Summer of Nations (2.0)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Generalissimo Maximus, Jul 11, 2019.

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  1. souvikkundu25140017 Well-Known Member

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    Will we see Maratha revival in this timeline as you previously did?
     
  2. Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Not a Maratha revival, but another familiar face from indian history will make a return.
     
  3. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    What are the ten continents?
     
  4. Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    it's just a redefining of OTL terminology (no emerging atlantis here), but as to what the continents are specifically will be elaborated upon in a later post.
     
  5. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    I figured as much. If Eurasia is split into Europe and Asia while Central America and India get upgraded to the big leagues it would at least get you to nine I suppose.
     
  6. Threadmarks: Sunset: Collapse of the British Empire

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Sunset
    Collapse of the British Empire

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    "A history of Australasia" by Professor May Williams (2018, Perth Publishing)


    Ever since the Chartist revolutions and the evacuation of the royal family, monarchist control over their overseas colonies had gradually slipped out of their hands. Somewhat paradoxically, it was in part the remoteness of the colonies that perpetuated monarchist control as long as it did, as some regions simply didn’t receive news about the revolution for a fair amount of time afterwards and therefore were caught completely unawares as to the radical changes that had utterly transformed their old homeland. This was certainly the cause for colonies in Africa and east Eurasia, but there was one that stood out as a point of unrest even before the news of the revolution arrived: Australia. Perhaps somewhat ironically home to a number of exiled chartists, the Australian population had always been some of the most radical when it came to political activism, advocating for universal male suffrage and an end to the centralization of wealth into the local British ruling class. This had been exacerbated by the gold rushes in the middle of the 19th century, causing the descendants of English colonists and newly arrived immigrants to intermingle for the first time, creating a unified front for the colonists to drive forward their demands. Despite open protests and appeals to the government in London, the continued indifference to the issues facing the miners and the businesses depending on the miners for their livelihood finally culminated in armed rebellion once the news of the success of the chartist movement reached Australian shores. The political organization called the Ballarat reform league met at Bakery hill, organizing for an armed rising almost identical in nature to that of the English chartist rising, using its position in an area full of radical miners as a base of support. by December, somewhat over 12,000 miners had gathered and armed themselves under the leadership of Peter Fintan Lalor, advocating for armed rebellion against the colonial government and the proclamation of an independent Australian nation. The miners planned to march on the colonial capital of Melbourne, but the colonial militia had been alerted and sent a force to disperse the rally before the march could be implemented. However, as the force of around 300 soldiers and police officers arrived, they found several thousands of miners waiting for them and after a minor skirmish; a bloody battle was fought on the Gravel Pits that finally routed the British forces. The miners rallied and as they drove the retreating British before them they also spread the news of their intention to implement reforms such as universal male suffrage. Therefore, when the force of miners arrived they were greeted by a city already boiling with rebellion. Marches for voting rights and even complete independence were regular occurrences and the populace gave the miners a considerably warm welcome. On January 7th, 1855 the Southern Cross flag was for the first time raised over Melbourne and the temporarily appointed president Peter Lalor was put in charge of creating a constitution for the new republic. This chain of events sent shockwaves across Oceania, but the Australian republic itself was surprised itself when, despite having formally invited the other colonies to a confederation, only Westralia, Tasmania and New Zealand (Recently rechristened the Waitangi Confederation) opted to go on their own. Though much work remained to be done, the light of Democracy was spreading all across the globe.

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    India

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    Chartism: The Revolution Abroad by Henry Price (2001, Cardiff Books)


    Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of the British Empire was the 1857 war of Indian Independence. Although still nominally loyal to Britain, in practice the Indian continent had largely been turned into a pseudo-corporate state under the EIC who now worked unsupervised and for anyone that would pay as it attempted to balance its ever more precarious financial stability following the revolutions. Whilst the EIC managed to maintain calm for a number of year with the implicit support of most princely states, the breaking point finally arrived in early May 1857. A growing number of Indians, particularly those in the northern areas of the continent, felt that the BEIC was increasingly overstepping its boundaries and intruding on the traditional way of life for those living in the area, regardless of if they were peasants dissatisfied with the tax system or a noble disinherited by the new inheritance laws enforced by the BEIC. Regardless, the revolt proper began in the ranks of the local Sepoy auxiliaries, who quickly overran the undermanned and underequipped BEIC forces in the area. As they marched north towards Delhi, the rebelling forces rallied around the nominal Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, crowning him “Emperor of Hindustan” and fortifying the new imperial capital to withstand the inevitable counterattack by EIC forces. As the fires of rebellion spread across India, neighbouring powers took notice. The Sikh Empire, having recently lost valuable territory in a conflict with the EIC that nearly brought it to its knees, now surged forward and tied up a large number of the loyalist troops stationed at the frontier. In the east, the Burmese monarchy also seized the opportunity to recover lost land, stretching the few loyalist forces the EIC had even thinner. As the rebellion in northern India grew, the gathered Sepoy forces managed to break the loyalist forces besieging the capital and subsequently shattering the centerpoint of the loyalist forces. This string of defeats caused the company’s finances to plummet, nearly killing both the war effort and the company itself in a single stroke. In an attempt to remain afloat, the company quickly recognized the legitimacy of the new “Indian Empire” and attempted to concentrate the majority of the remaining loyalist forces along the eastern coast, but it was too late. Seeking to avoid political and financial disaster themselves, many formerly loyalist princely states now withdrew from the conflict with a status quo ante bellum, severing most ties with the EIC and sending the company into complete bankruptcy. By the time loyalist forces actually arrived along the eastern coast and the EIC presidencies, they found that most of the EIC infrastructure was in disarray or gone entirely, with many higher-ups even fleeing overseas in an attempt to escape the rapidly deteriorating situation. Therefore, whilst in theory still belonging to the EIC, much of the east coast became known as the “bandit coast”, with governing returning to either the old royals previously driven from power by the EIC or petty dictatorship by former troops in the EIC’s employ. Further areas were simply left to fend for themselves, with bandits of all sorts roaming the roads and stealing whatever they could get their hands on. And so, the jewel of the Empire, once so mighty, turned to dust in the palm of its hand…

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    Flag of the Indian Empire
     
  7. Threadmarks: Fires in the mountains: The Second American Revolution, Part 1

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Fires in the mountains
    The Second American Revolution: Part 1

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    Portrait of John Brown by Ole Peter Hansen Balling, 1872

    “Friends, I find only one fitting word to describe the attitude of our southern brethren: Hypocrisy. Hypocrisy in the legislature and hypocrisy amongst the general populace.
    They say the actions of John Brown and his comrades are those of a terrorist, of a bandit or a marauder.
    But he is as much a bandit as George Washington was a terrorist in his time.
    Have we not seen how the peoples of Europe united in brotherhood to end the reigns of tyrannical kings that forced upon them serfdom and oppression?
    Did we not see that their protests went unheard, their petitions ignored?

    There was plenty of warning, friends.

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Like them, John Brown now leads the people in rebellion against the tyranny inside our very nation!

    Friends, Americans, countrymen, lend me your ears! I say this: No more sympathy, no more compromise and should it come to it, no surrender as long as there is a single man in chains in these United States!”

    - “Springfield Address” by Abraham Lincoln, 1858

    "Second American Revolution" by Caprice Burns (1990, University of Philadelphia Books)

    Like in Europe, the revolution that swept the united states can in some way be said to have been sparked by a single man; John Brown. An ardent abolitionist, he spent his entire life fighting for the rights of America's enslaved people (sometimes quite literally, as he killed several proponents for slavery during the Bloody Kansas years). But ten years after the great revolutions in Europe, he would go on to spark the incident that would go on to spark the second American Revolution. He planned to start an armed slave revolt in the southern slave state, gathering money and support from both abolitionists in the US and the anti-slavery monarchist Canada for his cause. There he was introduced to Harriet Tubman, who provided him with invaluable contacts and a support network for his upcoming action. After managing to gather a surprising number of almost 1000 Canadian volunteer’s (many fugitive slaves) to his cause, he travelled south to finalize his plans. Training his volunteers with the help of veteran drill instructor Hugh Forbes and joined by the previously hesitant Frederick Douglass who had himself gathered almost a hundred volunteers, the group organized itself into a proper force in time for the planned attack in May. Although the initial plan had to adjust to account for the significantly smaller amount of men than originally expected, the operation commenced for fear that the sheer size of the group would make it impossible to hide any longer. That may, Douglass and his troops struck Harpers Ferry, seizing a large amount of weapons. Thankfully, the local militia was slow to react and news did not reach out in time to prevent a number of weapons from being smuggled out and given to a fair number of slaves in the area.

    Escaping in the nick of time from encirclement by the local military, the army of “ragshirts” as they came to be known retreated into the Appalachians, establishing a “provisional government” to represent the enslaved peoples of the United States until the time that it was federally abolished. Perhaps, this could and maybe even should, by the usual view of history, have ended. John Brown had successfully escaped into the mountains, but there were few if any slaves in the area and every excursion into the lowland plantations was a risk. White abolitionist and even black ones like Frederick Douglass had advocated for peaceful reform. Perhaps, the rebellion like so many others throughout history should have petered out, quickly run out of time and resources before being crushed by the south. But events in Europe posed a question for the Americans, perhaps most pointedly the chartists in Britain: there the chartists had presented themselves in a massive rally, peacefully petitioning the parliament for reform, only to be utterly rejected and resorting to revolution. The sitting president was sympathetic to the south, so any pleas to give in to or even pardon John Brown would be fruitless. Perhaps, the time for negotiation with tyrants and slaveholders alike was done. Perhaps, like their fathers before them, it was time for the people of America to take up arms against tyranny, regardless of colour. Perhaps, like ten years ago in Europe, it was time for revolution.

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    The World in 1860
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  8. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    I like the new direction for the US but to be honest I thought Australia becoming a monarchist power was interesting
     
  9. Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Yeah, but i feel like this was a more natural and realistic(TM) direction to take it in, especially considering it was home to so many exiled chartists and political figures. I think the direction Australia and its friends will take as regional powers will be equally as interesting though.
     
  10. ariyarathna 『 yee haw 』

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    so what's up in north india following the effective collapse of british control there
    is that a resurgent mughal empire or a similar successor state?
     
  11. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    Hang on the minute how does the British Empire suddenly collapse like that? This is when they were just on the rise and I seriously doubt they’d fall this easily.
     
  12. Threadmarks: Hooker and Baltimore: The Second American Revolution, Part 2

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Hooker and Baltimore
    The Second American Revolution: Part 2

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    “These damn bandits couldn’t hit a man if he was tied up in front of them”

    -Last words of General Robert E Lee



    "Second American Revolution" by Caprice Burns (1990, University of Philadelphia Books)
    The mood of the first months of the second American civil war was one of hesitation. Whilst several northern states had raised volunteer units and sent them across state borders to aid the Ragshirts, the realization that the country was effectively split in two had yet to set in. This changed when a delegation of republican and abolitionist senators and other politically prominent figures arrived in Philadelphia, proclaiming the “free American congress” in response to the harsh measures taken by President Breckinridge against those harbouring “radical sentiments threatening American laws”. By now, the lines were well and truly being drawn. In the north, a New York convention of secession agreed to the creation of the state of Niagara, a state de-jure consisting of everything north of long island but which in reality only controlled the northern parts of the state, whilst Illinois divided into north and south, both proclaiming themselves the real government of the state. The first major battle of the war finally came on 10th of August, 1859 when general Joseph Hooker commanding the first Free Army of the Republic met the forces of James Longstreet’s army of Northern Virginia, whom he had received command of following the assassination of Robert E Lee by a Ragshirt sharpshooter. The battle was exceptionally bloody as both forces clashed several times throughout the day with little success, but in the end the battered federal forces made a tactical retreat, allowing Hooker to encircle Baltimore. By now the navy had also chosen sides, with most simply picking that of their ships home port. At this point however, the two claimant governments had hit upon a major issue; whilst none of them wanted to eschew the traditional iconography of the United States for the sake of legitimacy, it quickly became apparent that there was a dire need for battlefield identification. The first to adopt a new symbol was the north, who was more receptive to replacing federalist “slaver” imagery with new, more abolitionist symbols. Thus the liberty bell flag was born first hoisted on top of the Free States ships sailing to surround Baltimore from the sea. On land the Free State forces made frequent use of the revolutionary-era Gadsden flag, whilst the pine tree flag was equally popular in the New England theatre.

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    The "Liberty Bell" Free State Flag

    By this time, foreign powers began to truly take notice of what was unfolding in America. The Republics of the Atlantic isles eagerly sided with the Free States, recognizing them as the legitimate government of the United States and allowing the formation of several volunteer units that would go on to serve with distinction in the conflict. Mainland Europe was less keen on choosing sides and most simply recognized both as combatants, not wishing to incur the ire of the winning side regardless of which one it would be. Perhaps somewhat paradoxically, the British government-in-exile was one of the most fervent supporters of the US as a traditional bastion of abolitionism. Several units of escaped slaves living in Canada entered the service of the Free states and with promises of concessions Canada eventually joined fully on the side of the Free States alongside Mexico. Perhaps the only major power that would have a vested interest in supporting the Federalists was France, but it was already occupied by foreign adventures in South America and was more than happy to let America fight itself. So by the arrival of winter 1859, the sheer scale of the events unfolding in America became clear to everyone with even a cursory interest in the conflict. Northern industry was kicking into gear as the Free States maintained their tenuous connection with New England. Men streamed into the federalist ranks as they prepared for the first general offensive of the war, sporting new blue uniforms in contrast to the buff colour adopted by the Free states. Once the snows thawed, the war would truly begin. And it would be long, gruelling and bloody.

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    Canadian Volunteers in old Federalist Uniforms
     
  13. Threadmarks: Burning Sherman: The Second American Revolution, Part 3

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Burning Sherman
    The Second American Revolution: Part 3

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    “This country will be drenched in blood, and God only knows how it will end. It is all folly, madness, a crime against civilization! You people speak so lightly of war; you don't know what you're talking about. War is a terrible thing!”

    -William Tecumseh Sherman

    As the snows thawed with the arrival of spring in 1860, the fronts of the American civil war began to once more move. The slave states still held a firm control of their southern heartland, but that would soon change with the rise of one of the commanders that would go down as one of the most important figures of the civil war. A recent convert to the Abolitionist cause thanks to his brother John, William Sherman had been coordinating with the large population of freedmen and Acadians in the city of New Orleans, gathering arms via various methods during the early stages of the war. Inspired by the John Brown revolt and emboldened by the Free States victory at Baltimore, he judged that now was the time to strike. Marching through the city, he and his comrades took the city garrison completely by surprise, freeing any slaves they came upon and arming them as they joined the ever-growing mass of people marching towards the city centre and hoisting an improvised liberty bell flag. Whilst he set the majority of his trained troops to the task of fortifying the city and sending messages to the Free states, he himself took a handful of troops into the marshes of Louisiana to wreak havoc in the countryside. In what would later become known as the burning of Louisiana, Sherman and his small unit of guerrilla fighters would suddenly overwhelm slave plantations, killing the overseers and setting the slaves free before burning the farm down. This accomplished three important things: it severely hurt the morale of federal troops, it damaged the cotton supply that was so vital to the slave states’ economy and it added more people to the cause. Soon New Orleans was a well-fortified city with a large force of former slaves under its command. Along with the occasional supply ship that managed to make it past the giant battlefield that was the east coast naval theatre, the city was now truly prepared to withstand anything, a quality it would desperately need. Throughout its long history as an abolitionist outpost deep in the heartland of the slave states, the city and it’s commander William “Burning” Sherman would face both uprisings by the white population and a prolonged siege by federal forces up until they were finally relieved following the arrival of Free States general Benjamin Butlers forces in 1861.

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    Free States Volunteers march in front of President Lincoln

    Up in the north, the Free States consolidated internal control during the final phases of the New York campaign, with the final defeat of the federal forces prompting the surrender of the New York government for fear of a prolonged blockade of Long Island. Along the southern front, DC was still in federal hands in the beginning of spring, but after a series of bloody but decisive battles the capitol was captured by Free State forces under Hooker’s command, but a subsequent thrust further south by him and his colleague George B. McClellan was decisively stopped by Federalist General Thomas Jackson after what would become the first battle of Bull run. Even though the war had entered its second year, many of the forces on both sides were still rather poorly organized and only rudimentarily trained. However, the slow-moving situation on this front gave McClellan a perfect opportunity to thoroughly reorganize the logistics and organization of the Free States’ forces and come 1862, the Free States would have a competent and effective fighting force to aid their drive south.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
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  14. Threadmarks: "Die Gendanken Sind Frei": Faith and art after the 1848 Revolutions

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    "Die Gendanken Sind Frei"
    Faith and art after the 1848 Revolutions

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    Honoré Daumier,Les Joueurs d'échecs (The chess players), 1863
    "Utopia: The symbosis of Art and Politics" by Axelina Persdotter (2019, Uppsala Communal Publishing)

    A common misconception about the 1848 revolutions is that they were chiefly political in nature, which is far from the case. The revolutions also ushered in a new era of artistic and religious expression, especially in those nations that eschewed the traditionalist institutions of monarchy entirely. Even in the few remaining European absolute monarchies however, there was still a new and radical current in the ways individuals expressed themselves artistically throughout the second half of the 19th century. The most well-known movement today would be the widespread artistic adoption of the Realist or Naturalist style. This was primarily a reaction to the previous Romanticist movement who emphasised the mystical and emotional along with more traditionalists and conservative qualities, which the new wave of revolutionary and scientifically inclined artists of the post-revolution era rejected. This new focus on detail also meant the inclusion of elements traditionally considered “ugly” or “inconvenient” by previous generations of artists which included both themes such as the mundanity of regular life and political elements like the corrupt behaviour of authority figures. This movement would eventually culminate in several different forms of realism of both stylistics and political nature. One of the most prominent branches of realism was Pacifist Realism, which rose to international status primarily following the immense bloodshed of the second revolution in America and the Polish War in Europe. Pacifist realism, as the name implies focuses mostly on an anti-war message, conveying the sorrow, loss and devastation created by war and conflict. This had close ties with the contemporary spiritualist movement, perhaps embodied most prominently in the play “Miss Julie” by Swedish writer August Strindberg. The play takes place entirely in a kitchen on midsummer’s eve and revolves around the titular Miss Julie’s attempt to connect to the spirit of her true love, a young soldier that died fighting on the Finnish front during the war. She is ultimately successful (although if the occurrence is really supernatural or merely a figment of her imagination is left deliberately ambiguous) and after a brief conversation decides that she would rather commit suicide than marry the man arranged to her by her father the count.

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    Photograph of the first production in Stockholm of August Strindberg's 1878 naturalistic play "Miss Julie" in November 1906, at The People's Theatre
    An equally important contemporary phenomenon was that of spiritualism, but one that has largely been forgotten due to its decline in the popular consciousness since. Like Naturalism, spiritualism was initially a reaction to the traditionally rigorous religious structures that permeated the authoritarian societies of monarchical Europe, eschewing the public practice of religion in large congregations and replacing it with the more private spiritual experiences of séances. Many early participants in Spiritualism were radical Quakers and others involved in the mid-nineteenth-century reforming movement. These reformers were uncomfortable with more prominent churches because those churches did little to fight slavery and even less to advance the cause of women's rights. Such links with reform movements, often radically socialist, had already been prepared in the 1840s, as the example of Andrew Jackson Davis shows. After 1848, many socialists became ardent spiritualists or occultists. Socialist ideas, especially in the Fourierist vein, exerted a decisive influence on Kardec and other Spiritists. This current of radicalism certainly played a large part in the widespread adoption of Pacifist Realism as a political tool in the aftermath of the Polish war and the subsequent Uranian and Suffragist movement that sought to improve the social and political standing of women and those that did not conform to conventional norms on love and gender. In Wales in particular, this blend of spiritualism and radicalism would influence the nationalist and religiously eccentric Welsh liberal movement to be the first to grant women voting rights in national elections as early as 1879, an immensely radical move even compared to the neighbouring Chartist Republics of Ireland and England.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
  15. Threadmarks: Interlude: The Boerstaat

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Boerstaat.png
    "Cultures thrive on the blood of their enemies."
    -Eugène Terre'Blanche
    From Scio, the World Encyclopedia

    The Boerstaat was a Boer ethnostate in Africa existing between 1968 and 1972 and is infamous for its campaigns of rapid military expansion, ethnic cleansing and creation of the Cultural Supremacist ideology. The Boerstaat had its roots in the Boer Confederacy, a confederation of Republics ruled by ethnic Boers segregated along racial and cultural lines, with native Africans not granted the same rights as the white Boers. The Boer Confederation had been viewed negatively by the majority of the Americas and Eurasia since the introduction of the IA Bill of Universal Human Rights and the progressive movements against racism, but it was with the rise of the New Dawn party under Terre'Blanche that these xenophobic cultural attitudes would crystallize into a true ideology. Following the introduction of sanctions by several neighboring nations with a primarily native african population, the Boer Confederation elected the New Dawn party on a platform of "Cultural Purity" and a self-strengthening of the Boer culture as an entity. This was followed by the large-scale massacre of non-Boers within the Boerstaat's territory by means of toxic gas as well as military raids and the subsequent declaration of "cultural war" on all neighboring nations and a subsequent miltiary invasion. The goal of the Cultural Supremacist movment was as the name indicated to utterly eradicate all opposing cultures by means as broad as ethnic cleansing, reeducation and the complete destruction of "foreign" settlements and cultural landmarks, which was to be carried out in "waves" of conquest until the Boer culture would come to dominate the entire world. Whilst the Boerstaat gained inital victories against its immediate neighbours such as the Xhosa Kingdom partisan resistance, challenging terrain and the immense resource drain resulting from the Boerstaats systemic destruction of anything non-Boer stalled further military action. The Boerstaat was given its first major military defeat during the Cape Free State campaign, when insurgents and mercenary forces successfully kept Boer armoured forces at bay throught unconventional warfare. It was only with the arrival of International Assembly Coalition Forces in late 1972 that the tide truly began to turn and the joint US-CCR air operation "Rightgeous Vengeance" crippled the Boerstaats infrastructure and mechanized forces, paving the way for the subsequent invasion and occupation of Pretoria and the establishment of the International Assembly South Africa Transitional Government (IASATG) in 1974.
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    The Coalition fleet arrives in Southern Africa

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    Coalition soldiers from the CCR pose for a photo
     
  16. Threadmarks: Interlude Cont: Political Compass

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Hey, what kind of self-respecting AH.com creator doesn't enjoy the occasional political compass?
    Polititical Grid Ideologies.png
     
  17. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely adore alternate ideologies and political spectrums.
     
  18. Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    I feel like althist sociology is criminally neglected in a fair amount of althist scenarios and am really a fan of those that really go that extra mile to include it.
     
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  19. Born in the USSA Well-Known Member

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    More like alternatehistoriography.com am I right?
     
  20. Threadmarks: Kultur und Erziehung: The Vienna crisis of 1873

    Generalissimo Maximus Timelines are just excuses to make flags

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    Kultur und Erziehung
    The Vienna crisis of 1873

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    The "Rotunde", erected specifically for the 1873 Exhibition

    Sparks and Flames: a history of international crisis by William Earhart (1978, Capitol Books)


    The 1870s saw a return to relative peace in Europe with all the major powers at peace and still licking their wounds in the devastating aftermath of the Polish war, though peripheral conflicts and internal political turmoil of course still remained. Perhaps the most emblematic symbol of this peace was the 1873 Vienna world fair, the goal of which was precisely to celebrate art and culture. Whilst the initial intention of the German hosts were to erect the fair in the German capital of Frankfurt in line with all the previous world fairs since the English Republics 1851 “Great Exhibition”, the non-political focus of the exhibition and the cultural prestige carried by the historic city of Vienna ultimately won the approval of the German hosting commission. The construction and preparation of the city for the various delegations and representatives of different nations came upon a major difficulty however: just one year before the exhibition was scheduled to occur Spain became embroiled in a bloody civil war that would later be labelled the Carlist War, pitting the French-backed forces of the Conservative Spanish Carlists against the Spanish Liberals, initially in the form of a regency government and then followed by a German-backed republic. The main issue was that of representation, as both governments naturally claimed to be the rightful government of Spain. Normally, the German government would clearly have chosen their republican ally over the Carlists, but there were several factors that contributed to the situation; whilst the city of Vienna was in general a liberal stronghold, the catholic south of Germany was as a whole more conservative and thus had more sympathy for the traditionalist Carlist cause. As such, excluding the Carlists representatives posed the very real risk of a southern sympathy boycott, causing logistical havoc right on the doorstep of the exhibition.

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    Republican troops charge Carlist forces

    There was also the fact that the current liberal prime minister of Germany Hans Victor von Unruh was a Prussian and therefore emblematic of the division between the liberal north and conservative south in the eyes of many Germans and a rejection would therefore also be seen as another slight against the south’s political interests. The third issue was one of more international repercussions; the leader of the Carlist forces Carlos VII, was also the heir apparent to the French throne. Following the French defeat in the Polish war, Napoleon III was toppled from power and in the following election the newly unified monarchist party dominated by the Legitimist wing swept to power, appointing the new king Henri V as head of state, but who suffered a fatal stroke just three years into his reign and thus making his relative Jean III king of France and his son in turn heir apparent. Many therefore saw the explicit recognition of the republicans as a potential trigger for a second Franco-German war, if not immediately then as a looming issue that could at any time spark conflict in tandem with French irredentist ambitions. The issue of representation was finally resolved when the specially assembled Exposition Division Commission (EDC) chose to award the position of Spanish representative to the small community of Spanish expatriates in Germany and her neighbouring nations (Italy, France and Switzerland) along with one representative from each faction of the ongoing war allowed attending in an informal capacity. This would prove to have been a wise decision with the 1874 capitulation of the republic to the Carlists and the subsequent formation of the Latin Kingdom. This also preserved ties with the still relatively monarchist Italian Union, preserving their alliance even in spite of the rise of the Latin Kingdom as the preeminent monarchist power in Europe.

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    Map of the World in 1870
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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