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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 2:33 pm 
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Important:
Wikipedia wrote:
When anthropologist Lewis Henry Morgan studied the Grand Council in the 19th century, he interpreted it as a central government. This interpretation became influential, but Richter argues that while the Grand Council served an important ceremonial role, it was not a government in the sense that Morgan thought. According to this view, Iroquois political and diplomatic decisions are made on the local level, and are based on assessments of community consensus. A central government that develops policy and implements it for the people at large is not the Iroquois model of government.
Such a formidable Iroquois polity as our alternate history requires needs some sort of crisis within their society so that their government would be forced to centralise.

The alternate American revolutionary war:
Extent of Iroquois involvement after negotiations between the Patriots and the Iroquois during the failed Patriot attempt to conquer Canada: All of the Iroquois league was official neutrality. The league as an organised whole secretly spied and scouted land for both sides. The Tuscarora and the Oneida allowed the Patriots to march through their territory, the Seneca, Onondaga and Cayuga allowed the British to march through their territory and the Mohawk allowed both sides to march on their territory. Fighting between the two sides in Aquanishuonigy proper (the Iroquois lands within New York) was prohibited by the Iroquois.
The British exploited this in their counterattack campaign after the invasion of Canada, marching through Mohawk territory on the way to Albany. Intelligence sold by the Iroquois allowed for the Americans to sufficiently prepare and give a decisive defeat to the British army in early 1777. This prompted France to join the war (setting events more solidly in favour of the Americans, as they do not have to defeat the British at Philadelphia and France gets in the war earlier). This also means Mysore joins the war early.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:05 pm 
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American efforts go to regaining New York, which they do successfully do when a French fleet arrives in northern New Jersey. General Arnold joined Washington in a united force to reclaim New England, which soon became a quagmire when the retreating forces under General Howe failed to launch a successful counterattack but continued to hold their positions in New Hampshire and Maine until late 1780. The Americans coordinated with the French fleet daring attacks that gained them Rhode Island and the island Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia soon became an even deadlier quagmire as the British could easily raid the island, it was hard to reinforce, and the area was a major naval base. The Continental Army eventually abandoned the island but took mainland Nova Scotia (now called New Brunswick) in 1778 after occupying it for two months. A local Patriot militia successfully held the island until early 1780. Throughout the whole time, the British navy raided New England towns.
In 1778, the British began a Southern strategy quite different from real life. With the loss of the very important Nova Scotia ports, the ports of the Caribbean and the Floridas became the new base of British operations. While simultaneously reinforcing their forces in New England, they began a large army buildup in Florida, which wrecked havoc in Georgia. George Washington was called from the Northern campaign to relieve the South, while a third, very small French fleet (a second had been sent to reinforce New England) joined him. The British managed to give these forces crushing defeats, reducing Washington's men into one among many tiny guerilla forces of the Southern theatre by early 1780. One of the French fleets in New England was defeated and sunk at the same time. Luckily for the American forces, the Spanish declared war in 1779. The West Indies, in the meanwhile, became yet another quagmire situation as the islands continued to pass from British to American hands. The pro-Patriot islanders soon became uninterested in supporting either side, and the whole region eventually came under British rule. Much of the plantations, the main economic benefit of the islands, were destroyed, and all of the supplies of the islands were taken by the Patriots. Many West Indian colonists became refugees in New Orleans.
General Arnold retook the island of Nova Scotia in 1781. While most of his army stayed to reinforce New England, many, including himself, went to aide the American forces in North Carolina. Washington's army and many other guerilla groups were trapped in southern Georgia and South Carolina, with long distances of British controlled territory between the them. The Iroquois League is convinced to join the American side of the war and participate in the Western theatre. They also ratify the Articles of Confederation. A Spanish army coordinates several brief skirmishes with British that allow the Southern militias and Washington to escape and join Benedict Arnold. Washington renounces supreme command but stays a general. General Arnold leads a combined American and Spanish army to retake most of the Carolinas. In 1782, the Battle of Charleston caused the British government to give up. Even though the majority of the British army managed to retreat from Charleston, a truce was declared. By the time news of the truce was received in the Western theatre (August 1782), almost all of the Indian Territory north of the Ohio River was under Patriot or Iroquois control, and all of the area south of it was under Spanish control. Most of Georgia, all of the Floridas and all of the Carribean possessions of the British remained under British control.

The alternate Peace of Paris:
The Iroquois send a party of representatives with the American negotiators.
Changed terms:
Nova Scotia is recognised as part of the United States.
Loyalists who wish to remain/return to the United States will be permitted to reclaim confiscated land and possessions. Other Loyalists must receive compensation for their lost land and possessions. All slaves in the United States owned by Loyalists, whether their owners return or not, shall be either auctioned or freed by the decision of the each particular state. The slaveowners must be compensated in all states for the loss of their slaves.
Great Britain, the United States and Spain shall all maintain perpetual access to the Mississippi River.
The Indian Territory north of the Ohio River shall be given to the United States. An exact boundary between British North America and the United States at this territory is defined.
All of these concessions also apply to Vermont. Great Britain shall recognise that Vermont is a part of the United States which is under disputed status within the countries of the United States.
Unsettled areas of the Indian Territory south of the Ohio River shall be given to Spain.
East Florida stays with Britain.
The Dutch keep Negapatnam, but allow the British to settle and trade in Dutch India.

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Last edited by mèþru on Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:32 pm 
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Idea: The faction of Delaware that signed the Treaty of Fort Pitt in Ohio change sides again and support the Patriots after they signing the Treaty of Detroit in 1781, promising them statehood. Various other tribes in Western theatre also sign the treaty. This makes the Ohio Country (excluding land grants given to colonials in Indian Territory by the British and land promised to the Iroquois by the Patriots) a separate state of the United States.
States of the United States under the Articles of Confederation, by date of ratification (short name in parentheses):
  1. Commonwealth of Virginia (Virginia)
  2. State of South Carolina (South Carolina)
  3. State of New York (New York)
  4. State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations (Rhode Island)
  5. State of Connecticut (Connecticut)
  6. State of Georgia (Georgia)
  7. State of Nova Scotia (Nova Scotia)
  8. State of New Hampshire (New Hampshire)
  9. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania)
  10. State of Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts)
  11. State of North Carolina (North Carolina)
  12. State of New Jersey (New Jersey)
  13. State of Delaware (Delaware)
  14. State of Maryland (Maryland)
  15. Six Nations of the Iroquois (Iroquoia)
  16. Commonwealth of Ohio (Ohio)
Massachusetts is renamed "Commonwealth of Massachusetts" in 1780. I think that the "Six Nations of the Iroquois" would be renamed "State of Iroquoia" after massive white settlement. After the Confederation is replaced with some other union, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, State of Vermont and State of Watauga (OTL Tennessee) are also admitted.
I wonder what the demonym of Iroquoia would be. In OTL, "Iroquoian" refers to a family of languages and its speakers, while "Iroquois" refers to an ethnicity. The demonym, however, would have to refer to both the Hodenosaunee, other native groups, black slaves and white settlers in the state.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2016 11:12 pm 
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With all of the suggestions I am posting, this discussion is getting a bit too big. I suggest moving the project to some website (preferably a wiki). I can make a Google Site for the project (but you will need a Google account to edit it).

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:05 am 
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mèþru wrote:
With all of the suggestions I am posting, this discussion is getting a bit too big. I suggest moving the project to some website (preferably a wiki). I can make a Google Site for the project (but you will need a Google account to edit it).


I have an account, but I'm definitely not a web-developer: I'd only be an author, not a coder.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:59 am 
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I don't know code either. I learned a little bit of HTML, CSS and Javascript, but I forgot most of what I learned. I can probably learn PHP or whatever I need pretty quickly, as I pick up on this fast and have friends are great at coding.
The advantage of a Google Site is that no knowledge of coding is necessary. I have made such sites before; they are very intuitive and easy to use, but have very few features. If you want to use code, the sites are HTML, CSS and Javasript compatible.

EDIT:
We also need a name for this alternate history and the website.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:20 am 
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I found something even better than Google Sites: A free wiki hosting service without ads! It uses MediaWiki, the same software that Wikipedia uses, so there will plenty of tutorials and stuff on how to use it.
Link: https://meta.miraheze.org/wiki/Miraheze

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:28 am 
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mèþru wrote:
We also need a name for this alternate history and the website.


Wouldn't it be easier if you just kept the files on your own computer? After all, it doesn't seem like it requires any discussion or interactivity...




Regarding the scenarios, it may be worth pointing out again:
- the Iroquois were apocalyptically out-matched in numbers, in technology, and in social institutions
- no other native polity managed to survive this era.

In the 17th century, the population of the Iroquois Confederacy peaked around 12,000 people before declining precipitously. Likewise the Huron are believed to have had between 20,000 and 35,000 people at first contact, rapidly declining to only 10,000 a few decades later, and to only hundreds or thousands decades after that. We're talking very small populations to begin with, which were then all but obliterated by a combination of disease and their own psychotic warfare. ['Psychotic' is a good description in the case of the Iroquois. Their tradition was to replace war dead with slaves taken in war. Each war produced more dead, who had to be replaced by another war. Add in the fact that they also did this to replace plague victims, and you get an unsustainable cycle of more and more war until everybody is dead.]

If those numbers seem ridiculously small... well, they are. But bear in mind: by 1600, there were fewer than a million native americans in the whole of Mexico. By 1800 there were probably only about 500,000 native americans in the whole of what's now the USA. The reason why Americans never had to seriously pay any attention to the natives was that for all practical purposes they had already been wiped out. All that were left were a few small legacy groups that were nothing more than an inconvenient obstacle.

Those 12,000 Iroquois? That was twice as many people as originally settled the town of Jamestown alone. By 1700, the Iroquois were outnumbered by the number of slaves in the state of Virginia alone.

Nobody was ever going to bother giving those people anything, and they certainly didn't have the slightest chance of getting anything for themselves.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:37 am 
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The Iroquois and other Amerinds still retained lots of power. With European guns, more advanced knowledge of pre-gunpowder warfare, better stealth and mobility, more advanced knowledge of the land, Amerinds could still be formidable fighters despite their population advantage. However, I imagine that overtime the Amerind states would become predominantly white. The better position of the colonists once united is the reason for why I am treating western expansion as an inevitability. The difference is that the Amerinds have better treatment in the legal system (although still facing discrimination outside of it) and retain more of their languages and culture. However, I am just one collaborator. I have yet to hear from Frislander about what direction the project will take.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:49 am 
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mèþru wrote:
The Iroquois and other Amerinds still retained lots of power. With European guns, more advanced knowledge of pre-gunpowder warfare, better stealth and mobility, more advanced knowledge of the land, Amerinds could still be formidable fighters despite their population advantage. However, I imagine that overtime the Amerind states would become predominantly white. The better position of the colonists once united is the reason for why I am treating western expansion as an inevitability. The difference is that the Amerinds have better treatment in the legal system (although still facing discrimination outside of it) and retain more of their languages and culture. However, I am just one collaborator. I have yet to hear from Frislander about what direction the project will take.


I would concur: short of eliminating the colonisation altogether, it would be hard to avoid that happening. However, that doesn't mean that the natives are still doomed: with the right factors (e.g. more cultural interface with the settlers) in place we could end up with a North-American Paraguay-type situation, where the indigenous languages are mainly spoken by those of non-native origin.

However, my original idea was not really focused on reducing the impact on the original colonies so much as slowing or even preventing the further spread westwards. In that regard the survival of the Iroquois might be helpful in some ways but is probably not essential.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 12:10 pm 
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Frislander wrote:
However, that doesn't mean that the natives are still doomed: with the right factors (e.g. more cultural interface with the settlers) in place we could end up with a North-American Paraguay-type situation, where the indigenous languages are mainly spoken by those of non-native origin.
This sounds interesting, but impossible. The situation of Paraguay does not seem applicable to the early US: the lack of reducciones and much higher amount of settlers means that there isn't a strong Europeanised Christian Amerind community and that the Amerinds are vastly outnumbered by colonists. Also, a figure like Francia, who helped create the idea of a hybrid Hispano-Amerind identity, would be overthrown in a violent revolution if he tried to take power in the United States. We would need a strong tradition of American autocracy for that. The scenario I'm trying to build makes the Amerinds very regionalistic groups that hold lots of local power but little nation power. Most maintain a hybrid of their traditional way of life and the lifestyle of white people.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 2:08 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
Frislander wrote:
However, that doesn't mean that the natives are still doomed: with the right factors (e.g. more cultural interface with the settlers) in place we could end up with a North-American Paraguay-type situation, where the indigenous languages are mainly spoken by those of non-native origin.
This sounds interesting, but impossible. The situation of Paraguay does not seem applicable to the early US: the lack of reducciones and much higher amount of settlers means that there isn't a strong Europeanised Christian Amerind community and that the Amerinds are vastly outnumbered by colonists. Also, a figure like Francia, who helped create the idea of a hybrid Hispano-Amerind identity, would be overthrown in a violent revolution if he tried to take power in the United States. We would need a strong tradition of American autocracy for that. The scenario I'm trying to build makes the Amerinds very regionalistic groups that hold lots of local power but little nation power. Most maintain a hybrid of their traditional way of life and the lifestyle of white people.


Right, got it.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:42 pm 
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I based the idea for moving to website off of the high growth rate in content which has slowed down by now. I am, however, making a Google doc to organise what we know so far. (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zz- ... _h_SlGszpw)
Frislander and future collaborators (if they have Google accounts) should email me at methru.glenpleksalutu@gmail.com to request editing privileges.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:55 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
there isn't a strong Europeanised Christian Amerind community

I agree with most of your post, but I have to correct this part. There were strong and arguably native Christian communities (both Protestant and Catholic) in most of the major tribes of the East--which was part of what Tecumseh wanted to change with his whole "back to the old ways" campaign. A sizable portion of the Iroquois were Catholic, and a substantial portion of the population of the Five Civilized Tribes were Protestant. Recall that the Eastern tribes had been exposed to missionaries from England and France (and, to a lesser extent, from Spain, in the South) for several hundred years at this point; consequently, Christianity was far less foreign to the Eastern tribes than it was to the tribes in the West (though see the Tsimshian for an example of a native culture embracing and nativizing Christianity in the West).

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 4:00 pm 
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I forgot about this. However, I still maintain that the Paraguay Amerinds had a stronger position as they were united in a common cause with the Jesuists. The Amerinds in North America constantly fought with each other and rarely united (many of the great anti-colonial alliances actually fought with the pro-colonial minority among Amerinds).

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 10:15 pm 
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mèþru wrote:
I forgot about this. However, I still maintain that the Paraguay Amerinds had a stronger position as they were united in a common cause with the Jesuists. The Amerinds in North America constantly fought with each other and rarely united (many of the great anti-colonial alliances actually fought with the pro-colonial minority among Amerinds).

Like I said, I agree with the rest of your points, I was just pedantically pointing out that there was a sizable Christian population among the Eastern tribes, albeit not to the degree as in the Spanish-held territories.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 4:55 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
Bear in mind: every non-European tribe and nation on earth was conquered and subjugated by Europe*. It seems implausible that somehow native american tribes could be the exception. Particularly since they were so completely depopulated by disease.



*the potential exception there is China, who iirc was never officially conquered. It was, however, subjugated, and effectively stripped of sovereignty. Ethiopia and Japan are also often cited as exceptions, as both survived into the 20th century; however, Ethiopia was conquered in 1935, and Japan was conquered in 1945.
It is a good point, meaning that, for a never-conquered North America, one would likely need to go back to the 15th century or earlier.

I think China and Japan (and Korea and Thailand for that matter) kind of count as as, while subjugated, they were never truly conquered.

And even Ethiopia's situation would be an improvement for the Native Americans.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:28 am 
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I finished my proposal on the Google Document. It is pretty long, but it changes history so much that the US West might still be part of Spain by 2016 (Okay, that's unrealistic, but possible.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:05 pm 
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I am extending my proposal as there is nothing else for me to really do in the alternate history until the parts of the proposal are debated and either accepted or rejected. Feel free to reject as much of it as you want.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:11 am 
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This is probably unworkable for a number of reasons, some of which Salmoneus pointed out. The only way I see this working is if the disease transfer isn't so destructively one-way. So more in line with the colonization of Africa (though even there, essentially every native group was subjugated to European rule for some time).

I also see a lot of ... I guess romanticization? ... of what Indian groups were like at the time.

So:

Frislander wrote:
Part of the thing I think was that the Natives had not seen White people before and therefore did not have any preconceptions of the Europeans. Perhaps if the Vikings had been present further south, perhaps the natives would have been more wary.

This was only true reeeeeeaaaaally early on. By the actual colonization of the Americas north of Mexico, the Indians whom the settlers were meeting had known Europeans for probably a century. There were European fishermen exploiting the grounds off the northeast coast by the early 1500s. They had enough contact with the natives that a Basque-Algonquian trade jargon (Souriquois) developed, and a few words from that were ultimately loaned into some Algonquian languages (e.g., Mikmaq atlai "shirt" < Basque atorra). And there's a reason the Pilgrims had multiple options for Massachusett-English interpreters (Squanto, Samoset, Hobbamock, etc.) -- namely, because lots of the Indians had had extensive contact with Europeans! Squanto had been abducted and kept captive in Spain and England for several years, Samoset had numerous dealings with English fishermen in Maine. I don't know how Hobbamock knew English, he may have learned it quickly from the Pilgrims themselves. In any case, none of the Indians the colonists met or interacted with were surprised at the existence of Europeans.

As Squanto demonstrates, Indians had also been repeatedly abducted by English and other Europeans for decades. The Pilgrims met other Indians who had lost family members to such abductions, and a Portuguese explorer captured 50 Indians from around Newfoundland as early as 1501. They were surely under no delusions that Europeans posed no threat (indeed, several European shipwreck victims were massacred shortly before the Pilgrims' arrival). Instead, some groups formed alliances with the Europeans for the same reasons anyone forms alliances with anyone else in the rest of the world: to advance their own power and/or gain an advantage over nearby rivals, for better access to advanced weapons and valuable trade goods, or just out of a sincere affinity for one another. Squanto, the victim of a past abduction, was nonetheless vital to the survival of the colony in its first year, but his end game was evidently gaining regional power by undermining Massasoit, the Pokanoket sachem. He used his superior command of English to manipulate the other Indians and tried to trick the Pokanokets and Pilgrims into fighting a war. He was not the naive, benevolent simpleton of sanitized history lessons in school, he was an actual, scheming, political human being. As was Massasoit, for that matter. He and the Pilgrims seem to have genuinely liked and trusted each other, but Massasoit was also desperate for an alliance to combat the power of the Narragansetts, which had grown in recent years as the Wampanoag confederacy suffered severely from an epidemic.

It's vitally important to think of the Indians as normal human beings. Normal humans are political creatures, and make realpolitik decisions all the time. Just because many Indians seriously distrusted Europeans didn't mean they were opposed to forming alliances with them. Indians were also not a monolithic group. There were thousands of individual bands and tribes and groups and regional conglomerations, all in shifting rivalries with one another. Understandably, many preferred to ally with a newish group of (extremely technologically advanced and numerous) people, rather than with a group that had been their mortal enemies for hundreds of years! It's unrealistic to expect the Indians to form a united front against European settlement, at any point during the settlement period, whether 1492 or 1892.

Zaarin wrote:
A third possibility: don't let Andrew Jackson become president. It's worth recalling that the Supreme Court ruled on the side of the Cherokee against Georgia; it was Jackson who ignored their ruling and evicted them anyway.

I really don't think Jackson being president made a huge difference. He was certainly one of the country's most genocidal presidents, but every other Native group in the eastern US was eventually either destroyed, evicted, or confined to a very small section of their original territory. The Cherokees would have faced the same fate whether Jackson made the removal decision or not. Also, the Supreme Court's decision in Worcester v. Georgia basically just said that only the Federal government had authority to deal with Indians, not the states. It technically imposed no real obligations or restrictions on Jackson, it just imposed restrictions on the state of Georgia -- which Jackson chose not to enforce. (Other Marshall court decisions had the effect of reducing tribal sovereignty, by treating Indian groups as "domestic, dependent nations", rather than foreign nations -- laying the groundwork for the modern situation.)

Another thing to keep in mind is that Indian removal and the succession of land cessions was not just a series of US or state government decisions. They were to a significant extent a result of pressure from the Euro-American population at large, especially frontier settlers and would-be settlers. People were constantly moving onto Indian lands, with or without government approval. Even if Jackson or some other president had wanted to stop it, they would be very unlikely to succeed in the long run, without resorting to drastic measures like turning the army against US citizens.

mèþru wrote:
However, as the US starts expanding and having wars against Amerinds outside of its borders, a movement revitalising Amerind culture (I suggest a name like "Wild Movement" or "Indian Revival") springs up in US itself.

How/why would this movement succeed any more than real-life similar movements (Tenskwatawa/Tecumseh, for instance)?

mèþru wrote:
One of the most harmful aspects to the settler-Amerind dynamic was that many Amerinds initially, after the shock of people with white skin diminished, saw the Europeans as another tribal group. They therefore engaged the settlers in various raids and so forth, as they were accustomed to raiding and massacres rather than wars, a concept that is exclusive to cheifdoms (which some Amerinds were organised into) and governments. This lack of understanding warfare meant that Great Plains alliances were just temporary raiding or massacring parties. The Europeans, on the other hand, responded to raiding and massacres with warfare.

How exactly is raiding and massacres fundamentally different from warfare? The Americans' tactics in Indian wars were often very similar! Especially for the earlier wars. The main differences in the later wars, aside from some differences in technology, were: (a) there were a lot more Euro-Americans than Indians, and (b) the Euro-Americans were able to field standing armies composed of dedicated soldiers, in contrast to Indians whose warriors were mostly just ... their men. It's not like Indians didn't "understand" how Euro-Americans conducted warfare. Due to their low population and level of political cohesion/organization, most Indian groups conducted wars in a certain way, but they of course understood that Euro-Americans possessed superior technology (generally) and resources, and sometimes used different tactics. (Again, this wasn't always the case, especially for earlier conflicts, e.g. King Phillip's War was basically fought in the same way by both sides!) This is also kind of like saying that, say, the various insurgent groups opposed to the American occupation of Iraq don't understand the modern Western form of warfare. They know perfectly well what a war is! It's just that generally their method of fighting against a numerically and technologically superior occupying power was -- wisely, for them -- primarily through acts of terrorism rather than pitched battles.

mèþru wrote:
The tribes also did not have the concept of private property and "owning" land. They thought that the Europeans were merely asking for temporary usage.

I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about this subject, but I've always been VERY suspicious of this claim. It's part of the general noble savage narrative (i.e., that Indians were exotic, naive morons rather than normal human beings). ~~Oh, the poor naive Indians had no ideas about land ownership!~~

They certainly had a concept of private property. Now obviously there were a lot of different groups, ranging from nomads to highly settled agriculturalists, so conceptions of land ownership surely varied considerably, and were often different from the normal European view. But even if some groups misunderstood European intentions initially, they surely figured out very quickly what Europeans had in mind when talking about "ceding us this piece of land." Certainly by the time land acquisitions started advancing at a rapid pace, they would have understood completely what was meant, even if they didn't agree with that conception of ownership. That is to say, they didn't cede land in treaties because they were morons who thought it was a temporary grant, they did so for normal human reasons, such as (1) in exchange for trade goods or other resources; (2) as part of a genuine political settlement or alliance of the type European states made all the time; (3) it was a decision by one or two individuals that the Euro-Americans conveniently attributed to the group; (4) it resulted from forcing the Indians into debts that they couldn't otherwise repay; etc. Or, very often, it was part of the settlement to end an armed conflict (so, a peace treaty). These are all normal things that people do all over the world, all the time. Again, Indians had agency and understood, at least to a significant extent, what was happening in the world around them. They were just nowhere near as powerful as Europeans and Euro-Americans, and were forced to make very difficult decisions when faced with a lack of truly good choices.

mèþru wrote:
I know lots of history due to reading lots of Wikipedia (and analysing it. Wikipedia is a good ressource, but shouldn't be trusted 100%) and reading history textbooks cover to cover.

oh dear

Zaarin wrote:
John Quincy Adams was the only opponent to Andrew Jackson in the 1828 election and he was unpopular (IMO, aside from the Alien and Sedition Acts he was a good president--but those two bills killed him).

Yeah. Also John Wayne was a pretty good actor except for the part when he murdered all those boys
(Sorry, had to)

mèþru wrote:
What sort of sovereignty would the Iroquois claim—that of a US state (which I believe is the best idea for the althist), or that of a state outside of the US?

The main problem with all of this is, as Sal pointed out, "Nobody was ever going to bother giving those people anything, and they certainly didn't have the slightest chance of getting anything for themselves." Even if all the Iroquoian individuals fanatically supported the Americans in the Revolution ... so what? What incentive would the Americans have to provide them with a state? The Iroquois were VASTLY outnumbered by the Euro-Americans by this time, had no leverage, and their support would not have mattered in the war (given that in real life, most of them supported the British rather than the Americans, yet the Americans still won the war!) By this time, most of the Euro-Americans wanted to remove Indians from most of their land. Some were more "liberal" than others in viewing the Indians as human beings and wanting to be "fair" to them. This included most of the Founding Fathers, afaik. But even Jefferson, the epitome of the Enlightenment, who was quite liberal on Indian issues for his day, was convinced that Indians were in the process of dying out, and that they must either (a) adopt Western agriculture, entirely assimilate to Euro-American society, and join the ranks of a new nation of yeoman farmers [their move away from hunting would then helpfully free up large tracts of their land: "The extensive forests necessary in the hunting life, will then become useless, and they will see advantage in exchanging them for the means of improving their farms"], or (b) move across the Mississippi. There was no place in the new America for Indians who still lived like Indians, and too few of them taking up too much space that could be better served by farming. As for any Indians who refused options (a) or (b): "our strength and their weakness is now so visible that they must see we have only to shut our hand to crush them, and that all our liberalities to them proceed from motives of pure humanity only".

I just can't envision a scenario in which the Americans are willing to grant the Iroquois, or any other Indian group, a state. (Even if the Iroquois were politically united and centralized enough to create a viable state without major internal conflict and dysfunction, which again seems ... unlikely.)

It's also worth considering that if ANY Indian group should have had a legitimate chance to become a separate state or to remain a sovereign nation, it was the Cherokee and other Five Civilized Tribes. They were more populous than the Iroquois; had more centralized governments; quickly adopted numerous useful aspects of Euro-American technology, society, and culture; were better integrated into white society; had members who were extremely knowledgeable about American politics and the legal system; had enough money and resources to hire good lawyers and other assistants; etc. A decent portion of public opinion (and opinion among politicians) was against forced removal as well. The fact that they too failed in their efforts at true self-determination is a sobering reminder of how great the numerical and power imbalance was by this point.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:29 am 
Smeric
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The tribes did learn American customs on land and warfare overtime, as you said. Some of what I said about Native Americans were wrong. It is true however, that many tribes did not have the concept of private property in their laws even after extensive contact and understanding of the concept of private property.
As for the Cherokee within South Carolina (not the other Cherokee groups), they had the massive disadvantage of being so close to populous US settlements that they would inevitably be considered part of that state. At best, they could hope for autonomy.
The reason why the Indian cultural revival movement I propose might work unlike real ones is the fact that it is non-violent.

Quote:
I know lots of history due to reading lots of Wikipedia (and analysing it. Wikipedia is a good ressource, but shouldn't be trusted 100%) and reading history textbooks cover to cover.
I know lots of history. I really do. The thing is, which I have freely acknowledged several times on the board, my sources may not be reliable and what I say cannot be trusted a lot of the time.
I think an Iroquois state could be possible, as long as the Iroquois secure deep trust from the Americans during the Revolution.

If no solution is possible, then I say we adopt Ill Bethisad's strategy to dealing with real life getting in the way of awesome: Ignore real life. Most alternate histories I read do not make any sense, including the ones by "hard alternate history" writer Harry Turtledove.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:58 am 
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I see only two possibilities for surviving Native American polities:
1) As has already been mentioned, a more successful Viking settlement. In that scenario, the Viking Settlement is permanent, attracts more colonists, and stays in contact with Europe, importing medieval technologies and government structures into North America. Then these technologies and structures would have to be taken over by neighbouring tribes, creating entities that would be bound into the European state system.
2) A longer shot would be a more successful resistance of the Central and South American native empires. Both Cortes and Pizarro were lucky - if, say, Cortes would have died during the Noche Triste or if Pizarro hadn't caught Atahualpa, the conquest would have been much more difficult. I think these Empires still would have come under European overlordship - after all, almost the entire world did, even oriental countries that were as technologically advanced as Europe, or even more advanced, in the 15th century, but perhaps it would have been a more India-like situation, with client states instead of the total replacement of the indigenous elites and governement structures. But that Scenario wouldn't help the North American natives.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:10 pm 
Visanom
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My two cents:

I agree with Salmoneus and Whimemsz that the Iroquois Confederacy is a nonstarter-- however, I recently learned on Wikipedia that there's this other country in North America, called "Mexico", which had dealings with the Native Americans over both a wider area and a greater duration than the United States. If you're going to construct your alt-history by only dealing with the American involvement, then you're jumping into the story halfway through and ignoring the more formative (and alt-historically fertile) era of Euro-Indian interaction that comprised the early Spanish period, back when two or three Indian tribes might have actually been able to form an effective resistance, especially if you're writing pathogenics out of the scenario which to be realistic is a sine qua non. (There had even been a Spanish mission just a few miles east of Jamestown, settled in 1570 and massacred one year later-- the Powhatans were almost certainly aware of it, if it wasn't them who did it.)

My suggestion would be to start with the Natchez. They were the most sophisticated civilization north of the Rio Grande, had a strongly hierarchical structure, at least one "city", dominant over other tribes, headed a large cultural area, etc. They were on the decline by the time Europeans showed up, but if you postpone their disintegration, make them immune to disease, allow them to acquire Spanish horses... they might well have amounted to something.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:22 pm 
Avisaru
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Xephyr wrote:
My two cents:

I agree with Salmoneus and Whimemsz that the Iroquois Confederacy is a nonstarter-- however, I recently learned on Wikipedia that there's this other country in North America, called "Mexico", which had dealings with the Native Americans over both a wider area and a greater duration than the United States. If you're going to construct your alt-history by only dealing with the American involvement, then you're jumping into the story halfway through and ignoring the more formative (and alt-historically fertile) era of Euro-Indian interaction that comprised the early Spanish period, back when two or three Indian tribes might have actually been able to form an effective resistance, especially if you're writing pathogenics out of the scenario which to be realistic is a sine qua non. (There had even been a Spanish mission just a few miles east of Jamestown, settled in 1570 and massacred one year later-- the Powhatans were almost certainly aware of it, if it wasn't them who did it.)

My suggestion would be to start with the Natchez. They were the most sophisticated civilization north of the Rio Grande, had a strongly hierarchical structure, at least one "city", dominant over other tribes, headed a large cultural area, etc. They were on the decline by the time Europeans showed up, but if you postpone their disintegration, make them immune to disease, allow them to acquire Spanish horses... they might well have amounted to something.


Indeed: also might greater Spanish involvement further north in the plains make much difference as well, or would the area be so peripheral at this stage to not be worth talking about (yet)? Perhaps also could we consider a longer Spanish presence in and around Florida, with maybe potential for interaction with and possible support for the Five Civilised Tribes?

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:19 pm 
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My knowledge of this isn't very great, but as I recall the Five Civilized Tribes weren't the Five Civilized Tribes until they were the Five Civilized Tribes... before then, the Seminoles didn't exist yet, the Apalachee were more powerful (as were the "Coosa" and the "Cofitachequi", whoever they are), and the other Muskogean tribes hadn't yet filled in the political power vacuum left by the slow disintegration of the Natchez-Mississippian culture. And if we're talking about the Spanish in Florida, then the people they'd be dealing with were the Calusa and Timucua (who we don't talk about anymore).

I don't think you're going to find anything to work with in the plains. Cabeza de Vaca got a good close-up look of that area before the diseases hit, and unfortunately didn't find any Great And Powerful Empires that you could use-- the Seven Cities of Cibola and Quivira turned out to be a couple adobe hut villages built on some rocks. And it was for-ever until the Europeans advanced further into the interior: for centuries Santa Fe and El Paso were (as a friend recently put it) pathetic little outposts situated at the absolute edge of the world.

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