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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Nathan Madien

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Mar 24, 2006
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Table of Content
31.) Herbert Hoover; Republican (1929-1933) / Page 1
32.) Franklin D. Roosevelt; Democrat (1933-1941) / Pages 1 thru 4
33.) Wendell Willkie; Republican (1941-1944) / Pages 4 thru 7
34.) Arthur Vandenberg; Republican (1944-1945) / Pages 7 thru 8
35.) Thomas E. Dewey; Republican (1945-1953) / Pages 8 thru 13
36.) Adlai Stevenson; Democrat (1953-19??) / Pages 13 thru 14
Complete Coverage of the Presidents (1789-2009) / Pages 14 thru 18
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prologue
After winning a landslide victory in the election of 1924, Republican President Calvin Coolidge of Massachusetts was in a prime position to seek another term in 1928. Tired of the office, he instead chose to step down in March 1929. That left the door open for his highly respected Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Clark Hoover, to step forward. Processing impressive qualifications, he was nominated by the Republicans on the first ballot to carry the banner forward. “In no other land could a boy from a country village,” Hoover observed, “without inheritance or influential friends, look forward with unbounded hope. My whole life has taught me what America means. I am indebted to my country beyond any human power to repay.”

With his running mate – Senate Majority Leader Charles Curtis of Kansas – by his side, Hoover micromanaged his campaign against the Democratic duo of New York Governor Al Smith and Arkansas Senator Joseph T. Robinson. The first Roman Catholic to be a major Presidential candidate, Smith struggled in an uphill battle against religious suspicion and his Tammany Hall association. As for Hoover, all he had to do was to ride the wave of economic prosperity that dominated the 1920s. He also relied on his solid reputation as the Great Humanitarian who tirelessly kept Europe fed during the Great War and afterwards. On November 6th, the man hailing from California was overwhelmingly elected the thirty-first President of the United States.

Hoover/Curtis (Republican/Red) – 434 Electoral Votes – 37 States Carried – 21,411,044 Popular Votes – 58.17% of Total Votes
Smith/Robinson (Democratic/Blue) – 97 Electoral Votes – 11 States Carried – 15,031,543 Popular Votes – 40.84% of Total Votes

On March 4th, 1929, Hoover was sworn in as the new President by Chief Justice William Howard Taft. During his first inaugural address, Coolidge’s fifty-four-year-old successor laid out his vision of the next four years. He was particularly articulate in his opinion of the relationship between government and business:
“The election has again confirmed the determination of the American people that regulation of private enterprise and not Government ownership or operation is the course rightly to be pursued in our relation to business. In recent years we have established a differentiation in the whole method of business regulation between the industries which produce and distribute commodities on the one hand and public utilities on the other. In the former, our laws insist upon effective competition; in the latter, because we substantially confer a monopoly by limiting competition, we must regulate their services and rates. The rigid enforcement of the laws applicable to both groups is the very base of equal opportunity and freedom from domination for all our people, and it is just as essential for the stability and prosperity of business itself as for the protection of the public at large. Such regulation should be extended by the Federal Government within the limitations of the Constitution and only when the individual States are without power to protect their citizens through their own authority. On the other hand, we should be fearless when the authority rests only in the Federal Government.”

Seven months into his Presidency, Hoover would be sorely tested.
 
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Nathan Madien

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Mar 24, 2006
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Introduction

First of all, I want to thank Mettermrck's incredible HOI1 AAR "The United States: Advantages without Obligations" for inspiring me to write this AAR.

So welcome to my latest attempt at an AAR. After unsuccessful efforts in writing British and French AARs, I decided to try doing a country I know very well: my own. I also decided to write this AAR in history-book format, since it seems to be my strongest writing style as opposed to the conversation-laded prior AAR attempts. My apologies if the AAR feels slow in pacing; I prefer to delve into background information before jumping into the game. However, if you hang around long enough to get to 1936, things will pick up. As the title suggests, this AAR will be primarily about the American Presidency. At a certain point, "The Presidents" shall enter ahistorical territory and we will see how different leaders might have handled the immense issues confronting them between 1929 and 1953.
 
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A solid enough recap, I look forward to the ahistorical variations. :)
 

Nathan Madien

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Mar 24, 2006
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Enewald: I must say, I am kinda surprise at the lack of USA AARs floating around. I guess there isn't much challenge playing as the USA...although the Great Depression can lead to all sorts of alternate histories. :D

El Pip: Thank you. In some AARs, battles decide the outcome of the story. In this AAR, it shall be voters who decide who occupies the White House. As the title spoils it, Thomas E. Dewey shall become President at some point. How he gets there will be the fun part. ;)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Four Long Years
Hoover entered office in March 1929 with the intention to focus on implementing much-needed Progressive reform. Among other things, he expanded civil service coverage of Federal positions, ordered the Justice Department to crack down on gangsters who weren’t paying their taxes (most notably Al Capone), expanded the conservation of national parks, created an official antitrust division at the Justice Department, organized the Federal Bureau of Prisons, reorganized the Bureau of Indian Affairs, signed the Norris-La Guardia Act to limit judicial intervention in labor disputes, withdrew American troops from Nicaragua and Haiti, mediated an territorial conflict between Chile and Peru, and even approved the construction of a massive dam near Las Vegas, Nevada which would eventually bear his name. What the Great Engineer wasn’t counting on was Black Tuesday – October 29th, 1929 – when stock values (totaling thirty billion dollars) collapsed. In turn, it caused the stock market on Wall Street to crash.

In a heartbeat, the prosperous economy Americans had taken for granted was gone. In its’ place rose the Great Depression – a massive economic depression which spread ruin across the country. Factories closed, farms were financially wiped out, banks failed, and unemployment soared sky-high to thirteen million Americans out of work. People found themselves enduring poverty and homelessness with their confidence in the future dead. The President, afraid that government intervention would lead to Americans becoming more dependent on the actions of Washington, D.C., acted with great caution and promoted volunteerism above all else. It did not help that the President signed the Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act in June 1930, which raised tariffs on over twenty thousand items and triggered a wave of increasing tariffs in countries all over the world. This had the negative effect of strangling global trade. Two years later, to add insult to injury, Hoover also signed the Revenue Act of 1932 into law – this raised tax rates within the United States across the board.

To be fair, Hoover did take other actions he thought would help ease the hardships his fellow citizens were suffering through. For example, he signed the Emergency Relief and Construction Act to provide Federal unemployment assistance, increased public works spending, signed the Federal Home Loan Bank Act to assist citizens interested in obtaining home purchase financing, and established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation to make loans to states for the intention of building public works and providing unemployment relief. Although it helped somewhat, to many Americans it simply was not enough. Soon, Hoover’s good name became equated with failure for those forced to live in shanty so-called “Hoovervilles”.

Despite the President’s overwhelming unpopularity, he was easily re-nominated for a second term at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, Illinois – which was held in June 1932. Although the G.O.P. knew “any Democratic candidate who had not been convicted of anything more than rape or murder” could beat their man, they nonetheless went with Hoover partly out of the fear that dumping him would give the impression that they blamed him for the deteriorating Great Depression.

Hoover campaigned across the country as the lackluster incumbent and was therefore forced to face the hostile attitudes of the people he was elected to serve. To say that they didn’t approve of his performance is a sharp understatement. To oppose him, the Democrats nominated formidable New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt. The fifth cousin of former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, FDR carefully hid his permanent paralysis from the waist down behind a public shield of unshakable self-confidence. Breaking with tradition, Roosevelt traveled to the Democratic National Convention – also held in Chicago – to accept the nomination in person. In a rousing speech, Hoover’s opponent made it clear that he fully intended to actively combat the Great Depression. He concluded the speech with a rallying cry:
“I pledge you, I pledge myself, to a new deal for the American people. Let us all here assembled constitute ourselves prophets of a new order of competence and of courage. This is more than a political campaign; it is a call to arms. Give me your help, not to win votes alone, but to win in this crusade to restore America to its own people.”
With “Happy Days Are Here Again” his official campaign song, Roosevelt optimistically campaigned on the idea that the Great Depression could only be cured through a vigorous response by the Federal Government.

Roosevelt blamed Hoover and the Republicans for allowing the Great Depression to happen and progressively worsen, and criticized their insistence that the worse was over just when things were getting worse. For his part, Hoover painted the Democrats as dangerous radicals in bed with Communists and Socialists (which greatly offended Communists and Socialists). Not content with being blamed for the Great Depression, the President went even further in damaging himself when the Bonus Army arrived in Washington, D.C.

On June 17th, seventeen thousand Great War veterans and their families arrived in the Nation’s capital. They were there to demand immediate bonus payments from Congress instead of waiting until 1945. Refusing to give into their demands, Hoover ordered General Douglas MacArthur to use military force to kick out the Bonus Army on July 28th. He did so, but at the cost of four causalities and over one thousand injured. Although MacArthur overreacted to the situation, it was the Commander-in-Chief who got the public blame. Watching newsreels of army troops clashing with civilians, the Governor from Hyde Park, New York knew that Hoover just killed whatever slim chance he had in November: “Well, this elects me."

After he finished his bitter and unreceptive campaign, Hoover returned home to Palo Alto, California. He naturally voted for himself, even though a telegram recommended that he “vote for Roosevelt and make it unanimous.” As for Roosevelt, he spent election night - November 8th – at the Biltmore Hotel in New York City. He knew the election would be his. All he had to do was to wait and see how big the win would be. The early returns showed the incumbent running strong in the traditionally-Republican Northeast. Only Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island went to Roosevelt. However, after winning Delaware, Hoover’s momentum came to a screeching halt as the Roosevelt landslide began. State after state went into the Democratic column, with only Nevada and Wyoming breaking the trend. For Roosevelt, it was a tremendous victory. Not only did he severely trounce Hoover, but his party intensified her control over both houses of Congress. For the Republicans, 1932 was a total disaster. Having controlled the White House for the last twelve years and taken their power for granted, they were crushed and left in critical condition, battered and bruised in a way not felt before. Bitter, Hoover complained, “Democracy is a harsh employer.”

Roosevelt/Garner (Democratic/Blue) – 450 Electoral Votes – 39 States Carried – 22,790,202 Popular Votes – 57.33% of Total Votes
Hoover/Curtis (Republican/Red) – 81 Electoral Votes – 9 States Carried – 15,792,329 Popular Votes – 39.73% of Total Votes
 
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Nathan Madien

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Enewald: Well, people did call FDR an Communist...which ironically annoyed real Communists. :rofl: Actually, the website I got the original map from came with the old color coding of Red for Democrats and Blue for Republicans. Now it is the other way around.

4/2/09: Of course, now that I have upgraded the map and adopted today's color coding, it makes Enewald's comment look weird. Sorry, Enewald. :eek:o
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Roosevelt Assumes the Presidency

After the sweet glow of victory subsided, an ugly realization struck Roosevelt: there was very little he could actually do about the Great Depression. Until March 4th, 1933 rolled around, the country still had the repudiated Hoover as President. Now a lame duck, the Republican President became hell-bent on leaving behind a favorable legacy. Perhaps delusional, Hoover believed his policies were good for the country and whatever policies his Democratic successor was cooking up would only make things worse. Therefore, he spent the last four months of his Presidency attempting to have his way with the President-elect. On November 22nd, the two men met in the White House to discuss important matters. Hoover tried to condescendingly push the “chameleon in plaid” into following his agenda. Roosevelt, mapping out his own agenda, stoutly refused to be browbeaten by “a fat, timid capon.” The mutual contempt between the two men only grew icier as 1932 faded into 1933.

In the early months of 1933, the already fragile banking system began to collapse. Scared, people withdrew so much money from whatever banks were still operating that there was nothing to support the system. Working with his Vice President-elect, Speaker of the House John Nance Garner of Texas, Roosevelt assembled an cabinet chock full of people who would be ready on day one to save the country from further economic deterioration. Among the members:
-Democratic Senator Cordell Hull of Tennessee as Secretary of State
-Democratic Governor George H. Dern of Utah as Secretary of War
-Republican businessman William H. Woodin of Pennsylvania as Secretary of the Treasury
-Democratic lawyer Homer S. Cummings of Connecticut as Attorney General
-Democratic campaign manager James Farley of New York as Postmaster General
-Democratic Senator Claude A. Swanson of Virginia as Secretary of the Navy
-Republican politician Harold Ickes of Illinois as Secretary of the Interior
-Democratic agriculturist Henry A. Wallace of Iowa as Secretary of Agriculture
-Democratic administrator Daniel C. Roper of South Carolina as Secretary of Commerce
-Democratic administrator Frances Perkins of Massachusetts as Secretary of Labor
Of the cabinet members, Perkins attracted the most attention. A loyal Roosevelt supporter, she became the first woman to hold a cabinet position.

Having assembled his cabinet, Roosevelt decided to take a brief vacation before he tackled the nation’s immense problems. He traveled down to South Florida to enjoy some fishing. On the warm evening of February 15th, he was at Miami’s Bayfront Park spending time alongside a friend of his, Anton Cermak. Cermak, a fellow Democrat whose election as mayor of Chicago in April 1931 virtually eliminated the Republican powerbase within the city, was down in Miami taking a break from dealing with a major tax revolt back home. With the President-elect also in town, Cermak decided to take the opportunity to play catch-up with his political colleague. The two men were sitting in Roosevelt’s car, shaking hands and enjoying the festive atmosphere when gunshots suddenly rang out. Whether the short man whom fired the .32 caliber pistol - Giuseppe Zangara - was aiming for either Roosevelt or Cermak depends on who you ask. In any event, bullets whizzed through the air as people wrestled Zangara to the ground. While Roosevelt survived the assassination attempt unscathed, Cermak was mortally wounded when a bullet punctured his chest. Cradling a bleeding Cermak en route to the hospital, the dying mayor made the comment “I'm glad it was me and not you, Mr. President.”

A few weeks after the shooting, Roosevelt was sworn in by Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes as the thirty-second President of the United States. On March 4th, Americans gathered around the Capitol Building and their radios to hear what the new President would do about the Great Depression:
“This is a day of national consecration. I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself--nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.
In such a spirit on my part and on yours we face our common difficulties. They concern, thank God, only material things. Values have shrunken to fantastic levels; taxes have risen; our ability to pay has fallen; government of all kinds is faced by serious curtailment of income; the means of exchange are frozen in the currents of trade; the withered leaves of industrial enterprise lie on every side; farmers find no markets for their produce; the savings of many years in thousands of families are gone.
More important, a host of unemployed citizens face the grim problem of existence and an equally great number toil with little return. Only a foolish optimist can deny the dark realities of the moment.
Yet our distress comes from no failure of substance. We are stricken by no plague of locusts. Compared with the perils which our forefathers conquered because they believed and were not afraid, we have still much to be thankful for. Nature still offers her bounty and human efforts have multiplied it. Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily this is because rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.
True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.”


By painting his vision, fifty-one-year-old Franklin Delano Roosevelt took over the executive branch of the United States government at a time when many Americans wondered if the government could even operate under strains perhaps greater than those experienced in the second half of the Nineteenth Century. Fortunately, they would not have to wait long to find out. Within hours of taking the solemn oath of office, FDR launched his much-promised New Deal agenda.
 
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So the deviation begins (possibly), the question I suppose is - Is Wyoming significant? A very slightly less emphatic victory, wonder how it will pan out.
 

Nathan Madien

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Karelian: Right now, the US is heading into uncharted territory in the form of massive government intervention. I think FDR would approve of today's government taking an active role with the current economic crisis.

El Pip: The deviation won't happen just yet. I want to give readers a crash course on the New Deal first. Think of it as cliff notes. :D It may come in 1936...possibly...but Roosevelt will be out of office by the time he dies in April 1945. I can tell you that much.

As for Wyoming, there is no significant reason why it went to Hoover. There is this great website by Mike Sheppard that takes a look at every Presidential election since 1836 and calculates the minimum amount of popular and electoral votes needed to change the outcome of the election.

In 1928 for example, a change of nearly 2,100 votes would have given Al Smith victory in Nevada. In 1932, Hoover lost Wyoming by 7,400 votes. Since I feel sorry for those who lose elections, I have decided to give them at least one additional state just because I can. All I did was switch the 7,400 votes in Wyoming to Hoover. Interestingly, the website calculated that a change of 875,000 popular and 207 electoral votes would have allowed Hoover to defeat Roosevelt in 1932.

Here's the link to the website: How Close Were Presidential Elections?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The New Deal Begins
Having moved into the White House, Roosevelt wasted no time in launching his sweeping New Deal. With guidance from a group of academic advisers nicknamed the "Brain Trust", Roosevelt acted immediately and decisively. The first item on his packed list of things to do was to halt the worsening bank panic. The day after his inauguration, the President declared a bank holiday which ordered any bank within the United States that wasn’t already closed to be closed. Calling Congress into special session, Roosevelt submitted and won immediate approval of the Emergency Banking Act. Under the act, unstable banks would be rebuilt into solid ones, and those that were already on firm ground would be allowed to operate. To prop the banks up, federal funds were flooded into the vaults. The first step of the New Deal helped restore public confidence in the Federal Reserve System.

Roosevelt also used the opportunity to start making informal radio addresses to the nation. The first so-called “fireside chat” made its debut on Sunday evening, March 12th. Speaking plainly so ordinary Americans could easily understand what he was talking about, the President explained the bank crisis and how the Emergency Banking Act would help:
“It is possible that when the banks resume a very few people who have not recovered from their fear may again begin withdrawals. Let me make it clear that the banks will take care of all needs -- and it is my belief that hoarding during the past week has become an exceedingly unfashionable pastime. It needs no prophet to tell you that when the people find that they can get their money -- that they can get it when they want it for all legitimate purposes -- the phantom of fear will soon be laid. People will again be glad to have their money where it will be safely taken care of and where they can use it conveniently at any time. I can assure you that it is safer to keep your money in a reopened bank than under the mattress.
The success of our whole great national program depends, of course, upon the cooperation of the public -- on its intelligent support and use of a reliable system.
Remember that the essential accomplishment of the new legislation is that it makes it possible for banks more readily to convert their assets into cash than was the case before. More liberal provision has been made for banks to borrow on these assets at the Reserve Banks and more liberal provision has also been made for issuing currency on the security of those good assets. This currency is not fiat currency. It is issued only on adequate security -- and every good bank has an abundance of such security.”


With the banks on firm ground, Roosevelt expanded efforts to stabilize the rest of the economy. The Federal Emergency Relief Administration, a spin-off from Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation, provided state assistance for the unemployed. Directed by Presidential adviser Harry L. Hopkins, the FERA would ultimately hand out $3.1 billion in unemployment relief.

The Civilian Conservation Corps, the President’s pride and joy, was created to enroll unemployed young men to work on conservation projects in rural areas and parks. Ultimately, over 500,000 men were hired to work forty hours a week and earned $30 a month with an additional $25 sent home to their families. In the second fireside chat (delivered on May 7th, 1933), the CCC was extolled:
"First, we are giving opportunity of employment to one-quarter of a million of the unemployed, especially the young men who have dependents, to go into the forestry and flood prevention work. This is a big task because it means feeding, clothing and caring for nearly twice as many men as we have in the regular army itself. In creating this civilian conservation corps we are killing two birds with one stone. We are clearly enhancing the value of our natural resources and second, we are relieving an appreciable amount of actual distress. This great group of men has entered upon their work on a purely voluntary basis, no military training is involved and we are conserving not only our natural resources but our human resources. One of the great values to this work is the fact that it is direct and requires the intervention of very little machinery.”

In addition, two existing agencies – the Federal Trade Commission and the Reconstruction Finance Corporation – were greatly expanded to provide both broad regulation and financing. The Agricultural Adjustment Administration was set up to provide agricultural relief by paying farmers to reduce crop production in an effort to raise the value of crops, thus giving farmers relative stability. The Farm Securities Administration aimed at combating rural poverty while the Rural Electrification Administration sought to extend electric power into rural areas.
 
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Nathan Madien

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Enewald: Not really. While the New Deal did help the economic situation, it didn't get us out of it entirely. In addition, some of the programs were shut down because they overstepped constitutional limits. Then there is Social Security, which has become a problem no one is quite sure how to fix.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Under the Blue Eagle
To reform the economy further, Roosevelt created the National Recovery Administration. Under the Blue Eagle, the NRA allowed the industrial sector to create “codes of fair competition” aimed at reducing “destructive competition” and allowing workers to set minimum wages, maximum work hours per week, and to unionize. However, unlike certain other New Deal programs, the NRA came under fire from the Supreme Court. They unanimously declared the administration unconstitutional in May 1935 on the basis that it was a violation of the separation of powers. Roosevelt responded negatively to the ruling, stating “The fundamental purposes and principles of the NRA are sound. To abandon them is unthinkable. It would spell the return to industrial and labor chaos."

In addition to the new major banking regulations provided by the Glass-Steagall Act (which also created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to provide insurance for bank deposits), Roosevelt also sought to regulate Wall Street by creating the Securities and Exchange Commission. Under the SEC, the stock market would be better controlled and limited the type of corporate abuses the President believed help create the Great Depression to begin with. The first man appointed to serve as Chairman of the SEC was campaign fundraiser Joseph P. Kennedy. Three of his children would go on to serve important roles in American history in the decades to come: John, Robert, and Edward.

A by-product of the NRA was the Public Works Administration. Headed by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the PWA pumped $3.3 billion dollars into the construction of public works in order to provide employment and improve the welfare of the American public.

The Economy Act tried to balance the federal budget by slashing veteran’s benefits, federal salaries, and military spending. In addition, the President lifted the deadweight, counterproductive Prohibition of alcohol. He also signed Executive Order 6102, which confiscated gold from private citizens and made them the property of the Department of the Treasury – now headed by Henry Morgenthau.

Perhaps the biggest of the New Deal agencies created during this period was the monumental Tennessee Valley Authority. Covering seven states, the TVA provided much needed flood control and electrical power for the people of the Tennessee Valley at the expense of local power companies. One man in particular strongly resented this. As President of the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation, a massive electric utility holding company which provided electrical power to customers in eleven states, Wendell Willkie became a major opponent of the TVA on the grounds that it would compete unfairly with existing power companies in the region. His battle with TVA earned Willkie national attention – which would prove to be crucial for his future.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The next update will conclude my coverage of the New Deal, along with the historical background information. Afterwards, I will jump straight into the gameplay coverage itself. The rest of the AAR will be based on HOI2: DD 1.3a update. The only mod I am using is "The Proper US and UK Elections" by thevaliant. The reason why I am not using Arma is to prevent the temptation of carrying this all the way out to 1964. Even though everything I have written so far is just historical recapping (with the exception of tweaking the outcome of the 1928 and 1932 elections), I am having a lot of fun writing this. :D Again, my apologies if you find this AAR a boring read so far. I didn't want to just jump into the game without first providing the historical context behind the 1936 Scenario.
 
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The entire recession of 1937 is usually neatly overlooked when people say the New Deal was a good idea. As is the fact it was only WW2 that actually solved the problem.

Still FDR did great speeches and had good PR so gets credit regardless. ;)
 

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El Pip said:
The entire recession of 1937 is usually neatly overlooked when people say the New Deal was a good idea. As is the fact it was only WW2 that actually solved the problem.
Actually, there's a strong case to blame the 1937 recession on WW2; or at least the flood of gold that left the continent as a result.

The 1937 recession had a few causes; the governments support for union made the cost of labor high, for instance.But a big reason was the flow of gold from Europe, as bankers feared that a war would destroy their property. The US government acted to counteract this flow of gold by raising the reserve requirement at a time when the economy was already cooling down, and the government simultaneously cut spending. There were other things going on; social security taxes reduced money available for consumer goods, frex.

Oops.

The government did react and manage to turn things around, but it distracted the public's mind wonderfully from what was going on abroad at the time.
 

Arilou

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El Pip said:
The entire recession of 1937 is usually neatly overlooked when people say the New Deal was a good idea. As is the fact it was only WW2 that actually solved the problem.

Still FDR did great speeches and had good PR so gets credit regardless. ;)
Mind, great speeches and good PR was probably what was needed at the time. When people were losing faith in liberal democracy FDR gave them hope again (and they in turn gave him their mandate again and again)

They unanimously declared the administration unconstitutional in 1935 on the basis that it was a violation of the separation of powers.
IIRC this went 6-3 OTL no?
 

Nathan Madien

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Enewald: I don't have the patience to watch 11 years crawl by in Arma to be honest.

El Pip: That's true. Had WW2 not happened, the Great Depression probably would've lasted a bit longer.

Faeelin: You raise a very good point, Faeelin. I also recall there was a powerful hurricane in the fall of 1938 which distracted the public from what was going on in Munich. I mean, why worry about something going on across the Atlantic when there is death and destruction occuring in the Northeast?

Arilou: Based on my research, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States (1935) against the NRA. That formed the basis of the sentence you were referring to.

By the way, the following update will contain a point of deviation. It won't be a long shot to spot it. :D
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Second New Deal
In 1935, with the economy starting to show signs of recovery, Roosevelt decided to throw some new alphabet agencies into the mix. Up to bat was the Hopkins-managed Works Progress Administration. Employing millions, the WPA led to the construction of countless public structures and even funded artistic projects.

The Social Security Act, one of the best known among all the New Deal’s programs, provided social insurance to retirees by drawing on a payroll tax attached to workers’ wages.

Democratic Senator Robert Wagner of New York wrote the Wagner Act. A revised version of the Supreme Court struck-down NRA, the Wagner Act protected the right of workers to unionize, engage in collective bargaining, and hold strikes.

On the foreign policy front, the President worked closely with Secretary of State Cordell Hull to establish the Good Neighbor Policy towards Latin America. Under the policy, the United States took steps to improve diplomatic relations with the countries of this region. They included withdrawing forces from Haiti, signing treaties with Cuba and Panama granting them more autonomy, and renouncing the right to intervene unilaterally in Latin America as far as their affairs were concerned.

Despite the popularity and success of the New Deal, Roosevelt’s actions still attracted a fair amount of criticism and scorn. Among those who opposed the New Deal for one reason or another:
-William R. Hearst, leading newspaper magnate
-Al Smith, founder of the American Liberty League
-Father Charles Coughlin, a Roman Catholic priest with over forty million radio listeners

Then there was the charismatic Kingfish. Proudly hailing from Louisiana, Democratic Senator Huey Long was a radical populist who thought the New Deal didn’t go far enough to redistribute national wealth. In February 1934, he created the Share Our Wealth program as an alternative to the New Deal. Under the program:
-No one would be allowed to accumulate a personal net worth of more than 100-300 times the average family fortune, which would limit personal assets to between $1.5 million and $5 million. Income taxes would be levied to ensure this. Annual capital levy taxes would be assessed on all persons with a net worth exceeding $1 million.
-Every family would be furnished with a homestead allowance of no less than one-third the average family wealth of the country. Every family would be guaranteed an annual family income of at least $2,000 to $2,500, no less than one-third of the average annual family income in the United States. Yearly income, however, couldn't exceed more than 100 to 300 times the size of the average family income.
-An old-age pension would be made available for all persons over sixty.
-To balance agricultural production, the government would store surplus. This would make sure food wasn’t wasted.
-Veterans would be paid what they were owed.
-Education and training for all children would be equal opportunity in all schools, colleges, universities, and other institutions for training in the professions and vocations of life.
-The raising of revenue and taxes for the support of this program would come from the reduction of swollen fortunes from the top, as well as for the support of public works to give employment whenever there might be slackening necessary in private enterprise.

Long strongly believed in the slogan "Every man a king." Despite having a national following, not everyone was eager to sing his immensely popular tune. His radical ideas prompted the President to privately call him “one of the most dangerous men in America”. Colorful and flamboyant, Long positioned himself in the spring of 1935 to be a serious rival for Roosevelt in next year’s Presidential election. Fueled by immense ambition, not even an assassination attempt could stop him. On September 8th, 1935, Long was in the Capitol Building in Baton Rouge, Louisiana to oversee a special session of the Louisiana Legislature. He was strolling down the hallway when medical doctor Carl A. Weiss – a political opponent – pulled out a small gun. Weiss aimed it at Long and tried to shoot him. Unfortunately for the would-be assassin, his gun misfired. The scene instantly turned into pandemonium as Weiss was killed in a hail of bullets fired by Long's bodyguards and on-site police officers. After he was whisked away to safety, the shaken Kingfish reportedly asked, "I wonder why he tried to shoot me."
 
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Nathan Madien

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Today, I proudly introduce screen shots! :D From now on, each year will begin with a quick overview of my situation.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1936 Overview of the Roosevelt Administration




Army
Infantry: 4
Cavalry: 1
Garrison: 1
Navy
Battleship: 15
Light Cruiser: 10
Heavy Cruiser: 15
Destroyer Group: 28
Carrier: 3
Submarine: 17
Transport: 24
Air Force
Interceptor: 2
Tactical Bomber: 4
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Election of 1936
Although the United States was still mired in the Great Depression as she entered the politically-charged year of 1936, it was not as bad as 1932. National income had rebounded, six million people who were out of their jobs when Roosevelt took office now had jobs again, and profits were up across the board. Perhaps most importantly, the American people had their confidence restored. With the New Deal mostly popular, Roosevelt had every reason to expect to be rewarded by the voters in November.

However, the President did have one irritating thorn in his side. Brushing off the September 1935 attempt on his life, Senator Long looked to knock out the champ. His plan went like this: divide the Democratic Party, install a Republican successor, become the Democratic Presidential nominee in 1940, and win in November. Throughout the first half of 1936, the Kingfish toured the country to forcefully present his case before the American people:
“Four years of Roosevelt have been four years too many! In 1932, we traded a numbskull that needed MacArthur to tie his shoes in for someone who never needed to learn how to tie his shoes! Now is the time to elect a man who knows how to tie his own shoes!”

By the time the Democratic National Convention convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on June 23rd, Long had a decent number of delegates behind him. Despite his spirited challenge at the convention, the team of Roosevelt and Garner nonetheless triumphed. Becoming the first President to accept the nomination in person, Roosevelt delivered his acceptance speech in which he strongly defended his New Deal policies and also displayed his uncanny sense of optimism:
“It is a sobering thing, my friends, to be a servant of this great cause. We try in our daily work to remember that the cause belongs not to us, but to the people. The standard is not in the hands of you and me alone. It is carried by America. We seek daily to profit from experience, to learn to do better as our task proceeds.
Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes, but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales.
Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.
There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.
In this world of ours in other lands, there are some people, who, in times past, have lived and fought for freedom, and seem to have grown too weary to carry on the fight. They have sold their heritage of freedom for the illusion of a living. They have yielded their democracy.
I believe in my heart that only our success can stir their ancient hope. They begin to know that here in America we are waging a great and successful war. It is not alone a war against want and destitution and economic demoralization. It is more than that; it is a war for the survival of democracy. We are fighting to save a great and precious form of government for ourselves and for the world.”

Although he failed to unseat Roosevelt, Long enjoyed the publicity of having tried to do so. Undeterred by his defeat, the Senator broke from his party to form his own third party: the Share Our Wealth Party. Enlisting the support of populist Roman Catholic Father Charles Coughlin, the Share Our Wealth Party reached out to those who were either disappointed by the present pace of the New Deal or opposed it instead. Serving as the primary campaigner, Long handpicked his friend Gerald K. Smith of Louisiana to be the running mate and Republican Representative William F. Lemke of North Dakota to be the Presidential candidate.

Meanwhile on the other side of the political aisle, the Republican Party was in turmoil. Having taken the Presidency for granted, the G.O.P. was now praying for a miracle to get it back. On June 9th, the Republican National Convention convened in Cleveland, Ohio. Although Hoover tried to salvage his political career, the Republicans ran away from him like the plague. Winning the nomination on the first ballot was Alf M. Landon, the centrist Governor of Kansas.

A veteran of the Progressive Party in 1912, Landon proved himself a political survivor in 1934 by being the only Republican governor to win re-election. As Governor of Kansas, Landon built a reputation around combining fiscal responsibility with social concern. Joining him on the ticket would be Frank Knox, a former Rough Rider-turned-Chicago newspaper publisher.

Running against the widely popular incumbent, Landon conducted a rather bland campaign. Personally, he thought very highly of Roosevelt and accepted much of the New Deal. The Republican Presidential candidate mainly objected to the anti-business, pro-labor union attitude of the New Deal, along with the waste and inefficiency it entailed. In his acceptance speech, the Governor declared:
“No people can make headway where great numbers are supported in idleness. There is no future on the relief rolls. The law of this world is that man shall eat bread by the sweat of his brow. The whole American people want to work at full time and at full pay. They want homes and a chance for their children, reasonable security, and the right to live according to American standards. They want to share in a steady progress. We bind ourselves with a pledge we shall not ignore, thrust aside, or forget, to devote our whole energy to bringing these things about.
The world has tried to conquer this depression by different methods. None of them has been fully successful. Too frequently recovery has been hindered, if not defeated, by political considerations.
Our own country has tried one economic theory after another. The present Administration asked for, and received, extraordinary powers upon the assurance that these were to be temporary. Most of its proposals did not follow familiar paths to recovery. We knew they were being undertaken hastily and with little deliberation.
But because the measures were supposed to be temporary, because everybody hoped they would prove successful, and because the people wanted the Administration to have a fair trial, Congress and the country united in support of its efforts at the outset.
Now it becomes our duty to examine the record as it stands. The record shows that these measures did not fit together into any definite program of recovery. Many of them worked at cross-purposes and defeated themselves. Some developed into definite hindrances to recovery. They had the effect generally of extending control by Washington into the remotest corners of the country. The frequent and sudden changes in the Administration's policy caused a continual uneasiness.”


In response, the President dismissed Landon’s attacks and reminded the voters that under his leadership the United States was recovering from the economic disaster that had destroyed Hoover’s presidency:
“For twelve years this Nation was afflicted with hear-nothing, see-nothing, do-nothing Government. The Nation looked to Government but the Government looked away. Nine mocking years with the golden calf and three long years of the scourge! Nine crazy years at the ticker and three long years in the breadlines! Nine mad years of mirage and three long years of despair! Powerful influences strive today to restore that kind of government with its doctrine that that Government is best which is most indifferent.
For nearly four years you have had an Administration which instead of twirling its thumbs has rolled up its sleeves. We will keep our sleeves rolled up.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been as united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.”

As for Lemke, his main goal – as designated by Long – was to take as many votes away from Roosevelt as possible. Just as the Republican split of 1912 opened the way for Democrat Woodrow Wilson to win the Presidency, it was hoped the Democrats would be divided between Roosevelt and Lemke. If all went well, this fissure would deny Roosevelt his second term and give the Presidency to Landon instead. The Literary Digest unwittingly bolstered this scheme by releasing a Republican-tilted poll on October 31st, predicting Landon would beat Roosevelt hands-down. At the same time however, an advertising executive named George Gallup conducted a scientific poll predicting a victory for Roosevelt based on a quota sample of 50,000 people.

On election night – November 3rd – Gallup proved to be right. Roosevelt successfully deflected the combined threat of Landon and Lemke to win re-election. On the one hand, the Share Our Wealth Party attracted over nine million voters and left the President with a puny three million popular vote margin over Landon – by contrast, FDR defeated Hoover in 1932 by a margin of seven million popular votes. On the other hand, there was no question of who won the more important electoral vote count. With 399 electoral votes, Roosevelt decisively won a second term. Landon’s mediocre campaigning gave him just eighteen electoral votes. This put him well behind Lemke, who won 114 electoral votes. In addition, the Democrats also strengthened their hold on Congress. As for the Republican Party, having been decimated four years earlier, they were plunged into bitter internal strife and much-needed soul searching. Having done his best, Landon finished out his term as Governor and returned to the oil industry. As for Lemke, he returned to the House of Representatives to continue representing North Dakota. Surprised that his seemingly surefire plan failed, Huey began to plot a new strategy almost immediately. If he couldn’t overthrow Roosevelt in 1936, the Kingfish would now wait until 1940 when the President presumably stepped down at the end of his second term. Unfortunately for him, a heart attack in September 1938 shut down the Louisiana Senator permanently. With the death of the Kingfish, the Share Our Wealth Party lost her main driving force and entered into a state of decline – finally being disbanded a few years later.

Roosevelt/Garner (Democratic/Blue) – 399 Electoral Votes – 32 States Carried – 19,564,603 Popular Votes – 42.86% of Total Votes
Lemke/Smith (Share Our Wealth/Green) – 114 Electoral Votes – 11 States Carried – 9,065,633 Popular Votes – 19.86% of Total Votes
Landon/Knox (Republican/Red) – 18 Electoral Votes – 5 States Carried – 16,700,152 Popular Votes – 36.58% of Total Votes
 
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El Pip

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So the Kingfish survives assassination only to make a minimal impact before dying of a heart attack. You, sir, are a shameless tease. :p

That said he may have a bigger political impact over the long term, maybe by changing the terms by which FDR is judged? If the Depression continues on course (particularly the '37 crash) then the 'Share Our Wealth' message of guaranteed income and rich bashing may prosper in Democrat circles even if the party itself vanishes.
 

Nathan Madien

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Mar 24, 2006
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El Pip: Yeah, I know. I am a shameless tease. :p I kept Long alive long enough to shake up the 1936 election. I had two scenarios mapped out with the Kingfish in mind. The first scenario had Long swinging the election enough to give Landon the Presidency. The second scenario is what I presented. I went with the second scenario because I ultimately decided to deny the Kingfish the honor of defeating Roosevelt.

Of course, this is merely my version of events. Had Long not been assassinated, I really do think the election of 1936 would have been different. Exactly how different is a good question. You are right on one point, El Pip. Long will be dead and buried by the time of the election of 1940, but his "Share Our Wealth" message will live on within the Democratic Party. Now I am kinda regretting killing Long off, but oh well. The show must go on!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Abdication Crisis

In the wake of his re-election victory, Roosevelt felt vindicated. The popular vote “oddness” (his term for it) aside, the American people clearly wanted four more years of the same. For a man who couldn’t walk on his own, the President felt unstoppable. After all, he had just routed the Kingfish and the White Mouse – his private nickname for Landon. Under the Twentieth Amendment of the United States Constitution, ratified in January 1933, Roosevelt’s second inauguration was moved up from March 4th to January 20th while the incoming Seventy-Fifth Democratic-majority Congress would start their two-year session on January 3rd instead of March 4th.

In the meantime, the American public, having decided to stay the course with Roosevelt, turned their attention towards a developing scandal across the Atlantic. In the United Kingdom, a constitutional crisis was threatening to bring down the entire British government. The trouble ignited when King Edward VIII - having ascended to the throne in January 1936 - announced his intention to marry a twice-divorced American socialite named Wallis Simpson. The King loved Wallis and was determined to marry her whether his country liked it or not – which they didn’t. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Neville Chamberlain, summed up the national attitude in his diary:
”Mrs. Simpson is an entirely unscrupulous woman who is not in love with the King but is exploiting him for her own purposes. She has already ruined him in money and jewels.”
While the King could legally marry Wallis, there was so little support from outside the relationship that Edward VIII barely had any room in which to maneuver. Therefore, on December 11th, in an unprecedented decision, Edward VIII addressed the nation via radio from Windsor Castle and announced his abdication:
"I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love."
In the wake of his abdication, Edward VIII was downgraded to the title of Duke of Windsor. At the same time, his younger brother Albert succeeded him to the throne as George VI. Feeling no longer restrained, the Duke of Windsor then went ahead and married Wallis. As for Chamberlain, he would succeed Stanley Baldwin as Prime Minister shortly after the abdication crisis had been resolved.

On a rainy January 20th, 1937, standing in the dry East Portico of the Capitol Building, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first President to be inaugurated on January 20th. He also became the fourth Democrat (the other three being Andrew Jackson, Grover Cleveland, and Woodrow Wilson) to be inaugurated to a second term. Although not as memorable to the rain soaked audience as his 1933 speech, Roosevelt’s second inaugural address nevertheless showcased the fifty-four-year-old in his top form:
“True, we have come far from the days of stagnation and despair. Vitality has been preserved. Courage and confidence have been restored. Mental and moral horizons have been extended.
But our present gains were won under the pressure of more than ordinary circumstance. Advance became imperative under the goad of fear and suffering. The times were on the side of progress.
To hold to progress today, however, is more difficult. Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster! Prosperity already tests the persistence of our progressive purpose.
Let us ask again: Have we reached the goal of our vision of that fourth day of March, 1933? Have we found our happy valley?
I see a great nation, upon a great continent, blessed with a great wealth of natural resources. Its hundred and thirty million people are at peace among themselves; they are making their country a good neighbor among the nations. I see a United States which can demonstrate that, under democratic methods of government, national wealth can be translated into a spreading volume of human comforts hitherto unknown, and the lowest standard of living can be raised far above the level of mere subsistence.
But here is the challenge to our democracy: In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens—a substantial part of its whole population—who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.
I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.
I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.
I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.
I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions.
I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, and ill-nourished.
It is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope—because the Nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country's interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful, law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.
If I know aught of the spirit and purpose of our Nation, we will not listen to Comfort, Opportunism, and Timidity. We will carry on.”


--------------------------------------------------------------------------
1937 Overview of the Roosevelt Administration


Army
Infantry: 9
Cavalry: 4
Light Armored: 1
Armored: 2
Garrison: 1
Navy
Battleship: 15
Light Cruiser: 11
Heavy Cruiser: 16
Destroyer Group: 32
Carrier: 3
Submarine: 18
Transport: 24
Air Force
Interceptor: 2
Tactical Bomber: 4
 
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