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Point of Divergence:
In 1790, one year after George Washington enters office as the first President of the United States, he falls ill with pneumonia (which is not a flu, but close enough). After weeks of fighting the sickness, his body finally gives out and he dies on June 5th, creating a major setback for his young nation.
[In our timeline, Washington did get severely sick in 1790, coming close to death, but he eventually fought through it and lived on.]
Washington's death initially shocked the nation and the world, and then sent them into a state of mourning. Out of respect, another president was not to be named until after Washington's funeral two weeks after his death. However, once that date passed, immense debate began on what would happen next. Most politicians agreed that Vice President John Adams was the legal successor to the powers of president, but what they couldn't agree on is if Adams would merely be an acting president until an election could be held or if he would serve the remainder of Washington's term as president. Eventually, though, it was agreed that Adams would be the president at least until the next elections.
The timeline for this althistory is here.
Summary of Events
This is a summary of the major events that occured in this timeline:
- Events such as the Whiskey Massacre and high taxes cause several states to leave the Union in 1799-1800 and form their own nation, the Confederate States of America. After fighting a three year long war, the Confederacy wins.
- In the 1880's, slavery and other issues cause the southern states in the CSA to leave the Confederacy and form their own union called the Federated States of America. They win a four year long civil war, earning their permanent independence.
- In the 1920's, the United States and Confederate States teamed up in a war to force the Federated States to end slavery completely. The north was victorious this time.
- In 1934, the FSA became a fascist nation under a single president and made slavery legal again. This, along with Nazi Germany, Italy, and Japan, eventually caused World War II, in which the Axis powers were defeated by the Allies. This led to the FSA being significantly weakened, the state of Virginia being split up between the US and CS, and the state of West Texas being formed.
- In 1970, the FSA declared war on the US and regained most of Virginia.
- From the late 40's to the early 90's, the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the Confederacy (partially along with the US and FS) raged. Luckily, the world did not perish in nuclear destruction.
- In 2001, the 9/11 terrorist attacks destroyed Sears Tower and the Aon Center in Chicago, along with part of the Confederate Capitol Building (which was hosting George W. Bush's inauguration that day), killing over 3,000 people.
- The current presidents are: Howard Dean in the US, Barack Obama in the CS, and John Edwards in the FS.
Comparisons with OTL
These are the major differences between Washington's Flu and our timeline:
- There are now three nations occupying the area where the United States is today: the Confederate States, the Federated States, and the United States.
- Some states have different borders, and West Texas is a state that exists. The state of Washington is called Columbia.
- The United States' capital is in Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. no longer exists.
- The Philippines and other island nations, like American Samoa and Guam, were never part of the US or any of the nations in its place.
- Both segregation and slavery lasted much longer in the south, specifically the Federated States.
- United States presidents, and later Federated States presidents, have no problems running for up to three or four terms, sometimes even serving five or six.
- The World Trade Center in New York is still intact, while the Sears Tower and Aon Center in Chicago were destroyed and replaced by newer structures.
- The concept of being American applies more to the continents of North and South America than it does to any specific nation. American can still be used to refer to someone from the US in this timeline, but it's not as widespread.
- Neither of the three nations are the superpower that the US is in real life, but the Confederacy comes closest.
- Howard Dean was and is the current US President. Imagine that.
Aside from those things, not much else is different. This timeline is admittedly US centered, but I'm proud of it.