In many histories, William Tecumseh Sherman was famous for two things: his Civil War record, and his famous comment rejecting any thought of political office (“If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve”). On Macedonia-2, however, he was offered the Princedom of Bulgaria, and for reasons still unclear, accepted. Thirty years later, the unlikely dynasty founded by him is subtly shifting European politics. Whether this will affect the general war scheduled for the next decade is up to either Infinity or Centrum.
Already-complex Central European politics are complicated by a transplanted American presence in the Balkans.
1878; the Treaty of Berlin confirms American general William T Sherman as Prince of Bulgaria. The merger of Bulgaria with Romania (1881) and Eastern Rumelia (1885), plus its annexation of Serbia (1886) created the Triple Monarchy, a growing power in the Balkans.
Austro-Hungarian Empire (Dictatorship, CR4), British Empire (Representative Democracy, CR4), German Empire (Dictatorship, CR4), Ottoman Empire (Dictatorship, CR5), Triple Monarchy (Representative Democracy, CR3)
Mana Level: Low
Infinity Class: P9
Centrum Zone: Yellow
Our American Monarch
It is unclear why Tecumseh I decided to take possession of a small Balkan country whose language he never learned to speak properly, but he proved to be exceptionally popular with his subjects. The American general’s linguistic problems had very fortunate results for his new country; being largely shut out of the political sphere, Prince Tecumseh concentrated on the military. Within two years Bulgaria’s armies were the best in the region, prompting Prince Karol of Romania (dealing with Russian intrigues not present in Homeline) to offer union with Bulgaria – and to declare Tecumseh’s son Philemon his own heir, as well. Now-King Tecumseh of the Double Monarchy took personal command of the combined Bulgarian and Romanian armies to decisively defeat the overconfident Serbian forces in the eponymous Bulgarian-Serbian War of 1885. Sherman had been diligent in training his army to the standards of the American army, with equipment to match. The existing Serbian monarch was sufficiently disgraced to be forced to abdicate the following year; annexation soon followed, mostly at the Serbians’ own impetus. The Double (soon Triple) Monarchy seemed powerful enough to hold off the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and its King was notorious for his willingness to defer domestic policy to the legislative branch.
Tecumseh’s son Philemon I (an older son was disqualified doubly, being both a Roman Catholic and a Jesuit) was crowned in 1891. While not the military genius that his father was, he has been a highly credible domestic leader, and pivotal in the ongoing integration of what were three largely distinct countries and cultures into a pan-Slavic constitutional monarchy. Unfortunately, the Serbians are adamant in their opposition to the proposed Austrian annexation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Bulgarians are pushing for the dividing the remainder of the Ottoman holdings in Macedonia with Greece and the Romanian Prince Karol (the second noble in the Triple Kingdom after the King) is actively working towards stronger relations with the German Reich. In other words, the mere existence of the Triple Monarchy threatens to undermine the stability of the pact uniting the Central Powers.
The rest of the world remains almost unchanged from the equivalent point in Homeline’s, with the increasingly important exception of the United States. There has been a steady stream of revenue and adventurers flowing into the Balkans from America, attracted by favorable trade concessions and employment opportunities. British investment lagged behind, but recent Continental tensions have made the Triple Kingdom attractive as a possible counterweight to the Austrians and Germans. The net result has been increased American involvement in European affairs: in 1905, President Theodore Roosevelt proposed a continental conference to settle Central European issues (as opposed to his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War in Homeline, which spluttered out on its own). This conference will be held in Prague later in the year; it proposes to be a very complicated, very raucous affair.
This world was classified as an echo at first, as both the low probability and type of its divergence point and its Quantum suggested active intervention by Centrum. This possibility was discounted about a decade or so ago, when Centrum actually stumbled across the timeline. The timeline is not heavily contested by either side, permitting a discreet amount of tourism.
Interestingly, both Infinity and Centrum seem to be working against a general European war in the next decade. The I-Cops’ working assumption is that Centrum is not acting humanitarianly, but is instead engaged in a long-term pragmatic exercise to create an English-speaking regional power in Central Europe which would allow them to infiltrate the continent properly. There is some indication that Interworld personnel have exactly the same opinion about their rivals’ goals.
The Macedonia designation is resolved for significant changes in the Balkans from about 1800 AD on. There are only three timelines known at this time. Both Macedonia-1 (Q4, current year 1958 AD) and Macedonia-3 (Q5, current year 1840 AD) diverged in 1824 with the survival of Lord Bryon. In both timelines he went on to become King of Greece, and is in fact still King in both, despite the century difference; Macedonia-1’s Byron is also a vampire. Despite the differences in mana levels (Macedonia-1’s level is regular; Macedonia-3’s is none) the broad outlines of both Byron’s rule match up, at least to 1840. Infinity’s researchers are attempting to determine whether there is a connection.
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