AHC: Third World Western Europe

Seeing as Western Europe is largely developed and rich OTL, a far cry from it’s Eastern counterpart, what steps could be realistically taken with a POD of no earlier than 1792 to make it more poorer and less developed than OTL? It doesn’t have to be the entire region, but obviously more countries the merrier (for the sake of this challenge; I do not wish economic retardation on Western Europeans)
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Map of Western Europe

My personal definitions of Third World for this challenge. This is only what my interpretation of what “Third World” can mean.
Two out of three of these parameters should work.
  • GDP per capita (nominal) lower than $15,000
  • HDI lower than 0.800
  • Corruption index lower than 50
Bonus points if it’s Switzerland, the Benelux or Scandinavia.


Disclaimer: In this case, the meaning of “Third World” is contextually used in regards to a country’s stage of economic development, not it’s Cold War bloc alignment. I had initially pondered on using “developing” instead of Third World, but the latter felt like a better description. I am aware that the term is a bit broad in it’s description, since it is also used as describing extremely underdeveloped failed states like Syria and Afghanistan, but in this situation ”Third World” can be countries like Mexico, which is economically poor but still a functional state not mired in civil war.
 
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post 1792 communism is my only answer, 1792 is where most things that led to the west dominance exist already and show no sign of stopping, as nationalisim and industrialization has already occured or has devolp to the extend that would appear sooner or later.
 
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Perhaps the sort of trajectory suffered by Argentina might be most plausible for western Europe.
unlikely ignoring that most of western europe didn't have as nearly as incompetent yet abusive parenting that the spanish colonies had the myth because it was one is that argentina was on the verge of becoming a great power ... no argentina in the exterior looked good but it was a paper tiger the weakness that killed it was there it just exploted
also unlike argentina western europe cant become a great exporter of agricultural goods and thus they dont industralize a trap that was the main causes of argentinas and brazils decline.
 
Bumping. Any ideas?
I know bumping is sometimes needed in these styles of forums (otherwise only the most popular threads get attention and you have the rich get richer phenomonemom with attention instead of money), but at least wait seven days before doing so. Looking at the dates of other treads, when you bumped this, your didn't even fall off page 3! A bit of patience is OK.

Let's get back to the topic at hand. Sorry, but the only way Western dominance is going to stop is a bit of self destruction on the West's part as by the 18th century signs are already showing as @Goldensilver81 said. So... communism is a good way to send the economies south.

Earlier PODs usually work better for this. For example in the 700s, Tang China was one of the best places to live in if you were a city dweller (oddly... for the peasants life doesn't seem to change too much from one country to the next in these days unless you're in one of the places that get raided). It was also the envy of all its neighbors and even the Arabs were impressed. Meanwhile Europe was not only in the middle of some political infighting (or... regular wars if you consider the fact that they are separate states) but a cursory glance at the architecture demonstrates relative simplicity of the states. The art of writing greatly decreased since the Roman period (in fact that's what Dark Ages originally meant, not "it's a hellhole" but "there is less written records than we would have liked so we're in the dark about day to day life even if we know some big events") with some archives being preserved by the Catholic Church.
 
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unlikely ignoring that most of western europe didn't have as nearly as incompetent yet abusive parenting that the spanish colonies had the myth because it was one is that argentina was on the verge of becoming a great power ... no argentina in the exterior looked good but it was a paper tiger the weakness that killed it was there it just exploted
also unlike argentina western europe cant become a great exporter of agricultural goods and thus they dont industralize a trap that was the main causes of argentinas and brazils decline.
Maybe Napoleon decides not to invade Russia, is able to consolidate his hold on his Empire and hegemony over the rest of Western and Central continental Europe, and Bonapartism evolves into some sort of corrupt and despotic regime that, combined with the autarky of the Continental System, dominates the area for a good 75 to 100 years, and once it falls apart the successor states fall into Argentina-like cycles.
 
Maybe a more successful Marx? Communist Manifesto takes off earlier? (Whoever said communism hit the nail on the head, but I'm not sure how this could work)
Maybe an even deadlier WWI (although that's post-1900) that completely scourges Western Europe and devastates everything?
 
Maybe Napoleon decides not to invade Russia, is able to consolidate his hold on his Empire and hegemony over the rest of Western and Central continental Europe, and Bonapartism evolves into some sort of corrupt and despotic regime that, combined with the autarky of the Continental System, dominates the area for a good 75 to 100 years, and once it falls apart the successor states fall into Argentina-like cycles.
unlikely x2 napoleon would have to sooner or later deal with russia and he couldn't take out russia or britain (this is a reason why later unifier of europe failed since its almost imposible to take brittian or russia let alone both ) the empire won't remain in hegemony even if he wins the empire is doomed for a short life with britain , russia , iberia being a horrible waste in terms of troops due to guerrilla warfare , and the rising of nationalism giving it 30 years is being generous sure in those 30 years the empire might do damage but not enough IMO
 
Have the Nazis commit the kind of barbarity in Western Europe that they did in the East--the "Anglo/American-Nazi War" approach.

But since this is Before 1900...I think a similar answer applies. Look at what made Spain one of the poorest and most backward countries in Europe into the 20th century--the Peninsular War and three Carlist Wars, plus government corruption and incompetence limiting the ability of external capital to penetrate that country. Have a series of Napoleonic-scale wars keep raging across Western Europe through the 19th century between reactionary and liberal forces, without firm resolution, and you can severely hamper the economic growth of those countries.
 
Maybe an even deadlier WWI (although that's post-1900) that completely scourges Western Europe and devastates everything?
I don't think that can really work. We would need to give both sides more destructive capability since giving one side more firepower would just end the war faster. And Italy would mostly end off OK anyways.
 
Have the Nazis commit the kind of barbarity in Western Europe that they did in the East--the "Anglo/American-Nazi War" approach.

But since this is Before 1900...I think a similar answer applies. Look at what made Spain one of the poorest and most backward countries in Europe into the 20th century--the Peninsular War and three Carlist Wars, plus government corruption and incompetence limiting the ability of external capital to penetrate that country. Have a series of Napoleonic-scale wars keep raging across Western Europe through the 19th century between reactionary and liberal forces, without firm resolution, and you can severely hamper the economic growth of those countries.
Problem with most of these ideas is that they severely screw over a few country while leaving others either untouched or only inconvenienced. The OP wants all of Western Europe to be economically behind
 
The bigt problem is that this is next to impossible, Eastern Europe was the least developed part of Europe, victim of very brutal war and half a century severe economic mismanagement it and it's still far better off than the majority of the world. You simply can't get rid of the institutional and structural strength Europe have with any POD which keep Europe cultural recognisable. Honestly short of a nuclear war I think you pretty much have to go back to Battle of Tours to avoid Europe isn't one of the most developed regions of the modern world.
 
Western Europe had the advantage of developing at a much earlier date compared to the Americas or Sub-Saharan Africa, and then Asia once industrialization came along.
I think that in order to severely hamper the development of the region outside of ASBs or a more severe Black Death, you'd need to improve everywhere else in the world alongside bring as much destruction to the continent as possible so Europe lacks the capital or infrastructure to modernize. The earlier the POD, the better your odds at bringing the region back a notch.
 
Make the Dark Age actually dark, at the same time, have the Byzantine Empire losing its European lands, so it would no longer be an European state.

To make the Dark Age actually dark, you must make the Fall of WRE much more violent and destructive, at least the same destruction as the OTL Gothic War must occur not just in Italy but throughout the Roman Empire's European lands including Greece and Thrace.
 
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The bigt problem is that this is next to impossible, Eastern Europe was the least developed part of Europe, victim of very brutal war and half a century severe economic mismanagement it and it's still far better off than the majority of the world. You simply can't get rid of the institutional and structural strength Europe have with any POD which keep Europe cultural recognisable. Honestly short of a nuclear war I think you pretty much have to go back to Battle of Tours to avoid Europe isn't one of the most developed regions of the modern world.
Western Europe had the advantage of developing at a much earlier date compared to the Americas or Sub-Saharan Africa, and then Asia once industrialization came along.
I think that in order to severely hamper the development of the region outside of ASBs or a more severe Black Death, you'd need to improve everywhere else in the world alongside bring as much destruction to the continent as possible so Europe lacks the capital or infrastructure to modernize. The earlier the POD, the better your odds at bringing the region back a notch.
The best POD would be the fall of the WRE. It has the potential to completely turn Europe into borderline "wastelands", with almost all urban centers collapse or are destroyed. The Fall of Arnor in LOTR can be a similar fantasy equivalent.

ERE was an European State, without it just collapse fully anyway.
If it loses Greece, Thrace, Illyria and Italy, then it technically would no longer be part of Europe. Basically it would be more of a Christian Persia rather than an European state.
 
If it loses Greece, Thrace, Illyria and Italy, then it technically would no longer be part of Europe. Basically it would be more of a Christian Persia rather than an European state
The First two(and you forgot anatolia dude) where heir powerbase, once loss the persians would kill them without issue
 
The First two(and you forgot anatolia dude) where heir powerbase, once loss the persians would kill them without issue
You can have that as well, but I don't think the area around Constantinople can't be lost during that time frame, but making the ERE lose the rest of Thrace and all of Greece is doable.
 
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