The Anglo-Saxon Social Model - The Expanded Universe

Bavaria, officially the Kingdom of Bavaria, is a landlocked country in central Europe. Covering an area of over 70,000 square kilometres, it lies between the Commonwealth of Independent States to the north and east, Hesse to the northwest, Baden-Wurttemberg to the west, Switzerland to the southwest and Austria to the south and southeast.

The original Bavarians are believed to be descended from those left behind from the Roman withdrawal from the provinces of Raetia and Noricum in the fifth century. Since the twelfth century, the territory has been ruled by the House of Wittelsbach - successively as the Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria - and the nation played a significant part in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire and, after that state’s collapse, the German Confederation. In 1871, it became a member-state of the Prussian-dominated German Empire. During the Great War, it was a centre of anti-war discontent and under King Rupprecht it seceded from Germany in 1918 and sued for a separate peace.

As with the rest of Europe, Bavaria faced numerous social discontents during the interwar period and the army launched coups against a revolutionary communist regime in October 1919 and a national socialist one in July 1934. Bavaria rejoined the German Empire only five days after the second coup. Once more, however, Bavarian elites were skeptical of German militarism during the World War, with King Rupprecht spending 1941-45 in a prison camp as a result of his opposition to the use of unrestricted submarine warfare. Rupprecht’s personal popularity saw him return to power as a symbolic figurehead in November 1946 as Bavaria once again became independent, this time as a constitutional monarchy.

Skilful political positioning and its long land border with the emerging Soviet Bloc saw Bavaria avoid the worst effects of the Roosevelt Plan, although large reparations payments caused periodic budgetary problems for some time afterwards. In the postwar years, Bavaria rebounded economically and is now one of the most important economies on the continent. It has a conservative political culture, with the centre-right Christian Social Union (“CSU”) dominating the government since 1946, although the centre-left Social Democratic Party has had periods in power. The Minister-President since 2008 has been Horst Seehofer of the CSU.

Bavaria has long had one of the largest economies of any country in Europe. Its GDP in 2020 exceeded 529 billion bancors, making Bavaria the 39th largest economy in the world and the 9th largest in Europe (not counting the Commonwealth and the Benelux). Bavaria has strong economic ties with Austria, Italy, Spain and Portugal and has been a member of the Latin Economic Forum since 1995. Because of its relative economic strength, it is a popular destination for migrants from other German countries. Many large companies are headquartered in Bavaria, including Adidas, Allianz, Audi and BMW, while the country is also a popular tourist destination, being home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and numerous other sites of interest.

Diplomatically, Bavaria is a member of the United Nations, the International Clearing Union, the World Trade Organization, the World Bank Group and was a founding member of NATO in addition to being a member of the aforementioned Latin Economic Forum.

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So. no NBA in the States?
The most popular leagues in the US TTL are MLB and NFL. In terms of cultural importance and popularity they're a bit like OTL NFL and NBA. Behind them would be the men's and women's soccer leagues (the American Soccer League and American Soccer Championship, respectively), which are probably something like the OTL NHL in terms of crowds and TV viewership. Those are generally regarded as the 'Big Four.' Behind that is cricket (the International Cricket League for the US national team and the North American Premier League for US, Canadian, Puerto Rican and West Indian domestic teams, the former obviously being much more popular in the US), which is a bit (in general terms) like OTL MLS in that it's popular where it's popular (in this case Pennsylvania, Dominica and other areas with large Asian or Caribbean communities) but rarely breaks out into the wider consciousness unless the US is doing well in the ICL or something like that.

Beyond that, ice hockey is really a Canadian sport and so plenty of Americans move to play in the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup, the Nordic Elite League or even the Soviet Championship League if they're feeling adventurous. But it's never really more than a minority sport in the US itself. Perhaps the OTL equivalent would be those Americans who follow Spanish club soccer. There may be a professional league in the US itself but it's really considered a feeder league for the Canadian leagues.

Basketball isn't butterflied away but it hasn't achieved anything like the popularity of OTL. It's still popular as a college sport and probably does have a professional (or at least semi-pro) league which attracts interest. So maybe something like the level of interest that women's football gets OTL or, if you're being ungenerous, something like lacrosse.
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Great Men: Barbara Castle
Barbara Anne Castle, Baroness Castle of Blackburn (nee Betts) (6 October 1910 - 3 May 2002), known throughout her career as Barbara Castle, was a British politician and stateswoman. She served as Prime Minister from 1963 to 1976 and as leader of the Labour Party from 1963 to 1977. She was the first woman to hold the office and is the fourth longest-serving British prime minister (and the longest-serving of the 20th century), after Sir Robert Walpole (1721-1742), William Pitt the Younger (1783-1801) and the Earl of Liverpool (1812-1827). Her long premiership encompassed both the apogee and the end of the long Labour hegemony of the post-1945 period.

Castle studied PPE at St Hugh’s College, Oxford and immediately afterwards entered a career in politics and journalism. She wrote for the left-wing magazine Tribune and was elected to the London Assembly in 1935 for the borough of St. Pancras. During the World War she worked for the Ministry of Food and was later the housing correspondent at the Daily Mirror. She entered Parliament as the MP for Blackburn at the 1945 election. She served as undersecretary of state at the Treasury in 1947-49 before entering the Cabinet as Education Secretary in 1956. She would remain there, introducing a number of significant reforms to state education in 1961, until surprising many with a run for the leadership after the death of Hugh Gaitskell in 1963.

Castle, a cross-factional candidate, won an internal competition against three other candidates and won an increased majority for her party at a general election only a month later. Her political philosophy and economic policies emphasised continued state involvement in the economy, Keynesian macroeconomic management and commitment to the Commonwealth, in line with the policies of her immediate predecessors. However, her tenure also saw a number of new developments, including the launch of the single Commonwealth currency, the decriminalisaton of abortion, the introduction of civil partnerships and the passing of the Race Relations Act. Following another general election victory in 1967, Castle’s second term saw substantial reform of the House of Lords. In foreign policy, Castle attempted to steer a path for the Commonwealth equidistant between the United States and the Soviet Union, a policy that saw her variously dubbed the “Iron Lady” or the “Red Queen” in the American and Soviet press. Notable foreign policy developments of this period included the departure of the Commonwealth from NATO and the ending of the Rhodesian Bush War in favour of the multi-racial government.

Castle was re-elected once more in 1971 but her third term was almost immediately beset by problems. The Commonwealth banking crisis of 1972 destabilised the single currency and almost caused the collapse of the bloc. She also had to manage the departure of Bengal from the union. This economic and political turbulence contributed to Labour’s defeat in the 1976 general election, where the party lost power after 31 years and the Liberals under Margaret Thatcher came to office. Castle resigned from the leadership of her party in 1977 but remained an influential voice on the backbenches until standing down at the 1981 election.

After leaving the Commons, she was given the life peerage, as Baroness Castle of Blackburn, to which she was entitled as a former prime minister. She was active in the Lords, serving as chairman of the House of Lords Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development and in the Commonwealth delegation for relations with Malta. Castle remained active in politics right up until her death, making her final public appearance at the 2001 Labour Party conference before dying of chronic lung disease on 3 May 2002. Although controversial at the time of her fall from power, Castle’s premiership is viewed favourably in historical rankings of British prime ministers.

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Hanover, officially the United Kingdom of Hanover, is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered by the Commonwealth of Independent States to the east, the Nordic Union to the north, Hesse, the Rhineland and the European Benelux countries to the west and south, the North Sea to the northwest and the Baltic Sea to the northeast.

The area currently covered by Hanover was formerly a hodge-podge of nations divided between various German princes and the Danish realm. Over time, the territory came to be dominated by two entities, the Electorate of Hanover and the Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein, the latter of which was ruled by the Danish monarchs and the former by the House of Hanover, who were also the monarchs of Great Britain from 1714. Following the German national awakening during the Napoleonic Wars, popular movements grew in both regions for unification of some form with the Prussian-dominated Germanic Confederation. The Danish duchies of Schleswig-Holstein were annexed to Prussia in the Second Schleswig War (1864) and the same happened to Hanover following the Austro-Prussian War (1866).

The territories would remain part of Prussia throughout the existence of the German Empire (1871-1945) until its dissolution. Hanover would be brought under the British occupation zone, which was initially divided into the State of Hanover and the State of Schleswig before being amalgamated into the present United Kingdom of Hanover in May 1949. At the same time, the head of the House of Hanover was returned to the throne as a constitutional monarch. In the immediate postwar period, Hanover managed to avoid the worst effects of the Roosevelt Plan, helped by the fact that the region had not been one of pre-war Germany’s primary industrial sectors. The country was thus able to transition to a parliamentary democracy relatively smoothly amidst an environment of relative economic calm.

Under the Social Democratic premierships of Kurt Schumacher and Hinrich Kopf, the country developed a welfare state and a mixed-market economy which has been retained, with some modifications, ever since. Hanover is famous for its ministerial stability, with the country having only five chancellors between 1960 and 2020. Current Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has been in office since 2013. The country has historically had a close relationship with the Commonwealth and is often (if inaccurately, because of its constitutional set-up) regarded as an Associated Republic because of the closeness of their relationship. Hanover had considered joining the Commonwealth, but opted to decline following a referendum in 2002 in which 76% of people voted to reject membership and another in 2018, which saw 55% of voters reject membership.

Hanover is considered a medium-sized power and the 11th largest economy in Europe by GDP (not including the multi-continental countries of Portugal, Benelux and the Commonwealth). Despite this low superficial ranking, Hanover is a continental leader in a number of industries, most notably finance (from the financial centre Hamburg), aerospace (it is home to Airbus, the largest non-American or Commonwealth aerospace company in the world) and renewable energy (100% of its electric power requirements have been met by renewables since 2004). Known for its long and rich cultural history, Hanover is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and has a thriving tourism industry. Hanover is also a member of the United Nations, NATO, the World Bank Group and the International Clearing Union.

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Soccer: Intercontinental Cups
The Fifa Intercontinental Cup, often called the Intercontinental Cup and known more colloquially as the Club World Cup, is an international men’s association football competition organised by the Federation Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA"), the sport’s global governing body. Since 1981, the tournament has been held every four years in the country that would host the World Cup the following year, thereby acting as a test event.

The competition was originally contested in 1960 as a two-legged match between the holders of the European Cup and the Copa Libertadores. The inaugural competition was contested between Santos, of Brazil, and Young Boys Bern, of Switzerland, with Santos triumphing 6-1 on aggregate. This format would remain in place until 1970, when concerns over the fan violence seen at the previous two finals (both contested between Celtic and Estudiantes) saw the tournament switched to a single grand final, played at a neutral venue that alternated between Europe and South America.

Following further disagreement between UEFA and CONMEBOL, FIFA took control of the tournament in 1976 and switched it to its current calendar slot and format. The biggest change to the previous tournament was an expansion of the teams involved from 2 to 20, with the winners of the continental club championships of Europe, North America, South America, Africa and Asia from the previous four years competing. (In the case of multiple winners across a four-year cycle, lots are drawn from amongst defeated finalists.)

The teams are ranked and then drawn into five groups of four, with the group winners and the three best-placed runners-up advancing to the knockout stages. Both before and after the expansion, the tournament has been dominated by European and South American teams, with no team from outside those continents having reached the final. The 27 Intercontinental Cup tournaments have been won by 20 different clubs, 11 from UEFA and nine from CONMEBOL. Celtic have been the most successful club in the competition, with their four victories coming in 1968, 1969, 1975 and 1976. Nueva Sociedad de Madrid, Barcelona, Alianza Lima and Santos have all won the competition twice, while Arsenal, Milan, Vasco da Gama, Ajax, Flamengo, Aston Villa, River Plate, Dynamo Moscow, Reims, Universitario, Estudiantes, Liverpool, Racing, Velez Sarsfield and Benfica have all won once.

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