Discussion:
President Hughes in WWI - in what dimensions does "Hughesianism" differ from "Wilsonianism"
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Rob
2017-07-10 00:53:52 UTC
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To help discussion along and guide it along a couple paths I have not seen it go on before, I have enumerated a list components of Wilsonianism:

What would a Hughes Administration position be on:


a) Mexico


b) Separate AEF or amalgamation w/Allied unit


c) Armistice or unconditional surrender



d) Anything like the 14 points


There would still be indigenous demand for ethnic successor states, there might be similar domestic political benefits to be seen supportive of ethnic demands, France wants to create a string of potential eastern allies against Germany [but are some ethnic groups more affordable to offend than others?]


e) Differences in final settlement in terms of borders



f) Differences in terms of US ratifying treaty

g) Differences in partisan dynamic

h) U.S. amenability to a postwar alliance with one or more powers

i) Differences over Russian revolution and support for Whites

j) Differences over Far Eastern aspects at Versailles and also later on

k) Differences over Italian territorial claims

l) Possibility of more sanguine view of Japanese effort in Russian Far East, Qingdao, Manchuria,

m) How curmudgeonly would TR be about Hughes Administration policy?

n) differences over the disposition of Yap and Micronesia?

o) differences over the existence and founding charter of a League
jerry kraus
2017-07-10 13:10:17 UTC
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Post by Rob
a) Mexico
b) Separate AEF or amalgamation w/Allied unit
c) Armistice or unconditional surrender
d) Anything like the 14 points
There would still be indigenous demand for ethnic successor states, there might be similar domestic political benefits to be seen supportive of ethnic demands, France wants to create a string of potential eastern allies against Germany [but are some ethnic groups more affordable to offend than others?]
e) Differences in final settlement in terms of borders
f) Differences in terms of US ratifying treaty
g) Differences in partisan dynamic
h) U.S. amenability to a postwar alliance with one or more powers
i) Differences over Russian revolution and support for Whites
j) Differences over Far Eastern aspects at Versailles and also later on
k) Differences over Italian territorial claims
l) Possibility of more sanguine view of Japanese effort in Russian Far East, Qingdao, Manchuria,
m) How curmudgeonly would TR be about Hughes Administration policy?
n) differences over the disposition of Yap and Micronesia?
o) differences over the existence and founding charter of a League
On the whole, it could only have been an improvement, don't you think, Rob? Either he stays out of the War, and World War One leads to a negotiated settlement, or he enters the War and agrees to a more active American role in maintaining the Peace following its conclusion. In any case, he's unlikely to be crippled by a stroke the way Wilson was. Wilson's second term was an unequivocal disaster, in my opinion.
w***@gmail.com
2017-07-10 16:54:25 UTC
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Years ago there was a great ATL timeline developed in s.h.w-i with Hughes in the White House. A different approach to armed neutrality working with other neutral carriers (e.g., no Wilson to alienate Netherlands, Norway, etc. in the early war years), and different consequences to the map of Europe post WWI.

wes
Rob
2017-07-18 03:12:39 UTC
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Post by w***@gmail.com
Years ago there was a great ATL timeline developed in s.h.w-i with Hughes in the White House. A different approach to armed neutrality working with other neutral carriers (e.g., no Wilson to alienate Netherlands, Norway, etc. in the early war years), and different consequences to the map of Europe post WWI.
wes
If Woodrow Wilson is elected President in 1920, Grover Cleveland style, and lives for a substantial amount of his term 1921-25, I wonder what domestic reform legislation he would pursue and what his foreign policy would involve.

In all three of the substantial President Hughes TLs I've seen, Hughes and the Republicans lose the election of 1920 from postwar backlash and hangover. In at least two of them, Woodrow Wilson makes a comeback in 1920 (in Mike Stone's, he dies between election and inauguration, in another, he lives out most or all of his term in the 1920s).

The most common presumptions about what Hughes would have left him would be:

a) a "Reservationist" League of Nations without Article X
b) a joint Anglo-American guarantee of France
c) the US signing the same peace treaty with Germany everybody else does

However, Wilson will of course criticize Hughes, including the peacemaking, in the election campaign.

How would Wilson deal with foreign policy questions of the day (1921 and after) in comparison to the Harding Administration of OTL which featured Hughes as Secretary of State?

Issues would include questions of reparations in Europe, and war debts,

Would Wilson keep the French guarantee or repudiate it or go on record saying it should not be renewed?

Would Wilson or a Democratic successor recognize the USSR in the 1920s?

Would he perhaps set a date for Filipino independence to occur earlier than OTL, i.e. in the 1920s or 1930s?

Would naval treaties and Far Eastern policy go similarly to OTL's Washington Treaties?

---Here I could think of a few reasons it might be different-

a) Wilson might favor unilateral fleet cuts (or might not), possibly changing the US bargaining position.
b) He might deal differently, perhaps being more confrontational with Japan over questions like Shantung and Siberia, than President Harding was.
c) An Anglo-American alliance covering France could change the dynamics of arms control and diplomacy in the Far East.

For instance, with a precedent established for an alliance in Europe supplementing the League of Nations, can and will America still persuade London to end the Japanese alliance? Perhaps the French alliance is an excuse to keep the Japanese? Even if the US presses Britain to drop the Anglo-Japanese alliance and London goes along with that, Japan will have to be concerned that the Anglo-American-French guarantee extends to the Far East as well as Europe, whatever the letter of the agreement says.

The Japanese will not be convinced that Anglo-American collusion will not happen in the Far East. If the Japanese reckon they are facing an Anglo-American alliance that applies to the Pacific (possible also encompassing French Indochina) the Japanese may find the 5:5:3 ratio of capital ships absolutely unacceptable.

In Europe, will an Anglo-American guarantee of France raise the question in Rome and Brussels, "why don't we have the same guarantee?"

Will Anglo-American allies, now more embroiled by France in the affairs of the continent, either insist or try to discourage France from making alliances in Central Europe, because those could daisy-chain them into a war over "a far away place of which they know little?"

Your thoughts?
Don Phillipson
2017-07-10 17:56:29 UTC
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Post by Rob
. . .
d) Anything like the 14 points
. . .
There would still be indigenous demand for ethnic successor states . . .
. . .
o) differences over the existence and founding charter of a League
These seem the two critical points of difference. Wikipedia's page
portrays C.E. Hughes plausibly as a (Teddy) Rooseveltian liberal
reformer, more interested in observable practical results than in
theory -- which seems the main psychological difference from
Wilson, who was motivated by an odd mixture of Protestant
pietism (rules-based) and a "scientific" quest for the Big Theory
which would explain everything. We cannot imagine Hughes
either (1) proposing Fourteen (theoretical) Points as a basis
for peace in Europe or (2) personally collapsing if/when Congress
declined to endorse the League of Nations. (But we must acknowledge
that the 14 Points guided small-power diplomacy in Europe for years
until overwhelmed by the rising tide of Fascism.)
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
Rob
2017-07-20 03:07:56 UTC
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P) Regime-change in Germany as a national objective for the U.S., and a pre-condition for armistice.

Was the demand for a change in the German form of government a unique quirk of Wilson's? Or would alternate Presidents, like Hughes, have taken a similar stance?

Did other Allied powers insist on regime change in Germany?

In retrospect, we can see that the juxtaposition of defeat of Germany and a change of German regime to a democratic republic was actually unfortunate for the causes of both long term peace and Germany democracy.

The confluence of armistice and democratic revolution allowed militarists to keep their political credibility and viability for the future, while making the democratic politicians of Weimar unlucky, and thus, unliked.

Did anyone think that might be a problem *at the time*?

Did anyone suggest that it would not be in the interests of German democracy to impose a harsh settlement? Did anyone suggest that surrender should be arranged differently from OTL, so as to maximize the responsibility borne by the militarists for the war and any bad consequences of the peace? Did anybody try to insist on the Kaiser or wartime militarists being recalled to sign the peace treaties?
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