Monday, March 10, 2014

Sobel Wiki: Quiet Messiah

This week's featured article at the Sobel Wiki is on Arthur Conroy, the fifth President of the United States of Mexico.

Conroy is a curious figure. He's a dedicated reformer with no interest in foreign adventures and a pacifistic streak, and thus seems to be a natural fit for the Liberty Party. Somehow, though, he wound up in the Continentalist Party, serving as a political advisor to Pedro Hermión. Later, after becoming the Governor of Arizona, he somehow gained the support of the cotton barons of Jefferson, allowing him to win the Continentalist presidential nomination in 1857.

Conroy's political career is one of the minor oddities of For Want of a Nail. Sobel wanted a reformer in the Presidential Palace, but he had Mexico's voters turn against the reforming party, so he was forced to put Conroy in the "wrong" party and have him win an unlikely nomination for an unlikely reason.

Conroy's two terms as president coincide with the rise of Kramer Associates, the San Fransisco-based consortium that starts flooding the Mexican political system with corporate cash in the 1860s. Conroy falls victim to K.A.'s drive to buy control of the Mexican government, and it isn't long before the company installs Pedro Hermión's son as dictator of Mexico.

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