Europeanized middle east

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Straha, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. Straha Banned

    Jan 1, 2004
    Cthaco Bell
    A sort of timetable for this might be:-
    - For whatever reason, the Amerindians manage to keep all or most
    European invasions and settlements out.
    - Spain, chased out of Mexico, occupies Morocco. A big Muslim army is
    wiped out at (say) Alcazarquivir alias Al Ksar al Kebir. Spanish
    settlers pour in.
    - Other nations get alarmed at Spanish spread. France grabs Algeria
    and Britain grabs Egypt, both well before OTL.
    - Much of the settlement wave that OTL went to the Americas, goes
    instead to North Africa, particularly to Egypt, which only had about
    2 million population and much of the Delta was uncultivated papyrus
    swamp. More settlement than OTL, because the European settlers didn't
    have as far to go. Plus Britain bringing Indians in from India.
    - 1820's: the Greek War of Independence is won quicker and less
    destructively because there is no Muslim Egypt for an Albanian
    adventurer called Muhammad Ali to use as his power base.
    - about 1840: native Egyptians are outnumbered by imported Hindu
    Indians and their descendants, and both of those by Europeans.
    - Turkey and other Islamic countries try to do something about this;
    raids and trouble. This leads to a European occupation of the eastern
    Mediterranean coast, and later Mesopotamia. Much of Mesopotamia is
    desert, crisscrossed by irrigation canals which have not carried
    water since Batu Khan's Mongols attacked many centuries before. Mass
    European settlement there also. Jews tend to go to Palestine, more
    and sooner than OTL. and become the majority in most of Palestine and
    Transjordan. In those days Europeans breed fast as well, and the
    natives decisively lose the breeding race.
    - Bedouin raids out of the desert become a determined jihad attempt
    to harass the Europeans into leaving. Trouble goes on for many years.
    Finally in the 1880's while Turkey's army is tied up in the Balkans
    yet again, after one damaging raid too many, the Europeans in the
    Middle East gather all their armies and march into the Hijaz. The
    Arabs gather all the men they can and harass them and finally cut
    them off, but the Europeans reach Medina first and hold it. Jews
    among the army there hold kaddish for their kin who were killed there
    when Islam arose long before.

    A navy comes from Britain and lands an army at Yanbu al Bahr. Relief
    of Medina. The general in charge at first wants to respect the
    natives' religion, but that would leave enemies unfought. He "crosses
    the Rubicon" and marches southeast; another army lands at Jidda. The
    Battle of Mecca lasts 17 days with much loss of life on both sides
    and leaves little standing there. It is said that 5 out of 6 of the
    native warriors of Arabia perished in that battle. (Transplant OTL
    Omdurman and make it much bigger.) British find nothing much stopping
    them from marching through the rest of the Hijaz and the Tihama and
    linking up with Aden. Much trouble in Muslim-inhabited colonies
    across the world, but it is gradually suppressed.

    The British authorities at first are willing to let the Arabs rebuild
    and ready their sacred area for the next Hajj. Under cover of the
    rebulding and the pilgrimage, many weapons are smuggled in. Native
    revolt, which is suppressed after 9 days. The Hajj is not allowed
    again after that.

    - 1890's and around: After one too many Bedouin attacks from the
    desert, the Arabian desert is gradually cleared of Bedouin, who are
    resettled as settled farmers. After that, the desert vegetation, rid
    at long last of nomadic grazing pressure, slowly starts to recover,
    and the area slowly becomes rainier.

    - 1920's: Oil is discovered in Arabia. That makes Britain even less
    willing to quit Arabia. Archaeologists dig the former Kaaba area and
    find what they find about the pre-Islamic history of the area.

    - 1932: The Black Stone finally turns up, in a regiment's trophy room
    in Aldershot in England.

    - 1970 say: A map of Egypt shows in the Delta large areas where up to
    75% of the place names are European type and some Hindi, and some
    names in Ancient Egyptian by scholarly people who treated it as the
    right language for the area. As OTL, Egypt has its own aircraft
    factory near Helwan - but the suburb round the factory is called
    Vimananagar and no name in the language of the religion of the
    Prophet; its borough limits signa are in the Roman alphabet and
    Devanagari and hieroglyphics but not Arabic. Helwan is still called
    Helwan, despite two attempts by some of its inhabitants to get rid of
    the apparent reference to Hell and rename the town Bletchley after
    the town or origin of the first white settlers in the area.
  2. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Jan 2, 2004
    All you really need is for Columbus to not make it back. Or his crew mutinies and they make it back, thinking that there's nothing out there. The Portugese do a little "I told you so" as they point out that their calculations of the world's circumference were correct, and any future plans of reaching the east by sailing west are snuffed. I always did like this AH.
  3. Abdul Hadi Pasha Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Pacifica (Now with 6 CVNs!)

    The problem, of course, is that you are having France seize Algeria and England Egypt before they had any power-projection capability, and just as the Ottomans are reaching their peak. Selim I was able to seize the Mameluke domain fairly easily as it was; if it had been a jihad against English invaders, his army would have swelled to much greater strength.
  4. DominusNovus Humbled by Fate

    Jan 2, 2004
    He never said when the French and English were coming in. They might do it around the time they started in the New World, OTL.
  5. Grey Wolf Writer, Poet, Publisher, Cat-sitter

    Jan 1, 2004
    Deepest Wales
    There's a lot of difference between conquering stone age/bronze age societies in the New World and trying to dislodge a modern Arabic nation that is theoretically vassal to one of the greatest powers on Earth at that time.

    The differences between the N African powers and the European ones are a lot less marked than they would later become - you need a full scale war of conquest, not a 'grab'. OTL France did not 'grab' Algeria, it conquered it over a period of decades with many long and difficult wars. And that was when the technological differences had become decisively more marked

    Grey Wolf
  6. zoomar Curmudgeon

    Jan 5, 2004
    Occupied Sequoyah, CSA (Okla)
    No Islam, or at least no spread of militant Islam as a pan-Arab unifying force. The continuing spread of Byzantine and western Christianity throughout the north african and middle eastern portions of the old Roman Empire and beyond into mesopotamia and arabia. In the 18th-19th century this is followed by European national colonialism, but in this TL, the pre existence of Christian shiekdoms and kindgoms has the combined effect of reducing the negative racialistic/religious effects of colonialism and making the local cultures less adverse to accepting European cultural values and technologies.
  7. Hermanubis Murderfing threads sense 2004!

    Feb 21, 2004
    Don’t see this happening; It would probably be easier if somebody else got there first (The Chinese would be your best bet, maybe in addition the Japanese and some sort of Indian power)

    Don’t see this happening; It would probably be easier if somebody else got there first (The Chinese would be your best bet, maybe in addition the Japanese and some sort of Indian power)

    It would also work a lot better if you can get ride of the Ottoman Empire; and maybe start it out earlier with the Crusades (Immigration to the Crusader Kingdom of Egypt, instead of British Egypt)
  8. Condottiero Knight of the Square Table

    Aug 3, 2004
    Uxama Argaela
    I also agree only the part of the spanish could be, probably achieved, if they not only did not distract forces to America or the rest of Europe. If they concentrated on the north of Africa they could have probably defeated some berberian territories, but it would have been extremely difficult.

    As for France and England taking Algeria and Egypt it is unthinkable, they did not have capability of defeating the ottomans until later XVIII century and I do not think they would have been able to colonize those terriotries wiping local population.
  9. Hermanubis Murderfing threads sense 2004!

    Feb 21, 2004
    That’s why you have to get rid of the Ottomans for this to work…

    A few other things

    -Start early with Crusades
    - Byzantium has to be strong enough that the Crusader states aren’t destroyed by the Ottomans or Seljuk Turks, but weak enough that they won’t be able to take the Levant back
    - Might have to play around with the Plague a little bit, have to somehow get it so Europe is overpopulated while the Middle East is depopulated (perhaps if Europe is cut off from the East for a while, then the Crusades start up again at just the right time)
    - No Strong Muslim power in the Mediterranean for the same reason as no Ottomans

    (also might be better to forget adventures in the Arabian Peninsula and focus on the Med)
  10. Anthony Appleyard Member

    Jan 29, 2004
    The first message in this thread (Straha's) was copied from one of my messages that started a thread of this name a while ago.