New Orleans Wins the War
Greg Knauss

In 1948 my Daddy came to the city
Told the people that they'd won the war
Maybe they'd heard it, maybe not
Probably they heard it, just forgot
'Cause they built him a platform there in Jackson Square
And people came to hear him from everywhere
They started to party and they partied some more
'Cause New Orleans had won the war
We knew we'd do it, we done whipped the Yankees!
--Randy Newman

In 1868, the American Civil War ended when a battle-weary United States population voted the Democratic candidate for president, William Blakely, into office. The republicans, throughout the course of Lincoln's second term, had received the majority of the blame for both allowing the Southern states to "slip away," and then not be regained. Blakely ran on a platform of peace with the Confederate States and won a resounding victory.

Though relations between the United States and the Confederate States remained chilly over the next decade -- abolitionists and unionists still held powerful minorities in the U.S. Congress -- the situation began to smooth as first Blakely and then his Democratic successor, Thomas Howell, courted the Confederacy, eyeing its powerful, and growing agricultural wealth.

The former Southern states, for their part, changed little politically over the course of those ten years, yet the economic differences where dramatic. After the war ended, there was a drive to adopt a new state-rights constitution, and a document very similar to the original U.S. Articles of Confederation was drafted and finally signed by all the "rebel states" in 1871; the capital of the new country moved from Richmond to New Orleans. Soon after the war, the Confederacy again emerged as the world's leading supplier of agricultural staples -- tobacco, cotton, corn and sugar -- and its first president under the new constitution, R. E. Lee, used this power to win concessions from the United States' president, Blakely, then in his second term.

Lee's strategy was to bring the import of industrialism to the overwhelmingly agricultural South. Slave labor, used throughout the Confederacy and explicitly sanctioned by the Document of Confederation was perfectly suited to the harsh rigors of quick industrialization, and Lee used this to his advantage. The Confederate States, by 1900, were as much an industrial powerhouse as the U.S., with the addition of heavy agriculturalism as well. The United States was forced into importing a large amount of food from the South because of delays in their expansion of the trans-Appalachian railroad.

Both countries attempted to gain territory by annexation between the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the twentieth century. Though the Mason-Dixon line was formally rejected by the Confederate Congress, the Confederacy only half-heartedly pursued new lands, eventually adding only the New Mexico Territory and the unorganized Indian Reservation north of Texas. The United States, however, spread westward, over the rest of the continent.

When World War I began in Europe, the Confederate States and their president, Thurmond Byron, immediately sent troops, sensing the opportunity to increase their international power and prestige. Though England, with whom the Confederacy had allied itself, disapproved of institutionalized slavery, it needed the men, machinery and food that the South could provide and welcomed the assistance. When the United States joined the fight against Germany in 1917, the war was all but over and the Confederacy was now a powerful force in Europe as well as North America.

Over the next ten years, between 1920 and 1930, the United States became the only World War I victor to withdraw from the European theater and become isolationist. The Confederacy stayed involved in European politics and formally allied itself with the German Republic when Adolf Hitler was elected German Premier in 1933. By the next year, the Confederate States remained Germany's only major ally after the burning of the Reichstag and the dissolution of the Republic, and was the sole voice of democratic international support when Poland was invaded in 1939.

As World War II began, all ties between the so-called "Allied Forces" -- England, France and the United States -- and the "Axis Powers" -- Germany, Italy, Japan and the Confederate States -- collapsed. In 1941, caught off-guard and unprepared, the United States was invaded by the Confederacy, with heavy German U-boat support. Washington, D.C., the capital, was taken within two months and the Confederate army slowly marched up the eastern seaboard of the United States.

In Europe, France had fallen to the Nazis by the time of the Confederate invasion and England was slowly losing the "Battle of Britain." In 1944, London was finally occupied, and without a western front to contend with, Hitler undertook his long-delayed invasion of the Soviet Union. Japan began its landing on both the west coast of the United States and east coast of China during the same summer that Hitler exploded the world's first atomic weapon over Moscow, in 1946.

By 1948, Italy controlled all of Africa, Germany dominated Europe and Russia, Japan held China and western North America, and the Confederacy occupied the United States from the Great Plains east. On October 19, 1948, the United States president, Franklin Roosevelt, surrendered to the Confederate forces in Boston, Massachusetts.

The Confederate States annexed the territory of the United States over the course of the next five years. Each state, to be admitted to the Confederacy, redrafted its constitution in the style of the Document of Confederation and instituted legal slavery. Germany, Italy and Japan, by 1955, followed Confederate examples and began to use slaves both inside their borders and in conquered territories. Certain regions of Africa and China were entirely depopulated by the early 1960s and about the same time, Germany, operating chiefly with the support of the Confederacy, eliminated the last followers of Judaism.

The world economy surged during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, driven mostly by the availability of cheap labor. Trade between the three major world powers (Italy had slipped in dominance and was hardly more than a German puppet by 1965) ranged from wheat to consumer electronics to medical equipment. Though occasional protests against slavery and the treatment of the Jews erupted, especially in western Europe and the northern Confederate States, they petered out as the first generation born with slavery as a world-wide institution grew to adulthood.

Today, in 1991, the world is at peace.

Greg Knauss ( is a computer programmer and the creator of An Entirely Other Day. He's also a frequent contributor to TeeVee.

InterText stories written by Greg Knauss: "The Talisman" (v1n1), "Schrödinger's Monkey" (v1n1), "New Orleans Wins the War" (v1n2), "The Explosion That Killed Ben Lippincott" (v1n2), "The Damnation of Richard Gillman" (v1n3), "Novalight" (v4n3).

InterText Copyright © 1991-1999 Jason Snell. This story may only be distributed as part of the collected whole of Volume 1, Number 2 of InterText. This story Copyright © 1991 Greg Knauss.