Two Suns Shall Set: A 20th-Century TL Without Nazis

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by AeroTheZealousOne, Oct 26, 2018.

Loading...
  1. Wendell Wendell

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2005
    Location:
    Lost in what might have been
    It's interesting that you've opted to delay by more than a decade statehood for Alaska and Hawaii.
     
  2. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    No problem! You're not stupid, but I'm simply under the impression that you might want to reread the thread again to make sure I haven't answered a question already. I was indecisive about this earlier, but I found a post I made back in July on both of these subjects:


    I'd say the latter for Thuringia, but I haven't decided who the Prince and the succession up to this point would be just yet.

    I wasn't aware that William Shatner, Jimmy Saville, and Chuck Berry were infamously evil Nazis. :p (Well, Jimmy Saville was a pedophilic creep, so that counts for something in the "infamously evil" category).

    In all seriousness, I'll make sure everyone mentioned above and more is covered during the next "Where Are They Now?". I recognize I've been a little lenient on butterflies for certain people doing similar stuff to OTL, and much of that will change as the years go on.

    I'll probably have to add a smaller subsection for people original to TTL as well that I mentioned in recent updates.


    A little bit of both. India's independence, a seeming outlier in general colonial trends at the time the Indian tricolor was first raised over government buildings in the early sixties, actually had a decent transition to independence over the course of the 1950s. Despite my misleading statements in an earlier update that Britain was looking to hold on to the Raj at any cost, some things were getting out of hand, and any form of large-scale general uprising was not going to end well once the guns were brought out. Italy's decolonization efforts are being kicked down the road, but colonial maintenance can sometimes be expensive, and with democracy gaining in popularity within Italy there are more calls for just simply letting those colonies go. And that's exactly what will happen, and it will be a textbook case of how not to grant colonies independence. France, once her problems escalate in the 1970s and seeing how Italy's process went, will be sure to take a few lessons from the Dutch plan for Indonesia and will begin a slow withdrawal from the game of semi-direct control over parts of the world they had no business in in the first place.

    TTL's Belgian Congo is a sucky place to live, the Congolese are oftentimes not treated with basic human dignity or respect. It's easier to maintain control over the region without the homeland under Nazi occupation in the '40s, and whatever problems that can't be swept aside in Belgium's largest colonial possession are instead shot at. There's only so much the locals can take, and there are news reports filtering into Europe that are cause for protest. But the Belgians in mainland Europe know better than to shoot protesters in the streets, that's just bad PR and a good way for their more powerful neighbors to punish them in some way or another.

    I don't have much justification for it, but not being part of the contiguous lower 48 has its drawbacks in this regard. This won't be a continuing state of affairs (pun not intended) for much longer.
     
    Wendell, Count and TheDetailer like this.
  3. TheDetailer Fan of Mythical Creatures and Alternate History

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Location:
    Scotland
    XD

    Thanks.

    Oh, also. What about Wojtek? What happened to that lovable bear?
     
    Tanner151 and AeroTheZealousOne like this.
  4. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    As always, you're welcome.

    Wojtek is a no-bear-dy ITTL, unknown to even the Poles and living his life until the late fifties in Iran. :(
     
    Count and TheDetailer like this.
  5. TheDetailer Fan of Mythical Creatures and Alternate History

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Location:
    Scotland
    OK.

    Now that's the line crossed!

    (Semi)Dystopias aren't meant to be this dark!
     
    Count and AeroTheZealousOne like this.
  6. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    I know you're only half-joking but I kind of feel the same way. With what's planned in the future, perhaps I should drop the "semi" part of the "semi-dystopia" title, even with so much in the world that's trying to have good things happen.

    ...but then it would just be a dystopia with grimdark elements, and that's been done to death many times over like the general plot structure of a Hallmark movie. (I would have used another example of a formula that's been overdone that people can't seem to get enough of, but this is a family-friendly timeline!)
     
    Count and TheDetailer like this.
  7. TheDetailer Fan of Mythical Creatures and Alternate History

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Location:
    Scotland
    Hah.
     
    AeroTheZealousOne likes this.
  8. BigBlueBox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2017
    Location:
    Southern California
    So far though, it looks like this is a utopian scenario for America. The economy is doing fine, no Cold War, no Vietnam War, no Cuban Missile Crisis. Some turmoil regarding Civil Rights is probably coming up, but without the general unrest that the Vietnam War and Red Scare atmosphere added to the 1960s it would probably be much less.
     
    Count and AeroTheZealousOne like this.
  9. TheDetailer Fan of Mythical Creatures and Alternate History

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Location:
    Scotland
    I mean, there's no Bruce Springsteen or John Denver, so that's two big downs there.
     
  10. Scerus No but yes

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Antipodea
    Alpha-King98760 likes this.
  11. TheDetailer Fan of Mythical Creatures and Alternate History

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Location:
    Scotland
    @AeroTheZealousOne What happens with Amerindians, Saami, Armenians, Native Siberian Peoples, and Australian Aboriginals ITTL?
     
    Alpha-King98760 and Tanner151 like this.
  12. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    The indigenous peoples of North America are mainly confined to reservations, the U.S. and Canadian governments are still stripping away at the reservation territories in the name of mineral resource exploitation, and in general their rights and conditions aren't the greatest. It's to the point where they'll wage protests in the coming years, and some gains will be made and concessions granted, but nothing major will change. They're nonetheless affected by butterflies in general, as are the rest of the below examples.

    The Armenians have had their own nation-state since the late fifties, and for the most part they're keeping to themselves. There are disputes with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh (de jure split between the two east and west) that escalated into a border war between the two between 1960 and 1962 that ended in status quo. The diaspora is similar to OTL but there aren't as many in the United States.

    The Native Siberian Peoples are not doing so hot, but in comparison to OTL it's not all that much worse. The Siberian Soviet interim government of the 1960s was preoccupied with keeping things going and trying to remain stable with everything west of the Urals and not doing a whole lot for these people. Cultural enforcement laws aren't being enforced, though a lot of the local wildlife isn't doing so hot with the higher demands of food from refugees escaping the hellhole of West Russia. Now that the Civil War is over, things won't immediately get back to "normal" in these terms, and it's going to take a while for the populations to recover, but in terms of the indigenous people, nobody will starve and they're isolated enough to be untouched with the horrors of war. Interaction from Moscow will eventually recur as the 1970s continue to unfold.

    The Aboriginal people of Australia are worse off than as per OTL, with very little attention being brought up about their living conditions. The tribes hold no land rights and voting rights are a little screwy depending on integration into mainstream Australian society. New Zealand's Maori peoples on the other hand are in about the same spot as OTL, not downright godawful in how things are thanks to an ongoing and slightly delayed protest movement in the 1960s and 1970s, but much is left to be desired.
     
  13. haider najib Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Location:
    Has no idea
    Wait finland held out through all of ww2? Damn they did even better how many kills will the white death have now it will have to be in the thousands.
     
    TheDetailer and Alpha-King98760 like this.
  14. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    They had their own Winter War analogue (the "Two Winters' War" from 1948-1950 that ended in a truce and partial occupation of Finland) and an unofficial "Continuation War" (1952-1956, to expel the Reds). The Soviet Union in the first War was more successful than OTL's analogue, making it as far as Helsinki and turning the city into a mini-Stalingrad (from an OTL perspective). The Finns were ultimately able to hold the line and solidify their hold of the city once again. Mass commitment of troops following the Russian "Pyrrhic victory" over Finland instead went to Europe, though with Soviet supply lines faltering and the death of Stalin messing with the war effort, the Finns were able to rebound and turn the tide of the war very much in their favor.

    As for Simo Häyhä, the White Death himself has about at least three thousand confirmed sniper kills between the years 1948 and 1956, with over one thousand in the first two years alone ITTL. I'll eventually go back to update his "Where Are They Now?" entry after I get all my schoolwork done eventually, but here's the relevant entry as it stands now:

     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    Count, haider najib and TheDetailer like this.
  15. Scerus No but yes

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Antipodea
    Could we possibly get a world map in the future?
     
  16. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    As soon as I learn how to make one, absolutely. I know, I've been here two and a half years and all I know is MapChart and as cool as it is to mess with in my free time it's not the high quality standard stuff I see y'all making.

    If it weren't for this I would have made one for every major world development.
     
    TheDetailer likes this.
  17. Scerus No but yes

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Location:
    Antipodea
    I could shoot you a private message and make one if you like, just to flesh out the territorial details.
     
    Tanner151 likes this.
  18. AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    Sounds awesome! Most details so far are in a recent clarification update, but I'll be more than happy to go over them in more depth if you're up for it.
     
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 17 - The Second Great Depression

    AeroTheZealousOne Closet Beutelist

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2017
    Location:
    Ohio, Commonwealth of America
    An empire ends, numerous nations are destabilized, and life ultimately goes on in:


    CHAPTER 17: The Second Great Depression


    To understand the existence of the Second Great Depression, one must look beyond the surface of what appeared to be a mostly stable world. The Soviet Union was cleaning out the last of the pro-NKVD hideouts in the far north, the Western world was experiencing a period of economic growth and prosperity unseen since the 1920s, and the great empires of Europe and appeared they would never end. Below the surface, however, was massive amounts of corruption, the endless reliance of Japan on imported oil, and serious economic flaws within both the protectionist economies of western Europe and those forcibly oriented towards free trade outside of the West's great powers.

    Japan herself was mostly a protectionist economy, though a weakness existed in the form of oil imported from the Middle East. What Mexico could not provide was made up for in exports from countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, among others. This weak link became weaker during a period known as the "Arabian Winter", a time of anti-monarchist sentiment sentiment and open revolt in the Middle East due to the massive disparities of wealth and a perceived lack of support to the Palestinian paramilitaries during the conflict over a Hebrew-dominated state in the traditional Holy Land for the three great Abrahamic religions. To outsiders not paying attention to the region, the rise of republican-leaning nationalist movements across the Middle East came out of nowhere. But such sentiment has been boiling for ages, from the presence of British colonial ventures to the existence of the Saudi monarchy in a strong position promoting an extreme form of Islam within its legal code.

    January 22, 1971 marked the beginning of the end of the monarchy of Arabia. A whole week passed with the palaces and government buildings besieged by rebel forces before many were stormed and captured. Much of the Sa'udi royal family was captured and executed after an extremely dubious show trial. The Arabian Revolution was just beginning, and the fall of the nation to a small vanguard party of questionably democratic forces inspired similar underground movements to make their moves. Some failed, depending on the strengths of the local British garrisons in these countries. As such, Yemen would remain under the British yoke for quite a while longer. Iran would fend off their own guerillas, and French and British forces alike would expend manpower and political capital to keep their colonial possessions in order. Oman would fall and develop close ties to the new regime in Riyadh, and all others would either be suppressed and driven underground, or would maintain a presence in the rural regions throughout the decade[1].

    The rebels were not all homogeneous in their views. Some supported more moderate strains of Islam as a state religion, while others promoted secularism and an even smaller subset suggested a policy of state atheism. Most individuals speaking in favor of this third category were quietly purged, and the new "Revolutionary Arab Republic" would become the world's new pariah state throughout the 1970s and much of the 1980s. The attitude of the new government would range from the destruction of older reactionary and monarchist symbols to the advent of a "national revolution in culture and thought"[2] to outright emulation of the French Revolution of the 1790s with a distinctly middle eastern flavor. The lives of women improved dramatically, with many new rights granted to them by law under the new regime. Education and "houses of wisdom" would become commonplace again, according to state propaganda. Even those minorities following the Shia and Ibadi sects within Arabia would be tolerated, and even embraced in some circles. The "stains of Wahhabi Islam" would be wiped from the country in a massive purge of loyalists to the old order.

    Clearly, not everything was sunshine and roses. The government was fervently nationalist, anti-colonialist (more explicitly anti-British), anti-communist, and in many aspects anti-Semitic[3]. There were many good things the new revolutionary government was doing for the loyal citizens within its borders[4], but there were a number of shortcomings and misguided attempts to bring the nation forward beyond just being wealthy off of oil profits. While the rest of 1971 was spent stabilizing the new administration, the year 1972 saw the beginnings of what would be known as a "revolution in culture". The details of which are mostly sketchy, but at the end of the program towards the late 1970s half a million would be dead from various causes directly related to the government's less-than-likeable programs. Not necessarily out of malice, but the end result of a reckless pursuit of progress and autarky.

    The nations of France and Britain attempted two separate coups against the republican regime. The first (in 1972) was an attempt to back moderate figures in taking power, and the second (in 1973) was an even less successful attempt to put a relative from the now-dethroned Saudi monarchy onto the throne. The response to the second attempt was a total nationalization of all British-owned facilities within the nation, with the exception of the oil fields. The second saw said oil fields and all other remaining British investments in the nation seized by the state (except for the French, who didn't participate in this one). In the days following the botched attempt to end the Revolutionary Arab Republic, a full embargo of oil from Arabia to the entirety of the European Entente would ensue, and a general price hike on exported oil would be instated, officially to "support the funding of numerous social programs across the new Republic". Needless to say, this plan was not the most sound of them all, especially when one considers that Iran was another source of oil in the Middle East, a source that was quite displeased with the developments occurring in their southwestern neighbor. In fifteen years' time this would culminate in a deadly conflict involving the first use of nuclear weapons on a foreign target since World War II, but for now both would stew, and both would intervene in the conflicts arising from and inspired by the "Arab Winter".

    The nationalizations helped send the market into a frenzy, but it was what would later be known in the West as the "Persian Gulf Blockade" that broke the proverbial camel's back, so to speak. Oil from Iran owned by European (predominantly British) companies was still permitted to sail through, but an unreasonable toll equivalent to £2,500 (USD $6,250)[5] to simply pass through the Strait of Hormuz was levied. Some would pay, others would attempt to pass through without doing so. Such crews taking the latter action were either sunk or detained. Japanese tankers only made it through on one instance with armed escorts from the Imperial Japanese Navy, proving that the blockade could be run, though further attempts were countered with firefights, only barely avoiding a breakout of hostilities between the Japanese and "revolutionary" governments of the Middle East. Eventually, the British Government reluctantly entered negotiations with the Arabian and Omani governments for a lower strait toll, which was agreed upon and slashed the original toll by forty percent, with the concession being that the British (and by extension, the rest of the European Entente) would recognize both the RAR and "Republican" Omani governments and cease support of restorationist factions and other dissidents within their territories.[6][7] The British would agree, but the damage was already done. Instability in the Middle East combined with a mysterious explosion at an Iranian oil refinery brought the world's economies, already slowing down since 1971, into freefall. June 8, 1973 will forever be nicknamed as "Black Friday"[8], and the "Black Week" that followed would see many lose their life savings[9]. Businesses and banks collapsed across the world, and though in Japan the major financial cliques were bailed out after some spending cuts to the propping-up of their client states in the Mainland, many smaller businesses were left high and dry, and would later be acquired by the zaibatsus at discount prices, helping to further cement corporate dominance (alongside military dominance) within the Empire. And with the limp-wristed civilian government limited in its power to do much of anything beneficial for the people of Japan, the divided factions of the military took advantage of this situation to strip them of further power and essentially confine the Prime Minister-ship to a rotating presidency between the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.

    ---

    Vietnam's pseudo-fascist government would collapse after the Can Tho Riots of July 1973 saw dozens die in sectarian conflict between Buddhists and minority Catholics. This culminated in the Vietnamese military turning on its "civilian" leadership headed by Ngo Dinh Diem after the infamous Hanoi Massacre of September that same year. An interim military junta took control of Vietnam after Ngo's death[11], but with their effective control limited to the capital city of Saigon and the rest of the country collapsing into anarchy, the Thai government, even with their own struggles, deployed military forces into the deteriorating Vietnamese state and began to maintain a costly occupation with the intent of establishing a transitional government that actually functioned outside of Saigon and Hanoi. This would be achieved in 1976, after three years of military control and a puppet governor taking orders from Bangkok. Thai authorities were not under the impression that the people of Vietnam were ready for democracy, and as such the governor would voluntarily step down and allow a Thai-appointed military junta to take power. The Cambodians and Laotians were still pretty perturbed that their homelands were split between a rock and a hard place, yet there wasn't all that much they could do outside of protesting their conditions and joining in more larger protests demanding economic reform. While Thailand would weather the Depression better than most despite their strong ties with the Japanese government, the "Indochinese Problem", as it came to be known, would continue to plague the country throughout the 1970s and into the early 1980s.

    Continuing on the effects of the crash in Asia, The Chinese Civil War, going on for nearly fifty years now, finally ended on September 9, 1976, with representatives from both the communist government in the north and the nationalist government in the south signing the Treaty of Shanghai, officially partitioning China into two separate nations. Why this could not have been done five, ten, or even fifteen years earlier is a mystery and an enigma in and of itself, but it's generally agreed that both had the unrealistic and unsustainable goals of uniting the former territories of the Qing Dynasty under their leaderships. Both nations suffered (and would continue to suffer) in some form or another from the geopolitical effects of the Second Great Depression, but with the North once again securing ties with Moscow and with few international connections beyond fraternal socialist relations with Iberia and Illyria, their economic downturn was next to nonexistent. The South only agreed to the Treaty simply because of their own downturn and strong connections to the government in Tokyo. A new era would begin for both nations, not one of sunshine and roses and friendship but one of relatively peaceful co-existence. A few million were dead at the end of it, the lives thrown away in trying to reach a lofty goal. What the future held for both Chinas was uncertain, but it is hoped that the enmity between the two would subside, and perhaps cooperation could blossom in the far future.

    ---

    Italy on the surface looked to be a stable state. In truth, the structure of the Italian Empire was falling into a slow internal decline, with years of government corruption and kickbacks bringing in some less than trustworthy individuals, with even a few members of the Mafia appointed to various positionsand in the recent elections for the legislature, more than a few individuals with ties to organized crime found themselves with quite a bit of influence and power contributing nicely to their own control of the streets in cities like Palermo, Catania, and Bari. Directly resultant were various "reforms" to the Italian government allowing this to persist indefinitely. (Well, crime wasn't exactly decriminalized, and extortion was technically not legalized either, but that is what tax collectors are for.)[12] There was also an unintended positive consequence of all this corruption: expansion of civilian control of the governmment. With Italy shifting towards free trade and even working with Europe's "Big Three" in major projects including an infrastructure campaign and the joint space commission, not to mention Ciano's announced policies of "political openness" and "economic restructuring"[13], seeking to reform Italian-style fascism and bring it out of the general political wilderness it has found itself in for ages, ever since the death of Mussolini. In an effort to test their newfound "free speech", Italian citizens burned national flags and desecrated various emblems, occasionally with the protests tolerated but other times with the crowds dispersed and some arrested for attempted arson.[14] All of this made it look like the road to liberalism and smooth governance would be a smooth one.

    How wrong they were, at least for a time.

    On December 27, 1974, tanks rolled onto the streets of Rome, and it was announced that Galeazzo Ciano, Il Duce of the Italian Empire, has stepped down "after a period of severe illness", an excuse ironically stolen from the playbook of various usurpers to Soviet leadership before the Civil War. This was clearly a load of bull, and they failed to arrest Ciano himself, having flown out to Belgrade to meet with the rest of the Mediterranean Pact. In technical exile, Ciano appealed to the will of the people, and called on them to resist the military takeover of the government. Ciano was, is, and is still not known for his love of democracy and freedom, yet one cannot fail to admire the audacity of this man, the leader of a fascist state, to call upon the citizens of an authoritarian government to resist rule by the military. Not long after, protests broke out on the streets, and many soldiers refused to fire on the crowds, instead joining the protesters demanding an end to the coup and free elections at the executive level. The end result was successful, with the generals and loyal members of the Army routed from the city and Ciano flying in and making a triumphant return on December 31st. The year 1975 would dawn on a new Italy, one that was willing to reject corporatism and embrace some form or another of democracy. General elections were called in February to be held in April, and Ciano himself announced that he would not be running, leaving the field wide open. Eventually, a young centrist campaigning as part of the recently legalized center-right "Partito Nouva Italia" (New Italy Party; PNI) named Guido Marinelli[14] became the new leader of the Italian Empire, discarding the title of "Duce" in favor of "Presidente di Stato", or "State-President"[15]. The possessions of the Empire were falling into disarray during the economic woes of 1973 and 1974, woes which have still not corrected themselves and as such will need the guiding hand of the state to help fix. And that is exactly what Marinelli's Unity Cabinet of individuals ranging from social democrats to even moderate fascists will be setting out to do. It won't be an easy road ahead, and all of that corruption still needs dealt with somehow, but Italy will regain her greatness again, not through strength of arms but through following Germany's example of soft power across Europe. And if those colonies have to be let go in order to consolidate things at home even if the situations there won't be all that satisfactory, so be it.

    And that was exactly what was done on November 20, 1975: The full independence of both the "Kingdom of Libya" and the "Kingdom of Abyssinia" would be granted in full, an action that signified the end of the Italian Empire and the declaration of the "Federal Kingdom of Italy" not a month later. Looking back on this, historians of different political leanings generally agree that this was a hasty motion, one that wasn't overly popular at home, but it's money going to the colonial governments that could have been going to attempt to fix the economy, upgrade infrastructure, and actually make the trains run on time[16]. Naturally, with the lack of preparation for establishing functioning non-autocratic governments in the colonies, the Libyan War (1976-1978) and the Abyssinian Wars (1976-1981) would cost hundreds of thousands of lives and would end up partitioning the former colonies into multiple independent states. In Libya's case, the state would cease to exist after the division of the country into Fezzan, Cyrenaica, and Tripolitania. Abyssinia would fracture after the death of Haile Selassie into Somaliland, Eritrea, and an Ethiopia run by a military junta that won out over Ethiopia's internal struggles and that would not be ousted until late 1997 by means of popular uprising.

    As for the mainland European holding of Albania, more thought was put into its separation from Italy. The new "Kingdom of Greater Albania" would be established as Europe's newest nation-state on May 12, 1977. There were talks between Serbia and Greece about partitioning the state between themselves and leaving a rump government in Tirana and the surrounding lands of central Albania, and they almost went through with it... until they were duly informed by the government in Rome that their territorial integrity would be preserved and that they would be joining the Mediterranean Pact as a full member state (while conveniently mentioning their own interests in moving away from the same alliance they lead in favor of closer cooperation with Europe's "Big Three"). Truly, the Pact was as unstable as it appeared to the most respected political scientists of the contemporary era.[17]

    ---

    The United States of America inadvertently followed the maxim of one George Santayana: The country as a while failed to learn from their historical mistakes from the First Great Depression in the 1930s, and were doomed to experience the pains of that era a second time. The duration of this disaster would be shorter than the first one, but the middling years of the 1970s were not generally pleasant times to live in.[18] President Nelson Rockefeller oversaw the final years of a new gilded age in the "Booming Sixties" carrying on to what many thought would be a continuation of the Kennedy years in terms of prosperity, but not long after his sound re-election in 1972 would his luck and general popularity run out. It's common knowledge that Rockefeller had little to nothing to do in causing the crash, but this failed to save the reputation of the Hoover years, and while Rockefeller would do more than Hoover ever would in office, the Republican Party suffered defeat after crushing defeat in the 1974 Midterm Elections, handing the Democrats their biggest majority in Congress since the 1950s and making the process of passing legislation that much more difficult. With over a quarter of the country unemployed by 1974, and not getting much better despite ground being broken at the future site of a hydroelectric dam in Glen Canyon[19], public trust wavered in Rockefeller, and his Presidency (particularly his second term) would not be remembered in a positive light in the history books.

    With the coming of the Depression and the destruction of entire livelihoods, there were those looking for scapegoats, and they would be found in the ramblings of both left-wing and right-wing politicians, whether it be the corporations and capitalists, or Jews and blacks and communists or "black Jewish communists" as the racist nuts of the Deep South loved to go on about. And with the collapse of the "normalcy" and relative conformism of the decade before came a brief and minor spike in the popularity of both the long-repressed Communist Party USA and the relatively new far-right "American Freedom Party", but not enough to secure any states in the upcoming election. And then came the militant armed groups that threatened to obliterate the mere concept of "race relations" in the United States if they acted. And they didn't, the FBI neutralizing the most vocal leaders of one side (read: the armed non-white militants) and sending strongly-worded letters to the leaders of the others (read: the Klan) not to try anything stupid. In the end, even with banks failing and politics suddenly getting quite polarized, there would be no race war, there would be no socialist revolution, there would be no nationwide martial law (though various cities enacted curfews in the mid-1970s), and there would be no Second American Civil War. There were riots though, the most infamous one occurring in downtown Atlanta in the summer of 1975, and a similarly infamous one occurring at a bar in Boston catering to those individuals who hid who they really were as people from the public, later becoming known as the "Second Boston Tea Party", an incident few professors, historians, politicians, and even participants are willing to speak about to this day.[20] These fringe parties would remain and continue to hold hundreds of thousands of members in their ranks, but would ultimately lose their brief jump of influence and those few that actually got seats in Congress would mostly be voted out in 1976 (or in the case of AFP Senator ).

    The Second Great Depression in the United States looked quite similar to the first, except there wasn't an influx of people from the midwest to California in search for work and there was no agricultural disaster causing a layer of dust to fall on the East Coast from Kansas. There were plenty of folk, country, and "hillbilly" singers from the era that turned from songs primarily about love to more about hardship. Classics from the 1930s saw an uptick in popularity, and even led the unlikely friends Townes Van Zandt and Phil Ochs to record an album together named Hard Times, with a cover of Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" only superseded by the popularity of their jointly-sung masterpiece "Life of a Wandering Man".[21] Music was a key factor in helping to diffuse tensions across the country.

    With an ineffective politician comes another politician promising hope and change. This one was none other than former President Joe Kennedy's brother Robert[22], promising a strong recovery, an improvement in the quality of the lives of Americans, and working to make sure that history will not repeat itself a third time. There were two botched attempts on his life on the campaign trail, both missing him entirely and instead non-lethally injuring innocent bystanders. Whether it was because the guy was charismatic, or people actually believed that a politician would keep their promises for the first time in ages, or simply because he promised that he would make sure that a Third Great Depression would never happen again, no one is quite sure. What is certain is that Robert Francis Kennedy would win the 1976 Presidential Election in a landslide, with nearly seventy percent of the popular vote and all fifty states, the first such election where this had happened since the early nineteenth century, and that he would attempt to do what Franklin Roosevelt wanted to do in office before ol' Frank himself was shot down. And he had the public mandate to do it. The banks would be muzzled and public confidence would be restored in them, the power and telephone lines of the country would be brought up to code, the "civil rights question" would be addressed, the rioting would stop, the vocal communist minority would just shut the hell up, the "race-realists" would get over themselves, and the government would put people to work in building public works projects, including the implementation of a proposal in a back drawer labeled "The Inter-State Expressway Complex", later known as the "Interstate Freeway System". Or so he hoped. Even with the popularity needed to bring back the good old days in some fashion or another, there are those who aren't particularly keen on regulations. Their reprehension is understandable in the eyes of the President and his newly-appointed Cabinet, but can't they see that it's the lack of a regulated market that got us into this mess in the first place?[23]

    ---

    Ukraine's nationalist administration took things a little too far by ordering troop maneuvers near the Czechoslovakian border and openly demanding that Carpathian Ruthenia be "returned" to them. Eastern Europe as a whole was well and truly surprised. Not even the Romanian government, evil as it was, went about making demands of its neighbors. Not since the days before the Soviet Invasion of Europe did fellow members of the international community make such demands. And with the increasing number of similarities pointed out between Ukraine's and Romania's regimes (the Orthodox Christianity and the fascistic governments in power, not to mention the subpar treatment of minorities), actions had to be taken. And instead of an all-out war with Ukraine, which would be devastating for the region and in all fairness wasn't worth all that much bloodshed, a significantly less bloodier option took place: A foreign-sponsored coup d'etat that, on August 31, 1974, removed Stepan Bandera from power and installed a mostly unknown local dictator to the government in Kiev. The "temporary military governor", as new Ukrainian leader (and ethnic Russian) Dmitriy Koritansky[24] likes to style himself as, promised free elections "in a few years". Whether or not he holds true to these promises is up to time to answer, but it's looking that this will very much not be the case.

    --

    Other economies of the world were affected, and more governments changed than just Italy's, Ukraine's, and Vietnam's. The French Third Republic collapsed after a string of anti-government protests and a constitutional crisis about the legality of the situation in Indochina, with a new constitution drawn up and the establishment of a Fourth Republic[25] in France. Iberia's situation was not pleasant, and advocates for a planned economic structure gained political standing during this time, and at the same time the concept of "left unity" within Iberia appeared to be in severe jeopardy. The Middle East was seeing the beginning of what would one day become a large mess that would have to be cleaned up. The attacks in British Palestine are intensifying, and it looks like it could turn from "commonplace terrorism" to "all-out guerilla warfare" that would set some fascinating precedents in the future. India's brief success story looked like it was beginning to falter. South America weathered it better than most, whereas the Soviet Union was mercifully unaffected by the brunt of it, the only country in the world to report any net economic gain in 1973 and 1974. The Balkans were also a bit of a mess, but when hasn't this been the case?

    The late 1970s will, without a doubt, be an interesting time period to live in. Not necessarily for the best of reasons, even with parts of the world getting better and better every day and others are falling apart at the seams, but there is an old Chinese curse that goes "may you live in interesting times".[26] And interesting times would be the order of the day on Planet Earth, nearly two millennia beyond the birth of Jesus, the great prophet (to some) and savior (to others).



    [1] This, of course, adds so much more pressure to the British Empire. These wars won't help the Brits out a whole lot, and will help bring about the dissolution of the British Empire, a process that will be comparatively less bloody, painful, and destructive than Japan's now-inevitable implosion.
    [2] Not OTL Chinese levels of cultural revolution, but it's a start.
    [3] More the government than the people, but most individuals practicing Judaism are simply expelled rather than brutally murdered. A number find themselves radicalized and joining forces with the Zionists in British Palestine. I'll cover them more in a bit where I can focus on everyone over there and clear this all up.
    [4] This is not an attempt to whitewash or condone the post-Saudi "republican" regime in Arabia. It's explicitly a mix of the excesses of the French Revolution and the Chinese Cultural Revolution, with some attempts at a Great Leap Forward-esque program that never gets off the ground as a direct result of other priorities.
    [5] Assuming an exchange rate of roughly 2.5 British pounds to 1 U.S. Dollar in this world's 1973, with the exchange rate affected by butterflies, inflation and the like. I'm not an expert in economics, so feel free to tear this apart and come up with something more realistic if that's your fancy.
    [6] "Why didn't they transport the oil across Iraq into Syria and have it shipped to a port from there to mainland Europe?" Well, the Middle East has been under pressure for quite a while and most colonial revolts up to this point have been suppressed. With the end of Saudi Arabia and the continued low-level conflict in Palestine distracting the Brits, there's a renewed sense of hope for independence in the region, and there are plenty of people willing to take up arms against the most powerful empire of the modern era. And it's pretty easy for a small group of terrorists/freedom fighters/bandits/thieves/treasure hunters to stop traffic on a route and hold a driver at gunpoint for the vehicle's contents.
    [7] Japan voluntarily shifted its orders of oil out of Arabia following the 1972 diplomatic crisis towards the safer bet of Iran. Mexico only had so much oil it was producing, and it could only cover most of the military, or most of the civilian demand. Most was allocated to the former, and the Japanese automobile market was virtually obliterated for the rest of the 1970s. More fuel-efficient models would be created and marketed to the rest of the country by 1980, yet were far beyond the budgets of the average citizen.
    [8] The day after Thanksgiving in the USA will not share a name with the day considered to be the beginning of the worst economic crisis of the twentieth century. The holiday season still begins after Thanksgiving, and for decades to come nobody will dare to start advertising and selling items for the December holidays before Thanksgiving Day in the United States. (Commercialism, with less money in the pockets of the typical Italian, American, or Italian-American, takes quite the hit throughout the 1970s before rebounding sometime in the '80s.)
    [9] Legislation was never passed to insure one's bank savings in the United States. Not during the Great Depression, and not at any time between then and now. The life savings of many people who trusted in banks to hold their cash were, in turn, wiped out.
    [10] Currency speculation helped them back in the 1930s. The 1970s is a different time in a world so radically different and unimaginable from someone living four decades prior.
    [11] The cause of his death is disputed to this day, not particularly the fact that he's more dead than Japan's economy right now.
    [12] My views on taxes are not necessarily reflected in my writings. That said, I'm probably going to go out of the way to declare myself as one of the most cynical people on AH.com. The irony regarding my username is not lost, either.
    [13] Do I really need to explain these two? I know I've been using waaay too much parallelism in this work, but for this instance I frankly could not resist.
    [14] Another original character to TTL, and an earlier one at that, bring born in 1936. Truly a dark horse candidate in the 1975 Italian General Elections but he won fair and square. The likelihood of a 39-year old ascending to this position is not all that realistic, this I know, but then again so is real life.
    [15] Did I already use this joke? *looks back* Apparently I did. That's the last time I will do so in writing this story.
    [16] Same title as the leader of Apartheid South Africa IOTL minus the dash, but with more powers and less racism.
    [17] The Mediterranean Pact has plenty of tensions below the surface that are overlooked. Hungary holds a number of minorities within its territories, from Slovaks to Transylvanian Romanians to Serbs and even a few Croatian exiles in border communities. The Serbs wouldn't mind escalating their border conflict with Illyria, but the rest of the Pact remembers what happened the last time they tried to mess with the former Yugoslavia. Serbian and Greek claims over Albanian territory now that Italy's sort of withdrawing into itself are being softly pushed. Serbia also sort of wants Macedonia back. Political interests are more aligned with "maintaining the old style monarchies and traditionalist governments and keeping the larger powers out of our business" than anything else, meaning that free trade isn't much of a thing and is even less so with the various tariffs imposed in the wake of the Depression. Transylvania and Wallachia are under Hungary's and Bulgaria's thumbs, respectively. Speaking of, only Bulgaria is truly content with their lot in the Pact. Truly a dysfunctional mess that's clinging on purely out of nostalgia for the good old days and the belief that international cooperation is the way of the future, as hypocritical as supporting "the future" oftentimes is for traditionalists.
    [18] At least this time around there aren't dust storms! I would prefer not to imagine what a 1970s dust storm in the good 'ol US of A would be like.
    [19] The Glen Canyon Dam's construction is offset by two decades in ATL and it is built a few miles north of its OTL location, much closer to Arizona's border in Utah. It's posthumously named the "Kennedy Dam" in the 1980s.
    [20] Probably the best example of a Noodle Incident from TTL. The details are actually far safer for work, school, or really any dignified public place than you're imagining them to be. ;) ITTL, talking about it falls under the "Second Rule of Boston", analogous to the first and second rules of Fight Club. (The fictitious First Rule of Boston involves not supporting the New York Yankees, but that's sort of OTL )
    [21] An original song, naturally, as are all of Och's and Van Zandt's works in this alternate timeline. I've been neglectful of particulars in the music world throughout writing this timeline. One of these days whenever I rewrite this I'll be sure to catalogue the respective discographies much better. Regardless, I'll elaborate more on this album and some others during the next Pop Culture Update.
    [22] Contrary to what might be popular belief, Two Suns Shall Set is not going to be an "everything goes right for America's favorite dynasty" kind of story. Two folks from the same family taking office within twenty years isn't all that implausible, IOTL something similar happened with the Bush family, as you may know. This said, both here are remembered well for the situations they were in, with the former overseeing years of outward prosperity and the other bringing the country back from the brink.
    [23] By the way, it is Kennedy who will have to fix up the mess of his predecessors. And it will be Vice-President John Glenn who will play the role of a very helpful Vice-President in carrying out his legacy.
    [24] Another original character. At the rate they're appearing I'll have to make a separate listing of OCs towards the end so you can keep track of them and that you don't have to look up on Wikipedia people that don't exist.
    [25] Not necessarily a "collapse" per se, but a collapse of government and it's functions rather than society as a whole. Nonetheless, political gridlock and protester demands causing chaos in the early 1970s leading to the drawing up of a new constitution with a new parliamentary system and more regular elections as well as enshrining union rights into national law is a thing that happens.
    [26] Actually, there isn't all that much evidence for such a quote actually originating in China, or being ancient in origin.




    A/N: I admit that this update isn't as high-quality as many of my previous updates. It's a lot to cover and I'm losing track of my own canon and I'm just a very disorganized and uncertain writer. I hope you all like it, though! Constructive criticism is welcome, as always!
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019 at 10:03 PM
    Scerus, Pera, Bookmark1995 and 11 others like this.
  20. President_Lincoln The Great Emancipator

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2017
    Location:
    United States
    Aero, I appreciate you sharing your perspective with us as a writer, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I thought this update was great! :D The level of detail and care you put into this timeline is inspiring. :) I'm loving the wide-lens, worldwide perspective and am very excited to see where you take us next. Keep up the great work!
     
Loading...