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Friday, 27 February 2015

An Alternate History Scenario for Every Country (Part Three)

Welcome to Part Three of the fortnightly series! (The links to Part 1 and Part 2  are here). This week I have some more scenarios and instead of putting a picture of the flag this week I'll put a picture of the event so please tell me which you prefer. Let's begin.

Ireland- The United Irishmen win Irish Independence
In the last decade of the 18th Century Europe had descended into war with Revolutionary France and counter-revolutionaries across Europe fighting. In 1791 a group of Irish Republicans inspired by the ideas of liberty, equality and brotherhood proclaimed by the French Revolution formed the Irish Brotherhood and in 1796 a group of French troops were going to invade to help this group achieve independence for Ireland. The invasion was aborted and two years later the United Irishmen rose up to try and win Ireland its independence but it was crushed by the British and it would take until 1922 and then only the south forming the Irish Republic. In this scenario the storms that deterred the French invasion in 1796 do not happen and the French invade. The United Irishmen rise up and join the invading French forces and Ireland is declared an independent republic the following year. The leader of the Irish rebellion and co-founder of the United Irishmen, Wolfe Tone, is made Ireland's first President and begins distributing land owned by the aristocracy and begins distributing it among the poor. Unlike the French he leaves the Church land alone knowing the major backlash he would get from the more pious peasantry. Ireland under Tone adopts a Constitution similar to that of the First French Republic or the US and quickly drifts into the protection of France. However conscription and rationing would be introduced and a militia formed as Britain blockades and tries to occasionally invade the new republic. This would continue when Napoleon comes to power and makes Ireland into a French puppet but France and Britain would turn the Irish sea and St George's Channel into a major naval warzone which would hinder Ireland further. When the Napleonic Wars ended Ireland would be recognized as an independent nation where they would rebuild relations with the British. When the Potato Famine hits in the 1840s it would still be devastating with the scope of how many crops were destroyed but with more people able to farm there would be a little more food available. Peace would last until the 20th Century when Irish Protestants wanting autonomy form their own version of the IRA which causes violence in Ireland all the way up to the 1990s when self-rule is given to the Protestant minority in Ulster.

South Africa- The Transvaal Republic and Orange Free State are not annexed by Britain
 After the Second Boer War, (1899-1902), the British Empire annexed the two Boer Republics of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, (also called the South African Republic), who were then made into colonies and were apart of the Union of South Africa. In this scenario Britain doesn't annex the two republics but instead makes them puppets which allows businesses looking for the gold in the republics to earn a bigger profit through lower taxes which lines the pockets of British MPs. If this had happened the Apartheid would not have come about. The British tried to increase the rights of the non-white peoples in the South African colonies, such as the Xhosa and Zulu, as liberalism became more popular after the 1850s. This in turn infuriated the Boer peoples and when Transvaal and the Orange State were added to this the Boer people became a large force in the Cape Colony. Quite a few hated the African populace as the African, and later Asian, people were competing farmers and laborers so when South African became independent in 1910 the British policies were largely curtailed and paved the way for in 1948 the National Party to introduce Apartheid. For this scenario the British only continue their policies in the Cape Colony, although liberals try and put pressure on the new Boer puppets to do the same, and race relations move along much more smoothly. The African National Congress, (ANC), is formed years later as an independence party instead of a party to remove racism. This would remain so until after the Second World War when decolonization happens and South Africa gains its independence as the Union of South Africa with relatively peaceful relations between the white and African people and the ANC would be the most popular party. The Orange State and Transvaal would have a history similar to post-colonial Zimbabwe with the African majority taking years to get into power whereas South Africa would have a more peaceful one. Nelson Mandela could even have been President years earlier.

Nicaragua- The US builds a canal in Nicaragua and not Panama
For many years the idea of building a canal was going to be built in Guatemala instead of Panama and in 1902 this almost came true until a volcano erupted in Martinique which put favor on Panama instead. In this scenario the volcano does not erupt and Congress allows the US to fund the building of a canal from Kukra Hill on the Caribbean to Lake Nicaragua and the Pacific. J.P.Morgan funds the expedition and earns millions but thousands of Nicaraguans die through construction and many US workers die through exposure to new diseases. Panama remains apart of Colombia as the US funded Panama's independence to get the canal built. By 1914 the canal is finally opened but the US aggressively defends the small country and sends troops to topple Nicaraguan governments who might nationalize the canal. This continues, (briefly abating in the 1930s and 1940s under Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy), and returns with a vengeance during the Cold War. During his Presidency Jimmy Carter proposes to return the canal to the Sandinista government but when Reagan comes to power he even more aggressively funds the Contras to topple the left-wing Sandinista government; even sending troops using the pretext that the Sandinista government is communist and would seize the canal. The Contras seize power thanks to this and causes a wave of repression against left-wing elements in Nicaragua, much to the criticism of the world's media. Eventually in the 1990s Clinton gives Nicaragua back the canal but years of warfare, exploitation and corruption still means that Nicaragua would be a poorer country.

Poland- The Third Partition of Poland never happens

  In 1795 the Third Partition of Poland took place which divided the nation once more between Austria, Prussia and Russia, wiping it from the map. In this scenario the three decide that Poland would serve better as a buffer state between the three to stop future wars, although Russia gets primary port rights in modern day Lithuania. This lasts until Napoleon invades and forms the Duchy of Warsaw returning former Polish lands to the Duchy although after Napoleon's defeat the three powers would reassert their power over Poland. Each side parries for influence over the government of the puppet nation with Prussian, Austrian and Russian troops occasionally crossing the border to put down revolts against nationalistic Polish fighters wanting a truly free Poland or revolutionaries who lean towards one of the other powers. By the late 19th Century, (after Germany unifies), the only controllers of Poland are the Russian and German Empires with Austria too distracted by internal strife. When the First World War breaks out Poland becomes a battle ground between the Kaiser's and Tsar's armies; each fighting for total control or even annexation of the buffer state. After the war Poland regains much of its old land but in 1939 two megalomaniacs aim to divide the nation once more...

India- The Mughal Empire deters foreign traders
Like with Poland this is an unlikely scenario because until European companies started wielding massive power the Mughals like foreign trade. In this scenario the Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah in an attempt to fund his army to put down the revolts plaguing his empire installs taxes on Europeans. This would start with the small jizya, (a tax on non-Muslims which was adopted by the Ottoman Empire), before increasing to other, pricier taxes to put down the massive revolts. Soon the leaders of the revolts and already independent states, (few in India considering below the size of the Mughal Empire):
Eventual the traders deem India too expensive and the European governments preoccupied with imperialism in the Americas do not intervene in India which forces the traders further into South-East Asia and China. As a result the European states do not intervene in Indian affairs and the Mughals are left to try and restore their empire. Inevitably by the early-19th Century all that is left of the Mughal Empire collapses is reduced to a small area in Kashmir as ruling over an empire so large and divided through religion, ethnicity and feuding families makes it virtually impossible to rule. The Marathas and Hyderabad become the dominant powers in India with the East India Company never existing. As global temperatures drop suddenly in the 18th Century famines kill millions but still less than in our time with more fields devoted to wheat instead of cotton by the demand of the companies. Although often the fields are scoured and reansacked by the competing armies of the Marathas and Hyderabads. Trying to compete the two empires hire Europeans returning after the independence of the USA and hire them to build railroads. Following the Napoleonic Wars France and Britain compete and divides most of India between them which Germany later takes part in. Quickly more railroads and infrastructure would be built to accommodate the new imperial overlords. Although like imperialism in India in our timeline the three nations would rule India through princes. By the 20th Century a thriving middle class eager for independence is created and the French and British carve up German India following the First World War. Pan-Indianism becomes a popular idea in the country and after the Second World War India gains its independence but divided between the former French and British ruled land. In the 1980s the two Indias unite under Indira Gandhi creating a future economic powerhouse, (much like the India of today).

Liberia- Marcus Garvey leads African-Americans to settle in Liberia
From 1914 to his dramatic downfall in 1923 Marcus Garvey preached that African-Americans could never have full rights in the USA because the white government did not have their interests in mind and that they should emigrate to Africa in order to be equals, calling it the 'Back to Africa' scheme. Garvey's dream almost came to fruition with the Liberian President allowing Garvey supporters to move to Liberia and form farms but he pulled out and the plan failed. In this scenario the plan succeeds and Garvey alongside shareholders in Garvey's company the Black Star Line move to Liberia and buy farms. Soon more wealthy Garvey supporters follow in the initial band's footsteps and by 1922 the Black Star Line would have shipped thousands of African-Americans dissatisfied with the discrimination they faced in the United States becoming Liberian citizens. However most African-Americans would stay in the USA seeing the move to Liberia as being extreme, playing into the hands of white supremacists or just being too expensive. However tensions would boil over in Liberia with the wealthy Garvey supporters buying land that the Liberian government took from the native Liberians. Eventually an uprising would take place between the Liberian elite and land owners and the original Liberians and poor African-Americans who felt exploited in the same way as the Liberians. Only through intervention by foreign powers and calls of peace from Marcus Garvey does the civil war end although for years bitterness ensues. Inevitably the Liberian government would pass a law banning immigration from the USA, similar to the USA's Chinese Exclusion Act.

Ukraine- Khrushchev does not give Crimea to Ukraine

 In 1954 the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union gave Crimea to his homeland of Ukraine. In 1954 this was fine because Russia and Ukraine were united members in the USSR, (although the equivalent could be Lyndon Johnson giving half of Louisiana to Texas). In this scenario he doesn't give Crimea to Ukraine. Nothing major would happen excluding the fact that a million Russians would not move to Crimea so the Tatars would be a higher percentage of the population than in our timeline. Nothing however until 1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union where instead of joining the newly independent Ukraine Crimea remains apart of Russia. Russia would pour millions into Crimea to keep the major naval base in Sevastopol functioning which would Crimea a very wealthy area with it being Russia's only major base in the Black Sea. When the anti-Russian protests erupt in 2013 Crimea would see immigration of ethnic Russians over the border and into Crimea but when a ban on the Russian language is passed as in our timeline in Ukraine Crimea does not secede from Ukraine because it was never apart of Ukraine. With the rebels in Donetsk and Lugansk being influenced by the Russians in Crimea they would not rise up as quickly so the current fighting in Ukraine could have otherwise been averted.

That's it for this week but for one week only next week will be Part 4! (Largely as the week after is Friday the 13th and I am a horror fan so you can guess what that post would be about). Please leave any suggestions and comments. Remember they don't have to be realistic they can be inventive or completely out there like Greek myths actually existing. If you want one sneak peak for next week one scenario would be if Juan Peron was never ousted from power in Argentina! Have a good day.

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