Fourah Bay College [FN1]
Freetown, Sierra Leone [FN2]
30 April 1962
"We will begin," said Professor Berthan Macaulay [FN3], "with last
week's assignment. I trust you all have read it, although I won't
examine that trust too closely." He waited for the polite laughter
and continued. "Perhaps you can start us off, Mr. Samuels, by
telling me exactly why I gave that assignment. And no, 'because it
was relevant' won't do."
"Because you wanted us to analyze historical documents?" Samuels
"A valuable skill, document analysis," Macaulay agreed. "One of
the historian's most effective tools. _Finding_ the documents is
another valuable skill, which I likewise wanted you to learn. But
I'm afraid the answer I'm looking for is more specific. Why did I
assign those _particular_ documents?"
"Because they show how demographics can affect politics?"
"Very good, Mr. Samuels. At least, I certainly assigned them to
show how a particular demographic factor can affect politics. I
believe you will agree that it is a factor particularly relevant
to many parts of the African continent. What is it, Mr. Smith?"
"I would guess that it's settlement."
"That would certainly be a sound guess, given the countries whose
records I assigned. The Cape Kingdom, Natal, the Gold Republics
and Victoria - all of them nations marked by a pattern of
settlement from abroad. Perhaps you can tell us, Mr. Smith, why
they have continued on such different paths, and how the documents
I assigned might help explain the roads they have taken."
"I'm not sure," admitted Smith. "Although, from the census records
you assigned, it seems that the percentage of settlers in the
population of each country played a part..."
"Ah! Now we're on to something. There are other factors that can
be obtained from the census records, and we'll get to them later,
but that was the one I was hoping you'd see. Now, Mr. Taylor,
perhaps you can explicate the effect this factor has had."
Taylor rose to his feet. "In the Cape, nearly all the people are
descended from settlers..."
"Go on, Mr. Taylor."
"...which might explain why there has been so little racial tension
compared to the other settler states. The original population has
been almost entirely assimilated through intermarriage, to the
point where more than half of all Cape citizens were described as
Coloured in the 1950 census. In Victoria and the Gold Republics,
the white population is smaller, and there is a much more rigid
dividing line between the races..."
"Very good. I can see that my trust in this class may even have
been justified, at least for today. I'd like to expand on what you
just said, though. You mentioned that the Gold Republics and
Victoria have smaller settler populations than the Cape, which is
quite correct. It's also significant, I believe, that the white
population in all those countries is a _minority_. Mr. Gray, what
is the significance of that?"
"They can't allow democracy," Gray answered. "At least not if they
want to keep on ruling."
"Very, very good. Hence the nearly impossible income qualification
for black voters in Victoria [FN4], and the outright denial of the
franchise in the Gold Republics with exceptions that are too few to
matter. Nevertheless, Victoria and the Gold Republics are not in
the same condition today, are they, Mr. Heath?"
"There isn't any large-scale rebellion in Victoria..."
"No, there isn't. In the Gold Republics, there is or shortly will
be - and in several of them, the rebels have made considerable
gains. Does this mean, then, that some minorities have more
staying power than others?"
"I'd say so. Victoria is 27 percent white, while none of the Gold
Republics is over 10 percent. It's easier to overwhelm the whites
in the Gold Republics."
"Ah. Then you predict victory for the rebels in Alberta?" [FN5]
"I guess so. It certainly does look as if time is on their side,
given the white emigration rates of the past few years."
"Yes, the vicious cycle," Macaulay said. "It's good to see you can
get more from the census data than numbers. Maybe I'm teaching you
the tools of the trade after all. But yes, as the whites' position
becomes worse, more and more of them leave, which makes their
position even more untenable. We return to you, Mr. Gray. Where
do they go?"
"Wherever they can?" Gray ventured. The class' laughter at his
sally was considerably more genuine than at any of Macaulay's, and
earned him an old-fashioned look from the professor.
"Mr. Gray's inartful words are perhaps correct," he said. "The
emigrant Goldies, to use the vernacular, do go where they can -
Australia, South America, even the CNA. Most of them, though, go
to Victoria, which has begun to recruit them quite actively. Can
anyone tell me why?"
He looked around the classroom, ignoring Amália Gutierrez' raised
hand. It was Macaulay's firm opinion, often expressed in class,
that women had no business going to college, and he made it a point
never to call on them. Especially not if they were Mexican boat
people who adulterated the King's English with barbarous Spanish
neologisms - something Gutierrez did less than many other Mexicans,
but more than enough to annoy Macaulay. [FN6]
"Are there any volunteers? No? Then I refer you to another fact
that is apparent from the census records - the relative birth rates
of the black and white populations. The white Victorians _need_
immigrants simply to maintain their share of the population - and
with Victoria's standard of living declining relative to Europe and
the Americas, the Gold Republics are their primary source. Now, if
nobody has anything else to add, we'll move on. For our next
meeting, though, I would like you to focus specifically on
Victoria, and write a brief essay on the relationship between
Goldie immigration and the Victoria United Party's presence in the
governing coalition for the first time since..."
"Excuse me, Profesór, I do have something to add."
Macaulay stared at Gutierrez, stunned by her shocking breach of
classroom etiquette. "May I remind you, Miss Gutierrez, that the
stress in the word 'professor' is on the _second_ syllable, and
you've lived here quite long enough to know that. If you must
have your say, though, please do so in something resembling
English, and be quick about it."
"It occurs to me, Professor, that you left one country out."
"And which one might that be, Miss Gutierrez?"
"This one." She waited for a response, and got none. "Actually,
the pattern seems quite clear. Creole settlers, thirty percent of
the population. Tribesmen, sixty-five. [FN7] The creoles are
quite aware of what democracy will do to them, y the fact that
fertility is on the tribes' side. Y while they can't get Goldies,
they're perfectly capable of bringing in Mexican negritos."
"It's hardly fair to compare this country to Victoria, Miss
Gutierrez. The tribes aren't disenfranchised..."
"Literacy test or income qualification - it doesn't really make any
difference from their point of view, does it? The examiners failed
_me_ - do you really think a tribesman could pass?"
"Given the level of literacy you've demonstrated in this class,
Miss Gutierrez, I'd say they were quite justified."
"That might be. But you're right about one thing - this country
isn't like Victoria. At least when the Victorians recruit
immigrants, they treat them like human beings..."
"I think we've heard quite enough from you, Miss Gutierrez."
"Oh, you haven't heard from me at all. But go on, Profesór, it's
your class..." [FN8]
[FN1] In OTL, Fourah Bay College is the oldest university in sub-
Saharan Africa, founded in 1827. Although it is post-POD, it is
IMO plausible for it to be founded, and to have the same name, in
the FANTL. Given that the Sierra Leone colony was founded as a
refuge for freedmen and was one of the few places in the early
19th century where colonial ideology included the education and
uplifting of the native population, it is likely that a college
will be founded fairly early. Fourah Bay is just outside the
capital, near the early missionary centers, and is a natural
[FN2] The British naval base at Freetown was founded just before
the POD. The resettlement of freed slaves in Sierra Leone began
soon after the POD, and is likely to proceed relatively unchanged
in the FANTL given that the RN will still oppose the slave trade.
In fact, Sierra Leone in the FANTL is somewhat larger than its
OTL counterpart, including some of the territory of OTL Liberia.
[FN3] In OTL, a distinguished Sierra Leone attorney and former
attorney general now practicing in Jamaica (with whom I am
personally acquainted). The Macaulays are one of the oldest creole
families in Sierra Leone; it's entirely possible that there would
be Macaulays in Freetown in the FANTL.
[FN4] At this point in time, more than a decade before the events
in _Victoria's Secret_, less than four percent of black Victorians
qualified for the franchise.
[FN5] Alberta occupies the equivalent of northern and western
Transvaal in OTL, and has one of the smallest white populations of
any Gold Republic.
[FN6] According to Sobel, 20,000 black Mexicans emigrated to Africa
under the auspices of the "Homeland Society" after 1945. (Sobel
actually uses the word "returned," but the Afro-Mexican migration
was only a "return" in the same sense as Jewish immigration to
Israel or Volksdeutsch immigration to Germany.) He doesn't say
where they went, but an English-speaking country like Sierra Leone
would be attractive to them - and they would be attractive to a
creole ruling class struggling to maintain its dominance against
the tribal majority.
[FN7] In OTL, creoles form 10 percent of the population of Sierra
Leone. The higher ratio in the FANTL is due to the fact that
several tens of thousands of North American slaves were resettled
there in the 1830s through sponsored emigration programs rather
than going to Liberia. This was enough to have a substantial
effect on the population balance, given that Sierra Leone's total
population at the time was no more than 500,000.
[FN8] If this vignette seems a bit dry, it's because I'm setting
the stage for further drama in the late 1970s and early 1980s.