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Friday, 30 January 2015

An Alternate History Scenario for every Country (Part 1)

Alternate History is a fascinating subject and I thought about the ultimate alternate history event for the blog. Then I saw a video by the AlternateHistoryHub on YouTube, (which I strongly advise watching for fans of alternate history), when he did 50 Scenarios for 50 States; a quick scenario for each US state. Then I thought why not go one step bigger? A scenario for every country. Over the next few weeks I'll be doing a quick alternate history scenario for every country recognized by the UN so all 193 member states and the only non-member state to be recognized, (the Vatican). Some I might turn into fully fledged scenarios and the scenario for each country will be fortnightly so i can find the best scenarios but now we must dive right in...

UK- The Spanish Armada is not destroyed.
In 1588 the Spanish King Philip II created an armada consisting of 22 galleons and 108 armed merchant vessels. Instead of destroying the Armada at Plymouth it went around Scotland to find a new landing point where it was hounded by the English and bad weather before the English managed to destroy the fleet. In this scenario the Spanish Armada attacks the English at Plymouth destroying the English navy and the Spanish land on the English coast. Fueled on by crushing the Protestant heretics of England the Spanish take London, locks Queen Elizabeth I in the Tower of London and then knocks out the Scottish, also Protestant, and arrests King James of Scotland. Philip installs his daughter Isabela Clara Eugenia as Governor of the new Britannia Governate consisting of the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland while the future king Philip III replaces her as Governor of Spanish Netherlands. For the next few years Spanish troops remain in Britain putting down the almost constant rebellions against Spanish rule, mostly in England and Scotland, while the Spanish Inquisition comes to Britain.
Gif from
Sorry I couldn't resist it. The Spanish place Catholics in charge of key posts across Britain as they close down Protestant churches. Spanish becomes the language of the court as the rebellions dissipate. When Philip II dies and Philip III takes the throne tensions flare once more as economic problems makes him tax the British more as well as him trying to impose Spanish customs, culture and language on the commoners as he did in Portugal. When Portugal rises in revolt so does the Scottish and English who declare independence and makes James VI of Scotland's eldest son Henry the first king of a united Britain.

France- The Legislative Assembly Survives
During the French Revolution a constitutional monarchy was briefly formed called the Legislative Assembly with the King as Head of State and a elected assembly consisting of pro-monarchy Feuillants, liberal Girondins and radical revolutionary Jacobins. It failed for multiple reasons including the king refusing to reduce his power, attacks against the Church upsetting pious peasants and economic troubles upsetting urban workers and agricultural peasants. It failed, a republic declared and Louis XVI lost his head. In this scenario the Assembly writes out the power of the King to veto proposed items and the Assembly is less zealous in taking Church land which strengthens the authority of the Assembly. Maximilien Robespierre manages to weave his way into Chancellorship and he makes King Louis XVI reach out to Austria and stop war from destroying the fledgling constitutional monarchy. They also reach out to Britain due to the similar government styles. The largely left-wing Assembly allows tax reductions on the peasants and welfare systems for the urban poor as the last residues of serfdom is abolished. No Revolutionary Wars take place and France remains a constitutional monarchy with three main parties: the conservative Feuillants, liberal Girondins and socialist Jacobins as the Assembly goes into the 19th Century. To this day France has a constitutional monarchy but history would be dramatically changed with no Napoleon rising to power.

Russia- The August Coup succeeds.
In the August of 1991 a group of Soviet generals and high ranking KGB Officers tried to lead a coup to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev after his reform policies had lead to the collapse of communism and former USSR states declaring sovereignty. The coup failed and the leaders were arrested, (later freed), except for Boris Pugo who killed himself. In this scenario the Soviet generals and KGB eliminates Boris Yeltsin who led the counter-coup in Moscow and the leader of the coup, Gennady Yanayev, is made Soviet Premier and Minister of Defense Dmitry Yazov is made Part Secretary. Gorbachev is put under house arrest in Crimea and members of Gorbachev's party are sent to low level positions in Soviet Central Asia or sent to camps in Siberia. The new Soviet leadership quickly puts down independence movements around the USSR from Russia to the Baltics and dissidents are quickly arrested. Anti-communist movements in Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Poland and other Soviet satellites are put down by the Red Army to condemnation from the West. The USSR rebuilds its ties with China, also facing pro-democracy dissidents, as the Iron Curtain turns in on itself. The USSR lasts into the 21st Century with it employing similar tactics to China by using a smoothwall to block internet access from Western websites like YouTube, Facebook and Google. Less eager to open itself to Western trade than China the USSR creates a protectionist policy with its puppets and uses its time to crack on possible foreign influences that leak over the border.

USA- Franklin Roosevelt is assassinated in 1933

 In 1933 incumbent President Franklin Roosevelt was almost assassinated by Giuseppe Zangara who missed because of a wobbly chair that he had to stand on to get a look at Roosevelt, (he was quite short and couldn't see over the hat of the woman in front of him). In this scenario one of his shots hits Roosevelt in the heart who then dies of his injuries. Vice President John Nance Garner then becomes President but unlike Roosevelt he is not in favor of the New Deal policies so he never passes any acts creating the Alphabet Agencies. Without a New Deal the USA does not recover from the Depression and labor and civil rights is set back many years without the intervention of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Garner would also react more violently against strikes sending in federal troops to disperse strikes no matter if they were peaceful or violent. With the Democrats doing nothing to solve the worsening Depression the Republicans win the 1936 election but their policies of rugged individualism would be just as useless as that of the Democrats. The USA becomes more isolationist and ignores the rise of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. As war breaks out in Europe and Asia isolationist USA does not pass the Lend-Lease Act to help the British and do not place embargoes on Japan. With no embargoes Japan does not bomb Pearl Harbor so the USA does not enter the Second World War. When the war ends the USA's economy slowly recovers but it is now a secondary power in a three way cold war between the British Empire, the USSR and the Japanese Empire.

China- The Tumu Crisis never happens
In 1449 the Mongols made another invasion of Ming China which resulted in the Zhengtong Emperor being captured by the Mongols leading to his later reign to be filled with battles to stop a coup and China turning to isolationism. In this scenario the Mongols don't invade so no Tumu Crisis happens. With the Mongols not an issue, (also meaning that the Great Wall is never built), the Emperor can manage to crush the revolts against his rule in Annam. The Ming Empire then expands its borders invading Korea and what is now Manchuria and Tibet before turning on the Mongols, crushing them in the 1560s. The Ming Chinese manages to beat back pirates from Japan as well as establishing a bigger and better port on Formosa which allows Ming explorers to discover Hawaii and California, eventually sending colonists. When Europeans start to arrive the Ming Dynasty shows that it is a force to be reckoned with and Europeans leave China alone to instead focus on Southern Indochina, (the North being under Chinese rule), but the Chinese using gold reserves from California buy guns from the Europeans. With more land the Ming does not suffer as bad from the Little Ice Age which destroyed crops but millions still starve which permanently weakens the Ming dynasty. However it does not collapse as the Manchus, (who overthrew them), remain under their rule and the economy does not falter as when Spain ceased Pacific silver trade gold from California stopped inflation. However by the 1800s the Ming's strengthen starts to fade from European intervention and in the 1890s a revolution takes place establishing a republic.

Vatican City- The Nazis occupy the Vatican
When Germany invaded Italy to push back the Allies Hitler considered invading the Vatican to deal with the Pope who offered a beacon of resistance to German Catholics. Leading Nazis however convinced him that this was a bad idea. In this scenario Hitler orders an invasion of the Vatican when the German army occupies Rome. SS officers arrest the Pope and his Cardinals who are taken to a concentration camp and duly executed. Word of this quickly leaks out and revolts spread across the Catholic areas in Germany as well as the Catholic nations of France, Poland and Italy. Although Hitler manages to have the German insurgents put down Italian and French partisans oust the Germans from their nation and with two nations on the Allies side on Germany's doorstep the war ends sooner in Europe. After the war the former Vatican is made apart of post-war Italy with a new Pope being elected by high ranking Bishops, possibly the Bishop of Munster who publicly criticized Hitler. Following the war however the strength of the Catholic Church is severely weakened.

Japan- The Meiji Restoration never happens
 In 1868 the United States helped overthrow the Tokugawa Shogunate and allow Japan to have an Emperor once more which spelled the end of feudal Japan and samurai but the start of the industrialization of Japan until it became the economic power of today. In this scenario the Tokugawa Shogunate manages to fend of the US and the monarchists. The almost Emperor Meiji is forced to commit Hara-Kiri, (honorable suicide), and the samurai put down monarchists. Throughout the rest of the 19th century Japan remains an agrarian, feudal society dominated by the daimyo, (regional warlords), under the rule of the Tokugawa Shogun. Japan bars foreigners from entering the nation which leads to intense xenophobia against people of different cultures. With no restoration Japan does not industrialize and its isolationism stops any attempts to form a Japanese Empire so there would be no invasion of Taiwan, Korea and China. After the First World War fighting in the seas nearby Japan makes the Shogun slowly open the country to foreign powers as well as modernize the country. However this is a slow process hindered by the local power of the daimyo and by the 1970s Japan imports its first cars and becomes the manufacturing capital of the world with the industrializing country eager for foreign investment allowing companies to open factories.

Democratic Republic of the Congo- Belgium builds infrastructure there
When the Belgians took over the Congo from King Leopold their rule was fairer but they largely neglected the people, choosing instead to mine it for resources. In this scenario they do something as simple as build dams, bridges, schools, power-lines and roads. All of this allows a middle class to emerge in the colony and schools allows there to be enough education to in turn allow for higher education. This would thus allow for future politicians, doctors, teachers and professionals. When the Belgians withdraw from their African colony the new new government manages to more diplomatically solve the secessionist crisis with the provinces of Katanga and South Kasai. With also a clear government hierarchy Joseph Mobutu would be unable to lead a coup which allows the DRC to remain a clear, democratic country. The DRC starts to build further dams, bridges and other projects which allows the country to become richer and the less prominent military rule stops the ethnic killings as refugees from the Rwandan Genocide flee into the DRC. Today it would be a rapidly developing country with a stable government.

Mexico- Hernan Cortes is executed by the Aztecs.
In our timeline the Spanish Conquistador Hernan Cortes took the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma hostage who was then killed. Cortes then marched on the capital of the Aztec Empire Tenochtitlan and brought Spanish rule to Mexico. Moctezuma had thought he was the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl as his arrival matched what the myths said about the God's return. In this scenario after Moctezuma questions Cortes about him being Quetzalcoatl in human form and finding he knows nothing of the Aztec religion he calls Cortes and his men blasphemers. He then sacrifices the Conquistador and his men to Quetzalcoatl by cutting out their hearts. The Spanish King Charles V would not seek vengeance with Cortes ignoring his orders not to go hunt for El Dorado. Thus the Spanish never conquer modern day Mexico and the Aztec traditions of sacrifices deters Christian missionaries and European explorers from conquering the region. The Aztec Empire lasts for years after with it trading with the British, Spanish and French. Huge gold reserves allows the Aztecs to buy huge amounts of goods from Europeans allowing them to adopt new farming techniques such as buying cattle to plow fields. Soon the Aztecs start exporting more crops such as maize, tobacco and cocoa which they soon dominate the market in. By the 19th Century the Aztecs start abandoning some customs deemed barbaric by Europeans such as sacrifices in order for trade to continue although in more rural areas this practice would still continue today. Groups such as the Maya conquered by the Aztecs would seek civil rights now and Native Americans across both Americas would view the Aztecs as a symbol of their old rights.

Saudi Arabia- Juhayman al-Otaybi leads an extremist revolt
In the last months of 1979 a sect of extremist Wahhabi Muslims called al-Ikhwan seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca. The leader of the extremists, Juhayman al-Otaybi, wanted Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani to be the Mahdi, (redeemer of Islam), and for the Saudi people to overthrow the royal family. The group was stopped, al-Otaybi and his followers executed but the Saudi government had to adopt a more stricter Wahhabization of Saudi society to prevent other revolts. In this scenario the Saudi National Guard sides with al-Ikhwan and leads a coup overthrowing King Khalid who is then executed. The royal family flees abroad to the UAE, USA or Pakistan as Mohammed Abdullah al-Qahtani is declared the Mahdi, although this is rejected by all other Muslim countries, while al-Otaybi is made his Head of Government. What follows would be similar to what happened in Iran where the US embassy is put under siege and US businesses are vandalized. The new elite would then expel all non-Muslims, Shias and possibly any non-Wahhabi Sunni Muslims. Saudi Arabia would then place an embargo on the US which deepens the economic crisis. The extreme elite would then bar any non-Wahhabi Muslims from entering the country during Hajj which eventually would cause an economic recession in the country. Al-Otaybi would fund extremists like Osama Bin Laden to fight in Afghanistan as the nation declares war on Iran during the Iran-Iraq War. The war would end with a stalemate in 1992, (Iraq backing out in 1989 to invade Kuwait to replenish its diminished resources two years later). Bin Laden would make his home nation of Saudi Arabia as al-Qaeda's base until 9/11 and the US led coalition invades Saudi Arabia, (Bin Laden would then flee to Afghanistan). Al-Qaeda terrorists would then attack US forces as they create a constitutional monarchy with Abdullah returning from exile to be King. Fortunately though after the fall and execution of al-Otaybi and al-Qahtani by the new Saudi government to deter al-Qaeda non-Wahhabi Muslims would allow to make the pilgrimage to Mecca for the first time in over two decades.

Next fortnight I'll be doing scenarios including North Korea annexing the South, Grenada revolting against the US invasion and Spanish Republicans winning the Civil War to just name a few! If you have any ideas of your own just tell me and I'll try and out them in.

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