Who will be President of the Confederate States at the start of the World War?

Vote for DickinsonVote for Vardaman

LET’S HAVE AN ELECTION! Who do you vote for for President of the Confederate States? One of the funnest (and most difficult tasks) of writing alternate history is determining the fates of real historical figures. One of the things I’m trying to determine is who will fill the roles of various government officials. Chief among the decisions I must make is who will be the Confederate President at the start of world war 1? I’ve narrowed it down to two candidates. Jacob Dickinson and James Vardaman. This also gives me a chance to reveal the two main political parties of the CSA that develop in the nearly twenty years between Reaping the Whirlwind and World War 1. The Populist Party organized in the aftermath of the slave revolt of 1895 on a platform of White Supremacy, the preservation of slavery, the forced deportation of freed negroes, and the repeal of the Negro Conscription Act. Nicknamed “Rednecks” and “Wool Hat Boys”  the Populists have chosen as their candidate James Vardaman. On the opposing ticket, the Progressive Party has nominated Jacob Dickinson. The Progressives evolved from former President Stonewall Jackson’s supporters and have a platform of economic and industrial development, the gradual compensated emancipation of negro slaves, and the development of a fully segregated society in the Confederacy where blacks are treated benevolently and are protected from mistreatment and abuse. Unsurprisingly the Populists have dominated the Presidency since 1898. But by 1910 Populist hardline policies have largely brought the Confederate economy to shambles by further alienating foreign markets giving the Progressives their best chance yet to win the Confederate Presidency. So alternate history fans, read up on these two men and tell me who will make the most interesting President of the Confederacy at the start of world war 1!

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25 thoughts on “Who will be President of the Confederate States at the start of the World War?

  1. arun4fun7 says:

    I think the election result will depend on you the author will want to describe the election in your upcoming book. If you describe the election as one where people are so desperate for a change, then having the Progressives win would make sense. If the CSA needs to go to war to improve their economy and needs a scapegoat for all of the bad things that happen ala Hitler and the JEWS, they should retain party and you could explore how slavery would impede a war effort based on the fact that the population eligible to serve in the military is greatly reduced due to the fact that you have to be a land-owning white male in order to serve the CSA.
    Overall, I have enjoyed reading your books, they give great, plausible “what-if” scenarios. I look forward to your continued alternative history works!

  2. Chuck T says:

    Dickinson will be the winner. Presidential election outcomes historically are determined by the state of the economy

  3. Travis Merryman says:

    I think Dickinson should win. It’ll be interesting to see how the whites actually cope with the changes in a looming war. Books are fantastic can’t wait for the next.

  4. Adam says:

    Jacob Dickinson

  5. Cathy Howat says:

    Dickinson, because of the economy

  6. arun4fun7 says:

    Those of you making the economy argument should look at our own history and realize that it is a fallacy as an argument. Historians are now starting to believe that FDR may have caused more harm than good to the economy and the War helped bail him out and give him a false economic legacy. G.W. Bush has such a strong economy that he issues refunds to taxpayers and yet, his party did NOT win. Obama caused the greatest economic disparity since FDR and he was re-elected. So, the economy has little to no reason with the election process. There are numerous other examples like these throughout our history. My guess is that the candidate who promises the biggest change will win.

  7. Bob says:

    I love your books, I do have one pet peeve to bring to your attention, I have a solution too, so I am not just complaining.
    There is grammar error every 3 or 4 pages, example : new instead of knew. The words are not spelled incorrectly, just the software is entering words that make no sense
    I have proof read for Chris Nuttel and still do to this day. I offer my services, free of charge…that is how much it bugs me!
    If you want the help please email me at bobdaman22000@yahoo.com
    Send me a chapter or two and I will show you what a mean.
    Enjoyed the tail ( haha)
    Bob Slater
    Oh, to the question above the populist to win 1910 election, so the progressives can lament the end of their country, with cries of “if only they had listened….”

  8. Robert says:

    I’ve looked at both and I believe that Luke Edward Wright would be a better choice as he was a big proponent of new military technology and would be in a position to push them. Unlike the other two who would pretty much run a conventional war.

    • Hi Robert, thanks for commenting and how very perceptive you are! Luke Edward Wright was on my shortlist for Confederate President. For the moment I have him pegged for Secretary of War. However, the CSA is going to have a presidential election in the midst of world war I. Ordinarily a change of administration during wartime is ill advised, however, the CS constitution leaves little choice. Slight spoiler ahead. I plan on having the opposing party make a serious effort to gain the Presidency in the midst of the war instead of “yielding graciously” to the party in power for the good of the nation. I plan on having something happen to the VP in the months before the election and Wright being elevated to VP. After a bitter contested election he will emerge the victor. The CS will benefit from his leadership during the first part of the war and especially during the second part when Wright is President. The mid war election difficulties will also spur a constitutional amendment after the war that will permit a Confederate President to run for an additional term if the CSA is at war.

  9. Robert says:

    Can me any idea when your next book will come out?

  10. Robert says:

    Can you give me any idea when your next book comes out?

  11. Robert says:

    I was also wondering about which side japan and Russia would throw in with in the next book as their support would change the entire course of the war.

  12. I’ve begun drafting scenes for Flags and Glory. My best guess will be that it will be ready in a year to a year and a half. I’ll do my best to make it year. Concerning Russia and Japan:

    In my timeline Japan was defeated by the Russians during the Russo-Japanese War. The reason, is because a large portion of the Imperial Russian Fleet was based in Alaska (Where the Russians are embroiled in a territorial dispute with neighboring British Canada). As a result the Russians are able to respond to the upstart Japanese much more quickly and efficiently than in our timeline. But Japan is not out for the count. Their defeat was a mere set back on their road to expansion and Empire. By the start of world war I they are ready for round two with the Russians. On the European front both alliances are trying to woo Russia into their respective folds. But Russia has bad history with both France and Britain. They also have diverse interests with both alliances. The Russian Czar is related to both the King of Prussia and the King of Britain. This bond is important but not an absolute guarantor of peace between them as our own world war 1 proved. To counterbalance these relations the Austrian born Emperor of Mexico (an ally of France) has arranged for his adopted son and heir to marry a Russian Princess, giving the French-Confederate alliance at least some family bond with the Russian Empire. But in any event there is little love lost between Napoleon IV and the Czar. Napoleon I tried to conquer Russia a century earlier and Napoleon III was one of the chief instigators of the Crimean war. The only mutual interest Russia and France have is preventing the rise of a unified Germany (which judging by our history is a rather good idea from the viewpoint of France and Russia). But complicating matters further is that Russia has major tensions with the Austro-Hungarian Empire over their treatment Serbs and other slavic peoples in the balkans (which led to WW1 in our timeline).

    So considering all these factors:
    Who will Japan side with? The opposite side of the Russians.
    Who will Russia side with? I’m honestly still deciding. As you pointed out it will have a major impact on the outcome of the war. I have designed more than one scenario for the end of world war I. I plan on it being a four book story arc. Some of my scenario’s have Russia joining one side or the other from the beginning of the war. Others have the Russians coming in on one side or the other later. One scenario has the Russians waiting until both sides are drained and then declaring war on both sides. Sorry I can’t be more specific but I’m still deciding some things and figuring them out. From a purely story telling point of view, I would find it very interesting to have a “Russian Front” where US and British / Canadians must battle invading Russians (who are perfectly equipped, trained, and suited to fighting in intense winter conditions) and the CSA at the same time. A two-front war on the North American continent would be interesting.

    One final thing to think about is the Ottoman Empire. They, like the Japanese, will probably join the opposite alliance as the Russians.

    Thanks for your support and interest. Feel free to give feed back.

  13. Robert says:

    I think that having Russia join the CSA’s alliance would be the most interesting scenario. Since this would lead to a three front war against the ottomans in the Balkans, Caucuses, and north Africa. However I am also curious about what all the minor powers and groups might do such as the Greeks, Chinese, Puerto Rico nationalist, Quebecois, Californians, Desereters, Catalans, Basques, the Irish, and other assorted groups might have on the course of the war.

  14. That is the direction I’m leaning. To me it makes the most interesting story.

    I’ll have to give some thought to the Greeks and do some research. They didn’t like the Ottomans but if I remember correctly they were also pretty close to the British.

    The Republic of China has recently been established but will have problems with warlordism well into the twenties. My thought is that Sun yat sen will try to keep China out of the war and pray that the Russians and Japanese keep one another busy. I like Chang Kai Shek and am going to do my best to see that the Nationalists ultimately keep control of China in my timeline.

    For the moment most Puerto Ricans are quite happy to be under the USA. By 1914 their quality of life is far higher than it was under the Spanish a mere twenty years earlier. There’s also the general knowledge that if they weren’t part of the USA then the CSA or France would have little compunctions about seizing the island.

    Napoleon IVs Regime has been actively funding and fostering rebellion amongst the Quebecois in Canada for years as well as amongst the Catalans and the Basques in Northern Spain. France would love to make a puppet out of the Catalans and directly annex the Basques into France proper. Expect uprisings by all three groups. The Pyrenees will be a major front in the European theater of the war. But France will be hurting on that front. They’ll have troops spread out across the world to hold onto their vast colonial empire, they’ll be fighting Prussia in the east and worried about the British across the channel. The one benefit to Spain losing virtually all of its over seas empire is that it can concentrate almost entirely on home defense.

    The French and Confederates are both fostering rebellion in Ireland against the British. It is worth noting, however, that the French and Confederates have plenty of areas where the British and US are fostering rebellions of their own. (Mexican and other central american nationalists, Confederate negroes, French Indochina, French Philippines, Algeria, etc) Its going to be a very nasty war, with the fighting spread out over much more of the Globe than was the case in our timeline.

    I’m still wrestling with California and Deseret. I can say 1) that California has never accepted the Confederate annexation of southern California– they want it back. There are also several Californians who believe in a “manifest destiny” and believe that California should rule all of California AND Baja California. 2) Deseret was not pleased with the outcome of their brief but bloody war with California in 1895. They want all of Nevada. If California and Deseret enter the war it will be on opposite sides. California will side with the US and Britain, while Deseret sides with the CSA and France.

    Once again, thanks for your interest! I’m very happy people are enjoying the books.

    • Robert Allison says:

      I have always enjoyed alternate history and your series is the most well researched alternate history books I have ever read. As well as being the most historically plasable. I wait your next book with eager anticipation.

  15. Robert Allison says:

    Plausible not plasable

  16. Brian Rankin says:

    As much as I’d like to see a progressive victory, 15 years would not be enough to overturn the memory of a slave revolt and even the economy would not be a sufficient factor to oust the Populist Party. Many people in the CSA will probably reflect Brisk’s attitude toward the slaves and foreign repulsion toward slavery.

    The plantation owners may begin to favor Progressive but the majority of votes from the poorer people are going to go Populist. Vardaham would be able to rip apart the Progressive with the argument that “These rich arrogant men want to take your hard-earned money, spend to make themselves richer, and give those ungrateful, good for nothing n******* jobs when just fifteen years, fifteen years, my fellow Rednecks!, fifteen years ago we crushed an uprising that would have shattered our way of life!” Simple, uncomplicated, ignores the fact that Populist policies aren’t working and forces the Progressives to respond to that, rather than articulating their vision.

    Progressives would also have a hard time if Stonewall Jackson is dead as his leadership earns the Progressive movement respect. Not admiration, not agreement, but it’s very hard to dismiss out of hand the hero of the Confederate War of Independence and the man who seized part of California for the Confederacy.

    During the war, Progressives will have much more ammunition to fight with, high casualties, poor economy and being outspent and out produced.

  17. Robert says:

    It will be interesting to see the technological developments that have taken place.

  18. Robert says:

    I was just thinking: What if Russia and the CSA bought Japan off by inviting them into the war on their side in exchange for all the enemy British, Dutch, and others colonies in the region. Thereby neutralizing a potent enemy and whacking there enemies in the knees. All without having to use any of their own troops.

  19. Robert says:

    I was just considering that the CSA-Franco alliance could offer the Russians a free hand with the ottomans including the opportunity to reclaim Constantinople for the orthodox faith from the turks.

  20. I’m still writing the early chapters of Flags and Glory and I’m still refining things but as of now Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece are already at war with the Ottoman Empire as the events of the book regarding the CSA, France, US, and Britain begin to unfold. I did this primarily so that I could delay Russia’s entrance into the World War but still give my Russian character something to do during the first two or three books. With this in mind your idea of Russia reclaiming Constantinople could fit perfectly. The liberation of Constantinople would be followed by a triumphant Czar, flushed with victory, looking for his next conquests (Galicia and Lodomeria COUGH Canada COUGH), Thanks for the idea, I just might use it.

  21. Robert says:

    Feel free, I’m happy to help.

  22. Robert says:

    I was thinking of where the greeks were prior to the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22) and that if the Russians took Constantinople then the greeks would aim to grab a chunk of Anatolia for themselves.

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