Help building a world where Native Americans colonize Europe

Discussion in 'Help and Rules' started by Enigmajones, May 17, 2019.

  1. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    I was thinking of writing a story about a world where Europe is backwards and isolated. I was looking for help with POD's that could help this happen. It helps if the natives of the America's are the main colonial powers in the world. So if anyone can help me out, I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    Easy get more domesticated animals to survive in the America’s or have more super helpful domesticated animals get domesticated (like the mountain goat is one example in that bronze something something timeline
     
  3. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    I would also need Europe to be far less powerful, so I was thinking of say a deadlier Bubonic plague and a farther reaching Mongol Empire.
     
  4. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    you need a way earlier pod for Europe to be able to colonized to be in a reverse north America situation
     
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  5. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Any ideas? I assumed that the Mongols being able to rampage through Central Europe would have a negative effect on the continent, am I wrong in that?
     
  6. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    yes but there would have been enough time to recover and there western europe what you realy need to get rid of some eurriasia crop packages and domesticated animals but yah there other ways than that that just the easiest one
     
  7. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Okay, maybe a less successful Roman Empire? Or a Greek society stillborn?
     
  8. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    it depends are you looking for a north america situaion? or an asia situation?
     
  9. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    A mix, I was looking to have it be a settler colonial society of Native American nations looking to expand to lands in the East as a result of less available choice land in North and South America.
     
  10. Whiteshore Defender of Myrcella Baratheon

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    Nah. Eurasia as a whole has too many advantages. Try making the Bronze Age Collapse even worse.
     
  11. El Terremoto Well-Known Member

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    The invention of chinampas allowed for massive population growth in Meaoamerica. Maybe chinampas are invented more like 3000 BCE rather than 1000 CE, meaning more time for growth and development and for trade routes to develop. Once potatoes and quinoa from the Andes make it North, and amaranth and mesoamerican maize make it south, all bets are off and you’d see a massive boom in complexity, state formation, and population.

    This could probably happen before the Common Era, or further back even.
     
  12. El Terremoto Well-Known Member

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    American megafauna are wayyyyy overrated. You wanna know why llamas aren’t as big as horses or used for cavalry? Not because it’s impossible, but because their entire history until about a century ago was spent being bred for winding and steep mountain paths.

    Have llamas and alpacas imported around the continents millennia agonfor herding, and you’d have draft llamas too.
     
  13. Wolttaire Well-Known Member

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    https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...rican-domestication-timeline-take-two.306494/
    i also get more to surive like horse and camels
     
  14. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Just a note, for the scenario to work, Europe has to be dominated as completely as the America's were by Europe in our timeline.
     
  15. NoName Well-Known Member

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    As well as camels and horses, maybe you could also have some of the meridiungulates like Macrauchenia and Toxodon survive and be domesticated? Hell, I could also see domesticated ground sloths being a thing.
     
  16. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    Hoo boy. This is gonna need a Pleistocene PoD at least. Extinction of horses proper in Eurasia, leaving only zebras (this is key because zebras, which are more on the donkey side of the horse genus, have a less hierarchical/familial social structure than the horse proper); extinction of the aurochs early on, preferably before the Pleistocene; survival of large social equids similar to Equus ferus past the mid-Pleistocene in North America and potentially their survival in South America (replacing hippidiform horses), thereby allowing the domestication of the horse as a food and transport animal in at least one of the Americas; some kind of cereal to go with corn would help, too, as far as early domesticated life goes.

    Surviving Colombian mammoths would help. The species adapted to the demise of the mammoth steppe environment in the upper Pleistocene but Human hunting pressure probably kicked them over the edge. These animals were huge, even taller and heavier than African elephants. The woolly mammoth is probably still screwed because of the steppe collapse.

    What was the steppe collapse? Basically, during the upper Pleistocene, Eurasia and Beringia, basically everything north of the Tibetan plateau and the Caucasus, was covered by a super-high productivity environment with a plant biomass comparable to the Serengeti. Extremely high density of high-nutrient sedge, artemisia, small trees, raspberry relatives, etc. as well as grasses. This basically turned Siberia into prime elephant habitat and the woolly mammoth evolved to take advantage of it. When climate patterns shifted, the warm, wet air that had blown up from the south stopped flowing to the same extent, and the ecosystem was replaced by a much more grass-heavy ecosystem that now dominates Eurasia and North America's plains regions. This is basically why all the northern Eurasian megafauna vanish in the upper Pleistocene after the last glacial maximum; Human hunting pressure goes up and the population ceiling goes down. Recipe for disaster.

    So, optimistically we can have elephants, horses, gomphotherid elephants in South America, potentially camelids, peccaries, and of course bison, the modern species being a post-mammoth-steppe descendant of the long-horned bison of the Ice Age. Bison are pretty territorial and aggressive, and the European species (probably a steppe bison/aurochs cross gone true-breeding) hasn't been domesticated anywhere near as much as cattle have. However, domestication isn't entirely outside the realm of possibility, even if it's just free-ranging herds.

    Dogs were already domesticated by the time humans crossed the bridge, and we have some pretty solid evidence that humans slipped down the corridor between the two main ice sheets and came out somewhere near the Dakotas when they showed up. We're looking at nomadic hunter-gatherers with dogs, it's not a huge jump from there to nomadic pastoralists/cattle culture.

    So let's say, OK, Humans arrive a bit later and aren't as well established when the ecological shift happens. By this point, we've got a couple species of pronghorn (poorly suited for domestication, they're Miracinonyx food and are skittish as Hell, plus the fastest ungulates on the planet), 2-3 species of peccary (lower-maintenance pigs but smaller litters), possibly some glyptodonts hanging around, mountain goats and a couple species of sheep (breed slowly, skittish, territorial, but we domesticated the ibex and the mouflon, so...), giant llamas, mastodons (mean, nasty browsing elephants on their way out), mammoths (bigger elephants with cooler tusks), pampatheres (not worth domestication), bison, elk (again, free range is all that we've gotten to work OTL so far), 2-3 species of deer (not great for domestication), caribou (can be semi-domesticated at least, and has been), three species of musk ox (Bootherium, modern musk ox, and shrub-ox) that we don't know very much about, maybe even ground sloths but what's the point in domesticating ground sloths?

    Meanwhile, let's say ebola evolves and gets out of Africa really early somehow and starts jumping species. Like, really jumping species. Wipes out horses, aurochs, wild boar, ibex, mouflon, gaur, banteng, yak, and all those useful species, plus a good chunk of the Old World human population. Nasty, but not as bad as our near-extinction when Toba blew its top. Mitochondrial Eve is a thing for a very real and terrifying reason.

    So basically we stack the deck in the opposite direction by having the Human population explosion in the Americas delayed and the domestication of key species in the Old World averted by those species being wiped out. Then the environmental collapse happens and wipes out the woolly mammoth, too. So now America looks like slightly chillier east Africa. You've got big social sabertooths instead of lions, at least three species of bear (brown, black, and short-faced plus possibly spectacled), several canid species (coyote instead of jackal, however the grey wolf complex should be resolved in place of wild dogs, and dire wolves instead of hyenas. Scimitar-toothed cat is basically a leopard in the north, jaguar is that to the south, American cheetah is bigger, leggier, and scarier than the African kind.

    OK, so the Great Plains are basically a chillier Serengeti. Now we look at the river system...

    Oh boy howdy does North America ROCK for river-dependent agriculture! The Mississippi is like the Nile only a thousand times better. There's a reason that OTL truly immense cities of mound-builder cultures sprang up in its basin. The arable land stretches for miles and miles and miles, and can support an insane population; to this day, the USA exports a truly staggering amount of food because of this area alone.

    We're probably looking at a series of vast agricultural empires springing up along the rivers proper, with the Great Lakes becoming the beating heart of a trade and fishery empire stretching from the agrarian, forested citadels of Chicago to the secondary powers of the St. Lawrence and the exotic fishers of the East Coast. All along the Ohio, city-states are Chicago in miniature, a chain stretching from the reclusive mountain clans of the Appalachians and the hunter-farmer migrants of the New Jersey piedmont to the Chicagoan empire of the upper Mississippi. The lower Mississippi is a tightly-bound-together trade and agriculture realm, farming hearty crops, fruits and more tender tubers, to go with the corn and grains they trade between the Valley of Mexico and the upper Missouri. The Missouri is home to great corn and quinoa empires and trade with Canadian hunters and pastoralists who've semi-domesticated elk and bison. Mammoths are a part of daily life here, used mostly as beasts of burden and for farming. In the southern plains and the Texan and southwestern deserts up to the Rockies' foothills, nomadic hordes of horse-riding giant-llama herders are an existential threat to the Mississippi basin civilizations' livelihoods, and punitive campaigns are common to keep them from uniting and causing serious damage. The Rockies have got quinoa from the South Americans via the lower Mississippi, and raise sheep, mountain goats, and quinoa on the slopes.

    Saber-toothed cats are feared fighting beasts in the great arenas of the upper-Mississippi empires, to say nothing of the occasional short-faced bear shipped in from the St. Lawrence region. On the far side of the Rockies, whaler societies trade across the Rockies, following the cetaceans further every year. Sometimes they even encounter Japan and China, though the middle-American cultures dismiss these tales. In California, hunter-gathering is still basically the order of the day; the soils are too fragile, the native plants too hard to handle, for the urban societies to the south and east.

    Meanwhile Europe and Asia are relative ghost towns. Tribal hunters pursue deer through Indian swamps, southeast Asia and China have still managed rice agriculture (though if they don't have water buffalo it's gonna be a hassle), Mesopotamia is a swampy area populated by some fishermen, and tribal sheep and pig farmers are just starting to consolidate in central Europe. The population of Europe in particular is much lower than OTL.

    Probably some power unites at least one big chunk of the Mississippi plus an outlet to the Atlantic. Maybe *Chicago forms a vast Ohio-Great Lakes-St. Lawrence empire and the fishermen on the northeastern boundary find Greenland, then Iceland, then the outer islands of Britain. American scientists have like the Greeks of OTL calculated that the world is round, and some guy runs his own calculations, gets a too-small number, and is super lucky to both make landfall before a mutiny and get valuable trade goods like copper from the savages of Europe.

    Go from there.

    tl;dr: Main challenges are lack of easily-domesticated animals and plants in the Americas. Quinoa and corn, plus surviving horses, would be key. Once you get past that hurdle and figure out a way to nerf the Old World and its massive head-start on agriculture and domestication, North America has a stupid number of advantages geographically and will make colonization really easy to the point of possibly not even being all that economically useful.
     
  17. Worffan101 Ain't done nothing if I ain't been called a Red

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    More thoughts:

    --Disease, ESPECIALLY when the Americas encounter Africa, is going to be a major concern. With endemic pathogens less of a deal in a depopulated, hunter-gatherer Eurasia, the big problem is going to be Africa, where Humans have been around the longest. Population drop won't be as apocalyptic as it was due to the Spanish conquest of Latin America and European/US ethnic cleansing OTL, but it will not be pleasant.
    --Rheas (in southeastern South America) and llama-like camelids (in North America and the Andes) are going to be big deals for rancher/pastoralist cultures, for sure. The latter in particular--llamas are super super super useful, with good wool, useful as draft animals, and I think even the milk is pretty good. They're basically a mixed draft horse and sheep, the only downside being a mean temper. Camelops was about the size of a Bactrian camel but somewhat more llama-like in form and more of a steppe than arid-land animal. So think basically a really big draft horse but with sheep wool.
    --Amaranths, quinoa, and corn are going to be huge domesticates, as well as beans and potatoes. Cassava, also, will be a big starchy root veg.

    Again, this pretty much requires a Pleistocene PoD. Relative lack of domestic ungulates really screwed over the North and Central American cultures OTL.
     
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