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George Roberts (Red Land of the Free)

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George Roberts was a politician, soldier, councilor, communist, US president and later Chairman of the Communist Party of the US. He was born in California served well in WWI receiving a medal of honor. He later entered local politics for the Democrat Party and became a member of the California State Assembly. Later he won the nomination as a democrat candidate and then won the election in 1932. He during the next 29 years of his presidency turned America into a communist state. He died of a stroke in 1961 and was replaced by by General Kyle Orman.

Early Life

George Roberts was born on 7 March 1896 to a lower class Californian family who owned a farm. He was the eldest of three children with two younger sisters. He attended primary and secondary school but never showed a great interest in further education or politics. As a child he was a hard worker and never excelled at school more interested in building a stable family and keeping the family farm running. He married in 1915 to Laura Neave and had two sons before the outbreak of the war.

The Great War

The day after the US declaration of war on the 7th December 1917 George Roberts enlisted in the United States Army and was in Europe at the start of the German Spring Offensive. This is where his name first became known outside of his home town. He fought hard throughout the retreat but was never wounded until the Second battle of the Marne when an artillery shell landed on his squad. Five men were killed and the rest of his squad were wounded he himself had taken two pieces of shrapnel but went on to carry three of his wounded comrades back to a field hospital before refusing any medical attention returned to the front line where he fought again on the front line. His commanding officer nominated him for a medal of honor which he received some time after the battle.

State Politics

After his return from the war at home he was treated as a war hero and returned to his farm where he had a daughter with his wife. In the 1920 California State Assembly elections he was elected to the State Assembly as a democrat. He declared his intention to improve his own local community. He worked hard to try and help the people out in the rural areas who he believed were being cheated out of their wealth. He showed that he had charm and speaking ability and managed to work well in the Assembly although in his second and third terms the State Assembly became more republican and in his third term although he found himself the leader of his party in the Assembly he was minority leader and so struggled to make an impact although gained notoriety throughout the party. At the end of his three terms while working hard to help his local people he had been obstructed at many corners and decided he would need to go to the next level to make an impact.

While he considered running for congress he decided against it after it was suggested he run for governor. His war record and reputation as a fierce fighter in the State Assembly allowed him to easily gain the democrat nomination but he then faced a serious and tough opponent from C.C Young at a time when the republicans were popular. He fought day and night fighting hard and making many speeches at packed halls across the state. Due to his personal magnetism and drive he managed to scrape a victory over the Republican candidate winning 52.43%.

As governor he worked hard to follow the voters wishes and so surprisingly did many highly republican policies until the great depression in which he made a speech in 1930 declaring the rich greedy bankers in New York had destroyed the US through their hubris and their lapdogs in Washington. His speech put him onto the national stage with many agreeing with his speech. He ended his governorship term and did not stand for re-election. He then decided at this point he would run for president.

Nomination

George Roberts after his term as Governor expired traveled up to Washington on what he called a 'couple of months sight- seeing the stinking pit'. In effect he had moved to Washington and spent the next year and a half getting to know all of the major figures in the democrat party. As the time of the election came nearer in spring he traveled to the south for a few weeks where he visited Texas and Mississippi and introduced himself and that was where he announced his intention to run for president. He then returned to Washington and attempted to meet with every democrat senator in the house. As the National Convention begun the four main nominees standing were George Roberts, Franklin Roosevelt, John Nance Garner and Al Smith. Roberts made a speech promising to bring to justice the criminals who ruined the US just days before the convention. While this had little effect in fear a number of businessman concerned about the dangers of him paid a former Chicago Gangster to kill him.

During his final speech on 27th July 1932 the assassin opened fire from a service corridor overlooking the podium where he made his speech. The bullet missed Roberts forehead and instead slashed his right cheek and ear. Two security personnel threw Roberts to the ground and fell on top of him trying to cover him. The gangster loosed off another shot angry about his first failure but it only hit one of the security men in the back killing him.

The would-be killer was captured while trying to leave the Stadium and after the National Convention was suspended for two days and an a leak came out of the CPD that the man had confessed to being hired by some traders there was a national outrage at the attack. After George Roberts recovered and made his final speech he was given a standing ovation and in the first round he won 52.43% of the vote. During the second round he failed to gain more votes but John Nance Garner pulled out and back George Roberts. He soared to just being 28 votes away from the needed two-thirds. The fourth round failed to break the deadlock with him losing a single vote but he finally managed to break through when Al Smith pulled out and although almost all of them voted for Roosevelt in the fifth round of nominations George Roberts received 771 votes. John Nance Garner was his running ate.

First and Second Term

As soon as he was nominated he set about campaigning and promised to 'right old wrongs'. He worked night and day up until the election when he carried 481 electoral votes and received a similar victory in both houses. His first act as President was to set up an inquiry into financial and political corruption since 1918. Mass arrests of hundreds of bankers, traders and business owners as well as politicians who were suspected of being complicit in criminal economic negligence.

After the trial of a number of large traders and known corrupt small politicians were sentenced to mainly ten years imprisonment. With the majority of people convinced that the people listed were in fact guilty the trials began to deviate with show trials being held more so as men not definitely guilty of all charged were found guilty anyway by an enquiry dominated by the President's own men. Much of the real and fictional evidence which came up made the Republican administrations look very poor. After a year the final arrest warrant was replaced for Herbert Hoover. In a by now totally fictitious trial claiming bribery and violence the President was sentenced to five years in a federal prison. The Republican Party's credibility collapsed with this trial. At the same time anyone convicted would lose all their property to the US treasury.

In 1933 the US president opened trade relations with the USSR offering to help them build heavy industry in exchange for grain. Trading begins to build up progressively over the next few years, while the move is seen as unpopular the lowering of the grain shortage counteracts the complaints.

At the same time with these judicial practices being established, economic reforms were introduced. National employment schemes were created which more or less forced all people, man or woman, to either find work or join a government labour battalion which made people make roads, railways, irrigation projects and construct housing. Many luxury factories were shut down and their workers made to join labour battalions. The Government created the agricultural maintenance committee which involved thousands of people being conscripted into the building of dams, canals and a line of trees similar to OTL to break the wind causing dust storms. New methods became law with farmers risking loosing their property if they did not reform. Prohibition was abolished and in 1933 the government declared rationing for a short period of time while there are climate issues which affect our agriculture. The rationing would never be repealed.

The rapid and aggressive reforms had worked well to stop the rise of unemployment and loss in production, removal of wealth from the country was made illegal so anyone leaving would be made penniless. While these war harsh measures in 1934 the government managed to keep it's hold on both houses.

In 1936 the President was up for re- election. He managed to keep his nomination while receiving a challenge from Roosevelt which he managed to reject.

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