Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
December 09, 2019, 10:37:20 am
News: 2020 Presidential Predictions (General) are now active.

  Atlas Forum
  General Discussion
  History
  Alternative History (Moderator: True Federalist)
  If Charles Evans Hughes defeated Wilson in 1916
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: If Charles Evans Hughes defeated Wilson in 1916  (Read 319 times)
darklordoftech
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5,610
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« on: October 27, 2019, 12:23:57 am »
« edited: October 27, 2019, 12:48:23 am by darklordoftech »

What are the implications? Would Hughes support the League of Nations?
Logged
AtorBoltox
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 1,897
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2019, 01:11:13 am »

The League was Wilson's idea
Logged
brucejoel99
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 4,081
United States


Political Matrix
E: -3.48, S: -3.30

P
Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2019, 01:11:34 am »

Unlike Wilson, he could probably get some sort of League of Nations through the Senate (because he'd be much more willing than Wilson to compromise), but he'd almost certainly lose in 1920. The postwar discontent with the inevitable regimentation that would go along with war (even if people would accept it as necessary during the war itself), the resentment that ethnic groups would feel toward any conceivable peace treaty (Germans were bound to feel that it gave Poland too much, Poles that it didn't give them enough, etc.), the resentment of "profiteers," the inflation likely followed by a deflationary collapse, etc. would all help make 1920 a Democratic year, maybe even under a returning Wilson, provided that his health might very well have held up better when he was out of the White House.

Otherwise, I don't see Hughes getting any great domestic progressive measures enacted with a GOP Congress. And that even assumes he wanted them enacted, which is far from clear, considering his 1916 campaign was pretty conservative.
Logged
Orser67
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 3,835
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2019, 01:08:42 pm »

This is definitely one of the tougher what-ifs to predict. In 1916, Republicans largely campaigned against Wilson's domestic policies, but obviously Wilson's second term was dominated by foreign policy.

Hughes and most other Republicans didn't explicitly call for war with Germany prior to 1917, but they were definitely more hawkish than Wilson. IRL, we entered World War I in April 1917 (which would be about a month into Hughes's term), and I see no reason to think things would have gone dramatically different if Hughes were president. In fact, I see no particular reason as to why things would be much different until November 1918, when the midterms were held and when Germany surrendered. Maybe Hughes, who had a pretty good record in civil liberties compared to some of his peers on the Supreme Court, wouldn't have cracked down quite as hard on sedition as the Wilson administration did IRL.

As everyone on this board should know, midterms tend go terribly for the party in power. Republicans dominated politics between 1860 and 1930, so it's possible that Republicans would keep/gain the Senate, but it seems more likely to me that Democrats would control it (especially since IRL Republicans had a tiny majority after the 1918 elections). So Hughes is working with an opposite-party Senate, just like Wilson, and is dealing with a similar foreign policy situation from Wilson. But this is where things start to diverge.

In real life, Wilson spent 1919 either at the Paris Peace Conference or campaigning for the Treaty of Versailles. He suffered a stroke in October 1919, became an invalid for the remainder of his term, and saw the Treaty of Versailles go down in defeat (partly because he refused to compromise with Republicans, and partly because de facto Senate Majority Leader Henry Cabot Lodge hated him). 1919-1921 proved to be one of the most difficult times in American history, as the country experienced a major recession, a major influenza pandemic, race riots, and anarchist bombings.

I would expect Hughes to be a little more pragmatic in sending a bipartisan commission to Europe, while keeping a closer eye on affairs at home. 1919-1921 is probably still fairly tumultuous, but probably not as bad as it was in real life when there was a lack of presidential leadership. At the same time, Hughes would probably care a lot less than Wilson did about self-determination or giving Germany relatively benign peace terms. A League of Nations-like organization does seem possible (Roosevelt and Taft had both talked about), but I imagine it would be much less ambitious than the real League (i.e. less of a collective security organization). My guess is that the U.S. probably joins this watered-down League, and Hughes survives the tumultuous post-war period by convincing enough Americans that, despite all that went wrong, he's doing a decent job of getting things back to normal (and also because of the weakness of the Democratic Party during this period).
Logged
darklordoftech
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 5,610
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2019, 09:25:07 pm »

German-Americans would certainly be more Democratic in 1918-1928.
Logged
Kingpoleon
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 19,454
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2019, 02:12:49 pm »

I donít know - Hughes always campaigned on continuing strict neutrality, and he actually expressed staunch opposition to the British blockade of Germany. Thatís what really helped him win German-Americans in 1916. Itís seriously possible he refuses to attack Germany, or at least demands softer peace terms - the Germans formed the backbone of the Republican coalition from the late 1800s well into the 1920s.
Logged
True Federalist
Ernest
Moderator
YaBB God
*****
Posts: 37,559
United States


P
WWW Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2019, 06:25:11 pm »

Like a lot of alt-history threads, the resulting alternative history depends on why the alternate event happens.
Logged
Pages: [1] Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length
Logout

Terms of Service - DMCA Agent and Policy - Privacy Policy and Cookies

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

© Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections, LLC