What if Oliver Cromwell didn’t get malaria?

…and lived to age 80, giving him 20 extra years to play proto-Napoleon in the British isles?

France gets its act together to fund oppressed Catholics, especially in Scotland and Ireland, who declare independence in the chaos following Cromwell’s death. In the Recusant War of 1678-1684, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Lancashire, and Maryland colony declare independence, with Scotland and Ireland successful, Wales and Lancashire brutally re-conquered, and Maryland re-conquered, then “liberated” by French colonists and their Native allies.

By 1700, French Acadia includes Maryland, Delaware, *Pennsylvania, and much of *New York state, and by 1800, Anglophone America is confined to Labrador and the Tidewater South, independent by default after the collapse of Cromwellian England and the proclamation of the 2nd English Republic. There’s also a big English-speaking population in New Amsterdam, whose relationship with Acadia is something like Singapore with Malaysia.

As the Republic of Acadia experiments with Enlightenment ideals and grows in power, the English Partnership (England, Labradore, Virginia, the Appalachian Empire, Jamaica, and a few scattered outposts on the Hudson Bay, the Caribbean, the African west coast, and the Indian east coast ) are known mostly for their persecution of religious minorities, and slave trade.

With the takeoff of the industrial revolution in the Netherlands and Acadia (including N’Ampster), England emerges as an ethno-nationalist military dictatorship (but at least they finally banned slavery). Modernization starts late but moves quickly, building a navy that, after some heady victories against the rusty French and Spanish colonial forces in Africa, tries to swallow the continent. Before the downsides to this plan become obvious, England, Appalachia, and Germany cook up a crazy scheme to take  over the world, and invade all their neighbors simultaneously, setting off a world war. There’s also ethnic cleansing of Catholics and horrific psychological experiments on Quakers because why not?

Foreign occupation and annexation is why not. England gets split between France and Scotland, Appalachia by Acadia and Mexico, and English Africa, India, and Brazil evaporate (most of them ended up *communist).  As Acadia, France, and Spain explode with prosperity and grapple with *communist India, English-speaking countries focus on commerce and technology.

When it reunifies in the 1980s, the Anglosphere is a surprisingly sensible economic and cultural union built along Scandinavian lines. Church attendance is way down, all the best electronic gadgetry (and porn) comes from England, and Appalachians are well known as sober businessmen-and-women working very hard to convince everyone they’re not racist any more. The Quakers got their own city-state!

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