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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    This is the most complete version of the Worlda so far, unless @Tyche , @Upvoteanthology , or someone else has added to it. It comes from this post at the start of this year. Since then, I think the only additional info we have on Europe is the existence of a German Confederation that excludes Bohemia and the Swedish-aligned coastal states but includes Austria and Brandenburg. I do not believe we know yet where the boundary between Germany and France would be. In the same way there have been references to an independent Hungary, but nothing on its size or borders.

    I also assume that Spain and Portugal look like in OTL, it's just that nobody has done anything with them. An independent Catalonia or whatever are not outside the realm of possibility, so the area is blank for now. Norway, too, looks like it's probably an independent country not unlike OTL, but if it turns out to be in some kind of personal or other union with Denmark, that would also be unsurprising.

    The blank bits of the Balkans and Anatolia could be almost anything at this point. They're waiting for a great idea, or a coherent timeline for 19-20c Europe, or both.

    asb worlda wip.png
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  2. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    You know @False Dmitri , since we have a PoD some time in the 1600s (with the Dutch Revolt only ending in 1648), it's quite possible to have a total Dutch victory in their War of Independence, with the result being that instead of Seven Provinces, they get all Seventeen, which could be interesting in and out of themselves.

    [​IMG]

    For one, the major Protestant centers were actually in Flanders and Antwerp (as far as I know) before the Spanish reconquest drove many Protestants to flee northwards.
     
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  3. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Oh for sure, the Dutch-Belgian border is an arbitrary military frontier that happened to get frozen in time. The war drew to a stalemate right as confessionalization was changing Catholic and Protestant cultures.

    So we know from our talk before that the Habsburgs did much worse in the 1618 war with Bohemia. We can definitely say that they also did poorly against the Dutch. And an expanded Netherlands can help explain the embiggened colonization in North America. Just as long as all the changes in military history after the year 1600. ... And I think I'd prefer to find a unified explanation for why they did so badly in both places.

    Awesome idea. Let's go with it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2018
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  4. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    Here's the info on the Eighty Years War
    (the conflict I was talking about)
     
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  5. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    How about this for an update, @Gian. Germany is filled in but without its internal borders. The Russian/Swedish enclaves in the German interior (Zweibrücken, Erfurt, and the Alpine States) are colored as members. Netherlands is expanded. And Norway is shown as linked to Denmark. There was a strong incentive to stay connected in a world where Sweden was always menacing, even if it was not always actively aggressive. In Iceland and Greenland, that threat was not as imminent, so I want to leave them open in case it turns out they broke away from Denmark somehow.

    asb worlda wip.png
     
  6. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    @False Dmitri - I love it. Hopefully we can fill in the rest of the map as well.
     
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  7. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    Also, does anyone have any ideas regarding how might the religious/linguistic situation in the newly expanded Netherlands look like, because if nothing changes much in France, I could see French Huguenots fleeing there and proselytizing the Walloons (that could be a great idea in and out of itself).

    Also @False Dmitri, I could organize a map of the (expanded) Netherlands if that's OK.
     
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  8. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    I want to talk about the Mormons of TTL, but in explaining why they're here and how they got that way, I found myself digging way back into how I started on the ASB in the first place. So that's what this post is going to be.

    I've mentioned before a couple of the books that inspired it. White's The Middle Ground was the initial source, and Axtell's The Invasion Within and Richter's Before the Revolution contributed a lot to how certain states took shape. I don't think I've talked about what I was doing reading those books. A group of us were trying to create a new civics curriculum suitable for homes and schools. It was the height of the Tea Party movement and there was bad civics and bad history everywhere; so one friend got us together to Do Something About It. We decided to start by diving into U.S. colonial history with a focus on neglected areas in traditional classes. We divided up the work, and I took relations between the colonies and the Native people. I had always had some interest in the topic but never explored it in depth.

    The project never got beyond this initial book club phase. We'd each read a different book, meet up the next month, share what we learned, discuss how to integrate it into a wider narrative, and choose books for next month. Lovely. Then three of the six members started having babies; the project ground to a temporary halt, which became permanent. We all still get together. Actually, while we had all known each other before then, the project sort of cemented the makeup of that particular friend group. But now we get together to see each other's kids. The only long-term result of the civics project itself is, in fact, the ASB.

    Now as it happens, as my three friends' marriages were producing babies, my own was collapsing. And I had another very old friend in a different city who was going through the same thing - except his was more of a cataclysmic explosion while mine was slowly deflating. As all this was happening, he started suggesting we go on various history-based road trips, and I was happy to agree. They've gotten longer over the years and we've mostly kept up doing one a year. A lot of those trips resulted in the initial states that I developed in depth. I've mentioned Illinois, and other trips gave me Upper Connecticut, Iroquoia, Huronia, and some others. Besides specific content, the trips reinforced the idea that every place has a hidden history and a rich interaction of cultures, something that may be the main underlying thread of the setting.

    I decided that the ASB would have Mormons after visiting the Kirtland Temple in Ohio. That's a fascinating site for a number of reasons. The main LDS church runs a museum/welcome center and a number of restored buildings in the village. But the temple itself belongs to a smaller LDS denomination. Both the temple and the welcome center have intro videos, which gave off very different vibes. The one in the temple came off as much more moderate and balanced, whereas the one in the welcome center felt more propagandistic. The tour in the temple itself was very much by Mormons, for Mormons, but guide and tourists came from different branches of the religion and they connected over broader spiritual themes rather than the particulars of doctrine.

    Like many people, I had always found the LDS vaguely off-putting for its theocratic tendencies. Touring the Kirtland Temple helped me appreciate it as a diverse religious tradition that's deeply intertwined with American history and culture - exactly the kind of thing that the ASB is designed to showcase. My friend was less impressed. He had some seminary training and wanted to be a pastor at one point, so it was harder for him to overcome the idea of Mormons as apostates. Also, his political views are extremely anti-theocracy, more so than me; I tend to think there's always an appropriate place for religion in the public sphere, whereas he's an absolute believer in a conceptual Wall of Separation between church and state. But I found the trip very eye-opening.

    So that's why the Mormons exist in this timeline, and it's also why they settled in borderlands on the Missouri River. I wanted to memorialize the culture and contributions of the group, but I also wanted to explore a world where they were a minority in every jurisdiction they settled in. A large minority, but a minority nonetheless. The state and international borders also encouraged the group to split into smaller ones, so that there is no single main LDS church today. The OTL town of Independence is called New Enoch, and it is majority Mormon. Like OTL, the town is holy to every Mormon group, who believe it to be the site of Christ's future return. Each group has a major church or shrine there.

    Thinking about the early history and doctrines of the LDS, there are going to be profound differences. Like OTL, the Saints of TTL are a product of the culture that produced them. The Indians are going to figure prominently in the theology of the church, but it's going to be very different. The OTL Book of Mormon is a very exoticizing story. The Indians seem mysterious and distant. In TTL, the region where the first Mormons came from - Vermont and Yankee settlements in northern New Hampshire and New Netherland - had a large Indian and Mixed population. Many of the earliest converts were of part Yankee, part Indian ancestry, largely Wabenaki and Iroquois. So the revelations were seen as comprising a new "American" religion, but this meant one that drew on the Indian and European heritages in equal measure. To know what exactly this looks like, I have a lot more to read, including actually reading the Book of Mormon that they gave me for free at the Kirtland Temple. (My friend politely declined.)

    I see the next period of history as similar to OTL. The largely New England-based early Mormons moved to Upper Connecticut in the hope of establishing their own settlements. Facing discrimination there, they moved further west. New prophecies drew many to the Missouri valley. They held their own there and mostly escaped direct persecution, but as officials (largely in Louisiana) drew borders, they tended to ignore the LDS communities, intentionally splitting them into different jurisdictions. The core of Mormon settlement was divided among Upper Louisiana, Arques, Dakota, and Mexico. Theological and succession disputes within the church led to some self-sorting, so that the communities in each of these four areas ended up going its separate way. If there was a western exodus, it was a relatively small group, and it headed up the river to Omaha territory rather than all the way to the Salt Lake.

    So this post has been all over the place. But I think it's worth sharing how important this project has been in my own life, and how it all happened. Here's a photo from the Kirtland trip. Just four years ago, but I think I look really different.

    10556457_635197438540_1313077164687136835_n.jpg

    Please do!

    Lots of Huguenots went to the Netherlands in OTL, so that movement would be just as prominent in TTL, or more so. The United Provinces were probably the most tolerant place in Europe at the time and attracted lots of different groups.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  9. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    So what I want to envision is that greater success by the rebels in Bohemia (what we've discussed earlier with the Winter King and all that) diverts Habsburg attention from the rest of their empire, long enough for the Dutch Republic to retake much of the Spanish Netherlands (which gets ceded to them in the Peace of Westphalia). Later, the Huguenots are expelled from France (as per OTL) and begin settling in the south, eventually proselytizing among the Walloon and Picard populations of the Republic (and inadvertently setting both populations apart from the Catholic French, eventually breeding a separate identity for themselves*). With a larger population, the Netherlands eventually absorbs pulls other principalities into their orbit (most notably the Duchy of Cleves, which is annexed by 1815). After that, the rest plays out quite like OTL, with the Dutch Republic becoming the Kingdom of the Netherlands by the 19th century, (though the closer religious unity between Dutch and Walloons means the Belgian Revolution is butterflied away)

    (*If this was Belgium, then the Walloons would be the Flemings of this arrangement, wanting to separate from time to time to form their own country, but never really doing so (maybe because of inertia or some sh*t I can't think of).)

    One of the butterfly effects is that without the Spanish barring trade in the Scheldt delta, Antwerp and Bruges become major port cities in the Netherlands (taking the place of Rotterdam IOTL, which becomes a mid-size port town between Amsterdam ad Antwerp). Eventually, TTL's Randstad comes to include them (plus Brussels).

    Here's the province map (Note: Traditionally, Flevoland is not counted among the "Seventeen Provinces", while the two halves of Holland and Brabant are counted together):
    [​IMG]
    1. Friesland (Fryslân)
    2. Groningen
    3. Drenthe
    4. Overijssel
    5. Gelderland
    6. Cleveland (Kleefland, Kleveland)
    7. Flevoland
    8. North Holland (Noord-Holland)
    9. South Holland (Zuid-Holland)
    10. Utrecht
    11. Zeeland
    12. North Brabant (Noord-Brabant)
    13. South Brabant (Zuid-Brabant, Brabant-Méridional)
    14. Flanders (Vlaanderen, Flandre, Flande)
    15. Artois (Artesië, Artoé)
    16. Hainaut (Henegouwen, Hénau)
    17. Namur (Namen, Nameur)
    18. Liège (Luik, Lidje)
    19. Limburg
    20. Luxembourg (Luxemburg, Lëtzebuerg)
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
  10. Tsochar Well-Known Member

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    I drive past the Kirtland temple every so often. That's the one where the congregation turned into a cult and started murdering people in the '80s.

    Makes me wonder how crazy cults work in the ASB.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2018
  11. 245 Well-Known Member

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    You guys should do somthing about spain and Portugal. Whats france like?
     
  12. SashaBonaparte148 Active Member

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    Culture and music should be very interesting too. Pastimes? Jazz and rock parallels?
     
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  13. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    It wasn't "the" congregation, that was always the relatively moderate Community of Christ LDS church. But the cult was made up of a few of its members.

    I mean, crazy's crazy... now those things tend to build on the raw material that they have to work with. In OTL, a lot of that is the Fundamentalism, capital F, of the earlier twentieth century. TTL's religious landscape has not quite as much of that, since what we call the Mainline churches have a bit more institutional support and the overall landscape of Christianity was not quite as wide-open for the growth of Fundamentalist groups. On the other hand, you have a deep well of indigenous and African religious practice that could provide crazy people with plenty of fodder.

    All three are currently awaiting great ideas. We know France transitioned from the Empire to a second republic in 1833, and that monarchists remained an active force in the following years, but we don't know if it ever switched back to a monarchy. We also know that Spain had dynastic struggles that parallel the Carlist controversied of OTL, but that's all we know right now. I really need to outline the course of European geopolitics in the 19th century.

    @Tsochar has a great post on sports two pages back.

    In music, there are so many great folk traditions that contributed to the popular music of today. The music of the Caribbean made an impact on the mainland because of the high mobility between them. There are French folk and Métis folk traditions existing alongside the Anglo-Celtic traditions that contributed to OTL's popular forms. Following the spirit of the ASB's television (again mostly from posts by Tsochar), I can say that the ASB's modern music is not like OTL's where there is sort of a single generic pop form that influences all the other forms. It's much more a case of multiple popular traditions that draw on each other without ever losing their distinctiveness. Music tastes are regionalized somewhat, though modern music of course crosses borders and some genres have gained popularity where you might not expect them to - like Haitian music among the Métis communities of the Great Lakes, things like that.
     
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  14. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    So @False Dmitri, what do you think of my ideas for the Netherlands?
     
  15. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    I think this is sufficient to explain an expanded Netherlands. And it fits into the general stream of western European history in TTL: quite different, but same enough to allow for the convergence and parallel history that this timeline demands.

    Do you suppose that the Francophones of the Netherlands have a defined region for themselves, as in OTL? An autonomous government?

    How do you suppose national and ethnic terminology will work in this expanded Netherlands? Do separate terms distinguish Dutch the nationality from Dutch the ethnic group?

    This makes sense and corresponds to the expanded colonization that we're also imagining for them.

    I don't think this is necessary to follow OTL in that way. In fact, thinking about some of the content for New Netherland, I think I have been assuming a republican Netherlands that lasts more or less to the present day. There's no detailed narrative on how NN achieved self-government, but the assumption has been that it was organized as an "eighteenth province" that was then sort of set free to manage its own affairs. Its graduation from "province" to "republic" could be associated with the Dutch provinces themselves adopting a tighter federal constitution, with NN staying separate. I've been imagining that NN kept some theoretical constitutional connection to the Netherlands, which would probably not be possible if they became a monarchy (because NN had no tradition of monarchy and would simply denounce if it came to pass). Is that fair?
     
  16. Gian Wizard of Watkins Mill

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    I could imagine that there would be autonomous governments running the Francophone provinces (later, this arrangement would also be extended to Friesland and Luxembourg as well).

    As for ethnic identities, well we already saw IOTL how Flemish identity evolved from a general areal identity to an ethnic one encompassing all Dutch-speakers in Belgium. I can imagine Walloon (maybe change it to "Belgian" since that was also an alternative name for the Low Countries in general before 1830) identity emerging quite the same way among Francophones (also unified by a common Calvinist faith setting themselves apart from the Catholic French)

    One note was that the office of stadhouder (the de facto head of state of the Dutch Republic) became an essentially hereditary role under the House of Orange, with the last half-century of the republic's existence IOTL essentially a monarch in all but name. Napoleon's conquests and subsequent defeat in 1815 merely just took the next step and made it de jure as well, with William I (the son of the last stadhouder) becoming the first King of the Netherlands.

    To quote Wikipedia:
    Honestly, if NN was going to break off at the surest signs that the mother country was turning into a monarchy, they would've probably sensed that with William IV and break off right then and there. And since that guy ruled from 1747-51, it's not like there's going to be a lot of pressure from the English states (who have their own foibles to deal with) to stick around.
     
  17. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    A republic with a hereditary Stadtholder is still a very different thing, constitutionally, from a monarchy - especially as it relates to an emerging colony like New Netherland. A republic involves loyalty to a system, a monarchy loyalty to a man. Besides which, the republic was much more than a question of who the Stadtholder would be. There was a whole system of Estates General and provincial Estates that remained lively as long as the republic existed. I view an increasingly autonomous New Netherland as fitting into this evolving system, rather than turning into a British-style dominion where the basis of unity was simply the monarch. So that's the system I would rather not lose, more than the question of what title the head of state has.
     
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  18. SashaBonaparte148 Active Member

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    What's the tech level of this timeline? Do we have launching things into orbit and occasional trips to the Moon?
     
  19. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    This is the seal or logo for the Religious Council described in this earlier post. (Edit: I've placed a cleaned-up version of the text on my site - https://karnell.weebly.com/religious-council.html )

    The seal's overall form suggests the Four Directions symbol, also called a sun cross, which is important in the iconography of many Indian nations. The center part is suggestive enough of a cross to make Christian leaders happy, and its pointed form suggests radiating knowledge. The seal includes the name of the Council in Latin and is most often rendered in confederal green.

    Religious Council.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  20. False Dmitri Я хочу пельменей

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    Here is an addendum to the description of the Religious Council.

    Role, powers, and structure


    Since its creation, the mission of the Religious Council has been threefold: (1) to promote interfaith relations, (2) to reach and express consensus on major issues facing the Confederation, and (3) to act as a check on confederal laws affecting religious practice. Its members have no party affiliation. They elect their officers at each annual session; these include a President, a Deputy President, and three other members of a committee of officers that continues to exist when the Council is not in session.

    The first function is by far the most prominent and takes up the bulk of the Council's time and effort. The Council normally holds only one meeting per year usually lasting one to two weeks. It also meets in special sessions during ceremonial events such as the opening of Parliament. Most of these sessions have the character of an interfaith conference. Leaders meet and socialize. They discuss issues in formal and informal settings. They continue dialogues that their respective churches had begun at the local level. They arrange interfaith efforts and events that will take place throughout the year.

    Secondly, the Council may pass Advisory Resolutions that speak to important questions facing the ASB government or the governments of individual states. The Council's enabling acts require a two-thirds majority to pass such a resolution, meaning that such official advice must reflect a broad consensus of the ASB's religious leaders. The Religious Council was especially active in passing Advisory Resolutions during the period from the 1930s to the 70s, when many states were confronting their systems of racial segregation and legal inequality. The Council's votes during this time were an important part of the political discussion on race. They emboldened clergy to speak out more strongly for equality within their own states and provided cover to politicians wavering on the issue.

    Thirdly, the Council has retained actual power in one area: it may vote to overturn legislation that pertains to religious institutions or religious practice. The procedure for doing this is rather complex. At each annual session, the Council approves twelve delegates to the government, each of whom will serve for one month of the coming year. During a delegate's tenure, he resides in the capital where he and his staff review acts of Parliament and act as a liaison between the Religious Council and the government. When the delegate finds that an act will affect religious practice in the ASB, he asks that the Grand Council of State empower the Religious Council to consider it. The five officers of the Religious Council then meet as a committee and decide whether to take up the issue. If they decide not to take it up, then the act becomes law without any further action by the religious leaders. If they do take it up, then the act is delayed until the next session of the Religious Council, either a regular annual session or a special session that the committee may call. When the Religious Council does meet again, they may vote to overturn the act of Parliament with, again, a two-thirds majority. This power is seldom invoked, but is considered a part of the Council's legacy as one of the confederal institutions.

    (edit) One well-known example of the Religious Council using its power came in 1914, when a reformist Parliament passed a bill requiring all states to provide a system of nonsectarian public schools. Catholic members of the Council persuaded the rest that the bill placed undue burdens on religious schools, and the bill was overturned. The following year, Parliament passed a modified version of the bill that met the clerics' objections; while some Catholic leaders still opposed it, they were not able to obtain the votes necessary to stop it.

    Membership


    Most of the religious bodies represented in the Council send one member. Some larger groups send more than one. Roman Catholics, by far the largest group in the Confederation, send the most. A few archbishops are automatically members ex officio - the sees that historically sent members to the old Grand Council such as Montréal and San Agustín. Along with them come the senior-most archbishops from each of a half-dozen regions. There are a few other groups that send multiple members, such as the Methodists and the Evangelical Lutherans. The Latter-Day Saints, divided as they are into multiple denominations, do not have any one body big enough to send multiple members. The Moravians are not huge, but have multiple ex officio members due to their historic importance.

    ... And beyond that, see the earlier comments about indigenous religious groups, African Diasporic religious groups, and Freethinkers and other secularist organizations.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
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