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Alternate History

Timeline (Maple Uprising)

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Early 1838

Lord Russell (British Colonial Secretary) reject the demands of the assemblies in the Upper and Lower Canadas for greater autonomy and full control of the economy. To this, the Patriot Party (lower Canada) call for a boycott of British goods and encourage colonials to practice smuggling with the United States. Lower Canada's Governor, Lord Gosford, respond by banning public assemblies. At the same time in Upper Canada, a group of reformists under William Lyon Mackenzie found the Committee of Vigilance of Upper Canada as a from of parallel government for the province.

August 1938

Lord Gosford dissolve the Assembly of Lower Canada after it refuses to accept the budget. In November of the same year, following three months of agitation, an armed battle is won by the Sons of Liberty in St-Denis (Lower Canada) followed by a few more engagement.

December 1838 - January 1839

On the 7th, Anthony Van Egmond marches on Toronto (1) with a rebel armies. Lieutenant-Governor Francis Bond flees the city in fear for his life. The rebel army numbering in the thousand manage to overwhelm the 300 soldiers that had been left in the city, the rest having been sent to Lower Canada. Some of these same troops are immediately recalled to Upper Canada. On the following day, the western half rise up in open rebellion with forces gathering on the Road to Dundas. The ranks of the Rebel Army swell up when news reach them of Van Egmond Victory. With the Capital and many village under control of the rebels, Mackenzie declare the Republic of Upper Canada With him as head of its provisional government.

On the 29th, trying to prevent supplies from reaching the rebels, a group of loyalist militiamen under Navy Commander Drew capture the Caroline (2), a US ship chartered by the rebels. During the attack, one of its US sailor is killed and his relative and many townspeople demands intervention by the US government. The President however, wanting to prevent a war, sent soldiers to ensure there would be no reprisal.

Largely due to the tension it created, a small skirmish between US and British American militiamen in the disputed Aroostook Area (Maine/New Brunswick) quickly escalated (3).

Until then the US had closed its borders to Canadians insurgents in a bid to remain neutral. It now reopened them and allowed Sons of Liberty, Brothers-Hunters and Reformists to openly acquire goods and attack Loyalist forces in the Upper and Lower Canadas.

Mid 1839

Meanwhile in Great-Britain, many in the chartist movement saw that the demands made by the rebels in the Canadas were the same as them and agitated for the government to come to an agreement with them. Fearing an uprising if they appeared too soft, the House of commons declared chartists leaders to be seditious and a series of arrest ensued. This lead to the chartist calling for a "Sacred Month" (in effect a general strike) that managed to shut down some cities.

Late 1839

Back in North-America, almost a year had passed since the beginning of the uprising and the rebels had managed to gain control of large areas in both Canadas. Regular troops, spread too thin, proved unable to organised anything more then defensive operations. The rebels of Upper Canada were helped by some volunteers from the USA, notably a small army of Hunters Lodge Brethrens under the command of Finnish adventurer Nils Von Schoultz.

In Lower Canada, the Sons of Liberty (under Wolfred Nelson) and the Patriotes (nominally under Papineau but commanded by Chenier) controlled most of the countryside and only Montreal and the Eastern Township remained firmly under British control (the former with the help of the loyalist Doric Club). A split had begun to emerge between the 2 rebels groups that reflected the differing political views of Nelson and Papipeau. While both were republicans, the former wanted to eventually introduced measures that the latter knew would alienated the middle class. While it did not reach the level of hostility between the 2 groups, it did prevent them from mounting joint operation.

The British government was thus faced with a rebellion they would lose unless they sent in more troops, this however would have only exacerbated problems at home where the grievances of the colonials were shared by an increasing number of British subjects . In addition, other colonies (notably Jamaica) were on the verge themselves of rebellion. Unable to cope with the troubles, Lord Melbourne (the prime minister) offered his resignation. As is last official act, he recommended to Queen Victoria that she negotiate with the rebels.

1840-1845

Having gained their independence, the 2 Canadas formed a loose confederation under the name of "The United Republic of the Two Canadas" with the capital moving back and forth between Toronto and Montreal. The union however was short-lived due to internal dissent and lack of common objectives. The Upper Canadian "Statists" (who supported annexion by the United States) managed to take control of the government after fiercely fought elections and solemnly request entry in the USA as a state. Meanwhile, the Lower Canadians feared that statehood would only dilute their autonomy and in the end, the dissolution of the United Republic resulted in Lower-Canada (now renamed simply to its original name of "Canada") becoming a sovereign country of its own.

Meanwhile a discussion had begun between British provincial authorities in North America. Faced with continued skirmishes on the border with the USA, a "Maritime Union" is suggested to pool together resources and personnel for the defence of what is left of British North America.

1842

End of the Aroostook War with a US victory over Great Britain. As part of the treaty, Maine's northern border is extended.

1847

Great-Britain side with the Mexican during the US-Mexican war in exchange for the later's recognition of the former's claim over the southern border of the Columbia territory.

1848

The Irish Confederation is founded in Ireland with the goal of obtaining Irish independence. In the following years, corresponding societies are created in the USA (Fenian Brotherhood circles) and in Canada (St-Patrick Societies). The later's name was partly inspired by the pre-revolution "Saint-John-the-Baptist Societies" which backed the local revolutionaries.

The Irish Confederation later attempt a failed uprising which leads to the arrest of most of its leader and forcing the rest to flee to North America.

1858

The various irish groups come together to form a provisional Irish Republican Government. The organisation hold elections to elect its "senate" and "president". The resulting government is given de facto recognisance by the US and Canadian authorities.

1861

Begining of the US Civil War. The British and French government recognise the government of the Confederate States of America as a belligerent which under international laws of war gave it the right to acquire products from neutral source but was not equal to a recognition of sovereignty. US Army Captain Meagher, a Fenian sympathiser, wrote a letter to the Secretary of War with a plan to raise a 5000 strong "Irish Brigade" with the stated goal of invading the British maritime provinces and thus preventing British intervention in the conflict. A second, unspoken, goal was to used the occupied territory as a bargaining chip in negotiation with Great Britain regarding Irish independence. The plan was authorised and the brigade raised within a month.

Meanwhile in Canada, an Irish Militia was training openly and was to link up with the Irish Brigade for the invasion of the Maritime Union. The Canadian Irish Militia had been raised with the Canadian government's unnofficial blessing, the later wanting to hold down the British has much as possible for their own eventual invasion of Ruppert's land.

In November, 2 Confederate diplomats are seized from a British ship en route to Europe. British opinion call out for war against the United States for what is perceived in the UK as an act of piracy. A letter is sent from the British government to the US demanding in a terse tone that the diplomats be released or else. Fearful that conceding the point would result in a lose of prestige at home and doubtful of the British strength in the Maritime Provinces, the US government reject the ultimatum. Britain declares war on the US, quickly followed by France.

The Canadian government who had originaly maintain an official stance of neutrality side with the Union and raise troops integrating the Irish Militia within it.

1862

The Confederates manage a few victories but find itself in at a disadvantage in term of troops. With the problem in the maritime province and the blockade, the British prefer to concentrate their troops up north. The British ambassador to the CSA push for the Confederates to accept slaves and ex-slaves within its rank with the promise of citizenship once the war is over. Some with the government sees taking the suggestion as a requirement for British aids and so a law is passed in spring authorising the scheme.

French troops arrive under the command of Camille Armand Jules Marie, Prince de Polignac.

Weapon and equipment are sent from Rupert's Land to Utah to help fuel a Mormon uprising further spliting the Union's troops. Both the British, French and Confederate government agree to recognise a government of Deseret if they manage to take and hold their territory until an armistice is called.

1863

The CSA's "Coloured Regiments" begins to serve at the front, many with distinction.

1867

The prevent a repeat of the Canadian/Fenian invasion, the British North American Maritime Provinces are united into the Maritime Union.

1885

Begining of the Saskatchewan War of Independence in the District of Saskatchewan of the British North-West Territory.

Footnotes

(1) *Here*, the Committee of Vigilance of Upper Canada had called for an uprising on the 7th of December but John Rolph decided unitalarely to bring the date forward to the 4th creating problem of co-ordination.

In addition, *here* Mackenzie and Lount had managed to seize letters about the defence of Toronto on the 6th. While they proved useless *here*, *there* they allowed them to mount a better plan of attack.

Finally, when Anthony Van Egmond (an experienced officer ) actualy took control of the Rebel Forces *here* on the 7th, nearly half their number had already fled and the rest were in low morale due to the set back they had experienced in the last three days.

All of these factors contributed *there* to bring them victory.

(2) *here* this ship was attacked and destroyed under similar circumstances while the rebels were held up on Navy Island near Niagara. It had the same aftermath.

(3) The event, known *here* as the Aroostook War (a border conflict exacerbated by some New Brunswick loggers manhandling a US public servant trying to evict them without authority) did lead to some militias and regular troops being sent to the area by both side (roughly 20,000 althogether). While *here*, no actual battle took place (thanks to cooler heads prevailing), *there*, events would have made them edgier.

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