Stonewall Jackson's Way: An Alternate Confederacy Timeline

What Timeline Should I Do Next?

  • Abandon the Alamo!

    Votes: 44 43.1%
  • We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists

    Votes: 48 47.1%
  • Old Cump and Pap

    Votes: 10 9.8%

  • Total voters
    102
  • Poll closed .

Ficboy

Banned
Chapter Sixty-Nine: The Presidency of Henry C. Lodge, Part One

President Henry C. Lodge
With Lodge's entering into office, many outsider observers of the United States were truly beginning to suspect America was becoming a one party system, not due to the machinations of an ambitious leader or an erosion of American democracy, but because of utter Republican domination of both Houses of congress. Of the 64 Senate seats, only 7 were not held by members of the Republican Party, of them only six were Democrats, consisting of Nevada's Francis G. Newlands, Colorado's Charles J. Hughes, Kentucky's Thomas H. Paynter and James B. McCreary, and Missouri's William J. Stone and Champ Clark. The sole remaining man who was opposed to the Republicans in Senate while also not being a Democrat was Wisconsin's Robert LaFollette, who claimed affliction with the Reform Party he had ran with the 1908 election, although he would frequently vote with the Republicans on many issues. As had become evident in previous years, however, the Republicans were far from a united party, and it wasn't surprising when some conservative Republicans would cross the aisle and vote with the six Democrats. This would lead Newlands to state, "The only hope for the continuance of the Democratic Party as a major political force is for a mass defection of the conservative wing of the Republican Party to our side. Should this fail, I see little hope for the future of my party."

Nevada Senator Francis Newlands, leader of the six Democrats in the Senate
Shortly into his presidency, Lodge would be confronted with his first major issue as president, which happened to deal with the presidency of another nation, Mexico. In the wake of the 1909 Mexican Presidential Election and the subsequent Zapatista rebellion, Lodge was confronted with what to do. Should he lead the United States in remaining neutral, or back the government under Orozco that his predecessor had helped form and install? Ultimately, Lodge what stick to his principles of avoiding United States involvement abroad and following a policy of isolationism unless the Mexican government would directly request assistance, which it did not. This decision, however, would be much scorned by some of the more progressive elements of the Republican Party, including Roosevelt himself, who openly claimed that had the rebellion broken out under his administration, he would have sent troops to quell it. This move by Lodge coincided with his efforts to begin removing U.S. troops from the region, and beginning to advocate for Mexico to become more self-reliant, although he was still in favor of a friendly foreign policy, as well as remaining a firm defender of the informal alliance that existed between the United States, the Confederacy, and Mexico, which he had played a major role in crafting while acting as Secretary of State under Roosevelt.

A photograph depicting U.S. and Mexican soldiers partaking in joint U.S.-CSA-Mexican military exercises as part of their policy of mutual friendship
Lodge's term would also be marked by his increased push for civil rights, being their most fervent advocate since Garfield. For example, he would again break with Roosevelt, and formally offered to the three discharged companies of the 27th U.S. Infantry the opportunity for reentry into the army, as well as full presidential pardons and honorable discharges for those who wished to remain out of the service. He would also meet with several leaders within the African-American community, asking to hear their grievances, as well as their ideas for improvements. Among those who he would speak to were John B. Washington, W.E.B. Du Bois, Kelly Miller, and Paul L. Dunbar. This, however, was not completely well-received by the general populace, and the Democrats were able to exploit the issue of racism for slight congressional gains in the 1910 congressional midterms, although the Republicans still dominated both houses of Congress. The most notable of these gains would be the election of William R. Hearst over incumbent Republican Chauncey M. Depew for his U.S. Senate seat of New York. Hearst's victory was attributed both to his massive media empire, as well as the effective work of his campaign manager John Alden Dix in uniting many of the disparate factions in New York who opposed Republicans but lacked unity. Despite this, Lodge remained true to his convictions, and continued his meetings with the African-Americans, which has received much praise in the modern day.
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W.E.B. Du Bois, Kelly Miller, and Paul Dunbar, all among the African-American leaders whom Lodge invited to the White House
Another major conflict would rise within the Lodge adminstration in 1911. On October 14, 1911, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John M. Harlan was pass away, thus ending his 28 years of service on the bench that had begun with his appointment by President Garfield. The battle on who would replace him would help highlight once more the divides within the Republican Party. Lodge considered two major candidates. First was his Secretary of State Philander C. Knox, while the other was Ohio Governor William H. Taft. Remembering how his dropping out at the 1908 Republican National Convention had led to Lodge's nomination, Taft was confident he would receive the appointment, and he received the endorsements of Theodore Roosevelt and Vice-President Albert Cummins, as well as several other prominent progressive Republicans. Once again defying his old leader, Lodge would instead nominate Knox, who shared closer views to him. This would enrage Taft, who tried to mobilize enough senators to block Knox's approval, and rejected out of hand Lodge's offer to appoint him as Knox's successor in the State Department. Ultimately, however, Taft's movement failed to gain much traction, and Knox's nomination was easily approved by the Senate. Thus, Knox became the 10th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and with Taft's refusal to accept the post, Lodge would appoint James E. Watson, recently elected senator from Indiana and a close ally of House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon from his time in the House of Representatives, to the now vacated position of Secretary of State as an attempted olive branch to the conservative wing of his party.

Chief Justice Philander Knox
It was under the newly inaugurated Knox's court that a long awaited and prepared for legal battle began. In the case Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey v. United States, the long-awaited showdown between the most powerful monopoly of them all, Henry M. Flagler's Standard Oil, and a United States federal government intent on busting trusts finally occurred. Hundreds of people would appear as witnesses to offer their testimony, even including Chairman Henry Flagler, Vice-President John D. Archbold, as well as senior company executives including Henry H. Rogers and William A. Rockefeller. As arguments from both sides were heard, the courtroom remained tense as the future of American industry was decided, with the silence only broken the droning of the lawyers and their witnesses, the occasional rapping of the gavel, and the frantic scribing of notes by newspaper reporters eagerly hanging on every word. Eventually, the Supreme Court would return with their verdict. In it, it ordered Standard Oil to dissolve into over two dozen smaller, more local companies within six months of the court's ruling. While some eagerly claimed this as a victory, other progressives, led by Senator Robert LaFollette, saw it as a defeat in disguise, as with the ruling came the government establishing what it would consider monopolistic practices, which they feared would lead to the monopolies merely finding loopholes to continue with their ways. For the moment, however, the power of America's largest and most domineering monopoly was shattered.

Leaders of the Dissolved Stanard Oil: Henry Flagler, John Archbold, Henry Rogers, and William Rockefeller
As Lodge's term began coming to a close in 1912, he and his supporters who forced to look to the future. Despite Lodge being a much more moderate president than Roosevelt had been, the divides within the Republican Party had only grown. Even though Lodge had listened to them much more than Roosevelt ever did, the arch-conservatives within the party were growing more and more dissatisfied by the day. Without the threat of a major opposition party holding them together, many of these conservatives were seriously beginning to toy with the idea of an independent run, which had been present in their minds since 1904. All of these factors would burst forth in clear light in the 1912 election.

Lodge and his cabinet:
President: Henry C. Lodge
Vice-President: Albert B. Cummins
Secretary of State: Philander C. Knox
Secretary of the Treasury: Hamilton Fish II
Secretary of War: Leonard Wood
Attorney General: Jonathan P. Dolliver
Postmaster General: James R. Garfield
Secretary of the Navy: Henry L. Stimson
Secretary of the Interior: Porter J. McCumber
Secretary of Agriculture: James Wilson
Secretary of Labor and Commerce: Charles Nagel
This timeline is back in business.
 
Chapter Seventy: The CSA Presidential Election of 1909
Chapter Seventy: The CSA Presidential Election of 1909

A home made campaign poster for Patrick Cleburne's presidential campaign, in reference to his service in the American Civil War
As Buckner's six years in office came to a close, and the Liberty-moderate Democrat coalition was still holding together, if barely and in a haphazard manner. Despite this, many came into the election believing it to be a likely lock for the Liberty Party. Ultimately, as events began to unfold, however, this was proven not to be. A variety of factors would make this one of the closest elections in CSA history. Going into the Liberty Party nominating convention, four main candidates were in consideration for the nomination. The two favored by the more progressive factions of the Liberty Party were Secretary of State Patrick Cleburne of Arkansas, who has also previously served as a general, governor, and Secretary of War, and President Pro Tempore Charles A. Culberson of Texas. There was much support within this faction for the nomination of either Treasury Secretary Oscar Underwood or former Secretary of the Interior Jim Hogg, but both men decided to withdraw their names from consideration. Meanwhile, the more moderate members of the coalition favored either Secretary of the Navy M. Hoke Smith or Alabama Senator Joseph F. Johnston. A scandal would rock the convention when it was revealed that Johnston had mixed politics with his private business affairs in using his position as Chair of the Senate Naval Committee to favor steel companies run by himself or other close friends. With this, Johnston dropped out, and the reputation of the coalition as a whole took as hit as members of the Liberty Party began leveling harsh accusations and criticisms against their Democratic counterparts. It was only through the intervention of Vice-President James H. Berry that a Democratic walk out did not occur. Ultimately, Cleburne, well-known, experienced, and mostly beloved throughout the Confederacy, was chosen to be the presidential nominee. Cleburne's views, which were among the most radical in the coalition, necessitated the nomination of a moderate for his running-mate. Ultimately, the party would chose Smith, a man well-liked by almost everyone in the coalition, as Cleburne's running-mate, which helped to hold together the fragile alliance. His relations to Lieutenant General Robert F. Hoke, one of the dwindling number of Confederate generals from the American Civil War still alive, could only serve to help their cause amongst veterans.
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Patrick Cleburne and M. Hoke Smith
The Democratic nominating convention, meanwhile, hoped to find a way to gain back power. They saw two ways for this to occur. First was to bring the members of the now effectively defunct Populist Party to their side. In this effort, however, they had found it to be quite difficult. Many of the Populist Party's core voters had been factory workers, one of the groups that generally favored the Liberty Party more. Secondly, many of the former leaders of the party, including Marion Butler, Tom Watson, and Milford Howard, had opted to join the Liberty Party rather than the Democratic Party after their own party began to crumble. Furthermore, several Liberty Party politicians had already been using populist tactics to great effect, including the deceased James Z. George and Jim Hogg. Democratic efforts in this front had not completely been in vain, however. Some former Populists, including Wilkinson Call, had shifted over to their party, and after forming a coalition with former Populists, Jeff Davis had able to win a decisive election as Arkansas' governor, a state that had traditionally had close elections between the two parties, as well as being the home of such prominent members of the Liberty Party as Cleburne and Vice-President Berry. The second path back to power the Democrats saw was a collapse of the Liberty-moderate Democrat coalition, with the hopes that the moderate Democrats would return to their traditional party. The man who had driven them away, Ben Tillman, had been dead for over 9 years now, and the strains in the coalition were beginning to show, especially with the nomination of such a radical as Cleburne and the fact that Buckner's presidency had oversaw the last five Confederate states still allowing slavery create and approve plans for gradual emancipation. When relations broke down, the Democrats hoped to bring back their former members and come back into power. This election would ultimately prove to be the opportunity the Democrats had been waiting for to put both theories into effect.

Marion Butler, Tom Watson, and Milford Howard, three of the most prominent Populist leaders who had joined the Liberty Party
Entering into the convention itself, the Democratic establishment, many of who still believed that supporting and idolizing Tillman and his policies would be the best way to win election, favored renominating Augustus Bacon, who since the 1903 presidential election had lost his seat in the Senate. In a surprise movement, however, many in the lower ranks of the party revolted against the establishment and instead supported Arkansas Governor Jeff Davis, who they believed would be the only man who stood a chance at rallying the necessary factions together to win the election. The third and final major candidate in consideration for the nomination was Texas Senator Joseph W. Bailey. His support mainly came from those who agreed with the establishment in their support the deceased Tillman, but favored a candidate who still held office and did not have a presidential election defeat on his record. He also had the advantage of being from a swing state. Ultimately, the establishment was unable to stop the grassroots movement for Davis, and he would decisively defeat both Bacon and Bailey on the first ballot. To console those of the Tillman faction, however, Bailey was chosen to be Davis' running-mate, instead of North Carolina Senator Furnifold Simmons, a rising star within the party and the preferred candidate of many of Davis' supporters.

Jeff Davis and Joseph Bailey
The dying remains of the Populist Party, meanwhile, tried to cobble together a ticket. All of their former members who had achieved election of the national level of government had since left the party and joined either the Liberty or Democratic Party. Pockets of the party, however, remained a somewhat viable political force in North Carolina and Georgia, as well as scattered regions of the Deep South. Efforts to coordinate a national convention ultimately fell short and the idea was abandoned, with it instead falling to the state parties to work together in forming a ticket. A lack of coordination between them, however, resulted in the formation of two different tickets. Appearing Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida was the ticket of Needham B. Broughton, a former member of the North Carolina State Senate, running with lawyer James K. Hines of Georgia. Meanwhile, the ticket appearing in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas featured Broughton again as the presidential nominee, but instead listed Reverend James B. Cranfill of Texas as his running-mate. Eventually, some members of the party noticed this inconsistency between the tickets, but efforts to correct it and form one unified ticket were ultimately ignored and unsuccessful.

Needham Broughton, James Hines, and James Cranfill
When the time for campaigning arrived, both major parties attempted to run campaigns appealing to populism, much to the chagrin of the actual Populist Party. Davis touted how his gubernatorial campaign had successful bonded together Democratic and Populist values and rhetoric. He also used his familiar name as part of his campaign, famously proclaiming in one campaign speech, "The time for a new Jeff Davis has arrived! People of the Confederacy, I am that man!" Meanwhile, Cleburne's campaign would focus on how he had risen from poverty to presidential candidate. A controversy would arise when the Democrats questioned if Cleburne was even eligible to become president of the Confederacy, considering that he had been born in Ireland. The Liberty Party would successfully counter this argument by saying that every prior CSA president had been a citizen of a foreign country, in this case the United States. This appeal would help clear about the legal debates about Cleburne's validity as a candidate, but it also lead well into another one of Davis' favorite campaign slogans. Born in 1862, after the Confederacy had declared independence, Davis would frequently mention how he had been born and bred in Dixie, and that he was much more attuned to the issues concerning them than Cleburne as a result. Another frequently used tactics by the Democrats were attempts to splinter the Liberty coalition, hoping to send it crashing to the ground. Despite no massive breaks occurring, not a negligible number of moderate Democrats would switch back to supporting the Democratic Party. The most common attack against Cleburne, however, was how advanced in age he was. At the time of the election, Cleburne was 81. To counter this argument, the Liberty would point to President Buckner, who too was very advanced in age and was in fact older than Cleburne. Despite this, the age issue was one of the most effective tactics used by the Democrats in the election and doubtless swayed many voters to their side.
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A Democratic political cartoon entitled "Waving the Bloody Banner". A term that originated from the 1903 election, but saw a massive spike in popular use during the 1909 election, it was in reference to how many old veterans used their service in the American Civil War to their political advantage, blocking out new and younger candidates.
When the results were tallied, Cleburne emerged as the winner of the election, but only barely. In an election where 70 electoral votes were needed for victory, Cleburne would secure 76 from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, Arizona, and Georgia. Meanwhile, Davis won 62 electoral votes from South Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, and Mississippi. Despite being defeated in the election, the Democrats took hope in the results. They had managed to bring Arkansas and Texas to their side for the electoral vote, two states they doubted they were going to win. Also, in an election that many expected to be a large victory for the Liberty Party, the Democrats had given a remarkably good showing. Contrasting the joy of the Democrats was the despondency of the Populists. Even in their strongest state, North Carolina, they had received less than 3% of the popular vote. The populists had moved on to the mainstream parties, leaving behind their old party to decay. Interestingly, this election was the first in CSA history were a presidential candidate went on to win the election without receiving the electoral votes of his home state, as Cleburne won the presidency without Arkansas' electoral votes.
 
As of late, of been in more a writing mood for this TL, but I’m not sure which chapter to do next. To resolve this conundrum, I ask you, the reader, which chapter you want to see next. Do you want to see the election that divided America and the Republican, otherwise known as the 1912 U.S. Presidential Election, or would you be most interested in diving into Cleburne and the intrigues that occurred within? I will write whichever chapter you guys are most interested in next, then then the other chapter I’ve described, and then another chapter on the state of politics in Mexico.
 
As of late, of been in more a writing mood for this TL, but I’m not sure which chapter to do next. To resolve this conundrum, I ask you, the reader, which chapter you want to see next. Do you want to see the election that divided America and the Republican, otherwise known as the 1912 U.S. Presidential Election, or would you be most interested in diving into Cleburne and the intrigues that occurred within? I will write whichever chapter you guys are most interested in next, then then the other chapter I’ve described, and then another chapter on the state of politics in Mexico.
I would like to see more of Cleburne.
 
Chapter Seventy-One: The Presidency of Patrick R. Cleburne
Chapter Seventy-One: The Presidency of Patrick R. Cleburne
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President Patrick Cleburne
With Cleburne's close win in the presidential election, many still retained hope that the Liberty-moderate Democratic coalition could be maintained for six more years at least. This was not to be, however. Despite his modern reputation amongst the general public, Cleburne was, at his time, one of the most controversial and hated men ever to hold the office of the presidency of the Confederate States of America. It would be his time in office that helped solidify and define the future policies and platforms of both of the CSA's major political parties for decades to come. His presidency would also mark a time of change for the nation he was leading. It was during his time in office that the gradual emancipation plans of the final states to approve them finally reached their conclusion, ending slavery, in name at least, within the CSA. Thus, in 1910, the Confederacy became the last major nation in the world to outlaw the practice of enslavement of another human being. While many within the nation celebrated this as a hard fought victory, other nations around the world were disgusted it had taken a nation they considered to be a western, civilized nation to take so long to abolish such an abhorrent system. This can help explain why, of all the powerful nations of the world, the Confederacy received the least amount of diplomatic efforts of other nations to bring their nation to their side in the Great War when it break out in 1914, as no nation wanted to be burdened with the propaganda defeat of having a nation fight alongside them who had also within the same decade ended the practice of slavery. Thus, the Confederacy had to be contented with maintaining its informal alliance with the United States and Mexico.

A 1930s photograph of the Barret House, which served during Cleburne's presidency as the embassy of the United Kingdom to the Confederacy
Despite the victory his nation had won in the abolition of slavery, Cleburne still remained worried. Even after all the Confederate states, even South Carolina, had outlawed slavery, there still were a vocal and in some cases quite persuasive minority of up and coming young speakers who still clung to the notion of slavery, and even advocated for its return. Fearing that a day might come when those radicals gained enough power and influence to put their views into effect, Cleburne decided it was necessary to pass an abolition amendment to prevent slavery from ever returning. Many in his coalition, however, did not support Cleburne in this assessment. While they too were glad that slavery had passed away as a system, they feared that going so far as passing an amendment to outlaw would provide fuel to their Democratic opposition in their appeals to the voters. Despite this, Cleburne would use all his influence and all the connections he had made from 50 years of service in the public eye to get the amendment passed. Working alongside his close allies, President Pro Tempore Charles A. Culberson in the Senate and Arkansas Representative Joseph T. Robinson in the House, Cleburne disregarded those who stood in opposition to him, even when it came to allies. Eventually, through sheer force of will, the amendment would be narrowly passed. The cost would prove to be quite heavy, however. In ignoring the views and complaints of the moderate Democrats, Cleburne had effectively managed to shatter the brittle coalition, thus sending many Democrats back to the former party, with a much smaller number choosing to remain in the Liberty Party. The constant campaigning for the amendment had also proven to be a drain on the elderly president's health, with many within the party fearing he might pass away, especially when Cleburne came down with a severe case of pneumonia. Ultimately, he would survive the ordeal, albeit narrowly, Afterwards, the president seemed irrevocable changed, down many allies and his health irreparably damaged, he seemed to have lost some of the fire and vigor that defined his personality. He would continue onward with the presidency, however.

Charles Culberson and Joseph Robinson, Cleburne's allies in the passage of the abolition amendment
Despite Cleburne's victory with the passage of the amendment, all was not well within his administration. Cleburne knew his handling of its passage had cost him allies in both congress and around the country, but he did not expect that he faced opposition from within his cabinet itself. Seeing how the president how destroyed the coalition, as well as being well aware of his frail health, Cleburne's Secretary of the Navy, a moderate Virginian Democrat named Woodrow Wilson, decided action needed to be taken against the president. In what became known as the "Cabinet Cabal", Wilson would seek support from his fellow cabinet members in his plan to form a united front against Cleburne and to publicly demand his resignation in favor of Vice-President M. Hoke Smith. Wilson decided that if he could get a majority of his fellow cabinet members to support him, or in other words three others beside himself, he would go forward with the plot. After several days of a whisper campaign, Wilson managed to bring Secretary of the Interior Tom E. Watson and Postmaster General Francis R. Lassiter to his side, but he had been rebuffed by Secretary of State Oscar Underwood, Secretary of the Treasury William G. McAdoo, and Secretary of War Oscar B. Colquitt. Ultimately, Wilson would hinge his decision on the opinion of Attorney General Duncan U. Fletcher, the last cabinet member whom he approached. Fletcher would be personally torn about what to do, but ultimately decided to remain loyal to Cleburne. Despite failing to bring a majority of his fellow cabinet members to his side, Wilson still continued with the plan, now deciding to focus particularly on congressmen and other high ranking government officials. Ultimately, however, this would prove to be his downfall. After rebuffing Wilson, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury William P. Jackson would reveal the cabal to Cleburne, as well as the men he knew were involved. Following this revelation, Cleburne would fire outright Wilson, replacing him with Tennessee Representative Lemuel P. Padgett. Watson would be allowed to quietly resign, being replaced by fellow former Populist Marion Butler. For his part, Lassiter's support for the plan would not be revealed until decades later, so he remained at his post for the remainder of Cleburne's presidency, silent about his involvement in the conspiracy against him.
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Woodrow Wilson and William Jackson, the creator and destroyer of the Cabinet Cabal
With his party still trying to readjust from the collapse of the coalition and come to grips with the losses that had occurred as a result, Cleburne failed to achieve many other notable accomplishments throughout the rest of his presidency. Cleburne himself came to grips with this reality, and enjoyed the respite it proved to himself. His most notable accomplishment during this time would ultimately prove to be the admission of four new states into the Confederacy: Chihuahua, Sonora, Baja California, and Verdigris. President Buckner had promised to admit the first three of those states as part of his campaigning in the 1903 election, but following the Mexican Revolution, that promise had effectively been forgotten. Cleburne would resurrect it, however, and welcome the states into the Confederacy. Verdigris, composed of the former Indian Territory and named after the Verdigris River that flowed through it would be admitted shortly thereafter. With its admission as a state, the last of the territory the Confederacy had won as the result of the American Civil War was finally given statehood. In Congress, particularly from Democrats, there came cries for the admission of Cuba as a state. Cleburne, however, opposed this proposal, claiming that it was precedent that a CSA territory would have to wait decades for admission as a state, pointing to the 48 years waited by Verdigris, and the 37 years Chihuahua, Sonora, and Baja California remained as territories, as opposed to the mere 14 years Cuba had been a territory of the CSA.
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A photograph of a Verdigris town at the time of its admission as a state
When the time of the 1916 presidential election came around, Cleburne eagerly awaited the time when he would finally be able to leave the presidency. During his time in office, he had been bombarded by critics and on occasion had even received death threats. He had to have gone through betrayals, both from his fellow politicians and even from his own body. The coalition that had brought him into office had collapsed, and it was doubtful if his successor would be of the Liberty Party. Despite this, Cleburne would still be proud of his signal legislative achievement, and as many fierce rivals he had created from his time in office, he had also gained admirers, particularly foreign. Many of his foreign admirers would be of Ireland, his own former homeland, where his birthday would be celebrated throughout his time in office, a tradition that continues amongst some Irishmen to the modern day. In the end, despite being widely despised in his time, Cleburne's reputation would be rehabilitated in the decades to come, and in the modern day he is generally ranked among the Confederacy's greatest presidents for his principled stand against slavery.

Cleburne and his cabinet:
President: Patrick Cleburne
Vice-President: M. Hoke Smith
Secretary of State: Oscar Underwood
Secretary of the Treasury: William G. McAdoo
Secretary of War: Oscar B. Colquitt
Secretary of the Navy: Woodrow Wilson
Attorney General: Duncan U. Fletcher
Postmaster General: Francis R. Lassiter
Secretary of the Interior: Tom E. Watson
 
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Chapter Seventy-Two: The 1912 U.S. Presidential Election
Chapter Seventy-Two: The 1912 U.S. Presidential Election

A political cartoon published by the Lodge campaign criticizing Nelson Aldrich's role as obstructionist in the Senate
By the time the 1912 U.S. Presidential Election came around, it was all but certain they was going to be a divide within the Republican Party the likes of which had not been seen since 1884. On one side stood incumbent President Henry C. Lodge, and in opposition stood the solid conservative Republicans, who were unwilling to budge on the issues they believed in and were growing increasingly exacerbated with how they had been sidelined within the party. Even now, the one area where Roosevelt had given them leniency and more influence, in the appointment of cabinet members and other government officials, Lodge had cracked down on. Throughout his presidency, he had ignored their calls for the removal of progressives from his cabinet and other government offices, including Attorney General Jonathan P. Dolliver, Postmaster General James R. Garfield, and Chief of the United States Forest Service Gifford Pinchot. Every time Lodge had ignored their requests and retained the men in office. Thus, the generally conservative Lodge was drifting more and more into the progressive camp and farther away from the conservatives, who had expected him to be their champion after eight years of Roosevelt. As a result of this, few were surprised when the conservative Republicans backed their own candidate to oppose Lodge in the nominating convention: Ohio Senator Joseph B. Foraker. Enjoying the advantage of incumbency, Lodge managed to be nominated on the second ballot, albeit after a difficult fight. Obstinate after defeat, the conservatives demanded that Lodge drop his current Vice-President, the progressive Albert B. Cummins, and instead run with Foraker. When Lodge and his campaign refused to do this, and Cummins was instead nominated, the conservatives stormed out of the convention and declared they would nominate their own candidate for president. The long awaited Republican break had finally occurred.
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Henry Lodge and Albert Cummins
Reorganizing in New York City, the Conservative Republicans, as they referred to themselves, gathered to nominate their own candidate. Without a clear leader, however, the convention would be inundated with candidates. The three most prominent and widely supported would be Rhode Island Senator Nelson W. Aldrich, Ohio Senator Joseph B. Foraker, and New Hampshire Senator Jacob H. Gallinger. Among the flood of minor candidates were Delware Senator Henry A. du Pont, California Senator George C. Perkins, Ohio Representative and former CSA ambassador Warren G. Harding, and former Standard Oil Chairman Henry M. Flagler, who was not aware he was even a candidate and was not in attendance at the convention. One by one the minor candidates dropped until only the big three remained. Consistently trailing at third in the ballots but also controlling enough delegates to decide the nominee, Gallinger decided to play the role of king maker. He would be approached by Harding, who had become Foraker's unofficial campaign manager after dropping out, to throw his support behind Foraker, who was currently holding solid at second in the ballots. Ultimately, Gallinger would support his fellow New England senator, however, and threw his support behind Aldrich, giving him the nomination. Realizing the need to heal party divisions, as well as the electoral value of his home state, Aldrich would support Foraker as his running-mate, which he would be nominated for.

Nelson Aldrich and Joseph Foraker
The Democrats, for their own part, were excited about the opportunities this election posed. With a major split within the Republican Party, this presented them with a fine opportunity to return to power after 16 years of political exile. Entering into the convention, three major candidates stood out: Missouri Senator and 1908 presidential nominee Champ Clark, New York Senator William R. Hearst, and Indiana Senator John W. Kern, who managed to exploit divides within Indiana's Republican Party to be elected to fill the senate seat vacated by James E. Watson's appointment as Secretary of State. Although both Hearst and Kern excited the more common, low-level Democrats with their appeals and seeming advantages they would have should they run, Clark remained the favored candidate of the establishment, and the divide of popular support between Hearst and Kern ensured that they lacked the strength to defeat the powerful party bosses. Thus, Clark was again the nominee, with Hearst again storming out of the convention as he had done in 1908 and again pledging to run as his own candidate. Aware of the divide in the Republicans, and hoping to draw disaffected Republicans to their ticket, the Democrats would nominate Massachusetts Representative Eugene Foss, a former Republican and known conservative, as Clark's running-mate.

Champ Clark and Eugene Foss
Like he did the 1908 election, Hearst would decide to run his own campaign for president as a third party, again taking the mantle of the Progressive Party. This time, he had managed to bring even more Democrats with them than last time, and he was even viewed by some to be the legitimate candidate of the Democratic Party, rather than Clark who was chosen by the party bosses. Unsurprisingly, Hearst would be chosen to run as the presidential candidate of the Progressive Party, and hoping to further his claim to be the legitimate Democratic candidate, he extended the offer of the vice-presidential nomination to Kern. Kern, however, would turn down Hearst's offer, and decide to remain loyal to the Democrats. In response, Hearst decried Kern as a party lackey and instead saw to it that John R. McLean, a former Ohio representative, newspaper publisher, and one of his campaign managers at the Democratic convention, was chosen to be his running-mate.
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William Hearst and John McLean
Coming into the campaign season, the conservative Republicans would quickly find out that their support was not as widespread as they previously thought. Not all conservatives had abandoned Lodge, and notably one had remained loyal to the president: House Speaker Joseph G. Cannon. Despite his defeat at the hands of Lodge for the 1908 Republican presidential nomination, the relationship between the Cannon and Lodge has steadily grown stronger throughout Lodge's presidency, culminating in Lodge nominating James E. Watson as Secretary of State and Charles W. Fairbanks as Ambassador to the United Kingdom, as both men were close friends and allies of Cannon. Thus Cannon refused to defect to the Conservative Republicans and instead worked alongside some of the leaders of Lodge's campaign, such as George W. Perkins, Samuel W. McCall, and Gifford Pinchot to help his candidacy. Hearst, meanwhile, would again launch his media empire into full attack mode as he had done in the 1908 election, and began portraying himself, somewhat accurately, as the only truly progressive presidential candidate in the election. He combined this with effective campaigning lieutenants, such as New York representatives John A. Dix and William J. Gaynor, both of whom had played a crucial role in his election of the Senate. Clark focused on trying to gain ground in Midwestern states, namely Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa, which he hoped, alongside the border states of Kentucky and Missouri, would be enough to throw the election to the House where he hoped to broker a deal with the Conservative Republicans.
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Lodge's Campaign Managers: George Perkins, Samuel McCall, and Gifford Pinchot, and Hearst's Campaign Managers: John Dix and William Gaynor
In the end, Lodge narrowly managed to secure the electoral votes needed for re-election without throwing it to the House. It would ultimately come down to his narrow victory in New York, with its corresponding 45 electoral votes, that provided the boost that Lodge needed to win. New York was also notable for its runner-up: William R. Hearst. Previously, Hearst had only been considered a minor, somewhat irrelevant candidate, even after securing electoral votes in the previous election and winning election to the Senate. This election would shatter that notion. By almost winning New York, the nation's most populous state and which would have resulted in the election being thrown to the House, Hearst had confirmed himself as an important and influential player on the national political scene, a man who the Democrats could no longer brush aside as a crazy radical. In the end, Lodge secured 219 electoral votes from Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, South Dakota, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and of course New York. Placing second would be Champ Clark, winning 86 electoral votes from Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. Third place went to Aldrich, with 44 electoral votes from New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Ohio, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Finally, taking up the rear once again would be Hearst, winning 25 electoral votes from Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. While the divide within the Republican Party had hurt the Lodge campaign, likely costing them such states as Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and possibly Indiana, it had not been as devastating or effective as the conservatives intended, and following the election, most of the conservatives would quietly slink back into the Republican Party. Most would be accepted back, but a few would be cast aside as an example, with the most notable example of this being Foraker, who would be denied renomination to run for his Senate seat in 1914, resulting in the end of his political career. Ultimately, while the break within the Republican Party was not long lasting, it had made for one of the most dramatic elections in U.S. history.
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A political cartoon published in the wake of Lodge's victory, entitled "The Triumph of the True Republicans", in reference to the triumphs of Ancient Rome. President Lodge stands at left and Chief Justice Knox stands to his right. The conservative Republicans are derogatorily referred to as the "The League".​
 
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Did anything ever come of Russia’s offer of Alaska? If not, could Alaska turn into a White Russian “nation” after 1917?

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Map of North America, ca. 1913 New
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Key:
Blue: United States of America
Light Blue: United States of America Territory
Gray: Confederate States of America
Light Gray: Confederate States of America Territory
Green: Republic of Mexico
Red: Dominion of Canada
 
Chapter Seventy-Three: The True Test of Our Democracy New
Chapter Seventy-Three: The True Test of Our Democracy

Vice-President Carranza leaving his unsuccessful meeting with Generals Jose María Maytorena and Alvaro Obregón
With Zapata dead and his Zapatista movement shattered, Orozco faced no real opposition for the remainder of his presidency. Recognized throughout the nation as the hero of the Mexican Revolution, no one dared try to stand in opposition to the immensely popular Orozco, especially in the wake of the failed Zapatista Revolt. He recognized, however, that he could not be at Mexico's helm forever. Despite still having much of his life ahead of him, as he was only 31 at the time, Orozco declined to seek a third term for the Mexican presidency in the 1913 presidential election, hoping to set a precedent his successors would follow. Thus, the field was opened to range of ambitious men to fill the void in Orozco's absence. Despite Mexico having plenty of both ambitious and capable men within her lands, two such of these people came to dominate the election: Vice-President Venustiano Carranza and General-in-Chief Bernardo Reyes, with each man serving as a symbol of the two developing factions within Mexico.
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Orozco speaking with some of his bodyguards about his intent not to run for re-election.
On one side of the election stood Vice-President Venustiano Carranza. A veteran politician, Carranza had been selected to be Orozco's running-mate to provide both political experience to the ticket, as well as to reassure Mexico's upper and more established classes that Orozco did not intend to turn the country too much upside with his presidency. Despite being present to represent the interests of the rich and powerful, as Orozco's presidency progressed, Carranza's views had changed. He had grown to sympathize with the plight of the rural poor of Mexico. In light of the Zapatista Revolt, he also believed that if the voices of the farmers and other agricultural workers were ignored by the urban people and the government, the former population would always be ready for upheaval and all it would take for another revolt to occur would be a charismatic leader who appealed to them, like Zapata. Thus, Carranza ran on a platform of further agricultural reform, such as redistributing land to the poor and breaking up the farming monopolies of the wealthy few. He would also campaign on running a clean, uncorrupt administration that would be held accountable to the people. Hoping to cut into Reyes' strongest base of support, as well as to avoid accusations of sympathizing with the Zapatistas, Carranza decided to select an army general as his running-mate. Generals Jose María Maytorena and Alvaro Obregón, both of whom had served well in the Zapatista Revolt, turned down Carranza's offer to be his running-mate, instead choosing to remain loyal to their General-in-Chief. Ultimately, Eulalio Gutiérrez, a veteran of the Zapatista Revolt and currently serving as Orozco's Minister of War, agreed to run with Carranza. Despite his inauspicious start, Carranza hoped his populist appeal could win the presidency.
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Venustiano Carranza and Eulalio Gutiérrez
On the other side of the election stood General-in-Chief Bernardo Reyes. Another long-serving public servant with service dating back to the time of Díaz, Reyes had had his eyes of the presidency ever since the outbreak of the revolution. Serving with distinction in both of the republic's wars, Reyes hoped to ride the wave of popularity this brought him to the presidency. He hoped and expected Orozco to endorse his candidacy, which ultimately never occurred, much to his surprise. Reyes generally represented the interests of Mexico's urban population, as well as her higher class citizens, including the large scale farmers whose monopolies Carranza intended to bust. He would also generally have the support of Mexico's army, to whom he was a beloved leader. He also used his vice-presidential pick to show another goal of his campaign. For his running-mate, Reyes would go with Mexican Ambassador to the United States Francisco León de la Barra. Beside being a man highly respected by most Mexicans, as well as an experienced politician in his own right, de le Barra brought something else to Reyes' candidacy. In choosing him to be his running-mate, Reyes hoped to show his interest in further pursuing relations with their two northern neighbors, the United States and the Confederacy.
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Bernardo Reyes and Francisco León de la Barra
The campaigning in this election would show to be both ugly and bitter. Carranza's supporters would paint Reyes as trying to position himself to be the next Porfirio Díaz, while Reyes supporters would claim that Carranza was going to become the next Zapata. Carranza's campaign would take a blow when Orozco approved a law disenfranchising former Zapatistas, or even those suspected of having Zapatista loyalties. Reyes' campaign would pounce at the opportunity, working hard to prove the disloyalty of as many of Carranza's key base--rural, small scale farmers--as possible. Carranza, meanwhile, would exclaim, somewhat accurately, that Reyes and his campaign were engaging in voter suppression and were fabricating sedition on little to no evidence. "This election," Carranza cried out at one campaign rally, "will be the true test our democracy! We must take all actions necessary to stop this subversion of our liberties!" Ultimately, this exclamation would come back to bite Carranza, as it reminded many of the rhetoric of Zapata, and Reyes' campaign made sure the common Mexican populace did not forget it.

A photograph taken of Carranza departing from the train station, soon to deliver his "True Test of Our Democracy" speech that helped define his campaign
When the votes were finally tallied, Reyes had won the election by a fairly distinct margin. Certainly the voter disenfranchisement had played a major role in causing this result, and Carranza would be quick to call this out. Carranza, however, would prove to be no Zapata. Unlike the latter, Carranza had no dedicated base of die-hard followers, and many in the population accepted and understood, if not necessarily agreed with, the vote being taken away from former Zapatistas. Thus, Reyes was elected President of the Mexican Republic, and it would be under his leadership that Mexican Republic would go through some of the most defining years of the first few decades of its existence.
 
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