Pre-1900 Alternate History Tropes/Cliches:

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Andrew Boyd, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Andrew Boyd Resident Rail Enthusiast

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    Feb 23, 2018
    Since this is a thing for post-1900 cliches, I thought I would have my personal stab at some cliches in pre-1800 TLs.

    - An America TL where the UK ends up as an analogue to Nazi Germany. (Hell, one of the reasons I want my own US TL is to avert that.)
    - The Mexican-American War has the US gain even more territory than it did IOTL.

    Any additional cliches you have noticed are welcome.
     
  2. Greenhorn Well-Known Member

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    Aug 25, 2018
    The Union is able to crush the South and institute total Reconstruction by 1863-64.

    That killing off McClellan would fix the Union’s multitude of problems.

    The Constitution fails and the US ends up becoming a bunch of comically evil empires because of it, even though just 20 years ago they had won their independence from such an empire.

    US gobbling up half of North America by 1840 for whatever reason.

    The Empire of Mexico descending into chaos and underdevelopment despite the large European connections and Maximilian’s own internal improvement projects.

    A surviving Stonewall would fix the Army of Northern Virginia’s own problems.
     
  3. TRH Tyrannosaurus Rex Handler

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    Considering 90 percent or more of ACW-based AH is about the South doing better, I have a hard time calling this a cliche.

    Depends on what you mean by chaos, but isn't that OTL, since despite Maximilian's intentions, his taking power kicked off a civil war?
     
  4. QuokkaCheese Member

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    CSA somehow someway becoming a Great Power and has a successful empire comparable to the French/British and somehow isn't in political, economic and social turmoil.
     
  5. Tairo Well-Known Member

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    Isn't there already a thread for this somewhere? Anywho:

    Surviving ERE means Granada survives longer as a counter-balance.
    Japan will always develop a Shogunate system regardless of the OTL attempt to dismantle it.
    The HRE never centralizes and will always devolve into semi-autonomous states.
     
  6. DanMcCollum P-WI

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    America Uber Alles: All the United States has to do is simply sneeze in the direction of any other state and it will magically win the confrontation, because: America! And American culture is awesome and everyone will want to adopt it. Even if the POD is in the 18th century, Teddy Roosevelt shall RISE :)

    Seriously, the amount of American Exceptionalism on these boards can get annoying and absurd at times (and I'm saying this as an American who rather likes the country of my birth)

    I'd also include the related: Rome Uber Alles. The same as the above, only with Rome. And no Teddy Roosevelt (although THAT would be something)
     
  7. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    While I quite agree with you, if this can be any consolation, the phenomena is not limited to the US: in general, the border between patriotism and "hurrah-patriotism" is very fragile. :teary:
     
  8. herkles Well-Known Member

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    no christianity = we are 1000 years advanced. Obey the chart :coldsweat:

    Nations pulling a Meiji.
     
  9. Lalli Well-Known Member

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  10. Kirook Well-Known Member

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    Nov 13, 2014
    Hell, even just the phrase “pulling a Meiji”, as if the process of national development and technological advancement to become a great power capable of standing toe to toe with the Western empires is the same for every country from East Asia to West Africa.
     
  11. Heldenhammer For Are We Not All Sigmar's Heirs?

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    There is always something about the French defeating the English and becoming a huge power in Europe. They either form a huge European Union or just collapse. Not much about the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, though.
     
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  12. DanMcCollum P-WI

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    And if the PLC IS mentioned, it is only as a weak or failing state, the blame for which is invariably placed on the veto power of the Senators. Its almost as if thats the ONLY thing people seem to know about the PLC (and never mind the fact that it operated as a vibrant and dynamic government prior to it's decay)
     
  13. TRH Tyrannosaurus Rex Handler

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    I am totally doing a parody TLIAW about Meiji Andaman Islands when I have time.
     
  14. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    One more popular cliche: Russia being unmitigated looser as a result of the Crimean War.

    While this being partially and formally true, as a direct result of that war Russia got over 600,000 sq.km (231,660 sq. miles) territory, border with China by Amur and practical access to the Pacific. All the way to the CW Russia was seemingly satisfied with the border defined by the Nerchinsk Treaty of the late XVII but during the CW fears of the British-French attack on the settlements of the Russian Pacific coast and capture of its part by the Brits became a reality. Getting reinforcements to Petropavlovsk, Okhotsk and other places by the existing routes was impossible because ocean was dominated by the enemies and overland “route” to Okhotsk (then capital of the Russian Pacific) was pretty much impassable, especially as far as transporting artillery was involved. As a result, Governor-general of the Eastern Siberia, Muraviev, finally managed to persuade Nicholas I, contrary to the opinion of all ministers, to try sailing by Amur River in a disregard of the perceived Chinese objections. Enterprise provedto be a complete success (and it took only 70 days to get to the coast from Balkan area) which made travel time few months shorter and removed problems related to carrying the heavy stuff), reinforcements allowed to repel allied attack on Petropavlovsk and it became obvious that Chinese simply do not have in a region any force capable to oppose the Russian expansion and with more troops and settlers coming by the river Chinese had been forced to sign the Aigun Treaty.

    Without the CW a traditional argument of not messing with the Chinese would keep prevailing for indefinite time and the Brits could quite well establish a foothold in the area (“researchers” already were there) so perhaps Russians should feel some gratitude o the Brits (which AFAIK is not the case). Needless to say that the next expansion (modern border) also happened thanks to the Brits: Russians used the problems caused by the Opium Wars to squeeze China out of Outer Manchuria. Taking into an account that by now the territories which the Brits got for themselves (as a result of a considerable military effort and expenses) are long gone while the Russians (who were neutral and did not spend a dime) are still holding their, isn’t this a classic case of a historical ingratitude? :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  15. KingOnTheEdge Vive La Revolucion

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    1- Maybe with a loyal virginia, though that butterflies a lot
    2-other than our generals who weren't named Grant, and to some degree morale, what problems did the Union have compared to the CSA? genuinely wondering
     
  16. alexmilman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, which is rather silly because for at least half a century after its creation in mid-XVI the PLC was the greatest regional power, for a while it was probably the biggest state in Europe (or close to that) with a population greater than one of the Tsardom of Moscow (which it almost conquered) and in the late XVII still was a big military power (taken by the Hapsburgs more seriously than the Tsardom).
     
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  17. Arnold d.c Well-Known Member

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    One major problem for the Union war effort was the constant interference by Washington in the Army of the Potomac. This kind of started by McClellan’s lack of explanation for his military operations to Washington, but it really didn’t go away throughout the war. For example Washington forced the Army of the Potomac to go down the O&A Railroad (which was very bad at supplying the army) because it protected Washington from any Confederate attack on the capital.
     
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  18. TheNerd_ Noobie History Entusiast

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    Every country needs to lick Britain's boots to even get a chance to become a great- hell even a regional power or middle power.
     
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  19. Zaius Member

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    the monstrous bastard of the Treaty of Versailles
    Nothing important exists between Germany and Russia. Scandinavia becomes almost irrelevant and neutral. Poland-Lithuania disappears completely besides the occasional uprising in Russian Poland which happens just because it also happened in OTL. Hungarians, Czechs or Croats are mostly docile Austrian subjects who can be easily placated with an additional crown in the Austrian Empire if needed. Etc...
     
  20. TRH Tyrannosaurus Rex Handler

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    Not absent from post-1900 either, obviously, but war narration tends to zero in on the fancy killing implements being used at the expense of training, terrain, tactics, operations, and logistics.
     
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