Down the Parallel Road: An Afsharid Persia Timeline

Rereading the update again, I see that Serbia has used the concept of the Dhimmi on their local Muslim populations. Interesting! Would it be extended to the local Jewish peoples? I can see the concept taking at least some sort of ground with the neighboring states, especially if they get taken over by right-wing governments. More darkly, I can also see the system being bandied about by ITTL future fundamentalist groups.

I can also see the Ottomans getting incensed at the tables being turned, but they're kinda having their own troubles to sort out. More's the pity. :pensive:
Sounds right.

Given that the indigenous people make up a majority of the population of Bolivia now, and perhaps 45% of the population of Peru, that's probably correct. (Of course, this is somewhat complicated by that fact that many people who are classified as native American by the sort of people who do this sort of classifying self-identify as mestizo)
Well, I would be surprised if there are a great number of natives even in Bolivia without some European ancestry, though I think with that line of thought we tend to come to the whole "one drop" line of thinking. Either way, although there will be some mestizos in the new Inca state, it is undoubtedly one in which natives dominate politically and demographically.
You mentioned Tsar Alexander twice in the last three paragraphs. Did you mean Konstantin, instead? And when will you write about the Cape Colony and South Africa in general? (maybe you already have and i just forgot it. It that case, forgive me for my horrid sin, my memory has seen its better days). And what more will be butterflied away? Uuuuuhhh the hype is killing me!
Well spotted! Let that be a lesson for me not to leave the proofreading until after a work day. Thanks for pointing that out, I have edited it.

There was not a specific section on the Cape Colony though it was covered somewhat in the last section. I certainly think that in the next cycle the Cape Colony/South African Republic will get its own section.
Any current maps? Regional or otherwise.
I've got the 1862 map finished (the cycle end) but I feel like maps have been lacking somewhat, it's a bit unfair for everyone to plod on without being sure of locations and what not so that's definitely something I will work on in the next cycle.
If Russia never gets it's hand on Constantinople, will their be any hope of liberating the city from Turkish rule in the future?
I don't know, I mean, if the Greeks and Bulgarians get the chance in the future, who knows what will happen...
Seemed? Uh oh. :(

And Russia continues to find itself lagging behind everyone else in political reform. If the liberation of the serfs goes something like OTL, then the old landlords would hike up the price for the best lands they have, further aggravating the freed farmers. Maybe that would finally drive the peasant class to migrate around the empire, or beyond.
Well, one never knows what the next turn will be in the Balkans.

The Liberation of the Serfs still didn't quite put Russian Peasants on an equal footing with those in Europe as they were tied to the Mir system in which lands were not privately owned but were distributed based on the number of male children. While it contributed greatly to population growth, it did little for agricultural efficiency which did not start to improve seriously until Stolypin's reforms. There is still scope for Russia to push ahead with reforms, but that depends on internal and external factors, and things are about to change in Europe...
Probably not. With the war turn out to be waste of money and manpower and little to no gain from it. And no other balkan except maybe greece want to continue the war against the turk but if greece gone too far someone else may see the opportunity to stab her in the back especially regarding macedonia question (greece is the one who get aegean macedonia ittl right?)

And ottoman in this tl is different creatures from otl with higher literacy among her populace. Heh I wonder with nassirisimo said russia plan to make a move against Iran what gain they want to have from that war? Aside to gain some land will russia try to reduce persia to mere puppet maybe?
If Russia managed to take the city, she would gain the ability to project power from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, but what then? With technologies such as the railway and steamship, the world is shrinking and it ultimately may prove more fruitful for Russia to go for richer prizes elsewhere, assuming she can get her act together as a power. For now the Balkan Powers are all too focused on trying to maintain their enlarged states and prevent a split, so I doubt that further expansion is feasible for the time being.

Russian plans for expansion might still be in the future somewhat, but there are reasons that Russia may want to expand. Persia still holds OTL Azerbaijan with its oil, large Christian populations in modern Armenia and Eastern Anatolia, as well as potential cotton-growing regions in Central Asia. There will be reasons for expansion in the future, but it is a question of capability and priorities.
It's a shame since I don't many threads about the religious consequences of the Eastern Rome reborn.
I think certainly in religious terms, a Greek conquest of Constantinople would be really interesting to explore (in political terms too!) but the problem is that it is quite unlikely by a certain point in history due to the sheer demographic weight of Turks.
Well to be fair I also want to see a tl where russia less successful in baltic but black sea and the strait under some form of russian control either directly or indirectly and have some influence in mediterranian sea. Probably need a pod so far back before both french and british have real interest in eastern mediterranian
I suppose it is a question of where Russia's "weight" is. For centuries after the Mongol Invasion however it was the North of Russia (Novgorod, Moscow, etc) which had more political and perhaps demographic importance, and this didn't properly shift until the 19th century.
And easy one would be killing Mahmud II during the Ottoman Coups of 1807-08, which would make the empire fall apart.
That might do it. Russia may take a while to get down there but I think she'd have a much easier job of it.
Just read through the whole timeline, and it's definitely one of my favorite on the site! Fantastic job!
Thanks! I am working to try and improve it so if you do have any suggestions I'd love to hear them! (And that goes for the rest of you too)
Rereading the update again, I see that Serbia has used the concept of the Dhimmi on their local Muslim populations. Interesting! Would it be extended to the local Jewish peoples? I can see the concept taking at least some sort of ground with the neighboring states, especially if they get taken over by right-wing governments. More darkly, I can also see the system being bandied about by ITTL future fundamentalist groups.

I can also see the Ottomans getting incensed at the tables being turned, but they're kinda having their own troubles to sort out. More's the pity. :pensive:
For the time being at least the Serb government is quite tolerant toward minorities, particularly needed with Catholic Croat and Muslim Bosniak (as well as Turkish) populations under their rule. This attitude isn't extended to the Jews as much, due to the smaller size of their community and a general importation of Russian anti-Semitism. In Thessaloniki of course, the Jewish population is rather large indeed, and the Greek king actually sees the Jews as potentially useful as they are more or less dependent on him for their continued safety and prosperity. The Absolutist Greek kings are likely to appreciate that.
Central Europe - 1829 to 1860

Frederick Cregan: A History of Modern Europe

The German States

The restoration of the “Old Order” in Germany appeared to mark a great defeat for the hopes of nationalists. The Frankfurt Parliament was powerless to prevent the advances of French troops on German territory, and ultimately the German Princes were more attached to their crowns than any German national ideal. With the defeat of the Austrians and British and the restoration of French domination in Germany, it appeared as though the National Movement had been dealt a crushing blow. And yet these events were somewhat deceiving. The “Old Order” was never restored in full in Germany, with hundreds of states which characterised the former Holy Roman Empire consolidated into 27 different states, with Prussia, Saxony, Hesse and Bavaria confirmed as the largest German states. Austrian influence had been pushed out of Germany, and the German kings and princes had turned their backs on the incipient force of German Nationalism.

However, the allure of Nationalism was not forgotten about. Instead, the growing middle classes were attracted to the movement, and it became a focal point for anger not only toward the French and their domineering policy toward Germany, but towards the reactionary German rulers. German Nationalism became overwhelmingly a middle class and bourgeois movement, solidly republican and increasingly sympathetic to a truly democratic government. The seemingly radical turn of the movement in the 1840s and 50s caused much in the way of alarm in the German states, who invested ever more resources into secret police to shut down Nationalist associations and parties. In the decades between 1829 and 1861, an estimated 200,000 Germans were imprisoned for political reasons, and another 100,000 exiled. The vast numbers of people involved point toward both the popularity of German Nationalist movements, as well as the huge resources involved in trying to suppress the movements. Although the governments of the German States attempted some rear-guard concessions such as the abolition of serfdom in the 1830s and limited representative bodies, the movement had become irrevocably opposed to the Ancien Regime by the 1850s, and nationalist pamphlets routinely called for the formation of a federal and republican German state.

Whilst political tensions grew, so did the economy of Germany. Mirroring events that had already happened in Britain and to a lesser extent, Northeast France, industrialization began to take hold of the German economy in areas such as the Ruhr. Despite its strategically vulnerable and politically unclear position, the region was steadily becoming an industrial powerhouse due to the huge amount of coal that could be mined there. By 1860 2 million short tons of coal were mined in the Ruhr valley and that number was steadily increasing. However, the difficulty of maintaining enterprises across state lines hampered growth in the region, and contributed considerably to capitalist antipathy for the existing political situation. As German entrepreneurs looked toward the thriving industrial regions of Lancashire, Wallonia and Bohemia, they were increasingly envious of their success in comparison to the Ruhr, and for many the cause was the system of states that divided the Ruhr and the reactionary governments of those states [1]. Even railway building was hampered by the need to coordinate with several different governments to build relatively short lines. While industrialization brought tensions to many countries, these were not quite as acute as in Germany where it mixed with an existing resentment. Germany was growing economically, though it was beginning to be left behind by its neighbours.

However, the East of Germany, comprising of 3 of Germany’s big 4 states, fared somewhat better. The abolition of old feudal divisions left these states with little in the way of internal barriers, improving trade and allowing for the integration of market economies. Saxony in particular began to build up a considerable amount of industry, though this was still insignificant compared to neighbouring Bohemia and Silesia. There was a great deal of agricultural growth in Prussia, where the Junkers attempted to devote themselves ever more to improving the profitability of their lands, though this contributed somewhat to the general view of Prussia as a land of “Bumpkins”, with “Two feet in the soil and two in the Bible”. Whereas the somewhat better economic situation did save East German society from the stagnation and related tensions found in the West, it was not enough to stop the growth of Nationalist parties and societies, as well as the flow of emigration out of Germany.

[1] – The economic weakness of the Ruhr compared to OTL will have some grave ramifications for Germany’s economic future.

* * * * * *


The Hapsburg Empire

Austria found herself at a crossroads following the defeat against France in the German War. Although she had fought with honour, particularly at the Battle of Regensburg where she experienced something of a valiant defeat, it had nevertheless been demonstrated that Austria was most certainly not a power equal to that of France’s. This realisation led to a great deal of soul-searching amongst Austria’s elite. Some, the Emperor Karl included, wanted to re-emphasise Austria’s status as a dynastic state centred on the Hapsburg family. Others wanted to try and regain a position of leadership within Germany, and a handful wanted to reimagine the empire as a polity of multinational cooperation. For quite a number of years following the war, it was the Emperor Karl and his faction that won out. Reformists such as the “Hero of Regensburg” Franz Karl, were marginalised within the court, and Ancien Regime forces such as the Catholic Church were given a larger role within areas such as education. However, the period of reaction could not last forever, and following liberal riots in Vienna the Emperor chose to bring Franz Karl back into his inner circle.

Although some of Franz Karl’s proposals were seen as simply too radical, some concessions were made to him and the growing liberal middle class of the Austrian Empire. Education was secularised, and a state-funded school system was built. In 1843 serfdom was abolished, as were other feudal obligations and dues, and this was followed in 1844 by the creation of an elected parliament, albeit one that was still rather weak when compared to the British and French parliaments. Subsequently, Franz Karl, dissuaded from pursuing any further political or social reform in the Empire, was encouraged instead to reform the army. Many of the concessions made by the Hapsburgs in this era were large, though the fundamental nature of the Austrian state was not changed. As a result, the growing numbers of nationalists in the Empire, particularly the Hungarians and Czechs, were still greatly unsatisfied with the situation, and agitated for more autonomy within the Empire. In 1855, a breakout of riots, mainly among students, was met with bullets as the emperor sent in the army to quell unrest in the Empire.

This harsh action taken against protestors did not meet with approval abroad. In France and Britain, public opinion was inflamed at the stories that Austrian troops had killed dozens of civilians. The governments of both countries had a certain interest in seeing the status quo maintained, with the French viewing the Austrians as a useful foil against the Russians and the British still viewing Austria as their preferred partner within Europe. As such, the voices of protest against Austria’s harsh crackdown were limited to newspapers such as “The Times” and “Le National”. However, among a younger generation of liberal politicians in both countries, questions were raised about whether the realpolitik of preserving the “Jail of Europe” was morally justifiable. However, internal pressure only grew further, especially following war in the Balkans, which saw the multinational territory of the Ottoman Empire ripped apart and replaced with smaller nation states which the Hungarians in particular saw as a model for their own potential state. It appeared that nationalism within the subject peoples of the Empire was building into a potentially lethal force. When Archduke Franz Karl was finally exiled in 1859 following his “Five Crowns” report which called for a redistribution of power within the Empire, “Young Hungary” resolved to try and establish an independent Hungarian State.

However, it would be simplistic to characterise the period as a simple struggle between the reaction and the reformists. Culturally and in many other respects, these were boom times for the Empire, and Vienna in particularly benefited greatly from a program of urban renewal and modernization which saw the city walls transformed into the “Ringstrasse” and great new boulevards laid through the city. The period also saw the beginnings of an industrial revolution in Bohemia and Silesia, as coal production increased and manufacturing began to thrive, especially following the removal of internal barriers to trade. Although not quite as swift in as the economic growth of Britain and France, Austria nevertheless was able to outpace other Central European countries, especially in the Western part of the Empire. Austria’s great power role was also confirmed following the Balkan War, during which she had played a key part in the peace conference, enabling the Ottoman Empire to maintain defensible borders within Europe and to avoid a conflagration between the expanded Balkan States.

* * * * * *



In the struggles of 1828-1829, Poland’s independence had not come under serious threat. The Russians were still far too exhausted from their previous war with the Ottomans, and both the French and Austrians had an understanding that an independent Poland would be far preferable to the alternative. Thus, Poland managed to emerge from the struggles with relatively little change, and perhaps most importantly, without any chastisement for its moral support of the German National Liberals. Her independence was guaranteed by both all major European powers, Russia excepted, and with the majority of her population Polish (around 60% of the total), she did not quite have the problems with internal divisions that the Austrians to the South had. Although the Lithuanians had lost some of the influence they had once wielded, both they and the other minorities of Poland were well aware that they had more political freedoms than in neighbouring countries, and there was no mirror of the nationalist movements seen to the south in Austria.

Without Austria’s national problem, or without such a strong reactionary impulse in her court, Poland was able to move more along the lines of Britain and France rather than Eastern Europe. Toward the middle of the 19th century, the Polish Sejm gained ever more prerogatives, especially following the death of King Michał in 1846 and the accession of his daughter Ewelina. Most historians have picked this as the point in which the Polish Sejm became the primary power of the country. Although Ewelina was an intelligent woman who took an active interest in politics and current affairs, she was an ardent admirer of the British Parliamentary system and considered it improper for a monarch to be the leader of the country’s governments. Although she maintained close ties with Polish Prime Ministers, in particular Stefan Bukowski, the true power in Poland from the 1840s onward was with the Prime Minister in the Sejm. From 1851 to 1866, Poland was dominated by the Conservative Party, led by Bukowski with the exception of a brief retirement in 1863. For the most part, the party defended the large landowners of Poland as well as the Catholic Church, which was able to maintain its control of the educational institutions of the country.

The landowners in Poland experienced a great time of prosperity, as the growth of the 1820s in the Polish economy continued. Agricultural modernization continued to spread in the country, enriching the landowners rather than the peasants, many of whom barely saw any rise in their incomes despite the growth of agricultural productivity. By 1850, Poland was exporting more wheat than any other European country, and yet the countryside’s population had stagnated due to emigration to Poland’s cities. Within these cities, the expansion of the industrial urban economy was beginning to take place, spearheaded by Jewish emigrants from nations such as Russia, who found the relatively liberal Polish state a far more attractive place to settle than the harsh rule of the Tsar. An “Industrial Belt” from Warsaw to Krakow was emerging, powered by the rich coal reserves of Poland and taking advantage of the relatively low wages required by Polish workers. The railways began to link Poland up to her neighbours as well as its port of Danzig (Gdansk). Between 1845 and 1860, Poland’s railway network had gone from being non-existent to possessing over 4,000 kilometres of track, the most extensive network in Central Europe. Although her cities were small and economy unindustrialized when compared to the West, Poland was developing a modern society and economy that would come to challenge the established order of landowners and the church in the Sejm.

* * * * * *

The Italian Peninsula

After the death of Charles Emmanuel and the total defeat of Piedmont and the incipient Italian National Movement at Milan, it appeared that both Italian Nationalism as well as the Count of Asti’s hope for a stronger Piedmont were both dead in the water. Although France had stopped Austria from making territorial gains at Piedmont’s or the largely defunct Republic of Venice’s expense, Austrian influence was stamped upon the Italian Peninsula. The rulers of smaller Italian states, traumatised by the events of the revolutions, looked to Austria as a defender of the status quo in Italy. With the exception of the Papal States, and the Bourbon Dynasty in Naples, the Italian Peninsula was dominated by an Austria whose main objective was to keep the situation much as it was in the 18th century and to suppress any form of liberalism and nationalism. In Piedmont, the Austrians weakened the government by collecting an indemnity imposed at the end of the war, as well as influencing the curriculum taught in state schools. Through the 1830s, Piedmont appeared to be little more than a client state of the Austrians while it seemed as if it was Naples to the South which was becoming the greatest of the Italian states.

However, the ground began to shift in the 1840s. In Piedmont, the “October Days” of 1843 saw the pro-Austrians in government collapse, and a parliament was elected in which Italian National Liberals were a majority. Demands among parliamentarians and the press for a vigorous national programme were moderated before actually becoming policy, but there was a noticeable shift. Although he would die in 1852 still in exile in London, the Count of Asti wrote approvingly of the Italian National Liberals regularly in the British press and reinvented himself as an ardent Nationalist, in part perhaps to punish Austria for the “Carthaginian Peace” imposed on Piedmont. Although the National Liberals were restrained in the measures they could undertake due to fear of Austrian reprisal, there was nevertheless some progress made. In the 1850s, the diplomatic situation began to improve as Carlo Caretti, the Piedmontese foreign minister from 1854, leveraged public opinion in Britain to produce a break in the Anglo-Austrian Alliance as far as Italy was concerned, enabling Piedmont to once again strengthen her army and fund pro-Nationalist press organs in other areas of Italy. The pessimism of Italian political culture had by the 1850s given way to a renewed Liberal Nationalism that the king of Piedmont appeared unable to stand against.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - A bit of a long update, but I really had a lot to get in here. Without even a strong Prussian state, Germany is being even more held back by her disunity than she was in OTL. Certainly, with part of her OTL industrial region in French hands, industrialization and economic development will be retarded somewhat. In Austria, the nationalists that dogged her in OTL are rearing their heads again, though due to the different circumstances things may not work out as they did.

Poland however is having something of a happier time than the Poland of our world. Free and relatively forward-thinking, Poland is undergoing a period of growth and in comparison to Germany she is doing rather well. At the rate things are going, Poland may become the industrial area of Eastern Europe alongside Bohemia and Silesia. And in Italy, Piedmont struggles to regain the status she had lost, though mounting problems in Austria may soon give her an opportunity to make up for lost ground.
I think it mentioned in the previous update that Lithuania was part of Russia.

Ah, now I see! But the city was majority Polish up until WWII, so there could be a chance it may be snagged off during Poland's formation (I recall the Second Republic did so IOTL). But considering how Vilnius would've extended the border, it could go ether way.
Apologies, I didn't realise we had gone so long without an update!
So will there be any chance of German Unification in the future?
Well, I'm intending to take this timeline as far as I can, so I wouldn't discount anything with over a hundred years left to go...
Go Poland! Here's hoping they finally get a break ITTL. Does the state hold Vilnius/Wilno as well?
Vilnius is very close to the border but falls under Russian rule. The fact that there are so many Poles there has not gone forgotten though.
I think it mentioned in the previous update that Lithuania was part of Russia.
Most of Lithuania is in Russia. Kanaus is still under Polish rule, but Vilnius and the east (of modern Lithuania at least) are under Russian rule.
Ah, now I see! But the city was majority Polish up until WWII, so there could be a chance it may be snagged off during Poland's formation (I recall the Second Republic did so IOTL). But considering how Vilnius would've extended the border, it could go ether way.
Well, I will simply say that the border in the East is by no means settled yet.
Awesome updates and of course ..... MAPS!
There will be some maps coming at the end of the cycle. I think with the next cycle I will definitely try to provide more and better maps.
Western Europe - 1829 to 1860

Frederick Cregan; A History of Modern Europe

Political and Economic Change in Great Britain

The coup of Filipe of Cadiz in Spain did little to change Britain’s strategic situation. Spain had been a loose ally of France prior to the coup, and the alliance was only somewhat strengthened following the rise of the National Liberals there. However, the perception of the rolling French triumph in helping Filipe to the throne, and of securing Spain as a key French ally, was nothing short of political disaster for the Earl of Derby’s successor, the Duke of Cambridge. Originally chosen for his strong stance on free trade, much of 1828 was spent trying to resist Tory calls to take a hard line against France as she prepared to intervene in the mounting chaos in Germany. Britain did not join other European countries in recognising the Frankfurt parliament in August, nor did she react when France mobilized the following month. With public opinion convinced that a French invasion of Germany was imminent, Cambridge could no longer resist the weight of the opposition against him, and after the collapse of the Whigs in Parliament the King appointed a Tory government led by the relatively young rising star of the party, Edward Colne. Although Edward did send troops to Germany, the French victories against the British expeditionary force, the German Parliamentary forces and the Austrians left Britain’s position untenable.

Edward Colne did not survive as Prime Minister in the aftermath of the British defeat, though the Tories remained in power and he was shifted to the position of Chief Secretary of Ireland. The Tory government of the 1830s was based on two unshakeable positions, namely the defence of the landed interests of Britain against the urbanites within and against the cheaper producers without, as well as a stern opposition to French hegemony on the Continent and expansion outside of Europe. In this latter endeavour, they actually met with more success than the Whigs had done previously. British support was key to the successful independence movement of Quebec, and it has been long supposed that the British nurtured Louisiana’s pretentions at independence subsequently. In Australia, an agreement was brokered with the French that guaranteed much of the east of the continent for British settlers. The attempts on the part of the Tories to contain France outside of Europe were actually successful to quite some degree. While French domination within much of Western and Central Europe was something of an unavoidable fact, it seems as if Kevin Waterford was correct in stating that “with the resources that she was left with, Britain did an admirable job in combating French hegemony in this era”.

Also of interest was the intensifying naval race between Britain and France. Attempts to gain naval supremacy were made by both sides, though the British tended to come off better except for a brief period in the 1850s when iron cladding and steam rendered previous ships obsolete. French attempts to secure exclusive naval basing rights in South Africa and Malta failed, and their latter attempts to overthrow The Knights in Valetta were thwarted by a hastily signed British guarantee of their independence [1]. The hope on both sides was that in any future war, they would be able to decisively defeat the enemy and cut them off from their overseas empires. However, the French hope of keeping Britain out of continental affairs in this way became more of a forlorn hope as the 1850s came to a close, and the thriving British economy was able to pay for a navy significantly larger than France’s. For the time being at least, France’s attempts to challenge Britain on the waves was thwarted and this represented a threat to France’s ambitions.

Internally, British politics were greatly affected by the changing social and economic circumstances of the country. Although industrialisation was now beginning to spread in France, Britain’s economy still maintained a significant lead and was growing at a faster pace than any continental economy. The growing affluence of Britain’s cities led to tensions with the traditional landowning political class, and political tension was particularly marked over agricultural tariffs which protected the interests of landowners but kept food prices high, raising costs for factories through wages. The “Great Tariff War” that had become an increasingly significant issue was finally brought to an end with a series of free-trade reforms in the 1840s, which removed the tariffs and marked a new epoch in which the increasingly self-confident cities of the United Kingdom had more of a voice in government. After the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1824, and a formal codification of the Constitution a decade later, the political franchise of the United Kingdom was now more geographically representative, though only 20% of the male population had the vote by 1834. Following these seismic changes, the party system settled into the Conservative Party, dominated by landowners and rural interests and the Liberals, who found their support from urban manufacturers and the growing middle class.

These emerging political parties differed in some key ways. The Liberals supported a “Free Market” approach to governance, with low tariffs and government intervention in the economy, while the Conservatives went some way toward protecting rural areas, earning great scorn in the 1840s for the significant government aid provided to the Irish following the potato blight [2]. Although popular amongst rural constituencies, the Liberals were able to exploit this focus to paint the Conservatives as a reactionary party of “has-beens”, and with their general election triumph in 1849 were able to consign the Conservatives to opposition for over a decade. It would not be until the growing tensions in Europe in 1860 shepherded a nervous public toward the Conservatives under Colne that the Liberal hold on power would be weakened. The Tories, it seemed, had found a different route to power with the emphasis on international strength and patriotism.

[1] – Yes, the Knights Hospitillar are still alive and kicking. At the rate they are going, they may end up as one of those strange European reminders of the Ancien Regime

[2] – The Potato Blight is not quite as devastating as it was in OTL thanks to the provision of aid by the British government for affected citizens. While hundreds of thousands have died and emigrated, it has not hit Ireland’s population as hard as it did in OTL. This fact, and the absence of the famine as the defining moment of British rule in Ireland will have some big effects in the future.

* * * * * *


France after Henri the Great

France had launched her war to prevent the unification of Germany for a number of reasons. The aging King Henri had established France as the hegemonic power of Western Europe in the 1800s, and was loath to see this position threatened by the rise of a German State that could potentially ally with either the Austrians or worse, the British, to end this French domination. However, there were also a number of internal political reasons for the war. It was hoped that a decisive defeat of the incipient German Parliament in Frankfurt would discourage Germans on the French-ruled left bank of the Rhine from nationalism. It was also hoped that a successful war would serve to bind the French public, increasingly dissatisfied with the Bourgeoisie nature of the regime. The French King had long seen wars as a powerful tool for popularising his regime at home, part National Liberal and part Ancien Regime. This strange contradiction had managed to work in part due to the personality of Henri, but the first cracks in the French system appeared following his death. His successor Louis was determined to continue this path, but his first years in power were marked by setbacks, with Quebec gaining independence.

The main threat to the French monarchy however came from within, and the famed “Paris Mob” was feared greatly by the king and his government. For a while in the 1830s following the loss of New France, a move back to Versailles was considered, but Louis ultimately decided to remain in the Tuileries. As a prince, Louis hoped for something of an expansionist policy but as king he was forced mainly to focus on consolidation, a task he undertook with somewhat less competence than his father. More so than Henri, Louis was forced to rely on ministers who were often appointed from the elected Estates General of France. Throughout the reign of Louis, the cabinet were increasingly appointed from the Second Estates of the Commoners, though rather than representing any increase in the influence of “The People”, this represented the growing strength of France’s Bourgeoisie. As the industrialisation of France began to pick up pace, businessmen, factory owners and merchants began to matter more in economic terms than the traditional landowning aristocracy. Unlike in Britain however, the French Bourgeoisie did not envision a small state, but rather a large one which would support the development of infrastructure and maintain a large army to secure the nation.

This more muscular vision of government was a defining characteristic of National Liberalism, viewing the state as a guarantor of individual freedom rather than a threat to it. The difference was that while Henri had in some ways guided the development of the ideology, it took on a life of its own in the reign of Louis. In the elections of 1848, the National Liberals ran as a coherent party for the first time, revealing a programme which was based around the values of patriotism, prosperity and liberty. While broadly supportive of Louis’ governments, this party was not the arm of the king in the Estates which the earlier and looser faction had been, and publically disagreed with the king on the Louisiana Question. Despite this, the French Estates at this time was not the openly disobedient chamber that it would later become, as the Conservatives and National Liberals both supported the French Monarchy to various degrees and Republicans made up a very small portion of the Estates overall. In the 1850s, there was something of a resurgence of the Catholics in French politics as well, though efforts to move education back into the Church’s control ultimately came to nothing.

The most significant changes in France during these days however were the social, economic and to some extent cultural changes that were a result of the Industrial Revolution. Although it had spread to North East France by the 1830s, Industrialization picked up steam in the 1840s and ‘50s in particular as increases in demand as well as decreases in the cost of raw materials such as coal led to a great increase in the industrial production of the country. Although absolute figures remained somewhat behind Great Britain, France raced far ahead of any other Continental European country in both manufacturing output and the production of coal. In particular, Wallonia and the Nord Pas-de-Calais grew tremendously as huge reserves of coal were found there. The landscape now began to look like that of Lancashire and Yorkshire in the United Kingdom, as coal mines and mills dotted the region and turned the traditional peasant society into a modern one of industrial workers. This growth in manufacturing produced an enormous amount of wealth in French society, which catapulted Paris into being the second financial city in the world after London. Many mill-owners built grand houses in the affluent west of Paris, further adding to the allure of the city which was entering a golden age as the 1860s dawned.

* * * * * *

Spain under the National Liberals

Upon the coup of Filipe the VI, there was a great hope in Spain that a corner had been turned, and that the long national decline had at last come to an end. Reformists in Spain hoped that the Spanish State could be reorganized along French lines, that her remaining colonies could be consolidated and that Spain would be put on the path to regaining her rightful place among the European Great Powers. However, Filipe and the Spanish National Liberals would soon find out that it would take more than ambitious ideas to improve the lot of Spain. The Spanish government’s budget was seriously unbalanced, with the government receiving less revenue adjusted for population than even Sardinia and Austria. Her efforts to hold onto her American colonies had near bankrupted her, as well as shattering her prestige. In addition to these problems, Spain found herself suffering from the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution, as British textiles soon made Catalonia’s thriving cottage industries uncompetitive, producing a great deal of unemployment and consequent dissatisfaction among the Catalans.

Filipe’s solutions to Spain’s problems were very much inspired by the reforms that France had undertook more than twenty years prior. The efforts toward rationalisation and secularisation that had begun in the Bourbon Reforms were renewed, with education now being the remit of the state rather than the church, and the Spanish Inquisition being ended once and for all. The administration was centralised and the Cortes was reformed to be something of a more representative institution, though only mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands had representation in the body, leaving Spain’s Caribbean possessions and the Philippines without a voice. There was nothing unusual in this, and with the enormous size of Spain’s Empire it would have been quite impractical for representation of an Empire this large. However, combined with efforts to bring the colonies under stronger Spanish control with little thought given to a native voice in government, this produced a significant amount of unrest in the colonies, even if they were relatively well-governed. While Spain saw no major revolts in her colonies until later in the 19th century, an outpouring of anti-Spanish literature in Cuba and the Philippines in particular speak to a deep set dissatisfaction with the situation.

Although a general rise in revenues from the colonies went some way toward improving the state of Spain’s finances, the National Liberal government struggled to eliminate the deficit. Unwilling to reduce the size of the Spanish Army or Navy, the Spanish Government attempted to sell off Church lands to raise money. However, although the still strongly Catholic right in Spain had tolerated the secularisation of education, the attempted requisitioning of Church land was a step too far, and the banner of rebellion was raised, somewhat ironically by a supposed illegitimate son of the previous king. “Antonio’s War” lasted for 4 years, with Antonio relying on the strong support of conservative Castilian peasants to resist the imposition of forced sales of Church lands. However, by 1851 the last embers of resistance had died out, and Spain was once again at peace. Ironically, although the government had managed to crush resistance to her sales of Church lands, the expenses incurred by the rebellion had more or less cancelled out any monetary gain. Tensions remained high, and hopes for the revitalisation of the Spanish state began to peter out as the 1850s came to a close. Spain remained divided politically, backwards economically and less relevant to the game of European power politics.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - While Britain is powering ahead as in OTL in terms of industry, her international position is much more precarious due to French hegemony on the Western European mainland. However, the French colossus is not quite as invincible as it appears. Although King Henri managed to create a "Cossack Republicanism" to use Napoleon's parlance, the machine which he built appears to be a rather difficult one to steer, and his successors may have less luck maintaining royal power. While Spain has taken some steps toward building a modern state, she is finding it very difficult to utilise her resources in the same way that France has done.

I have been thinking a lot about the direction of the timeline, and I want to try to do things a bit differently with the next cycle. There will be more updates with a more broadly inter-regional and even global outlook, and I will try to make an effort to learn how to make better maps. I will be in Bahrain for a while after the 26th of August, and will be without a computer so there will be a lack of updates I'm afraid. Hopefully I can get 1829-1862 finished before then though.
An interesting chapter could be about major reforms in Knight's-owned Malta , where the Ancient Regime-like Order secularizes and makes a kinda noble republic, or even better, a true democracy and becomes sorta of a paradise or a very liberal society!
Interesting, I wonder how the British/French conflict will end up working out in an actual conflict. Looks like it'd be headed for a stalemate, with a British advantage outside of Europe.
Attempts to gain naval supremacy were made by both sides, though the British tended to come off better except for a brief period in the 1850s when iron cladding and steam rendered previous ships obsolete.

I assume the underwater woodborers also made their mark ITTL? Nothing cripples a navy quite like wood-eating bivalves!
hows Portugal ?
Doing fairly well. Although the economic centre of gravity of the Lusitanian Monarchy is shifting more toward Brazil as the 19th century goes on, Portugal's cities in particular have done well. As quicker communication arrives later on in the 19th century, the cities of each side of the Empire are likely to see some level of cultural convergence. Portugal has tended to stay out of European affairs however, and this is likely to remain the case for fear of alienating Brazil.
An interesting chapter could be about major reforms in Knight's-owned Malta , where the Ancient Regime-like Order secularizes and makes a kinda noble republic, or even better, a true democracy and becomes sorta of a paradise or a very liberal society!
This timeline probably could use a look at some of the interesting smaller states and micro-states that have survived or popped up, and I do think a future update about the Knights and Malta could be a particularly interesting one.
This has got me stoked for when the next continental war starts up.
Like winter, the next Continental war is coming. A lot sooner than winter actually...
Interesting, I wonder how the British/French conflict will end up working out in an actual conflict. Looks like it'd be headed for a stalemate, with a British advantage outside of Europe.
The French army is still pretty much unrivaled in size. Both it and the Russian army are probably about 600,000 men when fully mobilized, and these are professional, long service troopers as the "Prussian Revolution" in military affairs has not taken place. However, unlike the Russians, the French have the ability to strike easily into anywhere in Western or Central Europe with the exception of Britain, making it a very potent force indeed. Britain would be hard pressed to stop French moves on the continent, but she still as the naval power to cut off France's communications with the rest of the world.
I assume the underwater woodborers also made their mark ITTL? Nothing cripples a navy quite like wood-eating bivalves!
Thank God for coppering is all I can say!
I've been wondering. What happened to Persia in the meantime?

Hopefully, it's still strong enough to take on Western powers on equal terms.
The last update on Persia can be found here, which takes us up to where we are at the moment.

Persia has moved beyond the point of being able to compete as a great power, but she is still somewhat more powerful than the post-Mahmud II Ottoman Empire of OTL. She has a growing and large population (roughly equal to Austria's) and a fairly urbanised population. She also has less of a problem with nomadic tribes as the Ottomans or Persians had in the 19th century of OTL. However, in institutional terms, she is starting to fall behind.
The European Revolutions - 1860

Westminster, 4th of March, 1860

“Well, this will certainly get bloody before it is over”

“Indeed Sir. I thought you might want to know before the papers find out tomorrow morning”

William Burns slumped into his chair. He had heard rumours of unrest in the Hapsburg Empire for several weeks now, but with the news that the Hungarians had declared independence, it suddenly appeared to be a rather unfortunate time to be Foreign Minister.

He turned to his underling. “Does anyone else in the cabinet know yet?”

“Not quite yet, I believe it is your prerogative sir. If you want me to…”

“No. It is already rather late in the evening, and I do think even the Prime Minister will have retired by now. I need to collect myself”

“Will that be all?”

“Yes, thank you Richard”

Richard nodded in acknowledgement and left the room. As soon as he was sure he was alone, Burns shambled over to his cabinet and poured himself a brandy. He was not accustomed to drinking this late at night, but nor was he accustomed to receiving bad news so late.

“There will be war, I am certain. But who will fight who? Will the Russians support the Hungarians? The French? Who do we support?”

His head was swimming before he even took a sip of his drink. He took one quick shot, downing the contents of the glass.

“I feel quite drunk already”

Burns shambled once again up his stairs to bed. There was a long, long day ahead of him.

* * * * * *​

Although almost seventy years of age, the Hero of Regensburg still had the upright bearing of a true soldier. His stiff and rigid posture belied the flexible character which had won him fame and seen him exiled from his native Austria. For a year now he had been far away from Vienna, living in a nondescript house in Belgravia. While his excellent English and reputation as a Francophobe had won him some admiration from the London Society, his somewhat haughty but typically Hapsburg demeanour had distanced him somewhat.

But he was visiting Downing Street today not for a social occasion, but for the morning’s news that the Austrian Empire had split. The British Prime Minister, Edward Colne, had reportedly flung himself into a panic at the news that Britain’s main continental partner was descending into chaos, and the Foreign Secretary Sir William Burns had turned to the former Archduke Franz Karl partially to make sense of the situation in Austria, but partially to see what Franz Karl was planning personally.

“Thank you for joining us on such short notice your highness, perhaps I can have tea brought?”

Franz Karl smiled. “Coffee would be most welcome”

The Prime Minister nodded at the attendant. “Please, do take a seat. I trust you have read the morning papers?”

“An expected turn of events. Some of the more radical elements amongst the Hungarians have been anticipating this for years”

“So perhaps your brother is prepared for this turn of events?”

Franz Karl scoffed. “He would struggle to prepare for breakfast, let alone an uprising amongst the Hungarians. His chancellor though”

“The Count of Burgenland?”

“Yes, that’s the one. New blood I presume, I must confess that I am not familiar with him from my days in the court. I suppose we shall see the quality of this new Chancellor in the weeks to come”

“But” Franz Karl thought, “I bet the man is a fucking peacock, prim and proper but no substance beyond the show if I know the kind of official my brother likes”

Prime Minister Colne nodded. Did he sense something hidden within Franz Karl? Jealousy? No, a man with as much experience as him was far beyond jealousy, it seemed like something else. Disappointment, despair, and perhaps frustration? This seemed to be closer to the truth.

“And what about this leader of the Hungarians, Lajos Somogyi I think? We do have a few files we had gathered while he was in living in Paris, but we didn’t quite suspect that he was leading this movement”

Burns interjected “Some of us in the foreign office think he may be something of a compromise candidate, a figurehead if you will. Many among the Young Hungarians disagree with the ideas held by others in their movement. For a while, we were convinced that they would tear themselves apart, but with his majesty removed from the picture, I suppose they thought it was a good time to strike”

Franz Karl nodded his head in agreement “What he said seems to be the consensus of men in the know in Vienna as well. If the Hungarians are disunited for now, it may not last if the Austrian army comes to put down their insurrection”

Colne stood up from his chair, and paced slowly away from the two men, turning his back as if frightened of his next question “So, you both think we have something to fear here?” He turned, to see both men nodding, filling the room with an eerie silence.

* * * * * *


The Dawn of the 1860 Revolutions

Tensions had steadily built up in Hungary throughout the 1850s. Both between the Austrian Government and the Hungarian Nationalists, as well as between the Hungarian Nationalists themselves. While the more extreme wing wished to break up the Austrian Empire entirely, replacing it with smaller nation states, those on the other end of the National Liberal spectrum wished to see the Centralist Austrian Empire replaced with a confederation of different nationalities, led by the Hungarians but with wide liberties for all peoples. In Vienna, the majority of the court wanted to deal harshly to any challenge of Hapsburg rule, and although some more far-sighted leaders such as Archduke Franz Karl attempted to moderate the policies of the government, the policy towards the Young Hungarians and their affiliated parties such as the Young Czechs and the Romanian Nationals. Thousands were imprisoned or exiled in a forlorn attempt to stem the nationalist tide, but the absolutism of the Hapsburgs only pushed the nationalities toward aspirations of independence. Following the suppression of the 1855 riots, even German-speaking Liberals began to gravitate more toward the informal groupings of the Liberal Nationalists throughout the Empire than toward the autocratic but German-speaking Monarchy.​

For those left in the court who wanted to avoid what they saw as an impending revolution, hopes became dimmer. When the Archduke Franz Karl presented a report which argued for the implementation of fairly weak regional parliaments elected by universal suffrage, the moderates in the Austrian court had moved beyond the pale of what the Emperor was prepared to tolerate, and the Archduke was exiled to London. For the moderate National Liberals across the Empire, this was a signal that any hope of compromise was a futile one, and the movements for independence were given much in the way of momentum. The Hungarians unilaterally elected a parliament in the winter of 1859, and were followed in 1860 by the Czechs and the Croatians. Finally, the situation exploded in the March of 1860, when the Hungarian Parliament declared independence from Austria, creating an enormous rift in the Middle of one of Europe’s great powers. For almost a week, there was no reaction from Vienna, and Hungarian units deserted the K.U.K Army until the Emperor finally condemned the Hungarian “rebellion”, promising quickly to put an end to the “insurrection”.

However, amongst the other peoples of the Empire, sympathy lay with the Hungarians. The new Hungarian state had been articulating an alternate vision for the smaller nations of Central Europe, envisioning a loose union which provided for the common defence, but which enabled national aspirations to be realised. The Croats, already inspired by the example of their South Slavic cousins in Serbia and Bulgaria in creating Nation-States, joined the Hungarian-dominated “Confederation of the Danube” on the 12th of June, 1860, and were followed by Slovakia on the 29th of June, Silesia on the 10th of July and by Romania on the 1st of August. The Hapsburg Monarch now appeared to be on the verge of disintegration, and on the 10th of August, a full-blown revolution began on the streets of Vienna, calling for the deposition of Emperor Karl. The Austrian Empire, the “Gendarme of Europe” just months before was now on the verge of total collapse, its Empire torn away from it and its people desperate for change. A storm was enveloping Europe, and it had begun in Hungary.

* * * * * *

Marylebone, 18th of August, 1860

“So, I must ask you Franz, what are you plotting here?”


Burns had a wry smile across his face. “In the years I have known you here and in Vienna, I’ve never known you not to have some plan forming”

Franz Karl shrugged. “I’m an old man by now, and I think my good will among the court in Vienna is spent. I admit, I would like to have some kind of conspiracy to move the direction of events towards a place that I would want, but I am afraid that these days, I lack the ability”

“Well, I am privy to some information that may be of interest to the ‘Hero of Regensburg’, as it were”


“Yes, my sources within the Schönbrunn tell me that your brother is planning on abdicating. Leaving in charge his eighteen year old son…”

Franz Karl’s face turned into an uncharacteristic smile, which he immediately tried to hide from his face. “Leaving in charge his eighteen year old son, who is perhaps the only one of my relatives who I am glad to know”

“So there is a chance for you to go back?”

“Now that would depend on how the court would see it, I can understand that some would be resentful, or suspicious of the overbearing uncle stepping out from the shadows”

“But surely your nephew would appreciate your presence, and your advice”

“Yes, that much is true”

“There are those in the Foreign Office who would certainly appreciate a strong friend of Britain once again as a voice in Austria”

Franz Karl had much to think about. If he returned to Austria, he would expose himself to risk. His reputation could be destroyed, his life would be at stake. But if he stayed? He dared not admit it, but the pull of his dynasty was true strong. The Hapsburg Monarchy had to be saved, even from itself.

* * * * * *


The Revolution Spreads
With all the tensions that had built up in Europe since the end of the last great coalition conflict, it was inevitable that individuals, groups and even nations would use the instability created by the Austrian Collapse to settle long-held scores and revise the settlement of the conflict. It only took two months after the declaration of Hungarian Independence for the revolution to spread to Venice, where once again the Medieval Republic headed by the Doge was unseated in a Nationalist uprising. This was an event that had been anticipated by the diplomatic circles of Europe, aware of the unpopularity of the Venetian Government, but more surprising were the mounting tensions in Germany. For three decades, the remnants of the old order in Germany had kept a lid on nationalist and liberal movements, but with these groups making progress in the rest of Europe, the pressure within Germany became too much to resist. In Prussia, troops were ordered to fire on demonstrators in Konigsberg, but refused. This led to the slaughter of Prussian officers, and the unprecedented warning to the King that the army could not be guaranteed to protect his person. The Prussian king fled to exile in Paris on the December of 1860s, the first German King to be unseated by revolutionary sentiment.

He would not be the first. In February, the Kings of Saxony and Hesse were next to be dethroned, and in March the King of Bavaria was hung from the balcony of his palace. Similar fates met the princes and rulers of the smaller German states, and there was an initial fear that Germany would descend into anarchy. This was the point at which the National Liberals came in, attempting to stem the growing chaos in Germany by convening a German Parliament once again, in direct contravention of the treaty which had ended the last war. Initially, a French mobilization was dissuaded, with the interim German Prime Minister warning the French that the Second Frankfurt Parliament was all that was holding back the spectre of a properly leftist revolution in Germany and general war in Europe. The armies that had refused to protect their kings could stomach protecting a democratic parliament, and swore allegiance to the government in Frankfurt, which felt secure enough to declare a German Republic in the May of 1861. For the moment, the situation in Germany appeared to be stabilising, and it looked as though Europe would not descend into a general war as feared by some.

However, only two months later, revolutionary sentiment spread to Italy. The “Red Shirts” of the Italian Republican Guerrilla Francesco Raimondo launched a lightning campaign against the Piedmontese King, quickly overcoming the demoralised Piedmontese army and declaring an Italian Republic in Milan [1]. The spectre of radical republicanism, curbed somewhat by the moderation of the Frankfurt Parliament, once again struck fear not only in France, but in Austria and Britain too. Alongside a heightening of tensions between Austria and Hungary, Europe in the July of 1861 was very much on the brink of a war the likes of which had not been seen in decades.

[1] – Raimondo of course is a fairly distant cousin of OTL’s Giuseppe Garibaldi. We are going on the assumption here that some of Garibaldi's awesomeness must have been genetic.

* * * * * *

Author's Notes - And the stage is set for a resumption of a general European War. Austria is falling apart at the seams, Northern Italy is united under a Republican regime and the Ancien Regime cannot fight the revolution through fear of each other's motives. Although France may not have fell to revolution in the 1790s, Europe may still choke on the revolutionary spirit. We may also begin to see a decoupling between Nationalists and Liberals depending on how things go. Either way, Europe is going to see a lot of change.