TL-191: After the End

I was revisiting this Q&A regarding Portugal after researching their role in WWI, and thought that though while they would definitely benefit form staying neutral, I'd respectfully disagree with this interpretation and thought to present my own plausible argument for such. Even though Portugal's decision to join the war IOTL seemed like a good idea to defend the homeland and their colonies by having the protection of their British allies, it turned out to be a short-sighted decision and led to more chaos and instability in the fragile First Republic. Though staying neutral would have benefited them, I would disagree there as the conditions and chronic instability of the First Republic that led to its fall and eventual transformation into the Estado Novo regime were already present since the beginning, and even before it with the decline of the monarchy. While their entry into the war, along with strongman Sidónio Pais briefly seeing power in a coup and becoming president and prime minister, accelerated its eventual fall, I believe its absence would've only delayed the 1926 coup and would've eventually happened later, especially during the early Great Depression with the rise of actionism.

It may in fact have been more probable in TTL for an analogue of the Estado Novo regime to have existed in TTL in the Interwar and post-Second. Great War eras. For the purposes of TTL, there wasn’t an analogue to the Estavo Novo regime in Portugal, in spite of domestic political instability, the eventual influence of the British and French authoritarian regimes in the Interwar era and the civil war in Spain in the late 1930s.
 
There have been questions asked about animation in TTL. I will provide a summary of the state of animation in the world by 2023.

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By 2023, animation is a popular art form and filmmaking technique in different nations around the world. Animated films are an expected part of the annual calendar of film releases, and there are a wide array of animation film festivals to choose from for fans of the medium. Most of the animated forms and styles would probably not be immediately familiar to someone from our world.

Animation, in TTL, is not considered a medium primarily intended for children. Instead, animated films and television shows, like their live action counterparts, are produced in a range of different genres. By 2023, popular genres for animated films include science fiction, historical epics, musicals, dramas, adaptations of classical or popular literature, and, in the United States, the genre of American Fantasy.

Like other art forms, such as theatrical productions, literature, poetry, popular music, and live action films, animation in different nations is widely viewed by critics and general audiences as representing a national kind of art, for comparison and competition with animated films from rival nations. It’s expected by the much of the film going public in different nations that their animated films, or live action films for that manner, are the best in the world.

Animated films, like other artistic mediums and forms in TTL, reflects a wider popular culture that in many ways is more conformist and consensus-driven compared to our world. However, there are have also been many different kinds of animation styles in use even with a single nation. By 2023, there isn’t a single animation style or company that dominates the medium globally.

In the 20th Century, certain styles become temporarily popular in different nations, from a revival of black and white animated films in the United States that was associated with American Nihilism in the 1970s to the Brazilian, Russian, Australian, German, Chinese, and US animated films influenced by Brazil Deco (Braco) styles in the 1980s to the Austro-Hungarian and German animated films influenced by Raygun Baroque styles in the 1990s to the more avant-garde US animated films influenced by different Staccato subcultures in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

By 2023, most animated films still have a 2D look, though more and more 2D animated productions use combine technology to expedite filmmaking. The first animated film to use entirely combine generated footage (CGF) footage was released in 2003 in TTL. While CGF animated films become more popular as the 21st Century proceeds, this kind of animation will never entirely supplant 2D animated films.

The 2020s are a time of transition for animated films in different nations, because of the effects of the Great Housing Crash. The more expensive kinds of animated films popular in the 2000s and 2010s, as exemplified by the Chinese historic and dramatic Eternal series that was released from the late 2000s to the late 2010s or the US epic science fiction tragedy Ashfall, released in 2015, are no longer favored by animation companies in different nations. Some critics and film historians in different nations have speculated that animated films might emulate forms and styles from other eras of economic hardship, such as the early 1970s or the early 1990s. Some of the more radical avant-garde animation filmmakers, tiring of existing Staccato subcultures, hold out hope in different nations for new sources of inspiration for their favored medium.
 
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There were no candidates in the 1968 elections who favored ending the Fourth Pacific War.
Been meaning to ask about this one, was the sticking point on the debate trail for this was on whether who would better manage the war, who would end it faster, or a silent acknowledgement in that they must continue fighting no matter what?
 
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The more expensive kinds of animated films popular in the 2000s and 2010s, as exemplified by the Chinese historic and dramatic Eternal series that was released from the late 2000s to the late 2010s or the US epic science fiction tragedy Ashfall, released in 2015, are no longer favored by animation companies in different nations.
Could you describe the plots of both of those works?
 
There have been questions asked about animation in TTL. I will provide a summary of the state of animation in the world by 2023.

-
By 2023, animation is a popular art form and filmmaking technique in different nations around the world. Animated films are an expected part of the annual calendar of film releases, and there are a wide array of animation film festivals to choose from for fans of the medium. Most of the animated forms and styles would probably not be immediately familiar to someone from our world.

Animation, in TTL, is not considered a medium primarily intended for children. Instead, animated films and television shows, like their live action counterparts, are produced in a range of different genres. By 2023, popular genres for animated films include science fiction, historical epics, musicals, dramas, adaptations of classical or popular literature, and, in the United States, the genre of American Fantasy.

Like other art forms, such as theatrical productions, literature, poetry, popular music, and live action films, animation in different nations is widely viewed by critics and general audiences as representing a national kind of art, for comparison and competition with animated films from rival nations. It’s expected by the much of the film going public in different nations that their animated films, or live action films for that manner, are the best in the world.

Animated films, like other artistic mediums and forms in TTL, reflects a wider popular culture that in many ways is more conformist and consensus-driven compared to our world. However, there are have also been many different kinds of animation styles in use even with a single nation. By 2023, there isn’t a single animation style or company that dominates the medium globally.

In the 20th Century, certain styles become temporarily popular in different nations, from a revival of black and white animated films in the United States that was associated with American Nihilism in the 1970s to the Brazilian, Russian, Australian, German, Chinese, and US animated films influenced by Brazil Deco (Braco) styles in the 1980s to the Austro-Hungarian and German animated films influenced by Raygun Baroque styles in the 1990s to the more avant-garde US animated films influenced by different Staccato subcultures in the 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s.

By 2023, most animated films still have a 2D look, though more and more 2D animated productions use combine technology to expedite filmmaking. The first animated film to use entirely combine generated footage (CGF) footage was released in 2003 in TTL. While CGF animated films become more popular as the 21st Century proceeds, this kind of animation will never entirely supplant 2D animated films.

The 2020s are a time of transition for animated films in different nations, because of the effects of the Great Housing Crash. The more expensive kinds of animated films popular in the 2000s and 2010s, as exemplified by the Chinese historic and dramatic Eternal series that was released from the late 2000s to the late 2010s or the US epic science fiction tragedy Ashfall, released in 2015, are no longer favored by animation companies in different nations. Some critics and film historians in different nations have speculated that animated films might emulate forms and styles from other eras of economic hardship, such as the early 1970s or the early 1990s. Some of the more radical avant-garde animation filmmakers, tiring of existing Staccato subcultures, hold out hope in different nations for new sources of inspiration for their favored medium.
Fascinating.

I figured that since none of the great pioneers of animation IOTL exist or even go into the field in the first place - seems pretty clear with an 1862 POD that fundamentally alters the national character of the United States - the only trend I could see being similar to OTL is that there might still be 1920s cartoons in the rubber-hose style - though even that's dubious since the style was mainly influenced by the popularity of Felix the Cat (whose existence in TL-191 is up in the air due to the fate of Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer) and newspaper comic strips in New York City (most of the earliest animation studios IOTL started out in New York rather than Los Angeles).

Everything after that - much like everything post-1944 in TL-191 (at least in David's interpretation) - is completely unlike OTL. Since the rise of television takes longer, theatrical cartoons probably don't disappear until the late 1980s/early 1990s. There's also no guarantee that animation - at least in the US - still undergoes the same "Dark Age" as OTL's 1970s/1980s where they were mainly poorly animated, sanitized celebrity-based/toy-based shows. This is because 1) limited animation first emerged as a backlash to the realism of Disney animation (as shown in The Dover Boys or Gerald McBoing-Boing) before it was co-opted to cut costs and 2) the fact that so many animation studios failed to transition to television and simply shut down was thanks to a series of ill-timed events (lack of successful animated films outside Disney, the death of the Studio System, the Comics Code Authority, stagnation of Disney after the death of Walt Disney) that most likely couldn't be replicated in TL-191. Granted some cost cutting would have to be made since animation is an inherently expensive art form (though if that's different in TL-191 then....), but I doubt we'd get anything like what happened IOTL. Not to mention TTL's 3D computer animation takes longer to become mainstream and 2D animation never dies out outside of television.

Again, fascinating. Part of what interests me about alternate history isn't just different borders or alternate wars - but worlds that seem very alien to OTL.
 
Could you describe the plots of both of those works?

The Eternal series consisted of seven animated films that were released between 2001 and 2019, beginning with the release of the film Eternal in 2001. The series followed the adventures of a single family through the centuries, with each film taking place during a different Chinese ruling dynasty. The art style for each film of the series is taken from the time period in which it is set. All of the films in the Eternal series were directed by Guo Daxia, a Chinese artist, screenwriter, and filmmaker who had founded Canal Road Productions, an animation production company, in 1994. The films of the Eternal series were popular in China, and contributed to a revival in China of both animated and live action epic historical films in the 2000s and 2010s. A planned sequel series to the Eternal series by Guo Daxia was never realized, because of the bankruptcy and closure of Canal Road Productions in 2021 during the Great Housing Crash.

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The animated film Ashfall was written and directed by Liam Fullerton, and was produced by the animation department of the Battleground film company. The plot of Ashfall, analogous to that of the novel Timeline, by Michael Chrichton, from our world, with elements that would also be recognizable from the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, from our world. In-universe, the film was viewed by many critics as a more sinister version of Romeo & Juliet.

The plot of Ashfall imagines two rival US companies, DimensionStar and HistoryUs, that have created devices capable of time travel, and which offer guests guided safaris to the distant prehistoric past. Both companies despise each other, and accuse the other of having stolen the time traveling technology from the other. Both companies, at the beginning of the film, each send two large groups of tourists, with accompanying private security forces, to the interior of North America some 12 million years ago, to view the prehistoric animals of the savannah in what will one day become Nebraska. Both tourist groups get stuck in the past after the time traveling devices for both parties fail because of plots by the leaders of both tourist troupe to sabotage the other. There is panic at first from both groups, not least because they are close to the area that will one day be buried by ash from a massive volcanic eruption, even as the leaders of both groups assure the stranded tourists that the volcano, according to the best calculations, will not erupt for another 100,000 years.

The film chronicles the attempts of the DimensionStar and HistoryUs tourists and their tour guides to rebuild a version of their lost 22nd Century civilization on the prehistoric savannah, only for both sides to eventually separate into two warring factions. The center of the film is the doomed love between a male security officer from the DimensionStar faction and a female security officer from the HistoryUs faction, which fails to stop the growing war between the two sides. At the end of the film, the survivors of both groups, about to fight each other in a final battle over a watering hole, learn the hard way that their calculations about the date of the impending volcanic eruption were horribly wrong.

The epilogue of the film is set in Nebraska in 1984, when a farmer stumbles across the fossilized remains of both parties.

The art style of Ashfall was strongly influenced by a US artistic movement from the 1930s that was analogue to American Regionalism from our world. For an idea of the art style of Ashfall, imagine an animated film designed by Grant Wood, the artist who painted American Gothic in OTL.

Ashfall was financially successful, but did not lead to sequels.
 
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The Eternal series consisted of seven animated films that were released between 2001 and 2019, beginning with the release of the film Eternal in 2001. The series followed the adventures of a single family through the centuries, with each film taking place during a different Chinese ruling dynasty. The art style for each film of the series is taken from the time period in which it is set. All of the films in the Eternal series were directed by Guo Daxia, a Chinese artist, screenwriter, and filmmaker who had founded Canal Road Productions, an animation production company, in 1994, The films of the Eternal series were popular in China, and contributed to a revival in China of both animated and live action epic historical films in the 2000s and 2010s. A planned sequel series to the Eternal series by Guo Daxia was never realized, because of the bankruptcy and closure of Canal Road Productions in 2021 during the Great Housing Crash.

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The animated film Ashfall was written and directed by Liam Fullerton, and was produced by the animation department of the Battleground film company. The plot of Ashfall, analogous to that of the novel Timeline, by Michael Chrichton, from our world, with elements that would also be recognizable from the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, from our world. In-universe, the film was viewed by many critics as a more sinister version of Romeo & Juliet.

The plot of Ashfall imagines two rival US companies, DimensionStar and HistoryUs, that have created devices capable of time travel, and which offer guests guided safaris to the distant prehistoric past. Both companies despise each other, and accuse the other of having stolen the time traveling technology from the other. Both companies, at the beginning of the film, each send two large groups of tourists, with accompanying private security forces, to the interior of North America some 12 million years ago, to view the prehistoric animals of the savannah in what will one day become Nebraska. Both tourist groups get stuck in the past after the time traveling devices for both parties fail because of plots by the leaders of both tourist troupe to sabotage the other. There is panic at first from both groups, not least because they are close to the area that will one day be buried by ash from a massive volcanic eruption, even as the leaders of both groups assure the stranded tourists that the volcano, according to the best calculations, will not erupt for another 100,000 years.

The film chronicles the attempts of the DimensionStar and HistoryUs tourists and their tour guides to rebuild a version of their lost 22nd Century civilization on the prehistoric savannah, only for both sides to eventually separate into two warring factions. The center of the film is the doomed love between a male security officer from the DimensionStar faction and a female security officer from the HistoryUs faction, which fails to stop the growing war between the two sides. At the end of the film, the survivors of both groups, about to fight each other in a final battle over a watering hole, learn the hard way that their calculations about the date of the impending volcanic eruption were horribly wrong.

The epilogue of the film is set in Nebraska in 1984, when a farmer stumbles across the fossilized remains of both parties.

The art style of Ashfall was strongly influenced by a US artistic movement from the 1930s that was analogue to American Regionalism from our world. For an idea of the art style of Ashfall, imagine an animated film designed by Grant Wood, the artist who painted American Gothic in OTL.

Ashfall was financially successful, but did not lead to sequels.
Now these ae movies that I would definitely pay to see!
 
What happened to Lincoln’s children in TTL? I know that two of his sons died before the POD, but what about Robert and Tad? Did the latter in particular get to live to adulthood in this world?
 
What happened to Lincoln’s children in TTL? I know that two of his sons died before the POD, but what about Robert and Tad? Did the latter in particular get to live to adulthood in this world?

And has Abraham Lincoln still descendants in 2023. In OTL his lineage went extinct in 1986 but how ITTL?

RTL probably hadn't any political career since his father was far too discredited so he probably remain as lawyer.
 
The Eternal series consisted of seven animated films that were released between 2001 and 2019, beginning with the release of the film Eternal in 2001. The series followed the adventures of a single family through the centuries, with each film taking place during a different Chinese ruling dynasty. The art style for each film of the series is taken from the time period in which it is set. All of the films in the Eternal series were directed by Guo Daxia, a Chinese artist, screenwriter, and filmmaker who had founded Canal Road Productions, an animation production company, in 1994, The films of the Eternal series were popular in China, and contributed to a revival in China of both animated and live action epic historical films in the 2000s and 2010s. A planned sequel series to the Eternal series by Guo Daxia was never realized, because of the bankruptcy and closure of Canal Road Productions in 2021 during the Great Housing Crash.

-
The animated film Ashfall was written and directed by Liam Fullerton, and was produced by the animation department of the Battleground film company. The plot of Ashfall, analogous to that of the novel Timeline, by Michael Chrichton, from our world, with elements that would also be recognizable from the novel Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, from our world. In-universe, the film was viewed by many critics as a more sinister version of Romeo & Juliet.

The plot of Ashfall imagines two rival US companies, DimensionStar and HistoryUs, that have created devices capable of time travel, and which offer guests guided safaris to the distant prehistoric past. Both companies despise each other, and accuse the other of having stolen the time traveling technology from the other. Both companies, at the beginning of the film, each send two large groups of tourists, with accompanying private security forces, to the interior of North America some 12 million years ago, to view the prehistoric animals of the savannah in what will one day become Nebraska. Both tourist groups get stuck in the past after the time traveling devices for both parties fail because of plots by the leaders of both tourist troupe to sabotage the other. There is panic at first from both groups, not least because they are close to the area that will one day be buried by ash from a massive volcanic eruption, even as the leaders of both groups assure the stranded tourists that the volcano, according to the best calculations, will not erupt for another 100,000 years.

The film chronicles the attempts of the DimensionStar and HistoryUs tourists and their tour guides to rebuild a version of their lost 22nd Century civilization on the prehistoric savannah, only for both sides to eventually separate into two warring factions. The center of the film is the doomed love between a male security officer from the DimensionStar faction and a female security officer from the HistoryUs faction, which fails to stop the growing war between the two sides. At the end of the film, the survivors of both groups, about to fight each other in a final battle over a watering hole, learn the hard way that their calculations about the date of the impending volcanic eruption were horribly wrong.

The epilogue of the film is set in Nebraska in 1984, when a farmer stumbles across the fossilized remains of both parties.

The art style of Ashfall was strongly influenced by a US artistic movement from the 1930s that was analogue to American Regionalism from our world. For an idea of the art style of Ashfall, imagine an animated film designed by Grant Wood, the artist who painted American Gothic in OTL.

Ashfall was financially successful, but did not lead to sequels.
Did you actually come up with these in just a day or do you have a document of fictional works ITTL? Also why are you writing on here and not for Hollywood, those movies sound dope.
 
Did you actually come up with these in just a day or do you have a document of fictional works ITTL? Also why are you writing on here and not for Hollywood, those movies sound dope.

Thank you.

It took about a day to come up with ideas for plots for these films. I don’t have a document of all fictional works in TTL.

One of the most enjoyable parts of working on this ATL was trying to think up what people in this world might be reading, watching in theaters, listening for music, viewing as artwork, or constructing as buildings.
 
What happened to Lincoln’s children in TTL? I know that two of his sons died before the POD, but what about Robert and Tad? Did the latter in particular get to live to adulthood in this world?

I don’t know if the TL-191 series mentioned the fate of Lincoln’s children. I don’t know what they would have done in TTL, with the outcome of the War of Secession and Abraham Lincoln’s later involvement in Socialist politics.
 
And has Abraham Lincoln still descendants in 2023. In OTL his lineage went extinct in 1986 but how ITTL?

RTL probably hadn't any political career since his father was far too discredited so he probably remain as lawyer.

By 2023, there are descendants of Abraham Lincoln living in the United States. None of his descendants are involved in politics.
 
One part of US culture in TTL that I haven’t written about in any great detail is musical theater, and specifically the history of Broadway musicals after the end of the Second Great War. I’m writing with the caveat that my description of Broadway musicals is not what Turtledove envisioned in the TL-191 series, but is the case in this TTL.

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There were some similarities in world of early 20th Century musical theater in New York City compared to our world. Musicals before, during, and immediately after the First Great War were shaped by the songwriters and songs that originated in Tin Pan Ally, which would also eventually give its name to an entire genre of post-Second Great War music, Tinpan, that was retroactively applied by US critics, musicians, and historians in the late 20th Century to music that someone from our world would recognize as jazz.

There were also differences in the content, styles, and compositions of early 20th Century musicals on Broadway compared to our world. One early difference in US musicals compared to our world was the strong influence of musical styles from the German Empire, especially the music of Richard Wagner. In an era when the US public was staunchly pro-German, there was a conscientious effort by some producers and musicians in the New York City theater world to emulate works such as The Ring of the Nibelung or aspects of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, to varying degrees of success. One legacy of this early 20th Century German influence on US musical theater was many musicals having a much more operatic sound compared to OTL.

Another strong early influence on early US musical theater in New York City was the militarized culture immediately before and during the First Great War. Musicals with strongly patriotic themes dominated the Broadway theater world in 1914-1917. Popular theater music in this time was very similar to works from OTL by George M. Cohan, with Cohan’s own analogue in TTL responsible for some of these popular patriotic songs. Some of this patriotic theater music would later be revived in the Second Great War. Broadway musical theater, like other areas of US culture, would continue to be influenced by the US military and US military music in the 20th Century and the 21st Century.

After the end of the First Great War, US musical theater, especially in New York City, was influenced by the changes to national politics stemming from the ascent of the Socialist Party to the presidency in the 1920s. The theater world in New York City now began to produce plays that reflected a left-wing culture that had suddenly entered the political mainstream and the highest levels of political power. A legacy of this 1920s and 1930s cultural ascent of the left in US musical theater were productions throughout the 20th Century and 21st Century that celebrated idealized versions of US working class life and satirized society from decidedly Socialist views. A controversial musical from our world like The Cradle Will Rock would not have been considered noteworthy in the Broadway musical scene of the 1920s and 1930s in TTL. By 2023, another legacy of a more mainstream left-wing US culture is the network of Worker’s Theaters in New York City that once functioned as a more politically conscious version of Off-Broadway theaters.

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Unfortunately, one difference in US musical theater from our world, and a legacy of the existence of the CSA, is that African-American artists and performers did not have a wider impact on Broadway musicals.

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I don’t know if most or all of the most influential Broadway musicians and producers from the early 20th Century in OTL, such as George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Jerome Robbins, Cole Porter, Florenz Ziegfeld, Irving Berlin, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II existed in TTL and had similar influence on the development of musical theater. The TL-191 series does mention a popular musical on Broadway called Oh--Sequoyah!, which appears to be closely analogous to the musical Oklahoma! from our world, and suggests that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II still had their famous professional partnership from our world. I think that the plot of Oh--Sequoyah! would have differences from its counterpart from OTL, given that Sequoyah in TTL was a former Confederate territory taken by the USA after the end of the FGW, and a place with violent conflicts between the US authorities and the Native American tribes.

Even if the prominent Broadway musicians end producers from OTL also existed and had similar roles and influences on musicals to our world, the circumstances of TTL would probably change their works and lead to different artistic trends. For instance, I can’t imagine a US theatrical producer supporting a musical like Show Boat. A more militaristic and economically austere society might not be as supportive of productions like those of Florenz Ziegfeld from the 1910s and 1920s in OTL.

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After the end of the Second Great World, Broadway musicals, and by extension the most popular film adaptations of Broadway musicals, became more reflective of a wider US culture based around a political consensus that stressed national reunion and reconstruction. During the first generation after the end of the SGW, musicals on Broadway became much more escapist, with some productions in the 1950s and 1960s arguably classifiable as fantasies. Broadway musicals were analogous in plot and tone to post-World War II musicals such as Wish You Were Here or The Band Wagon from our world. Musicals rooted in political satire or criticism of US society didn’t vanish in the postwar years, but they arguably became more muted compared to the most notable left-wing musicals of the 1920s and 1930s. Popular Broadway musicals in the post-SGW years were more analogous to musicals from our world such as The Pajama Game or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

This postwar trend in Broadway musicals was interrupted by the American Nihilist cultural trend that took the theatrical world by storm in the 1970s after the end of the Fourth Pacific War. Although most musical productions on Broadway were not rooted in American Nihilism, many of the most famous musicals from the 1970s were influenced by this cultural trend. Critics and cultural historians would observe that Broadway musicals influenced by American Nihilism were notable for discussing US social problems in an open manner that earlier generations of musicals would not have done. American Nihilist musicals also tended to present a far less idealistic version of US working class life than had previously been shown on stage. Romance in these kinds of musicals, where it did exist, always ended in failure or disaster.

One of the most infamous Broadway musicals rooted in American Nihilism was Friends From New York, which was released in 1975 and told the story of two feuding New York City gangs, whose conflict was rooted in mutual racist hatred. A seemingly Romeo and Juliet-influenced plot involving a man and a woman from the opposing gangs who fall in love and plan to marry, is shattered when both gangs use the couple’s wedding, which the leaders of both gangs claimed would mark the end of their long feud, to try to massacre the other side, which was shown in the horrific “Crimson Wedding Sequence.”

The American Nihilist trend did not last on Broadway. Like American Nihilism more broadly, this cultural trend encountered a backlash from audiences who found this content too depressing or disturbing to put up with, much less enjoy. Much of the backlash to American Nihilism in Broadway theater and musicals was specifically against Friends From New York. By the early 1980s, with the fading of American Nihilism as a popular art form, the Broadway theater world, and musical theater especially, had entered into a time of decline.

It was science fiction, of all genres, that fueled a revival in Broadway musical theater, and in musicals more broadly, in the 1980s. The genre of Space Opera, which originated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1982, soon found its imitators in the United States. The first US Space Opera, The President of Mankind premiered in 1985, and was a massive commercial success. Critics and historians would credit the futuristic and colorful stage designs of The President of Mankind, as much as the music, for its popular reception. Space Operas remain a staple of Broadway musical theater by 2023, though it is not the only genre with successful genres on Broadway. By the 2000s, there were running musicals on genre rooted in the new genres of American Fantasy, Techno-Fantasy, Science Fantasy, and Combine-Punk. In the 2000s and 2010s, there were musicals on Broadway utilizing musical genres as different as Hollywood Stomp, Mento Punk, Fabrika Punk, Bossa Nova, Ios Sound and One Two.

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By 2023, there is a large national circuit for professional US musicals outside of New York City. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Tucson, Havana, and Toronto have their own massive theater districts, and consumer demand has surprisingly not dropped even in the depths of the Great Housing Crash. Some US critics and historians argue that the US public has accepted musicals and musical theater as an important form of both escape and expression, and are optimistic that the theater world will survive this latest economic downturn.

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Outside of the United States, the most influential center of musical theater in the English-speaking world is in Melbourne, Australia. This is a legacy of the emigration of many talented British musicians, writers, and performers to Australia, and specifically to Melbourne, in the 20th Century.

The musical theater scene in London did not really begin to recover from the the disasters that befell the city and the British theatrical world in the 20th Century until the 1980s. By 2023, London is considered another important center for musical theater in the English-speaking world.

US musical theater also remains influenced by the musical theatrical worlds of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the German Empire by 2023, though there are continuing debates among intellectuals in all three nations as to which forms of music and artistic style is the most influential on whom.

By 2023, there are ambitions by other musicians, artists, and songwriters to achieve success on the lucrative US musical theater circuit. Although Bharat and the United States remain unfriendly rivals, there are a growing number of Bharati musicians, performers, directors, and songwriters who want to bring Bharati musicals to United States, though the effects of the Great Housing Crash have lessened the willingness by investors in Bharat and the United States to support such artistic ventures. It will not be until the early 2030s when the Bharati Wave takes the world of Broadway musical theater by storm.
 
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One part of US culture in TTL that I haven’t written about in any great detail is musical theater, and specifically the history of Broadway musicals after the end of the Second Great War. I’m writing with the caveat that my description of Broadway musicals is not what Turtledove envisioned in the TL-191 series, but is the case in this TTL.

-
There were some similarities in world of early 20th Century musical theater in New York City compared to our world. Musicals before, during, and immediately after the First Great War were shaped by the songwriters and songs that originated in Tin Pan Ally, which would also eventually give its name to an entire genre of post-Second Great War music, Tinpan, that was retroactively applied by US critics, musicians, and historians in the late 20th Century to music that someone from our world would recognize as jazz.

There were also differences in the content, styles, and compositions of early 20th Century musicals on Broadway compared to our world. One early difference in US musicals compared to our world was the strong influence of musical styles from the German Empire, especially the music of Richard Wagner. In an era when the US public was staunchly pro-German, there was a conscientious effort by some producers and musicians in the New York City theater world to emulate works such as The Ring of the Nibelung or aspects of the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, to varying degrees of success. One legacy of this early 20th Century German influence on US musical theater was many musicals having a much more operatic sound compared to OTL.

Another strong early influence on early US musical theater in New York City was the militarized culture immediately before and during the First Great War. Musicals with strongly patriotic themes dominated the Broadway theater world in 1914-1917. Popular theater music in this time was very similar to works from OTL by George M. Cohan, with Cohan’s own analogue in TTL responsible for some of these popular patriotic songs. Some of this patriotic theater music would later be revived in the Second Great War. Broadway musical theater, like other areas of US culture, would continue to be influenced by the US military and US military music in the 20th Century and the 21st Century.

After the end of the First Great War, US musical theater, especially in New York City, was influenced by the changes to national politics stemming from the ascent of the Socialist Party to the presidency in the 1920s. The theater world in New York City now began to produce plays that reflected a left-wing culture that had suddenly entered the political mainstream and the highest levels of political power. A legacy of this 1920s and 1930s cultural ascent of the left in US musical theater were productions throughout the 20th Century and 21st Century that celebrated idealized versions of US working class life and satirized society from decidedly Socialist views. A controversial musical from our world like The Cradle Will Rock would not have been considered noteworthy in the Broadway musical scene of the 1920s and 1930s in TTL. By 2023, another legacy of a more mainstream left-wing US culture is the network of Worker’s Theaters in New York City that once functioned as a more politically conscious version of Off-Broadway theaters.

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Unfortunately, one difference in US musical theater from our world, and a legacy of the existence of the CSA, is that African-American artists and performers did not have a wider impact on Broadway musicals.

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I don’t know if most or all of the most influential Broadway musicians and producers from the early 20th Century in OTL, such as George M. Cohan, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Jerome Robbins, Cole Porter, Florenz Ziegfeld, Irving Berlin, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jerome Kern, Richard Rodgers, and Oscar Hammerstein II existed in TTL and had similar influence on the development of musical theater. The TL-191 series does mention a popular musical on Broadway called Oh--Sequoyah!, which appears to be closely analogous to the musical Oklahoma! from our world, and suggests that Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II still had their famous professional partnership from our world. I think that the plot of Oh--Sequoyah! would have differences from its counterpart from OTL, given that Sequoyah in TTL was a former Confederate territory taken by the USA after the end of the FGW, and a place with violent conflicts between the US authorities and the Native American tribes.

Even if the prominent Broadway musicians end producers from OTL also existed and had similar roles and influences on musicals to our world, the circumstances of TTL would probably change their works and lead to different artistic trends. For instance, I can’t imagine a US theatrical producer supporting a musical like Show Boat. A more militaristic and economically austere society might not be as supportive of productions like those of Florenz Ziegfeld from the 1910s and 1920s in OTL.

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After the end of the Second Great World, Broadway musicals, and by extension the most popular film adaptations of Broadway musicals, became more reflective of a wider US culture based around a political consensus that stressed national reunion and reconstruction. During the first generation after the end of the SGW, musicals on Broadway became much more escapist, with some productions in the 1950s and 1960s arguably classifiable as fantasies. Broadway musicals were analogous in plot and tone to post-World War II musicals such as Wish You Were Here or The Band Wagon from our world. Musicals rooted in political satire or criticism of US society didn’t vanish in the postwar years, but they arguably became more muted compared to the most notable left-wing musicals of the 1920s and 1930s. Popular Broadway musicals in the post-SGW years were more analogous to musicals from our world such as The Pajama Game or How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

This postwar trend in Broadway musicals was interrupted by the American Nihilist cultural trend that took the theatrical world by stint in the 1970s after the end of the Fourth Pacific War. Although most musical productions on Broadway were not rooted in American Nihilism, many of the most famous musicals from the 1970s were influenced by this cultural trend. Critics and cultural historians would observe that Broadway musicals influenced by American Nihilism were notable for discussing US social problems in an open manner that earlier generations of musicals would not have done. American Nihilist musicals also tended to present a far less idealistic version of US working class life than had previously been shown on stage. Romance in these kinds of musicals, where it did exist, always ended in failure or disaster.

One of the most infamous Broadway musicals rooted in American Nihilism was Friends From New York, which was released in 1975 and told the story of two feuding New York City gangs, whose conflict was rooted in mutual racist hatred. A seemingly Romeo and Juliet-influenced plot involving a man and a woman from the opposing gangs who fall in love and plan to marry, is shattered when both gangs use the couple’s wedding, which the leaders of both gangs claimed would mark the end of their long feud, to try to massacre the other side, which was shown in the horrific “Crimson Wedding Sequence.”

The American Nihilist trend did not last on Broadway. Like American Nihilism more broadly, this cultural trend encountered a backlash from audiences who found this content too depressing or disturbing to put up with, much less enjoy. Much of the backlash to American Nihilism in Broadway theater and musicals was specifically against Friends From New York. By the early 1980s, with the fading of American Nihilism as a popular art form, the Broadway theater world, and musical theater especially, had entered into a time of decline.

It was science fiction, of all genres, that fueled a revival in Broadway musical theater, and in musicals more broadly, in the 1980s. The genre of Space Opera, which originated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1982, soon found its imitators in the United States. The first US Space Opera, The President of Mankind premiered in 1985, and was a massive commercial success. Critics and historians would credit the futuristic and colorful stage designs of The President of Mankind, as much as the music, for its popular reception. Space Operas remain a staple of Broadway musical theater by 2023, though it is not the only genre with successful genres on Broadway. By the 2000s, there were running musicals on genre rooted in the new genres of American Fantasy, Techno-Fantasy, Science Fantasy, and Combine-Punk. In the 2000s and 2010s, there were musicals on Broadway utilizing musical genres as different as Hollywood Stomp, Mento Punk, Fabrika Punk, Bossa Nova, Ios Sound and One Two.

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By 2023, there is a large national circuit for professional US musicals outside of New York City. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Tucson, Havana, and Toronto have their own massive theater districts, and consumer demand has surprisingly not dropped even in the depths of the Great Housing Crash. Some US critics and historians argue that the US public has accepted musicals and musical theater as an important form of both escape and expression, and are optimistic that the theater world will survive this latest economic downturn.

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Outside of the United States, the most influential center of musical theater in the English-speaking world is in Melbourne, Australia. This is a legacy of the emigration of many talented British musicians, writers, and performers to Australia, and specifically to Melbourne, in the 20th Century.

The musical theater scene in London did not really begin to recover from the the disasters that befell the city and the British theatrical world in the 20th Century until the 1980s. By 2023, London is considered another important center for musical theater in the English-speaking world.

US musical theater also remains influenced by the musical theatrical worlds of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the German Empire by 2023, though there are continuing debates among intellectuals in all three nations as to which forms of music and artistic style is the most influential on whom.

By 2023, there are ambitions by other musicians, artists, and songwriters to achieve success on the lucrative US musical theater circuit. Although Bharat and the United States remain unfriendly rivals, there are a growing number of Bharati musicians, performers, directors, and songwriters who want to bring Bharati musicals to United States, though the effects of the Great Housing Crash have lessened the willingness by investors in Bharat and the United States to support such artistic ventures. It will not be until the early 2030s when the Bharati Wave takes the world of Broadway musical theater by storm.
Quite the excellent write-up on this topic.
 
Speaking of theater and such, though there's the appearance of comedy duo The Engels Brothers in the series as in-joke by Dr. Turtledove, what ever became of the Marx Brothers ITTL, Gummo and Zeppo included? Did they ever make it big enough? Or did they go onto other careers like the younger two?
 
Are musicals and theater productions available on home media ITTL? A big reason for Broadway not being on the forefront of pop culture IOTL is because they're too elitist or something to sign off on official media releases.
 
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