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Steampunkish by QuantumBranching Steampunkish by QuantumBranching
Continuing my tear through the alternate history travel guides...

Prime – a civilized, sort-of-Edwardian TL, dominated by a massive British Empire including most of N. America, Africa, India, the Middle East, Japan, etc. Computers run on gears, electronics use vacuum tubes, airships are plentiful, and everyone travels by train. On the other hand, they also have nuclear power, cheap universal electrical public transportation, much more use of solar power than in our world, and advanced medical gene therapy and genetic engineering of food plants. (Babbage was more successful than OTL, and there has been a sort of low-tech “internet” – mechanical computers, telegraph lines, and home teletype – since the 1890s).

Constitutional monarchy is the norm in this world, as is a fussy, old-fashioned attitude that at its best manifests itself as a deep concern for professionalism and warm hospitality, but at its worst can be stiflingly elitist and stuffy. There is little censorship, but no TV studio of importance would have the poor taste to put on what passes for entertainment on our world's television. Keeping up Appearances is very important. Another notable thing about local thinking is an emphasis on style – the notion of “form subordinate to function” is a blasphemy followed only by the crazy Integralists of the Italian dictatorship.

Population world-wide is rather lower than OTL, only about 2.2 billion – effective contraception has been around for quite a while, and British America (~Canada + US east of the Rockies) has only about 120 million people. Indeed, most of the world’s nations have equivalents of the UK “Bureau of Population”, which through subtle propaganda and incentives prevents economically destructive population declines. (North America also includes Arcadia, a mostly French state in OTL Northern Quebec and the land part of OTL Newfoundland).

The world is generally peaceful, although a recent conflict between the empires of Siam and Vietnam over what is Laos OTL was only resolved by international negotiation after a bloody conflict. Mexico, including Central America, California and the Rocky Mountain SW, is more mestizo and Indian than OTL, and has an emperor. OTL Alaska and the Pacific NW is a Russian republic, independent of the Rodinia since the 30’s. South America is mostly republics, and more politically fragmented than OTL: a former plethora of dictatorships have generally turned democratic thanks to Imperial carrots and sticks (the Empire has most of their economies in its pocket). Germany, ruled over by the Habsburgs (also rulers of Hungary), is placid and socialist. (Well, most of Germany. Prussia, a separate state, suffers from considerable tension between Germans and the Poles which make up 40% of the population).

Russia, after an unstable period of coups and military rule, is a shaky constitutional monarchy. France is also still a monarchy, while the Empire of China is perhaps the second most powerful political union on the planet, but is largely uninterested in events taking place outside its bailiwick and international affairs outside of trade. Around 70% of non-Chinese mankind is either part of the British Empire, allied with it, or economically intermeshed with it. A few small African states were never directly incorporated into the Empire, but have been effectively part of it since the late 1800s. Most of the Middle East has been absorbed into the Imperial system, and the Wahabii are just a kooky cult stirring up trouble in the desert interior of the Kingdom of Arabia. Indonesia, oddly, was Italian up until the 1980s.

There have been no major world wars in the last century, aside from a messy 1922 inter-German conflict which ended Prussian influence in Germany proper. Women’s rights are approximately OTL in Europe and N. America, but male and female dress are quite conservative, pre-1920s generally speaking, although it is socially acceptable to wear (loose) trousers for women in professions which make skirts inconvenient. Language is florid, economics are liberal (in the old-fashioned sense) – which is compensated for by an organized working class which in the Empire runs its own massive private insurance program. Environmentalism is a Big Deal, with most countries moving away from polluting fuel sources since the 1960s and energetic efforts to maintain unspoiled wilderness since the early 1900s: even street lights are designed to shine as much of their light down as possible, to minimize star-obscuring city glare. Television is only just starting to catch on, but radio theatre has been popular since the 1930s, and movies have been around almost as long.
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Eheucaius17 Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016
Who controls Hawaii?
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2011
No, that's correct. It's me memory that's going, that's it. Yes, Hawaii belongs to California. Thanks for catching that.
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2011
I like what you did with Earth Prime. I would like to point out that in official version, France doesn't exist anymore, not with Napoleon dying on the way back from Moscow and France settles into five separate states, divided by language and cultural lines. Kings rule two, one becomes a dictatorship, one restores the Republic in a smaller form, and the fifth attempts to create a socialist state, without a central government. It fails five years later, and is absorbed into the other four states: The New Republic of France, the Kingdom of Normandy, the Kingdom of Provenšal, and the Republic of Gascony.

Also there is no Germany, but there is Prussia, Bavaria-Saxony, and Austria. I do agree, that after the Great European War of 1870, could have resulted in Austria conquering Bavaria-Saxony.

Anyway, thanks for the blast from the past!
The Chief Conductor of the ITA
John Reiher
Rickyrab Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2013
cool, didn't know Reiher of the AHTG was on this website. **Thumbs up**
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2013
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2011
Hmm - perhaps it's time for an updated version... :)
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2011
1813 - 1815: In Europe, the French empire is in upheaval, and quickly descends into multiple civil wars, as ally fights ally. The British forces wisely withdraw from the continent and wait to see what arises after the dust settles.

In America, frontiersmen, angry that Clinton won the election, stage a raid from Fort Detroit across the Detroit River on the city of Sandwich and on Fort Malden. They are beaten back by the well-trained British troops. In retaliation, British troops cross the river and take Fort Detroit and the surrounding settlements. President Clinton tries to negotiate a withdrawal of British troops when more frontiersmen from Buffalo Creek attack Fort Niagara. Consequently the talks break down and the British forces mass at the border. Reluctantly, Clinton asks Congress to declare war on Britain. Wellington is sent to "teach those brutes a lesson" with several divisions of battle harden troops. The British Navy successfully blockades the major ports, while the New England states surrender to British forces.

The war is bloody; Philadelphia is burned, as is Washington. New York City switches sides and pledges loyalty to the crown, providing a major port in America for Britain. American forces are caught between two fronts in the northern states south of New York: British troops on the Atlantic seaboard, and troops from Upper Canada streaming through the captured Michigan Territory.

The Spanish besieged New Orleans, in an attempt to recapture the southern portion of Louisiana. Andrew Jackson manages to break the siege and drive the Spanish troops into the swamps, where they died by the hundreds at the hands of the Choctaw and other denizens of the swamps. A year later the British try their hand at capturing New Orleans, but again Jackson holds them off long enough to work out a deal with the Crown. By this time, the United States of America is no more, with only pockets of resistance keeping the British troops busy. New Orleans and a portion of Louisiana become an independent state, with a generous trade agreement with England that guarantees access to the Mississippi river. The remainder of the Louisiana territory is claimed by England, with Spain consolidating its hold on the Western portion of North America, up to the Columbia River. Above that, Russia laid claim to the land.
The former United States are divided up into small provinces, each one assigned a governor appointed by the crown. Provincial assemblies are allowed, but could be disbanded at any time by the crown.

1820 - 1860: California breaks free from Spanish rule, backed by both Russian and British interests. Mexico soon rebels, and Spain loses its major foothold in North America. The only possession they have left is Florida, a benighted land of unruly savages and mosquitoes. A few years later, they sell Florida to England, who also doesn't know what to do with its new possession.

France settles into five separate states, divided by language and cultural lines. Kings rule two, one becomes a dictatorship, one restores the Republic in a smaller form, and the fifth attempts to create a socialist state, without a central government. It fails five years later, and is absorbed into the other four states: The New Republic of France, the Kingdom of Normandy, the Kingdom of Provenšal, and the Republic of Gascony.

Gold is discovered in San Francisco, but is declared a national resource, stymieing any potential gold rush to the region. Claim jumpers are summarily shot by Californian soldiers. California becomes a major player in Pacific trade with two major ports: San Francisco and San Diego. Financed by the newly discovered gold, California becomes a trade powerhouse, with ships headed to every major port on the Pacific Rim. The Sandwich Islands are annexed by California, as are several other Pacific islands. The Sandwich Islands are renamed Isla de Patria de Hawai'i.

California is a unique blend of Spanish, Indian, Russian, and British cultures. The primary language is Spanish, though it is becoming a unique dialect thanks to the influences of the other cultures. It is a constitutional monarchy, with the Californian Dons tightly holding the reigns of government.

In 1850, Charles Babbage finishes his first Analytical Engine, demonstrating it to the Admiralty as a more efficient means to tabulate reams of data, even to calculate ranges on the fly. Later, using the work of the physicist Joseph Henry, Babbage added the ability for his engines to communicate with each other telegraphically. This spawned a special kind of Babbage engine that dealt entirely with telegraphic communications, sending information across the world at lightning speed.

Britain's holdings in North America were consolidated into a single entity in 1855: the Commonwealth of America. The Commonwealth consists of Upper and Lower Canada, the former United States and its territories, and Florida. The seat of government is in New York City on Manhattan Island. (The city of Washington was destroyed in the War of 1813 and turned into several farms.) However all is not well in the Commonwealth. The Sons of Liberty, the followers of Jefferson and Adams, are a constant thorn in the side of the British. They attack government offices with bombs, print treasonous tracts trying to instigate public unrest, and other terrorist style attacks. Their goal is to restore the American Republic or destroy it so the Brits can't have it.

1860 - 1900: The Commonwealth of America is fast becoming the major economic engine in the British Empire. The Republic of Louisiana is a major benefactor of this trade, due to their ownership of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

The Great European War raged through most of Europe, starting in 1870 when Prussia, Bavaria-Saxony, and Austria declared war against the New Republic of France. The Republic calls on it allies, and soon the Kingdoms of Normandy and Provenšal took up arms. By 1871, Except for Britain, Europe was at war. Many new weapons and tactics were created and tested during the war, including the first military use of lighter than air airships. The Great European War ended in a muddle by 1876, with no one gaining or losing any territory.

Britain stayed neutral in Europe, but elsewhere in the world she took advantage of the conflict. First to go was the Belgian holdings in Africa, as Britain conquered the Belgian Congo and swept across the continent and added much of Central Africa to its territory. This new territory was formed into the Congolese Protectorate.

Mexico finally relented and allowed the people of Tejas to secede and form the Rep˙blica de Tejas. Mexico still controls the lower Rocky Mountains up to the lower Colorado River, but does not do much with the territory. The region becomes a no mans land of small bandit villages. These villages raid in all directions, but have special immunity because Mexico refuses to go after them and refuses to allow California, Rossiyskaya Amerika, and the Commonwealth of America to cross the borders and go after the bandits.

Along the Commonwealth border, Britain has establish Her Majesty's Aerial Constabulary, commonly know as the Air Marshals, to patrol the skies in massive airships, patterned on the designs created by the Bavarian-Saxon Count Von Zeppelin, along the border between the Province of Colorado and Mexico.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2011
Ok, I'm starting a redo - any info on Italy, Russia, Asia?
kedamono-mizudori Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2011
Falklands belong to the Kingdom of Normandy and are called ╬les Malouines, though the ownership is under hot debate with Spain. Italy unifies with a couple of provinces on the border with the Kingdom of Provenšal. The Russian Empire is right on in the current map. In Asia, Japan is still independent, but just. Hong Kong and Shanghai have strong British presence, with Hong Kong being a wholly owned colony. Macau belongs to Portugal, and Portugal is still an independent state. The other kingdoms in Asia are still independent, such as Siam, AKA Thailand, and Vietnam is independent. And Hawaii belongs to Mexico.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2011
So this bit

"The Sandwich Islands are annexed by California, as are several other Pacific islands. The Sandwich Islands are renamed Isla de Patria de Hawai'i."

is wrong?
Destructinthespring Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2011
It's perfect. I want to visit on the weekends and summer, but not actually live there.
Anrati Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I like this one. At least my existence is possible. :)
slifer2534 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2010
wheres the turkish sultanate?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2010
Oops! Thanks for pointing that out: I'll fix it.
lamnay Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2010
Sounds like a nice place. Is it hard to get a visa?
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2010
International travel is easy enough. It's building the Gridney (the local name for an inter-dimensional travel machine)to get there which is the tricky bit.
lamnay Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2010
As always. It's like space, it would only take you a few minutes to drive there if you could drive straight up.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2010
Where's my flying car and robot maid? Darn second-rate 21st century, grumble, grumble. :-X
lamnay Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2010
You say to someone halfway across the world instantly on a network providing huge amounts of education, entertainment and connectivity.

But robot maids would be good.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2010
I kid, of course. (Although if we're talking science fiction tropes, it's a shame the solar system turned out as dead as it is)
lamnay Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2010
That is a shame. Back in the 50's-60's most people expected to at least find mosses and lichens on Mars.

Now we think it would change humanity forever if we found a dead microbe.
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2010
Speak of diminished expectations, eh?

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