The Dead Skunk

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Lycaon pictus, May 7, 2011.

  1. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    However the difference here is that the existing population of the region, which were never actually given a choice on joining the US, have decided to leave it. Apart from anything else there are probably a number of elderly survivors from the 1780's who would feel some affinity with them.

    Interesting. As I said I had heard otherwise. Do you have a source please? Afraid I don't as this was one of those things I read somewhere a decade or more back.

    The British are distracted at an unfortunate time. However I can see them seeking to mobilise against Napoleon very quickly, calling back disbanded regulars, seeking mercenaries to help fill the ranks, offering funds and equipment to allies. They will be caught off balance but definitely won't be seen as unreliable.

    Actually while I could see Britain sending some forces west as a precaution and possibly trying to get Wellington to go, although he would at least have objected very strongly I can't see the mass shipment of forces that seems to be suggested. This is more I think than in late 1814, after Napoleon was defeated and when we were formally at war with the US].

    By this time I think Boney's credibility is shot. He's gone back on his word and proved too aggressive too many times and all the great powers will be determined not to let him go on the warpath again. [Especially if as you say he's mobilising a vast new army. That will have everybody twitching]. After all he has at least as much chance of success in taking the Italian lands from Austria than he has of taking the Rhineland from the barely established Prussian presence.

    I agree that compared to ~1790 Austria came out a lot worse than Prussia, especially since that was because it had fought France more than any other continental power. However it's still widely seen as the more powerful state and the leader of the German Confederation. Furthermore politically if France, which is not trusted at this point even under the Bourbons let alone Napoleon, is to be restrained there needs to be a strong presence on the Rhine. This can't be Austrian as that would raise too many concerns about Hapsburg power so it's got to be Prussian as other German states are too weak or have been associated with Napoleon.

    Steve
     
  2. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    You're quite correct that the conscripts will add urgency to the Allies and their efforts.

    I'm hunting for the sources now but I should add that while he reintroduced conscription he did not actually use the conscripts OTL as they needed to undergo training first and Waterloo came before they could have been considered prepared.



    As for New Orleans the treaty was quite clear, especially since the British accepted the part for any territory taken after the treaty was signed, being aware of the effort launched against New Orleans.
     
  3. Wet Coast Knight of the Dinner Table

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    Oh I'm not expecting the Americans to go along. I would expect them to be furious and ready to commit violence. I'm just looking at ways the British could try to pull this off. All nations love a good legalistic swindle and it's not as if the Brits didn't earn the title of Perfidious Albion.

    The British also had a history of supporting various breakaway groups in France during and after the revolution and yes I'm aware that that was during wartime and thus a different context but that's what you pay diplomats for. I could see them loading all troops abord ship and sailing them out to sea thus evacuating all American territory and then turning around and returning "at the request of the newly recognized independent govenment". They could even wait out there until the first clash of arms between the Americans and Louisianna and then "reluctantly" assuming their obligations to Louisianna.

    And yes if they thought they could get away with it and they occupied territory worth the risk and they could convince the locals, I can see the US trying the same thing in Canada. New Orleans is worth the risk, the Niagara Penninsula is not.
     
  4. stevep Member

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    Mar 21, 2006
    That is the problem. It's because the Americans are on the warpath that the French are so desperate to escape the US.

    I think you will find that the 'perfidious Albion' tag is because the French were upset at some point, I forget which, that Britain stuck to it's principles.;)


    Militarily Britain could get away with it and there is a moral argument for it. Despite what Grimm says it also has a bigger legal loop-hole than many excuses used for changes in policy. However whether it is necessarily best in the longer term is a more difficult question. It could be argued yes because if America is going to be aggressive and expansionist then best to face them down now. On the other hand could it become a more stable neighbour. [Don't forget we know what the people of the time don't plus this is a subtly different position with the US threaten to kill what it claims are it's citizens].

    I don't think, after 2-3 years of war, there is much likelihood of any part of Canada suddenly wanting to join the US.;)

    Steve
     
  5. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    The problem is going to be when word arrives that Napoleon has returned, followed by the Americans returning the treaty unsigned and ripped in half with a note stating that when London will actually honor the terms of the treaty the British government can feel free to print up a new copy and send it out to be signed along with evacuation terms for anyone in New Orleans who feels the need to relocate.

    Right now the British are faced with gaining a serious loss of prestige in Europe while losing any chance for a more settled relationship with the United States over a single town with less than 20,000 people.
     
  6. Wet Coast Knight of the Dinner Table

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    I beleive it was used by the French revolutionaries when the British chose to support the monarchy. I don't understand why they though the British establishment would support revolutionaries but it then became a pejorative to be used by the French whenever the British practiced realpolitik and impacted French interests. Because of course the British were expected to conform to French interests at all times :rolleyes:.


    I think that the argument about any such action harming British prestige is a bit overblown. Great powers acted in their own best interest and this was understood at the time. Acting arrogantly towards a lesser power such as the US would not be seen as anything too out of the ordinary. The strategic position of New Oreleans would warrant a few risks.
     
  7. stevep Member

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    Mar 21, 2006
    That rings a bell. Possibly because there had initially been a welcome for the revolution in liberal elements in Britain which had largely disappeared when it went very sour.

    Of course any country feels that the actions of others are unjust and repulsive when they fail to serve the interests of their own country.;)


    I agree. The fact is the situation has changed and the US is facing showing itself as hypocritical in it's action. There is also the small factor that while the Louisianans are asking for protection America has not yet heard back from Britain what it's response is yet. Which in turn depends on what Wellington finds in Louisiana.

    Steve
     
  8. stevep Member

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Grimm

    I'm checking through 'The campaigns of Napoleon, by David Chandler, ISBN 0297748300, 1993 edition'. A massive tome which unfortunately is accurately named as it's very concentrated on his campaigns. I.e. relatively little on the political and economic background or fighting when Napoleon isn't present.

    On page 946 talking about the position during the winter of 1813-14 as he struggled to recover from devastating losses in Germany it mentions that he conscripted [or tried to] about 936,000 men, including policemen, forest rangers, customs officials and 150,000 conscripts from the class of 1815. I think this differs from what you said earlier about him not having called up conscripts in 1814, which I think he did in 1813 after the Russian fiasco. It shows how desperate the situation was getting.

    In the return at the start of the hundred days it states:
    p1012 - "Napoleon hesitated to order full mobilization for he was fully aware that the vast majority of the people were wholly opposed to a renewal of hostilities".

    p1014 - After the allies had rejected a peace proposal, which was probably more to gain time and play on divisions, it says "On April 8th mobilization was ordered but the Emperor still hesitated to reintroduce the hated conscription for a further three weeks".

    P1014 - mentions that the Bourbon army numbered 200,00 men [not clear how many of them stayed in the colours but a lot did]. 75,000 old veterans returned to the tricolour and another 15,000 volunteers appeared. 200 battalions of the National Guard were mobilized to help defend the frontiers and once again sailors, policemen, customs officers etc. were conscripted.

    p1015 - "Largely through those measures [see above] a force of 280,000 soldiers were produced within 8 weeks of Napoleon's landing and within 6 months there was a prospect of a further150,000 once the class of 1815 had been re-conscripted and put back into uniform." - Given those figures it sounds like a fair amount of the Bourbon forces deserted and the emperor was facing something like a 800,000 to 1 million opposing troops once the allies in turn mobilised. [Slightly less this time because probably 20-30k have been ordered to America:mad: but, while their quality will be missed, as will their leader, there are a lot of them].

    This fits with what I remember from various sources. Napoleon had a clustering of veterans but support was fairly fragile and is very likely to collapse once the 1st set-back occurs. Also the book emphasises that all the great powers were quickly determined to remove him from power and his attempts to divide them quickly fell on deaf ears.

    As such he might have some early successes and there will be hard fighting but Napoleon will go down, almost certainly some time in 1815. It may reduce Britain's influence on the continent a little, especially if a British army under a weaker commander is defeated in the early stages but prestige and influence depends at least as much on Britain's economic and financial power, navy and determined diplomacy.

    There is one other possible impact, which could be very bad for the US. If when they hear of Napoleon's return and possibly some early victories it persuades the government to take a harder line expecting that Britain will be switching everything against Napoleon. Given the forces in place and on the way and the fact Britain is hence likely to get very angry that could backfire badly.

    As I said above the argument is not that Britain is seeking to hold onto the territory in defiance of the treaty. It's that the population of the region have decided [understandably in the circumstances] to leave the US and asked Britain to recognise/protect them. Also it is yet unclear whether they are claiming this status for all Louisiana [which would complicate matters] or just for the region around the delta.

    Steve
     
  9. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    The next one is going to be a couple days late. Sorry.

    (By the way, I'm actually pretty encouraged by the response this TL has been getting. What I was most worried about was that someone who, unlike me, had an actual military background would find fault with the battles of New Orleans and Natchez.)
     
  10. stevep Member

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    Lycaon

    Well I don't know massive details about the OTL battle other than Pakenham seems to have made a lot of mistakes and just about everything that could go wrong did. The story about the skunk rings a bell and from it's use as the title I'm guessing that OTL a soldier reacted to the skunk, warning the defenders and as a result an earlier attack failed and Jackson was able to fortify much more.

    However there's generally a lot of knowledge about most things on the board so probably the fact no one's screamed at you so far suggests you're OK.:)

    Steve
     
  11. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    Actually, IOTL no skunk was ever involved in any way. What happened was that Major General Keane led his army within a day's march of New Orleans and then, not knowing what he was up against, stopped for reinforcements.

    ITTL he saw an owl kill a skunk by swooping down on it from above, not giving it a chance to react. This inspired him to risk attacking the city right away.
     
  12. stevep Member

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Lycaon

    Ah well, another false memory. Next I'll start doubting my status as the rightful monarch of Britain, America, Brazil and Atlantis.:p

    Have to see how things go but it could be very complex with crisis in both Europe and N America. It could have been really confused if the Louisianan's had asked the Bourbon monarchy of France for protection, only for them to go into [probably temporary] eclipse. Mind you with protection needed urgently and British forces on the ground.

    Steve
     
  13. bm79 Citoyen Louisianais

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    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Interesting, very interesting. Subscribed.
     
  14. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    This is taking longer than I thought. I promise I'll have the next update ready in the next few days. In the meantime, I should mention that if anyone's wondering, the Tambora eruption will happen on schedule (I think geology is less subject to butterflies than the weather) and will have more or less the same effect that it does IOTL. This will make a difference in 1816 and '17.

    Also, although I hate giving away hints to people who are as good at guessing ahead as you all… the standing of Britain among the nations of the world is indeed taking a big nose-dive. But not for the reason you think.
     
  15. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    Word of the treaty spread through the continent with a painful slowness that we can scarcely imagine today. Nonetheless, by the end of February almost all British forces had evacuated U.S. territory.
    There were two major exceptions. One was the coastal town of Castine, in what would become Maine. There Sherbrooke held out, hoping against hope that the government would change its mind and add the so-called “Province of New Ireland” to its Canadian possessions, or that Strong would remember his proposal of the previous year.
    The other, of course, was New Orleans…
    Charles Cerniglia, The War of 1812

    * * *

    March 8, 1815
    About 10 a.m.
    New Orleans

    “Damned if I like this,” said Cochrane. “None of these people are going to leave, you know. They turned against that bloody-minded maniac precisely because they were loyal to their city, and you expect them to abandon it?”

    “I don’t see that they have much choice,” said Keane, watching the sailors load supplies onto the fleet at the lakeside dock. “You might have encouraged them to come with us, rather than leading them on with false hope.”

    “I didn’t think they were false promises. Now that this place is a republic…” They had been over this ground a good many times over the last couple of days. “If nothing else, I wish we could offer Lafitte and You privateer commissions.”

    “Me?”

    “Forgive me — Dominique You. That is his name.”

    “Ah.”

    “Sir!”

    Keane turned to look. It was a messenger from one of Gibbs’ regiments.

    “Sir, General Gibbs requests your presence at the west end of the city.”

    “What’s this in aid of?”

    “Some Yankees on horseback have shown up with arrest warrants.”

    “Already?” Keane got moving.

    A fair number of the buildings in New Orleans — especially the poorer homes, made of logs instead of brick — were still burned-out shells. If Keane hadn’t put his men to work putting out the fires the minute the Yankees had fled, and if there hadn’t been a river and lake handy to draw water from, the city might have been lost.

    As he walked through the streets, he saw that more and more of the townspeople were walking in the same direction as himself. Most of them were armed. This couldn’t be a good sign. He quickened his pace.

    At the edge of town, Keane saw the intruders. They were cavalry — a militia unit. He estimated their numbers at between three and four hundred, with plenty of remounts. General Gibbs and a couple of companies of British soldiers were blocking their path into the city.

    “Colonel Thomas Benton,” he said. “For the purposes of this mission, my men and I have been sworn in as deputy U.S. Marshals. We’re here to serve this arrest warrant.” He pulled out a roll of parchment.

    Keane looked at it. They had everybody here — Jacques Villeré who seemed to be in charge of the Republic’s provisional government, his son Gabriel who had killed his dog to escape the British, Destrehan, Plauche, Latour, Nolte, Ducartel, Seignouret, Dussau de la Croix and the rest of the Committee… He looked down. There were over a hundred names on this list.

    “You might have come two weeks later,” said Keane. “By then we would have been out of your hair, and we would have persuaded your so-called ‘traitors’ to come with us.”

    “Why do you think we were in such a hurry?” said Benton. “We don’t want them ‘out of our hair,’ we want them in our hands. We want to make them pay for what they’ve done. And there’s at least one other who is not on this list.”

    “Who might that be?”

    “The man or men who murdered General Jackson, of course.” Benton tried to keep his face and voice neutral as he said this, but didn’t quite succeed.

    “General Jackson fell in battle,” said Keane. “He killed one of his enemies in the process. You can hardly call that murder.” He would have reminded Benton that the British had lost a leader as well, but he did not want to risk showing the guilt he still felt over that.

    “Whoever it is — along with every man on this list — will have their day in court, I promise you. They can make their case then.”

    Keane suddenly became acutely aware of all the muttering behind him. He turned. Something like the entire Louisiana militia was gathering in the streets, armed and looking ready to fight.

    Keane was no prophet, but suddenly he could see the future very clearly. Even if he stood aside and did nothing, the militia could easily drive off Benton and his men today. But the dirty-shirts would come back, with General Coffee and ten, or twenty, or thirty thousand men. Even if every New Orleanian who could lift, point and fire a musket fought, they would be outnumbered… and after that would come something very much like the massacre they all feared.

    Then Keane noticed that one of them was a woman in widow’s weeds. She couldn’t have been more than twenty-five.

    “Héléne Judith Toutant-Beauregarde,” she said when he asked for her name. “My Jacques… was at Pearl River.” Her black dress was loose about the waist. She wasn’t starting to show, but something in her complexion said to Keane this woman is pregnant.

    At this point his treacherous memory whispered the phrase beauty and booty into his ear. His army had come with the intention not to save the city, but to loot it… among other things. The general was sickened by the thought of the fate that this brave young woman might have suffered at the hands of Englishman under his command. Thank You, God, for sparing her that, he thought. And thank You even more for sparing me that. Could the Lord possibly have spared her then, only to desert her now? Did he not have a duty to these people, as well as to the Crown?

    “I remind you that you no longer have any right to stop us,” said Benton. “Tell your men to stand aside.”

    Keane realized at this point that there were two people whose actions had brought things to this pass. He was one, and the other was dead. This might not be his fault, but it was surely his responsibility.

    And it only got worse as he looked at the crowd behind the Beauregarde widow. The sight of all these women and gray-headed men and beardless boys assembled in the street behind the militia, clutching old muskets and cutlasses, cane-knives or whatever other weapons they could find… even a coward might have been moved to defend these people. And there was not a grain of cowardice anywhere in Keane’s army. His men were looking at him expectantly — even Gibbs. (Even black freedmen were in the crowd, armed like everyone else. In New Orleans, this was well-nigh a sign of the coming Apocalypse.)

    “General Keane?” said Benton. The seconds were ticking past one by one, each one whispering four little words as it went by — Make up your mind. Make up your mind. Make up your mind.

    So he did.

    “No,” he said.

    “I beg your pardon?”

    “No. You may not arrest anyone here.”

    As the crowd cheered, Benton stared blankly. Finally he said, “On whose authority?”

    Well, one might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. “On the authority of the Republic of Louisiana, which rests under the protection of the Crown.” There. He’d said it.

    Benton was silent. He was almost the only one there who was. The crowd cheered and catcalled. Even the British soldiers were cheering. Finally, the Americans said something that was probably an ominous warning, even though it was completely drowned out. Then he and his men turned and left.

    * * *

    “I promise you, you won’t regret this,” said Jacques Villeré. Keane was already regretting it a little, but he knew he would have regretted the alternative even more.

    “Is Mr. Claiborne still being held in Fort Charles?”

    “So he is.”

    “I should like to have him released to the Americans,” said Keane, “and I should like to speak to him first.”

    “That seems reasonable,” said Villeré, with the air of a man granting a favor rather than obeying an order.

    While Keane was sitting in Villeré’s office, waiting for the release of the former state’s former governor, Admiral Cochrane entered.

    “I must say, I didn’t think you had it in you,” he said.

    “Nor did I, until the moment came.”

    “Well, rest assured — if you need a man to plead the rightness of our cause, I will not be found wanting.”

    * * *

    William C. C. Claiborne had been kept in decent health during his two months or more as a prisoner of war, but his militiaman’s uniform was worn and mended to unrecognizability.

    “Well, am I being given my parole?” said the ex-governor.

    “In a manner of speaking.”

    “And you truly intend to recognize this farce of a republic.”

    “We remain loyal to our Louisianan allies, and respect their decision,” said Keane. “But in the interest of peace, I have a request to make of you.

    “Go to Washington. Take your wife and children with you — I won’t have it said that I’m holding any hostages.

    “Find President Madison and tell him this from me. I am willing to serve as mediator in this dispute between the United States and the Republic of Louisiana. Simply put, if your government can persuade these people to rejoin your union of their own free will, Admiral Cochrane and I will be more than happy to leave in full accord with the treaty already signed.” More than happy was not strictly true, but for this purpose it didn’t matter.

    “You truly expect me to believe you,” said Claiborne.

    “Think of me as you please. My chief purpose is to prevent needless bloodshed.”

    Claiborne shook his head. “I think you mean what you say,” he said, “but I wonder what you would have done differently if it had been your chief purpose to start a war.”

    To this, Keane had no answer.



    March 25, 1815
    7:30 p.m.
    Vienna

    Lord Clancarty sat at the desk in his suite, desperately trying to think of the best way to write his letter to Lord Castlereagh. That Bonaparte had escaped was already old news. They’d learned it in London not long after they learned it in Vienna.

    At first, it hadn’t been cause for panic. Surely, they thought, surely the French would seize the man who had led them into so many disasters and hang him from the nearest tree.

    They hadn’t.

    This was not an emergency. Surely Marshal Michel Ney would bring the would-be Emperor to Paris in an iron cage as he had promised.

    He followed Bonaparte to Paris in triumph instead.

    Surely the French people would not suffer the overthrow of their good king Louis XVIII. Surely they would not allow themselves to be rallied for yet another war.

    Guess what was happening now.

    Clancarty tried to remember that the man was only mortal. He could be beaten — had been beaten, early on, in Egypt. His expedition to Haiti had been a failure, and it was only a pity he hadn’t led it personally.

    But other memories rose up into his mind as well. Austerlitz. Jena. Auerstädt. Halle. Freidland. Wagram. Even thinking any one of those names felt like sticking a finger into an open wound. For years, it had seemed like the certain fate of all Europe to be part of a French Empire under that man’s rule.

    Finally — finally, after the great beast had wasted the bulk of his army on a military adventure so grandiose than not even he could make it work — through the combined efforts of basically every other nation in Europe, he was defeated. It cost more, in lives and material, than anyone would reasonably expect. But last year, they did it. They beat him and they sent him off to the island of Elba. Let that be his empire.

    And since then, everyone had been trying to pick up the pieces… and Clancarty thought they’d been doing rather well. The past quarter of a century had already started to seem like a bad dream, a nightmare in which royal families of ancient lineage could be overthrown by angry mobs and beheaded like chickens in the marketplace, and a clan of Corsican banditti could put crowns on their heads, proclaim themselves lords of creation, sweep all before them and destroy the order of centuries and no one could stop them. Now, at last, Christendom was awake, the fever had broken, the nightmare was over, and the world could rest safe at peace in the hands of legitimate kings from real dynasties…

    Until now. He’s back. I thought we were shot of him. He’s back. We’ll have to do it all over again. He’s back. God, I know we’re sinners, but have we really sinned this much?

    All this, Their Lordships already knew. What they didn’t know about was the suspicion with which the Powers were starting to regard each other. Who, exactly, had financed Bonaparte’s escape? Who had paid his bills until he gained control of the state? Whose bright idea was it to send him into exile so close to home? The Prussians suspected the Austrians, the Austrians the tsar… and everybody was looking askance at the British. It was their ships and men that had been given the task of watching over Bonaparte, and they had failed. According to Talleyrand, they “were guilty of a negligence which they will find it difficult to excuse.”

    Sir Charles Stewart had made things worse, blithely saying that they had never actually committed themselves in writing to the man’s imprisonment. The looks on the faces of the Austrians and Russians and Prussians — and even the Spaniards — had spoken volumes. Hundreds of thousands of brave men died to put that beast in a cage where he belongs, and YOU left the door unlocked. Whatever happened to “England expects that every man will do his duty?”

    Today, at least, Clancarty had done his duty. Together with the representatives of Austria, Prussia and Russia, he had worked out a treaty whereby each of the four Powers would raise an army of 150,000 for the express purpose of defeating Bonaparte.

    Well, sort of. The British army was very professional, had possibly the best logistical support in the world… and it was very small. Clancarty wasn’t sure the United Kingdom could field 150,000 men. He was quite sure he didn’t dare commit them to it. So he had arranged an additional article to the treaty whereby His Britannic Majesty might contribute fewer men and more money — twenty pounds a year per infantryman and thirty pounds a year per cavalryman. The other signatories had nodded, with only a hint of contempt, as if they had expected nothing better.

    Clancarty wasn’t worried that this new coalition (which one was it now? The seventh?) would break up over these differences — not while Bonaparte was on the loose. But not since the American Revolution had Britain’s standing in the world been in greater jeopardy.

    We need Wellington, he thought. Whatever else we give the war effort, he must be part of it. Whatever he’s doing in America can’t be as important as this. Their Lordships won’t want to call him back so soon after sending him there, but they must. We must be seen by the world to be giving our best.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2011
  16. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Lycaon pictus

    Excrement met air blowing device.:(

    I think Britain could raise 150k troops given how many we were maintaining the previous year, many of whom had been laid off. However it would take time and a lot would be pretty raw. Also very likely a shortage of leadership as the bulk of experienced officers are heading across the Atlantic. Furthermore it could be a shambles if Wellington and his men get to the Americas and just starting to talk to/fight people when their called back home. Probably then to be too late for the final battle.

    The money alternative would probably be fairly acceptable to the allies as there are a lot of unemployed troops from the other powers and traditionally Britain paid for a lot of allied troops anyway, as well as supplying weapons, supplies etc.

    Letting Napoleon get out from Elba is a prestige blow however. I get the feeling you're setting things up for Britain to be too late for the final battle against Napoleon and hence have a lot less prestige and influence in Europe. [Which may not be too bad for Britain in the longer term. An [even] more conservative Europe will probably take longer to become an economic rival and if we get involved in another war [or two, three...] etc that looks quite possible Britain could look more to the world outside Europe.

    In Louisiana Keane has done the moral thing but it's technically illegal and likely to get him a rocket from Wellington when he hears about it. Might be too late by then as the US could declare war before he gets there to find out what's going on. Or at least there could be attacks from neighbouring militia units from the US. i think if the locals and the British forces get their act together it's going to be difficult for the Americans to get a serious attack in. A lot of unsettled country in the way and the navy will prevent any invasion by water. Could be a threat coming down the river but get some gunboats up river a bit and that would help.

    Steve
     
  17. bm79 Citoyen Louisianais

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    As a New Orleanian, I must say I'm enjoying this TL :p. I've been trying to find loose threads to pick at, but haven't found any so far. I do have a few questions/comments:

    How much of Louisiana outside of New Orleans is currently under the "protection" of the British? If I remember my history correctly, at this time the French were mainly settled in a wedge-shaped area along the Mississippi up to Ascension Parish and down Bayou Lafourche, but were already spreading westward toward the soon to be founded "Napoleonville" (which won't be called that ITTL, I image). Also, there were well established French pockets along Bayou Teche in what was then called the Attakapas country, up along the Red and Cane rivers near Natchitoches, and at the mouth of Bayou Lacombe on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain. None of these people will want to live under "le joug américain" while their compatriots enjoy liberty in New Orleans.

    You've already hinted at the British acquiring Florida from the Spanish. Since the Brits contest the validity of the La. Purchase, I imagine they also don't recognise the American annexation of West Florida in 1813 either, and as such would consider themselves in possession of all of Florida up to the Mississippi?? This leads to a question about the size of an eventual Louisiana protectorate. The land between Baton Rouge and Mobile was, despite some American settlement, still majority French/Spanish in 1815, and an argument could be made that West Florida up to the Perdido River should have been part of Louisiana.

    At this time, the western border is also still a big question mark. While the Spanish claimed everything up to the Atchafalaya, the original western limits of the French claim was the Brazos. With no Adams-Onis treaty yet, and Britain and Spain still allies.... If the Brits want to keep all of Florida, and also create a stronger Louisiana better able to help defend itself, then a greater westward expansion might do the trick.

    Anyway, I've rambled on enough, especially given that we (your audience) don't really yet know where this is going. Just giving my 2 cents. Ou plutôt, mes 2 centimes de piastre louisianais :D
     
  18. Lycaon pictus Author of "Locksmith's Closet" Donor

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    At the moment, the British are holding New Orleans and points south.
     
  19. Grimm Reaper Desperate But Not Serious

    Wellington's going to arrive and find Keane's put him in the position of either recognizing a a republic consisting of little more than a single town and utterly dependent on British military protection and thus restarting the war with the US or proclaiming to the world at large that commitments made by high ranking British officers may not be of any value. Then he gets the order to return to Europe with every man he has.:(
     
  20. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Grimm Reaper

    Possibly, but presuming the order to return to Europe doesn't catch up before he gets time to understand what goes on that probably means a US dow. The fact the US are betraying their principles he could live with. Majking the word of a British commanding officer valueless and abiding the slaughter of innocent white Europeans would be very dangerous for him and Britain.

    More likely he would probably try and calm the US down and seek a peaceful settlement which doesn't involve a massacre and the US, or local representatives without talking to Washington, restart the war. Then Wellington gets the order to return and has some difficult decisions to make.

    Don't forget that Britain has the problem of status here. It can't be seen to be bullied by the US into allowing an atrocity, which is what is clearly going to happen if the Americans aren't stopped from invading the new state. [At least before news arrives of the problems in France, after which everything is up in the air].

    Steve