Prologue: An Old Colony with New Challenges
Prologue: An Old Colony with New Challenges

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For several decades, Massachusetts was regarded as one of, if not the outright most important of the English colonies in North America. Massachusetts was the site of one the first permanent English settlements in North America outside of Virginia, with the Pilgrims settling at Plymouth Rock in 1620. Eight years later, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was founded. Its capital, Boston, eventually grew into one of the most prominent cities in North America. In the days preceding the American Revolution, Boston was a hotbed of tension between the British and the colonists. It was the very location of what locals called the Boston Massacre, known as the Incident on King Street in Britain, in which nine British soldiers killed five colonial civilians in a crowd in the city streets in March 1770 protesting the Townshend Acts. Boston was also home to the namesake Tea Party in December 1773 where colonists (under the pretense of it being about the tea tax itself when it was largely about the issue of smuggled tea) disguised as Native Americans, threw tea from British ships into Boston Harbor. The Coercive Acts (or Intolerable Acts in North America) targeted Massachusetts as a whole. They closed the port of Boston and cut off most commerce until the dumped tea was paid for, revoked the charter of the royal colony and placed them under the direct control of Great Britain, eliminated trials of British officials in the colonies, and allowed British administrators to house soldiers in any private homes or buildings.

On top of all of this, Massachusetts was the site of the first major battles of the American Revolutionary War, as the Battle of Lexington and the Battle of Concord broke out on April 19, 1775. While this was happening, the Siege of Boston had started up and would last until March 1776 when British commander William Howe withdraw his forces to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Battle of Bunker Hill also took place in mid-1775 near Charlestown. Even before the Declaration of Independence was completed and signed in July 1776, representative Timothy Bigelow declared the end of British rule in October 1774 in his town. His natural response to the Coercive Acts was that it was time to create a government independent of Great Britain. Notable Revolutionary leaders from Massachusetts included cousins John and Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Elbridge Gerry. It additionally contributed more soldiers to the Continental Army than any other colony under Massachusetts General Henry Knox. Massachusetts was the ninth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation on March 10, 1778, after being debated by the Second Continental Congress between July 1776 and November 1777. The Articles only went into effect in 1781 once the last state, Maryland, ratified them. They established re-affirmed the sovereignty of all 13 states by consciously establishing a weak central government, affording only powers previously recognized by the former colonies as belonging to the British.

Once the Treaty of Paris was signed, the Articles of Confederation left the United States with an extremely unstable government. Congress, the only federal institution set up by the Articles, had little power to finance itself or even enforce its own resolutions. There was also no available tax base, which meant there was no way to pay off state and federal war debts except by requesting money from the states which they rarely gave). Congress was unable to protect American shipping and manufacturing due to the re-entry of British products into the American market and the British, French, and Spanish colonies being largely closed off to foreign products. As a result of all of this, unrest broke out in several states, heightening the anxieties of officials which were reminiscent of those preceding the American Revolution in the first place. The aggravation of the situation reached its climax in August 1786 when an uprising of angry dissidents in western Massachusetts (mostly Springfield) broke out. This was led by American War of Independence veteran Daniel Shays and lasted six months. In February 1787, protestors marched on the Springfield Armory to try and seize its weaponry before being put down by the Massachusetts State militia. At this point, it grew clear that the Articles of Confederation needed to be changed. In September 1786, Alexander Hamilton met with delegates from New York and four other states in Annapolis and recommended holding a convention in Philadelphia to address this.

The Grand Convention was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between May and September 1787 with the initial intent to revise the Articles of Confederation. Once the Convention began, it generally came to be understood that the delegates would build a new government framework instead of fixing the current one. Several broad outlines were proposed and debated, most notably the Virginia Plan and the New Jersey Plan, with the former chosen as the basis for this proposed new government. There was still plenty of contention across the board, such as the election of the upper house, representation in the legislature based on geography or population, the role and election of the executive, what impeachable offenses were, the abolition of the slave trade, and whether or not slaves would be counted for representation purposes. A series of compromises began being achieved in mid-July and lingering issues were resolved by early September when the final version was complete. It was signed by 39 of the 55 delegates on September 17. Ratification was now in the hands of the states. Through January 1788, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, and Connecticut voted in favor of ratifying the Constitution with little to no problem. Then came the state of Massachusetts. The division between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists was tense, which was quite predictable given that Massachusetts was a hotbed of the American Revolution. On January 24, the majority of the 355 delegates voted against ratification.
 
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Hi everyone. In case you guys were wondering, I had my other TL deleted because I wasn't satisfied with the POD. I still like the idea and I was only four chapters in so it kind of made sense for me to start over with the concept. This time I hope to stick to it. As for the POD switch, I changed it from New Hampshire to Massachusetts rejecting the Constitution because I believe it would be more effective at creating the scenario I want to achieve and there's much more room to work with several different butterflies. I was partially inspired by a previous thread discussing what would happen if the US broke apart shortly after independence. That being said, while I intend for the early synopsis in my test thread to be roughly the same, some details may change with time as I do more research.
 
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Watched. Hope Virginia and Pennsylvania are united in this divided America scenario, these kinds of timelines rarely do that but it seems like a pretty likely outcome of the time period surprisingly.
 
Watched. Hope Virginia and Pennsylvania are united in this divided America scenario, these kinds of timelines rarely do that but it seems like a pretty likely outcome of the time period surprisingly.
I’m sure things could change but as of now it doesn’t look likely they will be United since Pennsylvania has already ratified the Constitution pretty comfortably while Virginia is likely to be effected ITTL by Massachusetts’ actions, especially with only 5 votes need to flip it into a tie and one more to outright reject it. I can imagine an alliance between Virginia and Pennsylvania though so there is hope there on that front.
 
I’ve been pondering about this to some degree for years but I think I have a finally solid direction where I want to go with it.
So what will this be a republic of Massachusetts? Something along that line another then that will be watching and reading this timeline!
 
So what will this be a republic of Massachusetts? Something along that line another then that will be watching and reading this timeline!
Not sure if it will be a republic of Massachusetts, a greater Massachusetts, or New England quite yet. Whatever it will be, Massachusetts will be most likely the dominant power of whatever entity it becomes a part of. Well, unless a rump USA emerges from this and Massachusetts becomes part of it. And thank you btw.
 
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Hi everyone. In case you guys were wondering, I had my other TL deleted because I wasn't satisfied with the POD. I still like the idea and I was only four chapters in so it kind of made sense for me to start over with the concept. This time I hope to stick to it. As for the POD switch, I changed it from New Hampshire to Massachusetts rejecting the Constitution because I believe it would be more effective at creating the scenario I want to achieve and there's much more room to work with several different butterflies. I was partially inspired by a previous thread discussing what would happen if the US broke apart shortly after independence. That being said, while I intend for the early synopsis in my test thread to be roughly the same, some details may change with time as I do more research.
Actually the tea was thrown out because the British had just repealed the tax and the smugglers were not happy and had just lost a lot of money as a result of the repeal. The action was condemned at the time by Franklin. But of course history gets rewritten in Boston and later at the Alamo for eg to suit certain narratives, and the true story becomes overwritten by the false..
 
Actually the tea was thrown out because the British had just repealed the tax and the smugglers were not happy and had just lost a lot of money as a result of the repeal. The action was condemned at the time by Franklin. But of course history gets rewritten in Boston and later at the Alamo for eg to suit certain narratives, and the true story becomes overwritten by the false.. Just as the old story of the pilgrim fathers fleeing persecution in England is promulgated. The main problem they would have had in England was burning witches had become rather frowned upon.
 
Watched. Hope Virginia and Pennsylvania are united in this divided America scenario, these kinds of timelines rarely do that but it seems like a pretty likely outcome of the time period surprisingly.
I always thought they would be rivals, tbqh. They both have different cultures and strong centers of gravity to exert on nearby states, and would both want to expand west in the Ohio Valley.

But indeed, this looks like it will be more a New England absent US, not a broken US entirely.
 
Actually the tea was thrown out because the British had just repealed the tax and the smugglers were not happy and had just lost a lot of money as a result of the repeal. The action was condemned at the time by Franklin. But of course history gets rewritten in Boston and later at the Alamo for eg to suit certain narratives, and the true story becomes overwritten by the false..
Okay so I just looked a little further and the Tea Act remaining in place from the Townshend Acts and there was actual outrage over it because it was seen as a tactic to get the colonies to support the taxes that were already being enforced. Also, the direct sale of tea via the British East India Company undercut colonial mercantilism and eventually smuggled tea grew more expensive than regular tea. Smugglers were upset this cut into their economic interests and sold it as a “taxation without representation” issue. So if anything it might be a combination of both. At the end of the day, it’s just background information about the history of Massachusetts that doesn’t really affect the plot of this TL. I might change it to say it was a combination of business interests and taxation without representation though.
 
I always thought they would be rivals, tbqh. They both have different cultures and strong centers of gravity to exert on nearby states, and would both want to expand west in the Ohio Valley.

But indeed, this looks like it will be more a New England absent US, not a broken US entirely.
I wouldn’t be so sure it’s the USA minus New England. Connecticut appears to be on a different wavelength regarding ratification than the rest of the region (more on that in later updates). And of the five states that ratified the Constitution, three are from the Mid-Atlantic, one is from the South, and the other in New England. The rest had varying levels of reservation about the ratifying Constitution except maybe Maryland. So ultimately don’t expect anything clear cut. And regarding Virginia and Pennsylvania, do keep in mind that James Madison brought together the Virginia and Pennsylvania delegates as a dominant coalition in the Constitutional Convention IOTL under the Virginia Plan. Hence while it’s true they were of different cultures, had strong centers of gravity, and wanted westward expansion into the Northwest Territory, don’t necessarily expect an ideology-driven Cold War of sorts between the two states.
 
Another one?!

You old so and so. Watched.
It’s not really another TL. It’s more like one TL replacing a different one (which I requested to be deleted btw since I didn’t like the direction it was going on as a result of the POD and I wasn’t too far in anyway) so they effectively cancel each other out.
 
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Well, there’s a small possibility that one or more of the colonies could opt to become a monarchy of sorts. Unlikely but not completely out of the books.

And if those unfortunates should persist in that error...

Well, there's a certain soon-to-be headless Bourbon who, by way of example, might instruct the people on an early form of autocorrection.
 
And if those unfortunates should persist in that error...

Well, there's a certain soon-to-be headless Bourbon who, by way of example, might instruct the people on an early form of autocorrection.
Of course that’s assuming the French Revolution takes the same path as OTL. With a POD in February 1788 and the Estates-General being summoned IOTL in May 1789, that’s a whole 15 months for changes to take place. The French are certainly going to be paying attention here since they will want to collect as much of the money they gave to the Americans during the Revolution as they can before everything goes kapooey.
 
I wouldn’t be so sure it’s the USA minus New England. Connecticut appears to be on a different wavelength regarding ratification than the rest of the region (more on that in later updates). And of the five states that ratified the Constitution, three are from the Mid-Atlantic, one is from the South, and the other in New England. The rest had varying levels of reservation about the ratifying Constitution except maybe Maryland. So ultimately don’t expect anything clear cut. And regarding Virginia and Pennsylvania, do keep in mind that James Madison brought together the Virginia and Pennsylvania delegates as a dominant coalition in the Constitutional Convention IOTL under the Virginia Plan. Hence while it’s true they were of different cultures, had strong centers of gravity, and wanted westward expansion into the Northwest Territory, don’t necessarily expect an ideology-driven Cold War of sorts between the two states.
The alternative, of a united Virginia and Pennsylvania, is essentially just a rump United States, no? And they would probably call themselves such.

Which is an interesting alt US, Pennsylvania and Virginia, with states like New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, Kentucky, and more westwards thrown in, as a much more centralized US that is the big player in a divided US scenario.
 
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