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US Election 1912 what if;

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  • US Election 1912 what if;

    What if: Theodore Roosevelt wins the 1912 Election?


    - As Republican candidate (maybe by declaring his intent to run earlier, before Taft can make progress significant enough in his own bid)



    - Or less likely;



    - As Progressive (Bull Moose) candidate (by securing enough votes on his third party that it beats the Dems under Wilson as well as the Republicans, or maybe garners more Republican support than it did in history and some of the Democrats. The split was Progressives 27%, Republicans 23%, and Democrats 42%)


    - What is the result for the US in another (third) Roosevelt term, domestically, internationally, and what are influences of his international policy abilities on the rest of the world?

    - It's difficult to build 'what if' upon 'what if' as you get further and further away from certainties and more into speculation. But would it have altered US involvement in the Great War in 1914 at all?

    Most importantly,
    - Would it have been Bully?


    ------
    'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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  • #2
    In this scenario I would like to concentrate on US involvement in WW1 under Roosevelt's presidentship.

    With his record in peacekeeping diplomacy (Russo-Japanese War) I expect TR to have followed a double pronged approach in which neutral Holland would have figured prominently:

    1. I would expect TR to show both a carrot (see below) but also a stick.
    The stick would be the sending of the US Navy to European waters and the expansion of the US Army and prepare it to go 'over there.

    In the same vein I can imagine that Roosevelt would have tried to set up an League of Armed Neutrality to safeguard free shipping including the also neutral Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries; using the Dutch port port of Rotterdam and the Norwegian port of Bergen as forward bases for the US Navy.

    2. The carrot I can imagine would be his initiatives to let the warring parties come to a cease fire, followed by a peace conference (again in Washington, or perhaps neutral The Hague with its Peace Palace?)
    Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 14 Feb 13, 15:34. Reason: typo
    BoRG

    You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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    • #3
      Good historical assessment Jeroen.
      "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

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      • #4
        This is always a interesting question & under discussed by experts in the era.

        i suspect US naval bases in Rotterdan or Norway would have been nonstarters. Just carrying the flag in 'right of passage' naval calls into the Netherlands ports would have been very tricky. the Dutch rightly would have feared the consequences from both sides. where a Nuetral Coalition would have gone I cant say.

        Roosevelt was certainly a more practical man than Wilson. He had also lived in Germany as a youth for two years (still retained some use of the language in 1912) and might have been better able to work through the idiocy of the German foreign office than Wilson & Co. Certainly the absence of Col House would have caused the diplomacy to flow differently.

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        • #5
          With Theodore Roosevelt as President, I could see the US going to war with Germany by 1915, especially after the Lusitania was torpedoed and with the Germans executing unrestricted submarine warfare against the Allies.
          "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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          • #6
            We seem to have suggestions for both Theodore the peacemaker and Theodore the warrior then.
            ------
            'I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.' - Thomas Jefferson

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            • #7
              I think that Teddy would have made inroads into a 'Neutrals Alliance', or some sort of consensus among all the powers that weren't hell-bent on going to war. That would have fit into his style. The way that the Brits and French were early on, I don't know if he would have pushed for us to become a member of the Entente, probably not though.

              I could see elements of the USN making port calls in neutral nations to help assert their neutrality, as well as the free trade, which would have been a major thing of his.

              With Free trade, I wonder when the Kaiser would have allowed unrestricted U-boat warfare. If by historical standards, then the Lusitania would have seen the US going into massive naval building mode, while the Army was dusted off for a possible land war with Germany. The big thing would have been naval IMHO, with the US deploying a large force of cruisers and destroyers at sea to protect trade and hunt subs. Outside possibility of heavy fleet elements being remotely near Jutland, maybe a small task force.
              Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

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              • #8
                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                With Theodore Roosevelt as President, I could see the US going to war with Germany by 1915, especially after the Lusitania was torpedoed and with the Germans executing unrestricted submarine warfare against the Allies.
                I agree he would have been trying to find a way to bring the USA into the war. If not by 1915, certainly by 1916. At that time in the war would the British and French have wanted a large American Army on the Western Front? By that I mean pre-Somme.

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                • #9
                  A faster build up of the American army

                  Originally posted by tcox View Post
                  I agree he would have been trying to find a way to bring the USA into the war. If not by 1915, certainly by 1916. At that time in the war would the British and French have wanted a large American Army on the Western Front? By that I mean pre-Somme.
                  Beyond that- not much. The United States was a naval & marine expedition power. The Kaiser gave short consideration to any power that was not land based.

                  Given a larger Expeditionary force, I could forsee a strong presense at the Versailles summtt by 1919. a strong possibility that Siberia becomes independent.

                  I can also see a stronger Spain, as a lot of non war manufactoring, with American raw materials, accessng Spain. Rooseveldt woudl have wanted to build bridges to Spain.
                  The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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                  • #10
                    Not much practical difference. After the Phillipines were settled, Congress did what it usually does and gutted the US Army (something about to occur again).

                    Coupled with the contueing Congrssional failue to address the nation's reserve program, the US military would not have been ready for a significant ground effort any sooner than historically.

                    Recall that in order to field even a modest showing a brigade of Marines had to be added to an army division. The US had to use Brit & French heavy equipment because in an effort to get ground troops overseas in time to take part, US combat units were shipped without their heavy equipment.

                    I think Teddy would have been more dynamic, but he wouldn't have had much of a stick. The US started preparing for war under the guise of the Mexican intervention in 1916, and it still took everything the nation had to be a decent force in 1918.
                    Any man can hold his place when the bands play and women throw flowers; it is when the enemy presses close and metal shears through the ranks that one can acertain which are soldiers, and which are not.

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