Stars, Stripes and A Pine

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

  1. NerdyAlternateHistorian 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the beginning of the century, most of it stemming from the Embargo Act of 1807, though this piece of legislation was repealed just a few days before James Madison took office.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 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 Banned

    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 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 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.
  9. NerdyAlternateHistorian Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #4:

    Ever since the May Revolution in 1810, during which Spanish Viceroy Baltasar Hidalgo de Cisneros was removed from power and a local government was installed in the Río de la Plata, South America had been in a state of chaos. Revolutions and uprisings had ravaged the continent, killing thousands. The complete collapse of central authority following the French victory in the Peninsula War in 1812 made things go from bad to worse, as many of the remaining Viceroys seized total power in a series of bloody coups, effectively making them absolute monarchs. The most infamous example of this was José Fernando de Abascal y Sousa, Viceroy of Peru. Despite being a dedicated supporter of absolute monarchy, he supported the fairly liberal Cádiz Cortes (Spain’s first national assembly) against Napoleon. After the end of the Peninsula War however, he gave up the title of Viceroy and declared himself absolute monarch of Peru. What followed was a 9-year long period of war and bloodshed, as any uprising against him was crushed with brutal force, and the national treasury was drained by an expensive war with Peru’s northern neighbor…

    Gran Colombia, officially created in 1819 and led by Simon Bolívar, had always been a pretty unstable nation. Members of the government could never agree on what kind of form the government should take: federal, or centralized? These squabbles made it difficult for the nation to function, and put a halt on Bolívar’s vision of a united South America. That would change however, when a letter was received from the mayor of La Paz, in Upper Peru [Bolivia], which had recently been occupied and annexed by Abascal’s Peru. It called for Gran Colombia to liberate Upper Peru, and remove Abascal from power. Hoping that this could finally unite Gran Colombia’s government against a common enemy, Bolívar brought up the letter in a speech, made during the debate about whether Gran Colombia should go to war with Peru over the disputed territories of Jaén and Maynas. A declaration of war would be issued just a few days later. [1]

    The war was a moderate success, with Abascal being deposed after the Occupation of Lima. Gran Colombia would suffer a great tragedy, when the nation’s founder and first president, Simon Bolívar, was killed by a stray cannonball during the Battle of La Paz, ending the liberation of Upper Peru. The peace treaty left Gran Colombia in control of all the disputed territory, but forced it to recognize Peruvian control of Upper Peru. After Abascal was removed from power and then killed by an angry mob, Peru became a republic, adopting its first constitution in 1824. Bolívar’s death ended his vision of a united South America, but allowed Gran Colombia to stabilize itself under it’s new president Domingo Caycedo, who helped create a new constitution that finally established the nation as having a federal government, similar to the United States… [2]

    Simon Bolívar (1783-1821)

    José Fernando de Abascal y Sousa (1743-1821)

    [1] The war about the border dispute also happened in OTL, though here it happens a few years earlier and has the extra goal of liberating Upper Peru.

    [2] This doesn’t mean that Gran Colombia also has states, but the provinces are comparable with them in how autonomous they are, though there are many differences…
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  10. NerdyAlternateHistorian Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #5:

    Brazil had been in a very weird place since Napoleon came along. Fearing the loss of the Kingdom and Crown, future Portuguese King John VI fled across the Atlantic to Brazil in 1808, along with his mother, Maria I of Portugal, and the Royal Court. The idea was that the royal family would temporarily stay in Brazil, and return to mainland Portugal once Napoleon was crushed.

    Napoleon’s unexpected victory in Russia and Britain’s forced withdrawal from the continent was a shock to the Portuguese royal family, and a major reorganization of the Empire was called for. A “United Kingdom” of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves was created, elevating the status of Brazil from colony to kingdom. With this change in status, there was the expectation that Brazil would be granted more autonomy, but John VI instead clamped down on opposition and continuously increased his power, hoping to prevent the chaos that was ravaging Brazil’s neighbors. Many liberal factions in the government openly and aggressively denounced the King’s actions, as well as his refusal to do anything about the slave trade, with many wanting him to follow Britain’s example, which had abolished it in 1807. The most outspoken members of these factions were either thrown in prison for life, or executed. [1]

    John VI of Portugal (1767-1822)

    By the 1820s, John VI had essentially become an absolute monarch, and Brazil in particular was a powder keg ready to blow. The various liberal factions had become radicalized after years of executions and crackdowns, with most openly calling for secession in the country’s various provinces. The most powerful and influential of these was the “Confederation of the Equator”, led by Manuel de Carvalho and Joaquim do Amor, who wanted to break away from Brazil and form a new, liberal republic. Their faction gained a large amount of support from people dissatisfied with the King’s policies, and slaves who were promised freedom in this new state. All they needed was a spark to start a rebellion, and they soon got one. [2]

    John VI was holding a parade in Rio de Janeiro, to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Kingdom’s foundation. He would also be driven through the city’s various streets in a carriage, making him a possible target for an assassination attempt. Many precautions had been taken: guards had been placed on the rooftops to spot sharpshooters, and dragoons surrounded the carriage at all times, in case someone tried to run up to the carriage and kill the King with a pistol. What hadn’t been accounted for, surprisingly, was someone trying to blow up the carriage with an explosive. As the carriage was riding through one of Rio’s most notorious streets, an assassin, member of one of the city’s local extremist factions, threw a grenade. The grenade exploded just a few inches away from the carriage, sending shards of metal flying through the air. The assassin was shot and killed just a few seconds later. The attack killed 3 bystanders, injured 12 more, and left the King with a shattered arm and a collapsed lung, as well as a giant metal shard having lodged itself into his leg.

    Unable to walk and barely able to breath, the King was hospitalized. Everyone knew it was unlikely he would survive, and so the government had to prepare for the day when his son, Pedro, would take the throne. This day would come unexpectedly quick, as the King died just 2 weeks after the attack. There would be a short period were Brazil would officially have no king, as the government wanted to make certain changes to government and constitution, to prevent the excessive absolutism that John VI had become so infamously known for, leaving the door open for radical separatist factions to take advantage of the situation…


    [1] This “United Kingdom” was also formed in OTL, mostly because the royal family got a little too cozy in Brazil and refused to return to Portugal. Here, it is created so the Portuguese king can rule his nation, while at the same time being a safe distance away from France and Napoleon.

    [2] The Confederation did actually exist in OTL, and was formed during Brazilian War of Independence against the “United Kingdom”. It was crushed after a single battle with Brazilian forces. Here, it is not only a lot stronger and has a lot more support, but also has different reasons for existing (The Confederation in OTL had more to do with disagreements over the new constitution, while in TTL they are the more traditional freedom fighters).
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  11. NerdyAlternateHistorian Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #6:

    The rainforest was unexpectedly quiet, with occasional sounds from all the fascinating birds and insects, which couldn’t even have been dreamt up by the most imaginative people back home. Beams of light pierced the forest canopy, creating an evening glow that was stunning by it’s sheer beauty. The journey had taken them much longer than expected, as they’d clearly underestimated the difficulty of travelling through a dense rainforest in the middle of the rain. Nearly a quarter of his troops had either been bitten by an insect or snake, or had simply drowned during one of the many river crossings. England’s countryside, with it’s innocent animals and muddy roads, looked decent by comparison…

    …At least, that’s what Wellington thought to himself. He had some hope that this conflict could finally restore some of Britain’s prestige, climbing out of the dark hole Napoleon had left them in. A whole decade of anger and instability would be washed away. He would be one of the many to come home triumphant, to be heralded as a hero of the nation, to become immortalized in the history books.

    He lost that hope a long time ago. This war had become uncomfortably similar to that horrible war in Spain, with small militia picking off his troops almost every day. He was one of the few generals that didn’t resign out of disgrace following the end of that war. A political career was out of the question, a man who’d lost a war would have a hard time being taken seriously in Westminster. This war felt more like a redemption to him, one last chance to set things right, one last chance to…

    He stopped as he heard bushes rattling behind him. Without hesitating, he ordered his men to fire. A few seconds of eerie silence, followed by return fire from the militia. He quickly got off his horse and pulled out his sword, hoping he could finally finish them off. Just then, he felt a bullet scrape his neck. After immense cursing that even shocked some of his own troops, he lept toward one of the militia and pierced his chest. Most of the soldiers didn’t even bother fixing their bayonets, using the backs of their muskets to bash the militia’s heads in. When the fighting had finally stopped, he climbed back onto his horse, with the soldiers quickly following him. That bullet wound in his neck would come later, he had a war to finish…

    Duke of Wellington (1769-1850)

    While officially known as the “Brazilian Civil war”, it was in truth a much more international conflict. Britain saw it as a way of finally securing a victory against Napoleon, who was no longer in any physical condition to lead an army on the battlefield. Even if he was, most think even he would’ve had trouble fighting in the dense and inhospitable places Brazil had to offer.

    Britain allied itself with Portugal, while France sent troops backing the Confederation (the US refused to help, citing the Confederation’s anti-slavery stance). The Royal Navy blockaded the Confederation’s ports, though the blockade became more and more difficult to maintain as France’s new and improved navy gained many strategic victories, despite sometimes heavy losses. The war saw experimentation on both sides with various new kinds of weaponry, one of those being rocket artillery, which was often placed on ships to be used alongside regular cannons for the shelling of ports and coastal forts. Though it had very little impact on the outcome of the war, the French would refine it into a reasonably effective combat weapon in less than a decade.

    Many note the war’s lack of major large-scale battles, this largely being the case because of the Amazon rainforest. The rainforest provided the perfect opportunity for militias to sneak up on large armies and cause significant casualties. These militia were a mix of Confederate, French and “volunteers” from various South American nations. Britain and Portugal were forced to operate with “armies” the size of scout patrols, and even that didn’t get rid of the problem. The frontline would remain mostly static in the final year of the war. [1]

    Portugal was the first nation to give up, as it’s treasury had already been strained before the war, and the war itself only made this problem worse. With preventing an uprising as it’s main concern, Portugal asked for an armistice. Britain followed, as continuing the war without Portugal would be pointless. [2]

    The peace treaty forced Portugal to give up Brazil, recognizing it as well as the new Confederation of the Equator (“Equator” for short). Britain had to pay large sums of money to the French, and was also forced to recognize Brazil and Equator. British Guyana was ceded to Gran Colombia. Pedro, son of John VI, would be crowned Pedro I, King of Brazil. Miguel, one of John VI’s sons, would get the Portuguese crown. The treaty effectively dissolved the “United” Kingdom that had existed since 1812.

    Britain would be affected significantly by the outcome of this war. Francophobia reached an all-time high, and politics became a lot more polarized. More radical parties and movements would spring up throughout the late 1820s and early 1830s, threatening to tear Britain apart. But the sun wouldn’t set just yet…

    The United States actually turned out to be the biggest winner of the war, without even fighting in it. It opened up trade with Brazil in various goods, and gave the US one of it’s most important allies throughout the 19th century. What wasn’t known, was that multiple slave owners in both nations had begun trading slaves with one another, forming the basis for the “Saltwater Tear Trail”, a smale-scale version of the Atlantic Slave Trade, that wouldn’t be discovered and fully stopped until the 1890s… [3]

    South America - 1825


    [1] If you could even consider there to be a “frontline” in the first place.

    [2] Being forced to fight a war across the Atlantic after years of having a stagnant economy and almost non-existent trade, means that it won’t take a long time before you break.

    [3] This will have some serious repercussions down the line, though i probably won’t mention it again until many, many posts later…
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  12. NerdyAlternateHistorian Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    Stars, Stripes and A Pine, Post #7:

    Of all the nations that suffered from losing another war against the seemingly unstoppable Napoleon Bonaparte, none would suffer as much as the Russian Empire. The Battle of Moscow was a major embarrassment for Fyodor Rostopchin, the city’s Governor-General. His plan to evacuate the city before Napoleon’s arrival was considered by many to be a foolish decision, as they believed he severely underestimated Napoleon’s capabilities and the speed of his army. This led to him falling out of favor with not just the people and the army, but even Tsar Alexander I himself. Things became even worse for Rostopchin after it was discovered that he gave the order to set Moscow on fire, as a way of preventing Napoleon from raiding the city for supplies, sparking nationwide outrage. Things got so bad that Alexander I forced him to leave his position as Governor-General of Moscow. Hated and disgraced, Rostopchin would die in 1821 after shooting himself through the head with a pistol, following many years of a deep depression. [1]

    Fyodor Rostopchin (1763-1821)

    The Tsar himself didn’t fare much better. Rostopchin’s failure in Moscow led to him becoming increasingly distrustful of his generals. As a result, he began to look more strictly at them, expecting them to follow his orders precisely and swear absolute loyalty to him. It became nearly impossible for many of the younger, more free-minded generals to work their way up the ranks. Even many of the older generals were frustrated by the Tsar’s constant interference in the way their armies were supplied, how their armies were organized and the equipment that their soldiers were using. Many were also worried about the Tsar’s mental health, as outbursts against generals and officers become more and more commonplace. This growing feeling of frustration and concern slowly began to spread throughout the entire Imperial Army, only to turn into outright hatred after the Russo-Turkish War (1824-1825). [2]

    Alexander I of Russia (1777-1825)

    In 1821, Greek revolutionaries launched an insurrection against the Ottoman Empire, which quickly turned into a full-scale war of independence. The Greeks had backing from France, who sent a small fleet to help defeat the Ottomans at sea. Britain decided not to intervene, still licking it’s wounds from the Brazilian Civil War. Russia initially did the same, only offering diplomatic support to the revolutionaries. That would quickly change however, in 1823. Due to his growing paranoia, Alexander came to believe that the Ottomans defeating the Greeks could lead to a resurgent Ottoman Empire, something which could even further damage Russian prestige. Ignoring his advisors, he decided to join the French in sending naval support to the Greeks. The Ottoman Sultan was furious when he discovered this, and closed the Dardanelles to Russian ships. Alexander saw this as the perfect casus belli for war, and had Russia declare war on the Ottomans only a few months later.

    Although the war ended in a Russian victory, many generals were less than happy with the way it was conducted. Alexander received a letter shortly after the peace was signed, containing a long list of complaints from his generals, emphasizing the army’s inefficiency during the war leading to an unnecessarily large number of casualties. When the Tsar didn’t respond to the letter, the Imperial Army knew one thing for sure: Alexander had to go.

    They were not the only ones who wanted the Tsar gone however. Liberalism had become a growing and powerful ideology amongst some Russian intellectuals, who didn’t just have problems with Tsar Alexander, but the monarchy and the empire as a whole. Although this sentiment had existed for a long time, it really gained steam with Napoleon’s victory over Russia, functioning as liberalism’s symbolic victory over the old imperial system. Alexander’s increasing control over the army and him distancing himself from liberal ideas only confirmed this view, and led to the founding of a large number of secret societies. Two of these groups were the Northern and Southern Society, who would later become known as the “Decembrists”. The Northern Society was a moderate faction, which wanted to implement either a constitutional monarchy or a republic (though the idea for the constitutional monarchy was dropped after the Tsar and other members of the government showed their unwillingness to adopt this idea). The Southern Society was much more radical, going exclusively for a republic and even wanting the creation of a Slavic federation stretching all the way to Hungary, an idea that came from the recently joined Society of United Slavs. Though they’re were significant differences between the two, both had become united in their burning hatred for the Tsar, and what made them different from other societies was that they actually had support within the Imperial Army.

    Alexander’s health had begun to deteriorate physically, when he caught a cold while on a voyage through Southern Russia that ultimately developed into Typhus. This left him mostly bedridden inside one of his mansions in Taganrog, a port city near the Black Sea. By November, Alexander was almost completely crippled and couldn’t even walk around in the mansion anymore. Many believed he would be dead within only a few days. The Southern Society, however, didn’t wanna wait that long…


    The sunlight shone through the window, right into the face of Alexander, who had just woken up. He blocked the light with his hand briefly, to stop it blinding his eyes, which had become very sensitive to light. As he slowly started to sit upright in his bed, he was struck by a crippling headache. Though it wasn’t bad enough to make him scream, it did quickly send him laying back down in bed, praying for the pain to stop. He knew the sickness would probably kill him, but it could at the very least let him die in peace.

    Suddenly, he heard the door to the room open. Probably one of his advisors, he thought. They always went to him in the morning to check. He slowly rose back up, the headache still causing immense pain. He blocked the light with his hand again, hoping the advisor would block the window so they could have a normal conversation, but it still impaired his vision to some extent. As he looked at what he assumed to be one of his advisors, he suddenly saw an arm sticking out, holding some kind of cylindrical object with a black hole in it, directly pointed at him. It took him only a few seconds to figure out what the object was…

    It was a barrel. The barrel of a gun.

    Before he could duck away, he heard a loud noise that filled the entire room.

    The sight of blackness was all that followed.


    It took a few days for the news to arrive in Saint-Petersburg, but when it did, the reaction was one of little surprise. The Tsar was dead, killed by the Typhus he had contracted a few months earlier. The message had been purposefully tampered with, making it look like the Tsar had simply died from the sickness, instead of being killed by one of his Southern Society advisors. The task was now on the Tsar’s two brothers, Constantin and Nicholas, to figure out who would be the successor, because Alexander had never stated who his successor was going to be. The royal guards swore their allegiance to Constantin, assuming him to be the heir. Confusion started to spread, however, when Constantin publicly renunciated the throne, forcing Nicholas to assume it. This period of confusion lasted for almost an entire month, giving the Decembrists more than enough time to strike.

    On a cold December morning, thousands of troops had assembled on Senate Square in Saint-Petersburg, where they announced their refusal to swear allegiance to Nicholas, and instead proclaimed their loyalty to only be to the Decembrist Constitution. They were soon joined by various other troops stationed in Saint-Petersburg, and within only a few hours the entire city had turned into a battlefield, with Decembrist and loyalist forces clashing with each other. A number of civilians actually started joining the Decembrists, overpowering the loyalist forces. The Decembrists had stirred up anti-Tsar sentiment across the city, ending up with a big chunck of the city firmly on their side. Nicholas was horrified to see a giant army of soldiers and citizens march on the Winter Palace itself. A squad of grenadiers soon busted into the Palace and captured Nicholas and his family. Just a short while later, the Decembrists declared the abolishment of the Imperial monarchy. The Russian Republic was born. [3]

    Decembrist and loyalist troops clash during the December Revolution (1825)
    But their work was not done yet. Big parts of Russia were still under the control of generals who swore their absolute loyalty to the Tsar, and they refused to join the Russian Republic. Constantin, who had fled Saint-Petersburg during all the chaos, made contact with a number of loyalist generals, and formed a monarchist faction that accepted only Nicholas as the rightful ruler of Russia. Constantin became the faction’s leader for as long as Nicholas was captured, and began to slowly organize a cohesive army. Russia was on the brink of civil war…


    [1] Rostopchin’s decision was already highly controversial in OTL, so losing a battle in Moscow as well would make things much worse.

    [2] Alexander I grew very reactionary and paranoid even in OTL, so you could only imagine how bad it would be if he had lost against Napoleon due to the “failings” of one of his generals.

    [3] The Decembrist Revolt also happened in OTL, except it was done by a few liberal officers who hoped to implement reforms, but the revolt was poorly planned and executed, and had almost no support amongst the population or even the military. Here, they capitalize on anti-Tsar sentiment that has been building for almost a decade, and use that to overthrow the Tsar.
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  13. NerdyAlternateHistorian Member

    Dec 2, 2018
    So, here finally is the next update! Regular updates for this timeline are almost impossible, primarily because I have so much stuff to do all the time. That doesn't mean I have given up on this timeline though! :)
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    Arkian and Višeslav like this.