Medieval America Mark III

The Royal Roads of the Southwest

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The peoples of the southwest live - and for hundreds of thousands of slave laborers, die - by their public works. To make the desert bloom, massive and complex irrigation systems must be built and administered by strong central governments if civilization is to be maintained and a third Dark Age averted. These central governments therefore have the know-how and institutional urge to build other public works on a scale beyond anywhere else in the former United States. Often, these monuments are built at the demand of the God-kings of these hydraulic empires, usually in the service to their immortal soul - pyramids, labyrinths, temples. In addition, there are those public works that are not directly tied to irrigation, nor do they directly appeal to any higher power, but they nonetheless service the realm and proclaim the glory of the Presidents. One such example are the Presidential Railways.

Now, make no mistake: these are not the iron railroads plowed by steam locomotives that had tied together the continent in the industrial age. For the most part, they are ruts cut into stone roads, tracks in which the wheels of a wagon can be placed. This may seem like nothing to get overexcited about, their are clear advantages in the context of the west. For one, travel is a fairly well-strictured thing. Trails and caravan routes are ancient and must be strenuously held to. Any deviation or attempt to find a new pass may lead to a would-be trailblazer may just as well result in his death by thirst, or he may fall under the mercy of savage and suspicious tribal peoples. Wagon-ways ensure that there is no deviation, accidental or otherwise.

This latter point is of especial importance for the cyclopean states of the desert. More than anything, the reign of the hydraulic empires is predicated upon control - control over water, control over violent force, control over access to God. Life is highly strictured, designed to ensure compliance and eternal loyalty now and in the hereafter. Railways allow potentates, whether they be local chieftains, high priests, or presidents to exercise a high degree of trade over vital commerce. Large and heavily-burdened wagons cannot travel over the raw earth. They are reliant on stone roads built by the government, who then solidifies their power by requiring wagon trains to travel only in the prescribed ruts. More practically for especially heavy wagons, it cuts down on maintenance needed for the road. In many lands, the penalty for a wagons bearing a sufficient load that do not travel with their wheels in the grooves is death, by crushing beneath rail wagon.

The first state to pioneer the use of railways was Vegas. The Colorado being unnavigable aside from a few short stretches which are passable by barges, the House of Vegas needed a dependable network of transportation to administer their riverine kingdom, taking vital supplies to the waterworks upstream of Lake Mead. And so, the Caesars commissioned their sage-engineers and bureaucrats to construct a great series of engraved roads to tie together the Colorado. The design reached New Mexico in the late 27th century during the rule of the Vegasite Dynasty. Though railways were born in Vegas, it reached its highest form in the Confederacy. The land is vast, rough, and mostly empty, necessitating many paved roads between major cities. The largest cities are connected by enragraved roads, and most cities have extensive networks within. While in Vegas gauges were largely standardized, in New Mexico they wildly differ between towns and regions. Every stretch of graven road is controlled by a different temple complex or guild, built to their own specifications. Each excises their pound of flesh and kicks some up to the representatives of the confederal government.

In Splendid Albuquerque the central government takes the strongest interest in graven roads, and elevates them to their greatest heights. The city center is full of towering elevated graven roadways, a marvel of the world. Between the great temples and palaces, rather than simple graven roads, there are rails of precious iron and glinting bronze. It was here that with government patronage the eunuch-slave Abed Wayasli, taken in war with Kuluradu, designed mechanical hand-carts, marvels that could travel without being pulled. An extremely large funerary hand carriage was designed to ferry the body of President Bill Cisneros over iron rails to his mourtuary temple outside of the temple. The rails and the massive cart have both recently been broken down for scrap, but handcarts have become increasingly popular in the city.

Recently, the rails have been adopted in a few cities in California, though to comparatively limited extent. The system has seen little to no adoption in Bajo Colorado, Utah, or Kuluradu.
 
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Question for anyone knowledgeable about metallurgy/geology: depletion aside, would the copper-nickel deposits at Sudbury be potentially workable by high middle age technology? As I understand it copper extraction wasn't really figured out until the 18th century and even then it was only on a small scale, but is is possible?
 
So on the idea of Medieval America being more along the lines of Imperial China & Byzantium. I can while the west has been lost. Outside of occasional expeditions by "Emperors" with more pride than sense. I can see there being periods where the Caribbean Islands fell under American rule. With there even being some rough parallels between China & Vietnam and "Imperial America" & the northern Coastal nations of South America. Heck the "Empire" may have conquered parts of Mexico in the past, same for Quebec and some rough Korea parallels.


While on science and technology. I can see them having some crude form of mass production. With water wheel blast furnaces, spinning jenny's, wood block printing or even full on printing presses. Being powered by the flow of the Mississippi River or even surviving damns. Alongside agriculture being in a similar position with seed drills, Mccormick Reapers and crop rotations. Which helps in not only supporting a large population but also a professional military to defend against barbarian raids from the Canadian prairie.

As for medicine it's probably more reminiscent of antiquity or the Islamic golden age, then dark age Europe. Only with more modern knowledge sprinkled in including germ theory, simple vaccinations (the Islamic world knew about it centuries before the west) and possibly even sulfa drugs. So the use of anesthetics, hand washing with soap and disinfecting wounds with alcohol would all be common practices.
 
So on the idea of Medieval America being more along the lines of Imperial China & Byzantium. I can while the west has been lost. Outside of occasional expeditions by "Emperors" with more pride than sense. I can see there being periods where the Caribbean Islands fell under American rule. With there even being some rough parallels between China & Vietnam and "Imperial America" & the northern Coastal nations of South America. Heck the "Empire" may have conquered parts of Mexico in the past, same for Quebec and some rough Korea parallels.


While on science and technology. I can see them having some crude form of mass production. With water wheel blast furnaces, spinning jenny's, wood block printing or even full on printing presses. Being powered by the flow of the Mississippi River or even surviving damns. Alongside agriculture being in a similar position with seed drills, Mccormick Reapers and crop rotations. Which helps in not only supporting a large population but also a professional military to defend against barbarian raids from the Canadian prairie.

As for medicine it's probably more reminiscent of antiquity or the Islamic golden age, then dark age Europe. Only with more modern knowledge sprinkled in including germ theory, simple vaccinations (the Islamic world knew about it centuries before the west) and possibly even sulfa drugs. So the use of anesthetics, hand washing with soap and disinfecting wounds with alcohol would all be common practices.
All truly excellent points. I'm a big fan of "neo-medieval" techniques using easily back-formed knowledge or techniques from the modern day like that. It simply doesn't make sense to forget any sort of simple yet continually proven knowledge like that once they're discovered.

Another aspect I think would contribute to the average *American peasant/yeoman actually being better off - certainly healthier - than their OTL medieval ancestors is that this *America will have access to both Old AND New World crops to mix and match depending on seasons and/or soil exhaustion, @Flashman correctly noting potatoes and corn exist for *Americans to consume, and combining that with an *Empire that could at least nominally control to the Rockies, the concept of irrigation on the Great Plains' rivers or perhaps even the Ogallala Aquifier not being exhausted (could it even replenish if so many less people are using it? I would not know how such things work) would mean the average person has MUCH less to fear from the concept of a famine with such readily available farmland that exists nearly... well, everywhere. I wonder if the old Amerindian "three sisters" (pumpkins, corn, beans) cultivation plan could even return to maximize food production for that particular trio. Assuming such food abundance as a general rule this would also no doubt mean this united *Empire is one of the most populated states in the world a la China or the old Roman Empire, but that goes without saying.

I even wonder if you could see the relatively biggest amount of freeholders or yeomen owning their own land in the neo-medieval world due to the abundance of land and food, an echo of colonial times when the average American settler was among the biggest, richest, most independent commoners in the world at the time.

This is undoubtedly an *America that faces east and south despite its extensive territory, per your talk on conquering or vassalizing *Quebec, the Caribbean, or the old Spanish Main, but it makes me wonder how culturally divergent along the old *USA west of the Rockies will become if it's not the focus anymore. Would California ultimately re-Hispanicize in language or even blood (if still incredibly diverse in ethnic terms)? Would the Mormons be a Prester John-like kingdom of "Americana" or (I suspect) truly diverge into their own identity like the Netherlands from the original Kingdom of Germany? I definitely suspect Greater *New Mexico/"Aztlan"'s non-Hispanics would *New Mexicanize fully and most of the PNW (I can see southern Idaho and southern Oregon becoming full Mormon territory) be a sort of mini-*America in a cultural sense, unless they decide to fully throw in with British Columbia in cultural terms and adopt a unique, truly independent hybrid *American-*Canadian identity.
 
I even wonder if you could see the relatively biggest amount of freeholders or yeomen owning their own land in the neo-medieval world due to the abundance of land and food, an echo of colonial times when the average American settler was among the biggest, richest, most independent commoners in the world at the time.

This is undoubtedly an *America that faces east and south despite its extensive territory, per your talk on conquering or vassalizing *Quebec, the Caribbean, or the old Spanish Main, but it makes me wonder how culturally divergent along the old *USA west of the Rockies will become if it's not the focus anymore. Would California ultimately re-Hispanicize in language or even blood (if still incredibly diverse in ethnic terms)? Would the Mormons be a Prester John-like kingdom of "Americana" or (I suspect) truly diverge into their own identity like the Netherlands from the original Kingdom of Germany? I definitely suspect Greater *New Mexico/"Aztlan"'s non-Hispanics would *New Mexicanize fully and most of the PNW (I can see southern Idaho and southern Oregon becoming full Mormon territory) be a sort of mini-*America in a cultural sense, unless they decide to fully throw in with British Columbia in cultural terms and adopt a unique, truly independent hybrid *American-*Canadian identity.
The existence of a large class of true freeholders strikes me as unlikely. Sure, Eastern America is big, but it will quickly fill up to the limit of what Neo-Medieval technology and methods will allow, and considering medieval birthrates it will fill up rather quickly. American Yeomen were so prosperous not because of the extent of the land per se, but precisely because that land was so empty. Also important to keep in mind that a significant portion of those prosperous freeholders weren't really freeholders at all - they were essentially feudal lords, except that they ruled over slaves instead of peasants.

I've been thinking about the West coast recently in the context of the future of the setting, but a lot of these points are applicable to this discussion.

I'm actually not so sure that California hizpanicizing fully is as sure a bet as it would be at first blush. In the year 2000 (roughly the POD of the setting), California was about a third Hispanic. Significant, but nowhere near the plurality we see today. Further, the impetus for immigration to California (and the rest of the US) is its prosperity as a part of the industrial world hegemon. In any collapse of civilization, this obviously disappears, and there becomes little reason to high-tail it hundreds or even thousands of miles from Central America. The regions of Mexico directly adjoining California are fairly desolate and low in population. Total hispanicization can not be ruled out, but it seems to me that it would require something on the order of the great ancient migrations, which is possible but I see no reason to postulate. Spanish would certainly be a very strong influence on *Calian, but English would probably be the strongest.

Mormons being a truly "Prester John" type society seems unlikely, considering at least in the schema you've discussed America rules over the Great Plains all the way to the Rockies - meaning it directly borders the Mormons. While I'm not so convinced that America would so easily exercise control over the Great American Desert, if it does than it maintains regular contact with the Deseretee. Considering Deseret is dependent on the east for the salt trade that is its lifeblood, and considering its demonstrated vulnerability to invasions from the east, I think it is probably a semi-independent client state of the Americans. It certainly is divergent from the American mainstream, but I think a better comparison than Prester John is the Taklamakan to China, albeit more culturally similar to the metropole.

Agreed on New Mexico, with the added the caveat that I suspect that area would in the long run be quite poor, alternately being influence and played off by the Californians and the Americans.

No strong thoughts on the Pacific Northwest, though I do suspect that a Vancouverian hybrid identity would be the more likely.
 
The existence of a large class of true freeholders strikes me as unlikely. Sure, Eastern America is big, but it will quickly fill up to the limit of what Neo-Medieval technology and methods will allow, and considering medieval birthrates it will fill up rather quickly. American Yeomen were so prosperous not because of the extent of the land per se, but precisely because that land was so empty. Also important to keep in mind that a significant portion of those prosperous freeholders weren't really freeholders at all - they were essentially feudal lords, except that they ruled over slaves instead of peasants.

I've been thinking about the West coast recently in the context of the future of the setting, but a lot of these points are applicable to this discussion.

I'm actually not so sure that California hizpanicizing fully is as sure a bet as it would be at first blush. In the year 2000 (roughly the POD of the setting), California was about a third Hispanic. Significant, but nowhere near the plurality we see today. Further, the impetus for immigration to California (and the rest of the US) is its prosperity as a part of the industrial world hegemon. In any collapse of civilization, this obviously disappears, and there becomes little reason to high-tail it hundreds or even thousands of miles from Central America. The regions of Mexico directly adjoining California are fairly desolate and low in population. Total hispanicization can not be ruled out, but it seems to me that it would require something on the order of the great ancient migrations, which is possible but I see no reason to postulate. Spanish would certainly be a very strong influence on *Calian, but English would probably be the strongest.

Mormons being a truly "Prester John" type society seems unlikely, considering at least in the schema you've discussed America rules over the Great Plains all the way to the Rockies - meaning it directly borders the Mormons. While I'm not so convinced that America would so easily exercise control over the Great American Desert, if it does than it maintains regular contact with the Deseretee. Considering Deseret is dependent on the east for the salt trade that is its lifeblood, and considering its demonstrated vulnerability to invasions from the east, I think it is probably a semi-independent client state of the Americans. It certainly is divergent from the American mainstream, but I think a better comparison than Prester John is the Taklamakan to China, albeit more culturally similar to the metropole.

Agreed on New Mexico, with the added the caveat that I suspect that area would in the long run be quite poor, alternately being influence and played off by the Californians and the Americans.

No strong thoughts on the Pacific Northwest, though I do suspect that a Vancouverian hybrid identity would be the more likely.
Oh, like I said to pattontank12 in an earlier post, I am stupidly conservative and dry on butterflies and depend on others to be more creative on worldbuilding and originality, but this also applies to detailed facts on the ground than the broad strokes, broad sweeps I tend to think about. You are frankly right on Californian and Deseret development, and how American freeholders developed de-facto is a sad but true realization.

You also reminded me I did mean to say regarding any United *America and Non-Denom world’s borders: I readily admit I am a sucker for such convenient natural borders for the Rockies, I think it could be hit up to because the vast internal advantages United *America has can let it de-facto control west to that however half-assed that control would be at times, but I really could also see the *Empire settling for the Red River of the North, Big Sioux River, Ozarks, and Sabine River (*Minnesota-to-Louisiana’s western lines) as a default western boundary. That’s close to the 100th meridian but doesn’t have to fret on patrolling every nigh-empty stretch of riverbank or grassland patch in the Great Plains, still provides some useful natural borders that can be readily fortified, is de-facto almost a continuous border north-to-south, and as I also said in an earlier post, even with said internal geographic blessings such a civilization-state/universal empire stretching to the mountains is huge, truly huge even by today’s standards. This allows the vitality of controlling both sides of the Mississippi while falling back to a nominally more manageable amount of land. Maybe a United *Empire could find it worthwhile to control/settle the Plains and de-facto eliminate cowboy raiders to the west, but time will tell on that one.

EDIT: Added Big Sioux River as part of the default western border.
 
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Oh, like I said to pattontank12 in an earlier post, I am stupidly conservative and dry on butterflies and depend on others to be more creative on worldbuilding and originality, but this also applies to detailed facts on the ground than the broad strokes, broad sweeps I tend to think about. You are frankly right on Californian and Deseret development, and how American freeholders developed de-facto is a sad but true realization.

You also reminded me I did mean to say regarding any United *America and Non-Denom world’s borders: I readily admit I am a sucker for such convenient natural borders for the Rockies, I think it could be hit up to because the vast internal advantages United *America has can let it de-facto control west to that however half-assed that control would be at times, but I really could also see the *Empire settling for the Red River of the North, Ozarks, and Sabine River (*Minnesota-to-Louisiana’s western lines) as a default western boundary. That’s close to the 100th meridian but doesn’t have to fret on patrolling every nigh-empty stretch of riverbank or grassland patch in the Great Plains, still provides some useful natural borders that can be readily fortified, is de-facto almost a continuous border north-to-south, and as I also said in an earlier post, even with said internal geographic blessings such a civilization-state/universal empire stretching to the mountains is huge, truly huge even by today’s standards. This allows the vitality of controlling both sides of the Mississippi while falling back to a nominally more manageable amount of land. Maybe a United *Empire could find it worthwhile to control/settle the Plains and de-facto eliminate cowboy raiders to the west, but time will tell on that one.
The problem with American control of the plains is, as I understand it, is that most of the Great Plains (except, I would suppose, the aluvial soils around the major rivers) is essentially unploughable without 19th century steel ploughs, making it essentially unlivable for all but a small number of agriculturalists, and making pastoralism far more viable. Pastoralism, in turn, is a lifestyle that is far more difficult to manage and govern by centralized authority, especially on vast plains where horsemen are provided essentially infinite mobility. The relationship between the Great Plains and any American Empire would be essentially identical to the relationship between China and the Eurasian Steppe. Just look at how much trouble the American Indian horsemen managed to give to encroaching settlers. Now imagine had they not been annihlated by disease, and if they have a millenium to perfect their art.

The borders you've lain out seem the most likely to me. 'Control' of the Plains prior to Neo-Modernity will be a fraught and loose thing, just as it was for China. Permanent and lasting subdual of the Cowboys can only come with the invention of gunpowder, maybe with a century or two on top for good measure.
 
All truly excellent points. I'm a big fan of "neo-medieval" techniques using easily back-formed knowledge or techniques from the modern day like that. It simply doesn't make sense to forget any sort of simple yet continually proven knowledge like that once they're discovered.
Yeah. It's weird that the Medieval American scholars and upper class know so much about history and yet so much practical knowledge has been lost.

I kinda see instead of the European medieval period/dark ages America would be more of a mix of antiquity, the Middle & Far East during the Medieval period and the colonial-enlightenment period. With American cavalry riding into battle with armor that's not to different from the Polish-Lithuanian Hussars. Supported by scout balloons and infantry in steel plate armor, using mass produced repeating crossbows.

Heck you could even have the "Imperial Palace" of America having mechanical autonomaton's as display pieces and the "Emperor" riding a steam carriage in parades.
Another aspect I think would contribute to the average *American peasant/yeoman actually being better off - certainly healthier - than their OTL medieval ancestors is that this *America will have access to both Old AND New World crops to mix and match depending on seasons and/or soil exhaustion, @Flashman correctly noting potatoes and corn exist for *Americans to consume, and combining that with an *Empire that could at least nominally control to the Rockies, the concept of irrigation on the Great Plains' rivers or perhaps even the Ogallala Aquifier not being exhausted (could it even replenish if so many less people are using it? I would not know how such things work) would mean the average person has MUCH less to fear from the concept of a famine with such readily available farmland that exists nearly... well, everywhere. I wonder if the old Amerindian "three sisters" (pumpkins, corn, beans) cultivation plan could even return to maximize food production for that particular trio. Assuming such food abundance as a general rule this would also no doubt mean this united *Empire is one of the most populated states in the world a la China or the old Roman Empire, but that goes without saying.
Makes sense. Though I doubt it would stretch very far into the plains. With the region being the perpetual frontier of the empire till the return of gunpowder. With the border possibly being defended by either an American Great Wall or a series of signal towers similar to this.
I even wonder if you could see the relatively biggest amount of freeholders or yeomen owning their own land in the neo-medieval world due to the abundance of land and food, an echo of colonial times when the average American settler was among the biggest, richest, most independent commoners in the world at the time.
It would be nice if some of the better parts of America survived. Though it's likely there would be a clear divide between the "peasants" and middle class, lower land owners.
This is undoubtedly an *America that faces east and south despite its extensive territory, per your talk on conquering or vassalizing *Quebec, the Caribbean, or the old Spanish Main, but it makes me wonder how culturally divergent along the old *USA west of the Rockies will become if it's not the focus anymore. Would California ultimately re-Hispanicize in language or even blood (if still incredibly diverse in ethnic terms)? Would the Mormons be a Prester John-like kingdom of "Americana" or (I suspect) truly diverge into their own identity like the Netherlands from the original Kingdom of Germany? I definitely suspect Greater *New Mexico/"Aztlan"'s non-Hispanics would *New Mexicanize fully and most of the PNW (I can see southern Idaho and southern Oregon becoming full Mormon territory) be a sort of mini-*America in a cultural sense, unless they decide to fully throw in with British Columbia in cultural terms and adopt a unique, truly independent hybrid *American-*Canadian identity.
It is possible that the lands west of the Rockies would face large scale invasion-mass migration from the North. By barbarians reminiscent of the ancient Germanic and Medieval Slavic tribes.

As for California it's unlikely that it would re-Hispanicize but at the same time it would be heavily influenced by Hispanic language and culture.
Oh, like I said to pattontank12 in an earlier post, I am stupidly conservative and dry on butterflies and depend on others to be more creative on worldbuilding and originality, but this also applies to detailed facts on the ground than the broad strokes, broad sweeps I tend to think about. You are frankly right on Californian and Deseret development, and how American freeholders developed de-facto is a sad but true realization.

You also reminded me I did mean to say regarding any United *America and Non-Denom world’s borders: I readily admit I am a sucker for such convenient natural borders for the Rockies, I think it could be hit up to because the vast internal advantages United *America has can let it de-facto control west to that however half-assed that control would be at times, but I really could also see the *Empire settling for the Red River of the North, Big Sioux River, Ozarks, and Sabine River (*Minnesota-to-Louisiana’s western lines) as a default western boundary. That’s close to the 100th meridian but doesn’t have to fret on patrolling every nigh-empty stretch of riverbank or grassland patch in the Great Plains, still provides some useful natural borders that can be readily fortified, is de-facto almost a continuous border north-to-south, and as I also said in an earlier post, even with said internal geographic blessings such a civilization-state/universal empire stretching to the mountains is huge, truly huge even by today’s standards. This allows the vitality of controlling both sides of the Mississippi while falling back to a nominally more manageable amount of land. Maybe a United *Empire could find it worthwhile to control/settle the Plains and de-facto eliminate cowboy raiders to the west, but time will tell on that one.

EDIT: Added Big Sioux River as part of the default western border.
Well on thought is that whatever event was devastating enough to destroy the modern post industrial society. So utterly and on a global scale that even a thousand years later things haven't recovered. That organized religion once it manages to reestablish and reasserted itself large. Could possibly take on a more Dualistic bend, post collapse similar to Catharism with there being two rival in eternal conflict. Heck you could even take elements from Voodoo or Tolkien's Legendarium. With both having lesser spirits that delegate different aspects of the world too.

The problem with American control of the plains is, as I understand it, is that most of the Great Plains (except, I would suppose, the aluvial soils around the major rivers) is essentially unploughable without 19th century steel ploughs, making it essentially unlivable for all but a small number of agriculturalists, and making pastoralism far more viable. Pastoralism, in turn, is a lifestyle that is far more difficult to manage and govern by centralized authority, especially on vast plains where horsemen are provided essentially infinite mobility. The relationship between the Great Plains and any American Empire would be essentially identical to the relationship between China and the Eurasian Steppe. Just look at how much trouble the American Indian horsemen managed to give to encroaching settlers. Now imagine had they not been annihlated by disease, and if they have a millenium to perfect their art.

The borders you've lain out seem the most likely to me. 'Control' of the Plains prior to Neo-Modernity will be a fraught and loose thing, just as it was for China. Permanent and lasting subdual of the Cowboys can only come with the invention of gunpowder, maybe with a century or two on top for good measure.
I can see certain border states like Texas developing highly martial regional subcultures of their own. As a response to and intermingling with various Plainsmen. Acting as "semi-barbaric" buffers between the plainsmen and the Empire-Freehold.
 
The problem with American control of the plains is, as I understand it, is that most of the Great Plains (except, I would suppose, the aluvial soils around the major rivers) is essentially unploughable without 19th century steel ploughs, making it essentially unlivable for all but a small number of agriculturalists, and making pastoralism far more viable. Pastoralism, in turn, is a lifestyle that is far more difficult to manage and govern by centralized authority, especially on vast plains where horsemen are provided essentially infinite mobility. The relationship between the Great Plains and any American Empire would be essentially identical to the relationship between China and the Eurasian Steppe. Just look at how much trouble the American Indian horsemen managed to give to encroaching settlers. Now imagine had they not been annihlated by disease, and if they have a millenium to perfect their art.

The borders you've lain out seem the most likely to me. 'Control' of the Plains prior to Neo-Modernity will be a fraught and loose thing, just as it was for China. Permanent and lasting subdual of the Cowboys can only come with the invention of gunpowder, maybe with a century or two on top for good measure.
Yeah. It's weird that the Medieval American scholars and upper class know so much about history and yet so much practical knowledge has been lost.

I kinda see instead of the European medieval period/dark ages America would be more of a mix of antiquity, the Middle & Far East during the Medieval period and the colonial-enlightenment period. With American cavalry riding into battle with armor that's not to different from the Polish-Lithuanian Hussars. Supported by scout balloons and infantry in steel plate armor, using mass produced repeating crossbows.

Heck you could even have the "Imperial Palace" of America having mechanical autonomaton's as display pieces and the "Emperor" riding a steam carriage in parades.

Makes sense. Though I doubt it would stretch very far into the plains. With the region being the perpetual frontier of the empire till the return of gunpowder. With the border possibly being defended by either an American Great Wall or a series of signal towers similar to this.

It would be nice if some of the better parts of America survived. Though it's likely there would be a clear divide between the "peasants" and middle class, lower land owners.

It is possible that the lands west of the Rockies would face large scale invasion-mass migration from the North. By barbarians reminiscent of the ancient Germanic and Medieval Slavic tribes.

As for California it's unlikely that it would re-Hispanicize but at the same time it would be heavily influenced by Hispanic language and culture.

Well on thought is that whatever event was devastating enough to destroy the modern post industrial society. So utterly and on a global scale that even a thousand years later things haven't recovered. That organized religion once it manages to reestablish and reasserted itself large. Could possibly take on a more Dualistic bend, post collapse similar to Catharism with there being two rival in eternal conflict. Heck you could even take elements from Voodoo or Tolkien's Legendarium. With both having lesser spirits that delegate different aspects of the world too.


I can see certain border states like Texas developing highly martial regional subcultures of their own. As a response to and intermingling with various Plainsmen. Acting as "semi-barbaric" buffers between the plainsmen and the Empire-Freehold.
I'll self-discipline myself for this to be my final post on the concept of a united neo-medieval America since I'm now rambling on and on about it as I did some thirty pages back, so I'll make the most of this last one.

These are all excellent points yet again on where the 'default' borders of such an *Empire would be, and my main curiosity and final question now is if the *Minnesota-to-Louisiana border is truly where it should end in viability, OR if it should be knocked back even more eastward to the Mississippi River - would those states just west of the MS River be more in-tune with the Cowboy hordes or civilized polity/-ies to the east in the long run? If the former and thus not part of the *Empire, then I find it a deep, deep irony that this "maximum" for a united neo-medieval *America is the 1783 USA including the Floridas and Louisiana east of the MS River, IE basically New Orleans - both of which were also precisely the maximum of what Jefferson and Madison wanted to purchase from France till the shock offer of All Louisiana, since I would say any united *Empire is absolutely unwilling to give up New Orleans at all costs for obvious reasons.

I admit some idealistic patriotism for as much of *America as possible sticking together in a "China, not Roman Empire" sense, but I also try to be genuinely realistic, so I am an obsessive stickler on where it would coalesce border-wise as its "defaults". Hence my obsessive thoughts on geography for it, both natural and ethnocultural.
 
I'll self-discipline myself for this to be my final post on the concept of a united neo-medieval America since I'm now rambling on and on about it as I did some thirty pages back, so I'll make the most of this last one.

These are all excellent points yet again on where the 'default' borders of such an *Empire would be, and my main curiosity and final question now is if the *Minnesota-to-Louisiana border is truly where it should end in viability, OR if it should be knocked back even more eastward to the Mississippi River - would those states just west of the MS River be more in-tune with the Cowboy hordes or civilized polity/-ies to the east in the long run? If the former and thus not part of the *Empire, then I find it a deep, deep irony that this "maximum" for a united neo-medieval *America is the 1783 USA including the Floridas and Louisiana east of the MS River, IE basically New Orleans - both of which were also precisely the maximum of what Jefferson and Madison wanted to purchase from France till the shock offer of All Louisiana, since I would say any united *Empire is absolutely unwilling to give up New Orleans at all costs for obvious reasons.

I admit some idealistic patriotism for as much of *America as possible sticking together in a "China, not Roman Empire" sense, but I also try to be genuinely realistic, so I am an obsessive stickler on where it would coalesce border-wise as its "defaults". Hence my obsessive thoughts on geography for it, both natural and ethnocultural.
I'd say that the eastern regions of North Dakota would be the farthest westward reach of an "American Empire. Though again I'd say it's likely that such an empire would expand North and Southward into former Canada and the Caribbean.
 
Timeline/historiographical note: Models of the spread of Scientology

Model One: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-discussion-thread.259115/page-5#post-6985599
Simply, jmberry contends that Scientology was attractive following the failure of the old beliefs, was adopted by powerful and charismatic Californians, and after a few generations was adopted by most Californians. Quite simple, not detailed, hardly a model at all. In line with White's terse style in that sense.

Model Two: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...-discussion-thread.259115/page-6#post-7027163
False Dmitri's robust model. Dmitri proposes that north and south California were formerly united into a single state. Scientology was centered in Los Angeles (though not even a majority of Angelenos followed it), and was followed by many powerful families around Sacramento with genealogical roots in LA. It had a complicated status in California, different Governors favoring or persecuting it. It finally rose to prominence when the chief of the Palace Guard of the Governor, a Scientologist, assassinated the Governor and took over. This began the age of the House of Etrabolta. Towards the end of this dynasty it crumbled into warring states.

Model Three: https://www.alternatehistory.com/fo...iscussion-thread.259115/page-29#post-11163586
Winner's model. When the "dust finally settled" from the collapse, California's governors maintained control over the central valley through their water distribution. However, when a drought struck and a popular rebellion arose against one governor, his mercenaries turned on him and one acclaimed himself Governor. He then signed a cynical alliance with the Church, which had maintained power by converting its land holdings into self sustaining colonies. Within a few generations, the whole of the country's was Scientologist. A hundred years after coming to power, this governor's dynasty collapsed.

Model Four: https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/medieval-america-mark-iii.419904/#post-15103697
Flashman's Muddled Model. My first mention of Scientology is about something called the "Scientology War" in my first (very bad and also probably in need of revision) Buddhism post. This was in reference to contact with California by Cascadia, and an exodus from California of Asian Americans to Cascadia. I later establish that the Scientology War was an attempted invasion by California under the Etrabolta of Cascadia, occurring after the Great Raids of the Laskans. A niggle here is that it makes the notion that Asian Americans flee to Cascadia PRIOR to John Amadi's enlightenment (and therefore prior to the Laskan Raids, which occurred at roughly the same time) unsupportable - what would they be fleeing from?

I establish in my "Lost Vegas I" post that some time, about 800 years ago (but definitely prior to 2350 AD), a large number of anti-Scientologist rebels were exiled from California, presumably by the new Etrabolta dynasty.

SYNTHESIS: In the decades immediately post-Regression, California collapsed entirely. Within a few more decades, a new government would reform in the Central Valley centered on Sacramento. However, it was well cut off from SoCal, which had descended into a barbarian hell due to its mountainous environment and lack of water. Scientology was largely restricted to Gold Base and scattered settlements across the region. This is an era of myth for the Scientologists, comparable to the Book of Joshua, where they slowly but surely took the region from these barbarian tribes. By the end of it, they formed a plurality. Contact was re-established with the Governor, and the Scientologists were granted privileges to rule over the land they were most powerful in.

Important in emerging trade routes to the west and south, and important for their control over the rich land, Scientologists filter north into Nocal, many rich and prominent families of Scientologists. Opinions vary, some Governors have them as vital allies, some squeeze them for taxes, some see them as threats and persecute them. Following a great drought, their is a peasant rebellion. The Chief of the Palace Guard, the scion of the Etrabolta Dynasty, a scientologist, assassinates the Governor and becomes Governor by acclamation. The country then breaks into a Warring States period, other sovereigns not willing to come under the Scientologist Yoke. Etrabolta quashes these with the help of Socal, and proclaims himself President.
 
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