Stars, Stripes and A Pine

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by NerdyAlternateHistorian, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. NerdyAlternateHistorian New Member

    Dec 2, 2018

    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #1:

    The War of 1812 was meant to be a quick war, an easy war, a “Second War of Independence” that would be as great as the first…or at least, would’ve been. No-one expected a British victory in Baltimore. No-one anticipated the death of Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. And no-one expected the Northern states to be ripped away… [1]

    American performance during the conflict was very poor. Despite scoring a few crucial victories during the early years of the conflict, American troops were falling back on almost every front by 1814. The unexpected British victory at Baltimore left some of the country’s most important cities open for capture. Philadelphia would fall only a few months later.

    The utterly humiliating Treaty of London (1815) saw the United States lose nearly half of its states to the newly created Republic of New England. Although it was pretty much a buffer state, designed to protect Britain’s holdings in Canada, many couldn’t help but feel a bit of resentment: talk of New England seceding had been present since the beginning of the century, most of it stemming from the Embargo Act of 1807, though this piece of legislation was repealed just a few days before James Madison took office. Being forced to recognize New England caused serious damage to Madison’s reputation, already low because of his administration’s perceived incompetence during the War of 1812.

    A new border was also agreed upon between the US and Canada: a simple straight line, stretching from the now Canadian province of Wisconsin to the Pacific Coast (though the latter wouldn’t become official until 1845). Skirmishes between British and American soldiers on the borders of Wisconsin and Michigan would go on for many years. With the Democratic-Republicans having lost a significant amount of support, the 1816 election was won by Federalist candidate Rufus King… [2]

    Bombardment of Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore (1814)


    [1] I couldn’t really think of a single POD for this timeline, so i have the British, either through better planning or sheer luck, score more victories in the War of 1812, allowing them to claim victory and press their demands.

    [2] More detail in a future post…
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  2. Unknown Member

    Jan 31, 2004
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Here's one: Isaac Brock isn't killed at the Battle of Queenston Heights.

    With him around, the British definitely do better than OTL...
  3. NerdyAlternateHistorian New Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #2:

    Ringing bells and cheering crowds, that is what Napoleon and his Grand Armée saw entering Paris after returning from another successful campaign against the Russian Empire. It was long, it was brutal, but after all, it was worth it. Who could’ve expected anything else? Hadn’t his record of winning war after war, battle after battle told them anything?

    He looked back at the final days of the campaign, especially the Battle of Moscow. He remembered it vividly: finally reaching the city after many months, finding the Russians preparing to abandon the city, crushing them with ease, and declaring victory while most of Moscow was burning around him. [1]

    Europe was at his feet. Russia was dealt with, and most of the continent’s great powers had been brought to their knees. Only Britain and Portugal remained, the only powers that still dared to oppose him. The war in Spain was the last one he had to wrap up before achieving total supremacy over Europe. Maybe he could force them into some kind off armistice or peace, but those were concerns for another time. Marie was waiting for him…


    Was it right for Britain to decrease it’s presence in Europe in favor of defeating the United States? That’s a question historians have talked about for ages. Some say the nation was too desperate for vengeance against it’s former colony, leaving it’s age-old ally Portugal in the dust as it stood poised for a French invasion (which, luckily, never came). Others say the Peninsula War was a lost cause, an attempt to save an empire that was already dying from within.

    While it is true that the Spanish Empire had been on the decline for decades, most of Spain’s colonial possessions were still very loyal in the years before the Peninsula War. Major independence movements wouldn’t really pop up until Napoleon installed his brother on the Spanish throne. Britain’s decision to scale down the number of troops in Spain mostly stemmed from a decrease in morale following Napoleon’s victory in Russia and the increase in manpower hoped for in North America after the surprise victory at Baltimore. The decreasing will of the British government to continue with a war that was increasingly seen as a lost cause was also an important factor in the decision. [2]

    Regardless of the answer, it was a major factor in Britain’s increasingly concerning situation: it had effectively been kicked off the continent after Portugal was forced to end their alliance, and was left in a perpetual state of tension with the United States. The country had, now both literally and metaphorically, become an island. As the population was stil reeling from the nation’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, many in power began to realize what the nation was faced with: a mighty Imperial Eagle, watching it’s every move…

    Napoleon heads back to France after the successful campaign in Russia (1812)


    [1] In OTL, the city was already abandoned when Napoleon arrived. Here, that coincidence is butterflied away…

    [2] It would make sense for the British government to increase men and supplies following success in the war with the United States, and decrease support for the Peninsular War, which they were probably going to lose anyway…
  4. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2017
    Well, strictly speaking there were actually a number of Russian soldiers in Moscow IOTL. They just happened to be disguised as escaped prisoners. Somebody had to start all those fires, after all...

    Anyways, fully expect Nappy to start encouraging and backing the South in it's revachist/expansionist goals if Russia is truely considered subdued (Though, without firsting helping boost the Austrians and Ottomans to act as watchdogs in Eastern Europe the Czar won't be down forever. Russia has the manpower and resources to rebuild for a round three within a few years, and certainly will if there isn't a solid front checking them).
  5. NerdyAlternateHistorian New Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #3:

    Rufus King was only one of two (the other being John Adams) Federalists to be elected to the White House. His situation before the election was one of the hardest anyone could have faced, as he had to make the Federalists appealing in the Southern states, who were dominated by the Democratic-Republicans. This was essential, as the Federalist party had almost lost its entire voting base with the independence of New England. But it wasn’t going to be easy, as many Southern states were still angry over the Hartford Convention (1814-15), which they saw as traitorous and secessionist. By shifting most of the blame to the New England Federalists specifically, combined with downplaying his abolitionist stance, he was able to gain 23 more electoral votes than Monroe with a surprising victory in Virginia. With the electoral vote secured, Rufus King would become the 5th president of the United States. [1]

    His presidency was filled with various important acts and treaties, one of the most important being the revival of the Franco-American Alliance in 1818. Intended to undermine British power and give France a diplomatic foothold in the New World, it was surprisingly successful, with most of the new South American nations sliding into the pro-French camp in the coming decades. It also ruined Britain’s attempts to keep France’s influence contained to Europe, and left many of the anti-Bonapartist factions in the British government enraged.

    Another important document with the aim of weakening Britain was the King Doctrine. Though it was officially created to prevent European empires (with, ironically, the exception of France) getting involved in New World affairs, everyone knew it was another obvious attempt to weaken the influence of the British Empire. The document would be in effect for decades, sometimes with alterations to fit the new political situation, until it was no longer considered necessary…

    Back at home, King had to deal with the ever-growing influence of slave owners on American politics. The 1818 midterm elections saw the Democratic-Republicans gain a majority in both chambers of congress, mostly stemming from the King administration’s growing negligence toward the Southern states and their increasingly vocal abolitionism, despite King’s attempts to keep them silent. The results led to a rift in the Federalist Party between the moderates and radicals, leading to a decline starting in the 1820s and the party’s eventual destruction in the 1830s.

    The last major act of the King administration was the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1820. Finally completed after months and months of discussion and convincing Spain, who was reluctant to give territory to a nation that had lost a war only five years earlier, to even sign the treaty, it dramatically altered the American-Spanish border. Florida was ceded to the United States, and a new border, largely drawn based on natural landmarks, was created in the west: first following the Sabine River, then going straight up to the Red River, following that river until reaching the border of the Missouri Territory, continuing up that border to the 42nd parallel to become a straight line heading directly to the Pacific Coast. Britain protested, saying that it ignored British claims to the Oregon County (Columbia District for the US). This would mark the beginning of the Oregon boundary dispute, which wouldn’t be resolved until 1845. [2]

    King decided not to run for a second term, citing his declining health and the increasing breakdown of his administration and the Federalist Party as a whole. He was succeeded by James Monroe, the first in a long line of Democratic-Republican Presidents…

    Rufus King, 5th President of the United States (1817-1821)

    Stars, Stripes and A Pine - 1820

    [1] I think i might be stretching it here a little bit, but if he managed to build up significant support in Virginia and he really worked his ass off to get electoral votes, which he probably would in TTL, then i think this might be possible…

    [2] Though it is referred to as “Spain”, the treaty was actually signed with New Spain, one of the few Spanish colonies that had not yet declared independence. It would become Mexico just one year after the signing of this treaty. It’s only labeled as “Spain” for convenience.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  6. Corjomc Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2011
    New England
    It's surprising that "America Needs No King" didn't become a rallying cry against Rufus leading to his defeat just on name alone.

    Does he preside over the "Era of Bad Feelings"?
  7. NerdyAlternateHistorian New Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Oh, that would've been so good! I really gotta pay more attention to those little details...

    And yes, he does preside over "The Era of Bad Feelings", maybe i'll mention that in a future post.
  8. Seandineen Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Robert ross lives like in the Arkansas Duality.