Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Craigo, Feb 12, 2010.
This sums it up nicely.
There we go. Washington would definitely see a decline for sure, but at the very least he'd be acknowledged for his leadership during the American Revolution. Definitely looked upon badly in the North, but would still have a complicated like/dislike ratio.
Washington status in the North would likely recover, but only after GW2 and never regains it mythical status. If anything, he's 'balance' by the other figures of the Revolution.
I've never really understood why Washington's reputation would have taken a hit in the TL-191 US anyway. Yes, he's from one of the southern states, but he was also a successful military general who defeated the hated British. A nationalistic, militaristic ideology like Remembrance is going to need to venerate military heroes, and if the U.S. turns away Washington then who do they have? Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, Winfield Scott, and Zachary Taylor were all southern born as well, so if you reject Washington because of his southern heritage than you lose them as well and after that the cupboard is pretty thin.
"It was May 1942, and I was in my second month of Basic training at Camp Pershing in Wisconsin. One night, the drill sergeant told me and a ten other men in the company to report to the auditorium at 1900 for a 'special briefing'. I was a little pissed about giving up my limited free time, but we were promised a beer so I wasn't too upset. So we get there at a few minutes early and find the auditorium packed with about 100 other men. This corporal hands me a beer and tells me to find a seat. A few minutes after 1900, this major walks up on stage and starts speaking. Tells us that we're among the fittest in the training battalion. He asks if any of us want to volunteer for a new assignment. One soldier asked him what the new assignment entailed? After about 30 seconds of silence, he answers that it would involve us jumping out of airplanes. The mass of laughter and hooping in that auditorium had to be the loudest thing I've ever heard.......outside of combat that is. Anyway, once the NCO's finally got us back to a bearable manner, the major mentioned that every volunteer who made it through 'paratrooper' training would get a special allowance of $30 a month. Not only was there no laughing at this point, but almost 80 hands went up. I was surprised and dumbfounded that mine was one of them."
U.S. Major General (Retired) Alex "All the Way" Bevins speaking as part of GWII series in 1985
In the defense of Harrison, Taylor, and Scott
William Henry Harrison spent much of his life in Ohio. He's listed as Ohio on his ballet.
Taylor was a strong opponent of southern succession and disliked the crompramise of 1850.
Winfield Scott was one of the longest serving generals in US history, and spent most of his time in the North.
Zoidberg, I wanted to pop in and compliment you on your C$/U$ Currency ideas - it's a subject I toyed with myself once or twice but could never quite work out to my satisfaction - and while one will raise a few quibbles, I am definitely keen as mustard to see your further thoughts on the subject!
- The first quibble I would like to raise is the suggestion that Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson be depicted on both the C$5.00 note AND the coin, for the sake of neatness (though this is, admittedly, probably far more tidy than real world currency!).
- I would also like to suggest putting Thomas Jefferson on at least one Confederate coin or banknote; if memory serves the Confederate States were pleased to regard themselves as the TRUE heirs of the American Revolution (somewhat questionably, it might be argued) and it seems reasonable to deduce that the first President Jefferson would be well-enough regarded in the South to win a place on their currency (if this were on a banknote, Monticello or the University of Virginia might be on the other side).
- I enjoyed the little in-joke of putting John C. Calhoun on Andrew Jackson's denomination; I'm shameless enough to suggest that the C$50.00 note should have a general from the War of Secession on it (possibly Robert E. Lee himself, as the most appropriate foil to Grant, or PGT Beauregard who - as FILLING THE GAPS would have it - followed a similar career path into the Presidency). I'm also tempted to suggest putting Jefferson Davis on the denominations where Mr Lincoln can be found in Our Own timeline!
- One idea I've toyed with is that Confederate currency would use slightly higher denominations, to represent a slightly weaker currency VS the US dollar (so the smallest banknote in circulation might be a $5 rather than a $1); this may, however, be hard to support given that the books usually indicate a rough parity and mighty require a bit too much finicky detail work to keep straight besides.
- Finally, I just wanted to note that I rather like the use of "Greybacks" for Confederate bank notes; the name makes particular sense as an equivalent to "greenbacks" hung on their Southern equivalent to avoid the unfortunate associations likely to be invoked by hand-sized strips of brown paper ...
Oh, what bill would he be on you think?
Excellent question - I'd have to study the history of US currency and take a look over their short lived Confederate counterparts, but my natural instinct would be to take the path of least resistance and stick him on the five cent coin & two dollar note; as you may have gathered I'm a shamelessly lazy world builder in the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" style.
Also Andrew Jackson (defeated the hated British at New Orleans and successfully faced down South Carolina while President.)
There's really no reason the highly militaristic, nationalistic TL-191 U.S. should dislike any of these men as they were all military heroes who regardless of their southern birth faithfully served the United States their entire lives. (With Jackson, Taylor, and Scott in particular all having impeccable anti-secessionist credentials.)
And to return to Washington, even putting aside his military record, his support for a strong central government and the commercial interests while President should also have made him popular in the Remembrance era, since those were key aspects of the Remembrance platform.
Winfield Scott also the general who lead America's last successful war (The first Mexican-American War which would itself have greater focus.) till the first Great War. Same for Zachary Taylor. There also John Paul Jones, von Steuben (Which @Alterwright made some good posts about), Wayne (Martyrdom) Jacob Brown, Oliver Hazard Perry, (DON'T GIVE UP THIS SHIP), and plenty of others the Remembrance Movement would uplift once you look around.
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of Confederates and Northerners are basically competing with each other over Washington and his legacy.
I suppose it's because one narrative over another becomes popular to the common people.
To scholars, Washington was certainly a person to be praised for his military exploits, regardless of his ancestry. To the rest of the average American populace, perhaps it matters more where you're from than what you do. As wrong as this narrative may be, someone could have used it to downplay a "Southern-born" politician for petty reasons and it just continued to remain popular once the idea of the Confederacy being its own country became more real and distinct, while winning wars against the USA. Insert "All Southerners are the same" mentality and you'll have a plausible scenario in which Washington declines in general popularity, except to the more educated individual.
Andrew Jackson would be an exception to this due to stronger political reasons.
Yes. There were Southerners that supported the union and were vehemently against secession, all committed to the idea of a United States --- I'm also sure that there would have been Northerners that would have supported the idea of secession or the encroachment of a central government or supported slavery. If anything the issue of remembering American historical figures for the people of TL-191 would be a complicated and messy issue. This is the consequence of having such a closely shared history and a major issue in nation building not only for the South, but for the North as well --- how do you create (or in the North's case re-create or adopt) national heroes when so many of the ones you want to revere are also revered by your hated enemy? And that shouldn't be an easy question to answer.
Very good points. I still believe Washington would be lionized more by the Confederacy, but specifically he would be revered the most in Virginia. The rest of the South might look upon him with respect and admiration as well, but they would never take it as far as a Virginian perhaps --- War of Secession generals and Second Mexican War heroes however would be more relevant and much more highly praised in many states, but especially in their home states.
For the North's view on Washington --- honestly, to me, its going to be complicated. Washington would be one of the most controversial and hotly contested presidents in terms how each side should remember him. United States scholars will acknowledge his political efforts during his actual presidency and perhaps even respect him for establishing the conduct of how a president should act - setting a precedence and such. But to revere him the same way as a Southern Virginian would? That would either be out of the question or highly, highly frowned upon in the United States academic sphere, discouraged even. And in a time where espionage, suspicion, and intense national rivalry could easily culminate into wars, where differences in opinions on how to view certain things can plausibly result in you getting hurt, it would be hard for a Yankee to openly praise Washington.
While presidents like Jackson and Taylor were southerners, the real clincher there is that yankees could more easily embrace them just for the fact that they supported the union of the United States and would be especially hated by southerners because of it. Actions in their case would speak very loudly. Someone like Washington though... again, he'd be more complicated, especially since southerners would still look upon him in high regard, while in the North there is a more cynical view of Washington. Sure the North could embrace him more perhaps and venerate him through the Remembrance ideology, but it shouldn't be underestimated that the north has more relevant warrior heroes to embrace than previously thought of. Teddy and Custer for example, the few commanding officers that saw success in the Second Mexican War, the veneration of foreign revolutionary war heroes like Von Steuben and Pulaski and others --- the veneration of rank and file soldiers even.
For sure though, the legacy of Washington would be one of contention and competition between the two sides --- about how to remember him, how to venerate him, and how to interpret his actions to fit in nicely into their national narratives post-War of Secession.
I think that's the more interesting part: North and South sorting Pre-War of Secession figures and it being far more then the lines of where they was born. An good case being James L. Petigru. Mr "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum." An man who stood against both SC during the Nullification crisis and then the War of Secession. Southerns like Polk, Winfield Scott, Taylor, and most of all Andrew Jackson represents those who would be uplifted as 'True Americans and not those lot of Arnolds down South.' Same for I mention for John Sevier and Sam Houston. (They named that part of Texas after the man so...)
Another thing to think about is the North having an great deal of love and respect for German, immigrant, and Non-American figures while the South is largely 'homegrown' aside for some Freach and British figures like Napoleon III and Queen Victoria. (And love for Freach and British culture.)
I would truly love to explore the 'Case for Washington' of how the North and even the South deals with and looks at Washington. As you said how to remember him, how to venerate him, and how to interpret his actions. Same for maybe even there always an group in the Union that still holds George Washington deal or something like that.
Calhoun was on the dollar note. American Front, pg. 138.
Daniel Webster was on the quarter. Breakthroughs, pg. 141.
I really do like the idea, whatever else, that George Washington gets a massive rehabilitation post-Second Great War even if I can respect the idea he never regains mythic status. He was southern aristocrat but did once state in a North-South split he'd support the North and he came to view slavery as distasteful. He also supported the ultimately Northern-leaning Federalist Party.
In many ways, rehabilitating his image as someone who despised the south's worst excesses while admitting he was the pinnacle of what southerners hoped to be - the ultimate American - works well for a re-united USA mythos. Same for the capital eventually moving de-facto back to Washington, DC to complement its de-jure status. He helped unite all the states in OTL, why couldn't he do it a second time in TTL, yanno?
EDIT: Forgot to mention Jake Featherston despised Washington and actually considered him a damnyankee. If THAT'S not a plus in his favor as a figure to re-unite all good-minded-and-hearted people in all the states...
When did he predict about a possible North-South split?
I don't remember reading about Featherston not liking Washington. Which book did he say this?
I do concur with the idea that Washington, D.C. becomes the capital of the United States, again.
Yes. It would have to be the capital again, wouldn't it? I guess the question is whether or not the US Federal Government would agree to move there again, after the city has been rebuilt and cleared of debris of course. Shouldn't be a problem I don't think.
Question to everyone. (@Alterwright, @Allochronian, @Joshua Ben Ari, @Tiro, @bguy.)
Any idea for why the name of Operation Blackbeard? Yes, he was an fearsome Pirate and the most well known of them all, but why name what was supposed the Confederate knockout blow to the Union after an Pirate who was the terror of the Carolinas?
Separate names with a comma.