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1800s: The "Modern" World
The 1800s were a time of immense change all over the world - making the 1700s pale by comparison. Nearly everything, including technology, architecture, national boundaries, power relations, and social mores, were part of the process. While technology helped people to live better, it also fueled overpopulation and produced new instruments of war. Architectural skill would dramatically fall...and then rebound, over these one hundred years. Colonial powers would get into a heated battle for continued imperial dominance, and then lose their empires as sovereignty was attained by many new states. In the latter part of the century, Europe's economic rise was palpable. Changes in cultures and liberalization in certain segments of populations produced infighting between members of the same ethnic groups and nations, while helping minorities attain power they never thought they'd wield. Whereas coal was the fuel of choice in the 1700s, in the 1800s this became petroleum. Whether the people knew it or not, it was this compact form of highly-transportable energy which was instrumental in kicking off this bold new world.
In the year 1800, most people of the world simply walked, and rode horse - (or human) - drawn carriages at times. Bicycles had reached mass-marketing potential in the late 1700s, and were gaining ground in the early 1800s. Long-haul trains, likewise, had been already invented, but it was only in the 1800s that they became major modes of mass transportation. By the end of the century, a city wouldn't be complete without a slew of commuter lines crisscrossing it. The takeoff and evolution of automobiles, airplanes, spacecraft, and computers, in particular, would give people a new sense of themselves and humanity, and the incredible speed of innovation kept people expecting that tomorrow would always be more comfortable, convenient, and advanced than today, just as today was more advanced than yesterday.
The Early Years
The early 1800s at first looked a lot like a continuation of the 1700s. China, Japan and Sri Vijaya were the undisputed colonial powers of the world. Spain was trying to become a major power in the Mediterranean, and was successful so far. Although Meixikou had gained independence in Yodderick, at least they were ethnic Chinese, and there was no immediate cause for concern that the other races would pull the same stunt. The idea of colonialism was unshaken. In fact, Meixikou continued to be a major trading partner with China. China merely had to get more land to make up for what it had lost.
Social Turmoil in Sri Vijaya
Across the modern world, there came to be not only expanding pockets of liberalization, but also increased cultural awareness among minority ethnic groups. In the early 1810s, student demonstrations in major western Sri Vijayan cities such as Palembang (பலெம்பங்), Jambi (ஜம்பி), Temasek (டெமஸெக; OTL Singapore), and Sunda Kelapa (ஸுன்ட கெலப; OTL Jakarta), demanded that the people be allowed to choose people to represent them in a council that could supplement the Maharaja's power. Although the empire was extremely wealthy, this wealth was distributed quite unevenly. The cities were developing, and were becoming quite magnificent to behold, and besides this, more people were wealthy than ever before, but this new wealth brought with it a desire for even more. People weren't content with merely earning enough money to survive, but wanted change in the stuffy government. At first, it was the sons and daughters of the richest Sri Vijayans that felt the need to help the less fortunate, the environment, and minorities. Later, the less educated people would join in.
When the demonstrations were just by college students, there was an air of nonviolence over the proceedings. However, this would not last for long, as these protests would turn into riots in some of the less-wealthy and ethnically divergent eastern provinces. This thirst for democracy let to a thirst for sovereignty among some minority groups, and indeed, some of these movements didn't have democracy in mind at all. Two major pockets of violence turned into what are known as the "Ugi Rebellion" and the "Dayak Insurgency".
The Ugi Rebellion
This conflict, (from 1819-1820) was sparked when a major increase in piracy failed to be prevented by Ugi (Bugis) warlords of southern Sulabesi (Sulawesi). There was a deadline for the warlords (ostensibly dukes) to significantly decrease the levels of piracy, or they would be stripped from power. With this, the South Sulabesi dukes usurped the democracy movements, and declared independence from Sri Vijaya. Although this was called the "Ugi Rebellion", the Makassarese chiefs also took part. As South Sulabesi contained more than 50% of the population of the island, this was a major deal. In response, Sri Vijayan battleships blockaded the ports of Makassar and Pare Pare. After 11 days of a stalemate, one battleship anchored at Makassar port, and soldiers began alighting. While an uneasy feeling prevailed over the gathering, chatting soon broke out among some of the locals, and an atmosphere of friendship was regained for the moment. Suddenly, cannon fire erupted from farther inland, and one shell pierced the standing battleship and created a large explosion. The volley continued while those on the battleship frantically tried to raise anchor and sight their 300mm guns on the offenders. One counter volley was gotten off when the fire on board reached a magazine, and after a bright flash, the entire ship was blown to pieces.
The crew on land was taken aback. There were no orders given from the top, and thus, there was panic. Soon, the Ugi got to shore and fired on the Sri Vijayan Navy men, who were outnumbered yet fought back. In the end, every naval man on shore was slaughtered. During this time, the other battleships were ordered to wait, but from their vantage, they could see the battle unfolding onshore. Although it was too late, one captain defied orders and brought the ship to striking distance. Over the next two hours, it pounded land targets non-stop and managed to inflict major casualties on the Ugi army, while also killing civilians who were unfortunate enough to be nearby. This captain was later stripped of his post (and made a lieutenant), but came back to Sri Vijaya a hero, nonetheless. Years later, after his retirement, his rank would officially be restored to captain.
With this provocation, there was no choice but to strike at South Sulabesi, and strike hard. One helpful turn of events was that some of the warlords now declared loyalty to Sri Vijaya, as they knew that after this bloody episode, resistance was futile against the full brunt of the Sri Vijayan military. Sure enough, the battleships were joined by larger fleets, including huge personnel carriers. The order was given, and the invasion commenced. The battleships battered the coasts of Makassar and Pare Pare with their 300mm guns. By this time, many of the civilians had fled, and the Ugi Independence Army was waiting on the outskirts of the cities. Instead of facing the army head-on, most waited for the soldiers to come to them, to small villages in the outskirts where the intruders could be cut down one by one. However, a show of force (even a failure of one) was still deemed necessary, if only to lull the Sri Vijayans into a false sense of security once these regulars had been obliterated. And obliterated, they were. The Ugi Army recruits primarily relied on "revolver rifles", while the Sri Vijayan force had machine guns at their disposal. Still, the Ugi Army felt that it would be easier to win on one's home-turf. They could blend in with the locals until the need to fight arrived, and the only way the invading force could be sure that the rebels were killed would be to kill everyone - a task they knew the government wasn't up to. Even with this digging in, the Ugis lost roughly eight soldiers for every Sri Vijayan soldier lost. The rebel warlords began to threaten civilians if they didn't join the rebels in their cause. Many did, but many didn't. This would lead to more civilian deaths. After all of the cities, and most major towns were taken, in a last-ditch effort, the warlords holed up in a heavily fortified base. Without the aid of the far-off battleships' guns, this would be a hard nut to crack. The siege could go on for months, as it was deemed too dangerous to pull off a frontal assault and just burst into the compound, with its many soldiers waiting there. Instead, it was decided to use an underutilized technology that had already proven itself in air travel - the blimp. Although airplanes had been invented already, they could not hold many bombs, and there were no attachments at this point for bombs, so people would have to manually throw them down. A blimp could hold a lot of weight, and two such blimps (arriving two weeks after the siege started) began a fire-bombing campaign inside the compound, and also gave valuable information as to how many people were actually inside the compound. The warlords had no anti-aircraft guns of any sort, so they had the soldiers shoot up the air. This proved insufficient to stop the blimps. In the end, the compound caught on fire, and the soldiers surrendered. The rebel warlords were tried and executed, and the rebellion was over.
The Ugi Rebellion was noted for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it contained the first battle to be filmed using movie cameras. The reels (and current digital copies) can still be watched to this day, and they serve as important documentation in the history of warfare. Also, it prodded the Sri Vijayan government to create an air force and utilize the recently-invented airplane in wartime roles. Also, the Ugi Rebellion helped to spark off the Dayak Insurgency, which broke out while the conflict in Sulabesi was still raging.
The Dayak Insurgency
The Dayak Insurgency (1820-1826) was an independence movement by groups of Borneans in the interior of the island. While Sri Vijayan ports, especially on the Malay Peninsula, Vijaya Island (AKA Sarna Dipa, OTL Sumatra), and Java were wealthy and had a modern lifestyle, the interiors of the islands, even the main ones, remained sparsely populated with hunter-gatherers. Although generally of the same race (except for the darker "Semang"), these hunter-gatherers, in practice, didn't have the same rights as those modern-living Malays. More and more, wild places such as Borneo would be forcibly "modernized", with forests burned down, rubber plantations grown, and a foreign, settled populace moving in. This became unbearable to many of the Dayak (especially the "Penan"), and when they learned that the Ugis had rebelled, they decided that it was time to do something. Soon, foreign (non Dayak) rubber tappers were routinely beheaded. This continued until the Sri Vijayan government declared a state of emergency and sent troops to patrol the rubber plantations and small farms in the most hard-hit parts of Borneo. Even though the surveilance was tight, not everyone could be protected, and the Dayak insurgents continued the bloody campaign - this time writing notices on the dead bodies declaring independence and demanding all non-Dayaks leave the island of Borneo. This was too much for the government, and it sent troops into the jungle to look for any rebels. This was difficult, because, unlike the Ugis, they were not arranged into armies of fighting men. Instead, there were just families of people who might or might not have had something to do with the violence. It would take until one Dayak got caught and was interrogated to find out more about who was involved. When the information was learned, the order was given to arrest the whole group that he'd come from and interrogate each member. When this was resisted by the tribe that was found, fighting broke out. Official Sri Vijayan records state that the first to fire was a Dayak with a blowgun. After that, the Sri Vijayan soldiers opened fire, killing all the men they could find, and leaving three Dayak women heavily wounded and left for dead by the troops. This provocation turned even more Dayaks against the government. Soon after that, a government weapons depot was raided - with hundreds of guns and explosives missing. Sporadic fighting between government troops and bands of Dayak continued for a few years, without any major conclusion. Investment in Borneo dried up, and more and more, Orang Asli (aboriginal people) across Sri Vijaya demanded their rights. Environmentalist groups also used this chance to demand a series of natural preservation areas. This led to government reforms and a designation of aboriginal and Dayak areas, as well as natural preservation areas, for the first time. For Borneo, the figure was set at 50% of the island aboriginal, 25% natural and 25% urban/agricultural. (At the time, less than 10% was urban/agricultural, so this still allowed for growth.) Thus ended the Dayak Insurgency.
The outcome of the Dayak Insurgency was an increased responsibility of the government towards minorities and the environment, as well as an increased sense of power among seemingly weak groups. So far, Chinese in Meixikou had defeated other Chinese, and Sri Vijayans (or at least ethnic Malays) had forced Sri Vijaya into a compromise. It was not clear if another race (such as Africans or Europeans) could stand up to the might of a major Asian power, but there would come to be an increased willingness to try.
Arabian Oil Struggle
In 1823, some Sri Vijayan geologists found oil on the coasts of the Persian Gulf. Furthermore, they realized that the geologic features indicated that there would be more oil all around that region, but probably not on the Red Sea side of the Arabian peninsula. Now, at this time, the borders between the Byzantine Empire and Sri Vijayan Arabia were not formally delineated. Without mentioning the find, Sri Vijaya called a conference to negotiate the borders of their lands. The oil find was considered a state secret, and the Byzantines didn't have any idea of what lay below the surface. And, in fact, oil was only starting to become useful in many applications (most of which the Byzantine Empire didn't have yet. But the Sri Vijayans knew that the future lay with oil, and that it would try its hardest to negotiate to get as much of the Persian Gulf lands as possible. In the end, the Sri Vijayans got the whole coast south of the Byzantine Kuwait Province of Mesopotamia, while the the Byzantines were promised land as far south the Red Sea coast as Jizan. The Byzantines thought that this was a good deal, but a few years later, when it was leaked that the Persian Gulf was awash in oil, the Byzantine Empire felt tricked, and its citizens felt that their government had been too naive and should have done more detective work before agreeing to the treaty.
However, Sri Vijaya's main problem turned out to be the locals. The Arabs of the land realized that the Srivijans - the invaders for hundreds of years, but continuing to tighten their stranglehold on Arabia - could not be allowed to have the oil. Religious fervor also played a part. Since the Islamic persecution nearly 800 years back, Arabia had continued to be land of persecution. While the major imperialist powers had gone on to better places - not caring about some desert nomads living in a dusty land - various cults and religions had grown up. In the end, the more liberal and accommodating faiths either fizzled out naturally, were killed off, or were chased away. By 1800, the major religion among Arabs on the Arabian Peninsula had come to be Alhaqism - a conservative monotheistic religion. Their name originates from "Al Haq" ("The Truth"), and it was founded around 1050 by a poor wanderer (later becoming a minor prince/warlord) who claimed to be a descendant of Mohammad, and to receive visions from God. God accused Muslims of the day of heresy, which had led them on the path to righteous persecution - that is, persecution which God promotes. Alhaqism, kept in check by the surrounding empires, was never able to establish a foothold outside of Arabia, but would prove to be a major obstacle to Malay domination of the Persian Gulf.
In 1829, war broke out as Arab nomads attacked Sri Vijayan oil field workers, killing them all. This success emboldened the Alhaqi mujahideen, who gathered greater forces from this triumph. Their next target was the oil corridor town of Kota Kati (Kati Town; OTL Qatif). The Alhaqis were able to get inside the town's outer gates with minimal difficulty and started running amok, killing civilians (mostly made up of male oil industry workers). However, the previous attack had alerted the populace, and the center of the town was held. The next morning, the valiant 106th infantry brigade "The Bantus" arrived. They hailed from east Africa, but were sent the previous year to Arabia. With their overwhelming firepower, they pushed the mujahideen out of the town, where they had to regroup. For this, "the Bantus" received the highest military award, becoming the first African brigade to receive it. From that point on, no invaders were able to cross into Kota Kati. Next to arrive were the airplanes. They were new models and had attached machine guns. These would be the first fighter aircraft ever used in battle, and they would prove themselves beyond expectations (thus creating a boom in air forces worldwide). From above, it was easy to make out the Arabian armies on the flat desert. There was nowhere to hide. The airplanes could scout the area, reconnoitering the whereabouts of the enemy to troops on the ground. Also, the machine guns were able to slice through the gathered foes, so that they had to split back up. This was the end of operations against a coherent army. From this point on, it was a matter of finding individuals who were part of the jihad. This was difficult, as they blended in with locals who were not part of it. Further night attacks were carried out against drilling operations in subsequent months. Eventually, Sri Vijaya assigned large groups of armed guards to patrol important oil infrastructure, and colonial towns on the Arabian peninsula. Furthermore, all settlements had walls erected around them. In 1831, after several more devastating attacks by militants, there was a further order that there could be no Arab settlements within 20 km of any Sri Vijayan settlement. This uprooted many Arab families (though the majority in the area were still nomads, and could move easily).
As previously mentioned, the Sri Vijayans were the first to use fighter aircraft in battle. Because of the tremendous effectiveness of airplanes in the Arab campaigns, they gained wide popularity and new and improved models were consistently built. Firepower was increased, and some were even capable of dropping bombs. In fact, a new family of military aircraft called "bombers" would become an important part of the air force. Range was increased, too, which let some fighter planes fly up to 1000 km on one tank of fuel by 1833, and up to 2000 km by 1837. Sri Vijaya tried to secure airfields to connect its vast empire. One example was when it gained a lease on land in Sri Lanka so that it could build an air-force base, in exchange for yearly development aid.
In the sea, a new beast took form, known as the Juggernaut. It started with the SVS Juggernaut, which entered service in 1835. It so revolutionized battleships that even ships commissioned just a few years earlier were given the monicker "pre-Juggernauts". The SVS Juggernaut was the first battleship to have a main battery consisting of all "big guns" (the original Juggernaut having nine 300mm guns), and all were along center line of the ship. It was also the first to use oil for fuel (instead of coal), and made use of steam turbines for power. On top of this, it greatly increased the use of separated underwater compartments, and introduced an "anti-torpedo bulge" which absorbed most of the shock of incoming torpedoes, leaving the inner hull intact. For ten years after the Juggernaut's introduction, Sri Vijaya became the master of the seas. It was only when China, Japan, and Spain began producing the same types of ships did they gain back their ability to wage war on the sea.
In 1841, China (which was a more inland nation) used a gun turret and secured it on an armored vehicle. This did not have treads, and thus was not a tank (which the Chinese would later invent), but let firepower become more mobile over land.
The Spanish emerged as a great power in the early 19th century. Firstly, it was decided that in order to protect itself from the eastern powers (Spain having fought with Sri Vijaya twice before, and many neighboring countries under the yoke of Easterners), Spain would have to become like them. This included, more than anything else, modernizing. Spain quickly established a number of universities which hired many Oriental scientists to head departments and teach the students how to construct the newest types of machinery. Of course, these universities also taught nationalism and did not have many, or any, liberal arts programs. Also, after a personal union with the royal family of Portugal in 1813, the nations merged and the single nation that replaced them grew even stronger. Within an amazingly short span of time, Spain became a "modern" country. By 1845, it was considered a major military power, fourth only to Sri Vijaya, Japan, and China. Modern though it might be, it was now dominated by a dictator who gained power over the monarchy in 1831.
Democracy on the Indian Subcontinent
Democracy was an increasingly important goal for many people of the world. Even at this point, those with independence still usually lacked democracy. It was in India - a quickly-growing economy - that full democracy was first seen. The military government finally backed down when a group of Indians led by a Jain sage practically shut down the country by not working. Numerous proposals were put forward, including elevating the sage to a government minister (which he refused) and even threatening his life and throwing him in prison. But the crowd grew by the day. Killing innocent people was even against most of the military ministers' morals, and a pathway was established for the eventual democratization of India, which fully took place by 1836. This was the first democracy in the world to give men, women, and all groups (including all castes) equal rights, including the right to vote.
Around the same time, there were various movements in Vijayanagar, which was closely linked culturally and economically (if not linguistically) to its northern neighbor. The same sort of reforms were carried out there, too, which became similarly democratic by 1839.
China and Japan's Near Collision
For hundreds of years now, there had been an uneasy truce between the major Eastern colonial powers. Also, for hundreds of years now, China and Japan had split the New World. However, this split was not completely equal. China owned a large portion of the tropics, but it was the temperate areas which had the best soil and were most liveable. Because of this, a steady stream of crops flowed from Japan's possessions over to Japan proper every year, while China had to be content with minor logging operations and "ol' faithful" - the mine at Potosi, near the southern border of their empire. Meixikou was out of its control, and in fact, most of the areas surrounding Potosi were still quite wild, and were only officially under Chinese jurisdiction - being de facto independent. China was not making enough money off of its empire, until, in 1834, with the completed Trans-Yodderick Canal. This canal linked the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and allowed Chinese ships to sail across the world much faster than any other country's. This made China the go-between for trade, as China didn't allow non-Chinese ships through the canal. This instantly sucked money from Japan, as its merchant fleets were no longer utilized by other nations for trade, and the Japanese themselves found it easier to ship most things via Chinese ships. Furthermore, China's naval fleet could now get to places in the blink of an eye. Air travel was still in its infancy, and some things would always still be just too heavy, or cost prohibitive, to ship by air. For a decade, the Japanese government tried to use diplomacy to come to an agreement for co-use of the canal, but China wanted too much in return - specifically, all of Japanese northeastern continental Asia (that is, the Hokudai (北大; Kamchatka) and Chukchi peninsulas, and many km inland and north of them). Tensions rose, but eventually, a conference was called to soothe over the situation, solve border disputes, and establish a way to share the canal that would still benefit China. It was to take place in Sri Vijaya, which also wanted the canal opened up, and was considering highly taxing Chinese traffic through the strait of Malaya (OTL Strait of Malacca). So, the "Manila Conference" took place in 1845, which let the Japanese and Sri Vijayans through the Trans-Yodderick Canal - for a price. Also, foreign military ships were barred from entering the canal, and the maximum number and size of major warships per country was agreed upon. This settled things for a short while, but the good relations didn't last. One year later, a Chinese cargo vessel ran into a Japanese submarine near the canal zone, and in the area where no military ships were allowed. This again soured relations between the Chinese and Japanese, but diplomacy continued to try to fix the problems.
Chaos in Sri Vijaya
In July 1851, riots began again throughout Sri Vijaya. College students and religious leaders were some of the first groups to call for increased democracy. They accused Sri Vijaya of stagnating while India and Vijayanagar had successfully become democracies and were becoming more wealthy at the same time. Things came to a head on July 18th, when a group of protesting students in Yogyakarta were fired upon with rubber bullets and tear gas. When the smoke cleared, two students were dead. This incident, along with the government's refusal to apologize, sent off a shock wave that engulfed Yogyakarta, as well as other major cities such as Sunda Kelapa (OTL Jakarta), Palembang, Jambi, Temasek (OTL Singapore), Penang Town (OTL Georgetown), and Surabaya. In most of these places, people stopped working (as had been done in India), however, things turned violent in Sunda Kelapa and Surabaya, in particular, and some leaders even went so far as demanding independence. This also wafted east towards Sulabesi and the Ugis, as well as farther to Luzon, with the booming city of Manila. The government, again scared of a possible revolution, called back soldiers from around their empire, emboldening the foreign enemies of Sri Vijaya. One such enemy was Spain. By December, there had already been two unsuccessful coups, but the third one was the charm, and the former government leaders set up a government in exile in Penang. While they had gained power in the capital of Palembang, the members of this coup were a faction of the military which did not agree to any democratic reforms - instead becoming harsher dictators. Other military factions - some espousing democracy, and some not - got ready to fight for power. Overseas troops got mixed orders and were not sure what to do. Chaos ensued, as the old government claimed the Malay Peninsula, while the new government had control of Vijaya Island and western Java, and not much else, as a rival faction claimed Surabaya in eastern Java, and Bali. The Ugis quickly declared independence, as well, while the Luzonians waited for things to settle down. Returning military troops from the empire now were mostly split between the government on Penang, and the usurpers in the capital.
Secrets of Spain
Civil War in Sri Vijaya and the bickering between China and Japan left a void of power in Europe. Spain sought to fill that void. In the background, while the Asians limited their firepower so as to avert a war, Spain was not subject to the treaty, but it had already become a major economic and military power. While the Asians were wary of Spain, they did not suspect that in just a few decades, it could have come this far. Indeed, the dictatorial military regime was funneling taxes away from helping the poor in society, and was instead helping major industries, particularly the weapons industry. One secret that few inside the government and fewer outside the government knew, was that Spain was the closest to building a nuclear weapon. Spain sold much in bonds to get loans precisely to keep the project going, although it never showed up on the balance sheets. The secret bomb would be a way to "liberate" Europe from the yoke of Asian imperialist aggression. Although the experimentation wasn't done yet, war seemed more and more like a viable option, because, even with the economic growth, the populace was more and more turning against him. With reports from his scientists that the Bomb was less than 2 years away, and with more than half of all the firepower in Europe, Alfonso Lopez - son of the first dictator - prepared for war.
Before war broke out, however, Spain signed a pact with China. Alfonso was a shrewd person, and knew that he needed an ally before the Bomb was ready. Seeing as how China was having problems with Japan, Spain offered up an alliance which the Chinese thought to mean that they would support China if it came to a war with Japan. This was not the case, though, as Spain was waiting for the right moment to strike at the others, and just wanted to make sure that China would not invade. China did not want war in Europe, but it still realized that if there were war in Western Europe, it would be quite far away from China's possessions and dependencies (like Germany).
The War of Empires
Main Article: The War of Empires (Easternized World)
In 1852, Spain declared war on Aragon, and managed to take all of Sri Vijaya's European territory, while the world powers stalled and delayed. The Spanish managed to get the backing of the Byzantine Empire as well, which took Sri Vijayan Arabian territory and helped a coup gain control of Persia to aid them as well. For a while, Sri Vijaya fought Spain and the Byzantines alone, but they were later joined by China
Uncontested since it took Sri Vijayan possessions, Spain saw peace throughout most of 1854. In secret, it had plans for something big - the first nuclear weapon, Trinidad, and the second, Maria. The Muslim ghettos of Kairouan (the holiest city to Muslims) and Rabat were now teeming with concentrated Muslims. Near simultaneously, bombers released "Trinidad" and "Maria" over the two cities, and in the blink of an eye, hundreds of thousands of people were dead, with hundreds of thousands more on their way. Spain would use another nuclear warhead on the Trans-Yodderick Canal, after taking the Chinese colony of Seaton. They then used several nuclear warheads on Germany in their attempt to take all of western Europe (having already taken Ireland and France as well)
However, things began to turn around for the Eastern Powers when India and Vijayanagar both joined up with China and Sri Vijaya in order to oppose Persia. The Indian nations managed to liberate Persia and help Arabia break away from the Byzantines. Freedom fighters also opposed the Spanish in Cathar Europe.
The real turnaround, however, occurred when the Japanese Emperor sacrificed himself to nuke the Spanish capital, killing the dictator. The new Spanish leader, Diego Gonzales, called back all forces from the Americas to protect Spain. At this point, the Byzantines also had a revolution, as dissatisfaction with the empire peaked.
Japan managed to liberate much of Europe from Spain, while China with the help of Meixikou regained all of their American territory. They continued to Liberate more and more of Spanish Africa and Europe, until only Catholic Iberia remained under Spanish control. Eventually, Gonzales committed suicide and Spain surrendered. Arabia, Spanish Africa, and Libya all became independent, and the Eastern Powers occupied Spain.
The Byzantine Empire's fall was heralded as a great victory in the War of Empires, but other than the independence of Arabia, no real interference with the civil war was given. Now, however, the war had entered full swing, with the different factions continuing to battle. The chief factions were the People's League, inspired by the philosophy of Levelism, the Liberal Republicans, attempting to create a government similar to that of the Roman Republic mixed with the Indian democracies, and the theocratic Army of God. By 1865, the People's League had overcome the Liberal Republicans, and was winning numerous victories against the Army of God. The Army of God continued to fight in remote areas of the nation until they fled in 1873, yet the Levelist People's League had come to dominate the former Byzantine Empire.
The People's Eastern Roman Democratic Republic, commonly abbreviated to PERDR, was a nation in ruins. Its leader and founder, Nicolas Vozoras, attempted to restore the nation to order, but his death in 1879 resulted in a short political crisis. Vozoras' successor, Baltazar Georgopoulos, used brutal measures to advance his nation over the next two decades. He was fiercly anti-religion, and sadly destroyed many Christian archeological sites in the PERDR. Despite his authoritarian nature, Georgopoulos was a successful leader, making his nation a world power again by the end of the century. the PERDR detonated its first nuclear bomb in 1892.
Georgopoulos would not stop in improving the PERDR itself, however. He retook of Romania, incorporating it into the main nation. His forces also moved through the small, weak nations of Hungary and Czechoslovakia and of the Caucasus region. The Byzantine Republic was becoming a major expansionist threat, and many feared that it would lead to a second great war.
Revolt and Reform in the Chinese Empire
main article: Chinese Revolutionary Period (Easternized World)
China, like many other nations after the War of Empires, experienced massive social and political upheaval. In China, this would result in a loss of colonial territory, a brief revolution and significant government reforms.
Collapse of the Chinese Empire
The Chinese had lied to the South Americans when they said that the South Americans would be allowed to become independent within five years of the War of Empires. Instead, "Transitional Authorities" were implemented, supposedly to transition the colonials to independence, but really just as a different way of ruling over them. A massive guerrilla war erupted in the Andes, opposed to Chinese rule. Meanwhile, the continuing economic stress due to a poor recovery from the War led to the Chinese economy going from bad to worse. In 1870, the Chinese people, tired of a poor economy and a long war, rose up against their government, and established a new republic in China.
In 1871, a democratic government was formed led by Hu Daning. This government attempted major reforms to create a freer and more developed China. Despite an uneasing coalition, the government managed to last until 1872, when a massive revolt broke out amongst the Slavs in Kiev in favor of Slavic independence. The resulting war put great stress on Hu's government, and eventually his government collapsed. After the fall of Hu, a series of elections were held, but the racist Chinese People's Party and the radical Levelist Party became the two dominant political factions, and no stable government could be formed.
As the Levelists and CPP were about to push the country into a civil war, the military, under the command of Xu Yuan, staged a massive takeover of the country, allowing the Rus to break away in order to save China proper. With the National Council formed, Xu was given great powers over the country, while the Gana, or assembly, was dominated by traditionalists. Many radical reforms were scaled back, although workers, women, and minorities still held more rights than they had before the Revolution, and there were still some reforms in place.
Break-Up of the Sri Vijayan Empire
The Sri Vijayan wartime government had been cobbled together out of a civil war in order to oppose Spain. Without unity against a common enemy, the rival groups would not stay in coalition. The economy, sorely taxed by the war, took a major hit following its conclusion as well. This created the post-war depression, which was worldwide but affected Sri Vijaya more than most other nations. At their weakest point, Sri Vijaya experienced a massive bout of nationalism in their African colonies. Hundreds of thousands of Africans had been recruited into the Sri Vijayan Army to help in the War, and many more had fought the Byzantines in East Africa. The African people had been exposed to the outside world where Sri Vijaya was not an absolute authority, and they had been exposed to the idea of self-determination. Thus began the many motions for independence.
The Chadian peoples, of central Africa, had been some of the last people to be conquered by the Sri Vijayans, so they still retained many aspects of their old culture. Most followed traditional Animistic religions, varying from region to region and not a single organized belief. A significant amount had converted to Vajrayana Buddhism by Sri Vijayan missionaries. There was a large Muslim minority as well, although many of these people had immigrated north to Libya.
A few months after African troops returned home in 1859, the first independence protests of any significance occurred in the largest city of Ajirana, but the Sri Vijayan government quickly put an end to the movements. This resulted in the popularity of the Sri Vijayan colonial government plummeting in Chad. Their unpopularity grew and grew, eventually resulting in a series of riots and rural uprisings in 1861. The rioters were shot dead, and the situation almost reached that of civil war.
The Sri Vijayan government had been counting on the large Buddhist population to remain loyal, but when the local Buddhist leaders joined in, they knew they had lost control of the nation. With the political situation in Sri Vijaya deteriorating, and with the economy collapsing, they had no choice but to give independence to Chad in the beginning of 1862. They doubted that the poor, "dead heart of Africa" would be that inspiring of a new nation to the rest of the Empire. They were wrong.
Tanjung Haraspan's Independence
The southern portion of the Sri Vijayan African Empire, Tanjung Haraspan, was very different from Chad. It had large amounts of Sri Vijayan immigration, an even larger part African, part Malay ethnicity, and was much older, with the old cultures having been absorbed into the Sri Vijayan one. Yet here would come the second independence movement in Africa.
Tanjung Haraspanese soldiers had begun the first nationalist movements in 1859, but for the first few years, the movements remained small. The break away of Chad, however, inspired massive amounts of Tanjung Haraspanese that they too could be an independent nation. In the late fall 1862, demonstrations first attracted the attention of the government of Sri Vijaya. Seeing what had happened when they crushed the protests in Chad, they did nothing to stop these at first. However, as time went on, the demonstrations became larger and larger, and they feared that the people of the colony were beginning to listen.
Sri Vijaya jailed one of the leaders of the movements. Musa Osman, a half native African, half Malay. Osman, after being released a year later, followed the ideas of Ramon Alfonzenc, the Granda Arma, and used boycotts and peaceful protests and strikes to gain independence for his nation by 1866.
Osman's actions provided inspiration to all of the African Colonies of Sri Vijaya. Oyo, after centuries of being dominated by the Sri Vijayans, broke away due to a well-preserved ethnic heritage, becoming independent in 1867. However, its independence movement was more violent than Tanjung Haraspan, yet it was not as bad as Chad. Padang Pasir and the island colony of Brunei Baru declared their independence in 1868, following Osman's model. The next colony to become independent was Parivadi, in 1870.
Kongo was unable to break away through Osman's tactic, and remained under Sri Vijayan domination until the Kongolese civil war, which lasted from 1869-1876, after which Kongo became independent. In the colonies of Pekan Singa and Somalia, the Buddhist temples managed to keep the people loyal to the Sri Vijayan government. When independence forces seized the temples, they broke away from Mahayana and became Theravada Buddhist, freeing themselves from Sri Vijaya in 1874. The lone remainder of the Sri Vijayan African empire was the Central African territory. Isolated from Sri Vijaya, its independence was granted in 1877.
Political Chaos in the Homeland
As the empire collapsed, Sri Vijaya itself experienced massive political upheaval. Following the collapse of the government in 1859, the Maharaja was nearly being overthrown. Out of desperation, he held a series of elections over the next couple years, yet no single faction gained the majority. When another shaky coalition was formed in 1863, the first united government in four years, the opposition factions chose to secede from Sri Vijaya. Gurun Selatan, where support for a conservative republic had been strong, became independent. To the north, a Levelist republican group seized control of Papua, inspired by the Byzantine revolution. Ugis and Dayak attempted to secede, and were eventually granted independence in 1867. The two small nations remained in loose association with Sri Vijaya for economic and security purposes. The rest of Sri Vijaya became a constitutional monarchy, with the Maharaja possessing almost no power.
On the border to the north with Thailand, however, a new challenge to the government arose. Thailand was fairly developed, due to its close proximity to great powers helping it gain technology fast. However, it was still poorer than Sri Vijaya, so immigration was high. Most immigrants traveled directly to their west, settling the small strip of land owned by Sri Vijaya that blocked Thailand from the Indian Ocean. Following the collapse of the Sri Vijayan empire and economy, Thailand managed to pull its economy to being close enough to the Sri Vijayan one that the Thais no longer wanted to leave. The area where the immigration was concentrated now had a Thai majority in the population, and voted to break away from Sri Vijaya and join Thailand. When Sri Vijayan troops attacked it to keep it part of the empire, Thailand went to war to take it. Due to the Sri Vijayan military having never fully recovered from the War of Empires and the colonial breakup, Thailand pulled out an amazing victory over Sri Vijaya in 1879, stunning the world.
The New Hegemony
Global politics had greatly changed due to the aftermath of the War of Empires, and by 1880 the politics of earth were unrecognizable from the pre-war era. Sri Vijaya had fallen from being one of the great world powers, and they would not recover from their position for many years. Both Indian nations had greatly improved as well, with India becoming an economic and military powerhouse, its huge population, vast resources, and military victories making it as strong as any other nation on earth. Vijiayanagara was not as powerful economically or militarily as India, but it was still much greater than it had been before. The close alliance between these two nations helped them become a superpower.Many believed that old China was rotten and would eventually collapse. However, there was still hope for the Chinese culture in the form of "new China", or Meixikou. Meixikou had not been involved in the war, and its population had grown greatly. Their economy was an incredibly powerful one as well. Many Meixikouns travelled north, looking for more land to settle, and had settled the southern portion of Japanese Yodderick. Japan eventually gave that land to Meixikou in 1889 due to the Meixikouns making up the majority.
Japan was the only one of the old superpowers to have retained their position in global politics, yet even they knew that their empire would not last forever, and plans for a gradual, peaceful breakup were already being made.
The Space Race
In the period of chaos following the War, few technological advancements were made for the next two decades. However, by the 1880s technology had begun to advance again, with the most notable new technologies being the automobile and the television. However, there would be another new technology which would shake the world: Space technology.
It began in the year 1886, when the government of India decided to use their new-found prosperity to begin the world's first space program. The Indians labored for two years, using many of the discoveries made by other nations in missile and flight technology. Finally, in 1888 the first artificial satellite, Upgarh, was launched into orbit around the earth. This development began a new era in space travel.
Across the Pacific Ocean, the people of Meikikou were not to be outdone, and they launched their first satellite in year 1889. That same year, an Indian man named Amol Mahatra became the first man to go into space. Mahatra instantly became a national hero of India. The world media became incredibly interested in space travel, marking the beginning of a new age.
The third nation to become involved in the space race was Japan. Japan was still a global power, even though nationalist tensions were weakening its colonial empire. The Japanese at first had not taken the space technology seriously, but upon seeing how well the success of Mahatra's flight has boosted the Indian public image, the Japanese government began a space program, which paid off with their first satellite in 1891.
This sparked the space race, which involved numerous nations attempting to be the first to land a man on the moon. India, Meikikou, and Japan were the only major players, however. China, plagued by economic troubles, delayed and delayed its program until it was too late to capture enough public interest to have a chance at beating the three main space nations. The Byzantine Republic, still behind the Eastern Powers, managed to begin a space program in the mid 1890s, but they got in it too late to truly compete, but instead used their progress as propaganda. Sri Vijaya, its empire gone, its government newly reformed, its economy still recovering, didn't even consider beginning a space program.
After a decade of competition, the first men to land on the moon, in 1899, were from Meikikou. Their names were Wu Huang-Fu and Quan Liu-Tao. After this great success, the competitive nature of the race changed for most nations, with the purpose now being for the greater good of all humanity (although the Meikikoun leadership in space was widely acknowledged). Only the Byzantines still had the competitive spirit, as they went into the next century.
Map of the World in 1900