Honestly, everyone (except the loser of this war) came out even better than OTL, with a very humiliated and weakened Britain, the French basically have a free hand to further control India and the Caribbean.
 
Honestly, everyone (except the loser of this war) came out even better than OTL, with a very humiliated and weakened Britain, the French basically have a free hand to further control India and the Caribbean.
Will their additional profits from Southern India and the Caribbean butterfly the French Revolution, thus leading to a surviving French monarchy?
 
That is a soundly beaten Britain. Bravo!

Here's hoping the Revolution doesn't break out (or, if it does, that it takes a different course from OTL) so that the French navy isn't gutted.
 
Will their additional profits from Southern India and the Caribbean butterfly the French Revolution, thus leading to a surviving French monarchy?
Doubt so, the chain of events leading to the French Revolution has been in motion for a long time. France is heavily indebted, with an outdated taxation system and many lands, people and cities exempt from taxation of any kind, so when the French economy crashes again (an inevitability at this point) the whole system is going to come crashing down. Oh, but the French monarchy will survive, just in a way you probably are not expecting.

Here's hoping the Revolution doesn't break out (or, if it does, that it takes a different course from OTL) so that the French navy isn't gutted.
The French Revolution will be different from that of OTL but I don't want to alter it too much, since it would require me to take a deep dive into politics and individuals, and I'm already having enough of that with the US. The French Navy won't be (that) gutted, and it will play a key part in the years to come.
 
Chapter 10: An Army Marches on its Paycheck
~ Chapter 10: An Army Marches on its Paycheck ~

The expenditures of the American Revolutionary War had exhausted both sides. For Great Britain, the cost of the war ascended to over 220 million pounds, while France had expended more than a billion livres (which is equivalent to roughly a hundred million pounds). Great Britain responded with tax increases, but the French system was highly ineffective and the debt only grew with time, leading to the Financial Crisis of 1786 and the subsequent events of 1789. Spain’s losses were also notable, but a correct fiscal policy helped alleviate the debt, mainly through the creation of the national bank of Spain [1]. But in no nation was the cost higher than in the United States of America. The amount of paper money printed by the Continental Congress in order to pay for the troops alone ascended to over 400 million dollars, a currency that had no real backing and relied almost exclusively on future payments, which, combined with inflation rates that were as high as 28% per year, rendered the dollar a useless currency, so much that when Washington was camping at Valley Forge the locals sold their food to the British in exchange for pounds, and forcing Washington to resort to pillage.

In a nutshell, the United States was broke. Under the government of the Articles of Confederation, the government’s only source of money consisted of the individual states lending money to the government, as the states held most of the economic power. By 1779 the government stopped printing currency and requested that the funding of the Continental Army be supplied by the states themselves, who were also going through a period of instability. In an attempt to cure the economic malaise, the congress created the position of Superintendent of Finance and awarded it to Robert Morris, but the situation was so desperate he had to pay the Continental Army from his own pockets. Trust in the government went through the floor after the war, as with the British no longer acting as a unifying factor, the different colonies began to drift apart.

This was especially true in the center of the new nation. When the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia as Clinton came crashing down the Delaware in 1780, they temporarily relocated to Baltimore, Maryland. By that time the frame of government in 13 or the 14 states were the Articles of Confederation. The only exception was Maryland, now seat of the Continental Congress. The point of contention was that Maryland had no claims to the territories beyond the Appalachians, while most of the other states had, and Maryland feared that the territory to the west would give the rest of the states way too much leverage, and thus, refused to ratify the Articles of Confederation. When Clinton took Philadelphia in August 1780, the crisis between Maryland and the rest of the states escalated. The red dagger of the British was pointing at Baltimore and the campaign season still had at least two more months, more than enough time for the British to continue their march south and seize the city. Tensions reached a point in which the Virginian delegation of the Congress threatened to pull their troops across the Potomac back to Virginia should Maryland not comply and ratify the Articles. Horatio Gates managed to convince the Virginia militia not to abandon Maryland, but the threat worked and Maryland ratified the Articles of Confederation in September, with no further promise of land redistribution to the west [2].

Articles of Confederation.jpg

First page of the Articles of Confederation, the law of the land in the United States

The feared British assault never came, as Clinton was low on supplies and the British troops had to live off the land and did not have enough supplies to launch a major campaign until the harvest season, but by that moment the Continental Army had been mostly rebuilt and replenished with southern militias, while more and more British soldiers were engaged on guard duty as the locals were growing more hostile. When Clinton retreated back to New York, the British seized anything of value in the Delaware valley and torched the fields of those who had resisted, reducing the grain production of the Delaware river by almost 40% (plus another 30% on the Hudson) and causing 1782 to be a year of food scarcity in parts of the country. The limited Congress of the Confederation could not cope with the increased demand effectively, and the popular faith in the government decreased even more.

The states that had food to spare traded it with the Mid-Atlantic states in exchange for their currency, as the dollar was pretty much worthless at this point. Excess wheat, corn, barley or rye were to be exported for consumption and the Pennsylvania state government passed a tax on alcoholic beverages intended to disdain farmers in western Pennsylvania from turning their excess grain into whiskey. There was fear that a new tax could spring a rebellion in the western parts of the state, but it never materialised [3] and very few whiskey was produced that year, with protests against the tax eventually leading to its derogation the next year once the risk of a famine was gone.

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British general sir Henry Clinton, known by the Americans as "The Hun" for his pillaging of the Delaware

The other relevant issue that the United States would have to overcome was the army. Pursuing Clinton, the army made camp at the town of Newburgh starting in October 1781 until the war ended. In 1780 the Continental Congress had promised the soldiers a lifetime pension equivalent to half of their pay until they died, but said payment was nothing but wet paper, and Robert Morris suspended army payment in 1782 [4]. The army opted to wait until the end of the war as well, but Horatio Gates was growing desperate with the situation of the army, and his aide John Armstrong was even more concerned about payment. Attempts to raise more funds for the army had all failed, with the latest one rejected in November 1782 by Virginia and Rhode Island, to the dismay of the “nationalist” faction (composed mostly of the Morris brothers and James Madison [5]), that intended to employ the issue with the army to increase the Congress’ ability to raise revenue.

John Armstrong, with the approval of Horatio Gates and other commanders camped at Newburgh, issued a letter to the Congress in early 1783, with Morris replying that there were no funds to pay the army now, and sent colonel John Brooks to mediate with the soldiers and reach an agreement with the army over the issue of payment. As time passed, Gates began to see an opportunity in the army to, and he decided to play the long game with Brooks, avoiding the man whenever possible until he arranged a meeting of officers on April 27, the result of which was the “Newburgh Ultimatum”, in which the Continental Army (or at least a fraction of it) would rebel and march on Philadelphia unless payment was issued to the soldiers by fall [6].

The Congress was shocked by the news and President of the Continental Congress Elias Boudinot tried to mediate while attempting to extract revenue from wherever possible, convincing all state delegations to approve Thomas Burke’s proposal for a 5% tax on all imports in extremis (the same that was taken down last November) and use the money exclusively to pay the army rents. The expected value of the money that would be raised by this tax would not be enough to pay for the soldiers’ arrears given the very limited trade due to the ongoing war, even if Congress was aware that peace could be signed at any time, so the rest of the money had to come from whatever hard currency reserves the government had and from the well-valued livres and dollars remained of the French and Spanish loans, thus ruining US trade in the long term. Before Gates’ ultimatum expired, tragedy struck him personally when his wife Elizabeth died that summer, and the general’s confidence on the ultimatum waned initially before gaining more resolve, with officers opposed to his ultimatum also gathering in secret and meeting with the Nationalists in order to stop Gates from marching on Philadelphia and destroying the Republic. However, Gates would suffer an accident [7] on August 3 from which he would not recover, and as payment started to arrive to the soldiers, Gates’ Newburgh Conspiracy was foiled. The attempted coup left the nation in shackles and proved how easily any government would kowtow to the threats coming from its own military. Sadly, the United States learned the wrong lesson, believing that awarding more powers to the government would only result in the rise of a tyrant, that the government could employ emergencies at will to undermine the power of the states, and that an increase of the powers of any confederal structure would only lead to the states’ liberties being curb stomped.

Horatio Gates.jpg

Horatio Gates, a man that came dangerously close to turning the US into a military dictaroship

[1] - OTL numbers for a slightly smaller debt contracted during the shorter war.

[2] - The pressure exerted on Maryland would be a shot in the arm for those stating that replacing the British Parliament with a Continental Congress was nothing good, and the voices defending the states’ rights over the government are more widespread.

[3] - A butterflied version of OTL’s Whiskey Rebellion, albeit there is no rebellion at all here.

[4] - This is pretty much OTL, with the British only controlling New York at this point the army was not needed as much, and Morris was desperate to balance the Union’s spending.

[5] - Alexander Hamilton is a British prisoner in an improvised jail in New York city.

[6] - Neither the goals of the Newburgh Conspiracy nor if Horatio Gates was implicated in it are known IOTL as Washington stepped in and foiled the plot with the Newburgh Address. Here, Washington’s dead and the cabal of officers gravitating around Gates is smaller than IOTL (he’s not seen as Washington’s most likely competitor), but still threatening enough. Maybe this is too much of a stretch, but butterflies are starting to go wild already.

[7] - Definitely not a deliberate attempt on his life. ITTL Gates surviving and launching a coup d’etat is a common trope among allohistorians in web pages, specially those living in the Columbian nations.

Note: US politics is far from my speciality and it's a topic I don't enjoy much, researching this almost from scratch is difficult, and I can guarantee you that there will be some inconsistences or things that do not make much sense in this and the coming chapters, albeit some can be explained with the changes in the TL. Criticism is welcomed.
 
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British general sir Henry Clinton, known by the Americans as "The Hun" for his pillaging of the Delaware
😳
Never thought the Revolutionaries would use an Anti-German slur against General Henry Clinton of all people.
 
Honestly I'm impressed with how fast you do your chapters, even if they aren't all that big is still really good seeing them out so quick.

Oh and poor USA, are we gonna see a Divided States of America? Hopefully not, it would be a disaster for that to happen.
 
Honestly I'm impressed with how fast you do your chapters, even if they aren't all that big is still really good seeing them out so quick.

Oh and poor USA, are we gonna see a Divided States of America? Hopefully not, it would be a disaster for that to happen.
I have plenty of free time as I have finished my summer job and I have yet to start university (next monday btw). From next week on, updates will decrease in regularity, I hope that is not accompanied by a drop in quality.

And yes, the US is done for. It won't survive the 1780's. Or at least not in its current form.
 
I have plenty of free time as I have finished my summer job and I have yet to start university (next monday btw). From next week on, updates will decrease in regularity, I hope that is not accompanied by a drop in quality.

And yes, the US is done for. It won't survive the 1780's. Or at least not in its current form.
Sad! At least France or Spain can fill in the vacuum, maybe a independent Quebec even?
 
Honestly, I just want Spain not to end up as badly as it originally did or at least for Louisiana to end up being Hispanic.
 
Louisiana will likely end up as a melting pot of Cajun/Acadian, Spanish and Angloamerican culture. Cajun is likely to be the dominant one due to how Louisiana will gain independence though, but we won't see the majority anglophone Louisiana of IOTL.
 
Chapter 11: The Nation With Many Heads
~ Chapter 11: The Nation With Many Heads ~

The Newburgh Conspiracy caused the Congress to disband the Continental Army, now leaderless as both of its historic commanders in chief were either dead or pending judgement (Gates was still alive when the army was disbanded, albeit in a crippled state in the field hospital, where he was given a swift judgement and sentenced to death by hanging). Secretary of War Benjamin Lincoln, now the major figure related to the military, initially opposed the idea but was convinced swiftly with a salary increase. Now without an army of any kind, there was the problem of who was to man the forts of the country, a task that was assumed by the states militias in those forts that were clearly part of a single state, such as Fort Moultrie in South Carolina. However, forts across the Appalachians had no clear owner, for many states laid claims to those lands, concretely the implicated states being Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia; with the rest of states having no claims whatsoever. There were voices that claimed that these disputes could cause a war between the states.

The question of the western lands chilled when New York agreed to cede its claims west of Lake Eyre to the Congress in 1780, which was accepted in 1782. Massachusetts would follow suit in 1785 in exchange for the Congress assuming part of its war debt and Connecticut would cede most of its claims in 1786, but the rest of the states (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia), having a direct connection to their western claims, refused to cede an inch of terrain to the Congress, except for Virginia’s claim north of the Ohio River in 1784. This is not to say the states that kept claims did not have problems keeping them, as the people on the Carolinian claim proclaimed the State of Franklin and requested their accession to the Union, but the proposal was rejected and North Carolinian forces restored order in the area under Colonel John Typton in 1786 [1]. A similar action was repeated by Virginia after news of a convention in Kentucky were filtered in which James Wilkinson was supposedly contacting the Spanish and asking them to set up a protectorate in Kentucky. Virginia quickly shutted down any resemblance of self-governing in Kentucky and Wilkinson was incarcerated [2].

US Land claims.png

State cessions by the US. Almost all of the dates are from OTL, decided not to remove them

The lands ceded to the Congress were incredibly valuable, and the indebted Congress thought that selling tracts of lands in the Ohio Country could raise much needed revenue and solve the economic malaises of the country, with the Congress passing the Land Ordinance of 1785 in order to have more control over land grabs [3]. However, the land was already settled by natives and without a fighting force to expel them, Congress’ chances of expelling them were bleak. The idea of allowing states militias to do the job was rejected, for it could lead to the states claiming the area, so the Congress of the Confederation tried to raise a new army, but this was blocked by the states that did not have interests in the Northwest, so the control of the US government or any of the states north of the Ohio river was nonexistent, and as a matter of fact, the area was de-facto controlled by the British.

The economy continued to be in the sink for the entire existence of the Union, with the states blocking every attempt by the Congress of the Confederation to raise new taxes or modify those already in place (mainly the 5% tax on imports), and state governments refusing to give enough money for the Congress of the Confederation to operate properly, as most sessions were virtually empty of delegates. That the current state of things could not continue was obvious to everybody, and the nation split in two opposing camps, the Federalists (who believed that power should be focused on the Congress and that states were acting as de-facto independent states without listening to the Congress), and the Anti-Federalists (who feared that giving more power to the Congress would result in tyranny and would abrogate the power of the states. In Massachusetts, Luke Day attempted a farmer rebellion to oppose the takeover of the indebted lands, but this attempt was quickly suppressed by the Massachusetts militia, in no small part aided by Day’s own behaviour and overzealousness [3], thus reinforcing the idea that the states were perfectly capable of defending themselves and that there was no need for a higher institution.

Another rebellion broke out in Vermont in 1785 once New York proprietaries started to settle back in the area. This time, however, the New York state militia was unable to take control of the situation as quickly as Massachusetts did, and a Second Republic of Vermont was proclaimed by the rebels, with covert aid from New Hampshire as they preferred and independent republic there rather than New York controlling the land they claimed through the New Hampshire Grants. This situation was exploited by the political theorist Alexander Hamilton [4], who argued for a strong action on part of the Continental Congress regarding the issue, and for it to “show some muscle”, while at the same time being soft with the rebels. This posture convinced no one and Hamilton quickly fell out of favour with the New York Assembly, and his increasing radicalism regarding the power of the government was too much for the Federalists, who also rejected him, with the anti-federalists dubbing Hamilton a monarchist.

Alexander Hamilton.jpg

Alexander Hamilton

Tensions between the states surged again in 1786 when Virginia and Maryland were entangled in a diplomatic dispute over the ownership of the Potomac River, with both sides claiming the border of their state being on the opposing shoreline. This affected navigation, as both states tried to control the flow of trade up and down the river, and by that time an attempt at negotiation failed despite James Madison’s intervention [5]. Virginia was much stronger than Maryland, and should the situation go out of hand, would likely crush Maryland’s militia. Maryland’s only option, apart from bowing to Virginia’s demand, was calling to the Congress for help, a futile effort as Virginia would block any attempt and Marylanders did not trust the Congress after the pretty much forced ratification of the Articles of Confederation back in 1780. Then President of the Congress Nathaniel Gorham was powerless to act on the issue and tried to negotiate with both sides, but neither the Virginian nor Marylander delegations were present, and his attempts to mediate through letters failed.

At around the same time New York authorities discovered New Hampshire militias providing the Vermonters with supplies, and the situation escalated. By late 1786, the situation in the United States was critical. The government was powerless, the popular belief in the greater Union was waning, the economy was ruined as trade with Britain and the Antilles had been hit hard by the war, and four states were threatening war on each other. It was at that critical moment when Federalists called for a “Meeting of Commissioners to Remedy Defects of the Federal Government” in February 1787, a last ditch effort to keep the United States together and, hopefully, enforce a government strong enough to placate the states and their claims. The Convention of Philadelphia would be the last step in the inevitable dissolution of the United States [6].

[1] - IOTL this expedition was launched in 1787 and did not dismantle the institutions of the State of Franklin, here the leaders of the state are considered as rebels by the North Carolina Assembly and arrested.

[2] - Another OTL conspiracy that goes out of hand ITTL. The southern states simply are not going to give an inch of land.

[3] - IOTL Luke Day was a member of Shays’ Rebellion, here that revolt is slightly butterflied to be way less serious.

[4] - He gets nowhere near enough clout due to spending half of the war as a British prisoner in New York, where he read Hobbes’ Leviathan and got some… interesting ideas.

[5] - Other of the butterflies of Washington being dead, the Mount Vernon Conference is butterflied away.

[6] - ITTL the dominant current of thought is that the United States was a project too big and idealistic to work, and that the Union was doomed to fail from its very beginning due to its internal differences.
 
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Louisiana will likely end up as a melting pot of Cajun/Acadian, Spanish and Angloamerican culture. Cajun is likely to be the dominant one due to how Louisiana will gain independence though, but we won't see the majority anglophone Louisiana of IOTL.
It would be a bit screwed if she is not Hispanic, since she was the one that actively populated her with the most efficiency, it was at the time that she had a greater demographic evolution, not during France.
 
It would be a bit screwed if she is not Hispanic, since she was the one that actively populated her with the most efficiency, it was at the time that she had a greater demographic evolution, not during France.
The amount of inmigrants coming from Spain (mainly from the Canary Islands) was close to 3,500 people during the time Louisiana was controlled by Spain. During the same time the Spanish also settled Acadian refugees, with a number close to 3,000. By 1763 Louisiana's white population was around 8,000, almost all of them French, so by 1773 the French outnumbered the Spanish more than 3 to 1, and that's not even factoring the growth of the Franco-Louisianan population in ten years. So yeah, Louisiana is not likely to be hispanic, it will have a hispanic minority that's for sure, but they will not be dominant.
 
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The amount of inmigrants coming from Spain (mainly from the Canary Islands) was close to 3,500 people during the time Louisiana was controlled by Spain. During the same time the Spanish also settled Acadian refugees, with a number close to 3,000. By 1763 Louisiana's white population was around 8,000, almost all of them French, so by 1773 the French outnumbered the Spanish more than 3 to 1, and that's not even factoring the growth of the Franco-Louisianan population in ten years. So yeah, Louisiana is not likely to be hispanic, it will have a hispanic majority that's for sure, but they will not be dominant.
It could be like Paraguay in the situation of Spanish, the Hispanic language that everyone speaks and another language almost at the same level. It is curiously how the Spanish settled definitively after the independence of the countries.
 
The amount of inmigrants coming from Spain (mainly from the Canary Islands) was close to 3,500 people during the time Louisiana was controlled by Spain. During the same time the Spanish also settled Acadian refugees, with a number close to 3,000. By 1763 Louisiana's white population was around 8,000, almost all of them French, so by 1773 the French outnumbered the Spanish more than 3 to 1, and that's not even factoring the growth of the Franco-Louisianan population in ten years. So yeah, Louisiana is not likely to be hispanic, it will have a hispanic majority that's for sure, but they will not be dominant.
*Minority
 
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