In 1649, the Earl of Ormonde marched a combined force of English Royalists and Irish Confederates on Dublin, the last major foothold of parliamentary forces in Ireland. Ironically Ormonde himself had held Dublin two years prior when it was besieged by Irish Confederates, before abandoning it to English parliamentary forces.
The Fall of IrelandThe Confederate/Royalist coalition had been forged in blood, the years since the Irish Rebellion in 1641 had been years of bloody and ruthless wars. Even as a peace agreement had been reached in 1648, after a series of defeats for the confederates at the hands of parliamentarian forces, fighting continued against those Catholics who could not stomach submitting to the protestants who had inflicted massacres on Catholics only a few years prior.
In 1649 things were going well for the coalition, the parliamentary forces received almost no support from England, where Cromwell had his hands full with the second English Civil War.
At the end of July Ormonde had camped his troops at Rathmines near Dublin, with the intent to besiege the city. On the second of August his troops started fortifying the half-demolished castle of Baggotrath on the outskirts of Dublin. Michael Jones, the defender of Dublin, decided to move against this danger with an army of 5.000.
Although Ormond's army had stood to arms for just such an eventuality Jones quickly captured Baggotrath, and turned towards the main Royalist camp. Although the royalist forces were thrown in disarray, they were able to fall back on a line formed by Lord Inchiquin's infantry. Despite suffering heavy losses Ormonde was able to hold the line long enough for Lord Dillon to march against the parliamentarian rear.
Chaotic fighting raged on throughout the day, until at the start of the evening the remaining Parliamentarians forced themselves past Dillon's battered forces and retired to Dublin.
The parliamentarians had inflicted heavy losses on the Royalists, but at the cost of most of their own force. Lord Inchiquin who had been stationed in Munster with three regiments of horse had marched North upon hearing the news, and linked up with Ormonde the next day. With Ormonde's troops occupying the countryside and his artillery dominating the harbour, the siege of Dublin continued for another 6 weeks.
Cut off from England and with no remaining allies in Ireland Jones surrendered Dublin and was allowed to return to England with his troops, leaving behind most of their weaponry.
With no port open to him Cromwell called of his planned invasion of Ireland until spring. But the intended invasion of Ireland was overtaken by events, as the Scots proclaimed Charles II their king. The bulk of the New Model Army marched north against the Scots, leaving only a small army to invade Ireland and attempt to gain a foothold there.
Because the English navy still commanded the Irish sea parliamentarian forces could land unopposed near Drogheda. Needing to to take Drogheda before the Royalists could send reinforcements the walls were quickly broken by artillery and the city taken by assault.
The royalist garrison was massacred to a man, along with hundreds of civilians.
The victory of parliament was short-lived as Ormonde marched the main royalist army against Drogheda, while Dillon marched troops from Dublin past Drogheda to block the parliamentarians from the north. With most defensible positions destroyed in the Parliamentarian attack the city was soon assaulted and it's defenders given no quarter.
The massacre of Drogheda did much to strengthen Irish resolve. The defense of Ireland was strengthened by new fortifications in coastal towns and a reorganization of the Royalist army into three armies tasked with guarding Ireland against any invasion. Although English Royalists remained in command of these armies, with Ormonde in overall command, the Irish nobility was incorporated into the army as well.
Parliamentary propaganda tried to make the best of it's failure to recapture Ireland by casting Charles II as "the Irish King", hoping to fuel anti-Irish and anti-Catholic resentment in England, even though the monarch did not so much as set foot on Irish soil during these years.
Upon the restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 the Irish Confederacy was dissolved and the Irish Parliament instituted. The confederacy had achieved most of it's goals, with self-government of Ireland assured and religious equality for Catholics (in Ireland) granted by Charles II.
In 1940, on this day the German Kriegsmarine aircraft carrier codename Flugzeugträger B was christened the Peter Strasser (in honour of the World War I leader of the naval airship) and launched from the Deutsche Werke in the port of Kiel. Deployed in a carrier group alongside the Tirpitz, her main war-time role was to wreck havoc amongst the Arctic convoys.
Flugzeugträger Part 2: Launching of the Peter StrasserThis strategic mission objective was laid down by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder (and after some angry exchanges) finally signed off by the Fuehrer who exercised his supreme authority through the Oberkommando der Marine. Not only did this approval ensure that Plan Z received the necessary level of resourcing, but it also enabled the German naval architects1 to overcoming immense difficulties despite their inexperience in building such vessels. The design challenges included a complement of cruiser-type guns for commerce raiding and defense against British cruisers, American and Japanese carriers, designed along the lines of task-force defense, used supporting cruisers for surface firepower, which allowed flight operations to continue without disruption and kept carriers out of undue risk of damage or sinking from surface action.
This post shares some commonality with the sister articles in the Flugzeugträger thread.
In 1867, on this day the Confederation of Canada started the inevitable countdown to the final Union invasion north across the 41st parallel.
A variant ending to "Railroaded into the Union: Part #1"
Railroaded into the Union #2Perhaps the only way that the outcome to the Charlottetown Conference could have been designed to be more offensive would have be to have postponed the decision by three days for co-timing with Independence Day.
Nevertheless the response was radical. Perhaps most significantly in the long-term was the decision taken in Washington to scrap plans for an inter-colony railroad which would improve trade, military movement, and transportation in general. Because despite the objections of the newly incorporated West Coast state (formerly known as the Colony of British Columbia), it was strongly argued by integrationalists that it was more cost effective to use barges to trans-ship up the Red River. In reality, the future-proofed "up-down" decision (instead of a "left-right") transport solution was driven by the pressing need to vertically integrate the hub of the two nations across the Prairies. On these terms, it was an unqualified success, particularly for the development of Winnipeg; instead of being the meeting point between East and West Canada, "the Peg" actually became the Heart of the Continent that its planners had originally dreamt of.
In 1543, on this day the two warring realms of Protestant England and Catholic Scotland were finally brought together in indissoluble union by the betrothal of Mary Stuart and Edward Tudor.
Treaty of Greenwich
By Ed, Jackie Speel and Jared MyersThe betrothal of the seven-month-old Queen of Scots to the six-year old heir to the English throne was more or less forced upon the Scots. In a weak bargaining position after their defeat at Solway Moss the previous November, Henry VIII made them sign the Treaty of Greenwich and sealed the peace with the dynastic union, stipulating that Mary be handed over to him to be brought up in England.
There was a reaction of course and it was on a truly massive and unimaginable scale. The Scots considered a renewal of their alliance with France in 1543, but in the event thought better of it. Instead, Edward VI died under mysterious circumstances that have never been properly explained. And the ascension of Mary Stuart not long after the natural demise of the King's half-sister Mary Tudor, was soon followed by the beheading of Elizabeth I. Ironically, this bloody period in the nation's history began and ended with a betrothal. Because in 1558, the sixteen year-old queen regent of England and Scotland was betrothed to Phillip II, King of Spain. And that was it.
In 1837, on this day military officer, diplomat, conspirator and would-be assassin Major Henry Reed Rathbone was born in the city of Albany in the U.S. State of New York. His father Jared L. Rathbone was a merchant and businessman, who later became Albany's mayor. At the time of his father's death, Rathbone inherited the very considerable sum of two hundred thousand dollars from his family's estate. His widowed mother, Pauline Rathbone, remarried Judge Ira Harris, who was appointed U.S. Senator from New York after William H. Seward became Abraham Lincoln's Secretary of State.
Sic Semper Tyrannis On Good Friday 1865 Rathbone and his daughter Major Rathbone and Clara Harris attended a performance of the play Our American Cousin at the Ford's Theatre.
During the intermission Presidential bodyguard John Parker left the theatre and went for a drink in a nearby saloon, ending the evening in the arms of the well-known prostitute Lizzie Williams. As a result the madman John Wilkes Booth was able to enter the Presidential box unchallenged.
In the ensuing struggle, Rathbone grappled with the madman, and a shot was fired which narrowly missed the President's head. Attempting to make his escape, Booth lept towards the stage, but his riding spur was caught in a Treasury flag decorating the box and he landed heavily breaking his leg.
Yelling out the Virginia state motto "Sic semper tyrannis!" ("Thus always to tyrants") Booth was restrained by men in the audience - who soon discovered that he was unarmed.
In fact the only weapon he had brought to the Ford's Theatre was the knife used to stab Rathbone, and it was the Major who had used a deringer to pull off the shot during the struggle. Rathbone would spend the rest of his life in a lunatic asylum due to the quick thinking of the President's other companion, the always dependable Ulysses S. Grant. But despite the obvious connection to William Seward, evidence of a wider conspiracy was never proven although many suspect that Lincoln knew the truth but chose to conceal it on order to protect the Union. Or his tyranny, if you will.
In 1868, on this day The New York Herald observed that the Democrats had to name a soldier to defeat General Grant, the Republican choice, putting forward the name of his greatest Civil War adversary, the Confederate General Robert E. Lee:
American Heroes 4: The Marble Man"But if the Democratic Committee must nominate a soldier - if it must have a name identified with the glories of the war - we will recommend a candidate for its favors. Let it nominate General R. E. Lee. Let it boldly take over the best of all its soldiers, making no palaver or apology. He is a better soldier than any of those they have thought upon and a greater man. He is one in whom the only genius of this nation finds its fullest development.
Here the inequality will be in favor of the Democrats for this soldier, with a handful of men whom he had moulded into an army, baffled our greater Northern armies for four years; and when opposed by Grant was only worn down by that solid strategy of stupidity that accomplishes its strategy by mere weight. With one quarter the men Grant had this soldier fought magnificently across the territory of his native State, and fought his army to a stump.
"this General is the best of all for a Democratic candidate"There never was such an army or such a campaign, or such a General for illustrating the military genius and possibilities of our people; and this General is the best of all for a Democratic candidate. It is certain that with half as many men as Grant he would have beaten him from the field in Virginia, and he affords the best promise of any soldier for beating him again".
After Appomatox, Lee had faced indictment for treason. But he had won widespread admiration in the North by swearing renewed allegiance to the United States an act which brought tens of thousands of his former soldiers peaceably back into the Union.
As the President of Washington College at Lexington, he had established a modern University which set "an example of submission to authority". It was an example that Lee might set as a key unifying leadership figure in post-war America:
"True patriotism sometimes requires of men to act exactly contrary, at one period, to that which it does at another, and the motive which impels them the desire to do rightis precisely the same".
In 1862, with Grant's capture of Nashville and McClellan at the gates of Richmond, the drunken wretch of a Confederate President Robert Toombs (pictured) fled to Cuba leaving the defeated South to pay a heavy price for losing Jefferson Davis in an unnecessary duel with Judah P. Benjamin.
Co-written with Scott PalterThe dispute began when the two southern politicians clashed at a session of the Senatorial Finance Committee on June 8th 1858. Considering an army appropriations bill for $100,000 worth of breech-loading guns, the Senator for Lousiana had queried whether the request was actually for new guns, or simply to rework old ones. Taking exception to this line of inquiry, the Secretary of War made the offensive remark that he "had no idea that he was to be met with arguments of a paid attorney in the Senate Chamber". Benjamin took this statement as a personal insult because he believed that it implied he was a corrupt official being paid to represent the interests of a well-known gun manufacturer.
Asking Davis to repeat the remark in case he had heard it incorrectly, the Secretary of War was sufficiently angered to affirm (rather snappily) that indeed he had. By the time he reached the Senate cloak room, his anger had subsided, but by then it was too late because Davis was given notice of a challenge to a duel.
Benjamin had never fired a shot in his life whereas Davis had served as a Colonel in the Mexican-American War. But a cataract had caused almost total blindness in his right eye and his shot at his opponent missed the mark. Benjamin fled to England in disgrace only to discover from the post-humous publication of Davis diary that the Secretary of War had been pained by his misbehaviour in stepping across a boundary.
"Defend yourselves, the enemy is at your door ... !" ~ Robert ToombsAnd so neither were present on the floor of the Senate on January 24, 1860 when the then Senator for Georgia Robert Toombs famously declared "Defend yourselves, the enemy is at your door ... !". And from afar the guilty Benjamin was forced to read reports of Toombs rise to the Southern Leadership where has was to squander the Presidency that surely would have been far better served by Jefferson had he not wasted his life over a simple misunderstanding.
And yet Benjamin would still play a final part in the conduct of the war. World famous as the first practicing Jewish Cabinet Member of a North American Government, he convinced Benjamin Disraeli1 to act as an advocate for his southern comrades. And so just before the collapse of the Confederacy, the Royal Navy whisked die hard Confederates off to exile in South Africa. A final act of seemingly little significance that would ultimately have huge implications for the long-term future..
In 1898, on this day American forces suffered a sharp defeat at San Juan Hill, losing many of the Rough-riders including the Bear Moose, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt himself.
Defeat at San Juan Hill A great loss that could have ended the Spanish-American War earlier came at San Juan Hill. American General William Rufus Shafter's plan to take Santiago de Cuba depended upon securing the San Juan Heights overlooking the city. Also seeing the importance of the heights, Spanish General Arsenio Linares held only a small number of men in reserve in Santiago, placing nearly 10,000 troops to defend the heights.
The American direct attack on Kettle Hill with two divisions was pushed back at great cost of American life. A second assault successfully took Kettle Hill thanks to heavy fighting by buffalo soldiers of the 10th Cavalry, but nearby San Juan Hill would not be taken, despite the assault lasting late into the evening. Eventually the Americans would fall back, regroup with Lawton's 2nd Division (which had been dispatched to take the stronghold at El Caney) on July 2, and take the lesser-defended Santiago despite its precarious position. The threat of assault from San Juan would keep the American defenders pinned, and the war in Cuba would stagger on through many more months.
During the fighting, an amiable and excitable New Yorker named Theodore Roosevelt led a group of volunteer cavalry, the Rough Riders, collected from cowboys and Ivy League polo players. The men were held in reserve until the second assault, when Col. Roosevelt led the charge up the hill himself (arguably misinterpreting orders to reinforce as orders to advance). Roosevelt was killed in a counterattack on his north flank along with many of his comrades, a story that was much reproduced in the American newspapers, furthering the growing dissatisfaction with the war.
With the war not yet over in 1900, angry and dispassionate voters turned many of the Republicans out of office in the elections, instead favoring the Democratic nominee William Jennings Bryan. President Bryan would be credited with ending the war, though the Spanish had already begun to show desires of peace under McKinley's administration. Tragedy struck the nation in September of 1901 when anarchist Leon Czolgosz assassinated Bryan at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY. Vice-President Adlai Stevenson succeeded the president, taking up his policies of giving independence to the Philippines and busting up many of the nation's corrupt monopolies and trusts.
The American public's distaste with the Spanish-American War furthered its sense of isolationism. In the next decade, the United States would not participate in Europe's Great War (1914-1920), except in increasing American Naval power after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania. Instead, the US focused on domestic affairs such as Women's Suffrage and the Prohibition Movement. The 1920s brought strong, but not unparalleled, economic growth to the US as Europe rebuilt, only to fall into the Second Great War in 1939. Meanwhile, the US enjoyed two decades of domestic peace, with newspapers desperate for any interesting event, even the short 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in which Clarence Darrow successfully defended the teaching of evolution on grounds of Free Speech.
Although giving aid to Allied Powers, the United States would remain out of the war until 1942, despite public outcry over 1941's British Landing where German troops devastated southern England before finally being rebuffed in a reversal of Dunkirk. Japan, which had conquered nearly unchecked in the Pacific through the 1930s (such as its speedy defeat of the Philippines), would draw in America with its Invasion of Hawaii on June 2, despite continuing guerrilla combat in British Australia. Eventually, Hitler's 1943 Operation Barbarossa would bring the USSR onto the side of the Allies, and GWII would be won with combined atomic arsenals of the United States and Soviet Union in 1945.
In 1863, on this day Confederate and Union forces begin the battle of Gettysburg, PA. Robert E. Lee had no intention of becoming engaged, but his III Corps under Gen. A.P. Hill ran into Union General John Buford's cavalry division north of the town.
GettysburgBuford skillfully held off Hill until the Union I Corps under John Reynolds was able to relieve him, but as the Confederate army began to converge on Gettysburg, the I Corps was forced to fall back to the town itself, where they met up with O.O. Howard's XI Corps. As senior commander, Reynolds decided to make his stand on the hills south of the town, ordering his I Corps to fortify Cemetary Hill on his left and the XI Corps to move onto Culp's Hill on the right. The XI Corps had just started to move into position when "Allegheny" Johnson's division of the Confederate II Corps marched up.
Johnson, immediately grasping the importance of the heights, ordered his division to take the hill at all costs. Although the mostly German XI Corps put up a tough fight, they were no match for the likes of the Stonewall Brigade, and Johnson soon sent Howard's men running south. Within an hour, Johnson was reinforced by Jubal Early's division, but the commander of the II Corps, Dick Ewell, hesitated to attack Cemetary Hill, now only held by a badly beaten I Corps and fragments of the XI Corps.
However, an officer arrived from General Lee, with a message stating "carry the hill occupied by the enemy, if he found it practicable, but to avoid a general engagement until the arrival of the other divisions of the army". Ewell, recently promoted and eager to show his mettle, assaulted Cemetary Hill and rapidly drove the Union forces off, sending them racing down the Baltimore Pike, where they ran into Henry Slocum's XII Corps. Slocum immediately sent a courier to Gen. Meade, commander of the Union Army of the Potomac, who ordered his forces to establish a defensive line on Pipe Creek, well to the south of Gettysburg.
In 1804, on this day Colonel Aaron Burr took office as the third Governor of New York with the immediate intent of seceding the State out of the Union and into a newly created Northern Confederacy.
First PlaceBelieving that the Louisiana Purchase had destroyed their chances of controlling the government, a group of New England Federalists, led by Timothy Pickering had originated the dastardly plot. But it was soon discovered by Alexander Hamilton who immediately sought to foil it by published a series of articles that were highly critical of Burr. "I consider Napoleon, Fox, and Hamilton the three greatest men of our epoch, and if I were forced to decide between the three, I would give without hesitation the first place to Hamilton" ~ Charles Maurice de Talleyrand
And yet the electoral impact of those articles was neutralised by the widely written "Antifederalist Papers" which had been published anonymously throughout the gubernatorial election bearing the unmistakeable penmanship of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The result was that Hamilton's preferred opposition candidate Morgan Lewis lost by a mere thousand votes.
Hamilton made a second, and more successful attempt to foil the plot ten days later when he met Burr for an "interview" at Weehawken. Only yards from the spot where his son had died three years before, Hamilton reserved both shots, humilitating Burr with the implication that he wasn't worth shooting, a tactic British Primie Minister William Pitt the Younger employed against George Tierney.
After missing Hamilton with his own shot, Burr fled to the south-west where he executed a variant of Pickering's plot by creating the breakaway republic of Gloriana which ironically enough detached the territory acquired by the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1520, on this day the semi-divine deity Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin was murdered in the city of Tenochtitlan. This precipative action was recorded with great detail by Aztec pictograms in the Codex Mendoza, a hurriedly created contemporary account of the genicide that the Spanish Conquistadors were then visiting upon the ordered society of the Mexica Tenochca.
Montezuma's RevengeActing in the name of his white god, Hernan Cortéz poured molten gold down the throat of the tlatoani, thus simultaneously drowning, suffocating, and burning him. This psychotic act of violence revealed Cortéz system of thinking, because he rightly feared Motecuhzoma's revenge, both in this world, and the next.
"I have spoken of the sorrow we all felt when we saw that Motecuhzoma was dead. We even blamed the Mercederian friar for not having persuaded him to become a Christian".In fact, soon after he arrived on the city-in-the-lake, Cortéz had been shocked to discover the frightening idols of the Aztecs. And this disquiet soon led to mortal terror when he first witnessed the human sacrifice practiced at the Great Temple.
Because Cortéz understood fully that the Aztec's form of worship celebrated a connection with the spirit world that was utterly alien to the Catholic mindset. To re-establish this proper connection between the temporal and spiritual worlds, the night jaguar Quetzalcoatl (pictured) reanimated Motecuhzoma - but with a new infusion. And so a deadly disease was unleashed upon the accused invaders, who fled Mexico both with the Codex, and also the "Spanish Influenza" that would ravage the civilization of Western Europe.
In 1690, on this day at Drogheda on the east coast of Ireland, the future of Catholic supremacy in England was secured with victory at the Battle of the Boyne when Protestant King William was defeated by the rightful monarch, James Stuart (pictured) who the Williamites had unlawfully deposed some two years before.
Glorious Revolution of 1690The high point in the so-called "Glorious Revolution", this violent series of event is seen in retrospect as the springboard for Britain's eventual global dominance.
In late 1685 the King had crushed the rebellion of his nephew, the Protestant Duke of Monmouth, executing hundreds of traitors of the English West Country in the Bloody Assizes. Determined to improve the social and political status of his Catholic co-religionists, James rewrote English law. He insisted on his right to defy parliamentary statute and awarded Roman Catholics military and naval commissions. In 1687 he used his newly formed and illegal Ecclesiastical Commission to force England's Protestant universities to accept Roman Catholic fellows. When the fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford resisted their king's demands, he had the dons stripped of their fellowships and their institution turned into a Catholic seminary.
After the King had failed to persuade the House of Commons or the House of Lords to repeal England's laws against Roman Catholicism, he reduced the power of Parliament. He first asserted his right to nullify the Test Acts and Penal Laws. These parliamentary statutes -- requiring, in the case of the Test Acts, that all political or military office-holders take the sacrament according to the rites of the Church of England and, in the case of the Penal Laws, punishing those who officiated at or attended non-Church of England services--had successfully insulated the English from continental Catholic practices. Then James determined to have his royal fiat ratified by a Parliament packed with men whom he knew would do his bidding. In June 1688, seven bishops of the Church of England defied James by refusing to have his Declaration of Indulgence, emasculating the Penal Laws and Test Acts, read from England's pulpits on the grounds of its illegality. James had the seven men dragged into court for a show trial. That even a carefully picked English jury acquitted the bishops tested the limits to which the English were willing to go in support of their King.
Soon after the trial, the English invited the Dutchman William III, Prince of Orange, to England to restore their religious and political liberty.William rules for two short years until his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne.
In 2009, on this day political satirist Al Franken ended his bid to unseat incumbent Minnesota senator Norm Coleman.
Joke Candidacy by Eric LippsFranken, running as a Democrat, had been assailed as a "joke candidate" prior to the election, but the November balloting had ended essentially in a tie. When the recount mandated by state law had seemed to go in Coleman's favor despite polls hinting that support was trending in Franken's direction, the Democrat had gone to court seeking a further examination of the votes. Over the next seven months, the two candidates traded allegations of fraud, while Minnesotans essentially functioned with only one seated senator.
Finally, on June 30, the Minnesota high court handed down its decision, in favor of Coleman. The court's ruling meant an end to Mr. Franken's legal options unless he chose to take the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, with its strong Republican majority. Late in the evening of June 30, a Franken spokesman announced the candidate would be formally conceding the following morning and had already placed a call to Senator Coleman to inform him of that decision.
In 1966, on this day the Australian newspaper published a speech delivered in Washington, D.C. by the New South Walesian imperialist reactionary, Harold Edward Holt.O Tempora, O Mores Part 2 - All the Way with LBJ
Holt articulated unquestioning support for US President Lyndon Baines Johnson, for America's Vietnam policy and for continued Australian military involvement in the conflict ~ "You have in us [the Australian Liberal delegation] not merely an understanding friend but one staunch in the belief of the need for your presence in Vietnam. We are not here because of our friendship, we are here because, like you, we believe it is right to be there and, like you, we believe American forces should stay there as long as it seems necessary to achieve the purposes of the South Vietnamese Government and the purposes that we join in formulating and progressing together. And so, sir, in the lonelier and perhaps even more disheartening moments which come to any national leader, I hope there will be a corner of your mind and heart which takes cheer from the fact that you have an admiring friend, a staunch friend that will be all the way with LBJ".
Controversially, Johnson was present for the speech, effectively giving his support to Holt (both pictured) as the de facto Head of the Australian Government in Exile.
In 1796, the so-called "Whig Revolution" begins in England.
Whig Revolution by Eric LippsIt will eventually end in the forced abdication of England's King George III (pictured) and the installation of his son, Prince George, as a constitutional monarch with sharply limited powers, as Parliament assumes de facto supremacy.
Twenty years ago on this date, dissident American colonists assembled at the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia voted down a proposed "declaration of independence" following the refusal of its drafter Thomas Jefferson to remove a hostile reference to the African slave trade.
The armed rebellion which had begun with the battle of Breed's Hill the previous year had quickly fallen apart after that, and King George III, determined to squash the spirit of rebellion once and for all, had slammed down a mailed fist upon the thirteen disobedient colonies.
But his harsh response, which included the creation of a red-shirted "Order Police" empowered to use any means it chose to combat alleged sedition and subversion, has not produced peace so much as sullen submission. Rebel groups of one sort or another, many receiving aid from foreign powers such as France, Spain and the Netherlands, still carry out sabotage and seek through propaganda to stir up sentiment for a second attempt at revolution. The economy of the colonies continues to stagnate, too, under policies designed to keep America dependent upon Britain for manufactured goods; only shipping, which produces the vessels needed to carry raw goods from America to Britain and finished ones back, has been allowed to flourish.
Even in England itself, dissatisfaction has grown steadily. Growing public awareness of the ways in which the colonists are being deprived of what British subjects see as basic rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta and centuries of tradition has given rise to the fear that what has been done across the water may be done in the home islands. And influential figures in commerce and politics are increasingly dissatisfied with what they see as a costly and destructive occupation. Calls for reform, however, have been ignored or defied by the king, who appears to feel that as monarch by "divine right" he need not listen to critics. In fact, he has lashed out at several of them publicly, and on May 3, 1800, had threatened to dissolve Parliament outright if it again raised the issue of his American policies.
It was this outburst which would prove to be the final straw. Meeting privately at the country home of William Pitt, a cabal which included Pitt himself, Edmund Burke and Charles James Fox, along with several other lesser figures, discussed what Burke would describe in his diaries as "the direction of the country," reluctantly agreeing that King George's continued reign and the continuation of the policies he supported would prove harmful to Britain's "best interests".
Burke had emerged as a sharp critic of post-rebellion colonial policy, which he saw as siphoning British resources while interfering in the natural operation of the marketplace. Before the American rebellion, Charles Fox had denounced the taxation of the colonies without their consent, and once actual fighting erupted he had called for a negotiated settlement; the collapse of the revolt had very nearly meant the collapse as well of his political career, which it had taken him years to rebuild. Pitt, who had once been much less sympathetic to the colonies than his father, the elder William Pitt, had come to believe that the king's policies after the rebellion were all but guaranteeing another uprising at some point, this one perhaps backed by foreign powers as the first had not been.
Pitt and Fox had more personal motivations: both believed they had seen evidence that the king, who had contracted porphyria, was showing signs of mental instability. They shared that concern with their fellow conspirators, who acknowledged that if the king were indeed losing his faculties he must be removed for the good of the nation, quite apart from specific considerations of policy.
The actual coup required months of planning, during which measures were taken to line up both political and military support for the plan. The timing of the strike itself, two decades to the day after the rejection of the attempted declaration of American independence, is pure coincidence, but conspiracy theorists will insist that the plotters were working with colonial subversives - perhaps even with the hated Jefferson himself, believed to be in exile in New Orleans under Spanish protection.
In 1838, at a hastily convened convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, six Southern colonies - Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia - pass a resolution declaring themselves "free and independent States". The Raleigh resolution borrows language from the Declaration of Philadelphia defeated by Southern veto exactly 62 years earlier.Southern Rebellion of 1838 by Eric Lipps
The Southerners proclaim themselves the United Commonwealths of America and declare fiery pro-slavery speaker John Calhoun (pictured) provisional president. British troops move to quell "Southern rebellion".
Southerners, who have long feared that the Crown might someday abolish their cherished institution of Negro slavery, rise en masse. Northerners, remembering how Southern intransigence had doomed the earlier attempt to secure independence for all the colonies, watch from the sidelines, ignoring Southern appeals to "our fellow Americans".
In August, inspired by sensational reports of British atrocities, the colonies of East and West Florida, Burgoyne and Louisiana will join the rebellion. On the eighth of that month, however, Massachusetts becomes the first colony to formally offer its support to the Crown to suppress the rebellion. It will be followed in short order by all of the colonies north of Virginia and Maryland, sparking expectations that the conflict will be short-lived. It will not be; major military operations will not end until March 1841, and guerrilla activity will continue for years thereafter under the aegis of a shadowy organization known as the Cyclops Legion.
In 1971, Dien Bien Phu, which had been serving as the emergency capital of North Vietnam since the fall of Hanoi in March, is captured by U.S. and ARVN troops. Once again, however, the surviving North Vietnamese leadership manages to escape.
Fall of Dien Bien Phu by Eric LippsIn the U.S., opponents of the wars in Southeast Asia and Cuba are freshly branded as "defeatists". John F. Kerry, a returned Vietnam veteran who had delivered a two-hour antiwar speech to Congress on April 22, is singled out for particular scorn. "Mr. Kerry told us how bad the war was," columnist and Nixon speechwriter Patrick J. Buchanan thunders in an op-ed piece in the Washington Post. "Well, it's certainly turned bad for the Communists. Perhaps he cares more about that than about how, despite all the naysayers, this country is winning. If so, perhaps this isn?t the country he ought to call home".
In 1776, reacting to Thomas Jefferson's refusal to excise a paragraph condemning the slave trade in the proposed declaration of independence from Great Britain under debate in the Continental Congress, the delegations of South Carolina and Georgia vote "no" on its adoption. Since it had earlier been agreed that adoption required a unanimous "yes" vote, the resolution fails.
Collapse of the Revolt by Eric LippsFollowing the vote, the Georgia and South Carolina delegations walk out. Other Southern delegates follow soon after, causing the Continental Congress to disintegrate. News of the political disaster soon reaches the armies in the field and, predictably, ignites a wave of desertions. By the end of September, the Continental Army has been reduced to disorganized bands of guerrillas.
The leaders of the revolution find themselves forced to flee; Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin arrive in Paris in December and seek the protection of King Louis XVI. With the collapse of the revolt, British control tightens, backed up by a huge infusion of fresh troops sent to "restore order" in the rebellious colonies. One of their assignments is to identify and hunt down remaining "rebels".
Before the year is out, the so-called Order Police, a paramilitary organization charged with suppressing dissent, will have been established, with offices in every colonial capital.
In 1963, former Foreign Office official Harold Philby (pictured) admitted he was the "third man" in the case of British diplomats Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean. Security services were aware that using information he gained while working for the MI6 in Washington, Mr Philby warned the pair that intelligence services were on their trail. This information enabled them to escape to the Soviet Union.
It was now apparent Mr Philby was a double agent working for the Soviet authorities during his time with the foreign office. The news was announced in the House of Commons by the Lord Privy Seal Edward Heath. "This information, coupled with the latest message received by Mrs Philby, suggested that when he left Beirut he may have gone to one of the countries of the Soviet Block" he said.
MI6 Names the Fourth ManBritish authorities had always suspected there was a "third man" and asked if this new evidence confirmed it to be Mr Philby the reply from Mr Heath was, "yes". Mr Philby, often known as Kim, had been working as a journalist in Beirut when he disappeared four months ago. When Mr Burgess and Mr Maclean defected to the Soviet Union in 1951 Harold Philby was singled out as someone who could have warned them.
As a result of this he was forced to resign from his post at the Foreign Office by the then Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. The investigation into the case was never closed.Today's revelations have been ridiculed by Mr Burgess, speaking from Moscow he maintained that Mr Maclean had been alerted when "over-eager MI5 sleuths" bumped into his car. Mr Maclean refused to comment. The identify of the "fourth man" former Minister of War John Profumo, emerged shortly afterwards.
In 1984, on this day U.S. and ROK advance troops entered North Korea's capital Pyongyang amid heavy NKPA resistance.
The North Korean embassy in Moscow pleaded with the Soviets to send troops to relieve Pyongyang's beleaguered defenders, but with the Kremlin's own military position in the Far East becoming more precarious every day there was little that could be done, and within 48 hours after the first shots were fired most of Pyongyang was under U.S.-South Korean control.
In 2015, on this day Argentina's neo-Peronista regime conducted its first test launch of a nuclear ballistic missile.
In 1836, New Hampshire's Daniel Webster is proposed as a candidate for President by members of the Federalist Party in Congress. The Federalists, whose power has diminished considerably since the days of President Hamilton, hope to regain their former prominence by placing one of their own in the presidency once more. The Whig Party will put forward John Calhoun of South Carolina. Both men are serving in the Senate, but have agreed to leave their seats to become eligible for the presidency, as required under the Constitution's provision that no member of Congress, which elects the president, can be a candidate for that office. The legislatures of their home states will name replacements.
On this day in 2002, thirty Iraqi dissidents were hanged at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison as punishment for their involvement in the June 24th anti-Saddam rallies in Baghdad.
On this day in 1968, thousands of Czech citizens marched through Prague's Wenceslas Square in support of Alexander Dubcek's "Prague Spring" reform movement; in response pro-Soviet Czech Communists held a counter-protest outside Dubcek's office. After hours of harsh verbal exchanges between the two sides, a riot broke out at the height of which a group of anti-Soviet fanatics stormed the Soviet embassy in Prague and wrecked a third of the embassy complex.
On this day in 1967, the last Israeli ground troops withdrew from Cairo in accordance with the peace pact that ended the Sinai War.
On this day in 1999, Tom Brady was signed by the Red Sox to a three-year contract and sent to their Class AA minor league affiliate in Lowell, Massachusettts for further preparation for the majors.
In 1991, Iraqi general Georges Hormiz Sada proclaims himself president and orders the arrest of Uday and Qusay Hussein.
General Sada's actions fuel speculation that he was behind the June 12 assassination of dictator Saddam Hussein. Sada's seizure of power ignites a furor not only in Iraq but throughout the Gulf, for the General is not a Muslim but rather an evangelical Protestant who has publicly stated that Iraq is 'historically Christian.' In the United States, television evangelist Pat Robertson hails Sada's takeover as a "victory for Christ".
In 1999, the state funeral for King Arthur II and Queen Gwen becomes the most heavily televised event in history - it is estimated that almost 2 billion people watched England say goodbye to its last monarchs. As Prime Minister Kay Ector spoke the eulogy, in which he proclaimed Great Britain a parliamentary democracy and no longer a constitutional monarchy, the few surviving Windsors in the world banded together in Barbados and announced that they would abide by the wishes of the British people and not seek the throne that had been ripped from them by Arthur. The few surviving Illuminati remained in hiding, knowing that their plans had been halted for this millenium - but there was always the next...
In 1944, Allied troops in southern France liberated Bordeaux. That same day Count Claus Schenck von Stauffenberg, a Wehrmacht reserve colonel who was one of the key leaders of a secret conspiracy to overthrow Hitler, met with two of his co-conspirators to warn them that time was growing short for them to execute their plan.
On this day in 2004 Ann Coulter spoke at an anti-Michael Moore rally in Charleston, South Carolina. With the Fourth of July holiday just around the corner, Coulter told her audience in her closing remarks: "It's time to declare our independence from biased America-hating left wing film directors!"
On this day in 2007, the eccentric individual calling himself 'Magical Trevor' turned up in Kenya filming a commercial for the Kenyan national tourist board.
In 1690, deposed King of England James II manages to eak out a victory at the battle of the Boyn. While the victory is a near run thing and the battle is far from decisive. It convinces King James that the war might still be won. As such he decides not to leave Ireland. Neverthless the army move back to Dublin to defend the capital. [continues July 12th 1690]
In 1963, on this day Douglas MacArthur published his auto-biographical work No Substitute for Victory. By way of introduction, Brass Hat stated his Christian ethic as follows: "By profession I am a soldier and take pride in that fact. But I am prouder, infinitely prouder, to be a father ... It is my hope that my son, when I am gone, will remember me not from the battle but in the home repeating with him our simple daily prayer". Many would question whether he was in fact a man of peace rather than a megalomaniac psychopath. The dual focus of his one-term Presidency was the reunification of the Korean Peninsula and reinstatement of Kuomintang Leader Chiang Kai-shek in Beijing as Chairman of the National Government. Both bacteriologic weapons and hydrogen bombs had been used throughout Manchuria to defeat Chairman Mao and re-establish American hegemony in Asia Pacific at a cost of tens of millions of Chinese lives. Former President Harry Truman could disagree violently, yet his authorisation of Hiroshima meant that he was defeated by his own logic. Secretly, he blamed Roosevelt's decision to move the Pacific Fleet out of San Diego and towards Hawaii in 1941, that was the real catalist for this apocalypse.
In 1932, the Socialist Party convention in Chicago dumps incumbent President Clarence Darrow in favor of Governor Franklin Roosevelt of New York. Roosevelt manages to eke out a victory against the Communists in November, but is another one-term Socialist president.
In 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg began in Pennsylvania. The seasoned forces of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia smashed into the Army of the Potomac, whose commander, Joseph Hooker, had almost been replaced 2 days before; President Lincoln thought better of it on hearing that Lee was moving into northern territory. In a bloody 3-day battle, Hooker's forces were routed, even though they outnumbered Lee's men. This proved to be the turning point of the war, as Union troops were forced to pull back from the Confederacy in order to defend their own land.
In 1862, the Communist Party-dominated U.S. Congress instituted the Revenue Act. President Whitman happily signed it into law, saying, 'With the financial assistance of all citizens, poverty will soon be a thing of the past. The government will now be able to lend a helping hand to any man down on his luck. No American need ever know hunger or want again.' The act created a Bureau of Internal Revenue, and instituted a 5% tax on those with annual incomes between $600 and $10,000; those with incomes over $10,000 a year were taxed at 8%. Democratics in Congress and around the nation decried the act as an unconstitutional grab of both power and treasure from the people. Many historians believe that it was this act even more than the Emancipation Proclamation that led to the brief Southern Rebellion of 1862-1863.
whilst rehearsing for the upcoming July 25th gig at Freebody Park in Newport, Rhode Island Bob Dylan
argued bitterly with guitarist Mike Bloomfield of the electric-Chicago charge of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Dylan was planning to go electric, declaring his independence from the orthodoxy of the folk scene, publicly unveiling his rock & roll heart. It was an emotionally charged time for Dylan, despite his daring. He left the jam in tears -- shocked by the tension of the scene. Bloomfield later said Dylan 'looked real shook up.'
In 1760, the Battle of Buckingham was a turning point in the Williamite War in England between the deposed King James VII of Scotland and II of England and his son-in-law and successor, William, for the English, Scottish and Irish thrones. Though not militarily decisive, its symbolic importance has made it one of the most infamous battles in English and Irish history and a key part in Protestant folklore. It is still commemorated today, principally by the Orange Institution. Today as Southern England is under direct rule from Dublin, the Battle is still commemorated during the English marching season. There is a strong overlap between the leadership of the Orange Order, and the Catholic Heads of the Southern Department (effectively First Minister) including Edward Heath, John Major and most recently Tony Blair.
In 1997, on the day of the handover of Port Stanley, former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd remarked to Chinese President Jiang Zemin; "I know what you're thinking, but you will never see this happen in Hong Kong". It was geo-politics, Britain needed to keep Argentina in the western block of nations, and having discovered that after all, there was no oil in the Malvinas, gifted the islands as a goodwill gesture.
In 1997, on the day of the handover of Hong Kong, Princes Charles Windsor acceded to requests to approach the Chinese President Jiang Zemin deferentially. Zemin had quite rightly refused demands for a compromise where both men entered the room at the same time and met in the middle, the lamb should not lie down with the wolf.
In 1997, on the day of the handover of Hong Kong, former British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd remarked to Argentine Foreign Minister Guido di Tella; 'I know what you're thinking, but you will never see this happen in Port Stanley.' The Prince of Wales decribed the Chinese delegation as 'appalling old waxworks' and dismissed the President's speech as 'propaganda', which he says was cheered by 'the bussed-in party faithful'. It was just as well the Ambassadors of our nation executed such a careful diplomatic mission, an amateur could so easily cause great offence.
© Today in Alternate History, 2013-. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.