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United States in WWI in 1915 by OttoVonSuds United States in WWI in 1915 by OttoVonSuds
Mike Ralls did a scenario a decade ago on SHWI featuring an earlier involvement by the United States in the first world war. Recently, I actually took the time to read the whole thing instead of just bits and pieces and found it to be worth the read. If you can navigate through Google's archive to find it, do so.

In it, America enters the first world war in 1915 with the result of making the war rather less of a civilization-cracker than ours -- The Russian Empire makes it through the war intact. The peace is even harsher towards Germany than OTL's Versailles, but at least a Germany that was actually defeated isn't fertile ground for a "stab in the back myth"(the fact that Germany had troops from the entente on it when the Kaiser gave in helped).

The mid-century saw a mild cold war between Russia and the nations of Western Europe, which intensified after Russia went *Fascist under the Soruna party. There were even a few scary moments such as Russia's having a nuclear monopoly for all of one month before Britain's project was finished. The second great game saw proxy wars and crises like the invasion of Iran in the 1950s by Russia along with russian-funded nationalistic unrest in the colonies.

Once the cold war with Russia was over following Czarina Olga's forcing Soruna to step down, the world's concerns shifted to globalization, managing decolonization and the usual great power bickering. Decolonization happened in the 1970s and 1980s with certain areas remaining colonial into the 1990s or even 2000s in the form of Korea.

Utopia? Perhaps, not but it is a far less troubled and more stable world than ours. This is a world where the 20th century was rather less 'interesting' for good or for ill. For example, there was no communist takeover anywehere, nuclear arsenals have so far remained at most in the low hundreds for the big players. On the other hand, while it has taken the edge off of the 20th century, and arguably the 21st(no islamism or mass implementation of soviet-style economics) there are still the problems of western aging, global cooling following the gulf stream's being disrupted, globalization and the usual competition between the great powers -- after all even a (relatively) liberal Russia doesn't have that much love for Britain...

***************************************************************

Even decades after the democratization of Russia, the western alliance remains intact despite occasional bickering between say Berlin and Paris or Paris and London. While the alliance incorporates a degree of favorable trade terms, in the end it's pretty much just a military alliance and not much else. The future of the alliance is in debate, since nobody really has much of a clue on what the W.A. is good for -- is it a tool for London and Paris to keep their former colonies in line? Is it a force to spread western ideals?

The United Kingdom is more conservative, populist, nationalist and egalitarian than our UK. It even retains a couple of tiny colonial bits and pieces like Belize, guyana, Kuwait, Singapore or sierra Leone as posessions run by London.

Besides it's direct empire, Britain's commonwealth is a much stronger economic union. There is free trade between the dominions of the commonwealth, along with extensive development aid to lift up places like Malaya or South Nigeria or East Africa up to standards of places like Canada with varying levels of success.

South Africa used to be seen as the bad boy of the Commonwealth, but nowadays is useful enough for the commonwealth as a whole to make them reconsider the wisdom of pressuring South Africa on the race issue -- after all there's lots of cheap labor and minerals there. Decades of pressure from London have convinced Capetown's government to adopt an approach more like OTL 1970s Rhodesia. There are quite a few black people in the legislature these days, but suffrage remains confined to the ones who have money. Besides restriction african franchise on income, South Africa has an ongoing campaign to increase the european population via immigration and tax breaks to parents with multiple children.

Argentina is a first world nation with 81 million people and a per capita GDP equal to France. These days, Buenos Aires is a center of fashion on par with Paris or Milan..

Uruguay is first world, has 13 million people and is pretty much a generic first world nation.

Just like in our world, France tries punching above it's geopolitical weight and acting like it's a great power. The one difference is that in this world it's marginally less absurd than it was in OTL -- France maintains strong neocolonial dominance over much of it's former colonial empire in Africa. France has rather poor relations with Germany, but the government grits it's collective teeth and works with the Germans despite this.

Lebanon is 90% christian and still a French protectorate. Beirut is the Vegas of the middle east.

The Netherlands retains Suriname and West Papua, but otherwise resembles OTL's in most other respects.

Germany is the third large member of the the western alliance. It's a conservative and somewhat belligerant democracy whose voters don't think much of the French and are reluctant to work with them. The government talks about "150 million germans by 2050", and is attempting to make that happen by a mix of tax breaks, pro-baby propaganda, open immigration for caucasians(Even slavs!). Of course, the Russians or Iranians or Argentines who move to Germany find themselves not fitting in well or getting into good jobs. Left-wing types elsewhere in the western alliance occasional complain about Germany's practice of encouraging Iranian immigrants to convert to christianity.

Germany maintans an alliance consisting of Croatia, Czechslovakia, Hungary and Poland. Mitteleuropa can be thought of a right-wing version of our European union. All of the member states of this alliance are at least sort of democratic, if well to the right of OTL -- most of these areas stayed run by the army or their royal families into the 1970s. Mitteleuropa mostly sends immigrants and industrial products to Germany. Standards of living in this area are roughly converged with this world's westerneurope.

The Kingdom of Italy is a constitutional monarchy, these days with extensive autonomy for Italian regions along with Dalmatia, Libya, Albania and Eritrea. The big parties are the Fascists, the Christian Democrats and The Liberals. The Fascists can be thought of these days as mostly being right-wing christian democrats, but with sharper fashion. The days when it was a works program and club for right-wing thugs in the service of a one-party regime are LONG over.

The Russian Empire is nowadays a constitutional monarchy, with a fully democratic government. "Democratic" doesn't mean socially liberal, though. Russia is even more religious and belligerantly nationalistic than say the Bush-era United States -- it's big political parties are a (watered down) *fascist Soruna, Christian socialists and "Conservative liberals"(neoliberal economics and social conservatism). Besides democratization, Russia is now a decentralized nation with Ukranians, Azerbaijanis, Mongolians, the baltics and the turkic peoples all enjoying significant autonomy. Russia is no longer a land of peasants and priests, it's a nation of large modern cities, the world's biggest highway systems, Orthodox televangelists and of course massive corporations. Despite these, the 600 million Russians tend to have a standard of living about as developed as OTL Estonia. Like Argentina, the population is centered in a few big cities. The "big two" are St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Russia maintains an economic alliance with portions of eastern Europe, it's Afghani puppet state and manchuria.

Montenegro does not like Serbia. They think the serbs are hicks.

Serbia has developed an inexplicable terrorism problem in both Kosovo and the area of OTL Macedonia. Belgrade doesn't understand why people wouldn't want to be Serbs. After all, we saved them from the turks, right? They blame the decadent modernizers in Croatia, Montenegro, the jews and of course the infidel turks.

Romania is somewhere between "small-f fascist" and corrupt oligarchy, of a sort mirroring PRI Mexico; there's elections but the oppositon isn't allowed to actually win national majorities. The government is extremely socially conservative, but unlike OTL's Ceascu, didn't literally ban all contraception.

Afghanistan remains a russian-occupied puppet state and a perpetual thorn in Russia's side. While russian attempts to break clannishness and make Afghanistan not be a country of warlords may be good for them in the medium and long run the locals clearly don't want any of it. At least nowadays, the terrorist types are nationalists as opposed to religious fanatics(the fanatics were mostly killed during the Soruna era of Russia's occupation..

The Kingdom of Bulgaria is essentially a more homogenous version of Russia, but in a chibi form.

Manchuria does *not* want to rejoin the Republic of China. Manchuria is half-christian(most people fleeing to manchuria following the collapse of Russia and Japan's rule over China), russian-influenced, bilingual Mandarin-Russian(the whole "revive the manchu language" project was an unambigous failure) and a functioning if corrupt semi-democracy. The 200 million Manchurians have roughly an OTL Mexican standard of living.

The Empire of Japan is doing alot of soul-searching following Korea's 2001 vote for independence. With Japan's last visible signal of being an imperial power gone, what is the empire to do now? Yes, Japan has 190 million people and the world's highest per-capita GDP but in the grand scheme of things 190 million isn't that many people in a world that's just broken the 6 billion mark. There are debates between the "small Japan" theorists who want Japan to be an isolated, pacifist trading nation against more interventionist people who think Japan needs to get a bigger ally and be more involved again to prove it's macho.

Korea is bilingual Japanese-Korean and doesn't care much for the Japanese at all -- less atrocities by the imperial government in the 30s or 40s are made up for by colonization lasting until the early 2000s. They especially don't like the fact that Korea was the dumping ground for the chinese refugees Japan took in following the 1970s.

After it's experience with "totalitarian-anarchism" that fell apart in the 1980s, spain is now a shaky republic and significantly smaller than OTL's Spain(The basques and Catalans wanted out, while Portugal snapped up Galicia in the chaos). The economy is only now arriving at first world levels, and Spain remains a country of emigration, mostly to Argentina.

The United States of America is smug, self-righteous, pacifist, isolationist and well to the left of our world's. It's a nation where economic policy is more left-wing in some ways(universal healthcare, clearly proportional income taxes(less deductions though), strong labor unions, nationalized industries) and different in others(less regulatory barriers to entry or cartelization). It's also a more secular and socially relaxed nation where skin color matters significantly less. The fact that a more generally conservative world led to the people calling for open immigration to get an immigration bill biased towards European immigration immigrants passed instead of anything quite as wide open as the Kennedy act. There are some east asian, latin americans or people from India coming in but they're the educated people or people who happen to be wealthy coming in. As a result of this along with an earlier black demographic transition, America remains rather homogenous, only being either 14% or 20% nonwhite, depending on if you include hispanics in the nonwhite side of things. Policy butterflies have made sure that America stayed rail-focused, so that the cities never died and Americans actually use public transport. Also, both The south, farm belt and rustbelt all do better than in OTL, while without a pacific war the western third or so of the nation lags OTL.

The Philippines have OTL Mexican levels of wealth and are in the middle of an industrial boom, that pundits claim will turn it into a second Japan.

Cuba remains a closely-controlled American puppet state and a partying place. Prohibition being butterflied out meant that the mob never got the resources to be as influential, so there wasn't enough reason for Cuba to dislike the United States's influence and cause a revolution.

With the Second Great Game over, India decided to slowly distance itself from Britain to act on it's own. These days, Bombay finds itself working with the United States of America. A more capitalistic India, combined with an earlier re-expansion of world trade translates into an India as wealthy as Mexico -- it's got our world's Indian population despite including both Pakistan and Bangladesh in it thanks to the demographic transition starting earlier. Population growth is now only slightly over replacement, and even that is due to demographic inertia from past decades or backwards areas. Predictions show population growth going negative at earliest by 2017 and at absolute latest at 2030. This richer India has fewer slums and more malls. It doesn't have as much of an impact on the environment or meat prices as our world's China has had so far because most Hindus don't eat meat.

Even in the year 2013, Fascism is the ruling ideology in many third world countries. These days, the perception of it is more as a type of comic-opera junta, rather than as a threat like it's seen as being in OTL or in this world's mid 20th century when Russia was a threat. Brazil is the leader of world fascism and not accomplishing anywhere near as much as the propaganda claims.

The bulk of Latin America is Fascist, but not accomplishing very much. The economic policy produces better results than either OTL's ISI or neoliberalism, but part of the productivity is eaten up by supporting corrupt oligarchies. Chile is the lone exception, with a prosperous population that works under a well-disciplined and orderly fascist regime.

Somalia is a failed state calling itself "anarcho-fascist".

The Republic of China is a populist, right-wing dictatorship with a surprising resemblance to OTL's Salazar's Portugal combined with Franco's Spain. The Chinese economy is going, but the strong economic nationalism, combined with paranoid trade policy means that China's economy is a decade behind our world despite avoiding Maoism. Ah well, at least traditional culture is doing better.

The other bad boy is the Indonesian federation, a military dictatorship that took over once the islamists wore out their welcome by the late 1990s. It's still ultra-conservative, but at least isn't as bad as the islamist republic was.

Egypt and Syria are virtually indistinguishable military regimes that fight wars every 10-20 years or so over Palestine.

There has been significantly less of a collapse in order and quality of government in the post-colonial third world than there was in OTL. Part of it is lack of bad examples in the form of the USSR and China, while the other part is western countries being less willing to excuse the atrocious policy of governments because of misplaced feelings of guilt. Population growth and economic growth are thankfully less mismatched.

***************************************************************

Despite a later space race, the fact that it was multi-sided meant that it got to the level of 4 powers having moonbases and the United States sending a successful mars mission in 1990. Russia's Czar is bragging about how the duma recently approved funds for Russia to do a mars mission of their own. There are orbital military bases in a world where militarism is less discredited. There are also large private power or industrial complexes in earth orbit. Corporate and government heads are discussing the idea of capturing asteroids to mine them as a means of solving resource problems.

The weather is getting a bit funny, due to global warming-caused disruption of the gulf stream's circulation that started early last decade. The weather is transitioning to something closer to the little ice age, but albeit with more extreme weather events being the norm.

No resources are entirely depleted, but prices for minerals and oil are higher thanks to the industrialized world including Russia, more of Latin America along with a third world that's rather less backwards. There is visible worry about these facts, but this less technophobic world is putting effort into adjusting to resource depletion by moving to nuclear power, building massive solar panel forests in the desert. Part of this is motivated by Fascism's pro-environmental stance.

Russia, Japan, India and the United States are the 4 big centers of popular culture. A second tier consisting of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and increasingly Korea is also quite influential, if not as widespread as the big four. Moscow, Bombay and Berlin are both on par with Hollywood as centers of Film.

Technology is around 10 years ahead in certain areas like biotech, synthetics, medicine, materials science and commercial applications of basic science due to 1) a richer world 2) a bigger capitalist world. Aerospace is also a decade ahead due to more geopolitical competition while defense as a whole lags 10-20 years. The internet came about about on schedule, but was adopted a bit faster in a world that's richer.

Without American prohibition, or the follow-on American-led efforts against narcotics various recreational drugs are legal in many nations or handled medically. As a result, organized crime is significantly weaker than OTL.

Fascism remains a viable ideology even in 2013, albeit one associated mostly with the third world. Westerners these days tend to think of fascism as something that happens in backwards Latin American or African countries and not europe anymore. After all, even Russia tired of it on it's own. This causes western nations to have a relaxed attitude re: fascism, since it's seen as something nations could pass through before the mature politically. One side effect of there being no fascist atrocities as spectacular as anything seen in our world is that the western world's populist right of the sort tolerated before the second world war is allowed to survive.

The industrial nations all have more active revolutionary anarchist movements than in OTL, while revolutionary socialism is at this point a creed of only a few old men. Even the social democratic parties have dropped the red color and talk of socialism being achieved through vague talk of historical inevitability from capitalism using an incoherent line of thinking modified from Marx's ideas of historical materialism. This has led to labor movements doing better than OTL since they can't be targeted as being red.

The fact that Islamism was tried in one muslim nation and failed hard, has served as a salutory example.

Books like the bell curve, or other such books promoting racial or eugenics-based theories explaining social problems or backwardness of various nations remain more popular. The alternative to the racialist points of view are ones talking about counter-adapted cultures, or attempts at psychoanalyzing cultures then claiming that child abuse leads to cultural, economic and technological backwardness. These arguments are all used by western nations to justify immigration restrictions since the voters don't want to let in people who are clearly unsuited for modern civilization.

Western nations actually turn their immigrants into Britons or Germans instead of doing "multiculturalism". This is aided by the more middle or upper-class profile of immigration.

The success of capitalism, combined with earleir re-integration of the world economy has led to an earlier demographic transition in a good chunk of the third world. As a result, one of the current big news stories is about how world populaiton has just broken the 6 billion mark. This will have long-term implications in the fact that the west has a smaller pool of people to recruit immigrants from, and thus have to do more automation...

A side effect of a less damaged western world that only experienced one world war is that Tom clancy-style "thrillers"/invasion literature does better in more nations besides the US. Western europe is a prime example of this, as they have a large industry of people publishing literature about The Russian Bear returning to it's *fascist roots and remilitarizing. This mroe racialist world has the yellow peril being a more acceptable trope, and thus there are novels about China going militaristic or Japan returning to it's old roots and doing a pacific war.
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:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I wish that weird circle wasn't in South Africa, or at least was shaped differently, it's the only sore spot on an otherwise gorgeous map. That's just my opinion though <.<
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014
I like the weird circle.

It could be handwaved away in-atl as "PERFECTLY GEOGRAPHICALLY RATIONAL BORDERS",so there's that.

Yell at bruce since he used a similar weird circle in one of his maps of greater south africa, lol and it inspried me.
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:iconamongthesatanic:
AmongTheSatanic Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
I know the bantustans were stupid, but no ethnic group just has a circle for their territory ANYWHERE, and changing it, or splitting it up, or removing it just makes South Africa look more proper to me.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Where did disruption of the Gulf Stream occur?
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
Last couple years.
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:iconkajm:
Kajm Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm thinking you may have been thinking of a report from around 2004, which said the Gulf Stream was 'stuttering.' This turned out to be a product of the way they were taking measurements, ie, about once a month. Once they began measuring Stream temperatures consistently (daily), it turned out those changes in temperatures were seasonal, which is to say, quite normal.
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:icongoliath-maps:
Goliath-Maps Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
This is great, but that circle in South Africa is really bugging me.
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:iconottovonsuds:
OttoVonSuds Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013
It's a border modified by a colonial power. If it's not aesthetically unpleasing, then it wasn't set by a european power.
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:iconquantumbranching:
QuantumBranching Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2013
I'd think some sort of straight-lines polygon would be more likely: the borders would be rather easier to survey... :)
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:iconkyuzoaoi:
kyuzoaoi Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student Artist
Is Mexico as in OTL?
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