Why the Chinese play cricket: 1870-1899 (an Imperial Federation timeline)

Well that is interesting looks like more effort is being made to keep abreast of technical developments

Partly yes, but there's more going on behind the scenes. The Tory's are struggling to attack the Liberals on social policy and devolution, so are hitting them on defense and imperial policy.
 
Good news for Britain in parliament, liberals seem to be on the right track. However it's less good that they need to import German and US machine tools.
 
Good news for Britain in parliament, liberals seem to be on the right track. However it's less good that they need to import German and US machine tools.
And developing your own base takes time and capital that most groups outside of the big ones like say Vickers don’t have.
 
And developing your own base takes time and capital that most groups outside of the big ones like say Vickers don’t have.

What is happening is the end of the great British tradition of the amateur gentleman engineer and scientist. And there are few big players in Britain at the time who are more than capable of stepping up and bring British engineering up to scratch. Vickers of course, Hawthorne Leslie, Armstrong Whitworth, Cammell Laird, Beardmore, Fairfield and John Brown spring to mind.
 
What is happening is the end of the great British tradition of the amateur gentleman engineer and scientist. And there are few big players in Britain at the time who are more than capable of stepping up and bring British engineering up to scratch. Vickers of course, Hawthorne Leslie, Armstrong Whitworth, Cammell Laird, Beardmore, Fairfield and John Brown spring to mind.
Aye still developing a strong domestic machine tool development and production capability will be hard. In the short term though they can probably get licence for other companies stuff and train their people up on it, I mean if they get good enough especially on latches they could potentially make copies of the lathe they are working in question.

Next leap from there is the case of setting up domestic development and RnD for them to make and produce the machine tools which should be possible if you get enough engineer and technicians in the same room together.

The issue will be making incentive for them to both make it and stop buying from Germany and the USA as well as other sources. It also provides another angle of making money in the Empire and the Commonwealth as well.
 
Aye still developing a strong domestic machine tool development and production capability will be hard. In the short term though they can probably get licence for other companies stuff and train their people up on it, I mean if they get good enough especially on latches they could potentially make copies of the lathe they are working in question.

Next leap from there is the case of setting up domestic development and RnD for them to make and produce the machine tools which should be possible if you get enough engineer and technicians in the same room together.

The issue will be making incentive for them to both make it and stop buying from Germany and the USA as well as other sources. It also provides another angle of making money in the Empire and the Commonwealth as well.

It's not that the British couldn't produce top quality machine tools, they did. The problem was the British machine tool industry was inefficient compared to the US and Germans, making it uncompetitive. This is the issue that has to be addressed.
 
It's not that the British couldn't produce top quality machine tools, they did. The problem was the British machine tool industry was inefficient compared to the US and Germans, making it uncompetitive. This is the issue that has to be addressed.
If they are to keep an empire, being go-to place to order machine tools for the federated parts would be nice. If Canada is industrializing with american tools what's the point of empire?
 
Miss C's Design Notes #7 – Currency Conversions

All monetary values mentioned in the timeline will be followed by a conversion into 1900 pounds sterling like this hypothetical example.

April 1880: The US navy spends $1,000,000 {£208,154} on widgets

To put into modern terms one pound sterling in 1900 is worth approximately 140 to 150 US dollars in 2022 (I use 145). I choose to use the pound sterling as at 1900 because I know the relative value has not changed from the OTL in any meaningful way. The figures are based on purchasing power and workers wages, not exchange rates. As per normal, the existing chapters have been updated to include this information (along with a few minor alterations which have all been highlighted).

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May 1871: The Treaty of Frankfurt is signed ending the Franco-Prussian War. France is forced to cede Alsace-Lorraine and pay an unprecedented indemnity of five billion gold francs {£204,317,897}. German troops are to remain on French soil until the indemnity is paid. The Treaty also formally establishes the German Empire, combining the independent Southern German states with the North German Confederation

May 1871: After tense and difficult negotiations, the Treaty of Washington is signed settling many of the disputes between Britain, Canada and the US. [...] A joint US Canadian Fisheries Commission is to be established to regulate the Halifax fisheries and the US will make an annual payment of $500,000 {£95,306} directly to Canada for twenty years, [,,,] the issues of the Alabama Claims and Fenian Raids proved far more difficult to resolve. Eventually, while admitting no liability, the US agrees to pay the Canadian government $2,000,000 {£381,224} as 'assistance' in repairing the damage done in the Raids and act to prevent its citizen participating in any future such raids...

October 1872: The arbitration tribunal of Swedish, Swiss, and Chilean jurists established by King Christian of Denmark after the Treaty of Washington releases it decisions. Regarding the Alabama Claims it finds by at two to one majority Britain was in error regarding international law covering the conduct of neutrals when it failed to prevent the delivery of the Alabama, due to the fact the US had presented evidence it was probably destined for the Confederacy. As a result they award the US $15,5000,000 {£2,835,330} in damages. Against this, the British are awarded $2,000,000 {£365,849} damages for illegal blockade practices during the Civil War...

September 1873: A drought in the Indian region of Bihar lead to crop failures. Richard Temple, Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal, fearing the possibility of widespread famine quickly organises an effective relief program, importing and distributing large quantities of rice from Burma as well as extensive public works programs to provide employment. Temple's program is a huge success, with virtually no excess mortality due to the famine, plus major improvements to infrastructure as a result of the public works program. The ration provided also allows all workers to remain sufficiently healthy to immediately return to the fields when the rains finally arrive. Despite his success, Temple is heavily criticised for the expense involved, with the relief efforts costing some £360,000 {£330,160} though his timely actions are praised by the radicals in parliament.

August 1876: Li Hongzhang and Thomas Wade sign the Chefoo Convention resolving the Margary Affair. In light of the decision to educate the Guangxu Emperor in Britain, the demands have been significantly reduced. The compensation demanded has been reduced from 700,000 taels of silver {£185,906} to 300,000 {£132,790}...

October 1876: With the death toll now into the millions, stories of the scale of the famine in India and resulting unrest begin to appear in the British press. These stories include prominently the fact that the Viceroy is orchestrating the export of hundreds of thousands of tons of foodstuffs from India the face of this tragedy. The Liberals are quick to seize upon this as another path to attack Disraeli's government. Despite the unrest, the famine provokes widespread sympathy with charitable donations pouring in. Queen Victoria herself donates an unprecedented £10,000 {£9,210}, in line with her recent elevation to Empress of India. The size of the Queen's donation is widely and favourably reported in the Indian press, though comparisons with her £1,000 {£917} donation to the 1873 Bihar famine are scrupulously avoided.

October 1879: In an effort to resolve the ongoing stand off between the Russians and Chinese in the Ila Valley in Xinjiang, the Zongli Yamen or Qing foreign ministry dispatch a team of negotiators headed by Wanjan Chonghou in an effort to find a diplomatic solution. The Chinese are in an extremely strong position. [...] the resulting Treaty of Livadia is exceptionally one sided toward the Russians. Under its terms Russia will retain much of the Ila Valley, the Qing will pay a five million rouble {£512,613} indemnity...

July 1880: The Imperial Conference is held in Montreal. The conference is attended by the Australian, Canadian, South African, and New Zealand colonies and Dominions along with the British. While the conference achieves little, it is hailed as a great success. The only practical outcomes are the Australian Dominions and New Zealand agree to pay £126,000 {£126,085} annually toward the Royal Navy in return for the British agreeing not to reduce the Pacific Squadron without their consent...

February 1881: Chinese ambassador to Russia, Zeng Jize, with the backing of British Ambassador Lord Dufferin, is able to successfully renegotiate the Treaty of Livadia. [...] despite Russian demand for a massive increase in the indemnity, Zeng is able to hold the increase to just six million roubles {£605,573} against the nine million {£908,359} demanded due to Lord Dufferin's support...

July 1883: As part of Trevelyan's commitment to land reform in Ireland, the Land Law (Ireland) Act is passed [...] The act also permits the Land Court to waive rent arrears of less the £30 {£30}...

May 1885: Trevelyan's attempts to defuse the Panjdeh Crisis through diplomacy are proving fruitless, with the Russians using the pause to reinforce their positions and the situation worsening. With it now clear the situation will not be resolved through negotiation, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, supported by Joseph Chamberlain and Charles Dilke organises a leadership challenge and replaces Trevelyan as Prime Minister. Campbell-Bannerman immediately begin preparations for war, requesting £16,000,000 {£17,725,513} credit from Parliament...

August 1886: Privy Council deliver their findings on the Gorst-Stout panel. [...] As a token gesture, Campbell-Bannerman convinces New Zealand Premier Stout to uses the provisions of the New Zealand Constitution Act to divert 25% of the sale of any remaining Crown Land purchased by the New Zealand Company to set up a fund for Māori welfare. However Stout caps this fund at a Maximum of £10,000 {£11,649}...

May 1888: Brazilian Minister of War Deodoro da Fonseca, after receiving a large bribe, orders 120,000 Lebel rifles for the Brazilian army for 150 Franc {£7}, well over their regular price. The contract stipulates delivery should be made within the year.

August 1888: With the Plan of Campaign now clearly failing due to financial pressure and confident of Lord Salisbury's sincerity in his commitment to limiting blocking of legislation in the Lords, Campbell-Bannerman, in consultation with the Irish Reform Party, introduces further reforms to deal with the unrest in Ireland. Thus the Purchase of Land (Ireland) and Congested Districts (Ireland) Bills are introduced. The first provides a £40 million {£46,244,411} fund for the government to purchase land in Ireland to be resold to tenants...

July 1889: With unrest continuing in the wake of Boulanger's attempted coup the French government seizes the Lebel rifles being manufactured for Brazil for compulsory purchase. However they only offer the current purchase price of 85 Franc {£4} per rifle as compensation. In the resulting scandal in Brazil, the bribe paid to Minister of War Deodoro da Fonseca comes to light...

November 1890: Having made considerable speculative investments in Argentina, many of them dubious, Edward Baring, director of the Barings Bank in London, has been funnelling cash into the Argentine banking system to stave off a financial collapse since the 1888 crisis. [...] The rescue plan writes off over £20 million {£22,276,016} of Barings debt, and the bank is restructured as public company with a new board. Edward Baring himself loses his personal fortune and is required to retire, with many others involved sharing his fate. As a final result of the crisis, credit is cut off to Argentina. The government goes into sovereign default and its banking system collapses, plunging the country into depression.

July 1891: The arbitration commission in The Hague established in 1890 to resolve the Bering Sea Sealing Dispute and the Alaskan Boundary Dispute delivers its findings. Regarding the Bering Sea Sealing Dispute, the arbitration commission finds in favour of the British and Canadians on all points and awards Canada $500,000 {£108,050} in compensation for interference with its sealing industry. However it also imposes a serious of restrictions on the taking of seals intended to preserve the seal herds. Regarding the Alaskan boundary it establishes a compromise solution, roughly dividing the competing claims in half and awarding much of the Lynn Canal to Canada. The results of the arbitration are generally well received in Canada and the US, though some in the US feel too much had been granted to the Canadians.

==McUpdate==
 
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Miss C's Design Notes #7 – Currency Conversions
This is an excellent idea. References to currency and prices are usually meaningless.
The Chinese are in an extremely strong position. [...] the resulting Treaty of Livadia is exceptionally one sided toward the Russians. Under its terms Russia will retain much of the Ila Valley, the Qing will pay a five million rouble {£512,613} indemnity...
If they're in a strong position, what went wrong?
 
Miss Construction said:
Miss C's Design Notes #7 – Currency Conversions
This is an excellent idea. References to currency and prices are usually meaningless.

Thank you, I struggle with this issue constantly. You need a baseline to make any kind of sense out the numbers

Miss Construction said:
The Chinese are in an extremely strong position. [...] the resulting Treaty of Livadia is exceptionally one sided toward the Russians. Under its terms Russia will retain much of the Ila Valley, the Qing will pay a five million rouble {£512,613} indemnity...
If they're in a strong position, what went wrong?

There's a lot of debate over it. The orthodox answer is the Chinese negotiator was grossly incompetent. This is the line taken even today by China. However more recent analysis points at a fundamental failure in the entire Qing government itself. There were a large number of Qing officials with a 'finger in the foreign policy pie.' It seems most likely he received vastly conflicting instructions from various officials in the government, leaving unable to in any way negotiate effectively. The result was disaster and he was blamed in a cover up to protect those truly responsible,
 
I wasn't happy with the story of the Guangxu Emperor. Why he didn't just return to China when he reach the age of majority just didn't make sense. I've basically totally rewritten it.

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Replace
February 1887: Despite the Guangxu Emperor now having reached the age where he can formally begin to rule in his own right, conservative elements in the Qing court have become concerned at his exposure to western ideas. Consequently he is allowed to continue his education in Britain, entering the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. A secondary result of this will be Britain allowing Chinese cadets to attend British naval and military academies.

October 1890: Guangxu Emperor graduates Woolwich Military Academy with high marks, completing his education. With this the matter of his future role as Emperor of China finally can be ignored no longer. He expresses his personal desire to accept a commission in the British Army and serve as an officer. However there is fierce dispute in the Qing court as to his future. Most reformers such as Li Hongzhang believe his education will enable to him to effectively modernise China in the same manner as the Japanese were able to. However other reformers, such as Prince Gong, recognise there are a growing number of younger radicals who see him as the great hope for fully reforming China into a constitutional democracy. They now fear he may undermine the fundamental basis of Qing power by introducing too radical a reform program. The conservatives such as Dowager Empress Cixi continue to believe his education makes him an unacceptable threat to the established order. Eventually it is decided his wishes should be followed and he should serve a period in the British Army to learn the essentials of command as a precursor to his assuming his role as Emperor. Thus the young Emperor is commissioned as Second Lieutenant Zaitian Aisin-Gioro in the Royal Engineers.

With
February 1887: The Guangxu Emperor has reached the age of majority and returned to China to begin his reign, despite his desire to remain in Britain and continue his education. Seeking both to increase the influence of her maternal family at court and establish her control over the Emperor, Dowager Empress Cixi attempts to force him to take her niece Jingfen of the Yehe Nara clan as his Empress. The Emperor however immediately detests her and exercises his power as Emperor to simply refuse. Cixi, fearing loss of her own power and is convinced his exposure to Western ideas will lead him to introduce radical reform. She capitalised on his wishes to continue his education and suggests he should return to Britain. Consequently he is allowed to return and enter the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich while Cixi begins attempting to gain sufficient support in the Qing court to have him deposed and replaced with a more 'suitable' Emperor. A secondary result of his admission to Woolwich will be Britain allowing Chinese cadets to attend British naval and military academies.

October 1890: The Guangxu Emperor graduates Woolwich Military Academy with high marks, completing his education and there is fierce dispute in the Qing court as to his future. Despite her efforts Dowager Empress Cixi has been unable to gain sufficient support to replace him with a new Emperor. She and the conservatives remain convinced he is an unacceptable threat to the established order and have no desire to see him return, hoping instead to muster enough backing to depose him. The reformers on the other hand are split, Some such as Prince Gong, now agree with the conservatives. After his actions in 1887 they fear he will undermine the fundamental basis of Qing power by introducing a radical reform program. Both they and the conservatives recognising there are a growing number of younger radicals who see him as the great hope for fully reforming China into a constitutional monarchy. Others such as Li Hongzhang remain convinced his education will enable to him to effectively modernise China and are eager for his return. Eventually as he has expressed his personal desire to accept a commission in the British Army and serve as an officer, it is decided he should spend some time in the British Army to learn the essentials of command as a precursor to his assuming his role as Emperor. Thus the young Emperor is commissioned as Second Lieutenant Zaitian Aisin-Gioro in the Royal Engineers.

=McUpdate=
 
Another thing I wasn't happy about was Brazil. Brazil has great potential for the TL but my knowledge was (and still is) limited. So I've been doing a lot of reading and revamped the TL to reflect what I've learnt better

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New
January 1890: With his position now secure after the attempted 1889 coup, Brazilian Prime Minister Afonso Celso enacts the Lei Celso or Celso's Law removing the income restriction on the Franchise and more importantly, allowing former slaves to vote. While the literacy requirement is retained, the new law increases the franchise from 1% to 10% of the population.

New
June 1890: The first elections under the new electoral law are held in Brazil. The election will see over one million people vote compared with just 94,000 in 1886, and return an overwhelmingly liberal General Assembly. Celso will take the results as a clear mandate to continue reform.

New
October 1890: Despite his success in the June elections, Brazilian Prime Minister Afonso Celso has been unable to enact much of his reform program due to conservative opposition. In particular he has been unable to reform the Senate. In an effort to quiet opposition from conservative land owner the Lei de Compensaçao or Law of Compensation is passed. The new law provides former slave owners with compensation the losses due to the abolition of slavery in 1888. While not as successful as hope, the law will improve Celso's support. However it will also require large loans from the US and Britain in order to fund the compensation.

Replace
February 1891: In the wake of the 1889 attempted coup, Prime Minister Afonso Celso has drafted a new Imperial Constitution for Brazil. Under the new constitution, Brazil will be transformed into a federal state with many powers devolved to elected Provincial Assemblies. The constitution also introduces universal male suffrage, replaces the Senate with a new body of 60 members elected for six year terms. Additionally, there is a fifteen member Imperial Council which will serve the dual role of advising the Emperor on the use of his reserve powers and act as a Supreme Court, providing a bench of three to five judges to hear cases, being empowered to strike down laws it finds to be unconstitutional. The constitution also guarantees freedom of the press, speech and religion as well as abolishing the death penalty. The constitution will be approved by a Constitutional Convention called by the Emperor in November. While once again not welcomed by the conservatives, the new constitution finds wide support with the lower and middle classes.

With
February 1891: With conservative opposition having been reduced by the Law of Compensation, Brazilian Prime Minister Afonso Celso is able to further his reforms by increasing the autonomy of the provinces and replacing their appointed governors with elected officials. Despite this success, Celso is still unable to bring his desire to end life appointments to the Senate, the body which is blocking his more ambitious reforms.

New
April 1891: At the request of the Emperor the Constitutional Court is created in Brazil. Consisting of nine members appointed for a ten year term, the court will be the court of last resort in Brazil, with a bench of three to five judges ruling on cases. The full bench will also have the power to strike down any law it finds to be contrary to the 1824 Constitution. The court will also serve to advise the Emperor on the use of his reserve powers, though in practice, the Emperor will always follow the courts advice. The court will be a further step in assuaging conservative opposition to the ongoing liberal reforms and ease the potential succession of Pedro II's daughter Isabel to the throne when her father dies.

New
August 1893: Brazilian Prime Minister Afonso Celso successfully gets the Lei dos Diritos Básicos or Law of Basic Rights passed. The law guarantees freedom of the press, speech and religion as well as abolishing the death penalty. While once again not welcomed by the conservatives, the law finds wide support with the lower and middle classes.

Replace
May 1894: Growing discontent at Prime Minister Afonso Celso's liberal reforms in Brazil's traditional leads to his defeat in a motion of no confidence in the Chamber of Deputies. He is replaced by Conservative João Correia de Oliveira.

With
May 1894: Despite conservative opposition to Prime Minister Afonso Celso's liberal reforms, the 1894 elections see the Liberals mainlining a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, while conservative dominance in the Senate is being slowly eroded. However, despite remaining Prime Minister Celso is now facing increasing discontent from within his own Liberal Party, both due to concerns over the pace of reform and the deteriorating economy.

=McUpdate=
 
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Minor correction - Direitos
Everything else is great
An anglophile Chinese Emperor and Isabel as Empress is an instant win for me, loving how you're handling the abolition in my country

Thank you. And I was actually thinking of running the Portuguese passed you. I have a basic understanding of Spanish, Italian and French but Portuguese is out of my league.

And Brazil has SO much potential at this point of history. From what I've read, it wasn't so much republicanism which did the Empire in at the end, it was Celso's (I use his birth name rather than Viscount of Ouro Preto) attempts to reform the political system. From all the accounts I've read he was actually quite good at playing off the conservatives and keeping them on side. It was just he failed to address the problem of ill-discipline in the army until too late. It was when he started revitalizing the National Guard as a counter to the army that the situation got out of hand.

ITTL the US sent a military mission to Brazil in 1885 and the head of that mission got wind of the planed coup and tipped Celso off. This meant he could preempt the plotters and force them to act before they were ready. The navy stayed loyal and they were able to put the coup down. The failed coup then allowed Celso to basically gut the army's officer corps and deprive the conservatives of their 'muscle.'' Celso still has to dance a very fine line with the conservatives, but it does seem he was good at that. If he can lay the foundations for reform, I think there's a good chance Brazil can come out an industrialized democratic power in the 30s and 40s.
 
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