The Empire Parnell Built

Hello all,

I've been posting a few infoboxes from this TL over on the Infoboxes thread and I think it's got to the stage where there are enough updates to justify its own thread and, frankly, it's getting a bit of a hassle having to remember to link to all the ones in the series whenever I post a new one. People will notice a few similarities with my previous TL the Anglo-Saxon Social Model, which began with Irish Home Rule succeeding and having vast knock on effects. Here, Home Rule comes about in the 1880s but with a few important differences. Unlike ASSM, which really was a Britwank where the 'good guys' won, I want to leave this one a bit more ambiguous about whether it's 'better' than OTL, even if it will still be pretty Britwanky (because why not?).

A lot of this TL is still very much a work in progress (for instance, I've really not decided what I want to do with the USA at all) so updates will come in the form of infoboxes on elections, political parties and 'great men' and without a chronological sequence just yet. Hopefully world maps will pop up soon and maybe some culture updates when I get an idea.

With that in mind, it's worth going over the POD(s) for this again:
  1. Gladstone remains in retirement after 1874. No Midlothian Campaign means a much smaller Liberal majority in 1880 with Hartington as PM and not Gladstone.
  2. The 1885 election leaves the Liberals and Conservatives level-pegging in terms of seats, allowing Parnell to play them off against each other rather than supporting the Liberals.
  3. The Phoenix Park murders are butterflied away so Frederick Cavendish remains the Liberal choice as Chief Secretary for Ireland and Hartington doesn't turn conclusively against Irish nationalism.
  4. The Home Rule bill is prepared by a cross-party commission and ends up effectively recreating Grattan's Parliament (although they don't call it that...), with legislative independence but the London-appointed Chief Secretary and Dublin Castle still having significant influence (although that will change). In practice, Ireland is independent but shares unified executive structures with GB in foreign, trade and migration policy (this was Salisbury's preferred option OTL until the mid-1880s). The cross party nature of the bill means it alienates fewer Liberals and gets the backing of sufficient Conservatives to squeak past the Commons and the Lords.
  5. Ireland and Great Britain remain technically in the UK until that splits apart in 1923. The shared unified structures do remain, however, and develop.
Danubian Federation: 1984 Election
The 1984 Danubian Federation election took place on 14-17 June 1984. It was the seventh quinquennial parliamentary election to be held since the reformation of the Habsburg Empire into the Danubian Federation in 1953. Results showed parties of the centre-left and radical left and right profiting at the expense of the centre and centre-right. The Social Democratic Party, led by Fred Sinowatz consolidated their position as the biggest group in the House of Deputies. However, they were still many seats short of a majority and so agreed to continue the grand coalition with the People’s Party, with Ladislav Hejdanek agreeing to serve as Chancellor and Sinowatz as Vice Chancellor. The various far-right parties of the Federation's constituent nations formed a temporary grouping called Identity and Tradition, which would last until November 1984 before splitting. Overall turnout dropped to 61%.

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South Africa: 1948 election
The 1948 South African general election was held on 26 May 1948 and saw the United Party (UP), led by Jan Smuts, win another term in office at the head of a narrow majority in the House of Assembly.

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During the election campaign, the UP formed an electoral pact with the left-leaning Labour Party. The main opposition party was the Reunited National Party (HNP) led by D.F. Malan, a Dutch Reformed cleric. The HNP campaigned on a promise to implement a policy of strict racial segregation. However, their wartime record (many had collaborated with the German colonial government in South-West Africa) and the strident anti-Anglo sentiment coming from many senior party figures alienated many people. The UP, by contrast, campaigned on a promise of incremental reform to the franchise, attracting liberal votes without alienating some conservative whites. A wartime redistricting, giving more weight to urban districts, also served to boost the UP.

Despite Smuts' equivocal and limited support for an expansion of the franchise, his final government attempted to implement the recommendations of the Fagan Commission. The government would introduce the New Franchise Bill, which extended the vote to 'elite' Black, Asian and Coloured populations. Smuts would die at his desk in September 1950, midway through the Bill's passage through the Assembly, and be replaced by Jan Hofmeyer, from the UP's liberal wing.
Palestine: 1949 election {OLD}
The 1949 Palestinian general election was held on 19 February 1949. It was the third election to the Palestinian Legislative Council since the granting of responsible government in 1936.

The election was dominated, as the 1936 and 1945 elections had been, by questions of immigration and race relations. The General Zionist Party had succeeded in uniting all the Jewish parties underneath its banner, causing it to dramatically increase its vote share but fail to spread its representation outside of seats already with a Jewish majority. Indeed, the party lost control of the mixed seat of Jaffa (43% Muslim, 42% Jewish, 15% Christian) to the ruling National Defence Party. The NDP calculated that a unified Jewish party would encourage non-Jewish voters into their arms and this appears to have been borne out in the collapse of the vote for the cross-community Communist Party.

Raghib al-Nashashibi was returned for a third term and would remain in office until his death in 1951. However, in the words of the historian Benny Morris, his last government was "perhaps the last to command respect, loyalty and affection across the social and political spectrum of Muslim opinion." After his death, the Legislative Council would come under the control of Amin al-Husseini and his hardline faction of the NDP. This faction would remain in power until the Legislative Council was abolished in 1972.

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Germany: 1942 election [OLD]
The 1942 German federal election took place on 30 April 1942. It was the only election in Germany to take place during the Second Russo-German War and was the last election before the country's partition in 1946. At this time, the Reichstag no longer had any significant executive and legislative power, which had largely been transferred to a military dictatorship since the invasion of Russia by the Imperial Army in July 1937. Since 1934, when Admiral Erich Raeder was appointed Reichskanzler with the first so called "national unity cabinet," few members of political parties in the Reichstag had any significant role in government.

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In 1940, all political parties were forced to merge into the Party of National Concentration, a monarchist pro-military political organisation headed by Crown Prince Wilhelm. Upon his accession to the Imperial Throne in 1941, Herbert von Bose had taken over as formal head of the party and as Reichskanzler. Among those running against the Party of National Concentration, only the National Conservative party was allowed to run in the election as non-partisans. As communist, left-wing and anti-war groups had been made illegal in 1937, they were unable to run under their own banner but numerous former SPD politicians ran as independents and retained their seats. Anti-war politician Kurt Schumacher, who had been expelled from the Reichstag in 1941, was re-elected.

Notwithstanding the von Bose government's efforts, 613 non-partisan candidates stood and 85 won seats. Most were members of the National Conservative party, which campaigned for a negotiated peace, while the left wing members could only caucus informally as the SPD under Schumacher, making an uncompromising stand for peace. Despite this, a mixture of patriotism and repression ensured that the Party of National Concentration had enough support to continue to prosecute the war effort. However, a number of non-partisan politicians, notably Schumacher and Carl Goerdeler, would prove influential in the July 1944 coup which ousted the military government and sued for peace. The turnout of the election was unusually high, 83.1%, reflecting the unexpected fierceness of the electoral battle.
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India: 1932 election [OLD]
The 1932 Indian general election was held on 1-29 February 1932, just over two weeks after the dissolution of the People's Chamber on 12 January. It was the fifth election since the Government of India Act 1919 had granted responsible government to India. Elections used the single transferable vote electoral system. Elections for the 15 representative princes to the Prince's Chamber occurred at the same time.

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The newly elected members of the People's Chamber assembled at Government House on 9 March 1932, when the new Prime Minister and Executive Council were appointed by Viceroy Lord Zetland.

The general election took place in 30 parliamentary constituencies throughout India for 153 seats in the lower house of parliament, the People's Chamber. The 1932 general election was one of the most important elections in Indian history, resulting in the Empire's first democratic change of government. (Because the former was a caretaker administration, the transfer of power from Hari Singh Gour's administration of independents to V.S. Srinivasa Sastri's Liberal government in 1922 is not usually counted for these purposes.) The Indian Liberal Party, which had been the governing party since 1922, was defeated by the All-India League, which became the largest party in the chamber and formed a government with the support of independents. The League would hold power until 1948 and be the largest party in the People's Chamber at every general election until 2011. Elsewhere, the Independence Party won all three seats contested in Burma, which set the stage for the country's separation from India in 1937.
The 1922 British general election took place on Thursday 19 October 1922. No party achieved an overall majority and so Walter Runciman was appointed prime minister at the head of a minority Social Democratic ministry which would last for 25 months. The election is considered an important re-aligning election, with the Social Democratic Alliance emerging as a major and long-lasting voice in British politics and the main competition to the Liberals, while the Conservatives fell to third-party status. Although the country was still the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, elections were only held in Great Britain due to Ireland having had legislative independence since 1887. Shortly afterwards, on 6 January 1923, Ireland and Great Britain would formally separate pursuant to the Anglo-Irish Treaty. The election was also the first to take place after the expansion of the franchise pursuant to the Representation of the People Act 1920, resulting in increases in vote totals for all parties.

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Hugh Cecil had been in government since April 1917 at the head of a coalition supported by a minority of the Conservatives and H.H. Asquith's Liberals. The coalition had been formed in response to the isolationist policy of Lord Curzon with regard to the Wilhelmite War on the continent. The government had intervened in the war in 1917 and successfully acted as go-betweens for a negotiated peace on largely pro-German terms. It had also overseen foreign policy changes, including the partition of the Ottoman Empire and the passing of the Government of India Act 1919, which granted legislative independence to the Raj. However, by 1922 many backbench Liberal MPs were frustrated at having to 'share government' with the divided Conservatives and at a meeting of the Reform Club in September 1922 they had voted to leave the coalition, replacing Asquith as leader with John Simon in the process.

The Social Democratic Alliance, commonly referred to as the "Alliance", had been formed in October 1918, an electoral pact between the Radical Party, the Co-operative Party and the union-backed Labour Party. Walter Runciman had been selected as their joint parliamentary leader and the expression "Prime Minister designate" began to be used in reference to a politician for the first time.

Having left the coalition the Liberals immediately caused a vote of no confidence in Cecil's government and forced him to call an election. The Conservatives were split between the "National Conservatives" following Cecil and the "Conservatives" following Arthur Balfour. Although still a frequent public speaker, Balfour was no longer a particularly influential figure in the national political debate and he had played no part in the downfall of the Cecil coalition. Some Conservative candidates stood calling for a reunited party, while others appear to have backed both Cecil and Balfour. However, in reality the two factions were on poor terms, and Cecil was hoping for a renewed coalition with the Liberals.

The results were such that a National Conservative-Liberal coalition could have commanded a majority but Simon refused to countenance a continuation of the coalition. The Liberals hoped that an unstable Social Democratic administration would encourage voters back into their camp. Such a prediction would be in part born out, as the 1924 election would see the Liberals return to government with a majority.
Ireland: 1887 election
The 1887 Irish general election took place between 9 February and 6 March 1887. It was the first election to the Second Order of the Irish Assembly created by the Government of Ireland Act 1886 and the first election to an exclusively-Irish legislative body since 1797. Following the elections, Charles Stewart Parnell was described by Frederick Cavendish, the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, as the "Premier Member of the Assembly", a position which rapidly became analogous to that of Prime Minister in most Westminster systems, although the 1886 Act had not technically made provision for such a role.

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The Order was elected using multi-member first past the post, with each of the former Westminster constituencies returning two MPs. In addition, Dublin University and the Royal University each returned two MPs. With their superior organisation, Parnell's Irish Parliamentary Party (IPP) dominated the election and won nearly 85% of the seats. The remaining seats were won by the newly-created Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union (ILPU), which had effectively inherited the organisation and voters of the Conservatives on the island. The small Irish Liberal Party won around 20,000 votes but failed to gain a seat and would disappear, their voters and members largely absorbed into the IPP.

The election was the beginning of a long period of dominance for the IPP, which would control the Second Order for most of the next 35 years. The ILPU had gone into the election under the leadership of Edward Saunderson, a member of the Orange Order, but his fiery oratory was believed to have limited the party's appeal in the south of the island. As a result, in the aftermath of the election the ILPU was taken over by the more moderate St. John Broderick, who would dominate the party in one form or another until his death.
United Kingdom: 1885 election
The 1885 United Kingdom general election was held from 24 November to 18 December 1885. This was the first general election after an extension of the franchise and redistribution of seats, for the first time seeing a majority of adult males entitled to vote and introducing single-representative constituencies for all seats. The Liberals, led by Lord Hartington, had governed since 1880 with the support of the Irish Parliamentary Party but had fallen in June 1884 over the question of internment in Ireland. Conservative leader Lord Salisbury had led a minority government for the subsequent 17 months before calling an election. He sought to exploit divisions in the Liberals over Irish Home Rule to win a majority for the Conservatives.

The election saw the Liberals win the most seats but the Conservatives gain the most votes, although both were far from an overall majority. As the Irish Nationalists held the balance of power, the stage was set for a culmination of the debate on Home Rule. Parnell, the Irish parliamentary leader, agreed to support Hartington in his return to office but also successfully played him off against Salisbury on a case by case basis. This led directly to the cross-party talks which resulted in the passage of the Government of Ireland Act 1886.

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China: The Guangxu Emperor
The Guangxu Emperor (14 August 1871 - 14 November 1948), personal name Zaitian and occasionally known outside China as “Zaitian the Great”, was the tenth Emperor of the Qing dynasty, and the ninth Qing emperor to rule over China proper. His reign lasted from 1875 to 1948 but in practice China was under the rule of regents until 1898. His reign of 73 years and 202 days is the longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign state in world history. Zaitian’s China was emblematic of the age of liberal autarchy in China and the world.

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Zaitian was the second son of Prince Chun and the cousin of the Tongzhi Emperor, who died in January 1875 without a son. Breaking the imperial convention that a new emperor must always be of a generation after that of the previous emperor, Zaitian was raised to the imperial throne as the heir and successor to his late uncle, the Xianfeng Emperor rather than of the Tongzhi Emperor. He ascended to the throne at the age of four and was put under the regency of Empress Dowager Ci’an and Empress Dowager Cixi.

Zaitian began his personal rule of China in 1889, when he married and Cixi retired. However, she continued to exercise significant influence on the government and Zaitian was largely bypassed in the decisions which led to the disastrous losses of the First Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) and the subsequent scramble for concessions by European powers. Zaitian seized control of the government from Cixi and other conservative elements in 1898 and began a series of far-reaching reforms called the Ten Years’ Reforms. During the next decade, there were numerous changes ranging from infrastructure to industry and the civil examination system. Modern universities were established, railways were built and government administration reformed to phase out sinecures among other things. He succeeded in pacifying the conservative mandarin and landowning classes, many members of which were killed in the conservative Boxer Rebellion which broke out in 1899. The crowning achievement of the Ten Years’ Reforms came in the Sino-Russian War (1904-05), during which the Chinese empire surprised observers by defeating Russian forces at sea and on land to recover Outer Manchuria, which had been ceded to Russia in 1860.

A constitution was promulgated in 1908, formalising the Ten Years’ Reforms. It also created an Advisory Council to act as a legislative body while preserving traditionalist and neo-confucian values at the centre of power. The Advisory Council was an elected body but had limited powers and an extremely limited franchise, angering progressives who wanted to go further, while also antagonising conservatives who saw any democracy as a threat. These combined threats coalesced into a general rebellion that erupted in October 1911. The resulting Chinese Civil War would last until May 1917 and result in the deaths of an estimated 7-12 million people, even though Zaitian and the royalists were triumphant in the end, albeit at the cost of accepting Japanese control of Manchuria and Korea.

Zaitian further cemented his control over China over the course of the 1920s as his government became more autocratic. Through the Five Years Reform, the country underwent rapid agricultural and industrial reform. This led to speedy economic growth but also large increases in inequality and incidents of famine. Attempts to forcibly sedentise the nomadic communities of Mongolia resulted in the deaths of over a million people in what many historians have since called an attempted genocide. At the same time, purges of the administration at all levels between 1932 and 1937 saw the imprisonment of over a million people and the execution of at least 700,000, further cementing Zaitian’s personal control over the modernised Qing state.

China invaded Manchuria in June 1941 in an effort to recover the losses of the previous half-century. Despite large casualties, the Chinese New Army expelled the Japanese from Manchuria and Korea and launched a successful amphibious invasion of the Japanese home islands in 1945, ending the Second Sino-Japanese War and cementing China’s place as a great power. Following the conclusion of the war, Zaitian successfully negotiated the end of the Western concessions and the handing back of the treaty ports, with the exceptions of Hong Kong and Macau. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1948.

Widely considered one of the 20th century’s most significant figures, Zaitian was the subject of a pervasive personality cult within China and was widely revered in Sinophilic circles around the globe. Since his death, he has retained popularity in China as a victorious wartime leader who re-established China as a major world power. Conversely, his autocratic government has been widely condemned for overseeing political repressions as well as demonstrating a lack of care for individual life during the Civil War and Second Sino-Japanese War.
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Gold Coast
The Gold Coast, officially the Lordship of the Gold Coast but near-universally referred to as Accra, is a British Crown Dependency in west Africa. It is bordered to the north and east by Ashanti, to the west by Fante and to the south by the Gulf of Guinea. The Lordship consists of the city of Accra and its environs.

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A variety of African peoples populated the area of the Gold Coast prior to the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. When Europeans arrived after 1471, the area quickly acquired its name due to the large gold deposits found. The first European settlement in Accra, Fort Christiansborg, was owned by the Danish and the Swedes until its acquisition by the British in 1851. Accra swiftly became the centre of British colonial administration in the region, both as an important entrepot for trade but also as the centre for diplomacy with the neighbouring Ashanti and Fante kingdoms.

Accra is a self-governing parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, with its own financial, legal and judicial systems, having achieved legislative independence in 1957. Internationally the Lordship is regarded as a “territory for which the United Kingdom is responsible” or a ‘Crown Dependency’, rather than as a sovereign state. As a Crown Dependency, Accra is not a member of the British Empire in its own right but does send a team to compete in the Empire Games. The territory does, however, have the right to self-determination and has rejected independence and unification with Ashanti in referendums in 1960 and 1999. A further referendum in 2016, about changing the country’s name to Accra, also saw victory for the status quo.

Although Accra is a parliamentary monarchy, the Anglican Church, represented by the Archbishop of West Africa, and the British Monarch, represented by the Governor, retain a large amount of political influence. The current Archbishop is Daniel Torto (since 2012) and the current Governor is Paul Boateng (since 2017), both of whom have ex officio roles in government. The government is led by the Chief Minister, currently Nana Addo-Akufo, the leader of the centre-right People’s Party and who won the last general election, held in 2017.

Accra’s economy is highly developed and dynamic. In 2021, it is a mixed market economy with free market principles and an advanced social security infrastructure. The official currency in Accra is the West African pound, although the Pound sterling circulates freely and most goods are priced in both currencies. Accra’s monetary policy is thereby linked to the Bank of England. Accra’s economy is based on financial services (which contributed around 40% of GDP in 2020) and is the largest finance centre in west Africa. Other major industries include tourism (16.8% of GDP) and shipping (25.7%). Over the past decade the territory has also become a popular site for retirement communities from elsewhere in the Empire.

British cultural influence on the territory is evident in the use of English as the main language, even if most people still speak or understand a local west African dialect and place names with African origins abound. Additional British cultural commonalities include driving on the left, access to the BBC, a school curriculum following that of England, and the popularity of British sports, including soccer, rugby and cricket.
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Ireland: 1893 election
The 1893 Irish general election took place between 14 August and 7 September 1893, the second election to the Second Order of the Irish Assembly. The Irish Parliamentary Party ("IPP") successfully saw off challenges from the offshoot Irish National League ("INL") and conservative Irish Loyal and Patriotic Union ("ILPU") to retain its majority in the Order and Parnell's position as Premier personally. Overall turnout fell by nearly 10%.

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Parnell and the IPP had governed Ireland since the previous election in 1887 but his position was damaged by the revelations, in 1892 of his long-term affair with Katherine O'Shea, the wife of IPP MO William O'Shea. When Parnell, for reasons which remain a matter of speculation, blocked O'Shea's political advancement, he sued his wife for divorce and named Parnell as a co-respondent. The revelations caused a split in the IPP, with a number of MOs following John Dillon and Justin McCarthy out of the IPP in disgust at Parnell's private life. They formed the INL in response. However, Parnell's tight control over the IPP's inner machinery and the political capital he had accrued as the man who had peacefully delivered Home Rule allowed him to retain his position as Premier and the loyalty of the majority of his MOs. Parnell sought to capitalise on the disorganisation of his opponents by dissolving the Second Order and calling a second election for the summer of 1893. The INL and ILPU, not expecting an election until the following year, were caught unprepared and failed to make the breakthrough they had hoped for, although both gained seats. Parnell was reaffirmed as Premier on 11 September.

The INL was led into the election by Justin McCarthy, who was a gifted intellectual but lacked the necessary practical skills to build a new party from the ground up. The party found it hard to find prospective candidates, especially in nationalist areas where personal loyalty to Parnell remained strong. Nevertheless, their gain of 18 seats did establish the party as a viable third force in the Order, a voice of social conservatism opposed to the more liberal instincts of the remaining IPP. The IPLU had been led since 1887 by the young St. John Broderick, who had attempted to modify the party's image as a mouthpiece of the Orange Order, instead emphasising imperial patriotism and sound public finances. The party attempted to stay out of religious disputes, with the Catholic Lord Kenmare being prominent in the party's campaign as part of an attempt to broaden its appeal in Catholic areas. However, the party failed to make a breakthrough and only gained 4 seats in Belfast and Dublin as a result of the IPP and INL vote splitting, despite the fact that the party's vote held up well (even as if declined as a total percentage due to the emergence of the INL).
No longer canon - please see this update instead

A list of the 30 largest economies in the world, which I hope will raise more questions than it answers.

The currency GDP is denominated in is the League of Nations Thaler, which is issued by the World Bank (itself governed by the League of Nations) in Constantinople and acts as a global reserve currency. It is also legal tender in many countries but only the World Bank can produce it. Its exchange rate with national currencies is fixed, meaning that it functions a bit like the US$ did OTL under the Bretton Woods system. So think of these figures as GDP (PPP) equivalents, with all the positives and negatives that has as against nominal GDP as it has on OTL.

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A list of the 30 largest economies in the world, which I hope will raise more questions than it answers.

The currency GDP is denominated in is the League of Nations Thaler, which is issued by the World Bank (itself governed by the League of Nations) in Constantinople and acts as a global reserve currency. It is also legal tender in many countries but only the World Bank can produce it. Its exchange rate with national currencies is fixed, meaning that it functions a bit like the US$ did OTL under the Bretton Woods system. So think of these figures as GDP (PPP) equivalents, with all the positives and negatives that has as against nominal GDP as it has on OTL.

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How does the USA have a population approaching 900 million with an area around 2 million square kilometers smaller than OTL?
How does the USA have a population approaching 900 million with an area around 2 million square kilometers smaller than OTL?

I'm assuming that the area is differently distributed ITTL. Less low-population territory and more high-population territory.

Basically the USA is the OTL continental USA: Alaska is an independent republic and Hawaii was never annexed (but was a British protectorate for a bit). As for how it suddenly gained 500 million 'extra' people... all I'll say is that the lack of European countries in the top 30 is a big hint...