The Missing Keystone of The Federal Arch: An America Divided TL

I have bad news, I will almost certainly not be able to get the next chapter out in time for Thanksgiving. I’m sort of in a creative rut right now, particularly when it comes to timing and the next steps beyond that such as how long the Union will hold together. You could argue that I have writers block in other words. I hope to get out of this rut soon.
No rush my friend, your rut will end when inspiration strikes - take your time and it will come.
 
I have bad news, I will almost certainly not be able to get the next chapter out in time for Thanksgiving. I’m sort of in a creative rut right now, particularly when it comes to timing and the next steps beyond that such as how long the Union will hold together. You could argue that I have writers block in other words. I hope to get out of this rut soon.
My guy, I have timelines I have not updated in over a year. You're doing fine. We're perfectly happy to wait.
 
My guy, I have timelines I have not updated in over a year. You're doing fine. We're perfectly happy to wait.
Thank you as well as to the other people giving me encouraging words. Anyway, I have a surprise that I'm encouraging you all to look at:

 
Thank you as well as to the other people giving me encouraging words. Anyway, I have a surprise that I'm encouraging you all to look at:

The reason I had everyone pick three options was that I want to have a first, second, and third place and perhaps do a runoff among them if there's no absolute majority.
 
Predictably, as of now, the top three vote-getters are New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Things could change if more people participate in the poll which I will probably allow to continue until the end of the day Tuesday.
 
Alright since there hasn't been any new votes, I am creating a new poll for the three finalists. Vote for just one this time. It will influence the outcome of the next chapter in some way.
Voted for Pennsylvania, since it's where the Declaration of Independence was signed and was where the first Constitutional Convention was held, as well as not favoring either the north or south as much as New York and Virginia would respectively.
 
Voted for Pennsylvania, since it's where the Declaration of Independence was signed and was where the first Constitutional Convention was held, as well as not favoring either the north or south as much as New York and Virginia would respectively.
Honestly had I waited a few days instead of setting up the initial poll I would've gone with either Pennsylvania. Or possibly Maryland since it was where the Annapolis Convention was and it housed the third capital of the Confederation Congress.
 
At this point, I've decided on which state this new Convention will be in based on the number of votes they all got. While I won't be officially closing the poll, any votes that are collected from this point and onward will not count. Thanks to everyone who voted.
 
I’m almost done with the next chapter. I have everything planned out, just working out a couple of details. I’ve also added some additional ideas for this TL to my drafting thread in case anyone wants to look at it.

https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/pgsbhurricane’s-brainstorming-and-drafting-thread.535275/
 
Chapter Two: The Origins of The Great American Rivalry New
Chapter Two: The Origins of The Great American Rivalry

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As of August 1788, four states still had not ratified the Consitution, including the two most powerful states in the Union: New York and Virginia. The former had neither accepted nor rejected the Constitution and the latter narrowly rejected it thanks to Patrick Henry’s rousing speech. New York (then named New Netherland) was settled in 1614, and Virginia in 1607, making them the two oldest of the ex-Thirteen Colonies. Trade relations were established during the 17th century. In fact, the Dutch in New Netherland and Barbadian planters helped influence the tobacco-dominated slavery economy of Virginia. Slavery helped both New York and Virginia grow into economic powerhouses. After independence was won, it was apparent that the two states would be rivals. New York was dominated politically by New York City thanks to Anglo elites through land and wealth requirements. Virginia, on the other hand, did not have a single city nearly as influential as New York, so their elites were near Williamsburg, the Northern Neck, and along the James River. Virginia was also the first colony to direct its Congressional Delegation to propose independence from Great Britain. New York also had a considerable edge in mercantilism, banking, and industry, while Virginia was overwhelmingly aristocratic and agricultural. During the first Federal Convention, New Yorkers more frequently tried to advocate for big government and equitable representation of smaller states in Congress while Virginians generally favored smaller government and proportionate representation in Congress.

By the end of 1788, the New York-Virginia rivalry was mostly fought over the location of a likely second Federal Convention and the capital of the United States, westward territorial expansion, and building a water route to get there. The idea of a second Convention had gained headway among the states before the end of the year thanks to Virginia and New York each pushing aggressively for it so that a Bill of Rights could be passed and allow the Union to finally reach the nine-state quorum needed for the Consitution to take effect. But, New York and Virginia both secretly demanded to host this convention to exercise their power over the rest of the states, and leaders from both states were angry at each other. There were even threats of the states' boycotting if the other hosted it, most notably from Patrick Henry and other hardline Virginian Anti-Federalists (generally in Kentucky County). Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed here and a series of compromises allowed Pennsylvania to host the Second Convention again. It would not be in Philadelphia this time like it was originally, though. Instead, it would be just outside of Philadelphia in the suburb of Northern Liberties. After this was set on January 10, 1789, the states were invited to meet in Northern Liberties later that year from August 24 to September 28. Predictably, every state pledged to delegates except for Rhode Island, where they created a Bill of Rights would be created out of a pool of seventeen amending articles to the Constitution.

This would come at the price of a much bigger battle between New York and Virginia: one for the site of the United States capital. George Washington had put forth his hometown of Alexandria, Virginia, and Georgetown, Maryland (the site of Great Falls). Washington thought of them as good locations because not only were they important to him, but were along the Potomac River where plans were developed to build a canal connecting Virginia to the lands west of the Alleghenies. Washington himself was at the head of such plans given that he created the Potomac Company in 1785. He had lobbied for interstate cooperation on the Potomac Canal, which helped pave the way for the Annapolis and Philadelphia Conventions. For the next two years, things were not going according to plan due to being short of the quorum, so Washington prepared talks once more in 1789. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison echoed this sentiment. New York, on the other hand, was the mercantile, financial, and industrial center of the United States. It was also the largest city by population at the time. Partly to reduce southern and, more so, anti-Federalist power, Federalists wanted to leverage New York as the American capital so America could have a solid base from which it could grow and prosper. Southerners opposed such overlapping of political and financial power. This battle would eventually put the Union in jeopardy.

With a Bill of Rights guaranteed and sent to the states, New Jersey and Maryland would be the first two states to ratify what would comprise the first twelve amendments to the Consitution. The North Carolina legislature soon scheduled a convention to ratify an amended Constitution for December 22 (made public on November 21) where leaders finally committed to the Union. Another convention for The Bill of Rights occurred in February 1790. With a quorum achieved, a fresh blast of euphoria swept the United States, but this would be very brief. All this mattered not to the two most powerful states in the Union. New York had continued to assert its claim to the Republic of Vermont while Virginia still held on to Kentucky County. Both entities wanted full sovereignty, but neither Virginia nor New York was willing to budge. Kentucky even had offers of an alliance from both Britain and Spain. Wanting to exploit this, an anonymous New York legislator wrote, dating December 18, 1789, a letter to the governor of Virginia, Beverley Randolph. He demanded that Virginia and the other southern states cede their western land claims south of the Ohio River, believing they would come to dominate the Union over time. Enraged, Virginians argued that New York was acting hypocritically in leaving out northern and eastern territories like the Western Reserve, Vermont, and Maine. With chaos on the horizon, both the state of Georgia and western North Carolina were preparing to pull the trigger.
 
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