Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Napoleon in Afghanistan: A Twilight Histories Map

My latest map based on the Twilight Histories episode Napoleon in Afghanistan.  It's set in the mid-19th century where among other things...

Napoleon was far more successful than he was in our world.  One of his biggest successes was his victory against the Russians.  Napoleon chased Czar Alexander and his forces across Central Asia for quite some time.  Eventually, the French army faced off against the forces of Britain and Russia in the Khyber Pass of Afghanistan.  It was a tough and gurgling battle, but ultimately the French prevails and dealt a crippling blow to the British by capturing India.  Unfortunately, Napoleon didn't get to enjoy his success for long as he contracted cancer and was dead by his mid-sixties.  Still, despite his early death, Napoleon managed to create a French Empire stretching from Portugal to Indochina.

While Napoleon was busy building his empire the United States was going through considerable turmoil.  The Embargo Act was never repealed and New England seceded from the Union.  Soon the United States found itself in a war against New England and Britain.  All went well at first, but then Thomas Jefferson was assassinated.  James Madison severely mishandled the war and caused New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania to join New England.  By the end of the war New England was recognized as a sovereign nation and the area that would have been the states of Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin Indiana and Ohio had become part of British North America.

Napoleon never wasted troops in Haiti and was able to retain Louisiana.  In recent times Louisiana has been granted a higher degree of personal autonomy, akin to the British Dominion system, as a bit of a trial run of giving other regions of the French Empire more autonomy.  Louisiana has a highly cosmopolitan culture with its citizens comes from across the French Empire.  New Orleans is very much the finical and cultural heart of Louisiana, and occupies a position not too dissimilar to New York during our world's 19th century.  There is a movement within western Louisiana to breakaway and become its own separate dominion.  Time will tell what becomes of this.

Following Russia's defeat by Napoleon many Russians, including the royal family, fled to Russia's possessions in North America.  Novorossiya has expanded to include much of the Pacific Northwest, and has opened its doors to many immigrants.  One of the most notable group of immigrants has been Mormons.  The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-Day Saints originated in New England, but its members soon moved to Louisiana under the guidance of church founder Joseph Smith.  The Mormons sought to establish a nation of their own in sparsely populated upper Louisiana.  Unfortunately, it wasn't long before they found themselves in conflict with the French military in what would become known as the Deseret War.  Brigham Young, following Smith's death in the war, led the remaining Mormon's to southern Novorossiya.  The Russians allowed the Mormons to settle, but made it very clear they were not attempt anything like in Louisiana.  Novorossiya is culturally divided between a Russian Orthodox north and an Anglo Mormon south.

Latin America experienced several revolutions thanks to Napoleon.  Simon Bolivar received support from Napoleon and achieved his dream of a unified Republic of Gran Columbia.  Mexico is an empire that is ruled by a relative of Napoleon; on paper it's independent, but in practice it's very much a French puppet state.  The Portuguese royal family, as in our world, relocated to Brazil; Rio de Janeiro is the heart of the Brazilian Empire.  Argentina and Uruguay have fallen the British, eager for new lands following their losses to the French.  Chile has managed to maintain its independence thanks to its mountainous terrain.

Much of the Middle East is either under French control or French influence.  Oman has managed to maintain its independence by doing everything it can to suck up to the French.  Thanks to this tactic Oman has been able to begin establishing colonies in East Africa and is becoming something of a regional power.  There was a rebellion and uprising by Wahhabi Muslims against French influence in the region, but it we quickly suppressed.  Following the fall of the Ottoman Empire an Islamic Holy State was established around the region containing Mecca and Medina.  The French leave the Holy State mostly to its own devices, figuring that it's more trouble than it's worth.

The rapid expat ions of the French Empire gave China the motion it needed to being a modernization campaign.  The empire's cultural regulations were relaxed and non-Manchurians were allowed to practice their cultures more freely, which has led to an increase in the number of hanfu being made and purchased.  Industrialization programs are underway and China has even been able to negotiate for the purchase of several Philippine islands from France.  Meanwhile, Japan has opened itself up to the outside world and is also in the middle of its own industrialization.  The Japanese government has been reformed under a Meiji style restoration.  Korea is doing its best to prosper in the shade of its neighbors and is looking to start its own industrialization program.  Hawaii has managed to maintain its independence and is in the process of reforming its society along French lines.

The 19th century is without doubt a very French Century.  The French Empire reigns supreme and without challenge.  The British Empire has been thoroughly humbled and never quite became the great power that it did in our world.  For the most part the world has been relatively peaceful following Napoleon's wars of conquest.  Slavery has been phased out of most nation with the exception of the rump United States and Brazil, though the Brazilians are creating plans to do so.  Because of the size of the French Empire it is possible that Africa won't be colonized quite to the same extent as in our world.  Still, despite its success the French Empire is beginning to show strains and groan under its own weight.  It's possible that more regions will be granted greater autonomy like Louisiana.  Time will tell what will become of the world that Napoleon made. 


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    1. You're quite welcome, I'm glad that you enjoyed it