What if democrats had not replaced Henry Wallace with Truman

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Marcel1975
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What if democrats had not replaced Henry Wallace with Truman

Post by Marcel1975 » 22 Nov 2002 23:56

as FDR's running mate? What if Roosevelt, like he did in 1940 had insisted in 1944 to run with Henry Wallace on the ticket as running mate. After FDR's death Henry Wallace becomes president. Would he have been able to stand up to Stalin like Truman did? Wallace argues that Berlin should be given to Russian completely plus possible some other concessions. Stalin takes western Europe.

And as to the Japan situation, I think Wallace would have asked Stalin for help on the invasion and not drop the a*bomb, also he would have openly shared us nuclear secrets with Stalin. Also Hirohito would not be retained at US insistence.

FL Jim
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Post by FL Jim » 23 Nov 2002 01:20

Amazing. I was going to post this very same question myself.

Wallace was most definitely not a Harry Truman. As President, Wallace would have conceded much to Stalin. Of course, the US public would have been outraged. I don't think Wallace would have let the Russians advance further westward in Germany without inviting full scale mutiny in Congress from both Republicans and Democrats.

The atomic bomb program was way too advanced for Wallace to stop. Even though Wallace was very Leftwing, there was little sympathy for sparing Japan even among Leftists in the US at that time. Most likely, the Russians might have tried to advance a little further south than Sakhalin Island, though.

Undoubtedly, the Congressional elections of 1946 would have gone Republican as they actually did but under President Wallace even more so. I doubt Wallace would have wanted to roll back wartime economic controls which would have raised the public's anger even more. With the 1948 presidential elections coming up, it is not unlikely that a movement to draft MacArthur or Eisenhower for the Republican nomination would have been successful. MacArthur, Eisenhower, or even the actual nominee Thomas E. Dewey would have crushed Wallace at the polls. Sadly, it would have been too late for Berlin and perhaps too late for the Greek anti-communist forces, too. Fortunately, Dewey (or the others) would have been in place in time for NATO and the founding of West Germany.

Over the longer range, a Republican president sitting in 1950 changes the whole dynamics of the Korean War. If the public was ready for a change in 1956, a hypothetical President Adlai Stevenson could be in office until January 1965, which has great impact on Castro in Cuba, Bay of Pigs, John F. Kennedy's career among others.

I am not a fan of Henry Wallace. He was one of the flakiest men to have ever gotten near the White House. Berliners and anti-communist Europeans should be thankful that Big city Democratic machine bosses at the 1944 convention made it clear that they did not want Wallace. Nevertheless, I doubt that FDR would have lost the 1944 election with Wallace on the ticket even if the Democratic party bosses did sit on their hands that year.

Now here's another vice presidential what-if---What if Wendell Wilkie won in 1940? When he died in October 1944, Vice President McNary would have become president. How would the atomic bomb-post war landscape looked then? Would Stalin have been able to keep eastern Europe or would a Republican president have been more willing to give Patton the go ahead to keep moving east?

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Post by FL Jim » 23 Nov 2002 16:54

Oops! I made a slight error. Seems that Wilkie's running mate, Senator McNary died in February 1944, eight months before Wilkie. Had the Wilkie-McNary ticket been elected in 1940, the Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Democrat of Texas would have moved up to the presidency. Rayburn was a middle of the road New Deal Democrat and much like Truman. A President Rayburn would have probably done much of what Truman did---drop the atomic bomb, face off Stalin in Berlin in the Berlin Airlift, defeat Dewey in 1948. President Rayburn would have had been a big boost to the career of fellow Texan Lyndon Johnson.

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Marcel1975
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Post by Marcel1975 » 23 Nov 2002 17:31

Since 1967 the speaker of the house is third in line for the presidency, before that, the secretary of state would have been. So if they had been elected, after the death of both Willkie and McNary whoever was secretary of state would have been president, or possible republicans would have called on Douglas MacArthur. They would have selected Willkie as candidate in 1944 but when he dies they need a replacement.

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Psycho Mike
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If Wallace had been Presdent

Post by Psycho Mike » 23 Nov 2002 17:56

I think no hearings would have occurred in 1947 to find communist influence, the German Americans (many of whom supported the Bund) in camps would have died there, Stalin would have acted quickly on his great dream to move all the Soviet Jews who had not denounced their religion to become Communists to Siberia and Wallace would have spoken of how progressive the act was. If he said anything at all. Not to mention that Stalin would have been brought in as soon as possible as an ally in the war against Japan- allowing him to help carve up Asia as he had Europe.

Every secret, every act of diplomacy, would be known world wide.

But there is a question I have always had. Why did the Democratic Party dump Wallace? Does anyone know the official- and the rumored, reason why?

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Post by FL Jim » 24 Nov 2002 17:38

The party bosses of St. Louis, New York, and Chicago along with other Democratic party machine leaders were afraid that the ultra-Left Wallace was going to drag down the ticket in November 1944. They also knew that it was clear FDR was not going to live out his fourth term and they didn't want to be saddled with Wallace. Roosevelt himself was probably aware that he might not make it and as an experienced political operator met with these party leaders who put Truman's name forward. The Democratic National Chairman was an old Missouri friend of Truman. Roosevelt agreed but couldn't make it too obvious that he was dumping Wallace so he let it look like the convention was free to make the choice as conventions generally had been up to the 1930s.

It was old fashioned smoke filled room machine politics at work in 1944. That may not be acceptable in today's political climate but in 1944 it had the unexpected benefit of saving all Europe from Stalin's grip and keeping the US from being in a seriously disadvantaged position during the Cold War.

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Post by FL Jim » 24 Nov 2002 17:53

Marcel1975 wrote:Since 1967 the speaker of the house is third in line for the presidency, before that, the secretary of state would have been. So if they had been elected, after the death of both Willkie and McNary whoever was secretary of state would have been president, or possible republicans would have called on Douglas MacArthur. They would have selected Willkie as candidate in 1944 but when he dies they need a replacement.


True, the next in line would have been the Secretary of State. It is nearly impossible to speculate who that might have been in a Wilkie administration. The Republican National Committee would have then had to convene a special meeting to select a new presidential nominee, most likely whoever the Republican National Convention nominated for Vice President that previous summer or whoever had succeeded Wilkie as president. All in all, the election of 1944 would have been a mess which might have given the Axis leaders a moment of hope and Churchill and Stalin a few headaches. Could it have changed the German and Japanese war strategies that autumn of 1944?

The Presidential Succession Act of 1947 changed the sucession to the way it is now (Pres-VP-Speaker of the House-Senate Pres pro tem-Cabinet) which was then put into the Constitution in 1967.

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Psycho Mike
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Smoke filled rooms

Post by Psycho Mike » 26 Nov 2002 19:06

Well, there are still rooms where the honchos meet- but no more cigars and whiskey. Now it's a smokeless room with bottled water! They are mostly southern (the Democratic National Committee comes to mind) and are much more conservative than their membership.

On the republican side, they supported Bush's kid because they felt they owed the old man. Back room politics still lives!

You know it wasn't that long ago that Strom Thurmond was a heart beat away from the White House. Which reminds me of a joke.
What are alcohol, firearms and tobacco?
Door prizes at a Strom Thurmond rally!

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Post by FL Jim » 26 Nov 2002 23:35

Ah, yes, good ol' Strom Thurmond---of all the presidential and vice presidential candidates from 1948, he is the only one still alive. Come to think of it, all the Republican and Democratic nominees from before 1972 are dead, too.

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Psycho Mike
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Orgy Of Political Favors

Post by Psycho Mike » 29 Nov 2002 20:17

The return of all the old timers in the new big spending U.S. government
is from all sides. Even Kissinger is back!

Good thing Ronald Reagan doesn't have to see this..... :oops:

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Post by Reviewer » 07 Jun 2005 14:43

He start to reinforce the UN as much as he can.
In 1948, the communist seize power in Greece and Italia, as Yougoslavia and Czechoslovakia becomes independent from Moscow.
In 1950, Korea is reunited under bolchevism and Wallace decid then that Japan should join the Allied Alliance, Wallace is saved by Stalin that accept to give upp eastern Germany in exchange for a neutral Germany that include Austria.
He also recognise India a seat in the UN after it`s independence in 1947, after the German neutrality & reunification act, he must force the british to renounce their ambitions and for transparancy of their secret services in exchange of supressing some war debts in 1953.
The korea war was short and remain the last, the UN`s influence, backed by the US and the CCCP is too strong, but not for the countrys becoming independent from Colonial power.
In short, the cold war and it`s intrigues is avoided and replaced by international cooperation for the common good.

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Re: What if democrats had not replaced Henry Wallace with Truman

Post by Cantankerous » 13 Feb 2021 03:52

FDR had chosen to run for a third term because his New Deal was successful in pulling the US out of the Great Depression. If FDR had known in early 1944 that he was months away from succumbing to a brain hemorrhage, then he would have not run for a fourth term, and Henry Wallace would have run for the Democratic presidential nomination in the 1944 presidential election. Wallace, if he had been president in March 1945 rather than FDR, would initially have been popular during his first two years in office, but anti-communist Democrats would have taken over the Democratic party leadership and encouraged Truman-type Democrats to mount a primary challenge to Wallace in the 1948 election because of them seeing Wallace as too soft on the USSR.

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Re: What if democrats had not replaced Henry Wallace with Truman

Post by Futurist » 13 Feb 2021 05:43

I thought that FDR was already aware of his extremely weak health in 1944--hence the decision by Democratic Party bosses to dump Wallace in favor of Truman that year?

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Terry Duncan
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Re: What if democrats had not replaced Henry Wallace with Truman

Post by Terry Duncan » 13 Feb 2021 12:38

Thread necromancy.

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