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New Empire by QuantumBranching New Empire by QuantumBranching
Just one more Alternate History Travel Guides inspired one for the road.

This diverges initially in a later, rather different, and Napoleon-free round of French Revolutionary wars, and it is now a world in which the New British Empire and its Russian, NE Asian, Mexican-central American and Dutch allies hold the line against the Theocratic quadruple threat of the New Caliphate, the Spanish Empire, the Brazilian Empire, and a very Christian US.

(Fortunately, the Spanish Catholics don’t like the US much, and neither likes the Islamic caliphate: they have a common hatred for the “godless” Empire, but aside from the nowadays closely tied Brazilians and Spaniards, cooperate only intermittently).

“The Empire”, as it is now called, moved its capital from London to Bombay in 1969 as economic development and manpower increasingly made India the natural core of the Empire. It includes Canada, the UK, Australia (which includes New Zealand), Fiji, India, N. Borneo/Brunei, Singapore, Hong Kong, various Caribbean isles, the Cape Province, and the Falklands. The kingdom of Hawaii, the republic of South China, and Malaysia are associated states, while Nigeria, Kenya, the Zulu kingdom, and Ethiopia are protectorates. It is a federal state governed by a Parliament with limited powers and much local sovereignty. The Empire is secular, largely post-racial, and highly tolerant (well, perhaps not so much for Catholics and US Evangelical protestantism: excessive religious enthusiasm is considered Very Bad Form nowadays).

India is less populous than OTL, having gone through the demographic transition a while back as a result of earlier economic modernization. It also has large (tens of millions) minorities of European, African, Malaysian and Chinese origin. Thanks to the less appealing nature of the increasingly theocratic US as a destination from migration, Canada and Australia got rather more immigrants than OTL and are rather more populous. It doesn’t have too much African territory: what would be the Cameroons and Gambia OTL were traded away for Imperial possession of Portuguese holdings in Asia, and much of Africa south of the Caliphate is part of the French Union.

The Empire trades with everyone, no matter how unpleasant they may be.
Its allies include the Netherlands (which includes Belgium) and its descendant states in interior South Africa and colonies in the Caribbean (including Trinidad and Tobago) and Indonesia, which nowadays is increasingly the tail that wags the Dutch dog (there is some talk of moving the capital of the Dutch Empire to Jakarta in the way the British Empire’s capital was moved to Bombay).

Japan, another ally, due to butterflies from a different forced opening, took longer to resolve its traditionalist-modernizer conflict, and never found the right timing to become a big territory-grabber (its colonial annexations were confined to Taiwan) and eventually chose to become a British protectorate as the lesser evil. Later, after Korea and NE China moved towards independence from their Russian “;protectorate” in the 1960s, Japan moved to form an economic and military alliance with the new powers, although it retained close ties to the Empire. Today the Northeast Asian Federation of Japan, Greater Manchuria, Korea, and Taiwan is an important power in its own right (although the rump Qing state is still a bit backwards), and is perhaps even more closely tied to the Empire than the Dutch: it is certain that selling stuff to the Empire is vital for the NAF’s prosperity. Korea, which has a large Christian fundamentalist movement of its own, is a bit worrisome, although they show no signs of planning to desert the Federation and ally themselves with the Americans.

Russia, which did not make the very sharp turn to reaction it did OTL after the Napoleonic invasion, has managed to painfully and slowly make its way to parliamentary democracy and a largely symbolic Czar, although Russian society remains rather conservative and religiously very Orthodox. (The Jews are no longer confined to a Pale, but there is a definite glass ceiling to their advancement in the Russian Empire). It includes more of Poland than OTL 1914 (Prussia was squished in the Great War of 1910-1915), and European Constantinople is a joint Greek-Russian possession. (Finland, however, is still dynastically tied to Sweden). It is a British ally, mainly out of mutual hostility to the Caliphate, but doesn’t really _like_ the British.

The Caliphate originated with the annexation of much of the Ottoman Empire’s Arab lands by the Egyptian Empire after the Great War, but did not become a Caliphate until the previous Supreme MuckaMuck (think the unholy love child of Joe Stalin and Osama Bin Laden) declared himself so in the 90s, and who would disagree? It currently extends from Morocco to Iran and includes the Asian parts of the old Ottoman Empire and much of the Sahel. It is an isolationist state which does not allow any non-Muslim visitors from abroad, and as for getting out again, visiting can be as hazardous as visiting the aformentioned Stalin’s USSR in the 1930s, so not too much is known abroad about its internal affairs.

It sponsors Islamic “unificationist” movements in Pakistan, Africa, Afghanistan and Russian Central Asia (with varying degrees of success: most Pakistanis are too Empire loyal, and think the whole "Caliphate" thing is a crock, and most Russian Muslims are too secular, but turmoil in Afghanistan and West Africa keeps a lot of Imperial and French Union troops all too busy. Largely unknown to the outside world, the Caliphate has some serious internal problems: the Iranians, of course (Shiites under a Sunni Caliph), but also Maghreb Arabs unhappy with being ruled from Egypt and with different understandings of the Koran, Turks who think Arabs are a bunch of desert rats, and certain radical groups in the Arab peninsula who think the Caliphate is far too “western” and “radical” in all the wrong ways. A brutal police state keeps on the lid – so far.

The Emperor of Brazil successfully pushed his claim to the Portuguese succession with the aid of his Spanish allies, and therefore rules over not only Lisbon but also the Portuguese territories in Africa. The Emperor has the loyalty of his black subjects, having created an army of slaves to crush his republican enemies at home and giving them freedom in exchange: nowadays black Africans born in Angola and Mozambique have (almost) the same opportunity to rise to the top in the Imperial government as any white native of Brazil or Portugal proper. Brazil is only marginally "theocratic" - what the Emperor says in the end is more important than what the Church says, although he uses the Church to bolster his position and the Church uses the state to stamp out the sort of heretical religions and protestant transplants that flourish OTL.

The Spanish Empire can be best described as clerical-fascist, and cooperates closely with the Papacy to protect Catholic interest world wide. It has a long-standing bone to pick with the Empire due to its support for Mexican and Central American independence after Spain managed to reestablish its hold over South America.

The US is not a out-and-out theocracy, but the division of Church and State is looong gone. All political candidates need to be vetted by the powerful Ecumenical Councils, so nobody who is not properly Christian and conservative gets to run for office. Prohibition is still in effect, censorship is fierce, non-Christians are not allowed to become citizens (although there is a grandfather provision for those who have been here since those laws went into effect) and the teaching of evolution is illegal. The Empire is despised because of its secularism, its dominant influence in Mexico, the US back yard, and because of all those damn Godless TV shows people along the border pick up. (Not to mention what is seen as interference with US efforts to evangelize Asia).

The one partial exception to the dominance of Christianity is the Mormons: they are simply too numerous and influential to shut out entirely, and are allowed a seat on the Ecumenical council, although they have about as much chance of winning an election as a gay Hindu running for office in Iran. On the positive side, this US lacks the racial attitudes of Revival, and racial segregation ended earlier than OTL, with the Black churches nowadays included in the “oversight” process.

The Great War, in which the North Italian-Ottoman-Prussian-Austrian (Austria in this TL the senior partner) alliance was trounced by the Russian-French-British-Egyptian one, led to the disintegration of the Austrian and Ottoman Empires, the loss of 30% of Prussia’s territory, and a Collectivist revolution in Italy, the brutal putting down of which leaving fissures in Italian political society that last until today.

The French Union, plagued with Caliphate-sponsored Islamic terrorism, is struggling to convert its empire into a federal union on the model of the Empire, and is pursuing a policy of heavily armed neutrality. The South German federation, Prussia, Austria-Bohemia, and Saxony have rejoined into a loose economic/mutual defense alliance, but the Russians and the French aren’t standing for anything closer. (Indeed, the Czechs probably wouldn't stand for it either).

China, divided into British-protected greater Canton in the south, a Qing remnant allied to Korea and Japan in the north, French, Spanish and Brazilian colonial possessions in the middle, and a couple of semi-independent warlords in the deep interior, dreams of reunification. (The latest unification talks between those arrogant, stick-up-their-ass-conservative, Mandarin-speaking, ruled-by-Mongols/pushy, un-Chinese, Cantonese-babbling, British-ass-kissing Imperials/Republicans have, strangely, broken down again).

Technology is roughly comparable to our2009, and all the major powers have ICBMs and nuclear weapons. Since nobody exactly trusts the Caliphate (and the Caliphate keeps rather more oil its oil for local use than the Arab countries of our world), there is a lot more use of alternative and nuclear energy, although nervous editorials frequently come out in the US re the dangers of dependence on Caliphal oil. People worry quite a bit about what the Caliphate might do some day. Citizens of the Caliphate worry about what those damn Christians and heathens might do someday.
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:iconeonorteashadowmaster:
EonOrteaShadowmaster Featured By Owner May 4, 2010  Student Writer
Talk about chaos theory, eh? One little event and you the ripples get bigger and bigger...

Impressive.
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:iconczarlyrus:
CzarLyrus Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2010
That's pretty creative! I think it's cool you could envision what the world was like if it had taken a different turn of events!
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:iconmarianasama:
MarianaSama Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2010   Traditional Artist
That's BULLSHIT. Seriously.
Reply
:iconsirtyler48:
SirTyler48 Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010  Professional Writer
Yeah. It's so far-fetched and silly that I would say that this was a fan-fiction of a Gundam manga.
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