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If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1773 to 1785

Updated on May 31, 2009

Alternative histories are all in the news these days: Many quantum physicists believe (quite erroneously, but that's another story) that every event creates a myriad of different universes, and that theory has even been postulated as the basis for the biggest box office smash movie of the year, Star Trek.

The Anglo French War ended in 1763 with the British winning a definitive victory. The Treaty of Paris ceded Canada, Mississippi Territory and India to Britain. The British Empire was by that time so global that truly, the sun never set on it.

Lord Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, became Prime Minister of Britain in 1770. Based on his close relationship to King George III and his uncanny likeness, many believed that he was actually the King's secret brother, both sons of Prince Frederick. History remembers Lord North for being the "Prime Minister Who Lost America," as he presided over the events leading up to the American Revolution.

So what would have happened if Prime Minister North had not taken a hard line against the Colonists, and instead called a conference to attempt to resolve the contentious issues? One simple change, just one single decision, would have changed the world forever. Here is a potential timeline of those events and how it would have resonated to create a very different world today.

The Alternative Timeline

1773: Boston Tea Party rebels against taxation without representation. Anti British sentiment begins to rise in the Colonies. British Prime Minister North, well aware of King George III's accelerating insanity, manages to get the King's permission during a fleeting moment of lucidity to call a conference of all British colonies in London: changing history forever.

1774: The summit takes place during a rare summer heat wave which forces many of the proceedings outdoors on Westminster lawns. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and Prime Minister North hammer out a new framework for the British Empire, which will now be known as the British Imperial Federation. The crown remains as a figurehead, and the colonies of Canada and America will each gain complete autonomy on all matters except foreign affairs and international military interventions, which will continue to be directed from London.

1775: The leaders of the new Federation fight skepticism at home, but soon begin to win over their own populations. India is quick to react to the relaxation of British power, thus discussions on its transition from colony to Federated state are put on hold.

1776: On July 4, two years from the closing of the London summit, Prime Minister North formally appoints George Washington Viceroy of America in a moving ceremony in Philadelphia.

1782: France and Spain, concerned over London's consolidation of global power declare war. Attacked in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, Federation forces turn back the thrust and conclusively defeat the joint naval armada in the Battle of Martinique, a Caribbean island later renamed Charlotte in honor of the Queen. The King by now is permanently incapacitated.

1783: The Treaty of Versailles consolidates Canada with America, creating the United States Of America, a continental power stretching from the North Pole to the Rio Grande: a remarkable achievement given the fact that most of this territory had not yet been mapped! The United States is given dominion over all Indian Territory and previous holdings of France and Spain. Spain is allowed to keep its territories in South and Central America, but loses all of its Caribbean Islands to the USA, as does France, whose only remaining possessions in the Western Hemisphere are the tiny islands of St. Pierre et Miquelon and the Acadian enclave of Nouvelle Orleans in the Mississippi Delta. Massive emigration from Quebec turns Nouvelle Orleans into a metropolis of half a million people within months.

Continued in
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1785 to 1800

Read The Entire Timeline From 1773 to Today

If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1773 to 1785
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1785 to 1800
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1800 to 1825
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1825 to 1850
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1850 to 1880
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1880 to 1890
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1890 to 1920
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1920 to 1950
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1950 to 1975
If America Had Remained British: A Timeline - 1975 to Today


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    • Hal Licino profile image

      Hal Licino 8 years ago from Toronto

      Hope you enjoy it. Let me know. Thanks! :)

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      I like to read alternative history books from time to time, it is the only way to get me interested enough to "study" history at this point in my life, (unfortunately, my public school education was extremely lacking and they taught me the same thing every year, and it wasn't much). These kind of speculations do help to highlight the importance of critical events. I look forward to reading the rest.