WI American colonists took Quebec in the Revolutionary War

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by danteheadman, Oct 29, 2018.

  1. danteheadman Well-Known Member

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    If General Richard Montgomery doesn't die and wins the Battle of Quebec in 1775, then a few major changes happen:

    Francophone, Catholic Quebec likely becomes part of the early independent colonies. Would they be an independent state? Would they become part of the new Union? Would they be allowed by the other States to refuse to sign the Articles of Confederation? Would there even *be* an Articles of Confederation - if Quebec eventually participates in the Second Continental Congress, how would that impact the drafting process?

    This, naturally, butterflies Canada. IRL all the Anglo loyalists in the newly independent states move to Canada and create that new identity, but that doesn't happen here. Do the Anglo loyalists leave back for Britain? Go to Australia? If they stay, and I assume many would, how would this affect the post-Revolutionary political system in America?

    Finally, assuming Gen. Montgomery survives the rest of the war, George Washington might not become the famous general and war hero that he was. How would this impact American political history? Would Montgomery get elected as the first President?
     
  2. Nephi Well-Known Member

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    They would have hated that, they were part of the "intolerable acts" basically they'd have a heavy handed occupation or they'll need to set them up as a sister republic. Maybe give them most of what we know to be Canada out to those big lakes in Manitoba and not that part of Ontario with Toronto. Just a straight line border plus they'll probably make Maine bigger.
     
  3. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Well if the American didn’t allow them to form millitas, and a colonial government then maybe it could happen
     
  4. MiniaAr Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Britain loses Canada, but keep the Maritimes and Newfoundland, where the loyalists are likely to emigrate instead of OTL future Ontario.

    This allows Canada/Quebec to join the US as a fairly large state, kind of an early and northern Texas. If the state government intends to keep both French as a language and Catholicism as a dominant religion, then it's possible that they keep both until today, unlike Louisiana. Probably helped, a bit like OTL, by a strong Catholic church that would want to keep its influence in a dominantly protestant US. And if loyalists don't move there after the war, the population can remain pretty much unified linguistically and religiously. There is likely to be emigration from the rest of the US, but is it bound to be really significant? I don't see a lot of protestant Americans moving to a snowy, Catholic, French-speaking state to become fur trappers.

    There is an argument for the founding US-states not to split Canada in many states (Ontario, Montréal-state, Québec-state,....) because an unified Canada would only get 2 senators. Much easier to deal with 2 Catholic senators than 6 or even 8 in the early US.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  5. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    Can the rebels even hold Quebec? They had difficulty enough getting an army to Canada, and even if we let Montgomery and Arnold win the necessary battles where's the popular support?

    On the one hand, this is a major victory that might get the French into the war well before Saratoga. But might it not also lead to an overstretched Continental Army trying to hold territory that doesn't want to be part of the struggle?
     
  6. RightHoJeeves A gentleman's personal gentleman. Banned

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    The cultural differences are vast enough that I think an independent Quebec as a sister republic is a more likely result than a Quebec in the Union. It would keep a check on British Canada which is a good result for the US moving forward.
     
  7. Kaze Well-Known Member

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    Nov 12, 2017
    Taking it would be the easy part, holding it would be the hard part. However, there might be an intended bonus - Arnold might not be passed over for his well-deserved promotion (one of the reasons for his betrayal is that he was passed over for promotion for someone he thought was incompetent) and who knows we might see Arnold as First Elected President.
     
  8. 9 Fanged Hummingbird Some Random Guy

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    No way in hell would Arnold ever be elected president, he was just too plain unlikable. In fact that was a major reason for his being denied promotions, Arnold and his modern apologists make it seem like it was random or petty political maneuvering that impeded him, but the man was just a plain old asshole, even after his defection his neighbors consistently had problems with him whether he was in England or Canada. He only rose as high as he did in the Continental Army because George Washington saw something in him and tolerated the man, possibly the only person who did so, but a recommendation from Washington would never be enough for someone who habitually made as many enemies as Arnold to ever get elected to anything.
     
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  9. Unknown Member

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    A far more likely scenario, assuming it happened, is that Quebec becomes independent (if it isn't retaken by the British a few years later) and the US gets everything south of the Nipissing line...
     
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  10. UCB79 Bookworm, 1st class

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    Oct 8, 2017
    Could this perhaps cause France to enter the
    ARW earlier than they did IOTL? Seizing
    Canada would, I think, have not only very
    much impressed the French- it might have
    convinced them that in backing the rebels they were backing the right horse(remem-
    ber that IOTL the French seemed to have
    employed similar reasoning, thus not com-
    ing in until after Saratoga). There might also
    have been @ least a few figures in the French government who might have thought
    that backing the rebels would be a way to
    regain Canada. Their reasoning would have
    been as follows: offer the rebels an alliance in exchange for Canada- an offer Washington
    & co., who knew how much they needed
    foreign aid, might have felt they had to
    accept. OR the French might have hoped to
    get it back @ the negotiations for the peace
    treaty.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  11. Galba Otho Vitelius Well-Known Member

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    One question is whether the British try to take Quebec back.

    In 1776 they sent a large force under Howe against New York, and smaller but sizeable forces to relieve Quebec and advance down the St. Lawrence, and against Charleston. Clinton's forces that failed to take Charleston eventually joined with Howe.

    If the British try to take Quebec back and succeed, nothing much changes. Otherwise you can get major butterflies, since the regiments sent to Quebec would presumably be used somewhere else.

    There is also the possibility that the British just throw in the towel at that point. However, though this is little known, the British actually tried to negotiate with the Americans several times during and before the war and the Americans wouldn't give any ground at all. And this was with the British giving in to most of the patriot demands.

    One interesting possibility is that Congress offers to give Quebec back to France, in exchange for French recognition and getting them into the war earlier. Note that the battle of Saratoga would be butterflied.
     
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  12. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    Ok here we go again for the six or seven time since June with the same questions. The people of Quebec were French speaking, illustrate catholic. We do not need to go into the anti-catholic attitudes and actions of the English speaking colonist of the 13 colonies.

    There seems to be first a thought that the Americans rebels had a inexhaustible ability to defeat the British. No they were able to defeat the British forces in several battles but things were touch and go and the British could of continued fighting except they decided to trade with USA instead of fight. But the Quebec question is completely out of bounds unless the Québécois decided to join in and that would be a whole different ball game.

    Then we get some readers suggesting America conquer, and force them to learn English. Have a occupying army, those are people who do not understand that a post ARW America is bankrupt and has no federal army. The defense of the country was left to individual states. Do who going to pay for occupying army? Plus I would think the founding fathers with all their wisdom would not embark on a course exactly what they fought against (tyranny). Plus what about no taxation without representation bit?

    I think it important for people to accept that the independence of the 13 colonies was lucky and the union of the colonies into 1 country a miracle. Adding Quebec and all its issues would simply lead to failure wether stretching of American forces and loosing battles won iOTL during ARW or fact that if Quebec was part of ARW after independence the ability of the 14 colonies to form same US be almost impossible.
     
  13. Unknown Member

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    I agree with you there, @Lusitania; it is plausible, though, that their greater success in Canada leads to them getting the Nipissing line as their border with Canada when the treaty of Paris occurs...
     
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  14. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that rebels only had so many soldiers and to forcefully take Quebec makes them venerable in other theatres. The forces used to the north could of made the war to last several more years if the British do not loose several key battles.

    Would the British throw in the towel? I do not think so. So by gaining Quebec New York could of been captured.
     
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  15. Divergent54 Boris Johnson x Nigel Farage xoxo

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    Wouldn't a Quebec victory push France to invest more onto the Americans earlier than Saratoga ? And even if New York is captured, it could easily be gained back during the Treaty of Paris like OTL (in our timeline, the royal armed forces held New York up to 1783 I believe) or with French aid. Heck, the Treaty of Paris could be radically altered to have the Nipissing Line, in exchange of Quebec back to the crown.
     
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  16. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    Let’s review a few facts l:

    The French did not have $ to help the US it had to borrow at great perril to its financial stability. The debt incurred during the ARW to help US rebels led in many ways to French Revolution.

    Now what happens in Quebec as you say greatly impact French involment. The American invasion and attack against not only British soldiers but also French speaking people of Quebec who just recently were French citizens could turn France against the rebels. There was documented evidence of Anti catholic attacks in the 13 colonies so it’s safe to assume that attitude would carry over to Quebec and the killing of Québécois and attacks against Catholic Church could set the powerful Catholic Church in France against the rebels. Like I said Quebec joining the rebellion is different than Quebec being attacked.

    As for treaty, yes things will be settled there but do not think iOTL. Think that because rebels stretched thin they might loose more battles, Britain might invest more troops or $ in the fight. Now you have the chance that a larger portion of the 13 colonies are held by British. Remember that less than 1/3 or less of the English colonist were up in arms. The rest either supported the British or were neutral. So we could have a longer ARW and later peace treaty which depends on several factors could change the size of USA.

    So nothing is guaranteed. What if the Québécois attack the remaining “American forces” what will the Americans do? Attack the population, withdraw? If it is winter you could end up with a massacre on either side. The British controlled the seas. They could land troops in Quebec City when America could least afford to reinforce them.
     
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  17. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Aug 4, 2018
    that why the Americans should have allowed them to form there own colonial government at the time
     
  18. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    Yes it would be imperative and their own militia. But would the English speaking protestants allow that? Would they trust the French Catholics? Then what happens after ARW, how would they accommodate the Quebecois in the constitutional talks?
     
  19. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t there also a sizeable minority of English settlers or was that after arw when the loyalist fled
     
  20. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    After the ARW, at the time of the ARW only few merchants and administrator.