The cartography, writing, and ramblings of one crazy winter lover who likes to blog about the fun and inconsequential.

The Great Entente: Random Bouts of Cartography



This is my entry into alternatehistory.com's Random Bouts of Cartography contest, in which I was given a color (the one you see here) and a theme to make a map over. This week's theme was "fascism" and the dark blue reminded me of France, so I decided to make this.

The general backstory is that this is an alternate version of Harry Turtledove's famous alternate history series, Southern Victory, also known as Timeline-191. The general idea of HT's world is that the CSA managed to fight the Civil War to a draw and achieve independence from the United States, and then beat the United States in a "Second Mexican War" in the 1880s. Things continue to build until World War I breaks out in 1914 and the USA and CSA find themselves at war once more. While in Turtledove's work the post-war, German-allied victorious United States goes more socialist while the CSA embraces Nazism, my version has a divergence in that one certain character, Gordon McSweeney, does not die late in the war.

A decorated war hero, fiery speaker, and pious Presbyterian, McSweeney in this world goes into the post-war United States as a leader for a nation not sure what to do with itself after tremendous loss of life and a failure to retake the southern states into a single United States. Gordon McSweeney's brand of politics is highly nationalist and evangelist, forming a very American fascist party in the 1920s that grows in power, attracting millions of followers to McSweeney's firebrand rhetoric and apparently strong sense of morality and direction for the United States, until, in the 1930s, the United States elects Gordon McSweeney as President at the head of the Christian Democratic party. The party is not quite so abusive as the Nazi Party of our own world, but is assuredly quite nasty and very anti-CSA.

McSweeney, unsatisfied with the US' alliance with Germany that has existed since before the Great War, leaves the German alliance and instead approaches the Entente Cordiale, the losers of the First Great War. Since that time, Action Fran├žaise has taken over the government in France and creates the French Fourth Republic (rather than the monarchy in the books) that is a pan-European, pro-Gallic French fascist one party state that seeks to get back at Germany for the defeat of France in the First Great War. In response, Germany allies to the CSA and the stage is set for the Second Great War.

Ultimately, as one can see on the map, the Second Great War did not go well for Germany. Though Germany fought well, the war was on too man y fronts and, without its superpower US ally, was unable to contain all the fighting. Early in the war France managed to get fascists governments in Spain and Italy into power as support while the US supplied Franco-British armies gradually driving into the heavily-defended German territories in the west while Russia reversed the German gains in the east. Ultimately, monarchist Russia and fascist France and Britain (the British government technically unchanged in rules but headed by fascists) meet in the middle and, like in our own world, divide up Europe for themselves while the United States swallows up the Confederate States of America, erasing the nation from history.

The result of the war is what can be seen on the map. In Europe the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empires were defeated at last and their territories divided up. France and the United Kingdom (lessened in size due to the US supporting Irish independence in the First Great War) help forge new states in Germany while France is able to successfully bring a number of European states into an early form of a common market, founded on the idea of pan-European nationalism and solidarity. This solidarity and nationalism will be needed in the coming years, too, as Gordon McSweeney's religious, pro-American fascism clashes heavily with Action Fran├žaise's pan-European Gallic nationalism, and the two sides are less of allies than they have been since the end of the First Great War. Meanwhile, Russia looms large in the east, with much of Eastern Europe under it as puppets and the Turkish Straits under Moscow's direct control. Meanwhile, across the world, the Japanese emerged from the Second Great War in control of almost all of China as puppets and as "liberators" of European Asian colonies, creating a large sphere of power for itself. The stage is set, then, for a coming Cold War that could involve as many as 4 sides, but likely produce only one winner.

End Note: Just to make sure it is understood, the artist in no way supports the goals or ideas of fascism or similar ideologies. This is a work of fiction made for a specific contest, not a political statement.

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