"Declaration of Representation" by Jeff Provine
says: we're very pleased to present the nineteenth story from Jeff
Provine's excellent blog
This Day in
Alternate History Please note that the opinions expressed in this post
do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).
On July 2nd 1776,
with war raging in the American colonies for over a year and many
whispering of independence, the Continental Congress voted to act on the
idea of separating themselves from England.
Narrowly, the proposition failed, and the Congress would turn its
attention to reforming its governmental relationship with the mother
Many argued that Parliament's Prohibitory Act's blockade against American
shipping effectively cut off the colonies from home earlier that spring.
With a blockade, an act of war, the Crown was removing the colonists from
his protection, rather than a quarantine of nationals. Lord North had
intended the act to destroy the American economy, but wording was
interpreted differently by the Navy. Any ship bearing loyal British colors
was free to pass and, in fact, under the protection of British ships.
While Thomas Paine's Common Sense stirred great eagerness for independence
in the minds of the colonists, simple economics gradually wore away the
enthusiasm. By June, as those still holding or at least feigning loyalty
prospered, thoughts had turned back to the idea of representation. The
public was indeed represented by their Continental Congress, who, after
abandoning the idea of independence, created a formal declaration through
a committee headed by philosopher Thomas Jefferson and lawyer John Adams,
later an MP. They outlined Enlightenment ideals of what a government must
to do for its people and what a people must do for its government.
The American Rebellion continued until 1778 when the capture of a British
army at Saratoga, New York, prompted William Pitt to speak out in
Parliament for peace. Though many were adamant against the notion of
letting the rebels go unpunished, Parliament voted to end the war before
it left its bounds of domestic affairs and injured their position as world
leaders (such as if the French became involved). An armistice was
proposed, accepted by the Americans, and envoys met to discuss terms,
eventually deciding to give the Americans the representation they
The war was over, and the first American members of parliament arrived in
1780. Taxes were indeed levied, but the populace was happy to pay for the
civilization they had fought hard to improve. Following the American
success, representation flooded around the rest of the British Empire with
towns like Manchester, outposts like the Falklands, and even parts of
Canada soon holding their own positions in Parliament. These populist
ideas even spread outside the borders of the empire, causing uproar
throughout Europe, most notably in France's Revolutions of 1789 and 1792,
establishing their peaceful and lasting constitutional monarchy.
In 1857, India emulated the American rebellion in success, and non-white
colonials were given citizenship and representation unparalleled before.
With prosperous colonies, Britain maintained world leadership throughout
the Victorian and Modern Eras. Although the World War dragged in trenches
for years through the 1910s, the Second World War (or "Hitler's Little
War") was won handily by 1943. As Communism and the Post-Colonial
movements began in the late '40s, England's might began to wane, and new
talks of independence are spreading throughout the world where the sun
cannot set on a British Empire.
says in reality, in reality, the Prohibitory Act was made against all
American ships, and it was clear that the colonies had already been legally
separated from Britain. The Declaration of Independence was approved
unanimously and later signed with perfected wording on July 4.
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Jeff Provine, Guest Historian of
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Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit
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