French Flag Dutch Flag Holy Roman Empire Flag
Portuguese Flag New Commonwealth Flag Spanish Flag
Swedish Flag Russian Flag Denmark-Norway Flag

Puritan World Banner


French Flag Dutch Flag Holy Roman Empire Flag
Portuguese Flag New Commonwealth Flag Spanish Flag
Swedish Flag Russian Flag Denmark-Norway Flag

Home   Up   Site Map

Timeline Part 1 | Timeline Part 2 | Timeline Part 4


The first hot air balloon is invented by Frenchman Jean Vioget, and is flown in France, for the King. [This happened in 1783 in the real world.]

Comet Fourcade [Bode] is seen.

The Second Indian War ends with the only real losses being to the Mughal Empire.

Having seen just how effective Dutch steamships have been during the war, other nations also begin building them for their navies.

The rump Poland is divided up between the Russian, Austrian and Prussian states. The Poles can do nothing to prevent this.


The Franco-Dutch 'Diagonal Treaty' divides Terra Australis between the two nations, on the north-west to south-east line that gives the treaty its nickname. The French have the south-western portion, the Dutch the north-east.


An earthquake in Calabria, Italy, kills thirty thousand people.

A Dutch shipwreck off the coast of Terra Australis allows a French naval ship to obtain copies of the Method of Lunar Distances. As such the use of the Method quickly spreads.

1783 to 1784

The Laki volcano in Iceland erupts. Haze from the eruption kills the island's livestock by their eating contaminated grass and causes widespread crop failure from acid rain. This leads to more than nine thousand deaths, a quarter of the population of Iceland, mostly due to starvation. Haze from the eruption is reported from Iceland to Syria, and the eruption causes a noticeable temperature drop in the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Wanting to increase their trade goods flowing into China, having tried unsuccessfully to do so for years, the Dutch use agents to being to ferment unrest on the border between China and Russia, hoping to spark a war.


Comet Clemmentiussen [Encke] is discovered. It reappears in 1795, 1805, 1813, and 1822.

Comet Adamsen [Herschel] is discovered.

The first steam-driven merchant ship is built in the Netherlands. The great advantage it gives quickly drives others to build similar ships.


The first steam-powered railways are constructed by New Commonwealth industrialist Uriah Hoffman.

Continuing border incidents lead to war being declared between Russia and China, beginning what becomes known as the First Sino-Russian War. The Dutch are quick to offer the Chinese assistance against the Russians in the form of both equipment and training.

Railways spread across the New Commonwealth, and are also adopted in many places in Europe. Most European nations come to adopt the same railway gauge, while the New Commonwealth adopts an entirely different one.

This begins the Industrial Revolution. It starts in the New Commonwealth due to their public education, 'virtuous economics', strong work ethic and so on, but quickly spreads to Europe, particularly the Netherlands and the north-west German states, as they are forced to compete with products imported from the New Commonwealth. In particular, industrialisation takes hold in those nations which lag behind the larger nations (such as France) in terms of manpower. As part of this heavy trade tariffs spring up for what trade there is across the Atlantic Ocean. [However, development has been hindered everywhere by war and despotism, so science and technology are less advanced than at equivalent points in real-world history.]

As the New Commonwealth begins building steam-driven ships it begins to slowly change from a continental power in North America, to a power capable of exerting power overseas. The New Model Navy is formed to organise these new naval forces.

As industrialisation takes hold the Boston and Amsterdam stock exchanges become the worlds two main centres of financial activity. In general, although it is larger, the Boston Stock Exchange is also less active than that of Amsterdam, putting the two of them on a semi-equal footing.

As communications improve and the New Commonwealth expands, some elements of the government of the New Commonwealth call for more centralised control of the nation and its church, to prevent its being adversely affects by outside influence. Others object to this as being very much against the ideals of the founders of the New Commonwealth.


The collapse of an old lava dome during eruption of the Unzen volcano on Kyushu Island, Chipangu [Japan], causes an avalanche and tsunami that kills more than fourteen thousand people (most of them dying in the tsunami).

What becomes known as the Louisianan War breaks out as the New Commonwealth attempts to drive the French, who have, among other things, been providing Native Americans with arms to use against the New Commonwealth, out of North America. The Spanish quickly ally with the French against the New Commonwealth, forming the Franco-Spanish Alliance, and the war spreads west.

The first use of observation balloons is made by the French in Louisiana. They are used in many conflicts following this one.

China reaches its greatest territorial extent.


Seeing how badly the Sino-Russian War is being conducted, and how badly organised and equipped the Russian forces are compared to the Dutch-backed Chinese, Nicholas, the younger brother of Tsar Alexander I, organises a coup that overthrows his brother and places himself on the throne as Tsar Nicholas I. Alexander is imprisoned.

With the support of many in Russia he begins a process of radical reform and modernisation of Russia's industry, military and infrastructure that leads to his becoming known, in time, as Nicholas the Great.


Lord Protector Jedidiah Cromwell of the New Commonwealth dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes Lord Protector Anthony Cromwell.

The French are defeated in Louisiana and driven out of North America altogether, ending the Louisianan War. Those who remain are forced to convert to Puritanism. New Orleans is renamed New Boston. However, the conflict in the west against the Spanish continues, and as this continues and changes in character it becomes known as the Mexican War.

With the end of the Louisianan War Jedidiah Cromwell makes what becomes known as the 'God-Given Destiny' speech, in which he lays out the belief that the New Commonwealth has been appointed by God as the Saviour of the World. The nation is God's sword, whose destiny it is to root out Popery and Untruth from the world and replace it with God's Truth. As such all those who subscribe to that untruth - such as the Spanish and French - must be converted to the One True Way or removed from the world. As part of this the New Commonwealth repudiates many of the terms of the Peace of Westphalia that ended the Thirty Years War in 1648 and guaranteed nations against aggression relating to internal matters.

This speech forms the basis of New Commonwealth foreign policy to this day. It also reinforces in the New Commonwealth the belief that they are under constant threat from outside forces, and must constantly struggle to preserve their way of life.


King James III of Britain dies of old age, and is succeeded by his grandson, Charles Bourbon, who becomes King Charles IV. With his being a Bourbon, and the significant intermarriage of the British and French royal families by this time, he announces the change of the British royal family from the Stuart to the Bourbon dynasty.

Comet Clemmentiussen [Encke] reappears.

French engineers develop the first self-propelled steam-powered artillery. Although slow and very heavy, they are also quite useful, and are widely copied.


Despite continuing uprisings and rebellions in what was Louisiana, leading to harsh reprisals by the New Commonwealth, the Mexican War ends with the Spanish being defeated and driven south into Mexico.

The New Commonwealth takes over all of the Spanish settlements and uses them as the basis for their own cities after Anglicising their names. San Francisco becomes St Francis. San Diego becomes St David's Town, and so on.

The few remaining formerly-British Catholics in North America have little choice but to flee into New Spain or go into hiding.

Although Catholicism is illegal in the New Commonwealth, it still exists, with priest-holes and so on found in many places, as well as secret priests and Catholic churches. The New Commonwealth security forces often act to break up these illegal Catholic movements.

By now there is also nowhere for the surviving 'free' Native Americans to go. They can either move south into New Spain, where they will not be welcomed by the Spanish, and forced in Catholicism, or stay in the New Commonwealth and convert to Puritanism, or fight and die. Many choose this latter option.

Those who do not are 'civilised' by either the Spanish or the New Commonwealth. In many cases this includes the removal of children from their families to ensure that they are raised in a 'civilised' fashion.

With the end of the Mexican War, the Franco-Spanish Alliance fades away under the pressure of national self-interest.


The first New Commonwealth colonies are founded on the western, Pacific, coast of North America. One of them is the city of Cromwell [on the site of Seattle].


By now the New Commonwealth has made trans-Atlantic slavery so unprofitable that it is abandoned by those involved, mostly Spaniards and Portuguese. However, large slave populations remain in South America.

The first steamships are built in the New Commonwealth.

As part of the reforms brought about by Tsar Nicholas the Great, Russia abandons the Julian Calendar and adopt the more accurate Gregorian calendar that has been used in most of the rest of Europe since 1582. [This is much earlier than in the real world, where this change of calendar occurred in Russia in 1918.]

[With no Act of Union, the Kingdom of Ireland remains in personal union with the Kingdom of England, and the Irish throne remains occupied by the reigning King of England.]

As the Dutch, Portuguese and French continue to expand their holdings and influence in the Indian sub-continent the weak and impoverished Mughal Empire, seeking protection for itself, signs the secret Treaty of Delhi with the Russian Empire, granting trading rights and influence in the Mughal Empire in return for military aid. This essentially turns the Mughal Empire into a Russian satellite state. [With no Britain to take control of all of India, the Russians are more free to move into India from the north.]

Using the Treaty of Delhi to its advantage, the Russian Empire expands its trade and influence in India.

The New Commonwealth lets it be known that all slaves are welcome in their lands, and will be made free there, as long as they become proper Puritans. Although the religious restrictions do rather hinder the process, over the decades many slave have made their way north to the Commonwealth, and freedom.


Comet Pindray [Pons] is discovered.

Pindray [Pons] discovers a second comet.

With Dutch assistance the Chinese hold their own against the rapidly-modernising Russians, and the First Sino-Russian War ends with few border adjustments. Success in the war leads to increased Chinese openness with the west, and a more favourable trade situation with, particularly, the Dutch.


Comet Arnoldusen [Pons] is discovered.

A Levellers Party is formed in the New Commonwealth. It proposes a return to the True Path of Puritanism, without the extensive government and harsh strictures of the current Commonwealth leadership. Its suppression by the Committee of State Security begins quite soon after this.


Comet Clemmentiussen [Encke] reappears.


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 New Commonwealth merchants begin to trade in New Zeeland.

The Chinese government discovers the Dutch involvement in the Sino-Russian War. Only some very astute political maneuvering on the part of the Manchu Emperor maintains the Manchu Dynasty's control of the country. Attacks on the Dutch and trade sanctions against westerners generally cannot, however, undo the fact the China is now open to western trade.

Over the succeeding decades there is a general opening up and some westernisation of China. China remains strong enough that the western powers conduct trade with it, rather than force things on it. [Thus there are no Opium Wars.]


King Louis XVI of France dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Louis XVII.


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 (three of them have magnitudes of 8.6, 8.4, and 8.8). Many settlers in the region are killed.

After continuing border incidents war breaks out in New Spain between the Spanish and the New Commonwealth. This becomes known as the Second Mexican War.

Tsar Nicholas the Great of Russia (Nicholas I) dies of old age and is succeeded by Tsar Nicholas II.

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


An earthquake destroys the city of Caracas, in Spanish New Granada [Venezuela].

The New Commonwealth begins to push the Spanish out of New Spain and down through Central America. Those left behind have little choice but to convert to Puritanism or die.


Comet Clemmentiussen [Encke] reappears.

Seeing what is happening to the Spanish, the Portuguese ally with them, forming the Iberian Alliance.

Construction begins on the world's first elevated railway system, in Den Haag [The Hague], the capital of the Netherlands.

Other elevated railways are built in other nations following this.


The volcano of Tambora on the island of Sumbawa in the Netherlands Indies [Indonesia] erupts. It is the largest volcanic eruption in the last ten thousand years. Of the twelve thousand inhabitants of Sumbawa, only twenty-six survive. Another eighty-two thousand people die from starvation and disease. For three days a two hundred mile area around the volcano experiences total darkness.


The huge quantities of volcanic ash and gases released by the Tambora eruption cause a world-wide temperature drop of more than a degree, and a drop of more than two degrees in Europe and North America, causing world-wide crop failures and famine. The climate does not fully recover from this eruption until decades later.

King Charles IV of Britain dies of old age, and is succeeded by his daughter, who becomes Queen Mary III.

The first railway line across the entire width of North America is completed, running from Boston to the city of Cromwell [Seattle].

Construction of an elevated railway for passenger transport begins in Boston.


Seeking access to the Indian Ocean, Russia uses a pretext to go to war with Persia. What becomes known as the Second Persian War begins.


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

After years of fighting, the New Commonwealth and the Spanish bog down in Panama. With the New Commonwealth forces dogged by disease, guerrilla activity behind their front lines and hindered by long supply lines, a settlement is reached and the Second Mexican War ends. The New Commonwealth retains its gains, but pays large reparations to Spain. Both sides fortify their new border.


Peter Cromwell, the son of Lord Protector Anthony Cromwell of the New Commonwealth, leads a coup that removes his father from the Lord Protectorship and installs himself, citing his father's poor leadership in the Second Mexican War as the reason for his actions. He becomes Lord Protector Peter Cromwell.

Van den Nieuwenhuysen's [Tralles] Comet makes a bright appearance that lasts for several weeks and is visible with the unaided eye.

Italian scientist Pantaleo Zerbus publishes 'On The Age Of The Earth', summarising his geological research that indicates that the Earth is in fact far older than the six thousand years calculated by Bishop Usher in 1654.

The techniques of mass production are invented by Ephraim Nudd in the New Commonwealth.

Further calculations using other means indicate that the Earth is indeed much older than the Bible indicates. This causes a great deal of controversy, and in some cases the persecution of those putting forward these ideas, by both Church and State. In most cases the scientific evidence is rejected in favour of Biblical Truth. Only in the Netherlands does it gain a more balanced hearing.


The first ships powered solely by steam, with no sails, are built in the New Commonwealth. [This is rather earlier than in the real world.]

The New Commonwealth forms the State Bureau of Information to control all newspapers and other forms of communication within the state. The Boston Herald and other New Commonwealth newspapers are quickly subsumed within the new Bureau.

The merchants of Paris petition King Louis XVII to allow the construction of an elevated railway system there. However, Louis rejects this idea on the grounds that he does not wish the skyline of his capital sullied in this manner. Instead, he insists on the construction of an underground railway system, the first in the world.

The Paris Underground is dogged with problems and additional expenses so that, although it eventually opens, and is successful, the concept of the underground railway never really catches on elsewhere. Instead, elevated railways are used around the world.


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

After clashes with Russian settlers in Alyeska, the New Commonwealth declares all of continental North America as part of the New Commonwealth, and moves to claim all of Alyeska.

To help in the protection of the state, Lord Protector Peter Cromwell introduces compulsory military service - National Service - for all men in the Commonwealth. This continues to the present day.

The Dutch launch the first steam-powered submarine. It suffers serious problems, and sinks with some loss of life.

Former Lord Protector Anthony Cromwell dies of old age.

Other nations also introduce various forms of National Service too, in particular the Prussians and the Dutch.


Comet Clemmentiussen [Encke] reappears.

The New Commonwealth claims the islands of Hawaii, in the Pacific, and begin to colonise them. The natives are given little choice but to convert to Puritanism.

Negotiations regarding a Russo-Dutch Alliance to protect Russian and Dutch interests in the Pacific fail to reach a successful conclusion, mainly because of the Dutch involvement in the Sino-Russian War.

The New Commonwealth also takes control of most of the Pacific islands as its ships spread west.


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

After a few battles, the Russians negotiate with the New Commonwealth, selling them all of the, to them, largely useless land of Alyeska for a relatively small sum. However, Russia retains control of the Kurile Islands.

As Russia extends its influence into the Mughal Empire and India generally under the Treaty of Delhi it comes into conflict with the Maratha Empire and with the Dutch, Portuguese and French who already have claims there.


The Second Persian War ends with the collapse of the Persian army and government. The majority of the Persian royal family die in the chaos that ensues as Russia takes control of the country.

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


Seeking increased influence in the Far East, Russia moves to take parts of Manchuria and its western borders from China. The Second Sino-Russian War begins. Unfortunately, despite its westernisation, China is far from prepared for a new war with Russia.

Comet Penlignton-Nirton [Pons-Gambart] is discovered.


Persia is incorporated into the Russian Empire as the new Perskij Krai [Persian border region].


A Great Comet appears.

Frenchman Jean Gasquet invents the optical telegraph using a system of flags to transmit messages long distances. This is soon copied by other nations around the world.

Various skirmishes between Dutch and Chinese forces during this period are collectively known as the First Sino-Dutch War.


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

The first ships with iron armour plating over their wooden hulls are constructed in the New Commonwealth. This idea is quickly adopted elsewhere in the world.


Queen Mary III of Britain dies of old age, and is succeeded by her son, who becomes King James IV.

The Second Sino-Russian War ends with China ceding various areas to Russia, particularly parts of the Manchurian coast, which Russia begins to settle.


Barberini's Comet reappears in accordance with his predictions, and is visible to the naked eye. [This is Halley's Comet.]


Tsar Nicholas II of Russia dies of old age and is succeeded by Tsar Peter III.


The first multi-shot revolver pistol is marketed by Zebediah Turner in the New Commonwealth. The design is soon copied elsewhere.


The percussion cap is invented by Prussian Gustav Hilgemann and quickly finds wide application in guns of all kinds.

The first of a number of cholera epidemics, caused by overcrowding and poor sanitation, strikes the largest city in the world, Boston.

As they grow the other great cities of the world - Paris, Amsterdam and so on - also suffer similar cholera epidemics.


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 attempts to secure control of the Bosporus, the only exit of the Black Sea, from the Ottoman Empire. Only concerted diplomatic efforts and veiled threats from all of the other European powers persuade them to stop this attempt.


A bright Great Comet is seen.

The first of what come to be known as 'pea-soup' fogs occurs in the city of Boston in the New Commonwealth.


Lord Protector Peter Cromwell of the New Commonwealth dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes Lord Protector Luke Cromwell.

The Dutch, Portuguese and French become aware of the secret Treaty of Delhi, signed between Russia and the Mughal Empire in 1800. They present the Russian Empire with an ultimatum to leave India or face war. Russia rejects this ultimatum and what becomes known as the Third Indian War breaks out.


Comet Albrechtsen [Hind] appears and is bright enough to be seen with the unaided eye during the night and in telescopes during the day.


Astronomers at the Moscow State University announce the discovery of a number of small worlds orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. [The asteroids; in the real world these were discovered in 1801.]

The Dutch introduce a new weapon to the Third Indian War, armed and armoured steam-powered self-propelled land vehicles they name Land Ironclads. Although not entirely reliable, these prove quite effective.

Land Ironclads are copied by most major nations. Smaller, lighter versions known as armoured cars also become widely used.


New Commonwealth settlers arrive at the islands of New Zeeland, and begin to colonise. They quickly run off the Dutch, French and German traders there and rename the islands 'England in the South'.

A coalition of French and Dutch forces, operating from their settlements in Terra Australis, begin a series of skirmishes with the New Commonwealth forces, and raids on their shipping, beginning what becomes known as the Antipodean War. Given the length of the supply lines and the chain of communication, the war is fought and decided by the people on the ground, with very little input from the home countries, and using the very small amount of local resources available. This is particularly the case with the Dutch and French, as their resources as tied up in the war for their far more valuable Indian possessions.

Tsar Peter III of Russia dies of old age and is succeeded by Tsarina Catherine II [not to be confused with Tsarina Catherine II the Great from the real world].


With more colonists arriving from the New Commonwealth, their ships are put into service against the French and Dutch in the Antipodean War. Many colonists die in several incidents where colonist ships are attacked and sunk.

The New Commonwealth becomes the first nation on Earth to extend the vote that sends representatives to Parliament in Boston to all men of all races and colours (but not creeds) who are citizens and over the age of twenty-one. However, this voting cannot remove or replace the Lord Protector, who is appointed for life.


With help from Sikh and Ghurkha troops, Russian-backed Mughal forces push back the opposing forces on several fronts.


The New Commonwealth clears the seas around England in the South of non-Commonwealth ships. The Antipodean War moves into a new phase as they begin attacks on the French and Dutch colonies in Terra Australis. With the French and Dutch limited to local resources they are at a distinct disadvantage,

Russian and Mughal forces repulse a number of Maratha, Dutch, Portuguese and French counter-attacks against them.

The bright Comet Kostelka [Scweizer] appears.

Comet Siegler [Klinkerfues] appears with a ten degree long tail; it is visible to the unaided eye.


A Great Comet, visible to the unaided eye with a tail five degrees long, is seen from mid-March to Mid April.


With several French and Dutch settlements in Terra Australis destroyed, New Commonwealth settlers begin to land in Terra Australis. Settlers also begin to land in New Eden [New Guinea].

With the forces opposing the Russians able to drive back the Russo-Mughal attackers, and things in India coming to a stalemate, the Dutch and French conclude an agreement with the Russians to end the Third Indian War; neither the Mughal or Maratha Empires are consulted as part of this. The Treaty of Bangalore which results from these negotiations leaves their borders much as they currently are, with Russia in control of most of northern and central India, though with some minor readjustments here and there.

Under the terms of the Treaty of Bangalore, the Russians now also join the Antipodean War, though this is in a very nominal capacity. As part of the treaty to end the Third Indian War, the French also join the Alliance, which becomes known as the Triple Alliance.


The Dutch, having the north-eastern part of Terra Australis, fare worst in the New Commonwealth invasion of Terra Australis. Negotiations with the French cede part of the Dutch lands to the French in return for more assistance from them.


With the French and Dutch now able to bring more forces to bear, and with Russian assistance, the New Commonwealth is fought to a standstill. The Antipodean War ends with the New Commonwealth taking control of a large swathe of eastern Terra Australis. Tensions remain high between the three nations on the continent, and border incidents are common.

Bainstock's [Donati's] comet appears. It has two brilliant tails about sixty degrees long and is visible to the naked eye.


A Great Comet seen from mid-June to July has a tail twenty degrees long.

Taking advantage of the perceived weakness of the French and Dutch, the Russian Empire invades the Ottoman Empire through both Europe and Asia, seeking to take control of the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles by land. The various German and other Eastern European states in their way fight back, but can do little. Seeing an advantage to be gained over the Ottomans, the French ally with the Russians, and a full-scale war breaks out. This conflict becomes known as the Bosporus War.


The bright Comet Minihan [Tebbutt] is observed with a tail one hundred and twenty degrees long.

French and German forces skirmish along their land borders. The Dutch, acting in line with the Triple Alliance, also do a nominal amount of skirmishing with the Germans.

Prussia and Austria ally with the Ottoman Empire against Russia. Many of the smaller German states also join this alliance.

[There is no unification of Italy at this point.]


King Louis XVII of France dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Louis XVIII.

Comet Torpy [Swift-Tuttle] is discovered. It is found to be the parent comet to the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs in August.

The Russian army slogs west through Turkey and south through Eastern Europe, hampered by local resistance.


At the Battle of Bucharest, the Russian advance through Europe is halted. Reinforcements and new attacks on the German states from the west by France allow the Russian advance to begin again, however.

The New Commonwealth invades Cuba, with the intention of driving the Spanish, and indeed all foreigners from the Caribbean. The Cuban War breaks out.

The first British railway, linking London and Dover, is opened. King James IV opens the new London Terminus station, close to Whitehall Palace on the other side of St James' Park [roughly where Buckingham Palace is in the real world].

Over the next sixty years, another six lines are built, linking London to Harwich, Folkestone, Edinburgh (via Newcastle and York), Portsmouth and Southampton, Bristol and Plymouth are built. However, all take much longer to build and are more expensive than planned. All link to London Terminus station, which grows to have twenty platforms.


Threatened on all sides, King Frederick of Prussia and Emperor Rudolph of Austria call a meeting of the heads of state of the various German and other Eastern European states and principalities in Berlin. There, they manage to convince all of them of the need for centralised leadership for their own protection. Hammering out a constitution with remarkable speed, all of the German and other Eastern European states ally themselves together via the Treaty of Berlin. The only real disagreements on what to name this new alliance. Initial suggestions of the Holy German Federation are rejected by the non-German signatories of the Treaty of Berlin. Protracted discussions lead to the selection of an acceptable compromise name with links to history and a successful umbrella for a multi-national state, and the new Holy Roman Empire is declared.


The Great Southern Comet appears.

After the initial disorganisation is ironed out, the Holy Roman Empire begins to fight back effectively against the Russians, French and Dutch. Seeing how the war is going, the European part of the Ottoman Empire secretly approaches the Holy Roman Empire and offers to secede from the rest of the Ottoman Empire and join it, for mutual protection against Russian aggression. After some discussions this offer is accepted. The European part of the Ottoman Empire declares its independence from the rest of the Ottoman Empire and joins the Holy Roman Empire.

Attempts by the Ottoman Empire to retake its European lands end in failure.

Greek rebels take the opportunity of the unrest and confusion associated with the secession of the European part of the Ottoman Empire to carve themselves a nation out of what was Ottoman territory. This uprising is led by the strongly nationalist Party of National Strength. Despite this, being aware of the political realities of their situation, the new Greek government quickly signs treaties of defence and trade with the Holy Roman Empire.

The Prussian East India Company is renamed the Roman East India Company.

As time passes the new Republic of Greece, although independent in name, evolves into a satellite of the Holy Roman Empire.

As the benefits of association with the Holy Roman Empire become clear, a Unification Party is founded in Greece, wanting to formally merge the nation with the Holy Roman Empire. This is resisted by the Party of National Strength, leading to crackdowns and repression.


The Holy Roman Empire and the rump Ottoman government in North Africa attempt to negotiate a settlement with the Russians, Dutch and French. These attempts are rebuffed.

The New Commonwealth succeeds in driving the Spanish and others out of the Caribbean. The Cuban War ends.

Comet Morungen [Tempel-Tuttle] is discovered. This is later found to be the parent comet of the Leonid meteor shower.


Albrecht Gutzman, in the Holy Roman Empire, discovers the principles of electrical power.

In the Battle of Sophia the new Holy Roman Empire decisively defeats the Russians, while with their help the Ottomans defeat the French in North Africa at the Battle of Tripoli.

China signs alliances with the Netherlands, France, and the New Commonwealth, as bulwarks against Russian aggression in the Far East. As part of this the Emperor reluctantly allows Protestant, Catholic and Puritan Christian missionaries to operate freely within China.

Although some Chinese do convert to Christianity, the different branches of the religion never gain a strong foothold in China, and there are occasional incidents of violence between Chinese and the missionaries, and between the different denominations of missionaries.


Lord Protector Luke Cromwell of the New Commonwealth dies of old age and is succeeded by his son, who becomes Lord Protector Hiram Cromwell.

A major tsunami hits Peru, in places penetrating up to three miles inland.

At the Conference of Rome, both sides in the Bosporus War hammer out a settlement. The Russians keep Asiatic Turkey, while the Holy Roman Empire has the European side of the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles. France forces the Ottomans, who get very much the worst of the deal, to cede the Suez area and one side of the Red Sea to them. And with the Treaty of Rome, the Bosporus War comes to an end.

Russian Anatolia, although providing the Russian Empire with many advantages, is also wracked by a great deal of local resistance and terrorism, leading to its remaining heavily militarised.


Rebel groups from Belorussia and the Ukraine secretly contact the government of the Holy Roman Empire and offer to join if they are given help to free themselves from the Russian Empire. The Holy Roman Empire is currently in no position to assist, and these offers are politely rejected.


King James IV of Britain dies of old age, and is succeeded by his son, who becomes King Charles V.

Lord Protector Hiram Cromwell has by now proved to be a highly reactionary individual. As such he bans alcohol from the New Commonwealth, seeing it as one of the greater sins. He also clamps down on what he sees as 'looseness' and 'immorality', banning 'extravagant' architecture and styles of clothing in a return to the 'moral old days'. As part of this the flag of the New Commonwealth changes to its current form, a plain white cross on a black ground.

The new flag of the New Commonwealth

Wanting to maintain the strategic advantage of ports on both sides of North America, the New Commonwealth invades Tierra del Fuego, and begins to blockade non-New Commonwealth shipping going through the Drake Passage to the south of South America while working to convert the locals to their Puritan faith. The Magellanic War begins as an alliance of Spanish and Portuguese forces operating within the Iberian Alliance work to remove the New Commonwealth invaders.

The first entirely iron-built and steam-driven warship is constructed in the Netherlands.

Seeing the increased influence and power of Europeans in Africa, the leaders of the Fulani Empire in central Africa [Northern Nigeria in the real world] begin consciously playing the various colonial powers off against one another to maintain their independence, using the indirect competition between the Dutch and Holy Roman Empire to good effect.


Seeking assistance against the New Commonwealth, the Iberian Alliance and the Triple Alliance of the French, Dutch and Russians merge into the Atlantic Alliance. This allows fighting and competition against one another between members of the Alliance in other areas, but obliges them all to respond if the New Commonwealth threatens any one of them.

Tsarina Catherine II of Russia dies of old age and is succeeded by Tsar Nicholas III.

The first smugglers bringing alcohol and other forbidden things, such as certain books, into the New Commonwealth from South America are captured, tried and executed.

Under the terms of the Atlantic Alliance, the Netherlands brings its new iron-built warships into action against the New Commonwealth. They prove to be very effective.

Sporadic uprisings against the New Commonwealth and in support of its opponents in the Magellanic War occur across its formerly-Spanish territories. They are brutally suppressed.


Adoph Kinder, an assistant of Albrecht Gutzman, invents the electric telegraph.

The Swiss cantons join together into the nation of Switzerland for mutual defence against the new Holy Roman Empire.

As the electric telegraph comes to be used around the world, various code systems [like Morse code] come into use, with different nations tending to have different code systems.


With the help of the Atlantic Alliance, the Magellanic War ends, after many atrocities on both sides, with the defeat of the New Commonwealth. Tierra del Fuego returns to Spanish control. The Spanish, who by now have purchased several ironclad warships from the Dutch, begin blockading the straits to New Commonwealth shipping.


Comet Albizzi [Coggia] appears, and is visible to the naked eye. It has two tails more than sixty degrees long.

After continuing cholera epidemics and a great stench from the harbour, construction of the first modern sewerage system begins in Boston. As parts of it are completed, it quickly begins to have a positive effect on the city.

Measurements taken by European scientists around the world during the transit of Venus allow the distance of the Earth to the Sun, and thus also other distances in the Solar System, to be measured more accurately than ever before. [This is much later than in the real world (when it was done at the transits of 1761 and 1769), because in the real world the idea of using transits for distance measurements originated with Edmund Halley, who did not exist in this world. The generally slower level of scientific advancement and the infrequent occurrence of transits also hinders the making of this measurement.]

In the aftermath of the Magellanic War, where many instance of crime and corruption have come to light, the French clamp down on illegal activity in their African colonies.

However, in the end the colonial rulers find it easier to merely confine these activities in one known location than stop them entirely. As such the Free City of Zanzibar is declared. Many things go on there that are very much illegal elsewhere...

As the effectiveness of the Boston sewerage system becomes apparent, other nations begins to copy it, with, in general, equally good effects.


Seeing the strategic need for such a thing now that they can no longer easily use the Drake Passage around the tip of South America, the New Commonwealth begins constructing a massive multiple railway to carry ships across the Tehuantepec Isthmus of Mexico [as was suggested in the real world by American engineer James Eads in 1879, and described here]. It is suggested that a canal across the Isthmus of Panama might be a better idea, but this is deemed by far the less practical solution, both because of its closeness to South America and because of the hostile jungle environment there. From the start the Tehuantepec Ship Railway is dogged with trouble, and sabotage from both local rebels and the agents of foreign powers, but work continues.

The French and British begin work constructing a ship canal across the Suez, from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea.

Britain joins the Atlantic Alliance.


The eruption of Mount Cotopaxi in New Granada [Columbia] causes severe mudflows which wipe out surrounding cities and valleys, causing one thousand deaths.


With the tacit support of the new Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan III an uprising begins in the Mughal Empire, seeking to remove what those behind it consider to be the excessive influence of the Russian Empire.


The uprising in the Mughal Empire ends with a resounding defeat at the hands of the Russian Empire. Emperor Shah Jehan III is deposed and the Mughal Empire dissolved, becoming instead the Indiya Krai [Indian border region]. The former Mughal emperor goes into exile in the Siberian city of Yakutsk.

Despite unrest and terrorism in the Indiya Krai over the years, often leading to harsh reprisals against the Indian population, Russian control of Indiya Krai remains undisputed.


A Great Southern Comet appears with a fifty degree long tail.


King Charles V of Britain dies of old age, and is succeeded by his son, who becomes King James V.

A Great Comet appears in the southern skies with a tail twenty degrees long.

A rotating multi-barrelled 'machine' gun, the 'Caton Gun' is invented by Spaniard Caton García Ramírez. [This is essentially the Gatling gun, invented in 1861 in the real world.]


Comet Corvinus [Wells] appears. It has a tail forty degrees long.

A Chipangese faction who, it later turns out, is made up almost entirely of people in the pay of the New Commonwealth, invites the New Commonwealth into Chipangu [Japan] to help their own political ends. Other Chipangese factions resist this 'help'. At their request, a joint Chinese and Russian force enters Chipangu to remove the Commonwealth forces. What becomes known as the Chipangese War quickly breaks out. [At this point Japan has never opened up to the outside world, and so remains quite backward.]

Further results obtained during the transit of Venus in this year refine the measurement of the distance from the Earth to the Sun.

1882 to 1883

The Great September Comet is seen between September 1882 and Mid-February of 1883. It is very bright, with a bright tail twenty-five degrees long and can be seen by the naked eye during daylight, even at noon and close to the sun.


The Krakatau volcano in the Netherlands Indies [Indonesia] erupts. Violent explosions destroy two-thirds of the island, killing roughly thirty-six thousand people. Sea waves from the eruption are detected as far away as England.

Dutch clockmaker Denys Matthyszen invents a clock capable of keeping accurate time while at sea. This instantly makes the calculation of longitude much more accurate. As such the Naval Chronometer becomes a Dutch state secret. [In the real world John Harrison invented this in 1765, although the clock was not adopted until 1773.]


The city of Charleston, in the New Commonwealth, suffers an earthquake of magnitude 7.7 that kills seventy people and extensively damages the city.

The French Suez Canal opens to shipping.


Another Great Southern Comet appears with a tail fifty degrees long.

Astronomers in the Holy Roman Empire announce the discovery of a seventh planet beyond Saturn that they name Persephone. [This is Uranus; in the real world this was discovered in 1781.]


Seeking to further protect the New Commonwealth and its way of life, reactionary Lord Protector Hiram Cromwell imposes a new, centralised structure on the church in the New Commonwealth. Despite protests from more hard-line Puritans, posts of Arch-Bishop and Bishop are created for the first time, and a new centralised church hierarchy imposed from Boston. Many of the more vocal of those who object to these 'reforms' are purged.

Timeline Part 1 | Timeline Part 2 | Timeline Part 4

The World in 1996 | The New Commonwealth | The Octuple Alliance | The Rest of the World

Go to the Science and Technology, Society or Differences Pages.

Back to the Puritan World Home Page.

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