The Commonwealth of England

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uk 75

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Long before the French Revolution and the American War of Independence, England fought a bloody civil war, put its king on trial and executed him.
The ensuing Commonwealth became a military dictatorship with Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector.
But there were more radical elements in his army and society who wanted to create a Republic of God. Think Taliban on Thames and you have an idea of where England might have headed.
Republics were not liked in the 17th Century. Those that existed, Venice and the Dutch had aristocratic rulers in the Doge and House of Orange.
A radical extreme protestant Republic based on a rising London ruled by an austere Puritan middle and gentry class would have been as anathema to France and Spain as Brexit Britain today- the English don't change much over the centuries.
Some things would have stayed the same. The English Republic would have grown rich on the slave colonies in the Caribbean and the East Coast of North America.
The scientific and industrial revolutions would still have happened but under a rigid political structure.
The bond between London and it's colonies would have been closer than under the Georgian monarchy.
The impact of this rising Republic on the nations of Europe can only be guessed at.
But assuming the Republic of England had survived and prospered, with a navy similar to the actual Royal Navy but with a militia based army like the actual US and Prussia, Europe would have been a very different place.
Without the upheavals of Napoleon and two World Wars, with other European countries following a similar republican path, the wars between states would still have occured but not on the scale we have seen.
The English Republic would have been even more technically innovative and with Northern Europe and Scandinavia likely to follow its example, most of the technology we know today would exist.
 

zen

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So several thoughts.

Historically and instinctively the Classical Republic isn't a stable system. Nor is it easy to integrate with a society such as England. So the most likely outcome is either collapse into Dictatorship (as per Rome and Greece and indeed the Lord Protector) or reversion to .....the Kingdom (monarchy as a term is too classical/Mediterranean).

Next point is an extremist Protestant state wouldn't just view Catholic France and Spain as a threat. They would include the Holy Roman Empire of the Germans. Implying more relationships with Orthodox Russia and Islam.
But more crucially they would be even less forgiving towards Ireland.

Deleted last sentence to try to keep this from it's inevitable fate.
 
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uk 75

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I must say I was envisaging it developing more along the lines of the Puritans in North America.
 

robunos

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I must say I was envisaging it developing more along the lines of the Puritans in North America.

If your scenario comes about, do the Puritans leave for America ?
Also, with a strongly religious society, I believe that science, and hence technology, would be suffocated, as happened, for example, with Islam . . .

cheers,
Robin.
 
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uk 75

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Good question..Some do and some dont.
There were so many strands of Protestantism in England in this period that a monolithic, islamic Taliban or Ayatollah style regime would not have emerged.
Parliament in some form would have ruled and leading Puritan figures would have had different interests.
 

robunos

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Good question..Some do and some dont.
There were so many strands of Protestantism in England in this period that a monolithic, islamic Taliban or Ayatollah style regime would not have emerged.
Parliament in some form would have ruled and leading Puritan figures would have had different interests.

. . and yet in your original post you invite us to
"Think Taliban on Thames and you have an idea of where England might have headed." . . . ;)

cheers,
Robin.
 
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zen

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Hey, neat, it's *my* turn to be the nagging Karen: this sort of post is wildly off-topic for this forum. "Alternate History" should revolve around alternate histories of air/spacecraft, not just general Alt History.
It would work better as a scenario if we were talking of the population getting more hardline Protestant after 1900. Say opposing the Entant Cordial, pro-Prussian voices raised etc.....
 
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