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November 21, 2019, 12:23:03 am
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  Election What-ifs? (Moderators: Kenny-chan kawaii princesu, Apocrypha)
  A Shepherd Knows His Flock timeline
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Author Topic: A Shepherd Knows His Flock timeline  (Read 1018 times)
LastMcGovernite
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« on: August 31, 2019, 04:21:36 pm »

Here’s the premise: After Patrick Henry, George Mason, and others make some persuasive speeches and the planter class threatens revolt, Virginia opts not to join the union proposed by the constitution, and becomes its own country. North Carolina does the same. The remaining eleven ex-colonies join together…but without the Old Dominion,  Washington never becomes president of the USA, and no Jeffersonian or Jacksonian tradition takes root in the U.S. The balance of power is subsequently heavily tilted toward the North.

Without the secular bent of the Virginia founding fathers, our remaining leaders are more overtly inclined to use Christian language to define what it means to be American. As such, American citizenship and civics becomes coded in a nonsectarian Protestant way. Catholicism will be viewed with suspicion, especially when relations with France deteriorate. Catholicism, or “popery” in the parlance of the day, will be seen as totalitarian, foreign, and incapable of demonstrating the manly self-reliance and independence of thought that a healthy republic requires.

This will play out in a number of ways– the Louisiana Purchase doesn’t happen because France is in no mood to sell their assets in the Western hemisphere to us. Without a large influx of Catholic immigrants in the 19th century, industrial manpower will be chronically short…leading the U.S. to look to cheap Caribbean labor and importing workers from India. And with the South outnumbered, a proper civil war does not unfold and slavery is undone by other means.

And it all began when John Jay, a president of the American Bible Society in our timeline, became our first president. In his inaugural address, he spoke of the presidency as both a political leader and a spiritual pastor. “A shepherd knows his flock,” he intones in his speech, and begins restricting immigration from Catholic countries to the new nation…

I've avoided cutesy stuff like "same state, different party" like my last timeline. My only restrictions for figuring out who was president was 1) no IRL presidents and 2) no Hall of Mirrors presidents.

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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2019, 11:33:56 am »

And here's the second set of president trading cards for this timeline.

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LabourJersey
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« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2019, 06:45:15 pm »

What slavery-based compromises occur in this TL? I assume that Georgia, South Carolina & Maryland feel much more vulnerable in a Northern-heavy union then they did in real life.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2019, 03:10:59 pm »

Right....that will be resolved in some future installments. But for now, you can assume that the defection of Virginia and NC make the remaining states eager to keep SC and Georgia. Slavery was also linked to expansion, and with the path westward blocked by French control of Louisiana and Mexico, it's a lot easier to "let the South be the South".
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 02:46:52 pm »

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1. John Jay (Federalist, New York, 1789-1793)
2. Benjamin Rush (Antiquarian, Pennsylvania, 1793-1797)
3. Abraham Baldwin (Cincinnati, Georgia, 1797-1801)
4. George Clinton (Cincinnati, New York, 1801-1809)
5. Timothy Pickering (Cincinnati, Massachusetts, 1809-1817)
6. William Crawford (Columbian, Georgia, 1817-1821)
7. DeWitt Clinton (Cincinnati, New York, 1821-1827)
8. Caesar Rodney (Cincinnati, Delaware, 1827-1829)
9. Daniel Webster (Antiquarian, Massachusetts, 1829-1837)
10. Francis Scott Key (Bannermen, Maryland, 1837-1841)
11. Eleazer Wood (Cincinnati, Massachusetts, 1841-1846)*
12. Theodore Frelinghuysen (Circuit Riders, New Jersey, 1846-1849)

*Who is Eleazer Wood, you may ask? I went through the early rolls of West Point cadets to look at some possible candidates for this timeline, and came across Wood– an apparently valiant officer who was killed in the War of 1812. War is a funny thing– a stray bullet can take a life that might have had a profound impact had the projectile gone just a few inches in a different direction. What if Wood served with distinction in the Louisiana War– and survived?

A word as well about political parties. In this timeline, parties are more like…social clubs. Bonds of education or experience or class matter more in party formation than strict ideology. So Cincinnati are an elite social club for military veterans, Antiquarians appeal to the educated and the social elite (or upwardly mobile!), Bannermen are a rabble-rousing Know-Nothingish secret society, and the Circuit Riders are a clique of evangelical moral reformists inspired by the Second Great Awakening.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2019, 07:35:04 pm »

Remember- you must be logged in to properly see these presidential trading cards.

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Trans Rights Are Human Rights
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« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2019, 09:59:40 am »

In 1868, the Senate pro tem took over for the President when the Vice Presidency was vacant. I suppose the PoD is early enough to change that early, but still.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2019, 10:09:07 am »
« Edited: September 09, 2019, 06:45:12 pm by LastMcGovernite »

In 1868, the Senate pro tem took over for the President when the Vice Presidency was vacant. I suppose the PoD is early enough to change that early, but still.

I didn't know that, actually. But let's say that a law was passed a while earlier making the order Speaker then Senate pro Tem.  After that event, the law was again changed to go through the cabinet secretaries in order of prominence.

Which will matter after the demise of #20. Speaking of which...

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Did you know that P.T. Barnum had a cousin who was in congress? I certain didn't.
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LabourJersey
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« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2019, 08:26:51 pm »

This is definitely one of the more interesting TLs here-- I like how you really try to imagine a genuinely different American political world.

How does immigration differ in this US, though? Do Irish people fleeing the famine (and other Catholics) still come to the US or do they bypass it for Canada or California?
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True Federalist
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« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2019, 09:51:09 pm »

Interesting, but it's hard to imagine that in a Washington-less U.S. that the first President would not have been John Adams.  He was the only other person with a widespread favorable national reputation in 1789, which is why he was the only other person to get double digits in the real life 1789 Electoral College.

Also, in a Virginia-less U.S. there would have been squabbles over the Northwest Territory from the start, especially the Virginia Military Tract
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2019, 12:36:51 pm »

Good question.

A smaller number of Irish settlers come over, but their political and property rights will be restricted. After all, anti-Catholicism can't thrive without a certain number of Catholics! More of the Irish will go to Canada and- those that can afford it- California, as you say.

Adams would have been a compelling candidate, but even then he had a reputation for being vain and stubborn. It's easy to see a middle states candidate like Jay putting together the necessary electoral votes to stop him.

True Federalist raises a good point about NW territory. My in-universe explanation is that Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers settle the NW first, and it's pretty hard to dislodge them. Virginia is less willing to fight for it, since sending the troops necessary would leave the Tidewater area vulnerable to slave insurrection.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2019, 10:33:45 am »

We finally cross over into the twentieth century in this timeline showing a decidedly more Protestant, more consistently nativist, America. The 1870s thru 1900s, covered in this set of cards, is also a period of one-party dominance in this timeline, with the Liberty Democrats holding the presidency–and usually Congress–consistently. What do they stand for? Generally– sound currency, high tariffs, expanding American influence and trade, and keeping a nonsectarian Protestant character to the country. There is little reforming zeal about these guys, but their choices will have some important consequences.

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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2019, 09:45:03 am »

Our next installment...four one-term presidents who take us into the equivalent of the Great War.

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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2019, 10:12:41 am »

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*We would know him better as Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., of course– but since his father was not nearly so renowned in this timeline, plain old Theodore Roosevelt it is.

**IRL, Tydings's father was named after Millard Fillmore and he was named after his father. So it’s reasonable that a different name was selected in a world where Millard Fillmore never became president.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2019, 11:03:35 am »

Our next batch of presidents, now that the War of the Three Tyrants is over...

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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2019, 06:14:51 pm »

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« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2019, 10:03:03 pm »

What sparked the Great War and the Three Tyrants' War?

What is the territorial extent of the US ITTL?
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LabourJersey
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2019, 08:15:54 pm »

I'm confused how Muskie could win in '68 since anti-Catholicism is clearly a much better issue in this TL's United States, and win three terms on top of that. Was the Brazil War/Caribbean problems really so bad that voters turned to any other candidate?

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Captain Chaos
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2019, 08:03:06 am »

I'm confused how Muskie could win in '68 since anti-Catholicism is clearly a much better issue in this TL's United States, and win three terms on top of that. Was the Brazil War/Caribbean problems really so bad that voters turned to any other candidate?


The United States Constitution ITTL did not have an Amendment limited the President's terms. Anti-Catholic prejudice began to fade by the 1940s.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2019, 05:28:06 pm »

In my head-canon, there's kind of a cultural sea-change in the 1950s with how Catholicism is treated and tolerated-- and it happens in cultural and social circles, rather than in electoral politics. Think of how, say, Bing Crosby made Catholicism seem warm and welcoming in "Going My Way" in the 40s. These sorts of things make a Muskie candidacy viable.

And yes, there's no amendment limiting presidents to two terms (largely because there is no Washington to set that precedent!) Instead, after Tilden-Woods-Pierrepont in one term, we have the 17th amendment (alluded to in Westmoreland's card) that prevents anyone who is 70 or older at the time of inauguration from serving as president.
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LastMcGovernite
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« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2019, 05:32:14 pm »

And let's wrap things up... I may be a partisan McGovernite hack, but would it surprise you to know that the biggest presidential hero in our timeline…is a Republican?

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So this leaves our list of presidents in the "A Shepherd Knows His Flock" timeline as:

John Jay (Federalist, New York, 1789-1793)
Benjamin Rush (Antiquarian, Pennsylvania, 1793-1797)
Abraham Baldwin (Cincinnati, Georgia, 1797-1801)
George Clinton (Cincinnati, New York, 1801-1809)
Timothy Pickering (Cincinnati, Massachusetts, 1809-1817)
William Crawford (Columbian, Georgia, 1817-1821)
DeWitt Clinton (Cincinnati, New York, 1821-1827)
Caesar Rodney (Cincinnati, Delaware, 1827-1829)
Daniel Webster (Antiquarian, Massachusetts, 1829-1837)
Francis Scott Key (Bannermen, Maryland, 1837-1841)
Eleazer Wood (Cincinnati, Massachusetts, 1841-1846)
Theodore Frelinghuysen (Circuit Riders, New Jersey, 1846-1849)
Lewis C. Levin (Bannermen, Pennsylvania, 1849-1857)
George Bancroft (Antiquarian, Massachusetts, 1857-1865)
Salmon P. Chase (Christian Democrat, Ohio, 1865-1868)
Trusten Polk (Columbia Coalition, Upper Missouri, 1868-1869)
William Barnum (Columbia Coalition, Connecticut, 1869-1877)
George Pendleton (Columbia Coalition, Ohio, 1877-1881)
William D. Kelley (Christian Democrat, Pennsylvania, 1881-1885)
Samuel J. Tilden (Liberty Democrat, New York, 1885-1887)
William B. Woods (Liberty Democrat, Ohio, 1887)
Edwards Pierrepont (Liberty Democrat, New York, 1887-1889)
John Wanamaker (Liberty Democrat, Pennsylvania, 1889-1897)
Henry Cabot Lodge (Liberty Democrat, Massachusetts, 1897-1909)
Champ Clark (Liberty Democrat, Upper Missouri, 1909-1913)
Robert La Follette (Christian Democrat, Wisconsin, 1913-1917)
William Astor Chanler (Christian Democrat, New York, 1917-1921)
Leonard Wood (Liberty Democrat, New Hampshire, 1921-1925)
Brand Whitlock (Christian Democrat, Ohio, 1925-1933)
Hugo Black (Christian Democrat, Alabama, 1933-1941)
Theodore Roosevelt (Liberty Alliance, New York, 1941-1943)
Julius Tydings (Liberty Alliance, Maryland, 1943-1949)
Thomas Dewey (Liberty Democrat, New York, 1949-1957)
Ernest McFarland (Liberty Democrat, Oklahoma, 1957-1961)
George Smathers (Christian Democrat, Florida, 1961-1964)
Norman V. Peale (Christian Democrat, New York, 1964-1969)
Edmund S. Muskie (Unity, Maine, 1969-1981)
William Westmoreland (Freedom Alliance, S. Carolina, 1981-1985)
Donald Rumsfeld (Freedom Alliance, Illinois, 1985-1989)
Peter Ueberroth (Independent, Illinois, 1989-1993)
John Danforth (Freedom Alliance, Upper Missouri, 1993-2001)
Liz H. Hartpence (Justice Democrats, New York, 2001-2005)
Julius C. Watts (Republican, Oklahoma, 2005-2013)
Russ Feingold (Justice Democrats, Wisconsin, 2013- )
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