President Infinity 1884 Election


*This election was greatly updated by the Historical Scenario Commission on August 21, 2017, and can be downloaded here: United States – 1884 v. 2.0

This election took place in the early stages of the Gilded Age. Railroad regulations, currency reform, tariff reform and civil service reform were key issues. The sitting president, Chester A. Arthur, had become president on the assassination of James A. Garfield. His presidency upset many in his own party and his reputation as a lazy administrator also did much to hinder a strong reelection campaign. As such, he faced many challengers. The Democrats also liked their chances of finally defeating the Republican party.

For Republicans, James G. Blaine, the leader of the moderate Republicans, known as “Half-Breeds,” was the front-runner. They favored a more bipartisan platform, but Blaine still suffered from a poor reputation due to previous scandals. The incumbent president was the favorite among former “Radical Republicans,” which were more conservative economically, but also more in favor of enforcing Civil Rights in the South. Many other major candidates such as George Edmunds, John Sherman, John Logan, and Joseph Hawley hope to win the nomination.

The Democratic front-runner is the popular Bourbon Democrat (fiscally conservative and strict constitutionalist), Grover Cleveland. His personal integrity was high, but rumors of a child out of wedlock negates what could have been a great strength against Republican front-runner Blaine. Cleveland faces challenges from other Bourbon Democrats, as well as Populist Democrats and Southern Democrats.

The Greenback Party led by Benjamin F. Butler and the Prohibition Party led by John St. John

This election has man what-if scenarios:

  • What if General William Tecumseh Sherman had not refused to run for president?
  • What if General Philip Sheridan had agreed to run?
  • Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s son, was urged to run. What if he had?
  • What if Benjamin Harrison ran for president 4 years earlier?
  • What if Walter Gresham had run 4 years earlier?
  • Former President Rutherford B. Hayes fulfilled his promise to not run for reelection in 1880. What if he ran in 1884 after sitting out for a year?
  • What if former president Ulysses S. Grant had run for president despite failing health. Could he rally the conservative wing of the party so that they can defeat the Half-Breeds?
  • What if Civil Rights activists pushed Frederick Douglass to run for president?
  • Samuel J. Tilden nearly won the election of 1876. With the platform of the Bourbon Democrats at an all-time high, what if this early proponent of the platform ran again, despite failing health?
  • What if former Confederate general Wade Hampton ran as the nominee of Southern Democrats?
  • What if Richard P. Bland, the leader of the Silverites, ran as the nominee of Western, Populist Democrats?
  • What if former general George B. McClellan ran for the nomination again after having served as a governor. Can he win the nomination two decades after he secured it in 1864?
  • Can former general Winfield Scott Hancock win nomination in 1884?
  • What if populist James B. Weaver challenged Benjamin F. Butler for the Greenback nomination?

Feedback is desired.

6 thoughts on “President Infinity 1884 Election”

  1. I am just curious, I noticed how on all of your scenarios (1956 to 1888) had ads that cost $1 to make, yet on the 1884 campaign that changed suddenly. Might I ask, how would you be able to change the cost of ads in the campaign editor mode? Thanks.

  2. I’ve got to thank you for making all of these great scenarios, and I cannot wait for 1880! I was wondering though if you could add James Garfield for this scenario in a future update? If he had survived the assassination he would be running for reelection, and you included Warren Harding for the 1924 scenario as a what-if in a similar situation, so I think it’d be a good addition to this one as well. Garfield had the potential to be much better than Arthur was as president, and could’ve probably beaten the Democrats in this election.

  3. @Joe
    The ads were so cheap that it was easy to win the scenario. I increased the cost when another player told me how easy it was to win. I’m unable to test the games myself as I’m trying to crank them out before I’m gainfully employed again. Feedback helps me a lot. I will update all the scenarios accordingly, eventually.

    good idea about Garfield. I had thought about that, but had decided against it. However, I as such a fence sitter on the idea that I’ll add him in an update.

  4. Am I the only one who things Benjamin Butler looks like Andy Sipowicz from NYPD Blue

  5. Was Wondering if you could add the Equal Rights Party? Be really fun to play as.

  6. American Prohibition – Samuel C. Pomeroy (Withdrew)

    Also I noticed a couple of VP problems. I went in to try and edit the VPs for the Republicans but only found Levi P. Morton available, despite there being several more to choose from on the selection screen. And Thomas A. Hendricks, who was Grover Cleveland’s real life VP, is not available for the Dems.

    This is just a hypothetical suggestion – For Chester Alan Arthur, perhaps make his default VP be Robert Todd Lincoln. Lincoln said that he would never run for president but made it known to friends that he would accept the VP spot only on an Arthur ticket.

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