List of US Presidents, 1960 to 2020

1888: William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison (Conservative National Party) [13]
1888 def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig)

[13] While English was a popular president, He had announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat 2 years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National Party nominated Representative William McKinley as their candidate, the campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

Nice footnote. Could I make one suggestion (and just a suggestion!) - Rather than have William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison as a Conservative National Party, why not have them as the Liberal-Democratic Whigs (which is I think already a more Conservative Party in this time line)? It seems more likely that the conservative element of the party would ascend internally as opposed to a new third party (which hasn't been mentioned previously) gaining power. Also, if you could give a sentence or two to the policies of the President, it would help create a picture of the world. No offense meant, I don't want to become the person who criticizes everyone's updates!

List of currently active collaboratively created leaders lists
 
Nice footnote. Could I make one suggestion (and just a suggestion!) - Rather than have William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison as a Conservative National Party, why not have them as the Liberal-Democratic Whigs (which is I think already a more Conservative Party in this time line)? It seems more likely that the conservative element of the party would ascend internally as opposed to a new third party (which hasn't been mentioned previously) gaining power. Also, if you could give a sentence or two to the policies of the President, it would help create a picture of the world. No offense meant, I don't want to become the person who criticizes everyone's updates!

List of currently active collaboratively created leaders lists
I believe McKinley’s support for tariffs would solidly make him a Whig in this timeline.
 
I believe McKinley’s support for tariffs would solidly make him a Whig in this timeline.
EDIT: Never mind, looks like its been changed edited below. Apologies again for being annoying about this whole thing.

List of currently active collaboratively created leaders lists
 
Last edited:
Hi everyone, lets keep this TL on track. I made a very minor retcon which I think should keep everyone happy! Sorry if I misunderstood.

TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American)
[7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside (Radical Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock/Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver/Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whigs)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

]14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinely's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.
 
TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American)
[7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside (Radical Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock/Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver/Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whigs)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan/Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay/Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland/Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinely's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.
 
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TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock/Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver/Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley/Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland/Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan/Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay/Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland/Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan/Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens /Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinely's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

Index of collaboratively created leader lists that are currently active -

List of US Presidents 1960 - 2020 - What if the Whig Party remained a major Party in the United States?

List of U.K. Prime Ministers 1945 - 2020 - TL#1 What if there were only single or non-concurrent term Prime Ministers? / TL#2 - What if the U.K. had been invaded by Nazi Germany and then liberated by the USA? [Feel free to update 1 or 2 or both!]

List of German Chancellors (1949 - 2030) - No theme, the inaugural list!

List of Prime Ministers of Canada, Australia and New Zealand - new thread!
 
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TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock / Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver / Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley / Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan / Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay / Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland / Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens / Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
1904:
Theodore Roosevelt / Theodore E. Burton (Whig)
1900: def. William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [17]

= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinley's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

[17] By the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States was beginning to sit heavily in the two-sided political system. The LDW-People's alliance had proven themselves fit for office and as the clear party of the growing 'left,' while the traditional Whigs were increasingly viewed as the 'default' party of government. With this in mind, Bryan's decision to run again in 1904 was a game-changer. With much of the population frustrated (in one way or another) with the frustrated ambitions of the 1900 administration, Roosevelt - now at the head of his party's ticket - secured a significant victory over the LDW/P in 1904. (Although Booker Washington had launched a strong challenge for the Vice Presidency he had ultimately been defeated by those seeking a less controversial compromise candidate, leading to the nomination of Theodore Burton - inconsequentially, they became the only partnership to share first names since 1852). Roosevelt sought to establish a strongly-interventionist foreign policy, expending upon the Monroe Doctrine to increase American influence directly; the Pineapple War (1905) annexed Hawaii directly to the United States, work began on the Nicaraguan Canal in 1906, and following the collapse of order in the Third Mexican Empire a series of brush wars essentially brought Baja California and Tamaulipas (including the important port of Tampico) under direct American control.
 
TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock / Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver / Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley / Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan / Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay / Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland / Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens / Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
1904:
Theodore Roosevelt / Theodore E. Burton (Whig)
1904: def. William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [17]
1908: def. Eugene V. Debs / Thomas Watson (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [18]

= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinley's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

[17] By the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States was beginning to sit heavily in the two-sided political system. The LDW-People's alliance had proven themselves fit for office and as the clear party of the growing 'left,' while the traditional Whigs were increasingly viewed as the 'default' party of government. With this in mind, Bryan's decision to run again in 1904 was a game-changer. With much of the population frustrated (in one way or another) with the frustrated ambitions of the 1900 administration, Roosevelt - now at the head of his party's ticket - secured a significant victory over the LDW/P in 1904. (Although Booker Washington had launched a strong challenge for the Vice Presidency he had ultimately been defeated by those seeking a less controversial compromise candidate, leading to the nomination of Theodore Burton - inconsequentially, they became the only partnership to share first names since 1852). Roosevelt sought to establish a strongly-interventionist foreign policy, expending upon the Monroe Doctrine to increase American influence directly; the Pineapple War (1905) annexed Hawaii directly to the United States, work began on the Nicaraguan Canal in 1906, and following the collapse of order in the Third Mexican Empire a series of brush wars essentially brought Baja California and Tamaulipas (including the important port of Tampico) under direct American control.

[18] Teddy and Ted broke Whig tradition and ran (and won!) reëlection. Their second term was as productive as their first with continued expansion on traditional Whig policies; vastly increasing the amount of land conservation, military and civil service reform and public infrastructure, though now largely focussed on the Western states. While generally avoiding involvement in labour relations, Roosevelt did make some pro-organized labour policies in order to counter the moves of the LDW/P. Some of the more radical Whigs criticized Roosevelt for not pursuing further civil rights reforms. However, he did make history after Howard Taft was elevated to the Supreme Court (the second former Cabinet member after William Moody to receive such a 'promotion'). In the subsequent reshuffle, he made John Lynch the first black (and former slave) Cabinet member as Secretary of Commerce and Labour (the irony of the position was not lost on many). Internationally, Roosevelt mediated the Russian-Sino-Japanese War (1907 – 1909) for which he won a Nobel Prize and sought rapprochement with the United Kingdom. Despite loud protests from the left (and some quieter grumblings from more traditional Whigs) New Mexico joined the Union as a state while Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas were all officially recognized as United States Territory. At the end of his second term, Roosevelt remained popular and many saw his progressive policies as a strong counter-balance to the growing left; however, he had already broken Whig tradition by running for a second term, could he dare try to run for a third?
 
TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock / Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver / Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley / Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan / Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay / Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland / Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens / Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
1904:
Theodore Roosevelt / Theodore E. Burton (Whig)
1904: def. William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [17]
1908: def. Eugene V. Debs / Thomas Watson (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [18]
1912: Theodore E. Burton / Booker T. Washington (Whig)
1912: def. Champ Clarke / John A. Johnson (Liberal Democratic-Whig), Thomas Watson / Jacob S. Coxley (People's)
1915: Theodore E. Burton (Whig) [19]

= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinley's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

[17] By the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States was beginning to sit heavily in the two-sided political system. The LDW-People's alliance had proven themselves fit for office and as the clear party of the growing 'left,' while the traditional Whigs were increasingly viewed as the 'default' party of government. With this in mind, Bryan's decision to run again in 1904 was a game-changer. With much of the population frustrated (in one way or another) with the frustrated ambitions of the 1900 administration, Roosevelt - now at the head of his party's ticket - secured a significant victory over the LDW/P in 1904. (Although Booker Washington had launched a strong challenge for the Vice Presidency he had ultimately been defeated by those seeking a less controversial compromise candidate, leading to the nomination of Theodore Burton - inconsequentially, they became the only partnership to share first names since 1852). Roosevelt sought to establish a strongly-interventionist foreign policy, expending upon the Monroe Doctrine to increase American influence directly; the Pineapple War (1905) annexed Hawaii directly to the United States, work began on the Nicaraguan Canal in 1906, and following the collapse of order in the Third Mexican Empire a series of brush wars essentially brought Baja California and Tamaulipas (including the important port of Tampico) under direct American control.

[18] Teddy and Ted broke Whig tradition and ran (and won!) reëlection. Their second term was as productive as their first with continued expansion on traditional Whig policies; vastly increasing the amount of land conservation, military and civil service reform and public infrastructure, though now largely focussed on the Western states. While generally avoiding involvement in labour relations, Roosevelt did make some pro-organized labour policies in order to counter the moves of the LDW/P. Some of the more radical Whigs criticized Roosevelt for not pursuing further civil rights reforms. However, he did make history after Howard Taft was elevated to the Supreme Court (the second former Cabinet member after William Moody to receive such a 'promotion'). In the subsequent reshuffle, he made John Lynch the first black (and former slave) Cabinet member as Secretary of Commerce and Labour (the irony of the position was not lost on many). Internationally, Roosevelt mediated the Russian-Sino-Japanese War (1907 – 1909) for which he won a Nobel Prize and sought rapprochement with the United Kingdom. Despite loud protests from the left (and some quieter grumblings from more traditional Whigs) New Mexico joined the Union as a state while Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas were all officially recognized as United States Territory. At the end of his second term, Roosevelt remained popular and many saw his progressive policies as a strong counter-balance to the growing left; however, he had already broken Whig tradition by running for a second term, could he dare try to run for a third?

[19] In the end two things stopped Roosevelt from running for an unprecedented (Whig) third term; the slight 1910’s economic downturn and the weight of Whig traditionalists. Burton easily won the resulting nomination, though the battle for VP was again competitive; this time Booker Washington just clinching the spot (no evidence has been found to support claims that this was part of Roosevelt’s ‘declining renomination deal’) becoming the first African-American candidate on a major party presidential ticket. It cemented Washington’s legacy despite claims that he was merely a "mantelpiece Vice-President" (in reality Washington was struck down by illness for most of his term and Vice-Presidents had mainly been for show anyway). The Whig ticket won a landslide in the electoral college as the Liberal Democratic-Whigs denied Debs a second run, resulting in a temporary split in the LDW/P fusion (the failure of the separate tickets ultimately persuaded the two parties to create a more formal alliance). Burton’s first two years were seen as an extension of his predecessor, with further business reform and the completion of the Nicaragua Canal. However, when War broke out in Europe, Burton focused on mediation. Roosevelt urged Burton to support the Allies, but Burton demurred, preparing himself for the possibility of running for reelection on a ‘Peace Platform’. Many of the more interventionist Whigs urged Roosevelt to think about running again (or even forming his own ‘Progressive Whig’ movement). Roosevelt declined to make any decision for the moment; with the left more united than ever and war raging overseas, the only sure thing was that the upcoming election was going to be turbulent.
 
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TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock / Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver / Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley / Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan / Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay / Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland / Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens / Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
1904:
Theodore Roosevelt / Theodore E. Burton (Whig)
1904: def. William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [17]
1908: def. Eugene V. Debs / Thomas Watson (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [18]
1912: Theodore E. Burton / Booker T. Washington (Whig)
1912: def. Champ Clarke / John A. Johnson (Liberal Democratic-Whig), Thomas Watson / Jacob S. Coxley (People's)
1915: Theodore E. Burton (Whig) [19]
1916: Charles W Bryan/Hiram Johnson (Progressive)

1916: def. Theodore Burton/Charles Fairbanks (Whig)

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinley's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

[17] By the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States was beginning to sit heavily in the two-sided political system. The LDW-People's alliance had proven themselves fit for office and as the clear party of the growing 'left,' while the traditional Whigs were increasingly viewed as the 'default' party of government. With this in mind, Bryan's decision to run again in 1904 was a game-changer. With much of the population frustrated (in one way or another) with the frustrated ambitions of the 1900 administration, Roosevelt - now at the head of his party's ticket - secured a significant victory over the LDW/P in 1904. (Although Booker Washington had launched a strong challenge for the Vice Presidency he had ultimately been defeated by those seeking a less controversial compromise candidate, leading to the nomination of Theodore Burton - inconsequentially, they became the only partnership to share first names since 1852). Roosevelt sought to establish a strongly-interventionist foreign policy, expending upon the Monroe Doctrine to increase American influence directly; the Pineapple War (1905) annexed Hawaii directly to the United States, work began on the Nicaraguan Canal in 1906, and following the collapse of order in the Third Mexican Empire a series of brush wars essentially brought Baja California and Tamaulipas (including the important port of Tampico) under direct American control.

[18] Teddy and Ted broke Whig tradition and ran (and won!) reëlection. Their second term was as productive as their first with continued expansion on traditional Whig policies; vastly increasing the amount of land conservation, military and civil service reform and public infrastructure, though now largely focussed on the Western states. While generally avoiding involvement in labour relations, Roosevelt did make some pro-organized labour policies in order to counter the moves of the LDW/P. Some of the more radical Whigs criticized Roosevelt for not pursuing further civil rights reforms. However, he did make history after Howard Taft was elevated to the Supreme Court (the second former Cabinet member after William Moody to receive such a 'promotion'). In the subsequent reshuffle, he made John Lynch the first black (and former slave) Cabinet member as Secretary of Commerce and Labour (the irony of the position was not lost on many). Internationally, Roosevelt mediated the Russian-Sino-Japanese War (1907 – 1909) for which he won a Nobel Prize and sought rapprochement with the United Kingdom. Despite loud protests from the left (and some quieter grumblings from more traditional Whigs) New Mexico joined the Union as a state while Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas were all officially recognized as United States Territory. At the end of his second term, Roosevelt remained popular and many saw his progressive policies as a strong counter-balance to the growing left; however, he had already broken Whig tradition by running for a second term, could he dare try to run for a third?




[19] In the end two things stopped Roosevelt from running for an unprecedented (Whig) third term; the slight 1910’s economic downturn and the weight of Whig traditionalists. Burton easily won the resulting nomination, though the battle for VP was again competitive; this time Booker Washington just clinching the spot (no evidence has been found to support claims that this was part of Roosevelt’s ‘declining renomination deal’) becoming the first African-American candidate on a major party presidential ticket. It cemented Washington’s legacy despite claims that he was merely a "mantelpiece Vice-President" (in reality Washington was struck down by illness for most of his term and Vice-Presidents had mainly been for show anyway). The Whig ticket won a landslide in the electoral college as the Liberal Democratic-Whigs denied Debs a second run, resulting in a temporary split in the LDW/P fusion (the failure of the separate tickets ultimately persuaded the two parties to create a more formal alliance). Burton’s first two years were seen as an extension of his predecessor, with further business reform and the completion of the Nicaragua Canal. However, when War broke out in Europe, Burton focused on mediation. Roosevelt urged Burton to support the Allies, but Burton demurred, preparing himself for the possibility of running for reelection on a ‘Peace Platform’. Many of the more interventionist Whigs urged Roosevelt to think about running again (or even forming his own ‘Progressive Whig’ movement). Roosevelt declined to make any decision for the moment; with the left more united than ever and war raging overseas, the only sure thing was that the upcoming election was going to be turbulent.

[20] In 1915 the Liberal-Democratic Whigs and the People's party finally merged into the official Progressive Party, and were moving into the new election in a strong position. Despite planning on pushing for the nomination, Eugene Debs instead decided to throw his support behind the eventual ticket of the brother of former President Bryan, Charles Wayland Bryan and California governor Hiram Johnson, a recent convert from the Whig Party. Despite Burton's moderate peace platform, the absolute isolationism of the new Progressive Party allowed them to narrowly deny the President a second term. A large part of the Progressive victory was the new Mexican states, which overwhelmingly voted in their favor. President Bryan (jokingly called Bryan the Second) forbade American ships from travelling to any nation involved in the European War. The Central Powers (Germany, Austria and Russia) fought desperately to defeat the French-British-Ottoman-Japanese entente, but with a Marxist Revolution in Germany crippling their war effort brought the conflict firmly to an end in a Allied victory in 1919. The Great War (1914-1913) was the deadliest conflict mankind had seen up to that moment. On the domestic front Bryan made progress on several progressive platforms such as a railroad commission and giving all states the ability to recall state officials. However the biggest upset was the appointment of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court, the first ever Jewish Justice and a diehard supporter of progressive causes. The Progressive Party was confident about 1920 after keeping America out of the war the last four years.
 
A Less Tragic End to Camelot

1961-1963: John F. Kennedy/ Lyndon Johnson (Democratic) [1]

1960: Richard Nixon/ Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (Republican)
1963: Lyndon Johnson (Democratic)

[1]
The Kennedy years has been often described as Camelot due to nostalgia for that era of the early sixties, however the age of Camelot came to an end on November 22, 1963. During a campaign trip in Dallas Texas, three shots rang out. One missed and hit the pavement, one hit Kennedy and got lodged in his back, and another hit Governor Connally in the shoulder before exiting through his hand and hitting Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman in the heart killing him instantly. Both Kennedy and Connally survived but the President would be forced to resign days later after many surgeries, the failed assassination lead to Kennedy being confined to a wheelchair and crutches for the rest of his life. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on November 28, 1963 in the White House.
 
TIMES CHANGE, AND WE CHANGE WITH THEM
Presidents of the United States of America

What if the Whig Party remained a major party in the United States?

1840: William Henry Harrison / John Tyler (Whig)
1840: def. Martin van Buren (Democratic) [1]
1844: Henry Clay / John Davies (Whig)

1844: def. Martin van Buren / Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic) [2]
1848: James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic)

1848: def. Millard Fillmore / Daniel Webster (Whig) [3]
1852: George Crawford / George Nixon Briggs (Whig)

1852: def. James Buchanan / Jefferson Davis (Democratic) [4]
1856: def. Stephan A. Douglas / Linn Boyd (Democratic), Jefferson Davis / John C. Breckinridge (American) [5]
1860: Stephan A. Douglas
/ Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic)
1860: def. William H. Seward / Abraham Lincoln (Whig), John C. Breckinridge / Joseph Lane (American), John C. Fremont / Cassius Clay (Republican)
1861: Benjamin Fitzpatrick (Democratic) [6]
1864: John C. Breckinridge (American) / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic) ɶ

1864: def. Abraham Lincoln / Cassius Clay (Whig), Benjamin Fitzpatrick / Daniel S. Dickinson (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Alexander H. Stephens (American)
1866: John C. Breckinridge (American) [7]
1868: Henry Winter Davis (Whig) / August Belmont (Democratic) ɶ

1868: def. Henry Winter Davis / Lyman Trumbull (Whig), Benjamin Harvey Hill / August Belmont (Democratic), John C. Breckinridge / Jefferson Davis (American) [8]
1872: Lyman Trumbull / August Belmont (National Union)

1872: def. James A Bayard Jr. / Benjamin Gratz Brown (Democratic) [9]
1876: Benjamin Butler / Ambrose Burnside ('Radical' Whig)

1876: def. Lyman Trumbull / Charles Francis Adams Sr. (Liberal Whig), Benjamin Gratz Brown / John Quincy Adams II (True Democrats) [10]
1880: James G. Blaine/John Sherman (Whig)

1880: def. Winfield S. Hancock / Hendrick Bradley Wright (Democratic), James B. Weaver / Barzillai J. Chambers (Greenback) [11]
1884
: Thomas A. Hendrick / William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig)
1884: def. John Sherman / James B. Weaver (Whig)
1885: William H. English (Liberal-Democratic Whig) [12]
1888: William McKinley / Benjamin Harrison (Whig)

1888 def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [13]
1892: Benjamin Harrison / George Frisbie Hoar (Whig)

1892: def. Grover Cleveland / Adlai Stevenson (Liberal Democratic-Whig) [14]
1896: William Jennings Bryan / Henry Teller (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1896: def. Matthew Quay / Levi P. Morton (Whig), Grover Cleveland / Edward Bragg (National Democratic) [15]
1900: William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's)

1900: def. Samuel Clemens / Theodore Roosevelt (Whig) [16]
1904:
Theodore Roosevelt / Theodore E. Burton (Whig)
1904: def. William Jennings Bryan / Eugene V. Debs (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [17]
1908: def. Eugene V. Debs / Thomas Watson (Liberal Democratic-Whig/People's) [18]
1912: Theodore E. Burton / Booker T. Washington (Whig)
1912: def. Champ Clarke / John A. Johnson (Liberal Democratic-Whig), Thomas Watson / Jacob S. Coxley (People's)
1915: Theodore E. Burton (Whig) [19]
1916: Charles W. Bryan / Hiram Johnson (Progressive)

1916: def. Theodore Burton / Charles Fairbanks (Whig) [20]
1920: def. Charles J. Bonaparte / John R. Lynch (Whig) [21]

= died in office
ɶ = contingent election

[1] William Henry Harrison, the first Whig to hold the White House, was one of the most influential presidents of the Nineteenth Century. Although much of the Whig programme was controversial, such as the creation of the Third Bank of the United States, Harrison was an effective administrator capable of holding his party in line. (This was despite disputes with John Tyler, the Vice President, who advocated economic policies synchronous with Democratic positions). Federal patronage strengthened Whig organizations, and the government embarked on an ambitious series of infrastructural projects (such as vital work along the Mississippi). The Whigs also resisted strong calls for war against Mexico, despite a strong lobby within the Democratic Party to push westwards into Texas - although this issue would continue to bubble on throughout the early-1840s. Despite his successes in government Harrison declined a second term, and the Whig Party went into the 1844 election in a strong position.

[2] Tyler had had a difficult relationship with many Whigs, but it was still with some surprise that he lost on the fourth ballot to Clay. (Sitting Massachusetts Governor John Davies clinched the VP spot). In comparison, the Democratic Convention was straightforward with the former partnership of Van Buren and Johnson being reinstated on the first ballot (disappointed, their opponents would manage to enforce a two-thirds majority for subsequent conventions). Despite Tyler forming his own 'manifest-destiny' party, the election was fought on domestic issues and the Whigs won a further term. Clay’s early focus was on further growth of the American System; high tariffs, stable finances, federal investment in internal improvements and a prudent expansion of the frontier. He continued prior efforts in soothing sectional divisions while recognizing the independence of both Haiti and Liberia. While ‘border’ issues continued to be a problem, the party was satisfied with his achievements and he had to make a decision to seek another term or follow in his predecessor’s footsteps and decline re-election.

[3] Henry Clay had been successful his four years in office, and many expected him to seek a second term. However he instead decided to follow Harrison and decline to seek re-election. The 1848 Whig National Convention nominated New York Representative Millard Fillmore with Daniel Webster as his running mate. On the other hand, the 1848 DNC nominated Senator James Buchanan after former President Martin Van Buren failed to win the nomination. Mississippi Congressman Jefferson Davis was nominated by the party to serve as running mate. The election was mainly focused on economic issues as well as the issue of Texas, with Buchanan receiving a boost as former President Andrew Jackson spoke in favour of Texan annexation. Fillmore failed to continue the Harrison/Clay coalition, making several blunders on the topic of slavery, and with his support of a proposed omnibus bill that alienated both northern and southern Whigs. Buchanan managed to finally return the Democrats to the White House after eight years after a narrow popular vote and electoral victory. Buchanan led the United States into the Mexican-American War (1849-1851) in which he was victorious, winning a major concession from the southern nation. Buchanan however alienated many northern Democrats with his staunch push for slavery in Texas post-war. When it had seemed to be a crippling blow to the Whig Party in '48 actually turned to simply be a re-alignment, as the Whigs started to move to being the party of the North.

[4] By the 1850s the Whigs and the Democrats were moving quickly to become the parties of the North and South respectively, and both suffered from factionalism based around states' rights, slavery, further expansion and economic affairs. Although Buchanan had been triumphant in the war against Mexico the resulting turmoil over the expansion of slavery was a political conflagration. Forced to keep Davis as his running mate in 1852 to maintain the loyalty of the South, Buchanan was outflanked by George Crawford - himself an unusual Whig success story in the state of Georgia. However, the election was divided almost cleanly along the Mason-Dixon line. Briggs, serving as Vice President, was a conservative Whig opposed to many Southern practices; the Crawford administration nevertheless sought to sidestep the wider issue of slavery and concentrate upon economic growth. It was not generally successful, and the country continued to struggle over the best course of action.

[5] George Crawford and George Nixon Briggs were the first President/Vice President partnership to be re-elected since 1820, although it was a close run race. Their success was down to two major factors. Firstly, the Compromise of 1855; the one major package of legislation that had focused on the slavery issue and secondly keeping the balance between Free states and Slave states equal with the joint entry of Minnesota and Texas into the Union. They also more controversially saw the 13th Amendment passed which defined citizenship, allowing for non-American born citizens to become citizens (and even be eligible for President) but which also explicitly stated that slaves (born in America or otherwise) were not citizens until they had lawfully gained freedom. While Briggs had been an active supporter of the compromises, Crawford had been less than enthusiastic. The third and main reason for their victory was that while the Whigs kept mostly united, the Democrats suffered vote-splitting from the more vocally pro-expansionist (and pro-slavery) American Party (founded by Tyler a dozen years earlier, largely insignificant until now, sometimes nicknamed the “Know-Alls” for a perceived ability to argue simple solutions to the most complicated of issues). The election had shown the need for unity, but with Crawford continuing to focus on the Whigs economic platform, the question was - for how much longer could they keep compromising?

[6] The 1860 election was hotly contested. Stephan A. Douglas managed to receive the Democratic nomination for the second time as die-hard Buchananists continued to flock to the America party. The Whigs however also suffered a splinter in the party, with the radical abolitionists forming a ticket under the name of the "Republican" or "Grand Old Party" after the Whigs refused to take a solid stance on slavery other than constant compromise. Douglas managed to barely secure an electoral college majority thanks to the split in the Northern vote while Breckinridge swept the south. Douglas' four years in office where cut short when he passed in 1861. Under Fitzpatrick the Union was extremely volatile as abolitionist and pro-slavery militias clashed in the state of Kansas. Douglas on the campaign trail had supported the idea of popular sovereignty, or allowing every individual new state to decide if it would enter the Union as free or slave, with Fitzpatrick un-enthusiastically allowing Kansas to enter as a free state in 1862. Realizing they stood no chance if the Republican party kept splitting the northern vote, the Whigs finally condemned the expansion of slavery into any new state and absorbed the GOP into their ranks in 1863. Things looked dire for Fitzpatrick going into his re-election, as it seemed both the North and South alike were ready to be rid of him. The United States moved into a dark time headed into 1864 with the American Party and many southern states threatening secession should a Whig enter the White House with their new platform...

[7] The 1864 election made the previous one look like a simple warm-up. The first sign was that Fitzpatrick barely got the nomination. He campaigned reluctantly on the grounds that the Democrats were the only party that preserved the Union. However, the division was marked as the election results showed a tri-color map with Whigs in the North, American Party in the South and Democrats a band in the center (plus New York). Even though the Lincoln / Clay ticket won both the popular and the highest vote in the Electoral College, it was not enough to secure a majority, so the country went to a contingent election for the first time since 1824. The outrage spread as the Senate elected Daniel S. Dickinson, while several Democrats defected in the House to vote for John C. Breckinridge. The Whigs claimed a secret 'Fusion Agreement' between the two parties, negotiated by Jefferson Davis, but nothing could be done to change the outcome. While some argued that the Whigs had lost because of their abolitionist platform, most hardened in their support - especially after 1866, when Breckinridge had effectively stopped trying to govern for the entire country.

[8] The 1864 contingent election had been deeply damaging to the country and dramatically intensified the animosity between North and South. However, when the 1868 election also failed to secure a majority for the Whig Party it was clear the tensions would boil over. The radical Whig, Henry Winter Davis, won the North (beginning the long stretch of the 'Solid North') - although with a noticeably smaller margin in the popular vote - but in the following squall Democrats who opposed the long-threatened secession of the South refused to endorse another Breckenridge administration. When Belmont was elected as Vice President the state of Mississippi moved to secede from the United States, supported by the vast majority of the American Party and a smaller number of Democrats. In reality, however, the cause of the South was already lost. Many regard their attempt at secession as several decades too late, as by the 1860s the North was vastly superior in almost every way. The Constitutional Union of American States (CUAS) struggled to get off the ground - it never secured diplomatic recognition from Europe, was riddled with political factionalism and never secured any major military victories due to the ineptitude of the armed forces. However, for four years the 'Southern Insurrection' inflicted grave moral and human tragedies upon the United States - largely due to the sheer bloody-mindedness of the leadership and the guerrilla warfare campaigns raging across Dixie. By the time of the 1870 election Davis was able to point towards victory, but it was clear that the country would be greatly scarred by the peace.

[9] With the collapse of the nascent CUAS, Henry Winter Davis’ popularity was at an all time-high. However, he shocked nearly everyone when he announced that he would follow in the Whig tradition of Harrison and Clay and not stand for reelection. He did enthusiastically support the creation of the National Union Party to reconstruct the country, recommending Benjamin Wade to replace him, but after Wade refused the nomination on account of his advanced years, the nomination went smoothly to Davis' former Whig Vice-Presidential running mate Lyman Trumbull. The Trumbull/Belmont ticket easily swept the country with a number of Southern States boycotting the election and weak opposition from 'Dove Democrats'. The death of Davis the following year at just 55 years led to a rise in “historical counter-factuals” asking “What would have happened if Davis did run again?” due to the possible crisis that could have arisen as some argued that despite the 13th Amendment, Belmont was still constitutionally ineligible to succeed him. (The most popular counter-factual was of course; "What if the South had attempted succession earlier"?) Trumbull pursued a far less radical agenda than Davis, instead focusing on traditional Whig policies like economic programs and creation of the Yellowstone National Park. This led to an unsuccessful impeachment attempt from the Radical Whig faction, in spite of which he still passed the 14th (which outlawed slavery - except as punishment for a crime) and 15th (which partially revoked the 13th Amendment redefining citizenship) Amendments.

[10] Trumbull tried to hold the National Union government together, but the Whig radicals made it clear that they would not support what they saw as "Democrats in Whig clothes." While it seemed like an apparent split in the party, it was actually the Democrats who were most disadvantaged, as since they had recently lost credibility, most of their supporters and representatives flocked to Trumbull's Liberal Whig party, leaving only a shell in the True Democrats to participate in the elections. This created an interesting situation in which father and son ran for vice president by opposing parties. However, at the end of the day, the Radical Whigs claimed victory, garnering a great deal of support from the newly liberated black population. While a former South sympathizer, Butler, a lawyer, businessman and former Governor, said his greatest regret was not being able to fight against the Insurrection (his critics argued that Burnside was chosen as a running mate solely because of the uniform, although Burnside had gained his own fame in some easy victories over the weak CUAS forces). While much of his program was blocked by a hostile opposition, Butler implemented not only greater emancipation and suffrage in the Civil Rights Act of 1877 and the 16th Amendment, but also promoted measures such as the nine-hour shift and antitrust laws while continuing "traditional Whig" programs, such as improving public health infrastructure. Shortly before the next election, Butler announced that the Radical Whigs would formalize the Whig tradition within the party of presidents running for single terms only (his critics said alleged financial irregularity had more to do with it, though this had little impact on his popularity).

[11] To little surprise the radical faction of Whigs managed to win easy re-election in 1880. They nominated Maine Senator and former House Speaker James Blaine as well as John Sherman as his running mate, the younger brother of General William Tecumseh Sherman. Most so-called "Liberal Whigs" fled back to either the Democrats or Radical Whigs, who were now simply just Whigs. The Democrats nominated who were soundly defeated again outside of the South. There was also the Left-Wing Geenback candidate of James Weaver, a former General and Iowa congressman, but he failed to win any state other than Iowa. President Blaine was a classic Whig, expanding further black suffrage and increasing tariffs. He kept Federal Troops in the South, which were used to ensure the newly passed Suffrage laws stayed enforced and to dissuade any further attempts at secession. However, Blaine began to lose his image in the eyes of the public as his ties to the infamous railroad industry started to come out in the second half of his term. The party was eager to get away from Blaine as they moved to the 84' election as the Democrats started to make gains among voters again.

[12] The 1884 vote was one of the most contentious and controversial non-contingent Presidential elections in American history. Sherman was quietly confident of victory despite his association with the scandal-prone Blaine, especially after former President Butler neutralized the Greenback Party through negotiating an informal alliance. However, while the Sherman/Weaver ticket won the popular vote, the Electoral College vote was almost tied with a number of states declaring “unresolved” results. This gave rise to the Compromise of 1885, by which the liberal Whig faction merged with the Democratic Party in return for a state-by-state approach to Reconstruction and a withdrawal of Federal Troops only once certain conditions had been met. After a controversial post-election process via an Electoral Commission, Hendrick was declared the winner, with the closest ever margin in the Electoral College of only one vote. Hendrick would die eight months into his term, with his successor's time in the Presidency, much like the rest of his political career, being seen as pragmatic. Indeed, many speculated that English had only been added to the ticket as a means to access his vast fortune. Despite only gradual loosening of Reconstruction systems, English declared the disputes of the Civil War settled, and promised to focus on "sound currency, of honest money", restrictions on Chinese immigration, and a "rigid economy in public expenditure". While some in the Liberal-Democratic Whigs wished English would go further, he was generally popular, and not afraid to contribute his personal wealth to causes he supported.

[13] While English was a popular president, he announced he would not stand for a second term, So, the LDWs nominated Grover Cleveland to run as their candidate in 1888, however, Cleveland was an unpopular man who just barely retained his House seat two years earlier. Meanwhile the recently formed Conservative National faction of the Whigs secured Representative William McKinley as their candidate. The campaign was tiresome, Cleveland didn't campaign personally and often sent advisors to do it for him, when Election Day came, McKinley won in a landslide.

[14] Harrison easily won the Whigs nomination and the subsequent election, which was almost a rematch from four years earlier. Harrison began by continuing McKinley's work, continuing protective trade rates and securing the Antitrust Act of 1893, which regulated competition, and the Federal Elections Act of 1894, which increased the security of elections for State Representatives, further protecting the rights of blacks voters. In return, federal troops were finally withdrawn from the southern states. In addition, the number of black political appointments increased, which some argued that McKinley had neglected and took additional measures to promote Native American rights, although many of these measures are now considered misguided. He broke with the historic Whig opposition to "opportunistic expansion", negotiating the entry of the California Republic into the United States, which had been long delayed, arguing that now that the problem of slavery was solved, the United States could expand again . Following tradition, he announced that he would not run for re-election but refused to endorse a successor, which many saw as a reprimand to his more radical vice president.

[15] The 1896 election was a major upset of the natural order that had dominated American politics in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War. The Democrats refused to nominate Cleveland a third time in a row, instead nominating the young and energetic William Jennings Bryan of Nebraska, a diehard supporter of bimetallism and evangelical. In another surprising move, pro-silver Whig Henry Teller of Colorado was nominated as Bryan's running mate after staging a walkout from the WNC after they declared a plank in favor of the gold standard. Bryan was also nominated by the left-wing People's party as their candidate for President, albeit with a different running mate. The Whigs also repudiated the current order, defeating Vice President Hoar on the first ballot and instead nominating Pennsylvania Senator Matthew Quay. Cleveland was nominated by pro-Gold Democrats on the short lived National Democratic ticket, but failed to accomplish much as he did basically zero campaigning. Most of the country expected a Quay victory, but following eight years of Whig rule and the Panic of 1893 Bryan prevailed on election day. Supporters of the "Great Commoner" rioted frenziedly out of joy in the streets as he declared victory. At 36 years old he was by far the youngest individual to win office by that point. As President Bryan slashed the Whig tariffs, implemented new labor laws, passed an amendment bringing in direct election of senators, created a Federal Income Tax, brought Oklahoma into the Union as a state and resisted calls for war with Spain. However he began to grows increasingly frustrated as Congress continued to resist his attempts to move the US away from the gold standard. Bryan shocked the nation as he announced he would be one of the first Presidents in decades to seek re-election, but Vice President Teller decided to stick to his Whig roots and refuse to be re-nominated.

[16] The Bryan/Debs Liberal-Democratic Whig/People’s fusion ticket (usually just called the People’s Whigs for convenience) narrowly but clearly won the 1900 election, with a number of close races in both the industrial north and across the south. The Clemens/Roosevelt opposition (nicknamed the “Cowboy who dresses as a Southern Gentleman and the Northern Gentleman who dresses as a Cowboy”) also ran on a progressive platform, with mainly the Gold Standard and “American Expansionism” separating the two campaigns. Roosevelt in particular came to believe it was only the name recognition of Bryan that put him over the top and that the Whigs should reconsider their once Radical policy of single term presidents - “Times change and we need to change with them”. Despite their narrow loss, the Whigs were still in good shape, indeed even helped in places through direct election of senators (including John R. Lynch and Booker T. Washington) and used their numbers to filibuster, amend or otherwise delay any aspect of Bryan’s legislative program they disagreed with (although graduated income-tax, further civil service reform and an eight-hour day were all signed into law). Things came to a head when Bryan publicly mused that due to the actions of the “Radical Whigs” he might have to run again to ensure his People’s Whig legacy was secure. The question was - would he actually do it?

[17] By the beginning of the Twentieth Century the United States was beginning to sit heavily in the two-sided political system. The LDW-People's alliance had proven themselves fit for office and as the clear party of the growing 'left,' while the traditional Whigs were increasingly viewed as the 'default' party of government. With this in mind, Bryan's decision to run again in 1904 was a game-changer. With much of the population frustrated (in one way or another) with the frustrated ambitions of the 1900 administration, Roosevelt - now at the head of his party's ticket - secured a significant victory over the LDW/P in 1904. (Although Booker Washington had launched a strong challenge for the Vice Presidency he had ultimately been defeated by those seeking a less controversial compromise candidate, leading to the nomination of Theodore Burton - inconsequentially, they became the only partnership to share first names since 1852). Roosevelt sought to establish a strongly-interventionist foreign policy, expending upon the Monroe Doctrine to increase American influence directly; the Pineapple War (1905) annexed Hawaii directly to the United States, work began on the Nicaraguan Canal in 1906, and following the collapse of order in the Third Mexican Empire a series of brush wars essentially brought Baja California and Tamaulipas (including the important port of Tampico) under direct American control.

[18] Teddy and Ted broke Whig tradition and ran (and won!) reëlection. Their second term was as productive as their first with continued expansion on traditional Whig policies; vastly increasing the amount of land conservation, military and civil service reform and public infrastructure, though now largely focussed on the Western states. While generally avoiding involvement in labour relations, Roosevelt did make some pro-organized labour policies in order to counter the moves of the LDW/P. Some of the more radical Whigs criticized Roosevelt for not pursuing further civil rights reforms. However, he did make history after Howard Taft was elevated to the Supreme Court (the second former Cabinet member after William Moody to receive such a 'promotion'). In the subsequent reshuffle, he made John Lynch the first black (and former slave) Cabinet member as Secretary of Commerce and Labour (the irony of the position was not lost on many). Internationally, Roosevelt mediated the Russian-Sino-Japanese War (1907 – 1909) for which he won a Nobel Prize and sought rapprochement with the United Kingdom. Despite loud protests from the left (and some quieter grumblings from more traditional Whigs) New Mexico joined the Union as a state while Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas were all officially recognized as United States Territory. At the end of his second term, Roosevelt remained popular and many saw his progressive policies as a strong counter-balance to the growing left; however, he had already broken Whig tradition by running for a second term, could he dare try to run for a third?

[19] In the end two things stopped Roosevelt from running for an unprecedented (Whig) third term; the slight 1910’s economic downturn and the weight of Whig traditionalists. Burton easily won the resulting nomination, though the battle for VP was again competitive; this time Booker Washington just clinching the spot (no evidence has been found to support claims that this was part of Roosevelt’s ‘declining renomination deal’) becoming the first African-American candidate on a major party presidential ticket. It cemented Washington’s legacy despite claims that he was merely a "mantelpiece Vice-President" (in reality Washington was struck down by illness for most of his term and Vice-Presidents had mainly been for show anyway). The Whig ticket won a landslide in the electoral college as the Liberal Democratic-Whigs denied Debs a second run, resulting in a temporary split in the LDW/P fusion (the failure of the separate tickets ultimately persuaded the two parties to create a more formal alliance). Burton’s first two years were seen as an extension of his predecessor, with further business reform and the completion of the Nicaragua Canal. However, when War broke out in Europe, Burton focused on mediation. Roosevelt urged Burton to support the Allies, but Burton demurred, preparing himself for the possibility of running for reelection on a ‘Peace Platform’. Many of the more interventionist Whigs urged Roosevelt to think about running again (or even forming his own ‘Progressive Whig’ movement). Roosevelt declined to make any decision for the moment; with the left more united than ever and war raging overseas, the only sure thing was that the upcoming election was going to be turbulent.

[20] In 1915 the Liberal-Democratic Whigs and the People's party finally merged into the official Progressive Party, and were moving into the new election in a strong position. Despite planning on pushing for the nomination, Eugene Debs instead decided to throw his support behind the eventual ticket of the brother of former President Bryan, Charles Wayland Bryan and California governor Hiram Johnson, a recent convert from the Whig Party. Despite Burton's moderate peace platform, the absolute isolationism of the new Progressive Party allowed them to narrowly deny the President a second term. A large part of the Progressive victory was the new Mexican states, which overwhelmingly voted in their favor. President Bryan (jokingly called Bryan the Second) forbade American ships from travelling to any nation involved in the European War. The Central Powers (Germany, Austria and Russia) fought desperately to defeat the French-British-Ottoman-Japanese entente, but with a Marxist Revolution in Germany crippling their war effort brought the conflict firmly to an end in a Allied victory in 1919. The Great War (1914-1919) was the deadliest conflict mankind had seen up to that moment. On the domestic front Bryan made progress on several progressive platforms such as a railroad commission and giving all states the ability to recall state officials. However the biggest upset was the appointment of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court, the first ever Jewish Justice and a diehard supporter of progressive causes. The Progressive Party was confident about 1920 after keeping America out of the war the last four years.

[21] With more numbers in the House and Senate, Bryan's second term (Bryan-brother's fourth overall term) quickly gained momentum, though some felt it went too far, too fast. It changed the face of government with an increase in women's suffrage, the registration of lobbyists, and the recording and publication of congressional proceedings. It changed the balance of workers 'rights with a minimum wage for women, stricter laws to enforce the eight-hour workday, a federal securities commission, more farm aid, and compensation for work-related injuries. It changed the relationship that most citizens had with the government, with a national health service to include all existing government medical agencies, social security to care for the elderly, the unemployed and the disabled, and a stronger inheritance tax. They also made further progress in supporting states to implement "direct democracy", including the widespread introduction of referendums and initiatives, in addition to judicial revocation (when a court declared a law unconstitutional, citizens could override that decision by a popular vote, often used to limit the ability of judges to order injunctions against strike action.) Many on the right accused Progressives of trying to turn the United States into 'Marxist Middle Europe' but with the platform proving to be popular with the electorate (even with the tacit support of former President Roosevelt) the Whig Party needed to change with the times once again, lest it be seen solely as the party of "blacks and big business."

A Less Tragic End to Camelot

1961-1963: John F. Kennedy/ Lyndon Johnson (Democratic) [1]

1960: Richard Nixon/ Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. (Republican)
1963: Lyndon Johnson (Democratic)

[1]
The Kennedy years has been often described as Camelot due to nostalgia for that era of the early sixties, however the age of Camelot came to an end on November 22, 1963. During a campaign trip in Dallas Texas, three shots rang out. One missed and hit the pavement, one hit Kennedy and got lodged in his back, and another hit Governor Connally in the shoulder before exiting through his hand and hitting Secret Service Agent Roy Kellerman in the heart killing him instantly. Both Kennedy and Connally survived but the President would be forced to resign days later after many surgeries, the failed assassination lead to Kennedy being confined to a wheelchair and crutches for the rest of his life. Vice President Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on November 28, 1963 in the White House.
Excellent premise, but I can only handle one USA list at a time!
 
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