Colonel Marbot wrote:@Captain Orso
Thank you. I enjoyed reading your alternate history and yes, I see this to be quite plausible. I found your information about how important Haiti's economic production of coffee and sugar to be very interesting. I had not understood that Haiti was that strong. With so many European powers within the Caribbean, including the Dutch, I would have guessed production of have been more balanced between their possessions.
Glad you enjoyed that. It was kind of fun figuring a way for Louisiana to remain French, and although I've hardly scratched the surface, what I've read has left hundreds of question in my mind as to why things turned out the way they did, especially why the French Republic sided with the Bourgeoisie plantation owners after the revolution.
About the economic, you have to read that carefully. The wording is tricky, "1789 Saint-Domingue produced 60% of the world's coffee and 40% of the world's sugar imported by France and Britain", the key being "imported by France and Britain", which says nothing about what other colonies of other nations produced. It also means, that Britain and France did import coffee and sugar from other places too.
Colonel Marbot wrote:In America we think of the Civil War as the time when the succession movement began and the conflict between the free states, and the slave-states, but there was also a very strong succession movement in the 1820s when Jackson was president and yes, your portrayal of the Mississippi as a freedom river is interesting.
Descent, rebellion, and secession are cornerstones of the American Revolution, which was not the war with Britain, but the experiment of self-government, not only of individual states, but of all states together under a single constitution. From the War of Independence, to Shay's Rebellion, and on to the Civil War and to this day, the greatest contributing factor has always been the economics of the wealthy over the masses.
And the experiment continues, more today than ever before. Since a nearly unknown senator just over a year ago reminded the American people that they truly have the power of government in their hands, if they only have the will to exercise it, politics have started to move more than they have in the previous decades in which democracy has been continuously replaced by an oligarchic rule by the elites, literally huge corporations and the 1% over the rest. The most poignant example I know of, of how this came to be, was inadvertently given by an historian who noted about the reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address by an actor who was know is one of the best portrayers of Lincoln, spoke the last line with stress on the conjugations, " that government of
the people, by
the people, for
the people", but he believe that Lincoln put the intonation differently: "and that government of the people
, by the people
, for the people
, shall not perish from the earth". Whether true or not, it is how the Founding Fathers intended it to be.
This is what made the idea so interesting to me. It would have been a conflict with many parallels to the American Civil War. Each side waving their banners of freedom and justice, while the true foundation of the conflict would be economics and expansionism, just like it was historically in the Civil War. But enough digression.
Colonel Marbot wrote:Not being a game designer, I do not have a feel for map scale and game design. My consumer-only thoughts have been, give us the most detailed map that is practical, set the game scale and calculate practical march distance and then modify that by the terrain type, weather, etc. of that terrain transverse. I wonder if gaming will ever get to the point where we are playing on maps without arbitrary boundaries.... where we just draw march pathways and the game calculates how far and were the unit goes and calculates zones of control and supply all based on surrounding terrain, composition of opposing forces and distance to those forces.
The CW2 map loans itself well to the large campaigns waged during that war. But with the era of rail transportation yet far in the future, and steamboats being still in their infancy, a conflict conducted in the wilds of the Mississippi Valley would hardly allow for supplying such large forces. Foraging would not be possible, for there would be no agricultural basis from which to forage.
So the first real question is, what would the conflict really look like, and when? My alterant-history dealt mostly with how the conflict might be start on the surface, but the real point of conflict would be the US being blocked from expanding westward, which I doubt the US would long suffer.
France would have a bustling New Orleans and what ever infrastructure could be expanded from there, possibly more up the Red River than the Mississippi. But what of the 90% of Louisiana above that? Would France being able to exploit the resources of the expanses of Louisiana? Would France allow US settlers to migrate into the Great Plains to expedite population growth and development, and then have another Texas situation in Missouri, "Remember the Rolla!(?!?), when conflict breaks out along the southern Mississippi?
With the Mississippi being the only supply line the French would have, it would be a tentative prospect at the most. Not something one could risk a large army on.
Early in the 19th century, the US would be only marginally in a better situation, having to send supplies from the East Coast, probably down the Ohio River, but it would be an inland route, safe within its own territory. But the US would be starting without much of a standing army. At any rate, nothing like what France might be able to send, maybe.
Another very important question would be, naval power, since France would be sending supplies and troops from Europe, unless the French population in Louisiana had grown so greatly, which it might have. There might a fairly sizeable Franco-African population, who might be highly motivated to fight any chance of the US taking Louisiana, for fear of being forced 'back' into slavery for some. France might well take the conflict to there where it might do the most harm to the US, much the same as the British did in the War of 1812. Louisiana itself, aside from New Orleans, might be relegated to a backwater of the conflict with France, staging it's part of the war out of Saint-Domingue onto the Southern Atlantic coast.
And who would France be? Would alt-hist have Napoleon Bonaparte, or a Bourbon King attempting to retain some semblance of a meaningful monarchy on the world stage? So many questions.
Colonel Marbot wrote:It sounds as if you were involved early with the WON development. Thank you for your contributions to the game and your continued support. Your custodianship of this forum with your insight of the game has been vital for many of us.
Not as much as with CW2, but I was there. I'm always glad to help out, where I can.