Copyright © Tony Jones, 2005. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.Robert Clive (in the real world Clive of India) attempted to commit suicide twice when he first went to India, due to depression. In the real world his pistol misfired both times. It was only after this that he went on to achieve greatness. What if it had not, and he had died before he achieved greatness?
Without Robert Clive, the British are unable to stop the French becoming the dominant power in India. At the same time the French cannot stop the Anglo-Prussian alliance removing them from North America, leading to an earlier but less successful American Revolution.
Over the decades, the French Empire has becomes the dominant world power (analogous to the British Empire of the real world), with the Union (the descendant of the Anglo-Prussian alliance), a resurgent Ottoman state, the Dutch Empire and the Russian Empire as the lesser powers of the world. Colonialism has taken a very different route to the real world.
By the year 2000 political and scientific thought have also taken different paths to the real world, with a number of political philosophies becoming dominant. In science, the biological disciplines are more advanced than the real world, with genetic engineering and DNA computing being widely used, while the physical sciences are less advanced, with space flight and nuclear weapons being recent innovations.