Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by John Fredrick Parker, Oct 10, 2017.
@bguy TR jr could even be a contender for President in 1928.
It's possible though it would require either Wood to survive his presidency so there isn't an incumbent president running for reelection in 1928 or for Wood to predecease Harding and for Harding to survive at least until mid-1928 but decide that his health is too poor for him to stand for a full term in 1928. I think the former is the more likely scenario, since I just can't see Harding surviving all the way until 1928. (He was already showing signs of having a heart condition as early as 1918 and was a heavy smoker too boot, so time was definitely not on his side.)
And of course even if the Republican presidential nomination is open in 1928, TR Jr. will still have to beat out Hoover for the prize which will be very difficult given how respected Hoover was at the time. It's probably more likely that TR Jr. would end up as Hoover's vice president in such a scenario, which would still set him up nicely for a future presidential run. I could certainly see a TR Jr. who had served for 4 years as Governor of New York (presumably with a progressive reputation) and then 4 years as Vice President winning the Republican nomination in 1940, and if he is running against anyone other than FDR that year then he would have a decent chance of winning the general election.
Basically, after gaining seats in four successive elections - 1914, 1916, 1918 and 1920 - they had all but extinguished the Democrats outside the South. By 1922 there was simply nowhere to go but down.
Or the incumbent in 1928 could lose or not run, especially if it's a former Secretary of State who's not that great of a politician and if they have just a year to define themselves. At this point, only one ascended VP has ever been renominated - Roosevelt's father.
TR Jr. is pretty much the last person though that could get away with challenging an incumbent president. (Memories of his father pulling that same stunt in 1912 are just too fresh.)
As for President Stimson deciding not to seek a term in his own right, I think he will be under pretty intense pressure from the party regulars to run. After all why would the party want to give up the advantage of incumbency and risk a potentially nasty nomination battle between Hoover and Roosevelt when they don't have to? (And of course the dominant conservative wing of the party will strongly prefer the conservative Stimson to more progressive candidates like Hoover or Roosevelt.)
Furthermore, Henry Stimson was always a man with a very strong sense of duty. (This is after all a man who served as Secretary of War during a world war despite being in his mid 70s just because his country needed him.) Thus its almost impossible to imagine Stimson just walking away from the presidency. Doing so would be deserting his post, which is anathema to a man of Stimson's character.
First of all, who would have been Wood's VP pick in 1924? After all, Harding would have died by that point in time and Wood himself will die in 1927.
Depends on what Wood wants and how hard he is willing to push for it.
Maybe and maybe.
Well, what were Wood's economic views?
Maybe Wood could get an anti-lynching bill passed in Congress if he tried hard enough.
Honestly, I don't think that there would have been much of a difference.
However, what I am especially curious is this--could a President Wood have pushed to make the 1920s immigration restrictions less severe? Indeed, any thoughts on this?
Another thought -- would the U.S. have been as involved in mitigating the Russian Famine of 1921?
@bguy What if Wood dies in the WH? If Harding succeeds him and lives/serves through 1928, would he be as likely to get the nod that year (especially if he's in less than great health himself)?
@CaliGuy Aside from saying that taxes had gotten out of control under Wilson (most certainly referring to the war rates), I'm not sure how developed Wood's thoughts on this were; could be the 1921 Tax Cuts are as OTL, but more restraint is shown compared to the 1926 cuts (at least pertaining to the wealthiest taxpayers). Good catch on immigration, though I don't know where Wood fell on that.
He's not walking away, he's finishing the term and then retiring as the democratic process selects a new leader. Depends if he wants to campaign I guess - it's possible that if Wood dies late enough he wouldn't want to spend his whole presidency campaigning.
Assuming the Mississippi flood goes as OTL, Hoover is a national hero at this point (some poor black people in the South might disagree but they'll get no attention). He didn't completely dominate the 1928 convention for no reason.
We should also recall just how extremely anti-communist Wood was to the point of practically advocating for paramilitaries on the streets. I'm thinking relations with Russia ain't gonna be great.
According to the Jack Lane biography of Wood, Wood enthusiastically supported excluding Chinese immigrants from the United States during the Roosevelt Administration.
The same biography also suggests that Wood's racial prejudices became worse as he got older (and shows Wood making nasty statements about Cubans, Filipinos, and African-Americans), so he will almost certainly support severe immigration restrictions as president.
OTL Harding didn't seem to particularly like being president, but he was still planning on running for reelection in 1924. That makes me think that he probably would run for a term in his own right if his health holds up. (OTOH Harding really admired Hoover, so he probably would be comfortable stepping aside if he was confident Hoover would be his successor.)
Agreed, but again this is a man who at the age of 74 and with a major war on the horizon took on the responsibilities of being Secretary of War. That is just not the mindset of a man who is comfortable retiring after a job well done.
Will Hoover even be the person assigned to managing the Mississippi flood though? I could see President Wood or Stimson (being old army man themselves) deciding that what is really needed to manage the disaster response efforts is the discipline and organizational skills of a good military man and calling up another national hero, General John Pershing, to take charge of the flood response.
The 1920s immigration restrictions also severely affected a lot of White people, though. Thus, I am unsure that Wood's attitudes towards Chinese, Filipinos, and African-Americans would be an adequate reflection of his views on the immigration of various White ethnic groups to the U.S.
Well per the Lane biography in Wood's 1920 campaign he called for "quality immigration to eliminate the undesirable immigrant", and wanted the government to aggressively guard against letting anarchists and communists into the country. Wood also wanted immigrants that were found to be "acceptable" to be watched long enough to "teach them to be Americans."
So that certainly sounds like Wood would impose pretty severe restrictions on immigration.
Yeah, that's more spot-on to what I'm talking about here; indeed, thanks for this information.
If President Wood does prevent American aid to Russia during the famine, does that endanger the viability of the Soviet state? If not, how is the USSR affected? And what does this mean for Europe 10-20 years down the line?
Probably not--more people simply starve to death.
It has slightly less people.
Probably no difference unless the Soviet Union loses so many people that it can't endure the World War II bloodletting that it endured in our TL.
Does this mean that OTL events in Europe up to the dawn of WWII -- the rise of fascism, annexations of 1938, etc -- are not affected by our chain of events discussed thus far? Even if Asia is significantly calmer (no Manchuko Incident, etc)?
Is this due to Wood's naval buildup in this TL?
How do you know that the U.S. President in 1931 will be less passive, though?
If it's not Herbert Hoover, the President could respond to provocation in any provocation in Manchuria (if it even still happens TTL) with sanctions and "defensive" naval maneuvers; this, combined with having a naval arms race, combined further with effects all this has on Japan's domestic politics, means that the Second Sino-Japanese War is likely (or at least could well be) averted entirely.
What's also interesting, as noted, is that none of this is likely to prevent Europe's own path to war; at worst, the Soviets will be comparatively weaker due to taking more of a demographic hit in the early 20's TTL; but if that's the case, I don't expect that will have any impact on the rise of Hitler and his moves toward annexing Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938. However, this could well mean the breakout of the war is different from OTL -- maybe Britain decides to be firmer with Germany at Munich, or maybe the Soviets decide against the pact -- but either way, that would mean, in addition to not having an Asian theater, the war in Europe is significantly less destructive than OTL. Thoughts?
Sure, the U.S. could have a tough response to Japanese aggression in Manchuria in 1931; however, would it?
Frankly, I don't see how this would affect either Britain's chickening out at Munich or the negotiations on the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. After all, Britain chickened out at Munich because it wanted to give peace a chance and didn't have the appetite for another war with Germany; meanwhile, the Soviets negotiated the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact with the Nazis because they wanted cheap gains at little or no cost to themselves.
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