S is for Stadacona

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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S is for Stadacona: 13 September 1759 – France has been making desperate attempts to expand its territories in North America, but Captain Benning Migisi and his Odawa militia lieutenant, Obwandiyag, watch at night from their ship as French scouts scale the cliff onto the plains beyond Stadacona, capital of Kanata [Quebec City]. Benning, Obwandiyag, and their force of Mjölnir Militia attack the French scouts but encounter other French troops. They evade French patrols to reach their own lines and warn the Kanatian commander, General Jakob Ulve, of the impending French assault.

On the morning of the 13 September, the Kanatian forces, regular and Mjölnir Militia, repel the repeated attacks of the French. However, Benning Migisi dies saving his friend Obwandiyag, and in his dying breath says, “We are one people. We are one within Manitou’s sight.”

This is the last attempt by the French to invade Kanatian soil, although the Dixie States declare war on their northern neighbours forty-three years later.

 

Benjamin_West_005

Death of General Wolfe (1770) – Artist: Benjamin West (1738-1820) – National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario – Public Domain.

 

In our timeline: On the 13 September 1759, at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, British forces led by General James Wolfe successfully resisted the column advance of French troops and Canadien militia under General Louis-Joseph, Marquis de Montcalm. Wolfe received three gunshot wounds that ended his life within minutes of the beginning of the engagement and Montcalm died the next morning after receiving a musket ball wound just below his ribs. In the wake of the battle, the French evacuated the city; their remaining military force in Canada and the rest of North America came under increasing pressure from British forces.

France ceded most of its possessions in eastern North America to Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris. However, from 1763 to 1791, the British retained Quebec as the capital of the Province of Quebec; from 1791 to 1841, it was the capital of Lower Canada; from 1852 to 1856 and from 1859 to 1866, it was capital of the Province of Canada; and since 1867, it has been capital of the Province of Quebec.

As Kanata chose Stadacona (Quebec City) as their capital and major trading port, would there have been other nations that would attack the city? Or would the 1759 victory have been sufficient deterrent, except for the Dixie States?

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

R is for Rurikid Diarchy

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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R is for Rurikid Diarchy: 23 April 1933, Kiev – With the peaceful future of international relations thriving after the creation of the Union of World Nations in 1930, Tsaritsa Irina Feodorovna, co-ruler of the Rurikid Diarchy agrees with her co-ruler Patriarch Yaroslav Pieracki of the Kievan Orthodox Church that they should abdicate in favour of a true democracy. Despite the opposition of Georgian authoritarian, Josef Stalin, her Ukrainian advisors, Dariya Stasiuk and Havryil Chayka, draw up a constitution that addresses the existence in the Rurikid territories of various ethnic groups and states, using the example set by their trading partner, Kanata.

Fears of another European war diminish with the successful election of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, and the defeat of the Nazi party struggling after the death from syphilis of their psychotic leader Adolf Hitler.

A year later the Rurikid Confederation is born, with the Tsaritsa agreeing to represent Rurikid and perform speeches or attend any important ceremonial events as a symbolical guide to the people, but she agrees to hold no actual power in decision-making, appointments, etcetera. The Rurikid dynasty has ruled the Rus territories since 862, when her Varangian ancestor, Prince Rurik, originally from Norway, settled Novgorod before conquering Kievan Rus′.

 

800px-Top_of_the_Millennium_of_Russia_Monument_in_Novgorod,_2005

Millenium of Russia monument in Novgorod with Prince Rurik at the centre and Vladimir the Great at the left and Dmitry Donskoy at the right (both Rurikids) – Creative Commons

In our timeline: The Rurikid Dynasty was founded by the Varangian Prince Rurik, around the year 862, and they ruled in parts of Russia for over 700 years. The Varangians was a name given to the Vikings by the East Slavs and Greeks. Many served as mercenaries with the Byzantine Empire.

 

The last Tsars, the Romanovs, were descended from the Rurikids through marriage, but their reign ended with the Russian Revolution in 1917. Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Georgian by birth and took part in the Revolutions of 1917. He was the leader of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. Some have argued that he would have forced his way into power under any system and was never a true communist.

The Russian Orthodox Church was founded around 988 and survived through the Soviet period despite persecution. Some of the former states now have separate Orthodox Churches over which the ROC does not have full autonomy, notably the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

The Social Democratic Party of Germany was the main opposition to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, but in 1930, its deputies were either arrested or fled into exile. Adolf Hitler is reputed to have had various medical conditions, including syphilis.

Could a move to genuine democracy in Germany and Russia, and the death of Hitler, have avoided World War II? What kind of influence could a Kanata Confederation with allies in Northern Europe have wielded?

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Q is for Quipaipan

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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Q is for Quipaipan: April 1532 – On Quipaipan, the plains west of Cusco in Peru, the two brothers, Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, gather their armies to decide the succession to the throne of the Inca Empire. However, a diplomatic delegation from Kanata with experience of the Spanish attempts to subvert the indigenous tribes of the region persuades them to unite their forces in the face of a deadlier and wilier enemy.

Swayed by the wisdom and the trade agreements offered by the Kanatians, the Inca Empire reunites, and with an army of over 300,000 prepares for the devious invaders. The Incas stand firm when Francisco Pizarro and his small force of fewer than 200 Spaniards meets Atahualpa and Huáscar in Cajamarca, on 16 November 1532. The Spanish are outwitted and only achieve minor recognition, being granted permission to establish a trading post in the capital city of Cuzco, operated under Inca regulations.

Ataw_Wallpa_portrait

Portrait of Atahualpa, drawn from life, by a member of Pizarro’s detachment. 1533. Source: Book of Liselotte Engel. (Public domain)

In our timeline: The Inca Civil War was fought between the two half-brothers, Huáscar and Atahualpa, sons of Huayna Capac, over the succession to the throne of the Inca Empire. The Battle of Quipaipan was the final battle of the civil war and Atahualpa’s generals won a decisive victory. Atahualpa should have become sole ruler of the mighty Inca Empire had he not been captured himself by Francisco Pizarro in Cajamarca. Although the Spaniards had fewer than 200 soldiers and the Incas 6,000 in Cajamarca, the Spanish were victorious by preparing an ambush and as the Incas were complacent. Pizarro then captured and ransomed Atahualpa, using him to control the empire until the ransom was paid. Then he had Atahualpa garrotted. Within fifty years the Spanish managed to conquer the whole of the Inca Empire.

If Kanata was an alliance of Norse settlers, indigenous tribes and other Europeans, how realistic is it that they could prepare the Incas and the others for the Spaniards – presuming experience with other tribes in Central America? Would the Kanatians appear European or more native? What trading benefits could they offer?

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

P is for Plague

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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P is for Plague: 15 July 1350 – Fannar Ingolfsson, a Migisi Rederi merchant, is delivering a cargo of timber to Hellnar in Iceland when he meets a Sámi wise man, Rástoš Dávgon.  Rástoš warns him that a deadly plague is sweeping through Europe, including Scandinavia. European ‘scientific’ experts are blaming a conjunction of three planets, while other Christians are persecuting groups like the Jews for this evil. However, nothing has halted the disease. But from all he has gleaned from reports and observations, it spread from across central Asia, fed by the unsanitary conditions in the cities. He believes that other creatures can carry the disease, especially dogs and rats. Fortunately, cold conditions and isolation hinder the ‘black death’, and Iceland has been spared so far

Fannar recognises that Rástoš is a shaman, so as a follower of the old religion he asks if the spirits have told him what to do. The shaman has been directed to help Kanata as their people could be most vulnerable, although the mix of Norse blood and indigenous carries a valuable essence that will save them. He has already told those that will listen that cleanliness is crucial, bodies must be burnt by fire, although without sacrificing precious timber. Finally, stray animals of all types must be destroyed. Fannar adds that rats use mooring ropes to enter ships so the crews of all ships, especially fellow merchants, must be vigilant.

Rástoš sails with Fannar back to Kanata to alert and prepare the people in the Americas.

 

World_distribution_of_plague_1998

World distribution of plague, 1998. from U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public domain.

 

In our timeline: The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, resulting in the deaths of an estimated 75 to 200 million people in Eurasia and peaking in Europe in the years 1346–1353. The plague probably originated in Central Asia and travelled along the trade routes. Unsanitary conditions in Europe saw repeated outbreaks through to the 17th century, including in Iceland.

Burning bodies, controlling rodents and stray dogs, sanitation and cleanliness were rarely seen as solutions when it was easier to blame others or devils, and bury the dead or leave them rotting so scavengers could spread the disease further. Even the idea that cold or even freezing conditions can hinder or stop the disease is recent. Although there are some treatments for ‘plague’, including insecticides and a moderately effective vaccine, there are places that are still having outbreaks. Plague hovers in the shadows by many accounts: “The thought of another worldwide pandemic of Plague that is resistant to modern medical treatment boggles the mind.”

The plague was only one of the diseases that devastated the indigenous population of the Americas. The genetic makeup of Europeans made them less susceptible to other diseases, such as smallpox, and a greater percentage of them could develop immunity. The Native Americans were from a smaller gene pool. Another factor was that the indigenous people had not domesticated animals in such an extensive way as Europeans – domesticated animals were disease carriers, but also ironically one source of vaccines.

Would more of the indigenous population of the Americas have survived the diseases if they were prepared? Would the earlier introduction of European genes, and domesticated animals have introduced a level of immunity?

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

O is for Ottoman Republic

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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O is for Ottoman Republic: February 18, 1856 – In agreement with the international community, headed by Kanata, Albion, France, and the Rurikids, Ottoman statesman, Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha, announces that Jerusalem and the port of Jaffa, plus the land between them, are to become a Free Protectorate, open to all religions, especially as the area was sacred to many faiths. A founding new edict, “granted that all forms of religion could be freely worshipped, no subject could be hindered in the exercise of the religion, nor be in any way annoyed. No one shall be compelled to change their religion.”

Furthermore, the area would operate as a free trade area in line with the Kalmar League and protected by all the members of the League. All the neighbouring nations, including Egypt, agreed to this arrangement and both Christian and Jews began to freely return to the Protectorate.

 

Mehemet_aali

Mehmed Emin Aali Pasha (1815-18710

 

In our timeline: Jerusalem was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1517 to 1917, although from 1831 to 1840 the Viceroy of Egypt annexed the city. Some improvements to the city were made and Christians and Jews did return, although, under the British mandate from 1917, problems flared between the religious communities.  Attempts to reach an international settlement after the First World War proved fraught with problems, which still remain.

Mehmed Emin Âli Pasha was one of the Ottoman Empire’s most enlightened statesman and some would say one of the architects of many of the reforms that led to the founding of modern Turkey.

Could a different attempt by the international community to resolve the Palestine-Israel question have been resolved? Could the Kalmar Union have evolved into an early League of Nations/United Nations with the power to avoid some of the conflicts that have ravaged our timeline? Or is that repetitive conflict inevitable and escalating?

 

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

N is for Nanwalek

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 A to Z Challenge theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage”, my alternative history novel that all began when I wondered, “What would have happened if Leif Eriksson had settled Vinland permanently in 1000 AD? For further details and links to my other A to Z posts – and hints at the ones to come visit “Kanata – A to Z Challenge 2017”.

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N is for Nanwalek:  20 August 1415 – A decrease in the summer Arctic ice, and news via the Kalmar Union that Rus traders have opened a north-eastern passage that might connect to Kanata, has encouraged Kanatian explorers to find a north-west passage.

Using ice-breaking ships that combine lateen rigs and the ‘kochi’ technology of the Rus, Danish-Venetian navigator Jannick Chabotto has guided a fleet of five ships with merchant-adventurer Sacagawea Migisi, through to open water. Approaching a strait [Bering Straits] that could lead into the Cathay Ocean, they espy a fleet of four Rus traders flying the flag of the Rurikid Dynasty. They follow them into the port of Nanwalek, where the Rus leader Semyon Dezhnyov is fascinated to meet a mixed blood Mjölnir commander. and a detachment of Mjölnir Militia comprising various nationalities. However, everyone agrees that the trading post of Nanwalek must remain under the control of the indigenous Sugpiat people. But the Kanatians and Rus vow to explore the Cathay Ocean.

 

JohnCabotPainting

John Cabot in traditional Venetian garb by Giustino Menescardi (1762). A mural painting in the ‘Sala dello Scudo’ in the Palazzo Ducale. (Public domain)

In our timeline: In 1786, Nanwalek, Alaska became a Russian trade post called Point Alexandrovski using the indigenous people to harvest sea-otter furs. On 30 March 1867, Alaska was sold by Russia to the United States. Locals changed the community name to Nanwalek, meaning “place by lagoon,” in the language of the Sugpiat.

 

Semyon Dezhnyov (c. 1605 – 1673) was a Russian polar explorer and the first Russian to find the Bering Straits. He was also a Pomor, whose people developed the ‘koch’ icebreaking ships.

The Venetian Zuan Chabotto – known in English as John Cabot – was the first recorded European, in 1497, to search for the North-West Passage.  The first crossing solely by ship was the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in 1903–1905. He used a small ship and hugged the coast. In contrast, the Russian-Siberian route involves far fewer islands and narrow straits so it is not surprising that the Russians discovered the Bering Straits first. However, the north-west coast of North America was explored by both the Spaniards and the British in the late 18th century.

If Viking descendants from Russia and Kanata met, would they be amicable merchants or bitter rivals? Would they have a common language after 400 years? Modern Scandinavians are pretty smart about understanding each other given the Old Norse roots of their languages.

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Important Links for the A to Z Challenge – please use these links to find other A to Z Bloggers

Website: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/atozchallenge/

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge