What if the 2nd war between England and the US started in 1794?

Aug 2018
350
Southern Indiana
#1
In 1794, the same problems between the US and England existed that caused the War of 1812. The British were impressing sailors from US ships. The British were supporting the confederacy of Native tribes of the Ohio Valley, who were actively at war with the States.

In August of 1794, General Wayne defeated the allied tribes at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, as the Indians retreated, they sought shelter at the nearby British fort, Fort Miami. The British commander Campbell refused to let the retreating natives into the fort for fear of starting a war with the US, but what if he hadn't? What if he allowed the natives into the fort and the 2nd war with England started then and there?

Neither side wanted a war with the other at that time, but how do you think it would have played out if the war happened at that time? The US had no navy to speak of, France and England were at war, ,Anthony Wayne was a formidable commander at the head of a well disciplined army and was only 70 miles from Detroit. The Confederation of tribes had essentially broken up by that time, but with strong and direct British support, they may have reformed. Opinions?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,831
Dispargum
#2
With the Indians defeated at Fallen Timbers they were no longer in the mood to fight, and the British would not fight without Indian allies. It would take fifteen years or so for the Ohio Valley Indians to work themselves up for another war.

Wayne had every right to attack Ft. Miami as it was built in US territory. He did not because he did not want to bring on a war with Britain. Instead, the US negotiated the Jay Treaty of 1796 in which the British abandoned Ft. Miami - a better solution all around. When the Indians were not let inside, they presumably went elsewhere, but Wayne did not pursue them further. Given that Wayne had a suitably cool head about Ft. Miami, I don't see him attacking the fort even if the Indians had been let inside.

Even if Wayne had attacked Ft. Miami, it's still possible the British would have forgiven or overlooked the insult. They had clearly renounced that territory in 1783, and did not have a legal leg to stand on. The ease with which the Jay Treaty was negotiated strongly suggests the British were willing to make concessions. They were also at war with Revolutionary France, and in 1794 and '95 the French were having great success in that war. Britain would not have wanted a war with US at that time.
 
Likes: Niobe
Aug 2018
350
Southern Indiana
#3
Yeah, yeah, but this is under speculative history. The British were not in a great position to fight the US again, but the US wasn't very strong at the time. Tecumseh was just beginning to come into his own, he fought in the Battle of Fallen Timbers but refused to sign the Treaty of Greenville. Blue Jacket, Little Turtle and other major chiefs who fought against Wayne were still in power, if the British had decided to arm and support what had been the Wabash Confederacy, I think many of the tribes would have continued the fight.
Could the British have held Canada? Despite the British being spread thin, the Canadians were a capable force when organised.
 
Likes: Niobe
Mar 2016
1,089
Australia
#4
The United States would have been destroyed. Their 'army' was still just a glorified militia, and Washington and Hamilton were having a very difficult time trying to form a large, professional army with the massive opposition from the Republicans. Even during the War of Independence the British won almost every pitched battle in America and that was despite the Americans receiving considerable assistance from France and Spain. With both of these countries engaged in the Revolutionary Wars in Europe, they certainly would not have contributed any resources - or very little - to the US. Put simply, France was a much bigger threat - and facing a much bigger threat - than Britain presented in the 1790s. The British suffered several defeat trying to land ground forces in the Low Countries and decided to engage in a mostly naval war against France. Ground forces could have thus been sent to America while France was contained by the Royal Navy. The US would have been totally defeated within a couple of years at most.
 
Mar 2016
1,089
Australia
#7
It wouldn’t. All of Europe had to deal with the problem with a bunch of French peasant killing nobility who may give ideas to their peasants to do the same
Britain was more than capable of fighting multiple wars on multiple fronts. While they were fighting Revolutionary France they were also conquering parts of India (and with much more success, it must be said).
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,693
Stockport Cheshire UK
#8
Even if Wayne had attacked Ft. Miami, it's still possible the British would have forgiven or overlooked the insult. They had clearly renounced that territory in 1783, and did not have a legal leg to stand on. The ease with which the Jay Treaty was negotiated strongly suggests the British were willing to make concessions. They were also at war with Revolutionary France, and in 1794 and '95 the French were having great success in that war. Britain would not have wanted a war with US at that time.
The British held on to these forts in an attempt to force the USA to settle the outstanding financial agreements from the Treaty Of Paris which the USA had not honoured, when the Jay Treaty settled these disputes the British were quite happy to abandon these forts.
 
Likes: Hoosierhiver

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