Narrative Thirteen: All In A Day's Work, The Observer & A Widow's Musings
  • All In A Day's Work


    Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin with his wife and daughter​

    Afternoon, 19th of February, 1938
    Downing Street 10, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

    Stanley glared with hatred in his heart at the massive pile of paperwork threatening to break his desk beneath its weight. Petitions, white papers, letters, memoranda, communiqués and sundry other documents fought for precedence after they overflowed his otherwise carefully managed trays.

    How on earth had Winston managed to hold it all together during the last couple years?

    Stanley gave it some thought to the question before realizing that he would not have been sitting where he was if Winston had been able to hold it together.

    Fighting the claws of procrastination, he finally set to reading the document placed atop the pile of horrors, trusting his aides to at least have ensured that the most important matters had been placed there.

    The first paper to make its way into his hands was a summary of current legislation tabled for debate in Parliament. A proposal for increased naval spending was making its way through the Commons in response to the travesty with the Dominion Fleet while changes to the legal framework around fraud were making being discussed in the Lords - more power to them, now if only they would take of the frauds in Parliament as well.

    A summary of minutes from various committees followed, with a couple pressing letters followed soon after.

    As he gradually began to make a dent in the pile he soon came across a message from the Marquess of Zetland (1) which drew his attention.

    The old India hand was back at it again, once more campaigning for Dominion status for India - a bugbear which Zetland had been pushing ever since the Attlee Commission returned from India.

    Stanley almost binned the letter before a sentence near the end of the letter caught his attention.

    It read: "Young Erskine has a rather intriguing proposal, but I am uncertain if it would even be remotely workable. The Hindoo are, as any who have worked with the subcontinent know, by far the greater source of troubles so working out an arrangement with the Muslims might be the right way forward."

    For a moment Stanley tried to wrack his memory for the contents of the mentioned Erskine proposal before giving it up for a bad job and setting to digging through the mountain of papers before him in hopes of finding it. After almost ten minutes of fruitless search, during which half the mountain of papers ended up spread across his desk and floor, he was left frowning and frustrated.

    Ringing a small bell, he called out to his aide "Oh, John. Could you find me the proposal from that Erskine fellow? Should have come in the last couple weeks. Can't seem to find the blasted thing." (2)

    A muffled reply was followed by the distant sounds of clacking drawers and impatient mutterings before a frazzled junior aide came through the door with a fat stack of papers.

    Stanley accepted the folder with a smile before he set to reading through it, the memory of its contents slowly coming back to him as he went through the abstract.

    The further he read the more intrigued and horrified he became. An hour later he called for the contents of the Attlee Report on India to cross reference, a dozen thoughts competing for prominence as he weighed the need for action against the political costs and feasibility of the proposal.

    Before long he had his aides calling his advisors, the Secretary for India and various others to a dinner meeting in hopes of getting a feel for what everyone thought.

    It was only at this point that he was able to turn back to the increasingly disordered stack of paperwork which had set off this whole tangent, rushing through the remaining urgent documents in an hour - barely stopping to read them before signing off on them - before a knock at the door announced that his guests had arrived.

    Would the proposal be enough? Could it solve the problems they faced? There were so many unknowns that Stanley could barely keep track of the most obvious ones as it stood. Regardless something had to be done, or India might well be lost in its entirety.

    (1) This is Lawrence Dundas, 2nd Marquess of Zetland - IOTL he served as Secretary for India between 1935 and 1937 after being appointed by Baldwin to the position.

    (2) As should hopefully be obvious, this is a reference to Lord John Erskine's proposal for a Muslim Dominion.

    The Observer


    Colonel Joseph Stilwell, Military Attaché to Fengtian China​

    10th of August 1938
    American Embassy, Beijing, Fengtian China

    Dear Winn (1),

    I hope this letter finds you and the children in good health and with high spirits.

    My posting seems to be nearing an end now that things have started to settle down between the Japs, so I hope to be back to California sunshine before long. All I need to do is settle the last few reports and prepare things for my replacement before I can join you all at home.

    This is probably the last time I will be in China. I have told you before how much the country has changed since our first stay here all those years ago (2), but I do not think it is truly possible to convey the sheer scope of the transformation which has occurred over the course of the last decade.

    Beijing has been electrified, rail lines run south along the rebuilt Grand Canal to Jiangnan and westward into the interior. The dirt roads and squalor have been replaced by concrete jungles and paved roads. Do you remember that hard-won dirt road I helped build in Shanxi during my first posting? It has now been paved and expanded, helping to tie together the entire region. It is an astonishing transformation which I would not have been able to believe had I not seen it for myself.

    It is not only the constant buildings going up or the sprouting factories across the country, but the very people of China who seem to have been as though transformed. There are foodbanks and soup kitchens in every neighborhood and town, employment agencies and new businesses emerging wherever I go. The people seem… if not happy, at least contented - a far cry from those dark days in the early Twenties when it seemed as though the whole world would descend into darkness.

    Even the state seems to have finally found its footing now that the last embers of the past have been pushed out with that sad-sack Puyi. The ministries do their work, the courts seem to be functioning once more and the military finally, FINALLY, seem to have cleared away most of the bloodsuckers at the top.

    You should see the Chinese recruits for the Dongbei Army (3). I told you all those years ago that the Chinese would make the best soldiers in the world if they were but given the chance, and by golly if that does not seem to be what the Fengtian leaders have done. Their rations have improved manifold, the conscripts have largely been demobilized and the remaining soldiers are as good as any I have seen in my life. They are hardy, dedicated, unflinching and unquestioningly disciplined. When I remember the starved bandit-conscripts who used to form the Beiyang Army it is a struggle to believe they ever came from the same land, much less the same people. I think I might be able to truly hold some pride in the men I have helped to train these last few years.

    However, there is something about it all which just sits wrongly with me. I cannot figure out quite what it is Winn, but there is something ominous about all of it.

    I have always felt that the old man is something of a good egg (4). His handling of the situation at court these last few years has been quite impressive to say the least and you can trust that when he says something will be done it will be done - something which was depressingly uncommon amongst many of the Warlords of the past. However, if I am to be honest, I must say that I find Prime Minister Wu the superior man - He is ever on the move, directing half a dozen military and civilian affairs even during the tensest of meetings while remaining as pleasant a man as I have ever met. In truth, it is the future of China which worries me.

    I think it all started when I observed the Kwangtung Garrison's transit to Chosun at the start of the Jap tousle. I had been meeting with the younger of the two eldest Zhang brothers, a man by the name of Xueming, who has been beating the drum for some sort of confrontation with the Japs for years, and here he stood forced to help them make the troop transfers through Manchuria. He was absolutely furious, to the point some of his aides actually had to draw him away to calm him down several times, and I think he might well have killed the Loyalist representative if he could get away with it.

    As I was set to follow the Loyalists into battle in Chosun, I was about ready to get on the train when I heard Xueming swear that he would make them pay. With hindsight in mind, I cannot help but think that this was the moment he decided to end the Qing, cost what it may.

    The actual fighting in Chosun was incredible to watch, I do not think I have seen anything like the struggle for Busan since the last bloody days of the Great War. The sheer magnitude of the fighting was astonishing and the frustrations of the Korean conscripts as they were forced to fight for their oppressors was hard to handle.

    I cannot help but wonder what will happen as the methods of warfare continue to develop - it seems as though we get ever better at breaking the world around us. At what point do we get so good at this trade that there is not a world to fight for when the drums of war fall silent?

    By the time I returned to China it was as a world changed. The Qing gone, Fengtian ascendant. It was around this time that I first met the elder of the two princes, Zhang Xueliang.

    It was a weird experience. He is so utterly unlike his father that it often astonishes me to this day that they are father and son - a feeling that I have never had with his younger brother Xueming. The new Emperor, Hongzhi as he has named himself, is a man of harsh discipline and forthright leadership. He is a bit rough around the edges and has a short temper, but you know that appeals to me plenty, but he knows when to advance or retreat. The prince by comparison is polished beyond belief, he seems a gentleman at first glance. Someone who knows how to turn up the charm, and damn well knows it.

    I was nearly caught up in his charm myself, and I do have to say that there seem few better women in China than his secondary wife, Lady Soong. But from what I have heard amongst some of my Chinese contacts, there is far more too him than the polished image he presents. His dealings in the south have many suspicious and from the rumors making the rounds in the embassies there seems to be this pall of fear surrounding the prince. In my meetings with him since then, I have come to hold no doubt that he would be more than happy to gut whoever got in his way, with a sigh and an apology, before holding a banquet later in the evening, smiling and laughing as though nothing had happened.

    You can trust anger and rage, you can trust forthrightness or boldness, but I fear that what China will have when Hongzhi departs the throne is a viper like few others. A man who can and will do anything to get his way, with the utter conviction that he is ever in the right and the ability to convince anyone he wants of the same. He is someone who can seem direct, forceful and energetic, drawing others about him like moths to a flame, but should he ever feel the need for it he will do whatever it takes to accomplish his goals. I have little doubt that when the time comes his brothers will have to either bow down or find themselves bowed in turn (5).

    It will be good to leave this place before that happens. I look forward to seeing you and the children soon.

    My love to you,

    Joseph P. Stilwell

    (1) This is a reference to Stilwell's wife Winifred Alison Smith, it is how she was generally addressed in his letters. Note that this is one of the letters in which he is in a contemplative mood, so we aren't going to get the full Vinegar Joe experience - more a soldier contemplating what he has seen over the past several years as he nears the end of his posting.

    (2) Stilwell was one of the real old China Hands IOTL and his career has followed a somewhat similar trajectory ITTL, although the experiences he has gotten in China have been quite different.

    (3) The Dongbei Jun is the Chinese name of the Northeastern Army, thought Stilwell, who likely has spent quite a bit of time in contact with them, would use an admixture of the two names in his private correspondence and speech.

    (4) This is a reference to Zhang Zuolin, who was generally known by various old-something monikers. Given Stilwell's tendency to provide nicknames, I felt this would be the easiest to work with. As for the "good egg" descriptor, that is one used repeatedly by Stilwell in his diaries and letters for people he approved of.

    (5) So some of these sentences describing Xueliang are lifted from OTL Stilwell quotes, primarily those related to Chiang Kai-shek, if with adaptations to better fit Xueliang's personality. Hope that it provides a bit more of a feel for Stilwell's commentary.

    A Widow's Musings


    Alice Roosevelt-Longworth with her husband Nicholas Longworth​

    Late Evening, 14th of December 1938
    Upper Eastside, Manhattan, New York City, United States of America

    Alice tucked her blanket in underneath her reclining body, a cold compress resting across her eyes and forehead after a festive evening with family and friends (1).

    It has been more than half a decade since Nicholas died, and she had yet to find the comfort in the quiet of the night that she used to.

    The last few years had been a bit of a struggle. The dire economic straits of the country had threatened to undermine the fortune her father and husband had both prepared for herself and Paulina while the struggles of widowhood and of a sole parent took up most of her time.

    The fact that those years had been sufficient to get that lummox Ted involved in the highest offices of government with Long was as much proof as anything of how mad the world had become (2). Ultimately she had sought to supplement her income with tobacco advertisements and an autobiography about life in the White House under Pappa.

    She had been writing another book as of late, trying to put into words what the reckless days of the Woods Presidency had been like, Anastasia running riot across Manhattan, Prohibition only recently taken up, the war in Siberia seeing the return of ever more coffins and the economy shaken with the aftermath of the Great War (3).

    She was still weighing exactly how she should portray the whole affair, particularly in light of events in the Don. Anastasia, while an entertaining pen pal, was finding herself back in the spotlight of late for all the wrong reasons as of late - although she had always seemed a bit like a handle-less blade. With the political situation as it stood, and Long rushing to rewrite the constitution, it was a rather dangerous time to start digging into these sorts of affairs.

    A quiet shuffling beside her announced the presence of her daughter, Paulina, there to bid her a good night. A small smile cross Alice's face as she lifted the compress to meet her daughter's gaze with half-lidded eyes.

    "About ready for bedtime?" She asked, a bit of suppressed mirth in her voice as she regarded the long-haired twelve-year old clad in a heavy night gown, looking half her age.

    A mussed nod was her reply, Paulina clearly near-dead on her feet. The contrast to earlier in the evening was particularly sharp.

    She had been hosting the Kennedy family, having found them pleasant company - particularly the two older boys, Joe and Jack (3). Paulina had trailed after Joe like some lost doe throughout the entire evening, watching him utterly enraptured, with Joe playing the gallant and answering any and every question she had about life at Harvard.

    Watching little Paulina goad the decade-older Kennedy boy into pontificating on his lessons with Harold Laski, trying to explain the complexities of modern economics he hadn't quite grasped himself to the adoring twelve-year old, had been an exercise in suppressed hilarity which she had enjoyed alongside Joe Senior and Rose.

    In general the entire family were pleasant company, and the fact that the elder Kennedy was so willing to listen to her advice did not hurt either. If only her brother were as accommodating. The arrogance Teddy had displayed at their last meeting had soured their relationship considerably - Alice struggling to comprehend how the idiot ever thought he would succeed in pushing Long aside now that he had handed their father's political machine to him on a platter.

    The President was a fascinating man, one her brother was utterly unsuited to beating in a political struggle. In some ways, the President reminded her a bit of her own father - the disregard for the traditional order, his heartfelt urge to propel the United States to unheard glories, his utterly unfathomable way with people. However, while there was much to like, there was even more cause for worry and wariness. The President's political maneuverings in dealing with the South, while commendable, were being undertaken with a reckless abandon which might prove costly for everyone involved, and his tendency to promote his own friends and supporters, while understandable to some extent, were growing ever more pronounced - nearing the point of impropriety.

    Suppressing a groan, Alice let her dark thoughts scatter as she got to her feet, taking Paulina's hand in her own, yet again marveling at how she was nearly of height with her daughter, as they walked the scant dozen steps to the latter's room.

    Regardless of what might happen in the future, she had a young daughter to put to bed, and she doubted it would be long before she followed.

    (1) So as is hopefully quite clear, we are following Alice Roosevelt-Longworth this time around. We have had an encounter with her in a prior narrative section, but it was nearly two decades before this one, so things have changed quite a bit since then.

    (2) The Ted referred to here is Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Alice's younger brother and the sitting Vice President under Huey Long.

    (3) This is based on Alice's OTL activities during the Great Depression. Despite this it is worth noting that her circumstances are quite different from OTL. She is an even more significant political figure ITTL, with a great degree of influence within the Roosevelt Machine which has become a core section of the Progressive Party, and has more means to make a relatively comfortable life for herself and her daughter.

    (4) IOTL Alice ended up having a quite close relationship with the Kennedy family once they got into power. Things are quite different ITTL since the Kennedys stayed situated in New York to a greater extent and were eventually integrated into the Progressive Party alongside so many other Irish-Americans. IOTL the Democratic affiliations of the Kennedy family were one of the barriers keeping the two parties from interacting, but without that I think there is some plausibility to them quickly getting to know each other and enjoying each other's company.

    End Note:

    And with that we close out this round of narrative updates. Hopefully you guys enjoyed them, they are a bit more quiet and contemplative than some of the others I have done, and I played around a bit with the format with the letter from Stilwell.

    In fact the whole Stilwell as PoV was originally supposed to be a meeting between Xueliang and Xueming, but I was listening to the last chapter of the Stilwell Diaries with my father while we were driving to our summerhouse and I thought this might be an interesting outside perspective on Chinese events.

    Really hope you guys enjoyed this one. I have now finished the first section of Update 40, so there will be an update next Sunday, but as mentioned we are right up against my backlog and these sorts of more general updates are very challenging to write and research because of how far ranging the subject matter can become, so no promises about the timeline of updates thereafter.
    Update Forty (Pt. 1): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • The World At The End Of The 1930s


    A Session of The League of Nations

    Reaction and Counterreaction​

    Politics and Society

    If the 1920s had been defined by reverence at surviving the Great War, a general wish for global peace and prosperity as well as the rise of new and exciting ideological, cultural and societal movements, the 1930s would be characterized by the gradual emergence of conservative and reactionary opposition to these new movements and the dialogue which resulted - both of a positive and negative nature. Perhaps the single most significant development of this period was the coming of age of mass politics and its saturation into every corner of the world. Whether it be the emergent national consciousness and anti-colonial sentiments of British Africa, the spread of socialist and nationalist anti-colonial movements across Asia, the rise of communism as a truly global political force with adherents in every corner of the world or the forceful counterreaction which led to the ascension of integralist mass movements across much of Latin America and Europe. The growing political consciousness of formerly insular tribal peoples in the highlands of Indochina or the increasing agitation for societal change amongst the untouchables of India came hand-in-hand with the spread of ever more autocratic tendencies - from the high-handed and nepotistic President Long in the United States, to the stranglehold on power enjoyed by the Soviet Triumvirate or the illiberal politics of men such as Jacques Arthuys of France and Neptalí Bonifaz Ascázubi of Ecuador (1).

    The period saw the radical transformation of society at a shocking pace, from the Red Terror paving the way for the consolidation of the Imperial People's Shogunate in Japan to the subversion of democracy which saw Monarchy restored in France. These developments were fueled by a number of different factors which together contributed to the incredible transformation which occurred during these years. One important element in the transforming landscape of the decade was the gradual collapse of the much lauded Spirit of Amsterdam which many had hoped would augur in an unheard period of peace and prosperity as an understanding of the sheer scale of horrors war might unleash had seemingly been inculcated into humanity at a foundational level. The ink was barely dry before this belief was proven futile, but for a time hope remained despite both the military and political expansion of Communism during the 1930s and the growing strength of anti-colonial movements around the world. However, with each instance in which this hoped for peace was disproven, more and more people fell into disillusion about the Spirit of Amsterdam. For the political fortunes of the times, this disillusion would be linked to the gradual collapse of the moderate, centrist consensus which had come to dominate particularly European politics in the post-Great War era (1).

    As the center, be it Social Democratic, Liberal or Conservative, gradually found its domination of politics challenged by more radical forces, both internally and externally, a path emerged for Communist, Socialist, Integralist, Ultra-Conservative and National Socialist forces to rise to prominence. Politics during this period grew from the domain of the elite into something which truly engaged large segments of the population, with political affiliations taking on near unheard levels of importance in people's identities, social circles and communities. This was most visibly the case in the German Empire, where political affiliations formed dividing lines across almost all sectors of society, from football clubs and reading circles to trade unions and youth corps, but such features were common across all of Europe and to a lesser extent large parts of the rest of the world. In Spain and many of the countries which drew inspiration from the grand integralist reforms undertaken by King Alfonso it would be the various associations to which individuals were assigned which became the formative bloc upon which identity and affiliations were built, providing not just social and recreational ties but also economic and political connections which proved of immense importance to determining the social standing and potential for upward mobility of any given person (1).

    By contrast, the Soviet Republic's communal villages and neighborhood soviets would become the principal social circle in Communist Russia, providing more of a geographic bond than the class and employment-based Integralist associations. Beyond the confines of Europe, it would be a combination of secretive clubs, organizations and associations - often affiliated to some degree or other with the local independence movement - and traditional societal structures which formed the foundation for people's lives. The tensions between the often western-influenced and modernist independence movements and the traditional institutions which had commonly been twisted or coopted by their colonizers would often come to form a frisson of hostility which weakened and divided colonial societies, regularly seeing the colonizers egging on these divisions to varying degrees in hopes of maintaining control of their ever more unsteady empires. In more settled colonial holdings such as India or Western Africa these traditional institutions held an often astonishingly powerful sway with the result that modernist and reform-minded independence fighters and revolutionaries often found themselves quite directly in conflict with not just the colonial administration but also the traditionalist elements of their respective societies - these sorts of clashes would play out both peacefully or violently, but very rarely did the two sides find any ability to maintain a long-term accord (1).

    In comparison, regions which had experienced recent turmoil - Indochina, Burma, British East Africa to name the most prominent examples - would see much more dynamic and radical movements, with the traditional structures weakened sufficiently for the more modernist elements to press their advantage and secure control of the societal dialogue. However, it is important to note the fact that even within this divide between modernist and traditionalist there was a wide span of divergences and disagreements, with conflicts over ideology, class or proximity to the colonial administration all factors in these divisions. Ultimately, by the end of the 1930s the world had become marked by the formation of large political blocs which began to divide the globe through hegemonic networks of influence and authority, even as surging anti-colonial sentiments threatened to overturn the imperial structures which had come to define the world over the last several centuries (1).

    Religion in Convulsion

    If the 1920s could be considered a time of intense religious turmoil in which the religious status quo was shattered, the 1930s were to prove a time of incredible religious dynamism and innovation - building upon the ashes of the past in a new and more modern configuration. The most obvious and significant religious movement to emerge during this time period was without a doubt the Revolutionary Catholic Church which swept across the globe, partly fueled by trained Italian missionaries and by dissatisfaction with the Papal Church's handling of local religious affairs. The RCC took many forms and made an impact in many different places, but what proved most notable about its development would prove to be not so much a matter of the specific doctrines championed by the Italian branch of the movement, but rather the sheer plurality of ideas and innovations which the RCC permitted and made possible. From the Solidaridad priestly trade union in the Central American Republic, which challenged the powers of the inherited church hierarchy, and the autonomous church established by Father Gregorio Aglipay in the Philippines to the reform-minded Cristeros of Mexico or the influential Flemish Revolutionary Catholic Church which made common cause with the left to overturn the political status quo of the Netherlands - all would find themselves accepted as part of the church. Nevertheless, the free-wheeling nature of the RCC and its often ambiguous doctrinal beliefs would also result in problems for the movement, with many branches of the church lacking much in the way of cohesion with other segments, with the RCC seeming more like a series of affiliated churches, emphasizing Salvationist, Christian Democratic and Social Democratic tendencies, but with an often astonishing degree of latitude in its more detailed practices (2).

    Religious scholars during this period would point towards the idea that without its base in Italy and control of Rome, the RCC would have simply been viewed as one of the numerous different offshoots of the Catholic Church - but due to the fact that the RCC was able to draw legitimacy from its control of holy sites in Italy they were able to differentiate and lift themselves above their competition, presenting what may well have been the greatest actual challenge to the religious hegemony of the Papal Catholic Church since the Reformation. It was this very threat which served to agitate and develop the Papal Catholic Church, leading to the embrace of integralism, the high levels of involvement of the church in the public and private sphere, the Church's political entanglements with the Latin Pact and what pro-Papal writers would come to describe as a cleansing of doctrines and practices in one of the most significant doctrinal shakeups since the Council of Trent with the calling of the Council of Santiago de Compostela late in the decade. All in all, the Papal Catholic Church would go through the 1930s in a state of crisis, the church's hold on power constantly challenged and its following shrinking on all sides as the legitimacy, prestige and authority of the faith came under constant assault. In the United States, the relatively liberal Catholic Church would officially remain adherents of the Papal Church, but in effect ran their show independently of the Papacy, practicing their own creed and following their own practices which took into consideration the preferences of their congregations. Nevertheless, this affiliation of the American Catholic Church to the Papacy would prove of considerable importance once President Long came to power, for amongst his most ardent supporters were large numbers of Catholics of particularly Irish origin who allowed church figures an influence and voice in government councils - the Long Presidency maintaining political ties to the Santiago Papacy and largely eschewing the RCC, which never found much of a following within the United States (2).

    Catholicism was not the only religion to find itself troubled. Protestant Christianity had found itself faced with a general secularization of western society, experienced an aggressive fragmentation of its following through successive waves of Great Awakenings and the splintering of the faith between liberal and conservative factions. Missionaries who had made inroads in the Far East established followings which soon began to integrate and localize the teachings of the faith while state-promoted atheism and state repression in Communist states brought Eastern Orthodox Christians to the West, bringing with them a variety of new practices which surprised and intrigued those hoping to reinvigorate the weakening grip of Protestantism. In general, the last century had been marked by efforts to integrate the religious practices and ideas of Protestantism with the ideological developments of the period - from the evolution of Liberal Christianity in Germany and Pentecostalism in the United States to the counter-reaction of Christian Fundamentalism and Neo-Orthodoxy, this period was dominated by a bitter struggle for adherents wherever they might emerge. The shockwaves which went through the Catholic Church in the 1920s and the rise of the Revolutionary Catholic Church in the 1930s would have an immense impact upon Protestantism as a whole as well, with conservatives finding many of their worst fears of liberalism and modernity proven true by the spread of heterogenous practices by the RCC, with conservative Protestants soon linking the RCC to their Protestant counterparts - smearing them as little better than crypto-socialists and fraudsters out to turn their flock towards evil. As the decade neared its end, this conflict only seemed to be heating up, as religious camps impacted political affiliations and political conflicts impacted the spread of both secularism and religiosity (3).

    While nowhere near the cataclysmic overturning of the status quo which the breaking of the Catholic Church represented, Islam would find itself entering a period of immense dynamism, change and development as well during these years. With the Caliph in Istanbul pushing the Islamic Modernist movement forward wholeheartedly, it did not take long before immense changes swept through the Ottoman Empire before following the religious authority of the Caliphate beyond the borders of the Empire. In a growing synthesis of the vast and complicated modernist movement, the Caliph set out a line for Sunni Islam which would see it accept new influences in an effort to adapt to the changing world around them. With the Salafists, and other fundamentalist schools of Islam, undermined by the total defeat of the House of Saud and the growing prestige of Caliph Abdulmejid II Osmanli, it did not take long before forward thinking and influential Sunni voices across the globe reacted to the Caliph's urgings, seeking to take up his call for reform. Nevertheless, traditionalists and conservatives remained a powerful force within Sunni Islam and while they would struggle to challenge the Caliph's authority and prestige, they would nevertheless present a constant challenge which slowed and disjointed the modernist reforms sought by the Caliph. Nevertheless, Sunni Islam would find itself healthy and dynamic to a degree not seen in centuries by the end of the 1930s, fueled by the rising fortunes of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliph himself. When contrasted with the developments occurring within Sunni Islam, the deterioration of Shia Islam was all the more stark (4).

    As a faith centered largely out of Persia, the Shiites had seen a considerable turning of the fates as their gamble to support the Pessian Persian regime left the upper layers of the Ulama suspect, while the subsequent supremacy of the Socialist Republic in the struggle for Iran had turned that support of Pessian into a black mark in the eyes of many Socialist leaders. While figures such as Marja Isfahani who had gained some credit by speaking out against the Pessian regime were able to remain an active force in Iranian politics, the religious authorities would find themselves much weakened and looked upon with ill-will by both the political leadership and considerable segments of the population. Atheism and lapses in active religious practice would play a considerable role in the weakening of Shia Islam during this period, and it would not take long before the weakened prestige of the most prominent Shiite country in the world made its impact known upon the rest of the Shia faithful. Modernist influence upon Islam would also prove somewhat troublesome as particularly innovative Islamic thinkers began to merge some of the concepts and ideas of Communism and Socialism with Islamic theology, some drawing inspiration from the Revolutionary Catholic Church and others simply seeing patterns repeat between the Holy Book and the writings of Socialist and Communist ideologues. Perhaps the most prominent of these thinkers was Tan Malaka of the Indonesian PKI but there were plenty of others inspired by the rise of Communism who wished to maintain their Islamic faith including the Iranian intellectual Muhammed Nakhshab, who sought to unite Shia Islam with Communist ideology under the auspices of the Socialist Republic of Iran and the Muslim Indian independence activist Ubaidullah Sindhi, who had spent years after the Great War travelling Russia and the Middle East before settling in Afghanistan alongside Muhammad Iqbal - seeking to convince King Amanullah to present himself as a standard bearer for Muslim India (4).

    One of the religions to experience significant change during the 1930s would prove to be Buddhism under the auspices of the Fengtian Dynasty. With the announcement that the new dynasty would be built upon Buddhist principles, and the Hongzhi Emperor's sponsoring of various Buddhist movements across China during this period, the stage was set for a religious renaissance. One of the most significant early moves of the Fengtian dynasty would prove to be the establishment of the Zhongguo Fojiao Xiehui - the Buddhist Association of China (BAC) - which sought to establish a national council to unite the efforts of the numerous monastic communities spread across China. Prior to this time there had been no real organization to the monastic communities in China, nor even within the same sect, with each monastery autonomous under the authority of their respective abbot. Hoping to bring some unity of purpose to this incredibly diverse web of religious communities, Hongzhi thus established the BAC with delegates from each sect and region united under a standing committee with 4 honorary chairmen - the Hongzhi Emperor, the Panchen Lama, the Grand Lama of Inner Mongolia and Venerable Master Hsu Yun - with the honorable Taixu, who had so inspired the Emperor's reforms, serving as Secretary General of the BAC. While the Buddhist Association of China would refrain from intervening in doctrinal and sect-based matters for the most part, it would provide a platform for debate, cooperation and synthesis while also allowing for the gradual imposition of Taixu's wished-for reforms to the monastic community - with many monasteries finding themselves reduced, rationalized and more closely bound together outside of a few exalted historical institutions which were allowed to continue without much interference. As Chinese Buddhism underwent a massive transformation during these years, it should come as little surprise that the reverberations of these developments spread throughout the Buddhist international community. As the BAC sponsored monastic communities across Southeast Asia and South Asia while engaging with Buddhist communities in Chosun, India, Burma, Siam and Indochina, it did not take long before this invigorated and innovative religious movement made its impact known (5).

    While the major global religious movements were going through massive change and turmoil, the 1930s would see a proliferation of new religious movements either emerge or rise to prominence. Amongst the African diaspora of the Americas, Voodoo practice began to see systematization and organization under the influence of President Jean Price-Mars and the development of various Christian-inspired Afro-American religious movements, primarily based out of Jamaica, with a couple prominent movements focused on worship of Gugsa Welle as the Last African Lion and Martyr of Africa. In Africa itself, African-initiated churches proliferated - the first, the Nazareth Baptist Church in South Africa, soon finding itself accompanied by dozens of imitators, competitors and challengers as they spread northward into the African heartland. In the United States the door-to-door travelling salesman Wallace Fard Muhammad would found the Nation of Islam on the basis of an idiosyncratic synthesis of Christianity and Islam, drawing particularly on Islamic practices such as the use of the Arabic language and prayers five times a day while wedding it to a fierce pride in African identity and culture. At the same time a group originating in the Bible Student Movement under its leader Joseph Franklin Rutherford adopted the name of Jehovah's Witnesses and soon began to grow an ardent following even as they adopted their own translation of the Bible and instituted unorthodox religious practices such as forbidding blood transfusions (6).

    Amongst the Kurds, the idiosyncratic faith promulgated by Ahmed Barzani and his followers, which combined elements of Christianity, Judaism and Islam while proclaiming Ahmed himself God-King of the Kurds, spread rapidly as the Barzani family sought to unite the Kurdish people behind them. In Indochina two major sects emerged, the Dao Cao Dai and the Hoa Hao - the first originally under French auspices, but once it involved itself in the Cochinchina Rising the movement would find itself suppressed and its adherents scattered, while the latter would see the movement's founder Huynh Phu So join the Viet Quoc, arguing forcefully in favor of a dynastic change and drawing heavy inspiration from the Modernist Buddhist movement of Taixu in Fengtian China. Amongst the most intriguing developments during this time period was to be the proliferation of interest in Asatru and old Germanic mythology in Germany and Scandinavia, with elements of the German Freedom Party (DFP) in particular embracing pagan and occult practices - campaigning for the spread of more authentically "Germanic" culture and religion. This period would in general see a continued flourishing of occultism across large swathes of Europe - although far fallen from its pre-Great War heyday. Ultimately, few of these movements would secure a significant following to really present a threat to the ancient established religions, but there was little doubt that the dynamism and energetic nature of the new religious movements were making their presence felt around the world (6).

    Women Take The Stage

    Over the course of the 1920s and the first half of the 1930s, Europe under the influence of Social Democratic, Centrist and Liberal parties would engage significantly with women's rights and women's issues, hoping to secure segments of the new female electorates which had been ascending to importance since the passing of suffrage in many of these countries. Germany was to prove amongst the earliest and most active states in this sphere, with the repeal of anti-abortion legislation in 1930 making abortion legal across the country. This was followed by a series of significant further strides forward in the years that followed as government-funded health clinics and increasingly widespread access to contraception were implemented even as considerable steps forward were made in the area of women's education and employment opportunities - including in traditionally male-dominated white collar professions such as law, medicine and politics with around 10% of seats in the Reichstag being held by women at the start of the decade while the number grew to around 15% by the 1936 elections. While the weakening of traditional family structures, the growing number of single mothers, abortions and the fall in religious adherence during the years of SPD rule all drew considerable protest and condemnation from the conservative political bloc, the 1937 elections which saw the SPD replaced by a conservative coalition under Chancellor Oskar Hergt would not result in any major counterreaction to the developments of the past two decades. Social norms had changed considerably and while a "Return to the Kitchen" movement aimed at ending women's involvement in the job market in favor of the more traditional housewife role did find growing adherence, it would prove insufficient to turning back what had come to be the accepted state of affairs. Anti-abortion activists would find more adherents during this period, but the religious turmoil and divisions which often left members of the Papal Catholic Church or the various Protestant sects at each others' throats all combined to significantly hamper any real effort at politically impactful action (7).

    With Germany at the forefront, if should not come as any real surprise that women's suffrage and abortion decriminalization spread through the rest of the Zollverein and into Scandinavia, although these efforts were faced with considerably more concerted opposition in particularly Poland and Romania where conservative Orthodox Christianity and Papal Catholicism had a significantly stronger grip on wider society. In the Latin Pact countries, conservative policies on abortion and women's employment would predominate, with Spain and Portugal - who had never been forced to rely upon their female population for manpower during the Great War - the most ardent in their suppression of women's rights, including the complete lack of suffrage, ban on abortions and exceedingly limited access to education and employment. By contrast, France would be in a considerably better standing on the issues of suffrage, female employment and education - although the death penalty for abortionists remained in force while mothers of aborted children were held criminally liable despite reform efforts in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The United Kingdom would see considerable public pressure on the issue of abortion with influential campaigners securing the passage of the Infant Life Preservation Act in 1929 which permitted abortion for the sole purpose of preserving the life of the mother, with further efforts during the 1930s being led by the Abortion Law Reform Association to ever greater results - including an all-important court victory in 1938 which saw a precedent set where doctors would not be prosecuted for performing an abortion in cases where pregnancy would cause "mental and physical wreck". While the MacDonald government early in the decade did pass several laws improving women's rights, the successive Churchill and Baldwin governments would put a significant dampener on these developments, efforts at legislative change finding themselves stymied and legal cases seemingly the most effective path forward for campaigners (7).

    In the United States the matter never really rose to the front of American politics as the debate had been rather firmly settled by the start of the century as abortion was written in as a felony in every single state of the nation. While some states included provisions allowing for abortions in very limited circumstances, public campaigning would prove very limited outside of the American Birth Control League which was founded by Margaret Sanger in 1921 - who would lead the push on birth control activism in the 1930s in the hopes of laying the groundwork for abortions some time in the future. The 1930s would see considerable change and debate in the United States as issues of sex-segregated schooling and education as well as college-level education for women rose to the fore. Between 1900 and 1940 college education for women grew nearly 10 times over, with the number of completed bachelor degrees increasing by more than 14 times, while arguments in favor of women's education came to emphasize principles of eugenics and citizenship - aimed at preparing a stronger, more intelligent populace for the future by improving the capabilities of mothers in educating and preparing their children. Female employment also rose considerably during this time, although male-dominated fields would be considerably more resistant to female entry than in either Germany, Britain or France, and public opposition to women's involvement in city life, work and the public sphere more generally would see significant opposition in particularly the Italian American community (8).

    Perhaps the most liberal countries on women's issues would prove to be the Communist states, particularly the Soviet Republic and the Socialist Republic of Iran with criminalization of abortion abolished and even government funding provided in the Soviet Republic and Shogunate. Women featured prominently in both the political and economic spheres of particularly the Soviet Republic, with female Commissars a feature from the earliest years of the Soviet regime. In general, the considerable amount of freedom to participate in education, employment and public society would come to be seen as a major characteristic of Communist life - although this would not prove the case in Chile, the Central American Republic or to a lesser degree the Shogunate, where socially conservative structures remained deeply entrenched despite government efforts. Empress Kikuko of Japan would, however, prove a prominent feminist icon in many ways, repeatedly breaking social norms and constructs in an effort to improve women's rights and making herself one of the most prominent philanthropists in Asia, sponsoring women's education, employment opportunities and social welfare on a mass scale (8).

    Perhaps the most perplexingly complicated country to address when dealing with women's issues would prove to be Fengtian China where a profusion of paradoxical actions would make it difficult to ascertain what direction the country was moving in. Much of the complicated dichotomy which women in China during the 1930s were faced with can be seen in the person of Soong Meiling, who while still a second wife to Zhang Xueliang would make herself something of a female icon in China, promoting women's employment and involvement in public life through the sponsoring of journalists like Yang Gang, female authors such as Bing Xing and Mei Zhi as well as actresses like Chen Bo'er and Jiang Qing. While concubinage remained legal and widespread, major reforms were undertaken to improve the lot of single parents and pregnant women - with abortion legal but frowned upon and women's employment and education publicly supported - with active anti-foot binding campaigns seeing massive successes. At the same time Lady Soong would play a pivotal role in the government-led series of social reforms undertaken following the ascension of the Hongzhi Emperor, aiding in the formulation of key sections related to women and children as well as standing as a major sponsor of the reforms themselves. Seeking to not only rebuild society following the degradation and societal collapse at the dawn of the century but also to set out a clear line for the revitalization of society and purification into a Pure Land, the reforms saw the outlawing of foot-binding, sharp crackdowns on drug abuse, a harsh purge of corrupt officials which saw thousands imprisoned in re-education camps and the imposition of a wide range of lifestyle-laws which sought to impose morality and upstanding behavior in the populace. As a key pillar of the new dynasty's ideological foundations, this policy would see considerable financial support with the legislative changes being supported by major educational campaigns and social pressure campaigns. To the surprise of many, the government efforts would bear some fruit and were generally welcomed, but opposition and non-compliance remained rife, with particularly the anti-corruption campaign nearly stalling out on several occasions before renewed government pressure could restart them (8).

    The Olympics

    The Olympics, as a symbol of international unity and cooperation as well as a peaceful outlet for international tensions, were to amass considerable importance in the decades following the Great War. The Olympics had come off to a relatively good start following the end of the Great War with major successes at the 1920 Amsterdam Olympics before the 1924 Berlin Olympics really injected an added sense of scale to the affairs with participants from more than a dozen new nations, including the only time the short-lived Siberian White Russia participated in the games, and a strong emphasis on the Games' role in perpetuating the Spirit of Amsterdam. The result of these major successes were to greatly raise expectations for the 1928 Los Angeles Olympics - the selection bid for which President Wood had spent a great deal of political capital in the failed hope of shoring up support for his 1924 election campaign. The result was to saddle the isolationist and nativist McAdoo Presidency with the responsibility of hosting one of the most significant international sports events in the world - something which the government would find a considerable inconvenience and largely led to the matter being foisted off upon the Los Angeles City administration and a couple minor federal officials. The result was to be a frightful mismanagement of the entire affair with much comment made about the failure of the Olympic committee to properly prepare facilities and accommodations for the athletes and press attending the event. Additionally, participation fell sharply as the long distances and amateur nature of the participating athletes meant that many decided it would be too expensive and difficult to participate while a series of American sponsors, particularly Coca-Cola, led to what many felt was an unseemly degree of commercialization of the games. Nevertheless, the 1928 games would have a significant shocker as Uruguay dealt a dramatic blow to Argentinian pride by defeating them in the finals of the football tournament (9).

    Nevertheless, the event would be seen as a rather calamitous failure and led to considerable tumult - most significantly the decision on the part of the President of the International Olympic Committee, and a founder of the games, Pierre, Baron de Coubertin to officially retire. As one of the founders of the games and a long-time figure in the Olympic Committee, Coubertin's decision to retire would set in motion a series of complicated and bitter power struggles as Coubertin's chosen successor, the francophone Belgian-Dutch Henri de Baillet-Latour, found himself challenged by the Swiss Godefroy de Blonay who had served as acting-President of the IOC during the Great War and come into conflict with Coubertin for his autocratic leadership of the committee. As Coubertin loyalists lined up behind Baillet-Latour and de Blonay sought to make a push for the presidency by smearing the incumbent with the failures at Los Angeles, the whole situation seemed increasingly chaotic and the future of the games increasingly in question. Ultimately it would be the emergence of a compromise candidate in the form of the highly-regarded German Theodor Lewald which helped to resolve the crisis. Fearful of the IOC splintering during their conflict, Coubertin threw his support behind Lewald - in the process joining the pre-existing Zollverein support backing the German, and as such allowed Lewald to secure victory. The new President of the IOC, Theodor Lewald, would preside over a series of ever more complicated international and sports-related challenges as he took over the ship and sought to lead it through the tumultuous 1930s (9).

    Theodor Lewald would prove himself an incredibly talented networker, finesser and organizer who introduced an immense amount of stability and organization to what had previously been an often surprisingly anarchic set of committees and associations linked together through the IOC. Thus, over the course of several years he would set about establishing far more firm partnerships between the IOC and national sports organizations while flirting with the idea of massively expanding the role of the IOC in the world of sports - including providing the organizational infrastructure necessary to begin organizing various sporting events outside of the Olympics themselves. The first of these achievements would be the involvement of the IOC in helping to organize the first Football World Cup in 1930 in Uruguay alongside FIFA with the successful inclusion of many Zollverein countries for the tournament with Lewald's intervention. This would be followed by rather unwelcomed meddling in Sir George Thomas' efforts at establishing the International Badminton Federation in 1934 with a the first major International Badminton Championship occurring two years later under IOC auspices. Perhaps the most intriguing development to occur under Lewald would be his rather uncommon disinterest in the highly lauded amateur nature of the Olympics - with the German entertaining suggestions on easing restrictions on professional participation on multiple occasions throughout the decade, although he would remain ostensibly neutral on the issue by the end of the 1930s (10).

    Lewald would play an exceptionally central role in implementing a number of key innovations to the games during the 1930s, with the establishment of the Olympic Village, the practice of keeping the Olympic Flame lit for the duration of the Olympics as well as a torch relay, entrenching the tradition of the national parade of nations starting with Greece and ending with the host country, the distinguishing between Summer and Winter Olympics, the expansion of the Olympic Art Competitions to an equal counterpart to the sports-oriented events and without a doubt the most revolutionary development - the broadcasting of live television coverage of the Olympic Games and taping for cinematic viewing around the world. By the turn of the decade Lewald would find himself acknowledged as one of the foremost pioneers in the development of sporting events, having played an essential role in not only massively expanding the IOC and its connections to sporting associations around the world but also in providing unheard levels of competitive sporting events with followings from across the globe. Ultimately, the single most important decision taken by Lewald would prove to be the tying together of the International Olympic Committee to the League of Nations (LoN), which allowed the IOC to rely upon the immense resources and support of the LoN to expand its capabilities to an incredible degree (10).

    As for the specific Olympics for which Lewald would stand responsible, it would not take long before troubles emerged. The bidding for the 1932 Olympics had been a fiercely contested matter, with a great deal of back and forth between contestants, before the selection was made in a 1924 meeting. As the last Olympics selected under Pierre de Coubertin, the selection of Paris would prove somewhat controversial - with some claiming that the august President of the IOC had involved himself a bit too much in getting the Olympics to return to France. The initial preparations for the 1932 Olympics went quite well, with the implementation of the first proper Olympic Village undertaken while controversy surrounding the Finn runner Paavo Nurmi's amateur status nearly upended the entire affair under the influence of Swedish officials - only for Lewald to demonstrate his rather considerable contempt for the matter by bulldozing the complaints - paving the path for greater involvement of semi-professional athletes in subsequent Olympics. Notably, while women's gymnastics events had been excluded during the infamous 1928 Olympics for no clear reason, they returned with style in 1932, with several new women's events debuting and a series of important records being set. Paavo Nurmi would mirror his achievements in 1924 and 1928 by winning almost every race he participated in to the rapturous engagement of fans across Europe, who were able to follow the entire affair on radio and in cinema sessions. One thing which would draw considerable comment was the deft handling of the politically tense situation on the part of the IOC who navigated the sudden death of Premier Aristide Briand and the political chaos which ensued in France with grace, helping to settle tensions and draw together a bitterly divided France which seemed on the precipice of disaster during this period (11).

    The first Olympics selected and organized under Lewald would prove controversial and groundbreaking, for in the process he was able to break through political and ideological barriers to bring in a whole host of countries which had rejected participation in the games for nearly a decade - the Communists were coming to the Olympics. The result of careful negotiations with the Soviet government during 1930 and a successful bid by the Moscow city administration would see the Olympic games held in Moscow. While the political turmoil of the Trotskyite Affair would cause considerable controversy and lead many to question Lewald's decision in going through with the Moscow Olympics of 1936, the end result would prove nothing less than a triumph which helped solidify the IOC's political neutrality and openness to the partition of every country in the world. A careful showcase of the merits of Communist living, the Soviet Republic's Commissariat for Education and Culture would involve itself deeply in the entire process, providing some of the most spectacular Olympic games in memory as live televisions for the first time brought coverage of the games directly into the communal villages and factory neighborhoods of western Russia - with subsequent broadcasts of the games provided at a delay in many European countries in an astounding accomplishment of technical prowess which saw both Soviet and German engineers cooperate to make everything possible. The Moscow Olympics would prove notable for Jesse Owens' incredible four gold medals in sprint and long jump, with an absolute slogging match between Germany, the United States and the Soviet Republic seeing the three sides come exceptionally close in the medal count, only for Germany to emerge victorious. The games would include an experimental team agreed to with the German authorities which provided representation for German East Africa and another team for Kameroon - the first effort at extending the Olympics to include colonial subjects. The membership of the two colonial teams would be low, but a Kameroonian runner would stun participants when he won the gold medal in the 10,000 meter race, just barely beating out the Finn Ilmari Salminen. A secondary aspect of the 1936 Olympics would prove to be a debate on the part of the Latin Pact countries on whether to boycott the games, but ultimately the decision was made to participate despite the controversy. The end of the 1936 Olympics would bring yet another surprise to the eager sports enthusiasts who had waited with barely hidden excitement on word of where the next Olympics would be held, and Lewald would more than deliver - the Olympics would be going to Asia in 1940, with Beijing set to welcome the entire world to witness their resurgent might (12).

    The Balance of Power

    While the Copenhagen Peace Conference would find its place in history for ending the Great War and establishing the framework of the post-war world, it would also serve as the foundational document upon which the League of Nations was established. In the years since its inception, the League had consistently expanded and deepened its involvement in numerous facets of the international community. The League would participate in the development of African colonies, establish itself as the premier trade arbitration court in the world - in the process helping to resolve myriad smaller and larger problems, function as a neutral mediator in several significant diplomatic disputes and violent conflicts while entangling itself ever more deeply in the promotion of international social and cultural programmes ranging from education and conservation to major sporting events and cultural fairs. The last of these would come about as an effort on the part of the League to supervise international exhibitions through the formation of the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE), to oversee a calendar for bidding, selecting and organizing World Expositions as well as creating a regulatory framework to ensure that Expositions of these sorts would maintain proper conditions. Concurrent cooperation with the IOC would see the League involve itself in the world of sports, helping to finance and regulate the International Olympic Committee at Theodor Lewald's invitation. This period would see the League embroiled in an increasingly heated struggle over the decision to exclude non-white states from the Congress of Nations and efforts on the part of Germany and the Soviet Republic to bring the Communists into the League in an effort to normalize and settle the revolutionary state. The first of these issues would prove exceedingly controversial, with the United States outright threatening to leave the Congress of Nations under McAdoo and as a result it would take until the latter half of the 1930s before Siam, Egypt, Arabia, Ethiopia and many of the South American states joined the Congress. As for the Soviet Republic, the Germans would spend considerable political capital to allow their entry in 1927, only for the Fall of Siberia to place considerable egg on the faces of the Germans. Several subsequent actions, including Soviet involvement in the defeat of Pessian Persia, the violent repression of the Trotskyite Affair and their role in the Japanese Civil War, would lead to the suspension of the Soviet Republic's membership in the Congress of Nations in 1937 with the prospect of sanctions being raised. As for the Socialist Republic of Iran or the Shogunate, neither would enter the Congress of Nations - instead working to expand the remit of the Third International into a proper international institution, with Mexico and the Central American Workers' and Farmers' Republic officially joining the International in the late 1930s (13).

    While the League of Nations would play an integral role in shifting international norms, empowering its core principles of international humanism, pacifism and collaboration, it would prove insufficient to creating the vast changes dreamed up by its originating ideators. While the 1920s had been a period dominated by the so-called Spirit of Amsterdam, in which the values of the League prevailed as reconstruction, cooperation and development took the centerstage it would not prove a success in the long term. The Red Scare of the post-Great War period had reached something of a nadir during the middle years of the 1920s, opening up for a return to the world stage by the Soviet Republic in the years that followed - in the process demonstrating the significantly lessened ideological tensions of the period and the general wish for peace and prosperity around the world. This was also a period of ascendency for the Japanese state under the authority of the highly lauded Admiral Yamamoto Gonbee, with the restored Qing Dynasty only beginning to find its footing by the end of the decade and still under significant Japanese influence. This period would be characterized by a general openness towards ideological experimentation, with many socialist, social democratic and communist parties and organizations establishing themselves as at least semi-accepted elements of most major European countries. Only the very earliest signs of the Integralist surge of the 1930s was clear at this time, with the stability of that political model still under considerable questions in Iberia itself and largely viewed with something approaching disdain beyond the peninsula. While the closing years of the 1920s would provide some sense of the crisis-laden decade to come, few could have imagined the sheer transformation which the years that followed would have (14).

    The hard-won international norms established during the 1920s would find themselves greatly challenged in the 1930s, as crisis after crisis emerged, tearing away at the fragile framework which the survivors of the Great War had worked so hard to build up and maintain. However, in contrast to the Great War itself, it would not prove to be Europe itself which presented a problem for the international community - by and large remaining peaceful and without violent transitions of power or civil wars throughout the decade. Instead, it would be the gradual fraying of the vast colonial empires possessed by European great powers which would dominate the era. The first, and most infamous, of these colonial flareups would be the Indochinese Revolt which would prove a massive bleeding ulcer for the French Republic, draining ever more men and resources while cycling through several climaxes of incredible violence on a scale and longevity not seen since the Great War. While the struggle in Indochina itself would prove of considerable importance, it would be the conflict's demonstration of a colonial force successfully going toe-to-toe with their imperial overlords which would truly shake the world's colonial empires. As oppressed colonials across Asia, and in time Africa, took inspiration from the Indochinese struggle for independence, anti-colonial movements found themselves buoyed and driven to ever greater action. When the successive crises in the British Empire were gradually added, one atop the next, it should come as little surprise that the foundations of the British Empire seemed ever closer to quicksand. The Two Rivers Crisis, The Saya San Revolt, the Australian Debt Crisis, The Canadian Alienation, The British African Famine and all its attendant devastation as well as the rise of an activist independence movement in India would finally culminate in the devastation of the Dominion Fleet at The Battle of The East China Sea. Step by step the prestige, power and control of the British over their colonial holdings was eroded, such that by the end of the decade some even questioned whether the crown jewel of the Empire, the British Raj, would be salvageable. In turn, these developments would serve to further inspire and enflame independence movements around the world - for if the mighty British Empire could crumble, why not the empires of their own oppressors (14)?

    Perhaps the single most important development in the Communist approach to spreading revolution around the world would be Leon Trotsky's redirection of Communist impetus away from Europe, which had proven itself extraordinarily resistant to the Communists' revolutionary efforts, in favor of an Asia-oriented strategy. Over the course of the subsequent decade, the Communists had worked around the clock to build up the Communist following across Asia while seeking to draw them into the wider Third International. Revolutionary cadres were trained, leftist thinkers and intellectuals educated and anti-colonial activists recruited all in the name of spreading revolution across the most populous continent in the world. These efforts would have an astonishing degree of success, perhaps even greater than the original strategists had ever imagined, as they successfully leveraged the Socialist presence in Iran to extend Communist influence to the Persian Gulf, helped build up the ideological and infrastructural foundations of Indian, Japanese, Korean, Indochinese and Chinese revolutionary movements and set up support for a vast variety of anti-colonial revolutionary movements, both functioning as base and safe haven for exiles and radicals of all stripes. Throughout this period, Trotsky's original thought played out as first Siberia fell to Communism, followed by total victory in Iran, the extension of what amounted to Soviet hegemony over Central Asia and finally, and most spectacularly, the collapse of the Japan into civil war and the subsequent rise of the People's Shogunate. Domino after domino fell across Asia, such that by the end of the decade it seemed as though a vast Red Tide would sweep across the continent from one end to the other. Reaction and resistance to these developments were widespread and far-flung, but ultimately the great stalwart of Asia would prove to be the ascendant Fengtian Dynasty in China, which had been faced with multiple major crises as a result of the Communist influence in China and had waged what amounted to a war of ideological destruction to root out Communist influences across the country. While the ascension of the Shogunate utterly upset the international geopolitical balance of power, the rise of Fengtian China in the years immediately preceding and succeeding the October Revolution would gradually begin to restore some sense of balance to the continent - a forceful and energetic China seeking to present a formidable challenge to the communists' leading role in many anti-colonial movements in Asia. As the decade came to a close, it seemed ever clearer that Asia would find itself divided between two mastodons - Fengtian China and the Shogunate-led Communist movements of Asia (14).

    Even as Communism spread across Asia and made inroads into Latin America, drawing worldwide attention, there was a quieter but just as steady drumbeat of Integralist movements spreading across large stretches of Europe and South America. While historians and commenters on current geopolitical developments would repeatedly draw the parallel between the two ideological movements, when examined in closer detail the two ideologies had surprisingly little interaction considering how vehemently they opposed one another. In Portugal, Sidonist rule came about as a reaction to the weak Liberal Republican government and relied to a considerable degree upon popular backing to help entrench the Sidonist government, while in Spain it was an autocoup perpetrated by King Alfonso XIII against the Liberals who had backed his family's reign since the Restoration. The initial rise of Integralism was thus not a reaction to the ascendency of Communism, but rather an effort to overturn weak Liberal governments in favor of stronger, more centralized illiberal states - with the conflict and suppression of leftist ideology and movements being more of a secondary objective. The only early Integralist state to really emerge through confrontation with Communism would be the Sicilio-Sardinian Royal Italian remnants of the Italian Civil War - and even then, the initial rise to prominence of the Fascists had been as much an effort to take control of the state from the weakened old-school political parties in the calamitous aftermath of the Great War as anything else, the Socialists, Anarchists and Communists only subsequently emerging as the greater threat to the Fascist rise to prominence. Even the French Integralists, while they fought in the streets with leftist gangs and demonstrators, would find their main opposition coming from the middle-class Republican loyalists who fought to prevent a monarchical restoration rather than the farm or factory worker. As the successes of the Iberian Integralists made headlines around the world and the movement inspired imitators around the globe a new pattern began to emerge in northern South America. Here it was not so much a revolt against Liberalism but rather an effort to reform and strengthen Conservative rule or to establish an ideological foundation for autocratic rule which predominated the reasoning behind the Integralist rise to power. However, as the Latin Pact rose to prominence and interactions with Leftist movements proliferated, the competition for supporters and incredible divergences in ideological underpinnings provoked ever greater amounts of conflict between the two diametrically opposed movements, setting the stage for future confrontations (14).

    In hindsight, the 1930s would come to be seen as a period in which ideological spheres of influence were formed and the formidable dividing lines of the international community were being drawn. The Latin Pact, the Zollverein, the Third International and the Southern Cone Treaty Alliance were all very clear instances of ideological and geopolitical blocs, but there were many more diffuse spheres of influence, such as the neo-colonial influence of the United States in Central and South America, the Ottoman Empire across wide swathes of the Middle East, the Shogunate upon the colonial states of South East Asia, China in East and Central Asia, the Central American Republic upon the Sandinistas of South America or the Imperial Powers upon their empires. The 1930s were a time of transition and change, as the patterns of imperial rule weakened under internal and external pressures, and new ideological movements wreaked havoc upon the more traditional Liberal-Conservative divide. One of the most fascinating developments of this period would prove to be the proliferation of United Fronts and cooperation across a vast ideological spectrum amongst anti-colonial movements in Asia particularly - with the result being that the adherents of various ideological movements secured ever greater followings while the resultant disagreements and conflicts which ideological divides might otherwise have provoked were held at bay by the overarching threat of the imperialist powers. However, many questioned what the consequences would be when the need for unity finally came to an end. As the 1930s came to an end, observers could not help but comment that conflict and confrontation had never seemed more likely between the many different power blocs which had emerged - the only question that remained was what would set off such a calamity (14).

    (1) There isn't really anything new in this section, but what I am trying to do here is create a synthesis of all the events covered since the end of the hiatus, drawing together the key developments and trends which have come to define particularly the socio-political sphere on a global scale. I really hope that people find this macro perspective on the TL's developments interesting.

    (2) I know that I have not mentioned the Council of Santiago de Compostela before, but don't worry it is written up as a topic to be covered the next time we get around to dealing with events in the Latin Pact. Most of the rest of these developments are once again a summary of already covered developments and a synthesis of the major lessons to be drawn from them.

    (3) I have not given the religious tumult and ideation in the protestant sphere anywhere close to the same amount of attention as I have to that in the Catholic sphere, but it is there and is significant. In many ways many of these factors are similar to OTL Protestantism, but without the rise of the Nazis and the absolute travesty of their religio-ideological practices Protestantism in Europe at least has a significantly stronger footing for the time being. We still see the rise of Fundamentalism, Pentecostalism, Evangelism and the like during this period, but at least at this point the back and forth between traditionalists, modernists and reactionaries are pretty evenly balanced.

    (4) I have only briefly mentioned the Islamic Communist synthesis in the context of Tan Malaka and the Indonesian PKI before this, but I do want to make clear that he is part of a wider international intellectual movement which seeks to marry Islamic and Communist/Socialist principles together. This ideological synthesis is probably strongest in Iran, but you have similar movements in the Ottoman Empire, Egypt, Iran, India and as mentioned Indonesia. The Moros of the Philippines are a bit too isolated to really see much of this development, but in time they are a prime candidate for such ideologies. What is notable is that this ideological movement is quite different from the Shogunate's Japanese Communist movement, and in time (if Islamic Socialism/Communism emerges as a proper political force) the two are likely to find themselves at cross-purposes.

    (5) The Buddhist Association of China is honestly inspired by a similar organization established by the PRC IOTL in the 1950s, but while the motivations for establishing the two associations are quite different, I do think that the Fengtian Dynasty would be pressing for more unity and control over the Chinese Buddhist movement. Do note that the Dalai Lama is not amongst the representatives mentioned due to his and his supporters' role in promoting Tibetan separatism alongside the Fengtian government's backing of the Panchen Lama's claim to leadership of the Tibetan religio-political community. One thing I want to emphasize is that while most Pure Land Buddhist monasteries do find themselves caught up in Taixu's reforms, with major cuts to their membership, greater engagement with the general populace and the establishment of soup kitchens, neighborhood clinics and the like, this is not a complete repression of divergent branches of Buddhism. Chan Buddhism (which has a lot of similarities to the better known Japanese Zen Buddhism) is maintained and even promoted to some extent under Hsu Yun while tai chi is popularized and spread under Buddhist auspices. Most monasteries end up at least somewhat under the BAC's authority, but a few unique ones like the Shaolin Monastery as well as the monasteries, temples and shrines of the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism, maintain considerable levels of autonomy and will in time develop into major independent institutions with sub-monasteries and associated organizations spread across all of China to the considerable annoyance of the BAC.

    (6) This is once again a bit of a whirlwind tour of the world. Some of these developments have been mentioned in the past but by and large this section is just an effort at acknowledging that there is a whole world of new religious movements gaining strength and following during this period. The 1930s in general are a period of incredible religious dynamism with many switching their allegiance from older modes of worship to ones which seem better suited to addressing the needs of the modern world.

    (7) This section, covering the situation in Europe, is very much a blending of OTL and TTL. We have covered a lot of developments on these issues in Germany, and we have what amounts to a peak in feminist activities in the mid-1930s before opinions shift onto a more conservative tack. By contrast, events in Britain follow OTL quite closely despite the changed political environment - in general this seems to have been the through line at the time so I don't see a significant reason to change the situation. As for the Latin Pact countries I don't think these developments are too hard to work out - without the OTL Republican period in Spain social reforms never get through and Alfonso pushes forward with the status quo under papal auspices.

    (8) Here we go a bit more global. In contrast to OTL, the Soviet Republic doesn't have the same conservative shift as OTL in the 1930s and as such women's empowerment remains a pretty significant pillar of the movement, even having an impact in countries like Iran and Japan to a lesser degree. One thing to note is that this doesn't really translate that much to Latin America, where machismo and patriarchal structures remain supreme. The Shogunate does try to counter some of the gender inequities in Japan with Empress Kikuko playing a key role, but it is still just scratching away at the surface of the issues at this point - more a matter of them acknowledging it as an issue to be addressed, which is a battle in and of itself. Perhaps the most interesting place is Fengtian China where the reforms are basically a more Buddhist inspired and more successful version of the OTL New Life Movement undertaken under significantly more stable and secure conditions. There are some similarities to later Communist campaigns as well - the Chinese are masters at social engineering in that regard - which should demonstrate that these sorts of campaigns can be at least somewhat successful when undertaken competently and with sufficient financing, which the reforms do have in this case.

    (9) So things turn into a bit of a horror for the Los Angeles Olympics, in yet another display of McAdoo's rather porous grip on the importance of international affairs, with the result that butterflies are sent the IOC leading to changes to the games, as we will come to see. The power struggle following Coubertin's resignation IOTL saw Baillet-Latour emerge victorious on the back of his leadership of the Belgian Olympic Committee and loyalty to Coubertin's principles. As you might have noticed, a Belgian nobleman might have been in some trouble under TTL's circumstances and Baillet-Latour ends up spending much of the 1920s trying to secure alignment between the Dutch and Belgian Olympic Committees with very mixed success - the two bodies only merging in early 1930, and even then he finds himself distracted by conflicts with Dutch counterparts throughout this period. This in turn allows me to position Theodor Lewald as the man to take up the reigns, and let me tell you - this is not a guy to underestimate. Lewald was one of the most powerful figures in German sports during this period, to the point he was able to openly challenge Kaiser Wilhelm in order to ensure that the Deutscher Olympischer Sportsbund remained politically independent of the government and was heavily involved in pressing for Germany to take a big role on the international stage with the 1916 Summer Olympics and participation in the World Trade Exhibition. By the end of the Great War Lewald was so well connected to the top civil servants in Germany that he wrote Wilhelm II's abdication speech and was acting Head of Government during the Kapp Putsch - during which he refused to provide government funds to the rebels at gun-point. While he retired from civil service in 1923 due to disagreements with the Social Democratic governments he remained involved in a ton of different matters. He was one of the key players involved in bringing the 1936 Summer Olympics to Berlin before the Nazis rose to power and many of the most significant major innovations of the 1936 Olympics were at least in part his ideas. He was Christian but had a paternal Jewish grandmother, which led the Nazis to replace him, but he is honestly an absolute badass who I felt would be a lot of fun in this position. ITTL he remained very closely connected to the civil service, and remained employed up through the Stresemann government until 1928 when he retires in response to the government's cooperation with the Social Democrats. Throughout this period he remains heavily engaged in Olympic affairs, including playing a pivotal role in the highly regarded 1924 Berlin Olympics, and emerges as a proper contender for leadership of the IOC.

    (10) There are a lot of developments covered here, but I will try to be clear. Basically Lewald is much less focused on keeping the Olympics an amateur endeavor - which was something that consumed an inordinate amount of effort under the OTL presidents of the IOC - and instead uses his many, many social contacts to not only greatly expand the IOC but also tie them into a bunch of major sporting events outside of the Olympics themselves. This is also how he really starts to flirt with professional sporting and starts to gage the opinions within the IOC. At the same time he introduces a ton of innovations which IOTL were adopted during this period, but given some of the butterflies he ends up looking far more prescient than he might really be due to how well these changes come across. I hadn't really heard of the Olympic Arts Competition before researching for this update, but I honestly love the idea and find the fact that it fell by the wayside over concerns at its lack of amateurism a really sad state of affairs - so ITTL the Art Competition is going to remain as large of a force as any, with a resultant impact upon international art trends, with amateurism eventually done away with.

    (11) So IOTL Paavo Nurmi ended up getting suspended for supposedly violating the amateur rules - although the evidence came from an exceptionally biased Swedish team of officials, so it is rather dubious whether he actually violated the rules. Ultimately the suspension caused great controversy and saw Finland end participation in the Olympics until 1939. ITTL Lewald pushes all objections aside and goes for a policy of essentially ignoring breaches of the amateur rules, which will in time shift into an active effort to repeal them. Basically the IOC was increasingly pressured by the professionalization effort IOTL and had an ever greater number of gaffes and black marks over the matter, so I am essentially turbo-charging the transition here - hope people don't mind. Protests about how it is breaking with the sanctity of the games and the like are rampant, and opposition is considerable, but Lewald is massively increasing the popularity of the games during this period and is essentially untouchable within the IOC as a result.

    (12) I really couldn't resist having a controversial 1936 Olympics, and what better controversy than holding them in Moscow with the Soviet Republic? I have mixed some of the events of OTL with some divergences, so Jesse Owens still astounds the world while we also have a colonial Kameroonian provide people with a shock. I am not quite sure how far the colonial involvement will go, but I do find it a rather interesting prospect to explore at some point in the future. IOTL the 1940 Olympics were supposed to be held in Tokyo, but under the circumstances I though Beijing would be a much better fit and significantly more intriguing in a whole lot of different ways.

    (13) The League of Nations is a bit of a weird amalgam of a bunch of international institutions which, due to its reduced official political powers compared to the OTL institution, is able to absorb a bunch of OTL organizations established during this period. That is how they end up in charge of the World Expos, involve themselves in the running of the IOC and make themselves an unquestioned nexus of world trade and diplomatic arbitration. We have had a bunch of League interventions so far in this TL, so hopefully these developments have been noticed. Particularly the establishment of the Tigris-Euphrates Water Management Board is held up as amongst the League's greatest achievements ITTL, with discussions ongoing for a similar initiative aimed at the Nile under way.

    (14) We are back to what amounts to a reframing of the major developments of the TL as a whole here, with the focus now centering on the geopolitical developments and international norms of the era. Everything should seem familiar, but I hope that the reframing and changed outlook on the developments does help to provide some context and perspective One thing that I hadn't really noticed before this but which really stood out as I thought about it more was the fact that Integralism's roots and development is surprisingly far removed from confrontation with Communism. IOTL Nazism essentially defined itself in opposition to Communism, so this difference came as a bit of a surprise when I thought about it more.

    End Note:

    So I am breaking things up a bit more than usual, which has led to the increased number of paragraphs, so hopefully it is at least a bit more readable. I really hope that people enjoy the change and that it is more easy to engage with.

    Sorry about the absolutely massive number of footnotes, but I really do feel that there is a lot that I need to provide some context on given how much material is being covered in a single section.

    So, I am realizing that I have a problem (previous endnotes were written early in the process). I started cutting up the paragraphs into sub-sections and as a result the stuff covered got even longer. Oh dear, this is going to be a problem, isn't it?

    The formation of power blocs and several major geopolitical poles of power was something I wanted to explore when I set out after my hiatus, and with that in mind I do think I have largely been successful in balancing things out while leaving plenty of potential for things to get crazy in the near future of the TL.

    All in all, I really hope people enjoyed this examination of the society and geopolitics of ADiJ and that the changes to the formatting find people's approval. Do let me know what you think!
    Update Forty (Pt. 2): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • The World At The End Of The 1930s


    Model of The Monument to the Third International, also widely known as Tatlin's Tower

    The Soul of Mankind​

    Proletkult and its Children

    The Proletkult movement would prove the defining cultural development of the 1920s, at once fundamentally challenging the artistic and cultural status quo around the world while introducing a bevy of new and exciting perspectives to people around the globe. From street theaters, worker-poetry and musical symphonies wielding factory tools to a wave of new iconoclastic and futuristic artworks with particularly photography and cinematography featuring prominently, Proletkult was making an impression. Wielded as a soft-power tool, the movement would find sponsors and imitators around the world - although Germany would undoubtedly emerge as the second home of Proletkunst, merging with pre-existing German cultural movements and taking on a wholly German character in the decade that followed. As the second decade of Proletkult came under way, divisions over what precisely constituted proletarian cultural works led to a split within the movement represented by two of the foremost figures of the Proletkult movement - the authors Aleksandr Voronsky and Maxim Gorky. Voronsky represented the Futurist wing of the Proletkult movement, embracing the eclectic, innovative and deeply experimental nature of the revolutionary cultural movement, seeking to break as forcefully as possible with the "decadent bourgeois art" which had held sway before the Revolution as possible. By contrast Maxim Gorky and the Traditionalists held that the goal of proletarian culture should be to demonstrate and illustrate life in a revolutionary state in a realistic manner, without the excessively abstract manner adopted by the Futurists - who they accused of catering to the bourgeoisie. As this divide deepened and the conflict between the two sides heated up, the result was an astonishing flowering of Soviet culture as the dialogue, argument and counter-argument, between the two sides came to be expressed in one artistic work after the other. With Alexander Bodganov and the Kultburo standing as guardian of both movements, seeking to inspire both to ever greater achievement without breaking the careful balance between them, the result was a surprisingly virtuous cycle of development which saw poets, artists, musicians and cinematographers all work towards eking out every last bit of creativity in hopes of proving their side right. Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that not all was well with this incredibly intense rivalry which emerged between the two movements, for it led to bitter artistic segregation and the formation of intense divisions amongst the members of either side and repeated clashes of both a personal and professional nature across the Soviet cultural sphere (15).

    While the bitter divide between Futurists and Traditionalists within Proletkult art was significant, the divisions within the Futurist faction would prove immensely significant as well. The Futurist artists were divided into three major camps and dozens of smaller ones based upon their outlook and approach towards art - the largest being the Constructivists, who focused heavily on form and function, with objects and utilitarian strategies leading to the painter being seen as an artist-as-engineer; the Suprematists who bitterly embodied an anti-materialist and anti-utilitarian philosophy, holding that the only true reality was absolute non-objectivity with no links to state, religion or history, no links to things, places or beings in their works; and the final group being the Spiritualists, who held that the artist and viewer were linked in a spiritual communion through their works with abstract sensorially rich paintings and a heavy emphasis on color and shape, emphasizing geometric figures and their relationship to the human spirit, in the process dancing dangerously close to a heavily disapproved of element of religiosity. Each of these movements would have their progenitors and leading figures, with Vladimir Tatlin building a massive following for Constructivism even as his own architectural works drew the attention of leading figures within the Central Committee. These ties would eventually result in the construction of Tatlin's famous "Monument to the Third International in Moscow" (also known as Tatlin's Tower) - a 400 meter tall monumental building built in central Moscow, with a massive radio tower, information center, conference halls and an office block for the Kultburo and Third International, serving as both monument and headquarters for the Third International and the Kultburo. The tower's construction involved a long and arduous building process which saw the building finally opened to the public as part of the inauguration events at the 1936 Moscow Olympics. Suprematism would find its founder in the ethnically-Polish Ukrainian Kazimir Severinovich Malevich who assimilated elements of Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism before formulating the foundational works of the Suprematist movement. Following the Russian Revolution, Malevich would emerge as one of the most prominent figures in the Proletkult movement both as a member of the Collegium on the Arts and as a premier lecturer at the Petrograd Academy of Arts - repeatedly clashing with Vladimir Tatlin in the Collegium and in the process setting the stage for the lengthy and bitterly recriminatory conflict between their two movements. The final leading light of the Futurists would come in the form of Wassily Kandisky, an exceptionally close associate and favorite artist of Anatoly Lunacharsky, whose spiritualist ideas on art drew artists like Michael Matyushin to support his Spiritualist movement while occupying a post with the Russian Academy of Fine Arts and helping to establish the Museum for the Culture of Painting in Moscow. By contrast, the Traditionalists would find their most significant figures in the two brothers and former Constructivists Antoine and Naum Pevsner who sought to "purify" constructivism of its more stylistic and fanciful elements in favor of a more grounded approach to the material reality of space and time - an approach which was further expanded upon by the immensely talented artist Aleksandr Deyneka who became famed for his scenes of daily life, labor and sports, which would later morph to include far more majestic and monumental works depicting scenes from the Fall of Siberia, Trotsky's Trial and eventually several iconic paintings of stark war imagery. While the Futurists were undoubtably the larger of the two wings of the artistic Proletkult, they were also far more splintered and at odds with one another, with the small but robust and dynamic Traditionalist wing finding a slow but steady growth in adherents amongst painters, architects and sculpturers across Russia(16)

    While art and architecture were quite dynamic in the Soviet Republic, the true treasures of Soviet culture would always be its incredible literary scene - already host to numerous world-class authors and poets eager and willing to throw themselves into the immense task of interpreting the world through the new revolutionary paradigm brought about by the Communists. At the center of Russian literature sat the titanic presence of Maxim Gorky, not only the most significant leader of the Traditionalist camp but probably also the most widely admired living Russian writer at the time. Notably, Gorky had a direct line of communications to Yakov Sverdlov himself, being not only a close family friend but also the adoptive father of Sverdlov's elder brother Zinovy, and he used that connection for all it was worth in order to both protect and promote literary talents of all sorts - Futurist and Traditionalist alike, despite his personal disagreements with the former set of writers. The leading lights of the Russian literary scene during the 1920s would prove to be poets like Vladimir Malykovsky, Boris Pasternak and Marina Tsvetaeva - mother to Andrei Sverdlov's eventual wife Aleya Zefron, while authors such as Alexander Fadeyev and Isaac Babel movingly chronicled the immensity of the revolutionary struggle and the horrors of the Russian Civil War. This period also saw avant-garde literary groups such as the Oberiu group with its absurdist comedies and the ideologically unorthodox Serapion Brothers with their provocative challenges to the status quo find warm welcomes, although not everyone found their pithy and spiteful critiques of government actions welcome. The 1930s would see more of a combative literary scene as the political struggle between Trotsky and the Government Clique picked up - satires, parodies and outright literary denunciations being lobbed by writers on both side of the struggle, with several significant Trotskyite writers getting caught up in the eventual crackdown - most prominently the futurist radical Aleksei Kruchyonykh and the Oberiu poet Konstantin Vaginov, whose arrest led to such significant scrutiny of the rest of the group that it ended up dissolving, its members seeking to distance themselves from Vaginov. Amongst the most significant written works to be published during the 1930s would prove to be Mikhail Bolgakov's series of satirical plays, "Ivan Vasilyevich", "Don Quixote" and "Pushkin" as well as his highly lauded novel "The Master and Margarita" about a tortured author visited by the devil in the ostensibly atheist Soviet Moscow - the novel dealing with the interplay between good and evil, innocence and guilt, courage and cowardice, with heavy influences from Goethe's Faust, while bitingly criticizing not only the Soviet system and its influence upon the Russian literary complex but also the superficiality and vanity of modern life in general. While a favorite novel of Sverdlov's, Bolgakov would nevertheless find himself sharply criticized for his negative portrayal of the revolutionary state and only barely avoid censorship of his work through the direct intervention of several prominent Soviet bureaucrats, including Sverdlov himself. Throughout this period the primary point of conflict within the literary community would center upon whether to engage with political activism or to break with it - the former collection of works coming to be known as "revolutionary literature" while the latter came to be referred to as "popular literature" in reference to the often escapist, low-brow works which nevertheless enjoyed considerable popularity amongst the increasingly literate Russian population (17).

    Classical Music and the high performing arts, such as ballet and opera, had long been associated with the upper classes and the old imperial elite in Russia and as such there was every reason for these art forms to find themselves hammered by the new Soviet regime. While many of the major ballet companies in Russia shuttered during this period, and numerous prominent Russian composers, choreographers and performers departed Russia for the friendlier environments of Europe and North America, the late 1920s and 1930s would prove a time of surprising resurgence for the higher artforms. As in other spheres, Classical music was rather bitterly divided between an iconoclastic avant-garde movement which sought to experiment and take in foreign influences of all sorts, finding their representative body in the Association for Contemporary Music (ASM) under the direction of figures such as Nikolai Myaskovsky and Alexander Mosolov - the latter achieving world-wide renown for his piece "Iron Foundry" which came to be seen as a premier example of Soviet futurist music. Perhaps the most talented figure to emerge from the ASM would prove to be the youthful prodigy Dmitri Shostakovich who astounded listeners with his iconoclastic and sarcastic work, "The Nose" which was stage produced at the recently reopened Bolshoi Theater under the direction of Vsevolod Meyerhold to great acclaim, while developing what would prove to be a bitter rivalry with the much lauded Russian émigré composer Igor Stravinsky - who harshly critiqued Shostakovich's next opera "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" as 'lamentably provincial' despite the work garnering widespread praise as well. Amongst the Traditionalists it would be the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians (RAPM) which emerged as the premier creative union, with its members advocating mass songs by choirs, easily accessible melodies based on folk tunes and collectively composed songs under the initial leadership of David Chernomoridikov, although he would eventually be pushed aside by Lev Shul'gin and Aleksei Sergeev under criticism that the music which resulted from Chernomoridikov would be too simplistic and inaccessible to actual workers. As such, Shul'gin and Sergeev would eventually lead the movement towards more of an emphasis upon popular music, such as Matvei Blanter's "Katyusha" and the Jazz music introduced to Soviet audiences by Valentin Parnakh and the singer Leonid Utesov. In the early 1930s the return of several preeminent Russian artists, such as Sergei Prokofiev and the Diaghilev-protégé George Balanchine, to Russia would mark the return of Russian Ballet to prominence - with Balanchine directing the reopening of the Bolshoi Ballet with a performance Prokofiev's version of "Romeo and Juliet", although significant controversy emerged at the ballet's change to a happy ending from the Shakespeare original. Ultimately, the 1930s would come to be seen as a period of considerable artistic rejuvenation as classical and popular music saw several major masterpieces produced while the restoration of the Bolshoi Theatre to a position of prominence indicated Russia's likely continued rise to the pinnacle of global art, music and culture (18).

    An examination of Soviet culture and art would be fundamentally incomplete without an examination of the revolutionary new technologies and mediums of art which the Soviets embraced following the Revolution - Radio, Cinema and Television. Radio had always been something of a priority for a country seeking to both break with its past and propagate a new national myth, and as such it did not take long before the Commissariat for Postal Services and Telegraphs - later to be renamed the Commissariat for Communications - under the long-time Bolshevik Ivan Smirnov, who had joined the Muscovites following the death of his close associate Grigory Zinoviev, began to press for development with an eye towards establishing a Republic-wide mobile postal services. This was achieved inside Muscovite territory by 1926 and excepting only the most remote regions of Siberia by 1933 while regular radio broadcasting came under way - which would extend to most Muscovite cities by 1925 and all major cities outside of Siberia by 1929, although it would take until the late 1930s before radios became more of a common household item. While the initial radio broadcasts were primarily of a news and propaganda nature, more cultural and artistic programming was swift to follow with sports radio, radio dramas and classical music concerts being played regularly by the mid-1930s, as radio coverage began to extend into the rural hinterlands and most villages in Western Russia gained access to the programming. The construction of Tatlin's Tower would vastly expand the broadcasting capabilities of the Soviet Republic, with signals stretching from Moscow in a massive umbrella allowing much more direct access to the Soviet peoples. Tatlin's Tower would also prove crucial in the development of Soviet televisions, the first of which had come into production in 1931, with the first film broadcast the following year alongside the first experimental live broadcast a year later. Televisions spread to most towns and cities in Western Russia by the 1936 Olympics, at which the first full broadcast of the games was undertaken to the astonishment of not just the local populace but the international community as well. The first studio broadcast television program would take place early in 1937 consisting of a news show, an educational propaganda show and a slap-stick comedy show directed by the highly regarded comedic film director Grigori Aleksandrov, with plans for further programming coming under way soon after. However, there was truly no art form so defining of the new Soviet Republic as its cinema. While Sergei Eisenstein was undoubtedly the foremost film maker in the Republic during the 1920s, he would find himself fiercely challenged by a bevy of new works with particularly Traditionalist directors such as Georgi and Sergei Vasilyev making waves with their war movies which leant into the idea of self-sacrifice and revolutionary zeal with the film "Chapaev", examinations of the individual's psychology in Boris Barnet's "By the Bluest of Seas" or films about national heroes like Maxim Gorky, Bogdan Khmelnitsky and Vladimir Lenin. Nevertheless, Eisenstein would still prove himself head-and-shoulders above the rest with works such as "Alexander Nevsky" and "Siberia" - the latter chronicling the incredible feats accomplished by the northern front forces in the Siberian Campaign with groundbreaking sweeping panoramas filmed in northern Siberia and several regiments worth of active duty soldiers participating in the filming, while other Futurists sought to make their mark on the art. In order to implement a degree of organization to Soviet cinema, the Kultburo would establish Soyuzkino as an agency to commanding control of all distribution networks and cinemas, as well as a massively expanded state-run studio which the most prolific film makers were granted access to on a regular basis. However, notably Soyuzkino was never permitted to intervene in creative decision-making and instead exerted influence through their control of the distribution networks - a directive which Bogdanov enforced with vigorous zeal, fearful of the sort of Tsarist censorship which he felt had crippled Russian artistic expression in the pre-Great War years. By the late 1930s the Soviet Union had emerged as one of the unquestioned titans of cinema with their movies watched around the globe and an inspiration to countless peoples (19).

    The Zeitgeist of German Freedom

    As Germany entered the fourth decade of the twentieth century its cultural environment remained in a state of fierce creative competition as Conservatives sought to keep pace with the surging Leftist and German Liberty cultural movements - particularly the latter proving a formidable rival as they competed with the Conservatives for a similar base of supporters. To accomplish its goal, the Conservatives would lean into their veneration of martial valor, German supremacy, and ardent monarchism combined with a surprisingly modernist outlook which sought to build upon the industriousness and efficiency which had led Germany to greatness in the first place. They would lean into nostalgia for the Prussian heyday and repeatedly draw reference to Wilhelmine and Bismarckian Germany. By contrast, the Leftist cultural movement sought to better understand and uplift the lower classes of society - bringing sports, philosophy and entertainment to workers and farmers across the German Empire while seeking to ever enlighten and negate the societal inequities of German society. While many German leftist artists, thinkers and writers would find significant inspiration in the Russian Proletkult movement, they went further than that - embarking on their own, Germanized, journey of cultural innovation and experimentation in an effort to reshape the cultural foundations of German society, with the movement growing ever more distinct from Russian Proletkult as time went on. The final major socio-cultural movement to influence Germany during this period had originated in the Volkische movement associated to the German Freedom Party and would grow ever more influential as time went on. Seeking to find the root of Germanic culture and society, the German Liberty movement would seek to define itself not only internally as Germans but also externally as a counterpart to the Latin and Slavic peoples of Europe. While some adherents would swerve into more or less racist views, for the most part the movement would focus upon the historical roots of the Germanic people, an exploration of ancient Germanic rites, rituals and religion, as well as a mythologizing of not just the diverse and multifaceted Holy Roman Empire, but also the Empire's more ancient past such as the pagan Saxons, the Norse Vikings and even the Germanic tribes of the Roman Empire - with Arminius of Teutoburg Forest fame a particular focus of mythologization and idolization. Ultimately, while some of the more radical and weird elements of the movement drew ridicule or worry, the main German Liberty cultural movement with its emphasis on Germanic pride, freedom of thought and expression as well as its particular ethno-centric lure all combined to drive the movement into the mainstream and to ever greater heights (20).

    While the three aforementioned currents in German culture were to play a large role in the development of German art during the 1920s and 30s, in truth the German art scene was more defined by numerous loosely affiliated groups and movements, often centered around some philosophical or ideological element with varying degrees of politicization, than any real sort of unity. Whether it be the Arbeitsrat für Kunst, the November Group, Das Junge Rheinland or the Dadaists, modernist art stood as a formidable force within the German art scene and involved itself deeply in the political scene - often on the left, although the specific party and ideological affiliations of its members varied considerably. Dadaism was to also have a significant impact upon the left, with Max Ernst, Johannes Theodor Baargeld and others founding the Cologne Dada Group before going on to introduce the Surrealist movement, which was already coming under way in France at the time, to Germany. However, not all modernist movements affiliated themselves with the leftists - with particularly the large New Objectivity movement which arose during the 1920s in opposition to expressionism, with a style focused on a more controlled and practical approach which married aesthetics with everyday function, the most significant of which would prove to be the influential Bauhaus movement and related groups. For the German Liberty movement the art that most typified them would come to be seen as related to both the Magic Realism movement and the Neo-Romantic movement, with its emphasis on mythological and ancient imagery, fantastical sceneries and a melodramatic flair which proved quite popular amongst the general public but fell flat amongst most art critics (21).

    New Objectivity would also make its presence felt in literary circles, where it soon emerged as a movement challenging both the avantgarde movements often connected to the left and the German Liberty movement which they often characterized as caught up in dreams and mirages. New Objectivity was in many ways a reaction to both the then-dominant expressionist movement and the changed world which met Germans in the post-Great War era, seeking to bring into clear focus the world as it truly was for their readers - be it through reportages, hard-boiled crime novels or more socially diagnostic novels which sought to slice through society's illusions in a quest for truth. More sober and cynical than its preceding movements, New Objectivity was notable for its pseudo-scientific claim to objectivity and efforts at portraying life in a "real and objective" manner with cold, minimalistic and distant observation marking the language use as writers often taking a very socially critical view - with particularly vehement criticism aimed at the various social reforms undertaken by the SPD government during the first half of the 1930s. Perhaps the most notable work to spring out of this New Objectivity would prove to be Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet on the Western Front" about the German military experience during the Great War and the follow-up novel "The Road Back" about the struggles of soldiers returning home from the frontlines to a changed country, seeking to reintegrate back into civilian society. Remarkable for their explorations of the dangers of blind nationalism and both the internal and external destruction caused by the war, the novel sent shockwaves through not only Germany but the rest of the world as well with their stark portrayal of the costs of the conflict, with cinematic adaptations of both novels coming under way almost immediately upon their publishing under the direction of the much admired New Objectivist film director and screenwriter Georg Wilhelm Pabst which were noted for their pioneering use of sound and incredibly bleak portrayal of the Great War. While a firmly political anti-war work, the two movies would nevertheless become something of a highlight for the Conservative cultural movement who came to portray the movie as a demonstration of the great sacrifices with which the modern German world had been won, in something of a subversion of the works' actual messages - the movies themselves breaking box office records around the globe, except for the United States where it was banned for its breaches of the strict McAdoo moral censorship code (21).

    In contrast to art and literature, music in Germany was not quite as clearly divided along the lines of conservative, leftist and German liberty adherents. In the classical sphere music was utterly dominated by varying branches of avant-garde, from the Viennese School's atonal and twelve-tone music promoted by Arnold Scheonberg and his pupils Alban Berg and Anton Webern, to the Berlin School which took a more populist approach with cabaret-like socialist operas and experimental near-Proletkult concert music under the direction of figures such as Kurt Wiell or the New Objectivist-inspired Utility Music developed under the direction of Paul Hindemith. Finally, in Münich, a school more influenced by the French Impressionist movement under Claude Debussy found popularity - with Debussy's colorful and unusual instrumental mix causing surprise and wonder to many of its listeners. When it came to popular music, it was once again foreign influences which made the greatest impact as the French-inspired Kabarett, with its political satire, sexually suggestive thematic and social critiques, drew both great interest and condemnation, with more conservative elements of German society characterizing the kabarett as everything wrong with modern Germany - even as performers of all sorts made themselves famous on the kabarett stage. The second major source of popular music came from across the Atlantic in the form of Jazz and Swing, which swept across Germany like a craze during the latter half of the 1930s, jazz and swing clubs emerging in many German cities while a youth sub-culture oriented around admiration of the "American way of life" took hold, with participants taking to speaking English amongst one another, dressing in provocative clothing and dancing the night away. While met with worry and consternation by the elder generation, as most such cultural movements are, for the most part the movement would be met with general good will - with many prominent American Jazz musicians and singers travelling to tour in Germany to great acclaim. During this period both radio and television broadcasts would pick up steam, although for the duration of the early 1930s Germany would lag behind in the development of television sets due to cost constraints when contrasted with the wildly proliferating radio - particularly following the introduction of the exceedingly cheap Volksempfänger radio by Deutsche Stunde and the similarly cheap Blaupunktradio which made it possible for the average household to easily afford radios at home. Radio broadcasts would pick up rapidly, with an ever broader array of programmes to listen to - from classical and jazz music to radio dramas and news broadcasts, with numerous up-and-coming voice actors and singers making their fame during this period. German television would finally start to find its footing in early 1937 after the stunning broadcast of the Moscow Olympics brought the matter to the public's attentions and provoked an intense interest in the technology. In mid-1937 the first trial programmes went on the air, while by mid-1938 an entire slate of programmes were being offered to the still small segment of viewers who could afford a television. It would not take long before the medium of television truly took off, with Chancellor Hergt making his first appearance in a broadcast in early 1939 (22).

    The Anglo-Saxon Cultural Experience

    While there were plenty of notable differences between the cultural movements in both the United Kingdom and the United States, there were nevertheless several elements which pervaded both countries in the post-Great War years. Perhaps the most significant of these was a general feeling of malaise and melancholy - the result of both the traumas of the Great War and the subsequent troubles faced by both countries - and intensely bitter partisanship and social conflict, whether it be the various British foreign and domestic crises or the intense race-oriented nativist struggle provoked by the reaction to the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States. The imposition of increased censorship and moral codes during this period began with the McAdoo Code in Hollywood in the mid-1920s but similar codes were eventually established for television, radio, art, comic books and a Literary Board of Censorship was proposed late in the Second McAdoo Presidency, although without success - all of which would place a dampener on creativity and the attractiveness of the United States for European artists in particular. In fact, the United States would see some of its most prominent cinematographers and artists move to the United Kingdom in order to avoid the more stringent codes and censorship which the McAdoo Years had brought, bolstering the London cinema while weakening Hollywood as a mecca of film-making. Despite, or perhaps because of, these developments American art would see the development of less provocative and more realist styles of art with a focus on the depiction of American urban and rural scenes, with particularly the American South-West proving a favorite focus of many artists for its incredible natural landscapes, while Precisionists such as Charles Demuth and Ralston Crawford made a mark through their sharp renderings of machinery and architecture. During this period Jazz, Blues and Gospel music all rose to prominence, with particularly Jazz sweeping not just the United States but the world as a whole, while American television started to make its presence known as a pioneering technology with the first full-time broadcast beginning in the early 1930s, spreading to most major American cities by the time of the economic crisis of the mid-decade - the industry being dominated by private interests in an increasingly competitive market (23).

    The period between 1923 and 1935 would be dubbed as the Jazz Age by the prolific and highly regarded author F. Scott Fitzgerald whose novels, particularly "The Great Gatsby", would come to be seen as emblematic of its era not only for its depictions of the obscene wealth, pleasure-hunger and combative mood which marked the period but also for its stark portrayal of broken ideals, deep structural inequities and the self-destructive nature of modern American life. As a period known both for its incredible growth in American wealth and the entrenchment of deep societal inequalities, the Jazz Age would come to live a long life in the American consciousness. Nevertheless, it is important to note the changes even within this period, as the early period was marked mostly for its rambunctious excesses, many depicting it as an eagerness to celebrate surviving the dark times of the preceding decade, with the literature, art and music being energetic and colorful - a celebration of life in all its myriad forms, with much inspiration and interaction occurring with international cultural movements. However, as the McAdoo Presidency came under way and societal conflict came gradually to the fore alongside an ever more intense isolationism, the tone of the works began to change as well. Some cultural actors turned towards more conservative and nativist styles, cutting out anything which might be considered morally questionable or socially critical, while another current jumped headlong into an ever more critical depiction of American life. Writers such as Sinclair Lewis wrote remarkable works criticizing the materialism and consumerism increasingly gripping American society while John Dos Passos depicted military life and the suffocating regimentation of army life in a sharp rebuke of the military's handling of both the Great War itself and the veterans who had emerged broken therefrom. Further explorations of the time would come from writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance, with particularly the poet Langston Hughes and the writer Wallace Thurman making a splash with their stark depictions of the life of African-Americans in the lower socio-economic strata and their strong criticism of the divisions and prejudices within the black community itself - particularly on the basis of colorism. At the same time the female African-American novelist Zora Neale Hurston provoked a considerable stir with her works exploring the life of black women in America, African-American folklore and explorations of the African-American generational trauma. While Hurston's works were initially little noted, the growing awareness of race issues during the middle of the 1930s, and the growing conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and the federal government, would drive up interests in the works of Black artists and see her eventually acknowledged much more widely (24).

    On the other side of things stood writers such as Ernest Hemingway, whose decision to strip away all frills and simplify his sentence structures in a revolt against the flowery language prominent at the time led to his works finding widespread popularity with their strong and silent male protagonists, and Howard Phillips Lovecraft whose works of weird and fantastical horror, evoking questions of forbidden knowledge, fate, the decline of civilization and the intervention of unknowable cosmic beings indifferent or even hostile towards humanity, would prove immensely influential in the development of fantastical fiction. Particularly late in his career, Lovecraft would turn more explicitly towards a support and belief in the principles of Integralism, if sheered of their religious elements, believing that power must be restricted to only those sufficiently intelligent, talented and educated to wield it, while fiercely condemning Socialist and particularly Communist ideology - drawing allusions to communist writings with forbidden texts in his later stories serving as a medium for the spread of an unknowable cosmic horror which twists the minds of any who interact with it, unleashing hell upon earth in the process. Lovecraft had struggled to make a living off his works until 1927 when an introduction by Harry Houdini, for whom Lovecraft had ghostwritten "Imprisoned with the Pharaohs", to the head of a newspaper syndicate provided Lovecraft with a break which would allow him a degree of stability and economic prosperity extending into the 1930s. Living in New York, Lovecraft would continue to ghostwrite, publish stories through Weird Tales and secured financial support for a series of longer novels known as "Call of the Darkness" issued between 1928 and 1932 which followed a New Englander's gradual descent into horror and madness as he was drawn in by a Communist cell under the influence of an elder god seeking to spread its powers across the American North-East by infecting and taking over the minds of its followers - culminating in a hidden war for New York between cults of rival Elder Gods playing out with various underground political factions serving as proxy-forces for the cults. The end of the Jazz Age is a matter of some debate, for it overlapped with the succeeding Reform Literature, which was dominated by authors such as John Steinbeck, Henry Miller and William Faulkner who explored issues of social relevance to the period, inspired by the events of the early Long Presidency and the socio-economic crises which dominated the period. Whether it be the struggles of poor working-class people in California, the pressures of daily life for the rural poor of the South or the changing social mores of New York during the trying times following the Black Week, these works would shine a light upon the need for change and reform in American society. As the combative spirits rose to a high point during the late 1930s and questions of race, communism, authoritarianism, white power, economic prosperity and constitutional reform all rearing their head alongside the lifting of some of the most onerous censorship initiatives of the McAdoo era - particularly for comic books and radio, the creative industries began to really pick up pace once more as all sides of the political divide sought to make their case to the wider public (24).

    In the United Kingdom a common refrain which would come to characterize the two decades following the Great War was that "Britain had never left the crisis behind." Artists reacted to the horrors of the Great War by returning to more pastoral subjects and other topics of comfort, reacting fiercely against more modernist and surrealist trends in favor of realist and romantic tendencies either seeking to lay bare the reality of the post-Great War world or to bury themselves in pleasant fantasies of a happier past - with most experiments into surrealism, expressionism and modernism being met with jeering hostility, many of the practitioners of such movements moving to the Continent where they would find themselves more welcomed. Another trend during this period was the rise of Worker-Artists inspired by the Proletkult movement and the rising social awareness of the British working class, with works exploring and laying bare the circumstances of the British lower classes and exploring their lives and travails rising to significant prominence. This development would, however, be met with a great deal of hostility from the cultural establishment who saw the movement as little better than an instance of Communist infiltration. The period would also see the ascension of influential new writers such as the novelist Virginia Woolf, whose feminist works and stylistic innovations provoked considerable comment, while many novels took a more pessimistic outlook on the world during this period. A series of dystopian works, including by both George Orwell and Aldeous Huxley, would be but the most significant of a more general trend of works to take a critical outlook on the world. The perception of a country under siege, beset by troubles and travails on all sides, pervaded the works of the period and further extended the general feeling of malaise which had gripped the country during this period. On the other hand, this period would see the writing of some of the most influential works in fantastical fiction, from the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien to C.S. Lewis' Cosmic Trilogy, about a space-age Philologist named Elwin Ransom from Mars exploring the solar system after Earth is exiled from the rest of the planets for its involvement with the angelic being Bent Oyarsa, with their mix of religious undertones and explorations of mythology, science and history drawing considerable acclaim. The period between 1925 and 1937 would also see British cinema rise to prominence after initial indications of a decline, with the great English comedian Charlie Chaplin returning to Britain after running afoul of the McAdoo Code in Hollywood, Alfred Hitchcock stunning viewers with his thrillers even as documentaries began to emerge as a prominent genre under the direction of John Grierson. The United Kingdom would be amongst one of the early adopters of television - the first official broadcast coming in 1932, and swiftly emerged as one of the most robust television services in the world with the full backing of the government and the BBC. Over the course of the decade, many foreign states seeking to develop their own television services would come to look towards the UK for inspiration. The Battle of the East China Sea would sends shockwaves through Britain, with many dire proclamations of the Empire's doom, accompanied by countless references to the Fall of Rome, spreading far and wide with the previous malaise threatening to turn into outright depression. Nevertheless, the rise of the Conservatives to power under tenacious leaders like Stanley Baldwin and Anthony Eden, a countervailing trend would emerge calling for unity and a stiff-upper lip in order to press through the oncoming crises (25).

    The Legacy of Rome

    The Latinate nations, dominated as they were by the rising tide of Integralism, would by and large experience similar cultural movements and trajectories, with a great deal of cross-pollination and interaction occurring amongst the Latin Pact nations. At the center of the Latin Pact's cultural development lay the Iberian Peninsula which was to prove a key driving force in the cultural development of the Pact's countries. With the rise of integralism in these nations, there were a number of key features which came to dominate the cultural production and dialogue of the involved countries while several cultural currents found themselves either displaced or suppressed. Perhaps the most prominent feature to characterize the cultural developments of this period were a resurgence of Catholicism in all spheres of life, and an attendant influencing of the cultural productions to emerge during this period. Accompanied by a heavy emphasis on patriotism, loyalty to the state and a romantic emphasis on the historical achievements of their country, there would be significant cross-over between government propaganda and the art and productions of the period. A second feature of this period was an increasing breadth and depth of content within the frameworks set by the government, as economic prosperity and social unity rose precipitously in many of these countries, which often led to challenges in the offices of government censors and propagandists, who had to figure out which works to sponsor and support as well as which works to condemn and suppress. One of the early cultural achievements of the royal Spanish regime would be the completion of the Basilica de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona in 1934, leaving the towering heights of the Gothic-Art Nouveau basilica to announce the capabilities of the government for all to see in what was otherwise known to be a city dominated by political turbulence and anti-government sentiments. Perhaps the single most significant development during this period would be the extreme retrenchment of church influence on people's private lives with the establishment of moral codes, enforced church attendance and the establishment of a renewed church-led effort to root out corruption, malpractices and incorrect religious practices within its own ranks, which was to see thousands of priests censured and forced to retake seminary studies under a changed Integralist curricula. In Spain, the literary tradition established during the Borbon Restoration would find a rather dramatic shift as the changing politico-cultural foundations of the state forced many writers to either adapt to the changing censorship or depart for more friendly environs. The literary Generations of 1898 and 1914, with their nationalistic works and historical emphases, would find themselves able to remain at the heart of Spanish literary developments, but for the more radical writers who emerged in the 1920s, most of whom were poets, the changing times would lead to an exodus - some finding their way to France, others to Sicily and a third group to Latin America, particularly Colombia before the rise of integralist currents in that country sent them northward to Mexico or back to Europe (26).

    Perhaps the most lax cultural scene amongst the Latin Pact nations would prove, perhaps surprisingly, to be Royal Italy where the weak central government, lax morality regime and the resultant free reign given to any and every vice on particularly Sicily, resulted in the country and island in particular becoming not just a criminal hotbed, but also a favorite destination of exile for many of those forced from their homes by the more repressive Latin Pact governments. The license given to tourists in the country would help undergird the fragile economy of the region, with hotels, casinos, bars and nightclubs springing up in several resort towns utterly dominated by powerful Mafia interests. While the Fascist government under Dino Grandi would attempt to impose some degree of censorship and instituted a government-sponsored series of propaganda campaigns, it would prove poorly funded and utterly insufficient to the plans of the government, with even propaganda, literature and artworks from Socialist Italy being so widespread in Sicily that one could purchase copies of Antonio Gramsci's works outside the Royal Palace in Palermo. Despite, or perhaps because of, these developments Sicily would prove a surprisingly major font of cultural development and experimentation, with eventually French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Latin American writers, artists and performers all congregating on the island, enjoying the warm weather, lax legal standards and historic scenery as they melded, broke with and merged together their various ideas - with the more radical leftists often making the rather simple but illicit journey across the Straits of Messina in order to enjoy the many benefits provided by the Socialist Republic to those willing to help develop Gramsci's new cultural hegemony. A particularly influential cultural movement leading up to and during the Italian Civil War would prove to be the futurists, but in the war's aftermath the movement splintered into several sections, some involved in the fascist movement and others amongst the Italian Communists, while new artistic and cultural movements challenged the preceding futurists. In Socialist Italy the efforts of Gramsci would see writers previously marginalized, such as Italo Svevo and Federigo Tozzi, recognized and popularized - their modernist and psychological literary styles influencing many up-and-coming Italian writers - while the formidable Sicilian emigre Luigi Pirandello provoked great interest with his humorous and grotesque theatrical style - which often presented rather scathing critiques of traditional Italian lifestyle and the failures of the socialist government, helping to spawn an entire school of Socialist writers focused upon exploring the macabre and grotesque aspects of society in a critical and humorous fashion, employing sarcasm, irony and wittiness to draw in the audience before presenting actual societal challenges of varying sorts (27).

    The Lusophone world would find itself divided by two sharply contrasting developments - on one hand, Portugal under the Sidonist regime strengthened and consolidated itself and the national culture, while on the other hand Brazil fell to into anarchy and only gradually regained its stability. The resultant consequences of these two developments were to have profound consequences for the national cultural movements of either state. In Portugal, cultural developments followed the same broadly modernist line which had come to dominate Europe during the first decades of the century, with two artists in particular making their mark on Portuguese culture: José de Almada Negreiros and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso - both representing what came to be known as the Portuguese Futurist movement which, despite its name, drew inspiration from an entire range of European artistic movements including Cubism, Futurism, Expressionism, Surrealism and even a few Proletkult elements, representing what some art critics came to see as the cutting-edge modern European art. Particularly the young Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso would emerge from a near-fatal bout with the Flu epidemic of the late Great War years with a renewed passion and fatalistic imagery which many would come to view as emblematic of the troubled years immediately following the Great War. While Souza-Cardoso would clash on several occasions with the Portuguese government and took repeated sabbaticals to Sicily, France and Brazil, he would remain one of the most prominent Portuguese artists of the age, even as his counterpart Negreiros made himself much more welcomed by the Sidonist authorities, still producing great art with a hidden undercurrent of social critique, but never to the extent that Souza-Cardoso did. This period would also become known for the precipitous rise of Portuguese Cinema following its relatively early adoption of sound films, with directors such as Leitao de Barros, Antonio Lopes Riberio, Manoel de Oliveria and Arthur Duarte drawing inspiration from the styles and approaches of French, German and Russian cinemas to develop the unique Portuguese cinematic style while strong government sponsorship allowed for the establishment of cinemas across Portugal and the financing of high quality studios, eventually drawing even French and Spanish directors and artists due to the favorable conditions provided by the government - particularly following the disastrous shift to sound in Spain, with many Spanish actors and directors preferring to do their work in Portugal, where lesser government interference, better working conditions and significantly improved financing made more ambitious works possible. In Brazil the Tenentist Uprising would result in major social dislocation and displacement, with countless artists and writers seeking refuge in exile. Having been preceded bare months before the outbreak of the Tenentist Uprising by the Modern Art Week of 1922, the Brazilian Modernist movement would find itself fractured almost from the get-go, with two major currents emerging during this period between the Cannibalists, who wished to use the influence of European and American artists to create their own art, "eating" all influences and digesting them to produce something new, and the Nationalists who wished to rid Brazil of all "foreign" influences and create a purely Brazilian form of art. While major figures in both groups would spend time in exile, the leader of the cannibalists, Oswaldo de Andrade, would do so in Argentina and Chile, while the Nationalist leader Plinio Salgado spent his time in Portugal - further deepening his convictions in Brazilian Integralism and, perhaps inadvertently, introducing elements of Portuguese Futurism to the Brazilian Nationalist cultural movement in the process. Following the restoration of relative peace and order with the Constitutional Revolution, both movements' leaders and principle figures would return from exile, bringing with them widely divergent styles which soon came to form but another front in the bitterly partisan politics of post-Constitutional Revolution Brazil (28).

    The unquestioned crown jewel of Romance culture had always been, and would always be, France. Whether it be art, music, theater, cinema or literature, the French were trendsetters and innovators of a nearly peerless nature with Paris itself having served for centuries as a Mecca for artists of all sorts, and this had in no way changed during the decades following the Great War. While the initial struggles to rebuild France following the war proved both costly and incredibly difficult, leading some artists to seek their fortunes elsewhere during the interval, for the most part French culture continued onward with nary a hiccup during this period. As the birthplace and heartland of numerous modernist art currents, from Impressionism and Post-Impressionism to Symbolism, Cubism and Surrealism, France remained a cultural hotbed in which creative types of all sorts met to exchange ideas and opinions while writers dueled in the pages of magazines and periodicals as composers from around the globe, such as Igor Stravinsky, Béla Bartók and Claude Debussy, drew rapturous acclaim as they displayed their works on the stages of theaters and concert halls of Paris. Nevertheless, this period would be considered a bit of a downturn in particularly French Literature as the death of Marcel Proust in the early 1920s left a gaping hole unfilled - various contenders for greatness presenting themselves, but none quite measuring up to expectations. Two prominent young writers did emerge during the tumultuous years of the mid-1930s in the form of Albert Camus and Louis-Ferdinand Céline, with the former's works finding great acclaim on the left with its examination of the metaphysics of rebellion, moralistic stances and absurdist existentialism, while Céline's deeply pessimistic view of the human condition and his elegantly academic literary style blending with slang and working-class language made him something of a darling of the right - much helped by his forceful support of the integralist movement, membership in the Union de la Droite and sharply anti-Semitic outlook. The dominant artistic trend of the post-Great War era in France was to be a melding of abstractism and Dadaism into the Surrealist movement of which Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and André Breton would stand as the most influential figures - the movement seeking to activate the unconscious mind through imagery, with a heavy emphasis on the elements of surprise and juxtapositions. During this period the French Négritude movement also had its beginnings, influenced by the Harlem Renaissance in the United States, producing a variety of major Black works, including the poetry of Aimé Césaire and Léon Damas, while laying the groundwork for anti-colonialist and Pan-Africanist artistic tendencies in the French colonies in Africa. The Great War would greatly impact the previously vibrant French film industry, with a significant reduction in expenditures seeing the adoption of cheaper, less showy, genres such as poetic realism and impressionism which relied more upon the ideas and thoughts conveyed by the work than the actual cinematography. The eventual rise of French Integralists under Jacques Arthuys and the restoration of the Monarchy might well have provoked considerable changes to the French cultural scene, with rather ardent social critiques on the extremes of the Union de la Droite calling for harsh moralistic censorship laws and the like, but well aware of the touchy nature of the subject, Arthuys would refrain from any such plans - allowing the cultural scene to continue its vibrant development outside of a crackdown on explicit anti-government works (29).

    The East Asian Renaissance

    East Asian culture would be marked by three major trends - Modernism, Westernization and Traditionalism, often in surprising and astonishing combinations. In Japan, the democratization, modernization and westernization which occurred in the post-Great War period would lead to the rise of exceedingly western trends such as Jazz, European modernist and surrealist art as well as a range of western literary trends including Romanticist, Naturalist and Proletarian Literature during the 1920s and first half of the 1930s. These trends would often clash or draw upon more traditional Japanese cultural elements such that some of the most prominent works of the time saw former samurai and geisha populate Japanese novels alongside prostitutes, soldiers, cabaret dancers and westernized business men, with some authors even experimenting with blending modern literary elements with more traditionally Japanese high-literary styles - a particular talent of the neo-romantic Nagai Kafu, who enjoyed considerable acclaim during the 1910s and 20s. The most significant literary trend to rise to emerge during the 1920s was without a doubt the large Proletarian Literary movement, large elements of which would eventually gain government support under the Shogunate. Amongst the most significant of the early Proletarian writers would be Kuroshima Denji, whose experiences fighting as a conscript in Siberia during the Russian Civil War made him one of the most forceful anti-militarist and pacifist voices in Japan with his works containing vivid and detailed descriptions of the agonies both suffered by the Japanese soldiers and the Russian civilians in the conflict. Kuroshima would cause considerable controversy with his full-length novel "The Taxman" which followed the Japanese involvement in the extraordinarily punitive taxation scheme implemented in southern China which led to the Southern Chinese Uprising during the early 1930s, with a shocking description of the economic, social and military violence done upon the Chinese peasantry in the name of enriching the Japanese bourgeoisie even as Japanese workers and farmers struggled to make a living - the book proving so inflammatory that it was banned in China, Japan and the United States for its contents, although this ban would be lifted following the establishment of the Shogunate. His second full-length novel "The Swirling Crows", published in 1939, would come to be seen as one of the most iconic literary works of the first half of the 20th century with its powerful critique of the revolutionary excesses of the Shogunate, even as he lauded the cause and need for the revolution - the setting of the book during the Japanese Civil War with its moving and often horrifying portrayal of the conflict making it an unforgettable work of art, despite Kuroshima needing to spend the last few years of his life in a bitter struggle with government censors before the work could be published. While Kuroshima Denji would end up acknowledged as the most talented of the early proletarian writers, the most emblematic writer of Shogunate Proletarian Literature would prove to be the young radical Kobayashi Takiji, who achieved notoriety for his short novel "Crab Cannery Ship" about the hard life of the workers aboard a cannery ship and the beginning of their revolt against the company and its managers. Kobayashi would align himself closely with Kita Ikki, not only publishing a range of literary works based on Kita Ikki's writings, but also playing a key role in the formation of a new cultural cannon after the establishment of the Shogunate and writing several ideological tracts based on Kitan communist principles - his wholehearted celebration and support of the new regime aiding in his rise to prominence (30).

    While the Proletarian literary movement would come to dominate Japan leading up to and following the Japanese Civil War, there was a concurrent directly oppositional movement which rose to prominence during this time as an outgrowth of the anti-Naturalist movement which had held sway during the 1910s and early 1920s, emphasizing Japanese nationalist tendencies, relying heavily on historical fiction, using romantic language and often reinterpreting historical Japanese tales. The most prominent early writers of what would come to be known as the Culturalist movement, for its efforts to explore the clash and synthesis between western and traditional Japanese culture, would prove to be Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Tanizaki Jun'ichiro and Eiji Yoshikawa - although the early death of Akutagawa in 1927 to suicide would see his eventual replacement by his life-long friend Kikuchi Hiroshi as a leading voice of the movement, with the eventual result that Akutagawa's numerous highly praised works came to be associated with the far-right due to Kikuchi's actions. The establishment of the Kokumin Domei by adherents of Emperor Genka in 1934 and the resultant formation of a far-right political movement was to draw in a large number of writers and artists, enamored with the idealized world which the movement's leaders imagined. The resultant works from the period between 1934 and early 1936 when the Japanese Civil War began would see the prodigious production of Culturalist works, with some of the most emblematic works of the period being Yoshikawa Eiji's serialized story "Musashi" about the famed swordsman Miyamoto Musashi - a rambunctious adventure story exploring the society of early Tokugawa Japan which drew an immense following. The outbreak of the Japanese Civil War would utterly shake the cultural foundations of Japan as war, displacement, struggle and persecution all gravely impacted the lives of figures on both sides of the politico-cultural divide, with many writers and artists eventually finding themselves pushed into exile in Chosun or further afield (31).

    The immense societal dislocation would greatly influence the works of many of the Chosun writers who began to publish in the post-war period, with one of the most noteworthy works of the period proving to be Tanizaki Jun'ichiro's work "A Light Snowfall" about the lives of four daughters of a wealthy Osaka merchant family who live through the calamitous civil war, the novel exploring the various traumas of the conflict through their eyes and exploring the changed cultural identities of those who had lived through the Civil War. Yoshikawa, who had served as a special correspondent during the civil war and whose mentally ill wife Akazawa Yasu had died during the flight from Japan, would channel his experiences into a deeply haunting retelling Genpei War with the "New Tale of the Heike" - an adaptation of the eponymous epic of the Genpei War which Yoshikawa used to portray the horrors he had seen during the much more recent Japanese Civil War. In general, the literary period following the Civil War in Chosun would come to be known as the Exiled Movement, with themes exploring the cultural dislocation experienced by the Japanese exiles as well as exploring the various periods of civil war in Japanese history with a much more dark and haunting tone than the Culturalists of the pre-Civil War era being the dominant trend. It is worth noting that during the post-Civil War period, Chosun would maintain an overarching Japanese cultural hegemony, undercut by a fierce but often persecuted and hidden Korean counter culture with works such as Kim Dong-in's "Potato" following the story of a woman who gradually loses all sense of decency and degenerates into a common prostitute while trying to overcome economic, social and political hardships, proving a particularly searing work of the period while Yeom Sang-seob's "Three Generations" about the lives of Korean peoples under colonial rule explored the contradictions and moral sacrifices of the Korean upper classes to survive and even occasionally thrive under Japanese occupation. Even though more laudatory works, or works seeking to avoid dealing with the colonial administration through the Rural Enlightenment genre, had been prevalent in the pre-Civil War period, such as Sim Hun's "Sangnoksu" about two Korean university students seeking to promote literacy and modern agriculture in the Korean countryside, this tendency would die out almost entirely in the years following the scarring horrors of the Civil War (31).

    Modern Chinese culture entered a renaissance with what was known as the New Culture Movement in the 1910s centered on a critique of classical Chinese ideas and the promotion of a new Chinese culture - with the initial figures stressing democracy and science as the key elements of revolutionary change. However, following the calamitous Republican Years during which the country collapsed into anarchy and civil war, with the republican government little more than a fig-leaf for military tyrants and the state of the Chinese people in utter degradation, the 1920s would see a major disillusionment with many of the ideas initially advocated by the movement. Nevertheless, this period would see a series of immensely important ideas introduced into Chinese society which amongst other developments led to the initial formation of the Chinese Communist Party - which would in turn eventually give birth to the Jiaxing and Shanghai Communists of the late 1920s and early 1930s. This period saw Vernacular Chinese writing and literature emerge supreme in the culmination of a centuries-long transition away from Classical Chinese and the re-examination of Confucian texts and ancient classics using modern textual and critical methods, which gave birth to the Doubting Antiquity School of Chinese historiography under the philosopher and historian Hu Shih and his colleague Gie Jiegang - Chinese founding myths such as the Era of Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors being questioned for their historicity, with particularly Gie Jiegang taking particular delight in suggesting that the Sage King Yu of the Xia Dynasty (founder of the mythological first Chinese dynasty) was of barbarian blood - even as he disputed the Sage King's actual existence. In general the movement's emphasis on orienting China's eyes towards the future, rather than the past was to prove of immense importance as it broke fundamentally with traditional Chinese beliefs, which held antiquity and tradition to be of the utmost importance - and in the process paved the path for more radical ideas. Perhaps the most significant contribution of the New Culture Movement was to be the May Twelfth Movement which swept across China in protest against the terms of the Copenhagen Treaty, culminating in the Beijing Rising and subsequent restoration of Qing rule under the auspices of the Fengtian Clique and Zhang Zuolin in 1920. While the explosive force of the May Twelfth Movement were by and large influenced by the ideals of the New Culture Movement - and as such sought to combine the spirit of democracy, reform and science - the ultimate emergence of the Fengtian Clique as the premier power in northern China as a result of this development would bring both movements to an end and augur in a different cultural trend (32).

    The Qing Restoration and ascendency of the Fengtian Clique over the subsequent half decade would prove another watershed in Chinese history, and hold incredible consequences for the cultural development of the vast country. In challenging traditional Chinese values, the leaders of the New Culture Movement had played an instrumental role in restoring the Qing to their throne and paved the path for a far more dictatorial state under Zhang Zuolin. For many of the prominent figures of the movement it was to be an eternal shame - with several even committing suicide out of sheer horror at the consequences of their actions. As a result the New Culture Movement gradually gave way to the Phoenix Movement, so named for Feng in Fengtian, which would go on to serve as the prevailing cultural current of the 1920s and early 1930s. While maintaining a good portion of the socially critical and reform-minded spirit of the New Culture Movement, the Phoenix Movement would focus more upon a melding of the new with the old than the whole-hearted replacement of the old with the new which had characterized its preceding movement. While some artists, writers and thinkers would struggle to accept this change, the period would nevertheless see the implementation of a core idea of the New Culture Movement with the publishing of the first short story written exclusively in the vernacular script - "The True Story of Ah Q" by Lu Xun. The initial Phoenix movement would be characterized by three general currents - the Leftists, the Loyalists and the Non-Conformists, although the latter could be considered more a combination of many different, often contrasting and oppositional, movements rather than any real cohesive whole - of which the most significant were men such as Hu Shih, who grieved the lost chance for a Chinese Democracy, and Shi Zhecun, whose works were of an unpolitical nature exploring the psychology of Chinese reactions to modern life, often with an absurdist or supernatural element. However, before much of anything could really occur, the Leftists themselves split into two feuding factions, mirroring the divide between Jiaxing and Shanghai Communism which came to dominate the political left-wing in the aftermath of the Jiangning Rebellion in the mid-1920s. Nevertheless, the Leftists would make themselves known for their works adapted to the Traditionalist and Modernist tendencies in Soviet culture, with all works generally falling under the category of Proletarian Literature - although in time this too would change, as Proletarian Literature split into Reformist and Revolutionary branches, the former associated with Shanghai and the latter with the radical works smuggled through the Chinese underground by Jiaxing Communists. As for the Loyalists, here too divides emerged, for while some members were long-time Qing loyalists, such as the historian Luo Zhenyu - whose works on oracle bones and the Tangut script revolutionized Chinese understanding of its ancient past, many more were opportunists or supporters of the Fengtian Clique. Most prominent of these new Fengtian loyalists would be a number of former figures within the New Culture Movement who had grown disillusioned with their original radical ideas and now saw the Fengtian government as the best vehicle for introducing some of their ideas - Liang Shuming, who sought to reform the Chinese countryside as part of the Rural Reconstruction Movement in direct competition with the Jiaxing Communists; the educationalist Cai Yuanpei, who had played a critical role in unleashing the May Twelfth Movement and who sought to raise China up through educational reform and scientific rigor; and the formerly-Leftist Lu Xun, who had found the strife and divisions amongst the Leftists distasteful after they turned against him, and sought to protect the flowering cultural renaissance which had begun with the Xinhai Revolution under Fengtian auspices (33).

    The 1930s would see another shift in the cultural dynamic, as the Jiaxing Communists and their branch of proletarian arts found themselves driven into exile or destruction by an incredibly fierce campaign of repression, while the Shanghai Communist's Reform Literature movement shifted into close alignment with the Fengtian Loyalists, simply part of that wider cultural movement with Lu Xun at its head once more. Thus, the primary dynamic of the period leading up to the establishment of the Fengtian Dynasty would come to center on the re-emergence of anti-Qing sentiment, instigated and fueled by the efforts of Zhang Xueming and other Fengtian loyalists, and the struggles of a shrinking clique of Qing loyalists in the face of the ever more vicious cultural assaults. One of the most significant figures to lead the critique of the Qing government and champion the Fengtian cause would prove to be the educator, philosopher and novelist Lin Yutang who wielded western humor and a deep understanding of Chinese history to elegantly tie together mockery of the Qing, the desire for a "properly" Chinese state and the need for cosmopolitan and civilized philosophical discussion on societal reform in his series of satires known collectively as "The Little Critic". The writer Yu Dafu would prove instrumental in developing the Chinese Romantic Movement during these years, his works iconoclastic and controversial, his heroes by turns voyeuristic, fetishist, homosexual, masochistic and kleptomanic, and emblematic of the belief that repressed heroes were unable to relate to women or accomplish great deeds - the works drawing both admiration and critique for their often shocking nature. This period was also marked by the rise of the author and playwright Mao Dun as a leading figure of the Reform Movement with his novel "Midnight", about life in the cosmopolitan Shanghai, becoming the most significant work of what would come to be known as the Early Realist movement - inspired in part by the New Objectivity movement in Germany and in part by the Traditionalist branch of Proletkult. The final major figure of significance to the cultural development of China to rise to prominence during this period would prove to be the writer, historian and archaeologist Guo Moruo, whose works of primarily an operatic nature drew on historical settings and traditions, seeking to wed traditional art forms and styles with modern approaches, with the works focusing heavily on patriotism, the connection between the Chinese lower classes and rule over China as well as a heavy emphasis on national unity. While originally leaning towards leftism, even for a period flirting with Communism, Guo Moruo would fall into the orbit of Zhang Xueliang and his northern following when they travelled south to Shanghai. In time Guo Moruo's works would come to be used as part of the vanguard of the government offensive into rebel territories in southern China - serving as the first edge in the intellectual offensive which followed the military campaign, seeking to engender support of the state into the previously rebellious populace (34).

    The end of the Qing Dynasty and the rise of Fengtian in 1936 would prove a pivotal turning point, not only firmly shutting the door on the New Culture Movement and the republican tendencies which had continued to flicker feebly during the preceding two decades, but bringing to prominence Modernist Buddhism and its attendant elements before the larger Hongzhi Reform Movement utterly reshaped Chinese society and culture. This period would see the proliferation of what had until then been a new sub-cultural literary movement in the form of Wuxia and Xianxia Literature - the former an adventure genre dealing with martial heroes capable of supernatural feats in a historical setting, often drawing influence from the rapidly growing martial arts community which found government sponsorship from the Fengtian government during this period, and the latter a more fantastical genre dealing with spiritual cultivation, supernatural capabilities, fantastical creatures and god-like abilities, with heavy inspiration from Chinese mythology, Taoism and particular the more esoteric elements of Buddhism. This was part of a wider trend during this period whereby the Fengtian Dynasty sought to promote and organize Chinese martial arts - forming sporting bodies and tournaments, implementing widespread education and training in order to spread good physical health as well as seeking to promote martial arts as an Olympic sport successfully - such that the 1940 Beijing Olympics would include an entire slate of martial arts competitions. This period would see the formation of the Academia Sinica as a national research academy dedicated to pushing forward research and education across China under the direction of Cai Yuanpei. Literary trends during this period would splinter somewhat, with Realist, Fantastical - Wuxia and Xianxia, Romantic, Historical and Reform Literature all finding steady growth and consolidation into more established movements and genres under government auspices. In an effort to create some guidelines for historical inquiry and to organize the rapidly expanding archaeological work being done during this period, the government established the Chinese Imperial Historical Society under the direction of Chang Ch'iyun, who brought a focus on geographic and archaeology-based historiography to the position which sharply contrasted with the traditional emphasis on written records in Chinese historiography and helped bring to prominence Liu Yizheng, a long-time critic of Hu Shih's call to replace traditional Chinese learning with westernized counterparts - instead seeking to emphasize "Innate" Chinese culture and practices. This period also saw renewed interest in more traditional Chinese art forms, such as Shaoxing, Kunshun and Peking Opera, which had seen something of a loss in prominence during the preceding decades in favor of more Western-inspired theatrical styles. It would further see the unification of artistic trends which had grown increasingly anarchic in the preceding years as artists who had been educated in the west returned home with a variety of new influences - ranging from the impressionist and surrealist to the cubist, realist and dadaist. The government would seek to emphasize works with more of a Chinese flair with the artist Lin Fengmian, a close associate of Cai Yuanpei, rising to prominence with government sponsorship - his epic pictures of scenes from the Chinese Classics and Buddhist cannon being reproduced and popularized on an incredibly wide scale while his position as President of the Chinese Imperial Academy of Art would allow him an immense degree of influence upon future Chinese artists. As for Cai Yuanpei himself, he would play an instrumental role in introducing and synthesizing classical Western Music to China through the Imperial Conservatory of Music to which he sponsored his close friend and talented musical educator Xiao Youmei for leadership. At the same time a popular new genre of music would sweep northward from its origins in Shanghai with the arrival of Zhang Xueliang and his cohorts in Beijing - Shidaiqu being a Jazz Fusion genre drawing in both Western and Chinese instruments. Even news and journalism would experience considerable change during this period with the establishment of the "Imperial Times" as a nation-wide government news paper reporting on primarily state affairs and national news, while the "Ta Kung Pao" sought to provide a more impartial reporting on public affairs and the "Imperial Culture Review" provided a state-backed outlook on cultural affairs with book reviews, interviews with prominent cultural figures and a prominently featured Women's Column initially edited by the famous Yang Gang making an immediate impression (35).

    Footnotes and endnote can be found in the next post.
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    Update Forty (Pt. 2.1): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • Footnotes:
    (15) So most of this is a repeat of things covered previously in the TL, but I just needed to set the stage and make the introductions in order to ensure that everyone is on the same page before we dig into the specifics. The division of Proletkult into Futurist and Traditionalist wings is based on an OTL divide, with the Futurists connected to the Russian avantgarde and the Traditionalists to what would in time become the Socialist Realist movement - although ITTL it will take a somewhat different form than IOTL. The important thing to note here is that the Traditionalists have not been pushed into propaganda being the explicit goal of their works - which was a criterion enforced very specifically on Stalin's orders, and are thus a lot more dynamic than the OTL movement.

    (16) The Suprematist and Constructivist art movements are OTL, but the Spiritualist movement is a bit of a butterfly. IOTL Kandisky was basically driven out of his offices by radical materialist artists who found him too interested in the spiritual elements of art, and he eventually went abroad like many of his contemporaries. ITTL he ends up shielded by Lunacharsky and is able to continue developing his ideas within the Soviet Republic, eventually finding a small but significant following in the art world. Another thing to note is that ITTL Tatlin's Tower ends up actually getting built - dwarfing the Eiffel Tower in its main body and inspiring awe in all who see it - the monument becoming one of the premier symbols of the Soviet Republic. The whole building is honestly an incredibly ambitious work, with spinning structures providing venues for lectures, conferences and legislative meetings with housing for executive functions and a cylinder at the top containing an information center which issues news and and propaganda via telegraph, radio, television and loudspeakers (Tatlin's Tower ends up being integral to the television and radio dispatches during the Olympics). IOTL the project was abandoned due to the projected costs in 1920 before the whole project getting shelved when the Proletkult movement was ended, but ITTL the plans continue and are further elaborated during the 1920s before construction is started in the early 1930s.

    (17) One of the great tragedies of the Soviet Union in my opinion is the immense amount of literary talent which was lost or suppressed. ITTL things are somewhat different. While censorship and persecution still happens, the literary scene is far, far more open and the restrictions far looser than almost anywhere else in the world. Thus we see groups like the Serapion Brothers allowed to continue unmolested, Mikhail Bolgakov permitted to publish his various works (The Master and Margarita was a work I felt had to be done, but it should be significantly different from the OTL version) and perhaps even more significantly Vladimir Mayakovsky does not commit suicide. In general, the literary community proves much more healthy as the loosened censorship doesn't drive authors to ruins or force them into writing works they do not wish to write. Nevertheless, there is a pall which hangs over everything and a sense that the libertine literary environment could disappear at any moment - further demonstrated by those caught up in the Trotskyite Affair.

    (18) There are a ton of divergences from OTL in this section, but the two major associations are actually OTL - with the ASM having enjoyed a position of prominence during the NEP era before the reactionaries of the RAPM provoked their censoring and broke up the avantgarde movement. Notably both associations develop quite differently ITTL, with the RAPM seeing the original director overthrown by members who IOTL left due to the mentioned criticism and a resultant shift towards popular music rather than classical music. Perhaps the figure to benefit the most ITTL is Dmitri Shostakovich who avoids the repeated censures IOTL and is thus able to fully employ all of his talents without (as he put it) 'The Party's Guidance'. He gets off to a better start with "The Nose" being performed as a stage piece, which was the plan originally, rather than the dismal concert of OTL which left many listeners confused and angered. "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" still meets the harsh critique of Stravinsky, but ITTL the originally high praises aren't brought to a premature end by Stalin's interference and thus the work ends up being a real triumph for the young composer which allows him to continue unfolding his wings. Finally, the Ballet, where the improved political situation sees George Balanchine and Sergei Prokofiev return to Russia instead of the former taking his talents to New York to set up the New York City Ballet and the latter is able to maintain himself quite well in Moscow under the protection of the Kultburo.

    (19) So things get going with TV and Radio a bit earlier IOTL, with the technological process having been invested heavily into alongside espionage methods targeting American, German and British corporations being undertaken to help resolve issues such as getting sound in cinema and the like. In contrast to OTL, Sergei Eisenstein doesn't end up going on his international hiatus, having been wooed rather strongly by Lunacharsky to stay in the Soviet Republic, and as such he doesn't waste the early 1930s on a bunch of failed projects.

    (20) So for those keeping track - that is three major socio-cultural currents in German society during the 1930s. While the Leftist current, with its emphasis on worker culture, social equality and class conflict based approach, is pretty straight forward, the divide between the Conservative and German Liberty movements are a bit more complicated. Basically, the Conservatives see themselves as an extension of the old Prussian Germany, its values, achievements and understanding of the world - although with the understanding that it is the industriousness, innovativeness and efficiency-minded nature of the German people which brought about that rise to prominence. By contrast, the German Liberty movement is in many ways a revolt against those principles and values - with an emphasis on the almost libertarian nature of life under the Holy Roman Empire: a period in which each man was his own and could live as they each wished on their own lands without the imperialism or overbearing authoritarianism of the Prussian model. They are very focused on individuality, regionalism, communion with the past and with nature as well as a belief that Germany's greatness centers on its manifold nature rather than the Prussian outlook. In a lot of ways you could see it as a sort of Neo-Romanticism if that makes sense - containing a heavy emphasis on sentimentality, pride in nationality and an emphasis on the fantastical. If the Conservative reads/watches epic war dramas and family sagas, the leftists are sci-fi fanatics and the German Liberty adherents fantasy enthusiasts to put it another way.

    (21) Most of these trends are related to the developments described before this section, but I think one of the fascinating developments ITTL is the way in which New Objectivity ends up linked to the Conservative movement. It bleak and grounded approach to the world strips the cultural movement of quite a lot of the frills - but at the same time it leaves Conservatives with the conviction that they are the only ones willing to face the harsh reality even as the Leftists dismantle the epitome of German civilization while the German Liberty folks run around like a bunch of harebrained fantasists without any true grasp on the real world. One thing to note is that in contrast to OTL, "All Quiet on the Western Front" ends up being a wholly German production under the direction of Pabst where IOTL it was produced in the Hollywood by the Russian-American Lewis Milestone. The result is a work which is much closer to Pabst's OTL Westfront 1918 than the OTL work - i.e. bleaker, more grounded and more wholly German in outlook and perspective - with The Road Back being held up as on equal parring with AQotWF ITTL. Obviously, the specific details of both the novels and the movies are changed quite a bit by the alterations to the Great War, but the overall message and themes remain at least somewhat similar - although the conflict isn't portrayed as quite so pointless an exercise ITTL given that German "victory" in the Great War helped to heal at least some of the wounds caused by the Great War (so the novels aren't quite as bleak in their portrayal of the conflict - it isn't so much a wasted war, but rather one in which immense sacrifice, to a questionable degree, has been undertaken). In general Erich Maria Remarque ends up being one of the really great German writers of this period and continues putting out works throughout the 1930s without the OTL crackdown of the Nazis to halt him.

    (22) German music and radio follow a trajectory similar to OTL, with the notable exception that we don't get things completely derailed by the Nazis. As such the Jazz and Swing movement, instead of being a counter-cultural movement, ends up being just the latest wave of foreign inspirations which have inundated Germany for centuries. Radio is a more competitive field in TTL's Germany with competition for the OTL Volksempfänger from Blaupunkt (who were commissioned to make a cheap radio as well IOTL - here they end up just doing it as part of their competition for market share). By contrast, while television comes off to a rougher start than IOTL, given the lack of the 1936 Olympics to really make a splash, the German television industry ends up much more active and healthy moving forward. Without an immediate World War or the economic preparations for such a contest going on, there is a lot more money going around which makes television a more feasible medium ITTL.
    (23) So the first part of this section will deal with the United States before we close out with the UK, but there are some general elements in common as mentioned, especially once we get to the 1930s and the troubles experienced by both countries during this period. I felt that with McAdoo and the Nativists in power we might see a further extension of some of the censorship efforts which were being undertaken during this period - it is much the same impetus which led to Prohibition and the like - and some of the censorship efforts which would otherwise have come during or after WW2. Here the newly emergent comic book industry gets hit almost immediately, nearly killing it off before it can get going, but by the latter half of the 1930s we see comic books start to take off properly.

    (24) The Jazz Age ends up being quite a bit longer than IOTL, but with a shift towards some of the more socially critical novels of the 1930s being included instead of the movement being ended with the Great Depression. I have taken the liberty of keeping Houdini alive a bit longer so that Lovecraft can find the bit of stability which their partnership might have resulted in, and as such I am not killing him off quite on schedule, and I am layering in a new full novel trilogy which includes his more explicitly anti-leftist sentiments ITTL. Without the shock of the Depression government failures to move him away from his elitist policies as happened IOTL, he remains more of a crypto-integralist if replacing the religious elements with more of a progressive outlook. I also have Zora Neale Hurston rising to prominence far, far earlier than IOTL, with her works becoming popular due to the greater focus upon race matters during this period. I thought it would be a fitting and fascinating development to have her rise to prominence during this period instead of her works largely falling by the wayside until the late 1900s.

    (25) So the British section ends up being rather short, but I hope that the main trends do come across clearly. In Britain there is a sense that the whole world is against them and that they are balanced atop a mountain of explosives, carefully trying to maneuver through the ever oncoming crises. While this has some descend into a depressive outlook, there are also many who call for the British to demonstrate their long vaunted stoicism and unity in the face of danger.

    (26) This section is both a bit broadly about the Latin Pact developments and more specifically about the developments in Spanish culture. One thing to note is that we don't see the same sort of earth-shattering calamity which the Spanish Civil War was IOTL, and as such a lot of the trends from the Restoration Era aren't broken in the same way. Instead, we see a smaller but steady stream of artists and writers leave Spain for more friendly lands and a shift in attitudes which brings religion back into play as a major force in society and culture. Historical and religious themes make a major comeback, but we don't see quite the same degree of crackdown on artistic affairs as IOTL under the Francoists.

    (27) Italy is fun, and I thought it might be interesting to provide a bit of dichotomy here with the Socialist government very actively sponsoring and promoting Italian artists, culture and tradition while seeking to integrate it all into the new socio-cultural framework and hegemony Gramsci is trying to develop. By contrast, while Sardinia is largely left to itself, Sicily becomes a real hotspot for anyone looking for a place with loose morals, loose laws and a great climate. Artists and writers flock to the island, many Parisian artists even taking more or less lengthy sojourns to the island to experience something new. The result is that Sicily ends up paying a major role in the more experimental and radical cultural and artistic movements of the period, as artists and writers from across Europe visit and interact with each other outside of the stricter and more effective governments of their homes.

    (28) So ITTL with politics somewhat more settled during the 1920s, the Sidonist regime is able to get the cinematic industry off to a better jump with the shift to sound and ends up becoming something of a hub for the Latin Pact's movie industry, with works in both Spanish and Portuguese produced at an incredible rate with talented artists, directors and actors from across the pact's nations. A major divergence here is the survival of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso who IOTL died at the age of 30 of the Spanish Flu in 1918. ITTL I have him surviving and thriving, emerging as one of the most significant artists of the Latin Pact countries and a leading figure in the development of Portuguese Futurism - which is a broader movement and larger movement than IOTL, if with many of the same inconsistencies of OTL (including elements of a bunch of different modernist movements under the single umbrella term, with the various elements often mixed up with one another) with the result that it looks more like a synthesis of a bunch of different movements than a narrowing of ideals as these movements usually are. Oh, and yes the Cannibalists are an actual OTL movement (they have also been called the Anthropophagics) - found it too fascinating a movement to not put in here somehow.

    (29) There are actually not a lot of major divergences in France this time around, many of the developments follow at least the same trajectory on a broad level, although the more explicit political connotations of Camus and Céine are an adaptation to the political situation ITTL. Camus' works end up being a bit different, given the changed inspiration for amongst other things his first work (the OTL 1934 Asturian miner's strikes which inspired his work isn't happening ITTL) but the themes and approaches are at least quite similar. I gave it some thought about what would happen with the ascension of Arthuys, and I just don't see him as the sort of figure who would pull a major crackdown of the sort you might have seen IOTL or ITTL's Spain. It would be far too controversial and difficult to accomplish for too little gain - here Arthuys' upper class roots really play into things, as he would have been more comfortable with the cultural set of Paris than the arch conservatism of his more rural colleagues.

    (30) So we are starting off with the Shogunate and its predecessor cultural movements, with a particular emphasis on the proletarian works which rise to prominence once the Shogunate is established. It is worth noting that both Kobayashi and Kuroshima have very, very different careers and lives from OTL. For Kobayashi, he is a highly lauded writer who ended up getting tortured to death at the age of 29 by the Tokko in 1933 IOTL. ITTL there isn't the same sort of crackdown on proletarian literature as occurred IOTL during that period, and as such he survives and is able to keep writing and publishing, rising to prominence after the JCW due to being an ardent believer in Kita Ikki's ideological developments, becoming its foremost literary figure with his works more than once verging on propaganda. By contrast, Kuroshima's various novels and short stories end up getting butterflied quite significantly. While his initial experiences of fighting in Siberia are relatively easy to transfer, I have replaced his "Militarized Streets" with "Tax Man" ITTL since it isn't really possible to cover the Japanese involvement in the Chinese Civil War in Manchuria ITTL. The novel remains equally critical of Japanese actions, but the topic and focus is changed. As for "The Swirling Crows" that is an entirely fictious work without any real parallel to IOTL, but I felt that Kuroshima would probably be the most fitting author to write this sort of work - something which is translated into many dozens of languages and ends up becoming the single piece of fiction which people around the world connect to the Japanese Civil War, to the rather considerable frustration of the government.

    (31) So I ended up creating a new cultural movement to sort of encompass the group of people I ended up having associated with the right-wing. This is a bit of a challenge and change from OTL given the far more left-leaning nature of the Japanese government between 1923 and 1935. One thing to note here is that Akutagawa never actually really gets all that politically involved, and dies far before it ever becomes even remotely relevant, but ends up associated with the Culturalists (something of a front-runner of their movement and ideal for many of the younger members of the movement) after his death due to the involvement of his close friend. Akutagawa's works are the inspiration for several of Kurosawa's movies for those who weren't aware, including the famous "Rashomon" which borrows the name from one of Akutagawa's short stories and the story itself from another. Several of the later books are similar to novels published by the mentioned authors during the 1940s, influenced by the Second World War, which I have brought forward and adapted a bit to the context. Tanizaki's work in particular ends up being far more noteworthy due to the way in which it deals with a very Japanese socio-cultural conflict both internally and externally, whereas IOTL the book was more about the external threat to the daily lives of the women the novel focuses on. Here the story is a lot more dramatic, as the women are split up and put through hell, some staying behind in Japan and others being forced into exile. As for Yamakawa's New Tales of Heike, I thought the work would be a perfect fit for him to explore his experiences living through the Civil War, given the story's setting during another Japanese civil war. The result is that the work is more ideological in outlook, gets very, very grim with its portrayal of the effects of the civil war upon society, while still maintaining the high drama and incredible characterization of the OTL version. Kim Dong-in's "Potato" is very similar in its stark realism to OTL, but has more of an underlying political message than the OTL version given the heightened political tensions at the time. I didn't mention it in the narrative, but proletarian literature is also a movement within Korean literature, although it is very harshly persecuted and suppressed by the colonial government - most of its writers working from exile in Vladivostok or Shogunate Japan/Jeju.

    (32) I know we are going very far back into the Chinese background here, to stuff from the very earliest mentions of China in this TL, but I felt it necessary to really go through and outline the gradual shift which would occur in China based on the butterflies. Now notably, IOTL the May Fourth Movement (remember ITTL it is a year later, in 1920, and on the 12th rather than the 4th of May 1919) ended up being a bit of a dud politically, but a major cultural turning point with a symbolic victory for the riotous population which later helped to undermine Beiyang rule. ITTL the matter proved even more explosive, and ended up having unimaginably large geopolitical repercussions as the Fengtian Clique were able to march in and restore Puyi to the throne. As such ITTl the May Twelfth Movement is considered a political watershed moment, but rather than kickstarting the "New" Chinese culture as its counterpart did IOTL, it marks the start of the Qing Restoration with all the complexities that involves.

    (33) The more controlled political situation during the latter half of this period allows for a more united cultural movement to take shape with the TTL Phoenix Movement. As mentioned I see this as a period in which the radicals of the former decade find themselves taking a more moderate tone more generally and coming to the conclusion that wholehearted support for westernization is a bad idea - with the shift being towards more of a synthesis of western and eastern ideas and concepts - in literature, art, music and the like. The ranks of the Loyalists might be a bit of a surprise, particularly with Lu Xun (a one-time founder of the League of Left-Wing Writers) and Cai Yuanpei - but for the former, I actually think he works quite well since he was widely regarded by many leftists as being too bourgeoisie in outlook, and the latter out of disillusionment over his rather pivotal role in bringing the Fengtian to power.

    (34) This is more of a transitional phase than a period in and of itself, sort of ending up sandwiched between the Phoenix Movement and the Hongzhi Reform Movement which we will cover next. Nevertheless, it is an important period which sees the emergence of Realist, Romantic and Comedic movements. The thing to note here is that I am peeling away a lot of the figures who sort of were in the leftist-reformist sphere, in the Communist orbit but not part of it - and as such were often eventually persecuted or went into exile. This period is a continuation of the already mentioned trend where westernization is ever more adapted to traditionalist tendencies - synthesizing, but in contrast to OTL where you had very explicitly western movements predominate, ITTL it is far more "Chinese" in outlook if that makes sense.

    (35) I ended up saving the more general overview of different art forms and the like for this point, since I couldn't quite muster up covering the entire period. One thing to note is that in contrast to OTL where Chinese martial arts were very sharply constrained and standardized under the PRC in particular, ITTL the various martial arts lineages and sects are left alone, with the competitions actually encouraging a wide range of different fighting styles which makes for an exciting but often challenging to officiate sport. We also see the widespread adoption of taichi and other such physical activities under government sponsorship. I couldn't leave out Wuxia and Xianxia's emergence as major genres either - both saw intermediate suppression by both Nationalists and Communists IOTL, but here they are largely left alone - although particularly unorthodox readings of Buddhist principles can provoke religious sanctions and the like, but government largely leaves them be. Finally, Lin Fengmian's works don't end up getting burned to the crisp by the Japanese, and he remains a prominent force in Chinese art circles - perhaps even the most prominent figure.

    @Ombra did an incredible deep dive on German culture during the 1920s which you can find amongst the threadmarks so if you want more information I would refer you to a reread of his feature on Germany.

    And with that we close out the cultural section of our sojourn. This has really been an absolute monster to research, and while I know that some will find the discussions of different cultural and artistic movements uninteresting, I hope that I have done enough to at least give an idea of what things look like and the developments that are occurring.

    I have been hard at work on the next part of the update, dealing with technology, and I am pretty close to finishing it up, but I do feel the need to emphasize how much time and effort it takes to get ready - hell, just doing the edits for this culture section of the update took me 2-3 hours. Now back to work on the technology segment - almost done with military technology!
    Update Forty (Pt. 3): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • The World At The End Of The 1930s


    The Three Gorges Dam

    A World In Man's Image​

    The Household Revolutionized

    The average household and daily-life in Europe and North America would have seemed almost unrecognizable to those of a bare half century prior. Grocery shopping was simplified and eased by the emergence of supermarkets and grocery chains, with the first American chains emerging in California with Ralphs and New York with King Kullen early in the 1930s before proliferating across the country at a rapid pace, with established grocery chains such as Kroger and Safeway Inc forced to imitate the new supermarket model following the economic crisis of the mid-decade, Kroger in particular pioneering the idea of surrounding the supermarket on all four sides with parking lots - itself a response to the sudden surge in automobile ownership in the United States over the course of the early 1930s. This period was also marked by the proliferation of a variety of labor-saving machines which sought to reduce the amount of work needed to keep a household running, with many appliances finding more widespread usage as costs reduced and the quantity of appliances increased. Everything from washing machines, water heaters and refrigerators to sewing machines, dishwashers and clothes dryers found themselves subjected to machined automation - with the United States the clear front-runner in the use of these technologies in both commercial and private spheres. This period would also see the gradual emergence of freezers as a direct counterpoint to the older Icebox, although competition between the two models remained firmly in favor of the icebox for several more decades due to the development of mechanical ice machines in the early 1930s which made it possible to produce clean, sanitary ice independently and year-round, rather than having to purchase ice brought in from far away where the quality was always suspect (36).

    Electrification more generally would present a massive revolution in the lives of many people around the globe during these years, particularly in second-grade markets which were only now starting to see the wider spread of electrification. While the United States and Great Britain worked to close out the few remaining gaps in their electrical grids, and electrify the last rural outposts, it would be the turn of the metropolises of Asia and South America to experience more widespread electrification. In Beijing, entire quarters of the city saw the first real introduction of household electrification, while the construction of electrical dams as part of the Central Plains Triangle Programme promised to offer much more widespread electrification of the numerous large cities which spread along the Yangtze, Yellow River and Grand Canal. In Chosun, Japanese exiles who had gotten used to more widespread access to electricity proved crucial in securing the complete electrification of Keijo and Heijo, while in Siam an entire campaign of urban electrification was put into action to complement the already extensive electrification of Bangkok. In the Soviet Republic the process of electrification would take nearly two decades to reach into Siberia, while the western heartlands around Moscow found both urban and rural electrification largely completed by 1933, with household electrification already well under way by the time of the Moscow Olympics. Led by the Russian engineer Ivan Alexandrov, the electrical needs of western Russia would be addressed primarily through the use of hydropower, of which Alexandrov was an undisputed international expert, with industrial development warping to follow the energy planning he laid out - energy-heavy industries being constructed around several of the massive hydroelectrical plants he worked to establish along many of the large rivers of the region (36).

    Perhaps the most revolutionary technologies to proliferate during this period would be those related to the spreading of information and entertainment. Television, which had become a practical possibility in the mid-1920s, would begin to spread to an actual consumer base starting with Britain and United States in the late 1920s, with the technology spreading ever more in the years that followed. Ultimately, it would be with the Moscow Olympics, and the broadcasting thereof, that television as a consumer product can really be considered to have kicked off, with the establishment of regular broadcasting schedules, ever wider availability of the television sets to the consumer and a gradual decrease in the costs associated with owning a television all resulting in a booming industry by the closing years of the decade. Nevertheless, the technology would remain something of a novelty, without a wide user base - the potential of television being a much discussed topic, but its actual reach remaining limited. A significantly more developed, but equally rapidly changing, medium would prove to be cinema where the transition from silent films to sound and color caused a great deal of tension and difficulties, which allowed some countries to emerge stronger than others. Particularly Spanish cinema would infamously struggle to deal with the transition, in the process allowing many of its most prominent figures to transfer to the Portuguese scene, while French cinema struggled to transition to color films and the British, German as well as Soviet film scenes were able to make significant ground through the successful management of the transition. In the United States, and Hollywood in particular, it would not so much be the technical transition as the content restrictions imposed by the McAdoo Code which caused troubles and weakened viewership internationally where some of the more rigorous strictures of the code were publicly mocked and the resultant movies lambasted on more than one occasion. Nevertheless, the most prolific and significant information technology of the age would undoubtedly prove to be the radio, with technological breakthroughs in the early 1930s enabling the production of shockingly cheap radios, such that by the end of the decade it was a rare sight to find a household in the major European states without a radio. The result of all this was to be the proliferation of a common set of cultural touchstones, a common foundation for news and a common point of reference in people's daily lives. Radio dramas rose to incredible popularity, with the most successful catapulting their stars to international fame, while music became an ever greater part of people's daily lives - radio channels playing one sort of music or another seemingly around the clock. Sports broadcasting also had its rise to prominence during this period, with not only the Olympics but local football, handball and racing events all finding themselves broadcast in vivid details by commentators eager to bring new fans to their chosen sports (36).

    Growing Man and Meal

    The decades following the Great War would prove of immense significance for the development of agriculture and food production on a global scale. As with so many other things, the United States would prove a front runner in the development of modern agriculture, with the widespread adoption of mechanization, mass-scale of production and an utterly astounding level of agricultural capacity which repeatedly threatened to so undermine agricultural prices in the United States that an agricultural depression had to be staved off by government intervention. This was initially done through government support and the signing of a monumentally large trade deal with the British Empire which allowed the massive American agricultural overproduction an outlet - although this was to have tragic consequences down the line for the inhabitants of British Africa and the wider colonial population of the British Empire. This development, however, was eventually disrupted by the start of what came to be known as the Dust Bowl in which vast swathes of the American interior was exposed to intense drought and American agricultural production fell precipitously. While the Dust Bowl continued to wreak havoc, eventually requiring considerable government intervention under the Long Presidency with the formation of windbreaks as well as other soil conservation and anti-erosion efforts, to mention but some of the various drought relief efforts, the sudden decrease in domestic demand for agricultural tools led to the mass export of modern American agricultural tools - primarily to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, which in turn brought about a revolution in agricultural production across much of southern South America (37).

    European agriculture would find itself significantly transformed in the decades following the Great War, with a few broad trends occurring on a wide-ranging scale. The most significant development to sweep across Europe, from Spain in the west to Poland and Romania in the east, would be the widespread breakup of ancient noble estates and the consolidation of small tracts of land into medium-sized land units which would prove of particularly excellent size to adapt to the agricultural modernization which swept the continent during these years. In Germany, the ancient Prussian Junker class found itself embroiled in immense economic crisis with vast numbers of large, backwards, estates falling into bankruptcy. While many of these Junkers would seek to impact the political sphere to secure government aid in helping their under-water estates back on an even keel, the ruling SPD government of the times would prove particularly hard-hitting in their critique of the Junkers, with SPD-aligned newspapers running repeated stories about the many ways in which large numbers of Junkers had wasted their money on luxury items - with even the conservative small-holders of Saxony, otherwise a bastion of agrarian conservatism, lining up behind the government as the flower of Prussian nobility were forced to sell off their estates. Here, finally, the government intervened in order to portion out smaller portions of the estates to be modernized for agricultural purposes while large tracts of former estate lands were placed under government authority as natural parks, hunting preserves and vacation sites for the entire German population. The seething rage which engulfed many of the dispossessed or nearly dispossessed Junkers would likely play a key role in bringing the Conservative Coalition under Chancellor Hergt to power, but by then it was far too late for the Junkers to reclaim their lost property- most of them finding themselves forced to make a living as part of the ever expanding state bureaucracy, the military or in private business, with the majority having maintained their city homes even as they were forced to surrender their rural estates. In Spain, the new Alfonsine Integralist state would embark on an ambitious reorganization of the country's rural structures, breaking up the few massive estates into more practical tracts of land while the extreme land fragmentation which had characterized the state of agriculture in Spain for centuries was addressed with shocking speed - the new land units being assigned to be run by corporations linked to integralist associations in a process which caused considerable social turmoil and chaos, but where the state's heavy handed efforts would ultimately see the countryside restructured and the pre-existing food price controls replaced by more direct state involvement in food production through the aforementioned associations. Major irrigation works were set into motion in an endeavor to address the problem of low yields while the large number of casual rural laborers who had previously made their livings working on the large latifundios found themselves forcefully integrated into associations where they were put to work without much say in the matter, their ability to move and seek new employment sharply curtailed while the actual working conditions improved marginally (37).

    In France, this period was dominated largely by the appropriation of farmland by the peasant population itself, taking direct ownership in replacement of previous sharecropping or renting models which had predominated in the past, with rural banks and agricultural financing of modernization and mechanization soon experiencing a significant boom. This period would see the rise of distributist agrarian associations and guilds under the influence of Integralist organizations related to the Union de la Droite and inspired by similar reforms undertaken by the Portuguese government. This was to be mirrored by a Zollverein trend which emerged during this period - namely the proliferation of agricultural cooperatives primarily driven by Danish farmers who had involved themselves in organizing cooperatives in Russia before the Revolution, and had since shifted their attentions to the Zollverein with incredible success - particularly in the Baltics, Poland and the newly established farms of Eastern Prussia built out of old Junker estates. Notably, this period would see widescale modernization and mechanization across vast swathes of Eastern Europe, in large part funded by what would grow into truly massive Danish agricultural cooperatives based around Diary, Beef, Pork, Chicken and Wheat-products, with the cooperatives eventually running every part of the supply chain across half of Europe - making them amongst the largest and most powerful agricultural corporations in the world. Agricultural development in the Soviet Republic would take a somewhat different tack, organized as it was around the village commune outside of the mass-collectivized farms of the Ural region. Here modernization and mechanization would take time, and the agricultural production never quite reached a level where the Soviet Republic could be food independent, but there were few who could look upon the immense agricultural development of Russia - which was occurring at a scale and speed near-unheard in history - without being awestruck by the immense accomplishments of the past decades. While mechanization would remain a struggle, with the never-ending demands of the agricultural sector leaving the industrial side of affairs struggling to keep up with the growth of the communal farmlands (37).

    The years following the Great War would see a number of significant steps forward in the realm of biological sciences and its related endeavors. Prior to the turn of the century, biology had been dominated by a focus on natural history, morphological and phylogenetic analyses, in preference to more experimental science. This had seen a marked change in the early 20th century as laboratory-based biology rose to prominence and a variety of new disciplines, theories and discoveries were made. One of the particularly significant developments of this period was the emergence of ecology and environmental science - with the study and experimentation within semi-controlled natural environments such as gardens or greenhouses introducing a whole new approach to zoology, botany and wider ecological studies, with a particular focus on the emergent studies of ecological succession, biogeography, limnology and food chains all pioneering new quantitative methods while gradually starting to find synthesis into a wider study of ecology which itself began to impact national agricultural policies. At the same time, major developments within the field of biochemistry began to give people a much better understanding of the inner workings of the body, with a particular focus on vitamins and metabolism developing during these years. Biochemists such as Hans Krebs, Carl Cori and Gerty Cori made major discoveries in the field of the citric acid cycle, glycogenesis and glycolysis as well as the synthesis of steroids and porphyrins, which were soon being used in medical trials in Germany - which was itself rising to an incredible position of prominence due to the incredible technological strides made by particularly prominent German Jews such as Hans Krebs and Max Perutz (38).

    One field which would see immense growth and development during this period would prove to be microbiology following the independent discoveries of bacteriophages by the British bacteriologist Frederick Twort and the French-Canadian Félix d'Hérelle - pioneering the ideas of phage therapy, whereby bacteriophages were introduced to combat bacterial infections. While d'Hérelle's discovery had been made in Paris, it would be in Georgia that phage therapy would make its first major strides forward. Convinced by his colleague Giorgi Eliava to move to Georgia with him, d'Hérelle would find strong government backing for his experiments, which were soon put into use following the Don Republic's Invasion of Georgia in the early 1930s with stunning results. With German military advisors prominently present in the theater to witness the effectiveness of their latest generation of weaponry, the stunning recoveries of soldiers treated for bacterial infections at the frontlines would catapult the new field to the forefront of military medicine in Germany, with phages soon making an incredible rise to prominence as a treatment for bacterial infections. However, phages would not be the only anti-bacterial therapy to emerge during this period as in Britain a series of major technological breakthroughs would eventually lead to the development of fungal anti-bacterial cultures with a series of major investments and experiments by the University of Oxford eventually culminating in the development of penicillin - a fungal extract capable of seemingly miraculous effects of an anti-bacterial nature. Thus was set the stage for what would prove to be a long-term clash of anti-bacterial remedies, with phages proliferating across much of the Zollverein and into the Soviet Republic and in time the Far East while penicillin and other antibiotics like it rose to prominence in Britain and the United States before proliferating into Western Europe and South America. Nevertheless, some scientists on both sides of the divide would experiment with the utility of their respective counterpart technologies - although the findings of these experiments would often be met with skepticism (38).

    In 1900 three different biologists arrived at what would come to be known as Mendel's Laws, named concepts of biological inheritance initially proposed by Gregor Mendel in the mid-1800s, and soon after cell biologists proposed that chromosomes were where the hereditary material resided in the cell. During the period between 1910 and 1915 Thomas Hunt Morgan would link these two concepts, having quantified the phenomenon of genetic linkage through experiments in his fly lab exploring the inheritance patterns of white-eyed fruit flies. Nevertheless, it would take until the post-Great War era for Mendelian-chromosome theory to secure widespread acceptance alongside the emergence of population genetics as a field of study - in the process unifying the ideas of evolution by natural selection with Mendelian genetics. This would pave the way for the emergence of molecular biology and the study of genetics while concurrent explorations of phages would lead to the development of microbiology through the unification of virology and bacteriology, with the German biologist Max Delbrück making a series of major discoveries in his study of bacteriophages which would help lead to the synthesis of the two fields. The early 1930s would see the first images of viruses obtained through the invention of electron microscopy by the German engineers Ernst Ruska and Max Knoll, while Delbrück would discover that viruses reproduced in one-step, not exponentially as cellular organisms would (38).

    All of these developments in biology would have a real impact upon the development of industry, with the Hungarian Károly Ereky coining the term "biotechnology" to describe the technology based upon converting biological raw materials into more useful products. Ereky would prove a pioneer in the creation of the modern slaughterhouse and building a fattening farm with space for 50,000 pigs, capable of raising over 100,000 pigs in a year. The largest and most profitable meat and fat operation in the world, Ereky would find his plant the focus of intense study by particularly Danish pork farmers connected to the ever-expanding cooperatives spreading across the Zollverein, with the learnings from his experiments soon proliferating not just amongst pork farms across Europe but into other animal husbandry sectors as well. At the same time the Great War would mark a period of immense development as Max Delbrück grew yeast on an immense scale, sufficient to meeting 60 percent of Germany's animal feed needs, while lactic acid was produced as a stand in for glycerol - the industrial potential of fermentation outgrowing its origins in the brewing industry many times over - with penicillin the most dramatic discovery of the fermentation-based processes being explored during this period (38).

    Eugenics would continue to feature prominently in both the scientific and societal discourse of the 1920s and 1930s, with Germany and Scandinavia at the heart of the European Eugenics Movement. In Sweden and Denmark initially voluntary sterilization schemes gave way to forced sterilization of select population groups - primarily targeting those suffering from handicaps or to a lesser extent mental illness. However, with the proliferation of positive eugenics measures in Germany, influenced in large part by the ideas popularized by the German Proletkult movement, it would not take long before the eugenics dialogue in Scandinavia shifted away from negative eugenics, with government incentives for improved health, numbers of children and test results proliferating amongst an entire bevy of social experiments which coincided with the larger establishment of the Scandinavian Welfare System. Perhaps the single most important figure to emerge within the German eugenics movement was to be Otmar von Verschuer, whose position as head of department for Human Genetics at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics placed him at the very forefront of the movement. Deeply interested in the evolution of genetics, von Verschuer would prove a leading figure in pushing for greater genetics research with an eye towards a far more scientifically rigorous form of eugenics - increasingly decrying the current negative eugenic approaches as little short of barbaric fumbling in the dark. Perhaps his most capable pupil would prove to be Josef Mengele, whose focus on the genetic factors resulting in cleft lip, palate and chin - his cum laude doctorate thesis from the University of Frankfurt on the topic leading many to believe him to be the most likely inheritor of von Verschuer's role as leading German voice on genetically-based eugenics (39).

    Meanwhile, in the United States eugenics found itself increasingly embroiled in the larger race-based strife of the period as the McAdoo government's tenure first saw the proliferation of race-based immigration restrictions, anti-miscegenation laws and widespread adoption of sterilization in wide swathes of the country on the basis of eugenic arguments, only for the Progressive movement to turn against the movement as a whole - connecting it to the policies of the Democratic Party, its nativists and racists, despite the long history of Progressive involvement in the eugenics movement. While the Long Administration sought to chip away at the restrictions of the immigration acts, rightly believing that many of their most significant bases of support lay outside the traditional WASP community, which these policies were designed to protect, while tackling miscegenation legislation at the state level as a sign of Klan involvement in states affairs - and as such the target of intense government scrutiny. Nevertheless, the Long government would continue support for positive eugenics interventions with events such as the "Scientific Baby Contest" and the "Fitter Families for Future Firesides" which sought to promote widespread health initiatives amongst the population in the belief that it would improve the health and capabilities of the babies born of such families seeing government funding. While compulsory sterilization laws would find themselves overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Buck v. Bell case of 1927, the matter would see continual challenges from negative eugenicists throughout the 1930s before the shift was made away from compulsory sterilization towards voluntary sterilization. Even in the African-American community eugenics would find its proponents, with W.E.B Du Bois amongst the foremost figures championing the widespread use of birth control to help deal with the social and economic troubles faced by African-American communities - with resultant changes to birth control legislation actively championed by the eugenics movement and the American Breeders' Association in favor of providing easier access to birth control amongst minorities and poverty-stricken population groups (39).

    In the Far East, ideas of eugenics would start to proliferate during the early 1930s, with the Japanese particularly focused on formulating limits on the number of births of children with "inferior" traits. Nevertheless, the outbreak of the Japanese Civil War would interrupt most such efforts, with the new Shogunate government much more disposed towards policies of population uplift and positive eugenic measures as were widely championed by the Soviet Republic. Instead it would be in Chosun where the most significant efforts would be undertaken. While there were some convictions that the Korean population was of an "inferior constitution" the government would actively seek to promote Japanese-Korean intermarriage, with the use of serological studies seeking to prove that Japanese and Koreans had the same "pure" ancestral origin in an effort to ease such types of worry - although significant reluctance would persist on both sides. Nevertheless, the introduction of the ideas of "blood purity" would spread into Korean society as well, with the idea of an ethnically homogenous Korean nation based on a single divine bloodline gaining considerable prominence in some circles - just one of many ways in which the Korean part of Chosun society sought to distance itself from its Japanese rulers. In China Eugenics would be much debated, with particularly Pan Guangdan emerging as a prominent voice on the issue - his works promoting family structures and traditional marriages over individualism, believing these polygamic structures to be the most effective means of "racial improvement" through biological inheritance. There would prove to be a great deal of interest in matters of family planning, population healthcare and the study of genetics amongst the Fengtian scientific and political community, with Zhang Xueliang particularly fascinated by Pan Guangdan's arguments about traditional family structures and its benefits for spreading genetic change. Pan would, however, prove a major critic of the anthropological categorization of "race", holding it to be as yet scientifically substantiated, and that Eugenics should avoid becoming entangled in dubious claims of racial superiority - the goal being rather to improve the population's germplasm within its own population rather than intervening in other populations. This claim would find some adherents, and form part of a wider anti-racialist eugenics tendency which found adherents in particularly the United States and the Latin Pact, with Spain a prominent anti-racialist force with significant opposition to negative eugenics due to the influence of Catholic religious convictions (39).

    Building The World Of Tomorrow

    The decades following the Great War would be characterized not so much by the development of revolutionary new industrial technologies and techniques, but rather the proliferation and continued development of pre-existing technological breakthroughs. The period was marked by the final transition away from steam towards gas, combustion and electrification on a wide scale. Mass production, beginning with the automobile but spreading to countless other sectors and industries, would come about as a result of widespread adoption of assembly lines on the model pioneered at the Ford Factories of Detroit while truly massive factories were established on a scale rarely before seen across the globe. In the Urals the Soviets built some of the largest heavy industrial facilities in the world, drawing in hundreds of thousands of workers in the quest to reshape and rebuild Russia from the ground up while in China industrial techniques pioneered in Manchuria under the Fengtian Clique were put into operation across northern China as part of the grand Central Plains Triangle Programme - the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze proving amongst the largest hydroelectrical plants in the world upon its completion in late 1938. New developments in heavy machinery from tractors and bulldozers to forklifts, bucket wheel excavators and tracked commercial vehicles would open up for an entirely new scale of construction work with the 1930s becoming famed for the widespread building of skyscrapers in the Soviet Republic, Eastern Europe, East Asia and Latin America - although in Europe a nostalgia for the traditional city scape, as well as the widespread presence of conservative movements in these countries, would see strict limitations on the scale, location and commonality of skyscrapers. Nevertheless, Socialist Italy would prove amongst the most active adopters of new building styles and approaches as they sought to rebuild the country after its devastating civil war, with the consequent development of pre-fabricated short-term housing in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War and the construction of several massive skyscrapers demonstrating the vitality and capacity of the new revolutionary state (40).

    These years would prove themselves a time of significant technological breakthrough, although the uses of these technologies would take time to move from experimental prototyping to more widespread usage. The first of these was the discovery of new forms of plastics and their potential for mass production beginning with polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride, with polyethylene the most significant early discovery in 1933 - although it would take until the late 1930s before replication had been achieved and mass production remained illusive. This period would see the discovery of polyadditions for the synthesis of polyurethane as well as the development of synthetic dyes, rubber, prontosil and chloroquine during this period with the German Gerhard Domagk being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1939 for the "discovery of the antibacterial effects of prontosil". The field of computing would also find itself shocked to its foundations during this period by the achievements of the British Alan Turing as well as the Germans Kurt Gödel and Konrad Zuse as they set the groundwork for the creation of digital computing. Kurt Gödel would prove himself one of the most significant logicians of the era through his formulation of the incompleteness theorem in 1930, ending half a century of attempts to find a set of axioms sufficient for all mathematics, with Turing using this understanding of the limits of proof and computation to create the simple hypothetical device known as the Turing Machine - proving that such machines would be capable of performing any conceivable mathematical computation if it were representable as an algorithm. This understanding would function as the theoretical foundation for Zuse's incredible achievements of electro-mechanical engineering a few years later, known to posterity as the first Computer. Following the first attempt at the Z1 in 1936 Zuse would secure several patents the following year, helping to create the necessary sections for him to build the finished Z1 in 1938 out of some 30,000 metal parts. His accomplishment would come to the attentions of the large German electrical engineering corporation Siemens-Schuckert, which became part-owners of Zuse's new corporation "Zuse Apparatebau" in mid-1938. With funding and Siemens' know-how supporting his efforts at transitioning from analog-to-digital, Zuse was able to continue the development of his machine - Kurt Gödel getting involved in the project in late 1938 at the instigation of the military, who were themselves growing interested in Zuse's machines. The resultant Z2 would be finish construction in late 1939, with plans for further improvements already under way as the year came to an end (40).

    This period would also see considerable development in the form of fast and comfortable long distance travel as railroad, automobile and aircraft all became widely available to the public. For railroads, much of the groundwork had already been done in many parts of Western Europe and the United States, but with the establishment of the Zollverein and German influence on transportation policies in the related countries there would be a major effort at securing alignment between rail gauges across the region, with the standard-gauge railway replacing the more widespread narrow-gauge in both eastern and south-eastern Europe such that one could travel from one end of the Zollverein to the other without the need to change gauge by the end of the 1930s. In the Soviet Republic major gauge-shifts were occurring as well, with some of the most important rail lines being replaced due to the immense amount of railway traffic brought about through the German-Soviet trade partnership - the process proving expensive and troublesome, with these changes resulting in a period of turmoil in the Soviet railway system before much of Western Russia stretching into the Ural region was regauged, although in Siberia the narrow gauge would remain prevalent due to the extreme costs and difficulties involved in changing the existing rail-lines. In China, the Fengtian regime would deftly exploit the chaos in Japan in order to nationalize the vast railway network possessed by them in China proper, with the South Manchuria Railway Company, Chinese Eastern Railway, Central China Railway and more all finding themselves absorbed into the state-owned Imperial Chinese Railway - which was already developing a massive network of railway lines tying together the Central Plains Triangle at the time. As for the locomotives themselves, an intense competition would emerge between diesel and electrical locomotives during the 1930s in the United States, with Ingersoll-Rand, American Locomotive Company, Westinghouse Electric and Baldwin Locomotive Works all competing in the development of hybrid diesel-electric locomotives, even as diesel locomotives took over almost all traffic in the Zollverein (41).

    This period would also see the coming-of-age of the automobile, with the inventions of hydraulic brakes, automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, tempered glass and more all bringing about a new age of the automobile. The cabin grew more enclosed, the capabilities of the car more pronounced and aerodynamic designs, influenced by aviation breakthroughs, led to a wholly changed look and feel to the machines. This would also be the period in which low-cost automobiles first began to proliferate, with the French Citroën introducing the first low-cost automobile in 1937 - wherefrom it would proliferate across the Latin Pact countries, proving itself amongst the most popular vehicles in the world. With the spread of automobiles came the widespread creation of motorways, a separate road for the traffic of fast vehicles. While the first such roads were built in northern Italy, linking Milan to Bologna, and in Germany, it would be in France that the motorway would find its most widespread home in Europe - an ambitious roadbuilding project being set in motion by one of the many short-lived governments of the mid-1930s, with the first stretch connecting Paris to Reims while the second linked it to Amiens. In Germany the SPD would seek to emphasize the use of public transportation more, and as such while motorways were constructed it was at a significantly slower pace and largely at the direction of the individual German states rather than the federal German government (41).

    This left only aviation as the last great frontier in the development of transportation services, with the Great War having brought an immense number of new innovations and capabilities to the fore. The first aerial transport capable of taking passengers would prove to be the Airship, with the image of the majestic floating airship becoming an emblematic symbol of the period. The period would see the adoption of airships for passenger travel, the crossing of the Atlantic in 1919, a visit to the North pole in 1928 and in 1929 a highly publicized world circumnavigation by the state-of-the-art German "Graf Zeppelin" airship. Several extraordinarily large airships would be constructed during the 1930s from the British R101 and R102 to the German "Bismarck" and "Stresemann" airships. There were several smaller crashes in the 1932-33 period, alongside two with fatalities, but it would prove insufficient to dampen the wider interest in airships, with regular routes soon being run not only across the Atlantic or within Europe, but across Asia and more rarely to Africa as well - Zhang Xueliang famously making his return to China from a state visit in Germany aboard the "Bismarck" in the early 1930s with stops in Istanbul, Bombay and Hong Kong before landing at Qingdao. Nevertheless, the 1930s would see the development of monoplanes to a point where they could begin to challenge the increasingly ubiquitous Airships for dominance of the heavens. While long-distance flights by aviation pioneers blazed new trails for commercial airliners to follow, the initial half of the 1930s would be dominated by large water-capable airplanes such as those produced by Dornier and Sikorsky due to the lack of modern runways, but by the latter half of the decade this trend was beginning to turn and airfields began to appear near almost every major city in Europe and the United States - with the rest of the world swift to follow this development. Nevertheless, heavier-than-air flight continued to be seen as a rather dangerous prospect compared to airships, and would remain something of a fringe form of mass transportation for the remainder of the decade. Nevertheless, major steps forward in the development of the jet engine and turbine engines as well as significant strides in the stability and reliability of heavier-than-air airplanes would open up the prospect of a true challenger to the airship's dominance (41).

    The Weapons Of The Next War

    The military development kicked off by the Great War never truly came to an end, despite the hopes and prayers of pacifists and the war-weary public who sought to regulate and limit warfare through the signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam. While the Great War had come to an end through diplomatic intervention, the military leaders of all the countries involved in the fighting were well aware of the central role played by particularly the military campaigns of 1917 and 1918 in forcing the war to a close - with particularly the Caporetto Offensive, German 1918 Spring Offensives and the Allied Counter-Offensives of 1918 and 1919 studied in intense detail by both sides of the conflict to determine what had worked and what hadn't. While military doctrine and the finances of warfare shifted throughout this period, it was unavoidable that all parties remained highly alert to the threat posed by a second Great War, with a great deal of military resources being dedicated to addressing precisely such an occurrence. Military technology would follow similar tendencies, with a constant eye towards potential military confrontations between any of the major European powers throughout the 1920s. With the sudden increase in international tensions and the rise of colonial conflicts to the fore during the first half of the 1930s, spending patterns and research would see a moderate shift towards better addressing the unique challenges of a colonial military campaign - with particularly the French military making massive shifts in its budget allocations and research, focusing on the development of modern weaponry and tools better suited to a broad spectrum of climatic zones - a challenge which they had already paid dearly to learn in Indochina. Throughout the first decade and a half following the Amsterdam Treaty, naval forces remained relatively stagnant and constant, with only limited refitting and technological impetus outside of fringe areas such as naval aviation, navigation and radar. This would all change with shocking speed following the bloody lessons taught by the Battle of the East China Sea. Naval Admiralties around the world took notice of the shocking new technological breakthroughs and doctrinal developments used by the Japanese to secure victory and it was not long before they were clamoring for major budgetary expansions to respond to the suddenly changed naval dynamic (42).

    In the United States, the cataclysmic experience of fighting at St. Mihiel, the Argonne and the Four Rivers Offensive would make it clear that neglecting the military could well be a potentially fatal mistake and as such the Wood Administration would set out to ensure that the post-Great War Army would maintain a force of a full 300,000 regulars while the National Guard was officially authorized to recruit some 500,000 men - although the Organized Reserves would see recruitment of only some 50,000 and a pool of reserve officers. Nevertheless, while the initial budgetary allocations under the Wood Presidency would meet the requests of the General Staff - and the demobilized military got off to a good start in its transition to peacetime - the election of McAdoo would result in the military's congressional budgets finding itself ever more restricted, reaching a low point of around 60% of the yearly funding requested in 1930. The result of this financial decline was to be sharp budgetary cuts - the Organized Reserves shrinking to simply a pool of reserve officers, the National Guard declining by more than half to 200,000 from its highest point of manpower in 1923 at 420,000, while the regular army struggled to meet its targets - the quality of food, training and armaments dropping drastically. While the Curtis Administration would help to alleviate some of the budgetary constraints - meeting around 80% of the requested budgets - this would fall dramatically once again following the economic depression set in motion by the Black Week in the mid-1930s. While the Long Administration would prove more in line with the Curtis Administration than the McAdoo Administration in its willingness to help pay for the American military's needs, the financial constraints of the period would nevertheless result in a further decrease in budgetary allocations - although the appointment of the highly regarded James K. Parsons, one of the most forceful proponents of racial integration, to serve as Chief of Staff of the US Army and Brigadier General Norman F. Ramsey as Chief of Ordinance, working hand-in-hand to navigate the dire financial situation would help to ease some of the most significant budgetary constraints facing the American military. Despite these troubles, the Americans would produce one of the most innovative fast tanks in the world on the basis of J. Walter Christie's Christie suspension system and a very high power-to-weight ratio in the form of the Christie M1933, with Parsons playing a key role in securing support for the tank despite its relatively high cost. As the decade neared its end, the American military remained in a state of underfunded crisis, with continual budgetary restrictions, but the organization was finding the footing it had lost during the late-1920s and early 1930s once more and seemed to be adjusting to the current realities of its economic circumstances (42).

    In Britain it would be the figure of Major General J.F.C. Fuller who would dominate the study of tank warfare, with his emphasis on combined-arms formations and unity between artillery, infantry, military engineers and tanks a key feature - emphasizing light and fast units capable of rapid advance and maneuver - with Fuller's leadership of the Experimental Mechanized Force in the leadup to the Two Rivers Crisis putting him in a prime position for promotion and a rise in support for military spending within Britain. With Fuller's theories taking over the field, it did not take long before a purchase of an earlier prototype of the Christie M1933 was effected - allowing for the introduction of the Christie suspension system in future British tanks. The focus in Britain would be upon a small, highly mechanized, army while the Navy continued to dominate military spending - with further advances in not only the construction of battleships, battlecruisers and heavy cruisers undertaken, but also meaningful strides being taken in new sonar technologies as well as hydrophones and radar. The technological advances would be implemented primarily in the Home Fleet, focused as it was on checking the German Navy, with the result that the Dominion Fleet was significantly underequipped with these new innovations when it went to face the Japanese fleet in the East China Sea. By contrast, the initial investments into naval aviation by the Dominion Fleet would leave the British somewhat slow to invest resources into the new naval dimension - most considering a more direct clash of battleships a much more likely proposition in the constrained waters of the North Sea. In the field of aerial development more generally the British would lag behind their continental counterparts - the focus centering primarily on the use of British air power for colonial campaigns and close defense of the Home Isles, with research and development of heavy bombers particularly restrained - a preference for fighter-bombers which could be better used against colonial targets seeing the field neglected. This trend would, however, change with the election of Stanley Baldwin to Prime Minister - Baldwin having long warned of the dangers posed by bombers tot he general public, with resultant investments in both bomber and anti-bomber technology and doctrines taking more of a central role following his rise to power in the late 1930s (42).

    The early 20th century had not been a happy time for Spanish military fortunes, with multiple disastrous failures in the conflicts with the Americans, Cubans and Filipinos leading to the institution seeing a precipitous decline in prestige. While subsequent campaigns in North Africa would eventually turn this around, with King Alfonso riding the resultant wave of support to his autocoup, it nevertheless stressed to the King the rather dismal state of the Spanish military and the infrastructure which surrounded it. The majority of Spanish arms, in fact most of the military's arms, were licensed versions of foreign armaments - this despite the fact that Spain actually had a rather active and healthy arms industry, if one marked predominantly by small gunsmiths rather than largescale corporations. Thus, when Alfonso was establishing his Associations, one of his primary industries of focus would prove to be that of armaments, with the forcible consolidation of the countless small producers into three large geographically-based state enterprises with part-ownership from their associations which would provide the blueprint and standards for their members. While a lengthy and often contentious process which saw many of the smaller gunsmiths shut down or forcibly absorbed by their larger counterparts, by the latter half of the 1930s the Spanish Arms Industry would begin to produce independent arms - often drawing inspiration from particularly German arms, but soon bringing to bear the unique pieces of knowledge which each little smithy had hoarded in the past, with a resultant increase in capability coming about as a result. The most famous of the initial arms to be developed by one of the three new corporations would be Labora Rifle which the marksman Carlos Enosa used to secure silver in the 600 meter military rifle competition at the 1936 Moscow Olympics - only losing out to the Finnish Simo Hayha who swept many of the rifle competitions that year. Nevertheless, the most advanced technology to come out of Spain during this period would be the invention and development of the helicopter and its single-rotor sibling the autogyro. Led by the civil engineer and aeronautical engineer Juan de la Cierva y Codorniu, the Spanish would make multiple major leaps forward with financial backing from the Alfonsine government as well as the industrialist and future French Prime Minister Jacques Arthuys, with the technology reaching a level of maturity by the mid-1930s where prototyping could give way to industrial production. While other countries, particularly Germany and the Soviet Republic, would also make strides in helicopter technology and development, they would continue to lag behind Spanish accomplishments quite significantly for the time being (43).

    Nevertheless, it would be the French who would come to be regarded as the most formidable military power of the Latin Pact nations, with their weapons and licenses being amongst the most widely used - including for tanks and aircraft - on a global basis. Nevertheless, the first French post-Great War experiments in tanks would prove a rather ignominious affair, with dismal failures in both Georgia and Indochina putting the French arms industry at risk. It would be the rapid retooling and adaptation of the subsequent years, with the weaponry constantly tested in battle against the Indochinese, that would see the French Tanks such as Renault's R34 emerge as the premier light tank in the world, capable of duty in jungle and desert, and the SOMUA S35 as the most effective Medium Tank of the period - possessing an incomparable combination of armor, firepower and mobility which surpassed even their German and Bohemian counterparts. Nevertheless, the true crowning jewel of French military technology would be its aeronautics, with the vastly expanded corporation Nieuport, a merger of Nieuport-Delage, Latécoère and Amiot, producing some of the most advanced fighters in the world - including the first all-metal under-wing monoplane, the most prevalent French main-force fighter, the NP102, and the majority of French reconnaissance planes, which secured fame for their performance in Indochina - while Société des Avions Marcel Bloch designed one of the best reconnaissance bombers of the period in the Bloch MB.170 and the long-range Bloch MB.155 Bomber - amongst the fastest and longest ranging bombers in Europe during this period (43).

    For the Soviet Republic, and by extension many of its Communist clients and allies, the emphasis would be on rugged equipment capable of use in many different climates - from the frozen Siberian tundra to the forests of the far east, the steppes of central Asia or the deserts of Iran - while building upon the pre-existing Russian arms industry. At the same time, the relatively robust military control system established during the 1930s would help to greatly improve the process of approving new arms models, with the competition for small arms a particularly intense affair even with a modernized Mosin-Nagant from 1930 taking up the vast majority of Soviet small arms usage. With the Soviet emphasis on futuristic achievements they were able to create some of the most robust aerial designs in the world - partially achieved through close cooperation with German and Bohemian aviation designers during the early 1930s - with numerous experiments undertaken to improve aerial handling in rough weather and an emphasis on an ability to turn sharply resulting in airplanes which, while not the fastest, often proved themselves surprisingly adept dogfighters. Under the leadership of the harshly disciplinarian Yakov Alksnis, who was appointed to head the Soviet Air Force following the Trotskyite Affair, the professionalism and capabilities of the Soviet Air Force increased by leaps and bounds. By contrast, the development of a native Soviet tank would prove a troubled affair, with the Soviet military having relied heavily upon particularly the French Renault FT and later a license of the Škoda ST vz.28 - most Soviet tank designs prior to this failing to find much of a footing, being too light or slow to be of much use. It would be with the introduction of the ST-28 in 1931 that the Soviets finally secured a framework from which they could develop their own models in a more successful direction. While the initial adaptations to the ST-28 would focus on improved rough-terrain capabilities and improvements to the mobility of the tank, the demonstration of the prevalence of tank-on-tank combat during the Georgian Campaign would result in a shift towards emphasizing the more directly offensive and defensive aspects of the vehicle, with the introduction of sloped armor and increased caliber of guns resulting in the revolutionary T-33 Medium Tank. One major clash which was to develop during this period was between those who advocated a single or two turrets and those who called for multiple turrets, with rival designs in the SMK and KV series of heavy tanks particularly notable, while a series of light tanks building on both Soviet experiences from the 1920s and from Japanese light tank clashes during the Japanese Civil War would result in major progress, with the establishment of the MS-series of light tanks - although few of these designs would ever really satisfy the military leadership, who instead focused resources into the medium tank series which followed the T-33 (44).

    While the military capabilities of the various states of the world were considerable, there were none who doubted whether Germany possessed the most well developed land-based military in the world. From tanks and mechanized infantry to aviation, artillery and leadership - Germany were top class in every single aspect. German tanks would be amongst the most highly regarded in the world, with copious amounts of research and development going into not just the machinery itself but the military doctrines to which they were being designed. With the technological edge provided by Germany's large industrial cartels and research institutes, who pumped out immense amounts of research and technological innovations, the German tanks continued on from their development at the tail-end of the Great War with considerable focus on speed and reliability - the use of tanks to create and exploit breakthroughs had been demonstrated time after time, and an emphasis upon the development of large mechanized combined forces of tanks, infantry and artillery would dominate the military thinking of the 1920s, although financial restrictions would hamper larger-scale implementation, with the focus being upon technological development and prototyping until the outbreak of the Two Rivers Crisis led to a major shift in civilian attitudes, and major budgetary increases for the German Military. The result was to see the widespread mechanization of German soldiery and the development of three major tank series, the Sturm-series of heavy assault tanks, the Blitz-series of highly mobile medium tanks and the LK-series of light tanks, which were selected after significant testing and prototyping to be mass produced in 1935. The German Luftstreitkräfte would come under the capable leadership of Walter Wever, who had served as one of the principal advocates for strategic bombing during the 1920s, resulting in immense strides in bomber technology with particularly Dornier and Junkers producing a series of significant designs which would in time provide Germany with a clear bomber superiority over any potential opponent in Europe. At the same time, the German aircraft manufacturers Focke-Wulf, BFW, Fokker and Albatros provided intense competition in the development of German fighter planes, with all four competing intensively in all classes of fighter aircraft. Notably, while Germany pushed ever onwards with its technological development, it would refrain from spreading these developments to their Eastern European clients, instead relying upon the Bohemian Skoda Works and licenses therefrom to help arm their client forces - although it must be mentioned that Skoda would secure numerous contracts and partnerships with German arms producers, thereby enabling a significant degree of knowledge transfer (45).

    Theory Made Real

    The first half of the Twentieth Century was a period of immense new leaps forward in humanity's understanding of the world - in the fields of physics, mathematics and chemistry the fundamental understanding of how the world functioned and its base elements were in a state of constant flux and development, with new theories and understandings incredibly widespread. At the heart of it all lay Germany, a bastion of theoretical sciences and the vanguard of new technological developments. From Göttingen, Münich and Copenhagen, massive steps in particular the theory of physics occurred under the leadership and direction of Max Born, Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr, with students and theoreticians from the entire world flocking to the Zollverein to learn more. Amongst the most distinct figures of this group would be Italian Enrico Fermi whose work both as part of the Göttingen study group and as a professor in Rome would help to catapult Italian science to a position of international fame with his accomplishments in statistical mechanics, quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics. With the support of the eager Socialist government, Fermi and a team of researchers who counted amongst their number the equally talented theoretical physicist Ettore Majorana would conduct the first large-scale experiments in atomic reaction. Constantly corresponding with and drawing support from the Göttingen group, Fermi's research team would seek to create the first nuclear reactor in a series of experiments stretching from 1934-1937 which resulted in an immense amount of workable data which would come to circulate in the Zollverein's physics community, before financial constraints and the growing scale of the experiments led to debates over whether to suspend the project (46).

    Further notable achievements during this period would come from Germany with Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann performing similar experiments in Berlin between 1935 and 1938 - culminating in the discovery of fission through the splitting of uranium with neutrons in 1938 - while the Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard, working out of Münich, realized that neutron-driven fission of heavy atoms could be used to create nuclear chain reactions in 1934. After a series of experiments, Szilard published the results in the following year to great shock in the scientific community - who began to consider both the civilian and military potential of their recent discoveries. While the military capabilities remained vague but frightening, these developments would serve as the groundwork for the Italian government's investments in nuclear energy - the hope being to achieve greater energy independence from Germany, which at the time provided nearly half of all Italy's coal demand. With funding running out on Fermi's experiments, the Italian government were left to determine whether to discontinue the effort or seek external help - particularly the ascension of a conservative government under Chancellor Hergt in Germany causing considerable worries as to the continued Italo-German relationship. Ultimately the decision was made to negotiate with the Germans, eventually resulting in the formation of a joint research project between the two nations which saw the project shifted north to the University of Innsbruck under the direction of the Austrian-German Nobel Laureate Victor Francis Hess and Fermi, with both the Göttingen and Münich circles soon recruited heavily to support the project with German financial backing. Working on the university's grounds a distance from the city of Innsbruck, the project would draw in Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, Leo Szilard, Otto Hahn, Emmy Noether, Wilhelm Hanle, Lise Meitner, Werner Heisenberg, Max Born and Max Planck amongst many others - in many estimations producing the single greatest gathering of intellect in the history of humankind. After a series of initial starts-and-stops, with several troubles, and brewing disagreements amongst the scientists, the first functioning nuclear reactor, known as AR-1, would be successfully completed in early 1940 (46).

    Central Europe was, however, not alone in the development of nuclear technologies - merely a very clear frontrunner. In the United States, physicists such as Robert Oppenheimer, Julian Schwinger and Richard Feynman all engaged in both the development of particle sciences and quantum theories while astronomists such as Edwin Hubble and Vesto Slipher sought to expand the understanding of the universe through measurements of galactic nebulae. Asia was not without its leading lights either, with the Japanese Tomonaga Sinichiro and Hideki Yukawa seeking to explore fundamental particles and quantum electrodynamics while the female Chinese scientist Wu Chien Shiung made waves in the German physicist community following her visit to Göttingen for graduate studies in the mid-1930s despite being barely into her twenties - wherefrom she would go on to serve as a premier figure at the Institute of Physics in the Academia Sinica. From India it would be the incredible mathematical talents of the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan on an ocean of different topics and Satyendra Nath Bose's work on quantum mechanics which shook the global scientific community - demonstrating that the intellectual sphere could expect many more prominent voices to make their mark in the intellectual dialogue from Asia. The Soviet Republic would not be left out either, with particularly Pyotr Kapitsa a prominent figure in the Russian physics community - although much of his work was done in joint research with former classmates from the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge under the direction of the New Zealander Ernest Rutherford. The discovery of fission in 1938 by Otto Hahn's team in Berlin would provoke great excitement amongst the Soviet scientific community with particularly Yakov Frenkel, Georgy Flyrov and Igor Kurchatov playing a central role in helping to build government interest in these technological breakthroughs - resulting in the establishment of the Laboratory on Nuclear Technologies at the Moscow State University, which would prove the central driving force of nuclear research within the Third International in 1939 (46).

    (36) There are some butterflies and changes from OTL in this section, but outside of some of the natural outgrowths of butterflies in particularly the Soviet Republic and Asia most of this is at least superficially similar to OTL. One of the things that continually strikes me about this period is how massively changed people's daily lives must have been from when they were born. Radio going from a small experimental technology before the Great War to what it became is incredible. One of the things I think we take for granted is how widely available music is to anyone and everyone - it really isn't a challenge to find some nice music to listen to, and it hasn't been since the proliferation of the radio. But before that? You actually needed to go out and find someone to play music for you, or you needed to make it for yourself. The rest of it is significant as well, of course, with the automatization of the household massively decreasing the amount of time and work that is needed to keep a household running, electrification opening up for all sorts of opportunities and the shift towards supermarkets opening up for a vast new world of products which would previously have been both very expensive and difficult to find.

    (37) The American developments have been mentioned at varying points during the TL already, but the European side of things hasn't really been covered yet. The German developments are basically a complete 180 from OTL, where the Junkers ended up getting government support in what proved to be an absolutely massive scandal. Here the SPD, in yet another show of dauntless determination which comes back to bite them, bulldoze through the Junkers objections and force them to sell off their bankrupt estates - in the process paving the way for a largescale modernization of Prussian agriculture. The Danish Cooperative Movement mentioned here is actually an OTL development, but with the way Denmark ends up serving as sort of a key-hole into and out of the Zollverein, I though the cooperatives were perfectly placed to come in and really take a massive role in the development of Eastern European agriculture - particularly since they tried to do so even IOTL under significantly more challenging circumstances. We will get into the distributists a lot more next update when we deal with the integralist economic model, but basically France sees a similar shift towards ownership of the worked land by the farmers to OTL and the rise of agrarian cooperatives, which is not as much an OTL development. The Spanish shift by comparison is a truly massive one which actually goes a long way towards starting to resolve some of the most significant problems facing Spanish agriculture - although the way they do so is probably not the most constructive in the long-term.

    (38) IOTL Phages ended up part of the soviet arsenal and as such was widely disregarded in the west up until very recently, however the sheer potential of the technology is hard to grasp - but even in our time phage therapy has the potential to completely overturn modern medicine. Here Georgia remains the home of phage therapy, but it ends up getting drawn into the Zollverein's orbit rather than getting stuck in the Soviet Union. We still see at least a similar development of antibiotics, but phages are much more of an equal force in the struggle to deal with bacteria ITTL. Other than that many of these developments are at least somewhat similar to OTL, although there is a truly massive development occurring which allows Germany to stay at the top of global research and development - namely that many of their highly educated Jewish scientists stay in Germany to work rather than migrating to the UK or US under pressure from the Nazis. Honestly, the most I dig into this topic the more it boggles the mind the sheer scale of brain drain Germany experienced when the Nazis came to power.

    (39) Eugenics is one of those fields where the theories were so far in front of the technological developments that they were never implemented with anything approaching what one might consider scientific rigor (regardless of whether you think it is a bogus science or not) so one of the things I want to explore somewhat is what happens if we don't have an absolute calamity like the Holocaust which makes the subject utterly taboo. There is something horrific but weirdly intriguing to wondering what Josef Mengele's career would have looked like in that sort of world as well - somewhere he is simply a leading mainstream scientific figure, instead of one of the icons of the horrors to which scientists can go in the name of science. The United States is a bit weird, since the Progressives are on the war-path against racist elements of society, but the American eugenics movement was deeply influenced by racist thoughts - so here we on one hand see the movement lose a bit of steam, and at the same time the emergence of an anti-racialist strain of eugenics which might pick up in Progressive circles. I was honestly a bit surprised that someone like W.E.B. Du Bois would be a proponent of eugenics, but it just goes to show how wide-ranging of a movement and field it was IOTL before the Nazis took hold of it. As for the Far East, it is quite clear that there is a very deep strand of bloodline supremacy thinking in many of these countries, even to the modern day, and Korean pure-bloodism has been a source of both political legitimacy and societal division in modern times. Here they end up having to deal with the Japanese, who share these beliefs - just of Japanese supremacy instead of Korean supremacy - with the result being a rather toxic mix.

    (40) The idea of a major dam across the Yangtze is something literally every single Chinese leader tried to put into motion from Sun Yat-Sen onward, but the constant warfare, economic dislocation and later isolationism made it all but impossible to put into effect before the most recent Sino-thaw led to the Three Gorges Dam being built in 2009. ITTL the greater stability and economic buildup along the Yangtze see the dam prioritized quite highly. I have decided here to have Zuse's computer projects develop as a civilian initiative for the time being, with Siemens getting involved as financers and shareholders in Zuse's corporation. Without the impetus of the Second World War spurring on the analytical computing engine, I think Zuse and the George Stibitz at Bell Labs are probably the ones most engaged in the building of an early computer - and are the likely progenitors of computers ITTL.

    (41) I have decided to butterfly the R101 and Hindenburg crashes of OTL, with crashes still occurring but being smaller and with a smaller death count, so that airships can continue to hold prevalence for a while yet - we don't see the sudden die-off of the industry as occurred IOTL, but are more likely to see a more long-term competition between airships and airplanes for dominance of the skies, with airplanes likely to win out in the long-term, but for now airships remain at their height and are seen as not just a lot more comfortable but also safer than airplanes. We see the spread of a more unified rail network across Eastern Europe/the Zollverein, which should have some interesting consequences at some point down the line. At the same time we see the automobile catch on more strongly in France, and car-culture more generally, with rail remaining king in Germany without the OTL Nazi highway programmes.

    (42) The American military situation is actually quite an improvement from OTL, both the seating of a former general as president during 1920-1924 and the greater exposure to war by the American public ITTL making it more of a priority in the post-Great War period. Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from this is that the Christie tanks end up remaining in the United States - whereas IOTL they ended up in the Soviet Union and Great Britain where they eventually served as inspiration for the T-34 and Crusader tanks of WW2 fame. Thus, American tank development is significantly further along and there is a greater emphasis on the field ITTL. In Great Britain we see Fuller remain in the military and push it towards a more mobile policy of combined arms while the greater threat posed by Germany leaves the aerial strategists in Britain more focused on defense rather than offense.

    (43) Spain was one of the very few places left in the world to have a very large number of independent gunsmiths, with each smith often adapting pre-existing models to fit exactly what the user wanted out of them. There was this whole artisanal gunsmith culture in Spain during this period largely due to a lack of regulations on what standards must be kept for specific arms, so ITTL the government sets out to impose some sort of control on their wildly complicated web of small gunsmiths which, while devastating the unique nature of the arms industry, does allow for the creation of a far more effective arms industry, with their small-arms rapidly proving amongst the highest quality - drawing in learnings from the many talented gunsmiths they have forced to work together with great results. As for helicopter development, IOTL Juan de la Cierva was also a pioneer but he ended up moving to the UK and leading the development there, whereas ITTL he stays in Spain and gets Franco-Spanish financial backing instead. IOTL he backed the nationalists and died in a horrific plane crash in 1936 - much of his technology ending up used by the Germans in their helicopter development. Nevertheless, of the Latin Pact nations it is undoubtedly France who are the military great power, with their designs spreading throughout the Pact. These developments have been mentioned in the past, but we go into it in a bit more detail this time around with a showing of how French tank and aviation technology is top-of-the-line given the greater government investment into it ITTL.

    (44) So remember how the Americans kept the Christie tank for themselves? Well this is how the consequences play out in Russia as a result. The early tank development while leaning heavily into modifications of the Renault FT series, are predominantly light tanks with very limited impact on wider military affairs - and are a target of regular attacks by Trotsky when he is trying to anger the military members of the Central Committee. Instead it ends up being the ST-28, which we have already seen do stellar work in Georgia, which ends up being the paradigm-redefining tank for the Soviets ITTL. While lacking the superb suspension and speed of the Christie-based tanks, the Bohemian ST-28 is a very capable all-around medium tank, very well made for a relatively low price but without anything it excels at. However, once the Soviets get their hands on the design, it finds itself greatly transformed, with some of the key learnings which IOTL went into the T-34 now being used on this new model - as such we have the T-33 adopt the famous sloped armor, a massive increase in the machine's capabilities in rugged terrain and reliability while they gradually go about up-gunning, with the ST's chassis being increasingly adapted to new designs. Notably, this makes the T-33 one of the premier medium tanks in the world, but the Soviets have mediocre light tanks and their heavy tanks are an absolute mess.

    (45) So without the disruptions and limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty, we not only see a continuity of corporations (such as BFW remaining a force and Albatros surviving into the post-Great War era) while tank development continues uninterrupted. The result is that Germany ends up with pretty top-of-the-line military technological developments, not only investing more than anyone else, but also getting more out of its than almost anyone else. There should be more coming about German military developments in a later feature, but hopefully this will tide you guys over for now. Another thing to note is that the oil situation for Germany is vastly different from OTL, with massive consequences for the widespread adoption of civilian and military motorization - notably this has also resulted in less of an impetus to stockpile oil, with synthesizing efforts lagging significantly behind OTL efforts without the same degree of government backing.

    (46) Germany was literally a mecca for physicists during these years, with an absolutely ridiculous number of Nobel laureates and top-tier physicists - it is honestly a bit disgusting how far ahead they were when you look into it in closer detail. The Nazis literally threw away most of the greatest minds in the world with their policies, including breaking up the Göttingen circle and driving nearly every prominent physicist in the country into exile. As I was working my way through some of the major figures I could draw in for the update it was literally something like 3/4 of the American and British scientists mentioned were German, Austrian or Hungarian in origin - I knew the brain drain was significant, but the sheer magnitude only really starts to break through when you are left trawling through wikipage after wikipage of prominent physicist and realize they would likely have been in Germany if not for the Nazis. ITTL, by contrast, Germany remains at the heart of physics and the study circles at Copenhagen, Göttingen and Münich continue unabated - I would also note that in contrast to OTL we don't see quite the same sort of brain drain from particularly China given the more peaceful circumstances in that country. I know that having Fermi be the first to really do largescale experiments in Italy is a bit weird, but I hope that my explanation is sufficient - this is something of a gamble in the hopes that nuclear energy will be able to greatly reduce Socialist Italy's reliance upon German coal. Now granted, them running out of money and then having to beg the Germans for support - sharing their findings in the process - is a bit of delicious irony, but I don't think that the Germans would be the first to pull the trigger on actual state financing for these sorts of projects on a large scale before some sort of proof-of-concept was available. One notable development here is that Szilard does not keep his findings on nuclear chain reactions secret ITTL and instead the Europe-wide open scientific dialogue which characterized the period prior to Nazi Germany's rise continues unabated with eager debates amongst the scientific community in scientific journals and letters is left alone. The AR-1 is based on the OTL Chicago Pile-1, but somewhat more successful and better built - notably the experiment is done in the countryside outside of Innsbruck instead of in the heart of Chicago as IOTL. What is important to note is that with strategic bombing not quite as prevalent of a doctrinal position as IOTL (including the lack of mass bombing campaigns as were shown to be possible in the Spanish Civil War) and without the war fever and fears of OTL, the impetus for viewing nuclear technology through a military prism first has sort of been sidelined, particularly given that very few of the physicists themselves are really interested in the military availability and are in large part pacifists - so ITTL civilian nuclear technology is very much in the front seat the first time around. I also want to stress that the reason the Germans are able to do it so much earlier and without the massive buildup of OTL's Manhattan Project is quite simply because Germany is far, far better positioned as long as there aren't massive trade blockades or a war going on for this technology to be developed.


    Once again this is a very broad collection of topics getting covered in a single sweeping update, but I really do hope that people find some of these developments interesting. I know that I have gone a bit light on describing military developments, but this is hopefully a nice look in on how things are proceeding in some of the major nations on a superficial, technologically-focused level.

    I am particularly looking forward to hearing people's thoughts on the development of nuclear technology, the continuation of airships as a major transportation form and the Three Gorges Dam in China.

    I am not exactly the most versed person in technological history, particularly compared to a lot of the people on this forum, but I do hope I have done the topic justice. Do let me know if there is anything you feel I might have missed out on, or if you have any suggestions or ideas for how certain tech developments might have gone ITTL. I am realizing in hindsight that I ended up forgetting to deal with the development of rocketry technology, but I hope you will forgive the oversight.
    Update Forty (Pt. 4): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • The World At The End Of The 1930s


    John Maynard Keynes, Founder of Keynesian Economics

    Money Builds The World​

    Rise of The Zollverein

    By the close of the fourth decade of the twentieth century, the enormous economic shifts which came about with the end of the Great War and extension of the Zollverein across most of Eastern and Central Europe had largely settled into their new economic positions. In the span of two decades the Zollverein had formed what many considered the single largest economic bloc in the world, uniting together the economic activity of half of Europe, with its external partnerships to nations such as the People's Republic of Italy, the Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Georgia and Denmark greatly expanding the bloc's economic reach. Knowing that running everything from the German Finance Ministry would be a troublesome affair, the Zollverein would eventually be tasked with establishing independent offices in Berlin Mitte, long the financial heart of Germany, and the recruitment of a pan-Zollverein staff to manage the daily work of the customs union - with the much lauded Gustav Stresemann serving as the first President of the Zollverein Commission until 1935, when he retired, and was succeeded by the much respected liberal Theodor Heuss as head of the Zollverein Commission. While Stresemann's term of office would be marked by the incredibly rapid expansion of social, economic, military and political ties within the Zollverein, his activities would cause considerable tensions and push-back from the junior partners within the union. Thus, his replacement with the far more cordial and consensus-oriented Heuss would prove a major balm upon the upbraided anxiety of the junior members who had felt their autonomy slipping away at a rapid pace. Perhaps Heuss most significant contribution during the early years of his term would prove to be negotiating a relaxation of tensions between Romania and Poland over Polish possession of Bukovina by securing improved local autonomy for the former Duchy and a partial demilitarization of the borders between the two countries in early 1938, following almost two years of intensive negotiations. However, while Heuss took a far more conciliatory approach to his work, he would nevertheless continue the steady economic integration of the Zollverein and further entrench the German cartels across the entire region and beyond it while presiding over a period of rapidly rising tensions between the Zollverein and the Soviet Republic, with the completion of several largescale combined military training operations drawing in soldiers from all of the Zollverein nations, simulating both invasion by the Soviets and counter-invasion by the Zollverein's forces (47).

    German, and by extension Zollverein, economic policy would be dominated by four major competing schools of economics. The oldest school would prove to be the German Historical School of economics which sought to analyze history in search of key knowledge about human actions and economic matters, with the belief that economics was culture-specific and ungeneralizable - rejecting the idea of universal validity which was so central to more classical understandings of economics. However, this school had largely gone into decline by the time of the Great War and it would take a putative critic of the movement, Joseph Schumpeter, to reform it when he rose to prominence at the head of what would be known as the Neo-Historical School based out of the University of Bonn. Focusing on economics as an evolutionary process of continuous innovation and creative destruction, Schumpeter would focus intensely on business cycles and the cyclical nature of economics, which he held to be a stationary state without innovation and innovative activities, and drew in many students with his persuasive and often heterogenous behavior, with his ideas gaining increasing popularity during the latter half of the 1930s. Particularly his views on democracy as a peaceful mechanism for competition between leaders, rather than a mechanism whereby the electorate identifies and seeks to accomplish the common good, would find considerable popularity in the conservative wing of German society, who set aside their reticence of supporting the democratic reforms of the past decades in favor of emphasizing bureaucracy, technocracy and democracy as a mechanism for ensuring public support, rather than as a source of legitimacy, for legislation and political decision-making (48).

    The Austrian School of Economics had been established in direct opposition to the Historical School in the early 1870s when Carl Menger's book "Principles of Economics" was published with a focus on liberal and theoretical economics - exploring the role of subjective individual choices upon economic phenomena in a universal manner - in the process gain-saying the Historical School's rejection of universal concepts. While the contributions of the school would find widespread appeal and had been taken in by most economists by the late 1920s, further developments of the school's ideas would struggle to find as great adherence. The later Austrians would find their foremost figures in Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, who pushed further with this individualist and theoretical approach, but found themselves sharply critiqued for their lack of scientific rigor and unwillingness to utilize economic models as well as mathematical and statistical methods by classical economists. The Later Austrians would find themselves drawn in by the emerging German Liberty Movement with their emphasis on methodological individualism, subjectivity and emphasis on the impact of the individual upon economic policy found particularly appealing. The 1930s would be marked by a sharp divide between Mises and Hayek over the use of generalizable trends and universal theoretical constructions, with Mises dismissing all neo-classical ideas of statistics and mathematics while Hayek sought to meld together theory with statistics, forming what would come to be known as the Neo-Austrian School of Economics, which would draw on not only the Austrian school, but also pull elements from neo-classical theory and Marxian economic thought, eventually synthesizing an economic model which stressed smaller business units capable of exploiting competitive forces and addressing the localized and individualized needs while still organized in wider networks of units able to wield economies of scale through cooperation and partnerships. It would be this approach to economics which the German Liberty Movement adopted and which the DFP soon began to champion in both regional parliaments and the Reichstag (48).

    The Nordic School, built on the works of economists based out of Stockholm, Copenhagen and Warszawa, worked to develop a synthesis of capitalist and socialist economic models partly inspired and partly inspiring the economic welfare and dispute mediation policies pursued in Denmark, Sweden and Prussia. In many ways the Nordic School would prove a synthesis of two separate ideological movements, one based out of Poland and led by the Polish economist Michal Kalecki and his colleague Ludwik Landau while the other was primarily based out of Stockholm and led by the professors Gunnar Myrdal and Bertil Ohlin - sharing a great deal of similarities to the theories promulgated by John Meynard Keynes in the Anglophone world. Notably, the Nordic School would be amongst the most practical in approach, directly influencing government policies - in some cases before the school of economics was even formally established. Kalecki would stress the way in which the predominant economic growth models failed to account for the role of the government sector, state intervention and interactions between the state and private sectors would prove immensely influential, and would emphasize his sharp break with Ricardian, Marxian and Neoclassical economics on the issue of economic equilibrium - claiming that it was not price or wage flexibility but rather the magnitude of investments which determined productivity and employment levels in a capitalist society - with Kalecki asserting that higher wages led to fuller employment. As part of a theoretical exchange with Joseph Schumpeter, they would help to revive the concept of the circular flow of incomes introduced centuries earlier by Francois Quesnay, in the process providing a more comprehensive understanding of the total economic process of a given period. From Stockholm the ideas of class mediation and strong government interventionism to promote an equitable economy would join with Kalecki's ideas of government interventionism and the redistribution of income from profits to wages, with immediate implementation in a number of countries. Notably, the Nordic School would present an alternate model for industrialization of developing countries with an emphasis on land reform and the taxation of land owners and the middle classes, rather than the traditional agglomeration of resources with the traditional economic elite - an idea which would find considerable support amongst the Social Reform Movement in China following its formal transition away from Shanghai Communism (48).

    The Frankfurt School would seek to determine how to deal with the practical problems of implementing socialism in an effort to synthesize the various trends of Marxism into a coherent and practical philosophy. Taking a critical approach to Marxism, emphasizing the open-ended and self-critical nature of their investigation, the Frankfurt School would draw in methods of anti-positivist sociology, psychoanalysis and existentialism to address the conditions which would allow for positive social change with the aim of realizing these changes through peaceful and rational social institutions. Greatly intrigued by both the failures and successes of Communism in its various guises, as well as the rise of Integralist forces and the Catholic Schism, the Frankfurt School would seek to interpret, illuminate and explain the origins and causes of harmful socio-economic trends, as well as the potential social, political and economic responses to such developments. Whereas the other schools would link themselves to specific political movements - the Neo-Historical to the Conservative Movement, the Neo-Austrian to the German Liberty Movement and the Nordic School to the Social Democratic Movement, the Frankfurt School would be notable for being compromised of intellectuals, academics and political dissidents dissatisfied with the contemporary socio-economic systems and models, and was as much a philosophical movement as an economic one - its learnings and critical approach influencing the other schools, particularly through its critical approach to theory and social development, but not directly impacting the political economy (48).

    Ultimately, by the close of the 1930s the Zollverein's economic prosperity had been linked so closely together that it was hard to imagine a world without it. Danish Pork and milk was exported throughout the region while Danish-inspired and financed cooperatives in Poland and Romania worked together to feed the vast and growing populace of Central Europe. German cartels invested heavily into the development of industry and commerce, with German banks spreading throughout the region as the premier lenders of choice to both German expats and local industrialists while a vast web of student exchanges and the Zollverein's intellectual community worked to develop a unity of purpose across the region. From Bohemia, Skoda served as providers of cars, armored vehicles and small arms for the majority of the Zollverein's nations, while its artisanal products enjoyed great popularity in southern Germany - particularly Bavaria and Austria. German movies starring Hungarian actors, Baltic actresses and Polish directors were watched in Romania, Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire with rapt attention while an ever more dense network of rail lines and airship ports worked to bind together half a continent. The quality of life rose precipitously as the availability of one-time luxuries became increasingly common household goods, although still lagging behind their American counterparts. Sports fans of all stripes rushed together to watch the latest match of football in the Fussball-Vereinsliga between FC Schalke 04 and Legia Warsaw or listened to the match broadcast across the union by German and Bohemian radio stations while races at Nürburgring near the town of Nürburg and AVUS in Berlin drew fans from across Europe eager to watch their countrymen make their mark in the annals of sports racing. The massive growth in oil demand which the proliferation of the combustion engine brought with it would result in a massive expansion of the oil fields at Ploesti and an ever growing stream of trains transporting oil from Baku and Mosul, up the Berlin-Bagdad Railway. The Zollverein was healthy and growing, its economic potential seemingly unending, even though dark clouds rose in the heavens as Integralists to the west and Communists to the east grew stronger and more threatening in turn (47).

    Complementary Counterparts of Communism

    The Communist economic sphere was unique in many ways from every other economic paradigm, not only due to the vastly altered economic policies pursued by their states' governments, but just as much for the fact that, with the exception of Chile, every single Socialist and Communist state had been forced into economic reconstruction on a truly massive scale following devastating civil wars as part of their revolutionary rise to power. In Mexico, the Revolution lasted a decade while its repeated aftershocks would continue into the 1930s, with a complete breakdown of the prior economic paradigm and its replacement by a piece-meal and fractured series of economic policies which began to coalesce into a socialist economic model over time. In Russia, the devastation of first the Great War and then the Russian Civil War would see the country splinter into various competing political, military and economic factions before gradually consolidating over the course of the 1920s, with the resulting dislocated war-time economic policies resulting in a surprisingly diverse and complex economic landscape which only gradually seemed to be coming into alignment during the 1930s. In Italy, the initial economic and societal dislocation was massive, but the relatively cohesive socio-economic structures which emerged from the fires of civil war would allow for what amounted to an economic reset and consolidated economic policies which actively helped to break down the age-old North-South economic divide which had troubled Italian economists since the country's formation. In Iran, the short interlude in which the region was partitioned between Pessian and Socialist blocs would not end up significantly affecting the economic paradigm, but rather it would be the nationalization of the Iranian oil fields which helped to fuel a rapidly expanding, liberalized and democratizing economic system which brought with it industrialization, urbanization and modernization - with particularly the Iranian textile industry beginning to make inroads into international markets. The Japanese development would share a lot of comparisons to the development of Italy, with a relatively short but intensely violent civil war giving way to a truly massive economic reconstruction and recovery - the entire economy rebuilt along Communist lines of thought. Notably, with each step forward, as more and more Communist states emerged around the globe, the access to support and cooperation from pre-existing Socialist and Communist nations made the transition to a revolutionary economy ever more feasible, simplifying and easing the worst of the troubles, such that by the time of the Shogunate's rise they were able to secure immense amounts of resources and know-how from experienced economists and industrialists who had tackled the challenges of rebuilding a war-torn economy several times over, and had learned the most successful ways of dealing with these issues through trial-and-error (49).

    Economic policy in the Soviet Republic, which was to influence all other Communist nations to a greater or lesser extent, would be based upon the efforts of Grigori Sokolnikov and his adherents who dominated financial and economic decision-making through the Ekonburo. Notable for its willingness to bend and adjust Marxist economics to resolve practical challenges, and a belief in avoiding a wholly state-controlled economy through the adoption of syndicalist and anarchist economic ideas, the Moscow School of Economics would prove the dominant strain in Soviet decision-making throughout the 1920s and 1930s - drawing incredibly capable economists into service such as Nikolai Kodratiev, whose work on the long business cycles in capitalist economies and how to mitigate such cycles through state regulation and interference helped to shape government policies, and Simon Kuznets, who played a central role in ensuring the transformation of Soviet economics into an empirical science and the adoption of quantitative economic history in an expansion of more traditional Marxian historical studies. However, Sokolnikov's very flexibility and openness to heterodox solutions would provoke considerable dissatisfaction and opposition from a range of different Marxian economists with figures such as Lev Markovich Gatovsky focusing his critique on the failures of the government to fully address growing agricultural prices of the 1930s, as heightened demand from the rapidly growing industrial cities of Western Russia and the Urals placed ever greater pressures on the food supply even as the relationship between the Soviets and the Zollverein deteriorated, while the highly regarded Vladimir Bazarov and his student Evsei Liberman pressed for more closely managed economic planning under the belief that market mechanisms such as those of the mixed-market economics adopted by the Ekonburo actually complicated and accentuated the need for central economic planning, rather than lessening it, and worked to develop a methodology for strategic planning which would in time come to be used widely in the state-controlled industries. Ideological attacks upon the central triumvirate would be relatively commonplace, particularly coming from the left, with criticisms centered either on insufficiently orthodox Marxist economic practices or the overweening and undemocratic attitude of the central leadership, but they were largely unable to crack the air of infallibility which increasingly surrounded the top leadership (49).

    By contrast to the often relatively practical economics and vast network of theoretical Marxian economists present in the Soviet Republic, the Shogunate's leadership was dominated by figures without a particularly strong grasp on either the fundamentals or intricacies of modern Marxist theory, instead drawing more on ideological underpinnings for their economic policy-making. The result was to leave economic policy something of a underappreciated field within the Shogunate itself, which in turn allowed for less socialist figures to make their mark on the field of Japanese economics as long as they survived the initial brutality of the Japanese Red Terror. The most prominent economist to make it through the transition prove to be a somewhat surprising figure, for Nakayama Ichiro had studied in Germany under Joseph Schumpeter and adhered to the principles espoused by the Neo-Historical school of economics. Achieving a surprising degree of prominence as one of the few leading Japanese economists to avoid persecution by the authorities, Nakayama would prove himself a pioneer in the field of mathematical economics and sought to marry these principles with both Marxian and Schumpeterian economic thought in a synthesis which would end up greatly influencing the next generation of Japanese economists, who would in time begin to staff the government bureaucracy, and came to be known as the Tokyo School of Economics - emphasizing the revolutionary process of creative destruction and reconstruction while intensely studying the economic patterns which emerged in the trade between the Soviet Republic and the Shogunate - whereby the raw resources of Siberia were transformed through industrial processes by reconstructed Japanese factories, only to pass back into the Soviet Republic as finished products, contrasted with the concurrent economic dependence upon the Soviet Republic which the Shogunate experienced. Striving to understand the complex effects of this virtuous cooperative cycle, in which government intervention and inequal balances of trade unlocked the economic potential of both states, Nakayama would publish a series of highly influential papers over the course of the late 1930s and early 1940s which would serve as the basis for further economic studies in Japan in the years to come. Despite this theoretical development, however, economic policy making in Japan would remain surprisingly disjointed from the theoretical work of this period - Sokolnikov's model being adopted piecemeal while syncretic continuations of Meiji-era policies, ideologically-based economic concepts and call-backs to prior Tokugawa-era policies influenced the economic policies developed by the government (49).

    While the economic policies and theory of the Soviet Republic and other states of the Third International would by-and-large find themselves part of a single larger and cohesive dialogue, it is worth noting one of the few Socialist states to not really participate in this dialogue - namely the Italian People's Republic. Arising out of a decidedly non-Soviet context and marked by often considerable diplomatic tensions with the Soviet Republic, the Italian People's Republic which emerged from the Civil War would largely pursue an independent economic development, with its economic outlook evolving more as part of a dialogue with the Marxist and Social Democratic currents in Germany and the Zollverein than through interactions with Soviet thinkers. Perhaps the most influential force upon the formation of Italy's economy would prove to be Amadeo Bordiga, whose control over the vast nationalized state enterprises shaped every aspect of the economy and ruled with an utter independence from outside interference, in the process consolidating and modernizing vast industrial and agricultural resources, leaning into the resultant economies of scale for results. By contrast, the theoretical economic debate would be dominated by the works of Luigi Einaudi and his student Piero Sraffa - both prominent economists and political influencers aligned with Antonio Gramsci, and sharp critics of Bordiga's policies. Einaudi had a long history of involvement in the socialist movement and held progressive liberal ideals, holding the belief that economic freedom and prosperity was intrinsically linked to civil liberties and were in fact mutually dependent. As such, Einaudi championed the pluralistic nature of the new Italian constitution and sought to press for economic policies which would allow for a freedom of initiative and individual expression, with greater permissiveness towards private enterprise and a welfare state which could in turn allow the average Italian to spread their wings and prosper without fears of ruin and destitution. Sraffa, following well over a decade travelling around the Zollverein following the conclusion of his studies in 1920, would return to lecture in Milan - drawing heavy inspiration from the Nordic School while exploring many of the neoclassical economic theories which had previously held sway in a bid to adapt them to the Italian context while pointing out inconsistencies and weaknesses in the neoclassical paradigm, particularly emphasizing miscalculations in how competition and economies of scale function with the development of the theory of imperfect competition. A close personal friend of Antonio Gramsci, Sraffa would play an important role in shaping the former's thoughts on economic policy, with a growing conception of the role of the state as a guiding hand and safety net, which would allow for the individual to prosper and develop the cultural hegemony so prized by Gramsci, becoming a core idea of the New Order faction of the Italian Communists (49).

    The Latin Economic Miracle

    At its most basic level what came to be known as the Integralist movement which swept across the Romance nations of western Europe and the northern half of South America was a syncretic admixture of several ideological currents which had emerged and developed during the 19th and early 20th century. Portuguese Sidonism, Spanish Traditionalism and Carlism, French Integralism as well as Italian Fascism and Syndicalism, to mention but the most important elements in the complex swirl of ideologies, were all ideologies based more around matters of religion, society and state structures than the economics which dominated thinking in both capitalist and socialist ideologies - and as such when it came time to determine the economic policy thinking of the Latin Pact nations there were few clear policy positions to adopt as regarded how to resolve the economic challenges faced by the nations following this new ideological belief system. Thus, once the various integralist governments came to power they found themselves faced with numerous major questions regarding how exactly they were going to resolve the economic challenges facing their government. Ultimately, economics in Integralist nations would come to focus on the basic societal unit in all these countries, the Association - or its local equivalent, through which all individual and social activity was undertaken in relation to the enterprise. Sharp debate over the degree to which associations should hold ownership in the industry, sector or business to which they were linked, the size of enterprises, as well as the degree of public and private ownership of enterprise, were a major feature of the integralist debate and a point of, often bitter, contention within the Latin Pact itself. Ultimately, three major models would come to dominate economic thought and practice in the years that followed - Integralist Corporatism, which emphasized state direction of the economy and powerful private business interests driving forward the economy in unison, the associations a subordinate foundational block designed to limit class conflict and societal disruption but not a structure for ownership; Integralist Syndicalism, which emphasized an economy resting primarily upon large public enterprises with the associations serving in the role of partner and often as part-owner of enterprise; and finally Integralist Distributism, which emphasized economic mechanisms such as cooperatives, member-owned mutual organizations, small businesses and private property, centering the economy upon the association, with the government in a more supportive role. Ultimately, no single one of these models would be employed in its entirety by any integralist nation, and it would instead be a variety of combinations of the three different models which would predominate in practice (50).

    The transition to an integralist economic model would take time for the Sidonist regime in Portugal to undertake, as the initial troubles gave way to efforts at state consolidation and the rooting out of what oppositional forces remained. In many ways it would be the efforts of Secretary of Finance António de Oliveira Salazar which set the framework for Portugal's economic transformation following his initial efforts at economic recovery and budgetary reform. Deeply influenced by his priestly education and a convinced believer in the precepts of Distributism on the basis of principles outlined in Pope Leo XIII's "Rerum Novarum", Salazar would direct the gradual transition of Portugal's economy to a mixture of state-directed large cartelized corporations and a bevy of smaller associations, cooperatives, agrarian guilds and small private business, which provided an energetic and innovative economic framework to the Portuguese economy. The purpose of these economic structures was to on one hand enable the dynamism and improved economic prosperity at the individual level which small-enterprise economies are able to foster while closely guiding pre-existing larger enterprises such that the economic benefits impacted the state as a whole while ensuring that largescale business operations supported and undergirded government objectives. A key force in these efforts was an emphasis on associations, or guilds as they were more commonly framed in Portugal, which mixed class syndicates and brought together both employers and employees for cooperative mutual benefit with an eye towards promoting class collaboration. Notably the Portuguese banking system would see significant state interference and even control - although putatively still operating as a private banking system - with the abolition of legal enforcement of interest-rate contracts and state backing for a variety of private credit unions, mutual banks and various other financial cooperatives, while larger-scale banking operations were taken over by the Portuguese central bank and its affiliates as yet another tool for state direction and control. By and large, the economic reforms put into effect under Sidonio and Salazar would have a profound impact upon the economic prospects of the Portuguese population, with Portuguese light industrial and agrarian goods soon finding themselves highly sought-after in much of the Latin Pact, the economy expanding at an incredible pace (51).

    In Spain, the emphasis of the Alfonsine government had first been focused upon the political consolidation and ideological structuring of society along Integralist lines, but when it came time to determine the economic reforms to be undertaken, the approach would have less to do with the ideological objectives of the state and far more with the consolidation of Spain's economy in the hands of the King. The result was to be a mixed Syndicalist-Corporatist model in which the emphasis lay on state, and thus royal, ownership of both public and private enterprise either through direct state-ownership or directorial control of private actors. This period would see the formation of numerous industrial cartels under state auspices and part-ownership, with smaller enterprises more or less forced together into larger and more easily controlled units, with associations created to unite the workers, managers and owners of the respective corporation in economic solidarity - state interference ensuring that wage levels remained tolerably close amongst these groups, while the vast majority of the profits were reinvested or funneled off to the royal treasury for reinvestment elsewhere in the economy. Notably, the result of Alfonso's economic reforms would create several large industrial cartels which were able to leverage their scale and resources to kickstart the economy. Major government investments, fueled in large part by expansionary monetary policies, export promotion aimed at Latin America and the redeployment of resources saved through the aforementioned economic consolidation, would enable a truly massive industrial expansion in particularly transportation and heavy industries. An example of this could be seen with the automotive companies Hispano-Suiza, Elizalde and Ricart, amongst others, which were forced together into a cartel known as ENASA - Empresa Nacional de Autocamiones S.A. At the same time, foreign automakers such as Ford Motor Ibérica and General Motors Peninsular found their operations continually hampered and hamstrung by state harassment, to the point that both were forced to depart the country in the midst of the economic crisis resulting from the Black Week - in the process paving the way for ENASA to hire on all the recently fired workers from both Ford and General Motors as part of the cartel's massive expansion during the latter half of the 1930s, with ENASA cars soon proliferating across Latin Pact markets - expanding beyond their initial emphasis on luxury brands to a much broader market. The emphasis on heavy industry and corporate consolidation would result to a major rise in economic growth, but while quality of life would improve to a degree for the average Spaniard, with particularly Portuguese-produced consumer goods proliferating, the majority of the financial benefits from this economic expansion would remain in the hands of the government (51).

    The economic structures of the Royalist Italian state were as much a result of the country's circumstances in the post-Civil War years as actual ideological convictions. In contrast to many of the other Integralist states, the Fascist syndicalist elements which had initially drawn so many supporters to the movement were few and far between, with the weak central government resulting in a far stronger and more influential private sector which was as likely to direct and exploit state resources as it was to contribute to them. With actual state incomes far from sufficient to meet the present needs and financial aid coming in from both the United Kingdom and France to prop up the ramshackle Sicilian state, the government was forced to turn to not only the legal enterprises present on the island but also the incredibly dynamic illicit economy dominated by the island's Mafia families. To that end, in an effort to secure financial support from these actors, the government found itself pressured into repealing the inheritance tax and repeatedly intervened in police investigations for the benefit of the Mafia to the point that their illicit activities were able to be conducted in broad day-light - the only real indicator of the activity's illegal nature being the lack of government taxation. In many ways while the Sicilian economy would often end up being classified as an admixture of Corporatist and Distributist structures, in effect the government's economic policies would follow more classically liberal lines alongside large-scale privatization and the sell-off of state-owned enterprises to private actors - with particularly the Mafia, who had enriched themselves through smuggling, gambling and protection rackets, being the primary purchasers of this privatization drive. Many government officials would lament the necessity of these activities, but it did not stop top officials from making their own bids through family members or friends, with even members of the Savoy dynasty being found to have involved themselves in buying up formerly public enterprises. Nevertheless, the Sicilian private economy would rebound with rather astonishing speed as the island's role in smuggling, tourism and gambling pulled in incredible sums of money, which was injected into the island's economy, and allowed for the Mafia and government elite to live lavish lifestyles - with resultant payouts to government officials and departments both helping to fund government operations and directing those operations (51).

    Whereas the economic structures of the European members of the Latin Pact were based primarily around industrial policies, in the Latin American nations of the Pact the focus would be dominated by agrarian and natural resource extraction policies. Venezuelan oil, Colombian tropical fruits and coffee, Ecuadorian cacao and Peruvian minerals and sugar, would all form the foundations of state enterprise and the economy. While all of these countries sought to diversify and industrialize, with particularly Colombia and Venezuela seeing major successes in their efforts, they would by and large still be natural-resource economies who relied upon foreign companies and countries to process and utilize their resources. Here the cooperative nature of the Latin Pact would once again make itself felt, as the traditional purchaser of all these resources, the United States, found itself either pushed out or retreated voluntarily as part of the large and ongoing economic shifts in America, with Portuguese and Spanish industrial plants soon turning the resources of their former colonial holdings into goods and products which were sold back at a marked increase in price. For obvious reasons, this seeming restoration of old colonial dynamics was deeply unpopular in many of the Latin American countries, and the complicated trade negotiations within the Latin Pact between its European and American members would be a constant source of tension, with particularly the Venezuelans succeeding in securing greatly improved terms through their possession of their vast oil fields which supplied the vast majority of oil to the other Latin Pact nations, but there was little to be done to resolve the problem. While economic reforms along integralist lines were undertaken in all of the American members of the Latin Pact, they would often prove piecemeal and surface-level, with only Peru engaging in truly revolutionary changes under the direction of President Luis Miguel Sánchez Cerro, who employed particularly Syndicalist and Corporatist approaches to the state's economic structures. In Venezuela, the Spanish economic reforms would also be seen in a positive light, with the Gomezista regime seeking to secure the same sort of industrial control as that wielded by King Alfonso in Spain. By contrast, the Portuguese approach would find popularity with particularly the Colombians and, in a more market-oriented guise, in Brazil where the Brazilian Integralists championed the establishment of cooperatives, agrarian guilds and credit unions on a wide scale without government backing - such structures proliferating across much of northern Brazil. The last of the Latin Pact nations in America that must be addressed is Paraguay which joined the Pact under the direction of its dictator Higinio Morínigo following the devastating defeat of the Chaco War on a policy which would see the Spanish approach taken to its most extreme - all economic resources collected in the government and directed entirely according to the wishes and demands of Morínigo and his inner clique of supporters - who were primarily young officers who had emerged as powerbrokers in the chaotic years following the Chaco War (52).

    The defining features of the French economy during the first decade following the Great War had been reconstruction and debt repayment, with the economy and government itself largely running along liberal and neo-classical lines, with a dynamic but often troubled market economy and exceedingly limited government intervention. While the 1930s would be marked by social and political turmoil, it would prove a period of incredible economic dynamism as the fetters of debt and reconstruction lightened and economic activity exploded. The industrialized north-east saw incredible economic growth with intense competition and increasing levels of international market penetration - particularly in the Don Republic, Middle East and Far East. While the ongoing war in Indochina would draw in considerable state resources and manpower, the worries provoked by the conflict would further invigorate the French arms industry, with truly massive arms shipments being purchased by the Dutch for their operations in the Dutch East Indies, and in Latin America where French military arms found numerous happy purchasers - with particularly the Brazilian Old Republic and Constitutional Republic holding a preference for French products. One industry which would find itself continually challenged, and often struggled to meet demands, was the French coal industry which not only had to spend immense sums of money in reconstruction efforts but also soon found the international market that they served a bitterly contested field as German, British and American competitors all dueled for market share from a considerably stronger position than the debt-laden French corporations who were faced with often challenging questions of whether to raise domestic coal prices to keep abreast of their interest payments, and risk public anger, or to find accommodation with their competitors. As such, during the 1930s several coal companies nearly declared bankruptcy and sought out potential partners, with German coal companies particularly interested in absorbing the troubled French industry. Ultimately it would be the rise of the Union de la Droite and Jacques Arthuys who resolved issues of the troubled industrial sector through the consolidation and partial nationalization of the Béthune, Aniche, d'Anzin and Bruay Mining Companies. In general the late 1930s, following the establishment of the Arthuysian regime and restoration of the Monarchy, would see many such industrial consolidations and part-nationalization of troubled industrial sectors, with Arthuys using his vast network of personal contacts in the French business world to resolve many of the gradually growing economic problem-spots which had been left unaddressed during the chaotic earlier years of the 1930s. In general the Arthuysian government would lean heavily into the Corporatist model of integralist economics - a choice made much easier by Arthuys' personal connections - with state operations seeking to support and guide French industry in directions felt to be favorable to the government through financial and legislative incentives rather than the harsh control exercised in the Spanish model. At the same time an ongoing trend of distributist economic practices had proliferated across much of southern and western France during the preceding decade and now found themselves supported by the government, with the state helping to fund a number of agrarian banks, mutual funds and credit unions, who in turn helped to fuel the growth and expansion of particularly agrarian cooperatives across the region which in turn helped to fuel a boom in the agrarian economy and enabled the wider spread of consumer goods and electrification into the countryside (52).

    The Phoenix Ascendent

    The economic development of China during the Restoration-era Qing Dynasty was centered around two distinct economic spheres, each possessing significantly divergent structures and approaches. The first of these spheres radiated out from Manchuria and was dominated by the state-driven industrial development largely owned and operated by the Zhang family and their core loyalists, of whom the most important figure was without any doubt the inestimably capable bureaucrat, courtier and industrialist Wang Yongjiang who had spearheaded all of the Fengtian Clique's economic activities since 1915 and the inestimable Wu Peifu, Zhang Zuolin's right-hand man. The second sphere emerged from Guangdong and was dominated by private interests centering mostly on westernized bankers, industrialists and former Kuomintang-loyalists, many of whom had been educated in the west and participated either passively or actively in both the revolutionary activities of Sun Yat-Sen and the New Culture Movement - counting amongst their numbers men such as H.H. Kung, T.V. Soong and Zhang Renjie. With the conquest of Beijing and restoration of the Xuantong Emperor to the throne in 1920, the northern economic sphere was further extended from the north-east into northern and central China - dominated by heavy industrial factories focused on basic industrial production such as cement, steel, chemical fertilizers and largescale coal powerplants which helped to set the foundations for wider industrial development down the line. In the south, the economic sphere dominated by the business elites of Guangdong and Shanghai broke down quite suddenly during the disastrous Jiangnan Rebellion in the mid-1920s, with investments in the interior burnt away in the fires of war, banditry and social agitation. Reduced to the Chinese coastal and the riverine cities of the Pearl and Yangtze Rivers, Chinese southerners found their fortunes disappearing into thin air or under ever greater pressure from social upheaval and governmental neglect - many of these figures having been involved to some degree or other with the Jiangning Conspiracy. While many wealthy entrepreneurs closed down shop and emigrated, some to Hong Kong or Singapore but more often to the United States - where they struggled to by-pass McAdoo's various immigration control acts, more would stay behind and seek to knuckle out the current crisis situation, even as Yang Yuting's disastrous tax farming scheme was put into play and the Chinese southern interior gradually collapsed once more into bloody chaos - southern businessmen having been amongst the most ardent purchasers of tax farming rights, seeing it as a way into the government's good graces and an opportunity to rebuild their fortunes, and as such were amongst the most harshly impacted by the consequent collapse of order across agrarian southern China in the early 1930s (53).

    Salvations for the southern mercantile elite would come in an unexpected guise, namely in the form of the dashing and charismatic Young Marshal, Zhang Xueliang. While the Southern Chinese Revolt was being quelled, Xueliang wined and dined the southern elite, dazzling them with wit and charm while extending loans, promises of friendship and support, government positions and much else to the wearied and desperate southerners even as he brought about order and stability to a region which had been without such for decades. While himself a disciple of Wang Yongjiang, Xueliang would woo the southern establishment with astonishing ardor, drawing some of its most prominent figures into his circle of confidantes - most prominently his eventual brother-in-law T.V. Soong and the wider clique of political and economic players who had surrounded the family of Sun Yat-Sen even after the latter's death. Xueliang's restoration of peace to the south would not only have political and military ramifications, but also fundamentally reshaped the economic landscape of the region once more. Developing a new tax collection apparatus in cooperation with his recently-made southern clients which was to replace the much-hated tax farming scheme even as Xueliang worked to rebuild economic confidence in the south through meetings with foreign officials in both Shanghai and Hong Kong. Foreign investments soon began to pick up once more, particularly fueled by the demonstrable efficiency of the Fengtian regime's anti-communist campaign across the south which helped to demonstrate the government's unwillingness to tolerate continued instability and banditry. Further cooperation with the then-Shanghai Communists would help to ease class tensions in not only Shanghai itself, but many of the coastal cities which took their cues from that mighty modern metropolis, while Xueliang's personal intervention helped to reign in the worst of the competitive energies of the region - interference with police and tax officials being met with often excessive force while generous government contracts were doled out to loyal supporters of the regime - which in the south meant supporters of Xueliang. The end result of these efforts was to see considerable economic recovery across the south during the latter half of the 1930s, with the growing prosperity and economic opportunities playing a central role in helping to finally settle the societal tensions and opposition to governmental policies which had dominated the region for the past many decades, potentially even stretching back to before the devastation of the Taiping Rebellion (53).

    Nevertheless, the true economic powerhouse and the engine of China's Economic Miracle during the 1930s would without a doubt prove to be the Central Plains Triangle. Bounded together by the Yangtze, Yellow River and Grand Canal on its three sides, this region was not only amongst the most fertile and bountiful in China - with an absolutely immense population, it had been at the heart of Chinese civilization for millennia, with road, river, rail and canal networks linking together the region and possessed numerous urban centers which could be turned into industrial powerhouses with competence and industrial effort. While the initial brainchild of Zhang Xueliang, it would be Wu Peifu who directed the massive project through its initial years of development, at the head of an immensely capable team of administrators, bureaucrats, researchers and military leaders who over the course of a decade and a half set about modernizing the vast region on an incomparable scale - many observers judging it to be the single largest organized programme of industrialization and modernization in history. The Grand Canal was repaired and expanded, dams were built along both the Yangtze and Yellow River, most famously just down river of the Three Gorges, while vast new building projects were put into motion in preparation for the following industrial buildup. In the countryside, the government engaged with reforms first explored and experimented with as part of the Ding Xian Experiment under James Yen - seeking to address problems of "ignorance" through village schools, cultural programmes and village dramas, "poverty" through farmers cooperatives and improved agricultural techniques, "health" through a pyramidal structure of village health workers market town health clinics as well as "political" problems related to peasant landownership and corruption - before being implemented on a large scale as part of the Rural Reconstruction Movement and the Central Plains Triangle Programme. Particularly the issue of land reforms would prove a hot button issue, especially following the peasant revolts in the south, and as such saw significant government involvement in favor of expanded peasant and communal land ownership following the ascension of the Hongzhi Emperor, both seeking to resolve the present agrarian problems and popularize the regime with the peasantry - a goal which saw great success, the new Fengtian regime finding some of its most loyal supporters within the triangle. Notably, in contrast to the south, the northern reforms were by and large controlled by a very small collection of actors with incredibly close personal ties to the Fengtian regime, with much of the fruits of the resultant industrialization programme eventually finding itself become part of the personal portfolio of the Fengtian Dynasty - held by the Zhang family separately from the bureaucracy-controlled imperial treasury. This was to ensure the economic independence of the new dynasty and its capacity to both fund and shape economic and political decision-making independent of the court and state should the need to do so arise - the particular economic structures involved in the post-ascension ownership transition having been masterminded by Wang Yongjiang in what would prove to be his last major accomplishment for his masters, the old economic mastermind behind the Fengtian Dynasty's rise to glory passing away in 1939 at the age of 67 (53).

    The end of the Qing Restoration and transition to the Fengtian Dynasty would mark the start of the gradual unification of the two economic spheres which had defined the Chinese economy during the preceding period, and the consolidation of political and economic power in the Fengtian regime. Zhang Xueliang's return to Beijing in 1936 would see the arrival of a vast cohort of southerners eager and ready to jump into the fray, seeking to both repay the debt of gratitude and patronage they owed Zhang Xueliang, and regain wealth for themselves and their families. Bringing with them the intrepid spirit of entrepreneurship and westernized engagement with the private sector, the reconsolidation of the Chinese economy would bring with it a veritable explosion in corporate engagement and market expansion as long-simmering economic trends and tendencies from the south were introduced to the wider Chinese economy and society. With land reform expanding ever more widely, undergirding the resultant expansion in Chinese agricultural capacity through the introduction of modernization through fertilizer, new agricultural tools and land ownership policies, China's economic growth by the late 1930s was on an incredible scale. Nevertheless, the government imposed rather significant unequal exchanges with the peasantry through the use of industrial economic policies, with credits and fertilizer controls as well as non-monetary exchanges - such as rice for fertilizer or agricultural tools, limiting the peasantry's economic gains while buoying the predominantly Fengtian-owned industrial economy - in turn drawing ever more workers out of the countryside and into the ever-expanding network of factories which blossomed across China during this period. Notably, the Fengtian government would prove significantly more successful in its protectionist efforts than its predecessor, seeking to limit the power and influence of foreign corporations and concessions where possible with particularly the British in Hong Kong being a target of unofficial market barriers which repeatedly aggravated British and Hong Kong business figures as they sought to push into the stabilizing Chinese hinterlands. The results of the massive increase in economic activity, societal unity and the end of the intense instability of the preceding decades would largely be credited to the so-recently ascended Fengtian Dynasty, who were far from shy about sharing their accomplishments and lionizing the deeds of their members and supporters in order to boost their popularity - a goal which they achieved with immense success. (53)

    The Slumbering Eagle and The Wounded Lion

    In a twist which would have surprised many at the start of the Great War, or even at its exhausted close, the two anglophone industrial and economic superpowers of the pre-Great War period would find themselves stumbling and struggling to find an even course by the late 1930s. However, the path to reaching that point had been enormously different for the two powers - the British stumbling from crisis to crisis in a seemingly unending downward spiral, whereas the Americans had exploded upward until seemingly falling off a cliff with shocking speed, now fighting to find a foothold to get back to even ground. Economic thinking in both countries had been on similar tracks going into the Great War, with liberal neoclassical economics the dominant paradigm although attitudes towards government interventionism varied vastly between the two - as the Americans found themselves in the midst of the First Progressive Era and the British coming off the recent ascendence of the Liberals to power. The Great War was to fundamentally unsettle and shatter the economic status quo, dragging the British economy into the trenches, undermining the fiscal stability of the United Kingdom and indebted its state, corporations and ministries to the ever entrepreneurial Americans on a truly incomprehensible scale. London City's position as the financial hub of international finance began to crumble, particularly following the decision to maintain the depreciated pound, before the Two Rivers Crisis and Australian Debt Crisis together dealt a knock-out blow to the British banking system's aspirations towards dominance of international finance. In the United States, by comparison, while the initial post-Great War depression caused troubles, a few years after the war the economy had fully recovered and was growing at an unheard, even reckless, pace which would last for nearly a decade-and-a-half before the cataclysmic Black Week brought the party to a close. During this period the United States had experienced a truly massive transformation of economic life in America through the proliferation of consumer goods, the expansion of businesses and an incredibly intense and competitive market economy (54).

    The crises which consumed the Anglophone world during the 1930s would result in major changes to the economic thinking prevalent in these countries as John Maynard Keynes and his adherents rose to prominence as a grand challenger to the orthodox economic framework of neoclassicism - in many ways undergirding the political approaches of the American Progressives and the mainstream economic outlooks in Britain - while the emergent Chicago School of Economics under the guidance and leadership of Jacob Viner, Irving Fischer, Frank Knight and Henry Simons challenged the interventionist government policies which they blamed for the most recent economic crisis, and championed monetarist, institutionalist and antitrust economic models. Particularly Viner would prove an ardent opponent of Keynes, disputing his economic analyses as flawed and unsustainable in the long run while emphasizing a return to a freer market economy in which the primary tool for intervention was monetary policy rather than state expenditures as a way of resolving the current crisis. Perhaps the most revolutionary suggestion to come from the early Chicago School would be the series of banking reforms collectively known as the Chicago Plan which sought to separate the monetary and credit functions of the banking system, replacing the current fractional reserve system by insisting that banks must always hold enough liquid assets to cover 100% of their loans in order to eliminate any danger of bank runs - preventing banks from creating money themselves and vesting that power solely in the hands of the government, or as Irving Fischer would put it "Nationalize money, but do not nationalize banking." While these proposals would be met with considerable interest and soon came to feature prominently in the debate over how to reform the American banking system following the shocks and crises they had helped to unleash with the Black Week, there remained considerable hesitancy towards such radical reforms, with more classical economists questioning whether economic growth was possible under such a model. A second major focus to emerge during the post-Black Week period would be the work of Gardiner C. Means' "The Modern Corporation and Private Property" in which he explored the evolution of the contemporary economy of big business and argued that those who controlled large corporations should be more clearly held to account for their own and their corporations' actions - particularly arguing that directors of companies were held to account to their shareholders, but not to either the rules found in the company law statues or the wider populace they serviced, with a resultant failure in corporate civic-mindedness. This strain of thought, whereby corporate leaders were to be held responsible and liable for the actions of the corporations they headed, would find considerable support in the period which followed, many blaming corporate mismanagement for the crisis, and the concept particularly caught the attentions of President Long, who had long been a forceful opponent of big business interests (54).

    In Great Britain the sentiment that "the bad times never left" prevailed throughout the two decades that followed the Great War. From social tumult, widespread labor unrest and massive debt repayments to say nothing of political scandals, war in Ireland and class strife during the 1920s to constant crises in the British Dominions and Colonies, combined with domestic squabbles and continued social tensions throughout the 1930s, it seemed as though the British could never quite find their footing before a new challenge threatened to sweep them off their feet. In such troubled times the question of the economists' role in society and government, as either a detached expert or a practical adviser, had set the stage for a bitter dispute between the London School of Economics and Cambridge University - initially led by two of the most prominent economists of the day in the form of LSE's Edwin Cannan and Cambridge's Alfred Marshall, but later dominated by a dispute between Cambridge's John Maynard Keynes and LSE's Lionel Robbins. Whereas the LSE was more grounded in pure theory and economic history, with many of its members adherents of the Austrian School of Economics, Fabian Economics or Neoclassical Economics, emphasizing minimalistic government interventions and free trade, Cambridge was insistent upon the duty of economists to treat their field as an organic whole, and felt that they had a duty to aid in the direction of economic policy where possible. During the 1920s the London School of Economics had emerged as the leading party in the resultant conflict following the death of Alfred Marshall in 1924, triumphing not only in the economic academic journals of the day but also in the government offices of both Liberal and Conservative politicians. While the rise of the Labour government would lead to changes in who exactly graced the offices of government from amongst the LSE staff, with the more left-wing Fabian economists R.H. Tawney, Sidney Webb and Harold Laski rising to prominence over their LSE colleagues, Cambridge economists remained excluded from the inner circle and thus began to search for opportunities to prove their ideas elsewhere - with the most infamous example proving to be Keynes' journey to Australia where he served as key economic advisor to the Australian Prime Minister Jack Lang, setting the stage for the Australian Debt Crisis which soon wreaked havoc upon the British economy. In the meanwhile, the collapse of the MacDonald Government in the aftermath of the Two Rivers Crisis brought with it a loss of prestige for the LSE, with the new Liberal Churchill government rather leery towards the school and its left-wing ties. Nevertheless, it would be the failure of LSE's economists to deal with the Australian Debt Crisis which finally brought the school's standing in government ranks to a crashing halt and allowed for the rapid ascension of Cambridge and its most favored son, John Maynard Keynes, to the top. With Keynesian economics sweeping through British government offices, it was clear that a whole new paradigm of economics had risen to prominence, with Keynes' efforts to deal with the various crises in the following years seeing him integrated ever more deeply into the running of the British economy, consulted by all parties on all matters of economic significance - as LSE's Lionel Robbins would snidely comment, "Keynes is truly King". While the unravelling situation in Australia and ever greater crises faced by the Liberal Churchill Government posed new challenges and opportunities to Keynes and his followers, it would be in the disastrous aftermath of the Battle of the East China Sea that Keynes would truly come to dominate economic discourse in Great Britain as a new programme of government naval spending and economic stimulus was put into action by the new Conservative government under Stanley Baldwinm the programme designed and to a large degree directed by Keynes and his fellow "Keynesians" who remained in power despite the collapse of the Liberals (54).

    The close of the 1930s saw both of the Anglophone superpowers at something of a cross-roads, struggling to emerge from a morass of economic, social and political challenges. In the United States, the slumbering eagle had been shocked awake, seeking to blearily re-find its place in world politics and the international economy, while in the United Kingdom the wounded lion sought to lick its wounds, hoping to find a moment of safety and stability in which to heal itself. As the economic devastation of the Black Week gradually receded and the Long Administration set in motion truly momentous reform efforts aimed at resolving the structural issues which had been discovered to be plaguing America over the preceding decades, the stage was being set for a new and bountiful economic structure to emerge which would be able to undergird and solidify the foundations upon which the United States rested as it began to turn its attentions to the affairs of the world. For Great Britain it was more a matter of wielding the current crises in whatever way might be most beneficial to the economy even as debates regarding the scale and scope of British involvement in international affairs and the world economy rose to the fore once more (54).

    (47) I spent quite a while looking into it, and it seems that the Zollverein didn't have the same sort of independent structures as for example the European Economic Community or the European Coal and Steel Community had, with rates set centrally by the Prussians. That doesn't really work when it goes from a vehicle for German unification to the basis of Germany's economic and geopolitical power structure, so I had them establish independent offices for the Zollverein to resolve this tension, although still very much dominated by the Germans. Stresemann's reforms have been explored previously in the TL, but I thought Heuss would be a perfect fit for someone who comes in and tries to settle things down after Stresemann ruffled everyone's feathers. The closing out paragraph is more an effort to give a feel for the way in which things are starting to connect than bring any real new information, but I hope that it helps give some more clarity to what has been going on more practically.

    (48) IOTL Mises, Hayek and Schumpeter would all go into exile from Germany under pressure from the Nazis with their theoretical developments continuing in a changed, Anglo-American, context. Notably, none of these figures were really able to secure large-scale followings for their economic ideas due to the formidable influence of the Neo-Classical, Keynesian and Chicago Schools of Economics in the United States and Britain. ITTL, by contrast, they stay put and are instead seen as the next major leaders of their old and highly regarded schools of economics. Particularly Schumpeter is a really fascinating thinker, who had some pretty unorthodox thoughts - would recommend checking him out for those who don't know him. It is worth noting the way in which Schumpeter is seen explicitly as a continuation of the Historical School ITTL, and that the neo-Historical movement is seen as a larger economic school of thought, as well as Hayek, whose ideas are seen here as a neo-Austrian school rather than the split being within the Austrian School (the result being two distinct economic schools of thought rather than a single splintered one). In effect this means that both Schumpeter and Hayek are seen as the founders of new prominent movements rather than a weird unorthodox thinker for Schumpeter and simply another Austrian Economist for Hayek. ITTL Michal Kalecki and the Polish "Keynesian tendency" ends up merging with the Stockholm School of Economics - with the latter developing in dialogue with Kalecki's works which together amount to something like a more left-wing version of Keynesian economics with a heavy dose of Nordic Model welfare economics mixed in. The Frankfurt School is somewhat changed, in that they aren't focused on the 1919-1920 Socialist Uprisings in Germany and the rise of the Nazis, but rather look at more international tendencies and question why Germany isn't experiencing the same societal tendencies as the Soviets, French, Italians, British or Spanish. This leads to a somewhat more nationalistic and patriotic movement with the German model being a focus of more positive inquiry than the rather dismal OTL analyses.

    (49) The important thing to note is that Marxian economics and economic planning are no-where near as all-encompassing in TTL's communist nations as it was IOTL. There is a lot of variation and divergence in the economic policies pursued by the various nations, although traditional Marxists and planned economists are still a pretty significant force amongst the Communist nations. Notably, while the Soviet Republic has a pretty cohesive and well-functioning economic policy apparatus, the Japanese practical policies are pretty messy without much in the way of order or connection with one another - despite the development of a relatively competent and well developed economic school based out of Tokyo. In Italy we once again see a divide between economic theory and practice, although the gap is somewhat narrower compared to Japan and Bordiga does find the idea of a large and influential welfare state something he can back. Sraffa was a close friend of Gramsci's IOTL as well, and wrote with him throughout his time in prison - a rather risky endeavor given the Fascist rule at the time.

    (50) Can I just stress how incredibly complicated and difficult it was to work out the development of Integralist economic thought? I literally had to cross reference nearly a dozen different politico-intellectual movement, consider the greatly reduced prestige of the Fascist movement compared to the Sidonists and Spanish Integralists, and account for the various ideological and geopolitical butterflies. Just figuring out what exactly an integralist economy looks like and how associations/guilds/syndicats/etc function in relation to enterprise has been a major challenge - spent quite a bit of time figuring out if associations actually own the enterprise they are operating. I was left with a bunch of different questions and trying to figure out how the various thinkers of the period would have approached them. I spent something like half a day on-and-off trying to wrap my head around the issue. Ultimately I ended up repurposing some of the OTL ideological movements to illustrate the most significant divides I could come to. The result is Corporatism, which I have used to cover relationships similar to that of Nazi Germany to the German cartels, Syndicalism, which was used to cover systems somewhat similar to the Francoist system in its emphasis on joint ownership and state ownership of large parts of the economy, and finally Distributionism which is an OTL ideology which here is used in relation to some of the economic policies pursued by the Novo Estado in Portugal - although notably Salazar was a prominent distributionist IOTL as well.

    (51) While the economic developments are quite different between Portugal and Spain, beyond the fact that both are growing rapidly, the two end up forming a surprisingly virtuous industrial relationship with the Portuguese able to address the light industry and consumer industry needs of the Spanish population while Spain produces all the heavy industry good which the Portuguese could need. Notably, the economic structures which emerge mean that the average Portuguese civilian is significantly more wealthy than their Spanish counterpart, and the practice of crossing the Spanish-Portuguese border to buy dirt-cheap Spanish goods and for cheap vacations will be a steadfast feature of Portuguese life for years to come, while the Spanish government has a lot more money to throw around when it comes to stuff like industrial constructions, military budgets and general economic growth. I thought it would be a fascinating contrast, and would avoid either country having to wholly rely upon their OTL import substitution and autarkic economic practices. Honestly, one of the most significant divergences from the Fascist/Nazi-Integralist saga is probably that Integralism is far, far more open to trade and cooperation with other integralist nations, and they see each other as partners rather than rivals and competitors in their endeavors - which allows for far more effective and profitable economic policies than IOTL where everyone was trying to do everything by themselves. As for Sicily, its economy has basically degenerated into something like a narco-mafia-state, with government operations largely hinging upon private, illicit, resources. Notably, the whole privatization campaign is actually a feature of OTL fascism, although with the notable fact that state control is far, far weaker than in basically any other case ITTL. However, one rather interesting wrinkle to the whole development is the fact that the smuggling, tourism and gambling actually does help to inject a significant amount of money into the Sicilian economy, it just doesn't get into the hands of the government. Large tourist beach towns and casinos are being developed, the private economy is dynamic and growing, and the Mafia is as involved in legal as illegal industries - and in many cases function as peacekeepers and effectively law enforcement for their parts of the island (no one wants anarchy when you are trying to fleece tourists of all their hard earned money). On that note, can anyone explain to me why I can only find discussions of the economic cost of crime - nothing about the effective increase in money supply or economic stimulus which gambling, export-oriented smuggling and the narcotics trade bring with them?

    (52) Neither the Latin American or French economies quite fit the initial models set up in the three first Latin Pact nations. In Latin America it is the fact that the economy is very much still one focused on resource-extraction, and while you do see an increased extension of state control over these resources and a rise in nationalizations, there are still a lot of structural elements which remain from the pre-integralist period which don't really change during the 1930s. We do see some countries go all-in with these changes, particularly in Peru and Paraguay, but both are somewhat special cases. With France it is more the fact that a lot of traditional liberal market economic structures remain in place even after the Integralists take over (bear in mind that there is very little time between the end of the decade and the integralist rise, so they have had limited time to implement their reforms) and we see an economy which looks a lot more like a more traditional OTL fascist economy, with state and business basically colluding - although there hasn't been time for any real privatization of public enterprises, and I am unsure if I will be going in that direction with the French economic development. Before that it is worth noting that in contrast to OTL there isn't the same sort of economic collapse which resulted from the Great Depression, and while the 1930s are troubled in various ways, the economy remains quite dynamic throughout this period. One thing I didn't really get into all that much were the protectionist efforts put in place in the immediate aftermath of the Great War (which were mentioned at that point in the TL) since most of those provisions have been sunset by the 1930s.

    (53) Most of these developments have been detailed in at least one way or another at various prior points during the TL, but I do think that there is something to gain by this new perspective, where we can see the gradual weakening and reduction of southerner power and authority from their hey-day during the 1910s, and a clearer view of how Zhang Xueliang is able to so rapidly win their trust and loyalty. We also get another look at the Central Plains Triangle Programme and the truly earthshaking scale of change and development being undertaken here, as well as the way in which the Zhang family is able to ensure its personal wealth in the process. While there are undoubtedly weaknesses and problems with this programme and the decisions taken by the government, I do think that we have seen sufficient examples of largescale economic recoveries like is occurring here IOTL for it to be plausible. There are a lot of similarities to the Miracle on the Han River and the Taiwanese Miracle which I have used as models for the Chinese economic miracle, both in the use of industrialization into heavy industries and consolidation of ownership in the hands of regime loyalists, for me to feel that the economic boom I am describing is possible, and with China's resources replacing those of South Korea or Taiwan I can't help but think that the scale of the economic recovery would dwarf those of the OTL Asian Tigers several times over. This time around there isn't as much discussion of economic schools of thought and the like, but I felt that the economic policies being pursued here are actually relatively basic modernization and industrialization policies, if with a distinctly authoritarian and Chinese flavor.

    (54) The first and last paragraphs are basically just a recap of the situation in the Anglophone world before we dig into the US and UK in greater detail and a restatement of the situation as we close things out. In the United States there are some very significant butterflies which I think are worth making a note of here - namely the fact that the US never embraced the neoclassical liberal economic model which was put into place by the Republicans IOTL during the 1920s. Instead we have seen a continuation and extension of the (First) Progressive Era which stretches all the way back from Theodore Roosevelt till the Black Week, and a continuation of policies of government intervention, even as the federal government itself saw its activities slowed to a halt by the political situation. As a result, the Black Week is not seen as connected to the neo-classical paradigm and as such Keynes' argumentation doesn't go over anywhere near as convincingly in the American context as it did IOTL - with the Early Chicago School of OTL finding its arguments significantly more convincing and appealing ITTL - although it must be stressed that the early Chicago School were not supporters of the sort of do-nothing government the Republicans implemented IOTL in the 1920s, but rather supported a different sort of interventionism than Keynes. At the same time we see the rise of corporate governance as a field of economic thought, and it finding significantly more ground with the TTL leadership than IOTL - although even then both Means and his co-author Berle ended up as part of FDR's "Brain Trust". The struggle between LSE and Cambridge is all OTL, but my description of the economic theorists who hold sway is a bit misleading as IOTL the MacDonald government had more of a tendency towards drawing in councils of economists from multiple different schools - ITTL they are a bit more focused on the Fabians and more Soviet or Nordic inspired economic policies and theories, being somewhat more radical than their OTL counterparts. Another major divergence is the way in which Keynes remains far more focused on the British Empire compared to OTL, where he spent an inordinate time influencing policy and theory-making in the United State - ITTL he is far more involved in policy-making in Britain and as such has far less time to advise elsewhere.


    I don't know quite how versed people are in economic theory, but it is one of the topics I have actually been educated in so I might have failed to explain things in sufficient detail - do let me know if you have any questions. I did find this a rather fun and challenging exercise - particularly working out the economics of integralism took a long time, but I am quite happy with what came out of it.

    I do hope everyone enjoyed this one, probably the section I have enjoyed working on the most alongside the culture section of Update 40.

    A bit of a warning, I don't really know if I will be able to make the deadline for posting next week, as I have been rather slow in writing the ideology section. I will try to get it out in time, but I might have to delay posting a bit if things don't work out.
    Informational Four (Pt. 1): Fate of German Military Commanders of World War Two Fame
  • I want to especially know what became of the high-ranking staff armoured commanders, e.g. Guderian, Hausser, von Manstein, von Rundstedt, von Kleist, Model, Hube,Nehring, Kempf, von Kluge,von Weichs, Paulus, von Brauchitsch, Halder, von Bock, Hoth and von Leeb.

    Guderian: Part of the clique of military men surrounding Wilhelm von Preussen (son of the Crown Prince). He is part of the military staff and has been involved in the development of German armored vehicles, tactics and strategic considerations. I would expect him to still work closely with Ernst Volckheim and Oswald Lutz.

    Hausser: Spent his career in the military post-Great War and retired in the 1930s. I could see him being part of the rather significant collection of people researching the course of the Great War - this is a particular focus of Hermann von Kuhl, who holds a leading position in the German High Command during this period.

    Manstein: Erich von Manstein was the military commander of the Bolivian Army during the Chaco War and led them to victory against the Paraguayans. He is viewed as one of the bright up-and-coming stars in the military and is likely destined for promotion to high command.

    Weichs: I don't see him securing a significant position given his reliance upon the patronage of Werner von Fritsch IOTL. Probably stuck in the wider pool of mid-tier officers competing for postings and high position.

    Paulus: I think he is in the same group as Guderian given his OTL service under Lutz. He was seen as a promising commander even during the Great War, so I would expect him to be one of the commanders who are making their way up the ranks relatively quickly. Think he might be one of the men dispatched to serve as observer in Georgia or Bolivia, and he would have gained a good deal of experience and prestige through that sort of work. I have to think that Paulus' patron and mentor, Walter von Reichenau, would still be a pretty prominent figure given his role as leading staff officer for the 7th Cavalry Division during the height of Operation GEORG - should be enough to provide a relatively smooth path further up the ranks (although his tendency to get mixed up in political struggles within the military could prove a problem - but I am going with him aligning behind Hoffmann early on in the post-War, and using that to springboard up in ranks). As such Paulus should have more than sufficient backing to get good postings.

    Brauchitsch: Given his past in the artillery, I think that is where he stays, becoming part of the clique surrounding the figure of Fritz von Lossberg who proves an immensely important military figure in the post-war years. I could see him still getting into trouble over his personal life, but with the changes to the social and political situation from OTL he probably doesn't have anything like the same troubles in divorcing and remarrying. He might still have money problems, which could trip him up, and I would expect his family to be amongst the Junkers who run into economic troubles and are forced to sell off their estates. Anyway, he is probably pretty far up in the military hierarchy, aligned with the Lossberg clique (even if Lossberg has retired by this time) - he might even be leading it at this point in time.

    Halder: I would expect him to still end up under Brauchitsch, but without Hitler to push him to prominence, I think he is in the same group as Weichs - stuck amongst the many mid-tier officers competing for postings. Don't think he would be able to make the cut amongst that group and ends up languishing, hoping for some sort of conflict or opportunity to provide him a way to a command.

    von Bock: Bock, having been awarded with a Pour le Merite, seems likely to be an ascendant figure. I think he would fall into one of the rival cliques to that of Lossberg, led by Hans von Seeckt. While a lot weaker than IOTL and compared to the two major factions ITTL post-Hoffmann (Lossberg and von Kuhl), Seeckt's group is still significant and powerful, allowing Bock to rise quickly through the ranks. I would expect he is one of the officers securing foreign postings as leader of military delegations or military observer, primarily in the other Zollverein nations.

    Hoth: Think Hoth is another one of those who fall into the Halder and Weichs camp - no real opportunity to advance, no obvious postings and no major patron or backer to help him up the ranks. He is left hoping for an opportunity, but is without any clear way upward in the late 1930s.

    von Leeb: As for Leeb, I think he could well have been the leader of a military delegation to Japan to observe the JCW. His experience from the Boxer War, decorations and age would put him on the precipice of retirement, having only recently finished out what could well be his last major duty posting in the Far East.

    Hope that answers your question :) was rather fun running through, but remember to take all of this with a grain of salt. I reserve the right to change things around if I suddenly find a need to do so with any of these, but for the most part it should be in order.

    I'm also curious, is William Lyon Mackenzie King Jr still the Canadian PM ITTL? If so can you run him over with a tank? Or maybe just in a position where he's far away from from foreign policy, he WAS admittedly decent when it came to domestic policy...
    The 1930s should still see the developments mentioned continue, although I am not sure if King stays at the top throughout that period, and anti-British sentiment is only going to keep growing at a slow but steady pace. Notably Canadian-American relations improve quite a bit during this time, with friendly relations to both the Curtis and Long presidency.
    Informational Four (Pt. 2): Fate of German Military Commanders of World War Two Fame
  • Speaking of more experienced lower-ranking Panzer commanders what's become of Bäke, von Oppeln-Bronikowski and especially Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz and his family's famed Silesian palace/estate at Groß Stein? Has this Junker estate remained solvent? And what about the von Hindenburg family's(brother's) East Prussian estate at Neudeck?

    Bäke: I would expect him to be part of the Army Reserves, primarily focused on his career as a dentist. I doubt he is particularly politically involved , probably part of his local veterans association and he potentially still served in the east as part of the Freikorps. Don't think he is positioned for prominence.

    Oppeln-Bronikowski: Probably one of those mid-tier officers, although his Olympic career might give him a bit of a leg up. Still part of the cavalry, and probably one of their premier recruiters.

    Hyazinth Graf Strachwitz: Seeing as he ended up sitting out most of the war and doesn't have any revolts or other conflicts to really make his name in, I think he might be one of those who ends up out of military service. He seems like one of the junkers who would be complaining particularly loudly about the leftist government and jockeying for financial support for them. Might even be a regional representative in the local Silesian parliament.

    The whole Hindenburg family is rather surrounded by controversy, with opinions sharply split on them, with particularly Hoffmann being very hostile. As a result, Oskar von Hindenburg's career is basically at a standstill throughout the first half of the 1920s and he eventually retires to Neudeck. I think the Neudeck estate might be one of the few to make it through, but they could also be amongst those that go under. Thinking about it a bit, I would expect it to be one of the estates able to get financial aid through various sympathizers, who want to avoid Hindenburg's family falling from its status (Hindenburg was still a pretty significant behind-the-scenes figure ITTL during the 1920s both in conservative circles and within the army).

    What about our favorite overrated "apolitical" officer, Rommel ?

    Rommel: Rommel was a very capable officer with plenty of war-time accomplishments and accolades, so I think his career path would be pretty smooth. I think that he ends up being part of developing special forces given his experience in the Alpenkorps and as such ends up pretty closely aligned with the central leadership group who take over after Hoffmann retires. I don't think he ends up specialized in panzer warfare, instead being more involved in moutain troops, jägers, paratroopers and the like - special forces more broadly, and does a great job of it (even if he is overrated, he was still highly capable).

    And Model?

    Model: I think Model was pretty perfectly positioned to become part of the wider research and development segment surrounding Hermann von Kuhl, which should pave a path towards rapid upward progress. I think he spends a good deal of time in studying the Great War, writing works about that, lecturing at the staff college and the like. He should be pretty well positioned to be named as a Chief of Staff to one of the major commands in the case of a war breaking out.
    Informational Four (Pt. 3): Fate of German Military Commanders of World War Two Fame
  • Just came back from playing the TNO mod on HOI4 as the Dirlewanger Brigade. I couldn't help but wonder to myself about this question, how is the infamous Oskar Dirlewanger faring for himself ITTL? Also, what about his IOTL Waffen-SS/Polizei colleagues Heinz Reinefarth and Erich von dem Bach?

    Dirlewanger: Without the post-war rebellions and violence, I think he relatively quickly transitions to peacetime - although he probably remains deeply troubled and has repeated run-ins with the government during this period. I could see him still studying at the University of Goethe and going on to serve as executive director of that Jewish textile factory he worked at IOTL in the mid-1920s. Probably ends up jumping between a bunch of jobs thereafter, having various run-ins with the law before a first conviction for rape of a 14-year old, as IOTL. He probably descends quickly into hard criminality thereafter, jumping between prison and a criminal lifestyle - one of the prime examples of held up by negative eugenicists for why sterilization should be implemented. Without a Nazi cadre leader to arrange his release, he probably continues to spin out either ending up dead or in jail for life - only question is how many and the scale of the crimes he commits before that.

    Heinz Reinefarth: I would expect him to be well under way with his law career, probably aligned with the Conservative bloc and making a quiet, happy life for himself.

    Erich von dem Bach: I am honestly not quite sure about Bach. Without getting involved with the militant veterans groups, he could just stay in the military as a lieutenant and slowly make his way up the grades - although he is unlikely to get very far up - eventually he probably ends up leaving the army anyway, jumping between jobs before starting a taxi firm (as IOTL) and eventually buying a farm, moving to the countryside and serving in the reserves. He doesn't find a path to relevance thereafter.
    Informational Four (Pt. 4): Fate of German Military Commanders of World War Two Fame
  • And where is Goering in this timeline? Does he rule Deutsch-Mittelafrika as its Statthalter as he does in the HOI4 Kaiserreich timeline?
    In KR, Goering got the MittelAfrika governorship through a very specific circumstances and it could be argued that he got sent there as a form of "soft" exile to curtail his influences in the far right populist movement in mainland Germany. I dont think the circumstances will be repeated here

    Goering spent quite a bit of time following Manfred von Richthofen around barnstorming in the early days of the German Liberty Party (DFP), but eventually fell out with the movement and Richthofen himself because of Goering felt his military contributions during the Great War were being overshadowed by Richthofen in the public discourse. He spent some time working in the aviation industry, as a test pilot and advisor and wrote a bunch of semi-popular biographies telling of his experiences during the Great War (the books are rather negative in their portrayal of Richthofen, which causes controversy and drives up sales), before jumping back into the military, working for the Luftstreitkraft where he gets involved in the development of aerial tactics. Without his various injuries during the early Nazi days, Goering never ends up addicted and continues to be a rather productive individual, making a mark in the military. After his initial experiments with the DFP, he largely ends his involvement in politics, soured by the whole experience. He is noted for having a rather touchy pride which is easily wounded particularly when it related to Richthofen. He isn't a particularly prominent figure in anything like the role of KR or OTL, rather being a specialist in fighter technology and tactics in the LSK.
    Update Forty (Pt. 5): The World At The End Of The 1930s
  • The World At The End Of The 1930s


    Nikolai Bukharin, Chief Ideologue of the Soviet Communist Movement

    A Plague of Ideas​

    The Liberal-Conservative Synthesis

    While the defining feature of the long 19th century, stretching from the French Revolution in 1789 to the start of the Great War in 1914, had been the struggle between Liberalism and Conservatism, the decades that followed would be marked by the transformation and subjugation of these movements to more modern and radical movements. The end of the Great War would mark a true turning point in this regard, as it on one hand saw the retrenchment and consolidation of monarchical conservatism while at the same time unlocking the powers of mass politics through the sweeping set of constitutional and liberal reforms which the public demanded in the aftermath of the Great War. The result was thus a melding and watering down of both ends of the traditional political spectrum, Conservative and Liberal political structures merging and forming the foundations for the political struggles that were to come. While the most obvious example of this occurred amongst the former Central Powers, major democratic reforms would occur across much of Europe and in the Americas, with the proliferation of women's suffrage, extension of the franchise and the fracturing of the old political elite as new political players on both ends of the political spectrum rose to true prominence. In some ways, the post-Great War political structures which emerged could thus be considered a synthesis of the long-held dispute between Conservative and Liberal forces, with neither side victorious, but both sides holding an inordinate influence and impact upon the structures which were to define the post-Great War period (55).

    The post-Great War era would require changes to the political and ideological approaches taken by both Liberals and Conservatives as the need to expand their political reach beyond their traditional bases of support in the middle and upper classes became ever more pressing. This transition was to take time, with Liberal or Liberal-Conservative forces initially heading the response to the immediate post-war crisis in most countries with varying degrees of success as the populaces of the western world sought comfort and security in experienced and trusted leadership. However, as soon as the political situation began to settle down, new and radical political forces began to dominate the political field, drawing their support from formerly marginalized bases of support and pulling in voters from a broad spectrum of groups - the first true examples of mass party politics - which came in the form of Social Democratic, Reform and Labour parties. While Liberal parties initially sought to deal with this new and intimidating political force through coalition-building and cooptation of leftist political power, hoping to use their greater governing and political experience to tame their leftist counterparts, the Conservatives largely met the rise of leftist forces with open hostility, seeing them as a threat to the safety and security of the nations which they had helped to build and bled for over the preceding centuries. Had the political aftermath of the Great War been more acrimonious, this might well have proven a model for success amongst conservative forces, but the spate of Unionist, Nativist, Militarist, Revanchist and Jingoist tendencies which reared their head amongst conservative movements during this period would find themselves floundering, outmaneuvered by not only their leftist opponents but by their Liberal rivals as well. The result was to see conservative political powers struggle on a wide scale across much of Europe as massive societal and political reforms were undertaken by the new left-leaning governments who had swept to power, their former Liberal partners, who had vastly underestimated their new partners, ripped along in the wake of the reformers without much of an ability to moderate the massive changes being wrought upon their nations. Thinkers from both sides would greet this period with confusion and uncertainty, disconcerted by the rise of rival ideologies and their seeming inability to build mass followings sufficient to secure governing power without resorting to coalitions or partnerships across the political spectrum (55).

    Another turning point would come with the Two Rivers Crisis, in which the left-wing governments of both Great Britain and France stumbled and opened a path up for a challenge to their dominance - with a similar occurrence coming four years later in Germany. However, the reaction to these opportunities would prove quite different from country to country, with the Liberals holding sufficient sway and a popular leadership to take up the mantle from the fallen Labour Party on the back of a more populist and personality-oriented political campaign by Winston Churchill, while in France the traditional parties proved insufficiently united to achieve any real sense of stability in the constant carousel which soon ensued there. While the Liberal parties were swifter to find their balance following the political collapse of the 1920s, their recovery would prove relatively short-lived and they were never quite able to truly expand beyond their traditional bases of support. The Conservative movements, by contrast, would prove significantly more adept in the long run when it came to building up their position for proper mass politics - either by letting go of some of their long-held positions in favor of more popular modern policies or embracing more radical reactionary policies, often through the integralist movement. Of the former, the German Conservative Coalition would be the foremost exemplar, with its embrace of a variety of conservative yet popular policies based around appealing to monarchism, patriotism and social conservatism while tacitly embracing many of the more popular societal reforms implemented by their rivals, while for the latter it would be the Union de la Droite in France which people took note of, with its appeals to social conservatism, monarchism, religion and integralism being balanced by a moderate permissiveness towards their opponents and an understanding of the complex socio-political circumstances present in France at the time (55).

    Perhaps the most surprising trend of the post-Great War era would be the shocking resurgence of monarchism in a vast welter of guises with the traditional monarchical structures diverging in numerous different directions over the course of the following decades. In some cases monarchism fell into starkly reactionary models of absolutist rule, as was the case in Spain and Chosun, while in others the monarchs adopted a position of mediator as part of a growing democratic and constitutional tendency, as occurred in much of the Zollverein - most significantly Germany and the Ottoman Empire, and a wholly third group either returned to or adopted monarchical structures in a more symbolic role, as in France and Great Britain. Regardless of what form these monarchies took, they all represented a major step back in the global push towards republicanism which had traditionally been connected to liberalism which saw the latter ideology pushed into a situation of needing to find a path towards accommodation and acceptance of the monarchy, or faced widespread popular opposition should they refuse to do so. Republicanism as a movement took several steps back, losing one of its foremost exemplars with the French January Restoration, and the growing association between republican states and semi-democratic, left-leaning states such as the Italian Peoples' Republic, the Soviet Republic or the Iranian Socialist Republic. Even on the left wing did republicanism fail to emerge as the sole state system, with the Shogunate demonstrating the capacity for even communist states to adopt monarchical structures in a process which would help to greatly ease the ideological integration of communism into more traditional societies and social systems (55).

    While Conservatism began to find its feet over the course of the 1930s, developing policies and ideological positions of mass appeal, it would still find itself in a precarious position at the close of the decade, seeking to find a new position of stability in the incredibly fraught and tumultuous ideological spectrum which dominated the period. While appeals to patriotism, patriarchal authority and an emphasis on societal tranquility remained core features of conservatism during this era, it had found itself forced to compromise and re-explore its ideological foundations, considering the role of the state in the affairs of its citizenry, the role of the citizen in the state, the degree of freedom and power held by the average individual and the broad popular belief in having a say in their own affairs. While idealization of the past remained a steadfast aspect of conservative thought and belief, this period would also see an acceptance of modernity and the need for change amongst many conservative thinkers - collectively coming to be known as the Conservative Counter-Revolution, so named for its changes and adaptations in the face of new and revolutionary threats. The conservatives sought to restore a measure of order and rationality to a world which seemed ever more insane. Liberals, perhaps due to its long-held belief in the broad appeal of their ideology, would be far harder pressed to adapt to the situation than their conservative counterparts when it eventually dawned upon them that they were no longer the radical change-makers to the stiff-necked conservatives, but rather guardians of the middle road in the face of radical reformers on the left and combative conservatives on the right. Efforts to address this changed status were undertaken by a variety of thinkers, from the Austrian converted socialist Karl Raimund Popper, who began to champion social liberalism and democratic liberalism - with the liberal as a defender of humanism, decency and the popular will, and William Bevridge's progressive welfare liberalism, with its belief in unemployment and social security and the state's role in enabling the freedom of all its citizens, to Walther Rathenau's Mechanistic Liberalism, whereby Rathenau sought to marry machine-focused positivism with Christian values of love and altruism. Rathenau would view humanity as divided between two major types of human beings - the Furchtmensch, who represented mechanistic and rational capitalism, and the Mutmensch, who symbolized the world of art, social progress and morality, the two groups engaged in a constant struggle for dominance. To resolve this conflict Rathenau developed a theory of cooperative economics whereby a "Reich of the Soul" would be created through technocratic guidance and sustainable regulated competition, in which industrial growth, material wellbeing, responsible consumerism, resource-saving, free competition and private initiative would all be achieved while avoiding the rigorous ranking of classes and the pursuit of excessive wealth in order to create the conditions for a balance between the classes and an equal distribution of wealth within the population - stressing the interplay and cooperative dynamics necessary between the public sector, private sector and the civil sector. While none of these Liberal models would rise to the top during the 1930s, all would find their adherents, alongside dozens of other models, as the Liberal movement fought to prevent fracturing into a hundred different movements (55).

    Let Society Be Reformed

    Social Democratic and Labour-oriented reform parties had been rising to prominence in the immediate leadup to the Great War, but it would take until the post-Great War era for them to truly emerge as the leading political movements of many of Europe's most prominent nations. While societal tensions had been nearing a boiling point in the immediate aftermath of the Great War and the need for comprehensive change was clear to almost everyone, the fact that it would be reform-oriented parties in partnership with the traditional conservative or liberal parties rather than revolutionary violence and change which prevailed in most major European nations would come as a surprise to many - not least the Communists, Maximalists and other revolutionary leftists who had widely predicted that the post-war circumstances would be a time ripe for revolution, not reform. Nevertheless, it took time before the electoral gains and societal shifts of the period saw actual political gains for the reformist left-wing which allowed them to make an attempt at actually implementing their reform programmes, and when the opportunity finally came the results were not always met with widespread approval they had expected. Perhaps the single most defining development of the 1930s for the Reform Left movements of Europe was to be the proliferation of hubris, willfulness and a refusal to compromise with their political counterparts- often the direct or indirect result of political chicanery from more established political entities eager to water down and undermine the work done by the reformist left - and a resultant level of intransigence which compromised their political viability as ruling parties. This was further coupled with a troubling lack of governmental experience amongst many of these parties, who were forced to either seek experience from an often hostile governmental bureaucracy or work to replace it with new and unexperienced administrators more inclined towards the reformers - with a resultant dip in performance which often left government services at least somewhat compromised (56).

    These twin developments, the growing hubris of the left and the concurrent lack of governmental experience, were to combine into a deeply problematic mixture which eventually pulled the leftist reformers from power with varying degrees of backlash. In Great Britain the collapse of the Labour Government in the aftermath of the Two Rivers Crisis was cataclysmic, reducing the unity of the left into half a dozen squabbling camps. At the same time, Labour's rise to prominence in the British dominions saw sharp challenges not only domestically, but significantly also through the colonial ties to Britain, where the rise of Labour in particularly Australia was met with widespread disapproval and worry. In France, the SFIO were to play a central role in setting the framework for the start of the Indochinese Revolt and the long years of war which followed, while their participation in the repeated fragile governmental coalitions after their fall from power were to so provoke tensions within the party that it collapsed into open internal conflict between reformist and revolutionary wings, in the process helping to pave the way for the monarchist Union de la Driote's rise to prominence and the subsequent January Restoration - in effect a complete reversal from the movement's high point a decade prior. In Germany the reformist movement was to reach its apogee with the SPD, which utterly dominated German politics on a federal level from 1928 to 1936, implementing some of the most ambitious and wide-ranging reforms of any of these governments and fundamentally overturning the political status quo, bringing prosperity and economic growth to half a continent with their involvement at the head of the Zollverein. Nevertheless, it would be a sudden and scandalous collapse which followed, as the government's overreliance upon their ties to their more revolutionary counterparts in the Soviet Republic and arrogant command of German politics saw the SPD's standing federally fundamentally undermined. With their political powers undermined, social democratic thinkers were forced back to the drawing-board, searching to figure out what had gone wrong - analyses ranging across a wide range of topics and issues, some arguing for a greater patriotic and nationalistic focus as a way of countering accusations of disloyalty from the right, others in favor of adapting the Communist dual-focus on the peasant alongside the worker as a political base of support and an emphasis on more radically reformative policies, and a whole third group oriented around promoting social and economic freedoms in an effort to occupy the ground lost by the weakened and fractured liberal movements (56).

    Further afield, in the United States and China, affiliated reform movements also rose to a position of significance although they did so under different guises and names than that of Social Democracy or Labour. Progressivism, while sharing many features with reform socialism and social democracy, never considered itself part of that European-born development - instead viewing itself as an American-grown movement focused upon avoiding unfair economic structures and taking care of the poor and marginalized population through socially liberal policies, market regulation and welfare reforms. Notably, Progressive ideology found a wide and diverse base of support well before the Great War, influencing politicians and taking over the political discourse for decades during the First Progressive Era. However, the rise of Huey P. Long and his supporters were to see the movement and ideology diverge significantly from that which had dominated the Pre-Great War era. More radical and populist, willing to set aside political niceties in order to achieve its ideological and political goals, the Longist Progressive movement was significantly more willing to engage in government intervention and sought to build up the federal state bureaucracy to a point where it could ensure economic equality and social welfare for all American citizens - goals which, while sought after, had not been a key focus of the progressive movement. The Longists drew to an unheard degree upon a wide base of minority populations, from African-Americans and Mid-Western farmers to Irish-American industrial workers and poor Southern whites, and explicitly sought to enfranchise and strengthen these populations - often to the detriment of more elite and established populations, working in identity-based politics and class divisions in order to divide and conquer their opponents with great success. However, no mention of the Longist Progressives would be complete without the movement's disregard for political norms and tendency towards nepotism and authoritarianism - with President Long repeatedly breaking unwritten rules and bulldozing through opposition when he felt it necessary, which he did more often than not. As government messaging and priorities began to center on equality amongst races and religious minorities, with a particular emphasis on equal economic opportunity for all, and an emphasis on the need for greater social liberties in the face of restrictions imposed by moralistic hypocrites and outdated constitutional limitation, Progressivism grew ever more combative and dynamic as the end of the 1930s grew nearer (56).

    Perhaps the most unique and surprising leftist reform party to come to prominence during the 1930s was the Social Reform Party of China which emerged in 1935 following the abandonment of Communism by the Shanghai Communist movement. Deeply influenced by the ideological developments of the German Social Democratic movement, the left wing of the Kuomintang and the early Chinese Communist movement, the Social Reform movement in China combined overt, often to a disconcerting level, Chinese nationalism with an ambitious push for social, political and economic reforms aimed at promoting equality, unity and fairness within the strictures of the Fengtian regime. In fact, the Social Reform Party was to have a surprising degree of impact on Fengtian policy-making, sponsoring major educational reforms and aiding in the inclusion of "Boards of Mediation" in many of the Central Plains cities as part of the industrialization programme under the influence of Liao Zhongkai, and serving as a key player in promoting the Hongzhi Emperor's social reforms following his ascension. The Social Reform movement would back the land reforms and social agrarian reforms in the Central Plains wholeheartedly as well with considerable success, Wang Jingwei playing a key role in securing legislative support for the effort. Perhaps the most important factor in fully splitting the reform movement from the revolutionary Jiaxing Communists was the shocking murder of a key founder of the movement, Li Dazhao, who had otherwise been one of the foremost figures in maintaining the movement's communist identity. By the 1930s the movement was shifting rapidly away from its Communist past and ever further towards support for a monarchical social democratic model, although its continued adherence to western values and sharp critiques of traditional Chinese society, most forcefully made by the former Communist Chen Duxiu, would cause repeated confrontations with more government-aligned social critics. In many ways the Social Reform Party came to represent the surviving remnants of the New Culture Movement, championing democracy, social liberalism, societal reform, modernism, scientific progress and a rejection of traditional, particularly Confucian, social values, while still working within the context of the Fengtian regime. Notably, the Social Reform movement abandoned any and all connections to Marxism, Socialism and Communism in rhetoric, ideology and ostensible values, seeking instead to sell their movement as more of an outgrowth of American Progressivism or European Social Liberalism - although few could doubt the immense influence and inspiration which the German SPD had served as for the Social Reform movement (56).

    The Many-Headed Beast

    The Great War unleashed not only apocalyptic advances in warfare, technology and human destruction, but also countless new ideas and ideologies which had been percolating and developing in every advanced economy and society across the globe. The most significant and wide-ranging of these new ideologies, which would sweep across the globe at an incredible pace following its early successes, was Communism. An outgrowth and evolution of the Marxist Socialism embraced by the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, Communism emerged as part of an ideological synthesis and admixture of a variety of Russian leftist ideologies, ranging from Agrarian Socialism through Marxists and Leninist strains of Socialism to Russian Syndicalist Anarchism, which spread swiftly as an inspiration for radical revolutionary leftists around the globe. While the ideological tenets of the Communist movement were complex and often contradictory during the first decade of its existence, with both Muscovite and Trotskyite strains of thought gradually coming together over time. One of the most significant early developments of the Communist movement was to be its reorientation away from Europe and towards Asia under the influence of Leon Trotsky, which, when coupled with the relatively diffuse ideological orthodoxy of the movement allowed Communist movements to rapidly localize and adapt the ideology to their respective circumstances. This weak ideological orthodoxy was to prove both a strength and weakness of the Communist movement, on one hand allowing the ideology to spread and localize incredibly well, but also set the stage for truly massive ideological controversies and disagreements which repeatedly spilled over into geopolitical and diplomatic matters. Notably early Communism was split in two distinct currents, Trotskyite and Muscovite, but as the political divides in Russia between the two movements came to an end this divide narrowed precipitously within Russia, although the distinction remained important internationally. This would all change with the climactic events of the Trotskyite Affair which not only saw the Russian Trotskyite movement suppressed and pushed into exile, with the death of Trotsky marking the end of one of the most significant Communist ideologues of the century, but also saw the rapid consolidation of political power behind the Governing Clique and its leading Triumvirate who soon set out to establish a clear ideological orthodoxy which was to prevail within Russian Communism in the years that followed (57).

    The formulation of "The Five Fundamental Theories and Eight Core Principles of The Communist Party" in 1935 by Nikolai Bukharin was to prove amongst the most important foundational doctrinal papers in the new orthodoxy - outlining the importance of communal leadership, the role of the Communist Party as an anchor point and central organizing force of the state as well as the party's role as a mass political organization with truly astonishing membership numbers. With this document as its basis, alongside an increasingly lengthy orthodox cannon of works set out by the Politburo under Bukharin, debate on both how the state should and how it would be run came to dominate political discourse, with articles and editorials debating a variety of topics proliferating and engaging not only the political elite but the wider public as well. One of the most intensely debated subjects in Russian Communist political journals in the latter half of the 1930s was the question of democratic representation and the dictatorship of the proletariat - with sharp critique of the lack of democratic legitimacy and insufficient power of the Congress of Soviets a particularly prominent feature of the period. Ultimately, Bukharin would prove instrumental in outlining the "Transitional Theory of Socialist Humanism" which became Soviet Communist doctrine in the late 1930s, wherein he explained the current illiberal and undemocratic tendencies of the Communist state as part of a transitional phase in which the dictatorship of the proletariat sought to educate and undergird revolutionary society, uplifting its populace and preparing the "backwards" Russian population for a greater voice in politics - referencing the horrific failures of the Constituent Assembly during the Revolution as proof-positive of the Russian peoples' unpreparedness for greater legislative powers than they held at the moment - before eventually transitioning to a system of "Socialist Humanism", which he defined as democratic rule by an enlightened, socialized and proletarianized population which stood ready to receive the august burden of governmental power (57).

    Perhaps the two most significant ideologues besides Bukharin was the Commissar for Communications, Ivan Smirnov, whose works focused heavily upon the importance of the village commune and neighborhood soviet, wielding propaganda, entertainment and cultural matrixes to promote the progress of Socialist Humanism - in many ways drawing inspiration from the Cultural Hegemony advocated in Italy by Antonio Gramsci. The other was one of Bukharin's closest associates in the Politburo, Yevgeni Preobrazhensky, whose work had previously focused on justifying the unorthodox mixed-market economics championed by Grigori Sokolnikov and the Ekonburo. Preobrazhensky's core contributions were to be the linking of economic and ideological incentives within the Soviet state, with a particular emphasis on the economic impetus which reliance upon fellow communist nations brought with it, part of a united international working in concert regardless of religious or racial divisions on an equal basis, as contrasted to the "exploitative" economics of imperialist nations such as Germany, where the Zollverein fueled the economic progress of the former. Particular scorn was focused upon the fact that the Germans had been allowed to establish a dangerous stranglehold on the Soviet food supply which he felt had to be addressed if Soviet Communism was to have any hope of revolutionary independence. One of the most forceful critics of the Soviet partnership and trade relationship with Germany, Preobrazhensky would stress the importance of Communist economic and ressource independence as well as the incredible dangers of relying upon imperialist powers - a position which was to seem prescient following the rise of the Conservative Bloc to power in Germany and the worsening diplomatic relationship that followed, with the idea that Germany might suddenly cut the Soviet Republic's food supply, leaving the Revolutionary Vanguard to starve to death, a clear and present fear in Soviet political and military circles (57).

    While Russian Communism was the most prominent Communist branch, it was far from the only one. Nearly as old, and most forcefully combative towards the Russians, were the Italian Communists whose ideological developments diverged significantly from that of the Russians. While initially formed as an alliance between Socialist and Anarchist forces during the Italian Civil War, it was very much the Socialist half of the party which rose to dominate the movement, eventually pushing the Anarchists out entirely, wherefrom they would fracture into a couple major factions and lose much of their political relevance in the decade that followed. For the rest of the movement it would be the highly esteemed Antonio Gramsci who emerged as the premier ideologue, his wide network of friends and allies both within his New Order clique and beyond the confines of the Communist Party, proving immensely influential not just in Italy but across the globe. Communism in Italy was pluralistic and cosmopolitan, well aware of its precarious dependence upon the German-led Zollverein and its highly exposed coastal borders, with an eye towards not only building up a new communist culture in Italy but also ensuring the spiritual welfare of its populace through sponsorship of the Revolutionary Catholic Church. Surprisingly integrated into the wider European Communist movement, the Italians would come to be seen by many as something of a laboratory of the revolution - a place in which new ideas and revolutionary concepts were ever welcomed, and a place in which education, culture and science were held to be of great importance. Nevertheless, one of the most significant ideological contributions to Communist and Socialist thought to emerge from the peninsula would have nothing to do with these factors, and instead related to the transition from theory to practice of large-scale public enterprise as the foundational stone of a Communist economy. Under Amadeo Bordiga the immense amount of theoretical work done into how exactly a communist state might run the economy was put into practice - large scale multi-year planning, massive publicly-owned conglomerates and rationalized pricing schemes all saw implementation and constant tweaking, with the Italians' numerous failures and successes soon serving as fodder for the leftist political journals of Europe. Ever in a contentious relationship with the Russian Soviets, the Italians would find more of a support system amongst their European counterparts, particularly in Germany and France, although as intra-Communist relations began to warm following the Trotskyite Affair translations of ideological works from either country began to proliferate as well, introducing new and exciting ideas to both Russia and Italy, although differences of opinion were numerous and loudly stated by both sides (58).

    Communism in the rest of Europe drew upon three distinct influences: most importantly the internal debate amongst particularly German and French Communists, influence from the Soviet ideological developments and the development of Italian Communism. Over the course of the 1930s particularly the influence of the Soviets upon European Communist ideology would become a contentious topic, with the Trotskyite Affair marking a sharp break within the Communist movement as Trotskyite refugees fled into exile and brought an overt hostility towards the Soviet Communist structure with them. At the same time, Soviet involvement in the Communist parties of Europe became ever more of a contentious issue as internal disputes and growing ideological orthodoxy were implemented with Soviet backing, in the process disempowering those who viewed the Soviets with hostility. Notably, many of the Soviet-aligned Communist factions would prove surprisingly moderate, willing to cooperate and participate in the political dialogue, ever eager to form a united front in order to ensure left-wing political dominance where possible, or to form a united opposition where possible. However, while the Soviet-inspired Communist movements predominated in the first half of the 1930s, over the course of the latter half it would be an array of radical and revolutionary anti-Soviet factions which rose to the fore, from the KPO in Germany and the Treint-aligned radicals of the SFIO in France to the Communist Party in Britain, all came to view Soviet infiltration as a danger and threat to not only their ideological purity but their political viability following the dramatic revelations of the Krivitsky Case in Germany. This demonstration of the covert activities of the Soviet intelligence edifice was to highlight the claims of the Trotskyites and cause immense disconcerted worry about the various parties' potential exposure. Treint was soon to be joined by two other young and forceful voices who sought to tear French Communism away from the grips of the Soviets, namely Jacques Doriot and Louis Sellier. These three would come to form a forceful voice of opposition to both the mainstream reformists of the SFIO but also to the more Soviet-aligned communists within the party, ultimately coming to dominate the radical wing of the party with a forceful emphasis on economic planning, state control of enterprise and a strong political center - drawing inspiration not only from the emergent ideological current of neo-socialism, which sought to further socialist thought beyond Marxism and drew inspiration from the Integralist movement, but was also inspired by the successful economic model demonstrated by Amadeo Bordiga in Italy. In Germany it would be the KPO which held sway amongst the communists in the aftermath of the Krivitsky Case while the KPD found its role as a stooge of the Soviets a major problem, experiencing a precipitous collapse in support to the KPO. Here it was Walther Ulbricht who emerged as the most prominent ideological figure on a platform mixing Trotskyite, National Socialist and New Order Italian Communist concepts with surprising adeptness (58).

    While Europe was to continue to see ideological developments in the Communist sphere, it would be in Japan that a truly revolutionary new form of Communism was to emerge under the influence first and foremost of the infamous Kita Ikki. In contrast to both European and Soviet varieties of Communism, the Japanese Communism of Kita Ikki was to prove itself deeply rooted in the socio-cultural context of Japan, embracing often ancient Japanese institutions and historical precedents while crossing them with modern, Communist, concepts and thought. Perhaps the most obvious example of this was to be the retention of the Japanese monarchy and embrace of State Shintoist elements into the ideological admixture of Nippon Kyosanto and the People's Shogunate. While drawing inspiration and learnings from both the Soviet and Trotskyite models of Communism, Japan was to prove amongst the most willing to adapt the ideology to local circumstances, and embraced a variety of ideas which were viewed as near-anathema by their counterparts. Kita Ikki was instrumental in promoting the adoption of these ideas, bringing an intense populist, traditionalist and nationalist tendency to Japanese Communism which was to produce a surprisingly adaptive and localized ideology which secured wide adherence and was viewed as "naturally" Japanese - as contrasted with many of the westernized ideologies which had otherwise proliferated in Japanese political society without ever really penetrating the lower classes of Japanese society. Had the Japanese Communists been more close-minded in their outlook and less understanding of the vast socio-cultural contexts which existed both between and within Asian states, their ideological movement might have struggled to secure international adherents, but the combination of a laisse-faire attitude towards local synchroneities and a Pan-Asian outlook were to combine to facilitate the movement's wide spread into South-East and South Asia, with Japanese inspired movements in Laos, Siam, Indonesia, Burma and India all making an impact on their national politics. Importantly, however, the Japanese would find themselves rejected by their Chinese counterparts in the Jiaxing Communist movement which had transitioned south into Indochina and played such an important role in the War of Independence in that country. Viewing the Japanese as arrogant interlopers who had embraced heretical nationalist tendencies, the Jiaxing Communists were fiercely agrarian, internationalist and republican in outlook, viewing the adoption of monarchism as a deeply troubling development which threatened to undermine the very core precepts of the Communist movement. While the ICP, their Vietnamese counterparts, were significantly more open towards the Japanese and greeted their intervention with pleasure, the Jiaxing Communists were to remain fiercely independent of the Japanese Communists - far more willing to adopt precepts promulgated by Moscow by contrast (59).

    While the Soviet, Italian and Japanese Communist movements were the foremost currents within the wider Communist movement, they were far from a position of supremacy. In the Middle East, India and Indonesia, independent efforts at adapting Communist principles to Islam saw the gradual emergence of Islamic Communism as a force while in Chile an explicitly autocratic and state-based ideological model of Communism became prevalent, more inspired by the ideological works of fellow Latin American leftists, Trotskyites and European Communists than either the dominant Soviet or Japanese models. In Mexico Trotskyites once again made their presence known, although it was to be a far more native Mexican version of Communism which was to prevail, focused on a strong centralized state, acceptance of the Revolutionary Catholic Church and state-controlled businesses and unions. The United States would not be free of Communist movements either, although these were to be far more democratically and anarchistic in outlook than any of the major models - the focus being upon trade unionism, social liberty and a state which enabled the freedom of all. Nevertheless, the American Communists were not to find a significant base of support, with most of their potential base supporters having found themselves absorbed by the colossal Progressive Party tent. Brazil would prove home to one of the most protracted active communist insurgencies in the form of the Siquerian Communists whose adoption of various marginalized and persecuted groups soon began to form a syncretic admixture of Communist millenarism with distinctly religious overtones - Antonio de Siqueria Campos finding himself in something at the head of what looked increasingly like a quasi-religious and violently revolutionary cult which held Siqueria Campos up as a messenger from god, sent to earth to spread the Communist Gospel in preparation for the End of Days. Ultimately Communism came in many guises, shapes and forms, with only a very basic level of common features across the breadth of the movement, but nevertheless its influence upon the era was all-encompassing (59).

    The Faith, State and Me

    The Ideology of Integralism emerged across much of Latin Europe during the 19th century as a movement that sought to assert Catholic underpinnings to all social and political actions while minimizing or eliminating any competing ideological actors, most forcefully defined in a Liberal or Humanist guise. As the threat towards Catholicism from temporal powers and growing secularism became an ever greater, a series of popes began to work towards formulating an intellectual counterpoint to the ascendent powers of liberalism, with the first political parties established on integralist lines emerging in Spain around 1890. The following decades would see similar tendencies emerge in France, Italy, Portugal and Romania, although ever struggling to find a footing in the face of constant liberal progress, pushed to the political margins. The gradual emergence of socialist and anarchist movements during this time was to set in motion a secondary front in the Integralists' culture war, joining their Liberal foes in threatening traditionalist Catholic values. The true turning point was to come with the devastation of the Great War, as societal tensions rose to a boil and both the liberal and conservative superstructures which had been suppressing Integralism crumbled under the pressure, not only unleashing integralism but socialism and anarchism as well. The first state to fall under Integralist rule can be viewed with considerable surprise in hindsight, for it was not one of the major combatants of the Great War who fell first, but rather the minor belligerent of Portugal which saw Sidónio Pais maneuver his way to power by virtue of a coup against a weak and divided liberal government, subsequently engaging in a series of precarious struggles for power which only came to a successful end in the early 1920s. Sidónio Pais brought with him a number of important developments - establishing a strong central presidency, instituted a new constitution, and most importantly, entered into a partnership with the Catholic Church which was to make Lusitanian Integralism a most appealing ideology for him to embrace - in the process beginning the process of transitioning Integralism from a theoretical concept to a practical governing ideology. Around this time a similar, yet divergent, ideology known as Fascism rose to prominence in Italy and set about contesting for power with both the weakened pre-existing Liberal establishment and the emergent Socialist and Anarchist forces of northern Italy. While initially an outgrowth of Socialist Revisionism and Futurism, the Fascist movement would share many features with the Integralist movements of Iberia and eventually found itself subordinated and influenced by that ideology grouping on a large scale. In Spain, the rise of Integralism was to coincide with King Alfonso XIII's abandonment of the Liberal Restoration, which his family had otherwise relied upon for power, and his subsequent absorption of Carlist, Traditionalist and Integralist movements behind his rule. In truth it was this mix of ideologies which the wider world would come to recognize as the quintessential Integralist ideological admixture due to the exceedingly strong grip of the Catholic Church on society and incredibly close ties between the Santiago de Compostela Papacy and the Spanish Crown (60).

    Thus, by the middle of the 1920s Integralism had come to be seen as an emphasis on a strong central state built around a strong central figure, be it the President, King, Emperor or Prime Minister, with a heavy emphasis on religious social reforms and the involvement of religious authorities in all spheres of life, public and private. It was marked by an emphasis upon class cooperation and unity through the use of syndicalist-inspired associations and an economy geared and directed by the state to achieve its purposes, while a high degree of importance was placed upon history, morality and tradition. As time went on, the ideological structures of Integralism gradually solidified and diverged, each nation following similar, but different, social and ideological models. Perhaps one of the most surprising and notable features of Integralist thought was to be its emphasis upon inward improvement and cooperation with like-minded nations - viewing other integralist nations not as enemies or rivals, but as potential partners and fellow combatants in the unending war against liberalism, socialism and modernism. In Portugal a stark divide emerged between those who wished to snuff out party politics entirely in the name of technocratic state rule, effectively seeking to replace the instability and uncertainty of politics with the certainty and stability of bureaucratic and technocratic rule, while their opponents forcefully argued the importance of continued political engagement and an expansion of integralist ideals along lines reminiscent of those undertaken in Spain. Regardless, Sidonio Pais would never feel entirely comfortable with his Integralist partners, and often sought to limit their political influence in whatever way he could, while still keeping them on his side. By contrast, Spain was dominated by the larger-than-life figure of King Alfonso whose grip and manipulation of the Militarist, Carlist and Traditionalist movements first saw them turned towards the destruction of his most feared enemies on the left before gradually allowing for their internal ideological differences of his supporters to weaken the movement's cohesion such that no one else could amass a following sufficient to threatening the power and authority of the monarch. In the process, he nevertheless embraced the ideals promulgated by all three subsidiary ideologies and blended them in such a way as to always benefit his own position while balancing the various forces supporting his regime. Throughout this period the French Integralist movement remained an important ideological and political force, churning out some of the most compelling political theory crafting and ideological ground work for integralism in the integralist world in their constant struggle with the left and center of French politics. As the Union de la Droite grew to ever greater prominence and subsumed ever more of the French far-right, it drew in numerous new ideological currents and began to develop a synthesis under the influence of radical ideologues like Charles Maurras - had the UD continued on with Maurras and his compatriots at the head, it is easy to imagine the road to revolution and civil war in France. However, it was to be the sudden and stunning rise to power of the enigmatic Jacques Arthuys which derailed this development and paved a path for the UD to gain sufficient following across the French populace to eventually secure power and bring about the all-important January Restoration. Notably, Arthuys was not much of a public ideologue or a radical thinker, instead proving himself a peerless adapter and networkers, capable of taking the ideas set forth by far more radical minds and integrating them into the French political situation in such a way as to avoid public outrage (60).

    The Integralist movement was to inspire many around the world, from South America where the ideological foundations developed in Iberia were grasped with open arms by various authoritarian and autocratic rulers as a way of justifying and strengthening their regimes, to Eastern Europe where numerous reactionary figures and groups found it a foundation from which to develop their ideology in an Integralist direction. Here the partnership with religious counterparts, in this case often Orthodox Churches, and resultant societal control which these partnerships unlocked proved amongst the most attractive features of the movement while the rallying power of integralist principles in opposition to German power and influence proved an equally significant draw. Particularly Romania would be deeply influenced by Integralist thought, becoming the leading opposition ideology to the German-aligned governments which dominated political power throughout the 1920s and 30s. Even further afield would Integralism prove an inspiration, most significantly for Japanese Emperor Genka who sought to wield Integralist principles as a path towards securing popular support for the establishment of a far more autocratic state capable of guiding Japan to prominence in place of the "weak and decadent" liberalism which had come to hold sway over Japan under Prime Minister-Admiral Yamamoto Gonbee. While this effort eventually failed electorally it paved the way for the bloody and vicious coup attempt which set in motion the Japanese Civil War in a gambit to achieve by might what had failed to be accomplished at the ballot boxes. Ultimately many of the integralist trappings of the subsequent Chosun regime would fall by the wayside, at least for the time being, with the government far more similar to a monarchical military dictatorship - only gradually and piecemeal restoring the political freedoms enjoyed by the Japanese people under Emperor Taisho which made integralism a viable political ideological model. Nevertheless, it was here that a more properly Japanese current of integralism was to be formed, worked atop the ashes of the old Kokumin Domei - adopting State Shintoist elements alongside a strong central government, although the state bureaucracy only gradually began to reassert control over the entirety of the Korean Peninsula and saw itself forced to rely heavily upon Korean underlings for most of its lower ranks, and extending the state's influence into the private lives of its citizenry. While not directly inspired or based upon integralist theories, many scholars would consider the state structures established by the Fengtian Dynasty to hold many similarities to the Integralist movement: from its control and direction of private enterprise, involvement in the conduct of the citizenry's public and private lives, emphasis on religious and traditional authority to its strong central government based around a ruling Emperor. However, the Fengtian Dynasty would repeatedly refute such claims, condemning Integralism as a foreign ideology with no place in Chinese society and stressing the innately Chinese nature of their regime, pointing to the ancient institutions, philosophies and ideologies on which they had based their rule. Nevertheless, the Fengtian Dynasty would often find itself lumped in with the integralists in European papers and studies of integralism, and this was the perspective through which the ideological foundations of the Fengtian dynasty were to be studied for years to come (60).

    The Colonial Problem

    While colonialism had reached its peak in the immediate pre-Great War era, colonialist movements and efforts would continue to play out around the globe even as opposition to colonial practices rose to prominence and the imperialist edifice of European Colonialism began to fracture. There were four major settler colonization programmes during this period worth addressing - the Jewish settlements in Palestine fueled by the rise of Zionist ideology, the Japanese settlement of Chosun and Taiwan, the German settlements in German East Africa and Kamerun as well as the Latin Pact settlements in North Africa. The simplest of these developments was the Latin Pact settlement of North Africa and the German-African colonies, with the patterns largely following more traditional settler colonization models as German settlers largely secured command of major economic resources such as plantations, mines and transportation infrastructure. German settlement practices were an outgrowth of the Lebensraum thought complex which sought to address the growing German population by providing productive outlets in both Eastern Europe, where numerous German expatriate communities soon developed, and in Africa. Particularly in East Africa would the settlers find access to a large subordinate populace in the form of refugees from the Kenyan Famine, who fled across the border and soon found themselves drawn into work on German farms, mines and plantations on a grand scale as day laborers - the economic development of the colony growing explosively as ever more money and settlers arrived in the colonies in hopes of striking it rich. In North Africa, the painful lessons learned by the French in Algeria, where they had dispossessed and left destitute nearly sixty percent of the native peasant population, would see both the French and Spanish colonizers in Morocco adopt far more industrial methods of production, pushing Moroccan farmers into the booming coastal cities which soon saw explosive industrial development harness the rising urban population growth, with particularly food in the form of canneries, sugar refining, brewing and flourmills proliferating as the industrial agricultural development of the colony was harnessed for export - with ownership largely composed of truly massive state-owned corporations. In Chosun and Taiwan, Japanese settlements grew precipitously throughout the 1920s and early 1930s, before the outbreak of the Japanese Civil War fundamentally overturned the situation and resulted in a massive wave of refugee migration to Chosun. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Taiwan soon grew into a favored location for resettlement amongst the population of the Shogunate, with major population transfers occurring as early as during the Red Terror when many of those fearful of persecution sought safety in colonial obscurity where they soon found themselves part of a complex cultural melting pot resulting from the abolition of racial distinctions in the koseki household registers which brought an end to the ethnic divisions emphasized by past Japanese colonial rule. In Chosun itself, the wave of Japanese refugees would displace many Korean natives and stoked intense communitarian hatreds which would persist for years to come - the trauma becoming a steady feature in all Korean independence movements. The Japanese colonization of Chosun would be accompanied by an explicit effort at cultural subjugation and assimilation into the Japanese population, although the relationship between Korean and Japanese would remain deeply inequal regardless of any Korean efforts at assimilation (61).

    Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in response to rising antisemitism in Europe and Russia with the aim of creating a Jewish nation state beyond the reaches of their European oppressors. Around the turn of the century the focus eventually turned towards the settlement of Jews in the Ottoman Levant, with Palestine a particular focus of investment - funded predominantly by Jewish bankers of varying origin during the initial decades of settlement before gaining overt British backing during the Great War and a promise of Jewish self-determination in Palestine under the auspices of the Balfour Declaration. Following the Great War, Palestine would find itself engulfed in a series of conflicts and crises as the Jewish settlers clashed with the native Arab population, the Arabs increasingly backed by the Hashemite Monarchy while the British continued to support Jewish settlement. Ultimately, this would culminate in the formation of the independent Kingdom of Palestine under the rule of King Faisal I al-Hashemi with an explicit power-sharing agreement between the Jewish and Arab populations. Nevertheless, Jewish settlements would continue to expand gradually and confrontations with the Arab population was near constant as harassment on both sides escalated and regularly spilled over into violence. While Faisal would try to keep a lid on things, neither side particularly trusted the monarch, the Zionists viewing him as an Arab stooge and the Arabs as a foreign occupier, and both thus continued to act independently - the Palestine parliament more a verbal battleground than an effective legislature, with both Arabs and Jews establishing ruling bodies which performed de facto executive, judicial and legislative duties. The weak royal military and gendarmerie would find itself largely made obsolete by Jewish and Arab militia forces who performed both policing and protection duties for their respective communities and regularly came into confrontation with each other - the state ever on the verge of civil war. While the Arabs would rely primarily on a council of religious authorities and tribal clans headed by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the Jewish population would prove surprisingly divided, spanning the entire political spectrum and only really kept from tearing at each other by fear of the resultant divisions allowing their Arab neighbors to displace them. During the 1930s the Syrian-Arab Sheikh Izz ad-Din al-Qassam would begin explicitly advocating the violent expulsion of the Jewish settlers in Palestine, rallying support publicly and seeking to pressure the Hashemite monarchy into action against the Jews with gradual success, particularly during the latter half of the 1930s as the Jewish population girded itself for war and British attentions waned. It is important to note here the gradual decline in Jewish migration which Palestine received in the post-Great War years, as the rapid improvement of Jewish opportunities and social status in not just Germany but across the Zollverein and in the Soviet Republic made the push-factors for Zionist migration increasingly unattractive, even as the violence and seeming futility of the Zionist cause in Palestine itself reduced the pull-factors drawing Jewish migrants to the region (61).

    The modern native anti-colonial movements within many European colonies would draw their origins to the early twentieth century, emerging first as intellectual movements seeking to reclaim their own culture, history and traditions, before gradually pressing for greater autonomy and eventually seeking independence. The Great War had played a key role in invigorating anticolonial movements around the globe as the colonial populations were asked to sacrifice ever more for their colonial lords in return for very little, only to be thrown into chaos and calamity of both human and economic nature as colonial economies around the world shook during the immediate post-war period and the Great Flu reaped horrific carnage across colony after colony. India was to prove amongst the earliest and most well organized of the independence and anti-colonial movements, wielding political and moral power as well as the backing of the massed might of their populace to pressure their colonial lords into granting political and economic concessions. In some cases this was done without violence, but these efforts would repeatedly see violent flareups to the frustration of their leaders. Indian thinkers were to formulate a vast and complicated literature of anticolonialism and Indian pride, spanning the political spectrum from far-left to far-right, all united in the sole goal of bringing an end to their colonial subjugation. A bit further eastward, these same beliefs were to end in violent revolution and an extended war of liberation amongst the Indochinese people which fundamentally reshaped what was seen as possible for colonial populations. Prior to the Indochinese Revolt, it had come to be seen as near-gospel that no colonial nation could go toe-to-toe with its oppressor - a presupposed fact which had been repeatedly hammered into the heads of particularly the Indian independence movement following the Indian Rebellion of 1857. However, with the Indochinese Revolt's relative success and longevity, the proof had now come that colonial populations could combat their oppressors with hope of victory, and rebellion gradually came to be seen not so much as an expression of horrified frustration, but rather as a real opportunity for independence. During this same period, the Asian independence movements were to find themselves further influenced by the spread of various strains of Communism which many found appealed greatly to the lower classes of many colonial nations, as a successful future economic model and a justification for revolutionary action against their oppressors - both foreign and domestic (62).

    Africa was to prove slower in embracing anticolonial and independence movements than their Asian counterparts, the many ethnic and religious differences which cut across individual colonies contributing to significant organizational difficulties amongst the often small and educated elite who commonly lead the African independence movements such as they existed. The British African Famines were to prove a key turning point in the development of African anti-colonial sentiments as it splintered traditional societal bonds in Kenya, united ethnic groups in South Africa and highlighted the dangers of dependence upon colonial good will in West Africa - with particularly the Kenyan population experiencing an intense degree of anti-British sentiment which served as a uniting force amongst the shattered remnants of Kenyan society as they sought to rebuild their communities following the British suppression of the region's unrest. In South Africa, racial tensions served as a uniting force amongst the African population, particularly the Xhosa and Zulu peoples who felt themselves threatened beyond measure by the recent activities of the Afrikaners and the South African government. One of the most surprising sources of African nationalism and colonial critique would actually come from the schools run by the League of Nations in many African colonies, with the education and opportunities provided through the League allowing for the emergence of African intellectuals versed in European ideas of nationalism, socialism and liberalism - all of which they soon began to propagate amongst their varied peoples. Nevertheless, by the end of the 1930s this process was still in its early stages, and the African independence movements remained relatively small organizations who drew their leadership and membership from a small number of European-educated elites. These movements sought to imagine a world in which African liberty from the white man could be assured with opportunity and plenty for all of Africa's peoples, although at the same time it is worth noting the often stark divides amongst these movements on topics ranging from the future relationships between African nations and their colonizers, and the specific societal models that they felt should be adopted in place of the colonial regimes - many proposing and supporting distinctly western models of society, while others sought to determine what a truly "African" state should look like (62).

    Whereas many African and Asian nations were forced to contend with active colonial lords interfering and controlling their states, in Latin America it was a more subtle form of foreign influence with which they had to contend. Through the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the United States had gradually extended its influence over much of the rest of the Americas both economically and politically, even turning to more outright colonial conquests of the former Spanish colonial empire and military interventions in independent Latin American nations around the Caribbean. However, following the Great War and particularly the rise of Isolationism under President McAdoo in the latter half of the 1920s, this trend began to turn rapidly as American economic and political control over its sphere of influence began to crumble. In Mexico anti-American political factions rose to the fore, nationalizing foreign-owned, primarily American, resource extraction industries before a far more intensely anti-American political movement emerged in Central America in the form of the Sandinistas - marrying agrarian and socialist policies with a religious revolutionary ethos in what amounted to a crusade against American economic and political interests and their native representatives. Further south, Integralist tendencies spread like wildfire and the Latin Pact soon began to infringe upon the interests of American Big Business. While business interests in the United States tried with all their power to return a more pro-business political movement to power in Washington, which was partially accomplished with the Curtis Presidency, the political partnership between Republican and Progressive parties was to undermine these lobbying efforts on the part of Big Business interests. These forces all represented a break and "revolt" against the pervasive influence of American business interests in the politics, economics and society of large parts of Latin America - with the reassertion of national sovereignty by these nations being greeted with great acclaim in many of the nations which had been so dependent upon the Americans previously. While American business interests would shift its focus further southward, the political establishments in Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile all proved themselves a great deal more resilient to these endeavors than their northern counterparts had been - partly due to the greater political legitimacy and economic prosperity enjoyed by these countries, but also due to the pre-existing influence of European nations such as Great Britain, Germany and France. Ultimately, the 1930s would be remembered as a period in which many Latin American nations sought to assert their economic and political independence, striving to reclaim a voice in their domestic and foreign affairs and fend off the predatory economic grasp of European and North American corporations and nation states (62).

    (55) This section works to outline two major developments which have taken place over the course of the timeline - the first being the gradual synthesis of conservative and liberal ideological structures to form a baseline upon which other ideologies build, and the second being the struggles of both traditional ideologies to adjust to the rise of mass politics and greater involvement of the entire society in political decision-making, particularly electorally. Perhaps the most weird development is probably the rise of monarchism in a multitude of guises, and the monarchical structures' gradual decoupling from conservatism. Regarding the specific thinkers mentioned here, Karl Popper remains in Germany ITTL without the Nazis to chase him away, and as such is not traumatized by his dislocation - his thoughts focusing far more on direct liberal ideological development alongside his wider philosophical endeavors. Rathenau, having survived without his OTL assassination, is able to continue developing his Mechanistic ideas under a liberal model - it is honestly a bit fascinating how he felt that technological progress and data treatment rings so prescient of the OTL Information Revolution, although he seems more in line with the early utopian thinkers of the information revolution than the more modern cynics. In general Rathenau had some interesting ideas generally - for example stressing the importance of "social wisdom", i.e. knowing what works and doesn't in society, as well as his belief that competition could give way to cooperation through "love" - in effect marrying artistic ideals with rational economics. He was this incredibly intelligent and talented scholar with a romantic and unmaterialistic outlook alongside his hardboiled identity as a politician and industrialist.

    (56) I know that the social reform frame of reference is a bit unwieldy, but considering I am lumping American Progressivism, Chinese Social Reform, European Social Democracy and Anglo-Labour together into a single collection of ideological movements, I hope that this can be forgiven. Most of this is a restatement of prior developments, and I have refrained from going into detail with theoreticians, but it is important to note that whereas most of these ideological movements have been largely theoretical in nature prior to the Great War, they are now having to tackle holding actual administrative and governmental power with varying degrees of success. One thing that I hope people will find particularly interesting is the way in which debate erupts within the social democratic movements of Europe in the aftermath of their fall from grace. Notably this period has seen the French radicals and reformers split into two distinct factions - with only the reformers relevant here - and the Labour Party fracture into a bunch of feuding factions including radicals who wouldn't be as relevant to this section. The German SPD are really the most significant of the European parties though, and they remain firmly unified even after falling from power, with all three of these currents present and seeking to make an impact.

    (57) The Communists in the Soviet Republic are very aware of the problems of democratic legitimacy at the top of their political structure, and are actually pretty determined to seek a way of resolving it. The theory of transitioning from the "dictatorship of the proletariat" to "socialist humanism" is actually an OTL Bukharin theory and he is one of the Communist writers who was pretty invested in securing democratic rule, however there was a pretty broad perception that the Russian populace was not yet ready for democracy in the 1930s amongst those who actually were interested in democratic reform (Stalin's goon squad weren't really all that interested), and that there would need to be a prolonged period of indoctrination, education and scientific uplifting of the Russian population before they would be ready. That belief is still very much a part of Bukharin's thinking, and is how he legitimizes the current undemocratic system - although in contrast to OTL this is the government position and is held quite widely with the communications, education, culture and politics governmental institutions actively seeking to prepare the populace for a say in the state's politics. We also see here that ideas from Italy, such as the Theory of Cultural Hegemony, are starting to make an impact and influence the ideological thinking of the Politburo with Ivan Smirnov and finally Yevgeni Preobrazhensky whose works end up becoming foundational for the hawkish figures in the Soviet state and military apparatus.

    (58) Sorry about not getting into greater detail with the European communist movements - had considered addressing Iberia and Eastern Europe, but Communism really isn't a major political force in either regions at this point, so I refrained. What I hope people find interesting in this section is the way in which Communist movements across Europe are starting to distance themselves from the Soviets, and the rather significant role that the Trotskyites have actually had in turning people against the Soviets. I know I didn't dig into it a great deal previously, but the Trotskyites are immensely important in this regard, as their warnings end up being undergirded by the revelations of the Krivitsky Case. At the same time I am hopefully successful in conveying the way in which the Italian Communists end up having a rather surprising degree of influence on the rest of European Communism - not as threatening a force as the Soviets and yet more explorative and more adapted to a European context.

    (59) One of the things I want people to note is the fact that the Jiaxing Communists and ICP are quite divided in their attitudes towards the Japanese Communist Movement - although it should be mentioned that the ICP is more influenced by the French Communist Movement than anything else early on, with the Soviets second and the Japanese a rather distant third - although the Japanese ideas are finding ever greater adherence amongst Indochinese Communists. For the final section we have a vast range of countries and movements covered with the most interesting probably being the Siquerians, who continue to be something of a bizarre oddity - although the mixture of millenarian religious movements with Communism is a pretty common occurrence, particularly in regions where there is room for heterodox ideological developments like is the case here. Siquerian Communism ends up becoming something of a go-to ideology for uprisings in central South America - honestly drawing some inspiration from Shining Path for the Siquerians if you are looking for an OTL counterpart to explore.

    (60) Integralism is a complicated ideological complex with numerous different adaptations which span a spectrum of ideologies which IOTL are viewed as Fascistic or Quasi-Fascistic. However, I think it is very important to stress how different Integralism actually is from its OTL Fascist counterpart and the fact that the movement is actually quite old - stretching back into the second half of the Nineteenth Century, and potentially even before that as a more generally Conservative tendency. Integralism is nowhere near as radical or revolutionary as Fascism was and is, lacking the revolutionary ethos which Fascism and Nazism borrowed from Socialism, and is instead a very firmly reactionary and traditionalist movement instead - it is more conservative than nationalist in a lot of ways. This in turn is important because it allows for partnerships and cooperation amongst Integralist nations to a completely different degree than was possible amongst the Axis powers of OTL. There is a real trust and belief that everyone is working in the same direction amongst the Latin Pact nations, and it is this focus on traditionalism, unity and social conservatism which makes the movement so appealing even beyond the boundaries of Catholicism. I know it is a very brief mention, but I do want to stress the fact that there is a growing Orthodox Integralist movement amongst the countries of the Balkans - although national hatreds remain powerful and the influence of the Zollverein and its allies predominant. One thing I want to stress here is that while the Fengtian regime shares a lot of elements with the integralists, they do not view themselves as part of the movement - which is a very important factor in how they interact with integralists diplomatically and geopolitically. The Fengtian Dynasty holds its ideological position to be entire based upon Chinese traditions and thoughts, modified to take into account the modern context that they find themselves in, and find the comparisons to Integralism to be both demeaning and threatening due to the significant anti-western bias held by much of Chinese society by this point in time.

    (61) So I thought it would be a good idea to show some of the various colonial efforts which continue even post-Great War and a bit about the ideological foundations behind them. Notably, the Integralist colonies are not really treated all that different from other North African colonial states even though state investments into them continue on pace. The Germans are really one of the big colonial settlers in this period, primarily because this is really the only major opportunity they have had for exercising that outlet. IOTL the whole Nazi obsession with Lebensraum originated with the loss of Germany's colonies, although the concept had already been introduced in the early 1900s, so ITTL there is that same sort of pressure for new lands to settle but with control of large African colonies those migrants end up turning towards this outlet or serving as expats in the various Zollverein nations predominantly - I should also mention that a good deal of Eastern Europeans also end up following the Germans into the colonies, using their Zollverein ties to gain settlement rights in either Kamerun or German East Africa. Notably, German migration to the United States falls off quite significantly in the Post-Great War period, particularly compared to OTL, with many more people remaining in Germany or seeking economic opportunities within the German sphere of influence. As for the Zionists, I have noted the general reduction in antisemitism across Europe before, and in the Soviet Republic the top ranks of the government end up packed with Russian Jews, so the factors which led to the Zionists being able to continually expand and recruit new members are significantly weakened ITTL. When this is coupled to a much less friendly government than the OTL Mandate of Palestine and the constant low-grade communitarian violence, the whole Zionist experiment ends up looking a whole lot less attractive. What the fate of the Palestinian Jews will be in the long run I am not sure just yet, but they are highly reliant upon British backers, and it isn't like the British Empire has nothing else going on at the moment.

    (62) So I know that this is a very broad and general overview of the anticolonial movements, but as you should all know by now the moment I start digging into these movements it is like something of a pandora's box, unleashing a bunch of new characters and ideological variations which need to be accounted for. Particularly given the relatively broad political spectrum I have encompassed with many of my independence movements, it is hard to get very detailed about it without getting bogged down in socialist, nationalist, conservative and integralist factions. Instead I tried to point out the way in which anticolonial developments and movements are in various stages across the world, from the post-independence Latin American nations fending off neocolonial pressures, through the active and explosive Asian struggle for independence further enflamed by the spread of Communism and Nationalism to Africa where the struggle against colonial rule is only just beginning to find a cohesive starting point beyond the confines of religion or ethnicity.

    End Note:

    Finally, god damn finally, I really struggled to figure out quite how to approach this ideological section, and in the end I am not completely happy with the end result, but it should do its work relatively well. Cut it very close getting it out on schedule. I have cut out the summary box since I feel it has lost all meaning with the later structural changes, but at some point I will go back through and edit the TL throughout.

    Going into this section I really wanted to drag in a bunch of different thinkers and schools of thought, explore the ideological tendencies within the various movements, but I ran into the problem of many of these thinkers being rather actively involved in the development of government policy. I know that there is a bit too much restatement of prior developments within the TL, but my hope is that the reframing and different perspective on these developments can give an added understanding to the general tendencies of the world of ADiJ.

    Either way, I look forward to seeing what everyone thinks about it.

    I do feel the need to state that I am going to be pausing the timeline at this point as I try to regroup and catch my breath. I have now been writing non-stop on the timeline since March of last year and I have been putting out an update every Sunday for nearly a year - I think I posted something like nearly half a million words in that period, and frankly I have gotten a bit burned out on the timeline at the moment. I need some time to recharge and to map out how the next period of the timeline should play out. We have now basically gotten to a place where I feel relatively comfortable leaving the timeline for now while I figure out how I want to proceed with it.

    That said, I welcome anyone who has any interest in providing any sort of interlude, feature or other addition to the timeline (although do run it by me in a PM before posting so that I can make sure it fits into cannon and I can threadmark it in time) and I always keep an eye on the timeline, so as long as the discussion is ongoing I will be participating in it even during this hiatus. Beyond that I am always more than happy to engage in any discussion of alternate history in PM, both if people want feedback on TL ideas or to discuss something from the timeline. If you have any questions about the TL itself, do make sure to ask them and I will see if I can find an answer for you.

    Beyond that, I am hopeful that I can get some contributors and maybe make a couple shorter interludes during the hiatus to keep people tided over for the time being. Anyway, I really do hope you have enjoyed the timeline up to this point, and I hope to get back to the timeline when I have things a bit more put together.
    Informational Four (Pt. 5): Fate of German Military Commanders of World War Two Fame
  • Now that you've clearly established in your Reader Mode informationals about what became of Guderian,Rommel and Hoth, what happened to:
    1. von Kleist
    2. Reinhardt
    3. Hoepner
    4. von Kluge
    5. von Reichenau
    6. Kesselring
    7. von Rundstedt
    8. von Kuechler
    9. Raus
    10. von Witzleben
    11. Geyr von Schweppenburg
    12. Blaskowitz

    Next time please include first names with these sorts of lists, because it is often hard to figure out which exact figure you are asking about when there are three to four people, some in the same family some not so who could be covered.

    Paul Ludwig von Kleist: He participates in von Bock's ride into the Ukraine and ends up being an early commander in the armored section of the military before going on to serve as an army commander somewhere. He isn't politically involved and is largely seen as a neutral figure amongst the military factions, although more associated with the conservative wing.

    Alfred-Hermann Reinhardt: He leaves the military after his Great War service and becomes a policeman, don't see a reason for that to change ITTL, there isn't the same impetus for him to rejoin the military as IOTL.

    Georg-Hans Reinhardt: His career looks to be pretty smooth moving through the post-Great War period. A mix of field and staff postings culminating in a stint at the war academy as a lecturer before transitioning to the army training department until the late 1930s.

    Erich Hoepner: He ascends the ranks and emerges as an up-and-coming general officer in the 1930s. His career remains based in Germany and he doesn't go on any foreign observer postings. He is focused on the development of armored infantry and aligns with the more radical wing of the military (not politically, but those who want to explore and develop the military in new ways, as contrasted with the conservatives) - nevertheless, while both he and Guderian are part of this faction, they remain rivals.

    Günther von Kluge: He is part of the aristocratic military circles, firmly in the conservative wing of the military, but is largely uninvolved politically outside of a dislike for the left. Think he is the sort to be drawn into Lossberg's school of scholar soldiers and align with them, rising to a position of prominence as a staff officer and as a general officer - he likely is in command of an army by the late 1930s.

    Walther von Reichenau: He should be on a rapid upward trajectory given his familial and personal ties in the military, probably ends up in a similar circle to von Kluge.

    Albert Kesselring: I think he ends up remaining involved in military research and development, probably doesn't make the transition to the Airforce and subsequent forced move to civilian life of OTL. I think he ends up transitioning to a prominent position in the artillery, where all his experience lay anyway, rather than ever getting involved with air power ITTL. IOTL his transition to air power was a bit of a sudden out of nowhere development highly dependent on the OTL factors of the Versailles treaty restrictions. Without those I don't think he makes the shift.

    Gerd von Rundstedt: I am pretty sure von Rundstedt ends up in the General Staff as one of the central staff officers in the 1920s as he seemingly was supposed to have been. By the late 1930s he should be one of the most senior figures in the General Staff, holding a key position of authority. Think he remains relatively politically uninvolved and part of that aristocratic circle which Kluge and Reichenau belong to.

    Georg von Küchler: I honestly think his trajectory might be one of the least changed ITTL, just working his way upward in the artillery. He might have been part of the Parsky Offensive and Bock's Ukrainian advance, but that should weigh out the military experiences he had IOTL.

    Erhard Raus: Probably a lecturer at one of the military schools or lost in the shuffle when the Austrian Army join the Imperial German Military. He might end up being used as military attaché somewhere, but I don't think he really has much of a path to a premier position.

    Erwin von Witzleben: Think his trajectory is similar in a lot of ways to Rundstedt, although he might also have gotten a field command by the late 1930s as general.

    Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg: Think he might end up following a similar career trajectory to Guderian, plenty of military observer postings and service as military attaché to key allies and enemies, providing a wealth of knowledge to the German military in the process. He should be part of the more radical pioneering part of the military and maybe is part of the more openminded end of the aristocratic clique.

    Johannes Blaskowitz: Think he might actually be one of those who thrive in the post-Great War period. His wartime achievements should be sufficient to give him a chance at a field command, and he is capable enough to rise relatively swiftly therefrom. Should still be a decently important military figure by the late 1930s.
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    Feature: The Strategic Posture Of Germany And The Zollverein In 1938
  • Surprise!

    While Zulfurium enjoys a well-deserved break, I've finally, finally managed to complete a feature on the German military and Zollverein collective security. This bloc is one of the major players in the tense diplomatic standoff between the world's Great Powers, and an overview of its strategic situation deeply fascinated me. I have done my best to do the matter justice! As always, if you spot any mistake or factual error, please be so kind as to flag it.

    Feature: The Strategic Posture Of Germany And The Zollverein In 1938


    Erwin Rommel at the Allenstein war games, along the Baltic Coast​

    As the 1930s drew to a close, the Zollverein military alliance aggregately represented the world’s premier military force, at least on paper. Reality, of course, was more complicated, and Zollverein military planners – primarily German planners – were presented with a complex and shifting strategic situation that presented diplomatic, economic, and military challenges. OHL did not approach this changed international arena as a cohesive unit, but was rather riven with internal tensions, tensions that partially reflected those running through German politics. What OHL did have however was the fanatical professionalism, thorough book-keeping and attention to detail brought about by Max Hoffmann’s tenure at the helm. Prior to his ascension to leadership of OHL, German command had demonstrated considerable talent, particularly on the tactical level – but also a worrying lack of strategic planning, lacklustre cooperation with the political leadership, and a weak grasp of logistics and the workings of a war economy. All of these weaknesses could have proven fatal at any time during the Great War, and few people knew it better than Max Hoffmann. The mountain of research conducted by German staffers in the postwar years was to rectify most of these weaknesss, leaving OHL with a much better grasp of operational and strategic problems than ever before. Hoffmann’s greatest success had been his successful argument for rapprochement with the Western Powers, his greatest stumbling block had been his confrontational stance towards Soviet Russia – but his true long-lasting legacy was making German war planning a peer of its great power competitors’. (1)

    Eventually, Hoffmann’s controversial attitude, arrogance, and self-righteousness, combined with his declining health, led to his resignations, shortly before his death in 1927. His primary adversaries in the General Staff – the Ludenorff loyalist Oskar von Hutier, and the Crown Prince’s close follower Hans von Seeckt – had no opportunity to fill the ensuing gap. The race for OHL leadership soon saw two great personalities from the Great War emerge and push forward their vision for the future course of German security and power. The first was the “fireman of the Western Front,” Fritz von Lossberg, whose defensive genius was universally recognised even by his rivals. To his close supporters in particular, his tireless work complemented Max Hoffmann’s to ensure a positive outcome to the Great War – where Hoffmann had enabled the spectacular breakthroughs of Operation Georg, Lossberg’s fanatical efforts at creating an impassable network of defence-in-depth on the Western Front had allowed German soldiers to resist the large-scale Franco-American offensive of 1919. Lossberg had not been idle in the postwar years, working to turn the newly acquired and well-fortified Belgian territory of Liege into the northern anchor of a fortified German line that reached all the way to the Swiss border. Lossberg’s interpretation of Germany’s post-war situation was optimistic: with France having little appetite for a third continental bout and moreover faced with a truly daunting network of fortifications, Germany’s western reaches were considered safe. This would eventually see partial reassessment as the fear of air power led Lossberg to promote early research and strong investment into anti-air counters to any bomber offensive aimed at Alsace-Lorraine or the Ruhr. In the east, the new borders presented Germany with the novel option of having physical breathing room even in case of early reversals, but that also came with its own challenges: fortresses were of limited use in the east and could be easily bypassed by a mobile force, and the Soviets had shown great mastery of the operational art in their Siberian campaign. Lossberg’s proposal for the east was to make any occupation of Germany’s new eastern European allies difficult by making them nearly impossible to digest, favouring deep defensive fieldwork that could be easily manned, with mobile defence in depth sheltering at multiple levels of depth – with rearward units ready for a strong counterattack on any invader. This was particularly pressing in the Baltic section of the Zollverein line: given the narrowness of the Baltics and the front’s proximity to the sea, there was a real danger that a Soviet offensive with the German-Lithuanian border as its Schwerpunkt might reach the sea and isolate the Baltics – plus whatever amount of German troops happened to be stationed there – from Germany proper. With the border running all the way to the Black Sea, and the importance of protecting the Baku oilfields should the Don Republic collapse, Lossberg also sought to work closely with Germany’s allies to ensure defence in depth across the front, and personally developed plans to turn the Baku region into a fortress that would have been incredibly costly for any invader to take. Through it all, Lossberg maintained his close affiliation with Bruckmüller, seeing artillery as the true “queen of the battlefield” that would make any successful defensive or offensive operations possible. (2)

    The other principal candidate was Hermann von Kuhl, who had enthusiastically embraced Hoffmann’s drive for professionalisation, and had largely become the leading “general-scholar” of the Reich, publishing an incredibly diverse arrays of military studies and well-researched histories of the Great War, with particular focus on the Marne offensive of 1914 and on the last two years of the war. Notably, some of these wereaddressed to the general public, greatly popularising von Kuhl’s interpretation of decision-making during the conflict. Von Kuhl believed in a more classically Prussian focus on mobility, which in his opinion had been the primary limiting factor for German arms particularly on the Western Front. Romania’s Zollverein membership, and the by-then institutionally solid alliance with the Ottoman Empire, allowed Germany a sufficiently cushy fuel situation to consider a gradual motorisation of German and allied armed forces, which would keep mobility in play in any future war. This was compounded by the knowledge that the Soviets’ fuel situation would be comparably unfavourable, making large scale motorisation a distant prospect for Russian arms. Whereas Lossberg didn’t share Hoffmann’s interest in the Don, and mostly operated on the assumption that it would fall in a way similar to Siberia’s, Kuhl saw it as a convenient buffer both on the southern reaches of the eastern border and north of Baku itself, which could be exploited for a mobile counteroffensive in case of a Soviet advance into the Don coinciding with a state of general hostilities with the Zollverein. Kuhl’s rapport with Lossberg remained cordial, and the pair’s activities complemented each other to some degree, but the competition for resource allocation between the two schools was real and occasionally bitter; even with the Navy no longer the steel-eating, expanding giant it had been until 1912, and with Germany’s vast informal empire to draw from, there was no way to simply accomodate everyone’s requests to build more fortresses, tanks, aeroplanes, etc. Moreover, as the gap between the two schools widened, the need for unified command became stronger. (3)

    In the middle of all this, the Crown Prince remained aloof of both factions. More interested in the flashy bits of warfare, like technical specifications of equipment, than he was in the formality and politicking of the General Staff, he served as the centre of gravity for firebrand officers who remained at the margins of power in OHL. The most prominent of these was doubtlessly von Seeckt, whose opposition to Hoffmann, political conservatism, and antisemitic stances had won him a controversial political reputation. Von Seeckt ultimately saw the coming struggles as both political and military in nature. This kind of far-reaching generalisation of many developments thrown into a singular interpretation was very appealing to the Crown Prince. Eberhard von Mackensen and Heinz Guderian exploited the fascination of the future Kaiser with the spectacle of modern war to ensure that mobility, tanks, and more specifically the Panzerwaffe would always benefit from Imperial favour; in this they were helped by the Crown Prince’s friendship with, and admiration for, Hermann Balck, the talented divisional commander whose heroics on the battlefield, and refusal to be promoted away from his men, had turned him into a modern German folk hero. (4)

    Eventually, the various moving parts that made up German military planning came to a head, and a compromise candidate came to the fore. For once, there was a candidate few people could have any qualms about: Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.

    From a political and public perspective, Lettow-Vorbeck was a virtually unassailable candidate: his titanic struggle against the Entente in Africa, alone, outnumbered, with no access to regular supplies and no support, had become the stuff of legends, and arguably saved Germany’s African colonial empire from otherwise near-certain occupation. His undeniable operational and planning talent also gave him the right military credentials, and his staunch monarchism and rarely publicised, but heartfelt leaning towards the nationalist right-wing fit very well with the climate of the day in Germany. Doubts remained as to his ability to plan for more conventional military operations on a large scale, but Lettow-Vorbeck quickly silenced these by embarking on a methodical quest for a strategic synthesis between Lossberg’s advocacy of defence in depth, and von Kuhl’s mobile, motorised version of the classic Prussian Schwerpunkt. Special officer committees were established and tasked with analysing recent conflicts to incorporate relevant lessons, with a particular eye to armoured units’ vulnerabilities as displayed in the Don’s failed Georgian campaign, and to the performance of force-marching infantry on rough terrain, as displayed by the promising young officer Manstein in Bolivia. As much as it was possible, the Siberian campaign also saw thorough study for its large scale, great distances covered in horrendous atmospheric conditions, and operational depth. Finally, given his keen eye for guerrilla warfare – which he had experienced on both sides – Lettow-Vorbeck paid particular interest to the growing conflict in Indochina, as it increasingly spiralled out of control. With communism increasingly coming to be seen as the international coalition most threatening to Germany’s survival both on the European continent and in the colonies, Lettow – Vorbeck decided the time had come to devote real attention to guerrilla warfare at the General Staff level. Soon or late the Reich might after all find itself in a similar predicament as France in the colonies, and besides, guerrilla concepts could see successful application in Europe as well. For this task, the new Chief of the General Staff turned to an old subordinate of his during the Great War, Theodor von Hippel, who jumped at the chance of taking his mentor’s lessons, which they had practiced in the field together against the British, to the next level. He set out to coordinate with all military branches to create highly trained commando units that made use of new technology (such as parachutes for Fallschirmjaegers, or easily concealable explosives such as with Brandenburgers) to sabotage infrastructure, seize bridges, gather intel, and generate confusion deep behind enemy lines. With a focus on extensive knowledge of foreign languages, making rapid decisions independently and in isolation, and operating complex equipment, Hippel’s special forces opened a new realm of possibilities to German planning that seemed to fit perfectly with the growing climate of subterfuge, suspicion, and confrontation with the Internationale in particular. With some reluctance and serious limitations, the concept was partially extended to Germany’s allies, who started providing select troops for special forces training and interoperability. This would allow Lettow-Vorbeck to realise one of Lossberg’s chief aims: to give countries that might be the target of future Soviet expansion, such as Finland or Lithuania, the tools to meet the invader with a “rifle behind every stone”, buying time for the German army to respond to an invasion with its own hammer blow. (5)

    German planning also became increasingly preoccupied with the opportunities presented by air power, with the Luftstreitkraefte having proven its worth in the last three years of the Great War, and continuing its research and development over the two subsequent decades. Development became particularly exciting during the 1930s, as piston-engined craft benefited from advancements in metallurgy, aerodynamics, and sundry other fields to reach performances and carry payloads simply unthinkable beforehand. The man to lead the LSK during this critical phase, Walter Wever, was a Prussian officer whose staff talents had emerged through service as a staff officer to OHL in the Great War. As LSK chief of staff, Wever’s vision was that of an air force that could operate in synergy with the rest of the armed forces to achieve critical strategic objectives: support to ground troops would allow for “air artillery” against enemy units, critically also away from railway lines and being able to keep pace with motorised troops deep inside enemy territory. Coordination with naval units could dramatically alter the balance of power at sea. A capable air force could also spot enemy troop concentrations and procede to impede their movements with every tool available. Finally and most fundamentally, Wever viewed the air force as a strategic weapon that could impede or even cripple the enemy’s industrial and armaments output. Wever gathered around him a group of officers and industrialists whose task it was to develop requirements and doctrine for a strategic bomber force, the nucleus of what would later become Germany’s Bomber Command. Investment also went to early research and development of radar systems, while from the operational point of view Wever was in large part responsible for ending the “lone ace knight” mythology enshrined by Great-War-era aviation, with an intensified focus on team tactics and a gradual replacement of lone wolf strikes with well-coordinated air squadrons. The introduction of onboard radio in every plane’s cockpit was to prove the linchpin to this effort at increasing coordination between pilots, ensuring that they could operate together as a unit. Later in the decade, the Battle of the East China Sea would turn heads in every professional military, with LSK leadership seeking to incorporate these lessons into a more fruitful relationship with the Kaiserliche Marine – although such incorporation was easier said than done, given the engineering and doctrinal complexity of naval and air equipment as the 1930s neared their end. (6)

    The Kaiserliche Marine itself had a considerably less happy time in the aftermath of the Great War. For one, its popularity was diminished by its marginal role in securing Germany’s position at the end of the conflict. It could still bank on its all-Germanness as an institution, but this too became increasingly challenged as the LSK and eventually the army itself established their own all-German credentials. The navy’s own building programme also came under fire both in absolute terms, given the under utilisation of the equipment during the war, and in relative terms, given the inevitable economic hiccups that came with postwar conversion. As such, the scheduled pre-dreadnoughts and cruisers from before the war were scrapped, with only the last commissioned Bayerns and Mackensens seeing completion after the war. No new capital ship saw commission in the following years, with an implementation of what was merely a replacement programme for capital ships as they became obsolete. When the international naval treaty that many had hoped for failed to come about, and with the Spirit of Amsterdam on the decline, shipbuilding became a realistic prospect again, particularly as the German (and Zollverein) economy rallied sharply. Here too however the navy found itself competing for scarce resource allocations with two other services, which had the upper hand in the eyes of both military planners and political leaders alike. Disagreements on how to best utilise the KM’s slim allocations also abounded. Germany’s existing complement of battleships was more than enough to balance France and the Soviets, while still affirming Germany’s great power status, so the focus shifted elsewhere. The main argument ran between proponents of a long-range cruiser and carrier fleet, which would allow for colonial defence, and supporters of land-based aviation, commerce raiders, and submarines out of Wilhelmshaven and Triest. The latter option would represent a clear preparation for a further naval conflict with the British in the North Sea and the Mediterranean, however, leading the Reich to adopt a balanced approach and hedge its bets until the murky diplomatic situation of the mid-1930s became clearer. With Germany increasingly headed on a collision course towards the Soviets, proponents of the former option gathered steam: cruisers and carriers would allow intervention against any colonial uprising, while capital ships and submarines would see that the Baltic remained a German lake. (7)

    Now the ball went back into the diplomats’ court: could they reach out to the British, and enter serious talks about an Anglo-German naval agreement? While calamitous in its wider impact, the British defeat in the Battle of the East China Sea seemed to present German diplomats with an opening they were eager to exploit. The most optimistic in the diplomatic staff dreamed that this could be a precursor to future political talks; recent events in Hungary-Croatia also seemed to offer an opportunity to upset the status quo, and provide a useful bargaining chip of a continental European nature to negotiate with the British. The most pessimistic circles pointed out that thinking this far ahead, when the initial tentative feelers still hadn’t returned anything concrete, was premature and naive. Before fully abandoning its balanced building approach, the KM patiently awaited the outcome of these low-level feelers and diplomatic overtures, while continuing research and development of carriers and submarines, in preparation for the naval conflicts of the future.

    Ultimately, German focus in political and diplomatic terms remained firmly centered on the Reich’s new network of allies and clients. While this relationship was clearly one-sided, Germany was twice indispensable to its eastern sphere: as a guarantor against Russian revanchism, and as an arbiter of internal disputes, such as the competing border claims of Poland and Romania. The countries with more room to maneuver were careful to trade the needle: Bulgaria was perfectly happy to remain in the Central Powers, but resisted German overtures to accede to the Zollverein military and economic alliance as a full-fledged member state. The Ottomans similarly remained committed to the Central Powers without joining the wider Zollverein, preferring to maintain their relationship with their allies on a bilateral basis. The increasing importance of Baku to German oil reserves, and the growing boldness of the Soviets greatly increases German interests in the Caucasus, particularly should the Don Republic ever collapse or lose control over that region: this ensured that Berlin would remain very accommodating towards Ottoman sensibilities. The final, and less integrated ring in this German diplomatic chain was Socialist Italy: as an easily disavowable asset with few other options but which conveniently thrust into the Mediterranean, it allowed German diplomats to simultaneously put pressure on the British, and still have the ability to make easy concessions to them at virtually no cost to themselves. (8)

    Elsewhere, German diplomatic work was less successful. Relations with the Western Powers had been restored more or less to the intended degree, but the fostering of a weak Soviet Russia to the east had clearly failed – which greatly vindicated the military voices that had opposed the policy from its very beginnings. Now vindicated, the military stole a march on the question of Zollverein defence, and forced the politicians to react. This new political climate, along with all other related developments, culminated in the Allenstein war games. The new conservative government in power in Germany was greatly antagonistic towards the Soviets, and believed that deterrence would be the best policy to prevent further meddling in German domestic policies. Responding to suggestions from OHL, the Zollverein organised a series of ambitious war games, taking place in Allenstein, East Prussia. The exercise was enormous in scale, consisting of army-level maneuvers with corps-level forces from every Zollverein member state, as well as the remaining Central Powers. Even the Italian People’s Republic contributed a token expeditionary unit, seeing this as an invaluable opportunity to learn precious lessons about modern warfare in spite of its asphyxiating isolation in mainland Europe. Many foreign observers attended the war games, reporters in tow, and OHL was keen to make sure that the British were given the front row seats.

    The location was not chosen by accident, and the Allenstein war games came to serve multiple purposes. For one, they were held on German soil. This was more significant than might first appear: the intent was to clearly communicate to Germany’s partners that the new conservative government, while nationalist, had no intention of violating Zollverein members’ sovereignty or territorial integrity. At the same time, however, the games took place in East Prussia, close enough to Poland and Lithuania that the message was loud and clear: Berlin remained politically committed to the independence of these countries, and would protect them against all comers – the only possible target for this intimidation was, of course, Soviet Russia. This was as clear a warning as possible that there would be pushback against further Soviet attempts at overturning the postwar settlement of Tsarskoye Selo. While of secondary importance, the war game also served to reassure France that the Reich was primarily preoccupied with the east, and did not plan an aggressive stance on its western border at this time.

    The war games clearly simulated how the Zollverein would respond to a Russian invasion. The exercise postulated a “red force” advancing in the south, against Poland, while massing its armoured units against Lithuania and East Prussia for a sickle cut. “Blue force” had the task of slowing down both advances with defence in depth and guerrilla tactics, while amassing motorised units and tanks in rearward lines. These eventually sprung into action in a two-pronged counterattack, one south towards Poland and the other north towards Lithuania, driving into the flanks of both red force advances. The mobile counterattacks encircled the invading units and gamed out their ability to drive past them, simulating in the real world what was becoming the chief preoccupation of war planners all over the world at the time: depth, that is, how far operations could push beyond supply lines with the benefit of motorisation, before logistics made any further advances unsustainable.

    This grand political and strategic presentation was somewhat undermined by its execution. These were the first war games to be held on such scale for quite some time, and certainly the first to openly experiment with combined arms operations in a partially motorised context. By simulating depth, they also inevitably presented a whole slew of logistical challenges, for which preparations were entirely inadequate. This proved a considerable embarassment to the Germans as equipment – particularly tanks – broke down in the field, high-altitude bombers missed their targets by considerable distances, trucks drank up the fuel they themselves were carrying, and logistics grew from a mere headache to a convoluted mess. This was not helped by the German habit of over-designing complicated machinery which broke down easily and required complex maintenance operations. This, combined with the wide variety of designs each produced by parallel production lines, resulted in a chronic shortage of spare parts.

    The reflection on some of the commanders who had pushed for these changes was not great. This proved to be a particularly stressful time for Heinz Guderian, who was forced to go back to the drawing board and tone down his optimistic expectations of what armoured units could achieve at current technological levels, and without adequate logistics.

    On the other hand, the limitations posed by logistics and equipment presented talented commanders with an opportunity to display their skills. As such, the war games cemented the growing reputation of a cadre of rising stars, Paulus and Manstein among them – not surprising, considering they had first-hand experience of recent conflicts in Georgia and Bolivia, as observer and expeditionary commanding officer respectively. Proponents of armoured warfare who had been more logistically minded than Guderian or Hoepner also exploited the opportunity, such as von Schweppenburg – bold and unafraid to embrace new concepts, but keenly aware that logistics was where modern wars were lost or won, he received significant vindication from his performance during the war games. In the general picture of teething troubles and false starts, these officers managed to nonetheless rely on the marching performances of German infantry, on classic concept of maneuver warfare, and on a less cavalier attitude about logistics, to punch above the weight of their undersupplied units.

    On a more practical level, the war games also allowed Germany and its allies to test interoperability of their forces. This resulted in Bohemia demonstrating its engineering and military prowess, with their equipment putting the Germans’ to shame. Simple, but more reliable and more uniformly produced, and supported by better logistics, Bohemian tanks and artillery pieces fared much better in the field, putting forward the best possible case for their selection as the bread-and-butter equipment of the alliance. This also painted a political target on Skoda’s back, as the Germans came to realise they had critically underestimated how much of an asset it would be to their security needs.

    Strategically, the war games yielded satisfactory results. Tactically, they put to the test recent disputes about artillery, tanks, and whether the Luftwaffe should focus more on fighters and bombers or add aerial artillery and close ground support to its portfolio – Wever, while a proponent of strategic bombing, is convinced of accomodating the latter need after the bombers’ poor performance in the war games. The mingling of Zollverein, Latin Pact, British, American, and Chinese officers and observers also provided an opportunity for some elbow-rubbing and quiet offerings of political settlements – but also to go back home and draw conclusions from what was on display, with ripples on everyone’s military plans.

    The most lasting impact, however, was perhaps in economic and industrial policy areas. Smarting from the unexpected setbacks, and eager not to have eggs on their faces again, German planners got back to the drawing table, if not always in a productive manner – with Guderian and Hoepner engaged in formally correct, but passive-aggressive standoffs and veiled accusations that quickly became legendary. Under the influence of Kuhl and his close associate von Bock, however, pressure started rapidly mounting on Skoda to join the German cartel system, and for the introduction of a series of production boards which would coordinate the development and production of tanks, planes, rifles, trucks, and above all, the necessary supply chains. As orders boomed and cash flew in, Skoda enjoyed the market manipulation provided by the cartel system to rapidly accumulate massive amounts of capital, most of which went back into internal investment. The increased employment opportunities greatly pleased Bohemian public opinion, but of more lasting importance was the great increase in prestige, leverage, and standing of Bohemia among the Zollverein member states. In the increasingly uncertain climate of the 1930s, any measure of political capital was more than welcome.


    (1) For a more detailed explanation of the politicking inside OHL, you can refer back to the retrospective on Max Hoffmann.

    (2) Lossberg has featured in the timeline before, and his efforts have not been for naught, unlike OTL. In the much more expansive security environment of the postward order ITTL, he doesn’t lack for career opportunities, and successfully leverages his reputation into a strong candidacy to leadership of the officer corps. Naturally, the analysis presented in this Feature is highly speculative, and based around essentially three factors: Lossberg’s OTL priorities, which were clearly slanted towards defence in depth, is the basis for future developments in his thinking. The second factor is a parsimonious interpretation of Germany’s new security environment in the east and west, how this is interpreted by German planners, and how Lossberg reacts to these ideas. Last but not least, there is a matter of pure real-world geography. The border changes introduced by the Peace of Copenhagen and subsequent developments have a huge impact on strategic considerations.

    (3) @Zulfurium has extensively covered von Kuhl’s leadership of a cadre of “military-scholars” at multiple points earlier in the timeline. What is important to note however is that this scholarly drive does not happen in isolation, but is part of the wider debate and framing on the role played by mobility in the Great War. To some extent it delivered undeniable tactical successes to the Germans, but on a different level it ultimately failed to deliver a “Clausewitzian” victory – except arguably on the Eastern Front, although even there detractors find plenty of arguments to paint a muddier picture of events. To what degree the old focus can be maintained, and to what degree it needs to be switched for a new paradigm, is a topic that splits OHL like a fissure, growing deeper as the careers and egos at stake become more and more personally involved.

    (4) The Crown Prince’s affiliation with mavericks who offer radical ideas is not new to this timeline – it was mentioned back in the Hoffmann retrospective for the first time. It is rooted in OTL, too. My understanding of the psychology behind it is that there are two elements in play here: one is a fundamental princely discomfort with the “stuffy” world of the imperial parents and their court, a mild annoyance towards formality and the ways of the old world. The other element is the Prince’s seeming preference for people who clearly articulated a worldview that included far-sweeping generalisations, drawing general conclusions from a small set of data or even anecdotes. The officers at the margins of OHL have great appeal for him, and while the monarchy is not very politically active at the moment, imperial patronage carries a weight all of its own.

    (5) Even OTL, Lettow-Vorbeck’s campaign had a massive impact beyond its enormous popular fame. It influenced military thinking and planning regarding what was achievable with guerrillas and soldiers devoted to highly specialised tasks. Theodor von Hippel attempted to turn this experience into the foundation for German special forces OTL as well, creating the Brandenburgers – but as we know, the Germans remained fundamentally incompetent when it came to special forces during the Second World War. Here, circumstances are radically different, with Lettow-Vorbeck in charge of the effort and rising meteorically through OHL, with von Hippel in tow playing a supporting role. This will have an impact on German attitudes to the question of collective security in the Zollverein.

    (6) The 1930s were an explosive decade for powered flight technologies. Advances in manufacturing techniques, material components, aero engines, frames, supply lines and payload, followed one another so rapidly that there was virtually no hope of planning and doctrine remaining abreast of it. We saw this quite starkly OTL, where even the most well-prepared air forces consistently assessed their own performance and strategic utility quite incorrectly. The most successful air forces were those that learned quicker to correct their misconceptions – avoiding them altogether was simply impossible without 20/20 hindsight. Now, Wever is a bit of a cliché choice thanks to his role in many WW2-themed, Luftwaffe-centered timelines, but I still believe his career path, eminent competence, and political clout would make his appointment a very high likelihood ITTL. Since the accident that killed him in 1936 has not taken place OTL, he remains alive and in charge of the LKS. This is undoubtedly a good fix for German air force planning, but not a magic bullet. Inefficiencies in construction and logistics, while ameliorated from OTL, are still very much a part of the game whenever industry and the military cross paths in Germany.

    (7) Imagining a continued German Navy following the Great War is perhaps one of the most daunting challenges for those without a deep understanding of naval matters. The topic is highly technical, and requires intricate knowledge of the composition and various options of the equipment in question in addition to the usual speculative exercise about alternate people making alternate choices. Given my very limited expertise, I hope I was able to do it justice. Ultimately and unsurprisingly, the HSF is stuck in a bit of a rut. It is maintained and improved, and doctrinal debate carries on, but there is perpetual indecision about which role it might play and what repercussions this might have on the wider political stage. To borrow from sports terminology, you might say that when it comes to naval planning, Germany ITTL has got down with a case of the yips, and every touted decision is continually second-guessed. As such, this is definitely the branch of the German military that suffers the most from the ripples of the Great War – although it remains very popular with public opinion.

    (8) Germany is, in a sense, lucky that the rise of the red tide has diverted attention from its recent international exploits. Their unexpected opening in Ethiopia, and the daring decision to play such a prominent role in South America as to send Manstein to the continent, have been noted, and the international order will doubtlessly start pushing back – but for now, other, more acute rivalries (particularly those involving the rise of revolutionary states) simply have to take a higher spot on the agenda. The way the chips are falling, Germany is hopeful of an alliance with the British, but Whitehall remains very reserved and extremely noncommittal, as is to be expected. Relations with the Latin Pact are cordial but distant, as both blocs are essentially looking elsewhere. It is possible that the seemingly ever-present threat of communist encroachment will focus the minds, and ironically pen Germany into a position where it acts as a “responsible stakeholder” of the international system, as opposed to a destabilising element – but that is pure speculation at this point, and German adventurism is just as likely to cause localised crises. Still, the new government’s apparent single-minded focus on the Soviets will in turn give other countries more room to maneuver in how they choose to relate to the Reich.

    (9) The war games themselves are solid, and had they been a quieter affair, the optics wouldn’t have been this bad. The world’s militaries are on the cusp of a great transition, which makes teething problems an inevitability. But the political heft and attention assigned to the war games by the German government backfires: a military exercise is not a parade, and things go wrong, with a relatively negative fallout for several personalities involved. There are a few bruised egoes, and more than a handful of talented commanders get an opportunity to display their flair as they work with the limitations they are given. Some of the reaction to the PR embarassment will be productive, as it will force a rethink, and perhaps more planners will begin to take the logistics of large-scale warfare in the east a lot more seriously. But some of it will be disruptive, with politicians and invested military personalities both fearing for their career prospects and their brainchildren alike.
    Informational Five: The Fate of American Presidents
  • Your TL continues to be one of the most fun and engaging on the site.

    There are somethings I do wonder about.

    Did the Halifax explosion and the Tulsa massacre occur ITTL?
    Did Thomas Marshall have any contributions as President other than the end of the Great War?
    What are the ITTL's fate of
    Thomas Marshall
    Leonard Wood
    William McAdoo
    William Taft
    Charles Hughes

    I am happy to hear that you have enjoyed it.

    The Halifax Explosion and the Tulsa Massacre both occurred ITTL - I even mentioned it in update 34-2 when discussing the buildup to the Anti-Lynching legislation getting proposed.

    Thomas Marshall was very old and even without the pressures of actually holding the presidency at the close of the Great War he still passed away in 1925. With those added stressors I think he struggles to make it past 1923, so I don't think he plays in al that much.

    As for Leonard Wood, he is two-three years from dying of a tumor when he ends his time in office, so I doubt he has much time to make much of a mark either. He passes in 1927 from a resurgence of his meningioma.

    McAdoo spends some time touring the US, trying to resurrect his political career or at the very least his influence, before giving it up for a bad job and retiring. Might spend the rest of his days living in California. I don't know if he has his divorce and remarriage to a 26-year old in 1935, but wouldn't put it past him.

    William Taft doesn't return to the Supreme Court and instead remains at Yale, serving at the law school while holding a variety of appointments to various boards and commissions. He remains politically active and has his circle of supporters, but as he grows ever sicker throughout the 1920s he finds himself increasingly on the fringes of influence. At his death he is mourned and he is remembered rather fondly all-in-all. He leaves behind a large number of lawyers influenced by his thinking from Yale and wrote papers on just about every major legal issue of the day.

    Charles Hughes has been politically involved and even spent time in Charles Curtis' cabinet. He is one of those who start protesting when Curtis pulls his disappearing act. He has been sprinkled throughout the story so far. He didn't enter the judiciary either though and ends up remaining in politics instead. He is still going strong by 1938 as a Republican politician.
    Informational Six: State of the Catholic Church
  • @Zulfurium,

    Approximately speaking, which geographical/linguistic areas of Europe possess the highest concentrations of Revolutionary Catholics and which European regions have the highest percentages of continued loyalty towards the Pope? And which areas are roughly mixed between the two, with all of the great contention that results from this? With the emergence of the Revolutionary Catholic Church having proved iself to be the single greatest challenge faced by the Papacy since its foundation (even greater than the Protestant Reformation, after all), I can imagine there being at least some appetite amongst the clerics for a second Counter-Reformation against the heretics, of all people.

    With the Eastern Orthodox Church in an even worse state than that of the Roman Catholics due to the de facto exile of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Don Republic after the fall of White Siberia, is there any serious talk about nullifing the anathemas and even surrounding an eventual reconciliation between the two communions?

    Having written an entire timeline dealing with the Reformation, I feel the need to point out a couple things about the Counter-Reformation (sorry to be pedantic on the issue, but it is something I spent a while researching on and find interesting). The Counter-Reformation was the theological, cultural and societal reformation undertaken at the behest and under the leadership of the Catholic Church - not the suppression of the Reformation. The Counter-Reformation was an effort to address the clear structural and theological problems highlighted by the Reformation which had been growing ever more clear to the public in Europe going all the way back to the start of the Avignon Papacy, but really since the Western Schism in the 14th century. In fact, one of the reasons that Spain proved so resilient towards the Reformation was because they had effectively undertaken a "Pre-Reformation" round of reforms which had resolved many of the issues which ultimately led British, German, French and eventually Italian theologians to press for reform of the church. You see it with Wycliffe, Savonarola and Zwingli to mention but a few before Luther emerged on the scene.

    So to answer your question - yes, there are figures in the Papal Catholic Church calling for a "Second Counter-Reformation", but it means something different from what you were referring to. There were major structural and theological issues with the Catholic Church in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century which ultimately required the massively revolutionary Second Vatican Council to establish a new status quo. In fact in ADIJ I have actively referenced the preparations to such an effort with the Council of Santiago which should eventually be covered when I resume the TL - that and the coming Constitutional Convention in the US are two absolutely massive turning points which should make the late 1930s and early 1940s a major point in history regardless of any of the many other events occurring in the same period.

    Now to answer your original question on the RCC. Red Italy is very much the homeland of the RCC and is the only real accepted Catholic Church available there. Beyond that, Germany has a truly massive RCC following, about evenly split with those supporting the PCC. Belgium is a key stronghold of the RCC and the RCC is spreading like wildfire through Ireland and in Poland they have found major inroads as well. Hungary is firmly in the PCC sphere, but struggle with the spread of the RCC, particularly in poorer communities. France is firmly PCC alongside Iberia and Sicily, but there are many who are intrigued by the ideas coming out of the RCC's seminary schools. That should cover things for the most part.

    As for the Orthodox Churches, the PCC is making inroads in the Balkans, where the strong integralist model is seen with particular appeal by authority figures in the bureaucracy and church. However, the last thing the PCC would do is admit acceptance of any Christian faith that runs counter to their doctrines - it would fundamentally undermine their argument in the theological struggle with the RCC if there were to do so. It is a complicated matter and while secularism was originally viewed as the greatest threat faced by the Catholic Church, the emergence of the RCC has very much turned that on its head. It is no longer a matter of reconciling Christian differences in the face of growing atheism, but rather a struggle to prove that their brand of the Catholic Church is the right one, and that their opponents are heretics destined for hellfire.

    Hope that answers your questions.
    Feature: Scandinavia - Denmark
  • Feature: Scandinavia - Denmark


    King Christian X of Denmark Riding Through The Streets of Copenhagen

    Der Er Et Yndigt Land​

    There were four major factors which served to define the Danish state in the first third of the 20th century: Parliamentarism, Industrialization, Cooperatives and the Welfare State. 1901 had marked the start of the parliamentary era, as the Danish King surrendered his authority to appoint the government and involvement in the formulation of governmental policy following the electoral defeat of the rightwing. This marked the ascendency of the left, under first the Left Reform Party (Venstrereformpartiet) and following the party's fracturing in 1905 over military policy, its successors the Danish Liberal Party (Venstre) and their more left-wing counterparts in the Danish Social Liberal Party (Radikale Venstre), who were to dominate politics in the decades that followed. Following a series of short-lived and unstable Venstre-led governments, Radikale Venstre found themselves in a position to take power for the first time in 1909. While interrupted by a three-year interlude under Venstre rule from 1910-1913, from here on out Radikale Venstre entered a period of political dominance in Denmark which would last for years to come (1).

    Denmark had been a relative late-comer to the process of industrialization compared to its larger European counterparts, and it would only be with the start of the 20th century that industrialization and largescale infrastructure development reached a turning point. Long a major trading power, Denmark would rise to a position of significant economic performance with the establishment of Esbjerg Harbor, which massively eased trade with Great Britain, alongside the largescale construction of railways, bridges, dams and telegraph lines, allowing the country to build a sizable economic position within the European market. This period was marked by absolutely massive population growth and population transfers, much as with many other industrializing nations. While the 1800s had seen a series of major epidemics, particularly of tuberculosis, and a high child mortality rate, Denmark would prove surprisingly swift in adopting a large variety of hygiene, sanitation and eugenics efforts to counter this development, providing one of the key factors behind the rise of the Danish Welfare State (1).

    One of the rather peculiar developments which were to characterize the Danish economic development was its massive proliferation of small and medium-sized enterprises - a sharp contrast with the large companies and centralized economic development which dominated most other countries under industrialization. Instead the driving force behind Denmark's soon-to-be economic empire would come in the form of truly massive cooperatives, starting within the dairy sector, but soon spreading to butchers, farmers and numerous other industries. Danish cooperatives would expand massively from the latter half of the 1800s, growing into a true economic, political and social power which ultimately played a leading role in the collapse of the royal right-wing government in 1901 and the establishment of parliamentary rule. At the heart of the cooperative movement lay the thought and beliefs of the Grundviganist movement developed around the ideas of the priest, psalm writer and author N.F.S. Grundtvig during the 19th century under the core concept of "Man first, then the Church." Centered on democratic, communal and cooperative principles, the movement was foundational to the development of Danish society and at the heart of not just the cooperative movement, but also the proliferation of Danish high schools, free schools, free congregations and elected congregations, the latter two proving key factors in the development of the Danish People's Church (2).

    As for the roots of the Danish Welfare State, they lay, in contrast to the German welfare system championed by Otto von Bismarck, not in the labor market but in the establishment of eldercare in 1891. From this beginning, building on the cooperative principles so prominent in Danish society at the time, efforts towards state healthcare provisioning followed culminating, under pressure from the Left Reform Party (Venstrereformpartiet), in the passage of work accident insurance, establishing the principles that employers were economically responsible for accidents in the work place. This would combine with the crucial developments of the "September Agreement" of September 1899 when The Cooperating Labor Unions of Denmark (DsF), and the Danish Employers Association (DA) negotiated a settlement whereby it was agreed that employers had the right to lead and distribute work, while the unions were given the sole right to negotiate and set employment and work conditions, with the government in the role of mediator between the two parties - establishing the foundation of the Danish Labor Market Model which was to prove so popular in SPD-controlled Germany decades later (3).

    Danish politics in the pre-Great War parliamentary era would be marked by several key conflicts, but was, notably, dominated by the struggle between Venstre and Radikale Venstre on issues of particularly militarism, expansion of the electorate and how significant of an investment the state should make in the development of the developing Danish welfare state. Venstre would lose its absolute majority in Folketinget already in 1906, and no party would succeed in amassing a majority of the electoral mandate in the years that followed, setting the framework for, and dominance of, coalition governments in Denmark. By the start of the 1910s, a key alliance had already begun to form between Radikale Venstre and Socialdemokraterne (Social Democratic Party of Denmark), who together would press for the rights of women and domestic workers to vote, with 1908 seeing this completed at the local electoral level, and in 1915 for national elections - making Denmark one of the earliest adopters of women's suffrage in the world (4).

    The issue of military development had been a core point of contention already in 1905, and led to the fracture of the dominant Venstrereformparti, as Radikale pursued an anti-militarist stance in opposition to Venstre's push for a massive modernization of Copenhagen's military defenses and the expansion of Denmark's military forces, with an eye towards countering Germany's military buildup. During the period leading up to the great war, a policy of neutrality was widely supported and implemented in Denmark, as successive governments balanced between their close trade partners in the United Kingdom and their large German neighbor to the south. Denmark would successfully avoid getting drawn into the Great War, beyond the laying of a large mine belt across the Danish Sounds to keep the British Royal Navy out of the Baltic at German insistence. During the Great War, the Danish economy experienced a significant shock and change, though avoiding the crises experienced by many other countries at the time, with particularly the German markets becoming a premier customer of Danish agricultural produce, especially canned meats, with numerous Danish vendors making large fortunes off the trade - these traders becoming known as "Goulash Barons" (4).

    Denmark's fortunes would ultimately turn upon the decision to place the negotiations to end the Great War in Copenhagen. During the long, complicated and often contentious negotiations, Denmark suddenly found itself placed in a position of surprising importance and influence. Under the lead of the clever Danish Foreign Minister Erik Scavenius, whose long-held Germanophile outlook had been strongly vindicated by the conclusion of the Great War, Denmark placed itself in the position of mediator and as a friend to all, in the process developing numerous contacts and cooperative parternships which were to serve as a central force in the nation's future diplomatic endeavors. At the same time, the negotiators were able to secure significant gains for the neutral parties of the war and placed itself as one of the key founders and early forces behind the League of Nations. While the lands of Slesvig, Holsten and Lauenburg remained in German hands, despite the hopes of some Danish nationalists, Denmark had emerged as one of the principal victors in the negotiations on economic, diplomatic and political grounds, its ideas on welfare, eugenics and labor market mediation an influence upon the thinking of politicians on an international scale (5).

    The end of the Great War brought with it both tumult and opportunity. While the economic dislocation of demobilization was sending shocks through the international economy, the Danish cooperative movements were already beginning to ponder the economic potential of the expanding Zollverein, and the Radikale government under Carl Theodore Zahle was not slow to follow up on these movements. As the large fortunes made during the Great War were reinvested into the Danish economy and negotiations with the Germans for access to the Zollverein came under way, the Danish trade economy was already beginning to adapt to the post-Great War Era. While Great Britain had been Denmark's premier trade partner before the war, and would return to a significant status after it, Danish interests had very firmly shifted southward to the massive new markets of Central- and Eastern Europe where new opportunities lurked around every corner. As a consequence of this shift, which was itself urged on by them, the Germanophile section of Radikale Venstre rose to prominence under the leadership of Erik Scavenius, who was already beginning to contest for leadership of the party from Zahle by 1922 (6).


    Erik Scavenius in 1940​

    However, not all would go smoothly for the smooth-talking diplomat-politician, for farther left on the political spectrum the political fortunes of Socialdemokraterne, Radikale's most trusted coalition partners, were entering a period of significant turmoil as a result of the shockwaves unleashed in Russia by the Communist Revolution. The starting point for this conflict had come already in 1916, when the social democratic youth movement broke with Socialdemokraterne over their leader Thorvald Stauning's decision to assume a ministerial post with the Radikale government during the Great War. This was followed in 1919 by the youth movement's decision to establish Denmark's Left-Socialist Party (Danmarks Venstresocialistiske Parti) which united with a number of other minor socialist parties, expanding the party membership to some 3000 members, while the youth movement changed their name to Denmark's Communist Youth in reflection of their changed identity (7).

    The revolt of the social democratic movement's youth, and the subsequent spread of ideological constructs from the revolutionary east, would provoke considerable debate and crisis within Socialdemokraterne, but the overpowering personality of Thorvald Stauning, the formidable party leader, would play a crucial role in calming much of the party by 1923 and rallying it to a moderate and pragmatic programme behind the Radikale government. However, a notable development of this struggle was the weakening of Socialdemokraterne's control over the levers of labor politics, particularly their ability to call for general strikes, which had previously been one of the party's greatest strengths up till then, with the Left-Socialists now contesting for control of unions. In 1921 the Left-Socialists formally adopted Muscovite Communism and began actively agitating in opposition to the political establishment while building contacts to the anarchist movement in Denmark. Even so, lacking a crisis to rally around, the Danish Communist movement would find itself in a marginalized position for the majority of the decade that followed (7).

    While Socialdemokraterne found themselves staving off a revolt from the left, Radikale Venstre found itself in the midst of a intra-party struggle between Zahle and Scavenius. While Zahle could claim his leadership had guided Denmark through the Great War crisis, Scavenius made common cause with several key members of Zahle's cabinet, most critically the all-important Minister of the Economy and Interior, Ove Rode, who had long championed putting into practice a greater part of the welfare programme both Radikale and Socialdemokraterne had been supporting until this point. By contrast, Zahle rallied his finance minister Edvard Brandes, a crucial founder of the original Venstrereformparti who had long been a bridge between Radikale and their rivals in Venstre, as well as a close friend of King Christian X, to stave off Scavenius' challenge. However, Zahle found himself outmaneuvered by the intrigues of Scavenius and was eventually forced to announce his resignation in Scavenius' favor. Much disgusted by the factional partisanship within the party, Brandes would announce his retirement soon after, marking a final break with the old Venstre ties (8).

    Erik Scavenius was swift to take the reins as Prime Minister of Denmark, quickly setting in motion a series of welfare reforms, handled ably by his political ally Ove Rode and the latter's political protege Peter Munch, who followed Scavenius as Foreign Minister. Scavenius would strongly emphasize the development of economic and political ties with Germany and championed the massive expansion of the Danish Cooperatives into the new markets of Eastern Europe. Leading a booming economy and a rapidly expanding social safety net, Scavenius would call for elections in 1923, 1926, and 1928, each time enjoying considerable margins of victory for himself and his coalition, which included a declining Venstre from 1927-29. However, while Scavenius enjoyed considerable successes during this period, he found himself threatened from within his own governmental coalition, for as his years in government ran on, he grew increasingly hesitant to press for further social reforms, as his in Socialdemokraterne insisted. In fact, it had been due to this disagreement that Scavenius decided to reach out to Venstre to counterbalance the rise of his partners to the left (9).

    However, Scavenius' decision to distance himself from his allies in Socialdemokraterne would prove a costly one. Already tired for the increasingly slow and reticent push for reform from the government, an attitude was itself meeting with opposition from some parts of Radikale Venstre, Thorvald Stauning finally broke with the Scavenius government and brought down the government in early 1929. Perhaps influenced and inspired by the SPD's rise to power in Germany, Stauning pressed for his party to finally enter the limelight, having long since proven themselves as a capable political partner in the nearly two decade partnership with Radikale. Promising to continue the German relationship, and hinting that his party might enjoy a warmer welcome with the new SPD government in Berlin, while campaigning on an even more expansive and ambitious reform program than that supported by the Prime Minister, Stauning was able to secure the support of a significant enough portion of Radikale's parliamentary members to push Scavenius from power. Stunned at what he viewed as a deep personal betrayal, Scavenius attempted to block Stauning's appointment by appealing directly to the King. However, Christian X proved unwilling to get involved, still displeased at Scavenius' treatment of his friend Brandes, and worried about what the left would do should he seek to halt their rise to power. Denmark would have its first Socialdemokratiske government (10).


    Thorvald Stauning Speaking Before Folketinget​

    Thorvald Stauning's rise to power would be marked by several major developments. He appointed the first woman to a ministerial post in the form of Nina Bang as Minister of Education, put renewed fire into the government's welfare programes, and engaged in an active effort to counter the influence of both the far-left and far-right by developing a consensus-oriented approach to governance, where he worked as often in partnership with the opposition as not. Most critical in this was his wooing of Venstre with significant benefits for their base constituency, the smallholder farmers who played such a crucial role in the major cooperatives, with government support and loans to over-extended cooperatives in return for their lukewarm support of what would prove to be an extensive social reform program developed under the guidance of his party fellow, Karl Kristian Steincke. Including comprehensive unemployment benefits, elder pensions, handicap support and publicly funded healthcare, alongside extensive government housing construction, a lowering of property taxes and a heavy investment in eugenics-based social programs, it was the single largest expansion of the Danish state in history and soon proved something of a bureaucratic nightmare for its implementers - despite its successful improvement of Danish living standards on a broad basis. First set out in 1931, it would take until the middle of 1935 for the last pieces of the programme to be put into place, and even then the Social Reforms would continue to see tweaks, expansions and contractions in the decades to follow. Denmark's Welfare State was well and truly formed (11).

    However, while Stauning proved a talented and immensely effective politician, his efforts served to severely marginalize the far-left and far-right, provoking their hatred. In late 1935 this would boil over when the unemployed Anarcho-Communist Charles Nielsen attended a meeting of Folketinget during one of Stauning's bombastic speeches and from the gallery, which overlooked the hall of Folketinget, opened fire on the Prime Minister with a pistol - firing a total of five bullets, of which three struck Stauning. By the time Stauning hit the floor, the Prime Minister lay dead in the heart of Folketinget, killed at the hands of a Communist. Caught by the guards of Folketinget immediately thereafter, Nielsen would be placed under arrest and eventually condemned to life in prison. Ironically part of Stauning's reform package included the removal of capital punishment from the law books, protecting Nielsen from that fate. He would spend the rest of his life behind bars, passing away from tuberculosis in 1941 (12).

    Stauning's death sent shockwaves through Danish society and politics, provoking a massive wave of outrage and horror. Stauning had been at the height of his success and popularity at the time of his death, having just won reelection earlier that year, and his death was seen as a sudden and unexpected blow to a prosperous and rising nation. Public grief and rage were the order of the day, and there were plenty eager to exploit the new situation. While Socialdemokraterne struggled to figure out who would succeed their great leader and the Prime Minister's seat sat empty, Erik Scavenius emerged from the woodworks and presented the King with the need for a custodian government to settle the country, offering himself as the obvious candidate for the position of custodian. Despite his dislike of the slippery and charismatic Scavenius, King Christian gave his ascent to the proposal and called on Scavenius to take the lead in organizing new elections. Working swiftly, Scavenius would pass a series of emergency laws targeting the far-left, outlawing the Communist Party, its youth movement as well imposing a general ban on Communist and Anarchist movements, with more than 50 imprisoned in a hastily conducted and legally questionable crackdown on anyone related to Charles Nielsen. Following this, and riding a wave of renewed popularity as the Avenger of Stauning, Scavenius would secure a key electoral victory in early 1936 before setting out to form a new government. However, in a sharp break with all expectations and precedent, Scavenius did not partner with the wounded and leaderless Socialdemokratiske Parti, but instead turned to his party's old rivals in Venstre, and then, even more shockingly, to the long-sidelined Danish Conservative Party which had replaced Højre in 1915. Before the center-left could even register what had happened, they had been pushed out of power and a fundamental realignment of politics now came under way headed by the centre-right Fourth Scavenius Government (13).

    (1) I am starting out with establishing the baseline of the pre-POD period so that we can all be on the same page when it comes to the changes. One quick basic explainer on Danish politics is that Venstre means Left and Højre means Right. Now in modern Danish politics it gets a bit complicated because Venstre was until recently IOTL modern day the leading political party on the Danish right, leading governments with Conservative and Danish People's Party backing. However, the name has stuck, so ironically in the modern day the Danish party called Left is a right-wing party (Similarly in Denmark Liberals make up the right-wing, as compared to where they are on the left in the US). Since the 1930s the center of Danish politics has rested somewhere around Radikale Venstre, with Socialdemokraterne leading the left and Venstre the right, although at times this has shifted even further over with the Conservatives leading the right-wing bloc.

    (2) It is honestly quite fascinating to examine how influential the two religious movements of Grundtviganism and its counterpart Inner Mission have had on Danish society and culture. It is the source of a lot of what I would consider the uniquely Danish elements of our society and culture. By the way, High Schools (Højskoler) in Denmark are very different from the American version - this isn't secondary schooling, which is called gymnasium in Denmark, but rather schools dedicated to teaching people of all ages various skills outside of regular schooling. In the past this might be teaching literacy to the illiterate, but in the modern day you have sports high schools, music high schools, gaming high schools and the like. A lot of people tend to take a year's break after 9th grade and go to a high school of some sort before they start on secondary schooling. Free Congregations are religious congregations separate from the Danish Church, which adopted the moniker of People's Church (Folkekirken) following the end of Danish absolutism in 1848.

    (3) While the Danish approach to welfare was different from that of the Germans, from my understanding of things, it was Bismarck's reforms which initially inspired the development. Leave it to us Scandinavians to take a cynical Bismarckian idea and try to create a utopia from it. It is honestly a bit hilarious to compare Scandinavian and German reactions to ideas such as nationalism, eugenics, welfare and foreign aid, because they often have the same goals with the exact opposite approaches. There is a surprisingly utopian almost naive strain to Scandinavia which is quite easy to miss, both for native born and foreigners, whereas the Germans have this overly traumatized (either overly cynical or overly radical) reaction to how they go about things, which I am pretty sure comes out of having been Europe's battlefield for most of the last millennia.

    (4) One thing that it is absolutely crucial to understand in the Danish context is that the starting point for parliamentary power in 1901 was a complete and total victory for the Danish Left. The conservative Højre was completely defeated, leaving the victorious left wing factions to feud and fight for power. It is only with the 1915 reconstitution of the right wing under the Conservatives that the right wing found any voice in Danish politics. At the same time the struggle between the factions of the mainstream liberal left allowed for the emergence of the social democratic movement as a partner in the coalitions formed by the ruling parties.

    (5) Now we finally get to where the butterflies start to play in. I really cannot stress how important the Copenhagen Treaty ends up being for Denmark and how massively it changes the country's trajectory. One very, very important development here is that Denmark does not experience the OTL North German Plebiscites which ultimately returned southern Jutland to Denmark. This is an incredibly crucial butterfly for Danish politics, as it in turn means the political strife over whether Denmark should incorporate the city of Flensborg or not is prevented. IOTL this conflict led to the Easter Crisis of 1920 in which King Christian X of Denmark dismissed the Radikale Zahle government despite it holding a majority in Folketinget and his attempts at replacing them with the opposition, who were in favor of taking Flensborg despite the populace being predominantly German-speaking. This in turn led the Danish unions and Socialdemokratiet to threaten a general strike against the imposed emergency government, culminating in the opposition's surrender and new elections in April of 1920. the Easter Crisis fundamentally undermined Radikale Venstre's hold on power and pushed it from its dominant political position. It would take until 1968 for another Radikale Venstre politician to emerge as Prime Minister, and ended the party's hopes of remaining one of the leading parties in Denmark. Instead Radikale shifted to a policy of allying with whichever party was in power at the time, becoming a part of the governmental coalition and then taking over key ministries and securing their core issues were dealt with in a way favorable to them. They have been incredibly effective at getting their way politically, but their ever-shifting allegiances have made them rather disliked by the rest of the political spectrum.

    (6) Erik Scavenius IOTL experienced a major loss of prestige with the end of the Great War, having long been connected with the Germanophile elements of Danish society. ITTL that has changed drastically - not only have the Germanophiles been proven right but Scavenius has proven himself as one of the foremost political and diplomatic leaders in Denmark. At the same time most of these developments have been mentioned obliquely at varying points in the timeline already.

    (7) Here the developments of the Social Democratic and Communist movements are rather close to OTL, but just a bit more so. The more open and inclusive nature of the Muscovite brand of Communism appeals well to the Danish sensibilities and is slightly more persuasive than the OTL movement. However, a crucial difference here is that without the Easter Crisis the Communists never get an opportunity to discredit themselves by trying to urge the populace to violent revolution (they tried to get the workers to launch a Council Communist revolution, only to be met with confusion and hostility. Classic well educated young socialist revolutionaries). Instead they continue to knock around at the corners of Danish politics where they make friends with more radical players, like the anarchists. Stauning is one of the historical giants of Danish politics and it was very much part of his force of personality which helped to calm the waters after the Communist movement launched. He essentially dominated Danish politics throughout the 1920s and 1930s.

    (8) So things get a lot more contentious in Radikale this time around. IOTL, Zahle retired as head of Radikale after the Easter Crisis and Scavenius emerged as leader of the party from 1922-24. However, with his prestige in tatters after the Great War and Easter Crisis, as well as the general electoral collapse of Radikale, he soon departed the post. Here we get a fierce factional struggle which Scavenius ultimately wins. Notably I have here allied him with the more left-wing elements of Radikale while further distancing them from Venstre, who they had had a rather mixed involvement with up till this point.

    (9) Scavenius' time at the top is a period of massive economic boom for Denmark and a time of rapidly closing bonds with the Zollverein. As one of the key economic entryways to the Zollverein, Danish banks and companies see massive financial infusions which build on the already developing Great War economy with great success. A key result of this is that the OTL financial crisis of the 1922-1924 period is avoided, with many of those who had built their fortunes during the war leveraging their finances for greater investments in turn. This has crucial importance for the major Danish bank Landmandsbanken, which IOTL experienced major liquidity crisis in 1922 with massive political consequences. Instead it grows rapidly into one of the great banks of Europe, functioning as middleman between their pre-existing French, British and American clients, and the Zollverein.

    (10) With that we bid Scavenius farewell for now and welcome in the inestimable Thorvald Stauning. Stauning is one of the most important Danish politicians in the country's history, to the point you still get people referring back to old stories about his time in power, hear some of his slogans "Stauning or Chaos" and the like. His government built the Danish Welfare State more than anyone else, and while I do have a soft spot for Scavenius, I could not allow a giant like Stauning to miss his time in the limelight. In comparison to OTL he comes to power a bit late (He had a short-lived first government 1924-26) but finds much of the ground work for his later major reforms already done under Scavenius. I also really wanted to show how events in Germany have started to really touch events in Denmark, and how they have grown quite interlinked at this point in time.

    (11) Without the pressures of the Great Depression, the Danish social reforms and compensation packages for Venstre's farmer supporters plays out a bit differently, but by and large most of the OTL reforms do end up getting implemented. Notably this builds on reforms already passed previously under Scavenius and Zahle, so while there are some pretty radical developments in there, it isn't as sudden and massive of a shift in policy as IOTL, and doesn't quite make Stauning's reputation in the same way. No, it is something else entirely he will become famed for ITTL.

    (12) Uhhh… So yeah…. By now you guys should know there was going to be some sort of twist of this sort. I will say this is actually not as far fetched as it might look at first glance. IOTL Charles Nielsen did try to assassinate someone during a meeting of Folketinget, I just changed the time (moving it five years back in time from December 1930), person targeted (IOTL it was Steincke who was shot at when he was presenting Stauning's Social Reform) and the degree of success (IOTL Nielsen was discovered by one of the guards and only had time to fire a single shot into the ceiling). Stauning's death is going to have major consequences in Denmark and is a massive butterfly thrown into the whirlpool of ADiJ. One thing to note here is that Charles Nielsen was an Anarcho-Syndicalist IOTL, and here, but he ends up perceived as being part of the Communist movement due to the Communists' efforts at wooing the Anarchists previously.

    (13) Dun Dun Dun! And when you least expect it, a rogue Scavenius appears. Now while the way I frame it here is a bit overly harsh of Scavenius, I do think this is entirely in line with the political approach of Radikale Venstre through most of its history. Radikale have almost always sat smack-dab in the middle of the political spectrum and have been able to exploit that fact to their benefit repeatedly throughout Danish parliamentary history. There are very few governmental coalitions, either left or right-wing, where Radikale did not at least have some sort of say in the politics. They have always been very adept at getting what they want out of a political coalition, and I want that to shine through here. Scavenius might have been able to work fine with the left-wing during his first three terms of office, but now that he can see the political fortunes are rising on the right, he is exceptional swift to adapt and shift gears. Considering his German contacts, he also probably figures that a similar shift is about to occur there and makes a calculated decision to be first-mover.

    End Note:
    Surprise! :D I am back!

    For a couple features anyway, then it is back to my book. I have decided on a trying to fill in the massive blank void which is Scandinavia in the timeline this time around, so I hope you enjoy.

    I accidentally fucked my keyboard around new years, and have not been able to use the "t" button since, so I have been resorting to copy-pasting as I type. It is questionable if the keyboard can be fixed at the moment without major repairs (Apple keyboards are apparently built to make it next to impossible), but for the most part it hasn't been too massive of an issue. It took me a bit but I am getting a hang of it and have written both this feature and something like half a dozen chapters like this, but it is a pain in the ass to write online, since there are very few sites and forums with automatic capitalization at the start of sentences - meaning I have to go looking for a capital letter "T" whenever I need it. Could I do this in a better way? Certainly, but the hassle of doing without the computer in the repair period would be more than living with it. Anyway.

    I will be honest, despite being a Dane my actual knowledge of Danish history after the 17th century is very, very spotty, and mostly reliant on what little we got in school and through daily osmosis as a Dane. I had heard a bunch of the various politicians names mentioned in this update, but I had never actually sat down and tried to get a more comprehensive understanding of what was going on in this period. I have come away rather intrigued by my little country and its peculiarities. For example, I had no clue the modern parliamentary system only came into play in 1901, that royal power lasted that long. I had always understood it as being a development of the ratification of the Danish Base Law (Grundloven) in the aftermath of 1848 - that was what we were taught in school basically. Funny how history is always so much more complicated than what they teach in school, ain't it?

    Anyway, I finished out the first twenty chapters of my book Regents of Old, which constitutes the first arc, a full 300 pages of writing. Pretty proud of myself about it and as promised I am doing a couple features to tide you guys over before I go back to working on the book again. Have to get the first arc edited so I have something to show people, and then it will be back to working on the second and final arc of the book. Has been a really rewarding and challenging experience so far.

    It is honestly ridiculous how easy timeline writing feels compared to writing on my book, I just need to know what I want to write about and it just flows out through the keyboard, whereas with my book each word needs careful consideration, which care given to pace, density, flow, wordiness, specificity and a ton else. It is more rewarding, but honestly feels great to just be able to write a bit on the timeline again without having to put quite as much word-by-word focus on things.

    Alright, that is it. I really, really hope you enjoyed this feature and found the content interesting.

    I also want to thank @Sardar , @Nerdman3000 and @felipe vieira777 for nominating the timeline for a Turtledove.

    Oh, and by the way, the title of this section "Der Er Et Yndigt Land" is the title of the Danish national song and roughly translates as "There is a Beautiful Country".
    Feature: Scandinavia - Norway
  • Feature: Scandinavia - Norway


    King Haakon VII is sworn in as King of Norway at the Norwegian Storting

    The Neutral Ally​

    Norway had been subordinated to its neighbors for more than half a millennium. First under the rule of the Danish Kings and then, following the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Norway had found itself under the Swedish yoke. Thus, the declaration of Unionsoppløsning - Dissolution of the Union with Sweden - was to prove one of the most defining moments in the country's history. Following months of tensions and the near-breakout of war between Norway and its erstwhile master, the Swedes eventually gave way, recognizing Norway's independence once it became clear the vast majority of the population was pro-independence. It thereby came to follow that Prince Carl of Denmark ascended to the throne as King Haakon VII, marking not just the country's independence but also the beginnings of Norway's Constitutional Monarchy (1).

    With independence came control over Norway's own natural resources, its economy and its trade, all of which had been under significant Swedish influence up until then. One major consequence of this had been that Norway's industrial development had been exceptionally slow and unimpactful in the period prior to independence, as mercantile Swedish economic and trade policies severely hampered economic progress. However, with its fetters loosened, Norway was soon to embark upon one of the most explosive courses of industrial development of the period. The already substantial Norwegian fishing and trade flotilla motorized at an exceptional pace as industrial development exploded in cities such as Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and Kongsberg, but perhaps the most significant development of this period was the massive rise of hydropower in Norway (1).

    It would be this matter, control of the so-called "White Coal" of Norway, which was to prove the dominant political struggle of the pre-Great War years. Major new technological breakthroughs within the development of hydro-electric technology had made many aware of the potential financial gains that could be made from the establishment of hydro-electric power plants and entrepreneurial Norwegians had increasingly sought to exploit that resource for personal profit. This led to the rapid rise of what came to be known as "Fossespekulanter" - hydropower speculators who sought to buy up water rights for sale to foreign investors. More than three-quarters of all Norwegian waterfalls were already foreign-owned by 1906, with particularly Swedish financiers playing a major role, to considerable public outrage. As the industry was both capital-intensive and research driven, the potential for Norway developing the industry without foreign backing seemed unlikely, but the prospect of all these Norwegian resources in foreign hands provoked considerable political debate and disagreement (2).

    With Independence, the Norwegian government sought to deal with the challenge by implementing a series of provisional laws starting in 1906 which aimed to establish a system of concessions which would allow foreigners and corporations to purchase the development rights for a period of time, whereafter it would revert to the state free of charge, with no other form of compensation to the owners. In 1907 efforts were made to enshrine the Concession Laws into permanent legislation, which unleashed a series of bitterly contentious political debates which would ultimately last until 1917. During this period questions of whether or not to give preferential treatment to Norwegian companies, whether the law was an unconstitutional encroachment on private ownership, whether the municipality or national government should be the party the ownership reverted to and what role the state should play in ownership of natural resources all created fierce debate. Ultimately a limit of 60 years was imposed on concessions before they reverted to the state, with obligatory control falling to the municipalities, and the direct economic benefits to be split between the municipalities and the state through licensing fees. Additionally, undertakings which were at least two-thirds publicly-owned were permitted concessions in perpetuity. This was to prove a popular model which would in time spread to other Norwegian natural resource deposits (2).

    When Norway secured its independence, there were questions regarding whether the young nation should involve itself in the European alliance systems or seek to maintain a neutral position in the tense geopolitical climate of the early 20th century. While Norway was able to secure Great Power acceptance of neutrality, the position held by most leading Norwegian politicians, they still remained fearful of Russian ambitions in the far north and sought to ward against it by developing economic and diplomatic ties to Great Britain. At the time Norway possessed one of the largest merchant fleets in the world and the country consumed immense amounts of imported oil, coal and steel to not just build and operate the merchant marine, but their booming industrial development as well. With the outbreak of the Great War, Norwegian neutrality found itself under pressure almost immediately (3).

    At the start of the Great War, Norway traded immense amounts of fish, cooper ore, nickel and pyrite to the Germans and British alike, much to the displeasure of the British government which wished to starve the German war machine of these critical resources. To that end, the Entente began to place intense diplomatic pressure on the Norwegian government, refusing any compromise agreement proposed by the Norwegians. Finally, on Christmas Eve of 1916, the British government issued an ultimatum that all coal exports would cease unless Norwegian trade with Germany was halted. Finally pinned down and forced to make a decision, the Norwegians threw their lot in with the British and abandoned trade with Germany - which would subsequently make them a major target of the German U-Boat campaign. Economic circumstances in Norway worsened significantly late in the war and anti-German sentiment rose to a fever pitch as the number of dead merchant sailors soared under the campaign. While Norway would remain outside the war till its end, they nevertheless turned firmly in favor of the Entente - coming to be known in Britain as their "Neutral Ally" (3).

    In contrast to its neighbors, whose industrial development was a long and slow process, in Norway the process of industrialization it was a far, far more explosive process. From a near stand-still, Norway grew into a firmly industrializing economy in barely 15 years. This speed pace of industrialization, while bringing immense economic muscle to the young nation, also had the effect of sending massive shocks through Norwegian society. One major consequence of this was the significantly more radical nature of the Norwegian labor movement when compared to Sweden or Denmark. Under the pressures of the Great War and news of the Russian Revolution this radicalization only increased its pace, culminating in the coordinated takeover of the Labor Party (Arbeiderpartiet) under the leadership of Kyrre Greppe and the incredibly charismatic Martin Tranmæl. Coming out of the youth unions, these radicals played a key role in raising the revolutionary spirit across Norway even as King Haakon departed for the Copenhagen Conference. With the cost of living higher than ever, the predominantly left-wing press in support, and the emergence of Worker's Councils in the model of the Russian soviets in many industrial cities, the framework for what would prove to be one of the most bellicose labor movements in Europe had been set (4).

    Without the example set by the Muscovites in Russia of a united and unified left-wing, this incipient labor reformation might well have splintered into a thousand pieces, but instead this was to mark the start of the Norwegian Arbeiderparti's rise on a truly massive scale. Uniting Syndicalists, Marxists, Socialists, Anarchists and even a good part of the moderate left in the party, Arbeiderpartiet took an iron grip on the political left and set to making their political influence felt on the Norwegian landscape. Labor unrest and strikes, which had already been common, exploded across all of Norway in 1919. From the mine and timber mills in the countryside to the factories of the cities regularly declared strikes, repeatedly hammering the business elite. Under pressure and frustrated, Prime Minister Gunnar Knudsen of the Liberal Party (Venstre) made a series of concessions to labor in 1919 and 1920 which served to temporarily alleviate the pressure from the left, but this was to prove to have dire consequences for his leadership and his party, who lost more than half their seats in Stortinget in the 1921 elections (4).


    Leadership of Arbeiderpartiet on excursion in the early 1920s​

    While Arbeiderpartiet exploded into the center of Norwegian politics, a secondary movement was rising to prominence in its shadow. In 1896 the first Norwegian Farmers' Association was founded with the aim of representing the interests of the small-holding farmers who made up the majority of the rural population, influencing politics and creating alliances between representatives of both of the two ruling parties - Høyre (Right) and Venstre (Left). By the late 1910s the farmer's association had grown into one of the best organized and most powerful interest representation organizations in Norway. However, the failure of the farmers' association to make its issues central to either of the ruling parties, and the spate of political concessions given to the industrial classes provoked intense dissatisfactions among the association's membership. At a meeting of the association in 1920 the decision was made to unite agrarian political interests in a political party under the leadership of Johan E. Mellbye, a former Høyre minister. The new Peasants' Party (Bondepartiet) made an immediate impact, securing 15% of the vote and 21 seats in Stortinget in the 1921 elections. Championing agrarian rights, decentralization, lower taxes and greater economic protectionism, Bondepartiet clashed both with the traditional Høyre and Venstre over the current course of economic liberalism, and with Arbeiderpartiet over the scale of benefits given to industrial workers (5).

    1921 very nearly brought Arbeiderpartiet to power in Norway to the shock and horror of the Liberals and Conservatives who had dominated politics till this point. In a sudden and sharp break with their past antagonism, Høyre and Venstre established a coalition government. Leadership of the coalition would pass to Otto B. Halvorsen, the leader of Høyre, but his sudden death in 1923 was to prove a crucial turning point as it threw leadership of the coalition into the air. While the relationship between Høyre and Venstre had been contentious during his time in leadership, Halvorsen's death created an additional crisis within Høyre between their more left-wing members who rallied around Abraham Berge and the mainstream of the party who wished to draft Ivar Lykke, the reluctant party leader of Høyre who had hoped to let Berge take the top seat in his stead. While Berge was a man liked by many in the party, and Lykke made it clear he had little wish for the seat as prime minister, the tensions with Venstre and rising threat of both Arbeiderpartiet and Bondepartiet eventually led the coalition members to pressure Ivar Lykke to take leadership - viewing him as the only one capable of challenging the charismatic leaders of Arbeiderpartiet. Thus it was that Ivar Lykke became Prime Minister of Norway in 1923 (6).

    The following three years, until 1926, were to prove critical in Norway's political fortunes. The starting shot of the tumultuous period that followed would prove to be the sudden death of Kyrre Grepp and his replacement as leader by the more energetic, charismatic and radical Martin Tranmæl. With Tranmæl's blessing the Norwegian labor movement began a concerted campaign of labor agitation dominated foremost by the mining and timber industries. The instigating event behind the first major strike was the Norwegian Employer's Association's decision to reduce wage levels for ironworkers by 5% on the basis of a statistical analysis which workers believed had been manipulated. In Oslo and Frederikstad ironworkers began spontaneous work stoppages which were eventually deemed illegal strikes by the courts in November of 1923. While the national union and labor organization initially seemed inclined to take note of the verdict, local action committees and workers' councils refused to comply and the wildcat strike rapidly grew in scale, spreading and leading to sympathy strikes in the transport industry and paper workers union. Strikebreakers were put to work and the police were deployed against leaders of the strike, but this only served to heighten tensions and by February the employers had turned to a lockout in retaliation, with almost 60,000 workers impacted. Questions of whether to support the wildcat strikers gripped Arbeiderpartiet, but convinced by the early victories, Tranmæl gave his full support and the party was soon deeply enmeshed in the conflict (7).

    Sympathy strikes spread through southern Norway, with the dockworkers in Bergen joining by May of 1924, which brought one of the largest ports in Europe to a near stand-still. This proved a step too far for the Employers' Association and they were finally forced back to the table, where a series of negotiations eventually saw wages increased by 10% alongside a host of new benefits granted to the ironworkers. It was one of the largest and most successful strikes in Europe at the time and served to further galvanize the left, who were eager to replicate their success (7).

    For the Norwegian Employers and their allies it proved a grueling and frightening development which greatly increased antipathy towards the left. It was at this time efforts began to draw the still surging Bondeparti into what was increasingly becoming an anti-Arbeiderparti governmental coalition. Jumping at the opportunity to influence policy, Johan Mellbye accepted the offer in return for a series of major agrarian reforms, including significant governmental subsidies to troubled farms and greater local autonomy for rural municipalities. However, with the spate of concessions to both the left-wing and agrarian association, the Norwegian budget deficit had ballooned considerably. However, despite general agreement that a comprehensive austerity policy was becoming necessary in Stortinget, even small savings proposals were repeatedly voted down and Lykke's government was faced with several defeats in their budget policies. Eventually Ivar Lykke turned to the one area where he might be able to generate tax revenues. It was time to bring Norway's prohibition to an end (8).

    A relatively recent development, the Norwegian alcohol prohibition had started as a temporary measure in 1916, before expanding massively to cover almost all alcohol sorts at all times of the year by 1918. Even at the time of its implementation the ban had been controversial, and Lykke now turned to its abolition as a source of revenue. Before the prohibition, sales of alcohol had been done through municipally-sanctioned vendors, but Lykke now sought to make this lucrative market a state-owned monopoly - a process imitating a similar approach taken in Sweden which soon helped alleviate some of the strain on the state budget. However, the sudden and drastic shift from prohibition to state monopoly provoked intense acrimony and opposition, not just from the prohibitionists, but also from the municipal level which felt they had been robbed of a key tax income. Lykke's government would seek to stave off the critique, but ultimately fell when Bondepartiet withdrew their support for the government, setting the stage for the elections of 1926 (8).


    Martin Tranmæl​

    If the years under Lykke were marked by conflict and failed efforts at restraining the rise of the left-wing, then the 1926 elections could be considered the ultimate victory of the Left. In a landslide election, Arbeiderpartiet swept to victory with a full 68 seats in Stortinget in one of the greatest electoral victory in Norwegian history. Not since independence had a party enjoyed such a margin of victory, but even so it proved insufficient to secure a complete majority - lacking 8 mandates (9).

    While the opposition parties scrambled to unite every other political party in a united anti-Arbeiderparti coalition to keep them from power, this united front would crumble under Tranmæl's political maneuvering, culminating in his wooing of Radikale Folkeparti - a party whose support had rested primarily on small-scale farmers and landless agricultural laborers who were marginalized within Bondepartiet. While the party had been in steady decline since the mid-1910s, its fortunes had begun to shift with the rise of Bondepartiet, as a competitor and counterpart willing to challenge the super dominance of Bondepartiet in the rural regions. Norway would have its first Leftist government (9).

    While Arbeiderpartiet's victory was the most significant development of the 1926 elections, it proved a key turning point for other parties as well. Venstre, which had been in steady decline, experienced a final bitter collapse and was reduced to little more than a subordinate party of Høyre, with the two parties merging in 1928, while Bondepartiet experienced massive gains, rising to become the third largest political party in Norway after Arbeiderpartiet and Høyre (9).

    The ascension of Arbeiderpartiet to government very nearly came to an end before it had even begun with the Central Bank governor Nicolai Rygg's statement of skepticism regarding the government's ability to deal with the pressures of government. A vote of no-confidence was raised against Tranmæl already on the fourth day of government and intense pressure was placed upon Radikale Folkeparti to end their support of the government. An effort was made to secure King Haakon's support for refusing Tranmæl his seat as Prime Minister, but ultimately both efforts failed. Radikale Folkeparti was able to secure support for the establishment of a union for landless agricultural workers and King Haakon responded to the demands of the right by stating "Jeg er også kommunisternes konge" - I am also the King of the Communists. With all challenges to his rule thus defeated, Tranmæl was finally able to take leadership of Norway as the country's first left-wing Prime Minister (10).

    The new government was swift to begin their reforms. While Norway possessed an active trade economy, the country itself was struggling with significant levels of unemployment and the state was mired in considerable debts and loans taken out to build up the state in recent decades. Highly dependent upon foreign trade, the economic troubles internationally in the first half of the decade had caused considerable havoc, with nearly a quarter of all Norwegian banks bankrupted and near-constant labor conflicts provoking repeated crisis. However, with Arbeiderpartiet in power, efforts were soon made to manage the labor market. In a bid to end the conflicts between workers and employers, the government set out an ambitious new agenda which aimed to secure part-ownership of any enterprise by its workers, with some more radical members even considering wholesale nationalization. However, well aware of the tenuous political balance and the widespread fear on the left, Tranmæl was able to calm his compatriots. More efforts followed - workers' compensation, unemployment compensation and a pension scheme were but some of the initiatives brought under way in the latter half of the decade (11).

    Despite the budgetary deficit which just kept growing, Arbeiderpartiet were able to significantly improve the quality of life for the working class. Norway would prove among the earliest states to recognize the Soviet Republic and built strong diplomatic ties with their government, initiating trade through the arctic in an effort to build on these ties. At the same time Norwegian sailors became a regular presence in Red Italy, able to travel and trade in places and with products it was otherwise difficult for the Italians to secure given the antipathy of their neighbors. However, while these ties were welcome, it would be the ascension of the Labor Party in Great Britain which really changed things for Arbeiderpartiet. With British relations improving significantly in this period, the Norwegian government was able to secure significant debt relief and debt restructuring, alongside further loans, which provided financial relief exactly when it was most welcome (11).

    Tranmæl would secure re-election in 1929 and 1931, on the back of these successes, greatly expanding the state bureaucracy and working towards increased control over the hydroelectrical industry. Efforts were even made to reformulate the concession laws following the last of these elections, but the matter proved deeply controversial and threatened to reignite the bitter political struggle of the early 1910s. With the matter still in limbo, the Two Rivers Crisis and resultant political turmoil in Britain broke up any consideration of the matter. Arbeiderpartiet suddenly found its ready source of funding cut off and the state deficit rapidly began to balloon out of control. Under increasingly harsh scrutiny and fierce denunciations in Stortinget, Arbeiderpartiet's leadership of the country was questioned and finally, in early 1934, Radikale Folkeparti broke with their coalition partners and brought down the government (11).

    During these years, Bondepartiet had found itself increasingly gravitating towards a more nationalistic and socially conservative ideological position, as a reaction to the social liberalism of Arbeiderpartiet and the peasantry's belief that they had been on the losing end for far too long. Inspired in part by the Danish compromise between pro-agrarian policies and social welfare, and on the other by the state interventionism of the Integralist movement, Bondepartiet began to campaign on a much more moralistic base - believing that Arbeiderpartiet had been sacrificing the moral, physical and mental welfare of the Norwegian people as a whole to pander to their base and engage in ideologically motivated foreign policies which failed to protect Norwegian interests. Høyre, while somewhat uncomfortable with the interventionism and overt nationalism of Bondepartiet under its new leader, the young and charismatic Jon Leirfall - who had emerged from a morass of infighting and partisanship over the leadership and direction of the party, still continued to view them as a better alternative than Arbeiderpartiet. Although, as the years passed and Bondepartiet distanced itself ever further from Høyre ideologically, this preference came ever further into question (12).

    Tranmæl's government falling in 1934 led to the calling of new elections which were to once again provide something of a sea change in Norwegian politics. Following a decade-long stranglehold on Norwegian politics, Arbeiderpartiet fell to some 50 mandates, still the largest party in Stortinget but far from sufficient to form a government alone or with a minor partner. By contrast Høyre and Bondepartiet won major gains, with Bondepartiet in particular securing 48 mandates and passing Høyre to become the second largest party in Norway. However, when the question of forming a government arose, trouble immediately followed. Høyre, as the oldest and most established party in Norway, wished to lead any potential governmental coalition with Bondepartiet, and blankly refused to accept Leirfall as Prime Minister over one of their own. Additionally, they proved highly resistant to any notion of state interventionism of the sort advocated by Bondepartiet. Angered by their erstwhile partners' intransigence, Bondepartiet in turn refused to subordinate themselves to Høyre and tried to establish themselves as a minority government. For much of 1934, Norway stood without an actual government, as negotiations for some sort of coalition between any of the three major parties were attempted, before frustration at the situation saw a new round of elections in November of 1934 (12).

    The November elections would fail to provide any real answers, with the only major shift being the collapse of Radikale Folkeparti from 14 mandates to 6, with the seats split predominantly between Arbeiderpartiet and Bondepartiet, thus furthering the distance to Høyre. However, seeing the writing on the wall, Høyre's leadership finally gave way following another two months of negotiations and announced their support for Bondepartiet and Leirfall. However, this was done under a number of immensely important concessions - most significantly an agreement on a series of major spending cuts and austerity measures which would hopefully help resolve the massive financial deficit produced under Tranmæl's government - with the ministries of finance, industry and governorship of the National Bank all passed to Høyre-aligned fiscal conservatives eager to begin slashing away at the bloated state bureaucracy. Norway's government had changed, but the years of Arbeiderparti government had left an indelible influence on the Norwegian state and pushed the political spectrum as a whole further left-ward than almost any other North-or-West European nation outside Red Italy (12).

    (1) All of this is OTL. Norway is honestly a pretty fascinating country compared to its two other Scandinavian neighbors, in that it only got independence in the early 20th century. Until then it had been under either Danish or Swedish rule since the Kalmar Union. The Norwegians have done all sorts of things to distance themselves from Denmark in particular since then - including renaming their capital from Christiania to Oslo (well, Oslo was once the heart of the capital, but by the time of renaming it was a suburb to Christiania - which was named after King Christian IV of Denmark).

    (2) I found the White Coal struggle and development of concessions a rather fascinating development which I had never really considered all that carefully. While the 60 year concessions seem long, they would have come to an end in the 1960s-1980s. It helps to explain why Norway is one of the most economically robust countries in Europe.

    (3) Still all just OTL running up through to the end of the Great War. It is only after this we will get the actual butterflies. What is worth noting here is that with the war dragging on that bit longer, the losses of the merchant marine is that bit worse and the economic hardships that bit harsher. It is not a particularly happy period in Norwegian history.

    (4) So this is where the first big butterflies strike Norway. IOTL the radical wing of Arbeiderpartiet were also able to take over the party in 1918, but without the far more unifying and welcoming Muscovite line, the result was that the incredibly powerful Norwegian labor movement split into rival political factions and became engulfed in an absolutely brutal party civil war which only really came to an end with the reunification of the party in 1927 after a series of massive disappointments for the radicals in the party. In contrast to almost every other Labor/Social Democratic party in Europe, in Norway it was not the moderates or right-wing of the party who were able to expel their radical partners from power, but rather the moderates who ended up getting booted from the largest left-wing party in the country. Everything was present for the Norwegian Labor Movement to really take off in a revolutionary direction - except for their lack of internal unity. That is what changes here. Instead of fracturing, the Norwegian left unites behind the radicals, who welcome in all the disparate groups of leftists who IOTL ended up fighting with them, growing into a true monster of a party. The labor unrest that follows happened IOTL as well, but at a significantly smaller scale and far less unified or coordinated. Venstre (and yes, it is pronounced and written the exact same way in Denmark and Norway) experience an even greater electoral route ITTL as they find themselves outmatched on the left while disliked by the right for their concessions. Despite having been the ruling party for the past decade, Venstre now enters a period of significant decline.

    (5) Bondepartiet is an OTL development, but whereas IOTL Bondepartiet ended up affiliated and allied with Arbeiderpartiet, here they end up in conflict. The main reason behind this change is that with its greater size, unity and influence, Arbeiderpartiet has been able to get more of what it wants early without having to make concessions to potential allies and as such are far less willing to give up parts of their own program to draw the farmers into alignment behind them. On Bondepartiet's side, they see the many concessions secured by Arbeiderpartiet and on one hand are inspired by the power of class unity for benefits and on the other hand are jealous and angry that so many benefits are going their way just as Norwegian agriculture enters a period of economic troubles.

    (6) IOTL the balance of power favored Høyre more and the left-wing of the party was represented as a separate party (known as Free-Spirited Left) with Berge as leader. Lykke was as reluctant there as he is ITTL, and was able to talk his way out of leadership until 1926. He was apparently extremely critical of his own political capabilities and basically had to be forced into leadership positions, but once in position he did really good work for the most part. Here the changes (most importantly Venstre's weakened nature and the fact that Free-Spirited Left hasn't been formed) mean that there is more of an impetus for the coalition members to push Lykke to take leadership.

    (7) I have used Jernstrejken of OTL as inspiration for this strike, with the strike growing significantly larger and with the entire left-wing uniting behind it. IOTL the left was already split between Arbeiderpartiet and the Communists, who feuded and fought over how to deal with the strike, with the end point being a 5% wage increase, which was seen as a major failure. Here it is nearly doubled and there are numerous additional benefits which the left-wing wins for their supporters.

    (8) I am mixing and matching events and attempted measures from OTL here. Lykke tried to build an alliance with Bondepartiet unsuccessfully (his party was unwilling to make the requisite concessions) but here they make the necessary sacrifices under the threat of the united and radical left wing. It was Berge's efforts at abolishing prohibition which brought him down IOTL, which here ends up being more successful under Lykke - though in the end he has to go as well. It is the same for the budget deficit, that happened IOTL as well, but here the added concessions make it an even greater crisis. Same with Stortinget's agreement that austerity was needed, but no one being willing to actually deal with the problem.

    (9) I am probably overestimating the degree of support Arbeiderpartiet could generate, but with everything that has happened up to this point, combined with the party's unity, series of labor victories and a highly charismatic leader I do think this isn't too far out of the range of the plausible. I have significantly strengthened Radikale Folkeparti in contrast to OTL which I will put down to butterflies in the development of the agrarian political sphere. Instead of going into terminal decline, the party is able to revive some of its fortunes by turning into a more left-wing alternative to Bondepartiet. I bring Venstre to an end here in Norway, which is a major departure, but with the way the politics have been playing out I don't see how Venstre avoids being outcompeted from the left by Arbeiderpartiet and the right by Høyre.

    (10) King Haakon's statement that "I am also king of the communists" is entirely OTL and was stated in response to the first Arbeiderparti government under Christopher Hornsrud. The other efforts mentioned are also similar to what happened IOTL. However, where ITTL the left is able to hold on to power, IOTL the effort proved successful and Arbeiderpartiet fell from power within a month. It remains the shortest government in Norwegian history.

    (11) Sorry that this is so vague, but I have had a hell of a time finding out what the principle political matters of this period were. I have Arbeiderpartiet continue to work within the system (ITTL the Communists don't have the same pressure to adopt revolutionary rhetoric as IOTL given the changes to the Soviets) and implement a series of reforms which, while radical, are still reasonable and are insufficient to send everything into a tizzy. The economic troubles in Norway are based on similar developments IOTL (by 1932 40% of Norwegian state revenues were going to interest payments and installments on debts and loans) but are exacerbated by Arbeiderpartiet's reckless spending in this period. It does prove popular at the time, but the coming governments are going to have a hell of headache to deal with.

    (12) And so we bring the era of Arbeiderparti dominance to a close at least for the time being. Bondepartiet is this peculiar mix of National Socialist economic policies, Socially Conservative cultural policies, Nordic Welfare and overtly Nationalist foreign policy, with a ton of agrarian special interests as the foundation. However, rather than give them free reign, I thought the dynamic of them forced into an unhappy partnership with Høyre, who are far more classically conservative, non-interventionist and hide-bound, would make for a fun if not necessarily super effective government to close out on. As I mention at the close, it is important to note that all of Norwegian politics has been pushed much further to the left than any of their counterparts, so even though Høyre are the Norwegian Conservative Party their actual policies are probably more left-wing than even Radikale Venstre from Denmark, with the rest of the political spectrum shifted accordingly.

    End Note:

    With that we get done with Norway. It has honestly been pretty fun to dig into the differences and similarities between the Nordic countries in this period - all of them eventually got to very similar-looking welfare state models IOTL, but they did so from very different directions. Here I had a lot of fun playing around with Arbeiderpartiet and the greater left-wing radicalism of Norway compared to its neighbors. I really hope you guys enjoyed the developments!

    The relationship between written Danish and Norwegian (Bokmål) is honestly a bit funny. As a Dane I can read it without any trouble, basically understanding almost every word written. Essentially Norwegian is written exactly as it is spoken, which leaves it looking a bit weird to danish eyes but imminently understandable. By contrast Danish is filled with silent letters, vowels which can be pronounced in a total of 20 different ways, all of which change the meaning of the word. Frankly, Danish is a ridiculously difficult language to grasp as a foreigner for those two reasons, whereas I would expect Norwegian to be that much easier to understand. Of course, that is without getting into Nynorsk, which was the Norwegian attempt at creating a language more distinct from Danish. They succeeded in that (feel like I am looking at fucking Icelandic at times with Nynorsk) but it never really caught on (10-15% of the population speak it as their official language) which has at least been immensely helpful in researching this update.

    I would also like to ask all of you if you have any topics you would be interested in me covering in a feature. I won't be covering stuff past 1939 for now - I would need to take time and energy to figure out how I am going to have everything play out moving forward, but most other subjects should be game. I am limited in what I can research myself to knowledge about and niches I can get a proper understanding of though, so while you can be esoteric, bear that in mind.

    This feature ended up coming about a lot quicker than I had anticipated, but as mentioned I don't want to make any promises on any real regularity with this. I am writing these when I want to clear my head a bit, but I do have a ton of other stuff I want to be writing on as well.
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    Feature: Scandinavia - Sweden
  • Feature: Scandinavia - Sweden


    King Gustaf V of Sweden

    Paranoia in the North​

    In contrast to Norway, and to an extent Denmark, Sweden had been undergoing significant industrial development since the 1870s, initially oriented towards international markets but increasingly with an additional eye towards the growing demands of the increasingly prosperous home market. Sweden saw the development of railroads already in the 1860s, and was an eager adopter of the railroad, such that by the 1900s the country had by and large been tied together, with only the Inland Line connecting the central parts of northern Sweden still under development. Swedish industrial development centered predominantly on large and highly international corporations, tied inextricably to the global markets and prominent feature players in European economic landscape. The early 20th century would see the further rise of a string of broad export-oriented engineering corporations such as the telecommunications company Stockholms Allmänna Telefonaktiebolag, later to be known by its founder's name of Ericsson, the electrical company ASEA, the engineering company AB Separator, the ball bearing corporation SKF or the automobile company Volvo (1).

    The pre-Great War period more generally was marked by remarkable economic, political and social progress, with an extension of the franchise to universal manhood suffrage and proportional representation in both houses of government achieved by 1907 alongside an extensive series of social reforms, a massive improvement in health, fueled in part by the introduction of compulsory gymnastics in Swedish schools in 1880, and a remarkable degree of political stability and coalition rule. This period would also see a significant strengthening of the Swedish Army in response to growing international tensions and the adoption of increasingly protectionist trade policies in an effort to protect the powerful small-holder population of Sweden. During the early 20th century, the sympathies of the Swedish monarchy and military were widely believed to rest with the Germans, partly for cultural reasons and partially out of fear of the Russian Empire. It came so far that in 1904, during the Russo-Japanese War, King Oscar II of Sweden even considered an offensive alliance with the Ottomans to exploit the situation, and in 1910 the general staffs of Germany and Sweden met in secret to discuss plans for a joint offensive against Saint Petersburg, although this meeting ended without a binding agreement. This affinity with Germany extended into the ranks of the social-democratic politicians, with many viewing Germany's social security system, industrial and scientific achievements and the German left-wing ideologues as inspirational. However, as the Great War neared, Sweden found itself not under the control of its Germanophile left-wing or monarchist elements, but rather under the pacifist and pro-neutral Liberals of Karl Staaf (2).

    In the immediate leadup to the great war, the liberal government of Karl Staff tried to reduce military spending and attempted the cancellation of an order for coastal defence ships. In response, more than 30,000 Swedish farmers descended on Stockholm to protest the matter. In response to the protests, King Gustaf V gave a speech prepared by the pro-German explorer Sven Hedin in the courtyard of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, sympathizing with the peasants' cause and arguing for higher military spending. This speech prompted intense recriminations and a constitutional crisis over the crown's involvement in governmental affairs, as the liberal government sought to silence the monarch. However, King Gustaf refused to back down and continued to hammer the importance of defense spending, culminating in Karl Staff and his government's resignation in protest. This played well into the hands of the King, who soon championed the ascension of a conservative government under Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, just in time for the July Crisis and subsequent Great War (3).

    While strongly pro-German at the start of the war, Sweden continued to maintain the neutrality it had professed since the Vienna Congress and remained outside the war. In early 1915, Arthur Zimmermann, Undersecretary of State at the German Foreign Ministry at the time, approached Hammarskjöld while he was on a visit in Berlin with an offer of forming a "Nordic Block" under Swedish leadership in return for a Swedish-German alliance. While this offer was rebuffed, Zimmermann soon followed up with an offer of a renewed Swedish Empire including Finland and the Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire. However, while King Gustaf expressed his interest, the matter was largely frowned upon by the political leadership. Successive efforts at recruiting Sweden for the German war effort would follow throughout the year, both from a royalist and leftist approach without success. Notably this period saw Swedish exports to Germany massively expand, including numerous critical military resources which did wonders for the German ability to resist the ongoing Entente blockade. Sweden would even give the Germans use of their diplomatic communications pathways, allowing the Germans to communicate with their embassies around the world. While the Germans attempted to pressure the Swedes into mining their side of the Danish straits at the start of the war, as they had with the Danes, this efforts ultimately failed in the face of stiff Swedish opposition and the Germans relented in return for a promise that Swedish lighthouses in the Øresund would be switched off and markers showing the way through the channel would be removed if the Royal Navy entered the Sound. However, following a series of British infiltrations of the Baltic which successfully sank German merchant shipping and an armored cruiser, the Germans renewed their pressure on the Swedes, ultimately leading to the mining of the Kogrund Channel though the Øresund straits in late July 1916 (4).

    The mining of the channel drew sharp criticism from the Entente, but despite this both Germany and Britain remained highly reliant on Swedish iron ore for their military needs - the British importing a total of 5-600,000 tons annually during the war, when the entire British national stock of iron ore in June of 1916 had reached 253,000 tons. Both Britain and Germany needed Swedish iron to forge their arms of war. Nevertheless, Sweden found itself increasingly pressured by the food shortages caused by the Allied blockade on imports and, when combined with a poor 1916 harvest, the Swedish government began to ration bread, sugar and flour in early 1917. With the American entry into the war, the ability of the Swedes to dictate the terms of their trade shrank as American coal and steel began to fill the gap, and the Allies were now able to present a request to the Swedes for a reduction in iron ore exports to Germany in return for increased food supplies from the Germans. Despite the food shortages, however, Hammarskjöld remained resistant to such an agreement, fearing that the Germans would see such a matter as them favoring the Allies. Greatly angered, the Allies strengthened the blockade further in an attempt to force the Swedes into compliance with their blockade, even as Swedish ships found themselves increasingly in the sights of German U-boats for their British trade (4).

    As the situation worsened and Hammarskjöld remained steadfast in his refusal to cooperate with the Entente, his own allies in the Swedish parliament began to turn against him. In early 1917 this would culminate in public protests over food shortages, the failure of the Riksdag to approve increased defence spending and a revolt from Hammarskjöld's own supporters, forcing Hammarskjöld's resignation. To succeed him, King Gustaf turned to the conservative Ernst Trygger to form a government, but when he failed to find sufficient backing in the Riksdag, it became the turn of the equally conservative Carl Swartz to make his go at leadership by March of 1917. However, Swartz was equally unable to handle the situation, which rapidly escalated in response to harsh policing of the "hunger marches", even as the food situation in Sweden worsened and the government was forced to extend rationing to include even potatoes. As order began to break down, the conflict neared its climax in early June of 1917 when 20,000 people assembled near the Riksdag in Stockholm to hear Carl Swartz reply to Hjalmar Branting's demand for universal suffrage and constitutional reform were dispersed by mounted police. However, Swartz's actions would prove a step too much and in the September elections of that year he would find himself unseated in favor of the Liberal government of Nils Edén. With Social Democratic backing, Edén pressed forward with the demands for reform, including the 9-hour work day, improved living conditions, social reforms and an acquiescence to the Entente's demands for a significant reduction in trade with the Germans, to the open outrage of King Gustaf and the conservatives (4).

    The turn against the Germans could hardly have come at a worse time, as the German U-boats increased their activity in the North Sea, reaping large numbers of Swedish merchant ships in the process, even as the Finns began to break away from their Russian overlords. With the Germans peeved at the Swedish "betrayal" and the war seeming to turn in their favor in the east, the Germans threw their full support behind the claims from Finnish Whites, that the Åland Islands rightly belonged to the Grand Duchy of Finland and aided in the transfer of White Finn troops to the island, where they expelled the Russian garrison following a short standoff. Outraged at the occupation of the islands by German and Finn forces, the Swedish government lodged protests with the government in Berlin while Gustaf publicly blamed the new Edén government for their failure to capitalize on the situation. When the young state of Finland subsequently collapsed into civil war between White and Red factions, the official Swedish aid to the Whites proved extremely limited as a result, although a significant contingent of Swedes did volunteer for service with the White forces under the direction of the Finland Vänner organization. Most significant of these volunteers would be the historian Olof Palme, who would subsequently publish a deeply scathing history of the war, in which he lambasted the Liberal government's failure to aid their Finnish cousins (5).


    First of May Protests in 1917​

    The cumulative failures of the liberal government, first turning against the Germans, then failing to secure the Åland Islands and finally their unwillingness to actively aid the White Finn effort in that country's civil war were to send shockwaves through Swedish politics and enliven the conservative opposition. At the same time, Hjalmar Branting, who lead the Swedish Social Democratic Party and had provided backing for Nils Edén's Liberal government grew hesitant at the prospect of being dragged into the same political mire as the Liberals. This breach came at a deeply inopportune moment, for Branting and Edén had been working towards securing a firm end to royal power in Sweden and a transition to full parliamentary democracy under universal suffrage. Thus Sweden found itself in the grip of two simultaneous but fundamentally opposed forces. Reform and Reaction (6).

    While 1918 was marked foremost by the Russian unravelling and the failures of Finnish adventure, by the end of the year the government had turned its attentions fully towards securing universal suffrage. A key factor in this was undoubtedly the Russian Revolution and the galvanizing effect the events of 1917 had held for the Swedish masses, with particularly the Social Democrats pressing forward, dragging the Liberals along under threat of popular unrest. Given the already fragile political state of Sweden, and the still ongoing wartime deprivations, the fear that the Social Democrats would turn towards more radical revolutionary action impelled Edén towards concessions. By the calling of the 1919 Riksdag, all the fundamental pieces had been aligned for a radical package of political and social reforms (6).

    Firstly, the new bill would abolish the political tax line, which limited voting to tax-paying males, and extended the right to vote to women. It further reformed the system of poorhouses, poor auctions and child auctions which had long been used as a remedy to poverty in Sweden, established an 8-hour working day and reduced the training time of conscripts. All of these efforts ultimately passed with the backing of the Social Democrats, Liberals and a couple minor parties. A major reshuffling of the ministerial structures followed while school boards were formed uniting all educational institutions below the university level and a new sliding tax scale on income and wealth tax adjusted yearly was introduced. There was, however, one major area which the right-wing had succeeded in stemming the reformers on. Control over Sweden's foreign policy had largely been kept in the hands of royal appointees during the preceding decade, and at this point the reformers had attempted to end this last major bastion of royal power. However, with the successive foreign policy failures of the government, the conservatives were able to muster a rear-guard action and ultimately retained this power in royal hands (6).

    Even as the negotiations for the end of the Great War were coming about in Copenhagen, in Sweden preparations for the first election under universal suffrage were set to begin in early 1920. On the conservative side it would be between the more moderate Arvid Lindman, who had already been a prominent figure on the right and served as prime minister once between 1906 and 1911, and the hardline conservative Ernst Trygger, who had already been sidestepped once in favor of Swartz. However, 1920 was not 1917 and Trygger found himself more than vindicated in his positions. A staunchly monarchist voice who had loudly decried the government's failures to intervene in Finland, Trygger was able to present himself as the powerful leader necessary to tackling the seeming threatened collapse of Swedish society and ultimately emerged victorious in the struggle with Lindman. With King Gustaf's full backing, Trygger set about fiercely denouncing the liberal government as little better than stooges of the Social Democrats, who he equally painted as possessing a dangerously revolutionary spirit - a conviction further strengthened by the large number of pro-Socialist voices in the party (7).

    This characterization was somewhat unfair, for the Swedish Social Democratic Party was itself bitterly split over the question of Revolutionary Socialism as promoted by the Red factions of Russia's civil war. At varying points it seemed as though the party itself was on the verge of splintering, but by the time of the 1920 elections the party remained united. Thus, entering the 1920 elections the situation looked particularly dire for the Liberals, who were increasingly seen as subordinate to the Social Democrats, while the conservative Electoral League looked set to experience significant forward progress. All that remained was whether the Conservatives would be able to match the Social Democrats, who all expected to secure the greatest margin of votes. The results were to prove a surprise nonetheless, while the Liberals lost seats and the Electoral League won them, the elections were to see a key shift in the Liberal party as Edén was toppled from leadership in favor of the former farmhand and fierce prohibitionist Carl Gustaf Ekman. Ekman had long been viewed as something amounting to a "class traitor" by the Social Democrats for his policies and when he led the Liberals into coalition with the archconservative Trygger this only seemed further proven. In return for Conservative support for prohibition, Ekman essentially turned entirely to support of the conservative government. Ernst Trygger was to be the next Prime Minister of Sweden, the first so elected under universal suffrage - a fact the Conservatives would not be slow to remind the Social Democrats of in the years that followed (7).


    Ernst Trygger, Prime Minister of Sweden from 1920 to 1933​

    Trygger's rise to power was to mark the beginnings of a period of significant political tensions within and between the political camps in Sweden. During this period each of the political parties in Sweden experienced turmoil and uncertainty in turn. The first party to find itself engulfed in an internal crisis were the Liberals, who split both over Ekman's alliance with Trygger and the issue of prohibition, which the Liberals had not even been in agreement on when Ekman announced his support for the conservative government. Divided over the issues of prohibition and political alignment with the conservatives, the party eventually broke into two with Ekman leading the "Free-Spirited People's Party" while his scattering of opponents sought unity under the Liberal Party banner, but soon they found themselves so enmeshed in internal strife that this successor party had fractured by 1922, ending any meaningful Liberal alternative to Ekman. With Ekman firmly in control and Trygger supportive of it, the Swedish government soon set to work on a slate of alcohol prohibition bills which would secure passage in late 1921 and early 1922 (8).

    For the Swedish left-wing, the rise of Trygger's government was met with intense worry and fierce resistance. Labor unrest and protests broke out with incredible regularity, at times even matching the intensity of strikes in Norway during this period, with many accusing the Social Democrats of misusing their influence on labor unions to enflame social tensions. However, in contrast to the Norwegian decision to compromise, in Sweden Trygger proved determined to face the resistance head on and over the course of the next several years he found himself pressed to the very edge of forceful suppression, though this was avoided through sheer luck and restraint on both sides - with Hjalmar Branting proving an absolutely invaluable voice in calming his Social Democratic colleagues and maintaining national order. However, this very centrality of Branting to the maintenance of peace and order was to prove short lived, for the famous old politician who had shepherded the Social Democrats to political relevance would breath his last in February of 1925, setting the stage for what would turn out to be an astonishingly vicious leadership struggle within the party. Long split between moderates, who had held the upper hand under Branting, and its radical wing, who drew inspiration from the achievements of the Communists in Moscow and the Norwegian Arbeiderparti and wanted to take a more aggressive line against the government (9).

    At the heart of this struggle were the moderate Per Albin Hansson and the radical Zeth Höglund. Hansson was very much the protégé and successor to Branting, having succeeded him as editor of Social-Demokraten and worked alongside him in the days of the suffrage reforms - while a decently well-liked politician, he was popular more for his relationship to Branting than in his own right. For Höglund it was the exact opposite. One of Sweden's most prominent anti-war activists and a prominent figure in the pre-war international socialist movement, Höglund had spent much of the war imprisoned for his anti-war endeavors and had close personal friendships with many of the leading pre-war Bolsheviks - famously having donated money to a struggling Bolshevik cause before the start of the war. Since his release from prison in 1918, Höglund had been following events in Russia closely, at times with joy, at others with horror, but always with sympathy for the Communist cause. Agitating against the Social Democratic Party's reformist policies, Zeth had built a sizable following within the party, and had become particularly popular with its younger members. At varying points he had very nearly broken with the party, but following correspondence with Bukharin and other leading Muscovite leaders he had sought to exert change from within the party, and with Branting's death he finally saw his chance to bring properly revolutionary ideals to the party (9).

    The conflict over leadership of the Social Democrats was more wide-reaching than just determining the policy alignment of the party - it was closely followed by the Trygger Government and the Swedish right-wing more generally with great interest and worry. Should Hansson win, many believed that Sweden would enter a path similar to that of Germany - the Social Democrats becoming part of and eventually dominating the political main stream through compromise and electoral weight of numbers. However, if Höglund were to take leadership many feared that he would use his sway over what was growing to be Sweden's largest party to launch a Communist Revolution, inspired by his Bolshevik comrades of yesteryear. This was a fear which saturated the right-wing of Swedish society, and became a point of considerable rhetorical weight, and a fear which began to spill into the right-wing of the Social Democrats as well. Höglund's open radicalism made him popular, yes, but it also made him feared and when the party conference to select the next Social Democratic leader came that was to prove the thrust of Hansson and his supporters' arguments. By contrast, Höglund would focus his arguments on what he called the "spinelessness" of the current Social Democratic leadership and the need to demonstrate the power of Labor in Sweden if they were to ever have a hope of improving the lives and working conditions for Sweden's laboring classes. A gifted speaker with considerable personal appeal, when Höglund was set side-by-side with the far less flamboyant Hansson, the contrast could not have been starker. Cheered by the younger ranks of the party and having swayed the body of the party, Zeth Höglund was selected to lead the party into the future to the considerable frustration of the moderate leadership, who saw themselves undercut from the left (9).

    Höglund's rise to leadership was an added weight to an already troubled Trygger Government, who found themselves increasingly worried about their geopolitical position. The latter half of the 1920s would see a growing sense of envelopment and encroachment by left-wing forces spread through Swedish society, enflaming right-wing sentiments and promoting a sense of paranoid fear of a coordinated left-wing threat from both foreign and domestic enemies. Most worrying were obviously the Soviet Republic, which had finally secured firm control of the entirety of its Russian possessions by the end of the decade with the Siberian Conquest, but the rise of Arbeiderpartiet in Norway, Stauning's Socialdemokrater in Denmark and the SPD in Germany all added to Sweden's national security fears. In response to these pressures, Trygger's government turned to their Finnish neighbors in search of allies in these dark and fearful times, with foreign minister Baron Erik Marks von Württemberg negotiating a string of diplomatic agreements with the government in Finland, culminating in the signing of a military alliance in 1931. Additional entreaties would be made to the governments of Britain and France in the Swedish search for allies with less success, before Swedish diplomats began to report back on the developments in Iberia, where Integralist states were rising to prominence. While unable to build direct ties to these states, they were to prove an intellectual inspiration for many on the Swedish right-wing, who feared the rising left-wing and felt the need for a reactionary alternative (10).

    By the start of the 1930s, various political developments and social currents were coming to a head and Trygger's long leadership of Sweden was nearing its end. During the preceding decade, a rising reactionary current had been shielded by the Prime Minister from scrutiny, and as the Swedish labor movement under Höglund grew ever more active, these efforts came into play. A key player in this was the historian-turned-professor-turned-politician Olof Palme, who had secured nation-wide fame for his participation in the Finnish Civil War and his subsequent lambasting of the Edén government. An intensely gifted writer and thinker, Palme returned to a professorship at Uppsala University and began to formulate and promulgate what would in time come to be seen as the Swedish counterpart to the Latin Integralist movement shortly after the end of his time as a volunteer in Finland - the New Sweden Movement had been born. Working in concert with young and eager students such as Per Engdahl and Bengt Petri, they developed an ideological framework based around Swedish ultra-nationalism, Integralist corporatism and fiercely anti-socialist. In time this expanded to include elements of Nordic agrarian policies, in an effort to appeal to the already receptive Peasants' Party, and overt monarchism. As a prominent public figure, Palme was able to meet and influence many prominent figures and in 1929 was able to secure election to the Riksdag as a member of the Electoral League alongside Fritiof Domö and Martin Skoglund, the former bringing industrial ties and the latter a direct connection to the peasantry. It would be this trio, Palme, Domö and Skoglund, who rapidly ascended to lead a massive and growing faction within the ruling party as events in Sweden grew ever more tense (11).

    Following Höglund's selection to lead the Social Democrats, the state of labor in Sweden had become one of near-unceasing unrest. Strikes, lockouts and protests were a nation-wide and monthly phenomenon which provoked fear and anger in conservative ranks. Fearful of what this internal enemy might do if urged on by their international allies, Lieutenant General Bror Munck began to form a volunteer free corps, known as Munckska Kåren, with the explicit purpose of protecting Sweden from a potential Communist takeover. Not only did the Munck Corps receive the tacit support of the Conservative government, but figures such as Palme and Konrad Hallgren, who were leaders of the Swedish Far-Right. Training proceeded apace and weaponry was secured from Stockholm Chief of Police Gustaf Hårleman - numbering in the hundreds of rifles, pistols and cartridges, as well as a full 40 machine guns. Underground, training and armed, the Corps remained a force hidden but ready for action should it be needed. A second major force in the events to come lay with the businessman Ivar Kreuger. A massively successful businessman of right-wing beliefs, Kreuger played a key role in financing and developing not just the Munck Corps, but various other right-wing organizations and movements in preparation for a Communist revolt. (11).

    Everything came to a head with the assassination of Prime Minister Ernst Trygger in early 1933. Gunned down by masked men as he was arriving at the Chancellery building at Mynttorget in the February darkness, the shock of the long-sitting Prime Minister's death and the disappearance of his killers could not have been greater. As word of the Prime Minister's assassination spread, horror and outrage soon followed. In the morning session at the Riksdag, Olof Palme rose and accused the Social Democrats of being responsible, while right-wing newspapers across Sweden blared that the Prime Minister had been murdered by Communists. Still struggling to determine what had happened, King Gustaf erupted with rage at the murder of his close personal friend and long-time confidant. Unsure of who could be trusted to maintain the interim government while the next Prime Minister was selected, the King ultimately settled on recalling the long-retired Arvid Lindman to take office. However, before Lindman could even arrive in Stockholm, the situation had further escalated when an ongoing strike in Södermalm turned violent and half a dozen protesters and a pair of policemen were left dead in the aftermath (12).

    Tensions ratcheted up another notch, as right-wing papers cried out that the Communists were coming, while the left-wing press screamed that it was all a cruel set-up and some papers even called for a general strike to demonstrate the power of worker solidarity in the face of right-wing tyranny, though Social Democratic party leaders hesitated from joining these calls. Nevertheless, all the Munck Corps needed to jump was the fear that action was coming under way. Called up by Lieutenant General Munck, the Free Corps emerged from hiding and rushed to secure control of key sectors of Stockholm in the early morning of the 19th of February, aided by complicit police forces and right-wing sympathizers in the government. The coup occurred with such a speed that few had even realized what was going on before they had fallen into the Munck Corps' hands. Höglund, Hansson and most of the rest of the Social Democratic leadership were caught either as they arrived at the Riksdag or still abed at home, while Olof Palme joined Lieutenant General Bror Munck in marching for the Royal Palace to present King Gustaf with their version of events and to ask for his blessing for their actions. A disorganized attempted rising by the inhabitants of Södermalm was dispersed by warning shots while another attempted protest in the Old City saw most of the participants arrested by police. As though a sudden ripple had torn across the city and then disappeared, the coup came and passed, the far-right quite abruptly in control (12).

    With Stockholm in hand, and King Gustaf giving his hesitant backing to the coup-makers, order was soon restored and control extended across the rest of Sweden. In Norrköping, one of the largest industrial cities in northern Europe, a general strike was declared by the local trade unions and calls for the formation of Red Guard regiments went out, but with royal blessing the Swedish Army was sent in to quell the unrest, arresting any who protested and dispersing a crowd of angry protestors at the Motala Verkstad, with similar actions occurring at Göteborg and Malmö. Despite the large and widespread left-wing movement in Sweden, leaderless, confused, surprised and faced with the threat of military force, the laboring classes surrendered without much of a fight. In a proclamation by the coup leaders, the Social Democratic Party was outlawed alongside any and all other left-wing parties, organizations and institutions, with trade unions urged to immediately take contact with government offices to arrange for the transition to an "unideological" basis of existence. New elections were announced, but instead of Lindman as care-taker, King Gustaf now announced that it would be undertaken under the guidance of Lieutenant General Bror Munck (12).

    The elections, however, would have to wait for now. With Munck now named as interim Prime Minister, the coup makers set about purging the Swedish Left. A massive crackdown saw hundreds imprisoned and several thousand more flee across the border to Norway, where they found themselves welcomed by a confused but concerned Norwegian Arbeiderparti, already embattled and struggling to deal with their own right-wing opposition. This was also a time of incredible change at the political level in Sweden, for with Trygger's death, leadership of his party and the wider political consensus of the pre-coup status quo had been utterly shattered. Olof Palme and his allies, who were rising with unheard speed to the top of Swedish politics, finally broke with the old structures and declared the formation of the New Swedish People's Party (Nysvenska Folkpartiet), which they claimed would serve as the vehicle for Sweden's transformation into a power capable of resisting the insidiousness of the Communist, Socialist and Foreigner. Support for the new party was overwhelming, drawing in near two-thirds of the Electoral League, half of the Peasants Party's membership and a good quarter of the Free-Spirited People's Party. To counter the rise of the NSPP, members of the Electoral League and Free-Spirited People's Party united to form the Liberal-Conservative Party, uniting social conservatism with liberal economic policies, decrying the Munck Coup and calling for a return to "Swedish Democracy". Finally, realizing that they would need to adapt or die after the NSPP undercut their agrarian primacy, the Peasant's Party under Axel Alarik Pehrsson-Bramstorp adopted the name of Christian Solidarity, merging their agrarian policies with principles of Christian Solidarity, effectively advocating a wide range of social reforms aimed at coopting the former voting base of the Social Democrats, but shielding it under a layer of religious social policies. Thus reforged, the Swedish political spectrum now housed three main parties, the New Swedish People's Party on the right, the Liberal-Conservative Party in the center and the Christian Solidarity on the left (13).

    As the turmoil gripping Sweden came to an end in early Summer, work on the elections came under way, culminating in the Swedish Elections of August 1933. Surprising many, Lieutenant General Munck had refrained from standing for election, and instead announced that he would be returning to military service following the elections. Thus it became a race between Olof Palme, Axel Pehrsson-Bramstorp and Gösta Bagge, the leader of the Liberal-Conservatives, and to the surprise of almost no-one, Palme and his New Swedish People's Party secured a massive victory. With the groundwork laid in the months after the coup, Palme and his supporters were able to pave the way for their rise to the top, and thus it was that the one-time volunteer in Finland's Civil War rose to the post of Prime Minister of Sweden. Palme would spend his first few years consolidating his hold on power and setting in motion a swarm of social, political and military reforms aimed at preparing Sweden should they find themselves attacked by their left-wing neighbors. However, foreign news was soon to prove this paranoia overblown, when first the Norwegian Tranmæl Government fell, then Thorvald Stauning was gunned down in Copenhagen, an eerie reminder of what had happened to Trygge which would draw in conspiracy theorists for decades to follow, and finally the German outcry at the Krivitsky Case saw Sweden's encirclement swept away in a bare couple years. Diplomatic efforts at reconnecting with Sweden's "liberated" neighbors soon followed, met with bemused interest by the Germans and Danes, though less welcomed in Norway, which still housed many Swedish left-wing exiles (13).

    (1) Sweden's industrial development was a lot more "normal" in a lot of ways than that of Denmark or Norway - large corporations wielding economies of scale and their vast natural resources to fighting on an even footing with other European corporate monsters. I think it might have to do a bit with Sweden's geography as well, with the country only really suited for largescale settlement in specific small areas, so you get these large industrial corridors near Stockholm, Malmö or Göteborg which see industrial specialization and intensive settlement, while vast tracts of land are left sparsely populated by small resource-extraction oriented mining or lumber towns and small-holder peasant settlements.

    (2) More setup of OTL. Much as it pains me as a Dane, the Swedes had a pretty good setup going pre-Great War and were implementing a lot of meaningful reforms. In fact, as we will see, their main issue probably lay in the monarchy and military's efforts at circumventing the parliamentary system.

    (3) This is known as the Courtyard Crisis. While Hammarskjöld was appointed as Prime Minister, debate over the issue of defense spending and particularly the King's role in Swedish politics remained a subject of intense debate right up until Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo.

    (4) All OTL. I am going into detail with Sweden's Great War experience because it is here our PoD will strike. One thing I have found rather fascinating as I have dug into the Scandinavian experience of the Great War is how much the countries were impacted and pressured despite their neutrality.

    (5) Here we get the first major butterfly. While the Swedes ended trade with Germany IOTL as well, here the changed circumstances on the Eastern Front result in the Germans being more willing to be standoffish with their Swedish counterparts and, instead of supporting Swedish claims to the Åland Islands and aiding in their occupation, the Germans instead use this opportunity to strengthen their ties with the Finns, allowing them to lead the occupation of the islands. This in turn leads to a significantly reduced official backing of the Whites during the Civil War, although the private support does happen as per OTL, and the Swedish government ends up looking incredibly bad coming out of this. An initially minor butterfly of all this is that Olof Palme, who IOTL was the first Swedish casualty of the war, survives and makes it home to continue writing right-wing historical polemics - he also happens to be the uncle and namesake of Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister who was murdered in 1986 IOTL.

    (6) Compared to OTL, Sweden's transition towards parliamentary democracy is proving a lot more fraught and combative. Rather than spelling the final end of Royal Power, this period ends up becoming one of intense political division and partisanship as the conservatives mount a comeback over the Liberal-Social Democratic handling of the Great War. Many of the reforms are based on OTL, but ITTL the government failed to secure complete control of foreign policy and are unable to quite suppress the monarchical powers in the way they did IOTL.

    (7) IOTL Trygger ultimately did emerge as the leader of the conservative (Electoral League) party in Sweden, but here the situation is far, far more favorable to him and to the right-wing more generally. The government's failures in Finland are something which has brought widespread dissatisfaction and Trygger is playing the nationalistic outrage therefrom very well here. That is what allows him to firmly push aside Arvid Lindman and take centerstage. IOTL Trygger ended up as Prime Minister for a short interlude in the early 1920s, but I want to make clear that the political circumstances are far more favorable to him this time around and that both the Liberals and Social Democrats are in a worse position here. As for the continued unity of the Social Democrats, I thought the OTL split was quite closely predicated on the sudden escalation of revolutionary forces within the party in the immediate aftermath of the October Revolution. With things playing out at a slower pace, the Social Democratic Party doesn't attempt its "muzzle charter" which IOTL ended up driving the entire youth movement out of the party. Instead the conflict remains of an intra-party nature and causes a great deal of internal strife for the Social Democrats.

    (8) I have Ekman acting a bit more forward than IRL and pressing his central cause a bit more forcefully. IOTL the Liberal party broke into these factions as well, but here I have the Free-Spirited come out much more clearly ahead far earlier. Primarily I am working off the assumption that Edén and his faction were the primary force behind the OTL Liberal Party which broke from the Free-Spirited, and that this faction has been utterly crippled by the butterflies in Sweden, as such they collapse and are essentially defunct by 1924 instead of continuing on with a split Liberal movement until 1934, when they united IOTL.

    (9) So with the Social Democrats having remained united up till this point, the radical wing is far, far stronger and make a major impact. With Branting's death Höglund is able to emerge victorious in the leadership struggle with Hansson, setting Sweden on a significantly different path from OTL. IOTL Hansson succeeded Branting and basically set the entire framework for Sweden's welfare state and sat as Prime Minister from 1932-1946. Very few Swedish leaders have had as much of an influence on the modern Swedish state as he has had, so him losing out in the leadership struggle here is big. IOTL Höglund was leader of the first split of the Social Democrats and entered the Comintern at the head of the Swedish Communist Party, only to fall out with the Soviets following Lenin's death and eventually making his way back to the Social Democrats while the Swedish far-left splintered and descended into intense infighting. He was Mayor of Stockholm from 1940-1950 and remained committed to Leninist ideological principles even as part of the Social Democrats until his death in 1956.

    (10) I am breezing through the 1920s a bit quickly, but basically the alliance between the Free-Spirited People's Party under Ekman and Trygger's Electoral League hold through the decade and are able to stave off the rising left-wing. Another political force I have been neglecting almost entirely in this period are the Peasants' Party, who were an important fourth-place force in Swedish politics and built an alliance with the Social Democrats IOTL. Here the added fear of the left-wing keeps the Peasants Party from allying with the Social Democrats, and they instead remain an occasional partner of the government, while not being a part of it. It took me a bit to realize, but when you look at a map from the Swedish perspective in the late 1920s and early 1930s, it becomes a very threatening picture from the right-wing perspective.

    (11) Alright, a lot going on here. So basically I am using the survival of Olof Palme as a way of making the New Sweden movement significantly more prominent and inserting it into the Electoral League. One thing to note here is that Sweden's far-right movement is a lot more "native" in its inspirations and structure, with only loose inspiration from the Integralist Iberian movements - a sharp contrast to the Fascist and Nazi copy-cats who dominated the Swedish far-right IOTL and never really amounted to much as a result. Here it is very much an outgrowth of the Swedish right-wing fears and paranoia at being surrounded by Social Democratic/Socialist/Communist states mixing with illiberal Swedish Monarchism and agrarian conservatism - all forces very much present IRL in Sweden at the time. IOTL the Munck Corps was actually revealed by Hallgren, who was leading one of the main fascist movements in Sweden at the time as part of an internal power struggle in that movement - Hallgren's rival had been behind the weapon's shipment and revealing it undermined that rival. It was a pretty significant scandal at the time, particularly considering it was a left-wing Social Democratic government in power at the time. As for Ivar Kreuger, IOTL he was a major financier ruined by the Great Depression, who had provided funding to Prime Minister CG Ekman and more generally to right-wing causes. His bankruptcy and subsequent death by gunshot (likely a suicide but unclear) unleashed a massive scandal in Sweden since Kreuger had taken major loans from the government and central bank with the support of Ekman's government, and his death and bankruptcy nearly crashed the Swedish economy. Here he survives and thrives without the Great Depression, becoming a primary financier of the Swedish right-wing.

    (12) What exactly happened? Who killed Trygger? Why was he killed? Was it really the Communists? Or was it an inside job, a false flag? Those are the sorts of questions which will swirl around the events of the Mynttorget Incident ITTL and I don't quite feel like answering any of those. I think it is better to let you guys speculate and make your own conclusions. I know that the sheer scale of the coup's success is pretty stunning, but I would remind you that Sweden had already been under Conservative rule since the early 1920s, and there are plenty of people willing to throw in with the new government. It is wildly successful and catches just about the entire left-wing by surprise. Luck and the existing elements I had previously enumerated - Munck's Corps, Kreuger and the New Swedish Movement - are what win this for the Swedish right-wing. As for the fate of the Social Democratic leadership, many languish in prison for years, but more end up making it into exile - some going to Norway, others to Russia and a few further abroad.

    (13) I know things are moving quickly here, but I do hope the justification is satisfactory. Basically we see a complete realignment of the Swedish political spectrum, with the New Swedes emerging as the dominant political power under Olof Palme. Democracy at least ostensibly remains in place, the left has just been firmly pushed out of the political spectrum. The Christian Democrats (Christian Solidarity) are trying to position themselves as an alternative to the Social Democrats, but are hesitant and careful in how they do so for obvious reasons. Ultimately, Sweden's far-right turn is timed pretty perfectly with what is happening in the countries around them (completely by coincidence, I am sure…) and ends up being part of the wider right-wing shift that occurs in Northern and Central Europe in this period.

    End Note:
    I really hope you guys enjoy this one. I think I ended up getting things to play out quite well with this one. I am sorry that it is a bit later than I mentioned I wanted it out, but, well… I have been a bit distracted these past couple weeks with having work this month and events in the Ukraine.

    Given how much time I have spent researching and writing about that particular part of the world, the conflict got a bit too close for comfort when I thought of working on ADiJ. Had about two weeks where I just didn't even want to think about the timeline, but I am happy I got this feature update written.

    It has been rather fascinating to dig into Sweden's history and contrasting it with its other Nordic neighbors. One thing that really struck me as I was researching was that the Swedish Monarchy was a lot more powerful than the Danish one up until the Great War. In fact, the Great War ends up looking like a truly crucial turning point in the power balance and the final end of Monarchical authority in Sweden. Additionally, it is the fall of Hammarskjöld and Skram, leading into the pairing of Edén and Branting which set the framework for the Social Democratic dominance which followed IOTL. Sweden's Social Democratic Party would go on to utterly dominate Swedish politics for decades to come, most of the century in fact, and it has been a rather intriguing challenge to consider a world in which it is the right-wing which ends out on top instead.

    I have ended up using Olof Palme, who was the first man killed in the Swedish Brigade, as a stand-in for the far-right leader here mostly because his background works and I found none of the alternative IRL far-right leaders remotely possible as national leaders. He has been a pretty interesting character to consider, given how relatively little is really known about him. He really was cut down before he could make a name for himself, but considering the careers of many of his relatives I don't think this rise to prominence is out of the realm of the possible.

    I look forward to seeing what you all think.
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    Informational Six: Estimating Germany's Population in 1938
  • Hi. I've read the timeline a few times and am curious as to the demographic situation of the various countries in the world come 1938-1940. Particularly, i am interested in Germany's population and how much larger it is likely to be considering the various changes that have occurred in TTL relative to OTL. Using Wikipedia (which admittedly may not be very accurate), the population of Germany in 1918 is given as 66,811,000., which declines to 62 million around 1919-1920 (due to the loss of Posen, Alsace-Lorraine and part of West Prussia). As those losses are not incurred in TTL, the base population for 1919-1938 is already higher

    Using 66.811 million as a base and growing it at the rate of growth from 1919 to 1938 OTL (68.424 mil - 62.897 mil)/62.897 mil = 8.78% total gives a population of 72,677,005 people in 1938. Austria (excluding Carniola, Istria and Trentino) in 1918 had a population of 6,543,000 that increased to 6,753,000 in 1938 OTL. Slovenia has a population of 1,304,800 given for its 1921 census per Wikipedia. The Austrian Littoral (which includes Istria, Trieste, Gorizia and the territories ceded OTL to Italy after WW1) had a population of 894,287 in 1910.
    The Italian population OTL increases from 35,96 million in 1920 to 37.869 million in 1921, with only a 476,292 natural increase over 1921, the population increase likely includes Trentino, South Tyrol and the Austrian Littoral to an amount of (37.869 mil -35.960 mil - 476,292) = 1,432,708.

    Before making TTL specific adjustments; including wars, fertility rate changes, population growth, immigration and emigration etc., a population base of 66.811 mil + 6.543 mil + 1.433 mil + 1.305 mil = 76.092 million can be estimated for the 1919-1921 period.
    Before making a 2nd post, this is where I will stop. As a rough estimate, I think the mid-to-high 80 millions is a reasonable approximation of Germany's population in 1938. I haven't yet considered the Belgian territorial acquisitions, nor the border adjustments in Poland.