"It has become increasingly clear to this journalist that the French Caesar thinks he has achieved supreme victory. He has met the enemy, and they are his. At least for now. What may lay down the road is unknown, but the stability of the huge empire--and indeed the Peace of Europe--will be difficult to maintain."
-Harold Jenkins Abernathy, Chief Editor of the Maryland Gazette, January 1, 1815
Napoleon declared the Napoleonic Wars over on Christmas Day, 1814. In Canada, the British had been annihilated at last. The aide from the Southrons and French had finally arrived. However, to the people of the Yankee states, it was too little and far too late. The seeds of hatred had been planted, and the AFC would water the shoots. The Canadians had essentially pillaged themselves into exhaustion until American troops could finally start winning victories and taking the fight into Canada. McDonald had been captured in northern Quebec and was executed by the Republican Union military for war crimes, a startling event for the period. Drummond escaped to an unknown fate, many thought into the Great Canadian Frontier, leaving many Union citizens thirsting for revenge and wanting to take it out on Canadian citizens and prisoners, who were sometimes randomly executed for "war crimes" in batches of 100 or more.
Back in Europe, Wellesley had been captured in May, 1814. After that, the war in Britain was effectively over. Ireland declared independence on May 16, the same day as Wales. Joseph Bonaparte was installed by Napoleon as King of Ireland. Naples and Sicily, of which Joseph was formerly monarch of, went to his capable 15 year old daughter Zénaïde. His younger daughter, Charlotte, had died in an horrific carriage accident in 1813. Joseph took his only son, 16 year-old Dominique-Antoine Napoleon Bonaparte, with him to be Crown Prince Dominic of Ireland.
Wales went for an aristocratic republican system. It was heavily inspired by the enlightenment governments of Virginia and Maryland, and Braith Nash became the first Prince-President of Wales. Nash had acted as emergency leader since the Welsh independence movement really took off and was very popular with the people. He desired maximum freedom for his people, and though he was technically a prince he wanted the government to be very much out of the people's way and moderate in its policies. He survived an assassination attempt by the radical Welsh Liberation Group, devout radical democrats who sought the overthrow of all monarchies. This outbreak of violence sadly led to Nash moving to limit civil liberties and crush opposition. He was a reluctant tyrant, but a capable one.
Wales and Ireland inspired Scotland to finally proclaim freedom from England in a surprise move. They proclaimed a constitutional republic and elected the 81 year-old Ralph Abercromby, a former general in the British Army of Scotland, as the first President of the Scottish Republic. He was considered a fervent Scottish nationalist, anti-English, and was by far the most appropriate choice for leader. He was an intimidating figure; he had lost an arm in 1802, and a large sword gash ran along the right side of his head. He actually became known as the "Highland Bear" throughout Europe, because of his stature and his ruthless habit of getting things done, and getting them done quickly. By being free of England, Great Britain was dissolved and Scotland did not have to pay war reparations to the Imperial Alliance. This triggered massive anti-Scottish sentiment in England, but the ties of friendship between the two countries were never totally severed, as Scotland had indeed fought Bonaparte fiercely. Scotland, over the next ten years or so, would become well-known for its daring exploits in the world of exploration, with a Scottish vessel being the first to discover Antarctica in 1820.
The Republic of Scotland became a fairly happy country, but the area bordering Catholic Ireland was so volatile it had to be permanently staffed with French troops, chiefly at Fort Scotia. Fort Scotia, completed in 1820, was a massive seaside castle on the coast of Scotland that was the definition of intimidation and martial power. Scotland tolerated the French troops there for now, but it would later become problematic. Scotland never saw itself as a French satellite, and it wanted to finally be in charge of its own future for once and follow mostly republican principles. France would detest this.
The small Isle of Man was ripped from King William, and Napoleon made the island a part of the French Empire. It made an excellent stronghold to keep an eye on Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England. Shortly after, the French Caesar added Guernsey, Jersey, and all parts of the Channel Islands to his domains, declaring himself "Lord of Man and the Channel Isles." He then proclaimed Cornwall to be a military occupation zone and a French dependency. He set up Marquis Laurent de Gouvion Saint-Cyr, of Truro Invasion fame, as Governor of Cornwall.
Meanwhile, England, now without it's Great Union, was in chaos. Several attempts to overthrow the government had been attempted, chiefly by Arthur Wellesley, who plotted a removal of William during an event known as "The 100 Days," which took place after Wellesley escaped from an Irish prison camp with a few loyal officers. At the last moment, Wellington was defeated in a small skirmish with Williamite troops at a place called Waterley, on the west coast. He was handed over to the French and Irish by obedient William and was then exiled to the Falklands, where he died of arsenic poisoning and stomach cancer five years later.
William was desperately clinging to power as his kingdom had literally been ripped apart around him and his inherited mental problems became more and more apparent. He would have to kowtow to France from this point on or be invaded, and if he did kowtow, the people would overthrow him eventually for being a "Bonaparte boot-licker." So, finally, he announced he was abdicating the throne, which would go to his younger brother, Edward, who then became King Edward VII. In 1818, Edward married Marie Louise Viktoria, ex-wife of the late German nobleman Emich Carl, Prince of Leiningen. On May 24th, 1819, Princess Victoria of England was born.
Edward was a moderate man of moderate temperament, rather weak in fact, but he at least seemed to be solid in the brain, and hopes were high Princess Victoria would not turn out to be a screaming banshee of a madwoman later in life. The Queen Consort was known for worrying for her daughter's health, but publicly stated again and again that Victoria was perfectly sound of mind. The only thing she expressed concern about was who would marry the princess later; with a huge family history of insanity, megalomania, and homicidal psychosis, not many princes and dukes would be wanting to meet Victoria at the altar.
Growing unrest in England did not let up under Edward's reign, and Prime Minister Spencer Percival was gunned down in the House of Commons, rocking the English government to its core. Meanwhile, to be covered in a future chapter, the British East India Company, officially renamed the English East India Company in 1815, began to break away from its failing mother country as the Royal Navy was in tatters and steps had to be taken to secure their own safety and continuity of government. It's Governor-General, Paul Horace Greer, would eventually move for the complete end of Royal rule and for India to become a white man's empire with himself at the head. Needless to say, this would result in major problems.
Meanwhile, in the rest of Europe, armed struggles continued, but no where close to what they had been at the height of the true Napoleonic Wars. Serbia had attempted to declare a republic in 1814 and rebelled against the Ottoman Empire. The Turks crushed them, but that struggle would rear its head again later in 1816. The Turks would finally grant them local autonomy. Anti-Jewish pogroms, known as the Hep-Hep Riots, swept Bavaria after the War ended and were a bloody, nasty affair. This hostile antisemitic environment sent many wealthy Jewish-Bavarians fleeing to North America, especially the Jewish-friendly Republican Union, where they set up new businesses in the war-torn nation. In other news, Spain teetered closer to complete bankruptcy and defaulting on its debts and civil unrest was sweeping the land.
The French were quick to wrest Francophone Quebec from American influence, and they were also quick to warn the Union that Philadelphia would receive no territory without Imperial approval. Threats of retaliation were issued to the American Consuls, saying that any attempt by American soldiers to occupy Canadian soil permanently would be considered an act of war against France and the Continental Alliance. This shocking warning worked and America obeyed, if begrudgingly and the French government hunkered down to work out the new borders.
In the Republican Union, anti-French demagoguery sounded through the cities and was plastered on newspapers everywhere, as well as coverage of the ongoing hunt for "Drummond the Ogre." They had no clue that in early 1815 Drummond had escaped to British holdings in India, the last remnant of British colonialism. The R.U. proclaimed Christmas Eve to be "Remembrance Day," with festivities such as dressing in black, fasting, going to church, and burning effigies of Drummond and Napoleon at the town squares. Boston proclaimed March 26 a city "holiday," officially called "Siege Day," commemorating the day in 1814 when Canadian forces barraged and burnt 50% of the famous port city down. The growing American Fundamentalist Church was one of the main sources of anti-French propaganda, cementing in the Yankee collective memory the "Great Betrayal" of France and the Southrons willingly letting Canada rampage across the Union, burning cities and killing and raping people who had never wanted to be a part of Napoleon's war anyway. And the French decree that they would have no say in the partition of Canada enraged them further, making an injury an outright insult.
Boston's regrowth was slow at first, and then boomed as converts of the AFC movement donated their time, money, and effort into rebuilding. New York City and Philadelphia received similar reconstruction. After the war in Europe had wrapped up, the European workforce--no longer producing ships, guns, bullets, swords, and bayonets--started leaving for the New World. The aforementioned Jewish immigrants, escaping the pogroms of the German lands, were a real shot in the arm for the Union economy as well, cementing their later acceptance within the increasingly xenophobic nation. Jewish businesses would soon become some of the most powerful in the nation. Slowly, America was picking itself up.
France had taken over New Portugal, including all of Brazil, following the 1808 formation of the Portuguese Confederation. It then declared volatile Brazil to be an "independent Brazilian Republic." A new identity was forming in the decade after, a strange mix of Spanish, French, Indian, and Negro culture. It received quite a bit of immigration from France itself by wealthy businessmen seeking to create new plantations (and sometimes unfairly rip farms out of middle-class Portuguese growers). Many Brazilians suddenly found themselves second-class citizens, and much of their wealth was "redistributed" to Frenchmen favored by Napoleon's government. Tensions finally boiled over in 1819, when a mob of native Brazilians stormed the Brazil government headquarters with torches and farming tools. Swiss mercenaries opened fire with their expensive rifled muskets, massacring the rioters. Napoleon declared martial law and by 1820 the French were firmly the undisputed masters of New Portugal. The Republic was declared over and French rule came down with a heavy hand.
Meanwhile, immigrants to the Southron North American countries found themselves in a land of opportunity. The Southrons all highly valued hard work, and let most any white man (and much of the time Hispanics) to rise wherever the sweat of their brow would take them. The Caribbean islands were a hotspot of new citizenry. Many of the ships coming from southern Europe would stop to resupply in the Caribbean, and many of the Europeans favored the warm climate and style of living and thought it reminiscent of places like Naples and the Mediterranean coast. Thomas Bragg's Virgin Islands Confederacy experienced a massive population boom. The quasi-independent and very peaceful and agricultural Jamaica also doubled in size at this point, with citizens of the former Great Britain seeking refuge in a friendly land.
In Georgia, though it was still considered a Protestant country, Catholic presence was increasing dramatically, largely due to the romance between the country and Catholic France. Spaniards were coming in from New Spain, and shiploads of Catholic Irish and Scots were arriving daily. Savannah soon had its very own "Little Ireland," and the metropolis grew and grew after that point, soon adding Eastern European neighborhoods, "Little Spain," German speaking areas, and more than a few Italian neighborhoods. Crime from the massive influx of immigrants, many of whom were homeless for extended periods of time as the nation adapted to the population boom, made Savannah's poorer districts a dangerous place. Savannah was "rife with Papal vermin infestations" according to R.U. newspapers, and deserved to be "exterminated by God like Sodom and the Whore of Rome itself." In 1820, the West Florida Republic was finally annexed into the Republic of Georgia. By 1840, Georgia would in fact hold a 40% Catholic minority.
Despite the fairly decent treatment in other American countries aside from the Union, many immigrants recognized the most liberal republics were Virginia and Maryland. Virginia, as a largely agricultural country, needed as many immigrants as it could to bolster its fledgling post-war industry. French scientists and engineers had been in Virginia for decades, trying to help their good ally move beyond cotton and tobacco. When mass waves of English, Eastern European, and Austrian families arrived, Richmond may have been the national capital but Norfolk and its industry and shipyards became Virginia's economic one. Maryland had an almost purely maritime tradition. Whaling, and the general whale oil industry, was predominate, with Maryland having gone so far as having beaten the R.U. to the valuable rights to fish off the coast of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, something which incensed the Consuls. It was only fitting that, after several brutal winters and poor harvests in the homelands (1814-18), the famously seafaring Scandinavians began pouring into Maryland with their fishing and naval know-how and many of their own boats, forming a staunch conservative, ultra-Lutheran, working-class block of the population, which severely outnumbered the formerly predominate aristocratic Catholic population (though Catholics were never a true majority).
By 1825, the R.U. was lagging behind terribly, but in the coming decades it would form its own metropolis out west, nested along the Great Lakes. The Northwest Territory Act was signed by the R.U. Government in 1820. The states of Ohio, Michigania, Chersnonesus, and Iowai were was declared following the Act. Shicagwa was the site of several bloody massacres of the Pottawatomie and Miami Indian tribes at the turn of the century, but by 1825 it was already a booming Lake Michigan port town. Iowai's government had proposed the idea to the Chief Consuls in 1823, right before statehood, that Shicagwa was in a perfect place to cause maximum profit; iron mines nearby and fishing on Lake Michigan were available, as well as the possibility of textile mills and such. Some business moguls then sent agents to Eastern Europe and other poor regions to lure people to Shicagwa with promises of fame, fortune, charity, and certain jobs. However, this concept would not be fully exploited until the rise of Charles Goodyear's "New Slavery" in the 1830s.
Families would save up for years to pull together the money to cross the Atlantic, only to find Shicagwa an impoverished shanty town, where the port bosses built up a reputation for cruelty and the factories were complete sweatshops. The cheap Irish and Slavic labor would soon spiral out of hand, with the immigrants becoming slaves in everything but name. And while the slave population in the South was decreasing in the 1820s and "enlightened" plantation masters were supposedly treating blacks with more dignity, the Slavs were treated with utter contempt. On multiple occasions, America was faced with civil unrest caused by angry immigrants, and the R.U. deployed its military to crack down dissent. This gave the appearance of "violent, ungrateful savages refusing to integrate," though integration was never truly a real option to those of ethnicities not favored by the government. No understanding would ever come between the "subhuman" immigrants and the American citizens. As the AFC stepped up xen/sod/ophobia under Reverend-Colonel Edward Everett, Charles Goodyear, and beyond, any understanding that could ever have been reached was forever lost. The American population had no idea that American businesses were essentially shipping in illiterate serfs on empty promises, and thought the Slavs simply anarchistic trouble-makers who were not true Americans and who hated living in "the freest nation on earth." To them, the immigrants were lawless troublemakers who came in mass numbers to destroy the morals of the Union with "Papist doctrine and false Orthodoxy." Not every American hated the immigrants, not even most Americans, but the minority was vocal. America at this point, in the 1820s, could still have reversed this trend. It still could have become a beacon of hope and freedom, even more free than the South following the 1828 Philadelphia Decree, abolishing slavery forever within Union lands. But in the 1830s the true anti-immigrant flashpoint would occur, and the real civil unrest would begin. Immigration dropped off in the 1820s as stories crossed oceans of American xenophobia. However, when Charles Goodyear implemented the "New Slavery," tens of thousands of "Inferiors" would cross the waters once again only to arrive in a Union that was just using them as a tool for cheap labor.
As immigrants from Protestant countries would get off the ships in New York, Boston, and the rest, AFC missionaries would immediately greet them with a smile and hand them a Bible and the Three Books of Manifest Destiny. The Slavs, Italians, and Irish would get off the ships only to be surrounded by police and required escorts to the slums where they were housed in filthy tenements. The children of the "foreign beasts" were worked in wretched conditions in factories, farms, and mines for barely any pay at all. A visiting Georgian businessman named Barnabas P. Jekyll wrote in his diary that "the state of the foreign little ones in the Union sickens me. It is an abomination. This damnable 'Republic' should be burned down." Barnabas P. Jekyll was one of the biggest slave-owners in the South.
As the year 1826 approached, it looked as if another year of the Pax Napoleonica would come and go. But growing discontent of the nations in the Continental Alliance was getting out of hand, actions on the Gulf of Mexico were about to plunge the very unstable New Spain into a Revolution, and back in Asia, decisions would have to be made about the all-important colonial jewel of India. Last but not least, the Mysterious Orient was calling the White Man's name. These events would all be decided upon by an assembly of world leaders meeting in Vienna....