The Confederation of Southern Vandalia is one of the six confederations that currently make up the Confederation of North America. The capital is Fort Lodge, and the largest city is St. Louis. The chief executive is the Governor of Southern Vandalia and the legislature is the Southern Vandalia Council.
Creation of Southern Vandalia
Southern Vandalia was created in 1877 when the Grand Council divided the original Confederation of Vandalia in two. Sobel describes the 40th parallel as the boundary between the two daughter confederations, but the frontispiece map suggests that the use of "40th parallel" may have been figurative rather than literal.
The decision to divide Vandalia was the result of growing conflict between settlers from the Southern Confederation, a majority of them Negroes, and settlers from Indiana and the Northern Confederation, almost all of them white. Southern Vandalia acquired almost all of the settlers from the S.C. becoming the C.N.A.'s only majority-Negro confederation, and also received the richest Vandalian farmland. The Vandalian capital of Galloway became the capital of Northern Vandalia, while the city of Fort Lodge became the capital of Southern Vandalia. The 129-member Vandalia Council was divided, with the 44 residents of the new Northern Vandalia remaining in Galloway while the 85 residents of the new Southern Vandalia relocated to Fort Lodge to become the Southern Vandalia Council. At the same time, Vandalian Governor Hiram Potter became the Governor of Northern Vandalia, while Southern Vandalia elected a new Governor, Burgoyne Willkie. The 1877 Gubernatorial election went largely along racial lines, with the confederation's Negro majority electing Willkie. Willkie's government was sufficiently moderate that when he ran for re-election in 1882, he won 30% of the confederation's white vote.
Following the division of Vandalia, ten of that confederation's twenty-one Grand Council members were apportioned to Southern Vandalia. In the national elections held the following year, the Conservative Party won six seats, the Liberal Party three, and the newly-formed People's Coalition one. The following year, elections to the Southern Vandalia Council saw the Conservative caucus fall from 54 to 50, and the Coalition caucus from seven to five, while the Liberal caucus rose from 24 to 30, a trend that was matched in most of the other confederations, and which was interpreted by politicians in Burgoyne as evidence that the Coalition had peaked and was headed for decline.
As of the 1880 census, Southern Vandalia had a population of 3.2 million, of whom 2.2 million were Negroes. Sobel states that although there was little racial mixing in the 1880s, there was also no important friction between the races. Southern Vandalia had excellent farms, good river and rail transport, and a satisfactory climate, and its Negro inhabitants prospered. In addition to emigration from the Southern Confederation, Southern Vandalia also received a steady influx of escaped slaves from the Mexican state of Jefferson, whose slave population declined from 150,000 to 50,000 between 1860 and 1890. Mexican slaves continued to escape to Southern Vandalia until slavery was abolished in the U.S.M. in 1920.
Southern Vandalian Politics
Although Negroes who remained in the Southern Confederation tended to support the Conservatives, who had been instrumental in the passage of the Lloyd Bill in 1840, those who emigrated to Southern Vandalia often switched to the Liberals. This was seen in the 1883 Grand Council elections, which saw the Conservatives lose four seats, three to the Liberals, and one to the Coalition. Five years later, in 1888, the Liberals maintained their six members, while the Coalition gained the remaining two Conservative seats.
One of the reforms passed by the Coalition government of Ezra Gallivan was a reapportionment of Grand Council seats, the first since the Reform Bill of 1870. Southern Vandalia's delegation to the Grand Council was increased to thirteen, and in the 1893 landslide, the Coalition won eight of them. However, Gallivan had appointed no Negroes to his Cabinet, and this became an issue in the 1898 elections. The Coalition's delegation to the Council fell from eight to four, and all four of those Councilmen supported Gallivan's radical rival, Thomas Kronmiller. The Liberals would continue to dominate Southern Vandalian politics for the next generation, winning twelve out of fourteen seats in 1903, and eleven in 1908.
The most notable Southern Vandalian governor after Willkie was Howard Washburne, who denounced the Chapultepec treason trials in the U.S.M., and in February 1915 called for the abolition of slavery there, saying "Our brothers are in chains, and their cries never leave our ears. We can no longer tolerate it. Either Mexico will end slavery, or we will do it for her." Governor-General Albert Merriman apologized to President Victoriano Consalus for Washburne's remarks, but millions of North Americans supported Washburne, including thirty-four members of the Grand Council. Within a week, Washburne had resigned as Governor of Southern Vandalia and founded Friends of Black Mexico, an organization dedicated to the abolition of Mexican slavery.
Washburne spoke at a rally in Burgoyne on 18 February, pledging himself to the "unceasing effort to bring freedom to our brothers in Mexico, to free not only the Negro, but the Mexicano and Indian as well." Washburne announced a boycott of all Kramer Associates products being sold in the C.N.A., and twenty-four-hour vigils outside U.S.M. consulates, and concluded, "We shall not rest until we reach the conscience of the Mexicans, and when we do, slavery and other evils of that benighted land will come to an end."
Membership in the F.B.M. continued to grow, until by the spring of 1920 the organization had three million members, one million of them white. By then, Washburne was already changing the focus of his goals from the condition of Negroes in the U.S.M. to that of those in the C.N.A. In 1919, he stated, "What the Negro wants is the same kind of home, job, and life that his white brothers enjoy east of the Mississippi."
With the abolition of slavery in Mexico on 13 May 1920, the F.B.M. had achieved its objective. At a mass meeting the next day celebrating abolition, Washburne announced the transformation of the F.B.M. into the League for Brotherhood, a nationwide organization dedicated to ending racial discrimination in the C.N.A. However, as the League expanded to include reformers with different agendas, Washburne's own original agenda was lost. By the middle of 1921, the League had grown to seven million members, the majority of them middle-class whites who rejected capitalism and industrialization.
There was a movement within the Liberal Party to nominate Washburne for Governor-General in 1923, but he was not interested in political power. Instead, he used Biblical language to call for the moral regeneration of the C.N.A., and spoke of the need for brotherhood.
The Galloway Plan
By 1922, the League was at the center of a growing mood of dissatisfaction with the status quo. The summer of 1922 saw major riots and demonstrations across the C.N.A., the worst since the 1880s. Finally, the cause of reform was taken up by locomobile magnate Owen Galloway, who announced his own Galloway Plan in a vitavised address on 25 December 1922. Galloway's proposal to subsidize emigration within and from the C.N.A. attracted the support of many League members, including Washburne, who said in March 1923, "We are in a time of diffusion, but good will prevails among men of honor."
Southern Vandalia lacked large cities, being comprised for the most part of medium sized farms, so the anti-urban movement that spread through most of the C.N.A. did not take place there. Instead, many young Southern Vandalians took advantage of the Galloway Plan to emigrate to cities in the other confederations. Many went to disctricts which were already predominately Negro, but a substantial number of middle-class Southern Vandalians moved to suburbs and lived among middle-class whites.
By the 1920s, the Liberal domination of Southern Vandalia had come to an end. In the 1923 Grand Council elections, the confederation's sixteen members were evenly divided between the Liberals and the Coalition. Governor-General Henderson Dewey's popularity elsewhere in the C.N.A. was not shared in Southern Vandalia; in the Liberal landslide of 1928, the Liberals won only a single seat from the Coalition. Under Dewey's successor, Douglas Watson, though, the Liberals increased their delegation to eleven out of fifteen seats in 1933. Sobel notes that James Billington's election to the Council that year made him one of only ten Negro Council members, which suggests that Southern Vandalia's delegation included nine Negroes at most, and probably fewer.
James Billington and Carter Monaghan
In the 1938 Grand Council elections, Coalitionist candidate Bruce Hogg pledged to support Billington for the recently-created office of Council President, and this was sufficient to gain his party eleven seats in Southern Vandalia, and a narrow majority in the Council, which it maintained five years later in the 1943 elections. However, Billington's elevation to governor-general in 1950 and his nomination by the Coalition in 1953 did not prevent the Southern Vandalia Liberals from winning nine out of fifteen seats in that year's elections.
Governor-General Richard Mason's focus on the Mason Doctrine, his global reconstruction program, was apparently unpopular among Southern Vandalians, who elected eight Coalitionists to the Council in the 1958 elections. However, the fracturing of the Liberal Party in the 1963 elections had the paradoxical effect of increasing the Liberal share of the Southern Vandalian delegation to ten members.
Southern Vandalian Governor Carter Monaghan was chosen by newly-elected Governor-General Perry Jay as his Minister of Finance. After Jay's resignation in September 1966, the Coalition caucus chose Monaghan to replace him, although Jay insisted afterwards that he had played no role in Monaghan's selection.
The 1968 Grand Council elections were dominated by the debate over Monaghan's arms policy and the split in the Liberal Party between supporters of Mason and his former Minister for Home Affairs Grover Speigal. Mason and his followers, including Southern Vandalian Councilman Fred Tryon, walked out of the Liberal convention to create the Peace and Justice Party, which contested all 150 Grand Council seats. On election day the Coalition increased its share of the Southern Vandalian delegation to eight members, while the Liberals fell to six and the P.J.P. elected one, most likely Tryon.
The discovery of a Mexican spy ring in Michigan City in January 1969 led to a break in diplomatic relations between the C.N.A. and the U.S.M., and the closing of their border. Guerrilla activity began along the border between Southern Vandalia and Jefferson, which may be the harbinger of a second war between the two countries.
Sobel's sources on Southern Vandalia include Willkie's memoirs, Good Friends and Fair People (Fort Lodge, 1895); as well as Martin Kleburg's The Politics of Vandalian Separation (New York, 1957); Stewart Hoskinson's The Loyal Americans: The Negroes of Southern Vandalia (New York, 1962); and Chester Winslow's Willkie and the Rise of Black North America (New York, 1969).
This was the Featured Article for the week of 3 March 2013.
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