Death of a Republic (A monarchical USA timeline)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Schnozzberry, Jan 26, 2017.

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How is the timeline so far?

  1. It's good

    132 vote(s)
    66.0%
  2. It's ok

    44 vote(s)
    22.0%
  3. It's bad

    2 vote(s)
    1.0%
  4. It's really bad

    1 vote(s)
    0.5%
  5. It's gone to the Alien Space Bats

    21 vote(s)
    10.5%
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  1. Threadmarks: 1. The Beginning of the Beginning

    Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Hello everyone, I don't know what quite to say for an introduction as this is my first post here. Anywho, I've been tinkering with a timeline for a while, so I figured writing it up here would be a good idea. Any and all criticism is welcome. Enough blabbering, here's the timeline.


    "We are now in a state of Anarchy and Confusion bordering on Civil War."
    —James Warren

    In late 1786, the newly-founded United States of America was in peril. Unity between the states was slowly slipping, the Congress of the Confederation was barely capable of assembling a quorum to hold sessions, and a growing number of citizens began to believe the country should be divided, so as to establish stronger and more stable countries. In no state was the situation more dire than Massachusetts.

    Unlike many of the other states, militant protests against high taxes and corrupt courts were unable to be halted by the Massachusetts state government. On September 5th, Governor James Bowdoin called the militia to take arms against the protesters; the militia refused to assist, as many militiamen were allies of the protesters. The protesters, who called themselves Regulators, began to grow increasingly bold, shutting down courts across Western Massachusetts. By late September, a leader had emerged amongst the Regulators: Captain Daniel Shays, a former Revolutionary war soldier. Under Shays leadership, an army of nearly five hundred Regulators assembled in Springfield to shut down the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

    On September 26th, when the Court assembled in Springfield, William Shepard, the local militia leader, was able to turn out three hundred men to defend the court. In light of this, Daniel Shays ordered his men to demonstrate, rather than try and shut the courts down. However, a single shot was fired by an unknown Regulator, which struck Shepard, killing him instantly. Following the shot the Regulators and militia clashed, with the Regulators defeating the militia and capturing Springfield. As word of the Regulator victory spread, farmers across Massachusetts begin rallying behind Shays and the Regulators. By the end of September the cities of Northampton and Petersham were also taken over by Regulators.

    News of the defeat of the Springfield militia by the Regulators reached Boston early on the 28th of September. Amongst the elite of Boston panic began to set in, which led Governor Bowdoin to draw up a Riot Act which suspended Habeas Corpus, ordered the arrest and execution of “any and all persons” committing acts of treason, and forbade speech critical of the government of Massachusetts. Unfortunately for Bowdoin, the Riot Act only further fueled the Regulators’ cause and made many within Boston sympathetic to the Regulator movement.

    By October 15th, the majority of Western Massachusetts had fallen under the control of the Regulators. This lead to Secretary of War Henry Knox calling for the states to raise militias to help put down the rebellion. According to Knox:

    “It is not just Massachusetts that is in danger of utter destruction, but it is the entirety of America that shall be cast over the brink should this crisis not be abated.”

    However, on November 7th, the Continental Congress voted on whether or not to take action and five states: Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina and Virginia voted against the proposed actions blocking any action by the Continental Congress.

    The same day that the Continental Congress refused to take action, the Regulator Army which was now numbering over four thousand, marched into Concord, and seized the city without a single life being lost. With the fall of Concord, the Regulators were only two days march from Boston. When the news of the loss at Concord reached Governor Bowdoin, the Governor fled to Rhode Island. The following day, riots broke out across Boston and a mob led by one Clark Hopswood seized the State House of Massachusetts, with Hopswood proclaiming himself the leader of Boston. Two days later, on November 10th, Hopswood sent an invitation to the Regulator Army, granting them control over Boston. With the surrender of Boston the Regulators controlled the vast majority of Massachusetts, but the red horse had yet to finish his ride across the commonwealth.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  2. Achaemenid Rome Iron Age City-State

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    Great start. This better end up with an Emperor.
     
  3. Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Well, there certainly will be something along those lines coming soon, although I won't speak too much further (yet).
     
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  4. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    I'll be following this with great interest.
     
  5. The_Shortline_Gamer_KSP Railfanning on the Moon

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    Well this is going to be interesting
     
  6. Threadmarks: 2. The General and the Captain

    Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Hi everybody, sorry about this being a bit slow, but college has kept me busy for the past few days. Anywho, here's part two, Regulator boogaloo.



    “I hold it that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing”
    —Thomas Jefferson

    Following the Regulators' triumph at Concord and Boston, panic began to set in amongst the higher classes of the United States especially in the north. Similar protests had already occurred throughout several northern states. Although the more militant protesters in other states had already been put down, the same issues which drove the Regulators in Massachusetts: inflation, corruption and overly high taxes had not been solved in the rest of the Northern States. This caused some of the Northern States to begin enacting Riot Acts in a manner not dissimilar to how Massachusetts had. Some states, such as Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, were capable of keeping a stable situation. However, New York and New Hampshire saw the resurgence of militant protests against taxation and corruption. By the end of 1786, protests in New York were beginning to shut down courts in the northern parts of the state.

    On November 13th, Clark Hopswood, the self-proclaimed “Leader of Boston” met with Daniel Shays and Job Shattuck, the leaders of the Regulator army. Hopswood believed that the Regulator movement was the second phase of the American Revolution and that the Regulators would go on to liberate the whole of the Americas from tyranny. While both Shattuck and Shays disagreed with Hopswood on the idea of liberating the whole of the Americas from tyranny, Shattuck agreed with Hopswood that Massachusetts represented the next stage of the American Revolution. Shattuck believed that Massachusetts should leave the other states and go on to found a nation free of corruption and tyranny. Daniel Shays, on the other hand, believed that the Regulator’s duty was to make peace with the government should it agree to reasonable demands. After all, the Regulator revolt was born out of issues involving high taxation and the acceptance of paper money; it was not a revolutionary movement in Shays' eyes. While the three men parted in peace, the leadership of the Regulators would soon be thrown into chaos. On November 20th, an army of nearly three thousand New York militiamen led by General Benjamin Lincoln crossed the border into Massachusetts. Two days later, the New Yorker army met a smaller force of four hundred Regulators in the town of Great Barrington. After a brief skirmish, the Regulator army scattered.

    The news of the Battle of Great Barrington drove the leadership of the Regulators apart. Shattuck refused to cooperate with Shays, due to Shays’ plan of attempting to negotiate before attacking the New Yorker army. As such, the Regulators were split into two groups. The force loyal to Shays, numbering thirty-two hundred, marched on to meet Lincoln’s army. Shattuck’s forces, numbering near four thousand, remained in Boston, planning to hunker down for the winter and wait for warmer weather to resume military operations. Following the split, Hopswood once again met with Shattuck, attempting to leverage his way into the leadership of the Regulators. Shattuck was hesitant; Hopswood was neither known for trustworthiness nor competency. However, Shattuck also realized that he would need the support of the Bostonians and Hopswood’s ideals were growing more popular in the city due to a pamphlet called The Grand Revolution, which had been circulating for the past week. As such Shattuck allowed Hopswood to serve as an advisor.

    Early in the morning of December 6th, the New Yorker army reached the town of Springfield and captured the city without conflict. Later the same day, the Regulator army approached the town. As Lincoln marshaled his troops, a single rider broke free from the Regulators and rode forward under a white flag. Much to General Lincoln’s surprise, the rider was not a messenger coming to either demand or offer surrender, but rather Daniel Shays himself. Shays hoped that he could negotiate acceptable terms for peace, and avert the bloodletting which would certainly fall upon the Regulators should peace not come. Lincoln accepted Shays' offer to negotiate and the two met within the Springfield courthouse. As day turned into night, the negotiations went smoothly. John Cramer, an advisor to General Lincoln, wrote that:

    “The General and the Captain [Shays] talked through the night, at times, the negotiations were fierce, but they always remained civil. Often, the negotiations would be interrupted by stories of past endeavors, and triumphs. As a general whole, they were merry, and had one not known of either before this day, one would have assumed that they were old friends, sharing in drink and debate.”

    Two days later, the negotiations ended. Under the agreement, the heavy taxation would be ended, the state would accept inflated paper money for payment of taxes, Bowdoin would remain governor, and the Riot Act would remain in effect. While Lincoln and Shays had created terms which were acceptable to both, they still had to get an agreement with the rest of the Regulators and the government of Massachusetts. On December 9th, messengers were dispatched to bring the peace terms to Governor Bowdoin, the Massachusetts government in exile, and the remainder of the Regulator leadership in Boston. When the news reached Bowdoin and the Massachusetts government, it was accepted by both with Bowdoin claiming that “Order is within our grasp, I pray that we shall keep a firm grip upon it.”

    When the news of the peace terms reached Shattuck, he was furious. While the peace terms had solved most of the abuses, it allowed Bowdoin and the Riot Acts to remain in place. Shattuck refused to agree to the terms and publicly denounced Shays. Hopswood seized upon this opportunity and inspired by The Grand Revolution pamphlets which were circulating in Boston, wrote a new pamphlet Our Republic. Our Republic advocated for the establishment of an independent republic of Massachusetts led by Regulator ideals. It proved a very popular opinion in the areas controlled by Shattuck’s Regulators. As 1786 came to a close, Shattuck met with Hopswood once more to determine whether or not the Regulators should establish their own republic. Hopswood, ever the revolutionary, was able to convince the reluctant Shattuck to move towards the establishment of an independent Massachusetts Republic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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  7. Achaemenid Rome Iron Age City-State

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    Good update. Now I'm wondering if "Death of a Republic" refers to the plan for an independent Massachusetts Republic, or the entire Union.
     
  8. Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    I got to keep people on their toes, after all. The title can't be a 100% dead giveaway. After all, who even says the Republic which dies is in the USA?
     
  9. Codae Well-Known Member

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    And now I see why the event hasn't been called "Shays's Rebellion": if the man himself is disowned before the interesting stuff gets going, why should he be the one remembered historiographically?
     
  10. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    Is this an actual Jefferson quote.....because if not I can totally see him saying this.

    A very interesting POD though
     
  11. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    This timeline is wicked good man! Can't wait to read moah!

    I believe it is a real T.J qoute, and if not,


    "Every once in a while the tree of liberty most be soaked in the blood of tyrants" quote speaks for itself.
     
  12. The_Shortline_Gamer_KSP Railfanning on the Moon

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    If Shattucks and Hopswoods plan of an independent Massachusetts goes ahead, I can see why this would prompt other states to secede and form there own countries as well. I think most of us here think that Hapswoods plan of liberating the entire Continent from European control, and forming some great North American Nation as a little bit far fetched.

    One question I would like to ask is about the status of the western territories of the United States at this point, as this was the time in American history in where a lot of those territories where being contested between the different states. Such as the Connecticut Western Reserve, and what would become the Northwest Territory. When the states go to secede they will try to claim all those western territories, and that might cause a lot of tension between the new independent states. But I might be getting too ahead of myself.
     
  13. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    Those border disputes and some of those borders (*cough* Virginia *cough*) border on the obscene and are almost grotesquely obese. Considering Maryland and Virginia almost went to war over which side of the river began the border the conflict in the west will surely come about as a war at some point or another.
     
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  14. ManintheField Banned

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    The Regulators weren't interested in the Continental dollar being accepted for taxes, they wanted the state of Massachusetts to issue new paper money which would be acceptable for taxes, like many other states had. In fact, the reason that the revolt in Massachusetts got so serious but kind of sputtered out elsewhere was entirely because MA was kind of an odd man out on the state government's refusal to issue new paper money. Rhode Island had done it, for example, and experienced relatively little unrest.

    They would also have been happy with making the existing democratic town governments more important in the overall state government and probably a move of the capital to a more central location.

    They weren't really drastically radical, despite the fears of the contemporary elite. No more radical than they and their fathers were when they did the same thing to the British a decade earlier, anyway.
     
  15. Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Well, this certainly does come to a head soon. I've got one more update focused on the Regulators/Hopswood, then the rest of the country gets some attention proper.


    You're right on the paper money not being the Continental Dollar. For some reason, I just interpreted it out of my notes, which just say paper money. As for the differences in the Regulators, the Regulators proper are those which followed Shays, while those in Boston are influenced by Hopswood and his radical ideas. They'll get a name change soon enough.

    EDIT: Future me here, from when the Regulators are defeated. I lied about the name change, despite actually planning on doing so.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
  16. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    Are Hopswood's ideas more federalist or Centralist? A unitary Republic or a grand confederacy?
     
  17. Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Hopswood believes in a confederation. The sole problem is that he believes he will be the supreme ruler of the whole schabang.
     
  18. thezerech Український Гетьман

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    Something tells me we aren't going to be seeing a Hopswood led Great Confederation of the Americas any time soon.


    Some more personal insight into Hopswood would be appreciated though. As of right now, we don't know so much about him, and so far his actions have completely changed the United States as we know it.
     
  19. Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    This is a good point. I'm going to write a small biographical bit on Hopswood, to shed a bit of light on him.
     
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  20. Threadmarks: 3. Who is Hopswood?

    Schnozzberry Secretly illiterate Donor

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    Hi everyone, this is a bit of a miniature update, with a bit of info on Mr. Clark Hopswood. The proper update should be up Tuesday, if college doesn't interfere.


    “You can't stop people printing what they want to print.”
    —Alan Sugar

    Clark Hopswood’s name should by all rights have faded into history. He was short, only five feet, one inch tall, and his left arm was withered from birth. Most descriptions of Hopswood reveal that he was also an excellent writer, if a somewhat less successful orator; his voice was high pitched, and often slurred due to a nearly perpetual state of drunkenness Hopswood maintained. Despite having been born to a relatively rich merchant family, Hopswood struggled economically having drank his inheritance away by the age of 35.

    In 1770 at the age of 37, Hopswood became a printer and ran a fairly successful printing business in Boston. After reading (and printing bootleg copies of) Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, Hopswood became an earnest supporter of the independence movement, publishing an irregular pro-independence newspaper The Plain Truth. Following the American victory in the Revolution, The Plain Truth continued to be published, advocating for America to expand and “Liberate the People of the American continent; the White Man from Europe, the Negro from his Masters, and the Savage from Himself.” When the Regulator movement began to grow in popularity, Hopswood began to promote the Regulators with The Plain Truth. Luck struck Hopswood on November 8th, 1786, when in the early hours of the morning Hopswood, relatively sober from having spent the night writing, rather than drinking, happened to walk by a group of protesters while going home for the day. Seeing the crowd had no direction, Hopswood seized the initiative and convinced the crowd to occupy the State House of Massachusetts. From this point forward, Hopswood became an instrumental part of the war in Massachusetts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2018
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