America the Fallen, A Timeline
America the Fallen
By Grant Hurst(aka IchBinDieKaiser)
Part One: Torn Asunder
"A considerable number have prevailed upon him to enter into a new covenant against us, and have torn asunder and cast behind their backs the good old covenant which their ancestors and ours entered into, and took strong hold of"
from the Journals of the Continental Congress
In May of 1787, after the failure of the convention of Annapolis, Maryland, it was decided that a new gathering would be required. They chose to have this gathering in Philadelphia, the birth place of the nation.
As the delegates began to arrive at the Pennsylvania State House, onlookers swarmed the building as the demigods congregate. Though summer was nearly in full in full swing, they still board the windows shut and armed men guard all the doors. The delegates of this young and fragile nations feared the unrest that this meeting could stir. This was no ordinary meeting of the Congress of the Confederation. This was a gathering of ideas to "Fix" the their constitution, or if need be, discard it and start anew.
Many famous and popular names appear in this convention such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin. Even Patrick Henry, who was not going to attend out of fear of Monarchism. When George Washington could not attend due to ill health, Patrick Henry changed his mind. Washington would die of Tuberculosis in October of 1787. His last words were, "I regret not having been present... I fear that I am responsible for the fate my country befallen".
Other great names could not attend this summit, such as John Adams, who along with John Jay, had been crisscrossing over Europe as the Minister of Britain and the Minister of Foreign Relations respectively. Even more devastating, the author of Independance, the father of American Freedom, has been taken by death's cold grip. While in Paris as Minister to France, he caught Pneumonia, dieing in late 1786, not even having the chance to be invited.
The convention began in mid May. All the delegates debated what they hoped would become the new constitution of the United States of America. Tensions between the states, even between delegates of the same state, would divide the congregation into two camps; The Federalists led by Alexander Hamilton, and Patrick Henry leading the Anti-Federalists. While the Federalists argued for a strong central government, while the Anti-Federalists desired the States to hold the power.
The Federalists struck first with a plan developed by James Madison, and presented by the Virginia governor Edmund Randolph. They wished for a strong Federal government dominated by the Legislative branch. This plan would have the large and more populous states dominate the government.
Another faction of Federalists countered this plan with one of their own, the New Jersey Plan. This plan would still make the central government more powerful, but leave the balance of power equal between all states.
The issue of slavery was another complexity that the states had to address. Though most Virginians found slavery to be objectionable and immoral, they still practiced it. Northern delegates wanted to abolish the slave trade from Africa. This alarmed the Carolinas and Georgia, the only states that still allowed the Slave trade. Allied together, the Carollinas and Georgia attempted blocking the abolishing of the Slave trade, which would have their southern agriculturaly based economies.
Benjamin Franklin, the sage of Philadelphia, attempted to create a compromise between the small states and large states with his plan of a bicameral legislature that took the Ideas of the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan and put them together. This plan was not received well by the Virginians. New York and Virginia refused to sign on to this part of the constitution.
By September 7th they had a document that the delegates could vote on. The fifty-five delegates would decide for each of their states whether they accept this constitution. They needed three-fourths of the states to vote yes on this. With Rhode Island refusing to participate, only 9 of the 12 states that showed up needed to accept it.
Virginia's vote came in first with a resounding No. Only John Blair and James Madison voted in favor of it.
The next vote was Pennsylvania, who unlike Virginia, voted with an resounding Yes.
Despite the anti-slave trade measures in the constitution, South Carolina voted yes.
New Jersey also voted yes with only one delegate not signing the document being William Houston, who left the convention early because of ill health.
New York nearly abstained from voting because two of its three delegates left the convention, and each state required at least two delegates to vote in the convention. These New York Anti-Federalists, Robert Yates, and John Lansing Jr. were convinced to stay by Virginian Anti-Federalists; Patrick Henry, and George Mason. Despite the leader of the Federalists representing New York, his state would vote no.
The vote for North Carolina was very close. Richard D. Spaight and Hugh Williamson both voted yes, while William R. Davie, and Alexander Martin, a federalist, voted no. This left the vote up to William Blount, a known advocate for state's rights, who also had a desire for a stronger central government. He was eventually worn down and decided to vote no.
Maryland was a close call as well. Being the Middle State, the bridge between North and South, was a state to be watched. It ended in a 3 to 2 vote in favor of the constitution, with Luther Martin and John F. Mercer voting against.
When it came for Massachusetts to vote, their delegates were deadlocked 2 to 2. This resulted in Massachusetts vote being abstained. Now only 8 votes were needed to pass the Constitution. Thee were currently 4 in favor, and 3 against, and 4 states left to vote. New Hampshire, Connecticut and Delaware would all vote yes.
This left the score at 7 infavor and 3 against, leaving Georgia as the final and deciding vote. If Georgia voted No the constitution would fail, if it voted yes or abstained the vote would pass. Georgia had 4 delegates, two of them William Houston and William Pierce voted no, while John Dickonson voted yes. This left it up to Abraham Baldwin, the Georgia Delegate from connecticu. Baldwin waited untill September 12th to make up his mind. For his own personal reasons, he voted no.
The constitution did not pass, the convention had failed. Delegate Alexander Hamilton called for another convention to be held in New York in November, but it was to late. One of the most important states, Virginia, refused to attened any future conventions.
Unlike Rhode Island who had refused to attened the convention, Virginia WAS important. Being the most populous state, they could not afford to have Virginia not attened. It was too late. Virginia's delegates refused to attened any more conventions, and so began the disolvement of the union.
Virginia seceded from the confederation in October of 1787, followed by New York in December. Georgia seceded in February of 1788, followed by North Carolina and Maryland in March. Delaware would secede in April along with South Carolina and New Jersey. And in May, Pennsylvania seceded. Being driven out of Philadelphia, only Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts remained in the dwindling American Confederation. These states would no longer remain the United States of America.
The United States is no more, they have been torn asunder. What will the fate of this broken nation be? What conflicts will arise from this catastrophe?
Last edited by IchBinDieKaiser; July 31st, 2009 at 01:03 AM.. Reason: wrong name of person. Brain Fart.
He was just a coward and that was the worst luck any man could have.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
But apart from that we will see regionalized nations then, so a New England, a Mid-Atlantic, and a South?
Vermont might remain idependent in this TL. Or they miht join with New England. There was movement to join Canada that Ira Allen was part of.
Speaking of Canada, I think the matter of Maine will be resolved in favor of the British Empire. After all it was not even a state at this point.
Italy 1936 by LongVin
Dark Centuries: A DC ASB
What Happens When The Super Villains Win?
Last edited by IchBinDieKaiser; July 31st, 2009 at 08:04 AM..
Part Two: From the Ashes
In February of 1788 a new series of conventions began amongst the newly independent nations. The first was to occur in Virginia. Starting on February 9 of 1788, the Virginia legislature and other delegates met in order to build a new constitution that would work better for an independent nation.
Many of the delegates that had attended the Philadelphia convention were also present, such as James Madison, George Mason, and Patrick Henry. Other big names were there as well such as Richard Henry Lee, John Marshal, and Henry Lee. The current governor Edmund Randolph, who has been serving as de facto head of state since Virginiaís secession from the United States, serves as the president of the convention.
Proposals are made as to what kind of government Virginia should have. In this convention, Madison presented a plan that was similar to the Virginia plan from the Philadelphia Convention.
It called for a three branch government with; a Bicameral legislature proportioned on the population of each county, a Judicial branch consisting of a Supreme court and a hierarchy of inferior courts for each county and district, and National Executive who will be chosen by a joint session of the Legislature. The Executive sole purpose is to ensure that the will of the legislature is carried out. The National Executive does not have veto power, making the legislature the most powerful branch. The Legislature would appoint all executives, secretaries, and judges. It called for a strong central government that could veto any actions taken by district or county. Suffrage was to be given to white males.
This did not sit well with Anti-Federalists like Mason and Henry. Despite opposition to the plan of Madison, there were not many competing arguments. This form only counted free white inhabitants of Virginia toward the population. Knowing they couldnít completely defeat the Madison plan for Virginia, Mason and Henry proposed changes that managed to pass.
The National Executive was given veto power, but only on domestic issues. Any treaties with foreign nations, or declarations of war, or any issue regarding foreign powers could not be vetoed. Originally, the National Executive was to be elected for a term of 4 years with a limit of 1 term, by the end National Executive would be given a term of 2 years with no limit on the number of terms that could be served.
The convention lasted until April 13, when the final draft of the constitution was approved by the convention and sent to be voted on by the people. The new constitution was approved of by 60% of the voting populous in May.
Though the constitution was written and approved the convention was not yet over. Virginia still had territorial issues that needed to be resolved between its neighbors and self. They convention members wanted to draw up the county lines and Judicial district lines before the new government came into effect.
It was announced to the people of Virginia that elections will be held to appoint the government officials will be held by November of 1788 at the latest, and the new constitution will officially be established for the new government on March 1st, 1789.
The constitution was approved in May of 1788, this gave the current government 6 months to negotiate and resolve lands disputes with its neighbors before the elections and transitions begin in November.
Maryland, having seceded in February, began its own constitutional convention in Annapolis(which becomes known as the 2nd Annapolis convention). April 1788. Unlike the Richmond Convention, there was not as much conflict.
Despite being a close vote, the delegates at the convention wanted a stronger government out of fear of their neighbors such as Virginia or Pennsylvania.
Their constitution had a Unicameral Legislature called the Senate. Each member would be elected for 6 years. It had a Judicial branch(much like OTL except on a smaller scale). And it had an executive branch with a President(the president has the same powers as IOTL). Their constitution was ready by May of 1788, but like Virginia, it still had territorial issues to settle.
Delaware also had very little dispute in its convention in May, keeping almost the exact same government. The only real change in power was that the Head of State, previously referred to as Governor, is now referred to as President. Their new government would be completely established by July of 1788.
The Governments of North and South Carolina, although independent now, did not call for a constitutional convention, at least not right away. Neither would have a convention to make any changes to their constitutions until 1792.
Georgia had an unusually large population of Loyalists. During the Revolution Georgia, along with many of the southern colonies had been pro-British, even at the end of the war. Loyalists were making their way into the positions of the Georgian government, and they decided to reshape Georgiaís governmental structure to that it was before the revolution, except not as a colony of Britain. The Head of State for Georgia was to be addressed as Lord Governor. These changes took effect by June of 1788.
New Jersey was quick to have a constitutional convention after their secession in April of 1788. Being a smaller state, New Jersey didnít need a large state based plan. Essentially they ended up adopting the New Jersey plan from the Philadelphia convention. Like Maryland, they wrote in a Unicameral legislature, with each county receiving 1 representative. Along with the standard Judicial system that every state had adopted, it had its President Executive, with the same powers as the Maryland President.
New York took a surprisingly long time to have a constitutional convention, considering it seceded in November of 1787, the second state to do so. It wasnít until May of 1788 that their legislature, along with a handful of outside delegates meet together in New York City to hammer out a constitution.
The two most prominent people in this convention leading the confronting sides were; George Clinton leading the Anti-Federalists, and Alexander Hamilton leading the Federalists. There was a sharp split in the convention between what became the Clintonians and the Hamiltonians.
Having failed to get his plan at the Philadelphia convention passed, he tried it in the New York convention. His plan of government had resembled the British government too much for the comfort of the other delegates at the Philadelphia convention.
His plan for government had three branches: Judicial, Legislative, and Executive. The Judicial branch would have a Supreme court that would serve the nation as the final appellate court. There would also be inferior courts for all the districts of New York. The judges of the Supreme court would serve for life unless they resign or are voted out by the legislature.
The Legislative branch would be divided into two house, a lower house, and an upper house. The lower house, the Assembly, would be elected by popular vote of the people for an unlimited number of 3 year terms. The upper house, the Senate, would be chosen by the Assembly, and these people would serve life terms. Just like the Judiciary branch, the Senators can be removed from office by a successful Impeachment. The Legislative would have sole power to declare war.
The head of state would be called the Executive Governor. He would be elected by the popular vote of the people. The Executive Governor would serve for life unless removed in the same fashion as a Senator or Judge. The Executive Governor would have an absolute veto over any legislation from the national legislature. He would also serve as commander in chief of the armed forces of New York.
His plan would eliminate any local legislative bodies. Each district would have a Governor that is selected by the Executive governor and is subject to replacement at the Executive Governorís discretion.
The Clintonians thought that this format gave the government a gross amount of power, and they refused to go along with it. The debates grew very heated as all order broke down in convention. When the convention ended for the day on June 29th, the delegates went to their lodgings.
When George Clinton and some other anti-federalist delegates left the convention they walked down a street where there was a large crowd gathered in the road. They seemed to be listening to someone standing on a stack of crates. That person on the crates was reading one of the many Federalists papers written by Alexander Hamilton, and was preaching the need for such a government.
The man on the crates had exclusive knowledge of what was being said in the convention, which was supposed to be secret. Someone in the crowd shouted out that George Clinton was behind the crowd. A riot broke out on the streets of New York. News of the convention and the discussions of it had been leaked to the public, and just like the delegates, the people were divided. Shots from muskets and pistols began to ring out in the streets as the riots grew throughout the city.
One stray round landed in the chest of George Clinton. He fell to the ground gripping his chest, blood on his hand. Some of his nearby friends managed to grab him and take him to safety, but it was too late. He died of blood loss by the time he made it to a hospital. News of this was sent to his lieutenant governor Pierre Van Cortlandt. The convention was postponed until Cortlandt could be notified and be sworn in at Albany.
Cortlandt was sworn in as governor on July 17th of 1788.
He was obligated to attend the convention in New York. He arrived on the 20th of July and ordered the convention resume on the 22nd. While in New York city he called the New York militia to the city to serve as peace keepers and to prevent any more riots from occurring.
The convention resumed on the 22nd with a lot more control being exerted by Cortlandt, now serving as President of the Convention. There were even soldiers in the convention hall to keep order and civility. Though the death of Clinton gave the anti-federalists a martyr for their cause, they still lost their charismatic leader.
This did a devastating blow to the anti-federalits of the convention. Most of the provisions of Hamiltonís plan passed except for a few powers of the Executive Governor. The powers removed from the Executive Governor were the ability to remove district Governors at discretion. He could call for Impeachment of a Governor, but the people of the respective governorís district would vote whether to keep him or replace him. The other power that was limited was the absolute Veto. The absolute veto was limited to domestic issues, however, in time of war, the Executive Governor may practice an unlimited absolute Veto.
This constitution was finished on August 3 and a vote was set for October. The new government, if passed, would establish itself in January of 1789.
In May Pennsylvania seceded from the fledgling confederation known as the United States. When Pennsylvania did this, it forced the remaining members to leave and reconvene in Boston. Pennsylvania followed the trend of most of the former members of the United States and held a constitutional convention. Just short of a year later, another convention is held in Philadelphia, which becomes known as the 2nd Philadelphia Convention.
The convention met in the Pennsylvania State House, just as the previous convention. Benjamin Franklin, who is still serving as the President of the Supreme Executive Council, presided as President of the convention. This convention was not done by the legislature and delegates, though many of them showed up. The convention was open to the public and was to be an open forum. This was done in order to avoid the same kind of riots that devastated New York city in late June and early July.
The convention began on July 7th of1788. Their were giant crowds of people outside the state house. They could only let in 150 people at a time. It got so crowded that a small riot did breakout in the back. This forced the Supreme Executive Council to change the rules for allowing people in.
They created what became known as the small party elector system. The Council registered small groups of parties that would have between 100 and 250 members in it. They would register each person with each group, so the council knew who was in each party, so they could ensure no one was in multiple parties. Each party would send one person to represent them. This person would be allowed in the state house and would delegate on behalf of their party. This system ended up creating a large number of political parties, some growing beyond the 250 member limit.
They reopened the convention on July 30th after all the parties and members were registered and their representative chosen. The convention ended up having 174 delegates from these political parties. Some of these parties had well over the 250 limit, one exceeding over 5000.
Seeing all these political parties arise, President Franklin proposed that they have a parliamentary type of Legislature. This would allow the multitude of political parties to remain in existence. The delegates were highly in favor of this. A Judiciary and an Executive branches were also easily excepted.
The new Parliament was designed with two houses, the House of Delegates, and the Chamber, elected members being referred to as Delegates or Chamber-men, respectively. The Delegates would be elected by the popular vote of the people, and apportioned according to the population of a region. The Chamber-men would be elected by the legislature. There would be 1 Chamber-man for every 10 Delegates.
The Executive was the one unique feature that the other states didnít have. Unlike most of the other states that had one Executive at the top, Pennsylvania would have two: The Prime Minister, and the President. The Prime Minister would be elected by Parliament, while the President would be elected by the people. The Prime Minister would handle Domestic policy, and the President would handle Foreign policy.
This system gave Pennsylvania a Semi-Presidential system of government. The constitution was approved by the convention on September 2nd, and there would be popular vote on it in October.
Though their constitution was finished, Pennsylvania still had Territorial issues it needed to be taken care of with its neighbors.
When they were removed from Philadelphia, the remnants of the United States meet in Boston to salvage what is left of the confederation. The remaining members were Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. They wanted to revamp the constitution that they failed to back in 1787.
Though they were still technically in union under the Articles of Confederation, they largely acted on their own, not consulting with their other members. States like Rhode Island and New Hampshire wanted to continue doing this, acting like their own nations.
Caleb Strong, a delegate from Massachusetts offered a solution to this predicament. They decided to have a nation of nations. Each state was to be considered its own country that could have its own military, treaties, and government. However they would all be bound by a small number of factors.
Each state would use the same currency, creating a bond of economics. Though there was a common currency, there was no central bank. Between members of the union there would be absolutely no kind of trade barriers, no Tariffs, nothing that might inhibit trade. The third commonality was the united assembly. This would replace the congress of the confederation.
The assembly would have very little power. It had 2 main purposes, approval of new members states, and determining acts of war. The fourth and final purpose was the most important of all, the common defense article.
The common defense article was made to help protect them. Each state could have its own military, but there was no standing army for the union as a whole. The common defense article(CDA) stated that if one member state was attacked by a foreign power, all members must aide militarily. If it was determined by the assembly that the requirements for the CDA to take effect, each state would contribute soldiers and munitions to a Coalition army. Each Coalition army was to be given a title that would be known in their records and history books. For example, the first time a Coalition army is called on, it would be referred to as the First Coalition Army. Each subsequent time it is called upon, it would be given the next consecutive number title.
There were limits to the CDA. First and most importantly, the attack from a foreign power must be unprovoked. If the member state declared war on the foreign power first and then was attacked, the CDA was not in effect. Second, the Coalition army was to be a defensive army only. It could not be sent outside of the union. Third , all member states must contribute to the Coalition in some way. Fourth and final, if a Coalition Army was called upon, the treaty made is a coalition treaty, and all members states must accept and follow its terms.
This plan was popular with Rhode Island and New Hampshire, but not so much with Massachusetts and Connecticut. But in order to preserve some kind of union, they allowed it. From this point on they would be referred to as the Union of New England.
With new forms of governments on the way, what effects will this have on the relation with the disunited states of America? Only time will tell.
was it readable?
Last edited by IchBinDieKaiser; August 5th, 2009 at 09:00 AM..