And that's the 20th century finally finished! Next up is the 2000 election, the start of the (Second) Levant War, and all that follows That's probably all for tonight though
Okay, here's the alternate party systems that evolve in the Heartland story nested within my Power Without Knowledge concept:
Fourth Party System (1896-1916): A period that would mark the decline and eclipse of the Democratic and Republican parties, the Fourth Party System would be defined by the electoral conflict between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan, each serving for two consecutive terms. Domestically the Fourth Party system revolved around issues of corporate monopolies and citizen's rights, while internationally the Philippine-American War spiralled into the so called "Insurgency Wars" that would rage throughout the East Indies and attract the full attention of an otherwise increasingly isolationist America. The decline of the Fourth Party System would come about through the rise of the...
Fifth Party System (1916-1948): With the Democratic and Republican parties essentially powerless in the wake of the radical populism that led to the end of the Fourth Party System, and with the Independence Party disintegrating without Hearst on the ticket, the new Fifth Party System would be dominated by issues of the scope of government authority and one's position toward the European Quasi-War. This period would see increasingly toxic partisanship and dramatic shifts in policy as power shifted rapidly through increasingly contested elections, leading some historians to alternatively refer to the period as the Culture Struggle, taken from the German term Kulturkampf.
- Independence Party: An electoral vehicle for William Randolph Hearst, the Independence Party sought to capture populist impulses that Hearst believed were not being catered to, citing the quagmire of the Insurgency Wars and playing on the extreme backlash to Bryan's attempt to implement national Prohibition. Advocating a radical populism that sought to bypass what the party called "the machine politicians", the Hearst administration would coincide with currents among the electorate to seize the power to choose political candidates away from party functionaries. Ironically this populism would be Hearst's undoing, with the backlash to his other foreign and domestic policies exacerbating the rise of the ULP and the end of the Fourth Party System.
Sixth Party System (1948-1984): Through the period of the Culture Struggle the rapid shifts between Geoism and Vitalism at the national stage produced intense gridlock and dissatisfaction with the political system, though it would produce interesting and long lasting changes at the local level. Vitalist rhetoric had led to the unintended growth of informal political and cultural identities that transcended not only the state governments but also the US-Canadian border. It would be these shared identities that would give rise to a new organization, the Continental Congress, a lobbying organization and forum for these new cultural units to interact among themselves. Almost wholly removed from international affairs, North America under the grips of the American National Union Party and the Canadian Social Credit Party has seen the withering away of not only the ULP's centralized federalism but also the Prohibitionist's strong statism, ceding territory to regionalism that transcends traditional boundaries.
- United Labor Party: The election of Henry George as New York Mayor in 1886 would be the beginning of the marginalization of Marxism within the United Labor Party, and by the time of it's ascendence it would be wholly Geoist, advocating for free trade, tax reform, a formal alliance with the also Central Powers, and an end to the growing tide of isolationism. Advocating for a strong central government, the party argued that devolving too much power to the states lead to the persecution of dissenters of whatever description.
- Prohibition Party: Following the failure to adopt the 17th Amendment, the Prohibition Party would withdraw all support from the Bryan Administration, shifting focus to opposing the rising, labor focused (and therefore "un-American") and increasingly ethnic ULP, eventually becoming the bastion of WASP culture in the United States. Transitioning to a new focus on states rights to advance the moral priorities of its constituency, the Prohibition Party would lobby for a weak and isolationist federal government, protective trade, and an affiliation (never "alliance") with the increasingly decentralized Entente.
-Given altered international events Hearst in 1912 has a blend of his OTL reformist early politics and his post-WWI conservative politics.
- National Union Party: Ushered into power by the 1948 election of President William Goodale, the National Union Party would attempt to chart a third position between Geoism and Vitalism through a political theory Goodale called Vajraism. Inspired by Anthroposophy, Vajraism divided society into three spheres, political ("Community"), social ("Identity") and economic ("Stability"). While presented as a salve for the nation's wounds in the wake of the Culture Struggle all this has done is created two geographically distinct factions within the party (the western Natural Alliance and the Eastern People's Coalition) and left everyone vulnerable to corporations playing one group against another.
-"European" being an increasingly outdated modifier. With both the Geoist Central Powers and the Vitalist Entente spreading their respective systems to their colonies and expanding their membership into other theaters the Quasi-War is the defining ideological split of TTL's 20th century, though actual conflict is limited to diplomatic maneuvering, economic leverage and colonial proxy wars.
-The timeline's POD, butterflying away Teddy Roosevelt's stint as VP in the process.
- National Prohibition. Ironically the fact that votes for women came after prohibition was put to the question is probably what doomed it in the first place.
- "National" in this context meaning "cultural". There's an understood nuance between "country" and "nation" TTL, with the NUP coming down firmly on the side of the latter, to the point that "Separate But Equal" is the motto of the Continental Congress.
- With no World War I, Social Credit arises slightly differently but still catches on in Canada. As in OTL, the more exotic reforms at the provincial level are prevented by the national government, leading to a shift to Prohibitionist-influenced provincial devolution arguments, creating a similar slippery slope to that seen in the alternate US. By the time 1948 comes around National Union and the Socreds are essentially two different masks for the same weird thing.
-Less noxious than OTL but still prone to mysticism and convoluted race theories.
It was originally going to be Chris John (a Blue Dog from Louisiana) but he hadn't been in the House long enough to make selecting him for VP a practical consideration. So as it stands it's a placeholder, if anyone has a long-term conservative Democrat in the Senate or House around 2000 I'm all ears.Who was elected Vice President?