The South’s Plan To Conquer The Caribbean (And If It Happened)

This video was sponsored by World of Warships. If you want to find out how to get an exclusive special pack, then stay tuned till the end to find out more. Here’s a little situation. Say you agreed to split the country into two. The North part has no slavery, the South part does. All right, that’s fine. It’s warm in the south anyway. I’m sure we have a TON of arable land out we- *the West has scorched, useless deserts* Oh… Okay, new plan! The land west of Texas is a
useless desert that we can’t raise cotton in. So how do we expand our system if we can’t go west? Solution: go south. The Caribbean, The Caribbean, and Mexico, The Caribbean, and Mexico, and Central America, The Caribbean, and Mexico, and Central America,
and parts of South America. “Oh boy…” This is the story of a secret society who wished
for the South to conquer the Caribbean, all to get a one-up on the North. This is the tale of the Golden Circle. AlternateHistoryHub Presents… “What if the Golden Circle Actually Existed?” It’s 1857, and the South can see the writing on the wall. Their economic system of plantation
slavery is being strangled. Not just by Abolitionists or the North, but by geography itself. When the compromise was created to
split the U.S by the Maxon-Dixon Line, it was practically useless to the South. And so, a society was formed
by men across the United States who wished for the South not
only to rebel against the North, but also to expand itself by force to compete with it. The South, once it got its independence,
would simply just control, well, everything. Mexico, Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico,
the smaller islands, chunks of Colombia and Venezuela
for good measure. A central Caribbean Empire. This new proposed country was to be called “The Golden Circle”. The new capital was not even going to be in Richmond or Montgomery. (Or in Atlanta, which lies between.) It was going to be… Havana. Yes, this was a real idea. The Caribbean was born, and largely only colonized,
because of its slave-based sugar plantations. Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, for cash crops
historically for Britain and France before Abolition. (Or horrific slave revolt in Haiti’s case.) Spanish-owned Cuba and
Puerto Rico still relied on slavery. Cuba was the largest sugar producer in the world, and didn’t stop the importation
of African slaves until 1867. 70 years after the U.S! So there was a market, you could say. This is one of those alternate scenarios that’s
pretty implausible, but it’s such an interesting idea, it doesn’t hurt to imagine. Don’t take this video as a “This certainly
would have happened” thing, think of it as an exploration of just one possibility,
using the international relations of the time. So! What if the Golden Circle actually existed? There’s one… major hurdle that needs to
happen first for this to even be possible. Step 1: The Confederates being the victor. The South, somehow, wins the Civil War. I’ve already done a video about this so
I’m not going to reiterate. Long story short: It’s basically impossible for the South to win militarily. Lower population, less industrialization,
all that fun stuff. The North would need to just have
such low morale, they agree to peace. Alright, cool! We got that massive
mountain out of the way. This new independent Confederacy
realizes it needs to expand on its own. They couldn’t invade any British or French territories, considering the rage that’d bring on the fledgling nation. And also, they might be allies. There was one European Empire not in too good of shape: There was one European Empire not in too good of shape: Spain. Step 2: The Carribean not owned by Britain OR France. The United States had already been interested in Cuba basically since the U.S had been around. Cuba was large, tropical, and prime real estate for profit, with those sugar plantations. Every time the U.S offered to buy it from Spain, they were shot down. Every time the South rallied to go to war to annex it, they were shot down from the North. But by the 1860s, Spain was the sick man of Europe. Their empire was practically dead, Cuba and Puerto Rico were the last vestiges in the Americas. In 1868 of our timeline, Cuba rebelled against Spain, leading to the Ten Years War. This rebellion was led by the elite of the Empire and sugar planters. And actually, it’s pretty plausible the
South just aids the rebels against Spain. (Or invades and takes the island itself.) It wouldn’t have been difficult to implement the
current Cuban upper class into the Confederacy. Britain and France certainly
wouldn’t be coming to Spain’s aid. So, where to next? Step 3: Mexico(to become 25 slave states, or not) Mexico is complicated, and always has been. After the Mexican-American War, there were some calls for the U.S to simply conquer the entire country, but this was really never paid attention to, nor did many wish for the U.S to become an amalgamation of White Protestants and Mestizo Catholics. With this independent South, it’s
plausible if they took any territory, it’d be the less populated northern states.(Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas) The U.S military conquered Mexico City
in the Mexican-American War, so taking the fight all the way to the capital, and annexing the country, isn’t out of the realm of possibility. What IS, though, is holding it. One thing could happen though… Mexico becomes an ally to the South. Implemented into the Golden Circle, just in a different way. Quick 1860s Mexico history time. In the 1860s, Mexico had instability of its own. Under Benito Juarez, Mexico couldn’t pay their bills, and Europe was not happy. So Britain, France, and Spain decided to invade the country while America was hitting itself. The French captured Mexico City and installed an Austrian Prince as Maximilian the First of the Second Mexican Empire. “Yes, that’s a mouthful…” Basically, he was just a puppet of France. The populace was not happy, and once
the U.S was done with its own Civil War, supported the deposed Juarez, and funded rebels to overthrow the Emperor. By 1867, Maximilian had lost all support and was executed. If the South won, however, then they would be in a position to actually help out Maximillian, which also so happens to gain favor with Britain and France too — Assuming they weren’t already helping the Confederacy. Maxi actually encouraged ex-Confederates to settle in Mexico. (Or any Europeans really) He knew that the North didn’t support him, and had the North lost, the South would be the closest ally that the Emperor had. So the South wouldn’t have to
claim any land or conquer Mexico. The Golden Circle gets bigger. Step 4: Central America(nations are small enough to be CS states) Central America actually would be pretty
easy for the South to invade and conquer. Filibustering was an odd little tactic in the 1850s. No, it wasn’t used to block bills in Congress. (A different type.) It was used to create new slave states in Latin America. And a few of these expeditions were actually very successful! Even without official U.S support. The best example is the tale of William Walker. A Californian who decided to take advantage of Nicaragua’s civil war to seize power for himself. And wouldn’t you know it, it worked. He became dictator of the country and was even recognized by the President. Then Walker went too far and decided to attack one of Vanderbilt’s railroads. Mr. Sideburns himself personally funded a
rebellion against him and he was deposed. So if such personal efforts worked in Central America, only to fail because of Vanderbilt, it’s not implausible that the South could fund actual invasions to annex the region. Tigerstar actually suggested that if the South owned Nicaragua, then plans for a canal between the Pacific and Atlantic might not have been in Panama, but just a bit north. And at the time, Panama was owned by Colombia. And the only reason the U.S got the land to build the canal on was because of a very well timed rebellion. But if the Confederacy already owned the land, they wouldn’t need Panama, and could just build the canal elsewhere. Step 4: northern South America (and not the entire continent) There were some plans to take bits of South America(including Panama according to some maps), but even with the Golden Circle controlling so much land, I doubt such efforts would even be plausible. Perhaps some docks (Like Ceuta or Melilla today) or a sliver of coastline in Venezuela. The Golden Circle was a strange beast of an idea. Conceived as a last-ditch effort for a dying
institution to regain its old prestige and power. Though if it was created, it certainly wouldn’t have lasted. By the Civil War, slavery was already being
rapidly replaced by industrialization. Even the South itself would have
had to eventually industrialize, or end the practice a few decades after the war. And when they did so, this alternate Golden Circle
that controls a large portion of the Caribbean is an entirely different beast (of an idea) than what its founders intended. It wouldn’t become the South controlling the Caribbean… …but the Caribbean, eventually, controlling the South. What would be the relationship between the North and the South even after decades? Would both sides still hold a grudge against one another, or would the two Anglo-American states
realize they could work together? Would the bitter United States, angered by their loss in the war, do anything in their power to fund rebellion and dissent against the Golden Circle’s new states? Most likely. The idea of controlling large parts of Latin America isn’t implausible at all. The U.S always eyed controlling Cuba. (Either directly or through puppets) Filibusters did sometimes just take over failed nations in Central America. So a country directly aiming to conquer these
regions isn’t that impossible of an idea. But the Golden Circle wasn’t the U.S. It was one half of the U.S. The less industrial, less populated portion. It would have collapsed from the inside, or out. The nation-state equivalent of throwing a water bottle into a burning inferno. But those always make the funnest scenarios! *Now for the sponsor, which is Wargaming’s World of Warship* On second thought, you know how the Golden Circle could have defended their territory? (From foreign sea invasions.) With warships! (But not really, the Union would have them too.) Special thanks to World of Warships for sponsoring this video. The free-to-play online game where you can take control of over 200 historically accurate WW2 ships and sail off to battle other players! 30 million players are already on it, so I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of it. It’s constantly updating, so there isn’t a bad time to try it out. And here’s a special offer to help you out! New players can use the exclusive code “PLAYLANGLEY2019” and get a free USS Langley aircraft carrier, which allows for a completely different form of fast-paced gameplay. Along with 300 doubloons(Don’t drop them.), 1 million credits, 3 days of premium game time, and more! Just click the link in the description to get started. This is Cody, of AlternateHistoryHub.
Video source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVjLZA6RWjo

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