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Thread: "Peaceably if we may, Forcibly if we must:" Britain, 1836-1936

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    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    "Peaceably if we may, Forcibly if we must:" Britain, 1836-1936


    “Peaceably if we may, Forcibly if we must”




    The First Century of the British Commonwealth, 1836-1936
    A Documentary History by the Popular Photovision Network


    ***


    Greetings all - This is in fact my first AAR, and is on a subject which should be pretty easy to work out! The style is going to be a mixture of documents from the alternate history, either contemporary with the events or from later on in the timeline. They will be in a variety of genres to stop me from getting bored, but you may need to piece together what is going on. There will however at least be lots of pictures.

    The game itself will be played on "Very Hard - Normal" settings on a modified version of the standard Ricky grand campaign, with the 2.1 VIP economy settings, colony blocks, Pop system and Indian and West Africa setups (but not the event-railroading).

    Merciless file-editing and event-construction will be conducted so that the gamestory becomes as internally coherent (I hesitate to use the word "plausible" - ) as possible.

    ***




    EPISODES

    1) Introduction: "Old Corrupt England"
    2) The Move for the Charter: September 1836 - October 1837
    3) The Wider Crisis: October 1837
    4) The Oldham Outrages: 11 November 1837
    5) The Great Rising of the People: November 1837 to August 1838
    6) A New Commonwealth: Charter Day, 18 September 1838
    7) The Age of O'Connor: Notable Acts, September 1838 to January 1842
    8) The Fall of the Lion: February 1842
    9) The Era of Commotion: 1842 to 1847


    ***

  2. #2
    Detective Lt., Police Squad Eams's Avatar
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    Wohoo!
    *subscribed*
    And do try to keep your updates coming on at least a semi-regular basis
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    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Ohho, british victoriaar.
    Conquering the world?

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    Old Person GeneralHannibal's Avatar
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    I guess there ain't no more king...
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  5. #5
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Britain, finally. Not a lot of these around here, seems no one wants to bear the massive weight writing about the Empire an' all can take, but from a local Brit, good luck! Love the title, really captures the British mood during this time period!


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    Yay look forward to reading more
    THIS IS A SIG

  7. #7
    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    Many thanks for the early feedback and encouragement - first scene-setting episode should come this evening.

    And interesting to see people think this is going to be a "normal" Britain game - I suppose the theme and POD is not as obvious as I thought, ...!

  8. #8
    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    INTRODUCTION

    “Old Corrupt England”
    __________________________________________________ ________________________________





    “Chartist Song,” Thomas Cooper

    The Time shall come when wrong shall end,
    When peasant to peer no more shall bend;
    When the lordly Few shall lose their sway,
    And the Many no more their frown obey.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the work is done,
    Till the struggle is o’er, and the Charter won!

    The time shall come when the artisan
    Shall homage no more the titled man;
    When the moiling men who delve the mine
    By Mammon’s decree no more shall pine.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the work is done,
    Till the struggle is o’er, and the Charter won.

    The time shall come when the weavers’ band
    Shall hunger no more in their fatherland;
    When the factory-child can sleep till day,
    And smile while it dreams of sport and play.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the work is done,
    Till the struggle is o’er, and the Charter won.

    The time shall come when Man shall hold
    His brother more dear than sordid gold;
    When the negro’s stain his freeborn mind
    Shall sever no more from human-kind.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the world is free,
    Till Justice and Love hold jubilee.

    The time shall come when kingly crown
    And mitre for toys of the past are shown;
    When the fierce and false alike shall fall,
    And mercy and truth encircle all.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the world is free,
    Till Mercy and Truth hold jubilee!

    The time shall come when earth shall be
    A garden of joy, from sea to sea,
    When the slaughterous sword is drawn to more,
    And goodness exults from shore to shore.
    Toil, brothers, toil, till the world is free,
    Till goodness shall hold high jubilee!




    ***

    Heated Debates in Modern History
    Episode XXVII – “The Second British Revolution”




    Mervin Boast: Now if we turn to the events from 1836. To briefly fill in the situation which I’m sure everyone is familiar with: a particularly jittery action by the authorities on September 3rd leads to a police raid of a meeting of the London Working Men's Association and the the arrest of some of its leading figures - including Lovett, Hetherington and Vincent - to be prosecuted under charges of Seditious Libel. A quick succession of events followed: the protests over the Trials of the Tavistock Martyrs; the Drafting of the Charter; the Stamping of the North; the Breaking of the Looms; the General Convention of the Industrious Classes; and the planning of the Sacred Month. By the Summer of 1837, Chartist associations had mushroomed across the country, along with a bevy of newspapers, clubs and local affinity groups. Despite some local measures, particularly in London, Birmingham and Ireland, Peel's Government did not act immediately or uniformly, and the situation became increasingly tense - even before the Oldham events. Now, the Chartist movement certainly mobilized popular grievances towards industrialization, lack of political representation, and official corruption, but was it sure to succeed at this point?

    Professor Neil Thackery: It is certain that had the authorities not displayed such initial heavy-handedness, followed by the months of indecision, that the wave of popular anger which was mobilized behind the Charter and the associations would never have reached such a crescendo so quickly. Perhaps if either good-sense and moderation or consistent ruthlessness had been exercised by the traditional British elite, it could have secured and stabilized itself indefinitely bu…

    Doctor Fergus Johnston: Bish-bosh - What lamentable rot! Such things were inevitable given the crippled condition of Britain in the 1830s. Why, any contemporary account rings out the corruption of the political system, the oppressiveness of the state, the trauma of the end phase of Manchesterized industrialism, the incoming Royal succession crisis, the divisions between urban and rural life, and the terrible lot of the downtrodden labouring classes. The so-called “Great Reform” of 1832 – which later generations would more rightly castigate as “The Half-Assed Last Gasp of the Plutocrat Class” as the well-known song put it – was sure to have satisfied no-one but the thin ranks of the upper middling sort. The rotten base of Old Corrupt England was unreformable.

    Prof. Thackery:
    I don’t now about that now – the Old System had proved remarkably resilient to popular resistance before – after all, the 1770s, 1790s, 1810s and early-1830s had seen similar outbreaks of agitation which were successfully curtailed and domesticated. Indeed, even the early Chartists initially only wanted to reform the existing political structure so they could be represented. If anything, it was the events of 1837 and 1838 which were exceptional in the course of British history.

    Dr. Johnston:
    Bah – revisionist nonsense! Like the American colonies, like France, and like all the other states of Europe, Britain would have succumbed at some point. It was simply inescapable in the Character of the Age.

    Prof. Thackery: Well, if we look at the Russian Empire…

    Dr. Johnston: Russia…!?!? You are bringing nineteenth-century Russia and all Her Reactive Lunacies into a discussion about Progressive Europe? Hmpf. Anyway, this just goes to prove that the following decades presented a whole slew of turbulent events, such the like of which the old system in Britain would never have been able to weather.

    Mervin Boast: Well, I suppose we’ll never agree, but moving swiftly on…

    Copyright - The Popular Photovision Network 2008

    ***

  9. #9
    Detective Lt., Police Squad Eams's Avatar
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    Dr. Johnston appears to be the incarnation of sound moderation and a sane scientific mindset. The PPN?
    A most tantalizing first update!
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  10. #10
    Well this looks to be a very interesting premise.
    However, I would have subscribed merely because it is a British AAR

    I wonder what caused the Chartists to go so crazy in 1837-1838, and why the Reform Act 1832 didn't mollify people as much as it did historically.

    I will definitely be following this. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    Eams - Indeed. It is well known that Dr. Johnston is one of the world's leading authorities in the field of the Social Historiology of Modern Britain, and sits on numerous funding panels at the Board of Intellectual Works -

    Jingles - Many thanks! There are many clues in the discussion, but more will be revealed later.

  12. #12
    Human Enewald's Avatar
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    Commies!!!

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    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    Interesting hints at a scenario I have been dying to try out. England overthrown is a very cool idea.

  14. #14
    Hijo de Santiago robou's Avatar
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    Ah now I see, a toffed up Britain overthrown by the lower classes, the first communist revolution, even if such a thing as communism didn't exist at this point... charterism I spose will have to do


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    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    Enewald & Roubou - Indeed, we're not quite at a period where "communism" is going to be a viable programme, so things are likely to turn out quite differently.

    Phargle - Good to see more interest! Next update (really a cut-and-pasted scene setter) to soon follow...

  16. #16
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    The Move for the Charter
    September 1836 - October 1837


    __________________________________________________ ________________________________


    The National Petition for the People's Charter





    A National Petition Unto the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled, the Petition of the undersigned, their suffering countrymen.

    HUMBLY SHEWETH,


    That we, your petitioners, dwell in a land whose merchants are noted for enterprise, whose manufacturers are very skilful, and whose workmen are proverbial for their industry. The land itself is goodly, the soil rich, and the temperature wholesome; it is abundantly furnished with the materials of commerce and trade; it has numerous and convenient harbours; in facility of internal communication it exceeds all others.

    Yet, with all these elements of national prosperity, and with every disposition and capacity to take advantage of them, we find ourselves overwhelmed with public and private suffering. We are bowed down under a load of taxes; which, notwithstanding, fall greatly short of the wants of our rulers; our traders are trembling on the verge of bankruptcy; our workmen are starving; capital brings no profit, and labour no remuneration; the home of the artificer is desolate, and the warehouse of the pawnbroker is full; the workhouse is crowded, and the manufactory is deserted. The energies of a mighty kingdom have been wasted in building up the power of selfish and ignorant men, and its resources squandered for their aggrandisement.

    The good of a party has been advanced to the sacrifice of the good of the nation; the few have governed for the interest of the few, while the interest of the many has been neglected, or insolently and tyrannously trampled upon.

    It was the fond expectation of the people that a remedy for the greater part, if not for the whole, of their grievances, would be found in the Reform Act of 1832. They were taught to regard that Act as a wise means to a worthy end; as the machinery of an improved legislation, when the will of the masses would be at length potential.

    They have been bitterly and basely deceived.

    The fruit which looked so fair to the eye has turned to dust and ashes when gathered.

    The Reform Act has effected a transfer of power from one domineering faction to another, and left the people as helpless as before.

    ...


    We come before your Honourable House to tell you, with all humility, that this state of things must not be permitted to continue; that it cannot long continue without very seriously endangering the stability of the throne and the peace of the kingdom; and that if by God's help and all lawful and constitutional appliances, an end can be put to it, we are fully resolved that it shall speedily come to an end.

    That an unconstitutional police force is distributed all over the country, at enormous cost, to prevent the due exercise of the people's rights. And your petitioners are of opinion that the Poor-law Bastilles and the police stations have originated from the same cause, viz., the increased desire on the part of the irresponsible few to oppress and starve the many. Unless immediate remedial measures be adopted, your petitioners fear the increasing distress of the people will lead to results fearful to contemplate.

    That the hours of labor, particularly of the factory workers are protracted beyond the limits of human endurance, and that the wages earned, after unnatural application to toil in heated and unhealthy workshops, are inadequate to sustain the bodily strength, and supply those comforts which are so imperative after an excessive waste of physical energy. That your petitioners also, direct the attention of your honorable House to the starvation wages of the agricultural laborer, and view with horror and indignation the paltry income of those whose toil gives being to the staple food of this people.

    That your petitioners complain of the many grievances borne by the people of Ireland, and contend that they are fully entitled to a repeal of the legislative. That should your honorable House be pleased to grant your petitioners a hearing your petitioners will be enabled to unfold a tale of wrong and suffering--of intolerable injustice--which will create utter astonishment in the minds of all benevolent and good men, that the people of Great Britain and Ireland have so long quietly endured their wretched condition, brought upon them as it has been by unjust exclusion from political authority, and by the manifold corruptions of class legislation.

    That your petitioners, therefore, demand that your honorable House do immediately, without alteration, deduction, or addition, pass into law the document entitled ‘The People's Charter,’ which embraces:

    1. A VOTE for every man twenty-one years of age, of sound mind, and not undergoing punishment for crime.

    2. THE BALLOT. - To protect the elector in the exercise of his vote.

    3. NO PROPERTY QUALIFICATION for Members of Parliament - thus enabling the constituencies to return the man of their choice, be he rich or poor.

    4. PAYMENT OF MEMBERS, thus enabling an honest tradesman, working man, or other person, to serve a constituency, when taken from his business to attend to the interests of the Country.

    5. EQUAL CONSTITUENCIES, securing the same amount of representation for the same number of electors, instead of allowing small constituencies to swamp the votes of large ones.

    6. ANNUAL PARLIAMENTS, thus presenting the most effectual check to bribery and intimidation, since though a constituency might be bought once in seven years (even with the ballot), no purse could buy a constituency (under a system of universal suffrage) in each ensuing twelve-month; and since members, when elected for a year only, would not be able to defy and betray their constituents as now.


    ***

    Feargus O’Connor, Speech to the General Convention of the Industrious Classes
    24th August 1837




    Do the magistrates think of putting down our meeting by acts of violence? I for one think they do, and should we be attacked today, come what will, life, death, or victory, I am determined no house shall cover my head tonight. I am quite ready to stand by the law, and not to give our tyrants the slightest advantage in attacking us in sections; but should they employ force against us. I am repelling attack by attack.


    ***

    Total Signatures

    September 1836 – 2,000
    December 1836 – 50,000
    February 1837 - 160,000
    April 1837 – 380,000
    June 1837 - 720,000
    August 1837 – 830,000
    September 1837 – 1,240,000
    October 1837 – 1,640,000



    ***

  17. #17
    Detective Lt., Police Squad Eams's Avatar
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    If the texts were written by them then I congratulate you for finding such fitting ones.
    If you wrote them, I shall make it a new routine to bow down five times and pray in your direction.
    Last edited by Eams; 16-12-2008 at 00:23.
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  18. #18
    Field Marshal Sarmatia1871's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eams View Post
    If the texts were written by them then I congratulate you for finding such fitting ones.
    If you wrote them, I shall make it a new routine to bow down five times and pray in your direction.
    Many thanks. It was primarily a "scissors and glue job" from the first two petitions rather than writing myself though!

  19. #19
    Field Marshal phargle's Avatar
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    Growing strength for these Chartists. Millions of names? It's a small percentage, but wow. I am pretty impressed that their constituents can write.

  20. #20
    Detective Lt., Police Squad Eams's Avatar
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    Sarmatia: I shall merely venerate you then
    Personally I'm most intrigued by how the Chartists will act towards the non-white, non-Christian subjects of the British Empire. Will it be "Remember the rights of the savage, as we call him." put to practice perhaps?
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