Kickstarter is Launched!
The Kickstarter campaign for A More Perfect Union has now launched!
The lead developer, Anthony Burgoyne, is managing the account.
We are getting a lot of support. It’s exciting!
The campaign ends on Dec 31st.
Please find it here and donate if you can: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/966309371/a-more-perfect-union-0
This is a continuation of William Outzen’s summary of the current playtest.
Hoping to avoid the squabbles that had defined their previous leadership elections, the Boudinot Republicans met quietly and pushed forward a slate:
House Minority Leader: Moses Robinson, John Sevier
House Minority Whip: Robert Brown
Senate Minority Leader: Thomas Stone, Walter Bowie
Senate Minority Whip: Francis Willis
There was some discontent as one branch of the party was left out of leadership, but they bit their tongues and went with the party. Facing another two years in the minority against a popular President led to an increased desire in party unity.
The Red Party had been successful in the past of avoiding conflict and hoped to continue that:
Speaker of the House: Jeremiah Smith, Samuel Dana
House Majority Leader: Samuel Dana, Charles Carrol of Carrolton
House Majority Whip: Robert Barwell
Senate Majority Leader: Thomas McKean
Senate Majority Whip: Henry Latimer
Following the leadership elections, the Republicans turned to selecting a party leader. Boudinot was no longer considered for the role (due to the changing interests of the party and less than stellar gains in the midterms). This turned into a bitter competition as each faction wanted control of the party. Much to his disappointment, in the initial vote Vice-President Daniel Hiester failed to advance, beaten out by James Madision and Joseph Bradley Varnum, a relative newcomer to the political scene. Hoping to end the conflict, support was thrown behind Madison, ensuring he became the party leader.
President Butler now turned to his cabinet. The resignation of Paine prompted him to reshuffle it:
Secretary of State: Richard Bache
Secretary of the Treasury: Benjamin Stoddert
Secretary of the Navy: Edmund Randolph
Attorney General: Timothy Pickering
He decided to keep Secretary McHenry in place in the War Department, and Charles Pinckney in place as Postmaster General. In addition, he reshuffled his ambassador team:
UK: Ambrose Spencer
France: Benjamin Rush
Spain: John Hoskins Stone
Butler had almost unmatched influence in the party, and pushed the Senate Majority Leader to push through his nominations, which sailed through the Senate. Despite what seemed like an easy victory, in a meeting with President Butler, Bache proclaimed that he did not believe that his body would be able to handle the rigors of the position, and withdrew from consideration. At the same time, two Admirals passed away due to illness, leaving Randolph scrambling to rebuild the leadership. Butler turned to Governor Samuel Osgood to fill the role.
Senator John Davenport announced that he would be resigning abruptly, surprising the Red Party. A few days later the nation learned of his scandal, effectively ending his political career. President Butler also faced calls to remove Senior Admiral Wade Hampton, due to claims of incompetence. Butler, sensing an opportunity to remove a political opponent, fired him angering the Madison Republicans.He promoted Joseph Calhoun in his place. At the same time, a new slave rebellion broke out in New Hampshire, causing the nation’s domestic stability to plummet. Butler condemned the rebellion, and instructed all patriots to resist it.
Butler then received a diplomatic message from the Barbary Pirates. They demanded he pay tribute or his ships would be under constant threat. Despite concerns of having just replaced 3 of his admirals, Butler declared that he would not yield to threats, but defend his country’s honor. And thus war began. Butler also faced a rebellion in Pennsylvania as Dutch farmers rose up against the Government, further eroding domestic stability. Butler instructed the Governors to call up their militias to deal with the threat. Secretary McHenry put forth a good plan, but Secretary Osgood botched its implementation nationally, letting the rebellion survive the initial battle. In more peaceful news for Butler, France finally ended their Civil war with a new democracy. Butler decided to continue the policy of neutrality, refusing to congratulate or criticize the new government.
Secretary Stoddert informed President Butler that the budget was no longer balanced, a stark contrast to former President Lee. With Butler’s campaign for reelection upcoming, Butler shifted focus to the highly increased economic improvement and the increase in diplomatic relations. This was overshadowed by the horrendous domestic stability, the one issue that Butler had found himself unable to solve.
New Hampshire Governor John Sullivan, long sympathetic to abolitionists, finally achieved his goal of outlawing Slavery in the state. Using the slave rebellion as his attack point, he rammed it through, becoming the first state in the union to do so. Governors and party leaders also began to react to the new amendment to the Constitution, which provided for party tickets in Presidential elections. In a method to drum up support, and coronate their candidates, the parties adopted what they would come to call Conventions. The first Red Party Convention would be held in Virginia, with Governor Josiah Parker presiding. For the Madison Republicans, Vice-President Hiester successfully pushed for the Convention to be held in Pennsylvania with his cousin Joseph Hiester as the presiding officer.
With a new war to worry about, Butler hoped that his ambassadors would be able to improve relations in their respective countries. Sadly, Ambassador Spencer flopped in the UK, causing yet another diplomatic faux pas. Tensions continued to increase, leading to worries of another war with the British. In Spain, Ambassador Stone successfully negotiated a trade agreement, though it had little impact economically. Unfortunately, his navy was not as successful. Admiral George Muter entered in an engagement with the Barbary pirates, but was utterly crushed. Out maneuvered in enemy waters, Muter limped away, leaving a trail of wreckage behind. President Butler fired Muter and appointed Peter Ganesvoort in his place. Admiral Daniel Smith also engaged in combat, and while faring better than Muter, failed to win.
The following legislative session was acrimonious. Madison Republicans were growing increasingly frustrated with the Federalists (as the Red party was increasingly being called). Many felt that they were more focused on obeying Butler than helping the country. The debates in congress often devolved into personal insults and ad hominem attacks. In two years of debates, only five packages made it to the floor for a vote:
Package One: Remove all religious barriers for immigration
Package Two: Tennessee Statehood
Package Three: 14 year residency for naturalization, Increase number of Supreme Court Justices to 6
Package Four: Formally declare war on the Barbary Pirates and increase funding for the war
Package Five: Ban international slave trade
Senator William Jones took to the floor and successfully filibustered Tennessee Statehood, postponing their bid for yet another two years. With the other four packages passing congress, Butler signed them into law and claimed another political victory.
Using his newfound political capital, Butler pushed for a new Minister to Germany, arguing that their growing importance on the world stage necessitated the position. Butler also announced that he would be continuing his pro-states rights policy. Both of his decisions were met with approval from the public and his political allies. Continuing his streak of victories, Butler announced that he would be nominating Martin Chittenden to fill the newly created seat on the Supreme Court. This pick surprised many, as Chittenden had little legal experience, and was younger than desired. Opponents of the pick objected to his age and political leanings, but in the end confirmed his appointment.
Turning to the Presidential election, the Madison Republicans held their convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hiester hoped to make this his public coronation for President, and worked behind the scenes to get Madison’s support for a third bid. In an effort to play the field, Hiester pushed former Secretary of State James Monroe to run as a favored son candidate in Virginia, hoping to split some of his opposition. Failed Governor nominee John Smith also ran in Virginia, hoping to gain enough delegates to be part of a brokered deal. Senator Aaron Burr decided to quietly make a bid for the New York delegates.
On the first day of the Convention, Revolutionary War hero and New Jersey Governor Joseph Bloomfield took to the floor to endorse Vice-President Hiester. His speech was stirring, painting Hiester as the only man who could win the Presidency and save the nation. His speech, combined with Hiester’s maneuvers to keep other serious candidates from declaring all but won him the nomination. After the first ballot, Hiester commanded 245 of the delegates, giving him 78% of the vote, and the victory. Senator Aaron Burr finished a distant second with 15%, followed by John Smith and James Monroe with 4% and 3% respectively.
The convention then turned to nominating their Vice-President, with James Madison immediately being proposed. It was largely suspected that Madison had agreed not to challenge Hiester at the Convention in exchange for the Vice-Presidency. Hiester’s health had long been rumored to be failing, and the office shored up Madison’s position as the heir apparent. Vice-President Hiester selected John Tyler Sr. to be the keynote speaker for the Convention. Tyler had been rejected for the Supreme Court, largely in part to Daniel Hiester’s campaign against him. In the ensuing years, they had become friends and political allies. Tyler presented Hiester as someone who would heal old wounds, and would put the nation above politics.
After his public nomination, Hiester’s team published his agenda if he was to be elected: he planned to create a national bankruptcy law, to establish a bureau of Indian Affairs, ban slavery in territories north of the 30-50 parallel, sing legislation establishing Kentucky as a state, increase the military budget, and to resolve each crisis that faced the nation.
The Federalists held their convention in Richmond, Virginia. President Butler did not face a serious threat to his nomination, though there was some discontent with his administration. Senator George Wythe came to embody this discontent and quietly put together a team to advance his cause. He encouraged General Richard Peters to run as a favorite son candidate. Butler caught wind of this attempt and began to aggressively put together a team to fight back the challenge. He also pushed forward William Franklin to court the New Jersey delegates. Charles Wilson Peale also arranged for a team to support him, propping up former Governor of New Hampshire John Langdon to tie up some delegates. The hope for the challengers was to take away Butler’s first round victory, and draw it out where they could claim some defections.
President Butler and his team were rattled by the amount of animosity he had accrued with members of his own party. What seemed like a sure nomination now was heavily contested. Butler sent former President Benedict Arnold out to the floor for his nomination in a bid to win the support of the delegates. While Butler appeared to be unpopular, Arnold was well respected and admired within the party. Arnold launched into his speech declaring that Butler had lived up to the needs of the nation, and deserved a second term. His speech fell on deaf ears. The delegates were busy trying to get their marching orders from their states, and not even the former President could command their attention. Nathan Hale attempted to support Wythe, but was largely talked over. Peale made a strategic error asking the widow of failed politician John Adams to nominate him. Abigail Adams failed to make a dent, and was shouted off stage, severely damaging Peale’s chances.
President Butler failed to reach 2/3rds on the first ballot, garnering 199 delegates of the necessary 288. Senator Wythe finished with 93, with the rest spread between Peale, Peters, Franklin, and Langdon. Disappointed with his showing and realizing that he would not be able to influence the convention, Langdon withdrew. Peale soon followed, and endorsed President Butler, instructing his supporters to campaign for him. The supporters of William Franklin, sensing an opportunity, began to actively campaign for him, much to the consternation of Butler. Franklin however, announced that he would not be continuing to seek the nomination, and instructed his supporters to support Butler. With the momentum once again shifting to Butler, supporters of Wythe proposed that he would drop his bid for President, in exchange for one of his followers being named Vice-President. Butler agreed, therefore clinching the nomination on the second ballot.
After much deliberation, President Butler selected Representative and former Vice-President George Washington. This choice pleased both Wythe and long-time members of the Federalist party. Washington remained popular in the party and the nation, and would bridge the gap between the current Federalists and the old guard. He also selected Secretary of State Samuel Osgood to be his keynote speaker, who won acclaim throughout the colonies. For his platform, he planned to give the President Power to call a a National Military draft, to Move the capital to New York, all the President to deport immigrants from hostile nations, set the average tariff rate to 8%, and to establish a minister to Russia.
Many felt that Butler and Hiester were very similar, and it was only principle that separated the two men. Hiester caught a break as Butler’s platform was not popular amongst members of his party. Surrogates for the two began to campaign in earnest, attempting to win votes in what was becoming a close election. Butler consistently tried to use the power of the Presidency to sway voters discreetly, but had little impact. A few scandals stemming from his plantations convinced many that he might not be the best man for the job, giving Hiester an opportunity. Vice-Presidential nominee James Madison earned support from Virginia, hoping to turn it away from Butler. Unfortunately for Hiester, his campaign was rocked by scandal, and his momentum was halted. In the end, Butler won a narrow victory over Hiester, and became the first President to win reelection. After his third consecutive defeat, Vice-President Hiester announced that he would be retiring from Presidential politics, disappointed that he never could overcome the obstacles.
The Red Party survived in the Gubernatorial and House elections, holding their majorities. The House was exceedingly narrow, with the Red Party only holding a one seat advantage.
Below is the continuation of William Outzen’s write-up of the current playtest. We are nearing the end of the 18th century:
Following his election loss, former President Lee announced that he would be retiring from public life, and returned to his residence in Virginia. French Ambassador Thomas Jefferson also retired. He had lived a life of thwarted ambition, and had failed in almost everything he turned his mind to.
With an overwhelming lead in both Houses of Congress, the Red Party met together to decide their leadership. They wanted a vote without any drama to ensure the country of stability and unity. They nominated:
Speaker of the House: Samuel W Dana
House Majority Leader: Theodore Sedgewick
House Majority Whip: William Hooper
Senate Majority Leader: Thomas McKean
Senate Majority Whip: Henry Latimer
The Blue Party was less organized, but desired a clean and swift vote. The memory of the previous row two years ago still rankled party leadership. They nominated:
Senate Minority Leader: Thomas Stone
Senate Minority Whip: Aaron Burr
House Minority Leader: David Bard, Walter Folger Jr
House Minority Whip: Robert Brown
Bard once again declined to run for a leadership position, essentially giving the position to Folger Jr.
Red Party leadership was elected unanimously by the caucus. After a bit of wrangling, the Blue Party leadership was elected.
With Congress in place, President Butler turned to his cabinet. He nominated:
Secretary of State: Robert Treat Paine
Secretary of the Treasury: Edmund Randolph
Secretary of War: James McHenry
Secretary of the Navy: William Franklin
Postmaster General: Charles Pinckney
Attorney General: Jonathan O Mosley
Butler refused to let Paine nominate his own ambassadors, choosing his own:
Ambassador to France: Benjamin Stoddert
Ambassador to Spain: Timothy Pickering
Ambassador to the UK: Benjamin Rush
Finally, he named former President Benedict Arnold as his Key Advisor, a move that was derided in some circles, but praised in others.
In a blow to the Blue Party, Maryland Governor William Paca passed away. He had become known for his moves to shore up the Blue Party politically in the state, where he packed the courts with judges who would uphold the Blue Party positions, and drew congressional districts to ensure only Blue Party politicians would be elected. These actions drew widespread interest, where they became known as ‘Pacaing the Courts’ and ‘Pacamandering’ respectively. While his legislative achievements would be forgotten, Paca had left a defining legacy behind.
Elias Boudinot, after taking control of the Blue Party, moved to turn the party into an agrarian movement. He pushed for the party to embrace the tenants of Limited Government. Spain meanwhile announced that they would be limiting foreign business activities in New Orleans, hurting American merchants. In addition, President Butler was pleased to learn that cotton had become the new cash crop for the young nation, generating more wealth for him. The largest slave owner in the nation, his profits skyrocketed. President Butler also announced that he would be recharting the National Bank when its charter expired.
Outside the Government, the situation Pierce Butler had inherited remained dire. While his country was no longer wracked by violent protests, he still faced almost daily demonstrations from the populace. However, Attorney General Jonathan Mosely proved unpopular and ineffective, driving the populace right back to violence. Butler’s Secretaries of War and the Navy proved no better: under their tenure, military preparedness was nonexistent, rendering the military almost incapable of winning the war in the Northwest. The one bright spot was Paine’s success as Secretary of State. Personal visits to both France and Spain improved relations, and kept them from declaring war.
Two Supreme Court cases were heard. The first was Chisholm vs. Georgia, which asked whether the Constitution prevented States from exercising sovereign immunity. The second was Hylton vs. United States, which asked whether a tax on the possession of goods is a direct tax and therefore should be apportioned among the states according to their populations.In Chisholm, the Supreme Court majority said that yes, the Constitution prevented States from exercising sovereign immunity, and in Hylton concluded that the tax did not need to be apportioned among the states.
Ambassador Pickering was successful in his work in Spain, raising Spanish opinion of the United States. That was a lone bright spot as yet another military defeat faced the country’s military. General Kosciuszko was once again defeated by the Native Americans. Butler, knowing that the war was quickly becoming unmanageable, fired the General, replacing him with Henry Knox. With Henry Knox now planning the military campaigns, the military was put into a position to win. Under the command of General Richard Taylor, the United States army finally won a decisive victory over the Natives, decimating their forces. With the Natives no longer able to pose a threat to expansion, President Butler declared victory, announcing that the national nightmare was over. The flagging political fortunes of the administration were partially reversed by this, as the populace supported the Commander-in-Chief.
With the war over, the government turned to legislative matters. Secretary of State Robert Treat Paine set to work negotiating the Greenville Treaty, which would formally end the Northwest Indian War. After presenting his results to President Butler, Butler gave his stamp of approval, and urged Congress to pass it quickly. Senator Oliver Ellsworth took up the call and proposed it to the Foreign Affairs Committee. Congress deliberated and eventually pulled together eight packages for consideration:
Package One: Federal Excise Tax on Carriages and a Federal Direct Tax on Slaves
Package Two: a Federal Direct Tax Amendment
Package Three: Repeal the UK immigration ban, declare the crime of piracy on the high seas punishable by death, and change the naturalization period to two years
Package Four: Create the Smithsonian Institute
Package Five: Repeal the death penalty and remove all religious barriers to immigration
Package Six: amend the constitution so Presidents and Vice-Presidents are elected on a party ticket
Package Seven: Limit the current President’s ability to wage war without Congressional approval
Package Eight: Approve the Greenville Treaty and gaining access to Indiana and Ohio
Most of the packages were met with almost complete support, with only Package Seven being defeated. The amendments were sent to the states, where they both passed. From now on, Presidents would be elected on party tickets, preventing opponents from ever becoming President and Vice-President at the same time.
As a result of Package Three, the quality of life of Americans went up, as piracy decreased around American shores. The ratification of the Greenville Treaty gave the United States access to two more regions of North America, and settlers began looking westward. However, the implementation of this treaty was a disaster. Secretary of State Robert Treat Paine and Secretary of War James McHenry failed to work together, driving Paine to resign. This was an embarrassment to the administration.
President Butler, in his annual address, pressured Congress to increase the military budget. The military needed to continue to build, he stated, and Congress was being derelict in their duties. He then traveled to Massachusetts, where he gave a speech to build up spirits as the economy remained depressed.
The midterm elections proved fortunate for President Butler. While a few Governorships switched hands, the overall balance remained the same. In the House, the Boudinot Republicans gained four seats, but did not recapture the majority. In the most surprising race of the election, both the Minority Leader and Majority Leader were knocked off by political newcomer John Chandler.
Here’s the continuation of William Outzen’s write up of the current playtest:
Following the Red Party’s capture of the House, Speaker Michael Jenifer Stone announced his retirement. A few other names retired, including Edward Telfair, a long respected Governor of Georgia. With new leadership offices in the House and Senate, the nomination process became more contentious. The Red Party controlled the House, so were able to nominate for the majority positions. The Blue Party controlled the Senate, so their nominees would run the majority. The first red party nominees were:
Speaker of the House: Representative Theodore Sedgwick, Representative Francis Dana
House Majority Leader: Representative Ebenezer Huntington
House Majority Whip: Representative Francis Dana, Representative John Parke Custis
Senate Minority Leader: Senator Thomas McKean
Senate Minority Whip: Senator Henry Latimer
After much negotiation, the Red Party came to an agreeable solution. Sedgwick was withdrawn from contention, and Dana was promoted to the Speakership. Huntington easily won election as House Majority Leader, with Custis easily becoming Whip. Senator McKean easily won the majority vote for Leader, with Henry Latimer becoming his Whip.
The Blue party nominated:
House Minority Leader: Representative David Bard, Representative Francis Willis, Representative Thomas Burke
House Minority Whip: Representative David Bard, Representative Robert Brown
Senate Majority Leader: Senator Benjamin Howland, Senator Samuel Allyne Otis
Senate Majority Whip: Senator Benjamin Howland, Senator Samuel Allyne Otis
In an effort to provide unity, Otis endorsed Howland for Leader, in exchange for him taking Whip. Careful negotiations worked behind the scenes to ensure that all factions were in leadership in some form. The Senate proved agreeable to all parties, and Howland and Otis took their respective offices. The House proved to be a massive quagmire, as the factions could not agree on a single candidate. Bard eventually won the election, with Brown becoming the Whip. No faction was happy, and it splintered the caucus, until Bard announced that he was withdrawing his candidacy, therefore ensuring chaos. In his statement to his peers, Bard endorsed Burke, the candidate with the least votes. With the election now thrown back into chaos, Bard also stood down for the House Whip position, ensuring that Brown would win the election. As a result of his decision, Burke won the House Minority Leader election and Brown won Whip. Neither of their positions were secure, and they would have to preside over an unruly and unhappy caucus. Conservatives in the Blue Party were deeply unhappy that they had been passed over for any leadership positions, openly grumbling that the Red Party might be more receptive to them.
Using his new power and Senate Majority Leader, Howland nominated for the Senate Chairs:
Domestic: Aaron Burr
Foreign Affairs: Lachlan McIntosh
Economics Chair: James Gunn
Judicial Chair: Arthur Middleton
His nominations were viewed as attempts to paper over the divisions in the party and bring moderates back to the fold.
In the House, Speaker Dana nominated his Chairs:
Domestic: Theodore Sedgwick
Foreign Affairs: George Washington
Economics Chair: Benjamin Edwards
Judicial Chair: George Read
The appointment of George Washington was viewed as a potential plan to reestablish his credentials. He was deeply connected to a failed Presidency, and this was an attempt to separate himself from Arnold.
Following the midterms, President Lee decided to update his cabinet. James Madison, his key advisor, pushed for himself to be nominated for Secretary of State, but Lee resisted. His nominations were:
Secretary of State: Representative Albert Gallatin
Secretary of War: Governor John Sevier
Secretary of the Navy: Richard Bache
However, Gallatin declined the nomination, preferring to remain in the House, and Lee nominated former Governor James Sullivan instead. All three nominations easily passed the Senate, giving Lee an easy and much needed victory. Secretary Sullivan now had to appoint his new ambassadors, choosing
UK: Secretary Robert Treat Paine
France: Thomas Jefferson
Spain: James Booth Sr
The slave rebellion continued, with Lee trying to push the nation to support Southern slave owners. Public panic continued to spread, causing the stability of his country to begin to plummet. In addition, the lack of stability brought a panic back to his economic system, hurting him politically. At the same time, a series of coal mine disasters highlighted how awful his citizens’ quality of life was.
The Colony of Haiti, owned by the French, erupted into revolution. Politicians argued for both supporting the revolution, and supporting the French. President Lee felt that aiding the slave revolution (while dealing with his own slave rebellion) would be incredibly shortsighted. He decided to simply ignore it and hope it didn’t spread. At the same time, he was informed by Amb. Thomas Jefferson that the French Foreign Minister, Talleyrand, required a significant bribe to open negotiations. President Lee, in an effort to avoid growing tensions with France, agreed to pay the bribe. Lee also was present at the opening of the Bank of Manhattan, as a public guest to celebrate the achievement. The economy began to show a few signs of improvement, while Secretary Sullivan caused several diplomatic faux pas’ angering the French and Spanish.
The Supreme Court met to decide their first case. In Ware vs Hylton, they ruled on whether a section of the Treaty of Paris overruled a Virginia statute. In a 3-2 ruling, the Court ruled that State laws outweighed Federal treaties. This decision angered France, leading to a massive increase in tensions. Secretary Sullivan ordered his ambassadors to try to improve the relations, which worked for England. Relations began to improve between the two countries, giving President Lee some breathing room. Sadly, Ambassador Thomas Jefferson failed in France, and caused yet another diplomatic faux pas. France actively began working to undermine the new nation, a marked fall from the previous alliance they had shared not even a decade earlier. Militarily, General St. Clair once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. With the backing of President Lee, Secretary Sevier removed St. Clair from command, and appointed James Wilkinson to replace him. The war would continue, which was serving as an international embarrassment for the young country.
After a busy legislative session, and strenuous debate in Congress, they proposed 10 packages for a vote:
Package 1: Increase Funding for the Northwest Indian War
Package 2: Allow President to Deport Dangerous Immigrants
Package 3: Library of Congress
Package 4: Limit Current President’s Ability to Declare War without Congressional Approval, Organize Northwest Territory
Package 5: House Carriage Tax
Package 6” Natural Born Citizenship for those with parents born in US, Restrict Residency to those of ‘Good Moral Character’ (effectively removing property requirements and class systems)
Package 7: 3rd Amendment (no quartering soldiers in the houses of citizens)
Package 8: 9th Amendment (you have other rights than just those in the constitution)
Package 9: 11th Amendment (a citizen can’t sue another state)
Package 10: 12th Amendment (Presidential elections have President and VP on single party ticket)
After the voting, package four failed in the senate, ensuring the President retained his power. Package 5 was filibustered in the Senate. Once again, the 3rd amendment failed, as did the 12th amendment. Amendments 9 and 11 passed with the rest of the packages in the Senate and the House, sending them to the desk of President Lee. The amendments went to the Governors. Amendment 9 failed to gain enough state support, dooming it to failure, while Amendment 11 passed, therefore being added to the constitution.
Lee decided to listen to the suggestion of his Attorney General, and adopted a pro-federal government policy, an abrupt about face from his previous 3 years. He argued that this approach was necessary to normalize relations with France and rebalance the Government. His key advisor James Madison had advised forming a commission to root out corruption in the federal government, but Lee resisted. For being his key advisor, Madison had done very little to push Lee. In fact, almost every suggestion he made was shot down. Madison was growing increasingly frustrated by Lee’s actions, and was growing to regret joining the administration. Lee also began to push for a reduced military budget, arguing that purchasing lands from Native Americans would be a preferable solution to continued war. Lee presented a budget that successfully cut the military budget without harming military preparedness, which also led to a balanced budget. This was a massive success for the President.
Fresh off this success, Blue Party leaders decided to renominate President Lee. His term hadn’t been a disaster, though his track record as Commander-in-Chief was spotty. They also attempted to keep Vice-President Daniel Hiester on the ballot. However, spurned Key Advisor James Madison announced that he would be endorsing Hiester for President, and encouraging members of the party to vote for him. This sent seismic waves throughout the Blue Party. Hiester had quietly continued to build his influence within the party, and now moved on his popularity, hoping he could unseat Lee, and essentially swap offices. In a bid to keep Hiester’s vote down, Senator William Blount was also pushed forward as a candidate, though with little hope of winning himself. The Red Party was less divided, choosing Senator George Wythe, the father of the Constitution, and Pierce Butler, who was viewed as the true power in the party.
President Lee brought the whole power of the Presidency to bear in his campaign, which gave him an early lead. He was helped by Vice-President Hiester’s scandal, as Hiester was targeted by pro-government newspapers. Butler used his media contacts to spin a narrative of a failing administration, targeting their military ineffectiveness, flip-flop on States Rights, and a destroyed relationship with France.
The election turned into a mess electorally. Butler quickly surged to a lead, with 120 electoral votes, with Hiester in second with 58. President Lee finished a distant fourth with 31 (behind Senator Wythe who had 49). Senator Blunt finished with zero. Butler and the Red Party claimed victory, though the election led to high tempers. Two Virginia electors refused to support Wythe, and threw their votes to New York Governor Rufus King instead. To make matters even more complicated, election irregularities were rampant in several of the states. Several candidates considered going before the Supreme Court to argue their case, including President Lee. Lee, in the sake of unity and to move the nation forward, announced that he would not be pressing forward with a lawsuit, but would congratulate Butler and Hiester on their victories.
In the contingent House elections, Speaker of the House Francis Dana lost his reelection bid, shocking pundits and party leaders across the country. House Minority Leader Burke also fell in his reelection bid. The Red Party would keep their House majority alive, hurting the Blue Party further. This election, though slated to be close, was turning into a disaster. Dana was appointed to the Senate in Massachusetts, keeping his political career alive.
The following is a continuation of William Outzen’s write-up of the current playtest:
Following the complete control of Congress by the Blue Party, Michael Jenifer Stone was reelected as Speaker, with Senator Elbridge Gerry elected Pro Tempore of the Senate after a bitter fight. The Red Party nominated Pierce Butler to be their leader, and to assume the mantle of opposition. President Lee turned to his cabinet in a bid to get his administration going:
Secretary of State: James Monroe of Virginia
Secretary of the Treasury: Senator Elias Boudinot of New Jersey
Secretary of War: Robert Treat Paine of Pennsylvania
Attorney General: Governor Robert R Livingston of New York
Secretary of Navy: J Meigs Sr of Ohio
Postmaster General: Senator Peleg Arnold
He also named Representative James Madison as his Key Advisor. During the confirmation process, Senators rebelled against Lee’s picks for War and AG, believing that their factions were ignored. Through a bitter confirmation process, Lee was able to push Paine through as Secretary of War and Livingston as AG. It was more stressful than he would have liked, but Lee’s Presidency was already off to a better start than Arnold’s. He trusted to Secretary Monroe the appointing of his ambassadors:
UK Ambassador: James Linn
France Ambassador: Richard Bache
Spain Ambassador: James Booth Sr
Lee also trusted Secretary Meigs Sr to appoint the admirals:
Senior Admiral: Wade Hampton I
Admirals: George Muter, John Barry, Francis Willis
Lee instructed Paine to choose a new General, and he chose Richard Peters.
Lee immediately faced another challenge as Associate Justice Nathaniel Niles passed away at the age of 51. Instead of rushing to a decision, he announced that he would appoint a replacement following the session of Congress in order to fully vet each prospective candidate.
During the early days of his Presidency, relations with England began to sour, and Georgia experienced catastrophic flooding. Lee quickly declared a State of Emergency, sending aid to Georgia and growing more popular. Lee also decided to stick with Arnold’s position of neutrality with the French Revolution. He next turned and dealt with the Whiskey Rebellion, ordering Secretary Paine to deal with the issue. Paine struggled to coordinate responses, and the Rebellion continued. Domestic stability plummeted, and talk of a Civil War began to spring up.
Diplomatically, listening to the recommendations of his Secretary of State, Lee ordered his ambassadors to uniformly attempt to improve relations. Militarly, the US experienced more fortune. A victory gave them yet another shot at ending the war, but General Taylor was lulled into a false sense of security and overwhelmed.
Congress, after much wrangling in committees and with each other, proposed 9 packages:
Package 1: Create Dept of Post Office, Create offices of Senate/House majority/Minority Leaders and Whips, Guarantee the Right of a Slaveholder to Recover an Escaped Slave in Another State
Package 2: Establish US Dollar as nation’s currency, using gold and silver bullion
Package 3: Increase size of the Army, Institute military draft, Vermont statehood, Organize Tennessee Territory
Package 4: Restrict Residency to those of ‘Good Moral Character’, Set the punishment for crime of treason to death, Criminalize False, Critical Statements of the Federal Government
Package 5: Create Marine Hospital
Package 6: US Amendment to establish Christianity as Official Religion
Package 7: Cotton Tax, Establish US Mint
Package 8: Increase Size of Navy, Increase Defense Spending, Territory West of Virginia (KY)
Package 9: Allow President to deport citizens from hostile nations, Bill of Rights, Set penalty for willful murder to death, set penalty for counterfeiting to death, suffrage for White Male Property Owners in the US
Congress was attempting to push through 10 amendments to the Constitution in an effort to guarantee personal rights and freedoms. Lee championed these as necessary for Democracy to work. In the Senate, Package 4 and 6 failed, while the Bill of Rights sailed through. The same results were found in the House, so the amendments were sent to the states. The states, though, blocked three of the amendments, the First (freedom of speech, religion, assembly, etc.), the Eighth (Right to bail, no cruel and unusual punishment), and the Nineth (People have other rights even if they’re not spelled out). The 2nd amendment passing mollified the public, convincing them to stop muttering treasonous thoughts. President Lee supported every package but the 7th, arguing that new taxes and a US Mint were not necessary at the time. They would halt the growth of the southern states and was just a cheap way by the North to increase sectional tensions. Congress very quickly took steps to override his veto, arguing that the US mint was a necessary development for the nation. They easily overrode his veto, joining with the Red Party. Yes, he could veto, but power belonged to Congress, not the President. Speaker Stone claimed this as his opportunity to finally circumvent Vice-President Daniel Hiester, who had staked his fortunes on the President, much like Washington had.
President Lee turned his attention to matters that didn’t involve Congress. First, he established a Pro States Rights policy, in essence supporting the Southern States’ stance. He then announced that his administration would be strictly enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act, though Red Party critics argued that these two policies contradicited each other. Finally, in his position as Commander-in-Chief, He authorized a troop surge to help win the Northwest Indian War, which had lost popularity amongst the populace. Reports from his generals painted a dire picture, and he and Paine feared that the war would soon be lost. Paine failed in this task however, as once again his orders were sloppy and uncoordinated. No lingering harm was done however, much to the relief of the Lee administration. The Fugitive Slave Act however, turned into a massive debacle. Secretary of State Monroe butchered the implementation of the act, accidentally rounding up people who were never slaves. Attorney General Livingston also blundered, failing to justify the administration’s position.
Behind the scenes, President Lee had tasked his advisor, James Madison, with compiling a list of possible Supreme Court nominations. Madison used his position to push William Montgomery, which Lee accepted. Montgomery was presented to the Senate, where a vote was required. Some Senators openly questioned his experience and aptitude for the position, but he received the necessary votes in the end. A successful note to head into the midterms with.
Taking stock before the elections, President Lee believed that his party was on solid, if not great ground. They likely would not blow out the Red Party like they had two years prior, but he believed that they would hold their majorities. Adding the State of Vermont would help, as they were likely to vote for those that had approved them. This proved to be a false hope. The Red Party captured 7 Governorships, unseating many Blue Party incumbents. In the House, the Red Party won 17 seats to the Blue Party’s 12. It was an upsetting turn of events for President Lee, who now found his agenda severely threatened. The newly elected governors proceeded to appoint new Senators, but the current class benefited the Blue Party. They were able to hold on to the Senate, leaving only the House of Representatives in Red Party hands.
William Outzen’s writeup of the playtest continued. Not the strongest beginning for the US Presidency:
Using their newfound majority, the Blue Party House Members elected Michael Jenifer Stone to serve as their Speaker. Daniel Hiester remained the real power in the country through his control of the Blue Party. Arnold had finally met his match. President Arnold decided to retain his cabinet with the exception of Tucker, nominating William Franklin for Ambassador to Spain instead. He hoped that this would get through the Senate this time. This decision however offended the South, as it stripped them of representation. Upon the retirement of General William Moultrie, one of the last heroes of the Revolutionary War was finally out of the military.
President Arnold continued to face down crises. The French Revolution continued unabated, and pressure was mounting to join them. He also faced the possibility of a treasonous General in Arthur St Clair. Evidence was mounting that he was selling secrets, but Arnold refused to place any stock in them, stating: “His loyalty to the United States is unmatched, and I daresay that he is just as loyal to these United States as I am. It is completely out of the realm of possibility that he could ever be anything more than a patriot.” He also resolved to remain neutral in the French Revolution, damaging his relationships with the foreign powers.
President Arnold turned to his cabinet for suggestions, but each idea they came up with plunged the nation further into a hole. He next instructed his ambassador to France to improve trade relations, but he failed. In Spain, his ambassador worked to successfully smooth things over and lessen the tension between America and Spain. Militarily they faced yet another immediate disaster, as Senior General Tadeusz Koscisuzko failed, followed by Wade Hampton failing as well. Without a bounty of good commanders, Arnold was forced to let them all remain. Arnold was fast approaching his reelection campaign, and failing.
Congress attempted to move on several proposals:
Package 1: Construct a US Navy, Grant President the ability to call up state militias, Create West Point, Create Naval Academy
Package 2: Federal Tax on Slaves
Package 3: Grant Federal Funding for National Road, Institute Filibuster, Federal aid for the Welfare of Sick and Disabled mariners and Seamen
Package 4: Natural citizenship if parents are born in US, Establish the office of the US Attorney General
Package 5: Establish Lighthouses along the American Coast
Package 6: Establish and Update Coastal and Harbor Defenses, Increase funding for ongoing NW Indian War, Create Dept of Navy
Package 7: Establish National Bank
Package 8: 5 Year residency of Nationalization, Establish Federal Judiciary
In the Senate, the Federal Slave Tax failed due to opposition in the Southern States, but everything else passed both there and in the House. President Arnold agreed to the bills and signed them, hailing his administration as a prime example of bipartisanship. He hoped that this would convince voters to return to him. Arnold used his executive actions to try to win voters, as well as roll out a policy of “Civilizing” Native Americans.
Most importantly, one of the bills created the Federal Supreme Court, with Arnold responsible for nominating 5 justices. President Arnold understood that this could very well be his most important action, and nominated Chief Justice William Patterson (the author of the Declaration of Independence), and four Associate Justices: John Dickinson, Robert Yates, John Tyler Sr, and Benjamin Taliaferro. Tyler Sr was the only reject, with Daniel Hiester standing in opposition. Arnold instead nominated Nathaniel Niles, who was confirmed.
Going into the 1792 election, President Arnold knew he faced defeat. He had worked to try to win over electors to his cause, but had failed. Vice-President George Washington was proposed as a candidate for President to replace Arnold, with Ambassador to England Charles C Pinckney, Pennsylvania Governor Daniel Hiester, and Francis Lightfoot Lee filling in the rest. The election was a bloodbath for President Arnold, as he and Washington did not take a single state. Francis Lee won the election unanimously, with Daniel Hiester chosen as the Vice-President. President Arnold graciously accepted his defeat, and ushered in a foreign concept: a peaceful transition of power. Following his loss, Arnold announced his retirement from political office, choosing instead to take up residence once again in Connecticut.
In the Governor and House elections, the Blue Party maintained a dramatic lead, the Blue Party also making gains in the Senate.
This is a continuation of William Outzen’s summary of the latest playtest. The government now operates under the US Constitution:
1789-1790: The Beginning of the Era of Federalism
With the support of new President Arnold, George Wythe was selected to be Senate Pro Tempore, an honor given because he was the father of the Constitution. Several politicians emerged as potential Speakers: John Jay, John Witherspoon, and Cornelius Schoonmaker. Jay easily won over 50% of the vote and found himself the man in charge, a position he did not desire. For his Cabinet, Benedict Arnold selected exclusively from the Red Party: Benjamin Lincoln as Secretary of State, William Franklin as Secretary of War, Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury, and Charles Pinckney as Postmaster General. A few other appointments went exclusively to Red Party members. However, with just enough opposition in several Red Party factions, and opposition with the Blue Party, William Franklin was blocked from assuming the position. Arnold, trying to recover from an immediate defeat, chose the previously confirmed Robert Treat Paine to assume the position. Arnold couldn’t rest, as his new Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton went and got himself killed in a duel, and Senior General Artemis Ward was killed in combat in the Northwest Indian War. Arnold picked William Moultrie to assume the position of Senior General, and Edmund Randolph to become the new Secretary of the Treasury, pending Congressional approval.
That was just the beginning for Arnold however, as a global recession hit, devastating the American economy. The French Revolution made it even worse, as Arnold not only faced an economic crisis, but a diplomatic one. President Arnold, in a bid to keep his country out of a war, refused to come to the assistance of France, angering his base and the French people. In his daily meetings with advisors, Arnold was watching his country plunge deeper and deeper into crisis, unable to stop it. The military was falling apart, his economy entered into a Great Depression, and his populace was growing unruly. The Blue Party, while concerned about the economy, cheered the disastrous start to the Red party regime.
Governors worked to combat the crises on the state level, with mixed results, while others, gaging the political headwinds, worked to ensure future success for their party on the State level. Blue Party leaders quickly established themselves as the opposition.
Diplomatically, Arnold’s administration worked to improve relationships with England and signed a trade deal with Spain. They attempted a trade deal with France, but failed, driving their budget down. Military wise, things weren’t any better. Senior General Moultrie, the only military leader the country had, bravely won a victory against the Natives. However, he pressed too hard and was thrown back. So far, President Arnold’s administration had failed in every avenue to deal with the crises. Newspapers throughout the country were openly criticizing his leadership.
The House and Senate turned to legislation to rescue the country. Red Party members were ready to abandon Arnold if it meant saving themselves. Red Party leaders scrambled to find options to fix the dire economic situation. Seven packages were proposed to address the multitude of crises:
Package 1: Grant the President the ability to call for the state militia to defend against invasions by foreign nations or native tribes, Create West Point
Package 2: Federal Direct Tax on Window Panes, Alcohol Tax, Assume the Rev War Debt of the States to create a national debt and build credit
Package 3: Establish Federal Death Penalty
Package 4: Constitutional Amendment–Protecting states from being sued by residents of other states and countries
Package 5: Create a Standing Army, Officially declare war on the NW Indian Tribes, Organize the territory calling Itself the Republic of Vermont, Ban Immigrants from the UK, Ban immigrants from Hostile Countries
Package 6: Create a 10% tariff, Create a federal excise tax on sugar, Regulate commerce between Indian tribes and US Citizens
Package 7: Make President Pro Tempore 3rd in line for presidency
Each package, with the exception of the military package passed both the House and Senate. President Arnold signed each into law, supporting his party and hoping these would keep his party alive in the next elections. The proposed amendment to the constitution failed. Several of the economic and spending packages helped stabilize the economy, though several of the new taxes and tariffs were unpopular. Many also resisted the idea of a standing army, accusing Arnold of desiring a dictatorship. Benedict Arnold’s base felt abandoned by him, as the traditionalist President was forced to sign several new policies into law. Arnold gave a speech to try to win them back, but failed.
In a brutal election, the Blue Party stormed to a massive win in governor elections, taking 11 seats. The beatdown continued in the House, as the Blue Party would win 22 seats to the Red Party’s 6. Luckily, with only ⅓ of the Senate being up, the Red Party and President Arnold were able to hold their majority. But they would now have to work with an antagonistic Blue Party finally tasting power.
The following is the playtest summary for 1787-1788 by William Outzen. This includes the Constitutional Convention and the first presidential election!:
Thomas McKean was named President of the Congress, as they convened for their new session. McKean named Silas Deane, Alexander Hamilton, Edmund Pendleton, and Egbert Benson as his chairs. First, McKean named Robert Treat Paine as Ambassador to Spain, then named Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury. He then did a little shuffling in the military, and turned his attention to more pressing matters. He had to make decisions on Vermont, tensions with the British, potential amendments to the Constitution, and a series of Essays currently being published. The congress agreed with McKean, turning Vermont into a territory, and voting in favor of going to war with the Northwest Indian War. They also voted in favor of amending the constitution in a convention in Annapolis.
Governors now had to choose their delegates to the convention: as the Red Party controlled the governorships, it would be mostly Red Party members who went. McKean went, as did General Bloomfield. The Convention was the brainchild of George Wythe of Virginia, who would go on to become known as the Father of the Constitution.
Meanwhile, it became evident that the American military had bitten off more than they could chew. In the Battle of the Wabash, Senior General Artemis Ward failed and suffered a demoralizing defeat. Next they engaged at Logan’s Raid, where General Pinckney won the day. However, the year ended with defeat as Pinckney was outmatched in the Battle of Miami.
At the Constitutional Convention, it was decided that George Wythe, who had called it, should lead it. While there, each delegate decided that they should just rewrite the Articles of Confederation. One by one, delegates stood to announce their proposals for the new Constitution. Andrew Adams was first, calling for Two National Congresses, one called the Senate and the other the House of Representatives. Benjamin Howland proposed next, calling to establish a Federal Judicial Branch. Next was Thomas Scott, who called for a President to be elected to 4-year terms. Thomas McKean tried to find a balance between Slave States and Free, Shearshajub Bourne proposed a means to ratify amendments, President Wythe proposed automatic citizenship to grandfather in residents, Benjamin Huntington proposed allowing foreign-born American citizens to run for President, regardless of location, Edward Telfair proposed that All slaves count towards the electoral vote directly opposing Thomas McKean, John A Treutlen disagreed with Andrew Adams, calling for only one house. Cornelius Schoonmaker proposed only needing a majority of states to amend the Constitution, while Gabriel Hiester called for women being granted suffrage.
With everything proposed, the Convention turned to arguing over the Articles. After weeks of debate (some contentious, some not so much), They took to voting. In the end, every state got one vote, and they supported the following:
Article 1: Two congresses, a Senate and a House
Article 2: A President, to serve 4-year terms
Article 3: A Supreme Court
Article 4: Amendments require ⅔ of the states to ratify
Article 5: Foreign-born citizens may run for President, but only if they’re in the US by the time of the constitution.
Article 6: Slaves count as ⅗ when counting state populations
Article 7: Women will not be able to vote.
With a new constitution approved, many believed that the nation would be stronger, though some reserved their opinion until they saw who was elected. Several politicians emerged as Presidential candidates: Jared Ingersoll of Pennsylvania, General Charles Coatesworth Pinckney of South Carolina, Daniel Hiester of Pennsylvania, former Governor John Langdon of New Hampshire, Former Continental Congressman Cyrus Griffin of Virginia, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia, Francis Lightfoot Lee of Virginia, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Edward Telfair of Georgia, George Washington of Virginia, and Ambassador to the UK Benedict Arnold of Connecticut. The election was in reality a shooin. Arnold had both military experience and a fair bit of celebrity, and was heralded as one of the Champions of the American people. The rest of the candidates were competing to become Vice-President. Washington took an early lead in the election, though Daniel Hiester grew to be his greatest opponent. In the end, the election wasn’t in doubt. George Washington was easily elected Vice-President, a remarkable resurrection of a dead career.
In the governor elections, the Blue Party made small gains, winning two more states. In the new House elections, the Red Party demolished the Blue Party, winning 23 seats to the Blue Party’s 4. It was an awful turn of events for the Blue Party. The Governors proceeded to pack the Senate with Red Party members. It stood to be a long two years with zero power.
Here’s the latest installment of William Outzen’s history of our current playtest:
The new Congress joined together to push George Washington as President. The failed General was attempting to rehabilitate his image. Washington chose Francis Dana, John Rutledge, William Moultrie (another failed general), and Andrew Adams to serve as the Chairs. Christopher Gore was selected to serve as Postmaster General, another boon for the Red Party. Following the death of Admiral Samuel Nichols, William Moultrie was appointed in his place. Washington faced yet another resignation, as Senior Admiral Esek Hopkins announced his retirement. This retirement gave him a large amount of celebrity. Washington also had to decide whether to push for a constitutional convention, in order to push for a stronger central government to defend the states. More importantly, the Continental Congress was officially dissolved, leaving Washington to attempt to fix things on his way out.
Washington moved William Moultrie to Senior Admiral (a position it was believed he could do little damage in), and John Burroughs Hopkins to the now open Admiral position. Washington and Congress also signed a treaty with the Iroquois Confederacy, ceding Western Pennsylvania to the States, with John Jay leading the charge. They also signed the Articles of Confederation, creating the United States of America. The following governor elections continued Red Party dominance.The Blue Party was struggling for relevance, as the Country struggled to govern itself. Calls began for a constitutional convention to improve the government.
Here’s the latest installment of the current playtest write-up by William Outzen:
Heading into a new session of the Continental Congress, the parties put aside their bickering to select James Armstrong to serve as their President. He then appointed William Moultrie, Roger Sherman, Benjamin Franklin, and Andrew Adams to serve as the Committee Chairs, restoring power to the Red Party. Moultrie and Adams both had to fill open positions, with Moultrie choosing Benjamin Lincoln to become the new ambassador to France, and Adams choosing Robert Treat Paine to become the new Secretary of the Treasury. In a surprising turn of events, President John Armstrong retired, feeling that his body could not handle the rigors of the position. Jared Ingersoll was elected in his stead.
The war continued outside of simple politics. The Congress had invited the war, but had so far proven incapable of finding Generals who could win the war. In the Battle for Illinois, General Bloomfield was overmatched and crushed, retreating back east. In an attempt to Reclaim Philadelphia, Daniel Morgan was assassinated by a spy in the middle of the night, the battle was abandoned, and the Americans retreated. Once again, the British forces marched on New York. General Bloomfield, fresh off failure in Illinois, took his surviving troops and quickly marched East, picking up the troops under the former command of General Morgan. Confronting the much larger British Force, Bloomfield did the impossible: he defeated the British, ending the British will to fight. The war was won, and General Bloomfield was hailed as a hero across the colonies.
This didn’t stop politics however: Senior Admiral Benedict Arnold replaced General Bloomfield in a bid to advance his political position, General Dudley Saltonstall was promoted to replace Morgan, Esek Hopkins replaced Arnold as Senior Admiral, and Abraham Whipple was promoted to Admiral.
With the end of the war, the Congress returned to the hard task of legislating, with new issues to tackle. They passed several packages. The first package created a Confederation Cabinet, an extremely weak central government to give freedom to each state. It also included a provision to create a system for settlers to purchase western lands. The second package included the Treaty of Paris, an organization of the Mississippi Territory, and Organizing the Northwest Territory. Each of the proposals passed, and the Congress. Arnold, using his position, convinced Congress to name him Ambassador to the UK, with General Bloomfield, a mere pawn in the schemes of an ambitious man, returning as General.
Celebrating their new status as an independent country, the states held their Governor elections. The elections went poorly for the Blue team, with the Red Party winning 11 states. The Blue Party was in trouble as they ushered in a new era, as the Congress was controlled by the Red Party.
Playtest: 1797 list of Most Influential Americans
The following is a politician ranking by one of the playtesters, Caleb Perry. He’s occasionally created a “Top 10” list as the playtest has progressed. This is his most recent Top 10 list below:
Cal’s Most Influential Politicians in American History: 1797
1. Benedict Arnold. The First President of the United States. Benedict Arnold did the unthinkable — He completely reversed his tarnished legacy in our timeline and forged a path as one of America’s greatest founding fathers. Benedict Arnold first served as a general, and then took the seas as our nation’s first Chief Admiral. Admiral Arnold was seen as a hero of the Revolutionary War and he wrestled control of the seas from the British in the first year of the war. Arnold not only helped end the war on the battlefield, he helped negotiate the Treaty of Paris that concluded in the UK formally recognizing our independence.
However, President Arnold will not be remembered as fondly as Chief Admiral Arnold. Arnold was elected unanimously after his service in the war. However, he inherited an economic depression, a military that could not even fend off natives on the Northwestern border, and widespread social unrest. He compromised his Traditionalist values in favor of saving the country, but this only stopped the nation from spiraling further. He worked together with both parties to establish the US Navy, academies for the Army and Navy, fund the first National Road, create the offices of the Attorney General and Secretary of the Navy, and conceptualize the US Supreme Court (filled with members of the other party). These institutions may have stopped the bleeding immediately, but they would need time to heal the wounds the country felt so deeply. On top of this, Arnold corruptly protected close allies with evidence against them that they may have been British loyalists in secret. The nation expressed their anger with him and the state of the country and he lost his reelection in a landslide.
President Arnold’s presidency is also remembered for his refusal to contest the election results and setting the precedent of a peaceful transition of power. Military loyalists urged him to invoke martial law and invalidate the election results and he calmed those voices and peacefully stepped down. He sparked a Right-Wing Revolution in the Federalist Party that has led to the parties dominant ideologies being reversed from those in our own timeline. He will now be serving as an Advisor to President Pierce Butler (#1 -> #1, Unchanged)
2. Francis Lightfoot Lee. The Second President of the United States. Francis comes from the politically connected and renowned Lee family, and their legacy IOTL is mostly that of Founding Father Richard Henry Lee and Confederate General Robert E. Lee. In this timeline, however, Francis is the only Lee that has come to relevance. He served in the Continental Congress and pushed for war with the British. After the signing of the Constitution, Lee quickly became the voice of the Democratic-Republican Party on conservative matters.
In the wake of the anger towards President Arnold, Mr. Lee rode into the presidency in a landslide. But, he soon realized that the President’s job isn’t as easy as it looked on the outside. President Lee had few friends in Congress and was constantly reminded that Speaker Michael Jennifer Stone was the King of Congress of whom all appointments and legislation would need the approval of. During his tenure, the federal government mismanaged a cataclysmic flooding in Georgia, mismanaged the response to the Whiskey Rebellion, and lost again and again to natives in Ohio. He became the first president to utilize a veto (of the US Mint and Cotton Tax) and consequently the first president to have their veto overridden by 2/3 of Congress.
During his tenure, the state of the country improved significantly despite relative inaction from the president. The legislation of his predecessor began to work to bring the country to a healthy and stable state. Despite this, Lee would lose reelection in an incredibly messy election with three candidate finishing in front of him. (NEW, Unranked -> #2)
3. Joseph Bloomfield. Bloomfield is another very unexpected name on the leaderboard, and despite his youth he has stayed active throughout the early era of American politics. He was a purely political appointee to the Continental Army, foreshadowing the partisan era that is to come. However, despite his lack of military experience, he would go on the become the Father of the Nation, finally ousting the British in the final battle of the Revolutionary War and securing our independence.
After his brilliant military service, Bloomfield defeated longtime incumbent William Franklin and became the 2nd Governor of New Jersey. As a long-time governor, it seems likely he will gain presidential ambitions. Political observers expect a presidential run from Governor Bloomfield in the next few years. (#2 -> #3 -1)
4. William Paterson. William Patterson is the author of the Declaration of Independence, and served six years in the Continental Congress. His brilliance showed through with his articulate expression of grievances against the crown. He has strong talents in Governing, Legislative, Judicial, and Administration so he could find a place to secure his future as one of America’s greatest. He was present at the Constitutional Convention, and President Arnold appointed him as our nation’s first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. (UNCHANGED)
5. George Wythe. George Wythe was a relatively low key Continental Congressman. He had a good track record of representing Virginia. That was it. However, his brilliance was recognized when he was chosen by his peers to lead the Constitutional Convention over many other talented candidates. In addition to leading debate on our nation’s founding document, he actually wrote the Constitution itself. His mind is unmatched, and he will be remembered with William Paterson as the two greatest minds of the Revolution. Wythe would go on to become one of Virginia’s inaugural Senators and remains as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He was one of three candidates who finished above President Lee in 1796 and he declined to contest the results of the election when it could have seen him take the Vice Presidency. (UNCHANGED)
6. Artemis Ward Ward controlled the military from the beginning of the Revolutionary War, despite several mishaps. He won most of the battles of the entire war and the success rate of his rotating band of generals was very, very low. His military influence has been enormous, but he doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on domestically. After the Revolutionary War, he was viewed as a war hero. He was snuffed in the Constitutional convention, and was killed in battle during one of the first skirmishes with natives under President Arnold. (#3 -> #6, -3)
7. Benjamin Franklin. Franklin did pretty much exactly what he did IRL: Secured the alliance with France and then served in the Continental Congress. Without France, the United States would not have won the Revolutionary War. His death earlier than IRL gives him pretty much no chance to build on his legacy. (#6-> #7, -1)
8. Daniel Hiester. Not a single one of us knew who Hiester was before the game began, but we all know of him and his family now. Due to a lucky random event at the beginning of the game, HIester gained ability in every area of the game and became a true Renaissance man. As a Faction Leader, he continued to build up abilities and positive traits while serving as a thorn in the side to President Arnold and President Lee alike. He served in the Continental Congress during the Revolutionary War, and then as Governor of Pennsylvania briefly.
Then, he rode the wave against President Arnold and became our nation’s 2nd Vice President. He stayed relatively lowkey but remained influential on party affairs. In 1796, he ran for president again and finished second to Businessman Pierce Butler, becoming the first VP on a split party presidency. (NEW, Unranked -> #8)
9. George Washington. The George Washington of A More Perfect Union is unrecognizable next to the George Washington OOTL. General Washington was a failed Revolutionary War general who quickly grew to be overwhelmed, lost his natural talent in the face of his defeats, and was actually fired! However, Washington staged a political comeback by going on to serve in the Continental Congress, becoming the 7th President. Washington would go on to sign the Constitution and win the Vice Presidency under Arnold.
In Arnold’s landslide defeat, Washington would receive more electoral votes than him, saving his own political career. Washington would go on the be elected the House of Representatives and is now working his way up through Congressional leadership. (#8-> #9, -1)
10. William Paca. Paca is the longest-serving Governor in US history at a whopping 17 years as of the time of writing this. He flipped from the Red to the Blue Party while in office and to solidify his grip on power he invented Pacamandering (gerrymandering) to ensure that districts would be drawn the way that gives him and his party the most power in the state of Maryland. He also became the first governor do Court Paca-ing and ensure that the judiciary would never challenge his hold on the state. While he does not have much direct influence on national politics, his underhanded tactics would become a cornerstone of American politics in due time. (NEW, Unranked -> #10)
Those who fell of the cycle this week:
Alexander Martin (#7) The first Continental Congress President and Governor of North Carolina.
William Franklin (#9) The long-serving governor of New Jersey, illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin, and soon-to-be Secretary of the Treasury.
Andrew Adams (#10) The longest serving legislator in our American history.
Potential Blue Statesman to Watch: Andrew Jackson. Frontiersman Andrew Jackson is young, but he’s continued to build up some powerful traits in his home state of Tennessee. In due time, he is sure to not only secure military fame but is virtually guaranteed his pick of the governor’s mansion, senate seat, or representative seat.
Potential Red Statesman to Watch: Pierce Butler. President Pierce Butler is the richest person in America and an unapologetic slaveholder. His iron-fist leadership of the right-wing Federalist Party allowed him to soar all the way from the private sector to the presidency with President Arnold’s endorsement. Time will tell if his presidency will be better than that of his mentor and advisor.