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Dragonheart Of Ireland

If/when you do write alternate history for fanfiction (AU)/original fiction, what alterations do you make to said country(s) history or even world history? (to fit the narrative of your story) Also what parts of other countries does your alternate nation(s) encompass (if at all)? What does your alternate nation(s) State/Provences encompess compared to real life? Example (note: this is only used as an example):

Name: United States Of America

Encompasses: The United States Of Amarica, Canada, Greenland and the Baja California Peninsula.

Federal States: Acadia (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick), Alabama, Alaska (excluding the Cascadia bioregion), Arizona, Arkansas, California (the US Sate of California and the Baja California Peninsula (excluding the Cascadia bioregion), Canada (Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan), Cascadia (Cascadia bioregion, plus the rest of Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho that's not apart of the bioregion), Carolina (North Carolina and South Carolina), Colorado, Dakota (North Dakota and South Dakota), Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia (U.S. state), Greenland, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana (excluding the Cascadia bioregion),

Nebraska, Nevada (excluding the Cascadia bioregion), New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York (US state), Nunavut (Nunavut and the Northwest Territories Administrative regions of North Slave Region and South Slave Region), Ontario, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Quebec (Quebec, Newfoundland and Labrador), Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia (Virginia and West Virginia), Wisconsin, Wyoming (excluding the Cascadia bioregion), Vermont, and Yukon (Yukon and the Northwest Territories Administrative regions of Dehcho Region, Inuvik Region and Sahtu Region. Excluding the Cascadia bioregion).

9/9/2020 . Edited 9/9/2020 #1
cathrl

My fandom has various fictional countries which are in non-specific parts of the real world, so I just go with that. By which I mean that, for instance, there's a canon country which is clearly North African / Saharan, but there's absolutely no indication of exactly which provinces of Tunisia/Algeria etc. it's been allocated.

I've never considered writing the sort of great long list you have - what does it add to the story? I know you said it's only an example, but as far as I can see it amounts to "the US took over all the rest of North America, and there's an extra state in there somewhere called Cascadia." It doesn't tell me anything as to why there's no Canada etc. and I can't actually figure out what the significance of Cascadia is, given that it is described as a "bioregion" despite spanning places with massively different climates. Where's Washington? And why this big deal of a "bioregion" state while still keeping other states which are defined by straight lines on a map? And why the arbitrary removal of regions with compass points in the names? I think this sort of list asks more questions than it answers - if you haven't answered them (and you almost certainly don't need to) then IMO you're much better off just glossing over the things which don't actually matter to the story.

9/9/2020 #2
SomethingAncient
I'm partially with Cathrl here. There's more questions than answers in that list. For example, it would make more sense just to make Alaska encapsulate the north and keep the rest of the provinces as states, as those lines formed pretty naturally and over a long period of time in the first place. That list requires a lot of worldbuilding that may not be relevant to the plot. So unless you plan to drag your story through most of that territory, it's not necessarily worth it, in my opinion. //\\//\\//\\ That said, when designing a far-future scifi, I have found that figuring out the territories, races, and where they come from can be a massive help (Yes, I give my alien races an origin, because it helps me figure out what they look like, what natural abilities they need to survive, what races might get along or not, if there are more than one sentient race on some planets, etc.) But reading the OP, it feels like Sanfran-Tokyo is needed, and not Middle Earth. //\\//\\//\\ I guess my question to any writer is this: Does the geographical and politiccal history directly play a part in the plot? If not, it's probably not worth it. //\\//\\//\\ As for how I write alternate histories: I start with the character and the plot, figure out how much changes as I go, and figure out the history as it becomes relevant to the plot.
9/10/2020 #3
Igenlode Wordsmith

Until I read these responses, I didn't even realise there had been any changes made to the normal list of American states -- I recognised the names of a few and assumed the others came in the long list of subregions of the USA that I'm not familiar with. (If I listed all the countries in Eastern Europe and included Ruritania, Transylvania and Carpathia in there, would Americans notice?)

If you go into that level of detail, you're assuming that your readers know their geography at that level of detail in the first place. Better just to drop subtly into your text a reference to an area called the North Slave Region (I didn't pick up on that one!) and let them work out for themselves, if they notice, the fact that this isn't quite the USA they're used to...

9/10/2020 #4
lalez

I think it really depends on the story. If you take for example "The Man in the high castle": there are significant changes to countries and such... or well depending on when you place a story especially eastern European countries have different names.

Ingenlode, I'd assume not even all Europeans would catch Carpathia et al.

9/10/2020 #5
Dragonheart Of Ireland

The three main PODs (Point Of Divergence) is 1: Britain never carved up Acadia into Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Britain kept it as a united province (or what ever they historically called conquered territory during that time period), 2: during the American Revolution, Lower Canada (Quebec) sided with the Partiots and helped them win the Revolutionary War. Afterwards they joined the Newly born USA as a federal state (side note: In real life, Labrador was apart of Lower Canada). 3: America won the War of 1812. Afterwards they took all of Rupertsland, then (after a few more wars with the UK) the rest of Canada. As an Alternate Historian, I don't see all federal states (especially those carved out of Canada) as having the exact same borders as they do in real life.

They would be different. The reason I listed the different states' allternate borders (the ones I did alter) is to show an example how things would be different in the alternate United States. As for Cascadia, There is a real life non-violent independence movement (Wikipedia will do a better job explaining it than I ever could: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_(independence_movement). In the 1840's the Oregon Country (later the Republic of Cascadia) launched a sucessful rebellion against the UK (with Amarican support) that ultimately allowed them to gain independence from Britain. However the Oregon Country (now the Republic of Cascadia) was ultimately annexed by the US (like how Texas was a independent country before annexation). In this world the Cascadian bioregion that's apart of the real life Alaska was annexed by the UK before the Russians could take full control of Alaska. Afterwards the UK made the bioregion apart of the Oregon Country.

Edit: What would Cascadia look like (as a independent sovereign nation) if it ever came into existence?

9/10/2020 . Edited 9/10/2020 #6
Absolute Elsewhere

Alternate history is a fairly huge topic and books could be written on the subject. If I were writing an alternate history of the United States, I suppose I might start with the british winning the battle of New Orleans in 1815. It was fought after the peace had been signed (Slow communications) and is usually treated as something of an afterthought, but the consequences were huge.

If the British had ended up in control of New Orleans, then a lot might have been different. No European country recognized the Louisiana Purchase. America bought the territory from France, but Napoleon had taken it from Spain, and the British might have decided to return it to Spain. Subsequent history would have been very different.

Second alternate history: A revolution breaks out in America during the Great Depression. 25% of American households were without income or employment, and there was no social safety net back then, other than private charity. You could starve to death in the streets. Instead of the New Deal we get a Left wing or Right wing revolution and America goes Communist or Fascist. The world today would be different in ways that would be hard to project.

Honestly, it's a hard genre to write, because it requires you to know something of what happened and why before you can start doing up your alternate timeline.

Edit: What would Cascadia look like (as a independent sovereign nation) if it ever came into existence?

Probably about like what it does right now. Portland is de facto no longer a part of the United States. American law does not run there. (It may be reasserted after the election)

There's mostly no such thing as a nonviolent independence movement. Most countries are unwilling to let any part of their territory go. The breakup of the Soviet Union was mostly peaceful (To coin a phrase) although there were exceptions. In America the Union went to war rather than let the South go. I make no judgement here about the merits or demerits of anyone's cause. I'm just making an observation. Most nations are born in some kind of violence.

9/10/2020 . Edited 9/10/2020 #7
MagpieTales

That list would be much easier to understand if you could draw maps on here. What a pity we can't.

From how you've got things divided, I would expect Cascadia to be dominated by the much bigger USA and its relationship with it. Unless there's some valuable resources up there in Portland/etc that would make Cascadia a richer, more powerful country so it could punch above its weight, as it were. I'm imagining forestry, fishing, stuff like that would predominate? Unless maybe there's oil up there? Good access to the sea though, so if there's suitable port locations maybe Cascadia would set itself up as a seafaring/trading nation.

1: Britain never carved up Acadia into Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Britain kept it as a united province (or what ever they historically called conquered territory during that time period)

Does that mean that the British didn't expel the Acadians? Or did that still happen?

(Some Acadians made it back to France and then the Spanish encouraged them to go to Louisiana, which was in Spanish hands at the time, and that's the origin of Cajun culture. An Alt-History where the Arcadians weren't expelled & stayed in those provinces might be interesting.)

9/10/2020 #8
Dragonheart Of Ireland
Alternate history is a fairly huge topic and books could be written on the subject. If I were writing an alternate history of the United States, I suppose I might start with the british winning the battle of New Orleans in 1815. It was fought after the peace had been signed (Slow communications) and is usually treated as something of an afterthought, but the consequences were huge.

If the British had ended up in control of New Orleans, then a lot might have been different. No European country recognized the Louisiana Purchase. America bought the territory from France, but Napoleon had taken it from Spain, and the British might have decided to return it to Spain. Subsequent history would have been very different.

Second alternate history: A revolution breaks out in America during the Great Depression. 25% of American households were without income or employment, and there was no social safety net back then, other than private charity. You could starve to death in the streets. Instead of the New Deal we get a Left wing or Right wing revolution and America goes Communist or Fascist. The world today would be different in ways that would be hard to project.

Both are very increasing alternate history. I think at least one or two (perhaps more) YouTubers covered the War Of 1812. For the second scenario, a communist or fascist Amarica would as you said:

would be different in ways that would be hard to project.
Honestly, it's a hard genre to write, because it requires you to know something of what happened and why before you can start doing up your alternate timeline.

I fully agree with you.

Edit: What would Cascadia look like (as a independent sovereign nation) if it ever came into existence?

Probably about like what it does right now. Portland is de facto no longer a part of the United States. American law does not run there. (It may be reasserted after the election)

I didn't even know that till now!

There's mostly no such thing as a nonviolent independence movement. Most countries are unwilling to let any part of their territory go. The breakup of the Soviet Union was mostly peaceful (To coin a phrase) although there were exceptions. In America the Union went to war rather than let the South go. I make no judgement here about the merits or demerits of anyone's cause. I'm just making an observation. Most nations are born in some kind of violence.

I called the Cascadia independence movement nonviolent because en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_(independence_movement) page title is called "Cascadia (independence movement)" I didn't know how else to describe the movement at the time (except how the wiki titled the article).

9/10/2020 . Edited 9/10/2020 #9
Absolute Elsewhere
I didn't even know that till now!

Sarcasm doesn't translate well online. I should have been more precise and detailed. America has had riots in three digits worth of cities these last few months and Portland has been the hardest hit. The place is in a state of anarchy. The police can't reassert control, and from the reports I'm seeing it would take National Guard and/or the regular Army at this point. Why that hasn't happened is beyond the scope of this discussion.

I suspect that if the Pacific Northwest had gone its own way, it would likely have ended up being something like Canada. They would, if they had become independent of the US, likely kept something like the American Constitution as their form of government, with two houses of Congress, or whatever they ended up calling it, and a President. I don't think they would have adopted the US system of electing Presidents by an electoral college. The reasons America did that wouldn't apply to a much smaller country.

I'm not entirely clear on your timeline, but annexation of Cascadia, it it had become independent in the 19th Century, wouldn't have been like the annexation of Texas, which joined the union in part for protection from Mexico, which still entertained ideas of taking Texas back. Cascadia would have had no powerful neighbors other than the US, so annexation, if it happened, would have been a bit different in their case.

9/10/2020 #10
Dragonheart Of Ireland
I'm not entirely clear on your timeline, but annexation of Cascadia, it it had become independent in the 19th Century, wouldn't have been like the annexation of Texas, which joined the union in part for protection from Mexico, which still entertained ideas of taking Texas back. Cascadia would have had no powerful neighbors other than the US, so annexation, if it happened, would have been a bit different in their case.

Well maybe not Texas. It was the only example I could think of at the time. What about if Cascadia was annexed like California? (I believe California was a independent country for a short while before the US annexed it (I'm fuzzy on the details). I don't have a actual timeline wrote down. The example I gave was just something I made up as a quick example for the original post.

9/10/2020 . Edited 9/10/2020 #11
Dragonheart Of Ireland

I've seen a Code Geass/Pacific Rim Crossover (plus a canon character from The Saga of Tanya the Evil) fanfic (on this site) that not only has the Russian Empire still existing, but one of the central (canon) characters is from Russia (from the The Saga of Tanya the Evil fandom). This has inspired my own idea (that stay's kosher with site rules): What if the Russian Empire never collapsed and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia succeded Nicholas II to the Russian throne? The fanfic (generalization) would be set in the modern day, (2020 AD) however it would be part of the fanfic's alternate history that's mentioned several times (when applicable). This alternate Russian Empire would encompass the former Soviet Union, Finland and Mongolia (both outer and inner). Capital: Moscow.

10/17/2020 . Edited 10/17/2020 #12
Absolute Elsewhere
What if the Russian Empire never collapsed and Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia succeded Nicholas II to the Russian throne?

There was nothing inevitable about the Communist takeover in Russia. The Bolshevik Revolution might have been prevented, or the Bolsheviks might have been defeated in the ensuing civil war.

I'd assume that there were some serious reforms in Russia The Czar (Or Czarina) would no longer have been an absolute ruler, but maybe some kind of constitutional monarch. he Czar would have ruled, but there would have been some limits. Now here's some interesting what ifs.

As of the end of World War I, Russia had fought wars with Germany and Japan and had lost both. (The Russo-Japanese War was 1903-1905, if memory serves.) Russia had some serious armed clashes with Japan in the 1930s, and there could have been a full blown war. The Japanese seriously considered striking at Russia instead of America. So:

Do you still end up with Adoph H as mad dictator of Germany? If so, how does that play out? Does he still attack Russia? If so, what happens?

Or, maybe the Communists take over Germany instead. They gave it a serious shot.

Do Russia and Japan have a rematch, maybe in the 30s?

Does Russian science and technology develop faster under the Czars than it did under the Communists? Russia produced a number of pioneering rocket scientists. Maybe Russia is the first to land on the Moon.

The Cold War couldn't have happened in this timeline, at least not in the form it took in real life. Is Russia a nuclear power? How do they get along (Or not) with other major powers like the US?

I could play around a lot with this, but I just got in from work and I'm hungry. More later, maybe.

10/17/2020 #13
Dragonheart Of Ireland
I'd assume that there were some serious reforms in Russia The Czar (Or Czarina) would no longer have been an absolute ruler, but maybe some kind of constitutional monarch. he Czar would have ruled, but there would have been some limits.

There would have to be.

Now here's some interesting what ifs.

I fully agree.

As of the end of World War I, Russia had fought wars with Germany and Japan and had lost both. (The Russo-Japanese War was 1903-1905, if memory serves.)

Actually the Russo-Japanese War took place from February 8th, 1904 – September 5th, 1905.

Russia had some serious armed clashes with Japan in the 1930s, and there could have been a full blown war.

I didn't know that till now.

The Japanese seriously considered striking at Russia instead of America. So:

I heard about that.

Do you still end up with Adoph H as mad dictator of Germany? If so, how does that play out? Does he still attack Russia? If so, what happens?

Or, maybe the Communists take over Germany instead. They gave it a serious shot.

Do Russia and Japan have a rematch, maybe in the 30s?

Does Russian science and technology develop faster under the Czars than it did under the Communists? Russia produced a number of pioneering rocket scientists. Maybe Russia is the first to land on the Moon.

The Cold War couldn't have happened in this timeline, at least not in the form it took in real life. Is Russia a nuclear power? How do they get along (Or not) with other major powers like the US?

I never thought that far ahead. However those are important questions to ask.

10/17/2020 . Edited 10/17/2020 #14
SomethingAncient
There was one day where the planets aligned in just the right way to trigger the incoming missile detection system in the USSR. IIRC, the guy who designed the system was working the equipment, and he realized that the equipment was faulty, so he made the executive decision not to activate the mutually reassured destruction response. Imagine if he didn't realize the astrophysics involved was messing with his system.
10/17/2020 #15
Absolute Elsewhere

I was reading an article about that guy a few days ago. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in their Air Defense Forces. (That's a separate service over there. ) What put him on the fact that it was a malfunction was that the system showed six incoming American missiles. The Americans, he reasoned, have hundreds of missiles, and if they were attacking, they'd launch a lot more than six. I don't remember now what caused the malfunction. The guy didn't get a lot of recognition for it, because the fact that this brand new expensive detection system hadn't worked right was considered embarrassing by the people in charge.

Of course the other example of that came during the Cuban Missile crisis, when the Captain of a Soviet submarine gave the order to fire a nuclear torpedo at an American destroyer that was trying to force him to the surface. The sub was near the blockade line, and I think the American ship had actually fired some depth charges. Now, in order fire a nuclear weapon, the Soviets ha a three key system. The Captain, the Executive officer, and the Political Officer (The official Communist Party rep on the ship) had to all agree. The Political Officer agreed with the order. the Exec didn't. He said basically we don't know what's happening, and we have no orders to launch from Moscow. You have to evade this destroyer, contact Moscow, and find out what they want us to do.

Dude saved the world. His name was Vasili Arkhipov.

10/18/2020 #16
A Lover of Nature
As of the end of World War I, Russia had fought wars with Germany and Japan and had lost both. (The Russo-Japanese War was 1903-1905, if memory serves.) Russia had some serious armed clashes with Japan in the 1930s, and there could have been a full blown war. The Japanese seriously considered striking at Russia instead of America. So:

The fundamental reason why the Empire was toppled and the Bolshevik Revolution was successful in the civil war is that the Guards regiments were wiped out in the First World War. In the war against Japan, the Tsar kept those regiments full of loyal troops in Russia so that when the revolution of 1905 broke out there were troops he could depend upon to restore order. In 1914, those regiments felt that their honour would be tarnished if they didn't fight to protect the motherland, and while the regiments remained in name most of the loyalist officer corps was wiped out by 1917 leaving no armed force the regime could rely upon to maintain public order.

Even in recent history, there are good examples of this phenomenon; Venezuela, Belarus, Syria and many others all have security forces that are loyal to the regime more than to the populace and will not hesitate to use force. In the contest between flesh and bullet, flesh generally stands to lose. There is the other example of the end of Communism, but most of those regimes were reliant on Russian firepower and collapsed when it wasn't forthcoming while in Romania the armed forces switched sides.

In that context, one those regiments were engaged in the First World War, there was no replacing them. From that point onwards the loyalty of the soldiers was based upon political aspirations and in a sense, the fall of the monarchy was inevitable. The Tsar had numerous opportunities to enact the sort of reforms that might have prevented it, but even the theoretically constitutional reforms of 1905 were virtually meaningless and the duma largely a rubber stamp; the Tsar simply didn't have the temperament to abide by constitutional rules including the ones he was forced to accept (especially those) If you go back further and fundamentally change Nicholas's character, then you can make those sort of changes, or perhaps arrange an assassination for him.

Another point of divergence is if the Duma after the first revolution agrees to make peace with Germany, that would remove the immediate situation that let the Bolsheviks claim power, but it wouldn't eliminate the Bolsheviks who were a highly trained party of political agitators quite unmatched at this time period (assuming they manage to return to Russia) History is a complicated business and you are correct that nothing is inevitable, but like any good play, it is good to know the players and how they may be weaved into an alternate take.

10/18/2020 . Edited 10/18/2020 #17
Dragonheart Of Ireland
The fundamental reason why the Empire was toppled and the Bolshevik Revolution was successful in the civil war is that the Guards regiments were wiped out in the First World War. In the war against Japan, the Tsar kept those regiments full of loyal troops in Russia so that when the revolution of 1905 broke out there were troops he could depend upon to restore order. In 1914, those regiments felt that their honour would be tarnished if they didn't fight to protect the motherland, and while the regiments remained in name most of the loyalist officer corps was wiped out by 1917 leaving no armed force the regime could rely upon to maintain public order.

In that context, one those regiments were engaged in the First World War, there was no replacing them.

What would of happened if those guards regiments were never wiped out completely?

From that point onwards the loyalty of the soldiers was based upon political aspirations and in a sense, the fall of the monarchy was inevitable. The Tsar had numerous opportunities to enact the sort of reforms that might have prevented it, but even the theoretically constitutional reforms of 1905 were virtually meaningless and the duma largely a rubber stamp; the Tsar simply didn't have the temperament to abide by constitutional rules including the ones he was forced to accept (especially those) If you go back further and fundamentally change Nicholas's character, then you can make those sort of changes, or perhaps arrange an assassination for him.

In history (if memory serves), historians said that Nicholas was affected by his grandfather Alexander II's death. I think (please correct me if I'm mistaken) that at the time Nicholas was hesitant to take the throne in large part due to Alexander's assassination. I think I seen an alternate history youtube video that goes into the scenario of what if Alexander II survived. I believe the Russian Empire survived in that scenario.

Another point of divergence is if the Duma after the first revolution agrees to make peace with Germany, that would remove the immediate situation that let the Bolsheviks claim power, but it wouldn't eliminate the Bolsheviks who were a highly trained party of political agitators quite unmatched at this time period (assuming they manage to return to Russia) History is a complicated business and you are correct that nothing is inevitable, but like any good play, it is good to know the players and how they may be weaved into an alternate take

Anything could've happened.

10/18/2020 . Edited 10/18/2020 #18
MagpieTales
I was reading an article about that guy a few days ago. He was a Lieutenant Colonel in their Air Defense Forces. (That's a separate service over there. ) What put him on the fact that it was a malfunction was that the system showed six incoming American missiles. The Americans, he reasoned, have hundreds of missiles, and if they were attacking, they'd launch a lot more than six. I don't remember now what caused the malfunction.

Sunlight on high altitiude clouds, I think - not planets. If it's Stanislav Petrov & this incident:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Soviet_nuclear_false_alarm_incident

10/18/2020 #19
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