AHC/WI : Greater population Balkans and Anatolia

I am trying to figure out how to make the Balkans and Anatolia have the same population growth as France and HRE until industrial age since there seems to be stagnation in demography in those regions. I apologize if my estimates are wrong. Please correct me.

Around 100-200 AD, Anatolia populated near 10M.

Around Basil I's death, the Roman(Byzantine) Empire was estimated 12M people which includes Balkans, Anatolia. HRE estimated at 5M while France 9M.

In OTL 1500s, Ottoman empire with almost the same land area as Basil I, estimated 11M while HRE, increase to 10M and France to 15m.

I was thinking of how both the Balkans and Anatolia regardless of which government(Continuation of Roman empire; or Ottomans increasing population; or another power unifying those areas) retain the same population growth as HRE and France by 1800s from Basil I's death.

If France populated 26M in 1800 and HRE around 24M, Anatolian and Balkan population combined assuming same population growth would roughly be around 42M or around 21M by 1500. For comparison purposes OTL anatolia was estimated 5M in 1800.

Is this possible with the improvement of technology from 1025 AD onward would help even if there is a difference between the geography Balkans /Anatolia vs HRE/France? Or are these wrong estimates by historian for Anatolia/Balkan population during Roman times?
 

PhilippeO

Banned
France-Germany were covered by Hyrcanian Forest during Roman times.
in Byzantine/middle age development of heavy plow/horse collar/northern variety of wheat increase population.
in 1800 Columbian Exchange and Agricultural Revolution increase population further.

meanwhile in older lands (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sicily, NAfrica, Anatolia, Balkans) there are : exhaustion of soil, salination of soil, reduction of fertile dirt, overgrazing, loss of forest cover, drought and desertification.

to achieve what you want Biological POD would be needed, a massive one.
 
France-Germany were covered by Hyrcanian Forest during Roman times.
in Byzantine/middle age development of heavy plow/horse collar/northern variety of wheat increase population.
in 1800 Columbian Exchange and Agricultural Revolution increase population further.

meanwhile in older lands (Egypt, Mesopotamia, Sicily, NAfrica, Anatolia, Balkans) there are : exhaustion of soil, salination of soil, reduction of fertile dirt, overgrazing, loss of forest cover, drought and desertification.

to achieve what you want Biological POD would be needed, a massive one.

I understand from an OTL or an isolationist standpoint.

Are the Balkans/Anatolia really that hopeless in population growth, same time period?

If the soil is not as good as France/HRE, would Roman type administration/trade/diplomacy make Balkans/Anatolia better off? The Romans did import Egyptian Grain to feed Rome at the time Egypt was independent.

Can this type of administration/trade/diplomacy applied with Balkans/Anatolia wherein food deficit required for a larger population be imported?
 
IMO it can be significantly higher (butterfly some of the more devastatic wars etc) than OTL but not on the level you request.
 
I understand from an OTL or an isolationist standpoint.

Are the Balkans/Anatolia really that hopeless in population growth, same time period?

If the soil is not as good as France/HRE, would Roman type administration/trade/diplomacy make Balkans/Anatolia better off? The Romans did import Egyptian Grain to feed Rome at the time Egypt was independent.

Can this type of administration/trade/diplomacy applied with Balkans/Anatolia wherein food deficit required for a larger population be imported?

That you could, you Could. But Why? and from Where?, the why is important, because a Ottoman empire would give free food in case of famine, but no in normal times, and if the area is no rich enough or exporting some trade commodities that give them a good purchase power, they couldn´t import enough food. With what they gonna pay for the food?

The Romans could do, but they tend to Focus in the Cities, and to make the population growth you want, the food must arrive to the country farms, and this a really step challenged.

And the from where is important too.
Egypt? most of the food surpluses of Egypt were directed to the Arab Peninsula, especially Mecca and Medina Cities, as they are important religious centers that could not feed themselves from the land and,especially the case of Mecca, where constantly inundate with religious peregrines

Ukraine? in this period was not a the breadbasket that the region will become later, it´s was nomad land, with very few settled and farming areas, tehy could produce a lot of food for export but there is nor people to do the work.

Europe? you run in the problem that Europe barely was feed itself in this period, they where cutting forest and expanding constantly the Arable land, and still the famines were a constant, and cyclical, thread is not until the American Interchange that the situation stopped to be so in the edge.

Middle east? there is a reason you don´t trade food for land until pretty recent in the human history.

The beast option , I think, you haves is a early and fastest adoption of American Crops, potatoes(THE game changer), beans, Maize, winter Squash, Calabazas or Pumpkin (the three sister system would make miracles to impoverished soils of the region) Sweet potato,Cassava(if the climate is hot enough).

This would make the population growth you want, but alas i don´t know anything of the adoption of the crops in the area, or in the middle east to tell you the truth
 
I find it a bit strange that every one is arguing about pre-modern events as PODs. In OTL, the population of Anatolia skyrocketed during the 20th century with the introduction of modernized agriculture and better standards of health. The Balkan could perfectly have seen a similar growth had it not been divided into many poor countries that proved unable to bring themselves up to the standard of the time, as well as the well known negative effects that the communist regimes had in population growth on that side of the iron courtin.
 
This would make the population growth you want, but alas i don´t know anything of the adoption of the crops in the area, or in the middle east to tell you the truth

What are the conservative estimates of population growth by 1800 if the base is 1025 AD Byzantine empire assuming 12M estimate Roman population (8M anatolia 4M balkans)? I see the balkans have more room to expand due to the proximity to Danube.

Or would stagnation and decline of population be an acceptable fact in all timelines for Balkans and Anatolia ?

I find it a bit strange that every one is arguing about pre-modern events as PODs. In OTL, the population of Anatolia skyrocketed during the 20th century with the introduction of modernized agriculture and better standards of health. The Balkan could perfectly have seen a similar growth had it not been divided into many poor countries that proved unable to bring themselves up to the standard of the time, as well as the well known negative effects that the communist regimes had in population growth on that side of the iron courtin.

I am trying to explore options in administrative/agriculture efficiency if there was anything lacking in the Balkans and Anatolia in an alternate scenario.

Italy did populate estimated around 7M in 1000AD, 10M in 1500, 15-20 million by 1800. The Balkans and Anatolia went the other way declining in population.

I also would like to explore Balkan agriculture baskets like Ljubljana Marshes or Southern Dobruja or Vojvodina if they can even be optimized more rather than just accept OTL Ottomans were the ceiling of agricultural production and administration.

Anatolia did populate estimated 8M at around Augustus time, 10M at Marcus aurelius time, 8M during Basil II's time, then declined to 6M in 1800.

So there must be some way to improve that since Balkans/Anatolia seems to be screwed in OTL in terms of population 1000-1800.

Essentially replicate what the Western Europeans did in their populations same time period even if it were conservative estimates since Italy grew when Anatolia/Balkans shrank/stagnated.
 
What are the conservative estimates of population growth by 1800 if the base is 1025 AD Byzantine empire assuming 12M estimate Roman population (8M anatolia 4M balkans)? I see the balkans have more room to expand due to the proximity to Danube.

Or would stagnation and decline of population be an acceptable fact in all timelines for Balkans and Anatolia ?



I am trying to explore options in administrative/agriculture efficiency if there was anything lacking in the Balkans and Anatolia in an alternate scenario.

Italy did populate estimated around 7M in 1000AD, 10M in 1500, 15-20 million by 1800. The Balkans and Anatolia went the other way declining in population.

I also would like to explore Balkan agriculture baskets like Ljubljana Marshes or Southern Dobruja or Vojvodina if they can even be optimized more rather than just accept OTL Ottomans were the ceiling of agricultural production and administration.

Anatolia did populate estimated 8M at around Augustus time, 10M at Marcus aurelius time, 8M during Basil II's time, then declined to 6M in 1800.

So there must be some way to improve that since Balkans/Anatolia seems to be screwed in OTL in terms of population 1000-1800.

Essentially replicate what the Western Europeans did in their populations same time period even if it were conservative estimates since Italy grew when Anatolia/Balkans shrank/stagnated.

If you are looking for the reason why their population in the modern era fell compared to that of Roman times then the answer is really, really obvious: both were harshly ravaged by nomadic invaders who purposely reduced the previously agricultural regions to pastoralism (the avars in the Balkans and the turks in Anatolia). From there, the population never really recovered.

If you are looking for the reason why they didn't see similar population growth as Western Europe during the 18th and 19th century, that is because that was a time of agricultural revolution, that quite simply never really made it to the Ottoman empire (at least not until the independence movements has started).

For 20th century population growth, I think we can safely say that Anatolia did see equivalent success as the West in this area. The Balkans, on the other hand, fell under the rule of the communist republics of the time, who screwed agro production and were not at all open to investment, creating an environment in which children were expensive to maintain, and opportunities were to be found elsewhere. Really, their pattern of demographic stagnation during the period is nothing, peculiar among the communist nations of Europe at the time.
 
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Residents of the Balkan nations to this day scare their children with tales of “Khagan Minivan” and “Tsar Sedan,” the fearsome automotive nomads that drove into the region centuries ago and raided for gasoline.

What the... I have no idea what kind of autocorrect wizardry transmutated "Avars" into "cars".
 

Dementor

Banned
I find it a bit strange that every one is arguing about pre-modern events as PODs. In OTL, the population of Anatolia skyrocketed during the 20th century with the introduction of modernized agriculture and better standards of health. The Balkan could perfectly have seen a similar growth had it not been divided into many poor countries that proved unable to bring themselves up to the standard of the time, as well as the well known negative effects that the communist regimes had in population growth on that side of the iron courtin.
With the exception of Albania, all countries in the Balkans were richer than Turkey up to the 1990s. As for the negative effects of Communist rule, do you mean universal female education and high level participation in the workforce, secularization as well as promoting urbanization? Because these are the factors that led to the decline in population growth rate in Eastern Block countries and with which they differ from Turkey. And in which they are largely similar to Western European countries, who however had high immigration to offset the population decline.

For 20th century population growth, I think we can safely say that Anatolia did see equivalent success as the West in this area. The Balkans, on the other hand, fell under the rule of the communist republics of the time, who screwed agro production and were not at all open to investment, creating an environment in which children were expensive to maintain, and opportunities were to be found elsewhere. Really, their pattern of demographic stagnation during the period is nothing, peculiar among the communist nations of Europe at the time.
Just because most of the Balkans were ruled by Communists, doesn't mean that they had the same agricultural policies as the Soviet Union. Bulgaria in particular exported almost every agricultural item it was producing.
 
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