A long-running concept I have for my fantasy continent of Diggoran is its isolated and unequalized technological and industrial progress.
By ''isolated progress'' I refer to the fact that Diggoran's technological and industrial progress barely extends to the rest of the world which is largely pre-Industrial. Diggoran itself has unequalized technological progress meaning that some countries are in the 2040s while others are in the 1980s and even 1800's to 1700s.
My question is how could I possibly justify this wild lack of industrial equality between the nations of Diggoran? Especially when the nations of Diggoran are all part of an EU-like union and more than open to civilized trade and political relations.
This EU-like union is known as ''The Empire,'' and it has existed for over 2,000 years. One suggestion I received a long time ago was simply making the Empire weak and barely functional, ruling over the continent only in name kinda like various periods of feudal Japan. The problem with this is that ''The Empire'' is supposed to be portrayed as a great union of peace, harmony, and progress before it collapses thus depleting the continent of stability. The Empire could potentially be a strictly militaristic force, keeping historically incompetent nations stable in its wake while providing little more aid, but I think this idea may have several flaws unless someone can prove the idea as functional.
I know the real world has diverse technological progress, but as far as I am aware, there isn't a nation on Earth that is completely lacking in industrial development or electricity and yet retains global prominence or political stability. Sure there may be tribal and rural regions with lower levels of development than the epic-centers of their national civilization, but surely these count as exceptions, right? Most countries have features like that. I think Diggoran is a bit more extreme.
I think Africa is a good example of technological inequality, but specific historical events made Africa what it is today. Diggoran's history is not similar to Africa; it is a self-sufficient and self-sustaining Continent which has never been invaded by a foreign superpower. It has done all the invading despite its geography invoking little to no need for resource motivated imperialism.
Should I make the difficult decision of getting rid of the Empire or at the very least making all the nations technologically equal to some relative level?