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Calling all Brits: WI The British Empire never fell apart (at least the white parts)

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  • Calling all Brits: WI The British Empire never fell apart (at least the white parts)

    I'm writing, or trying to write, an alternate universe where the British Empire, or at least the White parts (later including the Caribbean and Pacific Islands) become a federation instead of splitting up. As a result, Britain remains a superpower to this day (or this day in alternate history), called the United Kingdoms, as opposed to the United Kingdom. Canada is a kingdom, so is England, so is Australia etc, all equal, and all sending MPs to a Grand Parliament in London.

    I tend to beleive things happen for a reason, so it would take some firm knocks to prevent the break up of the British Empire. It seems to me the last real chance the British Empire had to federalize was the 1923 Imperial Conference. Problem is, barring Churchill and Thatcher, the British seem to lack real men (and women) of vision. Could you give me the names of any one, British or Common wealth that could possibly make the list of the UKs "Founding Fathers"?

    But it would take more than this, the Brits need the CONFIDENCE to press for federation against centrifugal forces in the commonwealth. They need to win the Anglo Irish war. How? Well, to that end, being a Yank and only having rudimentary knowledge of British history (hey I know who Disreali is, that's more than most of us Americans! ), I figured the only person who could plant the seeds of a British Federation would have to be Queen Victoria herself. One problem: a woman of her age (passive), and worse she (IMO) set a very bad presedent by letting Parliament run the show entirely. I'm all for constitutional monarchy but any cerimonial governmental position wether Queen or say the President of the German Bendesrepublik, should be empowered or abolished. Call it what you will.

    So what I did was unorthodox: in this world I'm creating, Victoria and Albert are reversed in sex, making for King Victor and Queen Alberta. Bent on being the model male, as his counterpart was being the model female, Victor becomes a Teddy Roosevelt type figure on the British scene (at least until Alberta dies in 1861) but on his golden juibilee in 1887, manages to convince Parliament to let the Irish have home rule. As well as outlining the basic idea of a federation of some kind in the future. 30 years of home rule does wonders (relatively) for Irish loyalty, and the Black and Tans are able to overpower the IRA relative quickly with the help of loyalists. Nonetheless, this uprising shakes British confidence about the stability of their empire, especially with the recent collapse of the Austo-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman Empires, so certain, hitherto unknown men of vision are prepared to make great sacrifices for the long term survival of the Empire.

    Oh, and I had the 1806 invasion of Argentina go off without a hitch, just for the hell of it.

    Any I making any sense? Should I start the federation process sooner? Did anyone in the 19th century have the idea for a British federation? I have more questions on what this UK might look like (it would probably be much different than our UK), but I want to know what any of you British folk have to say.

    And here's the map: Light pink is the UK, dark pink in the CON as we know it.
    How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
    275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wolery View Post
    I'm writing, or trying to write, an alternate universe where the British Empire, or at least the White parts (later including the Caribbean and Pacific Islands) become a federation instead of splitting up. As a result, Britain remains a superpower to this day (or this day in alternate history), called the United Kingdoms, as opposed to the United Kingdom. Canada is a kingdom, so is England, so is Australia etc, all equal, and all sending MPs to a Grand Parliament in London.

    I tend to beleive things happen for a reason, so it would take some firm knocks to prevent the break up of the British Empire. It seems to me the last real chance the British Empire had to federalize was the 1923 Imperial Conference. Problem is, barring Churchill and Thatcher, the British seem to lack real men (and women) of vision. Could you give me the names of any one, British or Common wealth that could possibly make the list of the UKs "Founding Fathers"?
    In 1922 legislation was passed that put the Dominions on equal footing with the UK, under the Crown. That's probably your best hope of achieving some kind of meaning Commonwealth organisation post-60s.

    Which of course ignores that it's a pipe dream. The Empire fell apart because it had to. Canada and South Africa had signifigant minorities with no love for Britain. Australia would follow England to hell and back if need be...until you stopped buying our stuff and the Japanese took up the slack, at which point we were off the bandwagon.

    And even if you somehow kept them together...they'd hardly be a superpower. Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand combined could probably only match the RN's escort fleet, have an inferior submarine force and no heavies to speak of.
    Colonel Summers' widely quoted critique of US strategy in the Vietnam War is having a modest vogue...it is poor history, poor strategy, and poor Clausewitz to boot - Robet Komer, Survival, 27:2, p. 94.

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    • #3
      Wolery,

      read part 3 of Jan Morris' Pax Britannica trilogy: Farewell the Trumpets, An Imperial Retreat' for a very convincing and melancholic description why the ideas you air now didn't work in historical reality. You will find all you need there.
      Last edited by Colonel Sennef; 15 Jul 07, 08:32.
      BoRG

      You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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      • #4
        What's with this pessimism?!

        If Christianity can become the dominant religion on earth AND not get swallowed up by Islam, you think the British Empire couldn't have survived? Poppycock my dear fellows!

        Don't confuse short-sighted stupidity for destiny. I'm sure in another world people say the US had to fall apart over the Civil War or the War of 1812, or the Articles of Confederation. But that's simply not true. Our world is the counterfactual that proves otherwise!

        If I want, I can have the Empire federate in the 1870s, but I don't wanna. It makes things too easy. Jester, I'll trust you on the 1922 date, I could have sworn the Imperial Conference was in 1923. Whatever. But did either of you guys read what I wrote? I was talking about full fledged Federation among the White Dominions, just like adding a state to the American Union. There were hostile minorites there too, see the Civil War. We beat them down, and I'm sure back in the day there wasn't a Protestant in Canada who wouldn't push to shove, beat down a Quebecker into silence. Hell, I could probably find a couple now. And South Africa in my version, does not join the Federation, and yes that's because the Boers are MUCH more entrunched in SA politics than the Quebeckers are in Canada.

        The Non-white parts of the Empire, I agree were destined to fall away, except perhaps Islands, being small and speaking a lot of English.

        So I'm not saying the WHOLE Empire is saved, just the White parts.
        How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
        275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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        • #5
          Should I put this in another section, perhaps?
          How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
          275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

          Comment

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