State of West Florida

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Etruscan-enthusiast35, Jun 13, 2019.

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  1. Etruscan-enthusiast35 I make garbage for a living

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    My query is a simple one really, is it possible to have West Florida be made into its own state instead of being divided up and given to Alabama and Mississippi?
     
  2. Kevin in Indy Now with charcoal!

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    It was my impression (no research) that the philosophy when forming the states of the Southeast and of the Old Northwest was to make sure all states had access to major rivers, lakes, and oceans wherever possible. Indiana was once proposed to have its northern border tangential to the southern tip of Lake Michigan - effectively no shoreline! The border was moved north enough to provide a usable shoreline on the lake. Similarly, the use of a "north to south" line dividing what are now Alabama and Mississippi allows each of those states to have a piece of the Gulf coastline rather than a West Florida taking up the coast and an interior state with poor access to the water. The states of Kentucky and Tennessee were built out of lands previously claimed by Virginia and North Carolina, respectively, but these states extended to the Mississippi River and also had good access to the Ohio River and its major tributaries.
     
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  3. Analytical Engine Monarchist Collectivist Federalist

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    By that logic, the state of Mississippi has access to a major river (the Mississippi).
     
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  4. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    You could probably divvy up what eventually became Florida into two states, with the panhandle being West Florida. Most of the land in this West Florida would have been part of the West Florida colony anyways.

    Otherwise, you could have the Republic of West Florida pull a Texas and join the Union.
     
  5. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    V1. West Florida Republic Pulls a Texas. Their expansionist bids had gone as far as Pensacola OTL.
    upload_2019-6-14_9-14-47.png

    V2. Florida Panhandle as West Florida
    upload_2019-6-14_9-16-30.png
     
  6. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    V2 would probably be a much easier sell, and culturally, the panhandle has always been different from the rest of Florida.
     
  7. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    Probably.

    Of course, it's entirely possible that West Florida is just named Florida and East Florida is named something else. It'd probably depend on who becomes a state first, and I would think that the panhandle would become a state first given how most of the state's population was in the north until the 20th century.
     
  8. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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  9. Jackson Lennock Well-Known Member

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    That would require the US to get West Florida at independence, I think.


    Maybe if the West Florida Republic managed to seize the whole of Spain's West Florida Colony and then joined the US there'd be a state straddling the coast from the Mississippi to the Apalachicola River. But the boundary had been set at the 31st parallel already, so I'm not sure if it'd get all those lands that were part of British Florida.

    Also worth mentioning is that though the US legally got Florida (today's Florida) in 1819, the coastal bits of Mississippi and Alabama as well as the Louisiana Florida Parishes became American legally in 1812 and formally in 1813.
     
  10. PuffyClouds Well-Known Member

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    *disclaimer, something looks off with the Tennessee River Drainage Basin in this image, it's like they included part of the Cumberland River and some other fiddly bits. It may be more of a political map instead of an exact drainage basin map. Obviously the Suwanee doesn't take all that is shown in this map, et cetera.

    Version 1

    se watershed states1.png

    Version 2
    se watershed states2.png

    Version 3
    se watershed states3.png

    I developed these concepts in relation to a nonslave Georgia with a larger population at the time of the Revolution. West Florida was ceded by Spain to the Americans in this hypothetical's Treaty of Paris. The Lower Creek tribes would be dissolved and their people given citizenship in the United States, and then citizenship in the hypothetical states of Alabama and West Florida. They wouldn't be majorities to begin with in those states, and as time progressed they would become a smaller portion of the population. I figure West Mississippi and Louisiana would still be slave based due to settlement by shipbound settlers from South Carolina. Maybe instead of naming #4 East Mississippi it could be named Pearl and Pascagoula Plantations.

    But if OTL West Florida became a state it would probably be a slave state.
     
  11. Kevin in Indy Now with charcoal!

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    Agreed, but access to the Gulf makes it even better!
     
  12. Revachah ::purveyor of side-eye and teeth sucking:::

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    If the Adams-Onis Treaty is respected and the old Southern White Elite maintain the sorts of relationships that were had in the days of French and Spanish rule the proposed West Florida would be a hub of both the the Louisiana Creoles of Color in Alabama and Mississippi and the hispanophone creoles of Pensacola. The Adams-Onis treaty insured the social and legal protections of "ancienne populations" they had were taught literacy with white children in the catholic church in the 1820's with city leaders a decade later insuring teachers were provided for the community and laws were made to for them that even well to do mixed race populations in Louisiana could never gain.

    Eventually a guardianship law was made that required even the ancienne population to have a white "parent" to formalize any buying or selling real, personal or chattel property but as we see with the records it was namely white relatives who were there to support them. In time they became a tawny batch of comfortably living and educated peoples in an otherwise uneducated rural and semi-urbanized environment of poor whites and blacks.
     
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  13. SwampTiger Well-Known Member

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    The French and Spanish in Louisiana and Florida already had slavery in this period. The difference from English/American slavery is a greater tolerance for the mixed race populace.

    If West Florida is ceded by the Adams-Onis Treaty, the entire region may be included as a single territory, or the extreme west would be included into the New Orleans region. I doubt any of the negotiators was considering river basins as a coherent whole.
     
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  14. Luminous Headwing Consulting

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    Shouldn't West Florida, if formed from the Republic of West Florida in some shape or form, be centered around the Florida parishes vs Pensacola? I suppose it depends on the era as well, and the PoD. I guess you could have a more developed and effective Republic which joins the US, and the US uses that to press their claim to the remainder of Florida even harder than OTL.

    I'm certain there's a way to get even Royalist West Florida to join the rebellion against the Empire. It'd not be easy or the most realistic, but not completely impossible, either. Another option is if The rebellion is more successful by leaps and bounds and the US manages to secure West Florida during the Revolutionary War before the Spanish intervene. Again, that requires quite a bit of leaning on the scale to make it happen, but I certainly imagine it's possible in some realm.

    Here's a division idea: Alabama gets more of the Florida panhandle and less of the north to make it more oceanic focused. It retains Mobile in the west to emphasize this. North of Alabama, and to its west, "Yazoo/Mississippi" is the inland state, with enough of the territory that would be focused on rivers. In the southwest, bordering Louisiana, you have "West Florida", taking up a good chunk of the Gulf. As it did not extend control eastward, it agrees to "sell" its claim east of the OTL Mississippi/Alabama border to the US government and merely retain its territory west of the line to give it its good hinterland.

    Another way you could do this is to give most of the panhandle to Tennessee, and make Yazoo/Mississippi into a trans-Mississippi state, with counties on both sides. Which might be very impractical to do in this timeframe.

    upload_2019-6-14_19-54-42.png
     
  15. Revachah ::purveyor of side-eye and teeth sucking:::

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    I wouldn't call it a tolerance, rather Americans never existed as a slave majority colony.

    In 1732 Louisianans of African ancestry made up 65% of the colony. In general white people are more willing to see shades of gray with a backdrop of black.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  16. Wendell Wendell

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    If there is a state in the union called West Florida, Tallahassee won't be the capital of (East) Florida.
     
  17. HeX Self-Proclaimed Disney Expert

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    Here are some alternate takes on West Florida. I believe this is how the Brits and Spaniards divided up the region, so why not the Americans too?
     
  18. Wendell Wendell

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  19. Luminous Headwing Consulting

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    Mostly as the Republic of West Florida didn't control any of the eastern portions (or anything that would be Florida) if I recall correctly. Their center of power would be the Florida parishes of what is now Louisiana.

    If West Florida entered at the start, as a state, it'd have its borders just like other states. If it maintain effective control over most of the territory (or at least had rebels in other parts of the state), then I could see it entering as a whole unit. But, if it enters similar to OTL, like many of the other states, they'd sell parts of their territory they have no effective control over to the government to cover any debts to the federal government and the assumption of debts held to other states that may exist. So, you'd get a rump West Florida in the west, and you'd still get your ability to give Alabama a port (somewhere, at least).

    This really can pair along with the Neches river becoming the western border for Louisiana vs the Sabine. All Louisiana just shifts west.

    Definitely could happen. I was using OTL names as much as possible for clarity.
     
  20. Nephi Well-Known Member

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    I think in that case the Territory of Mississippi would not have been split, America would have a single state formed out of it.

    The South would have two Tennessees.