WI Spain was Muslim?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Hannibal.Caesar, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Hannibal.Caesar Well-Known Member

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    This probably has been written about before, but WI Spain never underwent the Reconquista, or in the very least it was unsuccessful? Therefore, the Iberian peninsula is split into three separate countries: Portugal, a northern Christian Spain, and a southern Muslim Spain. Barring discussions about the POD, what affect would this have on the present day?

    I think it would be safe to say that the Christian area of Spain would be much poorer than OTL, as it would not have access to the Mediterranean ports and the growing lands of the south. And in regards to the Muslim regions of Spain, I'd hope that the liberalizing effects of Europe would lead it towards being a healthy (politically and economically) Muslim nation. However, that might just be me trying to be optimistic.
     
  2. Ibn Warraq Banned

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    America doesn't get discovered for much longer. I don't think the Muslim rulers would have been quite so willing to finance an expedition that looked like such a wild goose chase.
     
  3. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    How was it a wild goose chase?

    After all, everyone knew the world was round; and you'd still have people off of Newfoundland.

    Perhaps the Andalusis would have a desire to get involved in the trade with the Gold Coast.

    Anyway, the effects of this are so vast that it's really almost impossible to say for certain.
     
  4. carlton_bach Member

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    Columbus' idea was a bit daft, really. Any serious cartographer would have known, certainly one with the libraries in Cordoba or Sevilla at his disposal.

    Another question is the effect on knowledge diffusion. A lot of the 12th-century Renaissance was owed to studies in translated manuscripts under the tutelage of the Christian Spanish kings. Without the Reconquista, and without a significant population of Arabic-speaking Christians under their rule, that might simply not have happened.
     
  5. SRT Ruche Populaire

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    Even if the discovery of the new world isn't butterflied away, I'd say it still takes quite a bit longer and isn't so monogamously Spanish (obviously, as there isn't any such thing as "Spain" in this TL, since even after the Reconquista, the Iberian Peninsula was still divided between at least four different political bodies). Certainly, if Iberia is three different countries, probably none of them have the military might that Castile did post-Reconquista, and that would make conquering the Aztec, Maya, Inca, and other Amerindian groups much harder. So, while at first this TL might seem like Muslimwank, it could certainly become Mesoamericawank.

    One thing I'm not sure of -- how close are the relationships of the the Muslim kingdom(s?) on the Peninsula and the ones in North Africa? Are they close allies, or are they in fact the same countries, or are they completely alienated from each other?

    I could see a surviving and prosperous Al-Andalus be interested in exploring the coast of Africa, though.

    EDIT: I just thought, in this TL there's no Treaty of Tordesillas, or, at least, not one presided over by the Pope (aka not one that the Muslims really have any reason to go along with).
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2007
  6. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

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    In such scenario it's more likely to see "Spain" divided in many Christian countries. Depending of the POD you could end with independent Leon, Castile, Navarre and Aragon, but NO Portugal...

    Just my two cents. It's quite annoying to see Portugal raising in all TLs, even if the Andalusi northern frontier remains on the shores of the Douro.

    By the way, where it's supposed to be the frontier between Iberian Islam and Christianity in that scenario?
     
  7. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

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    They already were, though that trade came on camel caravans through the Sahara. They didn't have an incentive to develop new ships designs, nor to think in crossing the Atlantic. As I said in a similar thread, a Muslim Spain will not build the first caravel.
     
  8. carlton_bach Member

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    Yes.

    All of the above were at one point true. The Muslim West was a pretty dynamic and changeable place, and is rather notorious with historians for its extreme political swings (from empire-building to maximal fragmentation, from brutal zealotry to easygoing tolerance, and from vicious aggression to near-helplessness in military matters.
     
  9. carlton_bach Member

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    If you wanted it to happen, an idea would be to stabilise a situation where a Muslim Spain and a Muslim Morocco are hostile to each other. OT this didn't work because al-Andalus was militarily vulnerable and for much of its history could only continue to exist with the resources of North Africa, so any conflict weakened it to the point where the choice was surrender to the Christians or the Africans. ATL, butterflying away the threat on the northern frontier, a more stable Muslim Spain might well come to resent their southern neighbours' control of the trans-Saharan trade routes.
     
  10. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

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    Well, symplifying, everytime Al-Andalus was united and strong, and the Atlas united and strong also, relations between them were bad. If one of them is united but the other divided and weakened, you can expect the big boy trying to subdue the little pygmies: Al Andalus invaded Africa in the 10th century, and Africa (through the works of the Almoravids, Almohads and Marinids) invaded Al Andalus in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. In all the cases the conquests didn't last and the feelings between their peoples didn't improve at all... most likely the other way. Only when both sides of the Straits were on the ropes, their relations did go well. But even in those cases the situation was far from considering the neighbour a friend. Fez didn't send any help when Granada asked desperately for one in the 1480s, despite their kings were reputed good friends. Granada's fall didn't cause any cry inthe Muslim world, either... that came much later. Many people use to overstimate the impact of religion in the politics of that time. Don't take me wrong, if one of the sides is clearly stronger than the other a western analogue of the Ottoman Empire is possible, but if both are around the same strengh, you can expect something more like the Ottoman/Persian rivalry, with the Christians and the Ottoman themselves as occasional allies or enemies of one side.
     
  11. Tocomocho My other car is a steam tank.

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    That would be a good scenario. One in which Al Andalus and the Maghreb can put a real fight in the seas. In that case some Ahmed the Navigator could raise and try to reach the riches of Ghana from the sea.
     
  12. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    They will if Morocco is controlled by their enemies.

    The Caravel might take longer, I admit.
     
  13. Faeelin Lord of Ten Thousand Years

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    I dunno. What are a bunch of Germans doing, proposing the same thing around the same time? And the English looking for Braseal? It seems like there was something in the water.
     
  14. M79 Well-Known Member

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    The Inka might dominate more of South America by the time they are found, perhaps enough to start colonizing the mouth of the Silver River, southern Brazil, much of Colombia, and perhaps parts of Venezuela. Mesoamerica is likely to be a patchwork of city-states as the Aztec are on their way out. There might be a more permanent Cherokee or Creek civilization in the Southeast, and perhaps there are more recognizable trade patterns. Mesoamerican civilizations were playing with the wheel and metalworking, not that their weapons were useless against the Spaniards though. I think the English or Scandinavians will eventually find Labrador and start colonizing from New England as we know it through the East Coast with the rest of Europe eventually following them. Spain is a rich prize that *someone* will try for eventually, and I could see a later Crusade heading down into Iberia to try to take the place back for the Christians.
     
  15. Ridwan Asher Jungle Arab

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    Just bumping for the hell out of it.... :D
     
  16. Joseph Solis in Australia Well-Known Member

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    The scenario for the Muslim Spain would be: Northern Spain is poorer than in OTL. In Southern Spain is much richer and powerful than in OTL. I think Muslim Spain would be most liberal Muslim nation and Christian Spain in Northern Spain would be the most conservative Christian nation in Europe.

    In terms of population, Southern Spain is more populated than in OTL. Cordova would be compared to Paris or London in terms of population and economic importance. Southern Spain GDP per capita for 2007 would be US$40,000 per person with 50 million person in Southern Spain. In Northern Spain, the GDP per capita for 2007 would be US$25,000 per person with 10 million person.

    In terms of language, Mozarabic (the mixture of Iberian Romance and Arabic languages) would be predominant than Castillian in OTL.
     
  17. rcduggan 大元帅

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    Why would there be a random existing Portugal? :mad: That was not bound to happen.

    If there were no Reconquista - say Asturias was smashed early on, then West Francia collapsed so there is no aid for the reconquest (besides the Normans, but let's say their significant contribution doesn't happen either) - the caliphate of Cordoba would survive somewhat longer. However, I think it would eventually collapse into taifa kingdoms, as it did in OTL.
     
  18. 037771 Well-Known Member

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    There was an article written in a Counterfactual History book of the 30s. I havent read it, but it was the same one where Churchill posited the victory of Lee at Gettysburg. In short, the scenario is that Granada survives, but somehow its northern rival Spain never comes to terms with its right to exist- so in WW1 the two fight against each other on the peninsula, Granada for the Allies and Spain for the Central Powers.
     
  19. el t Well-Known Member

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    Spain

    This would be more feasible had the Muslims took control of the entire country, up to the Pyrenees mountains.
     
  20. shmulik923 Obligatory yid

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    I find it hard to take the above statement seriously. The liberalizing effects of middle ages Europe? Please. Al-Andalus was in its time one of the most liberal states in Europe. Far more literary, and far more tolerant than its Christian neighbors. Indeed, as carlton_bach stated, Christian Europe owes much of the base of its liberalization, the Renaissance, to the works and manuscripts of muslim Spain.
    And to be sure, this scenario would turn out much differently for the Jews. For one, with no Reconquista, there would follow no Inquisition as the Jews of Sepharad would be protected by the Muslim regime. As there is no Spanish Diaspora, there would be less and less incentive for jews to eventually settle in Poland, a land where only the those who profited from their labor (the nobles; only 10% of the population) wanted them there. Why bother when Spain offers real tolerance? Ashkenazic Jewry might never develop.