If the Byzantine Empire would have survived up to the present-day, what it look like right now?

Mar 2016
1,222
Australia
Well, maybe if English King Henry V sends his forces there instead of to France. Of course, that would require him to have Crusading fever that would overpower his claims to the French throne.
Henry V was an extremely pious man, and was indeed receptive to ideas of crusade, but even to him nothing was more important than victory against the French, and the Herculean task of asserting his rule across the country would have likely consumed all of his life, even had he not died so young in 1422. It's also unlikely that even if he had gone on crusade much could have been achieved. He was a great commander and his soldiers generally very good, but England's manpower was quite small compared even to France, let alone the enormous army sizes the Ottomans could muster. Over a thousand kilometres away in foreign territory, he would have a lot of trouble reinforcing any losses (he had similar problems even just across the Channel in Normandy), while the Ottomans by comparison could reinforce much more easily.
 
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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
22,295
SoCal
Henry V was an extremely pious man, and was indeed receptive to ideas of crusade, but even to him nothing was more important than victory against the French, and the Herculean task of asserting his rule across the country would have likely consumed all of his life, even had he not died so young in 1422. It's also unlikely that even if he had gone on crusade much could have been achieved. He was a great commander and his soldiers generally very good, but England's manpower was quite small compared even to France, let alone the enormous army sizes the Ottomans could muster. Over a thousand kilometres away in foreign territory, he would have a lot of trouble reinforcing any losses (he had similar problems even just across the Channel in Normandy), while the Ottomans by comparison could reinforce much more easily.
Was Muslim power projection much weaker in the late 1100s? After all, Richard the Lionheart was able to achieve some successes against Saladin during the Third Crusade.
 

MAGolding

Ad Honorem
Aug 2015
2,971
Chalfont, Pennsylvania
What makes you think the Byzantine Empire was capable of this in 1402? By that point, it was already pretty much a city-state that consisted of Constantinople with surroundings, Thessalonika and parts of Peloponnese.
My point of departure in that scenario was that the Crusade of Nicopolis in 1396 wins big time, however improbable that might have been, and that the Ottomans cede a lot of their European territory to the Christian Balkan states, including the "Byzantine" Empire, which thus gains a larger revenue base. And the second point of departure is that the Ottomans lose at Ankara in 1402 even worse than in our history, and the Ottoman state falls to pieces and never reforms, the Turkish emirates being restored in Asia Minor and the Christian states in the Balkans reconquering the Turkish lands there.

And it is possible, however unlikely, that Manuel II could have organized the "Byzantine" empire to be more efficient militarily than the competing Christian States in the Balkans and could have defeated them one by one and taken provinces from them one by one, much as Murad and Bayezid had done. Remember that the Latin states were disunited, the last claimant to the imperial title dying in 1383, and Serbia was divided into half a dozen states, and there would have been two weak rival Bulgarian emperors.

So there are three improbable conditions in this scenario:

First the "Byzantine" empire gains a lot of territory from the Crusade of Nicolpolis.

Second the Ottomans lose so bad at Ankara in 1402 that their state collapses, being replaced by the Turkish emirates in Asia Minor, and their remaining territories in Europe being acquired by the Christian states.

Third, the "Byzantine" empire is more militarily efficient that other Christian states in the Balkans at conquering former Turkish lands and other Christian lands, and so expands to occupy as much of the Balkans as Andronicus II in 1320, or even as much as Manuel I in 1180.

And that is a combination of three rather improbable happenings. But I was asked for as minor a historical change as possible, and this is what I came up with.

My post number 42 above has three scenarios with earlier points of departure that would make the probability of "Byzantine" survival much greater.