Chapter 1: Of Frenchmen and Indians
- Author's Note -

This Timeline is a rework of my previous Timeline, written almost a year ago. As you can see by the title, it even takes some elements from it. Being a rework of the Timeline, you will see changes, for starts, this version has a clearly defined PoD and does not mess heavily with the intro that resulted in the very confusing and almost "out of nowhere" character of the first chapter in the original TL. For this version I am doing more research than I did last time, and again, I am open to suggestions, specially if you see any glaring mistake that should not be there (such as me messing up with dynasties and that). Regarding when I will publish updates, I will publish a new chapter once I am done writing the next, so I always have some backup. Speaking of backup, I will try to provide this TL with addendums including a list of different place names, a timeline of events and a timeline of rulers, and a list showing wars, conflicts and rebellions, all of which I expect to do through Drive. With that said, let's dive into the Timeline.

~ Chapter 1: Of Frenchmen and Indians ~

The 18th century supposed a change to the world at large driven by European exploration, colonisation and settlement. While European merchants and adventurers had begun expanding through the oceans since the 15th century, it was not until the 1700’s that colonisation really began to kick in, with thousands of new settlers in America and the cession of trading ports in Africa and India. It was in this last area where the Europeans focused their attention from the later part of the 17th century, as the continent was ripe with riches, ranging from gold to spices, and the weakening of the Mughal Empire, that once ruled most of the subcontinent, was opening the gates for European powers to exert influence in the area, mostly through the use of companies (wether private or state-owned) like the Dutch East India Company or the French East India Company. With Dutch power waning in the latest part of the century, they were mostly supplanted by the British, who by the 1740’s operated out of three main harbours, those of Bombay in the Arabian Sea, Madras in the Bay of Bengal, and Calcutta close to the Ganges Delta; while the French operated mostly out of the port of Pondicherry, located almost a hundred kilometers south of Madras. The closeness of both ports and the Anglo-French rivalry since the reign of Louis XIV (which some historians dub as the Second Hundred Years’ War [1]), led to a power struggle in the southern coast of India that resulted in a series of wars collectively named as the “Carnatic Wars” starting in the 1740’s.

On June 1st 1748 Asaf Jah I, a former Mughal general that had created an independent principality based on Hyderabad, died before the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle was signed [2]. At the time, Hyderabad controlled a large chunk of southern India including the Northern Circars, and had influence over the Carnatic (the plain extending between the Indian Plateau and the Bay of Bengal). At the time, the power vacuum generated by the collapse of the Mughal Empire allowed for both the native Maratha Confederacy and the European powers of France and Great Britain to expand their influence, turning local princes into allies and extending trade networks to the interior, a relationship that also benefited some Indian states as they obtained European guns (and troops) in order to tip the subcontinent’s balance of power in their favour; a relationship reminiscent of that with the native americans.

The death of Asaf Jah I led to a dispute over the succession between the British-backed Nasir Jung and the French-backed Muzaffar Jung, with a similar proxy war developing in the Carnatic between Anwaruddin Mohammed Khan and Chanda Sahib. This situation placed the British station at Madras in a delicate situation, completely surrounded by enemies. Chanda Sahib, with French assistance, opted to march south and secure the entirety of the Carnatic, and in the Battle of Ambur his opponent was killed, and his son Muhammad Ali Khan Wallajah fled to the town of Trichinopoly, and governor Dupleix urged Chanda Sahib to siege the city and take the city of Tanjore later, to which Sahib agreed [3]. Even with his army in disarray, Muhammad Ali held long enough to ask the British in Madras for reinforcements, only to receive news two days later that Trichinopoly had fallen and Chanda Sahib was the sole candidate remaining in the Carnatic by 1749 as Muhammad Ali was being held captive. Still, the British decided to send an expedition to probe the French defences under the former EIC clerk Robert Clive. Despite a series of successful skirmishes, he was unable to take the city of Arcot before the Franco-Carnatic forces could reinforce the city, and opted to retreat back to Madras, not without defeating a French squadron on the way, earning him recognizement in the company. Sahib then turned his attention to the hindu kingdom of Tanjore, laying siege to the capital but failing to capture it, thus temporarily securing Tanjore’s independence.


Joseph François Dupleix.jpeg

Joseph-François Dupleix, Governor-General of French India (1742 - 1764)
With the French and their allies holding control of the Carnatic and with Muhammad Ali Khan in prison, the position of the British block was further compromised when their candidate to the throne of Hyderabad was murdered, leaving only the French-backed Muzaffar Jung, who offered titles and lands to Dupleix but not to his Afghan allies, which led to his death against the Afghans in the Battle of Lakkidderipalli Pass. The French then installed Salabat Jung as monarch assisted by the army of the Marquis de Bussy, effectively turning the lands of Hyderabad into a puppet state and directly annexing the towns of Nizampatnam, Alamanava, Kondavid, Narsapur, Yanaon and Mahfuzbandar. The war between the English and French would dwindle and the British East India Company opted to cut their losses by agreeing to the Treaty of Pondicherry of 1754, which recognised Chanda Sahib as nawab of the Carnatic and Salabat Jung’s rule over Hyderabad, as well as the French influence over the Northern Circars [4].

French actions were not limited to India at the time, the French tried to exert influence over the kingdoms of Burma and Siam as well. In the case of Burma, Mon envoys had arrived in Pondicherry asking the French for support against the Burmese Taungoo Dynasty, against whom they had rebelled in 1745 forming the Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom [5]. Dupleix sent Sieur de Bruno to assist them, and after arriving in July 1751 he requested a couple hundred French troops to take control of the Irrawaddy Delta, and signed an alliance with the Mon. The British heard of Bruno’s actions in Burma and dispatched a fleet that took over Negrais island, where they established a fort. By then, the Mon had toppled the Taungoo Dynasty and reached as far north as Madaya and established an alliance with the Shan people to the east, but were now under threat from the rebel Alaungpaya that had risen in the north.

Alaungpaya’s forces marched south while the Mon attempted to secure their hold over southern Burma, capturing the town of Ava in March of 1754. The Hanthawaddy counterattacked later, laying siege to Ava, only to be defeated by Alaungpaya in May and be forced back to the Irrawaddy Delta. During that time, Alaungpaya approached the British on Negrais Island, asking them for supplies against the French in exchange for the concession of the island, to which the British agreed, wanting a victory in the area that would stop French influence from spreading [6]. Alaungpaya then continued to campaign on southern Burma starting in 1755, a year later, Frederick II of Prussia would launch a pre-emptive attack when hearing of the Austro-French Alliance agreed in the Treaty of Versailles, starting the Seven Years’ War, which would promptly span most of the globe.

[1] - Referring to a period of almost constant hostility between England / Great Britain and France between 1689 and 1811, albeit with times of understanding such as the Anglo-French Alliance between 1716 and 1731.

[2] - Said treaty exchanged some colonial possessions, mainly the French-captured port of Madras being given back to England in exchange for the French fortress of Louisbourg in Cape Breton Island, as well as securing Hyderabad under French protection.

[3] - This is the PoD, IOTL the franco-indian forces marched to Tanjore instead, wasting time in a siege that had to be lifted later as the Marathas and Nasir Jung’s forces were amassing to the north, and when they finally moved to Trichinopoly the British countered their moves.

[4] - The OTL treaty recognised the British-backed Muhammad as nawab, thanks to Robert Clive capturing and holding the town of Arcot for fifty days against all odds. The war with the Marathas to the west goes more or less like OTL. Also, this treaty being beneficial to France means that Dupleix remains as Governor-General of French India instead of being replaced by Charles Godeheu as IOTL, although one of the reasons for his dismissal was his tendency to truncate reports. This version of the treaty does not forbid political activity by either company.

[5] - There was a previous Hanthawaddy Kingdom based on Pegu that controlled the Irrawaddy Delta prior to the formation of the Taungoo Dynasty, the Mon are attempting to restore said polity.

[6] - IOTL the British rejected the proposal and instead aided the Mon with some spare muskets, which led to Alaungpaya assaulting and destroying the British fort at Negrais in 1759.


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India in 1755, after the Second Carnatic War
 
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Greetings, I'm NSaurio and I'm the guy behind the WIP mod for HOI4 about this timeline! I'll be appearing at the head of some "guest posts" as a collaborator of this timeline, mainly regarding East Asia's lore!

I agree this timeline really needed a rework since the last one had a series of inaccuracies, besides that at least now we got a clear PoD so that's something ;)
Don't worry, this will get to where we left the former TL in due time.
 
Chapter 2: An Almost Wonderful Year
~ Chapter 2: An Almost Wonderful Year ~

Frederick II couldn’t be more different from his father, at least during his childhood. Frederick William I was a pragmatic and military-focused monarch who spent most of his reign balancing the budget and laying the foundations of the Prussian military, while his son preferred the alternatives offered by his mother, queen Sophia, developing a taste for music and literature, especially French literature. This led to constant clashes with his father, who humiliated the young Frederick often (he even exchanged correspondence with Voltaire), to the point where he plotted to leave the country together with his mentor von Katte in 1730. However the plan was foiled and crown prince Frederick was incarcerated at Küstrin, where his father even threatened him with execution, but granted him a royal pardon later that year. Frederick later married with Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern despite the couple having barely anything in common and Frederick being homosexual.

Things changed when his father died in 1740. Frederick, now king of Prussia, had inherited a highly militaristic state with territories dispersed throughout the Holy Roman Empire and beyond, with no region being specially wealthy. The Prussian military was, at the time, Europe’s fourth largest, only beaten by those of France, Austria and Russia, all of them states with several times the population of Prussia. As a matter of fact, 7% of the country’s total male population was conscripted, and the military consumed more than four fifths of the state’s budget. As the Marquis de Mirabeau would later say, “Prussia is not a state with an army, but an army with a state”. Frederick put that army to use when he refused to endorse the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which recognised Maria Theresa as the heiress to the Austrian throne. Thus, he invaded Silesia without a previous declaration of war and conquered most of Silesia by 1742, a region that was very rich and nearly doubled Prussia’s population. Maria Therese failed to recover Silesia, and after the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle of 1748, tried a diplomatic approach with France, breaking the Anglo-Austrian alliance, which led to Britain signing an alliance of their own with Frederick II, who launched a pre-emptive attack on Saxony upon hearing of the Treaty of Versailles of 1756 [1].

The British, the only major allies of Prussia, preferred to focus on a naval and global war with the sole goal of defeating France overseas, limiting themselves in Europe to a small contingent of mostly Hanoverian troops and continuous subsidies to Frederick II so that he could pay for his military campaigns. Prussia was in a dire situation, having to fight almost alone against Russia, Austria and France, the three major continental powers of the time, with little aid. Frederick’s military genius could only do so much, and after the disastrous Battle of Kunersdorf, Berlin was only spared by disagreements between the Austrians and Russians. This gave Frederick some breathing room, but the combined power of the Austrians and Russians threatened again to take down Prussia, but the tsarina died in January 1761 and was succeeded by her nephew Peter, who was an admirer of Frederick II and swiftly left the war. These two close-calls are collectively known as the “Miracle of the House of Brandenburg”, a feat which later Prussian monarchs would not be able to replicate even in more favourable conditions [2].

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Frederick II "The Great", King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786, during the Battle of Leuthen

The conflict was not limited to Europe, as France and Britain were struggling over colonial domination all over the globe, from America (where the war started in 1754) to India. In America, the French were initially successful in repelling British attacks such as the Braddock Expedition, but the lack of numbers in New France compared to the British colonies (New France had almost 70.000 settlers compared to the over a million and a half of British settlers). Eventually, the French presence in North America was reduced to the Saint Lawrence valley after the British victory at Louisbourg, and in 1759 the British captured Quebec City after the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and further French attempts to bring reinforcements to North America would not bear fruit.

The naval aspect of the war is also remarkable, as the French spread the initially American conflict into Europe when they raided and captured Menorca in May of 1756 which led to a formal declaration of war on France, months before Frederick II invaded Saxony. The first British plan consisted of a series of raids (“descents”) along the French coast with the aim of taking down coastal fortifications and capturing or destroying ammunition supplies. This plan was sponsored by William Pitt, who had formed a partnership with the Duke of Newcastle by which the later became Prime Minister while Pitt became Secretary of State and effective chief of the British military, promoting a strategy based on disrupting French international trade to cripple their finances, one example being the capture of French Senegambia in 1758 which turned out to be incredibly profitable for the British as it crippled French slave trade and left them with no access to natural gums. The colony would remain in British hands after the Treaty of Paris, excepting the island of Gorée, but the British presence would be undone by the Treaty of Versailles of 1783, only to be restored everywhere except for Saint Louis at a later date.

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Fort of Saint Louis, Senegal, during the late 18th century
In India, hostilities started quickly after news were received that both sides were officially at war. The first actions were carried out by the Nawab of Bengal, fearing the British encroachment in Bengal and also fearful of the Afghans and Marathas to the west, capturing Calcutta after a short siege in 1756. The British sent a relief expedition commanded by Robert Clive [3] and Admiral Charles Watson that recaptured the lost forts and signed the Treaty of Alinagar returning to the status-quo as the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani were increasing their pressure on western Bengal. The Nawab then turned to the French East India Company as an alternative, ignoring that his actions would involve Bengal into the Seven Years’ War. Siraj ud-Daulah was pretty impopular in Bengal, being a very repressive monarch (see the Black Hole of Calcutta for an example of his treatment of prisoners) and involved in many political machinations at the court, and with most of his army in the west and his enemies in the east, the British saw an opportunity to replace him. A conspiracy was brewing in the Bengali court, mainly involving Mir Jafar (the paymaster of the army), Amir Chand (who would threaten to blow up the plot and had to be bribed) and other members of the army, and the British decided to support it. Robert Clive left Calcutta on May 2 and on June 23 he encountered the Bengali Army at the village of Plassey. During the battle Mir Jafar’s forces betrayed the nawab and sided with the British, destroying Siraj ud-Daulah’s army and any hope of a French ally in Bengal. Mir Jafar would be placed on the throne on Bengal, however he would conspire against British rule and tried to get entangled with the Dutch [4], an action which cost him his throne, being replaced by Mir Qasim, an action which effectively resulted in the British annexation of Bengal.

In the south of India, governor Dupleix [5] had changed attitudes with the years. Initially his plan for India consisted of establishing a shell of allied states around Pondicherry and the other French ports in southern India, but after his victory in the Second Carnatic War, Dupleix began to see a chance to build a true French empire in the subcontinent. However, the main roadblock in the way to a French-influenced India was the British port of Madras, and in order to remove that roadblock the French needed more men and ships. Thus, when war was declared, a French expedition to India was sent under the Count of Lally [6], but before his arrival in Pondicherry in May 1758 Dupleix had already captured Fort Saint David, near Cuddalore, employing a strong contingent of Carnatic sepoys. After that victory, Dupleix intended to clean the rest of southern India before heading for Madras (in order to raise revenue there to pay for the Madras offensive), a plan which Lally also supported when he landed after the count d’Aché inflicted a minor defeat to the Royal Navy near Cuddalore, which would be followed by another victory close to Negapatam in mid-August [7]. The Battle of Negapatam dispersed the British fleet and gave Lally enough time to complete the siege of Tanjore, now with naval support, and the city capitulated in September with d’Aché’s fleet going back to Isle de France [8] due to the start of the monsoon season.

The capture of Tanjore did not provide the French with as much revenue as they expected, but it was enough for them to campaign against Madras, a campaign that was delayed further by the monsoon. When the Franco-Carnatic force had finally reached Madras, the British had disposed of enough time to fortify the city and pull 2.000 troops, both British and Indian [9], inside the walls. The French assaulted the city repeatedly after a series of bombardments, finally breaking through on January 27. When a British frigate passed by three days later, the fort of Madras was waving a French flag.

Plassey.jpg

Robert Clive meeting Mir Jafar after the Battle of Plassey, which solidified British rule over Bengal

[1] - All of this is OTL. The European and American campaigns of the Seven Years’ War are barely affected by the PoD.

[2] - Try to guess what this is about, I’ll tell you nothing.

[3] - Despite Clive not being catapulted to fame as the Siege of Arcot never happened ITTL, he still returns to India and participates in the capture of the fortress of Vijaydurg against the Marathas.

[4] - This happened IOTL as well, the Dutch even sent a fleet of seven large ships stating they were to protect their fort at Chinsurah, but Clive would have none of it and attacked the Dutch fleet despite no prior state of war existing between both powers.

[5] - Dupleix remains as Governor-General of India, not being dismissed, despite minister Machault wanting him out in order to appease the British, which IOTL the British ignored, rendering Dupleix’s dismissal unnecessary and a ruin to further French efforts in the subcontinent. After the dismissal, he attempted to sue the company for 13 million livres and spent all his fortune in that endeavour, dying a poor man.

[6] - Who, unlike IOTL, is not named Governor-General of India upon sailing, thus falling under Dupleix’s command. The expedition also has some extra ships, ammunition and artillery pieces compared to the IOTL expedition.

[7] - The French fleet is delayed a bit and so is the battle. D’Aché has more warships in his fleet but the bulk of it is still composed of company vessels. The outcome results in the capture of a British ship and the loss of a company vessel for each side.

[8] - French name for the island of Mauritius.

[9] - In 1757 the British started raising and training local militia forces known as the Madras Army, these native troops would prove to be very steady under fire, but could not stop the French from taking the city.
 
Chapter 3: A War of Seven Years
~ Chapter 3: A War of Seven Years ~

The power struggle between the Indian kingdoms and principalities continued despite the ongoing war between the French and British in the east of the continent. The main rivalry was between the declining Mughal Empire and the ascending Marathas. During the late 17th century the Mughals under Aurangzeb had conquered most of the territory controlled by the Marathas, but upon the death of the emperor the Marathas were still politically relevant and five years later they would begin to regain ground, specially under the leadership of Baji Rao I, first securing the loyalty of princes of Gujarat, Malwa and Rajputana, and by 1737 he defeated the Mughals on the outskirts of Delhi, securing all Mughal territory south of the Yamuna river for the Marathas. The defeated Mughals would request French assistance in October 1755, but the French would decide to let time pass to properly balance the situation, only to find themselves officially at war with Britain yet again the next year.

With no hope of reinforcements, the Marathas under Balaji Baji Rao invaded the Punjab region in 1758, which also brought the Marathas into conflict with the Afghans as Mughal Emperor Shah Alam III had placed the empire under their protection. A second, larger invasion was prepared in 1760, consisting of around 50,000 soldiers and around 200,000 non-combatants (mainly in pilgrimage to sacred Hindu sites in the north). This force was opposed by some 40,000 Afghan warriors assisted by their Rohilla allies [1]. In order to cover their eastern flank the Marathas approached the nawab of Oudh, Shuja-ud-Daulah, but he instead decided to support the Mughal-Afghan alliance with 20,000 troops and a large sum of cash that would finance the presence of the Afghans in the Punjab. The opposing forces would meet at the Third Battle of Panipat, in which the Marathas were slaughtered along with 40,000 prisoners, destroying Maratha power in northern India and almost causing the empire to fragment, now ruled by the young Peshwa Madhavrao I under the regency of Raghunathrao Bhat.

Shuja ud Daulah.jpg

Shuja-ud-Daulah, Subedar Nawab of Oudh (1754-1775), who financed the anti-Maratha coalition

Mughal commander Nizam Ali Khan routed the Marathas all the way to Pune, where they finally sued for peace, leaving him with the command of a force of 60,000 men in central India. With this force he marched on Bidar Fort, where Salabat Jung had placed his court, and arrested him, crowning himself as the new Nizam of Hyderabad [2]. Ali Khan broke previous treaties with the French and began to act independently, focusing his attention on the weakened Maratha empire to the west, forging an alliance with regent Raghunathrao based on mutual distrust for the Peshwa, but the Nizam was betrayed and defeated at Rakshasbhuvan, being forced to cede land to the Marathas as per the Treaty of Aurangabad.

Further east, the British attempt to relieve the siege of Madras was thwarted when a Franco-Indian force defeated Francis Forde’s expedition to Masulipatam at the Battle of Condore despite the French taking more casualties. Forde would then outmaneuver the French and lay siege to the Masulipatam for a week in March, but failed to take the fort and had to retreat back to Calcutta. The British force would return with reinforcements originally intended to relieve Madras back in February and would finally capture Masulipatam in June. By 1759 the finances of France, despite some victories here and there, were in the toilet, and the country was almost bankrupt, so the naval operations of d’Aché could no longer be sustained in the subcontinent and after an indecisive engagement with Pocock’s fleet near Pondicherry he left for Isle de France, allowing the British to have uncontested naval superiority in the Bay of Bengal.

Enjoying their naval superiority, the British prepared a force to retake Madras. Dupleix and his officers had not been idle and despite their limited resources the fortifications of the city had been repaired and expanded, so when the British fleet arrived in January of 1760 they realised the liberation of Madras would be no easy task. The town was blockaded and bombed during months as the opposing Franco-Indian army was larger than what the British could muster for the campaign [3], but the British decided to land a force under Sir Eyre Coote in late March, hoping the French would have suffered enough attrition to possibly be defeated. The British would be proven wrong when Lally (Dupleix is at Pondicherry and de Bussy in the hinterland) would defeat the landing party at Kodambakkam on April 2, forcing Coote to retreat back to the ships and call for further reinforcements.

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Fort Saint George, the main British fort in Madras. The town would exchange hands multiple times during the Carnatic Wars

Said reinforcements would not arrive in time for a new campaign before the monsoon season due to the complicated situation in the north requiring troops to be present [4], so the new campaign would be carried on in November 1760. The lifting of the naval siege of Madras allowed the French to import some replacement weapons from Isle de France and allowed Dupleix to call for help from the metropole, but no navy fleet would be dispatched with the only trade and communications available being through the less potent company vessels. This time the British fleet divided its effort and blockaded both Madras and Pondicherry while focusing most of the naval bombardment in Madras. A new landing party under the command of Eyre Coote was more successful and achieved an initial victory east of Perambur, however Coote would be forced into a stalemate as French, Carnatic and even some Mysorean [5] reinforcements arrived. The siege grew to a standstill until a British charge broke the French line in April, resulting in the encirclement of a third of the French army inside of the city. The French would launch vigorous attempts to break the siege from land, but these would fail due to their lack of artillery and ammunition. The garrison of Madras finally gave up on May 9.

By that point both the French, the British and their respective allies had been bloodied by the siege of Mysore, during which diseases such as dysentery had taken a huge toll on both sides, so the rest of 1761 remained a calm year, with the British preparing an assault on the French Indian capital of Pondicherry. Later that year, d’Aché returned with his fleet [6], now turned lieutenant general of the navy, and a renewed British push had to be, again, postponed. Spain’s entry into the war in 1762 further complicated things for the British, who attempted to assault Pondicherry in February but got repulsed as the French had ramped up their fortifications and had renewed their forces. A new stalemate would ensue in which both sides would attempt to capture the other’s capital in southern India, with no attempt being bearing fruit. Thus, by the time the Treaty of Paris was signed, Pondicherry and the Carnatic remained in French hands, albeit they had lost their influence over Hyderabad (which the French replaced with Mysore) and the Northern Circars, thus ending the Seven Years’ War in Asia [7].

As per the Treaty of Paris, Portugal and Great Britain were given back all the territories the Bourbon Compact had captured during the war (namely Sacramento in Uruguay, the fortress of Almeida, British Sumatra and Minorca) while they also returned most of the territories they occupied to the respective owner, with some changes. France lost most of its North American possessions, including all of New France and Louisiana east of the Mississippi, and the Caribbean islands of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines and Tobago. Western Louisiana remained de-facto in French hands, as the British did not know about the Treaty of Fontainebleau between France and Spain, which awarded western Louisiana to the Catholic Majesty [8] and the Spaniards would not take formal possession until 1769. French Senegambia was taken by Britain except for the station at Gorée, Spain ceded the Floridas to Britain, thus placing the border of British North America on the Mississippi river, and Britain agreed to demolish fortifications in British Honduras and allow the locals to practise Catholicism. France also had to return the status of the fortifications at Dunkirk back to the 1713 levels, which was a humiliation for France which would be repealed in later treaties. Regarding India, all French factories were returned except for the fortress of Masulipatnam, and the limit between French and British influence on the subcontinent was placed vaguely between the Krishna and the Godavari rivers, with the French being prohibited from transporting troops to Bengal. Privated from opportunities to expand in India, France would look elsewhere in the seas.

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The Treaty of Paris, signed on February 10 1963

[1] - The Rohillas are a community of people descending from the Pashtuns that settler along Uttar Pradesh, more concretely around Rohilkhand and the lands of the Rampur State.

[2] - This also happened OTL, the Nizam acted independently on what the French desired and I doubt a stronger French presence would change that. Anyways, both Nizam Ali Khan and Salabath Jung were brothers, both descending from the first Nizam, so he could claim the throne for himself.

[3] - A substantial force had to be left at Bengal as the Mughals under Shah Alam II were launching raids into the territory.

[4] - There was fear that negotiations between Shah Alam II and Mir Qasim would turn sour. They didn’t, as in OTL.

[5] - By late 1760 Hyder Ali had not yet deposed the king of Mysore, but he was still more of a francophile. Without Muhammad Ali as Nawab of the Carnatic, who Ali personally despised, he has more of a free hand and gives the French alliance some aid. By 1760 Mysore had already conquered Bangalore and launched a series of campaigns to the west coast.

[6] - IOTL he did not return to India, spending most of his time in Paris. One of the reasons for his long stay at the capital was an alleged dispute with Lally, a dispute that IITTL Dupleix managed to solve, at least partially.

[7] - With the British having their hands full in India, the Manila expedition does not happen. News of the capture did not reach Europe until after the peace was signed, so it did not affect the negotiations.

[8] - As a side note, in the Treaty of Paris states were most commonly referred as the lands of the “Britanick Majesty” for Great Britain, “Most Christian Majesty” for France, “Catholick Majesty” for Spain and “Most Faithful Majesty” for Portugal.


Oh, by the way, I'll soon post a 1763 World map.
 
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Chapter 4: La Nouvelle-Hollande
~ Chapter 4: La Nouvelle-Hollande ~

The Seven Years’ War was a debacle for France. Not only did France not win a war in Europe that looked like it would be an astonishing victory on a 3 vs 1 against Prussia, but the French navy had taken losses and their empire had been reduced substantially everywhere, from North America to India. For the French East India Company the war supposed the loss of the profitable Northern Circars excepting the forts that had been directly awarded to them by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the British presence in Madras could not be stamped out, while French successes in Sumatra were reverted by the peace treaty. French influence in Burma also vanished as the Mon had been conquered by Alaungpaya in 1757 and the English-aligned monarch launched campaigns against Manipur (which became a tributary) and a retribution campaign against Siam for their attacks on Burmese soil in 1752, an offensive which resulted in the siege of the Thai capital of Ayutthaya in April of 1760 before Alaungpaya fell ill and the Burmese were forced to retreat [1]. After Alaungapaya’s death the Mon would attempt to rebel and regain their independence several times, with every attempt failing and resulting in an increased suppression of their culture.

Both the company and the kingdom showed a continued interest in expanding French influence over the Indian Ocean and even the Pacific, securing control over archipelagos such as the Seychelles or the Chagos. Among them was Louis Antoine de Bougainville, who departed in 1763 in an expedition to the south and founded a settlement in the Malouines [2] dubbed Port Saint Louis and settled it with 75 settlers, most of them Acadians. The colony was prosperous, but the Spanish would purchase it four years later and rename it Puerto Soledad, with king Charles III of Spain paying Bougainville over 600,000 livres for it. In 1766 Bougainville left Nantes in a circumnavigation expedition around the globe that landed in Tahiti (named “New Cythera”) and the Solomon Islands before returning to France in 1769 and publishing a detailed account of his adventures two years later.

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Bougainville's circumnavigation, showing the path taken by the fleet

However, the explorer that would have the longest-lasting impact on the world would be Louis Aleno de Saint Aloüarn. In 1771 he was approached by Yves de Kerguelen on the topic of exploring and settling the lands on the southern Indian Ocean. In April 1771 they set sail from Port Louis, Isle de France and next year they encountered a large mountainous island before the two men were separated by bad weather. Kerguelen would return to France shortly and grossly exaggerate the value of Kerguelen island (named after him), while Louis continued east to reach Cape Leeuwin in Australia, and with no signs of Kerguelen, he continued to sail north, deciding to claim New Holland for France. At the Bay of Taking Possession [3] Saint Aloüarn (actually Mengaud) landed, planted a French flag and buried a parchment and two French crowns [4] near the Cape Inscription, thus claiming possession of New France in the name of king Louis XV. After this, he sailed north as scurvy was becoming a problem, and after a visit on Batavia he sailed to Pondicherry for supplies while also spreading the news of his claim, obtaining a recommendation from Governor-General de Bussy for further exploration of New Holland, before returning to Port Louis and then France [5].

The news of the claim resonated in the court of Louis XV and he and the FEIC offered funds for the establishment of a French presence in New Holland. The reasons were many, first it would give France a new outpost and a presumptive naval base from which the fleet could operate in case of a renewed war with Britain, second it would be a boon for French adventurers and naturalists desiring to know more about new animal or plant species, and third it would provide France a base from which they could trade faster with the East Indies, as travelling at a southern high latitude is faster due to the prevalent west-east winds. Thus, Saint Aloüarn departed from Nantes on April 1774 with over ten ships and and eighty colonists arriving at Cape Leeuwin in October, and sailing north until they found a suitable location some 80 km to the northwest, where the colonists founded the town of Louisbourg [6], the first settlement of the French colony of New Holland, or “La Nouvelle-Hollande”.

The natives were part of the Ouardandi tribe (with the Pignarup not far away to the north [7]) and were very friendly, in fact, they believed the Europeans to be the return of deceased members of their communities, calling them “Djaanga” (or “Djanak”) which literally means white spirit. The colonists had arrived just in time to plant their crops and subsisted on the supplies brought by the ships and the first crop turned out to be plentiful, so the colony survived its first years with ease, with only minor incidents with the natives caused by their tendency to start wildfires at the beginning of the summer to clear the land, an act that some French settlers considered as hostile. As time progressed the French settlement at New Holland would grow and new towns were founded, progressively expelling the native Noungar peoples from their homelands. On the other side of the continent the English had landed at Botany Bay and claimed the eastern half of Australia, which would see its first settlement in 1788. New Holland’s naval potential would be put to use as it would become a French base when events in North America led to a renewal of Franco-British hostilities later that decade.


Saint Alouarn.jpg


Louis Aleno de Saint Aloüarn, father of French Australia

[1] - All of this is OTL, with some minor tweaks that are not even mentioned in the text. Namely, Alaungpaya receives a dozen or so British muskets that IOTL ended up in Mon hands, and as a consequence he does not raze the English fortress at Negrais.

[2] - French name for the Falklands. The Spanish “Malvinas” is a derivation of this term.

[3] - Turtle Bay, Western Australia.

[4] - A type of coin, together they are worth 6 Livres tournois.

[5] - IOTL he contracted an unknown tropical disease in Batavia and died in Port Louis without passing by India.

[6] - Located in OTL Bunbury, Western Australia.

[7] - Both Ouardandi and Pignarup are slightly french-ified versions of tribes in Western Australia, the Wardandi and the Pinjarup. Native reactions are based on those that happened when they interacted with British settlers in the early 19th century.
 
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Chapter 5: The Poisoned Chalice
~ Chapter 5: The Poisoned Chalice ~

If one nation could claim to have won the Seven Years’ War, that would be Britain. They had defeated France and Spain on almost every campaign they started, and the Royal Navy was the largest naval force on the planet, connecting an empire that stretched from the Hudson Bay to Bengal. The empire, apart from being profitable, was also expensive to maintain, now even more so with the huge additions in North America and India that required more soldiers and forts in order to exert influence. As a matter of fact, the debt of the United Kingdom of Great Britain by the time the Treaty of Paris was signed had risen to over 133 million pounds sterling [1], an amount that had almost doubled since the Seven Years’ War started back in 1753. Great Britain needed money, and Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Grenville knew what to do. He cut back spending as much as he could and he proposed the introduction of new taxes.

However there was a problem regarding spending, and that problem was across the Atlantic. The aftermath of Pontiac’s rebellion in the Northwest, that the government had to respond with an envoy of 10,000 soldiers to America, a figure which doubled the soldiery of the continent and would suppose a spending of almost a quarter million pounds per year. Raising taxes in the British Isles was a no-go, as that was one of the causes of the downfall of the previous Bute ministry. Grenville considered that given the troops were in America, the colonists were to pay at least a third of the cost of their maintenance, and would do so through a stricter implementation of the Navigation Acts of the 1600’s and a reform of the taxes on sugar and molasses. The latter raised tariffs on foreign products making them nigh-unavailable for the public and the colonials turned to smuggling and bribing officers. The Sugar Act, at first glance ironically, reduced the taxation on sugar, but with the aim of making tax collection more efficient and increasing compliance. However the colonists began protesting against the changes, alleging that the British Constitution guaranteed that no taxes could be imposed on British subjects if they had no representation in the Parliament [2].

The colonials also had their own arguments. Most of the new taxes were intended to provide protection to the colonies against potential enemies, like the French. However the French had been expelled from mainland North America in 1763, Pontiac’s native rebellion had failed and there was no prospect of an invasion coming from any of Britain’s enemies. The British, wanting to maintain good relations with the natives and also desiring the continuation of the fur trade (despite its decreasing value) passed the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which forbade colonists from crossing the Appalachians and establish settlements there, an act that was despised by the colonists as it locked them in the Atlantic plain while leaving the vast and fertile expanses of the Mississippi in the hands of the natives, natives that were no longer necessary as allies.

British NA in 1774.png

British North America in 1774, with the Indian Reserve in a light shade and colonies without representative assemblies in a dark shade. Comapny rule in darkest shade


Then came the Stamp Act of 1765, intended to introduce a tax over printed materials, including magazines, newspapers and playing cards among others. This tax was already in effect in Britain, and the American version of this tax was less onerous, and the early approval of colonial figures such as Connecticut’s Jared Ingersoll pointed out that this tax would not cause any major problem in the colonies. However, the colonies reacted to the new tax, in Virginia, Patrick Henry allegedly called for the killing of George III stating that “If this be treason, make the most of it!”; in Massachusetts the Assembly drafted a letter asking the colonies to consult together the circumstances of the colonies, a letter that resulted in the Stamp Act Congress in New York city with delegates assisting from all the seaboard colonies except for Nova Scotia, New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia, the delegates of which did not assist for a variety of reasons [3]. There had been prior acts in which the colonies had arranged a meeting, such as the Albany Congress of 1754, but none in which they reacted with such hostility against the Parliament. Grenville’s government was growing impopular at home and he was replaced by Rockingham, who repealed the Stamp Act in 1766, pressured by merchants and colonists alike. The colonists reacted jubilantly, even erecting statues honoring William Pitt and King George III in New York.

stamp act.jpg

British cartoon depicting the repeal of the 1765 Stamp Act


At this point, the huge distance between the colonies and the British Isles made any attempt at direct negotiation between both parties difficult, for example, when the Parliament received news that a congress had been called in the colonies, the Stamp Act Congress was already in session. At this point, the colonies were becoming independent states in all but name, with a growing tension between the colonists and the British, and the British were still short of cash. In 1767 the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Charles Townshend tried again to collect money from the colonies, albeit this time indirectly and through a tariff placed on products such as tea, paper, glass or paint. The goal of these tariffs was to pay the salaries of colonial governors and judges, thus directly benefiting the colonies, and as a pre-emptive measure against smuggling the vice admiralty courts were reinforced.

The tax proved as unpopular as the Stamp Act and opposition rose again, such as John Dickinson’s “Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania”, who distinguished between taxes aimed at regulating trade and taxes aimed at increasing the state’s revenue (he considered this second type as unconstitutional and against the rights of Englishmen). This concept that taxes were unconstitutional spread like a wildfire and soon many began to accept the quite radical notion that all taxes were pure evil and that the best government was the one that governed the least. The General Tribunal of Massachusetts published a work written by Samuel Adams, James Otis and Joseph Hawley stating that only Americans could claim tax money from Americans, a publication that the governor Francis Bernard qualified as seditious. In Boston, protest against the arrest of a smuggler forced the British to send two regiments of infantry, the 14th and 29th in a climate that the new governor of Massachusetts qualified as “frankly revolutionary”.

By 1770 the protest movement against the British parliament was no longer influenced by the merchants who had assisted Samuel Adams, but in the hands of radicals such as the Sons of Liberty. Tensions continued to rise in Boston as the citizens threw snowballs at the redcoats and they replied with a musket volley, killing five civilians [4]. The soldiers were absolved but they had to retreat to Castle William, an island in the bay. Seeing the chaos caused by the tariffs, the British government abolished them except for the tariff of a penny for each pound of tea, as the British East India Company was going through a period of crisis which escalated in 1773 and forced the passing of the Tea Act in March 1773 [5], which gave the company the monopoly on trade tea with America and made them exempt of paying taxes, which made company-imported tea cheaper than smuggling, which threatened many merchants with economic ruin.

The American reaction was quick. New York and Pennsylvania returned the tea back to Britain, South Carolina closed the cargos in the docks and left them to rot, and in Massachusetts the ships could not discharge the cargo as vigilant colonists blocked any attempt to land the cargo. In December a mob dressed like Mohawk Indians took the tea on the HMS Dartmouth and threw the 317 chests of tea [6] the ship contained into the water. This act was so radical it was condemned by figures such as John Adams or Benjamin Franklin, and the Parliament refused to step back. The rallying point of the navy was changed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Boston, and the port was closed in the spring of 1774 until the company had been paid for the lost tea in its integrity. The Massachusetts Charter was declared null and a new Governing Council was to be formed by George III. At the same time, the Quebec Law was passed, which awarded the territory north of the Ohio to the province of Quebec, thus threatening merchants in the Mississippi valley and implementing French laws and customs in the area, which would forbid representative bodies and implement catholicism in the area. The act was deemed as intolerable by the colonials and the British would not step back. In the words of George III, “The die is now cast; the colonies must either triumph or submit… we must not retreat”.

Boston Tea Party.jpg

The Boston Tea Party


[1] - OTL that figure was 129 million, the two campaigns to retake Madras were pretty expensive, and fighting a slightly-larger French fleet has further strained British finances.

[2] - Which is true, however over 90% of the British Isles’ population wasn’t represented in Parliament and they still had to pay taxes and comply with changes.

[3] - The remaining British colonies in North America (Quebec, Newfoundland and the Floridas) did not have assemblies and thus were not invited.

[4] - Just like IOTL this action would be grossly exaggerated by the Sons of Liberty and related press.

[5] - The company has less tea to export ITTL as naval losses during the 7YW reduced the amount of shipping available for trade in China (as tea was not cultivated in India neither IOTL nor ITTL until the 1820's in Assam). The causes of the crisis, such as the Great Bengal Famine of 1770 which killed over a million people. The Battle of Buxar and Oudh becoming a British puppet happen as IOTL.

[6] - Again, less tea than IOTL. Butterflies are starting to kick in.
 
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[5] - The company has less tea to export ITTL due to a stronger French presence in India which limits their access to the resource.
How so?
India didn't cultivate and export tea until the second half of the 19th century after Robert Fortune stole tea seeds and plants along the cultivation and preparation technics of the Chinese in the 1840s, before which point China had a monopoly on tea. And the part of India France controls there ITTL is not exactly a tea producing region as far as I know.
In the 18th century yet, the British paid their tea from China either with silver or opium from their plantations in Bengal and Assam I believe.
 
How so?
India didn't cultivate and export tea until the second half of the 19th century after Robert Fortune stole tea seeds and plants along the cultivation and preparation technics of the Chinese in the 1840s, before which point China had a monopoly on tea. And the part of India France controls there ITTL is not exactly a tea producing region as far as I know.
In the 18th century yet, the British paid their tea from China either with silver or opium from their plantations in Bengal and Assam I believe.
Checked it and you're right, speaks of my complete inability to write a proper TL. Anyways I'll change the footnote and say it's less tea because of higher British naval losses, specially in trade ships during the 7YW.
 
Plus France wouldn't really cultivate tea. The tea consumption in France at that time is rock bottom. No one drinks tea really. France's big thing at that time, and arguably still today is coffee and hot chocolate
 
Plus France wouldn't really cultivate tea. The tea consumption in France at that time is rock bottom. No one drinks tea really. France's big thing at that time, and arguably still today is coffee and hot chocolate
With the original footnote I was referring to the French naval presence and losses during the 7yw, did not say tea was consumed in France, anyways I reworded that so it is more obvious.

Don't be so hard on yourself, that looks good so far.
I said that because I love adding small details like specifying the number of tea crates to play a bit with the TL, I barely do research when changing small things because, well, they are small, so they are easy to take down. Doubt I change my approach to them, but I appreciate corrections greatly, it helps perfile the TL and give it a tad more realism.
 
With the original footnote I was referring to the French naval presence and losses during the 7yw, did not say tea was consumed in France, anyways I reworded that so it is more obvious.


I said that because I love adding small details like specifying the number of tea crates to play a bit with the TL, I barely do research when changing small things because, well, they are small, so they are easy to take down. Doubt I change my approach to them, but I appreciate corrections greatly, it helps perfile the TL and give it a tad more realism.
Oh ye fair
 
Chapter 6: The Fruit of the Tree of Liberty
~ Chapter 6: The Fruit of the Tree of Liberty ~
Colonies are like fruits which cling to the tree only till they ripen.
- Louis Félix Étienne, marquis de Turgot

The 14 colonies of the American Atlantic seaboard were different from each other in character and goals, but they can be generally grouped in three major groups. First we have the New England colonies, formed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut (which also included Nova Scotia, despite some of its particularities), which had been settled by puritans with a strong religious character and a economic mostly based on mercantilist values and proto-industry as the land was not fertile enough to build a prosperous agrarian society. To the west and south lied the four Mid-Atlantic colonies of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware (pretty much a vassal of Pennsylvania) which were more ethnically mixed and shared the mercantile views of New England while removing puritan influence, with religious authority being in the hands of sects such as the mostly pacifist quakers. Finally, there were the southern colonies of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, whose societies were based on slave plantations that produced crops such as tobacco, a product with a very high demand in Europe. However, all of the colonies shared traits in common, such as their growing distaste with the measures of the English parliament and the presence of elect legislative bodies for each colony, which were non-existent in the rest of British possessions in the continent.

When tensions flared up after the Boston Tea Party and similar incidents further south, a congress was called for the colonies to meet up and decide what path to take. 12 of the 14 colonies assisted, with Nova Scotia and Georgia missing. The largest delegations were those of Massachusetts and Virginia, with the special participation of Samuel Adams and George Washington, a Virginian military man who the British refused to condecorate as colonel and helped to raise and train militias in Virginia. An alliance between the north and the south was forged during the Congress in order to protect their mutual interests and liberties, an unlikely alliance between planters and merchants, and between aristocrats and radicals. The main division in the congress was, thus, between moderates and radicals, with the moderate faction coming out on top. Joseph Galloway’s plan of Union was rejected due to the difference of four votes [1], with the final resolution being a boycott on British goods and a promise to halt slave imports in the future, which never materialised.

First Con Con.jpg

The First Continental Congress, 1774

By the time the Congress was finished, British authority in Massachusetts had collapsed with government tasks assumed by a provincial congress, while forces of militia known as “Minutemen” took control of the province’s security. More of these militias began to form elsewhere, and in Virginia George Washington accepted command over seven militia companies, a prelude to him being eventually named commander in chief of the revolutionary forces. Colonial governments were had been building stockpiles of arms for a while, a fact that was known by the British and in April of 1775 a force of almost 700 men led by de iure governor sir Thomas Gage departed Boston, heading towards the arms depot of Lexington and resistance flared up, with men such as Paul Revere riding through the countryside calling men to arms. The redcoats had to retreat, taking over twice the casualties as the Americans, now considered in a state of rebellion since February.

The next month the Second Continental Congress was formed with 65 initial delegates, a number that would increase to 75 by September as both Nova Scotia and Georgia sent their delegations [2]. By then, the congress had formed an army, the Continental Army, and placed George Washington as the commander in chief, and sent a petition known as the Olive Branch Petition directly to the monarch, pledging him to open negotiation, but by the time George III had already issued the Proclamation of Rebellion, and rejected any proposal to negotiate. The war was now unavoidable, but an issue still divided the congress, that of declaring independence. The majority of the population was still opposed to the idea, but as the months went by and the control of the congress began to take hold, pro-independence feelings started to arise as, factually, the colonies were already independent, with the government issuing paper currency and looking for foreign allies. The decision was ultimately taken starting in May 1776, when the Congress asked the colonies to form independence-minded governments and proclaim independence, as the Virginian Richard Henry Lee requested, but some colonies such as Pennsylvania or South Carolina were vacillant, until formal independence was declared and ratified on June 27th 1776 [3].

The British laid siege to Boston in April of 1775 and tried to knock out the rebels early on by capturing the Charlestown peninsula at the Battle of Bunker Hill, where the British suffered astounding casualties and Gage paralysed offensive operations before being replaced by William Howe. The British changed their strategy from one aimed at quickly defeating the rebels to one of a methodical approach, which actually favoured the rebels as it allowed them to disengage from battle when they could be beaten and gave them more time to train their forces. To the north the Green Mountain Boys captured Fort Ticonderoga and along with Benedict Arnold’s forces marched on Quebec hoping to cause a rebellion in the province against British authority, but the campaign was a disaster. At the very least the captured artillery at Ticonderoga permitted the Americans to put pressure on Boston and force the British to retreat in 1776 heading towards Halifax, which had been captured by the navy early in the war and the Nova Scotia Assembly retreated across the isthmus to Moncton.

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British forces evacuate Boston

To the south, Virginia’s Royal Governor tried to disarm the militia and, when that failed, tried to instigate a slave revolt offering them freedom should they join the crown’s forces, an act that also failed and resulted in Dunmore’s retreat to Norfolk which was later abandoned after the British burned the city. In the Carolinas Patriot militias had driven the Royalists out and American privateers were raiding British ports as far south as the Bahamas searching for the scarce gunpowder, that was no scarcity for the British as India exported a lot of saltpeter.

The British decided to retaliate in the summer of 1776 and after a brief campaign in the Nova Scotia peninsula that defeated the rebels, William Howe landed with a contingent of British and Hessian troops in Staten Island in August [4]. The British decided to push and capture New York during autumn, successfully scattering the rebels in a series of battles and almost capturing Washington himself at the Battle of the White Plains [5]. The general would come to bite back at the British, defeating them at a counteroffensive and defeating the British both at Princeton and Trenton after crossing the Delaware. These victories raised the American morale and had an impact in France, which had been secretly supplying the rebels and now began to consider a more open approach.

The French marquis of La Fayette [6] had reached America in June and joined the Continental Army, returning to France with news of the rebellion’s success and gathering support for a more direct French intervention. Louis XVI, supported by foreign minister Vergennes, would finally jump on the side of the rebels when they heard news of Horatio Gates’ victory at Saratoga and the surrender of British general Burgoyne, a defeat which prevented the British plan to control the Hudson and split New England from the rest of the rebel colonies. On February 6 1778 American ambassador Benjamin Franklin convinced the French to sign the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance, thus turning a regional rebellion into a globe-spanning war as France declared war on the United Kingdom in July.

Traite dAlliance.jpg

The Franco-American Treaty of Alliance

[1] - IOTL it was rejected by a single vote, with the British finances deeper in the metaphorical sink, there is an extended belief that a union would result in further taxation in America.

[2] - Independence sentiment is stronger than IOTL, plus the spies sent by Washington to the colony were not the two incompetent men of IOTL, which could not even find a ship. This different delegation convinces the Assembly of Nova Scotia to join the congress.

[3] - TTL’s discussion period is only two weeks instead of three.

[4] - July IOTL, the delays caused by less funds and more American resistance.

[5] - The battle takes place at a different date and thus there is no fog that eases the American escape.

[6] - His actual title, the Americans would write it as either LaFayette or Lafayette.
 
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This looks very interesting to say the least, definitely worth a watch. I hope France's control of the Carnatic means their finances are in better shape than IOTL.
 
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