What TL ideas do you have that will probably never see the light of day?

A far right anti-communist party takes control of Germany in 1933. This government instead of being a psychotic genocidal machine, is just a regular fascist government similiar to Spain or Italy. Just very anti communist. They are able to ally with Poland and cojal the western powers to fund an anti Bolshevik campaign to where Germany declares war on tbe USSR like IOTL, except it’s a much more pragmatic one.
Hugenberg's DVNP would fit the bill. Perhaps with a Horthy style Regent in the name of the Kaiser.
 
  1. Who would Clark's likely VP pick be in 1912?
  2. How would a Hughes presidency look domestically (1917-1921)?
    • Does TR get a cabinet post in the Hughes admin ITTL? He would have pressed hard to join the war. But with no resumption of USW and no Zimmermann telegram denying an obvious casus belli, maybe a Senate filibuster ultimately stops the intervention.
    • I still don't think he seeks re-election in 1920 due to the death of his daughter and the weight of facing a 6-year term.
  3. Vice President Fairbanks dies in office ITTL -- who is Hughes' likely pick for a new VP to finish the term?
  4. I'm a bit skeptical about TR living much longer even if Quentin survives ITTL -- I'm sure the grief didn't help but my understanding was that really the jungle sickness was the culprit behind his decline. As it is, he'd still have to live a full year just to get the nomination, a year and a half to see election day... As much as a Roosevelt v. Hearst match-up would be epic I'm not sure about it. Will have to break out my TR biographies when I get home.
    • If not TR in 1920, what are the other likely Republicans to be favorites at the convention? Who was likely to be in the Hughes admin that would get a boost compared to OTL? The VP replacing Fairbanks could be in an excellent position here.
  5. Sounds like the Dem primary is going to be Hearst v. Cox. v. Smith with Hearst as the favorite and likely winner. Who do you think he'd pick as a running mate?
    • Kern and Stone are both dead by 1920. Hearst is the obvious heir unless Clark's VP is still around.
    • Dems have a good chance to beat a non-TR Republican even without the war, especially with Hughes presiding over another economic crisis in 1920 and a shakier global economy due to the CP victory in WW1.
1. I think Clark's most likely pick would be Governor of Ohio Judson Harmon, who was a favourite son candidate at the 1912 DNC. Harmon was finishing up his second term and had previously served as a progressive member of Grover Cleveland's cabinet as attorney general. His stature and imminent retirement make him suited for the then-perception of the vice presidency as a "kicked upstairs" position. He would also suit the somewhat more conservative composition of Clark's backers compared to Wilson's.

2. Roosevelt had been a loose cannon during OTL's 1916 election and I doubt he would want a cabinet position. Maybe he would accept something just to show he's a team player in preparation for 1920. He could do well for himself as postmaster general but the party conservatives would scream bloody murder if he got the top patronage position. Given what you've said I agree Hughes is unlikely to run for re-election.

3. There wasn't a mechanism to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency until the 25th Amendment was introduced in 1967. Once Fairbanks dies the vice presidency would remain vacant for the remainder of Hughes' term. At the time, the secretary of state followed the vice president in the order of succession. Elihu Root would be a perfect match as Hughes' secretary of state given their shared support of the Preparedness Movement, although Root believed he was too old to be president by 1916 and wouldn't've run in 1920. A Hughes-Root Administration would definitely try and enter the war but they would have faced stiff resistance.

4. Unfortunately you're probably right about Roosevelt but it would be very cool to see him face off against Hearst. With Hughes and Root out, no vice president, and economically-oriented cabinet secretaries likely discredited by market instability, the Republican nominee would probably be a dark horse. Being a foreign policy-oriented Republican senator would give Philander Knox a higher stock ITTL. It would likely be enough to make him the best compromise pick over Warren G. Harding. However, the more I think on it the more likely I think Hughes would enter the war and set the Republicans up for a massive pounding in 1920.

5. With butterflies, Cox might lose one of his razor thin re-elections in Ohio and might not be a factor by 1920. Nor do I think Jud Harmon would be interested. Much like how the Ohioan Cox was picked in part to counter the Ohioan Harding, A. Mitchell Palmer might have a chance as a Pennsylvanian counter to Knox. Palmer would have had a very different career path without the Wilson Administration. Instead of being tarnished as a police state authoritarian, he would've been a strong progressive party boss. Of course, Hearst had a lot of enemies. Like Clark in 1912, he would have to immediately overwhelm his opponents at the DNC or risk a drawn out ballot process where he can't keep up his momentum. However, I think a lot of Democrats would see Hearst's neutralism as 'proven right' after a messy stalemate war and would flock to him to avenge Clark's legacy. Perhaps a Hearst/Palmer ticket? Choosing Palmer would be an olive branch to the Wilson-Bryan 'pure progressives' by the Clark-Hearst 'conservative progressives.'

I made a mock-up map too. :)
 

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I was thinking of looking at the overall Cold War rather than one area. Since Cuba not going communist has some very interesting impacts on the U.S.-Soviet Relationship as well as the Sino-Soviet split.

In addition, I was also thinking of domestic impacts. Communist Cuba not existing means no Cuban Missile Crisis, which means Republicans do better in the 1962 midterms and Nixon wins the California Gubernatorial election. This could result in much of Kennedy's New Frontier agenda becoming stalled, and a Nixon v. Kennedy rematch in 1964.
Oh yeah absolutely. Assuming Mobutu still comes to power in Congo, you're most likely gonna end up with a Western-oriented Angola too (probably ruled by Jonas Savimbi and UNITA instead of Holden Roberto and the FNLA, although I guess having Roberto have a semi-independent fiefdom in the north isn't impossible.

Also butterflies away the intervention in the Ogaden War (if you still have the Derg and Siad Barre come to power in Ethiopia and Somalia respectively.

The internal American politics angle sounds very interesting too, although i have less to contribute in that field.
 
I had a TL idea where a far right coup succeed in France in 1933 leading to a new French Kingdom
You could get an alliance of 'right wing' governments - firstly, with Germany, Italy & France assisting Franco in the Spanish Civil War - which finishes earlier than otl. Also, little objection to Germany's expansion. Western Europe becomes a bastion of anti-communism - leading to God knows where. But Britain's voice is alone.
 
My Epistoraly (coming of age) novel set in a no WW Timeline of a German gay teenager living in a Chinese family in the colony Tsingtau that is soon going to be left to its on devices in a Balkanised war-torn China, due to the 99 year lease is running out.
 
I've long had an idea for a kind of True Crime themed timeline. Taking famous figures from cults, serial killers, and organized crime figures and maximizing their influence and power. Ted Bundy running in a presidential election from Utah against John Wayne Gacy. Aum Shinrikyo linking up with the Knights of the Solar Temple to launch a global terror spree. The Five Families coming to control state governments across the country.

The stumbling block for me has always been that most of these guys just didn't have it at all. Ted Bundy was a smart, charismatic guy, but hadn't an ounce of hard worker in him. Gacey was never going to rise beyond "local hack politician". The Knights of the Solar Temple were too drug addled and sex-addicted to think of the long game. Water found its level in their grimy lives, and I feel like pushing it too hard would play into the myth of the hypercompetent criminal, a la American Psycho.
 
1. I think Clark's most likely pick would be Governor of Ohio Judson Harmon, who was a favourite son candidate at the 1912 DNC. Harmon was finishing up his second term and had previously served as a progressive member of Grover Cleveland's cabinet as attorney general. His stature and imminent retirement make him suited for the then-perception of the vice presidency as a "kicked upstairs" position. He would also suit the somewhat more conservative composition of Clark's backers compared to Wilson's.

2. Roosevelt had been a loose cannon during OTL's 1916 election and I doubt he would want a cabinet position. Maybe he would accept something just to show he's a team player in preparation for 1920. He could do well for himself as postmaster general but the party conservatives would scream bloody murder if he got the top patronage position. Given what you've said I agree Hughes is unlikely to run for re-election.

3. There wasn't a mechanism to fill a vacancy in the vice presidency until the 25th Amendment was introduced in 1967. Once Fairbanks dies the vice presidency would remain vacant for the remainder of Hughes' term. At the time, the secretary of state followed the vice president in the order of succession. Elihu Root would be a perfect match as Hughes' secretary of state given their shared support of the Preparedness Movement, although Root believed he was too old to be president by 1916 and wouldn't've run in 1920. A Hughes-Root Administration would definitely try and enter the war but they would have faced stiff resistance.

4. Unfortunately you're probably right about Roosevelt but it would be very cool to see him face off against Hearst. With Hughes and Root out, no vice president, and economically-oriented cabinet secretaries likely discredited by market instability, the Republican nominee would probably be a dark horse. Being a foreign policy-oriented Republican senator would give Philander Knox a higher stock ITTL. It would likely be enough to make him the best compromise pick over Warren G. Harding. However, the more I think on it the more likely I think Hughes would enter the war and set the Republicans up for a massive pounding in 1920.

5. With butterflies, Cox might lose one of his razor thin re-elections in Ohio and might not be a factor by 1920. Nor do I think Jud Harmon would be interested. Much like how the Ohioan Cox was picked in part to counter the Ohioan Harding, A. Mitchell Palmer might have a chance as a Pennsylvanian counter to Knox. Palmer would have had a very different career path without the Wilson Administration. Instead of being tarnished as a police state authoritarian, he would've been a strong progressive party boss. Of course, Hearst had a lot of enemies. Like Clark in 1912, he would have to immediately overwhelm his opponents at the DNC or risk a drawn out ballot process where he can't keep up his momentum. However, I think a lot of Democrats would see Hearst's neutralism as 'proven right' after a messy stalemate war and would flock to him to avenge Clark's legacy. Perhaps a Hearst/Palmer ticket? Choosing Palmer would be an olive branch to the Wilson-Bryan 'pure progressives' by the Clark-Hearst 'conservative progressives.'

I made a mock-up map too. :)

On the smaller points:
  • Having read a bit about him now Jud Harmon seems like a reasonable and plausible choice for Clark, thanks for sharing!
  • Seems like Roosevelt is likely not in Hughes' admin then, but Hughes and Root seem like they'd try to intervene into WW1 even without TR's voice swaying them.
  • Totally forgot about the lack of VP succession mechanism before 1967, great point! With no VP, an economic depression, and Hughes' declining to run ... things are looking pretty bad for the GOP in 1920 even if they didn't take the U.S. to war in 1917. If they do join WW1, they're in for a shellacking of epic proportions (reverse OTL if not worse).
  • I think even if Cox loses in 1916 ITTL there's a decent chance he wins in 1918, especially if the U.S. joins the war and those midterms favor the Dems. So I think Cox is likely still a factor in the 1920 Dem primary ITTL too, though not sure he can overcome Hearst. So a darkhorse or maybe a VP pick instead of Palmer depending on how things shake out?
On Teddy Roosevelt:
Sometimes "the rule of cool" is more important than plausibility. A TR v. Hearst matchup in 1920 would be one for the ages, that might be reason enough to keep Teddy around in your TL. I think Quentin suriving is sufficient explanation to enable some handwaving. That said, if he won in 1920 he wouldn't last long into the 6-year term even if he lived to take office in March 1921. And worse, I don't think the nation would be looking kindly on the GOP even without a U.S. entry into WW1. Hearst likely wins even with a neutral U.S., and almost certainly wins if we join the war. I'd hate to see the old lion go out on a loss. I almost think it's better to have him die as per OTL and exist ITTL as the great "what-if" ... "the man who would have saved us from Hearst" (depending on how a Hearst presidency goes of course, I suppose). (see WW1 section below for more on TR)

On the 1914 Midterms:
I did a pretty rough mockup of the 1914 Senate midterms after an unmitigated Panic of 1914 crashes the economy. There were some extremely close senate races OTL that went to the Dems, but in light of the economy I think they go the other way ITTL. As a result the GOP holds CA and WI while flipping CO and NV. Dems still flip SD as per OTL. Senate breakdown is D-50/R-45 (/Prog.-1). Miles Poindexter was the only ever Prog. senator and he rejoined the GOP in 1915, making the balance D-50/R-46.
As for the House, OTL it stayed Dem even after major GOP gains due to the huge majority the Dems had won in 1912 -- the GOP could pick up 80 seats and still not have a majority. So for that reason, while I think the GOP does better than OTL, the Dems still narrowly keep the House.
See attached map.
Screenshot 2024-02-07 at 9.43.53 PM.png


I actually think 1916 largely goes as OTL, except Hughes wins CA, ND, and NH. Congressional elections also go as OTL but the GOP maybeee takes the House. Due to Dem losses ITTL in 1914, the Senate ends up tied R-48/D-48 with VP Fairbanks as the deciding vote. I have no clue what that means for committee assignments and such. Technically a GOP majority but probably some sort of power-sharing agreement between the parties. And when Fairbanks dies in June 1918 I have literally no idea what happens if there's a tie in the Senate, because that's like the VP's one job and there is no longer a VP.

On World War I:
I can see this going a few ways under Hughes. Clearly, he and Root would want to intervene. If USW and Zimmermann happen as they did OTL, I think they probably get their war when they ask for it in April 1917. The problem is, I'm pretty sure if the U.S. intervenes as historically, the Entente wins WW1. That's not all bad necessarily -- this is a U.S. centric TL after all. You don't get the brave new world of a CP victory, there's plenty to explore here even with an OTL-esque WW1 settlement...
But under Hughes I think there's a path in which Teddy Roosevelt raises a regiment of New Yorkers and goes to war one last time -- finding the glorious death he always sought in Flanders Fields. He is buried in France surrounded by his fallen brothers, with a Medal of Honor and Croix de Guerre pinned to his coffin. A life for a life, Teddy falls so that Quentin may live. His son returns from France a hero to live a life full of possibility (and probably ascend to the Presidency himself some day). Honestly I almost think that's a cooler TL than a CP victory.

Ultimately though, it depends on how you want WW1 to play out ITTL. If Germany doesn't resume USW or send the Zimmermann telegram, I think you have your plausible path to keep the U.S. out of the war even with a Hughes presidency:
"Hughes takes office in March, 1917. Sometime in the Spring of 1917 he requests a declaration of war on the Central Powers in an address to a joint session of congress. However, without any smoking gun as a casus belli there is a lot more skepticism and resistance than what Wilson faced OTL. The declaration of war passes the House but in the Senate is stopped by a filibuster effort led by Senator Robert M. La Follette of Wisconsin. The resulting delay kills momentum and sows discord. After 2 weeks of debate and mounting tension between the pro- and anti-war camps, the resolution is sent to the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Democratic Senator William J. Stone of Missouri remains chairman thanks to the power sharing agreement implemented after the 1916 elections. Given cover by La Follette's filibuster, and himself being unequivocally opposed to the war, Stone effectively kills the resolution in committee. It never comes to a vote on the floor, and as each month returns worse and worse news for the Entente war effort, Stone's decision seems like a better and better one in the eyes of an already skeptical public."

Finally, a few more questions (may presently be unanswerable given butterfly uncertainties):
  1. Who do you think is the likely GOP VP pick in 1920? You went with Lenroot on your mockup 1920 election map, how come? Who else is in the running for the VP slot assuming Knox or Harding get the nomination (having overcome Hiram Johnson, Frank Lowden, and William Sproul)? Is Coolidge's name in the ring ITTL too?
  2. Besides trying to join the war, what do you think Hughes does as president?
  3. What the hell does President Hearst try to do in a 6-year term 1921-1927 (it's seeming increasingly likely that he wins in 1920)? You said he'd be a conservative-progressive Dem, what sort of policies do you think he'd pursue in practice in that case?
  4. Who are the figures likely seeking the Dem nomination in 1926 after a Hearst presidency?
  5. Who are the figures likely seeking the GOP nomination in 1926 after a Hearst presidency? (seems pretty clear 1926 will be a GOP victory too.)
 
A timeline about Lennart Johansson becoming FIFA President in 1998.

"Never" might be an exaggeration, but I just have way too many interests and things going on in the foreseeable future.
There are unfortunately only 24 hours in a day and I can only sacrifice so much sleep while still functioning as a healthy human.
 
You could get an alliance of 'right wing' governments - firstly, with Germany, Italy & France assisting Franco in the Spanish Civil War - which finishes earlier than otl. Also, little objection to Germany's expansion. Western Europe becomes a bastion of anti-communism - leading to God knows where. But Britain's voice is alone.
Well in my TL France is definitly germanophobic and less open to German expansion. Yes France support Franco along with Germany and Italy. Italy is more neutral in this TL with France supporting the Ethiopean invasion so when the allies declare war to Germany following Poland agression Italy is more sceptic about joining Germany side. After the Second World War there will be a Latin Bloc in Europe (Spain/Italy/France/Portugal) more or less in cooperation with the democratic allies (UK/USA), the two bloc are in opposition with the USSR bloc.
 
An ATL where HMS Glorious is not sunk, only damaged. While the carrier is being repaired her new fighter squadron of ?????, is based in Gosport, when the Battle of Britain comes along, gets heavily involved defending Portsmouth, being integrated into the RAF's command & control system as a FAA squadron. Later, rejoins the carrier and off to the Med., joins in with other carriers on the attack on Taranto. The squadron further enhanced its reputation taking out Luftwaffe aircraft attacking convoys bound for Malta.
 
A wack idea that I'll probably never create but have fun thinking about: the USSR survives, and after the 9/11 attacks the USSR and the United States are co-belligerents in the War on Terror.
 
I've always thought an interesting TL idea would be if Sears never bought Dean Witter Reynolds and Coldwell Banker in 1981. Those 2 acquisitions cost Sears hundreds of millions of dollars and distracted it from its core retail business at a critical time when Walmart and big box home improvement stores were gaining ground. With Sears' management still focused on the retail trade, it is much better equipped to respond to Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe's, and later Target and Amazon. I don't think they would be the #1 retailer - Walmart would probably still overtake them, but I could easily see them being #2 or #3. And also as a bonus, they're probably still headquartered in the Sears Tower, since one of the main reasons why they moved to Hoffman Estates was because the Sears Tower didn't have enough space for all their acquisitions.
 
I've done a bit of work on a timeline about Britain becoming a Socialist Republic in 1850 due to a large divergence in the Trade Union Movement allowing Robert Owens GNCTU to form and becoming prominent. Research is quite hard and I do it in bursts, and the scope is massive, but there's something there to be sure.
 
I've thought about a timeline where the Nonpartisan League never fades into irrelevancy after World War 1, becoming a national and maybe even transnational organization. The point of divergence would be Charles Lindbergh's father (who was a league member) succeeded in ousting the governor of Minnesota in 1918, and the tentative alliance between Wisconsin's Socialists and the League never collapses, catapulting Victor Berger to the senate (this would also depend on AC Townley not being an idiot and pushing his rivals away out of ego).
 
The Great War ends with a negotiated peace in 1916. However, the battle of Jutland goes much better for the Germans, with Sheer crossing Jelicoes' T twice, taking out a dreadnought each time. End result, 5 British dreadnoughts lost to no German loses. There is a belief in Germany and Britain that Germany could have won the war if the fleet had not been held back by the Kaiser, believing that had fleet engagements taken place in 1914 and 1915 Germany would have likely soon gained a naval advantage, breaking the blockade and partly blockading Britain. As such, this leads to a massive naval arms race which then causes war in the 1920s or 1930s.
 
Oh yeah absolutely. Assuming Mobutu still comes to power in Congo, you're most likely gonna end up with a Western-oriented Angola too (probably ruled by Jonas Savimbi and UNITA instead of Holden Roberto and the FNLA, although I guess having Roberto have a semi-independent fiefdom in the north isn't impossible.

Also butterflies away the intervention in the Ogaden War (if you still have the Derg and Siad Barre come to power in Ethiopia and Somalia respectively.

The internal American politics angle sounds very interesting too, although i have less to contribute in that field.
Roberto and Jonas together! Government of national unity here we go. Red and Yellow and Rooster having fyn.
 
Roberto and Jonas together! Government of national unity here we go. Red and Yellow and Rooster having fyn.
Haha very possible, but if Roberto is in charge there will definitely be another civil war with how much he'll pack the government full of baKongo.

Imho the only way to make this somewhat workable is Savimbi being president with Roberto as deputy AND head of an autonomous Kongo region that has its own internal security forces. Would probably require selling off Cabinda to Mobutu as well to get him to sign on with the deal. He's gonna be a guarantor of Roberto's quasi-independent state too. A lot of concessions to various parties, but this configuration might be able to at least maintain (relative) peace.
 
Good idea. If Cabinda goes Chevron had better keep their oil rights. Seeing as how they both hate MPLAand the dopey assimaldos from the city, they can be pals again.
 
Can’t/will not happen. PWR and BWR are nothing like the RMBK reactor at Chernobyl. That and US reactors have containment buildings. Chernobyl reactor had no containment building.

The Sep. 19th, 1980 nuclear missile accident at Damascus, AR somehow [1] results in a 9 megaton groundburst, dumping radioactive fallout across a wide swath of Arkansas and Oklahoma.

[1] exact details are classified, but the Feyman committee determines there is a design flaw in the W53's arming circuits, that can trigger an unintended full-yield detonation when exposed to certain unusual conditions present during the silo accident.

For a double-tap: the B-52 fire the previous day at Minot, ND also results in a nuclear explosion (though only 200 kT).

[ Also note that VP Mondale was in Little Rock the night of the missile accident... ]
 
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