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Empires Shudder by RoyalPsycho Empires Shudder by RoyalPsycho
Empires Shudder:
A most assuredly ASB map based around a slightly different series of events during the American Revolution. As always this does have an effect on the United States early formative years and butterflies from this have a wider effect on the world at large starting with the eventual French Revolution.

The French Revolution did go through several regimes, each more extreme than the last, culminating in an ATL Terror that purged a lot of people, including a young Napoleon Bonaparte, before the Terror regime was overthrown by a less extreme and more sane republican government. Without Napoleon there were no Napoleonic Wars that smashed the continent of Europe but there were a series of competent but less egocentric French military leaders who would replicate a number of OTL Napoleon's accomplishments albeit over a longer period of time. Spain was not invaded but did eventually have its own revolution and joined the French sphere whilst Prussia, which was battered in the march to take Poland, is far from defeated completely.

A Coalition is formed but it fails to defeat the revolution. An uneasy peace is declared after years of futile fighting and the two sides settle down to enter a period of quieter conflict. The existence of a radical republican empire would lead to a reactionary politics taking hold in British politics. Nations such as Austria and Russia would also begin to mobilise and modernise their states whilst reinforcing the rule of their reactionary governments. Industrialisation and imperialism would characterise the 19th and 20th Centuries and the conflict would escalate further as technology advanced. Mechanised warfare would alter the dynamic between empires and the eventual invention of the atom bomb in the 1950s changed everything after that. In the 1970s a slight mistake made by a nuclear silo operator in France would begin a small nuclear engagement between the powers of Europe. France suffered a slightly worse retribution from the British and Russians but the biggest loser was Russia who collapsed into its own revolution, something that had been coming for a long time. After a civil war and a short phase of rabid expansion in areas by the Russian revolutionaries, the brand new political situation was solidified by 1989.

By 2010 the world is still divided between the Revolutionary and Reactionary blocs but the Reactionaries have lost a lot of ground since the 1970s. Despite essentially winning the nuclear hickup the Reactionaries have been struggling against unrest that has only recently been calmed down. The union of traditionalist, imperialist and monarchical states has been in a precarious state for a very long time now and their future could go any way.

The British Empire is the still the leader of the Reactionary Bloc and was successful in putting down the uprisings in its colonies and dominions. Britain is an unsure nation, a jittery empire in lead of an increasingly brittle alliance and thus they have taken charge of several reformation initiatives. Parliament is still filled by members of the upper class, the aristocracy are still rather significant and society in general is elitist and stratified but a few changes have taken place. Efforts to integrate the dominions closer into the empire have worked to some degree and the dominion system is now federalised. Racism has also declined as rich Asians and even a few rich Africans enter the ruling classes of the empire as a whole. Like in the 19th Century the Empire is focused on industrialisation and made a huge effort in developing as much of the Empire as possible. Efforts to make sure that manufacturing centres in the UK, or at least in the white dominions, have held back this development for a long time. By this point India is well on its way to becoming the centre of the Empire as they transform their increasingly vast economic strength into political strength. Despite the numerous nationalist and socialist terrorist groups on the subcontinent most people in India are worried about their close proximity to the violent radicals in Russia. Africa is still in the process of modernisation but progress has been made in a number of areas. There is still quite a lot of discrimination against Africans but as the population is educated in order to handle the new industries the attitudes towards them are beginning to change. In the new British Empire money whitens tremendously.

Britain has bases across the entirety of the Bloc with their forces involving themselves in any issues their allies and associates come across. Some nations like Prussia have refused having any of these bases in their territory though and some of them even have units from the other Reactionary states spread around. This is a recent policy innovation that is supposed to reinforce cohesion and strength between the Reactionary Bloc.

Austria was the leader of the European portion of the Reactionary Bloc. The Austrian Empire has been forced to decentralise butt hey have survived and remain a strong bulwark against the French and the Russians. Their nuclear arsenal is what preserved them from invasion by the Russians and the nation has only become more militant since the Russian Revolution. The entirety of the Empire has been divided into regions of autonomy with their own Diets all united under the aegis of the Hapsburg Family. Though theoretically absolute the monarchy does have a number of unofficial agreements and understandings with the Central Diet that mean they don't often exercise their power. There have been a number of protests against the increased militarisation of the nation but they are a fringe element thanks to fear of the Russians. The Austrian Empire also became the refuge of the Papacy after Rome fell to the French. Prussia is by far the most belligerent of the Bloc (and that's saying something). They still bear a grudge against the French for the defeats they served them in the early 1800s and have spent their history since then surrounded by French puppet states. They were able to successfully absorb most of the northern German states and this is still used by nationalist groups as an example of Prussian strength. Prussia has a militant, stratified and Spartan society and unlike the other members of the Reactionary Bloc they have a homogenised and united population.

Most other members of the Reactionary Bloc are either minor powers or puppets/protectorates of the bigger members. New Spain is the last remnants of the Spanish Empire, preserved by the British and the rest of the Coalition before revolution engulfed the northern portion of Spanish America. The remnant is industrialising but suffers from terrorist groups that are either revolutionary or nationalist. The monarchy and the creole upper class tend to oppress the lower classes and abuse their black and Amerindian populations. Japan has grabbed a few chunks of territory but the Russian Revolution saw them not just lose some portions of their empire but put them in close proximity with a very violent behemoth. They are an industrious nation with a very militant and traditional population and their power in the Reactionary Bloc is significant. However they still have a number of issues over their treatment of colonial subjects. China used to be a Reactionary ally until the Russian Revolution. The southern portion of China was saved when the Russians overran the area and built the Chinese Republic. Imperial China is now a modernising state with a corpulent bureaucracy, an almost independent government, a lot of British and Japanese military bases and a growing industrial base that is worrying economists in London and Tokyo. The Ottomans are hanging on by a thread. The Russians battered them during the Russian Civil War and they still suffer from Arab nationalists and revolutionary terrorists. Their oil has helped them industrialise and made them an incredibly valuable ally to the Reactionary Bloc which warrants the large number of bases located in Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles.

The Revolutionary Bloc is an even more rickety alliance than the Reactionary Bloc. Despite their immense gains since the 70s the Revolutionaries have since become even more divided and unstable. By 2013 France, the former undisputed leader of the world's republican movements, has become a failing giant. The Revolutionary Bloc is now divided into three spheres based around the most powerful republican superstates. Though republican the degree of actual liberty is often low or even non-existent but certain rights are commonly assured assured.

France used to be the leader of the whole Bloc back when it was confined to Europe and those parts of the world that were their colonies. They invested in the fledgling United States, seeing some kind of kindred in the republican and anti-British nation but they now regret these decisions since their control over the Bloc has slipped quite a bit. They do still have control of most of their old puppets but most of their control is now mostly confined to their colonial (they don't call them that) empire. France has put a lot of effort into turning their colonies into federal departments with a Francified population. Their investments have been successful in several areas but this has had side-effects on the rest of the French Republic. Increasingly the demographic centre of Greater France has actually shifted away from Europe and down into Africa. The major problem of these developments is the fact that these regions are still solidly Muslim despite the best efforts of the French to convert them to their more atheist/secular attitudes. Religion is not forbidden but is regarded suspiciously by most French people these days. The purging of much of the old Papacy and their exile in Austria has hurt Catholicism in France due tot heir connotations of supporting the Reactionaries. Greater France itself is rather homogeneous now but there are still significant populations of Dutch, Catalans and Italians.

The Eurasian Republican Union, colloquially known as Russia, is the most radical and belligerent member of the Revolutionary Bloc. Russia collapsed due to corruption, incompetence and a growing disparity between the wealthy and the poor. It was frightening how quickly the revolutionaries took control of the empire and their puppets before they expanded into surrounding areas. Revolutions in neighbouring nations such as Persia and China were overwhelmed by the more organised and fanatical Russians and simply became one massive movement sprawling across the Eurasian continent. Today Russia is a autocracy reminiscent of the USSR, though thankfully not the one under Stalin's rule. Though superficially republican the Russian government is an oligarchy run by various ideologues and bureaucrats that took power after the Tsarist government fell. They are rather extremist and radical and have spent decades indoctrinating the population. The state is almost worshipped by many people and though there are no democratic elections (its similar to a one party state) the people are taught to oppose the tyranny of monarchism, aristocracy and hereditary peerage, even personal property is a sin of the Reactionaries. Officially Russia is also post-racial and does not care which portion of the population it is abusing in their goal of spreading the revolution to all nations and toppling the Reactionaries. They have a tight control over their puppet regimes and support terrorist groups in China, Japan, India and elsewhere. They beat France economically through sheer volume but the limits of their current economic strategy are being reached, there is only so long you can run on a wartime economy in peacetime.

America is only a nominal member by this point, sticking close due to ties with the French and opposition to the Reactionaries. The United States received a lot of investment and support from the French which was actually detrimental at first as the British moved to curtail as much of their expansion as possible. However it was French support that helped end their eventual civil war over slavery, government control and foreign policy so quickly. The US today is a liberal entity if far more militant and conservative than anything close to OTL. They are extremely capitalistic which has put them at odds with the moderately socialist French and the very socialist Russians at times. Russia's blatant autocratic and socialist practices upset a lot of Americans and there is talk of either expelling them from the Revolutionary Bloc or leaving it themselves. They are also the third sphere of the Revolutionary Bloc, responsible for the success of the revolutions in much of the former Spanish America. The Latin American republics are now all subordinates of the United States and their governments enthusiastically jump whenever Washington says frog.

Technology is about a decade or so ahead of OTL. Computer technology is a bit less advanced, at least in terms of accessibility and there is no worldwide internet. A system of regional networks do exist across the great powers of both Blocs but they are fully enclosed and completely separate from one another. They are also watched and monitored by the governments of their respective nations and censorship is common as well. The world is currently going through an energy crisis that the great powers are struggling to deal with. An increasing number of nuclear power plants have been built across the planet in order to deal with the issue of energy demands. Climate change and pollution are more developed and various concerns have been created to address it. The Reactionary powers are more aware whether it is because of a genuine desire to preserve nature or because the upper class want to protect their more verdant properties. This has soured the idea of combating climate change for many people in the Revolutionary Bloc because of its association with monarchists. A lot of technology is now interconnected through complex and closely guarded computer networks designed to coordinate defence and social policy. Nuclear arsenals are more prolific, especially since Russia fell to revolution and then militarised. Human presence in space is also more advanced than OTL as well which has seen them place copious amounts of weaponry up in orbit as well.
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Wisky-08 Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2014
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