things we declare to be our native rights, and therefore are agreed and resolved
to maintain them with our utmost possibilities against all opposition
whatsoever; being compelled thereunto not only by the examples of our ancestors,
whose blood was often spent in vain for the recovery of their freedom”- The
Agreement of the People, 1647
Dave’s ATL on a Cromwellian dynasty got my thinking. This is about a
different political outcome to the Civil War. I admit this isn’t my area of
expertise, but since people don’t seem to be interested in Byzantine
had been led by the Levelers?
the Levellers were a group of radicals in England which advocated a policy that
would sound familiar a few generations later, notably natural law. As one member
of the Levelers put it, “by natural birth all men are equally and alike
borne to like propriety, liberty and freedom”.
I was toying
with the Leveller Mutinies in 1649, when John Lilburne was put on trial, but
that is, IMO, a bit too late.
move it back to October of 1647, and see what happens. We’ll make Rainsborough
a bit smarter than OTL.
to have to fiddle around with the Putney Debates (Thanks to Dave for help on a
specific POD). I think any direct moves against Cromwell or Ireton (Ireton was
another decent general) are too farfetched, at least for the moment.
suppose that Cromwell aggress to give the vote to all men with property, or a
fixed income . But this agreement happens a week earlier than OTL, and is
presented to the army on November 4,5, and 6. This means that the army hears of
it a week before King Charles escapes. He still does so, but suddenly the
army, with its promises of:
Pardon for crimes.
Pay and their arrears.
Is much more
important. Note also that in TTL
Rainsborough will stick with the army, because he is very popular with the rank
and file. (Skillful Leveller propaganda).
Scotland, agrees that Presbyterianism will be tried in England for three years,
and to work for a closer union of
the two nations. Fairfax’s lifeguard regiment is Leveller, which goes to show
how far the movement has spread; there are mass protests for the return of the
invades England more or less on schedule, but with a
pitiful army (also more or less as in OTL). This occurs in July; Cromwell
was sent to Wales a few years earlier. Rainsborough, not out at sea, joins in
the prayers in April. Fairfax is notably absent, and his absence marks a
disillusionment with the views of him and his officers .
out west, Rainsborough is sent to Kent to subdue a rebellion there, which he
handles well enough. The navy does not revolt because the Earl of Warick is
still in charge, and Cromwell
finally gets a hold of Wales.
marches north in July, while Rainsborough stays in the South. He wins the battle
of Preston in August, and Colchester surrenders to Fairfax. Rainsborough is
raised to the status of a Lord-General, for his actions in Kent and Lancaster.
Rainsborough is sent North, and reaches Edinburgh first. He quickly
hammers out a simple treaty with them, in which Berwick and Carlisle were
surrendered, and the Scottish military forces are to be disbanded.
With the war
in the North won, Rainsborough, Colonel Harrison, and Ireton meet to discuss how
to Bring The Agreement of the People in
line with the Remonstrance of the Army, which was written by Ireton.
petition Parliament that the House of commons was the supreme authority, and
argued that the King should only be negotiated with for forty days. Soldiers
appeal to Fairfax to stop the negotiations, nor did he listen to Ireton’s
advice that he reoccupy London and purge the Commons.
Now, in TTL,
Fairfax summons a Council of Officers at St. Albans in the first week of
November, in which they discuss Ireton’s remonstrance. The Agreement of the
People is brought up by Rainsborough, and becomes a part of it. The revised Remonstrance
argues that the King should be brought to justice and the monarchy abolished.
Parliament is unmentioned, and the Council of Officers sends his terms to the
state that armed forces were to be controlled by a Council of State chosen by
Parliament. Parliaments would be elected biennally on a reformed electoral
system, with all property owners and men with a certain income voting in the
House of Commons, but the House of Lords would continue. Charles rejects the
terms in November, and Fairfax falls back on the Levellers; the Remonstrance is
sent to the House of Commons. They also demand payment.
there’s a civil war on, payment proves less than forthcoming, and Fairfax
orders the occupation of London. Parliament is not disbanded, but Parliament
protests the King’s movement to Hurst Castle, and Ireton and Rainsborough
purge the Commons (somewhat reluctantly).
shows up and approves of this, but Fairfax is furious. He doesn’t intervene,
but he is now very untrusting of Rainsborough.
with no Parliament to appose it, the “Rump Parliament” sets up a Court to
try the King. After much wrangling, the King appears before the court on the 22nd.
major event is that, in TTL, Rainsborough is an enthusiastic advocate of the
trial. Fairfax isn’t, but Cromwell is. A near civil war breaks out, but
Fairfax’s guard mutinies against him in favor of Rainsborough.
After the War
Parliament votes for the dissolution of the Monarchy, and for the
abolishment of the House of Lords.
The House of Commons then passes the Agreement of the People, which is summed up as follows:
England is a republic ruled by Parliament. The Franchise has already been
The right to a trial by Jury for all voters.
An executive appointed by the Parliament, known as the Lord-Protector. He
is reelected every five years, and may not serve more than fifteen years.
Guarantees for Life, Liberty, and Property.
Some religious freedoms for Protestants, aside from far out groups like
Quakers. Jews are let back into England.
is sent to Ireland instead of Cromwell, and manages to subdue the country by the
end of the year.
Cromwell is sent to Scotland, and English ships, to oversimplify, begin
attacking Portuguese shipping for supporting Charles II. Cromwell is engaged in
England for most of 1651, and falls sick and dies in February . Rainsborough
marches north, and defeats Charles II. Parliament naturally votes for a Union
with Scotland. Those troops are there for protection from Royalists; and if you
don’t believe me, ask Rainsborough.
The First Anglo-Dutch War
Navigation Act is passed as in OTL. This is partly in response to the Dutch
refusal to ally with England, on the basis that the English had, ah, executed
their lawful sovereign. The House of Orange’s supporters refuse.
begins in May of 1562. It begins when the Dutch Admiral, Marten Tromp, refuses
to pay respects to the English fleet. The English admiral, Blake, fires a shot
across the Dutch bows. Tromp returns fire. The Dutch ultimately lose the battle,
and war is officially declared.
lose a battle in 1652, but by 1653 are blockading the Netherlands. Tromp is
killed in battle, and the Dutch are forced to sign a peace with the English.
Parliament now feels that the navy is now the key to Commercial Success.
now the Lord-Protector of the Britannic Commonwealth, decides that the navy
should be sent elsewhere. This is partly to ward off the problems in Parliament;
everyone is still fighting as in OTL.
The Western Design
Design is based on a plan by the English traveler Thomas Gage, who argued that
England could easily take Mexico from bases in the Caribbean The English, with
French support , also invade the Low Countries.
revolves around the capture of the island of Santo Domingo. 50 ships and 7500
men sail for the island, and with Rainsborough’s attention to detail, the plan
succeeds . Santo Domingo falls in March of 1655, and Jamaica in April. For
good measure, the fleet captures a Spanish treasure fleet. English goes wild
rejoicing, and the success does silent some opposition .
In the Low
Countries, the French and British forces ally against the Spanish. Lambert is
sent with 6,000 English troops to join the French Marshal Turenne. The English
are promised the towns of Mardyck and Dunkirk; the English will get the town of
the English capture Mardyck. They beat the Spanish at the Battle of the Dunkirk,
where Lambert breaks the Tercios.
Anglo-Spanish war ends in 1660, with Santo Domingo, Jamaica, and the two Flemish
towns going to the Commonwealth. France made peace a year earlier, and the
Commonwealth enjoys newfound popularity.
The Second Hundred Years War
Commonwealth was about to entire a period which historians refer to as the
second Hundred Years War, a contest for global supremacy with the French. Much
like the first war, the English had an ally in the Low countries, in the form of
the Republic of Holland. England, secure with its hegemony in the West Indies,
it was more inclined to accommodate its protestant neighbor across the channel.
The Treaty of Westerminster confirmed an alliance of the Triple Powers, that is,
Sweden, Holland, and Britain.
France was no
longer the civil war wracked nation of the Wars of Religion. It is the giant of
Louis XIV, who goes to war with the Spanish in 1667 over their failure to pay
the proper dowry. He manages to overrun, within a year, most of the Spanish
Netherlands and the Franc-Comte. He is forced to exchange, at the Peace Treaty,
Franc-Comte for much of the Spanish Netherlands.
the Dutch understandably nervous, and it does the same thing to the English. The
War of the Low Countries, as it is so called, begins in 1672 when an army
100,000 strong invades the Netherlands.
XIV, and Turenne  march into the Southern Netherlands, and they succeed in
taking Utrecht. But several thousand French soldiers are tied up at the siege of
Dunkirk, where the English fort is resupplied by sea.
The Dutch are
in a mess, as in OTL. Historically they appointed William II, their
captain-general, and they do so. The English threaten to drop out of the war
unless they are ceded several territories, notably Manhattan, Antigua, and
Ceylon. Faced with the choice of a conquest by the French, they give in.
aspects of the war shall be discussed later, but for now let us simply say that
the British take time to deploy to the Continent.
William manages to halt the French army, but it is John Lambert who
recommends flooding the Low Countries by breaking the dykes, devastating the
French army .
several more years to drive the French out of the Low Countries into Calais. The
battles of Ypres and Ghent are charnel houses, killing thousands.
makes an appearance in Scotland, rallying the Highland Clans to his standard. He
is promptly defeated outside of Edinburgh by General Sexby, but that’s life.
French and English were able to hold their own against the Dutch, and then
triumph. This was largely the result of England. The Dutch and English navies
have a merry time attacking French shipping, including in the Mediterranean.
But it is
Quebec where the battle in the new world is decided. An armada of twenty
warships travels to Montreal, then a small city, and manages to take it .
The Treaty of
Rouen confirms the possession of the Spanish Netherlands in the hands of the
Commonwealth, Luxembourg in Spanish hands, and several border adjustments in
favor of France. It also gives Quebec, known as New Strathclyde, to the
Peace. And Some more War.
other events abroad, of course. The French are not going to take this sitting
down, and in 1680 , the War of the Grand Alliance begins.
war of the Grand Alliance is a combination of several wars. The Empire and
Fought a war
in the 1680’s, which ends with Prussia gaining East Friesia but losing part of
Pomerania, in Northern Germany.
The League of
Ausburg, consisting of Bavaria, Austria, the Commonwealth, Sweden, Spain,
Saxony, and the Palatinate oppose Louis. The outbreak of the war occurs when the
Elector of the Palatinate dies. Louis claims a part of it on the basis that his
sister in law was the Elector’s sister. He also presses for the Archbishop of
Strassburg to become the Elector of Cologne instead of the Prince of Bavaria.
breaks out in 1789. Savoy is overrun in 1690, along with Piemonte. But the
English win at Dunkirk, and the song “The Push of the Pike” becomes part of
the English culture. The exact wording is something like this:
in open fields, on their foes rushing,
fleet is defeated at sea by the Commonwealth, but the French win the battle of
Steinkirk. The Duke of Savoy is
defeated in 1693, and the allies are growing exhausted.
The war drags
on for several more years until 1697. The treaty of Bordeaux confirms the
Commonwealth, the separate peace with Savoy, the Britannic capture of
Pondicherry, cedes Strassbourg to France, and brings a general peace of
followed up by the war of Spanish succession . Charles, King of Spain, has
no heirs. There are three candidates: Louis XIV, on behalf of his eldest son.
Joseph Ferdinand of Bavaria, grandson of Phillip, and Archduke Charles of
Austria. The specifics can be found in my timeline on the House of
say, the Commonwealth isn’t thrilled with the idea of a Franco-Spanish union,
nor an Austro-Spanish one. They favor Joseph, and so does the King. The treaties
of Partition fail, and war breaks out.
invade the Low Countries, but are defeated by the Duke of Sussex. The French
gain the advantage in Italy, as they have the Duke of Savoy on their side. The
Austrians manage to repulse a Bavarian invasion of Tyrol in 1702, and everyone
blithely ignores the Northern War.
the Duke of Sussex team up to defeat the Franco-Bavarian force in the Rhineland,
and in 1702 the Commonwealth captures Gibraltar. While the Hapsburgs manage to
occupy Madrid temporarily, it ultimately ends in failure.
The Austrian victory at Turin, however, secures all of Lombardy for the
It is also
important to note that the dynamics in the Commonwealth Parliament are
different. The Sugar bloc is still there, but it’s not as important. In this
timeline, they do not want to keep the price of sugar up by avoiding to conquer
islands. They want the key producers of sugar in British hands. Now, preferably.
Cuba joins Santo Domingo and Jamaica in 1708.
Emperor Joseph dies, and Charles VI becomes Emperor,
the entire war halts. Charles would mean that the Empires of Spain and
Austria would be under one throne, which no one is willing to allow.
Commonwealth leaves the war, along with Savoy, at the Treaty of Antwerp. The
Treaty guarantees the possession of Cuba and Acadia for the Commonwealth, and
cedes Sicily to Savoy. Prussia and
Portugal gain minor territorial adjustments too, of course.
does it go from here? Hard to say; I was leery of going to the 1710’s, to be
honest. The English are stronger than OTL, and the Enlightenment, since it
probably still goes off, can point to a working European democracy. The fact
that it’s English may not make Enlightenment ideals popular in France, but
English based ideals were OTL, so it’s possible.
will have more self-government, but will be used to pulling their weight. An
American Revolution is unlikely. Past that? Europe could go any number of ways.
honestly have no idea of how much this would be. I’m envisioning the
approximate worth of a few acres. Note that this was more or less the initial
Cromwell was the chief beneficiary of this.
 He fell
sick in OTL. Here, with the changes, I don’t think he’d survive.
Cromwell would ally with the French, then less fanatic Rainsborough would have.
in OTL was extremely unlikely, and required two incompetent generals, running at
the first sight of the Spanish, and an insufficient amount of all provisions.
number is accurate, and Conde and Turenne are famous generals.
 It looks
as ugly as it sounds.
 The fact
that this is Dutch territory and not English probably influenced him, although
William of Orange did a similar thing.
torn on this. It sounds like hand waving, but I think it’s probable. Thoughts?
 I kept
it in because, well, it is my feeling that the Spanish Hapsburgs were headed
toward something like this.
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