19th century "For All Time"?

For All Time has been a classic dystopian alternate history tale for almost two decades by now. However, I don't think I've ever seen an attempt at transplanting the basic idea to different time periods, aside from the future, that is. Every now and then, I've been thinking myself what would be a good point of divergence for the world of the 19th century to go as wrong as possible, like the original did with Franklin D. Roosevelt dying on December 20th 1941.

Anybody want to make suggestions for the PoD or subsequent events? As a reminder, For All Time contains frequent genocide and racial strife, use of nuclear weapons, constant warfare in general, infectious diseases spreading uncontrollably, insane people gaining power, and in one instance industrialized cannibalism. Aside from the nukes, I think all of these probably should feature in the 19th century hellscape as well.

Some ideas of my own:

- Slavery is never abolished in the United States, or it is abolished much later than in our world.
- The Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable is never built, or it is built much later than in our world.
- The Taiping Rebellion causes even more deaths than in our world, and/or the movement is successful, resulting in widespread destruction of Chinese cultural heritage.

And yes, I am aware that What Madness is This? exists, thank you very much. It has a somewhat earlier point of divergence than I would imagine the hypothetical 19th century For All Time to have -- I'd imagine it to occur sometime after 1815 (or maybe even after 1848), though if anyone has an idea for one earlier than that I am all ears.
 
You would probably an analogous POD. Kill off a pivotal leader just after a major development for an armed conflict.
 
You would probably an analogous POD. Kill off a pivotal leader just after a major development for an armed conflict.
I thought of Lincoln dying even more prematurely, but I don't quite know if Hannibal Hamlin would be able to screw the USA over as much as Wallace -- and even then it'd only affect one country immediately. Another idea I had was Victoria dying before having children and Ernest Augustus becoming King instead, though there's no immediate conflict for him to screw up.
 
In lieu of nukes, a chunk of comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle strikes somewhere in Canada in November 1833, such that regions north of the Mason Dixon line are increasingly trashed by blast effects or impact winter. There will be no Underground Railroad.
 
I thought of Lincoln dying even more prematurely, but I don't quite know if Hannibal Hamlin would be able to screw the USA over as much as Wallace -- and even then it'd only affect one country immediately. Another idea I had was Victoria dying before having children and Ernest Augustus becoming King instead, though there's no immediate conflict for him to screw up.
What about a scenario in which Silas Wright is the 1844 Democratic presidential nominee?
 
And yes, I am aware that What Madness is This? exists, thank you very much.
Ok, there goes my first idea.
What about Decades of Darkness? /s

More seriously,

Slavery is never abolished in the United States, or it is abolished much later than in our world.
Maybe no Civil War? (Confederate victory is sort of cheating but it may be the best one can do, depending on one's views of American politics at the time)
- The Trans-Atlantic telegraph cable is never built, or it is built much later than in our world.
Something in Canada or Ireland makes it infeasible?
- The Taiping Rebellion causes even more deaths than in our world, and/or the movement is successful, resulting in widespread destruction of Chinese cultural heritage.
How do we make the Taiping more successful? IIRC, the Qing needed foreign help to win their civil war, so perhaps something could be arranged there.

Honestly part of me wonders if screwing the British Empire might not be a prerequisite for this TL with these three requirements.
I'd imagine it to occur sometime after 1815 (or maybe even after 1848)
After 1815 and before 1900 limits our options for major wars (Unless you want to cause a new one).

Ok, the Qing (and their foreign allies) won the Taiping War between 1861 and 1863. If at some point during that, something went wrong with the American Civil War and it errupted into a world war of sorts (US+Russia vs CSA+UK+France) and against all odds Team Aristocracy won, we could get a pretty screwed up world, and American slavery would survive for longer in the CSA. The strain of the war might push Britain and/or France into some sort of revolution. The diversion of the Royal Navy to other duties means that the Taiping might survive for longer as well. That doesn't do much about the Trans-Atlantic cable (though it probably would greatly hamper the rebuilding), there's the point I mentioned earlier about cheating, and besides For All Time still had the Allies win WW2.

So Plan B: I don't have a plan B. I have 12% of a plan B. Tsar Nicholas I dies during the Revolutions of 1848. Consequentially, the Austro-Hungarian Empire is not propped up by Russian bayonets and collapses. This leads to a longer lived Hungarian Republic and a hastily cobbled together German Republic (with what could be grabbed of Austria). Revolutionary chaos ensues, the Russians eventually decide to intervene and wind up essentially taking over the Balkans and turning the Ottoman Empire into a client state, leading the British to do the same to Iran to keep it out of Russian hands. All these revolutions add fuel to the fire in Mexico and encourage the Yucatan to break away. It does so, and combined with the lack of a monarchist France invading Mexico, this pushes Mexico to be a bit nicer to the CSA in hopes of getting it back. A few blunders lead to a US invasion during the Civil War, and the Yanks eventually win and really put the screws to Mexico, (not directly annexing it, which is logistically absurd). Forget it, this is implausible and I'm not sure where I'm going with it anyway.

Well, I hope these ramblings do you some good.
 
Maybe no Civil War?
That was actually also among my best ideas, though I'm not sure how it could be best achieved.

Honestly part of me wonders if screwing the British Empire might not be a prerequisite for this TL with these three requirements.
Also something I thought of, though more in the sense of "how could I make the Brits a dictatorship?" or so.

Well, I hope these ramblings do you some good.
Oh don't worry, it was quite interesting actually.
 
Have the rebellions of 1848 take on a radical and racial bent, leading to a much earlier rise of fascism, and have all the horrors it unleashed in the 1930s and 40s visited upon a world without modern vehicles to speed up the process, leading to extremely drawn out warfare lasting decades. Chuck in a plague or two. Have assembly line manufacturing being adopted earlier, only this time round it makes extensive use of slavery leading to industrial societies keeping or adopting that particular horror. You could also introduce crop damaging parasites similar to the blight that led to Irish potato famine. If you really wanted to go nuts have large scale volcanic activity create another little ice age, or have the La Palma rockslide tidal wave event happen.
 
I thought of Lincoln dying even more prematurely, but I don't quite know if Hannibal Hamlin would be able to screw the USA over as much as Wallace -- and even then it'd only affect one country immediately. Another idea I had was Victoria dying before having children and Ernest Augustus becoming King instead, though there's no immediate conflict for him to screw up.
Well, he's got voting reform and the Chartists he can clamp down on hard, whilst promoting the paramilitary Orange Order at home, plus of course also ruling Hannover, however knock-on effects there want to go
 
Question - would William IV dying earlier, and Victoria having a regency for a few years affect anything?

IIRC, William hated the Duchess of Kent so much* that he wanted to live at least long enough for Victoria to come of age.


*not that she was particularly popular to begin with
 
Maybe Lincoln dies early into his presidency, leaving the more radical Hannibal Hamlin as president. Due to Hamlin‘s much harsher stance on slavery, more border states(Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, etc.) wind up joining the Confederacy. Hamlin also ends up offending the British, who intervene in favor of the Confederates. The French also intervene to stop the Americans from doing anything about their invasion of Mexico, while Russia intervenes on the side of the US. With the European powers distracted, they don’t intervene in the Taiping rebellion, and the Qing and Taiping fight each other to a bloody standstill. If possible, having Paraguay win(or at least be more successful in) the War of the Triple Alliance would make this scenario even more insane and dystopian, though it may require ASB intervention to give Lopez a brain.
 
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If possible, having Paraguay win(or at least be more successful in) the War of the Triple Alliance would make this scenario even more insane and dystopian, though it may require ASB intervention to give Lopez a brain.
I've just thought of something else...

Paraguay refuses to give up for even longer, suffering even worse losses, and ends up being extinguished as a country.
 
I've just thought of something else...

Paraguay refuses to give up for even longer, suffering even worse losses, and ends up being extinguished as a country.
Interesting(and horrifying) idea. Having Boulanger take over in France might also add to the scenario, though I don’t know how effective he’d be as a leader. A worse Boer War could also add to the dystopia. I wonder if there might be a way to turn the British into some sort of dictatorship.
 
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