The Rising (And Setting) Suns.

This is my first serious attempt at a TL. It will be about the US Presidential Election of 1896 and it's worldwide consequences. I put it in the "After 1900" forum, even though it's POD is in 1896, as most of the TL will take place in the 20th century. Although the POD takes place in the US, This is not a US-Centric Timeline, the rising and setting suns refer to other nations that will figure significantly in this TL.

Part I, An American Icon

My friends, we declare that this nation is able to legislate for its own people on every question, without waiting for the aid or consent of any other nation on earth; and upon that issue we expect to carry every State in the Union. I shall not slander the inhabitants of the fair State of Massachusetts nor the inhabitants of the State of New York by saying that, when they are confronted with the proposition, they will declare that this nation is not able to attend to its own business. It is the issue of 1776 over again. Our ancestors, when but three millions in number, had the courage to declare their political independence of every other nation; shall we, their descendants, when we have grown to seventy millions, declare that we are less independent than our forefathers? No, my friends, that will never be the verdict of our people. Therefore, we care not upon what lines the battle is fought. If they say bimetallism is good, but that we cannot have it until other nations help us, we reply that, instead of having a gold standard because England has, we will restore bimetallism, and then let England have bimetallism because the United States has it. If they dare to come out in the open field and defend the gold standard as a good thing, we will fight them to the uttermost. Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests, and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
-William Jennings Bryan, in his speech to the Democratic Convention, July 9th, 1896.


(Republican cartoon criticizing Bryan's speech)

Bryan's "Cross of Gold" Speech is perhaps the most defining speech in American History, barring the great speeches of Lincoln and the founding fathers. It's theme was a subject that few Americans care about today, but was an issue of great importance to America in 1896. The election of 1896 was a decisive one, one that would forever change the course of American history, as well as world history. On one side was William McKinley, the Republican nominee, supporter of the Gold Standard, and friend of big business. On the other side was William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic nominee, supporter of silver, and friend of the farmer and laborer. The election saw the victory of Bryan, whose administration would pursue various controversial economic, social, and foreign policies, some successful, others not. During his time in office, people either loved him or hated him, there wasn't much middle ground. He was one of America's most polarizing Presidents, second only to President McCarthy. Whatever one's opinion of Bryan is, there is no denying that he is one of the most, if not the most, defining Presidents in the history of the United States.

-
Excerpt from The Guide to the Executive Mansion, an in Depth Look at America's Presidents by Benjamin Buckley, Harvard Press, 1999.

Bryan was a tireless campaigner, in contrast with McKinley's "Front Porch Campaign." McKinley didn't have the charisma or energy that Bryan had, which worked to Bryan's advantage. On November 3rd, 1896, the voters chose Bryan over McKinley 52-46%. Bryan was elected as the 25th President of the United States. Arthur Sewall was elected as America's 24th Vice President. Bryan and his supporters planned on pushing great reforms for the country, but would find a hostile Congress blocking their way. America was divided as ever, and the task fell to Bryan to bring the country together.



Bryan/Sewall 263 EV, 52.3% of popular vote
McKinley/Hobart 184 EV, 46.5% of popular vote
Mattchet/Maguire 0 EV, 1.1% of popular vote

coming soon: Bryan battles with Congress and international affairs.
 
CELTICEMPIRE

Interesting. I don't know enough about Bryan to tell in any detail about his impact but know enough that it will be pretty dramatic. It will also prevent, at least for a time any Roosevelt especially since I don't think Bryan will attack Spain. Not sure of the economic impact of America not being on the gold standard.

I suspect that with big butterflies this early there is unlikely to be a President McCarthy, at least if its the OTL one as he wasn't born until 1908. Hence likely to be genetic changes if nothing else that would probably make him a non-runner for the Presidency.

Steve
 
CELTICEMPIRE

Interesting. I don't know enough about Bryan to tell in any detail about his impact but know enough that it will be pretty dramatic. It will also prevent, at least for a time any Roosevelt especially since I don't think Bryan will attack Spain. Not sure of the economic impact of America not being on the gold standard.

Done a lot of research on Bryan recently in preparation.

I was quite shocked when I saw this:

"few political figures exceeded the enthusiasm of William Jennings Bryan for the Spanish war."
-Historian William Leuchtenburg

To quote Bryan himself:
"universal peace cannot come until justice is enthroned throughout the world. Until the right has triumphed in every land and love reigns in every heart, government must, as a last resort, appeal to force."

After further research it appears that he viewed the war as an anti-Imperialist struggle against Spain. He was not happy with the annexation of the Philippines. His vision was a war of liberation, not of expansion. There will be a war with Spain, but it will be done differently. I haven't decided what I'll do with TR.

I suspect that with big butterflies this early there is unlikely to be a President McCarthy, at least if its the OTL one as he wasn't born until 1908. Hence likely to be genetic changes if nothing else that would probably make him a non-runner for the Presidency.

Steve
I figured that him being born in a small town in Wisconsin only 12 years after the POD and was apparently the fifth child in his family. So his parents might have already been together. I put that in there to see people's reaction to it.

Thanks for reading, I'm writing up his first term now:).
 
Done a lot of research on Bryan recently in preparation.

I was quite shocked when I saw this:

"few political figures exceeded the enthusiasm of William Jennings Bryan for the Spanish war."
-Historian William Leuchtenburg

To quote Bryan himself:
"universal peace cannot come until justice is enthroned throughout the world. Until the right has triumphed in every land and love reigns in every heart, government must, as a last resort, appeal to force."

After further research it appears that he viewed the war as an anti-Imperialist struggle against Spain. He was not happy with the annexation of the Philippines. His vision was a war of liberation, not of expansion. There will be a war with Spain, but it will be done differently. I haven't decided what I'll do with TR.

I figured that him being born in a small town in Wisconsin only 12 years after the POD and was apparently the fifth child in his family. So his parents might have already been together. I put that in there to see people's reaction to it.

Thanks for reading, I'm writing up his first term now:).

CELTICEMPIRE

Interesting, Bryan's reaction to Spain does surprise me. Learn something new.:D

Looking forward to seeing where this goes, although as Brit I'm a bit worried by the title.;)

Steve
 
Bryan's First Term (1897-1901) Part 1



President Bryan was inaugurated on March 4, 1897. The same day saw the swearing in of the 55th Congress of the United States. The House of Representatives had a clear Republican majority, while the Senate had a narrow Republican majority. Making matters worse for President Bryan were the old "Cleveland Democrats," who were pro-business and against silver. Bryan would have to learn the value of compromise while hoping for better results in the midterm elections.

While Washington was in gridlock, two notable domestic events took place. The first was the discovery of oil in "Indian Territory" on April 15 on lands leased from the Osage Indians. This led to immigration that would boost the Territory's population, which would lead to it's statehood a few years later. The second was the Klondike Gold Rush, beginning in July of 1897, but lasting for several years. Tens of thousands journeyed to Alaska in hope of "Striking it Rich," though few achieved that goal. Supporters of the Gold Standard were hopeful that the Gold Rush would help gain popular support for their cause. Domestic events, however, would be overshadowed by the year's foreign events...


(Klondike Prospectors in Alaska)

The Cuban War, 1897-1898

Though William Jennings Bryan had no thoughts of war when he ascended to the Presidency, he became convinced by the expansionist arguments and the "Yellow Journalists." Reports of Spanish brutality against the people of Cuba increased and led to a public outcry against Spain. Particularly, the internment policies of Weyler, governor of Cuba horrified Americans. The Spanish government, under
Prime Minister Cánovas del Castillo, was unwavering in it's commitment to preserving it's colonial empire. As Castillo himself stated, “the Spanish nation is disposed to sacrifice to the last peseta of its treasure and to the last drop of blood of the last Spaniard before consenting that anyone snatch from it even one piece of its territory.” After an assassination attempt in August of 1897, he was unshaken in his views (1). Calls for war with Spain became louder from the American public, from journalists like Joseph Pulitzer, from Congressmen, and from members of his own cabinet. On November 25, 1897 President Bryan, with Congressional approval, declared war on Spain.

The United States mobilized it's navy for action. On November 30, US Battleships Maine and Texas along with several smaller ships, encountered Spanish cruiser Cristobal Colon, along with gunboats Sandoval, Antonio Lopez, and Alvarado,and a few torpedo boats at the port of Cienfuegos. The result was the complete routing of the Spanish, though an American gunboat was lost, and the USS Texas was damaged. The US Navy followed the Battle of Cienfuegos with victories at Havana Harbor and Guantanamo Bay. By the end of December the United States had won the Naval War.


(The USS Maine was involved in every major engagement at sea during the Cuban War)

On New Year's Eve American gunboats bombarded Spanish Positions in Guantanamo Bay. This was followed by an invasion of over 20,000 US marines, aided by 5,000 Cuban rebels. The outnumbered Spanish forces (numbering over 10,000) fought back ferociously, but were defeated by January 2. The Battle of Guantanamo Bay gave the US forces a foothold on Cuba. From that foothold they advanced westward until they encountered a Spanish force at Santiago de Cuba on January 7. 35,000 American forces under Nelson Miles attacked the Spanish garrison of 30,000 under Arsenio Linares in what would be known as the Battle of Santiago. For two days the opposing armies fought each other outside the city until the Spanish army surrendered and Linares was captured.


(Colored infantry fighting in Santiago in segregated regiments)

Fighting continued for the next few weeks with small-scale skirmishes which were mostly in the US and Cuban Rebels' favor. One notable exception was the Battle of Santa Clara, where governor Valeriano Weyler personally led Spanish troops against American and Cuban forces and repelled them on January 29. Weyler then commanded a counter-attack against American and Cuban armies in hopes of turning the tide of the war. On February 4, Spanish forces under Weyler were ambushed near Trinidad by a Cuban Rebel army and the 1st United Sates Volunteer Cavalry led by Leonard Wood and Theodore Roosevelt. The battle only lasted a few hours, Weyler's forces were surrounded and were being attacked from all sides. Angry Cuban Rebels ferociously attacked the Spanish positions, hoping to kill the dreaded Weyler, with support from the "Rough Riders." Weyler himself was killed in the fighting, as was Theodore Roosevelt, who was shot while charging at a Spanish infantry division. Leonard Wood, who survived the battle, would become famous for his service in the war, and would have later political ambitions.


(Leonard Wood, War hero and commander of the famed "Rough Riders")

After the death of Weyler, the morale of the Spanish army in Cuba collapsed. This was combined with the news of US marines landing in Havana Harbor and the destruction of the Spanish fleet stationed in Puerto Rico. Spanish Regent Maria Christina (whose son, King Alfonso XIII was only 11 at the time) begged Prime Minister Castillo to sue for peace. Castillo saw that Spain could not possibly win the war or keep Cuba, and if the war didn't end soon Spain would be bound to lose Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines. He called for a ceasefire on February 15, and William Jennings Bryan accepted it.

Negotiations would take place in Paris a few weeks later. Spain was resigned to losing Cuba, but demanded that they be allowed to keep Puerto Rico and their Pacific possessions. President Bryan stated that "The War was always only about the liberation of Cuba, the US has no stake in the affairs of Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Philippines." Many congressmen, including many Democrats, were outraged by the generous terms given to Spain in the Treaty of Paris. The American public, however, was on Bryan's side, only being interested in liberating Cuba. The Senate ratified the treaty on March 19, 1898. The main provisions of the treaty were:

-Spain relinquishes control of Cuba
-Spain agrees to respect the rights of people living in Puerto Rico or the Spanish East Indies (Would only be paid lip service to)
-Spain agrees to pay Cuba 10 million Pesetas as reparations


(Maria Christina, Regent for Spanish King Alfonso XIII)

Cuba would be granted independence and free elections would be held later that year. Even though Cuba was granted independence, the United States would keep a military base in Santiago for quite some time afterwords. The Cuban War was now over, and Bryan would have to turn his attention back to domestic affairs...

coming soon: Finishing his first term, domestic issues and the election of 1900.



1: OTL Prime Minister Canovas was killed on August 8, 1897 by an Italian Anarchist. his death resulted in the infamous Valeriano Weyler being removed from his post as governor of Cuba.
 
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CELTICEMPIRE

So an earlier but smaller war with Spain, with markedly less US gains. Most noticeably the Philippines are still in Spanish hands for the moment. [Initial guess would be they get sold to Germany and then later, if WWI occurs as OTL, pass to Japan.

You are well fortified are you as expect some incoming about killing off Teddy.;) Far from unlikely given he was rather reckless but some of our American cousins are rather attached to him. [In the longer term the US could miss out on both his reforms and as a result of the family being less famous his cousin not following his example].

In the section on the Cuban war you have "After an assassination attempt in August of 1897, he was unshaken in his views (1)" - which looks like a link to a footnote but there isn't any?

Without the wider successes of the OTL conflict the US has less of an international profile and its imperialist movement are champing at the bit rather by the sound of it. What was Bryan's stance on the Hawaii coup, which was the other big US territorial gain of OTL? If he opposes that then their really going to be miffed but there's probably less basis for it without Guam or the Philippines. However what then happens in the islands? Do they stay under planter rule or is there a rebellion or possibly someone else steps in. [Germany or Britain being the likely options I would suspect].

Steve
 
CELTICEMPIRE

So an earlier but smaller war with Spain, with markedly less US gains. Most noticeably the Philippines are still in Spanish hands for the moment. [Initial guess would be they get sold to Germany and then later, if WWI occurs as OTL, pass to Japan.

Be assured that Spain can't hold on to the Philippines forever. The Philippines will be important later on.

You are well fortified are you as expect some incoming about killing off Teddy.;) Far from unlikely given he was rather reckless but some of our American cousins are rather attached to him. [In the longer term the US could miss out on both his reforms and as a result of the family being less famous his cousin not following his example].

As someone who lives in America, I find the excessive love of TR a bit annoying. For some reason I just couldn't resist killing him off.

In the section on the Cuban war you have "After an assassination attempt in August of 1897, he was unshaken in his views (1)" - which looks like a link to a footnote but there isn't any?

Silly me, footnote added:).

Without the wider successes of the OTL conflict the US has less of an international profile and its imperialist movement are champing at the bit rather by the sound of it. What was Bryan's stance on the Hawaii coup, which was the other big US territorial gain of OTL? If he opposes that then their really going to be miffed but there's probably less basis for it without Guam or the Philippines. However what then happens in the islands? Do they stay under planter rule or is there a rebellion or possibly someone else steps in. [Germany or Britain being the likely options I would suspect].

Steve

The coup was in 1893, and Bryan supported annexation of Hawaii while opposing annexation of the Philippines. He argued that annexing Hawaii was similar to the purchase of Alaska and did not constitute Imperialism. Bryan was concerned that if the US didn't annex Hawaii, another country would.

President Bryan does not want an empire. That is an important change.

That's the idea behind the TL. I got it while playing Axis and Allies, looking at the Philippines, and thinking of ways the US could have avoided war with Japan.
 
Be assured that Spain can't hold on to the Philippines forever. The Philippines will be important later on.

To be expected. It could well be they realise how pointless it is as a result of the war so decide to dispose of it.

As someone who lives in America, I find the excessive love of TR a bit annoying. For some reason I just couldn't resist killing him off.
;)


The coup was in 1893, and Bryan supported annexation of Hawaii while opposing annexation of the Philippines. He argued that annexing Hawaii was similar to the purchase of Alaska and did not constitute Imperialism. Bryan was concerned that if the US didn't annex Hawaii, another country would.
Interesting complications. He has a point that if the US doesn't annex it someone else probably will but he's deceiving himself if he thinks that's not imperialism. A common flaw with politicians unfortunately.

That's the idea behind the TL. I got it while playing Axis and Allies, looking at the Philippines, and thinking of ways the US could have avoided war with Japan.
The best way is if the US aren't unpleasant idiots in the 20's and the Japanese aren't murderous militarists in the 30's and 40's.

Steve

Edited because of a small typo that totally reversed what I meant!:eek::eek:
 
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I've never seen anyone actually attempt a Bryan TL before and I'm enjoying it, so keep it up.

Will be interesting to see what happens in 1900-would the GOP nominee be an "imperialist"? Would McKinley come back for a rematch? I suspect that Bryan will win in 1900, though I could be wrong on that.
 
I'll have the update tomorrow if not today, I've been really busy as of late.

To be expected. It could well be they realise how pointless it is as a result of the war so decide to dispose of it.

I don't want to give anything away about what happens, but I've got it planned out

Interesting complications. He has a point that if the US doesn't annex it someone else probably will but he's deceiving himself if he thinks that's not imperialism. A common flaw with politicians unfortunately.
"The Hawaiian Islands are nearer to the western than to the
eastern hemisphere, and their annexation was urged largely upon the ground that their possession by another nation would be a menace to the United States."

-William Jennings Bryan, 1899.



Hawaii will be put on the backburner for the time being as the rest of his first term will be dominated by his domestic agenda. The issue of Hawaii will be revisited, however.

The best way is if the US aren't unpleasant idiots in the 20's and the Japanese aren't murderous militarists in the 30's and 40's.

Steve

Edited because of a small typo that totally reversed what I meant!:eek::eek:

But that's so much harder:p.

I've never seen anyone actually attempt a Bryan TL before and I'm enjoying it, so keep it up.

Will be interesting to see what happens in 1900-would the GOP nominee be an "imperialist"? Would McKinley come back for a rematch? I suspect that Bryan will win in 1900, though I could be wrong on that.

The GOP, for now, is the party of Imperialism, so yes. You'll have to wait to see who they run. The Democrats will run Bryan again.

btw, I leave several hints about the future of this TL if you haven't already figured out.
 
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Bryan's First Term (1897-1901) Part 2

America had won its war with Spain in less than three months. President Bryan led the United States successfully in it's first declared war in over 30 years. Bryan was now free to turn his attention towards domestic issues for the rest of his term. Bryan sought to show himself as a strong leader and a man of the people in order to win a second term. He needed to remain firm in the face of fierce criticism by Republicans and Conservative Democrats.

One of the first pieces of legislation Bryan signed after the war was the Cuba Free Trade Agreement. It eliminated any tariff on Cuban goods which led to increased American investment in the island nation. Sugar was a common commodity that the US imported heavily from Cuba as a result of this. Cuban Cigars became increasingly popular during this time.


(Cuban cigars were widely available after the Cuban War)


Another important piece of legislation was the Erdman Act of 1898. It was a law that set guidelines for disputes between railroad workers and management. The law was especially significant because it prohibited railroad companies from requiring that their workers do not join a union as a requirement for employment. The bill passed the House and Senate and was joyfully signed into law by President Bryan.

In November of 1898, the United States held midterm elections. The American people voted on representatives to send to Washington. Many Senators were also up for re-election, however, they would be chosen by their respective state legislators. When the last votes were counted, the Democratic party had won a plurality in the House, gaining a majority by alliance with populists and Silverites. In the Senate, the Republican party kept it's narrow majority, even managing to pick up a few seats. However, many of the republicans in both the House and Senate were from the Western States and were more friendly to Bryan's agenda. The President could now begin to push for favorable legislation.


(Edward O. Wolcott, prominent pro-silver Republican from Colorado)

The most impotant piece of legislation to be brought up was the repeal of the Coinage Act of 1873 (The Act was referred to as the "Crime of 73" by supporters of silver, it put the US on a de facto Gold Standard, demonetizing silver). The motion to repeal passed in both the House and Senate, frustrating supporters of the Gold Standard. Bryan signed the bill the moment it came to his desk.

The United States of America officially adopted bimetallism on July 4, 1899, with the repeal of the Coinage Act of 1873. Both gold and silver could be used as legal tender. The ratio of silver to gold as currency would be set as 16:1. The affects of this decision on the American economy would be long lasting. Farmers in the South and West, along with silver miners rejoiced to hear the news. Many Northeastern industrial workers, on the other hand, worried about inflation and did not receive the news well. America was being further divided, between urban and rural, rich and poor, between the North, South, and West.

There was little else that was noteworthy in legislation during the 56th US Congress. President Bryan occupied himself with campaigning during the better part of the year 1900. Vice President Sewall died earlier in the year, so Bryan had to choose a new running mate. After much consideration, he chose a Populist former Congressman Milford W. Howard from Alabama to be on the ticket. At the 1900 Democratic convention, Bryan and Milford stressed that the cause of the worker and farmer has not yet been won, and that more needs to be done to make things fair for the disadvantaged members of society.


(Left: Bryan reelection poster, Right: Vice Presidential candidate Wilford Howard)


The Republican nomination was more hotly contested. William McKinley declined to run, and a large field of candidates sought the nomination. Ohio Senator Mark Hanna, former Vice President and former Governor of New York Levi P. Morton, and former Speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed of Maine were the ones who stood out. Eventually, Mark Hanna was able to win the nomination, thanks in no small part to his vast personal fortune. Hanna would chose Iowa Senator William B. Allison as the Midwestern states would be the deciding factor in the election. With generous donations from banks and corporations, Hanna's campaign was able to outspend Bryan's 5:1.


(Left: Mark Hanna, Right: William Allison)


The Democratic Campaign focused on labor issues, with Byran claiming that he was fighting "God's fight" in helping the farmer and worker. Byran and Howard argued that more reforms were necessary. They painted the GOP as the party of big business of often as they could. The Republican Campaign focused on economics and foreign policy. Republicans argued that bimetallism would increase inflation, leading to higher prices, thus hurting the people it was intended to help. Hanna criticized Bryan for taking it easy on Spain, wanting to end the war quickly, while abandoning the people of Puerto Rico and the Philippines to imperialism that was equally as harsh as what the Cubans suffered under. A popular slogan of the election was "Vote Hanna, to fulfill manifest destiny."

The Northeastern states were reliably Republican, while most of the South and West were reliably Democratic. The election would be determined by the Midwestern states, particularly Illinois, Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana. In the end, the farmers showed up in full force, while the industrial workers, though not completely converted to Free Silver, preferred it to having their managers running the show in Washington. Bryan won, but the results were much closer than in 1896. Nevertheless, Bryan was followed into his second term by Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Now was his time to change America.



Bryan/Howard 254 EV, 50.9% of popular vote
Hanna/Allison 193 EV, 47.5% of popular vote
Debs/Harriman 0 EV, 1.3% of popular vote

Coming soon: Bryan's second term and the elections of '04

After that: International update
 
Very interesting timeline. I wonder if William McKinley will still die thru assassination. Having teddy die also makes an interesting butterfly for the USA. I wonder how will Bryan react to the boxer rebellion considering the nearest base USA have is Hawaii.
 
Very interesting timeline. I wonder if William McKinley will still die thru assassination. Having teddy die also makes an interesting butterfly for the USA. I wonder how will Bryan react to the boxer rebellion considering the nearest base USA have is Hawaii.

Namayan

I suspect the US will still react in a similar way as there will be American citizens and a lot of trade threatened, along with Chinese converts, which could also be very important to Bryan.

The lack of a base west of Hawaii will probably not be greatly significant as there were be other powers, most noticeably Britain, able and willing to supply bases. Actually, which there is probably some tension over immigration into California, without a US presence in the Philippines, relations with Japan may be a lot better for the US.

Steve
 
CELTICEMPIRE

Bryan is being a good bit more successful than I expected getting legislation passed that reduces the control of big business. Presumably will he also try some early anti-trust action?

Given his support of free trade with Cube will he also seek agreement with other nations on freer trade? That could be a sizeable boost to the world economy but run against a lot of vested interests in the US. [Including the government as he would have to find other sources of revenue if he reduced tariffs].

Steve
 
Thanks for reading and enjoying.

Very interesting timeline. I wonder if William McKinley will still die thru assassination. Having teddy die also makes an interesting butterfly for the USA. I wonder how will Bryan react to the boxer rebellion considering the nearest base USA have is Hawaii.

William McKinley has retired, he's still a popular figure among Republicans, but he declined to run in 1900. He's not completely irrelevant but he won't be considered important enough to be assassinated.

The Boxer Rebellion will be covered in the International update that will come after I write up Bryan's second term.

Namayan

I suspect the US will still react in a similar way as there will be American citizens and a lot of trade threatened, along with Chinese converts, which could also be very important to Bryan.

The lack of a base west of Hawaii will probably not be greatly significant as there were be other powers, most noticeably Britain, able and willing to supply bases. Actually, which there is probably some tension over immigration into California, without a US presence in the Philippines, relations with Japan may be a lot better for the US.

Steve

Since the US involvement in the rebellion wasn't a deciding factor in the fate of the rebels, it will go in the international update. Developments in the Pacific, such as the fate of the Philippines and Hawaii will be covered as well.

CELTICEMPIRE

Bryan is being a good bit more successful than I expected getting legislation passed that reduces the control of big business. Presumably will he also try some early anti-trust action?

Just wait, he's got a lot planned and Congress is on his side:).

Given his support of free trade with Cube will he also seek agreement with other nations on freer trade? That could be a sizeable boost to the world economy but run against a lot of vested interests in the US. [Including the government as he would have to find other sources of revenue if he reduced tariffs].

Steve

The trade agreement with Cuba was created with the purpose of strengthening the economies of both nations. I don't think Bryan would be excited about free trade with Imperial Powers, but he might try to reduce tariffs on goods from other Latin American nations.
 
On November 3rd, 1896, the voters chose Bryan over McKinley 52-46%.

You can't just assert this. You're flipping 6% of the popular vote. You're giving McKinley the worst showing for a Republican in twenty years, instead of the best as in OTL.

There has to be an explanation, a reason for such a radical divergence.

Otherwise, it's like starting with "After the fall of Berlin to the Imperial Russian Army..."

Bryan was elected as the 25th President of the United States... but would find a hostile Congress blocking their way.

If Bryan winning is implausible, Bryan winning without getting a majority in Congress is ASB. Since John Quincy Adams in 1824, every President except Taylor and Hayes came in with at least a plurality in the House. In the previous 20 years, the Democrats dominated the House, except in two of the three Presidential years they won, and 1894, when Republicans finally gained a strong majority in the House.

If Democrats win the PV at all, they win the House. A 6% win would give them total dominance. Unless other weirdness happens that hasn't been explained either.
 
You can't just assert this. You're flipping 6% of the popular vote. You're giving McKinley the worst showing for a Republican in twenty years, instead of the best as in OTL.

There has to be an explanation, a reason for such a radical divergence.

Otherwise, it's like starting with "After the fall of Berlin to the Imperial Russian Army..."

I kind of thought the change was assumed to be the product of the American people being more receptive to his message and find McKinley boring. I probably should have developed it more, though.

If Bryan winning is implausible, Bryan winning without getting a majority in Congress is ASB. Since John Quincy Adams in 1824, every President except Taylor and Hayes came in with at least a plurality in the House. In the previous 20 years, the Democrats dominated the House, except in two of the three Presidential years they won, and 1894, when Republicans finally gained a strong majority in the House.

If Democrats win the PV at all, they win the House. A 6% win would give them total dominance. Unless other weirdness happens that hasn't been explained either.

The 6% came from a few critical states such as Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, etc. That means that the changes wouldn't be as pronounced in Congress.

The makeup of the House of Representatives for the 55th US Congress was as such:


  • Republican: 206 (majority)
  • Democratic: 124
  • Other: 27
I originally intended for him to come in with a majority in the House, but with these numbers I didn't think it was plausible. Also remember that election of Senators is independent of the people as the Seventeenth Amendment had not yet been passed.
 
Just wait, he's got a lot planned and Congress is on his side:).

Be interested to see what happens. You still have the pork barrel problem that assorted representatives will be more interested in their own particular area so a lot of horse trading will be necessary in places.

The trade agreement with Cuba was created with the purpose of strengthening the economies of both nations. I don't think Bryan would be excited about free trade with Imperial Powers, but he might try to reduce tariffs on goods from other Latin American nations.

The problem is the Latin American states mainly export food and primary products, which compete with the output of the farmers and other such producers in his core territories. Its the republican areas that are the main industrial centres which compete with the other industrial states. If he has a clear majority in Congress he could probably get away with making deals with European states for mutual lowering of tariffs than with the Latin American states. In fact the latter are a poor match for the US economy as their products sell much better, even without high US tariffs, in densely population industrial Europe.

Of course the one exception for trading off tariffs would be Britain as its fanatically free-trade at the time so it doesn't have tariffs even against its most restrictive rivals. [Which was a disaster for Britain in a highly protectionists world.:(:(]

Steve
 
Hot damn a Bryan TL! I too was surprised when I learned of Bryan's nuanced views on war and Imperialism, and am shocked you killed Roosevelt :eek:! But butterflies go where you least expect them. Since Bryan was nominated OTL by the Silver Republicans, and the Populists, are they going to be joining the Democratic Party officially ITTL? And given how tariffs and bilateralism are taking effect, will there be an early chance for a 16th Amendment (giving Congress the right to tax income)? What about early Popular voting for Senators, and women? Obviously they won't come immediately, but a President Bryan will change the situation for those causes he long championed.

Also...Since Bryan won 1900...is the Curse of Tecumseh going to affect him too? :eek::(, if so I hope you've done your research on Milford Howard, because I can't find much myself.
 
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