So since I'm lazy right now (at least when it comes to the time travel map series of mine) I'm going to flesh out some ideas for my next independent map/universe, which is basically a rather convergent yet ultimately MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH MUCH different of a world then ours, but at a glance could be confused for our own by some universe-traveler-guy.
I suggest reading this first, then going and looking at the map when I post it, and THEN coming back and looking at this again in case anything is hard to understand. It should be, because this is a cursory overview without all the little details. If you want those, then you may want to comment a question on said map
ITTL the world diverges from ours slowly, more of a cultural path, but begins ultimately in the late 1840's United States, when a rather overzealous and mentally scarred Southerner returning from the war in Mexico went home to Louisiana and began to preach of a Southern nation independent from the 'shackles of the Union' which could expand "towards its righteous destiny" as a glorious 'Empire under of God and Country'.
This man went by the name of Flynn Daegon, and would go on to found the secret society that would so soon envelope and dominate the Southern states political elite, the Order of the Southern Dragon. This hidden geopolitical entity would prepare for a future separation of the Southern states from the Union through a violent revolution, and throughout the 1850's and 1860's things stirred within the United States that rocked the nation to its core. States rights issues and the rising Republican Party caused divisions between the North and the South, which the Order used as a casus belli for their growing militant cause, and began to organize an insurgency. The Republican candidate for the President, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated on November 5th, 1860, which managed to prevent a full-scale civil war for another 8 years. However in 1868 as political tensions finally reached a pinnacle the Southern states and their Order-ran governments finally declared their independence as the Confederal States of America and after a 4 year war, British support, and some rather serious blunders on the Union side had achieved their independence.
From 1872 onward the Confederate nation developed, fought itself, fought other nations, and expanded, but always had its eyes looking north at its 'father'. While the Union went on to recover, prosper, and do the same as its now begotten 'son', fearful that its growing southern neighbor could eventually usurp its position. A cold war began that year that had since not ended.
As for the rest of the world, things proceeded relatively on the same course as our world. Germany and Italy unified under roughly the same people, with roughly the same outcome, Africa and Asia were divided, wars were fought across continents, and eventually some political situations arose where the Great Powers were arrayed against one another in a single Great War (1908-1921), which eventually led to an even different Cold War between the monarchist, single-party and rapidly racialist and fascist German Empire, which now controlled continental Europe (minus tidbits) alongside the oddly convergent Union of International Socialist Republics, which had been created to destroy the Russian Empire, and somehow Berlin (and in the future, Reichsstadt) managed to wrangle this political machination of socialism and egalitarianism with just the necessary amount of social oppression into its junior partner on the world stage. Germany went on to develop into an elitist, fascistic, and scarily racialist yet still technically a social democratic state that strangled Europe through economic and military might, fueled by the resources of its eastern ally (with the originally internationalist, democratic, socialist regime of the UISR eventually replaced by a more militant, authoritarian regime that kept all the egalitarian parts so that at least Russia's racism was pretty much gone, making everyone equally
France fell back to its African Empire, and went on to become almost as scary as Germany itself, finally breaking with the Entente (alongside Italy) after the British and Japanese came to realize how scary and racist and fascist it had become, as the French and Italians tried to bolster their white populations both to control their multi-ethnic empires and to return to war with the Germans at some point (which finally happened in 1952, but that is for later). The British and Japanese, on the other hand, carried on the Entente on their own, facing off with the alt-Soviets and their communist stooges in China and the Middle East and even bolstering the dying Ottoman Empire as a counterweight against both the Reds and the 'Krauts Kontinent'.
The British increasingly centralized, decentralized, dominionized, and overall developed their empire, directly controlling their most prized bits to continue their cold war with the Fascist power blocs, and always keeping a watchful eye over the Americas as well , where the Americans and Confederates never stopped dicking about (and all those revolutions in South America kept messing up commerce). The Imperial Federation is now a multi-national effort between the different Dominions of the British Empire, the British Empire itself, and its protectorates and more closely incorporated allies.
The Japanese, on the other hand, were never as bad and mean to their conquered peoples as OTL, and although they did eventually take over nearly all of East Asia, have since then reconciled with their ruled populaces over their more gross offensives by granting political and social autonomy in exchange for the natives letting the Japanese rape them for resources and maintain military bases in their respective countries.
Currently the world is on edge, as the Latin Union of France and Italy face off against the Axis of Germany and the UISR, with the French currently holding a rather large part of southern Spain (a Fascist junta quickly falling apart as the military tries to hold down the population and the Germans try to push the French out of the Balearics). The Italians however were stalled in their attempted push into German territory, and found themselves pushed back from their fortresses on the Po River, and are now unsteadily holding back the Imperials on a shaky battle line not too far to the south.
As it stands on January 1st, 1953, the world is a chaotic, intriguing place. Both the Entente and the Axis grasp at the hopes of luring in their respective American and Confederate associates, with neither North American country fulling committed to either side, instead working out their own political spheres and unfortunate commitments to helping certain Latin American countries murder each other. Proxy wars reign supreme throughout the world, and the three power blocs absolutely loathe on another. Still, the world tends to revolve around the Union and the Confederacy, because if either decides to choose a side, nuclear marbles will be rolled.