|Part of Timeline-191|
|22x20px Spain||22x20px Empire of Japan|
After the victory of the Confederate States of America in the American Civil War (called the War of Secession in the novel and lasted from 1861–1862), the southern states became independent with the support of Great Britain and France. Then, they tried to expand their territories to the south, pressuring Spain into yielding her colony of Cuba. This little-explained event finalized one year in the 1870s with the Confederacy's acquisition of Cuba (which would become a new state of the Confederacy in the future). It is possible, though unlikely, that the purchase came after a short war lost by Spain. Nevertheless, Spain was able to retain the government of Puerto Rico and her other colonies.
Later, the weakening of the Spanish empire and the confused politics in the country attracted the attention of Japan (which had just obtained Chosun and Formosa from China) to the Spanish colonies located near her in the East Indies. This led to a confrontation around the turn of the 20th century (although the year is never specified) between the two countries, that ended with a Japanese victory and the occupation of the Philippines, Guam, Palau, the Carolines, and the Mariana Islands by Japan.
The war is notorious for an event that occurred after the Japanese conquered Manila: the brutal treatment of Spanish prisoners that was witnessed by a U.S. writer named Richard Harding Davis, who later wrote an account of the atrocities that made his name famous across the USA.
Finally, the success of Japan convinced the Russian Empire to not take issue with the Japanese influence over Korea and China. Thus, the Russian Fleet did not (as it did in reality) abandon its bases in the Baltic Sea, and the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 never occurred.
In other novels Edit
The alternate history novel Fuego sobre San Juan (2000) of Spanish writers Pedro A. García Bilbao and Javier Fernández also describes a war in the Philippines between Spain and Japan, but not under this name. The situation is different than Turtledove's novel: in Fuego sobre San Juan, the action is set in 1912 and both the Spanish-American War and the Russo-Japanese War occurred, but Spain defeated the US (not divided in Union and Confederation like in Timeline-191) in 1898.