Why the Chinese play cricket (an Imperial Federation timeline)

I'm enjoying this very much. You make me think of all sorts of things I miss while trying to construct my own timelines
I very much am enjoying creating it. It's not a timeline I'd want to live in. And if I had to, it wouldn't be in the Imperial Commonwealth, maybe Japan or the US. I actually think it shows why it's a good thing the British Empire didn't survive lol.
I very much am enjoying creating it. It's not a timeline I'd want to live in. And if I had to, it wouldn't be in the Imperial Commonwealth, maybe Japan or the US. I actually think it shows why it's a good thing the British Empire didn't survive lol.
Oh agreed. My approach is something of a dark power fantasy for the one I'm currently working on. There is always a risk the readers will interpret your depiction as an endorsement, but I'm not sure there's any good solution to that
In this tl will british immigration to its colonies and dominions increase ?

Oh agreed. My approach is something of a dark power fantasy for the one I'm currently working on. There is always a risk the readers will interpret your depiction as an endorsement, but I'm not sure there's any good solution to that
If this was based on my values, Gladstone would have met an unfortunate demise in the first few entries. Nibbled to death by hamsters perhaps ;-)
Enjoying it very much so far. The survival of the Quagga alone makes this timeline better than OTL.
I like throwing things like that in. Anoterh feature is this TL is more proactive on environmental issues. I can't really justify it based on the PoD but I figure it has little effect on history so I indulge myself here.
Okay, the next three chapters contain NO NEW INFORMATION. The amount of new information I introduced made it unmanageable as two five year chapters. So I've broken them into five two year chunks, simply the only way I can manage them. I repeat NO NEW INFORMATION.
Watched. As an American I normally would be opposed to even more Britwanks but this seems like it's off to a good start. Any changes in the US so far?
Watched. As an American I normally would be opposed to even more Britwanks but this seems like it's off to a good start. Any changes in the US so far?
Thank you, I don't like the britwank part myself. I'm trying to tone it down substantially in this version. And no changes in the US which would register yet. A tiny drop in British money available for loans to finance the development of US industry and infrastructure. Plus British imposing tariffs an equally as tiny drop in exports. Nothing that would show up. The US is quite well insulated from ripples lol
1874-1875: A Tory democracy
~1874-1875: A Tory democracy

January 1874: Colonial Secretary William Forster proposes abandoning free trade in favour of encouraging the development of the Dominions and colonies as alternative trade partners and markets. While Gladstone rejects the proposal, it greatly alarms the free trade Whigs within the Liberal Party. The proposal however does find significant support in the Conservative Party.

February 1874: With the highly effective response to the Bihar Famine in India ongoing, radical Liberal MP John Bright introduces the Famine Relief (India) Bill into parliament. The bill proposes setting a dedicated commission in India to oversee famine relief and finds widespread support in the house, especially with radial members, but is suspended when Gladstone calls a general elections.

March 1874: With the Liberal Party deeply divided over social reform and Irish land rights, Benjamin Disraeli's Conservative Party decisively wins the scheduled general election. The scale of the defeat leads to Gladstone's resignation as leader of the Liberal Party, with William Forster selected as his successor. The election also sees the Irish Home Rule League under Isaac Butt gain 60 of the 101 seats in Ireland.

March 1874: The new Disraeli government adopts a policy of “One nation conservatism,” committed to social reforms in labour relations, housing and public health. This is both a philosophical position of Disraeli and an attempt to undermine the Liberal Party's support base in amongst the working and middle classes. This form of paternalistic conservatism will continue to dominate Tory domestic policy into the future.

April 1874: At the urging of Viceroy Thomas Baring, the Indian Legislative Council in Calcutta passes the Provincial Civil Service Act increasing Indian representation in the uncovenanted Imperial Civil Service at the provincial level. While Indians are still bared from entering the covenanted Imperial Civil which controls the higher level of Indian administration, the act does increase Indian participation in the running of the sub continent.

May 1874: Attempts to reintroduce Bright's Famine Relief (India) Bill are blocked by the new Conservative government, citing the excessive costs of the Bihar relief program. This will lead to the resignation of Thomas Barring as Viceroy of India and his replacement by the highly conservative Lord Lytton. Lord Lytton will abandon Baring's reformist policies in India, instead adopting a ruthless policy in line with his belief in social Darwinism.

June 1874: An All England cricket team led by John Lillywhite tours the Australian Dominions and New Zealand. A match using Lillywhite's new 'test match' format is played in Sydney, attracting huge crowds. The tour will significantly increase the popularity of the new test match format in the Empire.

July 1874: As part of Disraeli's one nation conservatism policy, the Factory Act (Health of Women, &c) Act is passed. This act reduces the maximum working hours for women and young people in the textile industry to ten hours per day. It is shortly followed by the Working Men's Dwellings Act which enables local authorities to build 'healthy' housing for workers and provide them via long term leases.

August 1874: Alarmed by Forster's selection as leader of the Liberal Party and discontent with the growing influence of the radicals, 48 Whig Liberals, led by George Goschen and Lord Landsdowne, split to form the Progressive Liberal Party, more commonly known as the Progressive Party or simply Progressives.

September 1874: As part of his policy of furthering the integration of India into the Empire, Viceroy Lord Lytton enacts the Indian Gold Currency Act moving India from the silver to the gold standard. Under its terms, the silver Indian rupee is to be replaced by the gold Indian pound, at a rate of fifteen rupee to one pound. While this will have a beneficial impact on the Indian economy in time, it will provoke fierce resentment among the Indian population and cause considerable short term disruption.

October 1874: With the new Kingdom of Fiji struggling to control both European settlers and indigenous Fijians, the government appeals to Britain to annex the islands. Disraeli's new Conservative government, anxious to expand the Empire, agrees and the Islands formally come under Imperial control.

November 1874: Forster, along with Colonial Secretary Lord Carnarvon form the Imperial Federation League to advance the concept of a union between Britain and it's Dominions. The league is cross-party including Conservative MPs such as Edward Stanthorpe alongside Liberals such as Lord Rosebery. It also includes public figures such as businessman Joseph Chamberlain, poet Lord Tennyson, and academic John Steeley. The league rapidly gains support, with chapters being established in the Dominions within a few years.

January 1875: The Tongzhi Emperor of Qing China unexpectedly dies at age 18 without an heir. Dowager Empresses Cixi and Ci'an, the Emperor's former regents, clash over who should succeed him, Ci'an favours Prince Gong, uncle to the Tongzhi Emperor, seventeen year old son Zaicheng. However Cixi prefers Prince Chun, another uncle, infant son Zaitian. Eventually, Cixi is able to prevail and Zaitian is installed as the Guangxu Emperor.

February 1875: Junior British diplomat Augustus Margary and his four Chinese staff are murdered en route to Tengchong. The incident creates a diplomatic crisis between Britain and China, with the British taking the opportunity to exert pressure on a number of unrelated issues.

April 1875: Charles Parnell is elected to Parliament in a by-election as a member of the Irish Home Rule League. He will go on to be a leading figure in the policy of 'obstructionism,' using procedural matters to delay the business of the House to draw attention to Irish issues,

May 1875: Hawaiian king Kalākaua signs the Reciprocity Treaty with the US. Under the terms of the treaty Hawaii grants the US access to Pearl Harbour as naval base in return for free access to the US for their sugar exports. The treaty will lead to a major economic boom in Hawaii and expansion of its sugar industry, primarily under the control of US owners.

June 1875: As a keynote part of Disraeli's one nation conservatism program the Artisans and Labourers Dwellings Improvement Act is passed. This act allows for local councils to clear slums to build modern healthy homes for the working classes. The act and its sponsor, Home Secretary Richard Cross, are subjected to a stinging attack by newly elected Conservative back bencher Randolph Churchill for failing to provide sufficient funding for local councils to undertake such programs. While Churchill's attack brings the ire of the Conservative Party establishment, it also brings him to national attention. Joseph Chamberlain will be one of the first to take advantage of the act, clearing vast areas of Birmingham slums. However, Churchill's criticism will prove to be correct, with the vast majority of councils deterred by the costs involved.

June 1875: Arthur Hamilton takes over as Governor of Fiji. He institutes a policy of 'Fiji for the Fijians' devolving much of the day to day administration of the Colony to local chiefs and prohibiting the sale of land by individuals, effectively placing 83% of land Fiji under communal ownership by indigenous Fijians.

July 1875: Simmering discontent at Ottoman rule, particularly the practice of tax farming, leads to an uprising in Herzegovina which quickly spreads to Bosnia. This marks the start of the Great Eastern War. Disraeli, following a pro Ottoman foreign policy to counter Russian expansion, firmly supports the Ottoman government. Regardless of this support, the Ottomans are unable to suppress these uprisings.

August 1875: Five more key elements of Disraeli's social reform program are passed in quick succession. The Chimney Sweepers Act finally bans the use of boys to climb chimneys to clean them. The Friendly Societies Act encouraged friendly societies to register with the Registrar of Friendly Societies and gain the legal right to own property and take out legal proceedings. In return they are subjected to regular auditing to ensure sound management. The Employers and Workmen Act finally repeals the Masters and Servant Acts criminalising breach of contract by workers, placing employers and employees on the same legal footing. The Public Health Act introduces a comprehensive health code for water and sewage ensuring all new houses have running water and internal drainage to combat slums. The act leads to a major improvement in the quality of housing. Finally the Conspiracy and Protection of Property Act goes further than Gladstone's Trade Union Act by specifically enshrining the right to peaceful picketing in law and giving them protection from strike breakers.

September 1875: Indian nationalists Sisir Ghosh and Sambhu Mukherjee found the the India League in Calcutta. The league aims to foster the growth of pan Indian nationalist sentiment and attracts a number of prominent members of the previously unrepresented middle class in Bombay,

October 1875: A severe drought in Anatolia followed by flooding over the previous two years has created a famine, leading to unrest within the heart of the Ottoman Empire, This has prevented the collection of regular taxes in the region. Consequently the Ottoman's have reached the point of bankruptcy, leading to them defaulting on loans taken out during the Crimean War. In an attempt to improve their finances, they significantly increase in the outlying provinces including the Balkans.

November 1875: The British purchase a 44% share in the Suez canal for £19.2 million {£17,710,820}. Despite the purchase being carried out in secret, it's popularity in Britain prevents widespread criticism of Disraeli.
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1876: Damn foolish things in the Balkans
~1876: Damn foolish things in the Balkans

January 1876: Large numbers of British immigrants begin to arrive in Argentina and Chile to exploit the plains of Patagonia for sheep farming. The farming industry will grow, greatly increasing the prosperity of both nations and lead to further development of Patagonia in Argentina, further encouraging economic growth.

February 1876: Concerned by increasing nationalist sentiment in Indian controlled newspapers, Viceroy Lord Lytton introduces the Vernacular Press Act. The act effectively bans any indigenous paper from criticising the actions of the Indian government and allows for the imprisonment of journalists and seizure of printing machinery to enforce censorship.

March 1876: The Long Depression has resulted in a sharp rise in protectionism in Europe and the US. Lord Carnarvon, British Colonial Secretary, proposes a policy of developing and expanding the Empire to provide an alternative market for British goods. The proposal is similar to that proposed by Forster in 1874. The proposal finds considerable support in Disraeli's cabinet.

March 1876: The Great Council of Chiefs is established in Fiji to advise the Governor on indigenous affairs. It consists of all those indigenous Fijians of chiefly rank.

April 1876: Outraged by the increased Ottoman taxes and emboldened by their apparent weakness after failing to suppress the Bosnian and Herzegovinan uprisings leads to a further uprising in Bulgaria. The Ottoman response is immediate. The uprising is brutally suppressed within a matter of weeks. During the suppression, the Ottoman forces commit numerous atrocities against Bulgarian civilians, with between 12-15,000 civilians are massacred.

May 1876: With Queen Victoria desiring an imperial title the Royal Titles Act making her Empress of India, The act creates considerable controversy but greatly pleases the Queen. As a reward she offers to grant Disraeli a peerage. This is the third time she has made such an offer, however he yet again declines. However he does consent to being made a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George.

May 1876: As another reform, the Medical Act allows women to be registered as doctors. The act is only signed into law by the Queen with great reluctance.

June 1876: The continuing unrest in the Ottoman Empire results in Sultan Abdulaziz being deposed by reformists known as the Young Ottomans in favour of his nephew Murad V. Taking advantage of the situation, Serbia and Montenegro proclaim their independence and declare war. The poorly trained and equipped Serbian and Montenegrin troops are unable to make and progress at the Ottoman regulars, but are able to resist Ottoman attacks despite heavy casualties.

June 1876: Radical Liberal MP George Dixon resigns from Parliament due to his wife's ill health. His protégé, Joseph Chamberlain is returned unopposed in his place,

June 1876: A severe drought on the Deccan plateau has led to a serious famine in southern India. Unlike the earlier Bihar famine, Viceroy Lord Lytton has adopted a strictly laissez-faire approach believing market forces will resolve the issue. He has not only greatly tightened the eligibility criteria for relief, he has reduced it too near starvation levels. Consequently, the death toll is rising rapidly. After a series of editorials in Sisir Ghosh's paper, Amrita Bazar Patrika, rioting breaks out in Calcutta. Despite there being no direct link between the editorials and the rioting, the Vernacular Press Act is used to shut down the paper and arrest Ghosh. Far from calming the situation, this will lead to further rioting and unrest, spread throughout much of the Bombay Presidency. The British will respond with a harsh crackdown, however this will only worsen the situation. Lord Lytton's response is to pass the Arms Act, essentially prohibiting Indians from possessing firearms.

June 1876: Dowager Empress Cixi appoints Weng Tonghe, responsible for the disastrous upbringing of the Tongzhi Emperor, as tutor for the Guangxu Emperor. Fearful of a similar outcome, the decision deeply concerns Li Hongzhang, Viceroy of Beijing. During negotiations over the Margary Affair, he mentions the matter to British ambassador Thomas Wade. Wade suggests the possibility of the Emperor being educated in Britain, exposing him to current western ideas, while a suitable classical Chinese education from a prominent sinologist such as James Legge could also be arranged. Li is intrigued by idea and requests Wade investigate the possibility while taking it up with Prince Gong, head of the Qing Grand Council. Prince Gong, still wishing to see his son as Emperor, supports the concept, seeing a greater potential to place his own son on the throne with the Emperor out of China. Wade meanwhile consults with the Foreign Office. Disraeli, sensing an unprecedented opportunity is highly enthusiastic. He instructs Wade to pursue the matter and be more “flexible” on the Margary affair if it can be arranged. Li and Prince Gong return to Wade, who is able to confirm a number highly respected European sinologists such as Legge, Marquis d'Hervey-Saint-Denis and Wilhelm Schott have offered their services to provide instruction in Classic Chinese matters. Despite it being a massive departure from tradition and protocol, Li and Prince Gong are able to convince the normally self-effacing senior co-regent, Dowager Empress Ci'an, to overrule Cixi. Finally in August the young Emperor departs for Britain accompanied by Wang Tao, editor and founder of the Hong Kong newspaper Tsun-wan yat-po, who is to assist in his tutoring. Wang Tao is highly respected by Li and other reformers, as well as being a close friend of William Legge, Europe's most respected sinologist, who will act as his primary tutor.

July 1876: The pan Indian nationalist Indian League founders due to its leaders Sisir Ghosh being perceived as too extremist. However two more moderate supporters, Surendranath Banerjee and Ananda Bose, found the Indian National Association to replace it. The INA will strive to challenge the older British Indian Association for leadership of the Indian rights movement. The BIA, an all Indian groups founded in 1851, has long avoided direct involvement in politics, and predominantly represents the interests of the established Indian elites.

July 1876: Stories about the Ottoman atrocities in Bulgaria begin to appear in the British press. A particularly detailed account by American Consul General in Constantinople Eugene Schuyler is reported in the radical Daily News, leading to questions in the House and demands for an investigation. Faced with public outcry, Disraeli promises a full investigation into the situation.

August 1876: The Chinese region of Xinjiang has been beyond Qing control since the Dungan Revolt of 1862. In 1865, Yaqub Beg, an Uzbek chieftain, declared the primarily Muslim Turkic region independent as Yettishar with support from Russia and Britain. With the Dungan Revolt finally suppressed elsewhere, Chinese General Zuo Zongtang launches a campaign to reconquer Xinjiang. He has assembled an army of 50,000 men equipped with at least 10,000 breach loading rifles and modern Krupp artillery, trained by German and French advisers. His forces advances rapidly as Yaqub Beg's rule has proven unpopular with the local population. While Zuo shows mercy to those who have not joined the rebellion or those who surrender, a number of the Qing commanders under him are far harsher, and many massacres do occur.

August 1876: The British entrepreneur Henry Wickham smuggles the seeds from rubber trees out of Brazil to establish rubber plantations in India and Malaya. The Netherlands will also take advantage of this, establishing large plantations in the Dutch East Indies.

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}, the demand for an apology has been changed to an expression of deep regret, while the demand that no internal tariffs be imposed on treaty ports has been dropped entirely. However the Chinese are still required to open four new treaty ports and British citizens extraterritoriality is confirmed. As a result of the Convention a permanent Chinese diplomatic mission, initial headed by Guo Songtao, will be established. For some time, this mission will actually represent Chinese interests throughout Europe.

August 1876: The new Ottoman Sultan Murad V has proven to be totally unsuitable for the role. An alcoholic, the stress of the position leads to a mental breakdown, and increasingly erratic behaviour. Realising it is essential to have a mentally stable Sultan in order to bring about reform, the Young Ottomans depose Murad V in favour of Abdul Hamid II who agrees to implement a European style constitution. The constitution creates a parliament consisting of an elected Chamber of Deputies and a Senate appointed by the Sultan. This parliament is to include representation by members of all ethnic and religious groups within the Empire, while the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and speech.

September 1876: With reports of the Ottoman atrocities in Bulgaria continuing to appear, Public opinion moves against the Ottomans. A series of Lurid articles in the Daily News by American Januarius MacGahan, provoke outrage. Similar reactions are occurring throughout Europe, with Russia particularly incensed. Gladstone, though still officially retired from politics, launches a string attack on the Conservative government's pro Ottoman policy. However Gladstone takes pains to make clear his attack is on the Ottomans rather than the Muslim faith. Disraeli attempts to minimise the situation, claiming the Bulgarians also committed atrocities. However the official report by British diplomat Walter Baring, confirms the reports and dismisses any claims of Bulgarian massacres of Turks.

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.

November 1876: Competition from cheep US grain and foodstuffs from other nations, along the general economic down turn due to the Long Depression has led to severe hardship in the British agricultural sector. With most other nations adopting protectionism in response to the Long Depression, there are growing calls to abandon free trade and introduce tariffs to protect British agriculture. Colonial Secretary Lord Carnarvon suggests restricting free trade to goods originating with the British Empire and Dominions. As a result the Tariffs Act is passed by a majority of two votes. Despite the agricultural depression, the tariffs on agricultural products remains low, with significantly higher tariffs on manufactured goods. Uncharacteristically, many radical Liberals including Joseph Chamberlain previously fierce supporters of free trade, vote in favour of the act due to its lower tariffs on Imperial goods, further increasing tensions between the free trade Whigs and radicals in the Liberal Party.

December 1876: In an attempt to find a political solution to the ongoing Great Eastern War, the Great Powers of Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia call a conference in Constantinople. The Great Powers propose a solution whereby Bosnia, Bulgaria and Herzegovina are granted some autonomy within the Empire. The conference lasts well into January 1877, but ultimately, the Ottomans reject all proposals, allowing the war to continue. Throughout the conference, British Ambassador to Constantinople Henry Elliot takes a pro Ottoman line, stating the massacres in Bulgaria should no impact on British interests. The resulting criticism at home, forces his replacement with the outspoken former Liberal politician Austen Layard.
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1877: Sacrificing morality for expediency
~1877: Sacrificing morality for expediency

January 1877: During the Constantinople Conference, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary and Tsar Alexander II of Russia held secret talks regarding the fate of declining Ottoman Empire, reaching a tentative agreement to divide the Balkans between themselves. Further secret talks are held in Budapest to formalise the agreement. In the resulting Budapest Convention, Austria-Hungary agrees to a benevolent neutrality in the event of a war between the Russians and Ottomans, and that Austria-Hungary would be allowed to occupy Bosnia and Herzegovina “at a time of its choosing,” but not Sandžak. The two Emperors also agree that in the event of a total collapse of the Ottoman Empire, they will work together to prevent the rise of a powerful Slavic state which they believe would “threaten the balance of power,” instead creating a number of small nations which would fall into the sphere of one or the other of them. Both agree that in this event, Constantinople should be a “Free City” and Greece should receive Crete, Thessaly and parts of Epirus.

January 1877: Former samurai in the Satsuma Domain of Japan, disaffected by the modernisations of the Meiji Restoration, stage a rebellion seeking to reverse the reforms. The uprising is headed by Saigō Takamori, a former prominent supporter of the Restoration. The rebellion will eventually be suppressed in September, securing the Meiji Restoration, but the cost will nearly bankrupt the Japanese government. Consequently, the government will be forced forced to sell off any state assets at bargain prices, leading to the creation of powerful and influential industrial concerns known as zaibatsu.

February 1877: Former Viceroys of India Thomas Baring, Lord Northbrook and John Lawrence, Lord Lawrence speak out against the handling of the ongoing famine in India. With public pressure mounting over both this and the Great Eastern War, Disraeli forms a commission under Lord Lawrence to investigate the situation in India.

March 1877: With the test match format continuing to grow in popularity, a test is held in Auckland between a touring Canadian team and a representative New Zealand team. This will first test not to include and English side. The Canadians will go on to play another in Sydney in three weeks time. This tour solidly cements the test match as the top level of international cricket.

March 1877: The draconian nature of the Vernacular Press Act has incited widespread criticism amongst Indian reformists, even extending into the Anglo-Indian community. James Metcalfe, illegitimate Anglo-Indian son of Baron Charles Metcalfe, responds by founding the Bengal Herald in an effort to circumvent the act. While the paper is entirely owned by British and Anglo-Indian interests and its senior staff are all liberal Anglo-Indians, the majority of its journalists are Indians. The paper will continually maintain an editorial policy highly critical of Lord Lytton's administration, but is able to narrowly avoid direct censorship. The paper will come to be the mouthpiece of the Indian nationalist British Indian Association, leading to considerable numbers of Anglo-Indians joining the previously entirely Indian group.

May 1877: Yettishar leader Yaqub Beg dies in mysterious circumstance. The Russians and his supporters claim he was poisoned, while the Qing maintain he committed suicide. Regardless of the cause, his death fragments and demoralises his supporters, greatly reducing the Qing are facing in their reconquest of Xinjiang.

May 1877: The ongoing unrest in India, is creating a split in the newly formed Indian National Association between those calling for restraint and non-violence and those advocating a more direct approach. This conflict will lead to founder Surendranath Banerjee quitting the INA and throwing in with the British Indian Association. Many activists will follow him, for the first time bringing middle class representation to the BIA and weakening the INA.

April 1877: With the failure of the Constantinople Conference, Russia enters the Great Eastern War after gaining permission from Romania for it's troops to cross their territory. With the Russian entry into the war, the Romanians declare independence and join with the Russians in their attack on on the Ottomans. In response to the Russian entry into the war, the Ottomans appeal to Britain for assistance. But with Public opinion so firmly set against them, Disraeli has no option but to refuse.

April 1877: With criticism of his administration now having spread to the Anglo-Indian community, Viceroy Lord Lytton is forced to increase the level of famine relief being provided in southern India. Most critically, the rations provided are increased, though still at a level well below relief provided in the Bihar Famine.

July 1877: In the face of the Russian invasion, the Ottoman command badly misjudges the Russian strategy and are forced to fall back, withdrawing to the fortress town of Plevna when the Russians cross the Danube. However the Russians have committed too few troops to the invasion. The initial Russian attempt to seize the town is repulsed with heavy casualties, forcing the Russians to besiege the position while they await reinforcements.

July 1877: As party of his ongoing program of Imperial development, Colonial Secretary Lord Carnarvon's Colonial Capital Act is passed. The act provides for loans to invest in infrastructure and industry in the Dominions, along with incentives for private investment. While take up in Britain itself is slow at first, residents of the Dominions are quick to take advantage of the act. However within a few years, those in Britain itself are also making good use of it. The effect is to gradually diversify the economies Dominions away from their traditional agricultural and resource extraction base toward manufacturing and industry. Combined with the lower tariffs on Imperial goods, a thriving internal Imperial market will develop over the long term.

August 1877: The Lawrence report into the situation in India is scathing in regards to Lord Lytton's administration. The report is limited by its terms of reference, only addressing the ongoing famine and unrest, but it finds Lytton has utterly ignored Indian sensibilities, grossly mismanaged the southern Indian famine, and brought India to a point of nearing an uprising. It recommends Lytton be replaced and a full inquiry into the administration of India be made. As a result of the report, Lord Lytton is recalled and replaced by Richard Temple, with instructions to “provide adequate relief for the on going famine and restore order.” Temple immediately increases relief efforts, expending eligibility and increasing support. Despite this late intervention, it is estimated between four and six millions Indians die as a result of the famine. Temple also immediately repeals the Vernacular Press and Arms Acts in an effort to quiet unrest. The government also forms a Royal Commission under Lord Northbrook to investigate how the administration of India may be improved.

November 1877: Since a large diamond field on the boarder of Natal Colony and the Boer republic of Transvaal in 1867, British Colonial Secretary Lord Carnarvon has been trying with little success to negotiate a union between the Cape Colony, Natal and the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. However the Transvaal is now nearly bankrupt, engaged in an unsuccessful war against the Biedi and threatened by Zulus. The British use this as a pretext to annex Transvaal. Despite strong opposition to the annexation, Boer leaders call for calm and urge no violent actions be taken. With the annexation, British troops rapidly defeat the Bipedi, incorporating them into Transvaal, creating an uneasy peace with the Boers which will last several years.

December 1877: The Ottoman defenders of Plevna are equipped with a mix of conventional single shot breach loading riles and magazine fed Winchester repeaters. The rapid mass fire of these repeating rifles has allowed the defenders to hold out for 145 days, beating off three assaults, inflicting heavy casualties on the Russians. However with their supplies becoming critical, the defenders attempt to abandon the town and break out. However they are now now massively outnumbered and the result is their inevitable surrender. The siege has a profound affect on the world's militaries, with the Ottomans having clearly demonstrated the value of magazine fed repeating riles. Virtually every army in the world beings the search for an effective magazine fed repeating rifle. The major exception is the United States, which retains their single shot breach loading conversion of the Civil War era Springfield rifled musket.

December 1877: With the collapse of opposition after Yaqub Beg's death, general Zuo Zongtang completes the reconquest of Xinjiang, returning all areas lost during the Dungan Revolt to Qing control. However in 1871, the Russians had sent troops into the Ila Valley on the border in northern Xinjiang. This move was supposedly just to protect Russian citizens, but they have built up considerable infrastructure and refuse to withdraw. Zuo, commanding an experienced and well equipped army well in excess of the Russians number pushes strongly for an attack to force the Russians out. However the Qing government opts for diplomacy and dispatches negotiators to Russia in an attempt to resolve the situation. Despite this remaining issue, the highly effective performance of Zuo's army during the campaign has deeply impressed British observers. This will lead to a change in British foreign policy as they move to supporting the Chinese in an effort to halt Russian expansion in Asia.

December 1877: The Australian East-West Telegraph Line between Adelaide and Perth is completed. Stretching 3.600km the line line will complete the connection of all major centres in Australia. With this, the Australian governments will cooperate to use the Colonial Capital Act to construct an undersea cable linking Perth with Bombay via the Cocos-Keeling Islands.
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Don't you hate it when you regt sopmething which is blatantly obvious and clearly critical to the TL and leave it out, Sigh

November 1877: Since a large diamond field on the boarder of Natal Colony and the Boer republic of Transvaal in 1867, the British have been trying to negotiate a union between the Cape Colony, Natal and the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. However these efforts have failed with all advances being rebuffed. However the Transvaal is now nearly bankrupt and threatened by Zulus. The British use this as a pretext to annex Transvaal. Despite strong opposition to the annexation, Boer leaders call for calm and urge no violent actions be taken, creating an uneasy peace which will last several years.

January 1879: Despite the Disraeli government wishing to avoid war with the Zulus, local officials take advantage of a boundary dispute to launch an invasion of Zululand without government authorisation. The initial invasion will prove disastrous, with substantial British force wiped out at the Battle of Isandlwana. In the face of such a humiliating defeat, the government are left with nop choice but to continue the war.

July 1879: A second, larger and better prepared, invasion of Zululand crushes the Zulu army at the Battle of Ulandi. With this victory, the British burn the Zulus Royal Kaarl and declare Zululand a Protectorate.

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July 1879: A second, larger and better prepared, invasion of Zululand crushes the Zulu army at the Battle of Ulandi. With this victory, the British burn the Zulus Royal Kaarl and declare Zululand a Protectorate.
OTL there was a period after the "Zulu War" were the Zululand was divided up as smaller polities, before it became a protectorate or was annexed(1886). Is this a deliberate change ITTL?
OTL there was a period after the "Zulu War" were the Zululand was divided up as smaller polities, before it became a protectorate or was annexed(1886). Is this a deliberate change ITTL?

It was actually just me being lazy and not wanting to make the extra entry as I didn't consider it would have much impact on the TL haha But thinking about it, it could. So

July 1879: A second, larger and better prepared, invasion of Zululand crushes the Zulu army at the Battle of Ulandi. With this victory, the British burn the Zulus Royal Kraal and divide the kingdom into a number of smaller chieftainships.

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I left it out initially because I didn't think it had any impact on the TL and was looking to trim the chapter due to word count. But when I checked my sources (you wouldn't believe how many books and online pages I have open when working on this) I found it did. The British removal of the Zulus as a threat played a role in the Boers being willing to reject the annexation of the Transvaal. So since I don't have to worry so much about word count anymore, I put it in.

Plus I just recently watched Zulu again, call it a Michael Caine addition
And since I no longer have to worry so much about word count, I can put this bit which had ended up on the cutting room floor back in

December 1872: After years of agitation, the Cape Colony achieves responsible government. The new government continues the policies of not restricting the franchise along racial lines and avoiding Imperial involvement in the Cape.

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