Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Feudal Core


The Feudal Core is an interesting region of the map. Unlike many of the other sections, this isn't necessarily categorized by geography, so much as the social structure (Although it's also called "The Heartland" in many files". Pretty much all the nations in this area are governed in a feudal society, with 14 of the twenty major feudal kingdoms. It's also, in many ways, the core of America in general. It's mostly eastward, but moving somewhat towards the middle, and as many as 28 million (nearly half the population) live there, it's essentially the Western Europe, China or India of America.

The area is really the meat and potatoes of the continent, but White has given us so little information on it. This is possibly because 1) It's so vast, or 2) We're well aware of knights an royal courts. We just have to imagine the regular model, only influence by Dixie or the Rust Belt. In fact, the interesting thing is that it has an icon for both Northern and Southern lifestyles. It's hard to truly peg the region's culture. It's most likely a gradient or flux, from nations that are barely distinguishable from Canada. to those that start to look Caribbean. Cowboy culture may also have an effect on the edges too. It's very likely most of the continent speaks a derivative of English, though obviously the fringes are going to flirt with other lingua franca. Most of the core is inland, and cleaved by the Appalachian mountains. Water transportation is made through the Great Lakes (which will get their own entry) and the main rivers that stream across the land; Most of all the Mississippi. It's mostly agrarian in nature. In the Feudal core we see a grain belt, a cotton belt, and a tobacco belt. This is all in contrast to the exotic trade of the gulf coast, and the crafts and fish of the northeast.

Iowa is the only feudal core nation mentioned, and perhaps betraying White's fascination with the herdsmen, it seems to basically be a kingdom that resulted from cowboys kicking everyone's asses really hard. Like other places, this seems to have a pretty distinct parallel--barbarian tribes that eventually went native, like England, Hungary, and a few others. Of note, Chicago is within its borders. It was once a major city, and it still seems to serve a purpose as a major Great Lake port, and maybe one of the windows to the west.

Ohio seems to have absorbed Indiana and Kentucky, and may be the central power of the Heartland, maybe the continent. Inside its borders you have three important trade cities, six, maybe even seven million residents, and as many as four district headquarters for the Church. The Iowa page shows that it did a decent job of defending itself from barbarian invasion. How did Ohio, once considered a generally average state, come to such power? Well, it's that exact averageness. The soil page shows it has some of the best soil on the continent. West, it can e a breadbasket, and south it has cash crops. To the east, a good amount of mineral wealth to be a fair player in the industrial age. It's surrounded by rivers and mountains that could make for good natural borders, transport and defense. The region basically has just enough of everything to sustain itself in a medieval era. Politically, it probably most resembles France.

Surrounding Ohio is the much less stable area of Tennessee. This is may be the most balkanized region of the continent, and "Balkan" may be the operative word here. This might be a good place to mention how many of the Ozark and Appalachian regions are split into a wide variety of territories. I can imagine something akin to the Scottish Highlands. We see communities that are very extremely clannish, and it's somewhat tricky terrain has probably kept it from being fully claimed for Ohio's empire. In any case, we see three flags for a relatively small region, and the east map shows the state has been split up. We have Memphis, the important trading city, and probably a lot like the Deep South nations in culture (The state called Shelby County, possibly the star on the black background); Knoxville, an isolated Appalachian burg, and Nashville, the spiritual center of the region, found in Tennessee proper (With, I'm assuming, the original flag).
However, the most western flag is a green flag with a horseshoe mark This may be Missouri as Iowa's page seems to say Shelby had a hand in rebuilding St Louis, so the area as a whole may generally be considered a colony of patronage of Tennessee, hence its classification in the area.

Piedmont is an interesting case study. It appears to be the only area in the core to have total coastal access, although the US's presence, and very swampy east coast has kept them from building there too much. We do have the coastal port of Charlton though. Piedmont is named after the valley in the Appalachians, and from what I can tell, it seems a modest but healthy region. It may feel the most "European" of the Southern nations, due to its place on the Atlantic seaboard, and its proximity to the Yankees. It probably has decent relations with the Church, and is not a racial anomaly--it may not even be a large place of conflict. In fact, the warfare map shows that they don't seem to be even fighting anyone. Piedmont is possibly the most peaceful and pleasant region on the continent.

The Deep South comes next. it's symbolized by two flags, both with crosses. One is Georgia's flag, and more or less the symbol for the Confederate States, and Southern Pride in general. The other looks like a more colorful version of Alabama's flag. The area evidently includes Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, more or less, forged into two large nations and a smattering of smaller ones. It's hard to tell how many people populate the two countries, but it's as many as 10 million, probably knocking that down a bit to seven million between them. Mostly feudal in nature, it seems in the southernmost regions, we do have a few Secretarial State-type fiefdoms. What's interesting is, two of the cities on the main map have the Confederate flag symbols to mark them, probably indicating Georgia thinks of itself as a very special case. When civilization fell, it's possible nobody felt more elation than this region at the opportunity to pursue their own destiny. With secular and federal institutions out of the way, they readily embraced the chance to reform the south as it "should have been", autonomous, agricultural, and status relying on land. The antebellum period is probably looked at as a model, and for better or worse, is very applicable to this new era. This is the hottest region of the feudal core, and while White says that they wear as little clothing as possible, I think that might not be the case for this particular region, especially in the Northern parts, and with the upper classes, as to distinguish themselves from the country bumpkins and the snake worshipers. (Most of the major cities are not in the hottest regions). I think there might be a little more light clothing. Possibly tunics and stolas. The Deep south may very much resemble Ancient Greece, at least in apparel, and possibly architecture, due toe Georgia's famed marble.

Finally there's the Southern Frontier. Or it may simply be the Southern Front. The two flags pretty much indicate what it's about; Holding up their end of the religious world. One is Arkansas's flag with a cross, and another is the flag of St. Magnus, with an alligator on top of it. If you'll look down at the religion maps, you'll have a good idea of where the Southern front It's probably more or less the regions west of the Mississippi River and south of the Missouri River. These are bulwarks of the Non-Denominational church, and are likely on their own. What's interesting is, you'll see areas further west of that, now under the New Israelite gradient, that are still feudal in nature. (Particularly Texas) There's also Voodoo Mississippi to the south. The alligator flag belongs to Red River, which seems to be a hodgepodge of Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana. Note that it's the largest kingdom without a Church HQ in it. I think this generally indicates that while the South observes Non-Dom, it may not have as much to do with it. We may likely see a schism in the South--maybe this is what the East Heresy page might have talked about.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Northeast


This is the first of the many sub-regions we see mapped throughout the various pages on the site. The Northeast is a good place to start, as this right here was the cradle of the United States as originally conceived. The Northeast and Feudal Core probably resemble each other more than any other two regions do--they're more or less sister cultures. Particularly the sharing of mutual religions, with Washington D.C. being the spiritual heart of the Non-Denom world. The major cultural difference is that this section is, obviously, much less feudal in practice. This probably makes a large amount of sense. Tucked away on the Atlantic Seaboard, the Northeast does not have to worry about the Barbarian societies that make feudalism so necessary. Think of the European Middle Ages with the Saracens, Magyars and Vikings.

Cultural characteristics are likely also the result of an inordinate amount of Church headquarters. White says the location has an effect on the Church, but it may also bear thinking about what effect the Church has had on the location. The Non-Denominational Church produces a lot of scholars, medical experts, and what we would refer to as "civil servants". Between the renting out of its members to the feudal overlords, as well as the April tithing, there's probably a bleedover that leads to a relatively well educated populace.

We have an icon of a plow that leads to "Yankees". This would be the lifestyle for those who dwell in the north, but what does that indicate? Perhaps we look at Southern Farmers, and draw conclusions of what they're not. The plow indicates that agriculture here is a much more laborious effort. Crops that are grown are those that are meant to last longer and stand the hard, cold earth; Foods like oats and potatoes. However, this map shows that what it may lack in warm month, it makes up for in soil that's less like to drain away in floods. Most foods may be boiled or baked--especially since baking can keep the house warm in colder months. The East coast in particular probably also eats a much larger proportion of fish than their mainland counterparts. There's a reference to southerners being used to independence, spending so much time outside. Conversely, the Yankees would probably have to huddle together indoors. More people per hearth means much less firewood gets used. As a result, people of the North value community more than independence, and have learned to tolerate each other's quirks a lot more.The trade map also shows that is tends to live on crafts more than agriculture and resources.

White has already covered what has happened to the federal remains of United States. Any resemblance to Ancient Rome is likely purely intentional. We have a mighty empire who's last vestiges lie in the religious organization that represents it. However, the Imperial structure lived on, as it is, in many ways, less a nation than a corporation of ports. Also, the page lists its population at one million, so that means it's conquered territory can only count as so much. So my theory is, the United States is almost like a seaside medieval Pony Express. It's a lot like the Non-Denominational Church itself--it has headquarters through the coast, but the domains which it's set up aren't necessarily under its vassalage. Youths probably join its navy/delivery service in the hopes of seeing the world, and the ranks are quite diverse.

At the very top is New England, though White only gives one map, that of the new Massachusetts. The East Map says Mass has absorbed all of Rhode Island and some of Conneticut, making it even bigger in some respects. It may contain, or may border three District Capitals, making it one of the dominant voices in the Church. It's really hard to tell if Boston and Providence are Mass cities, or United States cities. And in fact, on some level, it's hard to believe that New England as an entity would even give up the most populated parts of it. So either there's a symbiotic relationship between the USA and New England, or as this map may hint at, there's something of a tug of war going on between the two. The rest of New England though, seems to be a bit of a patchwork. Vermont and New Hampshire have always flirted with independence, and Maine has probably been the oddest fit with the region. So it's very likely we have a smattering of poor city states that simply exist as townships of farmers scratching out a living, or port towns that connect the US with the North, or maybe even farther East. Something like a very cold classical Greece.

And finally, we have New Jersey. It includes the state and Philadelphia. As this trade map shows it's possibly the breadbasket for much of the Northeast territories, and may be the only section that provides surplus crop. Jersey is a quirk in the Northeast coast in it being a feudal nation, as we would think of New Jersey as being much like the rest of the urbanized Atlantic seaboard. But here's something to consider--the state itself is a group of bedroom communities to two heavily populated metropolitan areas surrounding a large chunk of untouched countryside. So it was probably not too hard to start up castle towns, and from there, seize trading hubs up for grabs. I also wonder if White was playing with the idea quite a few organized crime families living in the area. With caste systems, blood ties and intimidation, mafia families take to medieval courts like ducks to water. What is feudalism if not a big protection racket? Mobsters can now act in the open. I also wonder if, to separate themselves from both the neighboring republics and the feudal core, Italian has made a resurgence. It would probably be known amongst the upper classes, and make its way down to the peasants. Philadelphia is actually a major trading hub, from what it looks like, and probably invaluable nestled between two nations which thrive on trade. So what we have is a country that straddles the line between the rest of the feudal states, and a more mercantile state we see on much of the coasts. 

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Religion

The last of the three color coded maps is religion. This is by far the most diverse of the maps, with eight different kinds of regions, and three icons for likely various miscellaneous categories. To be honest, this is probably where White lets his imagination run away him the most. On some level, it's hard to imagine Scientology and Buddhism overpowering the regions, which do have primarily Christian populaces. Perhaps the history of how these religions came to power would have explained that, and have been pretty fascinating. When you think about, religion can take some amazing turns in just a century or two.


The majority of these religions are Christian influenced here and there. What I noticed, looking through the image archives, is that White had more of the borders that dot the pages. Not a hard and fast connection, but it seems to me that many of the borders correlate with a religion, and different pages that fall under that denomination, which might explain why some of them were done late, as White may have been decidng which border o associate things with.

Most of the country worships via the Non-Denominational Church. At least half, taking a guess. It's, rather ironically, that last vestige the United States that exists throughout the country. The last flicker of federalism. Any relation to the Roman Empire is probably very much intentional. Most of it is essentially Christianity distilled to its basic elements. How much of the myth of America plays into is unsure, but perhaps previous figures like Lincoln (the one who fought to keep the union together) might be bestowed with Sainthood. The individual district headquarters are located in former state capitals, and the location of state capitals have like had an effect on the church itself. In the Northeast, capitals are much closer to each other which means the realms might copy structure of the Church. it would also be likely the structure has the structure of Catholics and the outlook of Episcopalians. The kingdoms of the South and Heartland have more or less had to grin and bear it, since they have their own problems to worry about, and only need priests for occasional blessings. However, maybe for the evangelicals, enough is enough.

Covering a large tract of land are the New Israelites. The popular religion among the cowboy tribes, the name may let people forget that it's still a very Christian religion. It's in fact, and old school one, that may have been quite popular with fundamentalists and evangelicals. What's interesting to note, if one compares all three maps, is there are areas where the nation is primarily feudal, but the New Israelite religion dominates. In a lot of ways, this makes perfect sense in Texas. The state capital of Austin was just too far out west to bother with, and Texas as a rule wouldn't want a federalist church with a Yankee flavor. The death penalty state would probably find a lot to like in New Israelite justice. Also, along the Midwest we see kingdoms that worship New Israelite. These are probably a flux of culture wars--herdsmen that eventually settle down and organized, but haven't completely dropped their frontier ways. In these places, large wooden castles and encampments probably have simple shrines and chapels to denote their worship, but the bureaucracy has been kept strictly out.

Along the Gulf coast, we see Voodoo taking hold. The real Voodoo is historically a mix between Catholicism and many African religions. Practiced mainly on the island, the Haitan immigrants to New Orleans and Southern Florida is not quite as prominent, but a few hundred years could certain smother of fan that flame. In fact, the thing about the religion map is...does it indicate a religion is the only one practiced there, is in the majority, or is a small distinction that separates it from the rest of the continent. In any case, assuming Voodoo becomes the central power in New Orleans and Southern Florida, it's interesting to ponder what the structure looks like. A lot of women have been prominent in the history of Voodoo, and it is practiced in the Secretarial States. Throughout the world, there's been a bit of a fear over the religious leaders supplanting the secular ones. This could easily be amended in countries where the Queen serves as the High Priestess. To make sure that ambition and politics don't play too large a role in it (Say, a nubile young dancer coming onto the King), potential Priest Queens are selected at birth, and groomed for her dual title.

Further West we have Mormonism, the last of the religions theoretically tied to Christianity. The members of the Church of Latter Day Saints finally has what they wanted--isolation from the outside world, and a nation to do as they see fit. Missions have been long part of the Church's history, but it's probably not see easy in this era. Chances are spreading the message and seeking to convert has become more dangerous-and in turn much more violent. As the armies are usually at the fringes of the world, the job of being Missionaries usually falls to them.

It's hard to denote what exactly "New Age" is. It's not any organized religion by any stretch of the imagination, and you probably couldn't get two people in the same commune to agree. It certainly seems like an odd pairing with the rigid structure of a Hydraulic Empire. If I had to guess, it involves a mixture of Navajo, Hopi and Egyptian beliefs, with a strong emphasis on the environment, and morphed into centuries of rituals and dogma. Note that the former state of Colorado is a triangle of Mormonism, New Israelite and New Age.

Taking over California is Scientology, the controversial cult that I won't get into too much in fear of having this blog taken down, but it's curious this managed to explode so much. In some ways it feels like a parody of California culture by having a Hollywood cult control the entire state. There is one thing to keep in mind though, is that the small empire that dominates the south is called "The Free Zone", which is the branch of Scientology that has rejected the "pay as you go elements". Whether that sect has taken over or been co-opted by the religion is anyone's guess. It seems almost strange that a faith with so many sci-fi trappings could fit in the modern world. But hey, lasers become magic, aliens become demons. However, the star-based backdrop probably makes astronomy very, very important to the faith. Just like the Egyptian Kings are the descendants of Gods, so do the rulers of California descend from the stars, and return there upon their death. I also wonder if the rich tapestry of the motion picture world itself has become part of the backdrop, with Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Darth Vader and many others become Gods, Heroes and Monsters of Scientology mythology.

The Buddhists have taken over the Northwest. Now, Washington and Oregon do have a sizable Asian minority, (and influence), and they're amongst the least churchgoing regions in the country, but I do wonder if this is enough to fan the flames into a movement. And they almost seem a little too belligerent to take the teachings of Buddha to heart. So I wonder if this is something that has transformed more than even Christianity under the Non-Denominational church. Also, as I mentioned above, I pointed out New Age beliefs have as much a foothold in that region as they do in the southwest, so I theorize American Buddhism maybe be warped have a lot in common with New Age--particularly the sacrosanct nature of the environment. High priests revere and consecrate the trees and brooks. To rupture nature is to disrupt the balance. While the a lot of the nation may not be fanatic about it, out here pollution an waste may be as big an offense as eating pork on the plains. If not much moreso. Therefore, Buddhisms consider it their duty to preserve nature, no matter what. People are a different matter entirely...

And finally, we have Catholicism. White mentions much of Europe has returned to it, and the Vatican may serve the same role it did in the Dark Ages, and the Non-Denominational Church does in America. It's the glue that holds things together, and maybe abuses it a bit. There' probably not much to write here. While I've said that a lot about a faith can change in a thousand years, I think when the religion is already 1500 years old, there's probably not much more to tinker around with. Technically, it's not within U.S. borders, mainly remaining with Quebec and Mexico. Or...here's what I wonder. The Non_Denominational influence is a gold color, while Catholicism is bright yellow. Does this generally signify that where you find one, you may find the other? It might help a theory I have that, on the population map, the small icon bordering Lake Ontario between Toronto's metro area and Quebec is shared by the two regions. Actually, it might be interesting to ponder what Quebecois Catholicism looks like, with not much communication with the Vatican, and the state having long concentrated on being secular.

There's probably much more to explain here, although any tribes seen in the white spaces are probably totem-worshippers in general.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Warfare

The second map White shows us is Warfare. The map seems to indicate only four fighting styles, although there's probably several different ways to kill someone in this era, these four styles maybe be the largest on a mass scale, and most peculiar to their "zones".



At first glance, one is tempted to just correspond armies with government types. For the most part it can looks that way, but it's but there are cases where certain soldiers serve outside their usual polity match-ups.

The Horse Archers are the only units the site goes into detail on. They start to appear in the more Western parts of the continent, and their range is by far the largest, as they're natural combatants of both the grasslands and the deserts. However, the population density for the nomadic communities is low, but still, since horse archers make up a quarter of the population, that's still two million or so on the plains. No wonder they're so feared, and it's hard to settle a community past the Mississippi. One thing that I've been wondering about is how it seems to be the primary form of warfare throughout the desert kingdoms of Free Zone California and New Mexico. Are they part of the actual armies of the desert kingdoms, or do these municipalities simply have "generic soldiers", holding the fort against the nomads of the desert?

In yellow, we see an icon with a line of men holding polearms. The page is labeled "Pikemen". Pikes and spears were very popular in republics and early democracies like Rome, Medieval Italy and Greece. This form of weaponry could be especially useful with a large, relatively untrained force, and is one of the best counter measures against cavalry. Most of them are found, or the central military unit, in the Republican city states, which makes sense, as they're more mercantile than belligerent. This means a more defensive, space-efficient soldier. It's hard to tell how many are found on the continent,  as it's quite possible pikemen are found wherever there's a large urban population that can support a standing army. It's also of note that it's not just the city states, but New Jersey (a feudal kingdom) and the Appalachian mountains. Pikes in rugged, mountainous areas are not unheard of-- take the Flemings of Medieval Scotland. As for Jersey, it might just be a case of "when in Rome".

The green patch with the shield signifies "lancers', the heavy cavalry fighters. In short, knights. White even has an image on what they would look like. The apex of the feudal warrior class, they're associated with feudal states, although there are quite a few in the desert as well. Historically, a knight has to be rather wealthy to afford the horse and equipment, but in the Hydraulic Empires, the rulers are able to allocate their considerable resources to knights who report directly to them. Interestingly, the knights of Deseret are also celibate, so that would make them very comparable to the Knights Templar, or possibly paladins of role playing games. I wouldn't be surprised to see that specific branch called something like Templars (Mormon worship is conducted in temples) or Crusaders. (The lancers seen in California are also supposed to be celibate, but I have a theory the fluctuating politics and richer forests of that region makes more "in theory". The dynastic turnovers White mentions are probably more common there.) However, there's also lancers in the area that occupies the New United States, particularly the area that occupies to Chesapeake Bay. For now, I'm drawing a blank on why it's there. For the first few centuries, many automobiles were scavenged and melted down to make weapons with. This has often made things like Mercury, sables and thunderbirds part of the heraldry.

There are many white spots on the map. Perhaps no war is waged at all, but I have to say I do have doubts about that. There is likely still a population that clings to the upper north, and the harsh winters have made them mean. Also, the Great Lakes region provides a quick and easy transport from the areas that probably cannot provide a lot, to those...that can. Thus, I would bet Minnesota and Northwest Ontario are home to Raiders, who routinely plunder the kingdoms to the south, and return home. Those of a kinder disposition might be tempted to trade metals and furs, but for the most part we see a powerful group of Raiders, with clubs and axes that do quick sacks and runs. The Lakes are somewhat easier to navigate, but also provide less buoyancy, so the raids are designed for frequency.

Florida also seems to have little military,even though Secretarial States were formed out of practical military matters, so there would have to be some kind of warrior class. My belief is, like the Horse Archers their combat come heavily from their way of life, and like Pikemen, their weapons are lightweight and no heavy on resources. Therefore, I think many of what they use is also good for the jungle. Bolo whips, poison-tipped darts and scimitars for cutting through heavy brush. Also, it's pretty certain that just like centuries ago, these islands became dens of piracy. I also have a theory that the reduced population might have to do with many zoo and circus animals making themselves at home. If the residents played their cards right, they might be able to have something akin to war elephants seen in India...at the very least I can see that tactic forming in Latin America.

Finally, while open warfare is not conducted in these regions, I think there is an occasional bout of espionage. this is especially true in the Cascades. These regions are probably occupied by rangers or certain kinds of spies.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Government

Of the many maps Matthew White drew up, three share a certain similarity; They divide up the country into different colorized zones. There's one for government, one for warfare, and one for religion. The first we'll be looking at is government. What I've done is take these maps, and placed them over North American borders. It's not perfect, but it gives you a very good idea on what goes where.



The different zones, if you look closely, have a circular radius that moves ever outward. I don't know if that indicates the centers are more populous, or are some kind of core, but it is noteworthy that Ohio is a principle kingdom.

White's already explained two forms of government to us. The first is the Secretarial State. (As seen in yellow, with a quill for a symbol) Covering Caribean islands, Florida and coastal Louisiana, it's one that White himself made up, from what I've researched, but to sum it up, it's a government where women take care of civic duties on behalf of their hard-traveling husbands. It's uncertain if this resembles the mercantile or feudal governments otherwise, but it's probably a bit of a mix. The poor drainage and coastal locations suggest trading is a big part of these areas, but may be monarchistic than oligarchical.

The other system of government White talks about is Hydraulic Empires. Colored gold, we have California, Deseret (Salt Lake City and surroundings), and New Mexico. Situated in the desert, they are absolute monarchies with an efficient and omnipresent government. White makes comparisons to ancient Egypt, though America's arid lands more resemble Persia.

The next three forms of government are not described, but we have much more decent reference points. In the red circles are the Feudal zones. It's the type of government we most associate with medieval times, and it would appear most of the people on the continent live like this. Feudalism, in theory, is where warriors divide up land up amongst lower and lower tiers until you have farmers that work the land. Warfare and agriculture essentially make up this system, so it tends to take place in areas with the best farmland or mineral wealth. Listing every feudal nation would take a while, so let's just say it consists of most of Dixie, the rust belt, Quebec, and strangely enough a patch of inland west of the Rockies. From what I've gathered, most don't call themselves "King", but use titles are in-name-only relics of a democratic past.

Next are the republics. Colored blue, they're pretty much New England (give or take Vermont), the Capital Beltway, and the more populated areas of the Pacific Northwest. They largely take a cue from Medieval Italy, which were independent city states (and occasional empires), which thrived largely on sea access. Of note is these areas had very dense populations in modern times, and the very "blue state" gravitation towards infrastructure may be reflected here, as well as the locations of prestigious universities.

The area shown in green with the hand as a symbol has primarily tribal societies. It encompasses Mexico to Canada, with its core being the Great Plains. The most talked about tribes are the cowboy ones, with a few reference to desert shepherds, like we see in the Middle East the "tribal" swath is quite large. This map shows that further north, way into Canada, we see references to "Hunters". These might resemble many native cultures that inhabited the continent long ago, with subsidence hunters and fishers. A more European case would the Sami of upper Scandinavia. Because they largely don't live in the united states, there doesn't seem to be a page for them, but I still think that would be an interesting look. Do they use sled-dogs to get around? Are they the source for furs, fish and metals we see in the upper north?


I have wondered a bit about what governments may look like in the rest of North America. Down south in the deserts, there's a small smattering of herdsmen. They might simply be nomads who for now have migrated outside the Hydraulic Empire, but Mexico's Catholic population leads me to wonder if there are monastic communes in small villages where the Church is more than just the center of civilization, it is civilization. They're desert theocracies, but they're not hydraulic empires since each order answers to the other, and they're not about building up great nations, simply scraping out a living in the service of God.

I have another idea which is kind of goofing around. This wouldn't be on the North American continent, but maybe Cuba or South America. If the warmer climates allow women some measure of equality, I wonder if even further south we may areas where they can even claim supremacy. Something like the Amazons of classical myth. After all, not all women are going to take the reversion to traditional gender roles laying down. The warmer climates rely on less strenuous agriculture. Also, the New Amazons would probably be a naval power, which requires strategy and finesse--something women are certainly capable of holding their own in battle. The gender roles may be reversed, or they may simply be an all-men society in which women may travel for breeding, but male children are wiped out. (Infanticide may not be a great thought, but it wouldn't be the first culture to do it) It's all pretty fantastic, although the Amazon river itself was based on reports by travellers who swore they saw women warriors.
I discovered a very fascinating site--The Atlas of Medieval America. Matthew White created a site that asks what the United States (and surrounding borders) would look like if it relapsed into the dark ages, formed out of the current population, languages and cultures we have today. America is not one single, all-encompassing culture, it is many. However, what's frustrating is, White only really covered a fraction of what could be done. This has tantalized me greatly, especially since there are many maps and links to dead pages. It's evident that he had it mapped out. This pretty much set my imagination aflame, and now I can't help but think about what could have been.

On the front page, when you hold your cursor over the map, there are nineteen clickable locations. This map gives a good number of the flags, though some are "grouped together" under a certain nation or location. Most of these are found on the regional atlases that divide the country. I'm taking stabs at some of these names, mind you, but these seem to be the individual nations; In the Northeast there's New England, New Jersey and the USA. In the "Feudal Core" (sometimes called the Heartland), there's Piedmont, The Deep South, "Tennessy", Ohio, the Great Lakes, Iowa, and something I'm guessing is called "The Southern Frontier". The Gulf has only Louisiana as a nation. The Desert leads to Deseret, California and some kind of iteration of New Mexico. In his vaults, he has Cascadia, which is basically the Northwest area. We have only one flag for "The District of Columbia", which seems to be a feudal, autonomous territory, but clicking on that area simply leads you to "pac-nw" (Pacific Northwest), which seem to be an bunch of independent city states. There's a large cityless area on the great plains that leads you to the nomadic herdsmen in general. There are also two other "orphaned" locations; Quebec and New York (Or possibly "Newyork"). Neither are included in the Northeast or Feudal Core, so I wonder if they have something in common. The St. Lawrence? Being francophone? I fool around with the idea of it being 'The Francosphere".

White also has a West Map, to delineate borders, especially for the often fluid tribal west. We see two relatively organized cowboy nations, the Rizzinis and the Andersons. The Andersons, in particular, have taken over a good chunk of Texas, and may even claim the port city of Houston. There's a map of Texas, and towns that may exist in this era. In general, the state has been slightly divided up, which makes sense as geographically Texas is larger than most nations in modern Europe. It looks to have been gobbled a bit at its outermost ends. (Swamp and desert) However, Texas is mentioned as a place on the front page Atlas. It would be interesting to see how Texas as an entity exists.

Major areas of the country have not survived the slide to medievalism, most of them on the western side of the country. This map gives us a good idea of the One is the Denver, Colorado metropolitan area. Denver a major trade stop for the continent, and the crux of "Rocky Mountain culture". According to White's page, the area has dispersed to the nomads. Apparently Salt Lake City has become the new gateway to the west, and perhaps it makes sense that a rigid papacy would do a better job of holding a medieval society together in the harsh mountains than one which counts on energy sources. . Also, there's Florida. In the modern age, it's a very populated state and the site of major cities. However, White has penalized it for being mostly swamp. I still think it would survive as a major port hub between the islands and the mainland, but the world White provided says it's generally dissapated.

Throughout this blog, I'm going to explore the areas unmentioned. Those little icons and dead urls that are just waiting to be explored. I don't think White's going to come back anytime soon, but if he has a problem with this, I'll take it down. But in the meantime, I have to share what's been spinning in my brain. I hope to create discussion here as well.