More successful New World Empires

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by mojojojo, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. mojojojo Member

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    Sep 9, 2006
    Is there any way the Cultures of the New World could have been more successful than they were? What kind of contact with the old world would have been just enough to give them our germs (and livestock etc) but not so much as to decimate them. Is such a thing even possible?
     
  2. Philip One L only

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    Apr 19, 2007
    I think the spread of disease in the New World was inevitable. Perhaps your best bet is to have early contact that exposes the Americans. Have contact lost for several hundred years while disease spreads and the peoples recover. Then have contact reestablished. Otherwise, I think you need to have the Americans develop Eurasia type civilizations before contact.
     
  3. Alcuin Banned

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    No Kamikaze

    How about, there is no Kamikaze and the Japanese are forced either to surrender to the Mongols or to flee ever northward? A fairly large number of Japanese refugees, perhaps with Ainu as well, flee to Sakhalin and then further north until they come into contact with the Yupiuk who, even then, existed on both sides of the Bering Straits.

    Next there's a rumour that the Mongols are coming even there and the Japanese flee across the Bering Straits. They arrive around 1280 (ish), which gives the natives 200 years before first contact with Europeans to develop immunities to Japanese diseases. (Probably more because the Europeans arrive in the East).

    Would that work?
     
  4. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I think the isolation of the main New World centres of civilisation from each other hampered their development. In Eurasia developments in one area soon (centuries, but we are looking at millenia here) spread across the continent, giving the lowest a chance to develop. If there was a constant contact between the main centres of civilisation a composite higher level would be the result. I don't think much could be done about the disease.
     
  5. The Sicilian Well-Known Member

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    I just posted a map on the Map Thread with large New World Empires. The POD is two fold:
    1. There a large, domesticable, farm mammals that survive human contact in America
    2. There is a wheat-like wild grass in America, meaning that the NA's dont have to go through the lengthly process of domesticating corn.
    I got the idea from reading J. Diamonds Guns Germans and Steel.
     
  6. abas Member

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    Feb 5, 2006
    I think there would arose the same problems with wheat-like grass. In Eurasia there are the very wide latidudinal belt were arose most of the early civilizations and where wheat come from while in America they inevitably must spread along the longitude and constantly to adjust to the different climate.
     
  7. The Sicilian Well-Known Member

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    That is true. One of the things brought up in GG&S is that because Eurasia's continetal axis is East-West, people, ideas and crops can spread across large areas with the same climate. In the Americas, they have to go through many different climates.

    But even if one place in the Americas had wheat and/or large farm animals, then countries there would still have a good chance of surviving.
     
  8. Riain Well-Known Member

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    I think enough plant crops were available in the Americas, the Mexican trinity of maize, beans and squash and the Andean Potato and quinoa, especially if all 5 were available to everyone. The lack of animals is more of a problem, but even there, there is a reasonable array if they were all put together. If there was a 'silk road' style constant contact between the civilisation areas these crops and animals could have been transmitted to all centres. Other things that developed in parts of the Americas but were not transmitted were wheels, bronze metalurgy and writing, which in combination energised old world civilisation.
     
  9. Dutchie Kandarian Bit-part Demon

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    You've got a Catch-22 there though... teh Silk Road would only arise from excess production (advanced civilization) allowing for luxuries to be traded far, but the excess production doesn't arrive without the Silk Road...
     
  10. rewster Playing Colonization for DOS

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    That doesn't seem right. The silk road didn't arise from excess production, it arose from contact. Sort of like contact->sustained contact->trade->sustained trade. Excess production just happens along the way... if something is in demand somewhere in the trade network and someone else can make money by producing it in excess, they will do so.
    The major problem with a silk road scenario through the Panama area is that it isn't exactly an easy place to travel through so contact remains limited and is not sustained. This is why you'd need to introduce contact by sea I think in order to make significant progress.
     
  11. M79 Well-Known Member

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    I had a timeline where the Teotihuacani civilization went farther and colonized an empire from Oregon to the Mississippi to Peru and Guyana. Over 300 years they allowed for trade of plants and animals, with the Central Valley and other areas growing almost every New World plant for food and raising llamas for protein/meat. They have the wheel and make giant roads running from Chaco to San Francisco Bay and Little Egypt (southern Illinois). Naval technology allows for delivery of large cargoes to Caribbean colonies though the only major map discoveries are Antarctica, the fact that South Smerica can be circumnavigated, Greenland, and the Kamtchatka Peninsula, both of the latter convince the Empire that they are the limits of the known world. Technology levels at the peak of the Empire is varied, their mathematics are approx. early 19th century but they lack ironworking tech until the Empire breaks up. Though the Empire prospers it eventually declines as civil wars break out and two dozen states arise. "Savages" who adapt the agricultural practices give rise to another dozen nascessent nations that build their own roads and civilizations. By the time the Europeans arrive, they've got a native population approaching 145 million between the two continents and most of the continent is already occupied.
     
  12. Atom Future Human

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    This is so unplausible its hard to swallow. This wasn't an ASB timeline was it? i hope you have a good POD. I would, though ike to see it. There aren't many timelines about pre-columbian america.
    [begin shameless plugging]
    i just started a timeline where Polynesians arive in america circa 500 A.D. due to a group of marauding papuans who push them further. Check it out. it's in my sig.
     
  13. M79 Well-Known Member

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    No/less severe drought in 535-536 lets the empire keep growing and eventually colonize areas north of the Rio Grande and into Central/South America
     
  14. Riain Well-Known Member

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    The new world seems very vulnerable to climate shift patterns, these occur in Europe, but civilisation doesn't seem to get kicked down as badly. The american silk road is a catch 22 in reality, but if it was started it could be just what is needed to energise the americas.