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Film / C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America

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"If you're going to tell people the truth, you better make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."
George Bernard Shaw, presented before the film starts.

"I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the Confederate States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all... white people. Amen."
The Pledge Of Allegiance in the CSA

2004 independent film produced as a Mockumentary and released by Hodcarrier Films, presented as a British documentary airing on Confederate television for the first time. It depicts an Alternate History where the Confederacy not only won The American Civil War but grew in power and conquered the North as well, and focuses on the socioeconomic ramifications of such a world. Aiding this telling are several false newsreels, film clips, and even some real historical paintings and pictures.

Since it's supposedly airing on television, there are also faux commercial breaks advertising things like Confederate versions of American TV shows and extremely racist products that you'd think were made up. Incredibly, as revealed in the credits, the majority of them actually once existed during certain decades right here in Real Life. The CSA documentary is indicated to have been produced by the British Broadcasting Service, likely the in-universe version of the BBC.


This film provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The website has a timeline that gives some info that wasn't in the movie.
  • Alternate History: A definite Level IV on the Sliding Scale of Alternate History Plausibility. The creator openly admits that it fails as a work of alternate history, because his goal was to make a point about modern American race relations.
  • Alternate History Wank:
    • An unusual case. Although the Confederacy's presented in a strong negative light, it still manages to become a dominant world power and conquers one of the largest empires in human history, capturing most of Central America and the entire continent of South America with far less effort and expenditure than would realistically be expected.
    • Canada becomes to this universe what the USA is to the real one — culturally and economically dominant on the world stage, and rapidly outstripping the Confederacy militarily as well.
    • Advertisement:
    • As mentioned in Historical Villain Upgrade, this version of the C.S.A. paints a picture of an entire nation obsessed with the idea of slavery and white supremacy, even after the war. While white supremacy a very common sentiment even after the war, many historians theorize that slavery was unlikely to last much longer in the South, between political pressure from other nationsnote  and the Industrial Revolution introducing new, cheaper and much less labor-intensive methods of agriculture, of which the Confederacy's economy primarily survived upon.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • Disturbingly, a lot of the fake commercials advertise racist products that once were real after the Civil War. In the North.
    • Abraham Lincoln gives a video interview in 1905, complete with sound. According to Kevin Willmott on the DVD commentary, 1905 was a year in which some of the earliest experiments with film and audio synchronization were made, and the quality is obviously as poor as one would expect for the turn of the century.
    • Kennedy's televised debate speech about slavery and freedom? That was his actual speech.
    • The program started by the C.S.A. to "train" Native Americans to act civilized was inspired by actual programs in the U.S., Canada, and Australia that took children from their families, put them in boarding schools whose aim was to take the "Native out of the Native" by teaching them that their cultural roots were primitive and evil. Even if they rejected their roots, they were not seen as civilized people, but more like trained animals that could act civilized.
    • The C.S.A.'s increasingly authoritarian and anti-democratic turn was indeed mirrored by the Confederacy itself over the course of the Civil War, where embraced increasingly reactionary and authoritarian ideas, up to and including theocracy and monarchism, as it continued, likely as a reaction towards the increasingly-desperate war effort as an attempt by the government to retain control of their quickly-falling apart nation.
    • There are many stories of white supremacists like Fauntroy V discovering they have black ancestry.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Does John Ambrose Fauntroy V have black ancestry or not? The only answer viewers get is that his test results proved 'negative', but what negative means is not made clear. Judging by John's reaction though (he commits suicide before the test's even finished), he does indeed.
  • An Aesop:
    • Racism is bad, obviously. As well as slavery.
    • Diversity is the lifeblood of a healthy culture. Without it, your culture will stagnate and leave nothing to show for itself.
    • Staying true to your heritage is one thing, but using "heritage" as an excuse to stay in power and oppress anyone who isn't like you is a fast road to unrestricted tyranny.
    • A society whose culture is determined solely by those in charge is not a healthy society at all.
  • Artistic License – History:
    • The movie depicts the C.S.A. using the Confederate battle flag as its national flag after winning the Civil War, when it might make more sense for it to be using either the second or third national flag of the C.S.A.; the second had a pure white field and used the battle flag as its canton, while the third simply added a vertical red bar on the outside of the field. Because the public in real life largely forgot about the national flags of the Confederacy when the war was over, while the Battle Flag became the famous symbol of Southern and Confederate pride that it is today, the filmmakers may have decided that the Battle Flag flying over the White House or planted on the moon would be more recognizable and shocking to modern viewers. If anything, it's one of the least implausible counterfactuals presented by the film.
    • The CSA is shown being friendly with Nazi Germany, but turning a cold shoulder to them when they learn that they plan to exterminate Europe's Jews rather than enslave them. While Jews were killed in pogroms (such as Kristallnacht) by the Nazis during the 1930s, the official policy was harassment and forceful emigration. They did not settle on a policy of industrial genocide until 1942. In addition, the Nazis did use Jews and other minorities as slave labor during the war.
    • One of the main plot points of the movie is that the CSA, after winning Gettysburg, went on to annex the Union completely; such an idea was considered far-fetched by Confederate leaders at the time, even if Gettysburg was won, since even with outside support the Confederacy had nowhere near the manpower or industrial power to fight a protracted war of attrition. The whole point of the battle was twofold; first, to essentially give the Union a bloody nose and make them consider backing down and negotiating terms (not of surrender but of armistice), and secondly to demonstrate to the world that the CSA was capable of independence and hopefully win some foreign support to back up their position.note 
  • As the Good Book Says...: The Confederates use some (carefully selected) quotes from The Bible to support their practices of slavery and racism. Depressingly true during the actual Antebellum period.
  • Big Bad: Each John Ambrose Fauntroy, as they head a family dynasty that's considered "American royalty" and are responsible for all the political and cultural direction undertaken by the Confederacy. For instance, it was the influence of the first John Ambrose Fauntroy that resulted in the North embracing slavery.
  • Big Good: Canada and its various leaders have become the staunchest opponents of the Confederacy, refusing to extradite slaves, and becoming an asylum for the Confederacy's political opponents.
  • Blackface: Given the racial attitudes, white actors in blackface remain a common sight in the CSA (although black actors still exist to some degree). Also, Lincoln apparently donned blackface when on the run.
  • Burger Fool: Coon Chicken Inn, the CSA's version of KFC (and, like other products in the film, an actual place).
  • Canada, Eh?: Inverted. Since many of those responsible for what we think of as American culture (from Mark Twain to Elvis Presley) are forced into Canada due to Confederate morality laws, it essentially becomes the America of this world—the heart of global popular culture.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: It's actually specifically noted that there was much debate before Catholicism was declared Christian, allowing them to stay in the fiercely Protestant CSA.
  • Les Collaborateurs: Jefferson Davis' slave, Popsy, gave him the idea of encouraging Northerners to own slaves. The slave trade was brought back during the Great Depression with the help of African heads of state. Patricia Johnson gets very...quiet when talking about the latter.
  • Content Warnings: Because CSA (the in-universe documentary) is so controversial from the Confederate perspective, Channel 6 puts up this Viewer Discretion Advised disclaimer:
    The following program is of foreign origin. The content does not reflect the views of this station and may be unsuitable for children and servants. Viewer Discretion is advised.
  • Crapsack World: The CSA, if you're of any nationality apart from those considered white, and even then you can be accused of "passing". Just ask John Ambrose Fauntroy V. But if you're European-American, life in the CSA would most likely have been pretty swell ... assuming you were a full-blooded conservative heterosexual traditionalist male, that is.
  • Creator Cameo: Director Kevin Willmott provides some voiceover readings of historical quotes.
  • Culture Police: The repression of black music and those inspired by such, due to Confederate culture laws, end up making American culture stupid and boring, while Canada benefits as mentioned above.
  • Deconstruction: The film shows how racism is a horrible foundation on which to build society. While the Confederate States survives into the 21st century, it has become a pariah state with a vapid culture and a declining economy. Canada, a nation that embraces diversity and human capital, manages to prosper and is even outstripping the Confederate States, despite having far less population and land. Even the beneficiaries of that racist system are done when they themselves are accused of carrying "Negro" blood, regardless of whether this claim is true.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Aside from the extreme racism and the owning of people as property, the CSA is also incredibly misogynistic, with women not being allowed to vote and domestic violence being encouraged by In-Universe propaganda.
  • Domestic Abuse: One of Fauntroy's "educational films" features a housewife advising women to always defer to their husbands even when they drink and "give them a fatherly smack."
  • Driven to Suicide: John Ambrose Fauntroy V, after he's accused of having a trace of black ancestry. The film never makes it clear whether negative means "negative white" or "negative black". Also, earlier in the film, the Newsbreak segment happened to mention common errors in DNA tests conducted by the Department of Racial Identity which could lead citizens to question who they really are.
  • Eagleland Osmosis: Averted as, thanks to the CSA's cultural crackdown over any and every influence that isn't "pure white", American culture never evolves beyond "extensions of government propaganda". Imagine an America with no jazz, blues, soul, or rock 'n' roll. Heinous.note 
  • The Empire: By the documentary's present day, the CSA appears to have successfully conquered the majority of Central and South America, in addition to possessing all territory the United States holds in real life. The CSA also conquered Japan, and according to extra materials, also controls much of Southeast Asia and, soon, all of the Middle East. By square mileage, this would make the CSA the largest (or second-largest) empire in human history.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: John Ambrose Fauntroy V's campaign ad shows him as a devoted father.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The CSA turns a cold shoulder to Nazi Germany after finding out they exterminate the Jews in concentration camps, rather than enslaving them. Jefferson Davis does spread a terrible system of oppression throughout the South, but he will not tolerate antisemitism, considering it was the Jewish Judah P. Benjamin in this timeline that was able to form an alliance with the British Empire and France.
  • The Evils of Free Will: Dr. Samuel Cartwright is credited with discovering drapetomania, the "freedom illness". To treat such a malady in the modern day CSA, the Cartwright Institute promises to train its students to diagnose and treat "drapetomania", and Contrari is marketed to slave owners whose slaves have been diagnosed with the disease. Most likely, Contrari drugs the victim into thinking they are happy being slaves, and the ending montage reveals that Samuel Cartwright was a real person who coined up the term drapetomania as another way to justify slavery.
  • Expanded States of America: The CSA goes on to annex the former Union states, expands to the Pacific, and conquers Latin America, turning them into a collection of satellite states. The expanded timeline also has them do the same with Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq, seizing their oil supplies and attempting to convert the population to Christianity.
  • The Exile: After his capture by Confederate forces, Lincoln is held in prison for two years before being exiled to Canada. He never returned to America and died in June of 1905, age 96.
  • Expy: The "documentary" is produced by the BBS (British Broadcasting Service), an obvious take on this world's BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).
  • Faux Affably Evil: Many of the modern-day Confederate-Americans come off this way. They seem perfectly pleasant... or at least as pleasant as someone who subscribes to white supremacy can possibly be. By the end of the documentary, however, it seems that the C.S.A. itself may be nearing a Heel–Face Turn as public opinions begin to become divided on the topic of slavery and white supremacy, with many citizens beginning to face a national identity crisis, especially when it comes to light that the Fauntroy family may not be as purely white as they claim.
  • Foreshadowing: A commercial played during the movie advises people to call a hotline if they suspect someone is 'passing' which is the crux of the accusations against Fauntroy. Likewise, the news report literally shows some footage from the in universe documentary (namely, the JBU agent known as 'Big Sam' leading Lindsay to Horace) and makes a vague reference to a scandal before the chapter that covers that scandal in the documentary.
  • Futureshadowing: The opening of the film describes the documentary as controversial and responsible for a national scandal, and thus was banned from the Confederacy for two years before public demand pressured Confederate Television to release it uncensored. Said controversy was the reveal that the influential Fauntroy family has black ancestry, which lead to John Ambrose Fauntroy V losing the 2004 election and later blowing his brains out.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Judah P. Benjamin's earnest diplomacy convinced Britain to support the Confederacy, France following their lead. Combined with Confederate victory at the Battle of Gettysburg, this won them not just their independence but political supremacy over the states of the North.
    • The rise of the Confederacy also came at a crucial time in America's cultural history, where it had otherwise begun to more openly embrace cultural influences from other races and nations, especially African influences, which would go on to shape American culture for the next few decades; instead, with the C.S.A. pretty much banning or suppressing anything that didn't ascribe to their "white Christian American" values, the nation's culture stagnated, with such influences instead being embraced by Canada, which all but made Canada itself into the cultural America of the timeline while the C.S.A. struggles to have a national identity of its own.
  • Government Agency of Fiction: The House Committee of Racial Identity, a thinly-veiled parody of the once very real House Un-American Activities Committee.
  • Happiness in Slavery: How slaves are depicted in CSA productions. In (the film's) reality, not so much.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Horace blows the whistle on Fauntroy's black ancestry, knowing he'll be killed for it.
  • Historical Domain Character:
    • Abraham Lincoln was remembered as the man who lost the war of Northern Aggression.
    • Robert E. Lee called for emancipation of the slaves after The Civil War and almost got it through Congress.
    • Nathan Bedford Forrest was a war criminal who killed women and children.
    • Judah P. Benjamin won the Civil War for the Confederacy by successfully convincing Britain and France to support the Confederacy.
    • Adolf Hitler was an ally of the CSA, but couldn't reach an agreement over slavery.
    • Albert Einstein still fled Nazi Germany and still lent his research to building atomic bombs. His gift from the government is a plantation in the Southwest, complete with a handful of slaves.
    • John F. Kennedy: Still becomes president (as a Republican), and still gets assassinated (for supporting the ending of slavery).
    • Richard Nixon: Seen briefly in a debate against Kennedy. As the Democratic candidate against Republican Kennedy.
    • Elvis Presley became a star in Canada by adopting techniques used by black musicians.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • "My great-grandfather did not have sexual relations with that woman!"
    • "Are you now, or have you ever been, a homosexual?"
    • A Confederate leader demanding reparations for slavery... in the form of Canada paying the Confederacy for all of the labor that had been lost due to slaves escaping to Canada.
    • NAACP now stands for National Association for the Advancement of Chattel People.
    • There are also deliberate references to actual United States history, albeit with the Confederacy's actions being far more villainous. For instance, the Confederacy engaged in a war of conquest against South America. While this detail was based on an actual ambition of the Confederacy, the idea of that war being a uniter of America following the division of the Civil War is equally true of the actual Spanish-American War.
    • The idea of Lincoln escaping in blackface and being caught seems to be just a joke, but it's a reference/reversal of a Northern urban legend in actual history that claimed Jefferson Davis had tried to escape dressed as a woman.
    • The film shows a Retraux imagined film, A Northern Wind, representing the move towards presenting the Union as a Worthy Opponent / Hero Antagonist rather than evil. This mirrors how the Confederacy was presented in America by the 1930s, and the fictional film is essentially the alternate universe equivalent to Gone with the Wind.
    • Project "Aryan Angel", where the CSA rescued hundreds of Nazi scientists in return for their services. Yes, this happened in real life, as "Operation Paperclip".
    • The CSA conquers Japan using the Atomic Bomb.
    • The fact that the first name of a pro-Confederacy historian is Sherman.
    • Characterization of interracial relations in the CS as "separate and unequal".
    • Apparently, the Confederacy victory changed Britain's major broadcaster from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) to the BBS (British Broadcasting Service).
    • Starting in the 1950s, abolitionism is seen as a serious threat to the sanctity of Confederate society. Sound familiar? Also, the paranoia leading to the creation of propaganda horror films such as I Married an Abolitionist, a reference to the film I Married a Communist.
    • The ongoing conflict with Canada over their unwillingness to repatriate former slaves or extradite members of the JBU leads to the Confederate States constructing a wall across the Canadian border known as the Cotton Curtain.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Among other things, the Confederacy is so gung-ho about slavery that their first act after annexing the former Union is to enslave all free blacks, as opposed to slavery being one of the biggest, but not sole reason behind it. The money quote is at the very end:
    Sherman Hoyle: "Slavery, like nothing else, is what defines us, shapes us as a people, as a nation."
    • Sherman Hoyle's quote is a send-up of a similarly phrased quote by historian Shelby Foote in Ken Burns' The Civil War:
    Shelby Foote: "Any understanding of this nation has to be based—and I mean really based—on an understanding of the Civil War. I believe that, firmly. It defined us [...] The Civil War defined us as what we are, and it opened us to what we became—both good and bad things."
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The same kind of racism that the Fauntroy family has harnessed and applauded for centuries ultimately killed John Ambrose Fauntroy V's chances at the Presidency when he can't overcome allegations of black ancestry. More specifically, him personally intervening to get Lindsey an interview with some slaves directly led to the JBU and Horace letting her know about Fauntroy's possible black ancestry, through a clandestine note handed to her by a slave. One wonders if knowing he brought about his own downfall contributed to his suicide.
    • In general, the Confederates may have won the civil war, at the cost of America now being a pariah state with untold millions of refugees and skilled labor heading to Canada. The racism of the Confederates has pretty much made Canada the New World spot for immigrants to the point where Canada is now the North American hegemon, so while the Confederates are still somewhat of a power, it's nothing compared to the Union victory America of our timeline.
  • Hope Spot: The 60s segment. Counterculture takes hold in Confederate America as John F. Kennedy is elected president, the first Northerner president since the Civil War. Less than a third of Americans support slavery at that point and women's suffrage is rapidly taking hold. Unfortunately, as it seems that the CSA will reform, Kennedy is assassinated and the counterculture movement is swiftly crushed so that by the 80s and 90s, the 60s are viewed as a dark period of "tragic self-doubt."
  • Identical Grandson: The Fauntroy family.
  • Illegal Religion: The Christian Reform Act of 1895 outlaws any religion not based on Christianity. After a lot of debate, the Roman Catholic Church is classified as Christian. Originally, Judaism is also outlawed, but Jefferson Davis' pleading allows for a small number of Jews to live on a reservation on Long Island.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Done deliberately to make satirical parallels with actual history. The opening quote by George Bernard Shaw (subtly) lampshades this.
    • On the DVD Commentary, the creators note this trope with the Indian Wars.
  • The Internet Is for Porn: Apparently, porn is still the top-selling item on the Internet, even with eBay being used as a 21st-Century slave auction block.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: The Fauntroy family has spent over a century contributing to a regime of racial and political oppression. When those same rules come back to bite them, Fauntroy V ends up sticking a gun in his mouth.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Canada makes the fateful decision of refusing to surrender its fugitive American slaves, and pays the price of hostile relations with the CSA. However, this also allows Canada to become the place to be for all the great popular artists who otherwise would have been American, making Canada the dominant cultural center of the world with enough revenue from that to build its own military power to defend itself.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The Confederacy won the Civil War because Britain and France intervened on their behalf. Both of those nations would go on to become bitter rivals with The CSA to the point of declaring a world embargo against them. In other words, Britain and France created their worst enemy.
  • Last Stand: After the First Kansas Volunteers refused to surrender, Confederate soldiers under Nathan Bedford Forrest killed all of them as well as their wives and children. A soldier named Moses Butler was left alive to serve as a warning.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: The documentary, especially in its coverage of the 19th Century, is a subtle parody of Ken Burns' The Civil War. Two of the prominent talking heads in CSA are, likewise, parodies of two historians interviewed for Ken Burns' documentary: Sherman Hoyle is a parody of Shelby Foote, and Patricia Johnson is a parody of Barbara Fields.
  • May Contain Evil: Contrari, a drug that supposedly "cures" drapetomania note . In reality, it just dopes the slaves enough to be compliant.
  • Mirroring Factions:
    • While dealing with Confederacy, the film actually highlights the racist undertones of modern society.
    • Measures against the Chinese and Native Americans undertaken by Confederacy in the 19th century are disturbingly similar to those implemented by the US in real life.
    • Post-World War II "anti-abolitionism" extremely resembles McCarthyism - what, with I Married an Abolitionist film being an obvious Shout-Out to (admittedly poorly-received and subsequently renamed) 1949 movie I Married a Communist.
    • One scene in the film is a news clip about a football game, in which the Washington Indians are playing the New York Niggers. At the time of the film's release, the matching real-life New York team was called the Giants, but the Washington team was known as the Redskins. Controversy about that name would continue to grow until Washington decided to drop the Redskins name, and be called the Washington Football Team. Two years later, they chose a new, less controversial name - the Washington Commanders.
    • A disclaimer at the end of the film also points out that the racist products advertised were real, and that slave imagery was still used to sell products such as Uncle Ben's rice and Aunt Jemima syrup. (Both products were rebranded following the George Floyd protests in 2020.)
    • A tongue-in-cheek one: even in the CSA's conservative society obsessed with slaves, pornography still tops slave trade as the most profitable business.
  • Mockumentary
  • Mood Whiplash: The film seesaws between jokey segments and more serious bits dealing with race.
  • Noble Demon: After the Confederacy won the Civil War, Robert E. Lee called for the emancipation of the slaves and almost got it through Congress. John Ambrose Fauntroy prevented Lee's efforts from coming to fruition.
  • No Woman's Land: Although the main focus is on racism and slavery, it's briefly touched on that the 19th Amendment didn't happen, so women never got the vote and are still treated like second-class citizens. An In-Universe propaganda film actively encourages domestic violence.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: The end of the film reveals that a number of the products displayed during the fake commercials actually existed, and that slave imagery in marketing was still in use at the time of the film's release, specifically noting Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima - though those two examples were specifically removed in 2020.
  • Oppressive States of America: In the Confederacy (which now includes even the Northern states and most of the Americas after their conquests), the entire black population is enslaved, gender equality is non-existent, sexual orientation is not a free choice, and there is not much political freedom.
  • Pet the Dog: Occasionally, the Confederacy (or significant members of its leadership) do something good (or at least less horrible).
    • When the Civil War is over, Robert E. Lee calls for emancipation of the slaves. It fails.
    • On his deathbed, Jefferson Davis begged Congress to repeal The Christian Reform Act (which would have resulted in the deportation of American's Jewish Population). It is because of this that a small number of Jews were allowed to remain in the CSA (on a Reservation in Long Island).
    John Ambrose Fauntroy II: The nation would be better off without those blood-sucking Jews.
    Jefferson Davis: (grabs Fauntroy by the collar) Don't you ever forget, sir, that it was a blood-sucking Jew who saved this country!
  • Planet of Hats: American culture as depicted in this film seems obsessed with slavery, to a frankly absurd degree.
  • Playing with Syringes: A commercial for the Cartwright Institute promises that anyone who doesn't have the grades for medical school, or the patience for a nursing program, can enroll, and in several months will be qualified to diagnose and treat drapetomania (freedom sickness), count and track slaves, become a specialist in slave breeding, and treat "rascality" and other "negro peculiarities."
  • Politically Correct History: Played with. After the Civil War, there's an attempt to make the abolition movement, and the North, look misguided but noble in popular culture to encourage reconciliation between Northern and Southern whites.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The CSA's enslaved its black and Asian populations, is highly sexist, and the Jews have either fled the country or been forced into what are essentially ghettos in a reservation on Long Island.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The CSA scorns Hitler's final solution as a waste of "human livestock."
  • Propaganda Machine: John Ambrose Fauntroy V's "Family Values" program Family Values Program is a series of propaganda films to brainwash slaves, keep women submissive, and root out homosexuals.
  • Public Execution: The Confederate News cheerfully announces the live execution of a slave who had betrayed his master.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: The CSA has been able to continue chattel slavery into the 21st Century, stifling any opposition. However, America has been turned into a giant pariah state, with seemingly every major country (except South Africa) enacting sanctions against it. Its oppressive "morality" laws have driven great artists into Canada, while the CSA can only produce vapid government propaganda. And at the end of the film, it's stated that the continued maintenance of slavery is damaging the country's economy.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The Confederates did this to Northern cities such as Boston and New York. Witnessing this led Robert E. Lee to the conclusion that War Is Hell.
  • "Ray of Hope" Ending: It's subtle, but there. The film ends with anti-slavery movements defeated and slavery still prevalent in the C.S.A, but there is heavily implications that, between the economic stagnation, impending war with Canada, and the One Drop scandal which led to the Fauntroy family patriarch eating his gun, many C.S.A citizens are beginning to question the authenticity of the whole program, and the ideas of systemic oppression and enslavement of non-whites as a whole, with the fact that the establishment is so vigorously defending slavery in the C.S.A being a fairly heavy hint that the people are not so casually overlooking the issue any more. As for the rest of the world, equality is still celebrated widely, in part actually due to the C.S.A.'s history making the evils of racism and slavery so apparent, and Canada has not only prospered as an asylum of liberty, but has begun to take America's place as the cultural center of the Americas.
  • Retraux: Many segments are altered to look like old footage dating to the earliest days of film.
  • Red Scare:
    • The abolitionist movement fills this role in the 1950s: it emerges from Canada and creates its own version of the "Weather Underground", and ends with the construction of a wall dividing the CSA and Canada.
    • Averted with actual Communists, which is ironic considering how the USSR used America's unequal treatment of blacks and women for anti-American propaganda purposes in the pre- and especially post-World War II eras.
  • Regional Riff: The Jew's harp theme heard in the "Runaway" commercial, as well as the African drum in the credits explaining the basis of the movie.
  • La Résistance: The John Brown Underground, a covert abolitionist movement that is mentioned repeatedly. By the film's present time they are operating out of Canada.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Does Fauntroy secretly have distant Black ancestry?
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: William Lloyd Garrison, Susan B. Anthony, and thousands of other abolitionists pack-up and leave for Canada after Jefferson Davis spreads slavery nationwide.
  • Shocking Defeat Legacy: The point of divergence in this timeline is the Battle of Gettysburg, where the Confederates are backed up by British and French troops which then rout the Union. The war ends in 1864, a full year early.
  • Show Within a Show: Runaways and Leave It to Beulah, among others. The latter is based on the real show Beulah and actual clips are shown from it. However, the credits fail to mention it at all in its rundown of what was legit.
  • Side-Effects Include...: Textbook example with the Contrari commercial, whose side effects include "vomiting, shortness of breath, nausea, blurred vision, liver and kidney problems, constipation, anal bleeding, [and] heart attack in old uncles".
  • Space Cold War: One exists between the abolitionist and free Canada versus the slavery happy Confederate America. A pretty justified trope in this timeline because even though the Confederates control the American north, Canada has recieved so many immigrants, skilled labor, intellectuals and refugees to the point where it has become a cultural, political and even military power.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Because the South won the war, Lincoln is not assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, but, after a stint in prison, is exiled to Canada and dies in his nineties, that his lack of resolve allowed the C.S.A. to win the war in the end.
  • Speculative Documentary
  • Swapped Roles: For contemporary audiences, seeing the Democrat Party as the one in favor of slavery and war while the Republican Party advocate abolition is this. Truth in Television, as in the mid-19th Century, the Democrats were the conservative party and Republicans were radical progressives. Both parties switched ideologies over the course of several decades, with the change being most pronounced in the 1960s.
  • Sympathy for the Hero: Sherman Hoyle, while still dismissive of Abraham Lincoln, does somewhat pity how he was exiled and was soon forgotten by history.
  • Take a Third Option: After the passing of the Christian Reform Act of 1895, the consensus is that Jews will be expelled from the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis, even laying on his deathbed, pleads with congress to repeal the act and speaks in favor of Jews like Judah P. Benjamin who supported the Confederacy and worked to help guarantee its future. After his death, the decision is made to create a reservation for a small number of Jews on Long Island.
  • Truth in Television:
    • Regardless of how it's presented, the movie's real purpose is to highlight a serious and legitimate real-world issue - namely, racism, both de facto and institutionalized. For example, virtually all of the "fake" advertisements used in the commercial breaks are for real products. Granted, most of these were discontinued or renamed to remove racist imagery within the last hundred years, but it mentions that the restaurant chain Sambo's was in operation as late as the 1980s and Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima are still in use as advertising icons, albeit cleaned up as major business executives in the food industry.
    • Judah P. Benjamin really did attempt to bring Britain into the war on the Confederacy's side. However, he overestimated the value of the South's one bargaining chip, their cotton industry, and Britain decided they were better off remaining on good terms with the Union. The South's failure to achieve meaningful victories were the final nails in the coffin.
    • The CSA's obsession with slavery can seem like a Planet of Hats situation, but by the 1840s the "Confederacy" really was getting consumed by slavery as a lynchpin and focus of society; just as with the above examples, it's more an extrapolation than anything else. (The real question is whether or not it would've gone quite that far nationally since even in the 1840s some Southerners were beginning to express dismay at the direction their society was taking, but by the Civil War more reactionary Southerners were embracing anti-republican and anti-democratic ideas like monarchism, authoritarian rejection of the Enlightenment, and outright enshrinement of Christianity as an official state religion.)
    • There were a lot of Southerners that wanted to annex Latin American countries and turn them into slave states. One of them, William Walker, conquered Nicaragua in 1856 and ruled for about a year. He continued to harass the region until he was executed in Honduras. An organization called the Knights of the Golden Circle was established by many pro-slavery Southerners, with its goal being a ring of colonies in Central America and the Caribbean. One of the last-ditch efforts at a "compromise" between the North and the South was a proposal that would implicitly allow the South to build a tropical slave empire.
    • The government program in C.S.A. that sought to take the "Native out of the Native" by taking young indigenous children from their families and putting them in boarding schools that sought to make them forget their cultural roots, customs, and language were actually done by the governments of the United States, Canada, and Australia well into the 20th century.
  • Ungrateful Bastard:
    • The Confederacy only won because of assistance from Britain and France, which it only had because of Judah P. Benjamin's negotiations. Within his lifetime, the Confederacy passed the Christian Reform Act which made all non-Christian religions illegal, and resulted in the deportation of most of America's Jews (Jews like him).
    • The 129th Fighting Bucks, a regiment of slaves, fought for the Confederacy against Japan in the Pacific Theater. Despite these slaves fighting valiantly, the CSA refused to deliver on promises of freedom. This is Truth in Television: in the tail end of the real-life Civil War, the Confederate Congress implemented a law allowing slaves to serve in the army but stipulated they would only be freed if their masters allowed them. Whether this would've actually worked or not can never be answered since the Confederacy collapsed just weeks later, before the law could be seriously implemented.
  • Uncertain Doom:
    • The outcome is pretty obvious, but it's not made clear what becomes of Horace after revealing he and Fauntroy are relatives. He's not mentioned and Fauntory, who'd previously considered him family, is completely dismissive of him in a later press conference.
    • On a larger scale, the film drops more than a few implications that the C.S.A.'s relative stability since the Civil War is finally beginning to crumble as the country suffers from cultural and economical stagnation, a possible future war with Canada, and the discovery that one of its most influential families possibly consists of black ancestry. The fact that the "documentary" was originally banned until the public pressure forced it to be released can be seen as a good implication of the changing opinions within the C.S.A. itself.
  • The Unreveal: We never find out what "negative" means in the context of a "Passing" DNA test. As a consequence, we never find out if the test conducted on the corpse of Fauntroy V confirms he had a black ancestor or not. Ultimately, whether or not it's true is irrelevant, as the point is that the Confederacy is so thoroughly entrenched in its racist ideals that even the suggestion of it drove him to suicide.
  • Western Terrorists: The John Brown Underground, or the JBU, a splinter group of the NAACP that wages a violent campaign of terror attacks against the Confederate States, declaring it "A War Against Slavery." They even manage to assassinate Fauntroy IV, which motivates his son's desires for a potential war against Canada.
  • Wham Line: "Me and Fauntroy... we kin."
  • Would Hurt a Child: Casey Brown, a runaway slave, murdered her master's three white children.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: John Ambrose Fauntroy I is repeatedly described as John Ambrose Fauntroy V's "great-grandfather." This is one generation off; he is his great-great-grandfather. Unless there were two John Ambrose Fauntroys in a single generation somehowsuch as  as some upper crust political families actually do follow such a numbering convention.