With Liberty and Justice For All

2 Emancipations

kernals12

Banned
This is my somewhat fanciful scenario of bringing Liberal Democracy to all the people of the world by the 1960s

March 3, 1861 St. Petersburg, Russia


Peasants gather to hear of their new freedom

Tsar Alexander II issued a proclamation declaring all privately owned surfs are to be emancipated. Russian Serfdom was an anachronism in 19th Century Europe, having long since been abolished in other European powers. 23 million people gained their freedom. They could now move and own property. In addition, they were allowed to buy the land they had farmed through redemption payments. They would fully own their land as opposed to the old Mir system of communal ownership. [1] The Tsar was hoping that this would help modernize his Empire after the humiliating defeat in Crimea, little did he know just what forces he would unleash. In 1866, the same emancipation was given to State Peasants.




June 8, 1864 Baltimore, Maryland, United States

As the South was gripped by a bloody war over slavery, the Republican Party held its convention. The delegates overwhelmingly chose to renominate incumbent President Abraham Lincoln and Vice President Hannibal Hamlin. Lincoln had considered swapping out Hamlin for Tennessee Military Governor Andrew Johnson, a Democrat, as a unity ticket, but ultimately chose to stick with Hamlin. [2] The delegates also affirmed their strong opposition to slavery and support for the war effort.

[1] IOTL the communal ownership system stayed until Stolypin's reforms in the 1900s. Because peasants didn't know whether their land would be given to someone else, they had little incentive to improve it.

[2] IOTL Hamlin became a Radical Reconstructionist after leaving the Vice Presidency
 
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Reconstruction and Beyond

kernals12

Banned
April 9, 1865 Appomattox, Virginia, United States

Confederate General Robert E Lee surrenders to Union General Ulysses S Grant. The civil war ends

April 14, 1865 Washington DC, United States



At Ford's Theater, President Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. An attempt to murder Vice President Hamlin is foiled, Hamlin is sworn in as President.



April 16, 1865
With the nation in mourning, President Hamlin makes an unprecedented speech before a joint session of congress, the first since John Adams. In it he declares that the people who led the traitorous rebellion are ultimately responsible for Lincoln's death and that they must be punished. He asks congress to impose a reconstruction policy to include the following:
1) Confiscation of the lands of Planters who aided in the rebellion to be given to former slaves
2) Banning all those who supported the confederacy from holding public office
3) Disenfranchisement of all those who willingly took up arms for the Confederacy
May 22, 1865
The Senate passes the Reconstruction Act, imposing all of the conditions asked for by the President. Having already passed the House of Representatives, it is sent to to the White House where Hamlin eagerly signs it.

1870
By this point, reconstruction has ended. 1 million adult male freedmen have received their share of former Planter land which was 40 acres. This made up 40 million of the 394 million acres confiscated. These people would go on to form a strong black middle class and dominate Southern politics to the present day. Some more land was given to poor whites. The rest was sold off to pay for Civil War debts and veteran's pensions [1] There was some resistance to reconstruction, a few in white hoods calling themselves the Ku Klux Klan attempted to terrorize blacks but they were put down by the black militia trained by the Freedmen's bureau. Thousands of confederates, barred from holding public office and unwilling to live under the governance of their former slaves, fled to Brazil. The disenfranchisement of confederate soldiers gave the Republicans solid majorities in most of the South. Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana all are majority black. The 14th and 15th Amendments are ratified to protect the rights of blacks.

February 22, 1883
President Chester A Arthur signs the Civil Rights Act of 1883 outlawing discrimination based on race.

September 24, 1887
President James G Blaine signs the Labor Act of 1887. Americans are guaranteed the right to join a union. The work week is restricted to 54 hours (48 for miners and railroad workers).

[1] I based this off the OTL plan by Thaddeus Stevens which is conveniently outlined in this contemporary New York Times Article.
 

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Germany

kernals12

Banned
May 21, 1887 Berlin, Germany
Frederick III, Crown Prince of the German Empire, undergoes surgery to remove a tumor on his Larynx

March 9, 1888
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Kaiser Frederick III

Kaiser Wilhelm I passes away at 91. He, along with Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck had overseen Germany's unification. Frederick III becomes the new Emperor.

March 12, 1888
The new Kaiser dismisses Bismarck. The liberal Frederick and his British born wife had long squared off with the Conservative Chancellor. Rudolf Von Benningsen of the National Liberal Party is made chancellor.

June 18, 1889
Basic Law is amended requiring the Chancellor to have the confidence of the Reichstag. The Emperor however still retains control of Secretaries of State and the military.

1890-1895
New reforms end child labor, give more freedom to trade unions, regulate working conditions [1] and ensure tolerance for Catholics, Poles, and Jews.

[1] This actually happened IOTL. As awful as Wilhelm II was, he did many good things for the working classes.
 
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At Ford's Theater, President Lincoln is assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. An attempt to murder Vice President Hamlin is foiled, Hamlin is sworn in as President, he appoints former General Benjamin Butler as VP.
Nitpick, the policy of appointing a replacement VP was not implemented until the 25th amendment in 1967
 

kernals12

Banned
Hmm...

I'm wondering where you are going with this.
Oh, I'm going many places. As I said at the top, the idea is to have liberal democracy in most of the world by the 1960s. Tomorrow I'll deal with Russia and President William Jennings Bryan.
 
Tsar Michael II

kernals12

Banned
May 11, 1891 Otsu, Japan
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Tsesarevich Nicholas of Russia is assasinated by Tsudo Sanzo, one of his police escorts while on a tour of East Asia [1]. Emperor Meiji sends condolences to Tsar Alexander III. The Tsar, despite his anger, decides a war with Japan is not worth pursuing.

November 1, 1894 Maley Palace, Livadia, Taurida Governate, Russia
Tsar Alexander III dies of kidney disease at 49. The throne is taken by Grand Duke George despite his 4 year bout with Tuberculosis.

August 8, 1895 Copenhagen, Denmark
Tsar George collapses while visiting his cousins. It is clear he cannot serve as emperor. He abdicates. His brother, Michael, is still too young to take the throne. His uncle, Grand Duke Vladimir serves as regent.

December 4, 1896 St Petersburg
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Upon his 18th birthday, Tsar Michael II receives the crown. Few could predict the things that would happen during his reign.

1897: Russia had seen much change since the end of serfdom. The increase in agricultural productivity freed up many farmers to work in new mines and factories. The middle class was growing and people were becoming politically self aware thanks to mass education.

February 1, 1897
Workers at the Putilov plant in St. Petersburg go on strike. Sympathy strikes break out across the capitol over the next week.

March 3, 1897
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Protestors who intend to petition the Tsar are fired upon by police. This becomes known as Bloody Wednesday.


April 12, 1897
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Massive unrest has now spread across the empire. The Tsar convenes a special commission to determine how best to appease the people.

May 5, 1897
The commission finishes its work. It recommends that Russia transition to a Constitutional Monarchy. It drafts a constitution that:
1) Creates a 500 member legislature to be elected by universal male suffrage known as the Duma. The Duma's approval will be mandatory for any laws
2) Guarantees freedom of expression, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to form trade unions, and the right to due process
This is not British style parliamentism, the Tsar still retains full control of the military, ministers are still responsible to him, and he is allowed to veto any bill passed by the Duma, but for the first time in Russian history, the monarch is subject to the rule of law. Michael, worried about suffering the same fate as Louis XVI, decrees it into law. The protests die down. The changes earn the name "Perestroika" meaning "restructuring".

December 2, 1897
Russia's first ever free elections are held. The Constitutional Democratic Party or Kadets win a majority in the New Duma. They pass bills dissolving the secret police and granting amnesty to political prisoners. The Tsar gives them Royal Assent.

August 9, 1899 Abastumani, Georgia, Russia
Former Tsar George is found collapsed by the side of the road. A peasant woman holds him in his arms as he coughs up blood until he dies of tuberculosis at age 28.

February 8, 1904 Port Arthur, China
The Japanese Navy attacks the Russian controlled Port Arthur starting the Russo-Japanese war. With the use of the newly built Trans-Siberian railroad, massive numbers of Russian soldiers are brought in and repel the Japanese. [2]

July 12, 1904 Portsmouth, New Hampshire, United States
Russia and Japan agree to a peace treaty in negotiations mediated by US President William Jennings Bryan.

[1] In reality, Nicholas was only saved by the quick action of his cousin, Prince George of Denmark who blocked Sanzo's sword leaving the future emperor with only a non life threatening cut on the side of his head.
[2] The assumption here is that a much wealthier Russia than IOTL will have a more advanced army
 
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kernals12

Banned
Wouldn't preventing the assasination of Tsar Alexander II had been a good POD, like the assasination of Tsarevich Nicholas?
Not really, if you're thinking of the proposed constitution which he was about to sign, the guy who wrote it personally assured him it wasn't a constitution. It would've done almost nothing to put limits on the Tsar's power.
 
Not really, if you're thinking of the proposed constitution which he was about to sign, the guy who wrote it personally assured him it wasn't a constitution. It would've done almost nothing to put limits on the Tsar's power.
Sorry, didn't know this. It's an AH cliche that a surviving Alexander II would have led to a liberal constitution and a powerfull Duma.
 
President William Jennings Bryan

kernals12

Banned
November 8, 1892 United States
Americans go to the polls today. The result is yet another Republican, this time Bejamin Harrison of Indiana, in the White House. The Republicans have now won every presidential election since 1860. The South has been a reliable voting base for the GOP thanks to the blacks who were first given their freedom and then given the means of economic sustenance by Republicans Abe Lincoln and Hannibal Hamlin, respectively. Black voters make up the left wing of the Republican party, as the shackles of slavery has given them a strong desire for social justice. It has resulted in the South implementing many progressive laws. By 1895, all of the states of the former confederacy had women's suffrage, citizen led ballot initiatives, and direct election of senators. The next 4 years would seem to be more of the same, but history is a fickle thing.

February 20, 1893 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Corporation falls into receivership. This symbolically marked the beginning of the Panic of 1893.

May 11, 1894 Chicago, Illinois
Workers at the Pullman Railroad Company go on strike. President Harrison sends in Federal Troops to break it. 30 people die and 57 are injured.

November 6, 1894
Midterm elections are held, the Democrats win a majority in the House of Representatives for the first time since 1856. The senate is tied. The Populist party wins 11 house seats.

May 23, 1895 Washington DC
With unemployment at 12% and his popularity evaporating, President Harrison breaks with longstanding GOP orthodoxy and proposes cutting tariffs to stimulate the economy. Democrats and Populists support the measure but Republicans in the senate filibuster it

July 7-11, 1896 Chicago
There's a wind of confidence at the Democratic party convention. With President Harrison getting blamed for the depression, they have their first serious shot at the White House in Postbellum era. Helping that confidence is their young (only 36, barely constitutionally eligible for the oval office) and very charismatic candidate, Nebraska Congressman William Jennings Bryan. Bryan blames the nation's economic woes on the Gold Standard policy, saying that the deflationary nature of it transfers wealth from poor debtors to elite East Coast banking interests. In one of the most famous lines of any American politician, he exclaims that "You shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold!". The centerpiece of his campaign was a Bi-Metallic standard where Silver was set at a 16-1 ratio with gold, this would represent a massive devaluation from the market 30-1 margin and would create desperately needed inflation in the economy.

September 5, 1896 Atlanta, Georgia
In a speech before a mostly black audience of the Southern Farmer's Union, Bryan makes the first serious overtures of any Democrat toward the black community. He states his admiration for Lincoln and Hamlin and compares the bankers to whom many owe debt to the plantation owners of yore.


November 3, 1896
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Election day brings a massive shock to American politics. For the first time in 40 years, the Democrats win the presidency. Bryan manages to build upon the traditional Democratic base of working class jews and catholics and brings in many farmers in the West and rather shockingly, the South. He manages to win 4 states of the former confederacy; Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina and comes close in Louisiana with its large Catholic population. The Democrats now have 230 out of 357 seats in the house with the Populists holding a substantial 22. The Democrats hold 55 out of 90 seats in the senate while the Populists have 5. Combined with the Liberal southern Republicans, Bryan now easily has ideological supermajorities in both houses of congress.

March 4, 1897 Washington DC
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President Bryan 1897

Bryan takes the oath of office. He pledges to use the power of government to help average Americans in this time of crisis.

1897-1905

Bryan quickly sets to work on his ambitious agenda. The Free Silver act is introduced into congress just 3 days after his inauguration, it passes the house but is held up by filibustering Republicans in the senate. Angrily, the President tells his VP Arthur Sewall to fix this problem in his capacity as President of the Senate. The next day, the VP overrules the Senate Rules Clerk and says that a simple majority of senators present is sufficient to invoke cloture, putting an end to the filibuster forever [1]. When, in 1897 the Supreme Court declared that the income tax passed was an unconstitutional direct tax, the constitution was amended to remedy it. As such, the revenue from the income tax was used to cut the regressive tariffs that had forced people to pay more for goods while protecting big business from foreign competition. The Labor Union act declares that employers are required to recognize and bargain with any union their workers form. Also it becomes illegal to permanently replace striking workers. This is to be enforced by the newly created Department of Labor and violators would be subject to substantial fines. As a result, union membership skyrockets to 35% by 1910 and 60% by 1940. The Social Insurance Act creates old age pensions, unemployment benefits and health insurance for workers to be funded by payroll taxes. The inflation from Free Silver reduces debt burdens, incentivizes consumer spending and business investment, and reduces real wages allowing businesses to hire more. As the populist party makes gains, he convinces congress to introduce Ranked Choice voting to prevent the Republicans from ticket splitting on the left. Unemployment drops down to 5% by Summer 1900. Voters reward Bryan with a 2nd term where in which he trounces the Republican candidate William McKinley, winning every state except ancestrally Republican Maine and Vermont and McKinley's home state of Ohio. More than that, Bryan changed America's political culture, as after him, no mainstream political figure would question whether the government should play an active role in helping remedy social injustices.

[1]This is the actual way that both parties IOTL have nuked the filibuster for presidential nominees.
 
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What about Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire? No WWI means they will survive and democratized? At least in Austria-Hungary's case I could see a Kaiser Franz Ferdinand creating some sort of Austrian Confederation. What about Asia? We should expect a Kuomintang victory and a future democratization in China and a survival of the Showa democracy in Japan?
 

kernals12

Banned
What about Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire? No WWI means they will survive and democratized? At least in Austria-Hungary's case I could see a Kaiser Franz Ferdinand creating some sort of Austrian Confederation. What about Asia? We should expect a Kuomintang victory and a future democratization in China and a survival of the Showa democracy in Japan?
I'm getting to all that. Have patience.
 

kernals12

Banned
What about Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire? No WWI means they will survive and democratized? At least in Austria-Hungary's case I could see a Kaiser Franz Ferdinand creating some sort of Austrian Confederation. What about Asia? We should expect a Kuomintang victory and a future democratization in China and a survival of the Showa democracy in Japan?
I have not described anything that will stop Gavrilo Princip from pulling the trigger in 1914.
 

kernals12

Banned
What about Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire? No WWI means they will survive and democratized? At least in Austria-Hungary's case I could see a Kaiser Franz Ferdinand creating some sort of Austrian Confederation. What about Asia? We should expect a Kuomintang victory and a future democratization in China and a survival of the Showa democracy in Japan?
Ok, I'll reveal. I'm going to have Austria-Hungary break apart in a manner similar to OTL Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
 
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