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What If: Fdr Does Not Run/is Defeated In 1944?


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#1 Murph

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 2022 PM

What would the world have been like if FDR had not run, or had been defeated in 1944?  Was his ego such that he would allow his successor to go into it with NO briefing?  FDR being a supreme egotist, and known for not telling his closest advisors what he had decided, or had agreed with other world leaders would he leave his successor in the dark?  What direction would the war have gone?


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#2 R011

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Posted 09 November 2019 - 2132 PM

There was no realistic prospect of him or his party losing in 1944. If he retired, his successor would have been thoroughly briefed. The war would continue mostly as it did in real life. FDR would probably choose a successor who would continue his policies.

IDK who were considered prospects. I think Roosevelt expected to live another term and did not choose his VPs for their presidential potential.
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#3 Rick

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 0736 AM

No change.


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#4 JWB

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 1211 PM

More plausible is FDR passing before the election. The election of 1944 would probably be won by Truman. History would unfold about 99% the same.


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#5 Murph

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 1741 PM

But without the shock of suddenly becoming President, would Truman keep the Roosevelt people in positions of power?  


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#6 JWB

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 2113 PM

But without the shock of suddenly becoming President, would Truman keep the Roosevelt people in positions of power?  

https://en.wikipedia..._Truman#Cabinet


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#7 R011

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Posted 10 November 2019 - 2224 PM

Would Truman be the nominee if FDR died before the campaign started?
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#8 Rick

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0502 AM

While FDR had some good points, I think most of us remember FDR for his gross mismanagement of the Great Depression and the Ponzi Scheme of Social Security.

 

 
 

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#9 Stuart Galbraith

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 0505 AM

The really interesting what if for me is if Roosevelt is assassinated in 1933, as Phillip K Dick proposes in 'The Man in the High Castle'.

https://www.thoughtc...-on-fdr-1779297


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#10 JWB

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Posted 11 November 2019 - 1205 PM

Would Truman be the nominee if FDR died before the campaign started?

Certainly. In those days nominating a Veep was almost the same as nominating a POTUS.

"While serving as a senator from Missouri, Truman rose to national prominence as the leader of the Truman Committee, which investigated wasteful and inefficient practices in wartime production during World War II.[1][2] As the war continued, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought re-election in the 1944 presidential election. Roosevelt personally favored either incumbent Vice President Henry A. Wallace or James F. Byrnes as his running mate in 1944. However, Wallace was unpopular among conservatives in the Democratic Party, while Byrnes was opposed by liberals and many Catholics. At the behest of party leaders, Roosevelt agreed to run with Truman, who was acceptable to all factions of the party, and Truman was nominated for vice president at the 1944 Democratic National Convention."

 

https://en.wikipedia..._Truman#Cabinet

 

Absent FDR party leaders would have nominated HST.


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#11 Markus Becker

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 1220 PM

The really interesting what if for me is if Roosevelt is assassinated in 1933, as Phillip K Dick proposes in 'The Man in the High Castle'.
https://www.thoughtc...-on-fdr-1779297

The Repblicans would still loose. That leaves the question how much or little FDR was in line with the majority of the Democratic party.

Anybody knowing more about his VP elect than what's in the wiki article?

Edited by Markus Becker, 12 November 2019 - 1225 PM.

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#12 Mk 1

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 1657 PM

I think most of us remember FDR for his gross mismanagement of the Great Depression and the Ponzi Scheme of Social Security.

No, that's probably not how must of us remember FDR. I would suggest that is a decisively minority viewpoint.  Even Friedman, in the first minute of the video of the link you provided, suggests that perhaps 9 out of 10 bankers would not remember FDR that way.

 

"While serving as a senator from Missouri, Truman rose to national prominence as the leader of the Truman Committee, which investigated wasteful and inefficient practices in wartime production during World War II.[1][2] As the war continued, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought re-election in the 1944 presidential election. Roosevelt personally favored either incumbent Vice President Henry A. Wallace ...

 

Truman was selected as the unflavored ticket mate. He was the least common denominator, the man no one objected to primarily because no one really knew him, or if they did, what he might stand for in terms of national policy.  He was a nobody from nowhere.

 

Wallace had been FDR's VP.  He was rather farther to the left than FDR.  He was also less hawkish. The prospect of Wallace somehow ascending to the Presidency is one of the interesting what-ifs of the late war period.  He was unlikely to make it there through the general election process (he wasn't even popular enough for the "designated funeral attendee" on the ticket by 1944), but if he had held that post through the Democratic Convention, he would have been the guy to rise to the job on FDR's demise. 

 

Whether he would have authorized the use of the A-Bombs on Japan is one possible change in this what-if.  I don't think it would have mattered too much, except to the poor sods who would have stepped off the boats to a different reception in Japan (and their families). 

 

Perhaps more intriguing is the likely impact on the post-war world, including the early stages of the Cold War.  Wallace was reputedly more sympathetic to the Soviets than even FDR, and certainly more than Truman was. He had indicated support for a plan provide a massive infusion of funds to help the Soviets rebuild their infrastructure after the war. Some, including Oliver Stone (and yes, I know how that name generates an almost universal chorus of oohs and aahs here) have posited that there might not have been a Cold War if Wallace had been VP in 1945.  I don't quite agree, and would suggest that it is the height of hubris to say that Stalin's policies of the last 1940s and early 1950s were of US manufacture.  To my mind, giving billions to a megalomaniac will not be likely to produce a peace-loving lambikins so much as just producing a stronger megalomaniac. 

 

But it makes for an interesting what-if.

 

-Mark

(aka: Mk 1)


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#13 JasonJ

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 1934 PM

FDR was anti-Japan from the beginning. Bear in mind 1936 was before the start of the second Sino-Japanese war and he was already thinking about concentration camps.

Prewar Attitudes Towards Japanese
From the beginning, Roosevelt's attitudes towards Japan and Japanese Americans were shaped equally by his cosmopolitan family life and the Social Darwinist racial attitudes of his time. He had a number of friends and acquaintances who were Japanese and family members who had visited Asia, most notably his mother, who had accompanied her merchant father to China. He was greatly influenced by his distant cousin Theodore Roosevelt, who admired the Japanese but viewed Japan as a military threat. The young Franklin Roosevelt was also greatly influenced by author and navy booster Alfred Thayer Mahan, whom he discovered at age eleven, and by author Homer Lea, who viewed Japanese immigration as a catalyst for war in the Pacific. During his stint as assistant secretary of the navy in the Woodrow Wilson administration, FDR warned repeatedly of the need to protect the West Coast from Japanese attack. In his 1920s writings, he called for peaceful engagement with Japan but favored exclusion and alien land laws for Japanese immigrants based on their supposedly innate and incompatible racial characteristics.

During the 1930s, FDR hardened his stance on Japan due largely to Japan’s naval buildup and aggression against China, and in the process on Japanese Americans, whom he suspected of loyalty to Tokyo. After a 1936 Joint Planning Committee report on Hawai'i and the Japanese population there, he wrote a memo stating in part:

One obvious thought occurs to me—that every Japanese citizen or non-citizen on the Island of Oahu who meets these Japanese ships or has any connection with their officers or men should be secretly but definitely identified and his or her name placed on a special list of those who would be the first to be placed in a concentration camp in the event of trouble.[1]
Subsequently, further surveillance was undertaken on the West Coast Japanese population, but not on resident German and Italian populations.

https://encyclopedia...owards_Japanese

...
Roosevelt Pushes for Recognition

Almost immediately upon taking office, however, President Roosevelt moved to establish formal diplomatic relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. His reasons for doing so were complex, but the decision was based on several primary factors. Roosevelt hoped that recognition of the Soviet Union would serve U.S. strategic interests by limiting Japanese expansionism in Asia, and he believed that full diplomatic recognition would serve American commercial interests in the Soviet Union, a matter of some concern to an Administration grappling with the effects of the Great Depression. Finally, the United States was the only major power that continued to withhold official diplomatic recognition from the Soviet Union.
...

https://history.stat.../1921-1936/ussr

Nevermind that the SU was absent from the 9 power treaties, did attack Manchuria in 1929, all the while "Japanese expansionism" does not include the fact that Japan did sign onto the 9 power treaty and respected that by backing the Fangtian Clique in Manchuria until its own economic collapse in 1928 which was subsequently attacked by the SU one year later, and the whole time was never under the jurisdiction of CKS. So instead of just letting that one time of Japanese expansion pass, it got labled as Japanese aggression justifying recognition of Stalin's SU.

No doubt in my mind that in order to implement the terms of the Potsdam Declaration of which much of the basis of it are trollish in nature, for one point demanding the complete disarmament of the Japanese military, he would use the A bombs.
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#14 Murph

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 0702 AM

FDR was a bit of a racist which get glossed over, in his world if you were not WASP, you were not anything of importance apparently.  But it would have been interesting if John Nance Gardner had been president.  But arguably FDR did reasonably well as a wartime president, but I argue he was too eager to get us into a European dust up.


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#15 JasonJ

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 0742 AM

FDR was a bit of a racist which get glossed over, in his world if you were not WASP, you were not anything of importance apparently.  But it would have been interesting if John Nance Gardner had been president.  But arguably FDR did reasonably well as a wartime president, but I argue he was too eager to get us into a European dust up.

 

In contrary to that, I think he was too eager to get involved with trying to save China from Japan. But what it really was in trying to save CKS's China from Japan and its Reorganized China government with Wang Jingwei on top. The US started sending lines of credit to the Nationalists Chinese in December 1938, the first one being 25 million USD, which apparently was enough to keep CKS from losing control of the nationalists Chinese. 20 million line of credit in March 1940. Then 100 million in November 1940. http://www.nids.mod....f/201303/09.pdf

 

There could be an argument making a case for geopolitical and security interest position for the US to have steadily become more and more vested in the survival of the nationalist Chinese for the purpose of balancing Japan and preventing a larger Japan sphere of influence over mainland China. But arguments that urge the backing of the nationalist Chinese on the basis of justice is naive because how can one claim that CKS (or the SU for that matter) be more respectful towards human rights than Japan or the Collaborative regime under Wang? Even if Japan was not the ideal role model, I'm not convinced the other players in the region were any better. In the end, our timeline resulted in the other party winning, Mao. My very unpopular view. Why go into it, only because I'm not sure if your post is implying a view saying "that path towards war vs Japan was good and path towards war vs Germany was bad".

 

But Nazi Germany had to be taken out. It was unfortunate that Japan drew closer to Germany in the process. I would like to think that had the other major powers been less critical of Japan taking Manchuria, than maybe CKS and other nationalistic sentiments would have been avoided in starting trouble with the Japanese in places like at the Marco Polo bridge. But that's how history played out and Imperial Japan was not pretty anyway. Life goes on. But a view about today's security relation between the US and other European countries which might be increasingly against such defense relations really should have no bearing on changing the established view that eliminating that regime was a good thing.


Edited by JasonJ, 14 November 2019 - 0745 AM.

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#16 Markus Becker

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Posted 14 November 2019 - 1545 PM

https://youtu.be/dgyQsIGLt_w

What were the Fed actions that had such devastating effects?
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#17 Harold Jones

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 1207 PM

I think one of the comments on the video sums it up.

 

The fed is supposed to keep inflation and monetary policy stable, what they actually did however was create huge quantities of money and cheap credit in the 20's, driving rapid expansion and a bubble, and then adopted a harsh tight monetary policy in the 30's, creating a crash. In simple terms, the fed continually distorted the market through expansionist and then austere monetary policy, when what they are supposed to do is keep everything fairly stable.

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#18 JWB

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 1241 PM

https://youtu.be/dgyQsIGLt_w

What were the Fed actions that had such devastating effects?

What Harold wrote. 

TBH, the FRB didn't have the tools to measure inflation then that it has now. IIRC it relied upon measuring the amount of gold held in the various reserves. If the total tonnage increased deflation was happening because paper money increased in value. That policy put speculators in charge of monetary policy. :wacko:


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#19 Markus Becker

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Posted 15 November 2019 - 1509 PM

I think one of the comments on the video sums it up.
 

The fed is supposed to keep inflation and monetary policy stable, what they actually did however was create huge quantities of money and cheap credit in the 20's, driving rapid expansion and a bubble, and then adopted a harsh tight monetary policy in the 30's, creating a crash. In simple terms, the fed continually distorted the market through expansionist and then austere monetary policy, when what they are supposed to do is keep everything fairly stable.





So, had they been more austere in the 20s a crash of that magnitude might not have happened and if they had been less austere in the 30s the economy could have improved? To a degree given the retaliatory tariffs.
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#20 Rick

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Posted 16 November 2019 - 0540 AM

 

I think most of us remember FDR for his gross mismanagement of the Great Depression and the Ponzi Scheme of Social Security.

No, that's probably not how must of us remember FDR. I would suggest that is a decisively minority viewpoint.  Even Friedman, in the first minute of the video of the link you provided, suggests that perhaps 9 out of 10 bankers would not remember FDR that way.

 

 

 

"While serving as a senator from Missouri, Truman rose to national prominence as the leader of the Truman Committee, which investigated wasteful and inefficient practices in wartime production during World War II.[1][2] As the war continued, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought re-election in the 1944 presidential election. Roosevelt personally favored either incumbent Vice President Henry A. Wallace ...

 

Truman was selected as the unflavored ticket mate. He was the least common denominator, the man no one objected to primarily because no one really knew him, or if they did, what he might stand for in terms of national policy.  He was a nobody from nowhere.

 

Wallace had been FDR's VP.  He was rather farther to the left than FDR.  He was also less hawkish. The prospect of Wallace somehow ascending to the Presidency is one of the interesting what-ifs of the late war period.  He was unlikely to make it there through the general election process (he wasn't even popular enough for the "designated funeral attendee" on the ticket by 1944), but if he had held that post through the Democratic Convention, he would have been the guy to rise to the job on FDR's demise. 

 

Whether he would have authorized the use of the A-Bombs on Japan is one possible change in this what-if.  I don't think it would have mattered too much, except to the poor sods who would have stepped off the boats to a different reception in Japan (and their families). 

 

Perhaps more intriguing is the likely impact on the post-war world, including the early stages of the Cold War.  Wallace was reputedly more sympathetic to the Soviets than even FDR, and certainly more than Truman was. He had indicated support for a plan provide a massive infusion of funds to help the Soviets rebuild their infrastructure after the war. Some, including Oliver Stone (and yes, I know how that name generates an almost universal chorus of oohs and aahs here) have posited that there might not have been a Cold War if Wallace had been VP in 1945.  I don't quite agree, and would suggest that it is the height of hubris to say that Stalin's policies of the last 1940s and early 1950s were of US manufacture.  To my mind, giving billions to a megalomaniac will not be likely to produce a peace-loving lambikins so much as just producing a stronger megalomaniac. 

 

But it makes for an interesting what-if.

 

-Mark

(aka: Mk 1)

 

First paragraph. Once you get past Friedman's one minute introduction, he(and T. Sowell and W. Williams)explain how the federal government worsened and prolonged the "Great Depression." And how the federal government, and too many voters, continue to make poor economic choices today.


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