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Imperial Cruise

 by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the Taft Party had never set sail from San Francisco? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1905,

Please click the icon to follow us on Facebook.confronted by a popular outcry over the excessive expenses required to support an eighty strong Taft Party on the largest diplomatic delegation to Asia in US History, President Theodore Roosevelt (pictured) announced that the "imperial cruise" had been cancelled due to the timing of the tragic death of Secretary of State John Hay.

TR who had been serving as his own Secretary of State had convinced the easily browbeaten William Howard Taft to lead the mission, accompanied by his twenty-one year old daughter Alice, seven senators and twenty-three congressmen on an ocean liner from San Francisco to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, China and Korea. But the trouble had begun when the San Francisco Examiner published a hostile article entitled "Why Taft Pleases Steam and Rail Folk" pointing out that it was the "one of the most lucrative special parties ever hauled across the continent by the overlands roads. The railroad fares totaled $14,440 which includes something like $2,100 for dining car service [plus the] very snug sum of twenty-eight thousand dollars for almost three months on the [Pacific Liner] passenger ship Manchuria, not including tips estimated to total $1800 dollars".

A timeline in which we sent General Motors to promote US interests in Asia rather than General MacArthurOf course the imperialistic ambitions of TR were unashamedly clear and barely disguised by the inclusive of his popular daughter, in fact he had already declared that "I wish to see the United States the dominant power on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Our future history will be more determined by our position on the Pacific facing China than by our position on the Atlantic facing Europe".

"I can think of four guys that I personally knew who might have rather seen this timeline than meeting their deaths in the mud of Vietnam. Thanks for the tale." - reader's commentNevertheless, upon the appointment of the new Secretary of State Elihu Root the idea was re-considered, but Root convinced TR that negotiating secret agreements with foreign governments was not only unconstitutional, but fundamentally un-American. In the event, the US Government did not give Japan a "green light" to occupy the Korean Peninsula.

While the US has avoided military entanglement in South-east Asia, the past hundred years of foreign relations have been marred by ongoing Trade Disputes and a number of prominent neo-conservatives have even been so bold as to suggest that it was a strategic misstep for the "imperial cruise" to have been cancelled. The economic warfare is perhaps most memorably framed by the iconic photograph of four automobile workers raising the corporate flag at the General Motors assembly plant on Iwo Jima.

 


Author says original content has been repurposed to celebrate the author's genius "The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War" by James Bradley (2009). In reality William Howard Taft negotiated a number of secret agreements with foreign governments that set the scene for one hundred years of conflict in South-east Asia. The father of the author of the book was one of the three men who lifted the flag at Iwo Jima and has sought to explain that there is "no smoke without fire". To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

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.


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