In 1919 The Vice President's wife had to return to California because he mother suffered a serious illness and needed help. James then had to consider whether he should resign or tell the Party that he would not run in 1920 for a federal office.
1919 President Boone had notified the Nationalist party that he would not be running for re-election. He felt that he was too old . Normally the Vice President would then be a strong contender but he had also signaled that he would not be running as he would be returning to California because of family problems. Thus the Nationalist had to come up with a new candidate. Edward J Gleason was the candidate of the American Reform Party and he seemed to hit a cord with the people in the Northeast.
The Nationalist Party in 1919 began to look for someone to run and the Republicans were also looking. The Labor Party was also hopeful it was the latest attempt by the former Democrat Party to come back to life. The American Reform Party had come into existence in 1917 and seemed to be trying to find a position that was more centrist than the Labor Party. It had elected the Governor of New York and held control of the state Assembly
Mathew King of the King family of Texas convinced first the Republicans and then the Nationalist to give him the right to win the parties nomination for President. He spent nearly 4 million dollars of his personal wealth to run and win the nomination. He carried enough states to win the election but Edward J Gleason won New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware ,Rhode Island and Oregon.
President King nominated General Pershing to be Chief of Staff of the Army.Douglas Mac Arthur was promoted to Brigadier General for service in Mexico. The President announced the Completion of the restoration of Florida and of the restoration projects in New England.. Mathew Bywater was nominated to be Secretar of the Navy
President King met with the new President of Mexico to discuss relations with that country. They discussed the question of the Confederation of Sonora. President King listen but made no promises. Two weeks latter he met with the head of the Confederation of Sonora. They discussed border issues, trade and whether the Confederation and the Republic of Mexico had resolved their issues. President Flores made it clear that while some issues had been resolved between the two the Confederation would not be rejoining Mexico.
President King made a visit to Europe. He arrived in Portugal and spent 3 days there he traveled by train to Spain meeting with the King and the Prime Minister. He continued on to France and was warmly greeted by the French Emperor. He traveled by airship to England . There he spent a week visiting with the Prime Minister discussing issues of concern to both nations.
President King's final stop was Ireland were he address the Irish Parliament. He promised to take up the trade agreement with Ireland.
President King submitted a treaty signed by the governments of the United States of America and the Confederation of Sonora that would establish recognition of the Confederation and establish diplomatic relations between the two nation. The President was urging the treaty the agreed to by the Senate and Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes would testify on behalf of the administration.
The Nationalist Party currently held 50 Senate seats,the Republicans 15, American Reform Party 14 and the Labor Party 11 plus 6 independents Currently the President could count on 24 Nationalist votes and 1 Republican and 11 Labor Party and 2 American Reform Party were opposed. The President would need just 7 more votes to pass the treaty. He was talking with the Nationalist and Republican senators. Finally he gained the votes of 49 Nationalist and 13 Republican senators giving him 62 senators out of the 96.
There were some anti-American demonstrations in Mexico as a result ot the treaty
After three weeks of debate the treaty had been passed by the senate. The demonstrations in Mexico drew a reaction by the President. The State Department warned all US citizens to leave and the President prepared to take action to evacuate the people if need be. Neuva Granada offered to asst in the evacuation as it still had armed personnel in Mexico The US closed its embassy in Mexico and ordered the Mexican Embassy in the US closed.
Rep George Longstreet Nationalist Va 2 district had decided that President King needed to be challenged and prevented from winning a 2nd term. George came from a well known political family.. He had gone to college graduated served as a 2nd Lt and a Military lawyer/At the age of 32 he had left the army and had run for Congress and been elected. He was in his second term and he had not cared for the President's action.He had announced that he would run for President and had received support from the party in Virginia, Georgia,New York,Tennessee and Ohio
Republican Calvin Coolidge endorsed George Longstreet for President with the result that George won the Nationalist and Republican primary in New Hampshire with 58% of the vote.The current Governor of California and formerly Vice President under President Boone endorse George Longstreet.Theodore Roosevelt's eldest son also endorsed George Longstreet.
President King managed to win the support of the Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey Nationalist Conventions,While George Longstreet acquired delegates from New Hampshire, Vermont,New York, Georgia,South Carolina and Tennessee. The President won the Lion share of Texas,New Mexico and Arizona Longstreet won Virginia, North Carolina,South Carolina, Kentucky,Louisiana and Missouri.
Patrick E Smith ,the Governor of New York sought the American Reform Party Nomination for the Presidency . He was a popular Governor and his friend Edward J Gleason declined to run for the party's nomination in 1924. Thus Patrick E. Smith became the nominee of the American Reform Party, King the nominee of the Independents for America and George Longstreet the Nominee of the Nationalist and Republican parties.
The Election saw President King winning Texas,Arizona,Oregon,New Mexico and Washington plus Cuba, Governor Smith took New York,Vermont,Maine Rhode Island, Ma,Pennsylvania,Delaware,New Jersey ,IL,Minnesota and Wisconsin,Rep George Longstreet took,Va,NC,SC,Ga,Fla,Miss,Alabama,La, Tenn, Kentucky, Ohio, NH, IN,Missouri,
Colorado,California,Nevada,Utah Oklahoma,Nebraska, Montana,WVA,Idaho, ND,SD.
President King had clearly lost and Rep Longstreet had won. President Elect Longstreet offered the Secretary of the Interior post to Governor Smith,who declined
The Election had divided the country. President elect Longstreet acted quickly to reunite the country.He had appointed the 1920 American Reform Party candidate as the new Secretary of Commerce nominee,Theodore Roosevelt Jr as the Secretary of War,Robert Lansing as Secretary of State.
After President George Longstreet was sworn in the US and Mexico held talks in Spain about the possibility of reopening diplomatic relations. The talks went on for several Months and The President of Mexico met with the American President in Neuva Granada's Capital. An agreement was reached and the embassies were to be reopened in the two countries capitals.
President George Longstreet knew that the reopening of the embassies was a first step. He was willing to repair what he could of the damage in relations between Mexico and the US But there was still and undercurrent caused by the actions of a Mexican dictator and an American traitor that continued to stir the pot even though both men had been dead for decades. Then there was Sonora which had broken away from Mexico and seemed to have found a new direction. Its government seemed to be molded in the image of the US and it seemed to be trying to find a path.