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  1. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC: Earlier Urban Parks

    Let's define an urban park as (i) a place in or within walking distance of a city, (ii) which is accessible to the public, and (iii) which is set aside for non-staged recreation (so we can exclude arenas, hippodromes and theaters). As far as I can tell - although I'd be happy to be proven wrong...
  2. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC: Rashidi or Not, Here We Come

    POD 1902: one of the defenders of Masmak Fort makes a lucky shot, and the man who would become King Abdulaziz IOTL falls dead a few meters short of the walls. The remainder of his raiding party retreats in disarray, and the House of Saud fades into obscurity in Kuwaiti exile. The Emirate of...
  3. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC/PC: Rhode Island's 1652 ban on slavery is enforced

    TIL that Rhode Island banned slavery in 1652, restricting the term of service for both black and white indentured servants to ten years. However, the law was largely ignored - most slave owners didn't let their "servants" go at the end of the term, and no one made them - and eventually, in 1703...
  4. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC/PC: A STEM Grows in Africa

    IOTL, British India and British Africa both had highly educated elites during the colonial era, but the Raj produced many eminent scientists while the African colonies, by and large, didn't. Chike Obi, the first Nigerian to get a Ph.D. in mathematics (most of the firsts in this regard are from...
  5. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC/PC: Can the Statute of the Jewry 1275 be made to work?

    The English Statute of the Jewry 1275 prohibited Jews from lending money at interest or taking mortgages on land - which in England, as in much of the rest of medieval Europe, had been their chief commercial activity up to that time - but permitted them to work as merchants, craftsmen and...
  6. Jonathan Edelstein

    Boganda survives (or: Can the CAR be saved?)

    On March 29, 1959, Barthélemy Boganda, the prime minister of the Central African Republic under the French Union and in all likelihood the person who would lead the country after independence, died in a plane crash that has been the subject of conspiracy theories ever since. He was succeeded...
  7. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC: Can Baldwin IV solve his succession problem?

    Baldwin IV of Jerusalem may well have been the single greatest badass the Crusaders ever produced: not only did he beat the hell out of Saladin while still a teenager, but he did it while being eaten alive with leprosy. As a leper, though, he was fated to die young (he died at 23 or 24 and even...
  8. Jonathan Edelstein

    AH Vignette: Saladin at Jerusalem

    Beit Hanina, 1866 Baudouin rode into camp and found that he was late. “He’s looking for you,” said the sentry as Baudouin swung down from his horse, pointing to the tent at the center of the camp. “The sayyid needs to see you,” said a Taibeh man who recognized his face. “The emir – he’s...
  9. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC/WI: Post-Reconstruction equilibrium

    There have been many Reconstruction threads here, and the consensus seems to be that, unless radically changed, it was unsustainable once the federal government got tired of occupying the South. But what about the period immediately after, from the mid-1870s to the early 1890s? At that point...
  10. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC/WI: African-American kingship in New England continues after emancipation

    Among the more unusual features of New England slavery was that, on election days, the slaves would hold a parallel election and choose a colony-wide (and later statewide) leader. These elections combined features of West African elected kingship with the civic ritual of colonial America. In...
  11. Jonathan Edelstein

    "Partners in the Dance," a Malêverse Great War novel (planning/discussion)

    From time to time, I've been asked about a Malêverse ebook. In general, I don't think that timelines are easily convertible into novels - the goals of storytelling and historical plausibility are often in conflict, and the usual mix of "academic articles" and narrative vignettes doesn't really...
  12. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC: Hellenistic or Roman Science Fiction

    In honor of the forthcoming Hugo awards, can you imagine a situation in which speculative fiction, as a genre, takes off in the Hellenistic and/or Roman age? The obvious objection is "they didn't have science," but I'm not sure the scientific method, as such, is a necessary precursor to...
  13. Jonathan Edelstein

    Limited Axis victory leads to independent French Equatorial Africa

    Let's postulate a limited Axis victory in Europe. Hitler has an aneurysm in spring 1941 and Germany is taken over by a junta of leading Nazi Party figures and generals, leading to no Barbarossa and no declaration of war against the United States. Britain then sees the futility of fighting...
  14. Jonathan Edelstein

    AHC: Netanyahu a US Senator after being Prime Minister of Israel

    According to Prof. Yael Aronoff (footnote 33), "Netanyahu is the most 'American' Israeli leader. For many years, he held dual Israeli and American citizenship. He lived in America between eight and ten and during his high school years; he attended MIT and then Sloan Business School after...
  15. Jonathan Edelstein

    African rice domesticated in fourth millennium BC

    The Inner Niger Delta, the one in Mali, is where African rice was domesticated - the best guess for OTL is sometime in the mid-late first millennium BC. Let's push it back three or four thousand years, possibly with the 5.9-kiloyear event as impetus. Early trial-and-error experiments with...
  16. Jonathan Edelstein

    Northern Rhodesia General Election 1962: ANC-UFP Pact Holds

    The Northern Rhodesia general election of September 1962 (followed by by-elections in December for unfilled seats) was the last to be held under the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It took place under a new constitution that gave all Africans the vote and greatly expanded African...
  17. Jonathan Edelstein

    TLIA(F)D: La Dauphine - The Short Presidency of Kiki Bokassa Deeb

    LA DAUPHINE THE SHORT PRESIDENCY OF KIKI BOKASSA DEEB Another one, so soon? Hey, you gave me the idea. What, when? In our last conversation, when you asked if I was doing one about the Central African Republic. Only you would take me up on that...
  18. Jonathan Edelstein

    TLIAD: Union, Travail, Justice

    UNION, TRAVAIL, JUSTICE What’s this? Surely you know by now. A Timeline in a Day? You never finished the other one of those you started. I’ll finish it someday. Keep telling yourself that. I… all right, it was too ambitious. And I did finish...
  19. Jonathan Edelstein

    PC/WI: Caligula reigns as long as Domitian

    What it says on the tin: could Caligula plausibly stay on the throne for as long as Domitian or Nero – essentially, through all or nearly all of Claudius’ OTL reign – and if so, what would Caligulan Rome look like? The threshold question is whether this can happen at all: even if Caligula...
  20. Jonathan Edelstein

    "Nickel Age" in Melanesia?

    One of the problems with kick-starting a Pacific Island civilization is the lack of useful metal deposits. Some of the larger islands have copper and gold, but none have tin for bronzeworking and, as far as I know, none have easily accessible iron (Fiji and PNG have iron sand, but techniques...
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