Medieval America Mark III

Discussion in 'Alternate History Books and Media' started by Flashman, Jun 21, 2017.

  1. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    Medieval America Mark III


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    What is it?

    Medieval America is a collaborative project which seeks to explore a world in which the United States and the world at large has regressed to Medieval levels of technology. The genesis of this project came with "The Atlas of Medieval America", a project by the amazing writer Matthew White to explore this concept himself. The project itself was often rather silly and tongue-in-cheek, with such fun features as Scientologist Pharaohs rulings over California, an eco-maniac Pacific Northwest, and a Voodoo Louisiana. Despite the tremendous amount of effort put into it, White never completed this project.

    This led to this discussion on the project in 2007. In 2009, this blog emerged to try and expound upon the world (and it has done an absolutely marvelous job of just that). This was followed by the Medieval America Co-op Project. While wonderful and well worth a read, it was subject to thread drama and disorganization, prompting a reboot into the likewise wonderful Medieval America Tk II, a thread created and wonderfully moderated and expanded by the user jmberry. Unfortunately, this has somewhat petered out after a string of disorganized and improbable entries. Thus, due to popular demand, this third (and, hopefully, final) iteration has been launched.

    Guidelines

    What caused the Regression?
    This won't be answered. Period. Matt White doesn't go into it, Jord839 refused to let it be discussed, and that will continue for this thread.

    When was the Regression?
    Matt White said the Regression occured 'over 900 years' ago. For the record, I tend to presume the Regression occurred in 2012, and the setting itself is in 3000

    What is the tech level?
    Based on the '900 years' comment, I've assumed the tech is roughly equivalent to the 1300s OTL - this is the High Middle Ages, just before the Renaissance proper.

    What is canon?
    This project has gone through so many iterations and so many ideas have been thrown out there that it can at times be confusing to figure out what's canon and what's not. Here's the simple rule: The Atlas of Medieval America is canonical in its entirety, unless someone has good grounds to challenge one of White's suppositions. Neither the blog nor the Co-op project are canonical unless a specific entry is submitted and deemed acceptable. They should be looked to only as inspiration. Only specified entries from Tk. II are canonical, as listed below.

    Beyond that, if you wish to submit a post, then write it up, put a good deal of effort into it, and post it here. It will be read and discussed by the participants, who will point out flaws and weaknesses. Taking all of this into consideration, I'll decide whether or not to put it into the Table of Contents, thus canonizing it.

    And though it is not canon, I would recommend "A Canticle for Leibowitz" as required reading.

    Table of Contents

    General Information
    The Plains
    The Desert
    The Pacific Northwest
    The Gulf
    The Feudal Core
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  2. jmberry Well-Known Member

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    Just so that there's no confusion, I have no opposition to this project, although I likely won't be an active contributor to it.
     
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  3. Stuyvesant #Gillibrand2020 Donor

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    I had sketched out some ideas for the Hudson-Mohawk-Erie Canal zones a while back
    Medieval New York.png
    A. Nations B. De Jure language, C. De facto language.
     
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  4. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    Not bad, but I'd like us to do the regions in a more sequential order to keep things from getting to disorganized.
     
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  5. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    Which region are we doing first? I say this because I've got an idea regarding Florida that I'm itching to share.
     
  6. 245 Well-Known Member

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    hopefully we can talk about what music and pop culture could be like in this world and also see what the rest of the world is like.
     
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  7. tehskyman Well-Known Member

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    In terms of regions we could go from north to south. Starting with Canada and working our way down. There's nothing but tribes to the north so it makes it simpler to start. Also we kinda stagger the important nations over time, first Quebec and Ontario, then Michigan, Wisconsin, Upstate New York, Allegheny County etc.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2017
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  8. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    I was thinking we continue the West-East trend of the old thread.

    The Northwest was never expounded upon in any detail, and the plains still feel somewhat incomplete.
     
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  9. teg The Worst Unionist

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    Has there been any discussion about the state of the north-east? I think New York City will still be a prominent center because of its incredibly secure position and could either be the capital of a large empire or a city state akin to the Italian trading cities. If that is the case, then presumably Boston, Bangor, Halifax and Baltimore could also be major powers in the north-east.

    teg
     
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  10. tehskyman Well-Known Member

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  11. thekingsguard Founder of Korsgaardianism

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    Cool to see this on it's third incarnation.
     
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  12. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    How about a state based around the Salish Sea in the Northwest that's equal parts Canadian and American? With either a monarch, President, or President-for-life ruling over the country. "Oregon" could work for the country since it'd be a reference to the historic Oregon Country.

    Would it be possible to update the timeline so that the "Regression" happened in 2017? That way it'd be possible to include references to culture and events that happened between 2012 and 2017.
     
  13. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    Well, White has explicitly lain out the region as a series of independent city-states, with the only major polity being the "District of Columbia". Now, this is fine, if done in an interesting and well-reasoned fashion we can invalidate White's original work. But what is the reasoning here? The Salish Sea is designed in such a way, fertile and full of mountains, forests and sea channels, that it'sdifficult for one state to predominate, but easy for all to prosper. This was essentially the case in pre-Columbian America, and would likely continue to be the case in Medieval America.

    Certainly.
     
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  14. HonestAbe1809 Abraham Lincoln 2020

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    Then how about the District of Columbia being the Canadian-American hybrid culture? They'd be polite badasses who live by Teddy Roosevelt's creed of "speak softly and carry a big stick". Though honestly I just repurposed my idea for Florida for the region with Canadian and American replacing American and Cuban.

    What would medieval Americans think of the various theme parks dotting the country?
     
  15. tehskyman Well-Known Member

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    There is a city there called Bellingham around that area. About halfway between Vancouver and Seattle. It would probably be another city state, switching allegiances between Seattle and Vancouver depending on how the wind blows.
     
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  16. TheByzantineOttoman Donor

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    I'd be interested to see such a project touch on the Midwest, as it seems like it was mostly ignored in the past. It's an area well suited to agriculture, so it's likely to support significant populations, but seems very glossed over in the original project.
     
  17. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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  18. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    Buddhism

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    The pre-Regression Pacific Northwest was, in many ways, a land bereft of faith. In the Pacific Northwest, more people than in any other region in the nation would respond on surveys as regarded their religious affiliation that they had no religion to speak of. While atheism did not predominate in the region as a whole, it certainly did among the urban elite of Seattle, Portland and Vancouver.

    While it may have been bereft of faith, it was certainly not bereft of spirituality. Indeed, Cascadia was full of esoteric and semi-"spiritual" traditions. Orientalism and pseudo-Buddhist thought was just as popular here as it was anywhere where urban whites had too much time on their hands, alongside various minor neo-pagan traditions. One social phenomenon, while not strictly a religion as such, comes very close to it. Three of the top ten environmentally friendly cities in the nation were located in the Northwest, and it was the region that gave us Green Peace. The region's strong feelings to the environment are natural- after all, Cascadia is literally a rainforest, one of the lushest environments in the Americas.

    When civilization fell, however, these eclectic traditions did not form a cohesive whole, not at first. Christianity, surprisingly, did not make a strong resurgence. Those few faithful in the backwoods lost faith in a religion that had not saved them from the Regression, and the urban elite were still strongly inclined to culturally oppose Christianity. This is not to say atheism predominated. Atheism is largely untenable in a Medieval world, where the workings of the universe are seldom understood, and people are left at the seemingly random and capricious nature of the world.

    Instead of true religion, a series of folk traditions emerged amongst a nominally atheist populace. Half-remembered environmentalist ideas were applied to the world at large alongside a few pagan and Orientalist ideas. Environmental balance was seen as a must, with humans never overtaking nature, as well as the fundamental oneness of all peoples.

    Environmentalism was uniquely possible in the Northwest for a Medieval civilization. In the age of the Native American, the environment was so lush and bountiful that entire sedentary towns could be supported upon hunting and gathering without destroying the local environment. In the new Medieval Ages, this has allowed careful and concerted efforts to preserve nature alongside farms and villages.

    Increasing contact with California, both before and after the Scientology War, was extremely important in the development of Cascadian religion Asian-Californians who held on to their faith who were displeased with the spread of Scientology.

    A unified creed began to emerge two hundred years post-Regression. A hermit (generally termed "druids" by the Cascadian populace) named John Amadi descended from his isolation in the Olympic mountains to the town of Olympia. Here, he preached a very strange form of Buddhism, one that combined a variety of Oriental ideals with environmentalism and Christianity and, most revolutionary, remnants of Communist ideology.

    If the West Coast was the left coast, the Salish Sea was its pinky finger, the leftmost, held up high, and that didn't change in Medieval times. Most cities were run by corrupt unaccountable councils, and Amadist Buddhism preached their overthrew to be replaced with enlightened councils of Druids.

    Amadist Buddhism combined so many traditions into a cohesive whole that appealed to the general public. Despite this, its rise was still extremely unlikely. It likely would've been killed in the cradle, were it not for some extreme social upheaval that occurred among the Cascadian city-states. A simultaneous invasion by sea-raiders from the Lands of Laska allowed Amadism to spread rapidly in the chaos.

    The creed of Amadist Buddhism holds these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal. That a fundamental force links together all living things. That the Regression came about as a result of mankind's overtaking nature. That Buddha, Christ, Cobain and Mohammad were wise, enlightened teachers. That Nirvana can be attained only through study and meditation. And that it is the duty of all Amadists to spread the word, and liberate their brethren across the world from oppression.

    A hybrid of the Western and Chinese horoscope system exists, with the Druids employing it along with natural signs to predict the future. There is a strong belief in animal spirits, especially of this Zodiac, and an entire series of mythological stories has risen up around these archetypal characters, with different towns having different heroes and stories unique to them. The Pisces, the Lung-Dragon, the Sasquatch, they are very much real in the Pacific Northwest.

    The Druids generally serve as sages and advisers, living in the monasteries where they fulfill specific roles, from the book-binders of Portland to the Warrior-Priests of Columbia.
     
  19. Flashman A Real Go-Getter

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    Thoughts? Criticisms? Ideas?
     
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  20. tehskyman Well-Known Member

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    I would replace the Sea raiders with mormon and scientologist raids into Cascadia. Alaska is really really far away.
     
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