WI: Spanish Empire Uses Camels and Date Palms in Mexico and Texas

California is still pretty remote from the rest of New Spain. I think it would see a lot of Chinese and Filipino settlement since its right on the Manila Galleon route. Overland settlements are likely too. Maybe a string of settlements at oases leading to San Diego, and then coastal settlements along the bays with the northernmost being around Eureka a bit north of Cape Mendocino. From San Francisco Bay and Monterrey they'd extend inland to the gold fields.

It's also not coming into extensive Spanish colonization as easy as it did for the US since European epidemics were rare before the 18th century so there's still a minimum of 250,000 Indians there and potentially over 600,000, the majority concentrated near the gold mines/routes to them in the Central Valley. Most would be exterminated during the conquest and by disease but it's still a significant labor force and a revolt risk. Especially if more Spanish here means Francis Drake's expedition leads to followups and the English or Dutch (they were everywhere and attacked places like Chile OTL, they'd be here too) start there own trading posts which invariably involves selling weapons to natives who hate Spain.

I'd be very curious if they'd get a camel nomad/"Indian Bedouin" culture in the Great Basin. Horses are nice but camels much hardier. Imagine the Paiutes, Utes, etc. as the Comanche on camelback, picking at the fringes of the Spanish Empire and causing a major headache. Horses will also spread earlier into California and the PNW which will be pretty big for societies there, as will disease, camels, and European goods. Especially if the English or other anti-Spanish power gets invested in the region.

We'd also see Spain find more gold and silver in New Mexico and Arizona, and possibly get into Colorado's vast resources. But the main source would remain the north of present day Mexico since its closer to the manpower reserves of New Spain and camels improve transit and exploitation.

If the Spanish Empire still collapses then it revolts and gains independence from Mexico rather quickly since it's almost certainly too remote from Mexico City for them to assert authority. I'm split on whether New Mexico, Tejas (the Tejanos, not the Anglos), or other provinces in the north could revolt. They were weak OTL which let Mexico suppress them, but they'd be stronger TTL with more settlement and camels, yet Mexico is stronger too and has better communication in the north with the camels.

You aren't growing much in California without irrigation and flood control.
Hey... This Ties in with the Stronger Mexico TL
thread https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/strong-mexico-tls.484621/
On the topic of California, With better communication and travelling, A Spanish Gold rush could bring tonnes of people there
 
Camels may make the future cowboys of the American wild west obsolete as horses get spooked by the smell of camels. Camels would greatly improved the logistics of colonizing north west America and would prove to be useful in repelling other colonists from the east. Native Americans with camels would alter North American history significantly.
THats what I was thinking. Assuming that they can successfully repellent the Eastern American, we could actually see *decent* Colonisation from the Spanish, Not the flawed Roman EMpire Millitary colony system which falls apart as soon as the Natives die off... :)
 
You must realize that Iberia proper never had a large population base for colonization. Gold and silver drove much of the 16th century surge in colonization. The Spanish crown did not encourage foreign colonists until the 18th century. If they encourage German, Italian, Flemish and Austrian Catholics to immigrate to the colonies, they have a better chance of spread and exploration. Getting gold and silver miners from Hapsburg lands would enable mineral exploration in the Southwest and California.
 
You must realize that Iberia proper never had a large population base for colonization. Gold and silver drove much of the 16th century surge in colonization. The Spanish crown did not encourage foreign colonists until the 18th century. If they encourage German, Italian, Flemish and Austrian Catholics to immigrate to the colonies, they have a better chance of spread and exploration. Getting gold and silver miners from Hapsburg lands would enable mineral exploration in the Southwest and California.
I agree. I had completely forgotten about the Hapsburg dynasty and there extent through the European continent. You are correct in saying that foreign colonists would have expanded better, but it is understandable why they did not do so, correct? Their entire system was based on exploiting the conquered people's (Rome times are fun times). Unfortunatly, these 'Conquered people' either died off, leaving no population base or became nomadic, which we all know ended the Roman empire as we know it.

(don't you just love the Huns?)

However, This brings up an important question, would these European people's be LOYAL? I personally don't know and wonder if they would excellerate independence movements through out the Spanish Empire, especially on the fringes. But then again we have Camels and substantial date farming, so that is no longer a problem! :)
 
I think realistically, if camels were introduced into Mexico in the 1600s, I would expect we'd see a world quite different to what I described. I decided to wank California because I got carried away.

But in reality camels would allow for massively expanded trade with Mexico's northern provinces. If we say camels reach Mexico in the 17th century, the over the 1700s many thousands of Mexicans and Europeans would take the passage north into the states of Alta California, Nuevo Mexico and Coahuilay Texas. The key industries there would be ranching, with dates also becoming a staple crop is several key areas. Dates were introduced to Texas and California IOTL in 1765, so I'm not sure they would have made too much of a difference frankly.

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I think while camels will allow greater unity with the rest of Mexico, ultimately the larger populations will be important as they will allow independence to be quicker. Upon Mexican independence in 1820, these provinces will likely be a part of Mexico but by 1830 they would be 3 separate independent states. Importantly, California would have had it's gold rush by this point and so would be a powerhouse in it's own right. Meanwhile Texas and New Mexico would develop as ranching provinces, and later ranching states. IOTL in 1820 the Catholic Church owned a stunning 90% of all settled land in California. New Mexico and Texas would have the same problems, and likely they would reform into a state of landowners by the 1830s.

Generally, Texas and New Mexico, and to a lesser extent California, would be distinct in Latin America due to their huge populations of American settlers who would still move into the area looking for cheap land, but who by 2020 would have largely integrated into the dominant Hispanic culture. I imagine over the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Europeans would also arrive in Texas and New Mexico, and due to the low population densities I can imagine Europeans becoming the dominant ethnic group in these areas, similar to Argentina and Uruguay.

These areas would also be recognised as independent states rather than being annexed into the US, due to much larger populations by the time 1840 would come around.

By 1930, these states would still generally be weak on the global stage. California would be similar to Argentina in terms of development while I see Texas and New Mexico being more comparable to Chile. However the 1940s would see Texas and New Mexico thrive alongside air conditioning, which would allow for true industrialisation. New Mexico's economy would be dominated by resource extraction and dryland farming, but this would allow for them to achieve a very high standard of living, probably one of the best in Latin America.

So by 2020, I think we would see a California with 60 million people, which would basically be a better Argentina. Due to their proximity to the huge economy of the US, I think they'd fare better than Argentina itself. By 2020 I see a country with a GDP per capita of around $30,000, and a HDI much higher than most of Latin America.

As for New Mexico, I see a republic with 5 million people by 2020, being a hot Spanish New Zealand. Their revenue from mining would allow them to have a GDP of $40,000, similar to the UK and France. I imagine a large share of their population would be immigrants, perhaps around 35% of their population.

I think Texas would have a population of around 18 million people, primarily of European descent. Their large oil supplies would have funded modernisation efforts, and enable them to reach a GDP per capita of $20,000 by 2020 and growing every year.

Overall Texas, California and New Mexico would also be leading destinations for Mexican and Latin American emigrants, who would probably rush into the areas overall.
 
I think realistically, if camels were introduced into Mexico in the 1600s, I would expect we'd see a world quite different to what I described. I decided to wank California because I got carried away.

But in reality camels would allow for massively expanded trade with Mexico's northern provinces. If we say camels reach Mexico in the 17th century, the over the 1700s many thousands of Mexicans and Europeans would take the passage north into the states of Alta California, Nuevo Mexico and Coahuilay Texas. The key industries there would be ranching, with dates also becoming a staple crop is several key areas. Dates were introduced to Texas and California IOTL in 1765, so I'm not sure they would have made too much of a difference frankly.

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I think while camels will allow greater unity with the rest of Mexico, ultimately the larger populations will be important as they will allow independence to be quicker. Upon Mexican independence in 1820, these provinces will likely be a part of Mexico but by 1830 they would be 3 separate independent states. Importantly, California would have had it's gold rush by this point and so would be a powerhouse in it's own right. Meanwhile Texas and New Mexico would develop as ranching provinces, and later ranching states. IOTL in 1820 the Catholic Church owned a stunning 90% of all settled land in California. New Mexico and Texas would have the same problems, and likely they would reform into a state of landowners by the 1830s.

Generally, Texas and New Mexico, and to a lesser extent California, would be distinct in Latin America due to their huge populations of American settlers who would still move into the area looking for cheap land, but who by 2020 would have largely integrated into the dominant Hispanic culture. I imagine over the 19th century, hundreds of thousands of Europeans would also arrive in Texas and New Mexico, and due to the low population densities I can imagine Europeans becoming the dominant ethnic group in these areas, similar to Argentina and Uruguay.

These areas would also be recognised as independent states rather than being annexed into the US, due to much larger populations by the time 1840 would come around.

By 1930, these states would still generally be weak on the global stage. California would be similar to Argentina in terms of development while I see Texas and New Mexico being more comparable to Chile. However the 1940s would see Texas and New Mexico thrive alongside air conditioning, which would allow for true industrialisation. New Mexico's economy would be dominated by resource extraction and dryland farming, but this would allow for them to achieve a very high standard of living, probably one of the best in Latin America.

So by 2020, I think we would see a California with 60 million people, which would basically be a better Argentina. Due to their proximity to the huge economy of the US, I think they'd fare better than Argentina itself. By 2020 I see a country with a GDP per capita of around $30,000, and a HDI much higher than most of Latin America.

As for New Mexico, I see a republic with 5 million people by 2020, being a hot Spanish New Zealand. Their revenue from mining would allow them to have a GDP of $40,000, similar to the UK and France. I imagine a large share of their population would be immigrants, perhaps around 35% of their population.

I think Texas would have a population of around 18 million people, primarily of European descent. Their large oil supplies would have funded modernisation efforts, and enable them to reach a GDP per capita of $20,000 by 2020 and growing every year.

Overall Texas, California and New Mexico would also be leading destinations for Mexican and Latin American emigrants, who would probably rush into the areas overall.
Ok... That's a lot more reasonable, I guess...
So, still not convinced that the Spanish empire could have prevented up rising in the Americas, or is that asking to much?
 
By 1750, Californios number around 20,000 people focused in southern California. However in 1770, these Californios discover gold in the region, causing a gold rush in California. These new arrivals number in the tens of thousands, and are extremely diverse in origin, coming mostly from Mexico, Spain, British North America and the Philippines. Between 1770 and 1775, approximately 90,000 people arrive in California for the gold. Their origins are:

Mexico, 36,000 40%
Spain, 27,000 30%
East Asia, 9,000 10%
BNA, 9,000 10%
Other, 9,000 10%
More likely Spain would just drag people in from the more densely populated parts of Mexico to mine the gold. It's unlikely you'd see many people from British North America, and you'd see many more from East Asia (mostly Filipinos and Chinese) who would continue to trickle in as mining infrastructure expanded. Chinese and especially Filipinos (who would already have a presence thanks to the Manila Galleon trade) would be huge, although they'd blend into the local population rather quickly. This is the case in Mexico where the areas around Acapulco (where the Manila Galleons docked) have a lot of Filipino ancestry. TTL the galleons would likely stop in San Francisco and/or San Diego before proceeding further south so there'd already be a sizable amount of Filipinos in California.
By 1840 however, it would also be apparent that Americans interest in gaining access to the Pacific would also contradict with Californian independence. However due to California's large population and economy they would also have a lot of negotating power. The Anglo-American-Californian agreement of 1846 with the Oregon Treaty granted the US all of the Oregon territory in exchange for what we today recognise as Nevada and Arizona. As these were largely deserts as compared to the fertile lands of Oregon and Washington, this was accepted by the US. Interestingly in Oregon there would be an indigenous Hispanic population similar to the Tejanos and the Californios of OTL. After 1846 many would move back to California, while others would remain in Oregon and became a minority there.
I think it's likely you wouldn't have a straight line on the California-Oregon border since the border would be better surveyed. It's probably going to be a watershed boundary which here are marked by mountain ranges. Which boundary depends on how far north Spanish settlement and control reaches. I think in the northwest (including northernmost California) settlement would be mostly coastal with some missions. Northernmost they'd get is maybe some missions in the Rogue River Valley. The camel-riding Paiute I mentioned as a counterpart to the Comanche would help enforce this. OTL they incessently raided other tribes in eastern Oregon and adjacent parts of California, and with camels they'd be even more fierce, numerous, and organised. Spain would ally with the Klamath/Modocs (maybe called the Macalaques TTL given their exonym's origin) to try and stop them but it's likely the wealth they already have and challenges with Indians would mostly halt Spanish advancement further north.

So I think Spain/California could probably get a boundary on the Rogue River watershed and the Upper Klamath River, so most of southeastern Oregon, but anything more is doubtful. The northernmost point would be just northeast of Crater Lake. At worst they could lose the Rogue River Valley entirely (maybe by American purchase?) so the boundary would be the entire Klamath watershed plus maybe a little north like Crescent City in CA. You'd see more Anglo-American activity here to trade with the Spanish and Californians than OTL so their presence would be established earlier.
Heavy industry would be slower to develop, but would come along sooner or later. Iron ore would mainly be mined in the Richmond Mine in northern California, and soon enough steel processing plants would be opened in Sacramento. Coal however would have to be mined in Nevada, which would fortunately have enormous reserves. The Black Mesa and Pinedale reserves would quickly be mined for coal, which would be sent by railway to power the industrial heartlands of California. However the coal mines would allow for many thousands of immigrants from Europe to enter Arizona, to help expand California's control over the territory. Miner's unions there, due to their importance to the country's energy supply, would also prove a pivotal role in expanding democracy to the workers.
Why would it be slower when unlike Argentina or much of Latin America, California has coal and oil in relative proximity and are closer to export markets for steel.
The period of 1960 to 2020 would also be defined by the movement of millions of Latinos into California who would hugely shape the country. Strong growth would mean that by 1990 their population would be 38 million, and by 2020 they would reach 60 million people. With a GDP per capita of $50,000, their economy would have a GDP of $3.3 trillion, making them the world's 5th largest economy, ahead of the UK, France and all of India. With strong yearly growth of around 1.7% per year, they would be projected to reach 100 million people by 2050. Furthermore, Sacramento in this time would have 15 million people, with San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose and Los Angeles would all have between 3 million and 5 million people and be major cities in their own right. Sacramento would be the largest Spanish speaking city on Earth, and be California's capital. Due to most growth occurring in cities, a city such as Los Angeles, which would have 5 million people in 2020, is projected to grow to 9 million people by 2050. This growth would help ensure California's dominant position in Latin America and on the world stage.
Why Sacramento? It's rather remote (especially before railroads) and is very flood prone (including to severe floods that turn the Central Valley into a sea once every 250 years or so). The real center of the early growth and later growth would be somewhere in the Bay Area, because that's where the gold is flowing out of and the goods (including the Manila Galleon, trade with China, etc.) are flowing into. As for which city, could be anywhere in the Bay Area.
 
I think another good route for the Spanish is for them to have Northern Borneo and Mollucas but prevented from colonizing the Northern half of Luzon, that land is useless after Sakoku.

Both Date Palms and the Spices from Mollucas would enrich the Spanish Empire.
 
From what I can gather, horses unfamiliar with camels are spooked. However, with familiarity, the degree of spook diminishes. With camels becoming theoretically commonplace, the notion that a mounted camel unit has some immense advantage simply because it's a camel seems to me a bit of an assumption.

There are some advantages to mounted horse units. They are easier to train, less temperamental, and they are faster/more agile. Native American tactics revolved around speed/mobility. Horses facilitated this.

Camels have the immense advantage of being a better desert animal. Natives held superior advantage in the desert by knowing the terrain/water hole location and adapting to the environment. The newcomer whites were not as knowledgeable of terrain and tried forcing their will on the desert. Going with camels would give an edge to whites as the camel's desert durability allows them to plod from point A to point B with less concern for water. However, the speed of horses means the natives can simply run from a camel unit and adapt tactics accordingly.

The limiting factor in overall trade routes was not water, but native hostility and in the case of mountainous routes, terrain. Yes, water was a factor, and using camels helps with that aspect, but it's not going to be some magic panacea that opens up the west for European takeover. Outside of the extreme desert, camels lose the water durability advantage. Camels certainly could have a major role in a functioning European settlement and may make a lot of sense in desert trade/travel.
 
How far do you think that the Spanish Could effectively spread to? Could Totally seem them easily holding California, Arazona, New Mexico, Texas and Perhaps all the Pacific states... Camels are really the pivotal tool for crossing the Barrier between modern Mexico and the US.
The biggest constraint is manpower, and they were already spread thin. By the late 18th century, Britain, Russia, and other powers are poking around in the Pacific Northwest, and they would even earlier (well, Britain, and probably the French and Dutch too) if Spain had a substantial base there. The coast is also very rocky with few safe harbours, northward travel can be difficult due to the currents, and there are very few good routes to the inland valleys which have the bulk of people to trade with/missionise. The best routes run through the interior roughly following modern Interstate 5. And as time goes on, Spain is increasingly broke. The OTL Spanish Empire is considered a good example of overextension, and this opinion was shared by at least some voices in Spain in this era.

I could see forts and missions as north as Astoria, but I don't think they'd be long-lasting. There isn't enough manpower to keep them staffed, and even without selling them many guns or horses, the local Indians could overrun the more isolated ones. It's also likely a hostile European power deals with them. So no, I don't think Spain would be able to hold or reasonably populate the area north of the Rogue River Valley at best (and even there, there will only be a few outposts and missions), and at absolute best they'd hold onto Coos Bay or the Umpqua Valley a bit north of there (via an outpost around modern Reedsport, the interior they'd have almost no influence). Overall it's good land for selling to another country.
 
More likely Spain would just drag people in from the more densely populated parts of Mexico to mine the gold. It's unlikely you'd see many people from British North America, and you'd see many more from East Asia (mostly Filipinos and Chinese) who would continue to trickle in as mining infrastructure expanded. Chinese and especially Filipinos (who would already have a presence thanks to the Manila Galleon trade) would be huge, although they'd blend into the local population rather quickly. This is the case in Mexico where the areas around Acapulco (where the Manila Galleons docked) have a lot of Filipino ancestry. TTL the galleons would likely stop in San Francisco and/or San Diego before proceeding further south so there'd already be a sizable amount of Filipinos in California.
So I won't lie to you, most of what I needed to know for that rough TL I looked up on wikipedia, and it wasn't intended as a this is what is most likely to happen, more of a this is some fun ideas typed out. But I still appreciate the criticism and new ideas anyway. But yeah, I definitely envision California being fairly unique among Latin America because of it's high degree of Asian culture and ancestry, although as you mentioned mixing between ethnicity would probably become very common. So where do you see the gold prospectors being from in terms of percentages? Maybe 60% Mexican, 20% Asian and 20% Other roughly? I'd love to know actually. I put down 10% BNA because in my head, 9,000 people moving to a gold rush sounds realistic when by 1775 people where already migrating to the midwest and into the deep south.

I think it's likely you wouldn't have a straight line on the California-Oregon border since the border would be better surveyed. It's probably going to be a watershed boundary which here are marked by mountain ranges. Which boundary depends on how far north Spanish settlement and control reaches. I think in the northwest (including northernmost California) settlement would be mostly coastal with some missions. Northernmost they'd get is maybe some missions in the Rogue River Valley. The camel-riding Paiute I mentioned as a counterpart to the Comanche would help enforce this. OTL they incessently raided other tribes in eastern Oregon and adjacent parts of California, and with camels they'd be even more fierce, numerous, and organised. Spain would ally with the Klamath/Modocs (maybe called the Macalaques TTL given their exonym's origin) to try and stop them but it's likely the wealth they already have and challenges with Indians would mostly halt Spanish advancement further north.

So I think Spain/California could probably get a boundary on the Rogue River watershed and the Upper Klamath River, so most of southeastern Oregon, but anything more is doubtful. The northernmost point would be just northeast of Crater Lake. At worst they could lose the Rogue River Valley entirely (maybe by American purchase?) so the boundary would be the entire Klamath watershed plus maybe a little north like Crescent City in CA. You'd see more Anglo-American activity here to trade with the Spanish and Californians than OTL so their presence would be established earlier.
I think you're totally right. But personally I think pushing California as far north as the the Rouge River watershed is a little ambitious. Bare in mind the Americans have already partially given up on their 'sea to shining sea' mantra, so I think it's likely the US will buy, haggle or 'persuade' the Californios to give them as much land as possible, and the US would probably expand into Cresent City.

As for the expanded activity, if nothing else this gives Washington and Oregon a huge boost. Together they would probably have another 30 million people in them, and that could be as high as 40 million depending on immigration patterns and the economy etc.
 
Why would it be slower when unlike Argentina or much of Latin America, California has coal and oil in relative proximity and are closer to export markets for steel.
To clarify it would be slower that large parts of Europe and The Rustbelt because they would simply be a smaller nation with less of the population needed for heavy industry. They wouldn't have heavy industry by 1850 for the same reason Australia and Canada didn't IOTL. Also, they have enough wealth based on agricultural exports and gold so industry is less of a neccesity. More importantly, the cultural factors at play in the US and the UK aren't there. For example the Quakers acted as famous industrialists and helped developed Manchester and other towns in the UK and Pennsylvania in the US into major industrial heartlands, and they of course wouldn't be so big in California. Of course as shown by Argentina, Quakers aren't the secret ingredient to getting heavy industry but it's just another factor slowing down it's growth in California.

But yeah as you mentioned, the availability of coal and iron and proximity to large markets would, I think, eventually allow California to do what Argentina couldn't and by 1930 develop into a true industrial society as opposed to the agricultural exports focused, vulnerable to the Great Depression Argentina we got. All I'm saying is that due to it's small population, cultural factors and wealth from exporting food and gold, California wouldn't be as quick to develop heavy industry as say Pennsylvania

Why Sacramento? It's rather remote (especially before railroads) and is very flood prone (including to severe floods that turn the Central Valley into a sea once every 250 years or so). The real center of the early growth and later growth would be somewhere in the Bay Area, because that's where the gold is flowing out of and the goods (including the Manila Galleon, trade with China, etc.) are flowing into. As for which city, could be anywhere in the Bay Area.
Yeah fair enough, I just wrote down a random city lol. I could see Monterey doing well as IOTL it was the capital of Alta California for it's entire history and it's in the Bay Area.
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So, still not convinced that the Spanish empire could have prevented up rising in the Americas, or is that asking to much?
Probably tbh lol. The large populations removed from both Mexico and Spain in California, Nuevo Mexico and Tejas in 1820 certainly won't be radically pro Spain. Of course they will have their own factions, but especially in California where a large percentage of the population will be descended from Filipino, Chinese, Korean and Japanese migrants, love for Spain would be limited. I can see Texas being more pro Spanish due to sheer geography, but even so it's still far removed from Spain and especially Mexico City that I can't see Spain keeping it.
 
Fair... Do you think camels could have prevented Such revolts on the fridges of the Empire? :)
If it allowed them/motivated them to have more people in place before the revolt started, yes, if only to convince the people plan better.

In the case of the Pueblo Revolt, the surprise was close to complete and coordinated in 20 some villages, preventing coordination on the part of the Spanish. One thing, 1680 was key to Indians getting horses and then getting camels in an atl. If you could prevent the revolt, Indians in the west could be more livestock poor.
 
If it allowed them/motivated them to have more people in place before the revolt started, yes, if only to convince the people plan better.

In the case of the Pueblo Revolt, the surprise was close to complete and coordinated in 20 some villages, preventing coordination on the part of the Spanish. One thing, 1680 was key to Indians getting horses and then getting camels in an atl. If you could prevent the revolt, Indians in the west could be more livestock poor.
ahh. But could this also increase British and French/American Expansion? Weaker Indians and such? or Would this just exellerate Spanish expansion.

However, I still like the idea of having Habsburg territories contribute to the empire. Naples, Netherlands and such.
 
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