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.

    1755 India.png

    India in 1755, after the Second Carnatic War
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    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.

    Saint Louis.jpg

    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.


    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.
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    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 fort 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 metaphorical 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.

    Fort Saint George.jpg

    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.

    Bougainville viaje.jpg

    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 Mandurah, 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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    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.

    Siege of Boston.png

    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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    Chapter 7: The Way the Wind Blows
  • ~ Chapter 7: The Way the Wind Blows ~

    The United Kingdom never expected the colonial conflict to gain as much momentum as it did, bringing France into a declared war against the United Kingdom, sure, the British were aware someone was sponsoring the rebels and providing them with supplies, but threatening a war on France while having zero allies on the European continent would not be a wise move, for it could also drag in France’s ally, Spain. The Spanish were helping the rebels as well, either by directly supporting them from Louisiana or using subsidiaries such as the Roderigue Hortalez & Co corporation, which supplied the rebels in 1776 with tents, muskets, gunpowder, artillery, cannonballs and enough clothes to dress 30,000 soldiers. Spain had already defeated Portugal while the British were busy and forced them to concede Sacramento and colonial outposts [1] and they would even join the First League of Armed Neutrality to resist British seizures of cargo from neutral ships. With their hands empty, Spain declared war on the United Kingdom in June of 1779. A year later, the Dutch would also find themselves fighting the British. Being at war with three other powers at the same time, George III deprioritised the American theater, focusing instead on keeping the sugar plantations of the Caribbean and the resources from India in British hands, as those regions were the richest of the empire and necessary to pay for the campaigns.

    It is no surprise that the Anglo-French War of 1778 was initially focused on the Caribbean, where the French rapidly blockaded the islands of Jamaica and Barbados, causing famine on the islands and stopping sugar cane and other products from reaching Europe. In September 1778 De Buillé struck the island of Dominica, located between French-held Martinique and Guadeloupe, capturing the island in a quick blow as no major British ships were present, a fact that was corrected when reinforcements under William Hotham arrived and attacked the island of Saint Lucia without much success [2]. Both sides would receive reinforcements through 1779 but a section of the British fleet under Byron departed to protect a convoy from Saint Kitts, leaving French admiral d’Estaing with a free hand in the Caribbean and he captured Saint Vincent and Grenada, but could not capture Barbados.

    The French would then shift their focus north, as the British had advanced from Florida and captured Savannah, recruiting roughly a thousands locals after threatening them with having their properties confiscated, but almost half of them would defect at the Battle of Brier Creek, cornering the British into Savannah after an attempt to capture Charleston failed in June. When the French arrived in September (arriving early and risking encountering a hurricane) they sailed south to Savannah and met with the forces of Benjamin Lincoln to siege the city and Brigadier General George Garth surrendered on October 12, affecting the British morale once news reached London [3]. Prior engagements with British troops in the area had prevented John Maitland’s troops to reach Savannah before the truce ended, and Maitland retreated through the interior and then swung south towards Florida, defeating an American force close to the Ogeechee River and reaching the safety of Saint Augustine on October 28.

    Siege of Savannah.jpg

    The Siege of Savannah. D'Estaign would be wounded in the battle and was unable to resume command

    The disaster at Savannah made the British change their focus. Initially they planned to retake the south, convinced by exiles who had contacts with Secretary of State for America, George Germain, that the south was ripe with Loyalist sentiment [4], but after the loss of Savannah and the desertion of many local recruits, that proved not to be the case. As America was deprioritised more and more with the naval pressure of the Franco-Spanish navy, only the leftovers of British power were used in America, and with the south lost for good, the British focused on the central colonies using New York as their main base. The south, after 1778, would be mostly spared from the war and would develop as trade with France and Spain supplanted former British trade. As the north bled, the south prospered, and the frictions between both areas were already becoming apparent as the war came to a conclusion years later [5].

    The only active area of the southern theater would be Florida. The former Spanish colony was exchanged for British-occupied Havana at the Treaty of Paris, and the Anglo-Spanish border was placed at the Mississippi river. The Spanish would come to resent this agreement and when the American colonies rebelled, supplies started to arrive through the Mississippi under cover, until Spain declared war on the United Kingdom on June 21 1779. The governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Gálvez, upon hearing of British plans to attack New Orleans, launched a preemptive campaign that defeated the British at Fort Bute, Baton Rouge and Natchez, clearing the Mississippi of British forces (in conjunction with George Clark’s Illinois campaign) and capturing several forts despite being in a numerical disadvantage.

    The British were determined not to lose Florida, and dispatched a fleet under Georges Brydges Rodney to intercept the Spanish, encountering a Spanish fleet under Antonio González de Arce that had separated from the main body of the fleet led by José Solano y Bote, at Apalachee Bay [6]. At dawn on March 12, Rodney’s ships were in position to shoot at Spanish ships and vice versa. It was then when he saw clearly that his numerical inferiority was close to two Spanish ships for each British ship (17 Spanish vessels against 9 British), but in any case it was already a greater risk for the British to try to escape than to face the Spanish squadron, so Rodney decided to attack to try to prevent this squad from assisting the latest of Gálvez’s campaigns, this time against Pensacola. To the advantage of the English, the Spanish squad was divided in two groups tactically ill-prepared for combat (over half of the fleet were transports) and the crew consisted of badly trained sailors, while the British maintained a clear and precise line formation. Rodney ordered his fleet to pass between the two groups, which would optimize the use of his ships' guns, while preventing the Spanish fleet from being able to use all of theirs. At all times the fleet maneuvered in order to prevent the Spanish ships from escaping towards Havana.


    The Battle of Apalachee Bay

    News of the unexpected victory spread like wildfire and raised British morale at a critical point, with the bells of London ringing for days. Rodney was elevated to the status of national hero for his daring action, while the defeats of other commanders, such as Nelson, were brushed under the rug, despite Rodney’s victory ultimately being in vain as Gálvez took Pensacola nevertheless. For the Spanish, Apalachee was a critical point that showed how outdated their ships were compared to the copper sheathed British ships. Pedro González de Castejón, the Spanish Secretary of the Navy resigned, and was replaced by the reformist Francisco de Borja y Poyo, who would reinforce the drill and discipline of the navy in the years to come, increasing the training time and pushing for new recruits from companies such as the Guipuzcoan Company [7]. The outdated Spanish navy would experience a resurgence under his rule, but changes would take years to materialise, and the Royal Navy, despite having to struggle all across the globe, proved to be the most effective navy of the war.

    [1] - Hence, why I said before that Britain has no allies in the continent, the war goes as IOTL.

    [2] - OTL the Battle of Saint Lucia was a British victory as HMS Ariadne spotted the French fleet and Admiral Barrington could prepare his smaller fleet for a French attack.

    [3] - George Garth was to replace Augustine Prévost as commander of the garrison of Savannah, but was captured IOTL. The Franco-American force could not capture Savannah IOTL, and that was a morale boost for the British, as sir George Clinton wrote “I think that this is the greatest event that has happened the whole war”. Oh, and Casimir Pulaski survives the battle ITTL.

    [4] - Most of those who contacted Germain had the intention of recovering their plantations first, British interests second.

    [5] - You know where this is going. Will I be able to make it look like the rest of the TL considering it’ll be mostly politicking? I don’t know.

    [6] - Naval butterflies. IOTL the Spanish convoy of 12 warships plus transports avoided the British fleet.

    [7] - That exercised a monopoly on Venezuela both IOTL and ITTL.
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    Chapter 8: The Fourth Carnatic War
  • ~ Chapter 8: The Fourth Carnatic War ~

    The name “American Revolutionary War” can be a bit misleading to the span of the conflict. While it is true that most military actions took place in the North American continent and its environs, it was not the only active theater of the war, as the four great powers involved (Great Britain, France, Spain and the Netherlands) had possessions spanning the whole globe, from Spanish Alta California to the Dutch Spice Islands. Out of the many places where opposing forces could meet, India was the most important one as it exported to Europe resources such as cotton, saltpeter or precious metals among others. The balance of power in the subcontinent had been altered during the Seven Years’ War, as Britain became the most prominent European power after annexing Bengal and the Northern Circars, with France second holding the Carnatic and some forts to the north. The pro-French Nizam of Hyderabad had been deposed by Asaf Jah II and Mysore, first under the regency and then under the leadership of Hyder Ali had expanded rapidly in the southwest.

    Hyder Ali sensed weakness in the Maratha Empire after their crushing defeat at the Third Battle of Panipat, and attacked the Marathas. His efforts backfired and he was defeated on the battlefield at Rattihalli, although the internal disputes between the Peshwa Madhavrao I and the regent Raghunathrao prevented a full conquest of Mysore and Hyder Ali even gained some territory in Sira and the lands of Nayakas of Keladi. On February 5 1766 Madhavrao and Asaf Jah met at Kurumkhed, establishing an alliance between the Maratha Empire and Hyderabad. The British also tried to gain the Peshwa’s favour in exchange for conquering Mysore, but Madhavrao rejected the offer. Hyder Ali countered the Hyderabad-Mysore alliance by strengthening bonds with the Nawab of the Carnatic Raja Sahib [1] and his French protectors, thus solidifying French influence over the tip of the subcontinent. After arranging a meeting with the British and securing their neutrality, Hyder Ali marched on Calicut and to avoid the humiliation of surrendering, the Zamorin [2] committed self-immolation.

    To the north, the British had secured Bihar and Odisha after the Battle of Buxar, and liquidated the remnants of Mughal power on the subcontinent, opening the gates of the Ganges valley. Buxar also crushed the rising power of the Nawabs of Oudh, reducing them to British puppets whose only use was to serve as a shield against the recovering Maratha Empire, that years later would march on Delhi and turn the remains of the Mughal Empire into a vassal state [3]. Further south the British had secured control of the Northern Circars through a diplomatic meeting with the Nizam of Hyderabad [4], feeling like a British puppet and despising them despite the agreement, Hyderabad turned to the Marathas, trying to establish a power block outside of European machinations.

    Hyder Ali.jpg

    Hyder Ali, sultan of Mysore

    This was the signal Hyder Ali was waiting for, and when Hyderabad broke with the British, Ali attacked the Hyderabad-Maratha alliance in 1768 with French assistance. The war did not go as well as Hyder Ali expected, and despite obtaining some initial victories he had to sue for peace after the Battle of Ranibennur. The French were unsure of what to do, as the enemies of their ally were also enemies of the British, but betraying Hyder Ali would be dangerous and could cause him to flop to the British, forcing France to fight a two-front war in the Carnatic. Thus, governor de Bussy chose to maintain its relations with Mysore, this time offering military advisors such as Monsieur Raymond [5] and selling them European guns, hoping to prop up Mysore for a renewed conflict against the British. This would prove vital to France during the American Revolutionary War.

    The Maratha revival would be cut short by the early death of the Peshwa and the autonomous territory he had leased to his strongest warriors started to act more independently, turning what had been a centralised empire into a messy confederal structure that his brother, Narayan Rao, would have to deal with. He did not have much time to do so as he was quickly assassinated and Raghunathrao (Madhavrao’s regent) crowned himself as Peshwa until Narayan had a posthumous son, Madhavrao, who was the legal monarch. A council of twelve men led by Nana Phadnavis was plotting to oust Raghunahtrao, and the latter turned to the British signing the Treaty of Surat, which was later repealed, however as Nana Phadnavis offered a trading port to the French in exchange for cooperation, the British retaliated.

    Regarding the balance of forces in the subcontinent, the British were clearly superior to the French, so the French perspective consisted on being aggressive against the British and taking the war to their own turf if possible, as well as looking for alliances and pacts with as many Indian states as possible, a feat which was done quickly as the Marathas were at war with the British already and Hyderabad was also happy to join if they could gain back the Northern Circars. Governor-General Bussy, once learning that war had been declared, pondered his options. A quick assault on Madras would clear the Carnatic of British forces, however the town had been fortified heavily since 1761 and the fleet of the FEIC was still inferior to what the British company had in Madras alone, so he requested naval reinforcements to be sent as soon as possible to India. The French side had enough troops to face the British on the open field thanks to the contributions of Mysore and Arcot. At the first major land battle of the war, at Settanapalli, Hyder Ali released a new type of weapon, iron-cased rockets, that decimated the British forces [6].

    Mysore rocket.jpg

    Mysore rockets hitting British infantry at the Battle of Settanapalli

    The British situation looked desperate. They faced a coalition of three powers in Europe (France, Spain and the Netherlands, although they would join later) and another triple coalition in India (Marathas, Mysore and Hyderabad). When a large British garrison was trapped and forced to surrender Wadgaon, Governor-General Warren Hastings panicked and ratified the Treaty of Wadgaon, throwing the cause of Raghunathrao to the lions and even handing him to the Marathas in exchange for an acceptable peace [7] which saw the British holdings on the outskirts of Bombay handed to the Marathas. The victory over Britain would not save the empire, and the Marathas would be seen as traitors by Hyder Ali, and he would begin plotting an invasion of the Maratha Confederacy. Before that, Hyder Ali collaborated with Raja Sahib and de Bussy to lay siege to Madras in 1780 and capturing it again after a bloody siege in October, as the heavy rains and bombardment had destroyed most of the town’s gunpowder reserves, with the remaining forces evacuating the fort as Indian troops of the Army of Madras fought to the last man.

    French naval reinforcements finally arrived under the leadership of the bold Admiral Suffren with a fleet of 23 ships [8] and crushed Johnstone’s fleet at Porto Praia, forcing the British to abandon their plans to attack the Dutch Cape Colony, and meeting there with a Dutch fleet of 8 ships at Saldanha Bay [9], then sailing to India. Suffren’s arrival changed the balance of power and he decided to sail to Bengal and stir up trouble in the heart of the British Indian Empire, defeating the British fleet close to Visakhapatnam and sinking four British ships while only suffering the loss of a single ship. Bussy would contract disease and die shortly after Visakhapatnam and being the highest authority remaining, Suffren was confirmed as the new Governor-General of French India. Using skillful diplomacy he convinced Hyder Ali not to attack the Marathas and to focus instead on expelling the British from Kerala, a feat at which he succeeded. Suffren would continue to fight the British, preventing them from recovering Madras or alleviating the French siege of Negapatam, which fell on December 18 1782 after a protracted siege.

    Suffren Hyder Ali.jpg

    Suffren meeting Hyder Ali at his palace in Mysore

    [1] - Chanda Sahib’s son. I could not even find when Sahib was born and thus I can’t really estimate when he would die.

    [2] - The hereditary title of the kings of Calicut.

    [3] - All of this is OTL, the Marathas really bounced back after Panipat.

    [4] - A meeting that happened IOTL but Asaf Jah II refused British demands even if the British offered way more than what he was getting from the Nawabs of Arcot. Here, he is receiving nothing from Arcot, and he accepts the British offer, out of economic desperation.

    [5] - That OTL served the Nawabs of Hyderabad.

    [6] - Military use of rockets precedes the V-1 by a LOT, these were also used IOTL at the 1780 Battle of Pollipur. Rocket technology is going to advance faster ITTL.

    [7] - IOTL he rejected the treaty as Goddard had no authority to sign it and the Anglo-Maratha war continued. It resulted in a status quo antebellum.

    [8] - Eight more ships than IOTL.

    [9] - This fleet was captured almost in its entirety by Johnstone at the Battle of Saldanha Bay IOTL.

    Note: Indian politics are very complicated and messy, I spent hours searching across different wikipedia pages (yes that's main main source) on states, leaders and military campaigns and trying to check if the other pages had at least a small detail on that, or would even contradict each other. Sometimes I only found vague references so I'm not sure if parts of this will make sense. Anyhow, Indian history is far from my speciality so excuse any mistakes or things that look silly, but please mention them in this thread.
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    Chapter 9: The Fallen Sons of the Revolution
  • ~ Chapter 9: The Fallen Sons of the Revolution ~

    With the South lost and the remaining British forces bottled up in East Florida and the Bahamas, the American Revolutionary War shifted north after the Siege of Savannah. Prior to the siege the British had been preparing a force in the Northeast after securing the Nova Scotia peninsula and the key port of Halifax, then establishing a new base at Penobscot Bay, then part of Massachusetts, to protect Nova Scotia from American privateers. The state of Massachusetts replied by fitting an expedition to liberate the area, but the American fleet was decimated in a naval battle and the expedition was thrown back. With that base secured, British and Loyalist forces cleared the rest of Nova Scotia and forced the Assembly to flee to Boston. In July 1779 British forces briefly captured Stony Point, New York, only to be recaptured by an American charge led by “Mad Anthony” Wayne.

    In 1780 British forces began to assemble in the city of New York and marched north, defeating the Americans at the Battle of Young’s House and clearing most of the Hudson valley after Benedict Arnold, the commanding officer at West Point, defected to the British [1] and abandoned the fortification to Henry Clinton’s forces British forces under von Knyphausen also landed in New Jersey from Staten Island, obtaining a victory at Connecticut Farms in Mid-June and von Knyphaused successfully crossed the Hobart Gap across the Watchung Mountains, receiving reinforcements in June commanded by Clinton himself, descending upon the town of Morristown. To the north, the British also advanced up the Hudson and in a secret meeting representatives of the Vermont Republic agreed to change sides and become a British Colony if they were separated from New York [2]. The British gladly accepted and marched forces from Quebec, laying siege to Saratoga, however anti-British Vermontese guerrillas would continue to harass them for the duration of the war.

    At Morristown, George Washington was commanding an army of 9,000 men that was reinforced by Nathanael Greene’s 2,000 men contingent for a total of over 12,000 men (including militia). On the opposing side, general Clinton was commanding a force roughly of the same size. Washington opted to hold the line against the redcoats, and the first assault at Morristown was repulsed with heavy casualties for both sides. The British dispatched a cavalry regiment to scout the areas for possible openings and found one to the south of Washington’s forces, spending most of the day launching half-hearted attacks and artillery volleys at the Americans to keep them in place while the Queen’s Rangers under John Graves Simcoe outflanked the Americans. The Battle of Morristown would be a disaster for the Americans, as when the British launched their second (serious) charge of the day, Simcoe appeared from the flank and the Americans were caught in a crossfire [3]. The American army was shocked and lost cohesion quickly, and Washington responded by advancing and rallying troops, taking active part in the battle. His bravery stopped a complete rout, but in the chaos of the battle Washington was shot in the chest and fell from his horse. Seeing their great leader fall unconscious, the Continental Army disbanded and the British captured over 4,000 prisoners. The American rebels had received a huge blow with the death of their Commander in Chief during the battle.


    George Washington rallying the troops moments before his death at the Battle of Morristown

    With Washington dead, the rebels had to look for a man to fit in his boots, and the chosen one was Horatio Gates, the victor of Saratoga. Gates was not as charismatic as Washington but he was a great administrator and had a good deal of military experience, which was what the Continental Army needed, albeit he was a tad too conservative in battle and there was a certain aura of mistrust around him for taking part on the Conway Cabal to undermine the Good General, however his behaviour at Washington’s funeral in Mount Vernon on September demonstrated that the man had a deep respect for the general, or at least he pretended to, as he still hated Washington even after his death for taking way too much merit in his opinion. Meanwhile, Clinton’s victory at Morristown opened the Delaware river to British attack, and American resistance under Greene was defeated again at the Second Battle of Trenton. The Continental Congress was forced to abandon Philadelphia and retreat to Baltimore as the city fell to the redcoats on August 17. Reinforcements had to be brought in from the south as the French under Rochambeau were bottled up in Rhode Island [4].

    In the Caribbean and the Atlantic, the Franco-Spanish fleet was achieving victories such as the capture of Tobago or the naval victory of Martinique. The most relevant action was the capture of a British convoy of 48 ships [5] by Spanish admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova. This was a disaster for the British finances, driving many bankrupt in London and raising war insurance rates to intollerable laters. Truth being told, as 1780 was drawing to a close, no matter Clinton’s victories in America, the war was ruining Great Britain, as revenue from the Caribbean was growing more scarce by the day, Madras had fallen yet again and the Franco-Spanish-Dutch fleet was beginning to gain superiority in the Atlantic, even more after the Battle of Narragansett Bay in which the French fleet escaped the bay and the comte de Grasse defeated Thomas Graves at the Battle of Gardiners Bay [6].

    Gardiners Bay.jpg

    The French fleet engages the Royal Navy during the Battle of Gardiners Bay

    Rochambeau’s forces marched west accompanied by New England militias and faced Benedict Arnold’s redcoats at the Battle of Whitney Farms. The French force, composed of professional soldiers and backed by local militias that had an excellent knowledge of the terrain, defeated Arnold and pushed on to New York, capturing Arnold in a stroke of luck and judging him in Boston, finding Arnold guilty of high treason and executing him by hanging on August 27 1781. Clinton abandoned Philadelphia upon hearing of Rochambeau’s advance and the Battle of Gardiners Bay, and Horatio Gates, with a mostly Virginian army, advanced north and liberated Philadelphia, continuing to march up the Delaware hoping to meet with Rochambeau.

    The marquis of Rochambeau judged the fortifications of New York too difficult to assault at the moment and began building up his forces for an assault up the Hudson river, leaving a mostly militia force as a screen that managed to defeat a superior British force at Thornwood. Rochambeau managed to cross the Hudson and lay siege to West Point, as the British war effort in the Atlantic coast was collapsing due to the lack of supplies and reinforcements, but decided to turn south after capturing West Point on September 1781 to meet with Horatio Gates and plan a siege of New York that would deal with the British for good.

    Such a decisive battle would never happen and the only military action on the North American continent was the subjugation of Vermont, which was reincorporated into the state of New York. As lord North’s government fell after a motion of no confidence, the new Prime Minister Shelburne began to open peace negotiations. By 1782 negotiations were taking place in Paris between the United States, Great Britain, France and Spain. After many discussions about where borders should be and what colonies should be exchanged, a final treaty was signed in July 1783 [7].

    Treaty of Paris.jpg

    American representats during the Paris Peace Conference. The British delegation refused to be painted

    Regarding territorial exchanges, in North America, the independence of the fourteen colonies was recognised by Britain with their territorial integrity intact, except for the island of Cape Breton, which had to be given to the United Kingdom as they would not accept undisputed access to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Saint John’s island was detached from Nova Scotia in 1769 and remained British). The territory awarded to the fourteen colonies was extended west to the Mississippi river and north to the Great Lakes, while Spain gained West and East Florida (as well as recovering Minorca), with its northern border still undefined [8]. In the Caribbean, France was awarded the islands of Dominica, Tobago and Grenada [9], while also recovering the French colony of Senegal, key to importing slaves to the Caribbean. In India the only territorial change between European powers was the British cession of the Guntur district in the Northern Circars to France, and a restriction to the fortifications of Madras. The rest of the colonies and possessions occupied during the conflict were given to the respective owner. The treaty also states that the British were to retreat from their occupied fortifications in the United States, something they would never do.

    [1] - Arnold thought about defecting in 1780, but with the war mostly active in the south he was a bit worried. Here he has information from John André that the British advance up the Hudson is serious, and Henry Clinton offers him a larger sum of money than IOTL.

    [2] - ITTL the negotiations of the Haldiman Affair are successful and Vermont switches sides, permitting British troops from Quebec to march down the Hudson and sever New England from the rest of the colonies.

    [3] - I took inspiration from the Battle of Springfield for this, concretely the action at Galloping Hill Road.

    [4] - Both IOTL and ITTL Rochambeau refuses to abandon the French fleet at Narragansett Bay, delaying his operations.

    [5] - 55 ships IOTL.

    [6] - TTL’s equivalent of the Battle of the Chesapeake.

    [7] - IOTL the treaty was signed on September 3 1783, here negotiations start earlier and as a result the peace treaty.

    [8] - Earlier proposals such as that of French foreign minister Vergennes, intended to keep the US confined east of the Appalachians while everything north of the Ohio would remain British, and everything south of the river would be a native confederacy under Spanish protection. Spanish minister Aranda would claim everything west of a line going south from Lake Erie for Spain, a proposal that was also rejected.

    [9] - France wins more in the Caribbean as an alternate Battle of the Saintes does not so well for the British as IOTL.

    American Revolutionary War.png
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    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.

    Henry Clinton.jpg

    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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    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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    Chapter 12: A House Divided Against Itself
  • ~ Chapter 12: A House Divided Against Itself ~

    The Philadelphia Convention was doomed from the start. The convention had called for delegates of all the 14 colonies, but the representatives of Nova Scotia, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland and North Carolina were absent by the time the Convention opened [1]. There were two main topics of discussion, the Potomac dispute and the Vermont Uprising. The first question was quickly shoveled until a Marylander delegation arrived, while the issue over Vermont was reaching boiling point already as more New Hampshire men were selling guns to Vermont, officially selling them to New York (the US government couldn’t regulate trade between the states, so nothing could be done in that case). The New Yorker delegation quickly states that Vermont was part of New York and it had been agreed to be in 1782 when Vermont was subjugated by the Continental Army. The states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware supported New York’s claim, and that the rebels were threatening the integrity of the states. The New Hampshire delegation only obtained support from Connecticut, while Massachusetts and Virginia were neutral on the issue. Connecticut’s support came from their previous disputes with New York and the access to their Western Reserve across the states of New York and Pennsylvania [2].

    The Congress of the Confederation could not enforce anything upon New Hampshire or New York, nor dictate the ownership of the land, and the arguments heated up as the futility of the Convention was proven. Secretly, the New Hampshire and Connecticut delegations signed an alliance (an act forbidden by Article 6 of the AoC). During the sessions news arrived (along with the delegations of Nova Scotia and North Carolina) that militias from New York and New Hampshire had exchanged fire in a skirmish in Vermont, an act that the New York delegation stated as “an invasion of the sovereignty of New York that must be responded”. The New Hampshire delegation abandoned the meeting on March 7, and two days later the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to leave the Union. The first domino had fallen.

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    A farm scene in the winter of 1786-1787, not easy times in America

    As soon as New Hampshire declared independence it recognised the Republic of Vermont. New York responded by declaring that a state of war existed with New Hampshire over the Vermont dispute. New York pressed the Congress of the Confederation to declare war on New Hampshire for invading New Yorker territory, but Connecticut vetoed the decision. As both sides were amassing troops, a mob led by William West stormed Providence and declared the independence of Rhode Island. Rhode Island’s declaration of independence was followed by the secession of Connecticut, also revealing their alliance with New Hampshire, to which New York responded by declaring war on them. As April started, all delegates had left Philadelphia except for those of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York. The nation was falling apart.

    On April 4 1787 the Virginia House of Representatives declared Virginia to be independent from the United States, citing the failures of the Congress of the Confederation to fulfill even its most basic role of preventing a war from breaking out between the states and stating that the grand experiment of American unification had been a failure. Maryland had declared independence three days before, while South Carolina would also secede on April 7. North Carolina was initially reluctant to secede, and after a second round of voting declared independence on April 26, and by that moment Georgia had also seceded. The delegations of Nova Scotia and Massachusetts had reached an agreement and both declared independence on April 21, calling for a new convention of the states in Boston that would amend the mess the Union had dissolved into. Seeing this new government as an opportunity, New Hampshire and Connecticut quickly adhered to the Boston Convention. By May 1787, the United States only consisted of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, and also the Northwestern territories.

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    De iure situation in North America as of May 1787

    The territories that were legally owned by the Congress of the Confederation now fell under the suzerainty of the remaining states of the Union, but any Congress authority collapsed in the Northwest. Virginia jumped at the opportunity and laid claim over the Northwestern territories, with Virginian militias amassing south of the Ohio River. At the same time, the crisis over the Potomac became all of a sudden an international incident. With both nations out of the Union, Maryland offered a peace settlement that would place the border on the center of the river, desperate to avoid going to war with Virginia, to which Richmond agreed, now more interested in the Northwest. As the power vacuum was more and more evident, British soldiers garrisoning the forts [3] took control of the situation and collaborated with the native Northwestern Confederacy to secure the area, except for Ohio which was de facto a sovereign state, with the colonists securing the area south and west of the Maumee River. The territory of Ohio would later send an envoy to Philadelphia requesting its adhesion to the political entity that would arise from the ashes of the Union, and the chaotic political situation would not be solved until decades after.

    For the seceded states, their own states' constitutions became the law of the land, except for Rhode Island which was still governed by the 1663 Royal Charter as it had no constitution [4]. The states assumed the debt they owned, but relinquished any debt that was linked to the Congress of the Confederation, thus turning the states of Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York into the only ones that would have to support the debt the US government had contracted during the Revolutionary War and the years after, an amount which the states would not be able to pay under normal circumstances. The new seceded states in the south began to compete with each other to gain leverage on the trade balance with the European powers, with plantations of tobacco, cotton and sugarcane (where the climate allowed it) dotting the land, importing more slaves in order to reduce the price of their products and outcompete their neighbours.

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    A tobacco plantation employing slave labour in the south of the former United States

    Back north, the “War between the states” was actually pretty short, as both sides’ economies were struggling, specially as a good amount of trade was shut down when the Confederation collapsed, and the states could not risk mobilising their militias to the battle for much, least a new Newburgh Conspiracy would forge and topple their governments. The war was limited to skirmishes, as New Hampshire militias aided the Vermonters at securing their territory and expelling the New Yorkers from Vermont by attacking before New York militias had recovered from the winter. Across the Hudson there were clashes between New York and Connecticut militias, with the most notable of the military actions being the Battle of Ridgefield, in which the New Yorkers employed artillery with great effect, decimating the Connecticut militia [5]. Pennsylvania and New Jersey pressured New York to sign peace before a wider war dragged all of them down, as trade had been stopped with both sides converting merchant vessels into war vessels the same way it was done back in the Revolution.

    The conflict dwindled down after Ridgefield, and a truce was signed in September with Connecticut’s western reserve in the limbo, being unoccupied by New York forces but having no way to keep contact with Connecticut. The states of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and New York recognised the secession of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Nova Scotia, and all of them (except New York) would recognise the Republic of Vermont as a sovereign entity. Vermont would send a delegation to the Boston Convention and be recognised as a member of the recently formed Commonwealth of New England. Rhode Island would also join the Commonwealth in 1794 after their brief attempt at independence ruined the elite of the country and they requested joining the Commonwealth to prevent a popular uprising from toppling their regime. The remaining US States called for a new Congress that would decide the fate of the remnants of the Union. The Articles of Confederation were discarded as the law of the land in 1789, and replaced by a new constitutional text, resulting in the creation of the Union of Atlantic States, to which a delegation from Ohio quickly swore loyalty, causing a minor crisis with Virginia.

    For Europe, the collapse of the United States was something that many had already predicted and it was a boon for conservative thinkers, yet their successful revolution against British forces and the fact that the post-US states (Columbian Nations eventually became the term to refer to them [6]) had proven that a liberal rebellion against the ancient regimen was possible, inspiring many groups such as the Dutch “Patriotten” that took control of most of the Netherlands before the Prussian army invaded in September 1787 and crushed their regime. However, in no place was the impact of the American Revolution more permanent than in France, which was about to have a revolution of its own.

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    Flags of the Columbian Nations [7], from left to right, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, UAS, Vermont, Rhode Island, and New England

    [1] - State attendance based on the 1786 Annapolis Convention of 1786.

    [2] - Despite the cession of its “sea to sea” claim, Connecticut still holds de iure a tract of land south of Lake Erie and west of Pennsylvania, the Western Reserve, which is actually larger than Connecticut itself.

    [3] - Britain did not evacuate the Northwestern forts until the 1795 Jay Treaty IOTL.

    [4] - IOTL Rhode Island continued to be governed by the Royal Charter until 1842, when the Dorr Rebellion forced the conservative elite of the state to grant more liberties.

    [5] - Most of the artillery at the end of the Revolutionary War was concentrated in and around New York city, as it would likely be used to besiege the city. Also IOTL, the first US regiment of artillery was mostly composed of New Yorkers.

    [6] - Pretty much all of these flags did not exist back then, for some I took inspiration from later flags (such as North Carolina), while I made the design for others (such as Virginia).

    [7] - The term “Columbia” was initially comedic, but by the time of the American Revolution it had become a poetic name for America.
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    Chapter 13: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death
  • ~ Chapter 13: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity, or Death ~

    During the last decades of the 18th century France was a nation verging on economic ruin. The vast series of wars France had taken part in since the reign of Louis XIV almost a century ago had driven the treasury almost empty, and France was spending massive amounts of money to keep its military prowess afloat, as well as having to pay the debt the crown had been amassing since the Seven Years’ War, the payment of which reached almost half of the earnings of the crown in some years. This is not because France had a lack of resources, on the contrary, but a symptom of the ineffectiveness of the taxation system in France. Many groups of people and entire regions barely paid taxes, the “pays d’états” could control their own taxes resulting in less revenue for the crown, and many cities or groups were exempt from the “taille” (the most important tax). The nobility was also exempt from the “taille”, albeit they had to pay their own, less onerous, taxes such as the “capitation” and the “vingtième” (5% of their income). The size of the nobility was also disproportionate, with nobility titles being sold by the monarchy for ages as a way to gain money in the short term, but that hampered their finances in the long run. With the nobility controlling a quarter of the land, the church another 10% [1], and with the economy in tatters, France could not kick the can any further.

    French spending in the American Revolutionary War had been supported with loans taken with an interest between 8% and 10% that now had to be repaid and required new taxes. Most of the king’s ministers were aware of this situation and tried to push for a tax reform, but every time this was blocked by the nobility, that did not want to see its possessions taken over by an absolutist monarchy that had expelled them from power a century ago, and the aristocracy began to take a more offensive approach to the situation, siding with the French parliaments [2]. Louis XV got tired of the parliaments and suppressed them, but died shortly after and his grandson Louis XVI [3] restored them, and the parliaments argued that only the Estates General could ratify new taxes, and continued to obstruct any attempted tax reform. Controller-General of Finances, Charles Alexandre de Calonne initially obtained success with his reforms, but in 1786 the economy crashed again, and he proposed abolishing tax exemptions based on status, with the base for taxation being instead on how rich a person was, as well as proposing to abolish the internal customs between the kingdom’s provinces. The Assembly of Notables took down Calonne’s proposals and the king dismissed him.

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    Louis XVI, King of France

    Calonne’s successor, Loménie de Brienne, was equally unsuccessful when trying to doublegate the nobility, resorting to clausuring the parliaments, an act which was met with resistance as the parliaments were considered (erroneously) as a dike against tyranny, such was the case of Grenoble, where a popular mob prevented the troops from closing the Dauphiné parliament. Seeing no other way around, Louis XVI called the Estates General for a session in May 1789 after Brienne resigned and was replaced by the protestant Jacques Necker after Brienne declared France to be bankrupt [4]. The aristocracy and the common folk were collaborating to restrict the powers of the monarchy, however that alliance broke down after a decision by the parliament of Paris supporting aristocratic interests. Popular works, such as those of Siéyes assisted in building a “third estate consciousness” and the king agreed to duplicate the third estate’s representatives in December 1788.

    The choice of representatives for the Estates General was a direct one in the first and second estates, but for the third estate chose its representatives through an indirect voting, resulting in men with a good oratory and cultured to come to the forefront of politics, such as Robespierre or Mounier. However the third estate was still considered inferior, with their representatives forced to dress in black, not to wear a hat and they were to meet in a different room while the first and second estates would meet in another room and would have none of those conditions imposed on them. The third estate would take a more offensive approach, refusing to accept any proposal, and on June 17 they declared themselves as the “National Assembly” [5], and when they found their room closed three days later they took over a tennis court and took a collective oath “not to separate, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the kingdom is established”.

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    The Tennis Court Oath

    Members of the first and second estates defected to the National Assembly and an alarmed Louis decreed on July 1 that all estates were to meet in the same room. The king dismissed Necker soon after following the advice of his younger brother Charles, and rumors spread that the king was to employ the Swiss Guard to shut down the National Assembly, so a group of rebels stormed the Bastille to seize weapons, with the soldiers offering meager resistance after the French Guards (an elite infantry unit) sided with them. Fearing to lose the capital, Louis headed to the city, where on July 19 he accepted a tricolour cocade, with the colours of the flag of Paris separated by a white stripe representing the monarchy. However, the power had shifted from the court to the Assembly, as Louis was received as “father of the French and king of a free people”. The rapid developments in Paris caused a panic outbreak in rural areas, and many lords began to flee France, forming the “Émigrés”, a group that would aim to restore absolutist rule in France and that would be operative for years to come.

    The National Assembly passed the Declarations of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens [6] in the midst of a tense atmosphere in Paris, as groups such as the sans-culottes. The economic situation kept deteriorating, with the price of bread skyrocketing through the autumn and a group of over 6,000 women marched on Versailles demanding more bread and a lower price, Lafayette tried to restore order but his soldiers threatened to desert. Louis finally agreed to recognise the Declaration of the Rights of Man and officially became a Constitutional Monarch, changing the title of “King of France” for that of “King of the French”. The clergy was attacked intensely by the National Assembly and their properties were seized with their value serving as a base for a new paper currency, the assignat, which initially operated as a bond but was redefined as a legal tender to deal with a liquidity crisis, however its value kept decreasing. Another attempt at refloating the economy passed by removing the East India Company’s monopoly, however that failed to bear results as the company was so powerful that it obstructed other merchants, despite taking a big blow [7].

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    La Fayette opening the Feast of the Federation

    The Feast of the Federation in 1790 opened to commemorate the Storming of the Bastille, and was assisted by Louis XVI and the entire royal family, with Talleyrand performing a mass and La Fayette leading an oath to the constitution which was followed by a similar one recited by Louis XVI. Everything seemed to go well, but divisions were appearing as the Jacobins split up from the main group of revolutionaries, and heavily criticised General Bouillé’s suppression of the Nancy Revolt. Bouillé himself was a hardcore royalist and traditionalist, and considering that the atmosphere in Paris was too radical, offered Louis XVI to come to his headquarters at Montmédy and restore order with 10,000 loyal soldiers, but the king was (allegedly) recognised by a soldier at Varennes when he compared his face to that of a coin, and the king was taken back to Paris. Meanwhile, as Prussia and Austria were negotiating the Second Partition of Poland, the Count of Artois (Louis XVI’s younger brother, the same man behind Necker’s dismissal) talked to both monarchs and they both signed the Pillnitz Declaration supporting the crown [8].

    The Constituent Assembly, the legal successor to the National Assembly, dissolved itself and was replaced by the Legislative Assembly, which limited the vote excluding the sans-culottes and proved to be an ineffective body. On September 14 a new Constitution was passed and Louis, who was pretty much a prisoner at the Palace of the Tuileries, accepted it, but he vetoed almost every resolution coming from the new assembly. The figure of Jacques Pierre Brissot began to gain momentum as his supporters considered the Pillnitz Declaration as a declaration of war and believed that the values of the French Revolution had to be expanded internationally, by force if necessary. Pressured by the new Brissotin-dominated assembly [9], Louis decreed in December 1791 that foreign powers were to disband Émigré forces within a month or face war. Finally, on April 20 1792, the Legislative Assembly declared war on the Habsburgs after foreign secretary Dumoriez presented the Assembly with a long list of grievances.

    [1] - Those church lands were quite profitable, but their only payment to the crown consisted of voluntary apportations.

    [2] - Which had no real power as the monarch could simply ignore them, they were more of a consultative institution.

    [3] - Louis, the Dauphin, died of tuberculosis in 1765 both IOTL and ITTL. I got you there with the note in the text, for a split second you thought this Louis XVI was not OTL’s Louis. I don't intend to mess with royal family trees because it's far from my specialty, but I will change some lineages.

    [4] - The extra credit from French India and the Caribbeans goes mostly to the private hands of companies. While France’s economic situation is better than IOTL, it’s not enough to stop a bankruptcy.

    [5] - This National Assembly, according to them, superseded the Estates General.

    [6] - A different version, with almost no influence from Jefferson, he’s pretty busy tweaking the Virginian Constitution.

    [7] - IOTL the French East India Company almost collapsed after that decree, only surviving barely and being finally liquidated in 1794, which caused a political scandal and the downfall of the montagnard faction and of Georges Danton.

    [8] - Allegedly, Charles was so annoying that both monarchs only complied so he would shut up.

    [9] - Another term for the Girondins, which stuck ITTL.
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    Chapter 14: The Republic Does Not Pardon Traitors
  • ~ Chapter 14: The Republic Does Not Pardon Traitors ~

    French expectatives of winning offensive wars against the Habsburgs like Louis XIV did a century ago were rapidly crushed when the disorganization the revolution had caused on the army became apparent, with troops deserting en masse and even murdering their officials, such as the case of Theóbald Dillon, one of the Rochambeau’s subordinates and tasked with preparing an invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, being murdered after his troops fled even before the Battle of Marquain started. The French expected the support of the local population, as they had already risen in rebellion against their Austrian overlords in 1789 and proclaimed the United Belgian States until being crushed by Austrian forces in December 1790, even if the city of Liège held until January 13 1791 [1]. French troops would try again in June and would be repelled by the Austrians. It was during this time that a war song for the Army of the Rhine began to popularise, eventually morphing into La Marseillaise.

    By July a true coalition had been formed against France, comprising Austria, Prussia, the rest of the Holy Roman Empire and Sardinia. The army of the Duke of Brunswick was waiting on the Rhine accompanied by a strong contingent of Émigrés commanded by the cousin of the king, Louis Joseph de Condé. The French Assembly declared the nation to be in danger, and ordered the levy of 100,000 National Guards to defend the nation, a decision that Louis XVI tried to veto. For the Assembly, this proved that the king was not loyal to France but to his throne, and that he was expecting foreign troops to march on Paris and restore his rule. This was confirmed when the Duke of Brunswick issued a manifesto declaring that the towns opposing the restoration would be considered in a state of rebellion and martial law would be applied, as well as stating that no harm would be done to the civilians unless they harmed the royal family. The Brunswick Manifesto had the opposite effect of what the Coalition intended, and infuriated the French public, rallying it around the Assembly and against the monarch.

    On August 10 1792 a mob stormed the Tuileries Palace, murdering most of the Swiss Guards that were protecting the king and capturing Louis XVI after he took refuge in the building of the Legislative Assembly. That same day the Assembly declared that the king would be “temporarily relieved of his duty”. Republican radicals took control of the government and a campaign of repression against priests began, resulting in The September Massacres. The French monarchy was abolished, Louis XVI was arrested and stripped of his titles, now being known as “Citizen Louis Capet”. Upon hearing of this, the Prussian Army invaded France on the 16 and the Duke of Brunswick crossed the Rhine three days later. The fortress of Longwy fell so fast that Verginaud declared that the fort must have been handed over to the enemy, and by the end of the month the Prussians were at the fortress of Verdun. 20,000 recruits were rushed from Paris to defend the north, being dispatched along with most of the artillery in Paris, and finally grinding Brunswick’s army to a halt at the inconclusive Battle of Valmy [2].


    The "Cannonade" of Valmy

    Valmy was a massive boost of morale for the French as the Austro-Prussian army began to retreat 10 days later. At the same time evidence was found that compromised Louis Capet, and a legal process was initiated against the former monarch. On December 11 he was taken out of custody and the judgement started, with Louis already aware of the fate that would befall on him for the accusation of high treason, but still presented a solid defence. He was surprised when after being found guilty, the court decided to execute him with a difference of two votes [3]. The king pardoned those that were about to execute him in a speech before his execution but a drum beating ordered by Antoine Joseph Santerre silenced the monarch. Louis faced his execution with bravery and his body was dumped in an unmarked grave in the Madeleine cemetery and covered with quicklime. The Virginian General Assembly named the city of Louisville in his honour, and deemed Louis as a noble man, while the execution of the king was much better received in the Atlantic Union and New England.

    The execution of Louis Capet was met with a wave of disgust in Europe, and the French Republic opted to declare war on Great Britain and the Netherlands on February 1 1793, and shortly after also declared war on Spain. Later that year, Portugal, Tuscany and Naples also declared war on the French Republic. In March that same year, the National Convention [4] passed a decree ordering a national levy of 300,000 men with each department expected to fill a quota, being the first example of the “Levée en masse”. The French Army, still plagued by problems such as the rivalry between old and new elements (whites and blues, respectively), still proved to be an effective force when Dumouriez invaded and conquered the Austrian Netherlands after the Battle of Jemappes, while Custine reached as far as Frankfurt and Sardinian positions west of the Alps were occupied and annexed.


    Romanticised depiction of Dumouriez leading the troops at Jemappes

    1793 was not so much of a good year for the French military, with Dumouriez disregarding orders from Paris and invading the Netherlands, being defeated at Neerwinden by the Austrians and having the siege of Maastricht lifted. An embarrassed Dumouriez tried to negotiate with the Austrians, but his reputation was in shambles and he defected, ending up as an aide in London. This disaster caused the fall of the Brissotins and the creation of the Committee of Public Safety, and they tried to blame the September Massacres on Marat [5], thus liquidating their remaining political influence. In late May the Brisottins attempted a coup supported by the Commune and elements of the National Guard. Two days later a crowd of 85,000 [6] surrounded the Convention demanding cheap bread, unemployment pay and political reform among others and they were dispersed.

    In the summer, the French situation was desperate. The country was in a virtual state of civil war, with cities such as Bordeaux and Lyon being pro-republic but anti-government, and the Vendée and surrounding regions had risen up against wanting to restore the monarchy and fight the abusive levies of the army. It was also in summer when news of the execution of Louis XVI reached India, quickly followed by the proclamation of the French Republic and the closure of the French East India Company and nationalisation of all its assets. Governor-General Suffren [7], who knew of the execution of the monarch and had a strong loyalty to the crown, refused to hand over any power to the envoys of the Republic, and the company as a whole refused to acknowledge the government in Paris. Suffren contacted the British, who had received news of the French declaration of war, offering to collaborate with their former enemies to restore the monarchy in France. French India would fight against the Republic, and with it the rest of the possessions of the company, as well as French New Holland.

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    Pierre Andrée de Suffren, Governor-General of French India

    [1] - Liège operated as an independent republic after their own revolution in August of 1789, they did not join the United Belgian States and operated as an independent state.

    [2] - Where the French artillery distinguished itself, demonstrating that its reputation as the best artillery force in Europe was not in vain, this led to the battle also being referred to as the Cannonade of Valmy.

    [3] - It is a common myth that everyone wanted to chop the king’s head off. IOTL the vote was decided by the majority of a single vote (361 out of 721), that of “Philippe Égalité”, one of Louis’ cousins, which led to much bitterness among French monarchists. I initially toyed with the idea of Louis XVI not being executed, but that would play against what I have planned for the rest of the TL. The entire royal family present at Paris is also executed, so Louis Stanislas is the candidate for the French throne as IOTL. Yes I think I have killed a ton of butterflies with this, but this TL is not focused on the French Revolution, and that being a highly volatile concept I don’t want to mess with things too much.

    [4] - The organ that replaced the Legislative Assembly after the events at the Tuileries on August 10 1792.

    [5] - Who avoids meeting Charlotte Corday and her knife. He’s not going to survive for long given his debilitating skin infection that caused him severe pains, which he alleviated with a piece of cloth wrapped around his head and soaked in vinegar.

    [6] - Slightly more people than in OTL as there are no American grain imports.

    [7] - Yes, I am aware that having a man with morbid obesity survive for longer in a tropical climate than he did OTL is complicated. Alas, the causes of his death were related to him being in France at the moment, so… yeah it’s a bit of a stretch. Reasons for his betrayal are also a topic of heated debate between historians, some arguing he only acted this way so he could still rule India as an almost monarch covered in extravagant luxuries.
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    Chapter 15: The Cause of Liberty Will Prevail
  • ~ Chapter 15: The Cause of Liberty Will Prevail ~

    The counter-revolution of 1793 against the radicalised Republic was not as threatening as historians would later describe it to be, but it would still hamper the Republic’s ability to wage war against the Coalition. The city of Lyon rose up against the government, headed by the Count of Précy, but was quickly surrounded by troops from the Army of the Alps, and the city was subjected to a brutal bombardment and punishment and when the city finally surrendered a column was erected with the inscription “Lyon made war on liberty: Lyon is no more!”. The city of Toulon also rebelled against the government and Xavier d’Imbert contacted the nearby Anglo-Spanish fleet and handed over the city, raising a royalist flag and allowing Coalition troops to disembark. The city at the moment was home to 27 ships of the line, almost a third of those available to the French Navy [1], and also was home to a major arsenal of the navy, which would have given the royalist forces a massive boost. Thus, republican forces laid siege to the city ineffectively, until artillery captain Bonaparte proposed a plan to capture the nearby hill, which would give republican artillery control over the harbour of Toulon. The plan worked and despite Napoleon being wounded in the thigh, Toulon fell to the Republic in December 1793 as the Anglo-Spanish fleet retreated. The battle had the consequence of badly hurting the French Mediterranean Fleet, as the Coalition captured a total of 18 ships and destroyed another 13 beyond repair.

    However, the most relevant conflict of this counter-revolution happened in the northwest of France, and had been even before the Committee of Public Safety formed. The epicenter of this uprising was the region of the Vendée, located south of Brittany and on the Atlantic coast. They refused to comply with the mass levy ordered by the Convention and had the support of the conservative local clergy. What started as a protest against the levy quickly turned into a full-fledged rebellion thanks to charismatic leaders such as La Rochejaquelein. The revolt included everything from kids to elders to women (such as Renée Bordereau), and quickly spread across the department and further north as rebel groups also formed in Brittany and Normandy. La Rochejaquelein hoped to capture the port of Granville and receive British supplies through it, or maybe even British troops, but he failed to take the city and was forced to retreat [2]. Jean-Baptiste Carrier was ordered to crush the rebellion by carrying out a complete physical destruction. The rebels were destroyed as a combat force at the Battle of Savenay, and despite continuing their activity for years as a guerrilla force (the Chouans), they would not pose a threat. Over 30,000 Vendeans [3] were massacred by the Infernal Columns headed by Turreau, and thousands more would be executed in the following months and years.

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    Mass shooting of Royalists at Nantes

    Military campaigns in Europe also turned sour for the French, as Austrian forces captured the fortress of Valenciennes in France proper, while British forces descended from Belgium and laid siege to Dunkirk assisted by a naval blockade, and Spanish forces crossed the Pyrenees. The string of defeats was broken by Houchard at Hondoschoote and Jourdan at Wattignies, but the battles happened too late in the campaign season for any meaningful gains to be made. 1794 would be a much more of a dynamic year in military affairs.

    Starting with the Pyrenees, the Spanish invasion of France came close to resulting into a complete rout of republican forces, with Spanish general Antonio Ricardos defeating the French in a series of battles in the eastern Pyrenees, such as Céret or Mas Deu, with the elderly French commander, de La Houlière, committing suicide. Ricardos captured the fort of Bellegarde and then proceeded to divide his forces to envelop Perpignan, however his subordinates lacked his tactical skills and were both defeated, with Ricardos managing to lure the victorious French into a trap and defeated them at the Battle of Truillas on September 22 1793 and retreating south of the Tech River to establish a better defensive position, repelling numerous French attacks and inflicting heavy casualties on the attackers. The Spanish won new victories at Villelongue-dels-Monts and Collioure, however lacked enough troops to resume the advance, and Ricardos personally left for Madrid to plead for more troops. He would contract pneumonia on the way and never recover. His successor, the Irish-Spanish general Alejandro O’Reilly also died shortly after, being replaced by the Count of the Union, who was unable to stop the French, albeit he succeeded at killing the French commander at the Battle of the Black Mountain [4]. The Spanish would be eventually defeated at the War of the Pyrenees and had to cede Santo Domingo to the French.

    Elsewhere, the French suffered a series of setbacks in their possessions. To the desertion of French India was added the fall of several Caribbean islands to the Royal Navy, and the Corscican uprising of Pasquale Paoli, who reached an agreement with British admiral Smith, turning Corsica into a British protectorate under the name of Anglo-Corsican Kingdom, and destroying the French garrisons at Saint-Florent, Bastia and Calvi. The Prussians were gradually retreating from the war and by the end of the year and almost without a fight, they abandoned French soil and left the war, and for a good reason. In Poland, the Second Partition had left the formerly glorious Commonwealth as a rump state plagued by liberal and proto-nationalist uprisings, one of them being that led by Tadeusz Kościuszko and Casimir Pulaski [5], succeeding initially in liberating most of Poland but being eventually crushed by the Austro-Russo-Prussian forces (numbering a total of 700,000 men against the 80,000 the Poles could levy). The Poles fought bravely, but they were ultimately crushed in January 1795 when the Russians took Warsaw and executed 20,000 poles, leading to the third and final partition of Poland [6].

    Kosciuszko peasants.jpg

    Tadeusz Kościuszko rallying the peasants

    The decisive campaign of the war of the First Coalition would be fought in the Low Countries as the French under Pichegru and Jourdan launched a new offensive that pushed Coalition forces back, and Jourdan obtained a decisive victory at the Battle of Fleurus on June 26 1794. The Coalition forces retreated from the Austrian Netherlands and the French had the road to the Netherlands and the Rhine wide open. The battle also had implications inside France, as the magnitude of the victory made the oppressive methods of The Terror hard to justify, as France was clearly not in peril and was instead having success invading its enemies, and a group of conservatives [7] known as the Thermidorians ousted Maximilien Robespierre and executed him, toppling the Montagnard-controlled Committee of Public Safety and decentralising its power. Then the Thermidorians proceeded to launch their own campaign of terror against the Jacobins, and proceeded to pass measures designed at stabilising the economy and stopping the rampant radicalism that soaked France and abandoned radical wartime measures.

    Austrian forces retreated to Luxembourg and the only remaining forces in Flanders were Anglo-Dutch, with the French spending the summer besieging the ports on the Flemish coast. French forces resumed the offensive in September as Pichegru defeated the British at Boxtel and captured Eindhoven with assistance from the Dutch Patriots (the same group that rebelled back in the 1780’s) and then captured Nijmegen reaching the Waal River. French forces infiltrated the Dutch Water Line just in time for the winter to begin. The winter of 1794-1795 was exceptionally cold, with the many rivers and waterways of the Netherlands freezing entirely. Without their natural defenses and with Anglo-Hanoverian forces beaten and retreating back to Germany, the French crossed the Rhine between Nijmegen and Zaltbommel, capturing Utrecht on January 16. Two days later, Amsterdam would fall to a revolution and on January 19 the Batavian Republic was proclaimed, aligning itself with France. The winter was so harsh that a good portion of the Dutch fleet was trapped by the ice between Den Helder and Texel, and the ice was so thick that French forces walked over it and captured 14 Dutch vessels.


    Louis Lahure captures the Dutch fleet at Texel

    [1] - OTL it was 26 ships and they represented a higher percentage. ITTL France has roughly 90 ships of the line compared to the 75-ish ships it had IOTL.

    [2] - Just like OTL, there is no British fleet nor any signs of the promised army of exiles.

    [3] - Estimations for the number of deaths caused by the Infernal Columns vary between 20,000 and 50,000. Casualties here are a bit higher than IOTL.

    [4] - The battle goes better for the Spanish, taking less casualties and with Unión surviving the battle (he died IOTL).

    [5] - Who survived the Siege of Savannah ITTL, check Chapter 7.

    [6] - The revolt lasts longer than IOTL as Polish resistance is more organised but the end result is the same.

    [7] - “Conservatives” in French Revolutionary terminology, which is still radical for the rest of Europe.
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    Chapter 16: The Columbian Consolidation
  • ~ Chapter 16: The Columbian Consolidation ~

    What historians often dubbed as the Second American Revolution only lasted for a couple of months in 1797 between the secession of New Hampshire on March 9 and the signing of the truce between New York and the New England Coalition in September. The feared war between the states only applied to three of them and was very brief, yet its effects were notable to the economy of the states that now had to build their own paths either as sovereign nations or as much reduced unions.

    Arguably, Virginia was the state that came in the best shape after the breakup. It had not gone to war with any of its neighbours and demonstrated its influence when Maryland agreed to a shared control of the Potomac, thus renouncing their claims, while Virginia did not legally do so, albeit the matter would be buried never to surface again. Prior to the breakup, Virginia had a population of almost 750,000, the highest number in the Union followed by Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Massachusetts, with almost one out of every five Americans being Virginian. Virginia also had a slave population of around 290,000 people (almost 40% of the population), but even if those were discounted Virginia was still the most populous state of the United States of America. The population was more rural than in other states, with Virginia’s largest city (Richmond) being the 22nd largest in terms of population at the moment of the breakup [1]. Virginia extended from the Delmarva Peninsula all the way to the Mississippi river, but had scarce control over the lands west of the Appalachians. The government, that feared an uprising in Kentucky backed by either the leftovers of the US, the Spanish or the British, approved in 1793 a territorial reform of the country, dividing Virginia into three departments [2], with Kentucky occupying the lands west of the Appalachians and south of the Ohio, Westsylvania covering the Appalachian mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, and finally Vetustia [3] which covered the rest of the country.

    This model of departments would later be copied by other southern states, but during the first decades of their independence the basic administrative division was the county, with new ones forming west of the Mississippi, gradually displacing the natives, albeit conflicts with the natives in the south would not intensify until the 1810’s, battles and skirmishes took place from Kentucky to Florida. The Virginians, yet again, were the swiftest at dealing with the natives, having secured the entirety of eastern Kentucky by 1784 after the Battle of Blue Licks [4], and from there would proceed to clean the rest of Kentucky out of Indian resistance, having fully pacified the region by 1793. Part of the reason for Kentucky’s easy colonisation was geographical, as Virginia controlled the Cumberland Gap and a series of minor mountain passes that allowed for an easy crossing of the Appalachians. Virginia also pioneered the Post-US militaries with the creation of a proper force by licensing the state militia and turning it into a proper national army, as well as creating the Virginia Military Institute in 1794 [5]. The rest of southern states struggled more with their new independence, specially South Carolina, as the great harbour of Charleston now found itself lacking products to export, being reduced from the southern port of the US to simply the port of South Carolina.

    Virginia Military Institute.jpg

    The Virginia Military Institute

    For the northern states, the period of Columbian history referred to as the “Consolidation” (1787 - 1812) was more difficult. The main reason being that both the UAS and New England were unions of several states, thus the creation of a constitution was needed for the governments to operate properly, while their southern neighbours employed slightly altered versions of their state constitutions. The Union States of America, or more concretely, the four states that remained a part of the Union, continued to operate under the Articles of Confederation until 1789, when a Constitutional Convention was called. This new constitution formally established the Union of Atlantic States in 1790, composed of the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and Ohio. This new constitution forbade any of the member states from pursuing their own foreign policy, not even in trade and tariffs, with interstate and international commerce regulated by the Federal Government of the Union, however states could regulate their own intrastate commerce and could pass their own taxes and regulations regarding their internal trade organisation, as long as those did not interfere with the federal regulations.

    The form of government consisted in a bicameral parliament, with a House of Representatives acting as a Congress, and a Senate [6]. Both chambers are elected by direct suffrage of all free males above 25, and the five states that composed the Union (Ohio entered in a rush and without meeting the requirements) would have a representation on the House of Representatives equal to the proportion of their population in the grand total of the Union, to be divided between the 100 representatives. The states with the highest populations (Pennsylvania and New York) were the ones that had the most power in the House of Representatives, and thus if they aligned they could easily overwhelm the rest of states put together (something prevented by the Senate, composed of 15 members, 3 per state), however New York and Pennsylvania often chose opposing presidential candidates. The New York-Pennsylvania dispute also extended to the seat of government, with Pennsylvania proposing that the capital be established in Philadelphia, while New York proposed New York City. Ultimately, New Jersey and Delaware backed the option of Philadelphia, however the New York delegation pressured for the creation of a “Federal District” in the city of Philadelphia, so the state of Pennsylvania could not legislate over the federal capital, thus creating a capital that was not controlled by any state.

    Philadelphia 1790.jpg

    Philadelphia F.D., capital of the Union of Atlantic States

    The situation was different in New England. For starters, there was a feeling of a common identity among the states, which made the process of granting powers to a new federal government easier. The New Englander constitution was the first one in the Americas to abolish slavery in all of its member states, despite opposition from some landowners in Rhode Island and Connecticut. New England saw political parties organising quickly in its territory, with the Federalist party taking the lead, inspired by the nationalist factions in the ex-US, arguing for a strong central government and pursuing policies aimed at a focus on trade and protecting the local industry. The power of the states was more imbalanced, as out of a total population of over a million inhabitants [7], Massachusetts had 475,000, almost half of the population of the Commonwealth. A system of election based on states and population was feared by the smaller states, as they could get swamped if Massachusetts population grew more, and with Boston acting as the national capital that was a given. Massachusetts agreed to concede the District of Maine to the government of the Commonwealth for it to become a state later, but Massachusetts was still home to a third of New England’s population.

    Ultimately, the outcome of how elections were to be realised was changed, as now elections would not be decided by representatives at a state level, but by representatives at county level, which was slightly more favourable for the smaller states, albeit it created the problem of how to deal with different populations in each county, and this was solved by the New England Census of 1791 which established the population of the Commonwealth, the population of each state, and the population of each county. Then, out of a Congress of 400 representatives, counties would be given a representation according to the percentage of the population they had, with a minimum of 2 for each county. This electoral system helped with disestablishing the primacy of state identities over the New Englander identity and reinforced the Commonwealth’s cohesion, albeit it would lead to a couple of electoral scandals later.

    Boston 1790.png

    The town of Boston in 1790

    New England recovered the fastest from the collapse of the US thanks to centralised economic policies and the creation of a Commonwealth Bank in 1793, as well as enjoying a positive trade balance for years to come, as New England signed the Adams Treaty with the United Kingdom in 1794, making Britain New England’s major economic partner and forging a strong relationship with the former metropole. The implications of the Columbian nations in international politics started after Louis XVI was executed. The southern nations, while initially favourable to the developments in France, were shocked by the downfall of the aristocratic Ancien Régime and their sympathies quickly shifted to the émigrés, offering them lands and seeing the exiled French aristocracy as brothers expelled by a radical revolution. Meanwhile, in the UAS the republican regime of France was seen as a natural ally against the encroaching redcoats in the Northwestern Territory and their Indian Allies. While the 1778 Treaty of Alliance technically did not apply as the United States did not exist anymore, Philadelphia opted to renew the alliance with the French Republic in 1795, with a purely defensive cause, stating that the Union would only join their allies if they were attacked. Which is exactly what happened some years down the line.

    [1] - The numbers come from the 1790 US Census, with the numbers lowered down a bit to make up for the 3 years of difference.

    [2] - Name inspired from the French departments.

    [3] - Vetustia comes from the Latin, and means “old”, referring to it being the first area settled permanently by the colonists.

    [4] - That happened in 1782 IOTL.

    [5] - OTL established in 1839, now that Virginia is its own sovereign nation it needs a good military as soon as possible.

    [6] - Both operating in very much a similar way to their OTL US equivalents.

    [7] - Based on the 1790 US Census. For Nova Scotia I used a population figure from 1806, adding the numbers of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, and reducing them by 30%.

    Second American Revolution.png

    Had this infobox ready for a while but forgot to post it
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    Chapter 17: Sapphires and Emeralds
  • ~ Chapter 17: Sapphires and Emeralds ~

    When the Netherlands finally surrendered and signed the Treaty of The Hague with France on May 16 1795, the French did not treat the new Dutch government as a friendly ally, but rather as a defeated enemy. The treaty stipulated that the lands south of the Rhine would be ceded to France, that the new Batavian Republic was to become a French ally and go to war with Great Britain, that they should pay an indemnity of a 100 million guilders, that they would loan money to France at a very low interest rate, and that they would pay for the 25,000 French soldiers that would occupy the Batavian Republic. The Dutch surrender was a shot in the arm for French finances, and with one of the major fleets of Europe either destroyed or fighting along them and with the Spanish soon to be out of the war, the French fleet was now free of further constraints and was ready to challenge the Royal Navy for superiority on the seas. The British, meanwhile, treated the Dutch as enemies and invaded their colonies of Guyana and South Africa, also taking Ceylon with help from the French East India Company.

    As the situation in America stabilised, the French could begin to import grain from their ally in the continent, the Union of Atlantic States, to deal with the food crisis the country had suffered for years. In order to secure shipments, the French needed at least partial control of the Atlantic ocean. The French had tried to secure a route to the west of the British isles since the war with Britain began in 1793, but they had mixed success and no real motivation to push for the opening of shipping lanes to North America, focusing on the Caribbean instead and managing to recover the islands that the British had captured, but now the situation was different and the French fleet decided to set sail and battle the Royal Navy [1].

    French admiral Bouvet set sail from Brest on September 1795 to prove the waters, encountering Sidney Smith’s fleet 120 miles southwest of the Scilly Isles, the battle was largely inconclusive and due to strong winds [2] the fleets struggled to reach each other until Smith repositioned his ships and used the wind on his favour, pursuing Bouvet and capturing three vessels. Further French raids were equally unsuccessful, albeit Admiral Nielly managed to defeat Alexander Hood in December 1795 off the Breton isle of Groix. The British were forced to spread their forces thin in 1795 and 1796, having to cover shipping routes to the Americas, to India, and to keep an eye on the Mediterranean while not weakening their own home fleet [3], and 1796 would be the year the French would attack.

    Franco British Naval Battle.jpg

    The Battle of Groix

    The French had already been preparing a force to assault Great Britain when Theobald Wolfe Tone arrived in Le Havre in representation of the Society of United Irishmen, a republican (albeit not anticlerical) secret society in Ireland that hoped to expel the British from the island and turn Ireland into an independent state. Lazare Carnot supported Tone and offered the SUI over 10,000 professional French troops and guns to supply another 20,000 men, in exchange for the Society not rising up until the French landed. The command of the expedition fell on Lazare Hoche, a skilled and quick-thinking general that Carnot deemed ideal as commander of a force that could, and was likely to be, isolated. As French preparations had already begun, a fleet was dispatched in August to distract the British from guarding the Western Approaches and facilitating the success of the Ireland Expedition, which was assisted by a Spanish declaration of war on Great Britain that same month. That endeavour was successful, and the French departed Brest on October 18 [4], and after dividing to avoid detection, the French fleet of 51 ships and 20,000 men landed at Bantry Bay on October 22.

    Hoche’s landing caught the British authorities in Ireland almost with their pants down, as they only expected a minor uprising of Irishmen, not the landing of an entire French army on the island. Hoche waited some days in order to let news of the revolution spread and to organise his forces and supplies, departing Bantry on october 26 and heading west towards Cork in a rapid assault, trying to gain as much territory as possible before the British consolidated. In the interior, the United Irishmen rose in the counties of Tipperary, Kildare and Offaly [5], while other uprisings took place in Wexford, Dublin and Belfast, with the latter two being quickly suppressed by the Commander in Chief of the Army of Ireland, the Earl of Carhampton. Carhampton’s reprisals were extremely brutal, often ignoring legal considerations, but were effective, and British hold over everything north of Dublin was solid. Hoche laid siege to Cork in November and the city surrendered as the garrison was confused and demoralised, then marching east to meet with the Wexford rebels.

    Ulster resistance.jpg

    British forces quashing resistance in Ulster

    Hoche had no reinforcements except for those Irishmen that enlisted the Army of the Republic of Ireland, which was proclaimed at Waterford on November 16 1796, and with the British slowly regaining naval supremacy, supplies would soon be critically low, so Hoche decided to move north to Dublin and take the city, taking a route through the center of the island, expecting the British to descend on Wexford following the coast. Hoche entered Tullamore on November 23 and split his forces, with a small detachment sent west to cut the British retreat, while the bulk of his force then swung southeast and encountered Carhampton’s army close to Carrigslaney, and in the ensuing battle French experience, Irish knowledge of the terrain and Hoche’s tactical genius won the day for the Franco-Irish forces, with 890 Frenchmen dead compared to 1,700 Brits. The Army of Ireland managed to save most of its forces, but they were unable to reach Dublin [6] before Hoche caught up with them again at Roundwood and defeated Carhampton again, inflicting over 2,000 casualties. Only the presence of the Royal Navy and reinforcements brought from Liverpool prevented the fall of Dublin, but the city was laid siege in December. Carhampton was sacked and replaced by the Scottish Ralph Abercromby.

    By 1797 the French had secured a third of Ireland and the British were growing desperate. That year the Parliament passed the 1797 Militia Act, which called for the recruitment of 90,000 young men, an act that was despised in Scotland, where the Society of the United Scotsmen launched an uprising inspired by that which was seemingly successful in Ireland, however this one was quickly crushed by the British Army without foreign interference [7]. Hoche’s last hopes of reinforcements died out when he received news of Admiral Lacrosse’s defeat at the Battle of Porspoder on February 1797, in which the French fleet that was supposed to send 10,000 men and military supplies was defeated by Lord Howe, with the French losing 6 ships of the line to meager British losses. Hoche made one last attempt to capture Dublin on March 2, but his assault was repelled thanks to the defensive works built by the British, as taking the trenches redoubts the British had built was too costly for the French, Hoche decided to lift the siege four days later and headed south with his army.

    Abercromby was a more cautious man than his predecessor, and expected Hoche to set up a trap somewhere in the southeast of Ireland, deciding for a cautious advance and counter insurgency operations against the Irish before pressing on with the advance. This worked against Hoche’s limited supplies, with the French having to live off the land, and the Irish view of French soldiers started to shift after some incidents where French troops sacked Irish farms and torched them. Hoche would not go down without a fight, and attacked Abercromby’s forces at Enniscorthy, again inflicting heavy casualties on the British, but his flanking maneuver was intercepted and the French cavalry was subsequently routed back.

    Irish Rebellion.jpg

    Irish forces fighting at Vinegar Hill, near Enniscorthy

    Abercromby then pressed onto Wexford, capturing the city on April 21 and pushing west, cornering the French into Munster. A relief force of the French navy managed to slip across the blockade and deliver some needed supplies, most critically gunpowder. Even if Hoche could inflict a new defeat on the British, morale was low and the consequences of said victory would probably doom the Franco-Irish army by depleting its reserves of both supplies and men, but Hoche tried. The decisive battle of the French invasion of Ireland would take place at Ballinameela, where Hoche was defeated for the first time as his forces could not counter the large amounts of artillery Abercromby had brought to the field after the fall of Wexford. Hoche retreated with the remnants of his army back to Cork, where he was cornered by the Royal Army of Ireland, and handed over his sword to Abercromby on May 28 1797. The French invasion of Ireland had failed, and with it one of France’s most skilled generals. Ireland formally became a part of the United Kingdom on January 1 1799.

    [1] - The naval campaigns of 1794 have been butterflied away. This means that the Glorious First of June never happened, and neither has the Campaign of the Great Winter. Without these losses, the French fleet is a stronger combat force than it was IOTL, and one has to take into account that its size was larger to begin with.

    [2] - ITTL I will not mess with the climate unless I want to for plot reasons. I usually will follow the OTL climate, even if by this time it should be different. Climatology is a mess and so unpredictable that I won’t even try. Just bear with me on alternate weather.

    [3] - I know it was created in 1902, this is just a reference.

    [4] - The fleet was scheduled to set sail in early October both OTL and ITTL. IOTL it was delayed until December due to the lack of supplies.

    [5] - Then known as King’s County.

    [6] - Irish partisans and Hoche’s northern forces slowing them down.

    [7] - IOTL both the Militia Act and the Scottish uprising happened late in the year, and the Dutch tried to send an army to support the Scots, but their fleet was destroyed at the Battle of Camperdown.
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    Chapter 18: The Apex of the Republic
  • ~ Chapter 18: The Apex of the Republic ~

    Even if the French invasion of Ireland failed, it succeeded in forcing the British temporarily out of the European continent, allowing France to launch a series of campaigns in the years 1796 and 1797 that would bring an end to the War of the First Coalition. In the Rhine, general Jean-Charles Pichegru captured Mannheim in May of 1795, only to then betray the Republic, switching sides and handing over critical information to the Austrians, who defeated Jourdan to the south and lifted the siege of Mainz. On June 1796 French troops under Jean Moreau crossed the Rhine after capturing the fortress of Kehl and advanced deep into southern Germany, forcing many of the local states into accepting arminstices as the Austrians retreated further east to protect the Danube, however the northern prong of the French offensive was defeated at Amberg and Würzburg, allowing the Austrians to threat Moreau with an encirclement and he retreated, with the front stabilising along the Rhine in 1797.

    However, the war would be decided on Italy, as General Barthélemy Schérer was ordered to go on the offensive following a command by the War Ministry, coming from military planner Napoleon Bonaparte. Bonaparte had been catapulted to fame for his success at the Siege of Toulon, and his rising star would continue when he quelled the royalist uprising of the 13 Vendémiarie by seizing large cannons and shooting them at the crowd, quickly silencing the royalists [1]. He then married Joséphine de Beauharnais, a former mistress of one of the leaders of the Thermidorian Reaction, Paul Barras. Back to Italy, Schérer defeated the Austro-Sardinian army of the Count of Wallis at Loano, opening the gates of Italy as the French gained a foothold in the east side of the Alps.

    Bonaparte took command of the Army of Italy two days after his marriage and after Schérer resigned for unknown reasons (likely this was a political appointment), with Bonaparte expected not to do much with the poor condition of the Army of Italy, being the most neglected of three main French armies [2]. Napoleon decided to attack immediately but the Austrians stroke first hitting the French right flank at Voltri, and Napoleon decided to counter this move by assaulting the center of the Coalition formation at Montenotte, separating the Austrians from the Sardinians and keeping a force to check the Austrians while charging against the Sardinians, that surrendered after their defeat at the Battle of Mondovì, signing the Armistice of Cherasco. Following this, the Austrians retreated to the Adda river, but Bonaparte defeated them again at the Battle of Lodi.


    The Battle of Lodi

    Bonaparte’s Italian Army was reinforced with 50,000 men and French troops marched south, occupying the Grand Duchy of Tuscany and marching south into the Papal States, with the pope agreeing to cede Romagna to the Cisalpine Republic, a puppet state of France. Eventually rebels overthrew Papal rule and created the Roman Republic (as well as some minor republics such as the Tiberine and Anconine Republics), another puppet of France. Napoleon then decided to go back to the Po Valley and defeated the Austrians at Lonato and Castiglione. The new Austrian commander, Joseph Alvinczy, was also unable to stop Bonaparte and was defeated at the Battle of the Arcole Bridge, with a part of the Austrian garrison trapped at Mantua. Alvinczy opted to launch a counter offensive, but Napoleon defeated him again at the Battle of Rivoli, inside the territory of the Republic of Venice. Mantua surrendered soon after, and Napoleon marched to the Alps, advancing within 150 kilometers of Vienna before the Austrians sued for peace, ending the War of the First Coalition.

    The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on October 17 1797. As per the treaty, Austria renounced its possession of the Netherlands (to France) and Milan (to the Cisalpine Republic). All of Italy was turned into a series of French puppet states except for the Kingdom of Naples and the island, while the Republic of Venice was partitioned along the Mincio River, with the eastern part going to France and the western part to the Cisalpine Republic. Austria annexed Dalmatia and Istria, while the rest of Venetian possessions went to France. The Austro-French peace was not to last, as the compensation to German princes for their lost territories west of the Rhine never happened, and Naples was hostile to the French. Napoleon, meanwhile, was dispatched with the French Mediterranean Fleet to Egypt, conquering Malta on the way [3].

    Basel Campoformio.png

    Western Europe after the peace treaties of Basel and Campo Formio

    By 1797, France was almost completely broken, the Assignats had decreased in value so much the Directory replaced them with the Mandats territoriaux in March of 1796 [4] with a total value of 2,500,000,000 francs, however the currency was simply done that counterfeiting it was so easy that six months in they had lost most of their value and as 1797 started they were pretty much worthless. By 1797 France was virtually bankrupt, and the Directory would have to continue to wage war, not in an attempt to expand the Republic or create puppet regimes, but to obtain war bounty from other countries. For example, when Napoleon captured Modena he confiscated the equivalent of three quarters of a million francs and the entire art collection of the Duke of Modena. Further treasures would be taken from the Papacy, with a value estimated at twenty million francs. The situation was also complicated in internal politics, with the royalists headed by Pichegru and Barbe-Marbois gaining more power, and fearing that they would put an end to the revolution Augereau marched on Paris and arrested both, and the Directory imposed itself over the legislative power.

    With Austria out of the war, now Britain was facing the same coalition of nations it had faced back in the American Revolution, fighting against Spain, France and the Batavian Republic. However, Britain had a head start compared to the previous war, having already crippled or defeated portions of the Dutch and French fleets, and also controlling parts of the French and Dutch fleets that defected, including most of the fleet of the French East India Company. However, Britain was still hard pressed to replace lost ships and train new sailors, resorting to the capture of neutral ships [5], especially focusing on ships from its former colonies in North America, in which American sailors were captured and forced to serve in the Royal Navy. The issue of the recurrent kidnapping of the sailors damaged relations between Britain and the Columbian Nations, but none was strong enough to challenge the Royal Navy, and the British were making distinctions, concretely with New England, their main economic partner in North America.

    Glorious first of june.jpg

    British and French ships engaging in battle

    But for one Columbian nation the stretched status of the Royal Navy presented an opportunity. Despite the 1783 Treaty of Paris stating that the Northwestern Territories were to be handed over to the United States, British troops still occupied a number of forts, with the only territorial exchanges being the surrender of forts in Lake Champlain and the UAS purchase of Connecticut’s Western Reserve for the equivalent of 1.2 million pounds sterling. By 1797, the British still occupied Fort Lernoult [6], Fort Mackinac, Fort Miami, Fort Niagara, Fort Ontario and Fort Oswegatchie; all of them in territory that now belonged to the Union of Atlantic States. The UAS began to prepare its forces for a takeover of the forts, and opened negotiations with Virginia, who also desired the northern bank of the Ohio River about a coordinated assault on the Northwest and the Northwestern Confederacy of native tribes.

    The Virginians were initially sceptical, but a spy secretly filtered the negotiations to the British and they offered Virginia all lands south of the parallel 39º N [7], and the Virginians jumped at the opportunity. Ultimately, the British prefered to concede a patch of land rather than risking losing the entire Northwest. When news spread of the spy, relations between the UAS and Virginia collapsed, albeit they had been declining since 1794. This setback would not stop the UAS from using an attack upon a trade ship heading towards France on February 2 1798 as an excuse for president George Clinton to present a motion to the Congress, and the Union of Atlantic States declared war on Great Britain on February 27, honouring their alliance with the French Republic. The French Revolutionary Wars had made the jump to the American mainland [8].

    [1] - The revolt had some more people fighting for the Royalist cause than IOTL, nothing that a couple more cannon shots can not fix.

    [2] - From north to south, the Army of Sambre and Meuse under Jourdan, the Army of the Rhine and Moselle under Moreau, and the Army of Italy now under Bonaparte. There are also other forces active, such as Kellermann’s Army of the Alps.

    [3] - As a neutral nation, the Order of Malta refused to let more than two ships at once of the same nation in their harbours. Napoleon decided to bomb Valletta and take over the island, needing the harbour for repairs.

    [4] - OTL in February of that same year, the Mandats are a paper based currency created as land-warrants for the lands confiscated from the royalty and the clergy.

    [5] - Which led to the creation of the Second League of Armed Neutrality in 1800.

    [6] - The British name of Fort Detroit.

    [7] - The British miscalculated the position of the Illinois river’s junction with the Mississippi, believing it was further north. They missed by 2.5 km.

    [8] - There had been ample conflict in the Caribbean for years, with the British and French exchanging islands. The Haitian Revolution goes as IOTL.
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