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Alternate History Thread IV: The Sequel

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Dachs, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Might makes right. End of story. :evil:
     
  2. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    The south was removing the North who refused to leave the legitimate nation. The Union was more imperialistic for not letting them keep their rights to slaves. They voted and the people chose to leave. So its legitimized.
     
  3. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Sorry, I couldn't help but burst into laughter at this point.

    It's good they consulted those several million enslaved Africans, then.
     
  4. North King

    North King blech

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    Their rights to slaves? Why does any man have any right to keep any other in bondage? I thought the world abandoned that disgusting train of thought a long time ago.

    If the Union was so evil for halting the rebellion, then why did many southern states vote Republican in the period immediately following the Civil War?
     
  5. Israelite9191

    Israelite9191 You should be reading

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    Luckymoose, really, just keep your mouth shut on this one. Or, at least, construct a less.....controversial argument. And wether or not the South had the right to seceed is not the issue. The issue is who started the war, and that was the South. Even if the South had a legitimate cassus belli, that is regardless. They fired the first shot, they started the war.
     
  6. Azale

    Azale Deity

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    No, the real issue is why the Union still won...how exactly is Dachs planning his divergence...
     
  7. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Heh. There are a lot of interesting conclusions that could be drawn from this discussion and a similar-yet-different discussion on a Russian althist forum about the Russian Civil War (something about a war for economical reasons evolving into an ideological debate, and vice versa). Anyhow:

    If we overcome the issue of his reluctance...

    In any case, that's for another timeline; he doesn't seem to have done much in this timeline.

    Personally? :p I get a funny mental picture, here.

    My ancestors enslaved my other ancestors. My other ancestors then struck back any burned down the capital of those first ancestors. I get along just fine with myself now, though...

    Frankly what NK said about Fort Sumter is right.

    More like the United States were illegally in their own territory, actually. Bloody Americans, occupying their own home! :p

    Eh, its in the nature of things.

    I'm inclined to say that the situation was already volatile, actually.

    Technically, they did invade because of Fort Sumter; previously they wanted to try and get it back without fighting (something that wasn't all that impossible, at the very least there certainly was plenty of precedent for such near-civil-wars), but Fort Sumter convinced Lincoln that it wasn't really a viable option.

    Amen!

    Not after the Nullification Crisis could any seccession, especially in the south, be really considered legitimate. Andrew Jackson is your enemy, not Lincoln. ;)

    Actually that's abolitionism, or social interventionism, or even communism; but what it definitely isn't is imperialism.

    The (thrice-accursed) principle of self-determination was not yet properly formulated as such, much less widely accepted. So no, it wasn't legitimised.

    Anything else? Ah yes, the althist itself.

    Well, I'm again somewhat out of my depth, but I see a lot of things you could do with this, especially with the Mexico episode, from which stem two major "lines of alteration":
    - Firstly, Juarez' position isn't nearly as secure as it may seem. The war here ended in more of an anticlimax (therefore meaning that the conservatives have neither been thoroughly defeated or really discredited; so they could strike back when the Americans leave, or when Juarez dies, or at any opportunity, really), and also Juarez' return was much less glorious than in OTL. Here, he was apparently saved by a foreign military intervention; his own guerrilas were very unpopular amongst the masses of Mexican people, so his enemies could with all reason say that he came to power on the bayonets of thugs and foreigners. So I'm inclined to say that Mexico will have another civil war soon enough, the opposing factions having not come to a peace of exhaustion as they did in OTL.
    - Secondly, Max lives! There is a lot that could be done with such a well-connected, well-descended and ambitious (probably even moreso after the little Mexican fiasco) man. For instance, he could ofcourse return to Mexico another time if the aforementioned civil war comes. Or he could be picked for the position of king of Spain (indeed, I think he would be perfect for numerous reasons and for just about all the interested powers, being a liberal monarch and a Habsburg with French connections). Or he could even try something in France, if the present Bonaparte line dies out and he dares to embrace the rumours of him being Napoleon II's son (okay, that's a huge stretch and unlikely to result in anything, but hey, its an option).

    Also something tells me that Lincoln won't die as easily as in OTL.
     
  8. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Hey, I only brought things to the end of 1864! ;) Well, since Mexico has another civil war in OTL only four years after the first one ends, that's even more justification for a new one...
    What the hell, man. Not cool. :lol:
    STOP MAKING MY OWN SPOILERS FOR ME!

    :lol:

    Thanks all - although IMHO this is not quite the place for an ACW take-sides discussion...at least the thread has gotten off to an okay start!
     
  9. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Sorry, great minds think alike I suppose.
     
  10. cvlowe

    cvlowe King

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    Wow- I thought it was all United States territory.

    How could they secede legitimately? There is noting in the constitution and no laws on the books that would have allowed them to take that action.
     
  11. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Maybe I over reacted. But isn't it in the constitution that you cannot be have something forcefully changed without a vote? Seeing as those states would vote for slavery. There is no legal way to get rid of THEIR PAID FOR PROPERTY. They paid for those slaves. No matter what anyone thinks. Just like the Brits and the Portuguese and the Spanish. They paid their money to have a workforce to keep the economy going.

    You cannot blame white men when the Africans sold their own people. Someone offers you a workforce that requires no pay. You are going to take it.
     
  12. cvlowe

    cvlowe King

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    I could be wrong, history class was such a long time ago... But didn't the congress vote to outlaw slavery- and that's why the south seceded?

    And yes, the government DOES have the right to take any person's property they choose. Just right here in the city I live in, New London- the city forcibly removed a bunch of people from their homes because they wanted to spend tax dollars to build a hotel that they could turn around and give for free to a private company. And the supreme court decided in favor of the city. New London vs. Kelo- it was all over the national news. The supreme court said- if Walmart wants to take your house from you only paying you 40% of it's market value so they can tear it down and put up a store- they can as long as they promise to pay more in property tax.

    (Not that Walmart ever would, it's just the first name that popped in my head)
     
  13. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    You forget, Luckymoose, that Lincoln had no intention WHATSOEVER to emancipate the slaves when he came into office, but the paranoid southerners saw this as an imminent occurance. Therefore, Lincoln defined the entire war around the preservation of the Union, and not the end of slavery. Though slavery was the catalyst, it wasn't the casus belli.

    The South initiated the war, and seceded illegally. Period. Now can we actually talk about alternate history, not just the normal kind?
     
  14. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Really, he didn't. ;) I'm pretty sure he did, being an abolitionist and all. He never did declare any intention of forcing the process before the Civil War begun, that much is true.

    I agree with Thlayli on the other points, though, particularily the last one. As I don't have anything more to say on Dachs' althist - if only because I'll probably give away some more stuff - I'll just mention that I'm working on the next installment of my althist. I think I better repost the first part here, though, for easier reading.

    ---

    The Fall of the French Empire: 1812-1813.

    The date was 17th of September, 1812. The French Empire was at its peak. The "inner empire" alone stretched from Barcelona to Hamburg and Rome (also including the exclave of the Illyrian Provinces), rivaling Charlemagne's empire in size; l'Empereur's relatives, and marshals, and native princes, and local administrators reigned diverse vassal kingdoms and states in Spain, Sardinia, Sicily, Naples, Italy, Helvetia, Confederation of the Rhine and Poland. Prussia's vaunted military has been laid low; it too was forced to submit. The once-proud and arrogant Habsburgs had maried their daughter off to a Corsican commoner who became the French Emperor; and their Austrian Empire too was forced to serve him. The British still remained defiant; they ruled the waves, they won naval battles, they slowly expelled French forces from Spain - but they were incapable of trully harming the Empire, and the Continental Blockade was slowly but surely strangling that nation of shopkeepers. They knew it, too; they subverted Alexander I, the Emperor of Russia, and he ceased the Blockade and even started complaining about l'Empereur's decisions - but all it did was give l'Empereur a good opportunity for a demonstration. He raised la Grande Armee of six hundred thousand men, the largest army in European history, a force of all the European nations, and he led it into Moscow. The Russians did their best to try and stop l'Empereur, they threw their petty armies against him, but were forced to retreat and retreat again, and finally gave up on their ancient capital after that senseless waste of human life at Borodino. In a low trick of barbarian cunning, they lit Moscow aflame, but this failed to intimidate l'Empereur; and so on the 17th of September he returned to Kremlin, as fires died down and the villainous saboteurs were being rounded up. On the way to the ancient fortress, l'Empereurwas shot by a disgruntled and desperate Russian noble. It was a lucky shot, in the end; l'Empereur survived for several hours, physicians scrambled to try and save him, but in the end, just as the assassin was being shot by the firing squad, l'Empereur expired, making history for one last time.

    History advances by a combination of orderly social evolution and of catastrophe (frequently man-made) that redraws all borders, rewrites all destinies and changes the course of the aforementioned evolution - sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically, oftentimes both. It was a catastrophe that destroyed the ancien regime and started the Great French War, and allowed France under l'Empereur Napoleon Bonaparte to advance across Europe, utterly changing just about everything and achieving such hegemony as was unseen since the days of the Caesars. His was a mighty empire, to be sure. It had an extensive bureaucracy, a nigh omnipresent secret police and a mighty army. It had on its side brilliant marshals, adroit diplomats and excellent administrators. Yet in the end it was all held together by one man, who through his ability and charisma had brought it all about and united all those men in the service of the Empire. So one bullet was enough to cause a new catastrophe to destroy Napoleon's empire, to divide his retainers, to bring everything crashing down and everyone rushing to save themselves and, if possible, to benefit in the initial chaos. As the news spread across Europe, everybody scrambled to adjust his position and to make new plans for this completely unexpected development.

    In Moscow itself, chaos reigned. Bewildered by the fire and agitated by the looting, la Grande Armee was already beginning to fall apart; l'Empereur's death was the last straw. While some soldiers took out their rage on what few Russian civilians remained, or on each other, or on foreign troops, others - especially but not solely said foreign troops - begun to desert, sometimes one by one, sometimes - as was the case with the Austrian and Prussian contingents - in good order. Napoleon's second in command Michel Ney and some other commanders managed to temporarily rally the army; even Ney, for all of his reckless bravery, had to admit that the situation was desperate, and that there was nothing left for them in Russia. Therefore, after some brief rallying and disciplinnary action, la Grande Armee prepared to retreat from Russia. Due to the disorders the preparations took until well into October, and by then Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov was fully aware of the miserable French situation. Having gained a decisive numerical and strategic advantage, he and other Russian commanders prepared to land the killing blow. As the French army set out towards Kaluga, it was intercepted by a large Russian force, tied down in a battle and then attacked by another Russian army on its flank. The Imperial Guard didn't surrender, but died anyway, defending the French retreat; however, due to poor coordination, Michel Ney and his III Corps did not retreat neither, instead launching a vigorous and futile counterattack, also hoping to defend the French retreat. The rest did actually retreat, and under de Beauharnais actually reached the Smolensk road. The Russians had suffered higher casualties than expected at Maloyaroslavets (although they were rewarded by the capture of Michel Ney and some other French commanders, not to mention a lot of banners), but nonetheless soon begun the pursuit of la Grande Armee's remnants; said remnants were also being attacked by partisans, and small Cossack detachments, and hunger, and frost, and disease. By November, la Grande Armee ceased to exist; a fair amount of men, though now lacking any order whatsoever, had in fact crossed the western Russian border back, but the last organised portions of la Grande Armee were wiped out at Borisov, on the Berezina River. All over Russia - and indeed Europe - people quoted 2 Kings 19:35 extensively.

    To the west, the Napoleonic system collapsed spectacularily. Karl XIV Johan of Sweden (formerly Napoleon's marshal Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte) was the first to denounce France; as soon as news of Napoleon's death reached Stockholm he signed an alliance with Russia and Britain, sending forces to reoccupy Swedish Pommerania. French garrisons there surrendered without a fight, as by then it became clear that France needed them more. The same soon occured in Prussia. While Friedrich Wilhelm III was vacillating and indecisive as always, Kanzler Karl August von Hardenberg and General Hans Dawid Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg took the initative; the former demanded the withdrawal of French garrisons from the country, and the latter signed an armistice with Russia, withdrawing from Lithuania. Soon Prussia too joined the forming Sixth Coalition and moved its forces to occupy Saxony. The Austrians proved more hesitant, at the urging of Klemens Wenzel von Metternich, who didn't fear French reprisals but rather was afraid of losing Austria's hard-earned diplomatic independence to Russia. Still, as the Prussians begun to advance into the Confederation of the Rhine, while the Russians overran the Duchy of Warsaw, the Austrians saw no choice but to send troops into the Illyrian Provinces, Bavaria (which occupied much of Tyrolia) and the Kingdom of Italy. Meanwhile, Joachim Murat - who had survived the Russian disaster and briefly remained in Austrian custody in Vienna - rode to reclaim the Kigndom of Naples, with temporary Austrian backing as he promised to ally with Austria but not with Prussia or Russia.

    As in spite of Karl von Dalberg's fondest efforts the Confederation of the Rhine crumbled, its rulers declaring independence and expeling French garrisons before someone else does it for them, a British expeditionary force, accompanied by Prince Willem VI of Orange, landed in Holland to help an Orangist insurgency. And another British force, under the Duke of Wellington in Spain, captured Madrid; it and the allied Spanish guerrilas met little or no opposition as they advanced to the Ebro. The French were executing a fighting retreat, marshal Louis-Gabriel Suchet wanting to have a hand in his country's destiny, as France itself fell to civil war.

    For as soon as the news of Napoleon's death reached Paris, a republic coup d'etat occured, under the leadership of General Claude Francois de Malet. The rebels seized Paris itself, but failed to make much progress outside of the city. The Dowager Empress Marie-Louise and the little Emperor Napoleon II fled to Toulouse, where the Bonapartist forces rallied; it was they that Suchet joined at first. And in the Vendee, a new royalist insurgency commenced, though Louis XVI was not yet ready to join it. As if that wasn't enough, intrigues and conspiracies abounded and French forces from the evacuated parts of Europe gathered in the east under commanders of yet-uncertain allegience.

    In early 1813, while Prussian and Austrian forces removed the few remaining French garrisons in Italy and Germany, while the British cleaned out Catalonia and Holland and while the Tagsatzung declared Swiss Confederacy's renewed independence and revoked Napoleon's Act of Mediation, the civil war in France trully escalated. Marshal Pierre Augereau took command of the French forces assembled at Metz, though still mostly sitting on the sidelines. Republican militias were levied and the regions surrounding Paris were seized; soon enough Normandy and Orleans were secured as well. The rebels in Vendee took over Brittany, but their "march on Paris" was thwarted. The Bonapartists secured Lyon and defeated a royalist force at Tours.

    In spring, European diplomats discussed intervention in the civil war. While an Anglo-Prusso-Russian force was being assembled in Holland and the Rhineland (by then also cleared of French garrisons in a popular insurgency), an Austrian one swiftly invaded Provence. This army was accompanied by Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, who then swiftly negotiated an armistice and impromptu alliance between Austria and Pierre Augereau's forces, in the best interests of France. The Bonapartists were pushed out of Lyon and also attacked by the Duke of Wellington from the south. Meanwhile, the Republic defeated the main royalist force in Vendee and briefly asserted control of northern France; but itself was beginning to fall into infighting, as Malet, for all of his charisma, couldn't gain any real support from the population. And on the 5th of June, he was overthrown, arrested and hanged by the National Guard. The short-lived Second Republic fell apart, and Paris ended up under the control of Conseil d'Etat, headed by one of France's foremost intriguers, Joseph Fouche, the former Minister of Police. While negotiations in Paris continued, Augereau and his Anglo-Austrian allies attacked Suchet, defeating him at Toulouse itself. At this point the Dowager Empress and Napoleon II were forced to renounce their titles and claims and were forced to return to Vienna, while Suchet capitulated to Augereau. So now most of France was in the hand of moderate forces or their foreign allies, with the Ultraroyalists, the Republicans and the Bonapartists all thoroughly defeated.

    It still seemed to be a shaky situation, with the country weakened by the fighting in all regards, and dissent still high, and radical conspiracies still in Paris. But Fouche and Talleyrand, while usually each other's archnemeses, decided to join forces to save France. While Fouche retook command over the police and cracked down on all resistance (at the same time placating most of the long-suffering populace with promises of peace and stability), Talleyrand negotiated with foreign powers, using his extensive personal connections and past agreements well. So even as the last fighting occured in Europe - Sweden opportunistically occupying Norway and the Austrians removing Joachim Murat in the wake of changed circumstances - a "Congress of Nations" was assembled at Versailles.

    The Congress of Versailles: 1813-1814.

    The Congress of Versailles was very drawn-out - it occured over the course of approximately eight months - and could not even be called a single event, as it consisted of numerous balls, meetings, sessions and assemblies, and ofcourse assorted secret negotiations and informal contacts. Still, it wasn't nearly as chaotic as it seemed; for one thing, it as a whole remained loyal to the originally-intended purpose of rearranging the map of Europe to the maximum convenience of the Great Powers.

    Arguments raged, and diplomatic clashes occured over Belgian, Saxon, Polish and other issues; but in the end, while the seeds of the future alliance systems were already sown, the monarchs and chief statesmen of Europe were able to issue a proclamation of their mutual friendship and shared good will, and wishes for peace and justice in new Europe. So anyway:

    The old monarchies were restored in most kingdoms where they were previously removed, to some extent or another. The Portuguese royal family returned to Lisbon, and reannexed the border town of Olivenza, which the Spanish had conquered from Portugal in 1801 with French support. The rest of Spain, including Catalonia, was restored to the Bourbons, though Carlos IV remained in his ignoble exile; instead, the initially-popular Fernando VII took the throne (accepting a liberal constitution). Both Spain and Portugal soon negotiated a secret alliance with the British; the full consequences of this would become clear soon after, but suffice it to say that they were much more dramatic and influential for the New World rather than for the Old.

    The Bourbons also recovered France; Louis XVIII, who had wisely waited out the civil war, now returned in agreement with the Conseil d'Etat, and also accepted a fairly liberal constitution, pledging to follow a policy of compromise and amiability to heal the nation's wounds. As far as most Europeans were concerned, however, the true ruler of France was Talleyrand; his position was actually neither as strong or as secure as perceived, but as far as foreign affairs were concerned the Prince de Benevent was indeed supreme. Whereas many of the allies - especially the British and the Prussians - initially wanted to push France back to the borders of 1789, Talleyrand maneuvered with his usual skill to preserve as much territory as possible. In Belgium - which the British initially intended to make an united and independent kingdom - he managed to receive the support of all the interested parties (including Austria, which was eager to get rid of regional entanglements; Britain and Prussia were much more grudging, but in the end accepted this too, in exchange for concessions elsewhere) for a three-way partition project, which left the northern half of Belgium in Dutch hands, the southern Francophone in French and the Duchy of Luxemburg in Prussian (the Hohenzollerns having the most legitimate and recent 15th century claim to it). The northern Belgian lands were joined with the liberated Holland to form the Kingdom of the Netherlands, under the House of Orange and with a moderate constitution. To get Prussian support the French not only had to recognise their claims to Luxemburg, but also needed to support a project of von Hardenberg's, which saw Prussia annex the entirety of Saxony and the Saxon ruling house being compensated with a "Kingdom of the Rhineland" (which did not include Saar or the parts of the Palatinate west of the Rhine, which France kept; or Cleves, which was kept by Prussia). Austria raised some ruckus, but as France, Prussia and Russia seemed to all support this project had no choice but to accept. In compensation it reached a good agreement with France over Italy: Austria annexed Venice and Lombardy, while France retained Nice and Savoy; other Habsburgs were restored or imposed in Modena, Parma and Tuscany, while the Bourbons returned to the Two Sicilies; aside from that, the pre-revolutionary borders were retained, and Piedmont was thwarted in its designs on the Republic of Genoa; and most importantly, both great powers swore to uphold the existing order in Italy, imposing a Franco-Austrian hegemony there.

    Austria also reclaimed Illyria and Tyrolia. The map of Germany was generally redrawn again; numerous Napoleonic states were removed, but a lot of tiny pre-Mediation principalities and bishoprics were left on the ash-heap of history, though Central Germany remained quite balkanised. Bavaria was compensated for its territorial losses in Tyrolia and the Palatinate with recognition of the Wittelsbach claim on the Grand Duchy of Baden. Prussia annexed Saxony, as alreadym entioned, and made gains elsewhere (most survivign German states did, as already mentioned). A very loose German Confederation was established, in spite of Metternich's attempts to revive a Holy Roman Empire; Austro-Prussian rivalry was on the rise once more.

    Swiss Confederacy's independent, neutrality and minor expansion were all recognised and guaranteed.

    Sweden retained Swedish Pommerania and entered a personal union with Norway, now wrested from Denmark (which was slightly compensated with the Duchy of Lauenberg in northern Germany); it had to renounce its claims on Finland, though, which remained an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian Empire.

    The Grand Duchy of Warsaw retained its borders (i.e. it kept Posen and Krakow, amongst other things), but was remade into the Kingdom of Poland, with Alexander I of Russia as king; although in a close personal union with Russia, it did remain fairly autonomous as well, both de jure and de facto, with a fairly liberal constitution and a Sejm. Adam Czartoryski, Alexander's most trusted Polish advisor, was appointed viceroy to Warsaw.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, which restored its personal union with Hannover, also retained some of its gains in the West Indies, the islands of Malta and Heligoland around Europe (plus a protectorate over the Ioanian Islands), and the Dutch colonies in South Africa and Ceylon; the status of the East Indies remained a bit unclear for now, though it was apparently returned to the Dutch, while the British showed no intention of abandoning the Malay Peninsula. Apart from that all colonies seized by the British were more or less restored.

    The issue of slave trade was long disptued, but no definite decision has been reached, in part because of disagreements in the British Parliament itself.

    There were some other minor changes as well.

    For better or for worse, a new era begun in global and European history.

    To be continued...
     
  15. Kal'thzar

    Kal'thzar Deity

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    Hurry up, I want to read the next installment...:p
     
  16. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    Sometimes I wonder if America is communist.
     
  17. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Sometimes I wonder if the South will ever accept that they lost. ;)

    Please, the point of my alternate history timeline was to provide a good context for a NES this summer, not to inflame pro-Northern or pro-Southern sentiments at all or to have them invade this thread. This is getting dangerously off-topic...
     
  18. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Don't worry, usually althistorical discussions about the ACW attract much more and much worse flaming on all distantly-related topics and from all the ideologies and factions. In other words, you got off easy. ;) Anyhow, I'm very eager to see where you will be taking all this. When can we expect the next part?
     
  19. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    Soonly; I'm not accustomed to working at this pace, but it ought to be finished before I leave for Michigan on Friday morning.

    IMHO about a page and a half of what is essentially spam at the very beginning of the thread isn't really an auspicious start, though...which is why I was worried.
     
  20. carmen510

    carmen510 Deity

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    May I butt in and add that I love this comment.

    :lol: :lol:

    On a more serious note, stop the spamming/flaming/idiotic argument/controversial argument/cat fight/etc.
     

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