TL-191: Filling the Gaps

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Craigo, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Hello. I'm not sure how much of this has already been done, but as of late I've been thinking of all that we don't know about TL-191. Here are some of my educated guesses.

    US Presidents:

    1865-1869: I believe Turtledove said outright that Horatio Seymour defeated Lincoln. As an erstwhile War Democrat, we'll pair him with George Pendleton of Ohio. I don't think he'd really do much other than negotiate a treaty of commerce with the Confederates and start to work down the US's national debt by cutting the budget.

    1869-1873: A rift arises between the soft-liner and hard-liners within the Democrats, and sitting Vice-President Pendleton challenges Seymour for the nomination. With nobody able to attain two-thirds, Senator Thomas Bayard of Delaware emerges as the consensus pick, and he easily defeats Radical Republican Salmon Chase. I can see Bayard signing a treaty for the return of escaped slaves to the South.

    1873-1877: The prewar one-term tradition reasserts itself, and Bayard steps down in favor of Pennsylvania Governor George Woodward, the leader of the growing protectionist wing of the Democratic Party. He defeats dark-horse John Geary, former territorial governor of Kansas, and a fellow Pennsylvania, and attempts, mostly without success, to alter the nation's economic policies. The Panic of 1875 puts a damper on his plans.

    1877-1881: Woodward steps down and is succeeded by New York Governor Samuel Tilden, a known reformer, who narrowly defeats spoilsman Senator Roscoe Conkling, another New Yorker. Although Tilden intended to make civil service reform his primary focus, he became embroiled in controversy after acquiescing in the 1877 Spanish sale of Cuba to the CSA (the agreement having been worked out before the election). He seals his party's fate by ordering twelve stars removed from the US flag, one for each of the departed Confederate states. The Republicans recapture Congress in the 1878 midterms, for the first time in 16 years.

    The two Presidents between Seymour and Tilden (there needs to be two, since Blaine is the 21st) can be any of the sundry Democratic notables from this period. I like Woodward in particular because he faded into obscurity in OTL after losing to Andrew Curtin in 1863.

    1881-1885: We all know what happened to James Blaine. Part of the trouble with this is that Blaine is the 21st, and TR is the 28th. The terms don't exactly match up for the six Presidents in between, so I had to make a rather strange decision with the next one.

    1885-1889: With the Republican party in ruins, the Democrats are assured of winning this election. But the elder statesman of their party is Senator Thomas Hendricks of Indiana, a prewar soft-liner. To balance him, they choose Winfield Scott Hancock of Pennsylvania, the only general to emerge from both wars with his reputation intact. Hendricks dies early in 1885, clearing the way for Hancock, who is also ill. His sole accomplishment is seeing through to passage the Conscription Bill of 1886, which Hendricks had threatened to veto as a federal usurpation of states' rights. Hancock dies later that year as well, and power passes to Senate President pro tempore Allen Thurman of Illinois.

    1889-1897: Since two Presidents had died in office a little over a year, the elderly Thurman is passed over in favor of Speaker of the House Thomas Reed of Maine. Under Reed the Democrats' hard-line policies are cemented, as when he signed a treaty of alliance with Haiti in 1892 as a sign of solidarity against Confederate expansionism. Under his watch the US also began building a true two-ocean navy, as envisioned by his Secretary of the Navy, Alfred Mahan.

    1897-1905: By 1896, the barons of the Democratic party have become restless under eight years of a single Administration. Two of these titans, Grover Cleveland of New York and Robert Pattison of Pennsylvania, deadlock at the convention. The party brokers then hand the nomination to the relative-unknown Alfred Mahan, who defeats both the Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison, and young Socialist Congressman William Jennings Bryan. It is the first time that the Socialist candidate has outpolled the Republican. Early in his first term the Entente tests him with a plan to build a transoceanic canal through Nicaragua, but they back down after he unambiguously threatens war. Mahan goes on to defeat Bryan in a rematch in 1900.

    1905-1913: Although Mahan is a national hero, the Democratic machines despise his relatively nonpartisan stances. Accordingly they nominate the safe, stolid political soldier Henry Cabot Lodge. During Lodge's two terms (he defeats Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin and Tom Johnson of Ohio), US-CS relations soften to a considerable degree, and he acts as a moderating influence upon the impetuous Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany.

    (Edit: Per reader suggestion, substitute Nelson Aldrich, Senator from Rhode Island, for Lodge. Or if you want to get crazy, Henry Adams. He's probably too old, though.)

    1913-1921: The machine politicians bow to the inevitable as the unpredictable, crusading Governor of New York, Theodore Roosevelt, wins the nomination and defeats Senator Eugene Debs of Indiana in a landslide. THeir worst fears are confirmed as he immediately signs the Civil Service Reform bill vetoed by Lodge, and asks Congress for powers to break up the powerful trusts which dominate the economy. A war within the Democratic party looms.

    I'll do the CS presidents later.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  2. bguy Donor

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    A very interesting and plausible list. I would recommend just two slight adjustments.

    1) Henry Cabot Lodge. He is described as being a Senator during the Great War. (There's a newspaper story about him criticizing Senator Debs.) While it's possible he would run for the Senate after being President, it doesn't seem real likely. I would recommend Nelson Aldrich in his place. He could serve the same role as safe, very pro-business New Englander that the Democratic party bosses would like.

    2) William Jennings Bryan. While it's possible he could be a Socialist, the books state that Socialists are weak amongst farmers and the farm states are the main area of Republican strength. As such Bryan is more likely to end up as the perennial Republican candidate.
     
  3. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    I originally had Champ Clark in place of Lodge, until I learned he was born in Kentucky just before the Civil War. As Mahan and Reed are the only interwar Presidents named, I needed someone who wasn't exactly a dynamo, somebody who wouldn't make waves. Maybe Elihu Root, a nice, conservative choice.

    I can't get a handle on where exactly the Socialists are strong or weak in this timeline. It seems odd that Hosea Blackford could win election after election in Dakota, or that Henry Wallace could apparently become a high-ranking Socialist official, if the party can't compete in the farm states. The analogue I had in mind for the "Western" faction of the socialists is the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party and the Nonpartisan League. Most of the real-life American socialists of this period were either too young to be plausible candidates during the 1890s, or foreign-born (Daniel DeLeon, for instance), so I'm not sure who to put there.

    It seems that everyone else on the internet has Mahan coming before Reed, but I can't see any way for Captain/Admiral Mahan to rise in prominence quite so quickly, especially with the US Navy not exactly acquitting itself well in the Second Mexican War.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  4. GreatScottMarty Stuck with Laurens-Burr

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    At the end of the 2nd Mexican War in HOW FEW REMAIN Custer says he is thinking of running for Pres. against Blaine. What happens according to you?
     
  5. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Well, Turtledove never mentioned any such run afterwards, so I'm discounting it. Maybe he and TR get a few scattered votes at the convention each, but Speaker Reed is probably too powerful a figure for someone with no political base to challenge.

    I understand it's the consensus that the "President Lee" mentioned in the book isn't Robert E. Lee, but Fitzhugh?
     
  6. The Vulture Banned

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    Pretty much. Fitzhugh was much more of a politician than Robert, and a war hero to boot.

    And welcome to the board! Let me know if you have any questions about the way things work, but you seem to have it well in hand. :)
     
  7. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! With that in mind...

    1861-1868 You all know the story of Jefferson Davis, who along with Robert E. Lee led the CSA to independence in the War of Secession, and who later established commercial ties with his northern cousins.

    1868-1874 He was succeeded by another military man, Braxton Bragg, in what would become a theme among Confederate Presidents. As the hero of Corinth, he gained Kentucky for the Confederacy the same month that Lee captured Philadelphia. But Bragg was a hard, overbearing man, and became quite unpopular with Congress. He also labored under the perception that he only gained the Presidency when General Lee, in poor health, declined the office and retired to Arlington. Although a member of no party, like Davis before him, an anti-Administration faction coalesced in Congress, the germ of what would become the Liberal Party.

    (Per reader suggestion, feel free to substitute Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, also of Louisiana, the hero of Fort Sumter who created the famous Confederate battle flag.)

    1874-1880 Party labels still had to become firm when Fitzhugh Lee, the nephew of the great Robert E. Lee and a famed soldier in his own right, was elected in 1873. At 38, he was by the mid-20th century still the youngest President elected in either American republic. His time in office was the most expansionist yet: The Indian Territory joined the CSA as a state in 1875, and Cuba was purchased in 1877, to become a state in his last year of office. The Liberal Party was formally founded as an opposition party during his term - opposed to the growing power of the cities, the factories, and the railroads, it was anti-tariff and anti-improvements. Still a young man when he left the Gray House, the restless Lee later served as Governor of Virginia before retiring to Cuba in the 1890s.

    1880-1886 The founder of the new Whig party, James Longstreet, had become a hero in the War of Secession and was destined to lead his country to victory against the United States once more. Domestically, he supported industrialization, a somewhat unpopular stance in the still-agrarian republic that nonetheless became a tenet of the South's dominant party. A realist among fire-breathers, Longstreet supported a bill, at Anglo-French behest, that began the gradual emancipation of the nation's slaves, and he was present, at the age of eighty-three, when the last slave was manumitted in 1903 in a ceremony at Richmond.

    1886-1892 The Confederate Army's string of victories remained unbroken when Stonewall Jackson, hero of two wars, was elected in 1885. A slaveowner himself, he set a good example by voluntarily manumitting his own slaves between his election and his inauguration, and signed a conscription bill in response to the United States' law of 1886. During his term the Radical Party became popular among poor whites, who faced growing competition from free blacks for wage labor on farms and in factories.

    1892-1898 States Rights Gist is universally considered the worst Confederate President before the Great War. Yet another war hero, he is undeserving at least of the blame from the Panic of 1893, which unlike that of 1875 buffeted both North and South. Yet he managed to precipitate a crisis in his inaugural speech when he warned darkly that the would not tolerate "nigger republics" in the Caribbean. In response, President Reed slipped a naval squadron into Port-au-Prince, and later signed a treaty of alliance with Haiti. When Reed's successor took office in 1897, Gist mistakenly judged him as weak and foolishly threatened to unilaterally invade Nicaragua when that country proved troublesome during negotiations for an Anglo-French-Confederate canal. President Mahan threatened war, and the British and French, who had remained circumspect, were able to withdraw from the project without losing face. Gist was not so fortunate, and ended his term on as inglorious a note as he began it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010
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  8. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    I'm attempting to explain the rather odd name and niche of the Radical Liberal Party. I'm positing that the Liberal Party was originally a sort of Jeffersonian home for those opposed to industrialization, while the Radicals were a much smaller, Socialist-inspired party.

    I see them merging to stop splitting the anti-Whig vote, and evolving into a home for those on the margins - middle-class intellectuals, Hispanics, etc., while the Whigs are supported by the upper-class (an industrialist-planter alliance) and most of the working class.
     
  9. Wolfpaw Banned

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    1. Jefferson Finis Davis (W-MS): February 18, 1861-March 4, 1868
    2. Robert E. Lee (W-VA): March 4, 1868-March 4, 1874
    or John C. Breckinridge (W-KY): March 4, 1868-March 4, 1874
    3. Milledge Luke Bonham (W-GA): March 4, 1874-March 4, 1880
    4. James Longstreet (W-GA): March 4, 1880-March 4, 1886
    5. Zebulon Baird Vance (W-NC): March 4, 1886-March 4, 1892
    6. Fitzhugh Lee (W-VA): March 4,1892-March 4, 1898
    7. Thomas G. Jones (W-AL): March 4, 1898-March 4, 1904
    8. Champ Clark (W-KY): March 4, 1904-March 4, 1910
    9. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (W-VA): March 4, 1910-March 4, 1916
    10. Gabriel Semmes (W-AL): March 4, 1916-March 4, 1922
    11. Wade Hampton V (W-SC): March 4, 1922-June 15, 1922
    12. Charles Burton Mitchell III (W-AR): June 15: 1922-March 4, 1934
    13. Jacob Featherston (F-VA): March 4, 1934-July 7, 1944
    14. Donald Partridge (F-TN): July 7, 1944-July 14, 1944

    Whig
    Radical-Liberal
    Freedom

    This is the general consensus with regards to Confederate presidents in TL-191, with the only major debates being about who succeeds Davis, which is Robert E. Lee on the one hand and John C. Breckinridge on the other.

    Personally, I see the Whigs drafting Lee in a sort of Eisenhower-like way after the War of Secession, but I can totally get Breckinridge, especially since it will help cement Kentucky's place in the CSA (perhaps a Lee-Breckenridge ticket?). With regards to Lee's death in 1870, many assume that the much shorter Civil War and therefore less stress allows Lee to live a few more years.

    With regards to the Radicals, you will probably see them led by Benjamin Tillman and evolve along a more populist rather than socialist line. Or you could have Tillman go on to serve as a bellicose Secretary of State or Secretary of War in the cabinet of whichever president wants to take down Haiti etc., though personally I believe the former option is more probable.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  10. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Tillman is a good choice for the Radical Liberals, I have a list of unsuccessful nominees for the Republicans and Socialists here somewhere, but I never got started on the Rad Libs.

    I went along with the general consensus that Pres. Lee is not that Lee, but a Grant/Eisenhower type President is likely, and I picked Bragg as the other of the Big Four Confederate war heroes (since we know that Longstreet and Jackson become Presidents at a later date).

    Unlike Custer, I think HFR definitely, even heavy-handedly, foreshadows a Jackson Presidency. Every other person we see on money in this timeline is a President, US or CS.

    I may have inserted Fitzhugh a bit early, but I have Jackson immediately after Longstreet, and I wanted to save the 1890s for a disastrous President (they can't all be successes, and we know that Reed/Mahan got the better of at least one CS President). It seemed incongruous according to Confederate mythology for a member of the Lee clan to be that disaster. Plus, I wanted at least one of the Presidents to be someone who died during the actual war. (Leonidas Polk was the other candidate).
     
  11. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    1898-1904 The Gist Administration finally killed the Confederate appetite for electing generals, and in 1897, for the first time, the CSA elected a man who had not served in the War of Secession. With the economy still in recession and the Liberals and Radicals nipping at the Whigs' heels, Robert Taylor of Tennesseebecame the first CS President to fail to win a majority of the popular vote. (If the Radicals and Liberals had combined, they would have taken Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, Cuba, Louisiana, Sequoyah, Sonora, and Chihuahua, and a majority of the electoral college). His mostly quiet term in office saw the official formation of the Quadruple Entente, and the Radical Liberal Party.

    1904-1910 With the populist tidal wave receding, Confederate Speaker of the House Champ Clark, of Kentucky, easily triumphed over Radical Liberal nominee Thomas Watson of Georgia, who won only Cuba, Sonora, Chihuahua, and his home state of Georgia - a far cry from the near-triumph of 1897. Clark, as befitting a Kentuckian who had grown up in close proximity to Yankees, pushed for better ties along with like-minded US President Nelson Aldrich. The so-called "Golden Age" of friendly American relations persisted under Clark's successor, until 1913.

    1910-1916 Few men in public life have experienced as rapid a ride to prominence as Woodrow Wilson, who, as president of the University of Virginia, was elected Governor of Virginia in 1908, only a year before he was elected President of the United States, over retread Tom Watson. In 1912 he succeeded, along with Secretary of the Treasury Carter Glass, another Virginian, in forming a Confederate central bank modeled on the US's Federal Reserve, formed in Mahan's time. He also supported legislation limiting the workday to 10 hours, and pursued better ties with the United States. He even planned a state visit North, the first for either a US or CS President since the War of Secession, but it had unfortunately been scheduled for late 1913 - after the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt, a man Wilson had despised ever since they had got into an argument following a guest lecture Wilson had given at Columbia in 1899. The visit was unceremoniously canceled.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
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  12. Wolfpaw Banned

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    I'm not really sure where you're getting all this "Golden Age in North-South Relations" from.

    In the books, both countries were more than eager to go to war in 1914, which is right after this so-called "Golden Age" you're constructing. The books strongly imply that Yankee-Confederate relations were steadily going downhill since the former threatened war over both the proposed Nicaragua Canal and any possible Confederate adventurism in the Caribbean.
     
  13. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    I did use quotation marks and "so-called" for a reason. "The Golden Age" is a time when the two countries manage to go nearly half a decade without threatening to go to war, as they commonly did during the 1880s and 1890s in this scenario. TR's election changes that, as we now have a naturally aggressive President who has a vendetta not just against the Confederates, but against Wilson himself (I think it's mentioned fairly early on in the Great War trilogy that TR and Wilson despised each other, and I'm assuming that it predate the war in this case).

    30 years of constant saber-rattling is not only 1) Boring and predictable, but 2) Unrealistic, considering that Franco-German relations didn't play out this way in real life. There's an ebb and flow to international relations, just as in everything else. Poincare, for example, was in favor of improving relations with Germany, right up until he declared that there would never be a better time to declare war. His part is played by Wilson here, with the bellicose TR as Wilhelm.

    This scenario is ironic - the two countries go to war just as it seems that they were finally putting the past behind them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  14. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    A few biographies:

    Debs, Eugene Victor, 1855-1926

    Longtime leader of the Socialist Party, following the likes of Lincoln, De Leon, and Bryan. Born in Indiana, in his twenties he worked for the Pullman Company. A Democrat at the time, Debs became involved in union organizing and was fired from his position as a clerk. After hearing Abraham Lincoln speak at Terra Haute during the 1884 presidential election, Debs joined the Socialist Party. He was elected to the Indiana General Assembly in 1890, and to the US House of Representatives in 1896.

    In 1906 he became the first Socialist Senator, as part of a coalition with the state Republicans whereby the two parties supported each other's nominees on an alternating basis. (Such coalitions soon became common in the Midwest, and most of the party's Senators gained office in this manner over the next few years.)

    Debs was the Socialist nominee for President in 1912. Despite considerable mainstream appeal, he was defeated in a landslide by Theodore Roosevelt, taking only his home state of Indiana and Nevada and West Virginia, mining states where the unions held considerable sway.

    When war with the Entente came in 1914, Debs was a member of the Socialist caucus which met and narrowly agreed to support the war loans that. He heavily criticized the conduct of the war, however, especially General Custer's headlong assaults in Kentucky and Tennessee, and campaigned as the Socialist nominee in 1916 on a platform of negotiated peace. He was again badly defeated, though by a smaller margin than four year previous.

    Debs declined to seek a second rematch against TR, instead throwing his weight behind Upton Sinclair, who won the nomination. He witnessed the triumph of 1920, and was rewarded with the position of Secretary of State. He resigned following Sinclair's re-election in 1924, and died in his sleep in 1926.

    Thomas, Norman Mattoon 1884-1942

    Born in 1884 in Marion, Ohio, he worked as a paper-boy for publisher Warren Harding. When his draft number was called in 1902, he claimed conscientious objector status, but as a Presbyterian his case was not immediately approved. (Quakers, Mennonites, and Brethren were at the time the only denominations given the presumption of pacifism.) It was only through the intervention of now-Senator Harding that Thomas won his deferment. (Ironically, Harding would later lose his seat to the Socialist Debs.)

    Thomas graduated from Union Theological Seminary in 1911, and was ordained a minister. When the war began, he was commissioned as an Army chaplain, and was wounded by machine-gun fire in Pennsylvania in 1915, which gave him a lifelong limp. Inspired by Debs' platform, he voted Socialist for the first time in 1916. After the war, he spent some time in Kentucky assisting in the reconstruction efforts, and campaigned for the Socialists in their 1918 midterm victory. He joined the staff of fellow Ohioan Seymour Stedman, now the Speaker of the House, and when Upton Sinclair won the Powel House in 1920, Stedman recommended Thomas to the President, who appointed him Assistant Secretary of War. Although disarmanent and peace initiatives were his passion, he often took on more disagreeable jobs for the President, such as ordering General Custer to resign in 1923.

    He was appointed Secretary of War in 1925, and thus had the disagreeable task of crushing the Canadian uprising. Always the good soldier, Thomas saw the rebellion through to the end before resigning from the Administration. Following an abortive run for the nomination in 1928, he retired from politics to write and minister in New York City, Philadelphia, and Cleveland. He remained in the city after it was captured in by the Confederates in 1942 to minister to the wounded and dying, North and South alike. Reports indicate that on October 10, 1942, the Reverend Norman Mattoon Thomas was executed by a Freedom Party guard who had seen the US Army tags that Thomas had worn continuously since 1914.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
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  15. bguy Donor

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    I seem to recall Blackford was a miner not a farmer, which maybe explains how he keeps getting elected. (Dakota itself seems to be a battleground state as I recall it voted for Roosevelt in 1916.) You are correct though that the Socialists relationship with the farmers is rather confusing in the novels. (As I recall it wasn't just Wallace but also George Norris as a prominent Socialist.)

    The best explanation I can come up with is that after the 1918 elections when the Socialists and Republicans had to form a coalition to have a majority in the House, the two parties began to merge. That is probably a big part of why Blackford was chosen to be Sinclair's Veep and why he was later able to win the presidential nomination, as a way of encouraging Republicans to become Socialists.

    Sinclair's victory probably accelerated this process with an increasing nuimber of prominent Republicans leaving the party throughout the '20s. Most of the Republicans (like Wallace and Norris) probably went Socialist, with a few of the more conservative Republicans becoming Democrats (Borah.)

    The Republicans were probably well on their way to extinction until the Great Depression came along and somewhat discredited both major parties. The fact that the Republican candidates in 1940 and 1944 were Wilkie and Stassen makes me think that the Republicans eventually moved away from farm state populism and focused more on running as good government reformers.

    I can't really think of a good Socialist candidate for the early 20th century either. Berger and Gompers were both foreign born. Haywood is already mentioned in the novels, so he is unlikely. Maybe John Dewey went into politics?

    Definitely agree with you about Mahan needing to come after Reid. I usually envisioned him as the president right before Roosevelt, though your idea of a temporary US/CS detente is an interesting one.
     
  16. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Lincoln, Abraham 1809-1885

    Born in a log cabin in Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln worked a variety of jobs in central Illinois before becoming a lawyer in the 1830s. He served a single term in Congress, opposing the First Mexican War, before returning to private life as a railroad lawyer. When the slavery debate heated up in the 1850s, Lincoln found his voice again and rapidly rose in antislavery politics, founding the state Republican party in 1855. He would serve as that body's candidate for Senate in 1858, and in a series of celebrated debates he fought the Democrat's champion orator Stephen Douglas to a draw (though he lost the seat).

    Lincoln, improbably became the national party's nominee in 1860, leapfrogging more established candidates such William Seward and Salmon Chase. Upon his election seven southern states seceded and formed the Confederacy, followed by four more when fighting broke out between the two governments at Fort Sumter.

    Few things went well for Lincoln in the war, culminating in the double shock of the captures of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Frankfort, Kentucky in the autumn of 1862. The Republican party was annihilated in the elections that year, and faced with British intentions to recognize the Confederates, Lincoln agreed to an armistice.

    There was little internal opposition to re-nominating Lincoln, who was buried in a landslide by Horatio Seymour in 1864, taking only Kansas, Minnesota, Vermont, and Maine. Seymour promptly agreed to the reparations payments Lincoln had resisted (likening it to a man moving out of his brother's house, only to return later to take the chairs, tables and such to furnish his own home).

    Lincoln's views drifted in a progressive direction throughout his later career. He had begun opposing only the extension of slavery to the territories, but by 1862 he had prepared a document abolishing slavery in rebellious areas, and during Seymour's term he campaigned heartily for the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing that practice in the US, which failed to become law. (By 1869, however, Delaware, Missouri, and West Virginia, the US's remaining slave states had abolished the institution within their borders.)

    With the slavery debates over, Lincoln continued to brood on the injustice of the labor situation in America, and became a traveling orator in favor of better working conditions. Following another cataclysm in the form of the Second Mexican War, he convened a meeting of Republican Party notables and tried to persuade them to his platform, without success. Undaunted, he and Chicago organizer Friedrich Sorge founded the Socialist Party in 1882. When no suitable candidate emerged in time for 1884 (as Lincoln said, "The half of our party that isn't German wears short pants"), Lincoln agreed to serve as the nominee of a third party, in the footsteps of Martin Van Buren and Millard Fillmore. He came in a distant third to Thomas Hendricks and James Blaine, but his presence pulled the Republicans in half, and provided seasoned political workers for the new party.

    Lincoln keeled over while walking home from church on Good Friday, 1885, and died early the next morning. He remains the most controversial of American Presidents - despised by Confederate whites and Democrats, beloved by Socialists and Confederate blacks.
     
  17. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    A lot of that Republican/Socialist stuff makes sense, though Blackford is explicitly stated to be a Socialist from 1882 onwards. I even leaned a little in that direction in the Debs biography, and its with the real life trajectory of Republican progressives in the 20s and 30s.

    By say, 1928, which is a fairly "normal" election for the interwar period, we can probably say that the Socialists are a threat to take Minnesota, Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, due to their growing stregnth with farmers. They would seem to be the natural party to win Illinois, given that it's half-farm belt, half-Chicago. Mining states like Nevada, West Virginia, and Montana would be a good bet too, along with natural strength in industrial states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York. They're weak in New England, Kansas, more southern-lying areas like Delaware and Maryland, and most of the Far West except California, whose growing poulation is shifting it more towards their camp.

    Republican ideology by this time? Still some farm stuff (all politics is local), along with good government and economic centrism - they'd support public power projects, but not public ownership of the railroads, as lot of Socialists probably desire. I can't decide whether they'd be isolationists, as befitting the real Midwest of this time, or internationalists. Probably a little of column A, a little of column B. A distant third-party can be forgiven for some ideological confusion.


    I've already sort of divided up the Democrats between the reform wing, a la TR, and the regular wing, comservatives and machine politicians. With the Democrats a dominant-party, it's not hard to see upstate New Yorker Roosevelt coming into conflict with Tammany. I'd imagine that his Vice-President, McKenna, is a machine politicians, to balance the ticket.
     
  18. bguy Donor

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    Interesting question about Republican foreign policy. I imagine being heavily influence by the Farm States they are opposed to protective tariffs, which in turn probably steers them towards a less confrontational foreign policy. But beyond that I have no idea.

    To be honest I found it equally difficult to understand what the Democrat position on foreign policy was in the TL-191 books.

    The Democrats are supposedly for the American Empire, a strong military and a hard line against enemy nations, but Roosevelt doesn't even bother to install a friendly government in Mexico or to secure the rights to a Central American canal for the US and Hoover lets the Japanese off scot free for the Pacific War and allows Featherston to rearm while neglecting to build up US forces. You would think a Democrat president would be running arms to black rebels, not encouraging Featherston to crush them and promoting a military build up seems like it would have been a good Democrat way to fight the Great Depression.
     
  19. hopper2cool Well-Known Member

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    Craigo would Bragg be less abrasive in TL-191? I understand he would be a respected sucessful general but he was kind of an ahole.
     
  20. Craigo Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    State of Westsylvania
    I can't find any reason why he'd be less abrasive. I have him elected President fairly easily (over maybe Zebulon Vance or Joseph Brown) simply because of the battle of Corinth - there was a definite tendency in the postwar US to elect military men that I've transferred to the postwar CS (this trend continues right up to till Gist, the last of the War of Secession vets, who is elected in 1890s, the same decade that saw McKinley, the last of our Civil War vets.)

    I think that a man of his stripe would definitely anger a lot of people, piss off Congress, and generally isolate himself. If the CSA allowed re-election, he probably would have lost. I have him as the second-least successful prewar CS President.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2010