Slavic Great Powers other than Russia and Poland

By the time Russian state became a Great Power (XVIII century) the issue of being Mongolian (or rather Tatar) vassal became an ancient history: it ceased to be the case during the reign of Ivan III and the leftovers of the GH had been conquered by Ivan IV.

OTOH, Hetmanate created by Charles would be too weak to stand up on its own.
Why couldn't they use the protection of the Swedes to grow and expand? Likely at the expense of the Ottomans.
 
Why couldn't they use the protection of the Swedes to grow and expand? Likely at the expense of the Ottomans.
Taking into an account that in OTL the Hetmanate on its own could not deal even with the Crimeans, an idea that the Swedes would commit themselves to the conquest of the Ottoman territories with a purpose to deliver these territories to the Hetmanate seems rather unrealistic. Not to mention a physical ability of such a conquest. Think about the involved geography, logistics and the numbers. Then, again, if the premise of any conquest is Swedish protection, how does it qualify Hetmanate as a Great Power?
 
The Hungars/Magyars were a
Interestingly, the thing about Bulgaria is that the Bulgars were originally a tribe of Turkic people who migrated from Central Asia into Southeastern Europe. It was only after they had been established in the region for some time that they went native and Slavicized. With a slightly different migratory history, something similar could probably happen with any number of different Eurasian nomadic groups - Avatar, Huns, Magyars, etc.
I would like to see a more prominent Magyar/Finno-Ugaric culture, even a Finno-Ugaric great power. The Magyar tribes were by all means a force to be reckoned with in the 8th/9th century. However they quickly split into two directions, one eventually establishing Hungary, the other settling Estland, Lettland, Lituania and Finland. So today the Hungarian language is something of an odd duck in Central Europe, only related to the Baltic languages, Finnish and Sami/Laplandish.

If the tribes somehow stuck together, there would be one uniform Magyar state between today's Hungary, Bellorussia, the Eastern Baltic and probably Finland as well. It might of course have split into successor states along geographical, cultural or religious lines but at least one of those states could still be a mayor player up into the XXth century.
 

raharris1973

Gone Fishin'
Actually, short of the religion and succession issues and one lost battle the Grand Duchy had a very good chance to became a Slavic superstate. Witold was in possession of Belorussia, Ukraine, Smolensk area, was acknowledged as “protector” of Novgorod and .... surprise, surprise, of the Grand Princedom of Moscow. He was planning to support an overthrown Khan of the GH, Totkhamish, on a condition that after being restored the Khan would recognize him as an overlord and will pass to him a direct overlordship over the Russian princedoms. The schema failed after defeat at Vorskla but the battle could be won or Yesugei could be persuaded to change sides or could die before the battle, etc.

By that time probably more than a half of the Duchy’s subjects had been Orthodox and “Russian” (probably old Belorussian) was used in the official documents (AFAIK, there was no written Lithuanian at that time). Witold’s daughter was married to the Grand Prince Vasily I. AFAIK, the Catholicism by that time did not yet get the solid roots in the Duchy and the Orthodox followers were more numerous and better established.

In other words, there was a very good chance that consolidation of the Russian lands would happen around Lithuania (the Grand Duchy had more of them than Moscow) with the Lithuanians becoming a minority. However, one of the prerequisites would be sticking to the Orthodox Creed at least for the rulers.
What would have become its capital city?
 
How about Great Moravia surviving? At its maximum extent under Svatopluk I, it inluded (at least according to some accounts) not only what are now the Czech Republic and Slovakia but also Lusatia (much more extensive then than it is now), Silesia, part of Galicia, eastern Austria, Hungary (or rather the area inhabited by the Pannonian Slavs before the arrival of the Magyars), much of Transylvania, etc.

Admittedly, the obstacles to Great Moravia surviving were formidale:
If you want to at least have some chance of Great Moravia surviving, you need a PoD prior to Svatopluk. Specifically, having Rastislav, his predecessor, successfully resist the Carolingians, as I suggested in this WI thread. And you get the added bonus of changed religious circumstances, as the fall of Methodius and his disciples was directly related to Svatopluk's ascent to power, and potential cultural circumstances (considering how the Pannonian Slavs [both the Slavs that moved in and the Avar people that were being Slavicized] and Pannonian Romance people have a chance to surviving if Great Moravia TTL is stable enough to withstand Magyar incursion).
 
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If Grand Duchy of Muscovyball didn't murder his brother Novgorod Republicball maybe Novgorod Republicball would have become something great.


 
If Grand Duchy of Muscovyball didn't murder his brother Novgorod Republicball maybe Novgorod Republicball would have become something great.


Dank memes aside, a timeline wherein Novgorod remains independent and "two Russias" emerge would be interesting. I'm not sure an independent Novgorod would have the population or geographic position to become a truly great power, though.

Reiterating what's been said before, a Great Moravia or Bohemia forming a slavic Definitely-Not-Austria would be one of the strongest contenders.
 
Hey hey hey, y'all didn't mentioned the Sorbs...their position isn't perfect for a Great Power but with a PoD that severes (or totally eliminates) frankish control of the germanic lands, the sorbs could grow to form an eventual slavic power, since they could migrate into Thuringia (IOTL just stopped by the franks frequently messing with them) and further in the Elbe Valley. Depending on the PoD "Germany" can turn into "Sorbia", since the franconian tribes (Rhineland + Central Germany) are divided and the saxons are a big incognita, with Bavaria and Swabia in the south remaining germanic.

With that i think that they have some pretty great potential for great power, especially if they manage to absorb the Obotrites or the Veleti (access to the sea).
 
Lithuania! Now you will object that Lithuania s a Baltic, not Slavic nation. I reply: that is true today, but the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 15th century had more East Slavs (what would today be called Ukrainians and Belarusians) than it did ethnic Lithuanians and most of its territory was in what is now Ukraine or Belarus (or parts of Russia that have been claimed by Belarusian nationalists):



Moreover, the formal name of the state was the "Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus and Samogitia." And the "Rus" language was the official language of the Grand Duchy--the Statutes of Lithuania https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statutes_of_Lithuania for example being written in it--until Polonization led to it being superseded by Polish and Latin.

Of course for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania to survive, it has to resist being absorbed by either Poland or the Grand Duchy of Moscow. But if it somehow manages to do so, there could be two East Slavic states--to use their Latin names, we could call the western one Ruthenia and the eastern one Muscovy.

There are even alternative ways to get a Ruthenian or West Rus' or Ukrainian-Belorussian state created. For example as a Swedish vassal state if the Swedes had won the Great Northern War. Or there was Oginksi's project to get the Tsar to restore (a mostly Belarusian and Ukrainian) Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which I discuss at https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wi-russia-reestablishes-lithuania.479966/#post-19907587
Incidentally, the use of the word "Lithuania" to designate the old Grand Duchy--in other words Belarus as well as the modern nation of Lithuania (but usually not including Ukraine which was transferred from Lithuania to Poland with the union of 1569)--long survived (for some purposes) the Grand Duchy's demise. A few examples:

(1) Brest-Litovsk (of treaty fame) means "Lithuanian Brest" and is in what is now Belarus.

(2) When Jews are referred to as "Litvaks" that does not necessarily mean they are from the modern nation of Lithuania. Quite often "Litvaks" are from Belarus. (My maternal grandfather was a Litvak from Slutsk.)



(3) When Mickiewicz began Pan Tadeusz with the famous words

Litwo! Ojczyzno moja! ty jesteś jak zdrowie;
Ile cię trzeba cenić, ten tylko się dowie,
Kto cię stracił


O Lithuania, my homeland! thou art like health;
Only he can truly appreciate thy worth
Who has lost thee

the "Lithuania" to which he referred was obviously not restricted to the modern small republic where people speak a Baltic language. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Tadeusz "The term "Lithuania" used by Mickiewicz refers to a geographical region encompassed by the present-day borders of Belarus and Lithuania as well as the eastern edge of present-day Poland." (Mickiewicz himself was born in or near Navahrudak in what is now Belarus.)
 
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Intriguing. So we could even get a Slavic Lithuania but a separate Baltic Lituvia?
It seems that the some of the modern Belorussian and writers do consider Belorussia to be “true” Lithuania but most probably your “Slavic Lithuania” would have a different name. OTOH, there was at some point a short term split between two competing Lithuanian princes along the religious lines (Slavs being predominantly Orthodox) which may result in your schema: IIRC initially only the Catholic nobility got the same right as their Polish counterparts so whoever is in charge of the Slavic part (Belorussia, Ukraine, Smolensk area) makes sure that his followers are getting the same and beats off the opposition (and the Poles).
 
It seems that the some of the modern Belorussian and writers do consider Belorussia to be “true” Lithuania but most probably your “Slavic Lithuania” would have a different name. OTOH, there was at some point a short term split between two competing Lithuanian princes along the religious lines (Slavs being predominantly Orthodox) which may result in your schema: IIRC initially only the Catholic nobility got the same right as their Polish counterparts so whoever is in charge of the Slavic part (Belorussia, Ukraine, Smolensk area) makes sure that his followers are getting the same and beats off the opposition (and the Poles).
Well I was additionally assuming no union with Poland else Ruthenia would be more logical nomenclature. Your way works though.
 
If Yugoslavia in the early years of Tito's rule annexed Albania and then formed a federation with Bulgaria, that wouldn't be exactly a superpower (and it wouldn't be totally Slavic due to the inclusion of Albania) but it would be powerful enough that Stalin, who had once supported the idea, eventually came out against it...
 
If Yugoslavia in the early years of Tito's rule annexed Albania and then formed a federation with Bulgaria, that wouldn't be exactly a superpower (and it wouldn't be totally Slavic due to the inclusion of Albania) but it would be powerful enough that Stalin, who had once supported the idea, eventually came out against it...
That would had came down even more rapidly and more violently than OTL. And Tito wasn't very good administrator and he messed things with such way that it was going fall after Tito's death. Perhaps better would be keep monarchy around. Yugoslavia would be still pretty strong local power.
 
I would say Ruthenia/Ukraine had the best shot to be an actual great power, rather than a regional power with delusions of grandeur (Yugoslavia).
 
I would say Ruthenia/Ukraine had the best shot to be an actual great power, rather than a regional power with delusions of grandeur (Yugoslavia).
It depends on what do you mean by “Ruthenia”: in its early medieval meaning (before raise of Moscow in the XV century) the term applied to ALL Russian lands so, yes, there was a good chance for them to grow into a major power but, unfortunately, they are excluded by OP.

Combination you used, Ruthenia/Ukraine, belongs to the period when these entities (“Ukraine” is rather anachronistic but let it be) had been united under the Great Duchy of Lithuania and later became part of the PLC. There was a non-zero chance for the Russian consolidation under the Great Duchy but the hardly could be considered as growth of Ruthenia/Ukraine. 😀
 
A Bohemia that manages to gets its hands on Austria and/or parts of eastern Germany prior to Ostsiedlung or a Hungary where the Magyar aristocracy assimilates into the Slavic majority like the Avars did are other possibilities next to the already mentioned Serbia and Bulgaria.
 
A Bohemia that manages to gets its hands on Austria and/or parts of eastern Germany prior to Ostsiedlung or a Hungary where the Magyar aristocracy assimilates into the Slavic majority like the Avars did are other possibilities next to the already mentioned Serbia and Bulgaria.
I have a fondness for Poland integrating the Wends. Dont think I've seen a timeline explore that.
 
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