What if the USA worked like the HRE?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by 29th_Plantagenet, May 3, 2019.

  1. 29th_Plantagenet Member

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    So yeah, what if each State in the USA had the same relationships with each other as the Princely States in the Holy Roman Empire? Each State would provide a candidate for Presidency after each term and people would not only be voting for the person, but the State in which the capital of the USA would be? Would there even be a need for Washington D.C. as a State? What States would be the Austria and Bohemia of the HRE that seem to dominate the others? Would the USA even be able to last to the modern day and would the Civil-War in this timeline just be a breakaway alliance?
     
  2. brickhouse The Town Weirdo

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    It really depends on how much power the federal goverment has. If it is very little power ( like under the articles of confederation) then the usa will not last long. If how ever the federal goverment has some amount of power then things start getting interesting.
     
  3. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

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    This is probably a wank for the border states, because they would be compromise candidates for north and south.
     
  4. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    I suppose if every state capital could theoretically become the center of administration for a presidential term or two it would lead to far greater infrastructure investment in some more sparsely populated states. Even beyond the capacities of each presidential candidate the states with the best infrastructure can most efficiently serve as a locus of governance, somewhat analogous to trying to play up the qualities needed to best host the Olympics.
     
  5. 29th_Plantagenet Member

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    I'm not even American haha, just thought of a cool scenario. Sorry for any offence Mr S Carolina.

    I did though see someone else talk about New England, NYS, Virginia and Pennsylvania stretching from the Atlantic to the Mississippi (But I would assume any areas bought from other nations into this Union would become their own State e.g. Louisiana and Florida?). I dunno though, I can see still the other Southern States like Georgia and Carolina carrying on due to their importance in Slave Trade economy and hell, probably getting to similar levels of power to the Northern States as each State would have more of a personal economy rather than a federal one?

    Okay now I read that sentence over again it sounds like I'm a slavery activist that still believes the "Confederacy will rise again" but I'm really not haha
     
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  6. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the fact that the government literally moves around with every election would lead toward a tendency for larger states? I kind of agree that the original colonies could keep their claimed territories, then you could throw in Louisiana, Texas, Alaska, and Oregon, followed perhaps by some version of Deseret (a cliche, I know) or maybe even the full Arizona territory and the original Mexican version of California. As for parallels with the actual HRE would we see the more developed cities attempting to gain autonomy as city states?
     
  7. 29th_Plantagenet Member

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    I would assume the President would have the same or similar levels of control as the Emperor did to my knowledge, where he would be supreme amongst equal *insert individual state executive titles* and hold some influence over them, but their real power would be diminished. That is until we see a maniac voted into Presidency that may attempt to reform the system?

    The courts and possibly a federal government/legislative could see a permanent home somewhere (Maybe as this timeline's D.C.?) and in my opinion, the courts would have a LOT of influence over States seen as they're democracies, while the HRE were monarchies and so their biggest influence was God and Rome (until Protestantism gained popularity).
     
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  8. 29th_Plantagenet Member

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    I see it as a potential for smaller states to hold more governments, because if each electoral council of each state gets to vote on who the President will be and so the State government will be held in, the most powerful and influential of the time would gain the most support? As I said to brickhouse, the Courts and Judiciary will be extremely influential across this version of the USA in my opinion, but economics are extremely important as well. When the Slave Trade still becomes a sad reality, that is all just business investments of the States involved and because of their greater independence from a centralised government, they keep the majority of income with increases in trade and bank importance.

    That's where I see a Civil War still taking place but this time (possibly later on than OTL), not over the morality of slavery, but over the economic trade hubs of the South wanting Habsburg-style domination over the title, another collection of States seeking to keep the democratic "first amongst equals" system they're going with, and others just wanting independence and out of this potentially broken system.

    In terms of these States, on the note of immigration, I would imagine that each state would probably keep more to their cultural roots than in our USA where English dominated apart from States near Mexico where Spanish is prevalent (but not as prevalent as English). The upper class would all more than likely speak English for ease of trade and discussions amongst all the States but the lower classes - i.e. the majority of people - would still speak French in Louisiana, Spanish in Florida, Russian in Alaska and so immigrants from the rest of the world would feel more included and get the right opportunities in these States. This leads to the identities of each State creating tensions in the Union where wars in Europe could have more indirect affect on the USA.

    City States? Love 'em! I would totally see some cropping up on highly defensible, important trade routes like along the Mississippi River, the passages through the Rocky Mountains, and across the Great Basin. Your thoughts?
     
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  9. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    The Swiss Confederacy lasted a very long time without a strong Federal system
     
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  10. Dave Howery laughs at your pain

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    It seems like it would last for a while... until/if the USA becomes an important world power and the rise of modern technology/communications... at which point, moving the capital every few years gets to be a hassle, and the need for a permanent place to settle it will grow...
     
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  11. brickhouse The Town Weirdo

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    That is very much true. I guess it is fesable that america could last without a strong goverment.
     
  12. GameBawesome Well-Known Member

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    Maybe sort like the Articles of Confederation, but with a Elected President and state as a figurehead
     
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  13. SeaCambrian Alien Space Bat

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    Assuming states keep their western claims that are never turned over to the Northwest Territory. Perhaps New York would be the "Prussia" equivalent and Virginia would be the "Austrian Empire" equivalent, while Pennsylvania is "Bavaria". The locus of important states may be in the Mid-Atlantic region for several decades.
     
  14. Ivan Lupo Well-Known Member

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    I don't see the straight line borders lasting very long, and if all these states are more or less independent of one another beyond being nominally under a "president", there is going to be conflict and you will probably see borders devolving towards natural, more defensible borders. Before too long, what eventually becomes modern West Virginia will split off from mainline Virginia, and much like in OTL, it will be amid violence, though possibly much sooner if the POD is immediately after the Revolutionary War. You'll be certain to see wealthy strongmen eventually take control and create political dynasties that resemble dictatorships, if not out right kingdoms.
     
  15. Anawrahta Well-Known Member

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    It would be horrible. I don't want to see distraught Americans farting on the Chief Justice of the supreme court.