Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Trope Talk: Confederate Cuba

The Alternate Historian tackles the Confederate Cuba trope in the newest episode of Trope Talk:

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a blogger on Amazing Stories and a Sidewise Awards for Alternate History judgeWhen not writing he works as an attorney, enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana and prepares for the day when travel between parallel universes becomes a reality. You can follow him on FacebookTwitter and YouTube. Learn how you can support his alternate history projects on Patreon.

1 comment:

  1. The southern states -wanted- Cuba and there were repeated fillibustering attempts to take it, as well as official overtures from the US government. Only intersectional tensions in the US prevented an outright conquest.

    It was an obvious target; close, proven to be a profitable field for plantation labor, with a substantial group (the local plantation owners) who showed considerable support for the idea of annexation. Also Spain was weak, both in comparison to the US as a whole before 1860, and to the CSA if it had managed to secure its independence.

    Pre-1860 Anglo-Americans were not particularly anti-Hispanic. Many of the original Anglo settlers in Texas married into local Tejano familes; Jim Bowie did, for example.

    By 1848, most of the ranchero clans in Mexican California had a Yankee or Englishman married in to their families too; hence monikers like "Don Alfredo Sterns", mentioned in Dana's "Two Years Before the Mast".

    Such prejudice as there was focused on religion; anti-Catholicism was extremely intense in antebellum America, of course. Still, a big dowry brought many a Yankee or Southerner to the opinion that broad acres were "worth a mass".

    This partial fusion in California was swept away by the enormous Gold Rush influx, but even now a lot of the older families in the Santa Barbara area are descended from those marriages.

    Cuba in the 1850's had a larger population and much larger economy than either Texas or California, of course. The most likely model for Hispano-Anglo interaction in Cuba after an annexation would have been that with the equivalent areas of southern Louisiana and the French Creole population there. Some rivalry and hostility, lots of intermarriage and economic interaction, and an area of cultural mixing.