FDR lives, post war world?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Modern Imperialism, Mar 14, 2019 at 4:08 PM.

  1. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2018
    How would the post war years turn out if FDR lives or is healthy? Let’s say he never gets polio and everything until his death goes as otl or he somehow makes a full recovery from polio. How he lives or recovers isn’t important. He just somehow does. What impact does this have in Europe and the greater? How does the US move forward after the war? How to foreign relations develop? How does this effect the US as a superpower? How will things develop between the USSR and the US?
     
  2. RossN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    He'll face a difficult fight in the 1948 election (and yes I believe he'd run.)
     
  3. Modern Imperialism Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2018
    Especially given his stance on the USSR. His legacy is going to be much more mix and divided among Americans.
     
  4. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    The left coast...
    First off, Roosevelt didn't die because he had polio, but having been struck by that terrible disease was a major life changer. I seriously doubt we would be talking about the same historical figure if FDR hadn't been afflicted.
    He died from a stroke. It also should be noted that there was a family history of cardiovascular problems.
    But all right, assume his health is a bit more robust and he lives as long as his father, another 9 years.
    Start with his own words, from his 1944 State of the Union address:

    "In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all — regardless of station, race, or creed.


    Among these are:

    The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries, or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

    The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

    The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

    The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

    The right of every family to a decent home;

    The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

    The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

    The right to a good education.

    All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human happiness and well-being."
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019 at 6:34 PM
    Chapman, Samedi, ert44444 and 6 others like this.
  5. lordroel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    CNN made a short clip about it.

     
    Chapman, Samedi and UCB79 like this.
  6. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    If FDR never gets polio it's quite possible that he runs for Governor of New York in 1922 and/or he is nominated as a compromise candidate for President in 1924. He is certain to lose to Coolidge and he never becomes President.
     
  7. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    The left coast...
    A very interesting book, particularly I think for those intrigued by counter-factual history is Roosevelt's Lost Alliances: How Personal Politics Helped Start the Cold War by Frank Costigliola.
    An erudite, but very readable, (with some new to me solid historical documentation) challenge to the conventional wisdom about the origins of the Cold War.
    It certainly gives a groundwork for an alternate history where the United States and the Soviet Union have a rapprochement through the initial post-war years at least.
     
  8. Amadeus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    IMO that wouldn't last long due to competing interests and values on both sides. Perhaps the start of the Cold War would be delayed to happen under a Republican President in 1949 or 1950. But the Cold War still happens.
     
  9. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    The left coast...
    I suspect that is so, but the kind of virulent anti-communism that started to dominate American political think might have been derailed for some time - which would have major domestic social and political consequences.
    One of the "better health" questions is whether Roosevelt would have pushed harder for William Douglas as his 1944 Vice-President (yes, he was on the Supreme Court at the time, but it was a less politically arthritic era). Regardless, Truman drifts into obscurity after 1948.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2019 at 1:28 PM
  10. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Well, he'd be POTUS until his death in 1954, going by the "living 9 years longer" thing.
     
  11. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    The left coast...
    Why do you see FDR in the President for life mode? I believe that any close reading of the man historically would dispute that notion. Also, unless we decide to airbrush away his health issues completely, by 1948 he is not going to be very well - as was the case with his father that I used as a suggestion.
     
  12. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    It'd be his if he wanted it. He beat the depression and won WWII so it'd honestly be up to him/his health to determine if he'd leave office.
     
  13. jsb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Doesn't this require Stalin to die instead, simply changing initial US personal politics/policy will not really help much once eastern europe starts to be forced into the soviet block?
     
  14. Marc reformed polymath... Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Location:
    The left coast...
    Well, as my wife likes to note about any serious relationship, it's complicated.
    Let's start with throwing out any assumption that Roosevelt was naive about Stalin and the Soviet Union. It's pretty clear that FDR had a good grasp on what the post-war world would broadly look like: the era of the great European overseas empires was going to be over; the age of the two great continental powers, the United States and Russia, that would globally dominate, had begun. The big question was how was that going to work out. Specifically to Europe, regardless of rhetoric, it was understood that most of Eastern Europe was going to be in the Soviet sphere - the question being in the details, such as whether the Austria could be established as a neutral (it was), and Finland not absorbed (it wasn't), and perhaps Czechoslovakia going the Austrian route (it didn't). And critically, whether there was going to massed armies facing each other, or a stand down that more or less accepted the status quo.
    Keep in mind that much of our impression about the Cold War relies on the a very anti-communist perspective/cabal that assumed the absolute worse - and unfortunately worked hard to make that assumption correct. (pace, definitely not trying to defend Stalin, just introducing another way of looking at events).
     
  15. jsb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    The problem I have with the above is simply look at the number of army divisions kept active in Europe by each side say in 1946-1950.....

    Yes on one hand the Soviet "had" to keep more as otherwise the eastern block would have defected too neutrality, but hat doesn't change the threat they presented to the west and thus stopping a rapprochement form being a realistic possibility without US being willing to abandoning europe and all the power and alliances that entails.

    I simply think when dealing with Stalin/Beria etc assuming the absolute worse is normally a safe assumption with hindsight no matter the motivations or politicos of the DT adherents to anti communist lines.
     
  16. ShadowSpeaker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    He would not be a big fan of De Gaulle haha
     
  17. Bougnas Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2018
    Not going to matter much since CDG will step out for a while after 1946.
     
  18. PMN1 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    This suggests he would have thrown Europe under the communist steamroller.

    From ‘Warlords, the heart of conflict 1939 – 1945’ by Simon Berthon and Joanna Potts.

    Page 131

    But as the war ground on, Churchill began to see a new threat to Europe – the man who had become the third ally in the fight against Hitler, Joseph Stalin. In late 1942 he told Anthony Eden: ‘It would be a measureless disaster if Russian barbarianism overlaid the ancient state of Europe.’

    Roosevelt thought otherwise. As far as he was concerned, the cause of war in the first place was the in fighting between Europe’s ancient, imperialist nations and he began to see in Stalin someone who would help him in his great cause of freeing the world of that Imperialism. Also in 1942, in a conversation with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, he remarked: ‘The European people will simply have to endure Russian domination in the hope that – in ten or 20 years – the European influence will bring the Russians to become less barbarous.’


    This is taken from ‘The Roosevelt Letters: Being the Personnel Correspondence of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Vol.3: 1928 – 1945.

    I haven't seen anything where this conversation has been said to be false.