Divided We Stand

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by wolfram, Aug 29, 2017.

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  1. wolfram Member Donor

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    The Parti Cadien came out of a unionist party, largely because Long's base was Anglophone anti-Catholics. That doesn't mean that it'll stay unionist.
     
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  2. Bulldoggus The Cold, Hawklike Glare of Konrad Adenauer

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    Wow, this is minty phresh. Will New England be a regionalist area or a Unionist hotbed?
     
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  3. Threadmarks: 6: Hadn't been for Cotton Ed Smith/I'd been votin' long before this...

    wolfram Member Donor

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    South Carolina's Cotton Ed Smith was a Palmetto State institution by 1938. A so-called "conscientious objector to the 20th century", Smith was known for his virulent racism and his relentless defense of the textile interests. While at first he had supported the Roosevelt administration, he opposed it as it became clear that the Roosevelt administration was open to both civil rights and the diversification of the Southern economy. In 1936, he walked out of the DNC when a black minister delivered the invocation. Two years later, he filibustered a minimum wage bill for hours.

    He was opposed in the Senate primary by Governor Olin Johnston. Johnston was well-known as an advocate for white workers' rights, as well as a proponent of rural electrification. He shepherded social security and unemployment compensation bills through the State House, used the National Guard to protect striking workers, and, unusually for Southern governors, stayed more-or-less silent on segregation.

    Going into the Democratic primary, the race was considered a likely Johnston victory. Smith was relatively unpopular in South Carolina, while Johnston's support for the New Deal was still popular. However, Smith had a few advantages. Johnston may have had the support of the mill workers, but Smith had worked for the mill owners for three decades. And Smith was better able to outflank Johnston on race.

    Still, it's not hard to imagine a world where the primary went the other way. Where Johnston - if not him, some other Rooseveltian Palmetto Stater - ran as an independent against a Democratic Smith. Where South Carolina had a left-populist party not unlike Agrarian Justice, and, likely, where the rest of the South followed suit.

    But it was not to be.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Gentleman Biaggi Biaggi Smalls

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    *sees new update*
    *starts dancing*
     
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  5. Gonzo 'The Gonz'

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    So I just discovered this, and I have to say that I am enjoying this TL a lot. Please do continue. :)
     
  6. Threadmarks: 7: 1940, Part 1

    wolfram Member Donor

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    Going into the 1940 election, Franklin D. Roosevelt was a prohibitive favorite to win re-election. The polls still often showed "Generic Republican" in first place, but after 1936 it was generally agreed that polling would need another few elections before it could be trusted. Despite the Agricultural Normalization Act, despite the Second Depression of 1935, despite everything, Roosevelt still had enough support in enough states to essentially guarantee he would remain in power. Almost all Democrats, many members of Longite parties, and a great deal of Republicans planned to vote for him.

    There were still avenues of attack. The president was generally perceived as far more hawkish than his country, with everyone from Agrarian Justice to Arthur Vandenburg condemning the President for perceived aggressiveness. This attack was made more salient when the boarding of a merchant marine ship by German sailors almost led to war in early 1939. The left-isolationists of the Farm Belt and the right-isolationists of Washington high society by way of Harvard and Princeton found common cause against ivory-tower interventionists, at least, for a time.

    But not all Republicans were isolationists. With a fracturing Republican Party and a strong position at home, Roosevelt decided to take a gamble.

    [​IMG]

    Selecting Henry Stimson, a conservative Republican, did not itself create the National Union Party, as the historical memory seems to recall it. But it, and a few backroom deals, did create the "Roosevelt Republican" splinter faction, which duly endorsed the President. Charles McNary, the former Senate Minority Leader ousted by Robert Taft for his relative liberalism, also supported the President. In short, trying to pull in Republican moderates to replace Farm Belt liberals was working.

    Going into the Republican National Convention - delayed by two months due to the simmering conflict between "Ultra" conservatives and "Rosy" moderates - the leading candidates were Senate Majority Leader Robert Taft and Governor Thomas Dewey, with Senator Arthur Vandenburg as a possible compromise candidate.
     
  7. Techdread Loyal Oppositionist

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    So, FDR is turning away from the liberals & progressives (In the vein of Henry Wallace, etc. I mean) and seeking support from more moderate voters with this move?
     
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  8. Israel Well-Known Member

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    Didn't expect Stimson
     
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  9. Sithlent Professional Wikipedia Reader

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    @wolfram How goes the rest of the world? Is it the same as OTL or would it be possible for some of us to possibly contribute to DWS's story? :p
     
  10. wolfram Member Donor

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    Yes. The rise of "Longite" parties has put a dent in his coalition - this helps plug it.

    It would be possible! PM me first, though.
    Also, the next update deals with foreign affairs, so you may want to wait until that.
     
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  11. Techdread Loyal Oppositionist

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    Oh. :pensive:
     
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  12. Threadmarks: 8: 1940, Part 2

    wolfram Member Donor

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    On July 22nd, the Empire of Japan transmitted a message that it considered the United States' "aggressive posturing" tantamount to a declaration of war, and that it would respond in kind. Three hours later, the Imperial Navy attacked Navy outposts in Manila Bay, leading to significant casualties and the landing of troops on Luzon itself. Soon after, the United States was attacked again off Guam, Wake Island, and Hawaii. A single submarine made it all the way to the California coast - while the bombardment of Fort Cronkhite was over more or less as soon as it began, it sent a clear message. Two weeks later, an armed German U-boat was captured off the coast of New Jersey, carrying all the bombs and bullets necessary to destroy a decent amount of war material. The United States was at war.
    This was what the Republican National Convention - held in Philadelphia, under the floodlights and balloons of a city watching the skies - was held under. The status was no longer quo. Isolationism in America had died a quick death on July 22nd, and the candidates of isolation - Robert Taft and Arthur Vandenburg - were no longer tenable as candidates. Thomas Dewey, the least isolationist candidate, was also the least experienced by far - not by any means a tenable candidate.
    Hanford MacNider was a highly decorated Lieutenant Colonel who had served in Mexico and France. He had been National Commander of the American Legion, Assistant Secretary of War, and Ambassador to Canada. Between the wars, he was a no-hoper. After, he was a nominee.

    But it was not Hanford MacNider who would see America into the war. In fact, he would not even be the runner-up in the contest. The Very Serious People of New York and Washington confidently predicted that 1936 was a fluke year brought on by the sympathy vote, that Longism would be buried by the end of the decade and all that it would serve to do was swing a few Farm Belt states. But the sentiment of the country was, in fact, very different. America First-style isolationism was still strong, with many concluding that the United States had provoked the Axis, had suffered for it, and ought not to compound its suffering by drawing the war out. The economy was strong - for now - but the wheat farmers of, say, Nebraska wanted one of them, not another Harvard professor, to decide the national finances. And the same was true for the copper miners of Wyoming and the cotton farmers of Louisiana. As the shape of the race became clear, Carey McWilliams - then an author and columnist - gloomily predicted that the United States would not last the century if the relevant trends continued. Considering his future career, the tone of that essay is ironic. But its thesis - that American politics was becoming more explicitly regionalist than it had ever been - remains sound.
    Still, Roosevelt had his own advantages. The war was controversial, true, but it managed to produce a strong rally-around-the-flag effect, as voters took another look at the politicians who had claimed that the United States would never have to go to war. Plus which, Roosevelt was still the man who had beat the Depression, and many Americans felt loyal to him. He also had the more prosaic advantages of an in-built party apparatus in most states, and the fact that his strongest regions had populous states like New York (47 electors), Pennsylvania (36), and Illinois (29), whereas his opponents were strongest in states like North Dakota (4 electors), Vermont (3), and Wyoming (3). The largest state someone else won - Wisconsin - had as many or fewer electors as 11 of Roosevelt's states. Those eleven states alone could win the election all by their lonesome.
    In the end, the result was inevitable. But it was also an omen.

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Threadmarks: 9: The War In The West

    wolfram Member Donor

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    Okay, here's the thing. I'm about to leave for a camping trip, during which time I will be unable to work on DWS. However, I think I should probably update before I head out.
    So here's what I'm going to do - I'm going to post the writeup sans wikibox now, and add the wikiboxes when I get back to Houston on Wednesday.
    EDIT: Well, that didn't happen at all. Going to cut my losses and get to work on the next update.

    Despite the capture of U-552 off New Jersey in early August, neither the United States nor Nazi Germany officially declared war until significantly later in the year. Both sides had similar reasons - neither wanted to divert resources to another front, and both had political considerations. Hitler's belief that the Americans could be persuaded to remain neutral was obviously erroneous, but it still prevented the upper echelons of the German government from immediately going to war. And isolationism was, while not as strong in America as it had been before the war, still had its advocates, such as William Borah, who - shortly before his death - traveled to Berlin to converse with Hitler himself.
    Even when Germany formally declared war on the United States in November, citing the Lend-Lease Agreement and the Occupation of Iceland as casus belli, isolationism was still a going concern. Part of that was fueled by bad news coming from the Pacific. While the American mainland was never under serious threat, the attack on Pearl Harbor took out two aircraft carriers and much of the shore facilities, a massive blow. It was followed by the invasion of Hawaii, which was short-lived but nevertheless saw some of the bloodiest fighting of the war. (On a happier note, the valor with which many Japanese-Hawaiians fought to defend their homeland likely helped to remove some of the prejudices against them. Certainly they put to rest any thoughts of internment, as "Hawai'i Pono'i" like Dan Inouye, a seventeen-year-old nisei volunteer who led his squad to beat back a Japanese force three times as big at the cost of his right arm, became household names.)
    But while the American war machine had been caught flat-footed, once it got going it really got going. Millions of tons of material made its way across the Atlantic to Britain and Russia. American troops came over, too - entering the war with a splash in North Africa, where they turned the tide in Tunisia, and then invading Sicily as a precursor to a planned invasion of the Italian peninsula.
    Nobody alive knows for certain what happened on January 18, 1942. It was several days after Axis forces broke off the siege of Moscow, a major strategic defeat which imperiled the whole Eastern Front. Some have said that it was brought on by the stress he was under, made worse by his copious use of amphetamines and probable Parkinson's. Others say that it was a coup, conducted by generals afraid of a planned purge or a Soviet wave overrunning Germany. But one way or another, it was announced that day that Adolf Hitler had died.

    Several hours later, it became clear that a military coup had taken place in Germany. A brief fight between "true believers" and military figures saw the latter faction win control. This meant pulling out of the losing front in North Africa, which was always a sideshow. It meant putting the full strength of the German military into destroying the will to fight of Western powers and consolidating gains in the east. (It did not mean ending the death camps. That would have been a bridge too far.)
    It also meant trying to take out other nations through diplomacy. In March of 1942, the Nazi government sent a message to the United States that they were willing to discuss terms for an armistice. While there was some hope that the overtures would be received well, the main aim of the gesture was to create political chaos in America.
    After all, the Longite parties may have quieted down about war when Japan attacked, but they were still there. And they were certain to call for any end to the increasingly bloody war in Europe that seemed possible. William Borah had planned to visit Germany to call for peace before his health ended him - and Der Angriff, Goebbel's newspaper, had eulogized him. (Borah also had, by the time of his death, $200,000 in a safety deposit box. Many thought it came from Berlin.) And Borah's successors - Gerald Nye, Burton K. Wheeler, Bennett Champ Clark, Charles Lindbergh - were still very much alive.
    The message was discussed across America. But there was never any chance that it would be replied to favorably - America had committed to aiding her allies. Ultimately, only one thing came of the message.
    Alfred Williams was a teenager from Arkansas. Sent to the Pacific front, Williams had seen his unit destroyed at Pearl Harbor before being sent home. Believing that the civilian government had betrayed its men in uniform by failing to end the war as soon as it could, Williams sought to take his revenge any way he could.
    Cordell Hull had had little influence over foreign policy for years. A former Tennessee Senator, the Secretary of State's influence had long been usurped by Undersecretary Sumner Welles. So it was that, only a month after some of the most important negotiations in American history, Hull found himself campaigning for his successor, Tom Stewart.
    He would never return north.

    Rafael Trujillo was, as of 1942, one of the most brutal dictators in the world. Since 1930, he had ruled the Dominican Republic with an iron fist. Though he had held no official office since 1938 - ironically, showing more concern for a foreign country's two-term tradition than its own President - Trujillo's cult of personality continued, his ironclad control over the government continued, his million-dollar salary continued, and the rapes he committed on a daily basis continued. The electric sign in what was formerly Santo Domingo and was now Ciudad Trujillo bore witness to the fact that, when El Jefe said "Jump!", the Dominican Republic replied "How high?"
    During his rule, his foreign policy had been, from an American perspective, scattershot. His keen awareness of just how much the United States could do to the Dominican Republic ensured that he never did too much to alienate the Americans. But he also admired Hitler's style and wanted to emulate his total control. The late Cordell Hull and him had attempted to renegotiate America's financial ties to the Dominican Republic, but both sides felt shafted by the resulting treaty, and the negotiations ultimately did not bear fruit.
    The Kriegsmarine saw an opening. A base as close to American ports as the Dominican Republic was could do wonders to harass Allied shipping. Airfields that close could help take the fight to the United States. And the United States was - to German eyes, at least - less committed to the war and less unified than the United Kingdom. Bombarding London was not enough to take Britain out of the war. Bombarding Savannah might be enough to take America out of it.
    There were some in the Nazi top brass who opposed the plan. It had echoes of the Zimmermann Telegram, for sure. But the potential reward, it was decided, outweighed the risk. In May 1942, Rafael Trujillo - by then elected to his third term - announced that, in return for basing rights, the Germans would be sending obsolete military equipment to the Dominican Republic. Soon, he thought, the entire Caribbean would take orders from Ciudad Trujillo.
    It didn't happen like that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
  14. DuckymcDuckface Well-Known Member

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    Really enjoying this timeline!
     
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  15. Threadmarks: A: Baseball

    wolfram Member Donor

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    Alright, been having some writer's block on Divided We Stand. Time to come at it from a different angle.
    ---
    Baseball is the quintessentially American sport, the only one which really transcends political and regional boundaries. Gridiron is a mainly Midwestern and Southern phenomenon, and one pretty much limited to colleges - and even there, it is dying, as the scope of the concussion issue creates a backlash. Football is seen as "foreign", and efforts to create an American pro football league will likely be tainted by the implosion of the National Soccer Association for years to come. Basketball is mainly a phenomenon of Northern cities, although it is beginning to penetrate into the rest of the United States. Hockey is another very Yankee sport, and the big money there mainly lies north of the border. Wrestling is only debatably a sport, and is at the very least extremely niche. But the heart of America is with baseball.

    [​IMG]

    But the fact that baseball has fans on both sides of the aisle - including current Lone Star Governor of Texas Nolan Ryan, previously pitcher for the Texas Rangers, and former National Union Senator from Kentucky Jim Bunning, previously pitcher for the Louisville Colonels - does not exempt it from American pillarization. Indeed, the collapse of the American and National Leagues in the '90s - the biggest change to baseball since the WMLB Revolution forty years prior - led to the politics of baseball becoming more evident than ever, as teams gravitated towards the 50 States League led by Ryan and PetroTex CEO George W. Bush or the New American League led by Transamerica Airlines CEO Peter Ueberroth.

    [​IMG]

    The 2016-17 MLB season officially ended with the Fall Classic, which pitted the 50 States League champions - the San Francisco Quakes and the Birmingham Belles - against the New American League champions - the Detroit Tigers and the Sacramento Gold. The Quakes defeated the Tigers 4-1 in Game 5, while the Belles fought a much closer series against the Gold which ended with the Belles winning in the Game 7 with a home run in overtime. In practice, the American baseball season didn't end until the World Series, held at the Olympic Stadium in Auckland, where the Hiroshima Carp defeated the Quakes 4-2 and the Belles beat the Cebu Gems 4-0.
     
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  16. Threadmarks: 10: 1942 Midterms, Part One

    wolfram Member Donor

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    On April 6, 1941, Senator Morris Sheppard of Texas died of a stroke. He had held his office for twenty-seven long years, in which he had had an immense impact - the Eighteenth Amendment, the Federal Credit Union Act, antitrust laws, women's suffrage, all had come into law with Sheppard's assistance. But now he was leaving office the only way Southern senators ever did - feet-first.
    It was now up to Governor Ernest Thompson to appoint his replacement. Soon after news reached Washington, Thompson's phone rang twice in quick succession. Nobody knows what Governor Thompson talked with Alvin Wirtz, political boss and Undersecretary of the Interior, about. The same is the case for his conversation with President Roosevelt. But by the end of the day, you could probably guess.
    Lyndon B. Johnson had served in Congress for only four years, and had no other experience in elected office. He was only 33 years old. But he, nevertheless, made his way into the United States Senate. And his star was still on the rise.
    [​IMG]

    Johnson's election in the special election of 1941, and his re-election to a full term a year later, were among the only pieces of good news for the Democrats. Across the nation, incumbent Democrats were getting their asses kicked.
    One example of that happened concurrently with Johnson's re-election. Ernest Thompson was a mostly unobjectionable two-term Governor. But many saw him as a "do-nothing Governor", and in a wave year, residual goodwill could only carry him so far.
    Omicron Pi Lockhart was a former teacher and businessman with an impressively improbable name which was usually rendered as O. P. Lockhart. He was also a close confidant of Pappy O'Daniel who had served as O'Daniel's campaign manager in 1938 and the chairman of his Lone Star Party since then.
    Some say that, had Lyndon Johnson wanted to, he would have won the election for Thompson. Given how close Thompson's margin was in '38, that is hardly uncontroversial. But I would be remiss in not pointing out that Johnson had his own base of support now, one which didn't need Johnson to prove himself for Roosevelt.
    That base included Populists who remembered Sam Ealy Johnson. And his ideological match was not the happily corporate Ernest Thompson, but the man who railed against the insurance companies and promoted a state pension everywhere he went.
    [​IMG]

    Governor Frank Merriam was no more popular in his first term than in his second. As a rising tide of progressivism swept the Assembly, his cheerful vetoing of pension and healthcare bills galvanized opposition. As public opinion soured on the war, Merriam's efforts to put Japanese-Americans in internment camps aroused protests across the state. And as new media like the San Francisco-based Labor Action and the Los Angeles Observer (which featured the column Universe, written by Assemblyman Robert Heinlein) began to overtake the old papers, Merriam's friendship with paper barons like William Randolph Hearst and Los Angeles Times editor Harry Chandler became less and less relevant.
    Even for those who recalled the painful loss four years earlier, Merriam's downfall seemed to be a story in search of a protagonist. Culbert Olson had had a heart attack and passed away less than a week after he would have been inaugurated. Upton Sinclair declined to run, content in his status as a respected "elder statesman" and as a bestselling author. Francis Townsend was widely blamed for splitting the vote in 1938, and seemed content himself to promote his pension idea. Parley Christensen was focused on his job as Mayor of Los Angeles. Augustus F. Hawkins was considered unlikely to be elected, largely because he was black. Robert Heinlein was too young, and decided not to run for his seat in 1942 anyway, instead going to work for the Navy.
    But there was one option the California Democrats and Frontier League (many of whom would form the "Golden Dawn" Party in December 1942) could find. John Steinbeck was many things - an avowed leftist, a bestselling author, an OSS asset and war correspondent who had been shot in the leg in Australia. And on January 4, 1943, he added "Governor of California" to that resume.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Bulldoggus The Cold, Hawklike Glare of Konrad Adenauer

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    I haven't said this enough, but this is very good. I look forward to seeing what happens from here.
     
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