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1944 US Presidential Election (French Trafalgar, British Waterloo)

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1940 US flag 29 stars 1948 > ›
United States presidential election, 1944
November 7, 1944
General George C. Marshall, official military photo, 1946 Joseph Kennedy
Nominee George C. Marshall Joseph P. Kennedy
Party Socialist Nationalist
Home state Pennsylvania Massachusetts
Running mate Harry S. Truman Walter E. Disney
Electoral vote 265 75
States carried 20 9
Popular vote 19,037,778 18,167,028
Percentage 48.4% 45.9%
US Pres Election 1944 EC
Presidential election results map. Red denotes states won by Marshall/Truman (20), Blue denotes those won by Kennedy/Disney (9).
President before election
Joseph P. Kennedy
Nationalist
Elected President
George C. Marshall
Socialist

The 1944 United States Presidential Election was the fortieth election held to determine the leader of the United States of America, held in the middle of the Third Global War. The contest pitted incumbent Nationalist President Joseph P. Kennedy and Vice-President Walter Elias Disney versus Socialist candidate General George C. Marshall and the Vice-President candidate Harry S. Truman.

In a stunning upset, Marshall defeated Kennedy in both the Electoral College and the Popular Vote, unseating the President during the middle of the war that was already turning in the US's and her allies favor. Many factors had been cited, such as Kennedy's Appeasement policies that lead the Confederate States of America's resurgence and later an attack on the US in 1941, as well as the difficulty the US had in mobilizing for war with the occupation of Ohio. This, with the effective campaign run by Marshall, summed up with the slogan "Victory and Security," lead the tepid Kennedy to loose the election.

Background

With the Third Global War still raging on, President Kennedy was still considered an "appeaser" due to his early attitude to the demands of Confederate President Sam Rayburn for Kentucky and North Virginia, his voice as Ambassador to the Confederacy especially important to influence his predecessor Norman Thomas's eventual capitulation to CSA demands. On this platform, as well as his business acumen for rebuilding the US economy during the tail end of the stubborn Great Depression, he won the White House in 1940.

With the Confederate attack on the US in 1941, Kennedy's Appeasement position, while his focus on domestic problems while the Confederacy gained power, became a huge political burden, and especially after the 1942 Congressional elections when the Nationalists lost their majority in the Senate and House of Representatives that they held since 1938 to the Socialists. With Kennedy handicapped by Congress, he was forced to agree to the Socialist's on many positions, which damaged his Nationalist credentials despite the crisis the US faced.

In 1943, Kennedy attempted to regain control of the war, firing General George C. Marshall for his "lukewarm" attitude to fighting the Confederates, despite the problems that the US faced. Within months, the popular General was asked by the Socialists to run for President, and in the Socialist Presidential Convention held in New York City, he easily defeated other Socialist big names, including President Thomas' Vice President James Burnfield, and Former New York Governor and current Senator Fiorello La Guardia.

Campaign

The campaign was shorter than usual, with heavy campaigning only starting in early 1944, due to the mutual acceptance of both the Socialist and the Nationalist parties that the war was more important. As well, the US Army only allowed an equal number of visits by both candidates to army bases, especially due to the President's role as Commander in Chief, and the former head of the US General Staff. Both candidates were refused entry into "combat zones," due to the possible "distraction" that the campaigning may cause.

Marshall early on adopted the slogan "Victory and Security", saying that victory over the Confederacy and later the other Natso powers was more important than domestic issues, and then after the war was won, the need to ensure that never again could the US be as surprised as they were in 1941. He also announced support for Russia, Japan and France, despite pre-war opposition to Sorelism. When asked about this, he famously quipped "If the Natso's invaded Hell, I would shake hands with the Devil." Marshall, as a relative outsider to politics, was attacked for his inexperience in executive positions. However, he cited that "commanding a corps of America's best is almost the same as leading Congress."

Kennedy, on the other hand, was unable to mobilize the support that Marshall was, especially as Socialist supporters (but not the candidate himself) proclaimed Marshall as being "crucified" because of Kennedy's ineptitude. The incumbent also was attacked for the awarding of contracts to political supporters of the Nationalists, many friends with Kennedy himself. However, Kennedy did have the improving military situation, most of which took place after Marshall was removed from his post, which he tried to take some credit for. However, his support for Appeasement, and his early attacks on military spending, were brought up and made Kennedy seem out of touch with the foreign situation. The President was better suited to economic and domestic issues, but they were unimportant during wartime.

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