The Mirror That Never Broke is an Alternate history in which imperialism is passed onto the independent American countries. It will cover the time period between the late eighteenth century and today. This page is the history of the TL.
This timeline contains multiple PODs, some of them linked, some independent. The series of PODs shape the mold for an America covered with Empire.
The first chronological POD is that Joseph Brant is killed in the Battle of Fort Niagara.
- Brant never translates the Bible into Mohican.
- The Iroquois do not ally with the British. Thus the French have a slight advantage ally-wise.
- The British have to send more troops and resources toward the war. The colonial administration was more or less wrecked by the war.
- British campaigns in India are affected by the more severe version of the North and South American war. French interests in India are kept.
- The British still end up winning the war, but they don't claim the French colonies in Louisiana due to temporary economic and military stress. Quebec and what is now Canada do end up in British hands, however.
- Spain claims almost all of Louisiana. Indian and French settlers are forced to move into the already crowded British colonies over the Appalachians.
- Britain begins taxing the settlers in the Thirteen Colonies. The British are planning to use the money from the outrageous taxes to finance an invasion of Spanish held Louisiana, Florida, and Cuba.
- The taxes, along with thousands of French Acadians and Louisianans being forced to live in the American colonies caused widespread discontent. Soon after the French-Indian War ended in 1764, American Revolutionaries begin to rebel by early 1765. The rebellion is initially small, but swells by 1766.
The second main POD of this timeline is the death of Antonia Lopez de Santa Anna during his very early childhood. Farming tool accident, Indian raid, drowning, it doesn't really matter how. The main thing is that he never survives to become a soldier.
Santa Anna was a key factor in the overthrow in the first Mexican Empire. Here are the effects of his death:
- Iturbide remains king of Mexico. Thus, Mexico remains an Empire.
- Santa Anna never becomes dictator, and Mexico does not collapse into revolution and rebellion.
- Internal wars do not spend up Mexico's economy. Therefore, Mexico's economy can sustain itself.
- Mexico never loses all of its territory in OTL modern US. Those territories are also eventually settled by Mexican frontiersmen.
- The Central American countries stay as part of Mexico. They eventually become integrated into the empire instead of drifting off into independence.
French-Indian War (1754-1764)
The French-Indian War was a war between the French and the British in North America.
Causes of the War
The French-Indian war was fought for several reasons. These included the wish to control the Ohio Territory between the Appalachians and the Mississippi. Control over the region was vital to both countries because of pelt hunting economy. The Grand Banks on Newfoundland were very fertile resource-wise and coveted by France and Britain. It was hard for both countries to own the area. The third great cause for the war was religious conflict. The British were mainly Protestant, against the Papal French. The hugely populated British colonies were more organized than the thinly populated French lands. The fighting began on 1754 when a British expedition fought with a French expedition.
In 1759, Joseph Brant is killed. Therefore, the Iroquois never ends up joining the British. Without the Iroquois assistance, the British had to resort to using much more resources and troops to the war than in OTL. The war in Europe went slightly better in Russian favor than OTL. The Theater in Asia was non-existent due to the large size of the North American campaign. Almost all able-bodied men in the British colonies are trained for the war. Only a small fraction of the large colonial army see action because the war eventually ended in 1764. The economy of the American colonies was wrecked by inflation and the British taxes towards the war.
In 1764, the French surrendered after more than ten years fighting. Small parts of the Ohio Territory came under British control, as well as most of what is now OTL Canada. Louisiana was annexed by the Spanish colonies. The fact that Spain had been allied with France and at war with Britain fueled anti-Spanish feelings in England. In 1764 and 1765, massive taxes were placed to finance an invasion of New Spain. Revolution ideas were spread by the discontent American colonists. By 1765, the revolution had begun.
The American Revolution
Most of the causes of the American Revolution stemmed from the aftermath of the French-Indian war. The strain put on America's economy by Britain by the war itself was an important factor in uniting the colonies together. For the next year or two after the end of the war, British governors placed ridiculous taxes to finance an invasion of New Spain. One tax was the Export Act, which placed a tax on exports that got bigger proportionally if the size of the export was increased. To ship anything bigger than half a shipload, you would need to pay a tax almost half as much as the export's cost. Many more similar taxes were placed in that time period. Another large factor was the many thousands of misplaced French settlers that ended up in the American colonies. Many viewed the Frenchmen stereotypically and with hatred. A third reson for the Revolution was the fact that civilians and unimportant people did not get a vote or opinion in the choice of governor or choice of laws. A medium sized army had been left over in America from the war. As thoughts of rebellion spread, the army was about to be put to good use.
In early 1765, Benjamin Franklin wrote a pamphlet titles Freedom. The pamphlet expressed the views of many Americans about the unfair treatment the British gave them. Many people sold and read these books, and even in very royalist colonies citizens began to not trust the British soldiers and governors. In 1766, a large group of settlers moved over the Appalachians, against countless British laws and declarations. The settlers declared that they wanted some elbow room. By the end of that year, hundreds of citizens were crossing the mountains. Samuel Adams wrote his own pamphlet named Over the Mountain about the need of Americans to expand. He emphasized that Indians in the Ohio territory should be treated as equals if those lands were to be kept. If the British were to take notice of the rebellious behavior, Adams said, then Americans should support Pontiac's rebellion. Just as Franklin's pamphlet had huge effect, so had Adams'. About twelve hundred armed Americans volunteered to assist the Indians. The stalemate turned, and the British held an armistice in late 1766. Thousands of captured settlers were set free.
After the revolution began in 1765, many groups of rebels throughout the seaboard started to fight for freedom. These bands of rebels were not very organized and did little to defeat the British. The largest were only three or four hundred soldiers. In 1765, several of these bands join together to assist Indians in Pontiac's Rebellion. When the British were defeated in 1766, rebels throughout the Thirteen Colonies realized that they needed to work together. The state militia leaders met together in late 1766 to agree to a common army. The Iroquois confederacy contributed about five thousand soldiers to the newly formed Continental Army. The state leaders voted for the Continental Army General. George Washington ended up as the supreme commander. The first major move of the Continental Army was the siege of Boston in 1767. The British fleet there was grounded by the siege. With a centralized military command, the Continental Army could act quickly and unexpectedly. This proved an advantage over the British in the New England campaign, 1767-8. Other major operations were the smaller Southern Theater (1768-70), the Ohio Campaign (1765-9), and the Canadian Campaign (1767-71). In 1767, after the Battle of Boston, Spain, France, and the Netherlands joined the war on the American side. The war went in American favor after the capture of Fort Ticonderoga in 1768. The Continental Army headed north into New Brunswick, the Gaspe Peninsula, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland. Most Canadians in these areas welcomed the Americans rather than their previous British oppressors. The British fleet in America was captured during an ingenious French/American maneuver. The newly formed American Fleet helped to repel British attempts to win back their colonies until the war was officially over in 1772.
Aftermath and Reforms
After the American Revolution, the Imperial Government underwent many, many, reforms. George Washington became Emperor. The government was divided into three branches. The Imperial Executive branch is in command of the military and economic interests, as well as being able to veto the other two branches' commands. The Legislative branch writes and designs laws and amendments to the Constitution. The Judicial branch writes and corrects laws made by the Legislative branch to better represent the opinions of voters. In 1773, the Independence Act was ratified. It severed all ties with Britain and renamed many town and city names. New York became Irakwa, and the same named city became Irakwa City. Many small towns underwent similar transformations.
Late Eighteenth Century (1775-1799)
After the American War for Independence, America grew rapidly. The years after their struggle for independence also supplied America with economic prosperity.
Prosperity and growth
After their struggle for independence, America was finally an free empire. Foreign relations started out on the right foot when Spain ceded all lands east of the Mississippi River to America (except for Florida). Thousands of Americans migrate over the Appalachians for some breathing room in the empty frontier. The area in Canada taken in the war (New Brunswick, Quebec east of the St. Lawrence, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island) were added as Canada Territory. French Canadians were given the right to live in British Quebec. Most Americans were glad to see them go, due to almost a decade of uncomfortable cramping. The new territory was swiftly incorporated into the Empire. Everything north of the Ohio river and west of the Pennsylvanian border became Ohio Territory. Everything directly west of the North Carolinian west border became Tennessee territory, state in 1790. What is modern OTL Mississippi and Alabama became Mississippi territory. Modern OTL Kentucky was ceded to Virginia by popular vote. The Imperial Government was quick to build Federal institutes in the new territories in order to keep them as part of the Empire.
After the the crippling of the British army and fleet, the British Empire's power in the Americas was forgotten. The Canadian territories were settled by loyalists from America. More British were sent to America after the loss of the Bahamas and Belize to Spain. Many of these new arrivals were forced to move out west. This resulted in a predominantly pelt-hunting economy. The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) grew in power as more trading posts and forts were built in the previously uninhabited wilderness. The company grew even more as the former East India Company collapsed due to competition with France and was sold to the HBC. The EIC's wealth and resources was put to use for building towns in Rupert's Land and other back country regions of Canada. As settlers began settling the west coast, some looked north. What are now OTL Yukon and Northwest Territory received their fair share of settlers. The HDC spread rumors of a major gold reef in Yukon to encourage settlers to go there. Nothing is found, but the sea of settlers does not seem to slow down. In order to take control in all of North and South America, they replaced Canada officials with British and invaded Mexico. Soon, a war was raged out and Spain was vulnerable because of other wars they were fighting. They allied with France for help. After they decided that the war on Britain was never worth an effort, they decided to surrender. According to the treaty, Britain was to claim every territory in the Americas, along with Spain and its allies paying taxes to Britain. As Britain became the world's largest empire, it'll also have to undergo many changes as well.
The French Revolution
In France in the 1780s, the economic and civil situation was quite bleak. The French economy was in shambles, unfair taxes were placed on the citizens by the Royal Court and the Church. Famine was widespread and food was not. The citizens grew angrier and angrier as the King and his advisors made no attempts to change any of this. The King was the subject of hatred during the years leading up to the Revolution. Many opposing factions agreed in the respect that the Monarchy was to be abolished. Most encouragers of the revolution were inspired by the recent American Revolution and how much that empire had prospered since the event. Therefore, one of the most influential causes of the French Revolution was the urge to create a semi-republican empire.
Rise of an Empire
Once the French Revolution had started in 1785, France was suddenly split into many opposing factions vying for control. In a twist of fate, a young Corsican named Napoleon Bonaparte helped to fight many victories for the Imperialists on the island. When Napoleon had won Corsica for the Imperialists in 1791, he had become a commander through rapid promotion. Bonaparte led his forces to mainland France later that same year. Word of his glory had reached many of the revolutionaries, and Napoleon's army swelled with volunteers during his campaigns in northeast France. Many of the genius Corsican's maneuvers and plans caught his enemies off guard. His famous capture of Paris in 1792 startled British peacekeepers and Royalists alike. This was the last major battle in the Revolution and had the most impact. In early 1793 the new government was created and agreed on a new emperor. Napoleon was crowned as Emperor Napoleon the First of France. His first move was to establish a diplomatic alliance with George the First of America. Another move was to break up with the church, so the people would never had to pay taxes for it. The First French Empire had been created, but for the next several years, the other major powers would attempt to stop it.
Napoleonic Wars (1790s to mid-1810s)
War of the First Coalition
In 1793, Napoleon had created the First French Empire. But this declaration angered many other European powers. Shortly after the empire was formed, Britain, Austria, Prussia, Spain, Portugal, and various German and Italian states created the First Coalition. Napoleon conscripted hundreds thousands of French soldiers startlingly quick, a main factor to knocking the enemy off-balance. The massive French armies surprised Spanish and German forces during the early days of the war. A strip of land in northern Spain was taken during late 1793, and the army did not stop. Belgium fell during that time as well due to Napoleon's genius tactics. Large chunks of the dying Holy Roman Empire also found their way into French hands. The war ended in 1797 with the Southern Netherlands (Belgium) and the Rhineland in the French Empire.
War of the Second Coalition
(Author's Note: In ATL, the British interests in India are more or less extinct. Therefore, the Invasion of Egypt doesn't happen. The French Army doesn't get stranded in Egypt, and when the Second Coalition is formed, there are more soldiers to fight with.)
In 1799, two years and a half years after the War of the First Coalition, the Holy Roman Empire, Austria, Britain, Russia, and many Italian states joined together to once again attempt to defeat Napoleon's empire. Some preemptive attacks on the French part in 1799 and 1800 captured more land in Germany and Italy. The two years between the wars had been spent in France modernizing the army and improving tactics. The Second Coalition was caught off guard by many of the newly thought up brilliant tactics the French used. Swiss soldiers also assisted in diverting Austrian manpower to the Alps, keeping them from using the armies against the French. Genoa was completely overrun by the French Army in a massive attack in 1800. Parma and Modena met similar ends when the French and Swiss met in the Po Valley to form an even bigger army. The war ended in 1802 after the Austrian army was smashed to pieces on two fronts. The war ended with the Treaties of Luneville and Amiens. France also successfully sold Louisiana to the American Empire in 1802 for financing the incorporation of gained territory into France.
War of the Third Coalition
The War of the Third Coalition started in 1805 when a combined French/Spanish fleet left from ports in France and Italy for Egypt. Nelson's British fleet had been misinformed and made a fatal mistake by "chasing" the French fleet into the Atlantic. Napoleon's army landed in Egypt soon after. The Ottomans there were not prepared for the massive French army. The Battle of the Pyramids was famous for the French victory, as well as numerous archaeological discoveries the French made. When news of the invasion of Egypt was heard by Nelson, he was ridiculed and humiliated. Infuriated, Nelson sailed at top speed towards Egypt. The French fleet had docked in Egypt and engaged the British in the Battle of the Nile. The British allies in Austria and Sweden were quick to join. The conflict in Germany was now the worst it had been for decades. Over two hundred thousand French conscripts kept up repeated waves of attack in Germany. This tactic proved to be costful and destroyed almost a fifth of the French army, but the enemies had ceased to exist. Austrian defeats in Italy, the Rhineland, and the Alps crippled their army. On Christmas Day, 1805, Austria surrendered. The Holy Roman Empire was no more, and France formed the Confederation of the Rhine as a buffer state. Egypt was now a French colony, and France and America had formed a powerful alliance.
War of the Fourth Coalition
In early 1806, the King of Prussia ordered his generals to plan for an invasion of French controlled Germany. Shortly after this, Prussia joined the Fourth Coalition. However, French spies discovered this several months before the invasion started. By the time Prussia sent in its army, they found a French army there. The War of the Fourth Coalition started shortly after. A French/Swiss/Italian army fought the Austrians on the Adriatic shore. The French fleet quickly landed a second large army into eastern Italy. Napoleon assumed command of the armies in Italy and took the Illyrian provinces from Austria. In Prussia, large swaths of land were added to the Confederation of the Rhine. The flow of soldiers throughout the French empire became smoother as horse-drawn railways are built at the Emperors heeding. The war was over by 1807, a French victory. The war ended with the continental system: a system of laws in effect in continental Europe forbidding trade with Britain. Portugal was the one country that refused to honor the decree.
Invasion of Rio de la Plata
In 1806, as Britain once again fought France and their Spanish allies, a new war started elsewhere. The Rio de la Plata in South America had long been prized by the Spanish and envied by the British. While the Spanish armada was serving under French admirals in Europe, the British easily landed several divisions of redcoats on the shores of Uruguay. Montevideo fell after three months of siege, and became the British headquarters for the invasion. What is OTL Uruguay is conquered by mid-1807, and more troops and settlers arrive to help with the conquest of Argentina. OTL/Modern provinces of Buenos Aires and Entre Rios are captured as well. The lack of Spanish assistance caused the birth of many pro-independence factions, which added to the confusion and turmoil on the continent. More British soldiers arrived in Buenos Aires shortly after chasing a band of pro-independence guerrillas into the wildlands of Patagonia. Those guerrillas allied with Mapuche Indians there and struck several more times into Rio de la Plata. Rebellious factions struck at the British in large cities, and still others smuggled in weapons from the Portuguese colonies in the north and from Mapuche outposts in the south. The last major event in the British invasion (excluding guerrilla attacks) was the Battle of Rio Plata (December 3, 1807), between fifteen British ships-of-the-lines/frigates and a similar amount of French and Spanish ships. Although more British were killed, the ground artillery kept the French at bay long enough for reinforcements to come and sweep away the enemy. Once colonihood had been bestowed on January 2, 1808, the war was over and Rio Plata was at last a British colony.
The Peninsular War
In late 1807, Spain declared war on Portugal with French backing. Napoleon sent one of his trusted generals to Spain with a medium-sized army. Nearly every major Spanish military installation was packed full with French soldiers. The Spanish army took action in November and invaded. While the bulk of the Spanish army was fighting, the French army kept the countries installations working. French systems such as railways and republic polls are made as well. Spain begins to resemble a "mini-France". After the war between Spain and Portugal (dubbed the First Peninsular War) ended, the Spanish fleet had grown considerably by capturing the Portuguese navy. The war damaged most of these ships, and many were taken back to the booming shipyards in France to be repaired. To bolster Spanish forces in Portugal, the French army sets up in the Pyrenees and in the foothills separating occupied Portugal and Spain. The Peninsular war started when the Invasion by stealth began. The French armies in Iberia turn against Spain and overwhelmed the country within months. All available resources are hoarded and brought back to France and a new pro-Imperial regime is set up. The Republic of Spain and Duchy of Portugal are both created as French satellite states. Guerrilla armies rage against French occupiers. With British assistance, several French outposts in Iberia are destroyed. However, many Spanish and Portuguese soldiers are no fans of the British and help the French. Large military bases are built in the Pyrenees to help keep the conflict from spreading into France. The one are that had remained under Spanish control was the Balearic islands. The puppet Spanish navy and French navy blockaded and besieged them, but many were fortified heavily. An invasion of Sardinia in the summer of 1809 weakened the Spanish strongholds in the Mediterranean and incidentally started the War of the Fifth Coalition.
War of the Fifth Coalition
This war stands alone so far out of the Napoleonic wars. It is the only war where France provoked combat, rather than another attempt at stopping Napoleon's regime. On June 22. 1809, thirteen French warships began bombarding towns in northern Sardinia. Just a week later, these ships landed and released thousands of French soldiers upon the island nation. Weapon smugglers fled for the Balearics, but not before a blockade of Sardinia was established. Most of these weapons were sold to pro-independence groups in Latin America. The rest went to puppet Spanish soldiers. While the French continued their conquest of Sardinia, more soldiers massed in Germany, preparing for an invasion of Prussia. The Prussians were equally wary. More soldiers stood across the border from Austria, leaving no room for them to maneuver. This tactic proved excellently planned when Napoleon led the army through the Illyrian provinces into Austria proper. As the French army smashed through Prussia and Austria, the French fleet once again invaded an Italian island. Sicily became a headquarters for French ships carrying troops to the Illyrian provinces. As the war dragged on, Austria and Prussia retreated and eventually surrendered. Prussia had been absorbed into the Confederation of the Rhine, while Austria was now just another satellite state of France. The war had been won after just a year of fighting. The battle for continental Europe was almost over. Napoleon only had one more opponent to fight.
The War of 1814
After twenty years of continuous war between Great Britain and France, one war was the endgame. Although composed of many different real wars, the one event that set the War of 1814 of was the Invasion of Russia by France.
Invasion of Russia
After the end of the War of the Fifth Coalition, Napoleon looked east, towards Russia. Russia was the only country left in Europe that resisted the Continental Sytem. Now weakened after a decade of war, Russia was a promising target.
Like most of Europe, France was tired and near its limits regarding war. So before the invasion commenced, Napoleon began some preparations for what would likely be the largest war in history. French connections in the Ottoman Empire grew to an all time high, as imports and trade interests in India and Egypt benefited the Turks and the French. Turkey joined the planned invasion in late 1810. Napoleon also became allies with Sweden, who had just recovered from a war with Russia. All of the Scandinavian countries joined France's Continental Alliance in hopes of taking Finland back from Russia. Resources, food, and supplies are moved to depots and forts all along the Polish/Turkish/Swedish border. Over five hundred thousand French troops, one hundred thousand Austrians and Germans, one hundred and fifty thousand Turks, forty thousand Swiss troops, twenty thousand each of Portuguese soldiers and Spaniards, twenty five thousand Dutch and Belgian soldiers, and fifty thousand soldiers from various Italian states. Almost one millions soldiers, the biggest army modern Europe had ever seen at one time, had been assembled across the border from Russia. On February tenth, 1814, Napoleon sent one more peace proposal to St Petersburg. A reply never arrived. On March of the same year, the Invasion of Russia began.
On March twentieth, 1814, Napoleon invaded Russia after four years of preparing and building up an invasion force. The main branch of attack was aimed at Moscow, and was compromised of six hundred thousand soldiers of the Continental Alliance. Napoleon and his generals were in charge of this army. Two other smaller branches were based in Sweden and Turkey, and attacked in a tree branch formation with the main army. As the Grand Armee progressed through the plains of Russia and Belorussia, there was less and less to use for the army. The Russians had adopted a scorched earth strategy. This resulted in the loss of almost a hundred thousand troops by the time Napoleon was in the immediate vicinity of Moscow. Before advancing, Napoleon divided his army in three, commanding one branch and giving the other two to his best generals, Jacques MacDonald and a group of lower ranking commanders. Napoleon's army group was to invade directly into Moscow. The other two were to flank around the city for a relatively long range and meet on the other side. All resources and wagons were to brought with them back to Moscow. The other generals thought this tactic to be a needless waste of men, but they obeyed anyway. It took a week to circle Moscow. By the time the two army groups met inside the city, they had captured enough wagons full of supplies to keep the army alive. All the supplies were brought to Moscow, which Napoleon had made his headquarters. Massive armies of Russian conscripts attacked the captured city from all directions, but the enemy had destroyed much of their own supplies and were suffering for it. After crushing attack after attack, Napoleon led half of the men left to St Petersburg in June. The city had been heavily fortified against attack. Scandinavian soldiers had been besieging the city since the beginning of the war, but St Petersburg would not fall. Napoleon led over two hundred fifty thousand soldiers to St Petersburg. The French army set up ahuge naval blockade along with another blockade on the Russian Mainland.