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Alternate History

Forward and Backward

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Rationale

This is an a timeline in which the world is more advanced technologically but more primitive politically than OTL. There are two Points Of Divergence:

1. King James II of England has only one child.

2. James Watt is sent to school at the age of six.

Timeline

Late 1687 - POD#1: King James II fails to conceive a child with Mary of Modena. He also fails to conceive any more children at all over the rest of his life. Hence there is no Jacobite Succession, but there is a Protestant Stuart Succession.

1688 - No Glorious Revolution,

1689 - No Bill Of Rights. Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, born to Princess Anne.

1700 - Prince William does not die.

1701 - Act of Settlement states that no Non-Conformist or Catholic can inherit the throne and no member of the Royal Family may marry a Catholic or Non-Conformist.

1702 - James II of England dies and is succeeded by Queen Anne.

1707 - Act Of Union between England and Scotland.

1714 - Queen Anne dies and is succeeded by William III, her son (not William of Orange).

1730 - The future William IV is born.

1736 - James Watt born.

1742 - POD#2: Following advice from a family friend, James Watt is sent to school. He fails to make his observation of the kettle or speculate at leisure on it and goes on to become a mere instrument maker without improving the design of the steam engine.

William III dies and is succeeded by his son, William IV.

1756 - A brief war between Prussia and Austria breaks out and Prussia loses out, becoming part of the Russian Empire.

1763 - Cuba and the Philippines become British colonies. Meanwhile, French territories in India and North America persist.

1770s - No Boston Tea Party or American Revolutionary War. North America is a patchwork of colonies belonging to Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Russia.

1789 - No French Revolution. Lavoisier lives longer.

1800 - William IV dies.

1801 - George Medhurst's Aeolian Engine, being more efficient than the steam engine, is used to power factories in Welsh Wales, the West of Ireland and the Outer Hebrides.

1802 - First vehicles powered by compressed air.

1811 - Pneumatic postal services in use.

1813 - Atmospheric railways begin to be built for local transport and to move goods from the Welsh, Irish and Scottish factories, though sail remains very important.

1816 - Stirling Engine invented.

1820 - Solar-powered Stirling Engine enables power for factories in eastern part of Great Britain.

1822 - Solar- and wood-powered Stirling Engine applied succesfully to balloon flights, creating the first airship. They prove to be relatively safe under a hydrogen envelope without much risk of explosion due to the absence of a boiler and because the sun provides free energy make it impossible for the airships to be completely becalmed in daylight.

1825 - Airship makes the first seven-mile circuit centred on Notre Dame.

First Pneumatic Tabulating Calculator built by British government.

1827 - Britain launches a 400' airship.

1835 - First commercial airline transports passengers between major British cities and is used to lift freight to and from "Celtic fringe" factories faster than sail.

1837 - First pneumatic decimal computer with conditional branching built.

1839 - Passenger airships now safer.

Computers used to control payroll and stock in large companies.

Computer-controlled pipe organs in use in churches.

1841 - First air raids carried out using airships. The largest airships are now 650' long. The ships prove to be vulnerable to gunfire due to the hydrogen and fragility of the fabric.

1843- More air raids carried out in higher altitude airships out of the reach of anti-airship guns at five miles above sea level. This necessitates the development of environmental protection suits which retain warmth via a vacuum layer and are sealed with their own oxygen supply for safety.

Airships are now able to travel 4000 miles reliably.

1844 - Airships are now able to reach the top of the stratosphere. This fact is exploited by dropping weights onto cities from thirty miles up as weapons.

First moving walkways constructed in Paris and London.

1846 - First high-level programming language.

1853 - Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean crossed by air. Africa also explored by air. Men begin to explore the surface of Antarctica, prospecting for mineral resources.

1854 - The British Empire sets up the first slave factory farms.

1855 - First mass slave vivisection laboratories. Similar facilities are set up in North America and Australia.

1850s - Sounding rockets sent into the thermosphere.

1861 - Colour photography in use.

First sound recordings.

1880 - Reform Bill adjusts sizes and locations of parliamentary constituencies to account for large Welsh, Irish and Hebridean industrial cities, abolish rotten boroughs and extends the franchise to the middle classes.

1888 - First cine film, in colour and with sound.

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