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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
Intro

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A Fair Deal For America: A Kaiserreich AAR



Every American deserves and expects from their government a fair deal” - Quentin Roosevelt.

This prolonged crisis has laid bare the many weaknesses and flaws of America. But this crisis is also an opportunity to address these flaws and to create a more perfect union. My administration, together with your support, plans to make the most of this chance. America can be great again!” - Charles Curtis.

“Mr. President, I can’t stress enough on how bad it really is out here. With Reed in the planning stages of a revolution, and Long whipping his supporters into a frenzy even he might not be able to control, and with respect for the government and the norms of our Constitution crumbling, I reckon we have roughly a hundred days at best to save America from itself and the greatest bloodletting since the Civil War.”-Douglas MacArthur.

To the causal foreign observer watching the United States in the years of 1936 and 1937, the Americans had carried on with their great democracy as they always had since the end of the American Civil War in 1865. Oh there had been a little more pushing, screaming, and violence than usual in that time but the duly elected government had calmed the situation with a few deals and reforms like always before. In the years afterwards, the United States was a beacon of democracy as the tide of left-wing socialist dictatorships and right-wing autocracies swept through whole continents. As the cause of freedom faltered before the totalist and communist armies in Europe, the exiled British statesman Winston Churchill predicted that one day that the United States with all its power and might would one day awaken to step forth to the liberation of the old world. In 1942, the United States would indeed awaken and would eventually remake much of Europe in its own image. To Americans in 1936 and to astute foreign observers, the future that would come to pass seemed impossible. This is the story of how American democracy was saved and how the nation was spared a brutal second civil war.

Welcome to my little AAR. My first AAR is inspired by far superior AARs focused on certain event chains in the Kaiserreich mod. While the Kaiserreich mod prides itself on its dynamic nature compared to the vanilla game, certain events are usually predictable such as the Second American Civil War occurring. However, there are rare event chains that radically alter the world even by the standards of Kaiserreich such as the syndicalist Union of Britain being overthrown and being replaced by a restored United Kingdom in 1937 or the divided India reuniting peacefully or the American government preventing a civil war from occurring. We will focus on the last event. While I have seen other AAR authors avoid the civil war by accident and quickly played on, I have not seen anybody explore in detail what it would take to avoid a civil war. I have already written the whole AAR over the summer but feel free to leave feedback and criticism.
 
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Montezuma II

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A USA AAR where it avoids the Civil War? Looks like this'll be a fun ride!
 

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You have been an assiduous commentatAAR in a goodly number of AARs. I hope you enjoy being in the "other side" as it were.

The premise intrigues.
 

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Subs½!
 

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Good luck! You are off to a good start! :)
 
In the Shadow of Germany's Place in the Sun

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In the Shadow of Germany's Place in the Sun



“We, who are Socialists, must hope — we may even expect — that out of this horror of bloodshed and dire destruction will come far-reaching social changes — and a long step forward towards our goal of Peace among Men. But we must not be duped by this editorial buncombe about Liberalism going forth to Holy War against Tyranny. This is not Our War.” - John “Jack” Reed on the First World War.

For readers who are new to the Kaiserreich universe, the Great War to English speakers, the Weltkrieg to Germans, and the First World War to early pessimists and later generations carried out much like in our world until the eighth of January 1917 when the Germans decided to not provoke the United States and President Wilson with unrestricted submarine warfare. The Germans decided to wage a propaganda war to promote anti-war and anti-Entente sentiment (Entente refers to the WW1 Allied Powers). The Germans were greatly helped when the British sank an American aid ship by accident. Instead of the Germans launching a failed spring offensive in 1918, it is the Entente. The Russian Revolution and the resulting Civil War still happened. The Germans managed to break the British blockade just in time to avoid the starving of Germany into submission at the Second Battle of Jutland. The Germans launched a 1919 spring offensive that forced the British off mainland Europe and forced the surrender of the French Third Republic. The Germans would celebrate Christmas in the streets of Paris. The defeated Republic was toppled by the anarcho-syndicalist trade unions and French Jacobin communists. The Commune of France was born. The Republican remnants fled to French North Africa into a bitter exile. Here, the democratic republican government collapsed and was replaced by a series of nationalistic military juntas.


The Flag of the Commune of France

After the fall of France, the Germans would decide the Bolsheviks had outlived their usefulness after the fall of the provisional government and they helped the Russian Whites win the Russian Civil War in exchange for accepting the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The fall of the Bolsheviks weakened the standings of the communist movement and the creation of the Commune of France strengthened the anarcho-syndicalist movement. The outmaneuvered French communists would bid their time. The Germans and their allies harshly treated the defeated continental Entente powers with the removal of colonies, core lands, and sometimes total dissolution in the case of the Kingdom of Italy. Southern Italy would fall to syndicalist revolution as well. The syndicalist nations created the Third Internationale alliance to plot revenge against Germany and the exiled Entente powers. In 1921, the holdout Entente powers of the British Empire, Japan, and Portugal and the Central Powers signed the so-called “peace with honor” returning the captured colonies of the other side and a promise to respect the other side’s remaining lands. Meanwhile, the weakened British dealing with Irish unrest were forced to release the whole of Ireland including Protestant Northern Ireland, unlike real life. In 1925, the heavy-handed response of the British government to a coal miners’ strike caused a general strike by the Trades Union Congress. Unlike the real life 1926 general strike where the well-prepared British government just waited out the strike, the British government sends in the military to break the strike. Soldiers mutinied which caused massive chaos in the United Kingdom and the evacuation of the Royal family and government to Canada. Many world powers seized British imperial possessions in the name of stability or to settle old grudges. The empire was no more. The United Kingdom was replaced with the Syndicalist Union of Britain.


The Flag of the Union of Britain


The German Navy was vital to the expansion of German power in 1920s.

In 1926, Chinese monarchists in war-torn China requested the intervention of the German Empire to restore the Qing dynasty and the former emperor Pu Yi. The Germans did so but at the price of Southern China being handed to German economic firms and the wealthy coastal Legation cities to the joint control of various foreign powers.


The existence of the Legation Cities enraged many Chinese but they were currently helpless to do anything about them yet.

As for the United States, the German Empire and its Mitteleuropa system of puppet nations embargoed the US to punish the Americans for economically supporting the Entente powers during the war. The American economy remained strong until the 1925 British Revolution and the US economy collapsed after the loss of trade with the now syndicalist powers. The Germans were delighted by the American economic collapse.


A bank run and protest in the wake of the American economic collapse.

The jealous Kaiser Wilhelm II had been determined to bring down the American economy since the start of the century. They snapped up America’s position as the economic engine of the world and America’s remaining trade partners. The bitter and petty Germans attempted to drive the Americans off their high spots in almost every conceivable area. Even the studios at Babelsburg would attempt to steal Hollywood’s place as the cultural engine of the Western world. As far as the Kaiser was concerned, everybody had to understand the 20th century was the German century and nobody would remove the Fatherland from its place in the Sun. Not the Communards and certainly not the upstart Yankees. The Great American Depression dragged on for seemingly without end. The unemployment rate remained stuck between 20 to 25 percent. The conditions of the US were a fertile nesting ground for firebrand radicals who promised relief at the expense of traditional American values and democracy. Democratic President William McAdoo and Vice President Alexander Palmer, from 1920 to 1928, harshly attempted to suppress the socialist movement but only succeeded in inflaming the situation. All too many Americans were willing to listen to the radicals in the polarized atmosphere of America. The Republican President Herbert Hoover's policies failed to help the situation as well. By New Year's Day of 1936, the whispers of rebellion and a possible second civil war were in the homes of every American.


Attorney General and later Vice President Alexander Mitchell Palmer and his "Palmer Raids" terrorized and unwittingly radicalized thousands of leftists during the Wilson and McAdoo administrations.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Note: The plausibility of the German intervention in China and the potential for a second American civil war has been greatly questioned by non-fans but these things are core parts of the lore. Small bits of history and the fates of certain people in the lore changes from update to update but the above history has remained largely unchanged.

I thank you all for your support now and in the future. I welcome comments.
 
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Nikolai

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Stupid Wilhelm II. First you win the war. Then you squander it all.:p
 

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Stupid Wilhelm II. First you win the war. Then you squander it all.:p
Yes, but as you say Wilhelm II always was a bit lacking in the grey cells department.
 

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The Americans were disappointed by an Entente defeat but were more than willing to trade with Germany for mutual profit and the betterment of both countries after the war. Alas, the bitter old Kaiser was determined to resurrect the old plans to destroy the American economy although without the fantastical schemes to invade the East Coast of the United States.
 
Ideologies

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What is there for the Poor Common Man to Believe In?

The Special Ideologies of Kaiserreich
National Populism is basically fascism by a different name because the founding Italian Fascists such as Mussolini who created the name remained socialists in the Kaiserreich universe. The main inspiration for most national populists in the Kaiserreich universe is the Iron Guard or Legionnaire Movement ruling Romania in 1936. The followers of the movement wear green uniforms and thus were nicknamed the “Greenshirts.” In real life, they were Romania’s local fascism movement and they can also pop up in the base Hearts of Iron game as well. The Iron Guard was a very violent ultra-nationalist, anti-semitic, anti-socialist and pro-Christian organization. The national populist movements of Kaiserreich tend to be weaker than the syndicalist movement or their OTL fascism counterparts but remain a powerful and terrifying threat to unstable governments around the world.

Corneliu Zelea Codreanu is the founder of the Iron Guard. He is the Căpitanul (Captain) of the Iron Guard and the feared Conducător (Leader) of Romania in 1936.

Anarcho-Syndicalism or Revolutionary Syndicalism is a radical socialist ideology centered on the idea that workers and industrial organizations should be organized into democratic confederations called syndicates as a replacement for capitalism. It also proposes the traditional nation state be replaced by a federation of syndicates through a general strike to topple the national governments. A syndicalist society such as the Commune of France would be much more democratic than Stalin’s Soviet Union but such a society would be very harsh on any nonsocialist dissent and any “counterrevolutionary” elements. You can expect book burnings. The elections would have real choices for the common people, unlike in the Warsaw Pact countries, but the losing faction might be repressed or even be purged. Indeed, a syndicalist society would be more democratic economically than a liberal republic or constitutional monarchy but it would be less free in the political and personal sense. The long-term efficiency of a democratic business syndicate beyond the local level has also been questioned. Historically, the syndicalist movement was always heavily suppressed and its proponents never had really had the chance to establish a working syndicalism society. Thanks to the 1919 French Communard Revolution in Kaiserreich, syndicalism has replaced communism as the dominant revolutionary socialist theory. The weakened communists plot their return to the leadership of the Internationale. Many syndicalists pride themselves on syndicalism’s supposedly democratic nature but even syndicalism is not immune to the poisonous authoritarian undercurrent of the 1930s.

Originally a symbol of the Industrial Workers of World union, the black cat was also adopted by the syndicalist movement as one of their symbols as well. The black cat or "sabo-tabby" represents sabotage and bad luck for the capitalist factory owners.


Totalism or totalitarian socialism is a Kaiserreich specific ideologue created by Oswald Mosley, the real life would be fascist British dictator who also remained socialist in the Kaiserreich universe. It is a form of syndicalism heavily influenced by Marxist-Leninist communism and other more authoritarian socialist movements. It calls for total control of the economic, political, social, and military affairs of national society from one very powerful centralized trade union. It explicitly rejects the trend of socialist and syndicalist democracy. It also calls for the promotion of nationalism, the creation of a cult of personality and the spread of socialist revolution. It is basically Stalinist communism but with a powerful central trade union replacing the vanguard communist party. There would be little actual difference living under a communist or a totalist society so the game tends to lump totalism and communism together.

Comrade Oswald Mosley is one of the most polarizing men in the Union of Britain. His supporters claim he will lead the Union into a bright future. Others claim he is a British Napoleon ready to hijack the people's revolution for his own self-serving purposes.
 
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stnylan

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Thus set the ideological stage.
 

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I like these introductory posts. They highlight parts of the KR lore I am not closely familiar with, although I know the basics.:)
 
Workers of the World, Unite!

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Workers of the World, Unite! You have Nothing to Lose But Your Chains!


The most heroic word in all languages is revolution. - Eugene Debs

The Combined Syndicates of America was the primary left wing socialist movement and party in the US in 1936. It was a collection of social democratic, syndicalist, anarchist, and communist groups united under the leadership of John “Jack” Reed who was a former journalist turned socialist. The legacy of the CSA remains controversial to this day. Most conservative Democrats and some liberal Republicans consider the CSA to be largely a band of unpatriotic communists and syndicalists who once threatened to destroy American democracy and who were barely tamed by President Curtis’s diplomacy. Modern socialists and some of the very left-wing progressive members of the modern day Republican party consider the CSA vital to the advancement of the cause of the American union man. Other Republicans would rather exclude and downplay the legacy of the CSA in making the 1930s Fair Deal possible for good reason. The legacy of the CSA has been heavily stained by their eager association with the Communards and British Unionists who eventually became America’s WW2 enemies and who destroyed the Brandenburg Gate and countless other icons of European culture in their ultimately unsuccessful bid to conquer Europe. The different elements of the CSA had united in 1920 at the Emergency Congress of the Socialist party in response to the 1919 French Commune revolution and the unity of the French left in their revolution. Before the Congress, the Industrial Workers of the World union and the Socialist party had separated over differences in tactics while the communists were in mourning over the collapse of Soviet Russia. The Socialist party was not sure to what to make of the new Commune of France. The many factions of French socialism had united to successfully overthrow the Third Republic in their revolution and form a worker’s state although the anarcho-syndicalist trade unions had slowly sidelined the once dominant French Jacobin communists. The young journalist Reed declared his sorrow at the fall of the Soviets but pointed out that the unity of the French left had created the first successful worker’s state. Should not the American left follow the example of their French comrades to gain freedom for the American worker? The Socialist party presidential candidate Eugene Debs praised Reed and threw his support behind Reed’s suggestion. The communists grumbled but the American left agreed to reunite under one roof. Once more, America and France would exchange the ideas of revolution. Reed himself was considered something of a modern Benjamin Franklin or a red Lafayette on both sides of the Atlantic since Reed was an active member of the 1917 and 1919 revolutions.


Eugene Debs addresses the Emergency Congress of the American Socialist Party

The socialist movement grew in strength after the 1925 British Revolution and the resulting American Great Depression of 1925. Providing hope and relief to the exploited, unemployed, and underemployed workers of the Northern industrial cities, the CSA won many converts to socialism. By 1936, most politicians in the Great Lakes region claimed loyalty to the CSA. The eternal problem of radical socialism was and remains to this day is that there were many competing fractured ideas about the ideal of the future worker’s paradise. Despite the grand gesture of unity back in 1920, divisions within the supposedly Combined Syndicates quietly continued back away from public view. On one end of the CSA were the totalists and communists who proposed an all-controlling state. The other end had anarchists who wanted the eventual destruction of any state or central authority. Some socialists were devoted Christian pacifists like Norman Thomas who only signed the declarations threatening the government with revolt to scare the capitalists. Others were diehard atheist revolutionaries prepared to fight to their final breath and bullet for the revolution. Without Reed’s leadership, the various factions would not have sat down in the same room on the best days and would have shot at each other on the worst days. While the actual leadership remained with Alexander Berkman until his death, Reed was the unifying leader and face of the CSA. Reed’s actual placement on the socialist spectrum in 1936 remained unclear and somewhat mysterious. By his death in 1940, he would be called a champion of the American working man, a failed would be American Oswald Mosley, and a weak-willed revisionist traitor by other socialist groups. Reed had been originally a firm supporter of the Bolshevik Revolution and on the left wing of the Socialist Party. After a visit to the French Commune, Reed expressed admiration for French syndicalism. Reed also stated that the enemies of the Bolsheviks deserved their deaths. However, Reed also associated himself with anarchists who were fierce critics of the Bolsheviks such as Emma Goldman. Benjamin Gitlow, Reed’s longtime friend, claimed Reed privately expressed deep disgust with the authoritarian and heavy-handed conduct of the Bolsheviks near the end of the Russian Civil War. Reed expressed doubts about liberal democracy and would speak of a violent revolution, but he remained friendly with the social democrats like Norman Thomas. The social democrats were greatly disliked by the radical wing of the CSA, but the social democrats were generally the members of the CSA actually elected to the state and federal government. In public, Reed skillfully avoided the deep divides by speaking a broadly acceptable and vague socialist language. Reed was helped by the fact that foes of the CSA usually viewed the organization as a monolithic bloc.


Once a sickly bourgeoisie boy born inside a mansion and tended to by Chinese servants, John "Jack' Reed became a charming firebrand playboy socialist revolutionary and the hope of millions of desperately poor working class Americans by 1936. His actions in 1937 would make him even more polarizing to Americans and socialists around the world today.


The union base was the vital core of the CSA but their devotion to violent revolution was questionable in 1936. Americans talked and still talk a lot about overthrowing an oppressive government because it is part of the American national myth. However, actual real efforts to overthrow the federal government are rare. The number of unions in the CSA really operating as syndicates was rather low. Many workers and their unions joined for and cared only for better jobs. They gave little real thought to socialist ideology. Most factories in even the most socialist of cities remained in the ownership of private business. The CSA had plans to capture the factories in the event of revolution but not before to avoid provoking the premature wrath of the federal government. By the election of 1936, enough union men had been radicalized to revolt if the government performed a harsh crackdown. How many workers truly believed in world revolution, international solidarity, and so on was open to question. A skilled politician could potentially exploit the divisions of the CSA and rid it apart.


The 1925 British Revolution was and remains much mythicized by foreign syndicalists and other revolutionary socialists as a mass movement of the British people. In fact, only a small faction of the radicalized union base participated in the revolution and only the fact that many Britons are apathetic to who was ruling them allowed the revolution to succeed. Such apathy did not exist in the United States and it was unclear if the American union base was radicalized to the same unstoppable degree that the British unions were.

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Notes to the Audience from Your Author

In the interests of full disclosure, I am a dirty American liberal who votes Democrat in real life and would probably vote for the Kaiserreich version of the Republican party. That said, I will try to be fair to all the parties of the story.

Despite having played to the fall of the Union of Britain in 1945, this AAR will be a relatively short and focused AAR centered around the events to prevent the SACW in 1936 and 1937 because I am about to become a full time college student again at summer's end. That said, I will occasionally drop hints to later events and the wider world in this AAR. I may create short interdules about interesting people in my version of the Kaiserreich universe after he conclusion of the main story if I find the time. Thank you all for your support and comments. Feel free to comment, ask questions. and give suggestions. I can still edit and add to the story.
 

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Only time will tell if the American Syndicalists can convince enough of their fellow Americans that there is truly a better deal possible.
 

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Down with the American imperialist war machine! Down with the faux democratic leviathan! Long live Eugene Debs! Too bad no one will be a king though. :p
 
Every Man a King But No One Wears a Crown

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Every Man a King but No One Wears a Crown (except for Huey Long)!


“God called: 'Come to my feast.' Then what happened? Rockefeller, Morgan, and their crowd stepped up and took enough for 120 million people and left only enough for 5 million for all the other 125 million to eat. And so many millions must go hungry and without these good things God gave us unless we call on them to put some of it back.”- Huey Long

The American First Union Party was the primary right-wing populist party in the election of 1936. It has often accused of being America’s own national populist party like the ones in Russia and Romania. The truth is a little more nuanced than that. The party was an odd collection of supporters of the “Share Our Wealth” program, bandwagon former conservative southern Democrats, isolationists, anti-Semites, desperately poor farmers, corporatist economists, and genuine national populists held roughly together by the charismatic leadership of former Louisiana governor and senator Huey Long. The AFU party was much more centered around its leadership than the CSA.

Huey Long was a populist opposed to the power of big business. Long started his career crusading against Standard Oil. Long portrayed himself as the protector of the common and poor man. Long’s devotion to the poor seems to have been genuine despite his battleship-sized ego and regularly eccentric behavior. When Long once saw a shoeless poor boy at his rally burning his feet on the ground, he got the boy shoes. He was nicknamed the “Kingfish.” Long had dictatorial control over Louisiana and the “Share our Wealth” plan won many loyal supporters but he was not universally popular. The former governors John Parker and Ruffin Pleasant and their supporters openly fought with Long’s “Minutemen” paramilitary force. Long’s “Share Our Wealth” promised to redistribute America’s wealth, supposedly stolen by the rich, to the poor. The plan called for a progressive tax code and income caps for pay for a guaranteed income for the poor. The economic viability was greatly questioned by economists. However, Long was not a socialist despite what his program may sound like. Long claimed his plan was the only thing that would save America from communism and syndicalism. In 1934, Long held a public debate with Norman Thomas on the merits of socialism and the “Share Our Wealth” program. Interestingly, Long was fairly progressive in race relations in private. However, Long refused to publicly discuss race relations in public to avoid alienating supporters. This action may have cost Long victory in the 1924 Louisiana governor elections because he refused to either publicly support or denounce the Ku Klux Klan. He was considered by President Hoover to be along with John Reed and General Douglas MacArthur to be the top three threats to American democracy.

The would be dictator of America. His legacy remains influential in Louisiana to this day. People continue to debate on how close Long was to seizing power over America. He is one of the go-to models and inspirations for dictators for American authors to use today.

Father Charles Coughlin was a popular Catholic radio personality and ally of Huey Long. Coughlin was the one who had named the party. He named the party after Abraham Lincoln’s 1864 Union party election ticket, comparing what he called the “financial slavery” of his time to the “physical slavery” of Lincoln’s time. Coughlin’s addresses reached millions of eager listeners and he would foreshadow the modern televangelist. Coughlin and his followers attacked modern capitalism and socialism as the twin faces of the Devil. More infamously, Coughlin was a conspiratorial anti-Semite and sympathizer for national populism. Much of the Catholic church greatly disapproved of the “radio priest.” Pope Pius XI and Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli desired to silence Coughlin. Cardinal Achille Liénart, the socialist-leaning future Pope John XXIII, also opposed the statements of the anti-socialist priest. However, only Coughlin’s direct superior, Bishop Michael Gallagher, had the canonical authority to shut down Coughlin and Bishop Gallagher refused to do so. Coughlin fully backed the Long campaign. Long approved of Coughlin but disagreed with anti-Semitism. The priest was a powerful and ambitious leader within the AFU.

The Canadian-American "radio priest" was a vital part of the AFU media machine and Coughlin whipped up much unchristian hatred to the displeasure of his Holiness.

William Dudley Pelley was the leader of the Silver Legion which was a white-supremacist, anti-Semitic, Christian national populist group, modeled after the Green Shirts of the Iron Guard Movement in Romania. Pelley was perhaps Reed’s right-wing mirror. Pelley was originally a respected American journalist and writer who aided the Whites in the Russian Civil War before becoming a screenwriter in Hollywood. Here, Pelley developed a sense of anti-Semitism. Pelley gained fame with claims of an out-of-body experience meeting with God and his unorthodox Christian beliefs. Long was very reluctant to allow the Silver Legion into the Union party but he relented. This unholy alliance was mocked by outsiders. Long was right to fear Pelley. Pelley, not so secretly, saw himself as the true leader of the America First movement and he plotted a “silver revolution” to install himself as dictator of America. The Silver Legion was a small, but an influential group within the Minutemen paramilitary.

Reed's sinister America First counterpart bids his time to overthrow Long and to start his national populist takeover.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, the future popular children's author, mocks Long's various unholy alliances within the AFU party. Credit obviously goes to Dr. Seuss and to the reddit member Dork of York on the Kaiserreich subreddit for this version of a classic political cartoon.

Charles Lindbergh is more famous to later generations as the man who first flew a non-stop flight across the Atlantic from America to France in the Spirit of St. Louis. However, he also joined the America First movement after a German immigrant kidnapped and killed his infant son in the infamous “crime of the century.” Lindbergh was a comparatively moderate member and one of the leaders of the moderate faction of the America First party. He expressed a belief in American democracy and was an isolationist opposed to America joining any alliance. But Lindbergh also expressed beliefs that would be repugnant to most Americans today and at the time. Lindbergh was yet another strong anti-Semite and he saw authoritarian national-populist movements in Europe as bulwarks against communism and syndicalism. He held that the survival of the white race was more important than the survival of democracy. "Lucky Lindy's" star power aided the respectability of the AFU.

Charles Lindbergh's entry into and role within the AFU has damaged his legacy in the years after the AFU's collapse.

Considered by some members of later generations to be basically a 1930s version of a high profile frustrated blogger, Doctor Francis Townsend was a single-issue member of the AFU party with a great degree of public support. He is known for promoting an old-age pension in response to the poverty of the elderly in the Depression. He argued that every person over 60 should be paid 200 dollars every month and the elderly would have to spend the money to boost the economy. This amount was a great deal at the time. The plan would be supported by a sales tax. The plan was also criticized by economists. Townsend responded by saying that his plan was too simple to be understood by their minds.

Popular and affable even with non-AFU supporters, this old doctor was genuinely determined to better the lives of the elderly poor and while improving the economy as the same time through Long's populist movement.

Finally and certainly the oddball of the bunch, there was Henry Ford of the Ford Motor Company fame. Ford was associated with the corporatist economic wing of the party. Long disagreed with this wing but he accepted their support. Ford was known for “Fordism” or the mass production of cheap goods such as the Model T car and corporate welfare in the form of very high wages for his workers. Ford was noted for being an anti-Semite. Ford was also famous for being very anti-union. Ford’s men harshly repressed any attempts to unionize. Ford threatened to close the company than to allow unionization. The America First Union party was a deeply unstable and contradictory organization. While not every member was a racist, authoritarian, or anti-Semite, the party was a gathering place for the uglier aspects of American society. Only Huey Long’s leadership held the party together and Long was, at times, a prisoner of his own supporters. In the shadows, the other leaders plotted to seize the throne of the party. The party was a frightening organization, but also a fragile house of cards.

The black sheep of the America First Union. Nevertheless, Ford's support was too great an asset for Long to turn down in his bid for the presidency.


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Well Volkmarschall, vote for Huey Long to make EVERY Man a King!
 

stnylan

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A very intriguing coterie of characteris, in this and any timeline :D
 
Democratic Party

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The Heirs of Andrew Jackson

"Should have stuck with my old chores as Speaker of the House." -John Nance Garner after the end of his political career.


The Democratic Party was one of the two main traditional parties of the 1936 election. It stressed the defense of American traditional values and offered an alternative to the radicalism of the CSA, the progressivism of the “New Republicans”, and the authoritarian populism of the AFU party. Its candidate for the presidency, against the wishes of the liberal Democrats, was former House Speaker John Nance Garner IV. Garner or “Cactus Jack,” was a strong-willed Texan who fiercely opposed the attempts of the other parties to change the status quo. Garner entered politics by running for county judge. Here, Garner met his political opponent and future wife, a woman named Mariette Rheiner. They married two years later. Garner developed his career in the “Solid South” era of Democratic politics. In 1901, Garner voted for the poll tax to disenfranchise minority voters and this further turned Texas into a single party state. Reed called the “law and order” Garner, “the arch-reactionary of this age.” This characterization was popular in the election but somewhat unfair to Garner. Time magazine more correctly described him as a conservative member of the new South. He represented the South that was “moneymaking, industrial, hardboiled, still expanding too rapidly to brood over social problems. He stands for oil derricks, sheriffs who use airplanes, prairie skyscrapers, mechanized farms, $100 Stetson hats. Conservative John Garner appeals to many a conservative voter.” Nevertheless, Garner was considered very out of touch with the concerns of Americans suffering in the Depression. The number of those conservative voters was drying up. Garner genuinely believed that the CSA and AFU were democracy-threatening unamerican elements that the government needed to crush with military force if necessary. He believed these radical populists and radical trade unionists needed to be removed to give American businesses the freedom required to restore the economy. Garner opposed heavy federal intervention in the American economy and he railed unsuccessfully against the Fair Deal as well in the 1936 and 1940 elections. John L. Louis, leader of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and associate leader of the CSA, described Garner as "a labor-baiting, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking, evil old man." Nevertheless, “Cactus Jack” remained personally popular within Congress and many lawmakers of all parties joined Garner regularly for drinks. Garner retained appeal to his home state, and to “law and order” conservative Southerners who fiercely hated Long’s political machine. While Garner would lose the election in a landslide to the vindication of the liberal Democrats, he and his base could not be wholly discounted by the new leadership…

It is generally considered fortunate by most American historians, even by some conservative Democrats, that Garner did not win the election of 1936. His refusal to “brood over social problems” and heavy-handed plan for the radicals would have assuredly provoked rebellion or even civil war. While a sincere devotee of American democracy and the Constitution, he was seriously out of touch with many a poor and desperate American.

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Next up are the Republicans. Audience! I require help and suggestions to improve the AAR. Leave comments if you wish.
 
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Interesting little pen portrait of this character too - one has to agree with the conclusion that he was not the man for the hour.
 
Republican Party (Part 1)

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The Republicans: The Last of the Old and the First of the New (Part 1)


Good times are just around the corner.” - Charles Curtis in 1930. This quotation was later erroneously and disastrously attributed to Herbert Hoover.


The ruling Republican party in 1936 were a traditional big tent party with conservative, populist, liberal, and progressive wings. The party was deeply divided on its future direction and many had little expectation that the Republicans could keep the White House. While the Depression had started under the Democrats, Hoover’s inability to solve it caused him to become the face of failure for many Americans which naturally dragged the Republicans. A new course was required to save the party and maybe the country. The decisions at the Republican national convention would change the party for many years to come.


President Herbert Hoover has long been viewed rather incorrectly as callous or indifferent to the plight of the American people in the Great American Depression. Hoover was originally a part of the progressive Republicans but he would later be regarded as the face of the conservative wing of the party. Hoover had started his career as a mining engineer who once worked in China in his career. Hoover also learned Mandarin Chinese and was one of the foreigners trapped during the Boxer Rebellion. Hoover and his wife would later use Mandarin in private discussions in the White House. Before the presidency, Hoover was famous for being a humanitarian miracle worker during the First World War and its aftermath. Hoover would oversee a series of American aid organizations. At the height of his work, Hoover’s organizations fed 10.5 million people daily in Russia regardless of their politics. In 1928, Hoover ran for president promising a limited government intervention to fix the economy in the aftermath of the 1925 British Revolution and American market crash. He did exactly that. Hoover created public works projects and tried to strengthen existing business. However, Hoover opposed more direct federal intervention, believing more intervention would violate the prerogatives of state governments and charities and that welfare programs would weaken the character of the nation. Hoover was forced by his party to pass the Smoot-Hawley Tariff to try to boost American business. Instead, the act greatly reduced trade with America’s few trade partners such as Canada after the Syndicalist revolutions and the post-war German trade embargo. These acts did nothing to help Hoover's popularity. In 1932, Hoover seemed certain to lose reelection, but the opposing electoral votes were split between the Democrats and the Socialists. Hoover was narrowly selected by the House of Representatives to be president again. After reelection, the tariff was repealed and Hoover signed more intervention and public work bills. However, Hoover still refused to touch the fundamentals of the American economy. During Hoover’s presidency, the 19th amendment was passed. It moved the presidential inauguration to January 20th (Prohibition never passed in Kaiserreich so the 18th is the women’s suffrage amendment). The Star-Spangled Banner also became the official national anthem. Hoover would later be a bitter opponent of his successor’s policies, but his desperate last actions and gambles in his second term would help made Curtis’s and Roosevelt’s terms even possible.

Once a celebrated figure, Hoover's inability to solve the Great American Depression and to halt the polarization of American politics made a mockery of his humanitarian reputation. However in the aftermath of the Second World War, President Roosevelt and other subsequent presidents would enlist Hoover's expertise to help direct American efforts to aid the recovery of post-war Europe and to improve the efficiency of the federal government. Hoover would join the ranks of presidents as John Quincy Adams and William Howard Taft as men who were far more successful and happier outside the White House than inside it.


Charles Curtis was and remains the only Native American and the oldest man to be president at the age of 76. Curtis managed to escape the legacy of his predecessor Hoover in order to create his own impressive legacy. He competes with James K. Polk for the spot for America’s most important one-term American president. His wife Annie Elizabeth Baird died in 1924 so Curtis’s half-sister Theresa “Dolly” Curtis Gann acted as his official hostess and First Lady. Curtis was born to a white father and a Native American mother of the Kaw nation in 1860. His mother died when he was three. When he was eight, rival Cheyenne warriors invaded the Kaw reservation. Curtis rode 60 miles with an interpreter to seek help from the local governor. He became a lawyer. Curtis was elected to the House in 1893. During his time in the House, he introduced an act for the extension of the Dawes Act which ended the self-rule of American Indians and divided up tribal land to individual Native Americans. Curtis was a strong supporter of assimilation of Native Americans into white culture. The so-called Curtis Act was twisted beyond recognition by the time of bill was voted on the floor of Congress. Curtis was later disappointed by the results of the act. At the same time, he was a proud open Native American and had a Native American jazz band play at the inauguration of Hoover and himself. This early aspect of President Curtis’s legacy would receive more critical attention in the 1970s but that is beyond the scope of this lesson. Curtis later was elected to the Senate. In the Senate, he served as the Republican party whip. Curtis was a highly effective reconciler and driver of bills. He was not known for making big speeches. Curtis was more comfortable doing backroom deals than being in the public spotlight. Curtis was originally a centrist Republican but he had good relations with the progressive Republicans and the Democrats. After his move to the left during his presidency, he continued to have good relations with the conservative Republicans and Democrats. This ability would serve him well in the White House. Curtis was also noted, by his fellow congressmen, for his well-maintained notebook and card index of the names and jobs of all the people he met. He always diligently and quickly answered the letters of his constituents. This self-imposed duty would be much more unpleasant in the early days of the presidency. Charles Curtis was perhaps the most effective congressman of his day, but his effectiveness as a possible president was an open question in 1936.

A bust of Charles Curtis. Most American consider Charles Curtis have been the man the nation needed in the turbulent later years of the Great Depression but the legacy of the only Native American president is more controversial with Native Americans today.

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Next up are the Roosevelts. Quentin Roosevelt is only a mid level character in the main AAR between 1936-1937 but if I later get the chance to expand the story beyond, he would become more important. In any case, the Roosevelts are an interesting bunch.

Any tips to improve the AAR?
 
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