The Highest Point of Perfection — A Monarchical USA timeline

Chapter 1: Revolt of the Regulators
“…a horrid and unnatural Rebellion and War, has been openly and traitorously raised and levied against this Commonwealth, and is still continued, and now exists within the same, with design to subvert and overthrow the Constitution and Form of Government thereof which has been most solemnly agreed to, and established by the Citizens of this Commonwealth…”
— Proclamation of Rebellion by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

“Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed-- and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors-- and they have no comforter.”
— Ecclesiastes 4:1

By the tenth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, the First Republic of the United States was in terminal decline. The weak government established under the First Constitution [1] had barely remained cohesive during the War for Independence despite the need for unity during the conflict. With the pressure of the War removed the Republic began to evaporate into its constituent states as growing political and economic differences between each state brought new tensions. The only organ of government of the First Republic, the Congress of the Confederation, was paralyzed to inaction by a lack of funding and an inability to assemble a quorum with growing regularity. The weakness of the First Republic, and the growing divisions led to foreign powers wondering whether to send a single ambassador to the Congress of the Confederation or one to each of the individual states.

That something had to change was undeniable to almost all within the United States, and efforts at reform were in their embryonic stages. Nevertheless, this progress was proving too little too late for many, and the situation was coming to a head in Massachusetts. As with all other states, Massachusetts was heavily in debt by the end of the War for Independence, and a severe economic downturn in 1784 led to harsher taxes to finance the debt — taxation which exceeded levels imposed by the British before Independence. Furthermore, the new conservative and mercantile government led by Governor James Bowdoin within Boston forced debts only to be payable in specie rather than the paper currencies issued during the War of Independence or by the Congress of the Confederation. This requirement was virtually impossible for the general population to fulfill as gold and silver were functionally non-existent outside the relatively wealthy cities of Massachusetts’ coast.

Particularly grievous was the situation for the veterans of the War of Independence. Many had gone into debt during their service due to the First Republic’s financial woes frequently disrupting pay. Backpay and promised pensions arrived only in stunted quantities and in the form of now worthless paper currency; [2] those who had spent years fighting for the United States were left in debt and unable to pay it off. Further compounding the insult, the government of Massachusetts would begin to seize farms or throw these veterans into debtor’s prison in response.

By mid-1786, the people of Massachusetts began to organize in response to the degrading situation. On August 23rd, 1786, a convention in Hatfield led by one Captain Luke Day would demand the end of the seizures. Six days later, Captain Day would lead the disruption of the courts in Northampton. Matters were coming to a head across the state, and as confrontations between state officials and disenfranchised citizens grew increasingly hostile, fears of violence began to spread. Organizing under the name of Regulators, [3] the anti-government movement began to mobilize across Massachusetts, disrupting local courts and preventing tax collection throughout much of the state.

On September 26th, Massachusetts’ highest court, the Supreme Judicial Court, was scheduled to assemble in Springfield. In response, a Regulator militia commanded by Captain Daniel Shays assembled to protest the Court and attempt to halt its proceedings. Opposing the Regulators, General William Shepard rallied a pro-government militia in Springfield to protect the Court. In contrast to the Regulator militia, which was large and poorly armed, Shepard’s militiamen were few in number but had armed themselves with supplies from the Springfield Armory. Both militia leaders would meet on horseback amiably, discussing the Regulators’ grievances and agreeing to allow the Regulators to protest.

For a brief moment the crisis seemed likely to have ended peacefully. However, in a moment on which history turned, tragedy occurred. Shays’ horse reared up, striking Shepard and throwing Shays. In the confusion, a single shot rang out, and the two sides set upon each other in a short but chaotic fight. [4] Four Regulators and six pro-government militiamen lay dead. The Regulators were victorious and the pro-government forces fled the city. In the aftermath, the Regulators discovered that Shays was dead. While it was most likely that Shays broke his neck due to the fall, some Regulators began to accuse General Shepard of having somehow murdered Shays.

Shepard, who survived his fall only to suffer a severe injury during the fighting, had been unable to flee with the rest of his men after the fight and was captured by the Regulators. With anger spreading as news of Shays’ death and the rumors of his “cowardly assassination” spread, a crowd of radicals seized Shepard, and the General was lynched in an outpouring of all the rage and fury at Governor Bowdoin’s government that the Regulators possessed. Unfortunately, the bloodlust of the mob proved unabated by Shepard’s death. After his lynching, the crowd stormed the courthouse in which the justices of the Supreme Judicial Court were still present and lynched the unfortunate justices as well. All five justices, William Cushing, Nathaniel Sargent, David Sewall, Francis Dana, and Increase Sumner, were killed in the violence.

“Bloody Tuesday,” as the events in Springfield came to be known, marked the true beginning of the Regulator Revolt. In response, Governor Bowdoin declared the suspension of Habeas Corpus while the Massachusetts General Court [5] passed a brutal Riot Act and declared Martial Law in the state. To enforce these new decrees, several of the state’s wealthy citizens privately funded and organized a new pro-government militia to oppose the Regulators. [6] The Regulators, on the other hand, seized upon the initiative and seized control of the entire west of the State of Massachusetts.

Two weeks after Bloody Tuesday, several dozen representatives of the western regions of Massachusetts met in Concord to adopt a plan of action. The plan, which came to be known as the “Concord Resolution,” served as the first fully united program of the Regulators. Among other elements, the Concord Resolution fully announced the Regulators’ intentions to oust the current government of Massachusetts and establish a new constitution for the state. Luke Day, Captains Job Shattuck and Agrippa Wells, and Lieutenant Eli Parsons became the officers of the self-proclaimed “Executive Council of Massachusetts,” making the four the de facto heads of a rival Regulator Government that opposed the Bowdoin government.

Outside of a few minor skirmishes, no military action was taken either by the Regulators or the Bowdoin government for the rest of 1786. Neither side was fully ready militarily to launch a serious campaign, and an early frost squashed the campaign season regardless. Instead, supporters and opponents of the Regulator movement fought a propaganda campaign across Massachusetts and the United States. While Massachusetts had been the most fertile ground for a revolt against the government, similar grievances were also present in other states. This led to Regulator-inspired movements emerging in New Hampshire and New York and protest conventions occurring in rural portions of nearly every state. Opposition to the spread of Regulator ideals also began to stiffen across the United States, with the Governors of Connecticut and New York considering raising militias of their own to assist Governor Bowdoin in putting down the Regulator Revolt.

As the cold of February waned into a warm March, expectations of coming military action in Massachusetts were suddenly and abruptly overturned. Despite the best efforts of Governor Bowdoin and the Massachusetts government to maintain order, Boston erupted in a series of violent anti-government riots throughout the first week of March. The harsh measures to oppose the Regulators pushed by Governor Bowdoin had been unpopular with the city’s general population, and discontent stirred as the government’s preparation to smash the rebellion weighed upon the people of Boston. Furthermore, for some Bostonians, the draconian measures of Governor Bowdoin leaned unfavorably into comparisons with British actions before the War for Independence. Mocking comparisons of Bowdoin to the last colonial Governor, Thomas Gage, were frequently made, and the often harsh responses only furthered the discontent.

Finally, on March 1st, a former member of the General Court, Moses Harvey, was forced to stand on the gallows with a noose around his neck for an hour as a punishment [7] for his vocal support of the Regulators. The punishment was public, and while many such punishments had occurred before, the crowd that gathered to watch the punishment turned unruly and rioted. The rioting quickly spread across the city, and attempts by the government of Massachusetts to quell the riots failed. On March 5th, fearing the increasingly out-of-control mob, Bowdoin would flee the city for New York. Much of the city and state’s leadership fled Boston shortly after Bowdoin, leaving the town in the hands of the mob.

As the chaos began to die down, two men emerged as the de facto leaders of Boston. The first was Moses Harvey, who became a veritable living martyr with the mob, and the second was a previously little-known figure of Clark Hopewood. Hopewood, a native of Boston who worked as a printer, was a radical supporter of the Regulators. Having been imprisoned by Bowdoin’s government for his support of the Regulators, Hopewood was freed during the riots and stoked the flames of the chaos. Both men, along with some of the remaining members of the city government, would meet on March 8th and agreed to invite the Regulator government into the city. Boston, and therefore the last of the State of Massachusetts, fell to the Regulators without a shot.

With the flight of Bowdoin and the Regulator’s triumphal entry into Boston on March 15th, it almost seemed as if the past year’s violence was nothing more than a passing moment in Massachusetts’ history. As after a nightmare one had just woken up from, most expected the terror and violence would now fade into the normalcy of day-to-day life. Unfortunately, however, the bleeding had just begun; for now, the First Republic of the United States had suffered its first shuddering spasm before an unexpected and violent death.

[1] OTL the Articles of Confederation
[2] Just as in OTL
[3] A name used in OTL.
[4] Our POD.
[5] The name for the legislature of Massachusetts IOTL as well; a unique quirk of colonial history that survived.
[6] Similar measures occurred in OTL but in a somewhat different order.
[7] To set on the gallows was an actual non-lethal punishment employed at the time and in Massachusetts, and often was also accompanied by being whipped.
I’m pretty sure you’ve done this before......right?
Yes. I stopped working on the original version(s) because after it got discovered (accidentally) by people IRL, and the repercussions forced me to stop. I also took a break from because of the trouble. Thankfully, I'm no longer in the same position and I can restart working again on it again.

Also, because I couldn't finish the first round, this timeline has been an insane personal manifestation of the Zeigarnik Effect. I'm really glad to finally be able to start again and actually give it a proper shot at finishing this time around!
Yes. I stopped working on the original version(s) because after it got discovered (accidentally) by people IRL, and the repercussions forced me to stop. I also took a break from because of the trouble. Thankfully, I'm no longer in the same position and I can restart working again on it again.

Also, because I couldn't finish the first round, this timeline has been an insane personal manifestation of the Zeigarnik Effect. I'm really glad to finally be able to start again and actually give it a proper shot at finishing this time around!
That sounds pretty insane yo - Did people legit trouble you just for writing a TL?
Chapter 2: The Rumbling of the Stone
“...Christ commanded this very earnestly, and said, ‘Take my enemies and strangle them for me before my eyes.’ Why? Ah, because they have spoiled Christ’s government, and, in addition, they seek to defend their villainy under the guise of the Christian faith.”
— Thomas Müntzer, 1524

With the entirety of Massachusetts under their control, the Regulators finally established their new government across the whole of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Only Maine, isolated from the rest of the Commonwealth, remained relatively aloof from the new Regulator government. Moses Harvey and Clark Hopewood joined the Regulator’s Executive Council, and Luke Day emerged as President of the Council. The Executive Council drew up plans for a constitutional convention in September. However, in the interim period, the Regulator government enacted a few reforms, including abolishing debtors’ prisons and enforcing the acceptance of already extant paper currency for debts.

Across the rest of the United States, the Regulators’ success was met with concern and debate in all circles. Most states refused to recognize the new government in Boston as legitimate. Yet, few were willing to take any measures to oppose the Regulators directly, nor was recognition forthcoming to Governor Bowdoin’s government in exile. Instead, most states chose to wait for the trouble to sort itself out. Only Rhode Island, where the Regulator-sympathetic “Country Party” had recently gained power, maintained relations with the Regulator government in Boston.

Connecticut, on the other hand, took an active anti-Regulator approach. As Connecticut had previously experienced agrarian unrest and was now facing the rise of a domestic Regulator movement, neither the outgoing Governor, Matthew Griswold, nor Governor-elect Samuel Huntington were willing to sit by and allow the crisis to go further. With the backing of the Connecticut General Assembly, General Israel Putnam organized the state’s militia under his command. Operating with a smaller militia of Massachusetts exiles commanded by General Benjamin Lincoln, Putnam would lead an invasion to oust the Regulators on April 19th, 1787.

General Putnam’s plan for the invasion was first to regain control of the critical Springfield Arsenal and then push east to Boston. The Regulators, acutely aware of how important the Arsenal was to defending their new government, had set up considerable defenses around the Arsenal under the command of Captain Ezekiel Foster. Despite his forces being outnumbered by those under Putnam nearly three to one, Foster would enact a heroic defense of the Springfield Arsenal for over two weeks until relief forces under Job Shattuck arrived on May 5th. The subsequent Battle of Springfield, often called the Second Battle of Springfield to distinguish it from the initial “battle” that set the whole Regulator Revolt in motion, was a close victory for the Regulators. Shattuck’s men were nearly overwhelmed, and only by relying on several volleys of grapeshot did they ease out a victory. In a portent of things to come, the Second Battle of Springfield proved far bloodier than any battle of the Regulator conflict before it, with several dozen men seriously injured or dead between both sides.

Putnam, displaying the same tenacity that had pushed him through during the American War for Independence, was not put off by his defeat at Springfield. The General successfully led the retreat back to Enfield in Connecticut. Shattuck pursued Putnam the next day but stopped shy of crossing the Connecticut border. Shattuck paused his advance for two days, caught between caution and necessity. While Putnam’s army had invaded Massachusetts and were thus arguably the aggressors in this conflict, it was undeniable that a counter-invasion would only worsen the tensions between the Regulators and the rest of the United States. But at the same time, Putnam couldn’t be allowed to regroup and reinforce his army and launch a second invasion; there was the dangerous possibility that the second invasion might succeed.

Finally, after intense deliberation with his subordinates, Shattuck took action. On May 8th, Shattuck and his men crossed the border, attacking Putnam’s forces north of Enfield. Securing another two victories on the 10th and 11th, the Regulators occupied Hartford on the 12th. As his efforts had left both the Connecticut and Massachusetts militias sufficiently smashed up to render them ineffective for the time being, Shattuck decided to halt his invasion here. There would be no march on the government of Connecticut by his men as the Connecticuters seemed adequately chastised. Instead, Shattuck sent envoys to try and negotiate with the Connecticut government. Peace might be at hand, and there was a glimmer of hope that the Regulators could use it as the entryway to re-normalize relations between Massachusetts and the rest of the United States.

It would be for naught, however, as the fall of Hartford sent ripples through Connecticut and invariably provoked a reaction from the state’s own malcontents. The Regulator movement that had sprung up in Connecticut had always been relatively restrained compared to its counterpart in Massachusetts. Lacking opportunity and radicalism, they had yet to rise against the government of the state. But with the fall of Hartford, the Reverend George Goodluck whipped the population of western Connecticut into a frenzy and sparked a series of Regulator uprisings centered on Bridgeport. After wresting Bridgeport from government control, Goodluck would lead his men to march on New Haven. Fearing that a joint attack on New Haven was imminent by Shattuck and Goodluck’s forces, the government of Connecticut fled the city for New York.

Unlike similar events in Massachusetts, however, General Putnam remained defiant of both the Regulators and Goodluck, intending to stand and defend New Haven and the rest of Connecticut. Unfortunately for the stalwart General, his own health would prove a far greater enemy than any that stood armed against him. A paralytic stroke had ended Putnam’s military service during the American Revolution, and while by 1787, the General had recovered his mobility, his health had declined in the intervening period. [1] On May 22nd, the day after Putnam had led his men to successfully drive off Goodluck’s army from the approaches to New Haven, the General would go to bed in high spirits and seemingly in good health. Putnam never awoke the next day, likely from having suffered another stroke while sleeping.

Putnam’s death fractured the anti-Regulator forces in Connecticut. With the flight of their government, Putnam’s leadership had been the final linchpin holding the militia together. Most of the Connecticuter militiamen dispersed back to their homes in the following weeks, but a few defected and joined with Goodluck. The Massachusite militia under General Lincoln, far too few in number to resist the Regulators, would imitate the government of Connecticut and fled the state for New York in a harrowing flight that saw half of the already diminished exile force dissipate. After re-marshaling his forces, Goodluck would exploit the collapse of the Connecticut militia and march into New Haven on May 25th. In a speech before the courthouse in New Haven, Goodluck would proclaim himself the Governor of Connecticut and promise a new, reformed constitution for the state.

Connecticut’s fall and the growing anti-Regulator fears pushed the governments of New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania to come together and join forces to quash the seemingly spreading Regulator revolt. Josiah Harmar, freshly promoted to General, was recalled from overseeing the construction of Fort Steuben in the Ohio country and was placed in command of a joint New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania militia. President [2] of New Hampshire and General John Sullivan would also call out the New Hampshire militia, intent on joining in with the other states’ efforts to dismantle the Regulator government.

However, President Sullivan’s plans would be undercut by future events. On July 4th, amid the ongoing celebrations for independence, Generals Jonathan Moulton and Nathaniel Peabody would stage a putsch against Sullivan’s government. Moulton and Peabody had been long involved with the local Regulator movement and allegedly organized an earlier attempt to overthrow the government of New Hampshire the previous September. [3] Their July 4th putsch went through with much more success, and President Sullivan was imprisoned along with most of the rest of the New Hampshire government. Moulton and Peabody justified their actions on the basis that the New Hampshire government was illegitimate due to it ignoring the demands of the “general population” for economic reform and the plan by Sullivan to wage an “unjust and criminal war” against Massachusetts.

Whether or not these charges were accurate, the putsch proved unpopular in much of the state as many of those who were supporters of the Regulators viewed the coup-d’etat negatively. Although the Regulators kept control of much of New Hampshire, the coastal regions centered on Portsmouth were wrenched from Regulator control by John Pickering, who led a revolt against the putschist government. Pickering, the President of the New Hampshire Senate and one of the few politicians to escape arrest during the July 4th putsch, declared himself acting President of New Hampshire and called for the assistance of the New Hampshire militia to oust Moulton and Peabody’s regime.

As New Hampshire descended into civil war, Moulton requested aid from the Massachusetts Regulators. Initially, the Massachusetts Regulators decided not to help their New Hampshirite brethren, with Day and Hopewood being the only members of the Regulators’ Executive Council to be pro-intervention. Hopewood, unwilling to take the defeat, would turn to Boston’s masses to sway the other council members’ opinions. With a series of pamphlets and speeches, Hopewood rallied the city population to his side, and a series of protests in support of the New Hampshirite Regulators broke out. As the Council continued to be recalcitrant, the protests only grew worse, and the threat of mob violence became acute. Eventually, the Council would capitulate and turn to support the movement in New Hampshire.

A small force, sent under the command of Captain Agrippa Wells, would march north into New Hampshire and join forces with the New Hampshirite Regulators. Moulton, who had assumed the title of President of New Hampshire, had been rebuffed in an attempt at seizing Portsmouth and was now licking his wounds in Derryfield. [4] On the other hand, Pickering’s forces had successfully captured Exeter back from the Regulators and were preparing to march against Moulton when the Massachusetts Regulators arrived. The combined Regulator forces would drive the men loyal to Pickering from Exeter before continuing their drive into Portsmouth. Pickering wouldn’t flee Portsmouth, instead choosing to surrender to the Regulators to secure freedom for the men who had fought for his aborted government.

With Pickering’s surrender, New Hampshire fell entirely to the Regulators, making it three states that had fallen to the Regulators. But General Harmar’s forces were preparing to cross into Massachusetts even as Portsmouth fell, and the First Republic continued its headlong rush towards disaster.

[1] IOTL Putnam recovered his mobility nearly or entirely shortly after the end of the American Revolutionary War.
[2] The term referred to the Governor of New Hampshire during this period.
[3] An OTL event, the “Paper Money Riot,” saw protestors attempt to intimidate the government of New Hampshire into issuing paper money. Whether Moulton or Peabody were involved seems to be a matter of historical dispute.
[4] OTL Derryfield, New Hampshire, was renamed to Manchester in the 1800s.
I also want to say thank you to everyone for their words of praise and encouragement! Sorry for not responding to you all directly, but I want you all to know the sentiment is well appreciated by yours truly!

That sounds pretty insane yo - Did people legit trouble you just for writing a TL?
Not to beat the metaphorical horse too much, I don't want to derail things with my RL mistakes. But I suppose I should give a cliffnotes version, some people might remember my old version and wonder what's up. I got into a spat with my college over my TL. What should have been a minor misunderstanding and easily patched over blew up however because I lost my cool for a pinch and said a few foolish words in anger. It's a stupid chapter of my life, but it's all over now and it actually pushed me to a whole different career trajectory that I'm extremely happy with. Things work out in the end, I suppose.

But enough of the bad, I say forward with the new!
I also want to say thank you to everyone for their words of praise and encouragement! Sorry for not responding to you all directly, but I want you all to know the sentiment is well appreciated by yours truly!

Not to beat the metaphorical horse too much, I don't want to derail things with my RL mistakes. But I suppose I should give a cliffnotes version, some people might remember my old version and wonder what's up. I got into a spat with my college over my TL. What should have been a minor misunderstanding and easily patched over blew up however because I lost my cool for a pinch and said a few foolish words in anger. It's a stupid chapter of my life, but it's all over now and it actually pushed me to a whole different career trajectory that I'm extremely happy with. Things work out in the end, I suppose.

But enough of the bad, I say forward with the new!
Ahh, I see. Great that things worked out in the end for you :) Then let us not focus on the bad anymore no
I'm not familiar with your previous attempt at making this TL, but I love it so far. Im very interested in seeing how this results in a monarchist US.
Chapter 3: The Jay’s Voice Cries Out
“There should be no serfdom and all men should be free and of one condition. We will be free forever, our heirs, and our lands.”
— Wat Tyler, 1381

As the Regulators pushed continually on, the Congress of the Confederation finally responded to the ongoing revolt. The normally catatonic body was finally galvanized into action and voted to reject any offers of peace or normalization of relations by the Regulators. Simultaneously, Regulator envoys from Massachusetts were expelled from Philadelphia by the Pennsylvanian government, and the exiled governments of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut were granted recognition as the legitimate regimes of their respective states by the Congress. Moving forward, in the eyes of the United States, the Regulators were nothing more than out-of-control rebels.

Precisely what the Congress of the Confederation intended to do to enforce their decree went unsaid. The Congress of the Confederation attempted to re-establish a fighting force for the First Republic [1] on July 23rd, 1787. However, this attempt failed, and attempts to coordinate the anti-Regulator effort on a Federal level also died en embryo. Despite having nearly collapsed in New England, opposition to further centralization of the United States was still strong in the southern United States, which had remained free from the consequences of the Regulator War. Additionally, many believed that the joint militias of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey under General Josiah Harmar were on the verge of finally crushing the Regulators and restoring the exiled governments to their rightful place.

The optimistic view that Harmar was bound to triumph over the Regulators was not entirely unfounded. The tripartite militia under Harmar’s command outnumbered the forces the Regulators had yet mobilized. Harmar was also considered one of the most capable officers in the United States during the War for Independence. The esteemed George Washington even considered Harmar one of his best officers during the War for Independence, and the then Lieutenant-Colonel Harmar also served as adjutant to one of the most skilled Generals of the War for Independence, Nathaniel Greene.

These advantages swiftly evaporated, however, almost immediately after the anti-Regulators’ invasion of western Massachusetts began. Conflict between Harmar’s subordinates fractured the tripartite militia, massively disrupting unit cohesion. A lack of proper discipline among the militiamen further compounded the issues with the anti-regulator army. The issue of pay reared its ugly head again, as did the troubles with adequately supplying the militias. As many of the common militiamen were veterans of the War for Independence and remembered similar struggles with pay during that period, re-asserting discipline proved effectively impossible as sympathy for the Regulator cause spread through the ranks. General Harmar, who heavily favored the Prussian-style reforms of Baron von Steuben implemented during the War for Independence, proved unable to adapt to the less disciplined militias.

All of the issues suffered by Harmar’s army could have been struggled through were it not for the actions of the Regulators. To Harmar’s immense frustration, the Regulators refused to fight properly. Despite operating in close proximity to Harmar’s army, the Regulator army of Job Shattuck engaged Harmar in a protracted dance of maneuvers and raids upon the invaders’ supply. Unable to force the Regulators to engage in direct battle, Harmar was slowed to a near crawl in his advance into Massachusetts. During this creeping march, the morale of the men of the invading army began to wither away. Desertions became common, and the already shaky discipline only further loosened — Harmar’s army barely holding together through the strain.

Despite all issues and the Regulators’ irregular method of fighting, Harmar was still advancing into Massachusetts. His goal was the same as that of the late General Putnam: the Springfield Armory. The Armory was too critical to the Regulators’ fighting ability to ignore. By August 19th, Harmar’s army was only twenty-five miles from Springfield. Having prepared and received reinforcements under Luke Day and Eli Parsons, Shattuck would finally engage the invaders in open battle in what has come to be known as the Battle of Westampton.

Westampton was not a singular battle, as the name implies, but rather a string of three battles in close proximity that spanned a period of six weeks. The first, the Battle of Bridgemont Farm, was a significant defeat for the Regulators as the forces under Parsons’ command were caught isolated from the rest of the Regulator army and badly beaten by the anti-Regulators. However, Harmar proved unable to press the advantage, finding himself forced into a stalemate when relief came for Parsons. A month of back-and-forth raiding and maneuvers occurred after Bridgemont Farm until the second battle, the Battle of Roberts Meadow, erupted. Once again, the result was ultimately a stalemate, and a period of raiding and maneuvers followed.

In contrast to the first two, the third battle, the September 20th Battle of Marble Brook proved decisive. Initially, the Battle seemed to be another stalemate between the two forces. However, when a detachment of Harmar’s men withdrew to a more defensible position, the soldiers around them mistook it for a retreat. These men began withdrawing without permission, spreading chaos through Harmar’s lines as an ever-growing mass of the anti-Regulator army began to retreat. Soon, a disorganized retreat became a full-blown flight as men fled. Shattuck, eager to drive home the defeat, ordered his men to open up with grapeshot against the fleeing men, which effectively guaranteed the rout of Harmar’s men. In a disaster for the anti-Regulators, many were forced to flee across the Battle’s eponymous brook, and nearly six hundred men would drown as a consequence.

By the time Harmar regained control of his army, it was far too late. The soldiers of the New Yorker militia mutinied against the General, electing Captain Peter Millborn to lead them back home to New York. Despite this, Harmar desperately tried to reorganize and regroup, but news from the west shattered any plans for a continued campaign against the Regulators in Massachusetts. News of the Battle of Westampton spread quickly, and uprisings against the state government began to break out in New York. The situation for the New York government only worsened as Captain Millborn and his mutinous militiamen threw their lot in with the anti-government forces. Most of the Congress of the Confederation, which had been meeting in New York City, would flee the city after violent riots on October 1st. Braving the worsening weather, the Congress would regroup in Baltimore, Maryland, far removed from the ever-escalating unrest in the northern United States.

Harmar’s defeat was not the only matter that provoked unrest throughout the United States. On September 17th, 1787, the First United States Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed what would come to be known as the Constitution of 1787. [2] In many ways, the Constitution of 1787 proved too radical compared to the Articles of Confederation it was intended to replace, despite being relatively moderate compared to the Constitution of 1790, which would supersede it. Per the Constitution of 1787, the new government was to be centralized into a federal union that maintained the Republican form of government. Despite its Republicanism, this new union was to be organized with a single executive head of state and government, the “President of the United States,” whose office would be in charge of both military and civil affairs. Plans for taxation, a federal judiciary, and a military were outlined — all without a Bill of Rights or any guarantees of civil liberties. Overall, with the swing of the United States into relative conservatism having only just begun in 1787, the idea of a considerably more centralized and powerful federal government of the United States proved highly controversial.

Chief in opposition to the new Constitution were the radical Regulators led primarily by Clark Hopewood and Luke Day. Hopewood would seize upon the publishing of the text of the Constitution of 1787 to publish the most prominent of all his works, the short pamphlet Principles of a Free State, which argued against the Constitution of 1787 alongside outlining Hopewood’s plans for a “Regulated” government. The Principles spread like wildfire throughout the Regulator-held territories and in areas that opposed the new Constitution of 1787, further stoking the flames of revolt. Anti-constitutional movements in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey joined forces with the Regulators in their opposition, which led to a minor revolt. While the New Jerseyite government quickly crushed this revolt, it proved how precarious the situation was in these regions.

As the Congress of the Confederation regrouped in Baltimore, the Congress finally decided to take complete and united action against the Regulators. Harmar’s defeat and the unfolding anti-constitutional chaos forced the capitulation of those opposed to re-establishing a federal army for the United States. On November 19th, 1787, the esteemed General George Washington was called out from retirement to organize the re-established army, christened the “Legion of the United States.” The Legion drew not just its name from the Roman system but also its composition, as it was a “combined arms” force akin to the older Roman legions. Each of the four “sub-legions” [3] was composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery, meaning that despite the Legion’s small size, it could theoretically draw upon all forms of military effort in a conflict.

Although this re-establishment and re-organization went through smoothly on the legal front, the Legion of the United States struggled with recruitment. Nominally, the Legion was to be over four thousand strong, divided into four sub-legions of just over a thousand men each. In practice, the Legion initially only assembled fourteen hundred men to fill its ranks. However, the Congress of the Confederation struggled to pay even this diminished mass of soldiers, with General Washington providing what pay they did receive from his personal fortune. The poor funding also meant that supplies were as scarce as men, and only the first sub-legion possessed its complement of cavalry and cannon. And yet, as the Legion wintered just outside Annapolis after its hasty organization, hope remained that the new Legion would be successful where so many had failed before. 1788, some hoped, would be a better year for the United States.

Matters had yet to reach their nadir, however. Despite the increasingly chaotic situation in the northern United States, the southern states had seen little impact from the Regulator conflict. But, as the Regulators marched further and further from their bastion in Massachusetts, and the fires of the conflict drew ever nearer to the south, embers began to spread and smolder in unexpected places. The planter elite, who dominated the southern United States and formed the core of the last proper opposition to increased centralization of the United States, were about to be unseated from their comfortable positions. For brewing in the unhappy slave population of the southern United States was the Leisteia…

[1] Technically, the First American Regiment did exist at this point. However, outside of guarding a few military installations, it was effectively a non-entity and intended primarily for operations in the west against the Indian communities there.
[2] The Constitution of 1787 is more or less OTL’s American Constitution. A few minor differences exist, but nothing worth pointing out.
[3] Effectively regiments