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Friday, 6 March 2015

An Alternate History Scenario for Every Country (Part Four)

Welcome back to An Alternate History Scenario for Every Country, (for Part 1:, Part 2: Part 3: For this fortnight I'm swapping when I do this and the normal post. Anyhow let's look at some quick fire alternate history scenarios, they don't have to be realistic just inventive.

Argentina- Juan Peron is not ousted from power in 1955
In 1955 the President of Argentina Juan Peron was ousted from power in a military coup starting with the Bombing of the Plaza de Mayo, (pictured above), of that year. In this scenario the Revolucion Libertadora fails when the leaders of the coup, General Eduardo Lonardi, General Pedro Aramburu and Admiral Isaac Rojas, are betrayed by other coup members. Peron has them placed under house arrest and replaces them with Peronists to ensure that no other coup would take place. Peron would continue his domestic policies which he had done prior to the 1954 coup such as giving women further rights. Prior to 1955 Peron had legalized divorce and gave women the vote so it is easy to imagine that he would continue this such as making domestic abuse illegal and pass laws allowing women to have an equal pay to men. He most likely would continue his plans to increase workers rights and most likely would set up plans to ensure workers and unions gain more rights including forbidding strike breakers and setting up an equivalent of the National Labor Relations Board, calling it the Peronist Workers' Committee, (Committe del trabajador peronista). However the political repression would still continue with Peron arresting business leaders who become publicly outspoken against his labor reforms and massive backlash from both the left and right who want their views put across. By 1955 the Catholic Church had become very anti-Peron so when he takes reprisals by arresting bishops there would be even more backlash against the Peronist government; escalating further when the Pope excommunicates Peron. By 1957 students start protesting against the censorship and political repression and Peron's Justicialist Party loses the election to the Radical Civil Union Party, (UCR). The party then balances the conflict between the workers and businessmen with Peron in the background heavily influencing politics, (something he did in our timeline). The UCR reduces the political repression, although it still censors the opposition, but tensions are reduced. Peron does not run for election again with his party not risking such a controversial figure representing them so in 1974 the coup which installed a military junta does not take place. Argentina continues the reforms which helps the poorer people, despite opposition from Nixon and later Reagan, and today Argentina is a more equal society.

Italy- The Renaissance fuels Italian nationalism and unification
The Renaissance was started in Italy in our timeline and from there spread ideas of science and the arts across Europe with Italian sculptors and painters heavily influencing European culture for centuries to come. However during this period the Italian states were warring between each other and were constantly influenced by foreign powers, mainly Spain, France and Austria. In this scenario the culture created from the Renaissance makes the Kingdom of Naples, Florence, Milan, Venice and the Papal States realize that they are not Venetians or Milanese or Romans but rather Italians. The Italian states form a federation similar to the Holy Roman Empire and starts a process of Italian nationalism. The Italian states work together to hearken back to the days of the Roman Empire and starts funding the sciences and the arts. Great plays are wrote commending the Roman emperors such as Caesar and Augustus while the artists like Da Vinci are commissioned to create masterpieces commemorating the glories of Rome and the greater culture Italy has against other European nations. Soon the Holy Roman Empire and France start to try and influence the disintegration of the Italian League which unites them into declaring war to drive foreigners from Italy. The united armies of the Italian states funded by the economic powerhouse of Venice the Italian Wars of Independence, (1490-1510), succeeds in driving France, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire from Italy but at the cost of increasing xenophobia with bands of fanatics indiscriminately attacking anyone deemed to be un-Italian. By 1520 it becomes clear that the most powerful members of the Italian League are Piedmont and Venice, (Piedmont for its military and Venice for the economy), and the Papal States are quickly relegated. Soon Italy unifies with a Piedmont king and Venice becomes the seat of an oligarchic council to advise the king. The Pope rejects this and locks himself in the Vatican with the power of the Pope broken centuries early. A united Italy becomes a Mediterranean power to rival the Ottoman Empire and starts an empire managing to challenge the power of the Ottomans in Africa capturing Oran, Libya and Egypt. Italian explorers start establishing colonies in the Americas however like with other European powers the natives would be ruthlessly exploited. Science meanwhile would become further advanced with people like Galileo Galilei not being silenced by the Church so Italy becomes a technological as well as an economic power. This lasts until the 18th century when Britain and France challenges Italy in the Americas and Napoleon conquers the Italian peninsula.

Nauru- Nauru does not allow phosphate mining
When Nauru gained independence the island nation, (with the second smallest population), let strip mining operations take place and because big business only thinks about money the Nauru environment was destroyed. In this scenario Nauru instead decides to copy Costa Rica noticing that the rare wildlife, giant coral reefs and beautiful beaches could instead attract nature tourism. Quickly as in our timeline the Nauru economy rapidly grows but instead of destroying the environment it becomes preserved. The creation of tourism creates more jobs to accommodate the increase in tourists which heavily reduces the unemployment rate, (in our timeline it is at 90%). With the boom in the economy the government builds more infrastructures and creates more things to benefit the public. Nauru becomes an extremely wealthy country and the tax haven system that they would continue would make Nauru the Pacific version of Monaco, albeit with more focus on the environment.

Cuba- The Bay of Pigs invasion succeeds
In 1961 the US government funded Cuban exiles to land at the Bay of Pigs and overthrow the communist regime of Fidel Castro and re-install the right-wing Fulgencio Batista. It turns out the public did not support Batista and the Cuban exiles were either killed or arrested. In this scenario three B-52 bombers that failed to support the exiles arrive as planned. The B-52 bombers manage to inflict heavy damage to the Cuban positions but the Cuban defenders only fail when a stray bombs hits Castro and he is killed. With Fidel Castro killed the Cuban exiles manage to take over Cuba and when they take Havana declares Fulgencio Batista President. Fidel Castro's brother Raul as well as other key figures of Castro's Democratic Revolutionary Front such as Jose Ramon Fernandez would be summarily executed with Batista quickly cracking down on left wing leanings in Cuba. Batista privatizes the sugar industry allowing US businesses to move back in which makes JFK commend him on CNN. Batista cancels Castro's reforms such as building infrastructure and schools which causes the people of Cuba to suffer. Illiteracy becomes rampant again, (Castro managed to increase the literacy rate from 60-76% to 96%), and poverty becomes rampant again for the lower classes, something which took until after the Cuban Missile Crisis to happen in Castro's Cuba. As the Bay of Pigs succeeded Cuba never officially allies itself with the USSR so no Soviet missiles are built in Cuba which means the Cold War remains hot. The Missile Crisis however helped in our timeline to briefly diffuse Cold War tensions, (it did not last ling though), so the Cold War remains dangerously tense. However Che Guevara leads a guerrilla campaign against the Batista regime again and the poor angry at the reform cuts which favored them sides with the revolutionaries. JFK moves military advisers from South Korea to Cuba seeing it as a greater threat with unofficial battles happening between the 'advisers' and Cuban revolutionaries. After JFK's assassination Johnson escalates the war and the tonnes of napalm and Agent Orange which was sprayed over Vietnam killing tens of thousands of innocent people and poisoned thousands of children destroys the Cuban economy. Eventually after years of fighting the US withdraws and after Batista's death in 1974 Che Guevara re-installs the communist government with him as President. However he would have to manage a destroyed economy with no support from the vastly different ideologies of the USSR and China; relying instead on little funding from Yugoslavia. Today Cuba would be extremely poor with most of its infrastructure still destroyed.

Pakistan- The military is given less power in the constitution
In Pakistan's constitution if the government is deemed to be corrupt the military can legally overthrow it and install a non-corrupt government, supposedly the opposing party. Naturally this has been abused, including when Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, (pictured above), overthrew the government in 1977. In this scenario the constitution does not have this clause. This would make a military coup increasingly challenged when one happened and would give the military less power in Pakistani politics. Of course major events would still happen, such as the Indo-Pakistan Wars and the Bangladesh War of Independence, the military would be unable to find an excuse to overthrow the government. This would allow Pakistan to see more social reforms and increase in civil rights as there would be less repression from the military. For example Zia-ul-Haq would be unable to lead his coup so women would have more rights as he opposed female rights. The Taliban would not have formed either with Zia-ul-Haq wanting to build Afghanistan up as an enemy to India which was fulfilled after his death thanks to the influence from Pakistan's secret service the ISI. Similarly with no military coups civilian governments would hold foreign affairs and relations with India would be made better and a deal which would suit all possibly being achieved, although the likelihood would be unrealistic. Pakistan would not develop nuclear weapons as it was a policy put forward by the military so there would be even less tension with neighbor India.

Iraq- The Mongols do not sack Baghdad in 1258
In 1258 after subduing Iran the grandson of Genghis Kahn Hulegu Kahn went to destroy the Abbasid Caliphate whose capital was Baghdad on the orders of his brother Mongke. Baghdad refused to surrender so he burnt the city to the ground, massacred the inhabitants with the Caliph Al-Musta'sim and destroyed the canals. In this scenario Al-Musta'sim after seeing what the Mongols did in Iran, (raping, burning cities, looting etc.), immediately surrenders to the Ilkhanate. Despite their reputation the Mongols would not destroy places that surrendered, (Hulegu even had commands to destroy the city only if it did not surrender), so Baghdad and by default the Abbasid Caliphate would be made an Ilkhanate province divided into Syria and Iraq. Like in our timeline in Iraq the Mongols would hunt down and wipe out the Assassins with help from the Caliphate.
I'm not joking the Assassins from Assassin's Creed were a real group. Baghdad declined thanks to the siege so with it not being sacked Baghdad would remain an area of great trade, education and culture with it paying regular tributes to their Mongol masters to avoid being sacked. This would continue until the coming of Tamer Lane, (another Mongol Kahn), and they too would offer tribute to avoid being destroyed. A wise decision since he ordered virtual genocide of the Baghdad populace wanting each soldier to bring him two hundred severed heads. Life would continue for Baghdad paying regular tribute to avoid being sacked. That is until the Mongols start to collapse in the 1530s and Baghdad refuses to pay tribute. The years of building up its armies allows it to push out the Mongols from Iraq and conquers Mesopotamia forming the Iraq Caliphate. Allying itself with fellow Shia nation Iran against the Mongols Iraq remains a major regional power holding massive sway with it being on a major trade root and becomes the epicenter of Muslim culture and learning. Poets, mathematicians and writers not only from the Muslim world but from China, Africa and Europe would come to Baghdad to make their fortunes.

Kazakhstan- Kasym Khan urbanizes the Kazakh Khanate
Under the reign of Kasym Khan, (1511-1518), the Kazakh Khanate expanded its borders to modern day Kazakstan and remained that way until the coming of the Russian army in the 19th century. In our timeline Kasym Khan made an alliance with the Timurid Babur who founded the Moghal Empire in India, the difference being that Babur urbanized to fit in with his Indian subjects. In this scenario seeing the success of his ally Kasym Khan decides to do the same but with much more difficulty. He convinces the different warring Kahns to adopt farming but gradually; they make some people establish farms as the Kahns continue a semi-nomadic lifestyle. Kasym would establish a permanent capital on the Caspian Sea and establishes a decentralized state convincing other Kahns to establish regional capitals. Following his death his successors continue his gradual move from nomads to urbanizing. The Khanate still remains a massive power going over the borders to wreak havoc on Russian traders and taking slaves. By the 17th century the Kazakh Khanate would have abandoned its nomadic roots, becoming similar to the Crimean Khanate. With the Khans generally abandoning slave raids the Russians do not attack until the late 19th century but the Khanate offers more of a fight with it having fortified cities and gunpowder although it would not be up to the standard of the Russian invaders. Russian hold would be tenuous over Kazakhstan with uprisings regularly taking place, especially when Russia tried to Russify the area. When the Russian Revolution broke out the Khanate would declare independence as Kazakhstan and would remain so until the heavily industrialized Russians return under Stalin in 1939. When the war comes to Russia it would again break off and with Stalin distracted with Hitler and later the US Kazakhstan would remain independent but a communist coup influenced by Stalin would bring the nation firmly into the communist camp. When Mao Tse-tung seized power in China Kazakhstan would flit between both camps during the Cold War.

Thanks for reading and please leave suggestions. If you wanted to see a country please check the other posts as I may have already done them. I've done this one this week because next Friday is Friday the 13th and I am a horror movie fan so a certain someone will be visiting the blog...

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