Atlas of Medieval America

Matthew White is another one of those people with excellent AH sites, yet probably have never been involved with any of the communities. One of his works is the Atlas of Medieval America, a completely unfinished work speculating if for some unknown reason, technology ultra-regressed in the U.S. and feudalism returned.

I like it a lot. I haven't read Dies the Fire yet, so could any of you please take a look at it and tell me how it compares with S.M. Stirling's series?

Unfortunately, in some email replies, he seems to be too busy to update.
 
It does look pretty cool. The idea that the United States would re-form east of the Appaliachians is a good one, after all America did develop and become independent in this area prior to the Industrial Revolution. But perhaps it would become known as THESE United States rather than THE United States, in recognition of the inability to get a really tight central govt without telegraphs and railways. The Missisisippi would become a major transport route, which I think would bind the central region together much like China's big rivers did throughout history. Stirlings series is too close to 'the change' to have things like horse nomads, he mentions that they will develop in the next generation. Stirling also has lots of things like minable cities, roads, rail tracks which this scenario doesn't. Also Stirling has a defined reason why technology can't advance, without a reason there is nothing stopping a Renaissance.
 
The 'Horse Nomads' part reminded me more of A Canticle for Leibowitz than Dies the Fire.

But I think that guy's daft, or incredibly cynical. Dear God above, why in Earth, Heaven, and Hell would you allow a Scientologist Theocracy to form anywhere, let alone southern California?
 
Just off the cuff, some of the developments look as if he's read Robert Adams Horseclans books, where the eponymous clans are a mongolesque federation of nomads that dominate the high plains west of the Mississipi and late medieval kingdoms and principalities war over the continent (the Empire of the Four Mexicos, the Kingdoms of New Greece and New Macedonia, the Black Kingdoms in upstate New York...)
 
It's quite good and avoids some of the annoying clichés - and yeah, it has a humorous undertone. I loved the "Totemic symbol : Bald Eagle" reference. :D
 

Hendryk

Banned
Hey, someone made a blog about it. They're trying to reconstruct Mr. White's work (he doesn't seem to be responding to emails anymore), and it's great.
Good idea they had. The original premise is an interesting one (I too thought of A Canticle for Leibowitz, but in a good way). I'd like to see some information about the rest of the world, since the whole planet has gone back to premodern times. There's a brief mention of overland trade in Eurasia along the Silk Road, which means that both Europe and China have presumably gone back to the way they used to be in the Middle Ages, but that deserves further elaboration.
 

Tom Kalbfus

Banned
Matthew White is another one of those people with excellent AH sites, yet probably have never been involved with any of the communities. One of his works is the Atlas of Medieval America, a completely unfinished work speculating if for some unknown reason, technology ultra-regressed in the U.S. and feudalism returned.

I like it a lot. I haven't read Dies the Fire yet, so could any of you please take a look at it and tell me how it compares with S.M. Stirling's series?

Unfortunately, in some email replies, he seems to be too busy to update.
Under feudalism in the United States, the ranks of the Nobility could break down as the following:
President: The United States
Duke: runs a State, there is a Duke of New York and another Duke of New Jersey for example
Count: is in charge of the County, there would be a Count of Westchester and another Count in charge of Rockland County on the otherside of the Hudson River in the New York area.
Baron: is the lowest level of titular nobility, there is a Baron of Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County, there is also a Baron of Yorktown Heights, There is a Baron of Queens, which is no longer part of New York City.
Mayor: the cities are run by Mayors, mayors are equivalent in rank to either a Baron or a Count depending on the size of the City. New York City at this time would comprise all of Manhattan Island, although the most heavily built up end would be on the South end around what was Battery Park, a few of the ancient towers still stand, but much of it has crumbled as well and forms hills in a new landscape. The Mayor of New York City has a rank that's equivalent to Count and he answers to the Duke of New York, and to the guilds and business interests of New York City. The Mayor of Yonkers has a rank equivalent to Baron. The actual Count of Westchester lives in a castle build out of rubble high on a hillside in White Plains.
Knight: is the lowest rank of nobility, generally he serves under a Baron or Mayer, and is granted some land holdings for his service, higher rankings of Nobility also retain their knights that serve directly under them, but defense of the Republic generally depends on the loyalty of the local nobility.
Yeoman or free citizen: Independent farmers who farm on their own land and owe no allegiance to any Noble.
Peasant: a vassal of a titular noble Baron and up.
Indentured Servant: Usually someone convicted of a crime and serving out a sentance of involuntary labor, or someone deeply indebted who is working off that debt under a manditory labor contract.
Slave: Some one convicted of a more serious crime, but not one serious enough to be executed for it is sentenced to a lifetime of slavery.

I think it would be interesting to convert this to a fantasy setting with the addition of Monsters and various races and magic, we already have our medeaval substrate here.
 
Under feudalism in the United States, the ranks of the Nobility could break down as the following:
President: The United States
Duke: runs a State, there is a Duke of New York and another Duke of New Jersey for example
Count: is in charge of the County, there would be a Count of Westchester and another Count in charge of Rockland County on the otherside of the Hudson River in the New York area.
Baron: is the lowest level of titular nobility, there is a Baron of Cortlandt Manor in Westchester County, there is also a Baron of Yorktown Heights, There is a Baron of Queens, which is no longer part of New York City.
Mayor: the cities are run by Mayors, mayors are equivalent in rank to either a Baron or a Count depending on the size of the City. New York City at this time would comprise all of Manhattan Island, although the most heavily built up end would be on the South end around what was Battery Park, a few of the ancient towers still stand, but much of it has crumbled as well and forms hills in a new landscape. The Mayor of New York City has a rank that's equivalent to Count and he answers to the Duke of New York, and to the guilds and business interests of New York City. The Mayor of Yonkers has a rank equivalent to Baron. The actual Count of Westchester lives in a castle build out of rubble high on a hillside in White Plains.
Knight: is the lowest rank of nobility, generally he serves under a Baron or Mayer, and is granted some land holdings for his service, higher rankings of Nobility also retain their knights that serve directly under them, but defense of the Republic generally depends on the loyalty of the local nobility.
Yeoman or free citizen: Independent farmers who farm on their own land and owe no allegiance to any Noble.
Peasant: a vassal of a titular noble Baron and up.
Indentured Servant: Usually someone convicted of a crime and serving out a sentance of involuntary labor, or someone deeply indebted who is working off that debt under a manditory labor contract.
Slave: Some one convicted of a more serious crime, but not one serious enough to be executed for it is sentenced to a lifetime of slavery.

I think it would be interesting to convert this to a fantasy setting with the addition of Monsters and various races and magic, we already have our medeaval substrate here.
I like your ideas, but I think Duke would still be called Governers (Guvnah?)
 

Tom Kalbfus

Banned
I like your ideas, but I think Duke would still be called Governers (Guvnah?)
I have an idea, I think I'll start a thread parallel to this called Split Infinity after the Book written by Piers Anthony, but instead of taking place on the distant planet of Proton, it takes place right here on Earth in the 25th century. The Medeaval America on the "Phase side" of the "Curtain" is not post-holocaust, there was no "fall" from a technological world, rather high technology never really existed here, it is a story of two worlds, one is a 25th century technotopia, the other also occurs in a different 25th century where magic predominates. What opens the door between to two worlds is the use of Vacuum Energy Reactors in the technological frame, this technology depletes the energy of the local vacuum within Earth's gravity well and causes energy to leak over from the other frame causing the curtain effect a faultline between the two realities through which a person can sometimes travel.
 
Good comments and discussion here, guys, but also please remember to comment on the blog. I think it could use more reader support to show that people are still following it.
 
I think the later blog does a much better job of enunciating the concept than the original website did. While I think the scenario is fairly ASB (particularly how the old cities have largely maintained their prominence), it is an interesting idea. I rather like the idea of the Midwest being divided into a feudal system like the HRE and New England serving the role of the netherlands/italy, with the ever looming threat of the great plains barbarians coming about and threatening civilization.
 
This is a very interesting site and idea. I do think parts of it seem to be parodies of culture(Scientologist California? Buddhist North West?) but a lot of it seems pretty good. I like the Non-denominational Church being run by the Supreme Court and retaining its republican structure acting similar to the Vatican in this new era, as well.

I wish he would have fleshed it out more before he left though. I'd like to know how most of Southern Wisconsin and Illinois were absorbed into Iowa, personally. I wonder if AH.com could run with this a little...
 
I wish he would have fleshed it out more before he left though. I'd like to know how most of Southern Wisconsin and Illinois were absorbed into Iowa, personally. I wonder if AH.com could run with this a little...
I'd be willing to dump some time and effort into it, and yes as a Wisconsinite it is a bit shocking to see how the Iowan horde has conquered most of the upper Midwest. Personally I think most of the kingdoms are too large and their needs to be a lot more city states scattered about.
 

Tom Kalbfus

Banned
This is a very interesting site and idea. I do think parts of it seem to be parodies of culture(Scientologist California? Buddhist North West?) but a lot of it seems pretty good. I like the Non-denominational Church being run by the Supreme Court and retaining its republican structure acting similar to the Vatican in this new era, as well.

I wish he would have fleshed it out more before he left though. I'd like to know how most of Southern Wisconsin and Illinois were absorbed into Iowa, personally. I wonder if AH.com could run with this a little...
Yeah, lets. The cowboys are a little strange though, they become a munch of homeless maurading pillagers. I guess they are mad because someone took away their guns. :D

I think Southerners might get a little mad at their portrayal. Voodoo-zombie, witchdoctor-worshipping naked people from the Carribbean. The South isn't the carribean, it isn't tropical, and there's no rainforest, it verges on subtropical in places but the winters can be quite cool if not cold in most places. I don't know if weather or climate causes slavery to happen or is it just culture.

I think I'd like to turn this into a fantasy setting
 
I'd be willing to dump some time and effort into it, and yes as a Wisconsinite it is a bit shocking to see how the Iowan horde has conquered most of the upper Midwest. Personally I think most of the kingdoms are too large and their needs to be a lot more city states scattered about.
Yeah, I'd agree about the city states. Whatever caused this regression might have an effect(eg, nuclear collapse would mean while some cities are unlikely to regain their role) but from what I've seen of his idea the East Coast is more or less intact, if more primitive.

Largely, he seems to focus and flesh out the Plains and the Cowboy culture more than any of the other ones. Although he puts a little info towards the Eastern areas.

It would be interesting to figure out how the "states" have changed in the overall scheme of things. I can see Ohio being a powerful nation on its own, for example. And the New England Republics make me think of Italy, with the amount of wars and intrigue.

I finally found his page on Iowa, and it seems it's a nation founded by Cowboy tribes that eventually went native, so a Norman sort of thing. That seems plausible for them to fight their way in, but my regionalism demands I argue with the massive area they've claimed. I can picture them expanding into Western Illionois and southwestern Wisconsin fairly easily, though.

I liked the blog's assumption that the Applachians and Ozarks have become clan-dominated and much like Scotland, with some "lowland culture" in the major cities that remained. Makes for an interesting story telling idea.

I have my doubts about a full-fledged voodoo state in N'awlins, but it might be a drastically different version of that religion, which would make things interesting.

Finally, the scientology thing is just messed up. That's a parody I'm fairly certain, but it would be an interesting thing to try and flesh out and develop.

Should we start a thread on this?

Yeah, lets. The cowboys are a little strange though, they become a munch of homeless maurading pillagers. I guess they are mad because someone took away their guns. :D

I think Southerners might get a little mad at their portrayal. Voodoo-zombie, witchdoctor-worshipping naked people from the Carribbean. The South isn't the carribean, it isn't tropical, and there's no rainforest, it verges on subtropical in places but the winters can be quite cool if not cold in most places. I don't know if weather or climate causes slavery to happen or is it just culture.

I think I'd like to turn this into a fantasy setting
I also agree about the South needs to be fleshed out more. I attributed the change to the mass mixing of White southerners with Black southerners, and combined with the trading they should be doing with the nearby Carribean states, I can picture some influence there. Probably not full fledged voodoo witchdoctor stuff though.

Not so sure about fantasy though.
 
Yeah, I'd agree about the city states. Whatever caused this regression might have an effect(eg, nuclear collapse would mean while some cities are unlikely to regain their role) but from what I've seen of his idea the East Coast is more or less intact, if more primitive.
I'm kind of tempted for this to be ASB. It allows for us to hand wave away the causes of collapse and dump the proto-americans in a virgin continent. One of the big problems with a post apocalyptic scenario and the return to civilization, is that all of the easy deposits of ore have already been mined out. I'd rather not have former cities and scrap yards be the principal mines in this world, particularly when most of the major cities retain their importance in this timeline.

It would be interesting to figure out how the "states" have changed in the overall scheme of things. I can see Ohio being a powerful nation on its own, for example. And the New England Republics make me think of Italy, with the amount of wars and intrigue.
I agree that Ohio could be an incredibly powerful kingdom. It has access to the great lakes trade routes, navigable rivers, fertile soils, a common culture, and many sizable industrial cities (which through handwavium survive the apocalypse) New England would make a great parallel to italy. Republican city states and merchant princes in a constant struggle for prestige and dominance.

I finally found his page on Iowa, and it seems it's a nation founded by Cowboy tribes that eventually went native, so a Norman sort of thing. That seems plausible for them to fight their way in, but my regionalism demands I argue with the massive area they've claimed. I can picture them expanding into Western Illionois and southwestern Wisconsin fairly easily, though.
Iowa would be on the edge between the civilization of the East and the steppelands of the great plains. Looking at the population map, as crude as it is, most of their population is centered in Wisconsin and Illinois as well. They could conceivable take the role of Huns or Mongols, but yes there is that problem with regionalism.

I liked the blog's assumption that the Applachians and Ozarks have become clan-dominated and much like Scotland, with some "lowland culture" in the major cities that remained. Makes for an interesting story telling idea.

I have my doubts about a full-fledged voodoo state in N'awlins, but it might be a drastically different version of that religion, which would make things interesting.
Agreed

Finally, the scientology thing is just messed up. That's a parody I'm fairly certain, but it would be an interesting thing to try and flesh out and develop.

Should we start a thread on this?
Scientology could function as a mystery cult, practiced in secret by a shadowy elite; like Catherism or Bogomilism.

And yes you should start a thread on this.
 
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