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

Chapter 8: Panic in British Columbia
The area known as Columbia, later British Columbia (The Carolinas, Georgia, et al.) went into a panic in 1836. To the north of them, the United States of America had just banned slavery. Slavery was instrumental in the economy of Columbia, as well as to the Caribbean colonies. By this point, though, the British government had plans to phase out slavery entirely. It would take some time, but thanks to William Wilberforce (who campaigned extensively for the end of slavery in the British Empire before he died), the days of slavery in the British Empire would be numbered. The British government had plans to abolish slavery by 1840, maybe 1845 at the latest, perhaps even a bit earlier if the abolition faction garnered more support, but either way, slavery would be on its way out. It had made the British Empire look cruel, the other countries (especially the United States of America) said. This caused many of the plantation owners and slaveholders in British Columbia to start getting worried not only at the United States of America, but also at their British overlords.

Texas had just gained its independence from Mexico in 1836, with support from sympathetic pioneers from both the United States of America and from British Columbia--Mexico had to eat the loss. The Mexican leader Santa Anna returned home, humiliated. At this point, Texas would remain an independent republic since neither Britain nor the USA wanted Texas in the hands of the other power. Prior to this, many of the settlers in Texas had come from British Columbia, and brought slaves with them. The slavery debate had greatly impacted the Texas Revolution, and was seen as foreshadowing future events in the history of North America.

Andrew Jackson had a splendid career, from his roots in the early 1810s pushing out Native Americans from the Carolinas, exploring the New Orleans area, and helping with the development of the Carolinas and Georgia. Business was booming. Cotton, tobacco, and other plantation crops made their way to Britain, or to the United States of America. The economy was still heavily based off those agricultural raw materials. In an interest to keep Jackson where the British could easily keep an eye on him, and due to his sky-high popularity, the British government named Andrew Jackson as the royal governor of North Carolina in 1820. He performed admirably, alongside his famous colleague John C. Calhoun in South Carolina --termed "The Dynamic Duo" at one point in an early political cartoon.

Now British Columbia was chugging along well since its inception. There was little interest in taking it due to the weakness of the United States of America for a while, and even when the United States of America gained more wealth, land, and a more professional army, that did not change much. In case of a U.S. threat, British soldiers would be sent to the border area, and forts would be constructed as well. Limited colonial militias were also tolerated, primarily for the purpose of driving off Native Americans and protection against outlaws. The frontier (and the United States of America had similar issues) almost by definition had an almost "wilder" sense to it, and with a very limited police presence, colonial militias were tolerated as a necessary evil to keep outlaws and criminals away. Sheriff's posses served a similar role on the frontier of the United States of America until they were replaced by federal marshals and a much more organized police force later on. Some westward expansion did happen. The western part of North Carolina had enough people in it to justify the formation of a new province, which was called Tennessee. The formation of new provinces from Georgia was also considered once they had enough people in them. Louisiana was thriving, especially the area adjacent to the New Orleans port due to all the commerce going through it.

Now foreign relations were performed by the British government--for British Columbians, the one that mattered was the very mixed relationship between British Columbia and the United States of America. On the one hand, trade existed between the two due to close proximity and a demand for cotton textiles in the USA. On the other hand, the Americans, especially many of the people who were on the forefront of social mobility and justice, despised the people most associated with the "Continental Convention traitors". British Columbians feared the Americans, especially after 1836 when slavery was abolished. A flight of escaped slaves northwards could happen, and in fact, did. Now the British did not listen to the complaints of wealthy planters about the flight of escaped slaves due to 1. fear of an international dispute leading to war, and 2. Abolition sentiment was rising in Great Britain, and due to parliament reform, was expected to win by 1845 at the latest and end slavery then. The booming economy did little to distract many British Columbians from the tense political climate, with political arguments becoming more common. Increasingly, slavery was seen as a positive good by some of the planters who depended on it, while it was often seen as a necessary evil elsewhere in British Columbia, and as an evil that must be stomped out by much of the British parliament. The colonial Houses of Burgesses did receive permission of the British government to raise militias for removing the Native Americans, but these militias would expand at around this time due to the hostile, frightful climate. Perhaps more information was needed for the colonial Houses of Burgesses in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida. These had some limited authority to deal with certain problems like Native Americans and other local matters, but trade, economy, foreign policy, etc. all were done by the British government.

All would change in 1837. The largest British holdings in North America would soon find themselves on fire. For the British not only had problems with slavery in British Columbia, but would face the consequences of mismanagement and delaying reforms for far too long in Upper and Lower Canada.
 
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That's a fun update. I enjoyed the change of seeing Jacxkson and Calhoun as a great partnership. While they different in an independent country over large plantation owners versus small-time farmers, here they have less wiggle room and if Jackson doesn't go out to Tennessee it's very likely he would eventually fall in line with the larger owners, or at least be willing to partner with them.

I also wonder if the Five Civilized Tribes, having had to escape the brutality of British Columbia, might have developed a system for escape into the U.S. that is later used by runaway slaves; a Native-developed Underground Railroad is an interesting idea.

I presume Texas TTL is the Texas of OTL's 1837 out to the Nueces only?

With Spain facing financial panic and selling louisiana to Britiah Columbia and the U.S., I image both countries now border Mexico? If Mexico keeps California the Gold Rush might be delayed for a good while but will eventually make them rich - unless the are breaks off and becomes independent on its own.
 
That's a fun update. I enjoyed the change of seeing Jacxkson and Calhoun as a great partnership. While they different in an independent country over large plantation owners versus small-time farmers, here they have less wiggle room and if Jackson doesn't go out to Tennessee it's very likely he would eventually fall in line with the larger owners, or at least be willing to partner with them.

I also wonder if the Five Civilized Tribes, having had to escape the brutality of British Columbia, might have developed a system for escape into the U.S. that is later used by runaway slaves; a Native-developed Underground Railroad is an interesting idea.

I presume Texas TTL is the Texas of OTL's 1837 out to the Nueces only?

With Spain facing financial panic and selling louisiana to Britiah Columbia and the U.S., I image both countries now border Mexico? If Mexico keeps California the Gold Rush might be delayed for a good while but will eventually make them rich - unless the are breaks off and becomes independent on its own.
Texas TTL is the Texas of OTL's 1837.
California part... will be done in the future
Underground railroad possibly... that's a good idea. I need to do more research about early US. Thanks.
 
That Is an awful cliche, canada was always happy being part of the empire
By an awful cliché, I thought that only was in the Fallout timeline, "What Madness Is This" timeline (and generally other dystopian Americas). But hey, I will have an update today or tomorrow about that.
 
It would be funny if Canada join the US while Columbia remains British
If you want a TL that goes that way, I suggest reading "Dominion of Southern America". The Royal Governor that was sent to Quebec iOTL gets sent to North Carolina in DSA. The US/British border runs along the OTL VA/NC all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The US/DSA relationship is sort of half way between the OTL US/Canadian and the OTL US/Australian relationship. The DSA also includes all of the OTL British Caribbean colonies.
 
If you want a TL that goes that way, I suggest reading "Dominion of Southern America". The Royal Governor that was sent to Quebec iOTL gets sent to North Carolina in DSA. The US/British border runs along the OTL VA/NC all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The US/DSA relationship is sort of half way between the OTL US/Canadian and the OTL US/Australian relationship. The DSA also includes all of the OTL British Caribbean colonies.
Ah thanks. I never imagined that existed. I'll give it a read.
 
Update: Added more on the "Burr" section in Chapter 5.
Added a Metternich quote in the France chapter.
Added pictures for the opening chapter and Chapter 2.
Expanded the "Important Quotes" section
 
Sorry I'm busy. There will be an update this weekend. Also, I never imagined the original founders of 'British Columbia' to be sympathetic at all. What about you?
 
Panic in British Columbia Part 2
Update. I've stopped running from the update. Here it is.
The British Parliament had a serious chance of passing anti-slavery legislation in the 1830s. That day finally came due to the efforts of William Wilberforce (died 1833) and Prime Minister Earl Grey in 1834. Prime Minister Earl Grey was able to carefully negotiate with the British Parliament to get a coalition that was able to stand up to the interests of the politicians deeply invested in the cash crop (sugar, cotton, etc.) businesses. The day came when the future of slavery in the British Empire would be decided, although Wilberforce would not live to see it, and Earl Grey would have resigned by then. It was a cold day at the end of 1836, when the Abolition of Slavery Act in the British Empire would pass. This would set in motion the freeing of slaves all throughout the empire. Naturally, the Caribbean and British Columbia sections of the Empire, which were dependent on plantation agriculture, plunged into such an abyss of fear that revolts spread. The planters thought the British government had abandoned them, and staged a revolt. The British sent armies over to take back control over any rebelling territories. And the battle would be joined.

The first real battle was the Landing at Savannah. British soldiers on the mainland were being pressed back by various militias, which were built to protect the interests of the wealthy planters. They were on the verge of defeat when the proverbial cavalry arrived at Savannah after re-subjugating the Caribbean and bringing it back under control. The British soldiers disembarked from their landing barges and ships after ships of the line fired upon the Savannah defenses, which caved in relatively quickly, though a few small ships were indeed lost. The soldiers marched in, destroyed the relatively weak colonial militia in Savannah, and took control of the city. British losses were medium-sized, acceptable due to amphibious operations typically having high casualties. The columns of British veterans moved inwards, trying to link up with their beleaguered brethren that were trying to defend against the rebelling colonials. Most of these brethren perished, but their deaths meant something--it bought the British soldiers more time to move inland. Taking cities alone, though, would not do much--the rebel army would need to be found, surrounded, and either destroyed or captured. That was the difficult section. Much intimidation of guides occurred, as the British forces attempted to find their way across the terrain.

James Bremer was the architect of the British landings on the coasts of "British Columbia"--and the attacks would occur at multiple places at once to stretch the defenders thin. Lesser officers often led their soldiers out from the ships in charging in, but most of the higher command was too valuable to risk in the middle of a battle. Accusations of cowardice sometimes resulted, but were less common that one might expect. One reason why the British landings were so easy was because the slaveholder rebellion had very few ships--those were provided almost entirely by Great Britain, and didn't join the Rebellion, or joined it to help the British soldiers. The coastal defenses were not very effective, either. These cannons fired on the British ships but took massive barrages in return and all ended up destroyed.

Other landings occurred throughout the coast, such as the Wilmington landing in North Carolina, the Sack of Charleston (which became notorious for the destructiveness of the British soldiers in taking the area), and landings in Florida. The Florida landings were somewhat of an embarrassment for various sections of the British forces since some of them ended up lost in swamps and harried--this could be chalked up to the ineptitude (a "Modern Major General" of sorts) of the commander staging the landings in Florida. The Sack of Charleston horrified some Americans, but others thought that the sack was performed against the most treacherous class seen. Hardly anyone forgot the supposed "cravenness" of the southern delegates leaving the Continental Congress due to fear of antislavery language. The Americans thought that the British Empire was finally doing the right thing by ending slavery, and there was no sympathy for the southern slaveholders.

The Sack of Charleston was also one of the largest battles. The sizable colonial detachment fought the British soldiers for two days as the city burned around them. The British did not want to risk more house--to--house fighting after the second day, and the order came to torch the city and end the battle. The plumes of smoke reached up into the sky, some blowing northward into North Carolina and even Virginia. Cannons howled as grapeshot and cannonballs hurtled throughout the air. The city lay in ruins by the third day as the British captured many of the rebel forces. The colonial morale broke as much of the colonial army could not escape. The Washingtonian strategy of having higher mobility and tiring out a numerically numerous enemy failed in the end, as the British, supposedly, were fighting to make men free, and their soldiers never forgot that. A complete lack of foreign recognition of the rebels in British Columbia sealed the deal for them. Other British forces rampaged up the coast, and moving inland to chase fleeing rebels. The rebels lost almost every battle they entered, although that could be explained because they were trying to run away and tire out the British Army, causing the cost of deploying it to skyrocket and make the war unpopular back home. To say that failed was a horrific understatement. The rebellion ended with most of its ringleaders dead or captured.

It took years to take down the "Southern Rebellion", but ultimately, in 1841, the "Southern Rebellion" ended after British generals rampaged through the South in the "March Away From The Sea", with many of the plantations up in flames. The guerilla-chasing (note the innovation of smaller "kill teams" to pursue a smaller and more agile force) took much of the last year, with the capture of New Bern in North Carolina being the last major battle--it saw the hanging of Roger Taney at the conclusion of the battle due to treason (He helped orchestrate the entire rebellion). But "British Columbia" was not the only area with rebellions that the British had to deal with...
 
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Nice job. Good coverage. It makes sense that the British, being so powerful now, would win but it would take a while. This is the height of their. Power but also there could even be guerrillas given the some southerners in our civil war considered that.
 
Nice job. Good coverage. It makes sense that the British, being so powerful now, would win but it would take a while. This is the height of their. Power but also there could even be guerrillas given the some southerners in our civil war considered that.
Maybe tomorrow I'll go update either this chapter or one of the other short ones. Thanks for that. Guerrillas, that might be covered in the updates.
 
What direction do you want me to go for Canada?
Also, should I do narrative units as well? The Spain one went horribly...
 
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