Alternative History

This is a timeline of the Socialist America universe.


  • 1843, April: Karl Marx, after his newspaper the Rheinische Zeitung is closed down, emigrates to America.
  • 1843, June: Marx's ideas inspire several politically-minded New Yorkers to form a leftist political group, the League for the Reformation of America. Membership expands at a steady rate following its inception.
  • 1843, August: Marx meets Charles Dickens, an English socialite and author, while vacationing in New England. Dickens is impressed by Marx's views on the roles of the worker in society, and asks him for advice on one of his books.
  • 1843, December: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens with Karl Marx, is published. It tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a cruel, wealthy nobleman and businessman, who, with the help of spiritual guides, sees that the source of all his wealth and fortune is those who work beneath him. Scrooge turns over a new leaf and elevates all his employees to his own status within his companies, making everyone equal. The book is a hit with the working classes in America, as well as socially conscious bourgeouis youth. It also sells reasonably well in Western Europe.
  • 1844, February: Marx approaches Dickens about a political tract he has been commissioned to do by the League for the Reformation of America. Dickens agrees to work with him on it.
  • 1844, April: A treaty of annexation with Texas is signed, starting the Mexican-American War.
  • 1844, December: Charles Dickens and Catherine Hogarth divorce, an event practically unheard of at the time. Hogarth had grown fed up with Dickens's obsession with Marx's ideas.
  • 1845, November: Texas is annexed by the United States and becomes the 28th state.
  • 1846, October: Dickens and Marx publish the Call for Communist Revolution: A Manifesto of the Rights of the Proletariat, often simply called the October Revolution, explaining in detail the ideas of Communism, and the process of economic evolution, from capitalism, to socialism to communism. Once again, it is a hit in America and Europe, particularly Germany.
  • 1847: The League for the Reformation of America, boasting over 4000 members since the publication of the Revolution, speaks to the Democratic Party at a convention in Missouri. The Southerners, attracted by the idea of class equality, agree to campaign on a socialist platform in 1849. With the approval of the Democrats, LRA membership booms.
  • 1848: Following the Mexican-American War, President Polk creates a military decoration, the United States Valor Ribbon, for meritorious service in times of war. The first two are posthumously awarded to James D.B. DeBow and former Vice-President John C. Calhoun, for service in the war against Mexico.
  • 1849: The democrats lose to Whig candidate Zachary Taylor. However, when he dies of cholera, his VP Millard Fillmore, a known LRA sympathiser, takes his place.
  • 1852: George Fitzhugh publishes The Pro-Communism Argument.
  • 1853: Democrat James Buchanan, after an arduous campaign, takes the Presidency, having won the Southern vote on the platform of wealth redistribution and equality among men.
  • 1856: Abraham Linicoln and former Whig William Herndon join the Democratic Party, attracted, like so many others, by the idea of elimination of classes.
  • 1857: Incumbent James Buchanan retakes the mantle of President.
  • 1857: Hinton Rowan Helper publishes The Impending Crisis of the North, detailing how the era of an elite ruling over the proletariat crashing down could create secessionist tendencies among Northern minds.
  • 1858: President Buchanan narrowly passes the Redistribution and Poverty Elimination Act through Congress. The act collected 12% of all earnings from the wealthiest 30% of citizens, and distributed it among the poorest 20%. Many northerners complained that it was an act of government robbery, and that socialism in general is a flawed economic model. Their words have no real effect.
  • 1858: William Yancey calls for a Northern classless society.
  • 1861: Abraham Lincoln is appointed President of the USA, with Herndon as his Vice-President. Karl Marx and Charles Dickens are appointed Ministers of Economic Analysis, in charge of coming up with ideas to introduce socialist reforms. Northern states, having been uneasy for a long time with the growing socialist movement, talk of secession from the Union.
  • 1861, December: Lincoln passes the Fair Ownership Act through Congress, declaring that all businesses that produced goods were to be owned equally by the employees of that business, with decisions made by a board appointed by them.
  • 1862, January: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin all secede from the Union. They are soon joined by Michigan. Lincoln declares war on the seceders.
  • 1862, February: Oregon, California, Indiana and Ohio join the newly-formed Capitalist United States of the American Continent. The Dakota, Washington and Nebraska Territories are proclaimed part of the CUSAC. A CUSAC Constitution is drafted, containing the article, "All men shall have the right to keep their property, their earnings, and Congress shall pass no act except in times of war, abridging this right or allowing confiscation of earnings." Hannibal Hamlin is proclaimed President of the CUSAC, and General of its armies.
  • 1862, March: President Lincoln moves the capital of the USA to Atlanta, and declares war on the CUSAC, now joined by Pennsylvania, New York, and all of New England. The Proletarian Declaration is announced, surrendering ownership of all business and companies in states within the Union to the workers employed there. This raises massive support among remaining workers within the Capitalist states.
  • 1862, April: The Union forces are almost defeated at Bull Run by the Capitalists, but they are saved when a group of seven hundred Northerners armed with makeshift weapons who had deserted their jobs at news of war and the Declaration reached them, that they could fight in the Union Army. With their help, the Capitalists are defeated, a stunning victory for workers. President Lincoln awarded medals to every one of them, and promoted Sergeant Jefferson Davis to General, proclaiming him "a hero of the movement, and of the revolution."
  • 1862, May: CUSAC forces are on the retreat, and the final blow is struck at Chancellorsville. President Hamlin calls for a retreat into the Western states.
  • 1862, June: Lincoln, finding he is unable to penetrate the defenses at California, Oregon and Nevada, and not wanting to drag out the war, sends a message to President Hamlin, asking to negotiate peace. Hamlin is only too happy to accept.
  • 1862, July: The Treaty of California is signed by Lincoln and Hamlin, ending the war allowing the CUSAC the states of California and Oregon and the Nevada and Washington territories, status as a nation independent of the Union, and forbidding aggression between them for 20 years. For the next 2 years, citizens are allowed free passage between the two nations.
  • 1862, November: St. Lawrence General Strike erupts. The government, still recovering from the war efforts, finds itself unable to do much, but when the rag-tag forces of the hastily formed Workers' Army refuse to fire on the city-dwellers, socialism as an ideal gains adherents from New Orleans to Chicago.
  • 1864: Lincoln's House, following in the footsteps of the new Capitalist States of Pacific America, ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment, forbidding any man to serve as President for more than three terms.
  • 1864: Alphonso Taft of the Whig Party, now renamed the Progress Party, defeats Democratic candidate Andrew Johnson. The Democrats had wanted Lincoln to run again, but he had turned them down for personal reasons. Taft appoints Mary Dickens, daughter of Charles Dickens, as U.S. Treasurer, a scandalous act that appalled many who felt a woman should not be in a government position. Rumours fly that Taft is having an out-of-wedlock affair with Miss Dickens.
  • 1866: President Taft creates a new decoration for civilians, the Worker's Ribbon, awarded for great service to the cause and advancement of socialist ideals, and immediately awards Marx and Dickens with one each.
  • 1867: Secretary of State William Seward's "ridiculous" proposal to buy Alaska from Russia is defeated in Seante by just one vote. Whem gold is discovered in Klondike in 1896, Seward's son William, Jr. laughs himself into a heart attack and dies.
  • 1870: Progressive President Colfax abolishes slavery and race-based voting measures with the Fifteenth Amendment, saying, "if men were meant to live in servitude, they would be created in servitude. Instead, we have unjustly conquered them, against the will of nature and the Almighty." Although the move is hailed almost universally, the press leaps on his references to 'the Almighty,' saying existence in supernatural beings defies both reason and the principles of Marxism. Colfax makes sure to keep references to a higher power absent from any future speakings.
  • 1872: The CSPA, following in the footsteps of the USA, prohibits the act of slavery within its borders, with President Grant proclaiming it, "an abomination unto God, our Creator, and our fellow man."
  • 1886: President Colfax announces passes the Sixteenth Amendment, all property restrictions on voting in US states are abolished, granting non-landowners the right to vote, saying that the government could not stand by and watch as its citizens were forced to own property to participate in democracy, citing the October Revolution in that "all property is abominable, for in its essence it deprives others." He says that, "both women and the Negro race, although intellectually inferior, are still human and citizens of the United States, and the actions of the government affect them, so they should have the right to affect the actions of the government." By 1900, a full quarter of the White House are women.
  • 1890: End of the Indian Wars in the CSPA forced to starve on reserverations, many natives flee east in hope for better treatment
  • 1898: The Capitalist States of Pacific America, by act of Pacific Congress, changes its name to the Californian Republic of America.