The Vice President of the United States (VPOTUS) is the second-highest position in the executive branch of the United States, after the President. The executive power of both the vice president and the president is granted under Article Two, Section One of the Constitution. The vice president is indirectly elected, together with the president, to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College. The vice president is the first person in the presidential line of succession, and would normally ascend to the presidency upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. This had been established by statute, based on the ambiguous wording of Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the Constitution, until ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which specifies the vice president as the successor to the president, and establishes the procedure for filling a vacancy in the vice presidency.
The vice president is also president of the United States Senate and in that capacity only votes when it is necessary to break a tie. Additionally, pursuant to the Twelfth Amendment, the vice president presides over the joint session of Congress when it convenes to count the vote of the Electoral College.
Thanks to a number of changes in the nomination and election processes throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, there have been more vice presidents (49) than presidents (46) in OTL. While John Adams served two consecutive terms under George Washington (1789-1797), this pattern would not be re-established until the 20th century. Conversely, George Clinton and John C. Calhoun each served under two separate presidents, although neither completed their second term (Clinton died, Calhoun became the first VP to resign). Seven vice presidents have predeceased their respective presidents. Nine ascended to the presidency. Only two, Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller, have been appointed under the Twenty-fifth Amendment.
This article lists the known vice presidents found in the works of Harry Turtledove after the Point of Divergence in alternate history, or known vice presidents found in works of science fiction. Vice presidents who served before the POD of a given alternate history that are mentioned in passing do not need to be listed here. Stories set in OTL may reference past vice presidents, or even the sitting vice president, but unless the individual's role is specifically fictionalized within the story, they do not belong here.
|Republican Democratic Socialist|
|48||Mike Pence||2017-2024||Republican||Donald Trump|
|49||Lindsey Graham||2024-2033||Republican||Mike Pence|
"The Breaking of Nations" ends in 2031. In "The Purloined Republic", James Morrow's contribution to And the Last Trump Shall Sound, we learn that Pence worked around the Twenty-second Amendment by running as Vice President on the bottom of the ticket with Devin Nunes in 2032. Shortly after being sworn in as the 47th President of the United States, Nunes resigned, and Pence became the 48th President. Incidentally, Pence also briefly served as the 50th Vice President of the United States, and was succeeded by Rick Santorum. Lindsey Graham's fate is unrevealed. As Turtledove did not participate in writing Morrow's work, this wiki will not incorporate further information from that story.
|15||Hannibal Hamlin||1861-1865||Republican||Abraham Lincoln|
Incumbent at novel's end, 1868
|15||Hannibal Hamlin||1861-1865||Republican||Abraham Lincoln|
|Unknown||1881-1885||Republican||James G. Blaine|
|Walter McKenna||1913-1921||Democratic||Theodore Roosevelt|
|Hosea Blackford||1921-1929||Socialist||Upton Sinclair|
|Hiram Johnson||1929-1933||Socialist||Hosea Blackford|
|Charles W. La Follette||1937-1942||Socialist||Al Smith|
(Died in office)
|Vacancy||1942-1945||Charles W. La Follette|
Incumbent at series' end
- The identity of Roosevelt's Vice President is the center of an inconsistency on Turtledove's part.
- President-Elect Calvin Coolidge died before he was sworn in. His Vice-President Elect, Herbert Hoover, was sworn in as president. There was no mechanism for replacing the VP.
- President Al Smith was killed during a Confederate aerial bombing raid, and Charles W. La Follette ascended to the Presidency. There was no mechanism for replacing the VP.
Only two Vice Presidents were identified in Worldwar:
Other Vice Presidents
In addition to his above roles, Hannibal Hamlin is Vice President at the start of "Must and Shall," and is elevated to the office of President in 1864 when Abraham Lincoln is killed at Fort Stevens. None of his successors in either office are identified.
John Nance Garner appears in Joe Steele, both the novel and the short story, where he is elected to six terms as VP under President Joe Steele before ascending to the presidency himself in 1953. Garner makes a brief appearance (just barely offstage) in The War That Came Early: The Big Switch, at the end of his second term; his successor is unnamed.
In addition to the above, Henry Wallace plays an important role in "News From the Front", publicly breaking with President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the prosecution of World War II, and is probably on the verge of ascending to the presidency when Congress begins the process of impeaching Roosevelt at the end of the story.
Richard Nixon is referenced in "Hindsight" as the incumbent Vice President. He plays a background role as President in the State of Jefferson Stories; implicitly he held the Vice-Presidency before this, as the relevant POD does not seem to have affected either office.
Hubert Humphrey is referenced as the incumbent Vice President in "The Fillmore Shoggoth", set in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. His connection to the story's speculative elements is only broadly hinted at.
In Supervolcano: All Fall Down, set in a post-2010 "near future," an unnamed Vice President makes a brief appearance. This person shares a few characteristics with Joe Biden, who held the office at the time of publication.
Historical Vice Presidents in Non-Vice Presidential Roles
Andrew Johnson appears in "Must and Shall" in his OTL role as Military Governor of Tennessee. There is no indication that he was ever VP. In The Guns of the South, Johnson runs for VP on the Radical Republican ticket in 1864, but loses.
Theodore Roosevelt is a major character in Southern Victory, where he is elected President for two full terms of his own, rather than starting out as an "accidental President" as in OTL. It is unrevealed whether he was VP before he became President.
Richard Nixon has small roles in The Two Georges (as a used steamer salesman), Colonization: Second Contact (as a Congressman), Settling Accounts: The Grapple (as a soldier), Joe Steele (as an Assistant Attorney General), and The Hot War: Armistice as a Senator, but it is never suggested that he became VP in any of those timelines.
Hubert Humphrey appears in The Man With the Iron Heart as the Mayor of Minneapolis, and is referenced obliquely in American Empire: The Victorious Opposition as a pharmacist; both timelines end before he has had a chance to seek higher office. Humphrey is also referenced directly in Colonization: Down to Earth as a candidate for President, but it is never suggested that he ever became VP in that timeline. In The Hot War: Fallout, Humphrey in his OTL role as a U.S. Senator, is killed during the course of World War III in May 1952.
George H.W. Bush is obliquely referenced in "Bedfellows" as someone whom the main characters are on their way to meet. None of his political offices are referenced. As the story is a mildly surreal satire, taking the plot literally is not the best approach to the material.
- President of the United States, the highest elected position in the United States.
- Vice President of the Confederate States, the parallel office in the Confederate States.