Reflections of 2017 #AtoZChallenge

survivor-atoz [2017] v1

 

The 2017 Blogging from A to Z Challenge didn’t go as planned for me so apologies to my followers and to my fellow bloggers. In previous years, I have written and scheduled all or at least most of my posts by the end of March. That allows me time to write the few missing ones during the early part of April as well as time to visit the A to Z bloggers that I follow and any new ones that catch my attention.

This time things went awry. I chose my theme okay – The History of Kanata – and even got some of the posts done. But I was already a bit behind come April 1st so there was no way that I was taking Sunday, April 2nd off. Then overnight my health took a nose-dive and on Monday April 3rd I collapsed shortly after posting on Facebook, “After a terrible night when Juanita Clarke was luckily tere for me, psting is very hard as mystyping everything. So apologies for siaslence.”

My belated post, “Insecure and Invalid”, explains how I was rushed to hospital and my nights there. Suffice to say that the rest of April was a struggle just to stay on top of my own posts while still feeling poorly. At least, the 500+ emails that I came back to have been reduced to nearer 350 but they keep sneaking back into my Inbox somehow.

I also managed to reply to those people that took the trouble to comment on the posts – you know who you are so my grateful thanks.

When I did the post-event survey I said that I hadn’t visited or commented on any other posts and that answer was inaccurate – I visited two or three that dropped by my site. However, I have a lot of A to Z sites to visit as I get on top of things – if that is possible.

As far as the absence of the Linky links page was concerned I didn’t have a chance to miss it. But I did manage to post most of my daily posts on the Facebook page. That worked brilliantly, just like the Insecure Writers Facebook page does, and on a random visit, I found a fellow MS warrior which made April worthwhile.

I don’t feel my experience was a fair reflection on the team, but I would still like to give the hard-working bunch a shout out, especially founder Arlee Bird.

Time now to point you to the It’s Time to Reflect! page where you can find other A to Z Reflections.

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

Twitter handle: @AprilAtoZ

Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

 

Z is for Zaachila

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”.

Z (1)

Z is for Zaachila: 15 August 1521, Zaachila – After receiving news of the defeat of their arch-enemies the Aztecs, King Cosijoeza the Zapotec ruler of Zaachila decides that his people should not to confront the Spaniards and suffer the same fate. However, he hesitates on hearing the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan has been destroyed, including all the temples, and that Hernán Cortés, leader of the Spaniards has banished the surviving Aztec people, having ruthlessly killed many of them.

Seeking the advice of Kanata diplomat, Brynja Migisi, he is advised that the Spaniards will suppress all of Mesoamerica until it is subject to the Spanish crown and the Catholic church. Cosijoeza asks for strategic guidance from Brynja and her Mjölnir Militia bodyguards as he unites the Zapotecs, Mixtecs, Tarascans, Xochimilcas, and other nations in the region.

Seeking more land to conquer and heathens to convert, Hernán Cortés sends ruthless conquistador Pedro de Alvarado with 180 cavalry, 300 infantry, crossbows, muskets, four cannons, large amounts of ammunition and gunpowder, and thousands of allied Mexican warriors to subdue the Mayans.

However, crossing the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Zapotec territory, Alvarado is confronted by Cosijoez’s superior forces with their own horses, iron and steel weapons, and gunpowder;. Brynja Migisi with her Mjölnir bodyguards attempts to negotiate a truce explaining that the Norse have learnt to live with the indigenous people. Alvarado calls her a pagan and refuses to negotiate, instead ordering the Kanatians executed. But his Mexican allies turn on the outnumbered Spaniards, and with Cosijoez’s forces drive the surviving Spaniards back to their isolated enclaves. Mesoamerica would absorb the invaders.

Zapotecos

Location of Zapotec Civilization – Based on cartography produced by User:Koba-chan – Author: Yavidaxiu – Public domain

In our timeline: Source – Wikipedia

Zaachila was a powerful Mesoamerican city in what is now OaxacaMexico. The city is named after Zaachila Yoo, the Zapotec ruler, in the late 14th and early 15th century. It is now an archaeological site. A large unexplored pyramid mound is in the centre in which two tombs were discovered in 1962. These tombs are thought to belong to important Mixtec persons.

Following the fall of Monte Alban, Zaachila became the last Zapotec capital. Sometime before the arrival of the Spaniards, the capital was conquered by the Mixtecs. The history of the pre-Hispanic city is unclear. One theory is that the site flourished 1100 and 1521 AD. Another theory is that the city was founded in 1399 and could be compared to Tenochtitlan, as it was a city in the middle of a lake. The full extent of the ancient city is not known either, principally because excavation is impeded by the fact that most mounds have inhabited structures on them.

The Zapotec civilisation was an indigenous pre-Columbian civilisation that flourished in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mesoamerica. Archaeological evidence shows that their culture goes back at least 2,500 years. The Zapotec left archaeological evidence at the ancient city of Monte Albán in the form of buildings, ball courts, magnificent tombs and grave goods including finely worked gold jewellery. Monte Albán was one of the first major cities in Mesoamerica and the centre of a Zapotec state that dominated much of the territory that today belongs to the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

At the time of Spanish conquest of Mexico, when news arrived that the Aztecs were defeated by the Spaniards, King Cosijoeza ordered his people not to confront the Spaniards so they would avoid the same fate. They were defeated by the Spaniards only after several campaigns between 1522 and 1527. However, uprisings against colonial authorities occurred in 1550, 1560 and 1715.

The Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire (begun February 1519) was one of the most significant events in the Spanish colonisation of the Americas.

The Spanish campaign began in February 1519 and was declared victorious on August 13, 1521, when a coalition army of Spanish forces and native Tlaxcalan warriors led by Hernán Cortés and Xicotencatl the Younger captured emperor Cuauhtemoc and Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire. However, the conquest was much more complex and took longer than the three years that it took Cortés to conquer Tenochtitlan. It took almost 60 years of wars for the Spaniards to suppress the resistance of the Indian population of Mesoamerica.

Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He is considered the conquistador of much of Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Although renowned for his skill as a soldier, Alvarado is known also for the cruelty of his treatment of native populations, and mass murders committed in the subjugation of the native peoples of Mexico.

Could Mesoamerica survive until the year 2020 despite the Spaniards? Would they be a threat to Kanata or allies?

***

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

Y is for Yuan Dynasty

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”.

X (1)

Y is for Yuan Dynasty: 12 August 1410, Nanjing, Yangtze River – After suppressing the revolts fermented by the Ming invaders, Empress Mandukhai Khatun has secured the Yuan Dynasty with her husband, Batmunkh Dayan Khan, a direct descendant of the great Genghis Khan. Their advisors had encouraged them to adopt the era name Yongle, meaning “perpetual happiness” for that was the age they were entering.

Standing with their courtiers and diplomats aboard the imposing 408-foot, four-decked Imperial junk anchored off the fortress port of Nanjing, they watch they watch the return of Admiral Zheng He’s fleet of 62 treasure ships supported by 190 smaller ships, knowing Zheng’s fourth voyage west had ensured that Chinese dominance of the western trade routes was undisputed with twenty-five fortified ports established to secure the trade routes. Imperial messengers had already announced that the rulers of eighteen countries were sending envoys with the fleet bearing tribute to the Yuan court.

Only the Norse trade network centred in the north remained to be absorbed, or subjugated if they challenged the true heirs of Genghis Khan. However, their distant relations, the Khanate of the Golden Horde had failed to seize any territory held by the Varangians or Rurikids allied to the Norse. The Yuans had a duty to reclaim all the Mongol territory and spread the words of the Buddha.

Map-Zheng_He

Author – Continentalis  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

In our timeline: Source – Wikipedia

The Yuan dynasty was the empire or ruling dynasty of China established by Kublai Khan, leader of the Mongolian Borjigin clan. Although the Mongols had ruled territories including today’s North China for decades, it was not until 1271 that Kublai Khan officially proclaimed the dynasty in the traditional Chinese style, and the conquest was not complete until 1279. His realm was, by this point, isolated from the other khanates and controlled most of present-day China and its surrounding areas, including modern Mongolia.

…The final years of the Yuan dynasty were marked by struggle, famine, and bitterness among the populace. In time, Kublai Khan’s successors lost all influence on other Mongol lands across Asia, while the Mongols beyond the Middle Kingdom saw them as too Chinese. Gradually, they lost influence in China as well…falling to the forces of the Míng dynasty (1368–1644)

Mandukhai Khatun (Mongolian, also known as Mandukhai Sechen Khatun, or Queen Manduhai the Wise, (c. 1449 – 1510) was the Khatun of the Northern Yuan dynasty, that survived the Yuan Dynasty and was based in Mongolia. She reunited the warring Mongols with her husband Batmunkh Dayan Khan, a direct descendant of Genghis Khan.

The treasure voyages were the seven Ming-era maritime voyages between 1405 and 1433. The Yongle Emperor initiated the construction of the treasure fleet in 1403. The grand project resulted in seven far-reaching ocean voyages to the coastal territories and islands in and around the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, and beyond. Admiral Zheng He was commissioned to command the treasure fleet for the expeditions. Six of the voyages occurred during the Yongle reign (r. 1402–24), while the seventh voyage occurred under the Xuande reign (r. 1425–1435). The first three voyages reached up to Calicut on India’s southwestern coast, while the fourth voyage went as far as Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. Afterwards, the fleet made voyages farther away to the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

The Chinese expeditionary fleet was heavily militarised and carried great amounts of treasures, which served to project Chinese power and wealth to the known world. They brought back many foreign ambassadors whose kings and rulers were willing to declare themselves tributaries of China.

Would the Chinese under the Mongolians challenge the Norse trade empire based in Kanata? Would this lead to a naval war? Who would win?

***

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

X is for Xochimilco

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”.

X (1)

X is for Xochimilco: March 26, 1850, Xochimilco – ecological scientists and sanitation innovators, Leena Riika Niellä and her partner Roope Richardson are travelling by steam powered boat and canoes through the extensive lakes and canal system of Xochimilco taking water samples. They are accompanied by a senior minister for the Mēxihcan Board of Health, Citlali Aguado who is concerned about the decline in the nation’s sanitation in the Valley of Mēxihca. He wants the Kanatian experts to advise on the best policies to be introduced, based on their expertise in the field and extensive work in other cities across the continent. Their immediate recommendations include reduced exploitation of the natural water resources, controls on waste discarded from ships, and sewage treatment plants based on the reed bed advancement made in recent years. Industrial waste must not be allowed to contaminate the water, soil, or air, but be re-used.

 

Chinampa

A farmer weeding his crops on one of Xochimilco’s remaining chinampas (farm island) – Photographer – Jflo23 – GNU Free Documentation Licence

 

In our timelineWikipedia – Xochimilco borough is centred on the formerly independent city of Xochimilco, which was established on what was the southern shore of Lake Xochimilco in the pre-Hispanic period. The name “Xochimilco” comes from Nahuatl and means “flower field.” This referred to the many flowers and other crops that were grown here on artificial land called chinampas since the pre-Hispanic period. Xochimilco is best known for its canals, which are left from what was an extensive lake and canal system that connected most of the settlements of the Valley of Mexico….In 1850, the first steam powered boat travelled through here, connecting Mexico City with Chalco. Steam powered ships remained in Xochimilco waters from then until the 1880s, when they faded from use. Before during and after, Xochimilco continued to make more traditional rafts, canoes and trajineras, pushed along the shallow waters by a pole

 

…Up through the centuries, the valley lakes continued to shrink but there were still canals that linked Xochimilco to the centre of Mexico City. In the late 19th century, Mexico City had outgrown its traditional water supplies and began to take water from the springs and underground aquifers of Xochimilco. Degradation of the lakes was fastest in the early 20th century when projects such as the Canal del Desagüe were built to further drain the valley. This and excessive aquifer pumping lowered water tables and canals near Mexico City centre dried up and cut off an inexpensive way to get goods to market for Xochimilco. This had a major effect on the area’s economy, along with the effects of the loss of fishing for many local communities.

Wikipedia – Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards (December 3, 1842 – March 30, 1911) was an industrial and environmental chemist in the United States during the 19th century. Her pioneering work in sanitary engineering and experimental research in domestic science laid a foundation for the new science of home economics

…In the 1880s, her interests turned toward issues of sanitation, in particular air and water quality. She performed a series of water tests on 40,000 samples of local waters which served as drinking water for their immediate populations… in the state of Massachusetts. As a result, Massachusetts established the first water-quality standards in America, and the first modern sewage treatment plant was created.

Reed beds are becoming the popular and sustainable choice for wastewater and sludge management. Subsurface Flow Constructed Wetlands is one of the options available in Washington State.

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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

W is for Welsh Indians

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”.

W (1)

W is for Welsh Indians:  1 March 1181, Ohiːyo, [Good river in Seneca] – With their Chippewa kindred, Siofra Migisi and her fellow Kanatian traders land at an impressive city of wide streets, distinctive earthwork mounds, with structures including platforms, conical and ridgetop peaks. The clean streets are thronged with other traders bartering goods, and the Chippewa explain that this city is on a vast river network extending to the seas. As they approach the platform mound that houses the central community, Siofra hears a party of fair-skinned natives, much like themselves, speaking a language she recognises as Welsh.

She approaches them, greeting them in their own tongue, explaining that she grew up in Dublin, a Norse trading city that the Welsh frequented. The leader of the strangers greets her back in Norse, then explains that they are followers of Prince Madog ab Owain Gwynedd, and they are seeking fertile land to settle. Like the Vikings they are integrating with the indigenous people, sharing their knowledge. Siofra invites the Welsh Indians to travel with them and explore the riches that seem to abound along the Ohiːyo.

 

In our timelineWikipedia: “Madoc, also spelled Madogab Owain Gwynedd was, according to folklore, a Welsh prince who sailed to America in 1170, over three hundred years before Christopher Columbuss voyage in 1492.”

Forgotten Dragon: “By all accounts, the young Prince Madoc spent his formative years in the Norse city of Dublin, and likely learned the skills of sailing and shipbuilding from his time there. …Disappointed and disillusioned with the events that followed his father’s passing, Madoc gathered up some followers and in the footsteps of previous intrepid Norse explorers, set out for a new beginning.”

 

The Filson Historical Society: “…The story goes that the death Madoc’s father, Prince Owen Gwynedd of Wales, triggered internecine strife among his successors. Desiring no part in the conflict, Madoc sailed west across the ocean with a small fleet of ships. Some time later he returned to Wales, telling of an unknown country, pleasant and fertile. Convincing some of his countrymen to accompany him, he set sail again and never returned.”

Fairhope, Alabama: “Some historians maintain that the colonists evolved over the next several hundred years into the Mandan Indian Tribe of Missouri, an atypical tribe of “Indians” who used vestiges of the Welsh language and with some members of the tribe having light skin, red hair and blue eyes. In the tribe’s sacred ceremonies as witnessed by the Indian painter, George Catlin in the early 1800s, the members of the tribe worshipped a god they referred to as “Madoc.”

But this was before the discovery of the Mississippian culture. Angel Mounds State Historic Site is located on the Ohio River in Vanderburgh and Warrick counties in the southwestern corner of the U.S. state of Indiana. It is the site of a town constructed and occupied from 1100 CE to 1450 CE as one of the farthest north-eastern expressions of the Mississippian culture. Its characteristic earthwork mounds, with shapes including platform, conical and ridgetop are found in other locations along the river network.

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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

V is for Vijayanagara Confederation

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”.

V (1)

V is for Vijayanagara Confederation: 16 May 1929, Vijayanagara – Chakravarti Rajagopalachari, premier of the Vijayanagara Confederation gathers a conference of representatives from throughout the Indian sub-continent to discuss a union of their nations. With the co-operation of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from the Maratha Republic and Muhammad Ali Jinnah of the Khilafat Protectorate, they establish the Bharat Federation, named after the historical name for India, Bharatavarsha.

The constitution of the Federation is built around universal suffrage, and economic policies based on import substitution industrialisation and a mixed economy, where the government-controlled public sector co-existed with the private sector. Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade in goods that Bharat excelled in producing is encouraged in exchange for goods that the states are not able to be self-reliant in. A formal agreement is made with the Kanata Konføderasjon to develop airship technology. In all states, religious pluralism is to be adhered to as well as an end to purdah, child marriage, untouchability, and the extreme oppression of widows, up to and including sati.

All attempts by outsiders, from the Moghuls, the British, the Portuguese, and the Chinese, to influence the affairs of the sub-continent had been resisted over centuries, and Bharat becomes a founder member of the Union of World Nations in 1930.

Vijayanagara-empire-map.svg

Location of Vijayanagara Empire – author Mlpkr GNU Free Documentation Licence

 

In our timeline: The Vijayanagara Empire was established in 1336 by Harihara I and his brother Bukka Raya I of the Sangama Dynasty. The empire rose to prominence as a culmination of attempts by the southern powers to ward off Islamic invasions by the end of the 13th century.

The empire’s legacy includes many monuments spread over South India, the best known of which is the group at Hamp, formerly the capital city of Vijayanagara.  Efficient administration and vigorous overseas trade brought new technologies such as water management systems for irrigation. The empire’s patronage enabled fine arts and literature to reach new heights in KannadaTeluguTamil, and Sanskrit, while Carnatic music evolved into its current form. The Vijayanagara Empire created an epoch in South Indian history that transcended regionalism by promoting Hinduism as a unifying factor.

The largest feudatories of the Vijayanagar empire – the Mysore KingdomKeladi NayakaNayaks of MaduraiNayaks of TanjoreNayakas of Chitradurga and Nayak Kingdom of Gingee – declared independence and went on to have a significant impact on the history of South India in the coming centuries. These kingdoms lasted into the 18th century, while the Mysore Kingdom remained a princely state until Indian Independence in 1947, although they came under the British Raj in 1799 after the death of Tipu Sultan.

Tragically, India and Pakistan’s path to partition was bloody and difficult despite the attempts of the leaders, including Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru – the first Prime Minister of India – and Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of Pakistan. The ongoing political tensions between the nations has often been cited as a potential nuclear flashpoint.

Among other prominent activists was  Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (10 December 1878 – 25 December 1972) born in Tamil Nadu. Informally called Rajaji or C.R., he was an Indian politician, independence activist, lawyer, writer and statesman. Rajagopalachari was the last Governor-General of India. He also served as leader of the Indian National CongressPremier of the Madras PresidencyGovernor of West Bengal, Minister for Home Affairs of the Indian Union and Chief Minister of Madras state.

Would the foreign powers have taken over the Indian sub-continent if the states had been united? What could have emerged without the British Raj? What language would have become the dominant language? Could Bharat be a major ally or rival of Kanata?

***

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