~ Chapter 14: The Republic Does Not Pardon Traitors ~
French expectatives of winning offensive wars against the Habsburgs like Louis XIV did a century ago were rapidly crushed when the disorganization the revolution had caused on the army became apparent, with troops deserting en masse and even murdering their officials, such as the case of Theóbald Dillon, one of the Rochambeau’s subordinates and tasked with preparing an invasion of the Austrian Netherlands, being murdered after his troops fled even before the Battle of Marquain started. The French expected the support of the local population, as they had already risen in rebellion against their Austrian overlords in 1789 and proclaimed the United Belgian States until being crushed by Austrian forces in December 1790, even if the city of Liège held until January 13 1791 . French troops would try again in June and would be repelled by the Austrians. It was during this time that a war song for the Army of the Rhine began to popularise, eventually morphing into La Marseillaise.
By July a true coalition had been formed against France, comprising Austria, Prussia, the rest of the Holy Roman Empire and Sardinia. The army of the Duke of Brunswick was waiting on the Rhine accompanied by a strong contingent of Émigrés commanded by the cousin of the king, Louis Joseph de Condé. The French Assembly declared the nation to be in danger, and ordered the levy of 100,000 National Guards to defend the nation, a decision that Louis XVI tried to veto. For the Assembly, this proved that the king was not loyal to France but to his throne, and that he was expecting foreign troops to march on Paris and restore his rule. This was confirmed when the Duke of Brunswick issued a manifesto declaring that the towns opposing the restoration would be considered in a state of rebellion and martial law would be applied, as well as stating that no harm would be done to the civilians unless they harmed the royal family. The Brunswick Manifesto had the opposite effect of what the Coalition intended, and infuriated the French public, rallying it around the Assembly and against the monarch.
On August 10 1792 a mob stormed the Tuileries Palace, murdering most of the Swiss Guards that were protecting the king and capturing Louis XVI after he took refuge in the building of the Legislative Assembly. That same day the Assembly declared that the king would be “temporarily relieved of his duty”. Republican radicals took control of the government and a campaign of repression against priests began, resulting in The September Massacres. The French monarchy was abolished, Louis XVI was arrested and stripped of his titles, now being known as “Citizen Louis Capet”. Upon hearing of this, the Prussian Army invaded France on the 16 and the Duke of Brunswick crossed the Rhine three days later. The fortress of Longwy fell so fast that Verginaud declared that the fort must have been handed over to the enemy, and by the end of the month the Prussians were at the fortress of Verdun. 20,000 recruits were rushed from Paris to defend the north, being dispatched along with most of the artillery in Paris, and finally grinding Brunswick’s army to a halt at the inconclusive Battle of Valmy .
The "Cannonade" of Valmy
Valmy was a massive boost of morale for the French as the Austro-Prussian army began to retreat 10 days later. At the same time evidence was found that compromised Louis Capet, and a legal process was initiated against the former monarch. On December 11 he was taken out of custody and the judgement started, with Louis already aware of the fate that would befall on him for the accusation of high treason, but still presented a solid defence. He was surprised when after being found guilty, the court decided to execute him with a difference of two votes . The king pardoned those that were about to execute him in a speech before his execution but a drum beating ordered by Antoine Joseph Santerre silenced the monarch. Louis faced his execution with bravery and his body was dumped in an unmarked grave in the Madeleine cemetery and covered with quicklime. The Virginian General Assembly named the city of Louisville in his honour, and deemed Louis as a noble man, while the execution of the king was much better received in the Atlantic Union and New England.
The execution of Louis Capet was met with a wave of disgust in Europe, and the French Republic opted to declare war on Great Britain and the Netherlands on February 1 1793, and shortly after also declared war on Spain. Later that year, Portugal, Tuscany and Naples also declared war on the French Republic. In March that same year, the National Convention  passed a decree ordering a national levy of 300,000 men with each department expected to fill a quota, being the first example of the “Levée en masse”. The French Army, still plagued by problems such as the rivalry between old and new elements (whites and blues, respectively), still proved to be an effective force when Dumouriez invaded and conquered the Austrian Netherlands after the Battle of Jemappes, while Custine reached as far as Frankfurt and Sardinian positions west of the Alps were occupied and annexed.
Romanticised depiction of Dumouriez leading the troops at Jemappes
1793 was not so much of a good year for the French military, with Dumouriez disregarding orders from Paris and invading the Netherlands, being defeated at Neerwinden by the Austrians and having the siege of Maastricht lifted. An embarrassed Dumouriez tried to negotiate with the Austrians, but his reputation was in shambles and he defected, ending up as an aide in London. This disaster caused the fall of the Brissotins and the creation of the Committee of Public Safety, and they tried to blame the September Massacres on Marat , thus liquidating their remaining political influence. In late May the Brisottins attempted a coup supported by the Commune and elements of the National Guard. Two days later a crowd of 85,000  surrounded the Convention demanding cheap bread, unemployment pay and political reform among others and they were dispersed.
In the summer, the French situation was desperate. The country was in a virtual state of civil war, with cities such as Bordeaux and Lyon being pro-republic but anti-government, and the Vendée and surrounding regions had risen up against wanting to restore the monarchy and fight the abusive levies of the army. It was also in summer when news of the execution of Louis XVI reached India, quickly followed by the proclamation of the French Republic and the closure of the French East India Company and nationalisation of all its assets. Governor-General Suffren , who knew of the execution of the monarch and had a strong loyalty to the crown, refused to hand over any power to the envoys of the Republic, and the company as a whole refused to acknowledge the government in Paris. Suffren contacted the British, who had received news of the French declaration of war, offering to collaborate with their former enemies to restore the monarchy in France. French India would fight against the Republic, and with it the rest of the possessions of the company, as well as French New Holland.
Pierre Andrée de Suffren, Governor-General of French India
 - Liège operated as an independent republic after their own revolution in August of 1789, they did not join the United Belgian States and operated as an independent state.
 - Where the French artillery distinguished itself, demonstrating that its reputation as the best artillery force in Europe was not in vain, this led to the battle also being referred to as the Cannonade of Valmy.
 - It is a common myth that everyone wanted to chop the king’s head off. IOTL the vote was decided by the majority of a single vote (361 out of 721), that of “Philippe Égalité”, one of Louis’ cousins, which led to much bitterness among French monarchists. I initially toyed with the idea of Louis XVI not being executed, but that would play against what I have planned for the rest of the TL. The entire royal family present at Paris is also executed, so Louis Stanislas is the candidate for the French throne as IOTL. Yes I think I have killed a ton of butterflies with this, but this TL is not focused on the French Revolution, and that being a highly volatile concept I don’t want to mess with things too much.
 - The organ that replaced the Legislative Assembly after the events at the Tuileries on August 10 1792.
 - Who avoids meeting Charlotte Corday and her knife. He’s not going to survive for long given his debilitating skin infection that caused him severe pains, which he alleviated with a piece of cloth wrapped around his head and soaked in vinegar.
 - Slightly more people than in OTL as there are no American grain imports.
 - Yes, I am aware that having a man with morbid obesity survive for longer in a tropical climate than he did OTL is complicated. Alas, the causes of his death were related to him being in France at the moment, so… yeah it’s a bit of a stretch. Reasons for his betrayal are also a topic of heated debate between historians, some arguing he only acted this way so he could still rule India as an almost monarch covered in extravagant luxuries.