View Full Version : German Colony in North America
January 14th, 2004, 02:18 AM
Bartholomaus Welser's German colony (1528) in North America survived. The best way to have this happen, most likely, is for the colony to be in a different location. The colony failed because of A) a bad climate which caused tropical diseases, and B) brutality to the natives.
How can you reposition the colony so that these are lesser factors? Then, how can you increase immigration in order for the colony to survive? Finally, had the colony survived, what would the history of North America have looked like?
January 14th, 2004, 02:33 AM
Could you post a little more information for those of us who don't really know much about this?
January 14th, 2004, 02:44 AM
Amerigo, here you go, sorry for not putting enough up in the first place:
The Augsburg banking families of Anton and Bartholomeus Welser obtained the rights to Venezuela from Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and king of Spain, in 1528. These rights were negotiated by Heinrich Ehinger und Hieronymus Sailer, either independently or as agents of the Welsers. However by 1531, the Welser certainly controlled the privilege.
A colonization scheme was set up with Ambrosius Ehinger arriving as governor in 1529. He explored the interior in search of the gold of El Dorado. Ehinger had left Seville on October 7, 1528 with the Spaniard García de Lerma and 281 settlers. At Santo Domingo, de Lerma with 50 companions left for his mission to Santa Marta, to reestablish Spanish control following the murder of the governor there. Ambrosius Ehinger and the remainder headed for the Venezuelan coast and landed February 24, 1529 at Coro.
Other German governors followed: Nikolaus Federmann, Georg Hohermuth von Speyer, Philipp von Hutten who also engaged primarily in the search for gold. Federmann traveled over the Andes to Bogota where he and Sebastián de Belalcázar initially contested Jiménez de Quesada's claims to that province. German miners were brought over and 4000 African slaves to work sugar plantations. By 1541 disputes had arisen with Spain and the bankers were stripped of control of the colony in 1556.
The German colonists suffered a high rate of mortality due to tropical diseases and, because of frequent journeys deep into Indian territory in search of gold, due to hostile Indian attacks.
January 14th, 2004, 03:20 AM
I had touched upon the AH possibilities of this colony on the other format board. My concept was that the colony would revert to overall Spanish authority but they in turn would grant Wesler local authority. The problem is that everyone was El Dorado smitten and I think some wasted effort is inevitable. Still is there some possibility that the Germans could get Tobago or better still Trinidad? My other concept is that after the initial wave the Spaniards might be sold on the idea of a South American refuge for German Catholics fleeing the Thirty Years War. Perhaps Spanish Netherlands could be used as a port of debarkation. What I am seeing is not a completely German colony but rather a broad region (Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela) where there is a mosaic of Spanish and German settlements with a bilingual culture emerging. The country would be intensely Catholic.
Of course this could mean we've butterflied Bolivar into the Null Set!
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