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Alternate History Thread IV: The Sequel

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Dachs, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. Azale

    Azale Deity

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    Excellent read das :D
     
  2. The Strategos

    The Strategos Thanatos

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    Since I won't finish the next chapter before going on a mini-vacation, I will post a tantalizing teaser for you to read or ignore at your pleasure.


    Wars of Heaven
    Chapter 2: Mouth of Sheol



    From the beginning, there have been there have been those “with itching ears” who gather to themselves those who would tell all sorts of gossip. Knowing this, you sent me to the East, to determine for myself what is gossip and what is truth, and discovering it, to report back to you. Having been in the region now for three months, I have diligently investigated these matters and now report to you only that which I have seen with my own eyes.

    I have found the East shattered by long-standing feuds, which have been subsisting between its peoples, and which now are tearing into shreds the seamless vest of the Lord, “woven from the top throughout.” I have found the foxes destroying the vineyard of Christ, so that among the broken cisterns that hold no water it is hard to discover “the sealed fountain” and “the garden enclosed.” In the fruitful soil of Rome, when it receives the pure seed of the Lord, it bears fruit as a hundredfold, but here the seed corn is chocekd in the furrows and nothing grows but darnel or oats. In the West the Sun of Righteousness is even now rising; in the East, Lucifer, who fell from heaven, has once more set his throne above the stars.

    Everywhere I turn my eyes towards, there the children of God are suffering, experiencing “mockings and scourgings, yes chains and imprisonment.” “The are stoned, they are sawn in two, they are tempted, they are put to death with the sword, they go about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated.” For in the East the Augustus goes about “like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

    For none are spared, neither on account of age, nor sex, nor station, nor dignity. I myself saw this as I sojourned in Alexandria. There, the most blessed pope Timothy, who was beloved of all, not only for his love of the truth, but for his upstanding character, and his care for the widows and orphans, was accosted by the soldiers of the Devil. (Now these soldiers claim to be Roman, but are barbarians, having neither culture nor fear for God). And there, while he was comforting his flock before the altar of God, he was seized, and dragged away. At the sight of this, that such an elderly and venerable man treated so roughly, the people arose with one mind, and attacked the soldiers, seeking to free him. But Timothy, sought to calm the crowd, reminding them that even Christ suffered, and so, if they loved him, they would let him suffer as well, and so to “fill that which was lacking in Christ’s afflictions.” But the people did not heed these words, such was the righteous anger they felt, and raised such a tumult that the soldiers feared for their lives. And now they have hid pope Timothy, so that no one knows whether he is alive or dead. And in his place they have installed Decius, a blasphemer and hater of God. On account of this every day there are riots in the streets.

    Now of this and many other things I have much to tell you, which I shall quickly do if the Lord grants me to safety in my journey so that I may speedily see you.

    -Letter from Jerome to Pope Damasus, 383 CE
     
  3. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    OOC: This isn't too detailed, especially when compared to Dachspmg's althist. Ah well, it was even largely intended so.

    I am not very sure about the War of 1812 portion, though, so any constructive criticism there (or anywhere, really; but there in particular) would be appreciated.

    IC:

    The Perfidious Albion: 1812-1830.

    By the time of the Napoleonic Wars, Britain was already established as the foremost of European colonial powers. Even after the American Revolutionary War it had retained a considerable foothold in the New World, in Canada, Hudson's Bay, the Maritimes, the West Indies and the Guinea. Trade outposts lined large sections of the West African coastline; in South Africa, the Dutch Cape Colony was conquered and later annexed for good, becoming an important part of the British global empire, connecting as it was the Atlantic and the Indian Oceans. In that Indian Ocean, Britain too ruled supreme; the confiscations of certain Dutch colonies merely strenghthened its already-impressive regional empire, centred on the Indian Subcontinent where the last serious resistance in the form of the Maratha Confederacy was decisively defeated during the Second Anglo-Maratha War. A convict colony was expanding in Australia, a whole new continent where British dominance was unchallenged. And already the British were beating the door into China and Japan, which had for so long denied its trade.

    Although the war with Napoleon in Europe consumed both time and resource, his threat was never trully all that great; what little potential of challenging the British naval supremacy he might have had, even in alliance with Spain, was destroyed in the glorious Battle of Trafalgar. The Continental Blockade had damaged British commerce and economy, to be sure, as had the expense of the war; but it brought greater ruination to the French Empire, causing it to crumble as soon as its ruler died. Alas, most of Britain's European allies were not sufficiently appreciative of the great role played by the British in the Corsican's defeat; they even dared claim that it sat back, leaving the brunt of the fighting to them, who made peace with Napoleon at every turn! What's worse, they practically ignored British mediation at Versailles; they doomed the Belgian project, though it was imperative for the balancing and peacefulness in Europe, and they practically expelled the Saxon duke to Rhineland. As always, petty greed and pride ruled the minds of the Continent's mighty; and so, exasperated, the British government turned its eyes towards the Atlantic Ocean's other side.

    In other words: in the aftermath of the Versailles Congress, Britain's government decided upon a major change in priorities and geopolitical strategy. Over the last decade, Britain's commercial ties with Europe decreased considerably, but increased in the New World, where Spanish trade restrictions were loosened by chaos, allowing the British to thrive. In the realm of diplomacy Britain also found itself mostly isolated in Europe, as the Versailles Congress had shown. Judging the Continent to be presently not worth entanglement, Britain instead chose to concentrate on the New World. Two other major developments shaped this decision: the first was the alliance with Portugal and Spain (the latter being particularily important, as Spain was traditionally an enemy of Britain and an ally of France, with which it now however obviously quarreled despite having the same dynasty and government form again) and the second was the war with the United States of America, which had started in June 1812.

    That war's causes were manifold; the Americans were angry over the British impressments of their sailors, frustrated over trade restrictions caused by the British blockade of Europe and irritated by the British support of Amerind tribes fighting against the American westwards expansion. While the former two ceased to be issues soon enough as Napoleon's empire and blockade collapsed, by then it was too late, as the American War Hawks proclaimed a "second war for independence" and made plans to remove British influence from North America altogether, while the British became convinced that the Americans needed to be taught a lesson and also stopped in their westwards expansion. However, by mid-1813 neither side managed to gain any decisive victory: no major battles occured at sea, British naval supremacy remaining unchallenged and American commerce raiding and suchlike operations also as unstoppable as ultimately inconsequential; the initial American invasion of Canada was mostly repulsed; the British counterattack captured Detroit and allowed the British to link up with their Amerind allies, but the death of Major General Isaac Brock prevented them from exploiting this properly; in early 1813, the Americans actually managed to capture and burn York, the capital of Upper Canada - but they too failed to make many gains beyond that, the Canadian resistance only stiffened by the atrocities at York; the war on the Great Lakes was still not quite decided; and several minor British raids had occured on the American Atlantic seaboard. In other words, no headway could be made for now; but as the war in Europe ended, the British freed up lots of professional, battle-hardened troops for the American theatre. Apart from the aforementioned desire to teach the Americans a lesson, a major factor influencing the British decision to carry on the fighting - and the British decision about how exactly the fighting should be carried on - was an issue at the intersection of Spanish and American directions in British foreign policy, the Louisiana Issue. The British were never particularily thrilled about the Louisiana Purchase, and the Spanish refused to recognise it altogether; besides the principle of the thing, it presented a threat to the remaining Spanish possessions in North America. Thus the British decided to kill two birds with one stone - box in the Americans and shore up the Spaniards. Soon enough, plans were drawn up for an ambitious Louisiana campaign. For assorted reasons it would only begin in March 1814. Contrary to British exceptations, the Americans seemed to have gotten their act togehter by that time, as their troops and commanders grew more experienced, while new ships have been built for lacustrine combat. In a key development the Americans in late 1813 managed to seize control over Lake Erie and forced the British out of Detroit and out of Ohio in general. British reinforcements expelled the Americans from the Niagara Peninsula in late 1813 and again in early 1814, launching a counterattack to secure the strategic Niagara Frontier town of Buffalo, New York, but failed to advance anywhere beyond that or to retake Lake Erie, effectively causing the restoration of the stalemate on the main front, only on terms that were considerably more favourable to the Americans and allowed them to launch several efficient campaigns to crush the great native British ally Tecumseh and to severely batter the "Red Stick" Creeks, though the British and their allies retained control over the northwestern parts of Michigan Territory and naval supremacy on Lake Huron. On the Atlantic seaboard, British forces did launch some raids into Maryland and Virginia, but ofcourse no decisive action has been taken there, as most of the British reinforcements were being prepared for the Louisiana Campaign.

    Which kicked off very well indeed, as a large (for this continent) Anglo-Spanish force took New Orleans and surrounding positinos by surprise, and the Duke of Wellington himself (who was sent here by the British government that really, really wanted a very resounding victory) accepted the city's surrender after a brief siege. The force quickly struck out to secure key forts along the Mississippi River, receiving more Spanish reinforcements and native allies along the way. As news arrived of the crippling defeat of the Red Sticks in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend at the hands of a large American force, Wellington detached a British contingent to try and rally the Red Sticks and to capture Fort Jackson, key to the American operations in the Mississippi Territory. The attack was repulsed by the brilliant American commander Andrew Jackson, who proceeded to land another defeat on the Red Sticks, forcing them to surrender and the British force to fall back westwards. At the same time, however, a Spanish force recaptured the Mobile District of Florida (occupied by the Americans since 1813), securing a new base for British reinforcements. The American attempt to re-invade Louisiana was then thwarted by those reinforcements and other troops, as well as resistand Amerinds, near Natchez. While the war in the southwest devolved into skirmishing, the British proceeded to establish control over the key Mississippi cities and forts by the coming of winter, though they took more casualties than expected because of the supply problems and the spirited American defense, particularily in the Battle of St. Louis, where they were challenged by Major Zachary Taylor. Still, in the end professionalism, superior numbers and assistance of Amerind tribes allowed Wellington to prevail. From then on, in early 1815, the British forces advanced eastwards, first securing the not-so-bitterly contested and sparsely settled Illinois Territory (and linking up with William McKay's and Robert McDouall's forces in the western Great Lake theatre), and then moving into Indiana. Having left many troops to garrison the various forts, the British offensive was now beginning to run out of steam; but as the British overran eastern Maine and launched new raids in the American South, James Madison decided that he had no choice but to begin peace negotiations in Stockholm, in spite of the protests of the more hopeful war-hawks. The British themselves were not too certain of their positions neither, and so did not press their advantage too much during the negotiations. The ultimate peace agreement had Louisiana and Mobile restored to Spain, while Britain's claims on a northern slice of Maine were recognised; also, the British retained control over the Mackinac Island and the northern half of Illinois Territory. No other territorial concessions were demanded, however, the trade restrictions were obviously lifted now, the impressed sailors were returned and support for the Amerinds that remained within the more clearly-defined American boundaries was officially abandoned. The territorial losses still did embitter the American side, but in the end the fear of continued war against an empire that was perceived to be ready and willing to concentrate its resources on the war with the USA prevailed (also there was concern about growing separatism in New England). The Treaty of Stockholm was signed, and the Americans hurried to finish off the resisting Amerind tribes, even as a political crisis rocked Washington.

    Another important development that shaped British policies in the New World itself was the crisis of the Spanish colonial empire, which by 1813 was aflame with major rebellions like none seen before. In spite of considerable British sympathy for the rebels, especially the Venezuelan leader Simon Bolivar, practical considerations and Spanish diplomats all spoke in favour of assisting Spain in restoring control over the colonies - in exchange for certain concessions to the British, most importantly economic ones to recognise the growth of the British economic influence in the Spanish colonies during the Great French War. Grudgingly the Spanish agreed to lower customs considerably and to grant the British some additional trade priveleges; in exchange, the British promised to support and fund the pacification of the colonies. In New Spain, the rebels were having a hard time fighting the Viceroy alone; with the arrival of Spanish reinforcements from Europe, order was easily restored; the guerrila campaign continued, but the rebel excesses and bad fortune strangled its popular support by 1816, and the remaining rebels were crushed before the decade's end. The aforementioned Simon Bolivar was faring somewhat better in New Granada, but between Spanish reinforcements, conservative opposition in the Second Venezuelan Republic's government and Jose Tomas Boves' llanero (Venezuelan cowboy) counter-insurgency, he was squashed like a bug and barely managed to flee to Haiti. Peru remained loyal through and through, Viceroy Jose Fernando de Abascal y Sousa becomng one of the leaders of the Spanish counter-revolutionary campaign after his victory over the Chilean rebels in 1814. That left the rebels in the Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata the last major rebel group, though they were also by far the strongest and the best-organised. Under the leadership of the greatest rebel general, Jose de San Martin, the Argentinean Army of the North not only stopped the Peruvian advance into the Viceroyalty, but also begun supporting the rebels in Chile, whilst another Argentinean army fought off a Spanish seaborne invasion. In 1816, Jose de San Martin even led his army into Chile, reinforcing the local rebels under Bernardo O'Higgins and forcing the loyalist forces out of the Captaincy-General. The situation was getting out of hand, and after negotiating for some more economical and political concessions in Rio de la Plata, the British launched a new seaborne invasion, while the Spanish reinforced de Abascal and attacked Chile. In spite of the vigorous resistance the British invasion ultimately succeeded in capturing Montevideo and besieging Buenos Aires, forcing its surrender later in 1817 after some fierce skirmishes. Jose de San Martin took supreme command over all Argentinean forces and formed a new government in Tucuman, but the forces arrayed against him were too great, and after a decisive defeat at Cordoba in 1819 the organised resistance collapsed, while San Martin was handed over to Spanish authorities and hanged. Rio de la Plata officially remained a Spanish colony and vice-royalty, though from now on a British representative was to be consulted on assorted policies and a British military protectorate was effectively put into place as the Spanish were busy enough restoring order in Chile. Thus by the end of the 1810s most of the revolts were defeated; Paraguay, under the dictator Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, remained out of hostile reach due to good defensive terrain, though at the price of entering a state of effectively total isolation from the outside world.

    Meanwhile Joao VI was restored to the Portuguese throne, but remained in Brazil, even reforming his realm into the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and Algarves. The colony was thus more or less contented, at least politically; in the metropoly, however, liberal dissent grew. Eventually a major Portuguese uprising commenced in 1821; with British help, a compromise was worked out, the king returning to Portugal and accepting a liberal constitution, while still granting Brazil some degree of autonomy.

    The 1820s were generally a quieter decade for the New World, in part because Britain's attention has now largely shifted towards Africa and Asia. Over the course of the 1810s and the 1820s, the British colonial and commercial presence in both regions had expanded considerably. Control over the Cape Colony was consolidated and a Afrikaaner revolt was defeated; the colony itself was expanded northwards. New outposts and colonies were established in West Africa; the Ashanti attacked British colonies on the Gold Coast, but were repulsed. Muhammad 'Ali, the increasingly-independent Ottoman Wali (governor) of Egypt, cooperated with the British extensively, inviting British specialists for his industrialisation project while concentrating most of his province's agricultural production on supplying the British manufactories with cotton. The British also provided him with military advisors for his new professional army that was engaged in the conquest of Sudan in addition to assorted Ottoman campaigns against Wahhabi raiders, Greek rebels and the Russian Empire (see below). Also, in East Africa in the 1820s, the British provided assistance to their ally, Sayyid Sa'id ibn Sultan of Oman in his struggle against the Mombasa-based Mazrui family. The Sultanate of Oman had succeeded in restoring its authority in East Africa, and as a firm British ally helped secure the British hegemony over the Indian Ocean. [1]

    In India, British hegemony was secured over those two decades. A crackdown on Pindari robber bands in 1817 led to a conflict with the decrepit Maratha Confederacy, which was decisively defeated at Khadki and proceeded to fall apart completely, the individual Maratha kingdoms becoming semi-autonomous princely states in the mold of Hyderabad, and the Peshwa was allowed to retire with a pension. From 1818 on, the British asserted their conrtol over most of India, putting down rebellions, introducing administrative and social reforms, beginning a well-meaning but poorly-received Westernisation and establishing a protectorate over Nepal. Also, a war with Burma was waged.

    Indeed, the British were also expanding into Indochina. A treaty with the Dutch secured the former Dutch holdings in the Malay Peninsula for Britain in exchange for the concession of remaining British holdings in Sumatra, and a war with Burma allowed the British to expand in both the Malay lands and in Assam.

    In China itself, the official situation remained unchanged, the legal British merchants still having to work within the restrictive Canton System. However, the illegal trade all over the Chinese coast increased dramatically over those two decades; in particular, the ever-profitable opium smuggling continued to expand in spite of all the sternly-worded Qing decrees. By contrast, in Japan the British have decided upon a more direct and drastic course of action. Emboldened by the 1808 Phaeton Incident (when a British ship sailed into the Nagasaki harbour, stared down the rather pathetic resistance force scrapped up by a local clan and was then granted the supplies its captain demanded, withdrawing only upon learning that the Dutch merchant ships it was supposed to intercept were not going to come this year), British merchant ships now besieged the Japanese coasts, often engaging in illegal trade. After the infuriated Shogun attempted to crack down on this trade, he attracted additional British attention, and it was decided to send an armed expedition to open Japan up for foreign trade in 1824. The expedition repeated the previous one's action, entering the Nagasaki harbour and presenting demands. This time the Japanese were somewhat more prepared; a large force of samurai gathered in the harbour, and a fleet of 40 small Japanese ships confronted the British expedition in the coastal waters. That fleet was almost completely destroyed by a powerful cannon barrage after attempting to attack the British, and the samurai formation was broken by a bombardment slightly later. Shocked by this military disaster, the Nagasaki Magistrate had no choice but to repeat history and to agree to allow the British to stay in Nagasaki for the duration of negotiations that the expedition's commander, Charles Elliot, had demanded. The Shogun, Tokugawa Ienari, was understandably outraged and ordered a new attack to dislodge the British from Nagasaki; it failed with large casualties, though the British too had lost many of their crew. Finally, the Emperor Ninko (who, like his father the Emperor Kokaku, was both interested in regaining real power and comparatively pragmatic in the regards of the outsiders) and the Bakufu council persuaded the Shogun to begin negotiations. In the end the British agreed to withdraw from Nagasaki in exchange for a trade agreement that opened Nagasaki, Fukuoka and Nagashima to British commerce, and allowed the British to establish small concessions there (though the Japanese straight out refused to allow any kind of missionary activities). With this precedent set, a trade and fishing rights agreement was reached with Russia; the Russians recognised Karafuto (Sakhalin) and Ezo (Hokkaido) to be under Japanese authority, and were allowed to trade in Hakodate. Obviously, these concessions couldn't but cause a severe backlash amongst the hardline circles; but in the end, a coup attempt within the Tokugawa household failed, while the Bakufu council remained in pragmatic and reformist hands. This would later prove to be a mere beginning of the Shogunate's troubles, though. [2]

    Also in this time, the British formally claimed the entirety of Australia, though this didn't really speed up the colonisation process much.

    But back to the New World. As already said, the 1820s were a quieter decade, but not by too much. The United States of America were still in a state of general political upheaval. The fallout from the war was great; the Federalists were ruined by decline of popular support, their own opposition to the war and sometimes all-too-true accusations of treason that "cost us Louisiana"; and the Democratic-Republicans were ruined by internal strife and disagreements, but also significantly by their prosecution of the war (both because they fought at all and because they lost so badly). Calls for reform and revanche went largely unnoticed amidst partisan strife, and popular dissent grew, leading to several populist riots and insurgencies, put down by the loyal state militias. Still, the Democratic-Republicans survived long enough for James Monroe to win the 1816 elections. His tenure (1817-1825) saw a temporary stabilisation of the situation; however, both the power struggles in the Congress and the reluctance of Monroe to force through any reforms prevented him from achieving much. Still, the War Department did receive additional funds to build new fortifications and ships, as well as to finish off the Indian resistance. Monroe was a fairly good compromise candidate, so he survived for his two terms; but by 1824 the American political landscape had finished its radical realignment - the Federalist Party was dead, and the Democratic-Republican Party was split. Andrew Jackson's [3] Nationalists (national-liberal) defeated Henry Clay's Republicans (reformist and interventionist). Vigorously, Andrew Jackson begun working to secure national unity and to prepare for a revanche against Britain and Spain. A small standing army was formed to help the militias campaign against the assorted rebellious Amerinds, most of whom were "pacified" (i.e. forced into reservations) by 1828. Obviously - though quite independently of Andrew Jackson's policies themselves - there was an increasing amount of clashes between the Americans and the Anglo-Spanish border patrols in Florida and Louisiana, in the process of this pacification. The Americans alleged that the British continued to support the Amerinds in violation of the terms of the Treaty of Stockholm; meanwhile, the Spanish alleged that the Americans were supporting separatist movements in New Spain and Cuba, and turned down all purchase proposals. After Jackson's reelection in 1828 - in spite of the best efforts of the pro-Republican Second Bank (which Jackson was trying to crack down upon as well) - the border conflicts with Spain and Britain intensified further, with American incursions in British Illinois and the recapture of Mobile from the Spanish by a filibuster American attack (the attackers proceeded to declare a "Republic of West Florida", but none doubted the American involvement there). The British singled out and hunted after American slave traders, and aggressively enforced their control over the Great Lakes. The situation was heading towards war.

    Spanish colonies were still plagued by insurgency. Particularily annoying was a rebellion of American settlers in Louisiana, and yet another uprising in New Mexico. In the end, with British help the Spanish had held out, but found the British establishing larger garrisons in Louisiana and generally extending their political influence there, effectively turning Louisiana into another Spanish colony under British "protection". After the Mobile Incident, the British also begun increasing their presence in Florida. Aside frm that, they concentrated on consolidating Rio de la Plata, however, as a gradual trickle of colonists begun to arrive there.

    The Portuguese political situation remained quite confusing. Joao VI alternated between conservatism and liberalism, Brazil and Portugal to the end of his life (what came in 1828). His second son Dom Miguel, leader of the Portuguese reactionaries, attempted a rebellion during his father's illness in 1825, but was in the end defeated and expelled; he returned in 1828 and claimed the Portuguese throne, causing a civil war with his elder brother Dom Pedro (Pedro IV). In the end, with the assistance of Britain, Spain and France, Pedro IV prevailed and reconquered Portugal. Like his father, however, he was forced to walk the line between the interests of Portugal and Brazil, and those of the reformist ministers and the old nobility. In 1830, he once more moved to Brazil, leaving the managing of Portugal to the liberal parliament and Prime Minister Joao Francisco de Saldanha. Thus Joao VI's personal union of Portugal and Brazil begun to devolve further into a loose monarchic federation, though a one still somehow holding together.

    The developments in Britain's foreign policy - as well as developments in other countries caused by the British foreign policy - would have great (and often enough grave) reprecussions for all of the world, up to the end of the 19th century, and indirectly beyond it.

    The Old World Order: 1814-1830.

    The Napoleonic nightmare was over, and at the first glance no traces remained of the Corsican's evil empire. Yet almost immediately after that first glance, the nobles, the diplomatws and the rulers of Europe were confounded with the fact that, at the same time, very little remained of the ancien regime. The legal and social achievements of Napoleon Bonaparte weren't as easily neutralised as the political and military ones, and in any case, the third estate was definitely much stronger than before in most countries, while the power of the old nobility was severely shaken. On the greater European scale, in the diplomatic realm, things were also not as they were before. The Holy Roman Empire was dead; borders were redrawn; states were destroyed and created, rulers were dethroned and crowned. With the Great French War and related conflicts over and the short-lived dream of a Holy Alliance nipped in the bud, the Great Powers were ready to start intriguing with and against each other once again. Alliances were revived, diplomatic revolutions were made, subsidies were sent out to insurgents and military demonstrations ensued.

    Still, the early post-Napoleonic period was a fairly quiet time, when compared to what preceded it and to what came soon after.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland had emerged from the Napoleonic Wars renewed and triumphant, if somewhat isolated in Europe. Under Prime Minister Robert Jenkinson, who served for much of the discussed time period, the British reduced their involvement in European affairs considerably, with a certain exception for the Mediterranean and Iberian regions, wherein the British intervenned against Dom Miguel in Portugal, forced the end of Barbary Coast piracy with a series of bombardments and assumed protectorate over the Ionian Islands within the first ten years after the Wars. Aside from that British foreign policy concentrated on commercial, colonial and military ventures in New World and Asia, where there was much to do indeed. Most of Jenkinson's government however was more interested in domestic affairs, for obvious reasons - during and due to the Napoleonic Wars and the ongoing Industrial Revolution, social, political and economic tensions worsened, and grievances accumulated; now all of this had to be dealt with. While the industrialisation continued, the wealthy landowners remained politically predominant, as shown by the 1815 Corn Law, which introduced strong protective tariffs; Jenkinson himself was a free-trader, but supported this measure to both ease the transition to peace-time economy and to combat the huge national debt, combined with war-pensions. The gold standard was restored and taxes rose to help deal with those problems; consequently, riots and uprisings abounded, and were joined by political manifestations of assorted radicals and by the surviving Luddite groups. In 1818 Habeas Corpus had to be suspended [5], and in 1819 the "Six Acts" temporarily curtailed assorted political and personal freedoms; meanwhile, troops were employed to crack down on rioters. The 1820s saw a comparative easing; the Combination Laws (that prohibited trade unions) were repealed and the Catholic Emancipation was finally achieved, at least officially. In 1828 Jenkinson resiged due to poor health; the rising-star Tory politician Robert Peel replaced him as Prime Minister.
     
  4. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    In France, Louis XVIII and the Conseil d'Etat (not all that powerful by itself, but presently made up of the master politicians that survived the Revolutionary and Napoleonic era, and so were as experienced and as adroit as politicians could possibly get) from the start struggled to create a new political and social order, the Nouvelle regime, seeking to assure both their survival and power and the stabilisation of the country's volatile situation. The Charter, a liberal constitution, was accepted; a bicameral parliament (with the hereditary Chamber of Peers and the elective Chamber of Deputees) was created. The much-anticipated "white terror" had largely failed to occur, apart from limited atrocities by the ultraroyalists in the less controlled parts of the country; likewise, the king recognised the revolutionary land settlement and the Code Civil; the conscription ended, order all over France was restored and many of the more restrictive laws adapted under Napoleon were repealed. That gained Louis XVIII a lot of popular support, although the ultraroyalists and the emigres, who had rallied around his nephew and heir presumptive the Comte d'Artois, were obviously discontent with the king's moderate-to-liberal policies (while the die-hard republicans and Bonapartists were obviously discotent with the king's very existance; but short of a bungled assassination attempt, a pair of garrison mutinees that failed to expand into an actual civil war and a few unsuccesful conspiracies there was little they could do).

    For the first few years the country remained effectively in the hands of such statesmen of the Conseil d'Etat as Talleyrand and Fouche, who, like the king himself, were dedicated to maintaining the liberal-monarchist order. Liberal peerages were created, and gerrymandering was employed to liberalise the 1815 Chamber of Deputees (as opposed to the reactionary-dominated and "unmanageable" 1814 Chamber). However, reaction inevitably increased; the regicide Fouche was soon dismissed, though allowed (and strongly advised) to retire in southern France where he could be reached if need be (he died soon after, however); Talleyrand proved more difficult to get rid of, and generally more valuable, so he was sent to Vienna to cement the semi-secret Franco-Austrian alliance he helped negotiate. Still, a moderate-liberal faction led by the Premier Armand-Emmanuel du Plessis, Duc de Richelieu (a descendant of that Richelieu) retained power and even managed to slightly broaden the electoral franchise. Richelieu died in 1823; the ultras gained in power and influence somewhat due to the growth of republican conspiracies and an actual rebellion in Gascogne, but the moderates still retained power under Elie, comte Decazes. The ultras did achieve more laws favouring the church and the gradual payment of compensation to the emigres, as the kingdom's economy generally begun to prosper and this expenditure became feasible. The cautious and moderate Louis XVIII died in 1825. The Comte d'Artois, now King Charles X, was obviously much more reactionary, but fortunately still was fairly cautious, at least at first. However, unlike Louis XVIII Charles X was not content with merely balancing the factions, especially as this became mroe and mroe difficult with the gradual polarisation of French politics; instead he begun openly supporting the ultras, helping them rise to power in 1827 under the leadership of Jean-Baptiste, comte de Villele. State control over press increased, stricter laws against sacrelige were enacted, the Church was generally propped up, and the police was reformed and expanded after a nearly-succesful attempt on Charles X's life in 1829. After that incident reaction went into full swing, obviously angering the republicans who begun to gain more support amongst the moderate liberals. Still, the masses largely remained loyal to the crown, and the growth of dissent was quite slow for now.

    And in the meantime, a vigorous foreign policy was being conducted. Amiable relations were retained with the British, the two powers cooperating to defeat Dom Miguel in Portugal and the radical insurgents in southern Spain. Colonial ventures occured; while the old African colonies failed to expand considerably, and indeed the French influence over Madagascar largely collapsed when xenophobic king Radama I came to power in the Malagasy kingdom, the French compensated it all by attacking Algiers in 1827, soon after a British bombardment that considerably damaged that Barbary Coast state's defenses and morale. The city was captured; the dey's promises to cease piracy and raids, and even to pay out a huge indemnity for all the aforesaid raids, were ignored as untrustworthy, and so the city was annexed. From there the French advanced to gradually take over all of coastal Algeria, also advancing inlands some, though few gains could be made there yet. Also in North Africa, the French too begun to involve themselves in Egypt, sending specialists to help out the useful and profitable Muhammad 'Ali. Back in Europe the French solidied their hold on southern Belgium, while normalising relations with the Kingdom of the Netherlands. But most important, ofcourse, was the aforementioned Franco-Austrian alliance. Engineered by Talleyrand, it allowed Europe's two greatest dynasties, the Bourbon and the Habsburg, to put aside all past rivalries and ally - thus effectively coercing all of Italy and Germany south of Prussia into their mutual sphere of influence. While in Germany that influence was mostly a diplomatic one (aside from a single Austrian intervention against liberal manifestations in the Kingdom of Bavaria-Baden), in Italy Franco-Austrian armies practically never left; from the 1814 removal of Murat and restoration of the Neapolitan Bourbons to the 1826-1827 campaign against the hapless Carbonari insurgents that found themselves caught between French, Austrian and loyalist armies, France and Austria made it quite clear that they - and by extension the client monarchic regimes of Italy - were not going to stand for anything. The Carbonari were forced to retreat into the underground and brood, though the constant foreign military presence did serve to fuel Italian nationalism while discrediting the present rulers.

    Germany wasn't quite as eventful as Italy, but there too nationalism and radicalism were on the rise. Separatist manifestations occured in Swedish Pommerania and the Danish-administrated Schleswig and Holstein. Within the Confederation, voices of radical nationalists were few and quiet, but steadily rising. After some initial post-war promises of large-scale reforms, Friedrich Wilhelm III and his ministers in the end restrained themselves to minor social reforms (speeding up the emancipation of the peasantry) and a more unified system of tariffs within the Kingdom of Prussia. While Karl vom und zum Stein and Karl August von Hardenberg called for greater reforms and for Prussia to take charge of the German nationalist movement, they were largely ignored as the former sunk into obscurity and the latter died of old age. Still, Prussia did have interest in at least a loose hegemony within the Confederation; and Wilhelm von Humboldt, who became foreign minister in 1820, worked hard to counter the Franco-Austrian hegemony, with very limited success within Germany but more results outside of it (where an understandment with Great Britain and Hannover over the Prussian sphere of influence in northern Germany was reached, and an alliance treaty was signed with the Russian Empire). Southern and western Germany initially saw more liberal measures from the monarchs in power, especially from Bavaria (which had incidentally succesfully pressed its claims to Baden after the death of its last duke) and Rhineland, which retained many of the Napoleonic reforms. That, however, served to encourage increase in activities of liberal, radical and nationalist societies, which eventually begun making petitions and then followed them up with demonstrations and riots; attempts to crack down upon them caused in some cases serious armed clashes between the rioters and the soldiers, increasing paranoia. That necessitated a crackdown on such societies, and other measures such as stricter censorship; also, Austrian forces were invited to defeat some particularily persistant rebels.

    The Austrian Empire itself was by this moment fully dominated by the pragmatic and hardline conservative minister, Klemens von Metternich, who had the full support of Kaiser Franz. While uncompromisingly putting down rebellions in Germany and Italy, at home Metternich was less straightforward. Although absolutism and the Catholic Church were strenghthened, limited social reforms also occured to relieve the plight of peasantry, and industrialisation was generally embraced by the beginning of the 1820s. The increasingly widespread Austrian secret police maintained law and order within the empire, but underneath the facade of power and prosperity Austria was beginning to rot, with rise of nationalist movements, most notably the German, Italian, Czech and Hungarian ones.

    The Russian Empire, meanwhile, was at the crossroads. In the wake of the Napoleonic Wars it emerged strenghthened and expanded, as well as massively relieved; but at the same time, Napoleon's rampage did cause considerable damage, and in the initial period of indecision and confusement following the war many dangerous, radical ideas found a fertile ground amongst some of Russia's younger aristocrats and officers. At the same time, Alexander I himself was undecided as to the future course of Russia, as well as the Kingdom of Poland; immediately after the end of the war he briefly returned to the liberal policies of his early reign, bringing Mikhail Speransky and other reformists back from exile, granting liberal constitutions and great autonomy to both Poland and Finland and even called for new reform projects to be drafted up. These projects had to be abandoned after 1818, when a guard regiment mutinied in an attempted republican coup d'etat; obviously it was utterly defeated, but Alexander now once more turned to reaction, Aleksey Arakcheyev rising in prominence and cracking down on revolutionary secret societies both in Russia and in Poland. The existance of a large Polish separatist underground alienated Alexander from his Polish subjects - although Poland still did at least officially retain considerable autonomy, it now was placed under greater scrutiny and military control, and all designs viceroy Adam Czartoryski and the Sejm might have had on Lithuanian lands were completely dashed. This caused some minor Polish uprisings in 1823 and 1824, though both were easily defeated.

    However, Alexander I [6] did not entirely give up on his old ideals, as his southern neighbours found out to their dismay soon enough...

    To the south, Sultan Mahmud II was struggling to reform the Ottoman Empire, finally achieving the significant breakthrough that so many Sultans died trying to reach; in 1824 he provoked a Janissary uprising, and then massacred the Janissaries, replacing them with a modern, professional army created with the help of European specialists. This army was, for all of its modernity, new and unexperienced, but Mahmud II did not create it to fight foreign enemies; first and foremost he sought to use it as an instrument for forceful reform of the vast and unwieldy Ottoman Empire, the provinces of which have for too long been in hands of various local governors, feudals and glorified warlords. For the most part, he had indeed succeeded in that goal, though Muhammad 'Ali in Egypt remained very much out of Istanbul's grasp, though still providing his own professional army for assorted military campaigns. However, a different threat to the Ottoman Empire's unity emerged; that of nationalism. Already, during the 1810s several Serbian rebellions occured, and the ultimately-supreme Serbian leader, Milos Obrenovic I, managed to set up an autonomous principality in spite of defeats at Ottoman hands. Now, a much more fierce rebellion begun at two other ends of the Balkan Peninsula; the banner of Greek independence was raised once more. The rebellion was off to a somewhat inauspicious start, when Alexander Ypsilantis' rebellion in Wallachia occured prematurely, failed to either forge a strong alliance with the Romanian separatists or get Russia to intervenne, and was utterly crushed in the Battle of Caracal in 1822. However, even as the Ottomans moped up the resistance in the Danubean Principalities, a much stronger popular uprising begun in Morea. The Ottoman garrisons were overran quickly enough and the rebels overran the peninsula. The fires of rebellion soon spread to the assorted Aegean islands, the northern Greek highlands and the island of Crete. The new Ottoman army (which was created in advance while the Janissaries were still to be purged) did manage to limit the spread of the rebellion in the north, but failed to advance further due to adept guerrila warfare; an attempted amphibious invasion to raise the rebel siege of Athens was thwarted by Greek fireships. To deal with the rebellion, the Sultan called up the loyal Janissary regiments, the timariots, the bashi-bazoukis and the Egyptians to augment his own armies; Muhammad 'Ali's powerful fleet was also employed. In 1824, the rebellion on Crete was ruthlessly stomped out by an Egyptian force. Attacks into the rest of Greece also gained ground, but the rebellion's guerrila tactics allowed it to avoid trully suffering from those losses while still forcing a large Egyptian army to pull out from Morea with large casualties, amongst other achievements.

    Still, it was clear to the Greeks that their cause could not triumph in the long-term without foreign assistance. Their plight did win them considerable sympathy in Britain and France, but not enough for their pragmatical and otherwise-preoccupied, not to mention fairly pro-Turkish and pro-Egyptian, governments to involve themselves. The European volunteers were appreciated but usually not very useful. So the Greeks turned towards their powerful co-religionist, the Tsar. After a mandatory period of vacillation, in 1825, the Tsar proclaimed his intention to safeguard the hard-earned freedoms of the Greeks and demanded that the Turks grant full independence to a Kingdom of Greece. The Sultan politely refused. The Tsar declared war and a large Russian army under Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich and Tsar Alexander I himself quickly swept into the Danubean Principalities amidst a renewed (if confused) rebellion, defeating the Turks at Bucharest. From there it proceeded into Bulgaria; it was assisted by the Russian Black Sea fleet, which defeated an Ottoman counterpart at Varna and so contributed to that city's surrender. An Ottoman army was trapped in and besieged at Shumla; as the siege threatened to bog down, the main Russian force separated and by 1826 advanced into Rumelia. A major battle occured with a Turko-Egyptian army at Yambol; the Turko-Egyptians fought quite well, but in the end were defeated and the road to Constantinople was for all purposes wide open. In Anatolia, Aleksey Petrovich Yermolov led a daring offensive to capture Kars.

    At this point, however, a new complication arose; Britain sent an expeditionary force into the Straits to reinforce Constantinople, and "offered" its intermediation. The Ottomans were only happy to agree; as for Alexander, he was obviously unwilling to fight the British. Negotiations were held in Edirne; the British were sympathetic towards the project of creating a Greek kingdom, but did not want to allow Russia any territorial gains. In the end, after several months of stalled negotiations, military demonstrations and diplomatic intrigues all over Europe, the British had to agree to a compromise after failing to draw Austria into the issue on their side; the Russians were allowed to establish a protectorate over the Danubean Principalities and the Kingdom of Greece was created; Crete remained Turkish, as did several eastern Aegean islands and Greek mainland north of the Pindus, however. Also, after a wider diplomatic conference (with French involvement) it was decided to open the Turkish Straits to all shipping. Lastly, after some more debate, the Ottoman Empire gave a de jure recognition of Russian sovereignity of Georgia.

    One more crisis threatened to arise when Russian diplomat Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias became the first prime minister of Greece and persuaded the Greek National Assembly to choose a Romanov as the country's first king; specifically, Constantine I, whom Catherine II once wished to see on the Byzantine throne (and who actually knew Greek). The British obviously disliked the strenght of the pro-Russian faction in Greece, but in the end decided to undermine it instead of attacking it in the open. Young Greece was indeed quite unstable, and there were many factions eager to get rid of the binding central government. In 1828, a rebellion of discontent clans occured, but it was defeated after a few months. For now Kapodistrias remained in power.

    Russia went on to strenghthen its hold on the Danubean Principalities, while introducing fairly progressive and liberal reforms there, and fought a bitter war against resistant native tribes in the Caucasus. Meanwhile, Mahmud II worked to rebuild his military and consolidate his hold on the rest of the empire. Muhammad 'Ali remained out of his reach, though; the Egyptians even managed to virtually seize Crete away from the Ottomans, but there wasn't anything that could be done about it right now, and the accursed Albanian knew it. Back in the west, revolutionaries plotted, Prussian and Austria diplomats fought for predominance in Germany and the French were building up their military. The British were on the march all over the world, subtly or openly, benevolently or malevolently. Andrew Jackson rallied for war. Santa Anna begun his rebellion.

    Omens were in the air. Tensions were rising again.

    ---

    Footnotes:

    [1] "Any changes from OTL here?" Why yes, actually; here the rather improbable intervention of a British captain on the behalf of the Mazrui never happens (butterfly effect!), and his squadron instead provides active help to the Omanis. Also, the British here are less quick to crack down on Omani slave trade (being also less quick to crack down on Portuguese slave trade due to closer relations with that country and distinct interest in the prosperity of Brazil). Relations between the Sultanate and the United Kingdom are thus better than in OTL, and the Sultanate is generally stronger and more prosperous.

    [2] The British involvement in Japan is also something of a butterfly effect, but a one in accordance with my policy of it fitting in with the general altered trends. Firstly, Britain here is less interested in European affairs. Secondly, it is for this and other reasons (such as the growing rift with the USA) more interested in extending its trade network; natural targets for this are Latin America, China and Japan, but the Britiurksh aren't ready to take on China yet. Thirdly, it has more resources and willpower to enforce its will outside of Europe. It still is quite a bit of a stretch, but try writing a timeline without those.

    [3] Sure, Andrew Jackson didn't win a Battle of New Orleans, and generally performed worse in the War of 1812; but he still did better than many other generals, and greatly redeemed himself in the later wars against British-backed Indians, so he still qualifies as a war hero. As for winning earlier than in OTL, his OTL defeat was in many regards a fluke and his enemies are generally weaker; also the First Party System collapsed earlier, enabling Martin van Buren to engineer a stronger Nationalist [4] coalition behind Jackson.

    [4] The names of the Second System American parties were even more random, they could've ended up as anything judging from OTL, and a form of nationalism is rather more important ITTL due to the revanchism, so its entirely feasible for Andrew Jackson to lead a "Nationalist" party

    [5] One year later than in OTL; an insignificant tidbit, but still noteworthy because it demonstrates that all over Europe the forces of political radicalism - and so, also the forces of reaction - are weaker because of the noticeably shorter Napoleonic Wars. That's obviously more noticeable in other countries, such as France or Spain.

    [6] Alexander I did not die so early in this world (or, if you believe in that theory, he didn't run away and become a hermit); face it, that tuberculosis was pretty random, while the hermitage would have been avoided with a different world-view (see the immediately following). Also, though he still turned towards religion because of Napoleon's invasion, he did not fall under the influence of assorted Parisian mystical circles and Baroness de Krudener; though he did go to Versailles, he didn't spend so much time there, and continued his soul-searching back in Russia. For obvious reasons he embraced the Russian Orthodox Church, believing the defeat of Napoleon a sign of his own and Russia's special destiny and purpose in the eyes of God; and when the Orthodox Greeks rose up, well, the message became pretty clear.
     
  5. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    Very nice das, as per usual.

    Yey, British control over Argentina, might actually do well now (considering that 7 million immigrated over the 19th century, but only 3 million did/were allowed to stay thanks to stupid immigration policies and bad investment, whilst Britain favoured very open immigration to increase profits), plus a westward restricted and nationalist America will probably reduce immigration ('this tide of irishmen') earlier on.
     
  6. Israelite9191

    Israelite9191 You should be reading

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    Looking forward to the next installment Strategos. The fall of the Pope of Alexandria in such a literal sense is somewhat shocking. I am very interested to find out who this satan you speak of is.
     
  7. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Curious happenings in the Eastern Roman Empire... The Satan, Israelite, is almost certainly the eastern emperor.

    Yes, Argentina will have a lot of immigration, including Irish one.
     
  8. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    With but a million and a half natives, it wouldn't take very long for the colony to be primarily english speaking (ditto louisina) :mischief:.
     
  9. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    Just rereading this, and it is very interesting for several reasons:
    1) British money financed a great deal of France and the low countries early industrial and infrastructural growth after the napoleonic wars, who then in trun financed growth further east. Depending on the level of the decrease this could have a significant retarding effect on the rest of europes industrial development, putting it back by a decade or more (especially when one takes the compunding effects of investment).
    2) Ditto Britain was a major investor in American industry and infrastructure (due to shared language and american growth and efficency gave great returns), with a government more hostile to britain, this might drop off significantly, and even 0.5% less growth per annum will see an american economy 60-70% its OTL size 50 years later (coupled with the loss of midwestern resources and the missisipi it could be even less, though it will still be bigger than any european power cept Britian or a united german). Plus there was all the french and dutch investing their money (which was grown with the help of british money) in the middle of the century.
    3)The question is where will this british indsutrial development captial go instead? it unlikly to stay in britain (the cost of reinvestment was quite high), or go to spain, portugal or latin america (due to their myriad of structural problems). So one might see massive development of Canada (particulary with the illinois and midwestern coalfields now in their possestion), or even outsourcing to india, scandinavia, or (just maybe) brazil.

    Of course that all depends on point 4) the british government didn't have that much control over their investors, unless they face big hostility they will follow the easy money in france, belgium and america.
     
  10. Kal'thzar

    Kal'thzar Deity

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    hardly if theirs a cooling of relations, the risk to the investment is much higher. However depending on the nature of Spains economic opening to the British; the investment might be quite high in the colonies/India in comparison to OTL.

    i.e. I disagree with point 4
     
  11. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    That would definitely fit in. The point 4 still stands and there still would be considerable investment, but industrial development in Holland and France would be somewhat slower than in OTL, at least initially.

    The general effect of continued Anglo-American rivalry (as opposed to the rapprochment that came with the Monroe Doctrine, something that will clearly not exist in this world) would indeed slow down American development.

    Well, Spain and Portugal in this world would be somewhat better off than in OTL. That said, I suspect that Argentina would get some of that capital. Likewise in Scandinavia; it could also be feasible in Germany. And even Russia, for reasons that will be disclosed in the next installment (they have a lot to do with less political strife and so less reaction), though it would be rather minor and definitely against the British government's best wishes.

    A part of it has already gone into Egypt, where Muhammed 'Ali is eager to create an industrial base.

    Thanks for the contribution; there are some useful things that I can do with this information.
     
  12. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    @Kal, what I meant by point 4 was that the british government couldn't really say 'don't go there' to the british investors, its only if the other countries specifically try to keep them out that they won't invest.

    Remember cumlative interest! a small effect now will have big reprocussions later on ;). Also I forget - who has Belgium and Luxumberg right now?

    The reapproachment started with the treaty of Paris ;), the british were nearly always much nicer to the americans than they had to be in order to keep france out of north america.

    The strucutral problems I'm talking about started in the 17th century :), with the lack of money, literacy, and infrastructure. Plus Spain and Portugal lack ore and energy, ditto argentina (which the brits are much more likly to push down an massive agricultural cereal production path, which will be much more helpful for long term economic growth than the ranches of the OTL, but not a recipe for industrial development). IMO the brits are more likely to go to northern europe or eastern india before they go to spain (at leats with india they have the ability to completely control the industrial zones they set up).

    *Sigh* Despite his excellent intentions, eygpt lacked an educated/educatable workforce (plus labour was just too cheap to mechanise), had to import its energy (egypt doesn't even have wood or water power) and ore, and only sustained its industry through massive subsidy from cotton production. Plus its a) possible egypt doesn't have a cotten industry - Louis-Alexis Jumal (introducer of high quality cotten to egypt) was a frenchman, and he got Jumal cotton from Reunion, and came to egypt for various OTL reasons, and b) in OTL Ali opposed british investment (thinking that britain would be an enemy of egyptian manufacturing), has this changed. In short, egypt was massively unsuited for 19th century industrialisation, and it vanished after good ol' ALi died.
     
  13. ThomAnder

    ThomAnder Deity

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    What about China or rest of asia after they dominate them after an/multiple opium wars? They will be the only foreign power there. OTL they developed quite a bit of the "rent" zones, and if their interest is more to colonies, and other countries less involved, they could monopolize the chinese markets. Ditto to Japan..
     
  14. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Belgium is partitioned between Holland and France along north-south lines, Greater Luxemburg (i.e. including what in OTL became easternmost Belgium) is Prussian.

    That was the first one, but then relations got ruined again (as the French threat decreased, making such cooperation unnecessary).

    True, those directions work well in OTL (and fit in very nicely with my long-term plans for this althist).

    Well, Muhammad 'Ali still was interested in developing a cotton industry (he started working on that prior to the PoD), and he did work with the British to a certain extent in OTL, though chiefly as a supplier of cotton.

    Also, the worsened Anglo-American relations would likely cause Britain to become more interested in developing Egypt, while Muhammad 'Ali would be able to balance their influence with the French one. I do agree that in the long-term the prospects of Egypt's industrialisation aren't very good. Still, a viceroy can dream...

    Its all a bit more tricky than that, though doubtless they would try to establish control over Chinese markets after opening China, one way or another.
     
  15. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    The Britain will invest in Prussia for sure, that collosal lump of high quality iron with a crust of luxembergers will be too juicy to avoid ;).

    Speaking of the coal and belgium ore it looks like Holland and France have split it just about half (limburg) and half (the Meuse valley) respectively, which spells massively good things for both of them (if they can find the money to develop it) down the road, we're talking about increasing the industrial strength of France by a third and tripling that of Hollands. However all the required development of the Meuse valley to use that coal (at this time large scale movement of coal is massively costly so the industry will have to be close by) will essentially be the french putting their economic eggs in one basket...a single basket which has the Prussians encamped on the highground overlooking it :evil:.

    Though they won't try and take over outright - Britain wanted a large, calm, and open china to trade with, and didn't have any intentions to take over like with India, in the first half of the century at least.
     
  16. silver 2039

    silver 2039 Deity

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    I don;t like this world, Britian is too dominant, seems unchallengable.
     
  17. Disenfrancised

    Disenfrancised Beep Beep

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    IMO Britain is certainly not unchallengable, its stronger than OTL but its relatively weaker than the other europeans (who are considerably stonger/have more potential growth than OTL) and has a pissed off USA to worry about.

    If france can keep their belgium coalfields, use cheap italian immigrant labour to make up for their poor popualtion growth, and assist Austria properly in their development then by about 1890 France+Austria alone will be a match for Britain (the island) in terms of industrial manufacture, and France+Austria+America(assuming an optimisitc 65% of OTL strength) will easily outmatch the Empire. It will then be up to the other powers - Prussia, Russia , the minor German states, Holland to swing the Balance one way or another.

    And there are lots of ways britian could loose top dog position even without such a 'Grand alliance'. For example, Britain gets tied down in some colonial conflict, France and Austria quickly use the opportunity to beat up Prussia and form a united German empire (With france getting some choice bits of the rhineland and italy) - 'holy crap' says britian at these new superpowers who start to challenge it colonially.
     
  18. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Don't blame the customer, blame the salesman? Odd...

    Unlikely, as it spent half a century feuding with the USSR.
     
  19. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Deity

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    *swat* Bad Iggy! Bad! Reinvigorating political discussion already abandoned bad! No potential Alpha Centauri rip-offs for you!
     
  20. das

    das Regeneration In Process

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    Lets just say that the European and global balance of power would change a lot over the rest of the 19th century. Some of it quite soon, actually.
     

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