Affiliated States of Boreoamerica thread

Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by False Dmitri, Oct 5, 2011.

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  1. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    I've decided to collect the maps, images, and text on the ASB in one place. I'll be using this thread to develop and discuss the confederation. I'm putting it here in stead of in pre-1900 because (1) this is where I've posted all the info so far, adn (2) it's got way too many convergencies for the "real" AH forum.

    So what is this thing?
    The Affiliated States of Boreoamerica is a confederation of former colonies, former chiefdoms or "civilized tribes," and several novel political creations that unite White, Indian, and mixed settlements. There are 44 of these states (for now).

    The idea came from reading Richard White's The Middle Ground, which describes the political and social constructs that Whites and Indians used to govern their joint affairs in the Great Lakes and the Ohio country during the 17th and 18th centuries. The basic idea here is extending the Middle Ground in time (to the present) and space (spreaing over much of the continent). Making a world like this required not just fewer British colonists, but a broad change in their basic outlook, so I knew I couldn't simply use a single PoD. Since I know the project won't ever be "hard" AH, I gave it a name to show that some aspects aren't going to be 100% plausible. I also included some obvious convergence, like Vermont.

    Where did the confederation come from?
    It arose gradually from the colonial alliance structure. The Indians in the modern states of Illinois, Huronia, and the Upper Country were already tied to New France as the Children of Onontio, while Iroquoia and New Netherland had the Covenant Chain that stretched down through modern Delaware and Allegheny. The system of alliances gradually gave rise to some shared institutions for mediating disputes and settling land claims. At some point, these shared institutions came to be regarded as different bodies of a single confederation. It's vaguely like the European Insitutions in OTL.

    This means that the states of the ASB mostly did not "join the confederation" all at once, but were gradually absorbed into it through an increasingly complex network of treaties.

    So how does it work?
    I don't know yet. There may still be European monarchs hanging around, but maybe not. I've played with incorporating a more destructive English Civil War into the back story, which could help explain why so few British settlers. That could open the door to fun Jacobites-in-exile storylines. But I don't know yet.

    Why isn't X part of the ASB?
    I've only put a small amount of thought into the world outside the ASB, but as I do I think that realistically I'll need to add some areas to it. I imagine four additional states at least: Ozark, Dakota, the Red River, and Haiti; possibly also Lakota further to the west.

    General map

    affiliated.png
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  2. Turquoise Blue Blossoming Tibby! Donor

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    I recommend you add the Far North as "Hudsonia"
     
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  3. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Notes on some of the states

    The Upper Country (1) is the largest and probably the most diverse of the states. French is the largest single language community, but it also a range of Indian language speakers and important English and Dutch settlements in some places.

    Huronia (2), Delaware (21), Allegheny (25), and Ohio (27) were formed by a Metis trading elite that emerged in the 18th century as the leaders of the most important towns in this region. They managed to obtain a permanent neutrality between the Empires, and are really the glue of the whole Confederation. Its reason for being, almost. Delaware and Allegheny were direct dependent areas of the Iroquois for a long time, but contested by the French and British.

    The government of Labrador (4) until late in the 19th century consisted largely of fishing regulators under the joint control of Newfoundland (5) and Canada (3). It won self-government relatively recently.

    West Acadia (6) was taken over by the British but later restored to self-government. It's largely French-speaking. East Acadia (9) was never conquered.

    The Vineyards (15) is the working name for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The two little islands moved away from proprietary rule and toward responsible civil government in the late 18th century. They offered the Block Islanders to join, but Rhode Island, severely reduced in size by the Saybrookers, held fast to their offshore possession.

    Saybrook (17) predates Lower Connecticut (18). In the 1640s Connecticut colony bought much of Saybrook's land and claims as in OTL, but in TTL Saybrook remained a separate rump colony. Both of these colonies control sections of Long Island.

    Christiana (23) is a surviving New Sweden, but for much of its history it was probably dominated by Penn, the English, and the Dutch, though allowed to maintain some kind of separate existence. It only fully re-emerged much later.

    Upper Connecticut (26) was an audacious project by Connecticut to make good on its land claims in the west. It was politically independent very soon after its founding, however.

    Watauga (33) is TTL's State of Franklin. It's an extension of Anglophone Carolina, but also has a sizeable Catawba population, mostly in its southern panhandle.

    West Florida (39) is almost perfectly trilingual, with a history connected to France, Spain, and England.

    Locator map

    ASB small locator.png
     
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  4. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Confederal Highways

    The important thing about this map is that "Confederal highways" are rare in the ASB. Most roads are built and regulated by the states, or in some cases by regional committees of a few neighboring states. The confederal highways came into existence as special projects, either because they were too long for regional committees to handle, or becuase they were built between rivals that could not agree, and thus deferred to the Confederation.

    That means that a number of major roads and cities are omitted from this map. Most obvious is the big gap in the southeast, where regional highways predominate.

    Highway map

    ASB ROAD MAP.png
     
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  5. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Possible expansion

    I think the ASB will be expanded westward in the next edition. I want Rupert's Land to be off limits, with the HBC not buying into the alliance system that led to the Confederation.

    The rest of the continent

    The ASB, as a regional bloc rather than a state, would not have had the means or the desire to expand rapidly westward that was seen in OTL's USA and British North America. The HBC, however, moved aggressively across the northwest to establish control as far as Oregon, though the French traders, though less organized, pulled some of these areas into their alliance. To the south, a more territorially aggressive Mexico got a land deal closer to their original proposal for the Adams-Onís Treaty.

    So other polities for certain are Mexico and/or breakaway Mexican states in the Great Plains, Great Basin, and California; and HBC/British-descended states in the far north and in Oregon Country. In the long term, I think Oregon may detatch from Rupert's Land - it could be a very awkward empire to hold together otherwise. And I want Oregon/Ruperland to take over Alaska as well. To avoid the Russia cliche.

    Sketch of the western continent

    Adams Onis.jpg
     
  6. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    European Languages of the ASB

    English and French are undoubtedly the main languages of the Confederation. Dutch is somewhat widespread in the eastern Great Lakes, Spanish in the far south. Swedish is mainly spoken in rural Christiana. German and other European languages have some local prominence.

    This map is painted in broad strokes. It does not show some smaller pockets. Much of the grey should be flecked with color, and much of the color should be flecked with grey. In particular, the Delaware River valley is definitely not all Dutch-speaking as suggested here: there are lots of English, Lenape, and even Swedish communities along its length.

    European language map

    asb european languages flat.png
     
  7. Turquoise Blue Blossoming Tibby! Donor

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    Let me put it frankly. Independent Rupertia without Labrador is ASB. I reommend it get bought out by the Affliated States.
     
  8. Mitro I am Mitro Donor

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    Nova Scotia speaks English primarily. So is it safe to assume that the Acadians were kicked out just as in OTL even with the weaker Britain? Also are the Nova Scotians more English or Scottish?
     
  9. Threadmarks: Upper Connecticut

    False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Upper Connecticut

    In the 1640s Connecticut bought much of the land granted to Saybrook colony, including its claim to vast lands west of the Alleghenies. For more than a century it made no attempt to back up this claim. But after 1770, when many English colonies relinquished their more extravagant western claims in the interest of continental harmony, small, ambitious Connecticut stood firm. The province refused to give up its titles and began actively sponsoring settlement along the southern shore of Lake Erie.

    The settlers who moved out there were a hardy bunch of no-nonsense Connecticuters. They had to be - they were heading into a region contested among several empires and Indian factions, where warfare for land, fur or revenge remained the norm. The newcomers drew up articles for their government and defense. Connecticut could only hope that its far-flung colonists would be able to wait out the storm.

    They did not wait. After a rowdy congress in Laconia (Painesville), the Lake Erie settlers audaciously decided that their situation prevented any real links being maintained with Connecticut. They would pursue a course free from control by Connecticut or the king, and become an independent power in the Ohio Country. They maintained some sentimental links with the old colony, as reflected in the name they eventually chose: The Free State of Upper Connecticut.

    Yankees continued to immigrate to Upper Connecticut. So did a number of Indians of various tribes. The UC welcomed their settlements on the Upper Cuyahoga as a way to help secure the state's southwestern flank.

    Upper Connecticut eventually was accepted by its neighbors and won an equal place alongside the colonies and major Indian powers. The hardworking pioneering spirit of the early days can still be seen in the state's heavy industries.

    Map of major UC settlements around 1790

    Upper Connecticut 1780s flat.png
     
  10. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Flag of Upper Connecticut

    Lower Connecticut's flag features the Charter Oak - since it never annexed Saybrook outright, the grapevine symbol remained with that smaller province. So Upper Connecticut therefore could choose no symbol more fitting than an acorn: a new shoot of the Oak planted in the west. Early versions of the flag featured crude acorns on plain fields, or on English or Union flags. The modern form was established in the early 19th century. The Cross of St. George makes an appearance; it represents links with New England as much as with Old England, indicating the origin and culture of the mainly English inhabitants. The green, white, and red come from regimental colors of the early militia.

    Upper Connecticut flag flat.png
     
  11. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Upper Connecticut road sign

    State Route 20 Feeds into the South Lake Erie Turnpike, a toll road operated jointly with the neighboring states of Iroquoia and the Upper Country. South of the state border it goes to Deux Forts (Pittsburgh), where it feeds into the Great Northeast Trace.

    Upper Connecticut road sign.png
     
  12. Threadmarks: Christiana

    False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Christiana

    This map shows the modern situation in Christiana, more or less. Selected cities with particular historical importance are shown.

    When the Dutch took over New Sweden, it was already probably stronger than in OTL. Britain ruled it next, detaching it from New Netherland (unlike OTL, when Britain gained the whole of NN). New Sweden was essentially made a dependency of the new Pennsylvania colony.

    Under Penn family rule, the Swedes continued to exist as a separate community. In some ways their status was comparable to Native American groups. They were forced to relinquish the land around the original Upland, seat of their governing court, but built a new one east of the Delaware River. A lot of the best land along the river was taken over by Quaker and other English proprietors.

    In some still-vague way, the Swedish settlers were able to maintain some kind of link with the home country during the 18th century and continue to attract immigrants. Later, for also-vague reasons, New Sweden had some kind of political revival. Large numbers of immigrants settled in the empty eastern part. The new political order incorporated the British and the Swedes, as well as the children of Lenape-Swedish marriages. At this time the Swedish monarchy may have had some of its rights restored there, though it was never fully re-colonized.

    That's why today, the best and most populous parts of Christiana are still English-speaking, while the large but sparsely populated eastern lobe is largely Swedish. Small Dutch settlements persist in places where New Netherland had made land grants in the 17th century; NN's closeness to Christiana helped the small communities there maintain the Dutch language. The Lenape were consistent allies of the Swedes and the groups intermarried widely; in the north the Lenape language predominates, in the south, Swedish. Land that the Swedish King granted to German settlers around the town of Gottorp stopped speaking German long ago. So did the other Germans who were important in the settlement of southwestern Christiana.

    Christiana has two capitals; Christiana itself is the executive, and Upland continues to be the legislative. The working flag right now mixes Sweden's cross with the Penn coat of arms. The un-Swedish spelling is a compromise between English and Swedish speakers: the name would acknowledge the Swedish heritage but use a Latin/English official spelling.

    Some equivalents:
    Nya Vasa = Camden
    Colby = Cherry Hill (originally a Quaker settlement, a rare case of an English town later becoming mostly Swedish/Lenape)
    Upland = Woodbury
    Atlantenstad = Atlantic City - I should note that I don't plan on this being the final name. Some kind of resort town grew up at this spot, but it probably has a less convergent name.

    Language map of Christiana

    Christiana modern languages.png
     
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  13. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    No, there was no forced kicking out, but the area did fill up with British colonists. With the area around Louisbourg remaining French, lots of the Acadians moved there, or to parts nearer to Canada that were less heavily settled by the British. These parts later were carved out of Nova Scotia to become West Acadia, which drew still more Acadians out of Nova Scotia. (At least, that's how it played out in my mind as I drew it.)

    Interestingly, I originally intended NS to be much more bilingual, but when I actually played out the scenario of a partially-conquered Acadia, this situation is what seemed more realistic.

    And NS is mostly Scottish. Depending on how the history plays out, Scotland may end up being an independent kingdom in TTL, and in that case I'd probably re-color the map to show that Scots is considered a separate language.

    Hardly insulting for a project like this. :p:D

    The scenario that plays out in my mind is one where the HBC governors and merchants resist such a move. On the "big map," Rupertia (better name) would still be a British colony, while Oregon goes independent. But that's hardly set in stone yet.

    As for Labrador, I have it connected to Newfoundland but also somewhat tied to Canada from the mid-18th century down. These two prevented the HBC from controling it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  14. Mitro I am Mitro Donor

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    What is the history of black slavery in the ASB?
     
  15. Turquoise Blue Blossoming Tibby! Donor

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    It would be a money drain. Better for the Brits to sell it to the AS.

    Or, maybe Rupertia becomes an "Merchant State", led by the Hudson' Bay Company, but in the ASB.
     
  16. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    I hear you, but I really just don't want it to have all that land up there. It creates a very different dynamic to the small states on the existing map. More in universe, I don't think the ASB states would have much interest in Rupertia.

    What if Oregon (yellow on the little inset map) broke away, but then it bought out the HBC land? So you'd have a large northern country controled from the Pacific? That sounds interesting to me.

    Good question! Slavery was definitely entrenched by the late 18th century in just about every part of what became the Confederation. In the far south, of course, it was entrenched much more. The details of emancipation will have to depend on the imperial history: if Britain still had strong control over its colonies in the 1830s or so, it could have done what it did in OTL and simply freed them by act of Parliament and compensated the owners. If, however, imperial control was already severely weakened by then, local solutions would have to be found.

    In the "metis states" like Ohio, where society was all about different groups accomodate one another, it might be interesting to see slaves as a group start to obtain various rights predating emancipation. That would be a weird dynamic.

    In places like Cuba, Carolina, and Louisiana, where slavery was the heart and soul of the economic system, things would take a very long time to sort themselves out. Slave owners would not give up without a fight. Hm.
     
  17. Turquoise Blue Blossoming Tibby! Donor

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    I dont think it is realistic... How about Rupertia becomes an "associate state" within the ASB? de facto independent, but not de jure?
     
  18. Mitro I am Mitro Donor

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    It is certainly a difficult question to answer. Perhaps those countries did not join until after they got rid of slavery or else left for a short period of time after they received pressure to emancipate from their neighbors.
     
  19. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    At the time the confederation took shape, it's safe to say that every single state (except the Vineyards) had some slaves and slave owners. So abolition was definitely not a requirement for joining. Once some states began abolishing slavery, they started to put pressure on the others, but that's no different from OTL.

    Ah, I'm still against the idea, even if it is for "aesthetic" reasons... what's your objection to Hudson's Bay becoming part of Oregon?

    megaoregon.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  20. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Capital

    For much of its history, the ASB could not be said to have one capital because it was not a country exactly, just a network of alliances. Councils and congresses met for different purposes in different places.

    The central gathering point ultimately became the city of Deux Forts, strategically located on the Forks of the Ohio. The site had long been contested first by French and English, then by different colonies and states. The area around was populated by a mixed group of people speaking Dutch, English, French, Shawnee, Lenape, Seneca, and Wendat - but French emerged as the local lingua franca.

    Besides being located near the geographic center of the ASB, Deux Forts is accessible to two of the confederation's main arterial waterways, the Ohio River and the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence. It is inside Ohio State, but just across the border of Allegheny and near the borders of Upper Connecticut and Iroquoia.
     
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