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Old 03-11-2022, 09:53 PM   #1
Dave_67
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Default [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

Okay, during the past two years, I've decided to revisit an old gaming campaign to keep my mind occupied - or to stave off insanity, take your pick - and have been reworking the history and backstory from the Alternate Earths setting of Dixie. It encompasses bits of the original setting, ideas from Harry Turtledove's 'TL:191' book series, and a few ideas thanks to a couple of Alternate History/"What if?" YouTubers.

(If anyone is wondering, and before someone brings it up in the comments, I've wrote in that shortly after being elected CSA president in 1932, President Long encourages the total abolition of slavery, as he did as Governor of Louisiana, in those few states that still practice it - after "Lee's Amendment" made it a state issue in the late 1860's - with a target goal of the 75th Anniversary in '36. Essentially it was a 'Kennedy-esc' moonshot goal, and why he was assassinated in '35. Instead of quashing the idea, it only galvanizes the populace to strive for such an outcome, with the final state to ratify both a new state constitution and the new federal one on June 19, 1936.)

For those GMs that ran their own version of this scenario, I'd like to ask, just how did you deal with Washington D.C.? With Richmond in the South, and Tilden signing the Capital Act in 1878 that transferred the capitol to Philadelphia in the North, Washington seemed to become a white elephant. Did you keep it separate, and a society of loyalists are keeping with the upkeep of the place for the eventual (some might say foolishly wishful) day when it is once again the capitol of a fully United States? Or did you just handwave that the lands that made up the federal district were just absorbed back into the state of Maryland?

I don't know if I will ever run this for friends - I did run the initial scenario at a local gaming convention way back in the late 90's, and everyone had a lot of fun with it - but it is something that, like I said, is just something to keep my mind active.
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Old 03-11-2022, 11:08 PM   #2
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

Most of Washington would be a ghost town by the time of Dixie's present. What was left would be a tourist destination, people going to see where the President and Congress used to be. Washington in 1860 had a population of 75,000. By Dixie's present it would be, maybe 5,000. A few important federal buildings that people wanted to tour would be preserved.
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Old 03-11-2022, 11:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

Not familiar with Dixie-1. What's the status of Maryland? It is part of the USA or CSA?

Either way, I'd probably hand Washington back to Maryland in such a case.
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Old 03-11-2022, 11:35 PM   #4
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Not familiar with Dixie-1. What's the status of Maryland? It is part of the USA or CSA?

Either way, I'd probably hand Washington back to Maryland in such a case.
Maryland and Delaware, along with DC, are given to the CSA in the Treaty of Washington in 1863. The two states and DC - along with Arizona, Sonora, and Baja - are given back to USA after they defeat the CSA (with German help) in The Great War in 1920.
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Old 03-12-2022, 12:15 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Most of Washington would be a ghost town by the time of Dixie's present. What was left would be a tourist destination, people going to see where the President and Congress used to be. Washington in 1860 had a population of 75,000. By Dixie's present it would be, maybe 5,000. A few important federal buildings that people wanted to tour would be preserved.
So basically retrocession, much like the retrocession act of 1846 that returned the Virginia portion back to Virginia, 45 years after they ceded the portion in the first place. That seems plausible.
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Old 03-12-2022, 01:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

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Originally Posted by Dave_67 View Post
So basically retrocession, much like the retrocession act of 1846 that returned the Virginia portion back to Virginia, 45 years after they ceded the portion in the first place. That seems plausible.
They might have given it back to Maryland, yes or they could leave it as a federal historical park. Either way the important thing is that there is no economic basis for Washington DC's location except that the sheer worthlessness of the location was the reason why it existed in the first place. Take away the federal government and it'll deflate worse than Detroit.
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Old 03-12-2022, 02:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
They might have given it back to Maryland, yes or they could leave it as a federal historical park. Either way the important thing is that there is no economic basis for Washington DC's location except that the sheer worthlessness of the location was the reason why it existed in the first place. Take away the federal government and it'll deflate worse than Detroit.
Indeed, it's a bit too far upriver to even make a decent port city.

That said, I'm surprised the CSA didn't move their government there...
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Old 03-12-2022, 10:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

Georgetown which became part of DC was founded at the fall line which is the farthest point you can go up the Potomac and was a thriving port. When DC was established it had half a dozen banks and a couple of newspapers.
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Old 03-12-2022, 05:09 PM   #9
Dave_67
 
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Default Re: [Alternate Earths] In Dixie-1, how did you deal with Washington D.C.?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
They might have given it back to Maryland, yes or they could leave it as a federal historical park. Either way the important thing is that there is no economic basis for Washington DC's location except that the sheer worthlessness of the location was the reason why it existed in the first place. Take away the federal government and it'll deflate worse than Detroit.
Reading up a bit more on D.C., it was seen as a compromise to get the southern states, especially Virginia, onboard. Many in the north wanted Philadelphia - named the temporary capital until Washington D.C. could be completed - or some other place in SE Pennsylvania, which did not sit well with the southern states.

But yeah, a federal historical park, kinda along the same lines as Historic Williamsburg, makes sense as well...especially if Maryland didn't want to take back the land, because they didn't want to have to deal with the expense of either maintaining the buildings, or demolishing them and starting over.

Last edited by Dave_67; 03-12-2022 at 05:10 PM. Reason: Repeated part of a sentence.
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