6th Wikibox Contest: Thermopylae

Wikibox Contest #6: Thermopylae

Welcome to the sixth round of the Alternate History Wikibox Contest!

The prompt for this round is "Thermopylae" -- Make a wikibox about someone or something making a last stand.
This round's prompt was suggested by King of the Uzbeks.

Rules and Guidelines


Each entry should consist of a writeup and at least one wikibox.

Obviously, please do not plagiarize other people's content or ideas.

This is a 1-week contest, so the deadline will be Friday, February 19 (midnight at UTC+8 time zone). That is also when I will post the voting thread for this round.

Please limit this thread to entries only. Feel free to talk about anything related to the contest in the discussion thread.

Best of luck to all competitors! Remember that the discussion thread is always open for questions as well as suggestions for future themes.​
 
The Center Cannot Hold!
(Or: The Russian establishment's last stand)

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The May, 1930 Russian Legislative Elections were held on May 1, 1930, for the Russian State Duma. Chairman Vladimir D. Nabokov had signaled his intent to stand down following his government's slow response to the 1929 stock market crash and the difficult, uneven recovery. The Russian Progressive Party lost its ability to form a ruling coalition with the National Democrats and Communists, with Finance Minister and newly-elected party leader Aleksandr Konovalov presiding over the RPP's worst result in its existence, with the party losing over a hundred seats in the Duma and becoming the third-largest party. Mikhail Rodzianko and the Conservatives also lost seats, though not nearly as many as the RPP. Boris Savinkov brought his previously-fringe party to a massive victory, winning over fifty seats, many from traditionally Conservative precincts, while Dmitri Romanov, a former Grand Duke, led the Monarchists to more than double its seats.
Sergey Kirov led the Communists, long a fringe group in Russian politics, to their best result, winning a plurality of seats. Emboldened by his electoral success, Kirov refused to enter into a coalition with the RPP, unless Kirov became Chairman. Unwilling to hand the keys of government to the Communists, Konovalov refused and instead proposed a grand coalition, in the style of Cavour's transformismo, to combine the center-left and center-right against extremist parties. Savinkov agreed almost immediately, bringing his left-nationalist National Democrats into the grand coalition, while negotiations dragged on with Rodzianko. With the largest party in this prospective coalition, Rodzianko wanted to become Chairman, while both Konovalov and Savinkov were loathe to allow the conservative Rodzianko to become Chairman. Instead, the three parties agreed upon Alexander Trepov as a compromise Chairman, with Konovalov and Savinkov to become Deputy Chairmen, and the cabinet to be filled by men from all three parties. The coalition was agreed to on May 3rd, and a weary nation looked towards an uncertain future...
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The Trepov Chairmanship lasted from May 3 to September 5, and was the product of two days of negotiations between the Russian Progressive Party, the Conservative Union, and the National Democrats. After several days of frantic negotiations to prevent new elections, which would almost certainly yield a Communist majority, the three parties agreed to a coalition agreement. Alexander Trepov, a moderate Conservative, was made Chairman, with Konovalov and Savinkov as Deputies.
Almost immediately, the Grand Coalition ran into trouble, as right-Conservative MDs and left-Progressive MDs opposed a budget plan that had been carefully negotiated to placate both party's centers and leadership. Without the support of either, the May budget failed in the Duma, forcing the drafting of a new one. The second budget attempt met a similar fate, forcing a government shutdown at the beginning of June. It was only with the agreement of several left-Progressives that a third compromise budget was passed on June 12th, ending a shutdown of almost 2 weeks.
Still, problems abounded for the coalition. Konovalov and Savinkov both proposed massive public works projects to combat the worsening depression, which Rodzianko and the hard Conservatives refused to consider, and which Trepov wanted to water down. On August 7th, a public works bill, funding the construction of several railroads connecting European Russia with Siberia, was withdrawn after many key Conservatives, including Interior Minister Nikolay Maklakov, refused to support it. Worse, Konovalov and Rodzianko began fighting over financial regulations, and farmer aid, with Rodzianko opposing anything stronger than bailouts for kulaks and large industrial corporations. After several weeks of negotiations over an economic aid bill, Rodzianko withdrew from the coalition, forcing Trepov to call a snap election. Sergey Kirov easily won the election, with a majority of 43 seats in the Duma. Despite the best efforts of Konovalov and Rodzianko, they had been unable to form a cohesive government, and so Russia was now in the hands of the Communists. It would be a long seventy years for Russia.
 
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