Post by SolomonW
About 1900, many people started to realise that the twentieth century was
going to be dominated by powers that had the resources of continents such
as the USA and what was frightening to Germany, Russia. One country that
people realized might be able to get such resources was Britain and there
was some discussion about it.
However, for such an expanded Britain it was too late. Its white colonies
had already moved away.
Now what if Britain decided to integrate her white areas earlier say in
At that stage, both Canadians and Australians were willing to join up
directly to Britain. Most considered themselves to be British. I suspect it
would be done by states. Canada would give about nine states; Australia
six, New Zealsnd one or two and South Africa would be a long-term problem
with the blacks and Boers, but something could be done for the white
English. Scotland, Ireland and Wales would give about one each and so on.
Each would send a representatives to London.
Britain now goes into the twentieth century with raw resources greater than
the US or Russia and a population about a third of the USA.
Note if India joins in this United States, the figures change dramatically
but I doubt the English would do this.
I doubt such an enterprise would be called the United States of England;
more likely something like Greater Britain ;-)
That's an interesting idea, having the colonies become integral
(overseas) components of Britain. A variant on that would be to have
used the same strategy when the Americans started to clamour for
independence in the 1770s. Of course Canada was far less mature then and
consisted pretty much only of Quebec and today's maritime provinces
(excluding Newfoundland). Australia would just have begun being settled
by the first convicts then and New Zealand was similarly just getting
started. But let's say the British established as a policy in the 1770s
that as their colonies got to a certain size or wealth or population,
they would become integral parts of Britain and elect parliamentarians
at Westminster; the American colonies would join first while the
Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, etc. would join as they matured.
That would certainly change things at Westminster! It might even have to
become a multilingual chamber to accomodate French-speaking
parliamentarians from Quebec - and maybe Afrikaans-speakers (or
Xhosa-speakers!) from South Africa. The great debates that concerned
Britain in the 19th century, like the Corn Laws, slavery, etc. etc.
would presumably be approached a bit differently and the horse-trading
needed to bring about change would take on a different flavour. Colonial
representatives, like those in the former American colonies, might
resist the ending of slavery in Greater Britain or oppose measures that
hurt the interests of their farmers or industries.
Would women's suffrage come about earlier or later than OTL? Would
slavery be abolished earlier or later? Would universal (male) suffrage
occur earlier or later? Etc.
How would various wars play out? Would colonials keep Britain from even
participating in wars that they joined in the OTL? How quickly would
North America be settled if it were all part of Britain rather that what
happened in the OTL?
What would have happened in the Third World if the Third World countries
had continued to be an integral part of Britain rather than colonies
without representation at Westminster? Would they have stayed part of
Britain? Or would they still eventually demand independence?
How would our world look today if all the former colonies, including
India, were still integral parts of Britain, all acknowledging the same
monarch and all still electing representatives to Westminster? If India
had the same population as it does today - plus Pakistan and Bangladesh
because the Indian Partition might not have happened if India hadn't
gotten independence - it would dominate Parliament, assuming
representation by population was practiced.
What would Britain look like today if everyone in India, South Africa,
Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and various third world countries
all had full citizenship in Britain and could presumably live wherever
they wanted. I imagine London would be much bigger than it is today and
would be, by far, the most important city in the world as a financial
and political capital. I also expect it would be even more ethnically
diverse than it is now.