New England Crisis (Borgo)

The maximum extent of the United States is coloured red. Virginia was divided.

The United States of America was a short-lived confederation of several British colonies which together rebelled against British rule during the late 18th century in what is known as the New England Crisis.

As a result of perceived heavy-handedness and the failure of the British government to recognise the contribution of the American colonies during the Seven Years War, popular discontent became widespread throughout British America during the 1760's and 70's. After the passage of the so-called Intolerable Acts, some began to openly advocate independence, though they remained a minority. In September 1774 therefore a congress of delegates from many of the colonies resolved to send a delegate to London, asking for reform and threatening to secede if their demands were not met.

Although the Prime Minister, Lord Grafton, responded favourably to the proposals, satisfying the majority of the congress, the radical faction continued to agitate. In July 1776, therefore, delegates from the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island and Connecticut met in a separate congress and voted to declare independence, and the following year they agreed to form the United States of America to coordinate their actions.

All of the other colonies were invited to join the United States, but none did save for the Patriot side of the Virginian Civil War. Nevertheless, volunteers from all over the region came to fight in the rebellion, and their efforts successfully drove the crown administration out of New England altogether for a time.

By early 1778 however crown troops had regrouped and been re-inforced by units from the metropole. Using New York and Quebec as bases, they were able to advance into New England and reoccupy most of the region. Connecticut surrendered in May and Rhode Island in June, but the government of Massachusetts resisted for months. Only after being forced to flee from Boston in December did it finally sue for peace, thus bringing an end to the ambitious United States project.

However, Patriot resistance continued in the interior for months, with the last rebels not being captured until 1783. By this time all sides were exhausted of the conflict, and most of the former rebels gladly accepted the terms of the America Act 1775 in exchange for a pardon. Others fled to French or Spanish territory and slowly faded into obscurity.

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