Timeline 1828: A Southern-Less USA

How Is This TL So far on a Scale of 1-5

  • 1 - Alien Space Bats

    Votes: 1 2.6%
  • 2 - Generally Implausible

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 - Moderately Plausible

    Votes: 14 36.8%
  • 4- Generally Plausible

    Votes: 18 47.4%
  • 5- Very Plausible

    Votes: 5 13.2%

  • Total voters
  • Poll closed .
Chapter One: All or Nothing
Chapter One: All or Nothing

The issue had dated back to an amendment proposed to the Articles of Confederation April 18, 1783, which would have changed the basis for determining the wealth of each state. The proposal suggested that taxes "shall be supplied by the several colonies in proportion to the number of inhabitants of every age, sex, and quality, except Indians not paying taxes", which the Southern states (Georgia, the Carolinas, Maryland, and Virginia) immediately objected to. The formula would have included slaves, who were generally viewed as property with regard to calculating taxes. Thomas Jefferson wrote that the Southern states would be taxed "according to their numbers and their wealth conjunctly, while the northern would be taxed on numbers only". Benjamin Harrison proposed a compromise that would count slaves as half a person and several New Englanders proposed three fourths, but neither was overtly popular. Congress settled on the three-fifths ratio which was proposed by James Madison. However, this amendment failed as New York and New Hampshire rejected it and it thus fell short of the unanimous approval required to amend the Articles of Confederation.

By the time of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, it was unanimously accepted that representation in the House of Representatives would be proportionate to state populations. This raised a problem as slaves could note vote. Delegates from the north opposed to slavery wanted only free inhabitants of each state to count (even if it meant abolishing slavery and giving freed slaves the right to vote) while southern delegates supportive of slavery wanted slaves to count in their numbers for increased representation in the House and Electoral College. The three-fifths ratio was proposed on June 11, 1787 and initially agreed to by nine states and two opposed. was debated at length between July 9 and 13, and was then voted down by the Convention members. A few southern delegates then proposed full representation for their slave population. Nevertheless, the three-fifths ratio was brought back to the table and the vote was split right down the middle five states to five.

After weeks of contentious debate, the compromise continued creating a split down the middle until, finally, the delegates from southern sates walked out of the Convention. Those from Georgia and the Carolinas were successful as they were encouraged by South Carolinian representative Charles Pinckney. While many Virginia and Maryland delegates, including Thomas Jefferson tried to leave, George Washington and James Madison blocked all their attempts. It then became agreed upon that "all other persons" would not be counted. No state would be allowed to use slaves for additional representation in government. The tax on slaves, however, would be two-fifths of that of other property, inducing Virginia and Maryland not to try again to walk out of the Convention. This would not be the end of the general discontent in those two states, though.

Once all that was taken care of, Article 9 of the Constitution was written, with the first clause preventing Congress from passing laws restricting importing slaves into the United States prior to 1808 and abolishing slavery prior to 1828. With Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina gone, the ratification of the Constitution required seven of the ten states to do so. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, doing so on December 7, 1787. Pennsylvania and New Jersey followed by before the end of the calendar year. In 1788, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maryland followed suit. On June 21, 1788, the Constitution became the law of the land upon New Hampshire’s ratification. Two of the largest states - Virginia and New York - ratified it in the summer of 1788 (June and July respectively) facing strong opposition. Rhode Island was the last to ratify the Constitution, on May 29, 1789. The United States of America was officially up for business, with Philadelphia chosen as its permanent capital.

Timeline 1828 Map.png

Note: I will be updating my CSA Victory timeline soon, it's just that I have found it harder to write than other chapters since I'm not particularly a war historian. Sorry for the wait.
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Interesting. Although I do wonder why Rhode Island ratified the Constitution in 1789 instead of 1792 as in OTL. Besides the slave clauses it appears the Constitution is the same as OTL.
Interesting. Although I do wonder why Rhode Island ratified the Constitution in 1789 instead of 1792 as in OTL. Besides the slave clauses it appears the Constitution is the same as OTL.
A couple of things. If nine of the ten remaining states ratified the constitution in 1787 or 1788 and there’s only one outlier, it would be pretty awkward to say the least. In our timeline, North Carolina and Rhode Island were holdouts so it made Rhode Island ratifying it in 1790 instead of 1789 look less awkward. It helps that slaves are not counted at all for representation instead of three-fifths of a person and it looks like by 1828 slavery is going to be phased out. So that’s why Rhode Island went in 1789 instead of 1790.

As for the map:
Red = USA states
Green = Northwest Territory
Blue = Southern American Confederation
Chapter Two: Fundamental Order
Chapter Two: Fundamental Order

What exactly happened to the former colonies of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina? The truth is that it was kind of complicated. They had declared independence alongside the rest of British North America in 1776 and participated in the War for Independence. This meant that despite greater loyalty to the British crown than what became the United States, they were not going to open themselves back up to British rule. And they walked out of the Constitutional Convention which means they would not become part of the Union. The only solution left was to figure out how they were going to rule themselves. It was pretty obvious right off the bat that if they tried going their own ways, they would fail. This was especially true for Georgia and North Carolina as it was not nearly as prosperous as South Carolina thanks to the port city of Charleston and the production of rice and indigo as cash crops. So they needed to align with each other for the best possible outcome for all three entities.

The first thing to do was set up a government of sorts. But the struggle was to figure out how to do it. On Wednesday January 2, 1788, George Matthews, Samuel Johnston, and Thomas Pinckney, the governors of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina respectively, called for a special convention to devise a government for this new group of states. The convention first met on Monday May 12, 1788 in Charleston, South Carolina, the largest city in this confederation. The first major issue, like in the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States, was how to set up the federal government. This was rather ironic since it was a confederation, but it was decided that the states needed some sort of higher order to answer to. It was determined that on a state level, representation at the state legislature would be based on the populace of each town or city. At the union level though, representation would be equal (three legislators per state) in the upper house with proportionate representation in the lower house, just like it was with its northern neighbor. Lower house elections would be every two years by the people while upper house would be every four years. The bicameral body could not approve interstate commerce or declare war without legislative approval from the states. The president would be elected every six years by an electoral college where every state would have three electors for each Senator plus one additional elector for every Congressional District based on population. Slaves would be counted as one person for representation purposes in government but could not vote or hold office.

Other than that, their Constitution was very similar to that of the United States, with one key exception: the Atlantic slave trade. Not only could the national government ban it after 20 years, it could not do it at all. That decision would be left up to states after 20 years if they were to do it at all. And slavery would be around indefinitely as far as anyone in the Southern states knew. In any case, the convention came to a close on Friday August 8 after everything was recorded on parchment. Before then, it was agreed upon that once the South Carolina capital was moved to Columbia in 1790, the capital of the newly named Southern American Confederation was to be placed in Charleston. It was an obvious choice after all, it being its largest and most cosmopolitan city and a very important commercial port in its own right. Also in 1790, North Carolina agreed to give up its half west of the Appalachian Mountains. The western part of that state became a territory which later formed its own state called Tennessee, and was the fourth to be admitted to the Confederation right after Georgia and the Carolinas.

With slavery a cornerstone of the SAC, so was racism. With its slave population varying between 20% and 50% in the region, there was always a danger of slave uprisings which often ended up with both whites and blacks alike dead and harsher conditions for slaves. And that is before taking into consideration the eventual invention of the cotton gin, which would be right around the corner. More slaves were imported in the last two decades of the eighteenth century from Africa into the South Atlantic states than any other time in history, with South Carolina importing the majority. With everything in place, was the SAC prepared to challenge the USA on the North American continent? Could a storm be brewing abroad and do the trick?

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How would SAC-USA relations develop? Would there be a rivalry or a sense of "we might not be roommates, but we can still be the best of neighbors"?
How would SAC-USA relations develop? Would there be a rivalry or a sense of "we might not be roommates, but we can still be the best of neighbors"?
It's kind of a one-sided rivalry where the SAC tries to screw the USA over whenever possible but the USA doesn't think of anything about the SAC until it has to (or at least tries not to think of them).
Because most of the south is a different country, would the northern dominated United States recognize Haiti sooner than OTL?
Because most of the south is a different country, would the northern dominated United States recognize Haiti sooner than OTL?
I wouldn’t say they recognize Haiti’s independence right off the bat but they do it decades earlier than in OTL. That much I will say.
Louisiana will be interesting going forward. If Nappy doesn't come to power it'll still be technically Spanish but Americans will still settle there because "who's going to stop me". Spanish control would be limited to the Mississippi Delta and coast while Americans would control the interior. I could see a partition or war depending on what direction each side goes.
Chapter Three: The Wave That Shocked France
Chapter Three: The Wave That Shocked France

In the late 18th century, following France’s costly alliance with the Thirteen colonies in the American Revolution and extravagant spending by French King Louis XVI had left France in a state of near-bankruptcy. This affected everyone from the royal treasury to the peasants to the urban poor, inflicting poor harvests, drought, cattle disease, and skyrocketing bread prices. Heavy taxes failed to provide any relief. The result was the many took to the streets and began looting, rioting, and striking. In response to this, Louis XVI’s controller general, Charles Alexandre de Calonne, proposed a financial reform package in the fall of 1786 that included a universal land tax that would no longer exempt the upper classes. To garner support and subdue a brewing aristocratic revolt, the king summoned the Estates-General (or Third Estate) for the first time since 1614 on May 5, 1789. In the meantime, the non-aristocratic members of the Third Estate represented 98 percent of the French population but could still be outvoted by the other two estates. Thus, while leading up to the meeting the Third Estate began mobilizing support for equal representation in government and for the abolition of the noble veto. The nobles on the other hand were adamantly opposed towards giving up their privileges that they enjoyed under the current system.

As the Estates-General convened at Versailles on May 5, 1789, the public debate over its voting process erupted into intense hostility between the three orders, overshadowing what the meeting was supposed to be about in the first place plus the authority of the man who had originally convened it. By June 17, talks between the estates had stalled and the Third Estate continued meeting alone. There, they formally adopted the title of National Assembly. On June 20, the assembly met at a nearby indoor tennis court and took the Tennis Court Oath, pledging not to disassemble until the achievement of constitutional reform in France. By the end of the month, most clerical deputies and 47 liberal nobles joined them, with Louis XVI grudgingly absorbing all three orders into a new national assembly on June 27.

Two weeks earlier, as the National Assembly (working on a constitution) continued to meet at Versailles, fear and violence consumed the capital of Paris on June 12, with popular insurgency culminating on July 14 when rioters stormed the Bastille fortress to try and secure gunpowder and weapons. This is widely considered by many to be the start of the French Revolution. Soon, this wave of revolutionary fervor spread quickly into the countryside as peasants looted and burned the homes of tax collectors and landlords in response to years of exploitation. This agrarian resurrection expedited the growing exodus of nobles from France and inspired the National Assembly to abolish feudalism on August 4, 1789 after centuries.

That same day, the Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, proclaiming its commitment to replace the traditional system with one based on equal opportunity, freedom of speech, popular sovereignty and representative government. Drafting it was a challenge as it effectively added the burden of functioning as a legislature. For months, the Assembly pondered about the shape and expanse of France’s future political landscape, posing questions such as who would elect delegates and who the clergy would owe their allegiance to: the Catholic Church or French government? Most importantly, the primary question that had to be answered was how much power the king would retain in the aftermath of his failed attempt to flee France in June 1791. Finally adopted on September 3, 1791, France’s first written constitution firmly established a constitutional monarchy. This did not satiate radicals like Maximillien de Robespierre, Camille Desmoulins and Georges Danton, who more strongly supported a republican government and demanded a trial for King Louis XVI. Internationally, this produced a variety of reactions almost no one could ignore.

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I could see some SAC jingoism over Florida later on. Especially if the border dispute goes SOUTH. ;) ( puns are fantastic)
If the SAC did try to acquire Florida, would the US try to acquire it instead (unlikely given the most direct route is through the SAC), or would they try to support resistance (US-backed *Seminole wars, perhaps)?
If the SAC did try to acquire Florida, would the US try to acquire it instead (unlikely given the most direct route is through the SAC), or would they try to support resistance (US-backed *Seminole wars, perhaps)?
It's going to be difficult for the USA to acquire Florida as the SoCon is right there so maybe supporting a resistance towards the SoCon is more likely. But it's going to be more difficult with time because
at least one state will eventually secede from the USA and make it harder for it to access Florida.