Demographic math. ITTL, Nixon is known as the President who passed Civil Rights and who kept his friendship with MLK by actually listening to advisors in 1960 and helping him get freed from prison. Campaigning more on this merit, he wins a large minority of black voters in the district (say, 45 - 55, about 5 points higher than his national average) and winning white voters, with a split in the Democrats (Dixiecrats) (55 - 40 - 5). This, as the numbers seem to suggest, lead to a slight win over Senator Humphrey come November.
Lemuria is a former continent located in what is now the Indian Ocean believed to be the first continent settled by humans outside of Africa. At its peak, Lemuria was home to a variety of thriving civilizations, notably including Atlantis, Mu and Hyperborea and possessed technology and spiritual awareness unmatched by any future societies. It is believed a large amount of Lemurians possessed abilities later considered to be magical or psychic, but which were simply an everyday part of life in Lemuria. Artifacts recovered from the Moon hint that Lemurian civilizations may have possessed advanced spaceflight and settled on other planets, though no extant colonies of any Lemurian society have been confirmed. However, circa 10,000 BCE, a series of disastrous floods and earthquakes would ravage the continent, sinking the bulk of it into the sea. Surviving Lemurians would be forced to resettle elsewhere, most notably coming to do so in Egypt, India, China, Central America and various Pacific Islands. At one time it was thought a colony of surviving Lemurians had been established in Europe in either Italy or Greece; however, subsequent investigation has ruled this possibility out and the civilization on Lemuria known as Hyperborea is believed to have been ancestors to the indigenous people of Australia rather than any European peoples.
George W. Bush is an American politician best known as the 43rd President of the United States. Winning the narrowly contested 2000 election against Vice President Al Gore, Bush initially heavily focused on domestic policy, passing Medicare Part D, tax cuts and education reform bills as a part of his 'compassionate conservative' agenda. However, Bush's presidency would come to be defined by the events of September 11th, 2001. A series of planes hijacked by members of Al-Qaeda crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the White House. While Bush fortunately was spared from the attacks due to visiting Florida at the time, the attacks killed over 3,500 people, including Vice President Cheney and several members of Bush's cabinet. Bush would respond to the attacks by declaring a 'War on Terror.'
To wage it, Bush would, alongside key leaders of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, announce the formation of a 'New National Union' inspired by the one Lincoln had formed. Appointing Democratic Senator and vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman as his vice president, Bush's New National Union would gain a commanding majority in Congress in 2002 even with remnant dissident Republicans, Democrats and Independents along with the triumphs of some members of the Green and Libertarian Parties.
As part of the War on Terror, Bush would invade Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran during his presidency. The latter two conflicts would become extraordinarily controversial owing to leaks that the intelligence that was used to justify the wars was faulty as well as the difficulties of managing the occupation amidst an insurgency. Protests against the Bush administration's wars would intensify over his term and lead to controversy when several high-profile antiwar figures were arrested for subversion (though none would be convicted). Bush additionally authorized mass surveillance programs as a part of the War on Terror.
Bush would also experience major domestic policy failures. His attempt to overhaul Social Security floundered even within his own NNU and immigration reform was killed by remnant Republican filibustering in the Senate. His administration's response to Hurricane Katrina was likewise widely panned. In 2007, a series of bank failures triggered an intense economic recession, verging on a depression. Some polling after the Great Recession began indicated the New National Union would drop as low as fourth place as a result. However, the gap was closed after Bush announced the capture of Osama Bin Laden. This proved enough for Bush's chosen successor Hillary Clinton to triumph over Chuck Hagel, Russ Feingold, Ron Paul, Lincoln Chafee and Roseanne Barr.
Bush has had a largely quiet post-retirement, even eschewing a physical appearance at the New National Union Party convention in 2016, instead submitting a recording of him endorsing Mitt Romney. However, Bush's legacy continues to hang over the United States. The New National Union Party has won every election from 2004 on and while that might change this cycle (Ed Markey and Tom Tancredo have inspired fanatical followings online, as has Raul Labrador, Barbara Lee and Andrew Yang), the NNU remains the formidable force Bush made it into.
Where There's Wilson, There's a Way
Based on this post I made last year. Yes, it is intentionally a little bit silly.
Harold Wilson once thought of resigning in 1976, he was sixty years old, and he thought he was too tired for the job. Jim Callaghan was preparing to take over the reins, after he heard the news that old Harry was thinking of retiring. But then he decided to go to the doctors first. If the doctors said that he should slow down, then he would resign. So, he reached the doctor's office, and it looked like Harold might have some memory loss. From the doctor's analysis, however, it just looked like he needed some sleep. Wilson had feared it was dementia. With that out of the way, Wilson continued being Prime Minister.
...All the way to 1979. Thatcher had wanted to call a no-confidence vote, but she decided against it, thinking that she would not get the numbers to bring down the government. So, the election was held on October 3rd, as was expected. Harold Wilson lost, and lost handily. Thatcher became Britain's first woman Prime Minister. Most in the Labour Party thought that now, at age 63, that Harold Wilson would call time on his premiership of the party. Wilson did not; he announced that he would form the opposition and lead the party into the next election. Many were outraged, and many threatened to leave the party. This all came to a head when, in 1980, Shadow Chancellor James Callaghan challenged Wilson for the leadership. In a tight run contest, Harold Wilson won with 54% to Callaghan's 46%. The Labour Party thundered on with Wilson.
As we all know, Thatcher's first term was not very popular. Wilson was ahead of the polls, and many believed that he would become Prime Minister for the third time by the time that Thatcher called the next election, nineteen years after he first went into Number ten. But then, the Falklands happened. Thatcher became a war-time Prime Minister, and opinions surged. Thatcher called an election relatively shortly after the Falklands War, and Harold Wilson lost even worse than he did four years prior. Once again, there were calls for him to relinquish the leadership of the party. But once again, Wilson refused. Wilson now was 68 years old and would probably be in his early seventies when the next election was called. Regardless, Wilson stayed determined to return to power, no matter what. His shadow cabinet included people like Shirley Williams; after he caught murmurings of a possible split in the party, he made sure to keep them relatively on side. Unlike 1980, this time there was no leadership challenge against him.
As the years went on, Labour under Harold Wilson had a fluctuating position in the polls. However, this was mostly under the Tories. Sometimes the Labour Party would be close behind the Tories, and sometimes they would be far behind. Wilson was beginning to get irritated with the many things that Thatcher was doing that he did not agree with. Mass privatisation, for example. Good god, Wilson thought. Privatisation wasn't the only thing, of course, that he disagreed with Thatcher on. There was a whole multitude of issues that he fundamentally disagreed with Thatcher on. With that in mind, when Wilson voiced these disagreements in the House of Commons, Wilson usually trumped over Thatcher at the dispatch box. He had done so originally from 75 to 79 when she was leading the opposition and he was leading the government, and he was doing it now that he was leading the opposition. Again. For the third time. This didn't deter, Wilson, however. Either way, he could quit now. Thatcher had just called another election, four years after the last. Labour, unfortunately for Wilson, was not able to win back power, but it did look like they were going to be able to win a good number of seats.
And so, they did. Harold Wilson slashed Thatcher's majority in half. With one fell swoop. Of course, everyone expected the Conservative's Majority to take a thumping, but it was a bit of a surprise that Harold Wilson managed to cut it down to size that much. 1987 was a surprising year. Once again, after yet another failure to win the General Election, Harold Wilson, who was now 71, faced calls to resign. Once again, he did not. And, for the second time, he faced a challenge to his leadership. This time, it came from the right of the party, in the form of little-known Labour backbencher Charles Kennedy. He had expressed interest in the possible breakaway party that Roy Jenkins and others had threatened. Wilson had now led his party for twenty-four years, and Kennedy had expected Wilson to be long gone by this point. However, due to the impressive recovery in opposition from the Labour Party, people were at this stage loyal to Wilson. Wilson wins with a supermajority of 68%, to Kennedy's 32%. Kennedy isn't bitter and returns to the Labour backbenches. Time passes, and it is now November 1990. Geoffrey Howe has just resigned from the cabinet, and Michael Heseltine has challenged Margaret Thatcher for the leadership of the Tory party. Thatcher announces that she is going to go to the second ballot, and then she doesn't. Then, after eleven years, Margaret Thatcher leaves Downing Street. John Major is in.
John Major proves to be a bit more of a challenge for Harold Wilson in PMQs. He was himself amazed that he had lasted so long in this job. He was 74 now, certainly getting on in years. He had led his party for nigh-on 30 years, he had become the Father of the House after his former Chancellor and Shadow Chancellor retired for the House of Lords, and if he were to become the Prime Minister again at some point, he would be the first to be concurrently Father of the House during his premiership since Campbell Bannerman. He could only hope that he didn't die a few months after he left office. And speaking of Wilson possibly being back in Downing Street, things were looking incredibly up. Labour was beginning to run ahead of the Conservatives in the polls, but this lead was not consistent. Polls disagreed on whether Labour or the Conservatives could win the most votes, but several predicted a hung parliament. Eventually, the election arrived, and Wilson was hoping to form a government for the first time in 13 years. But, no. The Conservatives were the largest party once again. However, he had forced a hung parliament. The Conservatives were short 7 a majority, and they needed a bit of help from their friends. Sadly, for Wilson, he would once again be shut out of government, with the Tories getting Confidence and Supply from the Ulster Unionists. Once again, Harold Wilson had been locked out of government. And at this point Wilson began to doubt his future in the leadership of the Party. 29 years leading the party; almost double the time Attlee spent. Could he really find it in himself to lead the party into another election?
Well, apparently his wife of 52 years thought so. Mary Wilson, whom he had married in 1940, persuaded him to stay on for one more election, and that if he didn't win that, then he would resign. This pledge to resign if the Labour Party didn't win the next election quelled any possible leadership challenges to the 76-year-old Harold Wilson. He was worried that he may not get the chance to lead another government; he thought that due to his leading the party for twenty-nine years would quell anything that the Tories might do until 1997...and that's when Black Wednesday happened. Just some months after the election, and the Tories had made an almighty cockup. And with that, the Tories were screwed. Labour were, from that point on, always ahead in the polls. The man who had led his party for nigh-on three decades was leading the Government-in-waiting. His cabinet had completely changed around him since 1964, when he became only the third Labour Prime Minister. When he started out as leader, his deputy was George Brown, born in 1914, and now, his deputy leader was Tony Blair, born in 1953. That is not to say that he would be his right-hand man. That would have to be Barry Sheerman, the Shadow First Secretary of State. In fact, Wilson had privately indicated that his anointed successor would eventually be Sheerman. Eventually, John Major called an election for 1 May 1997. The opinion polls continued to predict a hefty Labour majority. The 81-year-old Harold Wilson was determined to not be complacent, and finally get returned to power after 17 and a half years waiting. Harold Wilson, in his Knowsley South constituency, tuned into the BBC, and began watching the Election coverage by David Dimbleby. The exit poll last time correctly predicted the Tory plurality Hung Parliament. And then, Big Ben struck 10.
"And we are saying Harold Wilson is to be Prime Minister and a landslide... is likely." Rapturous cheering was heard in the Labour buildings. Harold Wilson was, surely, going to be the Prime Minister for the third time. Wilson, at eighty-one years old, would be the second-oldest Prime Minister in history, and the oldest elected Prime Minister. He would be one year older than Winston Churchill was after his final retirement. Boy, did it feel good. Harold Wilson tensely waited for the Sunderland South count, and, sure enough, it was a 11% swing. It was in the bag now. At 3AM, Harold Wilson's Labour Party secured enough seats to win a majority, and Major soon conceded defeat. In total, the Labour Party managed a landslide majority of 201 seats, the biggest in its history. Harold Wilson was first elected in the first Labour landslide of 52 years prior, when the Labour Party was led by Clement Attlee. The Prime Minister made one final speech in front of Downing Street, before heading to Buckingham Palace to tender his resignation to the Queen, and recommended that she send for Harold Wilson to form a third government; 18 years after his last one ended, and 33 years after his first one started. Before long, the Queen greeted Harold Wilson in Buckingham Palace, and invited Harold Wilson to form a government, which, of course, he accepted. The Queen remarked on his longevity and his tenacity to win and commended him for that. The Prime Minister thanked her for her remarks, and then went on his way to Downing Street. It was surprising that he was in such good health, that much is for certain. He greeted the crowds that surrounded Downing Street, shook their hands, and then started a speech. He thanked the crowds for putting their trust in him again, for the first time in 24 years. He promised that he would govern in their interests and would not let them down and thanked his wife of 57 years for all the support that she has given in the campaign. He then walked into Downing Street, for the first time in almost 20 years.
The new Prime Minister, after writing his letters of last resort, begins appointing his cabinet. Tony Blair is Deputy Prime Minister, while Barry Sheerman is First Secretary of State, and Harold Wilson's real Deputy. In the foreign office was Ann Clwyd, member for Cynon Valley, the first female holder of a Great Office of State other than Margaret Thatcher. In the Home Office was Gordon Brown, the Member for Dunfermline East. Finally, for the Great Offices of State, in the Exchequer, the Prime Minister appointed John Smith, one of the few cabinet members to also have served in the Wilson Government of '74 to '79. Additionally, to give Blair a place in the cabinet, he was made Minister for the Cabinet Office. Meanwhile, the Conservative leadership had been relinquished by John Major in the aftermath of his landslide defeat, and the contest to succeed him had begun. Ken Clarke, the former Chancellor, announced his bid for the Leadership, and was regarded as the frontrunner. William Hague opted not to stand, citing his relative inexperience. John Redwood also stood for the leadership. Peter Lilley wanted to stand, but he didn't make his mind up before the nominations closed. In a two-horse race between Redwood and Clarke, Clarke was victorious, getting over 100 votes, over two thirds of remaining MPs in the House. The new Leader of the Opposition was chosen, and John Major was relegated to the backbenches. Before long, he announced his intention to stand down from parliament at the next election, whenever that was. Many reforms were passed by the Wilson government, and almost all of Thatcher's policies were reversed, to the chagrin of the Conservatives, including Thatcher herself of course. British Rail returned, and certain changes were made to make sure that mass privatisation could not occur in the future. Before long, the year was 2001, and Wilson chose to hold an election after four years. He was now 85 years old, and the oldest Prime Minister in history. The 58-year-old Ken Clarke wished to take advantage of their age difference to try to win the election. Sadly, for Ken Clarke this would not work. The Conservatives lost seats, losing a net of 10, with Labour also losing some seats; both losing seats to the Liberal Party.
Harold Wilson had been returned to power with a hefty majority of 181, the second highest in history, second only to the 1997 result. John Smith retired at this election, being elevated to the House of Lords, due to health issues, including a minor heart attack. He was created The Lord Smith of Argyll, and Lord Smith's health dramatically improved after retiring from frontline politics. Anne Clwyd was made the new Chancellor, with Charles Kennedy, an Under-Secretary for former Home Secretary Clwyd, succeeding her in the Home Office. Ken Clarke, who had only just survived the 2001 election by a whimper, did not hesitate to announce his coming resignation as Tory leader when the results became clear. The Tory Party had, in recent times, changed their election system for their leaders. The parliamentary party would decide on two candidates, the two who get the most votes, and these two candidates would go to the Tory membership. William Hague, who now thought he had what it took, decided to stand for the Leadership. Then followed Michael Howard, then John Redwood again. As there were only just over a hundred seats left for the Tories, those were all the candidates that stood. John Redwood came dead last, meaning that Michael Howard and William Hague would go to the membership vote. This took just over a month to get done, and when the result was announced, William Hague was anointed the new Leader of the Conservatives. Michael Howard was kept on in the Shadow Cabinet, as a powerful Shadow Chancellor. Wilson continued implementing reforms until one day in May 2003. The eighty-seven-year-old Prime Minister Harold Wilson was talking to his wife of 63 years, Mary. He was mentioning how tired he was in this job now, and how he could barely fulfil its capabilities, when he realised; it was high time to retire. On the Second of May 2003, Harold Wilson shockingly announced his resignation as Leader of the Labour Party, citing his growing age and tiredness. After forty years of leading the leading the party, he'd had enough. Barry Sheerman was elected unopposed to be his replacement on June 11th, and Harold Wilson's last day in office was June 12th, when he attended the House of Commons for the last time and answered questions for the last time. After this, Harold Wilson headed to the palace, and tendered his resignation as Prime Minister.
However, Her Majesty had a surprise for him. First, he was going to have dinner with her and the Royal Family. Second, the Cabinet secretly coerced with the Palace, and they were going to bestow an honour that had not been seen for almost seventy years. Harold Wilson was going to be elevated to the House of Lords, as a new Marquess. This had not happened since the brief reign of Edward VIII, when Freeman Freeman-Thomas (yes, real name) was named Marquess of Wilmington. This was the highest honour that both the Cabinet and the Palace could think to give the man who had served his country, and in the case of the cabinet, his party, for so long. The soon-to-be former Prime Minister was unbelievably touched and didn't expect anything like this. He was so grateful for this; he was tearing up when he heard from Her Majesty about these secret plans. Her Majesty told him to cheer up, as he was going to dine with her and the family. Harold Wilson, the Royal Family, and senior members of the cabinet including the new Labour Party leader Barry Sheerman dined together, in commemoration for Harold Wilson's extremely long service. This was an honour only bestowed to Winston Churchill before him, who dined with her Majesty just after his final retirement in 1955. After this was done, Harold Wilson advised Her Majesty to see Barry Sheerman. No fetching would be required as he was already at the Palace. Harold Wilson, at last, had his resignation as Prime Minister accepted, and he went back home, before being sworn into the House of Lords the next day, as the 1st Marquess of Rievaulx. Barry Sheerman was, indeed, asked to form a government, and he accepted. The new Prime Minister then went straight to Downing Street, where he made his first speech. He paid enormous tribute to Harold Wilson, one of the longest serving Prime Ministers of modern times, and by far the longest serving main party leader ever. Forty years leading the Labour Party. A triumphant success after 18 years of opposition under himself. Barry Sheerman would serve as Prime Minister for the next eight years, before losing to John Redwood, who became Tory leader on his fourth attempt, in the 2011 General Election. Lord Wilson attended the funeral of Margaret Thatcher in 2013 at the age of 97, looking remarkably frail, yet at the same time strong. Finally, though, on the 30th of December 2017, Lord Wilson died at the age of 101. The longest-lived Prime Minister in history. Massive outpourings of grief were received from around the world to an elder statesman, and a political legend. PM Redwood led these tributes.
Lord and Lady Wilson were married for 77 years, one of the longest married couples in the world. Lady Wilson died the year after. The Queen attended the funeral of the Marquess of Rievaulx, something she has only done for Thatcher and Churchill before him. Lord Wilson's legacy can be seen everywhere today. A statue of him is in the office of the Prime Minister, Charles Kennedy. Charles Kennedy became the Prime Minister in 2020 after entering a coalition with the Liberal Party, led by Tom Brake. Say what you want about the man, Harold Wilson is dearly missed.
1990: the first free and fair elections are held in East Germany. The new government promises rapid reunification with the West, with overwhelming support in both countries. However, to succeed, the four Allied powers must be brought on board - but they are not so enthusiastic. Britain's Thatcher and France's Mitterand fear a reunified Germany could dominate the EU and destabilise the already-fragile state of continental geopolitics, and for these reasons they oppose it almost from the start. Gorbachev is an early supporter, but as he becomes increasingly troubled by domestic affairs, he speaks out less and less frequently. The final straw comes when the Bush administration in the US, generally distant and apathetic about reunification throughout 1990, aligns itself with the British and French position. Shortly thereafter, Gorbachev quietly withdraws his support as well.
Western Chancellor Kohl and Eastern prime minister de Maizière try in vain to revive negotiations with the powers, but their attempts are fruitless. De Maizière, who stormed to office at the head of a coalition almost single-mindedly dedicated to reunification, resigns in 1991 and retires from politics, having failed to achieve the dream. He is succeeded by Klaus Reichenbach, minister for the prime minister's office, who is tasked with steering the German Democratic Republic into an uncertain future. The fragile coalition constructed by his predecessor fractures almost immediately: ministers from the liberal parties resign like the Social Democrats before them. Worse still, the Christian Democrat-led Alliance for Germany quickly loses faith in its new de facto leader. The conservative German Social Union leaves, threatening to take a respectable chunk of voters with them.
With his government now short of a majority, Reichenbach calls an early election in 1992. He has no illusions about his chances of replicating de Maizière's success, but hopes to cobble together a working majority on the other side. The CDU, holding onto its alliance with the minor Democratic Awakening, takes a bruising, but remains the largest party with 33%. As expected, the DSU finds favour among conservatives, winning 10%. The biggest surprise, however, comes among the opposition - the primary beneficiary of the election is the Party of Democratic Socialism, successor of the former ruling communist party, which soars into second place on a wave of discontent and disillusion. The Social Democrats' hopes of winning voters from the unpopular CDU are dashed as they stay essentially level. The liberal and green alliances round out a parliament which appears just as inconclusive as the last.
The CDU, DSU, and Liberals together hold 198 seats, three seats short of a majority. The PDS, SDP, and Greens hold 202, but the latter two parties immediately rule out cooperation with the PDS. With the Greens also refusing to support the Christian democrats, there appears to be no workable government. However, the SDP begins to talk of compromise. While vanishingly few support a coalition with the CDU after the difficulty of the de Maizière government, many are open to a confidence agreement with a CDU-led minority government. The concept is far from uncontroversial, and it takes several weeks of heated argument within the party before a proposal is agreed upon. The People's Chamber sits to elect the Prime Minister, and Reichenbach wins with 197 votes in favour, 120 against, and 83 abstentions. Despite a small number of left-wing SDP deputies refusing to abstain, the agreement is hailed by both the CDU and SDP as the path to a stable government until the political climate cools down. Few could have predicted how it would set the stage for the years to come.
Definitely, especially considering there was a large number of Irish Catholic noblemen who fled to Spain and joined our social upper crust, see Leopoldo O'Donnell, the descendant of the 16th century Kings of Tyrconnell
Definitely, especially considering there was a large number of Irish Catholic noblemen who fled to Spain and joined our social upper crust, see Leopoldo O'Donnell, the descendant of the 16th century Kings of Tyrconnell
Most of that won't have happened. There were a handful of English and Irish Catholics in Spain at the time of the Armada but much less than there would be twenty years later.
I read a wonderful jstor article about the Spanish-Irish relationship during the 1500s and 1600s.
Two of my favourite bits from it. There was a discussion in the irish court about sending help to the Irish in Tyrone's rebellion which involved one of the courtiers saying 'Most Nations dislike Spain. The Irish love us.' as justification for sending soldiers.
And then there was a long passage from a spanish captain stranded in ireland after the armada who was less flattering about the irish, calling them savages repeatedly which ended in this wonderful barb about the irish reaction to a cross he's wearing which is just so cutting.
"These the savage damsel took great interest in, saying to me that she was a Christian: which she was ... in like manner as Mahomet."