Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Sobel Wiki: the accidental executive

Douglas Watson
This week represents a milestone of sorts for the Sobel Wiki. An encyclopedia of Robert Sobel's alternate history For Want of a Nail..., the Sobel Wiki started from scratch at the end of August 2010. The first two articles dealt with the two primary nations in Nail, the Confederation of North America and the United States of Mexico. From there, article stubs were created for the two nations' component states and political leaders, and in the three and a half years since then, the stubs have, one by one, been expanded into full articles.

And now, at last, the completion of this week's featured article on Douglas Watson means that all eighteen governors-general of the C.N.A. have achieved full coverage. Watson was the fourteenth governor-general, gaining the office under dubious circumstances after the death of his predecessor, Henderson Dewey, on 10 May 1929. Watson led the C.N.A.'s Liberal Party to its greatest triumph in the 1933 Grand Council elections, winning 104 out of 150 seats. Then, over the course of the next five years, his popularity plummeted as he attempted to end the C.N.A.'s traditional isolationism and align it with Great Britain, France, and Japan in the looming Global War. In the 1938 elections, Watson led the Liberals to a narrow defeat at the hands of the isolationist Bruce Hogg of the People's Coalition. Hogg reversed Watson's active foreign policy, leaving the British and their allies to suffer a series of defeats after war broke out in 1939.

There remains much work to be done on the Sobel Wiki. Six of the articles on the U.S.M.'s 18 leaders are still mere stubs, as are most of the articles on the Mexican states, the North American confederation, and the two nations' political parties and major elections. But one by one, the major pieces of the Sobel timeline continue to be filled in.

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