Medieval America Tk II: Discussion Thread

American Non-Denominationism: An extra look

The Non-Denom faith is the pre-eminent faith throughout the eastern US and eastern (Anglo-) Canada. It is a branch of Christianity, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as head under God and based in the old capital of Washington, DC. It's tenets are those of other Christian denominations, defined through the predominantly Baptist and Episcopalian beliefs that made up the old America's faith. It does have a few unique characteristics to it, though. First and foremost are the following tenets:

"The Americans are God's chosen nation today."
"A ruler's authority...is from God."
"Social justice cannot only be based on laws; it must also come from religion."
"God can be known through the experiences of the American people."
"Holidays like the Fourth of July are religious as well as patriotic."
"God. Bless. America."

There are some other traits unique to Non-Denom Christianity (at least by Neo-Medieval standards, if not Modern) as well. Priests (called and addressed as 'Citizens') can be male or female, celibacy is encouraged but not required, and there is a monastic order (The Fraternal Lodge of the Freemasons) dedicated to preserving old world knowledge - with some controversy (Many monarchs and warlords claim that the Masons know how to make gunpowder and are hiding it from them. The Masons deny this, and claim that those fireworks shot off every Fourth of July work on completely different principles).

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The Simpletons of the South-West


Before the Event, Main-Stream science was never very kind to the practitioners of the primitive version of the New Age faith. The called for such things as 'evidence' and 'proof'. They cast out these few alleged loonies.

Then the Change happened, and New Agers found themselves with thousands of people who had lost all faith in whatever faith they clung to before hand, and joined the ranks of the New Age cult. Suddenly they had power pressed upon them. And, remembering there previous woes, pointed a finger of blame for the Change. "The intellectuals" They said. "They are responsible for the Great Dying!" Across the nation, New Age communes sought out and murdered anyone that could be described as an intellectual. Later, this was extended to any elitist, and later to anyone who was literate.

These roving gangs of simpletons were most predominate in the South Western U.S. Burning all books and intellectuals at the stake. They would become the heavy muscle for the New Age movement, eventually the name "Simpleton" would be feared throughout the South West as a ruthless inquisitor force.

Many Non-Denom and Catholic orders made it there duty to preserve old world knowledge and history. One noted order was the Order of the Blessed Leibowitz, a treasure trove of pre-event info.

Many of these orders, cut off from the outside world, would schism and combine, forming several small polities across the southwest.

Over time, as Southwestern presidents realized the danger of discouraging science. For the most part, the simpleton orders were disbanded.
 
Sorry for bumping this thread and asking inane questions, but I haven't had time to read trough both the threads. If this had been discussed already, feel free to ignore this post.

Has anybody thought about the names Medieval America would use for various aristocratic titles & noble ranks? I.e. the equivalents of knights, barons, counts, dukes, etc.?

I'd assume that for the king/emperor-level equivalents, Medieval America would use "governors" and "presidents" to draw legitimacy from the pre-fall government.

Lower aristocratic titles in medieval Europe often had bastardized names of Roman military/administrative ranks, e.g. count (comes), duke (dux), so I am thinking which modern functions would, after their original function was lost with the end of modern industrial civilization, become more-or-less hereditary titles for the nobility.

For example:

rank 0: deputy. In the post-collapse chaos, county sheriffs had their hands full with trying to maintain some semblance of order. They took to deputizing reliable people skilled at arms to substitute for them and delegate authority. Over time, landed deputies became the most common of the lowest ranks of nobles roughly equivalent to European landed knights. They usually rule a town (=village in European terminology) and its surrounding lands from a small fort. Their chief focus is combat, so they maintain a small retinue of bodyguards (men-at-arms) as well as a warhorse, a suit of armour and a selection of their weapons of choice. They swear fealty to sheriffs who can call them and their bodyguards and peasant levies into war.
In some places other titles such as "sergeant" are used. To "deputize" someone means to bestow a noble rank on a commoner for exceptional deeds of bravery and loyal service in battle. Unlanded deputies equivalent to medieval European knight-errants travel between the forts of their landed counterparts in pursuit of service in exchange for housing, food, and gold. Often they are considered little better than common mercenaries by landed nobility.

rank 1: sheriff. Rules a township consisting of several towns and their adjacent lands. Roughly equivalent to medieval European barons. Sheriffs used to be the chief police officers of whole counties, but with the collapse of the industrial civilization and its administrative structure, the number of sheriffs rose rapidly (as many local strongmen took to call themselves such) and their areas of responsibility shrunk. Sheriffs now usually reside in larger forts (castles) and they can field bigger armies consisting of their household bodyguards and deputies who owe them fealty. In some of the more traditionalist places still practising the now hopelessly anachronistic ways, sheriffs are actually elected from amongst the township's deputies by the deputies themselves. In most of medieval America, however, the title is hereditary as is right and proper.
By tradition, sheriffs can in extraordinary circumstances deputize commoners and raise them to noble status. It doesn't happen very often, though, as there's always plenty of landless deputies who would be grateful for a land grant that has been vacated by its previous owner.
Depending on region, other titles such as "captain" may be used.

etc. I don't know what to call the count-level (ruling a county, duh) and duke-level (collections of counties, usually referred to as 'districts' or 'territories', not very common) nobles though. Suggestions?
 
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Okay, first on the simpletons: I'm not going to use them, sorry. It focuses too much on the early years and not enough on "contemporary" culture, which is the focus of this project.

On to the ranks - the way I figured it, with the feudal states anyway, was thus:

Commonwealth: The largest regions, equivalent to empires. Ruled by a president and claiming direct continuity to the old United States. There are only five commonwealths (Michigan, Ohio, Mississippi, Georgia, and the United States proper)

State: The usual division, equivalent to kingdoms. Ruled by a governor

Territory: A marcher territory between the Feudal Core and the Plains, ruled by a Colonel. No real historical equivalent. There are only two confirmed - Iowa and Red River

County: Equivalent to duchies (ironically enough). Independent counties tend to be much larger than their historical ancestors. Ruled by a Count. The only really important counties are Shelby (centered on Memphis, TN) and Gennesee (centered on Buffalo, NY)

After that it probably goes down to Districts, which would be the equivalent of counties (mirroring how duces used to be subservient to comes). This would then be followed by shires ruled by sheriffs, and then by deputies (who, being baronets and landed knights, don't have an associated land term). Terms may change based on location, but it seems that Tanistry, not primogeniture, is the dominant succession law here.
 
What if, when approaching some massive size, they might be called a Union? Only a few Unions have been formed in history, referring to the Old Union of the golden age.

Also, what would the role of the POTUS (and I think that should be the name of the Non-Denom president so as to separate it from the other presidencies of the nation) be within Non-Denom? Is he just the Commander-In-Chief, defender of the Faith, or is he a leader? As I remember, the leader was the Chief Justice. Does he serve any spiritual role?
 
Yes, I would also think that "the Union" would be this world's equivalent of the Empire, i.e. the ideal of unity, law, and order people looked up to with almost superstitious awe in the dark ages and afterwards. Commonwealth in White's take is IMO just a fancier name for a State - right now several 'states' in the US use the term Commonwealth instead.

Territory as an equivalent of the "march" makes sense. These regions bordering on the nomads in the Prairies are likely to be more militarised and defensive than the more interior feudal states. Thus, the use of military-descended titles for its rules also makes sense.

As for counties being equivalent to duchies - interesting idea, but wouldn't the old county administration (or rather the half-remembered idea of it) still lead the people to consider them smaller units? I believe these people still have some pre-Downfall maps, or copies of them, showing how the US was organized in the old days. As for their rules, isn't "Count" too much of a European title? I'd imagine the die-hard republican attitudes of Americans would as a rule exclude all titles sounding too much like something the European aristocrats called themselves. I don't know, however, what else to call the title instead...
 
Yes, I would also think that "the Union" would be this world's equivalent of the Empire, i.e. the ideal of unity, law, and order people looked up to with almost superstitious awe in the dark ages and afterwards. Commonwealth in White's take is IMO just a fancier name for a State - right now several 'states' in the US use the term Commonwealth instead.

Territory as an equivalent of the "march" makes sense. These regions bordering on the nomads in the Prairies are likely to be more militarised and defensive than the more interior feudal states. Thus, the use of military-descended titles for its rules also makes sense.

As for counties being equivalent to duchies - interesting idea, but wouldn't the old county administration (or rather the half-remembered idea of it) still lead the people to consider them smaller units? I believe these people still have some pre-Downfall maps, or copies of them, showing how the US was organized in the old days. As for their rules, isn't "Count" too much of a European title? I'd imagine the die-hard republican attitudes of Americans would as a rule exclude all titles sounding too much like something the European aristocrats called themselves. I don't know, however, what else to call the title instead...
County in the majority of Kingdoms probably would be considered a smaller administrative unit. However, for a large number of smaller kingdoms, that are probably the descendants of counties growing in power, they probabl would refer to themselves as Counties. But for most states, some other denomination is more common.

And as for it being to European... meh, by this time any European association is long gone. It makes sense- Chief rules a Chiefdom, President rulesa Presidency, and a Guvner rules a Guvnernacy (that's how simple peasants would pronounce it)

And we won't have any polities ruling over Florida, right (aside from native camps and a few American city states) will we? Cause in the last thread someone wrote a massive list of Floridian states. On White's population map, the peninsula was literally blank it had such a low population density. And on the blog, the blogger (can't recall his name right now) said that it would become a center (along with the rest of the Louisianan swamp) for populations of escaped zoo animals. This doesn't seem feasible with such high population.

Again, I dont mind a few American and Voodoo city states, but no large population groups.

Oh, and a funny idea; A colony of Jewish merchants, making a living off of trading exotic animals/ pelts.
 
Looking around Maps & Graphics, found this;


Note the northern shore of south America, in Guiana.

The religion is majority Hindu. (!!)

What if, on the northern shore, we have a small Hindu merchant state, perhaps even gaining a significant following in the Caribbean. It certainly seems in spirit of the project (Buddhist Northwest, Scientologist California, Muslim City States in Colarado, etc) and is actually far more grounded in fact.

Also, quite an ample position, right above India which I believe is the India of the West, and right at the foot of the Caribbean. Maybe the Brazilian Inquisition (And yes, that needs to be a thing) will allow them to survive as as an important merchant kingdom.

EDIT: Also, on the matter of faith; Would there be some kind of Pope-In-The-West? For the Catholic states of Quebec, most of South America (except for many communities in the Andes, Voodoo states in the North, our new Hindu friends and maybe a few other scattered states) Novo Giorsi, and the others (notice how I did not say Mexico; personally I think Mexico would have schismed, as we already see it in OTL (*coughcough* Lasantamuerte*coughcough*) but what do I know. Subject to revision) are going to be out of contact with the Pope for looong periods of time. An emmisary every now and then, but as with the Muslims and Jews that feel compelled to make pilgrimages, things become difficult for Catholic pilgrims, and indeed any formal communication between the Old and New world Church.

Greenland and/ or Iceland would become an important trading colony, and stop off for any Papal communication (barring a return to Norse Heathenism), but communication nonetheless remains sporadic. Eventually, the Papacy would realize this. In order to keep the Churches power in the West, it would be seen as prudent to allow some degree of autonomy. A Papum Occidentum is elected by the Western cardinals, though the decision can technically be overridden by a Papal representative. Now, whether we have a Papum Sudum and a Papum Nordum is anyone's guess.

Where would New Rome be? Mexico City seems a good place, more or less between North and South America. Brasilia, Quebec City, or the Newark Basilica of the Sacred Heart seem like good choices.
 
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County in the majority of Kingdoms probably would be considered a smaller administrative unit. However, for a large number of smaller kingdoms, that are probably the descendants of counties growing in power, they probabl would refer to themselves as Counties. But for most states, some other denomination is more common.
I understand that. I am just wondering what title (the name of the aristocratic rank) would usually be used for rulers ruling small countries-as-administrative-units (where applicable). I mean, who 'rules' a county in present-day America?

And as for it being to European... meh, by this time any European association is long gone.
That's not the point. Sure that the descendants of Americans 900 years after the civilization fell would not care about some abstract resistance towards European-style monarchy. I guess most would care more about tilling their fields, getting enough to eat, maybe get some extra coin for occasional fancy stuff to buy at the annual fair or for the daughter's dowry, with the mythical land of Europe-beyond-the-Ocean being only a distant memory.

What I mean is that in the period of post-Downfall chaos (this world's equivalent of the Dark Ages) when these titles got established people would still care about not appearing to be some kind of a European aristocratic tyrant. To gain legitimacy, they'd claim continuity with the pre-Downfall America. Nobody would call themselves "king" except in a jest, because that would automatically imply they mean to subjugate others. Instead, they'd call themselves "governors" or "councillors" or "commissioners" (no matter how you write it down), stage some mockery of elections and pay lip-service fealty to the higher-ups, again to maintain a semblance of legitimacy. Then, over the centuries, these institutions would get entrenched by tradition, custom and common law.

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By the way, speaking of Europe, is there any trans-oceanic contact whatsoever? If so, how rare is it? I imagine at least the Catholics in Quebec and South America would occasionally try to reach the old world to see what become of the (true) Papacy...

On the other hand, if enough of shipbuilding technology was lost, it would be pretty difficult (not to mention extremely dangerous) to attempt a journey across the Atlantic, much less the Pacific. I wonder if there were, say, rich merchants who attempted such crossing and if any of them has ever returned.
 
I understand that. I am just wondering what title (the name of the aristocratic rank) would usually be used for rulers ruling small countries-as-administrative-units (where applicable). I mean, who 'rules' a county in present-day America?
The County Chair or a Sheriff is the closest thing to a ruler. Though usually, a County Chair is where the Courthouse is. So maybe that's where the Counts of Medieval Counties rule from.


That's not the point. Sure Ithat the descendants of Americans 900 years after the civilization fell would not care about some abstract resistance towards European-style monarchy. I guess most would care more about tilling their fields, getting enough to eat, maybe get some extra coin for occasional fancy stuff to buy at the annual fair or for the daughter's dowry, with the mythical land of Europe-beyond-the-Ocean being only a distant memory.
What I mean is that in the period of post-Downfall chaos (this world's equivalent of the Dark Ages) when these titles got established people would still care about not appearing to be some kind of a European aristocratic tyrant. To gain legitimacy, they'd claim continuity with the pre-Downfall America. Nobody would call themselves "king" except in a jest, because that would automatically imply they mean to subjugate others. Instead, they'd call themselves "governors" or "councillors" or "commissioners" (no matter how you write it down), stage some mockery of elections and pay lip-service fealty to the higher-ups, again to maintain a semblance of legitimacy. Then, over the centuries, these institutions would get entrenched by tradition, custom and common law.
To be honest, I doubt most small town survivor folks are even aware of the usage of the title Count. Sure, Councilor, President and Commissioner are still very common, but after a few generations, some kid realizes that he rules over a County. Why is he a Sheriff when he rules over County?! Count is a logical name, and I feel like it would be adopted after a few generations.

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By the way, speaking of Europe, is there any trans-oceanic contact whatsoever? If so, how rare is it? I imagine at least the Catholics in Quebec and South America would occasionally try to reach the old world to see what become of the (true) Papacy...

On the other hand, if enough of shipbuilding technology was lost, it would be pretty difficult (not to mention extremely dangerous) to attempt a journey across the Atlantic, much less the Pacific. I wonder if there were, say, rich merchants who attempted such crossing and if any of them has ever returned.
On the blog and in this thread, it has been stated multiple times that contact with Europe has some quite lucrative trade and contact is enough so that it doesn't become a mythical lands (well, perhaps to the average peasent, but then again so is the Revolution and the Wild West) and presumably the Papacy can keep up some limited contact.

The blog made an argument that a good deal of ship building technology was not lost. To be honest, it seems a bit arbitrary to specifically pick ship building to be preserved, but it certainly doesn't fall within ASB range to say that enough of Industrial ship building techniques was preserved to allow some limited trans oceanic contact. But this thread has already made it fairly clear that California holds regular pilgrimages to Hawaii, and it has been fairly openly suggested that trade with Asia and even Australia is a regular thing. So it seems to me contact is possible, if limited.

Its probably attained in the east by riding up along Greenland and Iceland and the currents and in the west by sailing either waaay down to the South Seas then on the Trans-Antarctic current or through Polynesia, going to Hawaii then praying you make it to the next port, or up the northern coasts around Alaska past the Aleuts and then to Siberia and finally going south around Kamchatka East Asia.



Any opinion on the Hindu State?
EDIT: Oh, and I wonder, will the Netherlands keep all of its Dikes? I like the idea of most of it being reduced to sea, maybe with an Amsterdam Isle below sea level. Europe will be fun, but then again all of this project will be.
 
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American Non-Denominationism: An extra look

The Non-Denom faith is the pre-eminent faith throughout the eastern US and eastern (Anglo-) Canada. It is a branch of Christianity, with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as head under God and based in the old capital of Washington, DC. It's tenets are those of other Christian denominations, defined through the predominantly Baptist and Episcopalian beliefs that made up the old America's faith. It does have a few unique characteristics to it, though. First and foremost are the following tenets:
I hate to nitpick here, but I don't think we can call Baptist and Episcopalian the "predominant" strains that should make up Nondenom christianity. After all, one of the things White described was it taking a lot of the "pomp and structure" of Catholicism as well, which matches the numbers. 26% of American Christians are various flavors of Evangelical(including Baptists), so that checks out, but the next largest is 22% Catholic, then followed by various minor denominations like Pentecostals and Lutherans. Hell, the Anglican/Episcopals don't even hit 2% of American Christians, so I don't think they'd have significant impact outside of areas in the country where they were already dominant. If I had to guess, I'd say official dogma would be a hybrid mostly of Baptist and Catholic beliefs, with various other beliefs mixed in to help fill in the gaps.

One thing I think we should consider is a sort of "High Church/Low Church" division, where the official dogma of the Supreme Court is one thing, but the popular practices in various different parts of the country emphasize different traditions. Eg, the South remains extremely evangelical and Baptist, while the north and east have a lot of folk Catholicism retained or reabsorbed via Quebec, like acknowledging Saints of Europe besides any accepted by the Supreme Court (if there are any) or not embracing the doctrine of Salvation by Faith Alone. And of course, various smaller areas will be dominated by Lutherans, other Protestants, etc. This is also where the need for debate in the High Court comes from, as the different traditions clash within the nominally united church.

There are some other traits unique to Non-Denom Christianity (at least by Neo-Medieval standards, if not Modern) as well. Priests (called and addressed as 'Citizens') can be male or female, celibacy is encouraged but not required, and there is a monastic order (The Fraternal Lodge of the Freemasons) dedicated to preserving old world knowledge - with some controversy (Many monarchs and warlords claim that the Masons know how to make gunpowder and are hiding it from them. The Masons deny this, and claim that those fireworks shot off every Fourth of July work on completely different principles).
This is where I'm kind of torn. If there's going to be a complete ban on gunpowder, I don't see why an exception would be made for fireworks. If fireworks exist, it is entirely possible and historically accurate for primitive firearms to exist, and it doesn't invalidate the medieval setting of the world. This isn't high fantasy, and in actual medieval history, knights and heavy plate armor existed simultaneously with early guns, often times using shots from said guns to prove the durability of their armor.

I'm not telling you which direction we should be going in, and it's possible that there's more to the gun powder used for these fireworks that makes it unsuitable for such things we don't know about, but given what we know right now it just seems out of place in the setting.
 
Count is a logical name, and I feel like it would be adopted after a few generations.
Or abandoned altogether due to phonetic similarity with a certain term of abuse ;)

On the blog and in this thread, it has been stated multiple times that contact with Europe has some quite lucrative trade and contact is enough so that it doesn't become a mythical lands (well, perhaps to the average peasent, but then again so is the Revolution and the Wild West) and presumably the Papacy can keep up some limited contact.
I must have missed it on the blog. Anyway, I'd imagine that with medieval-level technology, crossing ocean expenses would be very dangerous, and hardly worth it (I mean, what's in Europe America does not have? White himself says that trade in medieval world connects places of different biomes producing different goods. Europe is basically the same as Eastern US, so except fine arts and perhaps some high-luxury goods (French wine, Swiss clockworks) there isn't much worth the dangers inherent to the crossing.

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Ad Non-Denom Church - White wrote that celibacy was the norm, didn't he? If it was optional, the Church would risk disfavour with the nobles, who would fear being replaced, and also the loss of wealth bequeathed by the priests to their children. I would expect it to develop along the Catholic trajectory (since it clearly is analogous to medieval Catholicism), with obligatory (thought not always too harshly enforced) celibacy and no female priests (it's harder for a woman in a medieval world to command any kind of authority. Feminism would die out pretty quickly with the fall of the industrialised, middle-class civilization).
 
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I must have missed it on the blog. Anyway, I'd imagine that with medieval-level technology, crossing ocean expenses would be very dangerous, and hardly worth it (I mean, what's in Europe America does not have? White himself says that trade in medieval world connects places of different biomes producing different goods. Europe is basically the same as Eastern US, so except fine arts and perhaps some high-luxury goods (French wine, Swiss clockworks) there isn't much worth the dangers inherent to the crossing.
It may still be a way to access spices from Louisiana and beyond. It would be another orient.
[/QUOTE]
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Ad Non-Denom Church - White wrote that celibacy was the norm, didn't he? If it was optional, the Church would risk disfavour with the nobles, who would fear being replaced, and also the loss of wealth bequeathed by the priests to their children. I would expect it to develop along the Catholic trajectory (since it clearly is analogous to medieval Catholicism), with obligatory (thought not always too harshly enforced) celibacy and no female priests (it's harder for a woman in a medieval world to command any kind of authority. Feminism would die out pretty quickly with the fall of the industrialised, middle-class civilization).[/QUOTE]You're right, he did write about celibacy
 
It may still be a way to access spices from Louisiana and beyond. It would be another orient.
Yeah, but what? Nowadays the "spices" (i.e. products of the subtropical/tropical zone) have spread around the globe. What can be produced in tropical America can likely be produced in tropical Africa and tropical Asia; for instance the two main producers of cocoa, a plant native to America, are now the Ivory Coast and Indonesia, and conversely the two biggest producers of Africa's native coffee are Brazil and Vietnam. These plants and the know-how of their cultivation would likely survive the Downfall and later become the main source of income for the societies in the tropical ecological regions.

Therefore, the main axis of the global trade would follow a north-south rather than east-west direction. Wouldn't it be better for European merchants to sail along the coast to Africa to buy the good stuff, or simply buy the produce in North African ports (brought across Sahara in caravans, as it has always been done), rather than to risk everything by crossing the oceans? And even if they wanted to buy the American stuff, what would they pay with - what sort of European goods the Eastern (feudal) US would be interested in? Both Europe and the eastern US produce basically the same types of stuff.

I think trade and other forms of contact (pilgrimages, diplomatic communication) would be scarce between the Americas and the Old World because of this. (But by far the most isolated of the formerly Western countries would be New Zealand. I wouldn't be surprised if, as a result of such isolation, the technology regressed even below medieval standards.)
 
Yeah, but what? Nowadays the "spices" (i.e. products of the subtropical/tropical zone) have spread around the globe. What can be produced in tropical America can likely be produced in tropical Africa and tropical Asia; for instance the two main producers of cocoa, a plant native to America, are now the Ivory Coast and Indonesia, and conversely the two biggest producers of Africa's native coffee are Brazil and Vietnam. These plants and the know-how of their cultivation would likely survive the Downfall and later become the main source of income for the societies in the tropical ecological regions.

Therefore, the main axis of the global trade would follow a north-south rather than east-west direction. Wouldn't it be better for European merchants to sail along the coast to Africa to buy the good stuff, or simply buy the produce in North African ports (brought across Sahara in caravans, as it has always been done), rather than to risk everything by crossing the oceans? And even if they wanted to buy the American stuff, what would they pay with - what sort of European goods the Eastern (feudal) US would be interested in? Both Europe and the eastern US produce basically the same types of stuff.

I think trade and other forms of contact (pilgrimages, diplomatic communication) would be scarce between the Americas and the Old World because of this. (But by far the most isolated of the formerly Western countries would be New Zealand. I wouldn't be surprised if, as a result of such isolation, the technology regressed even below medieval standards.)
Hmm. Fair enough. Some limited cotton, tobacco and spice trade, but not much. Though Zealand wouldn't be to isolated- it would be an England to Eastern Australian kingdoms.
 
Hmm. Fair enough. Some limited cotton, tobacco and spice trade, but not much. Though Zealand wouldn't be to isolated- it would be an England to Eastern Australian kingdoms.
Based on what?

England is a stone throw from the European mainland, indeed it is a part of the same continental massif. The seas which connect it with Europe are essentially 'coastal', but even the North Sea was historically a lot of trouble to cross (it took the Norse some time to figure out how to navigate it, and even centuries later the Spanish were wiped out by its storms).

New Zealand is ~1500 km from Australia, which itself is pretty geographically isolated (i.e. the most habitable regions are in the south of Australia). Historically, New Zealand was only settled by the Polynesians in the 2nd millennium CE. So I'd say the geographical situation is completely different - crossing 1500 km of open ocean is very different from sailing a few dozen kilometres to France, it profoundly limits the power projection capabilities and trade prospects.

Now, geographically isolated cultures tend to stagnate technologically due to a low degree of cultural/technological diffusion. Native American civilizations were still technically in a stone age by the time the Europeans came, despite having thousands of years of civilized history behind them. The Aboriginal Australians were still stone-age hunter gatherers, and the native Tasmanians have actually been regressing even from that level (they lost key technologies like the know-how to manufacture bows and arrows) once sea separated them from Australia.

Therefore, I'd think that Australia and New Zealand would be losing technology faster than any other "Western" society after the Downfall. I wouldn't be surprised if New Zealand ended up split into myriads of tribal kingdoms reduced to bronze-age level of technology.
 
Well, the distance from Tasmania to New Zealand is about 1400 miles. The Vikings sailed a comparable distance from Norway to Iceland, with tenth century technology. Here, we have 14th century technology, and on this page: http://feudalamerica.blogspot.com/2009/10/naval-forces.html on the blog it's indicated that, at least in America, is slightly more advanced then the other technologies.

Of course, the question remains what New Zealand would have to offer Australia. Sheep? :p Trade would certainly not be a mad prospect between the two, but perhaps not all that common. I don't know much about New Zealand (except for the Welsh-like affinity for our furry friends) so perhaps someone else should handle that.

As for Australia, the continent has enough to self support, and besides it would be fairly easy to island hop to New Guinea from Queensland. And Australia was referenced countless times in the old thread as being a nation actively involved in trading along the Pacific Rim, with the Palins being exiled to it. (The old thread was weird)
 
Well, the distance from Tasmania to New Zealand is about 1400 miles. The Vikings sailed a comparable distance from Norway to Iceland, with tenth century technology.
Well, the difference is they did so by essentially "island-hopping" to Shetlands, the Faeroe Islands, and then to Iceland (first more or less by accident).

But you're right, oceanic travel is not impossible even with very primitive technology (after all, the Polynesians settled practically the whole of Oceania using catamaran rafts and navigation by sea birds). What I am saying is that the ability to cross an ocean does not necessarily mean a big island will become a major naval power. New Zealand is too far from Australia and other places of significance to be able to project power with medieval-level technology. So if there is some contact with the rest of the world, it is going to be limited to occasional trade and raiding.

This is just my speculation, but I'd say the more isolated the landmass is, the more likely it is to be disunited (especially if a diverse geography favours disunity, which New Zealand's definitely does) — I believe that the lack of external enemies lessens the pressure to unite and makes the people turn against each other instead.

Therefore, I'd say New Zealand would end up split between dozens of separate petty kingdoms constantly at war with each other, with occasional raiding expeditions being mounted against the coasts of Australia and other Polynesian islands.

... come think of it, this is pretty much how New Zealand was under the Maori... :)

As for Australia, the continent has enough to self support, and besides it would be fairly easy to island hop to New Guinea from Queensland. And Australia was referenced countless times in the old thread as being a nation actively involved in trading along the Pacific Rim, with the Palins being exiled to it. (The old thread was weird)
Lol. Australia would be interesting, indeed.

BTW, has the fate of Europe (what it looks like now) been discussed?
 
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