The Course of Human Events

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Lord Grattan, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    What follows is a revised and expanded version of a TL I posted in December. I hope you find it interesting. Please feel free to make comments and suggestions as this history of North America unfolds.
     
  2. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    The Course of Human Events

    1763 was a seminal year in North American history. In the aftermath of her victory in the Seven Years War, Great Britain established military and mercantile superiority over the lion’s share of the continent. All of New France east of the Mississippi River and east of the Hudson Bay Company’s land (Rupert’s Land) in the arctic north, plus the two Floridas now belonged to Great Britain. The North American theater of the war had been the site of brutal and destructive violence. Its end though did not bring peace to the continent. Rather it brought more conflict and bloodshed.

    After the British army had taken control of the region from France, various Indian tribes, beginning with those near Détroit, revolted. They were alarmed by the policies imposed upon them by British General Jeffery Amherst and the British encroachment onto their land. The French, though they claimed the land, never attempted to dominate the land in the Upper Great Lakes as the British were attempting to do. The Indians, under the leadership of the Ottawa Chief Pontiac, attacked several British forts and settlements in the region in an attempt to drive both soldiers and settlers out. All totaled, eight forts were destroyed and hundreds of British soldiers were either killed or captured. Over a thousand settlers lost their lives or were captured as well. The number of Indians killed was not recorded. In the end, The Indians were unable to drive away the British, but the rebellion did force the British government to modify the policies that had provoked the conflict. The following year, peace talks between the crown and the tribes were begun. General Amherst was recalled to London and then reassigned.

    In marking the 200th Anniversary of Pontiac’s Rebellion, as this conflict is now called, Chancellor Aaron Tucker (himself descended from combatants on both sides of the conflict), remarked at a ceremony in Detroit, Michigan, that “each side seemed intoxicated with genocidal fanaticism.” King George III was greatly appalled by the reports of the awful violence. On October 7, 1763, the king issued the Proclamation of 1763. The treaty established the vast Continental Crown Lands, which would, for an unspecified length of time, be reserved for the Indians and off limits to British settlers. The region set aside included the entire Great Lakes watershed, St. Lawrence watershed east of the river and the Mississippi watershed and those of its tributaries east of the river itself. The eastern boundary began at the mouth the St. John River at St. Lawrence Bay, followed the rives for 30 miles, went south to the Great Eastern Divide, and then followed the divide south to the 33rd Parallel, where the line curved to the SE where it intersected the 82nd Latitude and the East Florida border. The southern boundary of the reserve was the 32nd Parallel from the Mississippi River east to the Chattahoochee River, then south along the river at midstream to the river’s junction with the Apalachicola River, then east along the East Florida boarder to its terminus at the 82nd Latitude.

    The Proclamation did not sit well with the colonists. For those who had poured money into land speculating endeavors it brought financial loss. For the land hungry populous it represented opportunity lost. People’s anger was focused on Parliament. This anger was enflamed further in the spring of 1764 when Parliament passed the Sugar and Currency Acts. The Sugar Act, which was an extension of the 1733 Molasses Act, was an attempt to raise money for the Crown by increasing the duties on merchandise imported into the colonies that was not of British origin. The Currency Act barred the colonies from printing their own money. At a town meeting in Massachusetts Bay, taxation without representation decried and cooperative protest throughout the colonies was suggested. Non-importation, or declining to accept merchandise imported from Britain, became the protest of choice in the Colonies.

    By early 1764, King George III had concluded that he needed a personal representative in the colonies, someone whom he could trust to act on his behalf regarding land and settlement issues in the land covered by the Proclamation of 1763 and who could be a persuasive spokesperson for the Crown in the existing colonies of North America. In late April that year he chose his brother, Edward Augustus, Duke of York and Albany for the job. Edward was created Proprietor of the Continental Crown Lands. He arrived at Annapolis, Maryland on August 27, 1764. Edward and his wife, still newlyweds, having been married just five months earlier, would stay at the estate of Frederick Calvert, the 6th Baron Baltimore.
     
  3. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Upon arriving in North America, Edward Augustus immediately became involved with the situation in the Crown Lands. In November 1764 he met with Britain’s Indian Agent for the northern section of the Crown Lands, Sir William Johnson. Johnson told him about Pontiac’s activities and described the British response. At the time, British soldiers were marching toward the Muskingum River in the Ohio Country and were within striking distance of several Indian villages. During that mission the army secured the release of more than 200 men, women and children who had been taken captive by the Indians. The army also extended an invitation to tribal leaders asking them to gather the following summer at Fort Ontario to craft a formal peace treaty with representatives of the British government. By November, the expedition had pressed on into the Illinois Country where they drove French soldiers from their last remaining stronghold, Fort de Chartes. It was there that they spent the winter.

    When spring arrived, the commander, Colonel Bouquet and deputy Indian agent, George Croghan, met with Chiefs Pontiac and Kaské. While Kaské wanted to burn Croghan at the stake, Pontiac urged moderation. Kaské refused to join with “those who would surrender to the invaders the land given them by the Great Spirit”. Rather than accept British soverignty, he left British territory by crossing the Mississippi River with other French and Indian refugees. Pontiac though agreed to travel to New York. There he and several hundred other Illinois and Ohio tribal leaders entered into a formal treaty with William Johnson and Edward Augtustus at Fort Ontario on July 25, 1765. The Fort Ontario Treaty called for the cesation of all hostilities in the region, provided for the return of all prisoners of war, and established a Covenant Chain of Mutual Respect and Peace between the tribes and the British government. Additionally, the tribes recognized British control (but not soverignty) over the land north of the Ohio and east of the Mississippi, and the British agreed to provide livestock, clothing, blankets and medical supplies to the tribes annually for ten years. While at the fort, Edward Augustus met and befriended the Mohawk leader Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea). Brant’s friendships with Edward Augustus and William Johnson were the only lasting friendships he ever had with white men.

    The Duke of York also quickly became involved in the issues between the colonists and the crown. Throughout his first year in North America, the Duke of York was in correspondence with several leading citizens and government officials in the colonies. These letters focused on the issues of taxation, commerce and western settlement. These letters did much to calm the waters in the colonies. The Duke’s efforts were hampered however, in 1765, when Parliament passed the Stamp and Quartering Acts. There was civil unrest in several cities from Halifax to Philadelphia. Parliament was divided on how to respond to the situation in the colonies. Some proposed legislation declaring that laws passed by Parliament were final and binding on the colonies. A few also suggested that the Admiralty be empowered to set up special military tribunals to adjudicate the cases of colonists charged with political crimes against the realm. On the other hand, many in Parliament privately admired the colonists for standing up for themselves. The next year, Parliament relented and repealed the Sugar and Stamp Acts. The Quartering Act was finally repealed in 1769.

    As a result of Prince Edward’s efforts, a meeting was set up between Prince Edward and key legislators and citizens from several colonies (Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Nova Scotia and Virginia). The meeting was held April 12-25, 1767 in New Haven, Connecticut. At the conclusion of the meeting a Plan for Colonial Cooperation and Responsible Government was signed by the 34 men present. The plan, called the Adams-Franklin Plan (after its chief proponents Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin) would be disseminated throughout the British colonies in North America and presented to King George III.

    On September 17, 1767, Prince Edward, accompanied by Samuel Adams and Benjamin Franklin, arrived in London to discuss the proposal. Specifically, the plan would empower the provinces to convene and maintain a congress with the power to pass laws regulating taxation, quartering of British soldiers, provincial militias, and commerce within and between participating provinces. Back in 1754 Franklin had authored the Albany Plan of Union, which sought to unite several of the colonies into a confederation. That proposal was rejected by the King’s grandfather, George II. This one though was approved by George III and the Privy Council. Parliament approved the Adams-Franklin plan by a slim margin on November 1 after adding the stipulation that any laws passed by the congress could be vetoed by Parliament. The victorious trio departed London on November 3, one day after the birth of Edward’s nephew and namesake, Edward Augustus (future Duke of Kent and Strathearn and the father of Queen Victoria). As commander-in-Chief of British forces in North America, this Prince Edward oversaw the final British military withdrawal from Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1799.


    Note: September 17, 1767 is the OTL date of Edward Augustus’ death and November 3 is the OTL date of his burial in Westminster Abbey.
     
  4. Analytical Engine Make America British Again!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    Coolness... :cool:

    More? :)
     
  5. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Northeastern North America in 1763:

    Purple= Great Britain (Hudson Bay Company)
    Red= Great Britain (Unorganized)
    Hot Pink= Great Britain (Quebec)
    Yellow= Great Britain (Continental Crown Lands)
    Green= Great Britain (Atlantic Coastal Colonies)
    Gray= Spain

    NE-NA 1763gif.gif
     
  6. Analytical Engine Make America British Again!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    One slight mistake - Quebec was on both sides of the St. Laurence River:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    That change in the Proclamation of 1763 was intentional. I did make a mistake on the map though. The Louisiana/West Florida boundary mistakenly follows the OTL Louisiana/Mississippi state line, rather than the 1763 line.
     
  8. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    The inaugural session of the 1st Continental Congress was held July19 – September 15, 1768 in the Pennsylvania State House building (later Constitution Hall) at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eighteen colonies sent delegates. Sending delegates were: St. John, Nova Scotia, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Providence, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, East Florida, West Florida and The Bahamas. Quebec declined the invitation.

    In 1769, King George III enlarged the Continental Crown Lands to include the portion of the Great Lakes Watershed north and east of the lakes and including the land west of the Ottawa River. That same year, after Lord Baltimore, who had not set foot in Maryland for over eight years, was accused of rape, the Maryland legislature petitioned King George III to revoke his proprietary charter to the province. The king did so the following year and reconstituted Maryland as a royal colony. The king also empowered the legislature to name a new governor. Robert Eden was selected as Maryland’s governor. He continued in that capacity until his death in 1784.

    Early in 1770, the dispute between New York and New Hampshire over the territory west of the Connecticut River came to a head when the New York Supreme Court invalidated all land titles in the region previously issued by the governor of New Hampshire (On July 26, 1764, King George III had issued a royal decree affirming that the Connecticut River constituted the eastern border of New York). This infuriated residents of the region, including Ethan Allen and the Green Mountain Boys, and lead to a general rebellion against the New York government. In January 1774 a group of GMB leaders met and drafted a petition asking the king to establish the area as the Colony of Upper Connecticut. Those carrying the petition were intercepted and jailed, and their petition was destroyed. Ira Allen of the Onion River Land Company asked Prince Edward to intervene, which he did. Several months later the men were released and a second petition, this one seeking to establish the colony under the name Vermont was drafted. This petition reached the king, who approved it on April 4, 1775. The legislatures of New York and New Hampshire, reluctantly and after many delays, approved the final boundaries of Vermont in the fall of 1779. Delegates from Vermont were seated at the 7th Continental Congress in 1780.

    On March 5, 1770 seven civilians in Boston Massachusetts Bay were shot and killed by British soldiers. This confrontation between soldiers and civilians, called the Boston Massacre by storytellers, quite possibly could have devolved into widespread conflict between the British army and the people of Massachusetts Bay. The incident began when a young boy began harassing a sentry standing watch outside the Custom’s House over a debt allegedly owed to the boy’s master. At one point a snowball was thrown at the soldier, who called for assistance. The situation escalated as a large crowd gathered. The crowd became unruly and the soldiers moved in to disperse the crowd. One young Captain Lieutenant was struck by a rock and briefly knocked unconscious. As he got to his feet, he heard someone yell “fire” and he did. By the time the British guns ceased firing there was much blood running in the street.

    The next day, Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson ordered that all British soldiers be withdrawn from the city to Castle Island. Ten soldiers were arrested and tried by a jury of colonists. They were defended by John Adams. Three were convicted of manslaughter and the others were acquitted. After the trial, an official apology to the people of Boston was printed in the paper. This helped calm tensions throughout the region. The boy who instigated the riot made a public apology and was ordered to make restitution to the city and to the army.

    On January 30, 1774, the Quebec Act was adopted by the parliament of Great Britain. The act’s 1st part replaced the oath of allegiance used in the Province of Quebec so it no longer made reference to the Protestant faith, guaranteed the free practice of the Catholic faith, and upheld the continued use of French civil law for private matters while maintaining the use of English common law for public administrative and judicial matters. The 2nd part enlarged the Province of Quebec westward to the Ottawa River and northward to Rupert’s Land (of the Hudson's Bay Company). It also transferred Anticosti Island (at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River) from Newfoundland to Quebec.
     
  9. Nicomacheus Member, Sociedad Thrasybulo

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Interesting: the British show wisdom and restraint in ruling North America. The POD I take it is a different Proclamation of 1763, but I can't figure out how that allows Edward to survive. Could you clarify?

    I'll be interested to see if the tensions subside and what happens in France!
     
  10. corourke Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    This is very interesting! I like it when PODs have smaller initial impacts and the changes just build and build.
     
  11. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Edward survives for several reasons. First, in England he's the no longer needed heir's spare. From what little I've been able to find out about him, Edward reminds me of today's Prince Harry. Being married and in North America frees him from that. Edward was also a natural leader, salesman, politically astute and likeable. He probably also had ADD. In this story he is a bridge builder, has important political connections and is the largest land owner, aside from the Hudson's Bay Company, on the continent.

    RE: France... There will be a revolution and Napoleon will rise to power.
     
  12. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    On June 26, 1774 the Swedish ship “Bettina” arrived with 83 Finnish families arrived in Montreal. These were the first of several hundred Finns who would arrive in North America during the 1770’s. By 1780, most had settled up-river from Montreal along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. There was also an influx of people to that region from the coastal provinces during this time. The region’s Mississauga Indians were generally tolerant of the settlers. Following severe measles epidemics in 1779 and 1781 most moved north, away from the Europeans. In 1776 King George III settled a jurisdictional dispute between the Royal Navy and the provincial government of St. John over the Magdalen Islands (in the Gulf of St. Lawrence) by decreeing that they were part of the Province of St. John.

    In the 2nd half of the 1770’s settlements were reached between the crown, through Prince Edward, and those colonies with territorial claims within the Crown Lands. Virginia ceded its claims in the Upper Great Lakes in 1774, as did Massachusetts in 1775 and Connecticut in 1777. Virginia ceded its claims north of the Ohio River in 1774 and south of the river in 1779. In 1781, portions of the Continental Crown Lands were granted to Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont. This came as a result of the 1780 Treaty of Montpelier between the Crown and the Haudenosaunee Confederation. In the treaty, the tribes ceded the land east of Lake Champlain and south of the 45th Parallel plus the land west of Lake Champlain to the Great Lakes and south of the 44th Parallel to the Crown.

    In the fall of 1779, during a visit to Virginia, Edward Augustus became the first member of the British royal family to visit a place in North America named in their honor when he visited that state’s Prince Edward County. Fort Edward Augustus (1761-1763) along the western shore of Lake Michigan near the settlement of Green Bay was also named for the prince, but he never visited there. North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia settled their claims between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River in 1779, 1777 and 1781 respectively. In 1781 Prince Edward approved the formation of three colonies in the Crown Lands. On April 19, royal charters were issued to the provinces of Allegheny, Kentucky and Ontario. They each sent delegates to the 8th Continental Congress in 1782. Also in 1781, the legislature of Massachusetts Bay voted to drop “Bay” from the provincial name. In 1782, Rhode Island and Providence’s legislature adopted a new provincial name, Narragansett. The king and Parliament concurred with both actions.

    During the early 1780’s, the Son’s of Liberty stepped up their efforts to bring about the separation of Maine from Massachusetts. Their efforts reached a climax during what has come to be known as the “winter of discontent” (1782/83), during which rioting and looting gripped several Maine communities, and a dozen raids occurred on ships in Boston Harbor. Under pressure from the Continental Congress, and following a personal appeal by Prince Edward, the Massachusetts agreed to relinquish its control of the region and to support Maine’s petition for separation. King George III granted Maine a charter as a crown colony on July 7, 1783. As part of the settlement, Maine’s newly established provincial legislature agreed to pay Massachusetts a sum equal to the price it paid for the province in 1715 plus 10% as restitution for the damage done to ships and the harbor at Boston. The legislature placed a tax on granite, limestone and lobsters to cover the cost.
     
  13. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    On August 22, 1785 the 9th Continental Congress formally requested the King and Parliament to grant independence to the Continental Congress provinces. Richard Henry Lee of Virginia made the official motion “Be it resolved that these Continental Provinces are, and of right ought to be, autonomous and sovereign, that they are no longer colonies of Great Britain, but one free nation of equal station with Great Britain. Therefore, we request that Parliament grant these provinces their independence.” The motion received unanimous approval. Lee, John Hancock and Prince Edward were selected to deliver the Congress’ request to London.

    As the motion was being debated, a question was raised concerning what this new union of provinces should be called. Once the decision to seek independence was made, a special committee was formed to discuss and submit up to four names for the congress to consider. Four names were submitted: Amercanda, Brittica, Columbia and Yankeelia. After 3 ballots Yankeelia was selected. The final action taken by the 9th Continental was to adopt a flag for Yankeelia. By the mid 1780’s, various unofficial unity flags were being flown throughout the provinces. A special committee was formed to discuss and to submit one proposed design for the congress to consider. The design submitted for the National Unity Flag was approved unanimously. The Flag Act of 1785 describes the new nation’s flag as consisting of: “a field of three stripes, two red, one at the top and the other at the bottom, each covering 1/5 the height of the flag, and one blue, covering the central 3/5 of the flag and containing equally sized 5-pointed stars of white, one for each province in the nation”.

    On March 30, 1786 (after a 6 month delay due to contrary ocean winds and the early onset of winter) the trio departed for London to seek independence for Yankeelia. Speaking before Parliament, John Hancock said, “When in the course of human events, it become prudent and advantageous for one group of people to alter the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the independent and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them, it is incumbent upon that people to act. And so we come before you today to request independence for the British provinces in North America that have participated in the Continental Congress.”

    After fierce and acrimonious debate Parliament adopted the Yankeelia Independence Act on June 26. One proviso was attached to the act by Parliament. For the approval to become final, the Continental Congress had to ratify a Treaty of Free Association between itself and Great Britain. The treaty called for a commercial partnership between the two nations, bonded the two nations together in a military alliance, and permitted the British army and navy to occupy, without cost, its current military forts and facilities through the end of the century, with the understanding that Britain would start to draw down its military presence in Yankeelia beginning one year after the treaty’s ratification. Soon after the Act’s passage, the trio returned to Yankeelia.
     
  14. G.Bone lurks

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    Hon., HI
    Yankeelia?

    Odd name. Maybe you could throw something along the lines of a Confederation of something.

    The TL is interesting and I'm keeping an eye on it. I do like how the simple dispatch of a royal member is keeping the troubles down, unlike OTL. The approach is rather appealing...
     
  15. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Thanks G.Bone. I was looking for something different. A "real name" like other nations have. I toyed with several names, even after thinking up Yankeelia, but always came back to it. I imagine that Yankeelia came up as a joke as the special committee discussed names when one man said, "Why don't we call it Yankeelia. The other day a (British) soldier called me a yankee. I said to him, 'sir, I am a Virginian, not a yankee.' He replied to me, 'you're all yankees to me.'"
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  16. Analytical Engine Make America British Again!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    UK, EU (for the moment), Earth
    I would have prefered New Albion myself, but there you go... :)
     
  17. HueyLong Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2006
    Location:
    Cowering behind bodyguards
    Um..... no, sorry. America and Columbia are the possibilities and had been used for quite some time. Not an offhand joke......
     
  18. Nicomacheus Member, Sociedad Thrasybulo

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Um, why do the colonies want independence? It seems kind of out of the blue: the Crown hasn't done much that's upset them and Prince Edward seems to be doing a good job of managing affairs. Also, I'd expect they'd want to be declared a nation in personal union with GB, making the bond even stronger and making the state of affairs put forth in your Treaty of Mutual Association even stronger.
     
  19. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Looking back over what I've written I agree. Rather then rewrite, I think I'll include some comments later on when the 50th Anniversary of the Proclamation of 1763 occurs or when Edward dies.

    This idea will be considered by the Continental Congress after the Constitution is ratified (next installment).


    Also folks, if Yankeelia sounds too off the wall, I could, I suppose, have the Constitutional Convention reject the name and propose something else. AE has suggested "New Albion" and HL suggests "America" or "Columbia" Three other names were considered by the Continental Congress, "Amercanda", "Brittica" plus "Columbia". What say you?
     
  20. Nicomacheus Member, Sociedad Thrasybulo

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Sounds like a good compromise. I could certainly see the desire for independence emerging, even in a scenario where relations with Britain are friendly. I do think though that the colonists will, as you say in Lee's motion, think of this as becoming equal in status with Great Britain. I'm not sure they think of this as meaning separate from Great Britain (i.e. dissovlng all the bonds which have connected them to Britain, in TJ's OTL phrase).


    I hope it wins out. If not, I have a hard time seeing how the British tolerate the state of affairs of a truly independent union of colonies.


    I think Amercanda is out: it seems to be a simple ellision of American and Canada. Columbia did figure highly, but I think it was heavily connected to the republicanism in the colonies; your independece movement seems so gradual that I have a hard time crediting such tendencies. America plain and simple doesn't seem to capture the colonies or distinguish the country from the continent. Brittica sounds interesting, but it seems to me to your own invention.

    I kind of like New Albion or the Continental Union. You'll have more freedom with the name if you let it emerge gradually. At first, the colonies call themselves the Continental Union. Then they say the Union of ____. Then they just call themselves __________. This is sort of like how on the Declaration of Indepence, the colonies retitle themselves: the united States of America. With the coming of the constitution, this became these United States. After the Civil War, the United States became a singular rather than a plural.

    Since this TL seems more Brit-freindly, I'd go with New Albion or just America. New Albion might have traction, but you'd need to give it some further backstory: i.e. that Prince Edward's effort have led to an effort to build a new Britain in the new world, this idea being called New Albion.