The Red Crowns: An Imperial Tale

-The Red Crowns-

--An Imperial Tale--


-The Rise and Fall of Imperial Socialism-


Prologue: The Sowing of the Seeds

Excerpt from ImpSoc, AutoLib and NewTheo - The New Philosophies of the 20th Century

By Sir William Bragg Published 2004, Oxford University Press​

...of course, in 1879, traditional “Marxian” socialism was still highly dominant, it was not until Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham published his, now famous, treatise “The Worker’s Kingdom” that we can see the development of Imperial Socialism. Rejected at the time by Socialist and Traditional groups alike, it would nevertheless catch on among the people. C.G. had returned to the United Kingdom just over a year earlier, attending many Socialist rallies and, over the course of the year, would shape his own view of politics and he world. Merely nine moths before it's publication, C.G. began to codify his views into "Worker's Kingdom" but had no idea of it's potential impact. Cunninghame Graham’s initial philosophy can be boiled down into five key points:

-The maintenance of a Monarch (C.G. referred to this as the generic “Empress”) as head of state, for stability and as a remembrance of tradition. This was by far the most controversial aspect of the Philosophy but C.G. insisted that his Empress was crowned “By Will of the People” not “Grace of God”. C.G. did however state that regular referendums should be held to determine the future of the Monarchy.

-The maintenance of Democratic practice, to ensure that the government adhered to the will of the people. C.G. saw this as the only way to preserve true Socialism, disregarding the “Dictatorship of the Proletariat” but instead proposed a “Meritocracy of All”. Again a huge divergence, C.G. did not see Socialism as an ideology of the working class but one that would, in time, encompass all peoples.

-The establishment of a welfare state, so that the people may not fall into destitution. Again, less extreme than Marxian thought, people should be brought closer together, but through “the advancement of the low, not the purge of the high”

-The economic policy of “Market-Socialism”, often called State-Capitalism, which revolved around the idea of a Market economy, within which the Government was both a competitor and a regulator. Big Companies were to be opposed or dismantled but small business could be allowed.

-The people’s will must be represented as directly as possible, appointed government was unacceptable and the dominance of regions must be ended. This did not mean, however, that government should be limited. Quite the contrary, C.G. believed in big government over all alternatives, however he believed in self determinism and the Federalisation of Great Britain both in the homeland and beyond.


Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham - The Father of Modern Socialism

The immediate view of ImpSoc was that it was merely watered down Socialism, a bastardisation of Marxian politics, but it caught on well with British, particularly Scottish and Welsh, workers. The 1880 forming of the “Imperial Red Party” was the true beginning of the movement. Based on a promise of furthering the will expressed in the “Worker’s Kingdom” and presenting the first proposal of Imperial Federalisation. C.G. would garner huge immediate support from Socialists and Liberals and, despite his loss in 1881, C.G. would return in 1885 with his new, codified Philosophy and win his seat of North West Lanarkshire in something of a landslide. C.G.’s party was large for one so young, running twelve candidates across the country, four of whom would carry their seats, with his election to Parliament C.G. saw moderate defection to his cause. Five Scottish and seven English MP’s (Liberals and Independent Labour mostly) would defect to the new party in the run up to the 1886 elections, catapulting it to a position of importance in the House of Commons. This growth refused to slow in the 1892 elections, when the party carried 51 seats, many of them former Liberal heartlands and the rise of ImpSoc is believed to have been one of the leading causes of the Tory victory that year.


An Original Party Pin, Given to members in 1890

C.G.’s breakthrough, however, would truly come in 1893 when he was endorsed by one of the most powerful socialist institutions in the United Kingdom, The Fabian Society. Up until this point, the Fabians had been observing Union and Socialist groups, who had been bringing together various trade unions into one, “Labour Party”. However, the various groups involved struggled to reach a consensus and some within the Fabian Society believed that this Labour party would put too much power in the hands of the unions. Thus, with the emergent Red Party making good traction, the Society immediately fell in love. ImpSoc represented everything that the Fabians stood for; Socialism, Democracy, Reformism and (importantly) the maintenance of the British Empire and it’s use as a tool of progression and modernisation. The Fabians reached out to Cunninghame Graham, offering their support for his party and for the two groups to become officially associated associated. (Hence the common name of Fabians, referring to the party as a whole) With the Society, ImpSoc shot up in size and gained many notable members, including Ramsay MacDonald, HG Wells, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell and Emmeline Pankhurst; two of whom would go on to be Prime Minister. With the addition of the Fabians, Cunninghame Graham's party developed into an entirely new group, dubbed the “Federation of Imperial Socialists”. With many minor Socialist candidates and groups joining, the Fabians were now the third largest political party in the United Kingdom. The Party’s future was sure and now, as we entered into the 20th century, they were poised to leave their mark on Britain and the World.
I think this is literally the most fascinating start to a timeline i have ever read. :D:D

Imperial Socialism.



Interesting so far... subscribed.

Well, Monarchist Socialism... that is somehing you don't see every day...

consider me suscribed, and good luck!

Thanks for the kind words guys, this is a TL a long time in the making (about six months since the original concept) so I'm pretty damn invested at this point. Should have some more up tonight.
Now there's a spectacular start.

Interestingly, several OTL monarchs were crowned "By the Grace of God and the Will of the People". Stanislaw August (the last King of independent Poland), King Louis Philippe and Emperor Napoleon III of France, the Kings of Serbia and the Kings of Italy. Though in those cases the title had little to no socialist connotations.
Chapter 1: Rule Britannia

Excerpt from Faith, Fraternity and Fate: American Politics 1890-1953
By Peter Arke, Published by The New England Society of Literature, 1990

The late 19th and 20th century saw a revolution in politics, especially in Britain, France and, of course, the United States. For almost the entirety of it’s history, America had relied on a two party system, one left leaning and the other right. The idea that the number of parties could increase, or even decrease, was unheard of. Up until the late 19th century, religion had played a small role in politics; many Americans took their separation of church and state as important and yet it is not hard to see how his idea faded and the concept of a Christian Government would come into play. Beginning of course with the popular Prohibition Movement, which would of course evolve over the course of many years to become what we know as Wheelerism, which would grow in power throughout the 1890’s. This reaction can be see as a response to the slowing of American gains and the slip in the American rising power following the embarrassing Hawaii Affair, where the republic was quite embarrassed by the British Government. The attempted American-backed coup soured Transatlantic relations and led to the British Protectorate over Hawaii (Or the Sandwich Islands if you ask an Englishman). The reaction had huge reverberations around the world, including the trigger of...


Wayne Wheeler, the man who changed America

Excerpt from Brotherhood in the Pacific
By Mary Martin, Published by Longborough Publishing House

...a huge sense of rising patriotism and appreciation for the Empire (following the success in the Sandwich Islands of course) throughout the Australasian Colonies and though discussions of Federalisation expanded, they suffered setbacks throughout 1890, with the Canadian model viewed as too centralised for application in the relatively independent Australasian colonies. The first legitimate constitution for the region was penned by Andrew Inglis Clark, during his trip to London. Here it is believed he was influenced by Fabian politics as Clark had previously been described (inaccurately) as a “communist” and when he returned to Australasia, via Vancouver, the trappings of Imperial Socialism were clear in his final draft. With an emphasis on Australasia (then still referred to as merely “Australia”) as an “integral and inseparable part of the British crown but remaining and persisting as an independent nation”. The renaming of the convention in 1891 from “The Federation of Australia” to the “Federation of Australasia” may seem insignificant, but it showed a marked effort to include the New Zealand colony in the new union, something which many felt essential to the union’s legitimacy and longevity. Talks would last for another 4 years until plebiscites were held across Australasia. The votes were close in Western Australia and New Zealand, with only 56.2% and 54.1% pro union in each respectively. Despite this, the Dominion of Australasia was declared on June 5th 1895. It would not be for a few years, until 1896, that the Dominion would be recognised as a loyal Kingdom however due to the now famous military actions in...


The New Flag of Australasia

Excerpt from: Dominions, Kingdoms, Sisters: The Peoples of the British Empire
By Richard Peterborough, Published 1999 Penguin Publishing

Of course, it was the so called “Anglo-Saxon” dominions that received preferential treatment, being seen as closer, more loyal and more powerful than the Indian and particularly black dominions... In 1895, Australasia would become a dominion of the crown. By the turn of the 20th century, Britain had only two Dominions; Canada and Australasia, though in the running were Newfoundland and Cape, both of which would gain their independence in 1899, of course this is mostly due to the tumultuous events of 1896 and ‘97. Dominions seemed to be the new way for the Empire and with the new "Imperial Council" formed in London, it appeared that the British Empire was taking a leap into the new century. Set up as a strange, Bipartisan effort by Conservatives and Imperial Socialists, all in the name of strengthening the Empire, the Council was primary endorsed by the Queen herself, who saw it as an excellent way of keeping her rapidly decentralised Empire strong. What was surprising though was the extension of Dominions that would take place in 1903, adding both…


The ageing Queen Victoria was essential in the founding of the council
A red British Empire... Really intrigued, altrough I don't see which OTL 20th century monarch could be supportive of this perspective... Unless... Britain is going to have a clusterfuck of epic proportions, maybe?
A red British Empire... Really intrigued, altrough I don't see which OTL 20th century monarch could be supportive of this perspective... Unless... Britain is going to have a clusterfuck of epic proportions, maybe?


Don't be so quick to dismiss royal support, it's time for an oft forgotten man to make a big impact. ;)
Chapter 2: All Quiet on the Homefront

Excerpt from The Kings and Queens of Britain 1707-1922
By Ian Ousby, Published by Higson Books 1989

Though his illness in 1892 was believed to be quite dangerous, it seems that both King Edward’s father, the Prince of Wales, had little worry over his son’s death, in stark contrast to his Grandmother Queen Victoria, who had great concern. If Prince Albert, as he was then known were to die, it seems that his brother and father would have cared very little. Albert was popular enough among the people and a dashing, adventurous young Prince but not considered very Kingly. Prince Albert had never been an intellectual, falling behind his younger brother in early education and taking little interest in his studies at Cambridge. Even his younger brother once said: "I do not think he can possibly derive much benefit from attending lectures at Cambridge ... He hardly knows the meaning of the words to read" This was of course couple with the Prince’s numerous controversies as well as his suggested sexuality especially following the infamous Cleveland Street Scandal wherein the Prince was implicated as having been a frequenter of a male brothel. This was dismissed by most in Britain but the rumours would reemerge when the Prince’s friendship with Irish playwright Oscar Wilde, which may or may not have been romantic. Of course, the Princes recovery was met with a sigh of relief across the nation as the dashing heir apparent stepped out onto the balcony of the Old Buckingham Palace to make a speech. The Prince said that his good health would: “Mimic the health of the Empire, as it moves together into a new century.” Of course at the time, the Prince had no idea how right he was. It has been said that, upon hearing of the Prince’s recovery, Robert Cunninghame Graham, leader of the budding Fabian Party, breathed a sigh of relief, stating: “With his Majesty’s salvation comes our own, I fear seeing Prince George crowned would see ourselves imprisoned.”

The following year, Prince Albert would marry Princess Mary of Teck, in theory a German Princess but one who had been born and raised in Britain. She was popular among the people and that popularity, combined with the Prince's own, would give the British people new hope in their Monarchy. The two were by every report an excellent couple and, despite further accusations as to the Prince's sexuality, seemingly in love. By September 1893 it was announced that the young Princess was pregnant and nine months later she gave birth to a healthy little boy, William. (Full name William Arthur George Saxe-Coburg-Gotha). All seemed well in the empire and, for the next few years at least, all was.


The Royal Couple, only a month before the Prince's illness.

Excerpt from Strange Bedfellows: British Politics 1895-1910
By Susan Cunninghame, Published 2005 by Penguin Publishing

The liberals had been, in the 1895 elections and following an embarrassing series of defections, losing seats hand over fist to the Fabians (By which I of course mean the F.I.S). In 1892 the Liberals had won 270 seats, by early 1895 this number had dropped to 229. The budgeoning Imperial Socialists were soaring, with their new and yet obscenely well known party netting 47 of these 51 defections, combined with their gains in the 1892 election (and extensive defections/absorption of both Socialist and Lib-Lab groups) this brought them to 76 seats, just above the Irish Parliamentarians’ 72. As they came into the ‘95 elections, the situation looked increasingly bleak for the Liberals and despite growing support for them against Conservatives (as Britain took quite a surprising swing leftwards), many of these votes were being stolen from them by the Fabians. Come election day and, to no-ones surprise, despite making decent gains; the liberals had been unable to force the Conservatives from power. In the end, the Tories won 332 seats, a decline but not one that threatened their position. The Liberals carried 229 whilst the Fabians took an absolutely astonishing 89 seats, cementing their position as Britain’s third party. The initial liberal reaction to the ImpSocs had been aggressive, they presented a genuine threat to the Liberal voter base, but as the Fabians became increasingly popular, their ideas seeped into the Liberal party and, despite many defections, it cannot be said that the Liberals did not see a distinct leftward slide. As the two parties now seemed to be on the same side of the increasingly polarised political spectrum, it only made sense for a Coalition Government to be formed, catapulting Gladstone back into the position of PM and putting Cunninghame Graham in the advantageous position of Second in command, the two were both popular among the people and their parties, as well as having a good working relationship, they would truly become legends, however, following the events of 1896 when...


William Gladstone, Britain's Oldest Prime Minister and a key figure in the Short War
And so we can say goodbye to OTL 20th century Windsor dynasty... Considering also there could be the chance TTL they don't even assume said name... But with the premises of this TL, I guess the relations with Germany will be even more harsh, because figures if Wilhelm II could accept to coexist in peace with a "Red Britain" whatever shade of red will be. Unless this Imperial socialism doctrine will spread in the Reich... Possible triumph of the SPD ahead?

Effectively, I didn't foresee the survival of Albert, but considering that his OTL death did the difference in the end... I am curious to see if a different marriage for George (which hardly could become King, still presuming) could create further impact in the timeline or the second son of Edward VII will fall into irrilevance.

However, I am intrigued more at the moment how the South African crisis will be dealt TTL.
And so we can say goodbye to OTL 20th century Windsor dynasty... Considering also there could be the chance TTL they don't even assume said name... But with the premises of this TL, I guess the relations with Germany will be even more harsh, because figures if Wilhelm II could accept to coexist in peace with a "Red Britain" whatever shade of red will be. Unless this Imperial socialism doctrine will not spread in the Reich... Possible triumph of the SPD ahead.
I would love to see SPD imperial socialism Germany and Britain against the capitalist.