A Crack at Draka: ME's Attempt at a Better TL

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Municipal Engines, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    A Crack at Draka:
    Beginnings of the Drakesland Colony


    POD: Drake doesn't get infected with dysentery and die at the age of 55.

    The history of Draka can be traced first to the time when, in 1597, after a successful run in India to corner Spanish ships carrying goods from Iberian ports, Francis Drake's fleet is shipwrecked at the Cape of Good Hope. There they set up a fort and survive for over a year until they are rescued by several English ships. Upon his return to London, he told the Queen of his adventures and implored her to consent to the establishment of a permanent port there. She eventually gave in and gave him royal consent, but he still needed to finance it. Here is where a group of entrepreneurs latched on. Long had this group been trying to obtain a royal charter and here was Drake, with the ear of the Queen, needing funding. They promised to help him set up his colony, despite their main focus being trade with the South Asian countries. Drake accepted and convinced Queen Elizabeth to give the men a Royal Charter addressed to George, Earl of Cumberland, and 215 Knights, Aldermen, and Burgesses under the name, 'Governor and Company of Merchants of London trading with the East Indies'. This began the partnership of Drake's new colony and the East India Company.

    Drake became convinced that his project was the right way to go for, being old in age, he couldn't continue pirating forever. Taking many a volunteer, women and men (and his wife, who was in the early stages of pregnancy), he set out with the Company to the Cape of Good Hope, where they landed with his settlers in the first half of the year 1600 and declared, under majority decision, the colony of 'Drakesland', much to Sir Francis's ire. So the EIC then went off and did their thing while Drake built his colony, commanding the odd pirate attack to capture a Dutch East India Company ship.

    And so the colony thrived. Drake made several trips back to England, but eventually elected to remain in his new colony as governor, where he raised his son; Thomas Drake, until his death in 1610 at the ripe old age of 70. His estate and fortune was bequeathed to his wife. The port was named Praetor after the suggestion of Elizabeth Drake, who liked it for its connotations of a military and judicial leader, with her vision of the town being such a thing in Africa. Since it was largely an East India Company-sponsored colony there were several duties the local government under the Drakes was expected to fulfil. The first was to act as a port of call, where passing ships could shelter, and where hungry sailors could stock up on fresh supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables. The colonists saw a lucrative business opportunity selling to the docked ships. Another ‘duty’ of the colony’s leadership given to them by the EIC was to maintain a good stock of sailors and act almost as a toll against the competition of the EIC. Privateers would force the ships to dock to avoid them and so they would spend more money on the local economy.

    Need was developed for farms fairly quickly, and this led to settlers encroaching on traditional Khoikhoi grazing land for farms, which lead to active warfare between the settlers and the Khoikhoi. This would have been a slow, infrequent thing if it were not for the actions of boisterous privateer-sailors of Praetor’s ships. A group of such men, drunk on rage after one of their friend’s farm was overrun by the natives and his wife murdered in a recent raid on settler lands, decided to gather a posse and, with a whole lot of guns, stormed a small village of the Khoikhoi and perpetrated a massacre. Looting and burning the village, they killed the inhabitants but took the remaining female portion that survived as slaves. A few of these were sold overseas.

    This rash action by the privateers of Praetor rallied several Khoikhoi tribes allied or associated with the village to go onto the warpath. Retaliatory attacks on the farms of the English settlers became too much for the townsfolk to bear. The hatred rose alongside the conflict until the colonists turned to the EIC for assistance. The chairman, feeling especially generous despite the early years for his company, agreed to hire mercenaries to help defend the company's investment.

    In 1616, the combined force of mercenaries and militia colonists set out to secure their borders by destroying the aggressive tribes in what the colonists liked to call a 'campaign'. This is done so within a few of years. The mercenaries have taken the opportunity to loot and pillage whatever they can from the aggressive tribes. The immediate land is secure, with the Khoikhoi tribes being forced to move off lest they face the same fate as the tribes that fought back against the settlers. The bounty taken from the 'campaign' are land and slaves, with children being preferred for the ability to drill them while they are young. Most of these warring tribes had been, in the end, massacred by the hateful colonists and violently callous mercenaries.

    With the end of what Drakan historians would call the "First Khoikhoi Disciplining", a new period of Drakan history would begin - the "Incursion Campaigns". The conflict is claimed by Drakan historians to have been the first demonstration of national spirit and unity - despite the EIC benefactors contributing most of the funding to the operation. It would be a slippery slope from there, with the anger and mistrust felt towards the natives by the colonists increasing as they grew.
     
  2. Sol Zagato Well-Known Member

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    If the colonists can't get along with the Khoisan (are they being even less nice than OTL?), they're really gonna have problems with the Bantu.
     
  3. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Musings in Hindsight

    "If one was to have a debate as to whether British Imperialism has been inherently beneficial or damaging over the centuries, one can list all the technological, social and economic achievements that the British Empire has given the world. Then the debate can be ended with a single word from the opposition: 'Drakans'." - Thomas Whitbury; Oxford historian, 1986.

    "The Negro has been the enemy of civilisation since his ancestors first sharpened a stick to make a spear. It's deemed fitting by God that we keep the Negro away from power, or else they'll make barbarians of us all." - Father Anthony Forrest, Bishop of Salisbury-on-the-Congo, 1973.

    "Drakans don't genuinely smile. They bear their fangs to intimidate you." - Unknown

    "Her Majesty's Government regrets to inform the Drakan government that, despite the pro-monarchist result of a referendum held in your nation last autumn, the Crown shall no longer have representation or presence in the Drakan Dominion, as per the wishes of Her Majesty the Queen and the British public." - Diplomatic Cables to the Drakan Dominion from the United Kingdom, 1942.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  4. Beedok I exist.

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    I think I shallow follow this.
     
  5. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Unfortunately, there's not a lot on early South African history and I can't find many good sources on the tribes of the area, so you'll have to bear with me while I find stuff to write about.
     
  6. Beedok I exist.

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    Yeah, I've been trying to find the info for my timeline as well, it is pretty difficult.:(
     
  7. rule_them_all Well-Known Member

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    Research's a bitch:(
     
  8. SavoyTruffle Tama Tama Kyu Kyu

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    The Draka being treated as the Evil Empire it is? Interesting...
     
  9. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Notice that, in the "Musings in Hindsight" post, the Drakans wanted to remain a constitutional monarchy under the British monarch, but the British refused to allow them that privilege.
     
  10. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Population and Economic Growth: 1620-40


    The colony was in need of more settlers to entrench the English presence on the Cape. They desired expansion and more farmers to toil the land and more militiamen to keep the natives at bay. Unfortunately, South Africa was not exactly a desirable location for families looking to start anew. Neither was it considered as profitable as North America was.

    When young Tom Drake came of age, he inherited his family's estate and shares in the EIC. He, like his parents, held a keen interest in the prosperity of the colony. However, he knew that he needed support from England to build his colony. He set sail for England to secure backers and settlers.

    He stayed for some time, impressing the upper classes with his tales of the wild and exotic frontier of Africa. News came of the massacre at Jamestown by Native Americans of the colonists whilst Thomas was staying in England. He managed to spin this to portray Praetor in better light than the Virginian colony. During his stay in the court of King James, he was received well by the king and the wealthy. He was given a renewed charter and blessing for the colonisation of Drakesland and now had contacts in England.

    Whilst far away, Praetor's conflicts with the tribes would give them many prisoners of war and so a surplus of slaves. Thomas struck up a deal to sell slaves at extraordinarily cheap prices. Charismatic and likeable, he convinced investors to supply him a fleet of transport ships that could be filled with native Africans and shipped north.

    He then left England, bringing with him over two hundred colonists volunteering for a new life in Africa. Upon arrival in Praetor, he resumed his duties as Governor. One of the priorities was the farms. To produce enough harvest to feed the colony and sell, they needed land that was in the hands of natives. Guns bought from England were utilised to their full extent, and an incursion east expanded the colony's borders. Farms built had to be fortified against possible native raids.

    Slowly but surely, the economy of Drakesland Colony grew. A good few years of crops gave the colonists plenty of surplus to sell to docking ships whilst raids and incursions provided a steady flow of slaves to America and Europe, where they were bought in bulk. Praetor's slave trade became reputed for being worth the wait and serviced a great many customers.

    Over the next few decades, Tom Drake would personally (or, if unable, would send others to do so) make trips to convince Europeans to come and settle in Drakesland. Part of the appeal was that, being so far away from civilisation, the colony was generally left alone by the government - technically belonging to the East India Company, who in turn left the running of the colony to the Drake Estate. As such, it was painted as a much truer place to start over than any American colony would be.

    So, over the years, hundreds of colonists steadily trickled into the colony, which kept expanding and prospering.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  11. Beedok I exist.

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    I worry for India with the Draka running the EIC! :eek::(
     
  12. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    *evil grin*
     
  13. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Colonial Government and Society: 1600-40


    With the successful career of Thomas Drake and his growing family by two wives[1], it became clear that the Drakes were not going anywhere any time soon. The colonists looked up to Drake as a leader and his family essentially owned the capital city. With the distance from England and the loose de jure rule by the EIC, it became clear where the de facto governance of Drakesland was headed.

    The Drakes became a ruling patrician family of the colony. Whilst any governor could be selected by the EIC, there was an unspoken agreement with the Company that Praetor would run its own affairs. An element of democracy could have been implemented at that point, but the power and hold the Drakes had over the colony rendered the contention of leadership a moot point. They were the aristocracy of their own realm.

    The lack of interference from London and the overall indifference from the East India Company gave the colonists a sense of true independence that was lost on the American colonies. The colonists were proud of their prosperity and freedom in an environment comparatively more alien and rugged than North America.

    In the 1630s, Puritans of the colony had massed in the north at a new border settlement dubbed New Haven. They would elect a Prefect and attempt to govern themselves separately from the rest of the colony. Drake, taking this as an affront to his authority, rounded up a small force of militiamen and rode to New Haven to confront the 'rebels'. In the end, they simply sat down, broke bread and hammered out an agreement. He consented to New Haven's existence and their choice in Prefect, as long as they continued to be governed from Praetor in the name of King James. They consented and, in return, Drake ordered the construction of walls and fortifications for the border town. It would become the hub for a great many Puritans coming to the colony in the future.

    Frequent struggles with the Khoisan and other native tribes led to deep animosity with the Southern Africans. Beliefs of inherent superiority fuelled the perception that the land was theirs to do with as they pleased and, as an "inherently better people", the natives were theirs to do with as they please.
    __________________________________

    [1]: Thomas Drake's first wife was killed in a Khoisan raid on her cousin's farm whilst she was visiting it. This gave Tom an extreme lifelong hatred of the natives of the land.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  14. Beedok I exist.

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    Can hardly wait of a map.:)
     
  15. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    I am liking this. Like Ian's TL, but without all that bright green text.
     
  16. B_Munro Member

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    They're obviously not as bad as Stirling's Draka, if the British don't get around to kicking them out till the 1960s... :)

    Bruce
     
  17. casval A shy stalker around the forum

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    This is interesting, i hope this is much more realistic than stirling's tl.
     
  18. vultan Defying Gravity

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    Hmm, I wonder what happens to North America? It can't be a true Draka TL without a US analogue fighting for Freedom and Democracy.
     
  19. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    So am I to take it that the success of Drakesland has taken away from the development of the Virginian colony and English settlement in North America?
     
  20. Municipal Engines Brythonic Bard

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    Not in any significant sense. The North American colonies are still closer than Drakesland and its land is better for colonisation, and the place is on the whole more profitable than South Africa. However, the opportunities present in Drakesland are a very enticing selling point for the colony, especially to a great many of the colonists who wish to be able to do what they want and govern themselves.