Is this timeline at all possible?

Yes, and likely
3 (21.4%)
Yes, but not likely
8 (57.1%)
No
3 (21.4%)

Total Members Voted: 14

Athos on January 29, 2009, 09:26:30 am
I'm in the middle of reading the Probability Broach and enjoying it but I have a couple of questions along the lines of Alternate History.

On page 58 it says Gallatin solved the economic crisis by issuing money backed by land in the North West Territories, but if the central government had no real power how could it lay claim to those territories?

In our history there were a number of states that tried to claim that land for themselves.  What prevented that in this timeline?

Wouldn't the settlers moving into and clearing that land resent the government giving it to new comers to back paper money?

I also find the idea that the nation gave up slavery because Thomas Jefferson guilted them into it very hard to believe.  It would have meant disassembling the South's entire economic system.  I mean there would be hard core slave holders with big plantations and no Federal government to abolish slavery, wouldn't it have held out into at least the late 1880's like it did in Brazil or still exist as it does in some parts of Africa?

I have more questions but I'll wait.  All in all a fun story.

Rocketman on January 29, 2009, 09:57:15 am
Athos:  You have to remember that the land then talked about being "out west" wasn't Montana or Arizona but the western part of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tenn.  The land at the time was basically only claimed by the American Indian and they didn't claim the land in the european sense.  Although it can be fairly said that the government stole it from the Indian who were after all there first.  The American government gave out land grants the same way that Spain, France and England gave out the territory that became the thirteen colonies.
     As far as slavery goes it was becoming more and more difficult for an "average" farmer back then to be able to afford a slave at all.  Not only was the cost of purchasing and keeping a slave rising but advances in things like the "cotton gin" made it more practical for farmers to do the work of several people with the machines assistance.  And cotton gins don't run away to Canada to gain their freedom.

Athos on January 29, 2009, 12:52:13 pm
Hi Rocketman

"Athos:  You have to remember that the land then talked about being "out west" wasn't Montana or Arizona but the western part of Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tenn." 

That is in part my point.  Pennsylvanians specifically claimed portions of this territory for themselves as part of their state.  There were also whites who had settled on the land.  Not many but they were there, how would they react to the government giving away the land they settled.

In our timeline the national government owned all that land after independence and could enforce its claim of ownership through force.  That doesn't seem possible after what happens during the Whiskey Rebellion in this timeline.  If you don't have the national machinery in place to collect taxes then how are you going to have the national machinery in place to distribute land, or redistribute, in the case of land someone is already sitting on. 

As for the Indians, they understood what ownership was.  They didn't have map making or know how to survey property lines buth they knew that everything east of the river is for the whites and everything west of the river is ours.  One of the reasons that "westerners" supported the American Revolution was that the British had reach an agreement with the Indians basically saying that these "western" lands belonged to the various tribes and the Brits were attempting to prevent white settlement in the area.

"And cotton gins don't run away to Canada to gain their freedom."

The cotton gin in fact revived slavery.  Slavery was on the decline until the cotton gin made it profitable to grow cotton.  You no longer need the large number of slaves to pull the seeds out of the cotton but you still need lots of slaves to plant and harvest the cotton. 

In general terms if you look at history I think you would be hard pressed to find a case where slavery was practiced and then abolished without a strong central authority enforcing the abolition.

Interesting article:
http://www.eliwhitney.org/cotton.htm

From the article:

After the invention of the cotton gin, the yield of raw cotton doubled each decade after 1800. Demand was fueled by other inventions of the Industrial Revolution, such as the machines to spin and weave it and the steamboat to transport it. By mid century America was growing three-quarters of the world's supply of cotton, most of it shipped to England or New England where it was manufactured into cloth. During this time tobacco fell in value, rice exports at best stayed steady, and sugar began to thrive, but only in Louisiana. At mid century the South provided three-fifths of America's exports -- most of it in cotton.

However, like many inventors, Whitney (who died in 1825) could not have foreseen the ways in which his invention would change society for the worse. The most significant of these was the growth of slavery. While it was true that the cotton gin reduced the labor of removing seeds, it did not reduce the need for slaves to grow and pick the cotton. In fact, the opposite occurred. Cotton growing became so profitable for the planters that it greatly increased their demand for both land and slave labor. In 1790 there were six slave states; in 1860 there were 15. From 1790 until Congress banned the importation of slaves from Africa in 1808, Southerners imported 80,000 Africans. By 1860 approximately one in three Southerners was a slave.




Leviathan on February 02, 2009, 04:03:53 am
The slave issue is less of my unlikelihood in the timeline.  The divergence started with a difference in the way Jefferson wrote the declaration in the TPB timeline.  The more anarchistic founders were people like Samuel Adams and maybe Franklin.  Jefferson, like most of the anti-federalists, was a loyalist to the state.  His state.  Remember that at the time the states were for most intents and purposes their own nations, even if they were colonial nations originally.  The idea that he'd believe in unanimous consent rather than just the populace putting up with the government on the whole seems off.  Especially since despite his overall anti-slavery leanings, he still participated in the institution and didn't see too much of a problem with using their labor without their consent.  This difference is then said to inspire the different actions of Gallatin, who in our history actually persuaded many of the farmers to work within the system he considered legitimate.  The irony in our timeline is he was effectively barred from participation because he couldn't show that he was a landowner at the time of the signing.

As to the actions in the alternate timeline, do recall that the land issue was almost Gallatin's first action.  Taking the land currently owned by the government itself and effectively simply handing it out in the form of issued currency.  Likely in the form of paying for those initial activities while government still did anything.  From there, it's a matter for the arbitrators to sort out who had what first and whether the title was legitimate.

As far as slavery and profits, slavery was never really inherently profitable.  When all costs were tallied, it would've been cheaper for the plantation owners to hire unskilled labor to work the fields than it was to purchase and then pay upkeep and confinement on their slaves.  The cotton gin may have directly increased the markets that were keeping slavery alive, but if innovation had been accelerated instead of retarded they very likely would've had tractors and such earlier as well.  The various mechanized farm implements would've destroyed industrial slavery eventually, regardless.  The worst remaining institution of it would've been house servants, and it's easier to guilt somebody out of those than a labor force seen as crucial to the entire enterprise.  Plus, without government actually encouraging the institution of slavery (don't believe this part?  look at all the legal processes that kept it going), it would've become just steadily more difficult to hold slaves.  By the time a guilt trip would've come into effect, they might've been half ready to give up on the incredible hassle.  Do remember that as part of the timeline, the whiskey government didn't just severely limit the federal power.  They limited government at all levels.

That being said, one of the bigger unlikelihoods is that anyone can ever make a form of limited government that is self-shrinking.  All prior examples of even extremely limited governments show that even the smallest amount of it has this tendency to expand again until it encompasses everything.  It's still nice to dream, though.

terry_freeman on May 12, 2009, 08:38:38 am
Why is a national government required to issue land titles? During the California Gold Rush, there was next to no formal government, but the miners organized themselves into associations which managed mining claims. They established rules which fit their circumstances. Recent studies of the "wild wild west" indicate that crime rates were lower than, or no worse than, the "civilized" cities back east which had the "benefit" of official government. Self-organizing communities were portrayed as "vigilantes" who would hang anybody on the slightest suspicion, but they were likely to be more circumspect than the Totally Officially Legal Hanging Judges. There is nothing like an official mandate from the gubbermint to give one a sense of invincibility, of being "above the law."

I suspect that the phrase "unanimous consent", in and of itself, would not be enough to tilt history toward a libertopia; but a few successful rebellions would do the trick. Had Shay's Rebellion and the Whiskey Rebellion succeeded, the growth of government would have been much slower. Considering the experiences with freely-organized associations in California, what if the government was so poorly funded everywhere that such self-organizing associations were the norm?

Regarding slavery, the slaves need not escape to Canada, if "property rights" in people disappeared beyond the borders of the farm or the state. If we assume a poorly-funded and weak federal government, the Underground Railroad would have taken care of the problem, just as "tearing down that wall" destroyed the power of the former USSR to keep people confined. Interesting that parties on both sides of the border sustained that wall; the West Germans and the American troops could have broken down that wall at any time from our side, had we chosen to do so.




oyunboardcom on March 19, 2011, 05:51:02 am
Yes, but not likely

___________________________________________

www.oyunboard.com

OffefArtesy on September 15, 2011, 11:32:50 pm
I have been using clonezilla to back up my 10.10 setup - also to restore it a few times.

My hd is 160gb, but only about 6gb is used and that is all that clonezilla needs to restore.

I wanted to have an encrypted installation and used the alternate installation for 10.04. It worked fine, but when I tried to do a backup, clonezilla came back and said it would have to use dd, which meant that it had to backup the entire 160gb. That would take, I am guessing, around 20 hours to do, which I do not plan on doing.

So if I have it right, I would have to have a hard drive of about 6gb, install the encrypted os on it, and then I could back up and restore the 6gb in a reasonable amount of time.

I dont think it is possible even to buy a 6gb hard drive, so I guess my question is: is the present LUKS encryption scheme for ubuntu impractical? Or is there some simple way I am overlooking that will let me back up the system.

South West Ranger on December 13, 2012, 07:00:33 pm
Hello all I'm new here and love this Novel and the Graphic Version as well.... ;D


Just would like to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) exist in this Timeline ? They do mention Navuoo but are the Mormons still persecuted or shunned or part of the Live and Let Live lifestyle?  :-[

Also if they do exist how do they view the Liberal attitude towards Narcotics and Alcohol usage since it conflicts with their Religious Beliefs ? ???

Scott on December 16, 2012, 10:41:02 am
Hi Ranger,

IIRC the Mormons do exist in the TPB universe but they were never (much) hounded out of their original communities in the Midwest. As to "liberal" attitudes towards vices -- there are many sects and groups, religious or otherwise, who teach abstinence and temperance in various forms. But the only enforcement is social -- if you want to be a member-in-good-standing of that group you had better conform to their rules. However very few think it's a good idea to enforce those codes on non-members, and without a functioning State to do the enforcing, it's not really practical.

customdesigned on December 16, 2012, 09:39:11 pm
Hi Ranger,

IIRC the Mormons do exist in the TPB universe but they were never (much) hounded out of their original communities in the Midwest. As to "liberal" attitudes towards vices -- there are many sects and groups, religious or otherwise, who teach abstinence and temperance in various forms. But the only enforcement is social -- if you want to be a member-in-good-standing of that group you had better conform to their rules. However very few think it's a good idea to enforce those codes on non-members, and without a functioning State to do the enforcing, it's not really practical.

The New Testament version of that common sense principle:

1 Corinthians 5
9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people—10 not at all meaning lthe sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? 13 God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

You might wonder (I do) how the "Moral Majority" justifies their stance of using government to enforce Christian morality (and without even the needed Prohibition-like amendment at the Federal level).   I think that it was an unthinking reaction to secular efforts to criminalize *criticism* of behaviour considered immoral by Christians.   While the New Testament ethos is to tolerate immorality outside the church (as those "condemned already"), it is also to preach against immorality and warn of its physical ("he who sins sexually sins against his own body") and spiritual consequences.    While a rousing street corner sermon against "demon drink" is still tolerated, one against sexual immorality is "hate speech".

But there was also an insidious idolatry in the "moral majority" movement.  While a fundamental Christian doctrine is that "the law cannot make men righteous", and even that "the law provokes sin" (if you want to see a man do something stupid, tell him he is not permitted to do it), somehow they thought - like their leftist opponents - that the government could make people more righteous, that you could in fact "legislate morality".   In debate, they would claim that laws against sin were needed to "set societal standards", not make people good.  But deep down, I think they really believe that such laws will decrease sin.   For instance, laws against abortion are advocated, not because it is murder of another human being, but because "it will save babies" (against all historical evidence to the contrary).

customdesigned on December 18, 2012, 04:26:19 pm
You might wonder (I do) how the "Moral Majority" justifies their stance of using government to enforce Christian morality (and without even the needed Prohibition-like amendment at the Federal level).   I think that it was an unthinking reaction to secular efforts to criminalize *criticism* of behaviour considered immoral by Christians.   While the New Testament ethos is to tolerate immorality outside the church (as those "condemned already"), it is also to preach against immorality and warn of its physical ("he who sins sexually sins against his own body") and spiritual consequences.    While a rousing street corner sermon against "demon drink" is still tolerated, one against sexual immorality is "hate speech".
Another factor could be that at one time nearly every American claimed to be Christian, and therefore should be held accountable to a Christian code of conduct.  It hasn't quite sunk in that this is no longer the case.

UncleRice on December 18, 2012, 05:19:36 pm
You might wonder (I do) how the "Moral Majority" justifies their stance of using government to enforce Christian morality (and without even the needed Prohibition-like amendment at the Federal level).   I think that it was an unthinking reaction to secular efforts to criminalize *criticism* of behaviour considered immoral by Christians.   While the New Testament ethos is to tolerate immorality outside the church (as those "condemned already"), it is also to preach against immorality and warn of its physical ("he who sins sexually sins against his own body") and spiritual consequences.    While a rousing street corner sermon against "demon drink" is still tolerated, one against sexual immorality is "hate speech".
Another factor could be that at one time nearly every American claimed to be Christian, and therefore should be held accountable to a Christian code of conduct.  It hasn't quite sunk in that this is no longer the case.

Heck yeah! There are a lot of people who claim Christianity, but don't read the Bible and would fail miserably on a test of knowledge, let alone actually doing as it says. It's more a label that many choose to wear.
Stupid criminals put on a mask and rob people with a gun.
Smart criminals put on a suit, call themselves politicians, and rob people with writ of law.

myrkul999 on December 18, 2012, 08:29:35 pm
You might wonder (I do) how the "Moral Majority" justifies their stance of using government to enforce Christian morality (and without even the needed Prohibition-like amendment at the Federal level).   I think that it was an unthinking reaction to secular efforts to criminalize *criticism* of behaviour considered immoral by Christians.   While the New Testament ethos is to tolerate immorality outside the church (as those "condemned already"), it is also to preach against immorality and warn of its physical ("he who sins sexually sins against his own body") and spiritual consequences.    While a rousing street corner sermon against "demon drink" is still tolerated, one against sexual immorality is "hate speech".
Another factor could be that at one time nearly every American claimed to be Christian, and therefore should be held accountable to a Christian code of conduct.  It hasn't quite sunk in that this is no longer the case.

Heck yeah! There are a lot of people who claim Christianity, but don't read the Bible and would fail miserably on a test of knowledge, let alone actually doing as it says. It's more a label that many choose to wear.
Not only that. There are more Atheists, Muslims, Pagans, Jews, and even Jedis now. Possibly even more than Christians.

wdg3rd on December 23, 2012, 08:55:52 pm

Heck yeah! There are a lot of people who claim Christianity, but don't read the Bible and would fail miserably on a test of knowledge, let alone actually doing as it says. It's more a label that many choose to wear.
Not only that. There are more Atheists, Muslims, Pagans, Jews, and even Jedis now. Possibly even more than Christians.

Those proclaiming Christianity are still the majority in North America.  Not that they're exactly a team.  Protestants and Catholics still don't get along and Baptists and Mormons and such still have their differences with other Protestants and each other.

My girlfriend is extremely Christian, but she divides her attention between the RCC in which she was raised and Coptic Orthodox which she has come to love (not much difference aside from trivial details like married priests).  She does the cracker and Kool-Aid thing a couple times per week.  She has never read the Bible, she just accepts what she is told it says, loves Jesus and his mom and has a special fixation on Saint Martin de Porres.  I've read the Bible (cover-to-cover) half a dozen times in four translations and have been an atheist since the first time I read it 45 years ago at age 12.  We get along.  Mostly.
Ward Griffiths        wdg3rd@aol.com

Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.  --  Denis Diderot

myrkul999 on December 28, 2012, 01:23:51 am
She has never read the Bible, she just accepts what she is told it says, loves Jesus and his mom and has a special fixation on Saint Martin de Porres.  I've read the Bible (cover-to-cover) half a dozen times in four translations and have been an atheist since the first time I read it 45 years ago at age 12.  We get along.  Mostly.

Heh... so long as religion isn't the topic of the discussion, yeah? I've had girlfriends like that. As long as there's no intention to make and raise babies, such a relationship can work fine.

Can I make a suggestion for fiction? I haven't read it, but it comes well recommended: The Book of Thomas: Volume One: Heaven

The author claims he cribbed heavily from the Bible. Maybe it would be best if you didn't read it around the girlfriend. ;)