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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:21 am 
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Then again, perhaps this would be made up for be massive amounts of slaves? Still lower than the colonial population of real life, as there are less plantations to farm. There would be zero slaves, however, in the two Irish colonies (New Ireland at Pennsylvania and Kavanagh in Newfoundland).

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:58 am 
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Having read a bit more about the Carvajal family, I think that the flight of the Jews is too unrealistic to be considered seriously. I am deleting the proposal and refocusing on the Iroquois and Gunpowder Plot scenarios. (I can always restore the Sion scenario later.)

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:25 am 
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I also want to invent an Iroquoian language for a fictional people who lived around Philadelphia and Princeton (later migrate to the Ohio Country and become a nation of the Iroquois before the Tuscarora). Should I make these languages in a separate thread?
Started a thread for that:http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=44418. I just realised that those people (role in history is a bit revised, but they still live in that location) would have a major role in the Beaver Wars. Also, the PODs that cause this culture and Frislander's Algonquian one (as well as potential conethnicities made by hypothetical collaborators) to spring up could affect other Amerinds before and during colonisation. I feel like we should address that a bit more, as it could change the Americas we are dealing with.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:12 am 
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What about the Mongols invading through to Western Europe?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 9:44 am 
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How does that affect the Amerinds exactly?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:16 am 
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mèþru wrote:
How does that affect the Amerinds exactly?


I think jmcd's idea is to render the western Europeans unable to conquer the Americas by that move. I have seen an alternative history (Ezcalli in GURPS Alternate Earths I) which does just that.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:09 pm 
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Torco/Zaarin: I wonder what would have happened in north america without Napoleon. Say: Wolfe never conquered Quebec; as a result, the French do well enough in the war that they aren't bankrupt, so that Louis isn't forced to call a parliament, or at any rate is able to stay on top of it, so there's no Revolution and no Napoleon, and no Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.

I'm not sure what would have happened in north america, but i can tell you that over here in the south we would have had a few hundred more years of spanish rule, if not a full sort of canada-like situation... the south american wars of independence were extremely small-fry affairs, the reconquista of chile was performed by a spanish force of 5000 men, maybe 50% soldiers, and the final battle of that war involved 2000 loyalists, of which only 160 were spanish soldiers; the forces that actually wanted south american countries to become independent were paltry handfuls of men. hell, the whole american empire had less than 200k soldiers, including militas. no napoleon means a healthy and relatively legitimate spain, which means that the independentist rebels would have had a hell of a harder time with the whole thing. no napoleon also means no deathblow to the holy roman empire, which might have stemmed the unification of germany, at least for a while. no germany means who knows what. mister bonaparte sure did stir things up.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:00 am 
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WeepingElf wrote:
mèþru wrote:
How does that affect the Amerinds exactly?


I think jmcd's idea is to render the western Europeans unable to conquer the Americas by that move. I have seen an alternative history (Ezcalli in GURPS Alternate Earths I) which does just that.
That's the kind of thing I'm looking at, yes. In the intervening centuries where the Europeans were stalled, the Native Americans can advance in technology, immunity and population density. But what I had in mind did not include Carolingian contact, like in the GURPS scenario, so the Native Americans would not necessarily be forwarned.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 1:35 pm 
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I don't get why a Mongol invasion, successful or not, would prevent the eventual discovery of the Americas by Africans or Eurasians. The centuries in which the Europeans are not involved is irrelevant to immunity. As pointed out earlier, one cannot become immune to diseases that neither you nor your ancestors faced. The most advanced Amerinds were in the equivalent of the bronze age and lacked many of the advantages that led to European population density (the most notable and important of these being the lack of large livestock). Someone would discover it eventually, either on purpose or by accident. The West African peoples, both Arab/Berber and Black, were sailing further and further west on expeditions. The Basques, Bretons and Scottish fishermen were expanding west. Many myths of lands to the west, as well as the colony in Greenland, could fuel the imagination of explorers.
Nevertheless, I guess an increase in Amerind population, as well as the formation of states north of the Mesoamerican cultural area. The Ecuadorian trade network and the Mesoamerican one would gradually grow closer (they already had some contact, based on the existence of some South American insects in Mexico, and the Mesoamerican trade network was already trading with the Caribbean one, which traded with Floridans and the Guyanas), allowing for the vital exchange of gods and information that speeds up the rate of innovation. A larger population in total would mean a larger total amount of survivors of disease. The main savoir of the Amerinds in this scenario might be a difference in the approach to colonization rather than greater Amerind advantages.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:22 am 
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Yeah, under such a scenario (without the Carolingian contact idea that GURPS have), the Native Americans will still probably get colonised, but closer to what happened with Africa, not replacement.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:57 am 
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Not really. Immunity is still not possible and the technology level would still be way below Europe's. (Sub-Saharan Africa was already exposed to Eurasian diseases through trade with Indians, Arabs and Persians and was at least in the Iron Age). I expect the main difference would be more infrastructure, social developments, science and mathematics, states and empires and more trade.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:31 pm 
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What if Europeans showed up, passed along some diseases, but didn't actually significantly colonize for awhile? (due to political reasons in Europe, possibly) Then, by the time they got around to colonizing, the American populations may have recovered sufficiently or at least devised social structures that better resisted colonization. (like stronger central governments in New England or whatever)

For that matter, imagine how different things might've been if Leif Erikson's crew brought along smallpox or something...

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:35 pm 
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alynnidalar wrote:
What if Europeans showed up, passed along some diseases, but didn't actually significantly colonize for awhile? (due to political reasons in Europe, possibly) Then, by the time they got around to colonizing, the American populations may have recovered sufficiently or at least devised social structures that better resisted colonization. (like stronger central governments in New England or whatever)


That's kind of the current scenario: with James dead and Charles turned against the Catholics, there isn't a flood of willfully independent colonists coming into the colonies, slowing the rate of expansion.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Actually, the colonists come in massive numbers early in the Gunpowder Plot scenario due to the abolishment of monopolies (of which all colonies are a subset). The crucial thing is that most of them settle in the Caribbean (which makes the English in charge of much more of the Caribbean than historically, especially in the islands west of the Virgin Islands) and that the colonies grow slower.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 12:02 am 
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What about playing the disease scenario from the opposite angle? There could be some disease that is endemic to the New World but unknown in Europe, meaning that the colonists will have no resistance to it. Not only would this kill lots of the initial settlers, but it would give America a reputation as a "White Man's Grave", putting a lot of potential future settlers off going there. Perhaps this could also combine with the Gunpowder Plot POD.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 10, 2016 5:54 am 
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Linguist Wannabe wrote:
What about playing the disease scenario from the opposite angle? There could be some disease that is endemic to the New World but unknown in Europe, meaning that the colonists will have no resistance to it. Not only would this kill lots of the initial settlers, but it would give America a reputation as a "White Man's Grave", putting a lot of potential future settlers off going there. Perhaps this could also combine with the Gunpowder Plot POD.


But then you have the problem of where that disease is going to come from. Eurasian diseases seem to have developed from the prolonged contact between humans and domestic mammals in an urban environment. In the New World such a dynamic did not exist in the same way. It's possible that given time something might have developed with the llamas and alpacas in the Andes, but it certainly wouldn't have spread much further north. Further, with the exception of sites such as Cahokia, North America seems to have mostly lacked the large-scale urbanisation which was so conducive to the development of plagues in Europe, though that's not to say epidemics could not occur (as history attests).

There might be a way to make a disease pop out of the woodwork somewhere, but it would take a lot of hard searching to make it happen.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 2:05 am 
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Frislander wrote:
Linguist Wannabe wrote:
What about playing the disease scenario from the opposite angle? There could be some disease that is endemic to the New World but unknown in Europe, meaning that the colonists will have no resistance to it. Not only would this kill lots of the initial settlers, but it would give America a reputation as a "White Man's Grave", putting a lot of potential future settlers off going there. Perhaps this could also combine with the Gunpowder Plot POD.


But then you have the problem of where that disease is going to come from. Eurasian diseases seem to have developed from the prolonged contact between humans and domestic mammals in an urban environment. In the New World such a dynamic did not exist in the same way. It's possible that given time something might have developed with the llamas and alpacas in the Andes, but it certainly wouldn't have spread much further north. Further, with the exception of sites such as Cahokia, North America seems to have mostly lacked the large-scale urbanisation which was so conducive to the development of plagues in Europe, though that's not to say epidemics could not occur (as history attests).

There might be a way to make a disease pop out of the woodwork somewhere, but it would take a lot of hard searching to make it happen.


Zoonotic diseases definitely don't need to come from domesticated animals. AIDS probably jumped the species barrier when a hunter butchered an infected chimpanzee. Zika comes from infected mosquitoes. Ebola from either bats or apes. Tsetse from flies.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 1:29 pm 
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Linguist Wannabe wrote:
What about playing the disease scenario from the opposite angle? There could be some disease that is endemic to the New World but unknown in Europe, meaning that the colonists will have no resistance to it. Not only would this kill lots of the initial settlers, but it would give America a reputation as a "White Man's Grave", putting a lot of potential future settlers off going there. Perhaps this could also combine with the Gunpowder Plot POD.


That's something I've been thinking about as well (well, not the gunpowder thing really, since I don't see that making any difference at all).

As it happens, both the Inca and the Aztecs turn out to have been decimated by domestic diseases before, during and after first contact, which is part of why both empires fell so easily (and weren't able to rebel). It's not impossible to imagine those diseases having turned up a few generations earlier.

The problem is, though, neither of those diseases ever really caught on, being too dependent on local hosts (iirc). Plus, the number of Europeans in the New World early on was so small that statistical events like diseases would have struggled to make an impact on them. [If you've got a million people, having half of them die is a big blow. But conquering an empire with 50 people isn't much different from conquering it with 100]

But it's something to consider, certainly.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 6:54 pm 
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The Inca/Aztec thing could work pretty well. There is a low chance of it though. Plagues in Europe were disastrous because they could be carried by livestock and switch back-and-forth between livestock and people. The explorers and colonists would have no incentive for bringing enough of most of these creatures from the New World for that kind of effect. There are enough, however, to introduce dangerous flus throughout Europe. In fact, they probably did in real life. We must examine and solve the reason for why the plagues did not destroy Europe if this is to be accepted as a scenario.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 7:50 am 
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Well, obviously the odds are low, that's why it didn't happen in real life. The odds of anything suggested in this thread happening are low.

The real-life reason why American plagues didn't destroy Europe is because there weren't significant American plagues. The question here is, what if there had been significant plagues? What if the native plagues had been more virulent/successful, or killed more Europeans more quickly? What if the native populations had experienced serious domestic disease earlier, which could have had important social/political/economic impacts in the same way the Black Death impacted Europe, thus changing how they interacted with Europeans at first contact? etc.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:32 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
The Inca/Aztec thing could work pretty well. There is a low chance of it though. Plagues in Europe were disastrous because they could be carried by livestock and switch back-and-forth between livestock and people. The explorers and colonists would have no incentive for bringing enough of most of these creatures from the New World for that kind of effect. There are enough, however, to introduce dangerous flus throughout Europe. In fact, they probably did in real life. We must examine and solve the reason for why the plagues did not destroy Europe if this is to be accepted as a scenario.


What on earth? What does livestock have to do with any of this? Mediaeval pandemics weren't of swine flu!
Smallpox isn't just not transmitted by animals, it doesn't even infect non-humans. And the animal forms like cowpox can sometimes infect humans, but when they do so they have a protective effect (this 'vaccination', as it's called, is a pretty big deal historically...). Likewise, measles only affects humans. Epidemic typhus is transmitted only from human to human, via the human body louse - no other animals involved. Typhoid only affects humans and is spread only through contact with human waste. TB spreads from person to person in aerosolised form; there is such a thing as bovine TB, which occasionally causes TB in humans, but it's actually a different bacterium altogether from those that cause most epidemic TB (it basically can't spread in aerosolised form, so it's only a risk through unfortunate people happening to drink unpasteurised milk from the wrong cow). Cholera only affects humans; it is sometimes found in shellfish and can be spread by eating highly contaminated shellfish, but this is a negligible factor in pandemics. Of the big historical pandemic diseases, only the plague and influenza have a significant animal element. The plague can be found in livestock, but that doesn't matter much - partly because the main transmission is from the rat reservoir, but mostly because the pandemic Black Death forms of the plague appear to have been primarily pneumonic in nature. Influenza, meanwhile, didn't have it's big moment until the 20th century, having until then always been a relatively minor pestilence in the shadow of the big diseases.

[NB 'plague' generally these days means, you know, the plague.]

Regarding American pandemics: well, it's likely that there was one: syphilis (though there are claims for that from both sides of the atlantic). But that's a much less flashy and destructive disease than measles or smallpox.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:44 pm 
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I forgot to mention vermin, which play similar role as livestock. Typhus being spread by lice counts as being spread by animals in close contact with humans. Typhoid, cholera and etc are caused by bacteria. I only thought about viruses. I guess that the message could be broadened: humans need to have close contact with carriers (living or not) on a regular basis for a disease to be an extremely viral and deadly plague. The hypothesised American diseases are mainly viruses, so they cannot live without livestock/vermin. A bacterial disease from the Americas could just live off of human waste and join the list of European plagues of the time period i wonder if there is a reason for there being no known transfer of American bacterial diseases. Are/were there even any such diseases in the first place? If not, why?
The Amerinds experiencing similar disease conditions as Europe is impossible outside of the relatively densely inhabited parts of Mesoamerica and the Andes. The lack of writing, iron technology and the existence of massive empires compared to the small states of Europe would mean that the social situation of post-Black Death Europe could not be replicated in the Americas.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 3:17 pm 
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Replicated, no. But they wouldn't need the exact same social effects to be better-equipped to ward off European colonists.

I'm just coming up with some random ideas off the top of my head, without much thought put into them... okay, so let's say some really deadly diseases show up in, like, 1200 or so. A lot of people in Mexico die off. The survivors band together into a new, more diverse and more egalitarian nation. The Spanish show up, but because the Not!Aztecs are more united, the Spanish can't turn different groups on each other. Without their 200,000 native allies, conquering Mexico suddenly becomes a great deal more difficult.

I dunno if that particular idea works, I'm just throwing things out there. My point isn't for them to have the exact same conditions as Europe, my point is that disease could transform the American political/social/economic landscape as much as the Black Death transformed Europe.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 4:55 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
The hypothesised American diseases are mainly viruses, so they cannot live without livestock/vermin. A bacterial disease from the Americas could just live off of human waste and join the list of European plagues of the time period


I'm sorry, but this is just nonsense. There's nothing about viruses that makes them require non-human hosts. The common cold, for instance, doesn't use non-human hosts. And indeed, while influenza epidemics typically begin by jumping from an animal, once they've adapted to humans they can just infect person-to-person. You may have heard recently of 'ebola', a virus that, during epidemics, spreads person to person (yes, it retreats to an animal reservoir, but it wouldn't have to do that if we didn't have the modern medicine and infrastructure to shut down epidemics - and because it kills too quickly for its own good). On the other hand, there are many bacteria that do require non-human hosts.

The incan ailment, Carrion's Disease, is a relatively poor candidate for transmission - it's transmitted by a certain species of sandfly, which has kept it endemic to a limited area of the Andes (it's bacterial, incidentally). The Aztec disease, however, Cocolitzli, which killed more Aztecs than smallpox, was probably a viral haemorrhagic fever. In its historical form, it seems to have been based in mice, and only broke out into epidemics in perfect conditions. But it's easy enough to imagine a small mutation to allow sustained human-to-human transmission - just as yersinia managed to explode around the world through person-to-person infection as the Black Death. I think an Aztec Black Death is probably quite a viable idea.



Of course, the big problem is that that doesn't save the Americans, it just hurts the Old World. And since the Old World started with more people to begin with, it still wins. Maybe the diseases frighten Europeans away? Maybe, or maybe they encourage a crusade to drive out the devil-worshippers who summoned up such foul pestilences. Hard to say. Though it's worth bearing in mind how accidentally Europe conquered the New World, with really very little attention paid to it at all, at least at first...



[And again, it's really helpful to only use 'plague' when you're talking about plague, rather than about all diseases]

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2016 5:43 pm 
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It thought mass plague viruses generally rely on livestock/vermin. The vaccination of livestock is one of the things that makes the modern West much safer then in 1492. I did not mean such thing as the common cold. My answers are somewhat vague. I use plague to mean pandemic. The New World members of the Arenavirus genus, a group of viruses that Cocoliztli likely belongs to, are powerful enough to have been considered as potential biological weapons by the US and Soviet Union. The thing is is that without livestock/vermin, you probably will get something like ebola - another viral haemorrhagic fever. The virus needs to be able to survive in some non-human environment so that new strains can continue to evolve and inflict new plauges on Europe. The Black Death itself was heavily spread by rats. Later, less terrible outbreaks of black death happened due to other strains living on in rats that evolved to infect humans.
As for alynnidalar: Your scenario is too optimistic. Invaders attacking Eurasians usually found several possible rebel groups. Sometimes these are even of the same ethnoreligious and class background as the people they betray. Also, the Mayan Classical era finished by that time. The Inca Empire wasn't even founded yet - its emperors' ancestors ruled just Cusco. The Aztec Empire was also not founded yet. Also, why would they make a more diverse, egalitarian nation? The Black Death, while helping the rise of peasants in Western Europe, did not cause the region to unite into a superpower of brotherly love. In fact, hatred of foreigners increased; foreigners supposedly caused plagues by poisoning wells, participating in blood libel and worshiping Satan.

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