Divergent Longitudes: an East-West swap scenario

INTERLUDE // Ave, Caesar!
— MAP INTERLUDE —
Ave, Caesar!

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A composite map of the Caesarian wars of conquest, and neighboring countries in 28 BC.
 
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Beautiful
And Im not just talking about the concept being good, the map is really aesthetically pleasing
 
I wonder, will demographics also be reversed? Meaning that Europe will have the world’s highest population? The only way that could be achieved is if the Romans control not only southern, central and western Europe, but also eastern Europe (especially Ukraine and the Volga region), so that they have enough fertile land at their disposal to feed a population of several hundred million people (IOTL China had around 300 million people by the 18th century). I don’t think pre-industrial Europe could support the kind of population density that China or India had historically, so they’ll need quantity over quality. If eastern Europe had the same population density as western Europe, then a modern European population of >1 billion could easily be achieved.

As for East Asia, if they start modernizing and industrializing a century or two earlier than OTL, then their population growth will also slow down much earlier, which means by the 20th century they’d have a lower population than Europe. Though that leaves me wondering about India. Will they also start to modernize earlier due to their proximity with East Asia, or will they be more an equivalent to the Ottoman Empire; the ‘Sick Man of Asia’, basically? If Japan is this TL’s version of Britain, I guess they’ll be the ones to colonize India.
 
I wonder, will demographics also be reversed? Meaning that Europe will have the world’s highest population? The only way that could be achieved is if the Romans control not only southern, central and western Europe, but also eastern Europe (especially Ukraine and the Volga region), so that they have enough fertile land at their disposal to feed a population of several hundred million people (IOTL China had around 300 million people by the 18th century). I don’t think pre-industrial Europe could support the kind of population density that China or India had historically, so they’ll need quantity over quality. If eastern Europe had the same population density as western Europe, then a modern European population of >1 billion could easily be achieved.

As for East Asia, if they start modernizing and industrializing a century or two earlier than OTL, then their population growth will also slow down much earlier, which means by the 20th century they’d have a lower population than Europe. Though that leaves me wondering about India. Will they also start to modernize earlier due to their proximity with East Asia, or will they be more an equivalent to the Ottoman Empire; the ‘Sick Man of Asia’, basically? If Japan is this TL’s version of Britain, I guess they’ll be the ones to colonize India.
The thing is some equivalent countries in Asia had higher populations by the industrialization period - Japan had an estimated population of 30 million in 1700 where Great Britain had a population of just 5 million during the same time period. Britain's population increased by like a factor of 10 over the past 300 years and that's while many were migrating to their colonies. If that's applied to Japan you're going to have a 300 mil+ Japan (although I expect the migration rate to be a good deal higher due to population density issues if nothing else). The longer sustained period of high TFR + lowering death rates should ensure that.
 
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So I assume that in the present day of this world, Japan has a constitutional monarchy that still rules (on paper at least) some of it's former colonies as part of a Commonwealth while Brittain is an island nation that retains it's Monarchy and is rather hated by it's neighbors for what they did in the past.
 
So I assume that in the present day of this world, Japan has a constitutional monarchy that still rules (on paper at least) some of it's former colonies as part of a Commonwealth while Brittain is an island nation that retains it's Monarchy and is rather hated by it's neighbors for what they did in the past.
Yep, as will be seen in future installments.
 
Who will be the Korea of Europe ITTL? Ireland maybe? I'd assume Britain would thoroughly conquer and assimilate it's immediate neighbors. I like the Rhenish Wall as the Great Wall equivalent. Can we see how Scandinavia develops with a continuously expanding Roman Empire right below them? I wonder how the Slavic people will fare TTL?
 
Who will be the Korea of Europe ITTL? Ireland maybe? I'd assume Britain would thoroughly conquer and assimilate it's immediate neighbors. I like the Rhenish Wall as the Great Wall equivalent. Can we see how Scandinavia develops with a continuously expanding Roman Empire right below them? I wonder how the Slavic people will fare TTL?
That'd be interesting, although it'll change some of the history surrounding Korea (such as the fact that it won't be conquered by the Mongol-equivalents, and the fact that it won't be a nice and easy jump from "Korea" to "China"/Europe).

That's why I've been thinking for Korea to be Denmark.
 
If you truly wanna go all out with the reversals, you could have a huge Islamic Arabian state while India is split up and has issues with historical ethnic borders and religious extremism. If your feeling particularly bold, you could have Sikhism and Zoroastrianism swap as well.

Although, I did entertain the idea of West Africa being united under a Mali empire and becoming the India of a timeline like this. West Africa is much more suited than Arabia to having a large population like India. (Nigeria alone has over 200 million people and has similar overcrowding issues to India)
 
That'd be interesting, although it'll change some of the history surrounding Korea (such as the fact that it won't be conquered by the Mongol-equivalents, and the fact that it won't be a nice and easy jump from "Korea" to "China"/Europe).

That's why I've been thinking for Korea to be Denmark.

I don’t think it’s necessary (or even possible) to have each Asian country and its history mirrored perfectly in Europe (and vice versa). It should be enough if the broad strokes are roughly similar. Ireland could actually work great as an European version of Korea imo, especially since its OTL fate as a colony of Britain was similar to Korea’s status as a Japanese colony (also, Ireland’s relatively isolated location would be fitting for a European ‘hermit kingdom’). Otherwise, due to it being located to the west of Britain, I’m not sure what other Asian country Ireland could be mirroring (since there‘s no Asian country east of Japan, obviously).

The thing is some equivalent countries in Asia had higher populations by the industrialization period - Japan had an estimated population of 30 million in 1700 where Great Britain had a population of just 5 million during the same time period. Britain's population increased by like a factor of 10 over the past 300 years and that's while many were migrating to their colonies. If that's applied to Japan you're going to have a 300 mil+ Japan (although I expect the migration rate to be a good deal higher due to population density issues if nothing else). The longer sustained period of high TFR + lowering death rates should ensure that.

True, but this kind of rapid population growth isn’t inevitable. During the 14th century, France for example had a population of around 20 million. Japan at that time was somewhere between 7-10 million. But unlike its European neighbors, France’s population never increased by a factor of 10; it ‘only’ tripled from the middle ages until today (less if we exclude immigration). And it’s not like France couldn’t have supported a higher population; the Netherlands are right next door, and they’ve always had a significantly higher population density (France would have >150 million people today if it had that level of population density).

Considering this TL starts more than 2000 years ago, it’s possible that Japan’s demographics develop in such a way that, like France, its population stays at its medieval level (7-10 million) until the early modern age, but then increases rapidly during industrialization (similar to Britain). If it increases by a factor of 10 like Britain, then ATL Japan would have 70-100 million people by today (compared to OTL’s 120 million).
 
Although, I did entertain the idea of West Africa being united under a Mali empire and becoming the India of a timeline like this. West Africa is much more suited than Arabia to having a large population like India. (Nigeria alone has over 200 million people and has similar overcrowding issues to India)
It's more suited than Arabia but not super well-suited if I understand historical populations. Nigeria's population was not always nearly as high even proportionally as it is now.
— MAP INTERLUDE —
That map is gorgeous. Where did you find the template?
 
True, but this kind of rapid population growth isn’t inevitable. During the 14th century, France for example had a population of around 20 million. Japan at that time was somewhere between 7-10 million. But unlike its European neighbors, France’s population never increased by a factor of 10; it ‘only’ tripled from the middle ages until today (less if we exclude immigration). And it’s not like France couldn’t have supported a higher population; the Netherlands are right next door, and they’ve always had a significantly higher population density (France would have >150 million people today if it had that level of population density).

Considering this TL starts more than 2000 years ago, it’s possible that Japan’s demographics develop in such a way that, like France, its population stays at its medieval level (7-10 million) until the early modern age, but then increases rapidly during industrialization (similar to Britain). If it increases by a factor of 10 like Britain, then ATL Japan would have 70-100 million people by today (compared to OTL’s 120 million).
That's definitely fair (France's demographic history is pretty interesting ) although part of the relatively higher populations early on has to do with the crop package - wheat and barley just isn't going to sustain the population that rice could early on (before the introduction of high yield crops from the Americas). So there's an early advantage - France had a historically high population because it was just so much more fertile than places like the Iberian peninsula and GB. Another factor for population growth is obviously peace - there is a pretty direct correlation with Japan's rapid population growth and the end of the Sengoku period - assuming Japan can unify there's really no reason (aside from internal policies - pretty sure some people think France's relative lack of growth had to do with land policies or something, not too sure on that though) that they wouldn't grow as large as their crop package permits.

Although as I've also just mentioned, wars can drastically affect population - although I think Japan should be relatively insulated from this in the grand scheme of things being an island nation and all, barring some sort of super Sengoku civil war period occuring.
 
II — The Rise of the House of Caesar
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The fateful assassination attempt that changed European history.

“Et tu, Brute?”
— Then Roman senator and general, Julius Caesar, 710 AUC [44 BCE]

Thus would have ended the life of Gaius Julius Caesar, Rome's most renowned general.

Many European scholars have speculated, based on a close analysis of Caesar after the attack, that the assassination plot against him could have ended entirely differently. Fortunately, it is believed that one of the conspirators' blades narrowly missed vital parts of his brain, leaving him alive but giving him enough brain damage to explain his growing madness over the next decades.

Days after the attack, after Caesar had recovered, it is reported that he would express reverence to the gods for granting him another chance to live, a chance to avenge his assassination and cement himself in history. He would even sleep with his wife after he had recovered, believing that his current streak of luck will pass on to his potential heirs. While other senators had heard of the attack, the failure to kill him and his behavior over the next few days convinced others, as well as much of the populace of Rome, that he was favored by the gods to rule. It is in this state of public adoration that Caesar made a move that would pivot Roman and European history on another path entirely:

He would name himself as Emperor, picking the imperial name Julian.

The Imperator, as Julian would be called centuries hence, would then begin a series of daring conquests, cementing him as one of the greatest generals in human history.

Initially, Julian would cross the Alps[1] over into Hispania, creating a bridge between then-exclaves Massalia and Narbonia, before marching into northern Iberia and taking on the Vascones, Cantabri, and Astures. He would then proceed to annex tribe after tribe, making his way down to the Counei and Lusitani before finishing off central Iberia. For the next leg of his conquests, Julian would begin a conquest of Gaul, first in Aquitania, then the coastlines, and just like in Iberia, central Gaul last. One notable conflict during this period of his conquests was the Battle of Alesia, which allowed him to conquer Gaul and proceed onwards to Germania.

It is in Germania that Julian would perform one of his greatest feats yet: the construction of a massive series of fortifications along the Rhine: the Great Rhenish Wall(s). While initially a set of structures, later emperors would add onto the walls and connect them into one massive fortification.

It is also here that historians start to notice another thing the great Emperor is known for: his insanity. As detailed in his writings, Julian would begin to reflect on his many European conquests thus far, connecting them to his idol: Alexander III of Macedon. In this mindset, he would grow more and more unhinged throughout his entries in Germania, explaining that he wants to be like Alexander and take over just one more territory. This mindset would take him to Illyria, where he would fight numerous more campaigns before being killed in battle in 28 BC.

Lasting over 16 years, the Caesarean wars of conquest would see Rome elevated from a Mediterranean power to the dominant nation in Europe. This isn't solely from the war, for in between his campaigns, an exhausted Caesar would settle in Rome, where he would pass reforms designed to centralize the state and standardize currency, measures, and writing across the empire.

Immediately after his death, the role of Roman emperor would be disputed between Caesar's heirs, but through circumstances that will be discussed next, it would go to Caesar's 15-year old son: Veturius.


[1] To elaborate a bit further on the (First) Punic War, the Treaty of Lutatius goes differently; Sicily is partitioned similarly to its condition before the war, while Rome and Carthage agree to have peace between each other. This, in turn, butterflies Hannibal Barca's crossing of the Alps, a feat now held by Julius Caesar.
 
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