Anti American sentiment is high in France, and with the prospect of a Liberal goverment being formed the following summer, the Conservative-Reactionary coalition acts. They hold secret talks with the British goverment, and William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom offers them intelligence gathered by British agents in New England. A pro-Monarchist secessionist movement is gaining power in the north east, and the US goverment is having trouble containing it. Victor de Broglie, President of the Council, receives assurances from the British that if they aid with a blockade of the United States, the British would work to give the territory of Louisiana back to the French. In 1837, this agreement is signed in secret, and the French begin mobilizing their Navy, building more ships.
In April of 1840, three fleets of French ships sailed to America. As French ships began a bombardment of the eastern coast, British troops moved from Canada, catching the US army unaware, occupying hundreds of towns within hours of the invasion. As this happened, the Fourth Fleet had anchored in the Gulf of Mexico, bombarding New Orleans, catching the garrison in the middle of the Night. Within six and a half hours, French troops had occupied the city and surrounding area.
January 1841, the United States goverment conceded to the combined attack. The United States navy had few ships that weren’t damaged horribly, and thousands had died fighting the British troops who had moved into New England. The treaty recognized the Sovereignty of the country of New England, and surrendered Louisiana to the French.
For the first time since 1836, the French army demobilized. France’s position in the world had been secured. Intelligence of a possible Prussian attack on the region of Alsace-Loraine forced the French military to act, and in 1842, French troops entered the Rhineland. It sparked off a large scale conflict. Russia and Austria used the chaos as a means to invade the newly created Polish state, and a combined French, Belgian, and British Expeditionary force landed in Poland’s northern most port.
The French third army had been dug into the Rhineland for two months when the Prussian army attacked. It was a bloody fight, and not a single village within the region had been left untouched. The French used artillery with great results during the conflicts, decimating the attacking Prussian armies. Meanwhile, in Poland, the AEF has been bogged down fighting the Russian-Austrian army. Winter had just begun, and the Allied armies were ill-equipped for the frozen weather. On Christmas of 1843, the King of Prussia surrendered the Rhineland to the French, who in turn, forced the Germans living in the region to denounce their Prussian citizenship, or leave.
With the war over, France reinforced the AEF, which had been fighting tooth and nail against the Russians and Austrians, taking heavy casualties. The French Navy, which had been sailing from the Mediterranean for a few months finally reached the Baltic coast, and began decimating cities along the Russian coast. The 2nd army landed in Russia, it began a campaign of fire, not occupying land, but destroying it. The destruction sparked mass riots in Saint Petersburg, and assassination attempts against Nicholas I of Russia forced him to speak to his ally, Ferdinand I of Austria, and they agreed to speak to the French.
The treaty of Minsk, signed in the summer of 1845 ended the conflict. The Russian economy had almost collapsed, and anti Monarchist sentiments in the country were at an all time high, to the delight of the British. As a way of showing the Austrians and Russians that they would have very little control over the shaping of a modern Europe, they were forced to surrender vast territories to Poland.
With that, Europe entered a time of a peace, the French and British economies dominating the continent.
As the peace descended in Europe, France had begun to use it’s new territory of Louisiana as a staging ground for shaping North America. French agents turned any pro-American feelings sour in the country of Texas, and they made sure that the Kingdom of New England remained completely anti American, watching with glee as King Henry I of New England began to speak out against the United States of America. They encouraged the Mexican goverment to colonize what they could in the American Midwest, offering supplies and troops to aide the Mexicans in these endeavors. The French goverment also noticed the Southern secessionist fever that was heating up, and watching it with great interest, preparing to do what they could to help sabotage the states as much as they could.
The unstable North American peace was broken as American troops moved into Mexico, and annexed Texas. Coming to the aide of it’s Ally, the North American garrison of the French army moved west, into the new state of Texas. The conflict lasted over a year, Louisiana changed hands over six times, leaving death and destruction in it’s wake. Mexican troops had burned Houston to the ground, and the war had spread out into the American south, leaving the cotton farms of Georgia and Alabama in ruins. The battle of New Orleans was one of the most brutal battles in the conflict. The US Army had assembled an army of six thousand soldiers, artillery pieces, and cavalry. The US held the city for three months, holding it under a brutal occupation, viewing the citizens as traitors, who let the city be taken without a fight years before.
In the winter, Henry I of New England read out his declaration of war to the two houses of Parliament in Boston, and the military invaded New York, sacking the city. With it’s economy on the verge of collapse, the United States conceded, and signed the treaty of Boston. James K. Polk rode into Boston amid boos and jeers, he had not been told the extent of anti-American feeling in the very young country. He agreed to the annexation of Texas to France, and very reluctantly agreed to a five year disarmament.
1860, and the world has seen fourteen years of relative peace. The French economy has been booming, and they have opened up trade relations with the Middle Eastern countries, funding an Afghan army to help take territory from Persia. They have colonies in the far east, allowing for trade with China and the smaller nations around it. Helping to modernize the eastern countries. Republican sentiment in the country is high, though, with the rule of Napoleon III, who has named himself Emperor almost ten years prior.
In North America, the Mexican Government has great relations with the French territories of Louisiana and Texas. New Orleans is a successful trading port, almost matching New York city in the north. But with the recent death of Henry I of New England, his son Charles has taken over as Monarch. Charles is very pro-English, having grown up with Edward, Prince of Wales. This is causing alarm within the French goverment, as they notice New England slowly distancing itself from France.
Tensions with the United Kingdom are building as the two powers work hard to discredit each other in the Middle East and South America, and most experts believe that a war within the next five years will be inevitable. Perhaps that is why Napoleon has ordered funding for an improved Navy, much to the chagrin of Liberal members of the goverment. Revolutions have rocked smaller European nations, with France’s neighbor, Switzerland, seeing a Presidential Dictatorship overtaking the Monarch.
Within two decades, Anglo-French relations deteriorated at an alarming rate, and with the recent tensions over slavery in North America, things are at a boiling point.
1862, and the secessionist movement in the states has reached a boiling point. The southern states break away, forming a Confederate States of America. The French jump at this opportunity, and the new French Parliament authorizes the transfer of funds to the CSA, to help the ‘cause of freedom abroad.’ Within a year of the Civil War that broke out in the States, the US goverment realize that the CSA is being funded by European powers, and in December of that year, US ships blockade the French ports along the Gulf, bombarding the cities. With that, the French entered the war on the side of the Confederates. The 1st and 2nd Infantry divisions of the French North American garrison march north, helping the Confederates push to the borders of the District of Columbia.
The British, who had been looking for any reason to attack the French, formally declare war, entering the side of the Union, and troops march south from Canada. New England preaches neutrality, but she lets British troops use Boston as a drop off point for reinforcements. Mexico enters on the side of the South, and begin moving in to the American west.
In Europe, the French and British navies had engaged in multiple battles in the Channel, disrupting European trade, causing mass economic problems on the Continent. France’s long time ally of Poland, now a world power enters this war. Austria and Russia pledge to help the British, using this as a chance to take back land from the Polish state. The Ottoman Turks take advantage of this, and move troops into southern Austria, while the Prussians begin attacking British holdings in the Baltic sea. French troops occupy the channel Islands during this time, laying waste to the towns on them.
In 1864, French ships broke through the British Navy, and managed to sail up the Thames. And on Christmas of that year, the new French ironclad ships bombard the Palace of Westminster, during a session of Parliament. Henry John Temple, the Prime Minister was killed in the attack. And following an emergency election, liberal politician John Russell becomes Prime Minister. With Queen Victoria’s permission, he signs a treaty with the French and agrees to pay reparations for the damages caused during the conflict. With the fight against the British over, French troops leave the Channel Islands, and move east, to assist Poland once again.
Poland had held their enemies at bay during the war, and the French troops that reinforced them were almost not needed. And by the spring of 1865, the Austrians and Russians signed a treaty, officially recognizing Poland as a country.
The war in the states, on the other hand, was not going that well. The French north American garrison had taken heavy casualties, and the Atlantic coast had been littered with American and French ship wrecks. Polish and French troops set out for the states, and in August of that year, the French and Polish army staged a parade in Richmond. The French army had been pushed back into the South, and Washington had been fortified heavily. This combined army forced it’s way northward, burning what they could when the reached the Union border. Once again, after three years, the allied forces sat on the doorstep of Washington. Polish artillery units fired into the city. They held Washington hostage, cutting it off from the rest of the country. In November of 1864, the US Government signed the Treaty of Richmond, and with French pressure, gave Washington DC to the CSA. In a galling move, they kept Richmond as their capitol, and the US Government moved into New York city.
The five year conflict had decimated the economies of most of the European powers. France entered a depression, Republican sentiment increased to a whole new level, and a liberal parliament forced Constitutional change. Napoleon III became a head of state similar to that of the English Monarch. A liberal President of the Council began a process of disarmament. He shrunk the army down, and raised tax on the rich. He put industry under the control of the state, began a series of political and social reforms. They introduced healthcare for all, and a minimum wage.
The next ten years were relatively peaceful. The French economy had recovered by 1876, and Napoleon’s son took over as Monarch. The country’s power in North America began to wane, however. Relations between Paris and Richmond had begun to deteriorate. The CSA’s economy had been booming since the end of the Civil war, and it was beginning to press its influence world wide. Mexico, which had become a close ally to the French began to distance itself from its European ally. Peace was marred briefly with a Hungarian revolt in Austria, and in 1877 the free country of Hungary was formed. 1880 comes with a stable peace, a first for the Civilized world.
A new era
France entered a new golden age. The influence of the French culture can be felt across the world, and France is exporting important materials world wide. The liberal reforms of 1868, which had improved the life of rich and poor in France were being copied by most European powers. Napoléon IV, though, was of the opinion that the Monarch should not be a figurehead, and in the summer of 1882, he walked into the French Parliament, akin to Charles I in England so many years before, and ordered Parliament to be adjourned permanently. Protests erupted throughout France, and in the middle of July, the Emperor spoke to his subjects in Paris. In what he thought was a rousing speech, he explained that no social reforms would be overturned, and that the only difference is that he would be ruling directly. He turned back into his palace, smiling to himself, thinking he had convinced the people to see it his way.
July 20th, 1882.
At three in the morning, akin to the chaos of the French Revolution in 1789, gunfire erupted in Paris. French troops began to barricade parts of the city, and the Emperor, who was signing an order to fund the CSA in another attack on the USA, was rushed out of his palace. As word of the revolt spread throughout the country, militias sprung up, occupying their own cities and villages, executing French troops who were caught unawares. The country was effectively cut off from the outside world because of the revolt. The loyalist army held off the south of France, and the French Civil war began.
Napoleon IV held a rousing speech in his new capitol, Avignon. He invoked his divine right to rule the country, and in the former palace of the Pope, he told his people to fight and die for France, God, and the Emperor. What followed was a violence not seen since 1789 in the country. French Loyalist forces massacred anyone who flew the rebel colours. Anyone who assisted the rebel forces in anyway were executed, and their land burned. Large cities that had fallen early on to the rebels were turned into fortresses, and if the French Army took these places back, they would make a point of leaving the bodies of the rebel defenders on the roads to the city.
France’s infrastructure was utterly decimated. Poverty was at an all time low, and sickness spread throughout the country. But in July of 1884, with the help of mercenaries and some foreign funding, French rebel forces stormed the southern strongholds of the Loyalists. Napoleon gave his last speech to his soldiers. The young man looked haggard, sick, and aged before his time. He blessed the staunch defenders of Avignon, and left the city in a carriage, dressed as a merchant. He escaped to New England, and was granted asylum by King Charles II, a king who supported French relations. The defenders of Avignon escaped before rebel forces reached the city, going into hiding, vowing to act as a guerrilla force once the rebels took over.
On September 28, 1884, Louis Boulez, elected leader of the rebellion announced the formation of the goverment of the French State. Parliament became a figurehead, and elections were outlawed. He began to roll back all Social reforms of the previous decades. Freedom of speech was effectively banned. To make matters worse, Czar Alexander III of Russia had watched the rebellion with interest. And when word reached Saint Petersburg that the Government fell, he ordered Russian soldiers to march into Vladivostok, which the French had held for twenty years.
Napoleon IV of France killed himself later that year, jumping from a cliff in Connecticut. A new, darker age for France had come, and the Monarchies of the West began to look to their own countries, worried that rebellion could come to their homes.
The Dictatorship’s policies destroyed the French economy. The infrastructure of the country was in ruin, unemployment was at an all time high. The country went through a second depression. Government crackdowns on dissidents caused groups that had been small during the Monarch’s time, to begin to mobilize in secret. In 1888, Confederate troops had marched into Texas and Louisiana, burning all they conquered. The North American garrison, which had been ill equipped since the new goverment took over, easily fell to the enemy. As the French Gulf fleet fled the Confederates, it was caught in a massive storm, and not one ship survived. The British and Austrians, wanting revenge on the French for past trespasses took advantage of the chaos, and invaded. What little army the nation had was cut down to size. The turn of the century saw the once powerful French nation to be a shadow of itself.
In the autumn of 1901, Communist and Jacobite rebels rose up. The Jacobite’s took the southern part of France, creating the Third French Republic, while the Communists easily took Paris and the north. Louis Boulez, President of the French state, was publicly executed in front of Notre Dame. Civil War broke out between the two factions as they both fought for control of the country. The Communists, who had declared their country to be The People’s Republic of France promised social reform akin to that of the Monarch years before. With public opinion on their side, Communist militias were declared to be the new People’s Army. Marshal Jacques Moreau took the 1st Revolutionary guard south, into the French Republic. Working with the 3rd Volunteer Corp and the 2nd People’s Army, they began a pincer attack, cutting off the Jacobite armies slowly. In November of 1902, the Jacobite’s surrendered, and the Third French Republic fell.
The Communist takeover saw social reforms being passed, the likes of which people had not seen for years. Universal Healthcare, minimum wage, pensions, all became a reality under the Communist Party. The new Politburo elected Marshal Moreau as chairman of the party by the winter of that year. The goverment took over the industry, funding it themselves, and France slowly began to recover.
By 1913, France had completely recovered. They had essentially gotten rid of unemployment, and the French industry began exporting more goods than ever. Under Party rule, the French military began a process of improvement. They soon had the greatest Navy in the world, and with it, decided to take back what was theirs. In April of 1913, French troops disembarked in the Confederate south, burning their way to Louisiana. The Confederate military had not been expecting anything like this, and the state fell easily. The Empire of Mexico, which had Communist sympathies invaded Texas, and assisted French troops in taking it back. George S Patton Jr. A captain at the time, gained international fame as the hero of Houston, holding off waves upon waves of French and Mexican troops as he evacuated the civilian population from the city. The French soldiers were merciless in their attacks, and the war left the country broken. In a surprising turn of events, the US goverment declared war on the French, and US and Confederate troops staged an attack on the French held city of New Orleans. The city changed hand fifteen times in those four months, and the combined forces were beaten back after Mexican troops broke the Confederate lines and reinforced the French defenders.
August of 1913 saw the treaty of Richmond signed, offering reparations to the French goverment, and the land that was ‘rightfully theirs’ in the south. Communist revolutions across the world began to spring up, and by the end of August, the people of California had broken away from Mexico, and formed the Californian Republic, a Communist run goverment. Bavarian Communists, with French funds took over Bavaria, and Austria saw mass Fascist and Liberal protests. Poland, Greece, Hungary and Prussia all saw the power the French had once again, and offered military alliances to the French Government, and in Geneva, they recognized the People’s Republic of France as an official goverment.
France finally had peace, for the first time in years, and with the economy booming, the French people felt their future secure.