Updated Sunday 15 May, 2011 12:18 PM

   Headlines  |  Alternate Histories  |  International Edition

Home Page


Alternate Histories

International Edition

List of Updates

Want to join?

Join Writer Development Section

Writer Development Member Section

Join Club ChangerS


Chris Comments

Book Reviews


Letters To The Editor


Links Page

Terms and Conditions



Alternate Histories

International Edition

Alison Brooks



Other Stuff


If Baseball Integrated Early


Today in Alternate History

This Day in Alternate History Blog








Northern Strategy by Steve Payne

Author says: what if Stephen A. Douglas outfoxed Abraham Lincoln with a Northern Strategy? Please note that the opinions expressed in this satirical post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1860,

Please click to Digg our site.Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln was passed telegrams shortly after midnight at an ice cream parlour in Springfield Illinois reporting his failure to win an outright majority of free states in the electoral college. The presidential election would now be determined by a states vote in the House of Representatives.

Needless to say, the result was an absolute disaster for Lincoln. Having established himself as a national figure during his debates with Stephen Douglas during the 1858 race for the Senate, he had attempted to reverse the outcome of that defeat with the obvious alternative strategy of uttering barely a word during the campaign. In fact one of his few utterances was to predict that only the Republicans could win the election.

"Probable answer is that no President is chosen and US is run by a deadlocked Congress for 4 years" - reader's commentBecause Douglas had split the Democrat vote at the national convention by committing to a free state's vote on slavery. This suggestion had antagonised abolitionists who sought to prevent the adoption of slavery in the new western states of the Union. At the same time the proposal had angered southern democrats who stormed out of the convention, and promised to back Breckinridge.

"This might have postponed the Civil War, at least long enough for the South to calm down about John Brown. " - reader's commentOf course Douglas was no fool. He had devised a winning strategy understanding fully that he could not possibly unite Northern and Southern Democrats on a common platform and therefore gain an outright majority in the electoral college. Instead he sought to limit Lincoln's majority by nurturing "fusion" candidates in key states. And the returns from Indiana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut tipped the balance precisely as Douglas had predicted. Because a vote in the House of Representatives would be based on that institution's very different set of democratic calculations, based as there were upon an equitable vote by state where the South was more likely to gain a more positive, negotiated outcome.

Author says to view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site. This scenario was explored in the Fall Edition of American Heritage Magazine.

Steve Payne, Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


Site Meter


Hit Counter