Post by SwimLFS
In some ways, this is a rehash of Mike Ralls' thread a two years ago.
However, his thread had a much broader scope, starting with the
failure of the Spanish Armada and moving forward to present day, in
order to establish whether or not the OTL result was maximal, minimal,
or average, given the various alternatives Britain could encounter in
backing into/establishing its empire.
The timeframe he suggested is massive, and a lot of information and
results would almost certainly get lost in the hash and noise of
alterations made to the TL that don't necessarily relate to the
So, let's narrow the field quite a bit. Most, if not all of the
foundations of the British Empire, were built by 1815. So, starting
with the defeat of Napoleon, what can be done to maximize the British
Empire, minimize it, or get roughly the same result?
Looking at Britain, it's been through the first wave of the industrial
revolution, but not the demographic transition. How do one or the
other relate to empire, or do they, at all?
Though dynastic politics are no longer as large a factor as sixty
years ago, or even longer, the King or Queen has a lot of influence
through society and money and at least some theoretical constitutional
power at the start of the era--all of these diminish as time goes on,
which may relate to the growth of Empire in some places, but not in
North America is gone, but the EIC is still running? Is Britain's
informal empire "better" in that it is more effective, or would early
direct rule be better--eg William IV, Emperor of India.
Finally, I think the trends in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific should be
considered seperately, though not for purely geographic reasons, but
rather the reason d'etre and the style of expansion.
Well, I think that if you are going to try to establish
a unified British Empire that would exist unto the present
day and contain most of the Commonwealth you would need a
POD before 1701 that had a different Act of Union. One that
established the Empire of Britain at a level above its
constituent parts, the Kingdoms of England, Ireland, and
Scotland, the Principality of Wales, and perhaps also
establish the Duchies of Normandy (Channel Islands) and Man
(Isle of Man) I don't think that trying to incorporate the
overseas colonies into British Empire directly would make
sense at that time, because of their status and the
difficulties of communication, but it would provide a model
that would make adding non-Briish realms to the Empire
possible when communications would make it feasible or
However, you've stated 1815 or later which complicates things.
The Congress of Vienna is the obvious starting place. If
Hanover was amde slightly larger, that would give it a good
starting place for being more involved on the continent.
Then assume that the child of Edward the Duke of Kent instead of
being the future Queen Victoria was the future King Edward VII,
King of Great Britain and Hanover. This could cause Britain to
become more involved in the breakup of the Netherlands in 1830
than in OTL, leading perhaps to leading to the Kingdom of Hanover
acquiring Luxemburg. With Hanover as a strong third kingdom in
the German Confederation, that still retained its connection
with Britain via the personal union under Edward VII, Prussia
would be unable to establish dominance within the Confederation
and Germany would never have established its overseas colonies.
They would have largely fallen into British hands. Not only
that, but as long as Britain has an interest in Germany, a
raproachment with France is unlikely. Instead the Crimean War
is likely to turn into a general European war. Since the goal
is a max Britain, I'll have a Franco-Russian-Danish-Portugese
alliance lose that war to a British-Prussian-Turkish-Spanish
alliance. Britian gains the Faeroes and the Danish West Indies
from the Danes, Angola from the Portugese, and the minor
French and Portugese possessions in India. With Angola in
British hands, they get into the Congo before Leopold ever gets
While this does get a British Empire that at its largest will
certainly be larger than OTL, as I said before, I don't think
it can keep it using a Britain and the colonies model. Setting
up independent dominions and the process of decolonialzation
would still be inherent, and sooner or later there will be
a British queen that causes Hanover to be disunifed from Britain.