Inheritance Of The Draka:
Inspired by this thread from AH.com [link]
. This time-line follows the S.M Stirling story for the most part but there will be a few changes such as the survival of British North America, removing most of South America's sudden and inexplicable unification and some political changes in Europe in response to the rapid conquest and colonisation of Africa by the UK/Draka. Finally the idiot ball will eventually be dropped by the rest of the world in time for the First World War.
The Draka do not possess their near miraculous logistical capabilities and end up discovering what a horrific meat-grinder mechanised attrition warfare turns out to be especially since they have never experienced anything like it. Whilst adept at combating primitive guerilla tactics, they had never fought modernised opponents. To make things worse, amongst the contraband times that are collected and then 'lost' by the janissaries during the war were Communist texts. As the First World War dragged on these texts were copied and spread through the underground markets of the Domination. However the Draka did manage to keep order but their advance was halted by the need to disengage and execute so many dissenting units. The Draka soon find their attention becoming divided between the war and the proliferation of Communist texts. As things become even more difficult tensions between the opposing factions in the Senate at Archona rise and begin to boil.
As the war reaches its final year the Draka launch their largest offensive as a counter-offensive against the Allied in North Africa. Unfortunately attacks on their logistics make the offensive a disaster and they are repulsed by the Allies. This final defeat leads to mass uprisings across much of the Domination. What truly shocked the Domination is that during this time, the Allies did the unthinkable and supported several of the revolutionary groups. In their eyes anything would be better than the Domination of Draka. Whilst it was the more moderate socialist factions that were supported by the Allies, the revolutionaries quickly turned more and more radical in the face of brutal Draka resistance. The fact that Allied forces also often sold the equipment to the highest bidder (which was often the radicals) instead of the intended beneficiaries also helped arm these groups. In 1923 the revolution storms Archona and takes the city after a month of truly vicious urban warfare. The Archon is captured and executed and their body put on display by the revolutionaries. Drakan resistance continues for a few more months before lack of supplies and sufficient numbers whittles them down. The Allies do take the opportunity to grab whatever territory in Africa they can keep a hold of and the world finally settles down after 7 years of vicious warfare and carnage.
History happens and it is now the year 2013.
The Peoples Republic of Africa has recovered from the savagery of the African Revolution and successfully rebuilt the infrastructure and expanded on it. The recovery did cost the lives of several million more people as the inept and inexperienced government worked their labourers to death to reach construction quotas and deadlines for their redevelopment plans but it helped make Africa a true world power again. They have lost a lot of territory that was taken by the Domination during the late 19th and early 20th Centuries but the older and more developed Draka territories have been successfully held and stabilised by the new government. Africa turned inwards shortly after the revolution won and the Premier Citizen organized the reconstruction period. They remained neutral throughout the Second World War (not being directly attacked may have helped that) and after the war were able to use their control of Africa's vast wealth to become a great power once again. Africa is a repressive totalitarian police state with a vast state surveillance network and an ideologically driven system of education and indoctrination. Like the Draka before them the Africans are both Atheist (for the most part) and racist. The abuse they suffered from the Draka and the fact that the Europeans used the revolution as an excuse to grab land instilled a a sense of distrust and even outright contempt and hatred towards white Europeans. Life for the average African citizen is hard and monotonous with much of their time given over to hard work and drudgery. However the state does consistently provide them food, shelter and some entertainment luxuries for (nearly) all their citizens. There is a vast and powerful secret police force that monitors every citizen for signs of treacherous or subversive activity. The Africans have enthusiastically imported or stolen digital technologies and electronics that allow them an even greater ability to monitor their population. Street surveillance systems have turned Africa's cities into paranoid panopticons with cameras and radio bugs everywhere possible. Religion is tolerated to an extent so long as it does not impede or contradict sate policy and the citizen's ability to perform his duty to the state.
Since WWII, the Africans have gone on to establish a socialist alliance of non-European states. Africa's biggest and most powerful partner is the Chinese Socialist Federation. Much of China fell to Japan in the 20th Century and spent decades fighting a guerilla war to gain independence. The war was a gradual battle of attrition that was fought by numerous disparate socialist groups across China against Japanese occupation. After the war the different groups were able to unite their various holdings into a loose socialist federation. China today is still a federal structure but does have a clear system of national policies that have helped the nation develop. Whilst avoiding the leadership of Mao (who died in the war) the government still managed to kill several million people during their period of industrialisation after the war. The government has made use of what national wide power they do have available to steer the nation in a direction they approve of. China is still divided between the three major federal regions (used to be seven but they were whittled down over time) and each region has considerable cultural autonomy and some ideological autonomy. However they are all socialist and like Africa are all very anti-European and anti-Japanese. The legacy of the Taiping government and the damage of the war have kept China far behind OTL and the federal structure has not helped their case. However they are rapidly catching up and exploiting their vast labour and resource base to modernise and expand their economy.
The British Raj experienced invasion by the Japanese and was militarised by the empire in order to combat them. They successfully defeated the invasion attempt but did leave thousands of well armed Indians who realized they did not necessarily need the British to protect them. The Raj collapsed into violence as the Indians rose up and overthrew most of the Raj. Much of the former Raj is now united under the Peoples Republic of Bharat. This government has held itself together largely through anti-capitalist and anti-European propaganda and doctrine. Bharat is not as federalise as China and uses stronger government control in order to keep order and control. African support has helped Bharat industrialise and modernise over the centuries which brought Bharat into their sphere of influence. Society is a complex mixture of numerous different cultural features due to an earlier attempt by the government to create a pan-national culture. Citizens of Bharat are indoctrinated to state ideology from a very early age and are subjected to propaganda on a regular basis in order to perform the duties that the state gives them. Bharat is Atheist like their major allies (at least on paper) but does in fact suffer from a number of religious based terrorist movements that continue to perform numerous attacks on government instillations, officials and celebrations.
The Socialist Association is a far more limited group than most other Internationals. It is a strictly anti-European group but has still managed to rope some other nations besides the big three into it. The SA has made major headway in South America in convincing several of the nations into joining their camp. Whilst several of their new allies are not very socialist it has been a major blow to the United States who have traditionally seen the continent as a part of their camp.
Much like the original story, after the end of the Second World War the USA pulled its allies together into a political union known as the Alliance for Democracy. The AfD is a democratic and capitalist organization that has now integrated the economies and military of its constituent member states into a cohesive entity. The leader of the group is the United States of America who began their days as a true global power shortly after the end of the Second World War. The African Revolution and the war in Europe woke America up to the true danger that abandoning the Old World presented to global stability. The USA is the land of scale. Everything in the US is built large and strong, massive high-rises, massive road networks, massive suburban complexes and massive cities. It is rather less affluent than our US due to the resources of Africa being in the hands of a very hostile enemy. It is also somewhat more humble and cynical having been merely one of many nations that won the World Wars and having not experienced hyper-power status. US society is still liberal and very progressive but also far more militant due to the continued state of Cold War. The political right are also more racist than OTL due to the anti-European hostility of the SA and there is unfortunately a greater distrust of most darker skinned races. The USA became a bilingual and majority Catholic state a long time ago after the consequences of their Latin territories took effect over the nation. Manifest Destiny is no longer applicable but the US is more expansionist and imperialistic in general than OTL.
The British Confederation is America's partner in the AfD. Britain tried to properly federalise its empire after the war but the mishandling of the Raj saw them lose most of India. The Confederation is a very loose organization that is united by their integrated politics, generally consistent political systems and united military force. After WWII Britain found itself securing the majority of African territory outside of PRA control. They have maintained control over this and successfully integrated them into the empire. The Draka forcing their slave population to learn English helped communication. The Draka forcibly relocating and exterminating much of the population beforehand did inadvertently made it less difficult to integrate them as well. The Confederation has successfully modernised all of its constituents by now thanks largely to US aid and is working to create a proper Imperial identity for itself. The British do have a cultural sense of shame due to essentially (in their eyes) creating the Draka.
France did have a short period of socialist rule in the 30s/40s and a junta through much of the 60s but hey have finally transitioned safely back to a democratic kingdom. France is still ruled by the Bourbons (3rd times the charm) under a clear constitution and with a strong Senate. However the years under totalitarianism still show and they have yet to grow beyond moderate prosperity. However they do have afar higher birthrate than OTL. The leader of the European Community is in fact Germany. The Germans did a slightly better job in the 20th Century and when they lost in WWI they did so in a stronger position and negotiated for more territory to remain theirs. After WWII and the defeat of the Draka they were in the strongest position on the continent and exploited it. Germany is a proper constitutional monarchy with a strong Parliament and a fairly federal structure. Germany is still a fairly militant society but also a more technologically progressive society having never driven off their prospective scientists and artists. Germany performed the first space launch and provided the most technical assistance in the Anglo-American Moon Landing effort. Much of Europe has recovered from the fascist period that characterised much of the continent during the 50s and 60s and now every nation is democratic and ranges from moderate to high prosperity.
Russia is a recent and peripheral member of the Alliance and the most backward by far. Due to a different political make-up by WWI, Russia avoided Communism and even retained their monarchy however they did descend into a right-wing military regime after their losses in the war. In WWII they successfully held out against Japan and eventually defeated the fascists in Poland, Romania and Hungary which kept them in the Allies good books. Despite some issues with Germany they have done a good job adapting to the AfD's standards and have dialled the old police state down exponentially. Russia is a land of large Cathedrals, traditional palace-esque buildings and extravagant art and architecture. The military are still a strong force in government but now the Duma have gained enough weight to significantly throw it around. The Tsar is still on his throne but his power is now curtailed to that of a figurehead.
The only power not associated with either faction is the still large and authoritarian Japanese Empire. Like OTL Japan modernised and had its period of expansionism. A successful Taiping Empire actually made their efforts to conquer China even easier and soon their Co-Prosperity Sphere spanned much of the West Pacific region. Their empire has declined since then and they did suffer from rebellions and extensive guerilla war in many of their colonies but they have survived. Japan itself is a prosperous and overcrowded nation that has managed to adapt to the requirements of the 20th and 21st centuries. Due to continued traditional values, their penchant for large families and pro-natal taxes and laws have left Japan with a population of nearly 200,000,000. They have also done a decent job of keeping up with technological advances that has helped keep their economy in decent shape. Since the loss of most of China, the Japanese have reformed their Co-Prosperity Sphere into a more integrated union and have worked to keep order over the territory. Propaganda concerning the atrocities of the SA has helped keep the states within the Co-Prosperity Sphere but there are still protests and even the occasional uprising against Japanese installations and garrisons. Japan is not part of the AfD but does have extensive trade treaties wit the organization and has co-operated in several political situations in the Pacific. There some members of the now more substantial and powerful Diet who are considering joining the AfD itself.
The AfD is actually closer to a federal superstate than a political organization but the federal power is still weak and there are very few Alliance wide organizations outside of the military. As the states of the SA continue to make advances (more of a three steps forward two steps back process) the AfD responds by strengthening its ties and expanding the Alliance's supranational institutions. If things progress the way they are then a true pan-national superstate may emerge.
Technology is far in advance of OTL due a greater level of development for the globe in general. Many believe that the advent of industrialisation is what led to the world's coalescence into larger and larger states. Advanced medical technology, GM food crops, artificial foods and more traditional societies have led to a population of around 10 billion. Pollution and climate change are more advanced and more an issue than OTL and many government organizations are working to combat this. The more environmentally conscious AfD and Japan are putting in the most effort which has actually put off many of the states in the SA who continue to grow economically in the most rapid and often dirty ways possible. Space is the main theatre of competition for the world's superstates as they rush to establish bases on the Moon and Mars, set up mining colonies on asteroids and build bigger and better spacecraft. Three massive orbital elevators now rise into the sky from the Equator. They are in turn covered in photovoltaic panels that provide cheap renewable power to the world. The joint superstate construction of these massive pillars has helped smooth relations and the AfD hope that this will help turn the SA towards cleaner fuel sources. Despite their advancement in technology the SA still clearly lag behind the AfD. The lack of historical talent and their totalitarian governments have hindered their development and many of their great achievements have come from stealing AfD technology. The global move into space has also brought the conflict with it. Military installations, kill sats and the possibility of re-purposing supply rail guns as weapons have raised tensions even further as the powers increase the mass of weapons in orbit.