AHC: Form alternate/new ethnic groups of the world

I'd like to hear more about your world. Do you have any ideas about what the Ohio River Valley (and the rest of the Midwest) is like?
Honestly, I haven't turned it into a whole world yet -- this is just a scenario based on a bit of trivia about my local area.

However, I did develop a few scenarios based on obscure failed colonisation attempts, which you can read here. Here's my favourite:

The Saadi Sultanate of Morocco: Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour (r.1578-1603) was known to have an interest in seizing Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the New World. The idea wasn't ludicrous; Morocco had built up a substantive navy largely made up of Moorish refugees, and many of the adventurers known to Christians as Barbary Corsairs were essentially privateers on behalf of Morocco, the Ottoman Empire, or both. Ahmed al-Mansour also pursued relations with the great naval powers of the Ottoman Empire, France, and most famously England against Spain. In the latter case, he and Queen Elizabeth I established the Anglo-Moroccan alliance, which established trade relations dominated mainly by the sale of English arms, munitions, and naval-grade timber to Morocco. Numerous attempts at direct military cooperation with England were made, but none of them were seen through. Additionally, Ahmed al-Mansour invaded and conquered the Songhay Empire and established lasting Moroccan rule over Timbuktu, for two main reasons -- 1) to control the trans-Saharan trade routes and guarantee Moroccan access to things like gold and salt, but also 2) to control the trans-Atlantic slave trade as well. The Sultan knew that the Christian colonies in the New World needed African slaves to exist, and so he sought to control this commodity as much as he could. Ahmed al-Mansour's long-term goals included the reconquest of Andalusia from the Christians, and I don't know that this is beyond the realm of possibility.
If Ahmed al-Mansour and his successors seriously tried to establish Moroccan colonies in the New World, Morocco could have benefited from the Triangle Trade as well as the Trans-Saharan Trade and become extremely powerful. However, I don't believe it's possible for Morocco to conquer New Spain, and it'd be very difficult for Morocco to establish colonies anywhere without English or other Christian cooperation. The conquest of one or two Caribbean islands, the construction of fortified ports and trading-posts in Guyana or along the Brazilian coast, and incentivising Barbary Corsairs and Moorish refugees to settle these small fortified colonies would probably be the best way to start. The Caribbean is wealthy, and already home to pirates and privateers of all stripes; surely, Moors and other Muslim corsairs would be enticed by the prospect of wealth and jihad as well, especially against the Spanish. And while Moroccans may feel squeamish about using African Muslims as plantation slaves, who knows? Maybe European Christians could serve as slaves on Moroccan plantations, alongside African pagans.

Feedback much appreciated!! ^^
  • Ancestry: Malagasy Austronesians & Khoisan
  • Language: Ma'ro'i
  • Region: Marohaland, South Africa (OTL Natal), and the Cape Republic.
  • Religion: Christianity, and syncritized folk religions
  • Population: 10,380,000
  • History:
Derived from populations of Austronesians displaced from Madagascar by Bantu migration, the ancestors of the Maroha repeated the voyages of their forebears and themselves migrated to new lands in the south. Settling the eastern coast of southern Africa they displaced and absorbed the native Khoisan population, forming networks of inter-related chiefdoms.
These chiefdoms came into conflict with further waves of Bantu settler coming south from modern day Mozambique and the Limpopo region. The pressure exerted by these confrontations trended the Maroha society towards greater political centralisation leading to the institution of a high chief leading the Maroha clans in a confederal structure. It was from these interactions that the Maroha learned of iron working from the Bantu, innovations in inter-clan co-operation and military organisation alongside the development of a system of fortified earthwork settlements enabled them them to resist and turn back further Bantu encroachment.

Each Maroha chief would maintain a semi-professional warrior force made up of land owning nobility that would act as mobile reinforcements should any of the fortified towns come under attack.

The Maroha maintained their seafaring capability, and launched frequent trading expeditions up the coast to connect with their Malagasy cousins. This would later put them in contact with Arab traders from the north. Maroha chiefs would often conduct raids into Bantu lands, taking captives that would be sold to Arab slave traders in return for high value goods such as steel, ceramics, horses, and spices.

By the time Europeans arrived in South Africa the Maroha had developed into a centralised 'kingdom' that was locked in a series of ongoing conflicts with the Zulu Empire to its North. Both groups seeking to place other nearby Bantu tribes under their hegemony. Though the Zulu and their vassals could bring far larger numbers to bear, Maroha superiority in weaponry and organisation meant that they frequently triumphed in engagements, though lacking in strength to expand outside of the southern and Eastern heartlands. Maroha use of imported Arabian horses to conduct fast cavalry raids in particular proved to be decisive.

Dutch settlers of the Cape were intrigued and fascinated by the organized Maroha kingdom with their 'castles' and "knights'. They would often forge alliances with them against Bantu tribes. Contemporary writers, seeing the obvious 'racial' difference with the surrounding Bantu made erroneous theories that the Maroha were descended from greek or egyptian sailors who has reached southern Africa in antiquity.

When European settlers did come into conflict with the Maroha they found it difficult to dislodge them from their lands due to the strength of their settlements defensive works and the rapid adoption of gunpowder weaponry.

It was not untill the 19th century when the British took control of the Cape, and expanded the influence throughout South Africa that the Maroha were finally subjugated, though this took the form of a negotiated surrender and formal treaty where the High King of Marohaland submitted himself as vassal to the British crown in return for rights and protections for his people. British authorities regarded the Maroha as a 'martial race' and raised several regiments which formed a significant part of the forces that would be used against the expansionist Zulu and truculent Boers.

During this time many Maroha migrated to the western cape where they worked in the mines, ranches and industries if the colony. Their descendants today form a significant minority in this region.

Though facing pressures from European settlement and some degree of discrimination by colonial authorities, the Maroha were able to use the written treaty they had to maintain a degree of local autonomy and political participation.

Modern day Marohaland is a constitutional monarchy and one of the constituent states of the Federation of South Africa.
  • Ancestry: European (Dutch, German, Spanish), African (Various West and Central African peoples), Taino
  • Language: Standard Dutch (official), Haïtiens (spoken a Dutch creole language with Spanish, African and Taino influence), English (L2), Spanish (L3)
  • Religion: Irreligion, Calvinist Christianity, Catholic Christianity, Voodoo
  • Region: Present day Haiti, Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos
  • Population: 22 million
The Dutch captured the Spanish colony of Santo Domingo in 1619. Dutch privateers had ruled the island of Tortuga years before conquering the main island. From where they organized raids on Spanish possessions and shipping, in addition to trading with the locals. Spanish authorities had forbidden residents from trading with the Dutch (ATL version of Devastations of Osorio), and when the locals did not heed their orders sought to remove the ability of the Dutch to resupply ordered them to relocate to the eastern part of the island. This move would backfire as it opened up the Western part of island to Dutch settlers. They were joined by local Spanish, Taino and African holdouts who had fled the forced relocation. Fortified towns quickly emerged as Dutch settlers poured into the new colonies. A large portion of whom where privateers and soldiers who raided nearby Spanish colonies, including Santo Domingo.

The Dutch settlers were continuously reinforced by new entrants from Europe as the natural population growth was negative due high mortality rate and few births as most settlers were men. Many would marry Spanish, African and Taino women. Something that was encouraged by the Dutch authorities on island. Who saw it as a necessity for holding and developing the colony. This development would eventually lead to the shift from Spanish to Dutch on the island. Their descendants would also form the core of the mixed race free population of the island. They were also a reason for Haïti having a less slave based economy. Most of the pre 1830 population were the descendants of this group whom emerged between 1600-1680.

From the 19th century to the 21th Haïti would see a large influx of new Dutch immigrants from Europe. It is estimated that these later arrivals constitute 50% of modern Haïtiers ancestry. Immigration to Haïti peaked after both WW1 and WW2. The island has also become something of preferred destination for Dutch internal migrants due to it's warm and sunny weather.

Language: Sinimic (a Sino-Tibetan language with a Semitic and Indo-European substrata)
Ancestry: Semitic, East Iranian, East Asian
Religion: most Sinimites adhere to an ethnic religion with elements of Semitic Polytheism and traditional Chinese folk religion.
Region: China
Culture: like many other small ethno-religious communities around the world, the Sinimites encouraged positive interaction with the dominant cultural group(s) yet promote a strong sense of communal identity and family ties, discourage marriage with outsiders and are secretive about their beliefs and cultural practices.

Book_of_Isaiah_(KJV) said:

3 And [the Lord] said unto me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.

6 And he said… to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel…

12 Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.
Sinimites trace their origins to Jewish groups who settled in the territories of modern China sometime between 600 and 500 BC. Unlike the Kaifeng Jews who arrived in the region later on, the Sinimites broke away from the greater Jewish diaspora during the time of the Babylonian Captivity, before the codification of the Babylonian Talmud. As a result, the theological beliefs of the Sinimites diverged significantly from Rabbinic Judaism: most notably whereas standard Jewish doctrine sees the destruction of the First Temple and the subsequent Babylonian Exile as God’s punishing the Jewish people for reverting to idolatry and disobeying divine laws, the Sinimites believe that by failing to to protect the Kingdom of Judah it was God and not the Jews who broke the Abrahamic Covenant.

Sinimitic religious texts speak of Yahweh as shunning and scorning the help of his family & clan (aka the other Semitic gods) and demanding that people worship him alone as the mightiest of the gods; but although he was the most powerful of the pantheon he was overcome by the combined might of the hostile evil deities, resulting in the Promised Land falling to the Babylonian Empire. In Sinimitic tradition this story serves as a morality tale about the importance of family and the need for the leader to accept help/advice from the subjects.

Sinimites claim that God (now with the backing of his whole family) appeared to their prophet and tasked him with leading the Chosen People out of Mesopotamia to a new Promised Land in the East. Historians however dispute the existence of such an individual, believing the Sinimites must have travelled eastward either as slaves or merchants through Scythia in an unorganized migration. Whatever the case, the Sinimites settled in the Tocharian city states of the Tarim Basin where they remained until the dynastic wars and khanic invasions destabilized the region, driving the Sinimites further inland into Han China.

Over the centuries, Sinimitic religion evolved and syncretised with that of their Chinese neighbours. Lord Yahweh for example became associated with the Jade Emperor, Asherah with Xiwangmu, Gad the fortune god with Fu Xing, etc.

Location: North-Central region of the Commonwealth of America
Languages: English, Scotch-Indian Brogue
Religion: Mainly Protestant, with Catholic and Irreligious minorities, along with some syncretism with local tribal faiths.
Population: Around 500,000, as well as potentially over a million more with some Scotch-Indian ancestry but who don't identify as Scotch-Indian.
Culture: A blend of Scotch-Irish and various Amerindian cultures.
Ancestry: Descendants of Scotch-Irish fur traders and Amerindian women from various tribes (Cree, Ojibwe, Sioux etc.)
These exist (existed? I’m not sure whether or not the group has been assimilated by now) OTL and are known as Anglo-Métis.
Calabria -- the "heel" (Turkish: "topuk") of Italy
Origins: the people of Calabria, and the various Ottoman (and Moorish/Barbary) groups that settled amongst them
Languages: various local dialects of Turkish, Greek, Sicilian, Italian, and Arabic
Religion: Predominantly Sunni Islam, although with sizeable Greek Orthodox, Sicilian Catholic, and Sephardi Jewish minorities.
Description: in OTL, Fatih Sultan Mehmed -- famed for his conquest of Constantinople -- briefly occupied the city of Otranto, on the southernmost tip of the Italian boot-heel. This brief occupation in 1480 didn't last beyond his death, but Otranto would be a sought-after goal for caliphs and corsairs alike -- for example, Hayreddin Barbarossa beseiged it in 1537, but was unable to hold it. Otranto was of great strategic value, as well as ideological -- if the Ottomans could hold it, they'd control access to the entire Adriatic; and beyond it lay Italy and Rome, Constantinople's sister-city, the rightful domain of the Sultan of Rum, occupied by the chief prelate of the Frankish infidels.

In this timeline, Mehmed II is able to turn Otranto into a jumping-off point for an attempted invasion of the entire Italian peninsula. While he's unsuccessful in taking most of the Italian boot, he does get the Heel (Topuk in Turkish), and that remains a permanent part of the Ottoman Empire. Over time, the cities slowly become more "Ottoman," as Turks, Albanians, and Greeks from the other side of the Adriatic (both Muslim and Orthodox) settle in the urban centres and military/naval garrisons, and the Sicilian burghers and aristocrats either flee, tolerate Ottoman rule, or adopt the faith and ways of their conquerors. Ottoman rule in the Topuk is a balancing act -- the Sultans have to rule with a light touch, since their Italian frontier is far from the Ottoman heartland; and yet, the Ottomans actively proselytise more in Italy than they did in the Balkans, as the Catholic Church was a far more difficult institution to deal with there on the Pope's doorstep. Perhaps ironically, Turkish relations are better with Venice in this timeline -- the Ottomans can't afford to be permanently at war with the Venetians, and the Venetians need to be on good terms with the Turks to trade beyond the Adriatic. Likewise, Greek notables -- both Muslim and Christian -- are often promoted to gubernatorial positions in the Topuk, as a kind of middle-man nationality between the Calabrians and the Turks (think of the role the Phanariotes played elsewhere).

In 1492, the Emirate of Granada fell to the Castilians. Moors and Jews were forced to flee Iberia to the Ottoman Empire, and many of them took up a maritime jihad against their Christian oppressors, becoming the Barbary Corsairs. In OTL, Salonica (Thessaloniki) was the centre of Andalusian refugees in the Ottoman Empire; but in this timeline, they mostly settle in the Topuk. This adds an Arabic/Jewish element to the culture of the Topuk, as well as a close connection to the Barbary pirates -- Otranto and Lucca become centres for the Ottoman privateering, just as Algiers and Tripoli were.
In 1492, the Emirate of Granada fell to the Castilians. Moors and Jews were forced to flee Iberia to the Ottoman Empire, and many of them took up a maritime jihad against their Christian oppressors, becoming the Barbary Corsairs. In OTL, Salonica (Thessaloniki) was the centre of Andalusian refugees in the Ottoman Empire; but in this timeline, they mostly settle in the Topuk. This adds an Arabic/Jewish element to the culture of the Topuk, as well as a close connection to the Barbary pirates -- Otranto and Lucca become centres for the Ottoman privateering, just as Algiers and Tripoli were.
A little note. The majority of Granada's Muslim exiles were mainly of Berber origin (the area of Morocco and Algeria) and Mozarabs (descendants of inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula who converted to Islam). The Arab component (such as coming from Arabia or descendants of Arabs) was always a very minority (not that the people of 1492 cared).
A little note. The majority of Granada's Muslim exiles were mainly of Berber origin (the area of Morocco and Algeria) and Mozarabs (descendants of inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula who converted to Islam). The Arab component (such as coming from Arabia or descendants of Arabs) was always a very minority (not that the people of 1492 cared).
That is true to an extent; honestly, the Muslims of Andalus were mostly of Iberian descent. But intermarriage was very common, especially among the urban classes. This is why they're often called "muladí" in Spanish, Portuguese, and Catalan, or "muwallad" in Arabic and Berber -- the word "muwallad" means "mixed" ancestry. The Andalusian Christians were also largely of Iberian descent, of course, but like the Muslims, they adopted the Arabic language and various Arab affectations -- such that they became known as "Mozarab," from the Arabic "must'arab," or "Arabised."

In any case, Arabic rather than Berber was the dominant language among the Andalusians -- with fus'ha (Classical or Qur'anic Arabic) being used in formal contexts (just as elsewhere in the Islamic world), but an Andalusian dialect being the vernacular.
Taiwan-kei ajia hito *
Location: OTL Taiwan, ATL Taiwanese Kingdom
Language; Formal Mandarin, various Chinese dialects, Japanese, Korean, native Taiwanese languages
Ancestry: Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese Aboriginals
Religion: Taoism, Confuscianism, Buddhism, Chinese Folk Religion, Shintoism, Korean shamanism, native Tawainese religion, a blend of all six religions, Christianity, Atheism, Islam, other
: Starting from 200 AD, Chinese fishermen began to spread into Taiwan, and from 250 AD, began to intermingle with Taiwanese natives. Later, around 350 AD, Chinese traders and farmers began to appear and make settlements, peacefully interacting with Tawainese aboriginals although there were some conflicts. Later, Korean merchants and sailors as well as Japanese Merchants, sailors, and samurai began to sail to Taiwan and intermingle both with the Chinese creole community and the Taiwanese aboriginals. By the time the Dutch arrived, large statelets were beginning to fight over control of the whole island. Eventually one of these statelets would unify the whole island and become a well respected monarchy, after briefly being occupied by the Qing and Japanese respectively.

(I used google translate for the name)
(I may have done this already, so I apologize if I did. Consider this a more detailed wank-version. The POD is that the New Netherlands Dutch-speakers never died out, and this part of the country became a sort of Dutch Louisiana)

New Netherlanders (AKA Dutchmen, Kreoljes)
Around 5.5 million, less than two percent of the combined population of the states of New York and New Jersey. They mostly live in rural areas of Upstate New York and New Jersey, especially around the Mohawk River. The Dutchmen form a majority or plurality in many villages and small towns in these two states. The more rural the area, the more likely you are to find Dutch speakers. In New York City, Dutch speakers form a plurality in the town of Bronx town of Spuyten Duyvil. The area in which Dutch speakers can be found is more or less equivalent to the original New Netherland colony. The largest city with a Dutch-speaking plurality is Albany, with New Netherlanders making up anywhere from 40-50% of the population.

Physical Appearance: Due to the history of the New Netherlands colony, there is no one set appearance for a New Netherlander. Along the Mohawk River, there are communities consisting of mixed-race individuals known as Kreoljes; similar to the Melungeons of the American South. There are white and black New Netherlanders, as well as individuals from other communities who have moved into Dutch-speaking areas and learned the language.

Language: American Dutch (ITTL known as Jersey Dutch) an archaic dialect of the Dutch language that has influences from English and German. Tri-racial communities speak a dialect called Mohawk Dutch, which is heavily influenced by Iroqouian languages, as well as English. There is some discussion as to whether or not Mohawk Dutch counts as a separate Creole language or a dialect of Dutch. Similar to African American Vernacular English (AAVE), Black Dutch speakers formed their own dialect called Black Dutch. With the exception of the very elderly or a few isolated religious communities, all New Netherlanders are bilingual English speakers as well. There used to be communities of Palatine German speakers that lived alongside the Dutch, but they were absorbed into the broader Dutch community by the early nineteenth century.

Religion: Seventy percent of New Netherlanders are Protestant, with the Dutch Reformed Church making a plurality of forty percent of total Dutch-speakers. Anglican, Lutheran, and other mainline Protestant groups are a close second. Baptist and non-conformist Protestant groups are very popular with Black and tri-racial Dutch communities; with these churches being heavily influenced by Native American and other folk beliefs. Catholics make up around fifteen percent of Dutch speakers; and there are at least two synagogues populated by Dutch-speaking Jews. There are several Muslim communities due to the history of slavery in the New Netherland colony. Proportionally, Dutch speakers are more likely to attend religious services on average than English speakers due to the role that religion has played in protecting the Dutch language.

Culture: Being a rural people, the New Netherlanders are very fond of outdoor sports and activities. Fishing, hunting, and horseback riding are all extremely popular with New Netherlanders. They are a fiercely local, patriotic people, and are over-represented in both local politics and the National Guard in New York and New Jersey. They celebrate unique holidays such as Founder's Day and Pinkster*. The New Netherlanders are very protective of their language and have advocated for its protection, to the point where Dutch is a recognized official language in both New York and New Jersey. There is one Dutch-language university in New Jersey, which is arguably the center of American Dutch literature and scholarship. New York City has several Dutch-language institutions, such as the Masonic lodge Holland Lodge No. 8 and many Dutch placenames.

*an IRL holiday celebrated historically by Black Dutch-speakers.
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Kingdom of Hawaii (Japanese Protectorate)
Ancestry: Predominantly US American; minority British, French, Russian, and from other "White" countries with Pacific colonies
Language: English, Japanese, Hawaiian
Religion: Predominantly Protestant (mostly Evangelical/American non-denominational; Anglican/Episcopalian; Methodist; Baptist; or other), with sizeable minorities of French Catholics, Mormons, and Russian Orthodox. Some of the Episcopalians follow the Church of Hawaii, though the majority adhere either to the US Episcopal Church (if of American origin) or the Church of England (if of British origin).
Description: The Kingdom of Hawaii unified in 1840, and since then it had to contend with ambitious foreign powers. Hawaii's wealth in sandalwood and its geographic location in the middle of the Pacific made it much desired by the world's colonial powers, and Britain, France, the United States, and others all committed great crimes to force Hawaii into their sphere of influence. Meanwhile, Hawaii couldn't afford to isolate itself from the world-- it needed foreign technology, trade, diplomatic influence, and military power if it was ever going to succeed and thrive as an independent nation. So, in 1881, King Kalakua petitioned Emperor Meiji to make Hawaii a Japanese protectorate. In OTL, Japan rejected this offer, not wanting to antagonise Western powers with an interest in Hawaii -- but in this timeline, Japan accepts, although continues to permit American and European businesses to operate in Hawaii (under fairer conditions for the Hawaiians, and with a Japanese military presence nearby). None of this would have been possible without the personal charm and wit of King Kalakua, who was able to personally befriend Emperor Meiji, Theodore Roosevelt, the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII), and Tsar Alexander II on his World Tour -- a much-publicised media spectacle, which drew international sympathy for his nation.
However, many Americans and Europeans remained in Hawaii, and Hawaii remained central to British and American trade with China and the rest of Asia. Many of the "whites" (haoles) in Hawaii were extremely wealthy plantation-owners. Many others were Christian missionaries or schoolmasters. Either way, they still enjoyed privileged status over the native Hawaiians, and Hawaii was still economically tied to their interests. During the Boxer Rebellion and the Taiping Rebellion, Hawaii served as a coaling station for the US Navy-- both at public expense, much to local resentment. Riots and uprisings between haole plantation-owners and their native Hawaiian or Chinese workers were not uncommon, and only the increased presence of Japanese military-police in 1924 eventually quieted things.
During the Russian Revolution, Hawaii became home to a number of White Russian exiles, including a regiment of Cossacks who swore fealty to the Hawaiian monarch. Hawaii also became the home for exiled Romanovs-- most notably Grand Duke Kirill and his brothers/successors Boris and Andrei, who became the most prominent pretenders to the Russian throne (not that it mattered much on the international stage).
During the Second World War, Hawaii was nominally neutral, but practically did whatever Japan wanted. Ironically, the Hawaiian government seized haole assets (including sugar and sandalwood plantations) and rounded up most of the haole population (regardless of wealth/social class) into detention centres, much like the Americans were doing to the Japanese population in California. For the most part, these were essentially prison camps without the goals of extermination or torture that concentration camps had (they were on par with the American detention centres) -- Japan wanted to give Hawaii the veil of neutrality, and keep Hawaii out of the war for as long as possible. But even this was too far -- the detention of US citizens prompted an American aerial assault on the Japanese naval base at Wai Momi (literally, "Pearl Harbour" in Hawaiian), and Hawaii was on the front lines of World War II. It was the site of a prolonged, extensive guerrilla campaign, and though the Americans were eventually able to occupy it, they were never fully able to integrate it into the country. Eventually, after the war, Hawaii was recognised as an independent and neutral kingdom, and was forced to repatriate property to American citizens but not the British or French, and received postwar investment from the United States a la the Marshall Plan or the reconstruction of Japan.