Hi all,

There are alternate lists of British PMs and Cabinets on this site, as well as Alternate US Presidents. But what about such people in the , oft imagined, Imperial Federation?

So, lets assume we live in a world where the Imperial Federation had come about. What political leaders do you think might end up emerging to become Prime Ministers and Cabinet Leaders (Or other political leadership titles) with the entire Empire to draw on?

I am open to suggestions that depend on other situations but to give this question more context I will lay out a rough state of affairs I see this Imperial Federation happening in:
- Imperial Preference and some equivalent of Imperial Conference from the mid to late 1800's, reinforcing economic and political ties of the Empire.
- Imperial Federation in the late 1800's or early 1900's
- Imperial Parliament is broadly the Westminster system writ large, with proportional representation, First-Past-The-Post, and a bicameral legislature (with either a new Senate type upper house or creating Peers in the Dominions)
- Dominion status (which wasn't very defined in OTL) more or less becomes the benchmark for representation in Parliament. (ie, recognition as a Dominion grants you the ability to elect members to Parliament)

So, what do you think that the political landscape would look like in an Imperial Federation? I assume that it would still be British dominated at the start, purely based on population. And if India joins (which I doubt) they would obviously have a huge trump. But as to personalities and parties, who could you see being influential?
 
Hi all,

There are alternate lists of British PMs and Cabinets on this site, as well as Alternate US Presidents. But what about such people in the , oft imagined, Imperial Federation?

So, lets assume we live in a world where the Imperial Federation had come about. What political leaders do you think might end up emerging to become Prime Ministers and Cabinet Leaders (Or other political leadership titles) with the entire Empire to draw on?

I am open to suggestions that depend on other situations but to give this question more context I will lay out a rough state of affairs I see this Imperial Federation happening in:
- Imperial Preference and some equivalent of Imperial Conference from the mid to late 1800's, reinforcing economic and political ties of the Empire.
- Imperial Federation in the late 1800's or early 1900's
- Imperial Parliament is broadly the Westminster system writ large, with proportional representation, First-Past-The-Post, and a bicameral legislature (with either a new Senate type upper house or creating Peers in the Dominions)
- Dominion status (which wasn't very defined in OTL) more or less becomes the benchmark for representation in Parliament. (ie, recognition as a Dominion grants you the ability to elect members to Parliament)

So, what do you think that the political landscape would look like in an Imperial Federation? I assume that it would still be British dominated at the start, purely based on population. And if India joins (which I doubt) they would obviously have a huge trump. But as to personalities and parties, who could you see being influential?
To a very large extent this is determined by precisely when it is introduced and who introduces it. With PR it again depends on what system you get hugely different results from STV, which largely will give you a three or four party system and a National or Regional list, with or without a threshold. Personally i think with an early departure STV is more likely as it retains constituencies and favours the existing parties (plus Labour). None of these will want a system with 20 parties., With any sort of PR the Liberal Party will remain a strong force, Labour will probably be slightly more left as it will be looking for a defined profile in a coalition. Conservatives will face a choice between appealing to emergent Indian and other business interests or becoming irrelevent nationalists/traditionalists. I expect the first will prevail and so the 1922 coup never happens so the rise of Baldwin etc eclipsing Austeen Chamberlain never occurs and the Conservatives remain led by those who led the coalition Tories OTL
 
To a very large extent this is determined by precisely when it is introduced and who introduces it. With PR it again depends on what system you get hugely different results from STV, which largely will give you a three or four party system and a National or Regional list, with or without a threshold. Personally i think with an early departure STV is more likely as it retains constituencies and favours the existing parties (plus Labour). None of these will want a system with 20 parties., With any sort of PR the Liberal Party will remain a strong force, Labour will probably be slightly more left as it will be looking for a defined profile in a coalition. Conservatives will face a choice between appealing to emergent Indian and other business interests or becoming irrelevent nationalists/traditionalists. I expect the first will prevail and so the 1922 coup never happens so the rise of Baldwin etc eclipsing Austeen Chamberlain never occurs and the Conservatives remain led by those who led the coalition Tories OTL
That is interesting. By Proportional Representation I more meant that riding sizes, and therefore numbers, would be determined based on population. So a more populous country would have more seats in Parliament and more constituencies. I agree that most would prefer a system that keeps the number of parties small. I assumed there would be three or four that would be defined by their place on the political spectrum (Conservative, Liberal, Socialist/Labour, etc) and a few more regional or special interest parties with less influence. Austen Chamberlain would be an interesting one for an interwar Prime Minister, particularly in Baldwins place. Any thoughts as to his cabinet or replacement?

For myself, I would love to see C.D Howe as Minister of Supply in the rearmament period (assuming that still happened). The guy was not actually a great politician but he did an incredible job transforming the Canadian economy from Agriculture to Industrial based. Granted, neither the needs or the conditions that he had in Canada would be exactly the same in TTL but I still think he could do some pretty amazing work. And there were times when the Empire could really have benefited from his Dollar-a-year men scheme. Assuming the House of Lords is still a thing, I could see him being elevated at some point, removing the danger of his brusque manner killing his election chances. Of course, then they would be stuck with him, and he wasn't always one to let go.

Any other big names anyone can think of to be in power? Could Nelson Mandela one day end up in Imperial Parliament? Lester Pearson? Would Margret Thatcher still be able to become PM if the nation extended around the globe?
 
I think potential Imperial Prime Ministers (or whatever title they end up with) would be of the top of my head Austen Chamberlain, Jan Smuts, Lester B. Pearson and other people who had their expertise in foreign affairs, trade and defence. Eden is a possibility, as well as some of the more pro-British Commonwealth PMs like Diefenbaker and Menzies.
For party systems, a Unionist Party formed out of the various conservative parties would likely be the dominent coalition with Labour and the Liberals (not necessarily in that order) serving to oppose them). The Unionists would advocate Imperial tarrifs, strong defence and may oppose new members. The Liberals (whether WWI happens could make them second or third largest party) would stand for more peaceful diplomacy as well as loosening of tarrifs and responsible government for the colonies. Labour could stand for complete decolonisation depending on who exactly is in charge as well as Empire-wide nationalisations and workers' rights. They may support the tarrif system though as it could contribute to job creation.
 
Good suggestions. So, Austen Chamberlain. What was it that caused Baldwin to win out over him that might be different in TTL?
 
The idea of Jan Smuts or Nelson Mandela becoming heads of an Imperial Federation/United Commonwealth government is a very exciting one. May we vote for Jacinda Ardern as IPM too?

Where would such an IPM be based? I started a short lived thread a while back on where the capital of such an organisation would be (if it needed a permanent capital). If it was in London, I'd assume the existing Palace of Westminster would become the Imperial Parliament, although the site of the old GLC across the river was also suggested and I liked the idea of that. If the federal government is based in London, I guess the IPM would occupy Downing Street? Or maybe an enlarged version of Marlborough House would suffice? I'd also wonder if the City of Westminster itself would become something of a cross between the Vatican and the District of Columbia - a neutral territory within a larger conurbation that would become purely Commonwealth territory.

The IPM would need the trappings of a very powerful head of state. An RAF Concorde (or successor) perhaps for overseas trips, although I'd hope it would be something more impressive than the Ryanair version of Airforce One that Boris Johnson has just cobbled together.

But would such a person have the title of Imperial Prime Minister? If it was Prime Minister, then perhaps OTL PMs of Commonwealth dominions (including the UK or a loose federation of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) would be known as Premiers (or their own titles - taoiseach for instance, if a united Ireland were a separate member state of it. Then the provincial heads of government might be 'first ministers'?

Or, if Prime Minister wasn't acceptable and made it seem as if the Imperial Federation was just a wanked United Kingdom, would another title do? Is Imperial Chancellor either too German? Or too...Lucasfilm...?!
 
Good suggestions. So, Austen Chamberlain. What was it that caused Baldwin to win out over him that might be different in TTL?
Chamberlain was considered too close to Lloyd George and the 1922 Committee wasn’t happy about that.
I would imagine the butterflies would have affected a lot of this.
 
Chamberlain was considered too close to Lloyd George and the 1922 Committee wasn’t happy about that.
I would imagine the butterflies would have affected a lot of this.
Hmmm, Chamberlain was set to fight Walter Long for leadership of the Conservative party in 1911. They both withdrew to avoid a party split and Bonar Law took over. Austen was raised as his fathers political heir. And presumably Joseph would have been PM at some point in an Imperial Federation TL. Would that extra status be enough to make Austen the obvious favourite in a similar leadership race?
 
Just because I'm interested by this I've decided to whip up a list of PMs, assuming the proper parliament is established in 1924. I would personally go with President of the Imperial Council myself although they would probably just be called Imperial Prime Ministers in common parlance because its easier to say.
Austen Chamberlain 1924-1929
Ramsay MacDonald 1929-1934
Neville Chamberlain1934-1940*
Jan Smuts 1940-1946
Ernest Bevin 1946-1951
Lester B. Pearson 1951-1956
Anthony Eden 1956-1961
Hugh Gaitskell 1961-1963**
Gough Whitlam 1963-1966
Robert Stanfield 1966-1981

Robert Hawke 1981-1991
Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1996
Nelson Mandela 1996-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2016
Jacinda Ardern 2016-2020

*Election delayed for two years due to wartime conditions.
**Died in office.
Obviously this wouldn't make sense due to butterflies but it was quite fun to come up with. Also it assumes a similar to OTL political spectrum whereas I believe at least for the first half of the 20th Century the Imperial Parliament would be a Conservative-Liberal-*Labour three party system (much like the Liberal-Conservative-NDP system in modern Canada IIRC) which would see a *Labour party gradually take over as more socialist-inclined parts of the Empire are integrated and Labour grows in popularity in England. I wonder if a growth in the Imperial socialist party would inspire a similar growth in the Canadian NDP/CCF and see the Canadian Liberals displaced but that is a different conversation. We could see *Labour become the dominant party if it manages to get a foothold in the developing regions of the Imperial Federation depending on how much of the old empire is integrates (India would be impossible to integrate but places like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, east and central Africa and the West Indies are definite contenders).
 
Just because I'm interested by this I've decided to whip up a list of PMs, assuming the proper parliament is established in 1924. I would personally go with President of the Imperial Council myself although they would probably just be called Imperial Prime Ministers in common parlance because its easier to say.
Austen Chamberlain 1924-1929
Ramsay MacDonald 1929-1934
Neville Chamberlain1934-1940*
Jan Smuts 1940-1946
Ernest Bevin 1946-1951
Lester B. Pearson 1951-1956
Anthony Eden 1956-1961
Hugh Gaitskell 1961-1963**
Gough Whitlam 1963-1966
Robert Stanfield 1966-1981

Robert Hawke 1981-1991
Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1996
Nelson Mandela 1996-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2016
Jacinda Ardern 2016-2020

*Election delayed for two years due to wartime conditions.
**Died in office.
Obviously this wouldn't make sense due to butterflies but it was quite fun to come up with. Also it assumes a similar to OTL political spectrum whereas I believe at least for the first half of the 20th Century the Imperial Parliament would be a Conservative-Liberal-*Labour three party system (much like the Liberal-Conservative-NDP system in modern Canada IIRC) which would see a *Labour party gradually take over as more socialist-inclined parts of the Empire are integrated and Labour grows in popularity in England. I wonder if a growth in the Imperial socialist party would inspire a similar growth in the Canadian NDP/CCF and see the Canadian Liberals displaced but that is a different conversation. We could see *Labour become the dominant party if it manages to get a foothold in the developing regions of the Imperial Federation depending on how much of the old empire is integrates (India would be impossible to integrate but places like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, east and central Africa and the West Indies are definite contenders).
Great lineup. Purely from the perspective of WW2 it would be nice to have someone more re-armament friendly than Neville in place during the 30’s but that is probably too convenient considering public feelings during the era. Although with Australian and NZ votes in play the eastern defence strategy gets a higher priority. No Winston, so WW2 policy might be a little different. Though I would guess he would still end up as War Minister.
Love Stephen Harper in the early 2000’s, but I don’t know enough to comment on the others. I will have to do some digging.
 
Just because I'm interested by this I've decided to whip up a list of PMs, assuming the proper parliament is established in 1924. I would personally go with President of the Imperial Council myself although they would probably just be called Imperial Prime Ministers in common parlance because its easier to say.
Austen Chamberlain 1924-1929
Ramsay MacDonald 1929-1934
Neville Chamberlain1934-1940*
Jan Smuts 1940-1946
Ernest Bevin 1946-1951
Lester B. Pearson 1951-1956
Anthony Eden 1956-1961
Hugh Gaitskell 1961-1963**
Gough Whitlam 1963-1966
Robert Stanfield 1966-1981

Robert Hawke 1981-1991
Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1996
Nelson Mandela 1996-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2016
Jacinda Ardern 2016-2020

*Election delayed for two years due to wartime conditions.
**Died in office.
Obviously this wouldn't make sense due to butterflies but it was quite fun to come up with. Also it assumes a similar to OTL political spectrum whereas I believe at least for the first half of the 20th Century the Imperial Parliament would be a Conservative-Liberal-*Labour three party system (much like the Liberal-Conservative-NDP system in modern Canada IIRC) which would see a *Labour party gradually take over as more socialist-inclined parts of the Empire are integrated and Labour grows in popularity in England. I wonder if a growth in the Imperial socialist party would inspire a similar growth in the Canadian NDP/CCF and see the Canadian Liberals displaced but that is a different conversation. We could see *Labour become the dominant party if it manages to get a foothold in the developing regions of the Imperial Federation depending on how much of the old empire is integrates (India would be impossible to integrate but places like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, east and central Africa and the West Indies are definite contenders).
So no Thatcher? Works for me! I can imagine that she'd be an Anglosceptic in this TL, wanting the UK (or Little England) out of the Imperial Federation because it has to subsidise everyone else, allegedly. I'll now reveal my ignorance of Australian politics: what little I know of Bob Hawke isn't particularly positive but Gough Whitlam would be an interesting progressive voice sourced from Australia, far more so than Menzies. I wonder if an ATL Tony Blair who didn't blindly follow American adventurism in Iraq might be an option instead of Stephen Harper?
 
In regards to location, I personally like the idea of this being built. Don’t know how practical it is though.
Smuts would be an interesting one. Would he have the influence to become PM?
I think Smuts could've become a great IPM/CPM. The Imperial Monument and Halls has the right level of grandeur for the Imperial/Commonwealth Parliament although I don't think it was designed for such a role. Given an appropriate site, I do wonder what Lutyens would have been able to do with a design for the Imperial Parliament, given the extraordinary work he did in New Delhi.
 
It would be interesting having someone lead the British Empire (in another form) that once fought in an enemy force (assuming the Boer War went more or less as OTL). Smuts fist met Churchill when he was interrogating him after his capture by the Boers.Smuts views on holism would definitely jive well with the Federation as an institution. And he would likely be a strong champion of the UN as PM/PIM as he was in OTL. His Zionist feelings could affect the British position on Israel, but he would be out of office before that really came to a head (depending on butterflies again). His racial policy wasn’t great, though it looked better in the backdrop of South Africa. But it wasn’t really too far off the standard of the time, so that may not come up in a major way.

In regards to the Imperial Monuments Hall, it probably wasn’t designed as a house for Parliament but if the timing lined up it probably could be built for the purpose and still look pretty similar.
 
Having looked into Bevin, I have a couple thoughts.

Firstly, I think he is actually a great choice for a Labour leader in the post war period. However, I am not sure if he would be able to secure the leadership. Maybe if he had won a seat earlier in his career? He tried for it a couple times.

Secondly, one of the instances he is criticized for as Foreign Secretary is his handling of Palestine. He was a blunt man, and this is said to have hurt negotiations at times. He was also accused of being anti-Semitic, though I think this is disputed. Either way, if he is PM I have to wonder who his Foreign Secretary would be. And how they would handle that mess.
 
Having looked into Bevin, I have a couple thoughts.

Firstly, I think he is actually a great choice for a Labour leader in the post war period. However, I am not sure if he would be able to secure the leadership. Maybe if he had won a seat earlier in his career? He tried for it a couple times.

Secondly, one of the instances he is criticized for as Foreign Secretary is his handling of Palestine. He was a blunt man, and this is said to have hurt negotiations at times. He was also accused of being anti-Semitic, though I think this is disputed. Either way, if he is PM I have to wonder who his Foreign Secretary would be. And how they would handle that mess.
All cards on the table this list was very much off the top of my head. I chose Bevin instead of Attlee or Dalton only because he was Foreign Secretary and apparently he's one of those "great PMs we never had" types. As Foreign Secretary the list of possibilies is massive with several countries to choose from, but it would probably have to be someone fairly diplomatic to counterbalance his blunt nature.
 
All cards on the table this list was very much off the top of my head. I chose Bevin instead of Attlee or Dalton only because he was Foreign Secretary and apparently he's one of those "great PMs we never had" types. As Foreign Secretary the list of possibilies is massive with several countries to choose from, but it would probably have to be someone fairly diplomatic to counterbalance his blunt nature.
Well, for the top of your head it is pretty good.

On Eden and Pearson, I am a bit divided but I might actually recommend switching them. At least from the perspective of hindsight. Pearson would probably have to enter politics earlier than OTL to make PIM by 1951. That’s not impossible, as Mackenzie King tried to bring him in near the end of WW2 ( he refused because he did not like King or his politics) and a similar offer from someone else wouldn’t be too hard to bring about. However, Pearson’s most notable policies are probably universal health care and social security. Extending that to the whole empire might be easier in the late 50’s than the early ones. More importantly, if he is successful in any of these, I find it hard to believe that he would remain out of office from then on when he had so much of his career left.

On Edens side, he would likely have already had a successful run as foreign minister in Smut’s ministry (I can’t really think of anyone who would be better, though Maybe an argument could be made for Halifax) and unless Smuts returning the way Churchill did he would probably be head of the party by the early 50’s. It’s also notable that some of his behaviour during OTL Suez could possibly be traced to use of opioid pain killers due to a botched bile duct operation in 1953. Putting him in in 1951 gives him a couple years as PIM before that would be an issue.

Speaking of Suez, if it happens as OTL that would be very interesting timing ITTL. It would start under either Pearson or Eden and possibly finish under the other. The election in 1956 would probably be decided by their stance on Suez.
 
Just because I'm interested by this I've decided to whip up a list of PMs, assuming the proper parliament is established in 1924. I would personally go with President of the Imperial Council myself although they would probably just be called Imperial Prime Ministers in common parlance because its easier to say.
Austen Chamberlain 1924-1929
Ramsay MacDonald 1929-1934
Neville Chamberlain1934-1940*
Jan Smuts 1940-1946
Ernest Bevin 1946-1951
Lester B. Pearson 1951-1956
Anthony Eden 1956-1961
Hugh Gaitskell 1961-1963**
Gough Whitlam 1963-1966
Robert Stanfield 1966-1981

Robert Hawke 1981-1991
Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1996
Nelson Mandela 1996-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2016
Jacinda Ardern 2016-2020
For starters, let me just state that I positively LOVE this list. Having Jacinda Ardern and Nelson Mandela as Imperial Prime Ministers makes me positively overjoyed. However, I would like to query as for a proper TL as to how this would come to be.

If you'll allow, I'd posit having Joseph Chamberlain coming to power in 1902 rather than Arthur Balfour. This would likely see the implementation of a Committee of Imperial Defence and of Tariff Reform, creating a system of free trade within the British Empire and creating a 'wall of tax' on foreign goods. This would likely have hurt Britain's urban poor by making food prices from outside the Empire more expensive but it would successfully have woven the Home Isles closer with the far-flung British Dominions. In 1906, Henry Campbell-Bannerman wins the GE and becomes PM. Chamberlain steps down as Tory leader following his stroke.

So...
Joseph Chamberlain 1902-1906
Henry Campbell-Bannerman 1906-1908
Herbert Henry Asquith 1908-1916
David Lloyd George 1916-1922
Andrew Bonar Law 1922-1923
Stanley Baldwin - 1923-1924
John Robert Clynes - 1924-1924
Stanley Baldwin - 1924-1929


Now the foundations of a Federation are set on the Committee of Imperial Defence (although Tariff Reform would likely have been undone by the Liberals). Lets say at the 1926 Imperial Conference, the Dominion Prime Ministers (Arthur Meighen for Canada, Stanley Bruce for Australia, Gordon Coates for New Zealand, Jans Smuts for South Africa (not the actual list)) agree to integrate. I'd say Ireland likely opts out and becomes a republic quicker. London becomes head of the Empire and the Dominion Parliaments integrate. You might also see the West Indies join. I don't think you'd see the non-white dominions (i.e. India) integrated into an Imperial Federation,

Now what I'd say about the list is that the Imperial Prime Ministers would likely all be British until maybe the 1960s or 1970s. Britain, after all, would be the political centre of the Federation. I'd also say that due to Churchill's lack of protection towards the Antipodes during the Second World War, I think Australia and New Zealand would be Labour strongholds. I'd suggest:

John Robert Clynes - 1929-1934
Stanley Baldwin - 1934-1936
Neville Chamberlain - 1936-1940
Winston Churchill - 1940-1945
Clement Attlee - 1945-1950
Winston Churchill - 1950-1955
Anthony Eden - 1955-1957
Harold Macmillan - 1957-1963
The Earl of Home - 1963-1969
Gough Whitlam - 1969-1976
Edward Heath - 1976-1981
Robert Hawke - 1981-1991
 
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Just because I'm interested by this I've decided to whip up a list of PMs, assuming the proper parliament is established in 1924. I would personally go with President of the Imperial Council myself although they would probably just be called Imperial Prime Ministers in common parlance because its easier to say.
Austen Chamberlain 1924-1929
Ramsay MacDonald 1929-1934
Neville Chamberlain1934-1940*
Jan Smuts 1940-1946
Ernest Bevin 1946-1951
Lester B. Pearson 1951-1956
Anthony Eden 1956-1961
Hugh Gaitskell 1961-1963**
Gough Whitlam 1963-1966
Robert Stanfield 1966-1981

Robert Hawke 1981-1991
Malcolm Rifkind 1991-1996
Nelson Mandela 1996-2006
Stephen Harper 2006-2016
Jacinda Ardern 2016-2020

*Election delayed for two years due to wartime conditions.
**Died in office.
That would be a VERY interesting list indeed, particularly for the many different backgrounds and ancestries of the people involved. We must here be limiting ourselves to the "White Dominions" I'm guessing, but what if that also results in territorials transfers as a result? As you say India is unlikely to want to get into this, but I can see smaller portions of the Empire also wanting to join, allowing places like Malta and Singapore and Aden and Hong Kong a way to vote for Imperial representatives. If this Imperial Parliament is one of true power and authority, I don't think the PRC would get Hong Kong back - highly unlikely they'd want to piss off the Empire, and the Empire would probably want Hong Kong to stay if for no other reason than as a commercial center, trading port and naval and air force base - so you'd probably have major changes there, and Aden definitely wouldn't be leaving the Empire - too much use as a transit point between Britain and Asia and Australia.

This list assumes that the people of the United Kingdom wouldn't have too many issues with South Africans or Australians or Canadians or New Zealanders leading them. THAT could end up being a bit of a bumpy ride at first, particularly when the man leading the Empire during the war is an Afrikaner. (That said, the next list had Churchill as British PM and him and Smuts genuinely got along, and Smuts was an accomplished military leader, so you might not have too many difficulties, particularly once the Empire gathers up its forces and goes on the offensive....)

For what its worth, I'm not entirely sure I think Stephen Harper would ever get to be Imperial PM in this world - he was always first and foremost a Canadian policy guy - but Pearson, yeah definitely. And Robert Stanfield for fifteen years as Imperial PM, Nelson Mandela for another ten and Jacinda Ardern being the current Imperial PM? Yeah....I approve. 🙂
 
As far as what the leaders would be would depend on not so much what the structure of the Parliament is, but what the objective is. If you're oging to make any sort of Imperial Parliament work, you must - I repeat, MUST - make it very worthwhile for the Dominions to be willing to give up ultimate control over their countries, and what is needed to be given up? Foreign policy, trade laws and military leadership are obvious, but beyond that there is a number of yawning differences between the needs and desires of the Dominions and that of Britain itself.

If this is done in the late 19th Century or very early 20th, the problem of Ireland's ultimate fate probably lands in the Imperial Parliament's lap, which is a serious problem from a political standpoint as approving of Ireland's breaking away from the Empire will cause you to have the same problem with the Afrikaners (a certainty) and French-Canadians (quite possible). Knowing that, perhaps the end result is that Ireland is allowed to become a Dominion as a compromise? Likewise, New Zealand would at first have a real issue with the Maori likely being in line with Native Canadians and colored South Africans. Giving control over foreign policy to the Imperial Parliament also means they have to deal with the issues surrounding India, and as people mention Palestine also would become a problem. If the result is a demand for equality across the Empire, the Imperial Parliament would be immediately facing issues with regards to regressive social treatment across the Empire - Apartheid, White Australia, Canada's treatment of its First Nations....lotsa problems here.

The Caribbean territories would probably eventually be integrated into Canada (except for the Falklands, St. Helena and Bermuda staying colonies), with South Africa gaining South-West Africa, Bechuanaland and Southern Rhodesia and many of the smaller islands around Australia from as far east as Pitcairn to as far west as Christmas Island becoming part of Australia or New Zealand. Malta and Cyprus would be possibilities for parts of the Empire as well, particularly the former. Israel would be a very real possibilities, particularly if the Empire forces a solution that allows both sides access to Jerusalem in some way. If Ireland remains a Dominion (I grant this is unlikely, but not impossible if the Imperial Parliament allows the Dominions wide control over domestic policies), it may well dodge The Troubles in their entirety and if not they would likely be much reduced in size and the country would probably be less intertwined than the UK of IOTL, because being a Dominion and with Irish all over the world they'd have the ability to work with all of the rest of the Empire without the need to involve the UK.

But assuming they got over all of the most serious difficultes....it would be invariable that the nations would use each others' truly-immense natural resources for their own advantage, and that of their closest allies. China would probably never get the chance to be the world's factory because the Commonwealth would make absolutely certain India gets it first, and while India wouldn't likely fit in the Commonwealth, it would absolutely be tied to it in pretty much every way possible. China would probably eventually emerge from the Maoist era, but even if they demanded Hong Kong back, they'd not get it, though they would probably get a major sum and priviledged access to the Empire in return for relinquishing the New Territories. Aden would be the same, and by 2020 Aden and Singapore would be two of the richest places on the world as a result of the massive trading that would be heading from India west to Europe and east to Asia and Australia, and with goods heading from the booming East Asian economies to Europe via Singapore. Canada would be the UK's energy source via a pipeline to Halifax (and later probably supplies from offshore platforms on the Grand Banks) and tankers to the British Isles, while India's massive heavy industry is fueled by minerals from South Africa and vast supplies of Australian iron ore, while food moves to the more-densely populated areas from Canada and Australia in unimaginable quantities. The Empire's inter-war desires for growth of value-added industries would create the genesis of some of the world's largest makers of automobiles, railroad equipment and aircraft, and standardization ultimately comes to some degree - Canada eventually begins driving on the left, railroads are built in standard gauge with buckeye couplers and British-standard signalling, the metric system comes across the Empire in the 1950s and 1960s. After World War II, the ever-better systems of air travel created by British and Canadian-manufactured jet airliners results in the Empire's respective populations moving around quite frequently, bringing with it many of the cultural interests. Canada joins their Empire brothers in the competitions of rugby, cricket and football (and prove shockingly good at the first of those rather quickly....), while India's taking their place as the Empire's industrial ally in the second half of the 20th Century massively increases their country's wealth and cultural influence, even as the connections make things go the other way to a large degree as well, particularly as Indians of wealth begin becoming a common sight across the Empire starting in the 1960s.

Established minimum prices for agricultural goods during the Depression ends up being a massive benefit to South Africa most of all, and as a result of this and the massive resource wealth of South Africa by the 1960s the Afrikaners of South Africa are some of the richest people on Earth, even as land reform and more people moving off of the land results in a titanic growth in income for South Africans of colour after the War. (This also all but eradicates the anti-British sentiments among the Afrikaners as time goes on.)

London is the absolute financial capital, but there are numerous capital centres with massive resources of their own - Toronto, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Singapore, Johannesburg, Mumbai. British banks and financial institutions dominate the Empire early on, but the biggest of the Dominions quickly gain a major presence in the post-war era. The British pound sterling is used as the reserve currency and is the currency the natural resources within the Empire are traded in - something that helps the UK's economy immensely - but the currencies of the individual nations are all strong by themselves, particularly the Canadian and Australian dollars. Banking regulations between the nations are standardized in the 1990s primarily on the Canadian mold - this done because of the Canadians' reputation for excellent regulatory management - and the result is that the City of London is by the 2000s every bit the equal of Wall Street if one wishes to go find money, particularly for places in the world that have a lesser view of Americans.

The Royal Navy and Royal Air Force are the established global armed forces for the Empire and all ships carry the HMS Prefix, with military leadership being the Imperial Parliament's job, with the Admiralty and the Air Forces leadership being based in the UK, but with explicit divisions established. The Royal Navy is divided into the Home Fleet, Atlantic Fleet, Mediterranean Fleet, Indian Fleet, Asiatic Fleet and Pacific Fleet, each with their own established bases and command centers, likewise the Royal Air Force, which is divided into First (UK), Second (Australian/New Zealander), Third (Canadian), Fourth (South African) and Fifth (Asian) Air Forces. The Royal Marines are similarly divided into Brigades that have their own established bases across the world. The Armies of the Empire are a little different as there are British, Canadian, Australian and South African Armies and Armed Forces of New Zealand, Ireland and all of the smaller Dominions.

The abilities the combined forces have is absolutely immense - compared to the American armed forces they have a rather smaller total army (though still huge) and a smaller carrier fleet, but a massive Expeditionary Fleet to support the multiple Royal Marines brigades, a very large submarine force (both nuclear and advanced conventional), a massive surface fleet and logistic assets to support all of the above, as well as a gigantic air force with worldwide reach and immense logistical and airlift capacity. Virtually all of the equipment of the Empire's armed forces is made in the Empire itself, and the Empire's armed forces are trained very well indeed, with training in many different environments to suit individual missions - cold weather in northern Canada and hot weather in the interior of Australia, for example.

Politically, the belief of the growth of the Empire as a force for good and for equality of peoples defined its politics throughout the post-War era, particularly as it was felt (not unreasonably) that without the Empire being for all who lived in it it would invariably come apart, the horrors of World War II and the nastiness of Indian partition being hoisted as a real to make sure all who lived in the Empire benefited from it. This focus on the balances between the rule of law, social and economic equality, resolute honesty and as great a personal freedoms as is possible is the driving force for the Empire in modern times, beginning with the immense efforts to improve the lives of blacks of the Caribbean, Native Australians and Canadians, the Maori and all of the various minorities of South Africa in the Post-War era being the genesis of many policies. The Empire of 2020 has long ago condemned bigotry as totally unacceptable in politics, and since the 1980s has pushed new frontiers in the steady growth of LGBTQ rights, which by 2020 are also nearly universal. Individual Dominions have long held differing viewpoints on what is acceptable in society, but as travel and communications improvements have brought the Empire closer together, many of these viewpoints have closed up.

The political parties - Conservative, Labour and Liberal are the three largest ones, and there are many smaller ones, with this diversity of representation existing to such a degree that a single party having a majority of the Imperial Parliament is regarded as almost an impossibility - tend to be led by strong, capable leaders, as they have many good candidates to choose from. Being a Member of the Imperial Parliament is a highly-prestigious position in any right and so the parties are very capable of finding highly-qualified candidates for both party positions and cabinet positions, resulting in a "Imperial political class" that is almost entirely drawn from highly-qualified men and women, an environment that has encouraged the parties to look out for who might be the next great leader. Originally the leaders tended to come from British backgrounds, but starting with the Depression-era years and particularly during the Imperial Prime Ministerships of Winston Churchill (1934-1942), Jan Smuts (1942-1946) and Clement Attlee (1946-1951), the best from the Empire began entering the Cabinets of the Imperial Parliament, a tradition that grew far beyond the first Dominion-born Prime Minister (Smuts) to include a great many of the best from the Empire. Conservative successor, Anthony Eden (1950-1955), was followed by Canadian Lester Pearson (1955-1964), who was then followed by the first Australian Imperial Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, who assumed the post in May 1964.

Imperial Prime Ministers

Joseph Chamberlain - 1902-1906
Henry Campbell-Bannerman - 1906-1908
Herbert Henry Asquith - 1908-1916
David Lloyd George - 1916-1924
Stanley Baldwin - 1924-1929
John Robert Clynes - 1929-1934
Winston Churchill - 1934-1942[1]
Jan Christiaan Smuts - 1942-1946
Clement Attlee - 1946-1950
Anthony Eden - 1950-1955
Lester Pearson - 1955-1964
Gough Whitlam - 1964-1970
Tommy Douglas - 1970-1974
Robert Stanfield - 1974-1982[2]
Edward Heath - 1982-1986
Robert Hawke - 1986-1991
Nelson Mandela - 1991-1998[3]
Edward Broadbent - 1998-1999
Tony Blair - 1999-2008
David Cameron - 2008-2014
Justin Trudeau - 2014-2018
Jacinda Ardern - 2018-present

[1] Resigned due to health issues, remained in War Cabinet under Smuts, remained as a member of the Imperial Parliament until 1962
[2] Retired in an attempt to not bog his party down during an election, Heath's victory seven weeks later was proof this plan worked
[3] Retired at Age 80
 
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