Balance of Power May 27, 2017 11:43:38 GMT
Post by lordroel on May 27, 2017 11:43:38 GMT
Part I, 1812-1842
The continent where Napoleon’s conquests would have some of their biggest effects was one where he fought no wars. The placing of Joseph Bonaparte on the throne of Spain as a client state of the French Empire triggered decades of civil wars in the Spanish Viceroyalties in the New World. The flight of the Portuguese royal family to Brazil was have its own effects that would become intertwined with the rest of the continent.
In the Spanish colonies, what was initially a Bourbon Loyalist reaction to the removal of Ferdinand VII quickly turned into wars of independence which turned into civil wars and later into caudillos fighting for control of the central governments.
Simon Bolivar was influential in the Viceroyalties of New Granada and Peru, setting up three new republics - Peru, Colombia, and the eponymous Bolivia - but while he got the the people to rebel against Spain he never got them to agree with each other. To the Regionalists, Bolivar and the Federalists looked just like the armies Ferdinand had sent to retake control of the colonies after regaining the throne in 1813, and they feared reforms like the ones the Cadíz Junta attempted to carry out in the monarch’s name. After the Spanish civil war in the 1820s and the fracturing of the Kingdom, rumours abounded that Leónese and Aragónese diplomats had promised aid and trade to the Regionalists, adding fuel to the fire that they wished to retain what Castile could not, but nothing ever came of them.
When Bolivar died in December of 1830, his Republic of Colómbia had split in three separate republics. Even before the end of “Gran Colómbia”, as those looking back with nostalgia called it, the young nation had gone to war with the nation of Peru over the Amazonian territories where the border of the old Viceroyalties had been imprecise. The name given by him also ceased to exist when the remaining departments reorganised themselves as the Republic of Nueva Granada.
While all that was happening in the north and west of the continent, the other half of the continent was also embroiled in conflict..
The flight of the Portuguese monarchy to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in November of 1807 had resulted in the elevation of the colony of Brazil to being a kingdom of it’s own, and King John VI’s return to Europe in 1821 sent fears throughout the nation that it would be reduced back to colonial status. As a result, Prince Royal Peter proclaimed independence as the Empire of Brazil. Peter’s first problem was the Banda Oriental of the Rio Plata. After having gained it from the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata in 1821 only to lose it again in 1828 thanks to British and French interference. The solution proposed by the European powers who were eager to restore the trade that had been cut off by the Brazilian blockade of Buenos Aires was that the Banda Oriental was to become the sovereign Eastern Republic of Uruguay that would carry out relations with both the U.P. and Brazil to prevent further war.
Uruguay, however, was no different than the rest of the Spanish Americas and within a decade was in the middle of its own civil war with Fructuoso Rivera being backed by the French who had maintained a strong diplomatic presence in Uruguay that had grown to the French Navy escorting merchant ships across the Atlantic ocean. When Rivera was forced to flee Uruguay after Manuel Oribe returned with troops from the Argentine Confederation, he escaped to the newly proclaimed Republic of Riograndense where he would meet Italian Giuseppe Garibaldi. France’s new King Louis Philippe spied an opportunity against the unstable Brazilian regency for young Peter II. By recognising the government of Riograndense this made France a party to the so-called Ragamuffin War between Brazil and Riograndense which Louis-Philippe used as an excuse to invade Portuguese Guiana in the north, long contested by the French and Portuguese, as part of prosecuting the war against Brazil. When Rivera’s army forced Oribe to flee Uruguay for the Argentine Confederation, Rivera returned to become its next president. Garibaldi became the President of Riograndense and with French help invaded the neighbouring Brazilian province of Santa Catarina in support of Ragamuffin sympathisers. The Juliana Republic was proclaimed and shortly after it signed a treaty of union with Riograndense, the Imperial Brazilian Navy attacked the port of Laguna. Though routed by a French naval fleet, the territory of the Juliana Republic was never fully held by Ragamuffin rebels and the front lines between Riograndense and Brazil fluctuated back and forth.
In 1842 France, Brazil and Riograndense signed the Treaty of Cayenne and ended the Ragamuffin War. Brazil is forced to recognise the independence of Riograndense but in return for receiving back Santa Catarina from the rebels, Brazil ceded the portion of Grao-Para Province known informally as Portuguese Guyana to France. Thus freed, French troops entered Uruguay to support Rivera and along with British troops the coalition defeated Oribe and hs Argentine backers at the Battle of Arroyo Grande. The British and French lifted their blockade of Buenos Aires which had been put in place when Rivera had returned to Uruguay and the Argentine Confederation ratified the Treaty of Arroyo Grande in which it pledged to never again interfere in Uruguayan affairs. Free navigation of the Paraná, Uruguay, and Plata rivers without tolls is given to all adjoining nations in the hopes of reducing conflict and increasing trade to Europe.
In Bolivia, know before as Alto Peru, Marshal Andres de Santa Cruz emerged from the instability following war with Peru to become president of Bolivia. Around the same time as the start of the civil war in Uruguay he invades Peru in support of ousted President General Luis Orbegoso. Orbegoso had taken over from General Augstín de Gamarra who had initiated several conflicts with Bolivia, and it was an ally of Gamarra’s, General Felipe Salaverry, who overthrew Orbegoso in turn. As a result, Santa Cruz effects the creation of the Republics of North and South Peru with himself declared as Supreme Protector of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation. He extends social and economic policies to this new nation that he had successfully, if dictatorially, instituted in Bolivia. The Confederation is seen as a threat by neighbouring countries, especially Chile and Argentina as Peru had a history of harbouring Chilean dissidents, and Bolivia the Argentine ones. Britain and France, who along with the USA had immediately recognised the Confederation, managed to secure Santa Cruz’s promise to abstain from meddling in the affairs of the Argentine Confederation in Tucamán Province, though due to a preemptive attack by Chilean forces in August of 1836 prior to the act of confederation they were unable to prevent the neighbours from going to war.
The war was short lived due to Chile’s internal dissension which resulted in the assassination of senior minister and power-behind-the-throne Diego Portales. This was blamed on the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, but the Chilean army was still outmanœvred and the war ended with the Treaty of Paucarpata, signed on the 17th of November, 1837. Britain and France, who wished to maintain the new trade with Santa Cruz’s Confederacy, pushed Chile into returning the Peruvian defectors that had convinced Chile to make that preemptive attack in August of the previous year, and for Peru-Bolivia to reinstate the Treaty of Friendship, Commerce and Navigation that Peru had signed in 1835 but then voided in 1836. However, Santa cruz had the defectors summarily executed without trial for treason and this provoked Chile into declaring war again. The first new attack was a naval one in January of 1838 and it was intercepted by a small British fleet that had still been in the area after bringing the new British consul to the Confederation in advance of a formal embassy. British and French diplomats threatened Chile with a blockade and sanctions if it failed to abide by the Treaty of Paucarpata, and while the second declaration of war is never rescinded no further attacks were made.
As a result of the political fallout from the war with Chile, his execution of the Peruvian traitors, and his own dictatorial style, Santa Cruz was pushed out of the Confederacy’s presidency in the fall of 1840 and forced to give up his title of Supreme Protector. A National Congress was called to define a new constitution and shape the powers of the presidency. Almost five years of economic and legal reforms along with increasing trade with Britain, France and the USA have had obvious benefits, but they were not fully shared by the elites of Lima and the Republic of North Peru who had always enjoyed greater economic closeness with Venezuela. The congress, pressured by British, French and US diplomats to maintain open trade and markets, decided on a constitution similar to the US one, but with a weaker presidency to prevent a dictator and more power to the states to keep North Peruvian factions from causing problems. On April 2nd, 1841, the Confederacy became the Federal Republic of Greater Peru (República Federal del Gran Perú) comprised of 13 constituent states and the capital region at Tacna. That August, Ramón Castilla y Marquesado is elected as the first president of Gran Perú.
Thanks for the chapter about South America, i always loved the Empire of Brazil, i do hope it will survive much longer in the BoW verse than it did in OTL.