Birmingham is an industrial powerhouse of the south, sometimes nicknamed "The Pittsburgh of the South" for its production of iron and steel. Although founded after the IRL Civil War, in TL-191 it's still a crucial industrial town (per Pinkard's perspective; Bartlett also mentioned that Birmingham has a strong automobile industry, producing all the Manassas cars.)
The city itself has a group of important iron mines nearby, called Sloss Mines, founded by James Sloss. Pinkard's work place, Sloss Foundry, is also founded by him.
Alabama also has several coal fields to support the iron production. The Warrior coal fields, on the Black Warrior River watersheds near Tuscaloosa, is the biggest of them. The Cahaba fields is another important coal field; it has the mining town of Montevallo (not on the map, between Selma and Birmingham), the site of coal mining since early 1800s and supported the CSA industries during Civil War.
I did consider making Birmingham, AL a major city, but my issue with this is I'm currently treating a 1920 census population of ~500,000 as the cut-off for that, with the exception of Atlanta (which did ultimately peak at just under 500,000 in 1960-70 and which the books are clear was the biggest CSA industrial city). New Orleans will probably be another such exception for similar reasons, as will Dallas possibly. Birmingham, AL had a population of ~178,000 in 1920 and a peak population of ~340,000 in 1960, so I don't think it quite makes the cut even if we assume that a CSA victory would have seen more rapid development of the town. I did also consider adding a suburb to the city, but the largest historical suburb of Birmingham, AL is called "Hoover" and was founded in 1970, so this seems like a non-starter.
The Sloss works is a great point and I'll add this in, as well as the Sloss mines, I think this meets the point of Birmingham being an industrial centre. Depending on the ultimate balance I'll include one (but probably not both) of the other Alabama mines.
In terms of major cities I'm thinking:
Mexico: 1 (Mexico City)
Canada: 1 (Toronto)
USA: 8 (NYC, Philly, Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit, Chicago, San Fran, LA)
CSA: 4 (Richmond, Atlanta, NOLA, Dallas(?))
Which works out at roughly the kind of balance in terms of MPP I'm looking for as well.
< Message edited by FOARP -- 6/9/2020 6:48:35 PM >