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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  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).
2  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


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.
3  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.
4  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.
5  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.
6  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.
7  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.
8  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 -
9  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.
10  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.
11  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.
12  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
13  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.
14  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
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 20, 2014, 05:41:19 am
In late 1815 the Western Territories Exploration Society has been founded in New York City. Aims of the society were, at least apparently, quite innocent: exploring the wilderness of the western half of the United States, which was still significantly unpopulated and, naturally, undeveloped.

The Society was mostly founded by prominent Americans from the South, interested in expansion of their particular „way”, although it also raised a huge interest in the North, where most of the emigrants were coming to. The New York Chapter was especially dynamic, led by young and energetic state Attorney General Martin Van Buren. Among other prominent members were Congressman Calhoun of South Carolina, General William Henry Harrison, former Governor of the territory, Senator Henry Clay of the frontier state of Kentucky, and others. Understandably, the Society was the weakest in remaining New England, due to a prominent role Southern leaders were playing in its establishment.

Interestingly, the initiative was positively received by the Varnum administration, as they saw exploration as a safe occupation for disgruntled demobilized soldiers and other dissatisfied citizens. Only a very few people saw a danger of Society becoming a „state within state”, with its own armed force, as explorers were heavily arming and training themselves.

Soon after its establishment, the Society gained indisputably the most recognizable figure. Now bored to death, Napoleon Bonaparte gladly accepted an offer to command its „protection units”, and soon devoted himself to utilize his experience in turning a weird and eclectic bunch of wannabe adventurers into a disciplined force.

When news about his former archenemy's newest occupation reached Tsar Alexander I in St. Petersburg, the Autocrat of All Russia was reported to laugh out loud for a moment, before commenting: How pathetic is that dreadful little man's downfall. From an Emperor to a petty mercenary, training American trappers.

There were many similar faces surrounding „a mercenary” in America now. After 1815, America saw a surge of emigration from Europe, led by the Emperor's former associates, as well as common soldiers, fleeing persecution from the Bourbon Restoration. Although mostly French, the surge also included a number of former Napoleon supporters, including Polish legionists. Quite soon, the Bonapartists were an important compotent of the Exploration Society.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: Oui, Mr. President on: August 19, 2014, 05:35:34 pm
The American problem has been solved in the best way possible, British Foreign Secretary Lord Castlereagh predicted during a cabinet meeting. Asked by a colleague, why he haven't pushed for re-annexation of the former Thirteen Colonies, Castlereagh explained it's better to have them outside, weak and occupied with their internal problems, than inside, causing ones.

The United States was indeed in a bad shape, with loss of the Upper New England (now a province of the British Canada), and surrounded by two European powers, British and Spanish Empires. The city of Washington had been badly damaged during the torching, and the government continued to work from Richmond. A debate whether to rebuild the Executive Mansion in future or leave the rubbles as a sad, historical memento was the least of President Varnum's worries.

One of the biggest post-war challenged to the administration arose in mid-1815, with exploits of Major General Andrew Jackson. Jackson, nicknamed „Old Hickory”, won a fame of national hero during the War of Northern Secession, when he managed to stop British landing in Charleston, South Carolina: the only meaningful American victory. Like thousands of officers and simple servicemen, Jackson was frustrated with the devastating loss and humiliating peace, that seemed to forever condemn the young Republic he, as a youngster, fought to establish, to a small and weak state. Sensing possible troubles with the angry soldiers, the President ordered his troops, now stationing in Georgia, to disband.

Jackson, however, flatly ignored the order and led them into West Florida, occupying Pensacola. A weak Spanish military presence there was insufficient to remove American rebels and it took a very strong ultimatum from London to make him withdraw back to Georgia. Although ultimately unsuccessful, his daring campaign won him even more admiration through the nation.

General Jackson, entering Pensacola with his rebel troops

Admiration not shared by the government, which, frankly, was quite terrified they have, once again, came close to the war with an old foe. President Varnum immediately ordered Jackson to be arrested and detained, pending court martial for mutiny, which, needles to say, was a very unpopular decision. 

Initially, authorities planned a quick trial, after which Jackson would be shot and „done with”. Due to popular uproar, however, the trail has been repeatedly postponed. It was a critical mistake on the administration behalf, General Winfield Scott later reflected. They should've shot him at sight. There would be a lot of protests, but it would also substantiate in time. While in prison, Jackson's status as folk hero grew even more.

There was at least one American resident not concerned with the political event. He was a fresh political emigre and his name was Napoleon Bonaparte, occupation: former Emperor of the French.

For the first year of his exile in America, Napoleon seemed to be well adjusting to retired life. He started resting well and began to work on his memories, completing the first volume within six months. The volume was covering his years during the revolution, before Directorate.

Napoleon in Virginia

Though a relaxed retirement did wonders to improve his health condition, which haven't been too good for quite a number of years, Napoleon eventually grew frustrated with a steady life. With no better alternatives, he undertook frequent exploration tour to the western wilderness. A very small thing for a man, who once ruled most of the Europe, but those days seemed to be gone forever.

Unknowingly to Napoleon, a group of influential Americans, mostly from the Southern and Middle states, was considering making him busy again in more suitable fashion. Sentiments of these groups were best reflected by Congressman John C. Calhoun of South Carolina, a fierce nationalist and expansionist. Jackson was essentially correct, Calhoun said in a trusted company, The British are too strong, but the Spanish are quite weak and that's a natural direction for our nation to expand. His mistake was timing. When those damned Redcoats are tied somewhere else in the world, that would be our chance.

The secret lobby saw Napoleon as potentially very useful part of their plan. American Army was limited and demoralized, with few effective leaders. Hence, why not to utilize services of a certain gentleman, now residing in Virginia, who, for all his flaws, was the greatest military leader of the era? With his skills, experience and legend, the American military can be reformed and led toward victories in future.

That being said, Britain got her hands free and the current administration was in no mood for adventures. But Napoleon, still unaware of the proposal, felt more and more compelled to go west. And he certainly wouldn't mind going west as leader of the troops.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Oui, Mr. President on: August 19, 2014, 09:49:50 am
I've decided to return periodically to the forum in order to write a new timeline.

The Beginning

The 1800 electoral vote left a clear loser: incumbent Federalist President John Adams. At the same time, however, the nation failed to select a winner. While it was understood that Democratic-Republican Vice President Thomas Jefferson was Adams' intended opponent, a complicated system resulted in a tie between him and his running-mate, Aaron Burr of New York, hence throwing the election to the lame-duck House of Representatives, still dominated by embittered Federalists.

Though realizing seriousness of the situation, Jefferson, not wanting to compromise his prospective administration at the start, rejected suggestions from the Federalist leaders to make certain policy concession in order to ensure his confirmation. Meanwhile, Burr supporters sees a golden opportunity to take the Executive Mansion by the back doors. That all resulted in a dramatic standoff, producing deadlocked ballot after ballot.

While Adams and Alexander Hamilton attempted to covertly secure support for Jefferson, as they considered Burr „more dangerous”, they efforts weren't good enough, as during the eight ballot, a sole Delaware Representative (who, under the Constitution, counted as the entire delegation) flipped to Burr, thereby singlehandely deciding the outcome.

Aaron Burr (DR-NY), 3rd President of the United States

Burr succeeded in capturing the Executive Mansion, but destroyed much of his capital in process. From the very beginning, his administration meet a fierce opposition from the Federalist (with news of whose demise were greatly exaggerated), as well as the Jeffersonian wing of his own party. While generally acknowledged as a competent fellow, Burr's was unable to fulfill his agenda, most importantly expansion into a vast French territory of Louisiana.

The 1804 election took place under old rules, despite discouraging lesson of the 1800. Democratic Republicans divided into two factions, running two diffrent tickets: Burr loyalists, rallying behind the President, and Jeffersonian insurgents, throwing their support behind a fellow Virginian James Monroe. That allowed Federalists, united behind Hamilton, to win without another congressional do-over. Little they all knew it was just a beginning of political instability, which prevented the young Republic from extending to the West.

Meanwhile, the French territory of Louisiana remained French, but not for to long. It was not only vast, but also highly vulnerable, being distant from the mother country, with the British dominating High Seas. In 1809, the territory was captured by Spanish loyalist forces, stationing in Mexico, The subsequent developments, including the Congress of Vienna, confirmed it as a part of the Spanish Colonial Empire, an Empire which was becoming increasingly vulnerable too...

The Era of Instability

Most of historians would later agree that the chaotic 1800 election was the beginning of a long political instability, plaguing the young nation. With the Democratic-Republican Party bitterly divided into a two factions, united Federalists got an upper hand. At the same time, however, they couldn't reclaim a majority status, lost in 1800, therefore leaving significant part of population unsatisfied. Federalists represented Northern, primarily New England, commercial interests, opposing expansionist ambitions of Southerners and Westerners.

Hamilton's Presidency was arguably more successfull than Burr's administration, plagued by permanent gridlock, though it wasn't really much. A father of American treasury, he chiefly focused on economic matters and not without a reason, as the young Republic badly needed consolidation, but his priorities were heavily influenced by regional sectarianism.

Although celebrated by his supporters as Washington's favorite, Hamilton did reversed his mentor's warning against taking sides in foreign conflicts. Though America remained neutral, al least militarily, in the raging Napoleonic Wars, there was a certain bias toward London. Logical for Federalists, but increasingly unacceptable for Francophile and Anglophobe Republicans.

Due to these controversies, the 1808 election featured a comeback of the Democratic Republicans, united temporarily under Senator James Madison of Virginia. Once in the Executive Mansion, Madison, didn't have much more luck than two predecessors, although for a brief time he enjoyed a majority support. That support didn't last long, with the Burr faction breaking ranks again in 1810, over a matter of Senate elections in a couple of states.

Everything started going terribly wrong in 1812, when the legislature of Vermont, dominated by hardcore Federalists, passed a resolution calling for New England's secession from the Union. President Madison, who has reversed Hamilton's pro-London stance, reacted, calling upon volunteers to put down the rebelion. What started as a internal conflict, developed, within a matter of year, into a full-fueled war with the British Empire, supporting the New England secessionists. The ad hoc formed US Army was not a match for experienced Redcoats, who proceeded as far as Washington, where they torched the Executive Mansion. President Madison, who foolishly decided to take a personal charge of city's defense, was killed by an enemy bullet. There was an enormous confusion what the hell to do now, before elderly and sick Vice President Elbridge Gerry agreed to assume the Presidency under an acting basis in the temporary capitol of Richmond. 

As Acting President Gerry requested a ceasefire, negotiations were held in the British-occupied capitol, resulting in a humiliating peace treaty of January 1814. The United States lost the Upper New England. British interest acquired special privileges in her lower part. The Navy was drastically limited and contributions imposed. London did not intend to reanned the former colonies, but certainly achieved its objectives to make then no threat. Or so they were convinced at the time.

Acting President Gerry died shortly after signing the peace treaty, being succeeded by President pro tempore of the Senate Joseph Bradley Varnum of Massachusetts. Varnum dropped „acting” from his title, but was, for all intense and purposes, just a caretaker until the next election.

The War of Secession had significant consequences. First, it weakened the Republic. Second, the preference sentiments went up to the roof. Third, Federalists were finished. But the political instability prevailed, with now dominant Republican Party still divided into warring factions.

The Story of One Emigrant

After the battle of Waterloo, Napoleon Bonaparte was man on the run. This time there was no Elba retirement package. Having been declared an outlaw by the great powers, he could at best expect to become a prisoner. As he got a word that Prussian troops were dispatched to capture him dead or alive, the embattled former Emperor has fled to Rochefort. His initial intention was to demand a political asylum from the Captain of the British frigate, but at the last moment he changed his mind and, as it turned out later, the course of history. Instead, he boarded a neutral ship incognito with remains of his entourage, which included Marshal Michael Ney, sailing for America. The former ruler of Europe was now just another political emigre fleeing to the New World.

Drinkin' beer in the hot sun
I fought the law and I won
I fought the law and I won

Napoleon's arrival in South Carolina caused the U.S. government a huge political headache. However, as the sentiments were understandably highly anti-British, the former Emperor has been received enthusiastically by the population, especially in the Francophile, Democratic-Republican South. Denying him an asylum under such public pressure would be impossible for the Executive Mansion to handle. Luckily for both, London saw Napoleon's escape as his ultimate moral and political defeat and didn't feel a need to intervene.

Having no personal fortune, Napoleon nonetheless did not suffer any discomfort, being hosted by a string of American prominents, including Jefferson at Monticello. Finally, he settled on a Virginia plantation, belonging to one of his admirers, planning to write his memoirs. Alas, he was Napoleon and idle country retirement was not for him...
18  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to ban TX Conservative Dem on: July 16, 2014, 01:01:58 am
Well, with this kind of behavior he's likely to end up at Texas death row.
19  General Discussion / History / Re: Converse with Joe Republic and his stunning ignorance of basic historical events on: July 16, 2014, 12:32:01 am

How much you don't care about the Cisplatine War?
20  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Antonio on: July 15, 2014, 04:03:39 pm
What is your password?

kalwejtisanidiot Tongue

Too easy to crack.
21  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Ask Antonio on: July 15, 2014, 03:35:44 pm
What is your password?
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who are you and what do you believe? on: July 15, 2014, 03:26:05 pm
I'm Kalwejt and I believe I've just wasted 10 seconds on responding to this thread.
23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Official Thread for MODLEAKS on: July 15, 2014, 11:42:41 am
Aizen should become a moderator as soon as it's humanly possible.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Al Realpolitik Institute of Sulfur Mining & Extraction on: July 15, 2014, 10:52:28 am
Of course. They want to ban everybody interesting.

Wouldn't that work in your favour?
25  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Petition to give Inks' mod spot to Panda Express on: July 15, 2014, 12:04:08 am
...and the most pointless "petition" of the year goes to........

congrats sir!

Actually, that's one of BRTD's best threads.

You didn't actually rebut dead0man with what you said, y'know.

I wasn't rebutting him.
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