Updated Sunday 15 May, 2011 12:18 PM

   Headlines  |  Alternate Histories  |  International Edition

Home Page


Alternate Histories

International Edition

List of Updates

Want to join?

Join Writer Development Section

Writer Development Member Section

Join Club ChangerS


Chris Comments

Book Reviews


Letters To The Editor


Links Page

Terms and Conditions



Alternate Histories

International Edition

Alison Brooks



Other Stuff


If Baseball Integrated Early


Today in Alternate History

This Day in Alternate History Blog








Houston’s Failure Part 1: 1836-1865


by Matt Mitrovich




At the Battle of San Jacinto (April 21, 1836), Santa Anna was not surprised and Houston was forced to withdraw. The Texans request help from the United States but they are denied the help as the United States does not wish to be involved. The war goes on for another year and the Texans eventually gain their independence with their border on the Rio Grande. Stephen Austin is elected the first president of the new Republic of Texas. His campaign involved promoting the idea of an independent Texas by trying to establish relationships with Europe instead of the United States. A population increase happens due to immigration from Germany, which was useful during the War of 1841, where a boundary dispute between Texas and Mexico lead to a three year war which culminated in the Battle of Santa Fe and the establishment of Texas’ western boundary.

With it looking like Texas would never join the United States, President Polk decided the United States would expand north instead of west. Refusing to compromise with the British in 1846, Polk demanded the British end all claims to the Oregon territory and cede whatever territory they occupied there to the United States. The British refused and thus the Oregon War began. The American won some early victories in the Midwest and captured Toronto, but the Americans failed to dislodge the British from Oregon and were driven out. The war culminated with the invasion of New England. The New England states, which had been against the war, joined with the British and left the union, forming the Republic of New England. The Democrat and Whigs were both outlawed and the Federalist Party was reborn. In 1848 the United States were forced to sign a humiliating peace which forced them to withdraw their claims to Oregon, demilitarize the Great Lakes, and recognize the independence of New England.

While war was being raged between the British Empire and the United States, Mexico was dealing with more rebellious provinces. American settlers in California revolted in 1846, hoping that after the United States victory they would annex California. Mormons in Utah revolted alongside them, though they had no desire to join the United States because they feared the United States would interfere with their religion. Texas, even after two year of peace, sided with the rebels. Mexico weakened after two wars with Texas and internal problems capitulated after only a year of the Desert War, and in 1847 recognized the independence of California and the Mormon state of Deseret. California was ceded Nevada and Baja California and Texas was given the rest of the New Mexico territory. Deseret was happy for its territory around the Great Salt Lake. The American defeat after the Oregon War caused a change of plans for California. California’s President Fremont established strong ties with Russia and annexed Hawaii in 1850. California wealth grew due to the discovery of gold and silver in the country. Fremont hoped to turn California into a regional Pacific power with support from Europeans.

The loss in the Oregon War convinced the Americans to turn inward and the United States sunk into a period of isolation. However the United States domestic problems would soon prove to be more damaging then any international war. Without the New England states, the balance between free and slave states had been tipped. In 1850 a series of laws were passed that allowed popular sovereignty in the territories, continuing of the slave trade in Washington DC, and the harshest fugitive slave law in American history. The free states were horrified but they were outnumbered in Congress by the power of the slave states. When states attempted to enact laws that went against the Fugitive slave law they were struck down by the Supreme Court. In 1854 Kansas became a slave state and it seemed the rest of the former Louisiana territory would follow. In response to this a new political party was created in the northern states called the Freemen Party. Made up of old Whigs and abolitionists, this new party wanted to see slavery abolished and more power given to the states. By 1860 all of the issues on slavery came to a boil as the Democrat Party ran John Breckenridge and the Freemen Party ran William Seward. Breckenridge won the election, but almost every free state voted for Seward. Riots over Breckenridge’s election spread across the north. When the army was ordered to put them down they mutinied. Just a month after the election, Illinois became the first state to secede from the Union. By Breckenridge’s inauguration Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana joined with Illinois.

During 1861 Breckenridge tried to reach a compromise but that failing he ordered the state militias to mobilize. This order prompted New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to also secede. These nine states formed the Free States of America and established their capitol in New York. Though not recognized by any country, the Free States were aided secretly by both Britain and New England. The War of Northern Independence lasted to 1865. The United States had on its side some of the greatest military minds America had to offer like Robert E. Lee and "Stonewall" Jackson. Also the Free States weren’t exactly united and pro-American rebellions in New York, Illinois and Indiana hampered the Free States cause. However the Free States was heavily industrialized and had a much larger population to throw against the United States. With pressure from both England and France, the United States sued for peace and recognized the independence of the Free States but refused any claims the Free States had to any western territories. The loss in the War of Northern Independence caused the United States to become very paranoid of the outside world. Over the years the fear of foreign influence and a slave revolt turned the country into one of the world’s first police state. However the effects of this transformation would not be felt for some time as events across the world overshadowed the internal changes in the United States.


Hit Counter