|Franklin D. Roosevelt|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
|Date of Birth:||1882|
|Date of Death:||1945|
|Cause of Death:||Stroke|
|Relatives:||Theodore Roosevelt (distant cousin)|
|Political Party:||Democratic Party|
|Political Office(s):||Assistant Secretary of the Navy (1913-1920),|
Governor of New York (1929-1932),
President of the United States (1933-1945)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 - April 12, 1945), was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd President of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A Democrat, Roosevelt won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century. Roosevelt directed the United States federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, realigning American politics into the Fifth Party System and defining American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II.
Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, New York to a family made well known by Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President. Franklin Roosevelt was educated as a lawyer. In 1905, he married his fifth cousin, once removed, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was Theodore's niece. Together, the couple had six children. He won election to the New York State Senate in 1910, and then served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy under President Woodrow Wilson during World War I. Roosevelt was James M. Cox's running mate on the Democratic Party's 1920 national ticket, but the Cox-Roosevelt ticket was defeated by the Republican ticket of Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge by a wide margin. In 1921, Roosevelt contracted a paralytic illness, believed at the time to be polio, and his legs became permanently paralyzed. In spite of his medical condition, Roosevelt returned to public office by winning election as Governor of New York State in 1928. He was in office from 1929 to 1933 and served as a Governor for reform, promoting programs to combat the economic crisis besetting the United States at the time.
After securing the Democratic nomination in 1932, Roosevelt went on to defeat the incumbent president, Republican Herbert Hoover, in a landslide. Roosevelt took office while the United States was in the midst of the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in the country's history. During the first 100 days of the 73rd United States Congress, Roosevelt spearheaded unprecedented federal legislation and issued a profusion of executive orders that instituted the New Deal—a variety of programs designed to produce relief, recovery, and reform. The economy having improved rapidly from 1933 to 1937, Roosevelt won a landslide reelection in 1936 against Alf Landon. Even so, the economy then relapsed into a deep recession in 1937 and 1938. After the 1936 election, Roosevelt galvanized opposition by seeking passage of the Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937, which would have expanded the size of the Supreme Court of the United States. The bipartisan Conservative Coalition that formed in 1937 prevented passage of the bill and blocked the implementation of further New Deal programs and reforms.
Roosevelt ran successfully for reelection in 1940, defeating Wendell Willkie. His victory made him the first and only U.S. President to serve for more than two terms. With World War II looming after 1938 in addition to the Japanese invasion of China and the aggression of Nazi Germany, Roosevelt gave strong diplomatic and financial support to China as well as the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union while the U.S. remained officially neutral. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Roosevelt obtained a declaration of war on Japan the next day, and a few days later, on Germany and Italy. Roosevelt worked closely with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and Chinese leader Chiang Kai-Shek in leading the Allies against the Axis Powers. Roosevelt supervised the mobilization of the U.S. economy to support the war effort and implemented a Europe first strategy, making the defeat of Germany a priority over that of Japan. He also initiated the development of the world's first atomic bomb and worked with the other Allied leaders to lay the groundwork for the United Nations and other post-war institutions. Roosevelt won reelection against Thomas Dewey in 1944 but with his physical health seriously and steadily declining during the war years, he died in April 1945, just 11 weeks into his fourth term. The Axis Powers surrendered to the Allies in the months following Roosevelt's death, during the presidency of Roosevelt's successor, Harry Truman.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in The Hot War
|The Hot War |
POD: November, 1950
|Type of Appearance:||Posthumous references throughout|
While Franklin D. Roosevelt had been dead for nearly six years when World War III began, his successor, Harry Truman, was aware of Roosevelt's continued impact on the United States. Truman employed a number of people who'd worked in Roosevelt's administration, and he suspected that they probably compared him to Roosevelt. He also compared himself to Roosevelt on occasion, as the war escalated and grew more devastating.
When Lt. Cade Curtis approached the American lines in Korea after retreating from Chosin Reservoir, he felt fear that he might be shot accidentally before he could identify himself. Recalling Roosevelt's line that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself steadied him enough to return to safety.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in The Man With the Iron Heart
|The Man With the Iron Heart|
POD: May 29, 1942;
Relevant POD: May, 1945
|Type of Appearance:||Posthumous references|
Franklin D. Roosevelt died in April 1945, before World War II ended in all theaters. However, his charisma and political acumen were fondly remembered by his supporters and opponents alike throughout the German Freedom Front's uprising. Many wondered if Roosevelt would have been much better equipped to maintain public support for the continued occupation of Germany than his successor, Harry Truman.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Cayos in the Stream"
|"Cayos in the Stream" |
POD: c. July, 1942
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
The president told Hemingway that the author was crazy to pull the stunt of sinking a U-boat. Hemingway agreed, but reminded Roosevelt that the stunt had worked. Roosevelt laughed and returned to eating.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Worldwar
POD: May 30, 1942
|Appearance(s):||In the Balance|
Striking the Balance†
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Death:||1944|
|Cause of Death:||Presumably a stroke|
|Political Office(s):||President of the United States (1933-1944)|
In December 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1944) asked for and received declarations of war against Germany and Japan following the latter's attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Thus, he led the United States into World War II. But that war was disrupted just a few months later when the Race's Conquest Fleet invaded Earth. Roosevelt escaped the destruction of Washington, DC by one of the Race's explosive-metal bombs and provided his country with strong and inspiring leadership as it desperately battled the Race. While his location was kept secret, he was able to broadcast speeches via radio and film. He was also able to visit the crucial explosive-metal bomb project located in Denver, where he discussed fighting the Lizards with General Leslie Groves at length.
However, the grueling conditions he endured while the United States fought off the invading Race and the stress of leading his country at such a desperate time took a great toll on his health, and he died in 1944. As Vice President Henry Wallace had been killed when the Race destroyed Seattle, Roosevelt was succeeded as President by Secretary of State Cordell Hull.
"My friends, the fight goes on. The enemy is on our soil and in the air above our homes. These creatures from another world believe they can frighten us into surrender by raining destruction down on our heads. As our gallant British allies did with the Germans in 1940, we shall prove them wrong.
"Every day we have more new weapons to hurl against the Lizards. Every day they have less with which to resist. Those of you who still live free, everything you do to help the war effort helps ensure that your children, and your children’s children, will grow up in freedom, too. And to those of you in occupied territory who may see this, I say: do not collaborate with the enemy in any way. Do not work in his factories, do not grow crops for him, do nothing you can possibly avoid. Without human beings to be his slaves, sooner or later he will be helpless.
"For we have hurt him, in America, in Europe, and in Asia as well. He is not superhuman, he is merely inhuman. Our united nations - now all the nations on this planet - will surely triumph in the end. Thank you and God bless you." - Speech prepared for newsreel, 1943.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in "News From the Front"
|"News From the Front" |
POD: December 8, 1941
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
President Franklin D. Roosevelt found his every policy challenged by the public and the political establishment when the U.S. entered World War II. The American press was relentless in its criticism of Roosevelt's handling of the war, while simultaneously making political and military secrets public.
Throughout the first half of 1942, Roosevelt's popularity declined. Despite his exhortations to the press to refrain from attacks and from revealing secrets that inhibited the country's efforts, the press and the public turned against Roosevelt. An impeachment movement gained momentum, particularly after Vice President Henry Wallace publicly denounced Roosevelt's honesty. By June 1942, Congress had begun discussing impeachment.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Days of Infamy
|Days of Infamy |
POD: March, 1941;
Relevant POD: December 7, 1941
|Type of Appearance:||Contemporary references throughout|
President Franklin D. Roosevelt received a declaration of war against the Empire of Japan after Japanese forces attacked and conquered the American territory of Hawaii from December 1941 through February 1942. He also received a war declaration against Germany. Although Roosevelt saw Germany as the greater threat, Japan was the more immediate one, and so Roosevelt was forced to abandon the "Germany first" policy he wanted, instead directing the military to retake Hawaii, which it did in 1943.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in The War That Came Early
|The War That Came Early |
POD: July 20, 1936;
Relevant POD: September 29, 1938
|Appearance(s):||West and East|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
In October 1939, with Germany retreating on the Western Front and stalled out on the Eastern Front, Roosevelt proposed that there be a general cease-fire, and that all boundaries be returned to the status quo ante bellum. Adolf Hitler rebuffed Roosevelt's suggestion.
The war continued on into 1940. While the U.S. remained neutral, Roosevelt, viewing the war in Europe at least as one against liberty on the part of the Germans, sent arms to Britain and France, including a fleet of obsolete destroyers. He also offered to mediate an end to the war between the Soviet Union and Japan. While the USSR readily accepted the offer, Japan did not, and the peace was bilateral.
In mid-1940, Roosevelt began his campaign for an unprecedented third term. Concurrently, Britain and France reached a peace with Germany, and joined Germany in a war against the USSR. Disgusted, Roosevelt announced at a speech in Philadelphia in October 1940, that the U.S. would no longer ship arms to Britain and France, and would additionally stop shipping scrap metal and oil to Japan until Japan left China.
While it appeared the United States had a brief reprieve from the war, on January 12, 1941, just over a week before Roosevelt was inaugurated for a third time, Japanese forces attacked United States possessions, including the Philippines and Hawaii. The next day, Roosevelt asked for, and received, a declaration of war.
On January 20, Roosevelt addressed the country immediately after his third swearing-in. He reminded the country of his pledge that no Americans would die in foreign wars, but that Japan had made that decision for the U.S. He also reminded the country that whoever won in Europe, liberty would be the loser. After that statement drew a cry of "No European war!", Roosevelt reiterated that there would be no American involvement in the war in Europe, but that the U.S. would achieve victory in the Far East and become strong enough to defeat any other enemy.
The so-called big switch didn't last. The pro-German government of Horace Wilson was toppled by the British military in the spring of 1941, and the new government re-declared war on Germany immediately. France followed suit at the end of the year, withdrawing from the Soviet Union and relaunching its war against Germany. Roosevelt resumed sending them supplies. On some occasions German U-boats attacked American ships. Nevertheless, American public opinion and Congress would not accept direct involvement in the European War, feeling that the war against Japan was quite enough.
On that front, things went badly for the U.S. throughout 1941 and into 1942. The IJN mauled the US fleet in the Philippines, an attack that also claimed the life of General Douglas MacArthur. The surviving ships were forced to flee and they headed south to Java, making Surabaya their port of operations. Ships from the US and the UK also gathered at the port, creating an allied fleet. By mid-February, the fleet was called into action when Japanese forces landed on eastern Borneo, in order to capture the military bases there.
However, the subsequent Battle of the Java Sea was a terrific defeat for the over-confident and badly coordinated allies. Japan was able to consolidate its hold in Southeast Asia, and began to redouble it attacks on Hawaii.
Determined to regain momentum, the U.S. launched the largest task force the world had ever seen against in an attempt to retake Wake Island. That subsequent battle proved an even greater disaster for the U.S. than Java Sea, with the US losing all of its aircraft carriers. Midway fell shortly after, leaving Hawaii as the USA's most forward defense post.
Despite this series of set backs, the Democrats were able to hold a majority with some losses in the 1942 Congressional election. In the top secret realm of military affairs, Roosevelt met another setback when a project for a new and powerful bomb was declared a boondoggle and cancelled. As this remained a secret, Roosevelt avoided criticism from opponents.
1944 proved to be the turning point in the Pacific. While Japan began the year with free reign to bomb Hawaii with relative impunity throughout 1942 and into 1943, even using biological weapons, by early 1944, a dramatic raid on Midway succeeded in driving the Japanese out.
After months of tension, Hitler decided to initiate war with the United States when German U-boats attacked several American merchant ships in March, 1944. This prompted several German military leaders to form the Committee for the Salvation of the German Nation, with General Heinz Guderian as their leader, and assassinate Hitler in April. Guderian and the Committee triumphed in the subsequent civil war, and fighting ceased on all fronts in Europe.
As the war in Europe ended before the U.S. could fully involve itself, Roosevelt remained an observer of the European peace process. He established an alliance with the Soviet Union to facilitate a quick end to the war with Japan. For his part, Joseph Stalin was eager to get American help in regaining Vladivostok and eastern Siberia, and possibly moving further into Japanese territory.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Joe Steele
|Joe Steele |
Relevant POD: July, 1932
|Novel or Story?:||Both|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Date of Death:||1932|
|Cause of Death:||Arson fire|
|Political Office(s):||Governor of New York|
In 1932, New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1932) and California Congressman Joe Steele became the front runners for the party's presidential nomination. Roosevelt pledged his New Deal plan. Steele touted his Four Year Plan, which included collectivizing farms, updating the country's power grid, and nationalizing the banks. 
Steele secretly attended the convention in Chicago, a fact known only to his close advisers: Vince Scriabin, Lazar Kagan, and Stas Mikoian. AP reporter Charlie Sullivan also knew after running into Steele and Scriabin in a hotel elevator. As Sullivan backed Steele over Roosevelt, he kept his peace. Conversely, Roosevelt remained in Albany as was the custom.
After the first day of balloting, Roosevelt held a press conference in Albany, during which he extolled the virtues of his proposed New Deal. He also implied Steele's Four Year Plan was proof of Steele's authoritarian tendencies, and that as the child of immigrants, Steele didn't truly understand how America worked.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, after two days of votes, neither had the needed two-thirds majority, although Roosevelt had a slight edge. Realizing he might lose after another day of voting, Steele directed Scriabin to have Roosevelt burned alive at Executive Mansion in Albany. Roosevelt (who was rendered immobile by polio 11 years earlier) could not get out off the building in time and was killed in the fire. His wife, Eleanor, died with him, along with several members of the mansion staff. With his primary opponent gone, Steele became the party's presidential nominee and won the election.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in State of Jefferson
|State of Jefferson|
Relevant POD: 1919
|Appearance(s):||"Peace is Better"|
|Type of Appearance:||Posthumous reference|
Governor Gilbert Gable accepted aid from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal to benefit the State of Jefferson during the Great Depression. FDR's WPA, CCC, and a thicket of other initials built a breakwater in Gable's hometown of Port Orford.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in "The House That George Built"
|"The House That George Built" |
|Type of Appearance:||Contemporary reference|
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had just begun his third term in February 1941. H.L. Mencken voted for Roosevelt the first time, a "mistake" he never repeated. Mencken feared that Roosevelt was bound and determined to bring the United States into a stupid war on England’s side against Germany. Conversely, George Ruth proudly announced that he'd voted for Roosevelt all three times.
Franklin D. Roosevelt in Southern Victory
|Southern Victory |
POD: September 10, 1862
|Appearance(s):||The Center Cannot Hold;|
In at the Death
|Type of Appearance:||Direct|
|Political Party:||Socialist Party|
|Political Office(s):||Secretary of War, later Assistant Secretary of War|
Note: This section is somewhat speculative, but based on the facts available in the relevant books.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was a life-long Socialist politician, despite being a relative of staunch Democrat President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt. He lost use of his legs when he contracted poliomyelitis. If not for this, some speculated, Roosevelt might have become president himself. Nonetheless, he served as Secretary of War from 1933-1937, and as Assistant Secretary of War from 1937-1945. He oversaw the project to build a superbomb as well as intelligence on other countries' own superbomb projects during the Second Great War.
Franklin Roosevelt was present at the funeral of his distant Cousin Theodore Roosevelt in 1924 taking a position near the front of the funeral procession with the rest of the Roosevelt family. Having already lost the use of his legs by this time, he was forced to take part in the procession confined to his wheelchair. Congresswoman Flora Hamburger incorrectly assumed his confinement was the result of a war injury and not polio.
Roosevelt first rose to prominence, ironically, as Secretary of War in Democratic President Herbert Hoover's cabinet. His Socialist views on domestic policy were out of step with Hoover's lassiez-faire approach to government. For example, Roosevelt was receptive to Colonel Abner Dowling's idea of make-work projects in Utah. Hoover, on the other hand, emphatically shot it down. However, Roosevelt's views on foreign policy were perfectly aligned with the Democrats, particularly as it applied to the Confederate States.
Upon the election of Al Smith to the Presidency in 1936, Roosevelt was, to all appearances, demoted to Assistant Secretary of War. In fact, however, he willingly embraced relative obscurity as a kind of disguise, hiding from the Confederates the importance of what he was engaged in. As Confederate President Jake Featherston began saber-rattling, and war seemed imminent, Roosevelt was given the responsibility of overseeing the United States superbomb project in Hanford, Washington.
Despite being a Socialist himself, Roosevelt was also the administration's point man for dealing with Socialist Congresswoman Flora Blackford, a critic of Smith. She had noticed the sizeable appropriations for an unspecified government project and started to ask awkward questions. It was Roosevelt who decided to tell Blackford about the classified project, and invite her for periodical confidential briefings about its progress - which proved a correct decision, since for the rest of the war she cooperated with the administration on this issue and placed no further obstacles in the project's way.
Roosevelt maintained his position throughout the Second Great War, even after Smith was killed and Charles W. La Follette became president. Although the C.S. was the first country in North America to use a superbomb, detonating it in the west side of Philadelphia, Roosevelt's program produced the two U.S. bombs dropped on Newport News and Charleston, accelerating U.S. victory in 1944.
- Al Smith, Roosevelt's one-time mentor and predecessor as Governor of New York in OTL, who serves as 32nd President in the Southern Victory series. Like Roosevelt, Smith dies before an analog of World War II ends. In the series, Roosevelt himself serves in Smith's administration.
- Joseph Stalin, who, as leader of the Soviet Union, was a critical ally of Roosevelt's during World War II. In both the short story and the novel Joe Steele, an Americanized Stalin, in the guise of "Joe Steele", becomes the 32nd President, in part by killing Roosevelt before Roosevelt can get the Democratic nomination.
- Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt's distant cousin, who served as 28th President of the United States. Both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt are characters in Southern Victory.
- Martin Roosevelt, a minor fictional character in The Two Georges, who combines elements of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.
- Franklin Delano Truman, a posthumously-referenced minor character in The Disunited States of America. While his name is similar to Roosevelt's, his role in the alternate history is not defined.
- See, e.g., Bombs Away, generally.
- Ibid. pg. 131, HC.
- The Man With the Iron Heart, e.g. pg. 177
- In the Balance, e.g., pg. 67.
- Tilting the Balance, e.g.,pg 319-320.
- Ibid., 502-506.
- Striking the Balance, pg. 110.
- Upsetting the Balance, pg. 477.
- Striking the Balance, pg. 111-115.
- In the Balance, pg. 65, HC.
- Tilting the Balance, p. 254, HC.
- Days of Infamy, pg. 83.
- Ibid., pg 384, we learn the U.S. and Germany are at war.
- End of the Beginning, pg. 120.
- West and East, pg. 358.
- The Big Switch, pg. 334.
- Ibid., pg. 296.
- Ibid., pg. 263.
- Ibid., pgs. 336-8.
- Ibid. pgs. 345-6.
- Ibid., pg. 396.
- Ibid., pg. 402.
- Coup d'Etat, Chapter 1.
- Ibid., pgs. 151-152.
- Ibid. pgs. 389-395.
- Two Fronts, pg. 155, HC.
- Two Fronts, pg. 199, HC.
- Ibid., pgs. 272-273.
- Ibid., pgs. 166-168.
- Ibid., pgs. 279-282.
- Last Orders, pgs. 191-194.
- Ibid., pgs. 269-70.
- Ibid., pg. 300.
- Ibid., pg. 382.
- Ibid, pg. 318.
- Ibid., pgs. 345-346.
- Joe Steele, pgs. 2-3.
- Ibid., pgs. 1-2.
- Ibid., pgs. 12-15.
- Ibid., pg. 15.
- Ibid., pg. 16-17.
- Ibid. pgs. 18-21.
- Ibid., pgs. 22-27.
- Ibid., pg. 38.
- Ibid., pgs. 28-32.
- Thirty Days Later, p. 136.
- See Inconsistencies (Southern Victory)
- The Center Cannot Hold, p. 37, HC.
- The Center Cannot Hold, pg. 456.
- Ibid., pg. 457
- Return Engagement, pg. 396.
- Ibid., pgs. 450-453.
- See Drive to the East through In at the Death, generally.
- See In at the Death.
|Titles and Succession|