Alternative History

The following is a history of the United Socialist States of America, from America's entry into World War I in 1914 to the the Second American Revolution in 1917. Though concurrent with the events of World War I, this history focuses entirely on events in North America.

The Coming Storm

1914: The United States enters World War I on the side of the Quadruple Entente.

1914-1917: Casualties in the American Expeditionary Force are heavy. Trench warfare, shoddy weapons and meager supplies are the major reasons for the high number of casualties.

1915: A massive protest against the war is held in Washington. Speakers of the horrible conditions in the trenches, how the poor quality of the weapons supplied by the government supported monopolies are more likely to kill Americans than the Germans, and how shipments of food and medicine are being stolen while bribed government agents look the other way. Many members of Congress are in attendance. Following the protest Roosevelt purges Congress of any member of Congress who attended the protest and suspends all Congressional elections until after the war is over.

Meanwhile, President Roosevelt dismissed the current Secretary of War and took over the day-to-day operation of the war and even went on a long trip to the Western Front to inspect the troops. By doing this he neglected many of his duties of president. Instead he turned those over to a group of non-cabinet advisers, which included some new age spiritualists with no experience in politics, to run the country while he focused on the war. These advisors become known as the "Mad Men of Washington" by their opponents.

1916: As losses mount in Europe and the federal government continues to become more corrupt and incompetent, agents of the Socialist Party and other radicals begin to stir up dissent throughout the country. Strikes and protests spread across the country, often ending in shootouts between police and the armed protestors.

In Washington, the "Mad Men of Washington" are killed when the restaurant they were dining in exploded in a massive fireball. While the bombing was attributed to anti-government anarchists, in reality leading members of the Republican Party, including Vice President Henry Ford, had used agents of the Secret Service Division (SSD) to plant the bomb and kill the Mad Men. They felt that Roosevelt's obsession with a losing war was going to destroy the country unless they did something soon.

The Revolution Begins

1917: Vice President Henry Ford and other Republican leaders convince President Roosevelt to return to America to deal with the deteriorating domestic situation. Leaving the command of the American Expeditionary Force with General John J. Pershing, Roosevelt returned to the United States. Upon stopping in New York City to give a speech, however, he was killed by an unknown gunman.

News of Roosevelt's death spreads like wildfire through the country. Socialist Party leaders across the country begin demanding an end to the war, new elections and the repeal of the 16th Amendment and the Treason and Sedition Act. The new President Ford refused to repeal said laws or end America's involvement in the war, leading to a massive general strike that crippled the country. In response, Ford ordered the national guard of various states to fire on any strikers. This proves to be a horrible decision as national guardsman either refuse to follow the orders or join with the strikers.

Some states became embroiled in miniature civil wars as defecting national guardsman and strikers fought against loyal American forces. In Illinois, Chicago quickly fell to rebel forces. Socialist party leaders quickly formed a new government for the city and asked to meet with the leaders of various rebel organizations. Thus the First Revolutionary Congress was held. It included Socialist Party politicians, union leaders, rebel militia commanders and various other leftists like Russian-exile Leon Trotsky. Trotsky almost became head of the entire revolutionary movement if it was not for the timely arrival of Eugene Debs.

Debs, having heard what was happening in his old country, managed to convince the Germans to smuggle him back to America aboard a U-boat. Unable to safely reach the United States, instead Debs was taken to Mexico which was sympathetic to Germany (having been free of French influence since the Franco-Prussian War). With the United States collapsing into anarchy, President Diaz had been able to convince Emperor Maximilian II to authorize an invasion of the United States. The Mexicans won several victories against the American’s in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In California though Americans resistance was stronger than the Mexicans expected, even after the Socialist Upton Sinclair overthrew the governor. In an effort to further weaken the United States, President Diaz came up with the plan to sneak Eugene Debs back into the United States. Promising Mexico the return of some of the territory it lost in the Mexican-American War, Debs allowed the Mexicans to sneak him back into the United States where he made his way to Chicago with the help of loyal Socialist Party stalwarts.

In Chicago, Debs rallied support for his cause and defeated Trotsky by being elected President of the newly declared United Socialist States of America. Trotsky accepted his defeat and agreed to work with Debs, but on the way back to the hotel he was staying at, Trotsky was shot and killed by another Russian-exile named Joseph Dzhugashvili. Whether Debs ordered the killing is still unknown. The American Communist Party had supported Debs, since they found Trotsky to be too conservative, and Dzhugashvili was a member of that organization. Nevertheless, Trotsky’s death caused some Socialists to regret the choice of Debs as President. Many now thought that his time in Europe had made him too radical.

Continue on to the Second American Civil War.