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1892 United States elections
1892 Presidential election

John M. Hay of New Hampshire
[1]/Joseph B. Foraker of Ohio (Liberal) - 250 Electoral Votes, 44.4% Popular Vote

New York - 51
Pennsylvania - 44
Illinois - 32
Ohio - 30
Indiana - 20
Massachusetts - 19
Michigan - 19
Maine - 8
Connecticut - 8
New Hampshire - 5
Rhode Island - 5
Vermont - 5
Delaware - 4

David B. Hill of New York/William Freeman Vilas of Wisconsin (Democratic) - 96 Electoral Votes, 33.6% Popular Vote

Missouri - 23
Wisconsin - 16
New Jersey - 14
California - 14
Oregon - 5
Nevada - 3
New Mexico - 3
Maryland - 10
West Virginia - 8

James B. Weaver of Iowa/Charles Bentley of Nebraska - 74 Electoral Votes, 22.0% Popular Vote

Iowa - 18
Minnesota - 13
Kansas - 14
Nebraska - 11
Dakota - 6
Colorado - 4
Washington - 5
Montana - 3

1892 Senate elections

The strange election results in a strange result for state legislatures, with coalition governments sweeping to power in many states. A coalition of Democrats and Populists helped defeat Cushman Davis in Minnesota and replace him with Charles Towne, who had the support of both parties; the opposite occurred in California and Michigan, where a small Populist contingent gave the plurality Liberals the votes they needed to oust James Budd and William Maybury in shocking results, considering the staunch Democratic leans of both states previously. Hill's unpopularity tied to Tammany sank Democrats throughout New York, tossing Perry Belmont out; Vilas' German connection in Wisconsin and grim memories of the Blaine Acts helped create a small enough legislative majority there, in combination with a new Democratic Governor, to nudge Philetus Sawyer from office. Populists now made up substantial blocs in each state and were a force to be reckoned with, but they found themselves using their power as kingmakers rather than firebreathers, helping elected Senators of the other party... all except in Nebraska, where a controversy would erupt that challenged the legislative prerogatives to elect Senators forever...

CA: James Budd (Democratic) DEFEATED; Joseph McKenna (Liberal) ELECTED (L+1) [2]
CT: Joseph Roswell Hawley (Liberal) Re-Elected
DE: Georgy Gray (Democrat) Re-Elected
IN: David Turpie (Democrat) DEFEATED; Charles Fairbanks (Liberal) ELECTED (L+2)
ME: Eugene Hale (Liberal) Re-Elected
MD: William Pinkney Whyte (Democrat) Re-Elected
MA: Henry Dawes (Liberal) Retired; Henry Cabot Lodge (Liberal) ELECTED
MI: William C. Maybury (Democrat) DEFEATED; James McMillan (Liberal) ELECTED (L+3)
MN: Cushman Davis (Liberal) DEFEATED; Charles A. Towne (Democrat) ELECTED (D+1)
MO: Francis Cockrell (Democrat) Re-Elected
MT (s): William A. Clark (Democrat) ELECTED
MT (s): Joseph Toole (Democrat) ELECTED
NE: Charles Van Wyck (Liberal) Re-Elected [3]
NV: James Graham Fair (Democrat) Re-Elected
NJ: William McAdoo (Democratic) Re-Elected
NM: Antonio Joseph (Democrat) Re-Elected
NY: Perry Belmont (Democratic) DEFEATED; John A. Quackenbush ELECTED (L+4)
OH: Benjamin Butterworth (Liberal) Re-Elected
PA: James I. Mitchell (Liberal) Re-Elected
RI: William Sprague (Liberal) Re-Elected
VT: Redfield Proctor (Liberal) Re-Elected
WV: Joseph Sprigg (Democrat) Re-Elected
WV (s): John E Kenna (Democrat) Died in Office; John J. Davis (Democrat) ELECTED [4]
WI: Philetus Sawyer (Liberal) DEFEATED; William Freeman Vilas (Democrat) ELECTED (D+2)

1892 House elections

In purely raw numbers, Democrats had a decent election - they rose from 110 seats to 123, regaining many lost to the Populists in 1890, with the People's Party dropping from their high of 37 to merely 25. However, this was in large part thanks to vote splitting - the Liberals leapt up to a jaw-dropping 213 seats, giving the incoming President close to a 3/5ths majority in both houses of Congress. The Liberals cleaned up in new seats in growing states and won several urban districts where Democrats and Populists split each other's votes, but failed to make back their losses in Plains states where they were instead splitting the Populist-skeptical vote with Democrats in former strongholds.

53rd United States Congress

Senate: 37L-22D -1P

President of the Senate: Joseph Foraker (L-OH)
Senate President pro tempore: James Ingalls (L-KS)
Chairman of Senate Liberal Conference: Justin Morrill (L-VT)
Chairman of Senate Democratic Conference: John R. McPherson (D-NJ)

California
1. Joseph McKenna (L) (1893-)
3. William Rosecrans (D) (1885-)

Colorado

2. Henry M. Teller (L) (1876-)
3. Thomas M. Bowen (L) (1885-)

Connecticut
1. Joseph R. Hawley (L) (1881-)
3. Orville Platt (L) (1879-)

Dakota

2. Richard Pettigrew (L) (1888 - )
3. Gilbert Pierce (L) (1888 - )

Delaware
1. George Gray (D) (1889-)
2. Anthony Higgins (L) (1893-) [5]

Illinois
2. Shelby Moore Collum (L) (1881-)
3. Richard J. Oglesby (L) (1873-)

Indiana
1. Charles Fairbanks (L) (1893-)
3. Benjamin Harrison (L) (1891-)

Iowa
2. Samuel Kirkwood (L) (1877-)
3. James B. Weaver (P) (1891-)

Kansas
2. John St. John (L) (1883-)
3. John Ingalls (L) (1873-)

Maine
1. Eugene Hale (L) (1881-)
2. William P. Frye (L) (1881-)

Maryland
1. William Pinkney Whyte (D) (1869-)
3. George Washington Covington (D) (1891-)

Massachusetts
1. Henry Cabot Lodge (L) (1893-)
2. George Frisbie Hoar (L) (1877-)

Michigan
1. James McMillan (L) (1893-)
2. Byron G. Stout (D) (1865-)

Minnesota
1. Charles A. Towne (D) (1893-)
2. William Washburn (L) (1889-)

Missouri
1. Francis Cockrell (D) (1875-)
3. Richard P. Bland (D) (1891-)

Montana

2. William A Clark (D) (1892-)
3. Joseph Toole (D) (1892-)

Nebraska
1. Charles Van Wyck (L) (1881-)
2. Charles Manderson (L) (1883-)

Nevada
1. James Graham Fair (D) (1881-)
3. John P. Jones (D) (1873-)

New Hampshire
2. William Chandler (L) (1889-)
3. Henry Blair (L) (1873-)

New Jersey
1. William McAdoo (D) (1887-)
2. John R. McPherson (D) (1871-)

New Mexico

1. Antonio Joseph (D) (1887-)
2. Francisco A. Manzanares (D) (1889-)

New York
1. John A. Quackenbush (L) (1893-)
3. Warner Miller (L) (1885-)

Ohio
1. Benjamin Butterworth (L) (1887-)
3. James A. Garfield (L) (1885-)

Oregon
2. La Fayette Grover (D) (1871-)
3. James H. Mitchell (L) (1891-)

Pennsylvania
1. John I. Mitchell (L) (1881-)
3. J. Donald Cameron (L) (1879-)

Rhode Island
1. William Sprague (L) (1863-)
2. Jonathan Chace (L) (1885-)

Vermont
1. Redfield Procter (L) (1881-)
3. Justin Smith Morrill (L) (1867-)

Washington

2. George Turner (D) (1889-)
3. Eugene Semple (D) (1888 - )

West Virginia
1. Joseph Sprigg (D) (1869-)
2. John W. Davis (D) (1893-)

Wisconsin
1. William Freeman Vilas (D) (1893-)
3. Thaddeus Pound (L) (1881-)

House: 213L-123D-25P

Speaker of the House: Thomas Brackett Reed (L-ME)
House Democratic Caucus Chair: Archibald Bliss (D-NY)
House Populist Caucus Chair: Jerry Simpson (P-KS)

[1] Eh sort of. Has houses in Ohio, Illinois and DC too
[2] OTL's Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna, that is
[3] Under great controversy - to be covered in an update soon!
[4] Father of OTL 1924 Democratic nominee John W. Davis
[5] Eli Saulsbury dies immediately before start of 53rd Congress; replaced by newly-sworn Liberal legislature (Gray re-elected before new legislature... to be commented on in future update)
 
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Hay's Hour
"...from his boyhood, Warsaw had seemed like an outpost on the edge of the world, staring across the Mississippi as if it were a yawning abyss looking out towards lands so untamed that they made Illinois' frontier spirit seem civilized by comparison; now, it was Illinois that seemed to be the center of the world, with Chicago a burgeoning hub of industry and transportation in directions east, west, north and even south, and one of the state's native sons had returned to the White House. The first person Hay telephoned (an innovation at the time) upon it becoming clear that he had carried Ohio and Indiana and thus in all likelihood the Presidency was Lincoln, who despite his age and frailty heartily congratulated his former secretary on the tremendous achievement.

For a man who had once shyly hid from the public and who seemed more at home in drawing rooms drinking liqueur and debating poetry and the classics, to earn the Presidency had come as something of a minor surprise; "I thought my hour had since passed," he admitted to Clara after they greeted a swarm of well-wishers who sang triumphant songs in front of his home on Euclid Avenue. All the important men of his campaign were there, as was Foraker, whom Hay credited with delivering Ohio and whom he found himself interacting with increasingly like a younger brother rather than a former rival for the ring. As the days after the decisive election marched on, though, the monumental task before Hay began to set in: that the country was arguably in the throes of its greatest crisis since he had followed that tall Springfield lawyer to Washington thirty years prior after another multipolar election, with unemployment from the 1890 panic still high, social cohesion low, and the agitations of the working classes turning ever more violent. It would not be a repeat of the gay and bullish Blaine years, he came quickly to realize; the grotesque displays of corruption and bossism under Hill had made plain that the Liberal project was incomplete, and the attractiveness of radicals and their ideas laid bare the depth of the monumental work ahead..."

- Hay's Hour
 
For the People: Populism in 19th Century North America
"...by late November it became obvious to Weaver that he was not going to actually win, so to him the results were generally all upside; one in five Americans voted for the Populists, and he and his acolytes had run rampant across much of the Plains even as the Populists retreated in urban precincts where a surprisingly robust effort from Hill and his allies had clawed back lost territory. The Populists were not just a protest party - with their popular vote result, they were an emerging alternative, with some boosters suggesting they could "relegate the Democrats to the history annals as the Liberals did the Republicans, and the Republicans did the Whigs!" Bryan was not so sanguine; retreating "where the people are" was a disaster in his view, pleased as he was with the results in native Nebraska and states like Kansas and that he would be sent to Congress this time around. Weaver was already talking about 1894 as the returns came in, thinking purely in electoral terms how building on the momentum, despite lost seats in the House of Representatives, could benefit him in 1896 as the undisputed leader of the party; Bryan, and to a lesser extent Simpson, began to wonder if the People's Party needed to consider their strategy more carefully in the day-to-day, especially as the legislature in Nebraska soon elicited a massive controversy shortly before the 53rd Congress was sworn in..."

- For the People: Populism in 19th Century North America
 
Boss Hill
"...Hill described in a particularly incendiary letter to Justice O'Brien "these cowards who left me on the field of battle to wage war alone, like the columns behind Burnside as he tried to cross at Fredericksburg who abandoned their men to slaughter, who failed to engage the enemy with the advantage like McClellan both in Virginia and at Sharpsburg, these rats and fools who scurry for cover the moment a gray cloud appears on an otherwise blue horizon." His rage was particularly reserved for Roosevelt and the Journal, whom he blamed nearly single-handedly for his defeat, seething to a Herald editor in the lame-duck period, "What good are those who call themselves Democrats but then cut off their candidate at the knee?" Hill retreated to Albany for the holidays with his loyalists, but even they could not abate his anger; Stevenson and Vilas' own ambitions were naked, and Hill fumed as he heard them discussing the possibility of runs of their own against Hay in four years time..."

- Boss Hill
 
Citizen Hearst
"...Hearst found the tenor of discussions in Democratic circles alarming - there was little reconciliation with the defeat they had just taken, choosing instead to blame Fassett's "Salem trials" for weakening Tammany ahead of the crucial vote rather than interrogating how the People's Party had earned nearly one in five votes nationwide and flipped once-reliable Liberal bastions such as Iowa or Kansas. Hill had lost, but not by enough to truly slay the dragon of bossism, and myths were already rising explaining away the defeat - Hay had not earned a popular majority, merely a plurality, Populists had split off reliable Democrats, the machine had been improperly oiled, Western bosses had not been sufficiently courted, Wisconsin was reliable and had sent Vilas to the Senate as a conciliation for his ticket's national loss - and the party organs seemed as divided as ever over laborism, the currency issues, tariff and civil service reform, and a host of other issues. The influence of Roosevelt and the Journal did not go unnoticed, and Tammany seemed to be gearing up to fight the "Journal Faction" for control of the city and state party rather than keep the Mayoralty in Democratic hands or cut off the rumored return of Henry George on the People's Party ticket. Hearst, steeped in the Democratic tradition of his father, saw little of the confident party that had elected Custer just four years earlier. The defeat of David Hill and the civil war which engulfed the Democratic Party in the years after as debate raged over what the party would become began Hearst's foray out of his father's political shadow and presaged his own interest in the matters of the party's health in New York state..."

- Citizen Hearst
 
The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States
"...it was perhaps no surprise that Cleveland became the center of the political universe; it was after all the Ohio Liberal Party that oft set the tone for the entire country's apparatus, it was in Cleveland that the burgeoning entrepreneurs who launched the great trusts like Rockefeller, Ward, and, yes, Amasa Stone made their first fortunes, and the city that by the great realigning election of 1892 was perhaps most emblematic of the aspirational, undeniably Protestant tenor of the ascendant order. Unlike the young, unsure Liberals who narrowly squeaked into power behind Blaine after a decade of Democratic dominance, these Liberals were cocksure, looming over what they regarded as the carcass of the slain Jacksonian dragon, ready to forge ahead with the currency question more or less settled and civil service reform's final victory assured. If Blainism had been a correction from the antebellum order the Rapprochement-era politics of Seymour, Hoffman and Hendricks had represented then Hayism would be a full rejection, made plainer by Hay's position in the turn-of-century Liberal pantheon not as the founding father that his mentor Blaine represented nor the marble man hero of Hughes [1], but instead the transitional consolidator, representative of both the era he was born and molded in and what would come after. Foraker was key to this; though born only seven years later, the now-definitive lord of Ohio politics had fought in the War of Secession rather than watched Lincoln agonize over it; he was not a dreamer and late-blooming dilettante who climbed through appointments and patronage but a man forged in the white-hot rough and tumble electoral world of postbellum Ohio, where Democrats and Shermanites equally held sway and he had emerged, bloodied but not beaten, as what would soon be the most powerful and influential Vice President in history. As the Liberal consolidation of the next decade beckoned, the debates would increasingly come from "within the house," as Hay would later put it, between an old guard and the burgeoning progressives, within Congress and within the Hay-Foraker administration, and within the Liberal clubs throughout the country as a spirit of reform and change molded with the optimism of the day that emerged out of the dirtiness of the bossism of the Hill years and the acute depression that was only starting to show glimmers of its conclusion by the time Hay returned to Washington..."

- The Aspirants: The Rise of the Liberal Party of the United States


[1] Spoiler!
 
Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria
"...Rudolf, for all his other liberal ideas, was brought to a position of sympathy for Hungary that inadvertently aligned him with the reactionary magnates; whether this was done mostly to spite his father remains debate among historians. Whatever position Franz Josef took, Rudolf was often there to privately urge the opposite; whether it be Bohemia, the military budget, or even, perhaps most ominously, foreign policy, where Rudolf admired Friedrich III of Germany and urged his father to take Vienna closer to Berlin, having long since seen enough of the Franco-Belgian axis through his strained marriage with Stephanie. Here, also, his mother's influence bore out; though she enjoyed French fashions, she was deeply skeptical of the Bonapartes and seldom understood her husband's preference for France as a bulwark to Germany and Russia. Franz Josef, for his part, longed after his oft-traveling wife and resented Rudolf for not being a better conduit to Sissi and for insisting on antagonizing him politically almost as sport..."

- Francis Joseph, Emperor of Austria
 
For the People: Populism in 19th Century North America
"...the "rape of the American farmer" by railroad shipping rates and hatred for the oligarch class may have been the motivating features of the People's Party, but governmental reform soon leapt to the forefront from two affairs thousands of miles apart. In Delaware, the outgoing Democratic legislature convened hurriedly and shortly after the election to elect George Gray to the Senate for another term; two weeks later, it was replaced by a narrow Liberal majority for the first time in state history, and when Senator Eli Saulsbury passed away mere days before the start of the 53rd Congress, the Delaware legislature reconvened upon the instruction of the Governor to appoint his replacement, now a Liberal, in Anthony Higgins.

This state of affairs would have earned little notice if Nebraska's legislature had not convened in an extraordinary session (state law was cryptic on when exactly Senatorial elections needed to occur) while Liberals still held narrow majorities to re-elect Charles Van Wyck to the Senate, calling a quorum late in the evening on December 1st after Governor John Thayer called them in to the state house in Lancaster before the legislature ended its session and was replaced in the new year by a "fusion" legislature in which no single party had a majority, but a plurality of Populists and the Democrats, as the third-largest body, commanded the majority, and Populist Silas Holcomb was elected on both the People's Party and Democratic tickets, a groundswell change in Nebraska politics. The incoming legislature had expected to vote on a new Senator in 1893, in the weeks before the new Congress, as was traditional in every Senatorial election since statehood; that the Liberals had convened "in dead of night" to reinstall their Senator and send his credentials to Washington was decried as rank corruption. Bryan, elected to Congress on a fusion ticket but expected to have been elected Senator instead, led rallies in Lancaster to condemn "the Tyrant Thayer" and was joined by Weaver. As they held a furious rally, gunshots rang out, wounding Weaver and killing two onlookers and causing a panic and riot that was solved only by Holcomb calling in the Nebraska National Guard. Holcomb's legislature, once convened, voted to appoint Bryan to the Senate - but his credentials were refused by the Senate President Pro Tempore, James Ingalls, a Kansan contemptuous of "Weaver's mob." Ingalls declared that the election of Van Wyck was by "a duly elected legislature" and then pointed out how Delaware Democrats had done the same for Gray.

Bryan sued, hoping his case would go to the Supreme Court; it would languish well into the start of the new Congress, when it was quietly dismissed by the circuit court for lack of standing or proof of injury, not even rising to a dismissal as a political question. Nevertheless, the Nebraska Affair, and the sense that legislatures could be easily bought to install new Senators at a whim, created a new galvanizing project for the Populists - direct election of Senators and other governmental reform..."

- For the People: Populism in 19th Century North America
 
A pretty smart way to write in the direct election of senators. Fits the general tenor of America in this timeline.

Wonder if and when the income tax fight happens.
 
A pretty smart way to write in the direct election of senators. Fits the general tenor of America in this timeline.

Wonder if and when the income tax fight happens.

Thanks! It's loosely based on an OTL incident in Delaware where various bribed legislators couldn't decide on a Senator for over a year and thus both Senate seats went empty... oooof!

That's coming, but still a ways off compared to OTL. Can't really see wealthy dilettante John Hay leading the charge on that one
 
The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905
"...though the Duc de Broglie had often disappointed during his various ministerial stints, as the chair of the Commission d'Algerie he proved a reliable voice for the government, and issued its infamous "recommendations," which in later years have been critiqued as an endorsement of one of the most aggressive colonial regimes implemented by any European power in Africa or Asia. Albert defined "irreconcilable" in starkly legal terms and laid out new codicils to the Code de l'Indigenat, formalizing what had before been loosely enforced and arbitrary policies. Harsher political treatment for the local population of Algeria at the hands of Europeans was not only allowed but encouraged, starkening the legal and cultural distinctions between societies and setting the stage for the escalation of what would within a few years be known as "the Pacification." The implementations of this 1892 document would take years to fully crystalize, but remains one of the most controversial aspects of Napoleon IV's legacy, particularly in respect to his colonial projects..."

- The Eaglet Takes Flight: The Reign of Napoleon IV 1874-1905


(Worth recalling that Napoleon IV is almost forty at this point and he's not that bright-eyed, virile but somewhat naive kid who took the throne anymore)
 
The German on the Spanish Throne: The Reign of Leopold I
"...the latest reports from Captain-General Weyler of sporadic fighting and the growth in popularity of anti-government Filipino networks spawned one of the most controversial - and final - episodes of Zorilla's premiership, in which he announced that he would be tasking Pi in leading a "Commission on the Philippines," complete with a fact-finding mission by members of the Cortes. To his surprise, typically-sympathetic Primista Liberals reacted just as poorly as the Serranistas, the military and even Leopold, who made a rare public remark to a journalist critiquing the idea. Leopold was not against the idea of a managed solution to the Philippine crisis but allowing ardent anti-imperialists and republicans to govern it was a nonstarter to El Escorial. Cuba and the Caribbean territories had been full of Spaniards after all and were under threat; to elevate a nation of Indios on the other side of the world to provincial status would flood the Spanish Cortes with Asiatic peoples [1]. What was perhaps most controversial was the idea, promulgated by Conservatives and some Serranistas, that the removal of the friars in the colonies was the first step to a confiscation of Church lands in Spain, a project Pi was already well-associated with. Zorilla, who had seemed on the verge of breaking the National Liberals between their two ideological halves permanently just months earlier, suddenly found himself on his back heels from the first true backlash of his brief Premiership. Already in poor health, he retreated for weeks to warmer climes in Cordoba, hoping to recuperate from his sudden onset of illness and to be inspired for a path forward after the formation of his Philippine Commission was defeated by two votes in the Cortes, humiliating his fragile government..."

- The German on the Spanish Throne: The Reign of Leopold I


[1]I mean integrating the Caribbean provinces was controversial enough, this just wouldn't be done by an 1890s European power for this exact reason
 
Harsher political treatment for the local population of Algeria at the hands of Europeans was not only allowed but encouraged, starkening the legal and cultural distinctions between societies and setting the stage for the escalation of what would within a few years be known as "the Pacification."
Can easily see Algeria being a problem for the French for decades. Picture the Spanish Ulcer but on a lower, longer-term scale. Reprisals by each side escalating the violence.
 
Maximilian of Mexico
"...the abolition of the University of Mexico in 1865 had been seen as a dagger to the heart of the liberal plan to strip all education from the Church, and since then academies inspired by the French grand ecoles had largely served in its place. By the early 1890s, however, the Miramon government found tension in this model, particularly as it seemed that the echelons of the ministries of government were increasingly dominated not by "pious publicans," as had been hoped, but increasingly liberal, radical men educated abroad in Europe or the United States. Men such as Limantour became prominent advocates of an indigenous university; the debate over such came to dominate Miramon's early years in power, with some such as Justo Sierra, an unreformed Radical in the National Assembly, arguing that education should finally become an exclusively state function despite the middling success of the gimnasias in the Altiplano. The increasingly literate, multilingual middle class of immigrant-children criollos and upwardly mobile mestizos could either earn university education in Mexico, or overseas, and who knew what ideas might be imported with them when they returned home. Maximilian leaned heavily on Miramon to investigate the creation of a university, in no small part due to his increasingly cultural inclinations and inspirations. A deadlock between the conservative Upistas and sclerotic Radicals led to, as was not uncommon, a Solomonic bargain brokered by the Emperor - two universities, one in Mexico City and one in Morelia, the former the "National Imperial University of Mexico," known today as UNIM, and the latter the Pontifical University of Pelagio Labastida, named in honor of the late longserving Archbishop in his town of birth, staffed and endorsed by the Holy See and with it an expanded seminary generously funded by the state.

The solution satisfied Maximilian for the time being, especially as Miramon and Sierra each scurried back to their respective camps in the Imperial Assembly grumbling about having to compromise; in his view, as usual, that was a sign that he had succeeded. But just as the education divide between city and countryside grew starker in the years ahead, the backdrop between an optimistic, mobile and liberal upper-middle class with its lawyers, bankers, doctors, and scientists emerging from the clubby atmosphere of UNIM and the resentment towards them of a conservative clergy and lay that emerged from Morelia to serve as the backbone of rural communities only deepened, its seeds planted in the fertile earth of post-Feliciato Mexico..."

- Maximilian of Mexico
 
Chamberlain's Britain
"...the Tories of course were in no position to push back; the back-to-back deaths of first their most recent Prime Minister in Smith and then their titanic statesman Lord Salisbury had left the party adrift, lacking suitable leadership. In the Lords, the Viscount Cross became the face of the opposition, inscrutable and reactionary in his demeanor, aligned closely with Lord Stanley of Preston - the son of the Earl of Derby and the younger brother of another Lord Stanley, both Prime Ministers in their own right two decades prior and in whose shadow he would live forever - though Stanley was well known to desire leadership himself, with the only other peer of notable name, George Herbert, the Earl of Carnarvon (also a son of a previous Prime Minister) being too lazy, young, and disinterested in politics to pose any real threat. Other peers such as Lord Cranbrook sought a more conciliatory, forward-looking path, in alignment with "Fourth Party" holdovers from the legislative skirmishes of the last decade, with Balfour rising to be Tory leader in the Commons, no doubt helped by Salisbury having been his uncle. The Tories in that way came to represent a very familial organization, with nearly everyone owing their place to family name or heritage, even those such as "Black Michael" Hicks Beach, who contested Balfour for leadership within the Tory ranks frequently for the rest of the decade until he was conveniently elevated to a peerage; Balfour proved himself a canny leader on internal matters, even as Chamberlain would notch victory after victory in implementing his programme over the rest of his long and historic Premiership. The wilderness years for the Conservatives had only just begun, and the infighting would get only ever uglier..."

- Chamberlain's Britain
 
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