|~ Freedom Party slogan and greeting among members|
The Freedom Party is a political party and are major antagonists in Harry Turtledove's alternate history, Timeline 191, in which the Confederacy won the American Civil War. The Freedom Party was a political party founded in the aftermath of the defeat of the Confederacy at the hands of the United States in an alternate First World War and sought to avenge its defeat at the hands of the United States. It later took over the Confederacy and helped instigated the Second World War and attempted to invade and conquer the north as revenge.
The Party was founded by Anthony Dresser sometime after 1917, the end of the alternate First World War, then known simply as the Great War, after which the Confederacy was subjected to crippling war debt and military restrictions similar to the real-world treaty of Versailles on Germany. It was in the early 1920s that Jake Featherston joined the party, and quickly took over as leader. While there were initial setbacks, in 1934, the Featherston was elected president of the Confederacy in 1934, alongside vice president Ferdinand Koenig.
During the 1930s, Featherston succeeded in repealing the clause in the Confederate constitution restricting term limits, declaring himself president for life, and later seizing dictatorial power. Realizing the potential danger of a competent second in command, Featherston also replaced Koenig with Vice President Willy Knight, who, after an assassination attempt on Featherston, was replaced with the incompetent vice president Don Partridge, though Koenig remained in his inner circle as Attorney General. Featherston began a massive military build up, including the manufacture of automatic rifles, barrels (alternate term for tanks), aircraft, rocket weapons, and a submarine fleet, all of which were on par with or superior to their US counterparts. Featherston also began increasingly oppressing the black population of the Confederacy, whose socialist uprising during WWI which Featherston blamed for the CS defeat in World War I.
In 1941, Featherston declared war on the United States, launching an invasion of Ohio and successfully pushing the US military out of the state and advancing the shores of Lake Erie using tactics similar to the real-world German blitzkrieg, spearheaded by the air power of CS "Hound Dog" fighters, "Mule" AKA "Asskicker" dive bombers, and "Razorback" bombers, followed up with a massive armored assault supported by mechanized infantry. At the same time, the Confederate allies, an alternate fascist United Kingdom, and reactionary France and Tsarist Russia, as well as Mormon rebels in Utah and Canadian rebels in US-occupied Canada, joined the war, along with US-aligned Germany.
During the war, the Freedom Party-aligned government also ordered Jefferson Pinkard to "reduce the population" of camps of black "political prisoners". These "reductions" took place first by firing squad, and later by asphyxiation first with carbon monoxide, and later hydrogen cyanide gas in gas chambers. By the time of the end of the war, the reductions had escalated into a full-scale genocide of the African American population.
The Confederate Army then drove the east, encircling the city of Pittsburgh. However, at Pittsburgh, the Confederate advance was halted after fierce fighting and severe casualties. The US forces, aided by new weapons such as the heavier Mark III barrel, pushed back the Confederates and launched a counterattack into Kentucky.
Early in the war, Featherston was contacted by Henderson Fitzbelmont, a theoretical physicist about constructing an atomic bomb. Featherston initially saw no need for the weapon, when he had a powerful army already, but as the tide turned against him, Featherston reconsidered, and give Fitzbelmont the authority to work on the superweapon. Meanwhile, the CS army suffered defeats in Kentucky, and was forced back to Chattanooga, Tennessee, which fell to US paratroopers, who captured the Confederate defenses overlooking the city on Lookout Mountain.
As the US drove deeper into the Confederate state of Georgia, the Germans developed an atomic bomb- the lack of a Nazi regime due to the US-German victory in WWI meant that all of the German-Jewish physicists remained in-country. The German bomb was dropped on Petrograd, Russia, effectively knocking them out of the war.
Soon after, Fitzbelmont finish the first and only Confederate atomic bomb of the war, which was smuggled into the alternate US capital of Philadelphia by Confederate Colonel Clarence Potter. However, Potter was nearly discovered and forced to place the bomb on the outskirts of town. When the bomb detonated, the Presidential Residence at the Powell House, as well as the US Capitol suffered no damage, though the city presumably suffered some degree of radiation contamination.
Soon after, the US got their first atomic bombs delivered from Germany, and retaliated by bombing Newport News, a Confederate naval base and suspected hideout of Featherston's. As it turned out, Featherston had escaped hours earlier.
Featherston's transport was shot down over Alabama, and while he survived, Featherston was found and shot dead by a black resistance fighter. The war ended soon thereafter, with the surrender of the Confederacy, as well as their British and French Allies. After the end of the war, the Confederacy was occupied and dissolved with most of its territory re-integrated and annexed back into the United States (except Texas which seceded to avoid American occupation) and its remaining leaders tried and executed for their genocide against the black population.
At the time of the Second Great War, Freedom Party controlled the entire Confederate government, and was headed by president and dictator Jake Featherston, with practically all government employees being members of the party. The party also had a military arm, the Freedom Party guard, which was separate from the regular army. The guard has their own ranks and uniforms, and were in many ways similar to real-world Waffen SS.
- The Freedom Party are an obvious analogues to the real-world Nazi Party.