Alternate History

Bull Moose

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In the Bull Moose timeline, Theodore Roosevelt serves a third, and then a fourth, term as President of the United States, from 1913 to his death in 1919.

  • In 1908, Republican Theodore Roosevelt declines to run for a third term as President. He endorses fellow Republican William Howard Taft, his own Secretary of War, for the Republican nomination. Taft defeats William Jennings Bryan in the general election but proves to be less able and certainly less popular than Roosevelt. A rift grows between Taft and Roosevelt over policy and leadership. Roosevelt begins to regret leaving office.
  • Late 1911 - Roosevelt and Taft meet and have a candid conversation. Roosevelt has not formally announced his candidacy, but another Progressive politician, Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin, has. Taft is worried and weary. Though he intends to stand for a second term, largely due to the influence of his wife, Helen Taft, he tells Roosevelt that the job he truly always wanted was Chief Justice of the United States. Roosevelt, cunningly, suggests they could do business. He makes a proposal to Taft - if the President will withdraw from the nomination battle and allow Roosevelt to become the Republican nominee, he, Roosevelt, will appoint Taft to the Supreme Court bench at the earliest opportunity, paving the way for Taft's own ambition to come true.

Taft, after agonising over the decision and arguing with his wife, agrees and announces, in December 1911, that he will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination.

  • In January 1912, Roosevelt and LaFollette agree to a deal that will see them both nominated to the national ticket - Roosevelt for President and LaFollette as Vice President.
  • At the 1912 Republican convention, Roosevelt and LaFollette are duly nominated, with the right-wing of the party supporting Charles Fairbanks, Roosevelt's former VP. The result is close, but the progressive wing win both ballots. Fairbanks and his supporters retire hurt, but they are not finished yet.
  • In the general election of November 5, 1912, the Republican ticket of Roosevelt/LaFollette defeats the Democratic ticket of Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall. Roosevelt wins almost eight million votes or 53% of the vote.
  • Roosevelt is inaugurated on March 4, 1913. He thus becomes the second President to serve non-consecutive terms in office, being considered both the 26th and 28th Presidents.
  • When World War One begins, Roosevelt pushes for participation. Congress, still dominated by Roosevelt's more isolationist Republican rivals, is wary of war and does not share Roosevelt's desire for support of the Allies. In the 1914 mid-term elections, Roosevelt campaigns heavily for a more hard-line against German submarine warfare and the progressive Republicans win control of Congress. In early 1915, at Roosevelt's instigation, the United States declares war on Germany.
  • An early U.S. entry into the war, beginning with the joint Anglo-American invasion of German-occupied France, forces Germany into a strong defensive position.
  • Roosevelt is re-elected in 1916. Vice President LaFollette does not seek a second term due to a falling out with Roosevelt over American involvement in the war. Roosevelt's new Vice President is Warren G. Harding, formerly Governor of Ohio. The Roosevelt/Harding ticket defeats the Democratic ticket of Champ Clark and Frederick Plaisted.
  • By mid-1917, an armistice is signed. Roosevelt advocates a hard line at the peace conference, held at Versailles. Eventually, the Austro-Hungarian empire is broken up and Germany significantly reduced in power and strength. Commenting on events, New Jersey Senator Woodrow Wilson proposes a 'League of Nations' but Roosevelt opposes such a move and no action is taken.
  • In October 1917, an attempt to overthrow Tsar Nicholas II of Russia fails due to a lack of popular support. However, the attempt does shake the Russian government.
  • After the end of the war, Roosevelt prepares to run for a fifth term in 1920, still one of America's most popular Presidents. However, in January 1919, just after mid-term elections in which the Republicans retain control of Congress, Roosevelt dies following a two-month illness. Vice President Harding is sworn in as the 28th President.

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