Miscellaneous <1900 (Alternate) History Thread

While I was reading something about relationships between Henry V and Matilda of Canossa, I came across this curiosity, namely that his illegitimate daughter, Berta. she married in 1116, to Tolomeo II, count of Tusculum ( their son Rainone, was the last count of Tusculum, given that in 1170 he ceded the civitas of Tusculum with its fortress and the other fiefdoms to the family to Pope Alexander III )...
So posting here (since it's pretty off topic from Matilda), but -- I had not known about the Commune of Rome or Arnold of Brescia before going down a rabbit hole looking up Raino of Tusculum. My thanks for that.
So posting here (since it's pretty off topic from Matilda), but -- I had not known about the Commune of Rome or Arnold of Brescia before going down a rabbit hole looking up Raino of Tusculum. My thanks for that.

I wouldn't say that it doesn't really concern Matilde, given that Rainone would be not only a key political player in Rome, but also nephew of Henrich Conrad, so even if it has nothing to do with the English question, it has a lot to do with Imperial affairs and the possibility of being crowned or not, by the young Salian, for the rest it seems really strange to me that I never mentioned you, the first municipal period of the Urbe ( which saw the senate regain power ) and its relationship with the Staufen, but I'm happy that you discovered a truly interesting period of Roman history
Is it okay to post draft works here? I was working on an alternate timeline based on a radically successful Galatian invasion of Asia Minor and made one chapter but I'm gonna be too busy to continue it, thought it might still be entertaining to read.
Is it okay to post draft works here? I was working on an alternate timeline based on a radically successful Galatian invasion of Asia Minor and made one chapter but I'm gonna be too busy to continue it, thought it might still be entertaining to read.
There are some timelines here that are just a single post. The only challenge you might have is that people might think you're starting a thread about the concept and critique it as such rather than sitting back with the popcorn.
Question is pretty much in the title. What PoDs would be needed to keep Sweden as a great power? I figure winning the Great Northern War would be a start, but their population problem needs solving. I was looking through this thread:
And I saw some possible solutions to this:
  1. Control of cod fishing areas
  2. Make them wealthy enough to import food
  3. Earlier introduction of better farming techniques and crops
  4. Less infighting between the Scandinavian countries
Having Poland-Lithuania as an ally/puppet would probably help with food imports, given their wheat production. So what PoDs would be required to keep Sweden as a great power?
Done right, Sweden could eliminate Denmark-Norway by military defeat and annexation and the Dutch Republic by military defeat. Then, after winning the Second Northern War that way, it could annex Oldenburg. In the Franco-Dutch War, when the Dutch and the Holy Roman Empire were fighting France, it could defeat and annex Brandenburg and the rest of the Baltic relevant to the Holy Roman Empire. In the Great Northern War, the Swedes, aided by Danish, Norwegian and no longer to watch Denmark-Norway Swedish manpower, would defeat the Russians and the Russo-Ottoman War's Ottoman victory in 1711 would proceed as in otl, but with even more crippling effects to Russia's status as a great power. The Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth would also be defeated by and annexed to Sweden in the Great Northern War's end. Such a scenario would result in Sweden being at maximum strength (it could ignore Saxony and Holstein-Gottrop), alter the War of the Polish Succession but with Habsburg-aligned Poland and Prussia replaced with Habsburg-opposed and victorious Sweden in Poland and Prussia and eliminate the Habsburgs in the War of the Austrian Succession. The Seven Years War would be without Russia, Austria, Denmark-Norway and Poland-Lithuania by eliminating their existence into a great power Sweden and Sweden could avoid that war. In that war, the French would capture Hanover, but without Prussia, would be able to annex Hanover and exchange it to Britain in exchange for getting a French status quo ante bellum in the Seven Years War. The French-Corsican in 1768, American Revolutionary, the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars would be butterflied by the scenario with further butterflies to come.
Not sure which section to put this in but since the POD is pre 1900 here are some silly stereotypes of an independent languedoc region (toulouse, provence and maybe catalonia if you want)

always exaggerating (stereotype of marseilles iotl)
bad drivers! (everywhere says this about everyone i think)
funny accent/language. speak too fast
weird but kinda cool hippie religion (yes some form of albigensian faith survives. just)
ratatouille happened here (it is a provençal dish! maybe the film takes place in avingon ittl)
pastis drinkers
Here are a few interesting alternate history possibilities pre 1900

: The Hapsburg dynasty manages to marry into the throne of England and maintain its control over England.

-France and Italy instead of invading North Africa, instead make the states of the Maghreb and Libya client states in a soft power approach.

How possible are these events?
I think the second one is fairly achievable, but the first is not barring other changes.
Ok, so something I had thought of after reading that apparently in the 18th and early 19th century there had existed people who had gained passage to the American Colonies by voluntarily selling themselves into indentured servitude in order to pay the cost of their transatlantic voyage.

I presume most readers already know about certain ancient government sometimes using slaves as bureaucrats, or even the police in the case of Ancient Athens. So, I wondered how plausible it would for, in a timeline which diverged enough from OTL, to have a government which instead used indentured servants as officials.

The scenario I had been thinking about involved some kind of 'developmentalist oligarchy' in the 19th century which wanted to modernise its country. To do this they needed many new bureaucrats, teachers, doctors, and also engineers and managers for the state-owned enterprises they wanted to create; but, those skills were lacking among most of the population so the state needed to invest in educating them themselves. However, the oligarchy had not enough nephews to fill in all the needed positions and also were greedy enough to dislike that the government had to pay that new personnel large wages, so that they would not work for the private sector instead, after already having to pay so much money for educating them.

So, they came up with the following idea:
As part of their reforms they had created a system of free universal primary education. The best-scoring children from poor families, well actually their parents, were given an offer; they would receive an education paid for by the state, for jobs ranging from school teacher to chemist, in exchange they had to sign a contract which would force them to work for the government or a state-owned enterprises for decades under wages and working conditions significantly below what they could receive from the private sector.
This was presented as a 'win-win agreement', because even if the living standards and hours they have to work were inferior to those of non-indentured educated workers, they would still clearly be better off than being a subsistence farmer or uneducated factory worker; not to mention they could get promoted to high positions if they worked hard enough and have better wages and privileges than stipulated in their contracts. Whilst this was greatly resented there were still enough volunteers, if barely, for the plan to work.

This was not the only use of indentured servants by the state. People could be reduced into indentured servitude as punishment for crime or because they could not pay their taxes or debt; often local or federal governments used those for menial work or construction projects.

It also happened that indentured servants ended up owning indentured servants. Indentured government officials could receive a bonus for good work and received higher wages upon promotion, with the result that the richest of them could afford to buy a private indentured servant to serve as domestic personnel.

Then some rich individuals decided that the government's practice of offering desperate poor people an education in exchange for indentures is a good idea. And started private schools offering to train students as, say, cooks or clerks if they in exchange agreed to get auctioned of as indentured servant for a few years. Not many destitute people were desperate enough to sign up for this, but still enough for a handful of schools to become profitable. Some of those private schools had included a clause in the contract which stipulated that the wages the indentured servant would receive would be proportionate to his sale price; this to ensure the students will do their best.

This resulted in a few rare cases of indentured servants owning indentured servants owning indentured servants. Once an indentured official was promoted high enough that with his money he could buy an indentured cook, from one of those schools mentioned in the previous paragraph, so expensive that said indentured cook could buy himself and indentured domestic servant before his contract was up.

Or would such a thing be implausible, even in a very divergent TL, because such practices would make for poor solutions to a shortage of educated labour willing to work for low wages?
The Sikh government in the First Anglo-Sikh War actually wanted its army to lose?! That's why it sabotaged its own army performance? Why would it try to intentionally lose?
I've scoured this entire site multiple times over in search of an answer to this question, and so many people deem it unlikely for various reasons, but I'm going to go ahead and give it a shot and ask what a reasonable POD for Buddhism to supplant Hinduism as the predominant religion in India is. There seems to be so little written records from this time that we have vague notions of things like "well the Brahminical class adapted quickly and made Hinduism a religion that appeals to a wide spectrum of people" which is fair but there still has to have been a route where it could have lost out to Buddhism in India, it's just that I, and it seems other people, can't pinpoint a specific POD. The best version that I can come up with is something like "Ashoka picks a more capable successor who saves the Mauryan Empire and convenes an ATL Fourth Buddhist Council where the Pali Canon is written down two hundred years early and makes it mandatory reading for civil servants and somehow the populace all converts at once". I've also heard that avoiding the invasions of the Hunas might help somehow; or maybe something involving the Pala Dynasty winning the tripartite struggle. I don't know what would work, but it's rather difficult to find a satisfying answer to this question.
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Is there a thread for underexplored AH scenarios? Or is this it. I think that there is a real lack of Hungary-based TLs on here. I think that a scenarios where there is (continuous) union with Naples or Poland would be very interesting to explore, I have also mentioned before that I think that China is very under-explored.