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SovietAmerika

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Kurt_Steiner

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What would that be?

Someone close to Reagan saying "Gentlemen, we are close to Armaggedon".

Reading that, with the USSR still alive and kicking and the Cruise/Pershing issue going on, it wasn't reassuring at all...
 

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AARs like this one and Nathan Madien's Presidents are fantastic. Love seeing the long-term AARs that show the repercussions of decisions on history, not just the war. Keep this one alive!!!!!
 

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The Election of 1912: The Rise of the Progressive Party

Teddy_Roosevelt_crop-222x300.jpg

The Man at the Center of the Maelstrom​

The walkout in Chicago was not unexpected, yet there was a palpable sense of new beginnings and multitudinous possibilities amongst the Progressive activists that had joined Roosevelt in his walkout. The Republicans were unable to reestablish order for the rest of the day, with the convention descending into anarchy. Indeed, it was unclear whether the Roosevelt walkout had deprived the convention of a quorum of delegates, preventing Taft's renomination. Elihu Root and a few loyal delegation heads including Warren Harding of Ohio and Grafton D. Cushing of Massachusetts1, spent the night attempting to get an accurate count of delegates that had defected to Roosevelt. Harding recalled the night of dashing between hotels and at one point beating off an attack by an incensed and slightly tipsy pro-Roosevelt alternate delegate in a hotel lobby as one of the most enervating nights of his life. In any event, it was determined that a quorum of voting members was available to renominate Taft. The next morning, at about 11 a patchwork of delegates and alternates, with many state delegations noticeably smaller or even absent all together; came together to renominate William Howard Taft for President. While this was not surprising, many were shocked by the fact that 32 delegates cast their ballots for Robert M. La Follette.

Indeed, La Follette was shocked too, shocked that 14 of his delegates, including all of the North Dakotans, had abandoned him for Roosevelt. This combined with Roosevelt's complete and total refusal to even meet with La Follette's campaign aides and with La Follette's personal resentment for what he saw as narcissistic grandstanding on Roosevelt's part, caused La Follette to pursue a bitter and very personal feud with Roosevelt. La Follette's immediate reaction was, as one aid recalled, "the longest and most creative streak of invective, bile and blue language I have ever heard uttered".

But the maelstrom did not swirl around Taft, Root or La Follette, but rather the man many thought of as the nation's once and future president, Theodore Roosevelt. His advisers had already secured the Chicago Coliseum for the new Progressive Party's use from June 27th through July 2nd, but what he really needed was legitimacy. While the progressive leaning delegates and the general public had been electrified by Roosevelt's speech, but the establishment was seriously wary. Progressive Congressmen and Governors, while supportive of Roosevelt's platform, were reluctant to shackle themselves to Roosevelt's star; fearing that if he lost, their endorsements would constitute political suicide. Moreover, Roosevelt needed the support of Progressive-controlled state legislatures and at least a few less progressive-leaning governors to ensure he could actually win the White House. He almost immediately began sending out feelers to various delegations. On the evening of the walkout, William S. Lauter, leader of the North Dakotan delegation1 personally met Roosevelt at the Chicago Plaza Hotel in order to promise his, and the Republican Party of North Dakota’s loyalty.

More Midwestern delegations and parties got on board as a young man named Alfred M. Landon arrived at the hotel bearing a message from Kansas Governor Walter R. Stubbs saying that he was backing Roosevelt. Recalling the frenetic atmosphere of the hotel, Landon wrote, “It seemed that the progressive intended to win the entire election in a single night.” By the end of the Republican Convention, which dragged to a desultory close on the 22nd, most of the West’s Progressive governors and delegations had pledged their support, but Roosevelt’s team had failed to secure many endorsements from critical states in the Northeast and Midwest, where Roosevelt hoped to win by energizing the large and overwhelmingly progressive working classes. Even worse, Roosevelt had failed to win any significant Congressional support, with only six out of the fifteen ‘progressive’ Senators endorsing him2 and his own son-in-law Nicholas Longworth, an important House Republican, refused to support him3.

However, even with a noticeable lack of support from many quarters, the energy and power of Roosevelt’s machine ensured that by the 27th and independent party structure already existed. The Progressive Party was officially formed on the 21st of June, with California Governor Hiram Johnson as Chairman and George W. Perkins of US Steel as Executive Secretary. Indeed, the party that would gather in a few days was in some ways better organized than the fractured and shell-shocked Republican Party under Taft.


1: Thank you Polticalgraveyard.org!
2: Due in part to the passionate opposition of La Follette.
3: Which caused a permanent cooling in his marriage, leading his wife, Alice Roosevelt to have an affair with Senator William Borah of Idaho (who did support Roosevelt), this affair also produced her only child.

What's this? An update? Why yes! I will be on a one or two update a week schedule for the next month, which will hopefully make things a little more regular around here. That may enable me to get to the election by the end of the month.

@NathanMadien: Thanks for the tip-off on Landon!
Hmmm, Bob Taft. I'm not sure where he'll go in the future.
As to the side project, everything in my life is blowing up for the next month, so this is the only thing I'm gonna be doing.
@Nikephorossonar: Hope I didn't scare you away!
@Blitz and Soviet America: Too much of a sexy beast for him.
@Kurt Steiner: Really? I hope that was not supposed to be for public consumption.
@Evilman: This made my week, thanks so much.
 

Nathan Madien

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AARs like this one and Nathan Madien's Presidents are fantastic. Love seeing the long-term AARs that show the repercussions of decisions on history, not just the war. Keep this one alive!!!!!

Thanks. :)

You know, Theodore Roosevelt is a very interesting person in many ways. One of those ways is the fact that even though he has been dead for almost a century, he still holds this grip on our imagination. Many Presidents end up just being names on a piece of paper but TR is one of those handful of Presidents who continue to live on and have personality long after they expired. Just as people are still interested in Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, Theodore Roosevelt has this cult status that almost makes him mandatory. You can't talk about this era without talking about him somehow.
 
Last edited:

H.Appleby

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The Election of 1912: The Progressive Party Convention

Aa_addams_work_2_e.jpg

The Chicago Coliseum During the Progressive Party Convention​

The atmosphere inside the Chicago Coliseum during the Progressive's first national convention was heady, as one attendee recalled, “We were all aflutter with ideas for how we would remake the nation and for the first time we saw just how strong we could be if we were united against our foes”. The walkout and utter dissolution of the Republican Party only invigorated the delegates and further reenforced the sense that they were, in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “...riding the surging tidal wave of history, one that will surely carry us to victory”. Those words along with much of his address to the Convention conveyed the sense of inevitability that permeated the convention. While the campaign would prove much more arduous and heartbreaking than anyone could have imagined, for the moment the bubble of optimism held.

640px-1912Big-4.JPG

Drawings of the Major Players at Both Conventions​

That the nominee would be Roosevelt was never in question, indeed, the nomination took place on the first day, after some seconding speeches, including one by Jane Addams, the eminent progressive reformer. Indeed, the presence of women and blacks (although not Southern Blacks, Roosevelt saw their leaders as corrupt and ineffective), was one of the major distinguishing features of the Progressive Party, which became, among other things, the first party to endorse woman’s suffrage at the national level. The ticket of Roosevelt and California Governor Hiram Johnson was approved almost immediately and the work of hammering out a platform was begun. Most of the platform was readily accepted by the delegates, being in essence the policies of “New Nationalism” Roosevelt had been refining since his Osowatamie Address , and indeed the platform was a smorgasbord of Progressive demands. Among other things it called for registration of lobbyists, campaign contribution limits and more open congressional procedures in an era when the smoke filled room, rather than the ballot box, remained the locus of most governmental decisions. It called for social insurance for the elderly, the disabled and the unemployed, a national health service and a federal securities commission. Among the other radical demands were the creation of inheritance and income taxes (the last one through a constitution amendment), an eight hour guaranteed work week and a host of new political reforms to make the government more responsive. The big three among these reforms were the introduction of primaries for federal and state positions, woman's suffrage and the direct election of Senators (Senators at this time being appointed by state legislatures which were often corrupt and machine-run).

220px-Gifford_Pinchot_3c03915u.jpg

Gifford Pinchot, ex-Governor of Pennsylvania
Yet cracks started appearing in the party even before the end of the convention, mainly over two issues, the regulation of large corporations, the infamous “trusts” that Roosevelt had sought to bust in earlier years, and the nation's military buildup. The party, led by Gifford Pinchot and other reformers passed a very strong trust busting plank which Roosevelt personally replaced with a much vaguer and less stringent plank. Many, especially Pinchot, were shocked, as Pinchot would recall, “...it seemed that Teddy had finally gone over to Perkins and his ilk”. Indeed, many saw Perkins and his allies as having been responsible for Roosevelt's sudden conversion on the matter. This would leave deep ideological rifts amongst the participants that would never really heal, especially after the second fight. Roosevelt's party passed a plank calling for the limitation of naval arms by international treaty, the recent naval arms race having become a pressing concern to many including Jane Addams. It was Addams's turn to be outraged when Roosevelt shepherded a plank through calling for the nation to lay down two new battleships each year, rather a stern rebuke to those who thought that the Nobel Laureate would seek arms limitation as his primary goal. And so the party left Chicago with a platform, a ticket and several deep rifts that had started to undermine the optimism of just a few weeks prior.


 

SovietAmerika

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You live again? Well, the evil sorceror who revived you... Let me put it like this. You need a refund.
 

Kurt_Steiner

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Darn... Teddy won't get too far if his party keeps being so divided...
 

Nathan Madien

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Darn... Teddy won't get too far if his party keeps being so divided...

Roosevelt can still win this election if he attracts the Bruce Campbell voters. :p

Among other things it called for registration of lobbyists, campaign contribution limits and more open congressional procedures in an era when the smoke filled room, rather than the ballot box, remained the locus of most governmental decisions.

Kinda takes the fun out of being in D.C., doesn't it?
 

NikephorosSonar

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I wish Taft was in a position to win, but since he isn't, I'd rather see Teddy than Wilson, even if their economic views are probably more similar than dissimilar.

At least Teddy won't be an isolationist one day then enter the war the next.
 

SovietAmerika

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I wish Taft was in a position to win, but since he isn't, I'd rather see Teddy than Wilson, even if their economic views are probably more similar than dissimilar.

At least Teddy won't be an isolationist one day then enter the war the next.

Teddy will win WWI by himself. On his horse. With a rocket launcher. And Saxton Hale.
 

blitzthedragon

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Teddy will win WWI by himself. On his horse. With a rocket launcher. And Saxton Hale.

Fool! Have you not realized? Teddy Roosevelt IS Saxton Hale! He was so awesome, we ignored the fact he was from Australia and made him president!
 

NikephorosSonar

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Teddy will win WWI by himself. On his horse. With a rocket launcher. And Saxton Hale.

If Ronald Reagan can win the Cold War on the back of a Raptor, then Teddy can win WW1 with his bare hands.
 

H.Appleby

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Alright, so my (mis-) adventures in AAR land have been stalled for some time, because of various evil outside agitators (read: I'm incredibly lazy). Anyway, I have questions to ask of you, my loyal, mistreated readers. Firstly, does this AAR even deserve a revival and secondly, should I proceed (after say... November) with my six planned updates for 1912, (something which, while interesting, has really been holding me back) or should I just do one quick n' dirty update on 1912 and then move on towards 1913 and the meatier parts of my story?
 

jeeshadow

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I do believe this AAR deserves a revival. I quite enjoyed your first shot at an American AAR, and I have enjoyed this one. In regards to the second question, while lots of content is great, any is better. If you feel you can right the six updates, go ahead, but if you think you might not be able to, just move forward at an accelerated pace. Regardless, great to see this could be revived :D
 

blitzthedragon

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I shamefully forgot this was a thing until now. I eagerly await where you take it next.
 

NikephorosSonar

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Just finish up Wilson's victory...
 

Nathan Madien

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Mar 24, 2006
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Alright, so my (mis-) adventures in AAR land have been stalled for some time, because of various evil outside agitators (read: I'm incredibly lazy).

Ah, yes. Laziness. One of the most evil agitators out there...having no power being the most evil. :(

Firstly, does this AAR even deserve a revival?

Of course. You should revive the revival.

Secondly, should I proceed (after say... November) with my six planned updates for 1912, (something which, while interesting, has really been holding me back) or should I just do one quick n' dirty update on 1912 and then move on towards 1913 and the meatier parts of my story?

I suggest you do the second option. If the six planned updates are holding you back, try something smaller and easier.