Revolution- Burning of Montreal
Ne’er before had the flames of warfare turned so badly against the British
-King George III
The Revolution started in Montreal
He had repeatedly denied the citizens of these fair colonies the Freedom of Religion
-Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence.
CHAPTER I: REVOLUTIONThe world of the 18th Century was a world defined by conflicts of European nations and their efforts to make profit off of their colonies. The Seven-years war was the defining conflict of the Century, and ended an Era, for in its aftermath, mistakes would be made from which none could recover. As a result of poor genetics and the practice of insest so common among European Royals, King George III was doomed from the start. He would be diagnosed with a mental illness in 1802, but is speculated to have had one as early as the 1760’s.
THE BURNING OF MONTREAL
THE BURNING OF MONTREAL
The Seven-years war, also known as the French and Indian War in America, started out of a border dispute in the Pennsylvania colony of Great Britain. The French held claims in Louisiana, Ohio, and Quebec. A Virginia militia, captained by a young George Washington, would fire on a French settlement in Pennsylvania. The shot he fired started a war that would set in motion a series of events that no one could predict.
The actual war itself was relatively straightforward. Britain just out-spent the French. This would cost them dearly. In the war’s aftermath, French holdings in North America evaporated. Britain took control of everything east of the Mississippi, while the Spanish took what was to the West. Quebec even received the status of a colony. Britain holdings were complete. However, debts were huge. The nation already taxed its residents 25% of their earning per capita. Then, Lord North, Prime Minister of the nation, had a genius idea on how to reduce the debt. Tax the colonies.
Before the taxation, the colonists saw themselves as the 13 colonies, plus Quebec. When Great Britain started initiating taxes targeting both groups, they began to unite themselves. The ‘United’ Colonies of America evolved into the United States of America, a hypothetical nation-state made of former British provinces. Taxes acted Sugar and common household items and eventually even religion. Non-anglicans had to pay a 60 pound yearly tax in order to not be imprisoned. Leaders from across the country, most especially New England and Quebec, formed the Sons of Liberty to attempt to free themselves from the British Empire. They just needed the perfect moment to strike. A new act to be seen as the last straw. They would get that soon enough.
The Tea Act would tax tea, and it was a 7 pence tax per pound of tea. Many Americans protested by not buying the goods, but for the Sons of Liberty, this was their opportunity. They raided 6 ships in Boston Harbor, throwing thousands of pounds into the sea. London was ticked. Americans were fired up.
From there, it was destined to turn into war. The Continental Congress of the United States met in Philadelphia. They decided they would need to plan an eventual break-away, but they knew they would need help. Only 40% of Colonists supported Independence, of those most where in New England and Quebec. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Thomas Paine used their skills in writing to attempt to change the number, and they would write a plea to Europeans. Their cries did not fall on deaf ears. France felt a sting of pain seeing what their former citizens were forced to put up with, and more than willing to get payback for the French and Indian War. Secret negotiations were set up between Philadelphia and Paris. France agreed to join the rebels if they proved that they could be a legitimate nation. Britain was busy too. The British decided to strike the rebel armories at Lexington and Concord. Capture the armories, take Samuel Adams (the leader of the Sons of Liberty) captive, and put an end to the insurgency. All went well until…
Paul Revere, a Boston native, spied out and discovered the British plan. He rode ahead of the Redcoat soldiers, hoping to alert the minutemen. The rebels assaulted the British forces in Concord, which led to new events in Philadelphia. Congress would begin to plan an independence movement, but they first needed an army. America was home to two competent military leaders, George Washington of Virginia and Benedict Arnold of Connecticut. George Washington was highly experienced in the Virginia militia and Benedict Arnold had Quebecios family, which therefore would help erase the final lines of difference between Quebec and the lower colonies. Washington and Arnold started by capturing the city of Boston, which the British never expected to hold. The British knew two cities would be crucial to keep America; Montreal and New York City. They went northward to Montreal, where they knew the rebels would only get troops from the south. They hoped to supply Halifax to launch attacks on New England and New York, with the army previously in Boston comfortably holding Montreal, the capital of Quebec. The British attacked the city and took it easily as the colonial army, the Continental Army, was not yet in Quebec. The British quickly took Quebec City, to build on what momentum they had.
Washington and Arnold planned to march on Quebec, then Montreal, and beat the forces of the British in a European style. Washington was well-educated in the rules of European warfare, but would need to abandon this later in the war. Arnold, on the other hand, knew well the terrain of the region and knew that Britain would only survive in the region if they had a city. Without one, they would wander in an unknown terrain, guaranteeing a rebel victory. Arnold knew well the army could not flat out attack Quebec and Montreal and win, but he had a plan to make sure the British could not hold the city. His plan was simple, get rid of the city. On the march through New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, and later Quebec, he formulated a plan. Wait until he was a few hours outside the city of Quebec, then ride to the home of his cousin. From there, he would get Quebec’s Sons of Liberty to burn the city and drive British troops from the ruins. Not the entire city had to be burned, just the region outside of the British barracks. While the city burnt, he would borrow his cousin's horse and get the Quebec-facing part of Montreal to appear to be on fire, giving the illusion that the British had no place to run. From there, he would get the Sons of Liberty in Montreal as well as the local minutemen to trap the British on the St. Lawrence River. Trapped on one side by water, two side by an army, and a final side by freezing Canadian woodlands in the winter, they would eliminate the entire British force in Quebec, all before breakfast. He left his camp on December 30th, 1775, and rode to Quebec City. When George Washington awoke, he was shocked to see Arnold gone, but assumed he had deserted. He would be in for a surprise when he saw the British fleeing the city, which was on fire. He later found Arnold’s Journal, detailing his plans. He could only hope that Arnold’s plan went, well, according to plan.
“I am a mastermind. Why wouldn’t Washington listen?” Benedict Arnold thought to himself as he dismounted his horse. His 2nd Cousin’s wife came out to meet Arnold.
“Oh, Benedict, why are you here? If the British see…”
“I know, I’ll be hung. However, I need to speak to your husband, or we are both doomed to a nuse.” Arnold’s sister-in-law went inside, with Benedict following.
“Benedict, what are you doing here in Quebec?”
“Official business of the Continental Army.” Arnold said sternly.
“Oh, not for friendly conversation? I see. I can’t exactly throw more tea into a harbor, I’m inland in Quebec! What do you want?” Baptiste was lighthearted, and usually Arnold was too. The conversation died down as they heard footsteps of guards outside Baptiste’s home. When the footsteps died down, Arnold delivered his message.
“Do you remember George Washington? He was appointed by Congress.”
“Yes, I’m guessing you're not too fond of having an equal?”
“He’s just outside the city, with a few thousands men.”
Baptiste was taken aback, shocked by the news.”What does that have to do with me?”
“Just your life. The army is doomed unless you help me.”
Suddenly, Baptiste grasped the gravity of the situation. “What do you need me to do?”
“Gather the members of the Sons of Liberty and burn the city.”
“WHAT?” Baptiste was shocked, but continued on. “This is our beloved city! Our families have been here since the French owned this land!”
“Shh. You must. For all one and a half million people who live on this land. They deserve better than this. They deserve to be equal all of them. From the slaves of the South to the Puritans of the North. Besides, only burn the parts in which the British take refugee. I must ride on to Montreal now”
“Yes. Liberty or Death.”
“Liberty or Death.” Arnold left and rode on to Montreal to a leader of the sons of liberty their. He accomplished what he needed there, and led a charge of soldiers against the British. The Battle of the St. Lawrence was easily won by the Patriots, but at a cost. Arnold had been shot in the head. He died in the early hours of New Years Eve, 1775. His last word where; “Liberty or Death.”
Welcome to An American Oddity; the History of the American OligarchyA.A.O. is inspired off of a few possible modifications to the 1760's, 1770's, and 1780's and how that would have effected the history of America and of the world. The American Revolution would lead to the founding of one of the greatest nations on earth, but mistakes were made. But what if things went better? What if America was controlled by several people rather than a single president? What if the Religious and Ethnic discrimination that defined early America never existed? What if Benedict Arnold never betrayed the U.S.? These, and many more, are explored and mapped out in An American Oddity; the History of the American Oligarchy. I won't focus solely on the United States, as the butterflies effect even the most distant corners of the world, such as Europe and Asia. Even regions of the world like Australia have different names. I hope you enjoy!