AHC: Most possible nations with New World colonies?

Just what it says. With a POD from 1492 on, make as many nations as possible have colonies in the Americas. (No one said they had to be European nations though.) Keep it plausible - you can't have a country establish a colony for no reason. The colonies should last for a significant amount of time - let's say 20 years or more at the least.
The Netherlands are a good prospect; they had colonies on North America but they exchanged New Amsterdam for control of what is now the country of Suriname. It wouldn't be too hard to create atleast a smaller, longer lasting colony; just changing the outcome of the first three Anglo-Dutch Wars could entirely change the terms of peace for each war. Problem is that as long as the Netherlands had control over New Netherland there would always be pretense for further conflict as the English seek Hegemony over North America. To avoid the English inevitably taking over the colony, you'd have to weaken the English State so that they could not challange the Netherlands or make it so that England wouldn't mind the Netherlands having a colony. Since the latter is more likely perhaps you could have the Netherlands accept the alliance proposal from Oliver Cromwell and from there we'd judt have to hope that they would hold to the alliance dearly. The interesting result of all this though is how it might effect the revolutionary war or even if it would be recongnizable considering the butterflies that may occur-- and whether a United States would tolerate the existence of a Dutch Enclave. Then again, the Netherlands mantained control of Suriname and various Caribbean islands even after the wars so perhaps this is irrelevant.

Lesser known OTL attempts to establish a colony are on the part of Kurland, the Knights of Malta and Tuscany. Both Kurland and the Knights of Malta briefly settled some islands in the carribean while the Tuscans who might have actually had a chance to have a long term colony gave up on the endevour after the death of Fernando I who's successor wasn't keen on the colonial gig. There are also the Swedish Colonies which would be similar in situation to that of the Dutch.

Besides that you don't really have any other options; perhaps if you kept Scotland independent they might colonize but colonization proved expensive for the poorer crown of Scotts. If you don't count Greenland and some Caribbean islands then perhaps Denmark/Norway may have a chance to establish colonies. The rest of the nations of europe are usually too invested in their mainland affairs particuarly the various Duchies of the Holy Roman Empire to give a hoot about colonization. Best chance for a country in the HRE to have the colony is to have religious divergants form Pilgrim esque colonies as a result of religious conflicts like the 30 Years War, such a thing may be even more likely if you have a more clear victor in the 30 Years War which would mean either the Protestants or the Catholics would be disinfranchised which would further encourage colonization. Maybe if you allow some countries to remain independent; perhaps Brittany, Navarra and Galicia would have a chance to colonize given their position on the seaboard were they not absorbed into the French and Castillian Crowns respectively. Having Leon not being absorbed into Castille would probaly alter the timeline entirely and likely change the whole colonization debacle as such an event would alter the history of Iberia substantially, yet it is likely an Independent Leon could have colonized. You could also have Russia mantain control of Alaska, if that counts. There's also Vinland but that is ofcourse prior to 1492. As for non-european nations there is some evidence that Mali had contact with South America, but other than that I don't think any other country would ever even think to colonize. If you had a stronger Moroccan State that resisted the conquests of Henry the Navigator they'd probaly be your best Non-European bet. As for Asia, I think China ever colonizing the Americas is far too unlikely given the distances involved and the periods of isolation Ming experienced.
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Let's see what countries owned colonies.


Courland, Malta and Sweden was the only one which doesn't owned any in the long term. Brandenburg rented part of Danish St. Thomas

Brandenburg/Prussia is the easiest. Simply let them buy a second rate sugar island from the French, Dutch or Tobago from Courland. A Prussian colony will likely last, if they succeed in setting it up.

Austria could get some sugar islands after the War of Spanish Succession or maybe even a major island. We could see them get Hispaniola it was pretty worthless at the time, but the French showed its potential with Haiti.

If the Knights of Malta keep some of their possession in the Caribbean, we could see after they lose Malta keep them and they could be seen in early 19th century being seen as a Papal State colony.
Depending on your POD, you might get a colonial venture from an earlier unified Italy. Most other polities aren't likely without massive butterflies.
Morocco? Ahmad al-Mansur wanted a colony in the New World. His dreams were ridiculously ambitious, but it couldn't be too out of the question that Morocco could seize a sugar island somewhere at some point during his rule, or perhaps a more stable Morocco after his rule could do so. Could they hold it long term? I doubt it, since they changed hands so often, but the key point is that they held it.

Other German states too might be able to replicate what Brandenburg did in the Caribbean, it just depends how internal German politics go after 1492. And I don't know how plausible it is, but Austrian Hapsburgs somehow gaining part of the Spanish Empire (Venezuela/Klein-Venedig) as well as keeping the Low Countries seems to good of an idea to pass up.

Scotland too, assuming the people behind the Darien scheme don't pick a place as monumentally stupid to settle like Darien.

Maybe Brittany as well? Once again, a sugar island. I'll add in Poland(-Lithuania) based on the Courland example. The Caribbean is basically the place where this will all happen.
I don't think Prussia or Austria-Hungary would be interested in colonies. For the time being they were all devoting their resources to gaining Hegemony over Germany.

If you really want to get technical, you can have the Polynesians migrating further across the Pacific Ocean and eventually form settlements on the coasts. A similar thing could occur if a Siberian Tribe migrates across the strait and forms some sort of settlement in Alaska.

Other things I've thought about since my last message is some sort of Sufi Islam missionary expedition to the new world. Sufis spread Islam all over the world historicly so perhaps if they were more active in places like the Ottoman Empire, Morocco and the Hafsids Dynasty they may be inclined to attempting to convert natives to their religion in a similar practice to Catholic Missionaries in our time line. Naples, like Tuscany, is also a good bet if they weren't dominated by nations like Spain and France considering that Naples was relatively wealthy. If the county of flanders didn't get absorbed into the Duchy of Burgundy or the Kingdom of France they might have a chance to colonize. Same thing goes for all the coastal French and Iberian Duchies/Counties/Kingdoms if they don't get absorbed into France and Spain. If the Burgundian Succession didn't happen then perhaps they could have colonized aswell although their interests were incredibly invested in the Mainland.
Does a union-falling-apart POD with Aragon and Castile both having colonies count?

Same thing goes for all the coastal French and Iberian Duchies/Counties/Kingdoms if they don't get absorbed into France and Spain. If the Burgundian Succession didn't happen then perhaps they could have colonized aswell although their interests were incredibly invested in the Mainland.

I'd love to see Catalonia have a colony somewhere. The Americas need Catalan-speaking successor states...
I don't think Prussia or Austria-Hungary would be interested in colonies. For the time being they were all devoting their resources to gaining Hegemony over Germany.

I mean Prussia did try in OTl. They attempted to settle on crab island, they made serval attempt to buy islands from the uk, they rented one of the danish west indies, for a few years.

They were interested under Frederick I. They just abandoned that interest after some early setbacks.
Were Norway independent in this era, it would probably have staked a claim to something in the hemisphere.
I suppose it technically would not count, but having the Jodensavanne plan go through and succeed would add another layer of diversity to the colonial endeavors in the hemisphere.


1. Great Britain
2. France
3. Spain
4. Netherlands
5. Portugal
6. Knights of Malta
7. Sweden
8. Denmark
9. Russia
10. Morocco - They could conquer an island or two, but wouldn't last long.
11. Austria - expedition would originate from Austrian Netherlands. Would require them conquering a French/British/Spanish colony
12. Ottoman Empire - Uses Barbary pirates to conquer a sugar island or two. Ottomans have an alliance with France so they could hold it. Have this occur during Thirty Years War or something.
13. Japan - Russia holds onto Alaska, loses it or part of it in the Russo-Japanese War.
14. Genoa or other Italian city state - Maybe they fund an expedition shortly after Christopher Columbus discovers the New World.
15. Norway - find a way to get independent, resettle Greenland, reconquer Iceland.
16. Scotland - Resists unification with England, colonizes North America.
17. Some kind of Religious group forms a rogue state in the New World without the approval of their homeland government.
18. A longer lasting Hanseatic League funds an expedition for more wealth.
19. Dutch in Cape Colony revolt and form own country for some reason or another. Settle the Falkland Islands/South Georgia and Sandwich Islands (probably asb).
20. Mali Empire (some loons claim this happened, most likely did not).

-Also technically New World Nations such as Canada, the US, Argentina, and Chile colonized parts of the new world.
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If absolutely everything goes right for them, I could see East Asian countries such as China, Korea, Japan, and possibly some Indonesian nations colonizing the western Americas. Of course, like I said, absolutely everything would have to go right for these countries to establish colonies, but I don't think it would be ASB (maybe the Indonesian nations, but China, Korea, and Japan are possible colonizers, albeit unlikely).
I really like the idea of the Knights of Malta holding a colony, especilly in a New World with less Catholic colonies. Could have a very interesting history, especially if it ends up essentially a colony of the Catholic Church.

If the Dutch continue to hold Manhattan and Long Island, I could see the New Englanders and Souther Anglo colonists forming very different identities in a way that the ARW as we know it wouldnt occur. You could see many of the same issues arise, taxation without representation and all that, but I doubt that it would be as united of a front or that it would be successful unless tied directly into a war that paralyzes Britain's ability to focus on the New World. However there are many who say that if France did not lose Canada that the Americans would have been unwilling to rebel for fear of French invasion, so perhaps the presence of many other foreign colonies in the periphery of the Anglo colonies would entirely prevent something like otl ARW.
To me, St. Croix makes for an interesting New Malta. I also wonder how the colony enduring would influence/be influenced by the French Revolution is not butterflied, given that the Napoleonic invasion is what cost the knights their state historically.
IIRC, Austria did try to set up a colony on the Nicobar Islands back in the 1770's. Unfortunately for them, Denmark-Norway did not give up their claim and the monarchy was not interested in further supporting the endeavor. Also, they received other concessions in Asia over the years. Not too sure how their attention might be diverted from Asia to the Americas, however.
To quantify my list in a more linear way:

1. Courland: Historical Islands
2. Knights of Malta: Historical Islands
3. Polish-Lithuanian CommonWealth: Could own some land through Courland
4. Norway: Historicly had control over Iceland, not too hard to imagine they colonize farther west.
5. Denmark: Could hold some islands or have a situation similar to Norway.
6. Sweden: Historical colonies in North America
7. Morocco: Consider the prospects for a time. Less ASB if Henry the Navigator doesn't fuck them up
8. Hafsid Dynasty: If they didn't get dominated by the Ottomans or Castile, they could have founded colonies due to their strong naval tradition.
9. Castile: Assuming Spain didn't centralize
10. Aragon: See 9
11. Leon: See 9
12. Galicia: See 9
13. Grenada: See 9
14. Basques/Navarra: See 9
15. France
16. Brittanny: Assuming France didn't centralize
17. Burgundy: see 16
18. Gascon/Aquataine: See 16
19. Flanders/Belgium: If they're not absorbed into France or the Netherlands
20. England: IOTL
21. Scotland: Tried to do it IOTL.
22. Netherlands: Colonized Islands and New York
23. Friesland: If Netherlands didn't centralize
24. Holland: If Netherlands didn't centralize
25. Utrect/Gelre: If Netherlands didn't centralize.
26. Austria: Through the inheritence of Spain/Castile/Other nations
27. Brandenburg/Prussia: Unlikely, but possible.
28. Mali: Evidence of contact IOTL
29. Early United Ireland: ASB, but if you made it happen you might get a shot.
30. Japan: Takes part of Russian Alaska
31. Russia/Muscovy: Alaska
32. Polynesians: Migrations further east
33. Siberian Peoples: Migrations further east
34. Hannover: Similar in situation to Brandenburg/Prussia
35. Novgorod: Not conquered by Muscovy
36. Sufis: Islamic Missionaries go West
37. Tuscany: Sent an expedition historicly, never went through with it
38. Genoa: Could do what tuscany did
39. Savoy: see 38
40. Naples: see 38
41. Venice: see 38
42. Protestant Refugees: Religious pilgrims fleeing from religious conflicts like the 30 years war
43. Calvinist Refugees: See 42
44. Catholic Refugees: See 42
45. Islamic State: Reconquista drives Muslims from Iberia to new world
46. Jewish state: Jewish persecution drives Jews to start a new life in the New World
47. Portugal: IOTL
48. Zayyanid Dynasty: Similar to Hafsids
49. Vikings/Vinland: Discovered and briefly explored by vikings, never settled
50. Milan: See 38

These are all the ones I think could happen with reasonable PODs. Most others I think would require some ASB.
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