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United Socialist States of America

An exercise in alternate history.

The path to the creation of the United Socialist States of America began with the death of President Franklin Roosevelt on  April 12, 1944 and the accession to the Presidency by Vice-President Henry Wallace.  Personally favorable to the Soviet Union, the new President surrounded himself with fellow travelers and security risks.

In the Presidential election of 1944 Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican nominee, denounced Wallace as “soft on Communism”, a charge that Wallace vigorously denied. Wallace was elected in a close contest with Senator Glen Taylor (D.Id) as his Vice-President.

Following the conclusion of World War II, Wallace followed a policy of rapid demobilization which was quite popular, leaving only three divisions in Europe for occupation duties. General Eisenhower denounced this as being an inadequate force and resigned from the Army.  Wallace turned a blind eye to the Soviet imposition of Communist governments in Eastern Europe, with his inaction being denounced vociferously by the Republicans and by many Democrats, most notably Senator Harry Truman (D.Mo.).

Which member of the Wallace administration secretly provided the Soviets with the blue prints to build atomic bombs in 1945 remains unclear, but suspicion has usually focused on Secretary of State Alger Hiss.  Hiss was certainly instrumental in turning Werner von Braun and his associates over to the Soviets in 1945.  By 1948 Communist parties dominated all of Eastern Europe and Italy.

Wallace was defeated for re-election in 1948, running on the Progressive Party ticket after being denied the Democrat nomination which went to Harry Truman.  Thomas E. Dewey, the Republican standard bearer,  won in the fall with Truman a close second and Wallace a humiliating third with 2.4% of the votes.

The Wallace administration was history, but it left behind in the government bureaucracies many individuals who served as agents for the Soviet Union out of ideological conviction.  Steps to remove them were only partially successful, and throughout the ensuing Cold War they provided steady intelligence to the Soviet Union which allowed it to maintain a technological parity with the United States as the years passed.  Rising to senior positions in the various government bureaucracies they sheltered younger agents who joined them over the years.

With the defeat of US forces in Vietnam, the Henry Wallace wing of the Democrat party became dominant, with George McGovern narrowly defeating Ronald Reagan in 1976.  Embarking on a policy of a 37% reduction in military spending, which represented in practice a policy of unilateral disarmament, McGovern was not a knowing agent of the Soviet Union, although it is difficult to see what difference  it would have made in his policies if he had been.  He steadfastly ignored the toppling of governments of Central America by communist insurrections and the swarms of Soviet advisors that helped prop up the new regimes.  The beginning of a Communist insurrection in Mexico in 1978 alarmed many in the United States, but McGovern stuck to his policy of “Come Home America” and continued his policy of non-involvement in military struggles abroad.

The Soviets struck against the United States with limited nuclear strikes, an invasion across the Bering Straits into Alaska of 60 divisions, and 30 divisions driving north from Central America on May 2, 1979.  Chaos reigned at American bases, most of which had been thoroughly infilitrated.  Although many Americans wished to fight to the death, President Edward M.Kennedy, who took office after the death of President McGovern in a bombing raid on Washington, surrendered on May 1, 1980, which is regarded as the date of the creation of the United Socialist States of America.

 

USSA

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

7 Comments

  1. I don’t know. The water gets that hot that quickly, the frog’s gonna jump. For this scenario to work, I think you’ve got to tell the story about Hollywood, the intelligentsia, the New York Times, et cetera, demonstrating to America that the Marxist model is perfectly viable, just an alternative approach to governance. In fact, it’s the next wave of development, and the US is falling behind. Would the US have even gotten tied up in the Vietnamese people’s great experiment in self-determination? Would we have looked to Mexico with anything but envy? Wouldn’t we have celebrated when England finally got rid of its parliamentary monarchy?

  2. I see a few variations also

    1) If there was no Truman doctrine then not only Italy but Greece and even France may have fallen to their leftist parties and joined in some way with the USSR.

    2) It is doubtful that Truman would have been the 1948 nominee for President. Wallace may have held onto the nomination ala Jimmy Carter in 1980. In any case Truman was more likely if Wallace was on the way out to have been a kingmaker in 1948, supporting another candidate and perhaps ending up as the VP candidate.

    3) The real question is, what would Wallace have done if the Soviet Union were not attacked by Germany in 1941? Imagine an alternative where the German military, fearful of a repeat of Napoleon’s debacle, overthrow the Nazis and installs a leader more like Franco or Dolfuss. The American Left would have had no threatened USSR to save and would have continued to support the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact. Had Hitler’s alternative successor not declared war on the U.S. after Pearl Harbor, people like Wallace may have prevented the U.S. from seriously aiding Britain even if Roosevelt still lived. Franco might then have spurned British bribes and jumped in on the German-Italian side, and the Churchill government may have then fallen.

    It makes you wonder how God judges politicians (aren’t we all in some small way?). Aside from his leftist alliances and his dabblings in theosophy, Wallace was basically a good guy. He exhibited no sign of personal bigotry and spoke out against racism when it really mattered. He foresaw the agricultural ‘Green Revolution’ that would later save the lives of billions and helped create the institutions needed to support scientists like Norman Borlaug. Yes, we had a near brush with political disaster with him, but the world is unarguably a better place today because of his non-political work (Herbert Hoover comes to mind as a more conservative counterpart here).

  3. “1) If there was no Truman doctrine then not only Italy but Greece and even France may have fallen to their leftist parties and joined in some way with the USSR.”

    Agree as to Greece. The French Army and DeGaulle would never have let France go Communist.

    “It is doubtful that Truman would have been the 1948 nominee for President.”

    FDR had been President so long that there was a real vacuum at the top for the Democrats. I chose Truman because I think he would have been leading the charge against Wallace.

    “Aside from his leftist alliances and his dabblings in theosophy, Wallace was basically a good guy. He exhibited no sign of personal bigotry and spoke out against racism when it really mattered. He foresaw the agricultural ‘Green Revolution’ that would later save the lives of billions and helped create the institutions needed to support scientists like Norman Borlaug.”

    Agreed. Wallace also supported American intervention in Korea, breaking with his Progressive Party, and published a book in 1952, Where I Was Wrong, stating that he was an now an anti-Communist and that he had misjudged Stalin and the Soviet Union. Wallace was a good man at heart but he allowed himself to be fooled by very unsavory characters who rallied around him in 48.

  4. “The French Army and DeGaulle would never have let France go Communist.” Agreed. That’s why I used qualifications such as “even” France and “joined in some way” with the USSR. The question is how far could the leftists gotten before they provoked DeGaulle, and there is always the possibility that he could have been assassinated.

    The reasons I didn’t pick Truman as THE anti-Wallace leader in alternate 1948 is because a) he didn’t turn against Wallace until after he was president for a year or so and b) because he didn’t promote himself for VP in 1944 despite knowing about FDR’s declining health. Truman was a true servant of a republic and was not driven by personal ambition.

    “FDR had been President so long that there was a real vacuum at the top for the Democrats”. Agreed. The Democrats of those years certainly had competent men for the presidency such as Truman and Jimmy Byrnes (Truman’s favorite to succeed both FDR and himself), but both men had political baggage (the Pendergast machine and leaving the Catholic Church, respectively) that would probably have doomed a presidential run in 1948 had Truman or Byrnes not been the incumbent. That’s probably true even without a Wallace third party run to split the Democratic vote.

  5. Don, I also agree with your assessment that Dewey would have become president in 1948. It would be interesting to explore the ramifications of that event.

    The most pivotal event of the 1950’s was Eisenhower’s election to the presidency. Had Dewey been president in 1950 the Korean War would probably have run out much the same as it did under Truman. The question is, would Eisenhower have run a challenge to Dewey in 1952?

    Had Eisenhower not been elected president in 1952 the later history of the Cold War would have been much different. Since he was a military professional he was able to see past some of the more extreme proposals for defense procurements. Eisenhower’s constant concern was to ensure that the buildup necessary to face down the Soviets did not wreck the U.S. economy in the process. The Fifty-Year War, one of the best books on the Cold War, amply documents this (it also documents JFK’s odd behavior, although his drug use was not public knowledge when it was written). See http://www.usni.org/store/books/history/fifty-year-war-0

    Eisenhower was the right man at the right time. Later American history could have been poorer and bloodier.

  6. “The question is, would Eisenhower have run a challenge to Dewey in 1952?”

    Would Eisenhower have run as a Democrat? He had expressed disdain for the Democrat party and declined chances to run as a Democrat so I doubt he would have done so in 52. Ironically Dewey helped Eisenhower defeat Taft to gain the Republican nomination in 1952. If he had challenged Dewey for the Republican nomination in 52 he might have gotten it if Dewey had been as unpopular as Truman because of Korea. Of course then we have the question of whether Dewey would have fired MacArthur or would he have asked Ike to command the UN forces in Korea? Alternate history opens up endless vistas!

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