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In the present, British America has created its own national identity defined more by the country's place in the New World than its colonial past. America is a key exporter of grain and petroleum and with rising manufacturing base both empire and world wide.
Following the defeat of a large colonial uprising in 1777, the British Government took steps to ensure that the colonies would not revolt again. The United Provinces of America were formed on April 16th, 1780, from the 13 colonies and the Districts (later Provinces) of Maine and Vermont. The new nation was founded as an autonomous dependency to the British crown.
The early years of the United Provinces of America saw remnants of the colonial uprising, in remote places but no such riots again took place in major cities. The so called Founding Fathers of the rebellion were put on trial for treason in Philadelphia, while originally many of the leaders were threatened with hanging all but almost all of the major supporters of independence were eventually given parole. Famous Insurrectionists Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were the only British citizens to be officially hanged as traitors. The war criminal Nathaniel Green was executed by firing squad for his destruction of New York.
Upon the signing of the Treaty of Philadelphia much of the colonial territory was still undeveloped, even unsettled in the case of the Appalachian Mountains. Much of this "open territory" was in reality inhabited by Amerindian or West Indian tribes. Despite the Incorporation Act of 1808 which recognized several Indian Tribes as legal provinces, the frontiers were lawless. To maintain peace the first army of National Colonial regulars worked with Indians to preserve their ancestral homelands from the flow of pioneers. Such moves created the backdrop for the short lived Second Colonial Rebellion led by the famous frontiersman Andrew Jackson.
Close to the coast the societies and governments of all the colonies remained distinct from each other. The challenge of the New Union was to unify the land under on set of standards while cutting Imperial expenses and allowing for a degree of autonomy.Like Great Britain the new American parliament created a two party system modeled after their London forebears. American Conservatives and Liberals diverged on issues of religious tolerance and trade. At the time these parties meant little to the majority of men still unable to vote due to land ownership quotas.
From the turn of the 19th century the fledgling American economy grew slowly but steadily as most land was made more productive by British mechanical inventions. Freer trade allowed colonists to profit from trade with the French and the Spanish. With security provided and deficits reduced, wealthy colonists began to theorize of new public projects to bring different but growing economies together.
A country of many worlds 1820-1860Different regions spread out over a breath of continent developed into subcultures. National and Imperial administration were frustrated by these developments in implementing a common law throughout the land. The British parliament encouraged the localization to prevent a unified dissent. The distinct cultures which emerged- Mercantile New England, Quebec, Amerindiana, Islandville, the Cotton Belt and Back Country are still distinguished in the present.
The steady migration West despite the active effort by the Continental government to enforce various proclamation lines spilled over the continent. While some captured migrants were imprisoned or deported the ethnic English and Scottish settlement redefined the demographics of much of North America. The movement of people spilled over the western border into the Kingdom of Mexico. The illegal emigration west caught the ire of Spain. The problem turned into an international incident where London used the wayward settlers to gain concessions from Spain. British America's western frontier would become open to British citizens who promised to reside in the area for twenty years. The blended Spanish and English settlement of New Spain's Mississippi river valley resulted in the creation of the Louisianian Kingdom
Through 1850 the frontiers of the U.P.A also had designated penal colonies for prisoners both from America and England which moved north, and westwards as the country expanded. The end of the penal system released prisoners onto open land, creating the first towns for the central and Northwest frontiers. Gold rushes on North America's west coast brought the earliest settlers to some of the last unsettled lands on the continent.
As the country spread out over the continent regional economic interests threatened to split the provinces. The enduring slave trade continued to import African slaves to the British America against their will. The plantations of America's south grew on the mainland and the Caribbean. Contrasting with an industrial north and a west based on free farmers. Northern Americans and British nationals began to oppose the continuance of slavery on moral and economic grounds. While the British parliament itself was interested in abolishing slavery there was a reluctance to do so based on a strong personal relationship with the "Gentlemen Plantation owners". Slavery also became a new business for American tribes seeking to recover from the destruction of colonial times.
When the Slavery Controversy almost caused armed insurrection by the mainland Southern Provinces, London intervened. Slavery was abolished in all British Crown dominions in 1845. Plantation owners were compensated handsomely for their freed slaves. Local unrest from white populations still occurred in the Carolinas, Georgia and the Caribbean provinces who feared the economic consequences of a free black population. Slavery continued on American processions of the East India Company.
The British North America Act, and the Territories Act of 1857 marked the final expansion of the U.P.A and set a stage for an independent culture- hardly seen before in history, as the abundance of space provided the land's citizens for a new found autonomy irrespective of politics in Philadelphia or London.
Land of rolling countryside 1860-1900
Across the continent, the United Provinces was built by free peasants and craftsmen, a vast territory of small villages. Word of unoccupied land in from the Territories Act spread quickly, and were settled even while many lands were technically held by large land owning proprietors. Old colonial law permitted newcomers to seize territory they used productively. Europeans, Blacks and West Indians all ventured westward both for fortune and seclusion. Occasionally different races worked and lived together in frontier towns for mutual survival despite the prejudices of the time. The creation of a large agricultural populations that tilled their own independent land would have implications through to the present. This settlement did come at the cost of the remaining aboriginal West Indian peoples of the area know as "wild people" contrasted with the "civilized tribes" who often migrated westwards as well.
Government's greatest role in the frontier was the construction of large scale canal projects, involving the Great Lakes, as well as the Atlantic Coast. Life, away from the Atlantic Coast for all people in isolated agricultural villages. Water as in earlier centuries was the highway to penetrating deeper inland. From the banks of rivers, bands of pioneers then diverged away to make their own enterprises. Away from immediate transportation Neighboring towns would go for months or sometimes even years with little to no communication with each other, over vast distances. Outside of agriculture, timber and mining made their way as the important industries. Come 1880, British America was the breadbasket for the all of the empire. National attempts to modernize beyond resource extraction industries were frustrated and then halted. Great Britain purposely manipulated trade laws and private investment to keep America solely as producer of raw materials America would be not be permitted to compete with the mother country as an industrial power
Diversity of geography and people also created difficulties for the national government to encourage industrialization. With English, French and Spanish all being present across the land local identities proved supreme. In the case of Quebec a scheme to invest in the construction of engine factories ended when conservative French Yeomen revolted, while the revolt dissolved quickly demands for self determination were largely agreed to. As other areas performed similar actions, national policy became less coherent. The multiparty system also favored regional interests more than national priorities. Governor General Sir Harold Mayweather, pushed through universal suffrage for all men in 1879 to encourage interest in national politics- revolutionary for its time, however enforcement of the provision was spotty for decades to come.
Culturally America was inspiration far beyond the British world for the apparent purity and stout nature of its people, creative works made by French, German and Italian writers about the United States would get far more coverage than American artists for years to come. Local American artists nevertheless experimented on their own often outside of European standards, creating a genre later to be known as "folk art". Common Themes included the importance of faith, community and the appreciation of the present .
The Formation of Identity 1900-1940
America reached a turning point, gradually awaking into modern times. As the British homeland underwent tumultuous social change the New World became an attractive area for industrial investors. Years of imperial restrictions on America had created a gross imbalance between continental and English labor costs. Ironically by the British policy America become a more efficient location to do business.
However, perception of America as bottomless agrarian backwater still slowed the progression of American development.A coalition of forward thinking liberal and conservative Continental parliament members hatched a scheme to convince old world high-society that America was an advanced country. The ebbing East India company was to be subsidized to build a continental railroad from Oregon in the west to Massachusetts in the East. Completed in 1910, the transcontinental rail was the first step in creating a unified country, heavy industry followed the path of rail. Many elder London Tories still disapproved of America's development yet America's productivity grew regardless. When Americans were called to serve the mothercountry in the War of Ottoman Dismemberment modern infrastructure was vital in transporting recruits to the Port Cities from whence they were sent to Europe.
Technology nor wars alone, could not turn the divers United Provinces into one nation, at the time most people still identified with their individual province, or with the Monarchs of Great Britain than as "Americans". In 1914 Parliament established the first American school system to bring far flung areas together and establish literacy. Earlier initiatives had been included private schools backed by London or the efforts of individual provinces=than a single national system.
The new system relied on the provinces to implement national standards and huge discrepancies remained. Government inspectors of schools found the society lacked a common national language as many areas wrote in their own vernacular of English, areas in Mississippi River Valley and the North often spoke French or an indigenous tongue. Parliament commissioned the creation of the "Common Dictionary" to standardize New World English or "New English". The original dictionary highly drew from the dialects of New England and the Saxon Mid Atlantic and neglected other parts of the country.
Global Economic boon in the 20s and 30s did reach America thought not as much as Great Britain still largely an rural country by 1940 urban life had grown more important and widespread for the country. Many areas still remained isolated but communication technology and the advent of automobiles did penetrate the interior towards the end of the 1930s. However just as many Americans began to enjoy the fruits of the 20h century the 1940 stock market crash in Shanghai China caused shock waves around the world. The calamity would bring mixed fortunes, changing America forever.
A Rising power 1940-1980
An ensuring global depression caused from Chinese markets slammed America just as the country began industrializing. The Great Depression can be characterized as one of America's first national experiences that effected everyone regardless, of location, profession or ethnic background Businesses which had grown out of exporting goods to Great Britain or China collapsed. Large unemployment brought growing urban environments to a halt and created an unprecedented challenge for the national government. Existing social safety nets at the time were meant only for the impoverished or disabled and were overwhelmed by the catastrophe.
The countryside- previously independent from the larger world economy was also hit hard.America's bountiful produce had found sellers worldwide for manufacturing. Millions of small farmers had shifted their croplands from subsistence to commercial farming. With the crash small for-profit agriculture was permanently uprooted in many areas of the country. Rural life again became more insular, the interior Provinces also suffered from a wage of Louisianan and Mexican refugees fleeing dust disasters.
Steps toward the future
Government and Politics
The executive is theoretically the monarch but the Governor-General holds most of the power. The President-General is always the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons. The Governor-General has been reduced to the eyes and ears of the monarch.
The judicial is the Judge's Council, which is composed by the Chief Justice from the supreme court of each province.
The legislative is the Parliament of America. It is bicameral. The lower, larger house is the House of Commons. The upper, smaller house is the House of Senators.
- American Labour Party - left-wing - majority socialist party
- Progressive Party of America - left-wing - formed from parts of the Liberal and Conservative Parties in 1809
- American Liberal Party - centre
- American Conservative Party - right-wing - Was formed as America's first political party.
- American People's Party - left wing - Radical Socialist, evolved out of extreme of American Labour Party
- American Green Party - left-wing green
- United Rationalist Party - centre-left - formed in 1836; has been a major party since the late 1840s; based on French Social-Rationalism principles
- Parti Laurentien (Laurentien Party) - Catholic centre - want Lower Canada to have more autonomy
- Christian Democratic Party - Protestant centre-right
- Freedom Party - centre-right - libertarian in spirit
Original Members (1780)
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
Expansion Act (1804)
- Transylvania (1804)
- Vandalia (1804)
Incorporation Act (1808)
- Creek Confederation
- Iroquois Confederation
Florida Act (1819)
- East Florida
- West Florida
Nova Scotia Act (1823)
- Nova Scotia, along with St. John's Island (Prince Edward Island)
West Indies Act (1830)
- Antilles (Lesser Antilles) - Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St Vincent
- Trinidad and Tobago
Northwestern Act (1838)
- Illinois Confederation
- Wisconsin Confederation
Canada's Act (1845)
- Upper Canada
- Lower Canada
British-North-America Act (1857)
- District of Bermuda
- Vancouver Island
Territories Act (1857)
- Arctic Islands
- Northwest Territory
- Oregon Territory
- Rupert's Land
Antilles | Bahamas | Belize | Connecticut | Delaware | East Florida | Georgia | Guiana | Jamaica | Lower Canada | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New York | Newfoundland | North Carolina | Nova Scotia | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | Transylvania | Trinidad & Tobago | Upper Canada | Vandalia | Vermont | Virginia | Vancouver | West Florida
|Districts and Territories|
Arctic Islands | Bermuda | Northwest Territory | Oregon Territory | Rupert's Land
British Antarctic Territory | British Atlantic Territory | British Somaliland | Falkland Islands | Gambia