A More Imperfect Union: A History of these United States

Opening Post

Greetings! This timeline is the spiritual successor to A Shining Valley, which you may have seen posted on the forum before. As it was my first timeline, it was messy and crude as it experience significant revision over the months, which honestly ruined the narrative in many ways. For the past couple months I’ve been growing increasingly dissatisfied with the direction the timeline was heading. WIthin the last week, I finally decided to start anew. I hope this is one will be much less chaotic and disjointed than this one. This doesn’t mean that ASV is truly gone, as I will be incorporating many aspects of my old timeline into this new one. Even the lake will make it. As with my old one this is going to be another graphics timeline filled with various maps, wikipages, wikiboxes, and graphics.

A Shining Valley wasn’t my first attempt at an alternate history timeline, there were a lot of false starts that never really got off the ground. One of them was a United States timeline where the country plunged into civil war after a disputed election of 1800. I abandoned it after my history professor called it unhistorical, but the idea of a United States that was hobbled early in its life stuck with me. Now after after revisiting the idea with an entirely new perspective an entire year later, it has lead to this timeline.

The PoD is a United States split over disagreements with the country’s founding documents. However Simply put the basic PoD is that Alexander Hamilton is much more of an ass, to the Anti-Federalists and it all spirals out of control. With its sundering, the United States will face a more tumultuous history sparking events that will ripple around the world for centuries to come. Most of the timeline will focus on the United States, progressing chronologically throughout TTL America’s history. However, there will be glimpses of the radically different modern period, posts about the happenings beyond America’s borders and a combination of both.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, I would be happy to hear it! While this timeline will largely progress as I have planned out, I still would cover any suggestions that you may have. I hope that this will be a worthy successor to A Shining Valley that we will all enjoy.
 
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The Great Disunion
When the American Project began in a small building in Philadelphia in 1776, the European powers looked upon the new nation with a sense of unease. Many monarchs watched the events unfolding in America with a certain level of trepidation, fearing liberal agitation in their lands based upon the ideals of the American revolutionaries. When the British were brought to heel by the tenacity of the Americans, and the deep but not endless coffers of the French, the ancient regimes in Europe looked on with a certain level of unease. However as the new republic struggled amid economic misfortune and ineffective governance, the wise men in Europe's courts foresaw it as the beginning of the end of a foolhardy regime, doomed to fail from the very beginning. What followed however, only marked the first chapter of a long and tumultuous history of the many United States of America.

To the Federalists, the events of the past several years was evidence of the inherent weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation. Led by Alexander Hamilton, they led the call for a new governing document, a new Constitution. However Hamilton with his lack of tact, alienated the Anti-Federalists even before the Constitutional Convention began. As the delegated assembled in Philadelphia, both sides quickly became unable to agree on a path forward. The Federalists were simply unable to convince their opponents to abandon the Articles of Confederation, who was skeptical of Hamilton's machinations. George Washington as President of the Convention, did his best to calm the flames of passion, but the stress and overwhelming July heat took his toll on him. In late July after trying to settle a spirited debate of the day, Washington suffered a major heatstroke. While he did not die, he had to withdraw to recover. Without his presence and his wisdom, the Convention was dealt a mortal blow. The Anti-Federalists walked out soon after and spread the word of the Federalists' plans that would allegedly lead the way to a new tyrannical order. Nevertheless, the Federalists pushed on and without major opposition the Convention approved a new constitution. The publication of the new document would elicit both approval and outrage across the country. As state legislatures across the country took up the document for debate, the chain of events that would infamously be called the Great Disunion were set in motion.




As states ratified the new Constitution and others refused to, the country began to effectively split into two; one administered by the new Constitution and the other by the Articles of Confederation. Protests for or against ratification often devolved into riots and violence across the 13 states, all the while as state governments squabbled in their legislative chambers. Finally in 23 May 1789, South Carolina became the last state to ratify the Constitution, leaving five states under the old Articles. The division of the country left its citizens at each other's throats, but what prevented an earlier Civil War was the death of Geroge Washington in June of 1790 at his estate in Mount Vernon. Mr. Washington never fully recovered from his heatstroke in 1789, which left him greatly weakened and in poor health. Those who came to implore his help were shocked at his gaunt frame, once healthy. Kept out of the public eye, as it was believed that knowledge of his poor health would worsen the current situation. It is said that Washington’s frail health grew worse and worse as the country divided. Ironically, his death shocked the American people into uniting in a common grief, at least for a little while. His last words were printed into every newspaper in the country and announced in all public squares. With tears in his eyes, he told to his faithful wife, Martha Washington, “It is over, our struggles have come to nothing” and he was gone. It seemed that way at the time but he was wrong, of course. However the road to the United States of today would be long and bloody, full of false starts and promises, but in the end their struggles would be validated. This is the story of the long hard road to the United States of America.
 
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I was an avid follower of your last TL, and while sad for its end, I'm thrilled at this new one and wish you the best luck!.
 
Loving the start, also enjoyed Shining Valley and the quality of that bodes well for this. Fascinated by the US' collapse and remergence, a very interesting bit of convergence.

Also big fan of the flag, particularly the stars - square layouts of stars on the US flag are terrible and boring.

Followed with great anticipation.
 
This is epic. Looking forward to more. Is it just me or do I see signs of an American warlord era?
 
Two States at Odds


The Trenton Republic and the Williamsburg Confederation were the two successor states to the original United States of America. Of course both claimed to be the true United States, so modern historians often refer to them as the Trenton Republic and the Williamsburg Confederation after their first capitals. The Republic embodied Hamilton Federalist ideals of a strong central government and especially a central bank. While his “British Plan” was never seriously considered, as the first President Hamilton was in a strong position to mold the new Republic according to his ideals. Meanwhile, Thomas Jefferson was elected President by Congress, representing the states that remained under the Articles of Confederation. He and his fellow Confederalists faced a rather dire debt crisis, they believed that it could be solved without resorting to so called Hamiltonian tyranny. As the brief sense of common grief over George Washington’s death faded away, all Americans were faced with their bare divisions. Already within the first year tensions were brewing as conflict between the two states and their own citizens grew. Even though states like Pennsylvania were in the Republic, it did not mean that all of its citizens were loyal Federalists, happy to be under Hamilton. A similar dilemma was faced by the states in the Confederation. Above all however was that the division of the country, occurred on lines that split both countries in many enclaves, complicating an already worse situation. As the months went by and divisions between former men in arms deepened, the stage was set for their first Civil War.
 
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When did Vermont join either United States?
Yeah for those who do not know, Vermont was technically independent between 1777–1791 until it joined the United States.

TTL as the United States collapsed before Vermont could join, they remained independent and would do so until they joined the Confederation in 1804
 
What a fascinating divergence. I do love PODs around America's chaotic origins. I will certainly be watching this with interest.
 
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