Alternative History
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Important: The timeline is undergoing a major overhaul, so much will be changed from 26 September 2021.

Differently is a project that combines the genres of alternate history and conworld. It is an alternate timeline with several points of divergence, since ancient times up to the 21st century, which affect different areas of the world independently. One focus is the continuation of several states and cultures that came to an end in our timeline: Many countries resist foreign invasions that would change everything, others never lose land that they would lose, others expand their territory, but some areas of the planet remain essentially the same. Other differences include World War II never happening, a distinct Cold War starting and ending earlier, Islamic terrorism never arising, Hitler becoming a thriving philosopher and mystic instead of a dictator, Steve Jobs and John Lennon being still alive, and Linux being the most widely used operating system.

Differently is a work in progress. Since I'm not much experienced in developing ATLs, you're welcome to help me and suggest changes, especially if you notice something implausible or unlikely. I want to improve this project as much as possible.

As an open collaborative project, anyone is welcome here. If you want to contribute to this ATL, please join our Discord server or message me on my talk page. The following users are currently contributing to Differently:

The following users have previously contributed to Differently:

We have only five golden rules:

  1. Be plausible.
  2. Be consistent with the rest of the timeline.
  3. No aliens, magic, or similar unrealistic stuff.
  4. No alternative geographies, such as fictional continents, fictional islands, or alternative climates (for example: the Sahara being green).
  5. No conversion of republics into monarchies or vice versa. This has already caused many problems so respect the established (see the map below).

The world map and flags are currently locked, so we are also not accepting the creation of new sovereign states or flag changes in the moment. This does not apply to dependencies or historical countries.

Besides the rules, there is also the recommendation of avoiding clichés. It's not mandatory, but is preferable to follow it. I know clichés are tempting and I myself use some, but we want to make this timeline feel really unique and different, and repeating the same tropes over and over again is boring.

Maps (present day)

See also: Historical maps

Complete political world map

Flag map (by Massacote.01)

Europe with some of its unique countries highlighted

Blank version

Religions

  Roman Catholicism
  Eastern Christianity
  Protestantism
  Zoroastrianism
  Native traditions
  Sunni Islam
  Alawite Islam
  Salehiyya Islam
  Hinduism
  Buddhism

Forms of government
Democracies:

  Presidential republic
  Parliamentary monarchy (proper)
  Parliamentary monarchy (Commonwealth)
  Parliamentary republic
  Semi-presidential republic
Dictatorships:
  Absolute monarchy
  One-party state
Other:
  TBD


Federal and unitary states

  Federal states
  Unitary states

National languages - Indo-European

Romance
  Spanish
  Portuguese
  French
  Italian
  Romanian
  Other
(Catalan, Mauretanian, Carthaginian)
Germanic
  English
  Dutch
  German
  Nordic (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Icelandic)

Balto-Slavic
  East Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian)
  West Slavic (Polish, Slovak, Czech)
  South Slavic (Serbo-Croatian, Slovene, Bulgarian, Macedonian)
  Baltic (Latvian, Lithuanian)

Iranian
  Iranian (Persian, Pashto, Kurdish)

Indo-Aryan
  Indo-Aryan (Hindustani, Bengali, Punjabi)

Isolates
  Other (Greek, Armenian)

Non-Indo-European
  Other families

National languages - Other

Afro-Asiatic
  Semitic (Punic, Syriac, Ge'ez, Amharic, Arabic)
  Other (Egyptian, Somali, Mauretan Berber, Tuareg, etc.)
Niger-Congo
  Bantu (Swahili, Zulu, Shona, etc.)
  Other (Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, etc.)
Sino-Tibetan
  Chinese
  Other (Burmese, Bhutanese, Tibetan, etc.)
Turkic
  Oghuz (Azeri, Turkmen)
  Uzbek
  Kipchak (Kazakh, Kyrgyz, etc.)
Finno-Ugric
  Hungarian
  Finnic (Finnish and Estonian)
Other
  Dravidian (Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam)
  Austronesian (Malay, Malagasy, etc.)
  Other non-IE families
  Indo-European

Timeline

A timeline with a brief description of some main PoDs.

Ancient and medieval history

  • 30 BC: Having developed a much more modernized military, Ptolemaic Egypt resists Roman invasion. The later Christian influence in the country is smaller and the traditional religion is more prevalent.
  • 610: Islam doesn't gain as much leverage as it does in OTL and gains a smaller number of supporters. The religion gets to dominate the Arabian peninsula but is not able to raise an army to conquer other lands successfully. However, later denominations of Islam called Alawite and Salehiyya enter Africa.
  • 642: Byzantium and Egypt resist Arab invasions with an alliance. The Rashidun Caliphate, and consequently Islam, does not expand beyond the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa. Over the centuries, however, the Arabs exert an economic dominance over Persia and Europe, particularly Iberia.
  • 681: A remnant of the Roman province of Mauretania, Berber tribes take over the province and form the Berber Kingdom, taking the name Mauretania.
  • 700: The Eastern Roman province of Carthāgō declares independence from Byzantium. Although not Punic in any way, the new nation of Carthage adopts many aspects of Punic life, including emblems.
  • 1272: With a larger and stronger army, Byzantium resists the invasion by Charles I of Anjou, which would have formed Albania.
  • 1352: The Zoroastrian-Christian conflicts start with the Zoroastrian Seljuk army threatening Constantinople. After pleading with the Roman Catholic church, a number of armies (crusades) are sent to relieve the attacks. These conflicts between Zoroastrian and Christian nations goes on for over 150 years.
  • 1365: After resisting centuries of raids by Slavic peoples, Macedonia is never conquered and remains part of Byzantium.

16th to 18th centuries

  • 1502: The end of the Zoroastrian-Christian conflicts marks the traditional end of the Middle Ages. Due to deteriorating relations with Byzantium and the Silk Road being dominated by Zoroastrians, Western European powers still search alternate routes to Asia.
  • 1516: Egypt is conquered by an expansionist Second Sassanid Empire.
  • 1606: Willem Janszoon and his fleet explore the western Australian coast and claim part of the continent for the Dutch Empire.
  • 1620: Dutch colonization of Australia begins, with the colonies being integrated into the Dutch commercial empire. England and France, however, do not let the Dutch Empire expand to the Pacific. Therefore, territories beyond Eastern Australia are never explored by the Dutch Empire.
  • 1712: After centuries of political schism, the Second Sassanid Empire splits in two, forming the Empire of West Persia (later Imperial State of West Persia) and the Afghan Kingdom of East Persia (later Democratic Federative Republic of East Persia).
  • 1792: After a revolutionary war, Haiti gains independence with Toussaint L'ouverture as the Emperor of Haiti. The new state controls all of the island of Hispaniola.

19th century

  • 1828: Brazil wins the Cisplatine War.
  • 1857: The Taiping rebellion ends.
  • 1861-65: The U.S. is defeated by the South. The Confederate States of America are recognized as an independent country.
  • 1864: Empress Cixi dies of tuberculosis, after which China undergoes a period of modernization and westernization, becoming a constitutional monarchy in the process.
  • 1867: Alaska is not purchased by the U.S. An earlier offer to the Prince of Liechtenstein is accepted, but the Prince only buys the island of Johann (OTL: Prince of Wales Island), so the country of Johannia is formed.
  • 1882: British forces invade Sassanid Egypt and Syria and liberate the two countries, which become free states once again. The ancient Hasmonean Dynasty takes over Syria and rule it to this day.
  • 1883: Bolivia wins the War of the Pacific.
  • 1889: Instead of a full-republican takeover, a failed Republican Insurrection results in the Brazilian monarchy never being abolished.
  • 1892: Australia becomes independent from the Netherlands.
  • Late 19th century: China loses Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Macau, but later regains the former two.

20th century

  • 1900s: Due to the Moroccan Crisis never happening, hostile relations in OTL between France and Germany never happen, which results in the peaceful transition of Alsace-Lorraine in 1902 from Germany to France.
  • 1910: The Portuguese monarchy is not abolished. Japan does not invade Korea; a modernized China defends Korea from Japan, so the Korean Empire survives.
  • 1911: The RMS Olympic sinks after colliding with a warship. Over 2,100 people die.
  • 1912: The Manchu Qing dynasty in China is replaced by the ethnic Han Chinese Xian dynasty. The RMS Titanic does not sink thanks to improved safety measures learned the year before.
  • 1914: Prince George of Byzantium is killed by a Serbian nationalist. A diplomatic crisis breaks out between Byzantium and Serbia, which set the dominoes to the Great War. Austria-Hungary does not join the Great War. Instead, it cedes territory to neighboring nations through agreements.
  • 1918: After the end of the Great War, Germany becomes a democratic constitutional monarchy (instead of a republic) and gives independence to all its colonies. The three Baltic nations (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) each achieve a brief independence from the Russian Empire before being annexed by the Soviet Union four years later.
  • 1920s: The Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula rebel against the British Empire and form a unified and independent Islamic nation.
  • 1921: Mongolia (with Inner Mongolia) officially becomes independent from China after almost a decade-long War of Independence.
  • 1924: East Persia falls to a socialist regime, which lasts until 1975.
  • 1926: With Britain's defeat in the Anglo-American War, Quebec and Hawaii become independent. The imperial democracy in China collapses. Independence movements in Tibet and the Uyghur regions start.
  • 1928: The Kingdom of Tibet, the First East Turkestan Republic, the Hainan Clique, and the Northern Qing (later known as Manchuria) break free from China, establishing their independent nations.
  • 1930s: Instead of a Nazi Party, a Pan-Germanic Party, which uses a planned language called Teedish, rises in Germany. Instead of political and military power, Hitler seeks the cultural integration of Germanic countries and initiates a cultural movement. Anton Drexler and Heinrich Himmler are involved. Hitler becomes a philosopher and starts a movement called Hitlerism. He spreads Vanatru, a form of Nordic neopaganism, throughout the Germanic world.
  • 1940s: Germany declares war on Poland to get access to Danzig. Since this violates the Treaty of Versailles, Britain, Italy, and France interfere. This Polish-German War shapes both countries' today borders and Kaliningrad becomes part of Poland.
  • 1946: With no involvement in war, the Kingdom of Italy is never abolished.
  • 1951: An East Persian-planned republican revolution in West Persia fails, turning the tide of the Cold War, with West Persia siding with America. The Peruvian Communist Insurrection starts, which is the second-most important war that resulted in the fall of the socialist bloc.
  • 1955: A violent Jamaican Revolution results in full independence to Jamaica under a one-party Marxist-Leninist state. To this day, Jamaica is the only communist nation remaining. The Polynesian Union is formed.
  • 1961: Due to the Peruvian Communist Insurrection, the war triggers the first attempt of a nuclear explosion. DEFCON is raised to 2 for the first time ever.
  • 1965: Instead of a republic, Singapore is expelled from Malaysia as a monarchy.
  • 1970: During the Luna 17 space mission, module Soyuz-VX successfully lands on the Moon. Cosmonauts Georgy Dobrovolsky and Vladimir Shatalov become the first humans to step on another astronomical body.
  • 1974: The Abyssinian Empire is not abolished due to the steady collapse of communism. Many Eastern European communist regimes are overthrown by people liberation armies. The interim republics of Romania, Bulgaria, and Serbia restore their monarchies after a referendum.
  • 1975: The U.S. wins the Vietnam War with help from China. Vietnam is united under the Republic of Vietnam. The Soviet Union collapses, after which Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan do not become independent republics, but autonomous republics within Russia. Borders in Central Asia are determined by geographical lines, not artificial borders. The Moldovan Civil War starts.
  • 1991: The Moldovan Civil War comes to an end. King Michael I of Romania becomes the Head of State of Moldova.

21st century

  • 2001: Since Islamic extremism never emerges, 9/11 does not happen. The World Trade Center is never attacked and still exists to this day.
  • 2002: East Timor (Timor-Leste) does not get independence from Malaysia (OTL: Indonesia).
  • 2003: Steve Jobs agrees to be operated and survives his cancer.
  • 2008: The monarchy of Nepal is not abolished. Bhutan remains an absolute monarchy. The 2008 Rice Riots in China leaves their economy in ruins.
  • 2014: After a successful referendum, Scotland becomes independent. Kenya enters a state of civil war.
  • 2016: Malaysia votes to leave the Australian Union.
  • 2017: The 2017 hantavirus pandemic affects much of the world.
  • 2021: The Kenyan Civil War comes to an end with the ruling government being overthrown.
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