Medieval America Mark III

Which kind of begs the question, there are enough Christians and Jews in California to survive in some numbers under a Scientologist regime. What happens to them? Wog ghettoes?
I think I've alluded to this in the past, but - those Jews, Christians, and other religious minorities (but most prominently Jews and Christians) that didn't convert were generally enslaved to build California's many great works, which has lead to many Jews and Christians perceiving California and its President as the new Pharaoh. Many Jews and Christians fled - to Nevada, to New Mexico, to Kuluradu (where they enjoy the status of Dhimmi), and the Jeffsin Marches, where there are many Jewish and Christian tribes (though both have degenerated to quasi-paganism)
 
How about New England is several states with the dominant one being Massachusetts, with a High Governor who styles himself like the Kennedys and High Kings of Ireland in Boston. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are semi-independent baronies grown wealthy on whaling and sea trade with routes to South America and the Old World they keep secret even from the ruling court, causing alot of tension. The old wealthy families died in the Regression and the new aristocracy of sea trade is descended from the large Portuguese fishing population in Mass. Part of the Maine coast is annexed on old historical claims, but Quebec and the locals often fight them for it.
 
How about New England is several states with the dominant one being Massachusetts, with a High Governor who styles himself like the Kennedys and High Kings of Ireland in Boston. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are semi-independent baronies grown wealthy on whaling and sea trade with routes to South America and the Old World they keep secret even from the ruling court, causing alot of tension. The old wealthy families died in the Regression and the new aristocracy of sea trade is descended from the large Portuguese fishing population in Mass. Part of the Maine coast is annexed on old historical claims, but Quebec and the locals often fight them for it.
As I recall we haven't worked our way to the East Coast quite yet.
 
As I recall we haven't worked our way to the East Coast quite yet.
It's still a good idea. We should put a pin in it and address it when we get to New England. My addition would be that they're in a "Dominion of New England" that functions like the HRE. Mostly because that leaves room for lots of petty states in between the major ones.
 
How about New England is several states with the dominant one being Massachusetts, with a High Governor who styles himself like the Kennedys and High Kings of Ireland in Boston. Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are semi-independent baronies grown wealthy on whaling and sea trade with routes to South America and the Old World they keep secret even from the ruling court, causing alot of tension. The old wealthy families died in the Regression and the new aristocracy of sea trade is descended from the large Portuguese fishing population in Mass. Part of the Maine coast is annexed on old historical claims, but Quebec and the locals often fight them for it.
Massachusetts would work.

Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are semi-independent baronies but they're under the control of the rump USA. Consult the East map. Personally doubt that USA would be keeping trade routes to South America secret because it's clear as day: sail south.

I personally think that routes to the Old World aren't all that complicated either. Follow the Gulf Stream, pack enough food and water for a month. Or go to Newfoundland, wait for those Greenlanders to show up, and take their boat back to Greenland, rinse and repeat in Greenland and Iceland and you'll arrive in Norway.

Add in Cape cod, long island and Coastal Connecticut to the rump USA as well.

I think we've speculated about Quebec. I personally think that the Maine Appalachians are too barren for an army to march through, but French speaking catholic raiders is more probable.
 
The NSA needs computers and there ain't none in this. FBI could be a primitive oprichnick or inquisition style secret police. The Secret Service could be a Praetorian Guard of the vestigial US empire in DC.
 
The Québécois raiders would definitely be ample notification for New England to unify for protection. Not to mention wariness towards the expansionist US.
 
The Québécois raiders would definitely be ample notification for New England to unify for protection. Not to mention wariness towards the expansionist US.
The Hapsburgs and the Valois turning Italy into a battleground wasn't enough for the Italian city-states to unite.
 
The Hapsburgs and the Valois turning Italy into a battleground wasn't enough for the Italian city-states to unite.
Or that maybe the nation in Massachusetts centered around Boston is the remnant of a failed attempt to do so. They'd still stubbornly call themselves the “Commonwealth of New England”, though. They could be the region’s “big fish in a small pond”.
 

Of all the luminaries in the court of President Zeram-Lehi by the Salt Lake, the oldest was the head chef Ezias Stryn. Keeping a careful balance of bold originality and consideration for his clients’ wishes, through decades of service to the first two Presidents of House Reid, Ezias crafted his own piece of the cheerful and bombastic high culture of Deseret's Restoration Era. This is a short account of the celebration of the victory at Fort Bridger. The battle was the culmination of the struggle to restore the sovereignty of Deseret after an ignominious period of foreign rule; the feast in its honor, a national sigh of relief releasing decades of tension, would have to be quite the party.

Amid the poppies and manzanitas of the rolling lawns on the north side of the rebuilt Beehive Palace, nearly five thousand Mormon braves, the victors of the battle, sat expectantly at trestle-tables. Serving so many was a job for the subsidiary staff of the palace kitchens— their recipes for pot-roasts, fried chicken, and pickled-trout pies were not quite to Ezias's standards, but would surely impress footmen used to daily meals of wheat, corn and greens (with meat reserved for festivals like this one). The concern of Ezias and his three hundred assistants were the guests in the palace antechamber. Among the commanders and captains waiting there, resting their elbows on gold-trimmed velvet as they traded stories, were Samson Dog-Ear, the chieftain turned governor of the Stake of Wyoming; Strand the Blue of Provo, whose expert longbowmen gave the outnumbered Mormons a decisive advantage against the nomad cavalry; and the President himself, icon of the realm.

After prayers and handwashing, the meal started with buns of fried dough studded with cubed peaches, glazed with butter and honey; hard candies of raspberries and cherries dipped in boiling sugar-beet syrup and left to cool and crystallize; and fluffy slices of sweet cornbread running over with custard and topped with strawberries. There were thin flatbread sleeves filled with eggplant and mild yogurt; wide Dinetah peppers stuffed with the mincemeat of turkeys and chunks of tomato, garlic, and sharp cheese; and fried cheese-curds in a gravy of mushrooms, horseradish, and mustard. All along the tables, the salt-boats were placed so that men of higher rank would not have to reach overmuch, or deign to ask others to pass the condiments.

After clearing the tables, the servants brought out the heavy-hitters. Skewers of cubed Dakota lamb marinated in dark beer and dusted with salt from the Bonneville Flats. Chicken and turkey eggs poached in tomato sauce stewed with shallots and scalding-hot Arizona chilies. Steaming Kuluradan-style haleem (a porridge/stew of wheat and mutton), which smelled of Denver’s own saffron and tasted of New Mexican paprika. Duck-meat dumplings in a creamy soup of spinach, chunky with walnuts and carrots. Casseroles of pork sausage and rough-sliced potatoes, layered alternately with goat cheese, papery strips of cured beef, and the parsley and mint grown by increasing numbers of enterprising Hilljacks. Steaks slow-roasted with bay leaves and basil from the Free Zone, in fragrant olive oil from the territory of the Andersons. This cornucopia had some conspicuous absences; relations with the burghers of Columbia were still cold. California wine was also gone from the tables, but for reasons of internal politics— it would not do for the great men of state to (openly) flout the customary laws, especially when the Tabernacle authorities were attributing the same behavior to weak-willed collaborators. Instead, the guests washed down their portions with a slightly bitter tonic of lemon, water, and wild Yellowstone caraway.

The most memorable desserts were the chocolate-pepper cakes. Since the day cocoa was first imported from the faraway continent of Mexico, through the polyglot harbors of Bajo Colorado and the toll-booths of Vegas, Deseret had taken to it like a long-lost kinsman. The bottom layer of the cake was of a thick batter of cocoa, milk, and sugar, and it was embedded and overlaid with prunes and Nevadan oasis dates. Atop this was a batter mix lighter in cocoa and heavy with Mexican allspice and cinnamon. Then came a layer of tart cherry syrup, and finally a batter mix of chocolate and another exotic ingredient, this time from the far east— the flaky fragments of Florida’s pink peppercorns, which filled the coffers of many old families in New Orleans. Every way of attacking this cake— slicing vertically, dividing horizontally, partaking only of small bites— offered a different experience, though only a few still had the hunger to adequately explore them all.

The lute-players plucked out the last few strains, and the guests leaned back in contented stupor. Some nearly fell asleep right at the table; but Zeram-Lehi, after washing his hands and face, had the presence of mind to invite Ezias to the antechamber and thank him publicly.

“The Lord Elohim-Adam has given you gifts beyond anything I possess; but still, ask anything of me and I will deliver.”

Ezias paused a moment. He wanted to answer carefully.

“There was a time when I had nothing, sire, and wanted everything. In my youth I was one of many who served your father Gid-Jared in the camp-citadel of Price. We faced such deprivation there— we, the last free Mormons left in the world. So many came to us, fleeing the Columbian taxmen and fast Yaeger horsemen, but soon the grasses were too sparse to support the new herds. The herders raided the wheat-growers for animal feed and captives, and the disruption of cultivation threatened famine.

It was then that your father sent word to the East, to the Emir of Girandabad [Grand Junction, CO], warning him frankly that if the savages overran all Utah, the disunited fiefs of Colorado would lose their last bulwark. Many embassies were sent back and forth, and I was fortunate that the head chef of one such expedition chose me as his right hand. In Girandabad I observed the Coloradan style even as I honed my own. And a chef’s art is only as good as the places he has visited, and the people he has met.

After a few years I returned to your father Gid-Jared’s side, and walked by him through the blessed years. We took back the clear mountain streams, the fields of wheat and corn, the bushes teeming with berries, the dark forests and their wondrous life. As someone who partakes of the produce of the realm, I have become whole alongside the realm. I am blessed to take such personal pleasure and contentment from the prosperity of the Lord’s Zion-mount.

But for all that, there is still one thing I want. The salmon in the rivers of Idaho are either very young, or else nearing the end of their lives. But the salmon of the great ocean are in the middle of their lives, with flesh meaty and smooth. I would like to work with the salmon at its prime, sire.”

Zeram-Lehi understood. “I hope to be as hungry as you still are in my old age! Well then— if I am so blessed to ride with my host clear to Cascadia, the wind at my back, then I will bring home a male and female salmon, two by two, to our own Bear Lake! On that day the treasures of land and sea will be ours, and we will want for nothing!”

***

The Vow of the Salmon was not fulfilled in the lifetime of Zeram-Lehi or Ezias Stryn, though it was symbolically reiterated by the President’s successors. The more immediate outcome of the Feast of Fort Bridger was that the guests in attendance, wishing to recreate the experience, requested that the kitchens of their own estates try some of Ezias’s recipes. Reminded of the expenses, some scaled down their demands; others, undeterred, invested in mills and salt beds, and sold merchants and peddlers contracts for the import of foreign spices. Ezias died knowing that his accomplishments were fast becoming the standard of high Desereti gastronomy.

But the widespread emulation of Ezias’s time- and resource-consuming style spoke of an underlying change in the ways of life. Deseret was founded, much like the pre-Regression American state of Utah, on an explosive pattern of colonization— from the first few stable settlements in the Wasatch mountains, Mormon colonists fanned out into the chaos left by the Regression. Not everyone managed to grab good land, but there was still a strong tradition of smallholdings, of clans residing on a traditional plot which was acknowledged as uniquely theirs no matter who they shared it with. The collapse of the old Deseret destroyed the traditional land regime, and the construction of the new Deseret rewrote the rules further. As if to dispel a collective sense of claustrophobia, Gid-Jared the Restorer appointed his comrades from the besieged city of Price to sprawling plots of conquered land in Utah and Idaho; his son Zeram-Lehi parceled out Wyoming similarly. The new culture was the fruit of a society which placed the Restoring knight in possession of resources once held by families who were now his serfs, and dared him to unreservedly express his pride in his personal role in his society’s grand project.
 
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Question-- is it fair to assume that New England is not very central to international trade here?

OTL New England's prosperity and trade power came first from being a port close to Europe, and then using that infrastructure/experience to build new trade networks out of places like Salem, reaching out into Asia and Africa.

Here, we can assume that even if contact with Europe is imminent, and might already be happening on a piecemeal level, right now New England is "out of the way" of the more voluminous trade with Mexico, the Caribbean, and lands south. In this situation New England might be more like Scandinavia, still an important center of crafts (especially fishing, whaling, and attendant industries) and possibly mining. But the South may be the place where you see the Italies/Low Countries, the more intensely urban and interconnected regions. They might be dethroned by the economic shifts that come with the rediscovery of Europe and the fact that New England is closer to it, but right now the South ought to be the more economically sophisticated half of the Non-Denom world, while the North deals with feelings of being peripheral (especially the Northern cities ruled by Washington-Baltimore).

There's also the matter of textiles, which may be the US's answer to Mexican plant-products (spices, chocolate, coffee). It's unlikely that the North, with medieval tech and no proximity to any markets besides the Canadian wastes, is seen as a significantly better place for processing cotton than the South is.
 
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The essential role of New England, I think, is as something of a third-rate Novgorod - essentially, it exists as the USA's answer to Lake League to access the Canadian fur trade, as a more direct route for the Eastern Seaboard then the overland/riverine trade of the Great Lakes. But of course, it couldn't truly compete.
 
I do like the idea of the canon countries in the New England region being turned into somewhat autonomous subdivisions of a weak tenuously unified New England Commonwealth.
 
I think New England could be a minor region economically but a major 'exporter' of mercenaries and clergymen. Perhaps the overrepresentation of New Englanders in the Church is what causes the eventual Southern schism.
 
I think New England could be a minor region economically but a major 'exporter' of mercenaries and clergymen. Perhaps the overrepresentation of New Englanders in the Church is what causes the eventual Southern schism.
Kinda like Normandy, then? Bands of N'Englander second sons searching for glory in places where it can actually be found
 
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