Monday, June 30, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 30

On June 30, 1962, the global supercorporation Kramer Associates detonated the world's first atomic bomb in an isolated part of the north Pacific, the result of a secret four-year research project called the Taichung Project.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 28

On June 28, 1899, Mexican marines from the Pacific Fleet landed at Petropavlovsk, Kamchatka, marking the start of the Siberian campaign of the Great Northern War between Mexico and the Russian Empire.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 27

On June 27, 1914, riots broke out in the Mexican port city of Tampico for the second time in two weeks. The French fleet which had been anchored just outside of Mexican territorial waters for five days took this as a signal to begin troop landings. Mexican coast artillery fired on the ships, sinking four and crippling another two, but ten French troop ships made it to the beaches, and over the course of the night, French troops occupied the city, marking the beginning of the Hundred Day War.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 22

On June 22, 1914, the Republic of France and the United States of Mexico drew closer to war when the French fleet entered the Caribbean and anchored off of the Mexican port of Tampico, just beyond the fifteen kilometer limit claimed by the Mexicans. As Sobel remarks, the French seemed to be awaiting further developments.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 19

On June 19, 1851, Mexican President Pedro Hermión gave a speech before Congress defending his prosecution of the Rocky Mountain War, and pledging to continue "until we drive the last North American from our soil, and then we will march upon Burgoyne, and I will personally dictate peace terms to Gilpin and his jackals." However, after finishing his speech, Hermión was shot and killed by a disgruntled former member of the Presidential Guard named Emiliano Zangora. Zangora himself was shot and killed by the Congressional guard while attempting to flee the scene.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 17

On June 17, 1929, Mexican President Pedro Fuentes announced the creation of the Zwicker Commission, to be chaired by Secretary of the Exchequer Stanley Zwicker. The purpose of the commission was to "investigate large corporations in the United States of Mexico, and make suggestions for legislation." Fuentes was determined to gain control over the Mexican supercorporation Kramer Associates, and he believed that the best way would be to create a government commission to investigate the company, as Governor-General Henderson Dewey had done in the Confederation of North America to gain popular support for his efforts to reform the National Financial Administration.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 15

On June 15, 1820, the Chamber of Representatives of the State of Jefferson accepted Governor Andrew Jackson's proposal for a convention in Mexico City to draft a constitution creating a permanent union of Jefferson and the Republic of Mexico. The Chamber then voted to dissolve itself, to reassemble as a constitutional convention in Mexico City on September 22.

On June 15, 1855, an arbitration panel consisting of representatives from Spain, the Netherlands, and the Germanic Confederation issued a report for a proposed peace treaty ending the Rocky Mountain War between the United States of Mexico and the Confederation of North America.

Sobel Wiki: An unambitious man

This week's featured article at the Sobel Wiki is on George Vining, the seventh President of the United States of Mexico, and the last to be chosen by Constitutional means for 23 years.

If you were looking for evidence that Robert Sobel was writing For Want of a Nail on the fly, with no larger plan in mind, George Vining would probably be exhibit number one. Sobel introduces Vining in the penultimate paragraph of chapter 16 "The Kinkaid Interlude." President Kinkaid has been assassinated, and the Mexican Senate is deadlocked on the choice of a successor. Vining, "an unambitious man," emerges as a compromise candidate who reluctantly agrees to serve out the remainder of Kinkaid's term of office "for the sake of unity." Sobel goes on to say that the real power in the government would be exercised by Vining's Secretary of State, and that Vining surprised the nation by choosing Thomas Rogers, the leader of the opposition Liberty Party, for the position.

Sobel ends the chapter on that note, then takes up events in Europe in chapter 17 "The Bloody Eighties", and events in the Confederation of North America in chapter 18, "An Age of Renewal." It is only in chapter 19 "The Crisis of Mexican Republicanism" that he returns to Mexico. And it is clear that by then Sobel had changed his mind about what direction he wanted Mexican history to take. George Vining, the reluctant unity candidate, is replaced by a ruthless figure who will turn Mexico into a police state. Thomas Rogers, the power behind the throne, is replaced by a hapless opposition leader who will foolishly acquiesce in the destruction of representative government. And lastly, Sobel introduces us to Benito Hermión, son of former president Pedro Hermión, and the man who will seize control of Mexico and make himself dictator by the end of the chapter.

Sobel didn't even go back and rewrite the end of chapter 16 to make it conform to chapter 19. The result is one of the most severe inconsistencies in the whole book.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 14

On June 14, 1902, national elections were held in the United States of Mexico for the first time in 27 years. There were fourteen presidential candidates, none of whom received more than twelve percent of the vote. Kramer Associates President Diego Cortez y Catalán, operating behind the scenes, ordered a runoff election between the three leading candidates.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 12

On June 12, 1778, the Second Continental Congress agreed to an armistice with the British that had been negotiated between recently-chosen president Joseph Galloway and the Earl of Carlisle. The armistice ended the North American Rebellion, bringing the rebellious colonies back under British control.

On June 12, 1884, exiled Mexican Senator Thomas Rogers gave an interview to a reporter from the London Times. Discussing the end of republican government in the United States of Mexico three years earlier, Rogers said, "We did much that was wrong and foolish, but at the time these actions seemed prudent and sensible. Our liberties were taken from us by stealth and over time, and not in a single day. And we helped those who robbed us of our freedom."

Rogers' remarks were reported in the 8 July 1884 issue of the Times.

On June 12, 1914, riots broke out in the French quarter of the Mexican port city of Tampico, provoked by agents of French President Henri Fanchon.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 11

On June 11, 1898, Mexican forces consisting of elements of the California Guard and the Mexican marines pursued fleeing Russian troops across the border into Russian Alaska, marking the first Mexican occupation of Russian territory in the Great Northern War.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 8

On June 8, 1890, the 34th Brigade of Mexican marines under Colonel David Brewster entered the New Granadan capital of Bogotá, an important milestone in the course of the War for Salvation.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 4

On June 4, 1969, former North American Governor-General Perry Jay was the subject of a vitavised interview by three journalists: Arnold Bittle, Maxwell Jenkins, and Arthur Flick. Among other topics, Jay spoke about his resignation three years earlier, and his advice to his successor, Carter Monaghan. According to Jay, he told Monaghan, "I've left you one problem, and that can be summed up in a single word. It's Mercator."

Monday, June 2, 2014

Today in the Sobel Timeline: June 2

On June 2, 1914, French President Henri Fanchon continued his planned attack on the United States of Mexico by disembarking a regiment of French troops on the Caribbean island colony of Martinique.