The Lights of Liberty - a counterfactual history

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Widukind, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    I think perhaps you posted this in the wrong thread, zeppelinair? Since, you know, this TL has not mentioned East Asia even once...? ;)

    Interesting that you all expect things to turn out so bleak, in regards to slavery. I'm not going to give my plans away, but I've got the coming developments in regards to slavery all worked out. I can tell you that what I won't be doing is create an utter dystopia where one American nation turns into a slave-holding Empire of Evil that persists in its evil ways for a very long time. That's been done (in one of the best TLs I've ever laid eyes upon, I might add, namely Decades of Darkness) and I won't try to copy that idea.

    It's very clear by now that there will be several North American nations ITTL, and that they will be ideologically incompatible, to some extent. IOTL, slavery was an issue that divided North and South. ITTL, North and South will be very different entities, and the issues that divide them will be different as well. To what extent, you'll have to wait and see.

    I aim to keep you interested, and to keep you guessing. So when I see this...

    ...that makes me a happy camper. :) As for the issue of slavery itself... it will actually come up in the final installment of part V. So stay tuned for that.

    First, though, let me present (for those who might find it of interest) the full text of the Continental Charter:



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    To all to whom these Presents shall come, we, the Representatives of the United States of America, assembled in the Continental Congress, send greeting.

    In order to better provide for the common Defence, establish firm Justice, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for ourselves and our Posterity, the Representatives of the United States of America, assembled in the Continental Congress, did on the fifteenth day of November in the year One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-four, and in the Tenth Year of American Independence agree to alter and improve the existing articles of Confederation and voluntary Union.

    Having done so, we hereby ordain the


    CONTINENTAL CHARTER
    of Confederation and voluntary Union


    Article I. The signatory states, by this Charter, voluntarily enter into a firm League of friendship with each other, for their common Defence and the security of their Liberties, pledging themselves to assist each other, against all force offered to, or attacks made upon them, or any of them, on account of religion, sovereignty, trade, or any other pretence whatsoever.


    Article II. The Style of this Confederacy shall be “The United States of America.”


    Article III. Each State retains its Sovereignty, Freedom and Independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction and Right, which is not by this Charter expressly delegated to the United States, assembled in the Continental Congress. Each State retains the right to withdraw from the Confederacy at any point.


    Article IV. No new State shall be admitted into this Confederacy, unless such admission be agreed to by no less than two-thirds of the States.


    Article V. The better to secure mutual Friendship among the People of the different States in this Confederacy, there shall be no restrictions of any kind on the free and unhindered Trade between the States, nor shall Taxes or Tariffs be levied on any kind of Trade between the States. The free inhabitants of each of these States, fugitives from Justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States; and the people of each State shall have free ingress and regress to and from any other State, and shall enjoy therein all the privileges of Trade and Commerce, subject to the same duties, impositions and restrictions as the inhabitants thereof respectively, provided that such restrictions shall not extend so far as to prevent the removal of property imported into any State, to any other State of which the Owner is an inhabitant; provided also that no imposition, duties or restriction shall be laid by any State, on the property of the United States, or any of them.

    If any Person guilty of, or charged with, treason, felony, or other high misdemeanor in any State, shall flee from Justice, and be found in any of the United States, he shall upon demand of the executive power of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, and removed to the State having jurisdiction of his offence.

    Full faith and credit shall be given in each of these States to the records, acts and judicial proceedings of the courts and magistrates of every other State.


    Article VI. The United States will assemble in a general Congress, the style of which shall be “The Continental Congress”. Representatives of the several States shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislature of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every Year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its Representatives, or any of them, at any time within the Year, and to send others in their stead, for the remainder of the Year.

    No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor by more than seven Members; nor shall any person, being a Representative, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.

    The Continental Congress will remain in session all Year, with no recess.

    In determining questions in the Continental Congress, each state shall have one vote.

    Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any Court, or place out of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests and imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace.


    Article VII. For the more convenient management of the general interests of the United States, the executive power shall be vested in a Consul of the United States, who derives all his authority from the Continental Congress. He shall hold his office for a term of six years, and be elected by the Representatives of the several States, assembled in the Continental Congress.

    In electing the Consul, each state shall have one vote.

    This election shall be held on the first Monday in July, and the term of the Consulate shall commence on the first Monday of November of the same Year.

    The Consul shall appoint a Finance Secretary, a War Secretary, a Foreign Secretary and a Domestic Secretary. Together with the Consul, they will form a cabinet of five.


    Article VIII. The Continental Congress shall have the sole and exclusive Right and Power of determining on Peace and War, except in the cases mentioned in the Thirteenth article;

    Of sending and receiving Ambassadors;

    Of entering into Treaties and Alliances, provided that no Treaty shall be made, whereby the legislative power of the respective States shall be restrained from imposing such Imposts and Duties on foreigners, as their own people are subjected to, or from prohibiting the exportation or importation of any species of goods or commodities whatsoever;

    Of establishing rules for deciding, in all cases, what captures on land or water shall be legal, and in what manner prizes taken by land or naval forces in the service of the United States, shall be divided or appropriated

    Of granting letters of marque and reprisal in times of peace;

    Of appointing courts for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas; and establishing courts for receiving and determining finally appeals in all cases of captures; provided that no Member of Congress shall be appointed a judge of any of the said courts;

    Of providing and maintaining a Continental Navy, and in time of war, providing a Continental Army;

    Of appointing the High Command of the Continental Army, and of appointing all the officers of the Continental Navy;

    Of making rules for the government and regulation of the Continental Army and the Continental Navy, and directing their operations;

    Of making those Laws without which the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers explicitly vested in the Continental Congress by this Charter, cannot be carried into Execution.


    Article IX. The Continental Congress shall have the sole and exclusive Right and Power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations and with the Indian Tribes—provided that the legislative right of any State, within its own limits, be not infringed or violated—and to lay Tariffs on any form of import or export. Any Tariffs shall be collected by the several States, to the benefit of their own Treasuries, but all Tariffs shall be uniform throughout the United States. No State shall lay any Tariffs or any other Imposts or Duties of its own on Commerce with foreign Nations and with the Indian Tribes.

    The Continental Congress may order and enforce an Embargo on all Commerce with a foreign State, provided that the United States are at war with said State, and then only until such a time that Peace is signed.


    Article X. The States of this Confederacy shall have the Right and Power to coin Money and to issue Bills of Credit. All Coin and all Bills of Credit issued by the authority of the States of this Confederacy must be fully backed by Gold. All inhabitants of the United States are free to use, if they will, any Medium of Exchange, including Money and Bills of Credit issued by any foreign Government or any other Party.


    Article XI. The Continental Congress may under no circumstance borrow Money on the credit of the United States, nor shall it be allowed that the Continental Congress adopts the debt of any State of this Confederacy, in part or in full.

    Likewise, no State may under any circumstance borrow Money on the credit of the United States, or any of them.


    Article XII. No State of this Confederacy shall send any embassy to, or receive any embassy from, or enter into any conferrence, agreement, alliance, or treaty, with any king, prince or foreign state; nor shall any person holding any office of profit or trust under the United States, or any of them, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state; nor shall the United States, or any of them, grant any title of nobility.


    Article XIII. No vessels of war shall be kept up in time of peace, by any State, except such number only, as shall be deemed necessary by the Continental Congress, for the Defence of such State, or its trade; nor shall any body of forces be kept up, by any State, in time of peace, except such number only as, in the judgment of the Continental Congress, shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the Defence of such State; but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined Militia, sufficiently armed and accounted, and shall provide and constantly have ready for use, in public stores, a due number of field pieces and tents, and a proper quantity of arms, ammunition, and camp equipage.

    No State shall engage in any War without the consent of the Continental Congress, unless such State be actually invaded by enemies, or shall have received certain advice of a resolution being formed by some enemy power to invade such State, and the danger is so imminent as not to admit of a delay till the Continental Congress can be consulted: nor shall any State grant commissions to any ships or vessels of war, nor letters of marque or reprisal, except it be after a Declaration of War by the Continental Congress, and then only against the kingdom or State, and the subjects thereof, against which War has been so declared, and under such regulations as shall be established by the Continental Congress, unless such State be infested by pirates, in which case vessels of war may be fitted out for that occasion, and kept so long as the danger shall continue, or until the Continental Congress shall determine otherwise.


    Article XIV. When land forces are raised by any State, for the Common Defence, all officers of those forces shall be appointed by the legislature of each State respectively by whom such forces shall be raised, or in such manner as such State shall direct.


    Article XV. All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the Common Defence or for the execution of other tasks explicitly mandated to the Continental Congress by this Charter, shall be defrayed out of a common Treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States. To this end, each State shall anually supply one percent of its total revenue to the Treasury of the United States, and in times of war, two percent. This tax will be levied by the authority of the legislatures of the several States, and under the direction of the Finance Secretary of the United States.

    The States exclusively shall be tasked with the payment of pensions to veterans of the Continental Army, but specifically regarding the payment of pensions to veterans of the War that led to American Independence, the Continental Congress shall imburse the States with money equivalent to half the expense incurred in payment of such pensions. In return for this, the States shall, during the years 1785 through 1795, anually supply two percent of their total revenue to the Treasury of the United States. This tax will be levied by the authority of the legislatures of the several States, and under the direction of the Finance Secretary of the United States. The States of Plymouth and New York shall be exempt from this, and shall supply the Treasury of the United States, in times of peace, with one percent of their total revenue during the years 1785 through 1795. These two States will in addition expend at least one percent of their total revenue for the purpose of paying off their public debts, until these debts are eliminated in full.


    Article XVI. The Continental Congress shall be the last resort on appeal, in all disputes and differences now subsisting, or that hereafter may arise between two or more States concerning boundary, jurisdiction, or any other cause whatsoever.


    Article XVII. All territories of the United States, until such time that they may join this Confederacy in Statehood, will be administrated and organized by the Continental Congress.


    Article XVIII. The Continental Congress shall never declare War, nor grant letters of marque and reprisal in time of peace, nor enter into any treaties or alliances, nor ascertain the sums and expenses necessary for the Defence and Welfare of the United States, or any of them, nor agree upon the number of vessels of war to be built or purchased, or the number of land or sea forces to be raised, nor appoint a Commander in Chief of the army or navy, nor lay a Tariff, nor order an Embargo on Commerce with any Nation, unless at least two-thirds of the States assent to the same, nor shall a question on any other point, except for adjourning from day to day, be determined, unless by the votes of a majority of the Continental Congress.


    Article XIX. Any proposal of law, deemed by the Eighteenth Article to be determined by the votes of a majority of the Continental Congress, may, if no less than one-third of the States object to the law, be nullified by those States. As a result, the said law or its effects will not be implemented within their own territory. Any proposal of law that requires a majority of at least two-thirds of the States may not be nullified.


    Article XX. Every State shall abide by the determinations of the Continental Congress, on all questions which by this Confederation are submitted to them. And the Charter of this Confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, nor shall any alteration at any time hereafter be made in any of them, unless such alteration be agreed to in a Congress of the United States, and be afterwards confirmed by the legislatures of every State.


    We, the Representatives of the United States of America, in general Congress assembled, by virtue of the Power and Authority given to us for that purpose by the People of the United States, do, by these presents fully and entirely ratify and confirm the Continental Charter of Confederation and voluntary Union, and all and singular the matters and things therein contained. And we do further solemnly plight and engage the faith of our respective constituents, that they shall abide by the determinations of the Continental Congress, on all questions, which by the said Confederation are submitted to them. And that the Charter thereof shall be inviolably observed by the States we respectively represent.




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    And that, my friends, is what TTL's United States get instead of the Constitution we all know and love/hate [cross out whichever does not apply]. Needless to say, things are going to be very different.
     
  2. CaliBoy1990 A bright future is still possible! =) Donor

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2010
    Location:
    El Pueblo, East Texas
    With that said, though, I do wonder what may have inspired in the Far East thus far.....:)




    Well, TBH, I wasn't so much expecting such, as just throwing stuff out there. Certainly glad to hear things won't be going in such a bleak direction, though. :cool:

    Can't wait to see what you'll come up with. :):D

    Here's hoping for the best. :cool:

    Definitely fascinating, no doubt.
     
  3. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    The final installment of Part V. This will be the last you see of the USA for a while. Enjoy it while it lasts, because after this, we're going back to Europe.



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    Excerpted from the personal papers of Alexander Hamilton, dated 7th of December 1784:

    It is with a heavy heart that I have returned to to my home. The purpose of our great Convention was to unite our several states into a more permanent and stable union. Instead, by convening, we seem to have settled on a political framework that cannot support the American structure. We have settled on a system of disunity and disinterest. How could it have come to this? Has this been my fault? Should I have adopted a more compromising stance? Surely not. There can be no doubt that the anti-federalist radicals would have pounced upon such weakness, whereupon they would have had a chance to implement even more of their own designs.

    The current outcome is poor enough as is. Had it been worse, I should have turned my pistol upon myself. As for my future under these present circumstances… I am adrift. Some of my fears have been dispelled by the warm welcome I was granted here in New York, by both my family and my peers. They continue to support the Federalist cause, in spite of the great and terrible blow that the enemies of unification have dealt us. The dedication of these proud American nationalists fills me with pride, and lends me the strength to go on. But shall it be enough? God only knows the answer, and His plans remain shrouded in mystery. We must all accept that there is, al least, a divine plan—and that we all but play a small role in it. We must put our faith in the Almighty, and pray for some miraculous reversal of our fortunes. If these be our lean years, we must persist.

    There is hope still remaining. The Order of the Cincinnati must be the seed of our rebirth: if we can keep that seed alive during the lean years, if we can keep the fire burning through the long night… then we shall succeed. It is a test of our faith and our resolve. This I believe with all my heart. Yes, I frankly admit that I was grieved when general Washington did not accept leadership of the Order. It would have rallied many more men to our banner. But perhaps, this way, we shall determine who is a true nationalist, and who is but a sunshine soldier. My greater regret is that the general did not seek the Consulate. He would have been an ideal symbol of unification—our own Cincinnatus. Has, after all, the Army not been the backbone of American unity? Was it not our united strategy that forged separate colonies into a greater whole? If our several States were as firmly united as the brother-soldiers of the Continental Army, I would be perfectly content. All my wishes would be fulfilled, were that the case. Even now, the former officers are the most fervent patriots and Federalists. Had Washington not shirked from his duty to lead this American Nation, I am sure the Army would have been the force to unite our continent.

    I fear that without such a unifying element, our American society will ultimately fracture and come to an iniquitous end. Unity and leadership have been lacking since the war ended, and it has led us to the edge of the abyss. Now that we have missed a chance to reverse our course, it is not unthinkable that we shall fall to our demise. The man to blame is Thomas Jefferson. That cannot be called into question. Jefferson believes, wrongly, that men will without fail choose to make morally just decisions, if only they are free and educated. He does not see that men are often wretched creatures, to be guided firmly by the leadership of an Enlightened elite. Not all men are fit to be educated. Not all men are fit to lead—not even to lead themselves. If all Americans are to be free, we must not succumb to mob rule. Instead, we must have a new aristocracy, to safeguard our freedoms. To keep us free and secure.

    I believe that the Continental Charter, as it is presently designed, cannot adequately provide in that need for leadership. My heart trembles when I consider the American future, and only my undying resolve to save our nation—from itself, if need be—keeps me inspired to continue the fight. My one and solemn prayer is this: that the nation might awaken from the thrall of Jefferson’s dreamscape, and return to a more sensible course. That, then, shall be the Federalist objective for the coming years: to awaken the nation, and to reverse the direction in which that nation currently stumbles. We shall turn around, and embark on a course that will return us to our rightful state.

    I am adrift. America is adrift. But it shall not be this way forever.



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    Excerpted from The In-Between Years: America, 1779—1799, by Werner Green (United Publishing, Republic of Northern America, 1960):

    Congressman Hamilton retreated to New York for a month, where he spent time deliberating upon his future. He considered, momentarily, a retreat from politics. The urge soon passed. He met with influential Federalist politicians in New York, and armed with the assurance that he still had their full support, he returned to Philadelphia. He aimed, at that time, to defeat Jefferson in the elections of ‘86—for there could no longer be any doubt that Jefferson would be his opponent. Consul Franklin was increasingly incapacitated by gout, and it was evident that he would be retiring from the Consulate after two terms. Jefferson, meanwhile, was using his success at the convention to rally his supporters. The Democratic-Republican Society was no longer anything more than Jefferson’s personal bandwagon.

    The Federalists, by that time, knew that the Continental Charter fell short of what would be needed to serve the needs of the American people. An opportunity to strengthen the United States had been lost at the convention, and Hamilton foresaw that many people would come to regret this turn of events. He still hoped that, when the Charter inevitably fell short, he would get a second chance to design a superior system of government. For the moment, however, the disappointed Federalists would have to overcome their grief over the painful defeat, and prove that they could be constructive in Congress. That is how, surprinsingly enough, Hamilton and Jefferson worked together less than a year after the convention. Of course, their co-operative effort concerned one of the very few issues on which they agreed in large strokes—the issue of slavery, in this particular instance.

    Their motives, it bears repeating, differed wildly. Whereas Congressman Hamilton was a staunch opponent of slavery on moral grounds, Secretary Jefferson was mainly concerned with the interests of his own state and his natural base of support: the yeoman farmers. Nevertheless, Hamilton overcame his dislike of Jefferson’s opportunism, knowing that some good could come from their working together…


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    Excerpted from Born Unfree — Slavery in America, by Luther Devereaux (Aurora Publishing, Confederacy of Southern America, 1902):

    The General Convention failed to establish a precedent one way or another. The issue of slavery was raised thoughout the debates, but never addressed at length. At that time, it was still too much of a prickly issue. There is a certain irony in this, certainly, when one has the advantage of hindsight, and realizes that both Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson later played such crucial roles in the long struggle against slavery upon this continent. They were utterly opposed at the convention, of course, but had they taken the time to discuss this one issue frankly and without ill will, perhaps America would have seen the end of slavery much sooner.

    The two men were certainly capable of co-operation, as their mutual effort in 1785 clearly demonstrates—and co-operation in reducing slavery, no less. As soon as they realized that it was in both their interests to act upon the issue, they wasted no time. While their relationship remained one of mutual cold disdain, they were both utterly pragmatic politicians. Hamilton, we must give him that, at least, was a vocal supporter of freedom for men of all races. And as we know, he later proved that he meant those words. Jefferson’s record is more dubious. Today, there are those who would rather ignore certain facets of his character and his life, but we must not forget that Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves. And for a man so opposed to public debt, he was certainly very often in debt himself, which he used as an excuse—perhaps reasonable, perhaps not—for his inability to free his slaves.

    To his credit, he never treated his slaves poorly, and he refused to sell even one, for fear that they might end up in poor condition. But he was still a slavemaster, even when his debts were finally resolved, thanks to his considerable salary as Secretary in Consul Franklin’s administration. It was only when friends such as Franklin and Lansquenet urged Jefferson to free his slaves, that he eventually did so in 1788. [1] (Franklin himself, incidentally, was also a former slaveowner, who had freed his slaves in 1770, and who became president of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society upon his retirement as consul.) Jefferson, then, was a man who dallied for a long time, but eventually ended up on the right side of history.

    He first demonstrated this when he included a critique of the barbaric slave trade in the Declaration of Independence, and his first concrete actions against slavery also involved the trade in unfree persons. There are indications that he wanted to do more, but realized that pushing for outright abolition of slavery was impossible, because the slave states could at that time nullify any law to that effect. We must consider, however, that Jefferson himself had included qualified nullification in the Charter, and had in fact wanted every state to be capable of nullification by itself. We must consider also that by 1785, Jefferson still owned slaves himself. The more reasonable explanation for his reluctant approach is that Jefferson was either not yet convinced that slavery ought to be fully abolished, or that he feared he would lose support in the slave states of the deep south if he took too harsh a stance. Perhaps both. Whatever the case may have been, he at least took some action.

    Firstly, Congressman Hamilton had introduced legislation to the extent of banning the importation of slaves altogether. Consul Franklin and Secretary Jefferson, however, argued that the southern states would nullify such legislation, and indeed they did. Jefferson thereupon approached Hamilton with a proposal: the Democratic-Republicans would support a high tariff on the trade in unfree persons, if in exchange, the Federalists would agree to lower other tariffs. To Hamilton, this would be a great moral victory. To Jefferson, a Virginian, it was clear that the upper south would would benefit economically from the high tariff, because states like South Carolina and Georgia would then have no real choice but to buy their slaves in the upper south. Moreover, Jefferson’s electoral base, mostly southern yeoman farmers—many having no slaves at all—would certainly welcome a lowering of general tariffs.

    Secondly, administration of the western territories had become the task of Congress—and, in practice, of the Domestic Secretary—under the Charter. Using this authority, Jefferson passed the Territorial Ordinance in 1785, setting rules for all existing and future territories of the United States, and for the admission of new states. It included a prohibition of slavery in all territories of the United States, indefinitely, and in all new states admitted until 1800. Hamilton wanted to restrict slavery anyway, and Jefferson could again profit from restricting the spread of the institution. The yeoman farmers were the core Democratic-Republican constituency, and they were moving west, establishing homesteads and developing farmland. Increased competion from slaveholders with large plantations was the last thing they wanted.

    This was, as far as the historic records have revealed, the first and last time that Jefferson and Hamilton worked together. For all the animosity between them, the one time they joined forces, they planted the seed of true freedom for all Americans. The step they took in 1785 was the first on a long road. This demonstrates how we can achieve true greatness when we overcome our differences. A lesson which our oft-divided continent must apparently learn time and again.


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    Excerpted from A Concise History of our Confederacy by Porfirio Gilchrist (Rockwell Books, Confederacy of Southern America, 1959):

    The Confederacy stabilized immensely after the adoption of the Continental Charter, leading to increased economic prosperity. The Democratic-Republicans enjoyed unprecedented popularity. Consul Franklin announced in late 1785 that two terms in office had been more than enough for him, besides which his health would not permit him to consider a third term even if he had been so inclined. It was common knowledge that Secretary Jefferson would seek to be elected to the Consulate, and with a clear Democratic-Republican majority in Congress, his election was a near-certainty, it was believed.

    As the election drew closer, however, the public debate became more and more concerned with foreign affairs—specifically, with the political turmoil in France, which had erupted in 1784, and had intensified since. Britain condemned the developments in France, leading many to believe that a military conflict would soon erupt. Jefferson was among the first to call on the American populace to support France, just as France had supported the United States a decade before. He felt this was no less than a sacred duty, and many Democratic-Republicans felt the same way. But not all. And the Federalists, meanwhile, had adopted the stance of neutrality. This was evidently a charade; the Federalists had urged good relations with Britain from the start, and were simply not inclined to support the French people if this could anger Britain. Forseeing the coming war, the Federalists were now attempting to pre-emptively steer the United States towards an alliance with her erstwhile oppressor, Britain, against her loyal friend, France. Some Federalist societies even openly suggested that a coalition with Britain in a future war would heal the rift with “the mother country”. Clearly they had swiftly forgotten what an abusive parent Britain had been!

    It is somewhat perplexing, at casual glance, that the Federalists were simultaneously the poltical society that was strongest in New England and the society that supported alliance with Britain. Had that same nation not brutalized New England, more than any other section of the American continent? But it is no longer so strange, when one looks into the driving motive of the Federalist constituency: greed. The cities of the northeast, such as New York and Boston, were firmly controlled by the bankers, the financiers, the people that the Jeffersonians in the south derisively called “money-boys”. Alliance (or at least good relations) with London, the financial capital of the world, was imperative to these people. And much of the New England industry, the trade, the manufacturing etc. etc. relied upon such financiers. And the people involved knew it. So they, too, voted Federalist.

    This was all the more so because the Federalists, led by Hamilton, proposed protectionist trade policies, and all sorts of subsidies for industry and manufactures. Today, it is common knowledge that trade barriers and subsidies, like all meddlesome policies, are in the end destructive to an economy. At the close of the eighteenth century, this had not been sufficiently studied. The champions of free trade—the Democratic-Republicans—found themselves opposed by the populist faux-economics of the Federalists, who swayed economic illiterates with the promises of easy money through subsidies and protectionism.

    The Federalists eagerly painted the Democratic-Republicans, and especially Jefferson, as dangerously pro-France, and opposed to the American “national interest”. They alledged that Jefferson was more Frenchman than American, and that he would drag the United States into a dangerous conflict—and on what was sure to be the losing side. Jefferson himself was uncharacteristically clumsy in the way he dealt with these accusations. Perhaps his love of France prevented him from keeping quiet when he ought to have just held his tongue. In a debate on economic policy, shortly before the election, Jefferson quoted the marquis d’Argenson: “Laissez-faire, that should be the motto of all public powers, as the world is civilized (…) That we cannot grow except by lowering our neighbors is a detestable notion! (…) Leave it be, for heaven's sake! Laissez-faire!” The Federalists took this as yet another example of Jefferson’s Francophile stance. [2]

    This helped Jefferson among the Francophone population of Montréal, which already leaned towards the Democratic-Republicans. His support there was cemented by Frédéric Sanssouci, the president and hero of Montréal. The old marshal was dying, but in his famous Deathbed Address, which he dictated and which was read to his people from the balcony of his bedchamber, he warned against the Federalist policies. Hamilton, he cautioned, was planning to marty America to the erstwhile oppressor—“which would be the unmaking of the Revolution, and the greatest folly imaginable.” When the election came, the representatives from Montréal unanimously voted for Jefferson.

    Many moderate politicians, however, who had voted with Jefferson during the General Convention two years earlier, were not prepared to vote for him in Congress, when the time came to elect a new Consul. For a moment, it looked as if Hamilton would actually have a fair chance of winning. But then a third candidate presented himself.


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    Excerpted from The In-Between Years: America, 1779—1799, by Werner Green (United Publishing, Republic of Northern America, 1960):

    It was a dirty trick, and that’s all there was to it. John Adams never had any intention of becoming Consul. He knew in advance that he would never gain a majority. He was a neutral candidate, unaligned. Nearly all the Democratic-Republicans would vote Jefferson, and certainly all the Federalists would vote Hamilton. But there were simply more Democratic-Republicans than Federalists, so Hamilton could only win by drawing unaligned neutrals and moderate Democratic-Republicans to his side. He was too radical for most of them, but they might just vote for him over Jefferson, who was arguably even more of a radical (if in the exact opposite direction). And then John Adams entered the race, and the moderates voted for him instead. Jefferson won the election, and that is exactly how Adams had wanted it.

    It was a corrupt bargain, a rigged game. As soon as Jefferson was installed as Consul, he appointed Adams as his Domestic Secretary. What a sham! Clearly they had colluded from the start, to make sure Hamilton would not become Consul. And then there was the fact that Sanssouci had so shamelessly promoted the Jeffersonian agenda, practically accusing Hamilton of treason. The French of Montréal—never real Americans at any rate—happily followed their marshal’s lead, and after Sanssouci’s passing, they transferred their misplaced hero-worship to Jefferson. This recalcitrant and unpatriotic behavior was the cause of the rift between New England and Montréal: a rift that would only grow deeper as time passed.


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    Excerpted from Encyclopedia of American Heroes, by Jean Michel (Rockwell/Fontaine, Confederacy of Southern America, 1982):

    SANSSOUCI, FRÉDÉRIC (24 January 1712 – 17 August 1786) — Regarded as a Founding Father of the United States of America, and considered a hero in the Confederacy of Southern America, Maréchal Frédéric was the foremost leader of the resistance movement in Montréal during the British occupation, and served as a general in the American War of Independence, later becoming the second president of his newly-independent home state. Born as a prince in Prussia, he lived as a hero in America. He fell ill at the very end of his presidential term, and—aware of his impending death—dictated a final address to his beloved countrymen, which is still regarded as one of the great political documents of American history. French-Americans consider him their patron, and even today, every child of l‘Anéantissement, no matter how far in exile, regards Frédéric Sanssouci as the father of his people.


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    END OF PART FIVE​




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    FOOTNOTES

    [1] IOTL, Jefferson never enjoyed such a considerable salary as he does ITTL, and remained in debt his entire life. He never freed his slaves. However much I admire the man, his shortcomings should not be ignored.

    [2] Which it arguably was. Jefferson held these views IOTL, promoted them whenever he could, and was occasionally so enraptured about France and French ideas that even his allies considered him “half a Frenchman himself”.


    GENERAL NOTES

    And that concludes Part V. Needless to say, America is in for some exciting times. But we'll get to that later. First, we will see what has been going on in France, the Netherlands, Great-Britain, Prussia and... Poland? Yes. Let's have a look at the goings-on of the Old World, in the sixth part of this story:


    These Years of Great Uncertainty
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  4. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Okay, here's the start of Part VI. It seems this part is going to be a long one, dealing with a lot of events and developments taking place all over Europe. There will also be references to all sorts of French scientists and economists and the such. I'll be posting it one installment at a time, as usual, and if at any point you find anything unclear—don't hesitate to ask. :)



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    Part Six
    THESE YEARS OF GREAT UNCERTAINTY



    It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong.”

    —Voltaire​


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    Excerpted from The Enlightenment in Europe: Philosophy and Politics, by Marcel Musson (Agodi Books, France, 1963):

    It is at first glance curious, that the Enlightenment of eighteenth-century Europe gained the greatest impetus in two countries that would have seemed utterly unlikely candidates for such a development during the early decades of that century. Other nations, such as Batavia and Poland—even before they took on their current shape and form—had a certain tradition of liberalism and political freedom, so it was unsurprising that these nations so readily embraced Enlightenment ideas. But Prussia and France? In 1730, no-one would have believed it. And yet, when we look more closely, with the benefit of hindsight, it suddenly seems obvious. In Prussia, as we have already observed, king Henry embraced his role as an Enlightened despot, pulling his country into modernity and encouraging development of all sorts. What was unthinkable under the reign of his father, he made inevitable. In France, it was the opposite: the monarchy was arch-conservative, initially sceptical towards Enlightenment thought, and as of 1774 outright hostile. Needless to say, that hostility engendered resistance.

    Whereas in Prussia, the Enlightenment was fostered by the king, in France, it was from the very start associated with critics of the ancien régime. The thinkers, the philosophers, the scientists… they enjoyed little to no support from the state, forcing them to walk another path. Their projects and initiatives where viewed with great suspicion by the reigning classes. The most well-known—and most controversial—initiative of the Enlightenment thinkers, of cource, was the Encyclopédie. It was the Encyclopédistes who set the tone for the French Enlightenment; their project shaped an entire era. It was a radical project from the start, and almost immediately became embroiled in controversy, which never relented. The history of the Encyclopédie can be divided into three distinct periods. Fistly, the early period, in which Diderot and d’Alembert commenced their great undertaking. Secondly, the middle period that started when Voltaire became their co-editor, and which is marked by a radicalization in tone and content. Thirdly, the late period, also called the “secret” period, after the Encyclopédie was suppressed by the government, and work continued mostly in secret, with some of the contributors living in exile. When work on the Encyclopedic project commenced, its initiators could not have known what a turbulent era was ahead for them, and how much influence they would have on the events that took place in those years of great uncertainty.

    The project got off the ground more or less by happenstance, when Diderot—already known as a radical thinker—was approached to assist on a project to translate the Cyclopaedia, by Ephraim Chambers, into French. Diderot accepted this offer, ans soon realized it held more potential than a simple translation. He persuaded the publisher to support the creation of new and expanded ecyclopedia, which would consolidate the ideas and the knowledge of the Enlightenment era. Diderot obtained permission from the government—which did not yet realize what he had in mind—to create this ecyclopedic work, and managed to convince Jean le Rond d’Alembert to become his co-editor for the project. Together, they aimed to involve the brightest minds of their day to lend their expertise in various fields to the project.

    This was to be a wholly unorthodox and uniquely advanced prohect, for the time, not to mention ambitious. “An encyclopedia (…) should encompass not only the fields already covered by the academies, but each and every branch of human knowledge,” wrote Diderot. His goal was no less than to “change men’s common way of thinking.” And he most certainly did that; but a long road was yet ahead of him and his fellow Encyclopedists. They announced their intentions in 1750, and the first volume was published the next year. Interested individuals would subscribe to the publication, and receive the volumes as they were published. It was truly innovative.

    It was also controversial. Shortly after the second volume came out in 1752, the Encyclopedists were accused to spreading seditious material, particularly due to entries in regards to religion, which were far too sceptical and irreverent for the authorities’ liking. Diderot was arrested. His house was searched in an attempt to gather his drafts for new, unpublished entries. Nothing was found, however, for Diderot had found a surprising ally: Chretien de Lamoignon Malesherbes—the government censor, who was in charge of suppressing Diderot’s work! Malesherbes was no radical, but he was certainly appreciative of Diderot’s abilities, had warned Diderot of the impending search, and had agreed to hid the manuscripts in his own home. Work on the Encyclopédie resumed not long after.

    There were further snags, however. Diderot’s best friend, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, could no longer collaborate on the project, because he traveled to Prussia, where king Henry had invited philosophers of all nations to his court. Rousseau found Prussia—and its king—not to his liking, but he fell ill on the return journey to France and passed away. Diderot was wrecked. Rousseau had been his friend for over a decade. When Diderot had been arrested for his highly controversial Lettre sur les aveugles à l'usage de ceux qui voient in 1748, he had been imprisoned for several months. Rousseau had visited him almost daily, which had helped him through the ordeal. Now, his closest friend and most assiduous confederate was dead. This was a major blow to Diderot and d’Alembert. After some deliberation, they decided to write an invitation to perhaps the foremost thinker of that time: Voltaire. If he could be persuaded to join their project, they might still succeed.

    Voltaire, who had been born François-Marie Arouet, was living in a sort of self-imposed exile the Republic of the Netherlands. He was, in many ways, no less a radical than Diderot himself. From early on, he had found himself in trouble for his critiques of religious intolerance and government abuses. He had been imprisoned, in his youth, for nearly a year, after writing a particularly critical poem—this experience is believed to have been formative. It led him to abandon his past, and embrace his self-chosen name, “Voltaire”. In 1726, he had had been imprisoned again, on the basis of a lettre de cachet; an arbitrary penal decree that caused him to be detained without a trial and without an opportunity to defend himself. Afraid that he would be held indefinitely, Voltaire had suggested that he be exiled to Britain as an alternative punishment, which was accepted.

    During his three-year exile in Britain (1726-1728), his thinking was shaped by his experiences there. He was intrigued by the British model of constitutional monarchy, which contrasted starkly with the absolute monarchy in France. He was enraptured by Britain’s greater support of the freedoms of speech and religion. He praised the British for honoring Isaac Newton, a scientist with unconventional religious beliefs, with a burial at Westminster Abbey (which Voltaire attended).

    When Voltaire returned to Paris, having been granted a pardon, he began to work on a work summarizing his his views on the British attitudes toward government, literature, and religion. In 1730, prince Frederick of Prussia escaped from his father’s oppression, and found a safe haven in Britain. This cemented Voltaire’s favorable view of the British, and his Letters Concerning the English Nation specifically mentioned that it was the admirable British tolerance that had resulted in their welcoming attitude towards the escaped prince. It was first published in London, in English, and positively received. Frederick wrote to Voltaire, praising him profusely. When the work was published in France the next year, however, the reactions were far from favourable. Voltaire regarded the British constitutional monarchy as more developed and more respectful of human rights than the French monarchy, and he stated so openly. This was not appreciated. His book was burnt, and Voltaire was forced once again to flee the country. Frederick, hearing of Voltaire’s situation, invited him back to Britain.

    Voltaire considered it, and travelled initially to the Netherlands, where he lingered. He lived in Amsterdam and Leiden. He maintained an exchange of letters with Frederick, discussing various forms of government. At some point, Voltaire included his observations on the republican model of the Netherlands, noting the relative freedom of religion and of the press the people enjoyed—even compared to Great-Britain. This in turn inspired Frederick, who was intrigued. Both men began to express a certain admiration for the republican model, which to them represented a way of creating an accountable government (as opposed to the absolute monarchy of France).

    In 1740, Voltaire went to London, where he stayed with Frederick for a time. The two got along splendidly. Voltaire later noted that “if only this man had been king of Prussia, the world would have been vastly different”. Seeing admirable character traits in Frederick, he grew to dislike the Prussian king Henry on the exile prince’s behalf, and later condemned the philosophers who accepted Henry’s offer of patronage. He believed that philosophers should be independent from the state, and remain critical. They should not be “bought” by kings and tyrants. In 1745, when he had returned to the Netherlands, Voltaire published Letters concerning the Republic of the United Provinces, a sort of follow-up to his letters on Britain, praising the Republic, and deeming it in many ways superior to a monarchy. It caused a stir throughout Europe, and firmly established Voltaire’s reputation as a radical. Diderot named it as one of the greatest works ever written, and it was certainly one of the reasons why he wanted Voltaire to collaborate on the Encyclopédie. The admiration was mutual, and Voltaire agreed, returning to France in 1753, after an exile of nineteen years—most of which he had spent in the Netherlands. The man who came back to France had become a staunch republican in those years, and he was to infuse that sentiment into the Encyclopédie. That is how the second period of the Encyclopedic project commenced.


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    Diderot-Voltaire-d'Alembert.jpg

    Diderot, Voltaire and d'Alembert


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    Voltaire’s return has been named by some as the deciding moment in French history, and not without cause. A third editor, willing to spend great amounts of time on the Encyclopedic effort, changed the project of Diderot and d’Alembert—expanded it further yet. Voltaire had numerous friends and associates in intellectual, scientific and philosophical circles; he used his network to get more thinkers actively involved in the creation of the Encyclopédie. Notably, this expansion of the number of people involved led to a more systematic approach of the project: committees were set up to deal with various topics. Contributing writers joined those committees that dealt with the fields in which they specialized. This meant that being an Encyclopedist also meant an exchange of ideas with fellow specialists in the field.

    Feeling that the project lacked economic expertise, Voltaire asked his friends Jean-François Marmontel, René-Louis de Voyer de Paulmy (the marquis d’Argenson), and Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot (the baron de Laune) to set up an economic committee. It rapidly grew to include Jacques de Gournay, François Quesnay, André Morellet and François Véron Duverger de Forbonnais. The resulting group named themselves the Économistes, but we now know them as the Physiocrats. These economists already worked together, but their close association in the economic committee allowed them to debate their theories directly and on a regular basis, testing and improving them. The Encyclopedic effort became a catalyst for the development of a new school of economic thought—the first organized, modern school of economic throught, in fact.

    The establishment of the scientific committee led scientists of various disciplines to work together, resulting in cross-disciplinary development. The social committee—a suggestion by Voltaire—meant that the members of that committee began to study society itself; law, politics, social conditions, aspects of human interaction… Latter-day Encyclopedist Emmanuel Sieyès (best know for his political role, of course) would eventually coin the term “sociology” to decribe this field of study, in its broadest sense. The philosophical committee, lastly, meant that leading intellectuals now had a forum to exchange their metaphysical insights. Needless to say, the Encyclopedists were internally divided on many points, but they soon took to organizing public debates, which attracted further notice to the Encyclopédie.

    The three editors guided the whole project, and decided on the best methodology. They eventually concluded that if a committee could not agee on a subject, they would not choose one view over the other, and present the various viewpoints in the Encyclopédie, leaving the reader to decide which opinion he found more convincing. The so-called “encyclopedic method”—that is, a dedication to open debate and a system of continuous peer review—became the basis of all modern sciences.

    The Encyclopedists had an enormous impact on French society, from the very start, and doubly so after Voltaire connected himself to the project. As of the mid-1750’s, every Parisian salon wanted leading Encyclopedists to join and debate new ideas, new visions for science, economics, society and philosophy. Of course, this led to opposition from conservatives, who saw the critical freethought fostered by the Enlightenment as a threat to religion, decency and even to France itself. The nation was quickly becoming divided into supporters of the progressive Enlightenment ideals on the one hand, and the supporters of conservative traditionalism on the other. Celebrated as they were in the salons and by their intellectual peers, the Encyclopedists soon found themselves under increased government scrutiny…


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    GENERAL NOTES

    I have no footnotes for you this time. None what-so-ever.

    Diderot-Voltaire-d'Alembert.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2013
  5. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    I give you the second installment of Part VI. :)



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    Excerpted from Economics, a History, by Augustin Cassat (De Gas, France, 1970):

    The economists of eighteenth-century France were sharply divided. On the one hand, there were the followers of the traditional mercantallist view of economics, as it had been championed in the previous century by Colbert. These were the advocates of protectionism, subsidies for French businesses, and various other sorts of government intervention in the economy. On the other hand, a new generation of economists was emerging, and as is so often the case, the new generation was vehemently opposed to everything that had previously been believed and upheld. These new economists were chamions of free trade, opponents of government intervention, and generally inclined to align themselves with a progressive, modern mentality, while opposing conservative traditions. Put simply: these were the Enlightenment economists.

    The founders of this new school of thought were René-Louis de Voyer de Paulmy and François Quesnay. The former was the initiator, who was the first great French statesman to counter the mercantillist status quo, with his famous adage pas trop gouverner (“govern not too much”). The latter built on the ideas of the former, thus laying the groundwork for a new economic tradition. In 1750, Quesnay was introduced to Jacques de Gournay, another inquirer in the economic field who was fed up with the mercantillist assumptions. Around these men, the movement grew that later became known as Physiocratic. Notable members included André Morellet, François Véron Duverger de Forbonnais, Jean-François Marmontel and Quesnay’s disciple, Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot. These men all knew each other, but they truly became an association when they all collaborated in the economic committee of the Encyclopedic project. This resulted in what may, in hindsight, be called the Physiocratic view of economics.

    The Physiocrats advanced two central contentions. The first of these was that free trade and competition were beneficial to the economy and to society in general, and that state regulation and interference were, on the other hand, harmful and should be avoided. The second was that land was the source of all wealth, and that therefore land should be taxed. This should be an impôt unique; there should be no other taxes besides the single tax on land. This also meant that all landowners should be subjected to this tax, regardless of which Estate of the Realm they belonged to. As a proposal, that was truly radical, because at the time, only the Third Estate (the commoners) paid regular taxes, while the First and Second Estate (the aristocracy and the clergy) were almost entirely exempt.

    Initially, king Louis XV esteemed Quesnay highly, and even called him his “great thinker”. Gournay, likewise, was respected. He was appointed intendant du commerce in 1751—where he promply opposed regulations because of the way they stunted commerce (even coining the term bureaucracy—“government by desks”—to describe the situation). François Véron Duverger de Forbonnais was made inspector-general of the French coinage in 1752. Soon, however, the progressive opinions of the Physiocrats met resistance from the aristocracy and the conservatives. Associated, as they were, with the Encyclopedic project, they were mistrusted by the opponents of “radicalism”. And indeed, the Physiocrats were supporters of Enlightenment ideas in general: in 1754, Turgot wrote the Lettre sur la tolérance civile, and a pamphlet titled Le Conciliateur, both in support of religious tolerance. The Physiocrats were not just economists, they believed themselves to be representatives of the modern age. For them, human progress covered not simply the arts and sciences but the whole of culture— economy, society, institutions, legal codes, manners and mores…

    This obviously led to conservative opposition, but nevertheless, having found a forum where they could discuss and develop their ideas, they had great hopes and ambitions. By 1756, the economic committee of Ecyclopedists published the first detailed overview of the Physiocratic ideas, having arrived at a consensus regarding their views. This had taken some time. Quesnay and Turgot had quarreled over the better design for a proposed land tax, with Quesnay advocating a proportional tax (impôt de quotité) [1], and Turgot defending a distributive tax (impôt de repartition). [2] The two eventually settled on a propotional tax, this having the most support among their peers, and being seen as the most attainable alternative. In their publication, the Physiocrats observed that the poorest regions of France were also the most over-taxed regions. They advocated making a fresh survey of the land, in order to arrive at a more just assessment of land values. On that basis, all landowners—regardless of their Estate—should then be taxed. The document futher divided the nation: progressives felt it was pure brilliance, and should be implemented at once, while conservatives considered the proposals outrageous, even dangerous.


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    Excerpted from The Enlightenment in Europe: Philosophy and Politics, by Marcel Musson (Agodi Books, France, 1963):

    The Encyclopedists often disagreed with one another, especially where politics, religion and philosophy were concerned. Many contributors, for instance, were inclined towards Deism, explictly or implicitly, but others—such as Paul-Henri Thiry, the baron d’Holbach—were avidly atheistic and anti-religious. Diderot himself tended to side with the latter faction, while Voltaire considered atheism to be uncivilized. Nevertheless, all parties involved were in favor of religious tolerance, and they practiced it amongst themselves. Political differences were more difficult to overcome. Here, Voltaire was the radical, who promoted republicanism. Interestingly, in this case he enjoyed the support of Diderot, while Thiry feared that a nation without a king would soon devolve into mob rule and violent anarchy. Other Encyclopedists were staunch monarchists, and declined to continue working on the project. In 1755, François Alexandre Frédéric, the duke of Liancourt, left the circle of Encyclopedists—condemining it as having turned into a “breeding ground for republicanism and anarchy”. Jean Joseph Mounier, a judge and moderate monarchist, also refused to contribute any further. [3]

    Despite internal differences of opinion—and partially because the more conservative contributors voluntarily departed—the development of the Encyclopedic mindset in general (if such a thing may be held to have existed) was one of radicalization. The entries of the Encyclopédie became increasingly open in their criticism of society. Even relatively moderate contributors, such as Louis de Jaucourt (the most prolific of all, who wrote thousands of entries), became increasingly political. His entries on historical and political tended to compare the republican models of ancient Greece and Rome to modern France, often in the formers’ favor. Swayed by Diderot and Voltaire, he became a republican and a moderately anti-clerical writer.

    The Encyclopedist wrote favorably of reforms in other nations, particularly in Prussia. Even Voltaire, who still disliked king Henry on principle, had to admit that Montesquieu had achieved remarkable results with his constitutional reforms in Prussia. The Prussian constitutional principles were, generally, seen as a blueprint for what a hypothetical French constitution should look like. In their articles describing the political system of France, the Encyclopedists openly debated the possibility that the parlements be given the same legislative tasks (and scope of power) as the diets in Prussia. This, too, created some internal friction. Claude Adrien Helvétius, who was firmly opposed to Montesquieu, refused to accept these notions. It led to an internal debate concerning Montesquieu’s theory that the material conditions and environs of a people are crucial in the formation of a distinct national or regional character. The Encyclopedists in general embraced the idea, but Helvétius could not accept its validity, and withdrew from the Encyclopedic project in 1756.

    The debate on the matter proved fruitful, however, as the social committee of the Encyclopedists began to speculate on the effect of material conditions on both nations and individuals. This, in turn, led to the radical Inquiry into the Causes of Poverty and Crime in 1757. In this document, the Encyclopedists (specifically, Diderot and Turgot) argued that the way in which society dealt with “unfortunates” was a crucial factor in determining the development of both poverty and crime. They propagated the notion that a “helping hand” could be a more powerful influence than a “punishing whip”.

    The matter inspired Antoine Louis, a French surgeon and a member of the social committee, to start advocating a more humane treatment of prisoners. This eventually led to his plans for modernized prisons that made an effort to educate and “reform” prisoners, and also to his proposals for a less cruel method of execution. At that time, beheading in France was typically done by axe or sword, which did not always cause immediate death. Also, only aristocrats were beheaded, while commoners were most often hanged until suffocation (or, in specific cases, broken on the wheel). Louis invented a device designed for carrying out executions by swift decapitation. It consisted of a tall upright frame in which a weighted and angled blade would be raised to the top, and suspended. The condemned person would be secured at the bottom of the frame, with his or her neck held directly below the blade. The blade would then be released, to fall swiftly and sever the head from the body instantaneously. Louis assumed that his machine, soon named the louisette, would be the first step toward a total abolition of the death penalty. [4] The Encyclopedists rallied behind this cause, and they received support—surprisingly—from dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, a member of the conservative Society of Jesus. [5] Dr. Guillotin publicly declared that the death penalty ought to be abolished, and the dr. Louis was guiding the country in the right direction with his device.

    This measure of support, however, was a rare exception. Generally, the Encyclopedists faced increasing opposition from conservatives, and the government was repeatedly petitioned to ban the project altogether. Only the continued support of Malesherbes, who had the ear of the king, prevented this. It led to the departure of several contributors, however. This was compounded by the fact that Voyer de Paulmy had passed away in early 1757. Meanwhile, d’Alembert became increasingly irritated by Voltaire’s tendency to run the project as he saw fit, without consulting the other editors. He also detested the participation of Thiry, who had assumed a leading role in the scientific committee. This, combined with the fact that the Encyclopédie was increasingly viewed as radical and dangerous, led him to abandon the project in early 1758. [6] Diderot and Voltaire asked Turgot to join them as editor, which he readily did. The project was still underway, but it had received several blows in short succession, and the worst was yet to come—when Helvétius, formerly a contributor, published his magnum opus in 1758.

    The work, titled De l'esprit, was radically atheistic, utilitarian and egalitarian—and raised a public outcry. The religious authorities, particularly the Society of Jesus, already feared the spead of immoralism and ungodly ways, and wished to suppress the “modern ideas”. The radical writings of Helvétius became a sort of scapegoat for their wrath. They were supported in this by the dauphin Louis, son of King Louis XV. The book was declared to be heretical, and burned. But this, they felt, was not enough. They attempted to use this book as an excuse to outlaw the Encyclopedic project. Only the facts that Helvétius had previously distanced himself from the project, and that many Encyclopedists publically condemned his ideas, prevented the Encyclopédie from being outlawed. [7] Nevertheless, the book had far-reaching negative effects on the Enlightenment philosophers; as of 1758, the dauphin made it his mission to fight their ideas in any way possible.

    It was a hard time for the Encyclopedists. Gournay passed away in June 1759, taking away another luminary. Quesnay considered distancing himself from the increasingly controversial project, and was only convinced by Turgot to remain aboard and weather the storm. It would have been wise, perhaps, if the Encyclopedists had at that point moderated their tone a little, to avoid unwanted attentions. But idealists cannot be silenced. In 1761, Thiry anonymously published Christianisme dévoilé (“Christianity Unveiled”), in which he accused the Christian religion—and religion in general—of being an unacceptable impediment to the moral and scientific advancement of humanity. Of course, no-one could prove that an Encyclopedist had written it, and other participants in the project (some of them even unaware who its author was) openly declared their aversion to it. Voltaire, ever the Deist, wrote: “This work is entirely opposed to my principles. This book leads to an atheistic philosophy that I detest.” Despite this, the incident provided further “proof”, to those already inclined to oppose radical progressivism, that the Enlightenment was in reality a morally corrupt plot against religion and society.

    By that point, Diderot, Voltaire and Turgot realized they had to be careful. The dauphin was rallying as much of their opponents as he could, in an attempt to outlaw their project, and to defeat the “modern ideas” in general. The Encyclopedists were warned not to publish radical works clandestinely. This was a source of great irritation for several of them, but they realized it was for the best. The last thing any of them wanted was to give their enemies an excuse to ban their project. Regardless of this attempt at a conciliatory stance, the dauphin continued his effort to restore traditionalism. When the parlement of Paris outlawed the Society of Jesus in France in 1762, the dauphin blamed the Encyclopedists and their “seditious propaganda” for this. In reality, they had nohing to do with it, but their culpability was accepted as an article of faith by the conservative dévots. While they Encyclopedists worked dilligently on their project, trying not to attract too much attention, the dauphin retreated to Fontainebleau to write a treatise on the abject state of French society. He spent most of 1764 there, in relative isolation, writing the work that would be published the next year under the name Crusade against Modernity. [8]


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    Louis, the dauphin of France.png

    Louis — the dauphin of France, and the most vocal agent of conservatism in the kingdom


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    It was a time of troubles, financially, politically and economically. In 1763, France had been forced to agree to the humiliating conditions of the peace that concluded the Six Years’ War. The fact that, per those conditions, France was to pay 20,000 livres a year to Great-Britain for 25 years greatly contributed to economic malaise, general discontent and civil unrest. The people were agitated, and that always makes for dangerous times. France faced a further humiliation when the Republic of Genoa, facing rebellion on Corsica, offered to sell the island to France. It turned out that France could not affort the purchase. This was largely kept quiet, until the dauphin publically revealed it in his Crusade against Modernity.

    This was part of a deliberate strategy to provoke a public outcry. He agued that France had been weakened from within, by perverse ideas and deliberate corruption of the mind. A return to tradition would save the nation and restore order. The modern ideas of the so-called Enlightenment were a trap, he wrote, and the only true light was the light of God. France would have to cast out the corrupt ideas of modernity, and then all would be well again. Interestingly, using this way of presenting his point, he exploited the same unrest, fear and anger that had also led people towards radical reformist notions. As is often seen in times of discomfort, simoultaneous radicalization in opposite directs took place. And as is nearly always the case, this made a confrontation unavoidable.

    The main target of the dauphin’s crusade was the Encyclopédie. The men involved in the project knew that a clash could not be postponed any more: moderation was no longer an option. The Dauphin had forced a confrontation, and France was divided. One was now either with the dauphin, or with the Encyclopedists. So now they had a choice. They could choose to abandon their project without resistance, and publish apologies and retractions. That would be enough to get out of trouble, but it would destroy their work. Or… they could fight for their ideals. In the end, that was not really a choice at all: thry had put too much of their work, their time, their souls into the Encyclopédie. They couldn’t abandon it now. So they fought back, and the only way to do that was to counter the dauphin’s ideas with their own. To reject his conservative, religious worldview, and offer their own to substitute it. A scientific worldview. And France would have to choose which to embrace, and which to reject.

    In June 1765, the scientific committee of Encyclopedists published one of the most important papers in the history of science—in the firm belief that their demonstration of such scientific progress would galvanize the cause of the Encyclopédie. They knew in advance that it would be controversial, but that proved to be an understatement—it was more than controversial; it was incendiary.


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    FOOTNOTES

    [1] That is: a tax with a fixed, flat rate.

    [2] That is: a tax with progressive rates.

    [3] I simply cannot imagine Liancourt or Mounier continuing their association with an openly republican project.

    [4] Interestingly, Antoine Louis invented the thing IOTL, and it was originally named the louisette as well. It only became so closely associated with Guillotin because he advocated for its use in the 1780’s IOTL.

    [5] More commonly known as the Jesuits. Incidentally, dr. Guillotin later left the order IOTL, and he will make the same choice ITTL.

    [6] He left IOTL as well, albeit for slightly different reasons. Extrapolating from his OTL motivations, I believe he would opt to cease his work on the project under TTL’s circumstances.

    [7] IOTL, Helvétius never left the project, it was banned in 1758, and this was also the impetus for d’Alembert to abandon it. The Physiocrats, far less involved to begin with, also refused to remain associated with it, and Diderot was left nearly alone, continuing his work in secret. ITTL, circumstances are obviously different.

    [8] IOTL, the dauphin caught tubercolosis in 1764, and died the next year, aged 36. That advanced his son to the position of dauphin, and indeed that son would later become king Louis XVI. But ITTL, the father lives.

    Louis, the dauphin of France.png
     
  6. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    The third installment of part VI. Now you get to see what scientific theory turned out to be so terribly exciting. ;)

    By the way, to the people reading: do you like this TL so far? I'm never sure if the stuff that interests me also interests other people, and I'm not getting a lot of feedback. Is it because you're just reading happily along and have no complaints, or is it because the TL is in fact utterly boring? If it's the latter, I'd rather you let me know. My aim here is to become a better writer. :D



    ---



    Excerpted from Transformism: an Introduction, by Nicolas-Honoré Lambert (Les Deux Étoiles, France, 1947):

    Diderot himself was the first to propose the idea. As early as 1749, in his Letter on the Blind, he had presented a rudimentary hypothesis regarding the gradual development of species through natural selection. The essay dealt with a dying blind philosopher, who rejects the arguments of a providential God during his last hours, substituting the notion of the self-generation and natural transformism of species without divine creation, or in fact any supernatural intervention. It had been the work that had landed him in prison, before commencing his work on the Encyclopédie. It was a controversial topic: the Aristotelian worldview, which held that all things were part of a fixed (and divinely ordained) cosmic order, had become standard belief during the Middle Ages. As of the mid-17th century, new scientific methods sought explanations of natural phenomena in terms of laws of nature which did not need to assume any fixed natural categories, nor any divine cosmic order. A sign of the times; of the approaching era of Enlightenment. The biological sciences, however, became the last bastion of the concept of fixed natural categories. In 1735, Linnaeus still presented a biological classification that assumed all species were fixed and categorized—and therefore unchanging— according to a divine plan.

    But things were changing. Diderot was one of the first to challenge the reigning assumptions. In 1751, Maupertuis suggested that natural modifications could occur during reproduction, which could in the long run result in a completely different species. This idea captured the attention of the Encyclopedists, particularly those interested in natural history. The scientific committee debated the issue often, leading to the development of new insights. Needless to say, opinions varied, certainly at the outset—but many Encyclopedists rejected the Christian origin story (or at least its literal interpretation), and felt that a more scientific explaination of the origins of the world and its life-forms was needed. Thiry argued that the universe was bound by no more than the natural laws: “There is no necessity to have recourse to supernatural powers to account for the formation of things.” Together with Georges-Louis Leclerc, [1] he developed an alternative theory, which was essentially materialistic. Leclerc, in his works on natural history, had already questioned the usefulness of the traditional approach to natural history. He described a history of the Earth that held little relation to the Biblical account, and suggested that species could develop and gradually change into different organisms.

    Thiry and Leclerc were ultimately inspired by Montesquieu, and his theory of environmental conditions influencing the development of cultures. The Encyclopedists had already considered that it may very well be applied to individual persons, and Leclerc had previously theorized, in the course of his studies of the natural world, that different regions had distinct plants and animals. What if, Thiry and Leclerc concluded, the principle of environments and other material conditions being a shaping force did not just apply to culture, mindset, et cetera? What if natural conditions also influenced biology, driving living creatures to adapt, to gradually transform themselves? This stood to reason: a creature that adapted to its natural conditions would be succesful in those conditions. A creature that did not adapt would be less succesful. Logically, successful specimens would often have more success in procreating as well—leading them to prevail. This notion, occasionally called the Thiry-Leclerc Principle, was the first formulation of natural selection. They wrote it down as follows: “The history of life is a history of success… the success of the well-adapted.”

    Thiry and Leclerc soon convinced their fellow naturalists, the cousins Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton and Edmé-Louis Daubenton, of their theory that species gradually transformed in accordance with the principles of adaptive success. And so, the theory of transformism was established. This led to radical conclusions: the Encyclopedists knew that the transformation of species must be a slow and gradual process—and that meant time was needed for the development of different species. By this point, they had tentatively hypothesised that several species were orginally related, and for them to become different species, thousands upon thousands of years would have been needed. Leclerc calculated that the earth would have to be at least 200,000 years old—and therefore the earth must have come into existence much earlier than 5199 BC, which was the date determined by the Catholic Church. We now know, of course, that the earth is still far older than the Encyclopedists believed, but for their time, they were making schocking discoveries.

    Far more shocking, however, was the idea that all human races were a product of transformism. We now know that the issue is far more complex, but in the 18th century, the common belief was that the several races had separate origins. Voltaire initially believed this as well. But did it not stand to reason that the physical differences could be explained as being the result of a gradual transformation—an adaption to differing climates, diets, and environments? Louis de Jaucourt, who wrote on the topics of slavery, the slave trade and Black people, observed that African slaves were widely used in hot climes, because their slave-masters had noted that dark-skinned individuals could withstand the heat of the sun far better than Europeans. Was this, then, proof that dark skin was an adaption to the hot climate of sub-saharan Africa? Many Encyclopedists, including Voltaire and Jaucourt, strongly condemned slavery as a violation of man’s natural rights. Now, they concluded, they had proof that all men were truly of the same stock. Truly equal. They used their scientific theories as an argument against a practice they considered deeply immoral.

    When The Transformation of Species through Natural Adaption was published in 1765, it was not just scientifically radical; it also held a political and moral dimension. This work argued that the earth was far older than was previously believed, that the Biblical Creation story was inaccurate, that species gradually transformed through adaption, that all races of man shared a common origin, and that their differences were only the result of adaption—that they were, therefore, equal. It concluded by stating: “So it is not enough, that we Christians of European stock tolerate each other. This does not suffice, so long as we continue to mistreat our brothers—and we should regard all men as our brothers. We share a common ancestry. Yes, the Turk, the Chinaman, the Siam, the Jew, the Negro… these are our brothers.”

    The Encyclopedists did not believe that all living things shared a common ancestor. They held that several species shared an origin, but which ones was as yet uncertain. They considered the similarities between humans and apes, but ultimately rejected the possibility of a common descent. It would take until Lamarck, Geoffroy and Grant—inspired, perhaps, by Lord Monboddo—before the fact that man and ape do actually share an origin became embraced by the scientic community. Nevertheless, the Encyclopedists had paved the way, and established the foundations of transformism.

    Needless to say, this theory was strongly associated with the radical materialism of the Enlightenment, and was greeted with immense hostility by more conservative thinkers. Opposition to these early notions of transformism was also intense within the scientific community. The reactionary archbishop of Paris, Christophe de Beaumont, condemned the “Philosophes, Encyclopédistes, Physiocrates… these corrupters of the nation.” This was the conclusive proof, for the dévots and other conservatives, that the Enlightenment was a movement of pure evil, which would destroy France if it was not halted. We know, of course, that transformism proved correct in the end. But the Encyclopedists had expected that their scientific expertise would prove them right, and the conservatives wrong, in the eyes of the public. That had been a terrible miscalculation: many people were inclined towards certain reforms, but the majority of the populace was, in 1765, not yet ready for ideas so world-shocking as the theory of transformism.


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    Illustration - Part 006 - Thiry and Leclerc.jpg

    Thiry and Leclerc, the first men to propose a theory of transformism.


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    The conservatives had long destested the Encyclopédie, which represented everything they hated, and which formed the greatest stronghold of their philosophical opponents. Ever since the 1750’s, they had considered the whole project as intolerable. The dauphin’s publication of Crusade against Modernity gave them a banner. The Encyclopedists’ publication of The Transformation of Species through Natural Adaption gave them a target. The Encyclopedists had hoped that a confrontation would prove how utterly wrong the conservatives really were; they hoped that massive public support for Enlightenment ideas in an already unstable time would force king Louis to institute certain reforms. The number of subscribers to the Encyclopédie had grown to over 6000; a measure of their growth in popular influence. This was immensely threatening to the governing social classes of France, because the Encyclopedists propagated religious tolerance, freedom of thought, and the value of science and industry, and asserted that the main concern of the government ought to be the welfare of the common people. Conservatives truly believed that the Encyclopédie was the work of a conspiracy against society and religion.

    In hindsight, it seems foolish that the Encyclopedists so openly chose to clash with their opponents, but by 1765, they had no choice left. The dauphin had rallied support, and was going to suppress the Encyclopédie—they only had a chance of preventing it by tring to gather a greater base of support for themselves. Unfortunately, this attempt did not succeed. The Encyclopedists simply had too many enemies. Their critcism of religious dogma had gained them the enmity of the Church; their attacks on privilege, that of the nobles and the parlements; their republicanism, that of the king; their support of free trade, that of the financiers; their views on tolerance, that of the conservative citizenry; their opposition to the archaic guilds, that of the rich bourgeoisie (who often played a leading role in the guilds, and profited from the guild monopolies). With their radical scientific ideas, they painted themselves as extremists. The undecided, moderate citizens were simply not ready for such progressive notions, and were driven into the arms of the conservatives.

    Certainly, the Encyclopedists were hailed in the salons, admired by the progressive bourgeoisie, worshipped by the poor whose cause they often championed… but that could not save them. Those voices carried little to no weight. Even friends in high places, like Malesherbes, could not prevent the conservative backlash against the Encyclopedic project. In early 1766, the Encyclopédie was formally suppressed. Arrest warrants were issued for Diderot, Voltaire, Thiry and Leclerc—who were viewed as the worst of the radical faction. The four men, warned by Malesherbes, managed to escape capture and fled to the Republic of the Netherlands, were Voltaire still had connections, and where Thiry owned a castle. The other Encyclopedists were forced to publish retractions in regards to the radical notions they had previously espoused.

    The decree that suppressed the project did not truly stop the work of the Encyclopedists, but it greatly hindered the progress. All work now had to be done clandestinely, and in secret. Key members had been forced into exile, and the Encyclopedists remaining in France lived in constant fear of police raids. This problem was partially solved when Turgot and Quesnay founded the Société Economique. Ostensibly, this was an institute of learning, where they would develop economic theories in an apolitical way. It was lended credibility by the involvement of moderate sympathizers, such as Étienne Charles de Loménie de Brienne and Charles Alexandre de Calonne. In truth, the Société Economique became a clandestine meeting place for the Encyclopedists and other radical thinkers. Voltaire, using contacts in the diplomatic service of the Netherlands, ensured that the exiled Encyclopedists could freely correspond with their peers via diplomatic mail—traditionally exempt from searches. And so, with great difficulty, the march of progress continued on. In France, for the moment, the Enlightenment had been reduced to the smallest of flames, flickering in the cold wind of reactionary wrath. Elsewhere in Europe, the process of modernization was going very differently indeed.


    ---


    FOOTNOTES

    [1] More commonly known as the count of Buffon IOTL, as he was made a count in 1772. ITTL, that… doesn’t happen.


    GENERAL NOTES

    A rudimentary theory of evolution... in 1765. How do you like them apples? Anyway, that's it for France, for now. Next, we'll have a look at what's going in some other European countries.

    P.S. My thanks to TheBerlinguer, who pointed out that I had wrongly mentioned 4004 BC as the date that the Catholic scholars had determined to be the moment of the word's creation. This was, in fact, the date determined by James Ussher. The Catholic estimation was 5199 BC. My error has been corrected.

    Illustration - Part 006 - Thiry and Leclerc.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2013
  7. TheBerlinguer New-school baby-eater

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Location:
    Sacro Romagnolo Impero
    Hi Widukind, long-time lurker here!
    Since you addressed all the readers of The Lights of Liberty, I felt like I could leave my first comment: I think the lack of replies is quite a common occurrence in TL's that focus heavily on cultural or scientific developments when they take over a lot of space in the between the narrative parts and they're posted in rapid succession (although for some reason that doesn't happen when the subject of such updates are alternate TV programs or the Space Race :D:rolleyes:). Just take a look at (e.g.) ComradeHuxley's TL's if you don't believe me, exact - same - situation.

    BTW, reading your last post I saw that you attributed the 4004 BC date for the biblical creation to the Catholic faith, but I'm 99% sure that Catholic scholars calculated the life of the universe to have begun in 5199 BC, while the former year was the one assumed by the British Reformed churches.
     
  8. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Thanks! See? This is why I like it when people post constructive comments: I did mix up those dates, and now I can fix it. :) Never hestitate to point out errors, or to simply let me know what you think.
     
  9. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    The last couple of updates just go way way way over my head.

    I am familiar with the encyclopediasts, but i am not one for in depth knowledge.
     
  10. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Never despair, the part about the Encyclopedic project is mostly over. ;) Only the first excerpt in this next installment is about the Encyclopedists.



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    Excerpted from The Enlightenment in Europe: Philosophy and Politics, by Marcel Musson (Agodi Books, France, 1963):

    The third and final period of the Encyclopedic effort is the period during which its leading contributors were forced into exile, and all work was carried out in secret. In the Republic of the Netherlands, at least, it was possible to work in relative freedom. Diderot, Voltaire, Thiry and Leclerc were able to make great progress, despite the fact that they had fewer associates assisting in the effort, and all their publications had to be smuggled into France. The men made the best of their exile, and although their work was outlawed in France, it was well-received in other nations. They soon found interested subscribers in the Netherlands and Great-Britain, and a somewhat censored version of the Encyclopédie was published for readers in Prussia, Poland-Lithuania, and Russia.

    No longer constrained by the French laws, arguably the most restrictive in Europe at that time, the four of them were free to commit their most radical ideas to paper. Thiry, for instance, published further criticisms of organized religion, such as La Contagion sacrée (“The Sacred Contagion”) and Théologie portative (“Portable Theology”) in 1768 and Essai sur les préjugés (“Essay on prejudice”) in 1770. Voltaire, who had previously disguised his criticisms of the French monarchy as stories set in faraway countries, now openly attacked Louis XVI. Leclerc continued to explore the theory of transformism, which was received with great scepticism but no true hostility in the Netherlands and Great-Britain.

    Ultimately, in 1771—twenty years after the first volume had been published—the Encyclopédie was completed. It inspired philosophers, reformers and radicals throughout Europe, while instilling fear in conservatives everywhere. Many of the men who later became prominent in the Batavian Patriotic movement were subscribers of the Encyclopédie and associates of the four exiled thinkers. It is said that even king Henry of Prussia owned a copy of the complete Encyclopédie, and that it inspired him to continue his lifelong effort to reform and modernize not only his own his kingdom, but all of Europe.


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    Excerpted from Between Pragmatism and Idealism: the Prussian Approach to the Enlightenment, by Rudolf Katz (Liebgott publishers, Prussia, 1955):

    Idealism without pragmatism is nothing but hot air. One can fill a balloon with it, and fly for a while, but it cannot last. The balloon would eventually deflate, and drop back to earth. This is why attempts at radical changes, based on theoretical ideals, are doomed to fail in the long run. In the 1760s, the French had not yet learned this lesson. King Henry the Great of Prussia knew it, however, almost by instinct. He took a measured approach to the inevitable process of change that swept across the world from the middle of the eighteenth century onwards. He invited modern thinkers, he revised the laws of his kingdom, and he changed the very functions of government. Rather than fighting against change, like the French kings did, he moderated it so that it became a useful element within the ongoing development of Prussia. Rather than sticking to ideals that were not yet ready to be implemented, like the Encyclopedists of the day, he introduced new ideals at a responsible pace. This way, the process called the Prussian Evolution was set in motion.

    As previously elaborated upon, king Henry’s domestic policies were based on a strategy of gradual socio-political and legal reform, combined with modernization of all government departments. Needless to say, the king’s special attention was reserved for the continual process of modernizing the army. The ability to defend Prussia against all enemies was vital, because the king’s foreign policy was decidedly less reserved than his domestic approach. As he was known to declare: “We must present a calm smile to the nation, and a bold grin to the rest of the world!” In practice, this meant that king Henry actively funded critical thinkers throughout Europe, and vocally and monetarily supported reform movements in other nations. His ambition was to export his own brand of Enlightened despotism to the other monarchies of Europe. As part of this grand scheme, he eventually came to fund even groups such as the Batavian Patriots. His most eleborate campaign to modernize another European nation, however, was his intervention in the Polish Crisis.

    Unlike his predecessors, king Henry admired the Commonwealth immensely. He recognized that it had a long tradition of freedom. In the Commonwealth, the king was elected by by the aristocracy (szlachta), whose rights he was obliged to respect. The szlachta at all times retained the right of rokosz (“insurrection”). That is to say: they could embark on a legal rebellion against a king who violated their guaranteed freedoms. The parliament (Sejm), had to be convened at least once every two years, and could veto the king on important matters, including legislation, foreign affairs, declarations of war, and matters of taxation. Furthermore, every individual Sejm deputy had the right to oppose a decision by the majority in a Sejm session; the use of such a liberum veto nullified all the legislation that had been passed at that session.

    The right to worship freely had been a basic right of all inhabitants of the Commonwealth throughout the 15th and early 16th century, and full freedom of religion had been officially recognized in Poland in 1573. Whereas religious persecution was an everyday occurrence thoughout Europe, the Commonwealth had been a place of shelter for those thrying to escape such treatment. Bonifacio d’Oria, a religious exile living in Poland, had written: “You could live here in accordance with your ideas and preferences, in great, even the greatest freedoms, including writing and publishing. No one is a censor here.” King Henry respected the so-called “Golden Liberty” of the Commonwealth, but was also acutely aware of both its inherents shortcomings and the fact that the religious freedom had increasingly become a judicial fiction: in reality, by the 18th century, non-Catholics no longer had rights.

    It became clear that the Commonwealth was rapidly deteriorating. The freedoms of the szlachta had long since become detrimental to the effective operation of the Polish-Lithuanian state. The liberum veto in particular meant that unanimous consent was needed for all measures. A single member of the Sejm could block every piece of legislation that he considered injurious to his own interests. This provided an opportunity for foreign diplomats to manipulate the politics of the Commonwealth by bribing nobles to exercise their veto. Russia exerted enormous influence in this manner. Thus, the Commonwealth had been reduced to a Russian satellite state in all but name. The Russian tsar effectively chose Polish–Lithuanian monarchs, manipulating the “free” elections, and effectively directed the Commonwealth’s internal politics.

    By the 1760s, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was on the brink of collapse, and this attracted the interest of its neighbors. In 1730, Prussia, Austria and Russia had signed a secret agreement to maintain the status quo in regards to the Commonwealth, but as the balance of power in Eastern Europe began to shift, these nations began to reconsider their stance. Russia was strengthened by its success in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, and as soon as the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774 erupted, Austria began to fear that Russian success would endanger Habsburg interests—particularly in Moldavia and Wallachia. Realizing that Austria might opt to start a war with Russia, king Henry aimed to both tighten bonds with Russia, and strengthen the Commonwealth. He saw a great opportunity in this: Russia would, under any other circumstances, surely oppose the notion of bolstering of Poland-Lithuania. But the idea of Austria using the Commonwealth’s weakness as an excuse to make sizable territorial gains appealed as little to empress Catherine as it did to king Henry. And on the other hand, the idea of annexing parts of the Commonwealth for themselves appealed to both of them. Could they not strengthen the country through political reforms, while at the same time annexing parts of its territory to keep it from growing too strong…?


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    Excerpted from Poland and Prussia: Partners of Convenience, by Aleksander Goślicki (Sobieski Press, Poland, 1940):

    In 1767-1768, during the Repnin Sejm (named after the Russian ambassador who unofficially presided over the proceedings), Russia forced the adoption of several resolutions that further strengthened the already considerable Russian control over the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Russians attempted to curry favor with the conservative nobles by guaranteeing the liberum veto and the other privileges of the aristocracy. This did not work, however, because Russia also demanded a restoration of religious freedom for both Protestant and Orthodox Christians—an idea that the deeply Catholic szlachta found unacceptable. Combined with their deep resentment of Russian intervention in the Commonwealth’s domestic affairs, the issue of religious equality being enforced led a group of prominent magnates to form a confederatio opposing the government, as was their right according to constitutional tradition (which had, ironically, just been reaffirmed by the Russians).

    The Bar Confederation, named after the fortress where it was established on 29 February 1768, declared a war on Russia. It soon began to receive supplies and monetary support from Austria. The revolt of the Bar Confederation happened to coincide with the Koliyivshchyna (“impaling”); a Ukrainian Cossack and peasant rebellion against Polish rule. These two uprisings, although diametrically opposed in their goals, both contributed to the weakening of the Commonwealth. Both king Henry and empress Catharine realized that Austria would seek to exploit the polish-Lithuanian weakness. Indeed, in 1769, Austria made a tentative first move by annexing a number of Polish exclaves in the area of Spisz (which Austria itself had ceded to Poland in the treaty of Lubowla in 1412), under the pretext of securing the region from war.

    To Henry and Catherine, this confirmed their suspicion that Austria would seek to gain Polish territory, no doubt with the ultimate aims of strengthening itself for a future war agains Russia and Prussia. Although wary, Catherine chose to agree to Henry’s proposals regarding the Commonwealth and Austria. In February 1770, Prussia and Russia both sent troops into the Commonwealth, in order to end both the revolt of the bar Confederation and the Koliyivshchyna. The Bar Confederates appealed for help from abroad and thereby contributed to bringing about war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The retreat of some Russian forces needed on the Ottoman front bolstered the confederates, but Prussia was able to commit a large force. Under attack by two powerful nations, the irregular and poorly commanded forces of the Bar Confederation soon suffered a major defeat. The Ukrainian peasent rebels, meanwhile, were concentrated in a part of the commonwealth that Russia sought to annex anyway. They welcomed the Russians as liberators. King Stanisław August Poniatowski of Poland-Lithuania was powerless to stop his western and eastern neighbors from invading. Nevertheless, when Austria invaded as well, he knew he was completely dependent on Henry and Catherine. They “proposed” that the Commonwealth be disbanded, whereupon Stanisław would become king of a new “Kingdom of Poland”. What choice did the king have but to accept the terms dictated to him? He agreed, and in return, the two powers issued an ultimatum to Austria: withdraw all troops from Poland at once, or there shall be war. Realizing that a war against both Russia and Prussia could not likely be won, Austria opted to withdraw. Henry and Catherine were free to do as they pleased. And that was how the Rozbiór, the Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, came about—and how the Kingdom of Poland emerged in its stead.


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    Excerpted from From Commonwealth to Kingdom, by Paulus Petri, the winning entry in Living History’s fifteenth annual essay contest, 1980:

    The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth lost roughly half of its territory and nearly 60% of its population in the Partition. There can be no doubt that the Prusso-Russian design to replace the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth with the Kingdom of Poland was a product of their self-interest. But despite these opportunistic motivations, the Partition (Rozbiór in Polish) ultimately served the interests of Poland as well. And king Henry in particular sincerely wanted to make the new kingdom a stable, strong nation. At the same time, he wished to guarantee that Poland could never again dominate Prussia. His solution was to ensure that the entire coastline of the former Commonwealth fell into Prussian hands. This meant that Prussia instantly gained control over 80% of Poland’s total foreign trade. Wanting to make Poland strong, Henry imposed no customs duties… but if Poland were to ever defy Prussia, the border could be closed, and Poland would suffer economically for it.

    Henry and Catherine, after some deliberation, decided on a final division of land between the two of them. On March 9, 1771, they signed the treaty finalizing the Partition. Prussia took the land that remained between Brandenburg and East Prussia, which included the cities of Danzig and Thorn. [1] In addition, the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia became a Prussian protectorate (exept its easternmost section, which was annexed by Russia) for the remainer of duke Peter von Biron’s life. Upon the duke’s death, the Duchy was to become part of Prussia—which indeed occurred when the last duke of Courland passed away in 1800. Russia, meanwhile, annexed a far greater area, albeit one without a coastline. A huge territory in the northeast and a more modest portion in the southeast fell to Russian control.

    After having occupied their respective territories, the two partitioning powers demanded that king Stanisław and the Sejm approve their action. With forein military forces threatening the opposition, there was no real choice left. On August 18, 1771, the Sejm and king Stanisław retified the treaty of cession, thus renouncing all claims to the occupied territories In return for agreeing to the territorial losses, king Stanisław was supported by both Henry and Catherine. He received monetery aid to help bolster his government, Prussian military forces safeguarded the peace, and a committee was established to write a constitution for the kingdom.

    On November 3, 1771, the Constitution of the Kingdom of Poland was adopted. That document, inspired by the Prussian and American constitutions that preceded it, reformed the rump of the erstwhile Commonwealth into a Polish federal state with a hereditary monarchy. King Stanisław had no legal heirs, only a natural son named Michał Cichocki. As such, the king’s brother Kazimierz was legally recognized as heir to the throne, while Kazimierz’s son (also named Stanisław, like his uncle the king) became second in line. The liberum veto was abolished, as was the right of rokosz. Full political representation, including the right to vote, was extended to the bourgeoisie, while the peasantry was granted limited political rights. Religious freedom was restored. Finally, a separation of powers among legislative, executive and judicial branches of government was established. These reforms brought Poland back from the brink. Whereas the Commonwealth had been dying, the new Kingdom was reinvigorated. Selfish as their purposes may have been, king Henry and empress Catherine ultimately saved Poland. This allowed it to once again become one of the most free and Enlightened nations of Europe, where notions of political, scientific or philosophical radicalism could be openly expressed.


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    Map - 1771 - Poland.jpg

    The Partitition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Fig. A shows the situation prior to the Partition; Fig. B shows the partitioned territories; Fig. C shows the situation after the Partition, which includes the newly established Kingdom of Poland and the Duchy of Courland.


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    FOOTNOTES

    [1] The annexed area is slightly different from OTL. The overall area is slightly smaller, but Danzig is directly annexed ITTL, and Thorn is annexed as well (which it wasn’t IOTL).

    Map - 1771 - Poland.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
  11. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    Seems Poland never survives its fate to be partitioned. That said, at least it seems a bit more stable.
     
  12. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Very true. Of course, the 1730 POD of this TL didn't fundamentally influence Poland-Lithuania during the four decades after that, and by 1770, the Commonwealth was so severely weakened that it becomes difficult not to have it partitioned. Or rather: I considered not doing it, but concluded that this would just delay it.

    (Incidentally, I think a TL based on earlier reforms in Poland-Lithuania, thus allowing it to remain a powerhouse, would be in interesting read all by itself. It'd need a POD in the late 1600s at the very latest, though.)

    Anyway, I can promise you this: Poland is more stable now. IOTL, it was partitioned, kept weak, partitioned again, made weaker, and then eliminated altogether. ITTL, it is partitioned, but rump-Poland is strengthened by much-needed reforms at the same time. Poland survives. There will be no further partitions. (But Prussia and Russia do exect great influence... will Poland eventually find a way to become more than a glorified vassal state? We'll find out in a later part.)
     
  13. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    A surviving Poland is a rarity in Alternate History. The use of making it a buffer state between Russia and Germany should make it inteeresting in this ATL htough.
     
  14. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    That's the idea. :D

    Anyway, for now, here is the last installment of the year. To all those reading: I wish you a splendid 2014. My special gratitude goes out to everyone who posted here with words of wisdom, encouragement and criticism. It helps every single time.


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    Excerpted from Economics, a History, by Augustin Cassat (De Gas, France, 1970):

    In France, openly expressing political, scientific or philosophical radicalism was out of the question. This meant that for Enlightened men, the only way to spread their ideas was to do so clandestinely, while presenting a moderate front to society at large. The Société Economique, its public image somewhat less radical than that of the Encyclopedic project, quickly attracted prominent economic thinkers. Of course, it was still known to be a progressive bastion, but unlike the Encyclopédie, it was not intrinsically associated (at least, not outwardly) with extremism, and was therefore accepable to the moderates. D’Alembert, who had left the Encyclopedic project due to its radicalization, in 1768 recommended a student of his to the more moderate Société—none other than the young Nicolas de Caritat, the marquis de Condorcet, who of course needs no further introduction. Caritat would become a lifelong friend of Turgot; already a respected mathematician, he gradually began to focus more and more on economic and social issues, eventually becoming the most prominent of the Physiocrats. [1] The Société became a great success, with such minds attracted to it, but from its very conception, it also met fierce opposition from the conservatives. Particularly from the man who was to become the greatest ideological foe of the Physiocratic School: Jacques Necker.

    Necker had originally made a name for himself as an investment banker, becoming very wealthy through loans to the treasury and speculations in grain. In the mid-1760’s, his wife encouraged him to seek a public position. He managed to become a director within the French East India Company. Around that same time, a fierce political debate erupted over that Company, in which Necker became a central figure. The company’s directors and shareholders clashed with the the ministry over the administration—and the autonomy—of the company. The ministry was concerned with the financial stability of the company, and tasked the abbé Morellet, an economist of the Physiocratic school, with promoting the advantages of commercial liberty over the company’s privileged trading monopoly. Necker vehemently defended the company’s autonomy, and demonstrated his abilities in his highly succesful management. In the end, he restored the ministry’s confidence in the company—which he considered a great victory against the Physiocrats.

    In his defence of protectionism and state-granted monopolies, Necker found a strong ally in the dauphin, who intensely disliked the “overly progressive” Physiocrats, even after he had successfully suppressed the Encyclopédie. The dauphin knew that he could not dismantle the Société Economique on a whim, but he would do everything he could to assist in discrediting the Physiocratic theories. Seeking to capitalize on the dauphin’s support, Necker continued to attack the free-trade ideas of the Physiocrats, supporting conservative policies of mercantillism—specifically regarding the grain laws, which the Physiocrats sought to abolish, and which had helped make Necker rich. Meanwhile, Necker made several new loans to the French government, endearing himself at the royal court. In 1773, Necker won a prize of the Académie Française for his eulogy of Louis XIV’s mercantillist minister Colbert—which was in fact a thinly-veiled defense of state corporatism and economic protectionism. In response, the dauphin named Necker “the greatest economic mind of this age—a match for Colbert himself.” The Physiocrats, meanwhile, argued fiercely against these conservative views. In 1770, Turgot wrote the Lettres sur la liberté du commerce des grains (published publically but addressed to Joseph Marie Terray, the Controller-General of Finances), in which he argued that would be to the benefit of landowner, farmer and consumer alike. Turgot boldly demanded the removal of all restrictions on the grain trade. Terray, whose policies were already decidedly unpopular, could not afford to anger the conservatives. The Physiocrats went ignored by the government, and although popular support for their views was gradually on the rise, the economic policies of France ran in the exact opposite direction.


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    Illustration - Part 006 - Jacques Necker.jpg

    Jacques Necker, economic spokesman for the protectionist conservatives


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    The financial position of France was precarious. The fact that France was under obligation to pay an annual sum of 20,000 livres to Great-Britain was a drain on the treasury. Worse yet, this state of affairs would persist, as stipulated in the treaty, for 25 years—meaning that France was to remain under the British yoke until 1788. Both the physiocrats and the mercantillists eagerly used the situation to argue for their own proposed solutions. During the 1770s, the mercantillist Necker would see his policies implemented, but in the 1760s, society was in an uproar—with the Encyclopédie causing such controversy, and then being suppressed—and France seemed to be a ship without a captain. Or rather; a ship with a dozen captains, each advocating a different course.

    The situation reached pathetic levels of destitution: when Genoa, in 1764, offered to sell Corsica to France, the kingdom was unable to pay the desired sum. The rebel government of Pasquale Paoli remained in control of the island. In 1767, however, the king of France appointed Terray to become the new Controller-General of Finances, in an attempt to deal with the huge national debt. [2] Terray proposed a radical solution, which might benefit both France and Genoa. The plan, negotiated in secret, entailed that the French would use their superior military might to defeat the Corsican rebels and return the island to Genoa. In addition to paying for this expedition, Genoa would enter into several treaties with France. While economically beneficial to both parties, this would firmly place Genoa within the French sphere of influence. On the other hand, and alliance with France would certainly prevent other Italian states from attempting to annex the relatively small republic of Genoa.

    King Louis initially balked at the idea of such a risky venture, but Terray pointed out that it would ultimately benefit France both economically and politically. In addition, a weakened Genoa would indeed be an attractive target for other Italian states. It would certainly be in France’s interest to keep those sites from becoming too powerful. Far better to protect little Genoa, and let it serve as a vassal and buffer state. Ultimately, the king lent his approval to the plan, and in 1768, the French expedition to Corsica was launched. This, of course, was the point at which Gabriel Riqueti [3] first entered the stage of history.


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    [​IMG]

    Gabriel Riqueti. Most illustrations tend to omit or obscure his facial disfiguration, caused by smallpox. In this illustration, however, it is clearly visible.


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    Excerpted from Gabriel Riqueti, by Hippolyte Leclerc (Les Deux Étoiles, France, 1978):

    Even at this early stage, the life of Honoré Gabriel Riqueti was defined by his love affairs. His very presence on Corsica was caused by just such an affair: barely out of military school, he had received a commission in the cavalry. Despite the fact that his face was disfigured by a virulent attack of smallpox when he was three years old, Riqueti promptly managed to seduce the fiancée of his commanding officer. This led to such a scandal that his father, the marquis de Mirabeau, actually obtained a lettre de cachet against his own son. No love was lost between the two men. As soon as he was released, Riqueti made arrangements to join the French expedition to Corsica as a volunteer.

    On Corsica, he contracted sizable gambling debts and generally sought to enjoy his time on the island. His military actions, however, were commendable. He proved his considerable talent, voluntarily accepting responsibilities far beyond his rank. Riqueti certainly learned the value of hard work during the Corsican expedition, which greatly contributed to his success in later years. By sheer happenstance, he was involved in the skirmish, in late 1768, that killed the rebel leader Paoli. While the last of the organized resistance was being mopped up, Riqueti spent his time on an affair with a married woman named Letizia Buonaparte. Her husband, Carlo Buonaparte, was a minor noble, trained as a lawyer, who sided with the rebels politically. He had been Paoli’s envoy to Rome for several years, and the French military occupation had prevented his return to Corsica. When the man did eventualy return, however, Riqueti did not cease his affair with Letizia. Before long, Riqueti’s philandering ways landed him in trouble once more—when Carlo Buonaparte caught him in bed with his wife. The situation led to a duel between the two hot-tempered men: a duel that Buonaparte lost, at the price of his life.

    When it turned out, at the dawn of 1769, that Letizia was pregnant, Riqueti had already lost interest in the woman he had widowed. He denied his fatherhood of the unborn child, and left with the larger contingent of French soldiers. Certainly not his finest hour, especially since Letizia herzelf was ostracized for having carried on with French officer. She never re-married, and remained in abject poverty—having lost even the love and support of her mother and stepfather—until her untimely death a decade later.

    It remains a matter of debate wether Buonaparte or Riqueti was actually the father of her son, born in August 1769. She named the boy after her firstborn, who died in infancy and who was certainly fathered by Carlo Buonaparte. On the other hand, Letizia soon rejected the Buonaparte name, adopting her maiden name—Ramolino—for both herself and her son. The paternity of the child may remain forever contested. Critics say that Buonaparte was the most likely father, and that the claim of Riqueti’s fatherhood is just a thrilling myth. But on the other hand, there are those who point to the incredible achievements of Letizia’s only son, and remain convinced that only the great Gabriel Riqueti could have fathered the great Napoleone Ramolino. [4]


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    The expedition to Corsica was a success, restoring Genoan control within a year, despite continuing rebel activity in the hinterland. But this one venture was not enough to restore French finances to an acceptable level. Therefore, Terray spent the next few years working hard, stabilizing the finances of his country to some extent. His methods worked, but certainly made him many enemies. He repudiated part of the national debt, suspended payments on the interest on government bonds, and levied many a forced loan. This resulted, naturally, in mass protest. All classes of society had some reason to oppose the reforms. Terry grew increasingly unpopular. Nevertheless, he continued his overhaul of the financial system by reforming the tax system. Both the mercantillists and the Physiocrats, however, found his reforms poorly-conceived and far too moderate.

    Terray’s measures eventually resulted in a significant increase in government revenue, although the man himself remained unpopular. In the early 1770s, government policy in general increasingly favored mercantillist policies, and Terray went along with this, hoping to curry favour with the conservatives. They only tolerated him at best, however, while his strategy earned him the fierce enmity of the Physiocrats. They criticized his restriction of free trade of grain, accusing him of entering a “pact of famine” with king Louis, by allowing the king to profit from artificially high grain prices, while the people starved.

    Then, in 1774, just as a revolution erupted across the Atlantic Ocean, King Louis XV passed away, and the dauphin was crowned Louis XVI [5]. From that moment on, everything was different. No longer would the French government seek a compromise between conservative and liberal notions, between mercantillist and Psysiocratic ideas. The course was to be clear: arch-conservative and unyieldingly protectionist. No more compromises. This decision, of course, ultimately determined the future of France.


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    FOOTNOTES

    [1] Caritat (more commonly known as Condorcet IOTL) meets Turgot four years earlier ITTL than he did IOTL.

    [2] Terray is appointed two years earlier than IOTL.

    [3] Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, who IOTL became known as the count of Mirabeau. ITTL, his father uses that title, but he never actually adopts it (even after his father’s death), and the man we know as Honoré Mirabeau is generally referred to as Gabriel Riqueti instead.

    [4] That’s right. I’ve just created a TL where Mirabeau(-by-any-other-name) might quite possibly be the father of alt-Napoleon.

    [5] I remind you, for clarity’s sake, that this is not the same Louis XVI as IOTL. This is that king’s father, a man who IOTL died in 1764. ITTL, he survived, as descibed earlier.


    GENERAL NOTES

    And that leaves us in 1774. This timeline will return in 240 years. ;)

    Illustration - Part 006 - Jacques Necker.jpg
     
  15. Darth_Kiryan The Númenorean Sith

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Location:
    AUS
    God, no matter where Necker turns up he always ends up screwing around with money. One of the most corrupt guys in France in any TL.
     
  16. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    Yes, Necker was a complete disaster IOTL, and he will be much the same ITTL. This is the guy who thought that borrowing lots of money and cooking the books to deceive the public would be a great way to deal with the already substantial debts and the vast deficit that France was facing... And ITTL, it'll be even worse than it was IOTL, because... well. You're about to find out.

    But before you do that, Darth_Kiryan, I'd like to thank you and Will Kürlich Kerl for nominating this TL for a Turtledove. I am honored. :D



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    Excerpted from Economics, a History, by Augustin Cassat (De Gas, France, 1970):

    When the dauphin ascended to the throne, knew that Terray was so universally detested that his position was impossible to maintain. The final nail in Terray’s coffin came in the form of the poor harvest of 1774, which led to a rise in the price of bread as winter fell. He would have to be replaced as Controller-General of Finances. And who, decided the new king, would be better suited for that role than Jacques Necker? Of course, due to the fact that he was a Protestant, Necker could not be made Controller-General, and was instead given the office of Director-General. In reality, he had all the power that a Controller-General would.

    Bread riots, which had begun under Terray’s administration, did not abate. Necker showed great firmness—one might also call it heartlessness—in repressing the riots, and was loyally supported by throughout by king Louis XVI. Thereafter, Necker rapidly gained popularity by simplifying the tax code. Reforms that conservatives would never have accepted had Terray proposed them were eagerly embraced when they were instigated by Necker. Having thus established himself, Necker’s further measures included the use of loans to help fund the French debt and the use of high interest rates rather than raising taxes.

    In addition, Necker also advocated loans to finance French involvement in the American revolution. This, apparently, was mostly meant to please king Louis. The king, as a staunch Catholic, felt that it was his duty to protect and assist the Francophone Catholics of Montréal—even if that implicitly meant supporting “thrice-damned republicans”. Ironically, the progressive Physiocrats generally opposed the participation of France in the American Revolutionary War, on economic grounds. They believed in the virtue and inevitable success of the American cause, but felt that France could not afford to spend money on it. Despite criticism, Necker and the king succeeded in their ambition to involve France, and in 1775 began to prepare an expeditionary force under Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, the count of Rochambeau.


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    Excerpted from A history of French-American Friendship, by Pascal Roberts (Fontaine Publishing House, Confederacy of Southern America, 1948):

    The man who soon became the icon of French-American relations, of course, was not Rochambeau, but an officer named Gilbert du Motier, the marquis de La Fayette. He first heard about the American situation—and the exact plans for French involvement—when he partook in his unit’s annual training exercises. He was immediately enthused, writing “My heart was enlisted and I thought only of joining the colors.” He returned to Paris, becoming a member of several sociétés de pensée—intellectual discussion groups that hosted many thinkers formerly associated with (or interested in) the Encyclopedic project. There, he discussed French involvement in the American Revolution, becoming increasingly determined to get involved. Managing to establish contacts with American agents seeking French help, La Fayette made sure that he was placed on the reserve list for Rochambeau’s expedition. Still worried that he would not be selected for participation, his chances were cemented when he met Gabriel Riqueti, who managed to introduce him to the newly-arrived ambassador from America, mister Aaron Burr.

    Riqueti had his own reasons to seek involvement in the expedition. Following his return from Corsica, he had faced a series of scandals and problems, including an ill-fated marriage, a quarrel with a country gentleman, an unpleasant enprisonment, and an escape from that enprisonment… all leading to his current and most pressing problem: a death sentence. [1] Riqueti had briefly considered fleeing to Switzerland [2], but when he learned that king Louis was prepared to pardon convincted criminals if they volunteered for the American expedition, he decided to try that option instead. Naturally, he had no intention of enlisting as a common soldier. With his field experience during the Corsican expedition, he could surely try to get an officer’s commission again. But better safe than sorry: he’d just have to bribe the American ambassador to make sure.

    Which is where La Fayette and Riqueti became very useful to each other. Riqueti was a man of many contacts, who could easily get the both of them introduced to Burr. La Fayette was a man of great wealth, who could—unlike Riqueti—afford to pay Burr a hefty bribe. In return for that money, Burr would personally request the both of them to be incuded in the expedition, as ranking officers. Spending the money was no objection for La Fayette: when he learned that the Continental Congress was short on funds, he acquired the sailing ship La Victoire, to transport Riqueti and himself to America. King Louis was pleased with this turn of events: the less money the French government would have to spend on the expedition, the better. In early 1776, the two officers sailed for America, only a month ahead of the full expeditionary force. The two managed to exploit their early arrival, exaggerating their own importance, and receiving commissions in the Continental Army. Despite this opportunism, they both served with honor, and remain symbolic figureheads of the close friendship between our Confederacy and the French nation.


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    [​IMG]

    Gilbert du Motier, the marquis de La Fayette


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    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    The participants in the American expedition were given a hero’s welcome when they returned in early 1778. La Fayette was the most prominent figure, but Riqueti and other prominent officers were also celebrated by the whole nation. La Fayette found that his newfound fame meant he was perhaps the most sought-after speaker at all of the Parisian sociétés de pensée. Re-joining several such discussion groups, he soon ran into radical proponents of democracy and human rights, such as the abbé Raynal. La Fayette found that these radical thinkers shared his admiration for the young confederation of republican states across the ocean. Indeed, they felt that France would be best served by adopting several reforms based on the American political system, which La Fayette also believed—although men such as Raynal were far more vocal on the topic than La Fayette. As a speaker and esteemed guest in the Parisian salons, La Fayette met a considerable number of fellow officers who had participated in the American war for independence. Some where only there to capitalize on their status as national heroes, but many—just like La Fayette himself—had honestly begun to embrace the Enlightenment ideals that had been the basis of the American revolution.

    Noticing this development, La Fayette felt that there might be a possibility of enacting certain political reforms in France, and enlisted the help of his friend Riqueti to organize a series of lectures by La Fayette, Riqueti and other veteran officers, with the aim of promoting such reforms. Riqueti was exactly the right man for that task: his involvement in the American adventure—and especially his writings on the subject, both for American and French audiences—had cemented his reputation as a sharp and critical thinker, and as a man of the people. The fact that he received a full pardon for his earlier transgressions left him free to pursue any goal he found worthwhile. The fact that his father had disowned him in his absence was only a minor inconvenience, he felt.

    The speaking engagements proved to be very popular with the Parisian intellectuals, and conservatives were hesitant to attack popular war heroes, even if they were openly promoting the sort of progressive radicalism that had been so tightly associated with that damnable Encyclopédie. The government pointedly ignored the whole thing, and continued to carry out conservative policies. It was becoming clear, however, as the natonal mood of celebration died down, that the American revolution had bankrupted France. The public debt amounted to an unprecedented 112 million livres, and there were no means of paying that debt. The speaking engagements at the salons increasingly dealt with the topic of French economic policy. The speakers also increasingly favored the Physiocratic school, while lambasting Necker’s protectionist policies.

    Necker attempted to portray the revenue from the sale of Saint-Domingue to Spain as a major gain for the treasure, even though the mere 100,000 livres meant nothing when compared to the huge debt and the increasing deficit. Necker’s deficit spending continued to increase the public debt, even after the war. Desparate for money, necker managed to convince the king that it was in France’s best interest to discontinue its annual payments to Great-Britain. When the British crown learnt of this in 1779, it announced that all French ships would henceforth be subject to seizure by the Royal Navy. Necker, accused of wishing to raise taxes and the debt, became known in the salons as Monsieur Déficit, and was a universally detested figure. The French population grew increasingly more supportive of the Physiocrats, and king Louis faced petitions to dismiss Necker and appoint Turgot in his place. The conservative, protectionist policies were clearly failing, and the liberal solutions of the Physiocrats were viewed as the only viable alternative. Still, king Louis remained adament in his rejection of such progressive reforms, and shielded Necker from his many critics.

    As a result, France essentially went bankrupt the following year, and had to default on her debts. Necker’s promises of lucrative trade with the USA could not cover the enormous deficits, and the king was left with no choice but to summon an Assembly of Notables, in order to reach an agreement on the matter of raising taxes. Such agreement was eventually reached in early 1781, but entailed that only the commoners would be taxed at increased rates, while the clergy remained entirely and the aristocracy almost entirely unaffected. Great masses of people were thus thrown into abject poverty. Conscientious in their desire to alleviate the suffering of the French people, the Physiocrats argued once more structural economic reform—but they found in Louis XVI no support for such designs. The structural problems with the fiscal system and the many failings of Necker’s policy were not addressed at all. As such, disaster was merely postponed, and everyone was painfully aware of this fact. Before the year 1781 was out, a fever of agitation and discontent swept through the kingdom of France, spurred on by the example of the Batavian revolution—which had just erupted that very year, toppling the regime of stadtholder William V. Could such a thing be possible in France…?


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    [​IMG]

    William V, stadtholder of the Netherlands


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    Excerpted from The Batavian Revolution, by Bertold Wagenaar (Spieker Press, Batavian Republic, 1939):

    As was the case in many parts of Europe in the latter half of the 18th century, animosity towards the ruling class was on the rise in the Republic of the Netherlands. It was not the despotic reign of an absolute monarch that caused the people’s ire, but the corrupt nature of an entrenched class of “regents.” Whereas in the 17th century the Republic had been a bourgeois society, governed largely by the merchant class, it had since devolved into a decadent oligarchy. A small caste of “regents,” centred around Stadtholder William V, effectively held all the political power. Halfway through the 18th century, the office of stadtholder had been made hereditary, and William V increasingly demonstrated monarchial ambitions. To support his own position, he placed his friends and allies in key positions of power, at the expense of all others. The egalitarian nature of the Republic was waning, and so was its political and economic prowess.

    The economic growth of the Republic, once the unmatched envy of Europe, had been slowing down for over a century. By the late 18th century, the per capita gross national product of Great-Britain matched that of the Republic, and would soon surpass it. Whereas in the 17th century the commercial success of the Republic had fuelled English resentment, in the late 18th century the growth of British power led to resentment and envy in the Republic. Initially, the British still considered the Republic to be an allied nation, and even wished to hire the mercenary Scotch Brigade of the Republic’s Army for use in the Americas, like the Hessian units they hired and deployed. This notion, however, was strongly opposed by sympathizers of the American Revolution, led by Joan Derk van der Capellen, who managed to convince the States-General to refuse the British request. Moreover, the merchants of Holland soon became involved in the supply of arms and munitions to the American revolutionaries.

    These motivations ultimately led the Netherlands to support the rebels. Following France, the Republic was the second country in the world to recognize American independence—a stance that led Britain to declare war on the Netherlands in 1776. By that time, the navy of the Republic had already been reduced to a mere shadow of its former self: only some twenty ships of the line still remained. The war largely consisted of a series of successful British operations against the Republic’s colonial economic interests. It ended disastrously for the Republic, exposing just how weak and ineffective the political and economic systems of the Netherlans had become. At the end of the conflic, the Republic was forced to cede its remaining factories in India to Great-Britain, as well as to allow the British free trade with its colonies in East Indies.

    As has often been the case throughout history, the military defeat was blamed on the ruling class. Tensions had already been running high, and this calamitous turn of events provided the spark that ignited the powderkeg. The old animosity between the supporters of the House of Orange and the indepence-minded citizenry resurfaced. Influenced by the ideals of the American revolution, the Patriotic movement emerged, representing the interests of the citizens. They desired more democracy, and aimed to end the failing administration of William V, to halt the expansion of the stadtholder’s powers, and to restore the Republic to its former position of wealth and glory. Influenced by Montesquieu, they propagated the importance of decentralism, and the age-old sovereignty that the provinces and cities of the Republic enjoyed. They warned that stadtholder William was planning to centralize all power, and proclaim himself king. [3]

    The Patriots took Montesquieu’s observations regarding national and cultural identity very seriously, and enthousiastically created a national mythology for the Republic. Previously, the unifying element for many people in the Republic had been the House of Orange, which traditionally supplied the stadtholders. The paterfamilias of that house, William the Silent, had been one of the leaders of the revolt against Spanish hegemony: the revolt that had established the Republic in the first place. Thus, William was considered the “father of the nation,” and the House of Orange was intrinsically linked with the Republic. And that, of course, was the problem. The Patriots desired to oust William V, so they needed to portray him as an enemy of the fatherland, not as an intrinsic part of it. This ultimately led to the introduction of a new “origin myth” for the Republic. The Patriots began to focus on the story, then widely believed, that the area of the Netherlands had originally been settled by a Germanic tribe called the Batavians. Those rugged people eventually became the ancestors of the good citizens of the Republic. In their propaganda, the Patriots eagerly explored similarities between independent-minded Germanic tribesmen and similiarly independent-minded citizens of the Republic. In this worldview, the monarchial manners of William V were easily denounced as “un-Batavian.”

    Just like some of the American Founding Fathers (noticably Thomas Jefferson), the Batavian Patriots were quick to point out that in Germanic society, carrying a weapon had been the privilege of free men. An unarmed man, then, was a slave. [4] The Patriots soon began to establish volunteer militias, where they trained in the use of firearms. Arguing that “a good citizen is an armed citizen,” they aimed to restore the independent provincial armies that had once been the norm. These had been suppressed by the House of Orange, providing further indication that this dynasty was opposed to the sacred “Batavian freedoms.” How was the Republic ever to become strong again, if it had to rely on a national army that consisted mostly of foreign mercenaries?

    Though initially ridiculed for their bombastic romanticizing of the Germanic past and their zealous training excercises, the Patriot movement soon gained momentum. Van der Capellen, who had been a vocal supporter of American independence, had grown to become a figurehead for the Patriotic movement. In 1779 he published his most important political work: Aan het Bataafsche Volk (“To the Batavian People”). [5] This pamphlet has been compared to Thomas Paine’s Plain Truth, and indeed served a similar role for the Batavians as Paine’s work did for the Americans. In fact, Thomas Paine himself later lauded the pamphlet, calling it a masterful work of true patriotism. In the pamphlet, the disadvantages of the hereditary stadholderate were explained. Van der Capellen proposed that the system be replaced by a democratic society based on popular sovereignty. William V immediately had the pamphlet banned, but it was it was illegally reprinted and distributed three times, and even translated into French, English and German.

    No-one could deny that the Republic was growing weaker by the day, and the Patriots proposed a solid reform program. They argued for a restoration of what they called the “Batavian freedoms,” including the freedom of association, religion and expression, the right to bear arms, and the sovereignty of the provinces and the cities to autonomously administrate justice. Mayors and city councils were to be elected democratically by the citizenry, as were the Provincial States (the representative bodies), so that the government would trult represent the population. Everyone, regardless of religion, should be allowed to stand for election. Furthermore, they advocated a “material and moral re-armament,” meaning the citizenry should be educated, armed, and made aware of the proud Batavian history and heritage. The corrupt national army should be disbanded and replaced by Patriotic provincial armies. On the other hand, the fleet should be expanded and modernized.

    All in all, these ideas appealed to large segments of the population. Realizing that this movement could very well mean the end of his reign, stadtholder William V decided, in november 1780, to outlaw the patriotic militias “and all seditious propaganda.” This was to no avail: the Patriots had already gained a position of power in a number of cities and provinces, where they were organizing extralegal provincial armies. William attempted to dispatch the mercenary forces of the national army to forcibly disband the provincial armies and the militias, but resistance was more tenacious than he had anticipated. His policy of brutal repression, meanwhile, seemingly confirmed everything the Batavian Patriots had said about him. Perhaps he was indeed a tyrant with monarchial aspirations…? As 1781 dawned, the mood of the populace swung around in favor of the Patriotic movement. A state of near-civil war commenced, with mercenaries fighting Patriots.

    In June, William lost the support of even the provincial States of Holland. They refused to continue paying the mercenaries, realizing that the huge costs and internal chaos would leave the Republic vulnerable. The national army, no longer receiving payment, disbanded voluntarily. William knew his cause was lost, and was forced to flee east, to Nijmegen. From there, he attempted to abdicate in favor of his son. By that point, however, the Patriots had appointed a triumvirate consisting of prominent Patriot leaders Carel Wouter Visscher, Nicolaas van Staphorst, and Joan Derk van der Capellen himself. The triumvirate soundly rejected William’s attempts to install his son as stadtholder, proclaiming: “the Batavian Republic has no need for another of your ilk.” William, fearing for his very life, fled the country, and went to the court of his brother-in-law, Christian VII of Denmark. He had married the Danish princess Louise in 1766, and was welcome in Kobenhaven. [6] His departure marked the end of the Republic of the United Provinces: the very same day, the triumvirate issued a proclamation establishing the Batavian Republic, and promising a new constitution to enshrine the freedoms of the Batavian people. The relative ease of the transition proved to be a great inspiration to revolutionaries everywhere—and most especially in France, where both the measure of government tyranny and the troublesome financial situation were far more dire than they had been at any point in the Republic under William V….


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    Illustration - Part 006 - Flag - 1781 - Batavian Republic.jpg

    The flag of the Batavian Republic, adopted soon after the revolution


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    FOOTNOTES

    [1] This is all completely OTL. Monsieur Mirabeau—referred to as Riqueti ITTL—was a very interesting character. It’s weird that he doesn’t show up in more TLs.

    [2] Which he did IOTL.

    [3] IOTL, the Patriots were more divided on the issue of centralization versus decentralization. ITTL, however, Montesquieu’s influence as well as the examples of Prussia, Poland and the United States lead to a noticably broader support of decentralization. Contrarily, observing this trend, conservatives and absolute rulers throughout Europe tend to support centralization of power. That way, they hope, revolutionary sentiments can be suppressed by a strong central government.

    [4] Several Founding Fathers made this connection IOTL, in relation to the right to bear arms. Jefferson went so far in his admiration of the proud Germanic tribesmen that he wanted to put the prominent Anglo-Saxon warlords Hengist and Horsa on the Great Seal of the United States.

    [5] He writes and publishes it two years earlier than he did IOTL, what with the American revolution occurring earlier and everything. Also, it was called To the People of the Netherlands IOTL, but ITTL the Patriots are far more determined to promote the “Batavian identity”.

    [6] IOTL, Frederick V of Denmark urged William V to marry one of his daughters, but William V instead married princess Wilhelmina of Prussia. But you may recall that ITTL, Wilhelmina’s father, prince Augustus William, died without issue in 1739. Hence, Wilhelmina was never even born. William V thus ended up accepting Frederick V’s offer.


    GENERAL NOTES

    Welcome to 2014! (Or, you know, 1781.) We start the year on a revolutionary note!

    Illustration - Part 006 - Flag - 1781 - Batavian Republic.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  17. fernerdave on the boat now

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    My name is Yon Yonsin, I now live in Visconsin
    Good stuff!
     
  18. Unknown Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Yeah, this is good stuff.
     
  19. Widukind Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
    I'm glad you're enjoying it! :D



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    Excerpted from Economics, a History, by Augustin Cassat (De Gas, France, 1970):

    Shocked and frightened by the Batavian revolution, the French government sought to restore stability to France. In an attempt to defend his policies and calm the public, Necker published his most influential work: his Financial Summary for the King, which summarized governmental income and expenditures, thus providing the first-ever public record of royal finances. It was delivered as an educational piece for the people, but its true purpose was to gloss over Necker’s many mistakes. The figures given in the Summary were misleading, and often completelt fabricated by Necker himself. The Summary claimed that France was in a strong financial position when the reality was much worse. Necker disguised the crippling interest payments that France had to make on its massive debt as if it were part of normal expenditure. The Summary was criticized heavily by Turgot, in his last essay before he passed away in March 1781.

    The death of Turgot, which had already been preceded by the demise of Quesnay six years before, did not mean that the physiocratic opposition was in any way silenced. Turgot’s friend en disciple, the intelligent and charismatic Nicolas de Caritat, befame the unofficial spokesman for the movement. Since he had initially become involved in the Physiocratic School, Caritat had shifted his focus from purely mathematical studies to philosophy, economics and politics. Caritat and other Physiocrats advocated the late Turgot’s economic theories, while demolishing necker’s Summary for its many inaccuracies and blatant lies. In several essays, they easily disproved all of Necker’s false claims. Necker became the most hated man in France, but still the king refused to dismiss him.

    Besides ruining what little was left of Necker’s reputation, the financial strains that were revealed to the public through the critical publications of the Physiocrats also shook the foundations of the French monarchy, which had for centuries been based on the notion of unquestioned absolutism. Affairs of state were managed behind closed doors, without any scrutiny by the public. Taxes were levied without any consent or real representation. The monarchy had enjoyed absolute power to set fiscal policy—so when it became public that France was essentially bankrupt, and was burdened by an unmanageable debt and a rapidly growing deficit, the public saw the monarchy itself as responsible for those problems. The general feeling in the country was that the Physiocrats—and by extension, the Enlightened progressives—had been right all along, while king Louis with his protectionist henchmen like Necker—and by extension, the conservatives and the aristocracy in general—had been dead wrong. In fact, the monarchy and the aristocracy were increasingly seen as failed and corrupt institutions.

    This tense situation could not be maintained indefinitely, but in any case was overtaken by events. Following a severe volcanic eruption on Iceland, Europe experienced a volcanic winter, and throughout the western part of the continent, crops failed in 1783-’84. France, with its population already poverty-stricken, was hit the hardest of all the affected nations. For a moment, society seemed to be on the verge of collapse. Riots broke out throughout the nation, and the king had no money to even pay his soldiers. He was at the mercy of the people, whom he had previously cast into starvation. Having no other choice left, king Louis ordered—for the first time since 1614—a meeting of the Estates-General, so that this assembly of the three Estates of the Realm could propose solutions to his government’s financial problems. But throughout the kingdom, riots were already breaking out. Revolution was in the air, and the cries could be heard in every city—

    République américaine!

    République batave!

    RÉPUBLIQUE FRANҪAISE!



    ---


    Excerpted from A History of France, Part XIV, by Célestine Delmas (Agodi Books, France, 1958):

    The Estates-General first met in May 1784. Necker made a final attempt to regain support by addressing the representatives. His speech was characteristically miscalculted in its nature. While he was expected to humbly renounce his earlier policies and finally embrace reform, he instead orated for hours, trying to prove that he had been right all along. It became painfully evident that he saw the Estates-General as nothing other than an instrument to help the king hold on to power, rather than a highly necessary effort to reform the government and save the country. By the end of Necker’s presentation, the members of the Third Estate were screaming for his head on a platter, and he had to leave the building under guard. The time of Necker was clearly at an end. But what was to be done now? For the Third Estate, and some members of the other Estates, the only acceptable outcome would be a complete overhaul of the political system. For the conservatives, however, this was unacceptable.

    Before long, the meeting of the Estates-General came to an impasse, as the three Estates clashed over their respective powers. Specifically, the Third Estate demanded that their number of representatives be equal to that of the two other Estates combined, and moreover, that voting be done by head instead of by Estate. This first demand was granted, as it was meaningless if voting was done by Estate. The second demand was just a quickly denied. That way, the two other Estates could still outvote the commoners. The Third Estate refused to go on unless voting was done by head; the two other Estates refused to go on ubless it was done by Estate. The meeting was thus caught in a deadlock, unable to proceed. This deadlock was broken by the combined efforts of five men, who wuld thereafter become the political leaders of France: Gabriel Riqueti, Gilbert de La Fayette, Nicolas de Caritat, Phillipe d’Orleans and Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès.

    Sieyès, despite being a member of the clergy, had managed to get elected as a representative of the Third Estate. He had never wanted a religious career path, and embraced Enlightenment thinking. In secret, he had already been a participant of the Encyclopedic project. Although not noted as a public speaker, he drafted a radical solution to the political impasse. Whereas the aristocracy defined themselves as an divenely ordained ruling class ,charged with maintaining the social fabric of the kingdom, Sieyès argued that the notion of some elevated caste, acting above society as a whole, was “treason to the commonwealth.” He therefore advocated nothing short of abolishing the separate Estates altogether. He proposed that Enlightened, reform-minded members of the First and Second Estates join the Third Estate, thus becoming a united body that should represent the nation as a whole—and leave the conservatives without any power at all.

    Convincing Caritat to present the plan, and Riqueti and La Fayette to support it, Sieyès ensured that it was seriously considered by all progressives. Phillipe d’Orléans eagerly expressed his enthousiasm for the plan, crossing the hall to sit with the members of the Third Estate while Caritat was still speaking—for which he was cheered loudly by the common people. The Third Estate adopted the proposal on the 5th of June 1784. By doing so, they assumed the authority to represent the entire nation. Caritat, elected president of the Assembly, thereupon proclaimed the Estates-General disbanded, the separate classes of society abolished, and the National Assembly of France established. Many of the clergy and some of the nobility ultimately decided to join the Assembly, realizing that the old system could no longer continue to exist. The conservatives, however, reacted in fury, calling on the king to hang all the “traitors.”

    From that moment on, events took a more radical turn. There was now an urgent sense of awareness that solving the problems of France was not simply a matter of addressing Necker’s policy, or even of dealing with royal tyranny, but that the great legal inequalities of French society had divided the nation. Had the cries of “Republic, Republic!” previously been a shout of angry mobs, they were now heard in the Assembly. Many still hoped to introduce a system of government similar the the British design, but it was clear that Louis XVI would never tolerate this kind of limitation on his powers. He instead sent the military to disperse the National Assembly and arrest the leaders, but when they arrived, La Fayette and his second in command Louis Lebègue Duportail—a fellow veteran of the American Revolutionary War—addressed the soldiers, asking them “Who shall pay you, when France goes bankrupt? And who shall save France, when you fine men are starving in the streets a year from now?” At this point, most of the soldiers defected, and the few officers who did not were arrested by their own men.

    Riqueti then introduced a proposal calling on Louis XVI to abdicate the throne in favor of his son, who would then be a limited monarch under a new constitution. Many in the Assembly had initially wanted Philippe d’Orleans to be the candidate for monarch, but Philippe himself had become an avowed republican, and in fact voted against Riqueti’s proposal, urging the Assembly to declare France a republic instead. [1] Although the Assembly accepted Riquiti’s proposal, king Louis most vehemently did not, and the issue of who should be king soon became moot. The time of kings was at an end. This was now accepted even by men such as Riqueti and La Fayette, who had at first sought to merely moderate the excesses of power. Louis XVI was simply not willing to compromise, and removing him entirely was the only way to restore freedom, order and prosperity in France. On the fifteenth of August, 1784, Nicolas de Caritat proclaimed France a republic.


    ---


    Illustration - Part 006 - Caritat-d’Orléans-Sieyès.jpg

    Nicolas de Caritat, Phillipe d’Orleans and Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès


    ---


    Excerpted from The French Revolution and its Aftermath, by Robert Goulard (De Gas, France, 1967):

    The situation on the streets now escalated completely. The mob was overjoyed at Caritat’s proclamation, yelling “Death to the King! Death to Necker!” and waving the blue-red banners of Paris. During the night, Jacques Necker attempted to flee the city, most likely in an attempt to depart for Geneva. He was found by the mob, and lynched along with his wife and daughter. Appalled, the Assembly urged to people to calm down and behave responsibly, with limited success. The rioting did not cease, but at least diminished. Many things now had to be done at once, and the members of the Assembly worked day and night.

    A statement was issued that a consitution and a declaration of rights would be drafted. Caritat, besides presiding over the Assembly, would lead the constitutional committee. Sieyès would preside over the drafting of a declaration. La Fayette was appointed minister of war, while Duportail would be in charge of the National Guard. Riqueti would head a temporary “executive office.” Meanwhile, arrest warrants were issued for the king, his family, and key members of his government. Aristocracy was legally abolished. All former aristocrats would have one month to swear loyalty ot the republic, after which they would be deemed traitors, and all their property would be forfeited to the state. Philippe d’Orléans, himself the first man to officially renounce all allegiance to the monarchy, would preside over the investigations into all former aristocrats.

    King Louis and the royal family attempted to escape the country, but were halted at the border, and returned to Paris. By this time, the monarchist faction was in utter disarray, having no funds left at all, and most of the common soldiers having defected from the royal military in favor of the provisional army of the Republic or the National Guard. Many parts of France remained under monarchist control, but there were no means to restore the kingdom or effectively project power. Many members of the aristocratic families began to flee the country, taking as much of their wealth with them as they could. It was a sure sign that they realized just how defeated they were. Meanwhile, it was up to the republicans of the Assembly to present a functioning political system for France to adopt.


    ---


    [​IMG]

    The flag of the French Republic, first introduced in the summer of 1784, and officially adopted in October of that year. It is based on the blue-red banner of Paris, combined with the fleur-de-lys that represents the French nation. [2]


    ---


    FOOTNOTES

    [1] IOTL, Philippe d’Orléans was accused of seeking the crown for himself, but given a perfect opportunity at several points, he instead supported the republic. He was disgusted by the very accusation that he wanted to be king, and even considered emigrating to the United States to escape such slander.

    [2] OTL’s tricolore was actually introduced to represent the constitutional monarchy, which is why it included white—the “pure” color meant to represent the monarchy. ITTL, constitutional monarchy is never given a chance, so France goes with blue-red and adds the fleur-de-lys to show that it’s the flag for all of France, rather than just Paris.

    Illustration - Part 006 - Caritat-d’Orléans-Sieyès.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014
  20. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    VA boy living in a TX world
    Man, I don't know why I haven't paid attention to this TL yet, but I am now resolved to fix that oversight; consider me SUBSCRIBED! Most recently, as both a fan of Dutch culture/language and a proponent of bearing arms, Batavia is truly awesome to me :D.

    Two questions/notes while I think about it;

    -Is America ITTL a multi-lingual entitiy, or is English pushed as the "one true tongue" like in OTL? I'd think the influence of Sanssouci and Co. plus Montreal's inclusion might make French more "legitimate" as a side language (not to mention having Prussian acting as an example for the young country, and how that might affect attitudes towards German). And,

    -Whatever you're planning to do with the Southern states (not that I'm necessarily advocating a split-up of America, IDK what you really have in mind yet), I beseech you please keep Virginia in the fold with them. It's bad enough how it's evolved with parts of it being a giant D.C./Federal suburb IOTL :p
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014