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1  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: does bushie represent the average oklahoman? on: Today at 04:17:57 pm
Why are you making fun of Oklahomans?  We are very well educated.  We have many very good institutions of higher learning.  Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are among the best universities in the world.  My education at Northwestern Oklahoma State University is just as good as a Harvard education, only a heck of a lot cheaper.  Oklahoma does have an obesity problem, but most states do.  It doesn't mean we're any dumber than the healthy states.  Please, do not make fun of Oklahoman's.  We're a great bunch of people.  Sure, our politics leave something to be desired, but that's not because we're conservative.

So beautiful.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Would you get one of my title? on: Today at 04:15:30 pm
Why can't you just drown yourself in a toilet?
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Is our "friend" from Bakersfield the worst poster in Atlas history? on: Today at 04:14:55 pm
What's the point?
4  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Would George Wallace have signed the Civil Rights Act? on: Today at 04:12:37 pm
1958 George Wallace? Maybe. Post-1958 Wallace? Lol.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: Today at 04:09:53 pm
You can call me a Negative Nancy, but I'm still sceptical. I'm not going to buy the whole "picked because respected" thing. If EU leaders wanted a strong political personality to run the Council, they would have went with a tested statesman in 2009, like Juncker, instead of reaching to the second tier (while Van Rumpoy did very well, he wasn't really a prime candidate back then).

I think this selection is about message: giving a post to someone from the "New Europe", as well as sending a strong signal to Russia by picking a Pole. If it hadn't been Tusk, it would be someone else from the border countries.

While I understated Van Rumpoy's role, I'm not optimistic whether Tusk is up for the task. During his tenure he was nothing put a political machine operator, lacking vision or creativity, interested only in staying in power and guillotining potential rivals. If a Pole had to be selected, Sikorski would be far better choice, for example.

Going back to Russia, EU sanctions won't get any harsher not milder because of who was picked to chair the Council.
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: September 01, 2014, 02:47:51 pm
In case somebody's still interested, I'll update as soon as I get some ideas.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: September 01, 2014, 02:42:22 pm
Well I think she's known for three things outside of Denmark: first her famous selfie, then her "Gucci" nickname and lastly her "Hi, I am the prime minister of Denmark". So in the current context where half of Europe wants to act more tough against Russia, her lightness was an important handicap compared to someone with a statesman image like Tusk. She suffered from the dumb blonde stereotype. Wink

Do you honestly think the choice of EU president will bother the Russians at all? I suspect they couldn't care less, and policy-wise it makes no difference for them at all (of course).

I agree this won't change the direction of EU's foreign policy one way or another.

While Presidency of the Council is, in theory, a powerful post, its pretty much become a ceremonial presiding officer, as evident with Van Rumpoy's tenure. All the President can really do is trying to play a consensul-builder, but it can work only if heads of governments play along.

The truth is, there are already too much scorpions in the bottle (leaders of individual states on one side, running the Council, and European Commission on the other, which wields actual executive prerogatives) for Tusk or anyone filling this post to make a difference.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: August 31, 2014, 10:43:37 pm
Sikorski seems like a good choice.

Especially with his foreign policy experience. Unfortunately, he doesn't have his own power base within the party, which makes him a long-shot candidate.

Normally, Schetyna would be a logical candidate, being Tusk's second-in-command for a long time. He's a superb political operative with a considerable number of supporters. But they are isolated after he was railroaded after the 2011 election.

Bieńkowska is currently Tusk's favorite Minister, but she doesn't have any power base on her own (having never joined the party). Also, being gaffe-prone doesn't help either.

Kopacz is considered the most likely choice, due to her close relationship with the PM and position within the party ranks. Her major weakness is being a follower, rather than a leader type.

Siemioniak is the least experienced of all, but also got his power base, albeit smaller than Kopacz.

At this moment, with a gun to my head, I'd say Kopacz, with Siemioniak second most likely.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: August 31, 2014, 08:19:53 pm
Who's replacing him as PM then?

He's staying on as PM until November, so there is time to pick a successor.

The problem is that Tusk spent a good part of his tenure either eliminating or neutralizing potential intra-party opponents (read: any stronger personalities), which means any potential successors would be in far weaker position, especially now, that election approached and PO is sliding in the polls.

Anyhow, there are frequently mentioned names:

Elżbieta Bieńkowska (Deputy PM and Minister of Regional Development)
Ewa Kopacz (Marshal of Sejm, First Vice-Chair of PO)
Radosław Sikorski (Minister of Foreign Affairs)
Tomasz Siemoniak (Minister of Defense)
Grzegorz Schetyna (former Marshal of Sejm and Acting President)

I'll write advantages and disadvantages of each potential candidate later.
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: August 31, 2014, 06:45:18 pm
The lack of response to this thread seems to confirm that, save for typical idiotic reaction from the Polish media (zomgz great success in Europe!!11), nobody cares about this basically figurehead position.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Tusk to be the next President of the European Council on: August 31, 2014, 06:34:58 am
http://www.euronews.com/2014/08/30/eu-leaders-name-donald-tusk-european-council-president-/

Christ...
12  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: 1978 AL Senate Race on: August 24, 2014, 04:03:05 pm
I assume you mean special election to fill James Allen's term (since in regular election, Heflin was pretty much unamious).
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 23, 2014, 02:30:50 pm
I noticed I was a little chaotic with dates on some occassions, so I'll stick to this frame from now on:

Presidents of the United States

1st: George Washington (I-VA), 1789-1797
2nd: John Adams (F-MA), 1797-1801
3rd: Aaron Burr (DR-NY), 1801-1805
4th: Alexander Hamilton (F-NY), 1805-1809
5th: James Madison (DR-VA), 1809-1813
6th: Elbridge Gerry (DR-MA), 1813-1814
7th: Joseph Bradley Varnum (DR-MA), 1814-1818
Acting: Interim Governing Council, 1818-1819
8th: Thomas Jefferson (DR-VA), 1819-1820
9th: John C. Calhoun (DR-SC), 1820-1821
10th: Napoleon Bonaparte (M-LA), 1821-present


NOTES:

3rd: Elected by the House of Representatives. Defeated for reelection in 1804.
4th: Defeated for reelection in 1808.
5th: Reelected by the House of Representatives in 1812. Died in battle.
6th: As Vice President, he succeeded Madison. Although he styled himself as "Acting President", he would later be considered the 6th President by historians. Died in office.
7th: As Senate PPT, he succeeded Gerry. Elected on his own right in 1816. Deposed and executed.
8th: Installed by the IGC as a ceremonial figurehead. "Retired."
9th: Installed by the IGC. Deposed and fleed the country.
10th: Installed by the coup.
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 23, 2014, 02:22:43 pm
Upon reasserting his personal authority, Napoleon made good of his promise to propose a new constitution in timely fashion. Upon formally disbanding the IGC, he made a wide use of his powers to legislate by decrees, by issuing the Civil Code, essentially abolishing the common law. The principles of the Code would be later incorporated into the Second Constitution.

The Constitution itself, or rather a project, has been formally unveiled precisely five months upon him taking a power. The Constitution had formally changed the country's name to Republic of the United States of America, though „the United States” remained in prevalent use. Seeing a need for strong, central government, Napoleon delivered a crippling blow to the „state's rights” concept.

According to the Second Constitution, the President would continue as head of state, government and military's commander-in-chief, elected for a term of seven years with no term limit imposed. In case of public emergency, the term could be extended up to two more years with consent of the Congress. The Vice Presidency would be abolished, with a most senior cabinet secretary (who would be now called ministers) acting as Interim President before a snap election could be called. In case of emergency, the President would be able to exercises a wide range of powers.

The Congress would consist the Chamber of Deputies, elected popularly for the same length of time as previous House of Representatives, and the Chamber of States. This time, however, Senators would be elected by a local notables (electors) for a term of five years. A number of electors varied by state, with New York (the largest state) having 200 electors, while Delaware (the least populous) just 35.

With essential abolition of the common law, the Supreme Court would be relegated to a highest criminal appelate court, with the right to interpret the Constitution would be assigned to the Republican Council.

As expected, the Second Constitution has been ratified by a nationwide plebiscite with 74% approving.

Upon seizing power, Napoleon has suspended activity of all political parties for period of five years.
15  General Discussion / History / Re: Interesting Senate elections on: August 23, 2014, 09:01:45 am
In 1954, North Carolina had two special elections. They were both holds, so I don't know the last time two Senators from the same state took office on the same day.

Alaska and Hawaii, 1959, though both were new states.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 23, 2014, 06:37:36 am
To better understand an extraordinary comeback on Napoleon Bonaparte, who, in just a couple of years went from a bankrupt on the run to President of the United States, we need to focus on a few important factors, other than a lucky string of events.

First, Napoleon, for all his fame, was an outsider. He did not belong to a divided and unpopular American political establishment, therefore becoming, somewhat by default, an acceptable alternative.

Second, his personal legend and popularity were an issue. Even before his demise in Europe, Napoleon was very popular in the United States, again somewhat by default, due to wild anti-British sentiments. His popularity was only reinforced once he arrived to America, as he helped a humiliated nation to regain some faith in itself by helping conquer Louisiana.

Once he took power, Napoleon made a smart use of these factors, employing an effective propaganda, portraying him as a „noble outsider, lending his services to a young nation that embraced him in need”, as well as someone from outside a rotten system, who can, therefore, turn a tide.

Napoleonic conquest of the United States has been later compared to a „Chinese variant”. Instead of  annexing the country into his new „Empire”, Napoleon took over existing institutions, pretty much like the Mongolian invaders were absorbed by ancient China.

That being side, Napoleon certainly did not intent to leave a failed system unchanged. Once he was in control, he proclaimed abrogation of already suspended constitution and, in contrast to indecisive IGC, set a clear timeline of six months to complete new project. Although his old comrades were still addressing him as „Your Majesty”, he did not neglect to make it clear he's intending to maintain a republican form of government. Another, perhaps the most symbolic gesture, was to reward his key allies. Jackson and Soult (who commander „Republic of Louisiana” troops in the North) received a new, highest rank, Marshal of the United States, while cunning Van Buren was made First Secretary to the President. President Bonaparte also reached to some former enemies, such as General Scott, offering him a position in his new army.



Naturally, Napoleon rise to the leadership of the United States, moved his former enemies in the Europe. Prussians and Austrians were naturally disturbed by return of the „monster” but, due to lack of colonies and significant naval forces, couldn't do more than shaking their heads in amazement. The Russians were absorbed with internal affairs and the Spanish had very little means to do anything on their own.

The big enigma was, naturally, Britain, the only power that could prevent yet another Napoleonic rise. With his internal position secured, threat from the North would become the greatest challenge for Napoleon.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 22, 2014, 03:19:10 pm
I believe I did mention that the constitution has been suspended in preparation to adopt a new one, placing the United States under a "revolutionary" rule by decrees.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 22, 2014, 02:43:26 pm
Just a few words of explanation:

I didn't want to go for more cliche, though perhaps more effective, scenario like "Napoleon reconstructed his Empire in North America and then conquest the United States", as well as I wanted to avoid any impression that he came to the New World with some sort of a master plan. Instead, I've aimed at a string of events, that would led to this, starting with a fateful 1800 election, which started a period of Banana Republic style political chaos, allowing him to rise from the inside.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 22, 2014, 02:39:01 pm
After securing it's position, the Interim Governing Council embarked on a extraordinary feat of reconstruction. Within months, its members relocated to Washington, which was now being actively rebuilded. Perhaps the most symbolic act was a decision to rebuild the Executive Mansion and erect a huge statue of James Madison, who, while a disastrous President and Commander-In-Chief, has become a national folk hero by dying in battle.

Another encouraging sign was a compromise reached regarding Louisiana, which still remained a territory ruled by now-dormant Society. Anknowkledging an outright annexation would be problematic, as well as continuing this ambiguous legal status, the council agreed to pull a legal maneuver. Louisiana and West Florida would be proclaimed new, ostensibly independent countries (Republic of Louisiana and Pensacola Republic respectively), which would be later, once improvements on both sides are in place, unified with the United States into, what Clay termed, „the Second American Republic”.

Calhoun, who was the only one to fully appreciate a danger of Napoleon's hold on the new army, pulled a tactical masterpiece by proposing, that the latter would be named the first State Holder of the Republic of Louisiana, therefore removing him from the IRC and Army Command. The proposal played well to Napoleonic ego. Louisiana will become his second Ebla, a satisfied Calhoun predicted. And he'll never know.

For all his manipulative skills, Calhoun failed to finish the job, by allowing Andrew Jackson, now Lieutenant General, to succeed Napoleon as Commander-In-Chief. During a period of working together, the two formed an extremely close links.



After Napoleon's departure to rule his new „country”, Calhoun had indisputably become a leading figure within the Council, enjoying Clay's support and with only Van Buren opposing him.

For all his political skills, Calhoun wasn't an effective leader. Though he started as a committed nationalist and proponent of strong national government, he was slowly leaning toward more conservative fashion, favoring his fellow Southerners over Van Buren's Northern faction and „emigrants”, that were particularly strong within the army. A removal of Major General and former Marshall Ney from his post especially annoyed the latter.

Furthermore, Calhoun got, as mentioned before, a huge ego, which became apparent when, in early 1818, he forced Jefferson's resignation and took the presidency for himself. This was another mistake, as, while powerless, an elderly Founding Father remained extremely popular among the public and was the closest thing the „Second Revolution” has to legitimize itself.

He won't be there for long, Jefferson was reputed to said as he left the office. He can't unite the people.


Third Time's a Charm

Maybe, just maybe, Calhoun would be able to hold on, if he hadn't continue to antagonize powerful elements within the revolutionary camp. His definitive mistake was a decision to retire legendary General Jackson a few months after taking the presidency.

But he shouldn't know better, as Jackson wouldn't take s**t from anybody and, consistently with his past record, rebelled once again and, like Varnum before, it was Calhoun who found himself isolated. With the army remaining loyal to Jackson and Napoleon that, somewhat reluctantly, joined the feat. Calhoun was spared Varnum's fate, being successfull in escaping. He spend the rest of his life in London as a miserable, bitter figure.

Now Jackson would be the most logical candidate for leadership, but the general remained steadfastly loyal to his former superior. And beside, only Napoleon could completely unite the army.

When he arrived to America back in 1815, he was ready to retire after years of triumphs and losses, high ambition and passion. However, first he was given an opportunity to led troops again, within the Society, and now he, the former Emperor, was given a third chance. Although initially reluctant, due to remembrance of past miseries, Napoleon quickly became his former self.

On September 11, 1819, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed the 9th President of the United States, completing the most amazing comeback in history. Later the same day, Louisiana and West Florida were formally annexed.


Napoleon Bonaparte, 9th President of the United States
September 11, 1819 -
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 21, 2014, 05:11:18 pm
Contrary to official historiography, the „Second Revolution” was not meet with an overwhelming popular support, as the people were largely disspirited and self-absorbed after tragic experiences of the War of 1813.  But, for the same reason, the invasion did not encounter any significant opposition, which was just enough.

Despite initial lack of reaction, first months after the takeover were full of hopes, as many put hopes in the Interim Governing Council, now residing in Richmond, to initiate a new beginning.

The IGC quickly moved to reassert it's authority by dramatic fashion: sacrificing a scapegoat. Within a matter of weeks, former President Varnum, now prisoner of the casemates, has been charged with a long list of crimes and put before military tribunal, that wasted little time in rendering already determined verdict. On September 11, 1815 Joseph Bradley Varnum was taken to the yard and shot, his body thrown to the Chesapeake Bay. It would take years before historians would take another look and appreciate historical accomplishment of this tragic indeed political figure.

Initially, the IGC worked harmoniously and Napoleon, as Commander-In-Chief, was its busiest member, working tirelessly to organize a brand new United States Army from former Society troops, selected units of states militias and remnants of the rump regular army. Two of his former Marshals, Michel Ney and Jean-de-Dieu Soult, who followed him to America, received commissions.

Though it's hard to believe, at the time Napoleon was entirely content with his strictly organizational tasks. Failures in Europe and being twice forced to abdicate the imperial throne seemed to cure him from political ambitions.

Hence, Napoleon was busy with the troops when the first break within the Council arose. Jefferson, though a supporter of the „Second Revolution”, was a true pain in the butt for his colleagues, being the only one, for example, to vote against confirming Varnum's death sentence and demanding a swift election to restore „liberties we all cherish”. A screwy political manipulator, Van Buren was the one to find a solution, as, due to Jefferson's popularity, expelling him from the council would be too dangerous. By a decree, the Council reinstated the office of President as a ceremonial figurehead, until a new constitution can be adopted, while the Council continued to exercise effective power. Jefferson, believing naively he can do more good from inside, accepted the office he once sough and lost so narrowly.
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 21, 2014, 04:04:16 pm
As mentioned in the previous installment, General Jackson had escaped from the fortress in Virginia, which served as his prison, thanks to help from sympathetic guard. With little to no trouble, he managed to his turf of Tennessee, where he subsequently hid in the mountains and issue a fiery proclamation, accusing the Varnum administration of incompetency and ignoring the will of the people. Although the government managed, with surprising effectiveness, to contain most of the troubling news, Tennessee wilderness has quickly become Jackson's territory. An energetic General had virtually became a military dictator of the area, forming his own units, consisting mostly deserters and Tennessee trappers, and ordering anyone suspected of „spying” to the hanging tree.

Ironically, at least for now, Jackson rebelion was the only direct problem facing the administration. Both British and Spanish were still tied in India and South America respectively, and the Northwestern Territory Exploration Society, controlling Louisiana and West Florida, has to deal with its own problems, as tension arose between a members of the informal leadership four or, as General Scott put it, too many scorpions and too small of a bottle.

The biggest tensions were between Napoleon and John C. Calhoun, with the latter being perhaps the only person who could match an ego of the former. Calhoun, dividing his time between Washington and his South Carolina posh residence and Napoleon, commanding the troops from Mobile and, with resident Richard M. Johnson, administrating the territory, also had a profound difference of opinions. Ironically, Napoleon was the calmer one, as he argued more time is needed to improve Louisiana's infrastructure and train the troops before any new move can be made. Furthermore, he believed that Louisiana shouldn't be outrightly annexed by the United States he considered a „failed experiment”. Insteat, the two entities should unite to form a new, better country.

Calhoun, meanwhile, demanded more and more aggressively a quick annexation of Louisiana and, therefore, disbanding the society he felt accomplished his aim. The two leaders basically cancelled each other. The Society, and it's troops, couldn't exists without a backing of powerful individuals like Calhoun. On the other hand, there was no way to hold, much less to annex, Louisiana without these troops. And Napoleon was its undisputed leader.

The deadlock went on for two long years, but time worked against Calhoun, as co-president of the society, Martin Van Buren, now also a leader of the powerful Democratic-Republican political machine in New York, the largest state on the union, gave the former Emperor his tactical backing, fearing of the Calhoun southern wing dominating the nation's politics. The standoff was about to be resolved in a manner that would change the world forever.



By mid-1815 the Varnum government, despite its consequent work toward reconstruction, was deeply unpopular, which, in no small part, influenced the decision made by three plotting men.

On July 4, when the country was busy celebrating the Independence Day, the United States was invaded again, this time from the west, as an army, led by Napoleon, crossed the border. Simultaneously, Jackson's guerrilla troops effectively tied the frantic government forces around the region. Thirdly, due to Van Buren's covert work behind the scenes, legislatures of New York and New Jersey declared its support for the action. This is not an invasion, the resolution proclaimed. This is the Second American Revolution, led by our own men.

Besieged and with little public support, President Varnum's energetic actions to raise an army were largely unsuccessfully. The last battle took place on the outskirts of Richmond, after which General Scott, commanding the temporary capital's defence, decided to surrender to overwhelming troops. Although he feared the worst for himself, Napoleon, impressed by his loyalty and abilities, let him and his officers go free. However, everybody needed a convenient spacegoat and there was no better person to fill that role than Joseph Bradley Varnum, arrested, as he tried to board a ship sailing to Europe, and imprisoned in a very same cell he placed Jackson a couple of years before.

The invasion leaders formed an Interim Governing Council, charged with ruling the country until a new constitution could be written and approved in the plebiscite. Beside Napoleon, Jackson, Clay and Van Buren two more people were included: an aging Jefferson, in order to provide a historical legitimacy, and Calhoun, in order to appease his supporters. Like a French directorate, the council had no Chairman. Furthermore, Napoleon was appointed Commander-In-Chief of the United States Armed Forced and commissioned as Lieutenant General, the first person to hold the rank since Washington, with Major General Jackson as his deputy.

There was a little accident, as one of the members suddenly remembered Napoleon doesn't have American citizenship to begin which, so their first act was to grant him one.



The success of „Invasion” or the „Second Revolution” wouldn't be possible if not for several key factors. First, American political system has been chronically unstable, which naturally led to population being more receptive to radical change. Second, the government structure, despite heroic efforts from Varnum and Scott, was critically damaged by the War of 1813. Third, Louisiana provided a base for independent force to organize, with Napoleon himself playing a key role, not only in organizing American volunteers, but also managing to lure a large number of former European veterans.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 21, 2014, 04:02:33 pm
Very good timeline.  I actually meant to comment earlier today but was too stunned to think of something intelligent to say!

That being said, I've seen this idea passed around a few times, but this is the best written and most thought out *by far* example of the the execution, and is pretty much entirely free of not just the cliches that come with the premise, but of the genre at large too.

I'm flattered Smiley I hope I won't dissapoint you.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 21, 2014, 02:15:01 am
Presidents of the United States

1st: George Washington (I-VA), 1789-1797
2nd: John Adams (F-MA), 1797-1801
3rd: Aaron Burr (DR-NY), 1801-1805
4th: Alexander Hamilton (F-NY), 1805-1809
5th: James Madison (DR-VA), 1809-1813
6th: Elbridge Gerry (DR-MA), 1813-1814
7th: Joseph Bradley Varnum (DR-MA), 1814-present

3rd: Elected by the House of Representatives
5th: Re-elected by the House of Representatives. Killed in battle.
6th: Assumed the office following the death of his predecessor. Although styled himself as Acting President, he is widely considered to be the 6th President by historian. Died in office.
7th: As PPT, assumed the office following a death of his predecessor. Re-elected in 1816.


Vice Presidents of the United States

1st: John Adams (F-MA), 1789-1797
2nd: Thomas Jefferson (DR-VA), 1797-1805
3rd: Charles C. Pinckey (F-SC), 1805-1813
4th: Elbridge Gerry (DR-MA), 1813
Vacant, 1813-present
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 20, 2014, 11:11:48 am
Varnum's America

History wasn't too kind to the 6th (or, according to some lists, 7th) President of the United States. Joseph Bradley Varnum is still mostly perceived as an obscure Senator who had, by a weird accident of history, become leader of the young, embattled Republic.

Well, historians aren't always accurate. The fact that Varnum, without his own power base, kept the government intact after it suffered such a terrible blow was already quite an accomplishment. His management also bought the United States critical years of peace. Good for the country, but not, as it turned out, for Mr. Varnum himself.


President Joseph Bradley Varnum

One person played particularly important role in Varnum's administration. It was Brevet Brigadier General Winfield Scott, serving in dual capacity as Acting Senior Officer of the Army, as well as unofficial aide de camp to the President, and in fact his right hand man. Varnum and Scott decators would claim that General excercised so much influence, that he was the real military dictator of the United States. Well, they were wrong. Aside of being a true (and able) military man, Scott was also fiercely loyal to the legitimate government.

Perhaps more importantly, he had men to put on the administration disposal if necessarily. While the regular army was, at the time, quite a pathetic thing (merely 600 men), Scott had strong ties with commanders of the strong Virginia and Maryland Militias.

Nevertheless, for all his influence, Scott was unable to convince the President about danger other than British. The Northwestern Territory Exploration Society „troops” had quickly grown to well over five armed thousands men. Those men, Scott was trying to explain, mostly veterans of various wars from around the world, are being trained and led by the greatest military genius of our times who also happens to be a damn lunatic with an ego bigger than the Chesapeake Bay.

The General was alone with his doubts. And quite correct.



”That Weird Thing”

Indeed he was. In mid-1816, months after Varnum's election (despite earlier prognosis he'd only serve as a caretaker) to his full term, an opportunity arose for the Society to realize their covert aim. An opportunity determined by external events. First, a wide uprising in India, which had forces London to redirect their attention on the other hemisphere. Second, a wave of rebellion in South and Central America against Madrid's authority. Both Louisiana and Florida had now only a nominal Spanish military presence, which, despite territories being large, gave the Society's „army” a perfect, once in a lifetime, occasion to act.

To keep it short, it took only a couple of months for the American „filibusters”, led by Napoleon, to took control over key towns and forts of Louisiana and West Florida, which equaled to controlling the region. Now west to the United States, there was „that weird thing”, a territory controlled not by the state, but a foreign organization, based in another country.

Indeed, the Society, thinking of uniting these lands with America in due time, did not proclaim a new country, merely established it's own order. That led a well-readed Senator John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts to compare Louisiana with State of the Teutonic Order.

The government of „that weird thing” was unofficial and weird on it's own. Things were being ran by a group of individuals: co-presidents of the Society John Calhoun (residing in South Carolina) and Martin Van Buren (residing in New York), troops „commander” Napoleon Bonaparte and „resident” Richard M. Johnson (both residing in the city of Mobile).

Officially, as a laconic communique put it, „the Northwestern Territory Exploration Society, based in New York, took a temporary administration over the liberated former Spanish colony of Louisiana”.

With all that going on and occupying people's minds, General Jackson's escape from military fortress was barely noticed by the public.
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Alternate US States on: August 20, 2014, 11:10:25 am
Damn, I'm glad this great thread is still going on Smiley
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