Dimensional Coordinates: 440.219.996.710
Divergence Date: 1567
Can you stand a gaggle of French mimes, snooty waiters and half-baked "cuisine?" Well, this world has all of this in spades.
Spain was not the only European nation that found Florida attractive. In 1562 the French protestant Jean Ribault explored the area. Two years later, fellow Frenchman René Goulaine de Laudonnière established Fort Caroline at the mouth of the St. Johns River, near present-day Jacksonville.
These French adventurers prompted Spain to accelerate her plans for colonization. Pedro Menéndez de Avilés hastened across the Atlantic, his sights set on removing the French and creating a Spanish settlement. Menéndez arrived in 1565 at a place he called San Augustín (St. Augustine) and established the first permanent European settlement in what is now the United States. He accomplished his goal of expelling the French, attacking and killing all settlers except for non-combatants and Frenchmen who professed belief in the Roman Catholic faith. Menéndez captured Fort Caroline and renamed it San Mateo.
French response came two years later, when Dominique de Gourgues recaptured San Mateo and made the Spanish soldiers stationed there pay with their lives. French dragoons and militia took the southeast by storm, fighting back Spanish forces under the aegis of de Gourges and pirate leaders, who were given 100% booty, scot-free under French agreement.
The French foothold in North America continued to grow. Francis Drake’s 1586 attack of Forth Caroline was rebuffed, forcing him to limp home to England. He would later die without ever reaching Nova Albion — the San Francisco bay.
France moved northward and westward, expanding its empire through fair and honest trade deals with the native populace. British settlers were expelled, and Spain, happy enough with its land holdings in Central and South America, sold the rest of North America to the French government in 1672. The agreement, called Le Traite Veritable De Terre solidified the French in North America.
As many colonial powers go, the French settlers in Nouvelle France became disenfranchised with their empirical leaders in Europe and revolted. La Guerre d’Indépendance lasted from 1744 until 1751, leaving New France its own nation, which promptly split into two disparate countries, with the Mississippi the natural border. Nouvelle Aquitaine lies to the East, and Nouvelle Versailles lies to the west. The city of Versailles Ouest sits where San Francisco would on our world. The familiar Eiffel Tower sits overlooking the bay, a few blocks from the Transamerica Tower.
Don't eat the frog's legs. And try not to speak in English.