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The collapse of the Unzen volcano in Japan, and a subsequent tsunami, kill more than fourteen thousand people.

The War in Defence of the Constitution occurs as Poland is invaded by Russia at the request of those who oppose its new constitution. Abandoned by Prussia and betrayed from within, Poland quickly falls, and loses further territory to the invaders in the Second Partition. [However, no Third Partition occurs as happened in the real world, and a rump Poland remains.]

To assist with the control and surveillance of the people in the Prussian-held parts of Poland, Friedrich Willhelm II of Prussia authorises the rebuilding of several Polish towns on the principles of the Panopticon. Despite riots and protests, this work proceeds, and proves effective.

The first successful steam-powered railway begins operation in France.

[Without a French Revolution, King Gustav III of Sweden is somewhat less disliked by his nobility; as such he is not assassinated in this year at the age of 46. Because of this Sweden continues to be an 'enlightened despotism'.]

Inspired by the Prussian successes with Panopticon-based systems, Russia begins to build them to control its more restive populations.

Other nations also begin to experiment with Panopticon-based systems for control of their populations.

Disagreements over Poland's fate cause a split between Prussia and Russia.


The Chinese Emperor, seeing no value in it, rejects a French proposal that they have a permanent ambassador to China. [In the real world the Chinese rejected a British ambassador in 1793.]

A young artillery officer named Napoleon Bonaparte, dissatisfied with the lack of opportunities in France for a man of his talents but who lacks money and high social rank, travels to India.

Poland, as a tributary state of Russia, has no choice but to join the Northern System.

In India, where the constraints of social rank are much less, Napoleon Bonaparte quickly proves himself a very able officer, rising swiftly through the ranks of the French army there. As he does so he marries the daughter of another French officer serving in India [no-one Napoleon ever met in the real world].


Eli Whitney in Columbia invents the cotton gin [as in the real world].

Renowned French politician and economist Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot dies of old age [having lived longer and been more successful here than in the real world, where he died in 1781]..

Comet Cimino [Encke] reappears.

The idea of the cotton gin is exported to India, where it gives a massive boost to the cotton industry there.


The first vaccination, against smallpox, is created by English doctor Edward Jenner.

His success with the smallpox vaccination inspires others to begin to look at folk remedies to see if there is anything of value to them.


The first steam-powered railway engine runs in Britain. [In the real world this happened in 1804, with the engine being built by Richard Trevithick]. However, it has a number of problems that prevent it from being a success.

Continuing border and territorial clashes in India come to head in Surat. France accuses Britain of breaking the Treaty of Versailles and trying to re-take parts of India from France. British and French forces clash directly and what becomes known as the Second Surat War begins.

When news of the Second Surat War reaches Europe, fighting begins between the Triple Alliance and France, soon pulling in their various allies. War spreads across the continent.


French paddle steamers engage the sailing ships of the Royal Navy in the English Channel for the first time. Despite technical problems the French steamships soundly defeat the British vessels.

As news of the French victory reaches King Louis XVI of France, he dies of a heart attack at the age of 69 [as opposed to the real world, where he died in 1765 at the age of 36]. He is succeeded by his son [the man who was King Louis XVI in the real world] who becomes King Louis XVII at the age of 44.

The Royal Navy begins to construct its own steamships. Unfortunately they have far less experience of doing so than the French.

Prussia defeats France in a series of battles in the German states.

French forces defeat the British defenders of Calcutta. They have no choice but to surrender.

With Russia supporting France in the Second Surat War, though not actually fighting against the Triple Alliance, the Alliance Navy begins interdicting Russian and other shipping through the Baltic.

Clergyman Thomas Malthus publishes the first edition of his treatise on population growth and its dangers [much as in the real world]. It greatly influences thought on the subject.

French scientists Antoine Lavoisier and Armand Seguin publish the results of a pioneering study into human metabolism and respiration, greatly increasing understanding of these subjects. [In the real world this study was disrupted by the French Revolution and never completed.]

French success in war and industry leads to other nations, even enemies, aping French ways of doing things, particularly its industrial and military techniques and technologies.


Napoleon Bonaparte becomes a general in the French army in India at the age of thirty. [However, although good he is never that exceptional.]

The first optical telegraph is constructed in France. [Somewhat later than in the real world, due to the lack of a French Revolution giving Claude Chappe less free time in which to perfect it.]

With local British ships unable to stop them, French ships visit Quebec for the first time since it became an independent nation.

A Mysorian battalion, upgraded with some modern French equipment but who also insisting on keeping their 'strange, Indian' equipment too, uses Mysorian rockets to great effect.

Following the demonstration of British weakness in the war, there is an Irish uprising, attempting to set up an independent Ireland. It is bloodily suppressed by the British, but at the cost of weakening their efforts elsewhere.

Tsar Paul I convinces the governments of Denmark-Norway and Sweden to join an alliance to protect their shipping from the Triple Alliance, despite the best efforts of the Prussian government to prevent it. This becomes known as the Armed Neutrality of the North.

Troubled by problems with gunpowder production arising from the many different systems of weights and measures used across France, Antoine Lavoisier in his role as one of the four commissioners of gunpowder begins to campaign to impose a unified system of measurement in France to replace the estimated quarter of a million different units of measure in use across the country.

Optical telegraph networks spread across the world. A particularly large network develops in French India.

The use of rockets by the Mysorians in the Surat War attracts the attention of the French, who, although the forces of Tipu Sultan have had them for many years, have largely ignored the Mysorian rockets before, as they have not seen them used. They begin to develop and adopt rockets of various kinds into their military. Other nations, particularly the Triple Alliance, also adopt this idea. [However, the development of rocketry is rather slower than in the real world.]

Mysore becomes, and remains, a great centre of rocketry.

Triple Alliance and French explorers investigate the islands of New Zeeland.


Frenchman Joseph-Marie Jacquard develops a loom in which the pattern being woven is controlled by punched cards, without changing the mechanical design of the loom, based on earlier work by Jacques de Vaucanson. [Jacquard, born 1752, invents this much as he did in the real world, but slightly earlier.]

After long consideration, new Pope Benedict XV issues a Bull condemning Indouism as a Satanic Cult that must be destroyed. With this permission the French in India begin trying to wipe it out, at first by conversion and persuasion, then by force. These attempts spark uprisings across Indou India [These are like the Indian Mutiny of the real world, but earlier and more violent], beginning in the Indou holy city of Varanasi. Across India, Indou militias form to protect their religion. Varanasi is largely destroyed in the fighting, along with various other places. Some Islamic Indian princes, particularly Tipu Sultan, help the French against the Indou uprisings, but others ally with their Indou neighbours, forming mixed-religion anti-French forces. These conflicts together become known as the Indou War or, to the troops who have to fight in it, as the Popes War. Napoleon Bonaparte performs good service for the French crown during this time.

As the unrest of the Popes War spreads across India, the Maratha Confederacy, already only a loose grouping of autonomous states, fragments entirely as its members take different sides, with, as the war proceeds, many of them also themselves fragmenting into smaller states.

At the same time, the Mughal Empire, already greatly reduced in size from it greatest extent and with the remainder weak and divided, falls to civil war as different regions take different sides based on their dominant religion, with violent consequences.


French warships engage the harbour defences of Plymouth, Portsmouth and London in a series of unsuccessful probing raids. Other French forces lay siege to the fortress of Gibraltar.

Comet Grigorevitch [Pons] is discovered.

Grigorevitch discovers a second comet.

Neapolitan astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovers the first of the minor planets that become known as asteroids. He names it Ceres. Many other asteroids are subsequently discovered.

The Triple Alliance becomes the Triple Union as a full political joining of Britain, Prussia and Hanover occurs. The Triple Union begins as a Personal Union under one monarch, but still with separate states and governments.

After a failed attempt at Finnish independence, Russia acquires Finland from Sweden.

In Columbia, Eli Whitney invents the assembly line, and what becomes known as the Colombian System of Manufacturing.

Although not widely adopted in Columbia the Colombian System of Manufacturing is used a great deal in Quebec, and is also adopted in France as steam power becomes more widely used there.

As the Triple Union forms, some other German states become more and more concerned about it, and some of them ally with Prussia's enemies, particularly the Holy Roman Empire, against it. Other German states become little more than buffer states between the two nations.


The people of Quebec petition the King of France for a Monarch to lead them. Prince Charles of France is sent to them, and is crowned King Charles I of Quebec.

The central government of the Triple Union attempts to introduce a Bill allowing wide-scale use of Panopticon-based techniques to control the population.

As news of the bill spread, riots and disorder spread across Britain and the British-descended North American colonies as people come out in opposition to it, seeing it as an unacceptable step in the Prussification of Britain. The Bill fails to pass in those nations, and as the Panopticon Crisis passes, the Union is forced to concede that the Union can only continue to exist if it is recognised that there are variations in its rules from nation to nation; a few people still dream of full uniformity, but most give up on the idea. The use of Panopticon systems is adopted more easily in Hanover and Prussia, though.

World-renowned French chemist Antoine Lavoisier becomes Permanent Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences at the age of fifty nine.

After years of concerns about its safety and inconvenient location, Columbia moves its capital city from Charlotte, North Carolina to the more central city of Chicago.

Grigorevitch discovers a third comet.


The Royal Navy suffers a major defeat at the Battle of Guernsey. France invades and takes the Channel Islands from Britain.

A new Panopticon Bill goes through the British Parliament. This one has a much more limited scope, intended for temporary use only in trouble-spots, and although there are some protests against it, the Bill is passed. The Panopticon Office is set up to oversee it application.

The continuing costs of the Second Surat War cause unrest and rioting in France. What becomes known as the Peasants Revolt spreads across several of the rural areas of the country.

French ships threaten to blockade Britain.

After a very long siege, Gibraltar surrenders to the French.

The British East India Company goes bankrupt, and is dissolved by the British government.

Despite its initially limited scope, in time the Panopticon Office becomes a general domestic spying agency for the British government, and in certain areas Panopticon surveillance becomes essentially permanent.

As the effectiveness of its work becomes apparent, other nations, particularly Russia, France and the Holy Roman Empire, set up similar organisations.

In all of these nations, many troublesome areas are rebuilt along Panopticon-based lines, often without the knowledge of those living in them.


With both sides wanting an end to the Second Surat War, now known as the Eight Years War, the Treaty of Amsterdam is signed as the Triple Union surrenders, conditionally. Britain loses all of its Indian possessions to France, along with the Channel Islands and Gibraltar. Prussia loses certain of its territories close to the French border. The Triple Union also pays various indemnities to France.

With forces freed up by the end of the war, the French Peasant Revolts are suppressed.

With the end of the War, the Union begins a crash program of ship-building to make up the ground they have lost against the French steam-powered navy. The French, satisfied with the performance of their Navy, limited by Cugnot's patents, and with other things needing their resources, leave their Navy as it is and pursue Physiocratic economic policies. Other nations also begin developing steam-powered armed forces.

Factories producing steam engines, and other factories to produce the raw materials for them - coal mines, iron works and so on, begin to spread across Europe and the European colonies. Many governments borrow heavily to pay for this.

As steam power spreads, so does the need for fuel for the steam engines. With only so much wood and coal available, other sources are sought, and soon distilled alcohol made from sugar becomes the most widespread fuel, with plant-based oils a secondary power source. These same fuels are used when internal combustion engines are invented, leading to much less pressure on mineral oil supplies (as they are cleaner and just as efficient as them) [this is the reverse of the case in the real world].


The capital of Columbia moves to the rapidly growing city of Chicago, on the Great Lakes.

The Triple Union, seeking to strengthen itself in these times of troubles, grants full nationhood to New England, Hudsonia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. In return the new nations join the Triple Union, transforming it into the Transatlantic Union.

With the Second Surat War/Eight Years War over and its shipping no longer being interdicted, Sweden withdraws from the Armed Neutrality of the North.

Comet Cimino [Encke] reappears.


Union settlers found a penal colony in the south-western tip of Terra Australis [centred on real-world Perth]. This becomes known as Sophiasland. Originally a penal colony, it becomes a settler colony later, once the rich mineral deposits in the area are discovered.

Russia attempts to pressure Sweden into rejoining the Armed Neutrality of the North. When this fails, they declare war on Sweden with the same end. Denmark-Norway joins them in doing so. The Third Northern War begins (the First and Second Northern Wars being from 1655 to 1660 and 1700 to 1721 respectively).


A Great Comet is observed between early September to December. This comet has two tails, the largest of which is about ten degrees long.


The first propeller-driven steamships, developed in the Triple Union, begin to come into service. [In the real world 1848]

Sweden manages to repulse the Danes and the Russians, and force a peace that ends the Third Northern War with Sweden retaining its independence.

Russia and Denmark-Norway begin to rethink their militaries in light of their performance in the Northern War. As this is done, the system of alliances between them changes, and its entire structure becomes known as the Northern System, a name that comes to apply to the whole Armed Neutrality of the North.


The first practical canning technology begins operation in France. [In the real world 1809.]

[Food preservation technology is, overall, more advanced here than in the real world.]

Russian Imperial Chamberlain Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov marries Doña Concepción Argüello, the daughter of the commandant of the San Francisco Presidio in California, who he had met in 1806 while negotiating with the Spanish for provisions for and trade agreements with the Russian settlement at Sitka. Despite the thirty-four year age gap between the couple and the long delay between their meeting and their marriage caused by the need for him to gain permission to marry a Catholic from the Russian Orthodox Church and for her to gain permission to marry an Orthodox Russian from Rome, this marriage creates links between the two nations, leading to increased Russian-Spanish trade and Russian settlement down the west coast of North America. [In the real world Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov died in 1807 on the long trip to obtain permission to marry a Catholic.]

Later marriages between Russian and Spanish nobility further strengthen these ties.

1811 to 1812

A series of earthquakes, aftershocks and tremors occur in the Mississippi Valley. These continue into 1812. The earthquakes reverse the course of the Mississippi River, and are the largest series of earthquakes known to have occurred in North America.

Comet Kreutz [Flaugergues] appears between April 1811 and January 1812. This comet has two tails, one straight and one curved, and one some twenty-five degrees long. It is visible to the unaided eye.


As British traders look east from India for money-making opportunities, tensions between Britain and the Netherlands lead to skirmishes between the two sides in the East Indies. These escalate until what becomes known as the Second Spice War is declared.

Comet Cimino [Encke] reappears.


Mud-flows caused by the eruption of Mount Mayon in the Philippine Islands kill twelve hundred people.

France enters the Second Spice War when Union forces accidentally sink French shipping off India, and clashes occur between Hudsonia, New England and Quebec. The French soon discover that their Navy is seriously outclassed by the new steam-driven Union fleet; the Union ships are propeller-driven and more heavily armoured than the French paddle-wheel ships, and the French Navy takes heavy losses.

Suffering from ill health, Napoleon Bonaparte returns to France along with his wife and children, recuperating at the family estate of Casa Buonaparte in Corsica.


The first successful steam-powered railway opens in the UK. [In the real world this was in 1825.]

A massive eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia kills ninety-two thousand people locally due to ash falls, tsunami, disease and starvation. It also causes climatic effects on a global scale, and leads to 1816 becoming known as the 'year without a summer'.

A significant number of British and Dutch ships, in the area because of the Second Spice War, are destroyed by the Tambora eruption.

The Transatlantic Union demands that Quebec cuts its ties with France. When they refuse, Union ships bombard several cities in Quebec in an attempt to force their compliance.

Mass production is invented by William Towers in New England. This begins to find widespread use in the production of steam engines and steamships.


Columbia threatens to declare war on the Union if it does not withdraw from Quebec. However, as the Union threatens action against Columbia, the Colombian government withdraws its demands. Despite this, a number of Colombian volunteers, acting privately, join the fighting on the side of Quebec.

The collateral damage caused by the eruption of Tambora quickly brings the Second Spice War to an end in the Far East. However, the war in Europe and North America continues.

The 'year with no summer' causes widespread crop failures and food riots across Europe. General Bonaparte does good work against the French rioters during this time.

The King of France in particular becomes very concerned about maintaining his subject's food supply after food riots and so on during this time, mainly for his own safety.

The King charges the Physiocrats to maintain French food supplies in future, regardless of the cost. They begin work on this. In particular their work concentrates on the use of greenhouses to make crops less vulnerable to the vagaries of climate.

Suing for peace, the French agree to the Treaty of London, returning Gibraltar and several other areas to Union control. The Second Spice War ends in Europe and North America.

Shaka becomes King of the Zulu people.

With his health largely restored, Napoleon Bonaparte returns to Paris with his family to take up a teaching position at the École Militaire in Paris.

The French Navy begins a crash modernisation programme. The Union works to keep up with this. An arms race begins. There is lots of money to be made from iron and steam power, and steam engine factories and iron works spring up across Europe and further afield. Much investment in these things occurs as money starts to be made, and gradually turns into lots of money. Then more and more, across Europe.

A steam and steel bubble begins to form.

Sensible voices advise against this massive expenditure, but governments believe they must keep up with their rivals, especially France and the Union. The Union is also spurring on by the defence expenditure caused by its troubles with Columbia.


Napoleon Bonaparte is made a Marshal of France (one of more than two hundred such) at the age of 48.

After years of effort by Antoine Lavoisier and his supporters against much entrenched resistance to the idea, France finally adopts a unified system of measurement to be used across all parts of the French Empire. [This is not the Metric system, but simply a rationalisation of the existing French system which is not unlike the Imperial System of the real world.]

Within a year of his coming to the throne, King Shaka conquers the clans adjoining the Zulu, and makes the Zulu into the most important ally of the large Mtetwa clan, who are in competition with the Ndwandwe clan. He initiates many military, social, cultural and political reforms, creating a well organised centralised Zulu state. He also transforms the army, using innovative tactics and weapons, and makes the Zulu spiritual leadership - the witch doctors - subservient to the Zulu state. Lastly, he sets up processes by which defeated clans are integrated into the Zulu, on a basis of full equality, with promotions in the army and civil service being a matter of merit rather then circumstances of birth.


The first revolver, a flintlock pistol, is invented in Columbia. [In the real world this was invented in 1818]

Dingiswayo, King of the Mtetwa, is killed by Zwide, King of the Ndwandwe. Shaka assumes leadership of the entire Mtetwa alliance, which thanks to his efforts survives the war against the Ndwandwe.

King Gustav III of Sweden dies of old age [as opposed to the real world, where he was assassinated in 1792]. He is succeeded by his 40 year son, who becomes King Gustav IV Adolf. He proves to be an un-exceptional King.

A Great Comet is observed in July with a tail about seven degrees long.

French chemist Antoine Lavoisier dies at the age of seventy five. [Unlike the case in the real world where he was unjustly executed in 1794, during the French Revolution.]


Sierra Leone becomes a nation in the Transatlantic Union, which is renamed as simply the Union.

Burtchells [Tralles] Comet makes a bright appearance that lasts for several weeks and is visible with the unaided eye.


King George III of Britain dies, blind and mad. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes King George IV. [George III is about as mad here as in the real world, although he has suffered different stresses to those in the real world.]

The Zulu defeat the Ndwandwe and break up the Ndwandwe alliance. Some of the Ndwandwe begin a murderous campaign against other tribes and clans, setting in motion what becomes known as the Mfecane, a mass migration of tribes fleeing tribes fleeing the remnants of the Ndwandwe fleeing the Zulu. The Zulu continue to conquer other tribes and clans and, incorporating them, expand their nation outwards.

After years of effort, the French attempt to eradicate Indouism in India fails dismally, and the Popes War ends. However, many Indians are now violently hostile to France, with large areas of the sub-continent out of French control.

Although there is quite a lot of conversion to Christianity during the war, forcibly and otherwise, particularly by members of the lower castes, Indouism is, if anything, strengthened by the French actions, but the conflict it causes weakens France itself, by loss of trade, and with it the European economy. In some areas Muslim-Indou links are strengthened by the Popes War; in others these links are weakened or destroyed.

Indou militias persist to the present day in various places, and often act as guardians of what is seen to be public and national morality, in some places officially, in other places not.

By the end of the war the Maratha Confederacy and the Mughal Empire have irrevocably split into a number of different states, in general along religious lines. The name of the Maratha Confederacy disappears entirely, while only a small region around the Mughal capital city of Delhi remains under the name of the Mughal Empire.

The concept of Papal infallibility is greatly weakened by the actions of Pope Benedict XV as well as by the events of the Popes War and its aftermath.

The divided and fragmented states of India that exist at the end of the Popes War form the basis for the divisions of India that continue to the present day.

In the aftermath of the Popes War, various Indou princes begin to secretly conspire to throw the French out of India altogther.

The Union settles a few islands in the East Indies, despite Dutch opposition, forming what becomes known as Georgsland [what in the real world is the eastern tip of New Guinea, the island of New Britain, New Ireland and other smaller islands in that region].


William, younger brother of King George IV, has a son, who he names William. [In the real world William had a daughter who died in 1819, and another who died in 1820; his son replaces the second daughter, and means he has a direct heir, unlike in the real world, where his lack of an heir opened the way for Queen Victoria to come to the throne.]

The very bright comet Barnao [Nicollet-Pons] appears.


The basic principles of electricity and electromagnetism are discovered by Patrick Fenton in Britain and Gottlieb Bäcker in Prussia.

After pressure is applied by the French, the Pope withdraws his Bull condemning Indouism as a Satanic cult.

An earthquake in Echigo, Japan, kills thirty thousand people.

Comet Cimino [Encke] reappears.


The first practical electrical generator is constructed by Gottlieb Bäcker in Berlin. Because of Prussian efforts in this area, most electrical development occurs outside Britain. [Things are electrified later than in the real world - in the late 1910s; hydraulic power is widely used instead.]

Following problems transporting men and material to India during the Popes War, with the permission of the Ottoman government, France begins the construction of a railway between the ports of Alexandria and Suez.

The bright comet Abadie [De Breaute-Pons] is seen for several weeks.

French archaeologists, interested in reports from the engineers working on the Alexandria-Suez Railway (and in some cases from engineers who are also amateur archaeologists) begin the first serious study of the ancient Egyptian sites in the country. [This is more than twenty years later than in the real world.]


The first scheduled trans-Atlantic steamship service begins, from London to Boston. [In the real world this began in 1838.]

Comet Origny-Abadie [Pons-Winnecke] is discovered. It becomes visible to the unaided eye.

A scholarly Hungarian Catholic monk, Gabor Szekeres, working from his own and others observations of nature, publishes his work on the principles of genetics. [Szekeres replaces Gregor Mendel and several others here; he is an Einstein-like figure, but in the field of biology rather than physics.]

Quebec considers joining the Northern System, but decides that, on balance, the loss or weakening of its links to Columbia are not worth it.


Comet Parisot [Pons-Gambart] is discovered.


The French recruit the first Gurkhas into their army. [In the real world the British did this in 1815-16.]

King Louis XVII of France dies aged seventy-four [unlike In the real world, where he was executed during the French Revolution]. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Xavier I.

The Zulu King Shaka avoids assassination at the hands of a conspiracy led by his half brother Dingane. All of the conspirators are impaled. [As opposed to the real world, where Dingane successfully assassinated Shaka and became King of the Zulus.]

[Because there are no Napoleonic Wars, Britain does not take over Cape Colony during this time. Thus there are no treks by the Afrikaner population. However, the Dutch population does expand, and so Europeans gradually move further and further into the interior of the Cape.]


King Xavier of France, long dissatisfied with the Treaty of London signed by his father, declares war on the Union for the return of the possessions ceded to the Union in the Treaty. What becomes known as the War of the Treaty begins as French forces advance on several fronts. The Union forces are somewhat better equipped, but the French are more numerous. The Russians enter the war on the side of the French, while the Dutch enter on the Union side.

French forces again besiege Gibraltar.

After decades of near-constant bankruptcy of its ruling Order of Saint John, unrest on the island, and with the agreement of the island's nominal ruler, the Kingdom of Naples, France buys Malta. The Order of Saint John retains nominal control of the island, but under French guidance.

King Shaka, realising from his contacts with Europeans that they pose a threat his people, begins an intensive program of education to enable his people to catch up with the Europeans. [In the real world his assassination meant that, although planned, this never happened.]

Zulu emissaries, many of them from the blacksmiths, are sent out by King Shaka to learn, initially from the Dutch in the Cape Province, but later from other Europeans, and in Europe itself. Although they suffer problems from racism, a trickle of knowledge begins to make its way back to Zululand.


Improvements in steam engine design lead to the introduction of the first practical steam-powered tractor.

King George IV of Britain dies. He is succeeded by his younger brother, who becomes King William IV.

Threatened by France, and with the Union tied down on other fronts and unable to assist them, the Netherlands abandon the Union, and join the Northern System.

Gibraltar falls to the French.

Both France (weakened by long years of conflict in India over the attempts to eradicate Indouism) and the Union governments begin to go into debt in order to support the war.

A Great Comet appears.

[With the French threat and problems in North America to worry about, slavery is less of an issue in the Union than in real-world Britain, and so persists for longer. It does not abolish slavery in the 1830s, nor enforce this rule overseas. Slavery in the Caribbean sugar plantations continues, and also in Columbia.]

1831 - The Economic Collapse

In Columbia, Liron ben Aviram, a Jewish immigrant from Europe, has a vision of the Promised Land in the dry south-western parts of Columbia, near the border with New Spain [real-world Texas]. He proclaims it as the future Israel, the Jewish homeland, and founds a settlement there that he names New Jerusalem.

Many European Jews, blamed (without foundation) for the Economic collapse and fleeing pogroms and persecution, begin to go there. The Russian government gives its Jewish subjects a low level of financial assistance to help them in this.

A Great Comet appears and is a naked-eye object for a month.

As the War of the Treaty continues, people begin to realise that iron and steam engine production far exceeds demand. Money begins to be pulled out of iron and steam production, which leads to a run on the markets as the bubble driving it all bursts. Very quickly, this turns into a huge economic collapse as iron and steam and all their associated and support industries fail, and fall into bankruptcy. What becomes known as the Economic Collapse begins [this is roughly analogous to the Great Depression of the real world]. It spreads far and wide as news of events travels around the world.

Even those who are peripheral or not trying to keep up are dragged down by the Collapse. The Northern System does not suffer as bad an economic collapse as western Europe, but it does still suffer.

Trade with China practically stops as the Economic Collapse takes hold, but the Collapse affects China very little, as it is essentially self-sufficient.

With age beginning to take its toll, and to escape the turmoil sweeping Europe, at the age of 62 Napoleon Bonaparte retires from his teaching position at the École Militaire in Paris to a small estate in his native Corsica, not far from his ancestral home of the Casa Buonaparte.

Desperate to recoup their investments, people begin to find all sorts of things to do with excess iron and steam engines. Iron ships, buildings and so on are built everywhere, with varying degrees of success. However, the collapse is still bad.

Iron and steam power is sold in all parts of the world, wherever people are willing to pay for it, and often for a song. In Africa, the Zulus and the Ashanti take advantage of this, and buy significant industrial capacity very quickly and cheaply. In both cases iron is also sold to their enemies, however.

There are food and work riots across Europe and its colonies as people suffer the effects of the Economic Collapse and find themselves unemployed with no safety net. In some places people starve. Unrest spreads and with it, in many cases, martial law. Many governments are overwhelmed by the scale of the collapse, but rally and recruit people for major public works.

After decades of growing problems the privatised French tax collection system, the Ferme Générale, collapses as its members prove incapable of meeting their obligations and responsibilities. The French government has no choice but to take the taxation system back into state control for the first time in centuries.

Some idealists claim that the Economic Collapse is an opportunity for a permanent peace, as the nations of the world can no longer afford the expense of armies and wars. They are largely ignored by the governments of the world.


The War of the Treaty grinds to a halt as all sides run out of money to pay for their militaries. There are several instances of mutinies and military looting of food and other supplies from their own people.

In Russia, Tsar Paul I dies of old age and the stresses brought on by the Economic Collapse. He is succeeded by his grandson, who becomes Tsar Peter IV at the age of eighteen.

In India, the conspiracy of Indou princes take advantage of the Economic Collapse to rise up and attempt to throw off French rule. Violence spreads across the Indian sub-continent.

Taking advantage of the problems caused by the Economic Crisis, the Mamluk government of Egypt breaks away from the Ottoman Empire, declaring itself an independent nation run as a Mamluk-controlled oligarchy.

Public health goes downhill with the Economic Collapse, as there is less money for philanthropy or government funding of hospitals and so on. This leads to some epidemics (especially as cities expand, people leave the countryside looking for work, and so on), and to more self-help occurring among the common people, often centred on churches.

What buildings are built during this time tend to be very austere. Many are built on the cheap do not last long.

Practical scientific research, stymied by lack of funds, greatly slows during the Economic Collapse. Theoretical and philosophical studies, however, continue.

Governments become very leery of 'unnecessary' spending, and continue to be so for decades afterwards. What is counted as unnecessary varies, however; some nations invest in recovery early on and so do better later. Reaction to the Collapse by some elements of society cause them to develop a high-spending, profligate, live-for-today mentality.

It takes the world some fifteen to twenty years to fully recover from the effects of the Economic Collapse.

With the Economic Collapse many Colombian and Caribbean plantations go bankrupt, and their slaves have no means of support. Some plantations begin to use more economical - usually mechanical - methods of production, and slavery there stops being economically viable. As the redundant slaves begin to starve there are revolts and uprisings as they organise and struggle to live.

In many places the revolts are brutally crushed. Some of the slaves in these places are simply ghettoised, abandoned and left to die. In others, some slave owners, acting out of what they see as kindness and a desire to not have their slaves suffer, have their slaves killed. This also leads to revolts.

In general, improvements in technology produces an economic imperative that drives the reduction of slavery. However, with a largely agricultural economy, Columbia keeps slavery for longer.

As the world begins to recover from the Economic Collapse some slaves begin to be freed and returned to Africa. In particular, the Union and Columbia return freed slaves to Sierra Leone. A few Spanish and French slaves are also returned to various places in Africa where they are usually dumped and left to fend for themselves.

Another consequence of the Economic Collapse is that some industries, particularly military-related ones that governments consider important, are seen to need more efficient methods of working to allow them to continue. This leads to the adoption of mass production methods across the European-influenced world. [In the real world these were adopted gradually over 19th century.]

As economies gradually recover, several governments attempt to re-establish control over the colonies they have abandoned during the Economic Collapse, many of which are suffering a great deal of war and unrest because of this. In some places the colonial government is welcomed back with open arms. In others, wars of re-colonisation are fought. Some are successful. Some are not. In other places again, economic re-colonisation occurs. Sometimes this is with the former home nation, if the former colony still gets on with them, but sometimes it is not.

Trade with Sub-Saharan Africa over and above the slave trade begins as trading posts are set up on the coast and trade routes into the interior established. Some colonies remain just that, though others grow into nations in their own right.

For a while it is considered the patriotic duty of people abroad to find new sources of income for ones country. With no national funding of military expeditions abroad, it is an era of merchant adventurers, mercenaries, freebooters and private armies, as trade is established and re-established with various African and Asian states with only minimal government oversight.

Many expatriate communities grow up in the independent 'native' states in Africa, Asia and South America, where they act as advisors, consultants and so on for the local government or industries. In a few such states, Europeans take over and govern the place in a variety of ways. In time several become hereditary European-ruled kingdoms.

Economic drives and protectionism in the post-colonial states that do not wish to rejoin their former masters also leads to pushes into new areas - Africa, China, Siberia, Indochina, Afghanistan, Tibet, Mongolia, Arabia and so on. Some places have explorers looking for opportunities, but they go away when they see there are none. Tibet is one of these.

Japan is opened up in this period. It is split between the Dutch (who take control of Kyushu and Hokkaido) and France (who take over Shikoku and Honshu).

To avoid a repeat of the unrest during the Economic Collapse, many areas of many nations are rebuilt along Panopticon-based lines once the money becomes available to do so.

As Panopticon-based surveillance spreads, the people so spied upon react against it. In many places there are riots and unrest, to little effect. In others, there are great reductions in crime and other threats to the social order, which is trumpeted as a great victory by the governments involved.

As a further response to the development of a high-surveillance society, there is a rise in slang languages and the use of codes as people work to avoid being listened in to. Likewise there is an increased interest in artificial and constructed languages.

In parallel with this there is a growth of secret societies and what become known as Free Speech Clubs to avoid the Panopticon Society. These collectively form the Nullopticon (un-seeing as opposed to all-seeing) movement. In many places they are persecuted, even if 'unofficially'. But their influence reaches into the highest levels of society so this persecution is, in most places, not heavily enforced apart from against those groups seen as 'subversive'.

There are also Public Speaking Clubs and Exhibitionists who simply rebel against the Panopticon Society, though they are usually lumped together with the Nullopticon movement.

Increased surveillance also leads to an increased interest in cryptography via Code Clubs. This leads to government efforts to defeat the codes, and the development of computing techniques to help with this.

The concept of the welfare state grows out of Prussia during this time, as a safety net in case of another economic crisis at some point in the future. Other nations have a massive increase in the workhouse population during the Economic Collapse; the massive problems this causes discrediting the workhouse as a concept and leading to the introduction of other ways of coping with the poor. However, a great many people suffer a great deal before this is done.

Also during this time there are a number of voting reforms that extend the franchise in Britain and other European countries.

Taking advantage of the weakening the Spanish government caused by the Economic Collapse, independence movements spring up across South and Central America. Violence spreads. Simón Bolívar does his best to unify the various movements into a unified anti-Spanish front, with some success.

Unrest spreads in Brazil as the people there clamour for self-rule rather than what they see as incompetent rule from Lisbon.

As the Economic Collapse proceeds, Southern Columbia, with a higher slave population, has more trouble with them than the north. After debating the issue, the southern territories decide that the best way forward is to free the slaves (though as second-class citizens) rather than ghettoising or killing them. Free, they require less support, but can still contribute to the economy. However, the northern-dominated Colombian government does not agree with this. Unrest spreads across the country as the Colombian government's handling of the Economic Collapse is widely criticised.


A Nicaraguan Canal to greatly ease ship travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is proposed by Frenchman Louis Genet. However, the Economic Collapse prevents any progress being made on this idea.

In Russia, Count Peter Lukich Khovansky convinces the young and naive Tsar Peter IV, and a majority of the Russian nobility, that Utilitarian Economic Rationalism (UER) is the way to save Russia from the Economic Collapse, which is badly affecting the nation. On the orders of the Tsar, a massive programme of Rationalist reforms begins to be put into place.

The Barbary Pirates take advantage of the Economic Collapse to raid shipping and take slaves across the Mediterranean.

Gabor Szekeres, expanding on his previous work on genetics, publishes his theories of Entwicklung [Evolution] and of Natürliche Vorwähler [Natural Selection], based on his own work and that of others, particularly the 1745 book by Pierre Maupertuis as well as the works of Linnaeus, Cuvier, Geoffroy and Lamarck.

Marshall Bonaparte is sent to India to suppress the Indou Revolt.

Misunderstandings between the Zulus and Dutch settlers lead to several battles, in which the Dutch guns prove critical in their victories.

In Haiti, a slave uprising overthrows the colonial government and forms a new slave republic that they name Libertatia.

In France, the King is forced to grant a number of concessions to the French people, making them and the country freer. Although France has no written constitution, he effectively becomes an informal constitutional monarch. As part of these reforms the old French feudal system is dismantled.

A Greek uprising with the intention of forming a separate Greek state is crushed by the Ottoman Empire.

King Shaka of the Zulu acquires some guns from the Dutch, and begins to develop tactics to use and defend against them.

Russia's flag under the UER regime changes from its traditional design to a white field with a narrow red and blue band at the bottom. This is basically the old Russian flag with the white band - representing rationalism - greatly expanded.

The flag of Russia under the UER regime

As part of the spirit of the new UER-based regime, Russia is split up by the Tsar, with those parts considered unprofitable being abandoned. Siberia, Alyeska and the Russian colonies on the west coast of North America are given their freedom. The Ukraine is not due to its resources, industry and so on. Russian expansion into the Muslim states of central Asia stops, and its colonies there are let go. Russia's African colonies - the northern part of what is now Damara and Namaqualand, and the area south of Spanish West Africa, are also let go due to UER; they are later re-colonised by France. Russia keeps its other Northern System allies with UER as it is profitable for them to do so.

As another element of the new UER regime in Russia, anti-Semitism leads to all Russian Jews being declared not part of the Russian nation. Some, more astute, flee the country. Others, the majority, have their property confiscated and are simply forced from Russia in what becomes known as the Great Expulsion. A significant number die from the privations this causes in the middle of the Economic Collapse. Many settle in other Jewish communities in Europe. Many also travel to the Jewish settlements founded in the Americas by Liron ben Aviram, greatly expanding them.

Peter IV cracks down on the unrest these 'reforms' bring. Even so, what becomes known as the Second Time of Troubles begins, as parts of Russia that have been let go protest this, and large groups of refugees try to re-enter Russia, while several parts that were not let go, protest that. Those Muslim states that were part of the Russian Empire are happy to have their independence again and war among themselves to retain it.


Marshall Bonaparte successfully suppresses the Indou Revolt in India. However, towards the end of his campaign he suffers a massive heart attack, and dies at the age of sixty-five.

Dutch gunsmith Adriaan Wouterszoon becomes the first white person to be integrated into the Zulu nation, as King Shaka gives him riches to teach the Zulu smiths the secrets of gunsmithing. He is widely reviled as a traitor to his race.

Unrest in Ireland begins to expand beyond the level where the British can control it. Negotiations with the Irish leaders result in Ireland being admitted to the Union as a full member, rather than as part of Britain.


Halley's Comet reappears and is visible to the naked eye.

A major drought strikes central Asia. The western Kazakh [Cossack] people are forced east by starvation, into the wetter lands of the eastern Kazakhs. The easterners, also suffering, resist these incursions, leading to civil war, and a split nation.

With no resources to maintain control of its American colonies in the face of increasing pro-independence unrest, and with France strongly hinting that it would take control of them from its Spanish ally as a 'favour' to them, Spain grants freedom to all of its American colonies. New nations of Florida, Mexico (including California), the Granadine Confederation [the real-world nation of Columbia], Cuba, Dominica, Argentina, Peru, Chile, Charcas [Bolivia], Uruguay and Paraguay are formed.

The forms of government in the new nations vary. Some are democracies modelled upon Colombian lines. Others are ruled by formerly Spanish nobility, or military dictators. There are varying degrees of corruption. Some of the more sparsely populated nations are more like city-states in a wilderness rather than conventional nations (though they have defined borders). Only the three Guyanas and Union Mosquitia and Honduras remain as colonies.

Slaves fleeing their masters in Central and South America escape into the jungle and make communities there. These become known as Libertatias, after the slave nation that was Haiti. Their numbers fluctuate as government forces intermittently harass them.


Gabor Szekeres is questioned by the Catholic Church about his theories and work. When he refuses to disown his theories, he is excommunicated. However, he feels that he has to abide by what he sees - what is revealed to him - in Gods Creation. But he has to flee the Holy Roman Empire, and goes to the Union, ending up in Britain.

The Portuguese government, not having the resources to suppress the unrest, but also not wishing to lose Brazil as Spain has lost its colonies, declares Brazil an autonomous Dominion, and reforms its empire into the Comunidade Portuguese (Portuguese Commonwealth), based to some extent upon the organisation of the Union.

Simón Bolívar calls for the creation of a United States of America out of all of the former Spanish colonies of Central and South America. However, there are sufficient disagreements and irrevocable divisions over the form this United States should take that the idea is still-born.

Unrest in Scotland following Ireland's admission to the Union leads to Scotland also being admitted to the Union as a separate nation. Wales, on the other hand, is not so admitted despite unrest there.

As part of the UER philosophy, Russia and the Northern System declare war on Sweden to force it into its 'natural place' within the Northern System. The Union allies with Sweden to prevent this, and the Swedish War begins.

As time passes, the other Portuguese colonies are also made Dominions, and part of the Comunidade Portuguese.


Over time it has become abundantly clear that membership of the Northern System is not is Holland's best interests. The Netherlands thus withdraw from the Northern System. Russia, being run on the principles of UER, does not try to stop them.

With the Northern System fought to a standstill in the Baltic and northern Europe, the Swedish War ends with some minor border adjustments.

Sweden becomes more and more militarised as it works to remain independent of both the Northern System and the Union.


King William IV of Britain dies. He is succeeded by his son, who becomes William V. Because he is not yet eighteen, his uncle, Bernard of Saxe-Meiningen [his uncle on his mothers side], acts as Regent. [Unlike the In the real world case, where William died childless, and Victoria came to the throne.]

With their economies recovering, France, the Netherlands and the Ottoman Empire work together to destroy the Barbary Pirates.

The first steam-powered armoured cars are deployed during Kazakh civil war, finding effective use of the steppes of Kazakhstan. They are developed from steam-powered tractors bought by the Kazakhs during the Economic Collapse.

Mexican philosopher Epifanio López Covas takes the concept of Natürliche Vorwähler as put forward by Gabor Szekeres, and develops the concept of Selección Natural Social (social natural selection), that not only organisms but societies and organisations compete and evolve, with only those best suited to survive - those that are right - growing and spreading.

As slave revolts spread in southern Columbia, southern requests for help from the north fall on deaf ears.

The concept of Selección Natural Social spreads across the world, and is adopted by many governments, being twisted to their own ends and goals.


King William V of Britain becomes eighteen, and the Regency of his uncle Bernard ends.

In the Granadine Confederation, disagreements over the way forward for the nation spread and flare into civil war as areas begin to secede. [Even in the real world the Granadine Confederation split up into several nations; in this world the regions of south America do not have to fight together and unify as much as in the real world to gain their independence, so they split into more and smaller nations.]

The French begin to colonise the Barbary states of North Africa as their part in the military conquest of the Barbary Pirates leads to the establishment of permanent military bases and then settlements there.

Dutch soldier Diederik Ruudszoon becomes the first white convert to the Zulu religion. Like Adriaan Wouterszoon before him in 1834 he is reviled as a traitor to his race and background.

The break-up of the Granadine Federation allows large numbers of slaves to escape into the jungle and to the Libertatias there.


King William V marries Princess Louise of Prussia.

The first economically viable steam powered passenger carriage for use on the roads goes into production in Britain.

Russia, acting in line with the principles of UER, attacks the Ottoman Empire, ruthlessly seeking to take what it sees to be its rightful possessions of the Black Sea, Istanbul and the Bosporous. The Bosporous War begins. [This is roughly analogous to the real world's Crimean War, occurring as Russia expands in power.]

In Britain, Gabor Szekeres expands his ideas into a theory of eugenics, how the human race might be improved as other animals are, by breeding.

Zulu smiths construct their first entirely native-built steam engine.

Gold is discovered in California [as opposed to in 1848 in the real world]. Large numbers of settlers travel there to mine and get rich from it, many from Columbia and Russia. Mexico attempts to control this immigration, with no success, and trouble arises over Mexican rule and taxation.

To forestall the French doing so, the Union claims the islands of New Zeeland. It renames the two islands Neuer Hanover (the northern island) and Neues Prussia (the south island). Setting up several penal colonies, criminals begin to be shipped to the islands.

After a number of serious clashes with the local Maori population over their mistreatment, the Union penal colonies in Neuer Hanover and Neues Prussia are turned into normal civilian settlements.

The work of Gabor Szekeres is not really appreciated in Britain, but the French take it up in much more depth. There, the theories of Entwicklung and genetics becomes widely accepted despite the opposition of the Church.


The first percussion caps begin to be used in firearms. [In the real world 1842]

The first photographic process is developed by Absolon Léglise in France. It immediately begins to be used for covert surveillance, and from there spreads to be very widely used. [In the real world 1839]

King Shaka of the Zulus is assassinated [as opposed to 1828 in the real world]. After some struggle, a distant cousin of his ascends to the throne as King Shaka II. However, he maintains Shaka's policies of seeking equality with the Europeans.

As the Bosporous War continues, the Ottoman Empire receives some support from the French government against the Russians, but the French are still recovering from the Economic Collapse, and cannot offer too much help.

The Zulus begin construction of their first railway, and their first ironclad ship.

As merchant adventurers go out into the world, China is one place they go in numbers. China is a huge market, but as it stands it only takes in money [much as in the real world]. Many traders - and governments - independently decide that it must be opened up to trade.

China resists this opening up, but the technology of the European powers is superior to their, and there is little they can do to resist as trade is opened up at gunpoint on a local scale. Several military and naval skirmishes with the Europeans result in great losses to the Chinese.


The first steam-powered lighter-than-air airship flies in France. [In the real world 1852.]

In Britain, scientist James McWhirter [Not Charles Babbage] proposes the creation of a mechanical calculating machine to produce more accurate reference tables, and for cryptography. However, his idea is largely ignored. [This is the equivalent of the Difference Engine.]

In France, author Gustave de Lamartine publishes the novel 'La Nouvelle Race Et Le Nouveau Monde' ('The New Race And The New World'), inspired by the Theory of Entwicklung. A tale of the future and evolved 'supermen', the emergence of the new race out of the old under human direction by the power of eugenics, and the inevitable extinction of the old race, it quickly spreads across the world, becoming famous and influential. It spawns many imitators, and also the whole concept of human-directed evolution. [The novel is an analogue of 'Frankenstein'.]

The germ theory of disease is proposed by Alain Kassovitz of the French Académie Royale des Sciences (Royal Academy of Sciences) the primary French scientific institution. [In the real world this was developed in the late 1840s, by Ignaz Semmelweis, but not accepted until much later.]

After many unsuccessful attempts to suppress its many succession movements, the Granadine Confederation falls. A rump Republic of Granada forms from the remainder, then it too permanently fragments into many smaller nations.

As the Republic of Granada fragments, more slaves escape into the jungle and to the Libertatias there.

The first Zulu mercenaries begin to work for the Dutch in Cape Province. They quickly gain a reputation as fierce and effective soldiers, and find work in other parts of the world.

As time passes all of the minor nations that were formerly part of the Granadine Confederation develop from city-states in the wilderness into more developed nations.

The Libertatias spread and merge into a single highly democratic nation spreading across northern South America from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. Despite the best efforts of the nations surrounding it, it survives and prospers.

Many nations begin to investigate scientific Biological Warfare, basing their research on the new germ theory of disease.


The Great March Comet appears. It is so bright that it can be seen all day close to the sun, with a tail three degrees long; when further from the Sun the visible tail spans forty-five degrees.

Russia opens negotiations with Persia, wishing to secure its access to the Indian Ocean through that country. Their demands are so unreasonable and one-sided that the Persians reject them out of hand.

The Ottoman army, vastly overstrained by the war against the Russians, collapses, and with it the Ottoman government. Russian forces enter Istanbul, and take control of the Bosporous and Anatolia [Turkey]. The Sultan and his ministers flee Istanbul and begin to set up a new government in Jerusalem as unrest ripples across the remains of the Ottoman Empire.

Russian forces suffer harassment by Ottoman resistance fighters as the struggle to control their new holdings.

Timeline Part 1 | Timeline Part 3 | Timeline Part 4 | Timeline Part 5

The World in 2000 | Europe | Asia | Africa | North America | Central America | South America | Australasia | Antarctica

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