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AltHist North America Map 1890 by DaemonofDecay AltHist North America Map 1890 by DaemonofDecay
Alternate History: North America Political Map, 1890

This is the political situation in north America circa 1890 in my Alternate History world that I am working on currently. Its all still a work in progress, but there are a number of major world events that I have changed.

Things such as a migration of more French to Louisiana, including Bourbon monarchist that fled the French revolution and subsequent rise of Napoleon. The area was still considered part of France, but Napoleon, short of cash and unable to suppress the revolt in Haiti, sells the land to the United States. The Bourbons there, upset with Napoleon and with the deal, refuse to yield their lands.

The United States Army, ill prepared and unwilling to begin any war so soon after independence (but seriously outnumbering the Bourbons), enter talks and are able to gain control over most of the purchased land, and let the Bourbon monarchists keep control over New Orleans and some territory west of the Mississippi in exchange for free trade rights through the New Orleans ports and along the river.

In 1812, War between the US and UK comes due to the British impressment of US sailors. It is a somewhat confused war, with neither side gaining any real advantage over the other, even after the British burn down the White House. The two combatants eventually sign peace, but before the news of the agreement reaches the US a British Army routes the force guarding New York city, where an accidental fire is started that decimates the city (most likely by the citizens fleeing the town).

The US feels betrayed by the British for their 'suprise' attack after the war ended (despite the fact that noone knew peace had been declared at the time), and after the war invests in a series of forts along the Canadian border and the coast, increasing the stockpiles of arms for any potential future war. The relationship between the two nations remains very volatile and stormy, and the burning of New York acts as a rallying cry for anti-Anglo sentiment.

The southern US, along with Texas, were quite dependent on slave labour by the middle of the 1800s. Rising outrage at the practice had been increasing steadily in the US for quite some time, and the Kingdom of Bourbon's abolution of slavery in 1829 (in a treaty with Mexico) acted as a real landmark moment in how slavery was percieved in the US. The northern states applauded this move, while the southern states were furious. Slaveowners across the south reported greater numbers of slaves escaping to freedom in nearby Bourbon, and slavery almost disapeared along the Mississippi river as freed slaves and anti-slavery advocates opperated hundreds of small rafts to pick up slaves from the east back and deposit them as freed men on the west bank. Likewise, slave owners to the west of Bourbon in Mexico also found their slaves escaping in massive numbers.

The Republic of Texas fights its way to freedom against Mexico (partly promped by its abolition of slavery), but any moves to join the United States begin to fizzle when the US goverment talks of reducing the potential states size from the land won from Mexico. Most Texans are supportive of the idea of joining the union, but as anti-slavery sentiment spreads in the north this desire slowly begins to fade away. Texas soons finds itself divided as the costs of keeping slaves in bondage increases greatly, due to the ease of their escape to the free land of Mexico or Bourbon. Abolitionists operating from Bourbon travel throughout Texas and the US south helping slaves to escape, and Texas is unable to act against these foriegners in any real action due to its reliance on trade along the Mississippi and the port of New Orleans. Soon, anti-slavery sentiment in Texas grows as many who owned slaves find it more economical to free them and then pay them wages instead.

Instead of joining the union, Texas establishes contacts with the European powers, who are glad to support an independent state in North America as a counter to rising US power. The UK especially hopes to support a state that could be an ally in the case of another war with the US, while France hopes to aid Texas as a sort of revenge against allowing the Bourbon 'rebels' to establish their own state, for soon after their independence they diplomatically annexed Santo Domingo (Haiti) in exchange for protection from any attempt to reconquer them by France. However, both of these nations are also hesitent to support a slave owning nation, and so their support is usually given along with pleas or demands to renounce slavery.

Texas, for its part, does not seek war with the US, and instead establishes a friendly relationship with it and the neighboring Kingdom of Bourbon. This close relationship with Europe sees large numbers of immigrants coming to the open land of Texas, including numbers of French protestants who land in New Orleans before heading west. While the slave owners in Texas balk at the close ties with the source of their trouble, Bourbon, economic realities soon prevail. In 1842, Texas signs a treaty with the european powers and Bourbon abolishing slavery, which leads to riots in many towns but closer ties with Europe. Soon the economies of both Texas and Bourbon benefit as European governments begin to send traders on the longer journey to the free states of Bourbon and Texas, and in turn immigration jumps for both states (Bourbon also sees its population increasing from a steady stream of escaped slaves headed west).

The US also sees a rise in immigation as they spread further west, mostly from Germanic peoples fleeing the wars there. The Irish also begin to arive, fleeing British prosecution, and sentiment towards the immigrants is mixed in the US. The Germans mainly stay in closeknit families and large groups before heading to the west, while the Irish are viewed as also having suffered from 'British Tyranny'. These immigrants also help to repopulate and rebuild New York city, which competes with New Orleans for European immigrants. The vast tracks of land available out west entice many Europeans who grew up landless, and the northern portions of America enjoy a booming economy in the 1850s as cheap labour from immigrants and freed slaves heading north pack the factories.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln becomes president, and his vocal demands for the US to "embrace the free, modern world" by abolishing slavery lead to a Civil War as the Confederate States of America rejected these demands and insisted on states rights within the federation. The American Civil War gave no real chance to the agrarian south, where the regions to the east of the Mississippi River had seen a severe economic downturn in response to fleeing slaves. Indeed, many Confederate Militias found themselves forced to loose men to guard the plantations on which the confederate lively hood depended.

The United States announced a complete and total blockade of the Confederacy, but found it hard to enforce as Bourbon allowed confederate cotton to be shiped out of New Orleans under Bourbon's flag (for a cut of the profit, of course). This uninteruped flow of money was a godsend for the Confederacy, giving them economic clout in Europe. Their military victories on the field were impressive as well, and both the UK and France took an interest in seeing the Confederacy become independent. Arms and equipment began to enter the Confederacy through New Orleans, while in the north anti-war sentiment began to grow, especially amongst those who felt that dying for abolition was not in their best interests. After 2 years of war, with no real gains by the Union army, the United States finally declared that all ships coming into or out of New Orleans would be searched, and all contraband and weapons would be seized by the US government.

In Europe, this action was met with angry denouncments of the US government by the merchants and governments who favored the south. They refused to cave to US demands, and on August 1st, 1862 a British trading vessel was fired upon and captured by the Union navy when it refused to stop and be searched. In response the UK declared war on the United States at the "breach of sovereignty". Accross the US, there was a second rallying cry against "Anglo Agression", and soon the recruits began to flow back in. The Union armies facing the Confederacy were reduced as men advanced north into Canadian territory. Canada posseses some of the harshest terrain, and the advance at the begining of fall was difficult going, but the experienced Union forces quickly overwhelmed the outnumbered Canadian militias and British garrisons, utilizing the fortifications build a half century ago to supply their advance and guard their rear.

Quebec nationalists, inspired by Bourbon's independence and hoping to gain support from the US, announced their own idependence from Canada, a mini-civil war erupting amongst the French speaking portions of Canada. With Canada threatened severely by the advancing Union armies, the UK was thrown into a rush of frantic activity. The government had severely underestimated the readiness of the US' military, and how their declaration of war might backfire by inspiring US citizens to enlist. They were able to scrape together a force and set sail for the US as soon as possible, but were beset by a lack of supplies and overcrowded ships. Off the Canadian coast, the vulnerable transports were seperated from their escorts in a storm, and stumbled into the Union Navy. Many of the ships were destroyed by the Unions warships before the large Royan Navy detachment could return, and thousands of British soldiers were lost.

Heaving occupied large swathes of Canada, but unable to break through any deeper into Confederate territory due to the 2-front war, Lincoln found himself in a desperate position in the 1864 election. The Confederates were able to recieve arms again due to the need to send ships north to figh the Royal Navy, the French had recently declared their support for the Confederacy (with the demands that it recognize Maximillian I as Emperor of Mexico) and were landing troops in Veracruz. The American people had grown weary of war, and even the fight against the hated British was not enough to keep them going. General Grants successful operations in the north were little consolation to a people demoralized by General Lee's ability to counter every Union thrust into the south. McClellan's Democrats scored a decisive victory after news of another Union defeat in Virginia days before the election. The Confederates were likewise sick of the war. They had been able to defeat the Union armies every time, but still had still lost territory and many of their soldiers were dead or captured. The home front was in a shambles, and people wanted peace. West Virginia, Missouri and Kentucky were solidly Union, along with a large strip of land in northern Virginia, while Union forces had pushed their way into Tennessee and Arkansas. Without consulting their European allies, the Confederate States and United States began discussing peace terms, and the United States was forced to aknowledge the Confederate States as a soveriegn nation, but the Confederacy lost territory, ceding parts of northern Virginia, and any claims on Missouri, Kentucky, or West Virginia.

Dismayed by the news that their ally had settled with the USA, France reacted quickly by offering peace with the US in exchange for their recognition of Maximillian I as Emperor of Mexico, which they agreed to readily. The UK, with Canada captured and the war growing more unpopular at home, were soon found without any allies against the US, who were now freed from blockading southern ports or stationing armies in the south. Parliment decided to settle with the US, whose demands were steep: Quebec would become independent, with its borders drawn by the US, while the US would recieve much of Canada's mostly empty western provinces.

Canada had lost most of its land in the war, but still retained control over its most populated regions (sans Quebec). Anger at the US was widespread, along with disapointment at how the UK had treated their Canadian brothers. But most of their anger was reserved for the French-Canadians, who they felt had stabbed Canada in the back and had sabotaged any chance of victory. In a few incidents French-speaking Canadien and English-speaking Canadians began to attack one another, usually with whichever group was in the majority forcing out those in the minority. English speakers fled to the rest of Canada while the French speakers headed for the Quebec border. Many towns were divided by the strife that followed Quebec's independence.

The Mexican territory of California met the news of Maximillian taking power with anger and distrust. The Mexican government had been able to retain control over their rebellious provinces in the wake of Texas' independence, but the reprisals against those who had revolted in 1846 had left lots of bad blood. Seeing their chance, the Republic of California declared itself an independence state June 9th, 1866. The locals had spent months stockpiling small arms and secretly training militias, helped as they were by a flow of veterans coming west in search of gold. But it was all for nothing as the Mexican government, already pressed by the French-backed Maximillian's forces, was unable to respond militarily. Californian forces were in control of the Baja California peninsula and north, using the Colorado river as their border. Angry over the US' support for Maximillian, the California Republic turned down the petitions to join the United States, as more Mexicans fleeing Maximillian's forces fled to the southern parts of the Republic and did not want to be part of any nation that supported the unpopular Emperor. Indeed, the gold rush was then in full swing, and most of the Republic's government were loathe to see any taxes payed to the US government instead of into their coffers. Its population swelled with immigrants and gold seekers, and when Emperor Maximillian finally was placed on the Mexican throne he was told by the French that they would not support any effort of his to retake lost territories like Texas, California or Deseret.

Deseret, formed by the Mormons who had fled west to found their own land, had been a semi-autonomous portion of Mexico for many years. The Mexican government had allowed them some self-rule in a bid to keep them from revolting like Texas had, and both sides had benefited. Mexico gained some taxes from the residents who lived there while the Mormons were free to practice their religion as they wished. Most local decisions were in their hands, and they had grown self-reliant.

The Mormons had slowly grown distant from Mexico, but had refused to join the United States before the Civil War due to the existence of slavery there and the laws that would be enacted against Mormon religious practices like polygamy. But when Maximillian became Emperor, Deseret followed California's example and declared itself an independent state. It found itself economically linked with California and the United States as those travelling west often came through Mormon territory, which in turn helped fill their coffers as hotels and bars sprung up to cater to the non-mormon travellers.

The Confederate States of America, having suffered through the blockade and war, were suffering severe economic setbacks as the century progressed. The debt they had accrued during the war was still there, and the problems in keeping slaves in chains was mounting. Most nations were now very vocal in demanding the CSA abolish slavery, and both England and France were using the debt owed them as a barganing chip. The slaves themselves were growing more restless, and aid shipped to them from staunch abolitionists in the North saw some of the bloodiest slave revolts in American history. By 1870, the CSA finally caved in, and abolished slavery. Large numbers of freed men soon fled the CSA to the open land of the west, or to find jobs in the booming industrial sector of the north. Many whites in the south, furious over having fought to keep slavery only to see it abolished by their own south, joined radical hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan to scare blacks away, or to keep them from seeking political representation or better jobs that these groups had decided were "too good" for negroes. While they had gained their freedom from bondage, they were by no means the equals of whites: legally or economically.

Nearing the end of the century, the USA's economy was booming. Larger influxes of immigrants were pouring in from across Europe, including southern and eastern Europe. Factories were being built rapidly, and technological innovation was driving the US forwards. They had managed to connect Seattle to New York by rail, and were now building rail-lines up into the US's new states of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and American Columbia. The US suffered from the loss of the souther states, but the economic realities were that the CSA was dependent on the USAs larger economic base and merchant fleet. Suffering as it was in the post-war period, the CSA was slow to build heavy industry and still relied on foriegn shipping to transport their goods. It would take a long while to switch from an agrarian economy to an industrialized one.

Deseret was also mostly an agrarian society, living off of a service economy and from small farming communities. The population was small, as the land was not the most fertile and most people who travelled through Deseret were travelling onto California and not looking to stop.

California was a great success. Large swaths of rich farming land, mass immigration from those seeking to strike it rich through finding gold, and an increasing industrial base. The growing importance of trade with Asia was also beneficial, as California became the major stop for American trade with Asia.

Texas and Bourbon were also doing well. They had profited from the American Civil War through trade, and Texas had seen a great rise in industry. The cattle raised in its northern parts were feeding the big cities of the USA, while the factories near its ports utilized the CSA cotton and other goods for trade with the rest of the world. Bourbon's wealth still depended almost entirely on New Orleans and the Mississippi. Collecting tolls and tariffs were very important to its economy, but New Orleans use in recent years had begun to decrease as more ports were being developed and the use of rail transportation overtook the Mississippi's role of getting goods to the ports.

Canada and Quebec were both still suffering from the war, and both were dependent on their coresponding sponsors. Canada found it distasteful but necessary to trade with the US, while Quebec found itself benefiting greatly from the USA's patronage.

Based off of a Wiki free-use map that I altered and colored, adding in flags for the different nations. Feel free to alter this and us it yourself, if you want.
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:iconceciliaart:
CeciliaArt Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
This just fascinates me:D (Big Grin) 
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:icontamoshanty:
tamoshanty Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
What's "Deseret?"
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:iconkodaik-69:
Kodaik-69 Featured By Owner May 10, 2014
Mormans LDS Church
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:iconvladstronsy:
vladstronsy Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2012  Student Digital Artist
. . . . Screw it, I'm going back to Scotland.
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:icondaemonofdecay:
DaemonofDecay Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Lovely countryside, dangerous cities.
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:iconvladstronsy:
vladstronsy Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Nice quiet islands to.
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:iconsakraida82:
Sakraida82 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2012
I find this interesting, but I do have One big disagreement and that's the slow industrialization of the south. In four years of war in the real world the south industrialized to being twice as industrial as they were and that's with the stress of war and everything else. Hell they built in half a year one of the largest gunpowder mills in the world. (Augusta Powder Works were I believe the 3rd largest gunpowder factory in the world in 1863) The inventiveness of the south during the war is often ignored, and I think that their ability to industrialize especially I think that with Judah Benjamin as their Secretary of State he would be able to weasel some financial support from the British for freeing the slaves.

Also remember the huge dip in the Southern economy in the 1870's was the destruction of their infastructure during the war. Something that never happened in your war. So those industrial sectors that they built for the war never got destroyed So they would even have miore of a leg up.

And also the Freemen back to Africa I think is what civilized southeners would probably go for. Send them back would be prevalent and such. (Something already popular in the north before the war.)

Sorry, I know this is your world, but I think this does have some interesting twists that are actually rather well thought out and I just want to show my disagreement with as much thought.
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:icondaemonofdecay:
DaemonofDecay Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2012
Thanks, and good post!

However, one thing is that industrialization in the north was driven in large part by immigration, which provided a booming population to fill the factories. The south was very much determined to preserve slavery and, when if it were forced to abolish it, would have preserved slavery in all but name. Racism, like agriculture, wasn't just an economic institution but a cultural one in the south. Wealthy white southerners were not very quick to embrace industrialization until the war forced them to change.

And with the south still forced to keep blacks as a class of "slaves-in-all-but-name", there is little to draw European immigrants there to compete for jobs. If you were Irish, or Italian, or German, etc., you'd want to go to a place where you could find employment. But if they went to the CSA they would be competing for jobs with blacks who were going to be paid less. Not only that, but the CSA was pretty confident in "King Cotton" and underestimated the dependence other nations had on their agricultural output. For the wealthy of the south, there was little desire to be anything but plantation owners.

There were always exceptions, of course, but the south would have been slow to industrialize compared to the north for a number of reasons, mostly being immigration, stark racial divisions, and a very conservative (if not reactionary) class of wealthy leaders. Would it have experienced industrial growth? Certainly - it wouldn't be as eager to see all its crops sent to northern mills, after all. But those things take time, and they are slowed greatly when one is trying to keep a large fraction of the population in chains, legal or literal.

I also don't think there would be to much call for sending recently freed blacks back to Africa. After all, the southern economy was dependent upon labor that most whites felt was beneath them - even a poor white man wouldn't want to do a "n***er's job" like picking cotton. Slavery and its cultural aftershocks were ingrained into the southern mentality - many whites felt they were above doing work that was traditionally left to slaves. That might change with time, but it wouldn't be quick, not when the same men who had fought for the CSA were still alive and running things.

Now, what you might see is the CSA force freedmen who 'agitate' for greater equality to be deported back to Africa. But the south would not be eager to loose its cheap labor pool. The south was dominated by slavery, and even after being "freed" the south would still be a tragically divided place with great racial and social divisions. Nations suffering such great divides (like Russia, the Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, etc.) were generally slower to industrialize than freer more liberal societies.

Would the CSA industrialize? Yes. Certainly so. But with less immigration, no room for territorial expansion, and a antebellum society left intact afterwards, the south would see little need to change drastically. The south was masterful at creating the best solutions it could during the war, but then they had a war to fight and wars always do give impetus to such actions. The south, riding on the crest of victory, wouldn't see any need to change - after all, it would want to protect what had 'obviously' helped them win the war.

In the end, at least in my opinion, the CSA would never compete with the north in terms of economic and industrial growth.

But regardless of the disagreement, I enjoyed your post greatly!
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:iconsakraida82:
Sakraida82 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013
Okie I am going to respond to this in sections. Each will be to part of your argument and also to part of what I left out before.

1. Southern Culture

Well I think you make it sound like the South was one giant agreement with the slavery issue and that all of the cultures of the south were all "wealthy planter" based.

In actuality while the wealthy planter base of the South did help start the war, the longer the Confederacy was in existence you see many of the yeoman class taking government power. The Old South type of thinking that you are basing this all on is actually mostly gone by the end of 1862. The Confederacy of 1864 is LIGHT YEARS different from the Confederacy of 1861. In fact the movement from Montgomery to Richmond is mostly a way of Davis's government to get out of the thumb of the radicals who help start the division in 1860.

The Antebellum South dies much earlier in the war than most people realize. The government that was created by President Davis and his cabinet was very pragmatic. And in actuality the Confederate Government overthrew many of the defining tenants of the Old South to fight the war.

If what you said was true "Conscription" "Taxing" Impressment of Slaves for the Common Good. All of these would have never occurred under the "Old Antebellum South." Ergo that "culture" of the wealthy planters that have so much influence in your argument in real history they lost that culture earlier in the war then even I realized until I did some research recently.

2. Southern Industrialization

Now would they industrialize as much as the North. OH hell no I never said they would. But, dependent on the US for it's merchant marine? The CSA would rather die than do that. Switch it to Great Britain and I am 100% in agreement. The dependency on the USA would be very limited. Remember by 1864 the South made enough food, clothes, and ammunition for the war effort. Why did Southern Soldiers starve? Because of the destruction of the rail system. There were literally boxes of food rotting on railroad depots while Confederate soldier's starved.

And freed second class citizen freemen would be the resource. Immigrants work cheap and are the backbone of the industrial sector. Former slaves could be the same thing in the South. Unrealistic? Look at what Colonel Rains was able to create in Augusta, Georgia in the middle of the war. With little money, a few slaves, and female workers he was able to build the largest gunpowder mill in the world. IN THE WORLD!!!! And that was in 1 year.

And with a separate country to the south honestly do you think that the North or the West would allow former slaves to rush up there? No. That's totally unrealistic. The North was as racist as the south during that time period. Even Lincoln who wanted to free the slaves, believed that they were inferior to white people. Yeah they never tell you that about Lincoln. The Civil War was a war between two racist countries, one just believed differently on how to handle the other group. The USA would react the same way that we react to Mexicans crossing the border.

3. Slave Revolts

Also the whole the abolitionists would send arms and help to slaves to rebel and force slave revolts. How come you don't mention the South sending agitators to the Irish and oppressed immigrants in the North. Even without Southern intervention the North has some of it's bloodiest labor riots right after the civil war. Immigrants are treat, lets be honest here, a little better than slaves. And some not better at all considering company stores and being paid in script or fake cash. The idea that the Confederacy wouldn't take advantage of that? Even without their help you have the New York Riots of 1863. Slaves are a powder keg in the South. Immigrants are a powder keg in the North.

4. War Winning

Yes, but in this reality the South won the war only because of the help of foreign intervention. If you look at all of the diplomats for the Confederacy during the Civil War, Yancy, Benjamin and other names I cant remember off the top of my head. They are all moderates. They aren't wealthy planters. They are businessman, people who reluctantly joined the movement of secession because it seemed like the better of the two bad options. * Secession or kneel to the Northern Abolitionists*

The idea I am getting is that you are basing your argument on the idea of what the Confederacy thought it was throughout the war. Rather than what it actually was by the middle of the war. You are more seeing the CSA of 1861 rather than the CSA of 1863. Would they have financial problems. Yes, they had alot of trouble creating an economy, the same as the US in the 1780's. Would industrilization be slower? Yes it would.

Would the CSA be dependent economically on the USA? Uh no, no way. On Great Britain, yes. On France. Yes.

And in 1914 on the eve of WWI Russia was the fastest developing industrial power in the world. It was smaller just because it started so late.And the US had tons of divides and industrialization created even more divides because of class rather than race. If it wasnt for the division of ethnic ties, the US would have had a communist revolution. It came very close in the latter half of the 19th century.

And there was no hope as long as the war lasted longer than a year of the south ever preserving the antebellum society. It was crushed by the very creation of the Confederate state. I recently did research on this, and even more am I sure that the very creation of a southern government destroyed any hope of preserving everything they were fighting for. It's a strange dichotomy really.
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner May 30, 2012
Do you even know anything about history?

The "Kingdom of Bourbon"? Really? If it was the Kingdom of Louisana, it'd be semi-believable but "Kingdom of Bourbon". The Bourbons were a DYNASTY, not a geographical area. I know it seems strange but try looking at some sort of reference when you make maps. Even Wikipedia for god's sake would be better than what you did, which was apparently smoke meth and then open MS paint.

I was going to write a lengthier rant, castigating you for your fecklessness, lack of intelligence and general deliberate ignorance and probably low morals but then I decided not to. It wouldn't be worth the time since it appears some people can't be redeemed.
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