Treaty of Washington - Secession without Civil War

So president Franklin Pierce dies in the train crash of January, 1853 (in OTL only his son died in the accident) and president William R. King assumes power in march of that year. However, as in OTL, King was very ill and dies of tuberculosis in April. David Rice Atchison, president pro tempore of the Senate, assumes the presidency and starts to campaingn against the abolitionists in Kansas, utilizing its power to make the territory a slave state. His unelected term frightens many northeners, and a strong movement anti-Union sparks in the region. Anyway, the election of 1856 happens and the California republican, John C. Frémont wins the presidency. Now, the southerners are the ones talking about separation. South Carolina is the first to declare secession, and with Frémont's lack of action, many southern states follow it. Though many criticize his lack of action, many also prefere the secession to a civil war, or to keep being hostages to the South. A great compromise is made on the 4th of July of 1857, with the Treaty of Washignton, separating the Confederate States of America from the Union.

What happens now? The two nations follow in peace? War is inevitable? What could be the terms of this deal? Assuming the Panic of 1857 isn't butterflied away, what would the consequences to the Union? And to Frémont himself? And who would lead the Confederacy?
 
Free transit on the Mississippi will be a non negotiable thing. Otherwise a lot of the Union outside New England will get froggy. Speaking of, states like Ohio Kentucky Illinois Michigan , Illinois and Indiana may not like the idea of being locked in with the New englanders and outvoted by them. Previously they could play the South against the New Englanders (there's a reason so many presidents were from Virginia and other border states. Without the South in counterbalance to New England, they might honestly want a nation of their own, or at least some significant concessions from New England in a revised constitution.
 
So president Franklin Pierce dies in the train crash of January, 1853 (in OTL only his son died in the accident) and president William R. King assumes power in march of that year. However, as in OTL, King was very ill and dies of tuberculosis in April. David Rice Atchison, president pro tempore of the Senate, assumes the presidency and starts to campaingn against the abolitionists in Kansas, utilizing its power to make the territory a slave state. His unelected term frightens many northeners, and a strong movement anti-Union sparks in the region. Anyway, the election of 1856 happens and the California republican, John C. Frémont wins the presidency. Now, the southerners are the ones talking about separation. South Carolina is the first to declare secession, and with Frémont's lack of action, many southern states follow it. Though many criticize his lack of action, many also prefere the secession to a civil war, or to keep being hostages to the South. A great compromise is made on the 4th of July of 1857, with the Treaty of Washignton, separating the Confederate States of America from the Union.

What happens now? The two nations follow in peace? War is inevitable? What could be the terms of this deal? Assuming the Panic of 1857 isn't butterflied away, what would the consequences to the Union? And to Frémont himself? And who would lead the Confederacy?

Fremont....lack of action?

Really?

Fremont is like a man of action in that he will probably act before he thinks. One of the reasons he is called "The Pathfinder" is because he acts - probably - over-aggressively and takes a lot of risks and chances and makes sure to overhypeinflate his reputation.. He's not going to sit there and just let them secede.

Having said that, I could firmly believe that Fremont could become President in 1857, have a civil war and lose to the secessionists. In fact I think that would be a better timeline.
 
Last edited:
you can make an entire tl out of this
Currently I have no time to do it, but I would love to see one.

Free transit on the Mississippi will be a non negotiable thing. Otherwise a lot of the Union outside New England will get froggy. Speaking of, states like Ohio Kentucky Illinois Michigan , Illinois and Indiana may not like the idea of being locked in with the New englanders and outvoted by them. Previously they could play the South against the New Englanders (there's a reason so many presidents were from Virginia and other border states. Without the South in counterbalance to New England, they might honestly want a nation of their own, or at least some significant concessions from New England in a revised constitution.
Well... If the south secedes, D.C. makes no sense as a capital anymore, so maybe a new capital in the west, in the Pennsylvania/Ohio border, for example, could be part of a new compromise.

Fremont....lack of action?

Really?

Fremont is like a man of action in that he will probably act before he thinks. One of the reasons he is called "The Pathfinder" is because he acts - probably - over-aggressively and takes a lot of risks and chances and makes sure to overhypeinflate his reputation.. He's not going to sit there and just let them secede.

Having said that, I could firmly believe that Fremont could become President in 1857, have a civil war and lose to the secessionists. In fact I think that would be a better timeline.
Well... I was very sleepy when I wrote this, so sorry for the bad ideas 😬. Anyway, for what I'm thinking, if the war is very short, it also works. Like, if South Carolina secedes in January, Atchison is still president (there's debate about if he would get a full term, but let's say he gets one) so he does nothing to prevent it, and more states join them. So in March, when Frémont assumes power, he immediately tries to prevent the secession, but is immediately pushed out as the south was prepared to war and Atchison had utilized his position as president to strengthen the secessionists, so most of the military on the south support the cause. Maybe that's when he decides it's better not to let the nation decay in civil war and agrees with letting the south leave the Union in peace.

Would it be too out of character for Frémont? His wife was from a prominent family of Virginia, so it would certainly be strange. Maybe his VP, William Dayton, a New Jerseyan conservative, would prefer the compromise. However, for this to happen, Frémont has to be absent, but he was very young and his health very good. Also, too many dead presidents in this TL. Maybe he renounces after realizing the mess he is going to face? I don't know...
What kind of CSA are we talking about, though?
Earlier secession TLs often envision a smaller confederacy.
I don't know... What states you think wouldn't secede at the time? I really want to learn more about it.
 
A President Fremont would never allow the South to succeed. Unlike the disloyal Buchannan wouldn
Currently I have no time to do it, but I would love to see one.


Well... If the south secedes, D.C. makes no sense as a capital anymore, so maybe a new capital in the west, in the Pennsylvania/Ohio border, for example, could be part of a new compromise.


Well... I was very sleepy when I wrote this, so sorry for the bad ideas 😬. Anyway, for what I'm thinking, if the war is very short, it also works. Like, if South Carolina secedes in January, Atchison is still president (there's debate about if he would get a full term, but let's say he gets one) so he does nothing to prevent it, and more states join them. So in March, when Frémont assumes power, he immediately tries to prevent the secession, but is immediately pushed out as the south was prepared to war and Atchison had utilized his position as president to strengthen the secessionists, so most of the military on the south support the cause. Maybe that's when he decides it's better not to let the nation decay in civil war and agrees with letting the south leave the Union in peace.

Would it be too out of character for Frémont? His wife was from a prominent family of Virginia, so it would certainly be strange. Maybe his VP, William Dayton, a New Jerseyan conservative, would prefer the compromise. However, for this to happen, Frémont has to be absent, but he was very young and his health very good. Also, too many dead presidents in this TL. Maybe he renounces after realizing the mess he is going to face? I don't know...
I don't know... What states you think wouldn't secede at the time? I really want to learn more about it.
Everything you said Atchison would do Buchannan did. Fremont would no more let the South go without a fight then Lincoln did. Being more abolitionist then Lincoln, and if Seward isn't Secretary of State, Britain would be much more favorably disposed toward the Union, then in the OTL.
 
Remember that the Presidential Succession Act then in effect actually called for a special election if there were a double vacancy, meaning Atchison would likely only serve as Acting President for a short time.

The Presidential Succession Act of 1792 (Full text Wikisource has information on Presidential Succession Act 1792 ), sections 9 and 10 of a larger act regarding the election of the president and vice president, provided that the president pro tempore of the Senate would be first in line for the presidency should the offices of the president and the vice president both be vacant at the same time. The speaker of the House was second in line.[6] Section 9 provided that the statutory successor would serve in an acting capacity until a new president could be elected.[7][A] If such a double vacancy occurred, Section 10 directed the secretary of state to notify the governor of each state of the vacancies and of the special election to fill them. This special election would take place no fewer than two months later.[9] The persons elected president and vice president in such a special election would have served a full four-year term beginning on March 4 of the next year; no such election ever took place.
 
Remember that the Presidential Succession Act then in effect actually called for a special election if there were a double vacancy, meaning Atchison would likely only serve as Acting President for a short time.
So a new election? Let's say Atchison delays the new election for like, one year. He utilizes it's time to make Kansas a slave state. Who gets elected in 1854? Maybe the Republican party is formed two months earlier, so Frémont can already be candidate. But would he? Wouldn't this mess just aggravate the situation? After one year of Atchison, a radical unelected slaver, what kind of candidate would be more suitable, an open abolitionist or a more conservative dude?
 
Top