Pax Napoleonica

Pax NapoleonicaEdit

"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 empire will be difficult to maintain."

-Harold Jenkins Abernathy, Chief Editor of the Maryland Gazette, January 1, 1815

apoleon declared the war over on Christmas Day, 1814, as he had promised several months before. In Canada, the British had been annihilated at last. McDonald had been captured in northern Quebec and was executed by the R.U. for war crimes, which was a startling event in a time when countries almost always respected rival military leaders and usually let them go or exchanged them if captured. Drummond escaped to an unknown fate, likely in the Great Canadian Frontier, leaving many Union citizens thirsting for revenge and wanting to take it out on Canadian citizens and POWs, which were sometimes 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 the same day as Wales: May 16th. Joseph Bonaparte was installed by Napoleon as King of Ireland. Naples and Sicily, of which Joseph was formerly monarch of, went to his 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 government of Virginia, and Braith Nash became the first Prince-President of Wales. Nash had acted as an emergency leader since the Welsh independence movement really took off, and was very popular. He desired maximum freedom for his people, and (though he was technically a prince), wanted the government to be very out of the people's way. Sadly, directly following the official declaration of Welsh independence, Nash was shot through the neck by a rifle-toting rooftop assassin. He died instantly. A new leader was elected, and the new fellow was the first leader in Wales to belong to a political party, the radical Plaid Cymru group. His name was Thomas Picton, and his history is fairly mysterious. He supposedly had served in French Revolution on the French side, as an expatriate. He was a quite typical democrat and moderate everyman at that point, allegedly. But then he met Robespierre and he drastically changed his viewpoints, becoming increasingly radical. He had Napoleon's approval when he was elected Prince-President, but afterward he quickly descended into a totalitarian state of mind.

Braith Nash

His Excellency, Braith Nash

Thomas Picton

His Princely Majesty, Thomas Picton, Order of the Red Dragon

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. 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.
Ralph Abercrombie

Ralph Abercromby

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, a massive seaside castle on the coast of Scotland completed in 1820 that was the definition of intimidation and martial law. Scotland tolerated the French troops there for now, but it would later become problematic.

The Isle of Man was ripped from William, and Napoleon made the island a part of the French Empire and himself Lord of Man. 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. 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.

Flag of Scotland

Flag of Scotland

Meanwhile, England was in chaos. Several attempts to overthrow the government had been attempted, chiefly by Arthur Wellesley, who plotted a peaceful overthrow 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 fallen 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. 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. 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.

The AmericasEdit

The French were quick to wrest Francophone Quebec from American influence, and they were also quick to warn the Union to only take areas of Canada approved by Napoleon. Threats of retaliation were issued to the American Consuls, saying that any attempt by American soldiers to occupy Canadian soil would be considered an act of war against France and her associates. This shocking warning worked, and the French government hunkered down to work out the new borders.

Burning Drummond's Effigy

Burning Drummond's Effigy in Chapelton, Pennsylvania, by Edward Staten (1821, Maryland Gazette)

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 Drummond had escaped to British holdings in India (the last remnant of British colonialism) by early 1815. The R.U. proclaimed Christmas Eve to be "Remembrance Day," with festivities such as dressing in nothing but black, eating a minimal amount, going to church, and burning effigies of Drummond at the town squares. Boston proclaimed a city "holiday," officially called "Siege Day," when Canadian forces barraged and burnt 70% of the famous city down.

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 sometime unfairly rip farms out of middle-class Spanish growers). The Hispanics suddenly found themselves second-class citizens, and much of their wealth was what many would call "redistributed" to Frenchman by Napoleon's government. Tensions finally boiled over in 1819, when a mob of Spaniards 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.

Flag of Brazil

Flag of the Brazilian Republic

Meanwhile, immigrants to the southern North American countries found themselves much of the time in a much fairer position. Georgia, CoCaro, Virginia, and the rest 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, becoming largely Germanic in its heritage.
Germans Moving to America

Germans board a ship in Hamburg to head to Jamaica, the Bahamas, and the Confederation of the Carolinas

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 even from New Spain, and shiploads of Irish and Catholic 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, German speaking ones, and more than a few Italian areas. Savannah became "rife with Papal vermin infestations" according to R.U. newspapers, and deserved to be "exterminated like Sodom and the Whore of Rome itself." By 1840, Georgia would in fact be a predominantly Catholic country.

Scots and Irish to Savannah

Scots and Irish sailing to New Orleans, by James Clyde (1821)

Despite the fairly decent treatment in other American countries, 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 industry. French scientists and experts 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, Newport News became Virginia's economic capital, along with Madisonville, on the Mississippi River.
Newport News

The industrial powerhouse of Newport News, Republic of Virginia, circa 1825

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 in with their fishing know-how and many of their own boats, forming a staunch far-right, ultra-Lutheran block of population, which severely outnumbered the formerly predominate Catholic population (though the Papists 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, along the Great Lakes, its main source of income. Shicagwa, already in 1825 the capital of the newly declared State of Iowai (formerly the Midwest Territory), would begin that same year, through shifty R.U. policies to develop into a large city. 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. The Consuls then sent agents to Eastern Europe to lure people to Shicagwa with the promises of fame and fortune and certain jobs. 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 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 and "enlightened" plantation masters were supposedly blacks with more dignity, the Slavs were treated with utter contempt. In Philadelphia, faced with civil unrest, the R.U. deployed its military to crack down. Huge prison castles were built in the Ohio wilderness, where any nonconformists were sent. The children of the immigrants were slowly drained of Orthodoxy by state-funded Sunday Schools at the factories, and they were taught that the other American countries, Britain, and France were all "fagots fit for the fire." While working in wretched conditions, abusive "Sunday School ministers" would lead the children in cadences. A Georgian traveler 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."

Orphans in Philadelphia

Three Serbian orphans roam the streets of Philadelphia

s the year 1826 approached, it looked as if another year of the Pax Napoleonica would come and go. But something triggered on the Gulf of Mexico was about to plunge New Spain into a Revolution, and back in Asia, decisions would have to be made about the all-important Partition of India, only now possible after a decade of stomping out insurrection. And last but not least, the fate of the Mysterious Orient.
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