2020 Turtledoves - Best Early Modern Timeline POLL

The Best Early Modern Timeline is...


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Saw this on the ‘Colonalism and Revolutions Poll’ thread and thought it was a good idea. A Brief Introduction to my Timeline:

Queen Is Dead was born out of one very simple question: What if Henry VIII had married Mary Boleyn instead of Anne Boleyn?

I then started thinking about what it would take for that to happen. Mary Boleyn doesn’t seem to have been cut from the same cloth as her younger sister, historically, so she wasn’t going to be able to hold Henry’s attention for the years it would take to have an ATL Great Matter. Hence, Katherine of Aragon was going to have to clear the way somewhat more easily. The first chapter more or less sprang into my head fully-formed.

Queen Is Dead begins with Katherine’s body simply giving out on her during her final labour on the 10th of November 1518 and follows Henry VIII and his court for the next 13 years (or such is the plan, anyway, I haven’t finished it yet…), tracking the changes that the death of their beloved Queen brings to England. As I said above, Henry takes the other Boleyn sister as his second wife, and that in turn, sets the butterflies flapping…

Queen Is Dead is not a big project in terms of scale. I can’t write on a global or even European scale, and I make no bones about that. I’ve always been more interested in the personal side of history, and my TL reflects that. What it is, however, is a labour of love, an AU I’ve been crafting, on and off, for the past seven years, and I am absolutely thrilled that it has been nominated for a Turtledove! Thank you so much for coming along for the ride!
 
Inspired by @FalconHonour

A Brief Introduction to My Timeline:

Starting with the survival of Prince Arthur of Wales, the timeline follows the man who could’ve become King Henry VIII thought his long long life. I try to answer the question of who Henry Tudor could have been without the weight of the entire Tudor dynasty on his shoulders. This timeline's Prince Henry manages to make his way all over Europe impacting politics and religion.

Unlike OTL there are oodles of Tudors, and this timeline covers the impact they all have on Europe and a little bit of the Americas. There a pretty huge selection of characters but I try and include family trees ever decade or so.

The story is told with selections from textbooks, movie reviews, documentaries, and other media. I’ve found it allows a fun viewpoint and conveys a eclectic selection of information. I’m glad people are enjoying it, and thank for the nomination!
 
Since the cool kids @FalconHonour and @Cate13 are doing it I might as well.

This is an attempted introduction for my Timeline, I hope it is not too long.

This timeline takes place during the Sengoku period of Japan, it was a time where Japan was divided among feudal lords who were namely out to maintain their own power. You have several famous names that pop up like Oda Nobunaga, Takeda Shingen, Tokugawa Ieyasu, Uesugi Kenshin, and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, but I wanted to go with someone who could have been a contender. Imagawa Yoshimoto, of the Imagawa clan was the head of a regional power in it's own right, they controlled three provinces of Japan, only surrounded by two strong allies the Takeda and Hojo, with one comparatively minor enemy, the recently united Oda clan of Owari under Oda Nobunaga.

Yoshimoto would prepare to march on the capital and that meant an invasion of Owari, during which Yoshimoto met little resistance. However everything would change when Nobunaga against the reasoning of his advisers to either make a stand at his castle or surrender, attack Yoshimoto's army during a thunderstorm, and had managed to kill Yoshimoto. The death of Yoshimoto, left the Oda free to expand and gain strength to unify Japan, as the Imagawa collapsed.

The POD here is Yoshimoto feels that such an attack could happen and let Nobunaga attack, catching Nobunaga an ambush that leaves him dead in the aftermath. So I wanted to work with a TL that deals with a drastically different Sengoku period from OTL, but I also wanted to make a unified Japan that doesn't fall into, oh Japan unites and invades China or Korea for reasons, but still does remain open to the world. Another reason was to show the Sengoku period as what it really was, once you get past the romanticism, it was a period where sons killed their fathers, fathers killed their own sons, and brother would fight against brother. Yet the Obsessive Compulsive in me also wanted to explore the rest of the world during this time and not leave it static, so that meant toying around with ideas on how much can I change the rest of the world and still keep it plausible.

Because the Sengoku Period was largely moved by personality, and taking some inspiration from the novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms the TL is narrative based to reflect on that. My timeline has been worked on for a while, even undergoing a rewrite, but I'm thankful for the nomination, and hope my timeline has been enjoyable.
 
Well I may as well do one of these little intros too- and not going to lie, I may have to get round to re/reading some of my esteemed colleagues works. I’m incredibly honoured to be nominated and I’m so glad that people are enjoying my efforts.

My timeline is ambitious. I have been working on it for two years, and in that time I've covered around 100 years since the mid 17th century POV- I intend to bring us right up to the modern day so I think I'll be working on this for a while yet. I wanted a tl where the great divergence between the west and the rest simply doesn’t happen, and for this to occur as late as possible. I wanted a tl that went into depth on material culture and architecture as well as politics and empires.

The POD is that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir forms a productive alliance with kindred spirit and yet OTL nemesis the Maratha Shivaji. Shivaji's vision and ambitious reforming instinct meet Aurangzeb's desire for reform and tireless energy to do what he felt was necessary. The state was beset by a growing number of problems otl, including the extended military campaigns that kept the emperor away from his core, thé so called jagirdari crisis wherein there weren’t enough productive fiefs to maintain the empires munificence towards its employees, both emerging classes such as Marathas, Sikhs and Jats, and the established nobility and the resulting factionalism of groups attempting to monopolise thé now limited lucrative postings- all this led to the breakdown of the ideology of the semi divine emperor at the head of an inclusive state where anyone with talent could achieve the most lucrative, highest ranks. Together, the two stumble on a novel idea- for the better part of the century the fleet of the Mughal emperor had rented out space on its ships to merchants and those merchants had become wealthy. Could not the state replace territorial jagir/ fiefs with free space on one of the emperors ships, for the nobility to do with and profit from as they wish?

This allowed the state to create the productivity needed to assimilate the rising groups by maintaining the lure of a fat salary and social privilege to ensure loyalty- Aurangzeb can now consolidate and complete his southern conquests and has secured the loyalty of emerging powerful factions.

Though initially the scheme was designed to fulfil the states immediate needs, it meant that the nobility’s interests were spread across the world leading to India becoming the centre of movement of all sorts- of ideas, of capital, of cultural movements. The efforts the nobility will go to in order to secure commercial dominance of foreign markets lead to worldwide butterflies.

Now I’m not nearly done yet but a brief sample includes: mongol hordes immigrating to the Great Plains of North America, Barbary corsairs becoming regular fixtures of the Atlantic, North Africa participating in the economy and politics of the Mediterranean, a United Scandinavian empire attempting to displace Britain, and an ottoman philhellenist movement.

A war treatise of Shah Jahans time was entitled "Dastur e Jahan Kusha " - Methods of World Conquest. That’s an ideal the Great Mogol is determined to achieve.
 
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A bit late to the party, but I thought I should do one of these introductions nonetheless.

To be a Fox and a Lion is a counter-factual exploration of Early Modern Europe, centred particularly on Scandinavia and Denmark especially. The focus of the story, is an alternate reign of Christian II: One of the most controversial monarchs in the historiography of the Nordic countries. By relying on substantial research, including transcribed primary sources, I seek to paint a realistic and plausible picture of what Christian II's reign could have been, had he not been entangled in a relationship with Dyveke Willomsdatter. In some ways, Christian II was ahead of his times and some scholars have been wont to paint him as a progressive or even a proto-democrat. This is no longer the common view among historians, but it cannot be disputed that the king had some very sound ideas (and of course, some that weren't that great) about reforming the medieval Danish state.

Through the timeline, we explore the complicated constitutional system of governance in Scandinavia, a crusade of discovery to Greenland, the Northern Humanist Revival and the great struggle between the Oldenburg unionists and their sworn enemies of the Sture and Vasa families. As the story progresses, the narrative is increasingly interwoven with the similar, but different developments on the continent. Scotland is once again in a civil war, Charles V is attempting to dislodge the French from Italy and in the East, the Russians are on the move.

Just as I pride myself that all of the chapters (with the possible exception being the sprinkle of narrative chapters that augment the main storyline) are based on solid academic works and primary sources, I endeavour to illustrate the timeline as well. Paintings, murals and prints from the period puts the narrative into relief, bringing colour and life back to the first half of the 16th century. Along the same lines, I strive to research and create as many plausible maps as possible often spending quite some time in university basements trying to find the right sources.

I have a lot of fun bringing all these aspects together, and am as such very happy that other forumites enjoy the tale as well: and that they enjoy it so much that it got nominated for a Turtledove :)
 
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