War of Contingency
|War of Contingency|
Second American Civil War
|Part of the Anglo-American Wars|
Battle of Salinas, 1868
Free State of Canaan
|Commanders and leaders|
William T. Sherman|
John C. Frémont
Ulysses S. Grant
|Casualties and losses|
|2,000,000 total military causalities|
|1Became the United Commonwealth|
The War of Contingency (1866–68; also known as the Second American Civil War or the Contingency War) was an armed conflict that took place in North America which involved nearly all the modern powers of continental Anglo-America. War broke out after the Northeastern states declared independence from the United States government, which had reorganized itself as the United Commonwealth, in response to the assassinations of President Abraham Lincoln and Vice President Andrew Johnson, and subsequent coup d'état attempt by the Knights of the Golden Circle to destabilize and destroy the Union. Since the war began about a year after the conclusion of the American Civil War, it is sometimes considered a continuation of that war.
22 of the 23 U.S. states seceded in open rebellion of the Union government, which weakened the American federalist system in a favor of a more centralized government. All of the states seceded together regionally into four distinct countries: the Confederate States, the Northeast Union, and Superior. Ten of the seceding states experienced significant internal conflict between the secessionists and Unionists, including the Midwestern and New Englander states. During the war, the United States formally dissolved and was reorganized as the United Commonwealth as the capital was moved from Washington, D.C. to Louisville. The neighboring states of Brazoria and Sierra intervened on behalf of the seceding states during the later half of the war after the United Commonwealth made successful gains over retaking the Midwestern states, and thereby secured the independence of all but the Confederate States, which were readmitted into the Commonwealth.
The Treaty of Salinas resulted in the United Commonwealth formally recognizing the independence of Superior and the Northeast Union, and established the political primacy of Western Anglo-American powers of Brazoria and Sierra. The Commonwealth spent decades rebuilding and recovering, as well as expanding the power and scope of the centralized government during the Reconstruction Era after the war, while Superior's republican government collapsed in favor of a monarchy. Meanwhile, Brazoria and Sierra developed closer ties with one another as the political and diplomatic divide between Western and Eastern Anglo-American became realized. The war indirectly contributed to the political evolution of Rainier, Quebec, and the other British North American territories, as they transitioned from territories to self-governing dominions.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Outbreak of the war
- 3 Diplomacy
- 4 Southern theater
- 5 Eastern theater
- 6 Western theater
- 7 Surrender of the United Commonwealth
- 8 Aftermath
- 9 Legacy
- 10 In popular culture
- 11 See also
The War of Contingency began on March 18th, 1866 almost a year after the end of the American Civil War. Both conflicts have similar traits including being fought between those seeking to preserve the union and those wanting independence for their respective states, the latter of which was a dominate motivation for soldiers in the war, and such traits earned the war's name of the Contingency War and the Second American Civil War as the war has been viewed as a continuation of the previous war. Not long after the end fo the civil war, Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet were assassinated by a group of conspirators lead by John Wilkes Booth to avenge the Confederacy's defeat. The Union, left leaderless and still in turmoil over reeling from the effects of the war, was placed under the control of a military-led provisional government with Ulysses S. Grant serving as Interim President of the United States. News of the turbulent state of the union began to spread and reached the ears of surviving remnants of the Confederate Army and pro-Confederate sympathizers who began planning to revolt while the union was still weak. Admits the chaos, Union Army generals were given the positions of military governors and administered the Southern States, but later the Northern States as the turmoil lead to instability in the north as well and rumors of secession began spreading in the north.
Outbreak of the war
The war began on March 18th, 1866 with the Confederate Uprising, a large-scale insurrection carried out by the surviving and reorganized remnants of the Confederate Army along with southern separatists disillusioned with the Union's military rule over their respective states. The uprising began in Virginia where Robert E. Lee, former leader of the Confederate Army, lead the Confederate armies in Virginia in the first phase of the uprising, the Virginia Insurrection, where he managed to exploit the ill-prepared Union forces and managed to capture much of the state. The Union armies had suffered from a weakened presence in Virginia due to movement of units towards the rebellion Midwestern territories and to suppress separatist sentiments in the Northern States and were overrun in Virginia. By March 28th, the entire Virginia Military District was overrun and was officially declared part of the restored Confederate States of America and encouraged further uprisings in the southern and northern states against the "failed union".
The first phase of the uprising was the Virginia Insurrection where Robert E. Lee commanded the 1st Virginia Division and later the Army of Virginia in recapturing Virginia and ending the corrupt military government that had been ruling the state. Lee's forces received support from and also entered into parts of Maryland where they managed to overrun much of the state and ended in the climactic Siege of Richmond where Union forces held the line and bogged down the Anti-Union armies. The siege was fought the city ruins and resulted in a brutal stalemate from both sides. Despite Lee's progress being stalled, he managed to leave Washington D.C. open for Stand Watie and his Army of Maryland to advance up to capture. During the uprising, the Knights of the Golden Circle helped instigate further riots in the north in order to leave Washington D.C. vulnerable for capture to aid in the battle of the city. In the ensuing Battle of the Capital, the Union Army repulsed the Confederate Forces and kept the city in Union hands.
Grant's military coup
Despite the uprising being crushed, riots and insurrections broke out all across the nation. In the north, many Northern Democratic politics were seen supporting a complete reorganization of the Union and the end to military rule while Southern Democrats were supporting Anti-Union forces in the south and rebellion in the Midwest Territories. In response, Grant ordered that all Democratic Party buildings such as the DNC building to be stormed and seized and for all Democratic Party leaders to be arrested on charges of treason. The ensuing coup, nicknamed Grant's coup, forcibly disbanded the Democratic Party and increased tensions in the northern states where many northern democrats, such as Vermont Governor John B. Page, established independent nations and declared their secession from the union. Page declared himself the President of the Northeast Union and declared New York City its capital. In response, the Union organized the Army of New York and deployed them north to capture the city resulting in the Siege of New York which lasted for over a month and would cost the Union men and material.
Revolution in American Canada
The Confederate Uprising had profound effects on the Union that stretched all the way up north into American territories in Canada. Both the Territory of Canada and Territory of Quebec were hotspots of tension since the incorporation of both regions into the United States following the end of the Revolutionary War and the later Canadian Purchase of 1825. Both territories had been in a state of near-perpetual martial law since the Canadian Troubles of the 1830s and 40s with mass censorship being very common in both territories. Despite the intense censorship, news of the uprising made it into both territories due to dissidents, spies and agents from the British and their colonies of Rainier and the Dominion of Canada. Unrest had been prominent in the territories, but was especially prevalent in the Territory of Quebec where the native French Canadians remained in a state of constant tension with American settlers and the territorial government. News of the Union's slow collapse as a result of the Confederate Uprising and the ensuing revolts in response to Grant's coup lead to the outbreak of the Québécois Revolution on June 3, 1866 and was lead by the exiled revolutionary Ludovic St-Louis, leader of the underground Committee for a Free Canada, and helped instigate the revolution in Quebec alongside a concurrent revolt in the Territory of Canada. Both revolts were successful and the British had intervened in and annexed American Canada into British Canada as well as establish a provisional government in Quebec which saw the country become a protectorate of the British and effectively eject American presence out of Canada completely, which was one of the primary objectives of Britain's foreign policy throughout the Revanchist period.
Sierran aims and perspective
The diplomatic history of the war is one of complexity as the Union, later the United Commonwealth, fought hard to secure the neutrality of neighboring states in order to prevent possible international intervention in the war. The first major act of diplomacy was the Grant-Trist Agreement, a non-aggression pact between Sierra and the Commonwealth which also included the British colonies of Rainier and Canada. The agreement stated that refugees fleeing to the Sierran border were to be handled by the Sierran government and the Commonwealth was prohibited was attacking refugees, even if they were deserting Confederate troops. The agreement was signed in 1866, but only lasted a year before it was violated as a result of the Border clashes and resulted in the passing of the Sovereignty Resolution by the Sierran parliament and Sierra intervened in the war opening up the Western theatre of the war and saw Sierran troops fight against the Commonwealth in the Midwestern territories to preserve the regional states' independence, though the Confederate States were absorbed into the Commonwealth regardless of the overall anti-Union victory.
British aims and perspective
The Contingency War gained the attention and interest of the British government after the war kicked off. A military attaché was sent to analyze and report on what was happening in the United States during the war, but Britain's attention turned to concern after the war began spreading further and further into the American mainland and began consuming all of the Union states. By the fall of 1866, every corner of the Union was engulfed in the war and fighting was reaching the borders of Canada, a British colonial dominion. The fear of war spreading into Britain's North American colonies only worsened after Union troops began advancing into the Midwest in pursuit of Confederate refugees, many of whom were fleeting towards Rainier, and the British began planning to pressure the Union government into withdrawing troops from the Rainian and Canadian borders. This plan was cancelled after Sierra voiced its issues with the Union and eventually lead to the Grant-Trist agreement, the latter of which Britain was present for along with Canadian and Rainian advisors and diplomats to oversea the agreement and walk away knowing that their colonies were safe. When the agreement broke down due to border skirmishes in 1867 between Sierran and Commonwealth forces (the successor to the United States), Britain joined Sierra in declaring war on the United Commonwealth and intervening in the war with the Canadian and Rainian Armies being deployed to the Midwest territories of the Western Theatre of the war.
Page's rebellion and New York
Throughout his entire career, Vermont Governor James Page had been a vocal critic of the Union government following the creation of a military administration under General Grant who served as interim president. Due to the erosion of the sovereignty of the states and the suspension of the state governments, Page was rendered useless politically speaking and imprisoned due to his affiliation with the Democratic Party after the party was forcibly disbanded in a coup lead by Grant. Page was eventually released due to their being no evidence of sedition, but his arrest angered many in the Northeastern States and he capitalized off of the discontent and formed an underground separatist movement. On April 28th, 1866 Page and his followers rose up and overthrew the New England Military District and its governor to establish the Northeast Union with Page as its first president. News of the uprising quickly made its way to Washington and the Grant ordered an immediate deployment of troops to recapture the lost territories with New York being the main target as Page was there and was going to use it as a supply hub for the newly forming Northeastern Union Army. The task was handed over to Philip St. George Cooke to command the Army of New York and was tasked with capturing both the city and the state as a whole. Due to conscription, the army was able to amass 37,000 total soldiers, though this was half of the expected 74,000 that Grant's administration wanted.
Page was fully aware of the situation and quickly scrambled to muster up the needed strength to defend New York by and large. Knowing that he'd lose defending the entire state, he focused on defending the city knowing that it was the strategic importance of it and focused all of his forces on holding the city. George B. McClellan was imprisoned in New Jersey, but was released by anti-Union rebels who managed to help him make it to New York and accepted the role as Commander of the New York Territorial Defense Corps with Page as his superior. Union Navy ships that were in New York were quickly seized and Page sent many diplomats to Canada and Rainier in an attempt to find international support and possible military intervention to preserve the young and fragile NU.
Battle of Allentown
Surrender of the United Commonwealth
American refugees and exiles
Even before the war, citizens of the Confederate States had been fleeing the United States during the last stages of the First American Civil War after they lost their land and fled to Latin America and established various colonies and communities in the region, most notably in Brazil where slavery remained legal up until the 1880s. During the Contingency War, many more Americans lost their land and were forced to leave with hundreds of thousands becoming refugees. Many fled to neighboring states of Canada, Rainier, Sierra and Brazoria while many more fled to Mexico, Central America, and Brazil. They established communities which would become American colonies and the colonists themselves became refugees. Many would become citizens of the nations they fled to, but faced stigma and social opposition due to their outsider status. In Rainier and Canada, integration was far more easier due to Americans, Canadians and Rainians having similar cultural norms and speaking the same languages and the refugees were organized into communities instead of colonies. These colonies lasted well into the 20th century and it wouldn't be until the 1940s that the Conference of American States would attempt to convince the colonists, now having children and integrated into their respective countries, to return to Anglo-America. Thousands returned, but many more remained in their new homelands such as Brazil, which is now home to a thriving American minority community.