Alternate History

1860 Presidential Elections (A Federation of Equals)

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1856 DanubianFederationEqualsFlag 1864
The Danubian Election of 1860
Turnout 52%
Soukup-ValentaPicture zps36bac3f3 Janospapp Rodrigovertucci
Nominee Gabriel Soukup-Valenta Janos Papp Rodrigo Vertucci
Party Radical Union of the Federation All-Danubian Conservative Party Federal Democratic Party
Home state Bohemia Croatia Lombardia
Running mate Francesco de Palma None Imre Than
Electoral vote 317 139 0
States carried 8 6 0
Popular vote 3,412,884 1,919,763 0
Percentage 64% 36% 0%
The results of the presidential election, 1860
President before election
Victor Kraus
All-Danubian Conservative Party
Gabriel Soukup-Valenta
Radical Union of the Federation
The primaries of 1859 were nothing more than a rubber stamp. All the political dealings having gone on in the months before, many newspapers relegated the primaries well into their inner pages - the political nation had after all divided itself neatly into three competing blocs, with the All-Danubian Conservative Party, now the Federation’s sole party to have fought in all three elections, fielding Kraus’s Minister of Security, Janos Papp, and the Radical Union fielding the long time President of Bohemia, Gabriel Soukup-Valenta, under the banner of the National Reform Union. Even the usually boisterous liberals had united under one banner for the first time since the heyday of the Slavic and Romanian Liberal Party in the form of Councillor Rodrigo Vertucci and the Federal Democratic Party. All the while, further developments in Tunisia sapped the attention of the electorate. Hard talk in Vienna led to no change whatsoever, with the Adriatic Trading Company complaining that piracy was becoming all the more rampant and impressment of sailors common. As the situation developed without Federal action, two states, San Marco and Croatia, sent formal requests for a charter to expand into Tunisian territory. Even the Adriatic Trading Company began to become more forceful, citing the precedent of the British East India Company. The Company’s Directors made no bones about their intentions, with one being quoted in the Trieste Daily Star as saying, “occupation is inevitable. The question is, by whom?”
View of East India House

East India House in London was actually used as a model for the Adriatic Trading Company’s first permanent offices in Vienna built during Cordinaru’s leadership, though destroyed in 1862 by a fire – no primary sources remain of the building, save a short except from then Minister Papp’s memoirs; “The edifice was so grand that you would have thought it was more important than the Hofburg. Great pillars rose out of the ground to such a height that is a wonder that they ever supported the marble behemoth that sat atop it. The doors were so massive that I doubt that even the strongest of men could have moved one. Everything about the building spoke of wealth, elegance, power and a not-so-quiet assurance that this was built to last.”

The Candidates

All-Danubian Conservative Party
Candidate for President:
Janos Papp

My vision for the Federation is simple : A rebuilt Federation, at peace with itself and with its neighbours: a great economical power built on trade, agriculture and industry. At its head, a strong leader, with the courage to carry out this vision and the words to mend the wounds of the revolutions.

My foreign policy will follow in the footsteps of the Kraus administration. It will be one of peace, of rebuilding relations of confidence with the nations of Europe that see us as a threat that can not be reasoned with, a reputation we have earned through a decade of incessant war. We will seek to extend our trade network as both the quality of our goods and the demands of our people grow greater.
Such a foreign policy does not justify the possession of the expansive and expensive military force that is ours. The size of our standing army on land will be reduced, compensated by reservist programs. The dismissed members of the military will join our growing economy, with the help of the government, and provide our industry with the arms it needs to achieve its potential.
Under my mandate, our economic policy will be one of lightening the burden of government. Taxes will be lowered to encourage investment, and we will strive to make the support we offer to the economy a transparent, lightweight process that benefits all.
However, we can not cede in this vision. I will not allow obstacles such as trade unions to get in the way of our prosperity. The states that have allowed them suffer under the lies of the radicals and the burdens they impose on the economy for their own benefit. We will not be spreading their deregulation, and certainly not imposing it on the states.

Vote for the peace,
Vote for your work,
Vote for Janos Papp.

National Reform Union
Candidate for President:
Gabriel Soukup-Valenta
Nominee for Vice-President: Francesco de Palma

  • Economy: A nation with a strong economy has the strength to lead. Without a strong economy we will be unable to provide for our citizens. Without a strong economy we will be unable to support a strong military to protect what we hold sacred. Under my administration I will work to continue our economic prowess by supporting all areas of our economy from our considerable agriculture sector down to our growing industries while improving the welfare of all our workers from the farmer to the artisan to the laborer. Are they not entitled to the sweat on their brow? For our railroads we need to improve our existing lines while expanding at a modest pace, specifically laying down new tracks into the Balkans and the areas recently admitted to our glorious nation in addition to increasing our industrialization. I will work to lower tariffs so our factories are able to afford raw materials outside of the federation without going into the red. With regards to Trade Unions as long as they do not resort to extortion or any other strong arm tactics they will be able to continue to operate same as before. Capitalists, Business owners and investors will be given significant opportunities to invest in government established projects and industry along with other incentives to make sure our economy continues to grow. I will travel the world to show that the Federation is the place to do business that we are the nation other nations should invest in and trade with for working with us means prosperity!
  • Religion: As always we will welcome all major religions under our umbrella of protection to safeguard our citizens from religious persecution. Every man should be able to choose the faith they wish to practice be it our glorious Christianity and its denominations or even none at all. A man is entitled to his values, opinions and personal integrity while being able to represent their people and constituents in federal elected office be it Jewish or otherwise while standing for election in state and local office should be left to the prerogative of the states. Those states that choose to lead in this endeavor will receive the full support of this government.
  • Foreign Policy: We will honor our defensive alliance with the French, we will not shed the blood of our soldiers for the ambitions of Paris or for any other nation we become allied with so long as they are the aggressors. Unless a defensive treaty’s protocols are enacted we will not be partaking in the wars of others. The only exceptions to this are the southern German states of Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden. They will not be subject for Prussian ambitions to annex them. If I am elected I will create a Diplomatic Corps to improve our diplomacy which has been lacking in previous administrations in addition to working to strengthen relations with neighbors such as the Greeks, Sicilians, Dutch, Belgians and Swedes among others. Diplomacy before war. However, in regards to Tunisia we will flex our naval might in protecting the shipping lanes and securing the Mediterranean Sea making it very hazardous for pirates and barbarians to prey on our merchants and the merchants of other nations. We will blockade their ports if necessary to deny them access to the sea if they dare, we will not spill the blood of our soldiers on foreign land unless we are further provoked.
  • Taxes/Tariffs: I would like to introduce the Progressive Tax Rate. We should not have the worker pay as much in taxes as his employer. Taxes for the lower and middle class will be reduced while the taxes for the rich will remain the same, in doing so we will be increasing the purchasing power of both existing and potential consumers thus increasing the revenue of our businesses, enterprises and industries while maintaining existing costs thereby increasing profit margins and income for the rich as a result. The more money we leave in the pockets of the consumer the more money we will injecting into the economy. With that said tariffs will be significantly lowered to help our business grow and improve free trade, from 25% to 10-15%.
  • Military: The Federal Armed Forces is our sword and spear. We will continue to have a Pro-Military stance as we strive to keep our military as up to date as possible in both equipment and training. The fighting man has shed blood and even given his life, they deserve the very best in training, weaponry and compensation. We will seek to expand our navy by at least 25% of its current levels while making a modest increase for our ground forces as well to both help increase the security of our trading and shipping in the med while keeping our forces sufficient to meet future threats.
  • States’ Rights: I will protect the integrity of the states. States will have a say in their own affairs. What that said one must recognize the enumerated and implied powers of the Federal government. However, I will make sure to address any acts of Federal encroachment on the states. So long as state law does not violate Federal law, the Federal government needn’t get involved. States have the right to set their budget and manage internal finances.
  • Education: Our literacy rate is 23.8%, this nation can do better. Under my administration we will work toward further improving our education system. I would expand the Standardized Federal Curriculum to make primary education compulsory for children. Our children will be our future leaders in politics, the arts, the military and our financial sector and we should work to strengthen our future.
  • Social Programs: Under my administration I will work toward having minimal to basic safety regulations for all work places regardless if it is in a farm, mine or factory while advocating a ten hour work day. I will also put forth legislation in the spirit of the British Factories Act of 1847, in addition to children will not work in underground or in open-cast mines and being limited to no more than four hours a day in a factory. If they can do it so can we!

Federal Democratic Party
Candidate for President:
Rodrigo Vertucci
Nominee for Vice-President: Imre Than

  • Economy: The economy is booming and I intend to keep it that way. Tariffs will be lowered in order to promote free trade with other nations and lower the prices of goods. Our factories should be able to import raw materials without fear of going into the red. An interventionist stance will also be taken. We still need to ensure that the government supports struggling factories until they can become more profitable so that our industrial growth can be maintained. The railway network will also be modernized and expanded to ensure that the transportation of both people and goods around the Federation is both faster and easier than it currently is.
  • Unity and Federalism: Pan-nationalism and nationalism are the greatest threats to the Federation’s integrity and we must do all we can to combat them. Only by forming a single national identity can petty ethnic rivalries cease to divide us and stability be ensured. We may identify ourselves as Hungarians or Vlachs or Lombards but in the end we are all Danubians! Only together united as one, regardless of economic or social background, can we march into the future and secure the ideals of Liberty and Democracy for ourselves and our posterity. In addition, Federalist policies shall be pursued, such as unifying the powers of government so that a stable system is created. The confederalist and regionalist policies of the past have proven to be inadequate in maintaining the stability and prosperity we need. With these steps the Federation shall be prepared to deal with the threats of the future.
  • Military: A Pro-Military stance shall be taken so that our military can remain strong and up to date regarding both equipment and training. We do not need to be seen as weak by our enemies or they will surely take advantage of it. The navy shall also be expanded so that we may protect our trade interests in the Mediterranean.
  • Foreign Policy: The Bavarian Crisis that arose after the civil war highlighted the need for us to reconcile our relationship with Prussia and Russia. Relations will be maintained with France and so too will our influence with the southern German states. We must promote peace in Europe while shifting our focus southward to the Mediterranean. We must secure our interests and establish a Federal colony in Tunisia. Their unwarranted aggression against our peaceful trading operations will not go unpunished. However, the rest of my term shall be marked by peace and a focus on domestic issues.
  • Social: I will bring about gradual social reform, starting with the deregulation of trade unions. We shall not impede the right of workers to organize themselves nor shall we ignore the desire of our citizens for this. I shall also be taking a pluralist stance when it comes to religion. This has been the stance of the Federation since its inception and I see no reason to change it. All those who do not follow the religion a majority of the Federation will not be persecuted nor denied the rights that everyone else has because of their religion. All Danubians deserve to have the same rights regardless of ethnicity, religion, or social status.

I shall lead us into the future and overcome the mistakes of the past. I shall bring stability, prosperity and glory for the Federation. Through liberalism, federalism, and equality I shall create a better nation for us all. Vote for Unity! Vote for Progress! Vote for Vertucci!

The Result

The election of 1860 was by no means clear cut. The implosion of the Liberal bloc led by the Federal Democratic Party effectively secured victory for the left, yet wafer thin victories for the Conservative party in Austria and Hungary prevented the whitewash predicted in the pre-election analysis, while the record low turnout took away the clear mandate that such a victory should have brought. Regardless, this first victory by a radical party was historic in itself.

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