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Foreign policy consequences of a successful Reconstruction

Roger II

Well-known member
Let's postulate that Reconstruction is successful to a standard of "the 13th-15th amendments are vigorously enforced, the rights of African-Americans are preserved, esp. wrt voting, and either the bans on segregation in public accommodations are upheld (1875 Civil Rights Act) or at a bare minimum legally enforced segregation in public accommodations is held to be unconstitutional"-ie. there's no actual Jim Crow regime or post-1880 nadir even if we're stuck with some level of informal de facto discrimination. I'm fine with any means to this goal post-1865. My question is: What are the foreign policy consequences of this? What does the foreign policy of a post-1877 US under this circumstance look like, and is it noticeably different from the foreign policy of OTL's US?
 

Charles EP M.

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Published by SLP
I'd guess the presence of a large number of non-white voters with rights and non-white politicians in national office is going to make US negotiations with the European empires extremely different - there'd be a political need to take a stand on colonialism and acts of mass murder in the same way the Irish-American diaspora leads to the US taking a stand on Irish independence, Northern Ireland etc. (Even if it's just "hey, you, please don't")
 

RyanF

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If there's someone amenable in the White House might we see the US take up the offer to annexe the Dominican Republic? Pre-1877 I know but if the Radicals in the Republican Party are a bit more successful at home...
 

Japhy

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If there's someone amenable in the White House might we see the US take up the offer to annexe the Dominican Republic? Pre-1877 I know but if the Radicals in the Republican Party are a bit more successful at home...
There was someone in the White House who was for it. Grant lost that political fight because the Senate was against it. Including both liberal and radical republicans. It's why Sumner actually joined the Liberals.
 

Japhy

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Grant was also only in favour of it because Reconstruction was failing. He had given up on securing the safety of blacks in the South and was looking for an alternative. A stronger reconstruction would see less support, I'd argue.
That's a fairly gross misrepresentation of what was happening.
 

Gary Oswald

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That's a fairly gross misrepresentation of what was happening.
Not that he had given up fighting for that goal but that he was despairing on being able to get that happening within the cureent status quo and so hoped a black majority state would change the situation by acting as a safety valve and a warning to white to treat their black workers well or theyd leave.
 

Japhy

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Not that he had given up fighting for that goal but that he was despairing on being able to get that happening within the cureent status quo and so hoped a black majority state would change the situation by acting as a safety valve and a warning to white to treat their black workers well or theyd leave.
In part. It's also worth remembering that he got the Civil Rights Act of 1875 passed which had it not been torn down by the Supreme Court would have been as important long term as the 1964 Act. And that's after the "Santo Domingo Treaty" fiasco.
 

Catalunya

Well-known member
In part. It's also worth remembering that he got the Civil Rights Act of 1875 passed which had it not been torn down by the Supreme Court would have been as important long term as the 1964 Act. And that's after the "Santo Domingo Treaty" fiasco.
It’s amazing how that Supreme Court decision set back African-American rights at least 2 generations.
 

Japhy

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I'd guess the presence of a large number of non-white voters with rights and non-white politicians in national office is going to make US negotiations with the European empires extremely different - there'd be a political need to take a stand on colonialism and acts of mass murder in the same way the Irish-American diaspora leads to the US taking a stand on Irish independence, Northern Ireland etc. (Even if it's just "hey, you, please don't")
I think the place this will really manifest itself in is in regards to the abuses of the Congo Free State. African American Missionaries were the first people to report what was going on there to the world. It could help push it up as a major cause years earlier and with more US political pressure being applied to it.

That said I wouldn't overstate African American-African ties too much. There would be increased political pressure in regards to US foreign policy towards Haiti and Liberia but a good look at the disconnect between African-Americans and Colonial Subjects in Africa is the Tuskegee Institutes' work for the German Empire in Togo. There was a general belief from the Institute teams that they were going to be "uplifting" the native Togoians rather then a view of Pan-African Solidarity. This is why they didn't turn Togo into a Cotton Growing Powerhouse like the Germans were hoping for.
 
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Roger II

Well-known member
I think the place this will really manifest itself in is in regards to the abuses of the Congo Free State. African American Missionaries were the first people to report what was going on there to the world. It could help push it up as a major cause years earlier and with more US political pressure being applied to it.

That said I wouldn't overstate African American-African ties too much. There would be increased political pressure in regards to US foreign policy towards Haiti and Liberia but a good look at the disconnect between African-Americans and Colonial Subjects in Africa is the Tuskegee Institutes' work for the German Empire in Togo. There was a general belief from the Institute teams that they were going to be "uplifting" the native Togoians rather then a view of Pan-African Solidarity. This is why they didn't turn Togo into a Cotton Growing Powerhouse like the Germans were hoping for.
You know, I really want to explore this re: the Congo Free State.
 

Japhy

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You know, I really want to explore this re: the Congo Free State.
The thing is America in the 19th Century didn't want to get dragged into that sort of business. Even with Freedmen political support it's not going to be Admiral Dewey sailing up the Congo River guns blazing. The Spanish American War happened but that's because Americans has been actively interested in what was going on in Cuba for nearly a century. The Congo basin doesn't have that. But you might see US Boycotts and Embargos.
 

Japhy

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i did go through a phase when i was 18 of 'teddy's empire in africa' in everything
EdT making him lifelong administrator of the Congo Free State was good.

That said, I think it was Major Major Major at the other place years ago who did a pretty flawed Timeline about some fictional good guy Tennessee Unionist becoming President when Lincoln was shot and because of the influence of his English wife ( :rolleyes: ) proceeded to win reconstruction, build a permanent army of Confederate prisoners and USCT and go on the warpath for Liberty with US troops de facto taking over Mexico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Liberia carving out an empire from Liberia to Nigeria and up to Timbuktu to defeat Slavery. Honestly the whole thing was ridiculous but that's the current bar I think for Reconstruction Foreign Policy work.

Oh and there's also @Sulemain's TL but and I hope he doesn't mind me saying it it's fairly utopian.
 

Sulemain

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If you're referring to the Hebert Hoover in southern Africa/black US troops fighting Strasserites in Russian Republic stuff then yeah I'll admit to that.
 

Roger II

Well-known member
The thing is America in the 19th Century didn't want to get dragged into that sort of business. Even with Freedmen political support it's not going to be Admiral Dewey sailing up the Congo River guns blazing. The Spanish American War happened but that's because Americans has been actively interested in what was going on in Cuba for nearly a century. The Congo basin doesn't have that. But you might see US Boycotts and Embargos.
Boycotts, embargos, and it having ramifications because the US is very blunt about what it can do to put a stop to the Free State is still interesting.
 

Sulemain

Brush NOT Benzo
Location
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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.
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.
 
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