Thursday, July 9, 2015

Medieval Latin America Populations

The first answer that comes to mind would be to reduce the population by eighty percent, which would result a combined populaton of 117 million. (Or 104 million if you were to draw from 2003 populations, when the blog was original written.) But a question I asked myself--much of this are was settled and colonized for centuries before Anglo-America, but it tended to be less populated until the 1950's, that is, heavy industrialization. Considering Florida, one of the most populated states in Industrial America and the most tropical region in the continental U.S., took a major population crash, would that apply to Mexico, Central and South America?

I decided to take a two-prong approach. The first was de-urbanization. I multiplied the population by the percentage of people who did not live in big cities. It's a pretty handy trick--the U.S. is about 80% urbanized, which is also the number by which Medieval America is reduced. (It even tends to work for individual states, for the most part) However, it's not a perfect system. De-urbanizing France gives you numbers it would be at in the Middle Ages, but applying  that to Great Britain gives you 12 million--more than the island can actually contain. So part two involved looking at the populations for these countries from about 1885-1890, as that would be the period the U.S. had a population comparable to this. (Which granted, is a pretty imperfect way to look at it, but I figured concentrated industrialization amongst swaths of wilderness balances itself out) For the most part, the difference between the two stats is not that significant, so I averaged the two and come up with the numbers for Medieval Latin America.

The total number is around 66 or 67 million,  About a third of them border of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea, and a third lives in a fifth of the total area--from Mexico to Colombia. This makes sense as Mexico was theorized to have as many twenty million people when Spain first arrived (I don't have it as high, but that number is conceivable), and since trade works in the dynamics of North/South as opposed to the east/west dynamics of the old world. Mexico and Central America are very much a good stopping point. Brazil takes the biggest hit--making up well over a third of Latin America's population in the Industrial era, it makes up less than a third in the medieval era. I actually ratcheted up the population a bit up to 20 million due to the vast space, and that the Parana River is pretty fertile agriculturally, but it's important not to mess with it too much

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


A map I saw that shows how largely urbanized this country is in the industrial age, (Although to be fair, a quarter of Medieval America lives in a a space not much bigger than all the blue area combined) It really needs to be stressed how much de-urbanization can cut off a nation's population. In medieval times, one in ten people lived in cities. In modern America, it's more like four out of five.

If you look at White's two population maps, the biggest differences are Ohio/Indiana and Florida. Florida, not having the infrastructure of the industrial era, has dissipated greatly, while the Ohio Valley is much, more populated. Curiously enough, Cuyahogo and Summit County aren't part of the super dense region of Ohio, and Franklin may just barely be in there. Wisconsin has also seen more of its population concentrated on the lake coasts--the area around Madison isn't as populated as today. Though it makes sense a lot of the Midwestern capital districts aren't as dense--government is less of a presence (and source of jobs) in the medieval world, and so the former capitals aren't really bustling metropolises unless they're on strategic harbors or rivers like Boston or Montgomery.

The so-called Bos-Wash region if a good example of this at work. In the modern era it made up about a tenth of the U.S.'s population. But now, it makes up much less. It's not that the area is particularly unlivable--in fact the Delaware river is actually pretty fertile in some places. Likewise, it's an important center of trade. But there's only so much square mileage to go around.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cultural Clusters


If you'll notice, the eight biggest cities tend to have another smaller city reasonably close by. It was then I noticed on the Eastern map there quite a few locations where cities will be less than one hundred miles of the next one, until the pattern eventually dies out. Usually that restriction is set apart by natural barriers like mountains, but that's not always the case.

I decided to take a look at the larger maps and see which areas had at least three cities (in excess of 25,000) that were no more than 100 miles at a time. Actually, something that occurred to me was that cars were no longer a factor in this world, so driving miles wouldn't count. However, straight distance wouldn't quite tell the tale either. I basically averaged between the two to get an idea. For the most part, I didn't get any real conflict. An odd quirk though, is Grand Rapid, Michigan, which is a considerable land distance from both Chicago and Milwaukee, but much shorter when making most of the trip by water.

Perhaps the biggest chain is the found where it's found today--the Northeast Atlantic Seaboard, containing nine or so cities that so cities that are never more than 100 miles apart. Starting around Boston, it ends around either Washington DC, or depending on how you look at it, Richmond. (That is, if you count Providence and New Haven by straight distance. It would still be seven cities in the chain) The top four shortest distances between cities are found here, and even removing Providence/Boston, (the closest distance between two capitols/District Headquarters) you still find it in the top three. Of course, it's largely stretched out, as the route is some 400 miles long, but never far from the coast, with only the Delaware River cities being inland. As a result, there's definitely room for a wide racial and cultural spectrum between Boston and Washington. However, the trade network of the U.S. Mariners and close proximity of District Supervisors probably helps keep a continuity.

Next is the Mississippi basin, contains seven cities in the chain. It starts at New Orleans, and ends in Shreveport, which are both in present day Louisiana, but curiously, it requires Mississippi-based to keep the under-one hundred-streak going. The is actually rather impressive, considering how much of the area is not conductive to producing larger population densities. This is likely the result of the importance of New Orleans as a trading port and naval power, and it might be no coincidence the lower Mississippi was the base for some of the most advanced Pre-Columbian civilizations. The plurality of these cities are in Red River territory, and note that New Orleans largely practices Voodoo, so this may be the most mixed-faith culture cluster on the continent.

After that we have the Ohio River Valley, which has only four cities that are within a 100 mile chain, but two of them are some of the largest on the continent. These cities are found in present day Ohio and Kentucky, which today make up a single kingdom. There are three other cities in Ohio's borders, one Terre Haute, which is probably a frontier/defense town, (Like medieval York) and Toledo, who's closest city is rather close Detroit. These border cities may or may not feel a shared cultural heritage as the Ohio Valley triangle.

As for the rest of the Eastern U.S., the biggest cluster is around Lakes Ontario and Eerie, with three cities--Buffalo, Toronto, and Rochester. Buffalo is the only major city, but the area is rather special for being cross-coastal, and also containing a piece of Canada. The waterways probably keep it very tight, but the very cold winters keep it from becoming too large.

Then we head to the Western half the country. Its population is much smaller, and much more spread out, as there's less arable farmland, and most of this was filled in by a more modern, automobile-based world. Still, there are some smaller concentrations.

There's California, with the three cities of Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton. It's something of a mirror of Ohio, with a very concentrated triangle as none of the three cities are more than a hundred miles from each three cities.  Fresno manages to be a bit outside that range, although it's mostly accessible by river. Bakersfield and and especially Los Angles are much farther apart.

Finally, we come to the Northwest cluster, or rather clusters, as Porland and Tacoma are pretty far away from each other, and separated by mountains. The "Oregon" half has bigger cities, but the Washington part has more, including two Canadian cities, Victoria, and Vancouver, basically showing how in the new world order of Medieval America, former arbitrary borders don't matter.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Comparing States

I thought I'd do a comparison of to the population today's states, withe the population of those given areas in the Medieval America world. Now, the whole continent has plummeted by roughly four fifths, or 80% or so, however this is not an across-the board number. Some places have seen their populations plunge even deeper, while others have been relatively more relaxed in their decreases. (For the record, and for example, Canada has decreased by 88 percent.) States largely inhabited by nomads are a little more difficult, as, by definition, those populations will always be in flux. The Dakotas, Montana, Kansas and Nebraska are almost completely occupied by Herdsmen, so it would be hard to nail those populations down completely. (And then you have Nevada and Colorado, which flirt with being uninhabited) I've put asterisks next to states who have a mixed population of settled farmers and herdsmen. So what causes some of the once mighty states like Texas and California to fall so hard?

Extreme Climates:

Probably the easiest to pick up on, there are places in America there are just not as hospitable without the heat or water, meaning populations of former urban hubs like the Twin Cities or Phoenix were scattered to the winds. But even places like Florida and Texas can be unbearable--much of the southern population boom of the latter half of the 20th century was due to the invention of air conditioning. Obviously, there's not a lot of mobility, so much of the deep south isn't going to completely dissipate, but there aren't going to be as many major metropolises--your Houston, your Phoenix, your Miamis, etc. Likewise, the colder cities like Boston or Minneapolis don't remain strong urban arteries. The limited agricultural possibilities, to say nothing of schematics of keeping populations war, through the harsh northern winters. One could say the Northeast has mainted the metropolitan areas it has is due to the history of contiguous urbanization in the 20th century, and the intervention of the Non-Denominational Church.

Decreased Urbanization:

Obviously, a less industrial society means a smaller population, but it also means smaller cities, and in turn, cities being a less significant portion of the population. Farmers make up to 90% of the population in medieval times. Cities in the modern period are able to defy limitations--make buildings taller, ferry garbage away, import resources. With this, we've seen a  steep decline in much of the smaller (and first to industrialize) states of the the northeast, versus the larger states of the deep south. New York City today has a population of 8 million--more than any former state, and most medieval kingdoms! If you remove New York City's population from that of the state, the decline goes from 84% to 72%. The former borders of New York still contain a healthy 3 million (the most outside the Ohio Valley) but there are simple geographic limitations. With a medieval level of technology, there's a much lower ceiling on how many people can live in a given space. With less emphasis on metropolises, states are now confined to the limits of 100 or so denizens per square mile. Compare New Jersey, which saw a heavy 90% decline, with Mississippi, which has the lowest. New Jersey, in the modern day, is the U.S.'s most densely populated state, absorbing much of New York and Philadelphia's metropolitan areas. Even in Medieval America the area that was once New Jersey is very densely populated, but it is very small--smaller than some New England states. Mississippi saw the most level decline, because it's very large, and already pretty rural--none of its cities are amongst the 100 largest in the country.

"Frontier Effect":

As you can see, I haven't even bothered to include much of the prairie states. One reason is that as the grasslands are now inhabited by nomads, even gauging the exact population is a futile effort. White estimates there are some three million herdsmen on the grassland. (With another million or so in the desert) With seven states that have completely turned ton pastoralism, (and Wyoming all, but), we have 375,000 per state on average--probably less considering that doesn't include Texas and Canada. Not so much for the Dakotas, Montana, or Wyoming (Which, during a busy enough season, may see occupation that rivals it present day population), but a heavy hit for the two farm states of Nebraska and Kansas, and especially Colorado, who set itself as the epicenter of the Rocky Mountains. Obviously, the biggest cause of deprecation out here is the oft-mentioned hordes of Cowboys, who won't let farms or cities dot their territories. However, it should also be noted that with less coasts or navigable rivers, transportation is much slower and potential immigration and trade networks aren't able to form the confluence that makes up cities. Likewise, with no oil industry or heavy mining reduces the importance such places had in the Industrial age. Ultimately, civilization peters out until we get to Salt Lake City and the rivers of the Southwest.

*Arizona: 96%
Florida 95%
*Texas 95%
California 94%
*Utah 93%
*Minnesota: 92%
California: 92%
Rhode Island 92%
Texas: 92-88%
New Jersey: 90%
Connecticut 90%
Massachusetts 90%
*Oklahoma 89%
*New Mexico: 85%
New York: 84%
Washington: 83%
Vermont: 80%
Maryland: 80%
*Wyoming: 80%
Pennsylvania: 78%
New Hampshire: 75%
Virginia: 75%
Georgia: 75%
Oregon: 75%
North Carolina: 74%
Iowa: 73%
Michigan: 71%
Idaho: 68%
South Carolina: 67%
Tennessee: 66%
Wisconsin: 66%
West Virginia: 65%
Louisiana: 65%
Ohio: 63%
Missouri 62%
Indiana 58%
Kentucky: 37%
Arkansas: 37%
Alabama: 37%
Maine 24%
Mississippi: 13%

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I've done the work of ranking the cities by size

Tier One: New Orleans, Cincinnati, Portland

The "Big Three". New Orleans, Cincinatti, and Portland would make up a big three, with Sacramento smaller than the other three, but bigger than any other city. Cincinnati would be the largest city in the midwest. It's status as a "northern" city is up for debate, it seems to be directly where north and south in America meet. It is the largest city in the Non-Denominational world. Interestingly, the first tier of cities is the only one that doesn't have a Non-Denominational majority. New Orleans is the largest city in the south, and the largest coastal city. Portland is largest city in the west.

Tier Two: Sacramento, Philadelphia, Buffalo, Salt Lake City, Louisville

Sacramento is the largest city in California, and is actually the only city in its size range. It's larger than any other city but "the big three" (and could be put in the first tier as "The Big Four". Philadelphia and Buffalo are the largest "northern" cities. Philadelphia is the largest city to be connected to the Atlantic Seaboard (although it's still somewhat inland), and the largest city east of the Appalachian mountains. It's also the only top ten city of industrial America to comparable in rank to Medieval America. Buffalo is the largest city of the Great Lakes, and there is no city north of it that exceeds it in size. Salt Lake City is the largest city west of the Mississippi and east of the Cascades. Louisville is the largest "second city", that is, it the largest city still superseded by another city in its kingdom. (Cincinnati in Ohio)

Tier Three: Augusta, Seattle, Albuquerque, Shreveport, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit, Montgomery

This one of very interesting. One, that some maps have Augusta as larger than Louisville. The other is the there are maps which make Albuquerque and Shreveport larger than Los Angeles, Baltimore, Detroit and Montgomery even though main maps have them equal in size. In any case, Augusta is the largest Non-Denominational city of the south. Seattle is the largest city to actually touch the Pacific Ocean. Shreveport is most western city of the Non-Denominational region. Montgomery is the largest city to serve as headquarters to a Non-Denominational District Supervisor.

Tier Four: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Memphis, Boston, Savannah, St Louis, Albany, Natchez, Pocatello, Eugene, Lexington

Boston and Albany (both District HQ's) are both the most Nothern cities in excess of 65,000, and no city in the eastern half of the former U.S. exceeds 25,000. Lexington completes the "Ohio triangle".

Tier Five: Pittsburgh, Fresno, Nashville, Rochester, Fresno, Santa Fe, Mobile, Dayton, Richmond, Trenton, Toledo, Vancouver, Columbus, Vicksburg, Fayetteville, Casper, Evansville, Columbia

Santa Fe is the most eastern city of western America. Vancouver is the largest city in what was Canada, and (presumably), the most northern city in excess of 25,000. Casper is the most isolated city on the continent, the farthest from any city in excess of 25,000. Conversely, Trenton seems to the closest city to another city, at least in the 25,000 range, though there's an unnamed city below Philadelphia, possibly Wilmington. In any case, this area is probably the most urbanized on the continent.

Tier Six: Washington DC, Toronto, Washington, El Paso, Providence, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, Charleston, Monroe, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Victoria, Bakersfield, Provo, Stockton, Knoxville, Chillicothe, Alexandria, Terra Haute, Syraceuse, New Haven, Boise, Salem, Tacoma