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Alternate History: Points of Divergence

Discussion in 'Original Fiction Discussion' started by Taure, Jun 20, 2015.

  1. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    I recognized these maps.

    Commonwealth-Wank Common Thread on Alternatehistory.com
    http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=262247
     
  2. nath1607

    nath1607 Groundskeeper

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    My favoured one would be if Keyne's suggestion of an International Clearing Union had won out. It addresses a great many of the problems the world currently faces in that; instead of the IMF focus of adjusting the imbalances of flows between countries via pushing the burden onto debtors it would share it with creditors as well, likewise addresses export and import disparities that can arise, it is inclusive for countries and promotes international trade between them, and greatly aids the development of nations unlike the current international system where undeveloped/small countries have little to no say. This is particularly true given the system would have been about since the 1940's so the world would be radically different when you consider this would have affected India/China/Africa/East Asia ect. economic rise and IMO made the world better off by being more equal and promoting international agreements.
     
  3. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    So, similar to the Black Death PoD I mentioned in Years of Rice and Salt how about we fast forward to the 20th century and apply that to the Spanish Flu that occurred right after World War 1? How does the 20th century change if the Spanish Flu wipes out 1/3 to 2/3s of the worlds population in 1918?
     
  4. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Here's another one: a world in which Argentina didn't go through successive dictatorships and a century of economic mismanagement:

    http://www.economist.com/news/brief...na-was-future-what-went-wrong-century-decline
     
  5. Lion

    Lion Denarii Host DLP Supporter

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    I just did a project on Argentina on just that. It would be weird and you would see alot of fighting with the United States over Central, and later South America, especially as they would both want power over the region's resources.
     
  6. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    Had some time, decided to write some things down.

    Here are some Alternative Timelines:

    - The 9/11 attacks never happened.

    - The Cuban Missile Crisis caused a nuclear war between USA and USSR.

    - The First World War never happened.

    - Napoleon successfully conquered all of Europe.

    - Ancient Egyptians conquered most of the known world which is ruled by Pharaohs in the modern day.

    - Women are masculine and the dominant sex while men are feminine and considered the weaker sex.

    - Technocracy is the most popular type of government and in most nations religion is outlawed.

    - Earth is currently in the middle of another ice age.

    - A virgin Earth where humanity never evolved.

    - A race of intelligent bipedal wolves evolved instead of humans.

    - North America doesn't exist and a big ocean is in its place.
     
  7. Roarian

    Roarian High Inquisitor

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    Cool!
    Another attack happens within months or years of 9/11 instead, because it's naïve to think that the forces which led to the original event would not still be present. ;)

    I would be tempted to switch atheism and religion entirely in that case, and see where you end up. All the evils of religion are now the fault of atheist states or organizations, but at the same time modern-day people mostly think of theocratic horror shows when a religious state is mentioned.

    Global warming still happens, this time it's a good thing!

    They keep small naked primates as pets!

    At last, a world in which Xiph0 will never have reason to diss me again! With that much ocean, it is also assured that the Netherlands already rule the Earth, and have long since built dams to reclaim the drowned lands of New Holland, with the capital of New Amsterdam as dominant trade capital situated between Europe and Asia.
     
  8. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    You ever watch the TV show Sliders? There's an episode dealing with the first one. The second one is actually part of the main plot; the antagonists come from an Earth where another kind of primate evolved instead of the one that would become Homo sapiens. The show started off good, but I wasn't a fan the final product.

    Here's some off the top of my head:

    - The magna carta is never written. Maybe some Brit's can draw out what happens from there.

    - The natives of the Americas develop their society along similar lines to Europe. It's divided into nations like mainland Europe each with a king and organized army. The European expansion into the Americas is going to be a lot harder than expected with nations similar to theirs.

    - The Muslim Conquests are even more successful and take over most of Europe.

    - The Hitler family immigrates to America when Adolf is still young. Growing up in capitalist America the young Hitler becomes a Marxist instead of a Fascist.

    - Da Vinci publishes his scientific research instead of his paintings.
     
  9. Agayek

    Agayek Alchemist

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    This really wouldn't change a whole lot, to be perfectly honest. It wasn't a matter of organization or structure that led to the natives being conquered, but the technological and immunological differences between the cultures. Europeans had guns and smallpox, and the natives didn't. The natives simply didn't have the capacity to mount a meaningful resistance in the face of that, regardless of their social structure.

    However, I like the central idea, it just needs tweaking. A significantly better version would be for the Natives to have discovered gunpowder, and subsequently canons, sometime in the 14th century AD, without altering their social structure to that point. There's a lot of really cool shit you can do with native society and their 'style' of warfare (which, given their tribal system and relative parcity of numbers, would likely center around semi-modern guerilla tactics as opposed to the European "e'rybody stand in a line and shoot the other guys in their line").

    Hell, it might be really interesting to explore what'd happen if the natives managed to actually beat back the European invaders. It's unlikely they'd have the naval power to retaliate on the European homeland, but I could easily see many of the larger tribes in this scenario being simply too hard a nut to crack for the Europeans. I've got no idea what modern geopolitics would look like in that world though =/
     
  10. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    I grew up on Sliders :)

    In fact, I dare say the show was what started my interest in world building / alternate history / plot bunnies.
     
  11. Aekiel

    Aekiel Angle of Mispeling Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Here's one way it could happen:

    King John defeats the Barons on the field, executing some and imprisoning others. Prince Louis escapes with an honour guard to France. John's attempts to retake Normandy from the French slow as the debts he has accrued finally catch up to him, but England's economy is pretty much ruined by this point, forcing John to halt his foreign pursuits as he contends with still-rebellious nobles whom he had to rely on for both money and troops.

    Over time England stabilises and John begins plans to wage war on France in order to retake the Angevin lands, but is interrupted by the Sixth Crusade. Given his preparations and his devout Catholicism, John opts to join the Crusaders in retaking Jerusalem. John dies in battle at the age of 63, leaving his son Henry III to take the throne. Given that Henry is 21 when he takes the throne, rather than 9, he exercises greater royal power than in history.

    This, and Henry's attempts to retake the lands his father lost, lead to the second Barons' Rebellion, which succeeds due to King Henry's lack of battlefield talent compared to his father. In the ensuing chaos, King Louis IX of France invades Gascony. The Barons are unable to formulate an adequate response as infighting begins to take over England, until Henry is freed from the Tower of London and forms an alliance with Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II in order to curb Louis IX's expansionism.

    Henry and the Barons eventually agree to a peace where Henry signs over some rights (though less than in the Magna Carta) in exchange for money and troops enough to retake Gascony.

    The war is a success as the combined forces of Frederick II and Henry III prove enough to scatter the French forces. Peace is eventually leads to the return of Gascony and Normandy to England, and the revocation of Louis' claim to the English throne.
     
  12. Cxjenious

    Cxjenious Supreme Mugwump

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    There's still the problem of disease. But, seeing as how those diseases came about, supposedly, from living alongside farm animals and what not, if the Native Americans developed as Europe did, they probably would have developed their own fatal diseases.
     
  13. Andrela

    Andrela Plot Bunny DLP Supporter

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    An idea for a pop-culture centered timeline with a sci-fi POD:

    A time traveler from The Future (tm) arrives in the year 1990 and forces George Lucas to completely change the ideas for the prequels.

    The Time Traveler is basically the puppet master behind Lucas so there wouldn't be any Jar Jars or needless CGI effects or wooden acting.

    Instead of being set during Darth Vader's origins, the prequels would be set several hundred years before the original trilogy (in the game it was thousands, but come on, we're changing stuff already).

    The first part of the prequels is to be called Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

    It is to tell a completely new story and show a time long before the Galactic Empire with a galaxy full of Jedi and Sith.

    The New Trilogy would therefore have to split these parts of the story between three movies:

    Endar Spire, Taris, Dantooine, Tatooine, Kashyyyk, Manaan, Leviathan, Korriban, Lehon, Star Forge.

    I'm having some trouble deciding how should the splits be done best, any ideas?

    In any case, the timeline would then explore the effects of the altered Star Wars prequels on the pop culture and society overall.

    In Our Timeline they were a terrible disappointment, but here they would have at least some chance of living up to the hype. Who knows what effects would happen.
     
  14. vlad

    vlad Groundskeeper Prestige

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    I had a plan for an alternate history (digs up notes)

    1871

    1. French don't get caught and trapped in Metz. Bad weather, bad communication, the butterfly can be whatever. This avoids Battle of Sedan, as well.

    2. France checks Prussian army, holds left bank of Rhine up to the Moselle.

    - French Empire has upsurge in popularity: no 3rd Republic (yet, at any rate)

    - German Empire stillborn.

    - Intervention of other power: Austria, Denmark are siding with France due to previous Prussian expansion at their expense. UK sympathizes with Germany for balance-of-power reasons. Russia on the fence, unlike OTL where she abandons France.

    - Napoleon III still ill, and combined with wariness at dragging on a war with Prussia w/ English support, make an 'easy' peace. Slight border revisions, including territory returned to Denmark, but no major gains. French fury is directed in large part towards England, and a rise in the sentiment that France has once more been unfairly humbled by English-Prussian conspiring.

    Motivations for Powers leading up to Great War

    France: Stable in her empire, but rocked a bit by death of Napoleon III. French-English feelings stay in the shitter: there will be no entente cordiale. Army strong at home and no loss of A-L means no Dreyfus, no revanchement: French energy is therefore spent on more aggressive colonial policy and less concern about playing nice overseas with UK/ More French claims in Africa and SE Asia. There are a number of truly bizarre events that happened in RL in Central/South Africa that can be played with here.

    England: Still playing for a balance-of-power in Europe, and this means being pro-Prussia, as there is an unofficial alliance of France-Denmark and potentially the Russians and Austrians all looking for a piece of Prussia. So warily pro-German and more bitterly anti-French as colonialism heats up. France-Russian friendship also a concern as Russia can stir up troubles in Central Asia while France meddles in Africa.

    Possibly avoid Boer Wars. Pissing off the Dutch and possibly the Germans when Cape is already firmly in hand is still within the realms of possibility, but not when other fronts are running hot.

    Germany: loses colonial ambitions, simply no resources for such, and all military funds are for the army: Dreadnought race is a resource drain and pisses off only ally. Between France, Russia (and for propaganda reasons more than any real concern, Denmark), the issue of the day is ENCIRCLEMENT.

    Key moves are keeping UK on board, Negotiating with Italy about an alliance: Italy has claims on Austria and if the offer was right, could be convinced that it didn't actually approve of the plebiscite in the Treaty of Turin. Also, an independent Hungary would be good. Relationship with Turks cool but professional - keeping Russia occupied is nice, but antagonizing England around Egypt means it must be approached with caution. Still, a nation must forge its own path, not scrape before a foreign master, and some opportunities are too profitable to simply ignore.

    Austria: Austria supported France immediately after the F-P war, but it would be a mistake to call the two, 'friends'. Too much bad blood, to much competing for the same sphere of influence. That hasn't stopped foreign nations from making plans just in case the unlikely turns out to happen.

    So around the turn of the century, we still have Great War: nothing so far is going to stop Europe having its quarter-century bloodbaths. Only now the the lines are UK/Prussia/unenthusiastic!Italy and France/Russia/unenthusiastic!Austria. Danes are a pro-French neutral, Dutch are pro-German neutral. Turks bide their time.

    United States likely never gets involved.

    Could go any way from here: if this were actual!Germany, France wouldn't stand a chance between German army and English navy, but Prussia here can be substantially weakened both in terms of manpower and industrial capacity. Also can force Prussia to respect Belgian border, which cuts the length of frontier as well as worsening the terrain for the attacker. France has a chance, especially if they can bleed enough Germans and buy time for Austria and Russia to do something.

    One can also bleed the British a bit by forcing them to keep larger garrisons in Central Asia/Africa, and a larger contingent of their fleet in the Med/Indian. Maybe France tried for a Dreadnaught race instead of Germany? Don't really like that though - socially and geographically, the Germans are more inclined towards gearing their economy towards heavy industry than the French. But I think between Russia and France we can dilute British presence more than RL. Afterall, the German dreadnoughts just meant Britain had to keep a large navy... in the most important theater. <_<

    French colonies are lost for the time being, but that's ultimately irrelevant because the fate of the colonies will be determined by the war in Europe. The only impact I see this happening is Japan sides with UK/Prussia, and Japan seizes France's Chinese ports instead of Germany's. Maybe has a go at Vladivostok/ Trans-Amur as well?

    I like the ahistorical symmetry of French ships opening the Dardanelles and bringing Turkey into the war. Turkey was leaning anti-British anyway, and I think Egypt is seen as a greater prize than the Caucasus. Also, war with UK/Prussia means a war on one front, war with France/Austria/Russia means war on several. War with none means no prizes to be gained.

    Plus, it brings about Balkan clusterfuckery. British Expeditionary Force fighting with Greeks in the ruins of Alexandroupoli and grinding towards Adrianople and Constantinople, Serbs and Bulgarians stabbing one another with radioactive umbrellas bayonets. Everyone politely ignoring Austria and the Turks being on the same side, because of manipulations of their mutual ally, the French.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  15. Spanks

    Spanks Minister of Magic

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    A possible divergence I've always been interested is if the tension between the US and Germany during the Venezuelan Crisis turned into an actual war. I'd like to read something like that because a major war involving Germany would no doubt change what happens with WW1 if it even happens at all. Plus, you have some pretty great people involved in this such as Teddy Roosevelt, Kaiser Bill, Admiral Dewey, John J Pershing, Alfred Von Schlieffen etc

    Also, it's interesting to know that the Kaiser had plans drawn up multiple times to go to war with the US. If this war actually happened I don't know if an invasion of the homeland would've happened, but I can certainly see a majority of the war being fought in South America around where they were building the panama canal and a few naval engagements.

    I could see the European empires sitting back watching the two new guys on the block fight it out to see who deserves a seat at the big boys table.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  16. vlad

    vlad Groundskeeper Prestige

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    Lemme twist this a little bit - we wanna keep some tension here: Strengthen the Islamic invasions in the west and weaken them in the east.

    Battle of Tours goes to Islam. Charlemagne killed. Christendom holds the line at the Rhine/Alps

    The Reconquista becomes the Reconquet. Over the centuries, France liberated (well, mostly - Occitania may be a bit of a mess) but you end up with a reverse-England; Germanic nobility with a French majority.

    England is wholly Anglo-Saxon.

    You can, if it pleases you, have Brittany become analogous to OTL Portugal: a small, maritime power with very strong ties to England commencing with strong English support during independence.

    Iberia is safely Islamic. South Italy/Med. Island a warzone. Rome doesn't fall though (that's a million butterflies in itself if it does.)

    Now combined this with the Turks being hit harder by Tamerlane. House of Osman dies. Turks still control Anatolia but never consolidate. Byzantines survive as a city-state with some territory in Greece. Basically, a Kingdom that has one city that sits on a major trade-route: the Roman Empire is reduced to being a southern version of Denmark.

    Now you have the Orthodox and Catholic churches each with a Patriarch that is 1. Not occupied and 2. On the front lines. Balance of Power much more interesting, and possibly pressure of this + dangers of Islam means that Protestantism doesn't really come into play.

    But more importantly, the center of gravity of the Islamic World is now on the Atlantic Coast... right as we enter the Age of Discovery. England vs. Spain has nothing on England vs. Al-Andus. Brittany, Holland will eventually get in the game as well, though the new rulers of France may have enough troubles at home.

    Crusader states in the Caribbean? Berber-Aztec Jihadist Jaguar Warriors? A never-conquered Hungary looming over the Orthodox Balkans? Switzerland as a highly-centralized theocratic fortress state?
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  17. speculating

    speculating Guest

    I always wondered about that, and about a related alternate - if there was no Russo-Japanese War, and Nicholas had been a better tsar who allowed a constitution and the Duma, if the Duma had actually been effective and not a hot mess, Rasputin had never showed up, and Russia had continued its, from what I understand, beginning to flourish economic growth without interruption, what the world would look like.

    I've also wondered what effect, if any, there would have been if Alexei had never been born and Nicholas made Olga his heir. Unfortunately, I'm not good at figuring that sort of thing out, but it made me curious ever since I read that Nicholas had, for a time, considered repealing the laws that prevented it.
     
  18. JErosion

    JErosion Fifth Year

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    This is actually an amazing TL, the more interesting implications is that no Charlemagn means no Holy Roman Empire and with Islam in Europe's Foyer, conflicts such and the Wendish/Northern Crusades can't happen. The Christianization of Scandinavia, Northern Germany, and the Baltic Region would be delayed or possible just wont happen all together.
     
  19. Nerdman3000

    Nerdman3000 Slug Club Member

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    You don't even really need a time traveler to get a better universe where the Star Wars prequels are better, or the least, better received. Really, the most likely POV to have to create such a timeline is having George Lucas stay married to Marcia Lucas, or at least hire her back for the prequels if they did get divorce. She would have definitely reigned him in, and if not she is a fantastic editor, so she would have edited the prequels into much better received films.

    Away from that anyway, an interesting POD is Cleopatra and Mark Antony winning the battle of Actium. That would be curious to see.