'''Decades Of Darkness''' is an AlternateHistory timeline originating on Website/AlternateHistoryDotCom. The creator, Jared, got the idea from a contest to create a historically plausible version of SMStirling's ''Literature/TheDraka'' series: a [[TheEmpire mega evil slaver doom empire]], built on opposition to the very values that the Western world holds dear, takes over the world. "[=DoD=]", as it's commonly abbreviated, deviated considerably from this origin, which is just as well for that part of the world's population not living under said Empire.

In a dark twist on the values which America was built upon, this empire is in fact the United States. The tale begins as a strategically timed heart attack kills off UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson at the worst moment of the historical [[HollywoodNewEngland New England]] separatist movement in 1809. The bumbling UsefulNotes/JamesMadison, his successor, gets into a war with Great Britain and the New England rebels in 1811 and loses handily. Half the Midwest is lost, and furthermore, in the course of the war Madison alienated UsefulNotes/{{New York|State}} and UsefulNotes/NewJersey and caused them to secede and join New England as well. Since the former Northeastern states that make up the new Republic of New England were the heartland of the abolitionist movement in our world's US, their secession from the Union swings the political balance in favor of the Southern states, whose economies were built upon slave labor and which were fiercely defensive of their "peculiar institution". From here on, the timeline somehow manages to become broader in scope until it is global, while at the same time getting more and more detailed.

It ends in 1935 as the world seems to be settling into a four-way [[SecretWar Cold War]] (called the Silent War) between [[AllNationsAreSuperpowers the four world-dominating power blocs]], the USA (known, owing to its evil, as "Alt USA" or *USA), the German Empire (a mostly monarchist federation under the Habsburgs), the Russian Federation (an enormously complicated Czarist-federal-democratic... ''thing'' stretching from Constantinople to Beijing), and the Restored Empire (an Indian Rim-centered, Australian-led alliance) and its main ally, Nippon. Needless to say, much has changed in the intervening time.

''Decades of Darkness'' is one of the most influential AH.com timelines, and its style of presentation, a mix of academic/historical documents providing the 'big picture' and narrative segments following the characters involved with and observing the events (from the leaders and generals to the average Joes and Janes), has inspired many others. It is often cited alongside earlier works from soc.history.what-if such as ''ForAllTime'' as among the classics of AlternateHistory WebOriginal work. It was concluded on January 20, 2009. A series of vignettes and a novel exploring the future of this world remain in the works.

You can read the completed story [[http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=8170 here at the AH.com forum]] or [[http://decadesofdarkness.alternatehistory.com here]] or [[http://decadesofdarkness.blogspot.com here]].
!!Provides examples of:


[[folder:General Tropes]]
* CoolShip: The battleships, with 18-inch cannons -- bigger than almost anything in our world, except the Yamato.
* DarkestHour: The appropriately-named chapter ''Midnight''.
* DownerEnding: The ending of the North American War.
* {{Doorstopper}}: The finished timeline is longer than 1800 pages.
** One troper, with the tenacity of a true sociopath, managed to lovingly craft, edit, and format the entire timeline into a print-worthy book. Single-spaced and with a 12 font, it comes to over 2,400 pages.
* {{Egopolis}}: In the *USA some states (Washington, Jackson, Wilkinson) and many cities are named after presidents and other high-ranking politicians.
* EiffelTowerEffect: Since urban development patterns were among the many things altered over the years, cities have different landmarks from those known in OTL. For instance, New York, instead of the Statue of Liberty, has the Colossus of New York, a figure resembling an ancient Greek hoplite that was gifted to New England by the Greeks. The New England capital of Hartford and the *US capital of Columbia City ([[PleaseSelectNewCityName formerly]] Knoxville, Tennessee) are nearly unrecognizable from their OTL forms by the 20th century due to all the government buildings and monuments that have been built. There is still a Statue of Liberty... only she's overlooking UsefulNotes/{{Sydney}} Harbour instead.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: While the *US has built its identity on the preservation of slavery, the populace is only willing to tolerate so much in how slaves and peons are treated. After the North American War, the enslavement of [[spoiler:Canadian rebels in occupied British Columbia]] causes outrage due to the spectacle of [[spoiler:white people being enslaved, with many fearing that they may be next]] -- an admittedly self-serving case, but one all the same. A more clear-cut example comes when outrage over the use of Latina peons as {{sex slave}}s leads to the formation of a peon rights group, the Society for the Ethical Peon Treatment (SEPT).
** There is widespread revulsion in the US at [[spoiler: General Fierro's scorched earth/"safety camp" campaign against the rural population in occupied Colombia]]. although he gets away with it in the end.
* FantasticSlurs: *Americans are often referred to as "jackals" by their enemies.
* GratuitousGerman: Radio is named "funk"; and since Germany has become one of the superpowers, German (or rather, neudeutsch) phrases tend to crop up.
* GratuitousSpanish: Quite some, since *American English contains very many Spanish loan words.
* ItsAlwaysMardiGrasInNewOrleans: Subverted. It's ''[[BigApplesauce New York]]'' that becomes famous for its Mardi Gras celebrations. As for New Orleans itself? The financial capital of the *USA and the Western hemisphere, with Canal Street becoming the equivalent of Wall Street. In other words, New Orleans became New York, and vice versa.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Knoxville is Columbia, Equador is in northern Brazil, New England is a much more extensive term, and colonial cities across Africa, Australia, Asia, and the Americas have different names.
** Inverted in one important case. The government of His Majesty the Czar of All the Russias [[InsistentTerminology would like to make]] [[BerserkButton perfectly clear]] that it's Constantinople, ''not'' Istanbul.
* LatinoIsBrown: Played with and explored as the *US presses ever further south in Latin America. Due to the logistical challenges of ruling over so many people, they try to co-opt the white ''criollo'' upper classes of the conquered territories as LesCollaborateurs, granting them citizenship and using them to help consolidate their control. Occasionally, some rich ''mestizos'' manage to buy their way into citizenship as well, though this grows tougher as time goes on. The effect of this is that, while the *US remains a white supremacist state, upper-class Hispanic culture forms a large component of its identity, almost as much as [[SouthernGentleman upper-class]] [[SouthernBelle Southern culture]], and in many areas further south, even the white people can look fairly swarthy by non-*American standards. ''Indios'' and ''mestizos'' who couldn't use money to whiten wind up in the ranks of [[EthnicMenialLabor the peons]].
* LoopholeAbuse: Everything that [[ANaziByAnyOtherName the Vitalists]] did while in charge of New England was technically constitutional. After they're overthrown, the new leaders [[ObviousRulePatch write a new constitution]] to close all those loopholes, remarking that, even though the Vitalists technically followed the letter of the law, they had utterly betrayed its spirit.
* LovecraftCountry: While the Republic of New England itself isn't portrayed as such, its literary scene produces an analogue of Creator/HPLovecraft and the Franchise/CthulhuMythos in the form of L. H. Phillips, who is far more successful in life than his inspiration was. While Phillips doesn't share Lovecraft's virulent racism (the *US' [[MoralEventHorizon monstrous behavior]] having discredited white supremacy in most of the world by the 1910s), he does have an equally virulent anti-*Americanism — one of his most popular novels depicts, in vivid detail, the collapse of the *US. Given New England's [[spoiler:then-recent and humiliating loss in the North American War]], comparisons can be drawn to [[spoiler:German expressionism and Weimar art]].
* NightSwimEqualsDeath: *US president Donald Bellamy. [[spoiler:He was deep in debt after a big recession, so he made a secret agreement with a fascist leader from New England to have him picked up on the sea, with a submarine. It didn't work out. Publicly, the details remain a mystery, and Bellamy's disappearance becomes the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. Inspired by the OTL disappearance of Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt (the writer is Australian); one fringe theory about his disappearance claims that he was a spy for RedChina who was picked up by a Chinese submarine.]]
* PleaseSelectNewCityName:
** After UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC gets burned to the ground again in the War of 1833, the *US moves its capital to Knoxville, Tennessee, out of the reach of British and Yankee assault. Knoxville was named for the Bostonian Henry Knox, which just cannot do for the nation's new capital given the actions of 'treasonous' New England, and so it is rechristened Columbia City.
** When the [[UsefulNotes/{{Mormonism}} Nephites]] on Vancouver Island gain their own independent state in the wake of the North American War, they rename the capital city of Edwardsville (OTL's Victoria, British Columbia) to Brigham, after the famed Nephite pioneer Brigham Young.
* ReassignmentBackfire: Being the *American Ambassador in Liberia (see below) improved Edgar Langley's life and helped to liberate many slaves from *American slavery.
* ReassignedToAntarctica:
** The transfer to Whydah, an isolated *American colony in West Africa, if you belong to the *American military, and to Liberia if you belong to the *American State Department.
** Subverted with Antarctica itself. A decorated Jaguar veteran is handpicked for the prestigious mission of planting the *American flag in Antarctica, symbolizing how *America now stretches not only from "sea to shining sea," but "pole to pole" as well.
* TheRoaringTwenties: The Golden Years, which occur in the 1910s, are the rough equivalent.
* ScrapbookStory
* ShoutOut: Many, given to ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'', Music/AlanisMorissette, a group of popular rock bands, and more.
** A CrowningMomentOfFunny goes out to a 1908 Hartford Journal of Literature article which lambastes an ''avant garde'' play whose subject was the meeting of a worker's union to discuss the removal of certain medical benefits from their contract. The reviewer notes that it is impossible to derive this from the dialogue, in which the entire first act consists of two actors repeating the same two lines over and over:
-->Lennard: Dental plan.
-->Carlson: [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Lisa needs braces.]]
-->Lennard: Dental plan.
-->Carlson: Lisa needs braces.
** Then there's the opera singer [[Franchise/{{Tintin}} Bianca Reinblume]].
** There's a huge one to ''Franchise/StarWars''. The three subchapters are named "The Start of Wars: A New Hope?", "The Reich Strikes Back" and "The Return of the JD-Is"[[note]]referring to the Jäger-Doter Model I panzers[[/note]] respectively. And then we meet two pilot volunteers for the republican side, named Hans (who flies ''solo'' in his Jahrhundert Falke / Century Falcon) and Luke, who earns the Badass epithet Cloudstalker. There's even an alleged quote of "I have a very bad feeling about this...".
** The reactionary "blackshorts" recall Spode's Fascist Black Shorts ("There were no shirts left") mocked in the Literature/JeevesAndWooster novels.
* SpiritualSuccessor: Or how should you call it? The author wanted to make [=DoD=] essentially "Literature/TheDraka, but done right".
* TakeThat: In-story. The Latino revolutionary theorist who calls himself "Eunuco Mitchell" (TTL's rough analogue of UsefulNotes/CheGuevara) used his pseudonym for this trope. It means "the eunuch Mitchell" and refers to the *US president who conquered Colombia and Venezuela.
* TheVirus: Unfortunately, *HIV-outbreak occurred much earlier.
* WorthyOpponent: Juarez, the last Mexican General, was respected by the American Captain Fisher who hunted and killed him.

[[folder:Alternate History Tropes]]
* AllohistoricalAllusion
** Japan launches a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor… in 1892, to [[BigDamnHeroes kick out an attempted American filibuster of Hawaii]].
** The description of the plans for [[spoiler:Germany's invasion of Britain]] contains a lot of detail about just how many years of planning and preparation went into them. This is a reference to the real-life [[spoiler:Operation Sealion, Hitler's plan to invade the UK, which is a RunningGag on AH.com due to how [[TooDumbToLive monumentally stupid and poorly thought-out]] it was, and how it would have been a total disaster if executed. This is likely because Sealion was never meant to be carried out, as Hitler repeatedly offered peace negotiations to Britain, which he had always respected, and never wanted to invade it (it was Britain and France that declared war on Germany, not the other way around). Sealion was therefore only the beginning of a plan never meant to be used.]]
** A French general asks to be allowed to lead the army of the Somme, so his name won't be connected to a huge bloodshed.
** *US general Custer managing to shift blame, so his name won't be connected with disaster.
* AlternateHistory: Well, that's rather the point.
* AlternateHistoryWank: Played somewhat straight where the *U.S. is concerned. YMMV, but the *USA's expansion starts to become a bit on the implausible side towards the end of the story. Russia also has a few issues in this regard.
* ForWantOfANail: That was one significant heart attack.
* InSpiteOfANail: Napoleon I manages to win the battle of Waterloo, only to lose against the Prussians under Blücher afterwards, making "Waterloo" in this world a phrase meaning "a victory claimed too early".
** And most people in [=DoD=] ''think'' that the secession of New England was inevitable, going as far as stating that *Americans and Yankees are different people. This is also pointed out within the story itself as well.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: Used to great success in the North American War. RealityEnsues, however, when they are put to use in the Brazilian Civil War a few years later, where they make easy targets for the new anti-air weapons and fighter planes. This causes them to be replaced by conventional bombers in later wars.

[[folder:National And Political Tropes]]
* HundredPercentAdorationRating: Some Canadian republicans in Wisconsin (part of Canada in this story) are so popular, they could have demanded the annexation of Wisconsin by the German ''Reich'', and people would have brought flags with the three-headed eagle. At least that's what they say about themselves.
* TheAlliance: The Restored Empire and the South American Amistad (against the *USA and Imperial Brazil).
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: [[DiscussedTrope Discussed.]] In our history, the attacking powers in World War II were defeated and all their conquests undone, so there's the general idea that countries aren't allowed to just attack and conquer each other. In ''Decades of Darkness'', the attacking country ([[spoiler:UsefulNotes/ImperialGermany]]) successfully turned [[spoiler:France and Great Britain]] into [[BalkaniseMe lots of tiny little puppet states]], and annexed lots of [[spoiler:France]]'s territory. As a result, there's the general idea that countries attacking and conquering each other is [[CrapsackWorld just perfectly normal]].
* AmericaSavesTheDay: While the *USA is TheEmpire in this world, it still makes a point about helping out its (decreasing number of) true friends.
* AmericaTakesOverTheWorld: Not quite the whole world, but they're trying to take over the Americas and they've very nearly finished. Given what the *USA is like, this is ''not'' even remotely a good thing.
* BalkanizeMe: The USA (only at the beginning of the timeline), Spain, China, [[spoiler:France, Britain, Italy, Brazil]], and some other nations as well.
** Averted for Germany and Russia.
* TheBarnum: Phineas T. Barnum, who becomes president of New England.
* TheBeard: Julia Gordon's husband, who's gay himself (quite practical).
* BittersweetEnding
* BlackShirt:
** The {{redshirt}}s of the New England Vitalists.
** Also, the blacksh''o''rts (yes, you read that right) of the English nationalists.
* BornIntoSlavery
* CheeseEatingSurrenderMonkeys: Averted. France doesn't end well in TTL, but fights hard. In particular, the trope itself is inverted because for much of the 19th century, the *USA considers France to be one of her closest friends and allies.
* CivilWar: Starts with a much earlier UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar, then continues with civil wars in Brazil, Canada, etc. The last days of [[spoiler:the United Kingdom]] may also count as one.
* CultColony: The Nephites (alt-Mormons) use Vancouver Island, British Columbia as this, in place of Utah. It becomes an independent country, the Nephi Free State, after [[spoiler:Canada loses British Columbia and Alaska in the North American War]].
* DeepSouth: The *US is this trope writ large, with the culture and values of the planter elites of Old Dixie guiding the nation in its conquest of the Americas.
* DividedStatesOfAmerica: New England and *USA, the latter complete with an obviously different flag: seven stripes and an ever-increasing number of stars... or, at least, for now.
** Some have speculated that Canada might possibly end up as a divided nation: One scenario includes a republic in the west, an independent Quebec in the east, and a rump kingdom in Ontario. What happens to Wisconsin here, however, hasn't been addressed.
* DirtyCommunists: In Newfoundland!
* DrinkOrder: "Vodka's for Russkies, wine's for Poms, rum's for Jackals, sake's for slant-eyes and beer's for men", one Australian claims.
* {{Eagleland}}: The *USA incorporates some of the darkest elements of flavour #2.
* ElvesVsDwarves: Not literally; two factions among the Canadian republicans bear these nicknames.
* TheEmpire: the *USA, the Brazilian Empire, and both French Empires.
* EthnicMenialLabor: It starts with black slaves as in our world, after the Mexican conquest more and more ''mestizos'' and ''indios'' are added to the pool, and after the North American War [[spoiler:even ''anglos'' (read: Canadian resistance fighters) get enslaved]].
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: Justified, since the early part is in the time when royal marriages were real diplomacy.
* ExpandedStatesOfAmerica: Of the UnitedAmericas variant.
* TheFederation: the Russian Empire actually becomes this, while Germany and especially the Restored Empire fit the trope neatly.
** The Restored Empire is rather more TheAlliance than TheFederation, see chapter #189 for details.
** Subverted, like TheEmpire, since the TheEmpire, that is, the *USA, is of course an actual constitutional federation.
*** While the *USA is a ''de jure'' constitutional federation, it is unfortunately, in all reality, largely controlled by horribly immoral wealthy planters and unscrupulous industrialists; both of these elite groups, btw, were the key to the ultimate preservation of U.S. slavery.
* FictionalPoliticalParty: The major parties of the United States are the Democrats and the Patriots, who are later replaced by the Unionists, and the major parties of the Republic of New England are the Federalists, Radicals, and Republicans.
* GenericanEmpire: the Restored Empire and Amistad (spanish word for friendship).
* GoodRepublicEvilEmpire:
** Thoroughly averted. The *USA conquers and enslaves most of the Western Hemisphere while still remaining a republic, while the British, German, and Russian empires are all comparatively nice.
** Played relatively straight in Brazil, where the monarchy is pro-*US and pro-slavery and the republic is pro-German and immediately abolishes slavery, but it becomes a dictatorship.
** Another straight use of this trope was France, where both French empires and the later French republics (third and fourth) smoothly fit.
* GovernmentInExile: after the North American War and the following occupation of Venezuela, Australia harboured the Venezuelan government-in-exile.
* HappinessInSlavery: Debatable. Though not much has been discussed in the way of slave rebellions, the belief that slaves and peons would simply 'accept their fate' on the part of some [=AHers=] hasn't been proven, and in fact, it's almost inevitable that at least a few major rebellions would occur from time to time.
* HegemonicEmpire: Germany and Russia, and Australia and South Africa within the Restored Empire which dominates the Indian Rim.
* HopelessWar: The futile but heroic struggles of Latin Americans against the *USA… though not always.
* TheKingdom: The kingdoms within the British and later Restored Empire fit this trope more or less.
* LaResistance: Various, like the Velvet Underground in Pennsylvania, Mexican generals like Juarez, and Eunuco Mitchell. Unfortunately (and realistically), none have prevailed.
* MadeASlave
* MarySueTopia:
** While not really implausible, the Kingdom of Australia and its people are too perfect and successful to be a realistic country, in the eyes of some. This may be a case of AuthorAppeal (as is the case with many other things in the TL; the writer is Australian). Furthermore, real problems in the country have been talked about, including extreme environmental degradation and water shortages from having a population of 52 million people by TheFifties (greater than that of OTL's combined Australia, New Zealand, and New Guinea -- in the present day, mind you).
** Whether or not Liberia, the land of former slaves from the Americas, counts is very much debatable. Unlike real-world Liberia, where different factions have fought one another in one of Africa's longest and cruelest civil wars, it is peaceful and prosperous, with leading figures declaring that race does not matter in their eyes. Even more remarkable when the citizens come not only from the United States, as in the real Liberia, but also from all over the Caribbean, yet still enjoy enlightened fraternal harmony.\\\
Liberia's status is explained in-story as the result of a more favorable location in Southwest Africa, greater immigration and investment into the new nation (especially once the *US starts expelling free blacks), and most importantly, the fact that the region being settled was only thinly inhabited prior to the creation of the first colonies. (OTL Liberia's location in West Africa is a disease-filled jungle that was already filled with natives, most of who viewed the African Americans as just another colonizing force.) And even then, Liberia's history isn't entirely rosy -- the government commits genocide against the native Herero and Namaqua tribes to make room for "civilized" Liberians, and it experiences [[spoiler:a coup d'etat in the last phase of the Great War]]. While it doesn't suffer the brutality, strife, and corruption of the real Liberia, this isn't because the seeds for such weren't present -- they just never blossomed because it took much less effort to ethnically cleanse the land and create a "model" nation.
* MilitaryCoup: Happen in [[spoiler:Great Britain and Liberia]] at the end of the Great War because the civilian leadership is unwilling to leave the war.
* ANaziByAnyOtherName:
** Vitalism, a political movement that emerges from a defeated, bitter New England in the 1920s, is TTL's name for fascism (the name derived from the idea of 'restoring vitality to a dying nation'), and it comes complete with all manner of academic arguments as to what ''real'' vitalism is and just what nations qualified as vitalist (arguments that should be familiar to anybody who's studied OTL's fascism). Fun fact: The New England Vitalists' [[{{Blackshirt}} paramilitary wing]] wears [[{{Redshirt}} red shirts]].
** A good case can be made that the *US is starting to approach this by the end of the timeline, with Amber Jarrett's pseudo-Nietzschean philosophy indicating that its white nationalist/supremacist ideology is crystallizing into something even nastier. Another case can be made that the *US crossed that line long ago.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent: But of course. UsefulNotes/JamesMadison causes the USA to break up. UsefulNotes/JeffersonDavis also becomes one. UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and UsefulNotes/MartinVanBuren become presidents of New England instead, as do Phineas T. Barnum and Daniel Webster. UsefulNotes/UlyssesSGrant even is a reporter.
* PeaceConference: The First, Second, and Third Congress of Vienna and the Dublin Conference are the most important.
* RegentForLife: John Blackwood [[spoiler:becomes the Lord High Steward of England at the end of the timeline]].
* TheRepublic: The Republic of New England and the later French republics.
* RisingEmpire: The rise of the three superpowers who dominate the world from the 1930 onwards is a central part of the timeline.
* SexSlave: One *American is pretty shocked when he finds out that the Latina "dance instructors" are prostitutes in all but name. He founds the anti-slavery "Society for the Ethical Peon Treatment" (SEPT).
* SlaveLiberation: One slave, who later calls himself Romulus Courtenay, runs away with his wife and daughter. Fortunately, he gets help fleeing to Canada - by a white racist, who just happens to hate big slaveholders.
* SpaceFillingEmpire: The South African-ruled Central Africa is the most obvious example.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Taking over the Americas becomes a major aim of the *USA.
* TheTheocracy: The Nephi Free State is a theocratic Nephi republic. Non-Nephis are disenfranchised and encouraged to migrate.
* UnitedEurope: The German-dominated Greater European Economic Union unites most of post-Great War Europe outside the Russian Federation.
* VestigialEmpire: The Restored Empire is a positive version.
** Subverted by the Portuguese kingdom. It seemed to be heading into becoming one after losing its closest ally, Imperial Brazil and being forced to sell most of their overseas empire [[spoiler:...only to gain a large colonial empire in West Africa at the beginning of the post-Great war era.]]
* TheWhiteHouse: Burned down by the Halifax Powers (Britain and New England) and rebuilt in Knoxville, renamed Columbia.

[[folder: Character Tropes]]
* AcePilot: James Ingersoll.
* AgentPeacock: A Portuguese guy only known as "Alberto". Not very "bishie", but even described as a peacock (he likes expensive clothes).
* AristocratsAreEvil: Played straight (Empress Maria) and averted (Baron Kelvin).
* TheCasanova: President Hugh Griffin.
* CrystalDragonJesus: Hong Xiuquan, the "son of Christ" and leader of the Taiping rebellion.
* EqualOpportunityEvil:
** The *US makes a point of assimilating those Latinos in the conquered Mexico and Latin America who can either pass for white or are rich enough to buy their citizenship. According to some, this could have the ironic effect of making the ruling upper and middle classes of the *US, a nation built upon white supremacy, look rather swarthy and Mediterranean in comparison to their lily-white rivals (though it is highly doubtful that the WASP elites would just stand by and allow this without a fight).
** Abraham Myers, first Jewish president of the *USA, also deserves mention.
** Some Latinos also manage to rise to the top in *Fascist New England, General Rodney Ironfist (Rodrigo Heredia) being a major example. Of course, many of these Latinos are Dominicans, with views similar to those of [[spoiler:Cuban exiles in our world's US -- viciously anti-American and itching for revenge after the occupation of their homeland.]]
* ElitesAreMoreGlamorous: Many stories are about members of the Jaguars, the *American elite troops / jungle fighters.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: The reason for the support of Alvar O'Brien by his archenemy Plutarco Bautista against presidential candidate Jefferson Caden, who is an extreme (WASP) racist and warhawk.
* FamousNamedForeigner: Karl Marx's co-author Adenauer(!), banker Escher, professor Disraeli, French president Marceau, German colonist Schweitzer, British writer Clement Churchill, Italian general Verdi, a St Petersburg publishing company owned by "Ulyanov and Trotsky" (Ulyanov was Vladimir Lenin's original surname), German (left) politician Blucher, SF author Grillparzer, let alone the composer Schicklgruber, which is, as some may know, the birth name of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler's father.
* AFatherToHisMen: General Helmuth von Moltke, who even gets nicknamed "Vater" (father).
* HeelFaceTurn: Done by Edgar Langley, the first *American (Deputy) Ambassador in Liberia.
* IntrepidReporter: The Grant family: Ulysses, Jesse, Diane.
* IronicNickname: Handsome Pete, also fighting in the Brazilian Civil War, a guy who's described thus: "with a face which wouldn't look out of place on a horse's backside"
* LipstickLesbian: Julia Gordon. And [[spoiler:First Lady Anna Mitchell]].
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Hey, it covers more than a hundred years of (alternate) history, and events from all over the world.
* NietzscheWannabe: The *American philosopher Amber Jarrett. She gets some really juicy lines, too:
-->In war: determination. In defeat: malice. In victory: vengeance. In peace: preparation.
-->Perpetual peace is a dream, and not even a beautiful dream. War is an integral part of the ordering of the universe. Men love peace as a means to new wars.
* RichardNixonTheUsedCarSalesman: William Randolph Hearst is a general… and there's other examples, too.
* TheStoic: Canadian general Ambroise Riel. He's nicknamed "the iceman" and his adjutant claims that Riel only smiled once in four years.
* SweetPollyOliver: Amber Jarrett.