Washington and his army destoryed 1776?
While reading What If?: The World's Foremost Military Historians Imagine What Might Have Been edited by Robert Cowley, I came across an interesting essay by Fleming, who discusses some interesting American Revolutionary SHWIs, one of them caught by interest: What if the British had succeeded in trapping Washington's army on Long Island or Manhattan? After the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, the British had the opportunity of not only capturing New York but also capturing Washington and his entire army. The Continentals had been outflanked by the British, who had driven them back to the Brooklyn Heights fortifications. Here Washington and his army were trapped by numerically superior British force. In a daring move, considered by many historians to be one of his most impressive actions as a military commander, Washington directed the withdrawal of his entire remaining army and all their supplies across the East River in one night without discovery by the British or losing a single man. However, it was not only due to Washington’s superb military talent that the withdrawal was successful, the weather also helped. A favorable wind and thick fog were also decisive factors, keeping the British out of the East River and in Washington’s escape. Both Fleming and David McCullough argue that if there had been no favorable wind (or fog) then the British would have captured Washington and his Continental army, leading the Revolution to collapse. Fleming argues further that an early British victory in the Revolutionary War would have led to a "friendly" peace, which would attempt to restore the status quo. Any thoughts?
If the Revolutionaries suffer such an unforgiving ALT defeat in 1776, then the Revolution probably appears doomed (at least from an international perspective) and France probably won’t become involved. Does this mean the French monarchy will continue indefinitely? Probably not as the underlying causes are still there, and Louis XVI was so good at wasting away the French treasury on foreign wars. However, instead of French becoming involved in an American war, Louis will probably play politics in Europe and there is no shortage of opportunities. However, the most interesting one for me is the 1785 civil war that put the final death nail in the gold age of the Dutch Republic. The Organgists (supported by Britain and Prussia) wanted to give William V of Orange more power and crushed the Patriots who wanted to maintain the democratic traditions of the Republic. In the OTL, Louis XVI wanted to support the Patriots, but the burdens of the American Revolution had been too draining and there was no French intervention in Dutch affairs. But in this ALT, France is in bad way financially but not as bad as OTL as she has not recently been in a long exhausting war with the British. So Louis supports the Patriots, making war against Prussia and Britain, this could quickly degenerate into a large European war as the big players suck others into the conflict. With French aid the Patriots may even be able to attract the aid of the Austrians and Spain (who I think would probably join any anti-Britain War going). Any thoughts?
How does a war like this play out? An unsuccessful war in Holland and on the European continent may push the French into more even more dire economic straits than after the OTL Revolutionary War. How does this impact on the French Revolution, any thoughts? And what is happening back in America? Are the colonialists going to remain loyal and patriotic about this war or will you see a groundswell of support for the Dutch Republicans and their allies. We may see another Revolutionary War in the Colonies in the late 1780s (especially if the war continues for awhile and causes taxes to go up), although the divisions may be sharper and this war may attract less international aid than the OTL Revolutionary War. Any thoughts?