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  1. S

    NZ Legislative Council Reform

    What an entertaining snake George Grey was.
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    WI Tsar and family die in Borki crash?

    Yes, this was sparked by listening to the latest episode of Revolutions but it's been going around my head for a while. What if the Tsar and his family die in the rail disaster at Borki in 1888? The Tsar and, I believe, all his children were in the dining carriage. Supposedly the Tsar rescued...
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    The Qing fall in the 1850s

    Though that might be an interesting spur to serious Chinese reform- if after the various internal rebellions are put down, the Qing have to grapple with the de facto loss of control in one of the richer parts of the country.
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    Going Over The Top: The Indian Army

    I rather enjoyed that dry little note on George V's approval of the marriage. That note on the Princely colonel though- I wasn't aware that Indians were allowed to serve in such senior ranks. Was that because the regiment was technically from a Princely (ie, allied) State rather than the Indian...
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    The Qing fall in the 1850s

    Good point, for some reason I thought Ward at least was around by the late 1850s. And the Shanghai merchants only really boomed after the Treaty of Tientsin. Alright, how about Canton, as it was? Lots of western merchants and missionaries there. Perhaps if we posit a general collapse of Qing...
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    The Qing fall in the 1850s

    While an Emperor Zeng (I know that's not what he'd have been called) is an interesting proposition, if you want a Meiji-esque China then perhaps the easiest method is to avoid the Tongzhi Emperor's death from smallpox in 1875 at age 19. The Tongzhi Restoration was unstable and superficial, yes...
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    The Qing fall in the 1850s

    In that case, Shanghai is surely a better bet than Beijing. Have the Taiping sweep down the Yangtze and somehow catch Gordon or Ward off guard as they try and assemble their militias. If the loss of two foreign generals isn't enough- and it's possible that it might not be, given that they were...
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    Writing a Wrong: The Only Time You Get To Plan a Murder

    Yes, it really does cover everything you'd want to think about when planning a murder. A murder mystery. I'm not planning a murder. The article, it's a good article.
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    PODs of the Thirty Years War XII

    Gabriel Bethlen was forty-nine when he died. That's not a bad innings for the time, but I do wonder- if he'd licked his wounds for another few years only to see the Emperor reel under the Swedish assault, could that have finally been an opportune enough moment for Transylvania to make a serious...
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    The Moon Is Red: Apple TV does AH.

    I think the disappointment might also be because, unlike the race to put a man in space, the US had spent the best part of a decade telling its population that they were going to get to the moon. I imagine that there'd also be a feeling that once again the country had let down the vision of the...
  11. S

    Terminology of a Sail-boat

    This may be a stupid question from a landlubber, but is it really the case that Polynesian vessels are all designated as boats? The definition of 'can fit on a larger vessel' doesn't seem to apply. I mean, when James Cook visited New Zealand the largest Maori waka had crews of eighty people and...
  12. S

    The Write Stuff: Method Writing

    One thing I would note when it comes to anachronism: writing a period piece in a modern style is an absolutely valid artistic choice, so long as it is a choice. I read Pat Barker's The Silence of the Girls earlier this year and that doesn't eve attempt to imitate the Homeric and Euripidean...
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    Going Over The Top: The Death of Empires, Part 5 - The Mysterious End of the British Empire

    'Nein- I mean... No. It's... we're having a hoedown.' 'A hoedown?' 'Ja.' 'For 650, 000 people?' 'Right. Yes. It's... the patriotic festival of German-American folk music. Uncle Sam's Apple Strudel.' 'And all those Irishmen milling about outside?' 'They're... interested in cultural...
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    What would happen in the Aftermath of a French Victory in the Franco-Prussian War?

    I suppose it depends upon the nature of the victory. A crushing Prussian defeat seems unlikely- perhaps the French manage to avoid their armies being surrounded in Metz and then the absolute disaster of Sedan. The Prussians keep winning on the field, but unlike the Austrians the French are able...
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    Going Over The Top: The Death of Empires, Part 5 - The Mysterious End of the British Empire

    Good article. You're absolutely right to point out that if WW1 is a milestone in colonial nationalism, it's because the colonies were so deeply committed to it. One minor thing you might be interested in re: New Zealand. If you overlay a map of volunteers from the various iwi (tribes is the...
  16. S

    Alternate Ireland's of the 20th century

    It would of course require a nineteenth century POD, but I'd love to see a timeline where Parnell triumphs- a united Home Rule Ireland with a Protestant leader?
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    The Powell Effect

    I'm going to shamelessly quote my own vignette here, but you're right that this tendency exists and it allowed me to have some fun with the first thing I posted on the forum.
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    Does the supernatural have a place in Alternate History?

    I think an interesting study is Kim Newman's Anno Dracula series, which to some extent prefigures Alan Moore's better known League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The basic idea is that Van Helsing & Harker fail to stop the Count, who promptly begins turning members of the establishment into...
  19. S

    Germany Fights On, 1919

    Yeah, the war's outcome is not in question here but the nature of the settlement afterwards is. Much depends upon why the fighting resumes. Unlike Japan in 1945, the military leadership wanted peace, though not the responsibility for it. There's not really a clique of young officers who are...
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    TL-191 question

    I was hoping that he'd go all in with the USA as the USSR analogue. Not that I think an American socialist party would end up going Stalinist by default or any right-wing lunacy like that, but the image of people like Norman Rockwell going full socialist realism, Frank Capra as Eisenstein...