View Full Version : The Anglo-Dutch Empire
January 20th, 2006, 07:29 AM
With the Glorious Revolution, Wilhelm van Oranje-Nassau and his wife Mary took the throne of England. He was also the Stadthouder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
WI Wilhelm and Mary had a child who could claim overlordship of both realms? Could we see, after a time, the Netherlands being united with England and Scotland forming the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelre, Overijssel, Friesland and Groningen?
How would this affect their colonial policy? Possibly the English style of colonisation could soften the rather hard-headed purely mercantile drive of the Dutch.
1688: William of Oranje and his wife Mary take the British throne. They leave their son Alexander (born 1678) in Amsterdam in the care of relatives.
1702: William dies. Alexander succeeds to the thrones of England and Scotland, and to the position of Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
1705: Act of Union passed. United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Ireland and the Netherlands formed. Unrest in the Netherlands quelled by guarantees of respect for the Calvinist Church and assurances that VOC monopoly areas would not be passed over to the EIC. Also through sheer force of personality from Alexander himself, an extremely congenial, very Protestant young man.
1705-1744: The UK settles down to it's new situation. A flood of immigration hits South Africa which, under Dutch policy had not been very open for settlement. Emigration also flow into New England and the New Netherlands in N. America.
1745: The Jacobite Rebellion/Scottish War of Independence. Backed by French and Spanish interests, alarmed at the military and commercial power of the UK, Bonnie Prince Charlie lands in Scotland and raises an army. Aided by Franco-Spanish troops, he succeeds in driving back the Anglo-Dutch, who are also preoccupied in defending the Netherlands. The French are crushed in a series of battles in the Netherlands, reassuring the Dutch that the English ARE actually taking the Union seriously. The effect of this, however, is that Scotland is lost. Many English are distressed by this but the general feeling is that the tradeoff of Scotland for the Netherlands is a good one.
1750-1800: A period of relative peace in Western Europe. The UK, France, Spain and Portugal consolidate their territories and fight only limited colonial wars. France and Spain grow ever closer while the Portugese reach a tacit understanding with the Anglo-Dutch giving up most of their colonies in the East Indies in return for Anglo-dutch protection.
In Central Europe, Austrian aggression begins gnawing away at the German principalities and kingdoms. There is increased migration of German protestants to the UK and thence to South Africa and Anglo-Dutch N. America.
In a parallel development, the incredibly harsh campaign to crush any sign of unrest in Ireland, now a viceroyalty separate from the UK, leads to a constant stream of Irish Catholics to French and Spanish territories in the New World. The Viceroy of Ireland, Detleev, Graf van Hogensdorp did nothing to stop them. Graf Detleev himself often said that their emigration gave him less work to do.
Meanwhile in England, the first stirrings of the Industrial revolution begin.
1799: Anglo-Dutch North America is proclaimed the Viceroyalty of New England and the New Netherlands, governed from Nieuw Amsterdam.
1800: The Great French Rebellion. French peasants and artisans rise against the King, Louis XVI. Louis flees Paris, heading South for Provence. The French army is divided but the King's nephew, Carlos of Spain lands troops at Brest and in Provence. With this Spanish aid, Louis retakes Paris. Carlos is acting in his own interests for he is heir to the childless Louis. Losing a potential second realm is not a good idea.
1810: Anglo-Dutch rule in India reaches what will ultimately be it's final borders. the UK holds the entire Eastern coast and the rich trading ports of Kerala. Farther up on the Western coast, Portgual had expanded inland while the French push into the Maharatta Confederacy, finally conquering it through their alliance with the Moghuls. They begin to expand their interests in some Iranian ports too.
1828: Anglo-Dutch India is proclaimed a Viceroyalty. The East India Company cedes it's governmental functions to the Crown but retains it's lucrative Opium monopoly in the China trade.
The Anglo-Dutch East Indies remain under the control of the VOC with the exception of Malacca, handed over to the jurisdiction of the Viceregal government in Madras due to it's importance as a port for the China trade. The VOC continues to rule the Indonesian Archipelago from Batavia.
Meanwhile, tensions in Europe are pulling all the Powers closer to the brink of a major war.
1831-1835: The Turkish War
Throughout the early 19th Century, the Ottoman Empire had been slowly decaying, rocked by unrest in it's Arab territories and by Russian aggression in the Caucasus. This came to a head in 1831 when Russia and her allies, Hungary, Sicily and Venice declared open war. Russian troops came pouring into the Carpathians and the Caucasus while the Venetians, Sicily and Hungary wreaked havoc in the Mediterranean. At first the Ottomans withstood the onslaught but in 1832, a charismatic Arab leader, Iskander ibn Taufiq raised an army from the Arab clans and in a lightning campaign, aided by local uprisings and defection of regular troops proclaimed himself Caliph. The Ottomans fought on but in a largely futile series of campaigns from 1833-34 lost almost all their territories save for Thrace and Anatolia itself.
In 1834, a coalition of Russian, Hungarian, Sicilian and Venetian troops laid seige to Constantinople itself and took the city on December the 23rd. The Ottoman Emperor, having fled to Konya sued for peace and was forced to cede his European territories and some of his North African ones to the victorious Powers. Russia now extended to the Agean Sea and through the Caucasus, though in later years many of these territories would rebel. Constantinople itself, however, was declared the capital of the Empire of all the Russias and Tsar Nikolai was crowned Pantokrator, vice-regent of God on Earth, in Constantinople in 1836.
The Ottomans were now restricted to Anatolia- although they had not conceded defeat to Iskandar, it was he who was the de facto ruler of all the Arab lands from Baghdad to the Sahara. He made Alexandria his capital and began negotiating with France to provide him with military advisors.
Meanwhile in the Emirate of Oman, Emir Muzaffar III had noticed French encroachment on Iranian territory with dismay and sought close ties with the Anglo-Dutch Empire. He embarked on a stringent programme of modernisation and though this brought him into disfavour with some of the more conservative elements of society, he had many of these ringleaders exiled to Persia.
Muzaffar himself had his eldest son, Mansoor, sent to England for his education. In later years, once the unrest had died down, he would be known as Muzaffar the Great, the only Arab leader to properly modernise his country.
1838-1845: The War of the Powers
The earth is full of anger,
The seas are dark with wrath,
The Nations in their harness
Go up against our path:
Ere yet we loose the legions --
Ere yet we draw the blade,
Jehovah of the Thunders,
Lord God of Battles, aid!
1837: King-Emperor William IV of England and II of the Netherlands makes a speech before Parliament declaring that official Anglo-Dutch policy will be to phase out slavery in it's territories by 1847. This is a step up from the previous policy which banned the importation of new slaves to Anglo-Dutch territories.
This Emancipation Proclamation is greeted with murmurs of unrest, mostly from the southern provinces of Anglo-Dutch North America. However, any idea of a rebellion is quelled when a somewhat disorganised "army" of Irishmen begins raiding into Anglo-Dutch territory from the Duchy of Lousiana. They are crushed by Anglo-Dutch troops but provide a lesson to the now terrified planters of Maryland and Nieuw Brabant*.
London makes a strong protest to Paris about alleged French funding for but this is somewhat rudely rebuffed and slowly but surely, Europe slips into a state of war.
The two sides are generally as follows:
France, Spain, Venice, Mogul Empire, Poland (with the Iskandiri Caliphate as a friendly Neutral)
UK, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Oman
Though the Netherlands seemed vulnerable to attack from France, the UK possessed an excellent source of fighting men- the vast numbers of Protestant Germans streaming out of the Austrian occupied German Principalities. Over the past few decades, the Franco-Dutch border had been extensively fortified by the Anglo-Dutch government and the French were unable to make significant breakthroughs. A similar situation prevailed in Portugal where Lisbon came under seige multiple times but never fell.
The situation in the Pacific was very different. The Portugese and Anglo-Dutch had been expecting to make easy gains in Indo-China and the Philippines. To everyone's surprise, however, Spain seemed to shake itself from slumber and recall a shadow of it's past glory. A great armada sailed from San Francisco in Nueva Espana to defend the Philippines and wreak havoc in the East Indies. The VOC and the Portugese fought back, but at best were merely holding their ground.
In India, the Moghuls proved a poor ally for France- their troops were driven back from their Bengal holdings by the Anglo-Dutch and the Portugese pushed deeper into Maharashtra.
The French did, however, succeed in taking Madagascar from the Omanis and Portugese and in holding the main centres of the island against all further assaults.
Though the Danes and Swedes did assist the Anglo-Dutch in supplying the Netherlands and sweeping the French from the Channel, their main energies were dedicated to assaulting Franco-Spanish in Guinea and the Congo.
North America, however, was by far the most hotly contested battlefield of the War of the Powers. Great armies stormed back and forth across the Appalachians, the Anglo-Dutch bringing to bear their technological advantages. The Iroquois Confederacy came to grips with a mainly Irish-based French army sent to defend the Great Lakes and pushed them back from Wisconsin. In Quebec, the French were soundly defeated by overwhelming forces despatched from Boston and Nieuw Amsterdam.
In the Caribbean, a titanic naval campaign was decisively won by Admiral Theunis van Troxel at the Battle of Bermuda. With Franco-Spanish naval power in the Atlantic effectively destroyed, Paris and Madrid began to consider seeking terms. This attitude was confirmed when a Franco-Spanish army was soundly defeated by a combined army of Anglo-Dutch, Portugese and Scandinavian troops in 1843. This army was personally led by the dashing Prince Harald of Oranje-Nassau** ending the Third Siege of Lisbon.
In 1844, the Austrian Emperor hosted the Congress of Vienna where the various Powers came to the table.
France and Spain were forced to make numerous concessions in Quebec, the Caribbean and West Africa, but retained their Indo-Chinese and Philippine posessions. France got one notable prize- Madagascar, though the Omanis retained their ports in East Africa and Northerrn Madagascar.
*OTL Maryland region and Georgia
** In TTL, the UK's Crown Prince is the Prince of Oranje-Nassau and Wales. Since Oranje-Nassau takes precedence, he is generally referred to by that title alone. Harald's name is an example of the effect of "Germanic Romanticism" on Anglo-Dutch culture.
A note on the VOC and EIC:
By the mid 19th C, the influence of these Companies had been greatly diminished. The EIC was now specifically involved in the Opium trade to China and the VOC, though still influential in the Spice trade and with a monopoly on Anglo-Dutch trade with Japan retained hardly any of it's governmental powers in Indonesia. The head offices of these companies, however, had moved from Europe to Calcutta and Batavia respectively.
1859-1862: The Japanese Question
With the colonial spheres of influence having been demarcated throughout much of the world, Anglo-Dutch attention now turned to Japan. Though missionary work was generally discouraged by the VOC, a number of determined preachers had settled in Japan and had won converts in Honshu, most notably to the Anglican church. In Kyushu, the Portugese had been even more active resulting in a strong Catholic minority. In a belated attempt to curb Western influence, the Japanese government began a pogrom against all Christians and placed severe restrictions on Portugese traders and the VOC. Infuriated, both at the Japanese and the missionaries, a delegation from the VOC argued their case in Parliament. In conjunction with the Portugese government, the United Kingdom determined to secure Japan once and for all.
This was, perhaps, the first war in which the full strength of the Anglo-Dutch Empire was displayed. Cavalry from India, stolid Anglo-Dutch infantry from the homelands and North America, skilful Javanese skirmishers and the wild erratic Afrikaner cavalry regiments were all represented in the expeditionary force, transported across half a planet by the most powerful navy ever built by Mankind, many of whose ships were the new steam-powered Ironclad models.
There had been much talk of the warrior ethos of the Japanese and many misgivings about the Japanese Question but in the event, the actual campaign was almost an anticlimax. As it happened, many among the samurai had converted to various forms of Christianity and these leaders sowed rebellion amongst the peasantry.
An Anglo-Dutch-Portugese army, once again led by the irepressible Prince of Oranje-Nassau, stormed Edo and seized the Emperor. The Shogun comitted seppuku moments before English troopers broke down his door.
There were a few bloody campaigns against hardline patriotic Japanese nobles but they proved no match for the stunning array of technology brought to bear on them.
Much of Japan was parcelled out amongst the nobles who had taken the side of the invaders or who had stayed neutral, Christian and Buddhist alike. The Portugese went one step further and chose to directly govern Kyushu. In the North, the Russians had seized their chance and occupied Hokkaido where they would lose thousands of men in a constantly simmering low intensity rebellion.
As the effective ruler of most of Japan, the Anglo-Dutch Crown also assumed the title of Emperor of Japan. An Anglican Japanese noble, Hyuuga Togo was appointed Shogun of Anglo-Dutch Japan, an office equal to a Viceroy in other Anglo-Dutch Dominions. The activities of missionaries were more strictly curtailed and religious freedom was guaranteed to any Japanese Buddhist, Protestant or Catholic (to placate Portugal) so long as they did not work against the Imperial Government.
January 20th, 2006, 04:37 PM
The First China War: 1871-75
For many years, the Qing government had strongly protested the continued importation of Opium into China by the EIC. Although many Anglo-Dutch notables shook their heads and agreed that something had to be done, everyone was making far too much money out of the Opium trade for any practical steps to be taken.
In the early 1860's the Qing government found that it had far more pressing matters on it's hands- an uprising by a group of cultists called the Tai'ping. Led by a scholar who had been converted to Christianity (and who had put his own spin on it) in the EIC's mandate port of Shanghai, the Tai'ping swept across Southern China completely destabilising it and inflicting numerous defeats on the Qing government.
The Tai'ping, however, were even more firmly opposed to opium trading and laid seige to Shanghai in March 1871. The EIC's Governor of Shanghai, Sir William Shenton despatched a sloop to Tokyo in order to request aid from Lord Hyuuga. Hyuuga had proved a sterling viceroy and in the decade since the Anglo-Dutch annexation of Japan had turned it into one of the more progressive domains of the Empire. He ordered a fleet to send supplies to Shanghai with the assurance of forces to follow as soon as a sufficient number could be mobilised.
July-August 1871: Lord Hyuuga's son, General Hyuuga Neji, raises the seige of Shanghai, driving the Tai'ping from the lower Yangtze Delta. In August, a second relief expedition arrives from India and the East Indies, under the command of the distinguished General Sir Harry Flashman.
Sept 1871: General Flashman, with orders from London to break the Tai'ping, decided to march on their capital, Nanjing, while General Hyuuga struck South into Tai'ping-held Zheijiang Province towards the Tai'ping's major port at Wenzhou.
Oct 1871-July 1872: Siege of Nanjing. One of the longest-drawn and bloodiest seiges that Anglo-Dutch forces ever faced. Much of the countryside around the city was depopulated, the peasantry mostly fleeing south towards Shanghai. For almost a year, the Tai'ping heroically resisted the invaders drawing in forces from all over their Southern provinces to reinforce Nanjing.
King Harald 'the Hammer', angered at the slow progress of the seige is said to have threatened to sail for China and take personal command of the campaign. He was dissuaded by strong opposition from Parliament and his own family.
Meanwhile in the South, the drawing off of Tai'ping troops to defend Nanjing had made General Hyuuga's job that much easier. Zheijiang Province was conquered by May 1872 and Hyuuga headed back North to intercept a fresh Tai'ping army bound to reinforce Nanjing. Hyuuga defeated the Tai'ping in the field and soon after, low on supplies and manpower, Nanjing fell to General Flashman's army. The Tai'ping's Heavenly King fled North to join the bulk of his remaining troops still on campaign against the Qing. The fall of Nanjing, however, had knocked the wind out of the Tai'ping Rebellion and the Qing would finally destroy them in 1878.
In January 1873, fresh orders reached Shanghai and both Nanjing and Zheijiang Province were annexed to the Empire. The Qin protested but were too dependent on Anglo-Dutch aid against the Tai'ping to do much about it.
The annexation of these territories proved the end of the First China War although constant skirmishing against the Tai'ping on the border of Anglo-Dutch held territory continued until the rebels were finally crushed by the Qing.
Perhaps the most ironic effect of the First China War was the effect on the East India Company. Since sale of opium was forbidden within the Empire, the EIC found that it no longer had a legal market in the Yangtze Delta or Zheijiang Province, both now Anglo-Dutch territory. Protesting and grumbling, they moved their regional headquarters upriver to Nanjing and continued trading further up the Yangtze.
1883-1885: The Second China War
In the early 1880's the Qing had finally managed to stabilise their realm and were looking for a chance to regain what their saw as their rightful territory in Anglo-Dutch China. They possessed the advantages of a battle-hardened army, some regiments of which had been trained by Russian advisors along with Cossack mercenary contingents. In February 1883, with the interception and arrest of a large convoy of EIC ships trading opium up the Yangtze, they saw their chance for redress.
Feb 1883: A Qing ambassador arrives at Shanghai stating that the arrested merchants would be executed, beginning with the leader of the convoy, Charles Thompson, if the opium trade were not immediately halted. Although steps were already in place to pahse out the trade, this ultimatum, when relayed by the new telegraph line to London, was met with fury in Parliament. The pugnacious monarch, Harald III, never one to back down from a fight was more than willing to go along with the belligerant mood. A counter-ultimatum was delivered stating that if the prisoners were not released by the 1st of April, a state of war would be declared between the Anglo-Dutch Empire and the Qing.
Mar 1883: Harald shocked Parliament by declaring that in the event of war, he would personally travel to China to take command of the campaign. No amount of persuasion could deflect him from this cause and his bellicose statements, reprinted in the press, made the monarch the darling of the populace in general. When it was suggested that he might be a bit elderly to personally command a field army, he paraphrased scripture, growling, "My eye is not dimmed nor my natural force abated!"
April 1883: The Qing government executes Charles Thompson. Almost immediately, elite Qing Bannerman regiments being probing across the border. They are met by the units of the Anglo-Dutch Army of China, still under the command of General Flashman. The General, never a very aggressive warrior, halted their advances but refrained from advancing into Qing territory.
Harald immediately boarded the Royal Yatch, Alexandra and, heavily escorted by warships steamed post-haste for China. Accompanying him, is a large Press Corps, the first of it's kind in a modern war. The telegraph would enable them to send their reports back to London for reprinting within days.
Back in London, he had his daughter, Astrid, installed as Princess-Regent.
June 1883: Harald arrives in Shanghai to a reception of great pomp and circumstance but, in the words of the Nieuw Amsterdam Telegraaf' correspondent "His Majesty swept ashore like a thunderstorm, d--ning the proposed grand balls; eager to get to the front and have at the heathen Chinee".
July 1883-October 1885: Just as he had in the War of the Powers, Harald showed that his entire military philosophy could be summed up with the philosophy of a constant offensive. He hurled his divisions forward as fast as his logistics trains could keep up, even having a railhead constructed in his wake to enable supplies to be hauled in faster. Also in his wake trudged the dependable General Flashman, tasked with reducing any enemy strongpoints that the King left behind.
A second army was also despatched, once again under the command of General Hyuuga, with the death of his father, the new Lord Hyuuga. Hyuuga's army travelled westward up the Yangtze with the expressed intention of dividing Northern and Southern China.
The Qing placed their finest regiments in his path but Harald engaged them in head on combat and step by step drove further towards Peking. It was in this campaign that Harald gained his popular sobriquet of 'the Hammer'. He was christened as such by a daring Times correspondent. There was some complaint that this was an improper way to refer to a Monarch but such comments evaporated when it became known that Harald himself was thrilled to bits and had invited the correspondent to dine with him and his generals.
November 1885: With Anglo-Dutch artillery shelling the outer districts of Peking and Afrikaner light cavalry raiding some districts with impunity, the Qing Emperor was finally forced to seek terms. His forces were tied up in conflict, not only with the other Anglo-Dutch forces but also with the Portugese in Southern China and Korea and the Moghuls in Central Asia
Jan 1886: The Treaty of Peking ceded, in perpetuity, almost all of the South Eastern Chinese provinces to the Portugese and the British. The Qing Emperor agreed to allow British advisors to be stationed in Peking. However, the Opium trade was finally banned.
Feb-August 1886: King Harald 'the Hammer' made a triumphal tour of the Empire on his way home, visiting almost all the major cities of the Empire from Tokyo to Nieuw Amsterdam, culminating in a great parade through the streets of London, the streets lined with citizens cheering themselves hoarse. Many households throughout the Empire soon were the proud owners of copies of a photograph of the old monarch towering six-foot-four in the royal carriage, waving to his people.
1887: Princess Astrid and the Grand Tour
King Harald was by far the most well-travelled Monarch of the United Kingdom to date and he hit upon the idea of despatching his daughter on a Grand Tour of all the lands she would one day reign over as Queen-Empress.
Princess Astrid, 21 at the time, had amused and shocked the home nations during her three years as Princess-Regent with her cutting-edge fashions, scandalous love-life and startling informality and the King felt that a world tour might help her win the hearts of the Empire.
Accordingly, Astrid set out on a glittering two year long tour of the Empire accompanied by various fashionable members of Society like the tail of a comet. and hounded by the Press.
She addressed the North American Parliament in Nieuw Amsterdam, hunted bears in the Iroquois Confederacy, daringly swam in the sea on a public beach in the Caribbean, went on Safari in Zuid-Afrika, held a Durbar in India and climbed all over the ruins of Borobudur in the East Indies. In India, she broke new ground by getting engaged to one Tjaart van Eisen. Although the marriage was arranged by Harald, this was the first time a royal of the United Kingdom had been engaged to a commoner, albeit a commoner whose father was a Knight of the Realm and probably the richest private individual in Asia and who held positions on both the boards of the EIC and the VOC which, while sadly fallen from their past glory were still the richest corporations in the world, their fingers in spices, rubber, coal, petroleum and all kinds of other goods.
Harald, when asked about his reasoning by a trusted friend is rumoured to have grunted: "Need some fresh blood. Two more generations and all the royal women in Christendom will look like horses."
The engaged couple proceeded on the tour up to Shanghai and thence to Japan. Finally, they were to head down to visit Zuid Geldre, the capital of Van Diemensland. In a parade through the streets of Zuid Geldre, two young men leaped from the crowd. The first threw a grenade while the other shouted, "Death to the Whore of Babylon! Freedom for van Diemensland!"
A courageous functionary threw himself on the grenade, absorbing the blast. The Princess was taken to hospital and treated for minor injuries and shock. The next day, however, she insisted that she would finish the tour, carrying on to Nieuw Zeeland and across the Pacific to Patagonia before heading home.
The Empire, in the meantime was stunned. The interior of Vandiemensland had always been a lawless place and many strange religious sects and political groups had bases in the outback but this was the first ever assault on anyone above the level of local sherrif. It was the first instance in which the ominous words "Vandiemenslander Seperatist" would appear in headlines Empire-wide. It would not be the last.
1887-1905: The High Haraldic Period and the Vrijland Question
Throughout the years from Princess Astrid's Grand Tour, the Empire generally settled into a pattern of peace and prosperity. The Qing had been cowed and were busy fighting endless undeclared border wars against the Mughals and the Russians, who were nibbling away at their Western and Northern borders respectively.
King Harald 'the Hammer' remained in robust health, watching developments in Parliament with a benevolent eye, especially those regarding the ever-increasing extension of the right to vote. He was sometimes heard to deplore the lack of a good war to fight but was generally content to play the role of father to the nation, as his subjects generally saw him.
Princess Astrid herself, returned to many of the places she had visited on the Tour, basking in the adulation of her future subjects. If Harald was regarded as a benevolent father figure, his daughter was almost an object of worship. Her fashions, tastes and interests set the pattern for Society not just through the Empire but throughout the civilised world. If matrons in Nieuw Amsterdam, Paris or Madrid felt that perhaps the cut of the latest Season's skirts was just a bit too short, they were ignored. Astrid, whether consciously or unconsciously modelled herself on Elizabeth Tudor and travelled from port to port in splendour and paegentry.
The Prince Consort, Tjaart van Eisen rarely if ever accompanied her- Astrid had duitifully provided the House of Oranje-Nassau with an heir and a spare and had gone back to her intellectual and social pursuits. Her husband occupied his interests with various mistresses and an excellent post in the Foreign Office where many of his initiatives benefitted the Empire greatly, chief among which were the negotiations with Scotland regarding the construction of two canals in Panama and Nicaragua, both of which were effectively in Anglo-Dutch hands.
Astrid was incorrigibly interested in new technological developments, especially if they were exciting and seemingly dangerous. The Portugese invention of a radio transmitter she left to the Admiralty but Helmut Deiter, the eccentric inventor of the aeroplane was repeatedly feted by her on her visits to Durban. It seemed that she herself invested in his fledgling company dedicated to the improvement of powered flight and it was her influence that convinced the Ministry of War to subsidise Deiter's corporation.
Manwhile in the industrialised cities like London, Amsterdam and Boston, the middle classes experiences growth like never before as the Anglo-Dutch Empire occupied it's position as workshop to the world. Tobacco, cotton, ores flowed into the maws of the factories and out the other end came cigarettes, cloth, battleships.
In those years, the French and Spanish struggled to combat the seperatist movements in their colonies, Russia languished in theocratic slumber. The Iskandri built their canal from the Nile to the Red Sea only to find themselves locked in a power game between France and Russia. Oman learnt from the West and, under Anglo-Dutch tutelage built railways, roads and a proper system of government. The Mughals, setting aside old quarrels did the same and with Anglo-Dutch finance and expertise linked Delhi to Samarkand by rail and pushed ever further into the crumbling Central Asian provinces of the Qing.
Muzaffar Khan, the new Moghul Emperor, educated at Eton and Cambridge himself, invited Princess Astrid to his coronation in 1894 and there was much gossip about the actual relationship between the two royals.
Only one thing disturbed the repose of the Empire in those years- the ever present threat of the Vrijlanders. These hardline Calvinists wanted freedom for Vandiemensland. The whites, mostly Dutch and German Calvinist had a slight majority and many of them wanted absolute rule over the large minority of what they called 'Kaffirs' a mix between imported Black slaves and the aboriginal population of the continent, along with a small percentage of Indonesians, Indians and Chinese.
They seemed to turn up all over the Empire, setting off bombs, shooting politicians, while winning more and more of the white population of Vandiemensland over to their side. Finally, in 1904, the Parliament of Vandiemensland called a referendum of all voting citizens (i.e. whites and those few nonwhites not stripped of their voting privileges) and got a majority vote in favour of independence. They declared the United Provinces of Vrijland a sovereign nation that selfsame day. King Harald, by now an old man of 79 is said to have rampaged through the halls of St. James' Palace upon hearing of Parliaments decision to acknowledge the Vrijlanders wishes and then, stormed off to Windsor castle with his mistress, Lady Marta deBeers. King Harald had learned not to judge a man by the colour of his skin in the Japan War and indeed had developed a close personal friendship with Lord Hyuuga who had actually settled in England after the Second China War. He was disgusted by the actions of the Virjlanders in their campaign to disenfranchise close to forty percent of their population.
He did, however, excercise considerable personal restraint and chose not to condemn the actions of Parliament to the Press. even though, had he done so, he would undoubtedly have been able to rally the support of the people to pressure Parliament into declaring war against the wayward Dominion.
However, even his legendary constitution was not invulnerable to his long years of hard drinking, smoking and whoring and this was excerbated by ignroing his physician's instructions to keep warm. One of Harald's favourite pastimes was reenacting Anglo-Saxon military techniques, hauling in all the able-bodied young men of the villages surrounding Windsor to participate. In November after a cold and wet re-enactment where he had slept rough for a week, the King collapsed on the "battlefield".
He was carried to Windsor where doctors began treating him for pneumonia. He rallied somewhat in the middle of December and felt well enough to give the customary Christmas address via wireless to the Empire. Copies of the address would be sent out across the Empire and broadcast in the town squares of many towns and cities where the majority of the populations still did not own a radio. By this time, Princess Astrid had rushed to Windsor and remained at his side as he took a turn for the worse after New Year's Day. King Harald 'the Hammer' possibly one of the greatest rulers the Empire ever had, died on the 5th of January 1905, at the age of 80, plunging the entire Empire into a month of mourning.
1905-1920: Electric Dreams
Queen Astrid's coronation was in June 1905, attended by representatives of almost every significant nation on the planet, including the King of France and the Austrian Kaiser. A notable exception was the President of Vrijland who had not been invited.
The Empire had mourned Harald but they accepted his sucessor with open arms. In many homes across the Empire, photographs of the strikingly beautiful 39-year old monarch were patriotically placed on mantelpieces next to black-bordered photos of her deceased father.
Astrid's reign would be remembered as an era of great advances in technology. Her interest in flight did not diminish with her accession to the throne and she was sure to champion any proposed flight-related project. In 1906, she rewarded the first pilot to complete a transatlantic crossing with a knighthood (George Fraser, a Scottish engineer and pilot who had settled in England) and issued a challenge to any pilot and engineering team daring enough to attempt the first airborne journey from Tokyo to London.
As a result, the British Navy had a well-funded Aeronautics Division who at this time were experimenting with the possibilities of using aeroplanes at sea for reconnaissance missions. They were tinkering with old battleships, retired from the active fleet, modifying their decks to provide planes with a runway. At the same time, another think-tank was trying to perfect an aeroplane which could carry a torpedo.
In 1894, Amsterdam had become the first city in the world to be completely lit by electric light and ten years later, it was fast becoming the norm in most major cities of the Empire.
The streets of these cities were fast becoming choked with motorised transport as in 1904, an enterprising New Englander named William Melville had begun producing the first mass-production mototorised, the Melville Chariot, affordable for most small businesses. As land prices in cities like London, Madras and Nieuw Amsterdam grew as did engineering technology, massive skyscrapers had risen above the horizon although the burghers of Amsterdam enacted ordinances against such structures aided by the engineering problems of constructing tall buildings on their swampy substrata.
The tallest building in the world was the headquarters of the East India Company (which had moved back to London). It's magnificent 102-story bulk, with sweeping lines covered in geometric designs dominated the city and appeared on all of the Company's products from East India Tobacco to East India Vulcanised-Rubber Vehicular Tyres. The Imperial Club, the finest in the Empire occupied the topmost floors and the finest members of Society, including the Queen herself could often be found attending gala balls there.
In 1912, France went to war with Austria and Poland. The French seized control of Fredericksburg, at the mouth of the Kongo, thus effectively dominating the vast hinterland. However, they recieved crushing defeats on the home front and at the end of a slow, painful three year campaign were forced to seek terms when the Austrian armies began shelling Paris itself. France was forced to concede her territories in Indochina and her German territories across the Rhine to Austria and the Ivory Coast to Poland. The world was astounded when the French Army, which had suffered and bled in the trenches for three years revolted and turfed the King out of Paris. This time, Spain was powerless to intervene, having recently been forced to give it's Mexican colonies independence after an exhausting guerilla war and the world watched as a Republic was declared in France. King Louis XXI fled in exile to Madrid.
At the same time, Louisiana, with a large Royalist population, notable among whom were the large Irish community took the opportunity to declare itself independent of France. They invited King Louis to New Orleans. He gratefully accepted and took the throne there, a much humbled and chastened man.
The nations of the world looked with horror on the first real demonstration of what modern warfare between two Great Powers was like. They began to take steps to develop tactics that might help avoid the crushing brutality of the trenches and the French Republic and the Anglo-Dutch were foremost in such research.
In 1919, the Scottish Parliament voted with an overwhelming majority to join the Anglo-Dutch Empire. For generations, the Scots had been de facto members of the Empire and now they sought formal admission. In effect, they became another Dominion with the Scottish monarch as Head of State instead of a Viceroy appointed by Astrid.
In the winter of 1920, Queen Astrid attended the launch of the Royal Navy's newest ship, the King Harald a pioneering design known as the 'aircraft carrier' specifically constructed to be, in effect, a floating airbase. Earlier experiments with the design had involved converting obsolete battleships but King Harald had been expressly designed as an aircraft carrier. Dubbed the Great Harry by the Press (after Henry VIII's flagship), it set off on a world tour with other newly constructed battleships, all of these traditional in design but larger and more powerful than any battleships yet built by man. Great Harry as the flagship of the Grand Fleet proudly paraded the flag from Boston to Batavia.
The Anglo-Dutch Commonwealth
Throughout the 1920's the extension of the network of telephone and telegraph cables served to bind the far-flung Viceroyalties of the Empire even closer together. In the latter half of the decade, a proposal was mooted by many influential figures throughout the Empire, led by Professor Shaji Nair of the University of Bangalore, that took advantage of this speed of communication and increased interconnectivity.
Although the majority of the Viceroyalties had control of their internal affairs, many decisions were still made by the Imperial Office and the Anglo-Dutch Parliament in London. Nair and his supporters advocated the creation of an elected body, the Imperial Parliament, that would serve as an overarching representative body for the entire Empire. This view gained great support throughout the Empire and in 1932, the formation of the Anglo-Dutch Commonwealth was announced.
The Imperial Parliament was constructed on the Isle of Dogs, most of that district's warehouses and docks having shifted downriver over the previous decades. It was a huge, neoclassical structure* that was opened by Queen Astrid in 1935. Within, Members of the Imperial Parliament from all over the Commonwealth met to discuss the issues which concerned them all. Most were elected although in some cases, Viceroyalty governments chose to send appointed representatives.
The Dominions represented were
-The United Kingdom of England and the Netherlands
-The Kingdom of Scotland
-The Viceroyalty of Ireland
-The Viceroyalty of New England and the New Netherlands
-The Viceroyalty of Guyana
-The Viceroyalty of Zuid Afrika
-The Viceroyalty of Natal
-The Viceroyalty of India
-The Viceroyalty of the East Indies
-The Viceroyalty of Japan
Other nations, not part of the Empire but closely connected to it financially or politically accepted observer seats in the Imperial Parliament
-The Emirate of Oman
-The Kingdom of Persia
-The Republic of Mexico
-The Moghul Empire
1935-1940: Time of Troubles
In the mid-30's, uprisings broke out all across Europe, fomented by the radical government in France. Austria struggled to put down rebellions by peasants and workers as did Spain, Poland, Portugal and Russia.
In Portugal, the government was forced to seek compromise with the rebels in a a peace deal brokered by the Anglo-Dutch Government. Laws regarding workers rights and the like were liberalised in a manner similar to what was already law in the Empire. The Portugese government also agreed to give Brazil and Transzambezia autonomy to the extent that the Anglo-Dutch viceroyalties enjoyed.
Austria brutally enforced governmental rule in unruly districts and sent troops into Poland to support the government there.
Spain, however, fell to pieces. The royal family was dragged from the Escorial and executed by firing squad. this situation was exacerbated by local uprisings in the rest of the Spanish Empire, notably South America and the Philippines where the various local independence movements cast off the Spanish administration and declared themselves free republics.
Many of the dissidents in Venezuela were Anglo-Dutch subjects who had been mixing with the Venezuelan population across the borders of Darien and Guyana. As such, the Empire, taking advantage of the chaos in S. America, annexxed Venezuela to the Darien colonies in exchange for diplomatic recognition of and financial aid to the government of the new Republic of Gran Colombia.
In July 1937, that the revolutionary government in France gave independence to their Indian domains. The Republic of Maharashtra was brought into being and immediately fell into a long drawn out civil war between the Hindu and Muslim populations.
1940-1950: Land of Hope and Glory
The Empire itself had been relatively untouched by the turbulence of the Thirties. London became a haven for exiled dissidents from all over the world and a new wave of emigration began from the Russian Empire as the Czar's theocratic government began to crack down on discontented elements, especially in Greece where a group on nationalists chafed under Russian domination. A flood of Greeks and Russian Jews emigrated to the UK itself and many more went on to the various other Dominions.
Though the cinematographic theatre was a popular form of entertainment throughout the Empire, supplied with films from the thriving South African cinema industry, a new technology started to become available in the mid-40's: the home cinematoviewer (or CV for short, though many purists deplored the use of this vulgar acronym). These allowed people to view broadcasted cinematographic shows. Though there was little content in the early years, mostly newsreels from the Imperial Broadcasting Corporation, as the popularity of these sets grew (many neighbourhoods buying a communal one for use in a connunity centre, while richer families could afford a personal model), the variety of viewing fare increased.
In 1943, Queen-Empress Astrid decided to abdicate in favour of her son Harald who assumed the throne at the age of 47. Harald II was very different from his flamboyant mother and his larger-than-life grandfather. Like his father, he was an intelligent and competent man and a conscientous King-Emperor. He left more daring escapades to his brother William, five years younger than he and the most renowned playboy in the shining constellation of stars that made up the Society of the Empire.
William's antics spanned entire continents as he was whisked from city to city by the new generation of passenger airlines brought into service by Imperial Airways. Now, Nieuw Amsterdam was a mere 12 hours away from London and even the most distant parts of the Empire could be reached in days. Although passenger travel on the airliners was still limited to the rich and those on government business, it served to bring the various parts of the Empire even closer together.
1947: Scientists working in Zuid-Africa claimed to have used new theories of physics to develop a efficient new source of electrical energy from nuclear fission of uranium. They built an experimental reactor and were soon treasured assets of the Imperial Ministry of War which were interested in using the technology to develop a bomb that could theoretically destroy entire cities.
1950: First nuclear weapons test carried out in the deserts of Northern Zuid-Afrika. The onlookers included a group of scientists, military officials and the extremely excited Dowager Queen-Empress Astrid who had badgered the Ministry of War into letting her watch.
1951: Queen Astrid died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 90 at her country estate in Natal. The Empire entered into a two month period of mourning.
To slip the surly bonds of Earth and touch the face of God
In the 1950's other nations began to move into the nuclear age. Russia, through some excellent espionage and with highly motivated scientists detonated a nuclear bomb in Siberia in 1954 a year after Austria had done so at a test site in the Kongo. The world was now in a state of uneasy peace, the non-nuclear powers desperately aligning themselves with nuclear-capable nations.
Meanwhile, in another example of the Empire's obsession with technology, the Anglo-Dutch government declared that within fifty years, the Imperial Banner would be planted upon the surface of the Moon itself.
The Russians, coming out of their two-century long backwardness responded to this challenge as a means of showing the world that they were finally a fully modernised nation. Austria half-heartedly declared that it would claim the Moon but couldn't really spend the resources for a full-fledged space programme.
Modern rocket technology had first been developed in Spain and during the Spanish Revolution, the few working rockets posessed by the Spanish government had been used against distant rebel strongholds. They hadn't proved very useful but the Imperial Ministry of War had seen the advantages of these for theretical nuclear bomb delivery and had been developing the technology since the early 1940's. When the Zuid-Afrikan scientists had proved that nuclear fission was workable, the rocketry project had developed even faster with a large budget increase.
From 1951, at the naval base of Singapore, rockets were designed and launched to try to fly higher and longer than they ever had before. Many large Imperial corporations also invested in the project, eager to cash in on the commercial prospects of space.
A special division of the Imperial government was formed to handle all space-related matters- and, so the population of the Empire presumed, to handle the eventual Imperial governance of space if that could be achieved. The Ministry of Space was headquartered in East India House but the bulk of it's staff were in Singapore at the Singaporean Space Launch Facility.
1958: The Anglo-Dutch rocket Drake-II put a satellite into orbit. This flight was followed by a number of unmanned missions, some involving animals. A dog, Lucky, was feted all around the Empire as the first living creature in space. She was given a good home with a family at Windsor. It is probable that Lucky was preceded by a number of deceased animals. However any animal casualties were kept classified for fear of incurring the wrath of the Anglo-Dutch public- only success stories like Lucky were made public.
At the same time, the Russians were sending up manned capsules. The first person in space was most likely a terrified Russian serf who died of exhaustion and dehydration or perished upon re-entry.
Officially, though, the first person in space was CPT Hari Mondal (later Sir Hari Mondal), an Imperial Air Force pilot on secondment to the MoS on July 12th 1962. Hari Mondal was feted just as Lucky had been and travelled all over the Empire where his trademark hand-rolled beedi (an Indian cigarette rolled in leaf and tied with a thread) made the fashionable world abandon its cigars and cigarettes for a Season.
Less sensational but more importantly, the first telecommunications satellites were being launched during this period along with other unmanned satellites for scientific purposes.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, both Persia and Oman joined the Imperial Commonwealth on terms similar to those of Scotland.
The Qing Dynasty finally collapsed and after a bloody Civil War, a new dynasty came to power- the Lauw. During the war both the Russians and the Moghuls had taken over more of Chinese Central Asia and the new Son of Heaven, trying to hold his realm together was forced to agree to these concessions. The Moghuls, secure in their alliance with the Empire brokered a deal with the Russians to fix their mutual boundaries.
In 1962, the King of Haw'ai hosted the heads of states of the Imperial Commonwealth in a gala celebration to mark the 30th Anniversary of it's establishment. In the same year, Harald II abdicated in favour of his son George I.
In 1968, the Republic of Vrijland detonated it's first atomic device, announced this to the world and retreated to it's customary surly isolation.
And on Christmas Day 1969, a manned Anglo-Dutch mission landed on the surface of the Moon, planting an Imperial banner and claiming Luna for the Empire.
The Moon landing wildly excited the Imperial public and some say that it gave a much needed boost to the Liberal Party. In the General Elections held throughout the Empire that year, the Liberals swept to victory in all the Parliaments except that of the East Indies which, as usual, voted Conservative. It was this Liberal dominance that enabled them to push a controversial plan involving the setting up of a viable base upon the surface of the Moon.
The public was very much in favour of this Project, named SERENITY, and Sir Hari Mondal, the newly appointed Minister of Space was able to present his subordinates with a hefty budget. The Ministry had already overseen Project ASTRA which involved the maintenance of a manned orbiting space station. ASTRA had been active since 1968 and the boffins at the Ministry intended to use findings from it to design SERENITY. The Ministry of War was also heavily involved in this plan, seeing a chance to extend the dominance of the Imperial Navy* into space itself. Crude designs had already been produced for what they termed Project CATAPHRACT, to be built in Low-Earth Orbit armed with nuclear warheads and with thrusters that would allow it to manouever to deliver a nuclear strike to any point on the globe. Although this was still, as yet, simply in the planning stages, it would be a goal that the Ministries of Space and War would work towards.
Throughout the early Seventies, many more Moon landings took place. Each mission brought along materials and assembled a bit more of a mid-sized pressurised structure. When this was completed, photos were released to the Press, declaring that the first building of Moonbase SERENITY had been completed. At the same time, ASTRA had been expanded and was now being used as a waypoint for supplies to SERENITY. In the years that followed, SERENITY was expanded greatly and soon was continually manned by between 4 and 10 autronauts. All personnel selected for long-term (i.e. >6 months) duty on SERENITY were married couples.
All these developments contributed to the public interest in and popularity of anything to do with Space. Science fiction flourished in these years and many of the major cinematographs produced in the Newlands suburb of Kaapstad, centre of the world's cinema industry were science fiction themed.
Meanwhile, the Russian Space Programme was put on hold due to huge peasant uprisings throughout the Tsar's Empire. Rumours leaked out of Russia of tactical nuclear weapons used on towns that were rebel strongholds. No nukes were used in Greece, however, possibly due to fear of repercussions from the other Powers and an insurgency and terror campaign continued to flourish there.
At the same time, Austria was finally forced to make reforms (much as Poland had in the 1950's and early '60's) to quiet its dissidents and became a constitutional monarchy, much more like the Anglo-Dutch or Scandinavian nations.
All the Powers in Europe, were beginning to acknowledge that the Russian Empire was a common enemy and in 1978, representatives from Austria, Poland, France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Venice, Sicily, Hungary, Portugal, the Moghul Empire, the Holy See and the Anglo-Dutch Empire met in Rome, as guests of the Pope, to sign a Treaty of Non-Aggression. The Council of Rome marked the start of the European nations beginning to cluster under the shadow of the Anglo-Dutch Empire, a marked change from their historical hostility towards it.
The Press had a field day, proclaiming that the empire had established a Pax Imperia- adhered to by the Lesser Powers and preserved by sheer Imperial might.
The Imperial Commonwealth expanded again in the '70's, joined by Siam and Gran Colombia (which was fearful of encroachment on it's sparsely-populated interior by Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Peru).
During the '80's, Astra was expanded greatly- a nuclear power plant was added, located at the end of a long connecting segment a good way from the rest of the station. A rotational module is added, allowing the inhabitants to exercise in Earth-normal gravity.
Serenity too, was expanded, it's population growing to around one hundred and fifty, most of whom conducted scientific research, connected to earth by a wireless computer network (don't know the terminology- you know what I mean). They grow much of their own food in underground hydroponic farms and now generally serve year-long terms, with two months compulsory furlough on Earth in between each term. Serenity and Astra are proving the perfect environments for the new field of nanotechnology and the major corporations of the Empire are pushing to be allowed to fund even more of this research.
In a landmark expedition, the new Queen, Mary, allowed her younger son, Prince Edmund, to visit Serenity. He spent a week there, inspecting the facilities and came back afire with new ideas for settling a civilian population on Luna.
1980s: The Russian Civil War
In 1984, Russia was shaken by a massive civil war. Units of the Russian Army, led by a cabal of Generals based in Moscow, demanded that the Tsar abdicate. Other units, remaining loyal to the Pantocrater engaged them in combat across the Empire.
It was a bloody war, tactical nuclear weapons being used by both sides as the battles raged across the Russian steppes.
The Greeks, funded heavily by the Greek population of the Anglo-Dutch Emperor, rose against the Russian garrisons in Greece and Macedonia and declared their independence in 1989.
The Tsar was not in Constantinople, having gone to Kiev to oversee the campaign against the Generals. Anglo-Dutch Intelligence sources informed Parliament that he was prepared to order a nuclear strike against Athens. The Imperial Ambassador to the Tsar's court met with him and told him in no uncertain terms that any use of nuclear weapons in the Greek territories would be regarded by the Empire as a declaration of war. In a desperate struggle against his rebellious subjects, the Tsar was forced to concede to the Greek demands.
The Republic of Greece quickly joined the Imperial Commonwealth, eager to maintain their independence from Russian rule.
An Anglo-Dutch Imperial Expeditionary Force landed in Thessaloniki to safeguard the new member nation and was cheered through the streets by the Greek populace.
The war in Russia dragged on- few details reached the other nations but satellite pictures picked up the worst of the devastation and judging from that, it seemed like one of the most terrible campaigns ever fought. Every now and then, seismometers at observatories around the world would pick up the vibrations from a nuclear explosion.
It was in 1987 that the Moghuls and Persians decided to intervene to stop Maharashtra from collapsing into civil war yet another time. Moghul and Persian troops came across the borders to restore order and the failed state was divided between these two nations. It was after the support received from the Anglo-Dutch Empire during the turbulent period that followed the Moghul takeover that the Moghul Empire decided that it's destiny would be better served as a part of the Imperial Commonwealth.
1990: The Republic of Mexico, deciding that the economic benefits were worth it, joined the Imperial Commonwealth.
An Imperial Exhibition was held in London in 1990 showcasing the various cultures and nations that made up the Empire. A striking modernistic exhibition hall was built on the South Bank of the Thames, just upriver from the Imperial Palace at Greenwich. It was designed in the shape of a huge dome, reminiscent of the newest Imperial colony, Serenity. Queen Mary II opened the Exhibition among much pomp and ceremony and for a year tourists from all over the Empire came to visit. London, the most populous city on Earth with a population of 18 million drawn from almost every ethnic group in the world eagerly accomodated the influx of visitors and after the exhibition was ended the Dome was converted into a huge shopping mall which stores each specialising in products from a different country. It became a well-known fact that almost anything you might care to think of could be bought at the Dome.
Also of note, 1991 was the year in which Serenity returned her first MP to the Anglo-Dutch Parliament. Henry Chan Ming Hua, a former employee of the East India Company's Space Division and now a Tory backbencher proudly took his seat in Parliament.
Serenity was now a thriving colony of a thousand people most of whom were researchers either employed by the Ministry of Space or one of the corporations with an interest in Serenity but some whose contracts had finished elected to stay on Luna and worked as administrators in various departments in the colony. Henry Chan, a computer programmer, was one of these and he had run against another administrator, a Liberal engineer, during a tiny but exciting campaign. All the inhabitants of Serenity had welcomed the election as a diversion and there had been a 100% voter turnout.
Some had criticised the election of Serenity arguing that since it was a purely commercial and research establishment there was no need for any political shennanigans but Prince Edmund had led the opposing side of the debate arguing that it was within the great tradition of Anglo-Dutch liberal democracy that all colonies be given the chance to participate in the democratic process, no matter what the cost or inconvenience might be. Edmund had founded the Selenite Trust, an organization dedicated to pushing the establishment of a fully-fledged colony on the Moon with civilian inhabitants. Many had signed up as potential colonists once the initiative could get off the ground. The major corporations were already interested in the idea of mining and manufacturing in a weightless, vacuum environment and Edmund was pushing them to move faster. The automated mining equipment would need many educated civilians to run it and these would need others to take care of their day to day needs.
The Press was divided on the issue, some ridiculing him, others pointing out the validity of his ideas but soon all had given him the nickname of Edward, Prince of Luna.
In 1994, the Russian Civil War finally came to an end after ten years of gruelling combat. The cabal of Generals had Tsar Alexi exiled to Aleskya and placed a minor cousin of his on the Throne as Tsar Michael. Although the powers of the Tsar were theoretically unaltered, it would be the generals who were the power behind the throne. The lives of the serfs remained fundamentally unaltered and massive resettlement programmes were initiated to break up any possibility of organised rebellion against the government.
With Russia pulling herself together, the governments of the world were distressed by the possibility that she might begin to look outward once more. Under the arrangement initated by the Treaty of Rome, the Anglo-Dutch government began deploying vast numbers of troops to bases in Greece, Hungary, Poland, Sweden and Nueva Espana. The borders of these countries were heavily fortified already and the presence of Anglo-Dutch troops (along with other detachments from participating nations including France, Austria and Portugal) was meant to act as a deterrent. As Austrian general Karl von Starkenberg said, "A wall of steel has been erected, from Äänislinna in the frozen North to Thessaloniki on the Mediterranean, ready to defend the Free World from Tsarist tyranny".
[b]1998-99: The Anglo-Russian War
In 1998, the Russian army began to build up troops along the Line of Steel while making diplomatic threats to the Empire regarding the status of Greece. Imperial diplomats returned a rather high-handed statement to Moscow, warning the Generals that any assault upon one of the constituent parts of the Empire would be treated as an attack on all of them.
Desperate to focus the rebellious potential of the serfs outward, the Generals resolved to commit themselves to war and on the 12th of August 1998, Russian troops crossed the Greek border.
Although the Russian generals trumpeted that fact that they had no territorial desires in Europe beyond Greece, the other members of the Treaty of Rome rose to their obligations and declared war. Russian troops swarmed Westwards where Polish and Hungarian forces were the first to take the brunt of the fighting. Even with Anglo-Dutch reinforcements, the numerical superiority of the Tsarist forces was too much and slowly, the Allied units fell back to the waiting fortresses and emplacements of the Line of Steel. Meanwhile, in the skies above, the Russian air force was finding itself ripped to shreds by the more advanced Western fighters.
On the 1st of November, despite the heavy losses on the Line of Steel, the Anglo-Dutch Air Corps scored a propaganda victory by raiding Constantinople. The Generals recieved word that the Alliance would consider a return to peace if the Russians were to cede some territory but as yet the Generals were still reasonably certain that if they could break through the Line of Steel and onto the Northern European Plain, the Alliance of Rome would sue for peace terms.
1st January 1999
Faced with increasing clamour from the public about the casualties suffered on the Line of Steel, the Imperial Parliament authorises the use of the Empire's most secret project.
High above Earth, two spacecraft of the Imperial Space Command manouevered into position above the Russian province of Muscovy. These spacecraft, HMSS Victory and HMSS Valiant made history that day. They performed the first orbital bombardment of Earth. Fitted with primitive mass drivers, the two battleships dropped small chunks of rock upon the Russian lines.
At the same time, the Imperial Ambassador to Constantinople confronted the Tsar and the ruling generals with realtime satellite footage from the assault.
He promised that any nuclear assault upon Allied territory would be repaid many times over and left them to mull things over.
Awed by the destructive power of these new weapons, the Russian generals call for a ceasefire. They are faced with a dilemma. With the end of the Civil War, the nuclear capabilities of Russia were not what they used to be. However, they had three choices- they could launch a desperate onslaught on the Line of Steel, hoping to breakthrough and gaining some territorial consessions, they could launch a nuclear assault on the Alliance and destroy a few cities but face annihilation from the Anglo-Dutch mass drivers as well as the nuclear arsenals of the Alliance...or they could ask for an armistice and withdraw their troops.
The third option was the only tenable one.
On the 15th of February, 1999, the Russians agreed to withdraw from the Line of Steel. They made minor border concessions to Austria, Greece and Hungary while ceding Sakhalin, Hokkaido and Alyeska to the Anglo-Dutch.
Six months later, a cabal of officers rose against the Generals and Russia was once more plunged into a Civil War- though this time neither side resorted to nuclear weapons.
The year 2000 saw more nations join the Imperial Commonwealth. The first was the former Cushite Empire which had been simmering in discontent since Russian aid to it had been cut off. The nobles had finally been overthrown in a revolution aided by Anglo-Dutch finance and arms.
The second two were Venice and the Two Sicilies both deeming that the economic benefits of joining made sense.
January 21st, 2006, 04:13 PM
The Russian War had only slightly shaken the grand system of life in the Empire. True, more soldiers had died that was usual in the Empire's wars but that was understandable with with the efficacy of modern weaponry. Besides, the technology of the Empire had won the day and that was all that mattered.
The inhabitants of the Empire differ from OTLs First-Worlders in that they are not at all technophobic- their attitude towards technology is a lot more Victorian than our own. Technology is the Empire's plaything and there is much enthusiasm for research and development to make things better, stronger and faster. After all, that is how the Empire has maintained it's clear dominance over all the other nations of the World.
Development-wise, they are somewhat in advance of our own technology having developed the procedures neccessary to set up sustainable colonies on the Moon (indeed, by this time, the population of Luna has swelled to three thousand) and build ships in orbit. Researchers at the Borobudur Project based at the University of Djkarta are on the way to perfecting nuclear fusion.
Leading scientists and space pioneers are still feted as celebrities.
Culturally, they're a lot less racist than the imperialists we know. Good natured arrogance pretty much sums it up. Their world-view is much more like that of the Roman Empire- anyone of whatever cree dor colour from one of the Realms of the Empire is an Imperial citizen and therefore deserving of a certain respect. Anyone who does not join the Empire is to be pitied- even the citizens of the Alliance. The fact that they belong to countries almost as well-developed as the Empire is of no matter. They are still not citizens. If their nations should be enlightened enough to join, however, they will be welcomed with open arms.
This is a world where the words 'Civitas Imperius sum' (though probably not in Latin) command respect even in foreign courts of law. After all, at this point, the Empire rules slightly under half of the planet and counts slightly over half of Humankind as citizens.
The exception to this rule, however, is Vrijland. The Vrijlanders are commonly seen of as beyond the Pale. They were part of the Empire and chose to reject it and furthermore they subject many of their own citizens to oppression of a scale undreamt of in the Empire.
The Russians, or at least their ruling classes, are also despised. When Imperial government agencies moved into Alaska, Hokkaido and Sakhalin to take over the governance of the population they were appaled at the conditions of the serfs. Scores of charitable organisations were set up to educate and feed these unfortunate souls who had been delivered into the mercy of the Empire. Queen-Empress Astrid II herself urged the public to give generously so that the children of these serfs might take their rightful place as productive Imperial Citizens.
ETHNIC GROUPS IN THE UK POPULATION- by Akiyama
Ethnicity in ADE UK (in OTL England, the Netherlands and Wales)
White 80.1% (91.3%)
Mixed Race 6.6% (1.4%)
Oriental 6.5% (0.9%): Japanese 3.4%, East Indian 1.6%, Chinese 1.5%
Indian 2.2% (3.9%)
African 1.6% (1.1%): South African 1.5%, Other 0.1%
Near East 0.9% (0.2%): Persian 0.6%, Omani 0.3%
American 2.1% (1.1%): Caribbean 0.6%, Guyanan 0.6%, Darienese 0.4%, Other 0.5%
This table shows the ethnic breakdown of the UK in ADE (England, Wales and the Netherlands) and, for comparison, England and Wales in OTL. Note that the OTL stats for "Muslim" do not include people of Pakistani or Bangladeshi descent who have been counted as "Indian". Also note that in both sets of stats white South Africans and Americans are counted as whites, not Africans or Americans.
Unlike in OTL, there was no single period in which non-white immigration into the UK can be said to have started. The number of non-white immigrants, which started as an unnoticable trickle, has gradually increased over time.
In ADE, the UK has over twice as the non-white population it has in OTL, and a far larger proportion of these are mixed-race. Since the Imperial Commonwealth is a de facto federal state its people think of themselves more as being a single population than the citizens of the British Commonwealth in OTL do, and this has lead to increased movement of people, and increased intermarriage. The other major difference from OTL is the much larger number of orientals, negligible in OTL UK, but in the ADE UK almost equal to all the other ethnic groups put together. A large proportion of the "mixed-race" citizens of the UK are of mixed oriental/white parentage.
Religion in the United Kingdom of England and the Netherlands- by Akiyama
37.3% - Atheist or agnostic
25.7% - Protestant (nominal)
7.9% - Catholic (churchgoers)
7.9% - Catholic (nominal)
5.7% - Protestant (churchgoers)
4.5% - Buddhist
3.4% - Shinto
3.0% - Muslim
2.3% - Hindu
1.3% - Taoist
1.0% - Other
Note that most Japanese immigrants follow both the Buddhist and Shinto religions.
Although the Church of England has miniscule congregations, and most of its buildings have been sold off, it is still the Established Church in England and Wales: its Bishops and Archbishops (elected by the General Synod) sit in the UK House of Lords and the UK has laws against blaspheming the Christian religion. In practice there is complete religious freedom and the blasphemy laws are only exercised in extreme circumstances.
Note the much higher proportion of people positively identifying themselves as atheists or agnostics than in the UK in OTL. Many non-churchgoers have stopped considering themselves even nominal Christians.
The Catholic Church is much the same as it is in OTL, but even more conservative. Its numbers have been swelled in recent decades by Protestants (particularly Anglicans) who have been turned off by the increasing liberalism of their own churches. Politically, Catholics usually support right-wing parties.
There are two main types of Protestantism in this timeline, Puritanism and Celtic Christianity. Puritans and Celtic Christians are represented in most major Protestant denominations.
About 70% of Protestants are Puritans. Puritans are orthodox Christians but they do NOT read of the Bible in a literal fashion, and there is a greater emphasis on the Holy Spirit than in OTL. Anything reminiscent of Catholicism is spurned. Church leaders are typically elected for a limited period. Churches are often called chapels or meeting houses and are decorated simply. Commonly, seating in new buildings is arranged in a circle, to emphasise that all believers (including women) are equal in the eyes of God. Religious services are at least partly unprogrammed (i.e. there is a time when any member of the congregation may speak, initiate prayer, request a hymn etc.) and often include a period of silent worship. Speaking in tongues, faith healing and "quaking" are more common than in OTL. Sacraments, apart from marriage and funerals, are usually ignored. Evangelism is greatly encouraged.
Puritans consciously set themselves against a selfish, consumerist, decadent and sexually immoral society. They admire asceticism, honesty, hard-work and charity. Politically, Puritans hold views that in OTL would be considered a mixture of left and right wing.
The particular nature of Puritanism in this timeline comes from the fact that more "marginal" Protestant denominations such as Quakers, Shakers and Anabaptists had more influence on the development of Protestantism. The non-literal reading of the Bible is due to a greater respect for academic Biblical scholarship than among OTLs Protestants.
About 20% of Protestants are Celtic Christians, which has nothing to do with historical Celtic Christianity: it is so called because it first became popular in Wales. Doctrinally, it is unorthodox and ultra-liberal - its theology is somewhat similar to that of Teilhard de Chardin in OTL. It borrows ideas and stylistic elements freely from many varieties of Christianity and some non-Christian religions. It places a great emphasis on Christian worship and the Christian life being enjoyable experiences. It is impossible to generalise further about Celtic Christianity, since each church is different to the next. Politically, Celtic Christians usually support left-wing parties.
All three versions of Christianity draw their membership from across the social classes.
POLITICS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM OF ENGLAND AND THE NETHERLANDS- By Akiyama
The Parliamentary system is virtually the same as in OTL. Of course the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben do not exist, since they were built after the POD. At the end of the Eighteenth Century it was decided that a new and larger parliament building was required and this was completed in 1802. The new Houses of Parliament, in Battersea, are in a style best described as "mock-seventeenth-century Dutch gothic" and are known for their maze-like interior, containing many courtyards and gardens, including roof-gardens.
The House of Commons contains 450 MPs, each representing a single constituency and elected by a numerical-choice system (that is, voters number the candidates they wish to elect in order of preference). The current (2010) composition of the House of Commons is as follows.
Tory Party - 228
Liberal Party - 190
Anarchists - 13
New Party - 5
Dutch Nationalists - 5
Welsh Nationalists - 5
Independents - 4
Speaker of the House of Commons - 1
The Prime Minister is Mr Herbert Robinson, a balding, bearded, slightly overweight man, known for his ready wit. As a politician, he is a centrist. Before entering politics he was a university lecturer in Classical literature and history. The government has a majority of only seven, and so cannot enact any radical policies.
The Leader of the Opposition is Mr Ryutaro Sawamatsu. He is a radical who became leader of his party due to a fluke. He has his admirers, raving fans even, but most people regard him as an eccentric. His ideas might be described as a mixture of classical liberalism, egalitarianism and futurism. He is an elderly Japanese man (born in the UK) whose trim white hair, moustache and beard make him look a little like a magician. Before entering politics he was an entrepreneur.
Anarchist MPs represent a variety of political (anarchist) philosophies, but generally united in voting against the government of the day. Their presence in Parliament is due to protest voting against the two established political parties rather than genuine support for anarchism.
The New Party (formed 1874) is a home for all those people and ideas too left-wing to be entertained by the left-wing of the Liberal Party. They used to be much more popular - five MPs is a real low point for them.
The Dutch and Welsh Nationalists want their respective nations to secede from the United Kingdom and become Viceroyalties. They feel the United Kingdom is too dominated by England and the English and that their national identities are withering away. Both parties generally support the Liberal Party, but the Dutch Nationalists tend to be more right-wing than the Welsh Nationalists.
The House of Lords is relatively unreformed compared to OTL. It has the power to reject bills outright rather than just delay them. It consists of members of the aristocracy (NB the firstborn son OR DAUGHTER inherits the title and peers must pass on their title after the age of 65), and Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England (who also must retire at 65). There is no such thing as life peers. The Monarch, and not the Prime Minister, retains the de facto power to create new peers and by tradition does so rarely.
Clearly the House of Lords is sorely in need of reform. However, the Tory Party, which has been in power since 2002, has no wish to reform it since it has a natural majority of (small c) conservatives, and most attempts by the Liberal Party to reform it have been blocked by the House of Lords. The existence of a powerful and conservative House of Lords has meant that radical or progressive legislation almost always fails to make it into law in this UK. On the other hand, the Lords are independent of party politics, attendance at the House varies from day to day, and many Lords are quite unpredictable, so they occasionally surprise people by passing a piece of legislation that all the wisest commentators had down as a dead cert to be squashed.
At present the Liberal Party is setting the agenda, calling for greatly increased spending on science and technology, a more progressive system of taxation, more financial aid for the poorer members of the Imperial Commonwealth, more pressure on foreign (non IC) governments to fall into line on various issues, and the privatisation of the UK education system. The limits of the Tory Party's ambitions are to reduce taxes and relieve the bureaucratic burden on businesses. One issue that concerns voters, but is ignored by both parties, is the extent to which both Tory and Liberal MPs are in hock to powerful financial interests.
Attitudes of the Empire
The people of the Empire are a lot closer to early 20th-C England than they are now with the caveat that nationalism towards a country or race is replaced by "transnationalism" towards the Empire as a whole. Perhaps the best analogy of the attitude of Imperial Citizens towards the rest of the world would be that of Roman citizens at the height of the Empire. They do see this relation and Classics is still a popular field in Universities, divided however, into regions- Western Classics (Greece and Rome) and Eastern Classics (India and Japan)
They tend to look down in a pitying fashion upon citizens of countries outside the Empire as being less advanced and generally less civilised than Imperials. This perception was reinforced by reports from the newly annexed Aleskya territory where the conditions of the serfs disgusted people throughout the Empire.
Another example of this would be their attitude towards Vrijlanders. These people are despised because they were part of the Empire and chose to leave it
Religion has a lot less influence over people in this culture- the Established Church is very laissez-faire and people in the "white" areas of the Empire have been exposed to other cultures and religions for almost two centuries now. They're at the same time somewhat more cosmopolitan and more provincial than OTL Anglosphere inhabitants tend to be. More cosmopolitan in that the Anglo-Dutch sphere includes so many cultures and influences. More provincial in that they really don't care very much about cultures outside their sphere. After all, when the Empire contains so many interesting things, why bother with what's outside?
As for ideology and politics, the dominant philosophy is Liberalism to one degree or another- there is nothing like the extent of OTL's European social democracies. The various member states of the Empire have social systems ranging from something like those of the modern British state in places like the Cape and North American Viceroyalties to something as capitalistic as Singapore in places like East London (which, as the location of the Imperial Parliament etc. is "Federal Territoy" and administered seperately from the UK) to all-out corporate fiefs as in Luna and the Caribbean Colonies. However, there tends to be a very ingrained idea of noblesse oblige and the wealthy classes are deemed to have a responsibility to those poorer than they are, hence universal free healthcare is funded out of taxes on corporations and wealthier individuals.
Education is highly respected as it is generally believed that the superiority of Anglo-Dutch technology accounts for it's success (reinforced in the recent Russian War where a mere demonstration or the Empire's orbital mass-drivers was enough to make the Russkies back down. As a result, the Empire provides free education to all up to a postgraduate level on a meritocratic basis. Exams are tough and stringent and standards are high.
In their attitude to technology they're very Victorian- they haven't had the carnage to two World Wars that has contributed to our tinge of technophobia. They delgiht in building things stronger, better and faster as can be seen in their attitude towards astronauts in the '70's- these men were celebrities because they were at the cutting edge of technology.
Their attitudes towards sexuality are very different from ours. Think more of a 18th Century sexual attitude- they just don't have OTL's prudishness. Generally the government doesn't concern itself with people's sex lives- what they do in bed is their own business. Without the moral hypocrisy of the Victorian period a lot of "immorality" is out in the open instead of being conducted covertly behind closed doors e.g. Rich men often openly keep mistresses and this is generally accepted, prostitution is a taxed and regulated industry* just like any other.
On the other hand they didn't have a reaction to OTL's prudishness like we did so frex a gay identity and gay culture never developed nor a real women's rights movement. There are no overt barriers to women in TTL (after all one of the greatest rulers of the Empire was a woman) but think of it as somewhere around our 1950's- women have to be twice as good as their male peers to make it in many fields unfortunately.
As for homosexuality, plenty of people follow homosexual lifestyles- there's just not much talk about it and homosexual partnerships are officially not acknowledged- just like in OTL early 20th century, you've got a lot of bachelors who happen to have live in male "secretaries" or spinsters who keep house together.
So basically in this world the "counterculture" is a lot more mainstream. There was never a Sexual Revolution because there wasn't any real attitude of prudish repressiveness to revolt against.
Think of Regency England where people were drinking whoring and gambling as a matter of course. It's much the same here. Activities that IOTL might be considered 'immoral' are accepted so long as they occur in their proper place. Something like nudity on the street wouldn't be illegal but it would be considered rather bad form whereas no one would really have any problem with nudity at the beach, for example.
*like many industries it's governed by zoning regulations and restricted to particular districts.
Literature in the Empire- by Akiyama
Monopoly periods (both copyright and patents) across the Imperial Commonwealth last for 25 years. Authors of popular works have to put up with seeing their characters and ideas hijacked by other authors once the monopoly period expires.
Books are published in four formats, paperfront, cardfront, trad and handystack. Paperfronts are basically disposable books: cheaply bound and printed paperbacks which won't stand up to much use. Cardfronts are printed on good quality paper, well bound and have hard card covers. Trads have mock-leather covers, with words and pictures indented. Dustjackets don't exist in this timeline.
Paperfronts, cardfronts and trads all tend to be the same size, larger than OTL paperback, but smaller than OTL hardback. There is no tradition in this timeline of publishing a book in different formats at different times.
Handystacks are software for handies, small, portable iams (iam = instructable algrorithmic mill, it rhymes with "time"). Almost everyone who can afford a handy owns one.They are about half the size of an OTL laptop. In this timeline, iams evolved to have screens taller than they are wide, and this is the case with handies. While the switchplate is similar to an OTL laptop keyboard, the screen is hinged to the switchplate only at one corner and the display is upright like the page of a book. Iams also have a kind of "digital paper" display that is easier on the eye, makeing it easy to read books on a handy. The user can either prop the handy in front of him on a table or desk with the switchplate flat, similar to an OTL laptop, or more usually just open the handy like a book and hold it in his hands. All iams have sophisticated voice recognition technology, so the switchplate is not strictly necessary.
Anyone from OTL who found a bunch of books from this timeline would notice a few differences.
All books are illustrated, not just children's books. Popular illustrators are as well known as popular authors, and a book can sell on the merit of its illustrations (which is not to say that all illustrations are of high quality).
Novels are much longer than in OTL - the average length of a novel is about 700 pages. However, short stories are also more popular than in OTL. Collections of short stories sell very well. Short story collections in particular genres are published monthly in paperfront book format the same way magazines are in OTL. It is common for a novel to consist of a collection of short stories linked in some way.
Compared to OTL, novels in this timeline are thinly plotted - often the "plot" seems to connect of nothing more than a string of unrelated incidents. On the other hand, this timeline's authors are good at establishing memorable characters and settings. It is unusual for novels to have a single main "viewpoint" character (crime novels are an exception, see below). Some authors like to develop unique writing styles in order to make life difficult for other authors when their monopoly period expires.
The typical crime novel in this timeline differs from other novels in having a single main character, the police or private searcher, though whose eyes the reader observes everything. It also differs from OTLs crime novels in not telling the reader who the murderer is at the end of the book. The reader is supposed to figure it out for himself using clues given in the text and illustrations. Sometimes the answer will be revealed in the author's next book as someone mentions the searcher's last case. As a way of getting people to buy the next book, this has become less effective since the invention of the hive, the wordwide information resource that came about when iams were connected to one another via taccies. Anyone puzzling over the identity of the murderer can now blip in to the hive and see how cleverer readers than them have figured it out.
This genre became hugely popular in the 1960s after the publication of Leopold Barrow's epic five volume novel Denondun's Twilight. Denondun's Twilight, which borrowed heavily on Celtic, Germanic and Indian mythology, is notable for the subtlety with which its apparently unconnected stories become woven together, its originality and unpredictability, the depth of description of the twin worlds of Old Earth and the Faerie, and the wandering monks known as the Modielists. Denondun's Twilight is so popular that Modielism has become a genuine religion, with hundreds of thousands of followers across the world.
At present, the typical romance story contains equal doses of romance, sex and comedy. It also tends to be more realistic than romance novels in OTL in that it doesn't always have a satisfactory, fairytale ending.
Receipt novels have a food-related theme and include numerous receipts for the reader to try cooking.
These novels seek to raise religious and philosophical questions, ethical dilemmas, awareness of spirituality etc. They are not as narrow minded or as didactic as the majority of OTLs Christian novels.
Reading and writing poetry is popular in this timeline in a way it isn't in ours. This may have something to do with the fact that free verse never caught on here, instead interest in poetry was kept fresh by an influx of styles and poets from other cultures.
Other popular genres include sci-fan, humour and adventure. Horror novels are not popular. And of course, there are many, many novels that don't fit into any genre.
The Hive- (thanks to Akiyama for originating the concept)
Similar to our Internet. A vast Empire-wide networked collection of documents hosted on iams.
Music in the Empire
No real wave of teen-oriented "Popular Music" as seen in OTL arose. Popular Music in the Empire tends to be oriented towards the young middle and upper classes (as in OTLs 1920s) rising out of the "less respectable" musical developments of the lower classes. As of the early 21st century, Indian classical influenced music is gaining popularity in dance clubs across the Empire. Earlier fashions have turned towards Chinese and Japanese music as well as Afro-Caribbean stylings.
"Clubbing" as we know it is not prevalent in the Empire- nightclubs are still a lot more like restaurants/cocktail bars with a featured artiste or band.
Fast Food Chains- by Akiyama
This isn't an exhaustive list of fast-food chains, just some examples.
Tempura-Chan is the largest fast-food chain in the Imperial Commonwealth. Its symbol is a simple cartoonish smiling face of a Japanese girl.
It sells tempura, a traditional Japanese dish (or so people believe . . .). The canonical tempura meal consists of tempura (deep-fried battered fish) with shoyu (Japanese soy sauce) and vlaamse frites (thinly sliced deep-fried potato) with mayonaise. Popular side dishes include vegetables (battered and deep-fried, with soy sauce) and spicy peas (a bit like mushy peas, but nuttier, spicier and a peculiar jet black colour). It will usually be washed down with a large paper cup of Kanni-Koffi (a cold drink made with coffee, cinnamon, milk and sugar).
Tempura-Chan tailors its menu to the many different countries in which it operates. For example, in India it also sells various deep-fried Indian snacks such as bonda (potato and cashew nut balls) and vadai (lentil patties). Every so often, specialities from one nation will be tried out in another to see if any of them become popular ("It's Togoland month at Tempura-Chan! Try our Kelewele with Shito!") so Tempura-Chan's menu is gradually becoming more varied and international.
Tempura-Chan gives away small comics featuring the character "Tempura-Chan" and her friends with every children's meal. A recent survey found that children in the UK are much more likely to know who Tempura-Chan is than who Jesus is.
Drenthe Pannekoek Huis
Drenthe Pannekoek Huis is another popular fast-food chain. It specialises in pannekoeks, both savoury and sweet.
In this timeline, the Dutch concept of the savoury pannekoeks became heavily influenced by the Indian concept of the masala dosa, and then adventurous chefs added bits and pieces from other cuisines too. As a result, anything goes in pannekoeks, a bit like like pizza in OTL - there is no concept so weird that it can't make it into a pannekoek. Perennial favourites are the spicy ham, chicken and mushroom or the potato, coconut and split pea, but more adventurous souls might like to try the natto and squid with Grimsby sauce, or the haddock, prawn and nam pla.
As well as pannekoeks and the usual array of hot and cold drinks, Drenthe Pannekoek Huis sells salads, ice-creams and a large variety of beers, including their famous zoethout beer (licorice beer).
Drost en Drost
Drost en Drost is a recently established but very successful chain of reasonably priced koffie-houses specialising in wafels.
They sell 22 different types of wafels and 14 different sauces (for example, you could have cinnamon and walnut wafels with apple sauce). They also sell various spicy buns.
To drink, there are a variety of koffies, chas (teas, most popular is green tea with milk and sugar) and chocolades (ginger hot chocolade is my favourite), all of which may be served hot or iced. Also, lassi (fruit flavoured yoghurt drinks).
Drost en Drost don't sell savoury food or alcohol.
The Imperial Commonwealth has always been built on a laissez-faire spirit of capitalism. In the latter half of the 20th Century this was diluted by the many social programmes such as universal healthcare that many government within the Commonwealth instituted but two institutions form the vanguard of the mighty corporate hierarchy of the Empire: the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie headquartered in New Amsterdam and the Honourable East Inda Company. These are known respectively as 'Ouma' (Grandmother) and 'Grandpa' in popular slang.
From their beginnings as exploration and trading companies, they have grown past the collapse of their original markets to become mighty entities with fingers in ever pie. In many cases working hand in glove with the Imperial Government these companies form the vanguard of Imperial civilisation in newly acquired territories such as Aleskya or Luna as well as nations outside the Commonwealth's benevolent embrace. With sums of money at their disposal greater than the treasuries of many of the individual governments of Earth the VOC and the EIC spearhead the industrial and technological research and development that has always been an Imperial hallmark.
Whether you buy a pack of cigarettes or a lunar rover it's quite likely that the austere monogram of the VOC or the proud image of East India House will be emblazoned somewhere on them.
See the attached map (Map by Floid)
Shown in Yellow is what is generally considered to be "Imperial London", the area of the city devoted to the Imperial institutions of government and administration. Most Imperial ministries are found in this area. Another landmark of this area is East India House, the global HQ of the Honourable East India Company, just North of the mighty edifice of the Imperial Parliament on the Isle of Dogs.
In Green is "West London" the part of the city where most of the United Kingdom's government institutions may be found.
The area in Red is the City, the greatest financial centre of the Empire and Commonwealth.
Across the River from the Imperial Parliament is Greenwich, site of the Imperial Naval Observatory and the Imperial Palace. Next to the Imperial Palace is the Exhibition Dome where ever five years an Imperial Exhibition is held showcasing all that is best of the far-flung lands and peoples of the Empire and Commonwealth.
The area in Pink is Greater London, largest, richest, most decadent city in the world. Whatever your desire, you can find it in London.
Many thanks to Akiyama for his cultural contributions as well as to Floid for the fantastic map of London.
January 22nd, 2006, 09:10 AM
Presented here are the flags of the major Viceroyalties of the Empire as well as those of the United Kingdom, the Imperial Flag and the Flag of the Empire and Commonwealth.
(Props to Thande for devising the North American flag and giving input on the other designs)
January 22nd, 2006, 11:02 AM
World Map, 1865 (Acknowledgements to Thande for the base map from which this TL's map was derived)
January 22nd, 2006, 11:05 AM
World Map, 1874
Russia expands into South-Eastern Europe and Greece, the Mughals expand into Central Asia, Shanghai falls to the Anglo-Dutch Empire.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:07 AM
World Map, 1887
Portgual gains control of the entire Korean peninsula, the Taiping rebellion is finally crushed in S. China, Anglo-Dutch Empire expands into S. China.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:10 AM
World Map, 1920
Republic declared in France, French Royalists in Louisiana secede from the French Empire, Austrian Empire takes Alsace-Lorraine and the French E. Indies, Poland given colonies in French West Africa, Mexico secedes from Spain, Vrijland secedes from the Empire, Scotland joins the Empire.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:13 AM
World Map, 1940
Nueva Granada secedes from Spain and splits into various republics, the Philippines secede from Spain, Maharashtra is granted independence by France and dissolves into civil war.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:14 AM
World Map, 1970
Persia and Oman join the Imperial Commonwealth. Qing pushed out of part of Central Asia by Russia and the Moguls.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:15 AM
World Map, 1980
Siam and Gran Colombia join the Imperial Commonwealth
January 22nd, 2006, 11:18 AM
World Map, 1990
Greece achieves independence from Russia and joins the Imperial Commonwealth. Moghul Empire annexes Maharashtra with Anglo-Dutch assistance and joins the Imperial Commonwealth.
The Alliance of Nations is formed to counter possible aggression from Russia. The Line of Steel is established.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:20 AM
World Map, 2000
Sakhalin, Hokkaido and Aleskya are annexed by the Anglo-Dutch Empire. Ethiopia, Venice and the Kingdom of Two Sicilies join the Imperial Commonwealth. Viceroyalty of Luna declared a part of the Imperial Commonwealth.
January 22nd, 2006, 11:58 PM
Fans can discuss the Anglo-Dutch Empire by just clicking on this link and posting a reply (http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=22993)
January 23rd, 2006, 01:11 PM
A closer look at the Viceroyalty of North America
(ignore OTL US state and Canadian provincial boundaries)
January 23rd, 2006, 01:37 PM
A closer look at the Empire and Commonwealth in Asia
Red: Provinces of the Viceroyalty of India
Orange: Provinces of the Viceroyalty of the East Indies
2: Madrassi Provinces
4: Central Provinces
5: Mughal Empire (Commonwealth Member)
6: Empire of Persia (Commonwealth Member)
7: Bengal and Northern Provinces
9: Kingdom of Siam (Commonwealth Member)
14: Sulawesi, Papua and the Island Provinces
15: Viceroyalty of Anglo-Dutch China
16: Viceroyalty of Japan
January 23rd, 2006, 07:36 PM
His Majesty N, Defender of the Faith, by the grace of God King-Emperor of the Anglo-Dutch Empire and Commonwealth, Padishah-Bahadur of India, Mikado of Japan, Emperor of America*, Ireland , Zuidafrika-Natal, the East Indies, Southern China, the East Indies, Nieuw Zeeland and Luna.
King of the United Kingdom of England and the Netherlands, of Patagonia, of the West Indies, of Alaska. Protector and Overlord of the Scots, the Mughals, the Persians, the Ethiopians, the Omani, the Colombians, the Mexicans, the Siamese, the Venetians, the Sicilians, the Greeks.
*In TTL, America (without any further descriptive terms) has come to be generally used as a term referring specifically to the Anglo-Dutch region of North America.
January 29th, 2006, 09:39 AM
Cars aren't very widespread in TTL- they tend to be owned by corporations and as vanity symbols by the very rich. Most people travel by train (a very extensive high-speed maglev network) when travelling from city to city and by underground* or bus networks or taxi when travelling within cities. The concept of widespread private transport never really got off the ground in TTL. This tends to be intensified by the high taxes levied on privately-owned emission-causing vehicles within cities. Such measures are less prevalent in rural areas and more modest models of cars designed for rural work tend to be reasonably widespread there. The typical rural car (known as a motorwagon) is usually a utilitarian four wheel drive vehicle used on farms, ranches and the like. The urban models (motorcoaches) are either luxury models for corporations and the rich, taxis or goods vehicles.
Highways tend to be used mainly by mass industrial transport vehicles, similar to the road trains of Australia although the vast majority of goods still travel by rail throughout most of the Empire.
Cinnies and CV
TV is called CV in TTL- short for Cinematograph Viewer
They're reasonably widespread in much of the Empire. The main free-to-air channels are broadcast by the Imperial Cinematography Association which is sponsored by CV license fees (much as the BBC is in OTL). It is based in London. One of its most recent hits was 'The Great Game', a ten-part miniseries dealing with the exploits of a band of Imperial Political Service agents in the Russian Civil war.
The major English-language cinnie (movie) capital of the world is Kapstaad (Cape Town) where most of the major cinnie studios are based although there are smaller but still vibrant cinnie industries in Bangalore, Shanghai and Hiroshima producing content in other languages.
Science Fiction tends to be very big at the movies as does Fantasy- acclaimed director Devan Nair's english-language adaptation of the Mahabharata was a sleeper hit and rose to become the highest grossing movie ever. It started a vogue for adaptations of mythology.
However, the greatest anticipation is focused on Nair's next project, an adaptation of Leopold Barrows epic work, Denodun's Twilight.
February 19th, 2006, 12:25 PM
A man's hair can be any length up to about shoulder length without exciting comment. Doing anything with one's hair (perms, pony tails, colouring etc.) is a no-no. Moustaches and beards are more common than in OTL.
In the nineteenth century there was a fashion for men to look like Anglo-Saxons, Vikings or Celts so moustaches and beards and long braided hair dyed blonde or red were very "in".
A woman can do anything she likes with her hair, except that it must look "natural". That means no over-complicated hairstyles, no hair clips or bands and no two-tone colouring. Long hair is much more common than short hair. Women tend to wear less make-up and jewellery than in OTL.
In general, clothing styles are unisex. Clothes tend to made out of a thick material, like denim, but much softer.
Clothing should be simple, comfortable and subtle. It often has an abstract pattern on it. Favourite colours are cream, beige, greys and muted greens. Clashing colours are a no-no!
Typical clothing would be trousers or shorts, a patterned t-shirt, a loose jacket with patterning around the edge, and either shoes and socks or sandals. For a more formal look (the equivalent of wearing a tie or a dress) the jacket is replaced with a sort of dressing-gown that ties around the waist.
Other fashions include designs of a more eastern influence especially when it comes to formal occasions. An Indian sherwani with trousers is often seen as bussiness wear for men.
Work clothes are even less colourful than casual or "dress" clothes, but the general outfit is the same. All employees of large corporations, no matter what their rank, wear an armband with the company's logo on their right arm above the elbow.
Everyone carries a satchel. Hats are optional, but shouldn't be worn indoors. High-heeled shoes are unknown in this timeline. Watches are uncommon as one is rarely out of sight of a clock, inside or out.
Some youths like to dress differently.
Spinners are basically hippies. They wear "eastern" clothing, listen to dreamy music, take drugs and have sex with one another. Males have long hair but are clean shaven.
Mohicans are male gangs, although particularly tomboyish girls could be members too. They wear special hooded jackets made of cloth and leather, the sides of which which fasten together with buckles (normal jackets are meant to be worn loose and have no buttons). These jackets contain numerous pockets as Mohicans don't carry satchels. Mohicans also wear belts with pouches attached. They carry carved wooden sticks which can hang from their belts by a clasp, and they usually lots of other stuff too (e.g. knives, multitools, string, torches, spray-paint etc.). Mohicans have very short hair, sometimes shaved into a pattern, and when they are with their gang they paint their faces.
Mohicans always have a "camp" in an abandoned building. They spend their time exploring abandoned buildings and "off-limits" areas such as subway tunnels, painting graffiti (sometimes quite artistic), climbing tall buildings and attaching their flag to the top, fighting other mohican gangs (these fights have rules and serious injuries are rare), partying with other mohican gangs, patrolling their territory (mohicans are very territorial) and stealing spy cameras (these are valued trophies that go on display in their camp).
Daisies are female gangs. They wear revealing all-in-one outfits that are shaped a bit like swimsuits, in bright colours such as white, orange, yellow and red, with thigh high boots and colourful capes. They also wear make-up and lots of jewellery, particularly bangles, rings, earrings and noserings. They will always wear some kind of ostentatious headgear (e.g. a big floopy cap, a dazzlingly patterned hat or a tiara) They spend their time hanging around shopping areas, smoking marijuana, harassing boys, playing practical jokes, singing, dancing and playing musical instruments (particularly a kind of loud mouth organ with keys) and shoplifting. They adopt silly names (e.g. "Princess Meow") and insist everyone they know call them by that rather than their real name.
Daisies are contemptuous of boys. Any daisy who embarks on a serious relationship with a boy will be dropped and shunned. However, some forms of relationships with boys are okay. A non-sexual friendship will be accepted. Flirting is fine, and in fact daisies are often aggressive flirters. One-night stands are okay but etiquette demands that the daisy take something belonging to her lover (not money) as "payment". Sexual relationships with middle aged "sugar daddies" are acceptable because the relationship is commercial, not romantic. And many daisy gangs will adopt a non-threatening boy (e.g. younger, homosexual or geeky) as a "mascot", to be alternately bullied and pampered.
Skets wear normal clothing, but without any kind of pattern and always in the same shade of dark grey. They shave their heads so they are bald. They tend to avoid sex, drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) and eating meat, eggs or dairy products. They usually have some kind of part time job but they don't spend their money, they save it (or invest it). They often have geeky hobbies such as playing go.
Almost all skets practice an oriental martial art and usually embrace an oriental philosophy as well, unless they are Christians, in which case they will be very serious about their Christianity. They are not as sociable as the other groups but tend to hand around together because other teens find them boring or annoying.
February 21st, 2006, 09:54 PM
The Kingdom of Louisiana is all that remains of the once glorious domains of the House of Bourbon besides a few Caribbean islands. After the French Revolution of 1915, Louisiana, fuelled by the fervour of the Irish immigrants who saw the French monarchy as an institution that had protected them from Anglo-Dutch persecution, declared for the Royalist cause and the King fled to New Orleans. Over the course of the 20th century, the fertile lands watered by the Missisippi and its tributaries developed into the richest agricultural region in the world. The Louisians like to say that Louisian farmers feed the world and this is not far from the truth.
The sanctity of the Catholic Church has long been protected in Louisiana and while nowhere near an actual theocracy, the state works to preserve the interests of the Roman Catholic faith. Institutions of other religions are not tax-exempt and there tends to be unofficial discrimination against non-Catholics in many walks of life. There are few non-Catholic members in the country clubs and even fewer non-Catholics in government and the higher ranks of the professions. Birth control was legalised in a controversial referendum during the early 1990's though abortion and homosexuality still remain officially illegal although prosecutions are rare for the latter offence.
Population breakdown of Louisiana
French: 40% (including the Creole [coloured] population, the descendants of former slaves and former slaveowners)
Other European: 8%
French is by far the dominant language though Spanish and Gaelic are widely spoken. English is widely understood and slightly less widely spoken in the larger cities.
The four major cities of Louisiana are New Orleans (the capital), St. Louis, Juneau (OTL Milwaukee) and Tara (OTL Memphis, Tennessee).
While diplomatic relations between the Lousianan government and the Empire are still frosty from time to time they do often cooperate on many issues. It is widely acknowledged that the finest universities for the agricultural sciences are found in Louisiana.
Private motor transport is far more widespread in Louisiana than in the Empire (as it the case with many countries) as the government chose to pour funds into the construction of superhighway networks rather than inter-city maglev systems. As a result, the petroleum industry in the Gulf of Mexico is very important to Louisiana and this is augmented with imports from Persia and other oil-rich parts of the Anglo-Dutch Empire, another factor contributing to the Louisian government's general willingness to cooperate with London. The city of Juneau is the motor vehicle manufacturing capital of the world.
March 5th, 2006, 04:47 PM
The Nueva Espanan states of the Spanish Confederal Republic span a vast territory. From the prosperous cities of the Pacific coast to the vast, cold resource rich Northern hinterland, New Spain ruled from the Confederal Republic's second capital at San Francisco is a far-cry from the once ill-managed Spanish viceroyalty.
After the Mexican revolution, many Spanish loyalists fled to California and sweeping reforms were initiated. New Spain was reorganised along the Anglo-Dutch lines- the Nueva Espanan states elected representatives to a Confederal Assembly at San Francisco just as the Spanish and Moroccan states did to Madrid. Both Confederal assemblies were represented in the Republican Assembly, also at Madrid.
With the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy, freedom of religion was guaranteed and though the Catholic church is still the premier faith, representatives of many other religions have sprung up, notably of Chinese Buddhism and Taoism after the vast influx of Chinese immigrants in the late 20th century.
Population breakdown of Nueva Espana
Hispanic: 69% (This includes "pure-blooded" Spaniards, Mestizo and Filipinos)
Other European and North African: 12% (Mostly people of Portuguese, Moroccan and Italian descent)
Other Asian and Black: 4%
Spanish is the dominant language though English is generally understood in the major cities. Mandarin Chinese is beginning to gain importance in areas such as San Francisco which have the largest Chinese populations.
San Francisco is the capital of Nueva Espana and the third-largest urban area in the Americas after Nieuw Amsterdam and Rio de Janeiro. Other major cities include San Andreas (OTL Vancouver), Los Angeles and Nueva Barcelona (OTL Denver).
Major industries include mining, timber and the burgeoning Iam (computer; Iam= instructable algorithmic mill) industry. Tourism is also an important industry in many regions.
March 6th, 2006, 03:41 PM
India is the most populous of the Viceroyalties of the Empire with a population of almost 3/4 bn. Though the cities are as well developed as any cities in the Empire the hinterlands often remain much less advanced. As with Anglo-Dutch China, Anglo-Dutch India best showcases the extremes of life within the borders of the Empire. While industrial moguls hold lavish parties in the glittering cities, millions of low-paid industrial workers huddle around communal CV sets mere miles away. However the contrast between Anglo-Dutch India and the conditions in the neighbouring Mughal Empire is indeed striking- though life is hard, subsistence agriculture and famines are a thing of the past.
India is the industrial powerhouse of the Empire and to a great extent the world. Hinduism remains the majority religion and though discrimination based on caste is theoretically illegal, it still occurs especially among the working classes. For the middle and upper classes, though, life is much the same as with any of the other Viceroyalties, or perhaps even better seeing that domestic labour is cheap and easily available. Most middle class families have at least one household servant and a cook in their employ.
On a regional level local languages are used though English is the language of government and education and serves as a lingua franca. It is not uncommon to see middle and upper class families using English as their first language.
Madras is the capital of the Viceroyalty and remains the richest and largest city on the subcontinent.
March 6th, 2006, 10:30 PM
In a referendum conducted in 1904, the population of the Viceroyalty of Vandiemensland voted to secede from the Anglo-Dutch Empire. This was the culimnation of a quarter-century long process of political activism and terrorism, including an assassination attempt on the then Crown Princess Astrid (later Queen-Empress Astrid I).
The main impetus towards this declaration of independence was the realisation that the Viceroyalty would be pressured into extending the franchise to its non-white minority.
During the 19th Century when Vandiemensland had been under the jurisdiction of the VOC, a large number of Indonesian and African indentured servants had been imported into the colonies. They formed a majority of the population until a wave of immigration from Germany and Scandinavia in the late 19th Century. After that point, the overall population consisted of a slight majority of whites.
It was at this point that a particularly fundamentalist strain of Calvinism took root in Vandiemensland stating firmly that non-whites were meant to serve whites. This was met with general repugnance by the Imperial authorities back in London or "Babylon-don" as the more virulent Vandiemenslander calvinist preachers were wont to call it.
With independence, the Virjlanders, as they now called themselves, enacted a series of legislative acts denying the possibility of enfranchisement to the non-white population. Instead, an almost Communist system was put in place where nonwhites were carefully controlled and provided with basic needs in exchange for almost slave-like labour. At the same time, population boosting measures were introduced among the white population (tax rebates for more children etc.).
Vrijland remains a major mineral and agricultural producer selling to many nations such as the Iskandri Caliphate and the Russian Empire. Besides these trade ties, it has remained fiercely isolationistic and few Anglo-Dutch citizens are ever admitted to the country.
Vrijland's ties with the Iskandri Caliphate are especially interesting. The Vrijland Calvinists found much to respect in the staunch Sunni Islam of the Iskandri and have welcomed immigrants from the Arab world granting them the same status as White citizens.
After the Russian Civil War, many Russians have emigrated to Vrijland and their community has been gaining influence.
Population Breakdown of Vrijland
72% White- mostly of Dutch, German and Scandinavian descent with smaller populations of French, Russian and English descent.
4% Middle Eastern- Mostly Arab. Some Kurds, Berber and Turks.
24% Non-White- Mostly Indonesian and Black African
The Vrijlander Calvinist Church is the official religion of the United Provinces. Many laws are religious based and an elected council of Church Elders have seats in a religious advisory council to the Vrijlander Senate. Most other religions are disapproved of with the notable exception of Sunni Islam and the Russian Orthodox Church. Due to a strange quirk of history the Iskandiri Caliphate has become Vrijland's staunchest ally and Sunni representatives also have a few seats with the aforementioned Church Elders. Due to the recent rise in the population of Russians, an Orthodox Bishop has also been admitted to the Advisory Council. Conversion of Calvinists to Orthodoxy or Islam is disapproved of though not illegal but for the most part each religious community keeps to itself.
The major language of Vrijland is known as Nederlands but it differs greatly from the original Dutch having adopted many influences from German, the Scandinavian languages and the various Indonesian dialects.
Military service is compulsory for all White and Middle-Eastern male citizens and due to this and a well-honed reserve system, the Vrijlander Armed Forces are considered extremely respectable. They may not have the sheer might of the Imperial Armed Forces but on their own turf they are sue to be dangerous.
March 9th, 2006, 10:09 PM
A constitutional monarch, the King-Emperors and Queen-Empresses of the House of Orange serve as heads of state for the United Kingdom and the various Viceroyalties as well as the Head of the Imperial Commonwealth.
The power of the Crown is theoretically vast but, as in OTL, it is seldom used. However, the Crown enjoys somewhat more influence than it does in OTL- a strong willed King-Emperor can often play a decisive role in many Imperial matters.
The position of the King-Emperors in various countries of the Commonwealth tends to vary. In member states like Scotland, Mexico and the Mughal Empire which have their own ruling houses or Presidents, the House of Oranje enjoys a special position as "Protector"- the rulers of these states have entered into a relationship with the Anglo-Dutch Empire which is akin to a form of vassalage. This is purely theoretical as the King-Emperor does not have any real legal authority beyond his position of Head of the Imperial Commonwealth in these countries. As was mentioned before, however, the actual influence a King-Emperor may have in these countries varies greatly depending on the monarch in question.
At this point, it may be useful to distinguish between the Empire proper and the Imperial Commonwealth. The Empire itself is made up of the United Kingdom, its colonies and the Viceroyalties. The Empire has a unified currency and each constituent part of the Empire sends voting representatives to the Imperial Parliament.
The Commonwealth nations, on the other hand, are nations that, for want of a better term have been vassalised. They enjoy certain trade benefits with the Empire, generally have military structures that are integrated to a greater or lesser extent with the Imperial forces and send representatives to the Imperial Parliament. These representatives, however are nonvoting except in Commonwealth sessions when matters affecting the entire Empire and Commonwealth are brought before the House.
Scotland is a special case since, although it is a separate country with a seperate ruling house it is actually a part of the Anglo-Dutch Empire with the Scottish King basically acting as Head of State in the same way as a Viceroy of one of the Viceroyalties would. Scotland sends voting representatives to the Imperial Parliament and is part of the Empire's monetary union. The general idea is to extend such deals to various members of the Commonwealth once they have developed enough. Such a deal was offered to Mexico but the offer was graciously turned down, the Mexicans preferring to retain a bit more autonomy as Commonwealth members.
August 18th, 2006, 02:18 AM
Boys names - England
Girls names - England
Boys names - North America
6. Lutjen (pronounced loot-yen)
9. Caeser (pronounced kaiser)
Girls names - North America
3. Jilfte (pronounced yilf-tu)
August 18th, 2006, 02:19 AM
Judaism in the Anglo-Dutch Empire
The old United Provinces was a place where Jews could practise their faith relatively freely without fear of large-scale persecution. With the founding of the Anglo-Dutch Empire, Jews began to spread across the length and breadth of the Empire. By 2006, London, Amsterdam, Singapore, Nieuw Amsterdam, and Recife were the main focal points of Jewish life in the Empire. Throughout the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, Jews steadily trickled out of the ghettos of Austria, Russia, Poland, Hungary, and France into the welcome embrace of the House of Orange-Nassau.
The Present Day
Judaism is not monolithic by any means. Joining the exodus of German Protestants were the originators of the Reform Movement, which liberalized Jewish worship and doctrine. The great Temple of Beth Israel [OTL's Emanu-el], in Nieuw Amsterdam serves as the focal point for Reform Jews in the Anglo-Dutch Empire.
However, the vast majority of the recent Jewish immigrants into the Empire were Orthodox and Hasidic Jews from theocratic and increasingly war-torn Empire of all the Russias (along with a good smattering from Poland and Hungary). So called "Little Jerusalems" have sprung up the Empire's biggest cities. The Orthodox tend to close themselves to the world of the goyim, while the Reform Jews tend to enthusiastically embrace public life.
All Anglo-Dutch Jews, however, were united in the 1980s and 1990s in denouncing the Russians in their persecution of their Jewish minority. Large protests against the Russian consulates in Singapore, Nieuw Amsterdam, Amsterdam, and Recife raised quite a ruckus, and culminated in the huge rally in front of the Russian Embassy in London in 1990, where huge crowds of Orthodox and Reform Jews joined to repeatedly belt out "Let our people go!"
Life in the Anglo-Dutch Empire: From 1654, when the first Jewish refugees from the Portuguese Inquisition set foot in Niew Amsterdam, Jews have been amongst the Empire's greatest lawyers, businessmen, speculators, and stock traders. The profession of the Jews tends to dictate whom they vote for. The businessmen, traders, and speculators are generally Conservative votes. However, the lawyers tend to vote Liberal, leading one Conservative Jewish MP, the Right Honourable Moshe Katsev (C-Bradford), to quip in 2003 "Oh Lord, smight these foul lawyers and landlords, they are a blighteth on the land!" .
Jews also tend to dominate the comedic scenes in the big cities. The movies of Zuid Afrikan flimaker Abba Elias Marius van der Mewe play to packed houses from Singapore to Mexico City (which isn't a big surprise-after all, Zuid Afrika's movie industry was founded almost entirely by Jewish immigrants from Poland). Comedian Ali van Doyborg (real name Herald Cuttler Rubenstein) tours the Empire in style and in an eccentric flamboyance that liberally mixes Yiddish, Anglo-Dutch, and Asian styles with great disdain for what the Conservative matrons and [I]Burghers of Amsterdam might think.
The Jews of the Vrijlander Republic: There were never many Jews in Vandiemensland (historians estimate that by 1904, there were only around 40,000 Jews on the entire continent, mostly settled in Zuid Geldre). After the founding of the Vrijlander Republic, virtually the entire Jewish community, not wanting to know what would lie in store for them under a Calvinist theocracy, left en masse for Singapore, forming the basis for that city's steadily growing Jewish community. The few who decided to stay were subject to a number of restrictions. By the 1910s, the few who had stayed were gone.
Broach the subject of the Vrijlanders to any Anglo-Dutch Jew, and their reaction will give you a first class education in Yiddish oaths.
August 20th, 2006, 09:45 PM
New, nice and clean map of the Empire c.2005 as kindly drawn by Darkest
August 21st, 2006, 06:16 PM
The Vrijlander Republic is, to a certain extent, a Calvinist theocracy. Other religions are tolerated, though grudgingly.
Around 20 million whites, mostly of Anglo-Dutch and German descent, 10 million Coloured (most of which are a mixture of all the above races), 5 million Indians, 1 million East Asians, 7 million Malays, 3 million Blacks, an undetermined number of Aboriginals.
Vrijlander citizenship law is strange and complex. The people of Vrijland are classed into four grades
(i) Citizen, First-Grade: Only Protestant Whites may be first-grade citizens. Males must serve three years in the Vrijlander Armed Forces to qualify for full citizenship. Women must serve one year in what is called the Social Forces, doing various sorts of non-military work. First-grade citizens may vote in all elections and stand for any public office.
(ii) Citizen, Second-Grade: The small number of other whites (Catholics, mostly) belong to this category, as well as Jews and Christian, Sikh or Muslim Indians. Second-grade male citizens serve two years in the Armed forces though their women still serve one year in the Social Forces. Second-grade citizens may vote in local elections only and stand only for local office.
(iii) Citizen, Third-Grade: This grade encompasses the coloured population as well as East Asians and Hindu Indians. They may not vote or join the armed forces.
(iv) Citizen, Fourth-Grade: This grade encompasses the Malays, Blacks and Aboriginals. They are, in many ways considered wards of the state. Their movements are carefully monitored and their employment is severely restricted- most are restricted to rural areas where they provide labour for the thriving Vrijlander agricultural and mining sectors.
Citizens may not reside in areas earmarked for other grades. Within the lower two grades, no further segregation is conducted on the basis of race but Grade Two zones are further subdivided into Christian and non-Christian neighbourhoods.
The only official language is Vrijlandse (a Dutch-German-English hybrid) with English taught as a second language only in schools for the children of First- and Second-Grade citizens.
Besides their class- and racial-based laws, Vrijland's religious heritage tends to show through in it's attitude towards vices, which tends to be the diametrical opposite of the laissez-faire Anglo-Dutch Empire.
The sale of alcohol is severely restricted and many districts are dry. Prostitution is highly illegal as is the sale and consumption of narcotic substances. A religious court system exists to deal with such cases and is empowered to hand out punishments ranging for a fine to a whipping to imprisonment and even execution (though this last is generally only reserved for pimps and drug dealers). This court system also handles some other aspects of the law and deals with cases of adultery (also punishable by whipping), homosexuality (theoretically also punishable by death) and divorce (only legal in cases of adultery).
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