Alternate History

Federal States of America

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FSA map

Map of North America, with the Federal States in blue

Point of Divergence
At the Philadelphia Convention (25 May to 17 September 1787), slavery and the slave-trade were outlawed in the new constitution, leading to three states (Georgia and the two Carolinas) not joining the new union and thus remaining governed by the 1777 Articles of Confederation.


FSA flag 2

The flag adopted by the Federal government in the north was an updated version of the flag used under the Articles of Confederation, with the number of red and white stripes reduced from thirteen to nine, and with a blue canton of white stars expanded to fill the whole one-third edge. A star and a stripe were to be added for each new state until the number of stripes became too cumbersome and was again reduced back to the original nine. Its official proportions are 5:8 and the colors are legally defined as Cardinal Red BB133E and Prussian Blue 002664.

CSA south flag

The flag of the Confederate government in the south was designed by Revolutionary War veteran Major Felix Warley of South Carolina as a red saltire outlined in white on a grey field. Major Warley's first draft had the saltire on its side as an upright cross.  However, he changed it to its current orientation after talking with a Jewish friend who asked for a "less-Christian" symbol.  Major Warley's design reverted back to the British-style six-pointed stars; including one for each state (eventually 13).  The flag's official proportions are 7:11 and the colors are legally defined as Crimson Red BC113D and Confederation Grey 7F7F7F.

Timeline Highlights


Ratification of the Constitution
  Date State Vote
1 7 December 1787 Delaware 30-0
2 12 December 1787 Pennsylvania 46-23
3 18 December 1787 New Jersey 38-0
4 9 January 1788 Connecticut 128-40
5 6 February 1788 Massachusetts 187-168
6 28 April 1788 Maryland 63-11
7 21 June 1788 New Hampshire 57-47
8 25 June 1788 Virginia 89-79
9 26 July 1788 New York 30-27

The new Constitution required that nine states needed to ratify it for it to take effect. That threshold was reached with New York’s acceptance on 26 July 1788. George Washington was unanimously elected President and took office on 30 April 1789. His original intention of setting up the Federal capitol on the Potomac River in Maryland was now impractical due to its proximity to the hostile south as an emerging separate nation. Instead, the capitol was kept in New York City, but moved to what was then known as Staten Island. On 9 September 1791, the island was federalized under Article One, Section Eight of the Constitution (its name would not officially become Washington Island until George Washington’s death in 1799).

President Washington, already distressed with Rhode Island for refusing to send or even certify delegates to the Philadelphia Convention, and for refusing to even consider the new Constitution for ratification on 24 March 1788, declared that Rhode Island was a foreign nation, and that the new union would consist of “these original nine” states. Soon after, Rhode Island Governor John Collins worked with James Madison to draft the “Bill of Rights” and eventually joined the new union as the tenth state by ratifying the Constitution on 29 May 1790 by a vote of 34-32.


Growing tension between the Federal government in the north and the Confederate government in the South – both asserting their right to the style “United States of America” – comes to a head on 18 June 1812 when the first shots are fired. The Confederates see early victories backed by Britain, who was addicted to southern-produced cotton, and by the German Duchy of Saxony, spreading the Napoleonic Wars to the Americas. However, the Federals, who the south brands as "rebels" against the Articles of Confederation, eventually secure backing from the French, in exchange for recognition of Québec as an inseparable region of France.

144 weeks of bloody and stalemated warfare are ended by the Treaty of Ghent on 23 March 1815 – all told 30,935 are killed in action, 62,815 are wounded, and 94,481 total are dead. Under the terms of the treaty, the parallel 36°30' North is agreed upon as the undisputed border between the north and the south "A Mari Usque Ad Mare" (Latin: "from sea to sea"). The two Americas are hereafter known as the Federal States of America in the north and the Confederate States of America in the south. Also, in defeat Britain loses all claims to territory in North America.


On 11 December 1931 the Confederate States ratified the Statute of Westminster and joined the British Commonwealth – recognizing His Majesty George V as King, while maintaining their status as sovereign independent state. The CS is suspended from the Commonwealth in 1939 for supporting the fascist régime in Germany. This suspension is not lifted until 1945.


The Negro Civil Rights Movement (1955–1968) is ruthlessly ended by the white government in the Confederate States. The status quo of racial segregation continues. At this time, the Confederate States are 27% non-White; Mississippi itself is 42% non-White. In their 1960 census, the offical total population of the CS is given as 31,716,308.

List of Presidents of the Federal States of America

Order Portrait President Term Party Election Electoral Vote % Opponant Differences from OTL
1 George Washington George Washington 1789-1797 none 1789 100.0% none none
1792 100.0% none none
2 John Adams John Adams 1797-1805 Federalist 1796 62.5% Thomas Jefferson none
1800 54.5% Thomas Jefferson without support from the South, Jefferson looses and Adams wins a second term
3 Rufus King Rufus King 1805-1809 Federalist 1804 65.9% George Clinton The King administration adopts a higher tariff and increases the size of the army and navy.
4 100px James Madison 1809-1817 Republican 1808 61.0% Rufus King U.S. forces seize most of Canada in the first months of the War of 1812.
1812 53.7% DeWitt Clinton All Canada except Quebec is ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Ghent.
5 James Monroe James Monroe 1817-1825 Republican 1816 95.4% none none
1820 99.4% none none
6 John Quincy Adams John Quincy Adams 1825-1833 Republican 1824 51.9% Henry Clay
DeWitt Clinton
John Randolph
1828 63.1% Henry Clay Adams follows in the tradition of Madison and Monroe and maintains the Republican party as a united force
7 Richard Rush Richard Rush 1833-1837 Republican 1832 61.5% Henry Clay The Bank of the United States is not abolished.
8 Martin-van-buren-picture Martin Van Buren 1837-1841 Democrat 1836 50.6% Richard Rush none
9 William Henry Harrison daguerreotype edit William Henry Harrison 1841 Republican 1840 72.9% Martin Van Buren none
10 John tyler jr John Tyler 1841-1849 Republican none none none none
1844 53.6% Henry Clay none
11 Cass Lewis Cass 1849-1857 Democrat 1848 63.6% Daniel Webster none
1852 66.1% Franklin Pierce none

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