America - Albion's Orphan - A history of the conquest of Britain - 1760

Chapter 83: Undesirables in the Age of Enlightenment
1779

Paris / Madrid


Over the course of the previous decades, the esteem of an army career in the service of the King of France had waned drastically as men died by the thousands in the pestilential West Indies and were treated with hatred and contempt in their barracks in England. Volunteers for enlisted men dropped to nothing and the nation was forced to conscript even in peacetime.

Young officers, particularly fashionable nobles which populated the lower ranks, would come to oppose many key policies of the King. Abolitionism was part of it but also the exhaustion of seeing so many good officers and enlisted men die in the West Indies keeping order over the slaves so a small number of planters may profit.

With ever deposit of fresh slaves from Africa, a new uprising seemed to occur. Eventually, France changed its policy from preferring African-born slaves to native West Indian slaves. Previously, the former had been considered the formenters of rebellion and later the latter. By 1779, so many of the native born slaves had been sold (mainly to the Kingdom of North America) that the number of females had dropped so much that the already small birthrate plummeted even further. As French policy restricted the number of females imported from Africa over the course of so many years, it seemed that the French had backed themselves into a corner. They had to import more Africans to maintain the population...but this only created more rebellion.

Having been in near constant rebellion for so many years, the slaves of Saint Domingue had perfected the tactics of insurrection despite a near total lack of modern arms. A ten year old boy with a torch could burn an entire crop in the middle of the night, costing a farmer hundreds of thousands of livres.

In one particularly dry season, over a third of the cane on the island burned before it could be harvested.

As many rebels would be caught when they attempted to entice other slaves to leave the plantations (given that informers were rewarded with extra rations and perhaps an overseer position), the tactics changed to sabotage. One particularly memorable raid on a port town in Saint Domingue saw four warehouses burned in one night holding half a million livres of sugar and coffee.

With decades of trial and error, the slaves had learned to attack the source of French profit, not the French themselves. Plantation after plantation, often heavily in debt, would go bankrupt and the slaves sold off to other owners while once-productive land went untilled.

Even in remote areas known for being calm, slaves would occasionally take it upon themselves to sneak off in the middle of the night and torch a few fields and then return to their beds. This was particularly popular just prior to harvest. Expensive refineries were particularly vulnerable to sabotage and arson. As so many were destroyed, the colonies would cease producing refined sugar, molasses or rum and concentrate upon shipping raw product. The slaves whom once ran this sophisticated (and dangerous) processing equipment would be put back in the fields.

Naturally, this reduced profits even further. With vast reduction in the size of the workforce, the constant rebellions and escapes, the assault upon the production itself and the loss value-added processing, the Island of Saint Domingue was languish despite being given a "privileged" position in the French hierarchy of colonies.

In hopes of resuscitating the still-shrinking economy of the West Indies, the French Ministers would look to alternative options than these apparently incorrigible Africans. Prisoners rotting in the assorted French prisons had long been exiled to the colonies though with low survival rates and rarely produced much before they died. However, the risk of disease spreading from prisons had encouraged the government to clean them out with any expected to survive the voyage. If they died under the hot West Indian sun, so be it.

The government also encouraged and subsidized migration of free French people to the islands. However, the reputation as a "white man's grave" as well as the place where prisoners and African slaves went did little to entice migrants. Oh, there were some whom found the lure of free land where they may grow a profitable crop enticing enough to give it a try. But this barely kept the white population of Saint Domingue at its previous levels (about 30,000 whites, excluding the soldiers) and only very, very slowly would this grow.

They fell upon one sub-group of people whom had proved unpopular in France...and most of Europe, one whom could be moved against their will without any particular hesitation. The Roma people, commonly known as Gypsies in England (Gitanos in Spain and Tziganis in France), had originated in India and spread across the continent, often viewed as the pariahs of Europe. Loathed as thieves, the Roma were still kept as slaves in parts of Eastern Europe and often confined to certain areas in other parts of Europe. Spain, for example, spread them out among 75 towns and villages in order to keep them from forming a true demographic threat.

Similar laws constricted their movement in France, Austria and other regions. In the Balkans, they were held in special contempt.

In 1777, French Ministry would approve the "transportation" of the French Tziganis to Saint Domingue by the thousands. Unlike many other harsher government policies, this was approved by the general population. Some radicals even wanted the Jews and Protestants transported as well but this was rebuffed.

By 1779, the policy was in full motion and the largest "immigrant" group to Saint Domingue was not free French (or whites in General), French prisoners or Africans but the Roma. Also, in this year, the King of Spain, Carlos III (whom normally was quite an enlightened ruler), would commence shipping tens of thousands of Spanish Roma, Gitanos, as well but not to Saint Domingue. The Spanish loathed the people and feared that any Roma bound for French Saint Domingue would eventually enter their own colony of Santo Domingue (which shared the island of Hispaniola). Instead, the Spanish would seek and receive permission to dump them off on other French islands like Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados and Jamaica.

Unlike the French, this was not intended to populate these regions and exploit them as labor in the cane fields. Had that been the case, the Spanish would have sent them to Brazil. No, this was intended to simply rid the Iberian Peninsula of the scum which had infected it for centuries. Eventually other nations would "request" if their own Roma could be redistributed to these French islands. Desperate for any kind of labor, the French were happy to accept Roma from Piedmont, the Dutch Republic (whom REALLY hated Gypsies), Portugal, England, Scotland, and even as far east as Wallachia and Moldavia where many (but not most) of the Roma were still bought and sold as slaves as the Russian Czar had not gotten around to eliminating the practice as of yet in his new provinces. Fearing that the Czar would eventually change the status of the slaves to serfs (and therefore reduce the power of the owners), thousands upon thousands would be sold west. Though technically "freed", they were reduced to indentured servants and forced to labor along with the rest of their kin.

As Roma were transported with no preference to men, women or children, the 160,000 which were transported from Europe to the West Indies from 1777 to 1790 would have a disproportionate affect on the demographics of the French West Indies. In contrast, the 40,000 Africans transported were 94% male and the 35,000 French prisoners were 85% male (despite efforts by France to clean out the brothels and women's prisons. Even the 60,000 free French (and other white migrants) entering these isles during this period would bear over 75% males despite defacto free transportation for women and greater landgrants for men whom brought women with them.

The Roma, on the other hand, were nearly equally distributed between male and female. Also, they were forbidden to leave the islands themselves while many of the French prisoners were eventually allowed to leave (those not condemned to life sentences). Even liberated African slaves (the gens de colour) departed in some numbers.
 
Last edited:
Whoa, mass importation of Romani people is going to have a huge impact on the West Indies, and probably the broader Caribbean as a whole, especially with the ban on emigration. I imagine the transatlantic passage is still going to be harrowing, especially on women and children, but that's still going to lead a a number of islands being plurality- or even majority-Romani by the mid-19th century. I don't think this move is going to fix the problem like the French think it will, either, as they're still brutalizing enslaved populations in awful conditions whatever their skin color, and there's not much stopping Romani slaves from running off and joining the insurgents and maroon bands. If anything, the French have just metastasized the West Indian tumor and indefinitely prolonged it, as they've done nothing to address the fundamental problem and have just added a huge new body of people who they hate (and who hate them in turn) who have the capacity to maintain their own population without needing a continuous influx of new enslaved people.
 
Whoa, mass importation of Romani people is going to have a huge impact on the West Indies, and probably the broader Caribbean as a whole, especially with the ban on emigration. I imagine the transatlantic passage is still going to be harrowing, especially on women and children, but that's still going to lead a a number of islands being plurality- or even majority-Romani by the mid-19th century. I don't think this move is going to fix the problem like the French think it will, either, as they're still brutalizing enslaved populations in awful conditions whatever their skin color, and there's not much stopping Romani slaves from running off and joining the insurgents and maroon bands. If anything, the French have just metastasized the West Indian tumor and indefinitely prolonged it, as they've done nothing to address the fundamental problem and have just added a huge new body of people who they hate (and who hate them in turn) who have the capacity to maintain their own population without needing a continuous influx of new enslaved people.
Yeah, the Roma often seem ignored in most TL's so I thought a Roma subculture in the West Indies would be an interesting twits.

I agree that slavery was not possible long term in this scenario and arguably in OTL. It is easy to forget that large-scale slavery in the West Indies only existed for about a century at most. Only by the 1700's did the population of many islands even get settled much less in great numbers.

France would liberate in the 1790's while Britain would in the 1830's.

The Danish and Dutch Empires did not possess lands capable of intensive cultivation in the West Indies.

Spain, as I've repeatedly pointed out in this TL, would not truly utilize slavery in any of their colonies to any great extent until the 19th century. Most Spanish slave imports occurred after 1800 as would most Portuguese.

I've butterflied away the British, Dutch, Portuguese and Danish Empires and effectively ended the slave trade to the expanded Spanish Empire. That leaves only France attempting to maintain the trade and any potential revolution would probably result in the same defacto liberation as OTL if only because a French Revolution would eliminate any real power to maintain the status quo.
 
Chapter 84: Policy Failure
1779

Cuba, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo


Unlike the French West Indies, the Spanish West Indian Islands would not depend upon slave labor to such an extent. The majority of the population (by a wide margin) was free and Iberian. As Spain's focus for the past two decades had been assimilating Brazil to the Spanish Empire, the West Indies and New Spain had been largely ignored and left to their own devices. Modest reforms in the metropolis and colonies had facilitated trade. Spain no longer was required to spend great sums on defending the Spanish Main or her treasure ships (though she spent far more on Brazil).

In truth, despite the problems securing Brazil's loyalty (by mass liberation of the slaves and mass immigration of Spanish and Italians to the coast), Spain's decade had been one of prosperity. The gold and silver shipments had resumed, the West Indian sugar trade increased in profitability (though not tonnage) due to the higher prices fetched per hundredweight, Brazil would resume some sugar and coffee production based off of free labor and, despite opening trade with foreign nations, Spanish exports to the colonies increased as well.

The Spanish West Indian islands would receive a modest but steady flow of immigrants from Iberia and Italy and even from other Catholic countries like France, Portugal and the Habsburg Empire. Technically, such emigration was banned or frowned upon but, in practice, the region's need for labor and population was so great that any Catholic was welcome unless the demographics represented some sort of threat.

Smaller islands like the Bahamas, the former Danish and British Virgin Islands, etc would receive little population and slowly languish without slavery as they provided little that the larger island could. Without a critical mass of population, there was little to attract more immigration to these regions. Spain didn't particularly care about this as they were deemed superfluous and only useful to Spain by not being in enemy hands.

Both France and Spain had their own problems and managed to stay out of one another's way. Having removed the Protestant powers from the equation (it would be decades before anyone considered the Kingdom of North America a "power"), there was always the possibility of conflict between the two remaining Empires in the Americas.

Paris

The Minister of Finance would look at the figures and realize that, despite the claims that the Kingdom of England was supporting the 40,000 French and Irish soldiers which occupied it, this was far from the whole story. Endless riots would result in additional costs. France would demand, and often receive, compensation from the idiot William IV for this favor but the numbers never seemed to add up. Even with England paying for the victuals and housing of the French-Irish army, it nevertheless was costing France itself far more money than it would to keep them in barracks in France.

The War Minister agreed wholeheartedly. But what mattered most to him was the alarmingly steady degradation of the quality and morale of the French Army. Occupying England was initially seen as a source of loot for French soldiers whom may plunder and rape to their hearts' content. Many viewed this as God's retribution on England for the terror inflicted upon France during the Hundred Years' War.

However, it was soon seen as counter-productive by the French Generals and governors whom wanted England returned to functionality so it may commence reparations. They would crack down on any French and Irish (more the former than the latter) disturbance of the peace. Thus, the soldiers were left to garrison a nation which hated them in a visceral and open manner. Morale collapsed in England and French regiments nearly mutinied when informed they would be transferred to "that infernal island".

The hardship of the French soldiers in England was exceeded only by those assigned to the French West Indies. And, here, there was no "nearly" about the mutinies occurring in the West Indies and among those regiments informed they would cross the Atlantic to a pestilential hell where 50% annual death rates from disease were common. Most of the Martinique garrison rebelled in 1777 while one regiment in Toulon refused to board the ships and instead sacked much of the city.

Both the Finance and War Ministers would present these findings to Vergennes, the effective leader of the government. While mainly a diplomat, Vergennes was practical and intelligent and agreed that something must be done. The costs of these occupations nearly exceeded the "reparations" received from England and the taxes gained from the West Indian trade.

An audit of the Army revealed that readiness had dropped considerably among the rank and file as noble military families whom had seen their kin die in English partisan attacks or of Yellow Fever in Jamaica or Saint Domingue would no longer encourage their sons to seek commissions. A shockingly large number of new officers over the past few years were foreigners or low-born French, men whom seldom ascended the ranks in the past.

The Ministers would reveal these findings to Vergennes. The Foreign Minister would not dispute them but simply explain what they already knew: neither the Crown nor the government nor the people of France were yet ready to give up the West Indies or England. Until that day, the nation would carry on as well it could. However, the twin costs of these troubles would prevent any significant paying down of the massive French debts which ate up a third of the French budget.
 
Last edited:
Rom slave is not legal they have a soul like all white people
They would not be slaves in the West Indies akin to the Africans but a special class between slave and free.


Probably the order of class would be something like:

Free French
Free Foreign
Gens de Colour
French prisoners
Roma
Slaves

And the Roma were North Indian in origin though three or four centuries of interbreeding with Europeans probably made them closer to European than their north Hindustani forebearers.
 
Chapter 85: New Colonial Ventures
1780

Southern Vietnam


While the country of Vietnam was nominally ruled by the Le Dynasty, in reality it was controlled in the North by the Trinh warlords and to the South by the Nguyen. The Nguyen would prove unpopular after a series of wars with the fading Khmer and the King of Siam.

The Tay Son rebellion would overthrow most of the Nguyen Dynasty, murdering virtually every member except for Nguyen Anh, a nephew of the previous warlord. Nguyen Anh would shelter with the King of Siam where he would find an alliance as well as help from a French priest he had met in Saigon called by Bi Nhu by the natives of Vietnam (a translation for Pigneau).

With the increased French presence in the region over the past few years, Father Pigneau would manage to arrange European and Indian Mercenaries to aid his young friend, Nguyen Anh.

In a catastrophic battle near Saigon, the Siamese, Nguyen-loyalists and French mercenaries would decimate the Tay Son army, killing their brilliant leader. The southern quarter of Vietnam had been regained. The brothers of the Tay Son leader fell upon one another for leadership. The Trinh lords of the North and take advantage of the situation to gain control over the entire country and invaded. Though the Tay Son beat them back, the army was so weakened that it fell to the Nguyen army.

Nguyen Anh was proclaimed the new leader of southern Vietnam and, with more French assistance, would conquer the northern Trinh lords by 1790. Nguyen Anh would remember the man whom saved his life. The French were given trade privileges and the King of Siam would see no further incursions upon his Kingdom. Vietnam would do nothing as most of the Khmer Empire was eaten up by the Siamese (which also would form a relationship with France).

Ile de Bourbon, formerly Terre de Sud (formerly New Holland), South Pacific

While the French government had subsidized settlement on the vast island to the southeast of the Indian Ocean, the truth was that only about 80,000 French citizens had taken the offer of free transport over the past 15 years. Instead, they would trickle in on an annual basis. The initial settlements on the western side of the great continent languished but the more lush eastern harbors would eventually grow to modest cities by the turn of the century.

Initially, the economy revolved around whaling and wool production. However, the production of sugar would soon overtake this. Somewhat unsurprisingly, labor would be a primary issue. While the region did not suffer from horrendous malaria, yellow fever or even heat, it was so remote that few French wanted to travel so far. Also, the work in Grand Terre de Sud (Large Land of the South in French, the Ministers whom renamed it from New Holland were apparently not terribly creative). Eventually, Vergennes would flatter the King by renaming it the Ile de Bourbon (sometimes called Bourbonsonia).

Obviously transporting Africans would prove quite a trek (and expensive). Some other ideas included bringing in Chinese workers or laborers from the East Indies. Both were rejected by the government due to the increasingly anti-western stance of the Mandarin Emperor and the aggressive British East India Company which dominated the East Indies.

Instead, the government would endorse...hiring...of nearby Pacific islanders to till the cane fields of Ile de Bourbon. The manner in which this hiring would take place was brutal to the extreme. Effectively people were coerced, kidnapped or defrauded into virtual bondage on "three year contracts" in which they would be paid only at the end if they "behaved properly". Dark-skinned Melanesians from the Solomans and New Guinea, Kanaks from the La Perouse Islands (New Caledonia), Samoans, Maori from the Zealand Islands, Fijians and others as far as Tahiti and Hawaii would be seized by force or coercion and brought to the cane fields of western Ile de Bourbon where they labored and died in great numbers.

French policy in the West Indies was to only import male Africans (though this was in the process of revision). Since there was such a modest labor pool in the Pacific Islands, this was impractical. Any person regardless of gender or age (well, the old and infirm were useless) was seized on these contracts and put to work. If an mother had an infant, she was expected to labor her three years and those of her child. If she gave birth while on contract, it was liable to be extended due to the "losses" incurred by the plantation owner.

By the 1780's, the pace of French immigration would pick up to some 12-15,000 persons per year but the Pacific Islander population soon outstripped this. Whaling ships would decide (both captain and crew) that "recruiting", as the practice was euphemistically called, was more profitable than whaling and many of the smaller islands of the South Pacific were nearly depopulated. Even larger islands would see their coastlines evacuated as islanders fled inland.

Slavery to support the sugar industry would make a stunning recovery in the far east even as events in Paris and the West Indies had the French government rethinking it in the west. But the metropolis was so far away from Ile de Bourbon that the French colonists and their governors used their isolation to their best advantage.

To justify their "recruiting", the French clergy was instructed to convert the natives of Ile de Bourbon and the southern islands to Catholicism.
 
Will the Americans eventually start trying to claim the legacy of the British Empire? Such as getting the BEIC accept their King and much later on getting a colonial empire of their own?

I do find it interesting how the fact North America is a monarchy seems to be helping them cooperate with the Spanish Empire though who knows how long that will last?

Also, how much longer will tensions last between the British exiles and Americans? I'd imagine time would eventually force some of them to work with "colonials", and if not them their Children will have grown up as "colonials".
 
It's really interesting to see how drastically different this world is shaping up to be. First Roma in the Caribbean, and now Pacific Islanders in Australia...

The interesting thing about Pacific Islanders is that the Oceanic languages of the Pacific are relatively homogenous- so all the new workers, from their various origins, should understand each other to an extent, and I'd expect that sooner or later the various mutually-intelligible Oceanic languages in Bourbonia would merge into one koiné language... which might even being the most-spoken language there rather than French... fascinating.
 
Will the Americans eventually start trying to claim the legacy of the British Empire? Such as getting the BEIC accept their King and much later on getting a colonial empire of their own?

I do find it interesting how the fact North America is a monarchy seems to be helping them cooperate with the Spanish Empire though who knows how long that will last?

Also, how much longer will tensions last between the British exiles and Americans? I'd imagine time would eventually force some of them to work with "colonials", and if not them their Children will have grown up as "colonials".
I think the Kingdom of North America is probably too late to the party to form much of an Empire. By the time America has sufficient population, wealthy and a navy, most of the world would have been conquered by France, Russia, China, Spain, the Maratha's etc. I would think they are still at least a century away from any form of overseas colony be it Hawaii or someplace in Africa.

I agree that the presence of a King would make relations between North America and Spain much easier for the Spanish crown to accept. In OTL, they only reluctantly supported the American Revolutionary War and only then without much in the way of direct recognition. Given that the Spanish Empire rebelled en masse a few decades later partially due to this example, one may argue that it was a mistake.

Maybe the Spanish Empire of this TL would last longer.
 
the French were happy to accept Roma from Piedmont, the Dutch Republic (whom REALLY hated Gypsies), Portugal, England, Scotland, Ireland
You may wish to retcon to remove Ireland or to revise to include the Travellers (then known as Tinkers) instead. Interesting fact -Ireland has only acquired a Gypsy community since the fall of the Iron Curtain (from Romania and Slovakia) as the Irish Travelling community (who reputedly descend from the earliest inhabitants of the island prior to the coming of the Celts) historically occupied that economic niche as itinerant labour and craftspeople.
 
It's really interesting to see how drastically different this world is shaping up to be. First Roma in the Caribbean, and now Pacific Islanders in Australia...

The interesting thing about Pacific Islanders is that the Oceanic languages of the Pacific are relatively homogenous- so all the new workers, from their various origins, should understand each other to an extent, and I'd expect that sooner or later the various mutually-intelligible Oceanic languages in Bourbonia would merge into one koiné language... which might even being the most-spoken language there rather than French... fascinating.

Thanks, I've started most of my TL's with POD's in the 18th century so I've covered a lot of the same ground before. Now, I'm trying to address groups which have not been overly addressed in other TL's or in General History as a whole.

The mass kidnapping of Pacific Islanders is an echo of the "blackbirding" done by the British in Australia and the French in New Caledonia in OTL. This had relatively little effect on the long term demographics of those regions as so many of the Pacific Island laborers would die or would eventually be sent home.

I'm make the French "recruitment" of this TL more pervasive in order to make the Pacific Islander demographic permanent.

You make some good points on the Oceanic Languages. That may play a key factor later.
 
You may wish to retcon to remove Ireland or to revise to include the Travellers (then known as Tinkers) instead. Interesting fact -Ireland has only acquired a Gypsy community since the fall of the Iron Curtain (from Romania and Slovakia) as the Irish Travelling community (who reputedly descend from the earliest inhabitants of the island prior to the coming of the Celts) historically occupied that economic niche as itinerant labour and craftspeople.
Interesting point. I just read a bit on Wikipedia about the Irish Travellers. I assumed the Irish tinkers that went back centuries were Gypsy in origin but genetically they appeared not to be. They were basically travelling poor people with no definite origin. Maybe they were just Irishmen whom lost their land over the centuries and became nomadic, no different genetically than the rest of the population.

I will go back and remove my reference to the Irish population.

Thanks for the info.
 
the Americans have no need of foreign lands to colonize. They have the entirety of former New France/Rupert's Land. I'm guessing with this Ameri-wank, they'll still be greedy, and Spain weak, so they'll still be grabbing OTL southwest and Texas, perhaps in a squabble over the Oregon/British Columbia territory, which then sets them up as OTL for Hawaii. There's still plenty of the map painted, and yet to paint, Kingdom of America color.
 
Chapter 86: Orange
1780

Amsterdam


For the early part of the 17th Century, the Dutch Republic was the ascending power per capita on earth. Most of the international trade of Europe (and beyond) took place in her harbors. However, by the late 17th century and early 18th, the Republic stagnated demographically and economically.

Unlike most of Europe, the population remained nearly constant throughout the 18th century. Other nations would see great increases while the Republic would remain at 2,000,000 souls. Soon, the nation was outpaced in population by neighbors.

More importantly, the economy changed. Once possessing a diverse production base, the artisan section of the economy was wither as manufacturing dropped. Eventually, only banking and commerce (trade) would remain strong. Even here, the Dutch stagnated as other nation's trade increased exponentially.

Soon, much of the Republic's middle class and lower class realized that a handful of banking and trading houses dominated the cities while the nobles dominated the countryside. Resentment built over time.

As the economy stagnated, then shrank, the Republic was unable to bear the expense of her mercenary army or Dutch navy and both withered on the vine. This effectively eliminated the Dutch Republic as a real European power. Only in alliance with others, as the pawn of greater nations, could the Dutch even protect her borders. For the early part of the 18th century, the Dutch were only safe from France or Prussia due to the regular alliance of Austria, the Austrian Netherlands, Britain, Hanover and other Protestant small powers.

Now, France sat upon Dutch borders and no power beyond Austria even had a chance of challenging France. And Austria was very far away and not terribly interested in the region since trading away the Austrian Netherlands.

In a desperate attempt to maintain some semblance of power, the Republic gave the Stadtholder unprecedented authority, including making the leader of the House of Orange-Nassau the hereditary Stadtholder (something long withheld). The hope was that he would reform from above against the city and country oligarchs whom had, in the eyes of many, run the nation into the ground. However, the Stadtholder William IV would die unexpectedly and his heir was the three-year-old William V. Under the authority and tutelage of Royalists, the House of Orange-Nassau would grow increasingly unpopular for myriad reasons, including:

1. Failure to prevent the decline of the Republic.
2. Failure to prevent the French and Spanish from consuming the Dutch West Indies.
3. Failure to implement reform to expand suffrage and opportunity.
4. Utilizing the power of the Stadtholdership to give offices to his cronies.
5. Claiming personal control over Cleves rather than the Republic

A new "Patriot" Party consisting of an odd combination of Lower/Middle Class reformists and Nobles would form and gain control of key Provinces such as Holland and Utrecht. Immediately, a new program encouraging civilian militias were instated throughout many of the Provinces.

The Stadtholder would retire to his country estates, having lost control over the nation. He gathered up as many soldiers as he could loyal to his regime and dispatched them to Amsterdam. This "Orange Army" would face the rapidly training Patriot forces which knew well what was coming. The Patriots were aided when thousands of sailors from the largely moribund Dutch Navy marched in their support. While not trained soldiers, they had arms and discipline.

In one catastrophic battle, the Orangists were defeated and the Stadtholder was forced to flee the Republic for Cleves.

He immediately called for help from France, Austria....well, anyone who would listen. He found few interested parties and more than a few whom were amused by his eviction. However, as a hereditary Stadtholder was as close to a monarch that the crowned heads of Europe could expect from the Dutch Republic, William V assumed that he would receive some sort basis of support. Instead, France and Austria would glare suspiciously at one another, each more intent that the Dutch were not to fall under the influence of their true rival. Neither party wanted the expense of marching on the Republic (particularly France) but could not afford to let the other do so.

Though it would take nearly a year, a compromise was settled that satisfied Europe and, for the most part, the Dutch Republic (whose Patriot factions were already tearing into one another).

William V would cede all property in the Dutch Republic but retain Cleves and his ancestral County of Nassau (from which the House of Orange-Nassau had been summoned as the first Stadtholders). He would also receive control over Bentheim and Frisia, which had been given to the Dutch to govern but remained under the official auspices of the Holy Roman Empire. These had not yet come to be considered "core" Dutch possessions and most of the people would not bemoan their loss. William was also made heir to the House of Hohenzollern's western lands should their Prince's failed to have issue. These included:

1. Linden, Ravensburg and Minden, ruled by the Prince Henry, whom was in his fifties and had no issue, thus William would inherit these lands in 1785 at Henry's death.
2. The County of Mark, ruled by Prince Augustus Ferdinand, whom DID have issue, therefore William would not inherit.

Though a deeply disappointed (and, apparently, disliked) man, William would settle into northwestern Germany. Indeed, his assortment of Rhineland territories, while non-contiguous, made him one of the greatest lords in the region, matched only by the Elector Palatinate and perhaps Hesse.

William would spend years plotting and attempting to form an alliance to regain the Dutch Republic. However, no one was interested in the matter, even his own brother-in-law, the Elector of Brandenburg (whom had been warned by both France AND Austria to stay out of the matter).

Eventually, the assorted states controlled by William would be generally though unofficially termed the "Duchy of Orange" or even the "Rheinish Counties".
 
Top