George the III Dies Before the American Revolution

Well, we know a george the Third was not the most stable or healthy of monarchs (and neither would his son). So lets say that due to health reasons George Number Three passes on a few years before the American Revolution takes off. Naturally this would lead to a Regency for George the IV was not of age at this time. How would butterflies affect the upcoming colonial disputes?
 
Last edited:
Only a few years before the revolution? It depends greatly on who takes the reigns of the government. If William Pitt has recovered from his health issues he would be the best man to avert the revolution, as he sympathized somewhat with the colonist plight. If Lord North ends up in charge, it might pan out similar to OTL. Any solution short of de facto independence for the colonies isn't enough at this point; it's doubtful whether or not any prime minister could force that through Parliament. The revolution ends up happening in a similar manner to OTL.

The war effort could be improved tremendously. Granted, British leadership OTL was pretty bad as far down as individual army commanders, so even if Gage/Howe/Clinton/etc don't end up in charge, someone similar will. Whichever politician ends up in charge hopefully wouldn't pick Germane as Minister of War, so the British forces in the colonies are a lot more coordinated. The Revolution could be put down before France intervenes.
 
Only a few years before the revolution? It depends greatly on who takes the reigns of the government. If William Pitt has recovered from his health issues he would be the best man to avert the revolution, as he sympathized somewhat with the colonist plight.
The archmercantalist talking unfavorable about the colonies being allowed to manufacture so much as a hobnail or a horse shoe - even allowing for 18th century rhetoric being into exaggeration - is not someone I'd deem sympathetic.

" "Pitt went on to announce that the Stamp Act must be repealed 'absolutely, totally, immediately' and at the same time accompanied by a statement of 'sovereign authority over the colonies . . in as strong terms as can be devised and be made to extend to every point of legislation whatsoever - that we may bind their trade, confine their manufactures, and exercise every power whatsoever except that of taking their money out of their pockets without their consent.'

Here was a fine obfuscation. Was not binding their trade by custom duties another way of taking money out of their pockets without their consent? IF Parliament had supreme legislative power, how cold taxation not be 'part of that sovereign power'? Grenville, in making these points, refused to accept the distinction between external and internal taxation. Pitt was a firm mercantilist and his reply was unequivocal: 'Let it be forever ascertained; taxation is theirs, commercial regulation is ours.' His distinction left others unconvinced. 'If you understand the difference,' wrote Lord George Germain to a friend, 'it is more than I do, but I assure you it was very fine when I heard it.'""

If Lord North ends up in charge, it might pan out similar to OTL. Any solution short of de facto independence for the colonies isn't enough at this point; it's doubtful whether or not any prime minister could force that through Parliament. The revolution ends up happening in a similar manner to OTL.
What point are we talking about? Even in 1775 we see the Olive Branch Petition.

The war effort could be improved tremendously. Granted, British leadership OTL was pretty bad as far down as individual army commanders, so even if Gage/Howe/Clinton/etc don't end up in charge, someone similar will. Whichever politician ends up in charge hopefully wouldn't pick Germane as Minister of War, so the British forces in the colonies are a lot more coordinated. The Revolution could be put down before France intervenes.
Clinton was not a bad general, although I agree on Gage and Howe.

Problem is, the American leadership isn't hot stuff either.
 
Could still matter though. Iirc, from about 1778 onwards Lord North wanted to resign, but the King kept urging him to stay on. If a Regency lets him go earlier, then probably the war ends earlier. This could have all sorts of butterflies if Britain, say, goes on the defensive vis a vis the colonies in 1779, and Clinton or Cornwallis gets sent to take New Orleans from Spain. So Britain loses the colonies on the east coast, but gains Louisiana in lieu. This could get interesting.
 
Clinton was not a bad general, although I agree on Gage and Howe.
Howe was actually quite a good general, by the standards of the times, but (according to what I've read in acouple of books, anyway) was a Whig who had enough sympathy for the colonists' cause to hope for a negotiated settlement and therefore kept to less aggressive policies that he might otherwise have tried (and refrained from the 'fear'-based methods for suppressing rebellions) because he didn't want to force them into irrevocable hostility...
 
Howe was actually quite a good general, by the standards of the times, but (according to what I've read in acouple of books, anyway) was a Whig who had enough sympathy for the colonists' cause to hope for a negotiated settlement and therefore kept to less aggressive policies that he might otherwise have tried (and refrained from the 'fear'-based methods for suppressing rebellions) because he didn't want to force them into irrevocable hostility...
Had Howe been facing something where manuever was the primary tool of war, I would agree. But his failure to - for example - crush Washington in 1776 was a serious failure of generalship from the perspective of being equal to what was needed to deal with the American Revolution.

I'm not sure how much of that was over-caution and how much that was being a sympathetic Whig, but if we judge his generalship by the results, its amazing how little the cause of His Majesty was advanced by the vast (by British standards) forces at his disposal.
 
Had Howe been facing something where manuever was the primary tool of war, I would agree. But his failure to - for example - crush Washington in 1776.
Crush Washington's rmy and you might kill Washington -- or, at least, discredit him amongst the rebels -- in the process... and he was seen as one of the [relative] moderates with whom it was thought negotiation might still be possible at that stage...
 
Hmm. So it would not have much bearing on the American Revolutionary War? What would have bearing?

So much bearing that it prevents the ARW and causes the Sons of Liberty to have an ideological split where one the Sons of Revolution pursue a more extreme and revolutionary way to bring a out American Independence eventually adopting Marxist Rhetoric. While the others become the Sons of Democracy and pursue ProAmerican based policies through a more democratic system within the Colonial Government and achieve a sort of niche in local politics where forming a Independent Republic through the democratic process is secondary.
 
Crush Washington's rmy and you might kill Washington -- or, at least, discredit him amongst the rebels -- in the process... and he was seen as one of the [relative] moderates with whom it was thought negotiation might still be possible at that stage...
If that's a serious concern, to the point of ignoring whether or not crushing Washington's army would assist in putting down the rebellion - then I think this is a form of the infamous T word.

Consciously or not.

Malta Shah: Marxist rhetoric would flourish like orchids in Archangel in the conditions of the American Revolution. Maybe even worse.
 
If that's a serious concern, to the point of ignoring whether or not crushing Washington's army would assist in putting down the rebellion - then I think this is a form of the infamous T word.

Consciously or not.

Malta Shah: Marxist rhetoric would flourish like orchids in Archangel in the conditions of the American Revolution. Maybe even worse.
It wouldn't be during, it would take time and loss for frustrations to build within the organization itself and the Marxist rhetoric was not even around during the period.

I imagine the demographics of the SOL would or at least could change during the time under British Administration, and it would largely depend on how this version of America develops. The OTL version was largely started by middle class lawyers, printers, and tradesmen-people whose professions were largely threatened by British control. In the event of a Brit America the next most likely demographic would be Settlers and those interested in expanding settlement if the British retain policies cramping on Colonial expansion which could lead to the group shifting westward and advocating founding a new Republic on the frontier (ala feelings during the Burr period and could even lead to deals with Spain). At some point things would likely become similar to a gilded age and its possible the SOL could shift again toward industrial workers.

Though at least in my head at some point during this the SOL would split between those who want to "go legit" and those with a grudge that want to continue the struggle. Similar to Socialist Democratic groups that drop the Marxist-Lenin line or when other political-social organizations make a trend to government where they develop and retain a "militant arm".
 
I imagine the demographics of the SOL would or at least could change during the time under British Administration, and it would largely depend on how this version of America develops. The OTL version was largely started by middle class lawyers, printers, and tradesmen-people whose professions were largely threatened by British control. In the event of a Brit America the next most likely demographic would be Settlers and those interested in expanding settlement if the British retain policies cramping on Colonial expansion which could lead to the group shifting westward and advocating founding a new Republic on the frontier (ala feelings during the Burr period and could even lead to deals with Spain). At some point things would likely become similar to a gilded age and its possible the SOL could shift again toward industrial workers.
I'm really not sure why those groups would be the ones with the problem with British rule. British rule's "oppressiveness' such as it was at all applies to the middle class lawyers printers etc. - John Yeoman not so much.

And industrial workers would require American industry, which is another story.
 
I'm really not sure why those groups would be the ones with the problem with British rule. British rule's "oppressiveness' such as it was at all applies to the middle class lawyers printers etc. - John Yeoman not so much.

And industrial workers would require American industry, which is another story.
It would require speculation on the shifting demographics and who has beef with "The Man" at the time. If we imagine along the lines of Kentucky OTL it would be a lack of representation in the Legislature, say Kentucky wants to secede from Virginia but this ATL the legislature (or perhaps the laws of the Post-Colonial-Britain Deal favors colonies/dependencies/whatever that remain large) don't allow them and whatever Reorganization of the colonies that allows for British rule does not allow for Parliment to intercede so the settlers go for secession/independence. Or perhaps Parliment invalidates land speculation deals previously made on the frontier or lands West of the Appalachains allow settlers but they do not recieve the same rights as those back east or forbidden to settle on Native lands and are forcibly removed or etc.

I dont see why an American industry that was already developing would not be.
 
It would require speculation on the shifting demographics and who has beef with "The Man" at the time. If we imagine along the lines of Kentucky OTL it would be a lack of representation in the Legislature, say Kentucky wants to secede from Virginia but this ATL the legislature (or perhaps the laws of the Post-Colonial-Britain Deal favors colonies/dependencies/whatever that remain large) don't allow them and whatever Reorganization of the colonies that allows for British rule does not allow for Parliment to intercede so the settlers go for secession/independence.
Why would they want to be independent from the British Empire because they have a beef with the House of Burgesses?

Or perhaps Parliment invalidates land speculation deals previously made on the frontier or lands West of the Appalachains allow settlers but they do not recieve the same rights as those back east or forbidden to settle on Native lands and are forcibly removed or etc.
I suppose that's possible.

I dont see why an American industry that was already developing would not be.
Mercantalism? American industry in the 1770s is pretty poor.
 
And industrial workers would require American industry, which is another story.
Workers in the shipbuilding industry in Boston were actually one of the most radical factions in the Sons of Liberty.

This blogpost discusses a brawl between some ropewalk workers and British soldiers in 1770.
 
This could have all sorts of butterflies if Britain, say, goes on the defensive vis a vis the colonies in 1779, and Clinton or Cornwallis gets sent to take New Orleans from Spain. So Britain loses the colonies on the east coast, but gains Louisiana in lieu. This could get interesting.
I would absolutely bet on de Galvez wiping the floor with either Clinton or Cornwallis. One of the best generals on either side, and with access to American reinforcements. At best the British are stuck in New Orleans until they die of disease and have to pull out.

I also really don't see a potential peace whereby the Americas go independent but the Brits gain Louisiana; at best I could see a more favorable border between British Canada and Spanish Louisiana.
 
I think it would depend partly on whether George IV liked to hang around Charles James Fox because he actually liked him, or just because his father hated him. If George IV latches on to the Tories immediately after taking the throne, things would just play out as OTL.

And despite Elfwine's great dislike of William Pitt, I'm pretty confident the war could have never broken out at any time he was prime minister. To make the war happen you need a Tory-ish prime minister who is willing to push the issue with the colonists and not get spooked (like the Duke of Grafton did) when it becomes increasingly obvious that that violence is going to break out. In other words, someone like Lord North.

Also, lol at Marxist Sons of Liberty. I'm sorry, but you're at least a century too early there.
 
And despite Elfwine's great dislike of William Pitt, I'm pretty confident the war could have never broken out at any time he was prime minister. To make the war happen you need a Tory-ish prime minister who is willing to push the issue with the colonists and not get spooked (like the Duke of Grafton did) when it becomes increasingly obvious that that violence is going to break out. In other words, someone like Lord North.
I'm not entirely sure about Tory-ish (I differ to your knowledge of Tories vs. Whigs being far greater than mine), but you do need that part (underlined) in the PM.

Someone whose response to colonial hostility is "teach 'em a lesson they won't soon forget", which takes a certain eagerness or ignorance that I'm not going to say Pitt could stomach.

I'll happily call Pitt an arrogant mercantilist-imperialist bastard (and question how much he cared about the colonists being treated as they were as distinct from being a critic of the men in power because he wasn't in power), but he was not a great fool. The sort of men who lead Britain into this mess were definitely that.

North specifically was, at best, trying to please King George. No way in hell is Pitt compromising his judgment over that - whatever else he would do.
 
I think Marxist rhetoric is dependent on the second Industrial Revolution, to be honest. I certainly don't see the revolutionary 13 Colonies as a likely place and time for it to arise.
Well, Im no expert on Socialism, but their are other forms of Socialism then a focus on the Industrial Worker. Take the Agrarians and the majority of the Russian Peasentry who believed feverently that the lands would be divided unto the village collectives and the coming of a messianic figure who would facilitate this in favor of taking the land from big landowners and the nobility and that it was their right to it. One could make a connection with this and the view by the colonists that would be Manifest Destiny.
 
Top