Carpe Diem

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Carpe Diem, meaning seize the day, is a motto that can apply to any war in history. The decision to attack or to hold back can decide the course of the war no matter what the perceived significance of the battle may be. This timeline explores how the death of one admiral will change the course of the twentieth century.

The survival of Russian Admiral Stepan Makarov causes a Russian victory at the Battle of Tsushima, crushing the Japanese fleet. The war drags into mid-1905, when the Russian Army fully occupies Korea and scores a pyrrhic victory. In peace negotiations, Japan accepts Russian authority over Manchuria, as well as annexing Lower Sakhalin. The Korean Empire becomes a neutral buffer between Russia and Japan, however Russian influence is stronger over Korea than Japan's.

Because of Japan's naval defeat at the hands of the Russians, differing interests in India and Korea, and the formation of the Anglo-Russian alliance, Great Britain refuses to renew its alliance with Japan in 1911. Japan is left diplomatically isolated and resentful of Russia and her former English ally. When the Great War breaks out in 1914, Japan signs an alliance with Germany, opening up a large Pacific Theatre. Britain's naval blockade in Europe falls apart as her naval forces are spread thin to counter Japan's attacks on colonies.

In the United States, the 1912 Democratic National Convention leads to the start of a new political system. Champ Clark, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, secures the nomination at a chaotic convention. New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson, not seeing a path to victory and seeing potential to get a slot as the vice presidential nominee, releases his delegates right before Tammany Hall's endorsement of Clark. An outraged three-time candidate William Jennings Bryan throws his hat into the ring for the fourth time. After seeing the blowback against the Tammany-backed Clark, Wilson attempts to win back support via his surrogates, however this only splits the reformist and progressive votes between him and Bryan. Eventually, Clark secures the required number of delegates and is officially nominated along side North Dakota Governor John Burke.

Discontent among reformist and progressive Democrats pushes many to refuse to back the Clark/Burke ticket, and some begin to flock to the Progressive "Bull Moose" ticket of former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt and California Governor Hiram Johnson. On Election Day, Roosevelt scores a massive upset, becoming the first candidate since 1848 to win the presidential race and not be a member of the Democratic or Republican parties.