The Anglo-Saxon Social Model - The Expanded Universe

Great Men: Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Hilda Thatcher, Baroness Thatcher of Scotney (nee Roberts) (13 October 1925 - 8 April 2013), commonly known throughout her career as Margaret Thatcher, was an Anglo-Commonwealth politician and stateswoman. She served as Prime Minister from 1976 to 1981 and as leader of the Liberal and Democrat grouping in the Commonwealth Assembly from 1988 to 1995.

Thatcher studied chemistry at Somerville College, Oxford and afterwards worked as a research chemist at the Sovereign Wealth Fund facility in Bletchley Park. Among the projects she worked on was what eventually became Mr. Whippy ice cream. She won a seat in the Greater London Assembly in 1950 before entering the Westminster Parliament at the 1961 election. She served in various Shadow Cabinet positions during the 1960s and became a notable member of the “neo-Gladstonian” tendency within the Liberal Party that sought to relax business regulations and reduce the role of the state in society. Although largely sidelined under the leadership of Jeremy Thorpe, Thatcher returned to prominence after his fall from grace and became leader of the Liberals in February 1972.

At this time, the Commonwealth was facing a series of interlinked currency and economic crises and the Liberals successfully exploited this to win their first majority since 1945 at the 1976 general election. In an attempt to take control of the crisis, Thatcher’s government introduced large cuts to both taxation and government spending, while also unilaterally shifting the primary aim of the Bank of England from general macroeconomic management to the control of inflation above everything else. She was a prominent force behind a series of bailout packages for heavily indebted Commonwealth member states but these policies failed to stop the crisis in both government debt and the banking system and the austerity required by the bailouts created a crisis of political legitimacy in the badly-hit Puerto Rico, among other member states. Although inflation fell in the United Kingdom, unemployment reached levels not seen since the 1930s and caused widespread civil disobedience, particularly in Ireland, which led to the declaration of a state of emergency on the island in the summer of 1980. The Liberals subsequently suffered a landslide defeat in the 1981 election.

Out of power after 1981, Thatcher resigned from the leadership but remained prominent on the backbenches as a neo-Gladstonian. However, when the “Gang of Four” of Nigel Lawson, Keith Joseph, Norman Tebbit and Michael Dobbs left the party to form the Liberal Democrats, she chose not to follow them. She would leave Parliament in 1988 when she chose to run for the leadership of the Liberal and Democrat grouping in the Commonwealth Assembly. Although she won her seat, she proved unable to form a coalition and her tenure there was uneventful before retiring from the Assembly at the 1995 elections.

After leaving the Assembly, Thatcher took up the life peerage to which she was entitled as a former prime minister. As Baroness Thatcher of Scotney, she was a regular participant in debates but did not form a part of the Liberal ministerial or shadow ministerial team in the Lords before retiring from public life in 2005 owing to ill health. She died of a stroke in 2013. Her son, Mark Thatcher, was also a politician and succeeded Thatcher in her Parliamentary seat of Finchley upon her retirement in 1988. He remained in Parliament until his arrest and jailing in Papua New Guinea in 2004, which resulted in his resignation.

Thatcher remains a controversial figure in British and Commonwealth political culture. The economic policies she pursued as prime minister are generally regarded as having failed and nearly caused the dissolution of the Commonwealth but the reasons for this, and whether they owed more to inherent failures or wider structural issues, remain debated. However, her work on environmental matters - including passing the Environmental Protection Act 1981 and being a key supporter of the 1979 Arusha Protocol - has subsequently been praised. Historians generally regard her tenure as a failed attempt to realign Commonwealth politics in a neoliberal or neo-Gladstonian direction.

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Margaret Hilda Thatcher
Very nice write up and pretty much in line with what I'd expect from her in this timeline.
I was rather amused by the Mr. Whippy bit.

I'm imagining a day when you add one of these and readers go "wait, all of these links are actually clickable?!"
Nice write up for Mrs T there.

I suspect future historians will be much kinder to her than anyone who lived through her Premiership. Much like OTL I suspect...

What was Mark Thatcher arrested and jailed for?
Very nice write up and pretty much in line with what I'd expect from her in this timeline.
I was rather amused by the Mr. Whippy bit.
Thanks. I was rather disappointed to learn that the Mr. Whippy bit might not actually be true.

Nice write up for Mrs T there.

I suspect future historians will be much kinder to her than anyone who lived through her Premiership. Much like OTL I suspect...
An interesting question. The environmental moves are dramatic and important (and recognised as such) but the absolute necessity of having done them is possibly questioned by TTL 2020, if for no other reason than that the reforms having happened means that the climate crisis is far, far, far less acute in the 21st century.

What was Mark Thatcher arrested and jailed for?
Attempting a coup in Equatorial Guinea, as in OTL but TTL he's appropriately punished.

I wonder if, when she died, some folks still sang "ding dong, the...."
I think her legacy TTL will be less "divisive" (to use the correct lingo), partly due to the fact that she's around for a lot shorter time and also because she failed, ultimately. Not to say that she won't have had her detractors in the years since...

Such as the Nattative and objective of the TL? :)
We're all a slave to something...
Thanks. I was rather disappointed to learn that the Mr. Whippy bit might not actually be true.

An interesting question. The environmental moves are dramatic and important (and recognised as such) but the absolute necessity of having done them is possibly questioned by TTL 2020, if for no other reason than that the reforms having happened means that the climate crisis is far, far, far less acute in the 21st century.

Attempting a coup in Equatorial Guinea, as in OTL but TTL he's appropriately punished.

I think her legacy TTL will be less "divisive" (to use the correct lingo), partly due to the fact that she's around for a lot shorter time and also because she failed, ultimately. Not to say that she won't have had her detractors in the years since...

We're all a slave to something...
hmm i would have thought Carol Thatcher might have been mentioned. She was actually rather more able than Mark
hmm i would have thought Carol Thatcher might have been mentioned. She was actually rather more able than Mark
She certainly was (not that that was a huge challenge tbh) but, let's face it, if Thatcher was going to stitch up a parliamentary seat for any of her children, it was going to be Mark...
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She certainly was (not that that was a huge challenge tbh) but, let's face it, if Thatcher was going to stitch up a parliamentary seat for any of there children, it was going to be Mark...
yes its just a shame she never seemed to register on her mother's radar, just as she (MT) almost never mentioned her own Mother, as opposed to her Father. Throughout her career other Women seem to have been invisible to her, except as secretaries and suchlike..
Austria, officially the Kingdom of Austria, is a constitutional monarchy in central and southern Europe. It is bordered by Bavaria to the north, the Commonwealth of Independent States to the north and west, the UN Trust Territory of Former Yugoslavia to the south and southwest, Italy to the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. It is composed of thirteen provinces, of which one is Vienna, the capital and largest city. Austria occupies an area of 125,051 km2 (48,282 sq mi) and has a population of over 13 million people. The ICU lists Austria’s GDP at the end of the second quarter of 2020 as being 688.7 billion bancors, making it the eighth largest economy in Europe (not including the United Kingdom or the European Benelux countries). While German is the country’s official language, the country is linguistically diverse and many Austrians communicate in Italian, Slovenian and Croatian (which also have legal protection as regional languages), as well as a variety of regional Bavarian dialects.

Austria initially emerged as a margraviate around 976 and developed into a duchy and an archduchy. It served as the heart of the Habsburg family’s territories, one of the most influential royal dynasties in history. It became the administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire and, early in the 19th century, Austria established its own empire. Following the Napoleonic Wars, the country was a member of the German Confederation but rivalry with Prussia saw it pursue an independent course. In 1867, following defeat in the Austro-Prussian War, Austria entered into a compromise with the Habsburg Hungarian lands, leading to the establishment of the Dual Monarchy. Defeat in the Great War saw the Habsburgs lose control of their Hungarian possessions. In 1937, appeals to pan-Germanism saw the country join with Germany to form the Greater German Empire.

As part of the Greater German Empire, Austria fought in the World War and was defeated once more. On this occasion, the country came under the tripartite occupation of the Americans, the Soviets and the Commonwealth, with the Soviet-occupied territories, the historical regions of Bohemia and Moravia, being hived off as the independent republic of Czechia in 1955. That same year, the remaining Austrian territories were granted independence. Under the long reign of King Otto (1922-2007), the country was stabilised and developed into one of the most advanced economies in Europe. Because of the success of left wing political parties, the prevalence of collectivised businesses and farms, as well as Otto's personal informality, the country was often referred to as “Europe’s Crowned Republic” in the postwar period.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a Chancellor as head of the federal government and a monarch, currently Charles II, as the ceremonial leader of the nation. Major urban areas include Graz, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Lalbach and Trieste, as well as the capital city of Vienna. The country is ethnically diverse. Although Austrians had historically been considered ethnic Germans, since the World War Austrians and migrants or refugees from the other German nations have been counted as a separate ethnicity on official censuses. A small majority of the country’s population are Austrian, with Slovenians and Italians together making up just over a quarter. The remainder of the population is mostly made up of Germans, Croats and other Slavs.

Austria is consistently ranked amongst the richest countries in the world in GDP per capita terms and has also achieved high rankings in the Human Development Index. Austria is a member of the United Nations, ICU and World Bank Group, as well as numerous other international organisations. In November 2010, it signed a landmark security and military cooperation agreement with Italy, which would include the creation of a new joint naval and expeditionary force.

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Soccer: Four Nations Championship
The Four Nations Championship is an international women’s football competition between the teams of the United Kingdom, France, the Benelux and the Nordic Union. The current champions are the Benelux, who won the 2020 tournament.

The Four Nations is the successor to the Anglo-Nordic Cup (1954-1986), played between teams from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland. With the formation of the Nordic Union in 1986, the competition was reorganised. The Norwegian, Icelandic, Danish and Swedish teams were amalgamated into a Nordic one and the separate teams from the Home Nations were reformed into a United Kingdom team. The national teams of France and the Benelux were invited to participate full-time, having made occasional guest appearances in previous editions of the tournament.

The tournament is contested in March every year in which there isn’t a World Cup. It is a round robin tournament where each team plays each other team home and away, with the team with the best record being crowned champions. The United Kingdom and France have been the joint-most successful teams in the competition, with 8 victories each.

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Great Men: Polly Platt
Polly Platt (January 29, 1939 - July 27, 2011) was an American director, writer, producer and production designer. She is considered part of the wave of “New Hollywood” directors and she directed some of the most critically acclaimed and well-known films of the era, including The Last Picture Show (1971), A Star Is Born (1976) and Terms of Endearment (1983). She was also a producer and creator of the long running animated television series The Simpsons from 1989 to her death.

Platt initially worked as a production designer on the films of her second husband Peter Bogdanovich. However, when Bogdanovich fell ill on the set of The Last Picture Show she stepped into the director’s chair. Credited as the director, producer and co-writer, Platt became the first woman to be nominated for the Oscar Micheaux Award when The Last Picture Show came out and became an instant commercial and critical hit.

Platt and Bogdanovich divorced in 1973, by which time she had conclusively stepped out of his shadow. Her biggest commercial success up to that point came in 1976, when she co-directed (with Barbara Streisand) the remake of A Star Is Born starring Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. She also continued to enjoy critical success, with the Jack Nicholson and Brooke Shields drama Pretty Baby (1978) attracting strong critical notices but also controversy for its depiction of paedophilia and nude scenes featuring the then-12 year old Shields.

In the 1980s, Platt was introduced to the writer James L. Brooks and she directed his 1983 script Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacLaine, Jack Nicholson and Debra Winger. The film was a major critical and commercial success, grossing over $150 million worldwide and receiving eleven nominations at the Combined Guild Awards. Platt became the first woman to win the Oscar Micheaux Award. She continued long-term collaborations in 1987, producing James L. Brooks’ Broadcast News and directing Jack Nicholson in The Witches of Eastwick, both times to commercial and critical approval.

Afterwards, Platt moved into producing and her greatest success came in 1989, when she developed the animated sitcom The Simpsons with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. Platt assembled the show’s first writing team, co-wrote eight episodes and acted as producer for the show’s first nine seasons (and as executive producer from then on). Thereafter she directed Evening Star (1996), a sequel to Terms of Endearment, and A Map of the World (1999). By this point, however, her career had moved on to producing and she played a key role in launching the directorial careers of Cameron Crowe and Wes Anderson. Her final credit was as a producer and co-writer on The Simpsons Movie in 2007.

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France: French Union
The French Union (French: Union française) was a political and economic union of member states located primarily in Africa but with member states in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The Union was designed to replace the old system of colonies and protectores which was colloquially known as the “French Colonial Empire.” The Union formally came into being in 1946 under the terms of the constitution of the Fourth French Republic but it did not get its own separate governance and bureaucratic procedures until 1958. During the course of its existence, the Union developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws and a monetary union in the form of the Franc.

The Union underwent consistent territorial evolution over the course of its existence. On its foundation in 1946 its members were France, West Africa, Equatorial Africa, Togoland, Cameroons, Djibouti, Morocco, Tunisia, Madagascar and Indochina. This changed in 1951, with the division of Indochina into Cochinchina, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and again in 1958, with the incorporation of Togoland into West Africa and Cameroons into Equatorial Africa. In 1961, Algeria (with the exception of the area around the city of Oran, which remained an integral part of France as the Department of the Maghreb) was united with French Sudan and Niger to form the Republic of the Sahara. Seven years later, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia left the group pursuant to the Paris Peace Accords which ended the Indochina War. After this, the Union had a consistent membership of 9 member states until 2009.

Following the World War, France sought to retain a sphere of influence in Africa, which was critical to Charles de Gaulle’s vision of France as a global power and as a bulwark against Commonwealth, American and Soviet influence in the postwar world. It was also understood as a way of placating the independence aspirations of France’s colonies and protectorates. The transition from empire to Union, however, did not prove peaceful, with there being a lengthy insurgency war in Indochina as well as recurrent rounds of communal violence in French Algeria and, subsequently, the Sahara.

For most of its existence, the entirety of the French Union was heavily reliant on the consumption patterns and economic growth of metropolitan France, which was not only the largest economic area in the group but also the most developed. The pooling of monetary resources via the single currency and the existence of a single pooled bancor account for the Union at the International Clearing Union meant that the French Central Bank had effective control of the monetary supply and allowed the former African colonies’ economies to remain based on the exporting of agricultural and raw materials.

As well as its economic and fiscal structures, the other key aspect of the French Union was defence cooperation. This allowed France to de facto establish itself as a guarantor of stability in the region. Between 1946 and 1998, the French Union made 37 military interventions in its member states, mostly to protect Francophone financial or business interests or support particular leaders. The majority of these interventions were in the Union’s African members but perhaps the most famous such intervention was Operation Turquoise in 1995-96, where an army of majority African soldiers invaded metropolitan France to overthrow the government of the Fifth Republic.

Although the French Union had a substantial bureaucratic apparatus from the 1960s onwards, a central feature of its workings was that relations between member state leaders were informal and family-like, bolstered by a dense web of personal networks. At the centre of this was Jacques Foccart, who served as General Secretary of the French Union between 1959 and 1997. A blurring of state, party and personal interests made it possible for a series of informal and familial relationships to spring up to benefit specific political and business groups and certain sections of the French and African populations. Often there was little pretence of democracy, particularly in the African member states. For example Felix Houphouet-Boigny was President of West Africa between 1958-93, Omar Bongo was President of Equatorial Africa between 1967-2009 and Hamani Diori was President of the Sahara between 1958-89.

During its existence, the countries of the French Union all experienced significant economic growth. France successfully recovered from the ravages of the World War while many of the African member states saw significant economic growth based on the exportation of agricultural products and the exploitation of natural resources. West Africa and Equatorial Africa both maintained an average annual growth rate of nearly 10% for several decades, outstripping the growth seen in neighbouring independent non-Commonwealth Anglophone nations such as Ghana, Nigeria and the Gambia. Cochinchina underwent rapid industrialisation and in the 21st century is one of the most advanced economies in the world. For most of its existence, the French Union was the fourth largest economy in the world (as calculated by the ICU), behind the Commonwealth, the United States and the Soviet Union. However, critics observed that this growth came at the cost of growing inequality in France and Cochinchina and the maintenance of predominantly agricultural, extractive economies in most of the member states.

Throughout its existence, the French Union was controversial and its abolition was a long-term aim of many revolutionary movements in its member states. On the foundation of the French Seventh Republic in 2009, France withdrew from the Union and unilaterally declared the independence of its Overseas Departments. While this did not formally end the organization, it was increasingly regarded as a dead letter. Cochinchina formally left on 1 January 2019, leaving the African states as the only as the only on-paper members. However, in the context of the Great African War, the future of these countries was regarded as uncertain and the ICU announced that it would be dissolving the Union’s single bancor account in August 2020, in advance of the Damascus Peace Accords to end the conflict.

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The French Union between 1968 and 2009
Austria sounds like a nice place to be and visit.

How did they end up with Slovenia after the war?
Forgot to answer this before. The answer is a bit hand-wavy, I'm afraid but the short answer is that the Austro-Hugarians perform a lot better in the Great War and are able to use divisions within the Allies to ensure that they are able to keep most of the Czech and Carniolan lands in the Treaty of Versailles. An Italian invasion in the 1920s leads to the creation of an Istrian republic under notional Serbian-Austrian-Italian tripartite sovereignty (which includes some of OTL Slovenia) that persists until the breakdown of international relations in the late 1930s, when fascist Italy annexes it. So, in 1945, Italy is one of the major fascist powers and Austria is kind of doing its "first victim" thing and is also setting itself up as a moderate counterweight to Soviet influence in the region, which means that the Commonwealth and the Americans look on it in a much friendlier light. OTL Slovenia is the part that was under US administration and so it was united with Austria in 1955.
Good write up of French Union there.

Such a convoluted, undemocratic system as described really does seem poised to fall, and I am kinda glad it did, though it was very messy, and I doubt anyone will be happy with that 2020 treaty.
Businesses: Freedman's Savings and Trust Company
The Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, commonly known as the Freedman’s Bank, is an American multinational bank and financial services company headquartered in Philadelphia, with central hubs in New York City, London, Shanghai, Atlanta and Los Angeles. It is the largest commercial bank in the United States, servicing approximately 27% of all American bank deposits, in direct competition with the other “Big Four” banks (Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citicorp). The amount of assets under management in its investment banking arm is the third largest of any institution in the United States (after Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs) and is the ninth largest of any investment institution in the world.

The bank was chartered by the U.S. government in 1869 and began operations in 1870, with the aim of encouraging and guiding the economic development of the newly emancipated African-American communities in the post-Civil War period. Its first chairman was the Radical Republican Jay Cooke and future Vice President Frederick Douglass was a trustee until 1881. The bank expanded quickly in its early years, boasting over 70,000 depositors by 1880 and was an important lifeline for newly-enfranchised communities. The bank became very successful in the 1880s through, firstly, its financing of railroad construction and, after that ran into difficulty following the Panic of 1883, in mining.

Freedman’s Bank has historically had a close relationship with the federal government. It is, for example, the only financial institution specifically excluded from regulations requiring the separation of investment and commercial banking operations. Despite this, the Sovereign Wealth Fund of the United Kingdom was controversially allowed to take a 10% ownership stake in the bank in June 2020. The bank retains large market shares in both investment and commercial offerings. The investment arm is considered one of the bulge bracket banks and its clients include some of the largest corporations and institutions in the United States and abroad, including foreign governments. Its wealth management division is the second largest such institution in the world. In commercial banking, Freedman’s Bank maintains retail branches in all 47 states of the United States and operates (without necessarily maintaining retail branches) in more than 40 other countries. It has over 46,000,000 depositors.

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Great Men: Mae Jemison
Mae Carol Jemison (born October 17, 1956) is an American engineer, administrator and former astronaut. In 1992 she became the first black woman to travel into space and from 1993 to 1995 she served as the first American representative on the Commonwealth’s Gaia Space Station.

Born and raised in Alabama, Jemison graduated from Howard University with degrees in chemical engineering and African-American studies before then earning a medical degree from North Carolina A&T University. She served in the Peace Corps in Liberia and also as a general practitioner before joining NASA in 1987. She orbited Earth for just under eight hours in September 1992 before being selected to serve as a liaison with Gaia. In this capacity she became the first fully American citizen to set foot on the space station and went into space a further three times over the course of 1993 to 1995.

After leaving this role, Jemison resigned from NASA. She subsequently worked as an academic at Spelman College and founded the consulting company The Jemison Group, Inc.. She also wrote several books for children and a memoir. She returned to NASA in 2009, when she was nominated by President Colin Powell to be the agency's Administrator, becoming the first woman to take up the role. She retired in 2017. She holds several honorary doctorates and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame.

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