A Destiny Realized: A Timeline of Afsharid Iran and Beyond

Well, we probably going to see a big war between the Burmese and the Vietnamese for influence of Mainland South-East Asia.

Another question of different topic, any ITTL Persian expats in South-East Asia by any chance? How big are they in numbers? There's a chance they can be influential in South-East Asian courts later on in the future, just saying.
 
Wait a second. Has the dynasty of the Mughal Empire itself been replaced? I didn’t see that the first time round. I don’t think it’s plausible for the dynasty to be replaced, because the line of Timur, Genghis Khan, and Akbar has a legitimacy that cannot be matched by any other ruler. I can imagine the Nawab of Awadh proclaiming himself the prime minister of a blatant puppet ruler and this post becoming a hereditary one, but most certainly not replacing the Mughal line.
That was the original idea, but the more I think about it the more that your point makes sense. For the time being at least, it would make more sense for the Awadhis to make themselves hereditary Viziers or something along those lines.
This gives me the impression that the Bencoolen Presidency has received a lot more attention that OTL.
There is indeed, along with an increased focus on the East Indies as Britain (or more correctly, the East India company) maintains no more than a few ports in India itself. This may not lead to the British usurping the Dutch within the rest of the East Indies but they may well view it as a more vital pivot in their Asian Empire as the 19th century goes forward.
Well, we probably going to see a big war between the Burmese and the Vietnamese for influence of Mainland South-East Asia.

Another question of different topic, any ITTL Persian expats in South-East Asia by any chance? How big are they in numbers? There's a chance they can be influential in South-East Asian courts later on in the future, just saying.
It is unlikely that the Siamese will be able to take their OTL place as the most powerful of the Southeast Asian countries considering TTL's Chakris rule over a far less powerful state. The fact that the British are not threatening Burma as they did in OTL will also make things more difficult for the Siamese. In the end, they will probably end up as a prize in a Burmese-Vietnamese struggle.

Good question! As during the Safavids in OTL, there are a number of Persian expats in Southeast Asia, concentrated both in the Buddhist courts of the mainland as well as in lesser numbers in the various Sultanates from Sumatra to Mindanao. There are a mix of Muslim adventurers primarily of Arabic and Persian extraction, as well as Armenian and Zoroastrian merchants. Commercially Persia is fairly important, acting as a large market for goods as well as an important point for transshipments to Russia, though Persian guns are well in demand, especially from Muslim rulers and as a result, firearms are somewhat more available than they were in OTL. It probably deserves more elaboration in an update later on, so I may write more in a future update.
 
Europe 1784 to 1793
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France's Nadir - Europe at the Time of the War of Sardinian Succession


“The new reality of the powers of Europe is that the power of France is no longer feared above all, but rather the spectre of Hapsburg Dominance is once again on the mind of the princes and ministers of Europe”


From the perspective of the French government, the Seven Years War should have been fought to preserve the old European order. And while the Prussian upstarts were chastised and Great Britain humiliated on the continent, the war had not had the desired effect for France’s position on the continent. Austria, who had fought better than France had done, had not only regained Silesia and crushed her main rival within the Holy Roman Empire, but had also held onto the Southern Netherlands due to France’s lack of involvement in the war against Prussia following the defeat at Rossbach. France had fended off Britain’s attempts to seize her colonies, but had gained practically nothing from the war. When Voltaire argued that France would have been better off allied to the Prussians rather than the Austrians, there were many in France who agreed with him. The aggrandisement of the Hapsburgs, and the subsequent weakening of France had not stopped there. 1777 saw both the Austrian acquisition of Bavaria (exchanged for an independent Southern Netherlands) as well as the start of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, which would see Britain regain ground in Asia.


This had all contributed to the unpopularity of King Louis XV. His administration, dominated as it was by favourites and cronies was compared unfavourably to reforming rulers such as Joseph of Austria or Peter of Russia. When he finally died in 1778, the once popular king was despised by a great number of his subjects. To compound problems for the Bourbon Monarchy, his heir was widely perceived as a deeply religious man unsuited for the task of ruling a country that was on its way toward bankruptcy due in part to his inexperience with matters of the state [1]. By contrast, Emperor Joseph of Austria was succeeded by his brother Leopold, who had reformed the administration of Tuscany when he was the ruler and who was determined to do the same in Austria. Both Joseph and Leopold saw themselves as the model of the “Enlightened Despot”, ruling their kingdom along rationalised lines but making very little concession to the forces of popular representation until the end of the 18th century.


The “Diplomatic Revolution” had brought the two great continental European powers together, and the pressure of both the expansionistic Russians as well as that of Great Britain had ensured the prolonging of the alliance past its expected lifespan. However, the success of the Austrians in expanding their influence in both Germany and Italy, as well as Great Britain’s in rebuilding an Asian Trade Empire had contributed to a sense of encirclement in France. Increasingly convinced of an Austrian plot to leave the Kingdom of France surrounded territorially, the alliance between France and Austria was abrogated in 1786. Immediately, the powers that had been somewhat deterred by the Franco-Austrian alliance took advantage of the situation. Russia had declared war on the Ottoman Empire within the year, and the British began a rapprochement to their erstwhile Austrian allies. The French fear that their alliance with Austria was benefiting the latter disproportionately, and leaving France surrounded by enemies, ultimately turned out to be self-fulfilling. With the signing of an Anglo-Austrian alliance in 1789, France’s position was arguably the weakest it had been since the 17th century.


It was in this tension-filled environment that Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia-Piedmont died in 1791 without a legitimate male heir. The idea that he should be succeeded by his bastard son Francis the Count of Asti was certainly controversial within a deeply Catholic Kingdom, but was not without its advocates amongst those fearful of Austrian domination. However, his legitimate daughter Maria Anna was married to a Hapsburg Duke, and enjoyed far more support among the nobility of the kingdom. To make matters worse, the French and Austrians supported Francis’ and Maria Anna’s candidacy for the throne simultaneously. Eventually, encouraged by elements in the French court that desired a reckoning with Austria above all else, Louis XVI held his nose and sent troops into Sardinia to ensure the succession of Francis to the throne of Sardinia-Piedmont. This aggressive act was seized upon by the Austrians as evidence that France had not lost her taste for continental dominance, and armies in both Italy and Germany were assembled to thwart French ambitions in Italy. The War of the Sardinian Succession had begun in earnest.


France had performed well initially, with her Italian army defeating that of Austria’s at the Battle of Novara. This was far from a decisive victory however, and the Austrian army was able to retreat to Milan in good order, leaving a French army that was too ponderous to catch up to the Austrians. A similar attack into the Southern Netherlands, ruled by the former bastard Charles Augustus Duke of Flanders and Luxemburg, was initially successful but was halted when Austrian reinforcements arrived into the area. Initial hopes for a quick triumph of French arms floundered on characteristic weaknesses of Ancien Regime armies, and France was now left vulnerable. The British, keen to win what they saw as the rightful fruits of their colonial efforts in 1762, now declared war on France in support of her Austrian ally. While raising an army of observation to aid Austria in her efforts in Europe, Britain launched attacks on France’s overseas possessions. While too weak in Asia to attack French allies such as the rulers of Mysore and Bengal, Britain was able to launch an unsuccessful attack on Quebec, as well as a far more successful assault on France’s Caribbean possessions.


In Europe, the war took a worse turn for France as French forces were expelled from Italy in 1792. France had redoubled her efforts in the Low Countries, advancing as far as Antwerp but further reinforcements from Austria and Britain were on their way to aid the beleaguered Charles Augustus, and a combined Anglo-Austrian army inflicted a severe defeat on the French at the Battle of Leuven. The French were expelled from the Southern Netherlands and by 1793, were fending off attacks on their own territory. France’s reputation was in tatters now, with foreign armies advancing on her soil and almost all of her Caribbean colonies, save Saint Domingue, in the hands of the British. France’s defeat was clear, and her government accepted an armistice when offered. However, the Treaty of Brussels was to be another blow to French prestige. In addition to Caribbean Islands, France was ordered to abandon forts in the Ohio Valley, and claims on the Southern Netherlands. France signed the treaty, and had seemingly abandoned any remaining pretence of being the pre-eminent power in Europe.


The war that embroiled Western-Central Europe only encouraged the expansionist tendencies of Russia. Before the war between Austria and France was finished, Russia had attacked the weakened Persian Empire to the south, gaining the important Kizlyar fortress and asserting her strength against her Muslim neighbours. Her southern ambitions sated for the time being, her eyes began to look west to Poland, long a puppet of Russia. After the relatively peaceful reigns of Peter III and Tsarina Maria, the young Tsar Alexei was of a decidedly different mould to his parents [2]. The young Tsar disdained the relatively liberal reforms of his father, and instead modelled himself on his ancestor Peter. With a similar level of ambition, if not a similar level of ability, he first attempted to place a puppet on the throne of Poland. However, much of the Polish nobility rejected Karol Poniński as a too-obvious Russian puppet, and instead elected Teodor Grabowski as king instead, who took the radical step of declaring a Polish Constitution in an attempt to revive the moribund state.


Leopold of Austria, himself interested in the idea of constitutionalism, looked upon the Polish experiment favourably, but to the Russians it was nothing less than an affront. The previously cordial relations between the Austrians and Russia now began to deteriorate. With France weakened, Austria looked to take her place as the traditional protector of the Polish state, seeing her as a valuable check on Russian ambitions in Europe. Austria seemingly had the ability for now, but to take on the task of defending Poland would leave Austria as the arbiter of Central Europe, a position it was not clear she could shoulder the burden of. For all of Austria’s gains in the past few decades, it was questionable that she could ever exercise the influence that France had done in the times of the Sun King. After all, Austria was still a polyglot collection of many different peoples, linked only by the person of the Austrian Archduke. If Austria was indeed to aspire to something more, than reform would be needed to weld the state together.



[1] – The King Louis XVI of this TL is the son of Louis XV, the Dauphin who had died before taking the throne in OTL.

[2] – Princess Louisa, daughter of George II

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - Big changes in Europe. The British, in reverting back to their traditional alliance with the Austrians, have managed to gain a big measure of success against France. Although the threat to the American colonies hasn't fully ended, the opening up of the Ohio Valley is at least one achievement that London can showcase to the colonists, and the seizure of many of France's Caribbean colonies is a great success for Britain. In Europe, France has certainly been cowed and is now increasingly encircled by Hapsburg-friendly states. The Austrians themselves seem to be big winners, though the growing power of Russia is a concern for her. And thus the 18th century is appearing to close the book on French ambitions for European dominance.
 
Author's Notes - Big changes in Europe. The British, in reverting back to their traditional alliance with the Austrians, have managed to gain a big measure of success against France. Although the threat to the American colonies hasn't fully ended, the opening up of the Ohio Valley is at least one achievement that London can showcase to the colonists, and the seizure of many of France's Caribbean colonies is a great success for Britain. In Europe, France has certainly been cowed and is now increasingly encircled by Hapsburg-friendly states. The Austrians themselves seem to be big winners, though the growing power of Russia is a concern for her. And thus the 18th century is appearing to close the book on French ambitions for European dominance.

If France is becoming the joke power of Europe, then why title this update "France's Nadir"?
 
As a Malay-Minangkabau, I am heartened to see my region doing quite well ITTL. :D Here’s hoping the British won’t let the Malacca River silting up as it did IOTL. That, above all else, was what led to its entrepôt economy shifting elsewhere during the 18th century.

I’m unfamiliar with Kedah, but its sultan made a good move in making Penang his new seat of power, though this might go downhill if Singapore gets established.


Johor’s relative decline in the earlier part of the 18th century, caused in part by Bugis adventurers who set up their own break-away states in Selangor and Sembilan

While Bugis influence did spread around up to Selangor IOTL and ITTL, I expect them to become acculturated with the local mores soon enough, especially since the British are hounding them from the Malacca Straits. Besides that, the princely states of Negeri Sembilan were constantly seeking Minang brides and princes to rule the region, and one of our major rulers, Raja Melewar, came to the region from Pagaruyung during the time period. Given the decline of Johor and the pull of the local notables, he might become the Yang Dipertuan Besar/Yamtuan Besar ITTL.


Raja_raja-melewar_2222.jpg
 
As a Malay-Minangkabau, I am heartened to see my region doing quite well ITTL. :D Here’s hoping the British won’t let the Malacca River silting up as it did IOTL. That, above all else, was what led to its entrepôt economy shifting elsewhere during the 18th century.

Don't worry yourself sick, Malacca will most likely fill the void that Mumbai and Singapore did in OTL in regional economic importance. Though I am still holding out on Britain takking over control of the East Indies honestly.
 
Firstly, a bit of an apology. Work on the timeline is beginning to stall, and due to work commitments, updates will be coming out a bit more slowly for the next few weeks, and in addition to this there may be a bit of a wait between the end of this cycle and the next. But rest assured, this has definitely not been abandoned!

The increased time between this cycle and the next is in part due to growing complexity, a need to research as well as have a bit more of a read regarding theory as I plan the 19th century in more detail.
I'm some what confused by these footnotes. They seem to be referring to two different people.
Same person, perhaps I should have noted. Russian Tsarinas often took different regal names than their birth names.
If France is becoming the joke power of Europe, then why title this update "France's Nadir"?
#
Because it hasn't un-become the joke of Europe yet.
Well I guess I can see that
Because what comes down must back up. At least to a certain extent, no amount of bad government can change the fact that France is an enormous country of some 20-something million people. It is unlikely that France will go on to conquer Europe as she did in OTL, but she may rise to at least counter Hapsburg pretentious in Western Europe.
As a Malay-Minangkabau, I am heartened to see my region doing quite well ITTL. :D Here’s hoping the British won’t let the Malacca River silting up as it did IOTL. That, above all else, was what led to its entrepôt economy shifting elsewhere during the 18th century.

I’m unfamiliar with Kedah, but its sultan made a good move in making Penang his new seat of power, though this might go downhill if Singapore gets established.

While Bugis influence did spread around up to Selangor IOTL and ITTL, I expect them to become acculturated with the local mores soon enough, especially since the British are hounding them from the Malacca Straits. Besides that, the princely states of Negeri Sembilan were constantly seeking Minang brides and princes to rule the region, and one of our major rulers, Raja Melewar, came to the region from Pagaruyung during the time period. Given the decline of Johor and the pull of the local notables, he might become the Yang Dipertuan Besar/Yamtuan Besar ITTL.
What happens to Malacca in the end may depend somewhat on what form colonialism takes in Malaysia further down the line. If, for example, the British maintained Malacca as their primary possession on the Malay Peninsula, they may well put more effort into keeping the river navigable.

Kedah's move of its capital to Penang is a good move indeed, as it is better placed than the recently-established Alor Setar to take advantage of growing trade in the area, though on the flip side it is less accessible to the agricultural heartland of Kedah. I only really know a great deal about the area due to various ties I have there myself oddly enough.

The Bugis became pretty well integrated as it was in OTL, and the forces that made them do so are if anything stronger here.
Don't worry yourself sick, Malacca will most likely fill the void that Mumbai and Singapore did in OTL in regional economic importance. Though I am still holding out on Britain takking over control of the East Indies honestly.
Well the British still hold Mumbai at the very least, though acquisition of further territory in India, or Penang for that matter, is not too likely. And as for the British in East Indies, well there could be a whole number of things that happen in that region.
 
Well the British still hold Mumbai at the very least, though acquisition of further territory in India, or Penang for that matter, is not too likely. And as for the British in East Indies, well there could be a whole number of things that happen in that region.
I am hyped enough to wait and see.
 
Same person, perhaps I should have noted. Russian Tsarinas often took different regal names than their birth names.
No I just missed the context since the footnote seems to be referring to Tsar Alexei rather than his mother making the footnote seem in conflict with the sentence.
 
Well the British still hold Mumbai at the very least, though acquisition of further territory in India, or Penang for that matter, is not too likely. And as for the British in East Indies, well there could be a whole number of things that happen in that region.
How has Bombay been developing? Does the EIC company still have the resources to merge the islands?
 
How has Bombay been developing? Does the EIC company still have the resources to merge the islands?

It's the eighteenth century. Bombay was still the Seven Isles at this point even IOTL. Hell, I think Colaba was still under Portuguese control at this point, though I can't remember when exactly it was ceded.
 
I am hyped enough to wait and see.
Well hopefully it will not disappoint!
No I just missed the context since the footnote seems to be referring to Tsar Alexei rather than his mother making the footnote seem in conflict with the sentence.
I can understand how the misconception may have occurred. Might be worthwhile for me just to further clarify footnotes in the future.
How has Bombay been developing? Does the EIC company still have the resources to merge the islands?
It's the eighteenth century. Bombay was still the Seven Isles at this point even IOTL. Hell, I think Colaba was still under Portuguese control at this point, though I can't remember when exactly it was ceded.
The project to link the islands began in 1782
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hornby_Vellard
Bombay is likely to be even more important to the British than in OTL, and may well prove to be of crucial importance to the Marathas too. Bombay is likely to be Britain's main base for commercial ventures in India, and may well develop into some kind of Hong Kong analogue. Naturally with this kind of development land will be at a premium, and attempts to reclaim it will be further advanced than OTL.
 
The Islamic World in Context - Late 18th century
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Islam as a Religious Community in the Late 18th Century

For later historians, the late 18th century is the “last hurrah” of the old Islamic world. Many elements that characterised the worldview and position of the Islamic world as a whole for much of its history would be violently disrupted later, which has led historians and other thinkers to label the period as the “Late Middle Ages” of Islamic history, as opposed to the “Classical Age” of the Caliphates and the subsequent “Modern Age”. Although the Islamic world officially stretched from Morocco to Java, there was a great disconnect and many spheres of the Islamic world were perceived as separate. Before the great world-shrinking inventions of the 19th century, these disparate parts of the Islamic world shared little, and generally only encountered each other in the shared experience of the Hajj. Customs varied greatly especially in peripheral areas such as West Africa and the East Indies, where belief and practice differed greatly from the “normative strains” of Islam practiced in the Middle East. For all the theological disagreements of the Ottomans and the Iranians for example, Islam was understood by the common people in a far more familiar way than, for example, the peoples of Kano and Yogyakarta.


The Middle Eastern core of the Islamic world where the Caliphates had been were still considered to be the core areas of the Islamic world both by the people within it, as well as intellectuals without. In India, where the number of Muslims was not significantly lower than it was in the Middle East, there was still very much an intellectual reliance on the Middle East, and those who had received their education in Cairo and Najaf were generally more respected than those who had stayed in India. In further-flung areas, there was less direct influence though ideas were transmitted, if sometimes in a rather garbled and confused way. The first professional forces in Islamic Southeast Asia were modelled on those from Iran and the Ottoman Empire, and scholars escaping the destruction of the Wahhabi state in Arabia found homes further afield, sometimes moderating themselves while contributing to the propagation of normative Islam in more distant regions of the Muslim world.


The growing volume of trade between different areas of the Muslim world also contributed to the gradual religious and to a limited extent, cultural integration of the Muslim world. Exports of various luxury goods from the Malay Peninsula into Iran for example, increased fourfold in the period 1750-1800, and products such as guns and saffron were sent the other way in ever-increasing quantities. Merchant communities such as the Armenians, who were not Muslim but were mostly to be found within Muslim lands, profited greatly from the increase in trade. By 1800, many of the coastal regions of the Muslim world wore Indian textiles, consumed spices from East Africa and the East Indies, and fought with weapons made in the Middle East. Although the volume of European trade around the Muslim world had grown too, the shared affinities of Muslim communities did count as an advantage when it came to competition with them. Although far from a process of “globalisation”, the unprecedented growth in trade was contributing further to the creation of a Muslim “world” as opposed to several spheres connected by tenuous ties.


However, the period also saw the foreshadowing of future challenges to the Muslim World. Although the military defeats suffered by Muslim powers were peripheral, and somewhat limited in nature, there were the signs of a “turning tide” in terms of military power. Russia inflicted defeats on both Iran and the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th century, and the Dutch continued to solidify their hold on Java. The vast majority of Muslims still remained under Muslim rule, and there appears to be little indication in the capitals of the great Islamic states that Europe would ever become an existential threat, at least outside of the Ottoman Empire. It was this as much as anything which indicated the lack of understanding in much of the Islamic world as to the changes taking place within Europe which would soon turn it into the pre-eminent civilization.


* * * * * *


“A School of the Nation? The Army as a Social Institution in Early Modern Asian States”

The military revolutions that swept over Europe in particular around the turn of the 19th century had turned armies in some states into “schools of the nation”, institutions whose function was to de-regionalise recruits and make them loyal to something more than their own locality. However, prior to the use of the army in this fashion in Europe, the Iranian army under the Afsharids had in some measure, already pioneered the army as a social tool. The initial conquering army under Nader Shah had emphasised differences between various ethnic groups within Iran, often endorsing rivalries and competition to improve the performance of the army, but with more cautious Shah’s came the end of this risky strategy and a move toward mixing units with recruits from across the Empire. Recruits were taught basic Persian if they did not know the language already, and by the time that most were discharged, they were fluent speakers of the language. As Jan Visser, a Dutch engineer in Iranian service noted. “From the very first day that a conscript is taken from his village, he is separated from all he knows. He is taken out of his tribe, away from those who speak his native tongue and placed into a unit that may indeed contain heretics. It is in this fashion that the his Persian masters hope that he can be made anew, and turned from a brute beast into a civilized man”


Although other nations across the Middle East and South Asia adopted the Iranian model of a professional army in the 18th century, few powers had managed to turn their army into the homogenising social tool that Iran had done. Foreign observers noted the strange phenomenon of a Bengali Army which spoke Urdu officially, despite the vast majority of conscripts being Bengali speakers. The Ottoman Empire preferred not to recruit Arabs for professional military service, relying far more on both Tatars recruited from the northern shore of the Black Sea as well as Albanians and Turks. With the loss of the Black Sea coast to the North, the Ottomans came to rely on Anatolian recruits more heavily in her professional armies, using Kurds, Arabs and Bosniaks more sparingly as regional militias rather than recruiting them into the ranks of the permanent soldiery. Rather than a strict national preference however, it is more likely that the Ottoman army had set into this pattern of recruitment due to the relatively peripheral positions of other Muslim peoples within the Empire.


Ironically, the other Asian power that had best managed to create an army that functioned as a social tool building a larger identity was that of the Sikh Empire’s. Dominated by a religious group that made up round 8% of the population, there was a need among the Empire’s Sikh elite to foster an identity not based around a religious identity (which would have encouraged the majority of the population who were Muslim). As the army became ever more reliant on the Punjabi speaking population for recruits, there was a gradual move toward the introduction of Punjabi as both the language of command as well as the court language, a move which continued tensions with Iran itself encouraged. By the first decade of the 19th century, the new Sikh Empire had moved almost entirely to a state administered in Punjabi, whose army was commanded in Punjabi and increasingly whose court spoke Punjabi [1]. This was less the result of a concerted effort to build a Punjabi nation however, and more a recognition of realities on the ground, as well as a growing cultural rift caused by the animosity between the rulers of the Punjab and Iran.


[1] – The court of the Sikh Empire of OTL spoke Persian for the most part, as did the court of nearly every other power on the Indian subcontinent.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - Just wanted to give a bit of a quick illustration as to the differences between the Islamic world of OTL and that of the timeline's. The lesser success of the British in India, as well as the Omani exile in Zanzibar and of course the much more vigorous Persian Empire have gone some way toward stimulating contact across the Indian Ocean. Arguably, the "Core" of the Islamic World is comfortably around the Indian Ocean rim, with trade helping to link up the otherwise disparate Islamic lands. How much the growth of European power in the 19th century will affect this remains to be seen, but it is likely that an Islamic world that is somewhat more in touch with its various regions will be affected differently than in OTL.
 
@Nassirisimo

While I loved the update, I have a minor nitpick. You mentioned that Punjab was majority Muslim, while that wasn't the case in 1800. Even till the middle 20th century Hindu+Sikh were the majority in Punjab.

Also, you mentioned Sikhs were 8% of their empire, which is also inaccurate. That figure is from OTL late 19th century, after the Sikhs had already experienced a rapid decline in numbers. At the height of the Empire (OTL early 19th century) that figure is estimated to be anywhere between 13-18%.

Also it's important to remember how blurred the lines were. Whatever the teachings on Guru Nanak, by this time Sikhism was essentially a militant reform movement within Hinduism (perhaps a bit like the Sufis?).

My own caste as well as all the other Kshatriya castes had established a practice of 'daan' or 'giving away of' their eldest born sons to Sikhi, which was basically a military order by the Second Sikh Holocaust. Nanak's portrait hung from the wall of every home in our villages whether the inhabitants visited Gurudwaras or temples. There was no contradiction in being Hindu and Sikh at the same time.

As the decades pile on, the identities of the Punjabi language + Sikh Hinduism will become so entangled as to become inseparable. Most of the Muslims in Punjab are Jats and Rajputs who would have converted in large numbers if Sikh rule had lasted for a hundred or more yeara. Combine it with mass-education in Gurmukhi and Industrialization, a majority Sikh-Hindu Punjab would be the natural outcome.
 
While I loved the update, I have a minor nitpick. You mentioned that Punjab was majority Muslim, while that wasn't the case in 1800. Even till the middle 20th century Hindu+Sikh were the majority in Punjab.

It depends how big Punjab is, doesn't it? I have no doubt that Punjab including Haryana, Himachal, and Jammu would be majority Hindu+Sikh, but without them (though I think they were considered as Punjabi as, say, Multan back then), Punjab would even back then be majority-Muslim, wouldn't it?

Also it's important to remember how blurred the lines were. Whatever the teachings on Guru Nanak, by this time Sikhism was essentially a militant reform movement within Hinduism (perhaps a bit like the Sufis?).

By the time of Guru Gobind Singh, surely the line became more drawn? Wasn't he the one who established the Five Ks and the Khalsa which explicitly defined Sikhism? Guru Nanak was arguably a Bhakti Hindu saint along the lines of others, but nine gurus later, I was under the impression that Sikhism was a highly organized religion that merely shared much culture with Hindus.

Most of the Muslims in Punjab tend to be Jats and Rajputs who might have been converted in large numbers if Sikh rule had lasted for a hundred or more years

I doubt Rajputs would convert en masse. Sikhism was very much a Jat religion, and Rajputs always hated the Jats for essentially stripping them of their power.

I also doubt Muslims would convert especially in an atmosphere where they're tolerated like TTL's (and OTL's) Sikh Empire.
 
The growing volume of trade between different areas of the Muslim world also contributed to the gradual religious and to a limited extent, cultural integration of the Muslim world. Exports of various luxury goods from the Malay Peninsula into Iran for example, increased fourfold in the period 1750-1800, and products such as guns and saffron were sent the other way in ever-increasing quantities. Merchant communities such as the Armenians, who were not Muslim but were mostly to be found within Muslim lands, profited greatly from the increase in trade. By 1800, many of the coastal regions of the Muslim world wore Indian textiles, consumed spices from East Africa and the East Indies, and fought with weapons made in the Middle East. Although the volume of European trade around the Muslim world had grown too, the shared affinities of Muslim communities did count as an advantage when it came to competition with them. Although far from a process of “globalisation”, the unprecedented growth in trade was contributing further to the creation of a Muslim “world” as opposed to several spheres connected by tenuous ties.


However, the period also saw the foreshadowing of future challenges to the Muslim World. Although the military defeats suffered by Muslim powers were peripheral, and somewhat limited in nature, there were the signs of a “turning tide” in terms of military power. Russia inflicted defeats on both Iran and the Ottoman Empire in the late 18th century, and the Dutch continued to solidify their hold on Java. The vast majority of Muslims still remained under Muslim rule, and there appears to be little indication in the capitals of the great Islamic states that Europe would ever become an existential threat, at least outside of the Ottoman Empire. It was this as much as anything which indicated the lack of understanding in much of the Islamic world as to the changes taking place within Europe which would soon turn it into the pre-eminent civilization.

My view is that this more interconnected Islamic World will learn about the capabilities of the European Powers move quickly, and have more time to prepare and learn in the meantime.
 
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