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What if Tsar Alexander II (the only Tsar that seemed truly democratic) had not been assassinated in 1881 and had implemented the reforms he had planned?
The Serfs would have been emancipated in 1861 and 1866, in the same years that in the real history. This would have lead to a series of reforms that would have come to its height in 1881, in 1875 the constitutional monarchy was instated: The Tsar was the head of State while the prime minister was the head of the government, The head of government was chosen by the parliament between the parties with parliamentary representation. First completely democratic elections were conducted on 15 December 1875, in the same year that freedom of speech was instated in all the empire; the initial election period was six years but in the second elections of 1881, when the women voted for the first time, which was changed from six to four years. In 1883, more reforms were implemented in the Grand Duchy of Finland, and that reforms were:
- Increasing Finnish autonomy from Russia, giving Finland complete control of her own internal affairs and international affairs.
The Finnish military would take entire control for all Finnish military activities except border protection.
- Implementation, as a test for all Russia, of the compulsory education of all people, paid for by the state. The education will be in Finnish completely, though there will be compulsory classes of Swedish, Russian, and English.
- Possibility for Finland to make referendum concerning internal questions.
Freedom of speech was already instated in the Grand Duchy of Finland.
The first two imperial elections were won by the Liberal Conservative Party
1885 Elections marked the appearance of a new political party, the National-Liberal, which was a more Centrist party which wanted some more reforms like reducing the powers of the Tsar (for example, his authority to sentence someone to prison) and, as a bigger test for all Russia, the application of all the reforms implemented in Finland to the Baltic Provinces and Congress Poland (the part of Poland then belonging to Russia).
Results of following elections:
1889= Conservative Party
1893= National Liberal Party
1897= Social Democratic party (this was the first victory of a left wing party in Europe prior to the victory of the SPD in Germany, but being a modern left-wing party, similar to the leftist parties of today, and not against the monarchy; it was more or less like British Labour.)
In 1899 new elections are held in Finland and the future Marshall Carl Gustav Mannerheim is elected as Prime Minister of Finland, for the Centrist Democratic Party.
Tsar Alexander II dies in 1900 and his funeral is even today the largest funeral attended in Russian History, with at least two million people at his funeral. He is remembered as the Tsar who made Russia a democratic country. Elections are moved because that from 1901 to 1900 the conservative party wins again. Alexander III never comes to throne as no one saw him as suitable for the throne due to his authoritarian character, he retired to Aland Islands in Finland. As Emperor comes to the throne as Pavel I, the Duke Paul Alexandrovich, one of the youngest sons of Alexander II and who, as was his father, was loved by the people and he was a very accessible man. He was one of the first Tsars to walk among the people and talk directly to the masses. 1904 elections mark the appearance of a new party, the Centrist Party(in all the Empire), which wins all the elections till 1914. In that year, compulsory and free education is Extended to the whole Russian Empire. In 1918 Poland achieves independence, of Austria,and Germany, and Russia. Poland declares independence in 1918 as a kingdom with the Russian Emperor as the king of Poland, so does Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania as grand duchies and all countries that in OTL become independent from Russia in the same year as republics.
Russia has a Border with Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Free City of Danzig the Free City of Memel, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, China, Tajikistan, and the Empire of Korea.
In the first decade of the 1900’s, with Japan not having any dictatorship, Korea starts a modernisation process as the previous nation mentioned did.
In 1936 Paul Alexandrovich dies and Kiril II succeeds him.
Meanwhile, in Spain, the "Lausanne Manifesto" which called for a democratic Spain as a parliamentary monarchy under the legitimate heir to the throne in the Bourbon family and for the pacifical overthrow of the Francoist regime by a combination of actions of the non-fascist members of the aforementioned totalitarian regime (liberals, Carlists, monarchists, etc), succeeds, with Juan III (the before-said legitimate king with in OTL never reigned though he was also considered king), succeeds, with the Catalan Speaking territories separating themselves from Spain and the Basque Country-Navarre too. Galicia, not having a majority in favour of independence, is given a special autonomy regime. The country keeps the Spanish Sahara as there was no more Francoism after '45 and it can concentrate all its efforts in defending it for the self determination of that people against Morocco. Surprisingly the No in the referendum for independence wins. Spain keeps also Sidi Ifni and makes Equatorial Guinea a protectorate after an invasion for overthrowing the brutal dictator Francisco Macías Nguema.
Indonesia becomes independent in 1969 after the second referendum scheduled for Indonesia to decide if they maintain their integral part of the Netherlands status or becoming independent.
Corsica became independent in 1947 so there is no state of war in the island since 1885 to 1985 as in our real time, no cultural genocide, etc, France became much more decentralized.
Italy recuperates Nizza and Savoia
Malta decides to become part of Italy in 1967 as the British leave the country instead of independence (in years before independence, Italian irredentism was quite popular in Malta in OTL and in this TL is even bigger)
In 1948 the United Party won the elections in South Africa by the minimum and Jan Smuts is made the prime minister of South Africa, as he not was in favour of apartheid but it was already discrimination to the blacks without apartheid, he declares that he wants blacks to be equals to whites, same measures applied to the coloureds, the Bantustans, thus, are not created and all the discriminatory laws referring to blacks are repelled and declared null and void by decree of Smuts (Landbevolkering wet van 1948) In South West Africa, the white population is as great as the South African one, speaking primarily German and Afrikaans South Africa then continues to being a monarchy. All discriminatory laws to blacks and coloureds and all other not white communities are abolished. South Africa establishes an equal representation law (Kwotas-reg.)
Meanwhile, the Communist party of the Russian Empire, which accepts the monarchy and democracy as the Japanese Communist party, won the 1940, 1952, 1974, 1991, 1994, and 2000 elections. The Conservative party won all the elections since 2004 to 2012, in which the National Liberal party obtains a landslide victory. Thanks to Russia, the UK and Germany, as leading force of the majority of European countries, the EU idea has not been well received but they are still some defenders, however, border crossing is free for all the citizens of any European country (including Israel and Russia).
Kiril II dies in 2012 at age of 112 and having reigned the historical amount of 76 years. His son, Bogdan, born in 1920, renounces the throne due to his advanced age and so does his son Pyotr, therefore, as Russian Imperial laws still don't permit women of acceding to the throne but all male candidates have renounced, Russia enters a period of regency until that same year, the parliament abolishes the law barring women from reigning so that the youngest daughter of the marriage, Sigrid, born in 1964 when his father Pyotr and his mother Sonia were 22 and 18 years old respectively, can access the throne.
She is therefore proclaimed as "Reigning Empress of all Russias, including being the queen of Belarus and Hetmaness of Ukraine, Great Duchess of Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania, Owner in the name of the Kingdom of Sweden of the Aland Islands, Lady of Hiiumaa and Saaremaa, Lady of Alaska, Commander of Fort Ross, Owner of the Russian Caribbean Islands, Lady of Kazan and of Volga Bulgaria, of the lands of the north, Emiress of Chechnya, Dagestan, and Ingushetia, Supreme Ataman of the Cossacks, etc."
Russia is still divided in governorates and oblasts with the exception of the territories mentioned in the constitution.
The World Today
Is as follows:
- Russia never sold Alaska to the US and kept possessions in California - never selling them to the Spanish.
- Russia is the main world power
- English is the world lingua franca.
- Germany is a country with a level of life similar to nowadays Poland.
- The USA is a large industrial power but continues to remain isolated.
- Britain has the biggest military in the world.
- Catalan Countries, The Basque Country, and Galicia are independent states since 1945, the year in which the "Lausanne Manifesto" succeeded in Spain (unlike in our OTL) with Franco being overthrown by democratic forces following orders of Juan (then king-in-waiting of Spain)