Look to the West (raw timeline)
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A companion to the main Look to the West thread, showing dates and events. Comment there.
Look to the West: Timeline
Before the POD
1688-1697: The War of the Grand Alliance, aka the ‘Zeroth War of Supremacy’ or King William’s War, in which a grand alliance of powers fight France to a standstill and forms the framing for the Glorious Revolution.
1688: The First Glorious Revolution, in which the unpopular Catholic King James II of England and VII of Scotland is ejected from the country and replaced with William of Orange and his wife Mary, James’ daughter.
1689: William and Mary crowned as co-monarchs with the assent of Parliament. Parliament passes “An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown”, which sets down the British Bill of Rights and forms the basis of the British Constitution. Among other things, the Constitution severely limits the rights of Catholics, forbidding them the throne, the vote and public office.
1689-91: The Williamite War in Ireland, which results in the French and James II being ejected from Ireland, and the country brought under effective British control. The siege of Limerick ends the war, with the ‘Flight of the Wild Geese’ as many Irish nobles flee to Spain or France. The Treaty of Limerick guarantees Catholic rights, but is rejected by the Protestant-dominated Irish Parliament and Anti-Catholic laws are implemented, to much resentment among the Irish populace.
1694: Death of Queen Mary. All English judges wear black in mourning - and never stop. William rules as sole monarch.
1701: By the Act of Settlement, Parliament makes the heir to the throne after the childless Anne Electress Sophia of Hanover, although she dies before Queen Anne and so her son becomes George I.
1702: Death of William III of England after his horse stumbled over a molehill and he broke his collarbone, which became infected. Jacobites will ever after raise their glasses to ‘the little gentleman in black velvet’. James II’s second daughter Anne becomes Queen Regnant. End of the personal union between England, Scotland and Ireland and the Dutch Republic, as Willem Friso (no close relation to William III) becomes claimant Stadtholder William IV of the Netherlands. However not all the Dutch provinces recognise this, and so the Netherlands is Stadtholderless until 1747.
1707: The Act of Union is passed, which unifies England and Scotland as the Kingdom of Great Britain. The Act abolishes the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Royal Navy, and amalgamates them into their English counterparts.
Birth of Carolus Linnaeus in Sweden.
1701-1714: The War of the Spanish Succession, aka Queen Anne’s War and the First War of Supremacy. England/Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Savoy, Portugal and the Aragonese vs. France, Bavaria, Hungarian rebels and the Castilians. The war is indecisive, with post-Hapsburg Spain receiving a Bourbon monarch but not entering personal union with France as Louis XIV had hoped. Territorial changes include: Britain receives Gibraltar and Minorca from Spain; Austria receives Naples, Sardinia, Milan and the Spanish Netherlands (the future Flanders); Savoy receives Sicily; British colonies in North America receive French Acadia and France gives up claim to Newfoundland and Rupert’s Land.
1709: Attempted Jacobite rebellion under claimant James III Stuart is defeated by Sir George Byng. Future rebellions will instead be managed by James’ son Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie).
1713: Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor and Archduke of Austria, has no male heir. He issues a Pragmatic Sanction recognising his daughter, Maria Theresa, as heir, and makes all the powers of Europe agree to it. However, it will transpire that quite a lot of them had their fingers crossed behind their backs.
1714: Death of Queen Anne; George I, Elector of Hanover, becomes King of Great Britain and of Ireland. As he does not speak English, Parliament gains more real power during his reign. In Virginia, the “First Wave of Germanna”, as German Protestant religious refugees from the Rhineland and the Palatinate settle there.
1715: Death of Louis XIV; his great-grandson Louis, one of the few to survive a series of deaths in the French royal family in the late 17th century, becomes King Louis XV at the age of five, with Philippe, Duc d’Orléans as regent. A Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland, led by the Earl of Mar, is crushed by Marshal Wade. More minor outbreaks in Cornwall and Northern England are also subdued.
1717: “Second Wave of Germanna” as more German refugees settle in Virginia.
1720: The South Sea Bubble. Excessive speculation in the South Sea Company causes an economic meltdown in the City of London. Parliament holds an inquiry and several prominent members of the current Whig government are forced to step down, leaving most of the power in the hands of Robert Walpole, the Paymaster of the Forces.
1721: Robert Walpole becomes the first Prime Minister of Britain, i.e. the first minister to dominate a government, although the term Prime Minister is considered vulgar and derisive for years afterward. His official titles are First Lord of the Treasury, Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons, all united in one.
1722: Williamsburgh, Virginia, becomes the first city in Britain’s North American colonies as it receives a royal charter.
1727: Death of King George I of Great Britain. His son becomes George II of Great Britain. Much like his father, he does not get on with his eldest son, Frederick. At George’s coronation (POD) the King stumbles and falls and Frederick laughs at his father’s public humiliation. This caps a series of violent disagreements from the two, with the result that George II disinherits Frederick, making his younger brother William the Prince of Wales, and sends him into exile to the North American colonies, giving him the sinecure of Lord Deputy of the Colonies. In Virginia (which has not yet heard the news of Frederick’s fall from grace), the new town of Fredericksburg, named in his honour, begins construction.
1728: Prince Frederick arives in Virginia (the “Third Wave of Germanna”). He decides to settle in the town named in his honour (Fredericksburg), at the quite modest house later known as Little St. James’.
1729: Treaty of Seville forbids British ships from trading with Spanish colonies in the Americas - it is very often violated. Spanish ships commonly stop British ones for inspection.
1730: Virginian House of Burgesses passes the Tobacco Inspection Act, which improves the quality of Virginian tobacco overall and places it in high demand in Europe. The scheme is the brainchild of William Gooch, the Royal Lieutenant-Governor (and de facto governor) of Virginia. Prince Frederick, a political ally of Gooch, invests heavily in tobacco plantations and uses the profits to build his still quite meagre funds.
1731: A particularly brutal inspection by the Spanish of a British ship in the Caribbean; the British captain, William Jenkins, has his ear cut off.
1732: A scandal almost breaks as Prince Frederick is found to have made Mildred Gregory (twice-widowed sister of the Virginian planter Augustine Washington) pregnant. It would ruin his chances of regaining the kingship if news broke out, so Frederick reluctantly agrees to marry her, and to restore the Washingtons’ lost lands and titles in England if he becomes King, in order to keep Augustine quiet. The son will go on to become King George III.
In Sweden, Carolus Linnaeus travels to Lapland for his study of the local flora and fauna.
1733: Prince George Augustine of Cornwall, the future George III, is born. He is nicknamed George FitzFrederick by Williamites who do not recognise his father’s marriage as legitimate.
1733-1738: The War of the Polish Succession. France, Spain and Savoy vs. Russia, Austria and Saxony over whether the elected King of Poland-Lithuania should be Stanisław Leszczyński or Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony (respectively). George II of Britain wants to enter the war, but Walpole refuses, and the infuriated King is only able to assist Austria via his position of Elector of Hanover. Walpole recovers some popularity in Britain thanks to his decision to stay out of the war. Although the French-led side wins, the Saxon becomes King Augustus III of Poland at the compromise peace settlement. Austria receives Tuscany and Palma but transfers Naples and Sicily to Don Carlos, the former Duke of Parma and future King Charles III of Spain. This is the beginning of the end for the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which decays under Augustus III’s indifferent rule.
1734: Frederick tours the American colonies, while Mildred remains behind and gives birth to Princess Mildred, the future Queen of Denmark. He forms a political alliance with the Lieutenant-Governor of Pennsylvania, Patrick Gordon, and then becomes involved in New York politics, backing the “Morrisite” opposition party against the tyrannical Lieutenant-Governor William Cosby, a fierce Georgian loyalist. He also visits New England and writes about the questionable loyalties of the French-descended people in British Nova Scotia. In Britain, Robert Walpole’s majority is reduced after he attempts to introduce an unpopular customs and excise tax. A new opposition party, the Patriot Boys, is formed. They support Prince Frederick and are led by skilled political orators such as William Pulteney, William Pitt and George Grenville.
1735: Prince Frederick returns home to Virginia briefly, then tours the Carolinas before finally returning to Fredericksburg at the end of the year.
Linnaeus publishes his seminal work ‘Systema Naturae’ in the Netherlands. This is a controversial work, as it argues for a purely empirical system of classification, with no regard for the Great Chain of Being.
1738: When Robert Jenkins exhibits his pickled ear in a jar in the House of Commons, British outrage is such that even Robert Walpole gives in and declares war on Spain - the War of Jenkins’ Ear, which bleeds into the War of the Austrian Succession.
1740-1748: The War of the Austrian Succession, aka the Second War of Supremacy. After Charles VI of Austria’s death, the powers of Europe conveniently forget they agreed to the Pragmatic Sanction, and war is declared. Maria Theresa’s accession is really just a casus belli, however - in truth the war is mainly about Prussia’s desire to take Silesia from Austria. Prussia, France, Spain, Bavaria, Naples and Sicily, and Sweden vs. Austria, Britain, Hanover, the Netherlands, Saxony, Sardinia and Russia. The war sees Maria Theresa appeal for assistance to her Hungarian subjects and receive important levies - a contrast to the Hungarian rebellion against Joseph I in the War of the Spanish Succession - and the powers of Europe astonished by the performance of the Prussian army under Frederick II. The Prussians use powerful new drills and tactics, and deploy an entirely professional army, not using unreliable (but cheaper) mercenaries. This leads to Maria Theresa, and others, copying the Prussians to some extent.
1741: British general election reduces Robert Walpole’s majority, especially in the rotten boroughs. Admiral Edward Vernon, whose captain of Marines is Major Lawrence Washington (Augustine’s elder son), is embarrassingly defeated in an attempted descent on the Spanish city of Cartagena-des-Indes in New Granada. This overshadows his earlier victory over the Spanish at Porto Bello in Darien. Frederick II of Prussia wins an important victory at Mollwitz, bringing France and Sweden into the war on his side.
1742: Robert Walpole, his government having lost numerous constituencies in the 1741 General Election, resigns as Prime Minister and accepts a seat in the House of Lords as 1st Earl of Orford. He is succeeded by Spencer Compton, 1st Earl of Wilmington, but real power rests with the Secretary of State for the Northern Department, John Carteret. Admiral Vernon takes Guantanamo from Spain, but is eventually repulsed by Cuban irregulars. The Battle of Bloody Fields sees the repulsion of a Spanish attack on Georgia by the local militias. However, Georgian/Carolinian attempts to take Spanish Flordia are equally inconclusive. A poorly coordinated Franco-Saxon-Bavarian army under Marshal de Broglie manages to take most of Bohemia from Austria.
1743: Sweden knocked out of the war by Russia, which annexes parts of Finland; however Russia also leaves the war soon afterwards. Austria, backed by Hungarian levies, ejects the French and their allies from Bohemia. Britain enters the European war, blockading the Neapolitan fleet in port, while King George II goes to Hanover and raises an army, which he leads into battle personally (though his son William, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cumberland, acts as general). The Anglo-Hanoverians meet the French, led by the Duc de Noailles, at Dettingen. Despite Noailles’ superior generalship, George’s forces win the battle, but George himself is killed. Wilmington dies and is replaced by Henry Pelham as Prime Minister. Pelham shares power with his brother Thomas, the Duke of Newcastle.
1745: Prince William, now William IV, is defeated by Marshal Saxe at Fontenoy. He returns to Britain and puts down the Jacobite Rebellion in Scotland led by Bonnie Prince Charlie. In North America New England forces, including Prince Frederick, take the fortress of Louisbourg from France.
1746: French forces in India under La Bourdonnais take Madras from the British East India Company.
1747: French invasion of Austrian Netherlands leads to internal dissent in the Dutch Republic. A new settlement is established whereby the stadtholder of the provinces of Friesland and Gronigen becomes Stadtholder William IV, ending the stadtholderless period, and the office is also made hereditary, paving the way for a shift from oligarchic republic to monarchy. British general election returns a shaky majority for the Pelhamites in the 10th Parliament of Great Britain. In India, Dupleix attacks British-held Cuddalore, but is repulsed by an army under the British-allied Nawab of the Carnatic, Anwarooddin Mohammed Khan.
1748: Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle. Maria Theresa remains Holy Roman Empress, but Austria loses Silesia to Prussia and various territories in Italy to Parma and Sardinia. France returns the Austrian Netherlands to Austria, a highly unpopular move among the French people. King William IV of Britain agrees to return Louisbourg to France in return for Madras. However, this is equally unpopular with the Americans. Prince Frederick seizes his chance and, backed by American supporters who sign a Declaration of Right, claims the throne. The War of the British Succession begins.
Spain and Portugal enter negotiations aimed at refining the outdated zones of control in the Americas defined by the old Treaty of Torsedillas.
1749: January - Hearing of Frederick’s claim, William invokes the Treason Act 1702 and imprisons some of Frederick’s most prominent Patriot supporters. This clumsy response makes William less popular with the English people in general.
April - Williamite fleet, under the command of Admiral John Byng, sets sail for America; Bonnie Prince Charlie leads a Jacobite fleet to Limerick in Ireland and starts a rising there against the absentee William. Fourth Jacobite Rebellion, including a minor rising in Scotland led by Lord Cosmo Gordon, which is rapidly crushed. Ireland, however, rages on.
August - cunning plan by Frederick leads to William being assassinated at range on the deck of Byng’s flagship by American riflemen. Frederick smooths things over and the war fizzles out. Byng’s fleet winters in America, having turned to Frederick.
In India, Dupleix supports Chanda Sahib in his attempt to overthrow Anwarooddin Mohammed Khan, the Nawab of the Carnatic (and latterly his son Mohammed Ali).
1750: March - Byng’s fleet, with Frederick and American troops, sets sail for the British Isles.
May - Death of King John V of Portugal. His son becomes King Joseph I of Portugal. He takes an interest in the stalled colonial negotiations with Spain, and real progress begins to be made.
June - Frederick, after hearing about the Irish rising, diverts the fleet to Cork and lands there, seizing towns from Jacobite forces, though Lawrence Washington initially fails to take Limerick.
July - Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Madrid, setting down new colonial borders in the Americas based on the 46th meridian. The key provision is that Portugal will exchange Sacramento for the Spanish Jesuit ‘Seven Missions’.
September - Battle of Kilkenny. Frederick’s forces win the day. Charles Edward Stuart dead, no serious Jacobite claimants left after James Francis Edward Stuart’s death. End of Jacobitism in the British Isles.
November - Triumphal entry of Frederick and American forces into London. Frederick marches into Parliament and dissolves it. Calls a general election, set for February.
December - Frederick’s coronation. For the first time this form of the royal title is used... Frederick the First, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Emperor of North America, Defender of the Faith, etc.
1751: February - British general election vanquishes the Pelhamite Whigs and returns a handy majority for the Patriots. William Pulteney becomes Prime Minister; William Pitt Secretary of State for the Southern Department; George Grenville for the Northern Department. 11th Parliament passes important acts such as the Act of Suppression (building roads in Scotland and Ireland to help put down further revolts), the Act of Succession (confirming Frederick as King but recognising William as William IV ‘until his untimely death’) and the Colonial Act, establishing the Empire of North America and some early institutions.
Peerages awarded to American supporters of Frederick, including Lawrence Washington becoming Marquess of Fredericksburg.
European powers reluctantly recognise Frederick’s government. Frederick cancels William’s signature on the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle. France keeps Madras in protest, and many British soldiers die from tropical disease and neglect while in French captivity in Madras, including the unknown (in TTL) Robert Clive. The proxy war continues in the Carnatic. Britain fails to take Arcot, and Chanda Sahib wins the civil war, becoming the new Nawab of the Carnatic. Henceforth French influence in the region is paramount and Britain rarely exerts much influence south of the Circars.
1753: King Frederick of Great Britain makes his first and only visit to Hanover. Alarmed by French attempts to form alliances with the Indians of the Ohio Country, Iroquois leader King Hendrick approaches the Governor of New York, the Duke of Portland, for more Anglo-American assistance in repulsing French influence. Portland agrees and the Anglo-Iroquois alliance is cemented further. The French build forts in Virginian-claimed Vandalia, at Fort Presque Isle and Fort Duquesne. Governor Dinwiddie of Virginia, after meeting with Portland and the Lord Deputy, sends troops to eject the French from the Ohio Country.
1754: Lawrence Washington, despite his new lands, titles and House of Lords seat in Britain, chooses to return to America. This will set a precedent for later American nobles. The young George Washington remains in Britain and is tutored alongside George, Prince of Wales.
Dinwiddie’s Virginian militiamen fail to take the French forts at Presque Isle and Duquesne. Because of this, the Virginian House of Burgesses passes reforms to improve the standard of militia military training, despite the ever-persistent Anglic fear of a standing army. The Pulteney government in Britain signs a treaty with Prussia, known as ‘Les Deux Frédérics’ in France. This essentially amounts to the British abandoning their commitment to help Austria if Prussia attacks Silesia, in exchange for the Prussians agreeing to defend Hanover in the event of another German war. Austria and Britain have drifted apart since disagreements over accepting the Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle.
Carolus Linnaeus visits London and meets the young Joseph Priestley, who persuades him to publish his controversial theories about human evolution.
In South America, the Seven Jesuit Missions agree to move from the now Portuguese territory, but their Guarani Indian friends object. A short war between combined Portuguese and Spanish forces and the Guaranis, which results in the defeat of the Guaranis but causes bad blood between the Portuguese and Spanish.
1756-1759: The Third War of Supremacy, also known as the War of the Diplomatic Revolution. Britain, Prussia, Ireland, Hanover, Brunswick, Hesse-Kassell and the Empire of North America vs. France, Russia, Austria, Sweden, Naples and Sicily, and Sardinia. Eventual defeat for the British coalition in Europe with the dismemberment of Prussia, though Prussian army tactics continue to educate the world. Total British victory in North America. Minor French victory in India.
1756: May - the British East India Company in Bengal has built up a huge army with which to try and retake the lost cities from the French in the Carnatic. However, this army’s existence has made their ally, Siraj-Ud-Daulah the Nawab of Bengal, nervous...
August - Austria signs a formal alliance with France at Versailles - the ‘Diplomatic Revolution’, ending a century of Franco-Austrian enmity. In response, Britain declares war on France and Prussia invades Saxony. Start of the Third War of Supremacy.
October - after a lightning campaign by King Frederick II of Prussia, Saxony surrenders to the Prussians.
November - Pulteney announces a Cabinet reshuffle. George Grenville becomes Chancellor the Exchequer and Henry Fox takes over as Secretary of State for the Northern Department. Frederick II of Prussia, having secured Saxony, launches an invasion of Bohemia.
December - death of Queen Mildred of Great Britain. King Frederick sinks into a depression from which he will never quite recover.
1757: February - Prince George of Wales disappears. Secretly takes up a commission in America under the name Ralph Robinson, fighting alongside George Washington. French and allied Huron and Algonquin forces under Montcalm invade New York. After failing to be reinforced, the American Fort Frederick William surrenders to the French. However, the Algonquins, having different definitions of the rules of war, then perpetrate a looting and massacre on the British and American forces. This outrage increases the resolve of the American people to win the war, and more regiments and militias are raised.
May - Frederick II of Prussia retreats from Prague after an indecisive engagement with Austrian forces, deciding he does not have the troop numbers to hold the city. French naval forces in the Mediterranean defeat British Admiral Edward Boscawen and take Minorca, which is later returned to Spain. Boscawen escapes court-martial but is effectively exiled to a West Indian command.
June - Siraj-Ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, betrays his British allies and takes Fort William at Calcutta in a surprise attack. British East India Company officers are trapped in the ‘Black Hole of Calcutta’, a tiny prison in which many die. Outrage among the Company and at home leads to an all-out attack on the Nawab’s forces with the Company’s new army, with the result that it is not deployed against the French.
September - Britain attempts a descent on the Isle d’Aix, as part of a strategy of tying up French troops with temporary landings on the French coast. The operation is an embarrassing and expensive failure, as shallow waters make it impossible to reinforce the British troops. Pitt refuses to authorise any more such operations. The French East India Company takes Fort St David at Cuddalore, decisively ending British power in the Carnatic.
November - Frederick II of Prussia wins a brilliant victory against a numerically superior Austro-French army at the Battle of Rossbach.
December - The outnumbered Prussians under Frederick II win a second victory against Austria at the Battle of Leuthen.
1758: February - Britain occupies French colonies in Senegal, West Africa.
June - Death of William Pulteney. King Frederick asks William Pitt to form a government. Henry Fox becomes Secretary of State for the Southern Department.
July - A Russian army under Pyotr Saltykov defeats the Prussians under von Wedel at the Battle of Paltzig.
September - The British East India Company defeats the Nawab of Bengal’s forces in a decisive campaign. The Nawab is killed during the final battle.
October - In a battle with Austria at Hochkirch, the Prussians are defeated and most of their artillery corps fall into enemy hands. The tide of war has begun to turn against King Frederick II.
1759: The Annus Mirabilis, the Wonderful Year of Victories, in America.
May - the British East India Company takes Calcutta. The EIC seizes direct control over Bengal and parcels it out among a half-dozen puppet princes. End of the Nawabate.
August - Frederick II of Prussia defeated by the Russians and Austrians at Kunersdorf, so decisively that he no longer cares for his own life and goes into battle himself, dying heroically after slaying many enemies. The Hanoverians, neglected by Britain, are defeated at Minden by the French under the Marquis de Contades. However, the French invasion of Hanover stalls soon afterwards as their supply chains become overextended.
September - James Wolfe defeats Montcalm at Quebec, ending French control of Canada. “Ralph Robinson” is wounded and discovered to be Prince George in disguise. The unknown-in-TTL James Cook is killed in the battle. Wolfe is wounded but survives and is eventually made military governor of Canada. With the death of Frederick II and the war turning against the Prussians, a newly confident Saxony re-enters the war and attacks Prussia.
October - King Frederick I of Great Britain begins to sicken from a lung infection.
November - a Prussian army is annihilated by the Austrians under Daun, at Maxen. King Frederick William II of Prussia is a minor, and his uncle Prince Henry is regent. Henry believes the war is lost and sues for peace, knowing it will be harsh.
1760: January - Treaty of Amsterdam, ending the Third War of Supremacy. This dismembers Prussia, returning Silesia to Austria and giving Cottbus, Liegnitz and the western possessions to Saxony. France fails to receive the Austrian Netherlands, again angering the French people. Britain/America receive the Ohio Country, Senegal and New France/Quebec from France, but the French retain Louisiana. Britain recognises French control of the Carnatic.
February - Death of Frederick I of Great Britain. Rapproachment with his son Prince George, soon to be George III, on his deathbed.
April - Death of King Ferdinand VI of Spain. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Charles III.