Montmédy

From Alternate History
(See Timeline)

Louis XVI and his family escape from Paris in june 1791, reaching the fortification of Montmédy, near Austrian Netherlands, where royalist troops were waiting for him under the command of general François Claude de Bouillé.

This mark the beginning of a civil war between the revolutionary government in Paris and the royalists, supported by Austria, although Austria did not take direct involvement in the war. The civil war lead to the promotion of military leaders such as Jean-Baptiste Jourdan and Jean-Baptiste Jules Bernardotte. In the battle of Briançon, in April 1794, Bouillé suffer a decisive defeat to Jourdan.

The Revolutionary Assambly proclaim the constitution of 1794, on July 14th, confirming France as a constitutional republic, and elect Bertrand Barère as president interim.

From Vienna, were Louis XVI lived in exile, Emperor Franz II, declares war to the French Republic, in demand of the reestablishment of the absolute monarchy. The French armies advanced over the Austrian Netherlands and the Austrian allied in northern Italy. Although no formal peace agreement, Austria withdraw from the war effort in the fall of 1795.

The French Republic soon concentrate in consolidating over the French Empire enforcing the new constitution and recovering the possessions occupied by Britain. The French Republic encouraged former Haitian slaves to join the military to fight both defending the French Republic interests in the Americas and in Europe. Leaders of the slave revolts in Haiti were offered promotions as officers.

Hostilities with Britain and Austria in Europe renewed in 1799. This lead to a permanent occupation of northern Italy by the French, and a series of battles fought in Austria proper, lead to the armistice of Venice in 1803, where Austria resigns any claim to reestablish the monarchy in France and recognized the annexation to France of the former Austrian Netherlands.

While the United Kingdom retires from the continental scenario, hostilities with France continue at sea and through the colonial empires.


The events in France (and formerly in America) had repercussions through the European Monarchies. Some pro-revolutionary movements sparked all over the place, contested by enlighten despotism. Feudalist institutions begun to be dismantled and participation assemblies where institutionalized in most kingdoms, although they had mostly little actual decision in the business of the kingdoms. The power of the church was severed. The French Republic adopted several thesis of economical liberalism, together with the United Kingdom and the United States. Soon Prussia, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden and Spain begun to adopt several elements of economical liberalism.

In a series of reforms that took place between 1806 and 1819, Spain begun to open her colonies, implementing more local participation, permanent hearings in the Courts in Madrid, and the possibility to freely trade with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, or any other trading power. Charles IV also increased Basque autonomy.


A series of tensions had arisen between the United States and the United Kingdom, including trade restrictions brought about by the British war with France, the impressment of as many as 10,000 American merchant sailors into the Royal Navy, British support for Native American tribes fighting American settlers on the frontier, outrage over insults to national honor, and American interest in annexing British territory. Some attitudes by Britain were a direct consequence of the war against France. A summary of grievances let to congress to declare on a close vote war to the United Kingdom on June 1812.

The war was a disaster to the United States. Britain had been preparing a large army to contest the French in continental Europe and the colonies and was ready to deploy them to Canada and the Atlantic, which contrasted with the lack of preparedness and leadership by the American troops. Given American threats over Florida and Louisiana, Spain joined the war in support of Britain in December.

In March 1813, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire negotiated a separate peace with the United Kingdom. After this, the British were more aggressive in the Atlantic and Northwestern theater. By August, armistice conversations begun in Hartford.

The peace agreement contemplated the recognition of the Confederacy of New England (Ma, R.I., Conn., N.H.) as an independent entity. The recognition of Spain over Florida and Louisiana, and the establishment of the Mississippi River as an open gateway. The establishment of the Laurentian River and the Great Lakes as open gateway. The establishment of a Native American buffer state on the territories of Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana, under protectorate of the United Kingdom. New Brunswick pretensions on Northern Massachusetts were granted. American settlers on Indian territory and Louisiana could stay and keep their property by pledging allegiance to the respective governments, and any further settlements should be approved.

Also a commission was established to settle the borders between the Louisiana Territory and New Spain, the British pretensions, and the Indian territory.

After the settlements were ratified, no economical sanction was issued, prisoners of war (as well as US sailors forced into British service before the war) should be returned, and trade should be reestablished restrictedly between the British territories, the United States and the Confederacy of New England. Vermont is granted autonomy to chose between the USA or the CNE. In a close vote they decide to stay in the USA.


Spain hadn’t developed much their colonies in North America aside from the Mexican mainland, and East Florida. Some presence in the south of the Louisiana Territory (New Orleans, Batton Rouge), West Florida, and California, round San Francisco and Los Angeles. The territory reminded mostly unexplored.

After the French revolution, several French loyalists moved into Spain, as well as loyalists and aristocrats that lived in Saint Domingue, worried by the slave revolts. Many of them ended up in Louisiana and West Florida, but just close to the gulf of Mexico.

The War British-American war of 1812 led to Spain to worry about their North American territories. Many Anglo Americans had settled in West Florida and Louisiana, many of them still pledging allegiance to the USA, or expecting the USA militias to rescue them if the meet a problem. This led Spain to join the war, and when the commission to solve the limits between Spanish claims, British claims and Indian claims was established, a new exploration effort was commissioned by the Spanish government.

The aggressive nature of Anglo settlements in Louisiana was evident. Spain didn’t have the administrative or military ability to control, neither the men necessary to settle and counter balance the Anglo settlements. While the Spanish still could nominally permit or deny new settlements, that was unenforceable. Further North, Indian nations within the territory were demanding independence and autonomy, much as the British protected Indian State.

Given the autonomy granted in other regions, Spain divided the Louisiana territory in three parts: Louisiana proper, centered in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where there was more presence of Spanish and French. The Saint Louis territory, from parallel 33° to parallel 41°, was opened to Anglo settlement under certain conditions: the establishment of no protestant churches, pledge of allegiance to the kingdom of Spain, respect for property and lives of other Spanish subjects, including Indians, and military conscription for the younger. North of parallel 41° was established as Indian country with more severe regulations for settlements, v.g. white slave owners could not settle, neither white farmers.

Most Hispanic settlers in Louisiana were dedicated to cattle ranching south of 41° parallel.

The Columbia territory was finally settled for Britain. Borders between New Spain and Columbian territory, and New Spain and Louisiana were also established. Cattle ranching was the most common activity developed by the Spanish in northern New Spain.

In 1832 Gold was discovered in California, New Spain. Most gold exploitation was coordinated by the central government, but this boosted the economy of San Francisco and Los Angeles.


After the French Republic abolished slavery in her colonies and enforced this ban, antislavery movements gained force in Spain, Britain and the United States. New England abolished slavery in its constitution, in 1813, and soon some states of the USA begun to declare its abolition. (Vermont was always a free state.) Britain had banned slavery in the home land, and in 1831 declared that in all British territories slavery shall be abolished. By this time New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania had abolished slavery.

In 1818, king Charles IV of Spain signed a decree that slavery should not be expanded in the Spanish territory, although it could be kept where already established, which was most of the overseas provinces.

In most of the USA and the Spanish overseas provinces, slavery was an important part of the economy. As well as in Brazil. As antislavery movements arose, so did the opposition to it in the USA, Spanish and Portuguese territories that depended on slavery.

Although the constitution of New York had declared that any slave setting foot in the state was a free man. Federal law required to capture and return fugitive slaves. Similar situations existed in Vermon, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But any law abolishing slavery was not likely to happen, particularly after the admission of Alabama and Mississippi as slave states. In 1835, the states of New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Vermont signed an agreement to secede from the Union, and to constitute the Columbian Federation.

The USA government declared the Federation illegal and issued orders to arrest the leaders. State militias in the Federation opposed government agents sent to arrest them, and soon the situation escalated into a shooting war. The USA government issued a naval blockade to the Federation states which was ineffective. New England and the United Kingdom publicly supported the Federation. By July 1836, the USA lifted the embargo and recognized the new political entity under the compromise that Ohio, Delaware, and Maryland were kept in the Union.


Despite the initial success of the French Republic, there were severe disagreements and the constant threat of royalist elements. Louis XVI was still claiming the throne from his exile, and trying to get Austria, Prussia, Spain, Russia, and other monarchies to join an alliance to defeat the Republic. However, with the exception of Britain and Portugal, all other monarchies eventually recognized the republic and signed agreements.

By 1815, the militarist leadership was perceived as a threat. French Marshalls such as Bernardotte and Bonaparte had too much political power and once the borders and the overseas territories were secured, they threatened the stability of the Republic which were facing some criticism of corruption.

The situation of the Barbary Coast was critical again. France supported the USA in the Barbary wars of 1801, but pirating was in a raise again. President Talleyrant proposed a plan to invade Algiers and impose the French Revolution principles in the coast of Northern Africa. In 1816 the invasion of Algiers begin, commanded by marshall Bernardotte. The final enterprise lasted fifteen years until most territories formerly controlled by Algiers were how controlled by the Republic.

The process was contested by the United Kingdom and the Ottomans, the latter declared war to France in 1817, which opened a second theater of operations as the French got involved in Egypt and Syria as well. The modernized French Republican Army, commanded by marshal Napoleon was no contest to the obsolete Ottoman system, but the British still had maritime superiority and managed to pull several defeats to the French troops in Egypt, Syria and Algiers. The French Algier campaign was not severely affected by this, but in Syria and Egypt the French had to retire, mostly due to the lack of support from Paris, while Napoleon was managing to draw important positions in the battle front. In the treaty of Istambul 1823, the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire agreed not to contest the French pretensions in Algiers, the final recognition to the French Republic by Britain and the Ottomans, and the pacific withdraw of the French troops in Egypt and Syria.

Napoleon was reassigned to replace Bernardotte in Algiers, who decided to retire from the field and into politics.


Ferdinand VII of Spain (1819-1831) died without a child. His brother Charles V was appointed king. Charles was even more reactionary than Ferdinand and was motivated to bring back the absolute monarchy and the role of the Catholic church that was dismantled by his father Charles IV’s ministers and reluctantly kept by Ferdinand.

This caused general unrest in Spain proper as well as in the overseas territories. The French and the British were concern to Charles V’s plans of closing the Spanish American territories from commerce. Several Spanish American leaders begun to lobby in Paris, London and Washington for support in an eventual revolt.

Spain had been reforming the colonial system in an attempt to promote former colonies as integrated territories. While keeping the nominal figure of the vice-royalties, most administration was done by the establishment of provinces, each with a general assembly that coordinated most of the province affairs, elected a local governor, and representatives to the courts. The Viceroys became representatives of the king with some limited power. They dictated general guidelines and had autonomy to control rebellions, but otherwise they had little saying in administrative issues. Aside from the viceroyalties of New Spain (Mexico), Peru (Lima), New Granada (Santa Fe), and Rio de La Plata (Buenos Aires), the two other vicerroyalties were created: Santo Domingo and The Philippines. Santo Domingo had influence on Louisiana, Florida, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

By 1831 the overseas provinces included San Agustine (East Florida), Pensacola (West Florida), Baton Rouge (Louisiana), San Luis, Havanna (Cuba), Santo Domingo, San Juan (Puerto Rico), Monterrey, Santa Fe (New Mexico), San Francisco (California), Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Cartagena, Maracaibo, Caracas, Cumare, Santa Fe (Bogota), Popayan, Quito, Guayaquil, Trujillo, Lima, Cusco, La Plata (Charcas), Santiago (Chile), Asunción, Córdoba, Montevideo, and Manila (Philippines). In every one of them most local authorities opposed Charles’ counter reforms, but the level of opposition varied.

The Basques, and to a lesser extend the Catalans, also opposed the counter reforms. Charles’ plans were mostly ineffective outside Castile, Extremadura, Andalucia and surrounding areas. But in 1835, Charles declared ineffective the Basque fores and the overseas representatives in the courts, and order the newly appointed viceroys to enforce the counter-reforms in the overseas provinces.

Navarra and the Basque provinces immediately raised in arms against Charles V, with support of the French Republic. Other parts followed different sorts of rebellions, the most notorious were the guerillas in Bogota (mostly around Socorro, Duitama and Tunja), the Chacras assembly, and Saint Louis, this led mostly by protestant Anglo settlers, but equally supported by several Hispanic ranchers.

Spain was unable to stop these first rebellions, except for Chacras, and soon other provinces raised against the monarchy. St Louis was declared the Republic of Missouri by January 1836, claiming also Indian territory north of 41° parallel. The Bogota guerillas expanded into the whole Bogota province, causing the viceroy of New Granada to flee to Popayan, but as Insurrections soon erupted in Santiago de Cali. Supported by the new government in Bogota, Cali advanced into Popayan, where the Viceroy was captured attempting to flee to Pasto. When royalist troops in Cartagena left to crush the rebelions in Bogota and Popayan, Cartagena rebelled herself, soon followed by Caracas.

Despite a strong resentment against Charles’ policies, the Assemblies of Baton Rouge, Pensacola and Havanna voted to stay loyalist. Their main concern was the constant threat of Anglo hostilities. Santo Domingo, San Agustine and San Juan also accepted under the condition that the viceroy didn’t impulse all Carlist counter-reforms.

Gold had been recently discovered in California, and cities such as San Francisco and Los Angeles were rapidly growing before the Carlist counter-reforms. Hispanic elites were more afraid by non-hispanic settlments than to the lose of autonomy. California became a loyalist stronghold during the political instability in Mexico, Monterrey and Santa Fe. In 1839 the rebels proclaimed the Mexican Republic claiming the provinces of Guatemala, Mexico, Monterrey, Santa Fe and California, but so far only exercised control on Mexico.

The Granadine Union was signed in 1839 as a Federal Republic compromising all former provinces under the vice-royalty of New Granada: Quito, Popayan, Panama, Cartagena, Maracaibo, Caracas and Guyana, as well as Trinidad. Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Montevideo formed the United Provinces of Rio de La Plata. Lima, Cusco, Trujillo and Guayaquil joined the Kingdom of Peru. Asunción, Chacras and Chile reminded loyalist.

Given the disastrous administration, Charles V abdicated in 1843 to his son Carlos Luis. Charles VI found Navarre and the Basque provinces gone, Saint Louis, Mexico (who finally advanced into Monterrey), Guatemala, New Granada, and Rio de La Plata, gone, and what was left of the Spanish Empire was mostly reluctant to lost all autonomy. Only Santo Domingo was left in the Atlantic. California (including New Mexico), Chile (Including Chacras and Asunción) and the Philippines were all towards the Pacific, and it was clear the inferiority of the Spanish navy compared to Britain and France.

Charles VI preserved his father’s reforms on the role of the Church and a stronger role of the monarchy in Spain proper, but let his grandfather’s reforms regarding autonomy of the overseas territories while modernizing the navy and the army, recognizing the newly independent countries and trying to establish a Spanish commonwealth. Peru, although established as constitutional monarchy, had crowned no king. The Peruvian viceroy Miguel de La Torre acted as regent while a new king was appointed. Charles V considered De La Torre a traitor and ordered him to be captured, but when Charles VI of Spain was offered and accepted the crown of Peru as Charles I of Peru in 1845, he exonerated De La Torre.

Charles VI was also offered and accepted the crown of Vasconia-Navarre in 1846. At his death, in 1865, a Spanish Commonwealth was consolidated including Vasconia-Navarre, Peru, Guatemala and the Granadine Union. Chile gained independence within the Commonwealth as a Monarchy in personal union with Spain, and California, Santo Domingo and the Philippines reminded full integrated but autonomous overseas provinces. A reformed navy, although still smaller than the French and British ones, defended Spanish and Commonwealth interests in the seas of the world. Mexico and Rio de La Plata did not joined the Commonwealth. Missouri was consolidating its own path.


Jackson still propose the invasion of the mouth of the Mississippi. By 1806 the USA army lead by Jackson advance into Mobile, Baton Rouge and New Orleans with some initial success. No claims made on St. Louis or upper Louisiana territories. Spain reacts, and for the following years a localized shooting war persist between Spain and the United States. By 1810 New Orleans and Baton Rouge is in effective control of the USA, while Spain controls Mobile and all cities east of it in East and West Florida. Britain has been supporting Spanish efforts in the area.

1812: The USA declares war to Britain. Spain officially declares war on the USA and it is committed to a war effort in Florida and Louisiana, in coordination to Britain. British ground troops operate from St. Agustine and Pensacola, and the Royal Navy support the Spanish take over of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Jackson is defeated in the siege of Baton Rouge (March 1813) and taken prisoner to Havana. Released in October after the armistice was agreed. Spain compromises to keep the Mississippi as an open gateway and New Orleans as an open port. This means that the Spanish authorities are not allowed to prevent the pass of any merchant ship or demand tariff on merchandise that uses the Mississippi, unless the merchandise is destined to Spanish territory. Open passage is extended to military vessels of any upstream nation during peace time. Also, seagoing merchant ships can download in New Orleans storage and transfer goods to river ships, and vice versa, without the need to declare or pay importation tariffs (only port and storage tariffs).


From 1794 and up to 1806, revolutionary France is taken possession one by one of the Holy Roman Empire principalities in the west bank of the Rhine river, each time with a formal protest of Austria, Prussia, and the Britain, but with no direct consequences. Since the invasion of Austrian Netherlands, the revolutionary government has insisted that they had no pretensions to annex or control any land East of the Rhine.