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Instead of the West gaining power and colonizing much of the world, the East does so. Tang Dynasty China (中国) survives longer, eventually being replaced by another native Chinese dynasty that crushes the Mongols and moves on to take over much of the world. Japan (日本) and Sri Vijaya (ஸ்ரீ விஜய) also become great powers and compete against each other and with China for colonies and riches. This comes to produce a more Easternized world.
Background to this AlthistIn Our Timeline (OTL), Tang Dynasty China  was one of the most civilized cultures in the world between its foundation in 619 CE and 755 CE, when the An Shi Rebellion broke out. The An Shi Rebellion, not much known in the West, possibly led to more deaths than any other conflict in the history of the world besides World War II , even though it was just regional and the population of the world was much less back then. Even though the Tang Dynasty survived it for another hundred years or so, as you can imagine, the rebellion severely weakened China. What if China had remained the premier world power? And what if the Chinese-influenced East became the dominant world culture instead of the West, as in OTL?
755 CE: Major Point of Divergence
(Main Article: Timeline 755-1200 (Easternized World))
An Lushan, the engineer of the OTL An Shi Rebellion, is suspected of treason by Yang Guozhong, a Tang official. Yang Guozhong convinces the Tang emperor to have a spy become close to An Lushan. The spy eventually gets information about the planned rebellion, and An Lushan is executed. Although there are scattered small-scale rebellions during times of drought, the An Shi Rebellion never takes place.
755 - 985 CE: Late Tang Dynasty
(Main Article: Timeline 755-1200 (Easternized World))
The Tang Dynasty (唐朝) continues relatively unscathed for more than 200 years after the attempted rebellion. During this time, many technological advances take place, including militarily, as with the invention of gunpowder. Primitive guns and bombs develop soon after. Buddhism continues to flourish, while Confucianism and Daoism also make somewhat of a comeback.
985 - 1200 CE: Zheng Dynasty
(Main Article: Timeline 755-1200 (Easternized World))
The Great Chinese army defeated the Mongols, Jurchens, and other would-be invaders to the north, and continue west through Siberia. This spells the downfall of the Mongols, who never recover.
From 999 to 1015, Chinese troops defeated the major Muslim empires, starting with Ghazna (Afghanistan) and continuing through and past Baghdad. This spelled the end of the Abbasid Caliphate.
After the military campaigns, the Zheng Dynasty of China signed various peace treaties, and put down the remaining rebellion strongholds within their sphere of influence.
In 1036, there was a tremendous attack upon the Zheng Dynasty by Muslim Arabian tribes. The Chinese responded, and destroyed the will of the Muslim army by taking Arabia and even attacking the Fatimid Empire in Egypt and pushing them out into Ifriqiya (Tunisia) by 1039.
The most holy Muslim cities of Mecca and Medina were burned to the ground to show the consequences of armed rebellion against the Chinese. Also, the Muslim culture throughout the Chinese empire was severely suppressed, with Chinese civilization put forward as an alternative.
During the war years, which the vast majority of Chinese had been born under, the nation had shown its amazing strength that it had largely gained during the Tang Dynasty and then unleashed during the Zheng Dynasty thus far. However, culture had stagnated (partly because of the warrior like atmosphere that overtook the philosophical one) and by the end of the war years, China came to be in debt. However, with a change of emperors in 1053, things improved, and the Silk Road, which was almost completely under Chinese control, helped China's economy to surge again.
With the sea route, the Malay kingdom of Srivijaya prospered. During this period, the Sri Vijayan town of Temasek (or Sea Town - OTL Singapore) started to grow rapidly.
With greed among the Chinese rulers and a huge wealth gap, China was on shaky ground. With a relatively major famine, things got worse. Eventually, the empire fell, and the territories of Arabia, Persia, and Kipchak broke away from China (though at first they were still ruled by Chinese governors).
1200s: A Time of Instability and Discovery
(Main Article: Timeline 1200s (Easternized World))
By 1200, the eastern part of China was under the command of the Dynasty of Generals, and the western area of former China was a collection of three independent kingdoms known as Kipchak, Persia, and Arabia. Besides these were the strong states of Japan, Sri Vijaya, and the Byzantine Empire. The independent Arabia (under the former Chinese governor) was shown to be weak when a major Muslim rebellion took place. The Arabian governor sought the help from the Byzantine Empire, which itself sought help from Western Europe as the Arabs approached with the motive of cleansing the land of all infidels. Eventually, with the help of European fighters, the rebellion was put down.
Sri Vijaya, a nation highly dependent on international trade for its wealth, lost business as the Middle East was in turmoil. Eventually, it was decided to try to get at Europe via another means. Soon, Madagascar was discovered (and, incredibly, Austronesian languages were also spoken there, as in Sri Vijaya). Eventually, the Sri Vijayans made it around the southern coast of Africa and re-established trade with Europe.
Japan, hearing of Sri Vijaya's discoveries, also tried to find a route to Europe, this time going east. Instead of Europe, they found Yodderick (the New World) and soon started colonizing parts of it.
1300s: Colonization and the Rebirth of China
(Main Article: Timeline 1300s (Easternized World))
The 1300s were the beginning of a new era in global affairs. Asian states rapidly prospered, and for the first time, their authority transcended continents. East Asian influence would find itself in far off places such as Africa, North Yodderick (North America) and South Yodderick (South America). Major colonial efforts took place, and settlement of other lands began in earnest. This would enrich the Asian empires, usually at the expense the indigenous people of their colonies. Especially in Yodderick, disease previously unknown to the natives would ravage populations, and a few diseases were also transferred to Asia.
By the late 1200s, China had been pulled apart because the Generals had become de facto rulers of separate countries within China. In 1311, the most powerful of the Chinese Generals, Hǔ Chóngshēng (乕重生), called a meeting of the generals. Those Generals who did not show up had war declared against them. Eventually, Hǔ Chóngshēng became the ruler of all of China, but instead of becoming the emperor, he created the Chinese National Council. It was not very democratic, but it was a step up from previous governments, and China started to prosper again.
Throughout the 1300s, Sri Vijaya became the major trading power in the world. It did much business with Tolosa, Aragon, Granada (Southern Muslim Iberia), and Norman England (which still controlled OTL western France). At the same time, Castile, Portugal, the Papal States, and the Marinids (Muslim Empire of Morocco) thought of Sri Vijaya as a threat, and mobilized forces on various occasions to keep them from docking.
By the middle of the century, Japan has solidified its position as the ruler of the North Pacific coastal lands. It fortified and enlarged its settlement of Yamami, while establishing other permanent settlements such as Shintoko (新東港 [Shintoukou], OTL San Jose/Silicon Valley, CA) and Heino (平野, OTL Los Angeles, CA). Still, with all this, it still did not have a route to Europe, and so had to trade via its rival Sri Vijaya's African route. However, Japan gained many mineral and other resources that were found on the North Yodderick (北洋大陸 [Kita You Tairiku] lands.
By 1350, Kipchak had practically wasted away. This is because the country had originally been just a part of the Chinese Empire where Turkic nomads lived. With the lack of authority in the area, however, there were rebellions and a general loss of governing power over the lands. The Tatars, Kazakhs and others emerged. They would soon be under Chinese control again, however.
Korea had been a minor country until the fall of the Zheng Dynasty in 1189. When China weakened, Korea had more freedom, and the Chinese reforms of the early 1300s did not diminish Korea's power. While not a tributary state, Korea remained allied to China and even established some colonies in the New World.
Throughout much of the 14th century, China mostly focused on re-taking the territories that had been pried away at the end of the Zheng Dynasty. What was left of Kipchak was re-taken (but Arabia and Persia weren't). China also spread its influence in the New World, establishing colonies in Mexico and some other areas of tropical America.
1400s: Plague, War, Turmoil, and the start of the European Renaissance
(Main Article: Timeline 1400s (Easternized World))
The 1400s started out with things going pretty well in most of the Old World, and chaos in the New World. Often, at first contact, native populations melted away seemingly overnight, and the colonizers gained new territory. Japan gained much land and riches, but was increasingly at odds with China and Korea. The Chinese tried to call a conference with the leaders of Japan to carve up the New World into separate spheres of influence, but the Japanese felt that they were in a good position and declined the offer. Japan, after all, had a large head start in the New World. Because of Japan's unwillingness to co-operate, China declared war in 1411.
China invaded Japan and some of its colonies. Instead of trying to conquer Japan (perhaps an impossible feat, and one which China didn't think much of), it instead tried to humble Japan by burning its cities and settlements. China didn't get much farther than the shore, however. The main battle of the war consisted of Osaka being burned to the ground, but places such as Kyoto weren't touched, partly owing to the stiff Japanese resistance. In the end, with China thinking that it had proven its point, and with Japan thinking that it had fended off an invasion, the war was over.
For the past 100 years, Asians were only used to seeing plagues hit the native people of the New World. These plagues were of smallpox and such, and were less lethal to Old Worlders. While the Asian colonizers often tried to fight smallpox and help the native people (successfully teaching them new techniques like rubbing smallpox pus in wounds while healthy so as to increase resistance later), what was a great problem for the natives of Yodderick was a more trivial problem, and occasionally an opportunity, for the Asian powers. This way of thinking came to an end when in 1432, a plague, often called "The Great Plague" swept Asia, Africa, and Europe. This plague changed the world for good, making clear the need for plans to prevent and fight diseases.
Japan was the first major nation to recover. In 1464, Japanese explorers rounded the Great Southern Strait (大南海峡 [Dai Minami Kaikyou], Strait of Magellan). Then, in 1473, another voyage was the first to make it around the world by rounding the Southern Strait, crossing the Atlantic to Europe, going around Africa, and passing through Sri Vijayan waters.
Another region not as hard hit by the plague was India. Taking up much of the north of the subcontinent was the Delhi Raj, a kingdom made up of a conglomeration of smaller statelets. Taking up the south was the Vijayanagar kingdom. Hindus made up the majority of the population in both kingdoms, although Jainism, Buddhism, and other faiths also were able to flourish.
In China, medicine experienced a coming of age in the decades including and following the plague. Strict cleanliness laws were passed, and this aided China in the long run. At the end of the plague, China was in an even stronger position vis-a-vis Europe than even before the plague, as it had somehow come through the ordeal with less chaos. By the end of the 15th century, China was again at Europe's door, and was able to make some eastern European states into tributary states.
Europe was a mixed bag post plague. In general, Europe became more religiously diverse and more xenophobic. Out of formerly Catholic populations came various sorts. The majority became more skeptical and less religious. Many others converted to Catharism, as it seemed to be less corrupt. A minority got involved in fringe cults. At the same time, classical civilization and art came to be studied, leading to a Renaissance.
It was during the plague that the Byzantine Empire (which I may also refer to as Byzantia) lost Arabia for good. Byzantia had hoped for an Orthodox population, but it turned out that some Orthodox ideas mixed with those of the Western (Catholic) crusaders who stayed in the conquered territories. And added to that was a dose of radicalism and nomadic backwardness. However, Byzantia held onto Egypt and widened a Red Sea - Nile - Mediterranean Canal.
With increasing peace in the Middle East and the reopening of the Egyptian Canal, and with the more wary Europeans, Sri Vijaya started to feel that it was losing out to its competitors. But during the last few decades of the century, Sri Vijaya set out on exploring southern Africa in depth. (This would eventually lead to them discovering diamonds in the early 1500s.)
1500s: The Renaissance
(Main Article: Timeline 1500s (Easternized World))
The 1500s was a time of great prosperity. Trade began to pick up again as most of those people who had lived through the worst times of the Great Plague had already passed away from old age. The new generations had come a long way in preventing diseases, and the late 1400s and early 1500s saw stability reign across much of the world. In many nations, not only in Europe, there came to be seen a break from the recent past, and a yearning for the ancient past. This yearning was expressed most directly in a bevy of Greek- and Roman-inspired edifices that became more ubiquitous over time. Even the Asian countries showed an interest in this style, and mixed it with their own to produce many new forms. Often, the ornate rooves of Asian building styles were mixed with ornate columns, walls, and other and support structures to produce spectacular constructions. Domes, too, though never common, found some acceptance and respect in the Far East. As mentioned above, ideas changed, too, as most of Europe (and East Asia) became more secular in nature (while the Middle East saw renewed radicalism). Some areas in Europe that didn't take a much more secular turn included Castile, Portugal, and the Papal States and Naples.
In 1524, a large diamond deposit was found in southern Africa. This would eventually lead to the "Gold and Diamond Rush" of the mid-1500s. By the year 1600, there were more than 500,000 Malays living in Africa, principally in the south.
Tensions were rising again between Japan and China, as both nations wanted the Yodderick (New World) continents. The Sino-Japanese Colonial War a century prior taught the countries that disputes about colonies only served to weaken both countries, so in 1530, it was agreed to split up the New World between the two powers. For the most part, Japan took temperate and arctic Yodderick, while China took tropical Yodderick. Korea continued to hold a few territories.
In 1536, only 12 years after the Sri Vijayan southern Africa gold and diamond rush began, major gold deposits were found in the Japanese colonies. The new town of Tougane (東金; Sacramento, CA) sprouted up as a base for further mining exploration.
The Catholic Church lost power rapidly in a succession of states. By the mid-1500s, Catholics represented minorities in Tolosa (long a strongly Cathar and secular state), Aragon, France, England-Normandy, Scotland, and Ireland (while Castile had succeeded in crushing Muslim Granada). States still strongly Catholic included Spain (Castile), Portugal, the Papal States, and Naples. The Holy Roman Empire was in a crisis, as there were many ethnic groups and differing religious beliefs, and these boiled over during the late sixteenth century.
This was a war of territory and religion. In it, Castile invaded Aragon proper and the Papal States invaded Aragonese Sardinia and Corsica. At the end of the conflict, Aragon had survived, partly due to the help of Tolosa, England, and France. However, the Papal States had managed to take Sardinia and Corsica.
1600s: Eastern Colonial Ambitions Realized
(Main Article: Timeline 1600s (Easternized World))
The 1600s was a time of considerable technological progress, dwarfed only by the progress made in the subsequent centuries. For the first time ever, it seemed that every generation inherited a significantly more modern life than the previous one. The modern world was beginning to dawn. The scientific method came to be embraced across much of the world, and breakthroughs in the sciences - particularly in astronomy, physics, medicine, mechanics, printing, and armament - led to rapid societal progression. Partly since most of these discoveries hailed from the Orient, the Asian empires were able to increasingly dominate the globe. By the end of the 17th century, this Asian domination would spread even to Western Europe.
Yodderick (the Americas) was still being colonized. The main indigenous languages of Yodderick were Quechua, Nahuatl, Aymara, Guarani, Tupi, and Muisca (standard Chibcha). In Yodderick, three kinds of writing were used for the native languages. In Chinese-dominated areas, native languages came to be written down completely in hanzi (Chinese characters), or completely in Western characters (which the Chinese found could come in handy for pronunciation). Meanwhile, the Japanese tried a mix of Chinese characters and Japanese "kana" characters used to write syllables.
Overall, the 1600s saw stabilization of relations with the major native groups, and further whittling away at the smaller native groups, or perhaps consolidation with a major group.
Sri Vijaya's technology and culture made a lasting impression in some parts of Africa. The Wolof Empire had already been around for a few centuries by this time, but it was in the early 1600s that Wolof became a significant force in the continent. Wolof came to have close ties with Sri Vijaya, and this relationship definitely increased its strength in relation to its neighbors and rivals.
As Spanish power increased in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, it began to conquer North Africa, and even send some explorers to the New World to claim territory (all of which was negated by the Chinese and Japanese presence). From the eastern Mediterranean came the Byzantine Empire, which met up with and had a stalemate with Spain in western Libya. As for Mesopotamia, Byzantia was in complete control, and the region was feeling more and more Greek by the decade. Persia, meanwhile, was experiencing a cultural revival after years of sectarian conflict.
Things came to a head between Sri Vijaya and Spain in 1659, when (decades after establishing firm control of both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar) the Pope declared that Asian ships were no longer allowed to enter. Instead, all trade would have to be done through Spanish or Vatican (Papal States) ships. This was a repeat of what a previous Pope had tried to do. To Sri Vijaya, it was an unforgivable example of haughtiness. In response to Papal and Spanish provocations, Sri Vijaya attacked both countries. While Spain survived, the Papal States and Naples were taken by Sri Vijaya.
Seeing the gains that Sri Vijaya was able to make in Europe, Japan immediately wanted a piece. It surreptitiously took control of the Netherlands, when the Netherlands accepted help from Japan to defeat the Holy Roman Empire, which the Netherlands had been trying to keep independent from. Japan next set its sights on England.
1700s: Easternization and Industrialization
(Main Article: Timeline 1700s (Easternized World))
The 1700s was a time of rapid change. By the end of the century, the world was a completely different place than it was at the beginning of the century. By 1799, most of Europe and Yodderick were dominated by the "big three" Asian colonizers. Furthermore, early in the century, Sri Vijaya found a whole new continent, Gurun Selatan (குருன் ஸெலடன்; OTL Australia), previously unknown to the outside world.
The most major change in the 18th century was brought about by the Industrial Revolution. By the end of the century, machine-gun warfare, diesel locomotives, black-and-white photographs, and steel-framed and reinforced concrete buildings, among other inventions, were increasingly part of life in the civilized world. The world population, too, saw a major jump, as it increased from around 800 million to over 1.5 billion during the course of the century. Owing to technological and population increases, the 1700s and 1800s in particular, are thought of as comprising the "Exponential Era", while the 1700s are often known as the "Coal Era" (contrasted with the "Oil Era" of the 1800s).
In 1701, Japan invaded an unprepared England. With the realization that Japan had gained such an important chunk of Europe, Sri Vijaya quickly appealed to Aragon, Tolosa, and France to become protectorates. Aragon and Tolosa accepted (as they already had close economic and military ties with Sri Vijaya, and felt pressure from Spain and Japan), while France declined (as the leaders both cherished their complete sovereignty and didn't want to be provocative towards any other power). At the same time, China was courting the Holy Roman Empire and secretly promising the supply it arms and military assistance in the event that one of the other two powers invaded. From this, then, came the splitting of Western Europe into four spheres: Sri Vijayan (mid/southern Italy, Aragon, Tolosa), Japanese (Netherlands, England), Chinese (Holy Roman Empire...and east until China Proper), and Non-Associated (Spain, Portugal, Scotland, Ireland, France, Denmark...and Scandinavia).
In 1724, a huge success was had by Sri Vijaya, when it found a previously unknown continent known as Gurun Selatan (Australia). It tried to play down the importance of its new find (so that the other colonizers wouldn't want in before it could be secured). In the end, due to this deception or not, no other major powers vied for it. Although all three major empires were at their peaks in terms of both wealth and land under their control during the 1700s, they weren't completely sound. With the realization that the domains left in which to expand were severely limited, there was an increased push for competition. Furthermore, all of this growth had left the major powers' militaries overextended. With the view that everything conquered would stay conquered, there wasn't very much thought put into how to keep the colonies, once they were won.
Up until the early 1700s, by and large, the only non-natives in Yodderick were East Asians. This changed when Japan, in control of vast areas, but with few people to populate them with, started to introduce indentured servitude into areas on the east coast of North Yodderick. Soon, subjects of the Japanese empire - particularly from England and the Netherlands - migrated in great numbers to the New World.
In the colonies of the great powers, new dialects, and even new languages, had appeared by the 1700s. Although the major cities and trade routes generally had dialects reminiscent of or identical to the main languages of the dominating colonial power, farther afield, this was hardly the case. This is partly due to native populations taking up the new languages, spicing them with their original languages' accents and some words. Also, as it sometimes happened, certain language groups from home would overwhelmingly emigrate (to the exclusion of others) to a faraway place, and establish their minority language as the majority language overseas. Such was the case with Hakka (a Chinese language), as it became considerably established in Meixikou (Mexico).
With such a variety of languages under the control of the major powers, and their home languages only serving as the native language of a minority of their empires' subjects, China and Japan agreed on a list of 1000 kanji/hanzi (Chinese characters) to teach the subject peoples. The meanings, not pronunciations, were taught, as with mathematical equations, which can be pronounced differently in different languages, but still mean the same thing when viewed. Later, Sri Vijaya would relent and get on board, as well (although it kept its own script).
For centuries now, the three main powers hadn't had any major military defeats. This changed between 1766 and 1771, when Meixikou (much of OTL Mexico) declared its independence, fought for it and won it.
Meixikou (originally written as 禖牺冦 méixīkǒu, but after independence, written as 美熙口 měixīkǒu) started to be a volatile place for China after China implemented a law making Mandarin Chinese the official language among Chinese in all overseas (Yodderick) domains in 1754. The Hakka, in particular, feeling that this was a way to erase their culture and language, produced a violent backlash against their "home" country, and let it be known that they were willing to fight for independence. In response to the gathering steam of the independence movement, hundreds of people were jailed, and some executed, for crimes against the Chinese Empire. Such people included newspaper editors just as much as violent rebels. Such arrests provoked even more harsh feelings, and a full-scale war broke out. Meixikou rebels (or "freedom fighters") started to favor guerrilla tactics during the war, which put them at an advantage. In the end, a face-saving measure was thought up, in which China did away with the "Council Leader", who was sacked for "bad decision-making" and the dominance of Mandarin was revoked, while Meixikou was officially named a "semi-autonomous republic under Chinese guidance". In reality, every Chinese official was to disregard this wording, as complete independence had been achieved for Meixikou.
1800s: Easternization, Industrialization, Decolonization and War(Main Article: Timeline 1800s (Easternized World))
This century began as the height of Japanese, Chinese, and Sri Vijayan Power. It was a time of great technological innovation, with trains, factories, cars, planes, and in the end spacecraft, all being invented in this century.
During this time, Sri Vijaya faced numerous challenges which damaged its role as a world power. Demonstrations occurred in many cities as a movement for greater democracy began. Furthermore, several minorities, such as the Dayaks and the Ugis, began to rebel, fighting for greater rights, which resulted in some parts of Sri Vijaya plunging into civil war. By the 1850s, Sri Vijaya's government had collapsed, and the nation fell into chaos.
During this century, there would be a huge war, the greatest war that Earth had ever known: The War of Empires. This war pitted a genocidal (against Muslims), expansionist, Catholic extremist Spain, joined by the declining Byzantine Empire and Byzantine controlled Persia, against most of the rest of the world. This war saw the advent of the nuclear bomb, at first used by Spain against Muslims as a genocide, and then later used to fight Germany and China. However, it was used against the Spanish by the Japanese, which began the turning point in the war. After a long conflict, Japan, Sri Vijaya, China, India, Vijayanagar, and Meixikou would emerge as the victors.
However, the war put great stress on the remains of the Sri Vijayan empire, and compounded by ethnic rivalries and a poor economy, Sri Vijaya was unable to control its colonial empire. Beginning with the nation of Chad, all of the Sri Vijayan African territories broke away one by one over the several decades following the war. Sri Vijaya also lost control of the island of OTL New Guinea, as well as the continent of Gurun Selatan. The Sri Vijayan government was forced to give several other areas of its nation semi-autonomy in order to prevent rebellion.
China also declined a bit during this time, with the new powers being Japan, India, and Meixikou. However, the Peoples Eastern Roman Democratic Republic, risen out of the ashes of the Byzantine Empire, was becoming a powerful and dangerous threat for the world.
The 1900s and Early 2000s:Advancement and Prosperity
(Main Article: Timeline 1901-2012 (Easternized World))
This century began with a great threat. The Byzantine Republic, AKA the People's Eastern Roman Democratic Republic, or PERDR, was expanding its own territories, and was spreading Levelism even farther across the world. Their leader, Baltazar Laskaris, would attempt to take Ethiopia. This sparked a huge war called the Byzantine War, which ended in the fall of PERDR and the establishment of the Eastern Roman Republic.
Meanwhile, decolonization was occurring across the world. Over the course of several years, Japan slowly let go of its colonial empire. China's losses would be marginally more violent, yet eventually all of its large colonies broke away. The Central Asian states and the European parts of China would also all break away, and in order to keep itself from falling apart, China was forced to grant Tibet, Yakutia, and Ural semi-autonomy.
However, following this decolonization, a technological boom reached all nations. Space exploration took off, with landings and eventual settlements on Mars and the moons of Jupiter. Robots replaced most manual labor, resulting in the economy greatly improving. Medical technology, despite high cancer rates from the nuclear bombs used in the previous century, managed to improve people's lives. More nations became democratic. The most amazing discovery of all, however, was on Jupiter's moon Europa: extraterrestrial life.
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