Dominion of Southern America - Updated July 1, 2018

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Glen, Feb 22, 2010.

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  1. Umbric Man Umbric Manned

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    Keep it up, Glen, this timeline is a joy to always skim through over and over. And that's not counting the new updates!

    I have to admit, Elizabeth II knows how to dress classy. That's quite a lovely gown.
     
  2. Geordie NAME OF OWNER Donor

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    Apologies if it's a bit gushing, but I mean every word. Can't believe it's only in the last three months that I began reading both this and the equally wonderful 'Raptor of Spain'. What on Earth have I been looking at over the last 4 or so years? :eek:

    What he said.
     
  3. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thanks! It is comments like that that help keep me going!

    I rather liked it myself, though I wasn't sure it was 'rich' enough which is why I leave it vague as to how closely that dress adheres to the original.
     
  4. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    I don't know what you were looking at before, but Raptor of Spain is certainly a good use of your time, and I am very gratified to have you as a reader now and such an appreciative one now. Thanks!
     
  5. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Hmmm...doesn't look like anyone has nominated Dominion of Southern America yet in the turtledove nominations thread.
     
  6. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    No one interested? And here I thought people liked this...
     
  7. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Oh, the Nominations Thread is here. I will nominate myself but I was hoping another might take up the cause before that....
     
  8. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

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    Would it be 18th or 19th Century? I'd assume the former given the POD.

    EDIT: Well, you got my vote, hope I put it in the right spot.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  9. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    continuing 18th century
     
  10. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thanks to FleetMac for nominating DSA for a Turtledove. For my loyal readers, the poll to vote for DSA is here. Thank you for your continued support!
     
  11. Geordie NAME OF OWNER Donor

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    You've got my vote. I couldn't find an easy way of trawling through the rather lengthy nominations list, but now that the poll is up, I've put my cross in the box (digitally speaking).
     
  12. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thank you for your support.
     
  13. Mac Gregor Well-Known Member

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    Keep it coming Glen, you got my vote
     
  14. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thank you Mac Gregor - working on the next several updates.
     
  15. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    The germ theory of disease had its first major break in the beginning of the 19th century with the work of Italian Agostino Bassi who demonstrated that muscadino (mal de segno), a disease of the economically vital silkworms, was caused by living organisms and could be controlled by taking measures against the tiny fungi and spores. Bassi was following in the footsteps of his relative Lazzaro Spallanzani whose work was the start of dismantling the fallacy of spontaneous genesis.

    In the 1820s, Bassi traveled to France where the king and legislature honored him for his work, which had also led to salvaging the French silkworm industry. There Bassi met and inspired the young deist minister and scientist Louis L'ebrard, who carried forward and expanded the works of Bassi and Spallanzani. Before leaving for his native Lombardy, Bassi declared in Paris his belief that all disease, including human, would eventually be discovered to derive from microscopic germs. L'ebrard's first breakthrough was to demonstrate definitively that life does not arise spontaneously from dead matter, utilizing a tortuous tube opening to allow air, but not contaminants, into his previously boiled media.

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    Spinning off of this work, L'ebrard proposed that boiling such drinks as milk and water could purify them and make them safer for human consumption and could last longer if sealed in a container carefully. This process of heat purification sometimes was referred to as Lebrardization, but more frequently known by the more mundane term heat-purification.

    In the 1830s, inspired by the work of L'ebrard, American scientists, many of them deists, embraced the study of germ theory. It was seen as a natural outgrowth of deist doctrine of studying the natural world to understand God's plan and the germ theory seemed to be making serious sense based off of such observations. In 1832, Dr. John Peake, a Virginian working in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Hospital instituted a strict policy of hand cleansing before, between, and after working with patients on the theory that it may be germs being passed through touch that perpetuated disease. His meticulous records of nosocomial disease before and after the policy convinced the medical community in the West of the success of the practice, and was the death knell for the miasma theory of disease propagation. The success of this campaign led to an explosion of sanitary theories and practices throughout the US and thence the rest of the West.

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    The first time that the new theory of germ disease prevention on the battlefield was put to the test was during the Southern Civil War. While many in the British South were leery of heretical deists of America (though in fact deists were only a minority of the population of the USA), by the time of the conflict evidence had become convincing enough that medical officers on both sides of the conflict experimented with practices such as placing latrines away from living areas, instituting stricter washing practices around said latrines and military food preparation areas, and especially in field hospitals. The lower death rates from disease of this war was noted by the British and other Western military observers, and would be in place for the the Liberal War, at least for the Western forces, a distinct advantage in the fight, and one that convinced even benighted Russia to adopt such practices in future, including the Global War.

    As microscopy and media culturing became more sophisticated throughout the 19th century, so too did the desire not just to identify the germs responsible for various diseases, but also some form of treatment for infection, not just prevention. The proof of the first specific species of germ that could be linked to a specific human disease came with an added bonus for all mankind. In the 1860s, Dr. Sutcliffe Barnes, a Yorkshireman working at the University of Edinburgh made a study of gonorrhea and was the first to successfully culture the germ and show it could be transmitted to cause the disease. However, he noted in one of his samples a mold contaminant that prevented growth of the bacteria too near it. Being a curious sort, he grew the mold further and isolated the chemical that created the antiseptic effect, which he dubbed simply called Penicillium, after the genus of the fungus. Once he had procured enough, he took the remarkable step of actually using it to treat patients and found himself successful. However, one of the even more remarkable discoveries was the discovery in a few short years of use that Penicillium was even effective for people who also had the dreaded venereal disease syphilis. Thus the first antimicrobial agent was brought into use, though slowly in the 1860s and 1870s due to the limits of production until breakthroughs in fermentation and purification allowed more efficient mass production. However, once those limitations were conquered, many governments (initially started by the Korsgaardist regimes, interestingly enough) imposed strict reporting and treatment policies with a goal of eradicating venereal disease from the land.

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  16. stevep Member

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    Glen

    Bloody hell, anti-biotics about 60 years earlier than OTL. That is going to save a lot of lives, although their likely to find the problems of resistance developing earlier as well. The other big factor in disease in the 19thC I think was with water borne ones like cholera in the big urban areas. Hopefully this would be identified earlier as well and the importance of cleanliness in improving slums earlier as well.

    I notice that the initial anti-biotics are with sexually transmitted disease, rather than with OTL Pastur and vaccines for rabies. This shouldn't greatly affect the spread of ideas for handling disease hopefully.

    Steve
     
  17. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

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    Nice update, Glen! Glad to see that they're trying to nip VD in the bud, thank goodness for more healthy attitudes on sex (the lack of traditional Victorian mores had something to do with this, perhaps?)
     
  18. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Yes.

    A distinct possibility.

    That is indeed what is happening as well.

    Note that a vaccine is not an antibiotic, so that is not the difference. However, you are correct that Pasteur will not develop vaccines ITTL, and in fact that vaccination other than Jenner's vaccine which developed the same as per OTL (using cowpox in fact, thus the clever vaccination name) will be delayed in development.

    No it shouldn't

    BTW, I will further note that the use of antibiotics beyond sexually transmitted disease happens almost immediately. Note that the discovery of the pathogenesis of gonorrhea is only a little earlier than OTL, and was actually the second such discovered IOTL - here it is the first. The two major accelerated events are the popularization of antiseptic and sanitary techniques (something that doesn't in fact require any different technology, just good observation and popularization) and the discovery of Penicillin which was a fortuitous observation both IOTL and ITTL, but ITTL that just so happens to correspond with the gonorrhea experiments - both are certainly perturbable.
     
  19. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    Thanks!

    Indeed, it will help that effort.
     
  20. Glen ASB & Left Hand of IAN Moderator

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    And for those who are curious, the video of my Alternate History 101 talk is now available on YouTube courtesy of NothingNow. Note that I do reference the Dominion of Southern America at several points in the talk for illustrative purposes.

    Alternate History 101 video of Glen