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Old 12-16-2013, 09:58 AM   #6
Join Date: Sep 2012
Default Re: New Reality Seeds

On the Dutch timeline, some comments:

That's part of the point, really. The Lord's Protector, the monarch-in-all-but-name title that Cromwell eventually adopted for himself, was not an altogether alien concept to the Dutch. Their own Stadtholder had served more or less the same function in their society. My thinking is, if we merge the two societies, then disgust with Cromwell could follow the pattern that disgust for William the Second did in the Netherlands- e.g. a series of reforms aimed at putting power into the hands of a counsel of representatives of the major republics in the region (in this case to include representatives from Ireland, England, and Scotland...oh yeah, and Wales. I always forget about Wales...). And when people get tired of that chronically sluggish institution accomplishing literally nothing and calling that lack of progress a virture, William the 3rd can throw his hat in the ring as Lord's Protector just in time for this world's version of the Glorious Revolution.

At for France, at this point in history Louis had not yet begun to consider the Dutch or the English as a bigger threat than Spain. The Dutch grew more hostile towards France after Louis invaded the Spanish Netherlands (regions the Dutch had long considered theirs to liberate, and were no more welcoming of French control over than they were of Spain). The Dutch in turn made alliances with Spain against France, which Louis considered a kind of betrayal. If Cromwell invades the region first while France is still hostile towards Spain, the French might be persuaded to remain neutral regarding the whole affair. In addition, Louis was reluctant to immediately dive into a war with the Dutch, who at the time were allied with Britain and Sweden (a rising power at this stage). Louis worked to end the alliance between England and the Netherlands as a prelude to open conflict with the Dutch, something he succeeded at in our history. An Anglo-Dutch Empire more firmly united could present a big enough hornet's nest than Louis wants to kick, especially if neither Empire has a reason to ally with Spain. Louis was never a firm ally of the Ottomans, though he would support them readily enough when doing so undermined his enemies. Pushing into Egypt would invite Ottoman wrath (even though I believe it was controlled by the Mamelukes at this point in history) but it would also win allies in the East Holy Roman Empire and Russia (a good counterbalance to the Dutch-Swedish alliance). War can't be postponed forever, but I do think Louis is less likely to start wars against opponents that seem powerful than he is to build an empire along promising trade routes in regions who are showing signs of instability. Besides, I'm a fan of injecting some amount of high strangeness into my parallels just to give them that "not in Kansas anymore" vibe, and a French speaking Sultanate (perhaps brought about when the monarchy is forced to flee to colonial holdings during their version of the French Revolution?) certainly qualifies.

I don't know so much about WW1 history, but your ideas certainly sound interesting. I especially like the "Siberian Csar" scenario. If there's a Hitler in this timeline, it certainly begs the question as to which Russia he will seek an alliance with.
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