|Radical Liberal Party|
|Fictional Political Party|
The Radical Liberal Party was a long-time political party of the Confederate States of America. For most of its existance, the Radical Liberals were the main opposition of the Whig Party until the rise of the Freedom Party in the late 20s and 30s. Even as the main opposition party, they only appealed to the fringes of the Confederacy, mainly the Spanish-speaking states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Cuba, as well as Louisiana.
The Radical Liberals arose in the aftermath of the victory of the Second Mexican War. With the new territories bought from Mexico and enough "progressives" who didn't feel the Whig Party was going far enough to bring the Confederacy up to the economic level of the USA, the German Empire, or Great Britain, the party was formed in 1884. Even with the rise of this party, the Whigs were able to keep a hold on all branches of government in the interior (the important parts of the CSA). After the Great War, the Radical Liberals favored co-operation and closer economic ties with the USA.
The Radical Liberals were able to keep the fringes of the CSA until the 1933 elections. However, their power base in the "Mexican" states was based on an alliance with the long-established big land owners, with the small peasants effectively compelled to vote as directed by their "patron". This enabled Jake Featherston's Freedom Party to mobilize the peasants in a grassroots movement, with its taking power by violence seeming as a kind of social revolution - breaking the landowners' power and with it the Radical Liberals' main basis of support.
Radicals Liberals who tried to resist were sent to concentration camps or killed, together with their long-standing rivals, the Whigs, and the party assets and premises confiscated on behalf of the Freedom Party.
By 1937, the single remaining bastion of Radical Liberals was Louisiana, where Huey Long obtained the office of governor, even as he lost his bid for the Vice Presidency (see following section). However, even that was a rather illusory win, since Long was not so interested in the Radical Liberal Party as such, and more with using the name as a label masking his personal power ambitions. What followed was less a story of the Radical Liberals' last stand and more a personal power struggle between two dictators, Featherston and Long.
The Radical Liberals had slowly gained the votes of Louisiana constituents throughout the 1920s and early 30s; the Whig Party being too conservative and the Freedom Party too repulsive for Louisianan tastes. Along with the Socialists, the Radical Liberals appeared to be soft on the race issue, and the Party did especially well in a state with a high proportion of prominent blacks and liberal whites. It was in the midst of this political mess that a young lawyer named Huey Pierce Long rose to prominence in the Louisiana Radical Liberal organization. Long appealed to the common folk in the same way that Jake Featherston appealed to common folk across the country; Long's politics being more appealing in Louisiana. He ran for governor 1933 while simulteneously running for Vice President on the national Radical Liberal ticket as Cordell Hull's running mate. Although they lost the national election, Long gained the office of Governor of Louisiana.
Long and his backers strong-armed their way to the top. In the same way that the rest of the CSA was being brought under Freedom control, Long took over the political machine in Louisiana. His private army arrested Freedom Party congressmen and Stalwart leaders and incarcerated them in Long's concentration camps. He took control of the courts and the state legislature, and made sure that the Freedom Party made no progress in his state the way they did in the rest of the CSA. With the state secure in his hands, Huey Long launched massive public works' programs, building highways connecting different corners of the state and capturing the admiration of thousands of citizens. In the midterm elections of 1935 and 1937 only Long's men were elected to Baton Rouge and to Richmond, where the opposition parties were allowed to exist, if only in name. President Jake Featherston started to make plans for his troublesome foe.
In the spring of 1938, Freedom Party spokeswoman Anne Colleton paid a call on Huey Long at the Statehouse. She warned him that Featherston was no longer going to tolerate the near-independent attitude Louisiana was taking. Long shrugged her off and went on to do other business. Colleton told Freedom Party agents, who then paid a black janitor to gun down Long in the halls of the Statehouse. Long died a few hours later, upon which Featherston then declared martial law in Louisiana in response to "black terrorism." Freedom Party guards disarmed the Radical Liberal-controlled state police and arrested thousands of Radical Liberals, murdering one Long's brothers in the process. By the end of the week, the last state in the CSA fell into line with Featherston's Freedom Party.
With Louisiana broken, the Radical Liberal Party effectively ceased to exist.
Radical Liberal Politicians and Radical Liberal Party Members of Note Edit