Spoilers Alternatives to Earth-Romulan War.

Gorantev

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How differently would the entire history of United Earth/United Federation of Planets go, if instead of Romulans, it were Klingons who went to war with Coalition of Planets (or in worst case scenario - both attack at the roughly the same time). For the purposes of this discussion, Klingon Civil War didn't happen in this timeline (which if it did happen, would render the whole discussion moot), and they're a power to be reckoned with in Beta Quadrant.

I assume that UFP wouldn't form in this scenario, as they'd be subjugated by Klingons instead (or whatever other power to which Coalition surrendered first in case of both Klingons and Romulans (and maybe few others) attacking). Thus, history would take an entirely different, much more militant path, causing such a massive divergence that the state of the quadrant by TOS era, let alone TNG one, would be practically alien and unrecognizable by Prime UFP.

I put a spoiler tag on this thread, because in discussion of such divergence spoilers from multiple shows, old and new, are nearly inevitable. With that clarification out of the way, let the discussion begin. I am looking forward to speculations, questions and answers.
 
How differently would the entire history of United Earth/United Federation of Planets go, if instead of Romulans, it were Klingons who went to war with Coalition of Planets (or in worst case scenario - both attack at the roughly the same time). For the purposes of this discussion, Klingon Civil War didn't happen in this timeline (which if it did happen, would render the whole discussion moot), and they're a power to be reckoned with in Beta Quadrant.

Would there be a significant difference?

The only major difference in a Klingon War I could think of would be that Archer would offer to surrender himself to the Klingons to end the war, since their vendetta is with him. How that effects the development of the Coalition of Planets into the Federation, IDK. Since Daniels alluded that the Federation could still form without Archer, but it would not be the way its supposed to be. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

The Klingon Neutral Zone would also have existed 60 years earlier. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the Federation-Klingon Cold War ends 60 years early either. It could last over a century, or even longer than that.

Now, if its Romulans and Klingons vs the Coalition – the coalition is likely overwhelmed, and the usage of atomic weapons in the conflict possibly gives the Klingons license to create massive atomic weapons to use (think Tsar Bomba). Vulcan is reunified with Romulus, and the rest of the Coalition worlds become subject worlds.

Then a century later, Earth's population is wiped out when V’Ger and/or the whale probe come along. And a century after that, the Beta Quadrant falls to the Borg, which later falls to the Dominion because the Borg get wiped out by Species 8472 in the Delta Quadrant. And the Delta Quadrant species figure out how the push Species 8472 back to fluidic space on their own without Janeway. Meaning by the 32nd century, the Dominion and the Emerald Chain are rivals, and are at the mercy of Species 10-C.
 
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Then a century later, Earth's population is wiped out when V’Ger and/or the whale probe come along. And a century after that, the Beta Quadrant falls to the Borg, which later falls to the Dominion because the Borg get wiped out by Species 8472 in the Delta Quadrant. And the Delta Quadrant species figure out how the push Species 8472 back to fluidic space on their own without Janeway. Meaning by the 32nd century, the Dominion and the Emerald Chain are rivals, and are at the mercy of Species 10-C.
That is one of possible scenarios. However, there is non-zero chance that humanity might revert to their more exploitative, secretive and militaristic side, and start exploiting weaknesses of their new overlords in full, once they figure out how. Tech advancement likely will suffer, but they might just be able to deal with V'Ger and/or Whale Probe nonsense on their own, and due to being forced to develop many things on their own (as treaty conditions are likely to make meaningful research exchange very challenging at best), end result is gonna be... Decidedly not a Federation (because time window for that has already closed, and culture altered irrevocably), but neither will it turn fully into Terran Empire expy either - people aren't that dumb, nor would that model work anyway.

Lasting consequence of said subjugation would almost unavoidably be of much more cynical, embittered and paranoid humanity, as decades if not centuries of Romulan servitude would "teach" us that almost no one can be trusted with anything on galactic stage, that if you want to do something well, you have to do it yourself, and that in order to keep your "core" safe, you need an apocalyptically strong fleet (to fend off against practically the entire quadrant or two if need to), bunch of buffer states and ability to project your power anywhere, to ensure that it will be indeed safe. That, if we assume that we throw off the yoke of occupation anyway, which depending on the circumstances, may not be very feasible or even possible.

One thing can be said for certain - Alpha and Beta Quadrants, if not the entire Milky Way, would not be the same again.
 
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