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The Compromise (CYOAH! Redux)

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Previous: Left Vs Right Fights on German Streets

After several weeks of negotiations, the emperor and chancellor, all parliamentary parties, the heads of the member states and further representatives from all religious groups as well as representatives of most social movements involved in the conflicts sign the Imperial Compromise ("Reichsausgleich").

Its main points:

  • The unified Civil Law Code, containing all the controversial provisions about women`s rights, along with new laws guaranteeing free and unlimited access to education and employment for everyone regardless of sex or creed as well as protecting union members and the role of trade unions in trade disputes, is introduced in 31 of the 38 member states. The "seven dissenters" (Münster, Westfalen, Paderborn, Fulda, Eichsfeld, Württemberg and Bavaria) keep their respective civil law systems and are excepted from the above-mentioned new public laws. (The group of 31 will come to be known as the "Parliamentary loyalists", the seven dissenters as "the emperor`s loyalists".)
  • No side will attempt to destabilise the other in any way. To enforce this, all member states agree on the establishment of a permanent bureau for the co-ordination of their sovereign police forces. Parliaments and heads of state are to hold similar round tables in cases of public unrest.
  • Universal suffrage is extended to women at federal elections and in the Parliamentary-loyalist states, but not in elections for the parliaments of the seven dissenter states.
  • A progressive income tax is levied federally, with its revenue split according to constitutional provisions into parliament`s and emperor`s budgets. To secure the churches` financial fundament, church taxes in concordance with federal income tax shall also be levied by the states and directly transferred to all enregistered confessions. Enregistered confessions agree not to act aggressively against each other in any way; a meta-synode is to be held in case disputes must be settled.
  • The Reichswehr must not intervene in inner-German conflicts

The Imperial Compromise establishes inner peace, shapes Germany over the next decades and attracts interest across the continent and beyond.

Liberal Germany celebrates social progress and the success of social movements in reshaping the polity. The images of the protesting and triumphing "Women of ´93" become ingrained and are later idolised and stylised in art, literature and popular films. Millions of working, well-educated women follow in their footsteps. The working class has another set of heroes, too. Strengthened trade unions and improved social security will turn the parliamentary-loyalist German states into egalitarian, highly cohesive societies with increasingly high living standards (like OTL 20th century Scandinavia) which make parliamentary-loyalist Germany`s working class the envy of proletarians world-wide and improves the attractiveness of the social-democratic reformist agenda considerably in the wake of labour struggles across the world at the beginning of the 20th century.

Conservative Germany suffers de-urbanisation and de-industrialisation, as both highly-qualified families who seek good education for their daughters, too, and workers lured by higher wages move to the parliamentary-loyalist states. But it eventually recovers from the defeat in the ´93 Revolution they had never intended to ignite, as constitutional provisions provide the emperor`s loyalist states with more than their fair share of income tax money. Eventually, they take over the role Switzerland played in OTL, with a grey area financial industry (after all, Southern germany has a long tradition of banking...) that absorbs money from launderers and tax evaders all over the world. Financial industry, traditional crafts and agriculture become the economic foundation of the emperor-loyalist states.

Germany`s contractualised inner division keeps it pretty much out of foreign affairs, with continually left-leaning parliaments and the emperor never agreeing on what kind of foreign policy agenda to pursue. (Germany only signs free-trade and  mutual assistance agreements with such minor - and also isolationist - players as Belgium, Denmark and Sweden.)

This has deep impacts on the continent`s development. In contrast to OTL and its ambitious, aggressive and uncautious Germany, this Reich never causes Europe to slide into a World War - and, as a consequence, keeps all its 1886 territories. If in OTL, Europe was a powder keg, this timeline`s isolationist Germany is like constant rain which keeps said powder always wet and unable to ignite.

The 1893 Revolution has not only cushioned continental conflicts; it also inspires social and national movements elsewhere to orient towards forming broad coalitions and pushing reformist agendas.

Successful national independence movements lead to the peaceful creation of the countries of Norway and Ireland in the 1910s and India, Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in the 1920s. Within the German Empire, the Polish, Kashubian and Sorbs achieve autonomy in 1904, establishing member states no.s 39, 40 and 41 (all parliamentary-loyalist) at the detriment of Brandenburg-Prussia.

Other independence movements become violent, yet succeeded:

  • The assassination of Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo does not lead to World War I, but to a war between Austria-Hungary on one side and Russia and Romania as well as insurgents from within Austria-Hungary on the other side, in which Austria-Hungary eventually dissolves, creating the independent countries of Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia. Russia annexes Galicia and Romania annexes Transilvania. In the last weeks of the war, Italy also joins the campaign against Austria, annexing Southern Tyrol and the Adriatic shore. (After more than a decade of violent Tyrolean insurgence, though, a referendum is held and South Tyrol rejoins Austria.)
  • The Arabian revolt leads to the dissolution of the Ottoman empire and the creation of a large, united state of Arabia, reaching from OTL Egypt to Iraq and from OTL Yemen to Syria, as well as to the establishment of a Turkish republic. Later rebellions in Libya, Algeria and Morocco lead to the incorporation of these regions into Arabia, too, at the detriment of Italy, France and Spain.

More successful social revolutions start in China, where Germany and the US do not intervene against the Boxers, and continue in Russia, where the Czar is dethroned in 1905 and a republic installed.

The revolutionary mood gains momentum with the onset of capitalism`s greatest crisis so far in 1916. After decades of unprecedented economic growth, which in some countries was distributed extremely unequally and in others less so, the crisis was explained by economists either as overproduction or debt crisis, beginning in the US and Britain and quickly spreading to other industrialised nations. The misery caused by rising unemployment, decreasing production, falling wages and rising prices for consumption goods is aggravated by the outbreak of a particularly dangerous type of influenza in 1917.

Amidst this chaos, a revolution turns France into a republic with a coalition government of liberal democrats, socialists and mutualists. Britain is paralysed by a general strike until large parts of the industry are nationalised under a newly installed Labour government. Spain becomes a republic with a coalition government of democrats, socialists and anarchists, too, while Italy is gripped by anarchist revolts. Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands pursue reformist reconstruction policies.

By the end of the 1920s, production and living standards have reached their pre-1916 levels. Britain`s Labour government has granted independence to India, Burma, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while French syndicalists withdrew from Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Africa, in large parts the only colonialised continent left, starts to shake off its yoke, too. The weakened state of Italy is seized upon by Arab rebels who secure Libya. As rebellion spreads to Algeria and Morocco, the left-wing governments of France and Spain start an initiative for the construction of stable structures for a future independent Africa integrated into world markets and internatonal co-operation treaties. Britain is in two minds about this, at least as long as Portugal and Arabia won`t come to the negotiating table.Thus, Algeria and Morocco will have to fight for their independence and inclusion into Arabia.

By the end of the 1930s (which do not see the rise of any Nazis, but continued Japanese aggression against China), women have equal rights in almost all countries, welfare states have been built and a mixed economy provides slow but stable grwoth. With liberal Democrat Franklin Roosevelt becoming president, the US join this trend and also push for the African Future Conference.

It does not come into existence until 1942, but in the build-up to it, the League of Nations is founded, with more than 90 % of the countries of the world joining it.

The African Future Conference, held in Addis Abeba (the capital of Ethiopia, which had managed to remain independent throughout the entire colonialist period), decides that

  • all colonial structures be completely withdrawn from Africa by January 1st, 1950
  • all territories currently under colonial power shall simultaneously gain independence as a union named Pan-African Confederacy (PAC)
  • PAC structures will be prepared with the assistance of nation-building experts from India and eastern Europe
  • all villages, towns and cities are free to form states and give themselves constitutions as they see fit, which would become founding members of the PAC by 1950 with the right to secession by referendum after 1960.
  • all states are free to form federations among themselves as they see fit
  • the PAC shall command over a confederal African Peace Force comprising 250,000 soldiers, paid for by the League of Nations until 1962, when the questions of its African financing and a PAC constitution should be sorted out
  • the PAC shall represent the member states in the League of Nations and in other foreign relations, holding a common diplomatic corps, and shall have a parliament and a Supreme Court, where inter-state disputes are to be settled
  • elections for the PAC parliament shall be held in 1949, the Parliament having to draft a constitution for the PAC in 1950 with a two-thirds majority.

This proves a good solution, with the PAC having between 100 and 500 member states over the course of time, but securing unprecedented peace and stability on the continent, with economic development focusing on Nigeria and Eastern Central Africa first, but spreading from there ot other parts of the continent throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

In East Asia, China is able to muster enough strength to fend off Japanese attacks in the end, and a Peace Treaty is signed by China, Japan, and Korea in 1953.

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the differences between parliament-loyalist and emperor-loyalist Germany start to disappear, with the latter gradually introducing everything the former already had. In 1972, the Imperial Compromise is finally given up and new constitutional assembly drafts a unitary parliamentary federal constitution for all of Germany, reducing the emperor and any remaining local non-elected sovereign to the function of mere figureheads and unifying laws and provisions across the country.

By this time, the European nations have signed many treaties of co-operation and free trade, much like their South East Asian and Latin American counterparts. Conservative and Catholic parties have adapted to parliamentary democracy and frequently take turns with the left-wing parties in dominating parliaments and running governments.

Instead of becoming known for two gruesome World Wars, the Holocaust and the Cold War, the 20th century goes down into history as the century of decolonialisation, peace, democracy and growing prosperity world-wide.

By the 1960s, ecological problems become major issues across the industrialised world (which is larger than in OTL by that time). Local strategies are implemented, but international co-operation takes until 1986, when a maximum credible accident in a nuclear power plant in the Russian Federation contaminates parts of Europe, and finally comprehensive treaties on energy production and consumption, forest protection, waste recycling, species protection, and desert containment are signed and henceforth enforced.

Now, some years into the 21st century, the major challenges for a peaceful and prosperous planet are establishing transparency, legality and universal access to the world-wide communication networks and ensuring universal participation in high-quality education, required for the participation in technologically ever-advanced production processes.

And all this due to Germany not being dominated by a militarist Prussian elite..! :-)

End of timeline.

Salvador79 (talk) 14:13, February 12, 2014 (UTC)

Turn The Other Cheek (CYOAH! Redux)

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