"We the People, of the Great Republican Union..."Edit
The United States Shatter
Maryland was swift in seceding and forming its own republic. It was divided in what to call itself, with some wanting it to be named "The Chesapeake Republic." Eventually, the name "Chesapeake Republic of Maryland" became the obvious choice and was adopted. It was much like Virginia in its culture, but due to a more trade-oriented culture, the large number of Catholics, and the overall nationalistic spirits of many US states, it decided to stay independent of its western neighbor, though they immediately formed a close alliance after the election of Samuel Chase as President. The Maryland militias started doing the same job they had when they were US militias; like many other states, the vast number of volunteers regiments made secession quite easy and caused minimal disturbances. Catholic nations immediately started trading with it. The Vatican States was the first country to recognize Maryland independence, followed by France, Naples, and then the Confederation of the Carolinas.
President Chase and his new government did a good job, considering the circumstances, of making the new country equipped for the future. As long as war was avoided, it would do well. In 1802, a constitution was drawn up that created Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches and aided in the separation of power and prevented any kind of dictatorship or opposite thereof, anarchy. It also made clear it was neither a Catholic country nor a theocracy of any kind, and would welcome all kinds of citizens. Maryland served as a worthy example for the other states now on their own, and Andrew Jackson's Confederation of the Carolinas copied its constitution.
Virginia was quick to elect Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as President and Vice President respectively. The two men set out to make sure Virginia was as strong as the "Northern Aggressors" in the Republican Union, and thanks to its tremendous economy supported by slave labor was the second largest economy in North America and was in a better debt situation than any of the others. Virginia also became the first of the seceded states to form a professional military. It was immediately used to try to chase out remaining natives from their lands and to monitor the north. The border with Maryland was extremely casual, and Maryland's Chase got along just splendidly with Jefferson. Virginia's military also formed an alliance with Maryland's militias, agreeing to come to each others' aid if need be. Virginia was home to several naval bases, and it rivaled the Republican Union in fleet strength.
Virginia's House of Burgesses was resurrected, which fit in nicely with the aristocratic attitudes of the land-owning gentry, and was essentially a congress. The constitution they adopted in 1803 was largely the work of Jefferson and Madison, and allowed a very large amount of freedom and limited government power. Many citizens claimed it was "what the USA should have been."
The Confederation of the Carolinas had, under Andrew Jackson, set out to make sure it would not be picked on. Jackson was detested in Virginia for having tried earlier to coerce a union, a prospect which offended Madison and Jefferson enough for them to call him a vulture. In a slap-to-the-face move, the people of the Confederation voted to make a "Noble Heraldic Vulture" the national symbol.
The Carolinian constitution was fairly balanced and was largely based on the quite nicely-constructed Maryland Constitution. It did, however, grant the Chancellor (Jackson) rather great "Emergency Powers" in the face of catastrophe (the type and size of such a catastrophe was up to debate). Jackson seized more power all the time, but it was still better than what the Carolinas had had before, and Jackson was popular enough that the people generally went along with it. Jackson didn't seem eager to abuse his power, but he was still a very young man, and he had plenty of time left to turn into a dictator or be corrupted by power.
The Green Mountain Republic of Vermont was formed after the Treason Trials. Even though it considered itself quite New English, it had had enough of the central government messing up, so it decided to form its own libertarian paradise up in the mountains, with an army of all volunteers and a fairly elected "Green Mountain People's Congress of Liberty" (no executive position was established, as the people worried it might become a dictatorship). There were minimal taxes, minimal government expenditure, minimal laws, and almost total anarchy. Hill clans took maximum power for themselves and invented "land rights" as a means with which to extort their neighbors. If one large family lived in a valley, and another family decided to homestead there, the first large family could essentially tax the newcomers to live there. If the new family was of equal size to the "owners," family feuds broke out. If the new family was bigger than the "owners," then, in all likelihood, the "owners" would be murdered. The people lived in fear and terror of lawless neighboring clans murdering them, but at least they didn't have to pay taxes!
Making matters worse was Britain's consistent violation of Vermont's borders. Redcoats ventured in on routine "scavenging tours" in Green Mountain territory, and several illegal logging camps were set up by Canadian citizens. Finally, Vermont's militias mustered and drove out the loggers. King George thought briefly about outright invasion and recapture of the colony, but with the Napoleonic Wars unfolding in Europe, abandoned it, leading to the Vermont citizens thinking they had broken the morale of the British Empire and gave them an insane amount of national prestige, something that would persist from that point on.
The West Florida Republic was a puppet of Georgia and was much like Vermont in its outlook. It was a libertarian wonderland controlled by local towns and villages that pushed the limits of freedom into "do as thou wilt" territory. Things got so bad in West Florida that they inadvertently gave birth to a North American icon: the Town Marshal. Wyatt Masterson was a marshal who fought off 50 bandits attempting to sack his village on the Gulf Coast. He became a hero, and Georgia, West Florida's puppetmaster, started a huge system of marshals in its own country, which decreased crime by a huge percentage. Aside from the occasional pirate attack, West Florida remained fairly safe as a nation, since Georgia deterred the Spanish from getting any bright ideas. It never elected a central leader, and instead opted for a National Parliament.
The Republic of Georgia, like Virginia, was run by aristocratic, land-owning, slave-owning, Southern gentry, and would have probably joined Virginia in a union if the Confederation of the Carolinas hadn't been in between. They weren't quite as radically republican as Virginia, but they were decent as far as adherents to that philosophy were concerned. The Republican Constitution was based on Maryland's model, but it had to make adjustments to make it work with their agriculture-based society. A standing national army was to be kept at all times to deter Spain or other enemies from trying anything, and those soldiers often patrolled West Florida, too. The Georgian Navy wasn't huge, but it did well enough to protect what it they needed protected.
Militarist Archibald Bulloch was elected Prime Minister. He was not known as a "bad" man or disrespected, but his militarism signaled a new political force in politics: Ultra-Right-Wing Proto-Totalitarianism supported by the citizens themselves. No cheating occurred. No bribery. No blackmail. The South had elected a militarist free and fairly. He believed in freedom, but he also believed in expansion and the destruction of neighbors. He was the one who made West Florida a satellite nation. His territorial politics brought him into conflict with Andrew Jackson as they both squabbled over who had rights to areas in West Carolina along the Mississippi River.