It is the year 1848!
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, working in London, had written The Communist Manifesto and published in German in London on February 21, 1848.
The world's Liberals promise change, but at what cost? Anger swells in the Italian states, France, the German states, Denmark, Schleswig, the Habsburg Empire, Hungary, Switzerland, today's Western Ukraine, Greater Poland, Danubian Principalities, Belgium, Ireland, the USA, New Grenada and Brazil!... The first major outbreak came in Sicily, starting in January 1848. Then there was the French Revolution of 1848.
In Dresden, the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony, the people took to the streets asking King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony to engage in electoral reform, social justice and for a constitution.
Ever since the revolutionary events of 1830, Saxony had been ruled as a constitutional monarchy with a two-chamber legislature and a responsible ministry. This constitution continued to serve as the basis of the Saxon government until 1918. However the Revolution of 1848 brought more popular reforms in the government of Saxony. In 1849, other residents left for destinations across the Atlantic. Many natives of Saxony, such as Michael Machemehl, left for Texas where they joined other Germans in creating a German Texan community.
In Bavaria, King Ludwig I lost prestige because of his support for his favourite mistress Lola Montez, a dancer and actress unacceptable to the aristocracy or the Church. She tried to launch liberal reforms using a Protestant prime minister, which outraged the Catholic conservatives of Bavaria. On February 9, the conservative public of Bavaria came out onto the streets in protest. This conservative protest on February 9, 1848 was the first demonstration in that revolutionary year of 1848. However this was an exception among the wave of liberal protests in 1848. The conservatives merely wanted to be rid of Lola Montez. They had no political agenda or demands for change. Nonetheless, liberal students took advantage of the Lola Montez affair to stress their demands for political change in Bavaria. Hamburg, Bremen, Lübeck and Frankfurt are independent as in OTL, but ATL more stubborn on staying independent.
Because of Prussia's size and economic importance, the smaller Germanic states began to join Prussia's free trade area in the 1820s. Prussia benefited greatly from the creation in 1834 of the German Customs Union (Zollverein), which included most German states but excluded Austria. Starting on May 18, 1848, the Frankfurt Assembly set about trying to find ways to unite the various German states into a single nation and to write a constitution. However, the Assembly proved to be unable to make any resolute decisions and degenerated into a mere debating club. A Prussian border war with Denmark may occur soon and a tensions now simmer with with Austria is imminent over the ownership of Silesia. Norway, Spain and Switzerland are still neutral.
The Dutch, French, British, Russian and Portuguese Empires are fast expanding in in Asia and/or Africa.
The Confederate states condemn some aspects of the Union and a few calls for selection! Remember- slavery was a big issue back then! One of the things at the heart of the conflict was the question of whether Kansas would allow or outlaw slavery, and thus enter the Union as a slave state or a free state. Pro-slavery forces said every settler had the right to bring his own property, including slaves, into Kansas Territory. Anti-slavery "free soil" forces said the rich slaveholders would buy up all the good farmland and work them with black slaves, leaving little or no opportunity for non-slaveholders. An armed conflict in the territory looked imminent!
Republic of Texas is still independent (its' a Althistory site after all) and just managed to hold on (it's 1848, but they are as in the closing days of 1846), The annexation ultimately sparked the OTL American-Mexican War, but this is yet to ATL happen! The great California gold rush began on January 24, 1848; but in this world it is still in Mexico.
The Oregon Treaty of 1846 marked the effective end of the Hudson's Bay Company's Columbia Department.
Locally responsible government established in Nova Scotia and Canada Province in 1848. First Canadian telegraph lines are also laid in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick that year.
The República de Yucatán limps on in Mexico and the Caste War of Yucatán also rumbles on in the Chan Santa Cruz Maya. South America is squabbling amongst its self.
Uruguayan Civil War began in 1839 and still goes on. Juan Manuel de Rosas was Governor of Buenos Aires Province with the 'sum of public power', thus becoming president. The Buenos Aires leader deposed by Rosas in 1829, General Juan Lavalle, also led a series of rebellions with different alliances against Rosas and the Federal Pact until Lavalle's defeat and assassination in 1841. Argentina would be a troubled lad for many years.
Several European ships have charted Australia's coast, but on a few have made short landings after 1845. Most of the land is British claimed and the rest is international assumed to be so, but it's largely not even mapped!
The Russian are after the Khars region of Turkey, Moldavia and parts of northern China, Persia is under Pressure, Afghanistan is a different OTL shape back then and Russia is bullying the Central Asian emirates Khiva and Bukhara.
The Mighty Japanese Empire is just about to form and tensions between the Japanese shogunates and China simmer over Korea and the Ryukyu islands. Japan is thinking of opening up to the West.
King Pagan Min, was the ninth king of the Konbaung dynasty of Burma. He was granted the title of Prince of Pagan by his father Tharrawaddy in August 1842. Pagan Min became king when Tharrawaddy died on 17 November 1846, with the formal title of His Majesty "Pyinsama Thangayana-tin Sri Pawara Vijaya Nanda Jatha Maha Dharma Rajadhiraja Pagan Min Taya-gyi". Pagan Min won the power struggle to succeed his father by having his rival brothers killed. He had married 18 times. His chief ministers Maung Baing Zat and Maung Bhein enriched themselves by fraiming and executing rich subjects.
At this time Africa was still a new land! Oman was trying to keep its informal grip on the Swahili Coast and Anglo-Boer tensions simmered on. Oyo, Abyssinia, Katmawzmbe, Kongo and the Ashanti could shape the region.
Some African nations were regionally potent in 1848 and good gameplay. Try to change history, save an African nation, and thus White colonialism may not win? The game won't be boring if someone plays the Boers!
The Zulu's Chief Mpande, was monarch of the Zulu Kingdom from 1840 to 1872, making him the longest reigning Zulu king, but for the latter part of his reign he was king in name only as His son Cetshwayo became de facto ruler in 1856. He was a half-brother of Shaka and Dingane, who both preceded him as kings of the Zulu. He came to power after overthrowing Dingane in 1840. Mpande himself claimed that he preferred a quiet life and had only become king because he was forced into it by local circumstances.