By YENA SEO, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (expository)
The Captains of American Industry have found themselves in a precarious position as the United States continues to engage in international warfare. As Union Club members responsible for the explosion of the U.S. merchant vessel and the framing of British torpedo for the attack, the businessmen have been appointed by President Benjamin Harrison to serve as his war advisers. Eugene DuPont, the mastermind behind the explosion of the American ship, has also been appointed as Harrison’s Secretary of War.
The United States was at a significant disadvantage to begin with, as the United States Navy is no match for the British Royal Navy and its ships-of-the-line. By invoking war with the United Kingdom, the Captains of American Industry made a significant misstep in war strategy. The War of 1812 showed the United Kingdom’s great naval strength as it was able to effectively blockade the U.S. and strangle its resources and trade. During moderated caucuses, the Captains of American Industry noted that the U.S. could suffer a similar fate, which would not only be detrimental to the country’s economy but also to its respective industries.
The Captains of American Industry decided to take matters into their own hands, negotiating an alliance with Germany. Harrison and the Union Club allowed Germany to take Cuba, suspending the Monroe Doctrine, in exchange for help against the British fleet. The directive passed with support from the vast majority of the committee, but had unintended consequences. Spain, angry at the United States granting Germany permission to invade Cuba, declared war against the U.S.
“You are at war with two separate countries,” President Benjamin Harrison reminded the Captains of American Industry during a crisis update. “You must address these pressing issues.”
In order to establish peace with the United Kingdom, several delegates sent communiques to Her Majesty Queen Victoria to negotiate a peace treaty. The Queen responded in a communique of her own, stating that while the United Kingdom also wished for peace between the warring nations, the British could not rest until the Cuba question and Germany’s engagement were also addressed.
The Captains of American Industry were divided into two sections; half of the industry leaders supported negotiating peace with the United Kingdom, while another half advocated for invading Canada and Puerto Rico to assert dominance over North America. One directive supported the American invasion of Canada for its oil supplies, which would also boost profits for certain industry leaders.
“We should take advantage of this situation,” P.T. Barnum of Barnum & Bailey Circus said. “We can expand northwards and southwards and continue to make this country great.”
The Captains of American Industry must find a solution to the various wars that the United States is now engaged in.