• Kickstarter is Launched!

    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

  • Playtest: 1781-1782

    Playtest: 1781-1782

    The following is the playtest write up for the years 1781-1782, authored primarily by William Outzen.


    Chairman James Sullivan immediately faced a decision about who to nominate to replace the disgraced General Moultrie. Crossing party lines, he chose Daniel Morgan, a move supported by media across the fledgling nation. The Congress then received incredible news: Ambassador to France Benjamin Franklin convinced the French to join the war, finally giving aid to the rebelling colonies. With international support they couldn’t lose. The colonies celebrated, though their celebrations were cut short by a slave rebellion encouraged by the English crown. North Carolina Governor Cornelius Hackett was killed in the chaos. Behind the scenes, Governors of both parties worked to send funds to the Congress to support the war. Some were successful, but most failed.

    On the battlefield, they had little success. General Wayne once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, outsmarted by the British forces at the Battle of Hubbardton. In the Battle of Blue Licks, Wayne was once again defeated, as a sharpshooter’s bullet connected, instantly killing him. His army in disarray, the colony’s attempts to secure Kentucky failed. While the armies in the North and West Collapsed, General Artemis Ward once again defended Charleston at the Battle of Sullivan Island. Ward’s name continues to be celebrated throughout the colonies. But this victory was tempered by defeat, as General George Washington failed to defend Philadelphia, as he suffered defeat at the Battle of White Marsh. The Continental Congress was forced to flee, with several being captured and hanged. Senior General Ward quickly moved North to counter the surging British, but was ambushed by a group of Iroquis, who delivered a devastating defeat. Reeling after the Battle of Newtown, Ward withdrew to lick his wounds, effectively ceding New England to the British. Following these disasters, Chairman James Sullivan relieved Washington of his position, and nominated Charles Coatesworth Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry to assume leadership. Gerry however refused his nomination, preferring to remain as Governor (albeit in hiding)of Massachusetts. 

    Reconvening in Princeton, New Jersey, the Continental Congress was battered and despondent. Their generals were consistently failing, and they still faced several crises. They focused economically, requesting more assistance from the states, and privatizing the Bank of North America. 

    In the following Governor elections, the Red Party maintained a 8-5 lead in the states, allowing them to stack the Continental Congress in their favor. Benjamin Franklin and Secretary of the Treasury Alexander McDougal resigned their positions to return to the Continental Congress, believing that they could do more there.

  • Playtest: 1779-1880

    Playtest: 1779-1880

    The following is a continuation of the playtest writeup by William Outzen, with additions by Don Gonce and Tyler Johnson. See previous blog posts for the previous playtest years:

    “The parties resumed nominating for President, with the Red Party trying to unite around a single candidate. No candidate emerged, and the Blue Party quickly moved to take advantage of this, pushing John Hanson of Maryland through. This was the first major success of the Blue Party, and what they hoped would be a launching point for continued power. Hanson turned and appointed Alexander Gillon, Edward Telfair, Samuel Allyne Otis, and Josiah Bartlett as committee chairs, placing the blue party in charge. With Blue politicians in place, Hanson could step back as the new Blue chairman appointed the open positions. Despite their control, several Red politicians were named to positions, in an effort to appease the main body of the Congress. In an effort to balance the interests of both parties, the former Continental Congress President John Jay was named Secretary of War, in his return to politics. Ambassador to Spain John Milton quickly realized how in over his head he was.

    With appointments out of the way, Hanson was faced with an urgent request for action. King George had declared the colonies in open rebellion (a position that was hard to argue with) and several generals were openly grumbling against Senior General Artemis Ward. He did get some good news, as a spy ring was formed, and two foreign soldiers arrived to train the army. Hanson, after conferring with Ward and the other generals, decided to refrain from removing him, trusting him to lead the army to victory. Ward proceeded to reward that trust by lifting the siege of Charleston, celebrating his second victory. This victory was soon overshadowed however by General Washington’s loss at the Battle of Waxhaws. Washington suffered a nervous breakdown as a result. Immediately after, General Anthony Wayne, on the verge of victory, was foolhardy and rushed into an ambush. Reeling, he retreated, licking his wounds at the Battle of Kettlecreek. The war continued in the North, with the Second Battle of Lexington & Concord, as General William Moultrie failed to halt the British advance into Massachusetts. Rushing up the coast from Georgia, General Wayne surprised the British army outside of Boston, lifting the second siege and saving the vital city. Following the campaigns, the continental congress decided to let General Moultrie go, as he failed in his defense of Massachusetts.

    In a contentious legislative session, only one item passed congress: a bill requesting funds from the colonies. This led to a contentious Governor election, though few seats flipped parties. In the end, the Red party still controlled 7 of the 13 colonies, and would use their power to control the Continental Congress. Once again, the Red Party was divided on their pick for Continental President, and the Blue Party took the opportunity to champion Daniel Heister. The Red Party decided to yield and support him in the name of unity. For his committee chairs, Heister turned to well-known (at least in the Congress) members of the Blue Party: Alexander Gillon, James Sullivan, Samuel A Otis, and Cornelius Schoonmaker.”

  • Playtest: 1777-1778

    Playtest: 1777-1778

    The below is a continuation of the playtest write up created by William Outzen, Don Gonce, and Tyler Johnson. This segment covers the Continental Congress from 1777-1778:

    Following John Jay’s retirement from the Congress, it came time for them to choose a new President. The nominees were Nathaniel Gorham, Alexander Martin, Daniel Heister, Peyton Randolph, and Edward Telfair. Benedict Arnold surprisingly led his faction to vote for Telfair over Gorham or Martin, leading to large outcries within the party. The election went to a second ballot. The Red Party consolidated around Martin, but Arnold refused to change his faction’s vote. Behind the scenes, the faction leaders got together, and in an attempt to provide unity, decided to vote for Martin. Arnold was incensed, but in the name of unity and in a bid to raise his own standing, held his tongue. The factions now turned their attention to nominating members to open positions. 

    Martin first turned to appointing Committee Chairs, an easy way to win loyalty to him and ease tensions with other factions in his party. He chose Henry Middleton, Thomas Scott, Archibald Bulloch, and William Patterson. The Blue Party was once again locked out, though they were permitted to place two members on each committee. Following that, he turned to congress to present nominations for positions. The factions quickly named their own nominations, expecting Martin to choose theirs. He was barraged with choices, but he soon locked in his choices. For Secretary of State he chose Thomas Jefferson, surprising everyone with a member of the Blue Party. To mollify his party, he selected only from them to form his military leadership. He entrusted to Artemis Ward the valued position of Senior General, with Benedict Arnold, Benjamin Lincoln, William Heath, and George Washington filling in the rest. Finally, after much discussion, he chose Benjamin Franklin to serve as ambassador to France. Martin hoped that Franklin would be able to use his connections to quickly convince France to join them in the probable war.

    Following his stepping down as faction leader, John Hancock finally succumbed to a long-rumored illness. This gave a massive blow to his faction, as he was a giant. The colonies didn’t have long to mourn however, as a slave rebellion soon occupied their attention. While they were able to put it down, their domestic stability was shaken. Many suspected that England had armed the slaves and encourged the revolt. England, for their part, was focused on ending the war before it officially began. They tried to work truces with each individual colony; Alexander Martin encouraged the colonies to resist and band together, claiming that their strength came from their numbers. 

    At the same time, England continued to exert economic pressure, causing an economic crisis. The Red Party took special offense to this. Finally, at long last, open rebellion began in Massachusetts, with Martin calling for the congress to come to their aid. War had begun, he announced, it was now time that they answered the call. The continental congress affirmed his positions, and so put their names to the rebellion.

    Three packages were put forward by the congress to a vote. The first contained: create an Ambassador to Spain, create the Department of War, release a Declaration of Causes, release the Declaration of Independence (Patterson had written it, just not released it), Establish a Continental Navy, and Invite Canada to join the Revolution. The second package consisted of two items: creating the Department of the Treasury and establishing the Bank of North America. The third created a framework to punish British Tories. In committee it was decided to move the Declaration of Independence to its own bill, in the hopes of passing it. This move was championed by Martin.

    All of the legislation passed, with Congress signing their names to the Declaration and sending it to all 13 colonies. Alexander Martin gained acclaim throughout the 13 colonies, positioning himself as the leader of the nation, at least in name. Sadly, Canada refused the opportunity to join the Revolution, respectfully staying out of it. As for their new navy, General Benedict Arnold conspired with the Chair of the military committee Thomas Scott to arrange his nomination. Scott would nominate Arnold and then follow up with Arthur St. Claire to replace him as General.

    While everyone expected the first battle to come by land, it actually took place at sea. The Battle of Valcour Island featured Admiral Samuel Nichols and Senior Admiral Benedict Arnold. It was hard fought battle, but when hope seemed lost, Arnold climbed the rigging and proclaimed, “Gentlemen, I have not yet begun to fight! Who is with me?” This led to a renewed attack by the Americans, driving the British into flight. The day was won and Arnold was hailed as a hero. 

    The army did not fare as well, as General William Heath was driven out of Boston, then lost Harlem Heights, Benjamin Lincoln (despite the protests of his subordinates)withdrew from New York, and George Washington lost the battle of The Rice Boats. Reeling, Senior General Artemas Ward stepped in, rallying his troops to victory and halting the British advance at the Battle of Mamaroneck in New York. Following this awful showing by the American leadership, Thomas Scott moved to fire Generals Benjamin Lincoln and William Heath. Congress did not stand in his way.

    As a result of their rebellion, the colonies held their first Governor elections, electing 7 Red Party Governors and 6 Blue Party Governors. These governors now had the ability to appoint their own delegates to the Continental Congress, this time leading to a starker and more competitive congress. Notably, Governor Cornelius Harnett of North Carolina had the opportunity to deprive Alexander Martin of his seat, but decided to let him remain a delegate, instead of trying to run off the President of the Continental Congress.

  • Playtest: 1774-1776

    Playtest: 1774-1776

    From time-to-time I’ll post a brief summary of what is going on in the playtest. We are currently in the 1790s, but I’ll start retelling our story from the beginning. Many thanks to Ted Froats, Christian Pratsch, William Outzen, Don Gonce, and Tyler Johnson for contributing to recording the history of the playtest.

    Note: The major parties are currently called the Red Party (Federalists) and the Blue Party (Jeffersonian Republicans).

    The following comes from William Outzen’s retelling of the events of 1774-1776. It includes images created by Tyler Johnson. Biographical notes are by Gonce. [note: I’ve made some alterations to the original text for readability]:

    “Immediately in 1774, the Continental Congress faced several pressing issues. Their budget in shambles, a rapidly deteriorating relationship with England, domestic instability, and a severe readiness crisis within their military, all the more frightening with the looming prospect of war with England.

    Upon their arrival to the First Continental Congress, the delegates quickly found that they split into two camps. In the media, these factions became known as the Reds (those arguing for a strong central government), and the Blues (those arguing for a more decentralized government and independence). Of the two, the Red party had the majority in 8 state delegations, and split two more.

    It was agreed that leadership was necessary in the body, so both parties nominated several candidates. Different factions in the Red party nominated several delegates: Thomas McKean of Delaware, Henry Middleton of South Carolina, John Jay of New York, and Henry Laurens of South Carolina. The Blue party also nominated several candidates: Richard Henry Lee of Virginia and Thomas Jefferson of Virginia. John Jay quickly emerged as a compromise candidate for the Red Party, with Richard Henry Lee doing the same for the Blue Party, though Jefferson did pick up votes. The final tally was 5 for Jay and 3 for Lee, with 5 states abstaining. The position was largely powerless, but did give him notoriety in Europe and throughout the colonies.

    Jay’s first action was to appoint the first chairs of the Congressional committees. He chose to reward Red party members for their loyalty and votes. His chairs were George Matthews, Thomas McKean (a bone to console him for his Presidential loss), Henry Laurens (his motivation here was much the same), and William Paterson. For committee membership, the parties agreed to an even split.

    But even within the parties, there were divisions. Six different factions arose within each party, each with a leading figure. These leaders were Benedict Arnold, Thomas Heyward Jr., Simeon Olcott, John Dickinson, George Clinton, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas McKean, Samuel Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, and William Paterson. After these elections and backroom politicking, they got down to the real task of deciding their purpose and plan of action.

    John Jay immediately faced several vital decisions. First, he had to face down economic pressure from England in the form of their Prohibitory Act, blockading the colony’s ports. Through careful navigating, and no small amount of luck, he was able to guide the colonies through it with little economic impact. He also had to deal with Virginia going rogue and challenging Governor Dunmore, who proclaimed loyalty to the crown and offered freedom to slaves of traitors. Thomas Jefferson publicly proclaimed that men have unalienable rights, and that Dunmore was in violation of them. 

    Facing increasing pressure to make decisions, Jay proposed a Declaration of Resolves, an action that would push against English authority. He also pushed for the Continental Congress to join with Virginia in pushing back against Lord Dunmore, and against the potential freeing of slaves. Behind the scenes, he encouraged wide circulation of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, in order to ferment revolutionary fervor. The Continental Congress concurred with him, coming together in a large majority. Several factions opposed several of Jay’s actions, but none in any amount to challenge his authority.

    Jay next took a back seat as Congress got down to the business of legislating. The Chairs led their committees in choosing legislation to present to the congress. With the Red party in control, they had the driver’s seat in any legislation. They faced questions regarding their military preparedness and domestic stability, as well as the thorny question of what was to be done with loyalists to the crown. After weeks of debate and dealing, the Congress presented the floor a single package calling to Boycott British Goods, to create an Ambassador to France, to create a Department of State, to create a framework for Future Western States (awfully ambitious), to establish a Continental Army, and to seek Alliance with Anti-British Native Tribes. It wasn’t a particularly close vote, with 12 states agreeing to the package. This was a massive step towards war with England. 

    Silently, with the support of Congress, John Jay began to consider an able statesman to write the Declaration of Independence, and began to consider the military officers he would be required to appoint. He turned first to his close friend William Paterson, who began work at once to craft a document that would last the ages. 
    Their work done, they returned home to tend to their affairs. A majority of the members did not stand for reappointment, including John Jay. He had had enough of leading the Congress, and wanted to apply his talents elsewhere. The new Congress saw the Red Party continue their dominance, controlling the delegations of 7 states.”

    Stay tuned for more tales from playtesting. Until then, pre-order the game here, if you haven’t done so: https://270soft.com/pre-order-a-more-perfect-union/

  • Two More Reviews by Playtesters!

    Two More Reviews by Playtesters!

    Review #1 by Caleb Perry:

    “I am a current playtester for AMPU. I’ve been involved in that for years now, I feel. Our current playthrough is a BLAST.

    The first President of the United States was Benedict Arnold and he belongs to my faction. It was an incredibly rare series of events that got him there. I first got him appointed as a general during the Revolutionary War, and when you are appointed as a general in the current state of the game you get a small chance of gaining a “military leader” trait that lets you be a Senior General/Chief Admiral. He got this!

    When we established the Navy, I controlled him and Esek Hopkins, the only two people now available to be the Chief Admiral because it requires that trait. Of course, I had Hopkins decline so I could bring America’s scoundrel to some level of fame. And he performed admirably! So admirably, in fact, that he was still the Chief Admiral at the end of the war.

    Washington had failed in battle after battle, and General Artemis Ward wasn’t eligible to run for president because he lacked the relevant ability. Benedict Arnold had randomly gotten the ability to run for president through chance because he was my Faction Leader, giving him a small chance of that.

    When he won the war, he obtained the Celebrity trait, which is given to war heroes. In the current iteration of the rules, we have something to represent Washington’s unanimous election in the first electoral college. We call it the Washington Rule. If a politician is a Military Leader, celebrity, and party preference favors your party, they get an automatic 50% chance of a unanimous victory in the first election.

    Arnold accomplished this. Hooray! I had stretched the bounds of realism so far…

    But at what cost?

    Arnold’s presidency began with incredibly difficult times. The war dragged out longer than IRL, and the economy and the state of our army was in shambles. While we passed strong federalist packages to try and get the nation back on track, the nation hit worse than the Great Depression and we were losing to natives in the Northwest Indian War.

    Now, Arnold’s reelection chances are all but doomed. It was a good run, but it has definitely come to a close. His legacy might be a good one for all the things he tried to fix the economy and his role as a hero in the Revolutionary War.

    Or… it could not. As Horsbach mentioned, populists can attempt a coup. Benedict Arnold, as a Right Wing Populist President losing an election, can attempt a military coup and face a very slim chance of overturning the election. It’s less than 10%, I feel, but I’m tempted to take it and continue my Benedict Arnold power fantasy.

    However, there are incredible risks associated with that. It will only harm the nation further, and if it fails surely President Arnold will face a treason trial. Further, those in my faction who are controversial and populist may well be found treasonous too. If I had my way, I would have spent time trying to find a way to ensure that I got all of the electoral votes rather than fixing the country. How unfortunate it is that the game ends if the country gets too broken.

    Well, here we are. I hope that this gives some kind of perspective on the role that populists can play. We haven’t gotten to the age of the game where voting restrictions are really in play, but I’m sure players will be conniving against each other to gain an edge.”

    Review #2 by Ted Froats

    “As Caleb, one of our playtesters mentioned, his masterful moves during the Revolutionary War (with a few lucky breaks along the way) helped him maneuver Benedict Arnold into becoming our heroic Chief Admiral who helped win the war, lead negotiator in the peace agreement, and our first President of the United States (with George Washington, who in this timeline wasn’t a particularly successful General but still a beloved and respected figure in our continental congress, as Benedict Arnold’s VP).

    But despite Caleb & Benedict Arnold’s best efforts, he gained the Presidency at a bad time. War between France and England has had a major impact on our economic stability, we needed an expensive standing military to deal with the Native American threat in the Northwest (Ohio and Michigan), and creating taxes and tariffs to pay for that army led to growing discontent and anti-federalist sentiment.

    One of President Benedict Arnold’s final acts in office before his re-election campaign was to appoint our first Supreme Court, freshly created as a compromise measure between our Federalist Senate and our Anti-Federalist House of Representatives. Despite having the confirmation numbers on his side to appoint almost anyone he wanted, Arnold made the bold choice to mostly appoint his detractors to the Supreme Court — hoping that by appointing anti-federalists to the bench, those who oppose a strong federal government would feel reassured and keep him in office.

    The effort did move the needle a bit in his favor…but in the end, it wasn’t enough. Anti-Federalists scored a huge victory in the 1792 elections, retaining the House of Representatives, most of the Governor seats, winning the Senate (Senate elections don’t exist in this era yet, but they’re appointed by Governors which are now mostly anti-federalists), and winning the White House!

    All hail our new President of the United States, Francis Lightfoot Lee, and his Vice President Daniel Hiester.

    And if you’re asking yourself: “Wait, who the heck are THEY?” — that’s one of the joys of A More Perfect Union! Watching…or, preferably, maneuvering…real life politicians who never made it into the history books, overcoming their station and rising up to have a greater influence this time!

    In real life, Francis Lightfoot Lee is perhaps best remembered (if he is remembered at all) as the brother of Richard Henry Lee. Lightfoot is largely a forgotten Founding Father, though his signature adorns both the Articles of Confederation and the Declaration of Independence.

    In this current playthrough’s timeline, Francis Lightfoot Lee was a much more influential member of the Continental Congress prior to the creation of the Office of President, and rose up to become Faction Leader.

    Every player controls a Faction — a team of politicians, soldiers, judges, and other influential people — and each Faction needs a leader. As leader of his faction, Francis Lightfoot Lee gained support for his eventually very successful bid for the Presidency in 1792.

    As for Daniel Hiester, a member of the influential Hiester family of that era, in real life he was a noted soldier who later became a Representative in Pennsylvania and Maryland.

    In the game’s timeline, Hiester rose up to become not just his own Faction’s leader, but in fact the Party Leader. As leader of the Anti-Federalists, Hiester in this playthough is almost a Thomas Jefferson type figure. He served as Governor of Pennsylvania, before coming in second place in the Presidential election and thus being confirmed as Francis Lightfoot Lee’s Vice President.

    I think it’s fair to say that as our second President and Vice President, Lightfoot and Hiester will both be better remembered in this game’s playthrough than they are in real life!

    As for John Adams and Thomas Jefferson? Well, Thomas Jefferson started strong, serving as a defacto Secretary of State during the Revolution. Unfortunately, Jefferson experienced several bad luck blunders abroad, and thus was not seriously considered to join President Benedict Arnold’s cabinet. It remains to be seen whether Francis Lightfoot Lee extends an invitation to join the second administration.

    And as for John Adams…I can only respond “John who?” John Adams has made multiple attempts to join the House of Representatives, but he has not yet found the support of a Kingmaker. “Kingmaker” is a special trait some politicians are born with and other politicians earn, that help them influence elections even when they’re not a candidate. John Adams’ home state is dominated by a different faction’s kingmaker, who has thus far chosen to support other Federalists over John Adams. And now that the Anti Federalists have risen to power, John Adams may have a longer wait ahead of him…unless he can find (or create!) a Massachusetts kingmaker who will support him.

    And our dear President Benedict Arnold and Vice President George Washington?

    As a populist President who lost the election during a time when domestic stability is very low, Benedict Arnold actually had the option to denounce the election results and try to use the military to hold the Presidency for himself. However, such an attempt at this point would likely have led to civil war and even total collapse of the country — and so President Benedict Arnold chose to graciously accept defeat and retire to Connecticut, where he remains eligible to serve as a Kingmaker or even Senior Advisor to future Presidents, but otherwise ineligible for future offices.

    George Washington, on the other hand, actually received more votes than Benedict Arnold did, and so his best days may yet lie ahead of him.

    Only time will tell what happens next!”

  • Playtester Reviews for a More Perfect Union

    Playtester Reviews for a More Perfect Union

    The following are some reviews by some of our playtesters:

    “The most engaging and ambitious political game that I have ever seen comes to life in every stage.” – Joshua Rihner

    A More Perfect Union will enter the market as the most comprehensive political simulator” – Ethan Hedges.

    “For years, I have been looking for a political simulator that would allow me to help dictate how the United States was formed, and now we have one. For those who enjoy studying American history, politics, and/or government, this is the game for you.” – Jesse Green

    “I’ve looked for a game to fill the desire to rewrite American history for years, and this is looking to be the best on the market. You can take any politician and turn them into a political superstar with some luck, skill, and good timing. You can ensure the early downfall of your most hated historical figures, and your hometown hero from over a century ago can become one of America’s greatest characters. There’s no limit to what you can and can’t do in AMPU.” – Caleb Perry

    “Have you ever wanted to rewrite America’s political history? Elect the first woman to become President with an all female cabinet? Appoint your own Supreme Court to revisit America’s most important decisions? Give minorities the right to vote in the 18th century or fight the Civil War in a different era?” – C. Karl Pratsch

    “My favorite part of the game is that moment when it seems like you’ve achieved your goals — only for it to backfire in your face.  In one playthrough, I controlled President George W Bush’s faction.  I had a lot of fun seeing how much power I could seize.  I managed to get confirmation for Karl Rove as Secretary of Transportation and brother Jeb Bush as Secretary of Energy, all while maneuvering Rudy Giuliani into becoming Speaker of the House.  I played the Republicans and Democrats against each other, getting the Democrat factions to agree to give me the line item veto so I could save our country from the most extreme Republican proposals of my own party — but then used the threat that I would use the line item veto against the Democrats until they agreed to remove the 22nd Amendment.  I thought this was my crowning victory, ensuring George W Bush would be the all powerful President for life…but instead public outrage at my actions led to the election of Joe Biden as President, defeating my attempt at a third term.  And just like that, I realized I’d accidentally created a Presidency so powerful it could not be stopped…and then handed the keys to my enemy.  Whoops!”

    In other playthroughs, I’ve seen Benedict Arnold outmaneuver George Washington to become the hero of the American Revolution and our first President, I’ve seen Benjamin Franklin break free and establish his own country in the unsettled land along the Mississippi river, I’ve successfully launched a military coup and seized the Federal Government in a violent uprising, I’ve even seen America invade the shores of England (though they were ultimately defeated).  I love watching the rise and fall of so many real life Americans, many of whom never made it into the history books, each conspiring with and against each other.  With hundreds of politicians active at any given time, with random events, unexpected resignations, even less expected deaths…with enemies amassing overseas and along our borders…all while trying to prevent America falling to economic collapse, foreign invasion, civil war, global climate catastrophe…and somehow win the next election while fighting your fellow party members just as hard as you fight those across the aisle…every single playthrough is wildly different than the one that came before.  This is the ultimate “What If” simulator, for American History aficionados and political novices alike!” – Ted Froats

  • References for A More perfect Union

    References for A More perfect Union

    Abramowitz, Alan I. The Great Alignment

    Adams, John Quincy. Diaries

    Allen, Jonathan. Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign

    Allison, Robert J. The Essential Debate on the Constitution

    Arrington, Benjamin T. The Last Lincoln Republican: The Presidential Election of 1880

    Badger, Anthony J. The New Deal

    Bailyn, Bernard. Ideological Origins of the American Revolution

    Banner Jr, James M. Presidential Misconduct: From George Washington to Today

    Barone, Michael. How America’s Political Parties Change (And How They Don’t)

    Barone, Michael Shaping Our Nation

    Beard, Charles A. History of the United States

    Beeman, Richard. Plain, Honest Men

    Bernstein, William J. A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World

    Bobbitt, Philip. The Shield of Achilles

    Borden, Morton. Political Parties in American History, 3 volumes

    Brzezinski, Zbigniew. The Grand Chessboard

    Brzezinski, Zbigniew. Strategic Vision

    Busch, Andrew E. Truman’s Triumphs: The 1948 Election and the Making of Post-War America 

    Busch, Andrew E. Reagan’s Victory: The Presidential Election of 1980 and the Rise of the Right

    Calhoun, Charles W. Minority Victory: Gilded Age Politics and the Front Porch Campaign of 1888

    Campbell, John L. American Discontent: The Rise of Donald Trump and the Decline of the Golden Age

    Chervinsky, Lindsay M. The Cabinet

    Congressional Quarterly’s Guide to US Elections

    Cohen, Jeffrey E. The Politics of the US Cabinet

    Cohen, Marty. The Party Decides

    Cole, Donald E. Vindicating Andrew Jackson: The 1828 Election and the Rise of the Two-Party System

    Cummins, Joseph. Anything for a Vote

    Dangerfield, George. The Awakening of American Nationalism

    Davidson, Harlan. From the Old Diplomacy to the New, 1865-1900

    Degregorio, William A. The Complete Book of US Presidents

    Dickerson, John. The Hardest Job in the World

    Eland, Ivan. Recarving Rushmore

    Ellis, Richard. Old Tip vs. the Sly Fox: The 1840 Election and the Making of a Partisan Nation

    Ferguson, Niall. The Ascent of Money

    Freeman, Joanne B. The Field of Blood

    Friedman, George. The Next 100 Years

    Gerhardt, Michael J. The Forgotten Presidents 

    Gerring, John. Party Ideology in America: 1828-1996

    Glad, Paul W. McKinley, Bryan, & the People

    Gormley, Ken. The Presidents and the Constitution

    Gould, Lewis L. Four Hats in the Ring: The 1912 Election and the Birth of Modern American Politics

    Greene, John Robert. I Like Ike: The Presidential Election of 1952

    Greenspan, Alan. Capitalism in America: An Economic History of the United States

    Greenstein, Fred I. The Presidential Difference

    Grinspan, John. The Age of Acrimony

    Hansen, Marcus Lee. The Immigrant in American History

    Hochberg, Fred P. Trade is Not a Four Letter Word

    Hofstadter, Richard. The Age of Reform

    Hofstadter, Richard. The American Political Tradition

    Hofstadter, Richard. Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

    Hofstadter, Richard. The Idea of a Party System

    Holt, Michael F. The Election of 1860: “A Campaign Fraught with Consequences”

    Holt, Michael F. By One Vote: The Disputed Election of 1876

    Holt, Michael F. Rise and Fall of the American Whigs Party

    Holzer, Harold. The Presidents vs. the Press

    Isenberg, Nancy. White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America

    Jeffries, John W. A Third Term for FDR: The Election of 1940

    Kaplan, Fred. Lincoln and the Abolitionists

    Kaplan, Robert D. The Revenge of Geography

    Kendi, Ibram X. How to be Anti-Racist

    Kissinger, Henry. Diplomacy

    Klein, Ezra. Why We’re Polizarized

    Klein, Herbert S. A Population History of the United States

    Kornacki, Steve. The Red and the Blue

    Larson, Edward J. A Magnificent Catastrophe

    Larson, Edward J. The Constitutional Convention 

    Lichtman, Allan J. The Embattled Vote in America

    Lichtman, Allan J. Predicting the Next President

    Lindert, Peter H. Unequal Gains: American Growth and Inequality since 1700

    Lux, Michael. The Progressive Revolution

    MacNeil, Neil. The American Senate

    Mann, Arthur. The Progressive Era

    Marshall, Tim. The Power of Geography

    Marshall, Tim. Prisoners of Geography

    Mayhew, David R. America’s Congress: Actions in the Public Sphere, James Madison Through Newt Gingrich

    Mayhew, David R. Electoral Realignments

    McCullough, David. The Pioneers

    McHue, Erin. Political Suicide

    McMath Jr, Robert C. American Populism

    McWhirter, Darien A. The Legal 100

    Milkis, Sidney M. The American Presidency

    Millet, Allan R. For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States, 1607-2012.

    Moore, John L. Congressional Quarterly’s Guide to US Elections

    Murray, Charles. Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010

    Nelson, Michael. Resilient America: Electing Nixon in 1968, Channeling Dissent, and Dividing Government. 

    Nelson, Michael. Clinton’s Elections: 1992, 1996, and the Birth of a New Era of Governance

    Parisot, James. How America Became Capitalist

    Pasley, Jeffrey L. The First Presidential Contest: 1796 and the Founding of American Democracy

    Perman, Michael. Emancipation and Reconstruction, 1862-1879

    Pessen, Edward. New Perspectives Jacksonian Parties and Politics

    Pitney, Jr., John J. After Reagan: Bush, Dukakis, and the 1988 Election

    Ratcliffe, Donald. The One-Party Presidential Contest: Adams, Jackson, and 1824’s Five-Horse Race

    Remini, Robert V. The House

    Ritchie, Donald A. Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932

    Rorabaugh, W. J. The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon, and the 1960 Election. 

    Rothstein, Richard. The Color of Law

    Ruddy, Daniel. Theodore Roosevelt’s History of the United States

    Sabato, Larry J. A More Perfect Constitution

    Salmore, Stephen A. Candidates, Parties, and Campaigns

    Schlereth, Thomas J. Victorian America

    Schlesinger Jr, Arthur M. The Age of Roosevelt 

    Sharp, James Roger. The Deadlocked Election of 1800: Jefferson, Burr, and the Union in the Balance

    Sides, John. Identity Crisis

    Siegler, Mark V. An Economic History of the United States

    Silby, Joel H. Party Over Section: The Rough and Ready Presidential Election of 1848

    Skidelsky, Robert. Money and Government

    Stavridis, James. Sea Power

    Stein, Mark. How the States Got their Shapes

    Strock, Ian Randal. Ranking the Vice Presidents

    Tomasky, Michael. If We Can Keep It

    Vidal, Gore. The American Presidency

    Vidal, Gore. The Decline and Fall of the American Empire

    Vidal, Gore. Burr

    Vidal, Gore. Lincoln

    Walters, Ronald G. American Reformers


    Williams, Daniel K. The Election of the Evangelical: Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, and the Presidential Contest of 1976

    Wineapple, Brenda. The Impeachers

    Witcover, Jules. Party of the People: A History of the Democrats

    Woodard, Colin. American Nations

    Young, Nancy Beck. Two Suns of the Southwest: Lyndon Johnson, Barry Goldwater, and 1964 Battle Between Liberalism and Conservatism

    Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States

    US Constitution

    Declaration of Independence

    Articles of Confederation

    Federalist Papers

  • Welcome to A More Perfect Union!

    Welcome to A More Perfect Union!

    This blog is about my new game, A More Perfect Union, which is a political history game covering the entirety of US history — Revolution to the present and beyond!

    Players play as factions of a major party. The goal is to be the dominant faction throughout the course of history. You’ll frequently need to work with other factions within your party. Occasionally, you’ll have to unite with factions of the other party to keep the country afloat. Lots of fun!

    The game has over 7,000 politicians as well as thousands of events, actions, legislative proposals, court cases, etc. No playthrough will resemble another!

    – JH