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The year is 1991, and the cold war has ended after years of resistance to the Soviet Union's Communist influence. Now, the west begins to show off its huge consumerist power, with industries and commercialist companies popping up all over former Communist Europe. With the end of the greatest nearly-war in history comes peace and calm, but also the beginning of an era that would be dominated by western powers, namely the US and western Europe, as well as other rising powers - Brazil, Canada, Australia, among others Russia remains somewhat powerful, and China and India also flourish (especially in population) in Asia, but unmistakeably the power has now centred in the consumerist West.
And with that, as China and India continue to kick their heels in the sand, Western influence, language, and ideal takes over. Even as the world becomes less of a European-centred club, the balance is held confidently by American politicians, leaders of the last superpower in the world, and their loose allies over the Atlantic, rubbing their hands with glee while money, generated worldwide, pours in. In particular, the people have a unique mindset. Many have come to disregard the whims and woes of their leaders, comparing them to other, more rapidly growing neighbours. Many want a new type of leadership, or at least the freedom to control their own futures, rather than let them be guided by desperate diplomats.
Yet, western politics holds strong. None of the great powers buckles, even after an international recession. The whimsical, unpopular leaders hold their countries together, and slowly they heave and tug their discerning cattle into, what they hope, an era of great profit and worldwide trade.
But, here we come to the PoD, our zone of change. Let's imagine these politicians, seen by their citizens to be corrupt and feeble, were actually as corrupt and feeble as everybody already knew. Perhaps the leaders each cannot take the strain of such leadership, and resignation follows resignation. Politicians will take any sum of money to wreak havoc on their parliaments and constitutions. While worldwide powers flourish and multiply in number, Europe and the Americas take a long, painful tumble down the hill of collapse, and in a striking imitation of the Soviet crumbling just a decade before, the strong pillars of the West are chipped away.
An inevitable domino effect follows. While not solely reliant on their powerful neighbours, it becomes difficult to grow with the friends and allies each relied on tumbling into the same pitfalls. A recession comes, more desolating and destructive than even the Great Depression of the 1930s. It comes six years earlier than in OTL, in 2002, but hits with an annihilating force. Whole counties and states topple. Company after company goes out of business. And with recession, comes riot, and, slowly, day by day, the men and women of their nations seize control.
The power now has changed hands rapidly. Everyday decisions are decided by the people, leaders too scared to make a single policy for fear of angering their population. The States are the first to go, followed by their loyal apostle, the UK. Europe takes a tumble now, and within months Spain, France, Italy slump off the steep edges of sanity, scratching and dragging the rest of the Eurozone with it (with the exception of Germany, the sole European power, when its people remain vigilant in the crisis). For just a few months or perhaps even weeks, these states are an emblem of pure democracy - but a failed one. Decisions, made by an ignorant people, drive the nations to destruction.
But of course, this will never last. Sooner or later a leader will come to power who recognises the flaws of his forefathers, and is strong enough of will to change it himself. There is backlash, and a lot of it. Nevertheless, nations step back onto both feet. By the year 2009, the recession is over and the world economy is growing. The future looks promising.
So, what is left but a tight whip of backlash among the affected nations? What, indeed. For the many countries did not simply slip out of revolution while the rebels were looking away. Sacrifices were made, beginning with France and the UK, in a unique form, one carefully engineered, that would see the end of each rebellion - the land was to be divided, piece by piece, and many, many new nations were made.