Whereas the period 1945-79 appears to be marked by a series of trends which amounted to "more of the same", it sometimes seems that the course of history changed direction dramatically around the end of the '70s. However, these changes really began with much smaller-scale events considerably earlier than that, and in fact there would need to be quite a number of PODs for this to be possible.
This alternate history is not an attempt to imagine the 1970s continuing indefinitely. The world of the present day is as different in this timeline from the world of 1979 as it is in our own. However, in general it has changed in accordance with the trends apparent from the postwar period rather than appearing to change direction. The major trends considered are as follows:
|Our Timeline||Caroline Timeline|
|Moore's Law - exponential increase in computing power||Vannevar's Law - linear increase in computing power|
|Assassination of John Lennon||Survival of John Lennon|
|Militant Tendency in the UK Labour Party||UK Labour Party stays moderate|
|Popularity of Punk movement||Punk movement brief and obscure|
|Spread of AIDS to the developed world||AIDS stays in Africa|
|Post-war consensus breaks down||Post-war consensus continues|
|Queen Elizabeth II did not abdicate||Queen abdicated in Charles III's favour (hence the name of the history).|
|Reaganomics continues||Democrats win 1983 US Presidential election Reaganomics is abandoned|
|Cold War and Stalinism collapse||Cold War and Stalinism continue|
Points of Divergence
There are a total of nine PODs, illustrating the improbability of the 1970s continuing. Having said that, several of them operate on a hair trigger and could easily have gone the other way. Here they are in chronological order:
1820 - Augustus De Morgan's mathematical ability remains undiscovered by the family friend and he goes on to become a Unitarian Minister.
1907 - James Murray Spangler is able to market the domestic vacuum cleaner successfully and does not sell the patent to Hoover. As a result, the design of the Spangler, as it is known in the Caroline Timeline, is different, there are a number of surprising innovations and Mark Chapman succeeds in committing suicide before shooting John Lennon
1910s - Ted Grant's parents do not separate and he does not become radicalised by her lodger.
1948 - Malcolm McLaren's parents do not separate, his aunt is less influential on his life and he fails to market punk.
24th May 1959 - Francois Duvalier correctly judges his insulin dose and does not suffer a heart attack or psychosis-inducing brain damage. Haiti does not become an authoritarian regime and there is no Haitian diaspora.
27th August 1979 - Lord Louis Mountbatten's wife persuades him not to take the boat out lobster fishing in County Sligo and he is not assassinated. Amanda Knatchbull, his daughter, marries the Prince of Wales, and Mountbatten persuades Queen Elizabeth II of England to abdicate in Charles's favour in 1983.
The result of all this is a world resulting from the same trends which applied up until the end of the '70s, as different from the 1970s as OTL but also as different from OTL as the 1970s.