Napoleon in a Failed American Constitutional Convention

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Errnge, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. Errnge You don't throw ranch

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    So, let's say to give a specific POD, James Madison dies from an illness before he can draft his plan for the US constitution, which pretty much puts the US Constitutional Convention waaaaaaaaaaay back. For arguments sake, let's say it fails without his leadership and vision.

    The USA continues to be a loose confederation of states with a virtually powerless central government.

    The French Revolution goes off like OTL, and Napoleon comes to power. Now, what happens to Louisiana? He's not going to sell it to the English, he's kind of at war with them. The American states (if there hasn't been any infighting yet) are week and unstable at best, and the federal government can't buy the land. Maybe a state could, like Virginia, but that would likely launch a civil war in the USA with people fearing Virginia's power and already extensive land claims.

    Is the Haitian Revolution butterflied away? If not, is its success? Could Nappy actually carve out a new French Empire in the Americas without the USA? How to the Quebecois react to a viable French power in the Americas? How does all of this affect the Napoleonic Wars?
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  2. Socrates Well-Known Member

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    It all depends on Haiti really, as Napoleon wanted Lousiana to provide grain for this colony. You seem to be using limited butterflies in this timeline, so if we take random butterflies out, there's no reason why Haiti won't become an independent republic as in OTL.

    That means that Napoleon loses a lot of interest in Lousiana. I imagine he'd want to hang on to New Orleans and the area around it, which now seems viable, but he'd probably try to raise some cash by selling the Northern part to individual American states, and the main determinant would simply be who would pay the most. That would mean those that have the most money and those that have enough of a Western presence to feel they can hold on to what they've purchase. Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania seem most likely. Depending how the deal works out, it could get split between them or all go to the highest bidder.
     
  3. RPW@Cy Well-Known Member

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    One obvious possibility - if Napoleon can't sell it, then around 1806 or so it (or at least the area around New Orleans) gets conquered by the British. What happens when the British start feeling their way up the Mississippi with a view to establishing an overland route to Canada is a whole other story. Do the Americans declare war on Britain? For that matter is there enough of a federal government even to declare war, or is it a matter for individual states?

    Or do they declare war on France, in the hope of overrunning as much of Louisiana as possible before the British do?
     
  4. Socrates Well-Known Member

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    If the Americans declare war on Britain in 1806 over this, they're going to lose badly and end up surrounded by the British. The British were happy to go back to the status quo ex ante in 1812, but here they have something to fight for.
     
  5. mowque Banned

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    Wouldn't the French Rev. be butterflied by a different USA?
     
  6. Xgentis Member

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    France could stay a constitutional monarchy if the "american experiment" is a failure.
     
  7. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    Given that everyone wanted a change to the AoC, with the debate being what changes, why does everyone presume that the Constitution not being ratified leads to Americans gnawing on each other's bones in the ruins of greatness?
     
  8. Malta Kirked

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    They all wanted Vast Tracks of Land
     
  9. Georgie Porgie Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was the classic Democratic vs Republican debate i.e.

    Human rights (anti slavery) and large supportive govenment VS small central government (all the power in the states).

    Nothing really changes.
     
  10. wolf_brother Banned

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    If America goes all Argentina, then that's going to have some massive butterfly effects on Europe. Hell, IOTL Argentina going all Argentina had a pretty hefty impact on the situation in Europe, so I'm not sure why we're all pretending that nothing changes outside of the Americas.
     
  11. Georgie Porgie Well-Known Member

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    The Brits didn't function well in 1812, but if they were fighting just state milita rather than a US Army this may all change - particularly if some of the New England states side with GB (or at least remain neutral).

    If UK controlled everything west of Mississippi then world would be altered!
     
  12. Mumby Take Your Beer

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    Considering Britain was distracted by events in Europe, and America had the home advantage and democracy to enliven Canadians, the British performed very well in 1812. In my opinion, the Americans mis-remember 1812, just as they do a lot of history that doesn't make them look like God's own gift.
     
  13. Malta Kirked

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    Americans were crazy lucky to have beaten the Brits to a standstill considering they barely had a national army and loads of bad state militias.