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Details are different. For example, there is no QWERTY keyboard, but there was still a jumbled-alphabet keyboard layout invented to slow down typists - the ZAPTYK keyboard. Likewise, although email and internet systems exist, the nomenclature they use is completely different (no 'name@address' or 'www.domain'-style things); in fact they are different for each of the four major internets. Personal computers are very rare.

Compared to the real world, engineering and the physical sciences are more advanced in this world, while the 'softer' sciences such as biology and medicine are less advanced. However, the development of medicine, at least, has been significantly different to that in the real world as it has been much more influenced by Chinese ideas. For example, the efficacy of acupuncture has long been established in the western world, so that it is now used everywhere.

There are no mobile telephones. The technology for them exists, but it is not considered a good thing to use in this way by the governments of the world.

Air traffic control is trilingual, in all of Russian, Chinese and English. Normally ground staff have to know all three languages and pilots just speak their native tongue, but a lot of pilots come to speak all three languages too.

There is no Sunday opening of shops in the British Empire, and no credit cards, debit cards or ATMs anywhere in the world. Banking remains quite old-fashioned by the standards of the real world. The banks and major shops which exist in Monarchy World in 1995 are quite different to those in the real world.

Shops are also quite old-fashioned. There are very few supermarkets, and no out-of-town shopping centres or malls.

Although the English, Russian and Chinese languages are basically the same as their real-world versions, slang, jargon and acronyms are all completely different. There are also more French, German, Russian and Chinese loan words in English, and likewise English and Russian loan words in Chinese, and English and Chinese loan words in Russian. The cuisines of all of the Great Powers have also had more of an influence on one another over the years.

Scientific and engineering units are also different things as different people named and discovered things, and they use different basic measurement systems. For example, electromagnetic radiation shorter than that in the visible range is known as 'duan guihun guang' (short ghost light) while longer-than-visible radiation is known as 'chang guihun guang' (long ghost light). Likewise, the names of the fundamental particles are different although the particles themselves are the same. Inventions also have different names. For example, in Monarchy World the laser is known as the CLIG (Coherent Light Generator) while in the British Empire radar is known as the Atkinson Directional Radiation Emitter Array (ADREA).

Because of the different history of science in this world, the number of known chemical elements is slightly different here compared to the real world, and their names are also different, many of them being of Chinese or Russian origin.

For similar reasons the controls of vehicles are entirely different to their real-world counterparts, to the point that one would have to learn to (for example) drive all over again if travelling from one world to the other. The same is true for the laws of the road (as well as other laws). Although the physical laws by which the vehicles operate are the same, the way specific types of vehicle are controlled is down to the designers of those vehicles, and is thus essentially arbitrary.

With France dissolving in the late eighteenth century, Russia still speaks Russian as the court language rather than French.

Sports such as cricket, football, rugby, tennis and so on are played, but their rules are significantly different to those of the real world.

All British buses are royal blue. British pillar boxes are still red, however.

Britain still uses Pounds, Shillings and Pence as its currency. China uses the Tael and the Kuan. Russia uses Gold Imperials, Silver Rubles and Copper Kopeks.

The costs of living is considerably lower than in the real world due to there being much less inflation over time.

With no successful French Revolution, there is no metric system (and with no Napoleonic wars, also no baguettes). Britain still uses feet, pounds and acres - the Imperial measurement system. China and Russia still use their traditional measurement systems (li, jin and meou and foute and funt respectively), as do most other nations. There is no internationally agreed system of measurements analogous to the real-world S.I. system.

China is more homogeneous, racially and culturally, than in the real world, due to a longer-lasting, stronger central government and also the suppression of troublemaker ethnicities combined with Han Chinese colonisation of the entire Empire.

Other parts of the world are also ethnically very different. In particular British America has a large number of immigrants from India as well as the descendants of African slaves and immigrants from Europe. Britains Australian and African colonies also have a significant population of India immigrants. Australia also has quite a large population of Chinese descent. Mainland Britain is ethnically quite mixed too, even more so than in the real world.

Eugenics is practised. Anti-Semitism is not discredited, as there has been no Holocaust. There is a widespread low-level prejudice against Muslims; although not officially discriminated against, those who follow Islam are nonetheless subject to a number of unofficial sanctions in many nations. For this reason there are few mosques in Britain and Russia.

Because of problems with Jewish, Christian and Muslim terrorists, religious fundamentalism in all forms is frowned upon in the British and Russian empires.

However, because China has been known as a major non-Christian state for a long time, there is greater religious tolerance in the West.

There was no Sigmund Freud, so modern psychology is very different to that of the real world, and is heavily influenced by Chinese ideas.

The Earth is known to be billions of years old. However, a different history of science has led the time since the formation of the Earth being divided into different geological ages and periods, which do not correspond to the real-world periods such as the Triassic or Jurassic.

Likewise, dinosaurs are known to science, but are known as Ti-Lung, from the Chinese for Earth Dragon, because many of the first breakthroughs in the understanding of them were made in China rather than the West.

Nuclear fission power is used to generate electricity everywhere. As such, there is rather less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than in the real world, but also far less research has been done into renewable energy resources. Because of this, the world as a whole has a significantly higher background radiation level than the real world, due to more nuclear testing and the use of nuclear pulse-drive spaceships. This has led to rates of cancer and birth defects being significantly higher than in the real world. The world as a whole is considerably less environmentally-aware than the real world; this is why many species of whale are extinct here, as well as, in the wild at least, many big cats.

The British Parliament meets in London in the original Houses of Parliament building; this never burnt down and so was not replaced with a newer building as happened in the real-world [in the real world the Houses of Parliament burnt down in 1834 and were rebuilt from 1840 to 1860].

Music is very different to the real world. The classical music of the Great Powers, which are listened to all around the world, are not too dissimilar to their real-world equivalents, but even so they have all influenced one another to a greater or lesser extent. Popular music, and the rebellious music which grew out of the post-World War One period is very different from anything in the real world. These, particularly the latter of the two, are a collection of radical offshoots from what was mainstream music (much as rock and roll and punk were in the real world). However, influenced by a different set of cultures and history, this music is very different to real-world popular music.

Musical instruments are also different to those of the real world. Some, such as the Saxophone, do not exist as Adolphe Sax, its inventor, did not exist in this world. However, Chinese-derived or influenced musical instruments are common in the west, and vice versa.

Given the lack of the Opium Wars in this world the use of opium was never a serious problem in China and among Chinese people in general. As such opium does not have as bad a reputation as it acquired in the real world, and is still used as a recreational drug (whether legally or illegally) around the world.

Without a Theodore Roosevelt, there are no teddy bears in this world, although there are stuffed toy animals.

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Creative Commons  Licence Copyright © Tony Jones, 2005.
This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.