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Foreign policy consequences of a successful Reconstruction

Roger II

Well-known member
The Four Communes were coastal towns in Senegal whose inhabitants were all, theoretically, fully French Citizens.

It was established during the 2nd Republic, but only really started happening in practice in 1916.
Interesting-what does the US do wrt them? Or the Cape Colony? I'm curious how the balance of power in Europe and Africa is affected, if at all, by the US throwing whatever weight around it wants re: French and British colonies with enfranchised blacks.
 

Sulemain

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Interesting-what does the US do wrt them? Or the Cape Colony? I'm curious how the balance of power in Europe and Africa is affected, if at all, by the US throwing whatever weight around it wants re: French and British colonies with enfranchised blacks.
I was thinking more the other way round, with enfranchised black (and Coloured) Africans pointing to the US as an example.
 

Charles EP M.

Well-known member
Published by SLP
Especially if the scramble for Africa is affected more generally by "right, we can only invade and slaughter so many before we get a Fun American Embargo"
That would greatly change the entire history of Africa (and Europe) if the Scramble is scaled back, especially if a European power decides to push back against America because it doesn't like losing the Scramble to its rivals.
 

Sulemain

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HM what does that look like? I'm curious now.
It really depends on a lot of stuff in Africa, Europe and the USA. It's going to be easier with regard to the Cape what with English as a common albeit often second language amongst the Coloured population there. You'll see letter writing, newspaper campaigns, etc. A black Atlantic republic of letters of sorts.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
That would greatly change the entire history of Africa (and Europe) if the Scramble is scaled back, especially if a European power decides to push back against America because it doesn't like losing the Scramble to its rivals.
Yea I don't know _how_ big the effect is, but it could be important-or not! IDK I kind of like the idea of "And then the US Entered the World Stage with W.E.B. Du Bois being appointed as a High Commissioner to oversee the divestiture of Leopold II...and proposed, with the support of the president, a explicit plan for Congolese self-rule." It's unlikely but fun.
 

napoleon IV

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Especially if the scramble for Africa is affected more generally by "right, we can only invade and slaughter so many before we get a Fun American Embargo" or the US just bankrolling Ethiopia to the hilt.
I'm skeptical that the US would get that involved in Africa as a whole. The Congo Free State is very much the exception in terms of the public outrage it generated, and it's worth noting that a lot of the other colonies were doing similar things and were only somewhat less brutal. Plus, as @Japhy notes African-Americans didn't necessarily feel solidarity with Africans, so in a lot of cases they won't be much more concerned about what's going on than white people are. The vast majority of invading and slaughtering that Europeans probably wouldn't bother Americans too much. The other factor is that the US isn't going to want a trade war with the major powers. Boycotts and embargos against Belgium are easy, but doing the same thing to Britain or France would lead to retaliation and that would seriously hurt the US economy.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
I'm skeptical that the US would get that involved in Africa as a whole. The Congo Free State is very much the exception in terms of the public outrage it generated, and it's worth noting that a lot of the other colonies were doing similar things and were only somewhat less brutal. Plus, as @Japhy notes African-Americans didn't necessarily feel solidarity with Africans, so in a lot of cases they won't be much more concerned about what's going on than white people are. The vast majority of invading and slaughtering that Europeans probably wouldn't bother Americans too much. The other factor is that the US isn't going to want a trade war with the major powers. Boycotts and embargos against Belgium are easy, but doing the same thing to Britain or France would lead to retaliation and that would seriously hurt the US economy.
Eh, you're probably right. Still, there are some interesting questions around the edges.
 

Japhy

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@napoleon IV hit the nail on the head. This isn't going to either cause all Empires to suddenly be good and it isn't going to form some Pan-African bloc against Imperialism. It's not even going to see US Support for Ethiopia or Madagascar or Zanzibar since their economic basis as slave states will matter too much.

Liberia, the CFS and maybe a few more occasional cause celebre in Africa and a few instances of things like Tuskegee in Togo seem to be the limit for changes in Africa.

US relations with Spain over Cuba and PR, Mexico with the French War, the Santo Domingo Treaty and Latin America are the places that will see the biggest changes.
 

Japhy

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To tie back to my hobby horse, it's probably going to impact places where there are already black African enfranchisement-the Cape Colony springs to mind, as do the Four Communes of Senegal.
I can say with almost 100% certainty nothing would change there from the US perspective. No one cared in the US and in 1900 both US parties included the only South African topic they would have until Apartheid in their platforms. They both condemned the British for their rampant use of war crimes. That was it.
 

Gary Oswald

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I thought it was was an outgrowth of pre-exsisting European competition and that the Americans went along just because they were expected to, and that Bismarck was the prime organiser?
The American recognition of Leopold's International African Organisation as the rightful government of the Congo basin is what led the Europeans to go, yeah we need to sort out our claims here.

President Arthur recognised Leopold's claims in April 1884, the conference was in November. It was the Americans more than anyone else who were pushing for central africa to be placed under a neutral power and be a neutral free trade zone. The Berlin conference was Bismarck putting his weight behind that plan.

During WWI the Germans claimed that the USA had a responsibility to protect German East Africa from British attacks as they had viewed the americans as the guaranteer of the agreement of the berlin conference for no fighting between europeans in the free trade zone.
 
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