American King

Okay, here goes nothin'. This first part is short, but I'll edit it later.


Franklin made his way up to the coffin. He looked upon the face of General George Washington for the final time. The tall, handsome Virginian lay in state in a Philadelphia Episcopalian Church. Martha was crying again, as she had for days since... it... happened. Jonathan Erlenmeyer had planned for over a year to fire the fatal shot. A disgruntled colonial farmer, Erlenmeyer had supported the British during the War for Independence, his son even fought in the King's Royal Regiment of New York and was killed during an insignificant skirmish with minutemen. Erlenmeyer had found his chance finally when Washington went to a military parade on April 10th, 1786, in New York City. While standing on a balcony with Franklin and Madison, Erlenmeyer fired two long rifles, hitting Washington in the chest and Madison in the neck. How Franklin remembered that day. Madison was dead as soon as he hit the ground. Washington was alive for long enough to say some last words, which the government had engraved on a statue of the Great General.

"To think, Mr. Franklin, I and Madison lived through the entire war! To live through a thousand battles, two wars, be called the 'Invincible General' by my beloved men... All to be killed by an assassin. Take care of the country; do not let her fail. Tell the Army I was proud of them till my last breath and loved them like sons."

Ben wiped a tear from his eye as he mourned over the body. "Come now, don't break down. Mustn't upset Martha." He looked one more time and then turned around and started back to his seat. The spectacle-wearing fellow walked down the aisle with the help of his silver-handled cane. He was not known for being religious, but he took part in every part of the funeral that he possibly could. Six months later, Franklin would be dead.

Notables from all over the country were present to see their hero for the final time. Outside were thousands of Americans mourning over the death of the closest thing they had ever had to a leader.

Franklin sat down next to Hamilton. Quietly he said, "What a pity. If only they could have lived through the Foundation! I fear for the country now, Mr. Hamilton, I fear for her life. I can tell I shall be gone soon, too; take care of the country, sir, take care of it."

Alexander nodded. "Take care of it I must, or they will," he murmured to himself, casting a glance at several prominent Anti-Federalists sitting in another pew.

By the next year, Hamilton, Adams, and Jefferson were the leading politicians in the country. They led the Constitutional Convention of 1787, where Jefferson was heavily silenced by the power Adams and his "monarchists" wielded. Had Washington, Madison, or Franklin been alive during the Convention, Jefferson was sure he would have been victorious. After a year of debate, the Constitution was rejected and the Articles of Confederation remained the law of the land.

Part I
Dark Days:
The Adams Presidency


President Adams

The year 1789 was of monumental importance. It was the year America would get its first leader. Through a vote in the Congress, John Adams was chosen as President of the United States of America. An ominous cloud was hovering over the newborn country.

Adams was known for admiring the monarchic system of government, and within six months had already made permanent enemies. He alienated France through several Francophobic statements. He publicly upset thousands in the Northwest Territory by calling them "hicks." He immediately vested much power into one of the Federalists' pet projects, the Bank of the United States. From then on out, the economy was to be heavily centralized, something that bothered states even more. Already, there was talk of secession in the Carolinas.

The government took the Articles very seriously. When it said that "Paupers, Vagabonds, and Fugitives" could not pass freely from one state to the other, they followed it to a letter. A crackdown on the poor was almost immediate. Taxation was illegal. However, the government could "request" money from the states, and those who granted the "request" got the public works projects they desired. Those who did not grant the request were essentially punished by the Federal government. Alexander Hamilton, as Lord Secretary of the Treasury, was a wheeler-dealer who rewarded political favors with money and the other way around. Say, when the state of Maryland answered the call for 20,000 dollars for the army, Hamilton saw to it that Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer's bank account was "enlarged."

Another problem was that the government could not control trade. The states did as they pleased, i.e. New Jersey had a trade route with Sweden while North Carolina did not, thus leading to poverty for some states while others prospered.

Meanwhile, the Adams President's Castle, a building which had been constructed in Philadelphia and was not actually a castle, faced a new crisis. According to the Treaty of Paris (1783), the British were to leave occupied forts in the Northwest Territory. They were still there. Reports were arriving of the executions of Americans inside said forts. Federalist War Hawks cried out for combat. New England, New York, and Pennsylvania rallied behind the Stars and Stripes, but the South and, most importantly, Virginia, was divided. The South had always been more pro-British than the North, and Virginia, though patriotic, thought it had lost enough sons in the Revolution. The North decided to go ahead anyway. On August 9th, 1789, an army crossed into the Northwest Territory and fell upon numerous forts and outposts with lightning speed. All over the North, it was said that the South had missed out on a roaring victory. Secretary of War Henry Knox recommended seizing British territory in Canada. Adams weighed his options, and did as Knox wished. The army crossed the Canadian border and met the actual British forces for the first time. Within a month, the army was on the retreat. Without the South's help, the army, already feeble due to poor training, could not fund enough supplies.


The British were not stupid. Once they had the Americans on the run, they chased them. Canadian sharpshooters waited in the wooded paths and picked off officers. Militiamen engaged small, separated units and massacred them. On January 5th, 1790, the Union Jack flew once more on American soil.

The South joined in only on the term that the war would end once the redcoats were driven out. The North begrudgingly agreed. On July 17th, 1790, the British signed the Treaty of 1790 with the US. The two sides mutually agreed to stay out of each other's territory. Each side was given a set of small debts to pay, and they tried to put it behind them. Britain was only interested in keeping Canada, and was much more wrapped up in the unfolding French Revolution. However, they also warned America to stay out of their affairs or face the consequences. Thus, the War of 1789 reached a most neutral conclusion.

Claiming a quasi-victory over Britain by capturing the western forts, and blaming Knox for the poorly-planned and terribly executed invasion of Canada, Adams turned to other pressing matters. The First Grand Convention of the States, the only way for the Articles to be amended, was being held in Annapolis, Maryland. The Federalists dominated once again, and shouting matches erupted between Jefferson and Hamilton as tempers flared.

The main results of the First Grand Convention were these:

#1: The President was granted power to exile or deport "enemies" of the country during wartime.

#2: If one hailed from a country currently at war with the US, the President was granted power to deport them.

#3: States were forbidden from printing their own currency. Federalists claimed it made economic matters far too confusing. There was huge opposition to this, but it narrowly passed.

#4: A new Military System was adopted. Incredibly numerous uniform regulations were imposed on the states. Each state was to have blue uniforms with a state-specific trim color for most all unit types. Only specific units were permitted to deviate from the system, such as Georgia's brown uniforms and South Carolina's grayish ones. This new law was mainly intended to modernize the army, now a relic of a past era. Also part of the new system were the large importations of Prussian and Swedish military experts.

#5: It was declared illegal to publish "false, scandalous, or malicious writing" against the government.

As mentioned above, some special units deviated from the norm of the new system. For instance, Pennsylvania boasted the Governor's Own Regiment of Foot, sporting red jackets with blue trim and the latest military fad, the bicorn. Other "special" regiments included the French-speaking French Expatriate Regiment of Foot with white coats and green trim, made mostly of nobles fleeing the French Revolution, and the all-German Saxon Grenadiers, with fur hats and canvas-colored uniforms.

Adams continued going about his duties as President. On November 2nd, just a day after the amendments, Adams signed orders for the arrest, imprisonment, and/or deportation of 5 "Enemies of the States."

Fidel Mendez, a Spanish-born priest who incited slaves to revolt in Georgia, was apprehended by the Georgia 5th Dragoons while fleeing across the border into Florida. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison. He died after serving serving half the term.

August Addams, a private citizen in New York, was caught by the militia operating a "scandalous" publication called the "Republican Star" in his cellar, where he printed numerous articles calling President Adams a fool. He was fined $300 dollars and was sentenced to two months in jail.

James Hector Smith, a British-born banker, was accused of spying, though no absolute proof was found. He was exiled to Europe.

Johannes von Bulow, formerly a Hessian soldier who fought in the Revolution, had become a farmer. However, after saying he wished that Britain still controlled the US in a letter to a friend, the "friend" reported him to the local Maryland militia. He was fined $100 and sentenced to three months in jail. Later, upon his release, he said he regretted nothing and called Adams a "pea-brained idiot." He was fined $500 and exiled.

Martin Fitzgerald was arrested for printing an anti-government pamphlet in his print shop. He was fined $400 and sentenced to two months in jail.

As the government's power suddenly doubled, civil unrest started to break out.


The Storm Gathers:


General Anthony Wayne with a regiment of Pennsylvania Infantry on patrol in the "Free State of Franklin." Note the red trim on the jackets, which was part of the new Military System

The first use of armed force against the Federal government in an attempt to secede came from the Free State of Frankin, a small, self-declared republic just west of North Carolina. North Carolina had laid claim to that territory and was outraged that they had a rebellion on their hands. The Federalist governor of North Carolina, Richard Dobbs, immediately requested Federal aide in crushing the frontier uprising. South Carolina sent in a regiment, but was half-hearted. South Carolina had made threats of secession themselves, and was not big on crushing like-minded people. Virginia donated a few supplies, but mainly stayed out of it, though they genuinely supported North Carolina. New England and the other upper states were totally dedicated to assisting Dobbs. General Anthony Wayne marched 5000 Pennsylvania regulars down South. Another 3000 came from New York, and 1000 from New England.

After a brief skirmish at the North Carolina border, in which the rebels suffered 12 casualties, they ran. Within a month, the capital of Greeneville was under Federal Control once again, with the North Carolina flag firmly planted on the capitol building. While many laughed at the swiftness of the victory and thought the rebels idiots for actually rising up, others resented the government for interfering with the plight of a state. Cries from the seemingly permanent minority, the Democratic-Republicans, rose up against Adams, calling him a tyrant. They also said the Articles should be amended so that the public could choose their leader, instead of "representatives" from the people choosing. The Federalists ignored them.

Adams' cabinet suggested being more lax and allowing a little more freedom, for fear of uprising. Adams, by that time, was already too thoroughly intoxicated with his power to relinquish it. He rejected their ideas. Hamilton started trying to find a new candidate for president. He found exactly what he wanted in Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. Not only was the man a Federalist, but he was also a native of South Carolina, a state that was possibly the most unstable. The 1792 election was looked forward to by almost everyone. Adams became a hated figure.

The United States sent an official letter of approval when, on July 14th, 1790, France celebrated the Fête de la Fédération. King Louis XVI had agreed to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy. To most, the French Revolution was over, and the monarchy remained in power. All the world sent congratulations to the French people. In England, William Pitt the Younger and Charles James Fox said it was a great step toward liberty.

It was also a great step toward focusing on America again. With the threats of war with France greatly decreased, thousands of British troops headed back across the Atlantic into Canada. Forts sprang up all along the border with the US, and the British were wary of revanchist states going on the attack once again into Canada.

Thomas Jefferson was growing increasingly disgruntled. He continued his plan to run for president, though he knew his effort was likely damned from the start. Other Democratic-Republicans were in full support of Jefferson, with some even considering a coup at the President's Mansion. Henry Knox secretly met with Jefferson in mid August to discuss the possibility of having the army remove Adams. While the coup against Adams never happened, when this information came out years later, it was titled The August Conspiracy.

Adams basically kept to himself for the next year, tending to his duties. He finally succeeded in getting Vermont to join the Union, but Rhode Island refused, saying they wished no involvement with a failed experiment. Finally, with only two months left in 1791, slaves on Saint-Domingue revolted against their French royal masters. Massacres ensued, with multiple reports of cannibalism. The United States was mortified by the possibility of uprisings in the South. Georgia immediately raised a larger militia and cracked down hard on abolitionists. Anyone who suggested freeing the slaves could legally be punished. After French troops were driven from the island, and while France tried to decide what to do next, America announced that it would support France if possible and might even send troops. Spain, and most importantly, Florida, also pledged support to crush the uprising. After a small war, The Saint-Domingue Intervention, the three countries solidly defeated the uprising, and ensured white control. The French did not just profit off the joint venture, but rather rewarded America and Spain for their help by giving them two sections of the island. America received a small section in the northernmost area and Spain received the westernmost area, as agreed upon in the Treaty of Port-de-Paix. Port-de-Paix then became an American colony under the total control of the federal government. Needless to say, the US marine garrison was brutal. Also part of the treaty was the resolving of the Georgia-Spain dispute over Southern Georgia. Spain dropped all claims to it and agreed to stay in Florida.


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The southern aristocracyand the northern puritans supporting a social climbing bastard? By that I mean him being an illegitamte child
Wait, wait. Washington in New York in 1786 when he was in retirement at Mt. Vernon that year? Jefferson in New York in 1786 when he was in Paris as U.S. Minister that year? John Adams in Philadelphia in 1786 when he was in London that year? Prussian, Spanish and Russian representatives at the funeral? How did they get to the U.S. so quickly? To the best of my knowledge, only Spain may have had a diplomatic representative to the Confederation Congress. Lafayette in America? I thought he was in Paris also.
Hamilton as an evil genius, able to dominate the Federal Convention, cow naive democrats with a mere glance and impose a militaristic, centralized government on the country. Now we're talking!!! But seriously, AH was probably the least effective member of the Federal Convention and acheived his successes as Secretary of the Treasury largely due to the support of Washington.
The ratification of the Constitution in OTL was a "damned close run thing" because many, many average Americans thought that it "squinted at monarchy" and anything more centralized and powerful would have been DOA, despite the best efforts of Dr. Evil (excuse me, Alexander Hamilton) to push it through.
AH and the Federalists did not believe in a government controlled economy, they were not mercantilists and the BUS was not an attempt to introduce state planning.
Finally, as a former resident of Hicksville, New York and a proud graduate of Hicksville High School I take offense at your gratuitous use of the hurtful term "hick" and ask that the moderator take appropriate action. Surely not even your version of AH would have been so cruel and uncaring as to use such an insult.

Your obedient servant
Due to Alexander's first part of his post, I will use his information. I will edit it with correct places at correct times to make it fit. :) Wilde's post is so misspelled I'm not even going to pay attention.

As to the last part, especially the hick part, I hope he was joking.

As to how the ambassadors could be there so quickly? Uh, maybe they were already there on diplomatic duties? I mean, that's not even alternate, just fictional. There COULD have been foreign trade officials, etc, there at that time. As to Washington being retired: He could've easily been invited to a parade. Nothing ASB there. He wasn't in the parade, he just watched it.

Actually, this is just my first draft, and I'm actually going with Adams as president. Works better that way.

Also, I'm not an expert on the years after the Rev. Please, bear with me here. 1800's is my thing. Plus, I wrote this at two in the morning. :p
Mr. Napoleon,

I WAS NOT joking about being from Hicksville and being a proud graduate of Hicksville High School. I WAS joking about "hick" being a vicious slur which should require remedial action by the moderator. We "hicks" have thick skins and we can stand a little teasing.
My serious point was that the Constitution was only narrowly adopted in OTL. Without GW announced as a member of the Virginia delegation there might not have even been a quorum of states in Philadelphia. Without Madison preparing the Virginia Plan and working tirelessly on the details there would probably have never been a compromise on the Constitution. Without GW as President and Madison as the floor leader, the Convention would have broken up or produced nothing more than some proposed amendments to the Articles of Confederation. Without GW's prestige behind it and Madison piecing together a slim majority in Richmond Virginia would have never ratified the Constitution. Without Virginia there could be no new Union.
To restate my point, OTL's Constitution was amost undoubtedly the maximum amount of centralization that could be obtained in OTL's 18th Century America. In your 18th Century America, an America without GW and Madison, pure republicans (or anti-Federalists as thier opponents called them) like George Clinton, George Mason, Elbridge Gerry, Richard Henry Lee, Sam Adams and Thomas Jefferson (if he were in America rather than in Paris) would have made sure that no centralizing new Constitution was adopted and they would have a heavy majority of the populace behind them. Ordinary Americans were strongly in favor of limited government and the preservation of the rights and powers of their native states. That the Federalists in OTL were able to win ratification of the Constitution was little short of a miracle (or the result of some sharp dealing, depending upon your point of view)
So, even assuming that Alexander Hamilton and Joh Adams could work together long enough to produce some sort of centralizing/monarchy proposal (and AH and JA hated each other) how could they get it adopted? In 1787 AH was a not very well known NY lawyer who had married into a good family and whose major claim to fame was his service as GW's aide in the war. Without GW's patronage, AH's political influence is limited to NY and George Clinton controled NY. John Adams is in London and even if he returns upon GW's death his influence is limited to Massachusetts where his cousin is much more popular and powerful. Neither one controls as much as a corporal's guard.
Who would be the supporters of the AH/Adams proposal? I would guess that Gouvernor Morris, Robert Morris and Henry Knox might fall into line. John Jay is less certain. Although he was a friend of a stronger government and got along well with AH, he was cautious and often acted to rein in AH's wilder ideas. G. Morris was a great writer (the preamble to the Constitution was his work as the Chairman of the Commitee on Style) and a good diplomat but he had no political base and was well known as a ladies man and drinker. R. Morris had done great work as Superintendent of Finance for the Confederation but this work had resulted in intense unpopularity with the pure republicans and the beginnings of his personal financial problems which would in OTL result in his bankruptcy (the lesson being: no matter how rich you are individually, pledging your personal credit to support your country's worthless paper currency is a BAD IDEA). Henry Knox was the Confederation Secretary of War which is always a good position if you are trying to start or support a coup. However, in the case of Henry this meant that he controlled a few hundred unpaid, munitnous "soldiers" somewhere in the Ohio Valley.
I write this not to deter you from writing your timeline. This is AH where almost everything is possible, if not probable. If you can plausably give the USA a King (or even a much more powerful President for Life) you will have earned the attention and plaudits of your readers. I will be one of those readers but I reserve the right to kibbitz from the sidelines.

Your obedient servant
Alexander, that was awesome. I thank you very, very much. This is was exactly what I needed to have; all the info on the most influential Fathers at that point in time. Have no fear, sir, I am about to totally transform this TL. If you don't mind, I may call upon your help later.
Yes. :p Like I said, though, after 1800 is where my knowledge lies, and is what I spend many hours each week reading about. Believe me, I had a pile of books stacked up when I was writing this.

That's kinda what makes it look like you did not research it. But if you have, i shall give you the benefit of the doubt.

Did you intend to quote Napoleon53 rather then me? Or, are you also saying that the story seems dreamy & unrealistic? Or both?
Did you intend to quote Napoleon53 rather then me? Or, are you also saying that the story seems dreamy & unrealistic? Or both?
Kinda quoted you in support. Agreeing with your point of view. Sorry about the Mixup.


Right Napoleon. This one works much better. Still, though. John Adams is not much that unifying figure as compared to George Washington.

Really? Invading Canada? ZYou have got to be kidding me.
Right Napoleon. This one works much better. Still, though. John Adams is not much that unifying figure as compared to George Washington.

Really? Invading Canada? ZYou have got to be kidding me.

Thanks, my good chap. :D

Ah, but that's the point; he is NOT a unifying figure and is hated by many. However, he sits pretty because of the Federalist majority. Just to be clear: Adams will NOT be king or prez-for-life. That comes later.

We did invade Canada in the War of 1812. ITTL, as long as the Americans were at war, they figured they should attempt an invasion. Stupid, yes, unrealistic, sadly no.
I think the only plausible scenario for an 'American King' coming to power is a similar one to Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation. A brilliant military leader does well during a war (over Canada with the British?) and wins, becomes extremely popular and crowns himself king, although even then there will be an uproar due to meritocratic principles in American culture and England being the "monarchist enemy".
I think the only plausible scenario for an 'American King' coming to power is a similar one to Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation. A brilliant military leader does well during a war (over Canada with the British?) and wins, becomes extremely popular and crowns himself king, although even then there will be an uproar due to meritocratic principles in American culture and England being the "monarchist enemy".
So...King Jackson?
I think the only plausible scenario for an 'American King' coming to power is a similar one to Napoleon Bonaparte's coronation. A brilliant military leader does well during a war (over Canada with the British?) and wins, becomes extremely popular and crowns himself king, although even then there will be an uproar due to meritocratic principles in American culture and England being the "monarchist enemy".

So...King Jackson?

:D That's almost EXACTLY what I was planning, Jackson and all.