The defeat and capture of General Washington, along with most of his army, at Long Island doomed the cause of the American Revolution, or the American Insurgency as it became known in British circles. While General Howe still procrastinated from marching on Philadelphia – apparently, he thought that the rebels would be open to negotiation – Congress was practically torn apart by internal strife.
One group, led by Adams, believed that the fight wasn’t over and the Colonies should continue the war. The second group, more or less led by Franklin, calculated that the war was effectively lost, simply because the loss of the army had scared many of the individual colonies from further rebellious activity. Of the prominent Rebel generals, Gates favoured talking, while Arnold, while still willing to fight, did not hold out much hope for success.
As British troops carefully occupied the remaining cities and towns within the Colonies, the rebellion simply came apart. With most of the states surrendering, it was child’s play to round up the rebels and hand them over to Howe, who – insanely – promptly began negotiating with them. That was the final straw for Lord North, who had already decided that Lord Jeffery Amherst, who had been commander of North America during the Seven Years War, would become the first American Viceroy.
In many ways, Amherst was a truly brilliant choice for the role. He knew many of the players on both sides of the Rebellion and – unlike many British officers – commanded genuine respect from American officers and politicians. With an American wife and a wide remit for action, Amherst set to work, building the new system of American governance.
The first step was to offer amnesty to those who had taken part in the rebellion, provided that they swore loyalty to the King. Although Amherst himself never put it this way, it was intended as a way to make ongoing minor trouble simply go away. A number of rebels, including Franklin and Arnold, accepted the offer, forever splitting the rebels. Washington himself returned to his plantation and never re-entered politics.
The second step was to ‘clarify’ the relations between Britain, America and the people. Amherst arranged for committees, aided by Franklin, to set up what were in effect local Parliaments – including an American-styled House of Lords – to perform most of the running of the country. Issues such as taxation and funding the army – British troops in America were to be paid by American Parliaments until 1790 – were placed in their hands.
Ironically, Amherst had a stroke of luck, when a log cabin with three women was attacked by Indians, the men of the house having been away at the time. Their capture, rape, scalping and murder fired rage all across America – something that ended the debate over just who should pay for the occupation force. The Indian War of 1780 saw almost all of the restrictions on continued settlement lifted, spearheading a rush into Indian lands.
The final confirmation from King George III of Amherst’s great work came in 1790, the same year when American MPs took their place within Westminster. America continued to grow slowly, but steadily until the First Global War broke out in 1812, where war was swiftly declared and greeted with wild jubilation across America. In what everyone agreed was a brilliant campaign, General Arnold launched a land campaign into Louisiana, which was Spanish territory at the time, invading and capturing New Orleans without much difficultly.
Viceroy Amherst attempted to restrain the American Parliaments, which were becoming more jingoistic by the minute, from attempting to snatch Mexico as well. Arnold – and his ally Admiral Nelson – managed to launch the offensive, which took Texas…and then ran into trouble in 1816. Although Arnold managed to escape with most of his army from a French trap, French control over New Spain was confirmed. In the peace talks of 1820, the same year that Amherst died, the border between New Spain and British America was finally settled.
Little of note, apart from ongoing Indian Wars, occurred between 1820 and 1850. In 1850, however, the system of government for British North America was on the verge of breaking down. Amherst had never expected to see such a vast empire on the land, and the attempts to handle Indian, Spanish and Quebecois made the system difficult to control – by anyone. Adding to the confusion was the exact role of the American MPs at Westminster; they tended to vote Parliamentary, but Parliament had little direct authority over America.
The massive reshuffle of British North America in 1850 created the North American Union, and gave birth to both the American Parliament and the Imperial Parliament. The American Parliament very rapidly discovered that it was not isolated from the Slavery Dispute, which was reaching its height in 1852. There were over 100’000 slaves in the NAU – and the campaign against slavery was reaching new levels of awareness. In line with the British Parliament, the NAU banned slave trading (although not owning slaves) in 1853, and established the Freedom Fund to purchase slaves and free them. Within ten years, there were thousands of small farms run by blacks, mainly within the old south.
The development of modern industry, including railways, made slavery more and more uneconomic, particularly with the falling number of slaves. The NAU Parliament, in 1882, freed the remaining slaves, falling in line with the rest of the United Empire, except for South Africa. The crusade of the Freedom Fund, which believed in ‘uplifting’ the blacks and Africans to ‘civilisation,’ was at odds with the Afrikaner belief that blacks were inherently inferior. In 1883, they revolted against the British Empire, eventually being crushed in 1890. The NAU took part in the United Empire force sent to put the rebellion down.
The North American Union, like the rest of the United Empire, felt the shivers of revolution and class war in the aftermath of the South African War. The United Empire went through yet another reformation, finally adopting the concept of universal suffrage and local home rule for everywhere. In the NAU, among other things, Parliament finally voted to create the reservation for the People – the survivors from the Native Americans – and basically ignored them past that. Noting diplomatic rumblings from Russia – which might have had something to do with Russian cuisine – the NAU offered to purchase Alaska, offering a great deal of money for it. In this way, the NAU helped to start the ball rolling towards the Second Global War, which broke out over China in 2008.
The NAU was enthusiastic about the war as anyone, at first. The Parliament had long eyed Alaska and sending several regiments of the Militia to conquer the land, while the regular army engaged in New Spain, seemed an excellent idea. No one, however, was prepared for the savagery of modern war and the development of new technology, which led to stalemates on all fronts. By 2009, everyone was sick of the war…and no one was determined enough to make a step towards peace.
It was at that point that the French Empire conquered the Falkland Islands, and Vice-Admiral Felix Anderson, Royal North American Navy, was ordered to recover them. No one expected what he found down there…
Appendix: The Bourbon (French) Empire
The Bourbon Empire is the formal title of the empire. Despite that, it is effectively a French Empire, run and ruled by Frenchmen. Only New Spain, with a large Spanish majority, is ruled by a Spaniard; Viceroy Cortez. New Spain has a hereditary Viceroy, which passes through the Cortez family, although it is politically subordinate to the Emperor.
Politically speaking, the Bourbon Empire can best be deemed as an aristocratic democracy. All power remains within the Royal Court, except some limited Taxation powers, which belong to the Legislate. The Legislate – effectively a Parliament elected by all men who earn money (therefore not women, non-citizens and bond servants) – has the power to impeach particularly annoying noblemen (a catch-all term for the aristocrats), although the Emperor must support the motion, and the power to tax the non-earning public.
Although the Legislature has no formal power over foreign affairs, and only limited power within the internal sphere, by refusing to vote taxes the Legislature can provide a break on any policy they don’t like.
The real power centre of the Empire, however, is the Bourbon Family; a giant family comprised of all the aristocrats of Europe, the ones absorbed into the family through a system of arranged marriages under Prime Minister Napoleon, who was largely responsible for the reformations that enabled the French Empire to survive and prosper. The family, which has mingled so much that it is probably guilty of incest, is divided into three sections; the direct line of descent from Louis the Great, the remains of the formal nobility (which have hardly any real power and only a stipend to live on from the Emperor) and the co-opted businessmen and politicians. It is, in effect, one vast tribe rather than a traditional family.
Power is sharply divided within the family, although the Emperor is by far the most powerful. Although it is difficult to generalise, it can be described as the more powerful and capable a noble is, the more influence he has. Businessmen, particularly self-made businessmen, are very powerful indeed; the remains of the Prussian Princes are in effect living on the Emperor’s charity.
The day-to-day running of the Empire is done by the Civil Service, which handles all matters and reports directly to the Emperor. The Emperor must choose a particular civil servant to serve as his Prime Minister and trusted advisor – no one else gets a say in the matter.
To enter the Bourbon Family, a man (women do not get to join through any other means, but being born into the family) must marry a Lady of the Court, which is a catchall title for any woman born within the family. By marrying her, he takes on her title and social rank, as well as the respect due to such old blood. Such marriages are normally arranged by the Court to bring into the family people who have shown exceptional ability, matching men and women up to grant the right degree of social rank. It is not actually necessary for the man to be faithful- and vice versa – to his wife; the formal wedding is merely a matter of mingling the imaginary blood ties. It is generally assumed that a pregnant Lady of the Court has become pregnant by her husband. An unmarried Lady becoming pregnant is a MAJOR disgrace.
(For reasons of state, from time to time a child is given away in an arranged marriage. This is considered perfectly normal, although the man is expected to continue to treat her as a child until she grows up into a young woman.)
On land, the Bourbon Empire has a fair claim to being the most capable; with a strong system of selecting officers from the ranks. This innovation was introduced by Napoleon, who was heard to remark that every private could become a field marshal. Such officers are generally offered a place in the nobility, leading to the claim that commoners never become officers. The empire follows a strong tradition of Darwinism; officers who lose battles are generally punished for it. Every citizen of the empire is liable for conscription into the army, which is generally colour-blind and treats everyone equally.
By contrast, the Navy is a proud and elite organisation. Historically, the French Navy recruited only from fishermen from the ports, although with the massive pre-war expansion of the navy it was forced to open its decks to newcomers. The major stations of the navy include the Baltic Sea, the Mediterranean Sea (although the Black Sea is supposed to remain disarmed under the Turkish Treaty, Panama (New Spain), Aden and Indochina.
The Bourbon Empire is very strongly Catholic, although the Pope is effectively appointed by the Emperor; misbehaving Popes get tossed out the nearest window. Apart from several tolerated enclaves of Jews within France itself, the Church has been allowed wide latitude in converting the other religions within the Empire, working hard to convert both Muslims from Arabia and Pagans from Africa.
Appendix: The Russian Empire
Of the three superpowers, the Russian Empire is both the most coherent and the most autocratic. Unlike the other two, Russia is effectively ruled directly by the Tsar, working through the Court Jews (effectively a civil service) and the Church. However, in an unusual form, succession runs on a Darwinian system; any noble who tries and succeeds to take the Throne will be accepted as Tsar – until he gets killed by some ambitious rival. If he fails, of course, he is dead. The current Tsar is very unusual, having succeeded his father and having held the Throne for far longer than average.
The Russian system is effectively a caste system, divided into serfs, workers, churchmen, soldiers, Court Jews, nobles (Boyars) and the Tsar. The serfs work on the farms and are not even considered human by their masters, who have complete rights over them. A serf can be killed by a noble for sport – and no one will complain. As can be imagined, peasant revolts are very common indeed.
Workers, people who work within the factories, have more rights and some freedom, but, by and large, they are every bit as at the mercy of their masters as the serfs. They are generally taught their role by rote, rather than knowing exactly what they’re doing, and have little chance for advancement. This factor explains Russia’s backwardness, compared to the other two powers.
The church plays an important part within the system, acting to repress the serfs. A handful of peasant children who show promise may be sent to the local religious school, where they will be indoctrinated, ordained and sent out to a different village as the local priest and spy for the authorities. Churchmen are permitted to marry, but only with the approval of senior authorities within the Church.
Every serf is liable for conscription into the military (or the navy) at any point, normally through the selection of their local noble. Once they pass through basic training, they are liable to serve at least five to ten years as a common soldier, although soldiers who show real promise are promoted to sergeants. Discipline is extremely harsh, but in compensation soldiers have effectively unlimited access to serf women and raping and pillaging is encouraged while on duty.
The Jewish population of Russia has been effectively co-opted into the de facto civil service, the horde of bureaucrats who actually make the system work. Naturally – as anti-Semitism is a fact of life in Russia – they have little choice, but to be loyal. To be fair, Tsars throughout the years have forbidden pogroms – provided that the Jews remain loyal.
The nobles have almost all of the power in Russia in their collective hands. Under the law, they are allowed to maintain private armies, although none of them can come within two hundred miles of Moscow, without forfeiting their rights, lands and their lives, unless they run really fast. The strongest noble is the Tsar, who controls the army (which will follow whoever is in the Iron Palace), and has to maintain a delicate balance between repressing the nobles (to prevent them from revolting) and over-repressing them (and forcing them to revolt in self-defence).
Women, it should be noted, have very few rights within Russia. Serf women are at the mercy of every man in the village, although their husbands sometimes provide protection. Noblewomen are often given away as presents to friends and would-be allies; one of the highest causes of death within Russia is men being killed by women who can’t take it anymore. According to the Church, any woman who disobeys her husband, even for a moment, has been possessed by the devil and must be burned at once.
As a result of all of these factors, the Russian Empire is by far the most backwards of all states, with the possible exception of pre-Collapse China. The recent boost forwards in science, as a result of the war, has gone a long way towards amplifying the unrest within Russia, particularly as the war grinds on with no end in sight…
Appendix: The Origins of the Second Global War
Historians have been arguing about the war ever since it began, having managed to reach a whole series of different conclusions, some of which are contradictory. The basic line of events, however, is clear enough.
In 1970, the Turks (Ottoman Empire) finally collapsed under European pressure, mainly French and Russian. The personal negotiation between the French Emperor and the Russian Tsar produced a division that was considered satisfactory by the two rulers, but not all of their subjects. The most important dissident was the Russian Heir, who became Tsar himself in 1990.
(Both British and French propaganda has claimed that the Heir murdered his father, but there is no real evidence to prove it, one way or the other. What is clear is that both Tsars were exceptionally able, having held the throne for nearly twenty years each.)
Tsar Nicolas was determined to tip the scales of power in Russia’s favour, adopting a new aggressive policy towards China, which was the largest non-superpower on the planet – and also the only one bordering Russia that was accessible. Russian meddling in China, which had been held between the three powers since 1850, only made a growing disaster worse, when the Chinese Empire fell.
Although China had avoided being divided up between the three powers, it was kept firmly subordinate by the three powers. The Emperors, and the Mandarins, accepted the situation reluctantly – they could and did squeeze the peasants to provide the danegeld demanded by the powers. Unfortunately, the growing discontent – particularly after Japan intruded onto the scene – led to uprisings, many of which were joined by local forces. The Emperor, the last Emperor of China, tried to hold the Empire together – until he was murdered, apparently on the order of the Tsar.
China disintegrated, therefore, in 2000. The sudden loss of control at the centre convinced warlords out beyond Peking, and outside the powers’ easy reach, that they had a chance to take power for themselves. The civil war had begun, featuring a confusing mess of factions, from socialists to nationalists to admirers of the Japanese. By 2002, the war was in full swing, with different warlords being supported by the different powers.
Perhaps the situation could have been defused, but the Tsar was not interested in compromise. In 2003, British forces (mainly from India and Australia) were drawn into the middle of the fighting, attacked by Russian-supported factions. The confusion, and mutual recriminations, started a war fervour, the more confusing because so few people understood what was going on. As the three major powers began rearming, incidents began along all of the borders.
Historians agree, however, that the first major blow of the war – the event that started the entire war – was an attempt by the Russians to seize China in one blow. The sheer size of China defeated the objective (it was suggested later that the Tsar had been misled by the Russian railway network, projecting its capabilities onto China) and the war broke out. This happened, it is important to note, in the middle of a very tense situation all across the world – with clashes occurring on all borders.
By the time the dust had cleared, the three empires were at war with one another.