The world of Churchills 'If Lee Had Not Won the Battle Of Gettysburg'. [link]
Its a multipolar world, but the Big Three are definitly the European Federation, The English-Speaking Association, and Russia.
Russia, which has a one-party government that can be roughly described as
opulist fascsim , is currently suffering from internal turbulence. Economic problems arising from slow productivity growth, increasingly powerful pro-democracy forces disgusted with the omnipresent corruption, a sluggish executive hampered by feuds between party bosses, the aftermath of Russias disastrous 1989-2007 excursion in Iran
gleeful EF and ESA predictions of the imminent collapse of the Russian dictatorship may be premature the mechanisms for a brutal crackdown are still in place but the regime that took over after the brief democratic interlude of 1943-1955 looks to be on its last legs. Still, Russia is still the worlds largest industrial power (unless the EF and the ESA are taken as single states, which most dont), has a very large nuclear arsenal, and if things go entirely pear-shaped it could be bad for everyone.
The European Federation watches somewhat nervously. Rich, civilized (some say over-civilized), and worried about low birth rates, the Federation, to the disappointment of many, has failed to gell into a genuine United States of Europe. The German Empire, with its 132 million inhabitants, is the core of the project, which is perhaps also the problem. The French (late and reluctant joiners) squabble with the Germans, the Serbs squabble with the Albanians, and the Danubian states squabble among themselves. The Germans of 1943, more tolerant than those of 1917, decided to take into their Empire a Kingdom of Poland, with comparable status to Bavaria or Saxony. The Poles have been surprisingly ungrateful for German tolerance, and push for greater autonomy whenever given a chance, and have managed to reverse the drift towards linguistic Germanization which took place from the 40s to the 80s.
The ESA is the dominant power, although not without its own internal divisions. (The Confederates suspect the others of looking down on them, and the US feels that the other two should be more willing to accept its obvious superiority, and the British fail to see why the others dont recognize its clearly greater sophistication and civilization and let_them_ take the lead). The Confederacy, after finally granting its black citizens full civil rights in the 80s, is slowly feeling its way towards the scary future of racial equality (the violent revolt of Southern Mexico in the 50s was something of a warning), while the UK is only just getting over the crumbling of much of its empire between the 60s and the 90s, and still a bit bitter that the US wouldnt spend more blood and treasure helping to keep it together. (Those sullen, half-devil, half-child people, it turned out, could be quite a handful, especially after they figured out media relations and high explosives).
South Africa is dominated politically by an alliance among whites, coloreds, asians, and rich black sell-outs: a byzantine complexity of political jerrymandering, autonomous districts, education and property requirements keeps the black portion of the national parliament down to under 25%, but at least its better than aparthied, as the man with no legs said to the man with no head. On the bright side, the East African Confederation has actually managed to make a transition to black-majority rule, and theres even been a peaceful transfer of power (the local white and asian population remain somewhat uncertain about the whole rule-by-black-people thing, and rather happy about the treaty which allows the maintenance of ESA military bases in the country).
African Americans have had an unpleasant time of it in the south, where that idiotic assertion of racial equality, as Churchill put it, was avoided for many a year, and in the North, where the powerful labor unions were interested in protecting _white_ jobs and salries. Many left for the British Empire, where at least a modicum of tolerance could be found, and quite a few more than OTL ended up in Liberia, creating a ruling class large enough to convert and assimilate enough of the locals to maintain power and, in time, swallow the other freedmans dumping ground of Sierra Leone and create a local alliance of African states as colonialism slowly ebbed in Africa in the 80s and 90s.
Latin America is with few exceptions under the anglo-American economic thumb: Mexico embargoes all trade with the Confederacy, but the US and the British Empire accounts for the bulk of its trade, and in spite of their ideological good-buddyness, Russia is not Brazils largest trading partner. On the positive side, Argentina, economically integrated into the ESA, has avoided Peronism, and is roughly as rich as New Zealand.
Although the old local governor in the pith helmet and essentially unlimited latitude is now gone, much of the third world is still economically or politically quite closely tied to the ESA or the EF, and doing something dumb like nationalizing a German mining concern is a good way to get the Wehrmacht parked on the front lawn of your parliament. Although the March Of Science means biological racism is passe, ideas of cultural superiority and bad cultural memes are alive and well. (One aspect of this is the disappointment of Confederate whites that the now-empowerd blacks have failed to immediately and enthusiastically oreo-ize themselves. Theyre now legally equal to white people, so why wont they act the part?)
Libya is a 40% Italian Aparthied state, and not a Happy Place.
The Ottomans regained Istanbul as a result of the China war (also known by the more uncouth as the war of the Russian bitch-slapping
, but have kept their political capital in the less accessible Anatolian highlands. They dont get along well with the Bulgarians, who tried to grab it from the Russians before _they_ could get it. They are currently having a bit of a quarrel with the Egyptians as to who is the Big Dog of Sunni Islam (Big Power Blocks is considered the way to go in this world, and there has been talking of an Islamic block for decades), a quarrel in which the Turks enjoy annoying the Egyptians by pointing out that, technically, the Khedive is the vassal of the Sultan.
The end of the British Raj was drawn-out and painful, and in the end British influence was maintained only in the periphery (Pakistan favored the British in exchange for support for their claims to Kashmir, and Afghanistan and Tibet wanted someone to keep the Russians off their backs). Under British influence, the liberal-minded current Dalai Lama has eliminated slavery and people are rarely tortured to death anymore.
China was kept disunited by outside meddling through the 30s, but in 1951 it was finally unified under an understandably xenophobic regime, whose policies of high tarriffs, import substitution, and a government emphasis on Big Steel Things slowed economic growth almost as badly as Communism: China today is a bit further along the path to superpowerdom than OTL China, but it is not so notable in a world with three, arguably four, superpowers.
The arguable fourth is the Japanese-led Indo-Pacific Co-Prosperity Sphere. Kept by ESA and Russian pressure from doing more in China than a little light warlord-manipulating and opium-selling, the Japanese decided that the only way to go was the ESA way and seek allies among other Asian states, and set itself up as the Friend of Opressed Peoples. (Screaming under the floorboards? Oh, that! Nothing to concern yourself with, its just a leaky boiler have some more tea! Yes, it is strange how it sounds like Korean, no?
Technology is a bit less advanced in some fields, such as computers and aerospace, rather more advanced in others, such as medicine, synthetics, and industrial chemistry, as a result of different priorities: there have been some limited wars, but no world wars, and a bigger first world. Nobody but robots has gone to the moon, but there are a number of space stations.
Its generally a more elitist, racist world than ours, with many nasty assumptions not rubbed in peoples faces as in our world: there was no Holocaust, but there were perhaps 100,000 Jewish surplus deaths in Russia from the 50s to the 90s, and about 2 million more emigrated from Russia. Culture is rich, baroque, and perhaps a bit overripe: some of the New Decadent artists coming out of Germany would give Marilyn Manson the hebbe jeebies. And lets not even talk about Russian Country & Eastern music.