Crimson Banners Fly: The Rise of the American Left

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It seems more like he's waiting for the right time to open Pandora's Box. Ie. after the war is mostly settled.
Maybe, though it sounds like he's more for trying to prove himself and his side right and believes he'd be vindicated when all is said and done. Hence perhaos the comments on his sensibilities. Old-fashioned sort of patriotism and whatnot. Besides, maybe he'd see it as weak or foul silencing dissent since it means he wasn't capable of proving them wrong.

Does sound like the sort of tough guy persona he'd do.
Hey @PyroTheFox, will we see or hear about draft dodgers or whatnot? I reckon they'd head over to Mexico (the irony) to avoid it (though given there is a revolution going on in Mexico, I wonder how that could cause a butterfly effect).

Definitely very wonderful thus far here
Part 7: Chapter XXIV - Page 156

General of the Armies John J. Pershing, June 1916 - Source: Wiki Commons

Chapter XXIV: The Kraken Stirs: How Respect Made the Empires Fall

St. Lawrence Hall, a public meeting place established in the 1850s, was maintained as the nucleus for the governing branch of the Toronto-based U.S. armed forces. American occupiers decided to organize their military government from this location less than a week after the 1915 Battle of Toronto concluded in a decisive U.S. victory. Roosevelt authorized the move and welcomed the installation of Brigadier General Isaac Littell as acting mayor. Americans considered the triumphant urban siege an efficient and orderly endeavor, a logical consequence of the initial Canadian Offensive, but Canadian residents were immeasurably displeased. For them, St. Lawrence Hall metamorphosed into a symbol of tyrannical military rule and the authority of trigger-happy constables. When suspected direct actionists planted the bomb at the city landmark, the ensuing explosion was meant to incite revolt from the Torontonians and spread fear among the invaders. Due to some unforeseen complications, its effect varied.

Five were killed by the bombing. Their bodies were not instantly identifiable because of excessive burns and disfiguration, but forensic specialists quickly confirmed the hunch of witnesses who suspected the identity of one particular victim. It was none other than General John Pershing. Simply at the wrong place at the wrong time, the American commander met with an untimely fate that June morning. He had overseen operations in Ontario and, with the president and Secretary Crowell, formulated the basis of the Northern Front offensives. From that point on, he was stationed in Toronto with routine trips back to Washington. Pershing was scheduled to depart that afternoon back to the states, but upon his exit of the building two hours early, the explosive ruptured less than a foot away. The general died almost instantly, and in that tragedy four other bureaucratic U.S. Army workers suffered fatal wounds. Three others were non-fatally wounded, including one Canadian citizen. U.S. authorities were unable to find any admitted perpetrators. As such, they jailed 'suspicious' anarchists en masse and held down Marshal Law.

President Roosevelt reacted with shock. Pershing was a close friend to the Commander-in-Chief and an essential player in the Armed Forces. The incumbent was appalled by the news, though gathered his senses well enough to release a thoughtful statement on the bombing. The president phrased the attack as an, "act of supreme cowardice," making no buts about his condemnation. He cast blame on the rise of "radicalism" both within the beyond American shores, but more sharply criticized the Borden Government, "the true bomb-thrower," for failing to abide by the standards of war and coddling Anglophile extremists. Borden's refusal to admit defeat and his insistence that the war be endlessly dragged on were highlighted by Roosevelt as the leading causes for rebellious activity. He honored Pershing and the other victims at length, recollecting their service and dedication to the United States, and ended his remarks with a call for unity against the common enemy (a subtle jab at the antiwar advocates).

Roosevelt's statement was a signature, completely intentional, blow to the Peace Movement. His underlined suggestion that pacifists were burdensome to the war effort and, along with Borden and Lloyd George, were prolonging the war struck deep at the heart of the antiwar cause. In the direct aftermath of the Toronto Bombing, enlistment rates rose in the U.S. exponentially, and the number of registrars ticked up in turn. Draft-dodging stayed a lingering threat to conscription and stunted the federal mandate, but by July the overall number of enlistees creeped closer to expectations. Those refusing to fight, at least the men who did not declare themselves consciousness objectors, struggled to evade the sights of state agents. Thousands fled to Mexico to avoid prosecution, but the lion's share of draft-dodgers stayed in the United States, committed to ending the war through activism. Scattered rallies remained a surefire sight in metropolitan centers over the course of the summer with the resilient Movement for Peace standing firm, though its potential to garner sweeping support in a contrarily polarized U.S. was null. Perhaps most significantly, however, was the degree to which Roosevelt's response acted as a dog whistle to frustrated hawks and newfound, ultra patriotic Loyalty Leagues.

Albeit dejected by the president's flat rejection of the Hanley security bills, hawks and self-described nationalists accepted Roosevelt's Pershing Address as a green light to crush "disloyalty." The Society for Americanism, an organization formed explicitly to promote war with the Entente, declared in mid-June, "Seditious activity is infecting the soil of North America. Radicals have fired the first shot. A new war has begun, the war for Americanism." Society members, up to this point, relegated their efforts at lobbying Congress and the White House to accept legislation and federal policies aimed at confronting and dispelling vaguely defined espionage. They applauded conscription, Preparedness, and the Hanley bills, but members believed Pershing's death presented a more urgent call. As such, to "put an end to seditious street oratory," and, "purge our land of radicalism," the SA began coordinating vigilante groups with receptive state governments. Roosevelt may have been opposed to it, but state governors were most certainly not.

In a range of states, stretching from coast to coast, governors happily accepted the assistance of the SA in their own war on dissent. Sedition laws in California and New York set boundaries forbidding participation in any pro-peace event, but police and state militias were only able to go so far in shutting down rallies and jailing participants. The SA granted these governments the ability to take an extra step in conducting increased surveillance, uprooting alleged disloyalty, and shutting down rallies before they even occurred. War Progressives were especially keen on the utilization of this now state-affiliated group in blocking and suppressing antidraft sentiment, epitomized by Governor William Stephens' meeting with SA President Richard Merrill Whitney on July 2nd. The very next day, Stephens' authorized the raiding of sixteen suspected IWW meeting places by state police. 70 activists were arrested on the charge of fomenting anti-American dissent.

Raids on IWW offices became commonplace as the Peace Movement stumbled. Upwards of 600 cities passed similar measures criminalizing vocal antiwar sentiment, and in this, SA members were thrilled to offer their services. Dozens of IWW locals were forced to go underground, several elected Socialists faced demands for recall elections, and thousands of newsstands refused to carry anti-capitalist publications like Appeal to Reason. Even with this in mind, antiwar sentiment was overtly prevalent and from June to September of 1917 IWW membership rose by 15%. Beyond the accusations of disloyalty and threats of imprisonment for dissent, thousands and thousands were being slaughtered at the front. Boys were being ripped from their homes and were given the barest of training sessions before being rushed off to die in the trenches. The only long-term effect of the Toronto Bombing was a marked leap in guerilla action in U.S.-occupied towns and cities. Much to the disappointment of the SA and authoritarian leaders like Governor Stephens, their exertion could not dissipate nor deter the better judgement of the American people.
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Perhaps I was not sufficiently pessimistic:

All that’s left is the “service to state” part of the equation, which leaves a hollow near-fascism in lieu of a genuine program for improving the lives of the citizenry.
The SA sounds an awful lot like a proto-fascist paramilitary.

I have to remind myself often that the turn of the century Progressive movement was as much about building a strong, modern state as it was rectifying abuses against the citizenry.
Paramilitary corps called SA? Loyalty Leagues? What the hell us happening to US?
Governor William Stephens sounds like a dictator in making. IOTL he was also an avowed enemy of Asian immigration, especially Japanese community, and in this TL US are in war with Japan. Will we see internation camps like in WWII?
Well, this is gonna get messy though trying to somehow blame anti-war protests for the reason of guerilla tactics... really reaching for it.

Then of course, it's gonna hit the fan when the war ends since nothing is really gonna have been worth the suffering and the veterans aren't gonna be happy.
Will we see an increased interest in eugenics?
They were championed by progressives and.i wouldn't be surprised to see suffragettes getting their tubes ties by force.
The Progressive Party is pro-woman's suffarage.
It's not hard to sour them on the issue if suffragists have thrown their lot in with the pacifist movement.

Also, throwing women under the bus isn't something that's unexpected in any context, especially this increasingly authoritarian, traditionally minded Progressive Party.
The idealists in the party are already getting curbed and shunned, without them the Progressives are just a band of imperious statists; unwilling to suffer too much corporate power but are otherwise just Republicans, with all the cultural and militarist baggage that entails ITTL.
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