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Literature / What Madnessis This Redux

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"What Madness is This?" Redux: The Union Forever is a dystopian alternate history timeline by Napoleon 53, a member of Alternate History.com. This timeline is a Continuity Reboot of the original What Madness Is This, beginning in a way almost identical to the original before radically diverging from both it, and our own timeline. It begins with an America that fails to adopt the Constitution falling apart in the wake of George Washington's death and the corrupt dealings of the Federalist Party. Meanwhile, Napoleon defeats the British Empire around the globe and Napoleonic France becomes the global hegemon.

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Things quickly turn sideways. The French force the Republican Union, the American remnant in the North stretching from Ohio to Maine, into an alliance with the Southron powers (Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, and Georgia) and itself to defeat British Canada. The Canadians essentially raze the RU, while the French and Southrons refuse to help until it's too late. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, the Republican Union survives, and even gains some Canadian land. However, the betrayal of their allies and the devastation wreaked upon them by the Canadians totally and irreversibly twists the American psyche, leading to the rise of the American Fundamentalist Church. In the aftermath, the RU slowly devolves from an expansionist, revanchist state into the world's first Fascist dictatorship, even as its society develops along lines both recognizable and alien to us. It just gets worse from here....

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You can read the new TL here:https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/what-madness-is-this-redux-the-union-forever.451900/


  • Allohistorical Allusion: Absolutely chock full of these, especially American history ones:
    • For example, in this TL the famous Lincoln-Douglas Debate is actually a fight between military cadets Lincoln and Douglas that ends with Lincoln killing Douglas with a single punch.
    • The Union is an adamantly Marxist state. That's because Henry Marx and his son Charles are adamant Fascists who devise the Union's version of scientific racism and coked-out spiritualism respectively.
    • The Great American War is a giant Allohistorical Allusion to the Civil War.
    • Custers's "Washington Pub Revolt" is obviously based on Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch-except that Custer's coup succeeds.
    • The Kissimmee Conference, where the Union's leaders decide to exterminate all Inferiors, is a reference to the Wannsee Conference.
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  • A Naziby Any Other Name: The Union under Custer, Steele, and in the future, Charles Oswald. Especially ironic in this case since the Union is actually very pro-Jewish and pro-African American.
  • Balkanize Me: The fate of the United States and the British Empire early on in the TL.
  • Black and Grey Morality: No one is particularly nice in this timeline. The French were imperialist absolute monarchists until the Great World War (and even their period as a democratic constitutional monarchy is heavily implied to be a Hope Spot at best), as are the Prussians/Nordreichers/Germanian. The Southron nations have violent rivalries with one another and treat non-whites like crap. However, any of them is preferable to the later Republican Union and its Fascist Co-Prosperity Sphere.
  • Bomb-Throwing Anarchists: The Beutelists in this TL fit the bill perfectly, although their ideology is more fleshed out and coherent compared to the original timeline.
  • The Caligula: Oh, this world is full of them.
    • George IV's insanity costs Britain the Napoleonic Wars and its empire.
    • Czar Viktor's delusions of a Russian Eurasian Mongol Empire start the First World War and cripples Russia.
    • Napoleon III's decadence and weakness allow the Union and Russia to expand, fatally weakening the French (now Europan) Empire and indirectly causing the First World War.
  • Commie Nazis: The Republican Union, full stop. The RU combines elements of Nazism, Stalinism, Fundamentalist Christianity, and the worst parts of American history.
  • Corrupt Church: Oh dear lord, the AFC. They create fake "lost writings" from the long-dead Prophet Aaron Burr to justify political moves made by Philadelphia, have a private army/spy force that they use to watch and control much of the Union elite, and to top it all off, one Reverend-Colonel, Billy Sunday, is a wife murdering philanderer and child molester. Very Christian, these guys...
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: The Union is full of these guys.
    • Charles Goodyear I is the penultimate example, albeit with a humanizing backstory. His father is killed by the Canadians and his family loses everything, inspiring a burning hatred of all things foreign. He channels this rage into rebuilding the Union economy and constructing the largest corporate empire in human history off the backs of immigrants he tricks into coming to America before basically enslaving them. He also supports the rise of Scientific Marxism (Scientific racism), the AFC, and Fascism.
    • His son, Charles Goodyear II, also qualifies. He takes over the company after pushing his 100-year-old father off of a Zeppelin and then wages a violent mafia-Esque war against Henry Ford before being killed.
    • Speaking of Ford, he qualifies too. He designs the auto carriage for Goodyear I, founds his own car company, wages a bloody war against Goodyear II, and then pioneers the rise of vaguely mob-like Economic Clans who in effect function as corporatist cartels.
    • George Custer is this before becoming President of the Republican Union. He founds a private security company that polices immigrant ghettos, practices ethnic cleansing against Native Americans, and almost hunts the American Buffalo into extinction.
    • George Washington Carver is an aversion of this trope that still manages to be hilariously, obliviously evil. The son of slaves freed by the Union, Carver is a legitimately patriotic, faithful, family loving man... who makes his money selling cocaine soda and candies to children and the troops (who use it to hype themselves up for genocide).
  • Crapsack World: Possibly the crappiest crapsack in the multiverse. Top 5 at least.
  • Dystopia: Let's see, vicious, Fascist, crazy America that covers most of North America, the Caribbean, and controls most of the Pacific. Absolutist Napoleonic Empire in Africa, the Middle East, and India. Throw in some other crazy powers and an alarming penchant for genocide, and that's about it.
  • Eagleland: The Republican Union is the very embodiment of Type II, and is all the worst aspects of OTL America cranked Upto Eleven.
    • Exaggerated patriotism and American Exceptionalism turns into a literal cult of national self-worship.
    • Bad treatment of immigrants is reflected by the Union literally tricking unsuspecting foreigners into coming to America before using them as wage slaves.
    • America's OTL outburst of Manifest Destiny expansionism never ends and results in the industrialized genocide of the Mexicans and Native Americans.
    • America's drug problem is fully condoned by the government, and meth, cocaine, mescaline, and LSD are all perfectly legal and available at your local pharmacy.
    • The marriage of fundamentalist religion and politics results in an actual state fundamentalist church.
    • American worship of rugged individualists and strong leaders becomes a twisted form of Social Darwinism where the so-called "Strong Men" of the world are expected and encouraged to do whatever they want to get power and wealth.
    • American prosperity in our universe is mainly a product of hard work and innovation, although there has also been a fair amount of imperialism to help. In WMIT Redux, the entire American project is built on innovation mixed with the most disgraceful greed and theft imaginable, including land grabs for the property of genocide victims. Of course, they insist that they are merely blessed by God.
  • Enemy Mine: A dispute over ownership of Cuba leads to a war between Virginia and Carolina which Carolina loses. As a result, during the Great American War Carolina signs a non-aggression pact with the Republican Union and nabs some of Virginia's territory when Virginia falls.
  • Hope Spot: The liberal interlude that Europa experiences after the Great World War is implied to be this with the rise of Julius Evola.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Republican Union starts off as a very mildly sympathetic US remnant, albeit one that is extremely revanchist and racist. Soon they're committing genocide against Mexicans, Native Americans, and white Inferiors (Catholics, Irish, Italians, Slavs, etc), invading just about everybody they can, using poisoned vaccines to commit mass murder, and going full Orwellian.
  • Pet the Dog: Despite being very vicious racists, the Republican Union is actually quite generous to certain minorities it deems fellow "Chosen Races", like African-Americans and Jews. They're required to adopt Anglo-Saxon culture, but they're still treated as equals.
  • The Social Darwinist: The Union is an explicitly Social Darwinist state, and believes that the Chosen races (non-Irish Northern Europeans, African-Americans, Jews, and the Japanese) have a destiny to conquer the world because they are "stronger." Politically, they believe in the so-called "Strong Man Theory" which holds that history is decided by certain people, and that those people have the right to do whatever they please, no matter how immoral.
  • Start of Darkness: The Republican Union gets roped into a war against Britain by France, leading to the British army going on a rampage through the RU before being driven off. As a result, the Union develops a grudge against both their southern neighbors (for failing to come to their aid) and France (for dragging them into the conflict, then not giving them enough of a reward when Britain was defeated).
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