The Kingdom of Liberty: A History of the United States

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Roosevelt, Aug 13, 2019.

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  1. Threadmarks: Chapter One

    Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    The Kingdom of Liberty
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    A History of the United States

    "Unlike the centuries-old absolute monarchies of Europe, which ruled for power and control, the American monarchy ruled for nearly the exact opposite: liberty and independence. Since Henry the First to George the Second, we have been dearly blessed with a successful experiment, a Kingdom of Liberty." - U.S. President Lester Pearson (July 4, 1964).

    Chapter One - A Disunited Union

    The Siege of Yorktown was the final nail in the coffin for any British hopes of holding onto their American colonies. American, French, and Prussian Armies evicted the British from Yorktown and forced Great Britain into peace negotiations with their former subjects and their European allies.

    As the ink dried on the Treaty of Paris, one of America's heroes met a sudden demise. General George Washington, one of the most unifying figures of the American revolution, would not live long enough to see the product of his leadership. On the evening of March 21, 1784, General Washington was riding his horse from Arlington to Mount Vernon. An earlier storm had knocked trees and debris into the roads. At dusk, Washington and his horse failed to see a downed tree that was spanning the road. His horse tripped and the general was launched from his saddle to the ground. Washington struck his head and broke his neck, rendering him unconscious. A mail courier found General Washington an hour after the accident and recognized him almost immediately. By that time, however, it was too late. The United States had lost her father.

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    General George Washington, the Father of the United States (1732-1784)

    The Congress of the Confederation unanimously declared March 26, 1784 a day of mourning for General George Washington.

    Two years after the death of George Washington, the United States appeared to be coming apart at the seams. The loose Articles of Confederation caused states to quarrel and impose trade restrictions on each other. The federal government of the United States lacked almost any power to stop the fragmentation. For example, Philadelphia could not raise a standing army to intervene in such problems. The power to raise a military was through the states, which were struggling to survive. This lack of authority would culminate in the infamous Shays' Rebellion.

    Massachusetts Governor James Bowdoin, the successor to John Hancock, governed as the exact opposite of his predecessor. While Hancock barely enforced tax collection, Bowdoin imposed a harsh fiscal policy on Massachusetts. Taxes that had not been paid in years were recalled by Bowdoin. The dreary economic situation in Massachusetts began to deteriorate further due to the taxes and the commonwealth’s staggering debt. Along with a bad fiscal situation, Boston began to gain a reputation as a hub of political corruption and malpractice, with Bowdoin at the center of it. As expected, many of Massachusetts’ residents were angered by Governor Bowdoin’s policies. For many, it brought back memories of King George and his harsh tax policies across the colonies.

    Large protests had taken place across Massachusetts since late August of 1786. Protesters across the state, calling themselves Regulators, managed to shut down the county court to seek relief from “burdensome” and depriving judicial proceedings. Governor Bowdoin condemned the protesters as “mobs” and called on the militia to quell the protests. As protests continued, the government would turn increasingly harsh and impatient with the Regulators, with Senate President Samuel Adams threatening to punish rebels by execution.

    With tensions running high and a huge rift between the state and its people, it appeared a second revolution would be coming to North America.

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    The Siege of Springfield

    On January 26th, rebel forces led by Daniel Shays, Luke Day, and Eli Parsons launched an attack on the Springfield Armory. The militia present at Springfield, commanded by General William Shepard, were shockingly overrun by the rebel forces, being significantly outnumbered. Shepard withdrew his remaining forces and moved east. As the armory fell to the Regulators, Governor Bowdoin pleaded the Congress of the Confederation to supply an army for him, but per the Articles of Confederation, this could not be done. The Regulator militias moved east, raiding shops for food and clothes along the way. General Benjamin Lincoln, who had been headquartered at Worcester, moved south and intercepted the Regulators at Douglas, where he oversaw their defeat and the capture of Shays, Day, and Parsons. Many of the rebels scattered from the battle and thus avoided capture by Lincoln’s men. In total, the rebellion cost half a thousand lives on both sides.

    While ultimately a failure, Shays’ Rebellion completely changed how all Americans felt about governing. It was clear that the decentralized Articles of Confederation was ineffective at governing and keeping order. State governments began to fear that rebellions inspired by Daniel Shays could begin in their own backyards and lead to their demise. Patriots who fought for independence feared that the Union would continue to crumble and potentially lead to British rule once again. Nearly every American agreed on one notion: a new constitution.
     
  2. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Dec 11, 2018
    Great start !

    Formatting is a bit weird but I am VERY curious where this Is going and who the first king of America will be


    Good job!
     
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  3. Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    Thank you! This is my first time writing a timeline here so I apologize if things are confusing, but I very much appreciate feedback!
     
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  4. Threadmarks: Chapter Two

    Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    Chapter Two - God Save The King

    “If we simply allow ourselves to bicker and quarrel and have no body mediate our disputes, then we shall be reduced from a sovereign nation to a subject of the British once again. Strengthening our central government is not tyranny, it is, in fact, an antidote to tyranny.” - Alexander Hamilton (July 1787, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

    Shays’ Rebellion and its casualties was fresh in every American’s mind. Not even a decade after the end of the American Revolution and it looked like civil war was looming between the newly-independent states. States had gathered months prior in Annapolis to revise the Articles of Confederation; however, nothing would come of this meeting as several states did not attend and no changes were made. The Philadelphia Convention (later known as the Constitutional Convention) sought to avoid Annapolis’ mistakes.

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    The Old State House (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

    Two major plans came from the convention, the Virginia Plan and the New York Plan, proposed by James Madison and Alexander Hamilton respectively. Madison’s Virginia plan called for a bicameral legislature determined by population and led by an elected weak executive. The Virginia Plan also enclosed term limits for legislative and executive seats to allow rotation in office. The New York Plan endorsed a bicameral legislature with equal representation in both chambers. The lower house would be elected to three year terms, while the appointed Senate would serve for life. It also supported a strong executive who would serve a lifelong term, would serve as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and approve or veto bills from the legislature. The Virginia Plan garnered support from the populous states and the south, while the New York Plan would garner support from the smaller states and the north.

    Supporters of the Virginia and New York Plans locked horns for several weeks. Supporters of the Virginia Plan attacked the New York Plan as being too “authoritarian” and taking away too much power from the states. In contrast, supporters of the New York Plan attacked their opponents by claiming that only large states would have a say in the national government, while small states would have almost no voice. This deadlock would continue until the Connecticut delegation would introduce their own plan. The bicameral legislature would have an elected, population-weighted lower house, and an appointed, equally weighted upper house. The lower house would have the power to introduce and pass legislation, declare war, and manage finances. The upper house would serve as a check on the lower house, having the power to revise legislation and review judicial appointments chosen by the lower house. The lower house would choose a president to serve as the leader of the body, while a national executive would serve as head of state and ratify bills passed by the legislature. After the introduction of the Connecticut plan, the deadlock ended and progress was made. There was one lingering problem, who would be best suited to serve as the executive?

    Some delegates suggested that a military figure should serve as the national executive. Others suggested a directly-elected executive who could serve for short terms. Then, an originally controversial idea took center stage: a monarchy. Some had suggested in years prior that the late General George Washington should be crowned King, but many originally dismissed the idea of a monarchy as counterintuitive for the revolution. Given the poor situation of the confederal republic, a monarchy was reconsidered by many as the populace called republicanism into question. Supporters, namely Nathaniel Gorham and Alexander Hamilton, argued that a neutral monarch with restricted powers would preserve the union and ensure that civil war or authoritarianism would never overtake the United States. Opponents, namely Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson, believed that a monarchy was too “British” and, similarly to their opposition to greater federal control, would lead to authoritarianism. Discussions about a hypothetical monarchy evolved from whether or not to have a monarch to candidates for the crown. Rumors circulated that Prince Frederick of York and Albany would be offered the throne prior to the convention, but these rumors were shut down quickly. Another candidate took center stage, a man who helped the colonists fight for independence and was held in high esteem by both Americans and Europeans.

    Enter Prince Henry of Prussia.

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    Prince Henry of Prussia, The Man Who Never Lost a Battle

    Prince Henry had gained a strong reputation in North America. He personally supported the revolution when word of it hit Europe, and when his brother decided to recognize the United States, Henry was more than willing to help the Patriots’ cause. He arrived in North America in 1778 and commanded troops alongside Washington at the Battle of Monmouth. Washington and Prince Henry successfully defeated Clinton’s army on June 28th, killing 600 and capturing 1,500 soldiers. Prince Henry would oversee the defeat of Baron von Knyphausen at the Battle of Springfield, also known as the “Battle of the Germans” due to most units and commanders hailing from the German states. Following Springfield, New Jersey was secured by the Patriots and Prince Henry was moved to South Carolina, overseeing a victory against Banastre Tarleton at Cowpens. His signature battle, however, was Yorktown, where his Prussian volunteers, combined with American and French forces, forced Lord Cornwallis to surrender and pushed Great Britain to peace negotiations. Despite Prussia going to war with Austria over the Bavarian throne in 1782, Henry decided to stay in the United States and resided in Philadelphia, maintaining his rank of Brigadier General in the Continental Army. Because of this, Prince Henry was a frequent dinner guest of many of the Philadelphia Convention’s delegates.

    When Prince Henry’s name was thrown in as a candidate for the monarchy, nearly every member of the convention knew who he was. He had been a voice for the Enlightenment and was a man they fought alongside. He was easily trusted, and American opinion of Prussia was high. The convention voted on the proposal for a monarchy and, by a 8-3 vote, the monarchy was now officially part of the Constitution.

    The final draft of the constitution contained three equal branches: the legislative, the monarchical, and the judicial. Article I of the Constitution established the United States Congress. The Congress was designed per the Connecticut Compromise, with a population-determined lower house and an appointed upper house. Article II of the Constitution established the Monarchy of the United States. The monarch was formally established as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, designated as the head of state, and would approve or veto bills that passed through Congress. To prevent the entanglement of the monarchy with politics, members of the royal family are forbidden from voting or attending Congress without a formal invitation from the President. Finally, Article III established the Supreme Court. Justices for the Supreme Court would serve life-terms, would be nominated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate.

    The first United States General Election was held from November 1788 to March 1789, electing the first House of Representatives. The American Whig Party, led by Massachusettsan John Adams, secured a majority in the House, with James Madison’s Liberty Party in the minority. The Whigs swept seats in New England and the northeast, while the Liberty Party performed best in the south. The 1st United States Congress convened in New York City and elected John Adams as the President of the Congress.

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    John Adams, 1st President of the United States
    A week after Congress convening, officials relocated from New York City to Philadelphia to attend the coronation of King Henry at Christ Church (the United States was officially a secular state, however monarchs could choose where they would be coronated). After Henry took the oath and the bishop placed the bejeweled crown on the king's head, people both inside and outside the church chanted:

    "God save the king!"

    "God save the king!"

    "God save the king!"

    Any and all feedback is appreciated.
     
  5. Jim Smitty Lost in my mind

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    Honestly from the sounds of they hit a good balance on how the government works. Through it does make me wonder what is next.
     
  6. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

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    Ok, the Prussian mention made me go WTF?!?!?!??!

    but then....

    SO the POD is that Prince Henry comes to the US and earns a reputation as an advisor to the Americans in the Revolution....
     
  7. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Dec 11, 2018
    Now things are staring

    How long will this TL go?

    Because the civil war and world wars with America being an monarchy would be way different
     
  8. Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    The POD is actually something I briefly alluded to. The War of Bavarian Succession gets pushed back, meaning Frederick the Great can finally exercise his hatred for the British without the fear of them helping his enemy. Prussia was tacitly supportive of the revolution OTL.
     
  9. Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    Until modern day. I've sketched out the timeline up to the civil war, which is quite different.
     
  10. jennysnooper87 Proud Albish Citizen Since 2017

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    Seeing that this was similar to my attempt at a monarchical USA TL, I will be watching with interest. :)
     
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  11. Ironshark Well-Known Member

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    Succession rather then secession ?
     
  12. hitcho11 Well-Known Member

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    A monarchical US is imo one of the most exciting scenarios for the American continent. Hopefully, the rest of Latin America follows suit!
     
  13. Napoleon53 Pinnacle Order of Monocled Sirs ಠ_ರೃ

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    This is super interesting. The choice of a Prussian really threw me! Interested to see where this goes.
     
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  14. wwbgdiaslt Well-Known Member

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    IOTL, Henry had no children and unless the butterfly of the War of the Bavarian Succession causes him to yield heirs with Wilhemina, or Wilhemina dies and heirs come from a second wife, then 1802 will be very interesting if Henry dies on schedule.

    Are there provisions to pass the crown to his younger brother, Augustus?
     
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  15. Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    By the time Henry is offered the crown, him and his wife are in their early 60s, well past child-bearing years. But don't worry, the Adams Government and Henry I made sure there wouldn't be a succession crisis looming :)
     
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  16. estevech Active Member

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    Love it can’t wait for more.
     
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  17. LeCHVCK Well-Known Member

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    Henry was also pretty gay I don't think he would have a child anyway.
     
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  18. Old1812 Reactionary Monarchist Twit

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    I really hope American military uniforms have more of a resemblance to Prussian landwehr uniforms, they looked great IOTL.
     
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  19. estevech Active Member

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    I hope more alternate monarchies are created as a result of this!
     
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  20. Threadmarks: Chapter Three

    Roosevelt Yankee In Dixie

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    Chapter Three - The Decade of Revolution

    “The events in France are most disturbing. The public execution of the king and the chaotic violence in the streets of Paris are antithetical to the ideals of liberty that the revolutionaries claim to support. His Majesty’s Government calls on the French government to cease their massacres and restore peace to their nation.”
    - Foreign Affairs Secretary John Jay (September 1793).

    Just three months after the ascension of King Henry to the throne of the United States, an American-inspired revolution would break out in France. On July 14, 1789, a group of rebels would storm the French armory and prison known as the Bastille. A symbol of oppression and autocracy, the destruction of The Bastille would ignite the flames of revolution in France.

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    Storming of the Bastille

    France had been in turmoil since the Seven Years’ War. The nation had been failing to pay off its debts and entry into the American Revolutionary War only made the situation worse. King Louis XVI, heavily influenced by the aristocracy and the clergy, continued to raise taxes on the Third Estate, resulting the already-impoverished lower class to suffer even more. A series of bad decisions and miscalculations by Louis XVI pushed the peasants and commoners to revolt against the status quo. King Louis was forced to relinquish many of his powers in 1791 as the revolutionaries attempted to institute and Anglo-American style of government; however, this government would only survive for a year. The French Revolution became increasingly radical and bloody after King Louis and his family attempted an escape from France to the Austrian Netherlands, leading to his powers to be suspended indefinitely. Paranoia began to spread across France that the traditionalist powers of Europe (namely Austria and Prussia) were plotting to invade France to reinstate Louis XVI’s absolute rule and quell the revolution, leading to the Assembly voting to declare war on Austria and Prussia, igniting the French Revolutionary War. Roughly six months after, the monarchy was formally abolished and the French Republic was declared.

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    King Louis XVI and his family arrested at Varennes (June 21, 1791)

    The newly established National Convention, dominated by radicals, puts the deposed king on trial for “conspiracy against public liberty” and finds him guilty. By a single vote, he is sentenced to death and publicly executed on January 21, 1793. The extremely controversial execution of King Louis XVI led to the breakdown of diplomatic relations between Great Britain and France, leading to the British joining the growing anti-revolutionary coalition. Despite this, the Jacobins solidified their grip on power, expelling the moderates, ratifying a new constitution, and establishing the Committee of Public Safety. The Convention and the Committee of Public Safety would soon begin rapidly arresting and executing suspected opponents of the Revolution. Between June of 1793 and July of 1794, 16,000 French citizens were tried and executed under Robespierre’s rule. It was not until Maximilien Robespierre gave a fiery speech to the Convention, claiming there were traitors and demanding their arrest and execution, that his reign would end. The Convention rose against him, ordering the arrest of him and his brother. On July 29, Robespierre and his allies were publicly executed, and the Reign of Terror was finally over.

    The next year would be objectively better for France. In April, France and Prussia officially signed a peace agreement, putting Prussia out of the French Revolutionary War and recognizing France’s claim on the left bank of the Rhine. Spain would sign a peace deal three months later, granting France control of Saint Domingue. In August, a new constitution is ratified, inspired by the American and British bicameral legislatures. The executive would be known as the “Directory” and composed of five Directors. France would turn her sights to Italy, where General Napoleon Bonaparte would carve out “sister republics” as allies. Spain would also sign an alliance with France and declare war on Great Britain in August. France would attempt an invasion of Ireland by the end of the year; however, a storm wrecked much of the French fleet and the operation was deemed a disaster. As peace neared with Austria and Great Britain, the government of France was badly divided. Recent elections gave the Royalists, running on a peace campaign, majorities in both chambers. Rumors circulated that a coup may occur against the Royalist majorities shortly after the elections, but nothing would come of it that year.

    The unstable peace between France and the rest of Europe would begin to falter in the spring of 1798. In April, the Royalists deepened their majorities in the government. This worried many who supported the republic and the revolution, namely General Jean Moreau, a devout revolutionary and an opponent of a Bourbon restoration.

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    General Jean Moreau, an effective commander and a pragmatic revolutionary

    Jean Moreau fought hard to preserve the revolution, and he did not want to see a return to the past. He decided to take matters into his own hands. On 5 Prairial (May 24), General Jean Moreau and his army marched into Paris. Moreau and his army stormed Parliament, declaring the government dissolved. The Royalist deputies were shocked with what they witnessed, while republican deputies were delighted to see Moreau storm Parliament. Moreau declared that a new constitution would be drafted and that the revolution shall be “forever preserved.” His constitution would declare him “Consul,” a military position that would be appointed for a ten-year term. The Congress of France would be established, with a directly elected House of Representatives and an appointed Senate, with equal representation for each department. The new elections secured republican majorities in both chambers.

    For roughly six months, the only nation at war with France was Great Britain, which had been barely engaging France since the exit of Austria in October of 1797. Because of this, General Napoleon Bonaparte set sail just days before 5 Prairial to invade Egypt, held by the Ottoman Empire. That year, however, Britain and Austria organized a new coalition to attack France, this time with the Russian Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte, bogged down in Egypt, was cut off by the Royal Navy and was stranded. He withdrew his forces from Syria and concentrated back in Egypt, where he successfully fought off attempts by the British and Ottomans to take back Egypt. Bonaparte’s reputation would suffer from this campaign. He suffered defeats as his army became outnumbered and many of his men succumbed to the plague. General Bonaparte was forced to surrender to British forces after the Siege of Alexandria, thus ending fighting in Egypt. In Europe, the military situation had gone better for France. Russian and Austrian forces were routed from the Helvetic Republic in a decisive victory for France. Consul Moreau led troops to victory in Bavaria, namely at the Battle of Hohenlinden. Shortly after, Austria sued for peace for a second time. By 1802, the French Revolutionary War had finally ended.

    Now, time to head back across the Atlantic.

    The United States had avoided entangling itself in the French Revolutionary War, officially maintaining a neutral status. Public opinion was initially favorable towards the revolutionaries as they sympathized with their cause and understood their struggle, but as news of atrocities reached the United States, opinion turned against the French Revolution. The Adams Government held a firm position against the revolution shortly after the king’s execution in early 1793. King Henry I and President Adams, along with many members of Congress, condemned the execution of Louis XVI and believed the revolution was becoming too radical. During the war, the United States was harassed by both the British and French navies despite being neutral. To avoid a full-scale war with Great Britain, Foreign Affairs Secretary John Jay drafted a treaty with the British to resolve conflicts stemming from the Treaty of Paris and opening trade with Great Britain and her colonies. James Madison and the Liberty Party denounced this treaty, claiming it violated American neutrality and was strengthening the Whig Party’s control of Congress. Despite this, the treaty (known today as the Jay Treaty) passed the Senate and was approved by the king. After holding their majorities in the 1794 elections, President Adams took more controversial moves against violations of neutrality. Known as the Alien and Sedition Acts, the Adams Government tightened restrictions on immigration and granted the government power to deport immigrants and non-citizens from hostile nations. This would later doom the Whigs four years later, and in 1798, Madison’s Liberty Party took control of Congress.

    upload_2019-8-18_22-6-38.png
    The World in 1802
    Much of this is similar to OTL, but don't worry, the butterflies will keep getting stronger from here.
    EDIT: Made minor corrections on map.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
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