Affiliated States of Boreoamerica thread

East Dominica's highest peak is Pico Duarte in our world, after the Dominican Republic's most revered Founding Father, what would it be called here?
Wikipedia gives its original name as "Monte Tina" which is kind of underwhelming in my opinion. The two peaks were at one time called Pelona Chica and Pelona Grande before Trujillo named them after himself. "Las Pelonas" refers to both of them, so I think it would be neat if people outside the Caribbean region simply (and erroneously) called the mountain itself "Las Pelonas" while the official name would be "La Pelona Grande"
 
Wikipedia gives its original name as "Monte Tina" which is kind of underwhelming in my opinion. The two peaks were at one time called Pelona Chica and Pelona Grande before Trujillo named them after himself. "Las Pelonas" refers to both of them, so I think it would be neat if people outside the Caribbean region simply (and erroneously) called the mountain itself "Las Pelonas" while the official name would be "La Pelona Grande"
According to Spanish Wikipedia, the shorter peak is still called "La Pelona".

I like the "Las Pelonas"/"La Pelona Grande" idea, but I also think "Monte Tina" is a decent name. IOTL, the similarly named Mount Baldy near LA is officially "Mount San Antonio". Maybe there could be a 3-way distinction: officially "Monte Tina", but colloquially called either "Las Pelonas" (non-locals) or "La Pelona Grande" (locals).
 
What's the comci book industry like ITTL? Do Marvel or DC exist?
@Tsochar made a post about comic books back on page 47. I'll quote it:

Cape Comics:
Superman and Batman, in one version of DC canon, are located on opposite sides of Delaware Bay, both of which are in Christiana, so my headcanon (of course, everything in this post is headcanon) is that cape comics got started there, but spread further by mid-century, and today the various animated series are mostly produced in New Amsterdam. Superman was based in part on circus performers of the era, and Batman was based on Zorro, an earlier pulp fiction vigilante; I'm thinking comic books started as adaptations of various legends from around the ASB; at one point, a few of them are written into modern stories as heroes and villains, and the subgenre explodes in popularity. Instead of being given powers by alien technology or science experiments gone awry, most capes TTL get their powers from ancient spirits and other supernatural sources.
In the full post, he goes on to list some potential TTL comic book heroes.
 
Huh. I never realized the highest point in the ASB was in East Dominica.
The highest point on the mainland would then be Mount Mitchell, which is either in Watauga or on the Carolina-Watauga border.
That is really interesting. I like the idea of calling both peaks Las Pelonas, it's fitting. What about the name for Mount Mitchell? in OTL it's named for a geologist originally from Connecticut. It's certainly conceivable that such a person would come to Carolina in TTL, what with Carolina and Connecticut both being loyalist states, and New England probably having a surplus of academics that Carolina would draw on. Nevertheless, there could be a better alternate name.
 
That is really interesting. I like the idea of calling both peaks Las Pelonas, it's fitting. What about the name for Mount Mitchell? in OTL it's named for a geologist originally from Connecticut. It's certainly conceivable that such a person would come to Carolina in TTL, what with Carolina and Connecticut both being loyalist states, and New England probably having a surplus of academics that Carolina would draw on. Nevertheless, there could be a better alternate name.
Considering how convergent the ASB is otherwise, I don't really see a need to rename it. The original name for it was "Black Dome" which is so utterly generic that it sounds made up.
 
Have you also contributed to a Gazeteer I've been making (basically a list of cities and their OTL equivalents)
Yes, and I think I added the cities that I could from extant maps.

As for adding more cities, I started drawing a paper map in order to do that (still having no access to the computer I use for drawing); but the time demands of Distance Learning and Working From Home, as well as various personal-life things related to the quarantine, have stopped me from getting very far with it.
 
I almost forgot to post this! EDIT: My thanks to the New Bedford Whaling Museum, whose website has a lot of great information on the history of Yankee whaling.

A History of Whaling in the ASB

The Vineyards today are one of the smallest states in the ASB, and one might be forgiven for assuming that their small size and population corresponded to a minor role in the history of the confederation, or indeed the world. One would be incorrect in this assumption, however, because for much of the nineteenth century the Vineyards’ island of Nantucket, along with the ports of Bedford[1] in Plymouth and Salem in Massachusetts Bay,[2] absolutely dominated the global whaling trade, and provided a number of products that were essential to the ongoing Industrial Revolution, and others that were much sought-after luxuries. Sperm oil, a natural wax obtained from the head of the sperm whale was used as an industrial lubricant and as an illuminant in oil lamps and a material for high-quality candles. Whale oil, obtained from the blubber of many whale species, was also used in oil lamps although it did not burn as cleanly or as brightly as sperm oil. Baleen was used in the manufacture of a variety of consumer goods, among them, as the name would suggest, whalebone corsets. Finally, ambergris, a waxy substance produced by the digestive systems of sperm whales, was prized by the perfume industry for its sweet, earthy odor. This wide variety of applications made whaling highly lucrative, and it was an important part of the economy of Massachusetts Bay, and utterly crucial to those of Plymouth and the Vineyards throughout the nineteenth century. The industry itself no longer features in their economies, but its legacies are many. For instance, The Whale, Herman Melvill’s classic novel, describes the voyage of a Nantucket whaler, and although Melvill was a New Netherlander of Yankee descent, it is widely regarded as the Vineyards’ national epic. [3]

Part One: The Rise of Yankee Whaling

Indigenous peoples in the region that would later be known as New England are not known to have hunted large whales far from the shore, although they did hunt smaller cetaceans and made use of the carcasses of beached whales. Unlike in the Pacific Northwest, where indigenous whaling cultures developed, offshore whaling in the northeastern waters of Boreoamerica would only begin after colonization. By the middle of the 17th century, Yankee colonists in Southampton and Cape Cod had begun organizing community hunts of whales sighted from the shoreline with small sailing vessels; Nantucket would soon join them. Indigenous peoples were involved in these hunts from the very beginning and would make up a sizeable part of the workforce of the whaling fleet for centuries to come. By the 1720s, whale stocks around the shores of Nantucket and Cape Cod were quite low, and so single-masted sloops were used to pursue whales into deeper offshore waters. They were drawn to the whaling grounds off Newfoundland and the St. Lawrence River, which had been frequented by Basque whalers centuries before. From there, they continued north along the Labrador Coast into the Davis Strait between Greenland and Baffin Island, well into the Arctic Ocean.

By this time, Nantucket had risen to prominence among the New England whaling ports, and the sperm whale had become the prey of choice for Nantucket whalemen. Sperm oil and ambergris made these large deep-dwelling whales well worth the difficulty in capturing them. The development of sperm whaling as an industry prompted a series of modifications in ship design: larger, double-masted schooners replaced the smaller sloops. The try-works, a furnace used to render the solid blubber of captured whales into liquid oil, was moved onto the decks of whaling ships, allowing them to remain at sea while processing their catches. Finally, the unique cedar-planked double-ended whaleboats so characteristic of Yankee whaling were developed. These light boats afforded harpooneers a great deal of speed and maneuverability. With these innovations, Yankee whalers were set to expand into the south Atlantic. Ships would frequently stop at the Azores or Cape Verde and take on additional supplies and crew- many of these crew members would then settle in southeastern New England, laying the foundations for the region’s vibrant Portuguese community. From there they would hunt off the coasts of Africa and Brazil.


The turmoil of the wars for independence in England’s American colonies brought whaling to an almost complete halt, as men and ships were impressed and as the Royal Navy encircled the rebellious colonies. However, the end of hostilities saw a quick rebound for the industry, and the rise of Bedford to challenge Nantucket’s primacy.[4] Salem also emerged as a port for the newly-independent Republic of Massachusetts Bay, spurred on by Plymouth’s return to the royalist fold. The Huntingdon Congress may have seen the end of hostilities between the royalist, republican and Jacobite English states, but economic competition was another matter, and both Massachusetts Bay and the Dominion of New England were eager for the greater share of the profits that whaling promised. And although their governments renewed their alliances, whalers from the Republic and the Dominion sometimes viewed each other with tension, or even hostility. Skirmishes between whaling ships were not unknown in this period, as they had been when English and Dutch whalers fought in Spitsbergen centuries before.[5] The decades between the 1780s and the 1810s are known to maritime history as the era of the Whaling Wars, and some of the incidents that occurred during these years have passed into Yankee folklore.

The Whaling Wars

The Whaling Wars saw the New England states take their first steps into overseas territorial expansion, as governments laid claim to islands that their whalers frequently used. The Falkland Islands were claimed by Plymouth in this way, and they remain an outlying territory of the ASB to this day. Another claim made during this era almost saw the hostilities of the Whaling Wars wreck the budding alliance between the English colonies that would prove so crucial to the growth of the ASB itself, but which would instead lay the foundation for the institutions that brought Yankee whaling to its golden age.


In 1811, a cutter from Boston[6] carried Jonathan Lambert, “late of Salem, mariner and citizen thereof,” to the uninhabited south Atlantic islands which he christened the Islands of Refreshment, but which history knows as the Lambert Islands.[7] He was joined by Thomas Currie (who had been born Tomasso Corri in Italy and had anglicised his name) and by a man named Williams. They were joined by a fourth man, Andrew Millet soon afterwards. Lambert declared himself sovereign of the islands, “grounding my right and claim on the rational and sure ground of absolute occupancy”. However, his rule was short-lived when he drowned, along with Williams and Millet, while out fishing five months after their arrival. Currie, now the only survivor of Lambert’s kingdom, was later joined by two new arrivals and they set to work, growing vegetables, wheat and oats, and breeding pigs.[8] The islands’ small permanent population was soon joined by growing numbers of Yankee whalers, who used the tiny archipelago as a place to take on additional supplies.

The Lambert Islands, as they were coming to be known, soon became known as a lawless, raucous place, outside the rule of any government. In the interest of establishing order on this remote corner of the Atlantic (and in forestalling a claim by the Dominion), the government of Massachusetts Bay declared ownership over the islands, on the basis of Lambert and his companions, the first permanent residents of the archipelago, being Massachusetts citizens. In 1819, the Republic dispatched a naval officer, David Porter, to bring order to the chaotic islands.[9] Porter’s approach to bringing discipline to the Lamberts was harsh, and it soon lead to a crisis which threatened the foundations of the Anglo-American congress itself. In 1820 Porter ordered the death by hanging of a crew member of the Nantucket whaling ship Essex,[10] who was convicted of murdering another sailor in a drunken incident. This drew protest from the Essex’s captain, George Pollard Jr.,[11] who did not recognize Porter’s authority on the islands. To Pollard and many other Nantucket whalers present, Porter was an unwelcome interloper who they suspected of favouring Massachusetts-based ships. Sensing the challenge to his authority, and the potential for mutiny, Porter ordered Pollard and the Essex’s crew jailed.

When word of Porter’s actions reached New England, the government of the Vineyards issued a formal protest, echoed by the Dominion’s government. Massachusetts Bay’s claim, they argued, was illegitimate because Lambert had never intended to colonize the islands on behalf of Boston; rather, he intended to set himself up as an independent ruler. Boston supported Porter’s actions, and for a time tensions were heightened. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and representatives of the Republic and the Dominion met to address the situation. In exchange for recognizing Massachusetts Bay’s claim to the Lambert Islands, Boston agreed to release the Essex’s crew and pay restitution for their imprisonment. Furthermore, in order to prevent such incidents from recurring, both parties agreed to create a formal body to regulate the conduct of whalers. The New England Whale Fisheries Commission would be headed by a board which drew from all of the New England states in proportion to the number of whaling ships each state chartered. Thus, it was one of the few bodies where small Plymouth and the tiny Vineyards were represented on equal terms to Massachusetts Bay. The Commission’s rulings drew on the whaling code of the Dutch Republic, the only such code known to exist, and on the sophisticated informal jurisprudence that whalers had established for themselves. For example, they codified the doctrine of the Fast-Fish and the Loose-Fish,[12] which held that any whale which was attached to an occupied ship or marked with a clear symbol of possession was to be considered “fast,” and under the ownership of the ship it was attached to, whereas any whale which had been killed by a ship but for whatever reason not claimed by them was to be considered “loose” and thus fair game.[13] The Commission’s rulings, drawing as they did on generally-recognized practices, were widely accepted, and allowed for the expansion of whaling to a truly global industry, in what is commonly referred to as the Golden Age of Yankee Whaling.[14]
[1] OTL New Bedford.
[2] OTL Nantucket and New Bedford more or less dominated the whale hunt between them, and Salem got rich from the China and East Indies trades instead. TTL with both Nantucket and New Bedford in Royalist New England, and neither a part of Massachusetts like in OTL, I imagine Massachusetts Bay would develop its own whaling port, and Salem seemed like a plausible candidate. This means that Nantucket and New Bedford aren’t as prosperous as they were in OTL, but the wealth is more evenly divided between the three cities.
[3] If Napoleon can still become Emperor of France ITTL, I don’t see why Herman Melville can’t still write a Great American Novel about whaling. Note the slightly different spelling of “Melvill”- the final e was only added after his father’s death IOTL. His biography is quite similar to OTL, because it seems to fit perfectly into the ASB: his father was a Massachusetts Bay merchant and a Francophile with lavish tastes who left his family bankrupt upon his death; his mother was a New Netherland society lady who raised her children as good Calvinists and ensured that Herman knew the Bible inside and out. The young Melvill grew up in New Amsterdam speaking English, Dutch, and French. Within his own lifetime he’s mostly known as the guy who wrote a salacious novel about his time living among “cannibals” in Polynesia; after his death his whaling novel is critically re-examined and raised to canonical status.
[4] IOTL New Bedford’s rise preceded the American War of Independence, but in this timeline the wars are about a decade earlier, which slightly pushes things back and makes the rise a postwar phenomenon.
[5] ITTL Spitsbergen remains the common name for the whole Svalbard archipelago, as the archipelago ends up under PIC, rather than Norwegian, sovereignty.
[6] OTL this was the Baltic, previously the Russian cutter Opyt before being captured during the Anglo-Russian War and rechristened the HMS Baltic, before being sold to private ownership in 1810.
[7] This is the archipelago known as Tristan da Cunha OTL. Lambert really did name the islands Islands of Refreshment, and attempted to set up a micronation with himself as ruler.
[8] This is all OTL. The islands were later used as a base by American commerce raiders during the War of 1812, which led the British to take an interest in the strategic value of the islands. They were also concerned that the French might use the islands as a base to mount an attempt to free Napoleon Bonaparte from Saint Helena, so in 1816 they were formally annexed to the Cape Colony.
[9] Porter was a historical US naval officer, who saw action in the Quasi-War, First Barbary War, and War of 1812 as well as anti-piracy actions in the Caribbean before being court-martialled in 1825 after invading a town in Puerto Rico to avenge the jailing of an officer of his fleet. He later resigned his commission with the US Navy and became the commander-in-chief of the Mexican Navy. After that he served as US Minister to the Barbary States, and later as Minister Resident to the Ottoman Empire before his death in 1845.
[10] The Essex was a real whaling ship, best known for being attacked and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820, an incident that was an inspiration for Moby-Dick. Ironically, Porter also commanded a ship known as the USS Essex during the War of 1812 OTL.
[11] Pollard was one inspiration for the character of Captain Ahab. Melville called him “the most impressive man, tho' wholly unassuming, even humble – that I ever encountered.”

[12] Regardless of Linnaeus’s classifications, whales were commonly considered “fish” well into the nineteenth century.
[13] The inspiration for the doctrine of Fast-Fish and Loose-Fish comes from chapter 89 of Moby-Dick.
[14] Note that OTL whaling was disrupted by the American Revolution, and then not firmly reestablished until after the War of 1812. ITTL things get going again quite a bit sooner, so whale stocks are going to get depleted sooner than OTL.
 
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Does the ASB have a unified postal service? If so, when was it established? The post office in the USA was a critical component in its functioning for the early stages of its existence, and I don't think we've mentioned it at all.
 
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I know I've not really contributed much to the thread, however I thought I'd try working on updating the map a bit by polishing a few borders, adding @Etruscan-enthusiast35 and @ST15RM 's additions to Mozambique and the Middle East respectively, and adding members of the League of Peoples (essentially the Italian Commonwealth of Nations) as described by @Neoteros :
Members of the League of Peoples (an Italian version of the Commonwealth of Nations):

Empire of Ethiopia - OTL Ethiopia minus the Ogaden and border regions with Eritrea - Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Free City of Tientsin - OTL Tientsin concession - Unitary presidential republic
Principality of Cyrenaica - OTL Cyrenaica region - Absolute monarchy
Republic of Eritrea - OTL Eritrea while in Italian East Africa - Unitary presidential republic
Republic of Fezzan - OTL Fezzan region - Unitary presidential republic
Republic of New Guinea - Northwestern New Guinea - Federal parliamentary republic [****]
Republic of New Tuscany - That one map - Unitary parliamentary republic
Republic of Sabah - OTL Sabah - Unitary parliamentary republic [****]
Republic of Somalia - OTL Greater Somalia - Federal parliamentary republic
Republic of Tripolitania - OTL Tripolitania region - Unitary presidential republic
Republic of Tunisia - Territory as in OTL - Unitary presidential republic

[****] It could've happened.
The only area I didn't add for the League was Tientsin seeing as China is already on the map. There are probably canon errors in this map, however I thought I'd try my hand at updating it. If there are any blatant inaccuracies please let me know!
 
Part 1 of my immigration writeup.

I'm working mostly from articles about Castle Garden Immigration Depot, which was the first immigration depot in the US. However, I'm puzzled by this passage:
It is also made unlawful to assist or encourage the immigration of aliens by a promise of employment or by advertising in a foreign country, and any alien coming in consequence of such advertising must be treated as coming under a promise or agreement.
All foreigners brought in in violation of this law are immediately sent back, and, if practical, on the vessels which brought them.


I think it's saying that you can't, for example, pay for someone's steamship ticket in exchange for hiring them to work. But I'm not sure what they mean by "must be treated as coming under a promise or agreement."

The 1830s marked the first major wave of immigration to what would become the ASB. This decade coincided with many radical changes in the ASB and the world. The wars in the Upper Country were resolved, and that state was looking to attract settlers. Freedom of movement had been established across the Confederation, which at the time including all the English states plus New Amsterdam, Iroquoia, and Poutaxia. New ships were able to bring people across the Atlantic more quickly and safely than ever before. Finally, in Europe, socioeconomic and political changes drove more and more people to the ASB's greener pastures.

The nascent confederation now had a dilemma. It was agreed by most that the flow of goods from state to state was an important goal, and this meant the free flow of people as well. However, the states were divided on immigration. States like Ohio, Upper Country, and Huronia all wanted to encourage as much immigration as possible, because they had lots of potentially valuable farmland with nobody to work the soil. However, the more settled states were less enthusiastic. If there was freedom of movement, that implied that any of these immigrant groups could travel to any state as they pleased.

One of the earliest nativist movements came in East Florida; following the Napoleonic Wars, many Spanish aristocrats traveled to East Florida, where they had certain privileges left over from the colonial-era casta system elevating them over native-born aristocrats. The disruption this caused, combined with subsequent immigration in the 1820s from non-Hispanophone places like Germany and Switzerland, began to spread throughout the southern states. In the Anglophone states, tensions between Protestants and Catholics, and between Royalists and Republicans, fueled anti-immigrant sentiment further starting in the late 1830s. In New Netherland, during the early stages of the anti-rent movement, elites blamed the unrest on egalitarian ideas imported from France and New England. The "old money" families across the ASB, for one reason or another, were quickly turning against immigration.

At the same time, pro-immigration sentiment was rising as well. Merchants, industrialists, and land speculators were rapidly amassing enormous fortunes from the increase in settlement, and with more money came more clout. In the Republican states, the urban middle class welcomed the newcomers, eager to show them the many advantages of free society. As the confederation neared its final form and the ASB was properly established, intelligentsia began to recognize a common "Boreoamerican identity" that transcended language and nationality, and welcomed immigrants to become a part of it. The Native nations believed that "nationality" was a thing that could be adopted regardless of race, origin, or even language, and had no problems accepting immigrants.

Politics in the late 1830s and early 1840s were dogged by this ongoing question: Should states have the right to turn away unwanted people, even if it meant restrictions on the freedom of movement? Proponents and detractors on both sides of the issue fought endlessly. The majority was firmly in favor of free movement, as this was one of the cornerstones of what would become the ASB, but the detractors were concentrated in urban areas, in particular ports of entry like Quebec, Boston, New Amsterdam, and New Orleans, and they threatened to impose their own rules of entry. In 1840, New Netherland's parliament passed the Immigration Act, which asserted that New Netherland had the authority to refuse entry to any ships carrying immigrants intending to dock at New Amsterdam for any reason. In subsequent months, similar acts were passed in other states, such as Maryland, Virginia, and Louisiana. This, however, turned public sentiment across the confederation against them, as they were seen as trying to elevate themselves above the other states; under such pressure, these states backed down quickly. Some historians believe that this event was the main driver behind the Act and Treaty of Affiliation, which was adopted at that time. By the late 1840s, it appeared that free movement had prevailed, but for an alarming event.

In 1845, Ireland underwent a terrible famine, driving unprecedented numbers of poor immigrants to the new world. The famine left them weakened and vulnerable to disease, and many ships were forced to wait in quarantine as their passengers received little to no treatment. The worst incident came in Quebec in 1847. Grosse Isle, used as a quarantine center, was utterly overwhelmed by thousands of cases of typhus. In a panic, Candian authorities began sending ships waiting in quarantine to other cities. These cities' quarantines became backed up as well, so most cities began to prematurely discharge anyone who looked healthy. However, many were already infected and would fall ill in coming days. The Irish Typhus Epidemic of 1847, as it was later known, spread through Quebec, Montreal, New Amsterdam, Boston, Baltimore, and many smaller settlements between them.

The epidemic led to a re-examining of immigration in general; many states felt that the overly welcoming attitudes of the interior states invited danger. There was a noted difference between Irish immigrants, who were seen as sick, weak, and pathetic, and German immigrants, who were seen as strong, healthy, and hardworking. Adding to the controversy was the tangentially-related topic of runaway slaves; many free states bordering slave states, even those without fugitive slave agreements, wanted to limit the number of runaway blacks who could settle in their territory.

After some heated deliberation, a compromise would be reached: The freedom of movement within the ASB was absolutely inviolable, and customs would be a confederal matter, but the states themselves reserved certain powers relating to the settlement of immigrants in their borders. In particular, a state could choose to refuse residency and working rights to anyone, and to "evict" individuals found to be in violation. This compromise suited everybody; states that wanted more German immigrants than Irish could control settlement, free states could force black refugees to continue moving, slave states could strike unofficial deals with free states to return runaway slaves without needing the passage of increasingly-unpopular fugitive slave agreements, and the inner states would get the people that the other states didn't want.

Though the controversial immigration acts had been repealed, New Netherland's elites still dragged their feet with respect to immigration. Officials in New Amsterdam were usually instructed to take extra time inspecting immigrant ships and to de-prioritize ones coming from Ireland, which led to delays; transatlantic passenger steamer companies, especially ones that served Ireland, were singled out for bureaucratic audits and increased operation fees. However, this state of affairs didn't last long. In 1848, New Netherland passed the General Reform Act, drastically shifting political power in the state away from the Patroons that had thrown their lot in with the nativists, and toward the urban reformists. In New Amsterdam, this meant that the previous policy of trying to limit immigration abruptly changed to encouraging it to the greatest extent. New Amsterdam was at this time the largest city and busiest port in the ASB, but its lead in immigrant arrivals was much smaller; in 1845 it had about as many arrivals as New Orleans and Boston. After the Act passed, however, this number skyrocketed, and by 1860 it processed more immigrants than the next three cities combined.

In 1855, the first Confederal Immigration Depot was built in New Amsterdam in a converted exhibition hall named Kasteelgaard. Although it served the whole Confederation, and had representatives from most states, the building was owned and operated by New Netherland. Kasteelgaard and its adjacent grounds held a number of different departments that served the various immigrants as they arrived and made arrangements for their new lives within the ASB. Transportation for the immigrants was the responsibility of the state that approved their settlement; immigrants chose a state of residence through the States' Court, which would help them fill out the requisite paperwork.

On landing at the depot, each passenger was examined for illnesses and mental and physical disabilities, and those with such conditions were listed and reported to the Mayor's office. Those requiring hospitalization were removed immediately and taken to the hospital at Groot Barent Island. Subsequently, the head of each family was asked a multitude of questions, such as his name, origin, destination, and trade. The family would then be able to ask their own questions so as to make the rest of their journey easier. In these early years, there were virtually no restrictions on entry except in the rare cases of known murderers, unaccompanied children (most typically, those whose parents had died on the journey), the very sick, and stowaways. Before long, there were other categories of refused immigrants, such as paupers, lesser criminals and ex-convicts, runaway spouses, those too old to work, unmarried couples (though a chapel was established for such occasions), and unaccompanied women suspected of "low moral character."

Once the immigrant passed the landing department, they would be directed to the Rotunda. To get there, they walked through the grounds, where they were accosted by peddlers selling their wares and by "emigrant runners;" these runners were representatives of ships, shops, merchants, passage brokers, money changers, boardinghouses, inns, and so on, and their job was to convince new immigrants that they sorely needed the services they provided. Often, these services were overpriced or unnecessary; at worst, they sent unsuspecting immigrants to brothels, gambling dens, or fake boarding-houses where they would be robbed or ruined. To prevent such dishonest runners from taking advantage of newcomers, the profession was strictly licensed, and runners of all kinds were specifically barred from certain areas within the depot.

The Rotunda was a circular space in the main building split into six sections based on language; each confederal language received a section, as well as German, and speakers of all other languages gathered in the sixth. Often, the division was not so neat; in times when excess German immigrants came through, for example, other sections were commandeered by the German-speaking section, usually the Dutch section as most workers there could already speak Dutch without problems. In the Rotunda, the family would first be officially registered, giving their name, nationality, former residence, and intended destination.

Once registered, the immigrants were sent to the States' Court, a space where many states held offices and helped the new immigrants to fill out the requisite paperwork. Each immigrant needed both paperwork clearing them to enter the ASB (which they had already gotten at this stage) and residence permission from one state. The majority of immigrants already had a destination in mind, but those who didn't would be met by "labor runners." Labor runners were a type of emigrant runner employed by a state immigration office or a company looking for workers, and they would yell in various languages to entice undecided new arrivals. The States' Court was a loud, bustling place as a result of this.

In 1868, the States' Court was split into the Court proper and the "Labor Exchange;" the exchange served to connect new immigrants with companies that needed their skills. Most of these companies, in turn, worked in tandem with their respective state governments to try to attract as many desirable immigrants as they possibly could. This reorganization did much to streamline the process and to break up the much-maligned runner system.

After an immigrant filled out their paperwork, they could avail themselves of any of many different bureaus whose purpose was to make their experience as painless as possible. At the Rail Office, they could purchase tickets to his final destination. At the Exchange Broker, they could change their money for New Netherland Daalders; some state offices had their own brokers, but most relied on the central one. At the Information Bureau, immigrants could send and receive mail and telegrams, and coordinate with family members who had already established themselves in the ASB.

Immigrants able to purchase tickets, or intending to live in New Amsterdam, or who found work through the exchange, were able to leave immediately. Those who did not, most usually those who were waiting for relatives or spouses to come get them, often slept in the rotunda in chairs or on the floor, and their valuables could be kept safe at the Treasury Bureau free of charge. Some unlucky individuals spent many days at Kasteelgaard; in these cases, people might go from office to office asking if any state would grant them residence. The sick and destitute could go instead to Barent Refuge, a hospital complex on Groot Barent Island at the mouth of the Haarlem River.
 
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I know I've not really contributed much to the thread, however I thought I'd try working on updating the map a bit by polishing a few borders, adding @Etruscan-enthusiast35 and @ST15RM 's additions to Mozambique and the Middle East respectively, and adding members of the League of Peoples (essentially the Italian Commonwealth of Nations) as described by @Neoteros :

The only area I didn't add for the League was Tientsin seeing as China is already on the map. There are probably canon errors in this map, however I thought I'd try my hand at updating it. If there are any blatant inaccuracies please let me know!
I did a version of Italy's colonial empire based on this post, but I'm sure the two visions can be reconciled! :)

Other than that, Tristan da Cunha has also been established as an overseas territory of the ASB.

asb italy.png
 
I did a version of Italy's colonial empire based on this post, but I'm sure the two visions can be reconciled! :)

Other than that, Tristan da Cunha has also been established as an overseas territory of the ASB.

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Honestly I think the latter colonial empire makes more sense given Italy's history ITTL as a far more decentralized state; the only thing I would maintain is that I still think Italy would go after Libya seeing as it's right across the Mediterranean. Ultimately though it's up to @False Dmitri .

Also, I was thinking about other parts of the world, and one of the areas I was thinking about was Australia. I don't know if Australia's been expanded on at all, but I had a few thoughts; obviously alternate colonization from other European powers (primarily the Dutch, French, and Portuguese), as well as possibly a greater extent of pre-European contact between the northern Aboriginals and the Makassar people of Indonesia. However, I've also thought a bit about the history of the Aboriginals themselves. I'm aware that while there isn't really a set POD, it's agreed upon that it's somewhere in the 16th or 17th century. However, I wonder if it would be too against the nature of the TL to have a much earlier (but largely contained) POD in Australia to facilitate the growth of some more advanced Aboriginal civilizations. Nothing too insane like the survival of any megafauna; what I'm thinking is something more along the lines of Lands of Red and Gold, where a single additional crop (the red yam) allowed more advanced societies to eventually rise to prominence. While I know that having such an early POD would be a large divergence from how the world has been developed so far, I think it would fit well into the world as a whole, with an ASB-like nation forming in Australia through an alliance of native states and European colonies/former colonies.

I don't expect this to be implemented due to how different it is from the rest of the world so far, however I just wanted to share the idea.
 
asb_aus.png

This was an idea I had for Australia a while back. There was one post that said that French "Terresud" (the blue one) was based in South Australia, so I predicted the rest of it would have been colonized by somebody else, presumably Great Britain.
 
Honestly I think the latter colonial empire makes more sense given Italy's history ITTL as a far more decentralized state; the only thing I would maintain is that I still think Italy would go after Libya seeing as it's right across the Mediterranean. Ultimately though it's up to @False Dmitri .

Also, I was thinking about other parts of the world, and one of the areas I was thinking about was Australia. I don't know if Australia's been expanded on at all, but I had a few thoughts; obviously alternate colonization from other European powers (primarily the Dutch, French, and Portuguese), as well as possibly a greater extent of pre-European contact between the northern Aboriginals and the Makassar people of Indonesia. However, I've also thought a bit about the history of the Aboriginals themselves. I'm aware that while there isn't really a set POD, it's agreed upon that it's somewhere in the 16th or 17th century. However, I wonder if it would be too against the nature of the TL to have a much earlier (but largely contained) POD in Australia to facilitate the growth of some more advanced Aboriginal civilizations. Nothing too insane like the survival of any megafauna; what I'm thinking is something more along the lines of Lands of Red and Gold, where a single additional crop (the red yam) allowed more advanced societies to eventually rise to prominence. While I know that having such an early POD would be a large divergence from how the world has been developed so far, I think it would fit well into the world as a whole, with an ASB-like nation forming in Australia through an alliance of native states and European colonies/former colonies.

I don't expect this to be implemented due to how different it is from the rest of the world so far, however I just wanted to share the idea.
You're right, just about the only consistent thing so far is a POD of 1600, and personally I'm not very willing to change that. The rest of the world could quickly turn into a free-for-all. But 1600 is still well before any colonization. Is there any way to effect a change that would protect parts of aboriginal culture given ~150 years to play with?
 
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