WI: Spanish Hawaii and the Pacific Islands in the 17th century

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Caravels of Portugal, Nov 7, 2019.

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  1. Caravels of Portugal Well-Known Member

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    In the OTL, hundreds of Manila galleons traveled through the Pacific, just south of Hawaii. However, many Spanish galleons did not bother to land on the islands because of the Spanish inability to properly explore the Pacific Ocean and to maintain Spanish monopoly on the trade. The Spanish also explored parts of the Pacific Islands.

    What would Spanish Hawaii and the Pacific Islands resembled if it was discovered in the early 17th century before Captain Cook of England landed in 1788?
     
  2. Towelie757 Member

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    Like the (insert oppresed peoples here) turned out after Spanish colonization
     
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  3. Caravels of Portugal Well-Known Member

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    In the ATL, due to an alternate New Laws, Spanish people or more likely Iberians cannot act out any from of cruelty or oppression against indigenous or African people. Hawaiians were considered indigenous people because they originally lived on this land.
     
  4. interpoltomo please don't do coke in the bathroom

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    Spanish american war is in 1870s or 1880s and sees US annexation of cuba, PR, Xahuey* as territories.

    * spanish hawaii.
     
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  5. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    Oh, well that's fine then. Humanitarian laws were famously successful in protecting the peoples of the Pacific from exploitation by British settlers OTL.
     
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  6. jocay Ambiguously Brown

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    Spanish Hawaii would end up being plurality or majority Filipino.
     
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  7. twovultures Once wrote timelines, now a Chat shitposter

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    I think that the Chamorros of the Marianas would provide a good template to follow. Based on that, the Hawaiians would be forced to follow Catholicism; New Laws or not, religious fanatics like the Spaniards would not allow paganism to be openly practiced, and OTL the kapu system could not survive the disruption of contact anyway. However, a lot of their traditional religion would survive as informal "superstitions", with religious practices folded into veneration of the saints or traditional medicine. A native Hawaiian identity and culture will survive to the modern day, but it will be very Catholic and possibly less united than OTL, as an early conquista will butterfly the Kingdom of Hawaii period and perhaps lead to a stronger cultural attachments to pre-kingdom era political organizations (i.e. "I'm a Waimean" and "I'm a Molokaian" instead of "I'm Hawaiian").

    The Spanish themselves are not going to heavily exploit Hawaii initially; in the Pacific, the trade with China was their one goal almost to the point of myopia. Oahu will be established as a resupply station for the galleons, and the other inhabited islands will probably receive one catholic mission and one corresponding fort to defend the mission, and not much else. I thought about the Spanish using it as a naval base to launch punitive raids into Asia, but the Philippines are a lot closer and better suited for that purpose so I guess that it's a silly thought.

    The makeup of the islands going into the modern times depends entirely on if the Spanish eventually do decide to bring Hawaii into the plantation economy. If so, the islands could end up as OTL with a minority Hawaiian population and majority of people descended from Philippino immigrants brought in willingly or not to work the sugarcane fields. If the islands are not turned into giant plantations, the human population is majority Hawaiian and the infrastructure still geared mostly to feeding people locally, with a lot of small terrace farms, fishponds instead of artificial sand beaches, etc.
     
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  8. Soverihn Proud Tribalist

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    As a province of Mexico for a few hundred years and an important way station for the Manila Galleon trade. Might have a few plantations on it too but I doubt it given mercantilism. You'd see a lot of settlement of it by Asians and Mexicans, and much of the initial garrison is likely to be made up of ex Aztecs like in the Philippines with friendly client native politys as middlemen.
     
  9. Caravels of Portugal Well-Known Member

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    The Spanish were rather permissive of interracial marriage and love, albeit people were under the casta (racial) system. If Spanish Hawaii exists, and Spanish colonists and/or Asian people settled on the lands and intermarried with Hawaiian people - it will result in a mestizo populace.

    In my personal Alternate History timeline - an Iberian Hawaii would be used as a way station for Iberian galleons and carracks travelling to Asia or vice versa in order to purchase Asian slaves (Amarelo Prendiza) to be sold in the Americas (Benoa Taixei). The islands of Hawaii, consisting of La Mesa (Hawaii), La Desgraciada (Maui), La Hierofante (Molokai), Los Monjes (Lanai and Kahoolawe), La Verde (Kauai) and La Prohibido (Niihau) are used as seasoning camps.
    In Kodeh (the Scourging) period, freshly-arrived Asian slaves would be subjected to brutal punishment and horrible conditions. This was to ensure that Amarelo prendiza would have their wills broken, identity erased and forget their original memories in Asia so that Iberian masters can purchase them when the Amarelo prendiza is sent to the Americas. This was thought to make them submissive and docile, instead it reinforced holding on to their old wist and unity.
     
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  10. SenatorChickpea Well-Known Member

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    I highly doubt you'll see a mestizo population in Hawaii. The demographics are too different from Latin America. If settlement quickly follows from the initial shock of disease and first encounters, I would expect that despite heroic indigenous resistance the Hawaiians would quickly find themselves outnumbered in their own lands just as in OTL- or indeed Aotearoa New Zealand.
    To say nothing of the absolute cultural devastation that will follow the arrival of the missionaries, which will be far worse than OTL if for no other reason than that the colonising project will start centuries earlier.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
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  11. Caravels of Portugal Well-Known Member

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    Elaborate on this statement.
     
  12. Workable Goblin Chronicler of the Pony Wars

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    The thing is we kind of, uh, do see a mestizo population in Hawaii. Like, in the real world. A lot of it is mixed white-Asian people, of course, but there are a nontrivial number of mixed Asian-Hawaiian and white-Hawaiian people, too...

    I think Hawai'i or Maui could plausibly be the major centers instead of O'ahu, since they were, IIRC, at the time the major political and population centers. Of course, Pearl Harbor is, well, Pearl Harbor, and that might attract the Spanish anyway.

    I'd also point out that the islands have some nontrivial, easy to recover natural resources that the Spanish might very well decide to plunder, mostly sandalwood (it was the first big Hawaiian export industry--to China, note) and maybe pearls. That could segue into plantations or other things later if and when Spanish colonizers lured in by the sandalwood trade have to figure out something to replace it (as plantations did IOTL).

    Maybe...a lot of the Pacific (and the Caribbean) has turned to tourism IOTL, so I think it's reasonably likely a big tourist industry would still spring up. Hawai'i is probably too big to just stealth-mode its way along as a subsistence state the way some of the Oceanic states IOTL do.
     
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  13. Caravels of Portugal Well-Known Member

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    In the event where the Spanish lands on Hawaii, what island and coast could be a candidate for a landing spot?
     
  14. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    Guam/Marianas and the Chamorro would be a better example, since Spanish Hawaii would likely follow a similar course economically and demographically. You'd see a lot of mixing between them and Filipinos plus with some Mexicans and Spanish. Culturally the Hawaiians would be totally different from their previous indigenous culture as well as from OTL and would resemble Chamorro culture OTL which has many Spanish and Filipino influences. For instance, they'd all have Filipino-sounding names which are similar yet distinct to Spanish names.

    I'd expect the Hawaiians would also show up in Guam/Marianas and intermix with the Chamorro since the Chamorro suffered severe depopulation by the Spanish. Hawaiians would suffer similarly but there'd still be enough of them the Spanish would send them there.