THE BUSINESS PLOT
Welcome to my first AAR! Thanks for checking it out. As this is my first AAR, I'm open to any and all comments, and any support offered would be greatly appreciated. I have some loose ideas for the story line, but as the game progresses I suppose that anything could happen. The premise for this AAR is based on a what-if of American history, for the most part unknown to the majority of Americans. I hope you enjoy!!!
In the summer of 1933, after the initial flood of new legislation passed by FDR during his "First 100 Days", a group of prominent American businessmen and anti-"New Deal" politicians came together to discuss the current situation in the United States. This group of businessmen was extremely wary of FDR's plans for getting America out of the Great Depression. To them, FDR's proposals seemed too much like socialism or communism. They decided that something had to be done to preserve the traditional American economic system.
The group eventually decided that only the most drastic and decisive of actions would suffice.
The group moved swiftly, knowing that every day that passed would make their final goal all the more difficult. Luckily for them, funding would not pose a problem, as many of the businessmen were multi-millionaires. In October 1933, the plotters founded the American Liberty League, which would act as a public front for the group's activities.
The founders of the Liberty League were public figures, well-known by most Americans. They included:
Al Smith: A former governor of New York and political rival of FDR.
John Davis: A former Democratic presidential candidate and attorney for J.P. Morgan.
Grayson Murphy: Director of Goodyear, Bethlehem Steel, and a group of J.P. Morgan banks.
Gerald MacGuire: Bond salesman and former commander of the Connecticut American Legion.
John Raskob: Former chairman of the Democratic Party and high-ranking Du Pont officer.
Irenee Du Pont: Right-wing chemical industrialist.
William Doyle: Former state commander of the American Legion.
Robert Clark: One of Wall Street's richest bankers and stockbrokers.
The Liberty League quickly became the most vocal opponent of FDR's New Deal legislation, using its business ties to launch a massive propaganda campaign against the "attack on America's conservative traditions." While not all American's were convinced, many began to question the direction in which Roosevelt was taking the USA.
The leadership of MacGuire and Doyle helped the Liberty League gain the support of the American Legion, an organization of war veterans formed in 1919. In 1933, members of the Legion were only 15 years removed from the Great War, and if properly organized and financed, could represent a major threat to the government of FDR. The plotters recognized this and decided a show of force would be the best way to achieve their goal.
It was realized that a popular military figure and organizer would be indispensable to the success of the plot. In early 1934, MacGuire was instructed to approach retired Major General Smedley Butler in order to gain his support. Butler was incredibly popular among both Great War veterans; he had been present in 1932 when the infamous "Bonus Army" demonstrated in Washington, lending his support and giving encouragement to the protestors. He was also popular with ordinary citizens, being one of the most decorated war heroes in United States history, and his involvement would help add legitimacy to the plot.
MacGuire's mission was vital to the final outcome. If he failed, the likelihood of failure would increase dramatically. MacGuire and Butler met in person on January 29, 1934. The general sat quietly and listened as MacGuire outlined the plot for nearly an hour. At the end of the meeting, Butler said little and left. MacGuire feared that he had failed.
A week later, Butler contacted MacGuire and requested that they meet. MacGuire readily agreed, and grew anxious as he waited for Butler to arrive at the agreed upon location. When Butler finally arrived, he made small talk for 10 minutes, adding to MacGuire's apprehension. Finally, Butler addressed the issue at hand: would he join the plot or wouldn't he. After a pause, which seemed to MacGuire to last for a lifetime, Butler agreed to join the conspiracy and play his part.
To be continued...