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Alternate History

King George I (Washington Dynasty)

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King George I (b. 1732 d. 1799 r. 1784-1799), best remembered for leading the Continental Army as General during the American Revolution that lead to the founding of the United States of America and his crowning as King was the first King of the Washington House of America.

Reign

1784-1789

After his coronation King George I presided over a weak government. The legislative branch, included a Parliament with the House of Commons with one minister per state, and the House of Lords which included nobles. John Hancock became the first Prime Minister. Some nobles had been so before the Revolution and supported George Washington, while others had been granted nobility by the king. Nobles that had remained loyal to England, which included most nobles lost their titles. Many were condemned to death for treason in the first two years of King George I's reign. A few states also had Dukes, but not only did they have to be approved by King George they also had to be approved by the state, since states determined the nature of their own governments. During this period the American economy struggled and the government struggled to function. Seeing this crisis King George I decreed a new convention in 1787 to form a more perfect union.

1789-1799

Constitutional Convention

The Convention took two years and ended with a new proposed Constitution, which strengthened the powers of the federal government, including the King and the Prime Minister. The King now held almost full power in respect to foreign policy. However, to declare war required permission from Parliament. Unlike in OTL, political parties have not formed. Although they are not illegal it is known that King George disapproves of them and his opinion is powerful. Still informal factions do emerge based on the issues of state's rights and monarchism versus republicanism.

French Revolution

In 1789 revolution breaks out in France leading to the founding of a republic. In 1791 France becomes a Constitutional monarchy with a legislative assembly. In order to increase his popularity King Louis XVI starts a war in 1792 with Austria, which is then backed by Prussia. During this time there is much discussion over what course of action the US should take. As France helped the US win the revolution King George I sees France as an ally, but decides not to help it with a war of aggression. Later that same year the Jacobins revolt and seize power, abolishing the monarchy. The following year the King and Queen are beheaded on charges of treason, and a reign of terror emerges in France leading to the beheading of thousands of people. King George I remains neutral during this time, although there is a growing anti-French sentiment. The Alien and Sedition Act is passed in 1797 and is given the royal assent by King George I, effectively prohibiting anything said against the king and most criticism of the government. A few people are even accused of being French spies and executed.

Succession Crisis

King George I had no direct blood descendants. This left some question of who would succeed him. The Constitution spelled out inheritance:

Upon the death of the reigning monarch the throne shall pass first to his eldest son and if there is no son who can take the throne his eldest daughter. If there is no issue that can serve then the throne shall pass to the eldest son or absent a son capable of assuming the throne eldest daughter of the king's eldest son or absent any sons his eldest daughter. If all the king's grandchildren are unable to assume the throne the crown will then pass onto the next generation in like manner. If the king had no children then the throne shall pass on to his eldest brother or in the absense of a brother eldest sister. If there are no brothers or sisters capable of assuming the throne the crown will pass on to their descendants in the same manner as it would have passed from the king to his descendants.

The Constitution did not delineate succession in any finer detail than that. The Framers assumed that a situation where it would be possible not to have a constitutional hier given that amendment were to arise that the Constitution could be amended as necessary.

The Constitutional dilemma was whether adopted children could be counted in succession absent blood-related children. George Washington had an adopted son, the grandson of Queen Martha's first husband, George Washington Parke Custis. King George favored his son acceded the throne. However, many including some who participated in the constitutional convention believed that only biological hiers could accede the throne. A debate over affinal and consanguinal succession developed. The affinalists, including King George I himself wanted George Washington Parke Custis to inherit the throne. The conganguinalists' hier was George Washington's oldest living brother, John Augustine until 1787 when he died. Afterwards they championed the succesion of his brother Charles. This created considerable tension between the 2 brothers.

However, Charles died in September of 1799. Based on the consanguinal inheritance the throne would've went to George Steptoe Washington. King George I died in December. George Washington Parke Custis, the adopted son of George Washington would be crowned King and a resolution declaring his ascendance illegal and supporting the ascendance of George Steptoe Washington would fail just narrowly. This would soon usher in war.

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