Washington Burns: A Story of Alternate America

The following thread is for a timeline that got started as a result of THIS conversation that I started here last summer. I've been working on if off and on for the past 7 months, and still have a lot of ground to cover, but wanted to go ahead and create a separate thread to share and discuss the actual timeline. So here it goes!
Chapter 1: 1810s


  • August 24-25: British Forces temporarily occupy and burn much of the city of Washington. The Capitol Building, the White House, The Treasury, the Washington Naval Yard, and the US Patent Office are all destroyed. Furthermore, many private properties were also destroyed by fires spreading from the public buildings.

  • September 6-11: British are able to defeat the Americans at Plattsburg. After the victory here, the British will start marching south towards New York City.

  • September 12-16: British victory at the Battle of Baltimore. Fort McHenry fell to the British in a humiliating defeat for the Americans. Pressure to negotiate and accept British terms begins to grow.

  • September 17th: British occupy Baltimore, and raid the harbor district and set fire to some public buildings.

  • September 26: The 13th Congress of the United States reassembles for its third session in Philadelphia. Washington was deemed in too much disrepair to host the Congress for the time being.

  • October 3: Representatives from several northern states bring forth a motion to call for the nation’s capital to be relocated north, to either New York or Philadelphia, at least until 1819 to allow time for the nation’s finances to recover once the war ended.

  • October 19: After nearly two weeks of debate, Congress voted to move the capital to Philadelphia for the next five years, to return in 1819.

  • December 15: Federalist and/or anti-war delegates from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey gather in Hartford to discuss grievances against the Madison administration and the conduct of the war.

  • December 30: Treaty of Ghent signed between the British and Americans, officially bringing the War of 1812 to a close. The British towed a hard line against their American counterparts in the negotiations. In the end, Britain is given the disputed areas of Maine, a strip of northern New York, and the Michigan peninsulas. The Mississippi River was declared a “non-military zone,” and the Americans were banned from placing naval forces along the river, and no new fortifications in this area were allowed to be built for at least twenty years. American fishing rights off Canada were suspended for the next decade as well.


  • January 5: THe Hartford Convention ends, with the adoption of the Hartford Resolution, calling for: a ban on trade embargos lasting more than 60 days; requiring a 2/3rds Congressional approval for declaration of offensive war, admission of new states, and interdiction of foreign commerce; removing the 3/5s compromise from the Southern states; term limits on the presidency (either 1 4 year term, or 1 six year term); requiring each president to be from a different state than his predecessor. The resolution had strong language that seemed to hint that failure to reach a compromise between the Federal government and the New England and Mid-Atlantic states could result in “drastic and irreversible action.”

  • January 18: The “Massachusetts Ambassadors” arrive in Philadelphia, requesting a meeting with President Madison, which was rebuffed. However, many Federalist Congressmen host them in their homes and give them a platform to speak. There is a building tension in Philadelphia between the Federalist and Democratic-Republican politicians. Privately, President Madison laments the loss of Washington, and being stuck in a “Federalist vipers nest.”

  • January 31: Henry Clay and the Ghent committee arrive in New York, though news of the treaty had already arrived in the country by this time. Protesters picket Clay’s arrival and speech in the city.

  • February 9: Congressional approval given to the Ghent Treaty, despite massive objections and protest from the Federalist congressmen, who call the treaty a “unneeded disgrace, forced upon the nation by terrible leadership.” The Federalists will use the war and the Ghent Treaty as a rallying cry for years, and is especially popular in New England and the MId-Atlantic states, and even a few sparks in the frontier (as settlers feel that the Ghent Treaty could threaten future expansion westward), but the South remains a Democratic-Republican stronghold.

  • March 3: A fire breaks out in an abandoned quarter of Washington, and catches more of the city on fire, damaging homes and other property that had previously been spared.


  • Election: For the Democratic-Republicans, the party boiled down to two candidates: William Crawford, of Georgia, and James Monroe, of Virginia. Ultimately, Crawford was selected as the Presidential candidate, and Daniel Tompkins of New York as Vice President. The Federalists chose Rufus King as their Presidential candidate, with Caleb Strong of Massachusets for the Vice Presidency. The election season was hard fought, bitter, and close. In the end, Crawford won the election, to the chagrin of the Federalists. In New England, there is open talk by more radical men that Federalist New England should form a separate Republic. More rational men rally behind the Hartford Resolution, and those elected to Congress by the Federalists vow to fight for those ideals. The Congress is still controlled by the Democratic-Republicans, but by narrow margins.

  • Second Bank of the United States is rechartered for the next 20 years (OTL)

  • December 19 - Vice President-elect Tompkins is killed when his carriage careens off an icy road on the way to Philadelphia. This will open up a huge debate about who should fill that position.

  • December 22: British and American negotiators reach an agreement on the Wisconsin Treaty, to better define the British border after the Treaty of Ghent gave the British both of the Michigan Peninsulas. The Treaty would cede most of OTL Wisconsin to the British in exchange for dropping the Ghent provision that the Americans not be allowed to build any new fortifications on the Mississippi until 1835. The British want to be able to eventually build a canal across this territory to the Mississippi, and connect the Great Lakes to that trade network. The Federalists vow to block the treaty, and are supported by western Democratic Republicans who fear British encroachment.


  • January: A flyer begins to circulate, first in Philadelphia, then New York, Boston, and elswhere in New England, suggesting that to help unite the country and heal the wounds of the war, Federalist Rufus King should be selected as the new Vice President to replace the late Daniel Tompkins. Surprising many, this flyer is endorsed by both a Democratic Republican and a Federalist candidate.

  • March 4: William Crawford sworn in as the 5th President of the United States. Though he makes no initial mention of the vacant Vice Presidency, astute observers noted that Rufus King was given a prominent seat at the inaugural address.

  • March 10: President Crawford formally endorses the “unity plan,” and asks Congress to approve the appointment of Rufus King as Vice President. The debate over this appointment will rage for over two months, with both sides being divided over the controversial issue. President. This will later become known as the “Minor Compromise of 1817.”

  • April 17: An official report on the state of Washington is presented to Congress, titled “The State of the City of Washington.” The document states clearly that the city is unfit to hold the seat of government. “Nearly all the private citizens of the city have abandoned their property, having moved to nearby Georgetown or elsewhere.” “All but the largest of thoroughfares have become impassible and overgrown by nature.” “The ruins of the Capitol and President’s House are crumbling and are beyond repair. The outer stone walls, which survived the fire of August 1814, have now been exposed too long to the elements, and have started to crumble and collapse.” It was the recommendation of the engineers and architects that wrote the report that the city be formally abandoned, with a dissenting voice saying that it could be rebuilt but would require starting from the ground up. Debate over the issue would consume Congress for months.

  • May 27: Congress approves, by the narrowest of margins, Rufus King’s appointment as Vice President. That afternoon, he made a speech to the Senate, where he promised to “uphold the ideals set forth in the Hartford Resolution, and make sure that the current administration not ignore the political convictions of nearly half the country who uphold the Hamiltonian belief that a strong government would make for a strong Republic.” King went on to champion the idea of “balance between the Republican and Federalist,” that the two sides must work together to ensure future growth and success of the United States.

  • June: Congress is deadlocked. Federalists have successfully allied with some Democratic-Republican congressmen from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Vermont to block several key pieces of DR legislation, including a decision about the nation's capital, and the passage of the Wisconsin Treaty, and Britain is threatening to pull support and force both sides back to the negotiating table.

  • June 9-13: President Crawford holds a summit meeting with Vice President King and leading congressmen from both parties. In the end, they draft what becomes known as the “Grand Compromise of 1817,” (historians usually just refer to it as the “Grand Compromise”). First, the nation’s capital would relocate, not back to Washington or to another preexisting city, but instead to Ohio, near the settlement that was known at the time as Cincinnati, and be carved out of territory in Ohio and Kentucky, straddling the Ohio River. Second, the Federalists and Western DR’s would drop their opposition to the Wisconsin Treaty. In exchange, the Administration and the DR’s agreed to accept some of the Hartford Resolution: Establishing constitutional amendments that would 1) redefine the Presidency to a single 6 year term, 2) require a new President to come from a different state than his predecessor, 3) requiring 2/3rd majority vote to declare offensive war or to admit new states to the Union, and 4) limiting trade embargos to 120 days. A notable win for the DR’s was the dropping of a provision calling for the end of the 3/5s compromise in the constitution.

  • June 20: The first of the Grand Compromise bills passes Congress and is signed into Law: the establishment of the new capital at the site of Cincinnati, Ohio, now known as Franklin, District of Washington. The legislation also stated that the District of Columbia was to be dissolved, and returned to its original states of Maryland and Virginia. The Franklin Commission was established, with a mandate to have a viable plan for the city within 1 year.

  • June 23: Passage of the Wisconsin Treaty.

  • June 27: Passage of the 13th Amendment, which redefined the Presidential term to 1 six year period and bared reelection. This amendment further stipulated that the next Presidential election would occur in 1822 instead of 1820, and that the current sitting President would be unable to run for reelection.

  • June 30: Passage of the 14th Amendment, which stated that each President must come from a state different from that of his predecessor.

  • September 15: Passage of the 15th Amendment, which stated that Congress would require a 2/3rds majority vote to declare an offensive war or to admit new states into the Union.


  • January 12: Ohio becomes the 14th state to ratify the 13th Amendment, making it officially law.

  • February 13: Kentucky is the 14th state to ratify the 14th Amendment, making it officially law.

  • April 14: The Franklin Commission approves of an official plan for the new capital city in the District of Washington. It called for the city to be developed on both sides of the river, unlike old Washington City, with the new “Federal Congress Hall” to be built on the north side of the river, and the new “Washington House” to be built on the south side of the river, with a central avenue that would eventually be bridged connecting the two sides of the city. The plan also had distinct locations for several major departments, including the Treasury, State, and War departments, the Post Master’s Headquarters, the Patent Office, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, and possible locations for a national chapel, university and cemetery. The plan included specific architectural plans for the Federal Congress Hall and Washington House. The plan was received with mixed reviews. Some felt that if implemented properly, the city would be far grander than Washington City and better rival its European counterparts. Others were concerned over the idea of bridging the Ohio River, a feat that had yet to be accomplished. The commissioners stated that engineering technology would soon be able to create such a bridge, and that in the meantime, ferry’s could handle the traffic between the “executive bank” and the “legislative bank.”

  • April 18: Federalist congressmen from New York propose the creation of a “federal bureau of improvements,” to build and maintain avenues of interstate commerce and help link the country together. The National/Cumberland Road had just been completed in August, and several members of the party felt that a network of these roads could help improve commerce across the nation. And with the government now set to move West by 1829, this should be done by a concerted federal effort. Eastern and Southern Democratic Republicans (mostly just referred to as Republicans at this point) were opposed to the plan, or at least its potentially vast scope. However, Western Democratic Republicans (who were starting to just call themselves Democrats) widely supported the plan, as they hoped it would improve commerce and growth in their respective states. Republicans and some Democrats fight the bill, and the issue will spill over into the congressional elections that year.

  • May 1: Ground is broken on the first streets in Franklin to minimal fanfare.

  • May 13: Congress approves the Franklin Commission’s plan for the capital, and call for it to be completed by March of 1829, so that the new President after the 1828 elections could take up residence. In the meantime, Philadelphia would remain the seat of government.

  • October 11: The Franklin Commission presents plans for the “Hamilton Building” (Treasury), the “Jefferson Building” (State), and the “Knox Building” (War). Plans for lesser buildings were still forthcoming.


  • February 22: President Crawford suffers a stroke. He will eventually recovery, though never to his pre-stroke state, but he is largely incapacitated for most of the next year and a half.

  • March 1: Moving to prevent Vice President King from taking the full reigns of power, President Crawford asks Henry Clay to help run cabinet meetings and help him with his duties so that King won’t be able to and so Crawford won’t be asked to resign. Clay happily agrees.

  • March 8: The Adam-Onis Treaty is signed, establishing the “permanent” boundaries between the United States and Spain (same as per OTL)

  • March 10: Clay is introduced to the Cabinet as “Acting First Secretary for the President”

  • May 1: Ground is broken on the Federal Congress Hall in Franklin. Vice President King and secretary of state Monroe are in attendance.

  • May 5: Local businessmen and landowners in the District of Washington meet with Federal officials, and officially charter the City of Franklin, to establish a city council and other city services. Isaac G. Burnett is elected to a four year term as Mayor of Franklin.

  • May 17: The State of Maryland holds an auction to dispose of its portion of the former District of Columbia. The son of a wealthy Virginia planter, Hiram Claymore, buys most of the land, including where the old President’s House and Capitol stood. Claymore announces the creation of the new “Claymore Capital Plantation,” with plans to build his manor house inside the ruined walls of the old President’s House.

  • August: The last of the Congressional elections are concluded, and the returns show no real growth for the Federalists. However, in the West, “Democrat” candidates largely beat out Republican candidates, showing a clear split forming between the frontier states and those back East. While the Democrats and Federalists do not exactly get along, the Democrats become kingmakers in Congress, with both sides wooing for their votes. Usually the Republicans win, but on certain matters, especially pertaining to interstate commerce, western settlement, and anything related to Ghent, the Democrats tend to vote with the Federalists.
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Chapter 2: 1820s


  • January 17: Passage of the “Federal Bureau of Improvements Act” by Congress. President Crawford signs the bill three days later. The Bill established the Federal Bureau of Improvements, under the purview of the Secretary of the Treasury William Jones. The law gave the FBI the power to maintain existing national roads, and to construct new ones with Congressional approval. Construction and maintenance of canals was also included, though no national canals existed at the time.

  • April 19: The FBI announces a plan to extend the National Road from Wheeling, Virginia, to the new District of Washington.

  • April 27: The District of Maine is accepted as a State, breaking away from Massachusetts.

  • May 20: The FBI proposes a plan to Congress to establish a Second National Road, from Cumberland to Boston, and a Third National Road, from Cumberland to Charleston. This proposal will languish for some time in Congress, as various business interests and owners of private toll roads that linked to the National Road at or near Cumberland resisted the Federal Road Project.

  • July 4: Ground is broken on “Washington House,” the new executive mansion in Franklin. President Crawford and Vice President King are both in attendance. The city is still not much more than scattered construction sites. The North end of Union Avenue has been cleared, but the South Bank still needs work. The outer shell of the Congress Hall are nearing completion. Builders think it is still a year or more from being finished.

  • October 13: The Missouri Compromise: Slavery would be allowed in Missouri, and all territory that lay south of its northern border. The move is unpopular with the Federalists, and also some Democrats, but they are split on the issue of slavery.


  • February: Vice President King gets into a huge fight with President Crawford and “First Secretary” Clay over Clay’s presence on the Cabinet, saying it was unconstitutional and meddling of the legislative branch in the executive. King demands that either Clay resign from Congress or the President appoint a new “First Secretary” who was independent of the legislature. Crawford refuses, and so King vows to make it an issue the Federalists will fight about.

  • March 19: Thanks to political maneuvering by Vice President King, a vote of no-confidence is held against Speaker/First Secretary Clay. The Federalists unanimously vote in favor of Clay’s removal. The Republicans vote against it to a man. The vote ultimately came down to the western Democrats, solidifying their role as kingmaker. In the end, Clay is kept in office, but only barely. The move greatly diminishes any political power King has left.

  • June 1: Vice President Rufus King resigns in protest to Clay’s continued presence on the Cabinet, declaring once again before the press that he feels it is unconstitutional. A proposed 16th amendment, to formalize the First Secretary position, is floated by some Republican congressmen, but it doesn’t get off the ground: everyone knows that Clay’s position is extraordinary and temporary. He only had that spot to prevent Crawford from having to resign due to his health.


  • Election:
    • Republicans nominate Henry Clay as their Presidential candidate, with Treasury Secretary William Jones as his running mate.

    • Federalists nominate John Cotton Smith of Connecticut, with Robert Harper of Maryland as Vice President.

    • Western Democrats were split, with about half supporting Clay, and the other half supporting Thomas Worthington of Ohio (no formal Vice President was nominated).

    • Final electoral result:
      • Federalists: 98

      • Republicans: 140

      • Dems: 36
    • Clay wins, but only with a bare absolute majority. If the Democrats had taken one more or two more states, or if the Federalists had been able to win all of Maine and Maryland, the election would have ended up in the House of Representatives.

    • The Senate is:
      • Federalist: 15

      • Republicans: 24

      • Democrats: 9
    • The House of Representatives:
      • Federalist: 85

      • Republicans: 111

      • Democrats: 30
  • Slavery is now the key issue growing between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans support it, and Democrats oppose it, and side with the federalists on the issue. In the House, the Republicans still retain full control in such votes. However, in the Senate, the Federalist-Democrat anti-slavery alliance trumps the Republicans.

  • Also in this election, thirty-six year old Alexander Hamilton, Jr. is elected as a congressman from New York.


  • March 4: Henry Clay is sworn in as the nation’s 6th President, with William Jones as Vice President.

  • March 10: Philip Barbour (R) of Virginia is elected as Speaker of the House. The next day, President Clay shocks everyone when he invites Speaker Barbour to attend weekly cabinet meetings as the new “First Secretary.” In the Senate, former Vice President and now Senator from New York Rufus King immediately cries foul.

  • March 27: Arkansas-Iowa-Kanasaw Act passes Congress, dividing up the Upper Louisiana territory into Arkansas Territory, Kanasaw Territory, and Iowa Territory, with the remainder remaining Upper Louisiana Territory.

  • April 10: President Clay announces his support for the old proposed 16th amendment, establishing his precedent of having the House Speaker as part of Presidential Cabinet. Federalists vow opposition, whereas the Democrats are more aloof. Months of debate set in.

  • April 19: Congress approves of the FBI’s plan for the Second and Third National Roads.

  • May 1: Isaac Burnett is reelected as Mayor of Franklin.

  • June 8: The FBI announces plans to partner with the states of New York and Pennsylvania for two separate canal projects: The Erie Canal in New York, which had been languishing on the drawing board since the end of the War of 1812, and a newly proposed Ohio-Susquehanna Canal in Pennsylvania. The second canal would help connect the nation’s new capital at Franklin with the eastern waterways.

  • July 2: The British formally reorganize territory in the west that they’d taken from the United States as a result of the Treaties of Ghent and Wisconsin. Michigan Province, which had been operating on it’s own, independently of Upper Canada, since 1818, was renamed “East Michigan, and consisted only of the lower Michigan Peninsula, and the upper Michigan Peninsula was combined with the territory ceded in the Wisconsin Treaty to create the Province of East Michigan. The Crown also formally denied a request from those living in “Upper New York,” which had been administered by Upper Canada since the annexation, that they be set up as a separate province.

  • October 11: Congress approves the funds for the FBI to build the Ohio-Susquehanna Canal, but does not concede the funds for the Erie Canal in New York, largely out of political infighting between the Federalist in New York and Republicans in the South.

  • November 1: Tennessee’s legislature approves a state law mandating that that state’s presidential electors be selected individually based on Congressional district. After the last election, there’d been quite an uproar, as the popular vote in Tennessee had been closely divided between Democrat and Republican, but the state’s winner-takes-all method gave all 12 of Tennessee’s electoral votes to the Republicans.

  • January 29: By narrow margins, the congress passes the 16th amendment, establishing the position of “First Secretary.” The bill is sent out to the states, where it will take many more years before it passes. In the meantime, Speaker Barbour continues to attend cabinet meetings.

  • April 19: Federalist congressmen from Massachusetts introduce legislation to rescind the 1820 Missouri Compromise, by banning slavery in all of the territories. This is decried by the Republican majority and does not reach a vote. However, it is notable that several Democratic congressmen voiced their support. On the issue of slavery, the Federalists and Democrats are becoming more and more alligned.

  • May 3: Virginia is the first state to adopt the 16th amendment.

  • May 15: Kentucky follows Tennessee’s lead in removing “winner-takes-all” from the Presidential electors system.

  • Congressional elections
    • House
      • Federalists: 81 (-4)

      • Republicans: 105 (-6)

      • Democrats: 40 (+10)
    • Senate
      • Federalists: 15 (0)

      • Republicans: 21 (-3)

      • Democrats: 12 (+3)
    • In a growing trend, formerly Republican seats in New England and the mid-Atlantic states are shifting towards the Democrats, as the opposition to slavery slowly grows.

    • There is an attempt by the Federalists to oust Speaker/First Secretary Barbour, Getting half the Democratic congressmen to side with them, in a vote 101 to 125. Republicans are very rattled, and are growing more worried about how much longer they can keep control of the government.

  • March 9: Work is completed on the Congress Hall in Franklin. It is expected that Washington House will be completed by the end of 1827 or early 1827. Both sections of Union Avenue have been cleared and paving started. The basic structure of the ferry docks on either side of the Ohio River is also complete and already in use. Construction has started on “Congressional Lodging,” a series of modest to not-so-modest town homes to be built near the Congress Hall.

  • April 11: Ohio does away with “winner-takes-all” in the presidential elector selection.

  • May 1: President Clay formally proposes the establishment of a national university to be located in Franklin.

  • May 27: Congress approves Clay’s university plan, and charters the “University of the United States.” The UUS will set up temporarily in Philadelphia, while its newly appointed leaders work to secure funds from both the Federal government and private investors. First classes will not be held until 1827, and the University won’t make the move to Franklin until the start of the 1830 school year.

  • June 2: Foundation of the “Westward Colonizing Committee,” a group of Southern planters and businessmen who want to encourage southerners to move west into Arkansas and Kanasaw Territories to help eventually create more slave states. In the House, Republicans have the upper hand, but in the senate, even with Republican control, the balanace is 13 free, 11 slave.

  • September 9: Indiana does away with “winner-takes-all” presidential elector selection.

  • Congressional election
    • House
      • Federalists: 81 (0)

      • Republicans: 99 (-6)

      • Democrats: 46 (+6)
    • Senate
      • Federalists: 15 (0)

      • Republicans: 19 (-2)

      • Democrats: 14 (+2)
    • This election continues a trend started in 1822, where more and more Western and Northeastern Republican seats switch over to being Democratic seats, in both the House and Senate. The Federalists see no change in numbers. Many now openly speculate if any party’s candidate can outright win the election due to happen in two years.
  • June 10: The extension of the First National Road to Franklin is completed

  • November 18: Vermont does away with “winner-takes-all” presidential elector selection.

  • April 15: Pennsylvania does away with winner takes all presidential elector selection.

  • May 1: Isaac Burnett elected reelected again as Mayor of Franklin. Finishing touches are being put on the city’s new federal buildings, and it is expected to be ready for the official move in day, March 4 1828 (In reality, federal workers will start moving things to the city during the summer and fall of 1828).

  • September 1: ground is broken on the first building to eventually make up the campus of the University of the United States in Franklin.


  • August 1: The members of the Federal bureaucracy begin the task of packing up and moving the capital from Philadelphia to Franklin. It will take until April of 1829 to have most everything and everyone relocates, in the midst of a tumultuous Presidential election.

  • Congressional election
    • House
      • Federalists: 81 (0)

      • Republicans: 87 (-12)

      • Democrats: 58 (+12)
    • Senate
      • Federalists: 15 (0)

      • Republicans: 17 (-2)

      • Democrats: 16 (+2)
    • Continuing the trend yet again, the Republican seats in the west continue to fall to the Democrats. The “Democratic-Republican Bloc” still controls the House, but with Slavery a growing issue, the Democratic Congressmen tend to side with the Federalists on those issues, shutting out the Republicans, creating a growing tension in the South. In the Senate, the Democrats are now the second largest party, and could actually take the largest party slot by 1830 or 1832.

    • Support for the Federalist-led effort to ban slavery in all the territories and rescind the Missouri compromise is popular among many Democrats, especially those from Ohio, Illinois, and Indiana.
  • Presidential Election.
    • Federalists nominate popular New York Senator Alexander Hamilton, Jr. as their presidential candidate, with the governor of New Hampshire Hiram Gillet as his running mate.

    • Republicans nominate John C. Calhoun of South Carolina and Congressman Geoffrey Billings of Maryland as his running mate.

    • Democrats renominate Senator Thomas Worthington of Ohio as presidential candidate, with up-and-coming Congressman Samuel Luther of Indiana as Vice President.

    • Results: (Total electors: 274, required to win: 138)
      • Federalists: 99

      • Republicans: 108

      • Democrats: 67
    • With no absolute winner, and the Federalists and Republicans in a near tie, the election is sent to the House of Representatives, where a decision will be made in early 1829.

    • The Democrats now find themselves as kingmakers in a way they had never been before. And to complicate matters, the party was divided as to what to do. It was clear that Worthington would not be president. It would either be Hamilton or Calhoun. Delegates from the northern states of Illinois (1), Indiana (3), and Ohio (11 - 3 belong to the Republicans), are all staunchly anti-slavery. Minority Democrats from New York (2), Vermont (2), and Maine (4), are also against slavery (total of 23, half the Democratic Congressional caucus). The rest, from slave-states, are much more mixed on the position. Some dislike Calhoun for other reasons (Calhoun has split with outgoing President Clay on FBI related projects, all popular in the West, and some consider his stance on states-rights too extreme).

  • January: While much of the bureaucracy has already relocated to Franklin, the members of the outgoing Congress meet in Philadelphia to wrangle with their most important decision: who will become succeed Henry Clay and become the 7th President of the United States. 13 states would be required for a candidate to win. In the first several ballots, each state backed their party candidate, and it wasn’t until the 9th ballot that Worthington quietly bowed out, and by the 15th ballot he recieved zero states, with 12 backing Hamilton, 11 backing Calhoun, and 2 in deadlock (Tennessee and Kentucky). At this point, the backroom dealmaking became the center of attention. The big prize: who would be First Secretary. Precedent and election results said that a Republican should have the position. However, the Democrats wanted it, and either of the other parties could make that happen, with there being 81 Federalists and 87 Republicans.

  • January 29: The 37th ballot is cast in the House of Representatives, with 14 states siding with Hamilton vs. 11 siding with Calhoun. In the end the Democrats were given several key positions in exchange for their support of Hamilton: the First Secretary/Speakership in the House, one other major cabinet position (likely State or War), and Federalist support for continued westward infrastructure and settlement. It had been suggested that Vice President-elect Hiram Gillett resign after taking office and allow Thomas Worthington to take the slot, but that idea never got enough support. The southern Republicans immediately cry foul at the Democrats for their trechery, Calhoun in particular, esepcially after word gets out that Henry Clay had helped convince the Kentucky delegation to side with Hamilton. Clay, who had grown apart from Calhoun, had been quiet during the election up till this point.

  • March 4: In a day of great pomp, but also some mild tension, Alexander Hamilton, Jr. took the oath of office in the new capital city of Franklin on the steps of the new Federal Congress Hall, marking both his inauguration as the 7th President, and also the inauguration of Franklin as the new capital. In his inaugural address, President Hamilton lays out his plan to have a “unity government,” pulling in talent from more than just his own party, a statement widely (and correctly) perceived as a nod to the Democrats who helped him take the presidency. Hamilton also announces plans to increase westward settlement, to solve the Oregon Country issue with the British, and to fight to slow the spread of slavery when appropriate. This last bit was particularly divisive, and would set the tone for how the Republican-held South would react to the whole of Hamilton’s presidency.

  • March 15: With Federalist support, Samuel Luther is elected as Speaker of the House. While the Federalists at this point do not officially support the 16th amendment formally establishing the position of First Secretary, President Hamilton extends an invitation to Speaker Luther to attend cabinet meetings at Washington House twice a month.

  • March 17: President Hamilton announces his cabinet, surprising everyone with appointing Thomas Worthington as Secretary of War. There are disgruntled Federalists who were not party to the “Devil’s Bargain” who feel that Hamilton is selling the party’s core ideals down river. At the same time, Republicans feel robbed, and Senator Calhoun, who still has his seat in the Senate, is an outspoken critic of the Hamilton administration whole Devil’s Bargain. He calls the Democrats traitors (especially those from slave states).

  • June 1: Settlers living in Arkansas who moved there under the aegis of the WCC petition Congress to split the territory in two, and for Eastern Arkansas to become a state. In actuality, they want to get statehood for the western half of the territory too, as a separate slave-holding state. Slavery and statehood are once again entering the fore of American politics.

  • June 20: President Hamilton, with the director of the FBI, announces an ambitious plan to expand the National Road Network and build more canals. First on this expansion is extending the First National Road from Franklin to St. Louis, primarily in more northern, free states.

  • July-October: The Arkansas Debate consumes Congress for most of the Summer and Fall. Federalist and most Democratic Congressmen do not support statehood for Arkansas, especially under the proposal that it be split in two and a separate territory and later state be made out of the western counties. The Republicans refuse to back Hamilton’s expansion plan of the National Road Network in the North, wanting instead for that money to be used to expand the Third National Road down to Savannah, and eventually create a Fourth National Road that would go along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans. After months of back and forth deliberating and fighting, the Arkansas Compromise was reached: Arkansas would be split in two, with the eastern half becoming the State of Arkansas and the western half becoming Jefferson Territory, and in exchange, the First National Road would extend all the way out to St. Louis, staying in Indiana and Illinois.

  • November 1: President Hamilton revives the old tradition of the president delivering an annual “state of the Union” address to Congress in person, something that had been carried out by Washington and Adams but discontinued by Presidents Jefferson, Madison

  • December 10: Arkansas becomes the 25th State.
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Nice to see this TL resurrected. With "my" capitol, at Cincinnati, I feel a sentimental attachment.:)

It was just too cool of and idea to let go. At some point I hope to have an actual map of the city of Franklin.

Super interested in this. I was wondering if you would ever make a TL based on it. Good job so far.

Thanks! I've been working on it off and on since August. I'm actually nearing the 1860s on it, I'll be posting the next few decades soon. Working in some interesting twists I think :)
Chapter 3: 1830s


  • Census: The population of the United States is now 12,821,436 according to official records.
    • New York remains the most populous state (1,919, 231), followed by Pennsylvania (1,329,142) and then Virginia (1,244,854)
  • Congressional Election:
    • House of Representatives
      • Federalists: 79 (-2)

      • Republican: 90 (+3* - Arkansas new delegate)

      • Democrat: 58 (0)
    • Senate
      • Federalist: 15 (0)

      • Republican: 18 (+1)

      • Democrat: 17 (+1)
    • The Republicans attempt a revolt against the Devil’s Bargain and try and replace Speaker Samuel Luther, and in the end are just 7 votes shy.

    • The next election will see a much larger House, as several states will see their Congressional delegations nearly double thanks to the 1830 census.

    • Former President Henry Clay is elected, to the shock of all, as a Democrat, saying that he could no longer abide in the Republican Party now that it was dominated by Calhounites.
  • Cherokee Suit: Starting in the late 1820s, the state of Georgia had started passing laws to strip Cherokees of their legal rights, in an effort to make them want to leave the state under voluntary removal. By 1830, the tribal leaders had had enough and brought suit against the State of Georgia to be heard by the Supreme Court. The decision

  • June 1: Arkansas becomes the 16th state to ratify the 16th Amendment, making it law. Speaker Luther is officially conferred the title “First Secretary” and given a permanent seat as part of the Presidential cabinet.

  • September 30: Senator Calhoun introduces a bill calling for the forced removal of the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, and Chickasaw nations into the sparsely populated Kanasaw Territory. The bill is defeated, 20-30.

  • February 12: The Supreme Court rules in Cherokee Nation vs. Georgia.
    • Close, 5-4 decision.

    • Court rules in favor of the Cherokee Nation, saying that Georgia did not have the right to strip away the rights of people living within its territory, especially those of Soverign, dependent nations like the Cherokee.

    • Also states, however, that the current “dual jurisdiction” of the State of Georgia and the Cherokee Nation is untenable in the long term, and called on the Federal Government to come up with a more permanent solution by the end of the decade.

    • Georgia in particular, but the “Republican South” in general is in an uproar over the ruling.
  • February 26: Georgia Governor Clarence Hinds announces that the State of Georgia would not enforce the ruling of the Supreme Court, and went on to announce new legislation that would establish new “white counties” and ignore the existince and land claims of “non-citizen residents” in Northwest Georgia. The Cherokee Nation will cry foul and request action from Franklin.

  • March 9: Armed Cherokee attack Georgia militiamen attempting to seize property from Cherokee farmers.

  • March 18: President Hamilton orders troops to Northwest Georgia to keep the peace between Cherokee and Georgia Militias, and to also see to it that Georgia adheres to the Supreme Court ruling. He also states it is now the number one priority of the Federal Government to find that “more permanent solution” the Supreme Court called for.

  • Late March - December: “The Cherokee Crisis” AKA “The Burning Summer”:
    • Violent attacks occur against Cherokees and other tribes throughout the South.

    • Federal troops arrive in Georgia in mid April, and there are several close calls avoiding a firefight with Georgia militia.

    • Republican-controlled legislatures call for action against “federal aggression.”

    • People talk openly of armed conflict, and there is talk of secession.

    • In July, Georgia Militia is able to sneak past Federal patrols and sets fire to the Council House and other buildings in New Echota.

    • In late July, delegates from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi meet in Savannah to discuss the crisis.

    • August 11: The Savannah Declaration announced:
      • Federal support for the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes was untenable.

      • Demanded Federal troops leave those states by September 1st

      • Stated that if no Federal legislation for removal was passed by September 31st, that the three states would draft their own removal policy and force the tribes out themselves.

      • Appointed 10 delegates, headed by Georgia Senator Giles Brandon, to go to Franklin and demand action.

      • Stated that any further Federal interference with state Indian policy would force the three states to “reassess their relationship with the Union.”
    • August 29: The Brandon Delegation arrives in Franklin. President Hamilton initially refuses to grant them a meeting, but they do have plenty of sympathetic Republican (and some Democratic) Congressmen available to allow their cause to be heard. Federalists organize anti-Removal meetings.

    • September 1: The First Deadline of the Savannah Declaration comes and goes, but Federal troops remain in Cherokee Country, and the Georgians, Alabamians, and Mississippians do not try to force them out.

    • September 15: President Hamilton agrees to a meeting with Senator Brandon.

    • September 17: President Hamilton announces a conference between the three states of the Savannah Convention, the Federal Government, and representatives of the Cherokee Nation, who would be allowed to negotiate for the other tribes caught up in the dispute.

    • October 1: The Franklin Indian Conference begins at Washington House. The negotiations will drag on into November, and break down twice before a compromise is reached.
  • December 9: Franklin Treaty is announced. No one is really happy, but it does bring about a peace.
    • The Federal Government would set up two new Federal Districts, The Cherokee-Creek District in what was Northwest Georgia and Northeast Alabama, and the Choctaw-Chickasaw District in North-Central Mississippi. The Federal Government would pay the states for their land.

    • Natives living outside the districts would have three choices:
      • Relocate to the districts, with compensation from the Federal Government

      • Relocate to Kanasaw Territory, with compensation.

      • Stay on your land, but forfeit tribal citizenship and submit to local and federal laws.
    • The four tribes were officially recognized as “Sovereign, Dependent-Nations,” free to govern themselves internally without interference, but permanently allied to the United States.

    • Future relations with the four tribes (and in theory all other tribes), would now be handled by the State Department, under the Office of Indian Relations. Each tribe would be allowed to appoint and send a “diplomatic minister” to represent the tribal interests in Franklin.

    • The treaty is hailed as a success by the Tribal leaders, but is unpopular with many, as it still created a removal policy, albeit a less harsh form than originally called for.

    • The Republican leadership approve of the treaty, grudgingly, but many rank-and-file party members, and those in the state legislatures, are very upset by it.

    • Democrats are, as with many issues, divided, but nearly 2/3rds think the treaty gave too much to the natives.

    • The Federalists by and large are very pleased with the result.

  • Congressional Election
    • House of Representatives:
      • Federalists: 82

      • Republican: 130

      • Democrat: 97
    • Senate
      • Federalist: 14 (-1)

      • Republican: 20 (+2)

      • Democrat: 16 (-1)
    • The election is hailed as a resounding success for the Republicans, who now have a clear lead if not an absolute majority. This is seen, correctly, as a direct response to the Cherokee Crisis.

    • After the new Congress meets for the first time, there is a big toss up for the Speakership. Party Democrats and the Federalists continue to back Samuel Luther, but “anti-Party Democrats” are wooed by the Republicans to support Virginia representative Thomas Pickering as Speaker and First Secretary. At first, it was 140 votes for Pickering, 147 for Luther, and 22 anti-Party Democrats refusing to support either candidate. After several ballots, 5 anti-Party Dems and 3 Party Dems switched their vote, and Pickering won the vote, much to the chagrin of President Hamilton and the rest of the Presidential administration.

    • Pickering was an outspoken critic of Hamilton, as much as Calhoun, and would lead to total deadlock in Franklin the last two years of Hamilton’s presidency.

  • May 10: Professor Frederick Preston of the University of the United States proposed a new education model to help further education, especially out West. He proposes that the state or possibly federal government set up schools (and also institutions to train teachers for those schools), and that they be set up at three levels: Primary, for ages 5-12, Secondary, for ages 13-15, and Tertiary, for 16-18. Then, those who could would be funneled into a college or university. Preston proposed a pyramid system, where a set amount of Primary schools would feed into Secondary schools, and then those would feed into certain Tertiary schools, and then those in turn would feed into “system” colleges and universities. Preston, a respected professor originally from Columbia University, is given the opportunity by the Franklin City Council to try this plan in the nation’s capital, partnering with the University of the United States as well.

  • September 1: Jefferson Territory is granted statehood as the 25th state in the Union. The Slave/Free state balance has now been restored, with 13 free, 13 slave.

  • Congressional Election
    • House of Representatives:
      • Federalists: 70 (-12)

      • Republican: 142 (+12* addition of Jefferson)

      • Democrat: 98 (+1)
    • Senate
      • Federalist: 13 (-1)

      • Republican: 24 (+4)

      • Democrat: 15 (-1)
    • The Republicans increase their almost majority, primarily at the expense of the Federalists. First Secretary Pickering keeps his position.
  • Presidential Election
    • Federalists nominate Hamilton’s Vice President, Hiram Gillet, as their Presidential candidate, and tap Hamilton’s Secretary of State, John Q. Adams, as their VP.

    • Republicans renominate John C. Calhoun as their Presidential candidate, with Georgia Senator Giles Brandon as VP.

    • Democrats nominate Samuel Luther for the Presidency, and Ohio Governor Blane Cartwright for the Vice Presidency.

    • The unpopular Franklin Treaty is an issue of the campaign, as is expansion of slavery and the admission of new states, along with possible intervention in Mexican Texas (currently simmering but not in full-blown rebellion), among other things.

    • Results:
      • Total electors: 362

      • Required to win: 182

      • Federalist: 80

      • Republican: 157

      • Democrat: 125
    • Once again, no one party is able to secure the Presidency outright, and the election is once again sent to the House of Representatives. There is some talk of amending the constitution to avoid this sort of thing happening in the future.

  • January: Negotiations behind closed doors and in the halls of Congress as to who would ultimately be declared the winner of the 1834 election. The Republicans have the largest single delegation in Congress, but combined, the Federalists and Democrats outnumber them and could more than make a majority. At first, the Federalists seem confident that they will be able to support Democratic candidate Samuel Luther and lock the Republicans out of Washington House. However, a number of Southern Democrats were elected on an “anti-Party” platform, and do not like Samuel Luther. Calhoun goes after these representatives from Tennessee and Kentucky and elsewhere to try and secure the 25 votes he would need to gain the Presidency.

  • February 2: In a vote of 156 in favor to 150 with 3 abstaining, John C. Calhoun is selected as the winner of the 1834 election. Many bitter feelings will seize the Democratic party, as pro-Luther members feel the party and the nation had been cheated by the anti-Luther members who handed the Presidency to Calhoun. Arguments, brawls, and even a few illegal duels are sparked by the results of this vote.

  • March 4: President Calhoun is sworn in as the 8th President of the United States.

  • April 11: Republican congressmen propose an amendment to the constitution that would allow the Presidential election to be decided by the candidate that wins the most electoral votes, even if it is not an absolute majority, instead of sending such elections to the House. The 70 Federalist delegates vow to fight the amendment. The Democrats, predictably, are split on Northern/Southern lines. The Republicans only need to to sway 13 votes.

  • September 14: Congress passes the 17th Amendment, 105 to 205. The Republican dominated states of the South will all approve the amendment by the end of the year. A remaining 5 states are required to pass the amendment, which will take the better part of the next year and a half to complete.

  • October 5: Liberal revolutionaries in Mexico launch a successful coup against the military cadre running the country, and promise to restore the constitution from the previous decade. This news will help stall Anglo-Texan efforts at open rebellion, much to the consternation of President Calhoun, who was hoping to launch a war to help “free” Texas.

  • Congressional election:
    • House of Representatives:
      • Federalists: 73 (+3)

      • Republican: 132 (-10)

      • Democrat: 105 (+7)
    • Senate
      • Federalist: 13 (0)

      • Republican: 23 (-1)

      • Democrat: 16 (+1)
    • The returns of the election aren’t particularly surprising. The Federalists remain in distant third, over 30 delegates behind the Democrats and 60 behind the Republicans. That said, the Republicans lost 10 seats to the Democrats, implying that the 1834 boost was a temporary reaction to the end of Hamilton’s presidnecy and Samuel Luther’s actions in that administration. Most “anti-Party” Democrats lost their reelection attempts as well.
  • February 1: President Calhoun announces that the Office of Indian Relations would be meeting with the Indian diplomatic ministers to renegotiate the terms of Franklin Treaty. Under consideration is the reduction of the “federal districts,” increasing federal oversight of the “dependent nations.” This is initially met with a lot of resistance from the tribes, but it is widely celebrated by the Republican leadership in the South.

  • March 10: The “Texas Convention” breaks down, as about half of the delegates favor independence, with the other half favoring negotiating with the new (if unstable) liberal government in Mexico City.

  • April 9: Stephen Austin and other “pro-Independence” Texans arrive in Franklin to meet with President Calhoun. The Mexican ambassador is outraged that the American president would meet with the “rebel elements” destabilizing Mexico’s frontier.

  • April 31: Delegates from Mexico City arrive in Texas to meet with those from the convention that had voted against independence, to try and work out a deal that would help ease the tensions in Texas. The following day, Austin would leave Franklin with secret assurances from Calhoun that any insurrection Austin helped lead would be supported by the United States.

  • May 7: The FBI proposes setting up a government-sponsored/operated railway, at least as a test for its feasibility. The Republican controlled Congress is skeptical at best, but there is growing support from Western Democratic congressmen.

  • June 1: The Texas Accords are signed between local Texan leaders and the delegates from Mexico City. Texas would be set up as its own governmental region and elect its own government and have representation in Mexico City. Austin and his supporters scoff at the Accords and announce a second Convention to be held at Nacogdoches in September, to again discuss independence.

  • June 15: Anthony Benton and fellow anti-Independence Texans meet in Franklin-on-the-Brazos to set up a new provincial government for Mexican Texas.

  • July 10: “Benton’s Congress” approves of the Texas Provincial Constitution, and sends it off to Mexico city for approval. Again, Austin and his supporters blow off the entire affair.

  • August 27: Officials in Mexico City approve the Texas Constitution, and send word back to Benton.

  • September 5: Austin opens the “Second Texas Convention,” in Nacogdoches to discuss independence from Mexico. Despite a positive start for Austin, things soon stall as even some of his supporters now question if Independence is wise, since there is growing support for the pro-Mexican “Constitutionalists” in Franklin-on-the-Brazos.

  • September 7: Anti-Constitutionalists in Mexico City launch a counter-coup against the liberals, led by a previously minor army officer, styling himself General Raul Guerra. Many members of the Constitutionalist Government are killed, but their leader and his immediate advisors are able to flee North.

  • September 21: News of the approval of the constitution reaches Texas, and Benton announces that elections would soon be held.

  • September 27: News of the counter-coup reaches Texas, and throws everything into chaos

  • October 2: Austin’s Second Texas Convention declares independence for the “Free Republic of Texas,” claiming all of Texas as defined by Mexico.

  • By the end of year, shots have been fired between Austin’s rebels and Benton’s Constitutionalists. In the broader picture, the Mexican Constitutionalists are rallying around President Manuel Ortega to try and fight General Guerra. Mexico is descending into full-blown civil war at the same time that Texas is having it’s own mini civil war. President Calhoun makes a series of speeches in early December calling for America to intervene, which is met supportively by Republicans, but is deeply opposed by the Federalists and many Democrats.

  • February 7: Congress approves a charter for the FBI’s “United States Railway Company,” with plans for a “test line” between Boston and New York. Construction will begin that spring.

  • March 8: Major battle between Constitutionalists and the FRT forces. Despite suffering heavy losses, the Constitutionalists fend off the attack from the FRT.

  • April 1: The Calhoun Administration, with the Office of Indian Relations, announces the closure of the Choctaw-Chickasaw District. The tribes there will relocate to the Cherokee-Creek District, being renamed the Native Nations District. There is much resistance to this, and about a third of the locals choose to stay, with the rest going either to the NND or to Kanasaw.

  • April 10: Battle of Chihuahua: Constitutionalists are able to beat back a major push by the Imperialists lead by General Guerra, lending credibility to the Ortega Government in Santa Fe.

  • April 15: Republican Congressmen propose recognizing the Free Republic and declaring war on Mexico, to the outcry of the Federalists, and even some Democrats.

  • April 19: Federalists counter the Republican proposal, suggesting that the US declare war on the Guerra faction of the Mexican civil war, and maybe use American aide as a way to negotiate FRT independence.

  • May 1: After much negotiation, the Americans pass a resolution of support for the Constitutionalists, and send negotiators to make a ceasefire in Texas and others to Santa Fe to negotiate with Ortega.

  • May 10: President Calhoun signs an order calling for a call up of volunteers to support the Constitutionalists in Mexico.

  • June 27: Texans sign a cease-fire, and Ortega’s government agrees to negotiate once the conflict is over with the Imperialists.

  • By the end of the year, The Constitutionalists, with American assistance, have pushed the Imperialists back farther south. But the casualty amounts have been mounting, and there is open talk in Franklin at Washington House and the halls of Congress that the government may need to institute conscription. Something that the Federalists are vehemently against.

  • January: Congress passed the Federal Conscription Act, calling for every state to send up 50,000 troops to help end the Imperialist regime in Mexico. Major protests broke out in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and other northeastern cities. Federalists refused to back the FCA, and there are widespread calls for a boycott, some even supported by the northern governors. Southern states, on the other hand, are gleeful about the war, and southerners are flocking to the call to arms with the hope of earning fame and glory in battle.

  • April 10-14: Boston Draft Riots.Thousands of Bostonians take to the streets protesting the FCA. Major property damage is reported, and 10 people are killed. The Federalist governor steps in, and is able to quell the violence, but President Calhoun threatens to send in troops to enforce the FCA.

  • May 9: A Northern Federalist named Hiram Polk, who in a letter claimed he refused to serve in the “Calhoun Southern Army,” opens fire on the president while he is speaking in Philadelphia. Calhoun is gravely injured, and the nation is in shock. Vice President Giles Brandon is in Atlanta at the time, and military riders are sent out to get the message that Brandon needs to return to Franklin at once.

  • May 17: With Vice President Brandon still in route to the capital, President Calhoun passed away. Arrangements are being made to have a state funeral in Franklin as quickly as possible.

  • May 21: Vice President Brandon arrives in Franklin on the same day as Calhoun’s remains. Brandon is sworn in a quick and quiet ceremony at Washington House, becoming the nation’s 9th chief executive. President Calhoun’s remains are placed in state in the Congress Hall, and mourners come in to pay their respects.

  • May 23: President Calhoun’s funeral is held in the capital. The nation is very tense in the wake of the assassination. There are those in New England that actually celebrate the death of Calhoun, despite official statements from the Federalists condemning the attack. Recruitment more than doubles in the South as a result, and much of the anti-draft sentiment cools off, as the nation unites in the aftermath of Calhoun’s death.

  • June 1: Congress establishes the Presidential Guard, as an elite Army unit to serve as a protective detail.

  • September: The American 1st Army arrives in Texas, with plans to meet up with the Constitutionalist and Texan armies.

  • October 27: The so-called “North American Combined Forces” defeat the Imperialists in a major battle in Constitutionalist territory. The Imperialists are forced to retreat into their own territory.

  • Congressional Election results:
    • The association of Calhoun has major effects on the Congressional election, and the association of the assassin with the Federalists cause the party to bleed seats.

    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 56 (-17)

      • Republican: 136 (+4)

      • Democrat: 118 (+13)
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 11 (-2)

      • Republican: 24 (+1)

      • Democrat: 17 (+1)

  • February 9: Imperialist army is able to halt the NACF advance into imperial territory, but it is more a draw than a victory, with many losses on both sides.

  • March 1:The FBI announces that the United States Railway Company trail line between New York and Boston has been a success, and that the company will soon be expanding service to Philadelphia, and also expanding out from Franklin, and into the South as well. Long-term planners hope to have a nationwide network by 1860. President Brandon, who experienced how hard it can be to get across country when President Calhoun died, is very supportive, despite some continued misgivings from the Republican leadership who see the government having continued to expand despite Republican control of the government.

  • March 17: Imperialists and Constitutionalists agree to a ceasefire.

  • April 1: Mexican, American, and Texan delegates arrive in New Orleans to discuss the formal peace between the Empire of Mexico and the Republic of Mexico, and also the fate of “Free Republic of Texas.” Negotiations will drag on for weeks, with much contention.

  • May 23: Treaty of New Orleans signed: The borders between the Republic and Empire of Mexico are finalized, and other financial reimbursements are agreed upon. The Republic agrees to cede eastern and northern Texas to the Free Republic, much to the chagrin of the Anthony Benton, Governor of “loyal Texas.”

  • October 1: President Brandon announces his intention to run for the Presidency, something that is immediately challenged by the Federalists.
Nice to see this back!

Are we going to see any chapters from a first person perspective? or is it an actual timeline timeline all the way. Not that thats a bad thing just curious.

And are those map I made so long ago for this still correct?
Nice to see this back!

Are we going to see any chapters from a first person perspective? or is it an actual timeline timeline all the way. Not that thats a bad thing just curious.

And are those map I made so long ago for this still correct?

I'm thinking about it, but for now just focusing on the primary timeline for now. But we will see. :)

Yes, those maps are correct, I plan on uploading them here. Thanks for making them! (and if you'd be up for making more that would be awesome - if not, no worries though, I know we all get busy and such).
Chapter 4: 1840s

  • Presidential Election:
    • There are many issues in the 1840 presidential race. Chief among them was a proposal from President Brandon to annex the Free Republic of Texas. Republicans want pro-Slavery Texas in the Union to help bolster their political standing. Things get even more complicated after the assassination of Anthony Benton and the subsequent coup by pro-independence forces in Mexican Texas that threatened to reignite hostilities. In addition, there are many who do not like the idea of having Brandon in office for nearly 8 years if he were to win, and the Federalists use this heavily.
    • Republicans of course nominate Brandon, with Senator Robert Lee of Virginia as his Vice President.
    • Democrats nominate popular Pennsylvania Governor Victor Yates for President, with Kentucky Senator Wilbur Haines as Vice President.
    • Federalists are split. There is a movement within the party to put their support behind the Democrats, and accept that they have become a regional party. Others, however, want to put another federalist in Washington House, and so they nominate Massachusetts Governor Peter Gallup for the Presidency, with Maine Senator Joshua Flint as VP.
    • RESULTS:
      • Brandon/Lee: 148 Electoral Votes
      • Yates/Haines: 158
      • Gallup/Flint: 56
    • Thanks to the 17th Amendment, Yates wins the election instead of the final winner being decided by the House. After the election, Gallup admits that this election shows that the Federalists are no longer more than a regional party, something that had been happening for years.
  • Congressional Election:
    • With major divisions over how to handle Texas, Democrats are able to draw on their anti-slavery stance to offer a difference to the Republicans.
    • In the end, the Democrats are able to become the largest party in both houses of Congress.
    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 54 (-2)
      • Republican: 118 (-18)
      • Democrat: 138 (+20)
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 10 (-1)
      • Republican: 21 (-3)
      • Democrat: 21 (+4)
  • The results of the 1840 census are released, and the population is now over 15 million. New York is still the most populous, but Virginia is now slightly more populous that Pennsylvania. Ohio has now joined the ranks of having more than a million people. New York, now over two million. Nearly every state gained at least one new representative in the House, which will now number 372 after the next election.

  • March 4: Victor Yates is sworn in as President on the steps of the Federal Congress Hall in Franklin. The newly sworn in leader declares that a “new era” is upon America, victorious in war, and planning for new expansion to the west. This also marks the first time that the Presidency has been won by the Democrats, a huge win for the West (even if Yates is from Pennsylvania).

  • March 10: The House of Representatives elects Democrat Hiram Calloway of Ohio as Speaker and First Secretary. Despite the Democrats not having an absolute majority in the House, they are the largest party, and the Federalists vote almost to a man to support Calloway.

  • April 9: Congress votes to fund the FBI’s Erie Canal in upstate New York, despite opposition from several Southern leaders.

  • May 1: Delegates from both Free and Mexican Texas arrives in Nacogdoches to meet with American and Mexican negotiators to try and prevent the full resumption of hostilities. President Yates sends Secretary of State Benjamin Jackson of Kentucky to help solve the Texas question. Secretary Jackson makes it clear that American government will not support annexation of Free Texas.The anti-Mexican coup that had occurred in Franklin-on-the-Brazos had collapsed prior to the inauguration of President Yates. In the end, there are some minor adjustments made to the border between the two Texases, and Free Texas promises to turn over those in custody or in hiding that had connections to the assassination of Anthony Benton.

  • May 12: The USRC announces the groundbreaking of the Philadelphia-Franklin rail line.

  • June 8: Representative Philip Grantham of Connecticut proposes a ban on all slavery in the territories. Raucous fights break out in the Congress. Southern Republicans are outraged, and are fearful since the Democrats, in caucus with the Federalists, control Congress and the Presidency.

  • July 9: Grantham’s Anti-Slavery Bill is amended in a major compromise between Democrats/Federalists and the Republicans. The Democrats from the South did not support Grantham’s original bill. After nearly a month of back and forth and near deadlock, the new version of the bill was drafted. The new bill would not ban slavery in the slavery, but mandated that all new state admissions must be balanced, if a slave state is admitted, a free state must also be admitted at the same time, or vice versa.

  • August 17: The Grantham Bill becomes law.

  • Congressional Elections
    • First election since the last census, with nearly 60 new members being added.

    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 65

      • Republican: 131

      • Democrat: 176
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 12

      • Republican: 20

      • Democrat: 20
  • February 18: Professor Frederick Preston delivers a report on the status and progress of his “Pyramid Education” system. The program has been very successful in Franklin and surrounding areas, and the Professor proposes that the system be adopted on a wider scale, possibly nationally. By the end of the year, it becomes clear that there is not yet enough support to have this enacted nationally, but Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois are all on board and make plans to have the system enacted in their states by 1845.

  • June 8: Florida submits statehood request, but it is challenged at the Office of Indian Relations by the Seminole Nation, which does not want to be under a white-controlled state government.

  • July 7: The OIR and the Seminole Nation propose the creation of a separate Seminole Territory to be broken off of Florida Territory before statehood, from lake Okeechobee to the south and west. There is immediately outcry from the leaders in Florida, and very mixed responses from members of Congress.

  • July 16: President Yates gives his support to the Seminole Plan, which outrages many Republican party leaders across the South, who have repeatedly been at odds with Federalist and some Democratic opinions towards the native peoples.

  • September 21: Republican and Democratic leaders work out a compromise on the Seminole Plan, which becomes known the Seminole Compromise: Florida will be granted statehood as a slave state, but the Grantham Act will not apply. In exchange, the Federal Government sets up the Seminole Territory, a smaller version of the original proposal. There is an outcry from the most ardent abolitionist about the Grantham Act, and a fear that the compromise now makes the law impotent.

  • October 1: Florida receives statehood.
  • Congressional Elections
    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 77

      • Republican: 119

      • Democrat: 177
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 12

      • Republican: 22

      • Democrat: 20
    • The anti-slavery alliance of the Federalists and Democrats made gains in the House, ensuring that First Secretary Hiram Calloway remained at his post with a strengthened position. The Republicans did gain two seats in the Senate with the admission of Florida, but the Federalist-Democrat alliance remains in control.
  • Late in the year, Mexico’s President Ortega dies in office. His Vice President, Miguel Landavazo takes office, but is new to the VP position, and many governors and members of the government and army do not respect him. A power struggle will ensue that will result in collapse the following year.

  • Massachusetts becomes the first state to pass tariff laws against slave-made goods and cotton. The bill is widely popular amongst the Federalists and most northeastern Democrats, and is expected to be copied by other New England states in the following year.
  • February 9: The State of Georgia sues the State of Massachusetts, claiming the new anti-slavery tariff is unconstitutional.

  • April 6: President Landavazo is assassinated in Santa Fe, and the Mexican Republic begins to unravel. There is fear that the Empire of Mexico will try to swoop in and retake its lost northern territory. Tensions between Free and Mexican Texas shoot up as well.

  • May 7: The Empire of Mexico declares it is taking back the former Republic. Texas, New Mexico, and California declare their plans to resist.

  • May 30: Free Texas declares war on the Empire of Mexico, and an alliance forms with Franklin-on-the-Brazos.

  • June 4: California declares itself an independent Republic.

  • Presidential Election.
    • The Federalists are very divided going into their convention in Boston. Some do not want to field a Presidential candidate, but others feel that the decent showing in 1844 demands that they do so. This is not the only divide. Some traditionalists do not approve of the Massachusetts Tariff, while others do. In the end, pro-Tariff Rhode Island Senator Victor Lang is nominated as President, with anti-Tariff Jacob North of Pennsylvania selected as VP.

    • Republicans are terrified of the tariff, of the abolitionist sentiment gaining political traction in the North, and of becoming powerless outside the South. Virginia Senator William Rutherford narrowly defeats Robert Lee for the party nomination, and South Carolina Governor Thomas Kent is nominated as VP.

    • The Democrats are also split on the Tariff issue, Many feel that, despite their opposition to slavery, the Massachusetts Tariff is unconstitutional. The divide is more disruptive at this convention than at the Federalist convention, however, and the Massachusetts and Rhode Island delegations walk out of the convention. In the end, opposition to the tariff is made part of the platform, and Vice President Wilbur Haines of Kentucky receives the nomination. First Secretary Calloway turns down the offer of VP, preferring to stay in the House, and instead Clifford Bates of New York is nominated for that position.

    • RESULTS:
      • Lang/North (F): 85

      • Rutherford/Kent ( R): 170

      • Haines/Bates (D): 171
    • The end results are shocking, with one vote in the Electoral College giving Haines the Presidency. Tensions soar, as this was the closest election in history, and the most contentions since Alexander Hamilton, Jr. was elected by the House after the tied election in 1828.
  • Congressional elections:
    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 92 (+15)

      • Republican: 131 (+12)

      • Democrat: 150 (-27)
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 14 (+2)

      • Republican: 22

      • Democrat: 18 (-2)
  • March 4: Wilbur Haines is sworn in as the 11th President of the United States. The ceremony itself is uneventful, but there is a large counter-rally later that day in protest to Haines taking office. There had been some rumblings that some discontented Republicans might try and have a separate swearing in for Rutherford to challenge Haines. Nothing comes of this, but the Haines Presidency is off to a rocky start.

  • March 12: The House re-elects Hiram Calloway of Ohio as First Secretary, but only barely. The Republicans were able to peel off some southern Democrats to challenge Calloway, but fall short, even with several Federalists refusing to back Calloway.

  • April 9: The Free Texas ambassador meets with President Haines, requesting that the USA join in the fight against the Empire of Mexico. Haines personally sees it as a good cause, but many Democrats and most Federalists do not.

  • August 11: An American ship, a cargo vessel called the Bostonian, is destroyed enroute to Veracruz by Imperials, who believed it was trying to smuggle goods to the various Republican forces. The outrage across the nation is swift.

  • September 1: The United States declares war on Imperial Mexico. A call goes out for 20,000 volunteers from each state.

  • October 19: The Georgia v. Massachusetts case will go to the Supreme Court, with Federal Courts having so far ruled in Georgia’s favor, that the tariff law violates the Federal Government’s jurisdiction over interstate commerce.

  • By the end of the year, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, and New Hampshire have enacted their own “Massachusetts Tariff,” and such bills are under consideration in New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.
  • Congressional elections:
    • HOUSE:
      • Federalist: 94(+2)

      • Republican: 134 (+3)

      • Democrat: 145 (-5)
    • SENATE:
      • Federalist: 16 (+2)

      • Republican: 23 (+1)

      • Democrat: 15 (-3)
  • The split over the “Massachusetts Tariff” (Also referred to as the “Internal Tariff”) has driven a wedge between the Federalists and Democrats. The Federalists position themselves as a clear opponent to slavery, whereas the Democrats just play at it.

  • Despite previous positions on the First Mexican War, every party is more or less on board with this new conflict.

  • April 27: The two Texases announce the formation of a “unified Texan republic,” the details of which will be determined once the Empire of Mexico is defeated.

  • By the end of the year, the Imperials are in retreat, much to the jubilation of Texas and California.

  • May 5: The Supreme Court rules in Georgia’s favor in the tariff case. New England and the Federalists are outraged. However, the ruling doesn’t completely strike down the law. Rather, it says that states cannot place tariffs on goods coming from other locations. However, taxes on goods made within the states are okay. This will lead states with tariffs in place to rewrite their laws to tax goods made within their state using slave-produced goods (Massachusetts already had such a provision included in their Tariff law).
  • March 21: After the new Congress takes office, a great upset. Federalists team up with members of the Democrats who do not like Calloway and are able to remove him from the speakership, replacing hims with Jacob North, the party’s 1846 VP candidate. This is the first Federalist to become First Secretary.

  • June 7: The Imperial army surrenders to a combined American-Texan army. The Empire of Mexico will remain, but drops all claim to the territory of the now former Mexican Republic. Furthermore, the Empire promises to enact a new, more liberal constitution by the end of 1850. By this point, the government in Santa Fe has collapsed, and California has claimed jurisdiction over the western portions of Santa Fe’s domain, and Texas over the eastern portions.

  • November 1: The Texas Federation is officially established after a conclusion of a new constitutional convention in Franklin-on-the-Brazos. The biggest piece of contention had been slavery. The Mexican Republic had outlawed slavery, and Mexican Texas had supported that claim. And now that the Texas Federation controlled much of what had been New Mexico as well as Mexican Texas, there were many in the new, expanded country, that did not support the expansion of slavery. Under the new Federation constitution, Slavery would be protected in territory where it existed, but would not be allowed to expand, and those who owned slaves could not move to free soil with their slaves. However, the Federation government also guaranteed those in slavery who escaped to free soil would be returned to their owners.
The Texas Federation controls OTL Texas, and most of what we think of as New Mexico as well. The borders aren't exactly that, but close.

And Imperial Mexico is a little smaller than OTL Mexico.
Will Texas avoid an internal civil war?

Possibly. Slavery is only legal in the far eastern counties in what we would think of as Texas. So it's a far smaller chunk of the country. Though, it is more populated than in some of the "free" counties. Though, with the coming civil war in the United States (which will kick off in 1859 following a contentious 1858 presidential election), Texas may try to avoid the same fate.

So midwest has more prestige? How this might effect Populist/People's Party

As we get closer to the 20th Century, I could definitely see the Democratic Party looking a lot like the populists of OTL.

With the capital on the Ohio River, there is defintly more political capital farther from the East Coast earlier than OTL, and the demographics will defintly be different.
So, I'm considering a scenario for the alt-Civil War. First, with the changes to the constitution not requiring an actual majority to win the Presidency, just the most electoral votes, we will see a southern Republican win the Presidency with the Federalists and Democrats splitting the abolitionist message. This in itself doesn't set things off, but the assassination of this president will. His successor takes a hardline against the abolitionists in the wake of the assassination. Furthermore, the successor gets reelected thanks to the same vote split, and it things hit the fan after that.
But, instead of the South seceding, it will be Federalist-dominated New England that tries to break away, and other Northern states will end up following in response to Union actions against the rebels.

The Texas Federation controls OTL Texas, and most of what we think of as New Mexico as well. The borders aren't exactly that, but close.

And Imperial Mexico is a little smaller than OTL Mexico.

So Texas controls pretty much everything between the Rio grand and Louisiana?

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