AH Recurring Tropes, and the timelines that avert or subvert them

Common, yes, but not as universal as you'd think. In Europe, the big exception was the Catholic Church, which traditionally exerted a lot of influence within states regardless of what their monarchs thought. One big driver of the Reformation was the prospect of more fully asserting national sovereignty, not to mention confiscating the land and other property the Church owned in states across Europe.

And this concept is being challenged again in the modern day, with the idea that states that commit human rights abuses against their own people can't hide behind the idea of state sovereignty, and at least in certain cases, the international community can choose to step in to address such problems. I never actually read Male Rising, but I infer that some consideration like that comes into vogue earlier than in real life, where states' authority within their borders is challenged.
There's also the fact that due to changes in political and philosophical thought, geopolitics in Malê Rising go away from the typical nation-state paradigm and more towards supranational institutions. And the TL is very Afro-centric, which alone should make it very distinct from the Euro- or Amero-centrism typical in TLs here.
I think they mean in timelines that aren’t Greek focused. Often Bulgaria seems to be the space eating country of the Balkans in your average timeline, often taking Eastern Thrace and sometimes Greek Macedonia instead of the Greeks along with other bits and pieces. Not really a trope but it’s happened commonly enough I’ve noticed it.

As for actual tropes, in almost every timeline past about 1750 Spain becomes a joke of a country everyone ignores until the USA, Germany, or both mug them for their remaining colonies. I know Spain couldn’t maintain its height but surely they could avoid their OTL quagmire and maintain a decent secondary power status. Someone who every Enemy of France would try to Ally for a two front war.
Corollary to Punching Bag Spain: the Philippines are treated as an afterthought in most TLs (not unlike Latin America, come to think of it) and they just change colonial masters during the 19th century during the Inevitable Disintegration of the Spanish Empire. Like can we see it go independent earlier once?
 
On a meta note, I’ve always wondered how to handle things like this - in fact, this is a perfect example. The Kazakh-Russian border is so oblique, so historically contingent, so distinctive, yet (frankly) so insignificant that I wonder what the best way to handle it, and other basically uninteresting historical specifics, in AH would be. To be sure, if you draw an alternate Kazakh-Russian border nobody on the Alternate History Forums, maybe even nobody in the world, is going to say “that border bisects the village of Burschynovosktoviligradich and a renowned sandpaper factory of both economic and historical significance, you absolute idiot”, but literally just drawing lines on a map at random also feels... off, somehow. I’m interested to hear how you (all) would tackle a problem like this.

On a thread note: “The Vaguely United States of Central America”, and the only slightly better “Rio de la Plata Because Chile Is A Ridiculous Country”. One of the few positive things I have to say about Kaiserreich, which otherwise I consider overly-detailed YouTube-level AH, is that they ditched both of those particular tropes about a year ago.
Drawing lines on a map at random is kinda how borders csme to be tho
 
Actually in regards to the "american hegemony" tropes, Mexico Ascended The Story of A Failed Texan Revolution very firmly says "no," and doesn't just do the easy thing and makes it an american history in a sombrero
 
On a meta note, I’ve always wondered how to handle things like this - in fact, this is a perfect example. The Kazakh-Russian border is so oblique, so historically contingent, so distinctive, yet (frankly) so insignificant that I wonder what the best way to handle it, and other basically uninteresting historical specifics, in AH would be. To be sure, if you draw an alternate Kazakh-Russian border nobody on the Alternate History Forums, maybe even nobody in the world, is going to say “that border bisects the village of Burschynovosktoviligradich and a renowned sandpaper factory of both economic and historical significance, you absolute idiot”, but literally just drawing lines on a map at random also feels... off, somehow. I’m interested to hear how you (all) would tackle a problem like this.

On a thread note: “The Vaguely United States of Central America”, and the only slightly better “Rio de la Plata Because Chile Is A Ridiculous Country”. One of the few positive things I have to say about Kaiserreich, which otherwise I consider overly-detailed YouTube-level AH, is that they ditched both of those particular tropes about a year ago.
As to the Russo-Kazakh border, there are a few options. The obvious one is not to have one, since the Soviet-drawn border has little ethnographic and even less geographic significance anyway :)
As for what I'd do, I'd go back and review the old Russian Empire guberniya/oblast/uyezd boundaries, and put together something that makes sense referenced to them...
 
Actually in regards to the "american hegemony" tropes, Mexico Ascended The Story of A Failed Texan Revolution very firmly says "no," and doesn't just do the easy thing and makes it an american history in a sombrero
I'm reading it, and ironically it did inspire this thread.

It does things right like Mexico not becoming just a USA that happens to speak Spanish, but you still get some AH standbys like "Commie CSA" or "Austria-Hungary still splitting apart even if it's part of the victorious Central Powers". At least it does some unique stuff like Sweden being in the Scramble for Africa, Switzerland not being an immutable part of society (yes just because it's neutral doesn't mean it's immune to geopolitics), Qing China coexisting with a rising Japan.

(Disclaimer: as of this writing I just got to the 1930s TTL, so no spoilers for past that point please)
 
I'm reading it, and ironically it did inspire this thread.

It does things right like Mexico not becoming just a USA that happens to speak Spanish, but you still get some AH standbys like "Commie CSA" or "Austria-Hungary still splitting apart even if it's part of the victorious Central Powers". At least it does some unique stuff like Sweden being in the Scramble for Africa, Switzerland not being an immutable part of society (yes just because it's neutral doesn't mean it's immune to geopolitics), Qing China coexisting with a rising Japan.

(Disclaimer: as of this writing I just got to the 1930s TTL, so no spoilers for past that point please)
Is Commie CSA really that common? I didn't know that... I learn something new every day?
 
Is Commie CSA really that common? I didn't know that... I learn something new every day?
It's the weirdest thing. People call it a cliche/common trope all the time, and I have to wonder what timelines they've been reading, because I literally only know one such story, that only began like a year or two ago, inspired in part by me pointing out that the guy who's been floating the idea never actually made a timeline with it.

I'd make a "redneck" pun, but I wouldn't be surprised if those were done to death.
The term was used to describe labor organizers in the south who used red bandannas, actually.
 
Isn’t Greece/Byzantium far more likely to be the dominant Balkan state on this site? If you have a Bulgarian wank TL, I’d be interested in seeing it.
quite the opposite i have seen few asked the question if Constantine IV defeated Asparuh leading to no bulgaria or bulgaria north of the danube,but i have seen my fair share of stories of first and second bulgarian empire wank conquering constantinople
 
Is Commie CSA really that common? I didn't know that... I learn something new every day?
I remember seeing people dismissing a socialist CSA as unrealistic just a couple years ago on a Maps/Graphics thread. The people defending the concept were calling it fresh and original. I guess it might've become common since then, but I haven't run into it much.
 
There was a thread that made a point that Anglo-American hegemony seems to be a forgone conclusion to this forum. My TL is definitely going to avert this with a much stronger France dominating the gulf of mexico and the American south, and probably more power in india than otl, with denmark controlling the Hudson bay. It isn't a Britain screw, they still have power in the northeast and around the Amazon river, but they won't rule the planet
Adding to this thought is the Anglization of the colonies in the U.S.. IMO, there a general magic wand waving that almost assumes that this would happen. I enjoy the threads which discuss the mantaining of language and cultures in the original colonies of the U.S; Dutch, Swedish, English with French and Spanish expansion to make a much more diverse political landscape in the U.S..
 
If you aren't picky about Muslim timelines, there are a few gems that subvert the Euro-centrism and US-centrism of the forums. Moonlight in a Jar: An Al-Andalus Timeline details the consequences of a thriving Umayyad Caliphate in Spain. If want something wilder, I seriously recommend Minarets of Atlantis, which details the flight of Al-Andalus to the New World and the consequences that come with it. A House of Lamps: A Moorish America is also a great timeline that deals with an Islamic New World in it's own way, though the reading structure may get you long-winded.

And if you truly want something loopy and original, I would suggest Rightly Guided: Zaid ibn Haritha and his Rashidun Caliphate. This is one timeline that brings Alternate History to the very beginnings of Islam, as it deals with the Prophet Muhammad's own adopted son living past his OTL death, thus altering the very community of early Islam as we know it.
 
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Kind of a minor thing, but Southern/slaveholding secessionists from the US always come up with the name "Confederate States of America". They never pick a different word out of the thesaurus, always "confederate".

The Kazakh-Russian border gets picked on, but a lot of convergent borders get taken for granted in AH.
 
On a thread note: “The Vaguely United States of Central America”, and the only slightly better “Rio de la Plata Because Chile Is A Ridiculous Country”. One of the few positive things I have to say about Kaiserreich, which otherwise I consider overly-detailed YouTube-level AH, is that they ditched both of those particular tropes about a year ago.
Could someone can explain me why the "Rio the la plata is all southern cone" one"? the united central america at east have some basis in OTL but Rio the la plata as Argentina-Chile-Urugua/maybe paraguay) unión never make much sense to me, historically Chile was a independent polity from either Viceroyalty of Peru and Viceroyalty of La plata, heck even the Chilean Audiencia was a century older than the Buenos aires one.
 
China reforms easily during the '100 days reform' TLs and in 10-15 years they are the eminent world power.

No. Just no. That is literally ignoring how China wasn't able to reform properly. Also the 100 days reform plan was ludicrous in many ways. People give Cixi a lot of flak, but her plan for gradual reform was the best solution is a place like China. Unfortunately it came 50 years too late.
 
To be sure, if you draw an alternate Kazakh-Russian border nobody on the Alternate History Forums, maybe even nobody in the world, is going to say “that border bisects the village of Burschynovosktoviligradich and a renowned sandpaper factory of both economic and historical significance, you absolute idiot”, but literally just drawing lines on a map at random also feels... off, somehow. I’m interested to hear how you (all) would tackle a problem like this.
This relevant to borders in general, not just that border, but honestly? Probably somewhere between "random" and "based on what makes sense at the moment I'm drawing it."

I'm not sure I could say, especially with a point of departure centuries ago, there's any reason for the border between Russia and Whatever Central Asia 'stans Emerge, or at least some ex-colonies (in the Americas or Africa), to not be arbitrary - as opposed to based on a river or a mountain range or a relatively clear ethnic divide.

Here's a question since I've been out of touch with this site - does Ireland ever unite as an independent state from England (and/or) Scotland in the Middle Ages? Or is it treated as This Area Someone on Britain Will Conquer by default?
 
I suppose my TL could be one of these? It involves a Roman Empire that falls apart in the Third Century but later puts itself back together (somewhat), a strong Persian Empire (but it doesn't look like it for now) Huns in Anatolia rather than Europe, among many other things.

Oh, and the world's most important sponsor of Christianity isn't Rome, but instead a very, very powerful Kingdom of Aksum, one that stretches from Nobatia to Yemen and is immensely rich thanks to its control of the Red Sea or, as it is called ITTL, the Arabian Gulf.
You have already made me intrested in this TL. Ethiopia, Bastion of Christianity.

This of course... now that I think about it... makes sense. Ethiopia controls one of the very important trade routes. Not only that, it can spread Christianity as far as Swihili coast and india!
 
Here's a question since I've been out of touch with this site - does Ireland ever unite as an independent state from England (and/or) Scotland in the Middle Ages? Or is it treated as This Area Someone on Britain Will Conquer by default?
It probably says something that a medieval independent Wales TL jumps to my mind before any independent Ireland does.
 
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