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  1. #1

    From A Certain Perspective

    From a Certain Perspective
    Chapter 1
    Martin had been having a very bad year. Just when the culmination of his life’s work was within reach, vultures appeared to steal it from him. He’d faced many setbacks…damn William, damn Hugh, damn Daniel, damn Willie and above all…damn, damn, damn Andrew. This was all his fault. If he hadn’t….well, Martin would know for sure today. He’d woken up early and come to his office, for where better to hear the news?

    “Marty!!”

    Jesus…Andrew needed him. Martin stood up, and walked into the next room.

    “Yes, Mr. President?”

    Andrew waved that away he always did.

    “Marty, I think we’ve got them by the balls, all you need is New York…and you’ve got New York in your back pocket. It shouldn’t even be this close…bastards are cheating. This is Clay’s doing…ever since he screwed me in 24, he’s been looking to do this again. Why I…”

    As Andrew began another rant on everyone who was to blame, forgetting himself of course, Martin though back on what got him here. It all started New Year’s Day…

    “…it looks like Taney and Barbour are going to be confirmed, with some light opposition from the Whigs. And, they’re promising to get expand the court to get you a 9th justice,” said Martin.

    Andrew was sitting with his feet up on his desk, and his hands behind his back. He began, “ That’s great, Marty, just great, we’ll get a bunch of judges that will really do some good for the people.”

    Martin tried not to snicker at that assertion. The only person that Roger Taney will do any good for, is Roger Taney…and maybe Andrew Jackson if he has some time.

    “Oh, Marty…I’ve had this idea, and I think you’re going to like, “ Jackson said before pausing.

    This is going to be bad.

    “What did you have in mind sir?”

    “Well, this war in Texas, it’s been giving me some thoughts. Those territories that Texas has claimed….Sequoyah and Colorado…it would be good for us to grab them while there’s some chaos. It’ll be like when I rode into Florida back in the day. What do you think?”

    Martin barely suppressed the horror he was feeling. This barbaric display was exactly the kind of thing that would stir up the people…and just before an election. It would definitely complicate his plans. That wouldn’t do, Andrew’s exuberance wouldn’t cost him the Presidency. Maybe he could turn him around.

    “Sir, perhaps we should let the Mexicans and Texans just sort out their business, and not…” Andrew was frowning, getting ready to speak. Damn, he’d already made up his mind. “….maybe we could be more subtle in our approach.” The frown was gone, Andrew was now looking thoughtful. “Perhaps we could buy the land in Sequoyah as a sign of good will. And send those troops in wearing Texan uniforms. We’ll have an understanding with Texas that they give us the land once it’s in “Texan” hands.”

    Andrew stood up, and began pacing. Martin waited quietly for his word. After a few minutes, Andrew turned to Martin. “Marty, I’m not sure I like this…it feels sneaky. But, it’s also not a bad idea. We wouldn’t want a war just before you become President, so we’ll keep this quiet. Let’s put General Scott in charge of this, he’s a shrewd man. He’ll follow orders.”

    Martin breathed an internal sigh of relief. Maybe this will stay under wraps, and he’ll still be President. Sure, things will be difficult with the Whigs running a Northern and Southern ticket, but Martin could count on Andrew’s popularity.

    The next few months passed rather quietly. The purchase of Sequoyahan territory was hailed by the Democrats, and condemned by the Whigs. The few remnants held over from Clay’s American System were repealed. All the European powers, sans Austria, signed the London treaty. The Courts upheld the Spanish land grant in Florida. Congress followed through on its promise, and expanded the Supreme Court. Taney and Barbour would be confirmed. And oh so quietly, General Scott lead 20 thousand men into Colorado.

    On June 14th, a story was in the paper declaring that Texas was giving Colorado to the United States. In the next few days, papers began to circulate rumors that American soldiers had gone into those territories. Martin read this in exasperation, he would have to hope that the Whigs would do nothing. The Whigs, of course, would jump on this story with both feet.

    The next few months would be spent campaigning on the Colorado acquisition. White declared this wonderful, and that the United States should directly intervene in Texan affairs. This idea was bolstered by the Senate confirming a defensive alliance with Texas, much to Martin’s chagrin. Harrison instead campaigned against the acquisition, saying that this could spark a war with Mexico. This left Martin in the middle, non-intervention in Texas, but pro Colorado.

    In early fall, the United States was looking Northward to Canada, where the stirrings of rebellion were on the rise. Martin insisted that Andrew stick to the neutrality line, for fear of fighting a war with Britain. Many Americans, wanting to help out their brothers to the north, were none too happy with this. And then, Election Day came.

    It would be a month before all the ballots were counted. As of the day before Pennsylvania and New York were counted, Democrats would keep the House, but the Whigs would take the Senate, by a margin of one. White had managed to nab most of the South, and Harrison was poised to take the middle part of the country. Martin needed New York, which would send the election to Congress. If Harrison got Pennsylvania and New York, he'd win outright. There was the possibility that the Whigs would get Granger in as VP, but that could be dealt with. And, now, just when John Carton was looking to be confirmed, the Whigs have started dragging their feet in Congress, clearly waiting to see who the next President would be.

    “Sirs, can I come in?”

    Martin was snapped out of his reverie by Andrew’s personal secretary. Andrew spoke, “Yes, of course, come in. Have they finished the count?”
    “Yes, sir…Harrison has won both New York and Pennsylvania, he's won outright. ”

    And with that, Martin Van Buren’s world came crashing down.

    /---------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is the start of the story for a game I'm 20 years into. I actually have the map and electoral college numbers. If you don't like the way this is presented, I could do the history book format, I thought I'd give it a chance. Even give a slight bait and switch...let you think Van Buren was going to win, maybe, up till the end.
    Last edited by jpj1421; 16-02-2010 at 04:46.
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  2. #2
    Liberal Imperialist Legosim's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Legosim: Thanks for the input.
    I did slightly change the above post to reflect my bad math. Harrison wins Pennsylvania and New York, to keep the thing from going to Congress. If you're curious, I determine Congress by whichever party has the most votes every 2 years, and I determine which party wins the election based on the roll of a 100 sided dice every 4 years.
    /---------------------------------------------------------------------
    The front page of The Globe, December 8th, 1836
    HARRISON WINS ELECTION




    Results
    Harrison: 162 – 40.1%
    Van Buren: 69 – 50.8 – 3.2 -3.5 = 44.1%
    White: 38 – 12.9%
    Webster: 14 -2.7%
    Magnum: 11
    With the ballots counted in Pennsylvania and New York, William Henry Harrison will be the next President of the United States. For a number of weeks now, it was thought that the election would be decided by Congress, which is currently in Democratic hands, but, Harrison has won a majority of electoral votes. What makes this race interesting, is that Harrison has won without a single Southern state, the first candidate to do as such. Harrison has won the election with only 40.1% of the vote, in comparison to Van Buren’s 44.1%. This makes Harrison the second man to become President without a plurality of the vote, President John Quincy Adams being the first. It should be mentioned that, Van Buren's running mate, Richard Johnson, did not receive any electoral votes from Virginia, though this had no effect on the final results.

    Harrison looks to be facing contentious relations with Britain, a hostile House, and a (barely) friendly Senate….
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  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Red_Communist: Thanks for reading.
    /--------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Martin would spend the next week drinking his problems away. What did he care? He wasn’t going to be President for at least another 4 years. He just couldn’t bring himself to care anymore. Whigs were dragging their feet in the Senate; John Catron wasn’t going to get confirmed. Right out the gate,
    Harrison will get to pick a new Supreme Court Justice.

    “Sir, President-elect Harrison is here to see you.”

    Martin looked up at his chief of staff.


    “Wha…why would I want to see him?”
    “Well, sir, he made an appointment and you said it was ok, just yesterday.”
    Martin didn’t remember yesterday very well. He decided to let him in for fear of looking like an idiot.

    “Alright, send him in.”

    As his chief of staff left, Martin very quickly checked to make sure he looked good. And quickly stuffed the flask into his desk drawer. Just as it closes, William Henry Harrison walked in.

    “Ah, Mr. Vice President, thank you for meeting me. I want to congratulate you on a well run race...”

    Martin frowned at that. William, noticing that, quickly moves on.
    “..uh…I wanted to speak to someone in the administration as soon as the news was announced. The President has been…ah…less than receptive the last few days when it comes to our meeting. He …doesn’t seem to keen on me.”

    Martin, nodded at that, “The President is an emotional one, once he sets his mind a certain way, it’s hard to change it. And when you look at the way the election turned out, with 5 candidates, I’m sure you can see how it reminded him of 24.”

    Harrison shifts uncomfortably. “I…didn’t approve of the plan, I of course wanted to be the sole candidate, but the North and South were unwilling to come together, so…it was a bad plan anyway. Deadlocking the Electoral College? I know Henry thinks he still has a lot of influence in the House, but the pro-Jackson crowd makes up about a third of the House. If the plan had gone the way Henry intended it, it would have been you picked over White and I. Maybe, just maybe, the Senate would have saddled you with Granger, but that was unlikely. I think Henry wanted to keep me out of the White House, so he could take the nomination in four years. Who would have thought you can win an election only with Northern states?”
    Martin gave Harrison a discerning look. He had always assumed that Harrison was a fool, easily led by Henry Clay. But…Martin had been having these exact same thoughts. This was a much shrewder man than he had anticipated. He spoke carefully, “I’d been thinking along the same lines…now, what did you want to speak with me about?”

    Harrison spoke, somewhat sheepishly, “I know you owe me nothing, but I want you to do me….our country a favor.”

    Martin’s eyebrow lifted, before he waved Harrison on.

    “Rebellion is in the wind in Canada, and it looks like Britain will land on them with both feet. In light of the recent…ah…activities in Colorado, I’d like you to keep the President from committing troops to Britain, or in any way supporting the rebellion. The last thing this country needs is another war with Britain. I fought in the last one, and I want to keep things peaceful for awhile. You have a lot of pull with The President, you’re…ah…a calming figure in this administration. What do you say?”

    Martin hadn’t been thinking about Canada, then again he hadn’t been thinking of anything this week. Harrison was right; a war with Britain would be a very bad thing. Especially since Martin didn’t want to have to challenge a sitting war President in four years. People had a tendency to rally around the flag in those situations. Yes, he would.

    “You’re right, William, we should avoid a war with Britain. I’ll make sure the President doesn’t do anything that could be considered hostile towards Britain.”


    Harrison smiled, relieved.

    “Thank you, Mr. Vice President. I should get going, I’ll be town until the Inauguration, and I hope I’ll be able to come back if I have any things for discussion.”

    Martin nodded at Harrison. Meeting this man in person, over several occasions will give him a better idea of this man’s disposition. He’d underestimated him once before, and he can’t afford to do that again when it’ll be a one on one match.

    “Alright good, now I’ve got to meet with Clay and tell him once again that he isn’t the one who will be President.”

    With that, Harrison left with a chuckle. When he was gone, Martin took one last swig from his flask; he’d have to avoid indulging for a long time. William Henry Harrison has turned out to be a good, intelligent, and shrewd man. This made him dangerous. Martin was going to have to line things up very carefully for 1840. For now, he’d just have to look towards the inauguration in March.
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  6. #6

    March 4, 1837
    Martin was sitting next to Andrew in a carriage ride to the Inauguration. In just two hours, his time as Vice President would be done. In a weird way, he was relieved. He could fade to the background for four years, carefully building himself up to the White House without being too scrutinized. It is always easier to attack from without than from within.

    Andrew wasn’t talking, he was still furious that Henry Clay had “bested” him yet again. In fact, Andrew seemed to be taking the whole thing harder than Martin. And so, the ride to the Capital was a quiet one.

    Those two hours passed quickly. The two men were dropped off at the capital, Martin went into the Senate chamber where he greeted Francis Granger and watched him take the Vice Presidential Oath. Then it was to the front of the building, to see his Harrison take the oath. He heard the chiming of the clock, noon, he was now just another man.

    /-------------------------------------------------------------------------

    William had been having a lousy time since winning the election. Henry, who was now going to be PPT, had been hounding him over every little thing. Especially that Supreme Court seat that Jackson was unable to fill. All through January, Henry would sing the virtues of his friend John Crittenden, about how great a jurist he’d be. Since William had been set on Theodore Frelinghuysen for the job, he asked Crittenden to be his new Attorney General, which he readily agreed to. This shut Henry up for all of a day. Then it was about the necessity of putting more hands in Congress, particularly the fine establishment, the Senate.

    And so it would continue after William had given his inaugural speech, a short and concise one about responsible government, that Henry cornered him on his way to the carriage.

    “You know William.”

    “Mr. President.”

    “…Ah but we’ve been friends for so long…”

    “Have we really?”

    “Aha, anyway, William, we’ve got so much to do. I think we should roll out the Bank of the United States week 1, force the House to vote it down. We can get a lot of centrist Democrats to come along with us on much of the American Society.”

    Hmmm, this was mildly impertinent, but on the point. Maybe Henry is finally cowed by the office, where he wasn’t before.

    “Now as for your cabinet…”

    William couldn’t contain his snort, and Henry gave him a dirty look.
    “…now, John seems content with Attorney General, but I’ve got some other quality candidates for the position. I do agree with you, Daniel is a good choice for Secretary of State, but some of these others, well, the Cabinet could do better.”

    William was quietly counting to ten. This man is powerful, don’t get mad. You’ll need him for the next four year.

    “I mean some of these men are just not qualified, I’m not sure I could let…I mean, I’m not sure the Senate would pass them.”

    Henry smirked at William…that was enough.

    “That’s enough. Mr. Clay, you forget that I am the President, and I will appoint the men that I feel are most qualified for the job. All of these men are Whigs, and more than a few were National Republicans, like you. How do you think the Senate will respond to a command to vote against their colleagues.”

    “Now I never…”

    “No, I guess you never said you would do that. But, I don’t think they’d be that inclined to listen to orders from such a person in the future. Now, you and I see eye to eye on most things, but if my nominees don’t get confirmed, don’t be surprised if every piece of legislation that manages to make it through the House, gets vetoed. “

    Henry gawked at William, as William turns towards his carriage. Webster was
    waiting for him. As they got into the carriage…

    “I don’t think that was very wise.”

    “Well, Daniel, if I didn’t put my foot down sometime, I’d have to put up with that for the next four years. I’d rather have this Presidency fail then have to listen to him every day.”

    Daniel snorted, but still shook his head.

    “He’s going to be Vice Presidential nominee in four years, you know that right? He’s regionally appropriate for the Party, he’s well known, and well liked, and he’ll be bucking for your job in 8 years. It may be a thankless job now, but who knows what it’ll look like after he gets his hand on it. Well, I suppose you could lose. ”

    William gave Daniel a sideways glance at that. Daniel grinned to show he was joking. William frowned as he said.

    “If the Democrats stick with that fool Johnson, Henry’s going to be the next Vice President no matter who wins. If Virginia is going to abandon him this time, when there was a good chance two Whigs would be going to the Senate, well….I don’t see them sticking with him next time around.”

    William looked out the window of the carriage, and silence reigned for the rest of the trip.

    But, as the first few months of William’s administration came to fruition, Henry proved to be very cordial. With the gauntlet thrown, Clay seemed reluctant to make waves. So, by the end of March every one of William Cabinet officials was confirmed, and Theodore Frelinghuysen was a new Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

    The House rejected the National Bank out of hand, but talks were underway to get parts of the American System passed. More time, and proper campaigning by Whig papers could get the Democrats to support it. Or there was always the mid-terms to try and bring in more Whigs.

    In April, Daniel was able to bring Mexico and Texas to the negotiating table. Texas was granted its independence with defacto control over the north eastern part of the region, while Mexico would keep the southern and western parts of the region. Texas would still claim de jour control over the region, but Mexico wasn’t going to bother starting a new war.

    Yes, things were going fine, until the economic bubble burst on May 10th.
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  7. #7
    Chapter 4


    William Henry Harrison
    8th President of the United States
    65 years old...well, almost

    February 6th 1838

    This morning was more enjoyable than most for William, at least since the economy collapsed. He and Winfield Scott were talking about some Prussian tactician, named Carl von Clausewitz, who had some interesting ideas about warfare. They’d been talking since breakfast, and William was becoming quite enthusiastic about these tactics.

    There was a knock at the door, and Vice President Granger let himself in. William frowned, it was time to get to the less fun parts of his job.

    “Alright, General, you go to Bell and tell him everything you told me. I’m sure he’ll be very amiable to training troops like this, but, Congress won’t give you the money or authorization to bring in more troops to actually use them.”

    “I know that, Mr. President, but if we get these in the books now, we won’t have to overcome preconceptions when the time comes….Now, before I go. This business with the Cherokee Nation, do you want me to take the same measures as the Chickasaws last year?”

    “Oh, yes, General, consider that treaty null and void. Marshall made his ruling and we’re going to enforce it. It may be necessary to have some troops there to keep the locals from raising a fuss, but I’ll leave that up to you. Just make sure no one starts an incident.”

    “Yes, Mr. President.”

    Winfield left the office, as Granger approached the desk.

    “So, Francis, did the House vote down the bank bill again?”
    “Yes, sir, but it’s getting closer each time. Congress is actually in discussions about combining this independent treasury idea with the National Bank to get some sort of order on this madness. Democrats from Whig regions are finding themselves ready to come to table, for some crazy reason. It’s almost like it’s an election year.”
    William snorted, before speaking.

    “And I imagine the American System is a nonstarter in the House?”

    “Well…yes, but you remember how Governor Jennison got his version of the American System through in Vermont. Well, things have begun to stabilize. The economy is still in decline, but it looks like its slowing down. So we’ve got evidence that the system is working, we should be able to put some pressure in Congress.”

    The beginnings of an idea was beginning to form in Williams mind.

    “Alright, get Clay to get all the Whig Governors together, and get them to pass the American System in their states. When their economies start improving, it’ll make the Democrats look foolish, and force them to acquiesce.”

    Granger shifted his feet.

    “Couldn’t we just write letters to the Governor, or get this out in the papers….I really don’t like Clay, he treats me like an accessory whenever I’m around.”

    William nodded sympathetically.

    “He’s the most powerful man in the party, and he can get the Governors to do this. As for how he treats you, well…he’s been doing the same with me, I think he wants to beat me at the convention next year. Well, if he refuses, we’ll get the papers to do this. And if that doesn’t work, Daniel should be back from England in a few weeks and he has almost as much pull as Clay. Well, if he doesn’t get held up by a war; the only thing that could get Prussia, Austria and Britain to see eye to eye, is if the French are up to something. Even if it is only over the Ottomans. Just….just go talk to Henry and see what he deigns is good enough for him to do. Tell him it only benefits him to have his political baby put through a test run nationwide.”

    And so, Francis Granger went out to do that task, and William Henry Harrison sat back down at his desk. He almost wished that he had lost the election, that he could have come back in four years to an easier climate. It looked like he was going to be a one term President, but at least he would do some good first.

    The following day, he would smile as he signed a twenty year charter for the Third National Bank.
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  8. #8
    Magister Philosophiæ volksmarschall's Avatar
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    A new National Bank! Just what the country needs. I do think Harrison should give a big time support speech or ceremonial speech in the rain however!

    Go Whigs!
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by volksmarschall View Post
    A new National Bank! Just what the country needs. I do think Harrison should give a big time support speech or ceremonial speech in the rain however!

    Go Whigs!
    My God, someone reads this, I was thinking it was just an exercise in vanity. This new bank could very well provide some stability, but will it be during Harrison's term, is the question. As for say, speeches in the rain without jackets....I'm following the rule of thumb that people will die when they did IRL, unless logic follows that it could change a bit. If per chance, a person who died IRL were to be elevated to the Supreme Court, they wouldn't be in the way of that pesky bullet anymore. Also, God help the President who's in office when that assassination event fires. I've played into the early 1870's, and intend to carry on into HOI2. I'll have to do that all before I get Vicky 2...which probably won't be until my birthday in the late summer.
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  10. #10
    So, patient readers may be wondering what happened. To answer that question...exams, papers, and homework. Also my save game didn't like how WWI turned out and crashed. So I've tweaked a new save file, and will be hitting the big old reset button on the story. I'm going to be on vacation without Internet for a week, so I'll really have nothing better to do then to write something.
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  11. #11
    Captain The_Shepherd's Avatar
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    well, I enjoyed the earlier parts, so Ill be gladend by any new chapters!

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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