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Rule, Britannia!


800pxflagoftheunitedkinwu2.png


"What I have now offered is meant merely for the sake of my country, for the simple question is:
Will you change your Ministers and keep the Empire, or keep your Ministers and lose the Kingdom?" - William Pitt the Younger​


His Royal Majesty, King George III, emerged from the Seven Years War with the grandest Empire in contemporary Europe. Spain was crumbling and France lay maimed. The British Empire stretched from frozen Canada to darkest Africa and beyond to the mythical Indian Subcontinent. The proud Royal Navy guarded Britannia's waters across the globe and the British Army was one of the most disciplined forces in the world. The crown jewel of the Empire, however, was muddied by a brewing storm. Just across the Atlantic, the North American colonies had developed into a booming and populous semi-nation. They brought with them a reshaping of previous social notions and religious outlook, an inevitable clash between archaic tradition and the unrelenting force of liberalism. American colonists and their Revolution would fundamentally alter the course of British history.

The old national attitudes towards colonial ventures were no longer applicable in this self-sustaining area and the rapidly spreading teachings of Enlightenment philosophers only served to complicate matters even further. Costly border wars with local native tribes and the horrendously expensive Seven Years War had drained the Royal Treasury. In contrast to the relatively modern laissez-faire economic methods taking hold in the mother country, the American colonies were held under a strict policy of oppressive Mercantilism, typified by the Navigation Acts of 1651. Seldom enforced before, the Royal Government began to crack down on the smuggling of any goods that could be taxed. Further measures such as the 1764 Sugar and Currency Acts provoked a boycott of British goods. Continued degeneration of relations culminated in the passing of the 1765 Stamp Act, the first truly direct tax levied on colonists. Intense protests by British manufactures suffering from the boycott spurred a repeal of the bill but relations remained tepid.

westminsterql7.jpg

Westminster, the seat of power in the British Empire and an international symbol of liberty.

The accidental killing of five colonists on March 5, 1770 by members of the armed forces in Boston polarized the already fractured dependencies. The blacklisting of tea imports from India enraged Parliament and caused them to award the East India Company powers to undercut all colonial merchants. Similarly angered citizens of Boston secretly boarded the new tea freighters on the night of December 16, 1773 and dumped their cargoes into the Atlantic. The Royal Government's response, the Punitive Acts, harshly punished the entire city of Boston and convinced most hitherto neutral citizens to join the Rebel cause.

Townspeople all over Massachusetts took to arms and removed town officials loyal to the Crown. By the time a garrison from the Islands arrived in the Americas the colony was unofficially taken by rebels. Their attempt to seize weapons in the towns of Lexington and Concord erupted in the first real armed conflict of the Revolution on April 19, 1775. Militias from the immediate areas rushed to Boston's defense and a pitched engagement ensued. The Battle of Bunker Hill on June 17 ended in the professional British Regulars overrunning the hastily assembled colonial forces but proved to the Royal Government that the rebellion would not be easily stopped.

rbpost12oi0.jpg

The Battle of Bunker Hill changed the tide of the unfolding conflict.

All 13 colonies convened the Second Continental Congress on May 10 and attempted to address their grievances with the King. Though their deliberations raised a Continental Army to combat the King's, they attempted one last outreach for peace. This letter, the Humble Petition, would save or destroy the Empire.

Colonial ideology was rooted in the Republican writings of John Locke and his "social contract". Written by a student of the Enlightenment, Thomas Jefferson, the petition reflected their belief in a dawning of a new age dominated by liberalism, equality, and parliamentarians. Prime Minister Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, received the letter on July 2. A night of thorough contemplation resulted in an impassioned speech to the House of Lords and George. In it he called for the equal constitutional and economic rights of colonists in order to benefit the entire nation and fulfill their duties as leaders to represent the interests of all men. Liberal members convened in Westminster rose in open applaud. More conservative men and the King only grumbled in a general idealistic agreement. The retreat of the military from its occupation of Boston would force their hand and, soon after, a harried Royal Government assented to the petition and a cease-fire was proclaimed.

Nearly one year later, on July 4, the 1776 Act of Union was officially passed by both houses of Parliament. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was born into existence and all current and further colonial holdings became an extension of Great Britain. The House of Commons was thoroughly restructured to allow Canadian and American representation and a uniform set of Smithian economic laws applied to the whole Empire. The Revolution had ended, but its achievements would reverberate through the world for eternity.


The World of Rule, Britannia!.

britishempiretestbh7.jpg




------------------------------------

Table of Contents

I. II. III. IV. V.
VI. VII. VIII. IX.

 
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Raden Shaka

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:eek: A great alternative history...
I'll keep my eye on this AAR, must be amazing! :)
Great intro so far!
 

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Oh! What a development! What now? Do the riches of India await? The promise of the untapped inner regions of North America? The lure of darkest Africa? Or somewhere... closer to home? A new British Empire based on Smithian economics and Lockean public practice could enter a whole new golden age of internal development and growth - or a dark age of chaos, anarchy, and strife. I eagerly await what happens next!
 

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I'm rooting for the dark age, especially with King George facing increasing mental trauma in the years ahead.

July 2, 1776 was probably too late to stop what was happening, but certainly well into '75 the Continental Congress would have favored some sort of compromise. The problem, of course, is distance: Even with the best will, Parliament's just too far away to effectively lend an ear to North America's interests.

The switch from Lord North to the Marquess of Rockingham is believable, though it requires him to survive repealing the Stamp Act. If he's now been in office eleven years he's had plenty of time to impose Whig views despite his king's opposition.

Very believable opening. With a few minor changes to OTL it could easily have happened. Well done!
 

unmerged(59737)

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IMHO, any American post-revolutionary government would be more a semi-autonomous dominion than a full fledged member of the UK; until radio, communications just take too long for America to be effectively governed by and have representatives in London.

But don’t let any of that get in the way of a good story.
 
Jan 10, 2007
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Duke of Wellington: A wee bit, perhaps. :p (The main problem being no Seinfeld. What will the world do? *cry*)

Raden Shaka: I'm glad you like it. I've always thought British North America would have been a neat place.

Jalex: It will be, but it took a while. I transferred my EU2 to my external harddrive...then my brother takes it with him to damned college. :rolleyes:

Got it back yesterday and immediately resumed being unable to pay my bills due to ridiculous naval support overages.

Corbett: Dare I say...all four? My economy is stretched to the brink at the *start*, so I don't think I'll be able to afford an army large enough to expand the German possessions. But, the rest of the world...you'll see. ;)

CatKnight: When I approached the situation the one thing that stuck out in my mind was to dump that old coot North. I'm glad that you made the leap of faith though...I half expected the writer of Resurrection to burn this thread to the ground. :D

Fulcrumvale: A very valid point, and definitely the one serious roadblock. I think it may very well surface if there is a serious enough conflict of local-national interest... (It is also worth remembering that the state legislatures still exist.)

Update next!
 
Jan 10, 2007
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I.

American society has always been dominated by a frontier spirit, something that not even the shockwave of the Revolution could check. The abolishment of the Corn Laws, the end of legal discrimination against Catholics, and the repeal of numerous other statutes leftover from antiquated medieval sensibilities left the British Isles in a unique position. It seemed to most citizens that for the first time in their memory an air of hope and opportunity embraced the country. Already slowing movement to the New World came to an abrupt halt as the populace began to revitalize the Old, but this would prove to have no effect on British Americans' drive to expand westward.

A government ban on further conflict with native tribes, enacted in the hope of cutting defense costs, had helped spark the Revolution. In the wake of Unionization, however, patriotic fervor gripped the continent and the very same men who had once prepared to serve the Continental Army flocked to the Regulars in droves. The newly elected representatives to the House of Commons were officially incorporated on November 19th and while the majority was almost exclusively aligned with the Whig party there existed an understanding between American members of both parties that the protection of British America's rights superseded individual political concerns. As their first act, the unanimous continental bloc, headed by the later knighted Benjamin Franklin, proposed the immediate resumption of hostilities with the native peoples west of the Appalachian Mountains. The lower house was largely powerless but, buoyed by the unprecedented volunteer surge, the House of Lords quickly assented. December 5th, 1776, saw the nullification of the previous law and King George declared his full support for further expansion across the Atlantic soon after.

indianmapjy9.jpg

The frontier of British America. Aside from holdings along the Mississippi River, the area west of the Appalachians is untamed.

Major General Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron of Amherst, was no stranger to war with Native Americans. During Pontiac's Rebellion in 1763 he oversaw the controversial use of smallpox-infected blankets as biological weapons and served throughout North America in various capacities. During the Revolution he took control of the Colonial Expeditionary Force and would have served as the main northern attack thrust if war had ever erupted. Now, commanding the King's American Regulars, he marched on the bewildered Iroquois positions in the Great Lakes area. To say that the force assembled was overpowering would be a severe understatement. Totalling about thirty thousand with five thousand in cavalry and two artillery brigades, the army swept over the enemy positions with little fighting to speak of. The dense forests and hills of the area made forward progress a grinding trudge but any attempts at defense were easily dispersed with horrendous enemy casualties. The large trading centers of Painted Post, Owego, and finally the capital of Bear Club all fell to the advancing Regulars. Their settlements were in ruins, but many Iroquois rebels began a guerrilla campaign against the British. Supply trains and mail carriers were harassed to the point of halting the advance. Lord Amherst, instructed to carry the fight to the neighboring Shawnee as well, turned attentions inward and set about rooting out the remnants of the Iroquois.

fiwarmt7.jpg

Amherst's attack on Bear Club. The Indian Wars were quickly decided by overwhelming British firepower.

The British advance through the South unfolded in a more fluid manner. Lieutenant General John Burgoyne was transferred out of his garrison duties in Germany per the King's wishes and given command of the Coastal Defense Force, numbering about five thousand light infantry with no cavalry support. The army, previously assigned to policing smugglers, was comprised entirely of North Americans. Local frontiersmen formed the core of the undisciplined unit with Spanish Floridians and Frenchmen from the Bayou area rounding out the ranks. Dissatisfied with what was essentially a militia, a ten thousand man detachment of Regulars was bequeathed to him and began to make their way down from Virginia while he took the CDF and struck at the small Creek tribe. The men fought valiantly, if a bit unorthodoxly, and the Creek were eradicated in short order. The Regulars arrived on the outskirts of Cherokee territory and infiltrated the hills surrounding the native village of Alleghany. General Burgoyne moved on the capital of Alabama and held up a stranglehold on the area until the reinforcing army captured the Alleghany area and came to their aid. The united force razed the capital to the ground and annihilated the remaining stronghold in Tennessee.

Offensive action on both fronts had ceased by the beginning of the Fall of 1777. Amherst and Burgoyne were mired in partisan activity from the enraged native tribes and both took the Fall and Winter to hunt down and end the attacks. The spring thaw brought new stability and settlers were already trickling in from the East Coast and southern Canada. The Generals reorganized their now veteran armies and undertook the dismantlement of the Shawnee. Burgoyne sliced through the southern plains and attempts by the tribe to halt the British at the Ohio River crossings failed. Amherst lumbered in from the east and brought his superior firepower to bear on the small wall erected in Hindua. The combined might of both forces quickly smothered the natives and only two short months later the area was secured. Rather than take up a costly rebel struggle the tribe chose to flee into the endless plains farther west.

indianwarsresultyi4.jpg

Territorial lines in the spring of 1778.

British North America surged back from the brink of chaos in the years immediately following the formation of the United Kingdom. Those who once spoke of rebellion were carrying Great Britain into the wild unknowns of the American West in the name of King George III. However, the British Empire did not stop to allow America to catch up. A grand expedition was underway in the blue southern waters, a venture that would open yet another part of the world to Britannia's longing gaze.
 
Last edited:

stnylan

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France is not amused...
 

unmerged(59737)

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stnylan said:
France is not amused...
France is a dead man walking in North America by 1778; the loss in the 7 years war insured that.
 

unmerged(37350)

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Judas Maccabeus said:
And where would a certain Virginia colonel by the name of George Washington be in the midst of all that war? ;)

Glad I stumbled across this.

Dead? :p
 

CatKnight

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I'm glad that you made the leap of faith though...I half expected the writer of Resurrection to burn this thread to the ground.

Nah, I haven't seen any trees to go after yet. ;)

Something like this could have happened fairly easily. IIRC in the late 1750s (perhaps early 1760s - well before the political matter got ugly) Benjamin Franklin suggested unifying the colonies into one super-state with its own assembly while remaining under the Crown. Everyone rejected it, but the Brits did offer a counter proposal. That too failed, however.
 

unmerged(58610)

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Very interesting premise. I doubt the Whigs would do anything that might help the Tories, like repeal the Test Act.

Imagine Benjamin Franklin's discoveries in a land where the finance is available to exploit them and a navy that starts building steamships in 1809.

Would there not be agitation for political representation in Parliament from England's other colonies?
 

stnylan

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Chief Ragusa said:
Would there not be agitation for political representation in Parliament from England's other colonies?
From the Carribean, possibly, and probably easily granted. From elsewhere? Unlikey as they were rather different in structure - the holdings in India having large non-European populations for example.
 

unmerged(58610)

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The property qualifications would exclude huge chunks of the native population and settlers just as they did in England.