Alternate History

In Frederick's Fields

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In Flanders Fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below

-John McCrae, Lieutenant of the European War

The ending half of the ninteenth century was a pivotal point for European history. Nationalism and militarism were on the rise throughout the continent. Nations from across the area were doing things of (at best) questionable morality, to prove they were stronger and more powerful than the rest of the world. The Germans developed their Kulturkampf, destined to destroy the Polish and Catholic identities. The British spread across the globe, painting one quarter of the map pink. The French and Belgians developed their colonies in Africa, brutally holding the native inhabitants as slaves. Rather than point out to a single winner, these tactics only increased resentment across the world. Eventually, webs of alliances formed, leading most people to be tangled in this web that would eventually doom the world's youth.

This period of history was full of places where it could have changed dramatically. One of these such events occurred in 1878, where Doctor Karl Nobiling, a leftist from Berlin, saw Emperor William of Germany driving on his open carriage. Nobiling aimed and fired a shotgun from the window of a house, destined towards ending William I's reign, with Bismark's conservative policies behind it.

Much has been speculated about what would have happened, had he failed. Yet he didn't.

With William dead, and Nobiling having quietly disappeared into the slums of Berlin without anybody noticing, William's eldest son, Frederick, would ascend to the throne as Frederick IV, German Emperor. A renowed liberal, Frederick would forever change the course of history.

Frederick's  liberal reforms would inspire his cousin, Alexander II, to do similar things in Russia. His changes, which many conspiracy theorists believe were secretly caused by the terrorist group turned political party Narodnaya Volya, would forever change the face of Russia.

The liberalisation of Germany and Russia proved to be extremely important, not only in domestic policy, but in foreign one too. Britain started to seek alliances with democratic powers, content to try and isolate France.

A great war would soon bloom, which would upturn millions of poppies in the fields of Flanders. Had Frederick not succeeded when he had, the Great War on Europe would have been extremely different. It is fair to say, therefore, that these fields of wars were, indeed, Frederick's Fields.

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