May 4, 2007
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Ok, I know I have started more failed and abandoned AARs then one can shake a stick at but I am going to try once more. See if I can not please the harshest critic, namely myself. I am on break after graduating high school and I am not going back to college for about 3 months so I have no excuse not to be Johnny on the spot about updating.

I have been reading robou's new AAR, Welfare of the Cantons: A Swiss AAR, and that has just proven to be the last thing needed to have me start an American AAR that I will try to focus on the political things that Vicky does so well. I will be playing this using VIP:R 0.2 and this is my first game as America in VIP:R and even the first VIP game I have played other then a little dicking around last night. So shortly I should have the first post up in America: The Guardian of the West.
 
May 4, 2007
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In 1836 America was, by anyone's standards, a young country. The Treaty of Paris giving the nation its independence was only 53 years old, making the current leaders of America only one generation removed from the revolution. 22 years ago was the War of 1812, militarily America lost that war but politically did very well at the peace thanks to the short man in France. America starting to look like a strong young nation that was looking to the West and the Pacific to stretch its bounds. The Monroe doctrine was 14 years old and still a by word of the day. America would stand by any country in North and South America to stop European aggression and expansion. Many in America felt that even that was not far enough, that it was the duty of these united States to rid the Western Hemisphere of all European influence, the wealthier group who believed that thought that America should fill the void that would be left when that happened.


martin-van-buren.jpg

Martin Van Buren

1836 was an election year, the end of President Andrew Jackson's second term. The Democratic party was currently in control of the country and they hoped that Martin Van Buren could keep them in power. Van Buren had been a large member in creating the Democratic party and had crafted Andrew Jackson's election. This coupled with several other points made him the prime candidate for the Democratic party with the full support of Andrew Jackson. Jackson supported Van Buren both as a friend and to continue the legacy of Jacksonian Democracy. Van Buren had shown himself a supporter of slavery and free trade (unless revenue was needed), he was an opponent of internal improvements, the national bank, and nullification. As 1836 started the Democratic party had 22.31% of the vote.



09-wh9.gif

William Henry Harrison

The second party was the liberal Whigs. This was the party's second presidential election and their first real shot at winning. The party was lead by Henry Clay but after Clay's failed attempt at winning the presidency it was thought that an American hero could best win over the American people. What better a hero then William Henry Harrison, known for the victories of Tippecanoe and the Thames. Harrison had spent time in as governor of the Indiana territory and as a US Representative and Senator from Ohio. The Whigs were counting on his history as a general and his time spent living in the Indiana Territory as his main selling points. They even went so far as to paint him as a continuation of Jackson, the humble frontiersman with a successful military history. The Whigs had roughly 30% of the vote as 1836 started.


webster3.jpg

Daniel Webster

The last party with votes was the American party with Daniel Webster at its head. Webster had been close with Henry Clay and a firm Whig supporter but after being passed up for the 1836 election in favor of Harrison Webster had enough. He left the Whig party and ended up joining the American party bringing his supporters with him. With Webster at its head the American party was firmly against nullification and promised to protect the American economy while staying out of its affairs as much as they could. As 1836 started the American party held 47.69% of the vote, and looked to be the clear winners.
 
May 4, 2007
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The Democratic party had a trick up their sleeve to show the population faith in their party and hopefully win more votes for Van Buren. They started fully funding education. At the same time they raised tariffs to create a positive revenue for the nation. Keeping to Van Buren's beliefs they kept the tariffs small as possible while still making money. At the same time they evaluated the American economy and decided to shut down the fabric industry in southern New England because America could not, at the time, supply the industry with the needed materials and European cloth was seen as far better than American as well.

Within two weeks the changes proved to have drastic results on the campaign. Although no one would have ever seen this coming. The Whigs had lost all notable support among the American people and the American Party was down to 34.82% of the vote. Democratic support went up 6.26% to a total of 28.57%. The unexpected part was the surge of a new party.



250px-Thomas_Hart_Benton_(senator)_2.jpg

Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton was an interesting character. An ardent campaigner for westward expansion and hard currency he was popular with the lower classes and the farmers. From Tennessee he moved to Missouri to leave the shadow of Jackson. And once again in 1836 he moved to step out of the shadow of Jackson, this time it was to leave the Democratic party and throw his lot in with the Liberty party. The Liberty party was the party of the Abolitionists, and now with a man such as Benton at its head the Liberty party took an lead in American politics if only for a short time. Riding on the platforms of westward expansion, hard currency, and the abolition of slavery the Liberty party hoped to reach the white house.


As their support dwindled the Whig party did not sit still, they started campaigning harder then ever. Harrison traveled the country by every means possible appearing at rallies and giving speeches. Out of desperation his campaign started turning into a show of how he was the only person going into office that could protect America from Europe. The party also dropped all comparisons to Jackson thinking that hurt their campaign. At the moment the Whig party was down but anyone who thought they were out was a fool.


The American party was trying very hard to reverse this new downwards trend and fight their way back to the top. Webster knew this fight would be a lot harder then many in his party thought and while he vowed to continue the fight he did not think he could win. With his known opposition of nullification it was very doubtful that he would gain many southern supporters and with the Liberty party professing abolition and westward expansion they were almost sure to win the West. That left New England, a place he faced Van Buren and his large support in New York as well as the Abolitionists who would surely vote for the Liberty party. Webster was left feeling that he would watch the white house slip through his fingers and travel farther and farther away. He was now regretting the fact that he left the Whigs, had he stayed the Whigs would have a much larger support base and Harrison could win and he would have had a shot at the presidency when Harrison stepped down in 8 years.
 

stnylan

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Just because one has a succession of AARs that, for one reason or another did not come to conclusion, is no reason not to take up the quill (or the keyboard) and try again :)
 

Estonianzulu

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An Abolitionist expansionist party eh? Sounds like a fun combonation when the 1850's arrive.
 
May 4, 2007
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stnylan said:
Just because one has a succession of AARs that, for one reason or another did not come to conclusion, is no reason not to take up the quill (or the keyboard) and try again :)

Of course. I hope you will stick around to watch this one to conclusion.


Estonianzulu said:
An Abolitionist expansionist party eh? Sounds like a fun combonation when the 1850's arrive.

demokratickid said:
Quite an odd combination in expansionism and abolitionism there, to echo Estonianzulu. Good luck!

Well it is an interesting combination but with a huge surge in popularity there I had to find a good politician to lead the party in a time like that and Barton was the first one I found that seemed to fit. And it will be a fun combination if the party can win this election. Neither the Whigs or the Democratics are out just yet. An update will be up soon to show just how strong these parties still are.
 
May 4, 2007
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Before we continue with the election of 1836 one must know about the American political system of the time as it is vastly different from the current political system. At that time any number of parties could be in an election but throughout the entirety of American history to that point only two parties were really able to win. If a third party rose to prominence one of the two major parties would fade into obscurity. Now with four parties showing early success it was a four way fight to the death. Only two of the parties could stay at the top of American politics and each party wanted to make sure if nothing else they were one of those two. Another large difference between 1836 American elections and modern American elections was a thing called the Electoral College. This was a group of people who listened to the vote of the people in each district and cast one vote for president and one for vice president based on the votes. Since that time America has gone to a strictly popular vote system due to concerns that the larger states had undue influence on the election results.

By mid January the two major parties of the day, the Democratics and the Whigs, started opening communications with each other. They both had several of the same interests and both parties saw the American party and the Liberty party as radicals that would hurt America more then they would help. The Liberty party was of most concern, as it was seen that if such a party managed to win the white house then the country would break out into civil war. They agreed that they would still campaign against each other but the balk of their campaigning would be pointing out the differences with these radicals and how electing them would go against America's interest. This move was unheard of in American politics, but then again so was four separate parties each with a possible shot at the white house.


The next day a the Second Seminole War started with 10,000 Seminole Indians attacking US Army positions all throughout the southern half of Florida.

As the battle continued Harrison took this as a godsend opportunity and gave a speech in Delaware. This speech focused on America's need for a strong military and used his military career to gain him support as well as praising the US Army of the South in its ongoing battle with the Seminoles. This speech took place on January 29th 12 days after the fighting had started. At this point the Seminoles had lost 1,740 men and were about to break their ranks. The bad news was at this point 220 brave American men had given their lives in this battle. The battle ended the next day with only 40 more Americans dying and almost 2,000 more Indians were killed. The overwhelming victory bode well for both the Whigs and the Democratics. The Whigs now held a nice lead with the Democratics fighting tooth and nail for second place with the Liberty party. Then a huge set back for the Democratics happened, this set back was a boon for the Whigs though. The Charter of the Second National Bank of America lapsed. Every person who supported the National Bank switched sides to the Whigs. And at the start of February the Whigs had fought from a day with less then .01% of the vote to just shy of 42%. The Democratics were able to hold on to 16.92% of the vote. The Liberty party was still hanging on with 21.69% of the vote and the American party continued its fall now only taking in about 19.48% of the vote.
 

robou

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Sematary said:
Thank you robou. As I said this is partly inspired by your AAR.

I missed that bit, but that is find it amazing that my AAR partly inspired you to do this. Although i do cover the deeper details of politics, it is also because i have nothing else to do as Switzerland. I am sure you can do a great job here though! :D
 
May 4, 2007
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robou said:
I missed that bit, but that is find it amazing that my AAR partly inspired you to do this. Although i do cover the deeper details of politics, it is also because i have nothing else to do as Switzerland. I am sure you can do a great job here though! :D

I am going after a slightly larger fish. As Switzerland there really is nothing but politics, as America politics are just a small part of it. That being said I will plan on at least matching you for amount of politics while not disregarding the other parts.


demokratickid said:
Wow! Interesting thing with the charter lapsing AND the wars going so well. Looks like the Whigs will be Party Numreo Uno for a while!

The Charter lapsing was a scripted event that converts I think 15% of the pop to Laissez Faire. The Whigs, American, and Liberty parties are all Laissez Faire while the Democratic party is Interventionist. On the 29th I got the random event that changes the war policy for people and that took a bit of roleplaying on my part. Normally I would have gone with the war policy of my leading party and even wrote up a paragraph of Van Buren using the battle (another scripted event that fired on the 17th) to his advantage but then I stopped before I clicked. Out of the four candidates Harrison was the most likely to use something like that to his advantage although thinking back Jackson was in the First Seminole War so it could have gone either way. I also have at least one scripted event to help the Democratics out yet so don't count them out.
 
May 4, 2007
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I am going to update through September and the end of the election by the end of the day so expect a small flurry of updates.



As the Charter of the Second National Bank of America lapsed the banks in the country were all state chartered banks. In New England and the South, this was fine as they were the more civilized and ordered parts of the country. This was a problem, however, on the Frontier. Men with low morals would get a state charter and then cause a flurry of land speculating and then in the mad rush they would disappear trying to hide so they never have to redeem their bank notes. Benton started using this to carefully move his way through the morass this could cause. On one hand he trumpeted this event as showing the failure of soft currency. While he did this he was careful to still look as if he was promoting westward expansion.



As the second month of the campaign closed it was clear that the Democratic party had the best campaigning strategy. Van Buren had created a strategy that has come to be called "grass roots" and is still used today. He started using this with Jackson's campaigns and it was now being used to fuel his own. The campaign had a branch for each state and within each state there were regional branches and under the regional branches there were local branches. The most important factor in this was as he and his larger supporters went to each town important people in the town would be there to speak both before and after. Another large impact it had was he always had at least one supporter at town hall meetings to argue for him. Using this the Democratic party sapped support from all three parties but mainly from the American party. While the first two months were very chaotic and it was anyone's game, by the end of February the political scene was starting to calm down as tradition started coming to the forefront as it should and life was going back to normal. As March started Whigs lead with 40.13%, the Democratics had 24.66%, the Liberty party had 20.42%, and the American party had 14.78%.
 

stnylan

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That's a fairly healthy lead.
 
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stnylan said:
That's a fairly healthy lead.
Baring random events and the at least one scripted event I have coming yes it is. I still think that the Liberty and Democratic parties are still in the running.



demokratickid said:
Good to see the democrats come back against the Liberty party. But, I stand by my prediction that the Whigs will win this election.

We will see by tonight.
 
May 4, 2007
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March 22 saw what some would call a rousing speech by John C. Calhoun. The speech was horrible and told by a horrible man. Any modern American would agree with this statement. His speech was called "Slavery is a Positive Good." Mr. Calhoun was a statesman from the South and lead the pro slavery people. People of the day called Calhoun and his ilk Southern Gentleman but one must question how gentlemanly keeping slaves is. Even President John F. Kennedy Jr. would agree with that statement. Enough of mixing modern viewpoints with past events. Calhoun's effect on the South can not be understated. He was seen as their leader and would lead them into war and beyond if the Federal government ever gave him the excuse. Interestingly enough this had no immediate effect on the election campaign. That seemed to show that the Liberty party had absolutely no support in Southern society.

The Democratic party was still smart about what Calhoun was doing. They were not going to lose an election because of him and neither were the Whigs. Together they formed and passed through the Gag Rule in Congress. This rule served to end every issue dealing with slavery before it even reached Congress for discussion. The effects of this was the Liberty party lost about 1% of the vote to the American party placing both parties at under 20% of the vote each. Just days later the Sioux and the Chippewa tribes signed a treaty with the US giving the rest of the Michigan peninsula over to the Americans for direct control. Webster jumped on this opportunity to profess the superiority of Americans over the Indians. He jumped on the campaign trail again loudly trumpeting superiority viewpoints. As always any blow to the natives helped Harrison if even a little. Oddly Barton did not move on this opportunity. It is widely assumed by historians that with this coming so close on the coattails of his last defeat he was in meetings trying to figure out a way to restructure the Liberty party and did not have time to seize the chance until it was too late. And so April dawns on the campaign with the Whigs still leading with 41.14%, Democratics with 20.23%, Liberty party just holding on to third with 19.86% and the American party still bringing up the rear with 18.76%.


April ended with an interesting rally. Veterans of the War of 1812, mainly made up of people from New Orleans, held a rally in Arkansas. They spoke of the heroics of Andrew Jackson and as Martin Van Buren was his hand picked successor it was the duty of all true American patriots to stand firm against America's enemies and vote for Van Buren. They spoke out against the natives and the British and all of Europe. The surprising bit was how their messages spread, not even wild fire can spread that fast. Americans fueled with patriotism rallied to the Democratic party and it surged far past the other parties taking support from everyone but the Whigs were hit by far the hardest. The election now stood at Democratics with 50.32%, the Whigs now trailing a distant second with 25.81%, the Liberty party with 14.84, and the American party with 9.03%
 

Actinguy

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Following this one, looks great! I had intended to focus more on politics in my AAR, but ended up having to fight one war after another after another after another after another...so elections have been earning one sentence each, if that.

Anyhow, you mentioned a few scripted events I've never seen...did you download these from somewhere? Make them yourself? Part of the original game and just haven't occured for me yet?

Thanks!
 
May 4, 2007
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Actinguy said:
Following this one, looks great! I had intended to focus more on politics in my AAR, but ended up having to fight one war after another after another after another after another...so elections have been earning one sentence each, if that.

Anyhow, you mentioned a few scripted events I've never seen...did you download these from somewhere? Make them yourself? Part of the original game and just haven't occured for me yet?

Thanks!
Thank you for the compliment, always enjoyed. And I am sure war time politics would be great to hear. As for the events I am using VIP:R version .2