Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Gulf

The Gulf is one of the smaller sections of Medieval America, home to somewhere between three and four million people, but is certainly amongst the most unique. So unique, that it appears that it doesn't even have that many historical parallels in the way or Venice or Egypt. There are places in Southeast Asia where the climate is similar, but the combination of ethnicity, climate, and  geography make it something pretty unprecedented.

To that end, White, has enlightened us fairly well. While part of the continental United States, it shares a lot more with the culture and ethnicity of the Caribbean islands. The people here are darker skinned, and less prone to wearing clothes, so in terms to the clock being turned back, imagine the Taino people. But they also share a lot in common with the the southernmost denizens of the Feudal Core. They grow sugar and citrus fruits, and the port of New Orleans, which may be the biggest city on the continent, is also the fulcrum of channeling goods from South America.

But what really distinguishes the Gulf is the practice of Secretarial States, where women run the civil services, and the intricacies of the household. White has not created a page for real world religions, but the prominence of women in Louisiana Voodoo would certainly be copacetic with the woman-friendly society, and whether Voodoo has given rise to Secretarial States, or Secretarial State have given rise to Voodoo, may be a chicken/egg scenario. However, a sizeable portion still exist under the sway of the Non-Denominational Church, and indeed, a district HQ still exists in Florida. But considering this isn't a major war zone, it's probably fairly tolerant and it's probable the rest of the East views them as extremely exotic--maybe even a little sorcerous.

The major gap in warfare, but there are breadcrumbs. We know that typical heavy cavalry wages war on the panhandle (though what it must be like in humid weather leads you to wonder), but it definitely peters out as we get into Florida. In fact, Florida itself is an important touchstone in the conversation. In industrial America, it was the fourth most populated state, and home to many large cities. It appears the prevalence of swampland, hurricanes, and parasites has kept infrastructure fairly low, and what we have is probably lot of naval or guerilla warfare. Just a terrible place to build castles, really.

By contrast, Louisiana  is a little more hardcore, and is even a little expansionist, though not to the level of the United States. Still, that White linked it to its on the Littoral Regions page, and compared it to the Venetians and the Byzantines means that he definitely had plans to talk about it. 

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