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1848 Presidential Elections (A Federation of Equals)

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‹ The Danubian Federation was founded DanubianFederationEqualsFlag 1852
The Danubian Election of 1848
1848
Turnout 95%
Ducic József Eötvös WaltWhitman
Nominee Vlado Nikolić Károly Vörös de Nyitra Albert von Salzburg
Party Pan-Danubian Party All-Danubian Conservative Party Royal Faction
Home state Croatia Hungary Austria
States carried 6 1 3
Popular vote 4,231,907 2,434,554 1,564,473
Election1848
The results of the presidential election, 1848
In the four days after Metternich’s assassination, the issue of Krakow rose to the fore once more. That Krakow Act was narrowly rejected by congress
Krakowact

A map showing the approval of the Krakow Act by state

(When initially presented to the Council, it gained the support of only 39% of the house, whilst a very similar private members bill put before the Assembly accrued only 37%.), the following day can largely be attributed to his absence. According to its detractors, the Krakow Act was “an act of supreme irresponsibility”, fueled only by “petty revengism” and certain to “enrage the Russian Bear”.

In many ways, by blocking the bill, they succeeded in pacifying the monarchies of the East by convincing them that, as de Nyitra put it, “There is no need for our Federation to devolve into the terror and radicalism of Revolutionary France”. Its failure, however, allowed Franz Joseph the freedom he needed to leave the city and escape potential retribution, leaving initially for the Prussian court in Berlin, before proceeding on to St Petersburg the following summer, where he ingrained himself in the Russian court.

Meanwhile, inside the Federation, the political classes were scurrying to make up lost time. Manifestos were hastily written and distributed, some to higher standards than others, but it became clear fairly quickly that only three men were in with a chance of taking the Presidency; the staunch Royalist, von Salzburg, who was the leader of the Royal Faction, the conservative independent, de Nyitra, who was endorsed by many of the smaller centre-right parties, like the Hungarian League, and the liberal Serb, Nikolić, who led the Slavic and Romanian Liberal Party.

The Candidates

Manifesto of Károly Vörös de Nyitra

"Citizens of the Federation and esteemed members of this Congress, I stand on a platform of conservatism, stability, and sensible, sound government. In the aftermath of the assassination of Prince Metternich, a horrendous deed, all of these virtues for which I stand are necessary for the preservation and continuation of this Federation. Those Jacobins and Liberals in Congress may harp on about liberty and equality, Where shall liberty be if there is no bread for the poor, where shall we achieve equality if we must fight with each other and our neighbours? For it is peace and prosperity that is in the interest of the people and the Federation at the moment, not idealistic, distant philosophies. And it is peace and prosperity I shall bring to the Federation, and I shall fight for in Congress, for that is the right of the people and my duty as President!"

  • Military: I shall be Pro-Military. The Military must remain strong, centralised and effective. I propose that the Army is moderately expanded to meet the defensive needs of the Federation, and to maintain internal stability. However, the Navy is of lesser importance to our country, and so I am satisfied to leave it as it is at the moment. Likewise, military spending should remain as it presently is.
  • Foreign Policy: We must reconcile and accommodate ourselves with the nations of Europe. We shall be no Revolutionary France - instead, we shall be true and respectable nation, and a member of the Concert of Europe. Nay, a Great Power! I shall oppose the Krakow Act and the Annexation of Krakow. It is an inexcusable violation of the Congress of Vienna, which shall only serve to isolate us from Russia and the other Great Powers. We should, if still maintained, continue our influence over the German states and the German Confederation. We should also seek to expand our sphere of influence, particularly in Italy and the Balkans.
  • Economy and Trade: Interventionist and Protectionist. Our Federation's economy is only beginning to blossom, especially in comparison to Britain and France. The government should support and encourage the growth of industry, and assist any businesses that struggle. Likewise, the government must protect our burgeoning industry from cheap imports, and impose moderate tariffs and duties to counter the influence of foreign markets.
  • Domestic: The present federal order of the Federation is satisfactory, although the presence of more artificial states such as Slovenia and Transylvania is regrettable. Nonetheless, these states shall be maintained, as long as the rights of minorities within both, and indeed all states, are respected. We should adopt a Pluralist stance on Religion. All Christian denominations shall be respected and protected by the Federation. We shall not instigate any social or political reforms at the moment. The Federation is presently satisfactory, as is the society of the Federation, and the primacy of Austria and Hungary therein. We shall adopt a policy of Limited Citizenship in societal matters. The Federation must re-conciliate with the Royalists. Franz Joseph and other Royalists must be pardoned and allowed to return to the country. We must aspire to break down the bonds of Royalist and Republican, and instead unite as Danubians!

Manifesto of the Royal Faction
Candidate for President: Albert von Salzburg

"My countrymen head my words of warning! I have revised my platform on what has enveloped. Please try to think with a smarter head, for what is to come none of us can know! This is why I will work to prop our nation up and prepare it for the future!"

  • Military: I am a military man, and jingoistic at heart so. I will work to improve our military at all cost! Employing new fresh minds on the battlefield, Developing all ways to better our defense, Coming up with new tactical strategies, employing our brightest minds to work to create better guns, cannons, cavalry, and even the navy!
  • Foreign policy: I will work to keep Krakow in our sphere, maybe even convincing it to join the Federation! Our allies must be treated with the utmost respect and I will be arranging talks with Prussia on land exchanges to allow Bavaria and the other South German minors to create their own Federation! The Ottomans have had their land for far too long! This is why I will work to draft a bill to declare war to free the Bosnians (and include them into the Federation) and perhaps even free their Slavic puppets! The French are while not necessarily right next to us are our greatest rival! This is why I will work with Swiss ambassadors and work to add them into our sphere. Russia is though our most urgent threat for if we go to war with anyone they will have the greatest advantage to attack us! This is why I will deploy soldiers across the entire northern and western border to persuade them from attacking. The last of this policy is Italy, which my cabinet and ambassadors will work to expel the French from the country and persuade them to unite and form their own Federation! These policies will add a whole new region to the Federation as well as two powerful allies which will keep our rivals from attacking!
  • Economy: We are all dealing with hard money issues. This is why I will work to improve the middle class by putting their taxes at 45% the poor at 70% and the rich at 20% which will allow our industry to grow! But if this is not easily achieved I will employ interventionism to help struggling businesses. I will also raise taxes to at least 20% to help cover cost and keep small businesses growing!
  • Domestic: My administration will pay the clergy as much as we can (70/80%) to teach bright new minds! These fabricated states such as Slovenia and Transylvania worry me, since we must stay united though I would allow them to stay the same. I would also allow all cultures to become accepted! Which will keep them from being assimilated. I have regret about how the former emperor handled the monarchy this is why I will employee a ceremonial monarch (from the house of Salzburg) to oversee strictly military matters and will be governed by his elected cabinet, along with the prime minister (the head of state) who will be elected just as a president would.


Thank you for your consideration,
Albert Von Salzburg

Manifesto of the Slavic and Romanian Liberal Party
Candidate for President: Vlado Nikolić

  • Under the constitution, all Slavic and Romanian peoples will have equal rights to the Hungarian and German peoples of the Federation.
  • Slavs or Romanians peoples who excel and rise through the ranks in the military will be allowed to be Chief of Staff just as the German or Hungarian peoples.
  • The Orthodox and Protestant Christian religions will allowed to be practiced without persecution, while the Catholic religion will remain intact as well.
  • Education will be a main focus, all children ages dour to ten will have a mandatory free education. Each region will have their own school district, and each will teach the language of the respective region. I.e in Croatia the languages taught would be Serbo-Croatian and Hungarian. While in Transylvania it would be Romanian, Hungarian and German.
  • The Upper House would be reformed to create an equal upper house. Each region will send four representatives each no matter the population, culture or size. So that we can have a fair system.
  • We will remain friendly relations with Russia and Prussia. And develop friendly relations with Great Britain and France. Also, setting up trade agreements with each nation, respectively.
  • Local autonomous councils are granted to areas dominated by a minority that can be defined as one of these groups.
  • Our party does not discriminate against the Germans or Hungarians or Italians. We just wish for all of us nationalities to be equal and just.
  • Our party recognizes the Serbian people not as a part of the Croatian people but as another cultural group in the Federation, same goes for the Ukrainian and Polish peoples.
  • To improve our economy, we would focus on industrialization, building railroads, and extracting materials from the earth. We will also improve road conditions. We will rebuild what has been destroyed by the revolution, and look to the future.

This has been an condensed list of the party's platform and we all hope the Slavs and Romanians of the Federation will band together as the brothers we are, and achieve equal status in the Federation. Vote for the party that is looking at the future, a free future, with no fears, no wars and no injustice! A society build on the co-operation of different nationalities to build a country that will last forever! Vote for the Slavic-Romanian Liberal Party for the future you want.

Events after the announcement of the candidates

The announcement of the candidates in the 1848 election caused significant stir among Councillors and Deputies. Many Liberals feared that a combined Conservative-Royalist alliance threatened the Federation in its premature existence. Prominent liberals were quick to assert their desire for further equality among the people, one of which was Ion Horsa Cordinaru, who proposed the Petition of the Romanians of Transylvania, a motion that called upon Congress to acknowledge the equality of Romanians within the Federation. At the same time, Councillor Cordinaru, born in Transylvania and a staunch Romanian, put his supporters behind the Presidential Candidate, Vlado Nikolić. Conservatives, under with wing of Councillor Károly Vörös de Nyitra, took a risky move in the opposition of the Petition. Nyitra famously exclaimed against the act, "As to this Romanian Bill, I am completely opposed. Although I can tolerate the creation of a Transylvania State, I cannot agree with the disproportionate representation of Romanians in the Federal Government, as the bill intends. And furthermore, the conclusion of 'Magyarisation', a complete misrepresentation by the Romanians in any case, cannot be tolerated. The end of policies that support and protect the Hungarian population in Transylvania, labelled as 'Magyarisation', would completely violate and remove the rights of the Hungarian population."

This move put the Conservative in a dangerous situation, having alienated himself from the Romanian and Transylvanian people. Nonetheless, his admirable positioning on maintaining a status quot brought about more moderate's to his side, such as the Lombard Rodrigo Vertucci (and founder of the Independent Italian Party), László Nagy, Councillor for Hungary, and Vitale Morosini, the aristocratic Venetian Councillor.

Vitale Morosini was quick to make friends and enemies in the chambers. Due to his similar status and Italian ethnicity as Rodrigo Vertucci, he was welcomed with open arms into the Independent Italian Party. Morosini had not yet been formally accepted into the party, when Herr Salzburg stormed through the Chamber, throwing curses at the Republicans, eventually turning towards Vitale and exclaiming, "You Venetians! You have no strength, if I recall you were absorbed by the Austrians!" Vitale lunged at von Salzburg screaming sulfurous oaths at the perfidious trickery of the French and the Austrians before attempting to use his beard to strangle the august Councillor. He was dragged from the chambers of the legislature by his deputies as he spat Venetian curses upon those assembled. Vitale has blood-pressure issues, as was later marked by his family.

Cordinaru responded to the outbreak at pace, calling for every member of the chambers to not deliver a single vote to the Royalist leader. Salzburg, in a act of verbal relapse, called the minorities "dogs" and demanded restoration. After the Republicans responded with harsh criticism, Cordinaru eventually challenged Salzburg to a duel to the death, of which the stubborn Royalist accepted. 

This incident gave the liberals a sudden boost in popularity, and soon Vlado and de Nytria were neck to neck in the presidential race, with Salzburg seriously lagging behind. It was in this climate that Petr Šik presented the Federal Protection of the Danube Bill, which attempted to amalgamate all nine state armies into one unified command. Such a radical change, which would create mixed ethnicity regiments, was resisted by the more nationalist and jingoist elements of the Congress. Not even the Liberals would endorse the bill, and an alternative, which explicitly kept ethnic regiments as an integral part of the armed forces, was proposed by Count Bethlen of Hungary, in the form of the Federal Army of the Danube Bill. This bill asserted the President's role as Commander-in-Chief of Federal Forces and, to the amusement of many Congressmen, established French as the 'Unified Command Language'. It was this amended version that eventually entered law, but the debate over army bills had an important effect on the Federation and the election; it proved that the three contenders were less dissimilar than had first appeared, but it also ensured the specter of the early racial conflict seen would linger much longer than anyone would have hoped.

Lagging behind drastically in the polls, Salzburg attempted to use this as proof of common ground between the two more conservative candidates. With election day drawing ever nearer and polls suggesting a clear win for the Liberals, Salzburg made an offer of coalition, but some hastily constructed Conservative analysis suggested even in coalition, de Nytria would be able to gain Austria and nothing else, leaving him six votes short of Nikolić's projected haul. For the conservatives, defeatism set in. For the royalists, it was anything but; Salzburg started promising rewards for votes here, there and everywhere. The most radical, and the one which would go on to have the biggest impact on Federal politics, was the promise of the Dalmatian coastline to the State of Venezia. This promise further inflamed the Dalmatian Question.

The Results

By all accounts, the presidential election of 1848 was a landslide. Vlado Nikolić won almost three-quarters of the Electoral College vote, and gained convincing victories in the vast majority of states. Hungary provided the only effective resistance to Nikolić’s bid, where his plans to alter the constitution came across badly with an electorate left tired from the Revolution.

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