American 'Fascist' President Charles B. Davenport

What if...

The United States enters World War One in 1915 following the sinking of a second ship, the S.S. Western Star, an American ship carrying nearly 500 Americans to Britain. [The reason the ship was not sunk in OTL was that Germany gave up unrestricted submarine warfare in the wake of the sinking of the Lusitania.] In TTL, however, Germany does not give up unrestricted warfare, sinks the Western Star, killing 400 Americans (including the Lusitania, that brings the American death toll up to 600 in two months) and the US declares war on Germany. The war ends slightly earlier, in August of 1918, but nearly a half-million Americans have been killed, ten times the number which died in OTL.

Following the war, the US slips into a severe depression in early-1920s, substantially earlier than in OTL, and a new political party is formed. The American People's Party is formed by the KKK and the leaders of the Eugenics movement, whose policies fit together quite nicely. The APP gains power rapidly, with nearly seven million registered voters by the election of 1924. They are especially popular in Colorado, Oregon, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. They lose the election to Coolidge's Republicans but defeat the Democratic Party, whose reputation has been tainted by WWI. BTW, assume that the APP has gotten Charles Davenport (leader of the Eugenics movement) to quiet his anti-'poor' statements and the KKK to silence the anti-labor union statements. In 1928, with membership at an all-time high and the economy at an all-time low, APP candidates Charles Davenport and Hugo Black are elected President and Vice-President, respectively. They begin a process of vast public spending and an enormous military buildup to reinvigerate the economy and, by 1931, the American economy is headed towards pre-war levels...

Now what happens?
 
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By the way...

1924 electoral election results are:

Republican Party >> 254
American People's Party >> 197
Democratic Party >> 80

1928 electoral election results are:

American People's Party >> 268
Republican Party >> 235
Democratic Party >> 28
 
Left Right

Its interesting but where has the American Left gone ? One can hardly imagine Debs throwing in his lot with the Klu Klux Klan.

Grey Wolf
 
I'm thinking, since we're actually too late for Debs during this time (he died in 1926) that we'd see a labor coalition arise under John L. Lewis, the head of the United Mine Workers (the largest union in the nation). He was a brilliant organizer and a superb orator. I think he an Huey Long may have got along quite famously...
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
I'm thinking, since we're actually too late for Debs during this time (he died in 1926) that we'd see a labor coalition arise under John L. Lewis, the head of the United Mine Workers (the largest union in the nation). He was a brilliant organizer and a superb orator. I think he an Huey Long may have got along quite famously...
Are they sort of outside of politics or have you subsumed them within this popular party ? Given that the KKK is the home of redneck Southerners I don't see how they tie in with organised labour ?

Grey Wolf
 
I don't think the APP of TTL would tie into organized labor and, I believe, the political opposition to the APP in TTL, would be composed of a labor coalition political party (we'll call it the Labor Party or LP). I see this LP being headed by either Lewis or Long (Long would be nice since 1) he's a southerner and 2) he was definitely NOT a racist). It would provide some legitimacy to the LP having a leader from the region most characteristic of the APP. I think we'd see this Labor Party, with either Long or Lewis (or both) as candidates in 1936.
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
I don't think the APP of TTL would tie into organized labor and, I believe, the political opposition to the APP in TTL, would be composed of a labor coalition political party (we'll call it the Labor Party or LP). I see this LP being headed by either Lewis or Long (Long would be nice since 1) he's a southerner and 2) he was definitely NOT a racist). It would provide some legitimacy to the LP having a leader from the region most characteristic of the APP. I think we'd see this Labor Party, with either Long or Lewis (or both) as candidates in 1936.
Therefore I think your voter percentages would be different than shown. If you have a Labour Party it would at worst begin to do as well as the pre-WW1 British Labour Party. Of course under the electoral college system it may well fail to make a mark, at least without brave delegates who decide to ignore their instructions (it did happen from time to time OTL)

btw is your name REALLY Walter Kauffman, like the philosopher ?

Grey Wolf
 
Increased US involvement in World War One. I think that the morale damage that would be caused by a 1/2 million deaths cannot be underestimated. Don't forget that generation alive is the generation which has grown used to neat, little wars like the S-A War. The Great Depression was inevitable and I think that given the damage caused by WWI, it is likely it would come substantially earlier.
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
Increased US involvement in World War One. I think that the morale damage that would be caused by a 1/2 million deaths cannot be underestimated. Don't forget that generation alive is the generation which has grown used to neat, little wars like the S-A War. The Great Depression was inevitable and I think that given the damage caused by WWI, it is likely it would come substantially earlier.
Umm. The problem, see, is that there are plenty of nations who fought the war and didn't become fascist states.See: Britain. France. Nor did it lead to an earlier great depression.

In fact, with more deaths, maybe the market isn't overheated and doesn't crash.
 
I disagree, I put 'fascist' in quotes because I don't mean literally fascist, I just mean more authoritarian. I believe that the loss of 1/2 a million would come as much more of a shock to the US than to Britain. And don't tell me that stuff like this didn't happen.

Russian Empire = Complete Civil War (brutal communist regime)
German Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime)
Austria-Hungary Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime in Austria and a fascist regime in Hungary)
Republic of France = Complete Political Chaos
Italy = Breakdown of Monarchy and then Authoritarian Regime
Ottoman Empire = COmplete Collapse

In fact, the only countries that came out relatively okay in OTL were the US and Great Britain.
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
You know what I mean. It eventually became one...
Yeah, in the 1930's. that's hardly right after ww1.

In fact, wouldn't it be more likely to have the socialists become a force?

"Half a million americans died for the capitalists!"
 
I have it happen a decade after WWI (1928) and it is hardly authoritarian in the beginning. I didn't even say that it was. I said "They begin a process of vast public spending and an enormous military buildup to reinvigerate the economy and, by 1931, the American economy is headed towards pre-war levels."
 
Interestingly

You could certainly throw Japan into your mix. And the Eastern European states - Poland was hardly a shining democracy, whilst Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria all went fascist to one degree or another.

Serbia - to - Yugoslavia makes an interesting case study but probably ends up looking like France on your list

Grey Wolf

Walter_Kaufmann said:
I disagree, I put 'fascist' in quotes because I don't mean literally fascist, I just mean more authoritarian. I believe that the loss of 1/2 a million would come as much more of a shock to the US than to Britain. And don't tell me that stuff like this didn't happen.

Russian Empire = Complete Civil War (brutal communist regime)
German Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime)
Austria-Hungary Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime in Austria and a fascist regime in Hungary)
Republic of France = Complete Political Chaos
Italy = Breakdown of Monarchy and then Authoritarian Regime
Ottoman Empire = COmplete Collapse

In fact, the only countries that came out relatively okay in OTL were the US and Great Britain.
 
Faeelin said:
In fact, wouldn't it be more likely to have the socialists become a force?

"Half a million americans died for the capitalists!"
1) The Socialist Party in the US was already effectively dead.

2) By this logic, shouldn't Germany have become socialist/communist.

"One and a half million germans died for the aristocrats!"
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
What if...

The United States enters World War One in 1915 following the sinking of a second ship, the S.S. Western Star, an American ship carrying nearly 500 Americans to Britain. [The reason the ship was not sunk in OTL was that Germany gave up unrestricted submarine warfare in the wake of the sinking of the Lusitania.] In TTL, however, Germany does not give up unrestricted warfare, sinks the Western Star, killing 400 Americans (including the Lusitania, that brings the American death toll up to 600 in two months) and the US declares war on Germany. The war ends slightly earlier, in August of 1918, but nearly a half-million Americans have been killed, ten times the number which died in OTL.

Following the war, the US slips into a severe depression in early-1920s, substantially earlier than in OTL, and a new political party is formed. The American People's Party is formed by the KKK and the leaders of the Eugenics movement, whose policies fit together quite nicely. The APP gains power rapidly, with nearly seven million registered voters by the election of 1924. They are especially popular in Colorado, Oregon, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. They lose the election to Coolidge's Republicans but defeat the Democratic Party, whose reputation has been tainted by WWI. BTW, assume that the APP has gotten Charles Davenport (leader of the Eugenics movement) to quiet his anti-'poor' statements and the KKK to silence the anti-labor union statements. In 1928, with membership at an all-time high and the economy at an all-time low, APP candidates Charles Davenport and Hugo Black are elected President and Vice-President, respectively. They begin a process of vast public spending and an enormous military buildup to reinvigerate the economy and, by 1931, the American economy is headed towards pre-war levels...

Now what happens?
Nothing really, If the App were smart they would be focusing on getting Davenport relected, and If he does win in '32 His polices might call for more expansion and an ultimateum Manifest Destiny. While hyping up the American pepole Davenport is secreatly creating alliances with Germany and Austria-Hungray. On March 3rd U.s Troops assemble around the Mexican Border and Invade

What Happens next
 
Walter_Kaufmann said:
I disagree, I put 'fascist' in quotes because I don't mean literally fascist, I just mean more authoritarian. I believe that the loss of 1/2 a million would come as much more of a shock to the US than to Britain. And don't tell me that stuff like this didn't happen.

Russian Empire = Complete Civil War (brutal communist regime)
German Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime)
Austria-Hungary Empire = Complete Collapse (brutal authoritarian regime in Austria and a fascist regime in Hungary)
Republic of France = Complete Political Chaos
Italy = Breakdown of Monarchy and then Authoritarian Regime
Ottoman Empire = COmplete Collapse

In fact, the only countries that came out relatively okay in OTL were the US and Great Britain.
Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire lost and were partitioned by the victors. Russia and Germany also lost. France had suffered considerable economic damage and loss of adult male population. Italy's political structure was somewhat ramshackle already. Interestingly, France didn't experience any serious danger of an authoritarian takeover until 1934. It was only the newly minted countries that fell to this (the new countries created out of the Hapsburg and Romanov empires and Germany and Italy, less than a century old).

Also, why does the U.S. coming into the war two years earlier create a severe depression? I could see a stronger recession from a postwar downturn but the factors that led to the Great Depression (bank crisis, agricultural crisis, farm crisis, trade war) don't pertain here.

Finally, the only time a third party displaced a pre-existing party was when the Republicans did it to the Whigs. However, the Whigs were on the verge of a terminal split over the slavery issue and there had always been something artificial about the alliance of Clay-style nationalists and anti-Jackson states' righters. What would likely happen here is that one of the two parties would absorb enough of the platform of this new party to co-opt its support.

Secondly, the Socialists enjoyed a mild resurgence in the thirties OTL.
 
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