President Infinity 1880 Election


*This election was updated by the Historical Scenario Commission on Aug 15, 2017. It can be downloaded here: United States – 1880 v 2.0

This election takes place at an early stage of the Gilded Age. Corruption, currency and the tariff were major issues. Also impacting this election is President Rutherford B. Hayes fulfilling his promise to serve only one term. His election in 1876 resulted in a compromise, as the election was close enough that many Democrats felt it was stolen from their candidate, Samuel J. Tilden. As such, integrity became a key issue as well. This election also marks a point in which many former Confederate officers and politicians were elected as US politicians.

The Republicans, with Hayes declining to run for reelection, were split between the Stalwarts (Conservatives) and the Half-Breeds (Moderates). former president Grant is urged to run for a non-consecutive 3rd term by the Stalwarts, and he start off as the front-runner. His primary challenger is James G. Blaine, who leads the Half-Breeds. Both of these leaders have had a history of corruption. Therefore, the alternative choice is former Senator John Sherman, the brother of General William T. Sherman. Other candidates also make an attempt for nomination. However, there is a rising Dark Horse candidate named James A. Garfield who seems likable by all sides.

The Democrats want their 1876 choice, Bourbon Democrat (Conservative wing) Samuel J. Tilden, to run for the nomination again. He declines, leaving an open field. The front-runner is Civil War general Winfield Scott Hancock, who appears to be something of a moderate Bourbon Democrat. His main competition is Bourbon Democrat Thomas Bayard. A field of many other Democrats along the political spectrum run for the nomination as well.

The Greenback party is the 3rd party for this election.

This election allows for many what-if scenarios:

  • What if Rutherford B. Hayes runs for reelection? Can he launch a strong campaign when he has broken a promise to stay out of the race?
  • What if a relatively politically inexperienced Benjamin Harrison ran for election?
  • What if Robert Todd Lincoln had been pushed to run in 1880 to cater to Abraham Lincoln nostalgia?
  • What if Civil Rights activists had pushed Frederick Douglass to run?
  • What if Samuel J. Tilden had agreed to run for the nomination again?
  • What if General George B. McClellan attempted another run now that he has political experience?
  • What if former nominee Horatio Seymour chose to run again now that the political climate allows for a Democratic victory?
  • What if former Confederates pushed for a Southern alternative for a Democratic nominee by supporting Civil War Generals John B. Gordon and Joseph E. Johnston or former Confederate Vice-President Alexander Stephens, all of whom are now sitting US politicians?

Feedback is desired.

9 thoughts on “President Infinity 1880 Election”

  1. Absolutely a blast and very well done. I actually ran as Hancock against Garfield and won! I was able to press Civil Service better than Garfield and won Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Indiana which Hancock had targeted in the actual election but could not win. A lot of time and effort went into making this campaign and it shows. The only things I would change, and these are minor, would be to add Chester A. Arthur as a Candidate and VP and to change the state populations. Roughly 9 million people voted in total during the 1880 election and in this scenario that number is passed easily by Ohio and Pennsylvania alone. I think the states in this scenario are still set to 2016 numbers. However, these are very small things and do not take away from an overall fantastic experience! Can’t wait to play the other scenarios!!!!!

  2. @Jason

    Yeah, all the populations are off. I’ll fix the populations during the updates. All updates will be done after I publish the initial drafts of these elections. Good idea on Arthur.

    Glad you like the scenario. It’s got a lot of cool what-ifs. Did you play from the primary or do the general election?

  3. This scenario was just as great as I thought it’d be! I played a Tilden comeback scenario from the primaries and defeated the Republican nominee Blaine in the general election. My only thoughts for future updates are that if any candidate should be added it should be Roscoe Conkling, as he actually was considered a possible compromise candidate himself during the Republican convention when the deadlock that allowed for Garfield to emerge occurred, but he declined out of devotion to Grant. I think he would make a better addition than Arthur, if only because Arthur was never interested in higher office before the vice presidency was offered. Also, I think John Sherman was secretary of the treasury during the Hayes administration, so his position should be edited as well. Besides these minor things though, I love it! Certainly an interesting election.

  4. @Keith

    Thanks. I’ll add Conkling when i do the updates after I put all the initial elections out.

  5. @vcczar

    The “what if'”s are what make this really fun and so cool. I played from the general but plan on running a game from the primaries as well. Really well done and a lot of fun! Keep em coming!!!

  6. I love these. They help to make the game complete. For 1864 may you please have Fremont and his 3rd party along with Franklin Pierce as a Democrat. Would love Lincoln run against his adversary Franklin Pierce (who was still popular for whatever reason)

  7. Greenback – Benjamin Franklin Butler, Hendrick B. Wright
    Prohibition – Neal Dow
    Anti-Masonic – John W. Phelps

  8. Levi P. Morton was asked if he wanted the second spot for the Republicans, but he declined.

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