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Reagan04's 1789-2021 Preferred Alternate History Bonanza

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Last week I made a post about an alternate political/presidential history that I tried to keep within reason but skew toward my own preferences in history, essentially a best case while still keeping political conflicts interesting. I won't be adhering entirely to the original list and I won't be reposting it so that if you want a surprised you can be surprised! This would probably interest a lot of you and while it's no academic deep-dive into historical alternatives, I am going, to the best of the capacity of my historical knowledge, to keep this within the upper bounds of realism. So if you have questions or comments feel free to ask! Just know that there will likely be detailed that could be nitpicked as not having a perfectly solid basis, as many things go with alternate history.

Format will essentially be an election post, then a term post. I'll try to keep everything short but thorough so feel free to ask questions or comments about our history if you feel so inclined. 

Prologue: The Washington Administration (1789-1797)

President George Washington (I-VA) and Vice President John Adams (F-MA) were elected concurrently in the first Presidential election in American history in 1788. For the purposes of this alternate history, the Administration is more sympathetic to straight Federalism, so much so that a much stronger Anti-Administration, later Anti-Federalist Party forms. While Washington formally eschews parties, he governs as a Conservative Federalist.  The Federalist Party remains in control of strong majorities in both houses of Congress, seeing to it that Washington's Cabinet is quickly confirmed as follows:

Secretary of State - John Jay

Secretary of the Treasury - Alexander Hamilton

Attorney General - William Cushing

Secretary of War - Henry Knox

The notably absent Jefferson was relegated to lead the Minority Anti-Federalists in the United States Senate. Washington's first term overall went incredibly similarly to his first term in our timeline. Notably, with a Jay State Department instead of a Jefferson-led one, the Washington administration attempts to ameliorate the American relationship with Great Britain, incensing the Anti-Federalists. Secretary Jay becomes renowned among Federalist circles and reviled among his enemies for his execution of Washington's Pro-Britain Foreign Policy.

Washington's re-election was never in doubt, what was, however, was exactly what would happen in the race for Vice President. 1792 was not so much a race against Washington, but an attempt on the part of Jefferson and his allies in Madison, Monroe and his other acolytes to send a message to the President that he'd do well not to ignore them much longer by taking out John Adams from his government. This attempt, characterized by a nasty attempt by the Anti-Federalists to take down Vice President Adams backfired spectacularly as President Washington soured on his once close friend Thomas Jefferson, further driving him to govern as a Federalist.

This became abundantly clear to the country as Washington's actions and appointments following the beginning of his second term in 1793 seemed right out of the Federalist playbook. His economic policy decidedly Hamiltonian and his Foreign Policy decidedly Anglican. So much so that when Revolutionary France threatened the United States in 1793 for their close relationship to Britain, Secretary Knox rebuked the French and instead signaled to the Congress that a Navy must be built up to counter the French naval threat.

Washington's domestic program was no more moderate, his appointment of strong Federalist judges and enactment of a Whiskey Tax among others as well as a Protective Tariff, it led a number of Anti-Federalists to accuse the Federalists of Monarchism. An allegation causing rebellions swiftly put down by the Federal Government. These actions only strengthened the Anti-Federalist claim of Monarchism. However this would be dispelled with when President Washington shocked the world and announced he would not seek a third term in 1796. Overall, the American people, particularly those in the North, were glad that the President enacted a strong executive policy, leaving the Federalists in a strong position to succeed him.

Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington.jpg

1st President of the United States, George Washington (I-VA) 1789-1797

John Trumbull - John Adams - Google Art Project (498015).jpg

1st Vice President of the United States, John Adams (F-MA) 1789-1797


(I will try to get the Election of 1796 up tomorrow, I will be making a post for each individual election and term in the future as this was just a prologue featuring slight modifications for world-building purposes.)

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5 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

I imagine that @vcczar @jvikings1 @Kingthero @Actinguy @Conservative Elector 2 among others would be interesting in commentating on this.

Yeah, I wasn't sure if you want comments between the posts.

A great idea to post this and definitely an entertaining read so far. I am following it of course.

Extra love for posting the portraits of the elected leaders. Note: we should do that in the RP as well :D 

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The story will be broken up into Acts and chapters, the ideas that I have for the Acts of my story:

Act I: Age of Federalism 1789-1825

Act II: Era of Tense Division 1825-1857

Act III: Republican Age 1857-1881

Act IV: Era of Normalcy 1881-1901

Act V: Age of Expansion 1901-1921

Act VI: Reform and Reaction 1921-1937

Act VII: Progressive Age 1937-1961

Act VIII: Conservative Era 1961-2001

Act IX: Dawn of Centrism 2001-2021

So the Election of 1796 would be styled

Act I, Chapter I.I: The Election of 1796.

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48 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

The story will be broken up into Acts and chapters, the ideas that I have for the Acts of my story:

Act I: Age of Federalism 1789-1825

Act II: Era of Tense Division 1825-1857

Act III: Republican Age 1857-1881

Act IV: Era of Normalcy 1881-1901

Act V: Age of Expansion 1901-1921

Act VI: Reform and Reaction 1921-1937

Act VII: Progressive Age 1937-1961

Act VIII: Conservative Era 1961-2001

Act IX: Dawn of Centrism 2001-2021

So the Election of 1796 would be styled

Act I, Chapter I.I: The Election of 1796.

Who should work for a publisher, creating chapter names and break-ups for authors who don't have the time. :)

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19 minutes ago, Patine said:

Who should work for a publisher, creating chapter names and break-ups for authors who don't have the time. :)

Thank you lol. I might break Act II into two different ones if only for its length and my desire to balance the world get a nice even 10 Acts. Also Chapter names might happen, I enjoy naming things.

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Act I.I.I: The Election of 1796


President Washington's second term was beginning to wrap up as rumors swept New York about a possible retirement from the man whose executive style seemed to be landing him as wanting the job for life. This, however, was quickly disproven when the President declared his intention to not seek a third term, throwing the race in 1796 into turmoil. Battle lines were drawn with the nascent Federalist Party claiming that the throne was theirs to defend, while their even more unorganized opponents, an amorphous faction of "Anti-Federalists" were lining up left and right to attempt the office of the Presidency, following Washington's lurch to the right during his term, the Anti-Federalists had lost all goodwill and were looking for blood, anger over a National Bank, high tariffs, taxes faced with a swiftly-put down rebellion and most importantly the neglect given to France on behalf of Britain was enough for Jefferson and his allies to begin to fume. The so-called "Jay Treaty", negotiated by Secretary of State John Jay, established strong commercial ties to the British Empire while seemingly forsaking all military alliance with France in the process. This treaty, a strong act of what appeared to be tepid reconciliation between the two nations incensed the Anti-Federalist factions determined to beat whomever was proposed by the Federalist Party for President.

The Candidates:

Federalist Party

Secretary of State John Jay (F-NY): Secretary Jay is considered the favorite for the Presidency, though he is far from certain. The Secretary of State is seen as the natural successor to the President after essentially executing the entirety of the nation's Foreign Policy for Washington. He has the support of fellow New Yorker and prominent Federalist, Secretary Alexander Hamilton and is sure to focus on Foreign Policy.

Vice President John Adams (F-MA): Vice President Adams is mostly running to leave behind the office of Vice President, which he so famously hates. With the support of the Boston Brahmins, it is likely he performs well in New England and not so much everywhere else.


Senator Thomas Jefferson (AF-VA): Senator Jefferson has been a leading critic of the Jay State Department and indirectly the Washington administration. He is certainly the intellectual lodestar of the Anti-Federalists and their political leader. He leads a powerful group of Anti-Federalist Virginia politicians that will surely back him in this election, though for his Pro-French antics he has unsettled some of the Upper Class moderates of the South.

Scattered others: One incredibly misstep of Anti-Federalists was to refuse to organize as a party, and while Jefferson is a regional candidate at best, with his Northern appeal being overshadowed by either the moderate Jay or conservative Adams, the state Anti-Federalist Associations of each state have decided to field local candidates to vye for electoral votes from each state, each state has their own favorite son known as the "Anti-Jay slate", thwarting much of Jefferson's ability to attract northern Anti-Federalist support. Notable Anti-Jay candidates include the New York Anti-Federalist star Aaron Burr. Southern Anti-Federalists not enthralled with Jefferson's Pro-French policies, worried for their business of exports, much of which continues to go to Britain, have released a number of electors to Jay.

The Election

At the end of the day, Vice President Adams performs predictably well in New England, gaining their votes for Vice President, while Jay's support in the Mid-Atlantic and scattered electors from the South propel him to the top. While no other Anti-Federalist receives electoral votes for President, nearly a dozen are on the slate for Vice President, depriving Jefferson of the oxygen he needs to win either a top or secondary spot. Jay's moderate politics, confident persona, and connection to Washington carry the day for him and Vice President Adams starts right back in the position he loathed, the Vice Presidency. The insurance of this came from Jay's personal order for several of his electors to break and vote for Adams, enough to push Adams over Jefferson while not jeopardizing Jay's spot as the number 1 finisher, when all the votes were tallied, the results were as follows:


The Aftermath

President-Elect Jay spared no time getting to work on his Foreign Policy objectives for the next term, he is flanked by close advisors John Marshall in the State Department and friend Alexander Hamilton remaining his chief economic officer. Vice President John Adams, on the other hand, is utterly despondent having been elected to a third term as Vice President, he curses his political misfortunes, an anger which lands him an unusual ally in his final days in politics. As mere days after Adams professes his disgust with the electoral process, he and Jefferson announce a joint effort to reform the electoral system of the United States. While Tariffs and Treaties may have dominated the election, it is electoral reform, early in the young nation's history, which now dominate the halls of Congress to the chagrin of President Jay. The Anti-Federalists are united in their belief in a broken system while Vice President Adams is convinced that this system, working entirely against him, must be changed so that no other poor schmuck aspiring to the Presidency lands in his position.

Up Next: Jay's first term dealing with Britain and France plus Congressional efforts to reform the election of President.


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John Jay, 2nd President of the United States


John Adams, 1st Vice President of the United States

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6 hours ago, Reagan04 said:


John Jay, 2nd President of the United States


John Adams, 1st Vice President of the United States

Jay would have likely had more range of governmental experience than any potential president.

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Act I.I.II: Electoral Reform and the Jay administration's first days (1797-1798)

March 4th, 1797 -- President John Jay is inaugurated the second President of the United States mere moments after Vice President John Adams had received his oath to enter into his third and self-avowedly final term of the office he so despises. The newly elected President's election, while perfectly legal and with unquestioned legitimacy, has sparked great debate among Conservative Federalists and Anti-Federalists of all stripes alike as to how the process of electing the President seems to not work in practice as it had in theory. Vice President Adams' is the leader of the Reformist wing of the Federalists, mainly on a personal vendetta against the means by which the Vice President is elected, he instead proposes that the new nation move to a "ticketed" ballot in which a Vice President and President will be elected concurrent to each other. Meanwhile, Jefferson, livid at Jay's manipulation of electors meant to keep him out of the Vice Presidency, turns his interesting to binding electors to the choice of the state as well as reforming the necessary means for electing the President. Resolved by the majority of the nation that the kind of circumstances used to elect President Jay were designed instead for President Washington, at a time when partisan divisions were far murkier. The problem, however, was the moderate Federalists that now found themselves in a position of power because of those mechanisms, the fight on the floor of the Senate would be fierce, but it would produce a landmark piece of American legislation.

Electoral Reform:

Following intense debate on the floor of the Senate, a compromise amendment to the United States Constitution had finally been ratified by the upper house only after the incredible political skills of Senate President John Adams and Senate Minority Leader Thomas Jefferson had been united for the same cause since 21 years earlier during the fight for Independence. The amendment, 12th of its kind, to reach the floor of the House included the following

  • The method of electing the President and Vice President of the United States shall be concurrent. They shall be elected through the use of electors assigned by means reserved to state discretion. All electors shall be bound to vote as their state directs.
  • Should a ticket fail to reach a majority of electors, except in the case of two tickets each receiving one-half of eligible electors, the college of which shall be equal to the combined total members of both Houses of Congress, a second round of balloting, no later than the 2nd Tuesday of December and no earlier than the 4th Tuesday of November shall be determined to take place on a date set by the Secretary of State, shall be had in order to determine the President, the top two vote receiving tickets shall be entitled to participation in the second round.
  • Should this vote still prove inconclusive with neither ticket reaching a majority of electors or should the initial vote result in two tickets each receiving one-half of the electors, necessitating a tie, then it shall be for a college of the states as composed of their representatives in the House of Representatives with each state receiving one vote to decide upon majority vote the next President of the United States immediately upon the swearing in of the newly elected House. The same shall be true of the Vice President who shall be elected in the same manner by the Senate.
  • Should this method still remain inconsequential, then one final mode of relief is to be employed. A straight roll call vote shall be taken of the newly elected members of the House and Senate to elect the new President and Vice President respectively, with tie-breaking power resting solely with the departing Vice President and newly elected Speaker of the House. 

This Amendment was largely received well by both factions. The Federalists saw this as their opportunity to appear less elitist while governing no different as well as a way to quelch the anxieties of their opposition and inner-party Adams factions on which the Vice President had spent every last ounce of his political capital to gain Federalist support.

With the Vice President's influence now depleted, President Jay stood aside and allowed the Congress and States to ratify this amendment, focusing instead on his Foreign Policy goals, opposition to which would now be weakened after an arduous process of electoral reform and support building.

Foreign Policy

No doubt that President Jay was laser-focused on Foreign Policy entering his first term, with a softened but sturdy Federalist majority in Congress, there seemed to be a deathly quiet on the foreign front, with cordiality restored by Secretary now-President Jay with the United Kingdom, the move was put to republican France. It was no longer than a few months into the newly minted administration that they would be put to the test.

September 27th, 1797 -- As an act of goodwill with the Anti-Federalists, President Jay had included them as minority representation to both the United Kingdom and France over negotiation parties. Dispatching for France, Ambassador Gouverneur Morris is joined by Envoys Ralph Izard and Anti-Federalist Elbridge Gerry. A delegation led by Ambassador Robert Morris and flanked by Envoys Timothy Pickering and Henry Dearborn. The delegation to the British is received well on the fertile diplomatic grounds of the Jay Treaty, though there is covert word from France that the American delegation is not nearly as welcome.

December 2nd, 1797 -- Ambassador Morris and his associate Envoy Izard have both fled France by order of the President after it had become clear that the American delegation would not be diplomatically received until a bribe had been paid to French Minister of Foreign Affairs the Duke Talleyrand, notably missing Envoy Elbridge Gerry. Gerry, the Anti-Federalist candidate for President in Massachusetts in 1796 has been an opponent of the Pro-British state departments of Jay and his successor. 

February 14th, 1798 -- It becomes public that Envoy Gerry has engaged in the subversion of the President and his State Department by disobeying a direct order and engaging in the bribery demanded by Minister Talleyrand, American sentiment turns decidedly in favor of the Pro-British Federalists. Upon his ordered return to the United States, Secretary of State John Marshall notarizes a warrant for his arrest issued by Attorney General William Paterson. Gerry is arrested and put into federal custody for treason against the United States.

May 1st, 1798 -- Elbridge Gerry is sentenced to life in imprisonment for treason against the United States of America, narrowly avoiding the Death Penalty in exchange for cooperating with State department investigators, an investigation is launched into the support he possibly had from Anti-Federalist members of Congress. Despite urging by the New England Federalists, President Jay demurs regulating the so-called "Seditious voices of Anti-Federalists". However, he does support the crafting and passage of the Illegal Alien Act of 1798 as well as a Congressional resolution of approval for building the size of the Navy, more negotiators are dispatched to Great Britain to discuss current events.

June 3rd, 1798 -- The mood of the people not being lost on the Federalists, the Alien Act is passed and signed into law. The new law governs strict restrictions on those illegally present in the United States, particular nationals of the French Republic. The new policy is widely popular, as is the Congressional build up of the Armed Forces in preparation for conflict with France.

June 10th, 1798 -- French warships surround and board American commercial vessels sailing in English waters

June 12th, 1798 -- The Pickering Commission, Congressional committee investigating the Elbridge-Talleyrand Affair as it is known, led by Foreign Affairs Chairman Sen. Timothy Pickering (F-MA) has come to the following conclusions: Elbridge Gerry knowingly betrayed the people of the United States, upholding the court sentencing him to prison. Gerry was aided by several Anti-Federalist bureaucrats in the State Department who now face federal indictment for their charges. The French Republic and then-Envoy Gerry had come to the arrangement that in exchange for payments from a State Department slush fund, the French would not engage with American ships trading with their British enemies. Following the delivery of these findings, Senator Pickering, a fierce opponent of the French, delivers a fiery address on the Senate floor and introduces a Congressional Declaration of War against the Republic of France for their involvement in the Gerry-Talleyrand Affair and for their attack on the legitimate commercial interests of the United States.

June 14th, 1798 -- The Congress of the United States declares war on the French Republic, the Jay administration readies for war as the Federalist Party surges in popularity just months before the midterms of 1798. 

July 4th, 1798 -- In a symbolic gesture, the Federalist Congress in collaboration with the Department of War, now led by former Senator Pickering, announce their support of the British war effort against the French. In the same resolution, they declare war on French ally Spain.

August 2nd, 1798 -- The first battle of American involvement in the French Revolutionary Wars ends in resounding success for American Naval power. The American navy successfully blockades St. Augustine and beats back French relief from the Caribbean, East Florida is successfully quarantined. Meanwhile, American troops position themselves for invasion of Spanish-controlled West Florida from the Alabama Territory. 

August 15th, 1798 -- In a major move of unusual boldness, President Jay announces support of revolting slaves in Haiti, favoring independence for the new nation. Despite being a slaveholder himself, Secretary Marshall orders aid given to the revolting slaves in their time of need. 

September 1st, 1798 -- American soldiers have crossed into Spanish territory in West Florida, occupying the mostly uninhabited territory, beating back natives. The invasion of West Florida galvanizes American support of war and turns Commanding General of the operation Charles Cotesworth Pinckney into a household name. An invasion of East Florida being planned by generals Thomas Pinckney and William Moultrie from Georgia and South Carolina bases is plotted to occur before the end of the year.

October 5th, 1798 -- Secretary Hamilton negotiates and President Jay signs the Trans-Atlantic Economic Defense Treaty, otherwise known as the Hamilton Treaty, an incredibly popular document, it enhances the Jay Treaty to reflect the current state of Britain and the United States as allied nations fighting two superpowered common enemies. It encourages free trade and even a degree of military cooperation, it's chief architect, Alexander Hamilton, has been delegated to by President Jay to coordinate on behalf of the State and War Departments, the joint expenditures of the two departments as well as whatever is spent in coordination with the British war effort.

Up Next: The midterms of 1798

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1 minute ago, Kingthero said:

What about Jay's cabinet?

State: John Marshall

Treasury: Alexander Hamilton

War: Henry Knox (1797-1798) - Timothy Pickering (1798)

Justice: William Paterson

Navy: Esek Hopkins

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Act I.I.III: Midterms of 1798

(So I made a bit of mistake, I forgot that the way in which the House was elected was spread across the year, so some of these elections will have to be interspersed with the events I've already set up)

April 26th, 1798 -- The New York election kicks off the midterms with a bang. In the midst of the highly publicized Gerry trial, occuring in the national capital of New York City, the Federalists are hoping to capitalize on the fear expressed by the many New Yorkers of the French and possible global enemies. With 10 seats up, and Federalists controlling a majority of 6-4, Anti-Federalists can only hope to hold out in their upstate strongholds. As the votes are tallied that is what they've done with every Federalist seat holding, plus another two close races in the Albany area expanding Federalist control of the New York House delegation to 8-2. A notable entry into the New York delegation is former Ambassador Gouverneur Morris, now being hailed as a political leader by the Federalists for his efforts to defend American integrity during his brief but eventful tenure as Ambassador to France, an office now left vacant by President Jay.

August 2nd, 1798 -- New Hampshire is a resounding reinforcement of Federalist strength in New England with all four incumbents seeing themselves re-elected. Federalist advange up to 12-2 in the House.

August 10th, 1798 -- North Carolina is the first sign of real trouble for the Anti-Federalists, New York and New Hampshire have always tended to lean Federalist, particularly as the party is led by several prominent New Yorkers. However a southern state like North Carolina has reliably opposed the Pro-British party, which is why when 4 Anti-Federalist incumbents from the state lost re-election to Federalists, the Anti-Federalists immediately began to acknowledge the bleeding which the Gerry-Talleyrand Affair had caused in their party as ranking members were implicated in the scandal. This left the North Carolina delegation with a deadlocked 5-5 delegation in the House, a first for the previously Anti-Federalist dominated state. The Federalists now held control of 17-7 seats in the House. Nevertheless, Anti-Federalist Senator Alexander Martin was re-elected easily.

October 2nd, 1798 -- A super Tuesday for small states so to speak, the Federalists walked away in a strong position. Spurred on by American victories in Spanish Florida, the Federalists ran the table in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Delaware, holding their domination of the delegations while also gaining 2 seats in Maryland, leaving their House total at a commanding 35-8.

October 12th, 1798 -- With 26 seats on the table, this was the largest election contest yet. The results from the South, namely Georgia and South Carolina were shockingly positive for the Federalists, flipping Georgia's 2 seats and picking up 2 in South Carolina for a commanding 5-1 lead largely on the back of Federalist military officers, the Deep South swung hard for the Federalists. Results from Pennsylvania and New Jersey were equally as encouraging where Federalists gained 3 seats in PA and holding their dominance in NJ bring their leads to 9-4 and 5-0 respectively. Overall this translated to a 56-13 lead going into election day where the final portion of the House as well as the members of the next Senate would be determined.

November 5th, 1798 -- Election day proper would decide the House seats in Massachusetts, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. MA swung hard to the Federalists, giving them control of their entire 14 seat delegation while Kentucky and Tennessee predictably gave their 3 collective seats to the Anti-Federalists. Virginia, on the other hand, was trickier. It was not immune to the national trend towards the Federalists, but the strong grasp on it by the Pro-French Jefferson had made Federalist mobility in the Commonwealth difficult. Overall, the Anti-Federalists hold on to their majority with an 11-8 margin, an all time high for Federalist performance in Virginia. In total this meant the House would be composed of the following

Partisan makeup of the 6th House of Representatives

Federalists: 79 (+22)

Anti-Federalists: 27 (-22)

Senate Elections

In the Senate, Federalist fortunes in the hawkish Georgia and South Carolina turn enough to elect John Milledge and the victorious General C.C. Pinckney as new Senators marking Federalist gains in previously unfavorable territory. The rest of the Federalists were re-elected while Anti-Federalist hung on to their core states of Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Every state is represented by two members of the same party

Partisan makeup of the 6th Senate

Federalists: 24 (+2)

Anti-Federalists: 8 (-2)


This election was clearly a Federalist landslide and with a strong mandate in Congress, President Jay and his cabinet likely look to escalate war against Spain and France who currently own much of the territory on America's periphery. The Anti-Federalists have to wonder what their strategy will be to beat the President in 1800 and what they can do to end the negative perception the Gerry scandal has given them.


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Act I.II: The French-Spanish War [The Second Coalition War] (1798-1802)

Section I: Spain's Exit

Following the successful occupation of West Florida and blockade and quarantine of St. Augustine, it was only a matter of time before East Florida had fallen to the Army of South Carolina and Georgia led by Generals Pinckney and Milton, both of whom had been honored with an election to the Senate back home in their respective states. Executing a brilliant plan originated by Commanding General Henry Knox in concert with Secretary of War Timothy Pickering and Special War Advisor Alexander Hamilton, the Army breaks the line from Georgia into East Florida to surround the quarantined city. It was not long before Pinckney was receiving the letter of surrender from the Spanish Viceroy of the Florida Colony. Following this surrender, the Federalist dominated Congress passed a nearly unanimous resolution of annexation of West and East Florida, divying West Florida up between the new Florida territory as well as organizing the State of Georgia into the newly shrunken and finalized State of Georgia as well as the territories of Alabama and Mississippi, given access to the Gulf of Mexico by the newly divided territory formerly portions of the West Florida colony.

This defeat humiliated the Spanish and legitimized America in the eyes of Britain and her allies. On May 13th, 1799, Spain sued for peace with the Americans, ceding Florida and turning over the Louisiana Territory to the French following the destruction of their Caribbean Fleet and the restlessness of the rest of their New World possessions, the Spanish dropped out to tend to the remaining territories in Mexico and South America.

Section II: Domestic Gains

Given the strong Federalist control of Congress, President Jay and Secretary Hamilton take this advantage to pass through Congress a major piece of legislation, the Slave Trade Act of 1799. The act bans the international export and import of slaves. The Act will make it significantly harder to settle the new Southern territories as Slave States, though it is highly likely that they will have to be admitted as such for the sake of domestic stability. Nevertheless, the Federalist Congress continues with it's policy agenda by passing the Direct Tax Act of 1799 as well as putting a War time Tariff on France and it's allied nations while keeping trade with Britain taxed at a much lower rate. The Compromise between Northern and South Federalists ruffled some feathers, but in the face of wartime popularity, President Jay was largely allowed to use his political capital on these items before any major dissent broke out. 

Section III: Taking on France

 Following the dropping out of the Spanish, the Pickering War Department turned it's sights on the newly acquired French territory of Louisiana, planning a bold maneuver. Commanding Admiral Esek Hopkins was to attempt a blockade of New Orleans whereupon an army led by Henry Knox, Thomas Pinckney, and Alexander Hamilton would storm the city. The attack was to be launched from the newly acquired naval base in Biloxi, which America had acquired following the cession of West Florida to the nation. It was late in 1799 when the American navy was prepared for the attack, even Secretary Pickering had handed down the order from the White House that the attack would not be carried out until 1800 to reflect the time needed to rest for the navy as well as for the newly built reinforcements commissioned by Congress to arrive. The world seemed to stand still during 1799, the Second Coalition War was decidedly in favor of the French in Europe, yet because of their European focus and the fighting spirit of the British, the Anglo Coalition was winning handily in the New World where Spain had been forced to drop out and the French were on the run into Louisiana. 

The morning dawned on February 3rd, 1800. The American fleet sailed south from Ft. Biloxi encountering French resistance in the Gulf between their base and New Orleans. The French navy had not expected the reinforcement ships to come from the East leaving the fleet exposed. A perfect ambush led by John Barry from the east allowed the main fleet to pummel the French ships with shells into oblivion, forcing many of them back into Orleans harbor. The Admirals were able to beat them back to the harbor as the Generals led the attack from the west, the Battle of New Orleans was underway.

The creative and ruddy nature of the American invasion, coupled with a general under-preparedness by the French had wrested the jewel of he Mississippi from the French and produced war heroes abound for the United States. The names Pinckney, Hopkins, and Hamilton were printed across the country in glorified tones. Hamilton returned to Washington a hero, being replaced by acolyte Tench Cox at the Department of Treasury and now preparing for a run as Governor of New York. Following French loss of New Orleans, the Americans began their march up the Orleans territory to Baton Rouge. 

Up Next: The Election of 1800

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2 hours ago, Herbert Hoover said:

Just wanted to say I'm really enjoying this so far.

What do you like best about it? I'm experimenting with different styles and storylines right now which is why there is a lag between updates, but I'm trying to get Election of 1800 up soon since I've already figured out how that will go.

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12 hours ago, Reagan04 said:

What do you like best about it? I'm experimenting with different styles and storylines right now which is why there is a lag between updates, but I'm trying to get Election of 1800 up soon since I've already figured out how that will go.

I love the attention to detail and the naming of particular statesmen involved. The split into acts and parts with titles is a nice touch, and in general it comes across as very in depth and as though you've done a lot of research for the TL. It's interesting seeing military successes this early on, and I wonder what implications that will have. 

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Act I.III: Election of 1800

Section I: Background

The Federalists seemed to be on top of the world going into the election of 1800, after strong gains in 1798 and military victories in Florida and Orleans, President Jay seemed unassailable. The real question then was how the race for Congress would play out. President Jay announced shortly after American victory in New Orleans that he would seek a second term and given his unanimous popularity, renomination was a sure bet, the only question mark being the Federalist nominee for Vice President following John Adams' bitter retirement from the role. This would be the first election conducted under the rules of the 12th Amendment, governing Presidential election law. While the Federalists were dealing only with a bottom ticket problem, the Anti-Federalists, skittish to run against Jay, were hardpressed for candidates or ideas at their nominating caucus.

Section II: Federalist Nomination

As previously discussed, the nomination for President was never in doubt when the nominating caucus convened, President Jay was renominated by unanimous voice vote consent and so the search for a Vice President began. 

From the Traditionalist New England faction came the nominations of prominent figures such as Senators Rufus King (F-NY) and Fisher Ames (F-MA). More moderate to conservative northerners tended to rally around Governor John Taylor Gilman (F-NH) or Senator Oliver Ellsworth (F-CT). The middle of the country and its more moderate denizens put forward names such as Ambassador Robert Morris (F-PA) or even Senator Jonathan Dayton (F-NJ). But ultimately these all amounted to the disjointed whims of the Northern Federalists. The Southern Federalists were much more united. War Hero General and former Congressman and Governor Thomas Pinckney (F-SC) was unanimously put forward as the nominee on behalf of the entire Southern delegations, when the first vote was called the following results were received.

Round One

Thomas Pinckney: 33 (MD, VA, NC, SC, GA)

Fisher Ames: 20 (MA, RI)

Rufus King: 17 (NY, NJ)

Robert Morris: 14 (PA, DE)

J.T. Gilman: 10 (NH, VT)

Oliver Ellsworth: 9 (CT)

Kentucky and Tennessee are not represented as they have no Federalist members of Congress

After this ballot, Oliver Ellsworth dropped from the balloting, never really interested in the position in the first place, pledging the support of the Connecticut delegation to Sen. Fisher Ames.

Round Two

Thomas Pinckney: 33 (MD, VA, NC, SC, GA)

Fisher Ames: 29 (MA, RI, CT)

Robert Morris: 21 (PA, NJ, DE)

Rufus King: 10 (NY)

J. T. Gilman: 10 (NH, VT)

After this ballot, President Jay made history. As Rufus King released New York, the President endorsed Thomas Pinckney. This had been the plan all along, to send General Pinckney to Florida to come back a war hero and to pad the Federalist ticket with as much bipartisan goodwill as possible. New York, Jay's home state, quickly swung to Pinckney, as did Vermont which had been released from Governor Gilman.

Round 3

Thomas Pinckney: 68 (VT, NY, PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, NC, SC, GA)

Fisher Ames: 35 (MA, RI, CT, NH)

Robert Morris: 0

It was in this ballot that Ambassador Morris announced his withdrawal and support of President Jay's pick for VP, Thomas Pinckney, locking up the nomination for the South Carolina General. Simply New England abstained on a protest vote for their preferred Massachusetts Senator, though following the nomination of Gen. Pinckney, Sen. Ames endorsed the Jay/Pinckney ticket for the general election, holding together the New England Traditionalist faction with the rest of the party.

Federalist Ticket

President John Jay (NY) / General Thomas Pinckney (SC)

Section III: Anti-Federalist Nomination

The nomination for the Anti-Federalists was much less cut and dry. Thomas Jefferson made it clear that he would not seek the nomination after a failed bid  for the Vice President in 1788 and 1792 and a failed run for President in 1796. He feared a loss in 1800 would dash any hopes of winning again and opted to strategically wait for a weaker Federalist ticket. This left the Anti-Federalist nomination wide open for the first time ever. Though that's not to say that there were not natural favorites by virtue of the process. 35 voting delegates were present at the nominating caucus. This meant entire regions like New England and most of the Mid-Atlantic and even the Deep South were without voting representation, relegated to a single non-voting delegate with the ability to make motions and address the chamber. Of the 35 voting delegates, 27 hailed from the Upper South, skewing the process already towards a North Carolinian or Virginian, or so one would think. Round 1 would consist of all kinds of nominations and would likely be favorite sons. 


Round One

Abstaining: 16 (VA, NY, MD)

Sen. Alexander Martin: 7 (NC)

Sen. John Breckinridge: 7 (KY, TN)

Rep. Albert Gallatin: 4 (PA)

Rep. Nathaniel Macon: 1 (SC)

The ballot was largely held inconsequential because of the lack of voting of Virginia and to a lesser degree the delegates from New York and Maryland, given that no Virginian favorite son wished to challenge Jay directly, the Virginian delegates opted to abstain in Round 1. This would go on for several rounds until finally a compromise candidate announced his official intention to run for President; New York Governor George Clinton. A Northerner with Southern positions, Clinton quickly positioned himself for success in the balloting measures.

Round Seven

Gov. George Clinton: 8 (NY, PA, MD, SC)

Sen. Alexander Martin: 7 (NC)

Sen. John Breckinridge: 7 (KY, TN)

Abstaining: 13 (VA)

The field had narrowed down to 3 major candidates; New York Governor George Clinton, favored by all the remaining Northern Anti-Federalists as well as those holding more traditionalist stances on the government. Following closely behind Clinton were North Carolina Senator Alexander Martin, a standard Southern conservative, and Kentucky Senator John Breckenridge that claimed to represent the interest of the West. It was largely down to the Virginia delegates to decide who would reach the magic number 18. 

Round Eight

Gov. George Clinton: 21 (NY, PA, MD, VA, SC)

Sen. Alexander Martin: 7 (NC)

Sen. John Breckinridge: 7 (KY, TN)

This was the round which broke the silence. Governor Clinton had convinced Jefferson acolytes to back his bid as he was the best shot to beat Jay. It was likely that the Anti-Federalists would lose the New York Governorship in 1800 and nominating Clinton was a last ditch effort to stave off total slaughter in the Northern United States. Plus, Clinton was more than acceptable to the conservative members of the party. In the end it was the promising of James Madison Secretary of State and James Monroe Attorney General to which Jefferson obliged and the would-be Virginia Dynasty relented to support the nomination of Governor Clinton.

Vice President

The race for the Vice President, which continued directly after the nomination of Clinton seemed to naturally fall to a contest of Senators Martin and Breckenridge with Clinton opting to stay out, allowing his controlled states of New York and Pennsylvania to decide for themselves while the sole delegates from Maryland and South Carolina would decide on their own anyway. Rest assured, both would likely try to ingratiate themselves with the Virginian kingmakers just as Clinton did before balloting began.

Round One

Sen. John Breckinridge: 20 (VA, KY, TN)

Sen. Alexander Martin: 8 (NC, SC)

Adm. John Barry: 7 (NY, PA, MD)

On a surprise First ballot victory, Kentucky Senator John Breckinridge was able to lock up the support of the Virginian delegation for his ties with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. While the powers that be in Virginia did not believe Breckinridge could win a general election and would likely embarass the party in a landslide loss to the President, he would be the perfect balancing Vice President for Governor Clinton who really had no power over the nomination at all. To prove this, Clinton's preferred candidate, Admiral John Barry who served as Commodore of the Eastern Fleet in the Battle of New Orleans, came third carrying only the northern states of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Clinton's plan to copycat the Federalists and put a war hero on the bottom of the ticket had failed. Alexander Martin's overtures to the Virginia delegation clearly did not click as his style of Southern conservatism was enough to win him the lone vote for South Carolina, but was not the kind of candidate that the Virginia establishment wanted.

Anti-Federalist Ticket

Governor George Clinton (NY) / Senator John Breckinridge (KY)

Section IV: Campaign

The tickets of Jay/Pinckney and Clinton/Breckinridge were off to the races, the first election of the 19th century. The election was viewed by many as in Jay's pocket. The two men generally ran a clean campaign and with General Pinckney utilizing the services of his cousin, the Governor, and his brother, a Senator, from South Carolina, the Federalist ticket was able to make inroads in Southern states sympathetic to the American war effort, even as the war was clearly winding down with an ultimate battle at Baton Rouge looming in the distance. The Clinton/Breckinridge ticket never made much in the way of inroads outside of the Senator's home and regular Anti-Federalist strongholds. It was clear even how far the Governor's popularity in New York had fallen as top Jay aide Alexander Hamilton appeared to be on lock for election to the office and President Jay appeared indomitable in his shared home state. Thomas Jefferson and his followers did their best to convince Anti-Federalists across the country to organize for Clinton, but after a certain point even Clinton began to not contest the election, leaving just the firebrand Breckinridge to rail against the President and the Federalist Party in the press.

Section V: Results


Section VI: Aftermath

President Jay had been re-elected to a Second term dramatically! General Pinckney's presence on the ticket surely helped the Federalists snag his home state of South Carolina and Federalist war heroes in Georgia turned the tide in the Peach State. North Carolina, lacking a strong anti-federalist organization following the loss of Senator Martin, fell to the Federalists by the slimmest of margins, representing President Jay's war time popularity and the bipartisan respect for the service and heroism of General, now Vice-President-elect Thomas Pinckney. The Anti-Federalists did, however, manage to snag back several House seats, bringing the totals to the following:

House Makeup

NH: 4 Federalists

VT: 2 Federalists (-)

MA: 14 Federalists (-)

RI: 2 Federalists (-)

CT: 7 Federalists (-)

NY: 7 Federalists - 3 Anti-Federalists (AF+1)

PA: 8 Federalists - 5 Anti-Federalists (AF+1)

NJ: 4 Federalists - 1 Anti-Federalists (AF+1)

MD: 5 Federalists - 3 Anti-Federalists (AF+2)

DE: 1 Federalist (-)

VA: 13 Anti-Federalists - 6 Federalists (AF+2)

KY: 2 Anti-Federalists (-)

TN: 1 Anti-Federalists (-)

NC: 6 Anti-Federalists - 4 Federalists (AF+1)

SC: 4 Federalists - 2 Anti-Federalists (AF+1)

GA: 2 Federalists (-)

Federalists: 70 (-9) 

Anti-Federalists:  36 (+9) 


NH: Samuel Livermore (F) and John Pickering (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

VT: Nathaniel Chipman (F) and Elijah Paine (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

MA: Fisher Ames (F) and Benjamin Goodhue (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

RI: Peleg Arnold (F) and William Bradford (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

CT: Uriah Tracy (F) and Oliver Ellsworth (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

NY: Rufus King (F) and Gouverneur Morris (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

PA: William Bingham (F) and George Logan (AF) - 1 Federalists and 1 Anti-Federalist (AF+1)

NJ: William Paterson (F) and John Rutherfurd (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

DE: John Vining (F) and Henry Latimer (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

MD: James McHenry (F) and John Eager Howard (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

VA: Thomas Jefferson (AF) and James Madison (AF) - 2 Anti-Federalists (-)

KY: John Breckinridge (AF) and Daniel Boone (AF) - 2 Anti-Federalists (-)

TN: William Blount (AF) and Joseph Anderson (AF) - 2 Anti-Federalists (-)

NC: Alexander Martin (AF) and Richard Spaight Dobbs (AF) - 2 Anti-Federalists (-)

SC: Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (F) and William Moultrie (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

GA: James Armonstrong (F) and John Milton (F) - 2 Federalists (-)

Federalists: 23 (-1)

Anti-Federalists: 9 (+1)

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Image result for john jay portrait circa 1800

John Jay, 2nd President of the United States 

Image result for Thomas Pinckney 1800 portrait

Thomas Pinckney, 2nd Vice President of the United States

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12 hours ago, Reagan04 said:

Image result for john jay portrait circa 1800

John Jay, 2nd President of the United States 

Image result for Thomas Pinckney 1800 portrait

Thomas Pinckney, 2nd Vice President of the United States

This would be such an odd ticket considering Jay was something of an early abolitionist. 

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On 10/9/2019 at 11:41 AM, vcczar said:

This would be such an odd ticket considering Jay was something of an early abolitionist. 

Oh I plan for this to come up in his second term, don't worry. The idea being that the war has really united Federalists. But just you watch.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Act I.IV: The Conclusion of the French-Spanish War (1800-1801)

Section I: The Battle of Baton Rouge 

Following President Jay's successful re-elect, troops led by now Vice President-elect Thomas Pinckney continued their march in full haste up the Orleans Territory along the Mississippi River, pushing back French soldiers in skirmishes along the banks. The newly elected Governor of New York, Alexander Hamilton, had already departed for Albany by this time and the ailing Commanding Gen. Henry Knox was largely strategic command in the region. It was up to the Vice President-elect and his good friend, Gen. William Moultrie, to finish the push into Baton Rouge. As the new year dawned on the American continent, this is exactly what happened. 

January 1st, 1801 dawned and with it the sun of the French-Spanish war began to set. VP-elect Pinckney rallied troops from the South while General Moultrie led an assault from across the Mississippi. Escorting the American soldiers were naval forces under the command of Admiral Esek Hopkins and Commodore Stephen Decatur ensuring the French pigeonhole, impeding any progress across the river. The American navy had demanded American sovereignty in her waters, and by God she had won it from the French and Spanish, this would be her final test of legitimacy as the city of Baton Rouge starved at her chokehold.

General Moultrie began his first assault from the East. The navy had been shelling the city for a while now, breaking down much of the defenses put up by the remaining French command. As American troops fled into Baton Rouge it was rather clear the Americans held the upper hand. General Knox watched from afar as his grand battle plan executed by General Moultrie took the city, within 2 days Baton Rouge had surrendered and the Orleans Territory was officially occupied by the United States with South Carolina Federalist Gen. William Moultrie appointed by President Jay as Territorial Governor.

Section II: The Treaty of Brest

The 2nd Coalition War, or the French-Spanish War as it would come to be known, is concluded in March 1801 in the French city of Brest following America suing for peace with the French. The British and Germans largely concluded a ceasefire while America gained the Florida Territories from Spain and purchased the Orleans Territory at an extremely cheap price from France. The rest of the Louisiana Territory would remain French, but without access to New Orleans, it remained largely defunct for the empire. Newly inaugurated Vice President Thomas Pinckney represented the Americans in Brest, negotiating favorably for the United States.

Section III: Aftermath

After the war, which concluded shortly after President was sworn in for a second term, was the perfect endcap for his first term. He had an entire 4 years in front of them, little did he know how rocky they would be. The Americans had gained the two Floridas and Orleans though, and that was enough for jubilee in the streets of the United States.


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  • 2 months later...

Act I.V: Jay's Mandate (1801-1802)

Section I: Federalist Heaven

Following the swift ratification of the Treaty of Brest, the Foreign Policy chapter had concluded for President Jay, or so he thought. Shortly following his re-inauguration in March 1801, President Jay set out to enact the Federalist policies which had won him his mandate in 1800. This manifested itself in the Infrastructure Act of 1801, the most extensive act of federal power in American history up to this point. The brainchild of Hamilton acolyte Tench Coxe, Secretary of Treasury, the bill was put before the House to fierce opposition from the minority with House Minority Leader Nathaniel Macon of North Carolina calling it a "complete betrayal of the Constitution ratified just a decade ago". Speaker of the House Theodore Sedgwick, on the other hand, made it a top priority to not only see the legislation passed, but to ensure as much spending as possible was directed to the New England states. Moderate opposition from Southern Federalists did exist, however, Vice President Pinckney's tepid support as well as goodwill following Jay's military success dampened thought of coordinated rebellion. By November 1801, the final version of the bill had passed from commitee and finally received the approbation of the House by a vote of 60-46, no Anti-Federalists voting in favor and 10 Federalists defecting. The road to passage in the Senate was much quicker with only a handful of Federalist Senators expressing concern. Senate Majority Leader Rufus King held a tight line over the Mid-Atlantic and New England Senators while letting slip a few Southern Federalists who realistically needed to oppose the legislation for electoral reasons. The Senate approved the final version 18-14 with Senators Vining (F-DE), McHenry (F-MD), Moultrie (F-SC), Milton (F-GA), and Armstrong (F-GA) voting along with the Anti-Federalist bloc on December 23rd, 1801. The Act was signed New Year's Eve 1801 by President Jay, to go into effect 1802. Remarking to longtime friend New York Governor Alexander Hamilton who had come to Washington for the signing of the bill, President Jay expressed "supreme optimism for the next year's business". Unfortunately for the President, Foreign Policy would once again detract from his domestic agenda and this time, it would not be the stunning victory his administration had won just the year before.

Section II: The Jay-L'Ouverture Affair

Early January 1802 came with a bang for the Jay Administration. On the 13th, a whistleblower in the State Department reported that President Jay had supplied weapons to Haitian slave rebels in the war effort against France. This revelation shocked the nation and exposed what many Anti-Federalists had attempted to smear the President with since the Slave Trade Ban Act of 1799, that he in favor of more than just restricting slavery, but that he was in favor of abolishing it by ballot or bullet. Shortly thereafter, Vice President Pinckney, dejected with the state of politics and the administration he had been dragged into after half-hearted agreement to take Jay's VP spot, resigned citing the developing "Jay-L'Ouverture Affair" as Anti-Federalist newspapers coined it. Named for the American President and Haitian General whose correspondence had granted Independence to Haiti and President Jay had recognized as Independent, shocking the world. Secretary of State John Marshall, a slave owner himself, and supposed Conservative Federalist, was thrust into a difficult situation. Virtually everyone knew that Marshall was planning a credible run for President in 1804, this would prove to be the pivotal moment of his career. Ultimately, the Secretary elected to deflect the questions and place the correspondence on the President. Luckily for Secretary Marshall, Jay's hubris had saved the Virginian. The President, so sure of the popularity of the war, had personally signed each order to the State Department to transfer weapons and aid to the Haitians. Marshall protested innocence and while it is highly unlikely that such an able Secretary of State would not know of such a major going on in his own department, the media and Anti-Federalists, perhaps unwisely, were far more interested in crippling President Jay and as a result the Federalist Party in preparation for 1802, largely leaving Marshall alone to lick his wounds for 1804. But for Jay, the damage was done and the Federalists were headed for a reckoning in 1802. The problem was made far worse when the New England controlled Federalist Congressional leadership refused to pursue real investigations into Jay's actions as they had done for Elbridge years earlier. Much to Jay's chagrin, 1802 turned into a year of a long Federalist nightmare, bringing to a close the period of 5 years of extreme popularity which had defined the Jay administration.

(I went off the face of the earth on this because life made it very difficult to update and for a while I actually forgot about it, who knows how far into my original blueprint I'll get or how long that will take me, but I'm going to give it the old college try because being sick here in bed I have very little energy to do anything beyond the computer, so I figured why not put some into a long needed update of this pet project. We'll see what happens with the midterms of 1802.

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