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Crimson Banners Fly: The Rise of the American Left

I mean not really, if you have the US economy crashing due to lack of commerce and their navy being destroyed everything it leave port, I could see a pro-peace being elected.
But the British are now being stretched out even further and unlike OTL, British and French don't have the Americans backing them up, so more problems for them and thus giving more advantage to the Germans, Austro-Hungarian empire folk, Bulgarians and Ottoman forces.

Remember the US still practices some form of isolation and really weren't that affected by foreign interests. Plus, Roosevelt would be smart enough to try government intervention to keep the economy moving. Heck, expanding train roads and transportation given what was going on at the time makes sense.

When Russia goes out (either by Febuary or October Revolution), it's going to be an even more painful war of attrition for the British and French, especially since they're at a disadvantage compared to OTL.

That and I doubt the rest of the Americas would get invovled (most are kinda in their own messes) and even if so, I doubt they'd go against the Americans.
 
Yes America is not on the Entente Side, but that's also mean the Entente is not on America side. OTL, most of the American Army was equiped by France after all. There's also the fact that America is a commercial nation who just begun the war with its commerce partners. And well even if roosevelt is trying to get the economy moving, there will be a time where it won't be enough. America need stuff abroad that the British and French and Japanese navy is trying to prevent to come in.
 
Part 6: Chapter XXI - Page 139
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"Take Up the Sword of Justice" U.S. Propaganda Poster Depicting Yellow Rose Fatalities - Source: LoC

The war in Europe teeter-tottered in 1916 with neither the Entente nor the Central Powers possessing the clear initiative. Italy, a once-neutral country that joined on the side of Great Britain shortly before U.S. entry, directed its ground forces into a summer offensive along the Isonzo River in Slovenia. Austrian divisions kept the Italian advance largely at bay throughout successive weeks and months, and over 60,000 men in General Cadorna's Italian battalions met an untimely end. Regardless of the stronger manpower capabilities harnessed by Cadorna's divisions, the two sides found themselves sunk deep into trench warfare not unlike mirrored travesties in France and Canada.

This development taking place on the border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Kingdom of Italy epitomized the trouble with advanced warfare. Battles fought in the trenches could drag on for months at a time, and when all was said and done, they generally resulted in disappointing standstills.


Verdun, a small city on the Meuse river, would soon be known all around the world. In a strategic sense, this blip on the radar actually sat on a rather crucial location. Yet, the French forts enjoyed an uneventful war up to this point. A German offensive would soon change that. They designed a plan of attack deemed their "trial of judgement," which, in theory, concluded in the capture of Verdun as well as its key position along the river. Germans used an interconnected network of railway lines to bring supplies to the battlefield: Everything from howitzers to canned goods. The entire operation was kept under-wraps until the artillery fire rang out on the morning of February 21st. German weaponry burnt the forests to cinders and bombarded defensive fortifications as waves of infantry advanced. French forces under Pétain countered, firing artillery across from the West bank of the Meuse into the plainly visible German lines. By April, 88,000 French soldiers and 80,000 Germans were killed. Another planned shock offensive devolved to a stalemate.
Brian Steel, Foreign Relations: A Summary of War, Peace, and Everything In-Between, 2015

The ever-shifting tide of war finally presented a bit of encouraging news to the United States as the snow melted and spring arose on the horizon. Once its repairs were completed and new vessels were integrated into its composition, the Pacific Fleet set sail. Admiral Austin M. Knight, then the President of the Naval War College, was granted control of a novel coastal procedure. Stern, authoritative, and an upstanding war tactician, Knight impressed Roosevelt with his offerings and the two soon became close confidants. With its clever utilization of a two-pronged attack featuring torpedo gunboats, the restored fleet was able to outperform British pre-dreadnought battleships and force their retreat (at least for the time being). Upon the barrage fleet's removal from the shores of British Columbia, Major General Conner green-lit an effective counter-offensive. Soon the U.S. pushed its neighboring combatants well beyond the 49th and back toward Surrey. In an additional success that was widely attributed to Knight's input, Marines managed to snag an edge in the Great Lakes territories and, thanks to in-land naval superiority, took Thunder Bay and the bulk of central Ontario. Canadian supply lines were now severed down the center of the continent.

A concerned British high command was forced to issue greater and greater portions of their Grand Fleet, as well as the blockade patrollers, to North America. Commander Jellicoe was confident in the belief that even their somewhat outdated Pacific-based navy would be more than enough to eliminate U.S. counterparts along British Columbia, but he worried for the paltry Atlantic fleet and countless reports of efficient naval construction in the states. An acute loss of faith in the Asquith government, spurred in part by his inability to keep the Americas under control as well as the colossal error of assuming U.S. neutrality, carried through to his eventual resignation from office in January of 1916. Asquith was succeeded by Secretary of State David Lloyd George, a figure more in line with the military establishment. The fifty-three-year-old politician, a proud and self-righteous man through and through, assiduously gained sufficient support from both parliamentary Conservatives and anti-Asquith Liberals. Lloyd George promised an unrelenting, driving policy at sea and pledged to eliminate U.S. naval lines before the end of the year. Thereafter, Britain rapidly sunk state funds into dreadnaught construction and unquestioningly complied with Jellicoe's call to send more vessels to the Northern Front.

On the domestic front of the United States, recent gains as outlined above were not nearly comforting enough to console war critics. A new fear had arisen at the calamitous winter defeat in the South China Sea. Few dared to say so aloud, out of respect to the men and women on the front and those family members praying for their safe return, but some pondered whether entering the mess of global war was truly worth the fight. This attitude centered around an overarching worry that the U.S. was ill-equipped to handle a combined discharge of Allied power. Jingoist Americans traditionally held up the Pacific Fleet as a symbol of naval power, but if it could not withstand a joint attack by the Entente (a coalition consistently belittled in U.S. propaganda), then what hope remained of victory? Roosevelt worked to assuage fears to the best of his ability but reports of a Japanese invasion in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands begged to differ. In 1916 with war favorability slipping back down at a steady rate, the president's political opposition was positioned to take the lead.

Worse of all, an accelerating, gruesome death count at the Northern Front drove down voluntary enlistment rates since the start of the year. Patriotism was tempting to the average, glory-seeking adventurer, but stories of a nightmarish frontline made the whole idea much less appealing. Returned soldiers called it "Man's imitation of Hell," and that phrasing circulated faster than trench fever. President Roosevelt knew their chance as success shrunk to invisibility if recruitment drives came up short, and in that frame of mind he requested a brand-new, congressional war initiative. Expounding the triumph of the war economy (an exaggeration) and the bright future for the military after recent wins at the Battle of Thunder Bay and in British Columbia, the president exclaimed the necessity of increasing total enlistees. It was then that Roosevelt implored passage of a full conscription measure. He attempted crafting his message in tune with the balancing act required of him, both proclaiming that victory was all but assured whilst expressing a degree of urgency if recruitment failed.

War Secretary Crowell had floated the idea to the president at the start of the war, and again when the number of service volunteers dwindled in January. Congress was reluctant to accept the proposal, though the administration expected this. As such, Crowell spoke with the USIC leadership to promote and better guide the bill through the legislature, invoking their plea that failure to pass the bill meant an unimaginable defeat. They proposed registering and enlisting all men between the ages of 18 and 45, with the first wave to be called for action before the end of summer. For every volunteer in the U.S. Army, he estimated, the military could stand to gain the same in triplicate with conscription. Democratic opposition kept an easy passage from taking place, but a collective desire to see the war effort through with the expansion of military personnel made it difficult to stand against the measure. Still, the votes were not yet there, and the measure thusly stalled out.

"Discussions with Pershing and Knight assured the president that the national strategy was working," wrote Ackerman. "From their assessment, the 49th Parallel would be protected and the British blockade eliminated. Apart from trench-warfare in eastern Ontario, all was going surprisingly well. Even if the public could not see or understand it just yet, Pershing and Knight mollified Roosevelt of his fondest wish: to lead the United States to wholesale fame on a global scale. The thousands of lives lost thus far must not die in vain. Roosevelt oversaw the admittance of the country to an unknown frontier, and damned if he would allow some wishy-washy Democrat muck up that process." Four days following the introduction of the conscription bill to Congress, President Roosevelt let it be known throughout the world that he would seek an extended period of rule for the sake of war supervision. He announced, in no uncertain terms, an intent to run for a third term as president.
 
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I have a quick question. Was the American Civil War one of attrition? Because I figure they may switch to victory by endurance, regarding the Americans.

Meanwhile, wonder what will happen next
 
Was the American Civil War one of attrition?
I don't think it's fair to just consider it a war of attrition. It was a bloody, disease and death filled struggle, but the war was still tactically dynamic in a way that the Western Front wasn't.
 
Part 6: Chapter XXII - Page 140
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Senator Thomas Watson Speaking from his Front Porch in 1914 - Source: Leo Frank

Chapter XXII: The Election of 1916: Should We Stay or Should We Go?

As shrapnel coated the fields of France and young men fell by the thousands in the Ontario trenches, the United States braced for its quadrennial electoral festivities. Four long years had come and gone under President Roosevelt, and it was undoubtedly one rollercoaster presidency for the ages. Now, with the incumbent unhesitatingly declaring his ambition to stay in power, news of the upcoming election surged to the headlines - and for the first time since 1915 tales of combat were slung to the sidelines. Some Americans indubitably trusted in the president and would never allow themselves to be moved on that point. Others, like those more critical of the air-sucking war machine, counted the days to the election. Very soon, the voting populace of the U.S. would greet a presidential race perhaps more consequential than any in decades. Whomever shall win the crown in November, that individual would either steer the ship of state away from the storm or proceed full throttle into the chaotic world stage.

Political analysts in 1915 and 1916 pondered potential outcomes of the vote and how Roosevelt's foreign policy could change the makeup of the Fourth Party System. The Progressive Party base was, since its 1904 inception, composed mainly of social activists, middle- and upper-class women, and small business owners. This composition, notably its reform-minded petite bourgeoise persona, solidified support among aspiring merchants and suffragettes alike. Its place in American political culture, one tucked in next to the old Republican Party on one hand and the radical Socialists on the other, also allowed the Columbians to attract industrial workers in the Midwest and thereby lock down essential swing states come election season. With the war in progress and domestic issues now pushed to the background, it was not yet clear if this diverse coalition would hold.

The Democratic Party stood alone as the sole capitalistic political party willing to challenge the incumbent on foreign affairs. Congressional Republicans may have had sharp disagreements with the president on matters of business and finance, but few could honestly claim to oppose Roosevelt's war strategy. Democrats were not so kind. Domestic reform under Roosevelt, insofar as the objectives of the Square Deal were to tackle labor reform, was appreciated by the left-leaning portion of the Party of Jefferson. Former President William Jennings Bryan apparently changed his tone again on the Roosevelt agenda, remarking that the creation of the Labor Department was "the most sensible act of an elected official this century. Federal arbitration may be labor's strongest weapon." After Ferdinand, the Yellow Rose, and the passage of the war declaration, no love remained betwixt the Democrats and the incumbent. Bryan's kudos turned to daggers as he took to the stump in the days preceding June 28th, 1915.

Bryan rallied hard against entering the conflict. Aside from submitting scathing reviews of the administration's foreign policy in The Commoner, the Nebraskan, as if by default, brought the argument to the people themselves. "I have always been desirous of reaching a peaceful solution of the problems arising out of the use of force against merchantmen," he asserted in a St. Louis lecture hall. "The people are naturally wary of extremism. Eastern financiers who pound the drum of war do not represent the people's interests. We ought to have had a national referendum on the question of war. I daresay we may have had peace." It was quite controversial at the time to speak so openly against accession, particularly after Congress passed its declaration. Some branded the firebrand an unpatriotic traitor, though the active speaker insisted that his position on war versus peace was one of morality. When reports of anguish on the front lines and failure in the Pacific flooded news stands across the country, much of the Democratic rank-and-file cast their eyes to the crestfallen Great Commoner. Even though it had been 16 years since he last presided in the White House, Bryan stayed just as relevant as ever.

Not yet knowing Bryan's electoral ambitions, or lack thereof, other Democrats dipped their toes into the water. Freshman Senator Charles Thomas of Colorado cited an interest in the presidency as early as December 1915, and Congressman John E. Raker (D-CA) was not far behind. Both exclaimed aversion to President Roosevelt's carrying out of the war. Thomas especially picked up early momentum for speaking out loudly against conscription. He took part in Senator Owen's brief summer filibuster and remained one of the fiercest critics of the invasion of Canada out of any sitting office holder. Yet, when push came to shove, neither man could elucidate quite how their techniques would differ from the president if designated Commander-in-Chief. Their reluctance to enter the war was duly noted, and that played well with a Democratic electorate weary of the conflict, but if a presidential candidate was unable to sufficiently articulate his exit plan, they had zero hope of taking down the Roosevelt operation. Neither Thomas nor Raker ended up tossing their hat into the ring.

In the realm of properly expressing one's political perspectives and prospective agenda, few were as crystal clear as Senator Thomas E. Watson (D-GA). Once a Populist and now an untethered populistic Democrat, Watson made no secret where he stood on the issues. To describe those positions as controversial may be a bit of an understatement. He was elected in 1908 on a viciously anti-Catholic, white supremacist program, and throughout his years in Congress fought to draft and advance segregationist bills at the federal level. Watson promoted in his 1914 senatorial re-election campaign a resolution to enshrine racial and religious segregation into the Constitution, and on this platform he won 67% of the vote - though, thankfully, that proposal failed to gain any traction in the legislature. The Georgian politician announced in mid-February, "a campaign for the presidency [...] that shall oppose this war, a greedy pursuit by the Jewish aristocracy to sacrifice our fine boys to a hapless cause. From the foundation of this government to this very moment, the South has never had justice in history or in legislation. She has never got it, and now the proposition is that this government of one hundred millions of men, with criminals every which way going unwhipped, this great government, will pick out one southern man and use the powers of the Government to grind him to powder."

Watson grabbed plenty of headlines, but the first to officially join the primary contest was the sitting Governor of Arizona, George W.P. Hunt (D-AZ). Hunt represented an entirely different type of Democrat. He did not fit in with the Bryanite segment of the party, nor was he a conservative fixture like former presidential candidate Richard Olney. The Arizonan supported the framework of the Populist program like the institution of Free Silver and the establishment of the income tax, and he soon came to applaud the bulwark of Hearst's agenda. He also governed on the side of organized labor more so than any other state executive and was frequently lambasted in the Republican press for supposed ties to the IWW. What far removed Hunt from the pack was his out-of-step stance on the war. Unlike any other Democrat in the running, Hunt applauded intervention. In his words, it would be "un-American" to speak out against the U.S. military in times of war. "If we nominate a pacifist, we will lose. Victory in November may very well slip through our fingers if we allow Colonel Roosevelt to consolidate a monopoly on patriotism." Like-minded individuals like former Governor Simeon E. Baldwin (D-CT) and Representative Eugene N. Foss (D-MA) agreed with the contender, and swiftly endorsed his presidential campaign.

Political historians tend to acknowledge that the various candidates' position on domestic issues did not matter nearly as much as their position on the war in 1916. For this reason, Bryan kept surpassing the pack as the preferred candidate in intra-party discussions. The Nebraskan's proven ability to shake the electoral landscape (as well as possibly readmitting Western farmers into the Democratic Party) kept the party leader on the minds of many Americans. Foresight, electability, and cross-demographic appeal: Seemingly the perfect blend for a successful candidacy. This sentiment regarding the favoring of Bryan above the field, it ought to be noted, was not at all universal within the party. Bryan was not viewed quite so warmly by conservatives, which as a faction never fancied the Nebraskan's sermons and oft deemed him an outright pest. Establishment Southerners again appealed to Minority Leader Oscar Underwood and the Midwestern leadership petitioned Governor Thomas Marshall to give it another go. If this had been four years earlier, the pool of candidates would have ballooned with potential frontrunners sparring for the top spot. In 1916, however, unity was paramount in the fight against Roosevelt. As thus, the above candidates waited for the final word from Bryan. Marshall, Underwood, and other mainstream heavyweights like Champ Clark received their answer on March 1st in a short-form letter.
"I will campaign if Hearst does not."
 
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As the Powers clash the title-quote sounds really appropriate ;)
WJB is a giant on foreign and domestic issues, he has a solid chance to be nominated. Teddy is running plenty of hopes to use patriotism to win a third term but I fear he could be disappointed: the Progressive electorate had a large pacifist wing that could simply jump on Bryan (strongly progressive) platform. Also Republicans will split Eastern pro-war vote. Socialits and Hearst are big X factors.
 
"I will campaign if Hearst does not."
I'm just the slightest bit confused here. Someone gives a damn about Hearst right now? I thought he was poison.

Or is he just feared as a spoiler even if there's not necessarily a base of people who'll come out for him?
 
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I am expecting to see the socialist response.
Great update as always!

I’m guessing they may remain neutral with anti-war leanings on the manner. They may oppose this, but I imagine they’re pragmatic enough to not make a show of it to not damage their image.

Plus, if anyone would say something, they could say they were preparing for the end of the war and to help out the suffering returning veterans rather than its outcome, painting them in a heroic lift in helping the common man.
 
I'm just the slightest bit confused here. Someone gives a damn about Hearst right now? I thought he was poison.

Or is he just feared as a spoiler even if there's not necessarily a base of people who'll come out for him?

The latter is more accurate. It'll be touched on a bit more in a future update.
 
Part 6: Chapter XXII - Page 141
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Mayor Emil Seidel, c. 1915 - Source: Wiki Commons

In the wake of failed peace demonstrations and wary of potential prosecution from city governments over their objection to the war, the National Executive Committee of the Socialist Party voted against holding a traditional nominating event. Originally, the leadership planned to rent out a standard-sized venue for convention purposes, likely Madison Square Garden in New York, but for a multitude of concerns the NEC decided to try an alternate method. The SP, as always, finalized its platform only after a majority confirmation vote by the members themselves. In 1916, the same would be true for its nation-wide nominees. The NEC permitted its rank-and-file membership to have the final say on the composition of the presidential ticket, not the delegates. Their nominees were chosen through a national, mail-in primary conducted in mid-January, right around the time when the war first appeared to be going south.

Membership growth within the anti-capitalist movement seemed to stagnate in the period following Roosevelt's election, despite Eugene Debs' historic performance that year. SP-labeled congressmen held onto their seats in 1912 and 1914, but five mayoral incumbents, ten state representatives, and some two dozen city officials lost their re-election bids in that span. Membership largely flattened at the pinnacle of the pre-war Progressive period, plateauing at about 245,000. Its most populous constituencies stemmed from workers affiliated with the IWW, and a discernable segment of this group was made up of immigrants (to the chagrin of the more conservative and xenophobic wing of the party). Non-English speaking federations within the larger organization surfaced in "Second Wave" immigrant communities, as was the case for Finns in New England, Germans in Milwaukee, and Yiddish-speaking Jewish New Yorkers and Philadelphians. Committee members planned on discussing membership drives as a chief component of their 1916 convention, but the war, as one may imagine, skewed their plans.

With the outbreak of war, enthusiasm for the Socialist program rebounded. A series of strikes in New England munitions factories kicked off a year of heightened labor activity. Over 4,000 lockouts and strikes took place over the course of 1916, most involving the IWW in some capacity and nearly all correlating with the fall in unemployment. War orders increased the need for new workers and substantially lessened the likelihood of mass firings as a punishment for workplace organizing. Workers across the U.S. won on signature issues like the eight-hour day and union recognition because of their active labor disputes, and this phenomenon understandably coincided with a bump in IWW membership. AFL-affiliated unions shrunk dramatically in size and scope during the Great War, due in part to Gompers' insistence that their workers refrain from walkouts out of respect for war production, but workers in those industries nonetheless engaged in "wildcat" strikes and crafted their own independent unions (many of these impromptu micro unions were later absorbed into the IWW.)

IWW leaders in the mold of Bill Haywood regularly advised their card-carrying members to consider joining with the Socialist Party to promote political safeguards and build toward a cooperative commonwealth. Newly unionized workers brought into the fold by the IWW-led strikes, men and women unfazed and uninterested in the Socialist Old Guard and petty intra-party battles, opposed the war to the nth degree, but not every Socialist opposed it. The leadership of the SP was very much so divided on the subject. Some defended the Roosevelt Administration and the president's call for war, even if engaging in pro-war sentiment arbitrarily partitioned the working class into factions based on national origin. In the terms of former Party Chairman Morris Hillquit, a defender of the German war mission, "National feeling stands for existence primarily, for the chance to earn a livelihood. The working man has a country as well as class. Even before he has a class." Other prominent activists and officials who felt concurred on Hillquit's terms included Charles Russel, Walter Lippmann, and Algie Simons. This type of nationalist sentiment spread war and wide among the European Socialists to the extreme detriment of the Second International, and now it loomed over the American Party.

An overpowering majority of the Socialist Party, however, managed to recognize the fallacies of Hillquit's arguments and coined it as such, referring to their fellow comrade as a "German Imperialist" and requesting his expulsion. Rank-and-file members spared no mind for patriotism. Death totals in Ontario rose ever-higher by each passing day. National identity, they determined, did not merit the loss of life on this grand-scale. This majority cemented their position into the national program by 1916 with the passage of a "World Peace" manifesto that stridently reprimanded the needless march to the trenches. "Nobody wins if we all lose," one activist recalled. This core of the left-wing organization stayed bitterly opposed to entry into the war, and in that respect did share much of the same perspective as William J. Bryan, but the Socialists took an extra step in their assessment of the situation. They recognized that long-term peace could not be attained by merely exiting the war, or even through mediation in Europe. True peace necessitated an end to capitalist exploitation at home and abroad.


The present world war is, then, the result of jealousies engendered by the recent rise of armed national associations of labor and capital whose aim is the exploitation of the wealth of the world mainly outside the European circle of nations. These associations, grown jealous and suspicious at the division of the spoils of trade-empire, are fighting to enlarge their respective shares; they look for expansion, not in Europe but in Asia, and particularly in Africa. ‘We want no inch of French territory,’ said Germany to England, but Germany was ‘unable to give’ similar assurances as to France in Africa. [...] We, then, who want peace, must remove the real causes of war. We have extended gradually our conception of democracy beyond our social class to all social classes in our nation; we have gone further and extended our democratic ideals not simply to all classes of our nation, but to those of other nations of our blood and lineage—to what we call ‘European’ civilization. If we want real peace and lasting culture, however, we must go further. We must extend the democratic ideal to the yellow, brown, and black peoples.
W.E.B. Du Bois, "The African Roots of War," The Crisis, May 1915

Party favorite and perennial nominee Eugene Debs was in no condition to run a new national campaign. He suffered a collapse in 1915 and stayed bedridden for over a month due to torn muscles and general exhaustion. He retook the speaking circuit in a reduced capacity by autumn, but his health would not be strong enough to embark on an all-new Red Express. Like Bryan, Debs spoke out against the growing war fever in the lead-up and aftermath of the Yellow Rose disaster, and his lobbying efforts ensured that every Socialist incumbent in the U.S. House would vote against the declaration of war against the United Kingdom. He did, after a tsunami of convincing, acquiesce to consistent pleas to run for Indiana's 5th Congressional seat, believing he could possibly unite the varied constituency of UMW coal miners, factory workers and farmers.

Debs' stepping aside allowed for a new face to take the lead as the head of the Socialist Party ticket. Therefore, the candidate which won was a vocal opponent to the war games and fervently detested the national trend toward intoxicating patriotism. The nomination fell to the three-term Mayor of Milwaukee, Emil Seidel (S-WI). Like many of his contemporaries on the side of Debs, Seidel stated extreme uneasiness with the march to war and consistently urged neutrality for the benefit of the global working class. As mayor, he vetoed city council measures to purchase liberty bonds and criminalize peace demonstrations, instead pressuring municipal officials to regulate the presence of police at both pacifist and Preparedness marches. Seidel was a sitting politician, not so much a labor activist or an outside agitator (to the displeasure of the new class of members). He was therefore thrilled with the selection of a less-known entity for vice president.

James Maurer (S-PA), an incumbent representative in Congress, was nominated to a place on the ticket alongside Seidel. Maurer joined the party at the dawn of its founding in 1901, and as a trade unionist brought along a key labor perspective. He had close ties with steel workers and coal miners in Pennsylvania, as well as their affixed IWW locals, and was commonly viewed as the friendliest public official to the goals of the Wobblies. Maurer was too a fierce critic of the war effort and a long-standing advocate of peace, personally appealing to the president at the height of tensions with the U.K. to remain a conscientious, neutral mediator. Like the rest of the Socialist delegation in Congress, Maurer stalled the passage of the war declaration and ultimately cast his vote against the resolution. Seidel and Maurer, with Debs' blessing, took to the road in the spring of 1916.
 
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I'm going to hazard some guesses:
- With Roosevelt being strongly pro-war, the Progressives will essentially absorb the Republican party and shed much of its progressive base.
- Bryan runs, and picks up most of these, while Seidel does pretty well too.
- Bryan gets elected president, and find his hands tied, in that he has to somehow bring the war to an acceptable conclusion. He wouldn't be able to simply back out in a status quo ante bellum peace, as that would anger Americans who spilled their blood for nothing, and he can't demand enough until Britain has bled enough to accept losses.
- Even if he puts together a treaty that his base can accept, the Senate might fail to meet the 2/3rds threshold to pass it, if enough senators are pro-war, while some radicals might even reject a treaty that involves any annexations whatsoever due to it being an unjust imperialist war. Could there even be a movement to impeach for failing to prosecute the war in the full interests of the American people? Not that it would be likely to even pass the house, of course.
- The war will drag on until 1920, somehow, and be a key issue in the election once again. Could a peace by exhaustion, approaching the final stretch of the election campaign, see the American people up in arms with the feeling that the war was an unmitigated disaster? Perhaps the Senate refuses to ratify the final peace treaty (just like Versailles OTL) due to the desire for a more favorable settlement.
- The Socialists could be the champions of women's suffrage, and reap the benefits of organized registration and turnout of sympathetic women
- The Socialist candidate gets a huge plurality of the electoral votes, but not quite a majority outright.
- The threat of a corrupt bargain combines with the threat that the government will somehow restart the war, with radicalized socialist divisions held under arms at the Canadian front or in the Russian expeditionary force, keeping them from returning home to vote, while the armistice threatens to time out.
- Wildcat actions become organized into a nationwide general strike. Marches for peace and democracy coincide with the organization of mutual aid to provide necessities.
- Negotiations for the corrupt bargain break down, but as yet there's still deadlock. Many intransigents would rather play chicken with the strike and let the oncoming winter force them to give in, while other congressmen are already uncomfortable participants in the corrupt bargain and see the strike as an excuse to back down.
- Recent winters have been quite cold, but as it turns out that the winter of 1920-21 is, on the contrary, rather warm, the strike holds up well enough that public pressure and political negotiations manage to pull just enough state delegations to give the presidency to the socialists.

So, how wildly off-base am I ;)?
 
Peace of exhaustion I see as plausible, especially given the nature of attrition.

In fact, fighting against the Americans, Russia may instead withdraw from the war back in Feburary rather than the October Revolution. Regardless, Russia's withdrawal will signal the beginning of the end for the Entente as resources run out and the Americans could wait them out.
 
I'm going to hazard some guesses:
- With Roosevelt being strongly pro-war, the Progressives will essentially absorb the Republican party and shed much of its progressive base.
- Bryan runs, and picks up most of these, while Seidel does pretty well too.
- Bryan gets elected president, and find his hands tied, in that he has to somehow bring the war to an acceptable conclusion. He wouldn't be able to simply back out in a status quo ante bellum peace, as that would anger Americans who spilled their blood for nothing, and he can't demand enough until Britain has bled enough to accept losses.
- Even if he puts together a treaty that his base can accept, the Senate might fail to meet the 2/3rds threshold to pass it, if enough senators are pro-war, while some radicals might even reject a treaty that involves any annexations whatsoever due to it being an unjust imperialist war. Could there even be a movement to impeach for failing to prosecute the war in the full interests of the American people? Not that it would be likely to even pass the house, of course.
- The war will drag on until 1920, somehow, and be a key issue in the election once again. Could a peace by exhaustion, approaching the final stretch of the election campaign, see the American people up in arms with the feeling that the war was an unmitigated disaster? Perhaps the Senate refuses to ratify the final peace treaty (just like Versailles OTL) due to the desire for a more favorable settlement.
- The Socialists could be the champions of women's suffrage, and reap the benefits of organized registration and turnout of sympathetic women
- The Socialist candidate gets a huge plurality of the electoral votes, but not quite a majority outright.
- The threat of a corrupt bargain combines with the threat that the government will somehow restart the war, with radicalized socialist divisions held under arms at the Canadian front or in the Russian expeditionary force, keeping them from returning home to vote, while the armistice threatens to time out.
- Wildcat actions become organized into a nationwide general strike. Marches for peace and democracy coincide with the organization of mutual aid to provide necessities.
- Negotiations for the corrupt bargain break down, but as yet there's still deadlock. Many intransigents would rather play chicken with the strike and let the oncoming winter force them to give in, while other congressmen are already uncomfortable participants in the corrupt bargain and see the strike as an excuse to back down.
- Recent winters have been quite cold, but as it turns out that the winter of 1920-21 is, on the contrary, rather warm, the strike holds up well enough that public pressure and political negotiations manage to pull just enough state delegations to give the presidency to the socialists.

So, how wildly off-base am I ;)?

Ooo very interesting ideas! You've caught on to some future elements, but I won't say which 😜

Any reason why Italy still joined the Entente

The Treaty of London was already set into motion before the U.S. got involved in the war.
 
Peace of exhaustion I see as plausible, especially given the nature of attrition.

In fact, fighting against the Americans, Russia may instead withdraw from the war back in Feburary rather than the October Revolution. Regardless, Russia's withdrawal will signal the beginning of the end for the Entente as resources run out and the Americans could wait them out.
The Americans haven't actually fought the Russians yet have they? So, I'm not sure if America's involvement will actually be a factor in Russia's thinking (at the moment anyway).
 
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