Eureka, Colony of Victoria, Australia
The third of December, 1854. The British armies are on the advance. Soon enough, the stockade would be surrounded.
Peter Lalor met with James McGill to discuss strategy. Lalor was most certainly thankful that McGill and his two hundred or so Rangers arrived yesterday, which might just be the help he needed to win the battle. At last, the colonial forces had arrived. The two men stood firm, ready to command their troops. The troops pointed their right hand toward the Southern Cross, and recited before charging into battle:
"We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."
In the early days of December 1854, gold miners in the town of Eureka, Victoria, instigated a revolt against British colonial rule in Australia. They received help from about 200 American forces commanded by James McGill, who called themselves the Independent California Rangers. Yet, the evening before the clash with colonial forces, the Rangers departed the rebel stockade to intercept rumored British reinforcements, leaving a tiny fraction of their forces behind. On December 3, 276 British troops arrived at the stockade, swiftly crushing the rebellion once and for all.
However, what if the Rangers never left the stockade? What if the rebels, now with a numerical advantage over colonial forces, win the battle, attracting the attention of other powers? What if the rebellion escalated into a war for independence, Australians united Under The Southern Cross?
Point of Divergence
James McGill decides not to order the Independent California Rangers to leave the stockade, worried of a British attack while they were gone. Due to this, the rebels win the first battle, and the British are forced to retreat, attracting attention from Russia (which was fighting Britain in the Crimean War at the time), the Netherlands (which had colonial interests in the region), and the United States (which was under the expansionist Pierce administration, eager to strike a blow against Britain).