Guest Historian Gerry Shannon says, how would the breakaway Confederate States of America, continuing to exist after the resolution of the Civil War, have endured alongside the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries? If you're interested in viewing samples of my other work why not visit Todayinah site.
In 1979, Confederate President Jimmy Carter sends a letter of congratulations to Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries for securing control of their country following prolonged hostilities to bring about a new "Islamic Republic" in Iran. The letter also contains a note of hope that both the CSA and Iran can now begin a new era of friendliness and co-operation, and begin a new relationship that would be beneficial for them both.
A post from the two Americas Reunification 80 thread by Gerry Shannon.
"To the Revolution, Our Congrats" by Gerry ShannonThe letter is read out on state media and printed in Iranian national newspapers, and it's chief theme is the similarities - however forced - that Carter demonstrates between the revolutionary roots of the Confederacy and this new Islamic Republic. Carter ends with a flourish by quoting the words of Robert E. Lee, the second President of the Confederate States of America, who once wrote: "You can be anything you want to be, have anything you desire, accomplish anything you set out to accomplish - if you hold to that desire with a singleness of purpose".
Though Carter's letter gets guarded praise from the Ayatollah, the reaction in the government of the United States is one of fury. US President Ted Kennedy (pictured, right) and his cabinet feel Carter is being too opportunistic after the collapse of the US-backed Iranian government, and that the Confederacy is clearly hoping to gain from the financial interests that it's neighbour has now lost and ultimately have a foothold in the troubled Middle East.
However, Kennedy's deeper concern - as he relates to his Chief of Staff Mary Kopechne - is that relations between the United States and Confederacy will be damaged enough to put his dream of reunification of the two countries indefinitely on hold. Though Kennedy himself could not have foreseen these fraught relations becoming even further strained when the United States embassy in Iran would be seized by Iranian forces nine months later in a prolonged hostage crisis.
In 1964, Richmond-based newspaper CSA Today publishes the first pictures of Yankee Troops occupying the John Wilkes Booth International Airport in Charleston, South Carolina.
Centennial ReconstructionFour years before, Governor Strom Thurmond had led the State out of the Confederacy. This move was somewhat ironic given that his Civil War-era predecessor William H. Gist had called other Southern leaders as "our weaker brethren". But it was the controversial renaming the International Airport that had gained South Caroline is current parish status as a rogue nation. Because it labelled a notorious assassin as an anti-Federalist hero.
In accordance with a League of Nations mandate that it had recently secured in Geneva, the rump United States was forcibly dismantling Jim Crow with plans to roll-out Civil Rights legislation (the "weaker brethren" being willing to negotiate the end of Jim Crow without a fight). As with the events of a century before, it remained to be scene whether the events in Charleston would trigger a chain reaction throughout the South.
In 1976, on this day James "Jimmy" Earl Carter Carter, Jr. of the Democratic-Republican party, and former governor of Georgia, is sworn in as the President of the Confederate States of America.
CSA President Jimmy Carter turns the page of Southern History by Gerry ShannonIn his inaugural speech, Carter repeats a sentiment from earlier speeches he made as governor in 1971: "The time of racial segregation is over, and racial discrimination has no place in the future of the Confederacy".
Many observers, both white and black, in both the Confederacy and neighbouring United States, hail Carter's remarks. Not only is Carter the first holder of the office to condemn racism in an inaugural speech, it is clear rebuke of the policies of his much-disliked predecessor, firm segregationist George Wallace.
In 1950, on this day James Richard ("Rick") Perry was born to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and the former Amelia June Holt in the unincorporated community of Paint Creek in north central Texas.
Don't Mess With Texas, Part 2With an ancestry that was almost entirely Anglo dating back to the original thirteen colonies, his family had lived in the region even before the outbreak of the Revolution that created the Republic of Texas. His father, a Democrat, was a long-time Haskell County commissioner and school board member. His interest in politics began in November 1961 when his father took him to the funeral of Texan President Sam Rayburn.
Perry was in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout (he would later by honoured with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award). He graduated from Paint Creek High School in 1968 and then attended Texas A&M University, where he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity, was elected senior class social secretary, and was also elected as one of A&M's five yell leaders (a popular Texas A&M tradition analogous to male cheerleaders). Perry graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in animal science.
His political connections and leadership abilities landed him with a place on future leaders of America. This elite development programme was conceived by Five-star Confederate General Dwight David ("Ike") Eisenhower in order to correct the dreadful shortcomings of the un-coordinated American commands that he had suffered from during World War Two. Assigned to the US Air Force, Perry served with distinction, rising to the acting rank of Captain in the Tactical Airlift Squadron.
Conceivably, these acts of continental patriotism might even have led to the awakening sense of transnational identity that was the unstated goal of FLoA. Perhaps he could have returned to Texas as an evangelist for a compelling vision of America's manifest destiny. But then fate intervened when he was selected as an observer on Operation Eagle Talon. His outlook was pushed sharply in the opposite direction, profoundly transformed by the tangled mass of helicopters that he witnessed in the Iranian desert.
The powerlessness of the Federal Government was deeply imprinted into the psyche of a political generation that never shared Union President Edward M. Kennedy's Dream that Never Dies. But thirty years of steady growth in the Union combined with an increasing non-Anglo population began to break down the mindset of resistance to re-unification. And Perry himself was elected President of Texas in 2000 at a time when the Revolution itself appeared to be unravelling fast. Powerless to stem the flow of immigration and drugs across the Rio Grande, he was sharply criticised by Union President Pat Buchanan in the famous Day of Reckoning speech that predicted the unchecked rise of Mexicana. Ejected from office by the angry voters, his moderate successor Kay Bailey Hutchison used the costly financing of the construction of the San Diego-Brownsville separation barrier as a justification for re-unification.
On the day that John Cornyn tabled the motion of retrocession, Perry re-emerged as the spokesman of the Dont Mess with Texas opposition. A small protest that began in the Capital City of Austin siezed the headlines of the Richmond-based newspaper CSA Today and soon developed into a wider issue that would engulf the continent. Positioning Perry as a future leader of America in a way that no one could ever have possibly imagined.
This post is an article from the Reunification 80 thread created by Gerry Shannon.
In 2009, on this day the leader of the "Fed Up" campaign, former Texan President Rick Perry challenged the legality of the motion of retrocession tabled by John Cornyn, promising to fight his moderate successor Kay Bailey Hutchison and her controversial plans to re-join the Union.
Dont Mess with Texas
By Ed and Jared MyersHis credibility rested upon his conservative record in office - and a broader perspective gained from overseas service in the US Air Force. A cotton farmers son who graduated in Animal Science, he was nominated for enrollment into the future leaders of America. This exchange programme was conceived by General Eisenhower as a result of his experience of un-coordinated American commands during World War Two.
And yet proponents of the retrocession plan immediately derided Perry and his anachronistic "Dont Mess With Texas" position as a Confederate-era advocacy of States Rights. Nevertheless, the majority of voters in the Second Republic of Texas appeared to share varying degrees of doubt that the US Government's Tenth Amendment provided the necessary protection against Federal overreach.
The broader debate over small government orthodoxy was making a splash in Newsweek and even CSA Today. This Richmond-based broadsheet had been a standard-bearer of states rights ever since Ted Kennedy delivered his famous Dream That Never Dies speech at the 1980 Democrat Convention in New York. And soon enough, media interest ensured that the political struggle in Austin would be elevated to a continent-wide debate about the future of a new Federal Government from "sea to shining sea".
This article is an installement of the CSA Today thread devised by guest historian Gerry Shannan.
In 1972, on this day two men are apprehended following a break in and attempted bugging of the offices of the Confederate States of America embassy in Washington D.C. Confederate authorities reveal the two men, Howard E. Hunt and Frank Sturgis, are in fact CIA operatives and under interrogation have revealed other attempts to burgle the embassy offices. Given that they were illegally trespassing on property owned by the CSA - the former site of the Watergate hotel - the men are subsequently sent to the federal prison at Fort Monroe, Virginia.
Gerry Shannon's "Break-In at the CS Embassy"US President Barry Goldwater demands that CS President George Wallace order their immediate release, but privately is shocked to learn Hunt and Sturgis' activities were funded by the Richard Nixon presidential campaign. Not only that, but it was former Vice-President Nixon himself who ordered the burglary.
Aware of the out-going President's fury, Nixon quickly has his aides leak the details of his involvement in the break-in to Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward; who subsequently reports it. The claim that the former Vice-President had ordered the burglary to investigate "Confederate plots against the Union" lead to an upsurge of support in the polls for Nixon for his apparent patriotic intentions. Though the incident sours relations between the governments of the Union and Confederacy for at least the next decade, it is deemed a considerable factor in Nixon's subsequent victory over Democratic candidate Robert Kennedy.
However, in the intervening decades, conspiracy theorists make allegations of a link between the embassy break-in and the assassination of CS President Johnson. Two men looking remarkably similar to Hunt and Sturgis were photographed several times in Dealey Plaza on 22nd, November 1963.
In 1963, on this day out-going Lyndon Baines Johnson, President of the Confederate States of America, (pictured, left) is assassinated in Dallas whilst travelling in a presidential limousine along a designated motorcade route.
Gerry Shannon's "Johnson Assassinated by Union Sympathizer"Johnson had been doing a tour of his home state to drum up support for the policies of his Democratic-Republican party; and unite it's warring factions within the Texas state. The shooting occurred at approximately 12:30PM in the Dealey Plaza area of downtown Dallas. A chief suspect soon emerges: Lee Harvey Oswald, a US sympathizer who had previously defected to the Union after receiving a dishonourable discharge from the Confederate Army. Oswald would later claim at his trial - and right up to his execution - he was being set-up as the perfect "patsy" for Johnson's murder, because of his outspoken beliefs on civil rights and affirmative action.
However, Oswald's argument would prove ironic with hindsight. Since being sworn in six years before, Johnson had pursued several progressive policies in relation to civil rights for African-Americans during his administration. It would be his Vice-President and successor, John Connolly, who would succeed in convincing the Confederate Congress at Richmond to pass a historic Civil Rights bill in 1964.
In 1968, on this day Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights leader and third-party presidential candidate, is assassinated at Lorraine Hotel, Memphis. King was struck by a single bullet fired from a rifle. The bullet travelled through the right side of his neck, smashing his throat and then going down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder.
Gerry Shannon's King Dies for "No Lost Cause"King had been nominated as the Reform Party candidate for the Presidency of the Confederate States, and had been in Memphis for a scheduled campaign appearance. Though he had been trailing far behind both the Conservative and Democratic-Republican candidates in the national polls, King had hoped to use his candidacy as a platform for his long-standing campaign of civil rights for African-Americans in the CSA.
Only coming five years after the assassination of CS President Lyndon Johnson, King's murder would have an even profounder effect on society. Riots ignited across the state capitals, not the least of which in Richmond, for several weeks. CS President John Connolly releases a statement, "Dr. King would often tell me our Confederacy was built on a Lost Cause, but I know he was content to die for what he regarded as a more noble one. A cause dedicated to love and peace towards his fellow man, black and white; and one that can only improve the lives of all of us living in these Confederate States".
On June 10, 1968, James Earl Ray, a fugitive from a Missouri prison, was arrested at London's Heathrow Airport, extradited to the Confederate States, and chared with the crime. On March 10th, 1969, Ray entered a plea of guilty and sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee state penitentiary. Following his incarceration, Ray would suddenly deny all charges and claim a mysterious individual named "Raoul" set him up; he would put forward this version of events until his death in 1998.
In 1964, on this "Martyr's Day" youths raised the Panamanian flag on the Confederate controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between C.S. military and Panamanian civilians. An article from the thread by Gerry Shannon.
Martyrs' Day in the Panama Canal ZoneThe disputed sovereignty of the Panama Canal Zone would continue for months, marring Centennial Celebrations in Richmond.
However the long-term consequence would be a dramatic transfer of international shipping to the Federal Transoceanic Canal across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. That region was politically stable as a result of the equitable settlement achieved by the Gadsden Purchase. A narrow strip of land between the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Ocean was retained by the Mexican Government with the canal owned under franchise by the US Government, a sustainable agreement that had successfully created a zone of employment that vastly upgraded the Mexican economy.
Given the growing troubles of occupying powers in Panama and Suez, Yankee politicians in Philadelphia believed that time was on their side. But it would take the political courage of President Ted Kennedy to fulfil "the Dream that Never Dies", re-unification with the Confederacy.
In 1980, on the final day of the Democratic convention in New York, US President Teddy Kennedy addresses the delegates in one of the finest instances of oratory in US history. It would be a speech that would be widely credited with ensuring Kennedy's re-election.
The Dream Never Dies by Gerry ShannonDrawing on quotes from Martin Luther King, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Alfred Lord Tennyson, Kennedy highlights his and the party's achievements over the last four years and his hopes for a second term; in the close of speech, he then criticizes the out-going administration of CS President Jimmy Carter for failure to bring the Union and Confederacy closer to reunification - a goal Kennedy would often refer to as "the cause of my life".
In a stirring finish to the speech, Kennedy looked to the countries' shared pasts and their future: "For many in the United States, over a century ago, the possibility of reunification came to an end. For all those in both the US and CS whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die".
In 1977, on this day Edward Moore "Teddy" Kennedy of the Democratic party, and former senator of Massachusetts, is sworn in as President of the United States.
The Greatest President of our Time by Gerry ShannonThe possibility of a second Kennedy presidency was seen unlikely by many given the twin defeats of his older brothers John for re-election in 1964, and Robert for election in 1972. However, Teddy would gradually build an effective campaign platform of progressive policies of universal health-care, education reform and not least of which improved international and regional relations. (Most particularly his pursuit of reunification of the Union with the Confederacy, an aspiration sadly unrealised during Kennedy's two terms).
The success of implementing many of these policies during his eight-year Presidency, particularly with a Republican-majority Congress in 1979 and later in 1981, would give future US President Barack Obama the inspiration to eulogize Kennedy as "the greatest President of our time" following his passing in mid-2009.
In 1998, in an interview on NBC's Today Show, Confederate First Lady Hillary Clinton claims the existence of a "vast Union conspiracy" to destroy her husband's presidency of the Confederate States.
Vast Union Conspiracy
by Gerry ShannonMrs. Clinton was appearing in a satellite-link up to address the recent press rumours of CS President Bill Clinton's infidelity with a Confederate White House staffer, and that he had lied under oath an affair had ever happened. Her claim arose following a comment from host Matt Lauer: "You have said, I understand, to some close friends that this is the last great battle, and that one side or the other is going down here".
Clinton responded, "Well, I don't know if I've been that dramatic. That would sound like a good line from a movie. But I do believe that this is a battle. I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this - they have popped up in other settings. This is - the great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast Union conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for presiden". The "people involved in this" referred chiefly to Monica Lewinsky, a graduate of Lewis & Clark college in Portland, Oregon; and of course, a citizen of the United States working as an intern in the Confederate White House.
"I mean, look at the very people who are involved in this - they have popped up in other settings".Journalist Bob Woodward previously wrote in his book "The Agenda" (1994) that Mrs. Clinton recalled that when her husband was making his decision to run for the president in 1992, he reported receiving "a direct threat from someone in the administration of US President Dick Cheney, warning that if he ran, the CIA would go after him. "Will will do everything we can to destroy you", she recalled that the Cheney White House man had sad". Why out-going US President Cheney would wish to stop a Clinton presidency, Woodward speculates that it was clear that Clinton would wish to work with Cheney's successor to cool tensions between the Confederacy and Union should he win.
In any case, Lewinsky is quietly deported back to the United States soon after Mrs. Clinton's comments - assisted by the administration of US President Al Gore - and the threat of impeachment for CS President Clinton in his last two years of office gradually passes.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.