Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Schnozzberry, Jan 26, 2017.
Thanks! I should have a mini-update with Sullivan's death soon.
When I said soon, I guess I meant 13 days later. But, in consolation, a full update has been hammered out.
“Freedom lies in being bold.”
The Battle of Exeter would remain an American cultural element, and serve as a defining event in the young nation’s history. In all, five hundred and eleven men fought against the Massachusettsans at Exeter, with only two surviving. The first survivor, James Bardle was knocked unconscious during the early fighting, and was fortunate enough to have been knocked out in one of the few houses which were not burned down. The second survivor, was Obadiah Green, a sixteen year old inhabitant of Exeter. His account of the fighting serves as the only source for what happened when the New Hampshirites were pressed into the Folsom Tavern. According to Green’s account, after the munitions ran out, John Sullivan rallied the remainder of Exeter’s defenders and led a final charge against the Massachusettsans. At this moment, John Sullivan is reported to have shouted: “Tonight, we die free!”
The charge failed. Within minutes, the fighting was a chaotic brawl, and less than an hour following the charge, the New Hampshirites were completely defeated. The New Hampshirites were massacred, with injured and unconscious New Hampshirites being killed with bayonets or swords. Obadiah Green survived by being mistaken for a Massachusettsan soldier while he was unconscious.
For the rest of New Hampshire, the battle of Exeter shocked and horrified. But more than all, it hardened the resolve of the New Hampshirites. As the Massachusettsan army left the ruins of Exeter, marching towards Derryfield, it was plagued by a resistance of New Hampshirite guerilla fighters. In response, the Massachusettsans looted and burned farms as they marched towards Derryfield. Although apocryphal, Martin Horn is reported to have ordered that for every Massachusettsan killed, five New Hampshirites would be executed in response.
Despite the guerrilla fighting, the Massachusettsans reached Derryfield in April 12th. Upon arriving, however, the city was in chaos. The Battle of Exeter had killed a large portion of the New Hampshirite government and left the state divided between three governments: one led by John Langdon headed in Concord, one led by Joshua Bartlett headed in Dover, and a third, led by Nathaniel Peabody; which was attempting to seize Derryfield when the Massachusettsans arrived. Peabody, realizing that attempting to fight off the Massachusettsans at that moment might be a tad difficult, negotiated with Horn, offering to assist the Massachusettsans in taking Derryfield.
Much to Peabody’s surprise, Horn not only accepted the offer but proposed an alliance between the Massachusettsan Regulators and Peabody’s government. Peabody accepted and on April 13th, the combined force of the Massachusettsan army and Peabody’s militias overwhelmed the Derryfield defenders, and captured the city.
As the war in New England escalated, the South was on the verge of imploding. The slave revolt had continued to escalate following the battle of Charleston. Following the battle, South Carolina’s government collapsed, with the majority of the state government fleeing north. As news of the battle spread, large-scale slave uprisings occurred in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia. Each of these three states, as well as Maryland and Delaware entered into a state of martial law.
While the revolts were put down in Virginia and Georgia, retired brigadier general Daniel Morgan was called by the Virginian government to spearhead an attack on the revolting slaves in the Carolinas as North Carolina’s government collapsed under the tensions of the slave revolt. On April 25th, the capital of North Carolina, New Bern, was under siege by revolting slaves. Three days later, a militia contingent from Norfolk, Virginia arrived, and defeated the slave army. The intervention of the Norfolk militias would serve as the beginning of Virginia’s intervention in the deep Southern states.
However, a glimmer of hope stood for the fledgling nation. On May 14th, the first of a number of delegates arrived in Philadelphia for a convention to redesign the charter holding the states together. Over the next two weeks, the remainder of the delegates arrived. The delegates were varied, some came from the Carolinas, states descending into anarchy. Some came from the Northeast, where active war was being waged. Others, came from stable states, such as the populous Pennsylvania, the nervous New Jersey, or the reluctant to join Rhode Island. Plenty were born in the Americas, some were born in England, Scotland or elsewhere. Most were rich, but some were of more moderate means. Less than a month prior, a number of these delegates had allowed a single man to receive near ultimate power. But, with a mixture of trepidation, fear, and hopefulness, the inaugural session was held. In the eyes of those delegates who were there on the initial session, soon the death of the republic would be avoided:- or the republic would be put out of its misery.
Despicable lackspittle, here's hoping once we throw the Massholes back into the sea, we string up the traitor for good measure.
Lackspittle. Now that's a term that I haven't heard before. Don't worry, Peabody will certainly get his comeuppance.
Well looks like we have a Benedict Arnold for New Hampshire. And that massachusetts is starting to reach its limits with the common folk uniting against their 'liberation army'.
Sullivan went out like a hero, and will likely be a martyr for both the New Hampshire resistance, and the antiRegulator movement.
And now the South is bursting at the seams with the enslaved revolting. Since this is pre cotton gin , might these revolts lead to more traction for emancipation in the South?
Blast, my master plan is found out, but yeah, the slave revolt will force some anti-slavery measures to prevent a similar style issue.
I wonder what will become of South Carolina? It government has actually collapsed the survivors having fled. So while there will be some status quo seekers, I think South Carolina in general os discredited even among the slave States. Not only did they fail to either subdue the uprisings, or at least hold out as NC did, but their leaders fled to the sea rather than fighting and dying heroically like the New Hampshire men.
I find myself toying with the idea of South Carolina being dissolved as a state as its government is out of action and it spiraling into a failed state. Possibly united with the North as Carolina. Or partitioned between Georgia and NC. Likely out of the question with other states wanting no such precedent, but I imagine the idea will be spoken of. Seeds planted.
South Carolina has certainly been discredited, but it isn't going to be dismembered. After all, Massachusetts has lost their government in its entirely, and the only thing which saved North Carolina was the intervention of Virginia. With the loss of the prestige, however, South Carolina won't be able to be the firebrand that it was in real life, especially when it comes to issues involving slavery.
Also, nice maps. Hopefully, the final version will have that lovely orange blob still around and somewhat larger, although I don't think the Confederacy will ever be powerful enough to contest coast access from either the Spanish colonists or from whatever the USA ends up as.
Hi everybody. Today's a bit of a scattershot update, but I wanted to drag everything up past Washington's election as Dictator. Anywho, I'd love to hear people's opinions on this update, I'm curious what you all think.
“We shall have to teach perfidious Albion a lesson!”
—The Scarlet Pimpernel
Immediately after being elected dictator, George Washington set out to mend the nation. On May 2nd, he set in motion the assembly of an army in New York to invade Massachusetts. Washington promised to pay for the cost of the army personally due to his disappointment over the government’s failures to pay the veterans of the Revolution in a timely manner. This promise, coupled with the news of the Battle of Exeter resulted in men flocking to Washington’s army in droves. Within a week, nearly three thousand had arrived in New York, ready to fight. By the time the army actually set out, on May 16th, roughly ten thousand men, including many Revolutionary veterans, were marching under Washington’s command.
In the South, Dictator Washington faced a far larger crisis. The slave revolt was of a monumental scale, with upwards of fifty thousand slaves being active in the revolt. To make matters worse, the two states in which the revolt was primarily occurring in, North and South Carolina, were in effective anarchy. Administration in these states consisted primarily of local or slave militias enforcing order in the general area surrounding a town or plantation and much of the countryside was controlled by wandering militias of white and slave armies who tended to slaughter those of the opposing race when they were encountered.
Washington’s plan for dealing with the slave revolt was relatively simple. First, the armies of Virginia, which were already being involved in the Carolinas, were to push on and take the ports of the Carolinas. Following that, the rebels would be slowly squeezed between the Appalachians in the west, and advancing armies from the north, east and south. While the governments of North and South Carolina would be put back into power, they would have “administrative and military assistance from Virginia until there is reasonable assurance of the capacity for the states to govern themselves effectively and securely.”
For states which weren’t overrun by either Regulators or revolting slaves, the question of slavery, and how to prevent slave revolts still rang loud. In three states, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, the slave population was low enough for the states to emancipate the slaves with compensation. However, for states with large slave populations, a multitude of plans were enacted. New Jersey announced plans for gradual emancipation, with the plan being that all enslaved persons would be freed by 1825. Virginia and Maryland passed laws dictating how slaves could be treated, forbidding excessive cruelty, as well as sexual abuse against female slaves. However, not all states adopted beneficial plans. The low population of slaves in Delaware and proximity to the slave revolt led to Delaware’s government cracking down on slaves, forbidding slaves from meeting in groups exceeding five, and forbidding slaves from being housed in groups larger than ten. In South Carolina, the government in exile passed for plans to execute not just the leaders of the rebellion, as well as one in ten of the slaves who had been active in the revolt as punishment for the insurrection.
It wasn't just Washington and the states who cooking up plans; Clark Hopswood was busy planning the basis for his “Grand Revolution.” Upon hearing the news of Washington’s dictatorship, Hopswood realized that there was no likelier time for a popular revolt in the remainder of the states. As such, on May 16th, Hopswood ordered the printing of a new pamphlet, The Regulator Manifesto, which would serve as the origin of the Hopswoodist ideology of later years. In The Regulator Manifesto, Hopswood had five proposals:
All men are entitled to a self-sufficient plot of land.
Taxation is to be based on surplus production, not net production.
All excess land and material is to be held as public property.
Crime should be punished by having prisoners repay the “public debt” caused by their crimes.
All institutions are subservient to the state, which will be subservient to the people.
Following the manifesto’s publishing, Hopswood began to reorganize certain elements of the Free Regulated Republic of Massachusetts in order to comply with his five points. Point three would prove to be the point that was adopted the swiftest as on May 21st, bands of Boston city guards began to seize property from the more well off Bostonians who had stayed in the city.
Edward Price, one of the Executives of the Republic, was a well of individual whose property was to be seized in the name of the greater good. As such, he attempted to flee to Rhode Island, however the plot was found out when Price was arrested near the border. After being hauled back to Boston, on May 24th, a crowd of angry Bostonians stormed the guards who were escorting Price to the jail, and lynched him. Following that, lynching mobs rampaged across Boston, lynching a number of people, often for wearing expensive clothing, or owning a shop. Unbeknownst to the crowds, this would change history forever.
Earlier the same day, the British ship Vanguard arrived in Boston harbor. On board was British aid to the small republic, as well as the Lord St. Helens, Alleyne FitzHerbert. FitzHerbert was to serve as the British representative to the tiny republic, and to assess the republic for future aid. Since Hopswood was quite drunk, FitzHerbert met with one of the Executives; Taylor Hammond. Hammond was far more charismatic than Hopswood and the two quickly struck a deal. Britain would aid the F.R.R.
As FitzHerbert left the meeting, history hung in the balance. The British agreement to aid Massachusetts could tip the balance and allow the Republic to successfully secede. However, as FitzHerbert walked out, a lynching mob spotted him and as he was well dressed, he was mistaken for a rich Bostonian. The crowd attacked him and dragged him off to be hung. Hammond saw the crowd grab FitzHerbert and ran out of the meeting hall, trying to stop the lynching. In the commotion, Hammond wasn’t recognized by the crowd and alongside FitzHerbert, Hammond was hung by the crowd. The Republic was eating itself from the inside out.
Unless a merical happens, I do not see the F.R.R surviving long.
Well the FRR done goofed. They nit only killed the diplomat but their own politician trying to do his job. When word of this gets out not only foreign governments, but many Americans will regard it as nothing more than violent barbarians I expect.
To be fair, many Americans already viewed them as such.
Yes but now there won't even be people thinking they can play them as pawns in the political games. A pawn who bites the hand that would move it is not to be used, only knocked from the board as soon as possible.
Anyway, any chance Britain will retaliate? Such a flagrant and brutal murder of a diplomat is surely a slight to the Empire's honor.
You got that right. The only real thing that even allowed Massachusetts to become as powerful as it is was luck. Now their luck has ran out, and they have Washington breathing down their necks.
Certainly Hopswood, the Regulators and such will be regarded of barbarians. What makes the situation with the F.R.R.M. even more important is how it could change the perception of republics themselves.
They certainly aren't going to give Hopswood asylum, but any actual proper response won't happen, as the FRR will be destroyed before the British response could arrive.
Huzzah, I'm updating slightly more frequently. This update has to do with the early Constitutional Convention. If you read deeply, my Master Plan (trademark pending) is being directly hinted at for the first time. At least, except for the name of this thread, which is a dead giveaway.
"There began to arise a class of men in the community who gave very serious apprehensions to the advocates for a Republican form of government."
The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia had from its getgo been split on how to fix the Union. While none of the assembled delegates seriously believed that the current government was equipped to solve the current insurrections or any future ones, the debate over what was to be done to reform the government was heavily divided. Although the convention only achieved quorum on May 23rd and by the end of May, five plans for a new government had arisen all with variable degrees of support.
The first plan was the Virginia Plan which proposed an executive and judiciary branch and a central unicameral legislature The legislature would be directly elected by the population of the states in proportion to their population. Proposed by James Madison, the Virginia Plan was the first proposed, and saw support from the large states of Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well as New Hampshire’s delegates.
Following the Virginia Plan was the Hamilton-Gorham Plan, which was an even larger departure from the current system. The Hamilton-Gorham Plan called for the abandonment of the republic and the establishment of a centralized monarchical government in the style of Great Britain. While such a plan would have been utterly rejected only months prior, the H-G Plan saw support from the states which had suffered the most from the current instability: Massachusetts, and the Carolinas.
The third plan, proposed in reaction to the H-G Plan, was the New Jersey Plan. It called for a weak executive branch with two executives, a judicial branch, and a legislature of equal proportion for all the states. It was also the only plan which called for the revision of the Articles of Confederation, rather than an abandonment. The New Jersey Plan saw support from the small states of New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, Rhode Island and from the informal representation from Maine.
Charles Pinckney stepped up to propose the fourth plan. The Pinckney Plan also established a judiciary, and an executive. Like the New Jersey Plan, the executive was not a single person, but a five person executive committee. The legislature was supposed to be bicameral, with the lower house having a delegate for every ten thousand citizens of the republic, and the upper house being elected by the lower house. The Pinckney Plan saw support from Georgian William Pierce, and Pinckney himself.
The fifth plan, championed by Edmund Randolph was called the National Plan and called for the establishment of an executive who was to be elected for life, and a legislature elected based on population. The legislature under this plan could override individual state laws if the state was deemed to be suffering under “extreme incompetence.” No judiciary was designated in the National Plan. The National Plan saw support from New York, Connecticut, and the remainder of the Georgian delegates.
The debate over which plan would be the most successful was heavily influenced by the events which were unfolding in Massachusetts and the Carolinas. The news of The Regulator Manifesto, and the lynching of FitzHerbert and Hammond seriously bolstered the Virginia Plan, Hamilton-Gorham Plan, and the National Plan. Even prior to the insurrections, many had fears over the system of limited government, and the chaos of Regulator Massachusetts justified them. After all, if a limited government failed in Massachusetts, how could it work for the whole union?
The confederation style of the New Jersey or Pinckney Plans was also losing ground. The sheer incapacity for the federal government to respond to the uprisings in Massachusetts and the Carolinas left many to conclude that only two options were left for the union. Either strengthen the federal government, or divide the nation into smaller and more vigorous nations. None knew this more than those at the Constitutional Convention. Although never said in words, many felt that the Convention represented the last potential for a united America permeated the Convention.
While the Convention debated, the fate of the union was actually being decided nearly two hundred miles from Philadelphia., In the small town of Hillsdale, New York, George Washington’s army was preparing to march into Massachusetts. The army had left New York on May 16th, and had arrived in Hillsdale on May 24th, and took a respite due to the weather. In the early morning of May 29th, Washington’s Army marched from Hillsdale and crossed the border into Massachusetts. Later that day, the Union Army reached Great Barrington and defeated the small Regulator militia located in the city. The Union reconquest had begun, and with it, the fate of the whole American nation hung in the balance.
I see your master plan.
No pressure though.
Separate names with a comma.