Things Went Wrong:
This is a distinctly ASB world based on a map game I participated in on that ultimately got out of hand but did inspire me to do this map.
Changes in the late Dark Ages and Early Middle Ages (that are not really elaborated on) led to a large number of changes that defined the world and led to the modern world. Much like OTL the states of Europe discovered the Americas and established great colonial empire but the list of players was very different from OTL. As time went by the empires swallowed up as much of the world as they could before running out of space and as new powers came to the fore to challenge the old ones eventually led to a number of World Wars. The world settled down into a 'Cold War' between two opposing power blocks that emerged from the 3rd Global War along with a number of powerful but otherwise neutral states unconcerned with the war.
One of the two opposing powers is the Three Star Alliance named for the three major powers that formed the Alliance. The Alliance follows a political ideology that could be called 'fascism'. The German Republic was born from the 3rd Global War. Formerly the Holy Roman and then German Empire the Republic underwent a revolution after the dying French Collectivist Republic launched a large number of primitive nuclear ballistic missiles at the advancing Germans that led to the death of millions who lived in the cities hit by the warheads. The peoples revolution overthrew the Kaiser (who had been away from the capital when it was hit) and established a Republican government. However due to the militant nature of the empire and their general lack of democratic history led to an authoritarian government coming to power. The German Republic then established what is now known as the German System as an Alliance within the Three Star Alliance made up of the nations and puppets subordinate to Germany. Currently Germany is beginning to face an economic crisis, their GNP is dropping and as China's rises the National Committee has been forced to make several reforms in order to make ends meet. Meanwhile they have dropped several of their African dependencies which they see as money aid 'black holes'.
The French Republic is a German puppet within the system. However due to its size and strength as well as to placate the nationalists it was given a greater number of privileges. However with the most recent threats to the German established government German troops have begun to mass once again to enter and occupy France.
The Byzantine Empire is a nation that has gone through several incarnations and has waxed and waned many times in history. Before the 3rd Global War they had managed to push the Turks out of Europe and take control of the Balkans. With the utter defeat of the Turks and the French the Byzantines have managed to regain control of much of North Africa. North Africa has for a long time swung back and forth between Byzantine and Muslim control and has a a far higher percentage of Christians (mostly Orthodox or Coptic) and a far more mixed culture than OTL.During a period of rule over North Africa Byzantium even managed to found a colony in the Andallides long enough for it to dissuade any other colonists from taking it but it eventually rebelled and with foreign aid became independent. Despite the Emperor theoretically retaining his absolute power the ruling Party makes most decisions and runs the bureaucracy of the Empire. They have done a fantastic job of removing the Empire's Muslims and making good Orthodox Christians of those that remain.
The Autocracy of China is a recent player on the world stage but has quickly made its presence felt. China has undergone a turbulent history. It has spent a long time under Japanese control and spent over a century fighting a guerilla war to remove the Japanese. They succeeded in pushing the Japanese out during the 2nd Global War and began an extensive period of modernisation under a nationalistic government. They joined the Three Star Alliance after the 3rd Global War when Japan managed to retake North Viet and Canton from the Autocracy. China is the junior member of the Alliance but has rapidly begun to eclipse Germany and Byzantium in economic strength and may come to run the Alliance in a few decades.
A junior member of the Alliance is Spain. Spain is not a nation sympathetic to their views and has never been seen as a close ally to any of the three Stars (in-fact they hate the Byzantines) but has been forced to make arrangements with someone in the current political climate. Spain did not get a giant American empire like OTL and has been a more insignificant nation in history. They did manage to gain some colonies across the world including in India but have lost most of them with the exception of portions of Africa. Their struggle to keep these colonies as well as their proximity to the German and Byzantine African territories is what led to the Spanish decision to join the Alliance.
Opposing the Alliance is another allied group called the New Orleans Pact founded by several nations who dislike or are concerned with the growth of the Alliance member nations. The Pact is a conservative, capitalist, monarchical alliance which they use to rally the member nations of the Pact together.
The leader of the Pact is the Empire of France in Andillidia. The Empire is built upon the most successful of France's colonies founded several centuries before after the French conquest of the native nations already existing as well as the defeat of the other European colonies that were set up. After the 1st Global War when economic collapse led to a Collectivist revolution the monarchy and the old government fled to the more conservative colonies where the plantation owning aristocratic ruling class were happy to protect their Emperor. The Empire is an oligarchic society where tradition, bureaucracy and the influence of the ruling families (noble and commoner alike) keep the Emperor from using his theoretically absolute power. French Andillidia has suffered several Collectivist uprisings especially in the Southern regions and the remnants of the most recent uprising continue to hold out. Despite abolishing slavery in their Empire the black minority is still discriminated against as is the native Amerindian population which have suffered far more under the French than OTL.
The Empire of Japan modernised earlier in ATL and managed to colonise North Eastern Asia before China or Russia arrived. They at one point also owned China as well but after a long and brutal guerilla war pulled out after stealing anything of value and then working to obliterate the infrastructure. They then went on to retake some portion of their former colony during the 2nd Global War. Japan now works hard to culturally assimilate their remaining colonies in order to reinforce the strength of their empire and has implemented several re-education and eugenics projects to see that through. Japan has ruled over Korea for centuries but has ultimately failed to properly assimilate the small peninsula (like Ireland with Britain OTL) they have begun to see renewed resistance from the Koreans and the ruling clans have been persuading the Emperor to implement more drastic and permanent measures as the terrorist attacks spread to the Home Islands.
The most recent addition to the Pact is the 3rd Empire of Eire. The 1st Empire was formed in the middle Ages where a period of Danish rule united the Eirish people together. The 2nd was during their period of colonial expansion shortly after their successful secession from the British. The 3rd was a result of their 2nd successful secession from Britain along with their most heavily settled colonies. Eire is still a weak player on the world stage and to avoid being reabsorbed they allied with the Pact. They are seen as the most democratic of the Pact member nations (why they didn’t join the Alliance) and the Emperor is strictly a figurehead. Eirish Andillidia is a largely Eirish state with a sprinkling of Scandinavian culture added that historically was larger but has lost land to the British in the West.
There is another group of nations that are becoming significant, the Islamic States (they’re not allied the rest of the world just lumps them together). Islam in this TL has had a far harder history and is not as widespread as OTL. However as the colonial age in the Middle East and India ended a new set of Islamic states rose and are now becoming significant world players themselves.
The Empire of Industan is the largest in terms of territory and is now beginning to make a major impact on the global economy as their industry expands. Industan was formed from an Afghan state that avoided direct colonialism but was instead able to become a protectorate and developed. India spent the colonial era divided between Spain, France and Portugal which actually did help create a sense of national identity but also allowed more coherent states to emerge on the subcontinent. After the 3rd Global War the European powers were evicted from their colonies by popular uprising. Industan was able to exploit this by annexing much of the subcontinent and through 'carrot and stick' diplomacy was able to tie the other Indian states together under their economic and political control. Industan is a secular nation which has made it easier to smooth relations between the Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs but it still suffers from some religious tension. The current Raj-En-Shah is a diplomatic man and has been working to strength Industan's place on the world stage through economic ties with the other ruling power. However Industan is avoiding making any promises to either of the two power blocs in terms of allegiance.
Iran was more successful in this TL. Iran avoided colonisation and even profited from the collapse of the Turkish Empire during the 2nd and 3rd Global Wars. Expanding into Mesopotamia and Azerbaijan. Due to a weaker Russia, Iran does have a significant empire in Central Asia and remains so far the strongest Islamic State economically due to the large oil reserves they possess. The empire is democratic after the 1st Global War and the Shah is now largely a figurehead. Iran originally had a plan to puppetize Western India once the Europeans pulled out but the rapid rise of Industan ended that plan and now Iran is threatened by the rapid industrialisation of the nation and the threat they possess to their economic and political strength.
The Caliphate of Mecca also avoided direct colonisation by Europeans but was at one point a French and then a British protectorate before they gained full independence. The Caliphate has had a terrible recent history as the British took the oil territories when they pulled out. The most recent Caliph has made some terrible political and economic decisions and a series of rebellions have begun that are becoming more and more powerful and more of a threat to the Caliphate as time goes by. The Caliph's appeals to other nations for help have begun to raise tensions between the two power blocs who want the nation on their side.
Britain is a nation who’s fortunes like Byzantium's have waxed and waned. Centred around England they have long been the dominant and for some time been the only power on the British Isles until the recent secession of Ireland. Like OTL Britain was a seafaring nation however during the colonial period their empire was centred more on territorial expansion and due to an earlier unification than OTL through conquest did a better job of conquering and assimilating the natives or replacing them with settlers. Due to frequently being the enemy of the dominant continental powers of Europe Britain still retains its extensive empire overseas but in order to maintain control in an increasingly turbulent political climate it has instead used a system of protectorates and vassal states as opposed to OTL style colonisation. It has also industrialised its colonies far more than the empire in OTL and South East Asia and Africa are far wealthier than OTL. Britain is a active constitutional monarchy with the ruling Emperor still retaining some powers in government. However power is now spread out between the Parliament, subordinate crowns and the rulers of their protectorates which makes Imperial politics very complex but the ultimate powers of the constitution have seen the empire move in the same direction on most issues as has fear of their enemies in an increasingly divided world.
This TL lacked a Mongol Empire but a Turkish Khanate for a time managed to build an empire from the Caspian to the Pacific but its impact was not as significant. This did however lead to the unification of the Russian states into a single nation. However the state was centred around Republican Novgorod rather than Tsarist Muscovy and Russia developed into a far different state. Despite this Russia became an empire and did expand into Asia however it was not as successful and failed to reach Siberia before the Japanese did and so was not as significant a player on the world stage as OTL. Russia is a monarchy but is an elected one that does have constraints on the power of the Tsar. The ruling classes are dominated by a combination of the noble houses and the greatest mercantile houses who work to keep the lower classes from getting too much power. The church is not a significant factor in Russian politics but there has been a resurgence in fundamentalism in response to the rise of the Islamic States. Russia has expanded back into Byelorussia and Ukraine after the collapse of the Lithuanian Empire in the 2nd Global War but they are not fond of Germany or China. They do have good relationships with Byzantium however.
This world does have a pariah state in the Holy Republic of New Equatoria. Originally an Eirish colony and then taken by the British, New Equatoria was an area that got a large cosmopolitan population through immigration and for a time only gained settlers through penal colonisation and forced resettlement. This eventually led to the Collectivist revolution that overthrew the British governor and established independence from the Empire. They remained out of global politics which was what saved them. After the reveal of the atrocities committed by the French Collectivist Republic after the 3rd Global War Collectivism was completely discredited as a legitimate form of governance and the last remaining states and groups that had allied with France during the war were wiped out. However neutral New Equatoria weathered the storm and remained independent after quickly stealing the plans for nuclear weapons from French refugee scientists. Despite the discrediting Collectivism is still popular amongst some groups in French Andillidia but after their most recent defeat all but the most fanatical are beginning to abandon the cause.
This is a world more advanced than ours that does have a larger area of high development but it also has problems. Climate change is becoming a major issue as is pollution and major efforts are being made by governments to reverse the effects. Endorsement by the monarchs of many nations has painted the movement with a certain aristocratic, high born flair that the movements opponents are attempting to use to their advantage. Technology is further than ours with advanced prosthetics, a moon base, a Mars landing, advanced GM crops, mass solar power in many states and a near complete cold fusion reactor in Germany. However the world's fingers are still on the missile launch buttons and as Arabia falls into chaos the world watches and waits to see who will make the first move and who will ultimately push the launch button first.