Look to the West -- Thread II

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Thande, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. Finn Custom User Title

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    Thande stated that Ireland was independent in response to what I said about people thinking it was independent. I said this because I thought people would forget that they are independent and in a personal union, and I didn't clarify that. So maybe they are still in a personal union with Britain.
     
  2. Big Tex Texas Thunderhawk

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    Maybe I'm way off...I need to reread some of the societist (what little we have...damn you Thande! :p) entries to sort of check myself but here is what I see it as.

    Nationalism and classifying people when at heart we are all humans is counter productive. It leads to war, instability, suffering, and at its heart (because societism is mainly economic right?) bad for the economy. Instead every human is classified and placed heirarchicaly according to their worth as an individual. Probably not in a 1984 big brother makes the decision for you sense but that there is a heirarchy, it is embraced, and used to make society productive.

    In between there are differing levels of arts, culture, freedoms, etc. I'm not really sure where they fall in all this.

    If i'm way off let me know...
     
  3. Big Tex Texas Thunderhawk

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    Also this is all excellent as usual Thande. Very happy to see this back along with the tales. :cool:
     
  4. fortyseven Mastermind

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    I wonder if there'll be Unununiumists.
     
  5. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    The thought has occurred to me, but it won't be too long before the Popular Wars begin, and Societism like many of the ideologies mentioned above was first formulated during and after the Popular Wars, so it won't be too much longer now.

    Of course there's a bit of a difference between the birth of an ideology and its implementation--if you read OTL like an AH.com timeline and read about Karl Marx and the Communist Manifesto in 1848, that doesn't mean you'll be able to predict what the Soviet Union would be like a century later.
     
  6. MrP Enemy of the people Gone Fishin'

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    You're a monster, Thande. Even when it comes to a political dictionary you manage to insert a cliffhanger. :D Good, enlightening stuff!
     
  7. SavoyTruffle Rabbit Tank

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    I like the view into the political atmosphere of TTL. Keep it up.
     
  8. imperialaquila Aspiring Thru-Hiker

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    I'm beginning to think he could put a cliffhanger into a grocery list, at the rate he's going.

    That said, I'm very interested to see how these political doctrines translate into actual governing policies. The Popular Wars sound like an alt-1848, so I'm very interested to see what comes out of Germany and Austria. South America could be interesting as well, as well as the ENA.

    I look forward to the next few updates!
     
  9. Ed Costello Like tickling a trout in the wild

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    I've missed LTTW. I've missed it even more than I've missed over-theorising the significance of the purple-on-white Union Jack on the title page at 3 in the morning.

    Excellent updates; I can't wait until we see the sparks fly between Messrs. MacCauley and Wostyn...
     
  10. ColeMercury is male, FYI

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    Or he could still be just the King of Great Britain, with the two kingdoms in personal union as with the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Empire of North America in TTL's late 18th Century.

    Yeah, didn't Linnaeanism have the full name "Linnean Racism"? So that means that basic racism gets the name "racialism" to distinguish it.
     
  11. Umbric Man Umbric Manned

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    I always took:
    1. 'Racism' to be in its OTL meaning of 'to discriminate based against race';
    2. 'Racialism' to be a political philosophy based on racism;
    3. 'Linnaen Racism' to be the 'scientific' expression of the matter, from whence 'Racialism' comes from.

    A bit complex and redundant in some ways, but that's how I coordinated the terms in my mind...
     
  12. Grand_Panjandrum Nattering Nabob of Negativism

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    Gloria in excelsis Thande*! It has returned! I look forward to vociferous pundit debates between goldies and coppers.

    *Assuming Thande declines as conclave, conclavis.
     
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  13. Theodoric Inspector Gadget

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    It seems to be social-liberalism existing completely without the 'free market' angle (though economics isn't mentioned much in the political dictionary).
     
  14. OwenM Red Tory Scum

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    Well, we know it's anti-nationalist, recursive censorship's far from impossible. I think it's closer to right-wing though.
    EDIT: Well, at least the spelling's more consistent.....
    Sorry, I can be a bit of a maniac on the subject of English spelling reform. As my brother can attest.
     
  15. Beedok I exist.

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    Or a chemical formula :eek:

    Anyway wonderful update.
     
  16. Atom Future Human

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    That would make sense, although it is a bit depressing if that's the case. :(
     
  17. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    Part #102: Turkish Alight

    Dr D. Wostyn: Testing...testing...is this thing on?

    Good...good. I don’t need to repeat what Captain MacCaulay has doubtless already reported to you, gentlemen...suffice to say that it looks as though we’re in for the long haul. On the bright side, I’ve managed to obtain sufficient books that I can properly carry on Bruno’s work covering this timeline’s history, and fortunately Ireland has a much less repressive censorship policy so we shouldn’t run into some of the problems they had. Rather than waste any more time I’ll begin digitising now. Wostyn out.


    *

    “The Book of Genesis teaches us that men were made from clay. In this modern world Mr. Paley and his supporters may dispute a literal interpretation of these passages, but there is nonetheless an important truth there. For we indeed are all men of clay, with the trials of our lives and the crises we must endure standing for the oven that bakes us. When subjected to that heat, some crack, break and shatter.

    Others simply grow harder.”

    —The Revd Dr James Heseltine, writing in 1842​

    *

    From – “Riding the Storm” by Mikhail Leonov (1951) –

    In order to understand the Popular Wars we must first be clear that they are not, as they are often presented, a purely European phenomenon. They were one of the first global political phenomena, but manifested themselves in different ways outside Europe. Some aftereffects, such as the Great Jihad in India, did not appear until long after the wars elsewhere had concluded. Others did not take the form of violent revolution at all, as in the ENA. Perhaps the most tantalising to classify of all events related to the Popular Wars is the Ottoman Time of Troubles, for this precedes them.

    Some have argued that the Time of Troubles should be regarded as calling back to the Jacobin Revolution rather than forward to the Popular Wars, but those events are not at all similar. The Jacobins represented an intellectual anti-establishment elite riding the cusp of public anger due to the incompetence of the royal government and a perception that it had failed, in particular thanks to the martyrdom of Le Diamant. Their movement, though at first based on ragged and sometimes regional concerns, swiftly became united and centralised until under Lisieux it almost seemed as though centralisation was the be-all and end-all of Revolutionary ideals. The Time of Troubles was very different, even though it took place in an empire whose capital of Constantinople was even more regarded as the central key to the state as Paris was to France. The Time of Troubles represents a wide range of movements based on disaffection and resentment towards Dalmat Melek Pasha’s dictatorial rule as Grand Vizier, but those movements tended to be regionally based—though they usually had some sort of representation in Constantinople thanks to its endless diversity. They shared nothing but the fact that they all opposed Dalmat. After Dalmat’s death in 1816, then, any semblance of cooperation or unity between these factions evaporated and it was a free-for-all of a civil war. Furthermore, the ‘other side’ was scarcely any more unified: Dalmat had kept the Janissaries and other conservatives in line, but now there were divisions between the elderly Bektashi Brotherhood leadership in Constantinople, the younger Janissaries (who tended to be both headstrong and puritan, rejecting their fathers’ Sufi heterodoxy and being subject to the same regressive influences as the Wahhabis in Arabia) and the large and significant faction generally known as the Bosniak Party. Dalmat Melek Pasha had been a Bosniak himself and had tended to favour his fellow countrymen when it came to promoting officials to positions of power. The Bosniaks as a whole had grown used to this sponsorship and favoured position during Dalmat’s unprecedentedly long tenure as Vizier and were willing to fight anyone and everyone to ensure that the next Vizier was also a Bosniak who would continue Dalmat’s policies.

    Trying to draw geographic lines of control at any point in the Time of Troubles is an exercise doomed to failure. Records are sketchy, allegiances shifted rapidly, and inevitably we must confront the point famously raised by Thomas Reader in his Between the Worlds: “truth ceases to have any meaning east of Cyprus”.[1] In this context the relevance is that all the faction leaders in the civil war—insofar as much as you can define them that distinctly—found that any pasha of an eyalet[2] who pledged allegiance to them today would go back to doing nothing as soon as their army pulled out, and give the same cheerful, supportive welcome to any other faction’s army that arrived. While popular anger was everywhere, many among the ruling classes tended to be weary of the conflict from the beginning: perhaps because they had grown rather fond of the peace and prosperity under Dalmat and didn’t want to see it shattered. Even before it became urgent to achieve strong leadership again for the Empire thanks to later events, there was a general consensus that whoever won the civil war had better win it as fast and decisively as possible to avoid destroying the achievements of that peace.

    That, of course, was not to be.

    European narratives of the Time of Troubles typically focus on the involvement of European powers in the conflict, but the civil war proceeded for two years (1816-1818) before this occurred. The general presentation of this sequence of events in most works implies that the Europeans were waiting to see if the civil war would become longer and more destructive than most (as it did) before intervening. But this seems unlikely given the popular belief (whether true or not) that the Turks were on their last legs anyway[3] and any war against them would be a walkover even if the Ottomans were politically united. A likelier theory is that intervention was delayed by the negotiations of the potential anti-Turkish powers among themselves to divide up their prospective acquisitions from the Empire, a procedure which naturally dragged on for as long and achieved about as much as the civil war itself. Although Francis II and Paul were able to come to at least a limited agreement (which swiftly broke down once intervention had actually begun), Russo-Persian negotiations went nowhere. Russian accounts of the conflict typically portray the Persians as intransigent Orientals, but in truth it seems that if anything the Russian negotiators were the ones who failed to compromise on any demand. Shah-Advocate Zaki Mohammed Shah of Persia, as a hot-blooded youth, had presided over the disastrous defeat of the Turco-Persian War a decade earlier. Now he was older and wiser and knew that the Ottomans’ internal conflict gave the Persians an opportunity to regain their lost lands. But he also wanted to pursue an alliance with the Russians for two reasons. Firstly, because it would obviously make the war easier and allow the Persians to gain more than if they worked alone—perhaps even gain territory above and beyond what the Ottomans had taken from them—and secondly because he was concerned about the level of influence that Portugal was gaining over the country. The Shah-Advocate’s new Grand Vizier, Nader Sadeq Khan Zand (a distant relation) was particularly adamant about the subject. The two men agreed that Persia needed European allies to remain abreast of a time of rapid change in the world, which the Zand dynasty had always appreciated (and arguably had even helped instigate in some respects). However they were also wary of relying too much on a single ally. Persia remained well cognisant of events in India, particularly the way that the Peshwa of the Marathas had become a Portuguese cat’s-paw and with him Portugal had gained influence over the shattered remnants of the Maratha Confederacy—still a rich prize. Zaki Mohammed had no intention of becoming such a puppet and Nader Sadeq believed the best way to avoid it was to gain additional European allies and then play them off one another. Russia was a somewhat unusual choice given its often antagonistic relationship with Persia in the past, but Nader Sadeq argued that a settlement with Russia would not only help the Persians against the Ottomans, but also help them defend their own vassal states (and perhaps eventually even their core territories) in Central Asia against the uncomfortably vigorous new Kazakh empire of Jangir Khan. Furthermore, the north of Persia remained vulnerable to revolts of the Qajar tribe based there which had fought the Zand in the past, and which the Russians could conceivably arm if they regained a border with the Persians. Hence it was best to try and establish friendly relations.

    In any case these desires came to naught. The Russians demanded all of the Ottomans’ territories in the Caucasus as a prerequisite for any deal. Persia viewed the Azeri lands as a natural part of their own possessions and refused to countenance this. Persia had expanded its influence in the Caucasus during Russia’s own civil war years before only to lose those lands to the Ottomans in the Turco-Persian War, and while the loss of Ilam and Khuzestan near Mesopotamia was considered more humiliating and more of a casus belli, the Persians were unwilling to meekly give up any claim to their former lands in the Caucasus and leave the Russians breathing down their necks. For that reason, the attempt at Russo-Persian cooperation fell apart. So we see how a failure of mutual respect between two very different nations ensured that their mutual foe, an avowedly multi-ethnic state, did not suffer so badly as it might have done.[4]

    Within the Ottoman Empire, the initial chief conflict was within the Janissary factions, as their main regional-based opponents focused on consolidating their own power bases. In Arabia, the Wahhabis commanded the creation of a mighty new jihadi army that would take back the Empire for traditionalist Islam, the same force that more than one thousand years earlier had once hurled the Byzantines from Egypt and the Levant forever. And indeed the preaching of the Wahhabi imams and the rhetoric of their Saudi political allies tended to compare the Ottoman Empire to the Byzantines, claiming with the Janissary leadership consumed by heterodoxy and the presence of many Christians in positions of authority, the Ottomans were no better than the ancient enemy of the early Muslims. Of course, it also helped that they were harking back to times when Islam had been almost synonymous with Arab power and Arabs had ruled all Islamic states unopposed: the appeal of the Saudis was as much ethno-nationalistic as religious.

    In Iraq the liberal Azadis or ‘Freedomists’ led by “Ibn Warraq” (an alias, meaning ‘printer’s son’, used by many Muslim reformists over the years) overthrew the pasha of Baghdad and established their own power base, while nervously looking over their shoulder as the Persian army geared up. The Shah-Advocate had rejected the argument by some conservative interests in Persia that the failure of the partly Portuguese-reformed Persian army during the Turco-Persian War meant that European innovation should be dismissed. Zaki Mohammed, or rather Nader Sadeq for the most part, had realised that the reason behind the failure was precisely because the reform was still in progress, the army had not yet adapted to its new role, and often the Persians had had to fight with a mixture of reformed and non-reformed regiments. Chaos seemed rather inevitable. But a decade later, the vast majority of the Persian army had been reformed under a system that represented a hybrid of European tactical ideas with new Persian ones better suited for the kind of battlefields that the Shah’s men would face. And the Azadis were well informed enough to know that that army would soon be heading their way.

    In Oman, the Ottoman Ambassador (and old political enemy of Dalmat Melek Pasha) Esad Ali Bey was plotting. Oman was an independent Sultanate, not part of the Ottoman Empire, but it had grown increasingly subject to Ottoman influence over the last few years. On the face of it, this might lead one to believe that the Omanis desired Ottoman weakness due to civil war to reduce that dependence. However, the reality was very different. Sultan Sayyid bin Salim as-Sayyid was aware of the Wahhabi movement out in the emptiness of Arabia and was deeply afraid that any Saudi-led revolt would inevitably cast its attention eventually upon Oman. The sultanate had its own puritan forces railing against the kind of decadence that the prosperity of successful trade with Africa and India brought. Sayyid was convinced that it would not take much for the same people who cheered him in the streets to cheer just as loudly for his execution at Saudi hands and replacement with a more suitably puritan ruler. Maybe not even another member of the House of Sayyid...some of the Wahhabi clerics were making uncomfortable noises about theocracies ruled by Islamic judges (i.e., themselves). Though the Saudis were unlikely to support such a state, it was enough to convince Sayyid that he had to do everything he could to shore up the Ottomans and crush the Wahhabis.

    Esad Ali Bey therefore advocated an audacious strategy. Knowing that the Omanis had access not merely to a large trade fleet but also had influence over the pirates of the Pirate Coast (which they of course denied to any angry Persians), he pointed out that while the Sultan’s army was small, this mobility meant that it could be deployed far afield. Specifically, they could round Arabia, enter the Red Sea and then place an army somewhere strategic. Either they could try to join up with whatever forces were in Egypt, or they could choose the other coast and try to take the holy cities of Islam, holding them against the Wahhabis and using the authority stemming from possession of Mecca and Medina to discourage support of the Wahhabis among the people. After considerable deliberation and being warned off the idea by most of his ministers, Sultan Sayyid agreed to the plan. The Omanis deployed their forces in 1818 to round the Arabian Peninsula by sea. As for their decision on reaching the Red Sea, that was left up to ascertaining events on the ground.

    Said events moved ahead apace. In Egypt, the Mamelukes were restless and saw the collapse of central power in the Empire as an opportunity to regain their independence. Opposing them were the Ottoman loyalists led by one man: Abdul Hadi Pasha. Abdul Hadi had achieved widespread recognition and respect among the Egyptian public since his arrival in Cairo as wali for his actions against corruption and the defence of minorities. He was viewed as being harsh but fair, and potentially a far more capable ruler than the lackadaisical Mamelukes, who naturally feared him because of this. Egypt was theoretically under the rule of the Ottoman-appointed wali, but in practice throughout the eighteenth century the Mamelukes had clawed back power through the offices of Sheikh al-Balad and Amir al-Hajj. Initially these were often held by members of the opposing Fiqari and Qassimi factions, but later on the factions were reconciled and Mameluke power had grown to the point that they were contemplating declaring full independence from Constantinople. The chaos after Dalmat’s death gave them the perfect opportunity to strike. Led by Sheikh al-Balad Ibrahim Bey and Amir al-Hajj Daher Bey, the Mamelukes were on the march once again.

    War was effectively declared when Daher sent assassins to kill Abdul Hadi, even though Ibrahim would not formally proclaim the full independence of the Sultanate of Egypt until several days later. Abdul Hadi escaped the assassination attempt, gathered his loyalists, and in what on paper seems like a coup against himself seized control of Cairo. The Mamelukes attempted an opportunistic attack, were repulsed, and retreated to Alexandria. For over a year the Mamelukes battled with Abdul Hadi’s loyalists for control of Lower Egypt, with Abdul Hadi emerging triumphant. With the key cities of Lower Egypt in loyalist hands, Ibrahim Bey decided to look for foreign assistance. He sent emissaries to the Dey of Algiers, Baba Ismail Pasha, as well as the Sultan of Sennar, Unsa IV. Baba Ismail, a political foe of Dalmat Melek Pasha, had been plotting for years about ways to return to power in the Empire, and had been trying to incite a war that would topple Dalmat by unleashing Barbary pirates on European shipping in the Mediterranean and hoping Constantinople would be held responsible. Now with the outbreak of chaos he was trying to portray himself as a uniting figure, with a vague plan of forming a great fleet and sailing grandly into Constantinople as its natural ruler. Egypt would be a great help in that if he could help the Mamelukes defeat Abdul Hadi. Sennar on the other hand under Unsa’s rule had defeated Mameluke forces years earlier and expanded its control in Nubia at the expense of Egypt: Unsa desired to split Egypt off from the vast resources of the Ottoman Empire that could potentially crush his kingdom[5] and backing the independence-minded Mamelukes appealed to him.

    These alliances may have made sense in Ibrahim Bey’s head but Abdul Hadi proved a skilful propagandist. The Azadis of Egypt, with their access to printing presses and experience of making political pamphlets, rallied to him for reasons that did not become clear until later and this allowed him to continuously issue damning condemnations of the Mamelukes’ alliances. He argued that their plans proved that their claims of a strong independent Egypt were false: they were starting to become dependent on foreign powers even before seizing power. It helped that Sennar was the traditional enemy and he was able to portray the Mamelukes as amoral and unprincipled, willing to sell out for any advantage. This helped alienate Egypt’s Wahhabis from them, an important faction whom Daher Bey had been attempting to court.

    It was at this point that it becomes inappropriate to refer to Abdul Hadi’s opponents as ‘the Mamelukes’. Their foreign alliance schemes proved so unpopular that soon Daher Bey was unconvincingly denying them in counter-propaganda and their position was becoming untenable. The hope was that the Algerians would arrive with a fleet to rescue them with reinforcements, but that hope was dashed in 1818 when the European International Counter-Piracy Agency attacked and destroyed Algiers, burning its fleet and killing Dey Baba Ismail as they did. With popular uprisings against them in their remaining cities of Lower Egypt, the Mameluke leadership retreated down the Nile to Keft[6] and joined up with Unsa IV’s Sennari army , hoping to march northward again.

    Abdul Hadi Pasha’s men came south to meet them, and it was at this point that the wali received an emissary who informed him that an Omani fleet and embarked army was parked offshore in the Red Sea, with a parley from Sultan Sayyid and their leader, Esad Ali Bey (the onetime ambassador had somehow taken control over the army that was his brainchild). Immediately realising the strategic value of this, Abdul Hadi met with more emissaries from Esad Ali and the two conceived a plan. Thus it was that at the Battle of Dendera, initially evenly matched forces of Ottoman loyalists and Mameluke-Sennari allied troops met in combat, only for the latter to be routed after the unexpected appearance of the Omanis attacking from the rear. Having planned for facing Mameluke cavalry, the Omanis were able to swiftly overcome them and soon both Daher Bey and Ibrahim Bey were killed, their bodyguards overwhelmed. The Sennari infantry, which was shielded from the force of the Omani attack by the bulk of the Mameluke force, was able to reform in good order and under the command of Sultan Unsa himself retreated southwards to their homeland, using anti-cavalry formations to successfully fend off Ottoman or Omani attacks. Sennar would remain strong to fight another day, but the Mameluke independence movement was crushed and the remaining Mamelukes, decapitated of their political leadership, mostly rallied to Abdul Hadi’s banner.

    That night over a campfire, Esad Ali pledged allegiance to his opposite number as prospective Grand Vizier before sharing with him his plans to take Mecca and Medina and hold them against the Wahhabis. And Abdul Hadi pondered the idea, the axis of history turning on his decision, while thousands of miles away the armies of three great empires prepared to cross the border of the chaos that had once been a fourth...








    [1]Whether there’s any truth to this or it’s just European chauvinism towards different cultures is open to debate.

    [2]Basically governor of a province, although inevitably the Ottoman system is a bit more complicated than that would imply.

    [3]Which Europeans have a tendency to believe even at the most absurd times, see part #99.

    [4]Leonov is allowing himself to get on his soapbox a bit here.

    [5]And indeed did in OTL.

    [6] Modern Qift.





    ~~~

    Comments?

    Thande
     
  18. imperialaquila Aspiring Thru-Hiker

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    Very interesting. I wonder how well the Ottomans will weather this. Events in Egypt seem to suggest that the Ottomans will survive, but some border regions will likely be lost to the Russians, Austrians, and Persians.

    How big a role are railroads playing in the Russian mobilization? I imagine that they shouldn't be playing much of a role at all, since they're still fairly rare. Could this war give a boost to railways in Russia?
     
  19. Thande a special man who knows these things Donor

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    Railways in Russia don't get built in any meaningful way until the 1830s. Remember the earlier post about Trevithick looked forward a bit. At this point in the late 1810s he's still just building small experimental railways to wow the Russian government into giving him more investment.
     
  20. Beedok I exist.

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    I take it Istanbul is back to Constantinople by 1951?
     
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