Alternate history map, based on a scenario by alternatehistory.com member Grey Wolf. The scenario did not fill in the details of most of the world, and did not deal with the course of events that made the world what it is, so a lot of this is conjecture. There are a couple of problems; the text was curved manually, so a lot of it doesn't look very good, the map I traced it from is still underneath it so Flevoland, which shouldn't exist at this point in time, is visible, and Austria should by an Archduchy rather than a Grand Duchy.
In 1812, Emperor Napoleon I of the French and Tsar Alexander I of Russia agreed to partition the Ottoman Empire. This set off the War of the Sixth Coalition, but as with all the wars against the French Republic and later the French Empire, it failed. France and Russia between them had secured hegemony over Europe for a generation.
However, in the end, a lasting alliance between the two continental great powers proved impossible, and Franco-Russian tensions increased year by year. Meanwhile, Spain drifted out of the French orbit, and some German and Italian liberals became disillusioned by continuing French occupation of territories they claimed for their own. France drew their German and Italian allies back in with concessions, in the German lands ceding all their territory north and east of the Rhine, reestablishing Holland and Oldenburg, and allowing the Confederation of Germany to centralize somewhat and reforming the Diet of the Confederation. In Italy, Genoa was ceded and the client Kingdoms of Italy and Naples united.
Still, tensions were higher than they had been in decades, and the other powers saw the chinks in the French armor, and formed the loose Seventh Coalition in the event of a major continental war, which looms large on the horizon. The year is 1875, and in secret, deep within a state arsenal in Trebizond, work has begun on an armored steam traction engine, which could change war forever...
Britain, France and Russia remain the main world powers, with France and Russia arrayed against each other in Europe while the British rule Australia, India, and parts of Africa. Denmark, Egypt, Hungary, Portugal, Prussia, Spain, Sweden, and the United States are lesser powers but still have substantial influence.
The Industrial Revolution started in the French Rhineland, and France, the western tier of the German Confederation, and northern Italy are still the world's most industrialized regions, although other areas like the northeast and Great Lakes in the USA and Canada, Scotland and northern England, Trebizond, Scandinavia, and the Ukraine in Russia are becoming major industrial centers.
The Confederation of Germany, if it was a true state, would likely be one of the world's great powers, but it's many squabbling small states have precluded this. Secretly the French are happy with this, as some fear their creation could turn on them if allowed to centralize. There have been steps forward though, with the Diet switching from each state having one vote, exercised by the sovereign, to elected representatives, one for the small states and free cities and two for the larger ones, namely Austria, Bavaria, Holland, Oldenburg, Prussia, Saxony, and Westphalia, although of the large states only Holland and Westphalia have their citizens directly elect representatives to the Diet.
Europe was recently almost plunged into war after reports said British and French troops exchanged shots in the Sudan, the French lost a prototype submarine in British waters, and the British ambassador to Prussia was accused of plotting to sabotage the French arsenal in Berlin. While the submarine was soon located and found to have sunk when a seals broke in a dive test, and the reports from Africa proved to be a false alarm, the whereabouts of the British ambassador after his arrest are unknown, and rumor has it the French were attempting to provoke war. Tensions have reached a fever pitch, and the outbreak of the first industrial age war seems to be a question of when, not if...