Written by Sean Sedor
One of the most pondered what if questions of all time, especially in the United States, is what would have happened if the Confederate States won the Civil War against its Northern Counterparts. It is a speculation that many people have attempted to tackle over years, everything from editorials to stories to movies such as CSA The Movie (which can be found on Youtube). However, no one in recent memory has given a more thrilling account of what might have been than Harry Turtledove. He is considered to be the leader in Alternate History and has written a variety of short stories and novel series on a variety of different what if and fantasy scenarios. His most exciting series covers the famous question regarding the Civil War. His series, although generally called Southern Victory, is also referred to as Timeline 191 (in reference to the event that caused the “Historical Divergence”). The 11 Novel Series starts from the point of divergence, which occurs in 1862, and concludes following this timelines World War II in 1944. All 11 novels follow the same format, that being the history and the alternate events that occur are seen from the vantage point of anywhere from 15 to 20 different characters, both real historical figures and fictional ones. In the story itself, the CSA defeats the USA in late 1862-early 1863. The countries would engage in a second war twenties years later in the early 1880’s called the Second Mexican War (It is called this because the war resulted after the CSA purchased two provinces, Chihuahua & Sonora, from Mexico which secured the CSA a Pacific Port, which the USA was displeased with). After receiving help from Britain & France, the CSA defeats the USA for a second time. This would lead to the USA becoming allies with Germany and Austria-Hungary, which would lead to World War I with The Central Powers (USA, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire) vs. The Entente (CSA, Britain, France, Russia). The war ends in 1917 with a Powers Victory. The aftermath is very similar to what happens in real life, except the CSA ends up taking the role of Germany, as a character of Jake Featherston (WWI Confederate Sergeant and historical analogue of Adolf Hitler) along with the Freedom Party (Historical analogue of the Nazi Party) set up a dictatorship in the CSA joining their allies Britain, France, and Russia as countries that fell to dictatorships after the war. Life becomes especially hard for the African Americans, as they assume the role that the Jewish people in Europe assumed as they fell victim to persecution and violence. This all leads to the timeline’s Second World War. While it seemed like the CSA had defeated the USA with their surprise Blitzkrieg attack, the USA survived and fought the CSA back deep into their own land (this paralleled the events that occurred between Germany & The Soviet Union in World War II). However, their were some very frightening elements as well. African-Americans suffered the horrors of Death & Concentration Camps in the CSA much like the Jews did under the Nazis. Not only that, but the number of atomic bombs uses greatly increases in the Second World War, Ten in total! (Five by Germany, Two by Great Britain, Two by the USA and One by the CSA). The conflict eventually ends with the USA and Germany standing as the World’s Two Super Powers.
There are so many different items of interest that can be discussed about this amazing series. However, I can not put them all in one article. If anyone reading this has any questions or inquiries about this amazing series, you can leave a comment in the comment section below or contact me through my Facebook (Sean Sedor)