If Buttercups Buzz'd After the Bee: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire

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Hello everyone! So, those of you who read my timeline Death of a Republic probably remember that I put that timeline on an indefinite hiatus because of stress over personal problems. The situation is broadly speaking resolved and faster than expected so I was able to resume work on Death of a Republic. Before I came back to it I had a lot of time to just think about things though, and I just kept getting more disappointed with certain elements in Death of a Republic, so I've decided to reboot it. (Also, I can give it a cool name this time around, Death of a Republic was quite literally just the first thing that came to my mind when making the first post.) Don't expect it to toe the line of the original however, things should change pretty quickly which I hope helps.

Also, I plan on adding a song instead of a quote to go with the update. I almost always listen to music while writing, and I wanted to add in music somehow. Most songs either have a lyric that fits well, or just generally fits the mood. I just think it's kinda fun, and if people like the idea I might do something more special with it at some point, but at least right now it's just for fun.

Anywho, before I get to the first update, I got to drop a general disclaimer that is mostly intended for people not familiar with alternate history, and is mostly meant to try and prevent the same sort of personal issue that bit me in the rear last time from happening again.

This is a work of fiction, and the usage of objectionable elements and language is NOT an endorsement of them by the author.

And now, on with the timeline!
Chapter 1

If buttercups buzz'd after the bee,
If boats were on land,
Churches on sea,
If ponies rode men,
And if grass ate the corn,
And if cats should be chased
Into holes by the mouse,
If the mammas sold their babies
To the Gypsies for half a crown,
If summer were spring,
And the other way 'round,
Then all the world would be upside down.

Government forces fleeing the Regulators at the Battle of Springfield

Narration Link

A most Abhorrent Violence: The Death of the First American Republic by August H. Drake. USA, 2037.

By 1786, the First Republic of the United States of America had survived independence for a decade, and peacetime for three years. But all indication was that it wouldn’t survive to see another. The governing body of the Republic, the Congress of the Confederation, could scarcely assemble a quorum, tensions between the states threatened to destabilize the frail Confederation, and internal unrest in several of the states was mounting.

Even as a convention was planned to revise the Articles into a more functional form, many across the Union were calling for the establishment of two or more smaller and more vibrant republics. But, in Massachusetts events which would save the Union – and kill the Republic were in motion.

Massachusetts had been bound for internal issues since the end of the Revolutionary War. The state’s government was dominated by the eastern mercantile elite who sought hard currency for debts and taxation. With hard currency being difficult to come by due to shortages throughout the whole Union, the economic situation gravely harmed the poorer classes. One particularly hard-hit group were returning veterans from the War for Independence who had fallen into debt during their service but had found little or no pay coming for their time in the army. Under Governor John Hancock, tensions had been kept low as Hancock’s administration refused to enforce hard currency requirements, however when Hancock retired in 1785, it set the stage for his political rival James Bowdoin to become governor. (1)


James Bowdoin​

In contrast to Hancock, Bowdoin re-instituted hard currency demands, raised taxes, and began demanding back taxes which Hancock had neglected. His administration’s harshness led to crisis in the state as more and more of Massachusetts’ poor found themselves evicted or threatened with being thrown in debtors’ prison. Finally, on August 29th, 1786, the situation finally came to a head in Northampton as protesters shut down the local Inferior Court. A second court in Worcester was shut down as well on September 5th. Troublingly, the local militia refused to turn out due to the militiamen being sympathetic towards the protesters.

Through the month, the situation continued to simmer, but on September 26th, it finally erupted into the first bout of violence. The city of Springfield was to be the site of a meeting by the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, and the protesters, whom had begun to call themselves Regulators, decided to shut down this court as well. On September 26th, three hundred Regulator militiamen commanded by Captain Daniel Shays and Captain Luke Day sat on the outskirts of the town, drilling and preparing for reinforcements. Defending the court were three hundred government militiamen, identifiable by white cloth adorning their hats, and commanded by Major General William Shepard.


General Shepard​

Riding a horse through an assembly of his men, Shepard planned to speak to them shortly after lunchtime, but fate would not allow him to do so. A single shot cracked through the air and struck Shepard’s horse which proceeded to rise and throw Shepard. The General fell and broke his neck, perishing near immediately. Legends abound about who actually shot Shepard and why. The most commonly accepted story, which Daniel Shays and Luke Day would repeat at various points was that a young, untrained Regulator accidentally shot by mistake. But, claims of a Regulator assassin, some unknown figure who disappeared into the neighboring woods, or even an assassin sent by Bowdoin to give justification for harsh laws to crack down on the protests have been floated by historians. (2) Regardless of who shot Shepard, the event sparked a clash between white-capped government forces and the Regulators.

Sixteen minutes past one o-clock, the Battle of Springfield came to an end with a Regulator victory. The defeat of the government forces would lead to a general uprising occurring across the whole of Massachusetts as thousands began to flock to the Regulator’s banner. The fall of Springfield had another grave effect: the Springfield Armory fell into the Regulator’s hands, granting them a far larger supply of weaponry. In response to the situation, Governor Bowdoin called upon the state militia to turn out, but in many ways the situation was falling apart too fast for the state militia to actually save Bowdoin’s government. By October 15th, Great Barrington, Concord, Taunton Groton and many other towns were in open revolt, with government control only truly extending to Boston, and Suffolk and Essex Counties. (3) In an attempt to keep control, the government of Massachusetts would pass several laws including a Riot Act, a suspension of habeas corpus, criminalization of speech critical of the government, and after a Bostonian newspaper critiqued these actions, a suspension of the freedom of the press. (4) All done to, as Bowdoin put it, “vindicate the insulted dignity of government.” These oppressive actions provoked a violent reaction from Boston’s poor with a riot rocking the city on October 21st.

In response to Governor Bowdoin’s call to assemble the militia, Shays, who continued to be the nominal leader of the rebellion, organized a march on Boston. By the 18th, the Regulator army had grown from three hundred to a combined force of nearly 7,500 which was broken into three armies, one under the command of Shays, one under Luke Day, and a third under the command of a third Captain, Job Shattuck. (5) The Regulator armies would arrive at Boston on October 24th, with Shays having every intention of negotiating with Bowdoin; Boston was at least in theory utterly defensible due to the natural terrain making an actual attack on the city by the Regulators near impossible. Much to Shays’ surprise however, the city was already flying Regulator colors.

The riot that had rocked Boston on the 21st escalated out of control when Governor Bowdoin ordered General Benjamin Lincoln, who was currently the commander of the eight-hundred militiamen native to Boston, to put down the riot with force. Many of the militiamen were fine with fighting those from the western reaches of the state, but firing upon fellow Bostonians was too much and many of the militiamen would desert, and a number under the command of Lieutenant Martin Horn would turn on Lincoln. Horn and his men would arrest Lincoln for treason against the people of Boston, and join forces with a figure who had taken charge of at least some of the mob, a printer named Clark Hopswood. While Horn wasn’t very sympathetic to the Regulators, he himself had struggled with debt and found some potential for Hopswood’s idea of using the situation to force economic relief for all Massachusites, not just the poor western farmers, to save himself from his own debt issues, and thus, Martin Horn joined forces with Clark Hopswood to establish Regulator control over the city.


Clark Hopswood​

There was one mild hiccup with the plan, however. A mob that had yet to be wrangled under control by either Hopswood or Horn would lynch Governor Bowdoin as Hopswood and Horn discussed what exactly they ought to do to get the city under control. By the time that Shays and his Regulator army arrived at Boston, Horn and Hopswood had managed to regain control of the city but several other figures had been attacked by mob forces. James Bowdoin III, Governor Bowdoin’s son, had been beaten to death by a mob, Benjamin Lincoln and two men assigned to guard him had been killed by another mob, and Samuel Adams had been lynched along with several other prominent supporters of the laws which had revoked habeas corpus and the rights of speech and press. (6) Most of Massachusetts’ most prominent figures had fled the state, including John Hancock and Lieutenant Governor (now Acting Governor) Thomas Cushing III. Another fleeing figure, James Warren, would write to John Adams that “We are now in a state of total Anarchy and Confusion. Whatever happens now, I fear it will bring about a most Abhorrent Violence.” While none of the men involved knew it, they had lit the spark that would become a great bonfire that would scour the state of Massachusetts – and the whole of the United States.

(1) This is all OTL. Hancock may have actually resigned because he knew a crisis was on the horizon.
(2) The POD. Obviously conspiracies will abound because its a fairly identifiable "turning point" as it were.
(3) The easternmost reaches of the state.
(4) Barring the suspension of the press, this is all OTL.
(5) The size and breakdown is very similar to OTL.
(6) He supported these in OTL as well, somewhat surprisingly.
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In response to Governor Bowdoin’s call to assemble the militia, Shays, who continued to be the nominal leader of the rebellion, organized a march on Boston. By the 18th, the Regulator army had grown from three hundred to a combined force of nearly 7,500 which was broken into three armies, one under the command of Shays, one under Luke Day, and a third under the command of a third Captain, Job Shattuck. The Regulator armies would arrive at Boston on October 24th, with Shays having every intention of negotiating with Bowdoin; Boston was at least in theory utterly defensible due to the natural terrain making an actual attack on the city by the Regulators near impossible. Much to Shays’ surprise however, the city was already flying Regulator colors.
Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Luke Day is about to make some bodies turn cold
Now they droppin and yellin
It's a tad bit late
Luke Day and Daniel Shays had to regulate

But in all seriousness, happy to see that you're doing ok and the timeline is back!
Sixteen in the clip and one in the hole
Luke Day is about to make some bodies turn cold
Now they droppin and yellin
It's a tad bit late
Luke Day and Daniel Shays had to regulate

But in all seriousness, happy to see that you're doing ok and the timeline is back!

At least, the OG version will.

Also, thanks for the second bit, I'm glad to be back. This has always been pretty dang fun to do!
Chapter 2

A most Abhorrent Violence: The Death of the First American Republic by August H. Drake. USA, 2037.

With Boston in their hands, the Regulators had effective control over the whole of Massachusetts with the exception of the northeastern county of Essex, and the Maine counties. Despite their successes, the violence that came with Clark Hopswood and Martin Horn’s takeover of Boston left the Regulators’ victory entirely uncertain. While Hopswood and Luke Day found some method to justify the events, Daniel Shays, Job Shattuck and Martin Horn were all apprehensive and none of the emerging leaders of the Rebellion had any real plan of what to do next. Thomas Cushing III, the de jure Acting Governor of Massachusetts had fled the state along with many of Massachusetts’s most prominent figures, leaving some serious questions as to who, if anyone, the Regulators were to negotiate with.


Governor Cushing​

Hopswood and Day believed that Cushing and the government’s flight meant that they had forfeited their posts and therefore the Regulators could form a new government. Shays, Horn and Shattuck on the other hand believed they ought to try and negotiate with Cushing and the exiled government which was assembling in New York City. On November 1st however, letters began to circulate through Boston claiming that Shays was attempting to turn over Massachusetts back to the old government, and on the 5th, an outraged mob confronted Shays and the other Regulator leaders after they attended a joint Sunday sermon. In order to prevent the mob from attacking Shays, Hopswood and Day promised the mob that the Regulators would hold a vote through the state on whether or not the Regulators should form a government, and that in the meantime the Regulators would establish an interim government. While this promise likely saved Shays’ life, it fractured the Regulator leadership between the more radical Hopswood and Day, and Shays.

Outside of Massachusetts, the question of what exactly the other states of the Union ought to do were being asked. New York state granted the exiled Cushing government refuge, and even permitted Acting Governor Cushing to begin organizing a privately funded army to retake the state. Major Generals William Heath and John Paterson were given command over the exiles’ army, which approached twelve-hundred in strength by late November. Outside of permitting the exiled government to recruit, the short-sighted New York government took little action on the crisis in Massachusetts. Governor of New York, George Clinton, was of the mind that while the Regulator’s actions were extreme and brutal, they were the logical consequence of James Bowdoin “lording over the people of Massachusetts as if he were Thomas Gage” (Massachusetts’ last colonial governor), which would prove to be a rather popular opinion across the Union, even amongst relatively conservative writers. The Congress of the Confederation would debate which government of Massachusetts should be recognized by the Union as a whole and come to no conclusion. The Regulators were entirely rejected by all but Rhode Island, but the representatives of New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York and Pennsylvania feared that recognizing the exiled government would provoke a violent reaction from the Regulators.

While Americans celebrated the New Year with a degree of anxiety over things to come, New Hampshire became the second state to descend into crisis. Many of the same problems which plagued Massachusetts plagued New Hampshire, although the President of New Hampshire, John Sullivan, took a more proactive approach than James Bowdoin which kept things generally under wraps. The first signs of the growing instability occurred in the September of 1786, when two hundred Regulators (both New Hampshirite and Massachusite protesters styled themselves Regulators) attempted to mimic the Massachusite Regulators and shut down the Court in Exeter. (1) The attempt failed because President Sullivan, who was a General in the War for Independence, personally led the state militia to stop them.


President Sullivan​

As the months passed however, Brigadier General Jonathan Moulton, and Doctor Nathaniel Peabody began to push for a second round of protests by the Regulators. President Sullivan would meet with Peabody through the winter, and actually managed to reach a compromise on February 20th. The agreement would not last for long however as Moulton refused to cooperate, and when the Rockingham County court attempted to try Peabody on a matter involving his outstanding debts on March 17th, the agreement collapsed completely. Mimicking the previous events in September, the Regulators would assemble in Kingston, four hundred strong, and march on the county seat, Brentwood. Moulton led the march personally, and on March 25th, the Regulators descended upon Brentwood. The town was defended by only eighty-odd local militiamen who would not actually obstruct the Regulators as they had turned out to counter the roughly one-hundred men who were defending Peabody from arrest.

Nathaniel Peabody​

With the local militia standing down, the now five hundred strong forces of Moulton and Peabody had free reign over much of Rockingham County. Initially, the Regulator forces intended to burn down the court building, but Brentwood’s minister, Nathaniel Trask, managed to talk the Regulators down from such action. (2) Instead, the Regulators would focus on building up their strength in order to prevent from being overwhelmed as they had been the prior September. President Sullivan, however, had no plans to rest on his laurels in the mean-time and thus on April 1st led a two-thousand strong militia force against the Regulators. Sullivan would crush the Regulators at the Battle of Brentwood on April 7th. The New Hampshirite Regulators would then march south towards the Massachusetts-New Hampshire border in a desperate gamble for survival. (3)

The Regulators successfully crossed the border on April 10th, President Sullivan hot on their heels. Sullivan would also cross the border, not intending on allowing the Regulators to gather their strength in Massachusetts. On April 13th, news of the New Hampshirite invasion would prompt local Regulator leader, Colonel George Goodluck, whom had been tasked with the asserting of Regulator control over Essex County, to rally as many men as he could to meet the invaders. In what would become known as the Second Battle of Concord, Regulators of both New Hampshire and Massachusetts would repel Sullivan. When news of the Battle reached Boston, Hopswood would denounce New Hampshire and Sullivan, writing in a letter that would soon be circulated through the city that the Regulators would stand with their fellows in New Hampshire as “punishment” for their actions in invading Massachusetts. Furthermore, Hopswood argued that just as the American war for Independence had begun at Concord, so too had the Massachusite war for Independence begun in the Second Battle of Concord. This was the limit of what Shays could take, and on April 20th, Shays would denounce Hopswood in a public address in which Shays referred to Hopswood’s actions and radicalism as dooming the whole Regulator movement and giving justification to their opponents. This address did not end well for Shays, who would be arrested by his own men and placed in prison for “treason” a short while following the address.

The Regulator uprising in New Hampshire sent shock-waves through the states, arguably more so than even the uprising in Massachusetts. This was only further compounded by Hopswood’s denunciation of New Hampshire which many feared would turn out to be a declaration of war upon New Hampshire. No longer were the Regulators a movement limited to a single state, even a state with a relatively proactive government was facing overthrow by the Regulators. And, to make matters worse, the Regulators seemed that they might expand their influence with force! In response, Governor Clinton began to secretly see funding be provided to the Cushing government, as well as an increase in drilling of the state militia. The government of Connecticut voted on April 29th to call out the state militia for “defense of the state.” In Rhode Island, the recently ascendant Country Party found itself disgraced for being fairly pro-Regulator, with several members being accused of outright being Regulators. Additionally for Rhode Island, the already unpopular Governor John Collins would resign in disgrace as well on May 1st. Most influential of all of the events however was the action of the Congress of the Confederation, which, on May 14th, would vote unanimously to call upon the states to restore the Cushing government to Massachusetts. What had been a crisis in a single state a few short months prior was rapidly spiraling out of control…

(1) This was OTL
(2) Also OTL
(3) In OTL, the New Hampshirite Regulators were arrested.
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Chapter 3

A most Abhorrent Violence: The Death of the First American Republic by August H. Drake. USA, 2037.

Daniel Shays’ arrest paved the way for Clark Hopswood and Luke Day to emerge triumphant as the de facto leaders of the Regulator movement, it led to a shift in the movement. Some Regulators began to fear that the influence of more radical elements, particularly that of Hopswood, threatened to doom even the moderate elements of the Regulator movement. As the Regulators voted for their leaders, plans were drawn up to vote Shays back into power and oust Day. However, on May 24th, 1787, the Exiled government would launch it’s first attack on the Regulators, with forces twenty-six hundred strong, and commanded by William Heath, marching across the New York border and toke Great Barrington without a fight. The plans for a coup against Hopswood and Day ended as the Regulators mobilized to fight back the Cushing government’s forces.

Rumours of the anti-Hopswood plans made their way right to Hopswood alongside the news of the invasion, and it was here that Clark Hopswood would demonstrate his cunning for the first time. Seeking to kill two birds with one stone, Hopswood would convince Day that the time to form a Regulator government of Massachusetts was now, and that any vote on the matter would have to be postponed until “peace is assured.” And so, with Day on his side, and the threat of arrest looming over their heads, both Martin Horn and Job Shattuck fell in line with Hopswood, and on May 26th, the four men would declare themselves to be the “Emergency Committee for the Defense of Massachusetts” or, as history remembers them, simply the “Emergency Committee.” Many were reluctant to accept the Emergency Committee’s legitimacy, even the addition of the popular Regulator writer and leader, Eli Parsons to the Committee on the 27th failed to sway many Regulators. However, news that the city of Northampton was captured by the “Cushingites” on June 1st led to many of those who were reluctant to accept the Emergency Committee to accept it – at least for the moment. As one commentator put it, “it is better to accept five despots than one as the five shall squabble between themselves and ignore the people:- a single despot will have their full attention directed to subjugating the people.”

Arguably the most capable military leader amongst the Regulators, Luke Day would lead a force of three thousand Regulators against Heath immediately after the Emergency Committee’s formation on May 26th, and the two would collide in Springfield, the birthplace of the Regulator revolt on June 3rd. Perhaps any other commander could have led the Cushingites to victory on that day, but William Heath was, to put it bluntly, a poor excuse for a General. (1) The Cushingite forces were routed by Day, with Heath and the remaining forces under his control fleeing south towards Connecticut. A day later, in Enfield, Connecticut, the Regulators would deal Heath a second defeat, upon which he retreated further South along the Connecticut River. The Regulators followed, and a day later, the Connecticut State Militia would go on the offensive, planning to throw back the Massachusite invasion. In command of the militia was the aging Israel Putnam. Some had doubts that Putnam was well enough to command, a paralytic stroke had prematurely ended Putnam’s service in the War for Independence, and despite regaining near complete control over his limbs some years prior, rumours over his health still swirled. (2)


Israel Putnam​

Seven miles north of Hartford, Day and Putnam met in battle. Putnam led the larger force, although the bulk of the Connecticuters were entirely without battle experience. Day’s men were a motley mix of veterans and green men. But, that would matter little for Day as the Regulators also had a secret weapon: cannon looted from the Springfield Armory. Unable to be used in previous engagements due to the powder being too damp (they were also entirely unneeded against Heath’s forces), Day would receive Putnam’s opening assault against the Regulator lines with rounds of grapeshot. A few men continued, fighting on for “Old Put,” but too many turned tail and ran for Putnam to continue his aggressive assault. Lacking any further defenses, Hartford fell to the Regulators, forcing the elements of the state government in the city (Hartford and New Haven were jointly the state capital) to flee to New Haven. The Regulator invasion of Connecticut would tip the edge on outside intervention in the conflict.

While Luke Day was smashing through the Cushingite and Connecticuter forces, Martin Horn was tasked with beating President of New Hampshire, John Sullivan. In contrast to Day and his relatively sizable forces, Horn had under his command a measly four hundred men when he crossed the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. In theory, Horn also had the New Hampshire Regulators under the command of Brigadier General Jonathan Moulton, as well as the forces of Colonel George Goodluck. However, Moulton and his men broke ranks with Horn, charging off to Exeter as Moulton was determined to “provoke a general rising,” while Goodluck’s men threatened to vote a new leader if Goodluck took them out of Massachusetts. (3) Thus, Horn and his men had to go it alone. The sole boon for Horn was the fact that Dr. Nathaniel Peabody decided to stick with Horn and his men as the two had become friends.


Martin Horn​

Despite having launched his campaign to seek revenge for Sullivan’s attack across the border, when Horn and his men actually crossed the border on June 8th, Horn abandoned the plan to fight Sullivan and instead continued his march north and east along the coast, crossing into the last holdout of Cushing’s Massachusetts: the District of Maine. Following Regulator’s victory in the remainder of Massachusetts, the District maintained a Cushingite government in Portland under the leadership of Judge William Lithgow, and due to the District’s low population, it had far less in the way of defensive capacities. The Regulator forces would march straight to Portland, encountering no resistance baring a minor skirmish two miles outside of the town of Pepperellborough. On June 20th, Portland too fell to the Regulators, and with it the whole of Massachusetts was under the dominance of the Regulators.

The virtually bloodless capture of Maine ought to have been a victory for Martin Horn, but back in Boston Horn was mocked for “cowardice”. With Day’s victories in Connecticut, the public began to say that “Day defeated ten thousand with one, Horn fled from one with ten thousand.” Regardless of the inaccuracies in the statement, it represented the popular opinion of Horn’s leadership, at least in Boston. Horn himself was infuriated by the fact that he was being lambasted for a victory, but on July 5th, news that Moulton had actually been successful in his goal of achieving an uprising against President Sullivan which shocked both Horn and Peabody who considered Moulton’s plan suicidal when he began a month prior. (4)

Moulton’s success allowed the New Hampshire Regulators to declare the “Regulated Republic of Merrymack” (5) in Exeter on July 2nd with Moulton as Rector of the Republic. The newly proclaimed Rector would request Horn and Peabody come to Exeter to reinforce the “Merrymackian” Regulators as President Sullivan had escaped capture and Moulton feared a counter-revolt against the fledgling Merrymack Regulators. Horn would oblige Moulton, hoping that the decision would aid his crumbling prestige.

Upon arrival in Exeter on the 13th, Horn and his Regulators would discover that Sullivan actually surrendered to the Merrymack Regulators two days prior, and that while Peabody was readily invited to work with Moulton on forming the new government, Horn and his men were less welcome and thus returned to Massachusetts. Upon returning to Boston, Horn would discover that George Goodluck had, instead of assisting Horn in his invasion north, gone south and attacked Rhode Island and installed Justice William West as head of the “Free State of Rhode Island.” (6) Further victories by Day in Connecticut that saw New Haven fall to the Regulators, thus placing most of New England under Regulator control. All of this made Horn’s campaign seem an even greater failure. As Horn resumed his position as a member of the Emergency Committee, he would prove far easier to batter into agreement by Hopswood as a result of this.

These victories legitimized what was one of the most radical ideas in Hopswood’s multitude of plans for the future of the Regulators: the idea that the Regulator movement was to “next phase” of the American Revolution. On August 12th, Hopswood would give a speech to a crowd of Bostonians where he proclaimed that the Regulators would “sweep away the last vestiges of the Old World corruptions.” In order to do so, Hopswood proposed to the people that the Regulator movements of Massachusetts, Merrymack, Rhode Island and Connecticut (ignoring the fact Connecticut didn’t really have a Regulator presence other than the Massachusite occupation) should unite under one banner to achieve victory.

This was, in many ways, the last time Hopswood’s rise to power could have been averted. Up to this point, Hopswood was still largely unwelcome with the majority of the Regulators; only support from Day kept him in his position. But if it were to be successful, Hopswood’s plan of uniting the Regulators across the state would end up entrenching him as the leader of the Regulator movement…

(1) Perhaps a harsh description, but Heath was censured by Washington in 1777 and pushed into a minor roll.
(2) Putnam had largely recover by this point, although he evidently had issues with riding a horse.
(3) The woes of a democratic military.
(4) Moulton is often called the "American Faust," so some might say the devil is behind this. That is a questionable conclusion though.
(5) Named after the Merrimack Valley. Merrymack was an alternate spelling.
(6) West nearly led Rhode Island to civil war IOTL over the Constitution.
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Hello everyone! I got no update today, but instead a nice little detail: flags, specifically the flags of the Regulator states that have been carved out so far.

F.R.R.Massachusetts V2.png

Also, anyone who read the original version enjoying the remake? Does it stack up to the original in your eyes? I know it might be a bit early to judge, but I hope even if it isn't, it will soon.
  1. Will the OTL continental United States be slowly balkanized like you suggested would happen in the original thread?
  2. I'm personally fond of how tiny Rhode Island was able to retain its independence in the original thread. Even if said independence was spottier later on. Will that happen in this thread?
  1. Will the OTL continental United States be slowly balkanized like you suggested would happen in the original thread?
  2. I'm personally fond of how tiny Rhode Island was able to retain its independence in the original thread. Even if said independence was spottier later on. Will that happen in this thread?
1. Yes, although it will be slightly different than initially hinted, and occur rapidly.
2. The Independent Republic of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations will return, but obviously slightly differently seeing as the state just got occupied by the Regulators. It also will have a more continual run, but a shorter one than previously hinted at.
1. Yes, although it will be slightly different than initially hinted, and occur rapidly.
2. The Independent Republic of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations will return, but obviously slightly differently seeing as the state just got occupied by the Regulators. It also will have a more continual run, but a shorter one than previously hinted at.
  1. Nice. Looking forward to seeing how America falls apart in this version of the timeline.
  2. Incorporated into a greater independent New England sooner or reincorporated into America? Because the latter option is less interesting to me.
Its Alive! I loved your original TL of this and I am thrilled to see it return!!! Question, will Lincoln still lead a breakaway republic like you hinted in the previous TL? I really liked the idea of how that government would run with it being multiple republics together in a sort of federation. Anyways, so happy to see this return!
Its Alive! I loved your original TL of this and I am thrilled to see it return!!! Question, will Lincoln still lead a breakaway republic like you hinted in the previous TL? I really liked the idea of how that government would run with it being multiple republics together in a sort of federation. Anyways, so happy to see this return!
I'm glad to see you enjoyed it! And yes, there will be a Lincoln-led Republican revolt. But, there will be a few changes from what it was in the original thread. I won't say what, but Abraham Lincoln's going to have a unique status and it is something that I haven't seen done before (at least as far as I know).

You forgot to put "american monarchy" on the tag, sir.
Corrected, thanks!
Chapter 4
Hello everyone, Scarce here with another double post. This time, it's an update though, so I hope y'all enjoy!


The Second Constitution is Signed
A most Abhorrent Violence: The Death of the First American Republic by August H. Drake. USA, 2037.

The rest of the United States was not idle as the Regulators continued their rampage across New England. On June 3rd, the same day as the second Battle of Springfield, an assembly of representatives of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Cushingites of Massachusetts agreed to establish an army that would be jointly funded and manned by the aforementioned states with the sole purpose to throw the Regulators back. Major General “Mad” Anthony Wayne was made head of the combined army.

Wayne would commit tremendous efforts towards assembling the joint army, however, he would be hampered at every turn as rumors of Regulator plots caused New York and New Jersey to withhold significant amounts of men and material to protect themselves, while Rhode Island and Connecticut would fall to Regulator control and only exiled remnants would become a part of the joint army. Throughout August, the paranoia of New York would be proven correct as a series of small revolts would break out in the norther part of the state, sapping further from the planned pushback against the Regulators. Through July and August, the joint army would languish due to the various issues, but by September, things were looking up for the joint army. Supplies, funds and manpower began to flow into the joint army as the states began to fear an eminent invasion as the Regulator’s successfully united their governments into one.

And then, on September 28th, all hell broke loose for the Second Constitution of the United States was finally finished, and the Republic entered its death throes.

The First Constitutional Convention from ITTS:usa.was.americanhistory.gov, 2042

The 137 days of the First Constitutional Convention were perhaps the most important days in the whole of the Empire of the United States of America’s history despite the Second Constitution having been used exclusively before the actual declaration of the Empire. It successfully stabilized the fledgling United States, and while it did contribute some to the escalation of the growing Regulator Rebellion, the new Constitution was successful in preventing the nation from disintegrating due to the Rebellion. While the stabilization of the United States was the most immediate effect in the long term, the ideals of the Second Constitution’s proved to be the most important aspect of the Constitution. All succeeding Constitutions, regardless of their actual content, claimed the ideals of the Second Constitution.

On May 14th, 1787, the First Constitutional Convention officially began, although the required quorum of seven states wouldn’t actually be met until the 23rd. The remaining six states would see their delegates arrive later, with Rhode Island’s delegation only departing after the state was overrun by the Regulators in July. One of the first acts of the delegates was to elect General George Washington as President of the Convention. In many ways it was Washington who would allow for the Convention’s success, his respected name and capable leadership kept the Convention united and may even have prevented the Convention from failing.


General Washington​

The beginning of the Constitutional Convention saw a rejection of the initial plan to revise the First Constitution, the Articles of Confederation. Instead, the beginning of the Convention saw a series of plans be floated by the delegates. The first plan, the Virginia Plan, was drafted by James Madison and proposed by Edmund Randolph. The Virginia Plan called for a very powerful bicameral legislature, with a lower house that was elected popularly and proportioned by population, and an upper house elected by the lower house. A weak executive would exist, solely to enforce the legislatures will, and a judicial branch with a limited veto would also be created. The delegates from many of the smaller states however disliked the proposed system of proportion by population, fearing domination by the larger states, and thus threw their weight behind a second plan: the New Jersey plan. Proposed by William Patterson, the New Jersey plan resembled the First Constitution, proposing a unicameral legislature where every state would have equal representation, although in contrast to the First Convention an executive would be created as well as a judiciary.


James Maddison William Patterson​

As the two plans were debated, the Regulator Revolt continued to escalate, prompting some to fear that the proposed plans would simply not create a government that would be strong enough to protect against internal unrest. Foremost among those who believed this was Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton would create a third plan, the Hamilton Plan, which would be the first proposal to end the republic and establish a monarchy. The Hamilton Plan would call for a bicameral legislature with an elected lower house, and an upper house elected by electors. An elected monarch would serve as the executive, with the monarch being elected by the upper house. The plan was a radical departure from what was generally accepted to future of the United States, and while considered well designed by all delegates, the plan truly only saw small level of support when it was first proposed. However as the Regulators continued to advance, more and more support was thrown behind the Hamilton Plan, leaving the Convention in a three-way deadlock that may have ended it had it not been for the Great Compromise.


Alexander Hamilton​

The Great Compromise was a plan devised by four men: Roger Sherman, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Nathaniel Gorham and Oliver Ellsworth. Working outside of the Convention in private, the four men each held far-differing beliefs that allowed them to unite the three plans. The Compromise Plan called for a bicameral legislature, with a popularly elected lower house that would be proportioned by population, and an upper house that would be appointed by the state governments, with each state receiving equal representation. The executive would be a three-person affair, with a monarch and two other executives, all of whom would share equal power. A judicial branch, with explicit powers to render federal laws null and void would be created as well, with judges being appointed by the executives. Another provision which was explicitly proposed in the plan was that the states would have full control over all powers not granted to the federal government and have the rights to decide whether or not the state would be a republican or monarchical government. While the Compromise Plan satisfied none of the delegates, when the plan was put forward before the Convention on July 5th, it narrowly managed to come out as the working plan for the Constitution.

Over the next two and a half months, the remaining elements major elements of the Second Constitution would be added. In order to placate many of those who were still concerned that the new monarchy would establish a tyranny, a Bill of Rights would be integrated into the Second Constitution and a proposed “necessary and proper” clause was nixed. Issues involving slavery were frequently argued during the Convention, with another element of critical importance was added. Pro-slavery delegates from the South pushed for significant concessions, threatening that they wouldn’t even join if the new federal government had the authority to interfere with slavery. Anti-slavery elements however found many of the demands to be unwelcome and extremely distasteful, and while a few concessions, such as a proposal to allow 3/5ths of the slave population to be counted as representation in the House of Representatives had been made previously, the debate remained as contentious as ever in July. On August 16th, a series of proposals were made by John Dickenson and Charles Pinckney that largely resolved the situation. Slavery and the international slave trade were not to be touched by the federal government until 1818, at which point the federal government could begin the process of compensated emancipation that was to take “no more than thirty years.’ In order to sell this to the pro-slavery faction, the full slave population was to be counted for representation, export taxes were to be fully banned, and import taxes would require two-thirds approval by Congress. Even still, and despite Charles Pinckney throwing his weight behind it, the proposal faltered. However, it was at this point that Washington broke his otherwise stalwart impartiality and spoke up in support of the proposals. Washington’s support, along with an agreement that the national capital would be place north of the Mason-Dixon line, finally propelled the proposals to passing. Despite their extremely contentious nature, the issues surrounding slavery were ultimately amongst the least important in the long term as the Third Constitution would override the bulk of them when it was established in 1842.

With the largest of the issues resolved, the remaining period saw many smaller issues be debated as the Committee of Detail finished drafting the body of the constitution, and the Committee of Style piece together all of the various details into a cohesive document. On September 21st, the final draft of the Second Constitution was complete, and three days later adopted by the Convention. The Constitution ultimately pleased none of the delegates, but as Benjamin Franklin would go on to say: “Considering our current situation, I doubt too whether any other Convention we can obtain, may be able to make a better Constitution.” Ultimately forty-three of the sixty-one total delegates would sign the Constitution that would be published for the whole of the United States to read on September 28th. While the Constitution called for ratification by all of the states through their own individual ratification conventions, due to the situation, the Congress of the Confederation could temporarily ratify the Constitution until each of the states could hold a ratification convention themselves. Thus, the Second Constitution came into effect on October 3rd as the Congress of the Confederation unanimously voted to ratify the Second Constitution…
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Chapter 5
Hello everyone, it has been a bit.

I had some ideas planned out, and even a couple of updates practically finished shortly after the last update, but I decided to completely rework Martin Horn's path, and with work/school eating up a lot of my time, the rework took a bit. Anywho, onwards to the next segment!

The Confederation of Free American Republics is Declared
A most Abhorrent Violence: The Death of the First American Republic by August H. Drake. USA, 2037.

As the Second Constitution reorganized the First Republic in order to ensure security and continuing stability, Republicans across the began to organize for one last hurrah – a Second Revolution to complete the order of the first. By late October, as the weather began to foul and bring an end to the potential for any more campaigns in 1787, formerly pacified upper New York State fell into the hands of local Regulator-aligned Republicans who established the Republic of the Hudson that rapidly aligned with Hopswood and the other Regulators. New Jersey saw an anti-Regulator Republican rising in southern New Jersey that wouldn’t survive the winter as internal struggle tore the revolt apart. Philadelphia was shaken apart by riots, and Pennsylvanian control over the western reaches of the state collapsed. Vermont declared that it would reject any proposal for admission into the Union if the Republic wasn’t restored, although this action would only lead to New York and New Hampshire reiterating their claims to the territory.

In Regulator-held territory however, the Second Constitution would be spun by Clark Hopswood, Luke Day and the other radicals into being proof of the righteousness of the Regulator cause. Through the winter, the Regulators would use this opportunity to hold their own equivalent of the First Connotational Convention, the Boston Convention. The Boston Convention would see representatives of Massachusetts, Merrymack, Rhode Island, the newly proclaimed “Free” Connecticut and Hudson establish their own Constitution to unite the Regulator movements. Coming into effect on January 1st of 1788, the Regulator Constitution would establish the Confederation of Free American Republics as the Regulator’s answer to the United States. According to the Regulator Constitution, the CFAR broadly resembled the First Republic, being weak confederation where most of the power was in the hands of the states. A legislature did exist, with some authority to establish levy tariffs and maintain the military, and each state being represented equally with a single vote. An executive was created, a five-man affair with a “Chief Executive” heading it.

Clark Hopswood would serve as the first (and only) Chief Executive of the CFAR, with Luke Day, Job Shattuck, Nathaniel Peabody and Goodluck Johnson as the other four Executives. While on paper the Executives had little power, Hopswood maintained de-facto dictator status as the Regulator Constitution provided for emergency powers, with Day and Johnson’s popularity amongst the Regulator armies keeping things in line.

Flag of the CFAR​

The two Regulator leaders’ popularity hinged upon continued victory for the Regulators, which would be seen as winter gave way to the spring of 1788. Day and Johnson would finish subjugating Connecticut in the harsh winter months, allowing the Regulators to cross into New York that March, cutting a bloody path towards New York City. General Anthony Wayne would launch a sound defense through March, seizing foodstuffs and other supplies in a slow retreat back towards New York City which nearly forced the Regulators to retreat for a lack of supply. Unfortunately for the Union, a protest in New York City escalated into a riot, and then into a full-on revolt. General Wayne’s army was near Yonkers, only a few miles from New York City at the time, and now faced being pressed between New York City and the Regulator Army. With no realistic hope of breaking both, General Wayne abandoned his plan and retreated across the Hudson River into New Jersey.

Wayne would be heavily critiqued for his decision to retreat. The reports of the revolt in New York City that Wayne received exaggerated the situation, requiring the Regulator Army to intervene to keep the revolt from being beaten back. Regardless, Wayne would remain in control of the Union’s forces for the time being, regrouping his forces near Newark.

For the Regulators, the fall of New York was an unimaginable victory, and it gave a glimmer of hope that the war would be over soon, especially with the unrest in the remainder of the northern states. However, the southern states remained stable and firmly stood against the spread of the Regulators. Many within the southern political order feared what might happen if the Regulators rose to power, not wanting to lose the power that had been increasingly concentrating in the hands of the plantation elite, and with New York falling, the southern states finally began to come to the aid of their northern brethren.

None of the Regulator Executives took the southern states however. Hopswood himself would declare “it would only take a hard blow, and the whole rotten structure would crumble. The farmers of Virginia are too slaves to the gentry as the negro – they just need to be enlightened to that fact…” in a letter between him and Day about the south’s involvement. The sole major dissenting voice was Martin Horn. Following his sidelining, Horn had begun to grow increasingly paranoid and skeptical of the other leading elements of the Regulators. Fearing that Hopswood and the other Executives’ decision to ignore the south would lead to the Regulator’s destruction, Horn began to concoct a scheme to destroy the power of the south…

American Spartacus by Joseph K. Lee. Republic of Dixie, 2020

On April 19th, 1788, Richard Smalls arrived in Boston. An escaped slave from Charleston, Smalls had beard of the Regulators from a conversation his master had, and after fighting back against a particularly brutal beating from an overseer, Smalls fled north until reaching Boston.


Robert Smalls​

It was here that Smalls and Horn would meet, greatly affecting Horn’s plans for a Southern war as Smalls convinced Horn to change the plan for a poor free farmer’s revolt into including a servile rebellion alongside it. While the new plan would have the potential to destabilize the South far more, it would also require far more effort and preparation than Horn and his small clique could provide. And so, Horn would meet with Job Shattuck to try and obtain material support from the Confederation. The ever-weary Shattuck, trying desperately to restrain the radicalism of his fellows, rejected the plan. “Such an action,” Shattuck would state, “were to end in defeat, as it near certainly would, would provoke total wrath from the Potomac to Florida.” This startlingly accurate prediction did not deter Horn however who then proceeded to meet with Hopswood instead.

And Hopswood loved the plan.

While the first rains of May splattered on the small glass window of Horn’s upper room, Horn, Hopswood, Shattuck and Smalls met with the others of Horn’s clique. Shattuck stood aside, his concerns and cautions ignored as Hopswood revealed that the Spanish had planned to send aid to the Confederation, and that some of that aid could go towards Horn’s Southern war. After the meeting however, Shattuck would privately talk with Horn, telling him that he believed Hopswood was actually trying to get rid of Horn, revealing to Horn that Hopswood continually disregarded the South’s potential. Shattuck also revealed that Hopswood hadn’t not told him or the other Executives about the Spanish aid, and that he was beginning to grow concerned with Hopswood’s plans. Shattuck then pled to Horn to reconsider, not wanting to lose one of the few who might feel the same way as him. Horn however, determined to restore his reputation, refused. This would be the last meeting between Horn and Shattuck.

On May 17th, the Spanish aid arrived, and even despite reversing fortunes on the battlefield in New Jersey, some of that aid was, as promised, put forward towards Horn’s Southern war. Whether Horn managed to receive his aid because news of the defeat had yet to arrive in Boston is uncertain, but when news of the defeat arrived, what material Horn did receive was scaled back. Despite this, Horn would manage to recruit 84 men to his plan, and after a month of final preparation, Horn’s Southern expedition would embark on June 12th. The ship Finley carried Horn, Smalls and the 84 men of the expedition southward towards Charleston. For three months the ship travelled, slowly making its way south until a squall beached the Finley just south of Georgetown, South Carolina, about 60 miles from Charleston on September 21st…
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Hello everyone!

So, I haven't got an update, but it might be something you might be interested in. As some of y'all may know, I narrated a chapter from What Madness is This, and then proceeded to do sweet nothing with it from that point on. That was because of everything going on with my life, and just forgetting it was a thing, but now I'm back with narrating. This time though, I plan to do my own timeline instead, at least at first because reading through like this helps me find mistakes and improve my writings as well. Since these take little time to make, I'll start attaching them to updates once I get caught up.

Anywho, I just wanted to let y'all know about it, and to see what you all think. Please let me know if you like the idea, because if enough people like the idea, I might do other things with it. Anywho, here's the narration:

Once more, feedback would be absolutely amazing.