Striving for a world transformed by justice and peace - a TL from 1827

A presidential election was held in the United States on 6 November 1900. The Constitution Party re-nominated President Joseph Blackburn and Vice President Robert Pattison as their candidates for president and vice president. The Liberty Party nominated Robert M. La Follette, Governor of Wisconsin, and Marion Butler, Senator from North Carolina, as their candidates for president and vice president. (1) Butler was a rare Liberty Party senator from a southern state.

When all the results had been counted, the number of electoral votes for each candidate were as follows (same party candidates in 1896 election)
La Follette/Butler (Liberty): 230 (156)
Blackburn/Pattison (Constitution): 219 (293)
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Total votes: 449 (449)
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The percentage votes for each candidate were (same party 1896 election):
Blackburn/Pattison (Constitution): 49.3 (52.0)
La Follette/Butler (Liberty): 48.6 (41.9)
Others: 2.5 (2.1)
(National Liberty: 3.6)
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Total: 100.0 (100.0)
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So La Follette/Butler won the electoral vote but lost the popular vote.

(1) Here is the Wikipedia entry for Butler: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Butler. In this timeline he was a member of the Liberty Party throughout his political career.
 
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The states won by La Follette/Butler were: California, Connecticut, Delaware, East Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massacusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennslyvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Total = 23

Blackburn/ Pattison won the following states : Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia. Total = 23

There were also elections for the House of Representives and the Senate on 6 November 1900. The Liberty Party gained control of both chambers. The number of seats for each party after the elections were as follows (after November 1998 elections):
House of Representatives: 186 (174)
Constitution Party : 171 (183)
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Total: 357 (357 (357)
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Senate:
Liberty Party: 47 (45)
Constitution Party: 45 (47)
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Total: 92 (92)
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57 Liberty Party representatives and 9 senators identified as socialists. Eugene Debs was re-elected as a representative from Indiana.
 
The First Lady, Belle Case La Follette, was active in the Liberty Party. (1) Among the cabinet secretaries appointed by President La Follette were the following:
Secretary of State: Corinne Roosevelt
Secretary of the Treasury: Isaac Stephenson
Secretary of War: John Hay
Attorney-General: William Taft
Secretary of the Interior: Jonathan P. Dollfuss.

(1) Here is her Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_Case_La_Follette.
 
Sir John Mowbray, Conservative MP for Oxford University, and Speaker of the House of Commons since February 1872, died on 22 April 1899. MPs unanimously chose Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Liberal MP for Stirling Burghs, as the new Speaker. He was MP for Stirling Burghs from a by-election in April 1868 to the April 1890 general election, when he lost his seat to the Commonwealth Party. He regained it from them in the April 1894 general election.
 
In 1900 Southern Africa comprised the British self-governing colony of the Union of South Africa, comprising the former colonies of Cape Colony and Natal, and the independent Boer republics of Orange Free State and Transvaal. The capital of South Africa was Cape Town. In South Africa, unlike the Boer republics, there was racial equality. At least in theory, though less so in practice. There was full adult suffrage and national and local government offices were open to people of all races. Though most members of parliament and local councils were white.

The two main political parties in South Africa were the Conservative and Radical parties. In 1900 the Radical Party was the governing party.
 
Non-Boers flooded into the Transvaal after the discovery of gold there in 1886. This led to tension between the Union of South Africa and Transvaal. The Governor-General of South Africa, the Marquess of Crewe, a Liberal Peer, wanted good relations between the two countries. In 1898 negotiations between them led to an agreement which respected the rights of British citizens in Transvaal.

In 1900 the Prime Minister of South Africa was Jacobus Wilhelmus Sauer. (1) John Tengo Jabavu was a minister in his cabinet. (2)

(1) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobus_Wilhelmus_Sauer.

(2) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tengo_Jabavu,
 
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Another black cabinet minister was Walter Rubusana. (1)

In OTL the total black population of Transvaal ( officially South African Republic) in 1897 was 622,544, and the white population was 245,397. (2 ) In this timeline these numbers were similar. Since 1855 only white people could be citizens of the Transvaal, and only they had the right to vote. The voting age was 16. Its constitution declared that "the people are not allowed any equality of the non-white inhabitants, either in the church or the state." (3) The wages of non-white workers were lower than for white workers.

In OTL the first census of the Orange Free State in March 1880 reported 72,496 Black natives and 61,422 Europeans. The 1890 census showed a population of 207,503. These figures were similar in this timeline. Only white people could be citizens of the Orange Free State and had the right to vote. (4) The voting age was 18. In 1896 it entered into a defensive/offensive alliance with Transvaal.

On Sunday 4 March 1900, a demonstration of thousands of people in Johannesburg for political equality for black people, was broken up by the police. They shot the demonstrators and killed 96 people and wounded 282. Mostly black people, but a few white persons,

In the House of Commons two days later on 6 March, the Foreign Secretary, Robert Cunningham Grahame, said that the British people and government were appalled by the massacre of innocent people in Johannesburg demonstrating for political equality for black people. However the South African Republic was a sovereign independent nation, so therefore the British government was limited in what it could do.

(1) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Rubusana.


(2) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Republic.

(3) See footnote (1).

(4) See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orange_Free_State.
 
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John Tengo Jabavu and Walter Rubasana were minister of education and minister of native affairs respectively in the South African government.

On 14 March 1900, the South African government authorised the blowing up in South Africa of the railways from Orange Free State and Transvaal to Port Elizabeth and Durban. The railway line from Transvaal to the port of Laurenco Marques, the capital of Mozambique, stayed open. On 19 March, Paul Kruger, the President of Transvaal. declared war on South Africa and on Britain. Later that day, Martinus Theunis Steyn, President of the Orange Free State, also declared war on South Africa and Britain. They said that blowing up the railways were acts of aggression against their nations, and acts of economic war against them. Britain declared war on the Orange Free State and Transvaal.
 
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The Colonial Secretary, Thomas Mann, made a statement in the House of Commons on 21 March 1900 on the war against the Orange Free State and Transvaal. He said that the British government would give every support to the South African government and army. It was a war to liberate the black people of those countries. In reply to a question from a Commonwealth MP, he said that the war aim was victory and the incorporation of the Orange Free State and Transvaal into the Union of South Africa.

For the Conservative Party, Arthur Balfour said that the destruction of the railway lines from the Orange Free State and Transvaal was an attack on those peaceful nations. Their treatment of their black people was a matter for them only. The war was unnecessary and motivated by Commonwealth Party ideology.

The Liberal Party also opposed the war. Also the Irish National Party and Saor Eireann because a British victory would mean the expansion of the British Empire.
 
In the South African War, the troops of the Boer Republics of the Orange Free State made initial advances and won notable victories. They besieged Kimberley, Ladysmith and Mafeking. The siege was lifted on 5 October 1900 by British and South African troops under the command of General Charles Gordon, the commander-in-chief of British troops in South Africa. Mafeking was defended by Colonel Tomas O'Toole. (1) He was born to a Catholic farming family in County Tipperary. His first language was Irish. He worked his way up in the army from private. He served in the war against the Ottoman Empire from 1896-97. He was unmarried. The relief of Mafeking was widely celebrated in Britain and Ireland.

British and South African troops were reinforced by troops from the Dominions of Australia, Canada, Keewatin, and New Zealand. Kimberley was relieved in October 1900, and Ladysmith in September. In Transvaal, Johannesburg, the capital, and Pretoria were taken on 23 October and 27 October, and Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State, on 9 November 1900. By June 1901, General Gordon mistakenly believed that the war was over, but the Boers resorted to guerrilla tactics, and the war dragged on.

In the April 1900 budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ann Hewitson, increased the standard rate of income tax from 1 shilling in the pound to 1 shilling and four pence in the pound to pay for the South African War.

Queen Victoria died on 23 January 1901 and was succeeded by her eldest son, Edward VII. (2) She was widely mourned.

(1) He is a fictional person.

(2) As in OTL.
 
The South African war dragged on during the summer of 1901. It was becoming unpopular in Britain and Ireland without victory in sight. Though in Ireland there was pride in the achievements of Tomas O'Toole, promoted from colonel to general.

On 2 September 1901, the Prime Minister, Sarah Taylor, made an announcement to the press that parliament would be dissolved on 4 September, and general election held on Saturday 28 September.
 
The South African war was a major issue in the general election campaign. The Commonwealth Party asserted that the war would continue until victory and the black people of the Orange Free State and Transvaal were liberated. The Liberal and Irish National parties, and Saor Eireann opposed the war, and advocated the withdrawal of all British troops, because the Boer republics of the Orange Free State and Transvaal should continue to be independent nations. The Commonwealth Party accused them of indifference to the oppression of the black people of the republics and wanting to throw away certain victory.

The position of the Conservative Party was that while Britain should not have gone to war against the Boer republics, now that it was the war must be won quickly, and accused the government of soft gloves in its war policy and not doing all it could to win the war. They fully supported the proposal of General Herbert Kitchener, the former second in command in South Africa, of a scorched earth policy and that black and white civilians be rounded up and interned in concentration camps, so that the Boer guerrillas would be deprived of civilian help. (1) That was the only way that Kitchener and the Conservatives believed that the war could be won. The other parties opposed this policy as barbaric. The Secretary of State for War, Wiliam Abraham, dismissed Kitchener for advocating it.

(1) Like in the Second Boer War in OTL. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War_concentration_camps.
 
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For the October 1897 general election there was an electoral pact between the Conservative and Liberal parties. The Conservatives did not put up a candidate in 44 constituencies so that the Liberals would have a straight fight with the Commonwealth Party, and the Liberals made way for the Conservatives in 71 constituencies, so that they would have a straight with Commonwealth. In the September 1901 general election there was no electoral pact because the two parties disagreed fundamentally on the issue of the South African War. This would benefit the Commonwealth Party.

Herbert Kitchener returned to England from South Africa and was a star speaker at Conservative election meetings. He accused the government of throwing away the lives of British soldiers by not implementing his policy of concentration camps which would win the war quickly. He claimed that the War Secretary dismissed him for political reasons.

The Commonwealth election manifesto promised that a Commonwealth government would establish a Co-operative Development Trust (CDT) for Britain. This would provide advice and funding for people who want to set up retail or worker co-operatives. There would be an office of the CDT in every town.
 
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