Decades of Darkness Footnotes

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[5] Not the same person as OTL, but I would expect his parents (who were both born pre-POD) to choose the same name.
[6] Actually, a resident of the Cape, and he would be considered a South African, if that existed as a united name then.
[7] The ruling family of Madagascar.
[8] Titan is roughly equivalent to the Colossus class of OTL, with slightly better armour but lower speed, but launched four years earlier. The increased competition with the USA, France and, to a lesser degree Russia, has pushed naval development faster than in our history. The Titan class has been superseded by Marlborough class ships (roughly equivalent to the Victoria class), the first of which was launched in 1882, and also took part in this naval battle.
[9] French battleship of a class similar to the Hoche class, but with less of a top-heavy design.
Interlude #3: Bittersweet Kandy
[1] The coffee blight never struck Ceylon/Sri Lanka ITTL, and thus Ceylon remains a large producer of coffee rather than tea, which never became more than an experimental crop, and was largely abandoned in the late 19th century.
[2] The Bundesabteilungwissen, the German Federal Department of Information, which is the country’s main espionage agency.
#83: Smooth Operator
[1] ATL Gatling guns.
[2] “The States”, in ATL American terms, generally refers to the long-established states within the USA, not the Territories or recently acquired areas, even when states, where there is some potential for conflict. By 1882, in the time Fisher referred to, “the States” referred more or less to the all of OTL USA which remained in American hands, plus the “first tier” of Mexican states from Sonora to Tamaulipas, and the Cubas and the more long-held Caribbean islands.
[3] The “Little Argument”; an undeclared border war between Venezuela and Brazil over the disputed border territories during the mid-1870s. It came to an abrupt end in 1877 when Venezuela signed the Bogotá Pact with Colombia, Costa Rica and the United Kingdom.
[4] The difference between the Jaguar’s “First” regiment and the others would persist for a long time; even in the 1950s the First Jaguars called itself the “best of the best”.
[5] The former Mexican president and general, Manuel Diaz.
[6] Fisher would have no problems saying that Mexicans could produce people of quality, despite the current racial theories in the USA, because he could just assume that this general had white blood.
[7] The USA leaves a lot of names the same when it annexes Mexico, not wanting to antagonise the upper classes, but keeping something called the “National Palace” is not going to happen.
[8] “Anguila” is Spanish for eel.
#84a: That’s Freedom
[1] This is not strictly correct. The Italians were aware of the importance of the railways but assumed that they could seize Milan more rapidly and thus obtain defensible positions further into the Alps.
[2] The Italian experimental mortars require some conceptual leaps, and they haven’t got everything quite right, but I understand that mortars were readily manufacturable with approximately OTL 1885-90 metallurgical technology.
[3] Sometimes-used Italian name for their front during the Second Napoleonic Wars.
#84b: Don’t Look Back In Anger
[1] Although TTL’s nationalism is not quite the same as OTL’s.
[2] Liberian name for the movement of former Spanish-speaking freed slaves and mulattos to Liberia from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and a few from Trinidad during the third quarter of the nineteenth century.
[3] Sometimes-used Spanish/Liberian name for the Second Napoleonic Wars.
[4] Perhaps not the world’s brightest move, but the Spanish government was not directly threatening war, just seeking to open negotiations.
[5] Britain was of course even more eager to support Portugal, but they were already at war with Spain. This brought two additional powers into the war.
[6] Although the telephone is invented considerably post-POD, the fact that the same or similar names were devised for it independently in OTL means that I think it’s plausible that it will still be called a telephone ATL.
#84c: War and Pieces
[1] ATL brother of Jay Gould, the American railroad baron.
[2] Until the outbreak of the Second Napoleonic Wars, there was a separate General Staff for the Deutschleger, Prussia and the Netherlands. (Austria has merged its Army, but not that of Hungary or Galicia or Croatia, with the Deutschleger.) Lack of coordination between these offices was blamed for the fall of Frankfurt, and a new integrated office has been established, which is Prussian-dominated, and based in Berlin for the time being, since Frankfurt is no longer practical (although it has been liberated from French occupation).
[3] The Russians consider the Turkish War a draw.
[4] More precisely, he had realised that Russia would continue fighting rather than abandon Moldavia and Walachia, which they still mostly held.
#85: How Do I Live
[1] Serbia didn’t actually declare war on Britain immediately given the common border with Turkey and a desire to avoid a war on two fronts. After the unofficial start to fighting between these powers a few days later, Britain made the official declaration of war.
[2] “White China” was commonly applied to those parts of China under the rule of the Taiping First Son of Christ.
[3] In OTL, this regiment was renamed the Grenadier Guards after Waterloo, but the different outcome to that battle ITL prevented that name change. They remain one of the oldest and most honoured British regiments.
[4] There had been arms shipments and military advisers sent to Aragon since very early in the war, but the pressing commitments elsewhere prevented major troop movements until they had a convenient base of operations from Portugal.
#86: Lest Darkness Call
[1] American Jaguar doctrine, emulated by the Flechas, is that irregular units such as theirs should be commanded at the sergeant or even corporal level, and that officers should keep somewhere out of the front line to coordinate the relatively uncommon requests for guidance. Hence, Harman and Lavrador don’t need to do all that commanding of their units.
[2] Grenade. The term comes from a shortening of the Portuguese “abacaxi” - pineapple. Abaca is also the Spanish name for a type of hemp, but English-speakers like Friedman don’t particularly care about that.
[3] Peter appears to have desired the Turkish Balkans and modern Turkey, not the more distant Ottoman possessions of Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia.
[4] The OTL October Manifesto, on which this is roughly based, differed in several key ways, not least that the Tsar established an upper house (State Council) appointed by him. There is no equivalent upper house here. There was also no request for formal freedom of religion here. Russia ITTL has shown some censorship and willingness to break apart “troublesome” political organisations, but has not adopted any practices of “Russification” and promotion of Orthodox religion which were instituted under Alexander III in OTL. The 1885 revolution was based on disaffection over poor economic conditions, military failure and a hope for a better life, rather than the more desperate OTL 1905 revolution.
[5] Russia’s population ITTL is over 100 million people, and all males above 21 were eligible to vote – the largest electorate in the world at the time, although the power of the body they elected was more limited than most. None of the close rivals in overall population had a universal male franchise. The USA excluded slaves and noncitizens and had a smaller population. The United Kingdom had only a little over third of the population and only roughly 60% of the male population could vote. France had a universal male franchise but only around 38 million people. Germany had a roughly comparable population (90 million in the main German areas, with Hungary, Galicia-Poland and Croatia having their own elections and own parliamentary bodies) but with substantial restrictions on voting, which vary by individual German state.
#87: The Sword and the Mind
[1] This includes forces deployed from the associated kingdoms of Hungary, Croatia and Galicia.
[2] This includes Empire troops from Canada, Australia and South Africa.
[3] It will take the Aragonese some time to establish control of this region, but Britain and Germany have guaranteed that no other power will be permitted to take over the area. Of course, this will not stop the British themselves nibbling at the edges if Aragon takes too long to establish itself.
[4] Napoleon IV was still entrenched in Algeria in 1886 at the end of the Third Congress, with the support of the locals and the Algerian branch of the Foreign Legion
[5] As the New England secretary of state remarked at the congress, “Frederick IV is Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor of Austria, King of Croatia, King of Hungary, and now King of Poland. How many crowns can fit on one head?”
[6] The eastern border of the new Poland and Courland is more or less the line left after the 1793 partition of Poland, although Poland also has Warsaw in the west. The Poland-Courland border is the River Nieman. See
[7] The border is basically the OTL Morocco-Algerian border extended south to meet the extended Mauritanian-Malian border running east. This matches the original claims of Morocco itself, which Portugal has taken over.
Interlude #4: The Main Frankfurt
[1] “Hansom” is an early version of a stretched limousine. There were still Hansom cabs ITTL (Joseph Hansom, who invented them, was born before the POD), but the name was applied to more upmarket stretched limousines. In North America, Hansoms are usually called “strets” or “strethorsts” (short for stretched horsts).
[2] The Reich (and hence most of Europe) ITTL drives on the left, as that was Austria’s practice in both our history and TTL, and the Holy Roman Emperor imposed that practice on the entire country when transportation was being standardised.
[3] Michelle has published various books and lectures on slavery and property rights, under her maiden name of Michelle Davies. See posts #23b, #32, and #56.
[4] More precisely, where the man who is already Austrian Emperor is crowned as Holy Roman Emperor as well.
[5] Yes, I know this is the wrong word in English. The chauffeur doesn’t, however.
#88: The Little Flower
[1] Portuguese for “the little flower”.
[2] The Brazilian coffee boom started earlier ITTL, in part due to U.S. investment in railways which improved the transportation networks.
[3] This is not the Dom Pedro II of OTL, but an ATL “brother” who has a distinctly different character.
[4] Uruguay still obtained separation from Brazil ITTL, despite the intervention of the Holy Alliance, although it separated from Brazil a couple of years later. Brazil’s military in the early years of its independence was not yet well-organised, and it would have had substantial difficulty conquering Uruguay, especially with Argentina defending it.
#89: Under The Southern Cross
[1] USS Iowa is the third ship of the Jefferson-class, a four-gun mastless ironclad roughly equivalent to the OTL British Colossus-class, although with slightly better engines.
[2] See for an image of the Brazilian imperial flag.
[3] OTL Bolivia.
[4] Machine gun. The name arose from the first Hoovers (*Gatling guns), and machine guns are often colloquially called Hoovers in North America, but usually cylinder guns in South America and Europe.
[5] Self-acting machine gun similar in principle to the OTL Maxim gun.
[6] Not a large navy, consisting of a few obsolete ships bought off Peru and New England.
#90: As I Look At The World
[1] The increased Australian population is the result of overall higher levels of immigration, but particularly the demographic boost of having a further generation of rapid population growth with an earlier gold rush.
#91: Old Reliable
[1] The figure for slaves is sometimes inaccurate, particularly in the northern-tier states such as Maryland and Delaware, who tend to mark some of the de facto free blacks as slaves, or just discount them from the census altogether. Legally, of course, blacks cannot be classed as free, although some still have de facto freedom in 1890.
[2] Non-citizens, which includes peons, debt-slaves, and others not classified.
[3] The population figures for the Mexican region, i.e. the rump state of Mexico annexed after the Third Mexican War, are not always considered to be reliable. For example, it is recognised that there were slaves within the region by 1890 (albeit quite few), but none of them were recorded on the census.
[4] The Cromwell gun is similar to OTL’s Maxim gun.
[5] This class of ships is somewhat superior to the OTL Victoria-class ships, not the OTL Admiral class, using triple-expansion engines.
[6] Nevada and Wyoming (in 1884) and Idaho (in 1888) were admitted as states despite extremely low populations, with only a few weeks before rolls closed for the 1884 and 1888 presidential and congressional elections. This formed one of the USA’s more blatant cases of gerrymandering, according to the Democrats, and a partial compensation for the larger number of small states in the Democrat-dominated parts of the USA, according to the Patriots.
[7] These states were combined because President Corbin, unlike most U.S. Presidents, cared very little as to whether he added more stars to the flag, and because without some mergers the smaller states would not have a sufficient ‘white’ population.
[8] This ship is similar to the British Royal Sovereign-class battleships of OTL, although with somewhat inferior gunnery.
[9] The Redoubtable is roughly equivalent to HMS Hood of OTL (the Royal Sovereign-class ship, not the later Admiral-class battlecruiser of the same name), although with marginally superior engines.
[10] The Nebraska-class is roughly equivalent to the French Brennus, although it retained a third turret where the French vessel did not.
#92: Age of Reason
[1] In OTL, Patrick Matthew published an obscure and largely unnoticed precursor to Darwin and Wallace’s theory of natural selection. Matthew’s theory of natural selection had much in common with Darwin’s and Wallace’s, including the idea of a struggle for existence, but it also had some important differences. In particular, he emphasised the action of natural selection as an agent of stasis, viewed extinctions as happening only during catastrophes, and thus keeping populations where they are now. He also remained convinced for the importance of keeping a divine being in the process. His theory of natural selection is thus more acceptable to the religious sections of the United States, and can be readily converted to an ideology of being a God-favoured race which deserves to dominate the other, fixed inferior races of humanity.
[2] Even in OTL, Patrick Matthew became a social reformer who advocated emigration as a means of avoiding what he saw as a Malthusian population catastrophe. He saw this as a positive step, i.e. that it would prevent human misery. However, this doesn’t stop other people taking his concepts and taking them in directions he would never have approved of.
[3] In OTL, William Grayson published an account of slavery titled “The Hireling and the Slave”, justifying slavery in terms of it being a good system when dealing with people of different races. ITTL, I have him expanding such views to take into account some of the pseudo-scientific aspects of Matthism (the social proponents of the theory, not the scientific aspects, much like Social Darwinism arose in OTL).
[4] There are several flaws in this pseudoscientific babble, of course, but Graydon has not forgotten the Egyptians or other civilizations which arose within Africa. He just defines “African” to mean those residents of Africa with darker skin, and he would regard Egyptians as closer to Europeans than to “Africans”.
[5] This book was written at a time when the United States had just conquered much of Mexico, and was trying to sort out what to do with Cuba and Puerto Rico. This required some adjustments to their old views of a simple racial hierarchy (i.e. you’re white or you’re black).
[6] An ATL “brother” of William Lowndes Yancey (born in Georgia but an Alabama legislator). This TL’s Yancey is even more pro-slavery than our history.
[7] i.e. those who are wealthy and powerful, even if they are actually of Indian heritage.
#93: It’s Just Not Cricket
[1] The name of the first Russian chief minister has been retconned to Mikhail Araslanevich Korsakov (it was formerly Baush Afanasovich Marakushev).
[2] In the first OTL Olympics, it was possible to have teams of athletes which did not represent a particular nation. This was not initially the case in TTL’s Olympiad, although some later exceptions would be made.
[3] This is not exactly OTL’s lawn tennis, but a similar game derived from royal tennis.
[4] Not quite the same as OTL’s game, but a similar fast-paced sport involving a pool and some very busy athletes.
[5] The OTL equivalent of this match was played in the same year between the USA and Canada, also in New Jersey.
[6] Although as some pundits are fond of asking, if baseball is New England’s national pastime, why does New England have more babies than baseballs?
[7] Broadly similar to OTL Rugby (either version); due to butterflies the tradition of running with the ball arose in Harrow Public School rather than Rugby Public School.
[8] A game which has no close equivalent in OTL, developing in Liberia, but which has some similarities both with American football and rugby league.
[9] Culiacán is the capital of the American state of Sinaloa.
[10] i.e. after the USA annexed Sinaloa in 1864 in the aftermath of the Second Mexican War.
[11] This was in large part because most of the early American settlers in Sinaloa were young men who married local mestizo women, a detail which tends to get glossed over in most modern American sources.
[12] Ringball is quite similar to basketball, although with a different scoring system (two points, no three-pointers), and different rules for fouls and so forth, and no net beneath the ring.
#94a: Toy Soldiers
[1] This timeline’s version of the Vienna Opera House is celebrated for its dome shape ending in a central pinnacle.
[2] “The Union”, referring to the combined territories of the Reich and its satellites, Hungary, Croatia, Poland, and sometimes Courland, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania as well.
[3] Being born in 1813, Wagner barely managed to be born ITTL rather than being butterflied out of existence.
[4] i.e. during the Second Napoleonic Wars.
[5] Yellow’s Notes are an ATL literature study guide, somewhat reminiscent of Cliff’s Notes in OTL.
[6] The Austrian armed forces had been integrated into the Deutschleger (Germany Army) since 1864.
[7] An ATL Dutch author (or more precisely, from the German-speaking Rhine province of the Netherlands) who wrote a number of scientific travelogues in somewhat similar vein to Jules Verne.
[8] Think “The Island of Dr. Moreau” meets “Jurassic Park”.
[9] The “science fantasy” genre includes roughly the OTL concept of speculative fiction, including most of science fiction, fantasy, and horror.
[10] With apologies to Winston Churchill.
#94b: If I Could Turn Back Time
[1] A thrall is essentially a rat which can shift to human form.
[2] i.e. from the Spanish front during the Second Napoleonic Wars.
[3] The Upper House of the German Diet receives representatives per state, and most of these representatives are noble. This means that reducing the number of states within Germany will weaken the merged state’s influence in the Upper House.
[4] These vessels are roughly equivalent to the OTL French Charles Martel class, although a little inferior in gunnery and armour. They were laid down before the outbreak of the Second Napoleonic Wars, but not launched and their construction was delayed until after the war, when they were redesigned and
[5] In fact, Napoleon IV has abdicated that title, calling himself only Emperor of Algeria, but his son isn’t that keen to accept that.
#95: “On, Wisconsin”
[1] The good doctor is a Wisconsinite himself and is, therefore, willing to embellish a little bit to make his case sound more dramatic.
[2] The term Jackals has come to be used not just Americans, but anyone who is willing to oppress others in order to meet their ends.
[3] Much of Canada had an industrial depression in the aftermath of the Second Napoleonic Wars, which was particularly felt in mining, although some other economic sectors were largely unaffected.
[4] See Wisconsin, 1866, Revolt of (Post #67).
[5] The term ‘pub’ has become dominant in both New England and Canada, rather than ‘bar’ or ‘saloon’.
[6] Thomas Dombeck’s grandson.
#96: By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them
[1] Probably a black-capped petrel, but Julia is not exactly an expert ornithologist.
[2] In Greek mythology, the Acheron was the river across which the souls of the dead were ferried into Hades.
[3] A lot of it wasn’t, being shipped out via railroad to Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast ports.
[4] There has actually been a little of this, but the major improvements to the San Juan River happened in 1871-1874 when U.S. engineers modified its flow as the first stage in building the Nicaragua Canal.
[5] Debt-slaves aren’t used in cotton or tobacco because they are reluctant to work in gang labour or for the punishing long hours of the slaves, and unlike slaves have some (albeit limited) choices about when and where they work.
[6] In U.S. legal parlance, peons are bound to particular land (usually a local hacienda) and owe a portion of their produce, but can sell any surplus. (The landlord, however, can set the quota). The preference for the term peon over debt-slave is a Nicaraguan reaction, due to dislike of being called slaves. They are also sometimes referred to as indentured labourers or subcontractors.
[7] As in OTL, bananas were originally considered an exotic delicacy and eaten on a plate with a knife and fork.
#97: For Whom The Belle Tolls
[1] Grant’s father is Ulysses H. Grant, an ATL brother of General Ulysses Grant. See posts #40 and #47. Jesse Grant himself was born in 1851, and has already made something of a name for himself as a reporter.
[2] Actually, a lot of the engineers on the Nicaragua Canal are British and French.
[3] After the War of 1811, the New England federal government and the various state governments actually tried to reconcile their Unionist inhabitants, pardoning all but the most notorious individuals if they were willing to swear allegiance to New England. But there was a considerable amount of private retribution.
[4] More to do with the roads being mostly poor quality and a general American unwillingness to spend money on upgrading them for the sake of a few horstcars.
#98: “Left Me Out In The Cold Rain And Snow”
[1] Due to the more Southern leaning nature of the *USA in this TL, the state of Wilkinson and the surrounding region is often viewed as very far to the north. As such, the area has gained the designation of “The Northwest”. The OTL Washington and Oregon region is referred to as “The Pacific Coast” in this ATL by the inhabitants on both sides of the border and in the American North throughout the nineteenth century. Inhabitants from further afield, particularly in the twentieth century, tend to refer instead to the “Northwest Coast”, which includes the ATL states of Oregon, North California and South California.

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