Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Odinson, Mar 6, 2019.
Oh, yeah, I chose Wheeler for those reasons
After “Bryan’s Folly” in 1908, Populist had become a dirty word for most americans, synonymous with fool and coward. Control of the house drifted back to the Whigs, who quickly dropped tariffs with the Confederacy like a red hot iron. Foreign interests dominated american politics for the early 1910s, congressmen being bought and paid for by the British and the French.
When the Emperors’ War broke out in 1914, America stood with the nation that held the most influence in the legislative branch, France. By 1915, the United States had managed to raise 30,000 volunteers to fight for “Peace, Liberty, and Democracy”. On May 28th, US soldiers arrived at Cherbourg and from there advanced to the front. Back home, farms were coerced into giving most of their crops to the US Government.
A drawing of US soldiers in 1915
The Western Front in France chewed up regiments for breakfast. Americans began to question the point of the war. Prominent Populist Eugene V Debs was jailed in early 1916 for voicing opposition to the war. When France capulated in 1916 after the Battle of the Somme, Thomas R Marshall began to campaign on a anti french platform. “The Frogs led us to war, the frogs gave us guns, they gave us false hope of riches and prosperity. But all we have gotten is despair.” As King Wilhelm of Prussia was crowned Kaiser Wilhelm I of the German Union, Thomas R Marshall continued to speak out against anything that he perceived as part of the “french agenda”. Marshall promised that, if elected, he would form ties between the United States and the German Union. Upon election and inauguration, Marshall discovered that Kaiser Wilhelm had little interest of alliance with “a diseased little half-breed nation that lives in the gutter.” Marshall looked like a fool in the eyes of the american people. Even worse, both Canada and the Confederacy looked at the US with suspicion. Both nations placed more soldiers along the border, in case the debt ridden “kaiserreich fanatic” attempted anything.
From some research on the book, I've come to the conclusion that this Emperors War is a mix of World War I and the Franco Prussian War.
1861-1865 Abraham Lincoln: 16th (Republican)
1865-1873 Clement Vallandigham: 17th (Democrat)
1873-1877 Horatio Seymour: 18th (Democrat)
1877-1885 Benjamin Butler: 19th (Whig)
1885-1889 James G. Blaine: 20th (Whig) (Non canon)
1889-1893 21st James Baird Weaver (Populist) (Non canon)
1893-1897 22nd Grover Cleveland (Whig) (Non canon)
1897-1909 23rd William Jennings Bryan (Populist)
1909-1917 24th Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (Whig) (Non canon)
1917-1921 Thomas R. Marshall 25th (Populist)
1861–1864 Jefferson Davis 1st (independent)
July 1864- March 1865 Alexander Stephens (acting president) (independent)
1864-1868 Robert E Lee 2nd (independent)
1868–1874 Wade Hampton III 3rd (Democratic)
1874–1880 Jubal Early 4th (Democratic)
1880–1886 John S Mosby 5th (Patriot)
1886–1892 Campbell Slemp 6th (Patriot)
1892–1895 William Mahone  7th (Patriot)
1895-1898 James Longstreet 8th (Patriot)
1898–1904 Joseph Wheeler 9th (Democratic)
1904–1910 John W. Daniel 10th (Democratic)
1910–1916 11th Woodrow Wilson (Democratic)
2 Died in Office
The Emperor's War was started due to Prussian manipulation. When war between the German Confederation and the French Empire broke out, the allies of both groups followed. Denmark, Russia, and America entered the war on the side of the French while Austria-Hungary and Spain entered on the side of the Prussians. The United Kingdom stood by and watched, the Royal Navy standing watch in the English Channel. The British would only intervene in the war if Belgium's neutrality was violated.
Both sides deployed new, frightening weapons such as Poison Gas, Armored minibiles and machine guns.
By 1916, Prussia had annexed Denmark and captured Paris, Poland and the Ukraine were formally separated from Russia, and AH was given free rein in the Balkans. Prussia declared a German Union at the Palace of Versailles during the treaty signing. The Danish royal family was evacuated and took up residence in Godthåb, Greenland in 1916. Great Britain watched in horror and shock as the balance of power in Europe had changed so dramatically in two years.
Russia was a shattered wreck, it's treasury gutted to pay reparations to the German Union. Who was left to challenge the German Union? Spain, mighty in its own right, stood by it as an ally. Austria Hungary, while able to throw its weight around in central Europe, was not capable of taking on the GU, nor would it want to.
The only nations left that could rival the Triple Alliance was the Japanese Empire led by the Shogun and the Confederacy. Britain found itself allying with Japan and the CSA, as well as the Southron led SATO. A Steel Curtain descended across Europe, German affiliated nations falling in line as the UK was exiled from trading with most of the continent. The only exceptions were Belgium and the Netherlands. After France lost the war, they exiled their emperor Napoleon VII from Europe and declared the Third French Republic in 1916.
An economic recession hit the CSA when the Continental Alliance defaulted on their loans. This would last throughout the remainder of Confederate President McAdoo’s term.
Possible notes about Northern and Southern industry:
In the decades leading up to the Civil War, the North had become increasingly industrialized while the South remained agricultural. Following the North's defeat the opposite began to happen. Northern manufacturing went into a decline as the USA began to rely increasingly on imports, mainly from the German states and with some trade from the British Empire, while the South focused on building up its own industry to recover from the war. Plantation owners became factory owners, using cheap labor in the form of former slaves and Mexican workers. By the end of the 19th century, the Southern industry was also being transformed by two men-Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, who, despite having been born in the North, had emigrated to the South in search of greater economic opportunity. Ford helped revolutionize manufacturing with his assembly-line method of production, while Edison brought the incandescent bulb to the South. By comparison, these innovations spread more slowly in the North so that things like the automobile and electric light were still seen as luxuries long after they had become commonplace in the South.
Early Southern-built "Steamer", circa 1890s
While I love this, there is only one problem; in the novel, the incadecent light bulb was never invented, just like the internal combustion engine wasn't either.
Honestly, I have no idea what they use to light up the world in more civilized places.
The Dark Twenties and Depressing Thirties: 1917-1940
Marshall’s plan of a German American alliance fell apart after the Kaiser rejected his proposal, allowing the Whigs to recapture the White House in the 1920 election. William Hale Thompson was elected the 28th president of the United States. Thompson appointed Alphonse "Al" Capone as his Attorney General. During this dark time in American history, Thompson employed the Mafia to attack political rivals and disrupt voting. Thompson claimed to adress telegraph prices and their service quality, but due to most being foreign owned, he could do little about the issue. During Thompson’s two terms, corruption helped erode what power the president still possessed. Most of the power drifted to the House of Representatives, leading to the creation of a new position known as the Majority House Speaker. This office was roughly an equivalent combination of the Speaker of the House and a Prime Minister. This office possessed the true power in the US, with the president merely having the power to sign bills into law, and if they had the forceful personality, veto it. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge (Whig) was elected as the first Majority House Speaker. Speaker Coolidge used his new powers to keep Thompson in check. During this time, the only American telegraph company was bought out by the Haitian company Bri Bwi in 1927. Facing threats from Europe and Asia, the United States were forced to cede sections of the country as enclaves to the United Kingdom (Bar Harbor, Maine), the Confederacy (Long Island, New York), Spain (Atlantic City, New Jersey), the German Union (Cape Cod, Massachusetts), and Japan (St. Helens, Oregon).
As the 1920s passed, the Populists regained the House with Franklin Roosevelt becoming the next Speaker in 1928, ending in 1935. President Norman Thomas worked with Speaker Alf Landon to implement the Autonomy Act of 1936, which allowed the states greater power to deal with their issues. “Power to the people,” President Thomas told the American public during a press conference. While it seemed a great move politically, in reality, the states out west had already taken more power upon themselves. It was simply a move to save face. Out west, Deseret was the only state that truly prospered, most of this wealth in the hands of the mormon population. The only states that the national government still held true power over was West Virginia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. But even in these states, the US was forced to cave for foreign demands. Anytime that citizens attacked foreigners, their governments would simply deploy their army to strike back.
With enclaves on their soil, many in the US feared that America would be the battleground between the German Union and its enemies. Confederates down south, however, more concerned with the Spanish in Cuba and Puerto Rico. The Populist government attempted to stay clear of foreign entanglements. In the 1940 presidential election, the strong willed governor of New York Thomas E Dewey defeated his populist opponent Jennings Lewis. Dewey, though a Whig, was soon to be proven an entirely different breed of the party of Butler.
1921-1929 William Hale Thompson 28th (Whig)
1929-1933 Al Smith 29th (Populist)
1933-1937 Norman Thomas 30th(Populist)
1937-1941 George W. Norris 31st (Populist)
1941-1949 Thomas E. Dewey 32nd (Whig)
1916–1922 12th William Gibbs McAdoo (Democratic)
1922-1928 13th C. Bascom Slemp (Patriot)
1928-1934 14th John Nance Garner
1934-1940 15th Huey Long (Patriot)
1940-1946 16th Harry Truman (Patriot)
The world stood on the brink of war. Germany and it's allies controlled most of Europe. The CSA, threatened by Spain, promised to stand with the United Kingdom against the German Union. The GU, a genocidal regime, had eliminated the entirety of the Jewish population from the continent.
In order to prevent instability from affecting the area, Japan annexed Russian Alaska. The CS, the UK, and Japan sent soldiers to stabilize the former Russian Empire. This polar bear expedition was forced to abandon the area due to the resistance by the local reds.
The Confederates were forced to deal with their own issues down south. Chile and Columbia were filled with discontent and anti confederate feelings. Revolts burned in South America, forcing the Confederacy to grant local autonomy.
Great Britain stared down the Germans in Africa. France attempted to rebuild itself with generous grants from the CSA and UK. The French third republic asserted itself on the European stage. They aligned themselves with the British, eager for revenge against the German Union. The world seemed to stand on the edge of destruction. The two blocs were prepared to wage the greatest war the world had ever seen.
For possible future reference?
Lighting The Fuse
In 1940 the world was at a precarious crossroads. Both the United States and the Confederacy were eager to stay out of foreign conflicts, which caused some strain with their British and French allies. A strong isolationist movement had arisen in the South over South American revolts and the failures of the Russian intervention. At the same time, Northern President Dewey was eager to continue to modernise the American navy and its fledgling Air Force with an eye towards defending American interests in the Pacific.
Those fears were realized by the surprise attacks from Japan on the coastal cities of Seattle and Portland, as waves of fighter planes, developed in part with help from German Union engineers, were launched from bases in occupied Alaska. At the same time, German submarines launched "buzz bomb" attacks against targets in Virginia and the Carolinas, as part of their campaign against Great Britain and France which began in the Spring of that year. Shocked out of their isolationism, the South reached out to President Dewey as he and President Truman quickly signed a mutual defense treaty. The two men held an unprecedented diplomatic meeting in Philadelphia, and another in Richmond, to discuss a formal alliance against their common enemies. For the first time in nearly a hundred years since the Mexican American War, North and South found themselves allies as Germany and Japan brought both into what was now a global war.
Truman and Dewey during their first historic meeting in Philadelphia
Aftermath of Seattle attack, 1940
Damage from German "buzz bomb" attack, North Carolina, 1940
CSA Propaganda Poster
I rather like it. So, you theorized that the German Union unlocked the secrets of heavier than air flight in the late 1930s?
Probably the 1920s. They use the war to test their new weapons for the first time, shocking the rest of the world. America's Air Force (and presumably the other countries) probably consists of airships although there were probably experiments (Langley, etc) as in OTL but apparently no Wright Brothers.
Kawasaki K-10, main attack aircraft used against Seattle and Portland.
German V-1 u-boat launch
Quite an interesting thread here! I find it kind of ironic that Benjamin Butler is pushing hard money policies given he ran as a Greenback candidate IOTL. I know that President Butler is mentioned but is it stated he implemented deflationary policies? I think your US segments could use more information about the activities of the Grand Army though. It also seems to me that the Confederacy is a bit more tolerant in terms of granting citizenship status to nonwhites compared to Moore's novel where they are reluctant to grant it even to white immigrants who come after 1865.
In the book they do mention Butler's deflation policy. They also mention his expelling of the Jewish population from Missouri (which in the book is supposed to be Confederate, hence North Missouri).
As for the grand army, I kept meaning to do a segment on them, but I never got around to it.
As for confederate race relations, I rationalized it as the only way they could control that much territory without constant rebellions, especialy since they're industrialized nations.
I will say, while I like your contributions, I always figured Moore's union was leading to an eventual communist revolution (seeing as it's kinda like pre boxer China). Do you think it will fall to communism after the war?
I imagine its politics being closer to certain "semi-colonial" Latin American nations like Argentina, thus making a populist-nationalist movement with authoritarian tendencies similar to Peronism extremely likely. I see it as very likely that such a regime would ally with Germany against the Confederacy and the British while undertaking a massive rearmament/industrialization program. The war shouldn't start until after 1953 given it doesn't in the novel.
Separate names with a comma.