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”.

S (1)

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?

***

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”.

R (1)

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?

***

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

M is for Maid of Norway

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”.

M (1)

M is for Maid of Norway:  8 July 1317 – Dunfermline Palace, Scotland: Margaret of Scotland, known as The Maid of Norway’ due to her birthplace, and her husband, Edvard II of England have united the lands of Albion with their marriage in 1300 and established diplomatic marriages with influential nobles. Christina, the daughter of their Lord Protector in Scotland, Robert the Bruce, is married to their son Alexander, and the Bruce has invited them back to the royal residence.

They are introduced to the scholar Cináed Giselbert who has travelled extensively from the heartlands of Kanata to the academic centres of the Islamic caliphates. He claims that an integrated, holistic view of science is the way forward. His observations have led to some conclusions that could benefit Albion and its allies. The charcoal and tar industries thrive under the support of enlightened merchants. But he has observed that burning timber, most especially in funeral pyres, wastes gases and vapours that are blown away in the wind. He demonstrates a device based on ancient drawings that can harness these gases and vapours. But he apologises that it is crude and craves support from the monarchs and their supporters, saying that other scholars share his beliefs. Margaret persuades Edvard to found a scholastic guild of higher learning in St Andrews, where Cináed Giselbert can gather other academics, explore devices to enhance society, and pass on their knowledge to students.

 

Margaret,_Maid_of_Norway

Stained glass window depicting Margaret, Maid of Norway, who was briefly Queen regnant of Scotland.  Creative Commons Attribution – Colin Smith

 

In our timeline: Undiscovered Scotland – “Margaret, Maid of Norway lived from 9 April 1283 to 26 September 1290 and was Queen of Scotland from 19 March 1286 to 26 September 1290. She was the granddaughter of Alexander III [of Scotland]. …In September 1290, Margaret set sail in a Norwegian ship from Bergen … Storms drove the ship off course to Orkney, and it eventually landed at St Margaret’s Hope, South Ronaldsay. Here Margaret, Maid of Norway, died, apparently from the effects of sea-sickness, still aged only eight. Had her marriage to [the future] Edward {II] gone ahead, the crowns of Scotland and England would have been united some three hundred years earlier than they eventually were, in 1603. And three hundred years of bloody history would probably have been very different.”

St Andrews University was not founded until 1413, after Oxford (1167), Cambridge (1209), and Northampton (1261).

Charcoal production is an ancient method of fuel production from wood that does require careful forest management, and in Britain led to extensive coppicing, as well as deforestation when demand exceeded demand. Similar deforestation occurred in Scandinavia and Finland where charcoal was a by-product of wood tar production. Charcoal is produced most extensively today in Brazil where it is used to transform ore into pig iron, and from there into mass-produced steel.

The first efficient steam engine to be applied industrially was designed by Thomas Savery in 1698. However, there were some ancient designs.

Aeon – In ‘Could we reboot a modern civilization without fossil fuels’, Lewis Dartnell writes, “Another, related option might be wood gasification. The use of wood to provide heat is as old as mankind, and yet simply burning timber only uses about a third of its energy. The rest is lost when gases and vapours released by the burning process blow away in the wind. Under the right conditions, even smoke is combustible. We don’t want to waste it.” Later, he writes, “For a society to stand any chance of industrialising under such conditions, it would have to focus its efforts in certain, very favourable natural environments: not the coal-island of 18th-century Britain, but perhaps areas of Scandinavia or Canada that combine fast-flowing streams for hydroelectric power and large areas of forest that can be harvested sustainably for thermal energy.”

Could Kanata industrialise itself if its inventors, like Cináed Giselbert, take the correct steps along a different energy path, focusing more on renewable wood derived fuel than coal? In my 2020 scenario, solar has become a major source, but how could they get there without ravaging the planet?

***

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

C is for Cristóbal Colón

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata.

C

C is for Cristóbal Colón: On 12 October 1492, the three ships of Cristóbal Colón are met off the Bahamas by two well-armed vessels that echo Viking longships with dragon prows, but with caravel features like three masts and lateen sails. Although the Spanish are armed so are the ‘Vikings’, who also have swivel cannons on their ships. The Norse commander says that he is, “Njal Migisi, follower of Thor, here by the blessings of the people of these islands. The Lukku-Cairi are under the protection of the Kanata Konføderasjon.”

Cristóbal Colón orders his men to stand down and the Spaniards are granted anchorage and re-supplied from an established trading port, but then sent away. The Kanatians know that the Spanish will try to settle on the mainland, but will face a Mesoamerican alliance that is prepared for Europeans, their weapons, and diseases.

The Spanish do establish settlements but are forced to co-operate with the Mesoamericans, although with consequences for their neighbours.

 

Columbus Day 2012 watermark

This is how Courtney imagines things would have happened in 1492 if Simon and River were present. Copyright and more at http://bunnies-and-sunshine.blogspot/2012/happy-columbus-day.html

 

 

In our timeline:

“In fourteen hundred ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue.

He had three ships and left from Spain;
He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain.

He sailed by night; he sailed by day;
He used the stars to find his way.”

Do I need to recite the rest of the poem, or remind people of all the controversy surrounding Columbus’ arrival in the New World and how the continent was settled by Europeans and other nations? History  is a good starting link for the Columbus story, and then there is the view from the other perspective that some might call revisionist. Although, this is a 1992 article, the movement keeps growing, especially on Columbus Day. Personally, as a historian and of Chilean origin, I lean heavily towards the indigenous rights viewpoint, as will become clear as Kanata evolves.

But if Leif Eriksson and the Vikings had stayed in Newfoundland and spread inland, would the First Nations have fared any better, although Eriksson had converted to Christianity? I have chosen a Saami shamaness as my catalyst for change, but what would have been needed to avoid the terrible mistakes made by the later Europeans?

 

***

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

B is for Bouvines

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata.

B

B is for Bouvines: 1214 – A dynasty of Norse-Anglo-Saxons has ruled Albion [Great Britain] for over one hundred and fifty years after some settlers from Kanata ensured the dynasty of Cnut the Great continued. King Arthur II of Albion and his allies in Normandy and Anjou face a claim by Phillipe of France on their French territories. On 27 July 1214, backed by the Holy Roman Emperor, Otto IV. the Albion infantry along with the might of their Mjölnir Militia and the Norman cavalry, prevails at the Battle of Bouvines, leaving the French struggling for allies. Bouvines shifts the balance of power in Europe, but can the nation states avoid war sweeping across the continent or can the extensive Norse trade network from Kanata to Constantinople hold sway?

Mjölnir is the hammer of Thor, worn as an amulet by many Viking warriors, although the bow symbol of the goddess Skaði was favoured by her followers. The Mjölnir Militia arose in Kanata to protect the trading settlements not as Viking marauders. The militia had a strict code of honour and indigenous warriors joined their ranks willingly. A detachment of the Mjölnir Militia was instrumental in ensuring that Cnut the Great’s dynasty continued in 1036, having amalgamated with the legendary Jomsvikings at the request of Magnus I of Norway.

 

712px-St_Pol

Stained glass inside St. Peter’s church, in Bouvines, Nord. France: Saint-Pol endangers the Flemish army. Photo – Copyright Benjamin Smith / Wikimedia Commons

 

In our timeline: Wikipedia – The Battle of Bouvines, which took place on 27 July 1214, was a medieval battle which ended the 1202–1214 Anglo-French War. It was fundamental in the early development of France in the Middle Ages by confirming the French crown’s sovereignty over the Angevin lands of Brittany and Normandy.

Philip Augustus of France defeated an army consisting of Imperial German, English and Flemish soldiers, led by Otto IV, Holy Roman Emperor in the north…and King John of England, Otto’s maternal uncle and ally. Allied with Philip was Frederick II Hohenstaufen, who controlled the southern Holy Roman Empire and afterwards deposed Otto.

Philip returned to Paris triumphant, marching his captive prisoners behind him in a long procession, as his grateful subjects came out to greet the victorious king. In the aftermath of the battle, Otto retreated to his castle of Harzburg and was soon overthrown as Holy Roman Emperor by Frederick II, who had already been recognised as emperor in the south a year and a half prior.

King John obtained a five-year truce, on very lenient terms given the circumstances.

Philip’s decisive victory was crucial in ordering politics in both England and France. In the former, so weakened was the defeated King John of England that he soon needed to submit to his barons’ demands and agree to the Magna Carta, limiting the power of the crown and establishing the basis for common law.[19] In the latter, the battle was instrumental in forming the strong central monarchy that would characterize France until the first French Revolution. It was also the first battle in the Middle Ages in which the full value of infantry was realised.

Philip conquered most of Plantagenet’s continental possessions, namely AnjouBrittanyMaineNormandy, and the Touraine, leading to the effective end of the Angevin Empire.

 

***

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

A is for Aquidneck

A2Z-BADGE-100 [2017]

My 2017 theme is “The History of Kanata”, the parallel world that is the setting for “Eagle Passage, and the theme reveal is here. I also wrote about this world in my blog post ‘This could be Kanata’.

A

A is for Aquidneck Island: On 28th September 1638, Samuel Hopkins and his congregation of Separatist settlers are welcomed by the Migisi clan mother, Klasina to discuss their needs, including land requirements. Klasina has called a gathering of local sachems or chief from various indigenous tribes. The Migisi are attempting to stop the spread of firearms. The Vikings, guided by the goddess Skaði, have learnt about the dangers of armed factions from their experiences in Europe, as well as encounters with the Iroquois League and the Council of the Three Fires. The native alliances acted as a nonaggression pact that provided their closely related bands or tribes with peace in their backyards but allowed them to fight outsiders. However, occasional unresolved disputes erupted into wars that the Migisi clan wish to restrict while encouraging the trade in goods that help the tribes thrive.

Samuel and his fellow Congregationalists are offered hospitality and invited to participate in their harvest celebrations. Samuel is stunned to discover that Klasina’s father was a Dutch trader that married her Migisi mother. When his religious morality questions this pagan-Christian alliance, he reminds himself, “If the church-burning Vikings have learnt to live with the natives, even inter-marry, then I must adjust my attitudes.” But will his soul be moved by the clan mother’s daughter, Kateri who wears a pagan bow pendant?  When he discovers that the bow is the symbol of her goddess Skaði that guided the Vikings to settle in Kanata, he is forced to remember that some Christians wear a plain cross around their necks. But that is not the way to show one’s faith.

 

Miantonomoh_Monument_2

Photo of the Miantonomoh Monument – Karen L. Houle (Wikimedia Commons)

 

In our timeline: WikipediaEnglish colonists first settled on present-day Aquidneck Island in 1638 in the region called by the natives “Pocasset” (meaning “where the stream widens”)… At one time, Aquidneck Island was controlled by the Wampanoags, whose leader was Sachem Massasoit. Traditionally, Massasoit greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621… A group of European settlers engaged Roger Williams in 1638 to negotiate the terms of their purchase of the island from a sachem named Miantonomi.

Aeon – In early Quebec, Jamestown and Plymouth, colonists held an advantage in firearms only for a handful of years before Native people began building their own arsenals… Except under the rarest circumstances, no one state authority had the ability to choke Indians off from guns, powder and shot… Native tribes competed furiously to control emerging gun markets. They knew that firearms were the new key to military and political dominance, and if they did not seize the opportunity, their enemies would. As a result, indigenous arms races erupted across North America… Indians saw the colonies as potential trade partners, especially for firearms, and new, powerful allies to direct against their Native rivals. https://aeon.co/essays/how-did-the-introduction-of-guns-change-native-america?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=77c10692cb-Daily_Newsletter_13_October_201610_12_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-77c10692cb-68908769

In our timeline, the Europeans encouraged the conflicts between the tribes, in certain cases resulting in tribes being decimated and their lands acquired often by Europeans.

Could an early Viking involvement, led by traders, not warriors, have influenced the ways that the indigenous people settled their disputes, especially 500 years before other Europeans arrived?

***

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