Thursday, November 26, 2020

A Mongol-Japanese-Russian Alaska? Independent From the US To This Day?

Here's another goodie from (the alternate-history forum)--a timeline entitled "A History Of Alyska To The Year 1900." The author seems to have created this scenario as a setting for fiction, much like I've done with a lot of timelines I've posted on the site, and it's pretty cool-sounding.

The timeline starts out with an introduction written in-universe as a definitive history of Alyska written by one of its citizens. The narrator states that the kingdom is little-known due to its problems with the United States (which still exists in this timeline, even with a divergence during the reign of Kublai Khan) and he'd like to set the record straight. Based on the narrator's own name, the names of some of the cities, and the name of the kingdom itself, it appears to be culturally Russian, but the history of Alyska goes much, much further back.

Highlights of the timeline:

*A Mongol settlement is established in North America by Kublai Khan as sort of a vanity project after the Mongol navy, exploring north of Japan, follows the islands to the Alaskan mainland. Although the settlement ultimately fails due to more urgent priorities in Mongol China, knowledge of the mysterious land across the water and that there'd once been trade between it and Asia and Mongol and Chinese settlement there never leaves the Asian consciousness. And owing to misconceptions and miscommunications, many people believed that this lost colony was the source of the Mongol khans' great wealth, giving people incentive to go looking for it later.

*Owing to their interactions with literate, state-based Asian societies, the Tlingit people form a sort of miniature empire further south after the early Mongol-Chinese settlers push them out of their original lands.

*Although the early Japanese explorers of Alaska don't find the rumored Mongol city of gold, they do realize how incredibly rich the fishing is, and that becomes the basis for Japanese colonization of Alaska. There's a theory that Basque fishermen were active in the Grand Banks/Newfoundland area of present-day Canada before Columbus, but to them it was just a place to fish and then dry their fish rather than a "New World."

*The Japanese government comes to use Alaska as a dumping ground for disgraced samurai, illegitimate children of the nobility, criminals, etc. and then when said people's descendants begin using it as a base for piracy, ends up waging a trans-oceanic war to bring these people under control. This whole scenario reminded me of Henry II forcing the lords of Ireland into submission lest they cause problems later. 

*Alyska is not considered part of "the Western world," which means it's either considered part of the Asian sphere (given its founding that would make sense), the Orthodox/Russian sphere, or the Communist world.

The author hasn't posted an update in several days, but his most recent post indicates he's going to discuss how Alaska functions under the rule of the Ashikaga Shogunate, how the Tlingit state develops, and the impact of the later Japanese colonization on other native peoples. Definitely looking forward to this.

No comments:

Post a Comment