Hey all. New to these forums, but Althisting has been one of my favorite things. It's one of those fun things for the historically-inclined to do in bad weather, you know? So I was thinking: What would the world look like had the American Indians not fallen so far behind technologically-speaking? Guns, Germs, and Steel offers many reasons as to why things are, and the major reason is because there were NO animals to domesticate. None that could do anything more than serve as food or help one hunt. No oxen, donkeys, or horses for that matter. So we need to alter history a little bit (it's just what we althistorians do best, no?). All you need is to somehow introduce a species that would diverge into donkey and horse. And just to make things interesting, we'll put some oxen in the new world too. We can assume that the new world civilizations would develop in the same fashion as the old world ones. And indeed, this is exactly what they did. But then the old world civs got horses, they had bronzeworking, ironworking, yadda yadda yadda. I have little idea as to how this world would look in detail, but we can make some general inferences. The European powers would reach the new world and find a people not backwards and suitable for backstabbery and infecting with old world diseases, but a people (or peoples) who were technologically on-par with them, or at least in the neighborhood (technologically-speaking). How would the European powers react to this? Well, if all of history is an indicator, the answer is complicated. Some nations may see these Indians as prime trading partners. Others, more hell-bent on conquest (Got Spaniards?) would probably forge alliances with some, and through a comlicated process, slowly gain territory in the Americas. In the end, a Colombian discovery of America (read: the discoverer, not the coffee style) would result in a strange mix of a geopolitical climate. Some elements are more peaceful, while others *sidewards glance to the ruins of Tenoochtitlan would be way more violent. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. As anybody who cares to know should know, it is the Vikings who created the first European settlement in America (Newfoundland colony). But, within a decade, a people the Vikings refer to as 'Skraelings' forced them out. Obviously, the Skraelings were American Indians. The Vikings never came back, and why should they? After all, the Vikings are better at town-sacking and monastery-plundering rather than colony-building and living a ho-hum life on the outskirts of the known world. But, this world is different, alot different. The Vikings would stumble upon nations about as rich and far more exotic than the nations of Europe. What's that spell? P-L-U-N-D-E-R! Hearing of these nations to the west, the Vikings would commit thousands of warriors to pillaging the American eastern shore, revitalizing the economies of the viking chiefdoms with thousands in gold and silver and shiny things. Then one must consider if the nations of Europe would hear of this new world, triggering a far-earlier age of discovery. Maybe, maybe... Before I leave you, we should also consider the borders of these Amerindian kingdoms. One must consider the terrain of America. On the easern coast, the area is heavily-wooded and in some areas, there is marsh. Or at least, before the Europeans came here. This would result in a few medium-sized kingdoms, probably with mostly-infantry armies. Cavalry doesn't do too well in the aforementioned conditions. As we press westward, we have the Great Lakes region. One can expect a few very competitive kingdoms , some more militaristic than others but for the most part, these are mercantile nations. New World Carthages, so-to-speak. Perhaps a proverbial Rome rises to conquer all the lakes, I don't know. Then we have the great plains. Wide expanses of flat terrain=big countries, big potential for large empires. One can expect to see a few big nations in this region. After than we have the Rocky mountains, where the empires of the plains end, and a series of balkanized, squabbling kingdoms begins. If Classical Greece is an indicator, it takes a lot of manpower and striking at the right moment to forge an empire in a mountainous region. The size of these kingdoms range from small to tiny, or if a proverbial Alexander the Great rises up, some larger nations decaying back into small ones. Beyond the Rockies you have the American west coast. The California valley is an immensely fertile region, and it is something that causes peace. Why fight when you have all your needs met? But as population expands, one people will need more food than another people, so what is the solution? Conquest, vassalage, and satellitization. Not to mention the area will be steadily hampered by raids from ambitious warlords from the rocky mountains. In the northwest, one can also expect to see small to medium merantile nations, but these nations are grand seafarers. Perhaps a series of kingdoms paying tribute in gold and manpower to one nation, a real Carthaginian-style empire, no? So what do y'all speculate? I'd like to see maps drawn up, or something. Anybody care to expand on this scenario?