|“||The greatest liberty in the world is for people to live under a monarch.||”|
— Sir Robert Filmer
The Mid-19th century was a time of major expansion and upheaval upon the nations of the world. The United States pushed its power to the coast under the call of manifest destiny only to fall to civil war shortly after. The balance of power in Europe constantly shifted as nationalism began to take effect and demanded a new order. Asian and African powers struggled to resist European encroachment on their independence. Throughout the Western world the ideologies of liberal republicanism and conservative monarchism battled to be the dominant form of governance.
Eventually, republicanism won out and became the standard model to which governments would try to emulate. But this came to pass because of several revolutions and failures within the Western world that swept most monarchies away. What if instead a new model was nurtured and grew instead of being snuffed out? What if liberal constitutional monarchies, now the mainstay of present monarchies, became the standard in Europe and beyond and lasted? What if there remains an Age of Kings?
Points of Divergence
- The monarchy established in Brazil after independence managed to reach considerable heights and many considered it to be a rising and stabilizing power within geopolitics. However, the monarchy ended when Emperor Pedro II became dispirited after the death of his two sons from illness, believing that it was destined that the monarchy would end. As a result he did nothing to stop a republican coup that put a dictatorship in control over the country for decades. But, what if one of his sons lived? In Age of Kings, his second son Pedro Afonso narrowly survives his bout of illness and fulfills his duties as heir.
- The Franco-Prussian War was just as much a death of an empire as it was the birth of another. Napoleon III's failure haunted him for the rest of his short life and sent the political system in France into disarray. However, in the most recent elections following his exile the people elected a political majority of monarchists, albeit divided into two different factions, the Legitimists and the Orleanists. They agreed on a compromise to get both their candidates onto the throne of France, but the Legitimate candidate refused to rule under the tricolor of the revolution. While waiting for him to die off the monarchists lost their majority to the republicans by a sizeable margin, ending any hope of a return to monarchy. But, what if he swallowed his pride, or expected to use his power to force the issue once he became king? In Age of Kings, the Count of Chambord agrees to the plan, sowing the seeds for returning France to a constitutional monarchy.