Jefferson's Anti-Slavery Crisis: Alternate History of the U.S.

Chapter 0: Introduction, Who, What, Why
I was always fascinated by the American Dream, and how it does not always translate to the American Reality. So I asked the question, "What if Georgia and Carolinas did not participate in the American Revolution (walked out of the Declaration of Independence convention) due to Thomas Jefferson's Anti-Slavery Clause in the Declaration of Independence? (This almost happened in real life but was pulled specifically out of fear that those states would leave the United States of America).
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Signing of the Declaration of Independence

Now, I was also curious as to what if the USA always lived up to its founding ideals of freedom and equality, from the very beginning? Now, the British Army still loses the American Revolution, and the aftereffects of the GA, SC, NC refusal to join would heavily affect U.S. and British history afterwards?"
I got some answers there so I am trying to make a new timeline on this. Wish me luck, and please give me advice!
It is the American Revolution that so many revolutions and movements around the world are based off. It is the better angels of our nature that many are still trying to follow, despite the problems of modern America. Imagine how much stronger that would be with an America that believed in freedom and equality and willing to make the necessary sacrifices to do so. They will inspire many others into fulfilling those dreams of freedom.

I've always wanted America to live up to its purpose. So here's my take on that. The conception of America isn't its problems (though modern America has its fair share of problems) but of freedom, civil rights, prosperity, etc. So let's make that a reality in this timeline. There aren't going to be truly awful Presidents, but there will be some "Meh" ones that are usually glossed over. Civil rights occur much earlier than OTL--as much as 50-60 years ahead of schedule in some places. The optimism of Americans is drawing them to new heights. JASC Americans aren't drowning in their problems or embracing them--they see challenges to be defeated.

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A Captain America quote from Marvel Comics. You may know this from Worffan. It's prescient for this timeline.

I was interested in the idea of a southern "British Columbia" ever since reading Murica1776's Expanded Universe of WMIT posts. I was thinking of something similar, but in a less grim dark setting. There will be some double blinded what ifs!
Edits for Maps
OTL "British Columbia" renamed "New Caledonia"
"Selkirk" province in Canada, named after a famous explorer (probaby in place of OTL Manitoba).
Altered states: Jefferson and Lincoln somewhere (maybe in place of Idaho or Arizona)
New state capitals... TBD in the western expansion 3.0 chapter.
Any place to get good maps?
If you have any ideas for areas other than the U.S, go on for ideas! I'd like them.
Thank you, @HeX, for inspiring me to write a timeline!
 
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Chapter 1: The Origin of the South: 1784-1800
Darn. Did the delegates of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina just walk out of the Constitutional Convention? We will be hanging separately if we are not hanging together. Did these delegates just give up on the dream of independence? They are the most spineless cowards I had ever seen in any of the colonies or in the newly-formed United States of America. I saw chickens more courageous than these fellows.
-Benjamin Franklin

That is because they were the most cowardly of hypocrites. We wanted freedom from Great Britain and that all men were created equal. They, however, thought it would mean the end of slavery, which they apparently treasured to the degree that they would not join us in our fight for freedom. I knew there would be trouble with the anti-slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence, but I never knew the Deep Southern delegates would be so protective of their ‘peculiar institution’ as to betray us. These unworthy Judases deserve their place in the ninth circle of hell. In that case, we will continue with our journey for independence. The objections in the lower South will not deter us from our dream of freedom.
-Thomas Jefferson

The British Empire had suffered a major setback in 1784. It had lost a large number of its colonies—from Virginia to New England. The loss of the colonies had repercussions beyond their direct loss. The prestige of the Empire took a massive hit, and soon, the British were worried that their other colonies—in the Caribbean, in the American south, and in Canada—were thinking about breaking free. Slaveholders in the American south were pacified due to the British promises that they would be protected, at least for the time being. The abolition movement had yet to properly take hold among the members of the British Parliament.

How did it all start again? Blunder after blunder from the British Parliament—they kept on angering their own colonists via suppression of rights “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” as the unhappy colonists complained. In addition, lack of representation was a constant problem. Particularly, the quartering of British soldiers in colonial homes was a disaster that was never to be repeated again since it contributed heavily to the ensuing debacle.

The situation got out of control quickly, with fighting breaking out between the Continental Army of the newly-declared United States of America and the British Army. The redcoats, formidable as they were, had soon lost the war--soon called the American Revolutionary War. While the Caribbean, Georgia, and the Carolinas remained nominally loyal, bands of ‘patriots’ had caused problems down there as well. While not nearly as organized as the Continental Army (which quickly gained shape under Von Steuben and General Washington), they caused a ‘fire in the rear’ that forced various detachments of British redcoats to destroy them, which diverted soldiers from the rest of the war. Perhaps most disturbingly, many of these ‘patriots’ were escaped slaves or small farmers who disdained the wealthy planter elite.

Archibald Bulloch had grand ideas for the colony of Georgia. It was at this point, only a sliver of territory around the Savannah River. It had some plantations and economic development, but was rather underdeveloped even by the standards of the other surviving British colonies. Indigo, rice, and sea cotton were its major products. The use of African slavery was critical to the development of the colony, and almost nobody in Georgia wanted it to end. However, Georgia was still less profitable than the Carolinas above it, with the lower number of plantations and other economic sources of money. All those colonies remained largely agricultural, with the few cities around rivers or ports.

Spanish settlers remained a problem in Georgia, coming from Florida, and the Creeks and other Native Americans made the frontier a dicey affair. He originally wanted the British government to spend more funds and troops on clearing out the Creeks, perhaps to make more land available for plantations, but nothing went through. The colonial legislature—granted a slight bit more autonomy due to the fiasco (for the British Empire) that was the American Revolution—was not greatly interested in inviting more British soldiers, unless there was an active war going on.

Attempts to provide a new colonial charter for Georgia and the Carolinas had gone by with little success. Over to the north of them, in the United States of America, constitution-building was going by quickly, and with large compromises to satisfy the various states. However, the British were very concerned with anything that resembled rebellion in their remaining colonies. The cage of royal control had been expanded a small amount, but the cage was still there, and everyone could see the boundaries. At least the taxation issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved.

The British Empire had drawn plans to purchase Florida and Louisiana from Spain. The Spanish were willing to sell, but not their entire holdings. After all, Spain would have difficulty defending those territories to Britain or the United States. In addition, Spain had a money crisis. Centuries of profligate spending had caused its funds to start running dry. It needed funds more than it needed low-value land across the ocean. It was perfectly willing to sell the land to someone who could help it out of the rut. However, there would be obstacles for the British Empire. The United States of America also had a plan to buy out Spain’s holdings in North America, directly to the west of the USA. Difficulties would ensue, with both nations at great enmity at each other.

At least some of this enmity would reduce due to the Jay Treaty of 1795, where the British agreed to vacate forts in U.S. territory in the Great Lakes and Northwest Territory regions in exchange for the U.S. giving Britain "most favored nation" trading status. Another result of this treaty was that the Canada-U.S. boundary was more clearly developed to avoid confrontation over that border.
 
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Okay, now this could be a very interesting TL! I would love to see how the North American Continent develops if the US found itself sandwiched between two loyal British Empire states - Canada being the other. I'd guess the US would end up being a whole lot more self-defensive in its early stages, and no doubt the British might seek to be particularly generous to Georgia and the Carolinas for staying loyal. Perhaps some early form of self-goverment, once telegrams and things speed communication up rather a lot??
Subscribed.
 
Okay, now this could be a very interesting TL! I would love to see how the North American Continent develops if the US found itself sandwiched between two loyal British Empire states - Canada being the other. I'd guess the US would end up being a whole lot more self-defensive in its early stages, and no doubt the British might seek to be particularly generous to Georgia and the Carolinas for staying loyal. Perhaps some early form of self-goverment, once telegrams and things speed communication up rather a lot??
Subscribed.
Thank you. Will be working more on it tomorrow. Thanks for the ideas. There will definitely be a bunch of content tomorrow
 
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I can't wait to see where this goes.
Thank you. I'm trying to come up with ideas. All of you can tell me good ones if you'd like. Self-government, or at least getting a bit more of it, will occur further down the line. I could see the U.S. having a more defensive mindset--and I could see a well-defended border. The lack of the Deep South, combined with the anti-slavery language in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, will probably mean slavery gets banned earlier in the U.S. I'm thinking 1840...

Civil war over slavery probably wouldn't happen either. I do see aspects of revanchism, to unite the continent, among some extremists. I also could see an immense hatred of the slaveholders in the South who chickened out on the American Revolution in the United States proper. The Monroe Doctrine wouldn't happen because the U.S. wouldn't be able to enforce it with a large southern British possession. As for the politicians, I'll go do more. British generosity is a good point, I will explore that later.
 
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Sounds interesting. Some thoughts, since you ask for them - oh, make sure there are line breaks first of all in your updates. Now...

1. As to how the U.S. wins still, you hint well at it with the "fires in the rear." Perhaps there is a sort of insurrection, but it's put down, in the Southern colonies, with Loyalists winning out (there were more loyalists as a percentage of total colonists there than further north), . Virginia was more of a middle colony, but perhaps some of the more famous radical slaveholding families move south after the REvolution. This would explain how Virginia is handled and remains in the new U.S.. Militarily, perhaps the new United States decided, based on this, that they, too, would promise slaves freedom if they joined the Colonial Army,.

2. Patriots who wanted to stay could come North then - you could even get trades of land. I'm thinking especially of Laurens here, who became autislavery and was from South Carolina. John Laurens would be one of the keys here. And, his father might already have agreed to such a trade of land with Virginians.

3. Remember that the Spanish will still be fighting the British in support of the U.S. - if the British still hold those colonies, the Spanish might try even harder to capture land on the other side of the Mississippi, so a border might be at the Tombigbee or something. This means the U.S. has more of a chance to acquire that land and later New Orleans if they can purchase them from Spain.

4. See my Washington Wins At Brandywine TL - for different reasons, Eli Whitney would not go to South Carolina in TTL and so not develop the cotton gin. It will likely be developed within a decade anyway, according to various discussions on these boards, but that will make a differeence and slavery will be more likely to die out or be seen as doing so.

5. If slavery is being slowly abolished, this impacts Gabriel Prosser - even if the French come to Virginia TTL and spread tales of revolution and equality, he might feel he has a future with the U.s., and not lead his rebellion. And, it's possible they don't', though in my TL Charleston was friendly and the walkout was in 1781 during a Constitutional Convention (which was much like ours, as it was modelled on the Massachusetts one OTL anyway.) (Yes, Prosser's birthdate is given as 1776 or so, so, you could easily have him born still, he'd have been conceived by the PODE even if he was born later, as the butterflies won't have gotten to him quite that fast. And, you might want a looser butterfly net anyway.

I don't' want to promise I'll have time to read consistently but this TL seems very interesting.
 
Thank you so much for your advice. I am incorporating it into the next chapter, which is coming soon. Quick question. How do you put links under the posts?
 
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Chapter 2: The Great Migration
Chapter 2: Will be updated tomorrow for more content.
“The Great Migration was beneficial for the United States. Many of the surviving ‘Southern Patriots’ who fought for liberty, even if it was unsuccessful in the so-called ‘Columbia', obtained fled north to the ‘Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. We shall venerate the sacrifices of those who died for our freedoms by guaranteeing that we behave according to the inalienable rights enshrined in the Constitution of the United States of America.”
Alexander Hamilton

One man would become very important for Columbia; the term that would eventually be used to describe the British holdings of Georgia, the Carolinas, and eventually, more territories. This man would greatly shape how that area of the world viewed itself. His name was Andrew Jackson. He was originally on the frontier, fighting alongside other pioneers and colonial militia against some groups of Native Americans, making alliances with others, and generally well-respected amongst the population of Columbia—except by their British overlords. They thought Jackson had notable weaknesses as well as strengths. They feared he could become another Washington, someone who could cause another ‘Patriot’ movement and they feared the loss of these valuable holdings.
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Andrew Jackson

Columbians at least could claim that the original ‘Southern Patriots’ were things of the past. Many of the surviving Patriots who had started the “fires in the rear” had moved to the United States of America as soon as its independence was ensured at the Treaty of Paris. The rest gave up or long since died in battle. For them, what was alarming was the offer of freedom given by the Continental Army for any slave that joined it—and that the United States of America was upholding the deal. John Laurens was influential in the passing of this promise, and upholding it. He was hailed as a hero for helping America realize its dreams of freedom.

Many wealthy planters feared slave revolts. The colonial legislature attempted to assuage their fears, but it was primarily a pawn of the British government and could get little done without the support of the mother country. As a result, some further assurances made their way down the chain of command, but they did little to assuage the fears of wealthy plantation owners. Besides, the British government was not taking the risk of slave rebellion seriously due to the lack of evidence for any. Sure, there were a few escaped slaves every year, but so far, not a significant loss. This would spiral into a dangerous situation later on in history, though…

Speaking of Washington, he had become the first president of the United States of America, serving two terms only. The U.S. Constitution had been ratified, with many compromises to get all the states on board. The importance of “all men free from tyranny” was such that slavery would eventually be abolished in the United States of America by the year 1836. The slave trade itself—and not merely the transatlantic slave trade—would be banned fifteen years earlier in 1821. Furthermore, the expansion of slavery to new states would be banned by 1830. Raucous debate ensued over this principle, but it passed due to American fervor in their founding principles that “all men were created equal” and in the evil of slavery. This slow abolition of slavery clause was seen as ominous by many non-Americans, but all the U.S. states accepted it, even Virginia—especially since some of the most ardently pro-slavery planters in Virginia moved south. The United States of America had attempted to carefully thread the needle between the great European powers via a policy of “Malice towards none; charity towards all”, but this was about to change soon. Washington also greatly developed the American economy from the basket case at the end of the Revolution to a functioning nation. The standard of living in America had risen. The hope for a brighter tomorrow had permeated the nation. The quest to better themselves, to live up to their founding ideals as espoused in the Constitution, ratified by all the states in the Union—originally 10 by 1789—was the national mood.

In contrast, the southern colonies had similar administrations to the Caribbean, with all reliant on slave-based plantation agriculture. Like many people in the area, Jackson would eventually own a plantation and several slaves. Slavery as an institution expanded even further after the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in the year 1799. That tool made it much easier to extract cotton from its bolls. As a result, plantations were no longer primarily on the coast but could spread further inland. This drive for inland plantations meant further westward expansion, which meant removing the Native American populations already there. Archibald Bulloch had an opportunity. He would raise support for colonial militias to push out the Native Americans in Georgia; like-minded colonists would do the same for the western parts of North Carolina, and the British overlords would probably approve of it due to gaining more land for plantation agriculture, and with it, more money to the mother country. As expected, the British government allowed the procedure to happen. Over in Georgia, Jackson spearheaded the push; his bravery in leadership was well known in many battles, especially against the Creek and Cherokee tribes. The Battle of Red Creek was the decisive battle in this campaign, where Jackson led a colonial militia against numerically superior Native American forces and routed them—with minimal casualties on his side. Jackson was always careful to minimize his own side’s casualties whenever possible to keep on the right side of public opinion.

This was also a tragic time, being called the “Trail of Tears” as Native Americans were forced from the lands they had called home. This started almost since the start of Columbia but really started to pick up after 1810, with Jackson leading the charge. Many died in battle; many more died in appalling conditions on the forced movement westwards. Disease outbreaks were common, further adding to the misery. Up to the north, attention was raised about this atrocity, but little was done since the United States did not want to antagonize a power that bordered it on both sides.
 
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Wait a minute, the POD is Jefferson emancipated and married Sally Hemmings, isn't he?
I haven't even thought of the POD as that. My original idea was that Jefferson puts anti-slavery clause in the Declaration of Independence (it almost happened but the SC + GA threatened to back out so it didn't happen. In this TL, Jefferson goes along with the anti-slavery clause because he thinks slavery is incompatible with the American ideas of freedom). Jefferson emancipating Hemmings is going to happen later on but I haven't gotten around to writing that.
 
Jefferson emancipating Hemmings is going to happen later on but I haven't gotten around to writing that.
I think it would be happening Earlier, because if Sally Hemmings getting pregnant earlier and Jefferson is obviously the father when he propose anti-slavery measures, he would want his children from her to born free and legitimized (and hence he would use the "all men created equal" clause to emancipated and married his ex-slave). Especially if he get a son from the hypothetical early pregnancy of Hemmings.

So yeah, kinda self-serving from Jefferson's motive, and make Georgian and Corolinas representatives quit in protest being much more "understandable" (because disgust of such mixed race marriage), but while the motive itself is flawed, this will pave an earlier way of equality in America.
 
Okay, Maybe I shouldn't make the PoD so obvious. I'm putting it at "GA, SC, NC chicken out" but this will lead to several things in the timeline that I am planning. See you soon. More will be posted.
Coming soon
"Jeffersonian Democracy"
"Checkmate in France"
"Frigid Conflict"
"A Temporary Thaw"
"1836--Emancipation Year"
"Cabin of Doom and other Literature"
"Revolutions of 1840"
"Internal Revolution of 1855"
"Preferential Treatment"
"The Roaring 1870s"
"American Bismarck"
"Golden Age of Imperialism"
 
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Okay, maybe I shouldn't make the PoD so obvious. I'm putting it at "GA, SC, NC chicken out" but this will lead to several things in the timeline that I am planning. See you soon. More will be posted.
Don't worry too much about that, it's kind of obvious with Jefferson's duality of characteristics, being a man of noble ideas but at the same time, a pragmatic, self-serving even, in some ways as his affair with Sally Hemmings shown us, but he is, ultimately, the product of his time.

Maybe that was my opinion because I've read Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Jefferson never has a legitimate son who survived past infancy and was pretty much trying to get one earlier in his life. And thus, if Sally Hemmings get pregnant earlier and birthed a son, Thomas Jefferson would definitely try everything to have his hypothetical son to be treated as his legitimate heir, thus he will push his anti-slavery clause harder, and also the "equality" clause ITTL (that is not present in OTL Jefferson's gradual emancipation clause) could be read as very obvious attempt of him getting a legitimate son he always wanted.

Sure, it could be read as selfish desire on Jefferson's part and thus the "Chickened Out" delegates have a very obvious reasons to outright reject Jefferson's proposal (because "Jefferson can't keep himself away from getting into his slave's pants!"), yet even if the other abolitionist leaning founding fathers knew about the "True Reason" of Jefferson being much more forceful in his drive to abolition, they will still respect it because the end result ultimately serve the higher moral purpose.

Overall, this is the dramatic reading between lines and I was pretty much influenced by that book I mentioned earlier. Sorry if this bothering you. Good Work!
 
Don't worry too much about that, it's kind of obvious with Jefferson's duality of characteristics, being a man of noble ideas but at the same time, a pragmatic, self-serving even, in some ways as his affair with Sally Hemmings shown us, but he is, ultimately, the product of his time.

Maybe that was my opinion because I've read Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Jefferson never has a legitimate son who survived past infancy and was pretty much trying to get one earlier in his life. And thus, if Sally Hemmings get pregnant earlier and birthed a son, Thomas Jefferson would definitely try everything to have his hypothetical son to be treated as his legitimate heir, thus he will push his anti-slavery clause harder, and also the "equality" clause ITTL (that is not present in OTL Jefferson's gradual emancipation clause) could be read as very obvious attempt of him getting a legitimate son he always wanted.

Sure, it could be read as selfish desire on Jefferson's part and thus the "Chickened Out" delegates have a very obvious reasons to outright reject Jefferson's proposal (because "Jefferson can't keep himself away from getting into his slave's pants!"), yet even if the other abolitionist leaning founding fathers knew about the "True Reason" of Jefferson being much more forceful in his drive to abolition, they will still respect it because the end result ultimately serve the higher moral purpose.

Overall, this is the dramatic reading between lines and I was pretty much influenced by that book I mentioned earlier. Sorry if this bothering you. Good Work!
Hey, that sounds like a good idea. I'll incorporate it, somehow, although that will probably be later when historians and historiography have evolved enough to separate the truth from the rumors. There will be something about that sometime, but in the future. Next update about the U.S. proper, and some French Revolution as well.
 
Jefferson marrying Sally Hemmings would be a great step forward, but we should remember that interracial marriage was not allowed until the SCOTUS decided the issue in 1967, and Virginia was the offending state in question. That was 100+ years after the end of slavery.
 
Jefferson marrying Sally Hemmings would be a great step forward, but we should remember that interracial marriage was not allowed until the SCOTUS decided the issue in 1967, and Virginia was the offending state in question. That was 100+ years after the end of slavery.
That never happened in this timeline. Now Interracial marriage would be allowed earlier (SCOTUS would decide the issue far earlier) but I'm nowhere close to that point yet.
 
Road Map
Here's the roadmap for the foreseeable future. 1796--present. I edited the Road Map again. Let me know interesting possibilities for non-US, non-Britain parts of the world... I still need to flesh these out.
"Jeffersonian Democracy"
"Checkmate in France" (Events in France)
"Westward Expansion"
"American Military Situations"
"An Age of Industry"


"1836--Emancipation Year"
"Panic in British Columbia"
"Cabin of Misery and other Literature"
"Revolutions of 1840"
"Columbia Revisited"

"The China Question" (China + the rest of Asia)
"Internal Revolution of 1855"
"Fury in the South"
"Wars of Independence"
"The Roaring 1870s"

"American Bismarck"
"The Era of Civil Rights"
"Golden Age of Imperialism"
"Depression of 1890"
“The Age of Iron and Blood”

"The Powder Keg" (moved from the previous)

"Foretaste of Horror"
“Industrialized Horror”
“Home Unrest”
“An Uneasy Peace”

“The World Depression”
“National Recovery”
“The Fair Deal”
“The Growing Conflict”
“Hell is Empty, and all the Devils are Here”

“The Darkest Hour ”
“Light at the end of the Tunnel”
“A fellowship of nations?”
"Literature Reconsidered"
“Curtains of Stone”

“The Power Atomic”
“An International Standoff”
“Various Cultural Developments”
“Proxy War”
“Collapse”

"Shall Not Perish From This Earth"
"Technological Developments of Tomorrow"

“A Brighter Tomorrow”
 
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Well, you've got South Africa and the Boer Wars - the first one was 1899-1900, so right at the end of your period, but I wonder how a different US - and prolonged British involvement in the Americas is going to impact on Africa, because if the Brits are more tied up in America, I doubt they'd spend as much effort on the African and Indian continents - which may mean there is no British Raj after the Mutiny of 1857, and also that the Boers might never become as insular a people as they were in the centuries after they won their independence from Britain, because they've been in charge in the Cape for a lot longer...

Just some brief musings. Also Prussia and German unification may be worth taking a look at, though, to my shame, I don't know it well enough to make any comments...
 
Prussia + German Unification will be a bit different... That will probably be covered in one of the "Wars of Independence" or "1840" chapters.
"American Bismarck".... that might be interesting. Also, how did you get the link to a TL below your post?
I'll do something about the Boers and the British Raj in the "Golden Age of Imperialism" chapter, but good suggestions!
 
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