Britain’s BBC4 Radio ran an episode of its What If show a few years ago on the topic of What if… the USA had lost its war of independence?
In fact George III and his Cabinet had every reason to believe they were going to win, until their surprise defeats at the Battles of Saratoga and Yorktown. It’s only the British Commander, Admiral Howe’s characteristic lack of boldness that prevented him from crushing the American forces on at least three occasions.
A number of historians have confirmed this is a strong story which leads to some quite unforseen developments: most astonishingly — there is no French Revolution. How, why?
A large part of Louis XVI’s problems were fiscal — bankrupted by his support of the American uprising.
In this programme we have George Washington losing the fight even before France involves itself in the American War of Independence, three thousand miles away across the Atlantic.
Bang goes one of the major causes of the French Revolution — the state’s financial crisis in the 1780s, directly attributable to its role in North America.