Southern-Less USA 2.0: A Nation Torn Apart

Prologue: A Fragile Nation
  • Prologue: A Fragile Nation

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    The Treaty of Paris was signed in September 1783 by the Americans and British, officially bringing the American Revolutionary War to an end. Based on a previously negotiated preliminary treaty from the previous year, the agreement recognized the independence of the Thirteen Colonies from Britain and granted them all the territory between the Appalachian Mountains and Mississippi River that was to the South of the Great Lakes. The 1783 Treaty was one of several treaties signed at Paris in 1783 establishing peace between not only Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies but the anti-British coalition of France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The U.S. Confederation Congress ratified the treaty on January 14, 1784, but it still left several border regions in dispute, and certain provisions within the treaty could not be readily enforced. British global power continued to increase thanks to its economic growth fled by the early industrial evolution in spite of their loss. This meant that if the former colonies did not say together, then the British could put them back under their economic sphere of influence. At the same time, the victory in the American Revolution came at a major expense for the French. France accrued an enormous financial cost from fighting alongside the Americans, over a billion livres, and raised their debt to over three billion livres. Attempts to solve this would later trigger a Revolution that would forever change the fate of France.

    Meanwhile, America was facing several issues of its own. During the American Revolution, the Thirteen Colonies replaced their royal colonial governments with republican ones, generally divided into legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Most state constitutions endorsed the legislative branch as the most powerful of the three as it was viewed as the most representative of the people. While power traditionally belonged to the executive and judicial branches, state governors here lacked significant authority, and state courts and judges were controlled by the legislative branch. On an interstate level, the thirteen states created a permanent alliance, the United States, which was to be governed by the Articles of Confederation, which operated more like an international treaty than a constitution. The Second Continental Congress adopted them in 1777 before they were later ratified nationwide. The nation was governed by the Congress of the Confederation, a unicameral legislature with representatives (one per state) elected via state legislatures. It could not levy tariffs or taxes, and it could not force states to pay delinquent funds. A supermajority (nine of the thirteen states) was required to pass major legislation like borrowing money, declaring war, and making treaties, with every state having effective veto power. Perhaps most stunningly of all, there was no executive nor judicial branches in the Confederation.

    It soon became obvious the Confederation government was inadequate for resolving the numerous problems confronting the United States. Since states generally began to look out for their own interests rather than those of the alliance as a whole after the war, states started to refuse to provide funding for Congress. Hence, the government could not pay the interest on foreign debt, soldiers stationed in the Northwest Territory, or defend American navigation rights on the Mississippi River against European powers. In the early-mid 1780s, Rhode Island and New York vetoed an amendment that would have allowed Congress to levy taxes on imports in order to pay off the federal debt. Because the Confederation Congress also lack the power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce. Britain, France, and Spain imposed restrictions on American ships and goods as the US was could not legally retaliate against them. Simultaneously, when bigger states like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania placed reciprocal duties on British goods, their smaller neighbors established free ports to gain an economic advantage over them. Some states even began applying duties on other states. In 1784, Congress proposed an amendment to give it the power to regulate and conduct foreign trade but did not receive unanimous approval from state delegates. If the national government had limited economic power compared to the states, then what hope did the Confederational government have in general?

    During the 1780s, state legislatures responded to calls for economic and debt relief by high proposing and collecting new taxes. The problem was that many people were unable to pay taxes and debts due to a struggling economic period brought on by the post-war panic. This was exacerbated by a scarcity of gold and silver coins that were previously quite common under British rule. The Massachusetts state government was notorious for failing to provide economic relief, particularly for hard-hit rural farmers. As a result, farmers led by Daniel Shays in the central and western parts of the state resorted to attempting to close down state courthouses near the city of Springfield before attempting to capture the military arsenal at the Springfield Armory. The rebellion lasted for six months from August 1786 to February 1787, and because of this, some Americans desired a national army that could put down similar insurrections. All of this worried the Founding Fathers that the United States was in danger of collapsing and splitting up. In September 1786, delegates from five states (Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia) met in Annapolis, Maryland at the Annapolis Convention to invite the other states to Philadelphia in 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation at a bigger convention. Not every state that was invited would send delegates to Philadelphia though, influencing the outcome of the Convention.
     
    Chapter One: Constitutional Convolution
  • Chapter One: Constitutional Convolution

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    Originally planned to begin on May 14 at the Pennsylvania State House, the convention had to be postponed when very few delegates were present. Hence, it did not begin until May 25 when a quorum of seven state delegations had arrived. New Hampshire delegates would not arrive at the convention until July 23, while Rhode Island refused to send any delegates to Philadelphia at all. The first thing done was unanimously electing George Washington unanimously elected to be the president of the convention and James McHenry as its secretary. In its governing rules, each state delegation received a single vote corresponding to a proposal that aligns with the majority opinion of the delegates. This helped keep the smaller states at the table. States did not cast votes when they were evenly divided on any given motion or if too few of the delegates were in attendance. Unlike the other states, Connecticut and Maryland allowed a single delegate to cast their vote, while New York required all three delegates to be at the table. This would come back to haunt Alexander Hamilton later on in the Convention. It was agreed upon that all discussion and voting would be done in secrecy and not revealed to the public until the meeting concluded, even going so far as to nail the windows of the hall shut in spite of the summer heat. James Madison provided the most complete set of notes accounting for the events.

    In general, the meeting was almost a disaster. The initial outlook was promising, though. Before the convention formally began, James Madison created a proposal that was strongly nationalist in nature known as the Virginia Plan. The plan was modeled on the state models and had fifteen resolutions, including replacing the unicameral legislature with a bicameral one, with one of them being elected by the people. It did, however, lack a system of checks and balances between the branches of government despite calling for a more supreme national government. On May 29, Virginia governor Edmund Randolph presented the Plan. The convention also agreed, the next day, that the government should have legislative, executive, and national branches, with there being one single executive (determined on June 1). The Virginia Plan called for both chambers of Congress to have representation based on population because Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, the most populous states, were unhappy with having one vote per state in Congress. On the other hand, the small states were opposed to changes that decreased their influence, with the Delaware delegation threatening to walk out without equal representation. On June 7, it was decided that state legislatures would choose Congressional senators. On June 15, William Patterson introduced an alternative to the Virginia Plan called the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress, each state having one vote, and plural executives among other things.

    The two plans were inherently at odds. On June 19, the delegates voted whether to proceed with the New Jersey Plan. With the support of Connecticut, Georgia, and the Carolinas, most of the larger states defeated the plan by a 7-3 vote. Maryland's delegation abstained. The delegates found themselves in a stalemate for days. Before a compromise could be found, Delaware and New Jersey walked out of the convention in July. Thus, the Virginia Plan prevailed. When it seemed like the Articles of Confederation were going to be tossed aside, two of the New York delegates walked out as well. Another issue the Constitutional Convention had to face was slavery and the Atlantic slave trade. Dating back to a proposed amendment to the Articles of Confederation in 1783, one of the most popular proposals for the representation of slaves for Congress was three-fifths of a person. While southerners wanted slaves counted so they could have more seats in Congress, many in the north viewed them as property hence they should not count at all. It looked like three-fifths would be the accepted ratio. However, several delegates from New England offered to raise the ratio to two-thirds in exchange for an abolition of the slave trade. All states except Georgia and the Carolinas had officially abolished it and with North Carolina, it was de facto abolished. Georgia and South Carolina threatened to walk out if the motion passed, which it, unfortunately for them, did. Withdrawing from Philadephia, the issue of slavery was settled.

    Most Georgian and South Carolinian delegates, with a notable perception of Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, walked out. There were only seven states represented: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. New Hampshire would show up on July 23, while Rhode Island refused to commit any delegates regardless of the outcome. The convention soon favored legislative impeachment in the event of executive removal from office. It was also decided that the Senate would approve new federal judges. In late July, the committee delegations voted to submit the Constitution and proposed amendments for approval. Through drafting and modification process took place through August and September. The Constitutional Convention departed on September 17 after signing the document, with the air much cooler and calmer than in May. Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Massachusetts were the first three states to ratify the Constitution. With controversy ensuing, Maryland followed in spring 1788. New Hampshire (with influence and pressure from Massachusetts), Virginia, and New York ratified it later that year. North Carolina and Rhode Island would only ratify it with a guaranteed Bill of Rights. Once the latter state ratified the Constitution on August 31, 1790, after reaching a quorum of nine states, Georgia and South Carolina declared independence, and Delaware and New Jersey split off into the Federation of Delaware Bay. Tough times laid ahead for the United States of America.
     
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    Map of North America, 1790
  • Here is a map of OTL United States circa 1790

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    Turquoise = United States of America
    Light Turquoise = Northwest Territory
    Green = Republic of Vermont
    Beige = Federation of Delaware Bay
    Dark Teal = Republic of South Carolina
    Gold = Republic of Georgia
    Orange = Spanish Possessions
    Red = Territory Disputed by Spain and Great Britain
     
    Chapter Two: Rebellion On the Frontier
  • Chapter Two: Rebellion On the Frontier

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    August 31, 1790 changed the history of North America. The day Rhode Island voted to ratify the Constitution, it became the law of the land. Predictably, Rhode Island was the last of the nine states needed to ratify the Constitution. Being the first to declare state Independence in the Revolutionary War and the only state not to send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention, one would understand opposition ratification had in the state, especially with the approval of the Virginia Plan. With pressure from other New England states, it reluctantly approved to join the Union three months later. Once word got out about the ratification in Rhode Island, Georgia and South Carolina petitioned to secede from the Union, claiming it was valid as neither ratified the Constitution. The two soon became close allies and their own states, with their constitutions fully counting slaves for representation and expanding the slave trade (the latter much to the disgust of their northern neighbors). Not much later, Delaware and New Jersey announced their secession on the same grounds as Georgia and South Carolina. Pennsylvania effectively sealed off from Delaware Bay, began raising an army but could not get support from any other state. With that, Delaware and New Jersey unified into the Federation of Delaware Bay. Despite this, the United States hoped to get things rolling. There would be a bicameral legislature with representation based on population and slaves counting as two-thirds of a person at the expense of the slave trade.

    Near the end of September, the process of organizing the new government began. The Continental Congress passed a resolution on October 19, 1790, to put the new Constitution into effect. The new federal government began operations on March 4, 1791, when Vermont joined the Union, after the initial elections began on November 8. As the heroic leader of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, George Washington was unanimously elected by the Senate as the first US president and he was inaugurated in Philadelphia on April 30. Early in his presidency, Washington had initially hoped for Robert Morris, a Philadelphia merchant and a financier of the Revolution, to be the Secretary of the Treasury but he declined so it went to Alexander Hamilton of New York instead. With support from Washington and opposition from Thomas Jefferson, he convinced Congress to pass a far-reaching financial program to fund debts from the American Revolution and set up a national bank and a tariff and tax system. New England especially favored them because of the inability to directly ship goods to Philadelphia. Most Southern and Appalachian Americans opposed the plan because they repudiated their debt and their farming-based economies resisted centralization and subordination to the mercantilist North. The plan came into effect in mid-1792 and the Bank of the United States was created in spite of objections from rural Appalachian and southern Americans like Thomas Jefferson.

    No state was angrier than Pennsylvania, though. Anger began building up in 1791 as the state was already cut off from Delaware Bay and international tariffs imposed by the Federation of Delaware Bay had resulted in major revenue reductions for Pennsylvania. Western Pennsylvania particularly suffered from this. In 1790, the population of the region numbered 17,000 people, most of whom were farmers, with whom whiskey excises were immediately controversial when passed in March 1791. Farmers west of the Appalachian Mountains distilled excess grain into whiskey which was easier and less expensive to transport east than grain. For western farmers, a tax would make their whiskey less competitive against eastern grain. Making this worse was that many people were paid in whiskey instead of cash which was often in short supply. Opposition to the tax was particularly high in the four southwestern countries of Allegheny, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland. Resistance there reached the point of violence, including the tarring and feathering of tax collectors. There was also opposition to the whiskey tax in other states within Appalachia like New York, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky (once it became a state in June 1792). Resistance continued into 1793, with some central and eastern Pennsylvania counties now resisting as the effect of export tariffs began to be felt.

    The insurrections came to their climax in 1794. That May, district attorney William Rawle issued subpoenas to over 60 tardy distillers in Pennsylvania who had not paid the tax. Under the law, distillers who received these would have to appear on trial in Philadelphia, which was beyond the means of many farmers. Federal Marshal Lenox delivered most of the writs without incident, until the evening of July 15 when shots were fired from the Miller Farm about 10 miles south of Pittsburgh, causing Lenox to retreat. The next day, 30 militiamen surrounding the fortified home of General John Neville, demanding the surrender of the marshall, unsuccessful in their demands, they retreated to Couch's Fort for reinforcements. They returned to Bower Hill on July 17 with nearly 600 men commanded by Revolutionary War Veteran Major James McFarlane, opposing a group U.S. Army soldiers from Pittsburgh under Major Abraham Kirkpatrick. Neville hid in a nearby ravine before they arrived but Lenox (and Neville’s son, Presley) was captured by the rebels. Not long after McFarlane called a ceasefire, he was shot from the house and was mortally wounded. Enraged rebels set fire to the house according to some, and Kirkpatrick surrendered and was kept prisoner with Lenox and Presley Neville. This radicalized the countryside further, with uprisings now in Ohio and Monongalia Counties in West Virginia, Hagerstown and other parts of western Maryland, and many parts of Kentucky. A storm was brewing that would be difficult to contain.
     
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    Chapter Three: Rebuilding, Reforming, and Reevaluation in France and Britain
  • Chapter Three: Rebuilding, Reforming, and Reevaluation in France and Britain

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    After the American Revolution, Europe was not in the best shape it could have been. Great Britain was humiliated by its North American colonies and lost a major footprint in the New World. France was broke from financing the United States and helping them fight against the British for their independence. The Dutch were humiliated by the British in the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War and their decline as a global power had begun in earnest. Of these major European powers, France had seen the greatest changes in the years following the Treaty of Paris. Between 1756 and 1789, France had built up so much debt by its participation in the Seven Years’ War and American Revolutionary War that the debt totaled up to 4 billion livres. Almost a third of this came from the American Revolution alone, with it creating a large rentier class who lived on the interest, primarily members of the French nobility or commercial classes. This helped fuel a crisis primarily caused by structural deficiencies. The Crown controlled spending but taxes could only be approved by the Estates-General, which had not met since 1614, and revenue was largely controlled by regional parlements. By 1785, the government wanted to increase taxes to help cover the struggling payments but the parlements refused to collect them. Later, the Assembly of Notables also refused to approve new taxes, arguing this could only be done by the Estates-General, which hadn’t met in almost two centuries.

    In 1788, attempts to resolve the budget resulted in runaway inflation and worsening of the plight of farmers and urban poor. At the time, the French population had outpaced its food supply and this fueled a famine that caused widespread starvation in the countryside that winter. In January 1789, King Louis XVI issued an edict that summoned the Estates-General for the first time since 1614. Elections for the assembly were held that spring. There were three Estates in the Estates-General. The first Estate with 303 delegates represented the 100,000 clergymen who owned 10% of the land and collected its own taxes from peasants in addition to those from the Nobles. The second Estate of 282 delegates represented the 400,000 nobles who owned 25 percent of the land and was arguably the richest and most powerful. The Third Estate represented the remaining 95% of France, with representation consisting of 578 men (most of whom were educated lawyers, local officials, tradesmen, industrialists, or landowners). Landless peasants and the urban poor were not invited. As it began on May 5, most complaints were about taxes, with the people at odds with the King and especially aristocrats who could excuse themselves from taxes. Also, even though the Third Estate had the most people in it, they could be outvoted 2-1 and effectively had little power over the other two Estates. As rocky of a start the meeting got off to, things would only get rockier from there.

    The Estates-General reached an impasse fairly quickly. The Second Estate pushed for three meetings in three separate locations while the Third Estate tried but failed to keep all three Estates together for discussion. On June 17, they created a National Assembly among themselves and invited the other Estates to join, with the First Estate oddly being sympathetic. Being pragmatic, they paid attention to the four American states who walked out of the constitutional convention and feared a similar separation that could destroy the order of the Church in France if they rejected it. A half sided with the Second Estate while the other half sided with the Third, creating an impasse on both ends. In resistance, The King resolved to annul the decrees of the assembly from the advice of his privy council and demanded the restoration of the Estates-General and separation of the orders. On June 23, King Louis XVI announced a constitution that affirmed the right of separate deliberation for the three orders that formed three legislative chambers. This failed because of the constant 1-1 vote with the First Estate not coming to a consensus. This deadlock lasted another three months until August 26 when a Constitution that satisfied none of the chambers was created. All three Estates went with it because they were content with none of the others being satisfied. The Constitution was approved in 1791 and the King would announce his abdication by 1792 after which serfdom would be fully abolished.

    Britain was a different story altogether. Unlike France, most of the authority within the British government lay with Parliament following the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Its own problems began with spending so much money that there were almost 10 million pounds in yearly interest. Trade was interrupted and land prices plummeted, and Taxes were raised as a result. This was temporary, as trade with the US reached pre-war levels by 1785 and it had doubled with Europe by 1792. Meanwhile, the British were afraid of revolutions in Ireland so they allowed the Irish to trade with British colonies, freely export wool, and allow Catholics to hold office, overall reducing Irish dependence on Britain. After the US Constitutional Convention, Parliament began paying more attention to the “rotten boroughs” to ensure more proper regional representation and keep them in line. Rotten boroughs could elect a representative to Parliament with few votes, often decided by a single individual or family. Two prominent political societies, the London Corresponding Society and the Society of the Friends of the People (both forming in 1792) called for such Parliamentary reform. After years of resistance by British Prime Minister William Pitt, limited reform bills were successfully passed in 1795 and 1799, reducing the number of rotten boroughs. In 1793 and 1794, the British continued taking advantage of free ports set up in the smaller of the former thirteen colonies and paid attention to the west for any potential stakes out there.
     
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    Chapter Four: The End of The United States?
  • Chapter Four: The End of The United States?

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    After James McFarlane’s funeral on July 18, radical leaders like David Bradford emerged. A group he headed robbed the U.S. mail as it left Pittsburgh to find several letters condemning them. In response, he called for an assembly meeting on August 1 at Braddock's Field, about 8 miles east of Pittsburgh. About 7,000 people attended, primarily consisting of the poor and landless. Some radicals wanted to attack Pittsburgh directly, with there also being discussions of declaring independence from the United States and joining with Spain or Great Britain. Ultimately, what came of Pittsburgh was just the burning of Major Kirkpatrick’s barns. President Washington was confronted with armed insurrection all across Appalachia, but with the most intense activity in western Pennsylvania. While he wanted to maintain governmental authority, he did not want to alienate the public, thus he went to his cabinet for advice. Except for Edmund Randolph, the entire cabinet recommended using force, especially Alexander Hamilton. He thus did both. Aiming to set an example for all of Appalachia, he raised up a militia army and sent a number of commissioners to meet with the Western Pennsylvania rebels. Privately, however, Washington doubted that the commissioners would be able to accomplish much and believed that a military expedition was needed. A Supreme Court Justice was required, under the Militia Act of 1792, to certify this state of rebellion, which was done by Justice James Wilson on August 4.

    Three days later, Washington regretfully announced that a militia would be called out to suppress the most intense rebellion and indirectly suppress the rest. On September 25, Washington issued a proclamation summoning the militias of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. There were a few problems with that, though. Few men volunteered, so a draft was used to fill out the militia. Draft evasion was widespread in Appalachian states, even in areas east of the Mountains (including Philadelphia which was hurt by a lack of direct trade and shipping route to the Atlantic). Several counties in eastern Virginia saw armed resistance and there were anti-draft riots in western Maryland and many parts of New York. Second, George Washington had underestimated how widespread the Whiskey Rebellion was outside of western Pennsylvania, which naturally led to even fewer people accepting the draft. Third, the state government of Pennsylvania itself had other plans in store which required all the resources it could get. On September 30, Washington left the capital at Philadelphia to review the progress of the military expedition. He initially traveled to Reading. After that, he moved on to Womelsdorf, then Harrisburg, Bedford, and Fort Cumberland (in Maryland). It was in his travels when he realized he had underestimated how far the Whiskey Rebellion had reached. He feared that the rebellion may soon turn into civil war and break the fragile Union apart for good.

    Unfortunately for Pennsylvania's government based out of Lancaster, it discovered there was so much discontent on both sides of the Appalachians that there would not be enough manpower to successfully carry out the plan to invade the Federation of Delaware Bay. The intended goal was to make Philadelphia have direct trade access to the sea again but doing so during the undeclared Whiskey War was later deemed too risky. At the time the federal army had reached western Pennsylvania, they had absorbed how widespread the rebellion was and how difficult it would be to put down. Then, the unthinkable happened. One of the rebels of western Pennsylvania shot and killed president George Washington in the heat of combat in October 1794. In his place came John Adams, who was sworn in at Philadelphia the next day. He was no friend of the Whiskey Rebellion, given his stronger stance on military action against the rebels, and even wanting to increase the tax. This only served to anger the opponents of the Whiskey Tax. Those who were simply political opponents soon took up arms. Resentment became aggression. By the end of the month, almost everywhere in Appalachia was in a full-scale rebellion. President Adams called upon residents in coastal areas to enlist in the Federal Army, especially those in New England. But even they weren’t fully content with the situation since no Delaware Bay meant lost shipping revenues for coastal regions. In Adam’s birthplace of New England, fewer enrolled than anticipated.

    John Adams began encouraging European powers, most notably the British, to supply weapons and funds for the Federal Army. Many states considered this an overreach of federal authority. Protests and riots occurred across the Union as the British and New England continued to provide supplies. All in all, there were some 2,000 deaths that were linked to the undeclared Whiskey War, most of which were civilians. Come the 1796 presidential election, the popularity of incumbent president Adams was mixed, with the mercantile urban areas favoring Adams and the Federalist party while the agrarian rural Appalachians favored Thomas Jefferson and the Democratic-Republican Party. At first, it looked like Jefferson would win but Adams ultimately won in the Electoral College by just five votes. For many states, this was the last straw. Two states hit hardest by the Whiskey War, Kentucky and Virginia, announced they would not tolerate Adams overextending his power any longer and that the only remedy was to leave the Union. John Breckinridge of Kentucky and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia made declarations for their states in February and March 1797 respectively. Without a connection to the rest of the country and nothing legally preventing secession, North Carolina and newly-admitted Tennessee would soon exit that May. Pennsylvania then joined in that summer, using it as an excuse to invade and annex the Federation of Delaware Bay. The United States had only six states remaining.
     
    Chapter Five: Filling In the Gaps
  • Chapter Five: Filling In the Gaps
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    To say the states of Delaware, Georgia, New Jersey, and South Carolina had it easy after seceding from the Union was inaccurate. The smaller states of Delaware and New Jersey had it particularly bad early on. Their economies were small thanks to their low populations. They did share, however, a small degree of leverage. In September 1790, less than a month after Rhode Island ratified the Consitution to the United States, acting New Jersey governor Elisha Lawrence wrote to Delaware Governor Joshua Clayton to discuss the possibility of forming a federated union between the two states. The governors sent representatives to discuss the prospect of such federation. After negotiations were completed, the union between the states would be held before the end of 1790 with elections the following year. The end goal was a mutual defense against potential hostile states like Pennsylvania and increased economic power which would be seen through the creation of tariffs to pass through the Delaware Bay to or from Philadelphia higher than either state could impose on their own. For the presidential election, there were three possible candidates in addition to the incumbents of each state: George Mitchell, Thomas Montgomery, and William Patterson. Since Patterson was the creator of the failed New Jersey plan, which was still supported by the people of Delaware and New Jersey, the gubernatorial election, which was done by the state legislatures, would ultimately swing in his favor.

    The legislature was to be unicameral with each of the two states having an equal number of representatives and, by extension, votes. The Consitution of The Federation of Delaware Bay made it clear that the government was meant to parallel that from under the Articles of Confederation while adding powers to raise revenue and regulate commerce and foreign affairs as intended under the New Jersey Plan such as regulating trade and raising money by taxing foreign goods. Despite its name, the FDB was more of a Confederation than a Federation because of this. Nevertheless, the financial powers given to the new government benefited them greatly as ships from outside the FDB inbound to Philadelphia or outbound from Philadelphia had to pay significant taxes on international goods to pass through the Delaware Bay and the Delaware River. For a little while, they were practically sitting on a throne of money but this caused the whiskey crisis in Pennsylvania to be more widespread outside the western part of the state. The situation had spiraled out of control by the end of 1794 as things heated into a war in all but name, and within a couple more years, things were absolutely untenable for Pennsylvania. The state was bleeding cash and John Adams as president, so the state voted to secede before the election in order to solve the “Delaware River” problem. After declaring independence, it invaded the Federation of Delaware Bay. The FDB was unable to hold out against Pennslyvania and was subsequently annexed.

    Unlike Delaware and New Jersey, there was less urgency for Georgia and South Carolina to unify immediately due to their population size and growth rate. South Carolina had more people than Delaware and New Jersey combined in 1790 (about 249,000 with 107,000 as slaves), while Georgia’s nearly doubled between 1790 and 1800 from 83,000 to 163,000. Still, Georgia and South Carolina each shared the same defining trait: Slavery. For much of the eighteenth century, the primary crops grown by slaves were indigo, rice, and (to a lesser extent) cotton. Beginning with the American Revolution, however, ruined indigo fields from the war and falling demand over in Europe in the 1790s caused the Indigo market to crash. Rice, on the other hand, remained dominant over indigo, but it could almost only be grown near the coast. The rice market also became more competitive. Long-staple cotton was limited to coastal areas and labor-intensive, and short-staple was difficult to remove the seeds from. Many in Georgia and South Carolina secretly understood that unless they could find something they could be competitive and profitable with, the future of slavery was bleak and even a few masters freed their slaves. Still, the majority were determined to keep it, and the slave trade, around as long as possible, and their dream would be realized at the beginning of the nineteenth century with the cotton gin. Unification was also around the corner with the Whiskey War threatening to rip apart the United States of America for good.

    Georgia and South Carolina saw leverage in merging, aside from the fact that they felt a general unity against everyone else, in order to increase their collective power if the United States was to break up. Discussions about a unification began on October 28, 1783. Unlike with Delaware and New Jersey, several delegates from each Georgia and South Carolina almost walked out due to states’ rights issues. The Consitution allowed for an executive to be elected for a single six-year term and was generally modeled after the Virginia Plan, except slaves were full people for the purpose of representation. The cornerstone of this new government was that slavery was to be preserved indefinitely and the government could not abolish the slave trade without an amendment. The unification was proposed in both states in March 1794, ratified later that summer, and effective on January 1, 1795. The new entity was named the Confederation of Southern America, with Thomas Pinckney, in 1795, elected as its first president. Outsiders (especially in Europe) wondered at first glance how successful a relatively small slave state could be. As soon as incumbent United States President John Adams announced he would run again in the 1796 election, the wave of secession that carried on for a year gave the CSA a fighting chance. Stranded on an island, Tennessee and North Carolina had no choice but to leave as well. Soon, Tennessee voted to join Virginia, while North Carolina voted to join the CSA but not everyone was happy with it.
     
    North America circa 1800
  • Alright, here's a map of OTL USA circa 1800. The land shaded purple is disputed territory by the way. An explanation for all questions I get will be answered within the next couple of chapters.

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    Chapter Six: The Politics of Late Eighteenth-Century America
  • Chapter Six: The Politics of Late Eighteenth-Century America

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    Under the Treaty of Paris, Great Britain officially ceded to the USA control of the Northwest Territory, occupied by numerous Native American tribes even though the British kept forts there and supported pro-Amerindian Policies there (allowing trading weapons for fur for instance). What became known as Ohio was subject to overlapping and conflicting claims by the states of Virginia, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, and native Amerian tribes like the Shawnee and Lenape that were part of the Northwest Confederacy. Many tribal leaders refused to recognize American claims to the land north and west of the Ohio River. Meanwhile, in order to stabilize its currency and pay off some war debt, the Land Ordinance of 1785 was created to encourage land speculators, surveyors, and settlers who sought to claim new lands. In the eastern part of what became Ohio country, the Treaty of Fort McIntosh was negotiated in 1785 with several Native tribes. Settlers from Connecticut soon created the Western Reserve. Furthermore, the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, passed by the US Congress of the Confederation, encouraged a bigger influx of settlers in the area north of the Ohio River. Local ambushes and engagements (including a raid of the Shawnee by Kentucky militia under General Benjamin Logan in 1786) settlers and Natives worsened. This problem was only exacerbated by the failure of the 1789 Treaty of Fort Harmar and underestimating the cooperation of the tribes within the Northwest Confederacy.

    In the mid-to-late 1780s, raids on both sides of the Ohio River resulted in approximately 1,500 casualties of American settlers. In 1790, Congress ordered state militias from Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts to launch an offensive campaign into Shawnee and Miami lands. In October 1790, a force of nearly 1,500 men was assembled near present-day Fort St. Mary’s. However, Josiah Harmar committed only 400 of those men under the command of Kentuckian Colonel John Hardin to attack 1,100 Native warriors, and Hardin was handily defeated. By the summer of 1791, President George Washington ordered Major General Arthur St. Clair to mount a far more vigorous campaign, even though the troops had received little training beforehand. On November 4, a force of 2,000 Natives overwhelmed the Americans and slaughtered more than two-thirds of the 920 troops. Following the Tragedy of St. Clair, George Washington ordered General Anthony Wayne to take command of the forces and turn them into a well-trained unit. At the site of St. Clair’s defeat, Fort Recovery was built following extensive training and a number of advances into Native lands. It was attacked unsuccessfully in June 1794. After, Wayne’s Legion advanced deeper into the land held by the Wabash Confederacy. Ultimately, Native forces were defeated at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in August 1794. In 1795, the Treaty of Greensville finalized American dominance over the Northwest.

    While the Indian Wars and settlement of the frontier was a major concern for the fragile United States, the primary political concern was how to keep the nation stable. In 1790, George Washington was unanimously chosen to serve as the first president of the United States due to his status as the commander of the Contentinal Army during the War of American Independence. A Bill of Rights was proposed on December 15, 1791, and was ratified on January 14, 1794, to ease those who feared a strong national government. Meanwhile, there were two key political factions: the Federalists and anti-Federalists. The first group argued that in order for the USA to survive, it needed a firm national government to drive its economy (driven by mercantilism and manufacturing) and to promote justice and fairness. They were based mostly out of New York, New England, and cities like Philadelphia and Baltimore. The latter was included farmers and small landowners who believed the future rested on agriculture and that political power should rest with the states instead of the national government. They were based mostly out of the southernmost states and the Appalachians where ruralism prevailed. Tensions led to much fighting, with Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson having a feud that would symbolize the rivalry between the two groups. Unfortunately, none of this would matter in the end, as the United States of America became consumed by rife, warfare, and eventual secession.

    In the 1790s, no state was undergoing an identity crisis as big as North Carolina was while it was debating its own future. Western settlers complained of lacking wealth, their distance from the state government, and the influence of the coastal elite, who included rich planters, lawyers, and merchants. They disagreed with the commoners on the level of freedom and democracy that should be accepted, while commoners resented the federal government trying to possess so much power. Political polarization spilled over to other areas such as where the location of the state capital should be, and residents of eight counties in the Blue Ridge mountains trying to create their own state called Franklin. This attempt failed but none of the sentiment behind it went away. In 1792, as the seeds of the Whiskey War were being planted, Alexander Hamilton demanded that military action be used to put down, but Edmund Randolph of Virginia rejected such measure. In any case, tensions built up to the point that the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina became one of the biggest hot spots for the rebellion outside of Pennsylvania and western Virginia. This was supported by Herman Husband of Bedford County drafting a resolution at Whiskey Point. The last straw came during the campaign for the 1796 presidential election when John Adams promised to make it a crime to libel or slander the government. This caused North Carolina to secede, encouraged by politician Nathaniel Macon, but this would trigger a civil war of its own.
     
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