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Iron and Fire by AnalyticalEngine Iron and Fire by AnalyticalEngine
The year is 1985, and the world is gripped by the fear of war; a war that could destroy everything.

It has been more than seventy years since the Lamarckist Revolutions took over in France, Burgundy and Saxony; nearly eighty years since the last of the Kipchak Khans was overthrown, replaced by the Technocratic Council. Since then, other countries have adopted the ideologies espoused by Pierre Lamarck and Johan Spaak, Luis Rodrigues and Abay Beg, and they have been locking horns over influence ever since.

They were dangerous enough with conventional weapons, but, fifty years ago, a team of Caroline scientists detonated the first nuclear weapon in the desert, and everyone that was everyone country-wise has sought to obtain them.

However, there are far more peaceful uses for all that missile research. All three major blocks have their own space programmes, with the Kipchaks the first to send a man into space, and the Indo-British Union have so far landed four missions on the moon since 1977, and are planning at least another two.

*

In the red corner is the Compact of Marseille, which covers France, the former Burgundian Kingdom, and the even more former German Federation, which replaced the outmoded HRE back in the early 19th century after that whole brouhaha between Valois France and the Quintuple Union[1]. Lamarckism is, perhaps, a rather strange ideology from an OTL standpoint. Basically, think a cross between the Puritans, Leninism and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Unlike the New Commonwealth of Puritan World, however, they are very big on science, as it “allows man to glory in the wonder of God’s creation, magnificent both on the infinite scale, and the infinitesimal”. However, they aren’t actually that anti-Muslim, despite what the propaganda keeps saying – Cordoba and a bunch of Arab states are quite friendly with the CoM.

Carolina is something like a French-equivalent USA, but remaining very close to France regardless. The other full members are all either formerly French (or in one case, Leonese) colonies or protectorates, as are the majority of the pro-CoM neutrals, which favoured the new government that let them leave peacefully, rather than keep them under control with superior firepower.

Fortunately, so far, they have been led by pragmatists, though there are some firebrand nuts who want to trigger Armageddon the hard way…

*

In the blue corner is the League of Iron – their motto is “iron will and blazing spirit”. Though its ideology was actually thought up by a Leonese philosopher living in exile in Denmark, it was in the Golden Horde that the revolution begun – not unlike Communism IOTL. However, unlike with Communism, his ideology eventually took hold in his original homeland.

Rodriguesism is something like transhumanist fascism, but with a touch of democratic socialism thrown in. Despite its slightly creepy outlook, it is fairly tolerant in terms of, for example, religious adherence, but it is otherwise very dogmatic; not unlike Confucianism in this regard.

The Kipchak Khanate was much more lucky ITTL, pwning the Russian states, and eventually getting the Russian elites (and later the newly-fledged middle class) to convert to a fairly moderate form of Sunni Islam through cultural inertia. However, there is still a reasonably large Orthodox minority in the western provinces, decedents of the East Slavic peasantry which held on to their old faith when their old masters had converted. Fortunately, the Khans were fairly tolerant of them as long as they paid their taxes and behaved themselves.

Leon never politically united with Castile ITTL, though there was a brief stint when it was in personal-union with Portugal, sharing three rulers during the mid-15th century, after which, the inheritance was split – that family still rules in Portugal, but was overthrown in Leon, leading to the First Republic (it is currently on its Fourth), interspersed with the occasional restoration of the monarchy (not unlike France IOTL).

*

Meanwhile, trying to stay out of things is the Organisation of Neutral States. Don’t be fooled by the size of its membership, though – most of them aren’t particularly powerful, which is why they have clubbed together in the first place. Ultimately, it is a rather loose mutual-defence bloc, divided into a bunch of somewhat tighter organisations. Ultimately, though, they can be grouped into three sets.

The first is led by the Indo-British Union, which is, more or less, TTL’s equivalent of a bourgeois democracy, if rather fond of flexing its muscles. The Union – a sort of Imperial Federation – was formed in 1886, adopting the name to proclaim the (theoretical at that point) equality between the motherland and the settler colonies on one side, and the Indian provinces on the other. Despite having added the rest of its bigger colonies to the table, it has kept its name. The Union also trades regularly with the various pro-CoM or pro-LoI neutrals (mostly for the oil, but that isn’t quite so important nowadays with the increasing use of nuclear power), something its co-hegemons aren’t entirely happy with, but know they can’t actually stop happening without causing an international incident.

The rest of the London Pact, which proudly proclaims that “Britain Is Awesome” (all the massive amount of cash Britain throws at them is, of course, purely coincidental), is comprised of Portugal[2] and its empire, a bunch of former Portuguese colonies and protectorates, and a bunch of former Leonese, Castilian and Saxon colonies, as well as Nissen [Japan] (which really doesn’t like the way the Kipchaks look at it) and formerly Burgundian Java (not surprising, considering British arms and cash helped it put down the last umpteen rebellions).

(Portugal used to be a power in its own right, though one backed by Britain when necessary. However, since the late-18th century, it has been in decline, partially due to being eclipsed by the rising power of Greater Saxony, and partially due to a set of independence movements that surged through southern Antillea [Americas] during this period, during which it lost New Lusitania and New Estremadura, and most of the remainder of its empire during the early 20th century, though it has remained on fairly good terms with its ex-colonies, unlike, say, Castile.)

The second group is comprised of a bunch of countries that just want to be left alone, but know that they have to snuggle up to the Union to stay that way. Though they are confident that their prime benefactor will actually protect them if either Hegemonic Bloc decides to attack, at the moment the ONS is mostly run as a de facto Indo-British protection racket.

The Copenhagen Pact is a defence/economic union, designed to show a united front to both the CoM and the LoI, and to huddle together in case either bloc decides to eat them while they sleep. The same goes for the Damascus League. The Italian League is purely designed as an anti-CoM bloc; the Pope is technically the head of this organisation, but Naples-Sicily is by far the strongest and most influential.

The third is composed of three countries that remain outside any of the ONS’s member organisations.

Persia (still Sunni ITTL[3]) has been contemplating joining the Damascus League on and off for the past thirty years, but the members have vetoed this for fear of being dominated by it, or of further antagonising the Kipchaks, whose sphere of influence borders Persia on three sides.

Delhi is ruled by a sultan, who, despite having constitutional limits on his power, and guaranteeing equal rights to his Muslim and Hindu subjects, isn’t particularly popular at the moment. Mostly this is because the sultan’s father decided to ally himself with the Indo-British Union, despite previous antagonisms, and the present sultan’s maintaining of this alliance, its benefits notwithstanding, had made him and his government look week.

China, on the other hand, is pure in it for the ability to thumb its nose at the Kipchaks (as you can see on the map, the LoI has a loooong border with them) without being invaded, or having its government overthrown. However, this alliance may well last only as long as its own nuclear stockpile remains comparatively small. Until then, it has to (grudgingly) dance to London’s tune…

--

[1] The Jagellion Empire (uniting Poland, Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia and Serbia ITTL) had been toppled French Revolution-style in 1791.
[2] Britain’s self-proclaimed #1 best buddy ITTL, not unlike IOTL, especially considering TTL’s history.
[3] There are still a large number of Shia Muslims ITTL, but nowhere nearly as many as IOTL – we’re talking Jainism-level of adherents here.
:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2012
Is this part of a different TL?
Reply
:iconanalyticalengine:
AnalyticalEngine Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012
No, this is my entry for a recent map contest round on alternatehistory.com.

Sorry if I didn't make that clear.
Reply
:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012
It's alright. Still a pretty interesting map though.
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