Jefferson Davis 16th President of The United States part 2

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by The Mists Of Time, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. The Mists Of Time Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    This time let's make it even more interesting, and more way out or more alternate. Let's switch Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis.

    Jefferson Davis runs for President of The United States in 1860 and wins. Instead of running as a Democrat he runs as a Republican. A southerner who opposes slavery and want to abolish it.

    In early 1861 the southern states ceceed from The Union. They form a new country, The Confederate States Of America. The President of The Confederacy is Abraham Lincoln.

    Given these two men's personalities, their leadership styles, etc, what kind of US President does Davis make? Is there still an American Civil War and what under Davis is that war like? What kind of civil war President does Jefferson Davis make for The USA? What kind of Confederate President would Lincoln have made? How would this have changed history?
  2. Snake Featherston Banned

    Jan 23, 2004
    Lake Charles, Louisiana
    That's not quite as far-fetched as it may seem. Abe was born in Kentucky, and if you have Jefferson Davis move to the North and change his ideas, perhaps this could be possible. For the Union, Lincoln was a centralizer who was more capable in some aspects than Jeff Davis. The main problem for the CSA would be if Lincoln makes bad appointments for it like he did the USA. The Union could afford them. The South couldn't.
  3. Ghost 88 Recon/Scout

    Dec 5, 2005
    Snowflake AZ
    Just have the Davis family stay on the farm he was born on and he is not from the deep south. The area he was born in was 4 to 1 in favor of the Union.
    It is ironic that the leaders of both sides in the "War between the States" were born in the same state within a year of each other, their families moveing away when they were young and their birth state originally trying to stay neutral in the conflict
  4. Fiver Curmudgeon

    Oct 28, 2007
    This is a very unlikely pair of divergences, but lets take a look at it.

    Lincoln was a rather canny lawyer. Rather than committing the blunder of attacking Fort Sumter, I'd expect him to take the case for secession to the courts.

    In 1861, the Supreme Court was almost the same as the one that had rendered the Dred Scott decision. In fact, one of the two dissenters, Benjamin Curtis had been replaced by a pro-slavery Democrat, Nathan Clifford. With that kind of bias it would be hard for Lincoln not to win legal recognition for the secession of the CSA, though this version would contain only 7 states.

    Of course, Davis could try to force the issue. He dealt poorly with people who disagreed with him, and had very little use for Supreme Courts, appointing no one to the Confederate Supreme Court in OTL. If he attempts to call up the troops in spite of the Supreme Court’s ruling, I’d expect the remaining slave-holding states to secede and for impeachment proceedings to be launched against Davis.

    If Davis weathers that storm, then he’d be facing a Confederacy that included all of our timeline’s CSA as well as Missouri, Kentucky, and probably Maryland as well as a USA notably less enthusiastic about the war. The capital is forced to relocate from Washington DC to Philadelphia.

    Like OTL, Lincoln will try to put the best men into his cabinet while Davis will try to fill it with men who agree with him. Both will make some poor military appointments early, but like OTL Lincoln will ruthlessly weed them out, while Davis will continue to support his friends regardless of competence. Also, Lincoln was a friend, not an enemy, of CSA Vice-President Stephens, so there will be less internal opposition to the CSA government. Lincoln will also give diplomats sent to Europe something to negotiate, instead of expecting recognition like Davis did.

    That’s still leaves the CSA’s survival in question, they’d almost certainly make it to 1864 in better shape than OTL. If Davis’ party nominates him for a second term, he would almost certainly lose and the Confederacy would gain its independence. If Davis decides to postpone elections until the war is over, as was recommended to Lincoln in OTL, I’d expect other states to attempt secession.

    Looking at actual voting, focusing on the states with the lowest percent of Republican votes in OTL; we’d start with New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania trying to form their own country, citing Lincoln’s arguments for secession. This splits the USA in two and this new government is immediately recognized by the CSA. It also traps the Davis administration in the middle of hostile territory. Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio threaten to join the breakaway Republic (lets call it the Democratic States of America) unless elections are allowed. The Civil War effectively ends at this point.

    The Republicans nominate anyone but Davis. The Democrats scramble to find a nominee, since almost all their major candidates from OTL’s 1860 and 1864 elections are from seceded states or are dead. Benjamin Butler beats out Joseph Lane for the Democratic nomination, and wins the USA Presidency by the virtue of being not a Republican. Horatio Seymour becomes the first president of the DSA.

    Jefferson Davis still insists he is the real US president, but most of the government accepts the elections. Davis and his few remaining diehards are defeated by DSA general McClellan’s forces. The GSA wants to turn Davis over to the USA, but they don’t want him, either.

    Presidents Lincoln, Butler, and Seymour agree to international arbitration. The CSA gains full rights to Arizona territory, the southern half of OTL’s Arizona and New Mexico. Indian Territory becomes a separate nation in theory; bit is largely a CSA puppet. The USA is granted right of free passage along the Mississippi river. The USA and DSA work out free passage for both along the Great Lakes. CSA territories occupied by the USA have plebiscites. Missouri chooses to go with the USA, Kentucky with the CSA, Maryland with the DSA. West Virginia also petitions for and is allowed to join the DSA. The USA and GSA agree to forgo all claims against CSA commerce raiders. All parties sign an international Fugitive Slave Agreement, though often it receives no more than lip service.

    All three American states are initially dominated by their version of the Democratic Party, with no effective opposition parties. The GSA probably wants peace and lots of trade. They might try to lure other states with Copperhead sentiment into joining them, but there will also be sentiment to rejoin the USA. Smaller states may easily become disgruntled with Pennsylvania and New York completely dominating the electoral vote and the House of Representatives.

    Main CSA issues are rebuilding their damaged economy, trying to gain access to the Pacific by acquiring part of southern California or northern Mexico, dealing with pro-Union guerillas in the Appalachians, and getting the Fugitive Slave Agreement enforced. There’s some desire to expand into Mexico and the Caribbean, but that’s mainly nostalgia and can’t really be afforded, especially since French Mexico is an ally. That doesn’t mean it may not be a heavily divisive issue, much like some Confederates’ desire for a transcontinental railroad.

    The main USA issue is trying to tie the politically and geographically separated parts together; supporting a transcontinental railroad and some sort of canal across Central America, while trying to convince the DSA to rejoin. Secondary issues would be countering CSA expansion and dealing with raids out of the Indian nation. It has the strongest abolitionist sentiment, but especially after the war this is a deeply divisive issue.
  5. Canis Lupus Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Behind a Cash Register
    I really like what you have set out here, so I set up a map, and have some points that I'd like to point out:

    1. I see both the western and Northeastern states feeling isolated and alone if the DSA doesnt rejoin to union.
    2. I see it as a possibility that the NE wil go off and form their own repulbic.
    3. I also see the Pacifica secession movement getting more support, and,with the ACW proving the legality of secession, it will be more likely than OTL.
    4. The Mormons might also get their chance in this one, not sure,though.
    5. The territorys are up for grabs if any of this happens,espciall if a war breaks otu, and the situation in them will be chaotic, with some changing hands many times.
    6. Of these,Nevada will be the most important, IMO,due to the silver mines, so, you will have the US,Pacifica,Mormons, and maybe even the CSA interested in it.
    7. I doubt the CSA will be expansionist under Lincoln,but, southerners just tend to be natural-born expansionists,so,an Administration or tow after lincoln, I see the CS going after one or all of the below:
    8. New Mexico
    9. Missouri
    10. Maryland
    11. Nevada
    12. Cuba/N Mexico/Carribbean
    13. When the do this is anyones guess, or if they do it at all.
    14. Pacifica, IMO will cast evious eyes towards Vancouver Island,and possibly all of BC as well;this might become important as we head towards 1914 or so.....
    15. If you do get a Pacifica and a New England nation, what remains of the US will be reduced to a third or fourth rate power, but will also want revenge, but will most likly need international help, see this at being the UK, because if they dont, the could be facing a warr on all sides of their border, and a 3rd or 4th rate power like this ATL's US is NOT up to that.
    16. So,baisicaly, if all of this happens, we have 5 nations where one once was, all of them having shifting alliances, and all of this will make Yugoslavia look like a cakewalk.

    Now,a key to the map below, which is from around 1865.
    Brown/Gold: DSA
    Purple:Indian Nation

    And, an explantion of the states that have more than one color in them:

    CA:One of the three most likly to become Pacifica, I put this at 70/30
    OR:Same as CA
    WA:Might not be as enthisiastic about it as CA&OR,but, I think they have had enough of insolation, so I put their going with CA&OR at 60/40.
    NV:The Goose that lays the Silver eggs for all 5 powers, but which one they go with is anyones guess, I put it at:
    Staying with US: 30%
    Going with Pacifica: 45-50%
    Going with/getting captured by Mormons: 15%
    Goig with/getting captured by CSA: 8-10%
    In other words, its going to be fun to live in Nevada.
    ID:pretty sparse, still might go with Pacifica, I put it at 50-50 US/Pacifica.
    UT:Almost as confusing as NV, it all depends on weather the Mormons want to seccede or not; if they dont, then its 65-35 Pacifca/US, if they do, then is Deseret all the way, with Pacifcans and Unionists in the minority.
    NM:Yet another confusing one; the US will try to keep it, but the CS will want it bad, and Pacifica will try to claim it, this one is:
    Staying with US:35-40%
    Going with/getting captured by CS: 45-50%
    Going with/getting captured by Pacifica: 20-25%
    The rest of the west will probably stay with the US IMO, but with maybe Pacifcan and CS raids now and then.

    As for the Old Northwest, well:
    MO:The US may have it,but there will allways be Confederates in it; and once Linclon is gone and the old guard is in charge again, I think the CS will go after it, weather by hook or by crook I do not know.
    MI: They might want to go with the DSA, but I think ties to the rump UIS will be stronger, so I put it at 60-40%US/DSA
    IL/IN Both allready threatened to go with the DSA in '64, I think in the end, they will se going with the DSA as the better bet, rather than be tied to a north american version of the "banna republic", I put it at 65-70/35-30 DSA/USA.
    OH: Even stronger ties to the DSA, will feel very distant from the US, will have same problems with it that IL/IN had. I put it at 75/25 DSA/USA.

    As for the Northeast, for the whole of it i put staying in the US at a 40-45% chance, otherwise, they form their own republic, but:
    VT: if there is a NER, they will be torn between it and the DSA, I put it at 50-50 NER/DSA
    RI: Pretty much the same as VT.
    MA:VERY abolitionist, will see the DSA as traitors, no chance of them going with the DSA, and they will most likly be the founding state of the NER.
    ME:Similar to MA,but might still go with DSA, I put it at 90/10%NER/DSA.
    NH: Similar to ME, but slightly stronger DSA sentiment, I put it at 85/15% NER/DSA.

    So there you have it, a VERY confusing North America, and when&if WWI comes allong, god it will be confusing!!


    Jefferson Davis as US Pres ATL..PNG
  6. Canis Lupus Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Behind a Cash Register
    Hey, Fiver and MistsOfTime,can I use your ideas as the basis of the history of a nation I'm making for a Mosaic Earth Game?
  7. The Mists Of Time Member

    Mar 3, 2006
    Sure, go ahead. Good luck with your project.
  8. Canis Lupus Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Behind a Cash Register
    I'm using your stuff, as wel as some stuff from the Wiki, and some stuff of my own.
    But I got tired, and stopped for the night.
    When I get it done, I will post it for you all too see!:)
  9. Fiver Curmudgeon

    Oct 28, 2007
    I'll go ahead and echo that. Good luck.
  10. matt the viking regulus insulorum heir

    Nov 18, 2007
    Soveregn State of Arkansas, CSA
    Fiver, DelawareConfederate, YOU GUYS ROCK!!:cool::cool::cool: I love this thread!:D
  11. Canis Lupus Well-Known Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Behind a Cash Register
    I've actually made a TL based on this,will go bump it now.
  12. Fiver Curmudgeon

    Oct 28, 2007
    Nice map.

    Here’s my map, based on the elections of 1864:

    Confederate States of America – population about 9 million
    Dark Butternut – Confederate States
    Light Butternut – Confederate Territories

    Democratic States of America – population about 9 million

    Indian Nation (Texas has reclaimed the Panhandle)

    United States of America – population about 13 million
    Dark Blue – strongly Union states
    Medium Blue – weakly Union (Copperhead) states
    Light Blue – USA territories

    Breaking that out we have:
    Copperhead States – population about 7 million
    Midwestern States – population about 2 1/2 million
    New England – population about 3 million
    Western States – population less than 1 million

    For comparison
    Canada has a population of about 3 million.
    Mexico has a population of about 8 million.

    If the GSA does not rejoin, the USA could very well fracture. New England, the western Midwest, and the Pacific States are fairly strongly pro-Union, but they’re geographically separated. Also, the Midwestern ‘Copperhead’ states will dominate the USA House of Representatives and Electoral College, so there’s going to be a lot of internal conflict.
    In the short term, the USA President is from Massachusetts, but long term I expect you are right about New England. They’re big enough to survive as a minor power and Connecticut might even break off the DSA to join them.

    For the Western states, a transcontinental railroad is in the process of being built. That will quickly tie them more strongly to the Union and with the exception of Oregon fairly strongly Pro-Union. They’ve also got to worry about French Mexico trying to reassert historical claims, and elements of the CSA wanting to bite off a chunk of California. Geography is on their side, but population is not, so I’d expect them to stay part of the USA.

    Still, if the Midwestern ‘Copperhead’ states are pushy in their dominance of the USA, I can see New England seceding to become one country (lets call it the DNE, the Dominion of New England), and all of the USA west of the Mississippi seceding to become another (lets call it the Western States of America, the WSA).

    I’d say the WSA is in serious trouble at that point. French Mexico will want the southern half of it (and outnumbers the WSA nearly 3-to-1). CSA expansionists will probably try to claim the same area and they also outnumber the WSA 3-to-1. The WSA’s best chance of survival would be playing the CSA and Mexico off against each other.
    A similar result could occur if the ‘Copperhead’ states decide to secede from the USA and join the DSA. That would raise the DSA population to about 16 million.

    I’ll add Southern California, Colorado, West Virginal, and Delaware to that list. Of course, much of that southern drive for expansion was to maintain a balance of power in the US senate. Going after any of these is problematic as they’ll be facing countries of at least comparable population, and the Spanish navy is fairly formidable at this time.

    Of course, the CSA could also be the target of French Mexican expansion. France would probably support CSA independence, but try to push the new Republic around afterwards, just like after the Revolutionary War.

    Presuming they survive Mexico and the CSA’s interests, I don’t think taking on the British and losing their only stable border would be a good idea.

    Actually, all these countries would likely be 3rd or 4th rate powers.

    That’s given the unlikely assumption that the CSA doesn’t also break into smaller bits. It could split over building a transcontinental railroad, westward expansion, expansion into Mexico, regaining the border states, expansion into the Caribbean, and reinstituting the international slave trade. (South Carolina almost didn’t join the CSA over that last one.)