Royal Columbia

On July 4, 1776, a document was adopted by 56 delegates of the Second Continental Congress, who were convened at the Pennsylvania State House (renamed Independence Hall), known as the Declaration of Independence. With its signing, the 56 delegates cemented their legacy as the Founding Fathers of the newly independent United States of America.

In March 4, 1789, the Constitution of the United States, replacing the previous and ineffective Articles of Confederation, the Nation's first Constitution, and set about establishing the frame of the national government and powers it held.

To this day, the Constitution remains as the Supreme Law of the United States.

After the debates of 1787-88 over the Constitutions ratification, the Bill of Rights was added to ensure personal freedoms and rights, as well as limitations on the government's power in judicial matters and other proceedings, and powers not granted to the federal government are instead granted to the States.

All of this culminated into the creation of the United States, which despite having evolved and seeing much change since it's birth, has maintained its form of Government of a Federal Democratic Republic under a President, elected through the Electoral College.

The Government of the United States is subdivided into the three branches of the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial, whose powers are laid out by the Constitution in the Congress, President and Federal Courts.

Now as a interesting prospect, and what seems to be the most unlikely of ideas, what if the US was a Monarchy?
Such an idea was, at least implied, to have been entertained by such individuals such as Nathaniel Gorham, founding father, merchant and politician from Massachusetts.

The Prussian Scheme had supposedly be envisioned by the man as a form of Government to replace the existing one set under by the Articles of Confederation, the predecessor of the current Constitution of the United States.

Of course, such a thing never did go through as one, Prince Henry of Prussia (the one who originally was a candidate for the throne) showed no interest in becoming King of the US, highlighting that the people would be unlikely to support such a arrangement following the Revolution and expelling of Britain from the Thirteen Colonies.

In any case, what if the Scheme proved too enticing and seemed like the only proper solution to the troubles occurring in the US?

Perhaps Ferdinand von Steuben, a Prussian officer who helped reformed the Continental Army into a disciplined and professional fighting force in OTL, contributes far more with aide from his native lands who see potential for the fledgling United States and decide to support the US with additional aide.

Thus, contributing more to the American cause, which in turn leads to much greater support for and acceptance of the idea of a American Monarchy with a Prussian Prince.

For Prussia, under Frederick the Great held much disdain for Britain following the Seven Years War in which Britain attempted to formulate peace and effectively abandon Prussia to its fate, was followed by Britain's attempts to prevent Prussia from obtaining Danzig during the partition of Poland in August 5, 1772. Thus leaving the King with much resentment towards the Empire.

In this timeline, despite not wanting to fully push Britain away, Frederick's own disdain for the Nation still leads him to lend support for the US.

To ensure it happens, as in our world with the lack of a US Navy to protect Prussian commerce and Frederick needing Britain as a check to his nations opponents, a early set of victories for the Patriots leads France to support the US sooner by about a year or two.

This in turn, convinces Spain and later Prussia to side with, as with the combined Spanish and French fleets, Frederick is convinced to provide greater support. This alone doesn't guarantee the US becomes a Monarchy, but it may lead to the foundation and support from some of the founding fathers and populace to the idea.

Following the war, with the failures of the young republic, the Prince is offered the throne.
When approached about the offer, Prince Henry is reluctant at first to accept, but is met by von Steuben alongside a delegation from the US offering the throne.

Knowing he would not become King of Prussia or even rule his own country, and having some difficulties with his brother Frederick stemming from the latter's treatment of another member of the family and he's taking the credit for a number of victories that were more to do with his fellow Prussian generals, leads Henry to accept.

Following a long voyage to the New World, Prince Henry of Prussia arrives to New York with some fanfare, including meeting with some of the Founding Fathers before being whisked away and being Crown King of the United States, followed by Washington becoming President.​
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Battle of Quebec, December 23 1775
In September 25 1775, the Fort of St. Jean, British Canada, was captured alongside Quebec's Governor General, Guy Charleton, alongside a force of 34 British regulars, 80 militia, 120 Canadian militia, 20 Indian agents and a few other native allies were captured that.

A total of 20 casualties came about on the Continental side during the capture of Fort St. Jean, with its capture being aided by Thomas Walker, a prominent merchant and American sympathizer, who entered contact with the American forces of Ethan Allen where Walker would open the gates to the fort.

What resulted was an engagement similar to that of the Battle of Trenton the following year, where by the American's achieved tactical surprise allowing for a quick capture of the British forces and their allies present.

The Capture of Fort St. Jean alongside it's commander, Guy Charleton, would play a part in discouraging local French-Canadians and other potential recruiters from joining the British cause as Militia, hampering the latter's efforts to defend Quebec.

A total of just 200 Canadians were recruited to fight for the Crown in all.

In the aftermath, the Continental's recruited a number of French Canadians for their cause by Jeremy Duggan, an "old Subject" Quebec City barber, who would join the Continental's with roughly 100 French Canadians.

News reached Quebec on October 18 about the defeat and surrender of Charleton and his forces, leading Lieutenant Governor Hector Cramahé to take charge of Quebec's defenses alone.

Raising a force of organized militia around several hundred to defend the town in September, attempts to get more aid was either ignored or reinforcements were blown of course and ended up in New York.

As part of the preparations, boats were removed off the south shore of the Saint Lawrence river, additional militia enlistments were in place, increasing the strength up to 600 or more.

Two ships would arrive in November 3, with a third the next day, bringing more volunteers for the defense, totaling 120 more men for the defense.
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Troops under Benedict Arnold arrived on November 10 after crossing the St. Lawrence River, with a force of 600 survivors from the long march from Boston to Quebec, which originally started with 1,100 men.

After awaiting calm weather, on November 9, Arnold and his men crossed the Saint Lawrence with aide from local Native Americans who provided Canoes and guides to help.

After failed attempts to force the cities surrender through diplomacy, Arnold was forced to wait and blockade the city whilst awaiting reinforcements under Richard Montgomery leading 300 men including a company of artillery, plus 500 men recruited by James Liningston and 160 men who were the remnants of previous regiments.

In addition, this force came with supplies including winter clothing, food and other desperately needed supplies.

On December 6, the Battle would begin that would last until December 21, as the blockade around the city grew tighter whilst the artillery ravaged parts of the city and defending forces.

On December 23, the City would surrender to Montgomery and a total of 1516 of the defenders would becoming prisoners of war, whilst 30 of them would either die or be wounded during the siege.

A Frenchman living near Trois-Rivieres, Christophe Pelissier, was a political supporter of the American cause who operated St. Maurice Ironworks.

Meeting with Montgomery early on during the first day's of the siege, Pelissier would provide supply in the form of ammunition, bombs and cannonballs for the American forces, plus supply Fort Ticonderoga for a time, during which he would be commissioned into the Continental Army as a engineer lieutenant Colonel.

The victory would prove a much needed morale boost for the present troops, who (especially under Arnold) experienced terrible conditions during the march and were still at risk of losing moral during the siege as it continued.
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when I first got into alternate history as a kid I remember being weirdly obsessed with the idea of an American monarchy. I'll be watching this.
Withdraw from Quebec, Jan. 7 - Feb. 21
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Following the Capture of Quebec City and surrender of all present British troops, the Army under Montgomery and Arnold would be forced to withdraw upon the arrival of British reinforcements further up the Saint Lawrence. The risk of being cut off from the Colonies, coupled with growing shortages of supplies having to be transported from Fort Ticonderoga, or even as far as Boston, lead to the withdraw which began in January 7, 1776.

During this time, a Naval force of British warships under command of John Hamilton recaptured Quebec City on January 10, through use of Marines which came ashore. General John Burgoyne, who was commanding British reinforcements, arrived in Boston on May 1775 and partook in the Battle's of Bunker Hill and the Siege of Boston before leaving for England, had returned to lead a force to recapture Quebec City.

Following the recapture of the City, Burgoyne would pursue the retreating Continental Army from the St. Lawrence and overland to Montreal, which was also recaptured without a fight, before being force to halt his advance due to shortages of food and supply.

During the attempt to capture St. Johns, Burgoyne's forces would engage Montgomery and Arnold in a naval battle where the hastily built American fleet suffered a major defeat, however Burgoyne was forced to retreat back to Montreal and hold off on pushing further south for the remainder of February leading into March due to weather and risk of grounding his ships.

Battle of St. Johns occurred on 14 February, 1776 bear Saint John, north of Lake Champlain. As part of the campaign under General Burgoyne, the British sought to force the Continental army out of Quebec City, and rest of Canada before pivoting south to cut of the New England colonies from the rest of the rebelling states in conjunction with general Howe
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in Boston. The Battle of St. Johns is one of the first naval battles of the American Revolutionary War, and the first by the created United States Navy.

The fleet was under the command of Benedict Arnold, however overall command lied with Richard Montgomery. The Battle was a tactical British victory as the small fleet of ships under command of Thomas Pringle managed to defeat the Americans, forcing some ships to run aground or end up sunk.

However, the Battle proved a strategic victory for the Americans as the British had been slowed down and been forced to halt their advance long enough for the Army to fortify both Ft. Ticonderoga and Crown Point to prevent the British from reaching Lake George and beyond that, the Hudson River.

Arnold lead the British fleet to a position he and Montgomery had chosen to limit their advantages. The night saw Arnold attempt to sneak the American fleet against the British in a surprise attack. Unfortunately, poor weather disrupted this effort and much of the fleet was grounded, destroyed or capture with the few remaining fleeing south.

Previously, following the capture of Quebec City, British reinforcements had arrived to recapture the city and secure the British province of Quebec alongside the rest of Canada. The growing force of British regulars and Canadian troops, coupled with strung supply lines, was enough to force a withdraw under order of Richard Montgomery.

His subordinate, Benedict Arnold, argued instead to maintain hold of Montreal, however the presence of Royal Navy in the Saint Lawrence proved to much a risk and potentially cutting off the Continental army from retreat or supplies.

By then, a force of roughly 8,000 British and German troops had been present in Quebec, arriving in the Spring of 1776 under command of John Burgoyne, who retook Quebec City without a fight. Hoping to cut off the Continental's in a pitched Battle, Burgoyne pursued them up until Montreal in order to secure his supply lines and deal with growing anti-British Militia from French-Canadians, which began raiding and attacking his rear as he advance down the Saint Lawrence.

Due to a lack of ships, the British Army was split in about half with just 5,000 joining Burgoyne in the chase whilst the remainder stayed back to defend the rear. These efforts were made difficult as the Americans took or destroyed all ships on Lake Champlain that might be used by the British. In addition, Fort Saint-Jean was set fire to.

The British and Americans had then spent the brief interval of time to construct and gather a fleet of ships, for Britain from Europe as apart of reinforcements, and Americans, from construction efforts though this was met with many challenges that greatly limited the number and quality of the vessels in question.

Before and during the withdraw from Quebec, on Jan. 1 1776, Norfolk, Virginia was burnt down following the British Royal Navy shelling the town and landing parties to burn specific properties. The town had been significantly pro-Loyalist had most fled by then, and was occupied by Patriot forces from Virginia and North Carolina.

The Patriots, despite working to remove the British from the town, did nothing to stop the flames and began burning and looting Loyalist-owned property instead. After three days, most of the town was destroyed, thanks in part to the actions of the Patriots. Anything left was destroyed upon the Patriot withdraw.

In January 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published "Common Sense," which quickly would become a bestseller and galvanize support for the American cause and idea for Independence from great Britain.


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Boston, 1776
"My God, these fellows have done more work in one night than I could make my army do in three months." General Howe, March 6, 1776
Siege of Boston, April 19, 1775 - March 3, 1776

The end of the Siege of Boston which began as far back as June 14, 1775, finally came to an end during the early days of March, starting with the Fortification of the Dorchester Heights which overlooked the City of Boston, where William Howe had been stationed through much of the time since the Battle of Bunker Hill and when Thomas Gage was in overall command in the early stages of the Revolutionary War.

During the siege, in June 14 Congress voted to create the Continental Army out of the Militia units around Boston and appointed George Washington of Virginia as commanding General.

After Washington took command in July 1775, Colonel Henry Knox had proposed the idea of bringing the cannons from Ticonderoga to the siege. Knox himself was given the task, to transport the needed weapons from Ticonderoga to Cambridge.

Knox went in November, 1775, and over the three winter months, moved the 60 tons of cannons and other armaments by boat, horse and ox-drawn sledges through poor-quality roads, across two near frozen rivers, and through forests and swamps of sparsely inhabited Berkshires to the Boston area.

The success of the operation has been widely regarded as one of the most successful logistics feats of the entire war.

Within Boston, the British military leadership headed by general William Howe had been aware of the importance of the Dorchester Heights, alongside the heights of Charlestown, which possessed a commanding view of Boston and its outer Harbor. With how vital the harbor was to the British, much effort was made to its continued protection with the Royal Navy, first under Admiral Samuel Graves and later, under Admiral Molyneux Shuldham, provided protection and keep the Continental's at bay. As well as this, the Royal Navy provided protection of supplies being transported into the city.

Previously, efforts to lift the siege and capture of the Dorchester heights and other surrounding areas that overlooked Boston were made, culminating in the costly victory at the Battle of Bunker Hill where the British regulars and grenadiers were finally able to capture Bunker Hill and Breeds Hill from the Militia.

Neither the Americans or British dare attempt a move, even after Washington's arrival, when the Virginian considered capturing the unoccupied Dorchester Heights but gave up the idea fearing a British attack on the position would brush aside whatever force he could send to hold it. With what seemed to be a strong British presence in Boston, coupled with a lack of military supplies and gunpowder, the Committee of Safety (a shadow government) was unconvinced. Once Knox had arrived with the supplies, including Artillery, Washington was finally convinced to try.

Plan in Motion, March 2 - March 17, 1776
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Following the arrival of artillery from Fort Ticonderoga, several batteries were set up overlooking the City of Boston and later, Boston Harbor itself. These including Lechmere's Point and Cobble Hill in Cambridge, and Lamb's Dam in Roxbury.

In order to utilize the crucial point of Dorchester Heights in the southern most part overlooking the harbor, several batteries were ordered to open fire on the town on the night of March 2 to which the British returned in kind without any significant loss of life for either side. The same followed suit during the night of March 3, whilst preparations continued.

March 4, 1776, was when things changed as during the night, whilst the batteries opened up once again, the British were distracted as the Americans made some final preparations to end the siege thanks to the planning of Rufus Putnam, a American military officer and veteran of the French and Indian Wars.

Due to the frozen ground of the Dorchester Heights, fortifying the position would prove difficult without the ability to dig in. Putnam, who had been a millwright, opted for a plan using chandeliers (heavy timbers, 10 feet long, use as frames) and Fascines (large bundles of wood used to strengthen an earth structure and create a path across uneven, or wet terrain).

These were built out of sight of the British. Under General John Thomas, about 2,500 troops quietly marched to the top of Dorchester Heights, hauling tools, the prefabricated fortifications and cannon placements. Hay bales were used to muffle the sound of the troops activity, who spent the whole night setting up the cannon's and their placements to overlook Boston.

Washington, during this time, made his presence felt in order to encourage and keep up morale, reminding the soldiers of the approaching anniversary of the Boston Massacre on March 5. Work continued on with trees cut down and used to make Abbatis to impede any foot assault from the British.

In response, Admiral Shuldham of the British fleet present determined the danger his ships were now under, and the need for the height to be taken. How and his staff would determine that to contest the occupation for the heights, would require 2,400 men and to attack under the cover of darkness. Washington was notified and reinforced the height until their were about 6,000 men present incase of an attack.

Ongoing snow storms beginning as late as March 5 prevented any military action for several days, leading Howe to eventually reconsider launching an attack and instead focus on preserving the army as much as possible for a battle elsewhere, rather then try and hold Boston. On march 8, intermediaries delivered an unsigned paper to Washington, warning that unless Howe's troops were allowed to leave, Boston would be burned to the ground.

Battle of Boston Harbor, March 16 - March 17, 1776
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Following attempts by the British to destroy the fortifications in a two-hour cannon barrage, Howe alongside his officers agreed the colonists had to be removed from the heights if they were to hold Boston. This plan was given up in favor of a withdraw following a series of storms which occurred, preventing the British from launching the assault.

On March 8, a letter was sent to Washington that stated the British would not destroy the city if they were allowed to leave peacefully. Washington rejected the letter, in part due to it not being addressed to him either by name or title. Still, the letter did keep Washington at bay until March 9, when the British saw movement on Nook's Hill in Dorchester and opened a massive artillery barrage that lasted all night.

The barrage killed merely four men, but this response provoked the Americans and tension grew as the days went by. The next day, Colonists took the chance to go out and collect 700 cannonballs that had been fired at them.

On March 10, General Howe issued a proclamation ordering all inhabitants of Boston to give up all linen and woolen goods that could be used by the Colonists. During the next week, the British fleet waited in anchor for favorable winds while Loyalists and British Soldiers were loaded onto the ships. During this, American privateer ships captured several British supply ships bound for Boston.

On March 15, the wind became favorable for the British, but its sudden shift kept them from leaving. On March 16, another sighting of American forces spooked the British regulars into action, and in turn lead to British guns opening up a barrage upon the heights and soon a cannon duel began as American artillery opened fired upon the City and the still withdrawing British Loyalists and Soldiers.

Thanks to miscommunication, coupled with overly eager and on edge Captains and other officers, artillery continued to fire throughout the night and into the next day, by which time at around 4:00 a.m. a number of ships were loaded up and already sailing out. Most of these contained mostly civilians.

A total of 120 ships were present during the evacuation, however with the sudden and dramatic escalation in the fighting around Boston, several found themselves still moored and unable to move, whilst others fell victim to a series of cannonballs from American artillery up on the Dorchester Heights.

As Washington attempted to order a cease-fire, General Howe gave the word to set fire to the city, which began early at 1:00 p.m. and would consume much of the City by 11:00 pm.

Majority of the Loyalists had been evacuated, however a few 100 remained as panic gripped the populace whilst General Howe struggled to maintain order within the burning city. The fires soon reached the harbor itself and several ships were set ablaze or had already become the target of countless American artillery pieces and were now at risk of sinking in harbor.

General Howe alongside a final 230 troops were able to leave the city, however in their wake a remainder of 4,132 British regulars and Loyalist remained trapped. The remaining British soldiers present would surrender the following day and be taken prisoner, whilst remaining Loyalist citizens were allowed safe passage to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In the aftermath of the Battle and withdraw of General Howe, the New England colonies were effectively safe from attacks through the remainder of the year and into the next. As the British fleet left, and Americans moved to reclaim what was left of Boston and surrounding areas, Captain Manley was ordered by Washington to harass the departing ships to which he saw some success and captured a ship carrying plunder.

"Had Sir William Howe fortified the hills round Boston, he could not have been disgracefully driven from it," wrote his replacement, Sir Henry Clinton. General Howe was criticized severely in the British press and parliament for the debacle and was stripped of his command in time for the up and coming New York and New Jersey campaign and Philadelphia campaign. Instead, Sir Henry Clinton would replace him as overall commander whilst General Burgoyne would be involved in the Ticonderoga campaign, a disaster that resulted in the capture of Burgoyne and 6,500 troops under his command.
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Road to Independence March - July 4, 1776
With victories in Quebec and just North of New England, coupled with the major defeat of the British in Boston, the Continental Army was left with high moral from these series of victories. From March, Congress would first appoint a man named Silas Deane as a diplomatic agent to France in the hopes of securing military aid.
Between March 3-4 the Continental Navy and Marines raided the British colonies of Nassau and Bahamas, securing needed military stores.

In March 31, Abigail Adams would issue a plea for women's rights, urging her husband, John to "remember the ladies" as Congress began drafting new laws.

Following the Battle of Boston in March, Gen. George Washington lead the Continental Army first to Winter Quarters in an encampment at Cambridge, Massachusetts, before leading them to begin erecting defenses in New York City in anticipation of a British invasion on April 4, 1776.

Despite the victories, Washington would write a letter to the President of Congress of, first his intentions, then expressed frustration that Congress wasn't providing adequate funds to pay the troops.

This failure to pay the soldiers of the continental Army remained a issue throughout much of the Revolutionary war, and would push many troops to desert or suffer from low morale. To try rectifying the issue, Congress paid soldiers with promises of Western lands not yet claimed, much of which was promised to their Indian allies.

The failure of Congress to pay its expenses acquired during the war, including state debts, would later push for the replacement of the Articles of Confederation and lead to the drafting of the Constitution of the United States. More details reveal later.

In May, newly appointed Ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin, was commissioned on behalf of the United States to secure a military alliance. Present with him as his secretary was his 16-year-old grandson, William Temple Franklin, and the two would live in the home in Parisian suburb of Passy, donated by Jacques-Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, who was a supporter of the United States. Staying in France until 1785, Franklin oversaw the military alliance of 1777, followed by the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

May 10 - July 4 witnessed the Colonies under the Continental Congress begin unraveling the political ties that once linked the states to Great Britain, and replace them with new regimes and state governments.

In June 7, Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee would lay out a formal resolution calling for American independence, this being followed by Congress appointing a committee to prepare a draft of a working government entitled the articles of confederation.

June 28 would see Jefferson present his draft of the Declaration of Independence to Congress and during this, in between June and July, a British armada would arrive in New York, carrying about 30,000 British and Hessian (German) troops intending to finally put an end to the rebellion and capture the capital of the rebelling states, Philadelphia.

In July 2, the Continental Congress approved Lee's resolution for Independence, and on July 4 of 1776, Congress formally adopted the Declaration of Independence.
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Was hoping Quebec would remain with the Continentals.
That did cross my mind, however considering the amount of effort which went into the expedition in the OTL, plus how difficult it maybe to supply alongside holding Quebec, it seemed more reasonable that the troops and army present would withdraw to more manageable ground and be able to defend the Colonies northern frontier.
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A Declaration and Invasion, August 2 - December 26, 1776

Signing the Declaration of Independence
On August 2, Delegates of the Second Continental Congress at Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, later renamed to Independence Hall. 56 Delegates of the Second Continental Congress who represented the 13 colonies, of which 12 voted to approve the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.

The New York delegation abstained due to not having gained instructions from Albany to vote for Independence. The names of those who signed were grouped based on state, and placed geographically from South to North, the exception being John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress. First was Button Gwinnett of Georgia, last Matthew Thornton of New Hampshire last.

The Battle of Long-Island, August 26, 1776
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The Battle of Long Island would be a major defeat for the Continental Army, under Gen. George Washington whilst attempting to defend the port City of New York, which was located on the southern end of Manhattan Island. The harbor served as a potentially useful base for the Royal Navy, thus holding it was vital for the war effort. Starting before he even arrived, Washington would dispatch his then second in command, Charles Lee to set about establishing defenses and hold the City.

Due to the lack in manpower and ability to prevent the British from outflanking the Americans by landing from various points outside the city, the decision was made to make the effort in its capture as costly an affair. This arrangement became set once Washington himself arrived in April, despite the later having been ordered by Congress to hold New York City itself.

Upon arrival in July, the British under command of Henry Clinton made the landing on the sparsely populated Staten Island, where they would be reinforced by a fleet coming from Lower New York Bay over the following month and a half. In total, the British held a advantage of having 32,000 troops for the invasion of the City.

August 21, British landed on the shores of Gravesend Bay in the southwest of Kings County, across from the Narrows from Staten Island, and more then a dozen miles south from the established East River crossings to Manhattan. Five days of waiting, the British would launch an attack on the American defenses on the Guan Heights.

The Americans were outflanked by a portion of the Army under command of Charles Cornwallis, which had positioned themselves to outflank the outer American defenses, reaching the rear and right. In a panic, the Americans retreated and suffered heavy casualties with a number captured. A last stand from the 400 Maryland and Delaware troops was able to prevent greater losses as the rest of the army retreated to the Brooklyn Heights.

Under command of Henry Clinton, the British regrouped before engaging the Americans atop the Brooklyn Heights, failing to force the Continental Army off. On the second and third attempt, the American defense held firm and forced the British to hold the offensive and regroup, digging in for a siege.

However, Washington would evacuate his army on the night of August 29-30 to Manhattan without the loss of either supplies or an additional life from the attempt. The Continental Army withdrew from Manhattan completely, engaging the British army a few more occasions and retreated across New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
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Prussian American Relations, 1776-1777

The Prussian-American Alliance of 1777
Previously on April 6, 1776, the Continental Congress had resolved itself to open trade with all nations say for Great Britain. With this international trade plan developing, the fundamental question was if foreign governments would enlist to protect or see the trade legit.

France had already begun a military alliance, which whilst wouldn't see full commitment until later, had signaled France's willingness to recognize the United States. This recognition from a European power would lead to the Kingdom of Prussia joining reluctantly in trade with the former 13 colonies. Under Frederick the Great, Prussian foreign policy was set by the King himself.

Before this, the King's relationship with his former ally in Great Britain had been severely strained before the Revolutionary War.

During the Seven Years' War (1756-1763), Britain's alliance with the Kingdom of Prussia had been abandoned under the policies of then Prime Minister, John Stuart, the Third Earl of Bute. The PM had intended to reach a settlement separately with Britain and Prussia's mutual enemy, France. This would intel Britain leaving the war, and thus, Prussia alone to face off against the combined Powers of France, Austria and Russia, thereby effectively leaving them to the wolves.

Frederick's disdain for Britain grew larger almost a decade later, when during the First Partition of Poland, Britain would attempt to keep Frederick from acquire the lucrative trading port of Danzig for his realm.

As the American Revolution began, Frederick became interested as the rebelling states resisted Britain's own attempts to dominate and take direct
control over the Colonies. Wanting Britain to be humbled, Frederick intended to remain a observer and keep Prussia out of the affair.

Even as his adviser, Count Joachim Karl von Maltzan suggested open commercial relations with the Americans, Frederick replied on the 3 of June 1776, that the American situation was to problematic. However, the victories in Quebec in 1775, St. John in 1776 and Boston in 1776, would push the King to consider potential US-Prussian relations further.

Whilst maintain a strict neutrality, in November of 1776, Silas Deane sent William Carmichael to Berlin to make proposals for trade, however the King would decline. The matter would change in February 14, 1777, when Silas Deane, Benjamin Franklin, and Arthur Lee would once again attempt to negotiate a trade settlement, plus copies of the Declaration of Independence and Articles of Confederation.

This was joined by former General, Montgomery, arriving and arguing on behalf of America's resolve. Frederick would ultimately instruct his foreign minister, Gebhardt Wilhelm von der Schulenberg, to accept (with some reservations) a negotiated trade deal. The Commissioners (including the named three of Franklin, Deane and Lee) proposed sending a formal representative to his court, Frederick would accept upon Arthur Lee's arrival to Berlin.

Whilst relations gradually took shape, it wouldn't be until the Elliot-Lee Affair of 1777 that would push the Prussian King to commit himself and Prussia to side with the United States. During his absence from his home, Lee's papers would be taken by the British minister to Prussia, Hugh Elliot, and copied. Elliot's private secretary, Robert Liston, ended up carrying the copies to London and sent the servant out of Prussia.

The resulting diplomatic furor over the theft of the papers was revealed and became a major scandal. Despite claiming personal responsibility, the affair deeply humiliated the Prussian King who felt his foreign policy was being influence by Britain and questioned the sovereignty of his realm.

Further investigations into the matter would thus happen, whilst under Franklin, the Americans would take advantage of this to approach the King and his court and offer their condolences whilst highlighting the, seemingly, endless strings of mishaps due to British meddling. Whilst Lee was away, Stephen Sayre, as his secretary, would negotiate with the Prussians offer an exclusive trade deal and the possibility of gaining the fisheries located in Newfoundland among other lucrative trade deals.

With the opening of a number of American ports, trade with Prussia began gradual despite occasional harassment from the Royal Navy. However, with France on the side of the United States, the Royal Navy became too distracted by threats of the French and later Spanish fleets to properly prevent Prussian ships from trading in American ports. Later in 1778, American vessels were allowed to trade in Prussian ports.

As part of the negotiations during 1777-78, Arthur Lee would oversee the sell of roughly 10,000 muskets and other weapons from Prussia which would be delivered to the Continental Army and help serve in the crucial battles of that year. During 1777, Frederick would write to his brother, Prince Henry that, "[w]ithout shocking anyone, we are profiting greatly from the opportunity offered to us."
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