Any news on this TL? Been quiet for a while now
Apologies, been dealing with some family related issues. Should have another part up by/during this weekend.
I actually use Notepad to work out my drafts lol
Any news on this TL? Been quiet for a while now
I've been reading this timeline over the past few weeks, and it's quickly become one of my favorite stories on this entire website. @PyroTheFox, I must really commend you for creating such a coherent and engaging narrative. While it's certainly a slow burn from the late Gilded Age to whenever the socialist revolution finally unfolds, you've made that road itself into a fascinating alternate history. I particularly enjoyed the tension of elections and party conventions; rarely did I feel like they were all too predictable in advance. It takes some skill to balance plausibility and spectacle, but you thread that needle well.
Here are some more specific notes:
- Perhaps most importantly, I noticed that you forgot to threadmark a chapter between 'page' 140 and 141. Specifically this post: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...he-american-left.488521/page-28#post-21304045
- Next, I am quite curious how you've managed to plan and write this timeline. From the very start, you're alluding to events or perspectives which won't properly unfold for many chapters to come, so I wonder how you're able to plot so far ahead if you seem to be writing the chapters themselves one by one. Do you keep to some sort of rigorous outline?
- As much as I enjoy the electoral component of TTL, I think it would also benefit from a bit more focus on social history. Sometimes it seemed the actual presidencies were mere leadups to the next election. Recently though, the outbreak of WW1 and the present wave of strikes has eluded this trend, so it's hardly a fundamental problem. Still, I think certain segments of US society, such as its Black and Indigenous populations, have been kind of left out in the story so far. What's going on with them?
- It's not that important, but I've noticed that you persistently misspell populace as 'populous' and martial as 'marshal'. That's hardly worth noting, were it not that your writing is otherwise impeccable. Thus, those small fixes would make it near-perfect.
- Lastly, have you given any thought to publishing this timeline as an e-book? I'm sure that the people at Sea Lion Press would be interested in such a subtle and well-written narrative. Especially since you're already involving graphs, maps, and in-universe excerpts. I think it has real potential!
I was just assuming that the social changes are either in line with OTL, or are long-term trends that have political consequences slowly, and since this TL has a focus on the political consequences, we were just seeing the effects of those trends marching slightly differently. If societal or social changes diverge significantly enough, or if there are some key events that change the course of society in some way then I assume you'd give it attention - I'd say the current wave of strikes and protests ITTL count, though!That's a fair criticism, I suppose. I've tried to weave into TTL elements of social history in conjunction with electoral/political and labor history, touching on some of the struggles pertaining to racial and gender discrimination and how they relate to the greater fight for social and economic justice. We'll be seeing more of that in the future. As for your other point, I will say that I prefer to bookend parts of my alternate history TLs with elections, and I have a ton of fun writing them (more so than, say, military history).
So I imagine that Teddy would blame the increasing violence and worse issues on the Democrats here and probably some of the Republicans. Basically, as we saw in Russia, the communists only took over because everyone else failed them and I think Teddy would note that.
I mean, yeah the commies took over, but the fact was that they got in and did what they promised to do and what the people wanted: No. More. War.Yes, I believe that is a fair assertion.
Wonderful updates as always.
Walter Reed Hospital Flu Ward, Summer 1918 - Source: Wiki Commons
Nothing is exempt from the political sphere, not even the rise of a mysterious disease. An incredibly vile and contagious virus suddenly grasped the world by the jaw in the second half of 1918. This plague-like strain was dubbed the "Serbian Flu," a name with an uncertain history. Its etymology is muddled, a rather bizarre development considering initial cases were discovered not among Serbs, but Croats, although one may deduce this as a purposeful mistake. Anti-Serb biases were in no short supply in the postwar period. Serbia itself was specifically cited within the Vienna Treaty as the chief malefactor responsible for the Great War, so it was by no mere coincidence that the Balkan nation was once again burdened with blame. With that said, the terminology has gone unchanged since the outbreak.
Influenza hysteria was soon commonplace in Europe, but not quite so in the United States. Sparse cases were diagnosed within North America as a whole, and rampant misinformation in the early stages of the virus led scores to believe that the sickness had merely been an ordinary, run-of-the-mill flu, thus staving off widespread alarm. Despite an upswing in mortalities throughout Central and Eastern Europe as a direct result of the Serbian flu, nothing seemed to pierce the disinterested American consciousness. "The Serbian flu," wrote Philip Brown in Historical Ailments and Afflictions, "included symptoms often associated with influenza; sore throat, fever, headache [...] Respiratory complications came to epitomize the 1918 strain of H1N1. Bacterial pneumonia was common in the lungs of victims, a side-effect of damaged bronchial tubes. Rapid respiratory failure was the leading cause of death."
A slow yet steady uptick in American cases caught the attention of publishers and investigatory epidemiologists, however, it was not Manhattan nor Atlanta that initially stirred unease. It was Vienna. Relatively few instances of the virus were unearthed in the Austrian capital as participants learned of the deadly strain taking hold in fellow European capitals like Sarajevo and Budapest, temporarily soothing fears that it had infiltrated the peacemaking venue. Whether it be hubris or optimism, those present at the event elected not to cancel it outright, but rather to introduce an 'open windows' policy and suggest all persons attending be more attentive to covering one's mouth when coughing. President Roosevelt and the greater part of his caravan had already departed Vienna and were well on their way to Washington when the first Viennese diplomats revealed their potential infections and instituted self-imposed quarantines.
News broke at the tail end of July, mere days after the riots in Chicago, that Secretary Garfield was hospitalized for the virus. The head of the U.S. State Department elected to remain in Vienna to oversee any further treaty alterations and solidify arrangements with the German Empire, a decision mutually agreed to by the president, and was scheduled to return to Washington by August 10th. Garfield and four other reputable diplomats commanded the downsized American delegation as residual talks petered out. His loyal service to the president was thereupon interrupted with the sudden onset of a dizzying fever, prompting the entire party to fall back into quarantine. Roosevelt immediately ordered plans be made to convoy the remaining Americans from Vienna. "That damned war cannot be permitted to collect another American life," he penned to an associate.
Public health authorities began to enact maritime quarantines as numbers fluctuated in the states. They did so to protect against ships arriving from the most perilous of European 'hot spots.' Some governors went the extra mile, forbidding the acceptance of travelers from Central Europe altogether. This tactic joined dozens more utilized by public officials as the reality of the pandemic began to set in. Upticks across the country led to the introduction of social distancing initiatives, limited public transport schedules, and the closing of public meeting places. Without any shred of a reliable cure, health experts could only advise against the formation of crowds wherever possible to curb exposure to the virus. It is vital to recall that the arrival of the Serbian flu coincided with the most explosive labor rebellion seen in a generation, further complicating the matter.
Seeing as some city and state authorities saw fit to limit crowd sizes and shut down most closed-in facilities (like union halls), law enforcement had the chance to seriously clamp down on the ongoing labor rallies. Regardless of how sympathetic elected officials were to the ambitious, resilient strikers, it was purely irresponsible, in their view, to excuse violations of health protocols. Yet, the laborers themselves, hardened by their own experiences and supremely skeptical of the government, did not trust in the authenticity of their reasoning. Were city-wide quarantines and the prohibition of public gatherings truly designed first and foremost to prevent the transmission of H1N1, or were their motives a bit more nefarious? Truth be told, we may never know for certain. Scientific data has since concluded that the viral wave spread due to unhygienic conditions in conjunction with tightly packed trains, factories, and places of worship. Implementing preventative measures was certainly the correct step to restrain the outbreak, however police-abetted skirmishes with strikers had little to do with containing the pandemic.
An upsurge of Serbian flu cases by the end of July and in early August crippled IWW recruitment drives in places like Seattle. It was impossible to organize effectively when stepping onboard a picket line provoked fierce brutality by so-called "crowd control" enforcement. Efforts to rally support for sympathy strikes in the heart of Boston collapsed, as was true for New York and Philadelphia. Indicating a semi-reversal to the trends in the North, tens of thousands in Dallas, Texas, joined in a massive general strike led by IWW-affiliated oil field and refinery workers. The hesitancy of the UMWA to permit an industry-wide work stoppage of its own while out disallowing UMW locals from taking part in regional stoppages led to an additional 4,500 coal miners taking part in the Dallas strike. The week-long event, which did eventually stumble as Governor William P. Hobby (D-TX) expectantly called in the National Guard, culminated in a 10,000-man march on Dallas City Hall. Workers famously hoisted a crimson-colored flag in the plaza just outside of the government building on August 3rd as a symbol of working-class resistance. Their banner, in the words of one anti-socialist observer, "...was a warning shot. [Strikers] did not burn the flag. They clamored, ''Paint it Red'" It was a short-lived moment of victory for the labor movement, but it confirmed that spontaneous labor uprisings could spring up anywhere, and even in the middle of a ravenous flu season.
Vienna -- Mr. James Rudolph Garfield, son of James A. Garfield, twentieth President of the United States, died at his Viennese lodgings from pneumonia. Mr. Garfield has a long history of public service, beginning as an Ohio State Senator from 1896 to 1899. He served as an advisor to Theodore Roosevelt and governed the Department of the Interior from 1905 to 1909. Mr. Garfield was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1910 from Ohio and served a partial term before resuming his service to the president as Secretary of State in 1913. He is survived by his spouse Helen Garfield and four children. Mr. Garfield would have been 54 years old October 17th.Western Newspaper Union, "James Garfield Dies at Vienna," The Idaho Springs Siftings-News, August 7th, 1918