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  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Curbough
    brilliant and saintly? Do what now?

    Good writing continues; less dark than before, which is not particularly hard.

    I will continue to read this.
    You find reconstruction to be darker than the assassination of the President? Neither was particularly bright, but I don't find this update to be upbeat.

    It was well written though, nathan. I look forward to seeing how the Radicals handle themselves without the master politician Lincoln to reckon with.

  2. #42
    Thank you both, kindly.

    (And I recommend reading the Julian link, that page and the next or so--too long to cite in full at the moment, but a wonderful summary of the figures of the time, though obviously somewhat warmed/enhanced in recollection...)
    ------
    [T]he uncompromising Senator from Ohio was too direct, too blunt, too advanced to unite the Republican Party. He had come out for woman suffrage; he was given to unanticipated agrarian forays and anti-speculation diatribes. He had growled when Union Pacific business intruded upon discussion of his bill for reconstructing the South....[H]e had...arrayed Labor against Capital in a way which caused the banker, Henry Cooke, to shudder and the young Clemenceau, viewing the Washington scene with Gallic objectivity, to write off Wade's chances [at advancement]...
    Wade had a long record of obstructionism....he had been a primary thorn in Lincoln's side....Wade and Chandler, Sumner, Stevens, and Henry Winter Davis [and Trumbull too before he became conservative]--the "Jacobin Club," as the President's secretary called them--were doing their utmost to prod and push their President out of what they considered his unaccountable slowness.
    -Marilyn Terr, "'Bluff' Ben Wade's New England Background"


    He was a master of the pungent retort. After a speech in defense of slavery by Judah P. Benjamin, Wade replied the former was a "Hebrew with Egyptian principles"; when the debate on his Homestead Bill was superceded by appropriations to buy Cuba, he contrasted the government giving "Land for the landless" with buying "N----rs for the N----rless"; and when a tearful Senator Badger implored the Senate to allow him to take his "old Mammy" to Kansas with him, Wade replied, "We have no objection to that, simply that you cannot sell her when you get there." Julian reminisced that he was "'a man of uncommon downrightness'...his profanity...had in it a spontaniety and heartiness which made it almost seem the echo of a virtue."
    -John McFesson, Trial By Fire: The Civil War Era


    After Brooks's assault on Sumner, as the nation sped closer to civil war, the Congress itself saw fighting second only to Kansas. The floor of the House itself was not immune to brawling...Dueling was outlawed in the District, as it was in most places, but there was still the occassional challenge...A band of Republicans, including Wade and [others]...had previously sworn not to accept challenges, that and the lawbreaking being seen as beneath their honor; but with the brutal caning there was a change of heart...and Wade made known were such a thing to occur again he would accept [a challenge], with the choice of weapons being pistols at twenty paces, the two duelists to wear white doilies over their hearts. He was known for considerable skill in marskmanship, and a challenge was never issued...
    -John McFesson, Trial By Fire: The Civil War Era
    (Note: I regret that the latter incident I am pulling from memory only, not being able to find a cite via google--therefore the details may be slightly off; but rest assured that to the best of my knowledge the incident is real and the important points (including the doilies) are true. Regarding another famous near-duel, there is this humorous account.)
    EDIT: And, to be clear, the rest is real history too.
    Last edited by nathankell; 16-07-2007 at 00:28. Reason: Touch-up / note

  3. #43
    Sorry, folks, going on a trip so this will be on hiatus for a week or so...

  4. #44
    Warmonger Extraordinaire Kordo's Avatar
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    Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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  5. #45
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kordo
    Noooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
    Gives me time to catch up, so I'm ok with that. Its a great AAR, a very unique style. I'll catch up soon hopefully.
    LibrAARian of the EU1 LibrAARy and the EU1 LibrAARy updates
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  6. #46
    Kordo: ^_^
    Estonianzulu: It is most pleasing you find this interesting; it was your US AAR that inspired me to write this.

    And now we continue...
    -------
    Chase administered the oath on Monday, October 23. It must have galled him immeasurably to install his former colleague in the office he himself so desired. Lincoln's body was returned to Washington, where it was prepared for lying in state; by arrival Wade had issued two major executive orders. The first recalled to the colors twenty regiments, fifteen of them black, and most from the former Confederacy. The second established tighter guidelines for the Freedmen's Bureau, including establishing minimum wages for contracts. DuBois had described the Bureau as, at its formation, encompassing everything from "little despotisms,...slavery, peonage" through "business speculations" to "communistic experiments...organized charity, unorganized almsgiving"; the conditions it established and the precedents it set in the immediate postwar period would be important and enduring, the basis for the future interaction of all involved. Heretofore local agents had been given much latitude; thence forth their actions would be more closely circumscribed, ultimately by the president himself. No longer, so far as Wade could direct, would the agents force freedmen into the contracts as they did masters: "For whose hands but theirs," he thundered, "has built these grand plantations, and their reward only the lash--let them reap the just rewards of honest toil. This government will not force them into work, will not take up the lowered lash on behalf of rebels and traitors."
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution


    ...and so when Wade assumed the presidency in October 1865, there was both the vacancy due to Catron's death, and also a vacancy due to Stephen J. Field's assassination, along with Lincoln, on October 21st. Stanton had long desired an appointment to the Court, but was considered too vital at the War Department for the moment, though Wade made clear to him that he would appoint him when the situation permitted--Justice Wayne's health was obviously failing, so there would be another vacancy shortly. Instead, Wade sent the name of Hannibal Hamlin, the former Vice President, to the Senate; he had left Washington only scant months before, with little but a peaceful retirement ahead of him. His strong position against capital punishment was of some concern in the Senate, but he was confirmed safely in late December. To replace Field, Wade appointed Newton Booth, also of California, a local Republican politician of some prominence. He was confirmed by the Senate the following January.
    -Petra Steel, A People's History of the Supreme Court


    (Note: I know little of Booth, and not as much as I should of Hamlin; in regards to the former, the best I can find is his inaugural address as Governor of California which seems to give a flavor of his views; there is a biography of the latter on Google Books of which I skimmed some today, though he at least has more of a wikipedia page than Booth.)
    --------------

    Hannibal Hamlin / Newton Booth

  7. #47
    The nomination of Hamlin to the Court only furthered the breach between Wade and Hamlin's fellow Mainer Fessenden. The two had long been rivals, and Fessenden, while voting to confirm, viewed the nomination as a considerable slight. He was, regardless, not likely to favor anything Wade proposed; and it is doubtful Wade considered further antagonizing Fessenden to be to the detriment of any proposal....With Wade's ascension to the presidency, his senate seat became vacant; through considerable pressure and judicious promise of patronage, he secured as his replacement James M. Ashley, who then represented the Ohio's 10th District in the House.
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution


    The major question of the 39th Congress became how--and how far--to extend and protect the rights of the freedmen, and blacks generally, a debate that gave birth to the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and what became the 14th Amendment. Upon assuming the presidency Wade directed the Freedmen's Bureau and its agents, and also the remaining Federal troops in the South not associated with the Bureau, to treat former slave and former master alike; to "not be too hasty" in returning confiscated property in light of the coming debate on more permanent confiscation--a measure that Congress and President had been inching towards the previous spring--and to intervene when necessary in judicial matters, overturning prejudiced verdicts. With blacks not allowed to serve on juries and the legal system stacked against them, this essentially meant the continuation of military tribunals, as the civil courts were deemed, in deference to Milligan, not to be in operation. All this he justified as within the war powers; but he and Radical allies in Congress sought a more permanent solution.
    -Nathan Gass, A New Birth of Freedom: the Constitution, the Law, and Reconstruction
    -------
    OTL notes:
    In re my previous remarks, I should have added that Newton Booth was elected to the Senate as an Anti-Monopolist (though he was a Republican when Governor).
    And James M. Ashley was a house manager (prosecutor) in Johnson's impeachment. I do not know on what terms he and Wade were when they served together in the Ohio delegation as Representative and Senator, but I presume from his fervent support of impeachment when Wade was next in line that they must have been not only like minded but also not at odds.

  8. #48
    "I admit that this species of legislation [Civil Rights Act of 1866] is absolutely revolutionary. But are we not in the midst of a revolution?" declaimed Lot M. Morrill, Hamlin's successor in the Senate. "Is the Senator from Kentucky utterly oblivious to the grand results of four years of war? Are we not in the midst of a civil and political revolution which has changed the fundamental principles of our government in some repsects?...There was a civilization based on servitude.... Where is that? ...Gone forever....We have revolutionized this Constitution of ours to that extent and every substantial change in the fundamental constitution of a country is a revolution." The Civil Rights Act passed in February; but concurrent with its writing, debate, and passage, the Congress had been considering embedding its principles in the very bedrock of the Constitution. On the second and third days of the session--December 5th and 6th--Thaddues Stevens and John Bingham respectively had introduced resolutions proposing amending the Constitution. The first read: "All national and state laws shall be equally applicable to every citizen, and no discrimination shall be made on account of race and color." Bingham, however, focused as well on granting Congress the power to enforce such sweeping sentiment: "The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure to the citizens of each State all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States, and to all persons in the several States equal protection in the rights of life, liberty, and property." Bingham's purpose was "...nothing less than the conferring upon Congress the power to enforce, in every State of the Union, the Bill of Rights, as found in the first eight Amendments." (Flack, 57)
    -Nathan Gass, A New Birth of Freedom: the Constitution, the Law, and Reconstruction


    Wade signalled just how radical he desired the Freedmen's Bureau to become when he appointed Wendell Phillips as the civilian counterpart to General Oliver Howard. Phillips was chiefly famous--or infamous--as an abolitionist orator; but he was also one of the leading philanthropists in the abolitionist movement, albiet one who worked mostly anonymously. With the dramatic recovery of his wife, however, he had become more active in public life. Wade credited him with securing his election as president pro-tempore of the Senate, and though unknown at the time, Colonel Thomas later related that Grant had used Phillips's presence and activity in Washington as part of his justification for overruling Meade in the Battle of the Crater. Phillips, in an ironic reversal of the corruption of the age, often used his own fortune to augment the Bureau's budget.
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution
    -----
    Note: The first entry is entirely as OTL.

  9. #49
    I just caught up with your latest posts. Wade as president opens up a lot of ambitious options for Reconstruction, but trying to force a radically different social power structure on a very entrenched southern society would inevitably create some conflict. I don't recall whether Lincoln moved on readmitting the Southern states in this timeline. If not, I imagine Wade would not be in a hurry.

  10. #50
    Sorry folks, was on the road again, but now settled in. More coming tomorrow or so.

  11. #51
    DaveK: You are correct on all points--the chance for significant change but also for conflict, and how interwined they will be, is central, as is how they chain in a cycle of radicalization. Regarding readmission: Lincoln had begun the process of readmission, and had exercised the pardon power liberally but judiciously; but beyond some progress in regards to Tennessee, readmission on the whole has taken a back seat to simple pacification.

    I also recently discovered a major flaw in my assumptions--the Presidential Succession Act of 1792 required, in the event of succession beyond the Vice President, a special election to be called. Thus requiring the below, and I freely admit that that is probably the most, or at least a tie for most, implausible of the events of this timeline (1868 being the other--and in fairness I should probably stick with either-or...but, oh well. In for a penny...)
    --------
    With Wade's ascension to the presidency--and he made clear that he considered himself to be President, not Acting President--in late October, there was obviously no way to hold the mandated special election that November. When Congress returned to session, Wade's allies secured refashioning of the Presidential Succession Act of 1792. Any officer who succeeded to the Presidency would be President, and fill out the remainder of the term; further, both houses would meet for at least a minimal session during the March following their election in order to elect Speaker and President Pro-Tempore, so as to avoid a situation in which there was no President Pro-Tem or Speaker to succeed (which had been very nearly the case).
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution


    Of Lincoln's Cabinet, Stanton, Attorney General James Speed, Interior Secretary James Harlan, and Postmaster General William Dennison were radicals; Navy Secretary Gideon Welles was an opponent of Stanton, but moderate rather than conservative; and Seward and Treasury Secretary Hugh McCulloch were conservatives, though Seward was still recovering from his wounding the previous April. The replacement of McCulloch at the least was anticipated, though Wade was sufficiently occupied with the immediate issues of Reconstruction that any movement there was delayed until the new year.
    -John McFesson, Trial By Fire: The Civil War Era

  12. #52
    Lt. General TheExecuter's Avatar
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    Wow! Just glommed on to this...as an avid ACW history buff, I'm quite intrigued at what you have planned for this "ultimate US what-if!"

    I like the style as well...although I am having some difficulty in deducing some of the background changes...but, don't change style please. I need the practice!

    I too had some emotional feelings while reading it...it is just hard to read what people said, thought, felt in the moment of such dramatic times. For me, it is disheartening to see the same kinds of feelings perpetuated against the freed slaves in the 1860s transferred to the Latin American immigrant of this century. For all that changes...so much stays the same. In that respect I think, Lincoln is one of the most interesting character studies in leadership and the thought of him surviving for even one more year after the ACW means significant, interesting changes in how reconstruction would be carried out. Still sad to see him die...sniff.

    Anyway, I'll be reading this!
    TheExecuter
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    There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared, it is itself the great venture and can never be safe. Peace is the opposite of security. To demand guarantees is to want to protect oneself. Peace means giving oneself completely to God's commandment, wanting no security, but in faith and obedience laying the destiny of the nations in the hand of almighty God, not trying to direct it for selfish purposes. Battles are won, not with weapons, but with God. They are won when the way leads to the cross.

  13. #53
    TheExecuter: First, welcome! Glad you're liking it.
    Always nice to meet another ACW buff, though I can't claim more than minor buffhood myself. :]

    Regarding the background changes, sometimes it's even hard for -me- to tell. I kid, but not much: in fact, a few of the things I thought would be changes, the radicals had at least proposed (and sometimes even tried to implement). I think we forget just what a bubbly ferment of radicalism those few years immediately after the war were.
    The real question is how much -sticks-. And there I'm prepared, per the title, to be a bit optimistic, though the reason why is not such a nice one (the aforementioned cycling of resistance and radicalization, which was certainly seen during the war).

    Indeed killing off Lincoln was a very hard decision, and a sad one. I originally planned (years ago when I was first pondering this) to have him survive into the 1866 midterms, as masterful a politician as always. But outside of althistorical necessity (and likelihood! Not the most security-conscious...), to a certain extent the problem is that I really don't -know- what he would have done over time. I make some guesses--or perhaps hopes--but I can't really say how likely they are (that is, vs. other likely paths). Wade, however, is not very mysterious in this respect. The question is not what he (and company) try, but what they can get passed.

    Your analogy is very pertinent--not something I had noticed consciously, but a very obvious parallel now that you mention it explicitly. And that now that you bring it to mind, I recall that parellel of negro and immigrant was used at the time as well (viz this sad later cartoon of Nast's, "The Ignorant Vote." Lo how the mighty are fallen...)
    -------
    Among many other revolutionary measures introduced in that fruitful December was the proposal, from Ignatius Donnelly of Minnesota, to form a Department of Education, as a counterpart to the Freedmen's Bureau. It would "enforce education, without regard to race or color" in those states where education failed to meet minimum standards (i.e., the South). While the proposal, in its original form, was then too radical, it triggered interest; the National Association of School Superintendents at their winter conference explored the issue, and the idea received support from the more prominent James Garfield, himself a former educator.
    -Erin Fodor, America's Second Revolution


    "For these, among other reasons, I am for negro suffrage in every rebel State. If it be just, it should not be denied; if it be necessary, it should be adopted; if it be a punishment to traitors, they deserve it." So ended Thaddeus Stevens, in his speech; and he applied this argument similarly to confiscation, and in the same order. The plan was already half-adopted as a wartime measure--the question was as much what to do with land already seized as with how to treat extant plantations and their owners. There were, already, considerable draws upon the federal finances, from war debt to pensions, and a lower-case-R reconstruction of the Southern states, as well as their political Reconstruction, would also be quite expensive if done thoroughly. There was, Stevens explained, a particular and pleasing justice in having the instigators of the rebellion pay for its aftermath, besides the compensation due former slaves and Union men. Already Ignatius Donnelly had introduced his proposal for a Department of Education, and indeed the formation of a system of public education from nearly nothing--what DuBois describes as the "Ninth Crusade" of the "New England Schoolma'am"--would itself be a considerable expense despite the Morrill Act.
    -Mark & Carol Goati, Reconstruction: An Economic History

  14. #54
    Sorry, short one today:
    --------
    The draft language of what became the 14th Amendment read: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure to the citizens of each State all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States, and to all persons in the several States equal protection in the rights of life, liberty, and property; and to otherwise enforce the provisions of this article."
    -Nathan Gass, A New Birth of Freedom: the Constitution, the Law, and Reconstruction

  15. #55
    Honestly, I don't know enough about the language of the 14th Amendment to say if that is an excerpt, or if there is a significant departure. I suppose the main departure will be in enforcement.

    I'll be on vacation for two weeks starting today. Feel free to keeo writing without me . I look forward to commenting when I get back.

  16. #56
    Wizzaard Estonianzulu's Avatar
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    A very interesting series of debates over the reconstruction period. I kind of glossed over a lot of that in my AAR, because its a period that isn't my favorite

    The 14th amendment, if it passes like that, will grant Congress a lot more power over the state's rights. The Federal government wont have to take the long way around to enforce its whim.
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  17. #57
    EDIT: Teach me to reply without refreshing...had this open from yesterday.
    DaveK:
    This second half:
    The Congress shall have power to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper to secure to the citizens of each State all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States, and to all persons in the several States equal protection in the rights of life, liberty, and property; and to otherwise enforce the provisions of this article.
    Is new, and based on Bingham's original language. It explicitly incorporates the Bill of Rights, and gives Congress the power to make not just -state- discrimination illegal, but discrimination by individuals. It is also a much more explicit granting of power to the Congress to enforce these -specific- provisions.

    This is also, as yet, bereft of the other sections of our 14th, namely those regarding the Confederate debt, and the disenfranchisement of Confederate officials and officers; let alone the section regarding suffrage (and lowered representation when not all males are allowed to vote).

    Hope you have a good vacation then! (Or at this point, when you read it, have had...)

    EstonianZulu:
    I try.
    In contrast, it -is- one of mine (as if that isn't obvious...)
    Indeed, though even so the real question is can the court be packed -enough-. The decision that made the 15th a dead letter was -unanimous-. I doubt even the Revealed Word of Lincoln accompanied by a lightning bolt would be enough to sway some justices.
    Last edited by nathankell; 15-08-2007 at 00:28.

  18. #58
    I hope you haven't lost interest in this project, nathan. This is a great AAR with an original style and is one of the best here at giving a good historical flavor to the plot, rather than becoming a fantasy.

  19. #59
    Nope, just a combination of vacation and sickness. Will be getting back to this soon I hope.

    Thank you very much for the kind words.

  20. #60
    Electronically Handcrafted Quintilian's Avatar

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    I really like the style you use, nathankell... The quotes offer a unique perspective, and I hope you find time to continue the narrative soon.
    "I say we are here in human form to learn by the human hieroglyphs of love and suffering. There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without reserve or defense" - William Burroughs

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