- Jan 19, 2013
This is the tale of the Kingdom America, under the rule of the House of Hohenzollern. From the years of 1836 to 1936, we will work together for the benefit of both the crown and the people. But how did a family from the middle of Europe become rulers of a Kingdom across the sea?
The Kingdom's origins had their roots in the Seven Years War. While Britain and France fought for control over North America, Prussia fought on the continent against Austria, France, and Russia. Though Prussia had excellent soldiers and one of Europe's greatest military minds, the sheer weight of the opposition made it near impossible to succeed. When Britain made a separate peace and ended the subsidies to the Prussian Kingdom, it seemed that Frederick had lost; only the miraculous death of Tsarina Elizabeth and the ascension of the rabidly Pro-Prussian Tsar Peter III saved the Kingdom.
British victory in the Seven Years War had given them a massive empire in the Americas, but it was rather expensive, and debts accumulated during the war needed to be paid. Britain felt that since the American colonists were the primary beneficiary of Britain's victory, it would be only fair if they were the ones taxed. This caused outrage in the colonies, leading to a Declaration, and War, of Independence.
With Europe at peace, there was little need for soldiers and officers, including a one Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben. Having served in the Seven Years War under Frederick II himself, but currently unemployed due to Prussia's cuts in the army, he made himself available to the American cause, becoming Inspector General and in charge of reforming the American militias into an effective fighting force. One soldier's first impression of the Baron was "of the ancient fabled God of War ... he seemed to me a perfect personification of Mars. The trappings of his horse, the enormous holsters of his pistols, his large size, and his strikingly martial aspect, all seemed to favor the idea. He turned the volunteers into a great army"
Watching developments closely was Prussia. Frederick II had pursued anti-English policies since the end of the Seven Years War. He had blocked passage for the armies of those states who had offered mercenaries to Britain, and he encouraged several officers to make the passage to America, particularly after the French-American alliance was signed. One officer who particularly wanted to go was Prince Henry of Prussia. A close ally of his brother, he had long been frustrated about being unable to secure a principality in Europe. When his brother blocked his potential ascension to a throne in Wallachia, he decided to join the fray in America, in hopes that they might be willing to crown a King.
Coincidentally, as Henry crossed the Atlantic, the Americans fought the Battle of Monmouth. An American victory, it came at a high price; General George Washington was dead. The Army was held together by von Steuben's training, as well as the remaining generals, but there was no clear successor to Washington. Greene, Knox, and Lee fought among themselves (Lee would have been court-martialed had Washington lived) and the army nearly descended into dangerous factionalism.
Eventually, a sort of triumvirate, a generalship by committee emerged; it was agreed that Knox would command in New England, Lee in the Mid-Atlantic, and Greene in the South. It was in such a state that Prince Henry arrived in America. He immediately made himself available to Congress, who accepted him into their ranks but were uncomfortable of appointing another high ranking foreigner. Henry was encouraged to join Lee; Henry though was unwilling to serve under "A British Lieutenant Colonel". Von Steuben pleaded, and Henry initially agreed to join merely in an advising capacity.
However, Lee's command did not last for much longer; a disastrous attack on New York saw him killed, and with a strong Prussian presence in the Mid-Atlantic, Henry was popular enough that he could take control of the Army with Von Steuben's help. Congress was reluctant, but had little choice as he won victories over Britain in Philadelphia and New York City, maintaining his undefeated record in battle. While he was never officially proclaimed Commander in Chief, Prince Henry controlled the largest, best-trained force the Americans had.
As Britain moved their campaign south, Prince Henry moved his own forces to fight, culminating in the Battle of Yorktown. Britain's forces were trapped by the Prince and the French fleet, and were forced to surrender. The Americans celebrated, and the British band played "The World Turned Upside Down".
Becoming independent though was no easy matter. The newly free American colonies governed themselves as thirteen separate countries, something Federalists like Alexander Hamilton knew could never survive. A staunch monarchist who had served first under Washington and then under Prince Henry, Hamilton had made a strong name for himself and worked to convince Congress to accept a proposal of a King to unite the states into one country.
Hamilton's proposal was vigorously debated, and Thomas Jefferson decried the whole thing as a betrayal to the Revolution, but the Federalists were successful. Prince Henry was offered the crown, albeit as a monarch that would be limited in powers via a constitution; he could not trample on the American's "certain, inalienable rights", nor could he ever ascend to the throne in Prussia. However, he was given the right to command the army, approve bills, and appoint governments. Henry thought for two weeks before accepting, being crowned as King Henry I. in a small, spartan ceremony.
Henry died without issue in 1802, and his younger brother, Augustus, was crowned King of America in the newly constructed capital of Columbia. He had some ability to strengthen American royal authority, and looked to make a major expansion west. He fought a war with France for control of Louisiana and successfully captured New Orleans and forced the French to sue for peace. He was crowned in incredible glory, and in hopes of furthering his empire, he looked north to British Canada.
The War of 1812 as it was called, was fought while Britain was distracted in Europe. However, it was a disaster for American forces, and the Crown Prince Louis Ferdinand was killed in battle; his own father died from grief not a year later, forcing the ascension of King Augustus II. Augustus lead the army to some victories, repelling an invasion from Canada, and one of his subordinate generals, General Andrew Jackson (later a Prime Minister) succeeded at New Orleans, forcing Britain to come to peace.
King Augustus II von Hohenzollern has since reigned over the country in relative peace, fighting the Native American threat in the west, and slowly expanding the nation. His wife and Queen, Luise of Anhalt-Bernburg, has given him a daughter, and for now she is the heiress to the Kingdom, though the King himself is healthy. He knows that the world that America is in is dangerous, and that only through strength can she establish herself as a power that is free from the invasions that it suffered not but twenty years ago.
Now, the year is 1836, and America looks to have enemies in all directions; to the North, sits perfidious Albion, but to the South, sits Catholic Mexico. And with America's back to the sea, she has only one way to go.