Overestimated historical states

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Koprulu Mustafa Pasha, Aug 11, 2019.

  1. water123 Really bad at names

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    I mean, wasn't a lot of Brazil's history during this time trying to build a national identity and trying to keep Argentine/Chile/Europe/etc from picking it apart?

    (I don't know much about Brazilian history)
     
  2. Monter Well-Known Member

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    The Imperial Armada was also made mostly of coastal frigates and river-based steamboats, compared to an European fleet our fleet had numbers, but hopeless in firepower.
     
  3. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    For what it's worth, there are some interesting statistic parallels between the Ottoman Empire and Brazil in 1914 at least. Both states had similar populations as well as GDPs, though Brazil had a slight edge in the former and the Ottomans in the latter. Brazil wasn't in a proverbial neighbourhood surrounded by bigger guys though which counts for something.

    I'm also fairly sure the Ottomans bought a ship that had previously been Brazilian or something along those lines.
     
  4. Gukpard hominem populist

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    Brazil in 1914 was on the brink of national collapse, so yeah, pretty close to the otties.
    If we are going to 1885, Brazil might be similar to Italy or Japan.
     
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  5. EMT Well-Known Member

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    Aren't you the guy that resorted to namecalling me in the Inca survival threads? Still hurt, huh?
     
  6. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Agreed on the Germans - yes, by the time WWI rolled around they were a behemoth, but they only got there because Bismarck was really good at calling other's bluffs. I'm kind of tired of Kaiserreich scenarios at this point, tbh; why must we have a Pan-Germania anyway?
     
  7. AnonymousSauce Raisin Canesian

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    It would be interesting to see a TL where State consolidation in Germany and Italy only gets us to like four German states (not including Austria and random microstates) and three Italian states.
     
  8. Kerney defender of low probability atls everywhere

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    I think they could be something else though, and I think they would evolve into something different, something Shintoesqe and might have a very different world view than otl. Also certain gods were becoming more prominent because of the competition with Christianity, most notably Thor, as champion of commoner over Odin and Christ worshiping elite.

    Similarly, I think people overestimate the chance Christianity becoming dominant without Roman state sponsorship.
     
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  9. NiGHTS BMC-14

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    Well, while I tend to have my Germany be pretty different from the standard Nazi and Kaiserreich Germanies, I in general need a strong Germany, so I can have someone beat both the Russians and the British. Also, anime, Snow White, and Rapunzel have made German too cool to me, so I need a reason for the language to spread out.

    Furthermore, since Germany has lost both world wars, a world in which they win an equivalent of some such really does make for an alternate history. Brit and French wank tend to be more or less exaggerations of OTL ( British and French culture are still pretty popular worldwide, with Paris). It's very hard for me to see Italy ever being a dominant power in Europe (really only Germany and Russia to a larger extent are The only nations I can see being the only European hegemony), so I don't bother with them much, especially since Italian culture is pretty popular like British and French.

    And my issue with making Russia the Euro hegemony is that on one hand they had it, somewhat, for a while in OTL, and while I find the idea of the Russian Empire being a hegemony in Europe super interesting and underrated/not explored enough, it interferes to much with China, so I can't have it for too long. Also, Russian in space bores me in a way that German doesn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2019
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  10. Fabius Maximus Unus qui nobis cunctando restituit rem

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    I don't see why not. Lots of Catholic countries had big colonial empires, after all.
     
  11. longsword14 Communism: This time, we will get it right!

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    Put enough caveats over any historical development, and you can overestimate anything.
     
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  12. Skallagrim Not the one from YouTube. Different other fellow.

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    The USA prior to the late 19th century gets vastly overestimated very often. No, it couldn't conquer Canada. No, it certainly couldn't win a war against Britain. Yes, it could demonstrably crush Mexico, but holding it would be a shitshow of epic proportions. No, filibustering across the entire Caribbean wasn't a viable option and (again) occupation would have been a nightmare. Keep in mind that the US military-industrial potential took a long time to build up, and that it wasn't a superpower before the late 19th century.

    Britain also gets overestimated. Yes, it was a great big superpower. No, it wasn't going to get significantly bigger than it got in OTL. Keep in mind that the British dedication to gaining Australia, for instance, was a direct response to losing the thirteen colonies (i.e. "our dumping ground for convicts and undesirables in general"). No ARW = no British Australia (or just a modest colony there). Rule of thumb is that is you give Britain something in an ATL, that means Britain is going to dedicate correspondingly less effort to gain something it got in OTL.

    Prussia certainly gets overestimated. The reputation of Frederick II is mostly a fiction that obscures his dumb luck. Empress Elizabeth died when she did, and her nephew was a moron. Had she not died at that point, Prussia would have been crushed. The later reputation of Prussia is also a result of Prussia's very real military strength that ultimately developed as a result of many successive reforms and developments. Frederick II's reputation and Prussia's latter-day successes get projected onto all of Prussia's history.

    The most ridiculously overestimated pre-1900 country in alternate history is, of course, the CSA. I am sure that with an immense amount of luck, the CSA could have won its independence. But after that, the very nature of its political motivations and core beliefs would have ensured that the country would stay relatively poor and underdeveloped. The ascent of alternative sources of cotton (and other plantation products) would have led to increasing support for international sanctions. None of this would be good for the CSA's economy. The idea that the South could win a glorious campaign and get all antebellum slave states + land stretching to the Pacific? Total nonsense. The idea that the CSA could successfully gain mastery over, say, Cuba via force of arms? Forget it. The even more absurd notion of actually creating their 'golden circle'? That's a pile of bullshit larger than the ego of Robert Barnwell Rhett. And the oft-heard notion of the CSA magically industrialising after the war? Not going to happen, because the elite specifically didn't want it to happen.
     
  13. Grand Prince Paul II. Xenophobic Russian Agent, pro-Europa

    Why would that happen, though? The non-Great Power German states did not prefer that and there is not enough space for four German Great Powers.

    You can have Russia strong in the west and weak in the east.
     
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  14. SavoyTruffle I am the modren man

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    Indeed - Prussia was a second-rate great power in between Frederick II and the rise of Bismarck, IMO - Prussian success tends to correlate with how effective its monarchs were even by European absolutist standards; granted it could be a result of having far less to work with. And as you said, Frederick II was as lucky as he was competent - what if Frederick William I were less merciful towards him? What if Maria Theresa wasn't so beholden to the Netherlands? What if Elizabeth of Russia doesn't kick the bucket at the right time?

    I still stand by a surviving CSA proving that you can be an Anglophone banana republic. :p
     
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  15. Nassirisimo Angry Arab

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    Interestingly enough the whole of the Seven Years War is something of a turning point as the greatly outmatched British and Prussians were successful on far more fronts than you would think. The British really beat the odds at Plassey to conquer the Bengal (without which the British wouldn't have a chance of resisting modernized Indian states like Mysore later on), their victory in North America wasn't guaranteed either. Plus as other people have pointed out Prussia's success against France, Austria and Russia wasn't exactly the likely outcome.
     
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  16. Gukpard hominem populist

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    The USA only became a superpower in 1945.

    A superpower needs worldwide strike range. In the 19th century only britain had that, even France who held a strong control of africa and power over some islands in the pacific didn't had a strong position in america.

    The USA was a Great power in the 19th century.
     
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  17. Lenwe Well-Known Member

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    USA was a great power in the LATE 19th Century, that is after the Civil war, before that the USA was too federalist, with too independent and powerful statse in comparison to the national government, to be a great power, in the early 19 century they were a regional power at best
     
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  18. Governer-General Well-Known Member

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    Persia. After 1828 Persia was nothing. It was just a toy of UK and Russia. It kept independence thanks to Anglo-Russian rivalry. There wasnt a real government, bureaucracy, financial institutions and army. Shah's authority was limited in Tehran and his authority was depended on unruly tribes. So in any scenerio after 1828 there is no way Persia could conquer Iraq, Azerbaijan or Afghanistan even if Russia or Ottomans screwed badly.
     
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  19. John7755 يوحنا Historical Inquiries

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    Babylonia in general and the Neo-Babylonian empire. Generally, 'Babylonian' rebellions against the Assyrian empire were Aramaen revolts sponsored by the Elamite kings to the east. In the rebellion of Merodach-Baladan, the Aramaens took control of Babylon and revolt against Assyria, embroiled in a succession crisis after the demise of Shalmanesar. This Merodach-Baladan, was made a vassal upon ascension of Elam and relied upon Elamite forces to protect him against Sargon II, who came victorious from the recent succession crisis. The Elamites were able to save the Chaldaen-Aramaen king of Babylon at the Battle of Der and for the next decade, actively deterred Assyria from Babylon until Sargon II became powerful enough after uniting the empire, to reconquer Babylon and reduce Elam. Later, Elam did the same action 30 years later in 694 BCE, when they installed Nergal-Ushezib as king of Babylon and vassal of Elam. In the reign of Ashurbanipal, the Elamites attempted outright conquest of Babylon and allied to the Gambulu Chaldaens under Urtaku, despite having a detente with Assyria. Ultimately, Elam and Media would support a final rebellion, this time under Nabopolassar, which would end in a victory due only to the coalition facing Assyria.

    At the time, Sinsharishkun, the heir of Ashurbanipal, who was slain by the Scythians, was pressed by an alliance of Media, Scythian warbands, Elam, the Babylonian revolt, Urartu and rebellions in some of its Western Semitic rural populaces, such as the Gambulu. It is no wonder, that after this period, the Neo-Babylonian empire would display itself a relatively short empire and more or less, the remnant of an Elamite scheme and vassal intended to harm Assyria.
     
  20. Talus I of Dixie We need to wank Venice

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    *cough* Nawab of Bengal and Nawab of the Carnatic *cough*
     
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