The coalition under Tecumseh finally arranged themselves into a bound state with the signing of the Shawnee Constitution. Signed by all the Chiefs of the Coalition, the document set out clear ideals for the new Shawnee nation to follow. The most notable parts of the Constitution were a complete and utter ban of any single Tribe to sell land to any foreign power without first consulting the newly created Shawnee Parliament. Also noted was the complete outlawing of slavery and the promise to recognise any slave who had come to Shawnee Land as a free person, Tecumseh’s famously stating “All men deserve to be free from the whip and chain. Such evil shall not blight my people as it has done the white man.”
The form of government was a strange one. Setting up an actual capital city was a new experience to the Shawnee nation and it had eventually been decided that the new seat of Government would be established at a new settlement called Sawano Asiski (Shawnee Land) on the Western shore of Lake Michigan. The Parliament itself differed incredibly from any other form of government practiced at that time. Wanting to still preserve their independence from anyone, the Tribes found themselves unwilling to completely commit to a permanent government. Instead, the Parliament itself was to meet every two months to discuss and debate the issues that affected the Nation. The members of the Lower House would be chosen from the Tribe on every meeting of Parliament and discuss with the others what was to be done. They would then take any proposals they had to the Upper House of Chiefs who would then themselves decide what to with them.
One major concession Tecumseh was able to achieve was the establishment of a permanent and centralised Army. After seeing the true power of the British Army in the War of 1812, Tecumseh had realised the need for a true modern Army and had consulted his British Allies concerning the supply of guns, equipment and training. The British General Beresford agreed to train the Shawnee troops in modern tactics in return that the British would be allowed to set up mines in the region and have favoured nation trading status. The Army set up by Tecumseh and to be trained by Beresford was 5000 at first, many of whom were already veterans of the War of 1812 and 2000 of which were cavalry. The training itself would take a year while these units would go on to be the nucleus of a fully professional Army, something Tecumseh knew the Shawnee Nation needed desperately.
Some social reforms, such as a new schooling system and a system of taxation were suggested by the more pro-British/American Members of the Parliament only to be shot down almost immediately. Tecumseh himself was quoted as saying “Just because we sit at another man’s table, does not mean we have to eat his food.” While the reforms to modernise the Shawnee Nation to the extent they could resist foreign influence would continue, it would be a long time before adopting their ways would become a credible political issue.
King Murat of Naples woke up on the morning of the 3rd April to be nastily surprised.
He’d been invaded by France.
The long planned invasion had finally come to fruition with a force of 80,000 French soldiers invading Naples from the Northwest. Personally led by Ney, this Army was out to do one thing, secure French power in the region by any means necessary. Murat himself was shocked at this development, ever since Siegen, he had thought his position safe from all threats and that with Napoleon on the mend, no attack would come from either Austria or anyone else. The excuse of such a high amount of troops in the neighbouring Kingdom of Italy had been that they had come from the former Dalmatian Provinces and were waiting to be decommissioned at the most convenient time. Murat began to realise he had been duped and rather regretted his harsh words to Ney.
The Army of France quickly managed to overrun the Northwest of Naples and forced Murat to flee the capital, attempting to raise an Army further south. His efforts were in vain however as the invasion had been prepared perfectly and the French Army was in almost complete control of Naples within a week. Only in the south, near the city of Taranto was even a half hearted attempt made to defend against the French. An Army of 10,000 under Murat’s personal supervision attempted to turn the French back and give him some breathing space to organise an affective resistance.
The attempt failed as the troops under Murat were overwhelmed from all sides and quickly broke rank and fled from the field. Murat himself was captured and taken into French custody for trial on charges of treason. The international reaction to all this was all rather muted, Austria already knew about this and wasn’t all that upset to see the back of Murat, Prussia wasn’t too bothered as they simply saw it as a changing of the guard so to speak and Britain was too busy with internal affairs to really care.
Murat himself was given something of a show trial before being sentence to death for crimes against the French state. To his credit, the ex-King put up a dignified and spirited defence against the state but it proved to be for little. On the 30th April, Murat was executed by firing squad with the actual order to fire coming from Murat himself.
With the death of one of Napoleon’s greatest soldiers, the throne of Naples was up for grabs. While Ney wanted the throne himself, he was convinced by Talleyrand to instead offer the Kingdom to Massena. In a brilliant move, Talleyrand managed to destroy the threat of the Marshals splitting amongst themselves between Ney and Massena. Massena had been clamouring for more power in the post-Napoleonic government and not only did he find his demands seemingly agreed to by gaining Naples but by accepting the throne, Massena also unwittingly separated himself from the true seat of power of the French Empire. Talleyrand, who found Ney much easier to convince and negotiate with (Translation: manipulate) preferred him in charge of the French Army rather than Massena.
Now that the threat to the Empire finally out of the way, Talleyrand decided to bring the death of Napoleon to light. Using the newly reinstated Fouche to organise matters of the funeral, Talleyrand and Ney decided that the three of them would be of a new Triumvirate with Ney controlling the Army, Fouche controlling the police and various other agencies while Talleyrand gained control of the true workings of the government. While it would there would be a regency council, the three would have the true power.
On the 12th May, 1816, the news that Napoleon had died during the night was released to the French press. The news spread like wildfire and soon Europe was split into two separate stages of sheer joy or grief over the Emperor’s death. While celebrations were being held in St Petersburg and London, Paris was in a public stage of grief unheard of even for the most popular of Kings. The funeral was held at Notre Dame Cathedral with the procession afterwards leading to the Tuileries Palace where he was finally laid to rest.
The funeral itself attracted many of the more interesting of Europe’s political forces. As the funeral process marched slowly through Paris, various Liberal Whigs, Spanish leaders and Germans lined the route with allegedly over 1,000,000 French people. The route was also guarded by over 50,000 troops, Ney wanting to make sure that the procession wouldn’t be overrun by the crowd. Despite his fears however, the crowd remained quiet and respectful for the most part. With the death of Napoleon came the continuation of the Bonaparte with the ascension of Napoleon II.
The Bourbon Dynasty saw the end of any hopes to restore themselves to the French throne. All those who held the true power in France at the time were unwilling to even consider putting a Bourbon back on the throne. The Regency Council which controlled France at the time agreed to stay in power until Napoleon II’s twenty first birthday where he would (Theoretically) assume power.
The death of Napoleon also had interesting side affects on the politics of his greatest enemy, Britain. Earl Liverpool, Prime Minister of Britain had been watching with a worried eye the cheap imported corn from the British territory in North America and the ever decreasing financial situation. With the unpopularity of the income tax, it looked as if the British government would have to abandon the new tax and take a protectionist stance on the corn. The Corn Laws were introduced too much fury with London erupting into riots and the vote on the income tax was scheduled to be held later in the month.
But with the funeral of Napoleon causing many of the Whigs to head to Paris, Liverpool saw his chance and called the remainder of the House of Commons to a session. He put the income tax up for a vote on whether to increase its tenure for a further three years before being out up for another review. With the opposition diminished, the proposal passed through without too much opposition and the House of Lords also passed through the motion with some cajoling.
The move was seen (Rightly so) as underhand, cheating and downright unfair. But it did manage to lessen Britain’s monetary woes to a good extent and while the continuation of the tax was unpopular, it did manage to keep the British Government in a fairly stable financial situation for the foreseeable future. The Whigs were never able to forgive Liverpool and he soon found himself opposed at every turn by them… well, more than usual at least.
In America, the freezing relations between the USA and the NER cooled even more as the NER recognised the Shawnee Nation as a sovereign state by signing a Treaty of mutual co-operation with the Great Lakes nation. As both needed Allies to counter naked US aggression and hostility, it was only natural that the two would come closer together as Allies. The NER had begun movements towards an Alliance with the Shawnee Nation some time before but needed to sort out its own Native tribes before anything else could be done.
For its part, the Shawnee Nation had been wary of the Alliance with the NER but had been swayed by the argument that Britain was a mighty Empire which could decide the fate of nations at the drop of a hat and could really exist without the Shawnee. But the NER was much smaller and much more vulnerable. They needed the Shawnee a lot more than Britain did and were willing to go to great lengths for their Alliance. The Treaty of Boston basically confirmed the two as having a mutual protection pact and agreeing to aid each other in times of need.
The USA, needless to say, was furious at the Treaty, seeing it as a deliberately hostile move against it. Madison, in the last popular move of his Presidency, put forward a rapid expansion of the Army and Navy to increase the US’s power. The training of a Shawnee Army and the increasing number of gun factories in New England (Soon becoming one of the NER’s greatest exports) only increased the fear felt by the US population and government as a whole.
By now, the candidacy for the Presidency looked to be claimed with certainty by James Monroe. The only other candidate who was actually proving popular was Andrew Jackson although his lack of office severely counted against him. With the Federalists all but destroyed as a political Party in the US, new Parties had quickly rose to a certain amount of prominence. Although they were far from near even challenging the Democratic-Republicans, many were making noises at a local level.
At election time, it came as no surprise that James Monroe secured the Presidency. Although a member of the Madison Cabinet, Monroe was able to distance himself from the disastrous war after his spirited rebuilding of Washington. James Madison prepared to retire in March from all political and public life. His standing in the eyes of America had been destroyed after the War of 1812 and he had come very close to impeachment. With the near destruction of the Union, a much tougher line was being toed in American politics. This included the Thirteenth Amendment where secession from the Union was now strictly prohibited.
Elsewhere in the World, it seemed that Europe had finally settled down to peace. While France was still the most powerful nation on land, the other powers of Europe were now in a position to be able to resist the Empire’s demands. The only place of any real conflict was the Iberian Peninsula where Spain and Portugal were split between the Liberal and Reactionary forces at court. While Spain was now dominated by the Liberals and was entering a new age of breaking away from the old prejudices and superstitions, Portugal was at a cross roads with the Liberals steadily gaining power. For now however, Europe was enjoying the fruits of peace.