My god. In this timeline, Lebanon and Israel are actually Levantine in the old sense of the word, that is, essentially Europeans?

Seems to me like in this timeline, the Middle East and Egypt got off a lot better
The Middle East is definitely going to be better off. The ME has so much potential for super interesting scenarios, and Egypt and an alternate evolution of Zionism will play a big role TTL
The Rome Conference, ostensibly to protect the Armenian, Assyrian, and Greek populations of the Ottoman Empire from persecution, was in actuality a partition of the Ottoman Empire into spheres of influence. While the majority-Armenian and Assyrian areas of the Empire were placed under Russian ‘protection’ and Armenian Cilicia was occupied by France, much of the Middle East was parceled out. Britain occupied vast swaths of Mesopotamia, as far north as Kirkuk, as well as Jaffa and Haifa in Palestine. France occupied not just Beirut, but the whole of Lebanon and much of Palestine. Jerusalem was placed under joint Anglo-Russo-French occupation, and Italy occupied not just Rhodes but the Anatolian coast near it. The Ottoman Empire was not consulted on any of these decisions but was forced to agree as four Great Powers landed their troops and occupied what they had each claimed as their sphere of influence.
So this is going to blow up in the occupying powers' faces beyond belief.

The Ottoman government is finished on the spot. There will be a soft or hard coup within months that will certainly take a nationalist and revanchist tactic, and knowing Russia, France, and Britain, they will do some stupidly racist things like trying to mass-import Christians to ethnically and religiously cleanse the area.

Almost certain to cause violent response. Very likely IMO to be worse than decolonization conflicts IOTL.
So this is going to blow up in the occupying powers' faces beyond belief.

The Ottoman government is finished on the spot. There will be a soft or hard coup within months that will certainly take a nationalist and revanchist tactic, and knowing Russia, France, and Britain, they will do some stupidly racist things like trying to mass-import Christians to ethnically and religiously cleanse the area.

Almost certain to cause violent response. Very likely IMO to be worse than decolonization conflicts IOTL.
Oh, the Ottoman Empire (and what emerges from its corpse) will be a shitshow. The British aren't going to do anything terribly stupid (the only people brought in to British Palestine are Jews fleeing Russian pogroms), but the Russians are going to be especially harsh, with reprisal massacres of Turks in Armenia and what have you.
The Rome Conference is not going to breed violent conflict right away - it's basically an earlier and more callous Sykes-Picot, but once the Great War is over and the Great Powers have been destabilized, that's when the knives come out and the rebels come out of the woodwork.
And yes, hardline Nationalists will come to power in the OE soon…
1896 World Map:
Rome Conference.png

(the only real differences between the last map and this one are that Africa is more filled in and the Ottoman Empire has been carved up)
I mean, even IOTL, the CUP had some Pan-Turanist elements as Enver Pasha went off to fight in Central Asia after WW1 and got killed by the Bolsheviks, so there's that.
TTL's CUP is still Pan-Turanist, but no more so than OTL. It's just that their hatred of Armenians is turned up to 11.
The First Battle

From “The House of Freedom: A Story of America’s Oldest Party”, by Leander Morris
Published 1987

“With an economy in free fall, over a million Americans unemployed, and an embattled President with a divided party, it was as if the stars had aligned perfectly for the Freedom Party to sweep back into power. The Nationalist Party was rent in two by factional struggles, while the Freedom Party remained largely unified behind a pro-business, moderate agenda. In off-year elections in the House and in state governorships, the Freedom Party had flipped eleven House seats and the governorships of Maryland and Kentucky, both previously solidly Nationalist states. The Freedom Party also flipped control of the Kentucky state house and came within three seats of doing the same in Maryland, another major success. These off-year successes built a sense of optimism, as they often do, that 1896 would be a landslide for the Freedom Party if the convention selected a middle of the road, competent, and popular nominee.

The frontrunners for the 1896 convention were, therefore, all rather similar. Joseph B. Foraker, the popular Governor of Ohio, John Q.A. Brackett, the reformist Governor of Massachusetts, Levi P. Morton, an influential Senator from New Hampshire, and Elihu Root, the most conservative of the candidates and a Congressman from New York. Foraker was the undisputed king of the Ohio Freedom Party, having built a powerful political machine in alliance with Mark Hanna, William McKinley, Whitelaw Reid, and former President John Sherman. He had steered a moderate course as Governor, brokering a settlement between railroad unions and the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in Cleveland and vetoing three prohibitionist bills, making him relatively popular with German immigrants. In contrast, John Q.A. Brackett was deeply loathed by the Catholic population of Massachusetts for signing a series of dry laws restricting the sale of alcohol, imposing a steep alcohol tax, and strengthening regulations on bars. More importantly to the Freedom Party bosses, Brackett was widely perceived as weak and beholden to behind-the-scenes powerbrokers. Elihu Root was sort of a dark horse, his ties to powerful corporations viewed as a liability by even the most pro-business in the party.

Before the first ballot, the various factions engaged in behind-the-scenes negotiations and jockeying for influence. Foraker brought the full weight of his Ohio Machine to bear, with Mark Hanna securing an alliance with Senator Matthew Q. Quay of Pennsylvania, an important powerbroker both in the Senate and at the convention. Quay’s endorsement brought with it the delegations of Pennsylvania and Maryland, while Quay was able to convince another major candidate, his close friend Levi P. Morton, to drop out and endorse Foraker. This in turn allowed House Minority Leader Thomas B. Reed, another highly influential member of the Freedom Party, to switch his support from the withdrawn Morton to Governor Foraker. Another of Foraker’s surrogates, John Sherman, secured the support of South Carolina Governor Robert Smalls, who exercised immense influence over the southern, predominantly Black delegates at the convention. Sherman also secured the endorsement of James T. Rapier, the Governor of Mississippi, with promises that Foraker would approve federal relief for beleaguered Black farmers.

Meanwhile, John Q.A. Brackett struggled to rally support beyond the New England bastion of him and his backers. Nelson W. Aldrich and George F. Hoar, the chief managers of Brackett’s campaign, found that most Black delegates were already committed to Foraker, while the delegates of New York and the mid-Atlantic were split between the favorite son, Elihu Root, and the wily operator Joseph Foraker. Root, meanwhile, found himself limited to the conservative, financier-dominated mid-Atlantic delegations of his home state of New York, as well as the states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. Root had stronger support than Brackett in the south but was limited by the strong support most southern bosses had for Foraker (Robert Smalls is reported to have told a supporter of Root’s that “when we were meeting with the candidates and their supporters, your candidate [Root] sent one representative of his, Foraker sent five – and they all asked me about what issues I thought were important. He has demonstrated his deep interest in southern issues, and Mr. Root has not done so adequately”). With the relative weakness of both of his chief rivals, and the withdrawal of his stronger challengers, Foraker had positioned himself as the frontrunner even before the leanings of the delegates could be officially gauged.

The first ballot was a predictable rout for Foraker, and it was enough to hand him the nomination outright without any further backroom horse trading or deal-making. With strong support from southern Black delegates, tepid support from the west, and near-unanimous backing from his native Ohio and the other midwestern delegations, Foraker easily triumphed over Brackett and Root, who were effectively tied for a distant second and third. Victorious, Foraker delivered an optimistic acceptance speech that nevertheless was a scathing attack on President Hill. “we stand at a crossroads – between the path leading up, up to economic stability, to harmony between business and labor, to a prosperous country, and a path going down, down to financial ruin, unbalanced, unstable currency, and the swirling eddies of rabble-rousing radicalism. I have hope that, with the right leadership, this great Republic will choose the path up to stability, harmony, and prosperity. And I believe I can lead our great nation on that auspicious path.” Foraker did not name Hill directly, but he did not need to. Foraker laid out his envisioned future: “a nation where worker and boss do not fight and spill blood, but instead peacefully settle their differences, a nation where the dollar remains steady through thick and thin, providing a modicum of stability even in stormy seas – for we need stability now more than ever, given how violently stormy the economic waters are today.” As he stepped away from the podium, Foraker’s speech was followed by raucous applause, and the papers that evening printed the full transcript of his address.

The convention then turned towards the less exciting business of selecting a Vice Presidential nominee and voting on a party platform. For Vice President, two candidates emerged – John Q.A. Brackett, pushed by Elihu Root, Nelson W. Aldrich, George F. Hoar, and the other New England conservatives, and Congressman Henry Clay Evans, a favorite of the southern delegates. Mark Hanna disliked Brackett, thinking him a spineless opportunist. He preferred Henry Clay Evans, but Evans had enemies among his own state’s delegation, which threatened to endanger his nomination. Nevertheless, Foraker’s influence won out and Evans was narrowly nominated for Vice President.

The convention adopted a platform calling for a swift return to the gold standard, a high protective tariff, as well as American expansionism into the Danish West Indies and Hawaii and the U.S.-backed construction of a transatlantic canal in either Nicaragua or the Panamanian isthmus. Freedom Party presses trumpeted the economic planks, announcing Foraker heralded a “swift return to normalcy” with the re-implementation of the gold standard.”

From “From Taylor to Letworth: The Evolution of the National Party”, by Tom Jenkins
Published 2009

“President Hill entered the 1896 Nationalist convention as an embattled candidate. His old nemesis, Stephen G. Cleveland, floated his name behind the scenes as a challenger. Much of the Old Guard stood behind Cleveland’s silent campaign, while Hill desperately tried to rally the west once more. Cleveland secured the support of every mid-Atlantic state, while Hill was forced to make large concessions to the wealthy southern landowners in order to gain their support – he pledged not to support Populist southerners and to consult the powerful southern planters on southern patronage appointments. Hill also marshalled his vast machine, and the machine of Adlai Stevenson, to secure support, while the more honest Cleveland could not rely on such a network.

Hill led on the first ballot but fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to secure the nomination. Nevertheless, Cleveland’s disappointing finish lent the President much-needed momentum, and he narrowly won renomination on the second ballot. Humiliated for the final time, Cleveland denounced Hill in a brief speech, and he retired from politics soon after. Hill gloated privately after triumphing once more over his rival. In his acceptance speech, he called for “staying the course”, promising that better times would come sooner if he was reelected.

Despite Hill’s bombast, a sense of doom pervaded his campaign. The desertion of the populists left him without his key support base that had won him the Presidency in 1892, and he continued to have frosty relations with the Old Guard. While Hill remained confident that his vast network of allies, combined with the network of Adlai Stevenson, would bring him a second term, those around him remained pessimistic.”

From “A New History of the United States”, by Frederick Eidler
Published 1991

“The Populist Party had been founded in November of 1895 in response to Hill’s lack of support for rural issues. Having been so hastily organized, the Populists met in the ballroom of the Gateway Grand Hotel in Independence, Missouri. Largely a protest movement, few candidates stepped forth to run for President, with the only serious candidate being Vincent M. Allen, the Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Allen was unanimously nominated, and delivered a brief acceptance speech, and Congressman Monroe L. Hayward of Nebraska was chosen as Allen’s running mate. Few expected the Populists to win, but that was not the point. It was not a political party like Farmer-Labor, it was a protest ticket.”

From “The Collapse of the Ottoman Empire”, by Eugene Hadley
Published 2011

“The Rome Conference had stripped the Ottoman Empire of its peripheries – gone were the tax bases of Arabia, the cities of Damascus, Jerusalem, and Baghdad – and left Sultan Abdul Hamid II in a precarious position. Just twenty years after he deposed the elected government in 1878, he was faced with an opposition movement. The exilic Committee of Union and Progress was a centralist, ardently Turkish nationalist organization of military officers and politicians, and the humiliation brought by the Rome Conference allowed the CUP to entrench itself into the Ottoman Army.

With the entire Ottoman economy thrown into turmoil by the occupation of over half of the country by foreign powers and the sheer national humiliation of the nations of Europe forcing the Sultan to allow such an act to happen at bayonet point, the Committee of Union and Progress found much purchase not only in a disgruntled army but among an angry populace. As news tricked in in mid-1896 of widespread massacres of Turks in Russian-occupied Armenia, the volatile situation in Constantinople exploded. Egged on by the CUP, protestors demonstrated in the streets. Meanwhile, Mahmud Shevket Pasha, a member of the CUP and the Governor of the Salonika Vilayet, ordered the Salonika garrison to mobilize, while CUP army officers in a number of armies on the Balkan side of the Empire also mobilized their commands to march on Constantinople. The 1897 coup saw Abdul Hamid II forced to abdicate, the throne instead occupied by Mehmed V, the Sultan emeritus’s half-brother.

A triumvirate was formed to rule the crumbling empire – Shevket Pasha became Grand Vizier, with the younger, more energetic, and more radical Ismail Hafiz Pasha and Mehmed Efendi Pasha becoming Minister of War and Minister of the Interior, respectively. The triumvirate quickly moved to entrench CUP control of the Ottoman government, purging hundreds of monarchists and Liberals in a series of high-profile arrests and publicized trials, many with sentences handed down of death or exile. To cement domestic support, the new triumvirate circulated leaflets and official statements blaming the fracturing of the Empire on the machinations of not only the usual suspects - Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians – but also the Jews. The spread of a more modern, vitriolic strain of antisemitism proved popular in the triumvirate, as Hafiz Pasha and Efendi Pasha saw how the Russian Czars used pogroms to divert public anger away from the government and towards a hated, prominent, yet largely powerless minority. A series of vicious Ottoman pogroms wracked Anatolia in the summer of 1898, the angry populace seizing at the triumvirate’s allegation that the Jews had stabbed the Empire in the back.

The ensuing Anatolian Aliyah saw thousands of Ottoman Jews flee to the British protectorate in Palestine, with Prime Minister William Harcourt permitting over 100,000 Ottoman Jews to settle in the region. This was held up by the triumvirate as an example of the Jews conspiring with the European powers to permanently wrest control of the Middle East from Ottoman hands. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Armenians fled to Russian-occupied territory and Assyrian communities packed up and fled to British Mesopotamia, leaving many towns in western Anatolia completely depopulated, and leaving gaps in local economies. Despite an injection of nationalistic fervor, the triumvirate was faced with a national crisis of enormous proportion, and stoking antisemitic and anti-Armenian violence would not solve the underlying issues.”

From “American Elections”, by Diane Greene
Published 2014

“Foraker ran an energetic campaign, travelling by train across the Midwest. He promised economic stability and return to prosperity, calling for “not nostrums but normalcy, not revolution but reform, not agitation, but adjustment” at one stop in Indianapolis. He repeatedly attacked President Hill for introducing a bimetallic system, referring to it as “the great economic crime.” He pointed to the discovery of gold in Alyeska and South Africa, as well as the new gold cyanidation process, as proof that gold was sufficiently flexible a currency, while avoiding the “wild fluctuations and dangerous instability inherent in free silver”, as Foraker declared at a campaign stop in Wisconsin.

German farmers and industrial workers deserted Hill in droves. German farmers lived predominantly in the Midwest and had been crucial in helping Hill carry Wisconsin and Iowa in 1892. Already suspicious of bimetallism, these farmers rejected Hill, and many wrote to Foraker that they had voted for Hill in 1892 but could not stomach seeing him win again. “The economy is terrible now that they have made silver money too,” one farmer wrote to Foraker. “My interest rates went down at first, but they are higher now than before Hill was President. I am very worried for the future, and I hope that gold can save my farm.” Thousands of similar letters arrived at the Ohio Gubernatorial residence, where Foraker had established his campaign headquarters.

Hill, meanwhile, was loathe to repeat the blunders of Russell A. Alger in 1892. While Alger tried to use the prestige and dignity inherent in the Presidency to campaign for him, Hill ran an active campaign. He tacked once more towards the Populists after his conservative shift at the convention. Though he hoped he would continue to receive the support of the farmers and labor unions, he found on the campaign trail that these groups wanted nothing to do with him. Preston Powell denounced him in a column in the New York Sun, writing that “there was a dearth of candidates who spoke for the Working Man. Where were the crusaders against the invisible empire of the corrupt bosses and trusts? Certainly not in President-elect Foraker, who’s whole career was bought by the millions of Mark Hanna, and not in the outgoing President Hill, who swings from issue to issue and cause to cause like an ape goes from vine to vine.” While silver miners remained rabid defenders of Hill, the FFA, the Grange, and other farmers’ organizations enthusiastically endorsed the nascent Populists, while labor unions remained officially neutral, though August Streseman, the powerful leader of the National Alliance of Laborers, privately supported Foraker due to his history of business-labor arbitration and his strong support for increasing the tariff.

The campaign took on an increasingly negative tone as a desperate Hill lashed out, calling Foraker an enemy of the workers and a corrupt political boss (ignoring, of course, Hill’s own powerful political machine in Albany). Foraker pretended to remain above the fray, but he directed his machine to disseminate wild rumors, vicious diatribes, and furious editorials across the country. One pamphlet alleged that Hill had personally profited from the Silver Crash and the Great Recession, and another called Hill an anarchist agitator. Foraker made dozens of speeches himself, where he appeared refined and presidential, in stark contrast to Hill, who frequently appeared flustered or angry at his appearances. Along with relentlessly promoting a return to the gold standard, Foraker also touted his proposed National Board of Arbitration, which would help peacefully resolve disputes between corporations and labor unions.

The Populists were not idle, with Vincent M. Allen barnstorming the plains states and speaking to crowds that numbered over 15,000 in some towns. Most of Allen’s speeches attacked Hill for “betraying those who helped him attain the Presidency” and echoed the allegation made by a pro-Foraker pamphlet that Hill had benefited from the economic collapse.

The election was not close. Foraker swept the Northeast and Midwest, winning by landslide margins in several states that voted for Hill in 1892. In New York, President Hill’s home state, and a state dominated by Hill’s machine, Foraker won by eleven percentage points in a stunning rebuke of President Hill. In the Midwest, Foraker won Wisconsin, Iowa, and Pennsylvania by margins in excess of ten percentage points and won Indiana and Ohio by five and nine percentage points, respectively. Foraker also broke into Nationalist dominance over the south, winning Vandalia narrowly and becoming the first Freedomite to win Kentucky in history and coming within six percentage points of winning Tennessee and Missouri. Hill privately blamed the Populists for siphoning away votes, but in every state but Vandalia, Foraker’s margin of victory was larger than the Populists’ total votes.

German American and trade unionist fears that Hill’s bimetallism would cause disastrous inflation were proven to be well-founded and not just paranoia, and 63% of both demographics voted for the Foraker/Evans ticket, swinging wildly from 1892, when 57% of German Americans and 61% of trade unionists voted for Hill. Some historians regard 1896 as a realigning election, like 1856 or 1928, with Foraker’s election showing a decisive national preference for a strong central government to grow domestic industry through high tariffs and a stable, gold-backed currency. Of course, the more mainstream consensus is that 1896 represented a brief return to the politics of the Sherman or Garfield era, and that 1904 is the true realigning election.

While Governor Foraker won a landslide victory, the Freedom Party rode the wave of popular discontent to an even more crushing victory in the House and Senate races. In the Senate, Freedomites picked up six seats, enough to flip control of the chamber. Meanwhile, after fourteen years in the opposition, the Freedom Party flipped 68 seats to retake control of the House of Representatives. The Midwest alone saw nearly three dozen Nationalist Representatives lose reelection, while Nationalists lost every single seat they held in Iowa and Wisconsin, with all but one of those seats won by Freedomites. In the west, the Nationalists made modest gains in the Silver Belt (Fremont, Dinetah, and Sacramento), but hemorrhaged seats in the Pacific Northwest and the Plains states to both the Populists and the Freedomites. The wave election of 1896 installed Joseph G. Cannon as Speaker, with a strong majority to enact Foraker’s agenda.

Dejected by his defeat, Hill telegraphed Foraker to concede. “Mr. Stevens has just informed me of your victory and my defeat, and I hasten to extend my sincere congratulations. The contest was for the citizenry to decide, and their will is law.” As Hill and his family prepared to vacate the White House, Foraker went to work on selecting his cabinet, drafting an inaugural address, and meeting with Congressional leaders. Many hoped that Foraker would bring a return to normalcy, a return to the status quo of the Garfield years. But Hill’s strange, indecisive, and groundbreaking Presidency was only the beginning – the populists were here to stay.”
Last edited:
Joseph B Foraker seems to be a bit of a Presidential go-to guy when it comes to Post civil war TLs.

I think this is the third current active TL that has him.
Joseph B. Foraker, the popular Governor of Ohio, John Q.A. Brackett, the reformist Governor of Ohio,
I think this is supposed to say, "Joseph B. Foraker, the popular Governor of Ohio, John Q.A. Brackett, the reformist Governor of Massachusetts,
Joseph B Foraker seems to be a bit of a Presidential go-to guy when it comes to Post civil war TLs.
Well, he wanted the job with every bone in his body IOTL, so I makes sense that he would pursue it with similar energy in alternate TLs, not to mention he is an interesting character and easy to use to fit the "Corporation in a business suit" politician that many TLs need at this point.
For a "Protest vote," the Populists did pretty well.
Well, farmers were very angry...
Joseph B Foraker seems to be a bit of a Presidential go-to guy when it comes to Post civil war TLs.

I think this is the third current active TL that has him.
Foraker's a good McKinley-who's-not-McKinley and he's moderately pro-business, but I only know of one other TL with him as President (albeit under different circumstances) - the excellent Cinco de Mayo.
I think this is supposed to say, "Joseph B. Foraker, the popular Governor of Ohio, John Q.A. Brackett, the reformist Governor of Massachusetts,
Good catch! Fixed it.
Return to Normalcy

From “The House of Freedom: A Story of America’s Oldest Party”, by Leander Morris
Published 1987

“As the incoming President, Foraker hoped to strike an optimistic, reassuring, and forward-looking tone in his address. He focused largely on restoring prosperity, declaring that “it will be the first priority of this Administration to stabilize the value of the dollar. The bimetallism experiment has been attempted, and its results were conclusive – the experiment must end, and the Government must restore gold as the sole guarantor of the dollar. The present bout of inflation can be quickly curbed by the contraction of the dollar. I have full confidence that prices of food and commodities will return to affordable levels, and this great Republic can return to prosperity and put this troubled period behind it.”

Like his predecessor, President Foraker helmed a powerful political machine, and he made sure to reward important allies with Cabinet posts. Whitelaw Reid, a diplomat who engineered the formation of the International Congo Association, an influential newspaper publisher and a native son of Ohio, was nominated to be Secretary of State. Andrew Hickenlooper, another Ohioan, joined Foraker’s cabinet as the Secretary of the Interior. Garret Hobart, an influential New Jersey state legislator, became Postmaster-General. Foraker also nominated hardworking, skilled policymakers, such as Congressman Nelson Dingley Jr. of Maine to head the Treasury Department. Dingley, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, was highly regarded as an expert on finance.

On March 9th, Foraker directed Treasury Secretary Dingley to halt all coinage of silver, and three days later, the Treasury Department closed its Eagle City Mint in Sacramento, where most silver coins were minted. Foraker also leaned on friends in the banking sector, and by the beginning of April, all major banks and most minor banks were actively discouraging the use of silver dollars. This was condemned by silverite Nationalists, but the policy change was by and large popular.


He also angered reformists by signing an executive order exempting 5,000 government jobs from civil service requirements and then filling these jobs with loyalists and machine men. By and large, however, Foraker reigned in the worst excesses of machine politics, firing thousands of corrupt civil service employees, both Freedomite and Nationalist. As the economy recovered, however, Foraker’s dubious commitment to civil service reform was mostly forgotten…”

President: Joseph B. Foraker
Vice President: John Q.A. Brackett
Secretary of State: Whitelaw Reid
Secretary of the Treasury: Nelson Dingley, Jr.
Secretary of War: Redfield Proctor
Attorney General: Rufus L. Day [1]
Postmaster-General: Garret Hobart
Secretary of the Navy: John M. Shaw
Secretary of the Interior: Andrew Hickenlooper
Secretary of Agriculture: William D. Hoard

From “Powell and Populism: The Transformation of the Nationalist Party”, by Nicholas Green
Published 1997

“The Nationalist Party was left divided and rudderless in the aftermath of the 1896 elections. the Old Guard had completely lost control over the party after Cleveland’s failure to stop Hill’s renomination, leaving Hill’s remaining cadre of supporters, the Powellites, and agrarians to fight over the party’s future. Preston Powell remained an influential figure in the party, but he increasingly butted heads with Hill’s silverites and the breakaway Populist Party. The Kansas City Manifesto, signed by 23 Nationalist Representatives from western states, repudiated Powell’s support for high tariffs and the “fixation on labor issues, to the detriment of the farmers, upon whose shoulders the whole edifice rests.” Of the 23 signatories, 21 joined the Populist Party.


While he feuded with the Populist Party, Powell planned his political comeback. The four years he’d been out of office had seen Vandalia’s economy falter, and a series of corruption scandals with railroad bribery of several of the Governor’s closest allies did not help matters. It came as no surprise, then, when Powell announced in March of 1898 that he would be challenging Governor Cornelius C. Watts, declaring that “the last four years have seen a crisis of leadership in Charleston. Corruption has infested the highest echelons of state government. Labor unions are fought by corporate militia and the National Guard in their fight for better conditions. The people of Vandalia deserve better.”

Powell retained significant popularity, not to mention name recognition. He took a leave of absence from his law firm to campaign, traversing the state in a hectic, grueling schedule. The Nationalist Party nominated him unanimously, while the unwieldy Freedomite alliance with the rump Old Guard Nationalists renominated Watts. Watts relied on his extensive network of surrogates to campaign for him, while Powell secured the endorsement of the reformist Freedomite Congressman George W. Atkinson. On his travels across the state, Powell promised to clean up political corruption, telling one crowd that “not only do the railroads and mine companies cheat and abuse their hardworking employees, but they bribe government officials to have a free hand to do so. Our government is not beholden to Vandalians but rather is beholden to the highest bidder. Even in the Appalachians, it appears the swamp of corruption has sprung up and needs to be drained.”

As in 1890 and 1894, Watts’ allies brought out private security forces to try and intimidate voters, but this strategy was even less effective than it had been in past years. Preston Powell won his second non-consecutive term as Governor of Vandalia, and this time, he would be joined by friendly Powellite Nationalist majorities in the state legislature. He defeated Governor Watts with 53% of the vote to Watts’ 46%, and he jubilantly promised to “serve the people of Vandalia first” in his acceptance speech. While he was first and foremost focused on his duties as Governor, in the back of his head the allure of the Presidency remained.”

From “Nationalism, Imperialism, and the Death of Old Europe” by Samuel Shaw
Published 2017

“Already substantially weakened by the war with Egypt, Ethiopia was by 1896 a patchwork of semi-independent feudal lords and petty kingdoms. With the establishment of Italian colonial authorities on the Eritrean coast, it was only a matter of time before Rome looked to expand its control into the discordant principalities of Ethiopia. Italy claimed that the 1889 Treaty of Wuchale made Ethiopia an Italian protectorate, but Emperor Menelik II refused to bend the knee. In response, Italian Prime Minister Luigi Luzzatti was pressured by imperialist members of Parliament to subjugate Ethiopia. In exchange for supporting his workers’ compensation program, Luzzatti agreed to dispatch a punitive expedition to force Ethiopia into becoming an Italian protectorate.

Emperor Menelik II hoped to use a prospective war with Italy to consolidate his authority, but this bold gamble failed. The German-trained and equipped Italian army, commanded by Oreste Baratieri, set out from their outposts in Eritrea, and were quickly joined by the Sultan of Aussa, the Negus Tekle Haymanot, and Ras Mengesha Yohannes, all rivals of Menelik. This anti-Menelik coalition cut through northern Ethiopia, defeating Menelik II in a bloody battle at Coatit. This defeat led several other warlords in the Ethiopian interior to rise up, hampering Menelik’s ability to raise more troops. Menelik fought the Italians and their native allies again at Adwa, where he was decisively defeated, his army plagued by shortages and unable to compete with the German-made equipment of the Italians. His army shattered, Menelik fled back to Addis Ababa to organize a defense of the city and rebuild his forces.

The Italians faced little organized resistance on the march to Addis Ababa and caught Menelik there before he could properly prepare to defend the city. The arrival of the Italians, preceded by news of their bloody victories, caused rioting in some sections of the city. Finally, three weeks into the siege, Menelik submitted to Italian demands and made Ethiopia a protectorate, in exchange for Italian investment into Ethiopian railroads and industry. However, Menelik would be forced to abdicate the throne three years later, replaced by an Italian puppet as Rome strengthened its control over its newest colonial possession. Back in Italy, meanwhile, Luzzatti became the most popular man in the country, with Oreste Baratieri the second most popular.”

From “The Populist Era: From Beginning to End”, by Martin Fields
Published 2020

“The number one priority of the 55th Congress was to stabilize the monetary supply. The steady flow of gold out of government coffers had been slowed to a trickle due to a last-minute decision by President Hill, but the value of silver remained in free fall while gold was still being slowly removed from circulation in favor of the less valuable silver. Further, the discovery of gold deposits in Klondike, Alyeska, and the beginning of large-scale gold mining in the Witwatersrand of the ZAR increased the global supply of gold and allowing for a more flexible gold standard.

The Coinage Act of 1897, frequently referred to as the Third Coinage Act or the Gold Act, was very simple. It ended production of silver currency and established gold as the sole currency that silver and paper money could be redeemed for. This sparked a furor among the sizeable contingent of silverite Nationalists, as well as the remaining silverite Freedomites. Faced with the near-total abolition of bimetallism, silverites denounced the Coinage Act as, variously, “the final sacrifice of the workingman before the altar of eastern finance,” a plot to shackle the masses to debt and poverty, and “an insidious plot” to sell out the United States to financial interests.

Conspiracy theories aside, the Third Coinage Act was explicitly designed to remove silver from the monetary system in favor of the more reliable gold. While silverites condemned it, greenbackers were unsure what to make of it. Preston Powell reluctantly supported the Third Coinage Act, regarding it as a “necessary, if painful step towards financial stability,” adding that “first, we put the dollar on the gold standard and then we can make it a green-backed currency.” Others were less supportive – Thomas S. Foster [1], the young leader of the House Populist caucus, fretted that “we are taking a grand leap backwards.” Five Freedomite Senators from Kansas, Nebraska, Lakota, Iowa, and Oregon also stated their opposition to the rigid return to the gold standard that the legislation entailed. Led by Kansas Senator John J. Ingalls, the ‘Gang of Five’ insisted that the Coinage Act include a provision for the amount of paper money (the United States Note) to be increased from $300 million to $400 million, which received significant support from the Populist caucus and rural Congressmen as a compromise. Speaker Cannon refused to accept the proposed increase in greenbacks, and President Foraker backed him up.

Amid the controversy, Speaker Cannon and his leadership team forced the Coinage Act through the House unaltered. Freedomite Senate leadership, led by Nelson W. Aldrich, worked with pro-gold Nationalists like John A. Parker [1] to circumvent the opposition of the Gang of Five, and after agreeing to drop a proposal to re-fund the Elections Security Bureau (as demanded by southern Nationalists) and a promise not to pass an immigration restriction bill for two years, the Old Guard Nationalists in the Senate gave the Coinage Act their support. After two months of tension, the Senate passed the Third Coinage Act 59-35 on June 17th, 1897. President Foraker signed it into law three days later – the era of bimetallism was over, and Foraker’s promised “return to prosperity” was at hand.

The silver market plummeted even further in the immediate aftermath of the Coinage Act’s passage, while July saw a brief economic slump as people rushed to redeem their silver dollars only to find that the federal gold reserve was so low on gold that no more could be given out. Faced with a worsening economic crisis as unemployment spiked again, Foraker arranged for the powerful financier J.P. Morgan and the wealthy Rothschild family to sell gold directly to the U.S. Treasury, a total of 4 million ounces of gold, in exchange for a 30-year bond issue. This endeavor was funded by federal bonds purchased by the general public, further reducing the amounts of silver and greenbacks in circulation. By the middle of August, banks were once again exchanging silver for gold, and the rate of deflation quickly slowed. By the beginning of September, prices were falling, and urban food markets once again became crowded with customers. By the end of September, the economy had largely reached an equilibrium, with prices at a stable and affordable level and the major east-coast markets quickly recovering.

Unemployment plummeted as the demand for goods sharply rose, and by the end of Foraker’s first year in office, the unemployment rate had fallen to 6% from a height in August 1896 of 17%. While the Coinage Act outraged the west, the economic recovery made Foraker immensely popular east of the Mississippi.”

From “MacroEconomicon: Intensive Economics Review”, by EduTensive Co.
Published 2021

“In most schools, the Intensive Economics curriculum discusses currency sometime in the middle of the first semester. Too early, and the basic groundwork of Macro Economics has not been laid, too late, and students miss a key part of the incredibly complex puzzle that is Macro Economics.

At the core of the currency unit of the Macro Economics curriculum are three debates: flexibility vs. stability, producer profit vs. consumer affordability, and rural vs. urban. The currency unit starts with an overview of the history of the currency debate in the United States. The basics – bimetallism, greenbacks, gold. You should be expected to have an expert’s understanding of the Three Coinage Acts – 1870, 1893, and 1897.

The First Coinage Act, officially the Silver Coinage Act, essentially ended the post-Civil War system of gold, greenbacks, and silver dollars all coexisting in the same financial system, instead consolidating the dollar into a single, gold-backed currency. More in-depth review on the First Coinage Act can be found on page 117, but in short, it restored the United States to a gold standard and was an important contributor to the Panic of 1870, which is an important topic in the history of the U.S. economy unit (review for this unit starts on page 11). The Second Coinage Act was signed by President Hill in 1893 and imposed a bimetallic standard. More in-depth review can be found on page 124, but in short, the Second Coinage Act was poorly calibrated and caused runaway inflation that triggered, along with labor unrest, the Recession of 1894. The Third Coinage Act restored the gold standard, causing a brief recession in July of 1897 before the rapid deflation and ensuing decline in prices of consumer goods led to an economic boom starting in early September. More in-depth review can be found on page 144.

With the Coinage Acts out of the way, let’s review the three key debates of the currency unit. First is flexibility vs. stability. This centers around whether it is better to have a currency that is easily adjustable, where the Treasury can quickly mint more money or remove some from circulation to manage inflation, or whether it is better to have a currency that remains more or less stable, where the amount of money in circulation rarely changes in order to keep prices and interest rates constant. Generally, silver is not discussed in this context (though you might impress your teachers or examiners should you bring it up!), with the debate instead being framed as between greenbacks and the gold standard. Currently, the United States uses a greenback system, and much of the coursework and class discussions will compare and contrast the U.S. economy in the 1897-1906 period, when the economy was exclusively on a gold standard, the 1906-1929 period, when the economy was on a gold standard, but the Federal Banking System was established, and the post-1929 period, when the economy has been on a greenback currency.

You should know that a greenback currency provides for a flexible monetary supply, as a fiat currency allows for the Treasury to print more bills or decirculate bills with ease. You should also know, from the Macro Basics unit, that more money in circulation causes inflation and a decrease in the value of the currency, while less money in circulation causes deflation and an increase in the value of the currency. This makes it easier for the government to fund stimulus projects or cut interest rates during recessions, and then return the system to equilibrium once the recession is over. A gold standard, meanwhile, keeps the amount of money in circulation at a constant, but changes in the amount of gold in circulation can cause fluctuations that are difficult to iron out, and the rigidity of the standard means that the government cannot easily fund stimulus projects or reduce interest rates quickly.

The second key debate is producer profit vs. consumer affordability. Simply put, this is the discussion over whether it is better to ensure that those who make certain goods are well-paid and prosperous, or whether it is better to ensure that those goods are cheap enough so that the masses can afford to purchase it. In the Recession of 1894-1897, the sudden bout of inflation meant that farmers were able to sell their crops for higher prices, but city-dwellers could not afford food as readily as before. This debate is centered around whether goods should enrich their manufacturers or be attainable for the common citizen, and whether or not an equilibrium can be reached that satisfies both sides of the issue.

You should know about the Second Coinage Act and its effects on farmers and food prices. You should also know about supply and demand, treasury bonds, and causes and events of the Recession of 1894-1897.

The third key debate is rural vs. urban. Farmers overwhelmingly favor an expansionist monetary policy to reduce interest rates and allow them to sell their crops for more. In contrast, factory workers generally prefer a monetary policy that makes goods more affordable and increases the purchasing power of the worker. In the 1896 Presidential election, for instance, industrial workers overwhelmingly supported Joseph B. Foraker’s promise to return to a gold standard, as that would bring prices down to a more manageable level. Meanwhile, farmers either supported the silverite David B. Hill or the greenbacker Populist ticket. You need to know about the conditions required for prosperity in rural and urban economies and the interplay between the two. You also need to be able to explain the similarities and differences between the economic needs of farmers and factory workers, how common ground was achieved at the 1904 Nationalist Convention and cite two examples of conflict and two examples of cooperation between farmers and factory workers between 1897 and the present day.

Here are some good examples of conflict to cite, in chronological order: One – the Foraker Tariff of 1897, where Preston Powell and the industrial populists supported the tariff, while the agrarian Populists vociferously opposed it. Explain what the tariff was – it raised tariff rates. Explain why agrarians opposed it – it would make it harder to export grain and other agricultural products. State who the key figures were – Preston Powell was in favor and Thomas S. Foster was opposed. Two – the 1898 Kansas City Manifesto, where the agrarian members of the Nationalist Party condemned what they saw as the party ignoring rural issues in favor of industrial workers. Explain what the Manifesto was – fourteen key points calling for a reduction in tariffs, more inflation to reduce interest rates, and strict regulation of the railroads. State who authored the manifesto – Thomas S. Foster of Yellowstone. Explain its effects – the rise to prominence of the Populist Party in the west.


Here are some good examples of cooperation to cite, in chronological order: One – the Nanticoke Intervention of 1899, where President Foraker utilized the newly-established National Board of Arbitration to broker a settlement between Pennsylvania coal miners and the railroad companies that owned the mines. Explain what happened – Foraker forced union leaders and the railroad owners to sit down under Federal auspices and reach a settlement. Explain why farmers and workers found common ground over it – they both wanted to reign in the power of the railroads and saw this arbitration as an important victory. Two – the First Hepburn Act, where President Foraker and his conservative allies united to defeat a bill regulating the rates that railroads could charge. Explain what happened – the bill was defeated in the Senate due to a filibuster by conservatives, with Foraker’s backing. Explain why farmers and workers were united in anger –workers wanted to increase regulation on railroads to improve working conditions, while farmers wanted increased regulations, so railroads had to lower their fares, making it cheaper for farmers to sell their crops.


And there you have it! That’s a summarization of the currency unit, and you can feel free to go to the more in-depth review pages at the back of this book. The next unit is tariffs, so turn the page and let’s get to reviewing!”

[1] Fictional people
Last edited:
Thanks for the update.

Powell is rising again.

Tragic with Adwa. Particularly as Menelik's downfall was pretty well assured by his own countrymen.
Thanks for the update.

Powell is rising again.

Tragic with Adwa. Particularly as Menelik's downfall was pretty well assured by his own countrymen.
And Powell's rise is not over yet, either...
It definitely sucks with Ethiopia, but the war with Egypt left Ethiopia greatly weakened and ripe for conquest.