The Dominion and the Union: An Alternate North America

Introduction Post
  • Hello all! I am once again attempting to write a timeline. My previous attempt, "Even If You Stand Alone", became difficult to follow for myself, and had no background structure to it. For this timeline, which is a direct reboot of said previous timeline, I have worked on a Google Document to structure the events that occur so that I can more easily write the timeline. There are some things I am not happy with (which I will mention when those aspects become relevant and obvious), but overall the product is generally going well.

    The premise of both timelines is the same, and because of this, I will copy-paste the premise from the old one. Essentially, the premise is that the American Revolutionary war turns out very differently. In OTL, loyalists in the 13 colonies fled to the north. This had the consequence that Quebec and other territories there didn't rebel. It also partially led to the eventual failure of the southern theatre of the Revolutionary war, as the British military planned on relying on loyalist assistance in the later periods of the war. In TTL, the loyalists from the New England, Middle, and Chesapeake colonies fled instead to the South. I reason this because the Southern colonies already had a larger population of loyalists, which is evident in their dialect (which is the closest modern American English dialect to that spoken by the British of the time).

    I am still working on the Google doc, but I have reached the mid-1800s, so I feel it is a good enough time to begin posting. For each post, I will cover the important events that happen during the presidency of a President of the United States. This is one problem I would like to address immediately: This timeline is extremely US-focused. I will try to broaden the horizons to sister nations and perhaps European countries as well, but so far I have only worked on the US. This is for a number of reasons, foremost because I don't really know what to do for the timelines of other countries. I hope that, while I post, I can get some ideas through writing. I hope that you will enjoy reading my timeline!
     
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    The American Revolution
  • Chapter 1: The American Revolution

    A Painting of the signing of the Treaty of Paris by Benjamin West.
    In the years following the Seven Year's War, British America was in many ways prospering. The Caribbean Islands, recently conquered from the Spanish, provided great wealth to the Empire with their sugar industry. The continental colonies expanded greatly with the acquisition of eastern New France. Not everything was easy, however. The Quebecers, Francophones of the new territories, were not content with British control. Small uprisings began in big cities like Montreal and Quebec. There was a simple solution. The Quebecois were slowly but surely removed from British America, either to New Spain or to France proper. In turn, the newly uninhabited lands were resettled by New Englanders. By 1775, ~70% of the French had been expelled.

    There was another, perhaps unavoidable problem. Even with the Caribbean sugar industry, the British needed money to pay off the war. Where else to get the money but the colonies which started the whole thing? Thusly, a number of taxes were implemented in the years following, such as the Sugar Act of 1764, and the Stamp Act of 1765. The colonists of North America were notably unhappy with the increased taxation. So notably were the colonists unhappy that, when it became obvious that they would get no control over their taxation, they declared independence and went to war. In 1776, the United States of America was established, a coalition of the 13 colonies of British America.

    Two years after the American Revolution began, Nova Scotia, another British colony north of Massachusetts, officially joined in arms with the Americans. A number of Nova Scotians had previously served in the Continental Army, but following the implementation of similar laws to the "Intolerable" Acts that the 13 colonies had endured, the vast majority of Nova Scotians decided to rise up against the British. Throughout the whole revolution and before, the Quebecois to the north were still in rebellion against the British. Pro-Patriot New Englanders, who had been resettling the region, had quietly been supporting the revolution with the Nova Scotians. In 1780, Quebec came into open rebellion with the 13 colonies. While wishing to be independent at some point, they acknowledged that they couldn't stand alone as a nation with their sparsely populated lands, and so agreed to join the new nation of the United States.

    Near the same time that Quebec joined the revolution, a great blow was dealt to the Americans. Throughout the entire war, colonists loyal to the British Empire migrated south. The colonies of the Carolinas, and Georgia were already more supportive of the British, so it was only obvious to move south. When the British called upon these loyalists to come up in arms to support the Empire, they answered in great numbers. The Patriot forces in the south were crushed, and the British were only barely halted at the border of Virginia. The southern theatre of the American Revolution was lost in 1782. By the time that the south returned to Britain, however, the war itself was untenable for the British. Their forces would be stretched too thin if they were to try to reenforce the northern front, and the war was long and becoming unpopular in the homeland. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris was signed between the newly, officially independent United States and the British. The British had to recognize the independence of the new nation, and the United States had to accept that the south was British for good.

    A map of North America after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, 1783.

    A map of North America after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, 1783.
     
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    Era of George Washington (1784-1796)
  • Chapter 2: The New Nation

    The years after the revolution were turbulent. The original document written to unite the states, the Articles of Confederacy, was inadequate for keeping the nation together. A main issue was that the federal government outlined in the documents could not enforce taxes, and therefore government-based services such as the Continental Army couldn't be paid. Individual states also violated the articles, despite protest from officials. Shay's Rebellion of 1787 proved the ineffectiveness of the government when Congress could not support the military in defending the state of Massachusetts. It was determined quickly that a new document must be written to maintain the union.

    In 1787, the new Constitution of the United States began being drafted. It outlined the powers of the federal government, and the rights of American citizens. The Constitution structured the Congress as a single body, states being given a number of votes and representatives based on population. It abolished slavery in the states, and ensured the freedom of movement between states. It ensured freedom of religion, a policy which concerned the Catholic population of Quebec greatly, as they believed they might be forced to convert to Protestantism.

    President George Washington.
    The Ratification of the Constitution took place on June 21st, 1788. It was quickly followed by the first Presidential election of the United States. The president would serve a 4 year term, with the runner-up of the election becoming the vice-president. The Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, George Washington, was unanimously elected president in April of 1789. His vice-president would be John Adams. His first year of presidency would see the establishment of the Supreme Court and the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

    He would be elected again in 1792, though he originally planned to retire at the time. He would sign the Proclamation of Neutrality in regards to the French Revolution, though most of the government privately supported the French Republic. During his second term, the Amity Treaty between the United States and Great Britain would be signed. It ironed out some of the remaining disputes, and began trade with the British again. Another, similar treaty was to be put into effect near the same time with the French Republic, but it was shot down by the Federalist government. George Washington would give his last speech in September of 1796. He warned against a large military, and was wary of permanent foreign allegiances. His presidency would be the first of three times that the Federalists had a president in office.
     
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    The Era of John Adams (1796-1804)
  • At the turn of the century, US politics were split between two parties. The Federalists, the party of Washington, were popular in their home of New England, and south to New Jersey. They prioritized improved relations with Great Britain and were largely against the French Revolution. They sought to strengthen the United States federal government and establish centralized services such as a central bank.

    Their opponents, the Democratic-Republicans, were their near-opposites. They were most popular in their home states of Virginia and Kentucky and were fairly popular in Maryland and Quebec. They were strong supporters of the French Revolution, and unlike the Federalists, sought a small central government.

    In 1796, the election to find the second president was up to these two parties. The Federalist candidate, John Adams, had served previously as George Washington’s vice president. He was widely popular in the party. His running mate was John Jay, the governor of New York. The Democratic-Republican candidate, Thomas Jefferson, was a co-founder of the party. Interestingly, the two were close friends.

    The election was close, but John Adams won by a slim margin. The election laws at the time made Jefferson, his presidential opponent, his vice-president. Adam’s first term was largely uneventful, seeing the completion of the Federal Mansion and the establishment of the Library of Congress. By the end of his first term, he was still widely popular amongst the Federalists.

    The 4th election of the US arrived in 1800. In his first term, John Adams had witnessed a small war scare throughout the nation. The Federalist administration of Washington, none too partial with France, had decided to stop repaying them for their assistance in the revolution. At the same time, the Amity Treaty was seen as further treachery directly in conflict with previous treaties between France and the US.

    Understandably disgruntled, French privateers began capturing American ships off the east coast in late 1798. While this shake-up was settled only a few months later, the effect it had on the American attitude was palpable. In government, moves were made to restart paying the debt to the French. Amongst the people, the Federalists
    A Portrait of John Adams.
    were seen as incompetent and elitist, and the France debacle made the party even more unpopular. Many Americans, especially the remaining Quebecois, still strongly supported the French Republic. This decline in public support made the Democratic-Republicans a much greater threat.

    Coming to the election, tensions were higher than ever before. A change in the election process remedied the issue of opposing politicians becoming president and vice-president together, and the parties made nomination tickets of their own presidential and vice-presidential nominees. The Federalists reran the Adams-Jay duo of the last election. The Democratic-Republicans also reran Thomas Jefferson with their vice-presidential nominee Samuel Adams of Massachusetts, a prominent member of the party.

    The political battle between candidates was brutal, and the election would become one of the closest in US history. In the end, the election was only barely won for Adams by two states, Pennsylvania and Maryland. An interesting case was that of New York. The Republicans had gained a significant foothold in the state, and so it was split for the election. While it would remain a Federalist state in this election, in following elections it would prove a stronghold for the Democratic-Republicans.

    While Adams had won the election, the Federalist house of his previous term would not be following him into the next. Stymied by a Democratic-Republican house, his domestic policies were slowed. Not only that, very quickly after being elected the US would be embroiled in another war with far-off Tripoli. The Barbary states had been a thorn in the US’ side for years at that point, but nonetheless it was another political challenge for Adams to overcome.

    Even with these challenges, Adam’s greatest achievement would come not too long into his second term. In years previous, Napoleon Bonaparte of France had secretly retaken Louisiana from the Spanish. This was in an attempt to rebuild the French colonial empire in north America. However, when it became obvious that keeping the territory was financially untenable, he considered selling it to the US. Understanding the importance of a Caribbean port and control of the Mississippi, Adams jumped at the opportunity.

    The negotiations went over smoothly between the US and France, and the purchase was made in April, 1803. The British viewed this as a great threat to their dominance in the Caribbean, but the consequences of this would wait for a few years. In the meantime, Adams’ presidency came to an end. He would be remembered as a great president, overcoming political hurdles and leaving the US a wealthy, continent-spanning nation.

    Dominion_and_Union(1803).png

    A map of North America, 1804.
     
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    The Era of John Jay (1804-1808)
  • A portrait of John Jay.

    After the knockout presidency of John Adams, the Federalist party was quick to prepare for another president. Though their popularity was waning even during John Adams’ second term, there was widespread confidence that they could win another presidency. The obvious candidate was Adams’ vice president John Jay, signatory of the Treaty of Paris.

    Jay himself was wary of the presidency, never having seriously considered the position for himself. He was preparing to retire from politics before he was approached with the position. With the opportunity at his foot, however, he couldn’t turn it down. At the very least, as president he could smother out the last embers of slavery in the Union.

    The issue of slavery, though minor, was complicated. It had been abolished in most of the states, and almost all former slaves were now free. The last bastions of slavery in the US (besides Orleans) were the states of Virginia and Kentucky. The slave population was shrinking even there, but it was slow and many slave owners were unwilling to give up their property. Another strong Federalist in office, it was thought, could finally stomp out the issue.

    This would become the platform upon which the Federalists stood for the 1804 presidential election. The Democratic-Republicans again reran Thomas Jefferson with Sam Adams. By this election, Jefferson was tired of the political world, and like Jay was planning on retiring. John Jay ran with prominent Federalist Oliver Ellsworth.

    Like the 1800 election, political fighting was grueling. And like the previous elections, the results were very close. For the final time, the Federalists won the election, and John Jay was inaugurated as the third president. After a third presidential defeat, Jefferson retired from national politics, moving back to Virginia and acting as the Virginian state governor until 1808.

    Jay was saddled with a Democratic-Republican house, and this would again stymie Federalist domestic policies. During his term, relations with the Caribbean British soured even further, with a number of American ships from New Orleans being captured by the British. The first Canadian independence party was founded during his term. And worst of all, the issue of slavery couldn’t be resolved during his term as he had wished. All these issues were blamed squarely on John Jay and the Federalist party.

    Unlike his predecessor, John Jay left office without much fanfare, and has not been remembered all too fondly. Though his presidency was not quite the disaster it was made out to be, a number of factors unfairly blamed on him would end up souring his legacy. After he left office, the Federalists would finally slide into irrelevance and eventual dissolvement in 1822. His lackluster presidency would give the Democratic-Republicans plenty of ammunition to make certain the Federalists would never win another election.
     
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    The Era of James Madison (1808-1816) Part I
  • Chapter 3: The Second Revolution and the Era of Nationalism

    A Portrait of James Madison.

    Though the Federalists were effectively a non-issue, the Democratic-Republicans still faced some problems. Their strongest presidential candidate, Thomas Jefferson, had retired from federal politics after the previous election, and wasn’t willing to give the presidency another go. The next option was James Madison, a co-founder of the party along with Jefferson. Madison was an intelligent man, seen as the main force behind the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Madison was willing to take the position, and he was made the Democratic-Republican candidate for the upcoming election.

    1808 was an easy victory for the Democratic-Republicans. While the Federalists remained strong in most of New England, Madison carried the rest of the nation. New York and New Jersey were solidly in the Democratic-Republican sphere by this point, and even Delaware went for the Democratic-Republicans over the Federalists.

    The America that Madison became president over was on a knife’s edge. In 1809, tensions with Britain were at an all time high. The Caribbean and the Gulf of Texas were the crowning jewels of the British Empire, and the US port of New Orleans was an unsightly stain on British domination of the sea. While the war scare was growing, the US military was nearly non-extant. The previous line of Federalist presidents had gradually diminished the ability of the military.

    There were also a number of US motivations for war. Unresolved anger over the Chesapeake affair, when the USS Chesapeake was attacked by the HMS Leopard off the coast of Norfolk, added to the tension between the two. Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia at the time, wrote that the incident was an insult to the US, and Madison agreed strongly with his colleague. Another possible motivation was a desire to take Rupert’s Land from the British. Chief among US grievances, many US seamen were forced to join the British Navy, and many US ships were captured by the British. This was seen as a grave insult to the American nation and national honour.

    During this period of national unrest, Madison was of course under great duress. Unfortunately, despite his intelligence, Madison was not an incredibly skilled leader. His embargoes and restrictions on Britain had little effect, and captures of American vessels and the impressment of American sailors continued. It became even more obvious to Madison that more drastic measures needed to be taken to protect the national honour and his legacy as president.

    On February 15th, 1810, the 11th United States Congress declared war on Britain. With a vote of 13-3, the war was widely but not unanimously agreed upon. Notably, the Federalists were major opponents of the war. At one point, the idea of New England seceding from the US was thrown around amongst some. The point of the war was to protect American sovereignty and honour, and to prove to the British that they couldn’t do whatever they pleased.
     
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    The War of 1810 (1810-1813)
  • The War of 1810 began on February 15th, 1810. While ultimately inconsequential in terms of territorial loss or gain, the war was tantamount to the American spirit during the first half of the 1800s. Though suffering a number of defeats, a few major victories and the eventual neutral peace gave quite the boost to the growing American ego.

    The British of the south were caught off-guard when the war began. Under the assumption that the US government would take no action against the impressment of American sailors, and that the US military was an ineffective force in its entirety, the British had not prepared for American aggression. During this stage of the war, the Americans were able to take some British settlements.

    The most influential theatre of the war was the Gulf Coast. American troops had been positioned along the long border of West Florida and in forts around New Orleans, and a number of British settlements were attacked by American soldiers. However, while American soldiers were superior on land during the initial stages of the war, their luck would not last.

    A Portrait of Irish-Born Major General Robert Ross.

    The British of the south were able to gather troops in equal measure to American numbers six months into the war, pulled mainly from local militias and given hasty training. Under a number of competent, British- and Irish-born commanders, American-captured settlements were easily liberated. However, the true British force was the Navy. British naval dominance was unchallenged by fellow European powers, let alone the United States.

    Blockades of the Atlantic coast of the US were highly effective, nearly bringing the nation to its knees. Spanish assistance in the Gulf of Mexico allowed some importation via the Mississippi, but even this avenue would be overrun and blockaded after a year-and-a-half of naval fighting. Especially effective in the Gulf were British bombardments of American ports. By the end of the war, the port of New Orleans was nearly completely destroyed, and repairs would take nearly half a decade to finish.

    Two remarkable American victories would come in late 1812. The Battle of Norfolk, the first of these two victories, took place from the 25th through the 28th of September. Following weeks of bombardment, British forces landed near the mouth of the James River on September 25th. Fighting took place in Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk proper. While progress was made for the British initially, the Continental Army’s arrival on the 26th reversed the tide of the siege entirely. By the end of the
    fighting, ~270 Virginians and ~150 British lay dead on the shores.

    The Battle of New Orleans would come less than a month later, on October 17th. While Norfolk had experienced weeks of bombardment, New Orleans had been bombarded for two years, nearly continuously. British forces landed early in the morning, and began towards the city. The difficult terrain, made all the more treacherous due to strong weather in days previous, slowed the British movement to a crawl. The slow advance of the British allowed for American soldiers to arrive in time to defend the city. The fighting was brutal, but by the end of the battle, the British suffered a crushing defeat. For every American killed or wounded in combat that day, nearly 3 British suffered the same.

    After the defeat of the British at New Orleans, hostilities essentially ceased. The war would not officially end until February 10th 1813, but only small-scale scuffles, often with no casualties, actually took place before then. Though the war was in truth a stalemate, the war kickstarted the era of American nationalism. The success of the war would also give a well-needed boost to the popularity of president James Madison.
     
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    The Era of James Madison (1808-1816) Part II
  • A Portrait of James Madison.
    Beginning his second term in 1812, at the tail-end of the War of 1810, Madison had changed as a leader from his first term. Though still a staunch Democratic-Republican, he had become convinced of the necessity of a strong central government to fund and support the nation. This shift in ideals further weakened the dying Federalist party, as the division between the two lessened. At the same time, American national pride, and related hostility towards any internal British-ness, led the Federalists to be widely ostracized in the nation.

    In February 1816, Madison established the second national bank with a 25-year charter. The goal of the establishment of the bank was to be able to support the growing American military. In this same period, Madison imposed a tariff to protect American goods from competition. This too was to increase funding for the government and military. Another aim for Madison post-war was to improve American infrastructure.

    Madison was criticized for these actions by fellow Democratic-Republicans. John Randolph, a representative from Virginia, said that Madison’s policies “out-Hamiltoned Alexander Hamilton.” None-the-less, Madison’s internal improvement policies proved foundational to following presidential goals. They were also hugely successful in funding the nation after the war.

    When Madison left office in 1816, the nation was changed in many important ways. The party system he had become president in was on the way out, and the Era of Nationalism was beginning. America, galvanized by war and strengthened by a boosted central government and improved infrastructure, was on its way to becoming an influential power of its own. As John Adams put it, Madison had “acquired more glory, and established more union, than all his three predecessors, Washington, Adams, and Jay, put together.
     
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    Poll
  • While I write the next part, I would like some input as to what British America should be called. I have a couple of ideas, and I'll put up a poll so you all can vote.
    The options on the poll.
     
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    Life in British America (1783-1810)
  • Life in British America, more widely known as Carolina amongst citizens, remained much the same pre- and post-Revolution. Though taxes were high, increased further after the war, standards of living were comfortable in the South. Land was not immensely difficult to come to possess, and weather was comfortable year-round. Government freedoms were guaranteed to quell any remaining revolutionary fervour, and colonists were finally represented in British Parliament.

    The economy of Carolina relied heavily on agriculture. Sugar, tobacco, and indigo were produced in the region. Cotton was also produced, but until the creation of Whitney’s Cotton Engine in the 1790s, the crop was very difficult to cultivate on a large scale. However, following the creation of the cotton ‘gin, cotton quickly became one of the most important crops produced in Carolina.

    The Dominion of Carolina was divided into a number of provinces and territories. The largest and most populous as of 1810 was the Province of Albemarle, also known as North Carolina. Albemarle’s capital, Newbern, was renowned for its cultural power, being called “the Athens of the South” by some. Though suffering a massive fire in 1792, destroying much of the city, Newbern remained the capital of the province. Albemarle would eventually be partitioned, the western half of the province becoming the new Province of Cumberland.

    The Province of Clarendon, also known as South Carolina, was perhaps the most prominent province of Carolina. The dominion’s capital, Charlestown, was also the capital of Clarendon. Though much smaller than its northern cousin, Clarendon sported a comparable population. Clarendon’s slave population was the largest in Carolina; Slavery was a common practice in all of the provinces of Carolina.

    The Province of Georgia was an outlier among the organised provinces. Its population was much smaller, and had acted as a penal colony for many years. This purpose stretched all the way back to James Oglethorpe's original vision for the colony. An unfortunate divergence from Oglethorpe's vision, however, was the practice of slavery. Georgia had a huge slave population considering its whole population.

    The territories of Carolina included East and West Florida, the Indian Territory (also known as the Mississippi Territory), the Bahamas, and Cuba. The Governor-General of Carolina as of 1810 was John Drayton of Charlestown.

    A Map of Carolina, 1810.
     
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    Life in the United States of America (1800-1815)
  • The first 15 years of the 19th century would prove an influential time for the United States. Following the presidency of John Adams, the US’s economy and living standards improved. New states were being carved in the Northwest and Louisiana, allowing for hundreds of settlers to move west. The vast majority of settlers were white Anglo-Protestants, though swathes of Francophones and Catholics settled the land as well, many moving into the Arkansas region of the Louisiana territory.

    In 1810, the US was composed of 15 states. From northeast to southwest, the states were - Canada, Acadia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Kentucky. By 1815, the Orleans territory would join the rest as the state of Louisiana. Indiana and Illinois would follow soon after, in 1816 and 1818 respectively. In 1819, the state of Canada would be split in two along ethnic and religious lines, creating the new state of Quebec.

    The greatest draw for settlers in the west was the abundance of “uninhabited,” developable land. The federal government would grant large areas of land in the west to prospective settlers, and the river systems such as the Ohio and Mississippi rivers gave easier access to the west. Another draw, for Catholics and freed slaves in particular, was a new type of freedom. Moving west allowed settlers to escape discrimination, and gave them the opportunity to strike it big in the logging and mining industries.

    Politics were changing rapidly in this period. The rise of new political parties, such as the Parti Patriote centred in Quebec and Canada, and the fall of the Federalist party marked the times. This is known as the end of the First Party system, the rivalry between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans coming to a close, and the beginnings of a new system of political rivalries.

    As the 1820s approached, the USA faced a promising future. With international affairs being regularised, the nation could work internally and push west. In 1818, Great Britain and the United States worked together to determine the borders between the two’s western territories. The border ran from the western point of the Muskeg Bay, following the 49th parallel to the Rocky Mountains in the west.
     
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    Map and Hiatus
  • 489BF0D1-BE96-44F2-876B-1C4AA7392E55_1_201_a.jpeg

    I make-a da map! Sorry for the lack of internal borders in New Spain, couldn't be bothered. About a new part, it won't be anytime soon. I'm moving out (heading to Ohio this May!), and it's a lot of stuff for me to be doing. Consider this a hiatus.
     
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    The State of the British Empire (1783-1820)
  • Though suffering a hefty territorial loss with the end of the American Revolutionary war, the British Empire was still a power to be reckoned with. The Dominion of Carolina was the shining jewel of British power, spanning much of North America’s Atlantic coast, and stretching deep into the Caribbean. The Dominion would grow overtime to include other British Caribbean and South American possessions such as Belize.

    Flag of the HBC, 1801-
    Rupert’s Land, controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company, was in stark contrast to its southern sibling. Sparsely populated, cold, yet massive, Rupert’s Land focused on fur production. Indeed, the HBC controlled a monopoly on the fur trade in the region. Following the merger of the HBC with the North West Company in 1821, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s monopoly was extended from Labrador in the east to the border of Alyeska in the west.

    Flag of the EIC, 1801-
    The British presence in Bengal, large even at the time of the American Revolution, would grow to cover much of northeastern India by 1800. Like Rupert’s Land, British possessions in India were largely controlled by the East India Company. The EIC also controlled Madras, Sarkar, Surat, and much more of the Indian southeast. Beyond the EIC’s core territories, many regions of India were indirectly controlled by Britain through the local rulers. British India would likely have expanded further, but a number of key defeats led to EIC expansion being quenched.

    Britain also controlled a number of other territories. The Cape Colony had been taken from the Dutch after the Napoleonic Wars’ conclusion. Britain controlled the lion’s share of Australia in 1810, eventually driving the remaining French Australiennes out of the west by 1815. New Zeeland was another British territory in Australasia.
     
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    FANART
  • I GOT FANART!
    The ever-talented Osk has made a map of the Dominion of Carolina circa 1820!
    Osk_FanMap-min.png

    I am very grateful for this map! I never expected anything more than a "Hey, this is pretty good" message from anybody, this far-and-away blew my expectations!
     
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    The Era of Nicholas Gilman Jr. (1816-1817)
  • A Portrait of Nicholas Gilman Jr.
    Nicholas Gilman Jr. was an accomplished statesman by the time of his presidency. Serving as a soldier during the Revolutionary War, he was exposed to the nationalist ideals of Washington and Hamilton. He was a ratifier of the US Constitution, and served as the representative of New Hampshire at-large from 1789 until 1797. In 1805, he was elected to the US Senate as a Democratic-Republican. Gilman’s brand of politics was well in-line with the established Madisonian ideology.

    A soft-spoken man, he was well respected by his colleagues. Though respected, however, he was not seen as a strong candidate for the presidency. He did not plan on running until he was convinced by his brother John Taylor, who had recently retired from New Hampshire governorship months previous. Reflecting wishes to move on from the Virginian line of presidents, Gilman won the nomination by a slim margin against James Monroe, who would become the vice-presidential nominee. In the 1816 presidential election, Gilman and Monroe would predictably win over the Federalist candidates Rufus King and John Howard.

    Gilman’s period of presidency would be one of the shortest in US history. During his year in office, Gilman would continue and expand upon Madison’s initiatives of internal improvement. Behind the scenes, however, his health was failing. In December of 1816, Gilman would be diagnosed with tuberculosis, and would succumb to the illness in February 1817. The position of president would be filled by vice-president Madison after the death of Gilman.
     
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