AHC: Ameriwank from 1901

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by TNF, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. TNF Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Writing in 1901, the Akron Daily Democrat predicted the following of the United States one hundred years hence:

    Your challenge is to make this a reality. Have the United States stretch from pole to shining pole on March 4, 2001 (one hundred years since McKinley's inaugural) with a POD no earlier than March 4, 1901. Double bonus points if the United States remains a democracy for the entire period, and triple bonus points if the nations join willingly.
     
  2. Andras Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2007
    With a population of only 300 million for both continents in 2001, a world recovering from a mega-disaster or epidemic could look that way. An early POD would be a far worse Spanish Flu epidemic then OTL.
     
  3. Gridley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA, USA
    Not going to do the whole thing, but I recommend the Banana wars turning hotter in the '30s instead of colder (and ending in 1934 in OTL). The US holds onto Cuba, Haiti, etc., and border violence with Mexico leads to a semi-contrived causus belli when the US gets fed up.

    Can't think of a way offhand to plausibly expand the southern US border past the canal zone, however.
     
  4. Tallest Skil Terrible At Everything

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    View the parade from airships...

    Yes, and they traveled to D.C. via the intracontinental pneumatic tube system. :p

    Ah, the early 1900s and their pneumatic tubes. I think it's just because they liked to type the word pneumatic. :D
     
  5. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Location:
    Syracuse, Haudenosaunee, Vinland
    Heh. Ja, the US has 300 million today all by itself!

    Edit: maybe a reverse John Birmingham scenario - everything EXCEPT the US is wiped out by a strange force field that turns humans into jelly?
     
  6. GreatScottMarty Stuck with Laurens-Burr

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio Country
    German interference in Argentina, Paraguay and Colombia causes Venezeula, Chile and Brazil to get concerned and turn to the US for aid? The war of the Triple Alliance (was that the one from the 30s?) is a German proxy war in addition to Spanish Civil War?
     
  7. Gridley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA, USA
    Hmm. Let's crank that up a notch. Germany succeeds in installing a fascist puppet state in Argentina. Realizing that the US will have to react eventually they decide to push ahead and conspire with the neo-fascist elements in Brazil to start another Spanish Civil War there, funneling arms via Argentina to create plausible denialability. The US intervenes directly, which naturally results in a win in Brazil. Victory disease takes hold a bit and the US invades Argentina as well...

    Edit: Oh, and the Brazilians see the US saving them from the fascists and then invading Argentina. This leads to Viva America! being shouted around the nation. A movement (a minority, but a vocal one) petitions to join the US (the pre-war government mostly died in the fighting and there are no clear local heroes to rally behind).
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  8. archaeogeek Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    The main problem you get from this, ultimately, is that the demographics by 1901 were already shifting away from when the US was half the population of the continent... I can already see areas of the old US screaming bloody murder at the size of the congress delegation in latin america (by now, 68% of the House of Reps and even the smallest division I can put together for the senate still has 106 senate seats for Latin America, and for that I had to use Mexican and Brazilian state borders going back to their respective monarchies 80 years ago, consolidate Guyana, and put in Chile, Peru, Colombia-Panama, Equator, Venezuela and Argentina as single states, which means that some of them will not only be bigger than California today, they'll remain well above the population of any of the anglo states to the north from the get go, Canada, assuming the 19th century annexionist plans are used and it only becomes 8 states, would just barely balance that out, especially as, in the circumstances, one of them may very well go for the latin-catholic sympathies). You'd need enormous butterflies starting in the Mexican-American war for even a tenth of that to be palatable, european immigration or not.

    Apart from that, I guess someone could be creative ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  9. Gridley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA, USA
    A fair point; however the states might get full representation only slowly. Say, only 1/5 of their congressmen are elected on incorporation, with the percentage rising every other election or so. Senators can't all be introduced at once anyway without throwing off the balanced election the Senate works under.

    I think a lot of resentment would be cooled by the idea of it taking (for example) 20 years for the new states to get full representation, while still getting them incorporated well before the deadline.
     
  10. Deckhand Pull hard, she comes easy.

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    The place the Bastards keep annexing.
    White Power Racism goes nuts? Followed by eugenics driven extermination and death camps? The US conquers the western hemisphere and kills off all the non whites?

    Then you get your 300 million population and hemispheric US. Not a nice place, but there it is.


    Insanely ASB of course but i don't see any other way to fulfill the challenge.
     
  11. archaeogeek Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    That could surprisingly potentially help (I hadn't thought of it, since that iirc was mostly historically done for areas with low population): Statehood for Cuba, Puerto Rico+Virgin Islands, invite Haiti and Santi Domingo as well as a testbed to see how the population rescts and expand from there? It would likely not cause much of an issue at this point since that's only 4 states, and can easily be played off into Creole and Spanish voting blocks (but would again require a president that is not Wilson who will even potentially end up having to stand up against Jim Crow laws as you're now dealing with a US that is going to gain not only large latin catholic minorities, but also enormous native minorities, with at least 3 states that are majority native, probably more, and of course even larger black minorities with some states that not only have a black majority but have a history of their black population having actual political power).
     
  12. Gridley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2010
    Location:
    Everett, WA, USA
    I'd like to address another point of the OP: the forty person cabinet.

    As of OTL 2010, we have 15, plus a few other cabinet-level appointees.

    So to meet the OP, we need:

    1. Sec State (as OTL)
    2. Sec Treasury (as OTL)
    3. Sec Navy (Navy functions of OTL Sec Def)
    4. Sec Army (Army functions of OTL Sec Def)
    5. Sec Aviation (Air functions of OTL Sec Def)
    6. Attorney General (as OTL)
    7. Sec Interior (as OTL)
    8. Sec Agriculture (as OTL)
    9. Sec Commerce (as OTL)
    10. Sec Industry (improvement and regulation of industry)
    11. Sec Labor (as OTL)
    12. Sec Health (Health functions of OTL HHS)
    13. Sec Social Services (Welfare functions of OTL HHS)
    14. Sec HUD (as OTL)
    15. Sec Transportation (as OTL)
    16. Sec Energy (as OTL)
    17. Sec Education (as OTL)
    18. Sec Veteran's Affairs (as OTL)
    19. Sec Security (internal security)
    20. Sec Intelligence (CIA, NSA, etc.)
    21. Chief of Staff (White House)
    22. Sec Trade (foreign trade)
    23. Sec Environment (EPA, etc.)
    24. Sec Science (OTL Science Adviser)
    25. Sec Economy (OTL Chair of Economic Advisers)
    26. Postmaster General (used to be a cabinet sec in OTL)
    27. Sec Public Works (dams, etc.)
    28. Sec Business (non-industrial business)
    29. Sec Culture (National Endowment for the Arts, etc.)
    30. Surgeon General (as OTL, but now Cabinet officer)
    31. Inspector General (government audit/internal investigations)
    32. Sec Parks (National Parks)
    33. Sec District of Columbia (if DC is hosting 3,000,000 people, and is controlled directly by the feds, it needs its own secretary!)
    ... and I'm still seven short. Anyone?
     
  13. archaeogeek Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    I'd say count the president and the vice president, make the director of the peace corps a cabinet position (but that's in the 60s), have a technocratic head of the foreign service drawn from the career diplomats in addition to the SOS...
    Still missing three.

    Oh! With 150 states, maybe a federal ombudsman/arbitor type to deal with interstate issues specifically since the SCOTUS might be a tad overworked. Something akin to the International Court of Arbitration but for the [del]Empire[/del] United States of All Americas.

    (okay apparently HTML and BBCode aren't similar, whodathought ;) )
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  14. David S Poepoe Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Location:
    El Segundo, California
    Secretary of Aviation should be Secretary of the Air Force.

    There could be a post for the Secretary of Civilian Aviation, which is splitting the Transportation Department, but it wouldn't be too out of fashion with the times in 1920s.

    Not sure that the President, Vice President and Chief of Staff should be cabinet positions.
     
  15. archaeogeek Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2010
    Location:
    Montreal
    Okay then, no cheating
    - Along with Aviation (maybe a buyout of Aéropostale when it goes under in 1932 would be in order, just for the sake of a Saint-Ex in american service ;) ), you could have a secretary of Shipping separate from commerce, essentially dividing its authority between land, sea and air: a union this size would probably need it to manage.

    What about a Chancellor taking up part of the Chief of Staff's job, while the chief of staff remains more of a very powerful private secretary for the president? A more technocratic civil service appointment who essentially organizes the cabinet, keeps minutes, reports to the houses and stuff like that, a bit like in Switzerland, Cabinet level but unlike the VP, not on the presidential succession list maybe.
     
  16. Workable Goblin Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2009
    Location:
    Low Equestrian Orbit
    The OP doesn't say the population has to be only 300 million (it's clear they thought that was insanely big, anyways, not having our medical and agricultural technology), just that the US has to cover the whole hemisphere. I don't know how to have that happen, not with a PoD after 1900 (a PoD earlier might be workable...).
     
  17. Dan Reilly The Great Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2008
    Location:
    SoCal
    USA wank and airship wank FTW!


    The notions behind this article were probably heavily influenced by the manifest destiny craze that was still in effect at the turn of the century. Remember that we had just finished the spanish american war at the time and it wouldn't be too hard to see the US starting some kind of massive crusade to relieve the old world powers of their colonial posessions. Combine that with some kind of white mans burden mentality and it could be easy to see how the writer of the article could forsee the US going into south and central america to "civilize" the peoples there.
     
  18. nandalf nandalf

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    Recife-Pe-Brazil
    GreatScot, The War of the Triple aliance was fought from 1864 to 1870.
     
  19. GreatScottMarty Stuck with Laurens-Burr

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2009
    Location:
    Ohio Country
    Thanks. I knew it didn't sound right. There was I assume a war in South America in 1930s? If you are feeling in an educational mood:p, What was it called?

    @ Union size- why does there still have to be direct election of US Senators ITTL? if you leave that up to legislatures and ensure the legislatures are run by "your people" (local elites i.e. plantation owners, factory owners, shipping magnates and the like) then it is safe to say that this giant US might be more palatable to the WASP minority. Ultimately, for this to work the business interests will have to get along and I think it is possible if the Euro-American and Latino-American elites remember that they have more to gain from working together than they do at odds. I would envision a sort of US that was similar to pre-1865 US OTL. The North controls manufacturing and finance while the southern parts produce raw materials, foodstuffs and misc. agricultural products. Politically speaking, I think ensuring this America holding onto some of it's more conservative tendencies will help perpetuate this giant US.

    Where does Canada fit in all this?
     
  20. stevep Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    GreatScottMarty

    You're probably thinking of the Chaco war between Paraguay and Bolivia in 1932-35.

    Steve