The Anglo-Saxon Social Model - The Expanded Universe

Arabia, officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Arabia and also known, but not universally recognised, as the Sharifian Caliphate, is a country in the Middle East, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula and the fertile crescent. It is bordered by Turkey and Kurdistan to the north, Iran to the east, the Trucial States to the east and southeast, Egypt to the west and Yemen and the Commonwealth Overseas Territory of Aden to the southwest. It also has coasts on the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. With an area of 3,249,385 km2, Arabia is the largest sovereign state in the Middle East, the second largest in the Arab world (after Azawad), the third largest in Asia (after China and Mongolia) and the seventh largest in the world. It has a GDP of over 3.7 trillion bancors, making it the ninth largest economy in the world.

Modern Arabia encompasses the Fertile Crescent, which has been called the “cradle of civilization” because it is where settled farming first emerged. Early human civilizations such as Sumer flourished from around 4,500 BC. Technological innovations thought to originate in the region include irrigation, writing, the wheel and glass. The world’s second-largest religion, Islam, emerged in the Arabian Peninsula in the early 7th century, followed by the quick conquest by the Arabs of a an unprecedented swathe of territory. Arab dynasties originating from modern-day Arabia founded numerous states, including the Rashidun (632-661), Umayyad (661-750) and Abbasid Caliphates (750-1517) as well as numerous others. In the century after the Fall of Constantinople (1453), the Ottoman Empire established control over the Fertile Crescent and the Red Sea coast, which they would hold for the next 400 years. The centre of the peninsula was not directly controlled by the Ottomans but was ruled by a variety of Arab sultans who owed a greater or lesser degree of loyalty to Istanbul.

Modern-day Arabia came into existence during the Great War, when the Sharifs of Mecca led the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire, receiving British help. They were accepted as a minor member of the Allies at the Paris Peace Conference and the state’s independence was confirmed by the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. The only territorial change after that was the secession of the regions of Rojava and Southern Kurdistan in 1922 following the Kurdish referendum on independence. Under the first constitution, promulgated in May 1919, a legislature composed mostly of hereditary tribal elders was instituted to pass legislation. Faisal al-Hashemi, King Hussein I’s third son and one of the most prominent leaders of the Arab Revolt, became the first prime minister and retained the position until his death in 1936. Arabia also fought in the World War on the side of the Allies, with Arabian forces playing a crucial role on the Middle Eastern front.

The constitution provided for each of Hussein’s sons to rule after his death (although, as it turned out, Faisal died before he could reign). Following the death of Hussein’s youngest son, Adullah, in 1961, the crown passed to Abdullah’s son Talal. Under Talal, a new constitution was promulgated in January 1963 which created a bicameral legislature with a chamber elected by near-universal male suffrage alongside the chamber of elders. Abdullah al-Hejaz, the son of King Hussein’s oldest son, who had served as prime minister on three separate occasions, launched a failed coup in 1968, the last time that the constitutional order of the state was seriously challenged.

Oil was discovered on Arabian territory in March 1938 and was followed up by several other finds around the country. The company Anglo-Arabian Petroleum was founded to exploit these reserves and revenues from this did much to power the country’s modernisation during the first few decades of independence. The country transitioned away from an oil-exporting economy over the course of the 1980s and 1990s but it remains an important player in global energy markets through the development of solar batteries. Arabia’s economy is relatively well diversified, with transportation, communication, tourism, chemicals, textiles and agricultural products being prominent industries. The country also has a significant financial services sector, with Tel Aviv, Damascus and Baghdad being notable centres.

Arabia has a diverse geography, ranging from fertile plains and high mountains through to arid desert, and is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Arabs, Kurds, Turks, Assyrians and Jews. Arabs are the largest ethnic group and there is a substantial body of foreign expatriates in the country, which makes up just over 7% of the population. The country’s official religion is Sunni Islam, although there is official toleration of other sects and certain regions of the country have majorities of Jews, Maronites, Assyrians or other minorities. Arabia is considered a regional and middle power, and is a member of the G20 and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, alongside many other international organisations.

As well as their temporal royal power, the Kings of Arabia also claim the title of Caliph of Islam, with the state they rule being known in this capacity as the Sharifian Caliphate. This claim has been asserted since 1916 and has been uncontested since the formal end of the Ottoman Caliphate in 1923. However, this claim to califal authority is not universally recognised by Muslims around the world, although it has enabled Arabia to exercise a great deal of soft power. The country’s official capital is Mecca, although because the city is not open to non-Muslims, much of the country’s diplomacy and politics takes place in Damascus.

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Businesses: J.P. Morgan & Co.
J.P. Morgan & Co. was an American investment bank founded by John Pierpoint Morgan, Anthony J. Drexel and Charles H. Dabney in 1871. It was a significant player in international banking markets during the 19th and 20th centuries until its collapse in 1995.

Originally founded as “Drexel, Morgan & Co.,” the company used its founders’ connections to bring British financial capital together with American railroads and steel, among other industries, who were in need of financial capital in the post-Civil War period. Pierpoint Morgan took over his father’s businesses in 1890 and, on Drexel’s death five years later, amalgamated them into “J.P. Morgan & Co.,” the name it would have until its collapse.

The bank played a prominent role in financing the Allied war effort in the Great War. Jack Morgan Jr., son of the founder, led a major delegation of French and American private and central bankers in September 1914 to gain financing from a consortium of British banks. The company’s interest in the steel industry also paid dividends, with it reaping the benefits of increasing armaments manufacturing. After the war, the bank was active in promoting banks in Latin America and in managing the reparations payments of the defeated Central Powers.

During this time, J.P. Morgan became well known for its innovative efforts in underwriting but this eventually got the firm into serious trouble through overexposure to investments caught up in the Paulet Scandal. When investigations into the collapse of the Paulet Group in London and New York resulted in dramatic stock market crashes on both exchanges in April 1930, J.P. Morgan’s vulnerability was exposed as they lacked sufficient reserves to support their various (now failing) investments. Through the organisational skills of the Governor of the Bank of the United States, Waddill Catchings, a consortium of banks was arranged to bail out J.P. Morgan and support a restructuring.

Although the rescue avoided a global collapse of the firm, J.P. Morgan still struggled through the rest of the decade. Morgan Jr. lost his personal fortune, which was pledged to support the bank, although he did live to recover the chairmanship when the bank paid off its debts in 1941. In this year, the company returned to issuance on a substantial scale, this time concentrating on securities in the United States. Its new, restrained policy, under the leadership of Henry Sturgis Morgan, created stability but also cost the bank its position at the high table of international finance, overtaken by British banks such as Barings, Warburg and Schroders, as well as American competitors such as Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and Freedman’s. However, the bank remained an important player in American and international markets until 1995.

In this year, J.P. Morgan was brought down by a massive loss caused by fraudulent accounting by the Chief Financial Officer of its Hong Kong office, Andrew Fastow. Circumventing normal procedures, the bank had left Fastow in a position where he was able to settle his own trades while also having wide discretion over where to sell assets. Fastow was then able to design a complex web of special purpose corporate vehicles that were, although notionally independent, in practice controlled by Fastow and solely did business with J.P. Morgan’s Hong Kong office. This effectively allowed Fastow to hide his massive losses and move failing assets off his balance sheet, making his office’s asset and liability sheet appear healthy whereas it was in fact making losses approaching $30 billion.

Fastow’s luck ran out following the Kobe earthquake in January 1995. Despite the natural disaster causing economic recessions around Asia, J.P. Morgan’s balance sheet continued to look healthy, leading many to conclude that problems were being hidden. Some investors began shorting J.P. Morgan stock as early as April. In October 1995, a disgruntled former executive at J.P. Morgan leaked a copy of the offering memorandum for one of Fastow’s partnerships to the newspapers, revealing his conflict of interest. On a conference call with directors in November, Fastow admitted to hiding $45 million of losses through the partnership and was told to return to New York while outside auditors were brought in. Instead of returning, Fastow absconded, confessing to the true scale of his losses in a letter to the New York office.

After a failed bailout attempt, J.P. Morgan was declared insolvent on 26 December. Fastow was picked up by police in Kampala and sentenced to six years in jail in Hong Kong for fraud. The internal auditing and risk management practices of the bank was also severely criticised. Fastow’s freedom to circumvent usual accounting rules through the creation of his special purpose vehicles had taken place in an atmosphere of deliberate negligence which had eventually imperiled the entire bank. The group-CFO at the time of the collapse, Michael Bloomberg, was banned for life from working in the finance industry following a high profile court case in 1999.

Benelux bank Hope & Co. purchased the name and remaining assets in November 1996 for the nominal sum of $1. As of 2020, no organization currently uses the name. The desk thought to have been in Fastow’s office while he was working in Hong Kong was sold at auction for $16,750 in 2007.

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Great Men: George W. Bush
George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is an American businessman who served as the ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball between 2000 and 2008, having previously been the owner of the Texas Rangers franchise since 1989.

Bush’s tenure as Commissioner was controversial and dominated by questions of labor relations. His stance on negotiations with the MLB Players’ Association, nicknamed “shock and awe” by critics, attempted to rewrite the existing collective bargaining agreement from scratch and weigh it heavily towards owners. This approach is generally regarded to have been a failure and a major contributing factor in the players’ strike that saw the cancellation of the entire 2003 MLB season. Former United States Senator George J. Mitchell published the Mitchell Report in 2007, which placed primary blame for the strike on Bush, although it did not exonerate the Players’ Association.

Outside of labour relations, Bush’s tenure saw the introduction of foreign ownership into MLB, when the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the United Kingdom bought the Brooklyn Dodgers in 2002. The other major innovation during his tenure was the formalisation of the regular season at 114 games long. MLB also saw an increase in revenue and attendance during his tenure.

Bush is the son of former Massachusetts Senator George H.W. Bush, grandson of Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush and older brother of Massachusetts Governor John E. Bush. He moved to Texas in 1977 and founded Arbusto Energy, a small solar energy company. The business proved successful and went through a number of iterations over the course of the next decade. His political ambitions were frustrated and he failed with attempts to enter the House of Representatives in 1980 and 1988. In 1989, he was part of a consortium which purchased a controlling interest in the Texas Rangers and he served as managing general partner for five years. During this time he often chose to sit in the open stands with fans.

Following the publication of the Mitchell Report, it was announced that Bush’s contract would not be extended and he would stand down when his term expired on 22 January 2008. At the time of his retirement, his approval ratings amongst baseball fans stood at around 20-25%. He was controversially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.

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Trucial States
The United Emirates of the Persian Gulf, more commonly known by a variety of names including the Trucial States, the Emirates or East Arabia is a country in the Middle East. It is bordered by Arabia to the north and south and by the Persian Gulf to the north. It is composed of eleven constitutional monarchies, being Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Bahrain, Dubai, Fujairah, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain, with the independent city of Muscat serving as the national capital. The boundaries of each emirate are complicated, with numerous exclaves, and are not contiguous. Together, they occupy an area of 323,979 km2 and have a population of around 23 million people. It has a GDP of 365 billion bancors, making it a medium sized economy.

Human occupation of the present Trucial States has been traced back to over 124,000 BC. The region was under Persian rule until the 7th century, when it was conquered by Arab forces following the Battle of Dibba and has been a stronghold of Arab culture ever since. The first important independent polity to emerge was the Julfar Emirate, which emerged as a major regional and maritime hub in the Early Modern period. The maritime dominance of the Persian Gulf by Emirati traders led to conflicts with European powers, most notably the Portuguese and British Empires. From the 17th century the region came to be known as the Pirate Coast by British sailors, owing to the persistent attacks on British shipping from raiders based in the area.

British suzerainty over the region began in 1820, when a maritime truce was negotiated between the British Empire and a number of the emirates. This gave rise to the expression “Trucial State” as a description of the region, one which remains common in the Commonwealth and around the world to this day. The terms of the treaty were expanded to include all of the present emirates as protectorates of the United Kingdom by 1892. This protectorate would remain in force until 1981, when it would be abrogated by agreement by both sides, with the Trucial States joining the UN as a full sovereign state the following day.

The Trucial States is a highly federalised system, with the federal government in Muscat having little power other than over international trade, defence and foreign policy. The head of state is the Raʾīs, which translates as the President. He is elected to a five-year term from among the eleven hereditary rulers of the emirates. It has been held by Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain since 2016. Apart from this, the governments of the individual emirates and the state as a whole is modelled on the Westminster system, with parliaments elected by first past the post and prime ministers leading the government. Unlike the Westminster system, however, the monarchs retain a great deal of formal and informal influence over government personnel and policy.

The Trucial States is a mixed economy with major sectors including manufacturing, petroleum refining and financial services. Tourism is the most important sector of the economy, accounting for an estimated 50% of total economic output. Oil extraction and refining was formerly a major player but has declined since the signing of the Shanghai Protocol in 1987. The Trucial States is also a member of the United Nations, ICU and World Bank Group.

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I love the newest country, but how can it have so many people? Even including the expat populations of the OTL places, it comes out to a bit over 22 million, but you say that their over 90% Arab.

I don't wanna sound nitpicky (since I really like this timeline), I'm just pointing out what I think may be a flaw.
I love the newest country, but how can it have so many people? Even including the expat populations of the OTL places, it comes out to a bit over 22 million, but you say that their over 90% Arab.

I don't wanna sound nitpicky (since I really like this timeline), I'm just pointing out what I think may be a flaw.
You're probably right - I've made a change
Interesting in universe History piece there @Rattigan - it certainly reminds me of many a history article I have read over the years!

Is the USA still on the 2nd Republic in 2020 ITTL?
Ooh, that's a format I haven't seen in a while.
It's a great way of exploring more of this world.
Interesting in universe History piece there @Rattigan - it certainly reminds me of many a history article I have read over the years!
Thanks for the feedback - duly noted. I'm still going to be mostly doing Wikipedia-style infoboxes, mainly because I don't really have the software to accurately replicate a BBC/Vox/whatever webpage. But that's definitely something I'll be exploring more often.

I don't think so. Did I miss something?

Is the USA still on the 2nd Republic in 2020 ITTL?
Yes, but they're less reverent of the constitution as a whole and so it's had a lot more amendments and repeals of amendments...
Commonwealth of Independent States
The Commonwealth of Independent States, commonly known as the CIS or the Eastern Bloc, is a country in eastern Europe. With an area of 1,006,700 km2 and an estimated population of just under 108 million, it is the 27th largest and 15th most populous country in the world. As of the third quarter of 2020 the country has a GDP of just under 1.1 trillion bancors, making it the 28th largest economy in the world. It is bordered on the north by the Baltic Sea, the southeast by the Black Sea, to the east by the Soviet Union, to the south by Greece and the west by Hanover, Hesse, Bavaria, Austria and the UN Trust Territory of the Former Yugoslavia.

The country is a relatively recent creation and, as such, the region it currently encompases does not have a singular history. The earliest known distinctions between eastern and western Europe originate in the history of the late Roman Republic. As Roman power expanded, a distinction was made between the Latin-speaking Italian provinces and those of the urbanised, Greek-speaking Hellenistic ones. This distinction was deepened in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages due to the geographic division of the Roman Empire, which was made permanent from 395. The Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5th century while the Byzantine Empire survived and thrived for another 1,000 years. The Great Schism that formally divided Eastern and Western Christianity in 1054 and the Mongol invasions of eastern Europe further heightened the cultural and religious distinctiveness of the two regions.

The conquest of the Byzantine Empire by the Ottoman Empire in 1453 diminished the importance of the difference between Eastern and Western Christianity. However, important distinctions remained: during the 16th century living standards in eastern Europe were higher than in the west; however, from the 17th and 18th century, serfdom became the prevalent status of agricultural workers in the east, at the same time as it was declining in the west. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was the dominant power in the region until the 18th century before being partitioned out of existence by 1795. After that, the region was divided between the Ottoman, Russian, Habsburg and Purssian (German after 1871) empires.

Following the Great War, the region was divided into a number of independent kingdoms and republics but remained unstable. It was the site of the bloodiest fighting of the World War and, after that, was divided into the republics of Brandenburg, Saxony, Poloslovakia, Prussia, Czechia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. These were all regarded as being in the Soviet sphere of influence and all adopted a variation of a Soviet-style market-socialist economy and one-party state.

Fuelled by a diverse range of political and economic resentments, a mutiny in a garrison outside Bucharest in July 1968 expanded into full scale uprisings across the eight countries. However, many citizens remained loyal to the Soviets and fought alongside the Red Army as it restored order over the next year. Violence was inflicted on both sides, with European civilians being treated as potential combatants by the Soviets and rebels perpetrating massacres of Soviet emigres. In response to the Bucharest Mutiny, the Soviets abolished the ‘independent’ governments of the rebellious countries and transferred their control to the Soviet European Ministry. They were then reorganised into a single government, the Commonwealth of Independent States, under close Soviet control.

Nominally, the governing structure of the Commonwealth of Independent States is a federal union of the thirteen “People’s Republics” of Brandenberg, Bulgaria, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Pomerania, Prussia, Romania, Saxony, Silesia, Slovakia, Thuringia and Transylvania. In practice, however, political control is tightly centralised in the hands of the government in Bucharest and in particular in the hands of the Soviet-appointed Senior Advisor. Important positions in government, business and the judiciary are reserved for Soviet citizens living in the country. Reforms were attempted during the tenure of Mikhail Gorbachev as Senior Advisor but these were ultimately blocked by the Soviet government.

As with the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States operates a planned market-socialist economy. A series of economic treaties signed with the Soviet Union means that the country is heavily reliant on the Soviet Union for raw materials and for many consumer goods. The country’s largest employers are the military and internal security service. The army is estimated to have around 250,000 active-duty personnel (with a support network of an estimated 10,000,000 men) and the police force numbers around 100,000 men. Major industries include uranium mining, shipping, textiles and pharmaceuticals. Although the country has a substantial GDP in raw numbers, the Commonwealth of Independent States is not regarded as a major power economically or politically because of its close ties to the Soviet Union. The country is, however, a member of the United Nations, the International Clearing Union and the World Bank Group, among other international organisations.

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In a good way?
In a "I didn't think it was an actual country" way.
I always thought that it was a more integrated supranational union that was always being referred to collectively, like how people sometimes talk about the EU.

Maybe I have forgotten the part of the original story where it was founded. I've been meaning to re-read it at some point.
In a "I didn't think it was an actual country" way.
I always thought that it was a more integrated supranational union that was always being referred to collectively, like how people sometimes talk about the EU.

Maybe I have forgotten the part of the original story where it was founded. I've been meaning to re-read it at some point.
Ah, I see. The germ of the idea came from an argument I had with my history teacher when I was 14 and I just couldn't understand why Stalin didn't just incorporate the whole of the Eastern Bloc into the Soviet Union in 1945. The TTL idea is to divide up the region into smallish regional republics which prevent big nationalisms forming while at the same time concentrating the political elites of the country into one place, which makes them more easy to monitor. There are also a critical number of people who do well out of the CIS existing which enable it to exist as basically a garrison state. In that respect (along with the official ideology of the benevolent Soviets dragging the backward Eastern Europeans to true socialism) it's not all that different in many respects from the OTL post-Mutiny Raj. I was thinking about trying to write an update in the style of a longform LRB essay about life in the CIS, which might be interesting. But, you know, that takes a bit of time and, unlike LRB writers, I'm not being paid 30cents a word to write it...

Anyway, here's the update from the original TL if you want to do your homework, so to speak. Where there's a difference between the original TL and this one, this one should take precedence (although please do mention it if you think I've made a mistake).