 January, 1922, President Emiliano Zapata Salazar of Maya had finally managed to get the disparate countries of the peninsula to put aside their differences and agree to a federation. Only Costa Rica and Panama had held out for more concessions. Now he marched forward to shake the hand of the American President and to thank him for his support.

The US had a major vested interest in making sure this had been done right. For well over a decade, US marines had formed the backbone of security, creating an enormous drain on the budget. With the Liberation Army now prepared to take over the responsibility for defence and security, President Alexander had already outlined the advance of air forces and an expansion of the Navy. The Army would undoubtedly suffer, losing close to a quarter of its funding. However, the cuts may just be sufficient to weaken the ties that bound the Bolivarian Pact together, allowing America to divide the bloc which was halting its geopolitical advance. Already, it had much of the region in its economic grip; by making nice, Alexander hoped that he would also win their diplomatic loyalties.

In addition, the US budget needed as much money as it could make. The Supreme Court had recently handed down a decision that the licensing of radio through broadcasting fees was a violation of the freedom of speech. Radio stations that had already paid for their licenses were demanding refunds, projecting the money would be used to boost their signals and to drown out what they suspected would now become a free-for-all on the airwaves.

The advantages for Zapata were numerous. With the military and the political system of an enlarged state now under his control, Mexico would be forced to concede his departure and end the blatant hostility. While the President was under no illusions that Mexico and Central America would be cooperative partners, at least it was a step towards normalisation. Secondly, the disagreements and disputes within the political systems of the other provinces meant that any chance of their politicians taking a leading role was slim at best; Maya's united and strong leadership would ensure that it would be a dominating force in the new federation, despite only holding 23% of the population.


The Ottawa Conference


The leaders of the Condominium gathered on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill (opposite) in the winter of 1922 to renew acquaintances and to resolve differences. Excepting their former host, the Earl of Koubah, all of the attendees from Cairo were still in office and they had begun to become familiar with each other.

Their current host, Sir Robert Borden, had already indicated this would be his last such conference. He would be retiring from politics in 1924 to take up a number of lucrative chairmanships. Nobody begrudged him his quiet years; thirteen years as head of government would be long enough for anyone. Prime Minister Matthew Charlton of Australia had no plans for leaving office anytime soon. During his five years in office, he had brought Papua and New Guinea into statehood, but the lustre of such an achievement had been somewhat dampened by a number of High Court decisions that overrode the attempts of the Parliament to keep the "bois" from entering the mainland. He had also pursued a vigorous policy of development under the watchful eye of his Treasurer, James Scullin, who was widely regarded as an economic genius.

Marshal Smuts had established a superior position in South Africa, using the threat of the exploding population of German colonies to get the British out to vote and winning the loyalty of both women and the mixed races by granting them the vote. He had used the National Party's opposition to the British Empire, and their leader's Jewish ancestry, to build a strong electoral base over the last three years. Mohammed Ali Jinnah had few electoral concerns; after all, India remained a virtual one-party state. However, there were emerging questions about the stability of his marriage and it was widely expected that he would step down shortly after this conference. While Jinnah undoubtedly favoured his Minister of Health, Dr. Hakim Ajmal Khan, it appeared much more likely that he would be followed by a Kashmiri Brahmin barrister, the wealthy moderate Attorney General Motilal Nehru.

Egypt had experienced a change of the hierarchy in the last few months. Their new Prime Minister, Adli Yakan, was the great-grandnephew of Muhammed Ali. Newfoundland was preparing for its own change. Despite only three years in the top job, Prime Minister Sir Michael Cashin had indicated that he would step aside half way through his second term to clear the path for exporter John Chalker Crosbie. John Dillon was experiencing his last visit to an Imperial Conference; he would be defeated at the polls in August. Some, however, were much more secure. New Zealand's Prime Minister Patrick Webb joked that dynamite would be required to move him. (He would remain Prime Minister into the 1930's). Pashtunistan's Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan was chief of the Mohammedzais tribe and it was likely only death could remove him.

Attending the conference for the first time were two men. Sergio Osmena had been the Prime Minister of the Philippines for fifteen years and was about to become Chief Justice, whereupon he would be succeeded by his political ally, Manuel Quezon. However, Quezon had agreed to allow him to delay his departure until after the Philippines had been represented internationally as a British Dominion for the first time. Also represented for the first time was the Malay Federation; their delegate and first Prime Minister was Abdullah Jaafar, son of a Johori datuk.

The first matter that came up for discussion was the lag in economic development by India. While the underlying economy had grown by nearly 42% since the end of the Mutiny and the British had invested heavily, the sheer size of India's population, now approaching 270 million, meant that lots of money had minimal impact. What emerged was the Imperial Development Company of India. The new company, which had an initial life span of two years, would seek out new businesses willing to invest in India and would grant subsidies to those willing to do so. To give an impression of the size of the enterprise initiated, in 1922 alone, the IDIC would direct investments worth 6.46 billion pounds sterling. However, it was appreciated that any effort to improve the standard of living in India would require a coordinated effort over a decade. Of that money, 1.15 billion pounds would come from Egypt. However, they had a proviso to the spending of their money. They demanded and received sovereignty over the Sudan at the conference.

A second order of business was the development of the imperial currency. It had already been discussed ad nauseum by all parties and general consensus was that the Imperial Reserve Bank should be established in London. It was agreed that banks should begin to use the new currency unit, the banc, on 1 January, 1923, at which point all exchange rates for other currencies would become fixed against each other. The banks would then be required to begin issuing the new currency on 1 January, 1926, and all other currencies would cease to be effective on 1 January, 1927. It was also agreed that decimalisation should proceed, with each banc having one hundred pence. Coins would be the penny, two pence, five pence, shilling, florin and half banc. They would retain the old pound glyph (£) for its familiarity.

A general discussion was also held on recent work by Britain's Institute of Engineers, who, this May, would conduct the first general television broadcast. They were finally prepared to admit, in this forum, that the previous year they had transmitted a television signal from London to Glasgow. They were repeating work done previously in America, of course, but the Americans were still keeping their technology under wraps and using it for military transmissions. The British hoped to get colour transmission within the next year and to develop an all-electronic television system within five years. (They would miss this target by about eighteen months.) They also hoped to surprise the Americans by sending the first transatlantic transmission in short order. Another general discussion was held regarding the establishment of a single Imperial Airlines to service the world.

As the meeting came to a conclusion, Prime Minister Dillon of Ireland attempting to get the delegates involved in his confrontation over sovereign bases in Ireland. With most of the other delegates heavily dependent upon imperial forces, they were either indifferent or hostile. Irish newspapers reported that it had been a diplomatic slap to Dillon, raising the death knell over his administration. He would be voted out of office on 12 August.


Ere I Saw Elba

On 1 June, 1922, Minister President Karl Seitz of Austria-Hungary announced that the armed forces would be conducting long-term military exercises in Venetia due north of Bologna. The number of soldiers involved would initially be fifty thousand, but the numbers may fluctuate due to rotation. However, the Minister President stated that there was no threat to the Cisalpine Kingdom. Austrian troops would not enter anyone's territory without an express invitation.

The express invitation came exactly two months later, when the Cisalpinian military overthrew King Roberto in a coup d'etat and asked the Austrians for assistance. Seitz already had his troops mobilised and seized the opportunity. In hindsight, there can be no doubt that Austrian intelligence forces had assisted in the organisation and orchestration of the coup. (There is also considerable circumstantial evidence that Germany was involved in the financing, which explains her decision to sell her Polish territories to the USSR early in April. The USSR had financed that deal by selling some more land to the Finns.) The King fled to Florence, where he hoped to make a stand with those who remained loyal to his government, but ended up moving from safe house to safe house.

It was in this climate that the plebiscite took place in Bavaria on 16 September, 1922. The attitude of the largest part of electorate was definitely a case of "better the devil you know", with 41.3% voting in favour of the status quo, Bavaria as a kingdom of Germany with a new monarch appointed by the Kaiser. The next largest contingent were from those who were prepared to admit that Bavaria could not afford to stand alone, but who were not prepared to continue to submit to the Kaiser's rule. 34.0% of eligible votes were recorded in favour of union with Austria-Hungary. The remaining 24.7%, led by extremists from the left and the right, voted for independence.


Two days after the declaration of the result, Kaiser Wilhelm III stated that the option of an independent Bavaria was off the table, prompting large protests of the streets of Munich. The Kaiser and his Chancellor ordered an unprecedented crackdown, in which a number of revolutionary organisations were utterly crushed. Bavarian nationalist movements were destroyed and a number of members killed when they attempted to resist. The Resistance struck back, poisoning Colonel Hans von Seisser, head of the Bavarian State Police, but he was the only high-profile victim on the side of the Government. The most high profile victim for the Resistance was journalist Dietrich Eckart, the son of a royal notary. By 23 October, the German government felt confident enough that it ended the State of Emergency. France immediately called for Germany to be re-admitted to the Strasbourg Commission, but Britain insisted that Ebert must first resolve the Bavarian issue fully. That could not be achieved with discussions between Germany and Austria and the latter was somewhat distracted at the moment.

On 27 October, King Roberto was finally captured in Livorno by pro-Austrians and forced to sign an abdication. He was then permitted to flee across the sea to Elba, the island that had once imprisoned the Emperor Napoleon of France. Three days later, when Emperor Franz Ferdinand heard of his cousin's plight, he announced an immediate ceasefire and offered to come to Elba for a peace conference. Between 2 November and 4 December, delegates from France, Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Austria and Germany met on Elba to discuss the future of Eastern and Southern Europe. Only one thing was immediately clear from the outset: the House of Wittelsbach had played its cards and had been dealt out of the Great Game.


The End of War

On 2 November, the Great Powers of Europe gathered on the island of Elba in the western Mediterranean. The continent had been afflicted by constant small wars for the last half century and, with a new socialist consciousness, there was a realisation that war could no longer be permitted. The borders of Europe would need to be redrawn to prevent future conflict and guarantees provided to prevent further aggression.

The agendas presented at the conference were multiple and confusing. Each of the Great Powers brought not only their own concerns, but the concerns of smaller states, and even of minorities within the borders of other Great Powers. Over a period of five weeks, numerous debates produced numerous outcomes. They are as follows:

New Countries

The Republic of Brittany - When it became clear that France would end up with sovereignty over the territory previously known as the Cisalpine Kingdom, there was an insistence by Austria that Paris finally recognise the demands for separatism in Brittany.

The Republic of Poland - A new attempt was made to establish a small and reliant Polish state, once which could not threaten other countries, from Austrian and Russian held territories. German territory would not be given over, meaning that the new state would be landlocked.

Border Changes

The United States of Austria-Hungary - The USAH took control of Bavaria as many had predicted, but was required to cede Germany control of small portions of northern Bohemia and Moravia. In addition, she was required to surrender control of the Romanian-speaking areas of the Empire to the Kingdom of Romania, greatly increasing the size of that state, and to release Galicia, part of it going to create the new Polish state and the remainder being absorbed by the USSR.

The Union of Socialist States of Russia - In return for an expansion of her western border in Galicia, Germany insisted that Russia surrender a portion of Karelia to Finland, which had increasingly become a German client state, and Bulgaria to Austria.

The Republic of France - France would incorporate the territory previously known as the Cisalpine Kingdom.

Organisational Changes

Germany, Finland, Navarre, the Vatican State and Castile were all to be admitted to the Strasbourg Commission, bringing the total number of members to seventeen.

Poland would not be permitted to form her own military. Austria, Germany and Russia all agreed that, should one power attempt to invade, the other two would declare war on the invading power. Likewise, Britain and France would guarantee the defence of Brittany.

King Roberto would stand trial before the International Court of Justice, accused of belligerency and threatening the stability of Europe. He would eventually be sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Below is the map of Europe as it appeared at the end of the Elba Conference.


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