Whenever I see a wacky idea for an ISOT scenario, I immediately black out and wake up five minutes later with a half-finished map open in Paint, and this was no different. Unfortunately, I didn't have a lot of time to work on it today due to holiday-related family shenanigans, but I wanted to post it before the original post got forgotten, so here's the map minus color key and footnotes. I'll probably refine it and finish the writeup in anywhere between twelve hours and eight months, depending on whether my ADHD feels like cooperating.
Finally finished this.
Iraq Goes To New Mexico
- Iraq did not fare well in the immediate aftermath of the ISOT, with the Kurds reaffirming their independence and the rest of the country splitting between the Sunni and Shia Arabs, who eventually agree to a ceasefire after several years of ultimately fruitless war and technological breakdown. The Sunnis Arabs name their country Assyria, while the Shia Arabs keep the name of Iraq. Kurdistan was also able to become a recognized independent state, albeit a rather shaky one, with Zoroastrianism continuing to make a comeback, much to the displeasure of the Iraqi successor states. In addition to this, several other new states form- the Yazidis flee Iraq and end up in southern Utah, several groups displeased with the state they ended up in being too religious or not being religious enough also head out to make their own country, and various men-who-would-be-kings also strike out into the empty world around them.
- While the pieces of America and Mexico did a little better, it wasn't really by that much. The two countries ended up having to unite to get through the harsh conditions, forming the provisional United Confederation of American and Mexican States, which was initially intended to be a temporary arrangement until the situation stabilized and the two countries could reestablish themselves, with El Paso chosen as the capital. Industry still collapsed, though, albeit not to quite the same extent as in Iraq, and several groups also struck out into the uninhabited land around them. White supremacists who refused to share a country with Mexicans set off into the Caucasus, nationalist Mexicans also left the UCAMS to establish their own states, some Native American groups also tried to establish their own countries, Mormons fearing persecution went west, and as with Iraq, various men-who-would-be-kings saw the lack of any other people in the lands around them (as far as they knew, anyway) as an opportunity to establish their own new countries.
- The world of 250 years post-ISOT, or post-Switch, as the inhabitants of this world call it, can be divided into two halves: the Iraqi world and the Amero-Mexican world.
- The northernmost major state in the Iraqi world is the Confederation of Kurdistan, which is nowadays considered a notable regional power. While Kurdistan wasn't necessarily in the strongest position after things finally started to calm down in former Iraq, the fact that the massive breadbasket of the Great Plains was directly on its doorstep made it a major food exporter as soon as the Kurds figured out which crops would grow in the American soil. The following population explosion resulted in Kurdish settlers flooding into the Great Plains, turning Kurdistan into a major agricultural power in North America. However, as time went on, a regional divide began to form between the increasingly urbanized, Zoroastrian west and the rural, Muslim east. All of this eventually culminated in the Kurdish Civil War nearly a century after the Switch, which eventually led to the country being divided between the mostly-victorious west, which had managed to retake most of the rural territory, and the Islamic Kurdish Republic, a wounded rump state that grimly hung on in the far east. Afterwards, Kurdistan underwent a total government reformation, becoming the Confederation of Kurdistan, a much looser, decentralized state with a semi-diarchic religious branch of government with separate laws for the country's Muslim and Zoroastrian populace. While it was a strange new system and many were skeptical that it would work, it has managed to function for the past century and a half, and Kurdistan is still a mostly-democratic state, though it's not as powerful as it might have been if it were more centralized. The Islamic Kurdish Republic has since drifted back into Kurdistan's sphere and is now its ally, with the two countries having a relationship similar to Canada and the United States in the old world. Kurdistan's other closest ally is the Yazidi Republic, which has become a rich country after the construction of a dam on the Colorado River that allowed it to sell hydroelectric power to much of the rest of the Iraqi world. The Yazidis still don't have a lot of territory, however, and most of their population is concentrated around the Colorado River.
- Assyria and Iraq are not exactly friendly to one another, but relations between the two countries have cooled significantly. While both of them used to be regional powers in their own right, Iraq is now very clearly the more powerful of the two, with its monopoly on Texan (and soon Venezuelan as well, once those colonies get started) oil, its control of the rebuilt Panama Canal and the mouth of the Mississippi, and its modernized industries all making it a major power in its own right. Though Iraq is rich and modernized, it is not a democracy, though at least it isn't as authoritarian as it used to be. Additionally, the religious backlash that occurred in the aftermath of the Switch has gradually started to give way to a new, slightly more secular counterculture, though they're not too liberal- Iraqi social standards look like something out of Cold War-era Europe or America, but Muslim. Iraq's somewhat-theocratic government has liberalized a little bit, though any kind of democracy probably won't be a thing for several decades and free speech is limited. Assyria, meanwhile, didn't have nearly as much in the way of resources as Iraq and fell behind it, and the revolt of its colonies on the west coast (which split off as the Popular Republic of Western Assyria, a vaguely-Stalinist patchwork confederacy) only made its situation worse. An unsuccessful war against Iraq drove it even further downhill, and Assyria has only recently managed to start advancing again as its colonists spread outwards. While still poor, Assyria is better-off than it used to be, and it's not as dictatorial as Iraq, but rather more like a midway point between the old world's Russia and Ukraine.
- The one part of the Iraqi world that isn't in the Americas is the Caliphate of Hejaz, which was established soon after technology got back to the point that contact could be made with the Amero-Mexican world, as the Muslims wanted to rebuild Mecca and Medina. The Caliphate of Hejaz was established as a neutral state, though it's de facto an Iraqi puppet, especially considering that Iraq is the one pumping all the money into rebuilding Mecca and Medina. It still has a low population due to the difficulty of travelling all the way to the Arabian peninsula to settle there, but what population it does have is extremely diverse, with Muslims from across the known world living together in the half-reconstructed cities.
- The rest of the Iraqi world is mostly a patchwork of minor nations of varying levels of tyranny, though there are some genuine democracies here and there and there's even an attempt at a working demarchy ongoing in Florida.
- On the other hand, the Amero-Mexican half of the world is dominated by the United States of America and Mexico, the successor state to the UCAMS after it ceased to be a temporary arrangement. With much of the Arabian peninsula remaining desert and few settlers wanting to head south save for those who wanted to profit off of the untapped oil, the USAM looked to the west, and settlers began heading towards the Mediterranean. 250 years post-Shift, the center of power in the USAM has shifted very decidedly to its Mediterranean states, and the nation has transformed radically. The USAM is a very thoroughly mixed American-Mexican fusion, with its culture being a rough midway point between old world American and Mexican and the majority language now being a Spanglish hybrid language officially called "Ameromexican," though relatively few people asides from academics actually call it that. It's not a perfect linguistic hybrid, however, and the dialects generally tend to sound more English or Spanish the farther north or south you go, respectively. English and Spanish do persist, usually in the more culturally conservative areas, but they have a sort of Spanglish "accent," and versions of the old languages that are more accurate to their pre-Switch versions can only really be found in the countries established by nationalists in the early post-Switch days. Catholicism is the majority religion, with Protestantism being right behind it, which has led to a sort of religious north-south divide in the country (the old national division is pretty much forgotten by now), though it's not too severe. (However, the recolonization of the Levant was a pretty thorny issue up until the state of Israel was admitted to the Union, and there was a lot of debate over whether to make the rebuilt Jerusalem the capital.) Politically speaking, the USAM is a multiparty democracy that follows the rewritten national constitution that combined elements from those of both countries, with the dominant parties being the National Democrats (a center-right party formed by conservative Democrats unifying with the PAN after the collapse of the Democratic party), the Institutional Revolutionary Socialists (a center-left party that was initially just the PRI until defecting left-wing Democrats bolstered its numbers), the Libertarians (pretty much the same as they were pre-Switch and a regional party that doesn't tend to win much outside of New Mexico and Cochise), the Christian Republicans (a right-wing religious party formed by Republicans and the more right-wing parts of the PAN), the Christian Democrats (a centrist neoliberal party mostly consisting of centrist ex-Democrats), and the Mormon Unionists (a regional Mormon party that wants to break off the Mormon parts of the country). Politics are chaotic and just a little corrupt, but still democratic, and while they're a little leftier than they were in old world America and Mexico, they're more right-wing than, say, old world France or Germany. The current major controversies are over whether Iraq's new colony in Morocco constitutes trespassing on America's half of the world, whether America should cede the increasingly belligerent Mormon parts of the country to the Republic of New Zion, whether free healthcare should be implemented, and whether to formally recognize the United States of America-in-exile (albeit not as the valid successor to the United States).
- Mormons who left the UCAMS have since formed the Republic of New Zion, a sparsely-populated theocracy mostly consisting of desert that props up its economy through oil exports. It's still rather radical, but at least it doesn't do anything worse to gay people than deporting them to the USAM these days. There are some majority-Mormon areas in the USAM which have been agitating for union with New Zion, which is the whole reason for the foundation of the Mormon Union party. The USAM has a somewhat uncomfortable alliance with New Zion which persists mainly because of the oil it controls, and many USAM politicians want to cut ties with New Zion altogether or even invade it.
- Out of the several Native American groups who left the UCAMS or USAM to attempt to establish their own nation, only a few managed to avoid getting absorbed by the USAM later on. The Navajo and Apache states are rather weak and dependent on the USAM, while the better-planned Pueblo Confederation is rather stronger (though still very small) and a voluntary ally of the USAM. All of them will probably end up applying to join the USAM soon, considering that all of them are surrounded by it.
- The white supremacist states ended up conquering each other or collapsing until only two remain in the modern day. One, the creatively-named White Republic, is a rather nasty white supremacist dictatorship with a lot of saluting and usage of a certain four-pronged symbol with bent edges. The other, the United States of America-in-exile, at least put on the trappings of a republic, even if it remains a white supremacist dictatorship, and saw itself as the "true successor" to the old United States, attempting to reestablish the nation in the Caucasus and rebuilding Washington, D.C., albeit very imperfectly. The USA-in-exile has been moderating recently, however, having extended the vote to white property-owning women above the age of twenty-one eleven years ago, and it has been making some vague attempts at rapprochement with the USAM.
- Two different groups of nationalist Mexicans managed to keep their attempted states together as well, one a fairly boring pseudo-socialist dictatorship in Oman and the other being a liberal democracy mostly consisting of a strip of coastline stretching from eastern Iran all the way to India. While it's rather sparsely-populated, poor, and corrupt, it's improving with aid from the USAM.
- As with the Iraqi world, most other countries are small and authoritarian with some republics distributed here and there.
- Technology fell back pretty far in the early years and took a while to recover due to the general state of disrepair or outright lack of industry and infrastructure, but it's starting to advance once more. Technology is mostly around OTL 1950s-1970s, with some exceptions: personal vehicles larger than motorcycles are relatively absent for anyone save the rich due to most people not really needing to leave their hometown much and are mostly replaced by diesel-powered trains for long-distance trips, weapons technology is around the 2000s due to a lot of firearms having been preserved in both the Iraqi and Amero-Mexican parts of the world, computer technology is around the mid-1990s, and green technology is even farther behind due to fossil fuel stocks worldwide having been replenished, save for hydroelectric power.
Some say the year is 1651, some say the year is 2224, some say the year is 1593, some say it is 250, but one thing is certain: life goes on, no matter where in the world you are. On the eastern fringe of Kurdistan's territory, a Kurdish farmer jerks his head up as a distant siren goes off in town and immediately runs home to warn his wife and daughters to take shelter from the incoming tornado. At the Ecêb Dam, a Yazidi worker jokes about the reek of her supervisor's imported marijuana cigarettes with her coworkers during break period. In Baghdad, an Assyrian academic steps confidently off the train from Haditha, ready for what will no doubt be an energetic religious debate at the community college downtown- he's been working with his Iraqi colleagues to organize this debate between their students for the past four months and is eager to see what they have learned. In the sky above the Atlantic, an Iraqi pilot prepares for landing at Gibraltar to refuel halfway through their flight to Albuquerque. In the suburbs of Jerusalem, a Jewish child bursts through the door and hands a bag of apples to his mother, who is preparing food for Rosh Hashanah, explaining proudly that they were imported all the way from New Georgia (wherever that might be- the local school won't be teaching geography until the next grade). In a rural town in New Deseret, a Mormon teenager jumps off his brand-new Alsulb Al'aswad motorcycle, eager to show it off to his friends- he's quite certain that none of their families would be able to afford a motorcycle that was imported all the way from Iraq. In a federal courtroom in New Washington City, the judge's gavel slams down on the polished wood, confirming the unconstitutional nature of the centuries-old law banning ethnic Mexicans from entering the country. In front of a small family restaurant in El Paso, a young woman asks her partner of six years to marry her, and she says yes. In New Mexico City, a well-known author reads his fan mail by the bright lights from the streets beneath his apartment, relishing the praise for his newest book, All Switched Up
, which takes place in an alternate world where the Switch instead affected Syria and southern California.
Life goes on, and despite everything, it isn't so bad.