Thursday, December 17, 2015

AltHistory Scenario #16: What if the US Constitution Was Never Ratified?

So it's been a while since I've posted much of anything on here. The past few weeks have been hectic for me because of family issues and work, so to make up for it, here's a larger AH scenario for now to bring me back into the game...

What if the US Constitution Was Never Ratified?

In 1787, the United States decided to try to reform the unworkable Articles of Confederation, but soon the little details began to cause an increasing number of problems: how to set up the executive branch, both houses of Congress, if the states or the Federal government should have more power, etc. After months of debate and deliberation, the Constitutional Convention disbanded, with no agreement signed. It was a huge blow to the young United States, but by 1794, the federal government was in a huge amount of debt and had no power to pay off the debt. Soldiers on frontier posts went without pay, while the militia's maintained in the states were lavished with extra resources. Larger states like Virginia and Pennsylvania began to flex their economic and diplomatic muscles, forcing smaller states like Rhode Island and New Jersey to work for them in the ineffectual Congress.
"And furthermore, you all can go and do yourselves over
with your own genitalia!" -Benjamin Franklin, most likely.
Don't tell me that's something he
wouldn't say!

In 1795, after years of political deadlock and increasingly harsh rhetoric, Massachusetts was the first state to declare succession from the Union. In the next few months, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, an New Hampshire also voted to leave, with Massachusetts and Connecticut forming the "Union of New England," and putting together a new constitution to give more power to a central government. Virginia, the most powerful state in the US, tried to get the Federal government to raise an army to brings the seceded states back into the Union, but the vote of the Pennsylvania delegate against this action meant that no army could be raised.

The Articles of Confederation was dead, and soon the United States would die as well. The rest of the old US would break up into separate nations: New Hampshire and Rhode Island, along with New York, would join the Union of New England; Pennsylvania and New Jersey united to form the Republic of Pennsylvania; Virginia annexed Maryland and Delaware, establishing the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the two Carolina's would united with Georgia to form the Union of the Carolinas, and would eventually gain Florida from Spain. While all of them were more or less democratic (by late 18th century standards), there were some marked differences: Virginia and Carolina were majority slavery states, while the two northern countries banned slavery, which never took hold up north, by 1813. New England and Virginia had strong central governments, though New England would be the closest to the modern US, with a division of powers between the federal government and the "Districts" (OTL states). Carolina and Pennsylvania had weaker central governments, but in both cases the central government could raise taxes and an army, unlike the Articles of Confederation. There were other differences, such as the increasingly Mercantile and Industrial north with the agricultural and slave holding south.

So, here is my North America in this timeline. Sorry for my lack
of Map Making skills. Maybe someday I can get better, but this
is the rough idea I have.
The divided American colonies quickly begin bickering with each other over land rights, western expansion, and debts that accrued during the Articles of Confederation. But without a larger federal government to help claim land from the Natives, soon more countries would be established west of the Appalachians: the Republic of Ohio that reached from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi down into OLT Kentucky, the Kingdom of Louisiana, established with the support from Napoleon (before he was defeated in 1817), the Dakota Confederacy (primarily Native American, created more to keep the White Man out than to actually rule the land).

Mexico would remain whole, stretching from northern California down to the border of Gran Colombia in the south, and after dealing with the Texas Revolt in 1832, quickly became the economic and military powerhouse of North America. The bloody War of The Great Lakes (1859-1863), when the Union of New England and the Province of Quebec was invaded by an alliance of Virginia and Ohio over Ohio's belief in "Manifest Destiny," to try to claim the resource rich, but people poor North Western Ontario. Eventually, with the aid of British regulars, Canadian militia, and New England troops, Ohio and Virginia were defeated, and forced to surrender land. Canada was able to negotiate it's independence from the United Kingdom after the war, and with the purchase of Rupert's Land, became the Largest country in North America, though it was unable to negotiate with the Republic of Oregon and British Columbia to have either nation join, so only Mexico would have the distinction of having both Atlantic and Pacific coast lines.

Other brutal wars after dragged the nations of North America into conflict, aided at one time or another by European nations. But by the 1960s, and after the end of the Third World War, an uneasy peace lasted in North America. Pennsylvania, once one of the strongest of the early nations in North America after the failure of the US, collapsed itself, and was divided between Ohio, New England and Virginia in 1889, with political corruption, a stagnating economy and a weak military making their position untenable. Gone is Virginia as well, having been divided between New England and Georgia in 1941 after the Fascist Virginia sought to reclaim it's place in North America after loosing to both nations in 1917.  The Dakota Confederacy retained it's Native heritage, and with the discovery of oil in the northern Dakota provinces and Seqyoah, along with the resources of the Rocky Mountains and large gold mines makes the land-locked country the richest in North America, and comparable with the German Empire, the richest and most powerful nation in Europe (just not in population). The Empire of Mexico has been teetering under political corruption and resistance movements in California and Texas again, and it seems only a matter of time before that bursts into a full fledged Civil War much like 1911, when the Communist Party tried to replicate the success of their comrades in France a few years before and overthrow Mexico, only to fail after Carolina, Dakota and New England volunteers came to help.


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