Aleshire College, Little Rock, Republic of Arkansas
Welcome to Arkansas History 201. You all know of the events in the East following the assassination of President-Elect Roosevelt on February 15th, 1933. But do you know of the actions West of the Mississippi River? Many of the Western States had as much troubles or more than the East. Some had elements of each of the Eastern factions as well as regional and local forces all vying for control in the Post-America world. Arkansas was one such state trying to survive in the chaos and forge a new national identity as a new sovereign nation. Let's review some of the forces that emerged between 1933 and the establishment of the Republic.
We'll begin with the larger forces.
The Constitutionalists: The former Vice President John Nance Garner along with 113 members of Congress setup a new American capital in Philadelphia. They were able to keep a few states in the East loyal to them and raised a large army. West of the Mississippi they operated mainly in Missouri under the command of General Truman. Being so close at times they fought skirmishes that spilled over into Arkansas. They didn't make much effort in meddling in the affairs of Arkansas.
The Nationalists: The forces of President Herbert Hoover and the remnants of the Washington Congress. Their forces were led by General Douglas MacArthur. Kansas was a Nationalist stronghold and as mentioned above some of their fighting spread Southeast into Arkansas.
The Silver Legion: Charles Lindbergh became "The Leader" of the Silver Legion, a fascist group that started in North Carolina. The Legion received the backing of both Italy and Germany and Lindbergh grew to become one of the most powerful men in the Western Hemisphere. The Silver Legion occupied most of Benton County in Northwest Arkansas. With both the Nationalists and Constitutionalist at each others throats in the rest of America the Silver Legion of Arkansas became the second most powerful faction in the state.
The Arkansas Union: These were the forces of then Governor and later President of Arkansas, Junius Futrell. This was by far the most powerful force in Arkansas. At first the Union kept itself neutral between the Constitutionalists and the Nationalists but after MacArthur orchestrated a punitive campaign against Connecticut the Union disavowed both groups and set about forming an independent nation.
Communist Party of Arkansas: At first this group of farmers and workers was small and seemed about to vanish, when the arrival of Leon Trotsky in Saint Louis breathed fresh life into their movement. It wasn't long afterwards before they received military shipments from the Soviets and became a power in Arkansas.