Via Rob… what would America look like if we had been defeated in some of the key North American conflicts?
Strangemaps looks at what would have happened if every national identity crisis resolved itself in favor of the separatists instead?
The a few examples within this hypothetical timeline….
In 1787, a fire in the Philadelphia State House kills George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and other members of the Constitutional Convention. This leads to a radically different constitution, and a fundamentally weaker Union. Vermont was an independent state until it joined the US as its fourteenth state in 1791. Not in White’s timeline: “Annoyed at the way the new federal government under John Adams is shaping up, Vermont refuses to join the Union, declaring itself an independent republic instead.” President Aaron Burr (in reality he was only vice-president at the time, if only by a hair’s breadth) annoys the French so much that Napoleon refuses to sell the gigantic Louisiana Territory to the US. In 1812, following an unsuccessful US invasion of Canada, New England secedes. Napoleon does sell Upper Louisiana to the US, but retains the densely populated area around Nouvelle Orléans.
French Louisiana declares itself independent in 1815, refusing to recognize the Bourbon dynasty reinstated after Napoleon’s Waterloo defeat.
Indian tribes east of the Mississippi are expelled to what later will become the Five Nations area (our Oklahoma, more or less). American settlers in Texas declare their independence from Mexico. Louisiana intevenes because they are afraid that Texas will join the USA if left on their own, which would leave Louisiana utterly encircled. Cajun militia reinforces the Texans at the Alamo, stops the Mexican Army and secures independence for Texas, on the condition that it not join the USA. Seminole Indians in Florida, together with runaway slaves, drive out the invading US in 1837. The Mormons found the theocratic state of Deseret within Mexican territory. Upper Canada and Quebec rebel from Great Britain and achieve independence in 1837-’41. The slave vs. free state quarrel, playing out more in favour of the South in this timeline, prevents an accession of settlers in Oregon to the US. They declare independence instead, in 1846. The Californian Gold Rush still happens as it did in our timeline, but it causes California and Deseret to claim independence from Mexico (in 1852) and Texas to push its border south to the Rio Grande. Mexico only manages to retain part of ‘our’ Arizona and New Mexico. Abe Lincoln elected president. The South secedes. The North, lacking the industrial muscle of New England, cannot subdue the South. The Five Nations take advantage by declaring independence. Canadian mismanagement of relations with the métis (a people made up of French and native components) in 1870-’72 leads to a successful revolt along the Red River, establishing a Métis Nation. Custer’s command is wiped out at Little Bighorn in 1876, leading to the establishment of the Dakota Nation.
White also examines the hypothetical history of the North and South, had succession not failed.