Final fate of "British Columbia" by the end

  • 1. Eventual independence

    Votes: 18 51.4%
  • 2. Eventual merging with the US

    Votes: 17 48.6%
  • 3. Something else (post in thread for more details)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Chapter 10: Canada Part 1
Canada: Part 1 (1783-1836)

In 1784, the British created a new colony called New Brunswick in Canada primarily due to the influx of Loyalists (fleeing the American Revolution). They settled along the shores of the St. John River. In 1791, the Constitutional Act replaced the Quebec Act and divided Quebec into two pieces, forming Upper and Lower Canada. Why did Britain do this? One reason was establishing consistent administrative structure in all the “Canadian” colonies of British North America; the construction of colonies of New Brunswick and Cape Breton in 1784 helped provide a model for this purpose. Consistency in the British Parliamentary system as a further model for colonialism and imperialism to spread to other areas of the globe was also an important goal. The development of Canada was not just learning from the American Revolution, though. The British wanted to have a colony or set of colonies that would provide benefits to the British Empire. This desire to make Canada productive would shape its economic growth for a long period of time. The Coalition War in Europe, which was inconclusive and led primarily to the suppression of reforms in most European countries such as Spain, Austria, and Prussia (except for France, where they started), had allowed many Canadians to find jobs with war industries. These included building war materials, making sails, winding ropes, constructing ships, casting cannons, and providing food and other resources to the British Army and their allies (which largely wanted to minimize the number of drastic changes in Europe, as opposed to the French, who wanted to spread their reforms.) The end of the Coalition War was an uncomfortable transition for many Canadians since most of the "war jobs" disappeared.

Cutting costs by letting the local governments raise funds for local projects was also critical for the Constitutional Act. The British now wanted colonies that were relatively self-sustaining but still beholden to the mother country. The British also wanted to make sure the executive (governor) had more power than the elected representatives. The governor’s powers actually increased at the head of an appointed executive council. The elected legislative council of a colony was allowed to draft legislation and recommend action, but the executive made key decisions. This Constitutional Act was perhaps a response to the American Revolution, but it had its own problems, and was criticized as soon as a decade after its completion. Perhaps most tellingly, there would be less autonomy to colonial governments in Canada, not more. In addition, the Constitutional Act would be criticized for favoring the Anglican elite in both colonies. These complaints would boil over until the 1830s, where they would explode in dramatic fashion.

Lower Canada and Upper Canada actually had different cultures. Upper Canada was influenced strongly by the Church of England, and it was more similar to the other colonies in Canada than Lower Canada was. Lower Canada was the heartland of the old Quebec and was predominantly Catholic and francophone. These different cultures often disagreed with each other, and had different economic structures. The expense of administering both colonies grew in the 1820s, and various plans existed to try and reduce the cost of administering both colonies. There was a plan of unifying Upper and Lower Canada in 1822, but it was rejected. Smaller scale reforms like adjusting the customs duties to provide Upper Canada (which did not have a port with the Atlantic Ocean) with a larger share of revenue, also had few results. Those failures would cause many Canadian reformers to distrust the British authorities.

However, both groups had a similar problem. They were run by tight small groups referred to disparagingly as the Chateau Clique for the former (named because it ran the colony from the governor’s residence) and the Family Compact for the latter. In the case of Lower Canada, several attempts existed to expand the influence of its assembly. Many of the assemblymen wanted trade-offs that would limit the executive authority. Some reforms did happen by 1830, but for many reformers, it was too little, too late. There was also a great suspicion that the southern colonies in “British Columbia” and the Caribbean were given preferential treatment, and this rankled in the brains of many Canadians. The southern colonies were not exactly given "preferential treatment"--but many Canadians felt like it.

Economic development of Canada was going apace, but many in Britain saw Canada primarily as a source of raw materials to be brought for refinement back in the mother country. A canal-building project similar to the ones in the United States of America, along with railway projects, were successful. In Upper Canada, there were large land sales and the speculation in land value that caused a large revenue source. The rapid growth of the British population up until around 1817 needed feeding, so the surplus of wheat in Canada could produce a source of wealth. However, economic uncertainty started to arise after the end of the Coalition War, which wa costly and inconclusive. Increased production of wheat in Upper Canada also led to increased competition in a reduced market size, and it led to more economic uncertainty. The formation of a colonial merchant class there that specialized in the wheat business also led to more economic improvements since the merchants usually supported infrastructure improvements that benefited their profits. This typically led to more storage facilities, docks canals, and roads.

By the 1830s, several reformers were speaking actively against the tight small groups called the Chateau Clique and Family Compact. The other Canadian colonies were also facing mismanagement issues similar to those of Upper and Lower Canada, but slightly less severe. As such, a Canada-wide movement started to form. The main issue with these reformers was that they agreed on little besides the need for change. However, all agreed that something needed to budge, and the British government was unwilling to grant it. Many of these reformers were also thinking bigger than mere change. Some wanted independence, but knew that would be a difficult process.
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Chapter 11: Know-Nothing Idiots Part 1
The journey to civil rights isn't always quick, nor easy, even in a timeline where it's faster and more successful than OTL.

The Know-Nothing movement reached a height in 1832 due to the influx of migrations in the 1820s. Many Americans feared the mass migration due to concerns of replacement. Factory workers were often paid very little, and many companies would prefer picking immigrants due to their supposed superior work ethic. In fact, many immigrants would work hard to achieve their “American Dream”, where they wanted to make their life in the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” more successful. America was a land of opportunity, but many people were thinking that the opportunity was not unlimited in their communities. Deluges of immigration settled the west and led to the formation of new states. For instance, Missouri became a state in 1820 in the Missouri Compromise; this was highly contentious. In exchange for Missouri’s statehood, slavery would no longer expand (expansion of slavery would be banned by 1830 according to the U.S. Constitution, but many lawmakers wanted it banned earlier) and Maine would form out of Massachusetts in short order (by 1824)—something that many lawmakers also wanted. The largely agricultural west had soaked up much of the immigration, but many other immigrants arrived in the cities due to the promise of a better life. The big businesses in the cities often actively attracted immigrants for a labor force, always wanting more people to replace those lost on the job.

The Know-Nothing movement, called because its supporters typically stated “I know nothing” when questioned about the movement, was a nativist reaction to the supposed tide of huddled masses. It was also anti-Catholic, a fear that the Papacy could subvert America. Due to religious differences between Protestants and Catholics becoming a political issue, the large arrival of German and Irish Catholics further inflamed the movement; splinter groups such as the Order of the Golden Circle and Native Sons started to appear as well. Irish and German workers, unsurprisingly, were the worst targeted. Besides direct attacks and violence flare-ups at some polling places, signs started to appear which stated, “No Irish need apply”, and the spread of varying conspiracy theories. The spread of conspiracy theories linking the Roman Catholic Church to the ills of society became more common and frightening by the day. In response, various groups and people, such as William Lloyd Garrison, attempted to slow down the Know-Nothings by counterattacking in the media.


This flagrant racism was largely not solved until late 1836 when bills about equal protection received serious consideration, and the abuses of the Know-Nothings were brought to the forefront of public attention. The movement was very mysterious—probably due to the lack of response given by its supporters. As such, very little was known about its leaders at this time, especially after the movement went underground due to the federal government wanting to reduce the anti-immigrant racism, calling it a blight on the “All men are created equal” sections of the US Constitution and Declaration of Independence. The Know-Nothings would resurface later, but for now they burrowed underground like prairie dogs. Perhaps the big deciding factor for the defeat of the initial Know-Nothings was the alliance of corporate interests (who wanted more immigration for labor purposes) and civil rights groups who wanted to protect immigrants and their rights. The corporate interests had enough money and influence to counteract the Know-Nothings and affect the way Americans thought about the new immigrants. Fervor for the founding fathers could have also contributed to the failure of the Know-Nothing movement in several areas due to their racism.

Update 2/23
An interesting development during this period was the start of "Revolutionary Drive" or "Revolutionary Spirit", with an emphasis on democracy and civil rights. It also tolerated immigrants or other kinds of "American". Political scientists thought "Revolutionary Drive" began as a response to the Know-Nothing movement, but others stated "Revolutionary Drive" was simply the continuation of the ideals espoused in the U.S. Constitution. The noble actions of the founding fathers and how to live up to them became critical for "Revolutionary Drive." Many of its adherents wanted to spread the American beliefs and the American dream to other countries, both to free their inhabitants, but also to get America some foreign allies. This way, the United States of America would have a greater safety from its enemies in the event of a war. This would play out in the Canadian Revolution (1837-41), but would not stop there. Various Americans would travel to Europe in the 1840s, especially in 1846-48, due to the spread of democratic reforms there. Many of these reformers would influence the restructuring of the countries of Austria, Denmark, and Spain. Most importantly, the formation of Germany and its national character could be partially attributable to the American help. Many scholars of future eras would consider the development of "Revolutionary Drive" to be the founding of greater American influence in the wider world. Some countries, such as Great Britain, started to become scared of this growing American influence, and wanted allies of their own to push against it.

President Clay had pioneered the "American system", which helped establish a unique American culture and a sense of identity. This system incorporated "Revolutionary Drive", but also had dimensions in art and literature. As the United States of America expanded westwards, driving out the Native Americans in their way, the pioneers and settlers established settlements, farms, and towns. Many of them settled the prairies of the Great Plains. Art of the frontier, the farms, the Rocky Mountains, and the rivers would be centerpieces of American art. Famous scenes of American history such as the Continental Congress, the signing of the U.S. Constitution, American Revolution battles, and the Indian Wars would also frequent American art galleries. Literature often covered the same topics in an attempt to distinguish from novels in Europe at the time. Partially due to the importance of the frontier, books such as "Self-Reliance" by Ralph Waldo Emerson stressed individuality. This American system would prove to be Clay's main accomplishment, especially since he would go under fire for poor handling of an economic crisis.


Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
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In case you're wondering why these chapters are so short, Know-Nothings part 2 will occur late 1840s-early 1850s...
Canada part 2 is coming
Chapter 12: Know-Nothing Idiots Part 2
Updates arrived. What do you think?
Here's another one.

The corporate interests and companies which wanted more immigration didn’t do this due to an interest in immigrant welfare. They opposed the Know-Nothings, but they supported the influx of immigration for more labor. The most infamous of these was Charles Goodyear, notorious for using company mercenaries to “beat the devil” out of his mostly immigrant workforce. Too many times, corporate mercenaries slugged workers with batons and bludgeons; more than once a small private army of thugs had fired upon striking workers using new rifled muskets. Goodyear had several enterprises, one of which was in rubber, but other Goodyear factories produced various components for railways. He attempted to perform vertical integration, or controlling various parts of the same industry. This way, he could have a greater control over the rail industry than any of his rivals, who typically had influence in only one or two sections of the industry. He was on his way on becoming one of the earliest and most infamous “Titans of Industry”.


Charles Goodyear, around 1835

The word got out on just how bad Goodyear was. Many Americans didn’t buy the “Industrial Propaganda” coming out of newspapers owned by him. They were furious. Various Senators and Representatives exploited this, running for office on such campaign promises. Goodyear fought tooth and nail with lobbying and often outright corruption to get his way. But that thankfully didn’t happen. Even some of the other industrialists thought Goodyear went too far on mistreatment of his workforce. It was looking awful, a disgrace to supposed “equal treatment” that the nation so cherished. Other historians, though, found a less noble motive—the fall of the Goodyear corporate empire could allow other companies to pick up the pieces. This came to a head in 1840, a “Workplace Safety Act”, which prohibited the use of mercenaries, private armies, etc. in cities and started the development of a “Federal Workplace Safety Guidelines” and an inspector force to ensure compliance(note the important exception on the frontier). This Act passed despite the efforts of Goodyear to lobby Senators and Representatives to stop it. This, combined with a law on monopolies in 1841 (although it was heavily criticized for an “I know it when I see it” definition of monopolies), mauled Goodyear’s various industries. He died a broken man, as almost everyone hated him, and his business empire greatly reduced in size.

Update: Goodyear wasn't the only thing going wrong in America at this time. The Panic of 1837 caused people to lose confidence in President Henry Clay, who was largely seen as unable to help America get out of its economic depression. Various means such as poll taxes and racial discrimination had caused problems for Americans trying to realize their civil rights. Infamously, immigrants and African Americans would be the worst affected--and many urban communities with large numbers of either ended up facing the worst injustices there. All the while, political machines in many American cities fostered political corruption, making people think their votes no longer mattered in local government. The "Tammany Hall" machine in New York, first established around 1840, would be a festering example of the rottenness of these political machines. Reformers attempted to tackle all these problems, but often would not find the political will to see their changes become reality until a while later. Some of these reformers even wanted to spread American influence abroad, so to bring American freedom to other parts of the world. This, however, would cause many other countries to be suspicious of the United States of America.

Another problem for civil rights was the Know-Nothings, who resurfaced in the late 1840s and early 1850s along with the next wave of immigration. The collapse of Goodyear and the realization that the American Dream wasn’t only a dream drove even more immigrants towards the United States of America. Backlash ensued due to fears of overcrowding in some places, though. The Know-Nothings returned, with them even gaining some state legislature seats, and a Senate Candidate in New York by the name of Fillmore. They seemed to be more successful this time due to the wave of immigration being even larger than the previous one, though once again, their presence was thankfully limited by the importance of equal rights to most Americans. The Know-Nothings attempted a rebrand, calling themselves, the “American Party”, but this fooled hardly anyone. Many people just saw them as a tired, old retread of nativism. As a result, the organization died as it lived, reviled by most Americans.


Know-Nothing Nativist Propaganda.

Nevertheless, the Know-Nothings did bring up a valid point. Overcrowding was a problem in various cities in the United States of America, and it was becoming detrimental for the immigrants themselves. As a result, city planners attempted to make housing more affordable, and to avoid the worst excesses that were documented by various social groups. Horror stories of sordid living conditions that fueled the paranoia about diseases and immigrants started to emerge, and many local and state initiatives arose to save them. By 1858, the Federal Government attempted to pass a law about housing standards… while this attempt failed, it would inspire several other housing law proposals. Housing standards were not the only part of worker problems that Americans realized was problematics. Workplaces, especially the steel mills, slaughterhouses, meat processors, and factories, often had horrific safety records, with many workers dying every day. The workers being merely cogs in the great machine of American industry was not just a rumor--it was very real in the 1840s and 1850s. The callous nature of industrial processing, partially fueled by the influx of immigrants and African Americans, led to the ruination of hundreds of families. Several best-selling books about the plight of the worker, such as The New Slavery by Sojourner Truth in 1854, had galvanized Americans. They would not stand for the horrid injustices in their country. The push for equal rights after the end of slavery in 1836 would be the beginning of a new era in America.
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Goodyear got mauled though. Next issue after the Canada one that's the end of him. A dark guy like him or WMIT Goodyear doesn't do well in a nobler and brighter setting. Without AFC he's not nearly as formidable as say in "What Madness Is This".
Yeah, but WMIT is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I hear his name.
Good one. WMIT was somewhat of an inspiration for this version of Goodyear. Anyhow, essay due in 2 days, so next update probably Thursday or Friday.
Chapter 13: Canada Part 2
The year was 1837, and not only was "British Columbia" in flames, so was Canada. Upper and Lower Canada in particular were steaming from decades of mismanagement. The Chateau clique in Lower Canada was known for not only gross mismanagement and not serving the interests of most of the inhabitants well, but also increasingly for corruption. Many back home in Great Britain were trying to get more revenue out of Canada and its relatively diverse economy, but not investing enough back into Canada. Another dissatisfaction with the system of the time was discontent at the oligarchy of wealth and privilege. Many Canadians were thinking that the economic system as it stood did not benefit regular Canadians. As such, a populist reform movement could occur. Perhaps the most jarring of all the concerns was the supposed discrimination against French-Canadians. Many demanded equal rights not simply stated in a constitution but also realized in fact.


Louis-Joseph Papineau, architect of the Canadian Rebellion in Lower Canada

A few years prior, in 1834 the Patri Canadien organization, of which Papineau was an important member, which campaigned for equal rights for French Canadians, among other promises, changed its name to Patri Patriote. This was an allusion to the Patriots all the way back in the American Revolution. Some Americans were intrigued by this, not only with the possible solidarity to their forefathers, but also because the US-Britain rivalry still existed and many Americans didn't want to be confronted by Great Britain on both borders. The British didn't think this was going to become a problem until much too late. The Patri Patriote compiled the Ninety-Two Resolutions to the British government, along with a petition of 90,000 signatures. The British, as usual, failed to develop an adequate response to the petition or other attempts at reform.


Lower Canada wasn't the only place with a rebellion in Canada. Similar to Lower Canada, Upper Canada had many of the same problems.
William Lyon Mackenzie was the leader of the rebellion in Upper Canada. He ran a newspaper called The Colonial Advocate that often vented reformer positions and was often decried by the Tories as "radical". The republican and pro-American language from the more radical side sometimes clashed with some of the moderates. Mackenzie, though, was spending much of the time finding volunteers, and many of them were training themselves in case of a rebellion. Various soldiers of fortune from America arrived in disguise as well to help train them, not wanting a senseless defeat or slaughter and the discrediting of the reform movement in Upper Canada. The events in Lower Canada (which had a higher proportion of French-Canadians) had given new opportunities for the rebellion in Upper Canada. The governor of Upper Canada, Sir Francis Bond Head, had been widely disliked in Upper Canada for not listening to the advice of the reformers. He sent most of his troops to Lower Canada to help deal with the rebellion there, leaving Upper Canada more open to the rebels.


William Lyon Mackenzie: leader of the rebellion in Upper Canada.

The Americans saw that the rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada not only were trying to fight against what was seen as unreasonable British dominance, but were also using classic American documents such as Henry Paine's works. The Church Massacre where British soldiers burned Canadian rebels alive inside a church horrified many Americans. Volunteers started creeping across the border to help the Canadian rebels. At this point, the United States wanted to support a kindred spirit, even if it meant a conflict with Great Britain. Perhaps it was war fever, or "revolutionary spirit", or just wanting a more friendly northern neighbor, but regardless, the Americans were willing to help out the "Canadian Rebellion." The British Army, once dominant in "British Columbia", found itself harried and unable to catch the forces of rebels in Canada. One reason could be the incompetence of the British forces, especially the recently-promoted Major General Elphinstone (promoted in 1837, and eager to obtain more glory for the Empire.) He turned out to be a complete bungler. In the Battle of Montreal for instance, he ended up ordering the British Cavalry to charge a well-defended position--and suffered almost complete losses. The song "Modern Major General", detailing the failures of British generalship, was partially inspired by him. The British forces in Canada found themselves struggling to not only catch the rebels, but facing mounting costs of an unpopular war back home. Their counterparts back in British Columbia at least were having some success with getting the rebels. Torching cities like in the Sack of Charleston didn't help due to the populist nature of the rebellion. People didn't get scared--they got angrier, and Britain was quickly losing sympathy from other countries. While the British could still win battles in Canada, they were not getting any closer to winning the war, unlike in British Columbia. War with the United States over the US volunteers in Canada was rejected by the British Parliament because they thought it would fail horribly. There weren't even that many large battles--this was very much a disorganized war because the Canadian rebels knew they couldn't stand up to the British Army in a standard pitched battle. So it was hit and run everywhere, perhaps the precursor to guerilla warfare in later wars. British strategists after the fact seemed to think the reason why the Pacification of Canada failed and the Pacification of "British Columbia" succeeded was because the former had volunteers from another power and had a broader base of support, therefore making an unconventional war easier.

The end result of the "Canadian Rebellion/Revolution" was an independent Canada, with the British only holding onto "British Columbia", New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland. The British government also saw a complete collapse in its confidence, with the deaths of many political careers--losing most of Canada, serial incompetence, and cowardice at a war with the U.S. Admittedly, actually fighting the U.S. would have simply drained the British treasury faster. The newly-independent Canada formed a republican government along the lines of the United States of America, and the two countries became allies soon after. Many of the volunteers that helped the Canadian rebels returned back home with far more military experience, further increasing the strength of the U.S. Army--this would later be useful in fighting the Native Americans in the next stages of western expansion. With Canada, the United States of America would have its first true ally, someone who would stick by it through most situations.
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I'm interested in seeing how the new republican Canadian government is formed. While it'd have some American influences I'd really prefer that they not call it the United States of Canada.
How about the Canadian Republic?
Good job for that one. Canadian Republic it is. I might go over a founding doc for that one but that will take time. I think Know nothing idiots 1 and 2 covered a bit of what was going on in the US right after Canada part 1 and 2, but this is a big time in US History. The 1840s haven't even begun proper and KN are only a small portion.
Canada part 3 might occur rather later.
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